My rough rule of thumb for writing a post is if the topic, when covered on the Today Program on BBC Radio 4, caused me to yell at the radio. Today I yelled and was then reduced to mumbling dementedly.
The sharp decline is cosmetic surgery was being covered. All was fine until they decided that, presumably, for balance, the advances in makeup and associated use techniques should be used as a reason.
This is when the yelling started. The expert merrily explained how someone can radically change their look using various products and techniques. I am a complete loss regarding the idea of an industry perpetuating the idea to women (I know, they are targeting men as well now) that their appearance is somehow lacking and needs changing. The Army calls this camouflage and uses bolder green tones. The aim remains the same, deception.
Apparently, hiding the ageing process is key. Expertly applied makeup can take ten years off you at a stroke. FFS. We are terrified of ageing and the inevitable conclusion, death. This fear is so ruthlessly exploited, and many people seem to have, unquestioningly, bought into the idea. The entire beauty industry revolves around first making one feel that somehow your appearance is falling short and that good makeup can hide these apparent inadequacies. Still deception. First of the self and then of others.
I can hear the argument being trotted out that it is a woman’s right to choose. Indeed it is. They wouldn’t even have to face this dilemma if the feeling hadn’t been created that deception is necessary. I look around at university and see young women who have swallowed this pill and are slathered in makeup. Why does this make me mad? Partly because I have a 14y old daughter. She is pretty balanced (has a grumpy old man) but I know she is subjected to a barrage of messages that normalise the idea that there is an inherent inadequacy in her appearance. But, fear not for there will be a YouTube channel that can show her how to cure this fault.
Come the revolution, anyone who works to create a consumer demand by preying off fear and creating feelings of inadequacy will be the first to be put up against the wall and shot.
Today I am bereft of ideas so suddenly thought, “why not try and write about having nothing to write about?”. Make yourself comfy as this may be excruciating. You tell me.
My day so far in a series of observations with vignettes:
- One of the neurotic cats, Claude, decides – after last nights inexplicable love in he now likes me and, no you sick bastards, it was nothing more than coochy coo noises and lots of behind ear tickling – that 0530 is the appropriate time to stroll back and forth at the side of the bed making pretty insistent mewing noises to reinforce our new bond. Pity he is an indoor only cat or I would have upped his flying hours for him right over the balcony. My foot being his newfound means of propulsion.
- Claude, not realising that I have mentally ejected him at speed, then jumps up and backs towards me, because who doesn’t enjoy cracking their eye open to be greeted by puckered cat’s rusty bullet wound with attendant litter tray aromas at 0530? That’s the last fucking tickle he gets. Reminds me of this:
- My daughter was staying with me and was v keen that I drive her to school in the most environmentally unfriendly manner. Mostly it is my fault because I failed to check the buses. Remember, I am flat sitting inside the Oxford ring-road and she goes to school in Oxford. Becoming another car and emitting, I suspect, more than my share of CO2 was not my plan. It is a nice car and I suddenly realised that she was after dropping-off kudos. This was confirmed as we pulled up and she checked and waited a moment to casually emerge in front of a classmate. The parting remark was not, “goodbye Daddy, I love you.” but rather, “you will be picking me up in this car, won’t you?” She is ten years old for crying out loud. That’s girls for you.
- The fact that the flat has a Nintendo Wii seems to have influenced unsolicited and quite transparent remarks such as, “if I were to get all my homework done at lunchtime can we play Wii Bowling tonight?”. The problem for her is I now know that homework can be done at lunch. A small fact I shall be sharing with her mother.
- I then went swimming, and due to receiving some pretty shabby news about a friend last night, just got my head down and swam up and down until I suddenly realised that I was the last one there and the staff were waiting politely for me to hop-it as the pool shuts for three hours from nine until twelve. It is a good way to block out shitty thoughts, even for a time.
- All my shower behavioural theories were then torpedoed by an Asian lad going into the private cubicle and then prancing out butt-naked into the main changing area. At least he seemed aware of the no eye-contact rule when getting changed. I think he may have grown up in the middle-East and then lived in the UK for a while. There is simply no other logical explanation for such obviously aberrant behaviour.
- Usual quick trip to Rick’s for a double-espresso and fresh croissant. the Spanish girl with long dark hair is v sexy. No chemistry however as she had discovered that I had got up – Claude’s puckered and quite possibly faecal encrusted cyclops eye notwithstanding – at 0630. This seems to be only a few hours after she goes to bed. It’s those workshy Spanish again. No wonder their economy is going (gone?) down the pan. They stay up too late having too much fun. What is life without a bit of self-inflicted (or moggy inflicted) early mornings? No room for fun, we’re British.
- Not wishing to disappoint my little girl I did my bit for the illegal immigrant (Albanian) population of Oxford and went and got my car cleaned for a fiver. I cunningly let one lad drive it the ten feet from the cleaning bay to the drying bay – totally unnecessary as I was the only car there at 0930h – which ensured it received gold star treatment. I stood beside the chap that runs it and he bitched and moaned about the fact that he can’t employ any English as they don’t know what hard work is. I suspect the entire operation is actually a money laundering front for the proceeds of prostitution and that the young Albanian lads are working so hard to free their sisters from enslavement. I then snapped back to reality.
- Back to flat and domestic procedures took over. The kitchen is smaller than a yacht’s galley so more than a glass and fork clutter it up to the point where entry is an issue. So I washed up, emptied the bins and then had a delightful ten minutes emptying the cat trays. They pee a lot and poop a little. Small mercies I suppose.
- Still bummed about my mate – who is now in major surgery as I write- so I did what any slacker would do and watched an episode of Mock The Week on iPlayer to cheer up. There is something about turning the telly on in the middle of the day. I feel that if I do that there will be a crash as the door is blown from its hinges, and Jeremy Kyle, Oprah and Judge Judy will effect a tactical entry and then demand to include me in some schizo version of a bare your pikey soul episode on a daytime telly threesome. The behemoth TV stays off an I use the Mac. Safer that way.
- Troughed on the remains of last nights Kraft Mac Cheese. It was disgusting then – daughter refused most of it, wisely – and cold today. Didn’t stop me eating it all in a one-er with a bit of Mango Chutney spooned from the jar. Mango Chutney improves almost anything apart from biscuits. Now I wanna hurl.
And here I am now…