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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The Age of Wisdumb

I’ve noticed something lately, and I can’t seem to get away from it wherever I turn…it’s on every corner, on every page, on every video, and on every programme…I suppose it’s always been there to some extent – it’s just that now it seems to be reaching alarmingly high levels…

I’m not sure what set this in motion exactly; perhaps it can be linked to the  climate of dumbed down media, or the rise of questionable facts in the form of the internet (oh hi there Doctor Wikipedia!) – or maybe, just maybe there’s some weird X-Files type stuff going on with the water supply (excuse me while I adjust my tin-foil hat…but let’s not rule anything out) – ahem yeah – but seriously whatever the legitimate reason(s) are, the unfortunate situation still remains the same:

…that I feel like I’m surrounded by people with little to no knowledge about fucking anything, who still feel that they have all the answers.  I mean just look around; no one is willing to learn, or should I say…no one is willing to admit their ignorance…and because of this these clueless morons feel they don’t need to be taught as they already have quite enough false wisdom to last for all of eternity…

Dumb and Dumber GIF

And that’s precisely why I have begun referring to this epidemic of prolonged stupidity as ‘The Age of Wisdumb’…gone are the days of the apprentice learning from the master – as in its place we have now replaced that entire archaic story arc with something else…that of the completely unaware but confidently vitriolic humanoid who is always sat in front of his/her computer spouting off hatred and self-assured claims at regular intervals through a variety of different social media platforms…how lovely.

But wait – don’t poor sods like this need guidance then? Instruction from the seasoned masters as they are nothing but empty beginners? Shouldn’t  they seek out the help of someone who has been there and done that, so that they can try and educate and better themselves?

Well no…they don’t have to do any of that silly stuff – as they’ve already watched “like a gajillion YouTube videos”, are rarely not searching something up on Google, and even tune into the news every now and again to keep up on current events…

And it is these reasons, and these reasons alone why many in this cycle have employment positions on Facebook which are legitimately listed as ‘BOSS at GETTIN DAT MONEY’…or something along those lines anyway! Because they’re blatantly all bosses, and they’re blatantly all getting that money.

So anyway, in this world where it is so easy to crown yourself a king, queen, or indeed the aforementioned boss – despite the fact you haven’t done a single thing to  warrant possessing these lofty impressive titles – there is a lot less motivation when it comes to actually working hard, and picking up knowledge through true experience to achieve something real. I mean, why would you do that when there is seemingly an endless supply of easy short cuts?

Short Cut GIF

Think about The Lion King…without his father’s tutelage Simba would have been even more of an arrogant prick than he was as a kid, and would never have grown into the fine figure of a lion that he ended up being in the end. Or what about the Karate Kid, and Mr. Miagi’s “wax on, wax off” training? Or Star Wars, and Yoda?  The Mask of Zorro? Leon?! The list goes on, but they always follow the same perfect formula; young yet enthusiastic characters eagerly  soaking up vital life lessons from seasoned veterans…and despite the initial frustration of having to accept that they basically know nothing; they end up better, stronger, and smarter as a result of listening to their respective “master” figure.

But consider the storylines of those well-known films set in our present culture – they would be very, very different! I mean take Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back just for one of many examples…

Yoda: “A Jedi uses the force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.”

Luke: “Pfft! Fuck you, don’t tell me what to do – I’mma boss! I’m out of here.”

Yoda: “That is why you fail.”

Luke: “Yeah whatever you lil’ scrotum face – never preach to me again!”

Yoda GIF

Sorry Yoda. That wisdumb has people talking recklessly these days…

But what’s the reason for all of this all of this ignorant flexing? Why is it that people seem to feel it demeans them to admit not being anything but an expert? Why do so many consider that asking for help or guidance makes you a weaker individual? It’s simply ridiculous…

Take myself for an example – I used to be shy and unsure of what I’m really about…you know, who I am. But nowadays I can be rather unequivocal in my self-assessment: which is that I am a complete and utter moron. I pretty much know nothing! Actually every day I find out new things, which were actually just the old things I was supposed to learn but didn’t ever get right the first time around…so in essence I know less than nothing – which is actually quite liberating in its own lobotomized way. (If not a smidge patronising and depressing).

But other people don’t appear to share my acceptance of my own lack of functioning brain cells…and this coupled with the fact that we don’t really have heroes anymore (not like we used to anyway) – spells disaster. Or to cut to the point directly, it leaves us with a long line of people who aim for overnight celebrity as opposed to something more lasting and meaningful

Fist Pump GIF

Because why not, right?

(Alright anyway, so suspend disbelief for the next little bit please). You see, I could theoretically make a rap song like the above with a controversial video…and go from a resolute nobody to an overnight success (my rap name would be MC Sukkadick and the song would be called “I Hate Everyone’s Grandma”; just so you know) – and then the established artists would be calling up to collaborate in a desperate attempt to stay relevant with what they see as the fresh new talent just because it’s catchy and people are clicking on it a bit. So when the consumer sees things like this happen then the idea of putting in work, building your craft, taking notes from those before you, and basically having heroes you model yourself after is, well…lost. And in it’s place we have a whole slew of entitled, and impatient characters, eager for instant-gratification despite putting in next to no hustle…

Or simply put we have a burgeoning population of overly-confident but largely non-skilled people who preach their wisdumb across social media – and this really upsets my miniature low-functioning brain and I; it really does. Because what they could be doing is listening to those before them, making plans and sticking to them, working hard and following their deepest ambitions even during the hard times, and eventually taking pride in all they  accomplish.

Rather than say…taking a picture of their butt for the entire world in the hope of a few likes. Or taking a video which humiliates their best friend in the hope it will go viral. It’s like…why?

Urghhhh…just take a look around these days, it’s bleak –  there seems to be a lot less artistry and creativity out there than before, but a whole load more content. Largely because there seems to be a lot less people respecting and taking unofficial lessons from those before them; instead people point and say, “if you can do it I can”…which is true, but isn’t so if you skip all of the years of tutelage, hard graft, and knockbacks. So perhaps it’s time we dropped the wisdumb so many seem to be holding on to, and started to seek out wisdom instead…as it’s only through that in which we can truly grow.

Just ask Luke Skywalker…

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The Mission from God.

I have been dwelling on my early teenage years recently – it’s funny because at that point in your life, it could be argued there is not too much greater thought going on! It’s very “I want this!’ and “I hate this!”, possibly with a sprinkle of “this is shit!” But something is happening, you are blossoming into whatever you will be in later life…it’s not clear then, but it is obvious when you look back and connect the dots…I look back and I see, a shy spotty kid, with goofy teeth and braces…whose biggest concern was whether some moron at school would rhyme my surname Taggart, with faggot.

The usual teenage insecurity and self-consciousness I had then, was buried deep down never to be looked at – never to be examined for fear someone might think I was weak. It is only now that I have started being able to channel that into my writing to create humour. It’s about fucking time! Now I am thankful for every situation, good or bad – because there is always a story, always something positive that can be drawn, even in the darkest of times. And that’s a lovely thing.

What is happening GIF

Continue reading “The Mission from God.”

Bucket List

I have been seeing nothing but bucket list posts recently, I don’t know what it is…or why…the guess that makes the most sense to me is that perhaps there is a bucket sale down at the bucket store…so everyone has bought a bunch of buckets for really cheap – so to get some use out of said buckets they are throwing them on a bucket list and filling them with hot air balloons, camel rides, tattoos, and whatever else they can squeeze into them.

This is all well and good naturally ~ I mean it isn’t for me to tell you how to use your buckets, but I feel that rather than a tick box list it is better to try to alter our behaviour in order to create the best version of yourself you can be…this all sounds a little Blade Runnerish…but what I mean to say is that if we try to alter certain negative behavioural patterns then the rest will fall into place – e.g. Be more adventurous>travel to Egypt to see the pyramids>ride a camel>get back home and high five your now proud Grandma>plan next trip. etc, etc, etc! SEE WHAT I’M SAYING?! 

So in that spirit, here is a foolproof bucket list you can follow, in order to live a better life:

(Oh, and let me take the time to say that no buckets were harmed in the making of this blog post, thank you.)

#1:  Be productive with your time, but don’t overlook the importance of fun.

Bill Bucket GIF

Bill Gates ~ “I love doing crazy shit when I’m high as a fucking kite.”

Your life is finite, unfortunately – which is a fucking horrible, horrible thing to dwell on…I mean…who wants to think about that? The fact that someday a worm will be chomping on your dead and buried corpse, whilst a dog pees on your neglected gravestone  – urgh, grim I know…that’s why we tend to try and block that stuff out.

But we should use it to power us into productivity, in order to make the most of what we have! It’s a small window of time after all! So if you are focusing on the what ifs? and not what you will ACTUALLY do – then you are wasting your time, point blank – so cut the shit, make a plan and stick to it.

DISCLAIMER: I’m all for lounging about in your undies eating pizza, that is obviously a great time – however you have to have balance if you want to get anywhere..unfortunately that’s not a viable career path (sobs). 

With that said I implore you to have fun…fight against the pull to become yet another self-depreciating, bitter adult body. There’s far too many of those about already.

#2: Don’t waste your life spending it with those who don’t value you.

Bucket Car GIF

2Pac (and this kid): I’m in a bucket, but I’m ridin’ it like it’s a Benz.”

So you’re being productive…good job so far! No doubt you are feeling an enormous sense of well-being and purposefulness…and you are making sure that you have fun with everything you do, so you don’t turn into a dull grey drone…but what’s this?! Certain members of your circle appear to be trying to cut you down with talk of you can’t do this and you shouldn’t do that – basically negativity. Who needs it? Not you – get fucking rid, hop in your bucket and drive off to a better less shit-cluttered life (see above for most stylish way to make your exit).

You want friends who push you on and help you get where you want to be, ones who want to be by your side – in turn you should attempt to be more like the friend you would want yourself…pay it forward, and all that. 

#3: Take pride in your appearance – no, it’s not everything…but it’s not nothing either.

Bucket hat GIF

DJ Buck Toof: “I’m so pleased that I can pay off my student loan with this SWAG.”

We live in a heavily appearance driven world, this is just a fact – so there is no point denying it. Whilst I wish we lived in a fairy tale world, where people meet you in ten year old gravy stained sweatpants, and only see you for the gold-hearted angel you are – let’s just be honest and admit that appearance DOES matter. Especially when it comes to first impressions…and as you never know who you will meet at any given moment, well…yeah, exactly – you get my point.

#4: Treat yourself, you honestly deserve it.

Bucket chicken GIF

Precious: “Is it wrong for someone to steal bread to feed her starving fam-GO, GO, GO!”

How shit can regular life be on a daily basis? Jesus Christ, if it isn’t the prick cutting in front of you in the supermarket, the boring conversations you are socially obligated to have with your neighbour, the price of everything going up at your favourite restaurant for no apparent reason – or…well, this could go on forever…but safe to say you have earned that little extra something-something – have a beer, have a cake, whatever, no big deal – you already know you are beautiful as it is.

This may seem like a small thing…because it is…but often it is the little things that matter in life! How amazing is it when someone brings doughnuts to work? Or offers special chocolate biscuits with your cuppa? That’s a sign people. 

#5: Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd, better to be noteworthy and interesting, than bland and boring.

Buckethead GIF

Buckethead: “People used to say I couldn’t wear a bucket on my head…fucking look at me now.”

Don’t live your life pretending to be someone you are not…after all, you don’t want to be on your death bed yammering on about missed opportunities, how you wish you had just picked up that KFC bucket and learned to play that fucking guitar – but because people said that would be stupid and borderline insane behaviour you opted not to. Come on. Be weird, you’re wonderful. Try not to pay so much attention to what other (negative) people say, the ones that count will be surrounding you asking for a piece of chicken and asking whether you do requests…

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“Delusions of Grandeur” *(Excerpt II)*

This is a short passage from my work in progress, Nanowrimo novel. In the excerpt Eric is struggling to sleep, and finds himself suddenly fascinated with the world around him, both real…and imaginary…

Insomnia GIF

The curtains flutter and clap against the window sill, making me aware of the trespassing evening wind. It brushes against my face, gently caressing my tired skin before slinking past some loose papers, sending them swirling into the air, and spinning away from each other in beautiful dis-harmony.

I sit unmoved, simply another object within the mess. A monotonous drone keeps me company, which lulls me into a sleep –  before a nearby horn, or screech forces my drooping eyelids back open. I look down to the city below, and see the flurry of bodies heading in every direction; each with their own pointless agenda, each with their own hole to scurry into. Rats. I would pity them, feel sorry for their meager existence – but of course, I am one, and the same: enclosed in my own cavern away from the immediate horrors of the outside world.

Time passes, as it does…and I take pleasure in watching the last of the day’s life seep through the window, clinging to the walls with its gleaming talons: it goes down fighting, a forsaken commander going down with his ship. Shadows scatter from right to left – jostling with the wood-chip white for their turn. As they collide they form beautiful shades of colour on the television screen in front of me. The emblazoned flush succeeds in impressing, forcing me to avert my eyes in sheer awe…was it trying to tell me something?

Through curiosity I reopen my burning eyelids to see different shades forming vibrantly, welcoming me back. Red spots drip just to dissolve seconds later, colours splashed over the glass in dribbles of rainbow, aurora borealis right here in front of me, in my grotty flat. I shake myself free from their enchantment and I am left alone.

Bored out of my mind I find that my mind meanders into the unknown…into the conversations that I haven’t had yet, the possible encounters that the next day could bring, when I find myself suffering through another dreaded supermarket shift…what will I say when Sally asks if I fancy a coffee (just like she does every day)…probably another knee jerk no thanks that I regret as soon as I am saying it…or…maybe this time it will be different…maybe I’d…

Yeah sure, coffee sounds perfect! Actually why coffee when we can just do dinner tonight?”

I’m thinking eight o’ clock at Mundo Perdido? Don’t dare say no!”

Great.”

Then back to my place for a night cap right? Eric’s gotcha’ baby!”

Sally bites her bottom lip, and attempts to hide a smirk – my intense James Bond stare slowly driving her wild inside and out. I wink and she walks away giddy with anticipation at what will be undoubtedly the best night of her life.

Blink.

Not my style. Back to reality, and the only movement comes from the smug hands of the clock, the only sound its incessant tick-tock which begins to irritate as it whittles through every second, every minute, and every hour. Through boredom I zap on the television. A vibrant flutter of noise illuminates the room. An American man with pristine teeth smiles. Then someone cries with joy and fans their tears with chubby hands. Then a fat guy falls over and everyone laughs. On the next channel there are adverts…buy this and you can be like this, the usual thing. Nothing on. I turn it off.

Some time must have elapsed as my now unfamiliar eyes are forced to guess their way through the black, I stand up, deciding to venture to bed. But my eyes are strained in the darkness, unable to penetrate entirely through the shadows, they guess at shapes. There seems to be figures all around, they’re shy but it makes for company. I stare further into the abyss. My eyelids lie heavily, fluttering between an open and closed state with the self-destructive desperation of a moth. As I look up and crease my eyes open, a kaleidoscope of colours dance in front of me, greeting me with their imaginary movements which flash and then soon disappear, a momentary beauty so I close my eyes and savour this unconscious but very real rainbow.

When it fades I continue on my path, patting the objects at my side blindly, feeling my way through the dark, fumbling from wall to wall.

At last I stagger into bed. My aching muscles sink into the sheets and sigh with relief. As exhausted as I am sleep evades and escapes me – instead I lie unsettled, wriggling and squirming but never happening upon anything that resembles comfort. The uneasiness now becomes unbearable as my sweaty limbs cling to everything around me, I flail and kick in objection but my entanglement only worsens, quick sand – breaths begin to rasp in defiance and my heart beats frenetically as I continue with my one man brawl. My mind swirls and whirls I choke as I feel tears well up my blood shot eyes, thoughts are now dizzy and unclear. Calm. I compose myself and prize free from my prison. My shoulders collapse at last into the moist surface under me. Exhale.

Time peels away as I stare at the lone clock in despair, its strong hands full of bravado turn so confidently through time, with mechanical precision they twist through the seconds and minutes as I lie dormant and useless. This has been my life these past two weeks – a gaping void filled with sighs and boring resentments that I allow to fester through nothing more than my own lust for self-pity. So much is unexplained. I am not whole, always with more questions and answers.

I struggle between different sleeping positions, fidgeting and writhing to no avail. The clock continues to sneer at me, arms fully outstretched, but the embrace of sleep alludes me. I lie beaten, staring at the plain canvass of the ceiling, imaging waking up the next morning.

The clock ticks as I count down the seconds, hoping that boredom will finally set me to rest. I am now aware of every sound in the room. That ticking of the clock, the murmur of the traffic outside, the smash of glass in next door’s flat and the subsequent scream – everything. I can barely stand it.

I try counting sheep, but they all develop personalities and stop jumping over the fence, instead they come over and have a chat and turn out to be quite entertaining and insightful about certain topics.

A single bead of sweat trickles down my back – probably the most interesting thing to happen this past hour. My back peels away from the bed sheet as I sit up. I scrape away at my wretched cheeks with dreary familiarity, it has been this way for twelve night. I would scream – if I wasn’t so sure that it would serve no useful purpose.

Instead I lie pathetically, waiting for my body to allow my mind to rest. I am unclear, jostling between the unease of my waking priorities and the turmoil of my imagination, often they get crossed at irregular intervals. I begin a tirade of blank though; a series of waking dreams and hypotheticals that bear no relation to real life. I always do this, it’s nothing new: a natural procrastination, an exercise in the never going to happen. I consider the fact that I might bump into Patrick tomorrow, the district manager of the store…who for some reason always insists on “popping in”…I have to act like I care about the profitability of the whole operation…as if I have a vested interest in the shit I BEEP-BEEP-BEEP through for ugly bastard, after ugly bastard every single fucking day. Why does he talk to me? An age thing? Talk to the fucking manager, not the fat useless, waste of space still stuck in this dead end job, wearing the same fucking shirt I was given ten years ago. Yeah, he doesn’t care…knowing him he’d probably want to discuss the new spread sheets corporate sent out, and the branch’s figures, or some other shit that I couldn’t care less about. What would he say? What would I say? How would it –

Well hey there Patrick!”

No. You’re not a kids’ TV presenter…unless you do a funny voice…could probably get away with it if you put on a funny voice…

Hey Patty boy, how’s it going my man?”

Oh the monthly numbers? They’re looking great – did you talk to the manager? He said they’re the best he’s ever seen! Thinking of promoting me…I swear I’m due that shit, right?!”

Yeah he said I’m going all the way – whatever that means right?! Perhaps it’ll be 30 minutes lunch, instead of 20!”

Patrick rolls around on the floor. I’m his favourite colleague, that’s why he always talks to me so much, he says I’m like Jim Carrey only better. He doesn’t like anyone else in the whole company. He says that if it wasn’t for me he wouldn’t even turn up at all, he would shoot himself in the face.

Going all the way is not in my contract! Talk about small print!”

Patrick dies of laughter, and I step over his content corpse grinning with pride. I’ve probably made his day, I’m always doing that – someone has to I guess, not one of these other miserable bastards in this sweaty, stuffy place could do it. Dead end losers, that’s what they are. Scum…not me…I’m fucking Jim Carrey.

The imaginary bliss of this hypothetical success washes over me, and then I remember – I’m back in this fucking flat, and it’s now 4:07am.

A couple more hours till BEEP-BEEP-BEEP.

Let me know what you think! I am hoping to get to 40,000 words by the end of the weekend! Hope everyone else is getting on grand! 

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I WON THE LOTTERY

So New York state lottery officials say that the first-prize winning ticket for this Tuesday’s $326 million Mega Millions jackpot was sold at an upstate New York gas station. But, no one has come forward yet to claim the huge jackpot!  Seriously what is going on…what is this person up to which is more important? There must be something really good on the television…maybe they are just getting into Breaking Bad, and can’t tear themselves away. Maybe they are seeing how long they can last without electronics, and worst luck it was right when they were due this GARGANTUAN windfall.

I mean there are many possibilities…

Hare GIF

But I honestly think if I did, I may literally shit my pants with excitement. Sure, I could buy a thousand more pairs once I cashed the thing in, so no big deal…but the immediate moment after realising I have won would be a very painful, and embarrassing situation for me. I’d have to waddle around with this mess in my trousers – maybe that would lead to me walking awkwardly…kinda like a penguin, but not cute…

And as I walk, and it sloshes around – it starts chafing…even when I am a millionaire the rash is still there, and rubs against my expensive trousers I just bought…but I have to wear them, because I don’t want to be judged by all those fucks at the golf club I was told I needed to join – so it’s rubbing, and rubbing, and the rash becomes raw, and bloody – I need more trousers, but it’s okay I have the money – but they STILL chafe! And then that becomes infected, and then they tell me I have to get them amputated, “you shouldn’t have shit yourself” the Doctor says – and then the surgery for bionic legs costs about $300 million dollars – but I miss having legs, because I am sick of people calling me names like Professor X…so I pay them the money, and I am back to my normal life, with all of the normal people, they used to like me – but I thought it would be funny to stick my middle finger out of the Bentley as I drove away from my hometown.

Could have just been nice about it, but I blew it, because I shit myself, and everyone knows as it was in the local paper.

Bill Murray GIF

Phew…you know what…the lottery sounds like a lotta’ work. I think I’ll pass. 

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