Monthly Archives: June 2016

Standing my ground

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At least now that UKIP have achieved their aims, there’s no longer any need for them to exist… right?

Well, it looks like Brexit is going ahead after all, even though I reckon the Leave campaign should have needed more than a slender majority (less than 52%) to effect such a monumental change (albeit with a referendum guaranteed every few years).

I am worried about the future now, as it looks like we’ve got a choice now between staying in the EU (and thus ignoring the popular vote), leaving the EU but remaining in the EEA (and thus having to obey the same laws without any influence on them), or getting out entirely (and thus… what?).

I wanted us to stay in the EU, because while it’s massively corrupt and flabby, frankly so are our own government — and at least the EU is pro-human rights, instead of trying to gut the relevant legislation.  I felt there was a chance we could fight the corruption if we stayed, rather than running away from a problem that affects others as well as ourselves… but maybe we can’t, and instead we need to found a second EU, and this time do it right.

But maybe Brexit won’t be so bad, and we’ll have nothing to fear but fear itself.  I’m not going to criticise those who voted Leave for genuine reasons (including some of my friends and relatives), as I believe they had good and noble intentions; whether that builds us a highway to Hell, of course, remains (ahem) to be seen.

However, I am going to have a go at those who think Brexit gives them a mandate for racism.  The scumbags bullying anyone they even suspect of being foreign, yelling “out out out” at Muslim women, vandalising the Polish Cultural Centre, gleefully telling schoolchildren they’ll be deported — these people make me ashamed of my nation and my kinsmen.

It’s brought the National Front and English Defence League out from under their rocks, and just watch this clip from Russell Howard’s show in 2011 to understand why I consider EDL to be scum:

That’s how I view the bigots in this country: shaven-headed toothless* morons who can barely speak intelligibly or come up with a coherent reason for their hatred.  There is nothing good or noble about them, and frankly they are the ones I consider not to be my fellow Englishmen, rather than people with different-coloured skin.  Indeed, I consider them less than human.

(* Presumably toothless from getting in drunken fights, rather than because evil Muslamic tourists stole their teeth out their mouths while they slept, and sold them on to the Tooth Fairy, who’s clearly gay — not that the EDL have any problem with that these days, of course… but once all the forenurz are gone, who’ll be their next target?)

It sucks that we can’t exile them (on the grounds that it’s illegal under international law to leave someone stateless), because they’re the ones we need to get rid of — not Polish plumbers who do a decent job, not Indian doctors who work in our hospitals, not Latvian au pairs or black athletes, THIS LOT.  The accident of their birth in Britain to white native parents means we’re stuck with them, even though they are of no value and contribute nothing (except possibly to the off-licence, and that’s assuming they don’t smash it up later because the owner looked a bit Mid-Eastern).

I know I’ve long stated a desire to leave this country (due to its climate as well as its culture), but it occurred to me the other day that this kind of bigot would welcome me leaving, perhaps declaring me to be “not proper English” and a “traitor” (or drunkenly-slurred words to that effect).  And on that basis, and because I despise bullies and refuse to give in to them:

I’M STAYING PUT IN BRITAIN.

Oh, don’t get me wrong: if I meet an American woman and she asks me to come away with her to southern California, I’ll be Brexiting with only a “may this festering isle sink back into the foetid ocean whence it came” to mark my departure, but until such a miracle occurs, I’m going to do my part to sort this country out, much as I wished we could have stayed in the EU and fixed it.  Maybe it’s futile, and maybe all I can do to contribute is continue to treat “forenurz” like human beings, and vote against the right wing, but every little helps.

I’ll call out the right wing on their incoherent lies, anti-intellectualism and worn-out prejudices, and that includes both our homegrown thugs and those abroad, like Marine le Pen, Islamic State, and the monster Trump, who’s the most dangerous of all (because he’d have access to nukes).  The extreme right wing as an institution needs to die of old age, and it certainly won’t be missed — because what good does it do?

(I miss the BNP… at least when they occupied the extreme right, we knew they’d never get anything done!)

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Stay or go?

CBThere’s a big decision I’ve got to make: do I stay and remain safe, but perhaps regret not taking a chance on something better, or do I go and face whatever comes, but perhaps end up worse off than before?

Don’t worry, I’m not talking about the EU Referendum, as I’ve already cast my vote on that issue (I won’t reveal which way I voted, but let’s just say an article from the Telegraph a friend posted on Facebook convinced me… to vote for the other side).

No, I’m facing a far more important decision: do I go to my old roommate’s wedding in Michigan, at the behest of his younger brother (the guy who’s had me visit many times before, including this time two years ago), and thus spend a ludicrous amount of money on plane tickets at the most expensive time of year to travel… or do I blow off the family who were so kind to me in 1998-9, and indeed the guy who took me into their bosom in the first place?

It’s because I wasn’t informed early enough to get affordable plane tickets — November would have been nice… though with the bother I had in my current job (at least until I passed my probation), and the unpleasant experiences I had in 2014 and 2015 leading up to it, would I have risked getting tickets anyway, instead of saving for a rainy day?

Sad though it is, I think I’m going to have to “remain” on this occasion, because barring some VERY cheap tickets turning up within the next week, it’d be a huge investment — and a wedding also doesn’t sound like my scene (I’m hardly likely to meet someone there), even if I feel obligated to support the guy, as I supported his brother in 2006 and sister in 2007.  They say it’s the right decision if it hurts, and so I think I’ve got to say no on this occasion, if only for the sake of my finances, even if it means missing out.

In any case, while I do enjoy visiting my “second family” in Michigan now and again, if I can only afford one holiday this year, it’s gotta be something I want to do… and what I really want to do holiday-wise at the moment is lie on a sunny beach somewhere (i.e. not snowy Michigan), reading in peace and quiet while sipping cold drinks, with the chance to ogle several bikini-clad college girls, ideally at least one of whom fancies me.

(Hey, if you don’t ask, you don’t get!)

Since “best mate” has just gone to Japan with a group of friends on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and all my other friends now live apart and have commitments of their own (“female best friend” now lives in Norway!), I guess I’ll have to go somewhere alone.  For cost reasons September seems the best time, as although the aforementioned college girls will be busy, so will the damn noisy brats and their parents.

What do you guys reckon — should I revisit my childhood experiences in Lanzarote, or the fun time I spent with dear friends in Marmaris, but this time as an adult and a lone wolf?  Or, should I stick to my four-year cycle, settle for a brief visit to a European city (like my day trip to Paris in 2012), and save up for a better holiday next year (like my American camping trip in 2013)?

Of course, if Brexit really does happen, I might end up with not only no opportunity to go on holiday, but also no job, no money, no home and no human rights… oops, little bit of politics creeping in there!

Too much stress

beavbuttpcI know I complain about people who tell depressed or anxious people off on the basis that “other people have it worse”: as so many Internet commentators have pointed out, you don’t tell people off for being happy on the grounds that other people have better lives than them!  However, the stress I’m going through at work, while troubling, isn’t as bad as that endured by my best friend right now…

My main mission at work at the moment is something I won’t do to any computers owned by me or my family: upgrading PCs to Windows 10, the OS that’s only “free” for existing Windows owners until the end of July, and for as long as Microsoft don’t decide to charge subscription for it.  I’ve got the process down to a fine art, but I’ve had to stay late a couple of times this week to perform the upgrade on behalf of that particular kind of selfish office worker who doesn’t have the decency to book any leave during June, meaning the only time I can perform the upgrade is after they go home.

On its own this wouldn’t be a problem, but combine it with my normal day job, which involves people calling out to me as I move around the building — either because they trust me to solve their problems (it’s a hard life being the “face” of the IT team), or because they’ve still got a problem that I’ve not successfully resolved before (like the boss lady whose Outlook keeps crashing, or the boss guy whose laptop keeps freezing).  Add the near-constant phone calls from home workers using Citrix, or teams in the building trying to help (shudder) members of the public, and you may just have an inkling of why I need to go outside and get some fresh air at lunchtime, and can’t just relax at my desk reading Stephen King.

(Oh, and our choice of equipment is the main reason I urged my mother not to upgrade her tablet computer to a Microsoft Surface — no way I’m supporting one of those outside work, especially for free!)

It got to the stage today that I was dreading anyone speaking to me, as somehow I feared they’d be heaping yet another problem on my shoulders; I even found myself worrying that the bloke next to me would bark my name at me again (in a demanding rather than questioning manner, as is his wont), to chase up the problems he reported with delegating tasks in Outlook 2013 that I can’t resolve (one is a known bug Microsoft are “working on”, the other is just how it works), and I’d end up snapping at him.  I just have to hope and pray that I don’t get warned about my attitude again, like earlier this year

However, this is nothing, nothing, compared to what “best mate” has been going through, and is still going through today, in his own job — the reason he continually advises me to “never work in construction”.  He works for one of his brothers, who, apparently never having heard the term “work-life balance”, is constantly sending him to far-flung places around the country (the UK as a whole, not just England in particular) for high-paid but long-hours work for obnoxious clients, often without any breaks, and it’s destroying his social life and leaving him increasingly tired and fed up.

For instance, he’d just finished working in Wales (at least the weather was nice out there this week), at 7pm on Tuesday, and got back to London just before midnight, exhausted and frustrated (and in dire need of a shower); he was required to go to a training course in Kent on Wednesday morning (a journey of about 50 miles), and from there proceed to Luton airport (a good 80 miles back again in the other direction, on the other side of the Home Counties) for a flight to his next days-long job all the way up in Scotland, for which he’d have to arrange his own accommodation.

All this is why he now wants to leave this country… not to return to Ireland, of course ($DEITY forbid!), but he’s certainly pondering staying in Japan when he goes there for a holiday later this year.  Construction pays well, but it is, by its nature, a temporary job in each area (often to a tight schedule), as every building is eventually finished.  I keep urging him to take a sabbatical (he’s got considerable savings and could still make rent for a fair while), and study or train for a career change, but he’s adamant that he couldn’t survive on admin wages, and he can’t think of anything else he could do instead that wouldn’t leave him destitute.

(Maybe he could work in railway maintenance?  They could certainly do with someone competent and hard-working… as in, one actual person anywhere in the entire line-suspending train-cancelling delay-causing industry…)

So you see, as anxious and frustrated as I am at work, I appreciate that at least I can go home at 5pm (well, except today and yesterday), or head out to an evening event, and not have to worry — and not be guilt-tripped by a relative into giving up my life for an unrewarding career that makes me miserable and robs me of my life.  I can also help out “best mate” by supporting him through this difficult time: he’s promised to buy me a Nando’s meal if I do some washing for him before he gets back tomorrow.

Ooh, that reminds me…!

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At least my boss is on my side, and lets me go outside at lunchtimes; this means I’m able to visit the charity shops, and I think I’ve gained a metal fandom to rival my love of Gwar: Iron Maiden!  Maybe I’ll buy more of their CDs from Amazon (though considering what happened to Prince when I collected his music, I hope Bruce Dickinson’s all right!), but in the meantime, I’ll leave you with an example of their awesomeness… much like the music of our favourite Scumdogs, I find it relaxing and stress-relieving!