So About That Video… Yeah… Sorry

Hey boys and girls, and anyone who identifies as both or neither (Equality for you all, free of charge!) do you remember that super awesome chocolate fudge mega video special edition I wanted to make for you all to celebrate 1000 views on my blog? You do? Well now here’s the thing – turns out that scripting and animating a video worthy of being my YouTube début is tricky business, especially when trying to fit it around college and caring for Alice, alongside my brother’s birthday and two days of stomach-related hell, so instead of it being a 1000 view special, I’ll make it 2000. As it stands, I have almost 1800 views by now so making it a 1000 view special seems like celebrating Christmas in March, too late and eerily ironic. I promise to do my best to get it up and running for the 2000 view mark, but remember it will all be hand-drawn and stop-motion animated so it does take it’s time, like seriously!

Right, moving on, if I can find the time I’d also like to expand what you see on this site to something beyond standard rants about the little first world problems I seem to encounter and kick up a fuss about worthy of being promoted to Archduke of Hipstertopia. This coffee shop is too expensive, these trousers are too low, this hat is too silly and so on and so on. Granted, occasionally I get up my own arse more than usual and give a rousing speech on why Thatcher’s funeral should be nothing more than digging a hole and dumping her in it, followed by pissing on the body for a bit but to be honest, my usual rant is basically me loading my verbal cannon with big words and delivering a sharp shot of sarcasm to society’s ugly mug. In that respect, I’ll try to broaden the topics to film and game criticisms when I get a new film to watch or game to play that I think you might be interested in and I’ll also do a few nerdy rants about cult classics I follow that I have a bone to pick with (Watch your ass Moffat!)

I’m pleased to see this site picking up ratings at long last and after asking so nicely for a little more attention from you all and effectively making a harmless arcade game into a psychology lesson for dummies, I shot back up like a dead pop-star’s CD sales. On the subject of broadening my horizons, I’ve often been asked to bring back an old series of short stories I used to write called ‘Tea-Drinking Wisecracker’, a collection of episodic adventures about the British equivalent to your comic book anti-hero and his battles with the creatures of hell and corporate masterminds, filled with smart-ass references to everything from Devil May Cry to V for Vendetta. Well, if you knew the series and liked it then I have good news – I will attempt to revive the series and honour it with a special page on this blog for you to follow. I hope this experiment does not fall foul of audience expectations, though I expect the derivative content to be the butt of many a snide remark from snooty elitists as it has been before but not to fear, I’ll sell it as being an ironic statement about the conventions of anti-hero drama. Boom.

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A Latte Of Old Rubbish

I went to a coffee shop recently, one I’ve held a grudge against for a little while since the manager went bat shit crazy at me for showing my girlfriend affection by cuddling and kissing her, a little peck I should add, whilst at our table, in the corner, away from everyone who didn’t seem miffed. Honestly, the hot-headed she-devil screamed at us for making a scene, when we hadn’t even made a sound and had previously gone unnoticed by the perfectly happy introverts in the rest of the room. Demonic bitch. Sorry, I’m rambling, what I meant to say was I was dragged in there again because it’s the only coffee shop in fair old Shrewsbury with comfortable furniture that you are allowed to lie down and fall asleep on, and my girlfriend and I ordered a pot of tea to share between us, which did nothing short of earn my disappointment and remind me one of the other reasons I avoid coffee shops nowadays.

The teapot was a cutesy little blue clay pot, around the size of a fist, with the most ridiculous little spout that was barely that long in comparison to a beetle’s dick and about as useful for pouring tea as a pancake is for digging a grave. The cups were wide at the top but again tiny and could only really hold what I could spit into it. As for the tea itself, flavourless and overpriced – £3.00 for a pot worth four tiny teacups, which in itself would probably only just about fill a mug. For the record, since when did a standard cup of tea become ‘English Breakfast’ tea? I drink tea pretty much all fucking day, not just at breakfast. If I say tea, you will serve me a teabag subjected to boiling water whilst sat in a teapot then poured into a mug, a mug bigger than my testicles I might add, that has a splash of milk and two sugars at the bottom. I am not Arthur Dent and you are not a computer, why do I need to go through a routine with you from Douglas Adams’ most well-known book? Earl Grey is Earl Grey, tea is tea.

I’ve decided I don’t buy into the coffee shop craze, tried it and liked it for a while when I was younger but that was before it really caught on, that’s right, ultimate hipster here folks, was a hipster before the hipsters were hipsters or hipster trends were even established. I only ever visited them late at night mind you, when the only other people who’d be there would be people I knew or people who just wanted somewhere to work in peace. As my budget tightens and my cynicism flowers into a hideous plant made of shit, I’ve noticed though that for what it is, it’s overpriced and not too much in it. I’d probably spend more time and money in these places if they didn’t ask me to empty my wallet for half a cup of tea then offer me the most expensive cakes imaginable, which measure in at the same dimensions at my finger. Call me a philistine but I do sometimes think I got more bang for my buck from old cafes, who lack the pretentious prettiness of your cute coffee shops but at least they know what size a cup of tea is and that I want it to come from a teabag that came in a multipack, not the extracted nostril hairs of a mystic yak or however these ‘fancy’ brands come about.

One argument you might hear is that it’s not just the food and drink you come out for, it’s the atmosphere of a coffee shop – the smell of the coffee brewing, the sound of cups and tea spoons clattering and the crowds of dapper and intelligent academics sat around discussing literature and art all around you… or at least, so you think. From what I’ve seen, everyone thinks this is the case so everyone turns up expecting to become part of this stylish crowd of super swots from the planet of book-smart sex gods so suddenly the coffee shop becomes jam-packed with anyone and everyone then your paradise of poetry becomes little more than a pretentious service station. I don’t hold some sort of elitist grudge against people entering a coffee shop if they don’t intend to mention at least one classical composer but my point is that if everyone goes to a coffee shop to feel like sophisticated somebodies then they’re not, they are just buying in on a fad. Irony fucks in the arse here as well, because the main customers of coffee shops are liberal-thinking students who hate big establishments, yet discuss their loathing of international monopolies whilst sat in Starbucks – somewhere on the same spectrum as discussing your hatred of racism with your mates from the EDL.

I guess a coffee shop is a nice place to stop off for a warm drink and a social gathering with friends, but it isn’t one in itself to be honest, not for me, and if you really want that kind of atmosphere that badly then invite your friends over and put the kettle on. You run your own cafes, all of you, it’s called your home – you’re the boss of the menu, the drinks, the music and the seating arrangements. A coffee shop is a pleasant, if pricey, pit-stop for a chat or a nice venue for a cosy little meeting between two people who aren’t on fully friendly terms yet but don’t mistake it for a place to form your day plan around – you probably don’t have the money to keep forking out on it and if you do, you’d get more for it buying a tin of biscuits and a packet of teabags to go home with.

The Western World

As most of you are hopefully aware, I have been born and raised in England, the largest country in Great Britain, and the land seemingly remembered across the world as being home of the crumpet, cucumber sandwiches and cups of tea. I can tell you from the offset that whilst these stereotypes have their grounds in reality, they are generalisations that don’t apply to every single Brit you meet, much in the same way that every American isn’t a gelatinous blob rolling out of Wal-Mart on a mobility scooter with a cheeseburger in one hand and his automatic rifle in the other whilst loudly singing Stars and Stripes. Britain and America rip on each other like two psychopaths who have stumbled across a spare box of waxing strips, and occasionally one calls the other this or that and everyone gets on their high horse of patriotism and ultimately proves nothing beyond the fact that those who live in privileged countries can find nothing better to do than kick up a fuss over nothing whilst blissfully ignoring starving orphans and dying soldiers in distant lands.

I would like to point out I have two nationalities, being both English and Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, and I proudly declare myself as being a mixture of these two countries. I pride myself on my Maori heritage and love to ponder my possible relation to chieftains of note, but I do so whilst sat there with a mug of tea so I’m trying to find that balance between being Mr Bean and a Maori warrior. I love England but I also love New Zealand and though sometimes I’m a little too keen to give history lessons on the latter, I don’t ram my nationality down anyone’s throat as if forcing them to drink the blood of my ancestors so they can understand my heritage a little better. I can say beyond doubt that not all of us are that considerate to others when we consider our nationality and the difference between being a patriot and shoving star spangled boots up our neighbour’s arse.

Second thing to point out, British people, is Great Britain is called such because it is the greater land mass in comparison with Brittany, a small nation near France, and it is not an honorary title bestowed upon us by God as if to say ‘You Brits got it right with the whole civilisation thing, assume your God-given right as pretentious overlords of three quarters of the world… fuck…’. Britain is more than just England too, Americans, it includes Wales and Scotland, sometimes even Ireland, or as some of you know them, the dragons, the angry men in skirts and the drunks. Once again, all stereotypes and not to be relied upon as cold hard fact but I will advise you never pick fights with the Irish because I know a few, and they’re a spirited bunch. We can all be proud of who we are, by all means, but your pride is your own and shouldn’t be made into a patriotic baton to beat foreigners with.

America is said to be the worst culprit for self-righteousness, viewing itself as the land of the free, the brave, the bold, the intelligent, the rich, the blessed, the inventive, the creative and pretty much every other flattering adjective but let’s not forget that as well as Britain having Churchill and quiet sensibility in its favour and Tony Blair to hold against it, you, America, have George Bush and serious issues with gun crime so let he who is without sin cast the first stone and people who live in glass houses shouldn’t shit all over their furniture. America has some good points and some bad points, like every other country. Yes, you’re the country that gave us computers and Facebook and Google but you also gave us the war in Iraq and you somehow earn the scorn of every terrorist organisation in the world and it’s not just jealousy that drives them onward.

Britain, America, you’re both flawed nations and you’re family really when you look back far enough so stop this pointless argument because we can fight forever on who’s better than who to no avail. Every category you can think of, both nations has good examples and bad examples of each. Politicians, inventors, weird laws, criminals and so forth, it goes on and on and on. However, neither of you can assume the moral high ground and you can both be dicks to one another with silly stereotypes that make no sense, with Mr Britain telling Mr America to fuck off home to have sex with his children then polish his gun whilst lazily filling his face with melted cheese but then Mr America would counter by telling him to shove some jam on toast up his arse until his snot turns pink and he passes out in the middle of his sexual encounters with the queen. I’d like to make this clear: people who make a point of having these arguments have an underlying common problem with their own character and that is that they are actually just angry nerds with acne, sat at a computer being flag-waving narcissists who couldn’t get sex in a brothel even if they shat solid gold.

At the end of the day, I’ll still hear some dumb shit happening in America on the news and I’ll smirk with my air of haughty British sarcasm and say ‘Oh America, such a great place to live’ then snigger to myself but that said, I live in a country where there was a serious political debate over who eats more pastries. The entire western world is fucked in the head; there is no point in being racist about it.