Syrian is the new Orange

Syrian is the new Orange

Recently I have watched a couple of documentaries that are part of a season that the BBC are running on racism in the modern day. Very few of the opinions expressed referred to skin colour (other than in the one on the KKK). Some were (mainly in the one on the KKK.  They do seem to have an issue with those of duskier skin tones). But almost always they were followed up by references to the belief system that their chosen ethnic group subscribes to. And generally (but not exclusively) they turned out to be Muslims… apparently.

In my youth it was blacks being picked on by whites. If you weren’t white you were black.

Then there was a bit of differentiation. All were equally hated by the racists in general. But there were off-shoots of bigotry. Hatred seemed to be based upon a Dulux colour matching card, with limited hues.

‘These three or four shades are ok. These five or six are “Paki’s”. We hate them cos they are “Paki’s”. The rest of them are “Darkies”. We hate them cos… um… we always have.’

Back in the good old day’s racism was so much simpler. You could be a bigoted hatemonger without too much thought, and a handy, pocket sized, colour swatch.

But modern times bought us different religions and cultures. And you can’t colour code a religion. Now as an “upright member of society, who doesn’t mean anyone any harm to anyone. But just feels that Britain should be for the British” things are getting tricky.  ‘Culture’ seems to be the new buzz word.

 

reverse-racism

‘Ok, you are black. I mean properly black. But you are third generation British. And you agree that Britain should be for British people. But you’re black, and your British…

And you… you’re a Pa… oh, Indian. There is a difference? Ok. And you are fourth generation British.

This is not good. It is undermining my fundamental beliefs…  Oh, right… Culture.  Your culture isn’t ours.  We’ll go with that.’

 

Let’s gloss over the fact that our culture is a mix of French, Scandanavian and pretty much anyone who moved in during the middle ages.  And that our nations culture has been fluid and changing… well, for ever.  Cos that is what culture does.

 

This is where your average racist gets confused and goes one of four ways.

Way 1 – Stick to yer guns.

“They ain’t white so I hate em”. Some things and some people never change. Hell, let’s face it… Change is bad. We fear change. Sod change, let’s stick with what we know. It’s easier than thinking.

 

Way 2 – Switch targets.

“Britain is for the British! Not quite sure who is proper British anymore. But I know who the fuck isn’t. IMIGRANTS!!!! I hate them. Oh, and Muslims!  They blow shit up!”. Change is bad. We fear change. The politicians and the papers are telling me that the immigrants are changing things. They must be right cos I have seen change. My Auntie doesn’t get the nurse coming round like she used to. My sisters kids day care is gone. The hospital is about to close it’s A&E department. It’s the immigrants, right?  Oh, and the bloody Muslims!

 

Way 3 – Diversify.

“I fuckin’ hate immigrants. But I still hate everyone I already hated. In fact I hate everyone who isn’t either me or one of my family. And I hate some of them.  But if you don’t completly abandon the heritage and culture of your forefathers and embrace that of mine, (who may or may not have also moved here at some point…  But did it before yours, so stop trying to confuse me!!!)  I will hate you! Oh, and the Muslims!  Everyone hates them, right?  But I might hate them less if they stopped blowing shit up”. You don’t have to give up yer old hobbies when you get a new one.

 

Way 4 – Start to think for yourself.

I know a couple of people that were neo-nazis. Swastika tattoos and everything.  By everthing, I mean the belief and the activism…

Then they fell in with a different crowd (They didn’t just trip over something.  It took thought, effort, sacrifice and huge balls to take the first step.  And the next two or three!  I don’t wanna cheapen what they did.)  They looked back at what they thought and did, and decided that it wasn’t the way they wanted to live their lives. They blacked over the tatoos (with more ink, obviously) chilled out and have had pretty lovely lives since (with the usual life shit, anyway.  It just involved less violence).  They are good people.

I say this like it is a panacea for racism. It is not. Racism would not exist if someone hadn’t thought of it for themself. But almost all bigotry these days is because of people who can’t be arsed to think for themselves.  They choose to believe the words of someone charismatic enough to sound like they know what they are talking about.  Those that spout the words that feed into the peoples fears.

 

Why the charismatic one is spouting bigotry is open for argument. Maybe they just want the feeling of power of having a following, and have spotted a trigger point to get this. Maybe they just talk a lot about anything, but found that people listened to this. They like it when people listen. Maybe they actually believe it.  (Please note –  Not all charismatic people spout bigotry. Some spout capitalism, communism, healty eating…  And some spout no agenda’s at all)

Syrian 1

 

But apparantly these people are currently the greatest threat to my nation and my way of life.

Yes, when I look at images like this my first thought is to feel threatened.

 

 

 

Shit… I’m not even going to say that bigotry and racism are wrong. I personally believe that they are. But who am I to say that my opinion is any more valid or correct the next peson.

That said… If I see it happening before me, I will step in to express my point of view. And as a cripple, I always carry a stick. A stick can be helpful in getting your point across when properly applied.

 

A simple guide for modern UK racists

If they look foreign they are probably Muslims. Hate them. If they sound foreign they are probably Syrian immigrants. Hate them. If they both look and sound foreign, fill yer boots.

Don’t bother talking to them. It is so much more fun hurling abuse and then going home feeling good that you were standing up for your nation and nationality. Tell your friends about it and let them share your national pride.

Vote UKIP. (They aren’t racists either… Honest)

 

 

Yeah, I failed on the months theme again.  Does that make me a bad person?

 

[Oh, and if you are confused about the hamster pic…  It’s an Orange Syrian.  And yes…  If I’d put more time into it I could probably have found one without the stock photo shit all over it.  But I spent hours typing, editing… drinking. Suck it up.  You want better?  Tap the boss for a slot and step up.  Are you not at all impressed that I found a pic to tie a glib title to the topic…  And it’s cute]

[But seriously.  If you got it… step up (in a welcoming way).  What’s the worst that could happen?]

I Don’t Believe: Karma

I Don’t Believe: Karma

Karma FrogOnly the good die young. Crime doesn’t pay. You reap what you sow. Good things happen to good people.

I believe all of these things (which is a little depressing… cos that means that most old people are bad).

I have been a contributor to WBOM since it began. I am proud to be so. I am invested and passionate about all of us providing entertaining, intellectual and quality BLOGs for the enjoyment of everyone who accidentally stumbles across our path.

But I feel that this is the first time that a monthly subject… um… topic… er… What do we call it? Ok, I confess. I’m easily confused. And I rarely actually check what I’m supposed to be talking about. Generally I just type shit and then try and crowbar in some kind of connection. (People who repeatedly accidentally stumble across us will know that, on my part… I’m not great at this).  Anyway…  I think it is bad.

But this time I am prepared. I am organised. I am seriously late in getting this post up. But most importantly, I feel that this month’s theme is both negative and the opposite of un-negative (I mentioned that I was late, right. If I wasn’t I would have waded through online Thesauruses… um… Thesauri… and sparkled more in that latter part of the previous sentence).

The point that I am staggering around is that it is easy to ‘not believe’. There so many things to not believe in…

The Boogey Man, honest politicians, God, #SPOILER# Santa, the love of a good man, the love of a good woman, the existence of a good man/woman (yes, I am an equal opportunities cynical sceptic), that smoking will not only make you live longer, but will also make you attractive to women.

There are many, many more. But listing them all would only belabour the point I am arguing against.

There are very few that we are told to believe in…

We actually do have enough of a chance to win the lottery that it is worth is paying our hard earned cash to take part… And, um… Orange is the new black? I already told you that I’m up against it on time. The deadline went days ago!

But seriously, I got nothing more on this side.

OOH! Hang on. Wine makes you live longer! Who could not believe the French? Of course they are not using unsupportable statistics to cover up a national drinking problem, sustain one of their major exports and incidentally justify my love of the grapey joy juice.

My arguments may be weak, but my idiom is ironclad. It is way easier to not believe than it is to believe. Put the effort in. It’s worth it. You may well be wrong more often than your not. But if you sincerely believe, then you will have the smug satisfaction that you are both happy and right… and empirical proof cannot dent your joy.

So I say YAY to unicorns, YAY to love at first sight, YAY to the belief that my dog will stop chewing my socks, YAY to the belief that if you hug kittens and homeless people that you will come back in your next life as the sweetest, juiciest pumpkin EVER!

[Note 1 : Creationists… Give it up. I’m talking about belief. Not complete fantasy]

[Note 2 : Thank you for overlooking my use of the word ‘idiom’ where I really shouldn’t. You may claim that you didn’t… But I BELIEVE that you did!]

[Note 3 : What do you mean I mixed up Karma and Reincarnation??!! And who wouldn’t want to come back as one of the tastiest pumpkins ever!!! I believe that I got it right! And if I didn’t, the title would make absolutely no sense. So I must have got it right.]

[Note 4 : Most of the world may think you’re a complete and total cock, Justin. But I think I just proved that I’ll pretty much belibe anything.]

Karma Bieber

What??!!

What??!!

Last month I failed to come up with anything.  That which was posted was blatant plagiarism.

Um… is it still plagiarism if you wrote it in the first place?  Ok… I wrote it.  But our esteemed editor, seeing my complete failure to post, ripped it from somewhere unmentionable and covered over my failing. (ooh-bleedin’-er!      (Ps.  Thanks Ed))

The reason for my failing?  I adopted a dog.

I think I may have mentioned (once or twice) that I volunteer at my local Dogs Trust re-homing center.

While I was there, our eyes met across an empty room.  He flew across the room and threw himself into my outstretched arms.  I just kinda sat there and got hit by dog.  But we got on extremely well, so I adopted him (that’s the short version.  I know, right?  SO unlike me).  Since he moved in I have been kinda busy and distracted.  So I missed last month.

And because I have done nothing other than making an ex-stray feel welcome and comfortable in my home and life, for the last couple of months…  That’s what yer gonna get.

His name is Dan.

DanI didn’t choose his name, but that is the name that he has had since he arrived at the Dogs Trust.  He recognised it and answered to it.  I felt that it would be rude to change it.  Hell…  How would you feel if, after introducing yourself, I started calling you Eric? (And Dan is not a bad name.  If he was called Count Fluffykins McSnuggles the Third, we may have had to rework things a bit).

 

I haven’t been up the Dogs Trust since Dan came to live with me (not cos I don’t want to). In fact I haven’t done much that wasn’t Dan related.  So this is gonna be a bit Dancentric.

 

I say ‘a bit’…

 

He came to live with me… um… a while ago. Has it been two weeks? Two months? Too long? And he’s settled in nicely. There were a few teething troubles. There still are. But he is a happy pup.

At first he decided the right place to go to the toilet was in the house. After all, he saw me going to the toilet in the bathroom. So he went as close to the bathroom as he could. We discussed this at length. Eventually we came to an understanding, he goes outside and I don’t get disgruntled with him going inside. This is fine while it’s warm and the door is always open. But it’s cooling down and getting rainy. And we haven’t yet worked out a method of him letting me know when he needs to go out. Accidents have happened since, but only on the doormat.

[Work in progress]

He’s a bit of a nervous bunny. I didn’t realise this at first, but he is a bravado filled scaredy cat. He’s fine when I’m there to protect him, but if I’m not… A number of times he has come belting into the living room and lept on my lap for comforting snuggles. When we went to investigate, it was only Charlie having a sniff around his garden next door or a hedgehog (oh yeah… I got hedgehogs in my garden 🙂 ). He also gets dead agitated when dogs have the audacity to walk down our street. After all, did they ask his permission? From his chair by the window, he properly chastises their impudence with growling and barking.

It’s a bit strange, cos when we meet other dogs when we are out on walks he is dead happy to meet them and always wants to go and say hello.

The biggest problem is that he doesn’t like to be left alone. I slowly built up the time he was left alone, from just going outside and having a fag to having a slow stroll around Tesco. He was fine. Very happy to see me when I get back, but other than this expected excitement… fine.

A couple of weeks ago I went down the pub for a bit. With travel time, I was out for a little over three hours. He was very excited and happy to see me when I got back. After ear scratching and belly rubs that are all part of the joyful return, I walked into the scene of devastation that was the living room. The list of what he destroyed was extensive. It ran from the trivial, to the close to my heart. I was royally pissed off.

Dan messA few days later I went to a gig (at the pub. I’m a fan of one of the bands, and I’d paid for it, so…). I kinda dog proofed the place, a bit, before I went out. When I got back… trashed. Dan and I discussed my dissatisfaction. He seemed to appreciate that I wasn’t overjoyed by his actions.

Today I had to drive over to Canterbury to get him more food (I’m feeding him the same stuff as he had at the DT, and Canterbury is where I can buy it). Yesterday we had a fantastic day, so while I was out I bought him two new toys. He was gonna get one anyway, as he has pretty much destroyed all the ones I… um… stole from the DT. But great day yesterday, so two. Got back… living room semi-trashed.

I feel Dan and I have a new project to work on.

[Work in progress x 2]

Also, I haven’t yet mentioned the fact that he does not respect my predilection for nocturnality. We have developed a routine. The alarm goes off at 8:30 and I get up and get him his breakfast. I then go back to bed. The alarm goes off again at 11:30 and I get up. At least that’s the plan.

For a few years my sleep pattern has steadily slipped around the clock. I’m awake for the normal amount of time, but sleep longer. So the going to bed and getting up migrates slowly. Mine does, Dan’s doesn’t.

The past few days I’ve still been awake when it gets light. When the first alarm goes off, a zombie that looks a bit like me goes and feeds Dan. That same zombie then struggles to get back to sleep for more than an extra hour before the second alarm goes off and a cute, happy, pup shaped bastard jumps on my chest. ‘This is when you get up, right?’

He is awfully spry.  So none of my bleary eyed punches have connected yet.  And the sweet, innocent him thinks it’s just a game.  If only he knew…

So far this all sounds pretty negative. So I hesitate to bring up his biteyness. When he gets excited he plays his favourite game. Biting me. It’s kinda my fault. I am used to ‘mouthing’, and know that dogs find it comforting and relaxing, so when Dan arrived I let him chew me (my hands and arms.  If you made up your own filthy chuckles…  Shame on you.  He’s less than 5 years old.  Shame!).  He, like other pups, got excited playing this game and started biting too hard. When, one morning, whilst having a wash I noticed that the backs of my hands and my forearms were covered in bruises (after a minute to work from ‘OMG I’M DYING!’ to ‘oh, it’s just Dan’) I decided we should stop this game. Dan doesn’t agree. He likes it. So when he gets excited he launches himself at any hand, foot, arm, leg, nose or ear that I am proffering. And his definition of proffering is ‘not using for any worthwhile task’. Worthwhile task being ‘letting me chew it’.

The trouble is that he is easily excited. He gets excited by many things. Here are a few examples… Me getting out of bed. Me putting on clothes. Me putting on shoes. Me getting up out of a chair. Me walking towards the room that the food is in and has a way to the outside. Me going outside. Me coming back inside. Me sitting there quietly if he feels that I haven’t paid enough attention to him recently. Me paying him attention. His new toy! (It squeaks when he chews it!!!!)

Also, me telling him to stop is obviously taking an active part in the game. Me taking an active part in the game is even more exciting. Me getting angry is the part of the game where he’s allowed to start barking.

So, yeah…

[Work in progress x 3]

But these are only my niggles. Admitted, some of my niggles are costly and others are painful. Pain I live with anyway. And who really gives a shit about books that my Gran left me?

What I haven’t yet touched upon is the absolute joy that he brings me. The fun that we have when out on walks. The smiles I get when I see his happy face and waggly tail. The warmth I feel when he snuggles up with me on the sofa and falls asleep in the crook of my arm with his head on my chest. The pride that I feel when overcomes his fear and greets a dog happily and then comes away when asked, or meets young children (who freak him out) but, after a bit of coaching to be quiet and gentle (both the kids and Dan), they get waggly tails and happy face licks (both the kids, and on one occasion Dan). And the love that I feel and receive every day.

 

Best thing I have ever done.

 

By the way… Dan LOVES his new toy (the other new one is hidden for now)

Dan toy

Epilogue – Dan met Eric tonight.  Eric is a rather large spider that lives under my fireplace.  For years he has scuttled out across the floor in the dead of night to do scuttly things.  They haven’t met before.  Dan was entranced.  Eric did not appear overly enamored.  Dan’s affection starts with noses and soon leads to paws.  He isn’t known for his delicate touch.  I don’t think my home has an Eric any more.

Funny Day Out

Funny Day Out

I’ve not been having much fun lately. Loads of stuff has been going on, and not much of it has made me smile. So I decided I needed to get out and do something different. I came up with this cunning plan to use my cripple bus pass for more than just going to the pub.

I gave it some thought and decided that Dover wasn’t that far away, on a bus route and was somewhere that I hadn’t been before (I’ve been to the castle, I’ve visited a mate. But I’ve never seen the town). I had a plan!

It’s not that far away. But the bus takes a FUCKIN’ AGE to get there. And of course, I got off at the wrong stop. Oh yes, I was in Dover. But it turns out that there is quite a lot of Dover that is fuckin’ miles away from the town centre. Thank you kind bus driver!!!

A nice passer by pointed me towards the town centre and off I set, determined not to let a git spoil my day out.

My walk took me past Dover prison.

The only reason that I knew there was a prison in Dover before that moment, was cos a friend used to work there. Now I know where it is. Yay!

As a walked (limped) past, a line of knotted sheets came over the wall and a midget slid down it. He paused for a moment at the bottom, looked at me, smirked and mumbled something. I may be wrong, but I am pretty sure that it was something involving the words ‘fucking’, ‘ginger’ and ‘cripple’. Not only was I a bit shocked, but I also thought it was a little condescending.

The walk was longer than I’d thought it would be. So I needed a couple of breaks. One was on a bench outside a church. The doors of the church were open, and I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation going on inside.

“As I told you last week,” said a voice that seriously sounded like a vicar. “To become members of our congregation you had to abstain from sex for one week. So how did you do?”

An elderly sounding man’s voice replied “No problems at all vicar. We are old enough to know restraint”.

A middle aged woman then said “well, we did have our wobbly moments. But we managed to restrain ourselves. We lasted the week”.

Then a young man said, “Sorry father, we failed. Everything was going fine until my wife dropped the paint. Then she bent over to clean it up and I just… um… couldn’t resist my urges. It got a bit messy. Sorry.”

“Dropped the…” gasped the vicar. “Messy? That is just… Get out and never come back!”

“That”, said the young man “is exactly what the manager of B&Q said.”

As I was getting closer to town I passed an AA van and a car, just as the AA guy closed the car’s bonnet. He turned to the young lady who was standing there and looking worried. “There you go, all sorted”, he said.

“What was it?” she asked. “How can I stop it happening again?”

“Crap in the carburetor”, he said as he bent down to gather his tools.

“How often should I do that?” she asked.

Dover town centre is… Well, it’s a town centre, and not a particularly sparkling example of one. It’s not bad as town centre’s go. But by then I was knackered. I had been entertained by some of the locals, but fuck trying to find some of the sights. I just wanted to sit down. So I found a pub that didn’t look too ‘themey’, or full of arseholes and propped myself up at the bar.

About 2/3 of my way through my first pint, a guy walked into the pub with a dog and asked for a beer. The guy behind the bar said “Hang on a sec”, and hung a piece of fairly cheap looking meat from one of the taps. “We’re running a challenge at the moment”, he said. “If your dog can jump up and grab the meat, he can have the meat and you will get your pint free. But if he misses, you have to pay for your pint and buy me one”.

“Ok”, said the guy. He talked to his dog for a moment, explaining it to him. Then the dog jumped up (with some encouragement and gesticulating from the guy) and grabbed the meat. The dog chowed down (with quite a lot of tail waggling, which made me smile) and the guy enjoyed his free pint.

When he’d finished his drink, he asked for another pint. The barman said “Hang on”. He then took two prime pieces of beef sirloin and hung them on hooks above the bar. “This time, if your dog can get those he can eat them. But not only do you get your drink for free, everyone in the pub has to buy you a drink. However, if your dog misses… You have to buy everyone a drink. You up for it?”

The guy thought about it for a few moments, looking from his dog to the hanging meat and back. He then surveyed the pub. It was quite busy by now (it was getting close to lunch time), and all the punters were watching him and waiting for his decision, myself included.

“No”, said the man. “I can’t go for it. The stakes are too high”.

Shortly after that a bloke walked in with his wife and kids, sat them down at a table then came up to the bar to order them all food. He perused the menu for a moment then asked the barman what the venison burgers were. “It’s deer”, he was told. I exchanged a wry and rueful grin with the barman as the man ordered them for the whole family.

When the meal arrived, he turned to his kids and said “Try this, and guess what it is… I’ll give you a clue, it’s what mummy calls me”.

His daughter, who couldn’t have been more than six or seven, sat there for a moment looking dead thoughtful. Then a look of panic came over her face and she screamed at her two younger brothers. “DON’T EAT IT! IT’S A FUCKING ARSEHOLE!!!”

I had finished chuckling and went out the front for a fag. This was when my next moment of joy occurred. A guy, also having a fag a short distance away, was talking to his mate in rather hushed tones. I’m a nosey bastard, so I earwigged. “I went to see the doc yesterday”, he said. “And the doc told me that I had to stop masturbating”.

“Why?” his mate inquired with concern.

“That’s exactly what I asked”, the guy replied. “And you know what he said? ‘Because I am trying to examine you.’”

Just before I left the pub, some fella walked in carrying three ducks. He plonked them on the bar and then hurried off to the toilets. I know, right?!! Now, I was hugely impressed with the barman’s congeniality before. But at this point he surpassed himself. He only engaged the ducks in conversation!

“Hi”, he said to the first duck. “Don’t think I’ve seen you in here before. What’s yer name? Had a good day?”

“Quack” said the duck. “Sorry, habit. I’m Huey, and I’ve had a fantastic day. It rained earlier, so I’ve been in and out of puddles”.

“What about you?” He asked the second duck. “Good day? Sorry, what’s your name?”

“I’m Dewey,” said Dewey. “And yeah. Great day. I was in and out of puddles just like Huey.”

The barman smiled at the third duck. “So I’m guessing that you are Louis.”

“No”, scowled the third duck. “I’m Puddles. Ask me what sort of day I’ve had!”

I Have a Love Hate Relationship: Seriously Board

I Have a Love Hate Relationship: Seriously Board

INBV-Game-Monopoly-BoardI kinda hate Monopoly. It’s one of those games that really bugs me. It epitomises many of the aspects of life that I truly despise. The pecunious aspects of life that splinter us between haves and have not’s.

And yet… When I play, I so want to win. Does that make me a bad person?  Ok, maybe not win.  But when I play I want MORE!!!!!!

I must confess, I’ve not actually ever finished a game Monopoly. I do enjoy the going round the board and buying properties. But, when it gets to the whole trading and trying to bitch slap your opposition to scrape out the last vestiges of their cash… I lose interest.

I love my board games. I have a bit of the collection. Some of which I’ve never actually played. Don’t get me wrong, I seriously want to. But these days, being a gamer means something different (and people are less inclined to sit around a table with others, than they are to sit alone in a darkened room).

There is a big difference between holding a game pad and a bunch of dice. And saying that you are a dice chucker, suggests that you are a D&D player (and I should say I fucking hate D&D. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a geek. I have been a role player for many years. But not D&D. Seriously, NOT D&D.  Oh yeah…  Even geeks can have standards).

But anyway, Monopoly. I kinda hate it, but I really don’t want to. I’ve played several times. Many times with people, occasionally alone (in attempts to work out how to do it right). I’ve even got it on my Xbox.

But I always fucking lose.

Maybe I’m just playing wrong.

I know some people that only go for the high-end properties. In fact quite a few of the people that have played with tend to go for the high-end properties. And these people always tend to beat me. Maybe I should learn from their example.

But I always tend to go for being the slum landlord. I always buy out the bottom row and left hand side. You know the cheap properties.

Oh, maybe I should say at this point. That as there are so many versions of the game, that involve street names from so many places around the world, it’s kind of pointless to try and name the locations and expect people to know where on the board that I’m talking about. So as far as I’m concerned, ‘Go‘ is at the bottom right. The cheap streets are along the bottom, and you can work it out from there.

I tend to buy the cheap stuff. I try to buy pretty much all of the bottom and left side of the board.

In this is where game and reality separate, and really pisses me off. I now own half of London (or the city that you are playing on). And yet when other players land on my properties, I get 8 quid or maybe 14. I’m playing the slum landlord. So why the hell can’t I jack up prices to extortionate rates. Why do I have to build houses? And if I build hotels, why can I not fill them with the homeless and immigrants and get the government to pay stupidly high prices for them to live there.  I’m playing a game about getting money…  So why can’t I have more??!!!!

And this is where I feel that Monopoly and I tend to part ways.

Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s just a game. But there are so many games out there that are fun to play. This one just embodies and embraces so many of the aspects of society that really concern me. But it’s a classic. So we play it with our kids. And as such we are teaching our kids that owning stuff and having loads of money is not only fun, but it is the goal.

Yeah, in my experience… Not so much.

I used to have a career that paid pretty well. But it was fucking hard work. It was a delicate balance between following my bosses wishes and screwing over the customers, or following my own idiom of doing the job well and not totally fleecing the punters for it.

If you are a follower of the musings, then you probably already know that I got ill and got sacked because of it.

Being cast out of the corporate world that I found myself in, was quite possibly the best thing that ever happened to me. The reason for it, maybe not so much. How they did it… HELL no!  But if that shit happens, and leads you to a much better place. Can you really bitch about the bad shit?

Monopoly just makes me think of the world that I used to live in. A world that I really did not want to be in. The world that involves screwing over your fellow man to better yourself. And this is a game. A game that we play with our kids. A game that teaches them how much fun it is to take other people’s money.  And to revel in your gain and their loss.

It is one of the world’s most popular board games. What does this say about the world we live in?

board games 2There are hundreds, even thousands of other board games available. And many of them are hugely more fun than Monopoly. So, why buy it? Why play it? Why expose your children to it?

Pick something better!

I got nothing… Sorry

I got nothing… Sorry

Tonight, I knew that the deadline for this month’s bloggage was rapidly approaching… but I had nothing. Seriously… Inspiration had fled me like something small and incredibly timid that was startled… and then fled.  (And trust me…  There is nothing that happened when I was thirteen that I’d care to anecdote about or that you’d want to read)

So I went down the pub.

It is no small secret that I do most of my typing whilst drunk. So I thought that maybe I should get drunk. Also, a fair few of my amusing anecdotes stem from tales that occurred, or at least began in the pub. So heading to the pub was a solid plan… right?

My plan failed. Inspiration did not strike. Amusing hijinks did not gambol, caper or cartwheel across my path.

So I went out for a fag. I had forgotten to pick up my fancy new E-cigarettes, so I was totally and unhealthily old school tonight. While I was standing there outside the pub, shortening my life, I did what I usually do. I people watched.

I clocked (sorry, Britspeak… spotted) a bunch of pissed arseholes outside the pub a few doors up. ‘Heh’, I thought. ‘Pissed arseholes’. This was not an instant and unwarranted judgement on my part. They were acting and talking like pissed arseholes. They were (mostly) big, burly and obviously completely justified in their magnificence.  And as such, were being loud and magnificent so all around them could also revel in their greatness.  Like all groups of ‘big, burly, blokes’, that had the required short bloke with them.

The big skinhead obviously happened to clock me as I clocked them. As he said to his shorter and even more pissed mate… ‘See that bloke down there by the window? Go knock him out.’

There were many people in the high street. But I was the only one standing there leaning up against the wall next to a large window. I was a little touched and honoured. It is many years since anyone thought me worthy enough to start on me in the street for no reason. Hell, it hasn’t happened since I moved to Canterbury. And that is more years ago than I am willing to admit (cos it would make me sound almost as old as I am).

I braced myself, but didn’t look in their direction. And I must confess… I did smile a little, with anticipation. I’m guessing that the short fella took his mate at his word and started my way, cos moments later the skinhead said with an almost shocked laugh ‘no, don’t’.

I chuckled to myself, finished my fag, went back into the pub and mentioned to a couple of my friends what had occurred, with a wry grin.

It is truly heart warming moment when a pregnant friend steps up and says ‘who was it? I’ll knock them out!’… and means it.

And I totally believed that she would.

Whitstable RainbowOn the way home, it rained quite heavily. But there was bright sunshine off to one side. So between the bus stop and my home I spent no small amount of time just standing looking at the rainbow. I smiled at the beauty that just kinda happens around us, as it faded away. Have you ever watched a rainbow fade?

Sometimes they just get paler until they can no longer be seen. Other times they do what this one did. My favourite kind. They disappear from one end to the other. So just before they vanish completely there is a faint part of the colourful arc.

^^  That is the actual rainbow of which I speak… um… type.

Sometimes this world we live in is a place full of marvel. Other times it is both shitty and despicable.

After I got home I watched a documentary on BBC1. I have mentioned in bloggage, in the past (maybe not here, I’m a blog whore), that I volunteer at my local dog rehoming centre. I’ve been doing it for over two years now. I love my pups. It is a Dogs Trust centre. The DT have been running a campaign for quite a while to rescue mistreated pups from Ireland.

15.05.01 006<<  Me with one of my pups (He’s called Norman.  We get on quite well)

 

I’m not suggesting that all pups in Ireland are mistreated, but there is a school of thought over there (again, not followed by all) that pups are a commodity. When they are no longer of use or worth, they are discarded.

 

The documentary ‘The Dog Factory’ simply highlighted much that I already knew about. But it both angered and sickened me.

 

 

It may be an indicator of my personality, that a drunken arse being sent to attack me just made me chuckle… But people on a separate island treating innocent dogs badly made me want to hurt people with a visceral fervency.

If you are ever considering buying a puppy, please only do it if you can get to meet the mother. And you get to see her with the pups. If you can’t, don’t buy it.

This may sound a little callous. After all, you could be saving that pup from misery. And you almost certainly would be. But you would also (possibly) be perpetuating a barbaric trade. And there are many hundreds of other pups that also need saving from misery.

If you cannot meet the mother, visit your nearest rehoming centre. It may cost you a little more (in money, time and effort), but there are a number of reassurances. The pup will have been cared for while it was there, they will have had medical checks, the will almost certainly have been spayed and chipped… And the centre will offer you continued support and advice. Also, the little more that you spent will go towards helping other homeless pups be cared for until they too find homes.

Ooh, did I just get all preachy. Meh. I will happily stand on my soapbox for things I feel strongly about.

So as bloggages go, this was a mixed bag. But Like I said, I was short on inspiration. Sometimes it goes that way.