FOMO: Fear of Missing Out

There is a burgeoning problem among internet users…by which I mean  essentially everyone…which is something known as FOMO; or to use its full name – “The Fear of Missing Out”…which is essentially envy and jealousy but with a little more i:Robot desperation thrown into the mix:

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I have only just became aware of the name (there’s a blaaaady name for everything these days), but I was certainly aware of the condition itself as it is a thing that most experience from day to day in this ultra-connected and uber-technological age we find ourselves in: myself included. 

Case in point, I have just finished scrolling down Facebook for a couple of minutes, and I already find myself wanting two kids, like now – but also I saw someone bragging about a carefree/childfree life and really wanted that too. Then I spotted someone’s round the world trip pictures and was instantly overcome with jealousy…but proceeded to like someone else’s post about fossil fuels and the part airplanes have in the destruction of the planet; urgh, I really wish I could stand up for more positive causes. Oh and someone just lost a million pounds on a new diet, they look really great – wish I could – oh wait look at that burger and fries my friend has – oh she looks really amazing on the beach with – I’ll never have a car like that – why can’t I live with my best – how does he even – why don’t I look like – if only I could do…

Huh What GIF

ESSENTIALLY I SEE ALL OF THESE THINGS, AND I WANT THEM ALL.  WHY AM I SO TERRIBLY SHIT IN COMPARISON TO EVERYONE IN THE WORLD?!

You see that’s the cycle, and it is as silly as it is hurtful and destructive. The old adage of “keeping up with the Joneses” – is out…it’s no longer about having a nice looking living room, or making sure the flowers in the garden  are neat and pretty…this has been well and truly replaced with a “Keeping up with the Kardashians” mentality – which for most is a depressing  impossibility, but something that they attempt to their detriment anyway. But just like Kim Kardashian’s butt, this whole facade is fake…faker than my claim that 2016 will be the year I get chiselled abs, bulging biceps, and rock hard…can’t even get through this lie, you know what I’m getting at though.

The bad thing is there can be horrendous emotional consequences of FOMO  which can have repercussions on the rest of our lives. If I am bummed out that I can’t party like a rockstar so decide to borrow money to do it anyway…well, that doesn’t just go away. No matter who you pray to – trust me, I’ve tried them all – banks don’t listen. Heathens! 

Loser GIF

So when people find themselves unable to say no to amazing “once in a lifetime” experiences, largely because they know they will be fantastic memories…and in some cases even better social media posts (urgh), then this leaves them with nothing more than crippling debt and a bleak future. This means they truly will be “missing out” in the long term…missing out on a stable life, free of fear and devoid of the need to work a job you hate simply to make repayments on the lavish mistakes you made for the sake of Instagram. 

Not to be a buzzkill – just be sensible. Saying “yes” to every single opportunity seems like a good idea – and a mantra which blogs and the wider social media culture have endorsed wholeheartedlybut I implore you to be careful with this thinking, as fearing missing out on one or two notable events is nothing to fret about…ignore this advice at your peril – it could mean potentially missing out on an entire life well lived, inside and out.

Yoda GIF.gif

p.s. oh, and by the way my friend – you are fucking fantastic just as you are. Don’t let the social media demons get you down. 

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The Power of Film

Film is important: 

And there are many reasons for this as it is such a vivid combination of so many arts; cinematography, music, sound design, editing, storytelling, acting…they all play a part in this unparalleled form of expression. It also possesses the sufficient wizardry required to transport us to faraway places and times – both physically and mentally…we can also experience a character’s life and gain an insight into their point of view, however wacky and odd their personality may be. This can serve to make us more accepting, and less prejudice people…or more unaccepting and discriminatory people – with great films comes great power, and (often) well…irresponsibility.

POwer GIF

For a quick example I watched the new James Bond film recently (Spectre), and I found myself nodding along like…“yeah…yeah…I AM in essence 007!” I mean I like clothes, travel, and alcohol – also I’m not a huge fan of overpowering authority figures – the only mark against is that I don’t shoot people for money: but that’s only a minor part of the whole movie franchise, so there we go! I am Bond, James Bond: and I don’t want to hear any arguments about it…

In other news my kindergarten kids have just got into Star Wars…I suppose they’ve been playing it on the TV recently, what with the new one coming out next month – and we’ve been delighting in having non-stop lightsaber battles throughout the duration of the day. I’ve also realised that I am more than likely closer to the dark side than most would say is normal…case in point I have been delighting in killing my six year old Jedi students with my force lightning ability. I mean someone has to be the Sith bad guy – and the red swords are a lot better looking…and yeah, yeah, I know I will eventually lose – but at least I get to look cool while doing it…

Darth GIF

« So you see there is this sense of escape, fantasy…or perhaps even unattainable galactic dreams – and it’s not a thing which can be easily shaken. Or stirred… (urgh, see what I mean?!) »

It’s always been this way though: perhaps I’m easily influenced, but there’s never been a time I can remember where films and their characters haven’t played a pivotal role in either how I want my life to be, or who I wish to be as a person. And naturally I haven’t adopted these roles entirely like some mad life-long method actor – but rather I have just absorbed certain elements which I then begin to endorse…case in point with The Lord of the Rings I became aware through Gimli that running for long distances wasn’t fun – and with Merry and Pippin, that second breakfasts were not something to be embarrassed about. And in Dumbo I learned that if you drink too much bloodthirsty pink elephants will appear in a frenetic dream sequence intent on killing you. All of these things are totally necessary, and I’m thankful for the world of film for enlightening me in so many ways… 

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this ramble…would love to hear of some characters and movies which you have enjoyed – especially ones I haven’t heard of! Always on the hunt for a new favourite!

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Failure = Bacon

It seems more and more common in this day and age to force ourselves to do things which we know to be uncomfortable, or in some cases totally impossible…

We sign up for classes in which you actually pay money to jump up and down until you feel like your intestines are about to fall out…we buy books and download language apps – promising ourselves we will be fluent in French, Chinese, and Elvish in one year…we say we’ll never drink again: but the thing is this kind of talk is as far from reality as Legolas himself – it’s a complete fantasy land, or at the most too much of a pain in the arse to ever be worth it. But it’s this whole “no pain, no gain” mentality that pushes us on, as if it only really counts as an achievement or a success in the end if you suffered, cried, and almost died to get it. But why is that? Why do we have to have a horrible time for it to be something worthwhile – what ever happened to just enjoying life?

Hate my Life GIF

I’m rambling, I know, I know. I’m just upset because amidst the Halloween celebrations on the weekend I overdid it and spent an absolutely monstrous amount of money…and I’ve being hating myself ever since because I was trying to force myself to save money for next year’s travel budget. I was planning on living like a monk – very minimalist; perhaps I would treat myself to a sprinkle of salt over plain uncooked rice every now and again – but aside from that it would be a rather grim and unexciting existence, days spent staring at blank walls to avoid being suckered into buying things, refusing to listen to music in case Jay Z convinces me to splash out where I know I shouldn’t.

But apparently when I dress up as a vampire I become an entirely different person, like a Jekyll and Hyde transformation…and suddenly I’m buying people I don’t like drinks, and announcing it’s no big deal that guys have to pay double the amount that girls do into clubs (I mean, what?! Why?!) I almost had a heart attack the next day looking at my bank balance – and then ate some bacon to make myself feel better, so a real one may be coming any day now…that’s not a lofty target, that’s just science unfortunately.

Bacon Cloud GIF

I need to set realistic goals, as does everyone else – making huge claims and promises are all well and good…but normally you’re never going to meet a finish line which you have placed a million miles away, it’s just not going to happen. So I’m rethinking my savings forecast and being a little more lenient, allowing for splurges here and there…whenever Count Drac decides to surface for large pizzas, imported ales, and tequila shots: hate and love that guy. In the meantime I will try and take on a little more work to make up the difference financially, after all it is true that most good things don’t come easy, but all work and no play makes Jonny and Drac very dull boys indeed.

To put it simply: pain and barely any gain – just make a person insane; so don’t be so hard on yourself.

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NEWS: Everything Fun KILLS You.

Despite many attempting to campaign against the overwhelming facts – it has now been confirmed in no uncertain terms that everything that is fun does indeed kill you. As a direct result of these new findings bacon dispensers (like the one below) will be removed and destroyed, and there are plans in place to also make doughnuts and other sugary goods illegal.

Bacon Machine GIF

In response to this new development doctors are now suggesting something which most would consider to be controversial; that you end your life as soon as possible, as there really is nothing to live for anymore…

One of these left-wing doctors is Dr. Madeup, and he had this to say:

“The thing is, the data is there for all to see: so if you wish to ignore it and carry on living then that is your personal decision…I am simply suggesting to my patients and the rest of the world alike that their quality of life will invariably be greatly  affected when you take away such things as alcohol, drugs, laziness and bacon…which despite being the most fun things available in the universe – are all things which can kill, or at the very least make you very very dead.”

People have fought back against this model of thinking, deeming it to be limiting and close-minded…but none can really discount the actual reality; that there is a moving scale between ‘fun’ and ‘health’ – which consequently means the more healthy a thing is, the less fun it is: and vice-versa. Take intensive exercise for an example; it makes you feel physically sick and often like dying would be a more preferable alternative…but is reportedly good for you. And yet on the other hand a bacon triple cheeseburger with extra cheese, extra bacon, and extra anything your heart desires – is reportedly bad for you…despite feeling like a warm and loving hug in a bun. It’s no wonder then that so many people are confused due to this huge discrepancy…  

Bacon Banana GIF

I interviewed somewhere between 0 and 1,000,000 people in the hope of gauging public opinion on this subject, and every single one of them seemed to feel the same way, namely; let down, disappointed and in some cases morbidly depressed at the horrific state of the world’s future.

One person in particular still echoes in my head:

“It’s crazy, you know? I used to think bacon was truly good for me – I mean it made me feel great: like a supportive spouse but…food, you know? So I had it on everything; bread, pasta, pizza, cereal, erm…my windowsill. So to hear so suddenly that it is unhealthy and a leading cause of cancer – well, I just feel betrayed by scientists. They led us to believe it was pretty much a salad…”

 What will happen next is unclear, but leading well-respected authorities including Colonel Sanders, Ronald McDonald, and The Burger King are all united in their stances – that we are now entering a post-apocalyptic era…but not exciting like The Hunger Games or Mad Max – and there seems to be nothing we can do about it…

Please Note: It has also been suggested by a few radical scientists that life itself kills and that we will all inevitably die one day; but these rumours have been widely discredited by most skeptics.

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How to (Pretend) to be a Human.

I just read through, well attempted to read through – an entire list of things that make up what it means to be the ‘Modern Man’.

Well it should go without saying that it made me violently sick…after all, lists of that kind can only ever be restrictive and judgmental…sort of like; “this is the way you should do things and if you do anything else then you are a massive knob head who no one could possibly ever love.” That’s all I hear anyway – there’s just something off about it, something not quite right. I don’t get why people believe there is a fixed way to behave; what a drearily dull place it would be if we were all just dragging ourselves around humming the same tune and exchanging pleasantries until one day we are in the ground.

Which is why I am creating my own set of principles in which we can all live by as semi-functioning humans…I know, I know – there’s a glaring hypocrisy in all of this, but think of it like religion: mine is completely 100% correct, and all others are a steaming pile of shit. Hmm…did I just compare myself to Jesus? Well, perhaps. That’s for you to decide, although I don’t have a beard which may be a drawback…every good messiah needs a beard. Dammit. Fell at the first hurdle…urgh – but still yes, listen to what I have to say (please). 

ANYWAY. So,  every good human needs to keep a few things in mind as they go about their business otherwise he/she will likely be burned at the stake or cast out into the wilderness and banished from the office kingdom. Thankfully I have the scoop on what these criteria are, so you have no reason to worry. The chances of the aforementioned happening to you are now a lot slimmer*…you’re welcome. 

1.) Every human needs to be able to pretend to be a “Good Loser” – (whatever that is…)

Good Job GIF

Remember that life is about loss – we lose our child-like fascination, we lose our hope, we lose our hair, and then we lose our marbles…so you sure as hell better get used to losing. Consequently mastering sentences such as “Oh that’s great.”, “I’m so happy for you.”, or “You are absolutely amazing!” when you lose, or someone else achieves something, is vital for your survival…bonus points are awarded if you do it without a sarcastic tone or aggressive bestial snarl…advanced humans will also master the art of refraining from puncturing the winner’s tires, or throwing a brick through their window (although it is understood this is rather difficult to avoid at times). 

2.) Every human needs to pretend to only have community-approved obsessions:

Weirdo GIF

For some unknown reason some obsessions are deemed okay, and others are thought of as psychopathic…and often verge on the criminal side of things. For example if you announce you are “obsessed” with Game of Thrones, or with collecting fridge magnets – you may be thought of as pretty typical, or at worst quirky. However if you were to cheerfully let people know that you like catching, skinning and disemboweling vermin around your city, and occasionally attempt botched  Frankenstien-esque experiments on them…you are suddenly branded as a “weirdo”. It’s a strange world, and one I don’t particularly understand – but sadly that’s reality: some obsessions are okay, and some aren’t. You can check if your obsession is regarded as peculiar by practicing on strangers in the street…just walk up and let them know – if they run away as soon as you start talking, then it’s probably best to keep that one to yourself.

3.) Every human should pretend the internet is a bad thing:

Hate Computers GIF

This is one that baffles researchers everywhere but again appears to be a trend that cannot be shaken…despite the clear evidence that the internet is absolutely fantastic, most humans enjoy divulging the conclusion that they hate Facebook, or that they are sick of Twitter, or that Wikipedia is awful…usually this is told across some form of social media which only creates even more confusion. So even though you likely spend a tremendous deal of time watching great YouTube videos, or you learn something new everyday thanks to Google, or you never have to leave the house to buy stuff because of a whole host of online stores…it is best that you claim everything to the contrary. The most typical lines are; “I hate Instagram – why do I want to see people’s food? I don’t care if they starve or not.”, “I absolutely hate getting music for free, why can’t we just pay for the album which only has one good song on, like the good old days?!” and my personal favourite – “if it wasn’t for the internet, I would have written 400 best selling novels by now!” 

4.) Every human should pretend they never ever see difference, because no one is different:

Copy GIF

Yes we look different, yes we live in different places, yes we have been brought up in different cultures, yes we speak different languages, and yes we are blatantly different…but listen to me clearly; we are not different. Say it with me…“WE ARE NOT DIFFERENT.” Well done, great job – now say it with a more confident tone, you don’t sound like you believe it.

And you must, it is paramount to every human remaining in good favor. To suggest otherwise is to face the firing squad. Even if you embrace difference as a clear positive thing, in which we can all come together as a global community and learn from one another – you are still considered to be an enormous prick who doesn’t deserve friends. You are boxing people in, and it’s rude to put people in boxes (it’s cramped and there is poor lighting). 

5.) Every human should pretend their current job was always their dream job:

Ken GIF

Do you remember when you were a lot younger and you dreamed of the adult days which would be whiled away without rules, and limitations…where every day would be filled with aspirations waiting to be met, and ambitions waiting to be embraced…where you would spend the morning eating your weight in bacon, but still looking amazing, and then spend the afternoon rapping your latest hot single to thousands of adoring fans…possibly in the evening you may fit in a stand up show if you can be bothered to drag yourself away from your hot tub…yeah? Sounds great, right!?

WELL NO IT DOES NOT – THAT WAS A TRICK QUESTION, IT SOUNDS DREADFUL.

What you actually find as you grow from a smaller more positive human to a larger and more miserable version of a human, is that all of that was an illusion and you didn’t ever want it in the first place; and that coincidentally what you really wanted was to take calls from angry old ladies, get screamed at by a moron boss, and spend every morning weeping. So please at least pretend to tow the line…keep it on the low if you are doing anything that brings colour to your life, and certainly don’t openly wish for something more…apart from winning the lottery, people are allowed to do that apparently…

Done GIF

So there you have it, you are looking more like a regular human already! I can sense the dissatisfaction in your attitude, the redness in your eyes, and the look of desperation in your furrowed brow! Great job! Go forth and repress yourself!

*you could still be burned at the stake, sent out in exile, or find yourself friend-less – Storytime with John offers no guarantees. 

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Food Giant (Top 5)

Travel broadens your mind – that seems to be the consensus among most people…well yeah sure, I guess – but one of the best things about travel, no joke; is the new food you get to sample and consequently fall in love with!

This is my top five list…I honestly could have did a top fifty…yes, I am that greedy…anyway, here it goes:

5. 热干面  (China)

Whilst in Wuhan, China – I found that the area’s traditional dish  热干面 (rè gān miàn) was just sensational…it isn’t going to sound like anything too special – but the simple collaboration of flavours just worked so well! Think boiled spaghetti, peanut butter (well, sesame sauce), and chopped carrot…sounds disgusting? It was AMAZING! And at 30p (50¢?) a pop, there’s only one winner! ME, AND MY DAILY HABIT!

4. Escargot (France)

As a child the thought of eating snails…was…well…unthinkable – after all they look like little alien creatures from the planet Zoozlax! Butttt, in reality escargot are beyond delicious! It could be argued that anything would taste wonderful if it was smothered in enough garlic butter…but still…wow – oh yeah, and then get some freshly baked bread; dip it in there…wow x2.

3. Bernerwurst (Austria)

Austria disappointed me a little, sure they had spectacular cakes – and equally good coffee (100 automatic points to Gryffindor!) but other than that I didn’t find anything too special…that was until I had a couple of hours spare at the airport…that’s when I met my soulmate; the Bernerwurst. This beautiful thing, oh my goodness – so it’s a sausage, stuffed with cheese, and then wrapped in bacon. It’s enough to give you a heart attack just thinking about it…but you would die happy, VERY happy.

2. Haggis (Scotland)

One of my all-time favourites is Haggis – I bet I can make your mouth water with this one… so think of the liver, lungs, and heart of a sheep – all chopped up, mixed with other stuff, and then shoved back into a sheep’s stomach before being boiled, and served. Delightful. It may sound like the menu of a post-apocalyptic world, but it is actually gorgeous…you can get it at my local chippy back home. It’s just amazing. I can’t even find the words…

1. 샤브 샤브 (South Korea)

샤브 샤브 (shabu-shabu) is actually a Korean twist of a Japanese dish…and it is my number one favourite thing to do on a Sunday…you know, when you have a full day free to GORGE yourself. It also introduces a little bit of Vietnamese style cooking, so it is a huge beautiful mix of different flavours! You have the pot in the middle, that you may put noodles, rice, veggies – whatever! And then around the side there is a hot plate that you cook up pork, and beef strips…

I returned to my old neighborhood recently, with the sole intention of going back to the 샤브 샤브  restaurant I loved so much…it had closed down (probably because they temporarily lost their best customer) – I cried…I broke down…and I haven’t been the same since.

Notebook Fries GIF

Anyway, so recounting all of these ridiculously delicious dishes, just made me very, very, HUNGRY. I am off to eat myself to an early grave…I guess the diet is off, I shouldn’t have started this…

What are some of your favourite dishes? (This has to be one of my most loved things to discuss!)

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A Caged Bird (Poem)

{I see myself, but it doesn’t look like me,

I see myself – but what should I be?

Yes, what should I be? And what should I become?

Be a dreamer – or achiever – you can only pick one.}

Ohhh, you want the bullet train to fame my boy?”

No, no, no! Just the mega bus away from plain and tame, would be a joy!

Well fucking stop that thought.”

Nothing good happens here.”

Oh, you’re into the arts? HA, HA, HA, must be a queer!”

Fuck off to London if that’s what you want – but know this,

we all think you’re an absolute cunt.”

{I want to think outside the box,

but I don’t have the keys to this cage,

I try every possibility in the locks,

that get rusty with age.}

HA! You don’t know about life! We struggle and strive, 9 to 5 that we hate, but we can barely survive, we buy things that we don’t want with credit we can’t pay, we turn on the television – it’s shit – but we watch anyway, we can’t wait for retirement, man that’ll be the day! We‘ll get to sit on our arse till we’re dead – ahh, bliss, don’t ya say?”

{I can see this for myself, but it doesn’t look like me,

I can see this for myself, but it’s something I don’t want to be.

Yes, there’s what I should be, and what I want to become,

I don’t want to cut my roots…I just want to grow: till my days are done.}

~~~

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