So Many Thoughts

I want to blog about so many things right now that I can’t settle to blog about any of them. Which is annoying.

I want to talk about the way that there’s an evil child terrorising my brother, and the way that I simultaneously blame the parents and the patriarchy.

I want to talk about the utter relief that I don’t have to deal with the Evil Porter that J rather uncharitably christened Nobby Nobbs. J is of the opinion that Evil Porter, like Nobby, should be “disqualified from the human race” – more because Evil Porter annoyed me than because he “shoved”, though, it has to be said.

I want to talk about the way I am continuously getting away with calmly telling people that actually, I’m a clever person, and how happy that makes me. Especially since it happens to be true.

I want to talk about sexuality again. I know that I once said that surely there must be other things to talk about, but hey, if there’s only seven types of story to be told, I think I can be forgiven for returning to sexuality as a topic to rant about.

I want to talk about the forthcoming London Mayoral Elections, and the way I get to vote for the first time. And I want to mention the discussion over dinner, which culminated in my sister saying in frustration, “women didn’t chain themselves to railings to give me the vote. They did it to give me the choice!“.

And I want to talk about the way I’m going to university, and what that might mean for me.

Right now, though, I’m going to read.

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Just Quickly…

…. The Apprentice.
Bloody awful, curiously addictive TV series in which a group of eight men and eight women compete for a 6-figure salary working for Sir Alan Sugar, entrepeneur extraordinaire.

Split, for competition’s sake, into two teams.

The ‘Girl’s Team’, and
The ‘Boy’s Team’.

It’s a small thing, I know, but really? Does it have to be this way?

These people are all of ‘management’ stock, meaning that realistically, they’re power-hungry egomaniacs without a clue of what happens in the real world. However.
This doesn’t mean that they should be infantalised, for goodness’ sake.

Can’t we call them ‘men’ and ‘women’?

….. Our “fruit of the week” report that we receive from our fruit and veg suppliers at work was yesterday extolling the virtues of a particular type of orange.

Apparently, men need it because there is a vitamin in it which, and I quote, “helps to flex muscles”.
Oh, and pregnant women need it because it’s good for your folic acid intake. Or something.

So I got the chef to edit that bit before we used it. Because, you know, women have muscles too. At least, I hope like hell we do, otherwise how do those babies get out??

….. I have shocked Evil Porter to the core. But he started it; he came to sit with me at breakfast and asked me if I was Christian…..!


Everyone’s a Little Bit Fascist…

So, as anybody who’s seen Avenue Q will know, everyone’s a little bit racist (no, please don’t shout at me for this one. Just go to YouTube and have a listen. It actually has a point. In a strange, muppet-show kind of a way).

But apparently, everyone’s a little bit fascist, too.

Take the Shannon Matthews case. The key facts?

A young white girl goes missing
[English journalists everywhere high-five for getting a “good” story]
from somewhere up North
[English journalists tone down their response a bit, as obviously, living up North, you’re common and speak with a funny accent].

Her mother makes numerous TV appeals for the safe return of her daughter
[English TV programmers high-five for stealing the story from their old -fashioned colleagues who work with the printed word, a day behind the scoop]
but is hindered by the fact that she has a total of seven children fathered by five different men [English journalists in every media pause to decide which way to spin this story]
and that her newest husband is only 22, 10 years her junior
[English media provokes that monster, Public Opinion, which starts to decide that they’re common as muck, ought to be sterilised, look a bit inbred anyway – but that’s hardly surprising as they come from up North – and what on earth are they doing together considering the weirdness and the age difference?]
and then the fact that Shannon is found, safe and unharmed as far as anybody can see, hidden under a bed in the house belonging to her young stepfather’s uncle.
[English media bands together with Public Opinion to ask just what the fuck is going on in this bloody strange case anyway?]

The last I heard, Shannon’s mother was arrested for attempting to pervert the course of justice, having told a police liason officer that she knew where the girl was all along. Shannon herself is reported to have said that she’d rather stay with her foster parents.

And absolutely everybody that I’ve spoken to has been frighteningly militant about the case.

What can I say? Bleeding-heart liberal that I am, I don’t understand how people can so easily slip into the train of thought that leads to cruelty and intolerance.

There are some people who make decisions in life that I could never envisage making myself, that I would never want to make myself.
But surely, there are worse crimes in life than to have seven children and be a bit odd? Even to have seven children and be more than a bit odd.

It was only a generation or two ago that having seven children wouldn’t have been uncommon (all hail the Catholic Church!). The “five different men” thing – well, that’s not so common, for any age. On the other hand, at least two of the children must have shared a father, so it’s not all so scary, really. And to be honest, who’s to say now, when there are so many families that aren’t the nuclear version, what is right?

I could, in my smug, Southern, middle-class superiority say that she’s not a good mother, that she’s mad, or strange, or stupid, or promiscuous or grasping for money, or that she had so many children because of the benefits.

But that wouldn’t make me right. And it certainly doesn’t mean that I – or anyone else – can suggest that she be sterilised because of it.

Besides, what with our declining birth rate, and these same lovely, little-bit-fascist people slating any immigrant that comes their way, we need somebody to be popping out the kids.

Because otherwise, when they’re old, and draining the economy, I might turn out to be a little bit fascist too, and have them all put down.


And Another Thing:

We found this video on YouTube when I was round at Kirsten’s yesterday. Then, on the way home, some wanker thought it was appropriate to beep at me whilst driving past. Coincidence, or something more sinister?!

A scrub is a guy that thinks he’s fly and is
also known as a buster
always talkin’ about what he wants
and just sits on his broke ass
so (no)
I don’t want your number
no I don’t wanna give you mine
and no I don’t wanna meet you nowhere
no I don’t want none of your time and no

Chorus:
I don’t want no scrub
a scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me
hanging out the passenger side
of his best friend’s ride
trying to holler at me
I don’t want no scrub

Also, in a nostalgic aside, remember how 90’s music videos were always so focussed on mad futuristic looks?! Yay for 90’s crappy music!!


Money

Money can’t do everything. This much we know. There are many things that money can’t do:

  • buy unicorns, dragons, or other mythological beasts
  • buy love, happiness or other emotions, although it often leads to worry
  • make everything better. As everybody knows, only tea can do that.
  • buy style or poise, or indeed good fashion sense.

I have been thinking about money a lot recently, both in and out of work.

In work, because one of my bosses is trying to buy me new trousers.

I am resisting this for a variety of reasons. I work four days out of five kneeling on the dirty, dusty floor of the male changing room, sorting laundry. To buy me new (suit) trousers makes very little sense.
Instead, I have appropriated the trousers of a sacked porter. He won’t be needing them, they are sturdy and comfortable, and, rather usefully, they can be washed with our laundry company, so that I don’t have to take them home.
That’s the financial bit.
Of course, my other reason is that I don’t give a flying fuck how loose my stolen trousers are, or if they were designed to accomodate the girth of a really big cock. I don’t care if they aren’t bright black, because by the end of my sorting the laundry, the knees will be dirty and grey anyway. And I don’t care if the trousers don’t flatter me, because I come to work to work, not to seduce people. I spend most of my day on my own in the kitchen office, or in the kitchens themselves. It would be bloody stupid to walk around the kitchen in suit trousers, as anybody in the kitchen is always at risk of airborne food. Or spoons.
But with such good reasons not to buy me trousers, I can’t quite understand why he’d want to throw the money away like that. Surely his budget could be better used for other things?

Outside of work, I have been thinking about money because almost everybody I spend any time with tells me they don’t have any.
Which is bollocks, really.

When you don’t have any form of income, no proper job, no dole money, no gullible relatives or friends – THEN you have no money.
When I was unemployed one summer, relying on babysitting for cash to go looking for a proper job, having to make the decision to spend my last £20 on a Young Person’s Railcard that I then wouldn’t be able to use, not having any money to spend on a train ticket, but knowing it would save money in the long run, that was the closest I’ve got to having “no money”. And evidently I still had some. Just intermittently.

When you’re a student, you get loans. It might not be your money, and you might need to spend it on food to eat, but you still have money.

When you’re working, and getting a steady income, you have money. You might have bills, and things that you want to do, but you still have money.

For goodness’ sake, is it really so hard to budget?

Sit down and work out how much you earn each month.

If you work, look at your payslip, you fool. Somewhere on it will be something like “basic pay”.
Somewhere on it will be “tax” and “NI” or “National Insurance”, with a total.
Take the amount you’ve been taxed away from the basic pay, and you have a very conservative estimate of how much you earn each month (by which I mean, you won’t earn less than this, but you may earn more.)

If you’re a student, find the bit of paper that tells you how much of a loan you get each year. Divide this by 12, for the number of months in a year. That is your conservative estimate (because, if you’re any kind of sensible, you will get yourself a job, or gullible relatives, to supply yourself with extra money.).

Then think about what you actually need to spend. And when I say that, I mean money that is necessary to spend to live:

Rent, and any household bills as applicable.
Any loans, direct debits etc. that keep you alive (including phone bills)
Food (but only to keep you alive. I don’t mean that £50 you eat by sodding off to Pizza Express or wherever. If you were really poor, you’d be in McDonalds to eat out.)
Travel (but only the travel that gets you to work or uni. The money you spend going to see your friends, or a gig – well, if you were that poor, you wouldn’t have the gig ticket anyway, would you?)

When you work these out, make them generous. Round up to the nearest £10. Even if your phone bill’s always £21 – make it £30.

Then take all of that away from what you earn.

The money that’s left is yours. And if you can stick to using only that money for going out, you’ll have money left at the end of the month.

And then you’ve saved money, and you can put it in a savings account and know that it’s your money.

And then you won’t tell me that you have no money, ever again.

And we’ll all be happy.