Without Reason

"Because reason is for rational people"

I Have The Legs Of an Old Man (and he doesn't want them back)

Why, oh why, do I not do more exercise? I really want to, and I even enjoy it on the rare occasions that I do partake, but I just don't do so often enough. Let me explain, yesterday was a very long day for me, I was in Coventry (the bellybutton of the UK) which was a bad start. I was there to remove 19 plasma screens from the walls of the University, and I had only one day in which to get it done as we had contractors on site to do the spanner jobs. Coventry University is a sprawling campus in the centre of the city, and the screens were in many different buildings across the campus. What Coventry has in abundance is grey concrete, what it has a shortage of is parking spaces. The result of all of this was that I had to carry the plasma screens + bracket + pc back to the van from the screen location. In some cases this was less than 20 metres, in others it was about 400 metres, up or down flights of stairs and generally too far. The screens are heavy, very heavy, about 50KG in fact and by the time I had loaded 5 of them into the van I thought my arms were going to drop off. Stepping up into the van carring the screens became painful as my arms and legs started to buckle under the strain. The worst bit was that I couldn't slow down, because that would hold the contractors up, and they wanted to finish so they could drive the three hours back up the M6 to Manchester for the football. I was desperate to sit down and have a rest, but my conciense would not let me.

So taday I woke up, knowing I was going to be in pain, but hoping that if I didn't move I could avoid it. I did move, I had to go to work, and it did hurt, and now I am walking like a robotic extra from Doctor Who. How very unhappy am I!

Too Much Hype, Not Enough Quality

I don't know why but I am getting more and more intolerant of irrational and inappropriate hype that the media here in the UK seems to delight in.

If it isn't Big Brother then it is the World Cup, if it isn't the Beckhams, then it is New Labour, and if it isn't Bird Flu, then it is BSE. Have all of our journalists been robbed of their ability to write intelligent, meaningful stories that are in some proportion to the issues being covered?
I am getting more and more angry at sensationalist coverage of the most mundane events, just because the media believes it has the right to manipulate public opinion for it's own gain. I am even more upset when relatively innocent people end up paying the price of this sensationalism. The two stories I will use to illustrate the opposite end of this spectrum are the recent cases of John Prescott and an 11 year old who has recently become pregnant and her 4 month old sister.
I am no fan of John Prescott ( I believe his style icon is Jabba the Hut) and I don't like many of the things he does or stands for. However the way the media hounded him over his affair and them for weeeks after it all became public was nothing short of a disgrace. It is completely unfair that anyone be subjected to such public scrutiny. I understand that he was in a position of authority and was supposed to be representing the Public Good TM. and that many people are angry at the abuse of trust and lack of judgement he showed. However, to finally oust him from his position because he was playing a game on his lawn while th boss was away is simply ludicrous. John's story contrasts sharply with that of an 11 year old girl who is pregnant and who lives with her mother who is a heroin addict. The girl smokes 20 cigarettes a day and drinks vodka at the weekend in the belief that they will not affect her, or the baby inside her. She lives with her Heroin addicted mother and her 4 month old sibling, who is also suffering from drug addiction and withdrawl. All three of these children are suffering and will continue to suffer, but rather than do anything about it the media have created a market for this type of story and pay people to tell them. Where is the shame which that mother should be rightfully feeling for failing to bring up her children in a caring manner? How can any publisher justify giving money to a woman who they know will abuse herself, and by extension her family, for a story which has terrible consequences for all involved?

Society as a whole has a tendency to avoid the bigger problems that are not easily summed up in a tabloid article and as journalists many writers have forgotten the heritage of pioneering social service that preceded them. The abundance of information, and the number of outlets for it has, I believe replaced the desire that writers had for maintaining high standards and codes of ethics. If journalists can find an outlet for it, they will surely write it! I think it is time we had a better prerequisite for our journalistic tendencies that that, and in this I include my own feeble efforts.

Collective Madness

I am intrigued by collective nouns, because so many of them evoke such strong feelings about a relatively benign creature, and they are sometimes so descriptive that there seems no better way to describe them.

Here is a list of some of my favourites:

A goring of butchers
An army of frogs
A colony of lice

Here are some that should be collective nouns, but aren't:

A cancellation of trains
A break of winds
An exaggeration of fishermen

If I have two tiddlywinks, and I want to refer to them collectively, should I call them a tiddlyblink?

Bruschetta

Why does it taste so good? It doesn't make any sense, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and dry bread shouldn't be able to satisfy so many taste buds all at once. I bet other, more bland and tastless foods are jealous, and complex exotic dishes containing a myriad of ingredients are possibly seething at being usurped by such simple fare.

But don't worry, I won't tell them about 'special' bruschetta with tomatoes and mozzarella if you won't.

Out of Hiding-Again!

Recently returned from my latest stay in the country's top high security mentalarium, I am yet again allowed access to the great teaching ground for all wannabe heroes that is the Internet.

I know you are going to say, "I don't want to be a hero, I use the Internet for; fun..work..dating..education..". Don't fool yourself, of course you want to be a hero, all of your Internet efforts are in one way or another geared towards self-fulfillment and making people worship and respect you, and you shouldn't be ashamed of it.

Come back soon, study hard, read carefully, and you might just make it.