Change?

A few weeks ago, I was writing about how much I missed old friends and that we are like a family. Today, after spending only a few days with them, I want to tear my eyes out like Sam Neill in Event Horizon. People in general should avoid making purposefully stupid decisions and also avoid people they don’t trust enough not to stop and think like The Office’s Dwight Schrute, ‘would an idiot do that?’ and ‘not do that thing’. It’s just another stark reminder to me and should be to everyone else, that the things that used to bother us at school will be the same at university and those at university will be the same later in life. Rose tinted glasses of nostalgia only go so far to hiding the fact that your friend is a complete liability when drunk or that another needs more attention than a Tamagotchi or will die as such.

Life’s too short for people to change.

That’s the truth. It’s a double-edged sword since we all don’t have the time to waste in our tiny lives, so little to make room for actual fucking character development only possible through sudden and unexpected dilemmas that were unbelievable even in Lost. It’s the cancerous little optimist in me, being choked on the smog of the reality of human nature, that always expects to be surprised when I come home for a few days. I always assume that I won’t notice the utter bollocks that’s thrown at me or if I do, I’ll be able to dodge it with an unwavering false smile – I was never a very good actor in the first place. My own unwillingness to change and accept is perhaps a perfect example of my point.

In York, I’m becoming sick of people the same way I was sick of the people here and it’s almost as if my own unrealistic expectations of what makes a half-way decent human being are far too high. They probably are as perhaps it’s a case of personal neuroticism that makes me so wishy-washy towards people. I fully understand anyone to has searched for pastures new and ended up in the same place they were before like demented infinity loop. It’s a daunting and horrible feeling in the gut because it makes me wonder, what if there isn’t a place I like with people I like? It’s the disconnection from the rest of the world that is a wholly lonely feeling.

Perhaps Mark Zuckerberg’s dream of a connected Earth is accidentally alienating further the disconnected. Life without internet in 2017 is an inconvenience at best and isn’t that the perfect metaphor for connectivity to a human being? Boiled down to clicking ‘like’ on a mildly funny Facebook post. Is the lack of a ‘dislike’ button more telling than the presence of a ‘like’? Maybe if we did have one, our self-destructive nature would see the ‘dislike’ turned into a declaration of war and those community notice boards on Facebook would turn into battlegrounds. Would poppies bloom from our screens out of the ruined soils of the digital no-mans-land?

That was possibly a bit of a tangent but the point still stands. Is it those who see people for who they really are the ones who end up alone? I for one don’t buy into the hopeful modern-day morality plays that Hollywood keeps pumping out. In our limited existences change is totally futile because the changes we make to ourselves or hope others will make have such an equally limited effect on the landscape of our own history, hell, even human history. Let’s all through away that totally misleading optimist in us and all that hope that leads to nothing but disappointment and subsequent frustration in people. We should all be able to stand up, and firmly say with confidence and absolution to those unchanging people: ‘you guys are fucking annoying’.

Change?

Death’s Digital Name

I had a nightmare about space, which is a first for me considering the usual bad dream consists of the woman I care for being roundly fucked while my grandfather scolds me for a bad school report. This cosmic odyssey  seemingly tried to tell me that no matter how much space we have to move and get away from each other, we’ll always feel choked. A strange notion considering that humans are supposedly herd creatures but now after feeling something that livid, it makes me wonder that perhaps we are inherently solitary.

In my life right now, I’m not sure I’ve ever been so quite literally alone yet contrastingly I’ve never felt so trapped within a fish bowl of what I can only understand to be my own creation. Perhaps this is a common feeling amongst the modern, 21st Century human being as we are all trapped within our own well documented lives available at the click of a mouse. Long gone are the days where we can move away to a new place and start anew because whether it be a horrific photo of us that our mothers post on fucking Facebook or incredible debt, something is always following us around. Is that a new notion or one as old as the universe itself and the grim reaper just does business under a different, digital name?

Of course, it’s an entirely hyperbolic thought but I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking a piece of me dies every time I go onto Twitter. Perhaps Perry Como’s ‘Killing Me Softly’ is more relevant in the Digital Era than we ever thought it could be while we swim around our own little goldfish bowls. It’s a cliché to say, yet it’s true: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result and if that doesn’t surmise human life, I don’t know what will. Like literal goldfish swimming around the bowl, repeating the same three seconds over and over expecting to find some new patch to make our own.

If we all hop into our dream convertible and drive into the sunset we would all find a place where no one would know our name. Yet the dream of true freedom would collapse entirely as soon as we access an ATM or that someone finds internet connection and discovers that you’re a former checkout assistant from Whittlesey. Mark Zuckerberg’s dream of a connected human kind destroys the idea of individualism and the freedom to be individualistic in a way that has forced us all into a mass hysteria, exploding in our pants at the thought of the new iPhone. Most employers in 2017 use social media to check out potential employees and fire current ones because their definition of humour differs – hooray for civil liberties.

Perhaps the most hopeful ending to any film I’ve ever seen is that of The Dark Knight Rises where Bruce Wayne is able to erase himself and Selina Kyle from everything using a ‘clean slate’ device. Even within the film, the writers note that the idea is ludicrous and the world today is far too small to truly start a new life, whatever the fuck that may entail. Yet it’s a thought that while wholly fanciful is perhaps the underlying dream ending for us all whether we be that mysterious stranger or a former checkout assistant. This is exactly why the final frontier is so attractive: it’s mysterious and endless and just out of reach so some arsehole somewhere hasn’t ruined it yet.

Death’s Digital Name

The Fence

I’m at university and it’s as if I’m the only moderate in existence. The centre doesn’t seem to be appealing to the masses anymore exemplified by hordes of Facebook keyboard warriors fighting it out in the comment section of some inflammatory article on the terrorist attack in Finsbury Park yesterday. Meaningless buzz words such as ‘red pill’ and ‘cuck’ are being thrown around with everybody losing their minds more over the words of some burnout from Oslo has used rather than the atrocities taking place on seemingly a weekly basis in the UK. Even the people calling for support for the victims and not making a vile attack on civil liberties a political, virtual throw down are being shouted at through cyberspace. I can’t think of an atrocity that has taken place in the past year that hasn’t devolved into people on either side of the aisle using it as a way to push one agenda or another.

Being able to see merit in both the right wing and left wing has become such a taboo in our globally divided society especially demonstrated in university cities where the right is hounded to the ends of the Earth for saying ‘hey, maybe Trump’s intentions of an economically viable America isn’t such a bad thing’ while the leftist who shouts ‘die cis scum’ at the top of their lungs in the city centre goes viral and revered by the masses. On the other end of the spectrum in the pubs of our cities and villages across the UK and perhaps the world, the opposite takes place only rather than economic viability, Trump’s policies on wall building are hailed. Being in the middle of politics is like being bisexual with people on either side confused and terrified shouting at you – and I – to pick a side.

The lack of choice to make your own opinion; being forced to pick a side by establishments such as The Guardian or The Sun and the equally polarised Milo Yiannopoulos or Michael Moore, I find in itself an attack on my right to free speech. Even places that promote free speech like Facebook and Twitter create echo chambers with ‘suggested pages’ and click bait to put the individual in a neat box to fill a site quota. You are either left or you are right, the middle is a lie we tell to our innocent children so they can both believe in Santa Claus: a man who dresses in red and hands out free gifts to the world; and that we have to experience some form of pain to earn money, a lesson that forms the basis of the Tooth Fairy concept. Right?

It strikes me as obvious since those on either side of the argument keep saying it to me and to each other: ‘liberalism isn’t viable’ and ‘conservatism isn’t viable’.

They say life is all about moderation so why does this not apply to our politics? It borderline depresses me how divided people are on things, and yes, I do understand that we as a species will always have our own opinions, but it seems the digital age has ushered in casual extremism from both sides of the aisle and that no one seems to look at it with even the slightest scepticism. Growing up in a family where one side was left and the other was right, sitting on the fence has become comfortable like a bed of nails to a sadist. The fence is a unique viewpoint that more should adopt; you’re able to see the perfectly manicured grass in the right garden, the well-constructed decking in the left garden, all while being able to observe the unfortunate abundance of dog shit no matter where you look. I for one, do not enjoy the idea of having it all over my shoes and would encourage anyone to join me in that philosophy by saying: ‘stop throwing shit at each other like animals, have a beer and get on the fence. There’s plenty of room.’

The Fence