Is the dream over?

The social network, has it finally begun to plot it’s own downfall?
I’ve never been a huge fan of Facebook but lately it’s turned into the place where the eternally dull go to copy other peoples posts then repost them as their own in the hope (I assume) of making themselves appear less tedious than they truly are. As those groovetastic youngsters might say…epic fail!
I always thought it was where you went to interact with ‘friends’ and discuss the minutiae of life without the tedium of actually having to speak, or worse, actually go out and spend time in someone else’s beige hellhole of an over sanitised homage to advertising channels, too much spare cash and tastelessness.
Never has so much been available to so many for so little and so tawdry a scene created with so much.

I shouldn’t bitch, my space is no home but I’m a single man, what do you expect? I’ve got a computer, guitars, TV, what the furry pet else does a man need?

Anyway, I think maybe it’s about time they stopped the photo-sharing thing, especially the pre-written philosiphications that some monkeys put up as if they are the arbiters of taste because they once read something that sounded clever. Christ, if you can’t write it, don’t quote it!
I swear these are the idiots who walk round with an arm or chest covered in papyrus script with some random quote about life and how to live it.
I might consider having my own quote on me but NEVER anyone else’s. Even the likes of Einstein are tedious dicks when it comes to quotes but the crap I’ve seen on the average munk* is Clinton’s cards/Christmas cracker stuff but somehow the furrykings of aunts believe they’re showing off their better-than-ours intelligence. Hmmm, if you want to do that how about not getting it tattooed on you? How about NOT having Carpe Diem tattooed on the back of your neck?
I have never seen a professor at ANY of the top universities with quotes from their heroes inked into their flesh so I’m guessing it’s best kept in your head and fished out at dinner parties. Personally I don’t know what Carpe Diem means, is it whatever happens or something naff like that? What will be will be? Sounds like something Rolf Harris would write a song about.

Still; I’m starting to sound bitchy now so before I say something facetious I’ll just say…

Man has but one turn around the font of knowledge in his short existence, better to exist in perpetual naivety than to quote the best of another.

Tattoo that muthertoucher…I dare you

*Munk~ slightly less than intellectual.

Social media sellers

I don’t think it’s okay to use your twitter or whatever as a source of income. Different if you’re already well known, I suppose it’s going to be inevitable but setting your twitter account to churn out hourly adverts for your products is sinful and vile and shouldn’t be allowed in my book. Well; not actually IN one of my books, I’ve got better things to write about than that sort of guff but you know what I mean?
I do put stuff up about my books on my Fbuk page but that’s because I know loads of other authors but I really don’t expect to sell any through it. It’s a little bit of showing off to those that think I’m a tool. I am but I am a tool who can dedicate a lot of time to achieving goals that a lot of others can’t. Fifteen books and counting but hey, I’m not boasting…much.
I get that the hardest thing is to get yourself out there and get a name for yourself but I’m not convinced that twitter is the place to do that.
I just put the cover of my last book on my Fbuk page just because it’s an awesome picture but the book’s not on sale and I’m not sure if it will be.
Pointless when no-one’s interested is it?
I’ll have another one finished soon and that’s staying at home too.
I like keeping my children safe from those that don’t appreciate.
Maybe if I could get hardbacks printed but just shoving them online’s a waste of time. Might as well stick them in a bottle and throw it in the sea.
Bitter? Maybe, maybe I am a little. So much work goes into producing a novel I resent not being able to convince anyone to read the poxy things but irritating my friends by flooding my social media sites isn’t going to help and I’d imagine annoying people who don’t know me would have the same effect. There must be a strategy that would help my sales but until I work out what it is I’m going to hoard my work, keep refining it and stuff the media. People will find out if they really want to.

Age restricted gigs?

I’m wondering whether there should be a cut-off age for gigs and festivals?
Yesterday, the 26/3/14 I went to see Sixty-Five Days Of Static (I am THAT cool) at a small venue in Southampton and I seriously wonder about the efficacy of allowing balding men out in public places where alcohol is served whereupon they may be tempted to continue that odd dance thing older guys do. You know, the I-can’t-dance-but-I’ve-had-a-few-sherbets (they generally are the sort of men who say ‘sherbets!’ The sort of men who only really have jeans and an array of band t-shirts as proof of their superiority from the herd who don’t have a clue about their ‘diverse, eclectic’ taste) so-I’m-having-a-go-regardless types. With a certain sort of indie music there’s a very limited form of dancing available to you (have you tried dancing to, say, the Pixies?) and only one in every fifty manages to get it right and they’re usually the only attractive girl in the place wearing fishnet tights, maybe a faux leather skirt?
So, there I am; fifty-one; don’t get out much, seen most of it before, a bit tired, bit fat, bit grumpy and almost within the first thirty seconds I’ve realised this is going to be one of those hang-by-the-bar-with-my-glass-of-water gigs. That’s how I roll. Actually I don’t roll any more but whatever…
Watching the smattering of exposed pates from my vantage point brought a wave of nostalgia for those heady days when everyone was young. It was extremely rare when I was a teenager to get anyone much into their mid to late twenties at gigs but of course now half the audience is grey, balding, bloated, wrinkly and let’s face it; not overly attractive.
The same thing with festivals, in the 70’s and 80’s the older people simply didn’t attend, busy with kids or just not interested. Nowadays it’s a ‘right of passage’ thing but no-one wanted to sit in fields listening to music much ‘back in the day.’
I feel a little sorry for the younger ones who go out only to find their mates dad dancing a few heads along, or they go to a festival and see their neighbour and his wife acting inappropriately in ill-fitting shorts and bikinis or in fancy-dress and, God help us; dancing; hands in the air. No…no…no!

At Bestival 2012 I had the misfortune to witness a family scene in the big blue tent at around nine/ten in the evening. Dad and his mate had obviously had a ‘few sherbets,’ the wife was reasonably well-oiled and amongst this happy scene was a lad of nine/ten who patently had had enough but oh no, mummy held the poor kids hands and tried to encourage him to dance while father and his mate did that hands in the air thing, pumped the air a bit as the child looked on with a mixture of horror and misunderstanding. The thing I most got from his face was a look of shame as he witnessed his dad making a complete dick of himself. Mum continued to pull at his arms while the embarrassed child remained stock-still, legs stiff, like a limp rag doll. The whole scene was hideously shameful, not too far removed from child abuse I’d say. I had to make a retreat to a far corner where I could act my age in a more appropriate manner without witnessing any more. Horrible: the poor kid will probably hold that image of his dad in his head forever and they’ll wonder why he ends up a geek scientist lab-rat who refuses to socialise..like, ever!
Or worse still the poor lad might end up a Tory, and all because they tried to prove how ‘down with the scene’ they still are way past bedtime…not cool.

Christ, the horrors we pass onto our children.
I remember my dad dancing to waltzes and jazz when I was younger, weird but appropriate to his age group but then he didn’t try to force me to join in and certainly never got drunk in front of me yet still I realised what a dick he was. (No; really, trust me on this.)

An—-eee—ww—aayyyy I’m thinking that maybe it’s about time we had an under thirty festival, or maybe it should just be no spam-heads regardless of age. I just think it would be good if our kids could do all the stuff we had a chance to do without our parents being there to keep an eye on us. While there is something cool about the fact that we CAN do this stuff together it’s also slightly weird and I wonder if we should.
Saying that I dropped two of my girls at Latitude then spent the Sunday there with them so they had a bit of freedom for a few days before I turned up with the emergency funds so they could get even more hammered on their last day.
We did Glastonbury 2009 too but I tried to keep out of their way to an extent but, lucky me, they actually wanted me around quite a lot of the time which was a real privilege but I still think they should have the option to not have my wrecked old fart-face hanging around ruining their chances of…well; whatever: whatever they want to do, or how else do you learn to be adults, or learn to be kids again when you really should know better?

I do think my festival days are over now, maybe one more in 2017 for the fortieth anniversary of my first time but we’ll see. If the hips hold out I might even do a bit of dad-dancing with the grand kids, ohhh noooooo

The ‘good old days?’

So the Isle of Wight police are asking for advisors to help them provide a better service, and?
Well, here we go with the same old pathetic, tired argument that — ‘in the good old days’ — short hair for boys/long for girls, — jumpers for goalposts, — bobbies on the beat, yes whatever!
Short memories endear boring cliches.
What the jumpers for goalposts generation (er; that’s me then) forget is there were totally different levels of personal responsibility and general expectations of behaviour in those wondrous crime-free years of…er; when was it exactly?
The 60’s? Kray twins, Great train robbery, Myra Hindley…
Okay, it must have been the 70’s then? I.R.A. London riots, football hooligans…
80’s? Broadwater farm riots, Yorkshire ripper…
Hmm, okay, I give in.

You get the society you wish for when everyone fights for it and sometimes that does mean you have to…fight for it, or be prepared to put yourself in the way of danger for your principles.
I have in the last few years taken drunks to task.
Stopped gobby kids annoying everyone else in the library.
Done the same with an elderly gent who appeared to believe his age gave him greater rights than others.
I have also dealt with drunks on a number of occasions because no-one else had the guts to, a simple phone call is enough.
Since when did we become a society of such wimps? Just because someone once got beaten to death in London for confronting a gang member doesn’t mean that every time you ask a kid in the supermarket to “please stop shouting the F-word at full volume in front of my child” you will be stabbed. This is the island, I don’t think we grow those type of kids, yet.

For example; I was sat, sadly I know, in a certain fast food restaurant recently and found myself astonished that the same swear words I use regularly under my breath and most definitely NEVER in earshot of ladees or the elderly are now bellowed across said restaurant with no regard for whoever else might be hearing them. Now, I am 51 but I don’t look like your average dad; in fact I look like the sort of person who perhaps has smoked rather too much waccy baccy in their dark past but even so, when I caught the eye of one particularly loud lad shouting the F-word to his friends he suddenly became very sheepish and toned it down. If my grandchildren had been present he would have been told to shut it, or else!
It is down to us to back up the good work done by the majority of parents. Kids know right from wrong, they often just need reminding and okay the odd one will get lippy but I can take a punch if it comes to it, it’s not the end of the world.

Of course the police can’t do everything. If you think they can keep you safe from every little incident forget it, sometimes you have to stand your ground and stand up for others.
We all know idiots who text whilst driving, or smoke spliff and drive, or drink and drive, or sell knock-off stuff in the pub. It’s up to you, moan, or do something. I prefer the proactive.
Tonight I had the misfortune to listen to a particularly vile drunk abusing his partner outside my flat so I had a look and my raised voice was enough to shut him up and move them on. If not I go down and do whatever else is needed but there is no option to just leave him to abuse her in public.
Remember that could be your daughter one day, better hope there are more like me than the type of people who sit at home complaining about the ‘good old days’ whilst bemoaning the fact that there aren’t enough ‘bobbies on the beat.’ What a load of rubbish.
I think the police, in general, do a decent job. Have a go if you think you could do better. How do they keep their tempers under control?!?

I grew up in the countryside, never saw the police, or only VERY rarely. I don’t remember any crime-waves.
CCTV, personal responsibility, not expecting someone else to solve all your problems and a bit of gumption go a long way.
I always think of that lone woman who stood up to those huge guys robbing a jewellers in wherever it was.
What’s right is right, what’s wrong…isn’t.
The ‘good old days’ are now for our kids and grandchildren, best you do something to make sure they know the difference.

Weird beards

Facial hair…to be…or not to look like a rapist?
Really, does this even need to be considered in a civilised society? And there is the truth of our understanding of a society in the early 21st century. If were honest and I don’t know why we should suddenly start now but bear with me, actually bare with me if you have any manners, class, dignity.
Too fast too soon?
That’s what I’m talking about. In a modern, civilised society I think we all know that beards and especially the long unkempt variety, tend to lean towards the eugh, ‘have you washed this year.. Or EVER’ end of the weirdie spectrum.
It’s the likes of fatty, ugly Guy Garvey of Elbow fame, the indie fuckwits, the metal kid grown-a-chin-beard-so-long-it-can-be-plaited fuckwits, the revolting can’t-be-assed-to-keep-on-top-of-it fuckscuk that somehow seem to have become acceptable but how? How did this happen? Who said it’s okay because it plainly isn’t!
Why aren’t women demanding these people do something about this unsightly abhorrence? Fucks sake I thought we were over this revolting practise but lately there’s been another outbreak like men are reverting back to some codified way of asserting their masculinity because society has somehow belittled the little luvvies; pa..a..th..e…t…t…tic.
Saying that, now that there seems to be a trend for American small time models to get male tattoos across their chests I suppose men might be starting to feel vaguely threatened, even I feel threatened by that; well, more grossed out but what do I know, maybe it’s cool? Doubt it but maybe?

It’s probably just me gone and got the wrong end of the stick as usual but I assumed that as a society became more civilised, less backwoods, less reverential towards those ancient visions of our ancestors who obviously didn’t have the facilities to maintain a polite visage, that the facial hair of old would disappear along with the revolting pubis of 1970’s hippy women, underarm hair of the French ladeees, the top lip Armageddon of some, ahem, darker-skinned ladeees, the religious-freak beard, the disgusting Freddie moustache, in fact any allusion to some ridiculous affectation towards manliness that facial hair used to be a signifier of in the bad old days. Bloody ridiculous, men no more need facial hair to assert their manhood than ladeees need miniskirts or heels, or both, to assert their femininity.
This is not the 1970’s, sorry everyone but we’ve moved on, or should have.
I say, women, ASSERT your right to fungus free men. Don’t put up with it, don’t allow men to scare your children with their revolting, repulsive laziness. You have to pluck, primp and shave so make the lardass do the same. Okay I accept that a lot of the pretend teddy bears out there who have this hideous mess hanging off their chins have probably never been closer than a bus seat width to a real, live, breathing, ladee due to their hygiene and halitosis problems but the weak and gullible ones that have somehow ended up with these freaks need to stand up for themselves and everyone else’s rights. If you have a member of your family who insists on bearding up; have a word, and fuck polite: TELL them!
“You’re ugly; you smell; you look stupid; you repulse women; your Freddie moustache only attracts men, if that’s what you wanted, fine, but if not you know what to do.”
Finally, once and for all let’s bin this disgusting old-world hideousness where it belongs, in the history books, and look forward to a shining society where the occasional five o’clock shadow is a punching offence and we can employ our police as an anti-Taliban enforcement task-force who remove and forcibly shave the lazy single pig-men who let the rest of us down.

I do believe a tolerance for ‘comedy’ teenage mistakes can be allowed but if someone doesn’t get rid of MOvember there will be bloodshed.
Don’t they get that it’s named that because a gayboy invented it, HO-mo-vember? Fucking idiots. Gays? yep, fine but if you’re not gay why are you copying one for a month you fuckwit?
Get a personality and think for yourself.
If you want to give to charity do so but don’t walk round upsetting the rest of England looking like an ass for fucks sake!!

So, rant over, you know what you have to do.
Go forth; spread the word.
Women; assert your right to a beard-free world.
Fat men; you are NOT a teddy bear. You WILL NOT become more attractive with a beard. Lose weight, shave, wear deodorant EVERY day you ass.
Gay men; actually, if you want a Freddie I suppose you have every right but you will look a complete dick.

Thank you for your patience.

Twedious tweeter

I may be way behind the game here but was twatter not invented so people could post what they just ate, pictures of their feet, car, whatever?
Since when did it become a site for tedious mungbeans to advertise their services incessantly, I mean like every twenty minutes? What sort of ass can be bothered with that and even of there’s some smart as way to repeat twatt I don’t care.
I want to know the other stuff.
Who did you hate today, what did your dog do, your cat say, the lamppost tell you etc. I like to put random shhhh on there, nothing serious, life’s too serious as it is without wasting your time with work, networking, sell sell, sell, me me me, tedious boring bored borers sticky tediumski.

I saw a guy in the council offices with a suit and tie, briefcase, bald, apart from the side bits but as he passed me I realised this guy had grown the back and tied it into a tiny messy little excuse of a ponytail that simply marked him out as a man you would not want to meet in a lavatory, or sit next to on a bus, or a few seats along from in a darkened cinema.
I imagined he might be the sort of man who plays air-guitar to Queen records or probably Dire Straits is more like it.
Now mentioning that on twatter is well worth it.
Saying you saw someone slip on a doggy doodoo bag…brilliant! There are all manner of things that require sharing.

Lily Allen has got it down but then didn’t she invent it?

Anyway, just thought I’d share. If I think of anything else I’ll post it on twatter, not here.
Love you

Nananaps

Not sure exactly when it happened but this wave of exhaustion hit me one day and I had no choice but to pull the car over. I leant my head against my arm and woke up ten/fifteen minutes later, dribbling, disorientated and with a head full of cotton wool. Since that day I’ve become more no more reliant on my nananaps, especially after food.
Now I’ve got it down, eat, wrap up warm so I’m in that snuggly cocoon of heat that entices the nananap forth and within seconds I’m off. Quite often I don’t strictly need one but if I’m in the middle of writing it’s nice to luxuriate in that magical place on the edge of sleep where the imagination can fly for as long as I can manage to put off the inevitable as the heat builds and the mixture of a full belly and concentration work their magic until, eventually…zzzzzz: beautiful. The best of all sleeps.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy a night-time sleep but I’m certain something’s going on to disturb me (pee pee?) cause I rarely feel refreshed unless I go for the twelve/thirteen hour monster but then that can go either way. The great thing is that if the sleep-proper doesn’t work the nananap can pretty much guarantee whatever is lost at night can be made up enough for me to make it through my day.

Sedentary…a word no-one except English scholars had heard of until recently and now one of the phrases most overused by pocketbook philosophers everywhere.
“Oh, it must be down to your sedentary lifestyle.”
“Oh it’s probably due to your sedentary occupation.”
What word did these asses use before the sudden climb up the popularity tree of sedentary? I don’t know if there is an equivalent but it’s not as though civil servants; checkout girls; business people; bankers etc, have ever had anything other than sedentary jobs.
Maybe it’s because suddenly everyone’s trying to explain the obesity thing.
Yes, well; eat too much and you put on weight fatty, simple.
Saying that, at the time my nananap addiction became noticeable I had recently finished a three month stint of long-distance driving (airport runs) now that IS sedentary.
Combine sedentary, concentration, high speed and night time driving and you have? One of the most dangerous occupations for a fat old lazy ass you could ever wish to find, although at the time I was doing it I was a skinny little donk. Explain that!

Anyway, now I’m a great fan.
I seriously don’t believe I’d be capable of doing a ‘normal’ job again unless there was a written obligation to allow me my nananaps throughout the day and if they happen to impinge on my ability to do the job, well: tough. Better that than a job badly done or not done at all because stroppy tired boy got a moody on and told the manager to ‘shove your job up your doodleoodleoo.’

I watched an old boy nodding off in TK Maxx yesterday and saw a frightening vision of myself in a few years. He was sat upright, leaning on his stick and nodding out; well, unless he was drunk but guys of that age usually can’t drink any more due to all the heart medication, anusol, high cholesterol etc etc so it’s bound to be the nananap catching up with him.
Imagine that? You can’t even make it round the shops without feeling the need for a little rest and a few minutes sleep and screw anyone who’s watching…brilliant. Frankly I can’t wait.

Sorry if your name’s not Frankly

Demonocracy

I’m not the best educated soul on the planet.
I’m not a great political ANALyst either, (too childish) but I think that if the population of an, admittedly disputed, territory calls an election and a huge majority makes it’s views known, even if they are contradictory to what some might wish but nonetheless the wishes of the majority are reflected, then that is without any doubt a democratic process, yes?

So, okay, I get that the Kiev thing was reported by the western press as a great democratic vote but…there actually wasn’t a vote was there?
I get that the people wanted change, I get that if they had been given the chance to vote they may well have voted for the change of government that they brought about by force but there was no legitimate vote…so…does it not make some sense that Russia does not recognise the wishes of the people of Ukraine without the democratic vote that they gave to the people of Crimea, however disputed? I don’t doubt there is a lot more to it all than my weak mind can work out but if you look at it from the Russian viewpoint I can see that to their way of thinking there has been a slight bending of rules.
I can see that there is no way they are going to allow their naval base to be overrun by a ‘rogue-nation’ without a ‘legitimate’ leader.
Perhaps I’m simplifying things but isn’t that what the western media did by jumping into Kiev on the first flight to report the ‘struggle for democracy’ so fervently when as we all know democracy involves ballots, not battles.
The longer all this goes on and the hysteria spreads the more I’m taking in the apparent sense of Moscow’s argument and doubting parliament and especially the sometimes over-wrought bias of the media.

The Arab spring was a lot of shit anyway, women being gang-raped by backward-thinking pig-men with no concept of decency, no honour, no acceptance of the basic tenets of democracy, i.e. Everyone, EVERYONE, is entitled to an opinion, women are given the same freedom of autonomy as men, genital mutilation (a massive problem in Egypt) is outlawed, sexual freedom is encouraged, racial and religious divisiveness is discouraged, and on and on.
These people have a long way to go before they can be treated with any level of respect. When they show the respect they demand, maybe they can ask for the same from others and from their God.

The western media appears to have tried to equate Kiev with the madness of Egypt and Syria when it is nothing of the sort and besides, if we are indeed encouraging democracy…the power of the ballot box…the power of the people to decide their future by voting for it, shouldn’t we respect the choice of the Crimean people?
97% is a massive vote, some of those must have been Tartars too, it’s not enough to claim ethnic diversification has claimed the vote. If 20% of the country is Tartar it still means a significant proportion voted for Russian, not Ukrainian ethnicity.

I don’t trust our media at the best of times and I watched the battles in Kiev and listened to the pro-democracy bias but I think Ukraine is free to keep its sovereignty now, it just appears the Russians understandably want to keep their port in the Crimean which may or may not have been part of Russia up until the Second World War anyway.
Weren’t parts of Ukraine once part of Poland until Hitler invaded?
There’s a whole load of history needs explaining and a whole lot of western propaganda needing unpicking before a dumbo like me can make an informed decision but I know one thing, democracy doesn’t seem quite so democratic lately.
Jeeesuss, we all voted, no-one wanted the Tories OR the Liberals but we ended up with both of the incompetent mummies boy ‘elite’ from the old boys club. Where’s the fairness in that, old boy?

Democracy…my ass!
How many millionaires on the front benches?
How many ex public schoolboys?
How many lords and ladies amongst them?
How many of these ‘leaders of men’ these ‘paragons of society’ manage to buy their own pants?
I will never trust a man who requires a woman to shop for his underwear, freaks!
Doesn’t seem like cricket to me.

Blog, or BBBLLLOOOGGG?

I’m wondering if there’s a certain optimum length (ohh) for a blog, like is it so many times the girth (hmm) of a tweet, or times by pie(31.4?)the length of the average Facebook post, minus the swearing?
Actually while I’m on one, what is the Facebook swearing thing all about?
I like a swear as much as anyone, in fact I think I may well have invented a few terms of my own, (the fucktard, for instance.) (Dogfelcher, another classic,) although one of my newest favourites is mother-toucher; subtle; obvious what it’s a substitute for thereby retaining the bite of the original American without the commonness or the yuckiness of English accents.
Now I’m not claiming I’m the best swearer, that would probably go to someone with a more gritty accent than me but regardless.
I’m losing my way.
The Facebook swear; why?
Okay, I am getting old but I’m not a completely useless old C-word yet and yes it is okay to use that word so long as you NEVER use it in connotation with the lady-parts it allegedly alludes to.
( I checked recently with a friends daughter, she’s a mere 21!)
I NEVER use it to describe the lady-flower…NEVER!
Anyway, I don’t get it. F-words; yep, like them, like them quite a lot but not really in the written context. Dropped into conversation at the correct moment, yup, but again, very few can achieve the correct level of gravity required for the F-word to achieve full effect these days. In fact, I’m coming to the conclusion that our swear words are best dropped amongst the sort of random mashing of vowels and tenses that fall from attractive Eastern European ladies mouths. I often find the French/Spanish version of the F-word works well for me too, or: my favourite, the posh, English convent-educated lady. Obviously that is all tied up (mi lady!) in some weird boyhood trauma of mine but you get the idea?
Anyway, have I gone over the blog quota yet? I do feel as though I’m coming to the end of this one although I believe that’s probably more to do with the size of the page allocated rather than the fact that I could actually waffle on for ages regardless of actual factual interest.
Perhaps, like the novel, there is a natural order to these things, an accepted norm which I’ve yet to adhere to? I’m thinking that the sort of size Caitlin Moran uses in her Times pieces might be appropriate or is that merely, again, because of size stipulations (vicar!) rather than actual literary restrictions? I wish I knew then I might have ended this drivel before it had become quite so tedious.
Perhaps it’s time to have a small debate on the subject, set a few ground rules, parameters, that sort of stuff. It’s always nice to have a little chat with like-minds eh?
Anyway, don’t want to overstep the boundaries, spoil ones welcome what? So I’ll just eff like a C-word to the eff off and try to keep it a little shorter next time. (Ooof: nurse!)

Room 101

Hi-viz clothing on motorcyclists!
Now I swore I wouldn’t get into moaning but what the …. is wrong with that shhhh? I’ve been riding bikes for years and okay, I get the idea, leathers are good for low-speed slides, they can save your skin, yep; I get it.
Crash helmets, yep; sure, if you slide and don’t smash your head against a post; kerb; vehicle; brick wall, etc etc at speed you should be lucky and survive. The same goes for boots, gloves, etc. At normal town-speeds, (20-30m.p.h) assuming you don’t mash yourself into anything too solid you will, in general, be okay.
I’ve had two low-speed, non-fault, (the polices words, not mine) accidents. One with a cyclist who rode straight out in front of me. No time to react, 25m.p.h, jeans, lid, gloves, leather. Knocked unconscious, fractured right collar-bone, various scuffs and bruises.
Second one was a car pulled out, no time to react, 7-10m.p.h, over bonnet, landed on head, flipped onto back, dislocated thumb and I’m coming to realise a year on that I also smashed a chunk out of my right elbow which makes leaning on it painful.
Now how hi-viz clothing would have made any difference whatsoever to the outcome of either of those ‘minor’ (no-one died) collisions I have no idea but I do know one thing.
I didn’t shame myself by walking around like a beacon of nafl.
I didn’t shame the world of men by noncing about like the lollipop man.
I didn’t embarrass myself, my family, my school, my colleagues, anyone whose ever known me or even seen me in passing, by indicating that a preference for orange or luminous yellow might actually have the slightest effect other than to illuminate to others that I am indeed a fully paid up member of the Advanced Sadass Section (A.S.S.) of the driving community.

Motorbikes are not safe. They can be made a lot safer by the interventionist, defensive, cautionary riding of an advanced and skilful rider but they can never be made safe and that’s why I like them.
I like that I might die.
I like that there’s a risk.
I like that they scare car drivers and the live-forever-even-if-it-means-sucking-soup-through-a-straw-for-the-last-five-years-while-I-piss-my-nappy-in-front-of-the-t.v-in-the-nursing-home brigade. In fact; I love that.
I love that the risk is lessened by the way I decide to ride and that so many of the lesser, weaker, members of society view my ability to take the risk as something slightly frightening or even stupid:’good; it is.
I fervently believe that anyone in hi-viz should be seen as a potential target. These are, after all, the sort of people who wear matching cardigans.
The sort of people who have a quick-release kagul handy at all times.
The sort of men who were In the cubs while their wives were guides and now prise their unsightly buttocks into inadvisably tight leather one-piece touring outfits. Why bother? Just buy the caravan you would be so much happier in, go to the south of France in that with your other dentist/accountant/civil servant friends and have done with it.
I know I’m about as rebellious as the maths teacher at the local high school but at least I’m attempting to keep the image up and there’s the rub.
Once upon a time there was an element of cool to riding bikes, the sort of people who did were mavericks; rebels, people with something about them; a story to tell.
Now we have Mr and Mrs Jones attempting to join the party and by doing so, ruining it for everyone, even those self-same car drivers who bemoan the yobby element of the motorcycle crowd but I honestly believe even they feel a little sense of shame and embarrassment when a fully-laden gold wing turns up with Mr and Mrs normal blaring Cliff Richard as they turn into the cross channel ferry port in matching hi-viz waistbands around their paunches! Unsightly, ugly, embarrassing and frankly: lamentable.

Have some dignity, buy a Volvo and leave us.