Thursday, 21 September 2006

When cults go wrong

There was a report today about a cult in Kenya that predicted the world would end on the 12th of September 2006. They all went down into their bunkers early last week and then popped their head out today, “Did we say nuclear war? No, no, no. You must have misunderstood. What we actually said was, the beginnings of the destruction of the earth would begin on the 12th and the world will end at some point. You must have misunderstood.”

I know about memes and the brainwashing that must have taken place but how do the followers buy into this? They've somehow been convinced that a highly improbable will occur and then when it doesn't happen, they somehow swallow a whole new pack of lies that contradicts the first lot.

Wednesday, 20 September 2006

The over-ambitious guitar intro has finished and I now launch myself into the furious first verse

I've been in a bit of a funk recently. Not depressed but I just feel like I'm treading water. I'm loving my home life, everything from 6pm-8am is peaches but work has been on autopilot and with us going away in two weeks time, its been like I'm holding my breath waiting for something to happen.

And that's been the issue, I'm not very good at waiting. If things aren't going in the right direction I like to take hold of the wheel and I haven't been able to do that. I thought I was in the driving seat but just found out it's a left-hand drive car. Then I realised that for the first time in my life I feel like an adult. Not that I want a shed and have started reading the finance section of the paper (though maybe I should) but up until this point I've never felt that different from when I left school. I know I've changed and I'm definitely not the same person but I always felt (mentally) closer to high-school 'me' than to whatever age I physically was. I'm beginning to feel like this has changed. I'm more in control and while I still having a hard time believing I'm 28, It doesn't seem as far off as it used to.

Among my teenage friends I was something of a security blanket for some of their parents: “Oh George is going, then that's okay then.” Even when I wasn't going to be at parties, friends would tell their parents I would be just to reassure them. Hell, one night I think I was at three parties at the same time. This perceived responsibility led to a guy I was at school with commenting, “George, you've been 36 since you were 13.”

Perhaps that's it. Maybe I'm finally going to be able to start acting my age; about to come into my prime. If that's the case then I'm not going to wait another eight years, I've decided that 28 is the new 36 and this is the beginning of something good. I don't know what's going to happen but I'm going to pass my funk and I feel energised. It could be the White Stripes I have playing in the background (damn right no Seven Nation Army's going to hold me back). It could be that can of Red Bull I'm drinking. No matter what kicked this off, something's going to happen.

Thursday, 7 September 2006

Matlock redux

I know I still owe a post on the Arctic Monkeys, I haven't forgotten (well, I had but I remembered when I saw that they'd won the Mercury Prize). Apparently its more important that I write about a way-point on the road to getting old.

I sat in front of the TV and watched Boris Becker play Michael Stich in the 1991 Wimbledon final. As the game was being played in the British summer, it got a bit cold and I distinctly recall Becker pulling on a cardigan between ends. At the time all I could think was, “Wow, only Grandfathers wear cardigans.” There I was accusing the youngest ever winner of a men's Wimbledon Single title of being old at the age of 24.

So now I get to the good bit, the bit that Hagrid's been waiting for; on the way home yesterday I saw a cardigan in the window of a shop, thought it looked nice and have since considered going back on the weekend to try it on.

If Andre 3000 is allowed to wear paisley, then surely I can wear a cardigan if I want to. I may have taken a like to clothes Mr Hooper might have worn but I'm comfortable with that. I suppose that part of the human condition is the drive to constantly reinvent yourself and if this is the first step in a certain direction what's next? Tartan slippers? 6 o'clock glasses of sherry? A need to read the obituaries in the paper? I just hope I stop short of developing a taste for lard sandwiches.

Wednesday, 6 September 2006

Just call me Ash

Robs has a work thing and so isn't home yet. I didn't turn the TV on as I came through the house (I know there's nothing on tonight) and I'm yet to fire up Winamp. The cats are twirling like leaves caught in a drain around my legs as I stand at the kitchen counter dolling out food into their empty bowls. At this moment, do you know the one thing that decides to float through my head at this point?

“I hope there hasn't been an apocalypse and nobody's bothered to tell me”

Its not that I actually think that Mad Max is sitting outside the door waiting to give me a lift to the Thunder Dome (even if he was I wouldn't accept the ride as he'd likely be drunk). Nor do I think that there is even a chance that Strangelove will drop the big one. Its just that this is how I've always imagined it happening. No large bang, no blinding light, not even a distant lone air raid siren. I'm alone, it's night *snap* I'm suddenly a survivor and I don't even notice.

I must emphasize that this isn't a strange fantasy I have nor do I dwell over this, sleeplessly staring at the ceiling waiting for the end. Just when I get caught in a quiet moment I notice that perhaps I should start stockpiling food. Similar to the “Maybe I'm a millionaire?” thought on Sunday when you've forgotten to check your ticket.

Once again I blame my childhood, if in fact there is blame to be assigned. Exposure to Empty World, Night of the Living Dead, Z for Zachariah, When the Wind Blows, the Tripods trilogy... is it any wonder some small part of my brain is left on sentry duty. Having done all the 'research', I've now got a stupid self confidence that I would survive an extinction event. I know not to eat anything other than canned food for at least 50 years, I've scoped out the best places to hoard batteries and, if needed, I've put in enough hours on first-person shooters to be pretty confident of making a headshot about 80% of the time.

I know what you're thinking, “What if we're talking meteor strike and not nuclear bomb or zombie plague?” Not to worry, I've prepared an escape route to make for the high ground. Just be thankful that I had the foresight to watch Deep Impact as well as Armageddon.