The Devil will make work of idle hands...watch out, massive rant ahoy...
In a slightly reflective mood. I feel a good old fashioned rant coming on….
With a few weeks off work and the majority of my friends working all day, in fact pretty much all of them, I have had the task of filling up lots of spare time alone, previously taken up with my job. I have gained an extra 8 or so hours a day. Which I never had before. I’ve been working since before I was 16 so that’s nearly Ten years of working EVERY DAY (apart from when I was part time at college briefly in my mid/late teens), the only time off being for holiday’s, touring with my band or physical sickness. So what to fill it with? Sounds like a dream doesn’t it?! But it’s all very much taken me aback. Starting again, so to speak. Imagine… that’s an extra 56 hours a week, 224 hours a month, 2688 hours a year. Now just really think how would you fill that time? Really think. I have played music, teaching myself new instruments,(a pretty poor attempt at the piano…), drawing, finding and listening to music, writing, reading, taking photo’s, swimming, driving, and generally pottering about. Striving to be creative and make my time worthwhile. I used to live out in the sticks as a teen, with no other people my age around, which was shit but at the same time, great, as you had to find things to do. I wouldn’t have learned to play guitar or draw or found amazing music other wise, so I’m very much grateful for it! But this time as alone, not as a teen living with parents, or as an adult living with a significant other, but instead now as an adult, single and on his own and left to his own devices, has really made me reflect on a lot of things, including what to do with my time and what people in general do in their spare time, in particular TV and internet “Social networking” sites.
Granted I’ve had a slight lapse on the old facebook for a couple of days but that gets pretty boring pretty quickly for me. “Look at what I’m doing right now!!” yeah I know what you’re doing right now, you’re on facebook, typing this shit! “Alex is…yada yada…” really? Or are you just typing that you are, infact just sat on your lap top/PC/phone...? And infact why should people know what I’m doing or feeling? Do I need them too? It really seems a bit nosey to me. I’m not having a pop at anyone personally, like I say, I too find myself drawn to the facebook phenomena and at times, have spent too much time on it, but I feel it’s stopping people actually doing real things.
Again, I’m completely guilty of it at times, despite my loathing of it. So this is all just observation. It’s a great tool for keeping in touch with friends over distances or sharing music or film etc, but the whole status updating every five fucking minutes or what animal am I or blah blah blah or just talking crap to someone who is probably in the next room, really gets my goat. And I know it’s not everyone, but I see more and more people getting sucked into it, god knows I nearly did. I guess it’s just a sign of the generation I suppose. We all want it NOW. We want it this instant. Anyone remember PEN PALS? When you actually WROTE, on PAPER, with a PEN and sent it in an ENVELOPE via a POST BOX…there’s a part of me that knows there are people out there who’d draw blank faces at that. But yes it really happened. I wonder how many people know their friends addresses. As in physical, real, home addresses. You know, like a fine wine, things get better with time. TIME not only is a healer but adds a great appretiation of simple things. For example, if I wanted to share music with a friend I used to make them a mix tape.(some thing I recently had the absolute joy of doing again). If I wanted to buy a record from a band, I had to order it from a shop if it wasn’t in or mail order…Yes MAIL ORDER. If I wanted to tell them about a movie I would tell them, most likely, when I next saw them. What’s happening to us? Are we all just staying in our homes, locked away living a virtual life? Even as I’m writing this on microsoft word, it’s like a virtual pen and paper. What is real any more? I mean, what’s left to say when you do bump into someone that hasn’t been on facebook already… Ok maybe that’s a little extreme! Regardless, I’ve called it quits and fucking that shit right off. I toyed with the idea of deleting my Facebook profile, but then again, for the good reasons such as keeping in touch occasionally with friends out of town or abroad, I decided against it. I’ll see. I’m still on the fence with that idea. And of course I do appreciate the irony of me sharing my thoughts on an online blog. Yeah, yeah I know…reading back what I’ve just wrote n’ all… (2009 seems to be the year of cruel irony for me).
And Television. I don’t really watch television as firstly my room does not have one and secondly, and most importantly, when I have plonked myself down in front of the idiot box in my shared house’s living room, all I seem to find is channel after channel after channel of meaningless mind numbing crap. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not slagging off the entire film and television format. There are some GREAT television programs made (Good examples Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s The office, Larry David’s Curb, pretty much anything Chris Morris has done, some superb documentaries, and some brilliant one off dramas) and there are plenty of amazing films made, which are worthwhile watching. But unfortunately, these seem to be few and far between on broadcast television, which seems to be a sea of trivial, poorly made, junk food for brains. Talk shows featuring what can only be described as the armpits of society, which appears in a perverse and voyeuristic way, to serve the purpose of making people at home feel a little better about themselves. Celebrity shows, which feature “celebrities”… well… doing things. Reality shows creating “celebrities” who will then later appear on a celebrity show where they do things, (I’m surprised after the media coverage up to and following Jade Goodie’s death TV execs weren’t racing to the drawing boards to create “Cancer on Ice”. Or “Celebrity’s go terminal”.) Talent shows, which, to me, are just a 3 or 4 month long advertising campaigns for idiots to buy a product and make fuckers like Simon Cowell richer. Soaps where people can watch over people leading similar but overly dramatic lives. In fact not that similar. If it was real they’d all be on facebook or plonked infront of the telly, Would you watch a soap which just had folk at work all day, coming home watching a soap? Chances are a lot of people would. A soap within a soap. (big brother a fine example, sitting on your couch doing nothing but watching someone sitting on a couch doing nothing.) So now what then? Well call me old fashioned but perhaps it’s time we all took the time, you know what I’m saying? Start a REAL hobby. Read a book, watch a good film. Make something. DO something. Go SEE friends. Actually LIVE life. I feel as though it’s all coming to a breaking point, for me anyway, where enough is enough. What the hell is the point in working 8 hours a day, to earn money so you can live life when that life consists of mainly working and when not working appears to be instead buying crap you are told you need by the same people who want you to tune in a drop out to their products. Even as I wrap this online rant up, I feel extremely hypocritical, wondering how much time I have wasted writing this and the irony of it. Funny to think this time last year I seemed to find there wasn’t enough hours in the day…just goes to show, time really is what you make of it. Perhaps I should go for a walk.
…Right, now to how do I link this on my facebook profile….