I am a very un-confrontational person. I will most often do everything in my power to avoid it.
However, today I did get involved in something, and at the time it was an almost out of body experience, it felt like I had no control over the words that came out of my mouth, before I’d really had time to weigh up any potential consequences until about halfway through what I was saying.
I was just paying for some items in my local co-op, and there was some sort of argy-bargy going on between a scruffy looking aggressive and irate man and one of the co-op staff. The aggressive and irate man was outside at this point, having been ejected by the staff member (who I think is a security guard, but wears the same uniform as the rest of the staff) on suspicion of stealing (something the other saff seemed to be confirming that he had done amongst themselves). Aggressive and irate man had taken exception to this; great exception. He was mouthing off at the staff member, being all irate and aggressive, swearing and shouting blue murder, calling the worker a cunt, all the good stuff. At this point I won’t say I thought it was fine, but it was just a fairly standard bit of aggro, so I didn’t feel compelled to do anything, preferring just to keep my head down and avoid all possible involvement. Security guard man looks the type who could hold his own in such a situation.
However, aggressive and irate man then starts bringing the co-op staff member’s job into the equation, really having a go, mocking him, telling him that it’s the kind of job that he used to do when he was 16, and the co-op staff member must be what, 30 or so. He should go back to staking shelves to take home his, what are you on mate? £6.45 an hour or something, go on, get back to your replenishment, go on, off and stack the shelves.
As soon as aggressive and irate man started mocking the co-op worker’s job role, pay etc, my mind is racing thinking how dare he say such things, how dare he cast such judgements, and most of all, saying what he’s saying is insulting to every single person who works in that shop who by now can all quite clearly hear him. This is the point at which the split second decision to say something or not say something goes in one direction, and I find myself speaking, and can’t quite believe I’m doing it, because first and foremost I do not like confrontation, but most of all because aggressive and irate man doesn’t look the type who takes kindly to people telling him what he’s saying is wrong. I essentially tell him that what he’s said has just insulted everyone who works in the shop, and it’s a horrible thing to have done to belittle all those people.
Naturally (I mean really, what else was I expecting) he storms back into the shop and gets all up in my face, asking me why I’m getting involved, shouting that it’s not my place to get involved and ends by calling me a “four eyed twat”. If the truth be told, whatever I said was probably irrelevant to him, he probably didn’t even hear the words, just heard someone else directing attention to his fracas with the co-op worker and took exception to it. Of course in that moment I was a bit scared, I’m not a strong guy, I don’t know any martial arts, and after my initial outburst I had nothing else to say so just kept quiet and hoped he’d just leave me alone.
Perhaps it was a stupid thing to do given that I didn’t know the guy from Adam, and had no idea of what he does, what he’s capable of, how quick he is to get phyisical. I could have been the straw that broke the camel’s back that saw him draw out a knife. But, I felt so overwhelmingly angry that he’d mocked this guy for his job, and by extension insulted all the people who worked in that shop, I just blurted out what I felt.
So, that was that really. Afterwards a mum with a toddler in a pram came up to me and said well done for saying something, and if I hadn’t have said something she would have done - at which point I suspect aggressive and irate man would have had no qualms about getting all up in her face too. I say this because from fairly early on in the whole debacle, and what I assume is quite clear by now, as that he did not strike me as one of life’s pleasant individuals.
Anyway, that was just a thing that happened today. It wasn’t a particularly memorable event objectively speaking, as these kind of small scale confrontations must occur myriad times every day all across towns and cities all across the world. But I guess it showed me that we should never underestimate ourselves, as in unpredictable moments and circumstances, something you do might just take you completely by surprise, and in a good way.
tl:dr - Essentially, I’m batman.
A straight-jacketed patient with untreated open sores on her leg crying alone on a bench. Unknown mental hospital, Youngstown, Ohio, 1946.
Reblogging this because it’s so desperately sad. How that woman must have felt in that moment - trapped, alone, uncared for, in pain, forgotten, scared. And what’s even more tragic is that feeling that way is probably how she spent the rest of her life.
It’s not often that something on this website makes me pause for thought and reflect for so long. So much of it is just throwaway frippery like a bullshit inspirational quote on a picture of a sunset, or someone wallowing in self pity over a relationship break up, or an hilarious meme.
Anyway. As much as I’d like to think that things got better for this lady after this photo, they probably didn’t. I expect she is long dead, and whilst death isn’t perhaps something to be celebrated, I feel that for her it was probably a welcome release from her sad existence.
R.I.P anonymous lady.
Remote control and ipad. But I’m not even worried about these crappy weapons, because my buddy is Carrie Matheson and that girl can get shit done in any situation.
My weapons are a notebook and a mug and my only surviving friend is TIM WONNACOTT FROM BARGAIN HUNT. Ah well…At least we’ll be superbly dressed as we’re ripped to shreds.
Never going to get a job if I carry on this way am I. Oh well.
Jim gave the application pack the once over. Feeling that this was “the job for him” he filled it all out dutifully and as to the letter as he could, until he reached the dreaded section entitled “Personal Statement”. Wincing, he read through it and felt the ghosts of personal statements past surrounding him oppressively. Then, a glimmer of something he’d tried once before - something that he’d attempted both in a moment of desperation, but also as a means to challenge himself to see whether he could actually go through with it, and whether it would bear any employment flavoured fruit. Was it a good idea to try this again?
He thought of the overwhelming success he’d had off the back of the last time he tried something like this – people were falling over themselves to employ this excellent person who hadn’t declared himself “a flexible and highly motivated team playing individual, with excellent time keeping and organisational skills.”…It was no good; he could only deceive himself up to a point before the crushing reality of what had really happened returned to his mind – a series of rejection letters, and at worst, a complete lack of any form of response. Jim mused on this for a moment, wondering whether it was even worth trying, but then recalled how he’d received precisely the same reaction from sending out a series of ‘by the book’ statements, so, what was there to lose. Looking back over the application pack, he once more thought to himself that perhaps it wasn’t such a great idea after all. If he tried something ridiculous and doomed to failure, he couldn’t possibly fulfil all the requirements that were being asked of him - addressing all thirty three points in the job description and person specification. He experienced a brief moment of doubt, before soldiering on regardless. Perhaps it was all just a test anyway, a trick question - figuring that if he spent on average fifty words answering each point, the one thousand six hundred and fifty word statement that resulted would far exceed the thousand word limit (though this did allow him to display, in part, his excellent numeracy skills.)
This time it would be different, he thought to himself, comforted in the knowledge that, of all the companies out there who’d understand what he was doing here, a company founded on nurturing creative writing were precisely the kind of people who’d absolutely get it, and would surely give him an interview immediately? Wouldn’t they? Whilst he may not have demonstrated all the required abilities, through his CV he’d shown his commitment to employment and his qualities as a trusted and dedicated employee. Sure, he probably wouldn’t have the most extensive experience out of everyone applying for the job, but he considered that which he did have to be a solid foundation, and one which would stand him in good stead to comfortably and quickly settle into the job.
Jim looked over what he’d done. Was he really going to do this? It turned out that yes, he was going to do this. Approaching the ‘file’ button with his cursor, shook off one tiny last minute moment of doubt, selected ‘print’, and never looked back.
Today I decided to write a letter to David Cameron. I don’t expect that it will be read by him, and nor do I expect anything more than a stock answer, but you don’t know until you try I guess. I also cc’ed in a few other people. Most of them should be obvious, and Tessa Jowell is there because she’s my local MP. I also figure that by posting it here it’s now become an open letter, which is fine by me. Here is what I wrote:
Dear Mr. Cameron,
It is with great concern that I write to you regarding the escalating injustice toward and severe mistreatment of LGBT people in Russia. I have never been compelled to write to a Prime Minister before about any issue, so I hope this conveys my depth of feeling on this subject.
As the Prime Minister of a government that has just passed equal marriage into law in this country, I trust that the situation in Russia is of growing concern to you and many other members of parliament. Vladimir Putin is slowly but surely eroding the human rights of lgbt people in Russia to the extent that they will soon have very few freedoms left and already live in fear of state criminalisation and mob violence. Extreme violence and mistreatment of lgbt people is rising rapidly, and has even resulted in the tragic death of a young man in the city of Volgograd in May of this year. It is not beyond the realms of imagination that there have also been many other deaths and serious injuries that have been hidden by the Russian authorities and gone unreported.
Mr. Putin has, ever since his ascent to power in Russian politics, been hell bent on creating an authoritarian state that erodes the rights of not only Russian lgbt people, but also those from other nations visiting the country. He has fashioned lgbt people into a scapegoat for many of Russia’s problems, and is turning the Russian population at large against them. We need look no further than Russian opinion polls to see this – a survey carried out this year found that 74% of Russians believed that homosexuality should not be accepted by society, an increase from 60% in 2002.
If your recent vote to legalise equal marriage had more substance than simply political point scoring, then I trust that the rights and freedoms of lgbt people are of significant personal importance to you, and thus it should be something about which you feel passionately enough to publicly condemn Mr. Putin.
With the Winter Olympics of 2014 on the horizon, and with the global focus that this will bring to Russia, it is time that Vladimir Putin is sent the message that his policies are completely unacceptable, and that we as a nation absolutely abhor what he is doing to Russian lgbt people. You are a highly educated man Mr. Cameron, and as such you are surely more than aware of the specifics of what is happening in Russia, and thus recognise the importance of this matter. I would like to know when you, or a member of your government, plan to speak publicly about this, and in the strongest possible terms condemn Mr. Putin for what he is doing. And if you have no plans to do so, I would like to know why not?
c.c Ben Summerskill, Peter Tatchell, Benjamin Cohen, Patrick Strudwick, Tessa Jowell
Here’s something I’m only just querying watching Breaking Bad a second time around.
In Season 3, something doesn’t seem to add up. The first deal Walt cuts with Gus is for $1.2million. Walt and Jesse produce the required amount in 4 days - $300000 per day. And yet, Gus’s next offer is $3million for 3 MONTHS work. Assuming each month is 30 days, that’s $3million / 90 = $33333.33 per day, which represents a near as dammit 10 fold reduction in pay. Why would this second offer even be considered without referring back to the original, much more generous offer? Is it just because $3million is such a large amount regardless of the time taken? Or is it because the second offer is based on a fairly different set of circumstances? Presumably a mix between the two.
Or maybe I just missed some key detail even on a second watch.
Ho hum. Still the best show.
It appears that this is the first blog post from us at BTM in a loooong time! So what better way to get back into the swing of things than with a review of the latest record from scene stalwarts Red Seas Fire. Enjoy!
Red Seas Fire - Exposition
1 - Fortress
2 - Turner & Hooch
My first review over at “British Tech Metal”. Check it out if you’re so inclined.
Aside from being my Mum’s birthday and my attending the first gig I’d been to in six months (Killswitch Engage. If you saw my twitter around that time, you’d have seen that I rather enjoyed it…) the 5th of May marked quite a significant anniversary for me.
It marked a whole year since I had an alcoholic drink.
Since I was about 21 I’ve not really been much of a drinker anyway, so abstaining from alcohol isn’t a particularly tough challenge for me. However, I don’t think I’ve gone a whole year without it before, not consciously at least. It was only after about 6 months of being “dry” that I sort of became conscious of the fact that I hadn’t drunk in so long, and decided to try and do it for a year. And well, there we go, I’ve done it.
Something that has become abundantly clear to me over my years of nor drinking that much, and over the last year of not drinking at all is that, In general, drinking is not only accepted, but is almost expected of us in the society we live in. And that’s something that troubles me. Being relatively (or as now, completely) alcohol free is not an alien concept for me, but to many people, either cutting down or going without alcohol seem like the most alien concepts imaginable.
I can’t quite remember the exact quote, but Simon Amstell pretty much nailed the entirety of what I’ve been talking about above in his show “Numb”. He said something along the lines of if you’re not a recovering alcoholic, other people seem troubled by the fact that you aren’t drinking and will be almost insistent that you should have a drink - as if there’s no other reason not to drink other than being a recovering alcoholic. And I’m absolutely with him on this one. It’s my choice not to drink at the moment, I have my reasons (health if you really want to know), and that should be enough for anyone, no insistence on my having a drink should be made.
Erm…anyway. I should make it clear at this juncture that I don’t particularly have anything against drinking - I may yet drink alcohol again in the future, but for the time being I choose not to drink it. Other people choose to drink it, and that’s fine, so long as that does no harm to anyone else - something that, alas, it very often does. (which is another discussion entirely, and not something I have the time or the inclination to discuss here.)
So that’s it. I have been a year (and counting) without alcohol. And if your opinion is that that makes me boring or dull or no fun or what have you, then that’s fine. But if you can’t open your mind to question societal norms and accept other people’s life choices, then that’s your problem, not mine. Let’s be un-friends.