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Vandalism is, at first, a difficult crime to understand. Many crimes (except for the reckless violence that plagues out cities and towns in the evenings at weekends) have some purpose to them regardless of how poor the justification. Vandalism seems to offer no end reward. A small child could manage the majority of vandalism so it can't be the complexity of the task that provides the reward. Why especially are we cursed in Britain with vandalism? I've spent a great deal of time in the States and Americans find it hard to understand why we couldn't have outside mailboxes in this country and why people would want to drag a key down the side of a car. After a few conversations of this sort I began to form a theory on vandalism and why the UK seems to be the worst affected country in Europe. How do we treat our movie, TV and sports stars in society generally in Britain? We spend a long time building them up and then look for anything we can to tear them down. We seem to have this resentment towards success and achievement, which is only satisfied when the object of our envy is bought down to our level or, preferably, below. The media always has a campaign to "put somebody in their place" or "dish the dirt" on someone who a few months ago was a "hero". Think of any famous person who has been elevated to hero status in Britain who hasn't suffered the inevitable media and public backlash. Is this the psyche behind vandalism? Do pockets of our youth have this inbred attitude that anything nice has to be destroyed out of jealousy? No, I don't believe that entirely but it certainly offers an explanation for the vandalism of cars and private property. Nobody tends to drag a key down the side of an already beat up car. Nobody tends to trash an already pathetic looking flowerbed. If it isn't jealousy then why is there the need to bring things down to a level where it can't be envied because it h
as just been ruined. I went through a period as a child where I liked to break things like many kids do. I would build Lego houses and then smash them up. Any toy you can buy which allows you to smash it up time and time again and then rebuild it proves to be very popular. Is this the same thing? Is the wanton lust of destruction in every child similar to vandalism or is that something totally different? I believe there could be a correlation. Children are sometimes like puppies and not generally destructive for a love of seeing something ruined. Without something to stimulate the mind or maintain that interest many animals resort to destructive behaviour. I refuse however to believe that all animals are destructive out of some kind of jealousy. So can we blame vandalism on boredom? The lack of facilities for our youth must be examined. Many kids cite boredom as a reason for petty crime. So, we are left with boredom and jealousy. Cain slayed his brother out of rage caused by jealousy. Satan tempted Eve by offering her equality with God on the basis she would know good and evil. Why did Joseph's brothers sell him into slavery? Jealousy. Don't believe in the bible? Look at any Greek myth or Shakespeare tale and the majority of murders take place out of envy. Jealousy and self-seeking seem to contribute to a large degree of crimes. Why should vandalism be any different in its very core?
The two best known phrases regarding money are the biblical "the love of money is the root of all evil" and the familiar "money makes the world go round". Unfortunately, neither are very far from the truth. Money is great when you have it. Well, we all like to think it is. The problem is that we keep reading stories about miserable multi-millionaires who would give it all away for a normal life. Personally, I would love the chance to be miserable with heaps of money but I don't see that happening any time soon! People generally believe that money will buy them happiness because they relate the majority of the stresses in their life to a lack of finance. It's a fact that most family squabbles are based around money and a large proportion of crime is inspired by a criminal's desire to get it for whatever purpose. We all tend to be judged upon our finances because money dictates what kind of clothes we can afford, the house we live in and the car we drive. It generally doesn't take too long to spot who has money and who doesn't. We treat people differently because of money whatever we like to think. I'm not saying we all hate poor people and suck up to those who are better off but we make snap judgements based upon somebody's bank balance. I still find it hard to fathom how the concept of money came around. I mean who had the first coins and how did they persuade somebody else to swap something obviously more useful for them. Well, actually I believe the first forms of currency were stones but that makes the concept even more difficult to understand: "look, I know you just almost got killed slaying that bear but would you like to swap some of the meat you were going to feed to your family for these stones?" Can't see it working! I hate letting money dictate any degree of happiness in my life but because it affects my daily living conditions it's difficult
to ignore it. No money and I'd probably be on the streets and unhappy. If I won a million pounds I'd be jumping for joy (at least initially until "millionaire's misery" set in!). I'd like to say forget about money and just concentrate on what makes you happy. The problem is that the things in life which help to make us happy require money to initiate them. Even the enjoyment of sharing time with loved ones can be affected if you never get to spend time eating out, going on holidays, buying each other gifts, etc. To be honest, I love money and I hate it. I love the apparent freedom it brings but hate the actual captivity that comes with it. I just wish that when the first trader offered to swap the stones for the bear meat the hunter had clubbed him over the head and ended the whole concept of money before it started!
Is being controlled by time the sign of better time-management and efficient scheduling? Is it a symbol of our slavery to the system? Well, actually it's just proof that we are made to feel more guilty about "leisure" time! In a world where we are being pressured to be ever more efficient I genuinely do feel like I should feel guilty every time I spend some quality time with me watching junk on television or playing computer games. I know I should be out rallying for world peace and solving world hunger but I feel that being my own person means I shouldn't be dictated to by society on how I should spend my time. Certainly, I'd like appointments of which I'm on the receiving end to be based on an accurate time estimate. We all hate companies (sorry TeleWest and BT) who say they'll be around to install our service between 8am and 8pm! I don't mind wasting time but it has to be on my own terms! We don't like people who are late and generally we don't like being late ourselves. Flexi-time in the workplace was one of the great blessings and curses of the last two decades. I'm afraid when I worked in a company where we had flexi-time I abused the system terribly and managed to fit in a six hour day wherever possible. I ended up losing about 25 hours a month! I used to envy those people who would "build up" flexi time and get a couple of days off each month as a result. I actually went years without a watch. I was at university at the time! I got up when I was no longer tired, ate when I was hungry, followed everybody else when they left the house and went to bed when I could no longer keep awake. To many people, this is heaven! Having then to adjust to a working life was cruel and I then found myself hating students for their blatent disregard of time management. Time is a great thing when we control it or have the freedom to ignore it but when you become a slave to it, yo
u despise it. Time management equates to responsibility and is an unwelcome sign that we no longer have the freedom we had when we were young.
I studied the NASA moon landings quite closely for a time. I was interested in the theories that the landings were faked and it was all a government-backed illusion to prevent the spread of communism. The proof for humans landing on the moon is comprised of the the very things which are derided by sceptics and actually many scientists and photographic experts. For those of you who don't know, here are some points which conspiracy theorists point to as proof that the moon landings were faked: 1) The photographs have been examined by many experts in the field and basically pulled apart. Things such as the positioning of the light sources are all wrong, the angle of the camera doesn't equate with it's mounting position on the astronauts chest, etc. 2) Many scientists say the level of radiation on the moon would kill a human within a short period of time. Even today (let alone 30 years ago), scientists say it is difficult to produce a radiation proof space suit that would fully protect an astronaut. The suits apparently used in the landings have been tested and proved to be useless in protecting against even relatively low levels of radiation. 3) The turning arc on the lunar buggies do not match the photographs which show the tracks of their movement. It has been widely suggested that they look like they have been pushed around to face the camera as it would be impossible to turn the vehicle in that tight of an arc. These are just a few of the sceptics arguments but why would a Government fake a moon landing? Many people point ot hte late 60's as being a point of turmoil in the world with the growing threat of communism. Many countries, including France, had strong comminist movements and some governments were close to turning to communism or having a large number of members of their government embrace it. The USA saw the technological race as important in swaying these countries that democratic countries had t
he greater ability to develop scientifically. A monumental event such as man landing on the moon showed that America was a great power, capable of anything. Whether this theory is true or not will remain unknown but communism struggled to compete in the space race and much of the Soviet budget was spent trying to match the USA's achievements keeping the country in relative poverty. I don't really have an opinion one way or the other as to whether man truly landed on the moon. I guess the fact I may even doubt it proves the sceptics have at least done their job.
We've been forced to be unpatriotic in this country. Being patriotic is perceived by many as being akin to racism. Waving the St. Georges Cross is seen as being racist to the Welsh, Scottish and the Irish and now, even the rest of Europe. The only time you can practice any remote kind of patriotism is during certain sporting events. I would like to be proud to be English but I'm not allowed to be. I'm almost judged to be a National Front supporter if I mention a love of England too much. No wonder we are having problems with a multi-cultural society. We feel like we are having what little identity we do have stolen away. England has good history and bad history like every other country. We have a right to be proud and a right to be ashamed. Why can't I celebrate being English? If I was an immigrant I'd be allowed to be patriotic to my previous country but the liberals in Britain won't allow me too much fondness for the country I was born in. Once we are fully integrated into Europe I don't know what identity, if any, we'll have anymore. Will I even be allowed to have a flag displayed with a St. Georges Cross on it? Being patriotic is being positive about your country, not being negative towards every other country. Unfortunately, the promotion of England is seen as being anti-other countries. The Government like to call for patriotism when it suits them but in everyday life we aren't allowed to shout too loudly or have too much pride in the land we were born in. My driving licence is now a European one. My passport will soon go the same way along with the money in my pocket. Soon, we'll just be a State of Europe with no identity and patriotism will be truly dead.
Positive discrimination is one of the biggest mistakes this Government has made in race relations. If you want to create bitterness and resentment between different races then what better way than to give one particular race an advantage over another for no reason than to counter act something you are trying to stamp out in the first place? On the one hand, the Government are trying to stamp out racism and discrimination and then on the other hand they are doing exactly the same thing but to a different race. If I want a job but know they are going to give it to a black person if they apply for the job, what do you call that? It's racism plain and simple. I don't agree with racism towards blacks or any other race but why is racism ok when it's against white people? I remember the story a few years ago when a woman was forced to remove porcelain pigs from her own front window because a muslim family across the road complained to the police. The woman faced prosecution and possible imprisonment if she refused. I could understand it if a woman had a big KKK sign with a burning cross in her garden which could be used to incite and promote racism but a pig ornament?! This kind of thing where the white anglo-saxon protestants are treated like second-class citizens is wrong. The reason people have a problem with immigrants in this country is because we don't take care of our own people. Children who have gone through childrens homes all their life are suddenly kicked out into the street when they reach a certain age but immigrants can walk into the country, claim asylum and get better quality accomodation than most people have worked their life for. It doesn't pay to be white and born in this country - if you are you will be discriminated against at some stage to appease other groups. No doubt some people will cry "well, now you know how we feel". So, is that the answer? To treat other people with d
iscrimination just to equal it out or should we be striving to stamp out all racism? Obviously the liberals in Britain feel the way to equality is to make white people feel worthless. If my attitude that I don't think that is fair is considered racist then sorry, I must be a racist.
I have to say that the Criminal Justice System in Britain is a laughing stock. Property is valued over human life and the terms of imprisonment given out reflect this. What kind of country would give out two years for stealing a VCR from a house yet only hand out 18 months for kicking somebody to death? Be honest, if you had the choice of being kicked to death or having your video stolen, which one would you choose? Not a difficult decision! I want my house and property protected but I'm more concerned about being stabbed, bottled or beaten virtually to death than having my car radio go AWOL. The deterrant for violent criminals today is virtually non-existent. Why bother stealing from somebody's house when you can mug them and get away with less of a punishment (that is assuming that you get caught - little chance of that!). I know a number of people who have been beaten up for no reason and yet not once have the culprits been caught despite witnesses, video footage and repeat crimes by the assailants. The police just don't seem interested in catching violent thugs. Get caught speeding though and you're in trouble! Judges, AKA "the living dead", seem to be so detached from reality that any crime which has no chance of happening to them seems to warrant a slap on the wrist as they can't fathom what exactly the crime entails. They stare into space wondering what "assault" means and so hand out punishments more in line with stealing chocolate bars from ASDA. When are we going to replace these judges with "real" people? People who have a good base in criminal law, a grasp of society as it really is and a desire to protect people from what they are really scared of. I have no faith in the British Justice System. A system which hands out more in compensation to criminals who happen to get a bruise while getting arrested than victims of stabbings. I wouldn't bother reporting a crime involving
violence because I know: a) The criminals won't get caught. b) If they do, they'll probably get a slap on the wrist. c) I'll get the backlash if they do get caught when they get off or released. Let's kick out dinosaurs in the courtrooms, replace our outdated laws and start thinking about people and how best to protect them from the scum who have been given freedom to do what they want with no fear of our Justice System.
To be honest the high rate of teenage pregnancies in the UK should come as a shock to nobody. Look at our culture! Here are a few examples: (1) We have 'role-model' popstars having babies out of wedlock, splitting up with their partners and having babies with somebody else within short periods of time. (2) We have magazines for teenage girls so obsessed with sex that it's difficult to find an article not related to it. (3)We've made 'virginity' the biggest joke and stigma of the last twenty years. The pressure on girls to have sex is so immense that they are made to feel like freaks if they haven't had sex with somebody by age 15. Guys, frankly don't help the matter with their attitude to girls but then society in the UK molds them in a similar way. "If you don't sleep with as many girls as possible you're a freak and you should do it every chance you get." That's the message television, magazines and so-called role-models give them. I'm sorry but we're reaping what we've sowed into our kids. The lack of attention or wrong kind of attention (ie. constant put-downs) from a father and the lack of any male friends who aren't interested in sleeping with them in a young girls life will make her seek male approval later on to fill the void. Generally for a young girl to be popular (albeit for ten minutes) in the UK she has to sleep with somebody, that's about the maximum male attention she'll get if she's not in a stable relationship. It angers me that people all blame the girls for "wanting" to get pregnant to "live off the system". Sure, there are probably a good number who do but the majority of teenage pregnancies are unplanned, unwanted and devastating for the girl involved and her family. Unless UK culture makes some sort of effort to make sex less of "the be all and end all" of life the pregnan
cy rates in teenage girls will continue to spiral. The media is largely responsible and the lack of father's in many homes just creates a vicious circle where the girls are just victims of circumstance because they make bad judgement calls which they have to pay for a long time.
I have never heard such a less awe-inspiring, unmoving, dull piece of music anywhere in the world as our National Anthem and believe me, I lived through the 80's and was into goth for a good part of the decade, I speak from experience of exposure to painful suicide-inducing music! Is there any child in the country who, locked in a room with cookies, milk and a piano (the cookies and milk are there to dispel any interference from Amnesty International because of the room being locked!), couldn't come up with a better tune for a our National Anthem within an hour? Surely we should have a tune which inspires our atheletes to great things. No wonder so many of them look half-asleep when it's played and can't be bothered to sing along to it. The other nations must wet themselves when they hear it even when they can't understand the words. Oh, the words! Let's move onto those shall we... Who among us, if we had to write a short poem which captured the spirit of the nation, the hopes and dreams of the people, our glorious past and hopefully glorious future would come up with "God save the Queen"? Excuse me, but there are almost 60 million of us out here, why are we singing about one woman who has little or no relevance to our lives with no political power? Is she a figurehead for our country? I'm sorry but the majority of people couldn't care less about her. If we are to have a new National Anthem (and I think we should just in case you weren't sure where I was going!) we should have something that accurately reflects what England is all about not something that drones on about some old woman sitting on a throne with servants on standby with a box of tissues to wipe the royal nose for her. Land of Hope and Glory is way better than God Save the Queen and at least speaks about the rest of us mere mortals who populate the island and might even give us the impression that somehow we'
re valued as a people who make up this nation. (My alternative is the theme tune from Sesame Street - that Big Bird taught us all a lot which is more than can be said for the Queen!)
Censorship doesn't work. Can I make the case any plainer than that? The more you outlaw something, the more kids will want it. The more parents turn their nose up in disgust, the more kids will want to associate with it. Is it really that difficult to figure out that all censorship does is create much appreciated hype for the artist in question? Musically Eminem is one of the few talented white rappers around, lyrically for the most part he sings about garbage but then do Craig David's lyrics of bedding women within 48 hours of meeting them set any better example? I doubt it. Marilyn Manson's lyrics are, for the most part, about nothing. It's the way that music is packaged and the image it has which causes the controversy. If Marilyn Manson dressed like Ronan Keating but sang exactly the same lyrics how many waves would he cause? People would comment on his lyrics being a bit strange but a subject for censorship? No way. I'll admit I've hardly ever been able to make out any of Slipknot's lyrics but they're noisy and they wear masks so surely we should ban them. If I'm a pretty boy and sing about promiscurity and sleeping around effectively treating women like prostitutes it's ok though because I dress nicely and young girls can put posters of me on their wall. The whole swearing issue is a joke. I can honestly say I heard far more swearing in the playground than I've ever heard in any of Eminem's songs. The only people Eminem is going to induce to swear are kids who five years ago believed in Father Christmas. Kids go through a stage of rebelling, they don't need musical idols to influence them, they have their hormones. I don't like Eminem particularly and I don't like Marilyn Manson because I think they suck. Regardless of whether Eminem says the word "bitch" or uses the words "young lady", other than the song "Stan" I think for the most part his so
ngs are weak although technically he's a good rapper . Kids like him because he gets up their parents' noses and he's cool (for this month anyhow). The 'moral' groups just play into the hands of the artists and distance themselves from kids so much that anything worthwhile they do have to say is lost. Frankly the moral fibre of society gets damaged far greater by an episode of Neighbours where one of the popular characters has an extra marital affair and is made to look like he's doing the right thing. It's the subliminal messages in soaps which is damaging kids peception of right and wrong. You tell a kid it's ok to sleep around when their married and treat women like dirt through popular soaps on children's tv and you do far more damage then Eminem singing "waste that bitch" could ever do. Kids know what Eminem sings about is wrong but that's not the point of why they like his music. They don't adhere to his philosophies about women because deep down they know it's all tongue-in-cheek and so outrageous that's it's obviously a big joke. You'll get the odd deranged kid who does take it seriously but something will always push those kind of kids over the edge whether it's Eminem or comic books or video games. Still, as long as we have something to blame huh? I don't agree with censorship because it achieves very little other than widening the audience from what it would have been without they hype. I thought Clockwork Orange was a crap movie and the number of people I know who saw it because of the hype and then complained it was pathetic just goes to prove that point. People want to see controversy but they don't decide something's controversial until they're told it is. If the media and all these moral groups just butted out of it artists like Eminem and Marilyn Manson would just quietly have their five minutes of fame and disappear. I'm sure all
the women who have been saved from murder by the censorship of Eminem and all the potential devil-worshippers who have been averted because of Marilyn Manson's light radio play are all very grateful but you'll forgive the cynicism if I suggest that they probably don't exist!
As I write this opinion Napster have today agreed to comply with a judges ruling that orders them to block copyrighted material. So where do we go from here? I'll hold my hands up and admit I've downloaded music on and off for the last two years. I've used Napster pretty extensively and apparently this makes me a criminal, along with millions of others in the country. What would I have done if I couldn't have downloaded the songs? Would I have bought them all? No actually, I wouldn't. I've bought some CD's purely on the basis that I've liked quite a few of their songs which I downloaded but the majority of the songs I've "acquired" I would never have bought. So who exactly am I robbing of money? I guess from a legal point of view we shouldn't download copyrighted material but then there's also a law that if you videotape anything from the BBC (which was produced by them) that you have to delete it from the tape within 7 days. How many extra criminals does this law produce? It seems that "home taping" never actually killed music like they warned us through the 70's and 80's and I'm sure history will show that MP3's didn't kill music either. Until the day comes when we see bands like U2 struggling for money to tour and make new albums I can't see too much public sympathy for the recording industry. It's the commercialism that has killed music not the copying of copyrighted material. Boy bands, girlbands and other manufactured and over-hyped garbage has destroyed the quality of music and has kept genuinely good bands from getting a break. The record industry itself strangles new talent by producing puppets who follow their every command until they are milked to death and out of fashion and then they are discarded for the next new thing. Napster bought about a revolution and I thank them for it. No longer did we have to trawl through numerous l
inks, being exposed to various pornographic images along the way, to find a song we wanted to download. Now it seems this is the way it's going to be again. You can never cut out the downloading of copyrighted material, it will always be available. All the courts have done is push it back underground. People can still borrow their friends CD's and convert them to MP3's and every song ever recorded will still be available if you can be bothered to search the internet for them. These legal rulings just mean they won't all be found in one place anymore. The record industry should have taken Napster's proposals to charge a minimal fee per song downloaded. I'd have quite happily paid 15-20p for each song I really wanted but now I'll probably just go back to downloading them from elsewhere. The revolution isn't over, it's just changed.
I think I've come up with the perfect scheme to get rich. At the moment I have a store that sells (dead) badgers feet. Presently it's located in a hard to reach part of town and I'm pretty certain that location is the key reason why my customer base is so low and I'm not really turning over a profit. Anyway, I'm thinking that if I set up my own e-commerce website the customers will soon be e-beating down my e-doors to buy my product. Forgive the sarcastic opening paragraph but the dot-com industry was largely a disaster waiting to happen. Too many companies saw pound signs in their eyes after studying (read "glancing at") over-optimistic projections of on-line shopping and were sold the idea from e-commerce salesmen that the internet would make them millionaires before bedtime. E-commerce has a future but like any other business, only the smart, the lucky and the flexible will survive. The internet may be one big global shopping mall but like real malls many customers only shop at a fraction of the stores available. Also, some products simply don't lend themselves to online shopping. The only products really designed for effective business on the internet are sex and music and even those can generally be found for free with enough browsing! Everything else just enters the same dog-eat-dog environment you find in a regular high street. Look at Amazon, it must be the most well known bookstore on the internet yet it's struggled since launch. It may have a pretty good customer base but somewhere along the line somebody failed to get their math correct and the company is still in "fingers-crossed" mode on whether it will exist in two years time. What went wrong? The fact is people like shopping. I mean "real" shopping. I like to go shopping with my girlfriend and my friends, it's fun. If I want to buy a CD then ok, I'll buy it online because generally it's way cheap
er or at least it used to be until the internet revolution successfully pushed the price down in the supermarkets and now a lot of people I know now just shop at those for their music again rather than using the internet. I don't want to buy my football boots online, I want to feel them and try them on. If I can resist the urge to buy them while out shopping then just maybe I might look online for a cheaper price but most of the time I can't wait the extra time to get my product. I want it now! So, my shop: "You Can't Compete With (Dead) Badger's Feet", will stick to it's out-of-town location and accidental customer walk-ins rather than spending a hundred grand on an e-commerce strategy. One things for sure, I'll be around longer than 75% of the dot.coms. (Once again, forgive the sarcasm!) I believe the rate of dot.com failures will continue to escalate until businesses start being realistic about the opportunities the internet presents. It is just another channel of distribution, that's all. It's not, and never will be, a replacement for going out with your friends and having fun visiting stores where you can touch your product.
I can't remember the first time I was bullied at school. I know it was roughly when I was 12 or 13 but I do know that twenty years later I haven't forgotten it. I can still remember wondering why this kid seemed to have his heart set on making my life a misery. He lived in my village and travelled on my school bus so there was little escape. True, he bullied other kids but that's little comfort when you're young. He never really hurt me, it was more the psychological fear and still to this day I don't know what I could have done to escape it. Bullying is something which I've grown to hate with a passion. I believe I've healed psychologically but the memories are still there. Everytime I see a kid getting picked on it makes me wonder why, two decades later, the world hasn't changed at all. Kids are still as helpless now as they were when I was at school and this unwanted rite of passage is still as common as ever. So, what can we do to stop bullying? Does teaching kids to fight back just create more bullies? Do the bullies just move on to fight weaker kids who won't fight back so instead of curing the problem we just pass it on? Is it any easier to tell your teacher or your parents now? I never told my parents or my teachers. I suspect many kids today still can't confide in either group because of the fear that if the bully isn't removed from school that you'll get double the dose for telling on them every day you remain at school. I wish I had advice to give kids who are bullied other than just fight back but at the end of the day that's how I stopped getting bullied. Once I got to 14 I had a huge growth spurt and suddenly I was a big kid and I started throwing my weight around. I overcame two bullies who were foolish enough to still think they could intimidate me but they just moved on to pick on other kids. So, all I did in essence was pass it on. I was relieved at the time but now I do
n't know if what I did was right. I wish bullying would stop but later on in life you just see it taking a different format. Bullies still exist in adult society whether they be in the work place or the thugs who go around beating people up in town centres or at football matches. Bullying is part of life and we tolerate it because we don't know what to do about it. We're still looking for somebody to fight our corner, to watch out for us. Once we thought the teachers or our parents would save us from it. Now we're older we look to our Government and the police but the truth is that they are as helpless to wipe out intimidation through violence as we are. Welcome to the human race.
Ban mobile phones now! These instruments of satan are a danger to humanity, here's the proof: - Mind that antenna! The number of incidents where I've poked myself in some portion of my head or inadvertently poked somebody else suggests solid proof that unless mobile phones are banned we'll all be walking around wearing those pirate patches over our eyes. - The danger of radiation increases over long distance calls. Need proof? People who make local calls on their phones tend to be better looking than those businessmen you see on the trains making all those long distance national calls. E.T. made intergalactic long distance calls and I don't need to tell you how ugly he was! - Mobile phones cause uncontrollable rage in members of the public who have to listen to the 1812 overture played over and over until the mobile phone owner takes their time to answer the call. Additionally, having a phone rammed up your backside by the practitioner of said 'phone-rage' is a dangerous enough side-effect in itself. - I have obtained proof that not only do the French feed their livestock on raw human sewage but they feed them old mobile phones as well. This will lead to a new strain of BSE where you pay as your symptoms develop or you can pay £99 and get the full blown disease in one nice easy package. - I know personally of two people who have accidentally dropped their mobile phones down the toilet while trying to answer them with one hand while aiming with the other! The potential risk of getting some nasty disease from toilet bowls and urinals while trying to retrieve your phone cannot be overlooked. - I once saw a man with a household phone unit walking down the high street trying to make a call. He was obviously very mad but the pressure of needing to own a mobile phone was no doubt responsible. He looked very confused but not as confused as his dog who was trying to bite the trailing phone socket l
ead that was dragging along the floor. I know some of you may be reading this while talking on your mobile phone or sending a "does fluffy rabbit love snuggly bunny as much as snuggly bunny loves fluffy rabbit" text message and being rather cynical towards my degree of proof. I don't believe I need more proof to ban mobile phones. Somebody once said that 'proof' is a two-headed beast. This is total nonsense unless of course 'proof' has been making international calls for long periods of time on his new WAP enabled Nokia810.
The commercialisation of Christmas is a monster that we created. We can't complain because it came about through our impatience and selfishness. Confused? I'll explain... (1) Every year throughout the 80's and 90's there was a demand from the public to city councils to allow extended shopping hours in towns and cities throughout the country. As a result of our lobbying (and the pound signs in retailer's eyes) the shopping experience at this time of year has become almost a 24/7 event. (2) The media sold us the idea that we have to spend more and more money on our kids, our relatives, our partners and ultimately ourselves. Guess what? We bought into the idea. Just as the majority of people believe it is their 'right' to take at least one foreign holiday a year, we now believe we deserve expensive presents and the most self-indulgent experience our body and mind can take all in the name of having something to tell our co-workers when they discuss what a 'fantastic' Christmas they had. (3) Who applied for all the extra credit with the bank, the loan and credit card companies? I think it was probably us! We now will go quite happily into debt to meet the demands of the "must have" psychology we've developed. Commercial outlets have simply reacted to a demand for credit from the consumers. Yes, they make it easy to obtain but nobody forces us to take it out. (4) How many times have you been asked (or have asked yourself) "have you started (or finished) your Christmas shopping yet?" Each year we get slightly more embarrassed because we haven't started it by the beginning of December. Christmas comes early to the stores because we've demanded it. We've demanded that we can buy our decorations, wrapping paper and cards as early as possible to fit into our impossibly hectic schedules. Retailers have simply once again taken advantage of our requirements. (5) An
ybody remember why we have Christmas in the first place? Irrespective of whether you believe in the religious side of it, that's the reason we celebrate this holiday, or at least it was supposed to be. Instead people now worship at the great god 'Argos' and practice debauchery at the office Christmas parties with the other married members of staff they've fancied all year. I know that's generalising but I'm sure that almost all of you can name plenty of people in your company who have taken advantage of the Christmas spirit in this way. Well, sorry to be so negative but if we want to blame anybody for the commercialisation of Christmas we need to look at ourselves. The stores and media have played their part and taken advantage of it but it will just get worse and worse every year until we decide that we've taken the whole thing too far. I'd really not like to see Christmas decorations in Boots and W.H.Smiths at the end of October but it's going to happen!