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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Japanese Faces

I just read of a Japanese proverb which goes something like; “you have three faces, – the first you show the world, the second you show to those closest to you, and the third you never show anyone…this is the truest reflection of yourself.”

Mirror CK GIF

 What do you think about that?

Well I’m not so sure, people often bandy around the expression “two faced” with differing levels of severity; ranging from iconic comic book villain, to your husband/wife sleeping with the neighbour for twenty years. But the truth is we all wear a whole host of different masks – we are each our own personal halloween costume store, and we pick and choose a different guise as and when necessary.

For your viewing pleasure why don’t you take a little tour around my little internal shop? Let’s see what you may find! :

1. The “I just ate an entire large pizza by myself, but I’m not even sorry” face:

Pizza GIF

2. The “what you said wasn’t remotely funny, but I’m trying to spare your feelings” face:

Fake Smile GIF

3. The “why are you distracting me from writing with YouTube videos?” face:

Distraction GIF

4The “hello little old lady, I promise I’m not one of those hooligan/thug kids you hear about” face:

Innocent Smile GIF

5. The “kindergarten teacher” face, aka – the “John Lee Taggart”:

Kindergarten Teacher  GIF

Clearly there are many, many, many more…but I am sure there are other stores to visit, and perhaps you are a little peckish – so off you pop, and come again soon! I get a new collection of masks every month! 

But what about you? Come onnnnnn…honesty is the best policy!

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Ghostbusters: Reboot

First sneak peek of the new Ghostbusters reboot! Looks like they took things a different way this time around…

Ghostbusters

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Please buy my collection of stories! Get it in paperback here – or on Kindle here! ALL proceeds go towards Macmillan Cancer Support!

Waka Flocka Flame (USA)

USA – Atlanta ~2011

Naturally while I was in the USA I wanted to soak up as much….errr…culture, as possible! This is my vague aim everywhere I go I suppose, after all before you know it, the trip, holiday, or stay, is over – and you are back in your “ordinary” setting, almost like it didn’t ever happen at all! You are just left with the memories…so why not make ones that are worth remembering? Ones that are unique to the place you momentarily find yourself?

Wale uh huh GIF

Makes sense, right? 

Well, one thing that is undoubtedly HUGE in the USA, particularly in Atlanta...is rap music. So when a friend of mine told me that one of my favourite artists, Wale, would be performing at an intimate venue within the next week – I didn’t even have to mull over whether or not I would be in attendance, it was a simple:”YES, YES, YUSSS!” Or you know…like, words of that nature.  

After all the way he constructs his songs, the topics he touches on, and his overall lyricism, are something which I had deeply admired for some time! My friend told me that an up-and-coming local act, who is popular in the area (Waka Flocka Flame) would be supporting him. I thought this was fair enough. But…I didn’t have a clue who this young chap was, so I did a little research of my own…

Here’s an example of what my search came up with – this is  taken from his break-through track ‘Hard In Da Paint’;

“what the fuck you thinkin’ n***a, I won’t die for this shit – or what the fuck I say – BRICK SQUAAAAAD! – front yard broad day with da SK – BA BA BA BA BA BA BOW!”

Waka Flocka GIF

Alright Mr, Waka, to each his own! And just for the sake of comparison, here’s an example of Wale’s lyrics, taken from his track ‘Bittersweet’;

“understand every imperfection – I just embrace it, and take it in within my essence, with little effort, soon they will respect it – I am the smelling-salt, to whomsoever narcoleptic!”

The astute among you will probably notice that they are two very different artists. But this didn’t stop me from heading there anyway, why not see what the people loved so much about Flocka?! When we arrived there it was packed out, and we could smell those weeds cigarettes things strongly (what are they called? I wouldn’t know..) Anyway, we pushed, and squirmed ourselves awkwardly to the front, and waited it out. I was squished in, and my arms were locked into a T-Rex position…but at least I had a good view. I wouldn’t get to do much dancing, or bouncing, or anything else of that matter – I could probably do a great mime of a bongo player, but that’s about it.

After a couple of, errr, sub-par warm up acts – it was announced that the home-town hero Waka Flocka would be coming out…the place went fucking bananas! It became apparent that most had came to see him, rather than the main act himself, Wale…

Waka Flocka Crazy GIF

Out he popped, bringing ear bleeding bass along with him, it was thumping so loud that I thought my heart was going to burst out of my rib-cage…but with that said it was all a pretty exhilarating display – before long he was diving into the crowd, I didn’t exactly know what was going on but I sure was enjoying it!

There was pushing, and shoving – my arms were free at last! But then some huge sweaty titan had his arm around me all of a sudden…a long slug like trail all across my shoulders, and the back of my neck. It was the man himself! He was shaking his head in a mad frenetic motion, flicking it, and swirling it along to his booming beat. (A bit of one of his deadlock things slapped me in the eye, which kinda hurt, but I didn’t have much time to think about it!) 

Security moved him away, and he pushed on to the other side of the stage – grasping arms outstretched trying to catch a feel. He made it back up to the steps with huge difficulty  – but it’s at that moment that Wale came out. It was kind of weird to have him there all of a sudden, I enjoyed hearing his material, and he is certainly a cool guy in the flesh – but the crowd wasn’t right for it…in fact he kept making apologies, and at one time even said “I know you came here to see Flocka, and don’t know the words to my songs – but just vibe with me anyway”… I wanted to be like “I DO, I DO, MR. WALE – I DOOOOO!” But then I thought I would come off like a goody-two-shoes at school, a teacher’s pet, you know? And anyway, it’s not like he could have heard me amongst all the ensuing crowd madness.

Wale GIF

When the show was over, everyone was grinning from ear to ear – it had been a fantastic night after all. I realised that in the hustle, and bustle I had lost the cap I was wearing..,probably during the whole Waka Flocka man hug dance situation, or whatever you want to call it. I’m not mad or anything, but if he wants to send me a new one, that would be fine with me.

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