Raging Against the World

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Monthly Archives: July 2010

The Hierarchy of Death

Well Twitter’s annoying me again.  But I dare not speak out on there.  There’s a strong repressive mentality of what the masses deem to be ‘right’ and you must not deviate from the party line.  I don’t recall signing up to this ‘agreement’.

What’s annoyed me now is that the world’s oldest tweeter has died at the age of 104.  OK, that’s not the thing that’s annoyed me.  I think it’s admirable that a woman of that age should embrace modern technology.

What gets to me is the outrageous fuss that’s been made about her death.  She was 104.  Twitterers have been saying relentlessly that it’s “sad”.  But Death is inevitably just around the corner at that age.  And she’s had way more life than a majority of the world will ever have.  What is sad about that?

I find it more sad when a boy drops dead at 16.  When a 38yr-old is murdered walking her dog.  The last female rhino in a zoo being killed by poachers, that’s sad.  Someone dying of cancer just before retirement or someone dropping dead of a heart attack immediately upon taking retirement, that’s really sad.  But a woman living a far longer lifespan than 99% of the public?  Is that actually that upsetting?

I noticed this ‘hierarchy of death’ thing back in 2004 when the Beslan school siege happened in Russia.  More than 1100 people were taken hostage at the school and in the ensuing disaster 334 people were killed.  You wouldn’t know any adults were killed of course because the only thing mentioned was the 186 children died.  It was like the 148 adults didn’t matter, no-one cared.  The adults had lives too, they had families and careers and hopes and ambitions, but no-one gave a toss, because children had died.

Similarly back in 1997 when Princess Diana died.  Or should I say: when Princess Diana, Dodi Fayed and Henri Paul died.   That’s right, three people died, not one.  Whenever someone mentions that event, remember that two other people also lost their lives.  Remember the bodyguard whose face was crushed and needed several operations to return his features to normal.

Diana’s death was not more important than their deaths.  The children were not more important than the adults.  This week in Hampshire an entire family were wiped out in a weird “we’re all going together” suicide/murder thing.  And of course people say “oh the poor kiddies dying, that’s awful”.  But who cares about the father?  Who cares about the mother?  No-one.

That a woman died at 104 is not remotely sad.  She had an extended period on this earth.  Every day people are dying between the ages of 10yrs old and 90.  These lives are just as important and to fixate upon the very young and the very old, ignoring the people in the middle is a disgrace to society.

Death is quite rightly called “the great leveller” because we’re all equal at that point.  No-one is more important than another.

[Stewart Lee has wise words about over-grieving here]


Language, Timothy.

This has been annoying me for a long time and finally I’ve had enough.

I spend a fair bit of time on Twitter, I listen to comedy podcasts, I’ve read Youtube comments.

Since when has the word “Cunt” (see, i’m not a prude) been socially acceptable to bandy about willy-nilly?  It seems now that everybody in comedy under the age of 40 just litters all conversation with the term.  Anyone stands in front of you in a queue?  C*nt.  Someone heckles a comedian at a gig?  C*nt.   Someone’s in a different political party to you and has different views?  C*nt.

Oh I bow to your superior wit, clearly you are ha-ha-hilarious, you are so scathing and cool!  Don’t mess with this guy, people, he’s not afraid to call you a C*nt!!  I could name one “comedian” who’s every remark is to calls everyone who he meets (and in many cases his own friends who lap up the ‘hilarity’) a C*nt.  I mentioned it to him that perhaps he ought to grow up or forever be identified as “the man who always says ‘C*nt'” and well, you can imagine the good spirits in which he took the constructive criticism.  Actually you can’t.  He ranted and ranted even though acknowledging at one point that I had a point and had made it politely.

When I was young no-one would dare say a swear word in front of their parents.  They would be smacked, sent to their room without any dinner or generally punished effectively.  I remember being shocked at hearing the word “bloody” on the ITN news.  At school we giggled like crazy in metalwork when we were introduced to the ‘bastard file’.  I gasped when Burt Reynolds said “bullshit” on a late movie.

Now we live in a world where parents refuse to discipline their children and it’s even ok for children to shout profanities or share horribly coarse conversations with their laughing parents.

I still am disturbed by hearing the C-word.  To me it’s the ultimate expletive and should be held in reserve for when it’s really needed.  Though I am tempted to use it on the likes of Piers Morgan and Richard Littlejohn, I’m content to use minor curse words about these abscesses on society. 

The rise of the chav has given us a daily experience where every f***ing sentence is f***ing peppered with f***ing bad laguage and they don’t even f***ing attempt to f***ing keep their f***ing voices down in front of f***ing children.  When I was a kid if someone spoke like that in front of children they would have been punched by the nearest adult male.  It simply would not be tolerated.  Neither would aggressive teens playing loud tinny music out of their cheap phones.

Truly we live in different times.  I can’t say I like it.