Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The inexactitude of belief

I know everything. This is not a hyperbolic statement. There is a universe full of knowledge, from the grandiose to the minute, and I know all of it. 

Or rather, I talk as if I do. It's a real problem for me and I know it annoys people because I do just go on and on when I probably should have stopped speaking about three sentences back. Quite often I don't back down on a subject even if I know little about the subject or can only half remember it. 

Trust me, it's (about) as annoying for me as it could ever be for you. I loath ignorance and will feign knowledge on a subject or topic rather than admit I don't know anything about it, and you know, normally, I'll be able to actually add something even if only on a basic level...and the other person themselves doesn't know too much about the subject...

But then I'll get into that conversation, that debate or argument, with a person who is actually truly knowledgeable in that area and I have been known to say things that only an idiot would say. Contradictory corollaries, tenebrous tautologies, appalling alliteration...I've done it all and more! 

The thing I consider to be the worst is that if I forget something, which is often (my memory is atrocious...I think, I can never remember if I'm forgetful or not), and it's clear to the person I'm talking to that I've forgotten, and should stop speaking, I don't...I go on...and often contradict what has been said before. 

Partly, I think this comes from when I was a child. At said stage of development I had this tendency to just end sentences abruptly. I would practically go mute mid-sentence, seemingly. Which annoyed people as you can probably imagine. So I worked on it, but like everything I do work on properly, I ended up over doing it and so now you have the verbose god you now see before you (or imagine seeing...you guys and gals do imagine seeing me saying all this right? Or hear me at least? Are you sure though? Is my accent really like that? I'm messing with your mind with my wizard powers!)...well, sometimes anyway. 

I noticed the over-talking thing was also annoying people, so I dialled it back but I got caught in a weird kind of linguistic limbo where sometimes I can be too garrulous whilst other times just kind of trailing....

Yes, I do know that that is how people operate, you, normal people, with your regular appendages and your standard ways of being....disgusting, eugh...but what I mean is that I tend to go from one extreme to the other sometimes in the same conversation which is odd, so people do give me that weird look...or rather the normal look one does give a weird person. Or sometimes, and this is becoming increasingly recurrent, a look of pity, as though to say "oh, you poor brain damaged boy you....how do you tie your shoe laces in the morning." (I actually don't wear shoes, ever since I heard the story about the Gordian Knot I've not been allowed near rope, string, scarves wrapped around people's necks, ties or wires...what I'm supposed to do? Sit there and untie them when a good chopping will do?! No sir, not this gentlemen, not I!) 

So, to bring this full circle, I started this off with a very tongue in cheek statement. I do not know everything. (What?! Stop the presses!) I mean, don't get me wrong, I know a lot, probably a hell of a lot more than the regular person and that's not big headed (well, it is, but...) it just is. But here's the thing, it's, generally speaking, a basic knowledge. I tend to skim the outlines of a subject rather than go into depth on the subject itself, so I know a little about a lot whilst it could be argued that that's useless when compared to knowing a lot about little. Jack of all trades, master of none kind of deal. I used that tale of the Gordian Knot in the last paragraph. I know what the story is, in essence, there was an un-doable knot, some versions it was around a treasure chest, some it was tied to a cart, and many people had tried to untie it and failed until some clever bugger, sometimes Alexander the Great, sometimes Heracles, doesn't waste time fiddling with it, he just cuts through it with his sword. Problem solved. The point is I know the outline of the story, I know what happened, and I know who did what and how/why, but I can guarantee that if I was telling this story as an actual story, I would go on and on about irrelevant details and get some major ones wrong. Like, it's a Greek story, but I'll call Heracles by his Roman name (The more popularly known Hercules) or something...when it's a nothing story like that though it doesn't matter if I get that small detail wrong, but I do it on other, far more important things.

Anyway, I've rambled enough for one night (some would say enough for two, or even more!) so yeah, I'm off, later taters.


Saturday, 22 February 2014

Like a laser

It's the bottom of the ninth, bases are loaded, two outs and I'm up to bat and that's when I suddenly realise that I don't know anything about baseball other than this cliché, is it good that the bases are loaded? Is it bad? What are they loaded with? Cheese? Marshmallow? The mix of pride and self- loathing a parent feels toward a child who has achieved more in their short lives than said parent ever did or, indeed, could???

The point is I'm procrastinating. I do this often. When I'm bored, when I'm excited, when I'm sad, happy or any point in between, I will procrastinate. It's not that I'm lazy, I'm really not...there's just only so much attention I can give to a task before ooh, hey, shiny! I see a new thing and I'm off to do that. I blame video-games. Well, games in general to be honest. That and books, and movies, and cooking, and cleaning and and the world, nay, the universe in fact!  Stop being so damned interesting, you fool!

Mostly I do stay on top of my procrastinating, even if it does mean that I don't get things done until the very last moment, and of course, there is always another very last moment. Truth be told, I'm actually scared that one day it's going to bite me in the arse. See, so far, I've always managed to find that last moment, pull it out in the clutch scenario like the cliché I opened this piece with (I do actually understand baseball, to my everlasting shame, I can't help it, I'm addicted to learning crap yo!) and that's cool and all. Then, after the dust has settled and I've relaxed a bit I always say "next time, I'll do it with time to spare, no! With plenty of time to spare in fact!" and I don't, because I am me and I will always leave things to the last moment, always and every time, even the times where I do not do so.

My current problem is a presentation I'm working on. I'm doing a portion of it, looking at regulation in television media during the 60s and 70s, and there's a fair amount of stuff to sift through, but most of it is junk in terms of relating to the actual question. Bloody interesting to read through though. Which is why I've been procrastinating, why I've been off doing other things instead of doing this work, it allows me time to refocus, get back on track. The less time I have to complete the work, the more precise I'm forced to be, the better I am at discarding useless (though oh so interesting) information and picking only the juiciest, most delectable facts.

...at least that's how I justify it to myself....it's more probable that I am severely unfocussed and whilst this topic is interesting, it's only interesting in a broader scope. It's like someone hands you a sandwich but then tells you you can only eat the crusts. Now, don't get me wrong, the crusts are vital, I understand why they are there (to keep the gooey innards of the sandwich from leaking out....what?  It's not a real sandwich if its innards don't squirt! jeez, you people and your prim and proper "deli sandwiches" I don't know what the world is coming to....anyway), but it's really the whole of the sandwich you're interested in. Looking at one part of a subject in great detail is great and I can understand it, but honestly, I'd rather just have the whole thing instead of one piece.

Certainly in this presentation. A lot happened in the 60s and 70s, that's for sure, but the really interesting stuff in television happened in the decades surrounding it (i.e. the 50s and 80s) at least, that's how it seems to be from what I can find on the subject. It's like regulation started in the 50s, didn't change all that much unto the mid 70s and that change (from what I can find) was mostly incidental...just five years more on the span and I could take about it detail, but no, got to stick to those decades....then you've got the UK media ignoring of the troubles in Northern Ireland. In Irish television, big deal, in UK nothing really significant happened until 1979 with the Carrickmore incident...which is great, but I can't really talk about one year in a two decade span for all that long, even if it was significant.

I feel like I'm missing something, something obvious. I got the BBC director general greene, the pilkington committee and ITN being all like "Here's the News at Ten, bitches!" and that, and the aforementioned pieces of info, but that can't be it, there has to be something bigger than this because this is small stuff that's fairly interesting but it's not...well...big...it's not revolutionary and why look at this era if the only salient points are "tvs got cheaper and more colourful so more people went there for news"

...or maybe I'm over-thinking it and I'm over-rating the 60s/70s importance as basically everyone seems to do because the baby-boomer generation was the beeeest, they even say so themselves so it must be true! Ah the well, I've had a nice little vent, so I'm going back to it now, later taters.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Missed opportunities

I had a dream last night. In the dream, I was many things; a zombie hunter, an ex-footballer, a theosophy expert and much more...It annoyed me. It annoyed me because I look back at those things with (zombie hunter aside, because, you know, there are no real zombies...yet...) and it saddens me that I probably should have followed through with them.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am happy with the path I am currently on. I think I've mentioned previously that I've wanted to be a journalist since about the age of 14 and I've worked hard to turn around my life and get it back on track, so yeah, I am happy on that front.

It's just that I think about all the opportunities that I spurned. I wouldn't have had to do this series of trials if I had just chosen to do the right thing at the right time. When I was but a wee, young Terence, I got into a prestigious athletics club on merit. My running times (for my age at the time) put me in the top 2% nationwide. The club found me at a cross-country event my school was a part of, they offered to give me training and these people were the guys who send people to the Olympics. I turned them down, well, actually, I just stopped going after the first or second meet. My mother always thought it was because my friend (who was also picked) stopped going, but really, I was just lazy.

There was another time where I very nearly got a trial for Liverpool FC. At a school game, there was a scout for the club watching. I was noticed and they got in touch with my family over it. Now, the football team at my school was a shambles, they played maybe four matches a year, and the team was picked by the...let's be polite and say...less civilised students....the students whose brains rebelled whenever they were forced to think...anyway, so the scout asked if I played for a local youth team and could they come and watch. "No, he doesn't play for a local team" "Can he sign up for one?" "I'll ask and get back to you." So they asked and I said no because of two reasons, one, laziness and two, it meant being awkward in a new social environment. 

I'm not saying that if I'd have followed through with either of those things I'd be at the summer Olympics or playing for Liverpool or whoever, it's entirely possible, if not probable, that I would have failed or at least be one of those who didn't quite make it to the highest level but kicks about in the minor leagues. I'm just annoyed at myself for not taking the opportunity, you know. Because, if you look at it, I kept getting these opportunities. In school I was offered a chance to take part in a cooking contest to earn a chef's apprenticeship with the Marriot, didn't take it up, even though I was begged to do it. Another chance I had was to go to Bluecoats private school; I had the results for it, but decided against taking the actual test because reasons I guess. Then there was the time Liverpool Community College bent the rules, twice, to get me back in after I left halfway through the year, twice, because laziness. Then there are all the other times...

I kept getting opportunities and...I think that's what did me in. Now, a little disclaimer for the next part. I am only blaming myself here, others may have had a hand in it, but it was entirely how I reacted to that that was my downfall...okay? I think it was down to being given these opportunities time after time that led me to becoming so lazy and indecisive. I mean, imagine it. Day after day, week after week, you have people telling you how brilliant you are, you are getting offers from Liverpool Harriers, Liverpool Football Club, renowned private schools and the rest. Sure, things aren't perfect, but they are working out in everything else, so it will all click into place right? She's not noticing you yet, but she will, one day. Those bullies are only jealous because they don't have your future, they are unwanted by anyone, they don't get the opportunities you've been given and will continue to be given. Sure, your home-life isn't fantastic, but who cares right, you'll be out of that house the second you turn 18, never to come back....

Then you fail. Your GCSE's aren't quite what you expected because you didn't put in the work because people had been telling you all throughout your school life that it would be easy for you. The girl of your dreams then takes a shit on your heart. Then slowly but surely everything starts to fall apart. The course you were on is pulled, the jobs you apply for reject you, most of your friends are gone, abandoned you. You mope around the home you hate, in a fugue state, barely reacting to the world outside. From a lifetime of opportunities freely given you now find yourself shuffling listlessly through the days, having never had to motivate yourself to achieve, you wait for the opportunity to arrive rather than actually going out to look for it.

It is a horrible existence. It was a horrible existence. People have tried to make light of it by saying that it is in the past, that perhaps having gone through it has made me mentally tougher, that things happen for a reason...and maybe they do, but still, I would much rather have just taken what was presented to me all those years ago instead of making mistake after mistake until I could, quite possibly literally, make no more...and yet I still seem to do.

Monday, 17 February 2014

On the subject of death.

Man, I am bored to death, literal death, I am a ghost now. Just, you know, haunting the internet, death ain't so bad. No bills to worry about, no debt, well, no financial debt, there's like sinners debt and demons do keep trying to catch me and drag me to Hell to settle it, but I'm too wily for them! I have sick cunning skills, you don't even know!

But yeah, it is boring, you know, because eternity is a long time to have about, yeah you can go anywhere, do anything, see everything because you've got that time, but it does tend to end up as "meh, I'll do it tomorrow" and suddenly the thing has turned to dust and hell, even the continent in which the thing was in no longer exists because you put it off so much because there was always a later thing...time could be wasted...

It's why death always scared me...not the sudden cessation of knowing, of being, that scares me as well, but not nearly as much as eternal life, because it would be, well, Hell, pun partially intended. No matter what it was, it could be the raddest, most entertaining thing ever. It could be jet-propelled skateboarding super models flinging angel cakes into your open mouth whilst your back is being rubbed by other models whose hands are made out of the feeling you get resting your head on the cool side of a pillow...and there's a fucking giraffe! But all that wouldn't matter because it'd get boring, and yeah you can change, but you've got forever, the only impetus to change would be yourself. It wouldn't be forced upon you, so you would become complacent.

How do I know that? Because look at everyone! People watch the same shit day in, day out, watch the same television programmes, read essentially the same stories, play the same games, everything, and that's with an actual time limit imposed on them that yes, the brain does its level best to obviate, but even still! Even if we don't like something, we'll carry on doing it just because, and only change that when something reminds us that our time is short, maybe a pain in the chest, or you have difficulty running for the bus, oh shit, better start exercising, but then if you had eternity...meh, I'll get around to it later...

Of course, that could just be related to my own experiences, what I've seen of the world, who knows? It could be that there are people out there who have the long term vision to actually enjoy eternity. I can't remember where it is, but I know there is at least one culture out there that has the concept of time being a complete none issue. They see things not in the sense of "this thing will happen tomorrow" but rather "This thing has happened but I'm not at that point". In other words, they see their lives as a whole, even the crap that hasn't happened yet, and it's better for them in some regards. Because they invest in stuff for their future, and I don't mean like putting money aside for a rainy day or whatever, I mean, they see it in a more complete sense.

They're not putting money aside for some hypothetical scenario, they put it aside because they know their lives exist beyond that moment....and don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that we don't know that our lives exist beyond this moment, but our culture is heavily biased toward the short term. "I'll do this, so I can do this and then I can do this..." Instead of a defined end-goal, it's based around getting to checkpoints, which means it's easier to fall off a project. "Hey, I got to the ninth stage, there's only thirteen, that's pretty good!" Or worse than that is the curious case of "Well, if I drink my own weight in tequila today, sure, it'll suck for future me tomorrow morning, but the me that I am right now will have a very good time!"

So imagine the scenario where checkpoints are irrelevant because time is irrelevant because you have literally all the time there is in existence, hell, even more because you know, infinite. Like I said, we are a checkpoint culture, but how can you mark against infinity? "Well, when I get to the halfway point of infinity I'll go back to college and get my diploma." Say that out loud and in earnest and I think the universe eats you. Literally. It spontaneously grows a mouth, with lips and teeth and even a tongue and then it sweeps you up, chews for a while, then swallows you down, then disappears whilst grumbling under its breath that now it has got the taste of idiot stuck on its breath and that it now needs a mint. 

So anyway, I'm bored, still, so I'm off to go do something, before I run out of time to do it. Which is the way I would want it to be. Later taters. 

PS: Yeah, sorry for not updating, I've been feeling really shitty these last couple of months and not feeling much like writing. Nothings especially wrong, but very little is going right as well, and yeah, in any case, depression rarely needs a reason to kick a man to the kerb and piss in his mouth.