Squeezing out a cannonball

I started writing nonsense on here to get things off my chest. 

I knew there were angry words inside that needed out, and getting drunk and yelling about the meaning of life outside schools just wasn’t cutting it any more. So I started venting on here, while trying to make my dear audience chuckle once or twice through insult, prospective injury and pathos.

What this house of cards relies on is a steady stream of things that wind me up. Previously I could expect one or two incidents a day to provoke simmering fury, from some brainless bastard dropping a crisp packet to the simple sight of a man wearing a hat indoors. I never thought they’d invent a way to stop me seeing other people and thus deprive me of the rage on which I’ve been powered since around 1997, but wait, here comes ‘Tier 2’.

Even in lockdown or whatever this is now, you might think that 2020 would be the ideal time to be a purveyor of grump – railing at Boris Mainwaring’s handling of the virus, the Farage Garage, the bewildering levels of increasingly bare-faced corruption. Our top-hatted masters are manufacturing so many ways to make us angry, writing a thousand words about it should be as straight-forward as a bowel movement at first light for anyone not a man over 40.

Truth is, there’s so much of it about I’ve forgotten how to give a fuck.

Writing a piece dripping with indignance is getting harder and harder. I keep a list of things I might be able to get a bit spleeny about, but it seems a bit trite moaning how I still can’t sleep on my back without snoring despite losing the better part of three stone from my neck in the last two years. You know what gets my goat? People who say ‘is’ twice, as in “The trouble is is that I’m a pea-brained dunce”. I’m not sure how much apoplexy I can wring out of that when it seems quite likely 80% of humanity will be dead in some unspecified way within 20 years.

My obvious nemesis is the phenomenon that’ll come to dominate long after the virus is no more than a ticklish flashback: someone said something, probably on the internet, that I disagree with and I’m so cross I’ll have to find out where they live and set fire to it. Seems proportionate in 2020.

How am I supposed to goad people into violence with a piece about the ‘throw’ at the end of a hotel bed when the internet is packed with people utterly incensed by news that is, in the main, horseshit. Someone is right now probably claiming that your parents are involved in a shadow conspiracy to stick hamsters up tortoises to see if it makes them go faster. They have statistics, and pictures of slightly lower quality than a Daisy Ridley deepfake, but these days facts are facts even when they’re not, as I understand it, I think.

The days of anonymous online hate look almost quaint when the blue-tick brigade are able to summon heavily armed militiamen to the streets of America, and the prospect of actual civil war over there has hopped above ‘don’t be daft’ for the first time in a century and a half. But still faceless Facebook campaigns can be whipped up by bedroom pissants in Milwaukee or Moscow to enrage whoever the enemy is reckoned to be that day.

And where does this anger come from? We can now see where each of us stand in the scheme of humanity. It’s always been true that there are rich, happy people out there leading far more fulfilling lives. But now we can see them for the first time, feel the inequality like a cashmere coat, and that makes us livid. Because it’s not fair.

Like existence is meant to be fair, somehow. If you want fairness, give me a few days and I’ll get you the numbers of some bald teenagers attached to plastic tubes – each of whom deal with their situation a lot more stoically than the tens of millions of narcissistic cunts powering away at their phones and keyboards in the mistaken belief they matter, that they can change the world. Not many of eight billion people can change the world. If you’re not one of them, if you’re neither Malala nor Hartley-Brewer, it’s best you don’t feel too put out, because life’s just too long for it.

Not that I’m not angry myself. As I may have previously mentioned I currently live every waking hour on the verge of wanting to smash everything everywhere, which must be fun to live with (sorry). To be frank I have a quite excellent reason for it, and one way or the other it’ll pass in the coming months. Unfortunately it’s not the type of anger I can easily translate into titillating words of comedic exasperation and abuse.

I’ll tell you how hard these things are to put together at the moment. As I write, at the bottom of the document I make notes of things that pop into my head as I’m going, to remember to include later. And in the notes here I’ve just written find a way to use ‘cannonball’. What that tells you about me or the process I don’t know, but without the driving force of righteous ire behind me, it’s very hard squeezing out a cannonball.

I have friends who will have seen the title of this piece and rubbed their hands at the prospect of it being about the aforementioned bowel movement, only to be met by this rambling nonsense. Do you see the pressure I’m under here?

It’s hard to know where to start sometimes. I mean, I really want to do something about the hilarious lunacy of astrology, and there’s a good chance I still will, but is now really the time? Or maybe that’s what everybody needs, more distraction. I don’t know about you, but if I go a day without watching at least one video of some berk skateboarding his balls into railings, it falls short of a day well lived.

I’ll persevere, if I don’t die (read: if it stops, he died). I’ve given up trying to get other people to write this nonsense alongside me, because in a world where everyone wants everything for free, people somehow still want paying to write for a hobby site with no advertising. So bear with me. You never know, I might just give you that last bit of juice you need to get through another day in a world that wants us all gone.

The meerkats one will be a masterpiece, you just wait.

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