Tag Archives: pain

When cattle played darts

Don’t spend Saturday nights in, that’s the lesson. Go out, make yourself insensible on Disaronno, bang your head on something and wake up with an empty wallet and a sore arse on Monday morning ready for another five days of absurd life-wasting, but for Christ’s sake don’t stay in.

Because if you stay in, you’ll end up watching a programme called Can’t Touch This. Here’s the premise: scattered about an assault course made largely of foam is a collection of circular panels with hands stamped on them. As you navigate the swinging punch bags and garish stackable blocks, your goal is to touch as many of these hand panels as you can – each one wins you a specific prize – while also attempting to get through the course in as quick a time as possible to qualify for additional rounds.

People fall over a lot and make themselves look ridiculous. This in itself is not a problem; seeing someone fall over is one of life’s genuine treats. No, it’s not what Can’t Touch This is that bothers me – it’s what it’s not. It’s not Total Wipeout.

Continue reading When cattle played darts

A lesson in life and commercialism

People make me sad, and as a result I take great delight in any video that promises people involved in epic failure. The recent excitement at the release of a phone that is slightly bigger than the last one left me clutching my sides with schadenfreude – watch as a man who has queued (yes queued) for days rushes to open his iPhone only to drop and crack it on the pavement. You deserve that fail young man. That is a lesson in life and commercialism.

Whenever I feel sad and want to hibernate from office bullshit, I scroll to my NSFW bookmarks and watch idiots. Partly it helps me see that life really is stupid and mean. I am a clumsy motherfucker, I fall down kerbs, walk into walls, trip over cats (they do it deliberately), drop my phone down toilets at the worst times possible (Christmas 2013 – a dark day of family “fun”), but at least seeing other people fall over on ice shows me that we are all fallible.

I must admit I also take pleasure in seeing stupid people neuter themselves. There are so many people walking the streets who plough through me, or shout random nonsense that seeing such shit stains on the pants of life hurt themselves gets me through a day. The incredibly obese girl who spends her disability benefits on a trampoline, which she proceeds to burst straight through – a joyous sense of calm comes over me. There really is some sort of karma. The rich kids who attempt to skateboard down railings for their YouTube posse – that crunch of balls against metal should remind us all that nature will always find a way. No more little Tarquins in your family line. Usually these idiots live a charmed life, doing stupid things that would cause most of us irreparable harm or a prison sentence. The internet now shows us that there is a justice – a shallow, fucking hilarious one.

The internet even levels the precious idols – politicians, celebrities and sportsmen. Keegan’s rant against Manchester United or falling from his bike in Superstars is a perennial favourite, guaranteed to raise a smile. Oh you poor man.

This was well before such things became manufactured for our enjoyment. My wonder at humanity’s utter pointlessness stops at the cringeworthy made-for-television fails that exist solely to make a Z-lister a minor C-lister for a few months.

I’m A Celebrity takes this to the extreme, with idiots attempting to eat kangaroo anus for our putrid obsession. I remember The Word’s “I’ll do anything to get on TV” feature. It was painful to watch, but in keeping with the period. It should have died, but now it is everywhere, the get-famous-quick scheme that starts with up-skirt shots right through to ‘accidentally’ released sex tapes.

Saturday night television is filled with wannabes trying to get famous quick, or those who used to have a talent selling their souls to make people laugh at them. Exhibit A: Hole in the Wall. Exhibit B: The Jump. Exhibit C: X Factor. There are many, many more exhibits. It’s cheap, and it fills me with contempt. Fallibility should not be created, it should be accidental. I watch these people with pity that they’re so desperate and dominated by a need to get somewhere quickly with no effort. It feeds on our need to see people fail, to make us feel better, but this feels like something far dirtier and more corrupt.

Then again, if it leads to a Running Man or <shiver> Hunger Games-type programme, then maybe all of this is worthwhile. It’ll take Darwinism to the extreme and get rid of a lot more idiots in one fatal bloodbath. But for now I refuse to partake in these grubby, manufactured celebrity embarrassments and will stick to fat people falling through trampolines.