Thoughts on a Wednesday #8

ITEM: Relationship advice – if your significant other has a Nintendo, never refer to it as a toy. It’s a high tech entertainment device.

ITEM: Cold callers and scammers seem to have grown more persistent and argumentative. Five minutes ago I had some dick ring me about a credit agreement he claimed I’d had and when I denied this he insisted that I didn’t know the details of my own credit history. When I said that if he was genuine then having such details would be a violation of the Data Protection Act the guy got quite uppity.

A couple of weeks back, another guy rang me claiming to be from the Call Prevention Service, a scam to charge money for blocking nuisance calls. I told him that I was already registered with the Telephone Preference Service and he was breaking the law by calling me. I kept repeating this while he continued blustering, eventually seguing into a chant of “Arsehole! Arsehole! Arsehole!” I said “Yes, you are” and hung up. Four or five days later, somebody from the same outfit rang me and I told them I wouldn’t be doing business with them because a member of their staff had called me an arsehole. Snigger.

Seriously though, the powers that be need to tackle these pests, preferably with extreme prejudice. Where are the SAS when you need them?

ITEM: The Marquis de Sade once said ‘One can never ask for anything more than to kill and feel righteous at the same time, the gratification of one’s lowest instincts in the service of one’s highest.’

Well, actually he might not have said it, or if he did he might not have used those exact words (or their French equivalent), but I most certainly read it, or something similar, in a book about the Marquis, and the principle stands.

My suspicion is that the chief reason for the existence of right wing political ideology is to give self-centred arseholes carte blanche to act as they wish and still feel good about themselves.

2016, with the triumph of Trump and the GOP, UKIP and Brexit, seems to have proved my suspicions are well founded.

People who in previous ages would have cheered on the troops going off to the Crusades or held crowd funders for the Inquisition, who would have gathered on Tyburn Hill for a good rope party or camped out overnight to be sure of a front row seat at Madame Guillotine, nowadays read the Daily Mule and bemoan the perfidy of benefit scroungers and bloody foreigners, then wring their hands in glee at the thought of those bounders getting a bloody good hiding from a noble band of patriots. At times it all feels positively Arthurian.

Our parents and grandparents fought a war against Nazi Germany and its allies, and in doing so saved Europe from fascist rule, but our generation is challenged to embrace fascism-lite under the pretext of saving Europe from German rule, the irony of which would be amusing if it wasn’t so bloody tragic. And of course fascism won’t stay “lite” for long – I fear we are on a road where each step becomes easier than the last and by the time we all realise where we’re going it will be too late to turn back without some huge and bloody effort.

Edited to add that of course not all “right” voters are self-centred arseholes, or even a majority of them, and equally not all “left” voters are great humanitarians (I’m certainly not).

ITEM: Post-Trump Facebook looks like a battleground at times – carnage among the cat videos. I’ve only unfriended one person, which is remarkably restrained for me (or testimony to how sound my friend vetting skills are) – an arsehole who, in the wake of Trump’s victory, was getting off on the idea of Obama’s head on a pike. Too much.

Call me a hypocrite, but I’ve never unfriended anyone for going into raptures while contemplating the death of politicians on the right – our ideological enemies are always less human than our political friends. And post-Brexit, post-Trump, I can’t help wondering if attitudes like that are part of the problem, but I have neither the inclination or the time for self-analysis – there are things to see, and people to do.

ITEM: This is the time of year when I am especially pushed for time – on the one hand, Black Static reviews need to be written two weeks earlier than usual, and on the other friends and family are constantly nagging me to go Xmas shopping, visit and drink eggnog, write cards, put up decorations etc. As a child at heart, I love just about everything about Xmas; as an adult I resent the extra demands Xmas makes on my time and as an atheist I feel like a hypocrite for celebrating the birth of JC with such gusto (but I can live with that).

Anyway, long story short and all that, for the next few weeks I won’t be doing any original blogging here, just providing filler content.

The intention has always been to archive all of my reviews on this blog (and there are still a lot to go), so for December I intend to post all the reviews that are currently festering in the Whispers of Wickedness archive currently hosted by The Future Fire. Copy and paste is about all I’ll have time for.

I could of course – and probably will – pretend that this is an Advent Calendar of sorts, but as there are only twenty two reviews by me, we’ll need to bung in a couple of extras from somewhere to make up the numbers.

For anyone who’d like a fictional Advent Calendar, courtesy of yours truly and TTA Press, click here and enjoy.

ITEM: Last, but not least, a bonus trailer, because I fear the film may have been released by the time regular blogging resumes.

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