Thursday, 11 November 2010

The Centre Of The Universe-ity

"Sarah, which war are we against this week?"
"I've no idea. Just chant 'Israel.'"

While many people have attempted to defend yesterday’s protests, claiming that it was only a small minority of individuals who resorted to violent tactics, they appear to have entirely missed one major point; that demonstrations of any kind were completely unnecessary. A rise in tuition fees is not a sign of the impending apocalypse, an evil that needs to be vanquished or an infringement of our civil rights – it simply means graduates will have more money to pay back, which, considering the austerity measures taken to combat this country’s embarrassingly large deficit, is a necessary undertaking. There are however, those who would compare the current “crisis” to the suffragette movement or even more nonsensically, the American Civil Rights Movement. Not only is such a comparison wildly inaccurate, it is deeply offensive to those who fought for the type of freedoms which yesterday’s protestors appear to have forgotten, insensitively staging a mass protestation during Remembrance Week no less. Of course, the fact that I myself am a graduate and come from a low income family yet have always agreed with the requirement for tuition fees, apparently means nothing; I’m right wing and therefore staunchly opposed to liberal ideology. So to put it to the test, I thought I’d compile a list of some of the issues which were apparently of less importance to the liberally minded students who chose instead to protest against spending money:

*Abu Hamza, militant preacher and enemy of the state, remains a British citizen, his family lives in a £600,000 council house paid for by taxpayers and he has to date cost the country £3.5 million.

*The continued presidency in Zimbabwe of Robert Mugabe whose government has been responsible for the deaths of approximately one third of the entire population.

*Illegalised homosexuality in Nigeria which in some states is punishable by death by stoning.

*The building of a Mosque near ground zero in New York whose sponsors have direct ties to Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas.

*The abysmal human rights violations of North Korea which lists amongst its many crimes public executions, the interment of disabled people inside concentration camps and the imprisonment of between 150,000 to 200,000 political activists.

*The adoption of nuclear power by Iran, a country whose Ayatollah is legally permitted to place a fatwa on those he deems enemies of Allah and whose President openly denies the Holocaust, seeks the destruction of Israel and provides ICBMs to the Palestinian government.

*The adoption of Sharia Law which in its most faithful application includes physical violence against women, punishment for the victims of rape and the complete removal of human rights for homosexuals.

*The imprisonment of Nobel prize winner Liu Xiaobo for publicly campaigning for political reform.

But hey, if you feel that being required to pay off a debt which will only be payable once you earn over £21,000 is of greater moral significance, then go ahead. Paint your little slogan, buy your Che Guevara T-shirt and head on down to the latest march... Just don’t deceive yourself into thinking it’s going to make the slightest bit of difference. You’re not a revolutionary, you’re just a child.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Confessions Of A Christmas Temp

Currently facing disciplinary action

Today I completed my second shift at Toys R Us, which, all syntactical incoherency aside, is actually quite an enjoyable place to work. So far my job has consisted of placing toys on shelves, an act which not only allows me to flex my woefully underused forearms but also provides me with a plethora of ideas for this year’s Christmas presents. I’ve been assigned to Universe of Imagination, or ‘UOI’ for those in the know, and it’s ideal for many reasons. For one thing it is largely secluded from the rest of the store, so I needn’t be bothered by other staff members visiting my island with their half-baked notions of becoming acquainted with the new guy – Honestly, what kind of person do they think I am? Secondly, their decision to place me in the art section was inspired as it affords me the opportunity to browse one of my favourite subjects, although I can’t help but think my thick framed glasses played a part in landing me in the nerdy area. Finally, my strategic position beside the multimedia department means that I get to watch girls embarrass themselves in front of their boyfriend with Playstation Move, trailers for Donkey Kong Country Returns and a video of Jamie Cullum humming the Mario theme. Admittedly, that last one isn’t a particular high point.

Spell checker would have a field day

Surprisingly, my distaste for the general public has remained largely dormant up to this point, although this clearly won’t be the case a month from now when single mothers take it out on me because they can’t afford a Buzz Lightyear for Christmas due to having spent their benefits on take-aways and crack. Fa la la la la, la la la. Actually, there were a few individuals today who made me wish I knew the correct way to deliver a headbutt; one woman to whom I offered assistance looked at me like I’d just asked for her wallet and jewellery; another family, after seeing their “delightful” little gremlin drop his crisps all over the floor, hastily moved on without even acknowledging what the little pramchair-bound antichrist had done. Thankfully, there were more positives than negatives to prevent me from having a Michael Douglas-inspired, Falling Down (1993) moment. Old people continue to keep the jigsaw business afloat, staunchly defying modern technology in favour of card cut into shapes. No actually it’s really quite sweet. Plus it helps me to forget that they’ll probably be dead before Christmas.

In other news, the music is really quite fabulous. So far I’ve sung to The Lightening Seeds, The Lighthouse Family and Simply Red. For a toy store, the choice of audio is really quite old-fashioned (which suits me down to the ground) though I am growing rather tiresome of the theme tune which gives constant praise to Geoffrey, an employee I’ve yet to meet. Still, it’s not all bad; today I spotted my first paedophile.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Black, Like My Men*

How very... San Francisco.

Never again shall I visit Costa’s on my lonesome. Earlier today I decided to take a trip into town in the hope of liberating my writer’s block. After having narrowly avoided a head on collision with a man in a wheelchair, I headed straight for The Works where I perused a disappointing assortment of dictionaries. Having failed to find several words including verisimilitude and synesthesia, my faith in 'Collins' was understandably shaken and so I sought solace in the aforementioned coffee establishment. I ordered my quasi regular Mocha coffee, sans flake, and moved to the collection point. It was then that I was asked, as is routine, if I would like chocolate sprinkles. I said yes, but I had no idea that this topping would be in the shape of a giant heart. To the woman behind me this must surely have been the most pathetic thing she had ever seen; a young man, alone, and so starved for affection that he requests for baristas to add heart patterns to his drink. Still, just in case I hadn’t conveyed the full extent of my innate social backwardness, I then proceeded to do some light reading... of Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility. Indeed it is no wonder that most women think I’m gay. Or at the very least mildly pathetic. This will change next time however, as I'll be accompanied by my mother :).

*This is an Airplane! (1980) joke. If you have not seen Airplane!* you have no sense of humour and are probably a Mormon. 

*I have not added the exclamation mark for dramatic effect, it really is part of the title.*

*Sorry that was a typo.