Catching Up/Shark Bait

The last few weeks have perhaps been the busiest in a long time. Which, to be honest, isn’t saying much considering that in the last month I’ve seemed to have lived more life than I have in a year. At long last, I got a job: bartending at a dive bar in York. While it is perhaps not the best place for someone with an already very limited faith in humanity and an addictive personality to boot, it’s been surprisingly one of the best things I’ve done. So far being the ‘Shark Bait’, I’ve been referenced to as the ‘otter’ and as of yet, I can’t seem to work out if it’s in reference to my love of smooth pebbles – if it is, I have no idea how my work mates would know about it – or, it’s just I’m too short and skinny to be a bear.

It’s going rather well, as a way to meet new people, learn how to make drinks and most importantly, get out of the fucking house. That last part is becoming a problem considering tonight and the last are the first two where I have been absent from the bar since I started working there, on or off shift. A part of me feels like it’s a rite of passage for everyone who works at a bar to become a little addicted to the atmosphere or at least any place where you enjoy working. As someone who has only ever been a prefect or a pot-washer for six weeks, its strangely refreshing, terrifying and brilliant. It seems that every shift is like a slide at a water park: lots of build up; an uneasy gut before the rush; bemused life guards who know what you’re in for and then, wham. A torrent of drunk customers needing ID checks, cocktails, jaeger-bombs and a quick exit to throw up.  One thing is for sure: there are a lot of absolute wanker customers.

I took a break from the action last week and took a day trip to Leeds which I was told was the heart of sophisticated Yorkshire and I know now, to never trust a single lying word that comes out of that person’s mouth again. Despite the grandeur of the metropolitan city; the bustle reinforced by the difficulty getting an Uber to the station; and the endless fucking Starbucks outlets, the Wagamamas there does a real shitty job of a teriyaki soba. I’ve spoken about greener grass before and how in fact there is no such thing as greener grass and it’s all a self-serving fallacy, something wholly reinforced by how disillusioned I was with the place. While my friends claim that ‘it’s the best for a night out’, I don’t think you can beat a familiar gin and tonic in the bar you work at with people you can actually talk to.

While I have been busy and am set to be busier with university work, I hope to get more involved in writing. Every day that has passed and I haven’t exposed my whiny bullshit to the world, I feel like a bad Catholic guiltily glancing at the confessional booth. Which ironically, as an agnostic in a spiritual if not Catholic family, hopping from one existential crisis to the next, is exactly me. On the positive, the time I no longer have is being filled by actual real life not just festering in my room getting angry at things I have no control over.  Still, I can’t pull a good pint to save my life – all froth no ale. Also, did I just coin a new idiom? I’ll be throwing that one about the bar that’s for sure.

‘Shark Bait’ for the win.

Catching Up/Shark Bait

The Broadcast

I’ve been thinking more and more about the idea that everything is relative. Less of an idea, more of a proven theory courtesy of Albert Einstein but surely, if everything is relative, what does that make us? Human beings on Earth, shaping our little patch of reality through culture and science in ways that may seem alien to aliens and even ourselves. I got a glance of an article scrolling through Reddit that said NASA had received a strange radio broadcast not originating from Earth and are currently investigating its nature and origin. If Einstein is to be believed, is the whole point of that futile? Considering what may be a ‘hello’ from a being from say, Alpha Centauri, maybe a ‘fuck off’ to a being from Pocklington, Yorkshire, UK.

If the article is true and not another bit of wonderful clickbait, and NASA does identify extra-terrestrial intelligence, is that not a testament to relativity? In my opinion, relativity and perspective are two sides of the same coin if not the same, as truth is all about perspective as well as human history as I doubt that if the Nazis won World War II, Winston Churchill wouldn’t be on so many damn tourist coffee mugs. So, with that being said, truth is relative comparatively to empirical fact. Yet if facts are true doesn’t that make them inherently relative themselves for a historian or hell, even a simple true-false computer program. That in itself is an ironic notion considering that our brains run on electrical signals similarly to a computer – electrical signals that can be quantified into easy-peasy ones and zeros. Look out Elon Musk because the digital revolution happened way-back-when in the primordial soup, right?

Perhaps we are all just fleshy machines, each with fluctuations in programming along with error messages and decaying moving parts. We see ourselves as so much more. We see metaphysical beings with souls and a purpose in the cosmos. I see no purpose and the absence of purpose and the idea of the divine soul and most would probably call me a depressing twat. Yet doesn’t the freedom of having no purpose and acknowledgement of the finite give us all infinite potentials? Who needs gods when we are all gods in our own right, each of us individuals determining the advancement of an entire species and the physical landscape of the universe around us; creating, elevating, mastering and sometimes destroying. From what I’ve read, that pretty much covers what gods do. Hell, even Zeus was a bit of a fuck boy.

So, I hope that the broadcast from the final frontier did happen and the best and brightest of us do manage to decipher its meaning. To make contact with another species, even if it’s just for a single moment will change the world, humanity and just maybe our perception, and relativity in the universe. Single moments have a habit of doing that in our history. Maybe this one will be the decider to whether we are just meat bags clinging to the surface of the Earth or divine fucking entities destined to just reach out and tame the stars.

Like I say though, the whole thing could have been clickbait.

The Broadcast