My 2014

Trigger Warnings – Strong language throughout

Are you excited readers? The new year will dawn upon us soon, it’s time to make plans you’ll never stick to and get so shit-faced your first words of 2015 will be “Oh my fucking god, kill me”, your first morning will have you wake up to being upside down and almost blind with your arse out and your guts on the floor. I’ll be starting my new year entirely sober, bored and probably sat on my butt in front of a screen but I’m not complaining, tis how I almost always start the new year, the only new year I ever spent away from home I spent sat in front of my girlfriend of the time’s TV instead… both of us, I didn’t just turn up and lounge on her sofa like some sort of intrusive sloth. Anyway, as is the tradition, this is the time of year where we all look back at the last twelve months and judge how far we have come and how far we still need to go. Tonight, I’ll talk about how far I’ve come, tomorrow, how far I need to go, a post in two halves such as it were.

I started this year with nothing really, my social life was dead in the water because my pockets were empty and my mood was awful. I had a small circle of people I could kill some time with now and then but for the most part I was just going through the motions. I’m in a similar stance now but something about it then seemed even less worthwhile, maybe it was the lingering feeling I was there because I didn’t get up, as opposed to biding time to come at it again. Anyway, I eventually got my ass back on job seeker’s, I’d been out of pocket since losing my job as a bartender and needed the money to get by. Shortly after that, things started picking up and I was learning to market my skills a bit better, a few job trials but nothing really went my way for a long time. Socially though, I improved, I got myself into a cosy relationship that I was quite happy with.

I won’t divulge into details of the relationship but you’re all aware I’m single so you can tell it didn’t last. I could bitch and whine or make them out as a callous cretin but I’ll avoid it, in spite of everything I just don’t feel venomous or anger towards them, I just keep out of their way and they keep out of mine. I learnt a lot from the relationship though and they helped me understand so many things from different perspectives – gender identities, contemporary feminism, philosophy and even how to be a better writer. The relationship wasn’t one of the body but more one of the mind but I suppose putting two people like us in a room together for too long was either going to be phenomenal or disastrous and so it started as the former and ended as the latter. If you’re reading, hello, hope you’re well, I’d be surprised if you did follow my blog but then again maybe I wouldn’t be. I’m not sure what I’d say to you if we met in person, I’m sure you feel the same probably, undecided if you’d punch me or kiss me but I shan’t overstep the line either way, just know that I do still think about you at times and I’m thankful for everything I gained from what we had, I like to think I am a better man now than I was then, and I don’t mean that with arrogance or bravado but with the opposite, I have learnt the value of listening, of measured selflessness and that we are more than a collection of traits, we are all vast and wide as oceans and just as mysterious. Thank you for that.

Sentimentality aside, the break up was about May time I believe, the details are hazy but it was around that time I started working at Oxfam. I quickly proved myself as a capable worker and found myself being entrusted with greater responsibility as time went by, my manager telling me I was being considered for a managerial role myself. I enjoyed my time at Oxfam, I met some good people and I got to see some of my old friends more regularly in an environment that was engaging without it being “Let’s meet up and stare at televisions and eat stuff”, now we were working together, we came to understand each other a bit better. I finally mended a long since shaking bridge with a friend of mine who has become irreplaceable over the past few months and I got to see sides to my best friend I had not seen before, all of us becoming much closer and much stronger as a unit and as individuals. I have no regrets there, this year to me is defined by the bonds I forged, the friends I made and the old friends I grew to know much better than I once did, holding them through tears and having them cheer me on to make something myself. I became warmer inside, warmer than I had felt before, much warmer than I started the year, a bitter and grumpy man simply existing, now I was working hard, spending time out being active and giving something back to my community.

Autumn rolled in and I got the job. I like to think I did pretty well, with everything considered, and my colleagues came to realise that I was not the shadow of my manager, I was a leader in my own right, I could feel that level of respect from them and it was demanding, sure, every issue that cropped up had a face staring towards me for directions. As the job came to an end, the overall evaluation came as a disappointment, I had not lived up to what I expected of myself or the targets I had been set, management is a challenging line of work for a man who barely says more than twenty words a day. I had my confidence shaken, some had doubted my capability in my role and went about their problems with me in ways I didn’t feel satisfied with, namely going around me to my superiors but hey, that’s the world of work, not everyone has it in them to come up to someone and resolve problems in such a direct manner, even myself at times. I took a step back from Oxfam after that point, to rest, to try and enjoy the festive season with a fair sum of money to my name, which I used to get some essentials for the future and to thoroughly spoil those that I cared about, knowing I wouldn’t get the chance too often. I did it because, well, even though not one of them would say I owe them anything, I felt I did, I had started this year so bitter and cold but each of them gave me something, each of them made me laugh, supported me through tough times and I had grown to love them all in ways I never did before. Blah, mushy…

The year has brought joys and sorrows. Ok, so I had my heart trampled on again, my cynicism towards romance is at its absolute peak now but through careful discussions, I came to understand what I REALLY want in a relationship, not what I told myself I wanted, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that things will work out and I actually feel some hope there. I felt a sense of elation on my birthday though, that for me was brilliant, that so many would show up even without seeing me for so long, just to celebrate my birthday and all of them paired their contribution to the party cost and then some, it reminded me that for all my money worries and dead love life, I’ve got good friends, in that sense I am rich. Granted, this is all a bit doey-eyed but it’s New Year’s Eve, it’s what we do, followed by ridiculous promises tomorrow.

So where am I now? Well, back to being unemployed and single but I have a better sense of who I am, how I feel and I now have a blog I actually put effort into, friends who actually want to spend time with me (Like, few weeks ago, met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in years and my god, it was like we’d never been apart, it was just natural friendly banter all the time, we shared a lot about ourselves and we’re meeting up again soon) and I have more experience of work, a better attitude and the support and resources to do more than claim benefits and rummage around for job opportunities like some sort of beggar, now I’m a desirable employee… though a car would help. Plans for the new year! Woop!

Anyway, happy new year readers, hope 2014 was your year and if not, fuck it, here’s another one, maybe it won’t be shitty, maybe it will, let’s find out together shall we? Hit like and share on here and be sure to check me out at my Facebook page, it’s funny now and then and the comment sections are a hoot (Though if this ever takes off, beware ze trolls!)


Here’s A Good Laugh

Trigger Warnings – None as far as I can see

I don’t know if my British audience follows the news as much as I do but the latest talk is that Daniel O’Reilly, better known as Dapper Laughs, has “killed” his character after a massive backlash on social media for advocating misogyny, sexual violence and intolerance of the disabled and the homeless with his comedy routine that revolves around the thought processes of the typical hetero-white-male thug from the streets, the kind of guy who tells you he banged your mom last night and refers to himself as a gangsta and a player when other people refer to him as a tosser and a cunt.

Dressed in an outfit strikingly similar to Steve Jobs, Daniel appeared on Newsnight and announced that Dapper Laughs is no more and that the character was a creation intended to amuse a certain demographic (refer to previous paragraph) but when it became a viral sensation, he got caught up in his fame and went over the line into full on dickwad mode. A former entertainer on a cruise ship, he said he was best known for his cheeky chappy persona and that was the foundation upon which he built this thuggish oaf that harassed girls on the street or pretended to be running for his life away from people in wheelchairs.

Understandably, this is a hard sell and I myself have a hard time believing the man’s sincerity, it’s funny he came to this epiphany after losing out on a TV show and having petitions come up left, right and centre to call an end to his tour, which has been cancelled in its entirety after Wales unanimously told him to play with the white lines in the road. Sincere or not, it comes off as backpedalling, especially when he refers to Dapper Laughs as a character when he had previously been using it as a stage name. Daniel probably hoped Dapper Laughs would be lumped in with the likes of Ali G, an ironic creation that openly mocks the stupidity of a certain creed of people for their ignorance, but it hasn’t come across that way to anyone really, everyone has taken the character to be the man, unlike Sacha Baron Cohen’s character, which met with some criticisms but has largely been accepted as a bad joke

I’m not sure what to make of it, kudos to the guy for putting his hands up at any point and he realises he’s ruined his own career by bursting onto the stage with such grace he’d have been better off calling himself Twatty McShittits and dancing in a mankini whilst making racist remarks, at least then nobody would have thought he’s serious and he wouldn’t have made it to TV, more likely he’d have made it to an institution. Dapper Laughs was regarded by his fans as the people’s comedian, which I can understand – no formal education, no middle-class background, no fancy references the layman can’t pick up on, the guy was clearly a performer and may well have had that potential but squandered it by pandering to the lowest denominator, by appealing to all that is base and crude within the average man with jokes about loose vaginas and all gay men being wusses, the jokes you heard the school bullies tell each other whilst they smoked around the back of the bike shed

A working-class young comic would be great, there are young comics and working class comics but rarely do the two meet and comedy is very much an art of intellect so it’s hard to be a comedian without a reasonable level of education and experience of the world. I thought about if I was a comedian for the working-class but I know I’m not, I’m far too pretentious and smug about making jokes referring to Oscar Wilde’s works and such like or paying homage to films and television shows people wouldn’t know about without being a fan of those things, I’m only working class in so far as the financial situation and the eating habits but personality wise, I’m the sort of man who you would expect to have a friend called Percival or who would be pondering whether he’s in the mood for tapas or sushi for lunch

Well, we’ll see what this guy does now but since he’s said he’s going to kill and bury that part of his life for good (which might seem like burning the evidence of his sins but hey, maybe that’s for the best, ten years from now we might see a world that can’t remember Dapper Laughs ever existing) I’m hoping he’ll take some time to rethink his life and his career and if that was not a performance and was indeed the guy himself, his thoughts on disability, homelessness, sexuality and gender stereotypes need some serious work. As one man working towards moving away from his past self to another though, I’ll choose to give him the benefit of the doubt for now and I hope to see his return to the social media being something suitable, maybe some earnest charity work to make amends as a suggestion? Who knows? The best thing to take away from this is that for once decency prevailed over moronic ignorance and a bad influence on our society has been laid to rest