What’s the Point? (Existential Crisis)

Life. We slave away at jobs we don’t care about, or chase dreams that only ourselves can ever truly be invested in…and for what? I mean it doesn’t really matter, any of it – apart from for selfish reasons which in their very essence are dumb and somewhat childlike; they’re all – “I WANT THIS…I WANT TO BE THIS…I WANT TO GO HERE” as we kick our feet, and throw our metaphorical toys out of the pram hoping God, fate, or the universe will cut us a break.

Begging GIF

Okay, but gimme a nice house and a few human beings who think I’m great…

But the fact is I could get ran over by a bus tomorrow – POOF! Gone. Well…not really ‘POOF’ it’s not a magic trick…there would be a lot more moaning, screaming, and guts as opposed to wizardy and showmanship, but still; there would be a brief moment and then I would be no more. People would be all sad for a bit, and then life would roll on. And in the larger scheme of the universe nothing would have happened at all! You see let’s be honest, the Moon would look the other way, the sun wouldn’t care, and Pluto wouldn’t even hear about it! The self-serving bastards…urgh…

So what’s the answer to this depressing situation? Well I’ve googled it and there isn’t a real one, so apologies in advance. Instead all we can do is black it all out with drink, drugs, and/or knitting…well actually just whatever activity it takes to provide an internal padded room that dampens the “YOUR LIFE DOES NOT MATTER AT ALL” screams that can be heard with every waking second of your existence…

Peanut Butter GIF

Actually I’ve looked for peanut butter in Korea and couldn’t find it…so there’s yet another reason to wallow in self-pity.

Anyway, I’m just joshing…sort of. Well not really, all I have said so far is sadly true – but the miserable tone is not, as there is a lot to live for. Yourself for one, and for the ones who love you, and the others who you haven’t even met yet. You can enrich each other’s pathetically bleak window of existence and make the whole horrid thing that little bit easier to bear! Great right? Don’t you just feel like moon-walking on a rainbow right now?!

Sigh. Well, maybe not, but I’m not going to let a little negativity (well, a black hole of depression if I was being honest) stop me…despite the fact I know it’s vain, utterly pointless, and that Pluto doesn’t give a shit I am going to still have my own dreams, and spend each day working towards achieving them. If for no other reason than to retain a shred of sanity at the enormity of it all…

SO TAKE THAT PLUTO! I DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOU EITHER! 

(Unless you grant wishes, in which case I take it all back and let’s meet for coffee sometime soon?)

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A Smelly Trump

Something strange is happening in American politics, something that seems to go against all reason and common sense…it’s being dubbed as “The Trump Surge” – which is just as handy as there are many similarities between Donald Trump and flatulence; namely that they are both entirely unwanted but still stink up a room whenever they’re introduced.

But although the old beaver-flap haired fella is awful, his apparent popularity says more about the climate of discontent than it does about the man himself…I mean if people are giving him a pass how bad must the other guys be in comparison, right? You see the problem with Donald Trump is simple and clear – it’s Donald Trump. But for the most part the other contenders come off as career politicians who are in it for themselves, and consequently cannot be trusted…they’ll back any cause, or make any promises just to get votes…all in the hope that they can repay the donations from billionaire elites with hushed deals and secret handshakes once in office – after all it is those figures who hold the true (and very scary) global power.

Scary Business GIF

So consequently as people become more aware of how strong a grip banks and big business possess they are gravitating away from the typical slick snake-tongued politicians and towards average-Joe ‘truth tellers’; by which I mean people who they feel represent themselves and tell it like it is, rather than just saying what they think the electorate want to hear. The same can be said about the rise of Jeremy Corbyn within the realms of British politics, who is seeking to completely flip the miserable script of austerity in the hope of something new for the UK – and although he is not everyone’s cup of tea, he has gained support in unprecedented numbers, especially among the young and disenfranchised…all because people consider him to be not just another lizard robot politician-puppet.

(Little side-note…haven’t you wondered why world leaders take so many holidays? Well it’s because they’re cold-blooded and NEED to bask in the sun for warmth. And again, have you ever witnessed David Cameron, or Barack Obama eat flies? No you haven’t – and why is that? Because they’re ultra-careful not to be caught so people don’t find out the hideous reptilian truth! OPEN YOUR EYES PEOPLE! THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE!)

Tin Foil Hat GIF

Ahem, anyway…what we have with Trump is hardly comparable to Corbyn (I was trying to be nice, and balanced – but screw it), you see instead of good common sense we have a typical offensive uncle-type spouting bigotry at whatever function he has been invited to. Except it’s not just your cousin’s wedding reception this time around…it’s the world, the global stage, and literally everyone has to hear all he has to say. Whether it be about Mexican immigrants being murderers and rapists, or women and their menstrual cycles, there is no topic that is off limits – so it’s less of a case of ‘I wonder if he will say anything controversial?’ and more just ‘what will he come out with this time?’ Because where other candidates would tip-toe Trump stomps through with enormous muddy boots on…not giving any real consideration or care about whatever vile babble comes out of his mouth, or who he tramples all over in his seemingly self-destructive speeches.

But despite this rather heinous resume of public speaking hiccups Trump still has everything to gain and nothing to lose. He won’t win, he won’t ever become president…but as strange as it sounds that’s not really his aim. He is joining the likes of Sarah Palin, and Hermain Cain who are simply using the process as a platform for attention and have no intention of ever getting into office – largely because they are not running out of political desperation but out of an ego-maniacal attempt to boost their own image and brand. (All funded by gullible people’s donations may I add.)

Sarah Palin GIF

However the fact that his ridiculous pantomime of a candidacy appears to be gaining steam and momentum remains really quite worrying – as it suggests a large section of the Republican party are so desperate for someone who isn’t Barack Obama that they feel only an extreme right wing political zealot will suffice…that someone who is deliberately oblivious to obvious problems is the man for the job…that a person who would openly suggest he feels the US police need more power in the wake of such overbearingly horrendous examples of corruption and terror is a person who should be an actual potential president of the United States of America…

…it’s bonkers to me, but what this whole charade unveils for me is one truth; that not all Republicans are racists – but most racists are Republican.

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Live for the Weekend?

“I can’t wait for the weekend!” says some tiresome, but probably well meaning person in your workplace…shame it’s only Tuesday – and the drab countdown to allotted free time will now drag even longer than usual…

Why GIF

Why do they do it? Is life really that shit, that you want to tick bits off like it’s a jail sentence you can’t wait to be over? 

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. But I hate this idea of, “living for the weekend.” It’s not that I don’t get it (I really do!), it’s just that I feel this means your’e only finding worth in two measly days out of seven. If I was better at maths, I’d work out the percentage of life you are missing out on thanks to this perspective, but I’m not so I won’t – let’s just all agree on a lot. 

My situation is good at the moment – so perhaps that’s why I can be so recklessly judgy, and borderline pretentious about this sort of stuff…after all I just teach kindergarten Monday, to Friday; 9:30 till 14:30…which leaves the rest of the day free for me to pursue the things I love – namely writing…or you know – eating, and sleeping…actually sometimes all three if I’m feeling real ambitious! 

Naturally this makes me happy! Doing what you like makes you happy, it’s as simple as that. And although it is a very temporary situation – for now, I can only praise the stars, my lucky charms, and/or whatever else for granting me such a sweet deal. It hasn’t always been that way…at one point I was getting up to do a paper round at 5:30am, then on to push televisions around at an electrical store, then a shift at the pub later on. Madness – I mean I was supposed to be studying…

Dollar GIF

Anyway during those days the weekends were my busiest! So I can’t say I was thrilled every time they rolled around. Tuesdays were great…Wednesdays too…

My rather rambled, and convoluted point is this…try and find good in every day, not just the ones where you get to take shots of some obnoxious liquid, and wake up in a puddle of your own expulsions without worrying about missing an appointment. There is good in the weekdays too. Even if it’s just a nice conversation, a sunny day, or the anticipation of dinner with a family member, or watching the new episode of your favourite show…it’s all good my friends, it’s all good…

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Wonderlust!

What is this fabled ‘wanderlust’ that I see strewn around quite literally every form of social media these days? By the looks of it it’s something to do with handwriting fonts, pictures of maps, and photos of fields, seas, and mysterious pathways…right?

ahh wait no, here it is:

‘Wanderlust; a yearning or desire to travel and  experience adventure.’ 

Head Scratch GIF

Makes sense! No wonder everyone’s auntie and their cat has the word littered around the place as if its as commonplace as regret after a face tattoo! I mean, surely every single person in the existence of existence has had such a will…haven’t they? And I can’t see that changing anytime soon, it’s in our primitive nature to make such demands on ourselves – life is but a small window after all, and it’s on us to fill each little panel with as much colour as possible…so it may be worthy of display.

Yeah, yeah – I know! I’m being a typical liberal arts major freak and contorting the meaning of what it is to ‘experience adventure’…so apologies for that, it must be at least mildly annoying – but I just want to put forward the notion that just because you haven’t or likely won’t have a huge dramatic The Lord of the Rings type of epic in your lifetime it doesn’t devalue the journey you are already on…as long as you are living and breathing you are on your own personal adventure – just without the hobbits, and dragons.

Hobbits GIF

Although you may encounter hairy feet, and cockroaches…which is kind of the same thi…yeah alright it’s not, sorry – real life does have its pitfalls. 

Anyway, but despite this people post these wanderlust pictures, bless their hearts – and I’m not that against it or even mildly offended (I suppose i’m just being a dick if anything), but they often wrongly think that it’s the travel that they are longing for…that all they need to do is board a tin can in the sky,  eat peanuts/watch straight to DVD type films for twelve hours, then take a few photos at their guidebook destination to show people back home, and then they will feel content…but that’s not what it’s about, and that’s not what they want if they were really to consider themselves thoroughly. 

They want to step outside of the ordinary maybe because of a stagnant or complacent lifestyle, they want to experience something that shakes them from their routine, and reminds them they are seeing, hearing, and feeling human beings. They want to be in wonder…in amazement…they want that “wow” factor which you can only get by witnessing things first hand. Can you get this from travelling? Of course you bloody well can! Can you get it from opening your eyes to the beauty of life all around you wherever you are…yes! And you are not any less of a person for being more in line with the latter than that of some mad bearded traveller type who talks down to people who haven’t spent months in an igloo drinking their own urine. Or whatever it is they do – was just a quick example. 

Yeah GIF

That’s why as lovely and well meaning as it is, I really loathe the question; “so how many countries have you visited now then?” As it is completely missing the point in my book, I mean I don’t count and I never will – in doing so you are reducing the experience to a number, and a check-list…I find it robotic, I find it soulless. The questions that excite me are more focused on the human side of things; “what did you see? What did you do? Who did you meet? How did you feel?” These are what we should really be examining…and you should ask the same of yourself whether it be on a boat in Vietnam shifting through the islands of Halong Bay…or after you attended something in your hometown; a football game, an art show, drinks with your nearest and dearest…a hot dog eating competition – whatever it is just mull  it over and think;  “what did I see? What did I do? Who did I meet? How did I feel?” 

Life is just people wandering about aimlessly trying to make sense of things – it’s just people bumping into each other and saying hello then telling their life story; everyone has a tale to tell and you can make any experience richer by bearing this in mind. You see, thinking this way gives you a greater appreciation for life, and how amazing it really is – do I forget this sometimes and wallow, sure! Pfft, all the time! But that’s just more of a reason to remind myself again, and again.

Just look at yourself – you get to meet people everyday, see things, feel things – I mean how great is that?! Also you’re hot, and have a nice personality.

Pretty GIF

With all that said, I would encourage everyone to travel if you can, it’s fantastic…but don’t forget to look at what you have right where you are. Chances are it’s pretty damn wonderful and more than worthy of your time.

So it’s wonderlust over wanderlust, my friends. Remember that. 

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No God, No Good?

First in the new debate series – here we hear a story from the lovely Linda Bethea (thanks Linda!), and later I discuss religion, morality, and…probably a few other things. Hope you enjoy it. 

Opinions are obviously more than welcome, I expect this issue to be a little bit more controversial than say…the time some leeches attacked me in Nepal, or a Chinese guy looking at me weird in a bathroom – but that’s not a bad thing, it’s healthy to have discussions. I’d love to learn something new. 

If you have a video request you can leave a comment, or send me an email – if it’s a cool/interesting idea then I will get to it as soon as I can!

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The Honesty of Children

After a small child walked up to me recently, and massaged my wrinkled brow while repeating “McDonald’s man” over, and over and over again (for the 100th time might I add), I suddenly recognised something that I have came to realise is rather important – and that is that little kids really don’t give one solitary shit.  

Nope GIF

Instead they parade around with a brazen brand of self-confidence – telling people they encounter whatever the hell they want…without much understanding or care for the consequences of these announcements. Whether you like what they have to say or not hinges on pure coincidence as; “you look like a fatty”, and “your hair is beautiful” both come from the same place…they are both just purely observational statements of fact.

They do things because they feel right in the moment. There is no hidden agenda or motive behind their words (as there is in the big bad scary adult world); where every sentence, word, and letter is broken down and considered in an effort to pick apart the speaker’s true meaning and intention. On the other hand as adults we lie on a daily basis, so much so that it’s actually out of control! Like telling your boss you like her flip flops and socks combination, despite the fact it makes her look as fashionable as a retired archeologist…or promising your significant other they are not getting fat – even though you just had to pay for an extra seat on a rollercoaster to accommodate his/her left buttock. Or even nodding and smiling at a stranger who just rudely barged past you…all the while holding back a loud and long; “FUUUUCKKKK YOUUUUUU MUDDDAAA-FERKA!”

Sick of Everyone GIF

If only we could carry through this sort of honesty as we grow to double digits, and then continue to retain it  as we meekly wander into the abyss of the adult world and its enforced white lie policy. I mean sure, the world as we know it would surely crumble…but how liberating it would be to just speak your mind at all times rather than being given no alternative but to tell extra large porky pies such as this:

Mr. Knob: “Where is that report Sally?! I told you to have it finished by Tuesday, and it’s now Wednesday…it’s not on my desk, this is absolutely inexcusable!”

Sally: “Oh I sent it to you already, did you check your email? Perhaps it didn’t send properly…I’ll re-send as soon as I get home, as it’s on my home computer.”

Mr. Knob: “Hmm alright…next time make sure I receive it – that’s why a hard copy is always better. Get it to me by tomorrow morning.”

(A-HA! SALLY HAS JUST BOUGHT HERSELF SOME TIME, AND CONSEQUENTLY THE WORLD CAN KEEP SPINNING. THANK YOU AGAIN LIES, YOU BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIES!)

Dancing Baby GIF

How would it go if there were no lies though? My imagination tells me it may go something like this…

Mr. Knob: “Where is that report Sally?! I told you to have it finished by Tuesday, and it’s now Wednesday…it’s not on my desk, this is absolutely inexcusable!”

Sally: “There’s this new flavour of Doritos, they’re great – I’ve been spending a lot of time eating those and binge watching sitcoms from the 90s. It’s been a pretty fulfilling two months for me.”

Mr. Knob: “WHAT?! Well when can I expect the report?! Another two months?!”

Sally: “Yeah, sounds great! Now can you leave me alone please? I’m in the middle of an episode right now.”

Man…if only, if only – right? But unfortunately this kind of answer is frowned upon…I’m not sure why…it’s a damn shame though…

But that is our reality unfortunately, and at least for now we seem stuck with it. I guess if I was to be a little less bias it sort of helps in certain areas…it’s a social lubricant (urgh, gross) in situations and interactions that can be tricky. And all out kid’s style honesty is probably not going to make you a lot of friends – I was always taught that “honesty is the best policy!” but I see now that is somewhat of a fallacy…ah well.

Oh, and before I go – you’re the best looking, funniest, and most intelligent person on the face of the earth. I promise. Like, really.

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Judging (The DON’T Judge Challenge)

There’s something particularly unsettling about the recent #Don’tJudgeChallenge that’s doing the rounds…a trend which purports to be powered by a positive message, but misses the mark in a rather obvious and cruelly ironic way…

Here is the so called ‘best of’ just in case you don’t know what I’m on about (TOP TIP: It’s really unnecessary to watch the whole thing):

So yeah…where to begin? Well how about the start? …this whole bizarre viral trend was born from an arguable desire to encourage others “not to judge a book by it’s cover”...and I think in essence that’s a great thing! But what I can’t quite get my head around is the fact that at its core it’s just people pretending to look comically ugly…to only then reveal that; OH NO NEVER MIND, they are actually rather good looking (and also completely in love with themselves). 

Call me a fuddy-duddy or whatever, but perhaps a true #Don’tJudgeChallenge would center on something other than, errrrrm, judging people based on their looks? Perhaps we could see something amazing that a person has done…whether that be a life-saving invention, a touching work of literature, a heart-warming musical performance, or even helping an old lady across the street – just anything that betters others lives in some way or makes the world a better place to be; then we could see what these people look like…and we’d witness that they are of all colours and creeds, all backgrounds and religions, all shapes and sizes…and appearance would be an unnecessary feature in an otherwise touching narrative.

But that’s not what this trend is about…and you know what it actually feels too glaringly obvious to even point out! I mean, how does this even make sense? These people are actively and obnoxiously judging people based on their looks – highlighting things that they deem to be unattractive or undesirable; spots, moles, scars, glasses, mono brows…the list goes on – and then pulling back to marvel at their own beauty as they rub their face, along with their overbearingly large ego.

How does watching these videos feel for people who have any of these so-called ‘ugly’ afflictions? Probably not great I’d imagine. Or maybe I’m wrong – maybe a teenage girl with cystic acne is watching these videos of people wiping off drawn on spots and suddenly feels fantastic…or maybe she feels put down, demoralized, and even more self-conscious by the self-rightgeous and hurtful movement that is the #Don’tJudgeChallenge. 

But hey, maybe I’m wrong…these are just my thoughts, please don’t judge.

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