All posts by Gerry

From Westminster to Wetherspoons

All week out here in Hanoi there’s been a storm brewing. God himself tore the sky asunder, bringing his omniscient cock down to bear on the Vietnamese capital and opening up a stream of holy piss the likes of which haven’t been seen since the time of Noah. Turns out the vicar’s daughter hadn’t been prudent enough to heed the warnings of senior Tory party reptiles and there will be no ark for her when the floodwaters start rising.

And rise they shall. We’re a little more than a week on from the election, and for all the tooth and nail gibbering that took place during that sordid chunk of history, there emerged no victor.

Continue reading From Westminster to Wetherspoons

Before the typhoon strikes

Quietly churning away like my stomach at the sight of Amber Rudd tongue-punching Theresa May’s fartbox live on TV, the wheels of democracy have lurched us to the barren cliff edge of election day.

Diane Abbott has jumped off the cliff ahead of Labour Party schedule and is now wallowing in the strange purgatorial realm of ‘illness’ – one that reeks of a sick note from your mum that gets you out of being rugby tackled by the head boy in PE. Only the head boy is now a semi-sentient, permanently concussed farmhand and yet he retains a better grasp on politics than Abbott, which is almost a shame.

The haunted stuffed owl that currently shuffles through No. 10 like a somnambulist, waking in terror at every question fired off by a reporter, somehow still lives, although not in the traditional human sense. Whatever voodoo keeps May alive clearly didn’t work for Abbott. At least she went with a whimper rather than a bang; people are on edge this week and sudden movements make everyone queasy. Continue reading Before the typhoon strikes


A good many people will take the dawn of a new calendar year as a signal from some higher power to kneel at the altar of self-deprivation, pledging themselves to some puritanical amoeba-like existence in the blind hope that it will preserve their oh-so-precious bodies for a meagre few more years of life.

Meanwhile, I’m doing my level best to do all the drinking and meat-eating for them in a bid to maintain the rapidity of the universe’s collapse. This tired charade of human life has really gone on for far too long as it is; the pretence of sustainability in a world moulded by greed is as laughable as a pig on an ice rink – which would be perfectly hilarious if it weren’t a perfect metaphor for human progress. Whilst I’m loathe to dance as this grim cavalcade nears its end, I see no reason to delay that end.

I’m interminably incensed by the holier than thou horseshit that spews forth every time someone proudly proclaims that they’ve kicked a habit that they deem detrimental to their pointless existence. The only things that punctuate the grim monotony of life are those rare exotic substances that for a brief, fleeting moment rescue you from the seeping septic tank of the world and help launch you into the realm of sheer self-indulgent bliss. That might sound like an advert for pro-biotic yoghurt and other affordable placebos, but it stands as a defence for those life-shortening sweeteners that make the world we’ve crafted a bearable one.

Smoking that first cigarette after work, I’m almost inclined to believe there could be a god, such are the restorative powers of all that some seek to deny themselves during the bleakest month of the year. The prospect of Dry January or Veganuary – take a moment here to reflect upon the kind of world we live in where that is a legitimate term for the first month of the year – is so unceasingly dull it merely serves to stretch our tedious existence out for longer than necessary, which to me feels like a lose-lose deal.

Especially at a time like January! With such gibbering gumption do people decry the old follies of alcoholism and any other earthly pleasure that can be given up for a month in the pursuit of moral superiority. At this time of year there can be no greater need for the home-comforts of mind-numbing alcohol, tobacco and all the other vices through which we sustain ourselves amidst the madness of meal deals, fun-running and zero-hour contracts.

People always blather out of their gaping word-holes about how much they think this year will be full of positivity and change and progress and other buzzwords that middle-managers in PR firms bandy around when trying to flog a new form of hair-gunk or when David Cameron’s trying to bomb someone. Why? How in god’s tit did you reach that conclusion you fucking genius? Maybe these are the same people who believe in horoscopes, yoga, juice diets or sharing Britain First memes. Never mind Mystic Meg, these twats have been listening to Denial Deidre and Bullshit Barbara.

We inhabit a planet that rejects us, a world desperately retching like someone regretting a suicidal overdose. A world where everyone’s a salesman flogging themselves as a brand in a disparaging fire sale of our collective sanity. A world where style finally drove an ice-pick of idiocy through the skull of substance. A world we paradoxically wish to save and yet are pre-programmed to consume – how, here, can there possibly be something so flagrantly deluded as hope?

We’ve unwittingly been sold our own values back to us; whether we wanted to cut out red meat for quixotic desires or for the self-absorbed pursuit of health, beauty and all the other hypocrisies that humans beings are capable of, it doesn’t matter. We believe that by consuming a product, or not consuming a product, we have performed an act of free will, whereas in reality the values we try to exude, the ones that we feel define us and our conscious decisions as human beings who matter, are merely defined in relation to our consumption or rejection of some marketing executive’s wet dream.

Whether we buy into the wet dream or the dream of free will and rebellion through a month or even a lifetime of eating nothing but damp cardboard, we’re still buying in. And it costs us more than a loaf of artisan pumpkin-seed gluten-free bread.

The pious holy-rollers of the sustainability camp are merely prolonging a life that cannot possibly meet the unrealistically high expectations that their values set upon themselves. Abstaining from drinking or going vegan or vegetarian on the grounds of some moral bent somewhat misses the point, ecologically speaking – will these same people avoid combustion engines, mass produced electronic goods and anything that uses processed packaging?

Due to the ubiquitous nature of the aforementioned evils, such an absolutist morality is only serving to prolong human existence in a far from perfect world. The “every little helps” notion is quaint and commendable in some abstract sense, but I’d much rather these self-sacrificing Mormon-esque types get busy dying along with the rest of us. We live in a cesspool and you brought a mop of morality? There’s no undoing the damage and there’s really not a great deal to cry about or save, so let’s just snap the neck of the world rather than strangle it slowly. Let every cigarette, every drink, every sirloin steak be just another pillow in the greatest smother party the world will never see!

Whether we were designed or found such a pugnacious form by accident is irrelevant – we are all cursed with the same in-built desire to persevere irrespective of the consequences. At this stage denying yourself those deadly small joys is merely obeying that programming. Self-flagellation is just masturbation without the mess, whereas self-destruction is a noble act in a world of narcissistic self-belief. And it’s probably the only mercy we’re capable of collectively granting to all the other life that inhabits this planet.

Dear Dave

Dear Dave,

And all the other myopic bastards who’ve now successfully endangered my way of life a great deal more than ISIS ever posed: thanks for the prescient consideration of all the ramifications of lobbing more bombs. The juxtaposition of such an intention and its actual result would almost be funny, if the sounds of mirth weren’t to be drowned out with the sounds of bombs detonating in a far away land.

It would perhaps prompt a cheeky smirk of irony if you hadn’t just shot irony dead in the face by descending to the level of savagery that you seek to oppose. Unfortunately irony was just a collateral casualty in your decision making. Doubtless there will be many more to follow and unlike irony they won’t be abstract concepts but post-life humans of flesh, bone and dreams, reduced to mind-numbing statistics by the BBC.

Dave, I don’t know if anyone explained to you exactly why there are quite so many refugees – it was the bombs, Dave, it was the bombs. If you wanted to do something useful, you could’ve put the toy guns down, wiped your nose, climbed out of the sandpit for a moment and actually helped the people who you profess to want to help. Bombs rarely tend to help anyone; in fact they are actually strategically engineered to destroy things. They cost an awful lot to keep producing at the rate you intend to use them, which given the nature of Georgie-Porgie Osborne’s working-class holocaust seems a bit at odds with what we or anyone else in the world needs right now.

Given the knee-jerk nature of our current elected overlords, we just jumped up a few places on the hit list of ISIS targets. Notice how only countries currently hurling thousands of kilos of explosives are the ones being struck? Maybe if I’m lucky I’ll live long enough to see what further desecrations to our nation will be incurred in the name of national security and all the other bullshit double-speak that, whilst usually reserved for the infamously duplicitous language of HR teams, has now become the lingua franca of British politics. Tactically, practically and not least morally this decision makes less sense than Tony Blair’s role as a Middle East peace envoy or Noel Edmonds’ career in general.

Dave, your Dodgy Dossier moment is coming. For Blair it was those pesky WMDs that failed to materialise and for you it’ll be the elusive ground troops who you’re claiming will be able to mop up after the RAF goes on one their joyrides across the desert. The 70,000 FSA fighters you’re relying on are the same ones that you’ve been refusing to arm or support since this conflict blossomed into the global smear campaign against sentient life that it is today.

You really need to stop going along with what the cool kids are telling you; first the sloppy pig job, now this – where will it end Dave? Well, probably with that smug egg-shaped head of yours emitting a few apologetic noises into the camera from the safety of a lead-lined bunker somewhere in Kent. Unfortunately we won’t be around to hear those beautifully crafted words crawl out of your cunt mouth because we’ll either have had the sense to have abandoned the good ship Britain or have been incinerated in the inevitably escalating consequences of your ill thought-through decisions.

At this point, why not just paint a target on the face of every British citizen and have us all stand densely packed around Parliament until you’ve come out of the big boy’s bravery room and decided to apologise for being the petulant child with too many toys? It might give you an idea of what certain ISIS strongholds look like. I’m sure you’ve made use of the readily available material provided online by innumerate activists and correspondents in Raqqa and across Syria which highlights the use of civilians as human shields in strategic outposts. How, may I ask, will you verify this before you drop the bombs, Dave? You could send Boris Johnson and Noel Edmonds over there on a fact-finding mission where they knock on doors as a comedy odd-couple; fuck it, why not get hollow meat-puppets Ant and Dec to narrate the broadcast. It would still be a better effort than you’re making at present.

Finally, I’m not sure what level of education you were treated with back in the halcyon days of porking pigs, but there’s a really good subject that you could benefit from giving even the most cursory of glances over. Yes, Dave, I’m talking about history. Thirteen years on and Iraq and Afghanistan are still a mess, and we used a lot of bombs and bullets over there. More than a decade later and we still don’t have anything resembling a political solution. It doesn’t take someone with as privileged an upbringing as you to figure out that the success of this war will depend on whether you continue to deafen everyone with an arsenal of explosives or decide to actually invest in the mechanics of government that you purportedly desire to uphold.

So far you’ve got the incoherent volatility of a Manchester bar brawl standing in for an exit strategy. Since the vote you seem to have realised that this campaign of yours will actually take a really long time, like years – I mean shit, Dave, George might have your job by then, or is that your plan anyway? To squat in someone else’s lap and leave this big steaming turd of a military venture to soak through their trousers before wiping your arse on their tie, because if so Blair already pulled that one and he’s still being arrested by waiters and hailed as a war criminal, as a heads up.

Take care Dave, and try to avoid the cameras – your face has got that old pork-chop-left-in-a-puddle look about it. But it’s probably just due to the amorality of your own wretched ambition trumping the reality of national security and the general sanctity of life that you just threw up all over. I wouldn’t worry about it. You know Murdoch after all – loyal as a dog!

All the best,

Gerry Flynn

P.S: Stop making life look like the later series of 24 – it was too ridiculous then and it still bloody well is now.

A chorus of deflating airbeds

This morning, as I tried to return to my paid purgatorium in a bid not to starve, a burly, bald South African man barred my entry to the train station. Here was a hulking solid figure of a man who could probably use my entire body as a toothpick or a dildo depending on his mood. Get any more macho than him and you’d have to climb out of a cave brandishing a rolled up copy of Nuts at a bear.

He politely informed me that I wouldn’t get past him and his eyebrows implied he could bench-press me into submission, of which I had no doubt. He also said the trains were too crowded and so to avoid a Battle Royale on wheels scenario no-one would be taking the train from Forest Gate this morning. He even recommended a bus stop down the road. A veritable Gollum and as courteous as a Michelin star waiter, he was met with feeble protestations from my fellow commuters that sounded more like a chorus of deflating airbeds than it did the defiance of scorned season ticket holders with ‘executive’ littered somewhere in their job titles.

Defeated at the first hurdle, we moodily trudged back out of the station. The sun was rising with the effort of a leprous pensioner afflicted with erectile dysfunction and all around there pulsed a mounting panic in the face of this break from routine. Routine is sacred to Londoners; it’s what enables them to face the degrading conditions they impose upon themselves without engaging in regular rush hour killing sprees or weeping like the children of despots at the denial of a second private island.

Well, routine and cocaine. Copious quantities of cocaine; linger in a bathroom anywhere in central London and you’d think they all have year-round colds given the ubiquitous sniffling that emanates from behind closed cubicle doors. This was 7:55am on a Tuesday and presumably too early for powdered courage, so instead they went back to their self-help podcasts without much fight. The certain predictability of an unpleasant situation like the morning commute is infinitely more valuable than all of the cocaine in the city and helps to preserve harmony in the collective stasis through which we float to our employment-shaped cages.

I was quite resolved to walking to Stratford and braving the underground there, but for kicks I thought I’d take a trip to the zoo and see the bus stop. It looked like a shipwreck with the desolate survivors clinging to a floating clump of debris. They swayed back and forth like a drunken hydra in a gentle breeze as they simultaneously clung to one another to avoid falling into traffic and, repulsed by the human contact, jostled one another to ensure their space on the bus.

Anyone would’ve thought they were waiting for the last ride out of Saigon. It made no difference as the bus was already packed tighter than a porn star’s anus and so it didn’t stop and merely sped on by, chased by the murmurs of anguish that belied a very real fear among stranded commuters who looked like beasts that had lived their lives in cosy captivity, and having been released into the wild were now contemplating self-destruction via their ties.

It was about this time when everyone’s ears seemed to have sprouted a phone. A chirruping of panicked explanations was hastily discoursed to the slave masters on the other end of each call and apologies came stammering out in almost every dialect. It was like watching a man dictating his will to a solicitor whilst drowning in quicksand. This only served to strengthen the will to secure a position on the next life-boat bound for the city, for at the centre of every Londoner’s universe is their job. They usually demonstrate their importance with vigorous marching about pavements irrespective of the other insect-like beings that stray into their path – even when they’re clutching a piping hot latte that cost more than a black market pancreas – who they scold with their eyes for having the audacity to be crushed beneath their feet.

Today was different though – today was London with the face torn off. The smouldering sense of smug satisfaction that usually shrouds the suit-clad somnambulists of our nation’s capital had evaporated, along with their hopes of picking up some sort of super-food bullshit breakfast in a polystyrene box before their pre-meeting yoga session on the roof of their offices. My heart bleeds for them. At least with the tube strikes people were reminded in advance that they’re little more than beetles stumbling blindly across the surface of a mound of shit, but today came with no warning shot – just a merciless gut punch that left commuters clutching their iPhones and their briefcases as the last vestige of familiarity in this brutal, godless world. The illusion of being the special ones at the palpitating heart of the country was lifted and upon beholding their mutual hideousness they promptly died and left a litter of carcasses around the bus stop.

The underground was fraught with a perfumed lust for violence. It was a fist-fight of sideways glances and tut-tutting. There are minefields with more compassion than Londoners in the midst of such an exodus. Reports of the toughness of Londoners has been greatly exaggerated it seems. When suddenly the smooth-talking, shiny-shoed, shiny-faced city-slickers were faced with their subterranean god going all Old Testament on their pampered asses, they fell to their knees begging the forgiveness of the sun who they abandoned in favour of the city. Tomorrow morning, when all is righted and the plague cured, they will have forgotten that they pledged their first-born to the sun-god for the sake of some goddamned movement on the Central Line. And so the suave sense of superiority over everyone and everything will be restored and London dares not to whisper a word about the day it shat its pants over a delayed railway service.

This tale is dedicated to all the foul, myopic troglodytes who stalk about the 7:47am TfL rail service from Forest Gate; the same self-congratulating dirtbags who ooze the kind of satisfaction usually reserved for a man who’s learnt to fellate himself. Go fuck yourselves, it’s always too early in the day for that kind of self-belief; their kind of smuggery would make you think they built London by themselves, brick by brick, whilst blindfolded, after scoring the winning goal in the World Cup with their 8 foot long penis. It was good seeing you become the jellified human colostomy bags you truly are. See you tomorrow.

Under threat of castration

Against the odds, the better judgement of society and the collective will of my financial captors, I’ve survived another birthday.

The main event itself proved to be a rather hellish, godless experience in which I came to realise how far behind in the great race of life I’ve wilfully fallen. For my 24th birthday I acquired the body of a malnourished teenager with the face of Dorian Gray’s portrait glued on to the top bit that scientists refer to as the head. My facial hair is scoffed at by unnaturally haughty unborn foetuses as they stroke their mutton chops and eat out of tubes.

Meanwhile the sole of my shoe flaps in the wind, I’ve had to put crucifixes on the door to keep the bank at bay and then plaster Nun-porn all over the front door to ward off the Christian sales reps. The majority of household pets eat better than I do and my job is as stimulating as a mild static shock to a phantom limb. This has been my shambolic attempt at ageing and it feels as though the world has been trying to kill me for 24 years, yet I’m still trying to bite the invisible hand that feeds.

This same invisible hand reaches up your sphincter and ass-hooks you out of bed in the morning. It’s the invisible hand that sits you down and coerces you into forcing out a shit at a time when you’d rather be unconscious and horizontal. It’s this same invisible hand that dresses you like a well-groomed performing guppy each day, before the cage comes down for another round of gainful employment.

When you’re younger this hand has less influence and is easier to resist, thanks to that voracious appetite for life that later seems reserved for puppies and charity muggers. That energetic passion that seems to dwell in tiny humans before they establish how futile their life will become is what allowed us to stray the path and escape the clutches of the invisible hand. The hand wants you to go to school and wash after every visit to the little boys’ room, but the hand’s desires are overcome by the single-minded determination to scoop the mushy stool from the toilet bowl and hurl it at girls (who are decidedly yucky) and teachers (who are mere pawns for the hand) in an event that will later see you dubbed a coprophiliac by a state-appointed psychologist.

But as the elastin and collagen starts to sag and decay under the weight of our accumulated years, the hand becomes more potent, more ruthless and exponentially more domineering. In many ways life is like a very glitchy video game, with the first 10 to 14 years being the equivalent of the crap tutorial level where everything is spoon-fed to you to avoid premature expiration or a home visit from social services. Years later the hand decides to abort you from the comfortable womb of higher education, you’re flushed out into the sewage of the real world and all that was pure, beautiful and true in life suddenly reveals itself to have been a fleeting wet dream, but instead of a sticky wad of gunk in your bed sheets, it’s a crippling anchor of debt, a total loss of purpose and the promise of unending drudgery that you wake up to.

It is here at your most educated and vulnerable that the hand grabs you by the scrotum and pulls you this way and that until, under threat of castration, you hop aboard the unicycle and play your role in the tired old carnival of life. From this testicular stranglehold it can control your every move; before you know it you’re caring about spreadsheets, working at home in the evenings to get that big presentation just right or laughing at the jokes made by the other inmates in your workplace.

A colleague recently confessed to me that he was only at work for the money. I was baffled because I could think of no other coherent rationale for turning up every day. I don’t spend 10 hours a day inside a colossal phallic obelisk in the middle of a diseased London haggling on the phone with people who say with all sincerity “let’s do brunch” out of a chronic addiction to the company of gutless buffoons. There’s no part of my soul that yearns to be crowned with a plastic microphone headset, nor do key performance indicators induce a Ron Jeremy-worthy erection and there’s not a thing about synergistic management solutions that I even want to understand. This is all the hand’s doing.

The hand stretches out a big dumb smile on my face to mask the crushing despair that settles in every time I’m reminded that Made in Chelsea is produced in a country that possesses nuclear weapons. When you want to stand up on your desk and kick the monitor into the face of the person opposite for being such a callous money-grubbing consumer-whore, or enter into mortal combat with middle management personnel, you don’t – the hand keeps you seated, reminding you of the powerful urge to eat some time this month. It reminds you of the bills, the rent, the need for further employment beyond this particular moment of disgusted fury. And what’s worse, it paints this exercise in restraint as sanity.

Like a general of an army of one, you sit enraged in the cage to which the hand holds the key forever out of reach, and survey the battle; sustained losses on all fronts. The hand pushes you past all those dreams, ambitions and things that you once deemed important in order to further its own twisted goals, which seemingly involve reducing humanity, the world’s deadliest predator, into a collection of cash-worshipping, screen-fed mega-monkeys.

So it goes on beyond the workplace and out into the vast belching, scoffing void of life. Before you know it you’re drooling over an IKEA catalogue, perusing the turtle-neck rack in GAP in a bid to emulate notoriously celebrated child-enslaver Steve Jobs or getting an early night for the sake of a village fete cake stall that you offered to run in aid of a religious charity. The hand will push you down the aisle, will tickle your bum during the procreation that allows the minibus of life to chug on and ultimately lays you to rest atop your queen-size deathbed in your moderately priced home with the southern-facing garden and double garage.

It may occur to you at this point that you’re unsure exactly how you got here or how you ever exerted so little control in your own life, and now too in death. But by then it’ll be too late and your grieving loved ones will be greeted with the stench of shit when your bowels empty as you pass from this world.

The hand wins in the end, no matter how many fingers you think you’re chewing on.

The disease of modern living

Next month will commemorate my 24th revolution around the sun. Already my forehead resembles a weathered ball-bag and I find myself aimlessly sprawled in front of a screen more evenings than not. This never happened two years ago. Now, like some declawed beast sedated by glossy images rolling seamlessly over one another, I lounge and gape with numb abandon, occasionally flick through Facebook on my phone and wonder why exactly people from school feel the need to repopulate the Earth with smaller humans that look like them before McDonalds ravaged their bodies. This is adult life, so I’m told, and you too are welcome to the party, please make yourself comfortable and wait for the air to run out.

Everything you need to know about me is explained by the steaming pile of cat shit that has collected outside my bedroom window. This veritable Everest of faeces makes me feel at home, as does the decapitated pigeon with its guts strewn out like a meaty party popper that’s stuck outside my office, in a location that the cleaners can’t reach. It rots there, sun-baked and spoiled, festering in the British summer.

These features of my surroundings help me to keep my perspective, much in the way that drama teachers educate young minds on what shattered dreams look like. They symbolise perfectly how much we crave our precious distractions in order to ignore the grim brutalities of life: their continued existence is damning proof. Even as I write, the gangrenous disease of modern living cramps up my hand with premature rigor mortis and spreads through the veins, pumped ever closer to the brain by a palpitating aorta that struggles against the thickening walls of tar that I have cursed it with.

Gradually I too will be pacified by the epidemic that sweeps the nation. As the world hurtles down into the belly of the abyss, we will watch with apathetic disdain as the stomach acid swirls around our ankles, melding our shoes to our feet, kicking up a mighty stench in the process. By the time we’re half digested we might reach feebly for an app to save us, but it’ll be too late and when we reach the sphincter of the universe to get sprayed out into the cosmic toilet bowl, only then will we admit that perhaps, just maybe, mistakes were made. Such is the nature of this affliction.

The first symptom was an involuntary twitch of the hand, reaching ceaselessly for the mobile phone to save me from reality. My phone-orientated spasm is akin to a phantom limb, but the ever-loveable philanthropists of Microsoft recently conducted a social study on some screen-worshipping Canadians and established that the average human attention span has dropped from 12 seconds down to just 8, so I doubt I’m alone in the quarantine zone.

This mutated strain of the 80’s TV-borne virus could be seen as the next step towards in our evolution where we transcend our physical forms to live entirely digitally, floating around the ether poking at one another’s faces with three and half inch floppies like cognitively impaired sea-monkeys in screen-saver form. Or maybe it just marks the next step towards a society of preening, gurning blobs of self-absorbed cellulose, hopeless invertebrate wads that could grow a spine if only they found use for one.

Maybe I’m being unfair. Maybe our jobs really do have meaning in and of themselves. Maybe George Osborne isn’t fuelled by orphan tears and it’s even possible that Adrian Chiles and the rest of TV land aren’t just a collection of gelatinous guff-wagons constructed of meat. But don’t worry about it, just distract yourself with more words.

As the disease assaults your ability to think or even dribble coherently, the modern office does little to treat symptoms. Constant reminders from HR flow in via email reaffirming our enthusiasm for the casual business Friday dress-code and advising us not to jump from the east facing window because yesterday’s pile of mangled bodies hasn’t yet been cleaned up on account of the impossible-to-reach pigeon corpse. Whatever they bleat about it’s always in the distant language usually reserved for passive alarm voices who alert you to danger in an unnervingly calm tone. By specialising the function of the individual’s job we have become more and more divorced from the purpose of the work we do, so it’s no wonder we’re perpetually left unable to explain our jobs to relatives or friends.

Graduates are forced to fight to the death in gladiatorial combat for the chance to win an unpaid role as junior deputy assistant to the intern in some useless consultancy firm, or worse they become unthinking phone monkeys in firms with indoctrination programmes that would give the US Army a hard-on. Those without qualifications are converted into compost to grow, whilst those in jobs too long are quietly bumped off in the night by obtuse phrases such as “regrettably unforeseeable internal restructures” so they’re heaped on the cat-shit mountain as well. Our purpose in employment becomes harder to find, our days flow by in an uneasy wave of tedious confusion and we leave the office without a thought in our heads except for the rush of relief afforded by brief respite.

In a sleep-deprived stupor we’re driven to distraction, urgently seeking anything to ease our minds. It’s all there waiting for us, from kittens decorated by the mentally infirm to the online equivalent of the Dulux colour range told through pornography. And what’s more, the great benevolent dictator of the internet is only too willing to oblige us. With the frantic scurrying of a crack-addled banker trying to hide a hooker’s body we crave any blockade we can erect between the reality of the situation and the collective lie that we all buy into, known colloquially as ‘satisfaction’.

The disease of modern living is the catalysed onset of delusion, the belief that things actually aren’t that bad and that perhaps we ought to be thankful for what we have. This belief drags itself with us, a parasite on our bedraggled carcass shuffling from the tube to the bus to the sweat-stained pavements only to moor up in a desolate port with the TV on, our minds switched off and the glum cyclical nature of the horror pushed out of sight for another day as our eyes close and it’s all over.

In short, I’m becoming one of the idiots. Soon you’ll be like us, begging for distraction from the endless flurry of miseries and injustices that make up human existence. London has succeeded in dumbing me down with its isolating cost of living, alienating social conduct and the beckoning appeal to those who value money, prestige and job title über alles. We try to avoid how unfair it all seems with copies of Time Out and the latest in pop-up restaurants that only serve suffocated gelatine in plant pots and where all the cutlery is emblazoned with the face of Noel fucking Edmonds. Now I even have their haircut. It might get me a promotion.

At this rate I’ll max out a credit card on paper doilies this time next year, bragging to middle-management about the spacious depths of my new living room and how much light the bay window lets in whilst fiddling with a selfie-stick, all the time wondering why no-one can use a word of more than three syllables.

Unless we treat this disease swiftly, that is. Prognosis: amputate at the neck and leave my headless cadaver on the window ledge of a skyscraper where no-one can clean me up.

The detached nonchalance of 140 characters

You’re most likely reading this in a last ditch attempt to kill some time, a quick bathe in the comforting light of the screen in order to escape the irksome drudgery of whatever task it is you’re supposed to be performing. This moment we share in time through the medium of these words will undoubtedly not make it into your autobiography. It won’t burn forever in the forefront of your mind as a constant beacon reminding of you the joys of life.

The reason: life is, for large periods of time, quite dull and these words won’t alter that fact. Unless you’re the love child of Charlie Sheen and Bear Grylls, who’s been possessed by the spirit of Steve Irwin, chances are not every second of your life is exhilarating. My life clearly can’t be or I wouldn’t be writing this in bed with a watery beer that’s past the expiry date, which is almost on a par with going to the cinema on your own.

This is where social media steps in to not only add your own beautifully unique snowflakes of expression to the world, but conversely to erase those large chunks of life which are as interesting to the rest of the world as the length of your nostril hair is to the average African elephant. I cannot speak for Asian elephants.

Life is no longer the pursuit of happiness, but the skilful weaving of a digital version of your life and consequently the constant bombardment of everyone else’s moments of brilliance. Every day the Facebook newsfeed is a constant source of salt rubbed gleefully into the festering wound of day-to-day life. If someone’s not getting sewn to the hip of their partner in the eyes of some god, then they’re busy uploading pictures of the little bundle of mewling flesh they’ve just squeezed out of themselves and are thinking up names for it via some online survey. As you sip your instant coffee in the bleary light of morning, some loose acquaintance is shoving their success down your throat as they reach another milestone of life in some other time zone – probably a selfie on a mountain ridge or they’re instagramming their gourmet meal instead of eating it.

The medium of social media allows us to perfectly filter our lives and to give off the impression that we’re all photogenic, fun-loving, witticism-spouting professionals that enjoy a life of success, excess and unimpeded joy. We all help spin the yarn that blinds us to the truth of the matter, with all the detached nonchalance of 140 characters. Every day of my life is just unbeatably hilarious, just look at it! Look at me! Validate me!
The illusion doesn’t stop, everyone thinking everyone else is leading a phenomenal existence sustained through likes and shares alone, as the toxic tendrils of social media unfurl across almost every aspect of life.

Yet while we may feel like we’re information demi-gods with access to news of events as they happen in real-time, in the flurry of tweeting thumbs the issue of trust is called into question. Opinions are presented as fact, conjecture as evidence and the entire message blurs into a perniciously ubiquitous noise, spreading faster than gonorrhoea at a stag party. The self-styled image of ourselves that we present to others, at work, to family, is amplified and accelerated through social media, where a slight waver of the voice cannot be heard and every image of you has been carefully filtered, edited and approved for the online representation of your life.

Lemme just snap this bona fide polystyrene cup. Why? Because I’m a cunt.

Social media makes liars and fools out of all of us, whether it’s being exposed as the person who sincerely asked when World War 3 happened or something more subtle, such as not agreeing to be tagged in photos so their positive online reputation isn’t besmirched. It’s a lie we all buy into. We all know how it works. At least we don’t forget people’s birthdays and look like dicks as a result.

We hope that all of this mindless chatter and constant posing can be converted into something tangible. Perhaps if you pester your friends with pictures of you doing brilliant things, say reminding the world that you’re packing for that all-expenses-paid holiday and cannot wait to hit the beach, then they will start to think of you in that way, as that version of you. What may have been a moment in time (or a complete fabrication) can become the lasting image of you in someone else’s mind, as they build up a loosely collected assortment of informative titbits from your online updates.

Whether this picture is reflective of reality doesn’t matter so much, because it will be believed; it harks back to the old adage of whether you would rather sleep with a goat and nobody found out, or not stuff the barnyard animal but have the whole world believing that’s just how Saturday nights work for you.

Meanwhile you’re sat there trawling through Facebook or Twitter in the tiny toilet cubicle at work, desperately failing to comprehend how it could be possible to see so many awesome people, with all their unique experiences and untroubled jet-set lives, in quaint restaurants that they probably drove to in some fucking sports car powered on cocaine and champagne – of course it’s a fucking convertible, indubitably Jeeves had taken the Bentley to the garage at the time so they just had to take the Porsche. Good old Jeeves, all of that after having already served up a lobster soufflé that will have doubtlessly infected your newsfeed earlier with the smug air of a self-congratulating food pornographer. Even the fucking lobster has a sense of self-worth and entitlement to it for having been cooked in such a rich, buttery sauce that it knows will convey to a couple of digital thumbs being turned up in rancid applause.

Well when you see this tidal wave of smugness and wonder about how you know all of these people, you probably don’t. It’s the illusion that we’re all happy, young go-getters whose every waking moment is spent living it up like a sordid Pitbull music video. In reality, people are all just walking meatsicles propped up by roughly similar structures and mechanisms as you or me, all bleeding the same blood when we get run over crossing the road whilst gawping at an iPad. How could our real selves ever possibly match up to these brilliantly crafted, happy, beautiful imitators?

No matter how good that #naturalselfie might look online or how many mouth-watering meals are instagrammed, at some point that person will still bow before the gods of digestion, drop trou and scrunch that beautiful face up in excruciating agony as they squat, shaking and doused in sweat, forcing out the faecal equivalent of a dead cat in a soggy carrier bag atop a ceramic shit-throne. This is a moment of life that everyone experiences, regardless of how many followers they have, and yet people restrain themselves from photographing it for the enjoyment of the online thumb-twiddlers, which is one reason to be thankful for the illusion that social media projects. Nobody wants the shit stains of reality seeping through their carefully constructed online profile, just as much as nobody wants to see someone else’s #excretionselfie.

On safari in the land of the dead

Poor judgement led me to be swept away into the stream of bug-eyed, gut-swinging, make-up plastered humans that inhabit the West Quays shopping centre of Southampton. It was by far and away the most harrowing experience of the month so far – and I live in London. London’s a carnival of inhumanity orchestrated by a confederacy of subterranean dunces, and yet still the unending misery of life here doesn’t quite match up to the deranged experience in Southampton’s premier cattle market.

It was like waking up in a zoo, hemmed in by some unique specimens with no clear exit route. I found my trigger finger itching for the blunderbuss – I was on safari in the land of the dead. If this is mankind’s endgame then perhaps we’re due a meteor of extinction proportions. Something large, violent and destructive is the only feasible way to cut through the smog of apathy, gluttony, blind hatred, glum joy and the general victory of all that is smug, artificial and mindless in this consumerist society.

Shopping centres are for people who have nothing to do. Spending your weekend in these air-conditioned hells is essentially declaring to the world that you have no interests, no passion – just a lifetime to waste fawning over shit you simply don’t need. Like people whose favourite crisps are ready salted or like a bit of everything when it comes to music, these ones will be the first to be harvested for organs when the sun implodes.

Watching people clamber over one another in the name of Black Friday is a bit like turning a stone over to see a heap of maggots feasting on one another in the absence of sustenance. How quick we are to debase ourselves for a TV that we can download porn onto. Watching it on the news, I couldn’t tell if it was the beginning of a SyFy disaster movie or just another collective lowering of the bar – pretty soon we’ll dispense with the pleasantries and just get back into hacking one another to death in the pursuit of property.

Conjure up an image of shopping centres and you’re probably seeing fat middle aged goons jostling one another to be first in line to buy household appliances that can tie your shoelaces and teach you Mandarin all at once. Still, it’s probably good training for when they’re wading through charred skeletal remains in search of the last uncontaminated hunk of bread following the inevitable collapse of our consumption-orientated society. It’s just more meaningless shit to put in that tomb you paid a mortgage for so you can sit and stare in horror at something other than one another as you both desperately try to find something to talk about that isn’t the crushing hell of it all.

To what kind of dribbling ape is a shopping centre supposed to have meaning? Given the amount of hours of life lost to these time-vampires we may as well put the bastards on the board of culture and tourism. Perhaps at some point we actually started believing the guff that advertising farted into our minds; maybe we really thought we could get all we’d ever dreamed off at 0% APR with free home delivery and that the terms and conditions might not cost us our collective souls.

It’s all part of this aspirational living that has us all bobbing up and down on steel conveyor-belts like well-groomed cattle to the slaughter. West Quays is an abattoir run by Philip Green that’s free to the credit card-toting public. If the threat of the nuclear bomb rendered death a senseless, causeless event that could sweep us away in a moment, then shopping centres, malls and the like have left life just as meaningless. Judged on the merits of these places, humanity just seems like an awful parade of pampered, farting meat-slabs that are all too impressed with the latest shiny toy that smells like a used car air-freshener.

These emporiums of commercial dreams aim to regurgitate the ambitions of others down our throats, as though happiness is just a new television away. Replete with all the glossy posters of unfeasibly attractive people flogging perfume made from cow semen, indicating that you too can be as happy and as beautiful if only you smelled like a bovine ball-sack. It’s probably got some pheromone-fuelled potential to arouse in others the same level of sexual desire as you’re supposed to feel for the swaggering, pouting chumps that adorn the windows of these shops.

So we walk around shocked and baffled into submission under the barrage of images and claims that your life can only be improved through buying more and working harder to buy some more. Whether it’s the sculpted Hollister models sauntering around topless outside the store like grinning wads of flesh, or nude celebrity endorsements for jewellery, water or whatever else needs to be sold – the whole place helps to reinforce the notion that you have failed in some way, that success is attainable, but only with the guiding hand of money.

It’s as if we should be grateful for the existence of shopping centres; where else could we find so much progress in one place? Everything you’ve ever wanted is there – health, beauty, youth, comfort and happiness – it’s all yours for the taking, provided you can pay for it. Perhaps this explains the gormless look of hopeless despair that’s splattered all over the faces of these wretched souls as they trot up and down the farm of dreams and realise that they can’t afford it all, that they can never attain true nirvana in this church because it all costs too much. In six months’ time it’ll all be out of fashion, out of warranty and the uselessness of it is revealed; so onwards they march, hopeless in the knowledge that they can’t afford to hold onto their happiness and so they go to the food court and wash all that shame down with a Big Mac and watery cola to try and escape all this defeat.

Why do we do it? We run ourselves through the gauntlet of comparable living when we know full well that we can’t afford it, and we don’t really need it. You can’t lose a game you refuse to play, but still the rules ensnare so many people who drag their tired, bloated carcasses around in the hope that maybe there’ll be a sale that allows them just another taste of ‘success’. Come friendly bombs and free us from the scourge of the great British tradition of worshipping weekly in the church of the damned, the fraudulent and the smug.

Bear traps in the fruit and veg aisle

On a daily basis the eerie silence of London amidst my morning commute is torn asunder by the bipedantical clamour of nauseating fun-running clods of decaying human meat. The bastards are ripe for the picking along Victoria Embankment on any given weekday, fetch me the blunderbuss. It seriously makes me question my choices in life that I too should be caught up amongst these smug, sweaty, cheek-puffing jizz-rags at such an inhumane hour of the day, but such is the power of money. Hast thou found me mine enemy?

So shivering and trying to hold in that liquid shit that I didn’t have time to release before boarding the bus, I’m confronted with masses of fluorescent Lycra-clad health freaks stampeding along the path like a demented city-wide power ranger appreciation party. Some trundle along with their arms limply hanging in front of them like the useless extremities of a Tyrannosaurus while others pound the ground as if they’re wearing motion capture suits for the next Terminator film. Either way they have no concept of life outside of their skid-marked spandex and probably hold me in lower regard than they do road sweepers or the average amoeba. Quite rightly too, I’m just as insignificant as you or anyone else. We’re all just particles of shit floating about the great ass of the universe with no purpose, no reason and certainly no need to look good whilst we decay, nor any great need to run anywhere.

The point is, I recognise this and accept it. Those skin-tight sprinting dunderheads are deluded, not to mention obnoxious and painful to look at. They think they can outrun death?

“Oh, but it’s healthy and good for you,” fuckitty great! So you’ll live longer and continue to haunt these pavements for an even greater span of time? You’ll continue to leech off the Earth’s resources for longer, go about rotting minds with your health-conscious ‘values’ and eventually spew out your own bastard recreations of yourself with a fistful of ejaculate so the whole cycle of arrogant fuckwits can continue well into the end of days? Just think about it, these people probably have functioning genitals. Terrifying prospect, the bastards might yet win this war unless we plant bear traps in the fruit and veg aisle at Waitrose.

The most redeeming feature of our species is that we die. Think of the horror that would ensue if we lived forever – we’d never stop making adverts and given current trends they’d probably become more insultingly idiotic as we went along. Nope, the responsible thing to do is accept that you a worthless clump of matter and will one day be buried alongside other inconsequential heaps of ex-meat in the great process of desiccation that we call life. I’ll go one further: the responsible thing to do would be for all of us to die now and be done with it. We’d solve a lot of our problems that way I think. Plus the smug, panting grin of the fun runner would turn to pained anguish as they realise they’d wasted their lives going nowhere; literally nowhere, just back and forth up and down streets for no good reason.

Folks could argue that spending 8 hours a day sat at a desk, followed by 1-2 hours being herded like cattle to sit about on public transport before slumping out in front of a TV and then sleeping in order to be able to repeat the process 5 days a week, 50 weeks of the year for 49 years of existence requires some form of activity in order to survive longer. Admittedly this is true; a sedate life needs meaning, but spending every waking moment in gym shorts, sweating and feeding your own vanity isn’t much of an ideal.

These people poncing about on pavements, pontificating about press-ups and endlessly counting calories as though they were tumours are missing the point of life – that there is none and achieving the peak of physical fitness comes at the cost of your life. Work harder, eat better, sleep well, exercise regularly so you can work for longer and die having achieved nothing seeing as how that beautifully sculpted body will invariably rot away under the ground after a life of menial toil, all of which is tinged with the loathsome loss of any real fulfilment as you shuffle back and forth over and over allowing life to become one long montage of Rocky training clips interspersed with the odd scene out of Fight Club where Eddie Norton sits glumly at his desk.

Between this, the staff memos and warnings surrounding the release of Fifty Shades of Grey, idiotic comments overheard about Instagram (“Oh yeah, follow Ella, she’s a great photo liker!”) and my own bumbling ineptitude leading to me being declined by two payday loan companies has led to me wonder; where the bloody hell-fuck is all the sanity of this world? Once we were inventing wheels, now we’re running around in them, taking photos of ourselves on them and adding filters to make it look as though we’re glistening in a sepia tone sunset like an oily sod of faecal matter that’s been made over by Gok Wan and then deep fried.

Or maybe we’re just sticking our genitals in all the wrong places. If the experimental eroticism inspired by Fifty Shades of Dullard plays out then perhaps there’ll be fewer people with reproductive capabilities or personal liberties and we may be spared the nightmarish reality of living through the same shit again but with younger, fatter versions of the twats that already pollute our pavements.

So if you’re thinking of jogging, hire me and I’ll chase you with a harpoon gun giving you something to really run about and then we’ll see how effective those early morning training sessions have been. Until then silence your broccoli hole and do something meaningful with your life you arrogant shambling carcasses. Pour me a drink.