Identification, or, Five Reasons I’m An Arsehole

6a00d83451fdc069e20168ea203a60970cWARNING: This post is offensive. If you are of a politically correct, strongly feminist or otherwise Tumblr-friendly sensibility, please use your browser’s ‘Back’ or ‘Close’ button now. If you’re not, take a free drink, sit down and enjoy the show. Now; let’s take a closer look at what makes me a bastard this week.

A long time ago in a job interview, I was asked what my three best and worst qualities were. “My three best qualities are initiative, intelligence, and thinking for myself,” I said.

“And your three worst ones?”

“Initiative, intelligence, and thinking for myself.”

The interviewer thought this was very deep. Personally, I thought it was bleeding obvious. In the light of that it’s not really so surprising, looking back, that the corporate world and I later parted ways. This week, however, I am annoyed about something else. I’m not going to waste time describing the situation, I’m just going to rant – and as I said in the first paragraph, you have been warned. So here are my five.

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The value of rage: RIP Sir Terry Pratchett.

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Publicity shot from ‘The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents”.

Morbid? Yes, it is. Bandwagon-jumping? Absolutely. The sort of thing PTerry himself would probably despise? I doubt it not. However there are people looking at this blog apparently in the expectation that I’ll have said something about such a momentous event in fantasy as the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett, and far be it from me to disappoint my future readers.

I’ve got a when-I-met-Pterry anecdote I’ll come to later, but the best article I’ve ever read about the man is this one, written by Neil Gaiman: “Do not underestimate this anger. This anger was the engine that powered Good Omens.”  It talks about Terry having a deep sense of justice, and anyone who’s read Pratchett can appreciate the near-perfect balance he struck between acute social awareness, blackest irony, and an infallible sense of petty, stupid humanity and all its attendant farce. Continue reading

Impermanence

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There’s a saying that goes “This too shall pass”.

There’s another saying, a Buddhist one, that likens a person to a flame; always in motion, always consuming the wood on which it burns, composed at every moment of totally different atoms – and yet the same flame.

The picture to the left is from a comunity art project called Mitcham’s Models, which installed reworked mannequins around an unlovely junction in town to coincide with the city’s annual Open Studios event. Open Studios is a month in which Cambridge’s surprisingly many artists throw open their studio doors to the middle-class average Joe; the eerie figure in this picture was found on my way home from a gig at one of Cambridge’s few remaining live music pubs.

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To Everyone Who

deadcupidI found out yesterday that in Finland, Valentine’s day isn’t Valentine’s day. It’s called Ystävänpäivä, which means Friends’ Day or Friendship Day. The traditional gift is a pink rose, not a red one, and it’s a day to celebrate just how much friendship really means. As a Finnish friend of mine put it: “To celebrate and appreciate the friends that are there for you, love you, support you and never let you go.” Continue reading