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#3 – The Death of Music

Perhaps I have made a mistake almost immediately. Perhaps number 3 should be “When people decide to write long lists of things they hate and then take so long to complete it that North Korea destroy the world before they have even reached #10”. Perhaps the time has come for me to hang up my hobnailed angerboots, put down my gun of vitriol, un-stab the unseen cloud of irritation that seems to cloud my every path.

The truth is, I haven’t been that angry recently. Well, not in any specifically-directed, coherent way, anyway. My recent anger has taken the form more of a general malaise than a focussed spew of tooth-shattering rage. I’m not going to misleadingly paint you a picture of a reformed gentleman, whistling his merry way down the sunny side of a cobbled street, handing out sweets to the young neighbourhood children – partly because this is now an arrestable offence – but still, all things considered, I’ve been fairly cheerful. I almost smiled the other day.

Smile!

“I love Mondays”

Unfortunately, a rule in life tends to be that if you stick your head up above the fog for too long, a seagull is going to poo on your head. In my case, the poo in which I have been recently covered is a musical poo. Not as novelty as you might expect, I’m afraid. It still smells bad. If I put my finger in it and give it a lick, it still tastes pretty awful. And if it happens in the middle of a crowded street, I still need to flee, red-faced, muttering “Oh, for God’s SAKE” under my breath repeatedly. Yes, that’s right. An extremely pooey poo.

I don’t like self-righteous, arrogant pseudo-folk – a subgenre represented by Frank Turner. I have no time for self-fellating, psychological-meltdown teen-idol gibberish – patented by Britney Spears, most “admirably” stepped up a few units of irritation by Justin “phallus-head” Bieber and Miley “chlamydia incubation device” Cyrus.  I am certainly not endeared in any way to sexual-assault banterpop or its sister genre, gangster rap…e (see R. Kelly, Robin Thicke and an all-star cast of angry, tracksuit-wearing miscreants shouting bad “poetry” loudly in to microphones at staged parties, while surrounded by gyrating crack-whores with dead, dead eyes). And as for One Direction… I’d rather vote Tory than ever hear of them again.

cameron cunt

“I will shoot Harry Styles right in the face if you vote for me.”

What has happened to the world? Generations of youth swept away on an unnervingly quickening tide of time, to be replaced with the musical equivalent of join-the-dots. The legacy of the 60s and 70s – The Beatles, The Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Hendrix, Dylan, The Kinks, Clapton – through the 80s and 90s, glittering with gems as bright as Queen, Jacko, Sabbath, Metallica, Nirvana, Soundgarden, The Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, anything Dave Grohl has ever done, and, of course the mighty and transcendental Toto… all this has been confined to the archives, sealed away in a cage somewhere in a library (what’s one of those?) to gather dust, as our ears are overrun with dirge until, in an evolutionary change fitting of a very bad horror movie, the children of tomorrow are born without ears as our genes realise that deafness holds a much higher chance of survival than being constantly exposed to the brain-melting musical acid that is known today as “Nicki Minaj”.

the children

Maybe, somewhere out there is an adolescent who will read this. If that is you, young “Hashtag Dollar-Sign LOLington-Smythe”, please read my words of warning. Go back to the roots of your ancestors and write something with actual music in it. And guitars. Guitars are good. If you don’t, you will be personally responsible for humans ceasing to have ears. And what’s worse is that this mass ear exodus will almost certainly result in our once-essential and seemingly-benevolent, flappy bits of head skin retreating to the sea to form a master race of giant, amphibious ear people, and they will surely have their grim vengeance on the world that has forced them to swap being squashed up against pillows for the bed of a litter-filled ocean. When this happens – and it definitely will – the only sound left will be the sound of this grumpy old bastard saying “I told you so” (except nobody will hear it, because… oh, right, you get it).

 

I fear for you all.

 

Still, at least I’m angry again. Every cloud and all that.

ear attack

“I’m, er… watching you”

 

Simon

 

 

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BP 180/110 and Counting

Somewhere, deep within the bowels of my brain – a metaphor that might go some way toward explaining why I talk so much shit – lies a switch. I like to think of it as being incredibly difficult to flick, kind of like a bogey with legs. Unfortunately, I have been reliably informed that I am wrong.

The switch to which I am referring to is embossed with the word “RAGE”. We all have one. Mine is either faulty or the size of a fist. A really angry fist with the word “hate” tattooed across its furious knuckles. In my experience, there are a number of things in life that, completely understandably of course, reach their horrendous little fingers out, insert them in to my ear and jab the switch repeatedly like particularly invasive q-tips. I’ve already vitriolically hammered my thoughts on a couple of these hideous little anger-goblins on to a keyboard here http://simonrichardsonenglish.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/asbo/ and here http://simonrichardsonenglish.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/christmas/. Well, they say that pent-up balls of maniacal aggression come in threes…

Anger Goblin

The Green Goblin of Apostrophe Misuse

‘I’ve got a bike, I can ride it how I like…’

It’s a glorious, sunny day. If you’re reading this from Southern Europe, South-East Asia, Australasia, most of North America, South America, Africa, The Middle East or any country where English is not the first language, this means it’s cold, but it isn’t raining. If you visit RIGHT NOW (just for one day mind), I can all but guarantee you that you might not immediately die from Pneumonia as soon as you get off the plane. Of course, if you’re a Muslim the EDL might stab you, but at least you wouldn’t be freezing cold. Anyway, I’m British, so when I catch a glimpse of the sun I’m practically naked within 5 seconds (strange how an enormous ball of fire can have the exact same effect on the male population as Scarlett Johansson, isn’t it?) and I take to the streets for a delightful little stroll through central Oxford. How quaint. Or it ought to be at any rate, but within two minutes I meet the first perilous obstacle of my aimless little waddle: a ROAD. That I need to CROSS. Fortunately, J.P Knight, and later, Leslie Hore-Belisha came up with excellent  methods of facilitating this: Traffic Lights and Pedestrian Crossings. Comforted, perhaps complacent, I approach one of these marvellous and apparently COMPLETELY UNHEARD OF inventions and press the little button. And, after a little wait, the little red man becomes a little green man and happy little me can cross the little road and potter along happily to…..”DING DING WHAT THE FUUUUUUUU&%*$%&” As if from nowhere, like a ringwraith for the modern day, a lycra-wearing lunatic comes steaming straight through the red light / over the pedestrian crossing, a look of determination on his face seen thirty minutes earlier when trying to cram himself in to an outfit meant for athletes, or at the very least people who don’t resemble the blob from Blade that gets burnt to death by a UV ray. Take note, fatties. Wear anything other than a tent with sleeves and I will come at you with blue lightbulbs.

Bradley

Following stage 8 of the Tour de France, 
Bradley Wiggins removes his yellow jersey
and breathes out

Revenge is a dish best served on foot

It’s like a lottery. A really dangerous lottery only played by idiots. So, a lottery then. They appear from nowhere at speed, swerving unpredictably in front of livid bus drivers, resembling enormous flies evading a swatter. Stopping for nothing and nobody, caught up in the smug complacency that no number plate or other identifying mark adorns their metal chariot with which to locate or fine them, single-mindedly focused on the titanic task of getting from point A to point B without stopping or slowing down, lest their entire being loses its pedally sense of rhythm and spontaneously combusts. I can feel my blood pressure rising just from writing this paragraph. One day I will turn the tables. I’ll casually walk along the pavement in a logical, straight line until a cyclist passes, and then deviate completely illogically in to the road, knocking them from their vehicle. I’ll then beat the absurd engineless motorbike to death with my bare hands and rip its damned spokey-dokeys off (Did I mention that I’m currently imagining myself destroying a six-year-old’s bike from 1989?). That’ll level the playing field. Cyclists beware. Pedestrians are striking back, one broken bone at a time.

Bike

When the police arrived on scene,
Budgie was already dead.

The alternative is that Patrick McLoughlin reads this blog, and makes the following changes post-haste:

  • Number plates on all bicycles, or mandatory identity jackets as seen worn by Colombian motorcyclists
  • On the spot fines for cyclists who don’t follow the highway code / wear a helmet
  • Enable wronged pedestrians or motorists to legally strangle perpetrators to death in the middle of the street while humming the theme tune to Shaft

Job done.

Conclusion

I realise that this is going to tally up against me somewhat. I have already asserted in no uncertain terms that riding on a train is definitely what I’ll be doing on repeat in hell (if such a place exists).  I’ve now followed it up by tearing in to bicycles like a live manifestation of rust, but much faster acting. It looks bad, but I’m not actually a mediaeval farmer in disguise. I’m not terrified of the concept of, or even plainly anti-transport. I’m also not the kind of gibbering loon who would demand that the wheel be placed in Room #101. In fact, what I’ve come to realise is it’s not the train’s fault. It’s also not the bicycle’s fault. No. The fault, quite clearly, lies with all of YOU. The people who turn them from innocent little inanimate objects in to wheely whirly nightmares. So, I’m going to suggest that humanity is tossed nonchalantly in to the mythical BBC pit – though recent revelations seem to indicate that an underground lair full of hateful things housed within BBC headquarters, may in fact be more plausible than originally thought. Call in Tony Robinson and Time Team. They’ll get to the bottom of it (and then have to stay there, in accordance with my condemnatory wishes).

Tony

“ARGH! Savile’s got a hold of my leg….”

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The ASBO months

If I were a mathematician, I would suggest that age is directly proportional to irrational rage at every little thing around you. But I’m not a mathematician, so instead I’ll just say that I am a twisted, bitter ball of hatred. Or at least I am when I am on a TRAIN.

A TRAIN

Otherwise known as a wheeled hellbox, trains were first invented by FIAT in 1963 when they decided that they really were duty-bound to take their unique brand of unreliability to the public transport market. They rapidly became hugely popular amongst commuters, giving them something to moan about with even more irritatingly loud vigour while to-ing and fro-ing between upper middle-class Turdville and headset-wearing Utopia. After a few years, however, the novelty wore off and so FIAT, in their desperation to maintain a monopoly, decided to invent “regressopment”. Exactly like development, only backwards. By 1990, engines and electrics were a thing of the past and trains started running on the power of bloody mindedness alone, something which FIAT have since covered up by employing one man per train to constantly make train-like noises in to a microphone for the entire journey, thereby lulling passengers in to a deafening sense of security. I can only assume that the 2020s will see octogenarian paraplegics manning hand-pumped trolleys full of obnoxious businessmen in exchange for being kicked and spat at. I would enjoy this.

Old Person probably on Minimum Wage

In the last four months I have spent over £1000 on trains. This has given me ample time to devise a complicated and extremely intelligent system of categorisation of types of train people. These are:

1) Utterly hateful wastes of oxygen who need repeatedly stabbing and then force-feeding live dogs until they explode.

2) Me.

I find myself becoming more antisocial the more time I spend on trains. Seeking solitude, I sit in the aisle seat, plonking all my worldly possessions on the adjacent seat and then spend the rest of the time looking menacing, listening to loud music and ignoring everybody else. I sigh loudly if anyone dares to request that they sit next to me and am almost moved to insanity if the train so much as approaches full. To calm myself, I irrationally pick out the person around me with the most hateful face and focus my rage entirely on them. “What an appalling, wretched excuse for a human being you are. Melt, perish and decompose right here before me, foul urchin”.

Commuter on the 925 from Orpington

What then invariably happens, is that the train stops working / is late / falls over on its side. Then the real fun begins. “SQUUUUUUEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKladies and gentlemen… we apologise for the delay. This is due entirely to me, JOHN SMITH, being a completely incompetent, gibbering ape. I was born without opposable thumbs, half of my brain and the ability to distinguish between situations in which it is OK to fling piles of my faeces at passers-by and those in which it is not.” All of this is said at MAXIMUM VOLUME and yet is unintelligible even to an English teacher. OK, well. Turn up the volume of my music, sit tight and… wait… really? Is the man next to me really talking so loudly to his disinterested colleague that I can hear him over music that is being directly pumped in to my ear holes?

Colleagues have discrete train chat

“Well, you see Crispin… haw haw haaaaaw… Brian over at HR really doesn’t have the slightest clue who I am and what I’ve done for this company to be honest… so I got my sec to give him a bell and put him straight, you know… haw haw haaaaaaaaw…” Is there ANYONE out there who doesn’t feel a little violent after reading that? I just punched myself in the groin simply for typing it. I’m not even halfway to my destination and I have already committed at least five different unspeakable crimes inside my head. I am the Patrick Bateman of trains. By the time the train arrives I usually eject myself from its foul clutches at such an alarming pace that I am through the barriers and out of the station before Usain Bolt can eat a plate of chicken nuggets. Or at least I would be but for the cruellest of parting shots at the barrier:

X        Seek Customer Assistance

Simon