D4D

I may not agree with what you say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it.

Archive for the category “Cynicism”

CrowdFunding

OK, I’ve got a new doozy of a conspiracy/cynicism thing for you.

Remember a few years back, Cameron belted on about how cuts in services meant that “Big Society” should step up, and do the things that councils and governments could no longer afford to?

Well…

Since then, we’ve seen an explosion in crowdfunding stuff – goFundMe, JustGiving, etc., – and now, any time anything happens, one of those appeals gets started.

What if…. What if those crowdfunding sites are the Big Society plan – people paying what they can to help those less well off, or in trouble because of situations that’ve been initiated by councils and governments?

So like today, ‘raise £200,000 to help people at Grenfell‘ – a fire that’s at least been contributed to by the negligence and shitness of funding by councils and governments. And what’s the betting that those crowd-funded compensations take the place (to a degree) of councils having to take the strain and fund accommodation, clothing etc.?

It’s dark as fuck, but somehow it also makes sense…

#1 Dad

Sometimes, you see something, and your brain just goes “What?!?”  (or words to that effect, but with more swearing)  Currently, there seems to be a theme connecting that with both Father’s Day and Star Wars.

Last year, we had the card with Kylo Ren…

[Spoiler from two years ago –  Kylo Ren kills his father]

This year, I’ve seen this in Sainsbury’s…

I’m pretty damn sure they haven’t seen the same Star Wars films I have…

Parking Distances

One of the things I like about working (and travelling) in Milton Keynes is their attitude towards parking, along with a nice dose of apparent cynicism and understanding of human nature/lazyness.

Milton Keynes has been pretty much designed around the use of cars (I know, it wasn’t originally so, but the New Town concept pretty much was) and thus there’s a lot of parking available. Sure, the city gets busy, but there’s usually parking spaces available.

The great thing though – in my opinion – is that they organised (and priced) the parking according to proximity to the main areas that people use.  So the parking spaces that are the closest to the high-footfall areas are the highest-priced. If you go a bit further out – by which I mean a block, not miles – then the price is about a quarter of the highest-rate, which seems like a valid reward for being prepared to walk a bit more.

Note : I’m aware that this could also affect those with disabilities and mobility issues, but there are mobility and disabled spaces right next to the main areas, and they’re not at the high rates.

Down near the train station, there’s a great example.  The closest car-park to the station now charges £8 for the day.  But if you go to the next one – literally, the other side of the (dual-carriageway) road – then it’s £4. And if you’ve got a Milton Keynes Employee permit (which will be the subject of a separate post) then it’s even less – £2.40.  So an extra distance of maybe 20 yards can save at least 50% of the parking cost.

As a plan and concept, it understands human nature and lazyness, and take some advantage of it. I think that’s brilliant, to be honest.

London

[Somewhat inspired by a friend’s post on Facebook]

I was in London on Saturday – it was a pleasant day, sunny, loads of people around, having a good time.  Note : This is NOT going to be one of those “it could’ve been me” posts – I fucking hate that shit, trying to make a drama out of one’s own life when others have been in that drama for real.

I walked over London Bridge twice, and had drinks and food in Borough Market. Again, loads of people out in the sun, sightseeing, visiting the city.

I wasn’t there when everything happened later, I was home, and had been for a while.

I have plans in London on Thursday and Friday for a conference in Westminster, then on Saturday to see a play in Soho, and the following weekend for Taste in Regent’s Park.  I have these plans, and I won’t be changing them.  I’ll go to the places I want to be, I’ll live the life I have, and want to have. I won’t let fuckwitted extremist bellends change my life.

Some of it is statistics. I know that there are, on any given day, literally millions of people in London, and only a tiny, tiny minority are bellend extremist shit-for-brains, so the risks are pretty low – but primarily it’s because it seems to me that the best, and perhaps the only response most of us can make to this kind of thing is to carry on as normal.

The odds are ridiculously low that I, or anyone I know, will ever be involved in anything similar to what happened on Saturday night. And if those odds bite me on the arse and something does happen to me or anyone I know, then I’ll deal with those events and repercussions the best I can. I still won’t let the dickheads beat me, though.

Bank Holidays

Here in the UK, today is a Bank Holiday – and that link is an interesting read, if you want to know more about why they exist etc.

Since moving to the current house – in my head it’s still the ‘new’ house, but that’s patently untrue, having been there five years now – I’ve become far less of a fan of Bank Holidays, mainly for one significant reason.

I live near(ish) to the only pub in my village. Usually that’s fine, there’s little-to-no trouble, and it’s all pretty decent. I’m yet to darken its doors, but that’s a different thing entirely. People come, people go, and it’s all good.

On Bank Holiday weekends, however, people seem to become fuckbags. The pub itself usually has some kind of event on – a band or whatever – and opens a bit longer, and both of those things are fine.  But by the time we’re mid-evening, there are always people screaming and shouting, having arguments, and generally being cocks. And that goes on ’til gone two in the morning. Every Damn Time.

You can hear these arguments all around the place – the people involved try walking/stomping away, only to be followed by the other party, screaming and yelling to “get back ‘ere” and whatever (or my favourite, chasing after them yelling “Go on, fuck off then!”, which I still can’t get my head round)  Fortunately, it rarely gets nasty – once or twice it has, but usually it’s just loud and twatty.

For me, it’s unavoidable. I live close enough to be in earshot, and to be on the main route back to most of the rest of the village, so short of being away on Bank Holiday weekends, I can’t miss what’s going on.  It’s not a huge thing, just an annoyance, and it grinds on me after a while.  The thing is, it also makes me not want to visit the pub at other times – and to be fair, I don’t need much of an excuse on that score anyway. It’s just another factor that adds to my Reasons Not To Bother.

One Minute

Yesterday, a lot of people held a one-minute silence for the victims of Monday’s bombing in Manchester.  Personally, I don’t really understand why this appears to have become one of the “done things” to do for any tragic event.

Yes, the bombing is awful, and should never have happened. The people who did it are unutterable motherfuckers, and deserve to be damned to whatever eternity their religion believes in. The victims shouldn’t have been victims, because this shit shouldn’t have happened.

But it did, and so we go on.

But what do these silences actually do? They re-focus attention on the event (but of course we’re not going to give terrorists the air of publicity that they crave, except when we then have every news broadcast for the next 72 hours focused pretty-much-purely on that event) and make people think about it even more.  But we’re not going to let terrorists change our lives, are we? Except when we do, when there are now more armed police on the streets, and even more security on the streets, in airports and elsewhere – all of which changes our lives, and makes us think about terrorism even more.

I know the silences started off from the two-minutes-silence on Armistice Day – and I’m fine with that.  But when did they become the done thing, the marker for every event?

I feel the same about the huge numbers of bouquets at the sites of deaths and tragedies.  I get that people want to voice their sympathies, but when did a bouquet and gifts become the way to do it? It’s almost enough to make you wonder whether it’s not the florist industry behind it all, in a similar way to Valentine’s Day, just to improve their own profits – but this time out of the grimness and death of others.  And the sodding cards that go with it – the ones that get read out in news broadcasts, that all seem to be suspiciously “on-message” for whatever’s been being reported.

The real start for the floral stuff seemed (to me) to be the death of Princess Diana, when flowers appeared everywhere, in true Damien Day style. Since then, they’ve accompanied every bloody event known to man.

Fine, people want to show their concerns, voice their sympathies and so on. But surely it’s better to do so with donations to a particular cause, with speaking up about (in the case of Manchester) terrorism and the like, to actually do something, rather than pay lipservice through a wallet and a minute’s silence?

PIDU – Lift Control

[PIDU = People I Don’t Understand]

There are many, many types of people I don’t understand – or at least whose thought processes are beyond me. That’s the theme of the PIDU posts (as mentioned here, although I’ll probably repeat this a few times) and may also become a bit of a throwback to the rants of yore.

This one’s a bit more niche – I work in a tall building, which has lifts (elevators, whatever you prefer) and it gobsmacks me on a regular basis how many people seem incapable of operating it with any form of common sense.

Primarily, this relates to people waiting on whatever floor for the lift. The lift lobby on each floor (well, except for the ground and top floors, obviously) has two call buttons – one to go up, one to go down. And, despite lifts having been in existence for more than 150 years, so many people seem to think it’ll work to hit both call buttons, rather than just the one in the direction they want to go in.

Of course this means that these fucking dipshits get in a lift going up, and expect it to be going down, as that’s the direction they actually want.  If they’d only hit the sodding down button, it would work better, rather than them either getting on and going up before going down, or stopping to let them on, realising it’s going in the ‘wrong’ direction, and then getting off again.

But really, how can people not know how these sodding call buttons work, and what they mean?

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