Monday, April 20, 2020

Reframing Dad

I’m a big James Bond fan. Always have been and I can think of many movies in this long, long franchise that can still make me smile. The movies are a great way to unwind and dive into a world where a state sanctioned assassin is suave, sophisticated, shags loads, and never ages beyond about 50.
There are only two entries in this series that piss me off. One is A View To A Kill, which is awful on so many fucking levels and the other is Die Another Day. Now, AVTAK cannot be saved no matter what you do. Roger Moore looks pigging awful at 57 in the role and Bond girl Tanya Roberts’ mother was a year younger than Moore. The movie was the closest you can get to being a straight version of Austin Powers. Until you get to DAD.
Pierce Brosnan’s swansong was so over the top that it became farcical. Invisible cars, space lazers, ice palaces, race-altering plastic surgery and Madonna as a fencing instructor…to name a few. The film is irritating and so OTT that, despite some good moments, is something that die-hard fans will avoid when rummaging through the Blu-ray box set on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Unreality needs to have ground rules. I accept without question that Jon Snow in Game of Thrones can be brought back to life. I accept dragons and white walkers and wights and the lord of fire. What I don’t accept is when Snow falls through the ice into a frozen lake, climbs out and rides his horse back to Castle Black and recovers without so much as a case of the sniffles. No one said that his return from death made him immortal so an experience that would have killed Bear Grylls is, quite frankly, taking the fucking piss.
Superman can fly, is allergic to Kryptonite and has lazer vision. Accepted without a murmur. BUT…putting his spectacles on and combing his hair differently grants him a disguise? Fuck off!
Indiana Jones keeps his hat on in a bar room brawl? OK. He jumps out of an aeroplane in a dingy with two other people and survives…with his hat on? WHAT KIND OF CUNT DO YOU TAKE ME FOR?!!”
And then the other day while disinterestedly thumbing through YouTube videos I came across one called “James Bond dies in Die Another Day”. In the actual movie, after being captured in North Korea in the pre-credits bit, Bond is tortured for 14 months and then traded for uber-baddy Zao by the British Secret Service and the CIA. He then fakes flatlining while in hospital recovering, and escapes to take revenge in typical Bondian fashion involving lots of shagging, explosions and gadgets.
The video that I’d found, presented an alternative angle on proceedings. What if…..Bond flatlined for real in that early scene and the rest of the movie is a dying dream. The final shot of the film is Bond and the female protagonist lying on a pile of diamonds while making out which then fades to black, which the documentary maker interpreted as saying this was where Bond finally died. He added that this is why Judi Dench is still M when Daniel Craig got the role and that the reason she is so fucked off with him for creating havoc in the embassy at the beginning of Casino Royale is because this type of foolhardy behaviour is what got his predecessor killed.
And…not only does this make sense it also makes Die Another Day a LOT less shit.
If Bond is simply hallucinating and dreaming of palaces carved from ice, fist fights amongst swirling lazer beams and cars falling like confetti out of aircraft then the movie is a fine homage to Pierce Brosnan’s tenure in the tuxedo and makes sense. Bond imagines that every woman he meets finds him phwooarsome (including a nurse who tries to give him the kiss of life) and that a Chinese contact he hasn’t seen for years wouldn’t bat an eyelid when meeting him again, even when he looks like Robinson Crusoe in pyjamas. The ludicrousness and weirdness of the film is sooo much more enjoyable if you take it that NONE of this is real, and it is all Bond’s final dream of a final adventure. The opening sequence is relatively grounded in reality compared to the later excesses and last night I watched DAD again and enjoyed the movie much more than I previously had, solely through approaching it with a reframe.
This attitude has been used for other films in the past. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off has a fan theory that Ferris is merely Cameron’s imaginary friend and none of the film is real except Cameron wrecking his dad’s prized sports car. He even brushes Ferris off once he decides to stand up to his father (for the first time in his life). This TOTALLY changes the experience you get when watching the movie.
So….let’s try and put this in other films. Maybe Superman has some kind of Kryptonian mind control technique that means that people can’t recognise him as Clark Kent. Maybe Jon Snow was granted immortality when brought back from the dead in Game of Thrones but we just weren’t told that. And maybe Indiana Jones is just incredibly lucky?
And then maybe the reframe can be applied to real life?
As I write this we are in a global lockdown because of the fucking, pigging, cunting corona virus. I spend most of my time indoors, getting a taste of what it must be like to be a geriatric and looking forward to the weekly trip to the supermarket. While I’ve kept busy (I’m still teaching, albeit online now) and read, meditate and do yoga on a daily basis there is a whole load of boredom to deal with.
If you reframe the monotony of quarantine it becomes less of a chore and more of a time to reflect, work through some anxiety issues and appreciate the solitude. I’ve been borderline misanthropic since I was in my late teens so this isn’t that much of a haul for me, staying in and having limited contact with other people.
I have a class on Saturday mornings. The students are between 12 and 14 years old and as it’s a 9am kick off, are invariably grouchy, cheeky, arrive late and have side conversations in class. I’ve taught them for a couple of years through two levels of English and while, individually, they are all nice kids, as a group they act as a catalyst for each other and get right on my frigging tits. Now it’s less of an issue because I can mute their microphones or even kick them out of Zoom into the “waiting room” if they push it too far. When I go back to teach them face-to-face I’ll apply the following reframe. It’s Saturday. They’ve just spent a week at school and the LAST bastard thing they want to do at 9am on the first day of the weekend is have nearly 2 hours English tuition as an extra curricular activity. This flips the perspective not to one of sympathy for twatty behaviour but instead to make me realise that I need to try and find other ways to stimulate them into learning rather than rely on methods that work fine from Monday to Friday. The 11am group just after them are no problem whatsoever and it’s basically the early start that is the mosquito in the yoghurt.
I can reframe interactions I’ve had with other people that have been both positive and negative. It’s not an attempt to empathise but more a desire to be able to view events without getting annoyed or emotionally attached to what is going on. Things that happened to me as I grew up were, I have found, quite often meaningless to the other people involved. Merely reframing events can reduce the drain that these memories place upon my psyche and my anxiety.
You don't have to try and get hippyfied over this and be constantly trying to seek reasons for bad situations. What I've realised is that if you reframe, even if only for your own benefit, then things can and usually do appear more bearable or even become enjoyable.
Things that meant so much to me in a negative light before corona lockdown have now become much less important than they were, solely through reframing with the eyes I now have.

A View To A Kill still honks though.

Monday, April 13, 2020

The Black Projector

In isolation due to the corona virus lockdown, I have spent many days on my own finding various slightly different ways to pass the time. Reading, watching TV, yoga, sewing, tidying the flat…all have helped alleviate the boredom of this monotonous experience. Leaning towards misanthropy when we’re not on lockdown has mean that I have coped well with what has, for some people, become soul destroying.
As I’ve moved through this seclusion, I’ve also done more meditation than usual and thankfully have found answers to things I’ve needed answers to…and this morning I saw the significance of a blind spot that has held me back for quite a while.
The childhood and adolescence that I had plus my adulthood have been quite lonely and that feeling of separation has become woven into my life. It’s now part of me and I feel comfortable with it in the same way an old coat feels good. You know it needs replacing but it has, to some extent, moulded to your shape and movements. It’s predictable and warm and while it may not feel right, it feels good.
But then I realised this morning that I have lived a HUGE chunk of my life with my view of reality seen through what I now call the black projector.

To clarify…
Most of the fundamental and necessary paths of progression from infant to man were not ones that I trod, or even found. I found it had to make friends, believed I was fundamentally flawed and powerless and was desperate for something to find solace and inspiration in. I got that through the worlds of fantastical adventure of books, comics, TV and films. From the Chronicles of Narnia, to 2000AD, to Batman & Robin, to Star Wars there was a whole, rich, vivid world of heroes and villains, good and bad to be explored where I could vicariously live out my life, like millions of others, in escapism. This world was my salvation and I loved it. I lapped up the stories by CS Lewis and loved the exploits of future law enforcer Judge Dredd. Hey, I even liked Hawk the Slayer and found my ultimate passion in Enzo G Castellari’s two Bronx Warriors films in the early 80s.**

In about 1984 Marvel Comics ran a story that spanned many titles of its franchise called Secret Wars. In one story involving The Fantastic Four, a little boy, while trying to emulate his hero the Human Torch, doused himself in kerosene and set himself on fire. The Torch (Johnny Storm) visits the boy in hospital and the lad’s last words are “I wanted to be like you…” Grief stricken and racked with guilt Johnny hails a taxi rather than flying home using his super powers and tells the rest of the Four that he wants to quit. The Secret Wars antagonist, the Beyonder, then kidnaps Storm and takes him back in time as an observer to the boy’s life, sat in his bedroom alone happily reading comics about the Human Torch. Furious at what he sees as an attempt to rub his nose in the guilt he is already feeling Johnny demands to know why the Beyonder is doing this. The entity replies “it was not because of you that he died…but through you that he lived”.

The way I viewed escapist media as a child was that it was a distraction. I could read a book in a day if I liked it enough and would watch films but attach no significance to them beyond seeing them as a pleasant distraction. And then life became a bit more tedious and painful and I began to rely just a little more on what were meant to be merely pleasant diversions. Without even realising it I got more attached to the fantasy worlds and began to believe that there were aspects of characters in them that I could aspire to and be like if I tried hard enough. Fight like Jason Bourne; sing like Pavarotti; get muscles like Schwarzenegger, the list could go on. I had become so accustomed to feeling like this that I no longer realised it was unreal. I knew the movies were fake, I knew the people were actors but I felt that somehow their actions could be emulated. Feeling so fragile and worthless I held onto the belief that there was another world, somewhere, where I was so very much different. In 2011 I wrote a book entitled The Catastrophe of the Emerald Queen and later a sequel called The Sunder of the Octagon, under the collective name The Tales of Alegria. These two books explore worlds of fantasy, right and wrong and justice that come straight from the worlds I loved to explore as a child from Lewis, to Enid Blyton, to Robert E Howard.

If you grow up lonely you will find anything to cling to in order to feel safe and entertained. A world where I could deny my isolation and depression was one where I was a hero and able to walk through the minefields of chaos with a smile and witty quip to pass the day.
There were two projectors in my mind. There was the one through which I saw the fiction laid before me and took it as it was mean to be seen. Then there was the black projector, slightly further back and hidden in a blind spot that I only saw this morning as I sat on the bed with my eyes closed and counted my breaths. The black one was the one that recorded this world and let the emotions they inspired stay with me, easing me through the anxiety, stress and crippling anger that came from feeling like I was worthless and unlovable. Today I saw that projector for the first time and it had no further purpose. It was something I had put there long ago to cope. I unplugged it and carried it to a fictional grinder (the kind that you see on YouTube videos that can mash up car engines). I thanked it for being there for me and then pushed the button and destroyed it beyond repair.
The clarity this has given me is substantial. I finally finished book 3 in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series yesterday, after roughly a year with the book sat on the shelf, only a handful of chapters left to read. The reason I left it like this (and have done so before) was that the world it so beautifully illustrated was not one I wanted to end, and by keeping it alive that little bit longer it meant that I could keep it with me. Sub-conscious defence mechanisms from a miserable childhood that serve no real purpose any more.
There are another 11 books in the Wheel of Time. I’m going to download the next one today on my Kindle and read it and enjoy it without being emotionally linked to what is happening.
Old habits die hard, but when they do, you are free.

** In 2015 I was interviewed as a 'special feature' for the Blu-ray of the second movie. A 13-minute documentary called 'The Hunt for Trash: Interview with Bronx Warriors Superfan Lance Manley'. This alone attests to the power of the Black Projector, but in a good way.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Stockholm Empathy

During the current lockdown for bastard covid-19 I have had even more time than usual to reflect. Staying in most of the week and being alone for years has meant I have special forces-esque training in how to live alone for ages at a time, going out only to go shopping or to drop the garbage off at the wheely bins round the corner. It’s also given me an insight into what my life might be like in about 30 years.
Watching a lot of TV (Ozark has proved to be a gem) and with an internet telly I’ve indulged in a lot of YouTube videos. Last night I saw “Everything Great About The Bourne Identity” which is a counterpoint to the channel “Everything Wrong With…”
In this offering, the host shows what he believes to be the awesome bits of the film, highlighting Bourne’s humanity and how he becomes more efficient under stress. He also waxes lyrical about how good Damon is in the role. All of which I agree with as this is one of my favourite movies and part of a franchise that I love (hey, I even liked Legacy). Then he mentioned one thing that caught my attention. When the formerly borderline catatonic Marie begins kissing Jason after he has chopped her hair off to give her a new identity after some chaos in Paris, the subtitle flashes up “Stockholm Syndrome”.
I had never thought of this scene in that context before. After all, Jason Bourne is Marie’s protector and has done everything to save her. However, realistically she is a vulnerable person who has seen extremes of violence and had her whole world turned over in the space of a few hours. I initially thought the kiss (and later it is implied they had sex) was simply gratitude and the need to “feel the heat” now that she finally felt safe again. But the psychology was more complex. After closing down mentally from witnessing a brutal fight that resulted in one man deliberately walking through a window and plummeting to his death and THEN seeing an old lady with a bullet hole in her skull, Marie was not at her best.
And this applies to my life in general…
I was brought up to believe that other people almost certainly had reasons to behave like cunts. The myth I was told was that if anyone had a go at me or hurt me or made me feel small, then it was probably brought on either by my own behaviour towards them or something awful going on in their life before they interacted with me, or both. This attitude was prevalent at home but also persisted when I was at Secondary school from the staff. Conversely, anyone who had a go at other people around me could be doing it for the above reasons OR could be doing it just to be a cunt. This flip flopping of polarity meant that only special people got attacked for no reason while others were victims solely due to their own bad attitude.
As I moved through life the sub conscious belief I had was that other people had REASONS to treat other people badly. After all, they wouldn’t lash out for nothing, right? The Stockholm syndrome that I carried with me, like a hastily drawn tattoo at Portsmouth docks by some backstreet artist, was that I should empathise with those who hurt me and others.
If you are watching a movie like Star Wars (especially the most recent instalments) then this attitude works. Genocidal Sith lords who murder innocent people and take great delight in being evil can be redeemed by one selfless act and you will be given backstory to flesh out just why they are angry/ psychopathic/ insane. Fine on a fantasy level but then if you drag this back into “normal” life then it will kick your anxiety through roof.
I have always envied people who see things in black and white and are able to shut down their empathy in order to deal with unfair treatment or having their own lives compromised. The conclusion I came to yesterday (joys of meditation during quarantine) was that my anxiety is mainly caused by constantly trying to find excuses for other people’s behaviour. The belief, on a fundamental level, that those who did things that made me feel sad, hurt or worse were doing it because of “reasons”.
End of the day, people always have reasons but when they conflict with your own life it is something that will drive you insane if you try to analyse their motivation rather than act to protect yourself. I have made some FUCKING lousy choices in my life over jobs, friends and lovers and afterwards, even if I was emotionally or physically hurt by these people I’d always try to think not ‘why did they do it?’ but ‘what did I do to make them do it?’
Stockholm syndrome in daily life is dangerous because it will give you anxiety and refuse to let you simply move forward. Every argument I’ve ever got into in my adult life until today, even if I’ve perceived the other person as being at fault, I’ve always wondered what I could or should have done or NOT done in order to have had a different outcome.
Last week I finally found out that the rotten pong in the bathroom if I left the window shut for more than about 15 minutes was caused not by the toilet but by a huge, rank glob of old hair, trapped in the shower drain. I fished it out and flushed it down the bog and now the bathroom smells a lot cleaner.
By identifying this misplaced attempt at constant empathy and the Stockholm syndrome that it produced, my anxiety appears to have also been flushed away.
Time will tell.

Saturday, March 7, 2020


I’ve been doing a lot of meditation lately. Well, a lot for a non meditator that is. 15 minutes in the morning and another quarter hour at night just before sleeping. I have found this process to be immensely difficult to get accustomed to (the conscious brain does not like to be shut off, even temporarily) but once I got into it, the rewards were substantial.

I’ve become more focused, less stressed and above all have had a handful of insights to things I never thought I’d get clarity on, let alone closure. Childhood loneliness, fear of strangers and a few other things have come to the fore and been dealt with. It’s an awesome little bit of mental defragging that I recommend to anyone.

A rather nice side effect of this exercise is being able to receive flashes of inspiration and insight even when not meditating. And this happened last night…and the revelation was substantial.

I have a big, 4K, smart TV. Every night I watch a few YouTube videos on it and the WatchMojo and What Culture channels have some pretty entertaining Top 10s. Last night it was Top Ten Banned Horror Movies. Some of the list were predictable (The Bunny Game, A Serbian Film) but one I’d never heard of. It’s called Grotesque and it’s so controversial that the UK censorship board the BBFC flatly refused to give it a certificate. A Japanese movie directed by Kôji Shiraishi it was outright banned with the justification being “Grotesque features minimal narrative or character development and presents the audience with little more than an unrelenting and escalating scenario of humiliation, brutality and sadism”.

During the discussion of the film in the Top 10 video, various non-squicky clips were shown and several were of a man and woman tied up, helpless while their captor stands in front of them.

It was, while watching this that I finally realised that, for most of my life I have felt like I was bound and captive while other people had the power to hurt me.

To elaborate…

For many years I’ve never enjoyed scenes where people are restrained and tortured in films. I can handle brutality and used to absolutely LOVE the Friday the 13th series back in the 80s. Jason Voorhees went from being a mutated mummy’s boy to a hulking, undead thug through 11 movies and one remake. Hey, I even liked Jason X where he’s in space! But the thing with Jason was that he was simply a killer, not a sadist. He would murder people indiscriminately (but never little kids or babies) and did it inventive ways that would have made the theatres of the Grand Guignol proud. Your death at Jason’s hands (or feet) would be quick though. He was so full of rage that he just couldn’t wait to squash your head to the size of a pineapple; or punch your heart out through your back; or stick a spear through you and your girlfriend while you were fucking. Jason was someone who offed people quickly and I could identify with that. He wanted you gone and would do it expeditiously so you wouldn’t be around to piss him off any more.

A few years ago I saw the Ryan Gosling film Only God Forgives. At one point a criminal has knives thrust through his hands into the arms of a chair and is blinded and finally killed. I didn’t like this scene and I didn’t like it so much that I left the room before it finished.
Similarly, in the superb Starz TV show Spartacus: Vengeance four gladiators are recaptured after the slave uprising and brought to a party of noble Romans where they are paraded to the gentry prior to their scheduled deaths ‘ad gladium’ the following day. A drunk Roman, annoyed by the contemptuous glances the shackled slaves are giving “their betters” pleads with the magistrate that they be allowed to kill one at the party. The magistrate concedes, saying “OK but only one” and a randomly chosen gladiator is led away. I wasn’t really paying attention at this scene and it probably would have faded from memory if it weren’t for what happens next. The scene cuts to the man tied up, arms behind his back, hanging from the ceiling by ropes and a wooden bar. A roman is cutting out his tongue slowly, while two guards hold his head still. The noble then turns around, waving the severed, bloodied flesh and proudly announces to the other partygoers “the tongue” and they all clap politely as a topless slave girl collects the tongue on a plate. They spend a jolly time taking turns cutting the guy, each time preceded by the warning “remember, don’t cut too deep!” not wanting him to bleed out or die before they’ve had their fun. Finally he is dispatched with a sword through the abdomen.

This scene has forever repulsed and disgusted me and I’ve never gone near it again (even screenshots of it make me feel upset). The other violence in the show (from someone’s face getting cut off, to Julius Caesar being anally raped) didn’t phase me in the slightest but this struck a chord that resonated on all the wrong frequencies and made me feel fucking awful.
The meditation and breathing control I’ve learned recently have allowed me to analyse the events of my life without getting upset about them. Nothing is worse in trying to solve past issues than being emotionally attached to what you are trying to deal with. A detachment is required and yesterday I finally had that breakthrough.

All my life I’ve felt like I was restrained and that I couldn’t or shouldn’t fight back against tormentors, the consequences of retaliation being more pain and suffering. I never knew I felt like this, even though I was pissed off and scared for most of my childhood and a huge chunk of my adult life. As time moved on I was able to relax but never completely. As a child I was bullied continuously and, mainly due to an incident at playschool when I was 4, was unable to fight back as I was told hitting back would get me no friends and that if I was nice to people they wouldn’t hit or bully me. As I got older I was constantly verbally abused by my mother who regarded it as a right to come home and take her stress and bad feelings out on me and my younger brother or my father….without retaliation being given. In the late 80s she said, matter-of-factly at the dinner table “I think if I come home and I’m in a bad mood and I feel like taking it out on you or your brother then when you’ve done anything or not you should just sit there and take it until I’ve decided that I’ve finished. This is my house and I’m feeding you and I’m keeping you and you’re not contributing anything to this house”.

I was also never allowed a lock on my bedroom door, which is understandable when you are a small child but not when you move into puberty and are conscious of your body or might even be masturbating. The one time I actually asked for a lock my mother had a tantrum about how she was very offended as her and my father didn't have a lock on THEIR door. 

I had no privacy beyond what time I could steal and went from about age 8 to 19, when I left home, constantly afraid of someone having a go at me, be it at school or in my house and had absolutely no place of solitude.

As I went to work, be it part time or after I left uni, it was the same story. People would have a go at me and while I sometimes stuck up for myself it was usually half-hearted because, deep down I was afraid that someone would make my life even worse if I answered back. I have had bosses that to this day I would like to set on fire, or I hope they die of intestinal cancer, simply because they took pleasure in hurting me, be it through put-downs or unfair treatment or even bullying and I felt powerless to stop them.

The rare occasions I did actually stand up for myself the results were usually worse treatment. Standing up to my mother over how she was treating my grandmother led to a 30 minute screaming and crying fit, while refusing to do what she wanted on another occasion got me an elbow in the face and being completely shunned for the next 7 days. At school, retaliation was called “answering back” or “being cheeky” and at work it was both of those things but also an excuse for some cunt to threaten you physically.

I moved through my life frustrated, bitter and upset constantly fearful of being hurt and expecting the whole world to want to take turns cutting bits off me while not cutting too deep in case I bled out.

Years ago a friend chastised me for the fact that my eyes are everywhere when we were having a pint together and I wasn’t looking at him. Truth was my paranoia had left me unable to relax and in a room fill of people drinking alcohol I was totally ill at ease.

Being insulted at a poxy job I had after leaving uni I replied “takes one to know one” and the little cunt who’d said it to me snapped “watch your mouth!”

Seeing those people tied up in that film Grotesque I finally made the connection that I felt I was metaphorically restrained and unable to defend myself. All I could do was try and keep quiet and be friendly to those who abused me and hope that they warmed to me or got bored of hurting me.

This led to loneliness and isolation because, by sub-consciously believing that I was bound and restrained and unable to answer back, I falsely concluded that everyone wanted to hurt me. They didn’t but my paranoia kept this myth alive.

In my adult life I have made some horrendous decisions around who I called my friends. This has led to being taken advantage of both financially and emotionally and even being hurt physically. I thought everyone was a torturer and was trying to appease people I believed fundamentally were out to hurt me.

Realising this now, I can move on and climb down from the restraints that I imagined myself to be in for so long. There are a few positives. Being like this for so long, coupled with being a teacher of little kids AND a cyclist in Rome means my situational awareness is pretty good (the children think I’m telepathic when in reality I just make full use of peripheral vision).

Being denied the ability to verbalise opinions led to me feeling neutered and restrained.

Now I’m able to walk freely.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

How to Have Christmas Like a Cunt

Christmas. A time for family, mulled wine and presents under the tree. But for the discerning cunt, Christmas can be an opportunity to excel in your tomcuntery and  be absolutely unbearable for those around you.

Here are ten ways to be a cunt at Christmas.

1.  Make It Clear You’d Rather Be Doing Something Else

Let’s face it, it’s is a time for family and the whole point of Christmas Day is, theoretically, to welcome members of your clan into your home or to spend time at theirs. Many of us don’t actually like this BUT it’s expected and good etiquette to swallow your pride and put up with Uncle Billy and his homophobia or Cousin Gerald and his propensity for breaking your kids’ toys. However, an aspiring cunt can instead let their relatives know that they are only doing this under sufferance and would much rather be hanging out with other people such as a colleague from work who always throws a really swinging party and knows her cheeses. To put the icing on the cunt you should lapse into sullen silences without explanation and answer in monosyllables when asked questions. Try not to trip over your lower lip when walking.

2. Don’t Fucking Listen

To be a cunt you should regard buying presents as an extreme obligation and everyone should be grateful for the fact that you spend your hard- earned money on them, regardless of how much bad grace and rudeness is involved on your part. If someone tells you several times that they are fine with ANYTHING you get them as long as it’s not X, you should pay not the slightest bit of attention beyond letting the word get into your subconscious so that when you do finally cough up for their Xmas gift, it is the very fucking thing that you were repeatedly and specifically told they didn’t want. A week or so later when they face you with the reality of your cuntishness you will say “Well, it was too late by the time you told me because I’d already bought it” not realising that this was the 7th time they’d mentioned it and, like the cunt you are, you ignored numbers 1 through 6. Which brings us neatly on to…

3. Buy Crap Presents

Unlike birthdays, Christmas is meant to be a time where you revel in showing people how much you love/ like/ tolerate them by giving them a gift. Big or small it’s the thought that counts. However, a cunt should instead use Christmas Day as a time to remind everyone that they control the happiness of those around them. Instead of giving presents that you believe recipients will absolutely love, chosen with care and attention, you should instead wallow in cuntery by deliberately buying absolute shite that you know will piss people off. This could include saying “I haven’t had time to buy you a present, I’ll have to give you a cheque instead” and then spending five minutes to-ing and fro-ing about how much the cheque should be for. Once you have arrived at a mutually acceptable figure (after repeatedly insisting that they tell you how much they want and then saying “Hah! I can’t afford THAT much!”) you should then put on your cunt jacket by making the cheque out for less than that amount on Christmas Day. Another way to excel in Yuletide cuntery is to not wrap presents up (because you “haven’t had time”); forget to take the price tag off; or go for imitation garbage instead of the name brand stuff (e.g. Building Blocks instead of Lego). You should also expect to be thanked with enthusiasm and gratitude that appear not in the least bit faked if you really want to take your cunt factor into the next dimension.

4.    Buy No Present

This isn’t for the faint-hearted cunt. Leaving someone without a gift on Xmas Day is about as cunty as you can get. However, a Supreme Leader of Cunts will use the festive period to remind people that not only do they control the happiness (see point 2) but also the very fabric of their existence. There should nearly always be an explanation for it, no matter how tenuous or forced, to justify this attempt to be Genghis Khunt. Examples include “you had your bicycle for birthday AND Christmas so that’s why you’ve got nothing for Christmas” or “your father got her something from both of us”. To take it to cunt factor 5 you should watch the person in question like a hawk, waiting for any sign that they are displeased with this situation and then say “it’s alright you sulking” when they look even remotely downcast, without establishing why exactly they are looking unhappy. To get the gold medal of cuntery you should also wait until the person in question opens a present from someone you both know and then say loudly “that’s NOT from me, that’s from X. I said they shouldn’t buy you anything as you’ve had quite enough already this year but they did anyway so that’s not from me it’s from X”.
God you’re a cunt!

5. Get Drunk and Insult Everyone

Most people like a tipple on Xmas Day. A glass of eggnog or sherry is always appreciated as you settle in with your relatives and wait for the turkey to cook. However, a trainee cunt should instead use alcohol as a pathway to being as verbally abusive as possible to those around them. This includes swearing without reason or justification (e.g. “Where’s the fucking turkey?”); farting loudly (and then glaring at everyone, daring them to say anything); making inappropriate and squirm-inducing sexual remarks about actors on the TV (e.g. “Wouldn’t mind a bit of Mel Gibson’s cock!”) and putting down those closest to you and defending your behaviour with playground level excuses (e.g. “I have a go at him because he’s stupid”). To really buy a holiday villa in Cunt Town you should also take furious objection to anyone else behaving even remotely like you and storm off if people try to retaliate to your behaviour. Examples include being pissed as a fart on Xmas Eve and crying in front of the telly while repeatedly telling your family that they can “all just sod off” and then storming off during the Opening of the Presents on Christmas Day because someone else was drunk and giggling loudly. You should also theatrically stand up, stand still and then stomp slowly out the room if those people you’ve been insulting for the last hour respond in kind and insult you in back, after they were taking it with quiet dignity for the previous 60 minutes. For that Honours degree in Cuntistry you should also then start crying about how you’re being “picked on”.

6.      Leave Elderly/ Sick/ Single Relatives to Fend for Themselves

Christmas is again for family, be it biological or extended. But to really make it clear that you are a cunt who doesn’t give a flying fuck, you should try and exclude all people that you absolutely don’t have to have over. This could include your widowed mother-in-law or a relative who has recently broken up with a lover and will be spending the Yuletide period alone. To really get in the Guinness Book of World Cunts you should exclude people who you used to really enjoy having over for Christmas, solely because their usefulness is now at an end due to being elderly, sick or both. To justify your cuntishness you could say “We always take him/ her for Christmas, why don’t one of his/ her other relatives offer to take him/ her?” If you are not yet ready to wield the darksword of a warrior cunt you should take the less cunty option of  inviting them over, but then stick them in the corner and ignore them for the entire day, communicating with them solely through other family members. If you have relatives who have nothing to do over Xmas due to being single or working odd hours, you should decide to fuck off on a holiday abroad for the Yule period effectively leaving them stranded and alone for the 25th. To amp the cunt volume up to 11, you should make a courtesy call two weeks prior to say “We’re going away this Christmas, is that alright?” knowing that the words “No, I want you to stick around so I’ll have something to do” are not ones you will hear. Enjoy that cruise/ villa/ skiing break you uber cunt you.

7.      Lie About Why You’re Being Selfish

This one only really works if you have kids who are still old enough to rely on you for their Christmas presents but have already been told that Santa Claus isn’t real. For example maybe you spend the first 14 Christmases of your offspring’s life waiting until they fall asleep and then put the presents in pillow cases in their bedroom, and then get up at 3am to watch their little faces light up with joy as they open them. To be an utter and total Grand Moff of cunts you should one year, without warning, NOT do this and when your confused children arrive in your bedroom at 6am to find out where their presents are, you will have them at the foot of your bed. When asked why you’ve done this you will say, with a straight face, that “part of the pleasure of giving presents is seeing other people’s faces when they open them, so you’re being selfish wanting to open your presents alone and not letting us see you do it”. Your teenage children will begrudgingly accept this excuse but to take that one way ticket to Cuntsville you will get tipsy a week later and tell your friends, in front of your kids, that the reason you did it was because you object to being woken up every 25th of December at half past twat in the morning and this year you were determined to get a full night’s sleep. To get your cunt epaulettes you should also fly into a tantrum if one of your kids calls you on this behaviour and points out that you lied. Retorts could range from “you don’t know HOW hard I work in my job!” or “some children’s parents don’t buy them presents, some children’s parents spend all their money in the pub!”

8.      Control the TV Like It’s the Holy Grail

Less common nowadays, due to the proliferation of tablets, smart phones and even multiple TVs this one still works, especially if you have a 4K or 8K telly. While most people will be happy to go with the flow and watch whatever, you will insist on watching the Eastenders Christmas special (even though you only watch the main show sporadically at best) and make it clear that if everyone doesn’t respect your right to choose what YOU watch on YOUR telly in YOUR house, then they can all just “sod off”. If the joys of 8K would be best illustrated watching the Ultra HD version of The Matrix you will instead want to watch anything other than that, even if it’s the Queen’s speech, which you are usually known to actively avoid. Whenever other people DO get their own way, you should talk constantly throughout whatever the programme is and give away spoilers if it’s something you’ve seen before. BBC. Best Be a Cunt.

9.      Play Board Games Like a 7 Year-Old

Board games are, let’s face it, a part of the Christmas period. From Monopoly to Trivial Pursuit to Scrabble to Cluedo. Sometimes it can be boring but it’s a bit of fun for all and a chance to show off a bit. If you are an apprentice cunt however, you should instead use playing games as a justification to piss on everyone else’s fun. This could include walking off in a huff if you repeatedly get questions wrong; refusing to continue if Monopoly takes too long because “there’s that thing I want to watch, on now” or trying to cheat but going ballistic if anyone else gets caught doing that. I was privileged to witness one very special cunt insisting that ‘oust’ was a word in Scrabble, and getting the dictionary out to prove it, only to have an utter cunthuff when the next player put a ‘j’ in front of it and got Triple Word Score.

10. Do Not Tolerate Any of Points 1 to 9 for Yourself

If you really wish to be the Pope of cunts then you should follow points 1 to 9 religiously, but fly into an absolute warp frenzy if anyone tries the same tactics on you. This could include verbalising that you don’t like a present (right after opening it); exploding if anyone ruins a film/ TV show you haven’t seen yet; taking umbrage at being spoken to rudely; or conveniently forgetting your own cuntishness whenever anyone else acts up, even if it’s a pale reflection of how you’ve been behaving. To pass your cunt test with flying colours you should also lament the time, a long time ago, when someone treated you badly at Xmas, even though it’s apparently not as bad as how you’ve been behaving.

So there you have it. How to be a cunt with all the trimmings at Christmas. 

Friday, October 25, 2019

The Unarmed Emasculation

This week, in England, six months pregnant Amanda Mancino-Williams boarded a train with her three children and approached the seats she had previously reserved. Sat in two of them were an old, posh couple who refused to move even when seeing that the woman had the right to the seats AND that she was 2/3 of the way to being a mum of four.
Unfortunately for the old couple, Amanda has a Twitter account with over 47,000 followers and the internet was soon humming with angry commentary on the seat stealing shenanigans of two sour faced septuagenarians (who she took a photo of) with various news websites picking up the story and asking if anyone knew who these two were.
I live in Rome after having got bored of England and moving here in 2017. I keep up to date on current news “back home” via social media and really wasn’t prepared for the anger I felt in the three days after I read this story for the first time.

I meditate twice a day (trust me it helps) and it took me a long time to calm down and process exactly why this event I had no personal attachment to, had kinked my karma so badly.
It boils down to this…
In Britain there is still the belief that the “rules” are enough and the majority of people are decent, hard working and will do “the right thing”. Cops aren’t armed for the simple reason that the government, police senior management and City of London investors don’t want to accept that times have changed and society has become much more self serving and violent. By parading a police service of 95%+ routinely unarmed cops, the message the powers-that-be are trying to send is “we don’t need lethal force to enforce the law. People know what is right and wrong”.

I worked for just over 3 years as both a Special (volunteer) Constable with City of London and a Regular (paid) Constable with Kent. This was from 2004 to 2008 and even then, the cracks were not so much starting to appear but were begging for a tube of Super Glue. Violent incidents were met with a mob handed approach to subduing a suspect, which is fine in a police force of one square mile but I still shudder to recall the drugs bust we did on a house in Kent where I jumped over a back garden fence armed only with pepper spray and a baton to be confronted by the dealer’s Boxer dog running at me (which luckily just wanted me to throw its toy for it). No guns, no tazers and no real way to deal with an increasingly ugly and argumentative set of people who had long since realised that if they got lippy with the boys in blue, there was little to nothing they could do in retaliation if they were outnumbered.

We weren’t trained in anything like decent self defence. Instead we were shown techniques that I like to call the Chief’s Conscience. Nothing that was ever likely to do any damage (no punching or kicking techniques, only the safest of take downs) or result in my force having to cough up to an jnjured “suspect” (we were specifically told to aim baton strikes ONLY to the upper arms and upper thighs, no matter how violent a “suspect” was).
Despite all this bollocks, the myth that they wanted us to believe was that society wasn’t all that bad and provided we were pleasant and dealt with things fairly and reasonably it would nearly always go right for us.
As we moved into the era of I, Daniel Blake and where the adjective “Dickensian” is used more and more to describe the poverty and misery of the poorest people in the UK, the myth still tries to hold onto its existence, that things aren’t really so bad and that all it takes is everyone to just calm down, have a cup of tea and talk about it.

A video posted by blogger Inspector Gadget recently showed a cop in London searching a man in public. The cop was making jokes and smiling a lot during his search, just like he’d been trained to do. The problem was that the man had a knife and tried to run when he realised it was about to be discovered. This caught the cop off guard because, due to his “nice boy” demeanour he wasn’t braced for anything except convivial compliance with his wishes. A struggle then ensued and the “suspect” was brought down by both the crestfallen nice officer and his colleague with the body cam.
In Rome if the traffic is bad or people act like dicks when driving, others will blare their horns and shout abuse. It gets quite volatile and can be quite entertaining (on the road from Circus Maximus to the Appia Antica on a hot August day the only thing that’s missing is a conductor to accompany the blaring of horns at rush hour). However I have only seen ONE incident in the 23 years I’ve been coming here where a punch was thrown. Italians let it all out at the time, they don’t bottle it up and then let it spill over by adhering to a code of conduct that was on the way out by the 1920s.

In England we still believe that being charming, remembering Ps and Qs and being dignified will allow us to get our own way when faced with bullies, miscreants and horrible cunts.
The lack of real consequences for obnoxious behaviour (and by this I mean from our peers, not cops) is the reason that people are becoming worse and worse to each other.
A recent poll in the UK showed that over 70% of Leavers and Remainers in the ongoing wank fest that is Brexit said that, in their opinion, it was acceptable to use physical violence against a politician if it meant they got their own way.
My experience with pikeys (travellers) in the UK is that they are sneaky, underhanded, manipulative and sometimes violent people who only obey the rules of society beyond their kin in so far as it serves them. When I was in police training, a former constable turned trainer said to us “Romany Gypsies are a protected ethnic minority. I’m sure they’re lovely. I have however, never met any Romany Gypsies. All I’ve met is thieving Irish travellers who get drunk, steal and hit their wives”.
Recently, unarmed English police officer Andrew Harper was dragged to his death under a vehicle driven by a pikey who had no regard for the law or that Andrew represented it. The public outcry against this was almost unique in its ferocity and in the days that followed, newly appointed Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley made the unprecedented move to offer tazers to all his frontline officers if they wanted one. This was seen as a radical move by many but undoubtedly had private citizens in southern states of the USA sniggering into their reloaders.

Society has waned so much that aggressive and/or violent and selfish people are becoming more and more common but we still choose to see this as the exception rather than the norm.
The two festering old cunts who took two random, reserved seats on a train and then refused to give them up to the heavily pregnant woman they belonged to were worthless scumbags but, being British, we try to evaluate and rationalise and justify. Respect for the elderly, not causing a fuss and the fact that the train guard, when informed of the situation, upgraded the woman and her children to First class really don’t get past the fact that these two disgusting, self-entitled bags of dogshit thought that nobody else’s feelings mattered and they could do whatever they wanted. The guard should have confronted them but found another way to defuse it. The woman and her family got the better deal but the two festering cunts still kept seats they had no right to be using and went unpunished.
Personally I would have simply threatened to stand there and fart in their faces for the entire journey if they didn’t fuck off and make good on that promise if they didn’t budge. But the British part of me, that upbringing that wants to prove I’m “better than that” tells me in a whiny little voice that that would make me the bad guy and would be very rude and naughty.
A while back I flew from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi (13 hours) had a 7.5 hour stopover and then flew for 7 hours to London. My body was aching and I was grumpy, like the majority of the passengers and to really ice the cake, the twat sitting behind me objected to me reclining my seat and eventually stuck his knee against it to prevent me doing so. When I stood up and went “seriously?!” he replied with petulant obstinacy, “yes, I don’t want you to put your chair back!”. Rather than get into a slanging match with the little tit I simply told a stewardess who, in a broad Glaswegian accent, told him “I don’t care, he’s got every right to put his seat back!” and the little turd caved in while I glared at him over the top of the seat. This was about the fairest way to deal with it as he was being a prick and a little bit of public humiliation did him the world of good. The guy sat next to me said later “to be fair, I don’t like it when people recline their seats” and I replied “if he doesn’t like it he should fly Business class”. Fact the steward had my back and specifically stated that it was completely acceptable for me to recline my seat at any time other than meals, take off or landing (and turbulence) didn’t seem to get through. The rules pissed this little berk off so he was, in his own passive/aggressive tantrum going to try and get his own way.

But I digress…
As a teenager I saw Mad Max 2 before the first one. The sequel is set after society has collapsed and everyone is struggling for survival. When I finally got round to watching the original movie (set a few years prior to the sequel where society is in a state of terminal decay but still functioning) a scene where a suspect is released due to no witnesses turning up to his trial for rape has the arresting officer going batshit and trying to assault both the guy himself and his lawyers. One of the solicitors says repeatedly “the courts will hear of this” and the chief of police later adds “as long as the paperwork is clean, you boys can do what you want out there”. Even as a child it struck me as bizarre that in a dystopian, almost lawless society people were still obsessed with their rules.

As an English teacher I teach a wide variety of Italian students from children to adults and one of my classes has a Polizia Commisario Capo in it. This rank is equivalent to Chief Superintendent in the UK and the guy was flabbergasted when I told him that a). English cops are mainly unarmed and b). They are taught to strike to upper arms and outer thighs with their batons. Italian cops are trained to hit to elbows and knees. Reason being…well, do you need to be told?
The story about the two fucking horrible bastards on that train upset me to my core because it showed me that rules aren’t merely broken by chavs, schoolkids or the badly educated. They are broken by supposedly intelligent, posh, well-to-do people who are meant to set an example.
Some comments have stated that Amanda’s children should have let the old cunts have their seats but as Amanda said, they spoke to her like she was nothing and were using bullying tactics, knowing that she was powerless to do anything.
Society is broken and unless we realise that nothing is going to change.

Reframing Dad

I’m a big James Bond fan. Always have been and I can think of many movies in this long, long franchise that can still make me smile. T...