I’ve just turned 40 so, in the absence of anything better to write about here’s 40 generally rubbish things about the last 40 years. If you’ve not got there yet it feels great turning 40 and creeping another year closer to death.
1. People. People have got worse. They don’t give a shit about other people, even when they join the tribute paying bandwagon. I wonder how long global solidarity under mass panic will last? And I wonder when people will start slapping German flags over their Facebook photos? The only people who care for us are the people who are paid to care, and even then they’re usually not paid enough so can’t be bothered anymore.
2. More people. Too many people. Planet very unhealthy. Have fewer children. Don’t stop, just slow down a bit. We’ll run out of stuff.
3. More stupid people. Because people expect things to be fed to them, hence the internet. The problem is that the more there is to know the less people actually know and the word for people who know less is ‘stupid’.
4. The internet. A mighty vessel, designed to bring the world together in harmony through the joys of booking cheap holidays, porn, jihadist beheading videos, bad journalism, buying stuff, more porn, buying more stuff, more bad journalism, watching waffle on youtube and so on. Let’s dissect.
5. Cheap holidays. They were around for about 8 minutes, since when I’ve bagged not one bargain. Now internet holidays are insanely stressful to book and the company names are awful; sunseekingcrackwhore.com, scumbagdivehols.com, flyintoadministration.com.
6. Porn. Everywhere.
7. Jihadist beheading videos. I really, really can’t remember reading that bit in the Koran, but if you say so. Thanks for filling the world with love.
8. Bad journalism and news. Is it because there’s more of it or that it’s just got a whole lot worse? Probably both. Includes pretend news people like Susannah Reid.
9. Buying stuff. Amazon is like an evil, kleptomaniac, pyromaniac, granny punching friend. You want to turn your back on them but……..how much?!
10. Youtube. There are people I know AND respect who refer me to youtube to watch pure piffle. Some fat Chinese kid singing ‘Delilah’ in Hebrew or a one eyed dog fake woofing a bus timetable whilst weeing in a bucket. What the fuck is wrong with you?
11. Sweets. ‘Ye Olde Sweete Shoppe’ should be ashamed of themselves. You can dress them up however you like but sweets these days are limp, haunted versions of their predecessors. And what does a grown man have to do to get his hands on some decent Dolly Mixtures?
12. Chocolate. It’s all very well offering 4 Crunchies for a quid but that’s no good if they’re so small they’d get lost in a Scottish wallet. I want a Flake the size of a pencil case. I want a Cadbury’s Crème Egg that looks like it’s dropped out of a steroid fuelled pterodactyl. Get those pretentious dinosaurs, giving themselves a silent first letter. Ptwats.
13. Imperial measures. Only kidding, who cares?
14. Bloody hell, I knew I shouldn’t have started this. It’s been a struggle to get to 14, let alone 40. I need inspiration.
15. Inspirational posters. All awful, badly hung and neglected (like Rolf Harris) in every workplace across the nation, with pictures of mountaineers or skydivers and messages that should say ‘why fucking bother?’.
16. Keep Calm And Carry On. I’d rather you didn’t.
17. Love, live, laugh. Oh ok then, thanks for that, glad you’re here to remind me of the important stuff. And there was silly me with my ‘hate, die, frown’ moto.
18. Motivational speakers. Years ago we could just rely on horrible people telling us to ‘pull a finger out or you’ll end up being a dustman’ or something similar. Personally I’m rather grateful for dustmen. Now we have to sit in seminars and go on courses with some prick who couldn’t cut it in the real world telling us their story and how they never gave up. On their goal of being a total prick. Stop, you’re making me cry.
19. Alcohol and cigarettes. For liking them too much. Mind you, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Until it kills you.
20. Which I think you’ll find is exactly half of 40.
21. Baking. The great British baking revolution has only been semi popular in our house. ‘The wife’ loves baking in our small kitchen with flour and eggs and sugar and sprinkles and icing and pots and pans. I am OCD. Guess which one of us would like to bake a shit cake for Paul Hollywood?
22. Religion. Because despite all the goodwill and promises religion really hasn’t made the world any better in any way in the last 40 years. Perhaps it needs to sit down and rethink things a little.
23. Terrorism. When I was a nipper terrorists wore flares and had big beards and dubbed voices and had the sense to be far, far away when the bang went off. Now they wear rucksacks and big beards and run about with all kinds of bland, badly though out, super-evilness killing as many people as possible before blowing themselves up. Either way they’re tossers.
24. Apple. Did you know that Apple was started in 1976 too? I hate Apple with a shuddering intensity. Words are not enough.
25. Facebook. I’m so grateful Facebook came along because now I can be reminded of meaningless shit on a daily/hourly basis like: ‘a smile is the light in the window of your face that tells people that you’re at home’. What if I’m at home with the lights on but I can’t stand the sight of you? Sugar and shit. In a bag.
26. War. Huh. What is it good for? It’s great, war. For instance war means the continued mass manufacture of weapons by bastards which can then change hands until they are carried by scary drugged up African children forced to fight in tribal bloodbaths. 40 more years please. Praise be.
27. Education. Education is always changing. What usually happens is some liberal thinking whatnot comes up with a cracking idea which schools then spend millions implementing only to find it isn’t remotely practical outside of fairyland. Just when all the training has finished some other liberal thinking whatnot comes up with a ‘better’ idea and it starts all over again. Does anyone ever learn anything?
28. The age of the worthless autobiography. I believe that even charity shops should be banned from stocking ‘Walking Tall: My Story, by Peter Crouch’. It is not a book, just a coincidence of vowels and consonants.
29. I have no idea what I did for my 30th birthday but I suspect it may have involved wine and pent up resentment.
30. The weather. On mentioning my birth year everyone older than me always says ‘ooo that was a hot summer’. Oh good. That must be why I have skin so pale I get sunburn at night.
31. The weather again. I know a bit about weather so it continually mystifies me how, over 40 years, we have developed so much technology to predict the weather and yet the weather forecast is about as reliable as a brain surgeon with epilepsy. And usually presented by a 12 year old boy or someone pregnant.
32. A good year 32, because that’s when I met my future ‘the wife’.
33. Music. It’s not just me because I’m old and grumpy. Music really has got worse. It’s now a plastic homogenised mess of sameness with the occasional flash of brilliance shining through when it should be the other way round. An awful lot of white people pretending they’re black too. There is not enough time to start on this.
34. Films. Oh come on, don’t get me going on film. The 70’s was a glorious decade for cinema. The Long Goodbye, Jaws, Chinatown, Apocalypse Now, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. The biggest grossing film of all time? Fucking Avatar. Unbelievable.
35. TV. 1976 = 3 channels. 2016 = hundreds of channels and thousands of programmes. Amount of television material actually watchable = no change. And no I haven’t seen House of Cards and I don’t believe Game of Thrones is really that good. Why? Because every other big series I’ve tried has been faintly disappointing at best and that’s because faintly disappointing is the new amazing. Breaking Bad = good, but faintly disappointing.
36. This is torture.
37. For you too, I imagine.
38. Another good year because that’s when I married ‘the wife’.
39. I’m not greedy, 39 can be whatever you like: killer viruses; ‘so called IS’; historic sex crimes; Justin Bieber. Seriously, you choose.
40. There we are. 40 at last. Ready to stagger into 50, yawn to 60 and dribble past 70. If I’m lucky. By then annoying people, on hearing the news of the death of someone in their 90’s will say ‘ooh, that’s no age at all’. Fitter, brighter, faster, better. Mmmmm, not sure. Grumpier, maybe.
G B Hewitt. 25.7.2016.
Ps, thanks ‘the wife’, I am continually pleased to be punching so successfully above my weight! XX