Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Hi, Great Profile

You may remember that yesterday I wrote about the delightful ' Wall-Flower'? I am currently drafting a letter to David Attenborough as I am intrigued at his feelings on this colourful yet neglected variety.

Anyway once a single heterosexual male has discovered that bars are not the place to meet interesting women what is he to do? Bingo?

The favoured answer to this question seems to be "Join an evening class". This is non-sense. Sure, join an evening class if it is in something you want to do. As a means of a 'Wall-Flower' meeting people? Even Jesus would not talk to anyone at an evening class - okay it's because all he would 'make' was bread and wine and the class wanted chocolate and vodka - but even then no-one would say more than a polite thank you.

Internet 'dating' seems the place to go then. Meet new people parties? Speed-dating?. All these things require some sense of 'desperation' or turn into a mates night out. Try them. Just don't rely (on) them.

So the internet is crammed with people all looking for something. Guys pick up girls with their half-naked poses; smut talk and willingness to even 'shag' the girls who "need lots of sex" but are not sure how to get a good supply without leaving the kids on their own to go out and find it. These sites are full of single mums. I have no strong views on it. I admire women who deal with families on their own, or who may have made the choice to be alone rather than be with someone 'wrong'. But, it is difficult to know where to start in these scenarios. Potentially many are really interesting women but they are frequently unreliable because of past hurt; current responsibility et cetera. I'll happily make the effort but what is the effort for? I'm not your 'SuperMan' but maybe your 'GenuineMan'? Oh hell, a genuine potential friend who happens to be a man.

It seems that each time the pattern goes like this. 1 in (approx) 20 people is interesting. You 'talk' on the site. Then e-mail. Possibly text message. Then perhaps you should meet?
Here is where it goes wrong. What are you meeting for? I'm of the frame of mind that it's a friendship. If you are meeting then you must have clicked on some level via e-mail so build on that. Most people seem to want their ideal partner and if not that then some clone of Robbie Williams, Jude Law or whoever is 'hot' that week.

So the meeting is pointless. Nice guy has a nice time. Not madly in love but the person is cool. Silence.

The meeting itself is difficult to arrange. What with the kids, work, pets, dusting. "Perhaps we should speak on the phone first?". What for? I like you.

Phones? Horrid. What is the point in developing an emotional bond (in addition to the mental one) with someone you will then meet, think is cool and probably never see again? Lets just do coffee in a public area. I'm no more dangerous than the husband of 17 years. You never really know anyone. Actually I'm harmless. Bland. No personality. Tedious. Irritating. Annoying. Awful.

Have I been let down? No, not at all. I don't really know these people so have little expectation. I suppose the thing is this. Honesty. I'm a man and I can be honest so women...be honest too.

End of the evening. Woman: "That was fun, do you want to do it again?" Man: "Absolutely".

Men: What are we doing wrong? Women: Answers in a text or e-mail please!

You have such honest eyes...

After I titled my column today I have to admit that I froze for a second. It's really cold today. I'm also not sure how I can be humorous and satirical about such a thing. But - to use a television show cliché - "I've started so I'll finish".

What is it with dating in the modern world?

It seems we have 3 categories of people as far as dating is concerned. Of course you have your overly-confident, good-looking (perhaps simply because they are so confident) people. Then you have your completely opposite scale. Inhibited, possibly a little scary, dull. In the middle then is a category of 'ordinary people'. This is where the trouble begins. If we say ordinary (or average which is surely a similar term) then we are implying that this is the largest category? So is it? And where are Category 2 people?

In a bar on a Saturday night I can pick up (decent? I think so) guys quite easily. Okay the choice of bars is limited but the guys (in the right bars) are not. Females are relatively easy to 'pick-up' too. But, they all seem to be in category top or bottom. Where are the 'middle' women? So, I decide, I'll play it gay. Just to see if guys are the same. Result, they are. But it's like this. As a 'gay man' I can see Category 1 (to remind you, the really confident ones); Category 3 (the slightly dull ones); Category 2 is there too. But they are all Wall-Flowers. See I like flowers.

Flowers in pots; Flowers in a vase (though these will soon be dead); Flowers in the garden, Flowers in a park. Wall-Flowers? Yep I like Wall-Flowers too. Or Flowers on a wall as they might be known. So (as I'm not actually gay) I go back to the bars full of man-interested girls. Once again Category 1 and 3 and very well represented. Where is Category 2, the Wall-Flower?.

I get desperate...Start rubbing the walls. Down on my hands and knees. H.E.L.P. I dart around the bar, not because I'm over-confident or because I'm a little scary. Why? Because I'm lost.

In the television series 'Lost' the 'good' guy is actually the guy who doesn't fit in. Know what I mean? He fits in almost everywhere he goes but in this world (a 'world' that he really needs to fit in on) he is 'lost' outside of the obvious fact that they are all lost physically and emotionally. The guy is also 'lost' to the other Islanders. In the end I know my time has come to leave. The bouncers are even confused.

So though I like to think I am a Category 2 guy (I like Flowers okay), in one night of potential 'dating' I have displayed just 'my' Category 1 and 3 attributes. Wall-Flowers do not get noticed by the opposite sex. This temporary 'blindness' needs to stop because I'm good me. I'm the 'perfect guy'. (Damn, Category 1 again).

Sunday, November 27, 2005


So had a good weekend? Yes thanks. How about you?

Having read that Pat Morita died over the weekend - he was the Oscar nominated Karate trainer guy in 'The Karate Kid' movies - a friend of mine raised an interesting question. Shall we say it was interesting to me (as a non-medically trained person). Pat Morita died of 'natural causes'. An odd term, as hereditary terminal illnesses, for example, are surely natural? Yet we'd say 'Y died of cancer' (if indeed that is what Y had died of). Whatever a 'natural cause' is in this over-populated world of killers then that is what I should like to 'take' me. But only at the end of my 'natural life'.

Today's entry is called forwards. The reasons for this is rather feeble really. Catharine Ryan Hyde is an American author who has produced over 8 novels and 45 published short stories. One of her novels was turned in to a feature film in the year 2000 'Pay It Forward'. An ironic and sweet natured tale about the inconsistency and beauty of life. The world is a difficult place to change. Of course those who believe we live in a 'condemned' world derive a immense sense of utopia from a story such as this. What if every single person who had a favour bestowed upon them was asked or expected to bestow a favour onto another? There is also the further question. To bestow a favour means passing some form of judgement on 'someone' or 'something' in order to decide how their favour should appear. How healthy that 'judgement' is remains a question that 'Pay It Forward' never really answers.

Last week I received an e-mail 'forward' from a casual acquaintance. Not someone who has ever bestowed me a favour and not someone I have bestowed a favour upon. I am also doubtful that my 'acquaintance' would have known the parents of the murdered child Jamie Bulger. They like myself had received the e-mail as a 'forward'.

James was led, in 1993 - aged 3, to a railway track where he was tortured and brutalised to such a horrendous extent that his mother was supposedly not allowed to identify the body by sight. The 'forward' lets us know that the two killers (who were both aged 10 years at the time) left the toddlers' body on the tracks to attempt to destroy any evidence of pointless murder. Yet somehow at 10 years old I doubt the boys were so dumb to think that people would believe that a 3 year old child walked so far on his own? Every issue raised, every question asked in this case highlights another issue or question, and, the possible answers to that can fall on either side of the debate. The 'forward' asked me (and countless others) to sign our name and forward it to everyone we know. If I were thinking selfishly I could feel quite sad and lonely seeing as I have received it just once (in the entire duration) since the killers were granted new lives and new identities. You have not received it at all? I win!

There are several problems with this type of forward. Lets say I was one of 50 people who was sent the 'forward' by the last 'forwarder'. If we all sign it and forward it ourselves there will be 50 copies of the forward all with different people as the same numbered signer. It says please send the list of names to the judge who freed the killers when it reaches 500 names. Okay but all the judge will end up with is endless lists of names that in some way all contain many of the same 'signatures'. Pointless?

This is surely not the most disconcerting concern with this type of 'forward' though. Emotion is a dangerous thing. Stories depicting undeniably terrible things in poor grammatical terms but exceptional emotional ones are dangerous beasts. How can I make a fair judgement on whether to add my name to the list? I was not at the trial. I do not know any of the families concerned. I have not carried out medical assessments of the former killers mental well-being, nor seen those that have been carried out.

My 'gut' feeling is that these two boys, who are now men, may be two of the least-threatening members of society today. They have led frightening lives. Repented? Been taught? Now perhaps they can use their wealth of knowledge to 'teach' others. A lot of people have been hurt beyond imagination in this case. The hurting should not be spread like the aimlessness of those two boys that ignited it.

I feel it might be best not to add ourselves to any list, but let us live as best we can, addressing issues that we understand and fully comprehend. That way all the issues will still get dealt with. Dealt with by those who we hope know best.

Incidentally from this 'forward' I found out that my best friend from school, Azabeth X now lives in Scotland. Maybe my 'forwarder' did me a favour after all.

Friday, November 25, 2005


So what is with the new Westlife/Diana Ross song? "Every time you touch me, I become a hero" Horrid thought.

So how political do I want to be?


How controversial?


So the news this week brings with it notification of further 'trouble' for what are ultimately two of the UK's worst 'celebrities'.

Gary Glitter. What is with this guy? He left the UK. Was booted out of Cambodia. Now he rests in Vietnam where once he tried to leave the Police decided to stop him. He had a young girl in his home?! So the Police are holding him in detention for four weeks while they play with his book collection and then probably kick him out of the country. Let's face it all those years ago he sang "You wanna be in my gang, my gang, my gang". What did people think his gang was? Jonathan King was in it. Let Gary return to the uk. Let him have his 'gang' meetings and every time he has one we raid the joint and shove them all in prison (or pretend that Osama Bin Laden is there and carpet bomb the place letting just Gary escape). We could just arrest them all of course. Except for that one music guy (no names, you know the talented one, he wasn't there really!).

George Best. This guy really proves just how stupid the news really is. He beats up women; drinks a lot; is irritating; dying. Dying? Yes. When? Every few days apparently. I got up this morning and just hoped his misery was over. He is in pain. His family need to move on and we need to talk about people who are dying because of us and not themselves. Another British soldier dead in Iraq. What was his name? He was the real Best.

So yesterday I quoted the young mother of triplets, Natalie who filled the papers for a few days. Oddly we all loved her. Well nearly all.

Natalie also said "It's not as hard as I thought it would be. The girls are sleeping through the night. I love them to bits...The only bad part of the day is the early evening because they hate Emmerdale's theme tune and cry whenever it comes on". To me Natalie sounds like an intelligent women who has really thought about what this life change means. Her babies cry when Emmerdale is on? (we should all cry that Emmerdale is still on after all these years). The Daily Mail however say "That, one suspects, is the very least of their problems". Their main problem is, of course, growing up in a world that can so cruelly make something so amazing seem bad. Thanks Daily Mail. Do you know if Gary Glitter is one of your readers? (he was on the free CD you did in 1998!). Incidentally, hi Natalie, how do your babies react to Coronation Street?

So finally, Michael Jackson is facing the wraith of his odd behaviour again. In 2003 he said some quite mean stuff about Jewish people. The Anti Deformation League are demanding an apology. Why has this taken so long? Because he was accused of rather more serious allegations perhaps? Cool, now he is 'proven' innocent the ADL can take a swipe. Shame they didn't think it through. No-one remembers what Jackson said. Remember all those people who waved flags et al in support of Michael every day at his trial? Now you've messed with Michael they are all Anti-Semitics. Worth it?

Right I'm done. I have to make coffee and drink it. Hard day. Not fair.

Take care all of you (all? I'm confident today!)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Quoting Folk

So hi everyone (come on you know you are here)

Essential questions...

Why am I doing this?


Anything interesting to say?


Anyway today is about quotes. Not famous quotes but just random fantastic things that people say.

"We live in an age of identity theft" How profound - thanks X for reminding me that the word Profound exists :-) A very profound word.

So two really brutally honest things have been said to me in the last week. I think they are both really funny so will share. Besides typing them makes me a little hysterical and that's a good start for a blog. Actually I cut and pasted this from an e-mail I sent someone but they won't read this and hell its' my first blog entry so who cares!

"You are too nice, I used and dumped a boyfriend who was too nice. Ummm, you do have a really great personality though but, ummm, you need to be mean". I don't generally swear much (I'm too nice of course) but in response (and in a really ironic joke I thought) I said "Women who think I'm too nice...kcuF 'em" (think that word looks better back to front!). She laughed but I do think she missed the point.

The other... "You say some really beautiful things. But...I often don't understand them. Make sense boy!". To this I smiled, blushed (Oh my God, I'm just too nice) and turned away. Brilliant.

And the young mum Natalie who gave birth to triplets said "My mum tells me they are very good babies. To me they are perfect" Wow, beautiful - thank You