Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 - A Summary

As December closes it's common to see articles and programmes rounding up the experiences of the past 12 months, looking for ways to sum up the events of the year to give future historians an easier job. As we reach the end of 2011, many of these are talking about this as "The Year That Lots Happened".

Informative though that title may be, what may be a better way to sum up the past year would be "2011 - The Year Society Reached New Lows".

When we look back at 2011, what will we really remember? The Royal Wedding and the death of Steve Jobs will certainly stand out as two events that - for very different reasons - brought people together and demonstrated that there is still a spark of decency, community and affection amongst the populous. Other notable deaths - those, for example, of various enemies of the West: Bin Laden, Ghaddafi, Kim Jong Il - prompted less inspiring reactions. Some celebrated, not always in appropriate ways. Some took to their high horses to lecture everyone on why we should still honour and respect the passing of brutal dictators and terrorist plotters who sent thousands to early graves for their own pointless, selfish reasons. And most just made snarky jokes on twitter and facebook and forwarded them on to their friends.

And then we come to those other big stories of the year. Those stories that make you look at society and have to swallow the shame vomit crawling past your tonsils.

Phone hacking and super-injunctions. Two sides of the same filth encrusted penny. On the one hand we condemn the News Of The World and all of Murdochs minions for hacking in to phones, stealing voicemail messages and spreading the shit they find there all over their papers. How dare they go so low as to intrude on peoples private lives just to get a story. On the other we condemn those that take out super-injunctions to prevent anyone reporting on their secret affairs. How dare they try and hide their sordid lives from us.

When a celebrity tries to hide from what they've done and prevent their story being told in the press, we take to twitter in armies and rat them out so everyone knows who they are. When a journalist tries to find these stories using certain methods we force a 138 year old paper to stop printing.

This double standard isn't even the worst part. Look at the source of each of these issues. The stories that are being told or hidden from them. These aren't important. Super-injunctions aren't being used to hide political scandals. Phone hacking isn't being used to unveil paedophile rings. The biggest thing revealed by a failed super-injunction was that Ryan Giggs had sex with some girl from Big Brother. And we're all sitting at our laptops patting ourselves on the backs for being able to beat the system and spread this story around.

We completely missed the point. The story there shouldn't have been "Ryan Giggs had an affair and then tried to hide it from the public". It should have been "Ryan Giggs had an affair and then FELT THAT HE HAD TO TRY AND HIDE IT FROM THE PUBLIC because apparently we've decided as a society that who a footballer's fucking is something that we should all care about". And with the year being taken up by stories of these super-injunctions and phone hacking enquiries, it never seems to occur to us that maybe if we just grew the hell up and stopped thinking that this is the sort of inane, unimportant bullshit that we should focus on, neither of these things will be an issue. We forget that the people writing these stories aren't the evil ones, forcing us to pay attention to this crap - they work for us. We tell them we want stories of celebrities behaving badly and they oblige. This, right now, is the point where we should realise that we've gone too far and we seriously need to reassess the kind of stories we want.

But that's not happening. We're just going to keep finding new ways to get around injunctions, and force journalists to find new ways of spying on people just so we can find out who one of the droopy mouthed morons from Geordie Shore is banging behind the scenes.

And then we come to the final big story of the year which is, of course, the riots across the country. A time when, for seemingly no reason at all, great tribes of twats adopted a "Monkey See, Monkey Do" attitude across the country and looted, burned and trashed various city centres - proving themselves to be the stupidest, most awful piles of scum on the planet. The end of the summer was then spent trying to decifer just how this had happened, and what the point of it was. Were the riots politically motivated? Was it to make a socio-economic point? Was it out of necessity?

As it turned out, people were rioting because they were morons. The very worst of humanity rose up and rioted purely because someone had failed to realise that they should have been drowned at birth.

So that's 2011. We finally went too far with our addiction to idiotic celebrity gossip - and then continued. We recognised the behaviours of the worst of our journalists - and learned nothing from it. And we were terrorised by our own people - and were unable to catch them all, lock them up in the Jeremy Kyle studios and set the place on fire. We then sat back and allowed our television channels to fill up with nonsensical, intellectually offensive "scripted reality" shows, let the charts fill up with previously pleasant songs remixed in to garbled, robotic messes of sound and tweeted racist jokes about dead leaders.

2011 is the year that brought out the very worst in society, and all signs show that we're not planning on making ourselves any better in 2012.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

What's On Television?

I watch a lot of television. A Lot. More television than I actually have time for. My Sky+ box is almost full with programmes that I've yet to get round to watching. Recently I had to delete the entire second series of Treme from it, on the realisation that I simply didn't have the time to sit through the ten hours (without adverts) of post Katrina blues drama that had built up in my planner.

But I started wondering about it. With everything I watch - which shows do I actually care about?

I got an email from my friend Dexter earlier, that ended with the question "Have you seen Life's Too Short yet?" I had, and I proceeded to explain to Dexter that, though I have been a big fan of Gervais and Merchant in the past - and had been  looking forward to this programme for some time, I was ultimately disappointed by it. I found it thin, derivative and - aside from the scene with Liam Neeson - simply not very funny. But I ended my message by assuring him that I would still continue to watch the rest of the series in the hope that it would improve.

Does this seem like strange behaviour to you? After watching the first episode, and deciding I didn't like it, why would I continue to dedicate time to watching this programme? Maybe it will get better as it goes on, but there's an equal chance that it won't, so why not just cut my losses now and stop watching?

When I thought more about this, I thought about other programmes that I have continued to sit through, despite being fully aware of their lack of quality. With the exception of Treme, I can't think of another television show that I've completely given up on in the midst of a series (a fact made twice as sad when I reflect that Treme really is very good - I'll have to get the box set in the Summer). I remember when Lost was coming to an end, there were so many people who said "Oh I thought it got silly after the second season, so I stopped watching it then." I've never done this. Even programmes like Heroes, that were obviously getting worse as they progressed, I kept watching religiously right until the cancellation point in the hope that they would improve. I've loudly complained about the lack of quality in The Simpsons in the last few years, but I still watch all the new episodes when they're shown on TV.

Maybe television addiction is a real thing. Or maybe I just need to find other things to do. For whatever reason, it's a rare thing for me to say goodbye to a television show before it's come to an end, or been cancelled.

And when I think of this, I think of all the programmes I watch at the moment. If they were cancelled tomorrow, how many of them would I really be bothered about losing? Off the top of my head I can only think of a handful of programmes that I'd be genuinely upset if I knew there was never going to be another episode:

Frozen Planet (of which there's only about three or four more episodes anyway)
Mad Men (which hasn't been on since October 2010 and won't be back until an unspecified time next year).
Doctor Who
The Simpsons (though this is more because I want to see it continue is reign of longevity than because I enjoy the new episodes)

That's it.
There are other programmes I enjoy watching, but I'm not as bothered about them ending as I would be for those above, or as I was for Lost, Friends, Scrubs or Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

It's sad really. All that time I've spent on these programmes. And really it's all been wasted. It's like going to your favourite restaurant - one that you've been to hundreds of times before - and realising that you don't really like the food there.

I know I should just stop. But I won't.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

My Breakdown After Dealing With The Breakdown Service

The other day, my brother informed me that his car had a flat tire, that he'd called the RAC to come and fix it and that he was going out. I was sad, happy and proud of him at that time. Happy that he was going out, sad that his car had a flat tire, and proud that he'd already found a way to resolve his car troubles. I was also a little confused about why he was informing me of these things, but that only lasted until his next sentence.

"So when the RAC guy gets here, can you give him my keys?"

Of course I could! I could definitely be responsible for that job. I'm a sophisticated, intelligent twenty something. Acknowledging the RAC man and handing over some keys was a positively simple job for me, and one that I knew I would handle confidently and professionally. I assured him that I was up to the task and took the all important keys from him, leaving him to go out and enjoy his thriving social life while I remained at home watching Simpsons repeats. 

Twenty minutes later the doorbell rang. Before opening it, without even looking, I knew that this would be the aforementioned man from the RAC. It was just like instinct or something - some ingrained sense built in to our evolutionary pattern that lets you instantly know that the person at your door is exactly the person you've been expecting all evening. The human mind is truly an amazing thing.

I readied myself. This was the moment. I knew it. I made sure I had the keys in my hand and I answered the door with the appropriate gusto. The plan went without a hitch. Within mere minutes the man from the RAC had my brothers car keys and was already at work fixing the problem. I patted myself on the back for a job well done, treated myself to a penguin biscuit and sat down to continue my third Simpsons episode of the evening (it was the one where Homer and Flanders get married in Las Vegas - a classic).

A short time later the doorbell rang again. The RAC man was back after successfully finishing his work on my brothers car. I congratulated him on a job well done, and signed the form he held out to confirm that he had completed his work to a satisfactory standard. I considered offering a gold star sticker to it, like I always got in school for my good work, but wasn't sure if we had any available and feared disappointing the man if we didn't. I stayed quiet on the matter. 

I considered the task my brother gave me complete, when the man suddenly revealed a hitherto unmentioned part of the job. He asked if I would be willing to complete a short survey on his special RAC touchscreen-computer-tablet-thing about the evenings dealings. 

Wanting nothing more than to help, I of course accepted this. "I can manage this" I thought, "look at how well I've managed the key situation, and the signing of the bit of paper. I'm a veritable master of dealing with the RAC, I can handle anything they throw at me. Survey? Pah! I'll do the best damn multiple choice picking they've ever seen."

I took the computer-tablet-thing from him and read the first question. 

"How would you rate the level of customer service experienced when you first phoned the RAC?"

Uh-oh. How could I answer that? It was my brother who had called them, not me! And he wasn't here! What do I do? Was it too late to just abandon the survey, to hand the computer-tablet-thing back to the man and explain that I couldn't possibly answer all these questions? Oh no, I couldn't do that. How would I explain that I simply didn't know the answers? What would the man think of me? No, I must finish the survey. I'd accepted the task and I'd be damned if I wasn't going to see it through to the end. 

But what answer do I give? How important are these surveys? I had no way of knowing how many people really took these. What if my answers were part of a very small group? They might significantly skew the results. Maybe if I just put high marks for them. Yes, that would be the best thing, surely. But what if it wasn't? Maybe the customer service was terrible, but by offering high marks I'd only be encouraging that and preventing the company from resolving it for the benefit of other customers. 

But if I gave an unjustly low mark, someone who doesn't deserve it may get in trouble. Oh what to do? Even the neutral answers seem unfair. They might deserve to be praised or scolded and I offer neither. I pondered the problem for several seconds, unnerved by the enormity of my decision and the harsh, impatient eyes of the man who had offered me this impossible test watching me. I gave up, let the fates, my subconscious and my natural motor skills decide by randomly hitting the screen with my finger without looking at it. I missed on the first attempt, but the second was a success. Having picked an option the survey moved on to question two:

"How would you rate the response time of the RAC to your initial request for help?"

Oh God. Another one I wasn't qualified to answer. I selected randomly again, doing the same for the other eight questions in the survey. Finally it was over and I handed the computer-tablet-thing back to the RAC man and bade him farewell. 

Closing the door behind me I pondered the consequences of my insincere answers, and worried about the hell that I may unwittingly have unleashed upon the employees and/or customers of the RAC's breakdown service. 

That's the last time I do a favour for my brother. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Importance of Commentary in a Fair Trial

According to news reports, the jury responsible for the outcome of the trial of two men accused of murdering teenager Stephen Lawrence have been told by the judge to stay away from social media sites Twitter and Facebook, in case they include "commentary" of the trial. This is supposedly done in the interest of a fair trial.

This, to me, doesn't quite make sense. I'm not saying I'm against the prospect of a fair trial - far from it - but I'm not sure that isolating the jury from the opinions of the masses is the way to go about it.

The jury is selected randomly in order to represent the rest of the population in coming up with a fair verdict. A small number is chosen simply because it's unfeasible to try and give all that information to everyone in the country and have us all vote on it. But they're still a small group. If they're to represent us, then why are they not allowed to hear what we have to say?

The benefit of social networking - especially twitter - is that everyone can put forward their thoughts on the topics of the day in real time. When it comes to a trial, I don't see why those responsible for coming to a decision can't see what other people are saying about it. Surely by allowing the views of hundreds of more people to be heard, we are making the overall verdict more fair, not less.

I'm not saying they should make looking at twitter the most important aspect of their decision making. After all, they're the ones in the courtroom. They're the ones who see all the evidence, and they're the ones hearing arguments from both sides. Obviously that's the most important thing they should be focussing on. But surely they should still be allowed to see what everyone else thinks about the proceedings - even if they're warned to take it with a little pinch of salt. Because, by our court system, the people tweeting had an equal chance of ending up in that jury. So why ignore their views?

I want a fair trial in every case. And I believe that when it comes down to it, discussion is vital in ensuring the right decision is made. And removing the possibility of discussion with the rest of your peers is not the way to ensure a fair trial.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Save The World By Changing The Nations Working Hours (A Manifesto)

A major problem with the way that all of society operates is the time in which we do everything.

Let me explain: An average work day for an average person in Britain is 9-5.30 Monday-Friday. With an hour for lunch usually 12-1 or 1-2.

Now already this fundamentally isn't fair. It's a well documented psychological fact that some people really are night owls, and some really are early birds. They just are, that's just how it works. Some people can just get out of bed at 6 O'clock in the morning, welcoming the day with big grins on their smug faces, while others gloomily force themselves to let go of the duvet and pour giant cups of scalding coffee down their throats in the hope that the burning nerve endings will send enough electrical signals to the brain to shock it awake. Which is why morning people always have happy sing-song voices while the others croak their way through the AM like toads with lung cancer.

People often say these people should just go to bed earlier - that if they weren't still scouring music forums or shooting japanese children on MW3 at two in the morning they'd find it much easier to get up. But we all know this isn't really true. Night owls don't go to bed early, because they can't sleep that early. Just like the early risers will pass out on the sofa if they even try to stay up past Newsnight.

So why then, must the night owls be punished daily by being forced to adhere to the same working times as the early birds? I should make it clear now that I put myself in the night owl group. I usually don't go to bed anytime before 2am, and that's only because I force myself to - knowing that I have to get up at 8 in order to get to work. If I didn't feel I had to do this then I probably would never go to bed before 4 because that's when my body wants to sleep.

And that's exactly where the problem is. If I'm having to force myself to go to bed when I naturally don't want to, just so I can get enough hours sleep before I force myself to get up when I naturally don't want to, then that is not only going to have an effect on my mental and physical health, but also make me really pissed at whoever's making me do this.

So I come in to work already in a bad mood, as well as being tired. For at least the first couple of hours of the day I'm not going to be working at full capacity because half of me is still wishing I was in bed. And that's the same for all those people who are naturally inclined to sleep late and get up late.

And it could be so easily solved. What if, instead of all workers coming in at 9 and leaving at half 5, we had a system in place where each employee could say whether they were an early bird or a night owl? Let the early birds keep working the same hours they do now and let the night owls come in a couple of hours later, and leave a couple of hours later. Still have everyone working the same number of hours, just some people will work 9 to half 5 and others will work 11 to half 7. As long as everyone's working the same number of hours, what difference does it make what time they start and finish?

The benefits would be huge. Staff would be happier because the night owls would be better rested and the early birds wouldn't have to hear their moral lowering complaining or watch them yawn all the way through a morning meeting. And people get to work at times that they know they work better in. Not to mention everyone becoming much healthier. If you can come in to work at a time of your choosing, that not only gives you enough time to sleep as much as you need, you don't have to rush to get ready in the mornings. You can take your time. Personally, I haven't eaten breakfast since I was 16. That's just not a meal that exists for me any more because I choose to spend that time getting more sleep. But if I didn't have to try and shave down that time between waking up and going to work, then I'm sure I'd enjoy a nice, leisurely breakfast and be healthier and more alert in the mornings because of it. PLUS there'd be no more rush hour traffic, reducing road rage, stress and accidents. If this was implemented everywhere then as a nation we'd be happier, healthier and less prone to stress, depression and other anxieties that can be caused by lack of sleep.

IN ADDITION TO ALL OF THAT there's a massive bonus benefit to literally everyone. Think about all the things you have to do outside work. Maybe you have to take your car to the garage. Maybe you have to get a haircut. Maybe you have to go to the bank. As it stands all these places operate on the exact same hours that everyone works. Need to go to the post office? Guess you'll have to do it on your lunch break. Oh, but you also have a dentist appointment on the other side of town at that point. And when exactly are you going to have lunch? Well you'll just have to grab what you can and shove it down as you rush back in to work.

But if work hours are more spread out across the day, then they're more spread out for everyone. Say you're an early bird. You wake up (naturally) at 6am. You go in to work at 7.30 and you finish at 4 in the afternoon. Need to do all those other jobs? No problem. There's a night owl garage that you can take your car to at 8pm, just after you've been to post that thing at the 24 hour post office and before your 9 O'clock dentist appointment.

Just think about how easy the internet made shopping. You can go on Amazon in the middle of the night and browse the new DVDs. Now imagine everything works on that basis. Imagine we operated in a fully 24 hour commercial society. Imagine not having to think about when things are going to be open, and trying to fit everything you need to do in to those time restraints.

Enough of these ridiculous 9-5.30 working hours. Let people decide whether they want to work early in the day or late, and let the working hours take up a wider part of the day. The nation will be happier, healthier, less stressed, less depressed and much, much less tired.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

5 minute poem #3 - The world

Sometimes you think the day's over.
Sometimes you think it's all been done.
Sometimes you think you've seen it all.
Then, in a second, the world changes.

Friday, 21 October 2011

A conversation I didn't have.

I'm sitting at my desk, watching the latest edit of the video on the duchess spruce christmas tree and preparing to record a voiceover for it.

SIDENOTE: I make promotional videos of Christmas Trees. This is my job.

My extremely attractive co-worker - let's call her Natalie - looks across the desk at me. 

"Nick," she says, "what exactly are you doing?"

"Well Natalie, I'm watching the latest edit of my most recent video on the duchess spruce christmas tree and preparing to record a voiceover for it. This, you see, is my job".

"Yes Nick," she replies patiently, "but why are you doing this?"

"Well you see, Natalie, these videos need to go online so that people can see what our trees are like and choose to buy them this Christmas. For this to happen someone has to create the videos and, as I believe I have already mentioned, that job is mine."

"Yes Nick," she replies again, "but why are you doing this and not working for the BBC or the Times or any of those other big, reputable news organisations. Weren't you at one point aiming to be a journalist?"

"And broadcaster. Well, either really."

"Journalist and/or broadcaster then. Why aren't you doing that?"

"Well you see Natalie, as it turns out it's very hard to get a job in this area. All of these big, reputable organisations want someone with experience."

"Ah, and that's a problem for you, isn't it?"


"Because you don't have any."


"Alright then". Natalie goes back to her work and I continue looking at christmas trees. A moment later she looks up again.

"Nick," she says, "why don't you get some experience?"

"Because Natalie," I reply, "It's very hard to get any experience when all the places that you could gain experience from already require you to have some experience."

"Ah, I see. So it's a bit like Catch 22."

"No, it has nothing to do with World War II."

"But Nick," she persists "can't you do some free work experience on a local level, or for any of the millions of online publications that exist?"

"Well of course I could, Natalie, and I have on occasion been known to write articles for other people, or indeed create my own website to showcase my written work, but unfortunately the time it takes to write these sorts of things is considerable and much more financially beneficial when spent filming Christmas Trees, believe it or not."

"It just seems to me that if you want to actually get anywhere and do what you've been wanting to do for so long, you should be doing all you can to make it a reality."

"Well I also make some stupid sketches sometimes. It's not the best, but at least I can use them to show off my filming and editing skills".

"Yes but Nick someone with your impressive array of abilities as well as your natural charisma, intelligence and wit should really be utilising these skills professionally. Not just for yourself, but for the rest of us who want to be witness to everything you could become."

It may be clear to you now that Natalie is not, in fact, a real person and I actually work alone.

"Natalie, that would be lovely and, much as I dearly love working with you, I would be lying if I said I didn't want to be working on bigger and better things. But with the economy the way it is with the unemployment rate rising to over 21% amongst my age group, and me aiming to break in to one of the most competitive job areas there is, do I really have a hope?"

"Nick, just take a look at yourself. You're wearing the same T-shirt you've worn to work on three other days this week. You haven't shaved for nearly two weeks. You haven't had a haircut since last January. You're still wearing the wristband from Leeds Festival 2008. Your desk is covered with empty water bottles and sandwich wrappers. 

"OK, OK, I see what you're trying to do. But aren't you twisting things around a bit? Maybe I'm like that because I'm already working here and I don't have to look smart or live in a hygienic environment."

"But Nick you don't want any of that either. Look a little way down through this blog."

"Oh, you mean my unfinished story?"

"No, that's stupid, never go near that again. Leave it to rot. Look at where you made your new years resolutions."


"Look at the person you wanted to be. You wanted to move out and live on your own."

"I will when I get a job."

"You wanted to write something proper."

"I'm working on some stuff."

"You wanted to re-invent yourself as Don Draper."

"OK, well I drink whisky out of a glass with ice now, not straight from the bottle. That's one step closer right?"


"Well...I did grow my hair back! That was on there! And I can sort of play a few more guitar chords. And I got over my unhealthy obsession with...oh..."

"The top point - priority number one - was to find a proper job that you actually wanted to do."

"Well maybe I was being naive then. Maybe I didn't realise that I was taking on an impossible task. There are hundreds of people out there just like me, who are in the exact same situation."

"Exactly Nick. Just think about those other 16-24 year olds that make up that 21%. How many of them do you think are in the same condition? How many do you think wear band T-shirts every day and focus on trivialities instead of what was really important? Now I may be just a humble literary device representing your own nagging sense of self-worth, but maybe if you smartened up, focused yourself on what you really wanted to do, actually did some proper work towards it, applied for some voluntary placements, got to know people within the business, and stopped spending your lunch hour writing down hypothetical conversations with your imaginary co-worker who's resemblance to Natalie Portman isn't as subtly implied as you think, you might actually demonstrate some worth and make something of yourself."

I look straight at her. She's right. I can't argue with her. Mostly because the points she made have just come from my own head. 

"You're right Natalie. Wow, if only everyone had this kind of flu induced, self-referential, celebrity-based epiphany about their own professional life. We could probably come up with the kind of radical, imaginative solutions needed to get us through this dark financial point in the country's history."

I look around the office, but Natalie's gone. I'm alone again with the christmas trees. I guess she had other people to help...

Thursday, 11 August 2011

I started a new thing.

It my continuing attempts to attract attention to myself on the internet I've started a video sketch website with my brother. We operate under the name Gatsby & Tibbs and write, direct, and star in our own comedy sketches.
We finished our first sketch a couple of weeks ago, after about a months work. Seriously, these things take ages. I think it's only about 4 and a half minutes long but there must have been at least 15 hours worth of editing put in to it.
But it was fun and it came out looking pretty good, so you should all go and see it now while we make some others.

The website can be found at or you can watch our first sketch below the jump.

Friday, 4 March 2011

5 minute poem #2 - Strangers.

He stared at her
Over the ocean,
Through the mountains
He could see.

She felt a chill
Along her skin
In her stomach.
She could feel.

They thought of each other
From far away
From deep within
They knew.

He stopped looking
She stopped feeling
They stopped thinking
They were lost.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

If I only knew...(it wouldn't make a difference)

Here are some things that no-one told me when I left university (but probably should have done).
"You will be applying for jobs for at least the next six months. 95% of these will never get back to you. You will be checking your emails every half an hour for at least a month after the deadline to see if they do before you finally accept this.

4.5% of these will straight up reject you. You will think this feels better than not knowing, but it won't.

0.45 of these will offer you a glimpse of hope - maybe by asking for more information or getting you to complete a test. This will be a ray of sunshine and you will think that finally, FINALLY, something is happening. Then you will never hear from them again.

0.05% of these will invite you to an interview. You will prepare for this every moment of every day until it starts. You will practice answers. You will think about how you are going to sit and where you are going to look. People are going to give you advice that you are unsure of. You will consider every possible thing they could ask you, and any follow up questions they could get from your answers. And when you get there they will ask you something completely different, something that you hadn't planned for and have no idea how to answer and you will try to give the best possible response you can and they will think you haven't prepared. And after a couple of days of solidly reviewing that 20 minute session in your head they will reject you. And you will be back to square one.

You will have to write a CV. You will not know how to write a CV. You will have to change this CV every time you apply for a different type of job. You will have to write cover letters. You will never know what the best thing to put in these is.

Most of the next few months will be spent in uncertainty. You will never know exactly which jobs to apply for. You will never know if you actually are qualified or experienced enough to do them. You will never know if they're not hiring you because you're not able to do the job or if you're just not showing the right things in your applications. You will never know exactly what each one is looking for.

You will try desparately to do something new, something different, just to put on your CV. You will never know if this helps.

You will have considered the fact that unemployment is going through the roof. That there are fewer and fewer jobs available and that you are looking at things in a highly competitive area. It will still surprise you how difficult it is to find anything.

You will not know if you are applying for the right things. Somewhere along the line you will realise that you have no idea exactly what it is you want to do. You will apply for some strange jobs that you hope you never hear back from. Sometimes you will just want anything even vaguely related to what you like doing. Sometimes you will be picky and only look at jobs you are sure will be good, even though you will be massively inexperienced/underqualified to do them.

You will be tired. All the time. You will be tired of living at home. You will be tired of never doing anything. You will be tired of applications. You will be tired of jobsites. You will be tired of CVs. You will be tired of answering stupid questions without knowing what the answer is.

It will be monstrously depressing and unbearably boring, without stop, for months.
And you will not know if you are ever going to get anywhere.

You will, however, know one thing.

You won't want to go back to university."

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

New Years Resolutions 2011 (Or: Holy Shit it's 2011 Already!)

Holy shit it's 2011 already. I'm sure if someone asked me when I was a kid what I'd be doing by this point my answer would have been something like "living on the moon" or "being a super-rich crimefighter with his own robot best friend" or "dead".

But like everyone who isn't getting Natalie Portman pregnant I feel I have let down my inner child. Well I will stand for that no more. 2011 is the year I will clean my act up. This year I vow to do the following:

  • Get an actual job - This is priority number 1. I will keep applying and keep practicing interview skills so I don't come off like a gibbering retard until I finally start a job that I am actually willing to get up in the morning and do.
  • Find an awesome place to live - Everyone has to move out of their parents house sometime, and I've already done it twice. Once I get a job I can find somewhere awesome in that area and then hopefully third time will be the charm.
  • Actually learn to play one of the two guitars I now own - Yeah...this doesn't require any further explanation. I'm just lazy.
  • Write something proper that can actually be published in some form - I have the ideas, I have the skill, I have the motivation and I enjoy doing it. Why the hell have I not done anything significant with this yet? 
  • Write more Shame About the Video posts - OK, I think my Christmas excuse is used up now. Time to actually start writing some things, and actually trying to keep this running regular posts. Then it can gain readers and can branch out and grow. 
  • Grow all my hair back
  • Get over my unhealthy obsession with Natalie Portman - She has a person inside her now. Black Swan is the final hurrah. Then it's time to accept that it's never going to happen and move on. 
  • Start a band - After four unsuccessful years I have a good feeling that 2011 will see my musical debut.
  • Buy the "Friends" boxset - It's time.
  • Get over my unhealthy obsession with Friends - It's time.
  • Continue my totally healthy obsession with Mad Men
  • Blog more about Mad Men
  • Make people watch Mad Men
  • Reinvent myself as a cross between Don Draper and Hank Moody - Only with less sex because otherwise Emily will hurt me...
  • Go and live in a foreign country again - That was fun and I think people are getting tired of me always bringing up Hong Kong in casual conversation 
  • Continue wild experimentation with facial hair/not being bothered to shave
  • Reinvent myself again as a cross between Chuck Klosterman and Chris Nolan - Because your influences should probably be real people...
  • Make/Find enough money to not have to stare at the prices of a bottle of whisky in the shop looking for the cheapest one. - Because if you're just going to pick out Jack Daniels anyway, at least stop feeling bad about it.
  • Delete Facebook - Yeah right...
  • Blog about more interesting stuff and less self-involved whining.

Looks like I have a busy, busy year ahead of me.

Oh, one more:
  • Stop trying to do things three weeks too late.