So, it's rapidly approaching that time of year again. In fact it may already be upon us.
What time of year?
Why the time of year when I become horribly depressed, lethargic and generally rater unpleasant to everyone of course.
I read recently, with some interest, the case of Jared Loughner and whilst no-one could reasonably condone his actions, I just felt hugely sorry for the guy.
Yes, he appears to be a complete and utter fruitloop with a slim grasp on reality, but you have to wonder how he got like that in the first place.
The news is saying he is a paranoid Schizophrenic because he became obssessed by the idea that the government was controlling everyone and everything around him, and it obviously drove him to mental illness. But when I look around, I can't help but feel he may have had a point.
Not actually of course, the guy was fucking nuts, but try walking through Manchester city centre sometime, and try not looking at the adverts. The idea that everyone is being controlled isn't such a far fetched one. Not in the paranoid sense that it is one evil party that is deliberately trying to manipulate what people do, but in terms of how businesses compete for your custom.
It's well known that some large food chains pump the smell of their food into the street to make people want to buy it. Is that mind control in the sense of it being tinfoil hat time? No. Is it the power of suggestion? Yes, very much so, and I can understand why someone would be upset by that.
We spend our entire adult lives being bombarded by people telling us how much we need X,Y and Z. It gets fucking tiresome after a while. I'm fucking tired of it now. But what makes me really sad are the people that go "Yes, I need X,Y and Z".
There is a phenomena known as "Premium Pricing" that basically means that if someone were presented with two items, identical in function but one with a recognised brand that charges more, they would pay more for the recognised brand. There are different reasons for this. Understandably, you would pay more money for a product you believed to be of a higher quality. But another reason suggests that people pay more money unneccessarily for products as a symbol of self-worth. "I am worth spending this amount of money on".
It is the principle on which all "luxury" goods are priced. Rolex watches being a good example. There is no part of a Rolex that is any more a watch than a well built equivalent that costs £30. Yet there are Rolexs that costs half a million pounds.
Why? Because we live in a society that places wealth, beauty and celebrity on a higher pedestal than intelligence, creativity and true individuality. And why do we do that? Because we're told constantly, every single fucking day, that these things have value.
Why is there a mass desire for people to look slim and muscular? Because these are the images we are presented with on a daily basis. These are the ideals we are held up to, every single day.
Why do so many people audition for the X Factor? Because we are led to believe that celebrities are somehow more valuable than the bloke who lives 6 doors down from you, purely because they're on the television, and people so desperately want to be considered more important than the rest of the peasants.
Whilst Jared Loughner is a paranoid schizophrenic, I wonder which came first? Was he a paranoid schizophrenic who then became obssessed by notions of control, or did he become obssessed and then turn into a schizophrenic?
Lord knows I often feel like I'm the only one that can see just how completely pervasive the media is in every aspect of Western life, and it drives me to complete distraction at best, absolute depression at worst.
I sympathise with Jared Loughner because I, like he, feel like there is no place for me in society because of this. I genuinely feel like I wouldn't last in probably 95% of jobs. Not out of laziness, not out of stupidity, but because I just can't function in an evironment where I'm not being intellectually stimulated. Nor can I function in an environment which requires me to pretend to be something I'm not. Which, in this country, accounts for most places of employment.
I honestly reckon I'd get fired from McDonalds.
I don't get how most people can progress in their careers. I genuinely don't. I can't wrap my head around the concept that someone could do a job, like retail management for example, for 20 years. If you're genuinely passionate about it, then fair enough. But how many retail managers are genuinely passionate about retail management?
How can you do something you don't really give a shit about for 20 years of your life? Because of the money perhaps? I have a sneaking suspicion that that is the case for the majority of people. In which case, fuck you all for valuing your bank balance higher than your own personal and spiritual happiness.
I can see how someone would get bogged down doing a shit job if they had kids to feed, but if your situation is so bad that you have to do something you hate to provide for them, then maybe you should have picked your time to have kids a little more carefully.
Jared Loughner is a tragic case. He had no network of support behind him that allowed him to get the treatment he needed for his mental illnesses. His parents seemed to not really give a fuck as to what he got up to when he wasn't under their roof, similarly, upon showing the first signs of a deteriorating mental condition, his school had him excluded rather than stepping in to do something about it.
It's tragic, but unsurprising.
We live in a society that, when confronted with anyone or anything that doesn't adhere to a rigid set of rules and standards, actively shuns them or it. I feel like I've experienced this first hand on several occasions. I'm not by any means insane, unlike Jared Loughner, and yet like him I've lost count of the number of times I've felt hard done by simply because I'm not "like" everyone else. In him it resulted in him shooting a load of people to death. In me, it results in a ranty blog post.
To each his own, I guess.
I was pulled up several times in my last job for "looking pissed off". I can tell you catagorically, every time this was said to me I was genuinely, GENUINELY taken aback as on not one single occasion did I feel even slightly annoyed, let alone pissed off, yet this is something I've dealt with since I was about 11. I can't help the way other people fucking perceive me, but that is somehow my fault. I apparently look intimidating to people because I have dark features (because my family is fucking Irish) and because I'm 6'0 and 17 stone. How the fuck is it my problem if I intimidate people with my physical appearance? Do I go round threatening people? No. Do I go round randomly attacking passers by? No. Do I actively do anything that would make people feel the need to be wary of me? No.
Whilst I'm not the bubbliest person to be around, I don't (contrary to popular belief) spend all of my days wandering around in a huff because that gets fucking old fucking quickly. There are many things I enjoy doing, and they keep me sane. I learnt a few years ago to prioritise my general mental well being over everything else, because it's a slippy slope into depression, which is an even slippier slope into real-world troubles like not paying bills and so on. My body tells me when I'm not happy, and I listen. But because I wasn't going around fucking constantly with an ear to ear grin on my face, this was deemed as not being fucking good enough. Which in turn DOES piss me off, thus exacerbating the situation further.
Can someone tell me why the fuck I am expected to just fucking accept how completely shit a given situation is? Am I supposed to be happy about the way I'm treated by people?
Am I not allowed to just be my-fucking-self? Even if I am sometime unpleasant to be around, even if I am moody and incommunicative sometimes, what fucking business is that of anybodies but mine? Why is it such a fucking terrible thing? Do I stop other people from getting on with their lives? No, I fucking don't.
Am I meant to say, "You know what? You're ALL right. I'll just change everything about my personality, because you don't fucking like it. I'll wear the clothes you want me to wear. I'll cut my hair in a way that doesn't offend you. I'll listen to the music you want me to fucking listen to. I'll do a shit job that I hate until I die. Just like all of you. I'll be just like all of you."
I wasn't born like this. I was a very good natured and happy child. I have been made into what I am by the people that would change it all given the chance.
Well, fuck you all. Fuck you all. I leave you alone, so you leave me the fuck alone and we'll get on just fine.