Saturday, December 31, 2011

My New Year message: Smile (you really have no other choice)

It was only by chance that I came across the three pictures below, but I do feel we should take a hint and see in the New Year with a smile. I mean why not? Things are going tits up in the Middle East, things are going tits up in the EU, things
might well go tits up in China, things might also well go tits up in India and about the only place I can’t think of where, as far as I know, things are not going tits up is South America. However, the ‘as far as I know should give you a clue’ in as far as I know more about the normative import of sociologically qualified quantum mechanics than I do about what is going on in South America. And, needless to say (although I’ll say it anyway, which everyone

always does when they use the phrase ‘needless to say’) I know bugger all about the normative import of sociologically qualified quantum mechanics (which I have, anyway, invented).

So several countries in South America could well be on the brink of civil war or have recently been invaded by alien lifeforms but there’s very little chance we here in the smug West will ever get to hear about it. The only reason we Brits mention Argentina, for example, is when they announce yet again that they want to get their hands on the Falkland Islands. Making such an announcement is down to the county’s president adopting Julius

Caesar’s sage advice on how to deal with domestic troubles: cause troubles overseas. I do happen to know (which rather undermines what I said earlier, but I am nothing if not
shamelessly inconsistent) that Argentine’s current president, Cristina Kirchner (pictured), is a bit of a troublemaker and is having something of a battle with the country’s various media groups. As for the other South American country’s, they rarely, if ever, feature in our broadcast news bulletins and even less often in our newspapers. We Brits are nothing if not proudly parochial. But as for the rest of the world, things, er, are looking glum. Very glum. I can’t see the problems in Syria being settled by a heart-to-heart between the secret service sadists and those the torture and kill, and Iran also want to flex its muscles more, which is bad news for Saudi Arabia, as it likes to be seen as top dog in that neck of the woods. What is also bad news for the Saudis is all this stuff and nonsense with ‘being free’ and ‘self-determination’ and, heavens forbid, ‘women’s rights’. They can’t be having any of that, but what with the events this year in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, they might well be a tad worried that some in their own country could be getting ideas. The one good thing as that what with all the oil, they don’t have a disaffected minority on the breadline. One of many bad things is that if you are a teenage girl who wants to drive round to her friends to listen to a bit of pop, try out a few lipsticks and check out the boys (which I understand is what all teenage girls want to do), well, Saudi Arabia isn’t the country to be living in.

One thing which rather bothers the democrats in the west is that when - when folk in the Middle East do get the chance to ‘exercise their democratic right to self-determination’, the thankless buggers stick two fingers up at us and decide they would like the affairs of the country run by islamists. That is not something we want, but being ‘democrats’, there is rather little we can do about it without revealing ourselves as dyed-in-the-wool hypocrites.
As for the problems in the EU, see blog entries passim. Nothing I have read in the past few days leads me to believe that ‘the crisis is over’ and that we can all breathe again. It’s just that what with Christmas and New Year boozing preoccupying us (and all those nasty financier types taking a week or two off to count last year’s bonus - it takes a while), there has been no scope, it’s all very quiet. Deceptively quiet, I should add.

So in a spirit of goodwill I wish you all, wherever you live, whatever gender you are, whatever colour or creed, whatever your sexual orientation a Happy New Year and my sincere best wishes. Now check out my novel and BUY it. I need the money and the encouragement to write another.

. . .

Me, I shall be going to bed at my usual time tonight (most probably). I have seen in the New Year in Scotland, Germany and France and I far prefer the way they celebrate it than our pissed-up English way. Here in England it is just another excuse to get rat-arsed and try to shag your neighbour’s wife/husband. Not that the English usually need an excuse to trot down to the nearest Asda, buy up as much cheap booze as the car will carry, take the opportunity to load up with as many cheap and cheerful sausages rolls, ‘party bits and turkey twizzlers as they can then get back home to get the party going. There is one school of thought that the Brits get drunk so easily and so often because sober they are so emotionally constipated that the use of a stimulant of some kind or another - cannabis and cocaine are just as popular as booze, and, if possible, all three together - is an absolute necessity. It is a school of thought I subscribe. One euphemism used when Brits get rat-arsed is that they are ‘letting their hair down’. So, below, I offer two pictures of typical Brits ‘letting their hair down’.

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