D4D

Your right to walk the streets unmolested by the police outweighs my right not to get blown up

Archive for the category “Charm School”

Saturday – Slow

While I was walking in London two weekends ago, I posted a ranty bith on Facebook, asking

HOW DO PEOPLE LIVE, WALK AND THINK SO FUCKING SLOWLY, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE?!?!?

To which Gordon asked how I live with being so irrationally angry to others.  The answer to that ended up as a bit of a rant, but was still absolutely true, and I thought I’d add it here as well, rather than losing it to the vagaries of Facebook.

That answer was this…

In fairness, my friend, if any of them had any awareness of what was around them, I’d be fine.

I fully acknowledge I walk a buttload faster than most people, and think/move/avoid at similar pace. I take on at least 90-95% of the responsibilities for getting out the way, and for understanding/accepting that difference.

All I ask – well, hope for – is for people to have the ability to see this fast-moving juggernaut of a human being, AND NOT WALK AT ME.

Fair enough, I’m enough of a fat bastard that I obviously create a gravity well and people just fall at me. I get that, I accept it. But they could make a bit of sodding effort.

It’s not even like I’m hard to see. But still these motherfuckers walk at me, stop in my path, decide to suddenly stop and take selfies (which is how I’ll end up on fucking Crimewatch, I just know it) or just look me dead in the eye, stop, and see what I’ll do, like they’re expecting me to slam into them.

So yeah, if there were even a smidge of acknowledgement, avoidance, observation, or even just a conscious fucking thought, I’d be fine.

But no. None of it. So you get the rants.

 

All told, it was a bit of a throwback to the D4D of old…

Bad Headline

One of my free local papers had an interesting front-page headline this week.  It does seem a bit specific (and somewhat prophetic) though – I mean, if they already know that someone else will die within the week, wouldn’t you think they’d add in more guards, or make the area a bit safer during that time?

(And yes, I know what they meant to say – but it’s not what it actually says!  Or at least it’s rather more open to interpretation, anyway)

Unintentional Racism

Yesterday, an MP got suspended for using ‘a racist term’ in public, while talking about Brexit.

Anne Marie Morris, the MP for Newton Abbot used the term “n****r in the woodpile“, in a similar context to ‘the elephant in the room’ – i.e. something that shouldn’t be discussed, but needed to be.

Her excuse afterwards was “The comment was totally unintentional.” – which is what I have an issue with.

You see, if a comment like that, with such a loaded word – and particularly if you’re also a politician, and thus likely to be recorded on everything you say, for fuck’s sake – then I agree, it probably was unintentional. As in “not thought about”.

But really all that tells me is that it’s likely that such words and attitudes are part of her everyday life, thoughts, and experience.  And that’s where the story should really be – that she perceives these words and phrases as ‘normal’, that they’re something that’s part of her unconscious thoughts and speech.

It’s not “I used the wrong phrase”, or “I mis-spoke”.  It’s just “unintentional” – used so normally it wasn’t even worthy of a thought.

I can (sorta kinda) live with people who use racism intentionally.  They’re at least voicing an opinion – albeit one I don’t like – and a mindset that goes with it.

But unintentional and unconscious racism? That shit’s pernicious, because the people who do it don’t even realise it’s bad…

 

Attention Span

Yesterday, there was a bundle of news coverage about Apple’s supposedly-upcoming “Cinema Mode” for iPhones and iPads as part of the next iOS release.

This will (again, supposedly) allow people in cinemas – and other darkened environments, one assumes – to check their phones without disturbing those around them, mainly through use of a ‘dark’ colour-scheme, so the display doesn’t glow like a lighthouse.

In fairness, this annoys me on a regular basis at the cinema – there’s always some fuckknuckle who wants to check stuff while ‘watching’ a film, leaving their phone’s volume up, or some other piece of vacuous self-centred idiocy. But really, a phone mode to cater for that?

It irritates me that so many people now seem to be utterly incapable of sitting for a couple of hours and watching a film. There’ve been a couple of films I’ve seen recently where it seemed like everyone else was eating popcorn (or sweets, or both) from rustling paper bags throughout the film, and/or then sodding off out to the toilet and whatever else.

As has been noted before, I really don’t understand people. I don’t get why someone would pay to see a film, spend even more on food and drink, then either not be able to sit through the film without breaks, or without checking their phones. If you’re going to do all that, why not wait til it comes out on disc/download/TV and watch at home, where you can pause, rewind etc., and not worry about missing bits while you go to drain your microscopic bladder?

Mind you, I also don’t understand why cinemas insist on putting all their food/refreshments in noisy paper bags. Surely there must be another option by now? A fabric version or similar? Or larger bags/tubs that allow hands in and out without touching the sides?

So Here It is

And now, the Festering Break begins.  Not that I’m taking much of a break – that’s not even a surprise these days – but still, it’ll be four days of doing very little. And I’m OK with that.

As it turns out, the entire Festering Season thing hasn’t annoyed me too much this year. Sure, it’s got the standard annoyances and irritations – the same old, same old adverts on TV that you can’t miss for a good couple of months, the inane bollocks that shops do (filling the shelves with tat, blah blah blah) and so on, but that’s all pretty much par for the course.

What’s different, and has been for the last couple of years, is that I have less and less people trying to tell me how I should feel, or how I should be, around the Festering Season. I’m rotten at doing (or feeling) what I “should” do at any given time anyway, but for some reason this Season always exacerbates that, with people telling me I “should” be more festive, or “should” decorate my office, or “should” do a Christmas meal/party with clients, and any number of other things that I should be doing, because ‘everybody else does it’.

So it turns out that really, my enjoyment (or at least tolerance) of the Festering Season is more than a little dependent on (and inversely affected by) the number of people who feel it’s their place to tell me what I should do or feel in that season.

This year, far fewer people have done it, so conversely I’m OK with the season. More or less.

It’s Begun

ScroogeSo here we are. Not even ten days into November, and the run-up to the Festering Season is fully underway.

The Christmas adverts have kicked in- and the ‘event’ ones like John Lewis etc. will be launching over the next few days.

The supermarkets have got all their tat out already, the cards, mince pies, chocolates etc., and even the fucking Christmas trees in the entrances, for shit’s sake.

Of course, the TV schedules are filling up with the standard reality TV run-ups, the BBC’s “Strictly” and ITV’s “X-Factor”.

Seven weeks or so to go, and it’ll be over for another nine months or so. In the meantime, D4D will be brought to you courtesy of the words “For”, “Fuck’s” and “Sake”. As usual.

Speed Walking

With last week’s time in London, I did a lot of walking (as usual)

On the conference days, I was getting in to London early (before the main rush hour kicked in) and then had the option to grab a tube down to Charing Cross and walk from there to the venue, or say sod it, and walk the whole thing from Euston to  Westminster. (And then back in the evening, of course)

The first day, I opted for the Tube down, so I was there in plenty of time. That was easy, and once we were done for the day I walked back up, feeling the need for movement, having been sat for 95% of the day – I needed that walk! For the second day, I walked down in the morning, and back up once we were done.  And finally, on the Saturday I walked down, but grabbed the tube back up to Euston, as it was late and I didn’t fancy waiting for the final Train of the Damned.

But on each of those longer walks, I kept finding myself thinking about other people, and just how slow they are. And wondering just how people manage to live so slowly.

I walk fast, I know. Well, to me I walk at normal speed, and everyone else is just Slow – but I know that really means I walk fast! I consistently average at least 4mph – even when I think I’m dawdling along, knowing I’ve got plenty of time. Indeed, when I think I’m dawdling and going slow, I tend to be walking even faster than usual. But that’s just another weirdness of self-perception.

Regardless though, most people are just Slower. In pace, but also in reaction times – even when they look directly at me, they don’t seem to realise the speed I’m going, and still drift out in front of me, or just stop to do something else, or whatever. It’s amazing in many ways – not least that they’ve definitely got no concept of momentum and inertia, of what’ll happen if I do decide to keep going, and walk into them rather than permanently being the one to avoid, dodge, and get out of their way. By any stretch of the imagination, I’m a FMFB and could easily damage just about any of them, simply through colliding at speed.

Anyway, it always surprises me a bit, just how slow the people around me are. It gets tiring to keep on avoiding people, swerving and carving through crowds of slower people who don’t even realise I’m blasting through until I’m already past, staying aware of everything around me (including traffic when I have to go into the gutter to get past a whole pavement-width crowd of plodders) and all the possibilities.

It makes me wonder just what my speed would be in empty streets, to be honest. Although I do also speed up when I get annoyed by people, so it’s possible it would stay about the same.

Anyway, it meant I did a lot of walking over the last week, which is never a bad thing.

 

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