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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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#1 Walky-Texty Gawp Machines

Allow me to paint you a picture. It’s a windy Tuesday afternoon and you’re on your way home from town. You’ve got a few shopping bags – perhaps a vacuum packed steak for tea, so bloody that it is gradually leaking red middle-class juice on to a new pair of 15% off Converse.

Converse

God, you’re COOL. You’re like that guy from that band.

Naturally, you’re anxious to get back to your semi-detached suburban bubblebox, put some Eric Clapton on your floor-standing speakers and sing tunelessly along to the first three words of each chorus (you silently mouth the other words, because you don’t know them). Anyway, there you are, briskly courting the edge of the pavement in order to breeze past the ridiculous assortment of dawdlers, aggressively obese women in tracksuits and children picking their noses, when POW! You’re unceremoniously shunted in to a puddle that has collected mud, cigarette butts and cholera at the side of the road over the course of the last 24 hours of British drizzle, by some utterly inconsiderate drone. Exasperated, you stare at your damp Sainsburys bag-for-life and then glance up to see that the newest object of your vitriol is none other than a completely anonymous, random bastard who is bashing, banging and bouncing into the rest of the pedestrian public for no other reason than they are BLOODY TEXTING. Or flicking through their Facebook news feed. Or looking at a semi-naked selfie that has been snapchatted to them by Shazza15 (who, it will later turn out, is underage).

video-opdoc-texting-articleLarge

OMG ur so funny lolz…cnt wait 2 c u babe. Stella xxx

Evidently, I am not the only person who is exceedingly irritated by this. In New Jersey, tickets are now being issued for “reckless walking”. The NTSA estimated 1500 accidents directly caused by this in 2010, with a projected year-on-year rise. And, hilariously, an American woman with a BMI higher than her IQ was so distracted while texting that she WALKED OFF A PIER. It’s incredible to watch. These dribbling cretins jolt from side to side as if they are steering themselves with their own thumbs, and, with the irritating “swish” motion now a feature on virtually every phone in existence, the switch of direction has become so rapid and chaotic that it resembles a string puppet dancing. Or someone accidentally slipping on Peter Andre’s hair.

Now, I’m not usually an advocate of vigilante justice (I am), but in this case it seems clear to me that the only way to combat this appalling crime is by legalising instant street beatings. I can’t imagine anything more satisfying than watching – even better, actively participating in – a hungover 19-year-old girl being set upon by every member of the general public within a cat-swing, and beaten to within an inch of her life as a punishment for being too absorbed in Whatsapping her BFF about where to get the morning after pill, instead of just looking where the hell she was going. Bitch.

Texting While Walking

You’re going to get punched in the head, love.

Other similar crimes include unnecessarily walking three abreast down a narrow street, suddenly stopping without warning, standing in doorways and genocide.

You have all had fair warning. Next time I come to town, I’m coming swinging.

tumblr_m17cue3MKF1ro2ryjo1_500

‘But on my way, I’m going to be doing this… if you get hit, it’s your own fault…’

Simon

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My Room 101 – A Labour of Hate

Before I begin, I would like to draw your attention to an EXTREMELY IMPORTANT WORD. Please remember it for later.

Atrocity – /əˈtrɒsətɪ/ a.tro.ci.ty (noun, countable)

1. Appalling or atrocious condition, quality, or behaviour; monstrousness.
2. Behaviour or an action that is wicked or ruthless
3. The fact or quality of being atrocious

When I find myself tuning in to the immaculately coiffed reporters of doom, gloom and celebrity gossip that are “The Newsreaders”, they often use the above word when referring to war crimes, terrorism and British weather.  They are, of course, unarguably (and equally) correct in their usage of the word in all three instances. However, in doing so I can’t help but feel that they overlook the need for its continued and everyday usage, for the sad fact, ladies and gentlemen, is that I experience atrocities EVERY SINGLE DAY. I only need to step out on to a road to find my senses bombarded, beaten and bullied by tiny little atrocities, living openly like bacteria upon a vast array of breathbags, brain-morons and all-round irritating little cretins worldwide. Put quite simply, I am having a clandestine hate-affair with the whole world.

ANNOYING
Simon was never readmitted to the Halitosis Anonymous group

Stop reaching for that straitjacket, Mother. I realise that not all of you are going to have been immediately convinced, which is precisely the reason that I have decided to start a little (ish) project, entitled “Room 101 – A Labour of Hate”.

It would appear that the “blog” section of this site is swiftly being transformed in to a personal crusade to win a place in your hearts as your second favourite hate preacher (after Abu Hamza – he is definitely more cuddly), so I may as well go the whole hog and embrace this as a fact to be celebrated. Taking the idea of popular BBC TV series Room 101 (but with a twist), I have decided to write 101 short pieces, each addressing a new atrocity – not a “Trevor McDonald atrocity”, but one that you yourselves may encounter from day to day. Perhaps this collection of musings will serve as a warning, so that you can be ever-vigilant of the unspeakable crimes that lie a matter of feet from you – on the other side of a supermarket shelf, round the corner of a crowded street, or on Track 9 of that utterly appalling CD that you’re about to cram nonchalantly in to your pocket noise-maker. DON’T DO IT!

Or perhaps you could simply upload pictures of your own faeces-covered rear end and then use this section (or any other) of my blog as virtual, pixellated toilet paper. I would be delighted with either outcome.

Hug Me!
                                    “Hug Me!”

Expect edition #1 of my anger-filled ranting to follow forthwith. Oh, and here is some appropriately rage-filled music, courtesy of a man who has spent his career being outwardly furious at being named after a river that flows through Nottingham: Trent Reznor.

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.com/2012/11/22/asbo/ and here http://simonrichardsonenglish.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….”