The art of awareness.

A lot of things these days have ‘ness’ added to them. Clamping a big meaningful ‘ness’ to the end of words gives them gravitas and depth and means that those who possess traits ending in ‘ness’ are automatically better people. Better than you and much better than me. You can’t just be thoughtful anymore, you have to show thoughtfulness. You can’t be glad, you have to demonstrate gladness. You can’t be aware, you have to exude awareness. Awareness is a strange concept. It is touted as some kind of new and ridiculous next level of consciousness, as if you can only be truly alive if you have it, or use it, or whatever. Along with its utterly preposterous bed-mate, mindfulness, it combines to deliver a couple of pumped up, laughable kicks to the kidneys which, I can assure you, nobody really needs. This is because 99% of people who are awake and using as many senses as possible are aware and are mindful. You shouldn’t need to think more about it.

‘Are you aware you’ve dropped your trousers in the middle of Pinner High Street and are painting your genitals with nail varnish, Angus?’

‘Yes Vanessa, very aware, and I’m also mindful that the brick shit-house of a police officer standing next to the Santa’s Grotto queue is about to give me a bloody good tasering. Possibly two. Did you unplug the iron before we left?’

Simple as that. And it shouldn’t take a sanctimonious gasbag to persuade you otherwise. Plodding marginally closer to my gripe of the day, you can’t not be aware that Christmas is coming. That’s right, the wonderful time of year where we unite to celebrate the birth of our lord Jesus Christ by filling ourselves with heart stopping badness and softly going blind watching shit on the telly we wouldn’t normally touch with a barge pole. Where we remember the highly unlikely and frankly quite unhygienic scenario in the manger by wrenching open our overdrafts and spending a terrifying volume of cash on stuff we JUST DON’T NEED. Except for my presents of course. I hope you’re reading this ‘the wife’. Actually I don’t want to get distracted by Christmas because I’ll have a stab at it on its own, as the month slowly unpeels to reveal its yawning, sickly horrors. An Argyle sweater surrounded by sprouts as reinterpreted in a Francis Bacon triptych. Today is all about awareness and so we find our gaze meandering towards the good ol’ US of A.

You see, over the Atlantic Ocean the Americans can come across as very sincere and big on self-improvement and self-awareness. ‘The wife’ has a book called ‘The Beauty Detox Power’ by an absurd woman called Kimberly Snyder. It’s exactly the kind of book that honks of arse and is filled with daft recipes using foods that you never knew or cared existed, along with the opposite-of-useful, thick, redundant life nuggets like:

‘It is widely accepted that the mind and the body are connected’ (thanks for that Kimberly, I was about to ask).

The ownership of this book could be (thankfully) the only truly substantial evidence that my ‘the wife’ might be insane. Well, that and the fact she married me. Please do take a look at the front cover when you can. The lovely Kimberly looks suspiciously happy as she compares her front bottom to a nearly ripe Conference Pear and adopts a very un-natural pose, trying her best not to look like a top of the range lady-boy. It’s this kind of rubbish that the Americans are brilliant at, and they’ve exported it so successfully, like the Black Death, that now it’s everywhere you look. Americans love being aware of themselves and everything else besides and it was from their fertile minds that awareness days were born. If you don’t know what awareness days are then please do look them up so that the list of 10 below makes ever so slightly more sense. I should add that these awareness days are just the ones in December. Just December. Just December. Just December. JUST DECEMBER.

  1. 3D Printing Day. You actually can’t make this stuff up. Unless you had a 3D printer. I’m afraid you’ve just missed this one as it fell (from a great height, onto a spike) on the 3rd (I see what they’ve done there) but never mind, only 363 days to go. ‘How can you get involved in 3D print day?’ they teasingly ask on the website. One suggestion is: ‘you could 3D print any object of your choice (how generous) and spend the day thinking of quirky ways to introduce it to those close to you’. Fantastic, I’ll do that. I’ll go and buy a 3D printer and take it home and invite the person who invented 3D print day round, and before their very eyes I’ll print a 3D toilet bowl and fill it with vipers and introduce it to their hat collection. Seriously, you can’t make this unbelievable, life wasting shit up. But………..
  2. Day of the Ninja. Get out of bed, it’s today! Yay!! ‘It’s finally time to show the world that YOU are a ninja!’ Oh great, because I am one of the almost 7 people in the world that spend every waking hour wishing they could dress like a twat and climb up walls like a lizard. Is it not possible that if you really, really, really wanted to be a ninja you could just become a ninja, not just a sad cock wrapped in a black bedsheet with a knife nicked from the costume of a crap pirate. If someone dressed up like a ninja on this day and surprised me by wearing a mask and jumping out at me there wouldn’t be enough concrete in the world that could be poured on top of them to satisfy me.
  3. Human Rights Day. I’m not for a second denying that all humans should have rights, but I do think we need to have some kind of clause to make sure that total dicks can’t be granted human rights in certain circumstances. For instance if a terrorist, preferably a religiously fundamental one, who has murdered, let’s say, 38 people, and clumsily forgotten to blow themselves up or ‘turn the gun on themselves’, is sent to a maximum security prison for the rest of their lives then they should have, let’s say, 99.99% of their human rights revoked immediately. The only rights they might be granted would be the right to shower exclusively with bi-curious weight lifters and the right to be woken up every morning by a postman called Clint, dressed up as a ninja, pouring a bag of tarantulas on their head.
  4. International Animal Rights Day. I love animals. Not in the soppy, I love all animals kind of way. I hate wasps and I’m not overly fond of dogs (except Jemima) to be honest but animals are, in general, far more preferable to humans. They don’t talk, they don’t use guns, they don’t buy Ed Sheeran records and they don’t spend too much time inventing religions just to make them feel a bit better about themselves. Give them all the rights they want. Except the right to not be put in a bag then poured over the head of a terrorist every morning.
  5. International Anti-Corruption Day. Is it worth it? Really? As long as there are human beings on earth there will be corruption. On a vast, unstoppable scale. So unstoppable that even all those gods out there are scratching their big, omnipotent heads and trying and failing to find a solution. You may as well have a day dedicated to counting the ways in which Jeremy Vine is annoying. You’d never get anything else done.
  6. International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Let’s just leave that one alone shall we? Except Oscar Pistorius, for obvious reasons.
  7. International Mountain Day. Right then, hands up everyone who’s not aware of mountains. How could you not be aware of mountains? And besides it’s not as if there are gangs of over-ambitious poachers out there, trying to throw a big net over Ben Nevis, knock it senseless and sell it to a mountain collector on ebay. Some clueless teste on the website offered this inspiring bilge: ‘I have had the pleasure of seeing some of the world’s great mountain ranges, for example, Mount Everest and the Himalayas and the Rockies (so just the 2 then) and I have to say their spectacular beauty never fails to amaze me! Well aren’t you the enlightened one. Let’s hold hands. It reminds me of a good joke though. What’s the difference between Koi Carp and Sherpas? Koi Carp like to muck about in fountains.
  8. Number Day. Fucking hell. Name a day when you’re not aware of numbers. Every day has a number so why would you need a day dedicated to being aware of numbers?

‘Hey there sir, can I just have a moment of your time to aks youself (sic) a quick question today? Are you aware of numbers today, because today is International Awareness Day for the Awareness of Numbers?’

‘Well actually yes I am, in fact I’m thinking of a number right now, it’s 4,333,765,898, and (you can tell what’s coming here, can’t you!?) that just happens to be the number of times I’m going to hit you on the bridge of your nose with the back of a soup spoon. Come to think of it I’ve just thought of another number, which is 17, and that’s the number of miles run-up I’m going to take before I kick you in the balls. Is there anything else I can help you with?’

48. 932. 3. 2,371. -951. Wow! I didn’t realise how unaware of numbers I really wasn’t unaware of I was.

9. Tree Dressing Day. Ok, it’s starting to hurt now. I imagine that some bunch of deluded hippies think that this is us getting back to nature and showing our appreciation for all the life affirming qualities our woody friends bestow upon our lovely little planet. I also imagine that most self-respecting trees would sooner cut themselves down than have a load of random crap hung off them. Please do my word count a favour and look this up on www.national-awareness-days.com so you can pour scorn all over it, and woe betide the bugger who decides to join up with them. Haven’t we done enough horrible things to trees to just leave them in peace for a few minutes? Yes. The answer is yes.

10.International Hunt Down People With Crap Ideas For Awareness Days Day. This is my own idea, which I’m launching today and lands on every calendar day for the rest of life on earth. I had quite a few other possibilities such as ‘Carpet Burns Day’ and ‘Trestle Table Awareness Day’ and ‘Hug a Wasp Day’ but I think for overall enjoyment the hunting one works best. Hunt ‘em. Catch ‘em. Flick ‘em.

Oh dear, we’re at 10 now so I’m obliged to stop. Now get on that website and tell me that awareness isn’t all a load of porcupine poo.

By the way today is also ‘Open Manhole Cover Awareness Day’. Keep your eyes peeled.

G.B.Hewitt. 5.12.2015.

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