Now then, how’re you all coping with this China flu thing?
Onto bleach and detergent injections yet?
Me? Hmmm … Actually I’m not coping all that well, to be honest.
If this were a WWl trench that I found myself in, I’d be up the ladder, into No Man’s Land, inviting the Hun to take a pot shot at me, or to sod off home and commence some purposeful activity, such as the production of world beating high performance sports cars.
This morning over breakfast, I was trying to explain to my nearest and dearest why I bother with social media and why I watch the news – well until I get to the stage of throwing the remote at it – when my commentary about what I hear and what I read is entirely negative.
Let’s take the news first.
If you’ve followed my one-man campaign to villainize the media, you will know that I have little other than contempt for that once great institution, The Fourth Estate.
They have become lazy; first with Brexit, and now this.
There is no such thing as “News” any more; they make no attempt to hide this, referring to it as “Coronavirus Update.”
And in case you didn’t catch it here’s a recent post I put on Facebook:
So, Matt Hancock’s target of 100,000 tests/day hasn’t been met. So what?
The only ones flagging this up — with their customary negative views and jaundiced criticism – are, as usual, the media.
Listen, you dull-minded, pap-driven dope heads, Hancock set the bar ridiculously high and the progress he has made is laudable, and you should not be portraying this as failure.
Go find some real news — like a cat being rescued from a tree – and report that. Oh no … that could be misconstrued as ‘good news’.
So let’s move on to social media.
Of course, this is what is now referred to as The Fifth Estate – or what is sometimes referred to as “Alternative Media”; here’s a summary that I unashamedly pulled off the Internet:
“ … the fifth estate represents the decentralization of the media. It is allowing anyone, you included, to become a powerful voice in shaping policy decisions without having to depend on the mass media. That is the fifth estate”.
And would you believe this, some people actually look no further than this for their primary source of news? Well, they do.
But aside from this, what really irritates me are the countless videos that have gone round the world and been kicked out of my trash box more times than I’ve heard “flatten the curve” … the GIFs, the memes, and the bloody annoying three and four word banners that people now apply to their profile: “Save the NHS”, “Stay Home Save Lives”, and of course, dogma like “the new normal”.
And then there are the moronic “chain letters”, that have started up again. Thankfully this seems to be more of a US than a UK thing, but I suspect we’ll drown beneath the clichéd tsunami of the bloody things as well soon.
And there are the posts that read like this: “I’ve been nominated by Joe Bloggs to do 25 press-ups-slash-post a picture of my dog-slash-post a picture of me playing a sport I was really crap at – for 25 days to raise awareness for PTSD, anxiety and depression that drive people to commit suicide”.
Christ, pass the sick bucket will you? These are almost driving me to commit suicide!
Never, in the history of social media, has so much rubbish been posted by so many to be “liked” by so few. And consequently, I’ve pretty much blocked, “unfriended” or “snoozed” anyone who posts this idiotic pap.
Now, this might seem like a bit of a rant, and I suppose it is, but here’s why.
You see, there is a method to my negativity.
Cast your mind back to the days before the lockdown.
During the course of each day our brains were bombarded by thousand upon thousand of stimuli, some of them so small that we barely even registered.
Things like sharing a joke with the Barista in your local coffee shop, a smile from a stranger, the stench of the homeless person on the tram, the twat who cuts you up at the roundabout, or hearing that your neighbour’s cat had been run over.
And that’s the conscious stuff; think of all the subliminal stimuli that we don’t retain.
The reassuring unpredictability of life; the minutiae of decisions and revisions that can mar or make your day; the illogical reasoning behind a decision to either go out or to stay in … because only Bowie always knew when to go out or when to stay in.
And now this – the dull consistency life has become where one day simply rolls into another.
So what’s missing? Emotion, of course; but there’s more to it than that.
Unless you’re one of the lucky few still actively employed, the use to which we put our brains has declined with the same alacrity as world economies.
And most of the decisions we used to make in the course of a “normal” day were nuanced with at least a hint of emotion.
Take, for example, a drive into the city. You’re concentrating more than you should on a phone call – hands free of course. Before you realise it, you’ve missed the turn-off, so you curse with irritation and then you recalibrate your route. And even with satnav this still provides you with a challenge. Brain occupied – three fewer minutes to contemplate a vacuous future.
But now, all of this has gone and – for me at least – this is where the Fourth and the Fifth Estate come in.
The purpose they serve is to provide me with a set of surrogate irritants uniting to become the object of my angst and frustration at this bloody curtailment of civil liberties.
It may be negative stimulation but it’s better than no stimulation at all.
And on that note, I’m going to throw the remote at Laura Kuenssberg – who would “die in a ditch” for anything other than impartiality – and after that, I’m going to “unfriend” the last person who sent me that bloody video of a woman drinking wine from a glass attached to a bottle.
Hasta pronto chic@s!