Okay, I buckled. A very kind gentleman complimented my blog and invited me back. So here I am.
At the last meeting of ‘my’ Speakers Club , a round robin was started by the Chair, asking us to tell the audience what we hate. Fortunately for me, by the time it came to me the tea had arrived. Unfortunately for the next meeting’s participants, this meant I had time to prepare properly. And the first challenge I had was keeping it down to 8 minutes. This is a summary of what I said.
“You’ve heard the odd rant from me, but here’s a big one. What do I hate?
- For a start, I dislike the demise of the letter T. Professional presenters, whose very professionalism SHOULD be pinned on their ability to speak clearly, seem unable to say it. I am sick of people ‘not gehhin’ ih’, and them going to ‘parhhies’.
- People who demand instant attention by you regarding their priorities, but take 3 days to even consider yours. I have worked in an organisation where everything administrative must be done now – and I mean everything – so what happens is that people doing everything administrative ‘now’ MUST fail because the things they are doing ‘now’ must replace all those other things they SHOULD be doing ‘now’. Like the things they’re paid to do – which ISN’T ‘just’ admin. And they constantly feel as though they have achieved zilch. But the paperwork’s good. (Think – if the administrators went home we could still police -unpaid – but if the police went home the administrators would be pointless. Think on that.)
- Mobile phone use by drivers. If you do it, you’re a tw4t. End of.
- The new motorway following distance in the wet of one arm’s length.
- Pavement parking – especially in wide streets. For 50 of my 54 years I have noticed how 52-seater buses can travel up the average street by me without bouncing off parked cars, but now people think it is necessary to park on the pavement to avoid what hasn’t happened and likely never will. Let’s face it, if they could park in their front rooms the lazy b4st4rd5 would do that, too.
- People standing in front of you in a book shop. I am 6 feet tall, not inconsequential in stature, and yet I will be in a narrow aisle in a bookshop clearly looking at books because my head is tilted 90 degrees to read the spines – and some (usually old) idiot will just appear right in front of me and start doing the same.
- Long song intros with wailing singers. If the intro is long enough to warble ‘Oooooohhhh,, yeeeeah, mmmmm’ then it’s too long. Shorten it or just shut up. And if you can’t hit the note first time, you ain’t good enough.
- “I’m a Celebrity Cooking while I dance or skate or drive to work” and other such programmes. And the people who watch it and post on Facebook that they watch it. Read a book.
- The Daily Mail website. Left column, ‘shock as eye-following glasses show men staring at ladies breasts’. Right column – bikinis, references to side-boob, ample chest, thigh-gaps, legs, and nudity.
- Media hypocrisy and bias – see previous blogs.
- Interviewed people starting their answer with ‘Yeah, no, I mean’. This means ‘I have given no thought whatsoever to the question but felt the urge to blurt something to fill the gap while I actually engage my brain. And the cliché ‘Yeah, no, I mean’ was the best I could come up with”.
- Politicians evading the question by saying ‘the reality of the matter is’ when it really isn’t.
- And TONS of other things.
Why do I hate these things – and what does it have to do with The Three Resolutions?
Man is a creature endowed with four gifts. The gift of self-awareness, to know he is a man. The gift of creative imagination – to know what he wants. The gift of independent will – the creativity, ability and drive to go and get what he wants. And the gift of conscience. We can to choose whether, or not, we will behave in accordance with reasonable standards.
When I see people who know better committing the hateful acts I have listed above, I perceive that when they are doing so, they are deliberately or even carelessly failing to reach those standards. And when doing so demonstrates rudeness, sheer hypocrisy, or when endangers me or my family, I feel the urge to make my feelings plain, and because I try to be a patient individual, that urge makes me less of a person if I inadvertently act upon it.
Shouting “SCUM!” at a litter dropper is only temporarily satisfying. As is punching someone right in the mouth for being so, so stupid. It is only temporarily satisfying because the guilt arising from a failure to stand up to one’s own standards kicks in quite quickly after the immediate psychological lift of having spoken out.
That said, if we legalised that kind of immediate punishment and thus legitimised it, the guilt might disappear. Perhaps legalising a smack in the mouth for those whose laziness, arrogance or stupidity threatens us is the answer.
Tomorrow, I write to the Prime Minister!”