Raging Against the World

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Monthly Archives: June 2010

If you have something to say, say it.

If you use Twitter at all you’ll find a variety of different conversations going on at all times.  Some people are a little limited and will only tweet on one subject, but eventually you get used to that.  I try to distract them off-topic into the world of normal conversation, bring them out of their shell a bit.

But then you get the MeTweeters.  The people whose every single tweet is about their lives, their dreams, their purchases.  Instead of interacting with the world they choose to put themselves up on a pedestal and say ‘Enough of your stuff, let’s talk about me!’

You find these people in everyday life.  In the workplace there’ll be a conversation and then someone will pop in with a leading statement which just begs you to follow up with a question, something they can use to triumphantly talk about themself pretending that after all, someone did ask!

Of course my holiday in Rio was the second best holiday I’ve ever had…”

My father used to bring famous people to parties at my house when I was young…”

or they’ll just start with a random question about a subject they know you have no knowledge of.

What did you think about the offer George made to me?”

If you answer “Oh, what was the first?”, “Like who?” or “What offer’s that?” then you are just assisting these oxygen-stealers.

These are just some of the classic ploys they’ll use to get you to ask them about their fabulous lives. 

Frequently I’ll hear “ohhh, I just don’t know what to do…” or “That’s it, I’ve decided” or “Men! >Harrumph<“.

Why can’t they just come out and say what they want to say?  Why this repetetive charade?  Just say what you want to say, don’t make me have to winkle it out of you.

Where possible I evade these narcissistic people, by not asking the question they so obviously prime you for.  But there’s always one person, usually a girl, who will just walk straight into the trap.  My eyes roll, I curse under my breath and wait for the inevitable monologue from the self-involved.  Believe it or not, some people don’t realise they’re being manipulated like this.  It’s astonishing that something so blatant can completely pass people by, but people can be extraordinarily naïve and gullible. 

Heavy sigh when it comes and yes, it’s either something of no interest to you or it’s annoying boasting.  No, I don’t care that you’ve been backstage with Travis.  Oh you once sailed around the Caribbean with Hugh Grant’s nephew in a luxury yacht?  I had a walking holiday in Norfolk, sleeping in a tent at night.  I could barely move after the second day, want to hear more?  No of course you don’t, because it’s not about you is it, precious?

You might suddenly realise during a long phone call with a friend that they haven’t asked how you are or your opinions on any subject.  They show no sympathy for your problems or no desire to do anything which isn’t for their own benefit.  This is the point where I realise they’re not actually my friend at all, I’m just their sounding board.

Next time you hear a loaded remark, please please please don’t give them what they want.  Maybe in time such an approach could make people a little less selfish.  But only if everyone did it.  Yeah, never gonna happen is it?


Devil’s Advocate

Already if you google the phrase “Greencoat Boy Gay” you will come across page after page of hectoring coverage by well-meaning but perhaps a bit too over-zealous damnation of the event which transpired yesterday.

According to the Tweet on Twitter yesterday which I caught a retweet of:

Appalling homophobia at central London pub. Manager refusing to serve members of LGBTLabour

Twitter, being the cool, calm, collected voice of the Nation… went ballistic, prompting the scores of Internet Blogs to describe the pub with such stolid phrases as “gay-hating” and “#bigotbar”.

The impression given is that a group of Gay and Lesbian people turned up at this pub, The Greencoat Boy, and were instantly turned away by the sneering Pub Manager with phrases akin to ‘we don’t like your kind round here’, using the line “if I had known you were a Gay group I would not have allowed the booking”.

I responded to one such indignation-jumper with “to be fair, we’ve only heard one side of the story”.  He replied with “I agree although Punch Taverns haven’t been denied the opportunity to speak up”, which seems to be true, but…

I’ve done Jury Service.  I’ve seen how easy it is to judge someone based on scant information.  Until the full facts come out.  And then suddenly you’re saying “ohhhhh, so that’s what really happened”.  I’ve seen countless movies and tv shows too where an innocent man has the full weight of the law coming down on his shoulders until right before the end we find out the woman responsible for the horrible claims is revealed to be a stalking psycho.

Hell, it’s even the premise for Fatal Attraction, a movie you’ve almost certainly seen.  Go watch Pacific Heights, it’s a revelation.

I’ll play Devil’s Advocate and give a possible situation which I’m by no means saying, is what happened.

Pub manager has a large group of people booking out a room.  They are served alcohol, it’s a hot day, tempers run a little bit high, maybe there’s some raised voices.  A member of staff asks someone to keep it down a bit.  One militant/irked overly-dramatic member of the group gets in an argument with a member of staff.  Suddenly a war of words and it escalates until out of control.  Shouting and jeering.  The Pub Manager gets fed up with it, refuses to serve them, asks them to leave.  Maybe he throws out the “i wouldn’t have booked you” line in anger, just to rile the people annoying him.  It happens.  We’ve all done it.  A parting shot intended to annoy the people who’ve annoyed you.  Don’t say you haven’t, you know you have.

The Pub Landlord, knowing he’s not going to come out of this well does not give an answer to the first enquiries.  He gets a call from the Corporate side saying, essentially, “button it you Moron, you’re only going to make it worse by speaking to the press”.  Corporate decide to interview the Pub Manager on Monday (it is a weekend after all, the important people are away) and they will punish the manager when they formally speak to him.  This is the bureacracy of Business.  It takes time, it doesn’t happen instantly.  In the meantime Punch Taverns make no formal admission to the Press.

This is one possible scenario.  There are others.

I’m not saying this is what happened, remember.  It’s entirely possible there has been no confusion and the events which people are blogging about are entirely the facts.  I don’t know, and neither do you.

Some notable people in the political world have instantly jumped in to criticise the pub, adding their vocal support on what seems rather flimsy one-sided evidence.  Boo to them, I say.

Here are some of the overzealous outbursts you can find by googling:

Why isn’t the Greencoat Boy scandal even on the BBC News website? [It’s a Scandal now?  How long before someone adds the suffix -gate to it?  Pubgate? Gaygate?  You know such lazy journalism is coming]

I’m Boycotting the Homophobic Greencoat Boy pub! is on Facebook

Gay-Hate at the Greencoat Boy | Tankthetories.com

Bigotbar picks the wrong group of gays to mess with

“Review” gay-hating pub the Greencoat Boy here 


Pink News has a more considered, responsible report.  Go to them and admire their tact.

I know, you’re thinking: “tuh!  yeah right, like it could have happened like Rumpio says!” well I’d just like to point out how some innocent event can spiral out of control.  Here’s what happened when some people suggested a water fight in Hyde Park on a hot sunny day this summer:


There are two sides to every story.  Try not to give in to prejudice.  Wait for the facts.

Today’s Mental Spam #4

Hem in hateful quarrel and I thought: Behold, the risen demons! Animals
are cruel but not vulgar. Yet both in cruelty and vulgarity

man is on record.
If forced to chose one of two
evils, we should prefer to look at cruelty rather than
vulgarity. All our to-days are spoiled by reminiscences about yesterday and sorrows
about tomorrow.
Thus we are disindividualising and emptying all our “to-da ys” and degrading them to a misty meeting-place of yesterday and tomorrow.

I really have no use for any of these items. I wish I could tell them.


From the physical point of view the greatest thing
in this life is its mystery. From the moral point of view the greatest thing in man is the optimistic interpretation of that mystery.
There is no reasonable optimism outside of Christianity. No man could be a tyrant unless he were a slave of some moral defects. No nation could tyrannise over another nation unless it were tyrannised over itself by some illusions.

Nobody in the world is free but he who feels himself to be a prisoner of Christ. The greatest champion of freedom in human history
called himself: “Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ.” CHAPTER
I THE WISDOM OF THE CHURCH SOPHIA The most magnificent sanctuary of the Eastern Churches is called St Sophia (Holy Wisdom), whereas the most magnificent sanctuaries of the Western Churches are called St Peter’s, St Paul’s,