Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to me...

Well, this is it. The last evening of my fifth decade. Tomorrow I turn 50. And I feel great.

When I was a teenager, 50 was an unimaginable distance away. A lot has happened in my life since I walked out of the school gates for the last time (and straight into The Fox in Hythe Rd, still in uniform. Hmmm.). College, work, money, marriage, no money, kids, even less money, no work, more work, lover, no marriage, money, step kids, illness, no lover, no step kids, no work, no money. But I have friends and people I can rely on in an emergency and I am someone on whom other people often rely. I have made friendships I will always treasure and I have few regrets. I wish some people close to me knew the truth, I wish the same people knew the truth about some others. I will not be drawn further on that.

A lot has happened in the world in those 50 years. Wars in Indo-China, the Middle East, Asia and even Europe. There has been a constant roller-coaster of arms races and strategic limitations; the pointless fucking brinkmanship that is necessary once somebody discovers the means to destroy every living thing on the planet a hundred times over. Attention seeking politicians nobody, anywhere, actually gives a shit about waving their stinking pus-infected genitals at each other while the rest of us quake in the corner. We've had boom and bust that makes the filthy rich richer and filthier and the poor...well, they've never really mattered. We've had emancipation in America and Africa and slavery elsewhere. I live amongst people who wilfully judge their neighbour purely on the colour of his skin, not on the size of his heart. We've had unbelievable intolerance and violence based on crackpot interpretations of philosophies supposedly based on love. We've had famine and natural disaster and incredible outpourings of selfless charity. We've had politicians that have promised much but delivered little. There was a frantic burst of exciting technological envelope-pushing that effectively ended when the American flag was stabbed into the Sea of Tranquility a quarter of a million miles away. I was 8. The 42 years since have culminated in us being able to watch endless re-runs of Neil Armstrong on bits of plastic the size of a credit card but not correctly utilise the fuel cell technology that sent him there so we rely on raping the world for our power instead. We've developed medical advances to keep us alive and give everyone the chance to breed but brought about the irony that there will be too many people on earth to feed.

I have learned that desperately chasing money and the in-your-face up-yours kind of status wealth affords is pointless. It breeds nothing but hate, a false sense of hunger and resentment. Your car will get you to your destination faster and prettier and noisier than mine but we'll look the same in a head-on. Ultimately we'll both end up being burnt in a box and our life being celebrated by someone who never knew us. Buy your stuff but never forget it's value that counts, not price. Those in power, remember that too. You're there because of us and for us, not so you can write a book on how you let us down and how you would have only done it better if only...

The only currency worth anything is happiness and love. Selflessness over selfishness. The rest is just dressing. I'm looking forward to the future. The depression that has haunted me for the past two years has lifted in the past few weeks and I feel great. I've rarely, if ever, been happier. I really don't know what changes this year will bring but...50? Bring it on, I can't wait.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Who needs Jeremy Kyle?

This is a tragic story. It featured in last week's Crewe Chronicle and goes to show the perils a life of heavy drinking can bring, one of which is the kind of comedy demise outlined below. I suspect he didn't do it for the LOLs.

Inquest hears of Crewe man drowning in bizarre bathroom tragedy

I'm very sorry if anyone is offended by this. I'm not, he was the previous occupant of my house and left my bedroom littered with .22 airgun pellets, holes in the ceiling and one in the outside pane of the double glazing where someone shot back. There are also numerous skeletal remains in the garden, the result of his other hobby which was, according to a neighbour, shooting the small birds sitting on the fence. There are a few other stories which, although for the benefit of this post are hearsay, indicate he probably got what he deserved.