Don’t mention the war, I did once but I think I got away with it

Oh dear,  never ever post replies to people’s blogs when you’ve just woken up.  (Tan, I apologise, again).
The reply I posted was quite long but it is the essence of something I think about a lot; the continuing decline in social responsibility and the ever-creeping “does this cost too much” ideology that is attaching to our most vital services.  In short, we’re fucking the country up and I’m getting a bit sick of it.  If you want me to explain further please let me know – two years of writing computer programs for the social care “industry” was enough to make me sick to the stomach of people, perhaps with good intent, monetizing the care of the helpless and making judgments on pain relief based on it costing too much to provide the best option.

This is a copy of my comment (I edited it a bit to make me look more clever):

Oh you said the T word!

Being someone who is taxed to death – I mean horribly, take-all-my-money-and-they-still-want-more taxed to death – I still have the viewpoint that this is entirely the way that society should be shaped; people like me who, quite frankly, earn obscene amounts of money largely for doing nothing but rampaging through easily-led women and drinking far too much (oh wait, I mean computer programming, ahem) – I should pay lots of tax.  This tax paying is for the benefit of all us that live in society – including me.  It confers no extra rights to me than someone who is not paying tax.  It’s the social obligation of people like me (the haves?) and yes, it does mean that some other people (the have nots?  The cannots?) benefit from the payment I received for a website or program I wrote without doing anything at all.

My sister has just become a foster mother.  She has always been on the bread line.  The foster agencies contribute various amounts towards her making sure that the kids she fosters have a safe and loving environment to escape to.  I cried tears of real pride when she passed the final set of checks and “boards” and got her official approval to go ahead.  My taxes go towards that.  Even the taxes that I paid (because they forced me) which meant I was left so broke one day I could choose petrol or food.  I chose petrol.

My taxes also go to the genuinely unemployed and the genuinely can’t-be-bothered.  People on various benefits, deserving and undeserving.  Students (even the beer monsters).  War.  Political corruption.  Political excellence.

I hate paying any bill – I’d much rather spend it on my usual (well documented) debauchery but whoever and whatever my taxes go to it is right and proper that they do.

Sneering fools who say “I pay my taxes for people like that” and point some self-righteous finger at an area of society that they feel should be less deserving than another is really missing the point about a civilized humanist point of view – we can’t do things like that.  Legislate against abuse of the system – yes.  Punish the abusers – yes.  But stfu and pay your taxes and be happy that you have the freedom to take that undeserving moral high ground in a country which wants us all to succeed and does not measure people by their direct contribution to the national financial wealth.  Thinking any other way means the disappearance of everything and anything like art for art’s sake and leads us further down the path of hospital services and educational policies that describe people with cancer as “service users” and children as “clients” and descriptions of cancelled school trips to the zoo as “not being cost effective”.

Please God, save us from all of that.

Sometimes

Sometimes someone can do something so simple but so thoughtful that it can genuinely stop you in your tracks and humble you.  Really.  For various reasons I can’t (or will not) go into details, but trust me, today I realised that I have so much to learn about people…in a good way.  It made me cry a little with happiness and the tragedy of circumstance and chance but realise, at the same time, that I have a window open and my hand on a door.

Sorry it’s cryptic, but it makes sense where it should.

🙂

Nagbag

Eye eye

Yeah yeah, OK, blog on blog on. Nagged as I am by n’er do wells who got up early and, failing spectacularly distracting flooding and being blessed with the sleep patterns of the undead, trolled over to here to find that I have been customarily detached from my keyboard thus depriving them of the guilty pleasures of my spilling the beans on all aspects of my random life.

Funnily enough I got an email the other day from someone else (not a blogger, as far as I am aware) who said, and I quote directly: “sorry about this, but I feel like having a little vent, and as you are one of the guys on the ‘bothered to write back the once’ list, and you seem to have the intelligence to understand what I’m talking about, I’m venting to you…”

Oh good. Am I right to summarise the gist of their slightly rambling email as “I think you’re quite nice and a bit soft so I’m going to unload all my angst on you. P.s. I’m not mad“. Yes, thought so.

Little do they know that I am every so slightly unhinged myself…the fools. I sit here typing right now with two incense sticks (Jasmine flavour, if indeed incense can be called “flavoured”) smoking sweetly into my lovely flat. This is the fault of the Isley brothers and MSN. I could tell you why but to be honest, it would be quite a long story and I’d prefer you to make up your own plot-lines the best of which I could then pinch and ruthlessly misrepresent as my own if the chance for cheap approbation or easy money came along. Mind you, MSN is also partially responsible for me chatting away at 3am whilst quaffing Henri Bardouin Pastis and contemplating sending naughty photos of myself far and wide (in the end all participants remained fully clothed throughout – something that will be corrected in due course, I am that much of a tart).

Trolling around my local market yesterday, as I do on Saturdays to buy my fish and vegetables, I chose to wear my official Blogger hoody I got from the very nice people at Google as a thank you for being one of their Pro Bloggers many years ago when they waved wads of cash around at Evan and his boys and sucked Blogger into their do-no-harm-honest-guv clutches. This is a damn good hoody. Big f.o. “Blogger” logo on the front of it, with lots of lovely Google words down the side of the arm (I used to have a picture of me in it but I can’t find it right now – the one above is another one from my blog of the time – I’ve been blogging since…aw….er, dunno years way before Google was popular as a search engine).

Anyway, as I walked around the market I’ve discovered a new game; spot the blogger. 🙂 You see, *they* are the ones that walk into lampposts as they crane their neck to see what it says on my Blogger hoody. It’s not a common top, in fact this particular one was only given out to a few hundred people worldwide (according to Google) and if you’re a blogger you’ll instantly recognise the logo and the wording. LOL. Before Paul McKenna’s mind-bending redesigned my thinking I used to take full advantage of being a computer programmer and dressed almost entirely in geek chic. That is to say, I looked a bloody mess in various T-shirts with pithy sayings like “No, I will not fix your computer”, “Computer says no” and the slightly more unnerving “I read your email”. Hoodies were De Riguer. Then Paul “you are laying on a sunny beach” McKenna and his CD of mind-melting doom worked his magic and now I mostly live inside a variety of “proper” shirts…albeit without a tie, can’t go too far.

What else?  Ah, *more* damn wedding industry websites.  I have accidentally become the local “bloke that does web sites for people who sell stuff to people who are getting married”.  Jewellery, dresses, limos, bridal hire.  lol.  Perhaps the irony of the fact I have been married twice escapes whatever forces of Karma are at work in my great celestial plan, or perhaps that is the plan; a kind of funny ha ha joke by some stand-up comedian of a god.  Meh.

…and I’ve started getting my book typeset.  Woo hoo.  Plus I am on the hunt for a suitably edgy artist to draw me some pictures to offset the non-stop flow of conciousness that eases out of my strife-riven fingers whenever they get placed in front of a keyboard  and fuelled by muse.

Oh, and I spoke to a very nice tax lady who seems to think that as they have apparently made a humungous cock-up they will not now arrive at my doorstep like government-sanctioned thieves and take away my extensive vintage boxer short collection and fully arranged spice racks in lieu of the infeasibly large payments they had previously demanded (with seven days notice) to support the chancellor’s prime minister’s war on Iraq/Afghanistan/Iran/Terror/the British public [delete as appropriate].

Hoorah!  No loin cloth and Big Issue selling for me!

Right, I’m off to cook some herrings.  Laters aligators.

Update

Morning all.

I seem to have been busy doing nothing and everything.  I’ve been working (too) hard.  Had an old friend over for dinner the weekend before last (I didn’t eat his liver, even with a nice bottle of Chianti).  Been out to see a couple of films: I am legend (dire with a poor ending) and the new St. Trinians film (in which the excellent Russell Brand appears – as FaceBook friends will know I’m reading his autobiography at the moment – an excellent book).  St. Trinians is well worth going to watch although my friend and I did feel a bit like a couple of wanna-be peodophiles since we chose to go and see it on a hung-over whim at 10am on Sunday morning where we both came to the sudden realisation that we were two dodgy-looking single blokes amongst a sea of teenage children and mums and dads.

I’ve written quite a few more poems – http://www.alexsykie.com/styx.html I wrote last night whilst a bit tired and looking at a couple of my tattoos and thinking “I fancy some more, what shall I get”.  Side note: Despite the reference in the  poem I do not have a shield on my arm bearing the name “Denise” 🙂

What else?  Ah, the taxman.  Less said about this androgynous money-eater the better.  It would be cheaper to have a serious cocaine habit and drive a steam-driven car around Europe fuelled by 20 pound notes than to be honest with your taxes.  The buggers.

Oh and I’ve been web-designing and seem to have accidentally cornered the local market in web sites for wedding-related businesses.  I’m either too cheap or it’s too easy.  I haven’t worked out which yet.  Ah, and I’ve discovered that ASP is dead easy, much easier than PHP (which I’ve always used for dynamic sites in the past).  I may have a big old play with ASP shortly.  That’s if the taxman leaves me my keyboard and fingers.

There’s other stuff too I can’t talk about.  Mostly good.  I really must learn to work less hard though – it will kill me in the end.