My stuff and your stuff: I write books, produce music, rant a bit, and in the meantime review things other people have done. With words.
It’s great when the iPad interrupts you to inform of something you might be missing out on. And so it was today where, attempting to write a chapter about a crack addict who can’t get out to buy crack because the London Marathon has blocked his exit, Apple insisted I should check out the ’News’ app to read the ’important’ stories of the day. OK, Apple, I'll indulge you. So I open the app and am told immediately that here I can read ’the best stories from the sources you love, selected just for you’.
That’s a pretty bold claim to start with, Apple, because as anyone will tell you, my favourite kind of stories are those in the back of Razzle. Let’s have a look then... Heavens! What’s this? A gaggle of glossy newspaper and magazine covers which I can choose from. Let’s go with the first. ’Tap at least one to continue’, it says. Obviously. BBC News, which amusingly liked and retweeted my assertion last night that its tweets were pointless guff, opens up but not before askng me if I want ’news’ sent straight to my inbox. No. So, first story: Syria crisis. First 1,000 refugees arrive in UK. Really? OK. Don’t care. Nothing to do with me. Just about everyone in the UK now is some kind of foreign cast-off, so whatever. My parents are from New Zealand. Foreign muck. I am half-Scottish too. Stick that up your arse, Cameron.
What’s going on in Syria? I really have no idea because I don’t watch, read or listen to ’news’. What’s next? Ah, this is more like it. Stuart Hall is home for Christmas, let out of prison, where he went for putting his fingers into too many other people’s pies (and by pies I mean children), and he’s only served half his sentence. Naturally I am supposed to gasp, say ’gosh’ a lot and talk about it with the wife, discussing to and fro how bloody awful it is. But I don’t give a shit. It’s none of my business. Or yours, or really anyone’s. So why do you need to know? He could be living on your street! But he isn’t, and I take care not to let my children hang around with paedophiles. Fairly basic parenting.
I’m still looking for ’important’ news from the ’sources I love’. Paris attacks: Austria arrests two suspects in refugee camp. This would be more fun if they’d put the colon after, not before Austria. As it is, I was almost entirely in the dark about that Paris thing because, oh, it’s in Paris. I’m not in Paris, I have no scheduled trips to Paris and I don’t know anyone in Paris. So why do I need to know anything about it? But hey, cries Mrs Ineedtoknoweverythingallthetime, you need to know what’s happening in the world! Why? Why do I? So I can feel sad, helpless, fearful, indignant, self-righteous, and position myself as a moral arbiter? No thanks.
Donald Trump is trying to ban Muslims from entering the US. So? Everyone’s entitled to an opinion. Just because he’s a wiggy testicle doesn’t mean he has to keep his racist bullshit to himself. And is he worse than Stuart Hall? Would Trump let Hall into America? Either way I don’t give a shit, because it doesn’t matter. But apparently Hall wants to move to Spain and parole bosses won’t let him! Seriously, let Spain have him.
Every item of ’big’ news is a storm in a teacup, a tiny sliver of existence that ultimately means nothing at all. Steve ’Blow’ Jobs created this marvellous window to the world so we can all fill our brains with reams of stuff we don’t need to know, horrifying images and inciteful (deliberate) opinion from people who have been given a voice on the world stage. And all that is decided for you by people who say what is news and what isn’t.
Los Angeles schools closed over email threat to students. Yawn. Ann Widdecombe’s anus caught leaking vinegar. Yawn. Tony Blair alleged to have dreamt about aiming arse at disabled gay. Yawn. Stephen Fry shits his wonky nose off. Yawn. Stuart Hall in court over claims he doesn’t fancy Spanish children. Yawn.
Here is the real news: middle class humans are being conditioned to think in a certain way as dictated by upper class humans.
As sour as the vinegar (allegedly) dripping out of Ann Widdecombe’s anus, this is the truth. Why spend your life ’wanting to know what’s going on in the world’ when virtually none of it is any of your business? You nosey bastards. Statistically speaking, there’s more newsworthy stuff going on in your street because your significant other is probably shagging the milkman, got caught in the act by a neighbour and is likely being blackmailed; there’ll be at least one drug dealer and a paedophile in your road or block of flats; there’s probably a house full of AIDS-ridden prostitutes dripping AIDS in the water supply; and so on. But you don’t demand rolling 24/7 updates from that lot, do you?
News is a form of reverse-perverse escapism, mostly mindless and pointless, and it’s unhealthy. Mind your own business. Like the crackhead. He can’t get out to get his fix because the farking London farking Marathon prevents him from doing so. He doesn’t care what’s going on anywhere else. His world is crack, where he can get it and how many people he has to rob to afford it.
You can dispose of all that nonsense and, well, I dunno, read a book! Or write one. I’ve written two. Cheerio.