These annoying little things are not in any order of personal frustration and, on the surface, not all of them appear to have a tremendous amount in common apart from the fact that in their own way they have (and still do) totally unimpressed me one way or another. I have tried not to offend too many people here … if I do, then fine – there’s nothing I can do. I’ve also tried to be moderately polite – but to feature on this page does mean that the item or person in question is fairly high on my loathe list (see also Good Stuff and Heroes).
There are no words to describe my hatred of racists. I cannot begin to tell you how much these pitiful, nasty, ignorant people annoy, anger and personally disturb me. Having actually witnessed this gross behaviour on many levels several times in my life I find hard to put into words how much I feel about this subject. It hurts me right to my core that because a persons skin colour, culture and beliefs are allegedly ‘incompatible’ or ‘different’ they should be treated as sub-human. I find it equally alarming that in supposed ‘civilised society’ racism is still rife. It churns my stomach and is something I have zero tolerance. Indeed I have been involved in several quite serious head-on arguments and actual clashes with these people who have either directly offended friends of mine or have made deliberate comments supporting racism.
When I was working in one country some years ago I witnessed a black guy being beaten senseless by a bunch of unruly rich white guys. Trust me when I say that I will never forget the scared look on the bloodied face of the victim. The image and the actions of these bullies will stay with me until I die. My colleagues and I went to the aid of the poor victim and after some on the spot medical attention walked away into the night – he survived, many don’t.
“By its simplest definition, is the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. People with racist beliefs might hate certain groups of people according to their racial groups. In the case of institutional racism, certain racial groups may be denied rights or benefits, or get preferential treatment. Racial discrimination typically points out taxonomic differences between different groups of people, even though anybody can be racialised, independently of their somatic differences. According to the United Nations conventions, there is no distinction between the term racial discrimination and ethnic discrimination”.
Thatcherism and the Conservatives
Thatcherism is the name given to the laissez-faire policy of Margaret Thatcher (1925-), British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990.
Her time as leader of the Conservatives and Prime Minister cast the darkest shadow over Great Britain I have known in my life. Her policies created wholesale misery for a vast majority of the British.
An advocate of supply-side economics, among Thatcher’s policies were: reductions in tax; manipulation of the money supply to reduce inflation; privatization of public industry; reduction of trade union power; reduction of government’s role in the economy; and encouragement of people to save, work and buy property. In 1983, Thatcher’s anti-inflationary policies resulted in the worst unemployment figures since 1923.
Margaret Thatcher and her administration sacrificed Britain’s social well-being in the pursuit of her economic policy.
She was succeeded as Prime Minister by John Major who clung in part to the former leaders’ policies, created a new sleazier nasty right-wing administration, patronised the British electorate on “Family Values” whilst having a secret love affair with Cabinet Minister, Edwina Curry. Major’s administration was riddled with sleaze and scam the like of which I can never remember – worse even than that other Conservative scandal involving War Minister John Profumo.
Since Major’s humiliating defeat at the 1997 General Election there have been countless leaders of this political party all of whom have never gained the top political seat. But the damage, hatred and despair amongst the ordinary folk of Britain will never be forgotten.
Hunting (aka Slaughtering Innocent Wild Animals).
I was born and brought up in the rural Westcountry. In fact I am very much a ‘country lad’. But (and this will probably annoy a few readers here) there is, in my opinion, nothing more loathsome about the British way of life than the hideous ‘sport’ of recklessly killing living animals purely as a sport. I dislike the activity and the high and mighty, relic, out-dated followers of it. At least it’s been outlawed – but as many in our green and pleasant land seem to lead a life that is devoid of any semblance of reality, I wouldn’t been surprised if there is a large amount of law-bending going on.
I’m not sure quite where to begin with this one. Ignorance is a too pleasant word to describe homophobes. There is no single definition for the term ‘homophobia’, as it covers a wide range of different viewpoints and attitudes.
Homophobia describes hostility or fear of gay people and homosexuality, but it is not limited to this specifically. For example someone might be called homophobic if they dislike gay people; or if someone is violent towards a gay person they could also be described as homophobic.
Homophobia comes in many forms: malicious gossip, name-calling, intimidating looks, internet bullying, vandalism and theft of property, discrimination at work, isolation and rejection, death threats or even sexual assault.
To combat homophobia, the LGBT community uses events such as gay pride parades and political activist. This is criticized by some as counter-productive though, as gay pride parades showcase what could be seen as more “extreme” sexuality; fetish-based, and gender-variant aspects of LGBT culture. One form of organized resistance to homophobia is the International Day Against Homophobia (or IDAHO), first celebrated May 17, 2005 in related activities in more than 40 countries.
In addition to public expression, legislation has been designed, controversially, to oppose homophobia, as in hate speech, hate crime, and laws against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Britains dangerous unpleasant peasant underclass that are taking over our towns and cities. Also known as Neds, Townies, Kevs, Charvers, Steeks, Spides, Bazzas, Yarcos, Ratboys, Kappa Slappers, Skangers, Scutters, Janners, Stigs, Scallies and Hood Rats.
Chavs have such a tribal dress code that you can spot one inches away. Now what makes the Chavs attire so funny is that they think they are at the cutting edge fashion and that by adorning their body with hunks of worthless 9ct gold tack they look rich. They are the pits and have permanently wrecked the image of a certain well known clothing company as well.
Sales patter for “even a monkey can install it”. Don’t you believe it. I have the usual selection of gadgets – in fact I love gadgets - but I have never ever bought anything that is simple to “install”. Some of the instructions read like ‘War and Peace’. In fact I bought this piece of kit once that I was convinced will help me greatly. How wrong I was – the book was actually larger than the gadget and I have never been able to get it going. Worse of all is having to admit defeat at one’s logical attempt to get the kit going and having to ring the “Advice Line” where, if you are lucky enough to get through and afford the extortionate ‘Premium’ number, you are either patronised like a ten year old or you resort to screaming like a deranged hyena down the line because the call centred is half way round the world and the operator cannot hear you and you can barely hear the operator. Should be called ‘Plug ‘n’ have a total wobbly’.
Former Conservative British Prime Minister. Not unlike Attila the Hun in a dress with a handbag. Some interesting late night reading is Margaret Thatcher: The Downing Street Years. I actually bought this volume in the vain attempt to try and understand the person and her period of rule over the UK. Trouble is, reading it before sleep might give you nightmares – it did me. Hers was a regime of rampant inflation, out of control interest rates and raging unemployment. She might be a sweet old widow now (please use your imagination) but her term in office was, for me at least, very dark indeed.
Tedious and mind-numbing Channel Four reality show. It should have been killed off at the end of series one as a semi-pleasant tv memory and that’s all. If you are outside the UK – chances are this terrifying format has hit a television station near you. Now this boring, lengthy reality telly feast seems to be a regular summertime event in the UK although it does seem that the format is gradually beginning bore even the most hardened viewer. Big Brother is a chance to really, really get to know every little boring, ghastly detail of these celebrity hopefuls. Will they? Won’t they? Can they? Should they? It drives me bloody crazy and fills me with dread. I watched a 26 part series about paint drying once – it was infinitely more thrilling.
Meet ‘Mister ‘Family Values’. Former British Prime Minister, former leader of the UK Conservative Party and lover of, but not married to, former Cabinet Minister Edwina Curry (cringe.). More raging inflation and rampant unemployment. His time in Downing Street was marred with countless political scandals and his oh so ironic “family values” policy. In 1997 Major and his sleaze ridden Conservative regime was finally swept from power in the largest ever Labour majority. After 18 long, long dark and dismal years of Tory misrule Johnny Boy final buggered up any hope of the Conservatives showing the remotest sign of a large Tory ruling majority for an extremely long time. John Major was the man who buried his own party. In 1997 once again there was fresh hope and new expectations as the Labour Party unceremoniously wiped the political floor and re-built confidence in British life and British values. Blimey. Anyone would think I was a socialist.
Instant audio information to assist the traveller. You be can wondering around the forecourt (is that the right expression?) of a railway station (let’s take Waterloo as an example). You are on time, you’ve planned your day, you’ve made allowances for delay and then you arrive at the station to be thrown totally off the mark by some muffled, echoing, nasal allegedly urgent announcement that’s bound to cock-up the most organised plan. I have never been able to ever understand the actual words in these announcements – they echo around the station and they are totally inaudible.
Designed to greatly assist the consumer. If I hear some ghastly synthesized version of the ‘Hey Jude’ whilst on hold again, I’ll commit something extremely anti-social. You press countless buttons on your phone to make the correct ‘option’, you finally get through to a human voice somewhere between Aberdeen and Delhi only to be told you will be put ‘on hold’. In my vast experience BT is painful and a certain bank is unbelievable. You are totally in the hands of these operators … holding and holding … listening to some ghastly repetitive muszak whilst wondering if the person ‘holding’ you has gone off for a tea break or maybe the weekly shopping. Automated telephone systems have done more than anything to wreck the tattered remains of certain company’s public relations. If I know I have to go through this hell I make a point of not using the available services. They are a pain in the neck and quite occasionally responsible for really high phone bills. Automated? Convenient? Don’t you believe it.
I have to say that I am afraid of vast volumes of H2O. Swimming baths have always terrified me – I can’t stand the smell and the fear of drowning is too much. I love looking at the sea. I hate having any personal contact with it – especially as it’s likely that little Joey has more than likely urinated in it. Moreover if you are on some sunny resort – are you sure that seawater is safe from sewerage and other nasties? Argh. The thought of it. I’m okay on small boats on rivers, ferries crossing short sections or in calm bays. But I had a genuinely terrifying experience during Christmas / New Year 1985 on board a very famous and extremely large liner in the middle of the Bay of Biscay. I shan’t bore you with the hideous details but needless to say I didn’t watch Titanic (in any case I knew the plot – unsinkable boat sinks in 1912, major tragedy, many casualties).
If you are over 18 you write your will. You tie some stretchy stuff around your ankles. You dive off from an extremely high place in the hope that you’ll survive. What a completely stupid thing this is. What the hell does anyone get from jumping from a great height with a bit of elasticated (?) material to save them from crushing their skulls and terrifying the poor onlookers? And what does ‘bungy’ mean anyway? Apart from the plain foolhardiness there’s no 100% guarantee you won’t get permanent brain damage or any other impairment come to that. What happens if the elastic breaks? You die and the poor audience end up on therapy. Bloody stupid idea.
The ability to waffle like a prat into a piece of plastic whilst in a busy railway carriage. This has to be one my biggest gripes. Mobile phones are useful. Crucial in an emergency. But that’s as far as it goes. I was sat in a railway carriage at Paddington one Friday afternoon with the prospect of a couple hour journey to the Westcountry. The train was about to leave. Most of us were sitting quietly. Then this person decided to call her sexual partner for some aimless tittle-tattle. The entire carriage had to hear the most intimate (and quite revolting) details of her relationship and some truly embarrassing explicit rubbish. Then seconds after this call, three mobiles bleeped (one with the tune of Hey Jude) and the carriage turned into a zoo of passengers with plastic stuck to their ears. There should be a law against it and the culprits should be forced to do a course in comprehensible railway station announcements.
Alleged Music Noise
Extremely repetitive ‘musack’. I cannot get my head around it. It’s got nothing to do with the fact I am facing 54 head on – it’s just I have never ever understood it. To me it’s neither melodic or poetic. I don’t hate it, I just don’t understand it and, frankly, I don’t particularly want to either. (I was recently sent an email from a friend of mine to ask me why I’ve used a picture of Mother Teresa to represent this issue. Give me strength.). The other week I watched a story on local television about how the younger folk could modernise the most traditional music. From what I could gather the little darlings (the future of our country) were given a ‘grant’ to enable them to develop their ‘skills’ (local televisions words, not mine). And the result – The Sound of Music done to some nasal annoying beat rhythm noise. Money well spent (not). Should of spent the cash getting them away from drugs and into an apprenticeship so years later they won’t be wasting their time moaning about stuff on the internet.
Irritating people we are supposed to recognise or adore. Folks we are meant know every tiny intimate detail about. We have an extremely unhealthy obsession in the UK with these D-list allegedly well-known people who have risen from obscurity through some dreadful reality show. They are all over the tabloids and permeate the countless number of B-rate cable or satellite stations as ‘presenters’ or ‘special guests’. You know who I mean … spotty, sicky, out of work actor Darilyn from ‘I’m An Unknown … Get Me Out Of Here’ … or incomprehensible, drug-ridden, sniffy, Shaznee from ‘Big Brother series 96′ (famous because she’s got the biggest tits in Tottenham). I don’t want to know about them (especially them.) or the incestuous, silly little reality programme they have bored the nation with. Blimey mate. Where’s the remote?