Tuesday, 23 February 2010


Okay, so here we are, in the thick of a heated word-joust on a controversial topic. Abortion. Euthanasia. Religion. Capitalism. War. Eastenders. And you are battling it out for your point of view (which is obviously, right. Clearly), armed to the hilt with quick quips, wordy monologues and sneaky counter-arguments. There is no way you are backing down, oh HELL no, it ain't over 'till the fat lady sings. Or dies. So it's motormouth central. Sentences clash loudly in the air like a scene in Star Wars. Interruption after interruption after interjection disguised with a 'polite' sorrytointerrupt or yougonoyougonogoaheadokay. You have the Answer! you have the Truth! You have the Solution! Everyone else should know about it. In fact you couldn't be more right.

Shut up.

Yes you. Shut up. In the words of Fergie, shut up, just shut up, shut up. Put a cork in it. Why are you talking? You should realize in is not particularly intelligent to storm in all guns blazing. Why? In case you hadn't noticed, everyone else thinks they are just as right as you, my love. They think their arguments are better than yours. They think you're talking poo. So the more you talk, the more 'poo' they think they are getting bombarded with. And nobody likes to be showered in poo-poo, even if you think yours really smells like roses. Try this for size. Listen to what they have to say. Sure. their point of view is highly tedious but lets be clear on one thing. Your point of view sounds exactly as silly from where they're standing. Close your too-eager mouth and prick up your ears. Try to see things from their point of view-you may disagree whole-heartedly, but try to figure out why they might hold these preposterous views that may even offend you. Think about why it offends yo. See how far you can agree with what they are saying. Don't interrupt. Don't interject. When you finally do speak, tell them what you agree on. And then say very little. There is no point trying to convince them of your infallible point of view. Say what you need to say in as little words as possible-if they want to know more they'll ask. You'll look alot more intelligent and well-balanced this way, think about it. And after lending an ear, you will be. Do do us all a favour and shut up. That includes you Almaz.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Well...this is awkward

That, there above you ^^^^, is an Awkward Silence. ( Wikipedia, Urban Dictionary ). And in our beautiful Britain, in all its apparent invisibility yet utter density, it is as common as an emo in eyeliner. On average, someone living in this country will experience 2 of these a day, which adds up to 730 times a year!* Crikey.

People just don't like silence when in company with each other. It sticks to the skin, make you squirm and what's more you can't shake its effects even once said silence is frantically filled. (BAD IDEA TO TRY TO FILL IT AS I WILL STRESS OVER AND OVER AGAIN)

Like when you see an accquaintance from a while back (you know, the ones you would refer to as your 'friend' back in school, when really you only spoke five times for the whole seven years?).You exchange niceties, howareyouwhatareyoudoningatthemomentOhhhthatsniceYeahI'm okayjustatuniit'sgoingreallywellthanks. And then there it is, in all it soundless glory. And all you can say is bettergetgoingyeahnicetoseeyou. Awkwaarrrddd.

Or perhaps when you get picked on in class, or lecture. Oh, [insert name] what are your thoughts on this?, that kinda thing. Your face grows hot, you rack your brain thinking of a viable get-out clause, but to no avail. You could hear an atom drop. There it is again.

You drop a clanger. The atmosphere turns practically minus-decibels.

Terrible date. Silence you'd need a chainsaw to hack through.

Bad joke.No sound.

So, I suggest we, as British Subjects of the Crown (or otherwise, but you live here) EMBRACE the silence. There's nothing wrong with it! You don't have to fill it! Bask in it, I mean, it's only silence, right? I know, I know, it's not very nice when you've run out of things to say, but I tell you the truth, it is worse to try to break the vice-hold with an equally(if not moreso) cringe-worthy cough, throat-clearance or quip.

Next time you are confronted by a barrage of nothingness when you tell a bad joke or try to force a conversation with someone you don't know very well, just shut up. Smile. Yeah, it will take a while to get over the cringe-factor, but you'll get there time after time. It takes adjusting. Just.Don't.Try.To.Fill.It.

And just one more thing. DON'T GO ROUND CREATING THEM! These are the surefire ways of doing just that:

  • Asking someone something if you don't really care what the answer is, you just want to look pleasant.
  • Starting conversations just to be polite
  • Being too fakely overenthusiastic when approaching a mundane conversation-it only amplifies the silence when it inevitable appears.

Silences will appear though. But learn to love them, they don't have to be a threat to your comfort. Learn to be comfortable with other human beings without having to be doing or saying something...And as stressed before Don't.Try.To.Fill.Them. It will only make it worse. I promise.Trust me on this one.

*made up statistic.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Valentines Day

Valentines Day.

shut up you filthy naysayers! 'It's all too commercial, it's not real love, it's just a money maker for companies, it's more trouble than it's worth, I show love every day of the year blah blah boring blah'.

It's all been heard before. It's as boring as watching a sponge dry in the rainforest. I put it to you that Valentines Day is what you make it. And what could be wrong about a day designated to love, as an example to how every day should be?

I bet you kill-joys don't even know the reason for the expression of love and all things close. Well here it is. Paraphrased by yours truly.

It's 270 AD, and the matrimonial bond has been absolutely outlawed by old Claudius II, the then emperor of Rome, because he reckoned married men made crap soldiers. Boooo. He also outlawed Christianity, and while some of y'all may think that this was actually quite a good idea, he did it because he wanted to be worshipped as the one supreme God. Great. 270AD Rome sounds like a great place to live. Then our hero, Valentine turns up. And in my mind, he looks a bit like Dr. Valentine from Holby City. Goooood times.

He was the Bishop of Interramna, and he thought the decrees of Rome were wrong, plain wrong. He put it forward that everyone should be able to be free with their love-of God and to marry. So what to do? I hear you whisper in impatient anticipation. He performed the most romantic covert operation the other side of Romeo and Juliet. He secretly married couples, risking life and limb, for love.

The thing is, it turned out it wasn't as covert as he would have liked. He was caught and brought before old Claudius. Claudius saw something in our hero, and tried to persuade him to renounce his Christianity and worship the Roman Gods i.e Him. Well, this didn't work out as such, and Valentine did not budge. Now the Emporer could have just killed him, right? Hung him, maybe. Cut off his head. Sad, but relatively humane. No, no, nope. Valentine gets sentenced to a gruesome 3 part execution. Beating, stoning, then decapitation. Valentine died on February 14th, 270 A.D.

While languishing in his dank dark prison cell in Rome awaiting his imminent death, poor Valentine fell in love with the jailers daughter, the blind Asterius. Apparently, during Valentine's stay, her sight was restored. But that isn't the touching bit for me. Valentine, before he went to his gruesome death sent her a last, farewell note, and ended it '
From your Valentine'

Ahhhhh. They need to make a film out of that.

So, when you see crude cards, explicitly outllining acts of copulation, or see blatent money-grabbing tactics from your local Tesco, think about what Valentines day is really about. It's what you make it, not what someone else makes it. So don't complain about the commercialism and the mainstream filth, and use this as an excuse for your love protest, don't turn up your nose in a decidedly snobby fashion. Even if you feel you must celebrate on another day if the atmosphere sickens you too much, do it. And if you don't have a valentine, look for people who need love as they don't seem to be getting any. Give St. Valentine something more to be proud of, give him more meaning in his death. And hey, you might just
enjoy it.