Thank you Piers, thank you very much. I’ve survived over a year without being tagged by anyone and you had to go and do it, didn’t you?
So, five things I’m proud of which other people think are lame …
I can’t help noticing a lot of other people list ‘crying at sad movies’ as one of their five.
Wimps, the lot of you.
Crying at sad films? For God’s sake, grow some balls. Real men don’t cry, not ever.
Maybe, just maybe, if your first born is being sacrificed on an altar made from the murdered corpses of your parents, your partner is being raped by Satan and a muscular chap repeatedly kicks you in the balls whilst wearing steel toe-capped boots encased in concrete, maybe then a single manly tear is acceptable; but crying at films … ?
Okay, yeah, I do that too. Doesn’t everyone? Something’s sad, you cry … what’s the problem? Since a lot of people have listed that as one of their five, I’ll try and think of something different.
1) I LOVE MY WIFE
Okay, so on the surface this may not sound that lame; but to put it in context, I regularly find myself in the company of people who cheat on their partners. The majority of people I hang about with, almost 100%, have cheated at least once. Most of them do so with gay and reckless abandon at every opportunity and expect me to join in.
I frequently find myself having to explain to people that I’m married and don’t want to go whoring. They usually point out they’re married too. I have to quantify being married with ‘happily’ married, before they understand.
Actually, they don’t understand, it’s an alien concept to them; but they leave me alone.
2) I HAVE A BATMAN COSTUME
Aha, more familiar territory. This is definitely lame, sad and downright pathetic; but it’s a great costume. I made it myself. When I first met Mandy, I made her a Robin costume too. Some people might think dressing your girlfriend as a twelve year old boy is a little odd, but there you go. These are the costumes:
Two photos, because in one I’m pulling a silly face, and Mandy is in the other. I made both costumes, I even made batarangs for my utility belt. This was a Halloween party. On the way there, we got accosted by some kids who demanded sweets. I told them I didn’t have any pockets, but they thought I might be carrying some in my belt.
Meanwhile, one of them was studying Mandy.
“Are you meant to be Robin?” She asks, Mandy confirmed she was. “Oh, you’re a bit of a slutty Robin, aren’t you?” The other kids told her she couldn’t say that, she protested she ‘meant it in a good way’.
I also had a car like this at the time:
Which helped set the costumes off.
Proud? Oh yes, but perhaps not as proud as I was of the Spiderman costume my mum made for me when I was 7. I used to wear that one to school under my uniform … just in case of emergency.
Some people grow up, some just get older.
3) I DON’T DRINK
Alcohol, I don’t drink alcohol. Not that I need to clarify that since it’s such an invasive drug that it’s actually hijacked the verb, but I have some really picky friends who feel the need to pull you up on statements like this.
What’s to be proud of here?
Well, not drinking is really difficult.
Don’t take heroin?
No problem, it’s not for everyone.
What the fuck is wrong with you?
I used to have to pretend I was a recovering alcoholic just to get people to leave me alone. It’s not just a socially acceptable drug, it’s a socially expected one and I don’t like being told what to do.
If pushed, I will tell people why I stopped:
I was the first of my friends to learn to drive and the first to own a car – hence I drove everywhere. I can remember sitting in a pub at 17 thinking ‘I’m not having fun’. I vowed the next week I wouldn’t drive so I could enjoy myself.
Then I got angry.
I didn’t start drinking until I was 14, I know I definitely had fun before that. So I obviously don’t need booze to have fun. I’m in the same place with the same people, doing the same things and I’m not enjoying it – why? Why does not drinking suddenly make something not fun?
Ah! Because it wasn’t fun in the first place, I was just too drunk to notice.
At more or less the same time, some of my friends started to get into harder drugs. I didn’t want to. Their argument was it was no worse than alcohol. I agreed.
I changed my vow, I decided I wasn’t going to drink ever again, I was only going to do things which actually were fun.
I’ve never been bothered by other people’s boozing until recently. I keep meeting girls who get so drunk they don’t know how they got home or who they got home with. Basically, they get raped on a regular basis and they’re fine with it.
I meet guys who get drunk and punch things: the walls, the furniture, their girlfriends and they think this is fine (both parties think it’s fine) because they were drunk and couldn’t control their actions.
You can control your actions, you don’t drink at all.
Almost everyone I know is addicted to alcohol and doesn’t know it. As far as they’re concerned it’s not a problem because everyone else does it. I’ve seen fathers allowing their toddlers a sip of beer every night because ‘they want them to be proper drinkers when they grow up’.
As an experiment, every time you hear someone talking about drink, replace it with the word ‘heroin’ and see how odd it sounds to a non-drinking.
Nowadays, when people ask me why I don’t drink I tell them: “Because it’s a lethal toxin which destroys your productivity and ultimately kills you. Why do you drink?”
Fuck, that was a long rant.
I’ll try something a bit lighter.
4) DICK GRAYSON IS MY FAVOURITE COMIC BOOK CHARACTER
There are two lame parts to this.
1) I have a favourite comic book character when the majority of the planet thinks comics are for kids.
2) Dick Grayson? Dick? The first Robin? Everyone else hates him.
Dick is a great character. Why does Batman need a Robin? Well, because his parents were killed when he was a child and he’s never grown up. Dressing as a bat and hitting people is a very childish response to the world’s problems, especially when you’re an intelligent billionaire. Why not run for president and sort out society’s problems? Why not buy businesses, run them as non-profit making organisations and give people meaningful jobs which pay well? Why not improve education? In short, tackle the cause of crime, not the end result.
Bruce Wayne suffers from Peter Pan syndrome, hence he takes in a young boy. People giggle about their relationship, it makes Bruce look like a gay paedophile; but the truth to me is he’s a child in an adult’s body who needs a like-minded friend. The only solution is to find a boy of the same mental age as him.
But Dick grows up and the two of them fall out. They argue because Dick is no longer a child. Bruce pushes Dick away and replaces him.
From Dick’s point of view … well, every child (even a lot of the abused ones) looks up to their father. There’s a particular point in your life when you realise you’ve become better at something than your dad, when you realise he’s not perfect and it’s crushing. Then you get over it and get on with your life. If he’s not perfect, you don’t have to be either. It’s a moment of acceptance and becoming.
Dick has never had that. His ‘father’ is Batman. Batman doesn’t make mistakes, how do you live up to that? Dick lives with a constant inferiority complex brought on by trying to live up to an impossible standard.
Then Batman pushes him away.
To Dick, this feels like an admission from Bruce of Dick’s failings as a human being. He’s never reached the point of becoming a man and goes out into the world with a massive inferiority complex. This is a man who can out fight almost anyone on the planet, who’s a superb athlete, stunningly good looking, well liked, brave and has just about every advantage anyone could ever wish for … and he thinks he’s worthless.
I like Dick.
A statement I thought I’d never commit to print.
5) I LIKE LEARNING THINGS
Okay, last one.
Anyone still reading?
I like learning things, I like knowing things.
At some point in the UK (can’t speak for the rest of the world) knowing things became bad. At school, I had to pretend not to understand anything because it wasn’t cool. Cool people don’t know stuff, they’re not clever.
Well fuck you.
I like knowing things and I like learning things. I like to alternate my reading between fact and fiction. The problem is I get so excited when I learn something new I feel the need to share it with other people. People who then think I’m showing off because I’m cleverer than them.
I’m not cleverer than anyone, I just read it in a book and think it’s interesting. I like to share knowledge and I like people to share knowledge with me.
I have friends who are very intelligent, but are convinced they’re stupid. Why? Because they don’t have the knowledge to back it up and they feel acquiring knowledge will make them a target of ridicule. Learning stuff is just not the done thing.
I do find this attitude wears off as people get older. I find myself in discussions with twenty-year-olds who won’t discuss anything except tits and football (boys) or make-up and big brother (girls) because they fear being ridiculed. If I make an effort to drag them onto a different topic of conversation, they invariably say it’s nice to talk about something different; but then go straight back into comfortable ground with the next person they talk to.
Most days I can’t be bothered. People in their thirties tend to be a bit more relaxed, have less to prove and are happier to talk about more interesting topics. Not all of them, but they’re generally more comfortable with their place in the world.
In short, I’m a geek and I’m proud.
So there you go, my five lame things meme. I would tag some other people, but it seems I’m the last person to be named. Everyone else has already done it, or at least the people whose blogs I read.
Oh, except maybe Sally Lawton.
Anyone else who hasn’t done it yet, consider yourself tagged.
And anyone who actually read all the way to the end of this post, well done you.