I thought I’d let the dust settle on last Thursday before attempting to write a coherent sentence about it, but at this rate that won’t happen until 2025, so I thought I might as well write anyway.
I’ve not had a hugely pleasant week, to be honest. It’s hard to run marketing campaigns when no one’s reading anything but the news, and it’s hard to have conversations with your family when they all think you’re stupid and wrong (and patronising when you try to explain why you’re not). The fact Nigel Farage now has more political klout than the leader of the opposition is just a mild irritant at this point, although I am genuinely angry that a small portion of racists now think half the population agrees with them – and that half the population now think the other half think they’re all racists… and that I recently renewed my EHIC and might not get my money’s worth.
I’ve been tempted a lot over the past few years to pack up and try being a digital nomad (digital nomading?!), and this week I actually found myself doing the maths. To cut a long story short, I won’t be nomading anywhere for a while, at least not until I pass my driving test and learn how to Skype on the move, but I could feasibly visit every country in the EU for a long weekend (a long weekend per country, not a long weekend for all 27 countries) assuming I checked my emails while I was there. I don’t generally like to plan my life in advance, but assuming we’ll be out of Europe by the end of 2018, I could visit everywhere including Lichtenstein (assuming I learn where it is) for a few days without bankrupting myself. If I didn’t eat much on the road and did all of Eastern Europe in one go.
I will continue working on this plan in the coming months. I will also continue walking the other way in certain social situations. If I post on Twitter that I’ve upped sticks to Bruges or Krakow or Helsinki, assume I kept walking.
Also, tell me your own awkward family dinner table conversations. Let’s make a scale from ‘slightly condescending’ to ‘I nearly threw gravy’ and compare notes on staying friends with people you used to be friends with. I think a guide could be useful.
Since every other motherfucker in my Facebook and Twitter and household is telling me what they think and/or why I’m wrong, I thought I’d return the favour while I still can – and share some of my favourite referendum satire. I can’t upload the entirety of this week’s Private Eye coverage, but if you see a copy please do have a read, they’ve outdone themselves.
So, for what it’s worth and despite the EU being flawed beyond belief, I’m voting remain. I think the economy could be fine/shit either way, not that many people seem to actually have a clue, and I’m more interested in the fact that we live in an unstable world in which isolation of any kind would be a bad idea. Whether we like them or not, close cooperation and communication with our neighbours is crucial. The EU was originally something the British helped create to prevent another war, and I might be getting sappy in my old age but I think that’s something worth preserving (although I would like to see it sort out all the bullshit).
And now for the satire: the Now Show did a Vote Now Show which takes the piss for a solid half an hour, and John Oliver explained the referendum to the US. If you watch any of that, please for the love of god watch the song at the end just for the rhymes. I’m also in love with this, which asks the right question:
I have probably forgotten something funny (the number of people who think Boris is a suitable candidate for Prime Minister, maybe), but in case this is my last 24 hours of living in a country that hasn’t collectively voted to agree with the likes of Donald Trump, Rupert Murdoch and every racist who’s ever lived, I think I will leave this here and go and look at last minute plane tickets to the continent.
I will be at work when you guys read this, so leave me a comment for me to read on my phone on my lunch break. It’s been a shit week, generally speaking – and specifically speaking now I come to think about it – so I thought I’d collate some of the good things I’ve seen recently in the hope it reminds us all that we aren’t all just heading into a justified apocalypse.
Straight guy worries he’s being homophobic to gay roommate, realises he’s fallen in love with him
Please somebody write a sitcom or film about this. I might write a sitcom or short film about this.
OITNB is back
And I’m only one episode in but holy shit.
Somebody collated ’31 Jokes That Are Way Too Real For Anyone Who’s Had A Period’
I’ve given it some thought in recent days (and weeks and months and years) and I’ve come to the conclusion that adults are dicks. ‘Don’t lie,’ they tell us when someone’s scribbled on the wallpaper. ‘You must always tell the truth.’ So, adults: why did you spend the first two decades of our lives telling us we were heading toward adulthood? You knew we weren’t. You knew you were lying because when you reached your late teens and your early twenties, you realised that you’d been lied to by your parents. You weren’t heading toward adulthood, either. You were just heading toward an age where you were expected to act like you knew what you were doing, to take vague responsibility for your choices and to get up at the same time every day in order to hold down a job.
In three months’ time I will have turned 21 and officially passed the point at which I can make terrible decisions and expect people to indulge me. In a few years I’ll be expected to have gotten my youthful whimsies out of the way and to have a steady job and concrete life plans (I nearly added ‘a home of my own’ there too, but nobody’s that optimistic). I’ll be allowed to drink too much, make terrible purchases on the Internet and forget people’s birthdays, but not for much longer. Young adulthood is the very last stop before actual adulthood, at which point I will become familiar with terms like compound interest and stamp duty.
Except I actually won’t, will I, because adulthood is a lie. No one knows what stamp duty is. No one remembers all the birthdays. No one reaches any age and thinks ‘I’ve really got my shit together, I’m officially a successful human being!’ What’s the measure? Opening a savings account, maybe. Raising children who aren’t serial killers, maybe. Learning to fix the fuse box, maybe.
You don’t reach adulthood, you survive long enough to do things you didn’t or couldn’t do as a child. And if you can’t or don’t want to do them, you improvise and hope. I know this both from my own tentative steps into responsibility and from listening to adults tell stories of improvising.
No one has a clue what they’re doing.
I’m not sure what to do with this information. If I were the preaching sort, I would dedicate my life to educating children about the world’s biggest cover up.
I’ve been feeling a little bit short on inspiration lately, but I’m trying not to just shut off the page when I can’t think of the next sentence, so this is version three of today’s blog and I will fucking make a statement: I am considering rescinding my atheism. Don’t worry, I haven’t found God. I was approached by a couple of very polite Mormon recruiters in Southend the other day and equally-ish politely rebuffed their advances; I’m not fussed about my soul’s final resting place. In fact, I’m considering offering that up to the fates as well. It’s not capital-G God I’m looking, it’s the gods. Well, the nine Muses. Well, any of the Muses. Maybe not Euterpe, who was apparently muse of flutes and lyric poetry, but I’ll take the rest. Thalia, muse of comedy, will do. Or Melpomene, muse of tragedy. I’ll work with what I can get at this point. I will even pray to this guy:
In this time of term papers I wanted to draw my patron deity, Bullshitticus, god of students and general last minute fudgery, sitting upon his Golden Futon, attended by the muses Caffeina and Thesaurae, whose powers of artificial energy and pretentious vocabulary can be invoked in case of the all-nighter.
I like to think he’s Dionysus’s second cousin or something.
I do not have a term paper due, but I do have two articles to finish, three or four postcards to design, some stories to complete and a week of social media posts to compose. I have lost my information book on the original Nine Muses and sources about Bullshitticus are scarce (I feel he is a last resort anyway, although I could do with a blessing from Thesaurae) but I will consult my mythology books for worship tips. Should I make a burnt offering? Construct a shrine? Do I need to find honeyed wine and sprinkle it on a brazier alongside words of thanks?
Muses, I am considering going back to fan fiction. I have wondered about trying poetry. I’m willing to forgo my daily surf of the popular page on Instagram. I will make you a shrine in my bedroom next to my MCR posters. I will buy scented candles and burn them while I read from classical texts. Please send help.
On the off chance the muses aren’t listening, do you guys have any ideas for rekindling inspiration?
I hadn’t realised it’s been over a week since I published; I’ve been working on a long-ish post but I’ve been trying to take my time over anything longer than a couple of paragraphs so you can expect it around the same time as the Chilcot report. In the mean time, I think it’s very important that we take a moment to appreciate the t-shirt Frank Iero designed recently.
I cannot really afford to buy more t-shirts, partly because I have both an MOT and a bill for new glasses approaching, and partly because I own 34564 t-shirts and wear about three of them on a regular basis. But.
Maybe I wouldn’t have to wear it. Maybe I could just hang it up above my bedroom door so it’s the first thing I see every day. A benevolent Sweet Pea dream catcher. When I get my own place I could hang it in the entrance hall as a warning to all who enter.
The real question isn’t ‘should I get a Sweet Pea t-shirt’. It’s ‘where can I make one with my own dogs’ faces’.