What is wrong with the world today?
The answer is Facebook.
Ok, not just Facebook but I like to call it the Facebook generation. I'm almost 30 years old and I see myself as being from the last generation born with any common sense. Maybe I'm just a grumpy old man but the youth of today seem to have no social skills, manners, morals and spend so much time on Facebook, MSN and Twitter they have forgotten how to behave in the real world. Turn them into a virtual avatar and we could be confident that the future will be in safe hands but back on the real world the 16 year old of today seems clueless and it’s scary because if they are our future, then we’re history. If the problem was just girls then I would blame Justin Bieiber but as it is both sexes it must be social networking. This isn't a study text so don't expect me to back that up with any facts or quotes or figures. I know I'm digressing but what is the point of Justin Bieber? More worryingly why are there millions of ”beliebers" out there? Teenage girls who spend their entire adolescent years hero-worshiping this floppy haired warbler. This surely can't be healthy?
Anyway Justin Bieber aside two school girls getting off the bus. One girl to the other "see you on MSN when I get home".
Why don't you just talk now?
You’re splitting up to go home and chat to each other through the internet. Why not just continue the chat in person? In case you’re wondering what MSN is, I might put a glossary in the back if I remember (or can be bothered) or even make it to the end of the book, I'm no J.K Rowling.
I'm not a techno-phobe.
I'm not like my dad, who pays with cash for fear of his debit card being cloned by Debenhams and who; to check his bank balance has to rely on his monthly statement through the post.
The internet is a bit of a revolution, never again do I have to talk to unhelpful call centre operators with a couple of clicks I can do my banking stuff, book holidays and avoid having to go into a Tesco store as a man in a van will bring it. I can browse the virtual aisles of the supermarket without an old woman ramming me with her trolley from behind or having to queue because half the checkouts are shut. Incidentally am I the only one who gets thoroughly frustrated at the likes of Asda and Greggs who employ people to stand and tell you where to queue. Surely it would be more resourceful to have them on a till serving customers. Is this not proving my point that the life skills of the Facebook generation are so bad they need step by step direction on how to use a supermarket. On the subject of technology, much work is still required on self-service tills. If I hear them bloody words "unidentified item in bagging area" one more time followed by a smug member of staff coming over and using that incredibly patronising tone usually reserved for train conductors, trying to explain how it works when you just want to scream "it’s not me, I know how to use it! It’s because I didn't put the value beans and sausages in a carrier bag you stupid women". Ahem. I digressed again didn't I?
I do have Facebook ,it’s a wonderful tool to check up on your other half's past conquests or motivate yourself by seeing how the talented at everything brigade from school failed their degrees and are now working at T K Maxx with a couple of kids and a council house. Incidentally is T K Maxx the most pointless shop on the high street and blatantly breaks the trade description act as I don't know any of the brands and it’s not cheap, not to mention all the rummaging just to find something that's not in your size that you couldn't afford anyway.
It gives me a smug feeling to stalk see the girl I used to fancy from year 7 to sixth form but who wouldn't give me the time of day, is now size 20 and ginger. I think the big difference between me and the Facebook generation is that I realise Facebook is pointless and I could give it up tomorrow, obviously I would have to pay a private investigator to keep an eye on the missus but if Facebook went the same way as Woolworths my life would not change a bit unlike the Bieber loving masses who would have a void in their lives the size of the Greek national debt.
Maybe I'm being too harsh, maybe Facebook could save the world. Imagine the scene in the White House. Barack Obama (quite possibly no longer president of the US at the time of publishing) wakes up and logs onto his Facebook account to be greeted by the following notifications.
Colonel Gadhafi has commented on your status.
Sadam Hussain has poked you.
Sarah Palin likes your comment.
Kim Jong I'll wants to be your friend.
Ok, as half (75% as Kim Kong has pegged it prior to publication) his "friends" above are dead to which Obama has played a part in their demise, therefore one would expect Gadhafi from beyond the grave to reject Obamas friend request.
Maybe MSN conferencing could replace the need for all the United Nations members taking separate flights to some exotic location to talk about environmental issues.
One day David Cameron might find himself scrolling friends reunited looking for his old chum Nick Clegg. It is an odd relationship between Cameron and Clegg. I always prepare for bad news when I see Clegg as he seems to be wheeled out to deliver the worst whereas Cameron delivers the good news with a smugness again only surpassed by that of a train conductor throwing an old lady of the train at Wolverhampton for not having the correct ticket.
An ideal way to fully appreciate the state of society is to sit in the quiet coach of a train. Any train will do but it has to be the quiet coach because there's something about the words "quiet" on the carriage door that make people instantly do the exact opposite, making it a good place to analyse human beings. Indeed just travelling by train reinforces my point today's generation are thick.
The train pulls in and everyone stands in front of the doors so nobody can get off. There's usually a middle class woman at this point who ignores everyone waiting on the platform or disembarking and proceeds to board "tuting" when people alighting brush past her. I could write a whole chapter on middle class folk on trains. Why are they such twats? I can only presume they don't like lowering themselves to travelling by train with their horsey faces and annoying voices. Middle class children on trains are far worse behaved then chavvy working class kids. They might be called Rupert and destined to go to Eton and end up as smarmy as David Cameron but on trains there just irritating little fuckers with their parents ignoring their behavior from underneath The Telegraph (other newspapers are available). Anyway I digressed, back to the scene, the middle class a woman is on. She's standing with her middle class friend and there eyeing up unoccupied seats where the person on the next seat has their bags on the seat and bitching about them. I have never understood why people do this. It is selfish when people hog more than one seat but why stand and moan for an hour, just go over and assert yourself. On busy trains I always find the person with the most luggage on seats who would be most inconvenienced by being asked to move, usually a middle class women.
So people start piling on the train but then stop in the doorway. You must have seen there were ten thousand people behind you waiting to board. Where do you think all these are going to go? People then wonder why trains are always late.
It is a sad reflection on society when someone is sat with music blaring from there I-pod (other music devices available) or watching a DVD on their laptop with no headphones at all. The really sad bit is that the person isn't doing it to piss everyone else off but actually they have no idea that what they’re doing is annoying. They haven't got the social skills to think about other people around them.
There are also a group of people who deliberately sit in the quiet coach on the train with the sole intention of waiting for someone’s phone to ring or make a noise at which point they leap up making lots more noise than the person there having a go at, making themselves look like complete and utter twats. On a recent journey from London to Doncaster there was a woman jabbering away in the quiet coach for most of the journey. Even the tunnels didn't stop her endless wittering making me wonder if there was actually anyone on the other end of the line. She wasn't particular noisy and there was no ring-tones so in essence it was no different to her just chatting to someone next to her which other people were doing, after all its a quiet coach not a GCSE exam. The woman sat next to me kept jumping up and having a go at the enemy behind at increasingly regular intervals before sitting back down and swearing to herself. I was starting to think this woman was a nutcase (I'll cover political correctness below) and was starting to fear for my own safety when all of a sudden the enemy (who in my view was fast becoming the victim) pulls out the race card and says the immortal line "is it cos I am black, init". At which point I'm swaying back towards siding with the nutcase. Are we really still at that point in society where people feel compelled to pull out the race card? It seems John Lennon's vision of peace and love has still not materialised. As I write this Louis Suarez (of Liverpool FC fame) along with England captain John Terry are both facing punishment for using racist language & behaviour in the beautiful game and although I don't condone racism and didn't live through the days such as in the 1950's when in England a black man had to give up their seat on a bus if a white person required it, I can't help but think there tends to be an unfair balance where I can make a (somewhat crude) joke about the Irish having sex with their brothers and sisters or a German “don't mention the war “joke and myself as a Northerner gets stick from my Southern counterparts which is all classed as banter but the minute this banter is aimed at someone of black origin its suddenly racist. I believe it hinders integration of faiths and cultures because people are walking on egg shells. I can't help but think that we have failed on a few of the other "isms" as well. Women still suffer the glass ceiling with regards to their careers. Although I'm against sexism, when I'm sat at my desk in sensible (boring) shoes and a shirt and tie it’s hard to take my female colleagues as seriously dressed in hot-pants, heels and see-thru vest top because that's what fashion dictates.
Did Emmeline Pankhurst really devote her entire life to bettering woman's rights and status in society so that in 2011 when on a cold December day when I'm snug in my jeans and (I'm happy to insert your clothing brand here for a fee) hoodie, women are compelled to wear a bucket full of make-up, bra top and mini skirt. I'm a man and I'm partial to a bra top and mini skirt but even a part of me finds it a bit demeaning. Why can't women wear a pair of jeans and a sweater with a comfy pair of trainers? Why can't a woman get out of bed and leave the house ten minutes later for the train without having to apply 20 litres of foundation and straightened her hair for 2 hours. This obsession with women's looks and style which I don't believe is entirely or even mainly the fault of men, must put so much pressure on women.
It’s not just women though; the whole of society seems to be dumbed down with "I want to be famous" the most heard line in the career advisors office. The traditional A level has been split into half in case the 17 year old of today can't manage a full one. Those who do make it to university find themselves doing a BA in media studies or even study Disney at undergraduate level. You could say this is a real Mickey Mouse degree (boom boom). Even Television has been replaced by dodgy reality programs where some dodgy Z list celebrity spends a fortnight in a jungle based TV studio in order to bring a book out afterwards to make a quick buck. It seems the dreams of being a doctor or astronaut or even a train driver of toddlers are being replaced by aspirations of appearing on the only way is Essex or getting your boobs out for page 3 of The Sun.
It seems today's generation have a lack of morals. Long gone are the days of settling down and getting married and having a couple of kids. People aren't even having lots of meaningful relationships unless that is by meaningful you include a quick fumble behind a nightclub with someone whose name you'll never know. Young people are increasingly becoming sexually active earlier and by the legal age have already notched up several lovers, that is using the word “lover” loosely. Sex sells in the noughties and its increasingly exploiting a younger market from padded bras for 5 year olds in major high street retailers to the promise of being a babe magnet just by wearing a particular deodorant filling TV advertisements worryingly on dedicated children’s television channels or draped on buses or on billboards outside schools. I recently watched an advertisement with a girl completely naked in a field, the advert was for mouth wash and indeed Hollyoaks is as close to pornography that could possibly be permitted before the watershed. It's no surprise then that the only Virgin's your likely to find in the UK are companies belonging to Richard Branson and trips to the STD clinic are more common place then a trip to Tesco. It’s not just sex though; booze and drugs are a massive problem with no Friday night complete without being sat on the kerb throwing up by one in the morning.
It is a sad state of affairs when women of the year as voted by readers of a daily newspaper, in 2011 was Amy Winehouse who died at the age of 27 and spent her last couple of years in and out of rehab for drink and drugs. A talented singer-songwriter but is this really the kind of person who should be a role-mode or inspiration?
There are 4 more breeds that ruin society for everyone else. These are dog owners, cyclists, truckers and taxi drivers. I'm not sure why they fit in here but I feel the need to rant.
Cyclists are the worst. As a Northerner heading to the west of England I was introduced to this breed and they’re everywhere. I could write a whole book on what they do wrong. They cycle on pavements, they don't stop at traffic lights, they cycle the wrong way down one-way streets and they wear Lycra. They are a fucking menace. They should be insured like cars and be subject to tests and executed for violating laws. I was walking along in Swindon one day when I heard a bell ringing behind me. I looked around to find an old woman on a bike signalling for me to stand on the road whilst she went past on the pavement. In these situations I recommend what I call the John Wayne walk whereby you try and take up as much of the pavement as possibly by walking with your legs apart.
Taxi drivers and truckers fall into a similar category of so-called professional drivers whose driving is atrocious. When I hear of a major road accident my first thought is always I bet a lorry is involved. Truckers as well as being obese and greasy seem to feel invincible in there giant vehicles and therefore don't feel the need to wait to move into the middle lane on the motorway merely indicating and go. I would love to drive along in a 200 ton armored tank waiting for a truck to switch lanes and just blast it into space. Taxi drivers are terrible. Apart from the fact they are expensive and unreliable, "it’s on its way", there driving is atrocious. I have had one falling asleep whilst doing 70mph on a motorway drifting lanes and recently in the US (yes, they let me in) I had one drive myself and my family into oncoming traffic. I'm also probably not able to print that all taxi drivers are rapists, but they are. Why the government warn us not to take unlicensed cabs when licensed one’s are just as bad is a mystery to me!
I was bitten by my Auntie Kitty's dog at a young age and I think this has led me to think all dogs should die, along with their owners. There's nothing more selfish then a dog running up to you covering you in hairs (like smokers have you ever noticed dog owners and their houses stink?) and jumping up at you followed by the owner shouting "don't worry its ok, he won’t hurt you!" NO, it is not OK, I don't share your love for muts and if I ran and jumped up at an old woman in the street then I would be done for assault or probably sectioned. Another sad reflection of society is the pit bull belonging to the chav in his tiny terraced house with the family in tears when a court orders it to be put down after it ripped the face off the owners 2 year old daughter, "but he is such a placid dog!".
A big problem with society is its inability to take responsibility for its actions. As a young boy I had a brand new Leeds United tracksuit which on the very first day of wearing I fell over and tore it to the point it was unwearable. My first thoughts were oh shit my dad’s going to kill me where as now ones first thoughts would be let's ring claims direct and sue the council for having a dodgy paving slab. What people don't realise is that whether you take out a lawsuit against Asda or the NHS it’s you who pays your own compensation. Do you think Asda have a separate fund to pay the tossers who walk into a shelf because they couldn't be arsed to look? The answer is no. They put the prices up on beans for everyone. The saying you don't get something for nothing should be headed except maybe for the Jeremy Kyle brigade who churn out a kid a year (usually a white kid then a black kid then a white kid then……you get the picture!) and allow the working population to keep the kids and offending chav topped up in tracksuits and cigarettes for the rest of their lives.
There's also another great UK scheme called mobility where by you put on a limp, head to the doctors every month and you are given a free car and monthly cash, it’s much better than winning the lottery. Indeed one of the most annoying features of the UK's welfare system is that it tends to favour the lazy whilst sticking 2 fingers up at those who deserve it. This leads me onto Europe and the introduction of political correctness gone mad or as I see it stating the bleeding obvious (OK, I might have stolen that from Alan “your fired” Sugar).
We live in a society that is so stupid the government have to send us pamphlets with step by step instructions to do tasks like run a bath or tie our shoelaces. Gone, too are the days of fireman or policewomen. These are deemed sexist and replaced with fancy roles to reflex society's cultural diversity (not my bullshit!). The UK police have GLLO's which are gay and lesbian liaison officers which to me implies gay people are different from the rest of society and need special treatment, rather than promoting equality this is no better than Qatar the venue for the World Cup in 2022 where there are strict anti-gay laws. As well as sectorising society and fueling tensions and a ghetto like culture where one sector resents another merely because they don't understand them or feel they are getting a better deal, this is also a massive burden on the taxpayer funding made up public sector jobs such as East Sussex traveller community manager which basically means managing pikey's (forgive my political incorrectness). Incidentally, why are they called travellers if they don't travel?
As an ex-public sector employee I can confirm that for every 1 role in the public sector 3 people are recruited to carry it out as opposed to the private sector where 1 person is employed to do the work of 3. The public sector also squander thousands of pounds on bureaucracy meaning taxpayers cash isn't even paying for public services but instead funding £500 an hour consultants or tier after tier of management. Every penny of funding given to the NHS should go on making people better but it doesn't, it is wasted on art installations or a lavish knee's -up for the board of directors or another set of consultants to investigate why the last lot of consultants couldn't work out why the previous set of consultants couldn't work out a way to save money. It makes me wonder why, if a simple bloke like me from the grim North (and by 'eck it is grim!) see's this need to cut the crap but it seems completely lost on the Oxford educated MP's who are supposed to run this country. Although the recent MP's expenses scandal has revealed these people are completely out of touch with real life. Unlike the media I don't see the big deal over the fact they claimed cash for ridiculous things such as duck ponds. As an employee you get away with what you can get away with it. I recently had a weekend in a hotel on account and made full use of the hotels facilities and ate like a king (although I did draw the line at pay per view pornography unlike Jacqui Smith's husband) all paid for by my company or actually my companies customers and I didn't feel a shed of guilt however the irritating fact is that when these pompous pricks were caught they came out with lines such as “ I needed first class travel because I didn't want to travel with the oiks (i.e my constituents)” when a simple yeah, the system let us do this so I saw it as a perk of the job and in hindsight I can see why it would piss off the constituents who are losing their homes and jobs because I failed to regulate the banking system would suffice.
The economy is in a bit of a state at the moment and not even cash saving guru Martin Lewis can save the world from the great big void that is international debt although my 8 year old son had a good idea suggesting we just print more money. Simple but effective.
Although the general consensus is that rich greedy bankers caused the recession and even now are still enjoying big bonuses and a free lunch, I'm not completely convinced they are the whole cause but instead trade unions have a lot to answer for. The unions pick industries where causing widespread disruption won't deter customers such as the railways. The reason the shop workers union never take Tesco workers out on strike is simply because if Tesco was closed through industrial action shoppers would take their custom elsewhere putting at risk the jobs of the union members. The ten thousand people crammed into one carriage on the daily commute into London Victoria don't put themselves through this every day for fun it’s because they have to and so should the union’s strike and disrupt services the train companies find themselves compelled to give into their greedy demands and indeed pushing up ticket prices for the long suffering commuters. This is why train drivers earn £50,0000 for pushing a few buttons. The unions then struggle to understand when British companies don't win big contracts and this then has a negative impact on jobs and the nation’s economy, a sort of vicious circle with the greedy likes of Bob Crow at the centre of it. Compared to the tracksuit wearing Jeremy Kyle watching brigade who would die at the mere prospect of having to work to keep themselves in Vodka and cigarettes, it’s good that there are still people in this nation who are prepared to work but the unions are wrecking our once great industrial nation. I have always believed you apply for a job knowing what the job is and what the pay is and expect to be bossed around by a complete twat, indeed my first job at a supermarket in 1998 paid less than £3 an hour and my boss was a cunt, but that’s just the way it goes. I worked my way up and gradually over the years got a bit of status and in turn I changed fromthe one suffering the twats to the one being the twat. The unions have this belief that there members somehow start at the bottom of the ladder but run the company making stupid demands and laying down the law on what they will and won't do. In my opinion managers manage and if you don't like it, you can fuck off. I have a poster of Margaret Thatcher on my wall, my hero. Did the miners’ strike work? No! Miners striked, lost pay and eventually the industry disappeared leaving the lasting legacy of shitty little pit towns where whole communities are unemployed, get drunk and live crappy little lives, stuck in their ways, never doing anything with their lives, still bitter with pictures of Arthur Scaregill in there working men’s clubs. Why would any industry want to set up shop in the UK when there are people in other countries who will do it without moaning for 20 pence an hour? Primark’s factories in India are living proof of this.