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I'm just this guy, you know?

I've also got a brace of blogs, but that's because I'm one of those pretentious and twatty bloggers you hear about.

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» House Guests

Have you ever noticed
there's a directly proportional relationship between how much you like and want to impress your host, and how colossal, smelly and/or unflushably buoyant the shits you do in their toilet are?
(Sat 8th Jan 2011, 1:21, More)

» Conversation Killers

I was at a party once
when we were talking about who the worst serial killer in history had been. We all generally held different opinions until my friend Nick piped in with "what about that Chinese guy who went around beating people to death with a certain brand of trendy shoe?"

We all fell silent in bafflement and eventually one of us said "I think you made that one up Nick".

"No, no", he said, "I remember reading all about him. The Converse Asian Killer".
(Sat 14th May 2011, 20:51, More)

» Protest!

Ann Widdecombe
At some point last year Ann Widdecombe and some other atrociously dislikable types turned up at my University's Union to engage in a debate about the ethics of abortion and stem-cell research. I say debate because the terms "farce" and "risible apology for the death of open discussion" might be seen as partisan by some.

A demonstration was organised by the socialists, feminists, and those other rare student types who believe in something, to protest against what were seen as the unacceptable views of a pompous, prejudiced out-of-touch crone. I was part of this as I have no problem admitting I'm a feminist (a man who believes equality is right, not one of those weedy, self-castrating male feminists who grovel apologetically for having a Y-chromosome, assume any women are right in all matters, hang around girls with dreadlocks all day being sensitive and angry at men, and remain inexplicably single) and as such think women should probably have a say in whether they go through the life-changing experience of dropping a sprog.

Anyway, it became obvious from as soon as the proceedings started that no-one's mind was going to be changed that day. If you were there for Ann Widdecombe you were there to get a congratulatory pat on the back and rim job for holding Christian values dear and opposing the evils of science. If you were there with the protest you were there to have your rage justified, knowing that people who disagreed with you still infuriatingly drew breath.

The evening took the form of a quartet of speeches from "experts" (Ann herself, a doctor and two loudmouths) about how abortion was eugenics by the back door, and how stem cell research was essentially taking the edge of a shovel to sweet little newborns. These were interrupted every few minutes by some of the smellier protesters chanting pointless slogans from the back of the room e.g. "No uterus - no say!" (way to alienate all your male supporters) or "Women's bodies - women's rights!", as if people in the audience would say "wow, I was against abortion before, but these people are REALLY loud!".

The panel argued against abortion with a speech that appeared to assume the pro-abortionists were arguing for enforced termination of pregnancies by way of booting each woman in the belly every three months, and finished with a Questions and Answers session. I had a couple of questions prepared, like "if abortion was criminalised, what would be done to prevent desperate women from seeking unsafe backstreet abortions?", but it turned out they had some questions prepared which they drew randomly from a box. I scarcely need to tell you that the questions were along the lines of "why are your ideas so sensible?" and "aren't women who get abortions just worthless working-class sluts anyway?".

Eventually most the protesters left in disgust, and the only debate of the night was immediately afterwards when a young mother approached one of the girls I was with and pointed out that women almost universally grew to love their children and that abortion is often regretted in the long run, which led to an actual exchange of statistics and philosophies, but still changed no-one's mind.

I'm still pro-choice, but I left that room deeply disillusioned, realising that rational debate was not a reality as long as anger and ignorance take a front seat, which they always will.
(Thu 11th Nov 2010, 14:10, More)

» Prejudice

Racial Prejudice - Not Always A Good Idea
Last year I was living with a trio of ladies, two Scottish, one Dutch. Our flat was across the hallway from a flat full of (I think) Indians of mixed gender in varying states of employment.

In any case, we saw them occasionally coming and going, but a couple of the girls in the flat started to take a dislike to some of their habits e.g. smoking in the hallway a lot and leaving a key to the block above the front door so those of them without a key could get in (as could burglars, we theorised).

In any case, these feelings grew over time...we had no idea how many people were staying in that flat and we were sure something questionable was going on. The girls seemed to take a lot more exception to them than I did, but eventually it was quietly revealed by one or two of my flatmates that they didn't think much of people from that area of the world (the word Paki was used once before I pointed out that we didn't know if they were from Pakistan, and if they were they'd be Pakistani), and that they didn't feel their belongings were completely safe in such a setting.

A picture was slowly built up of a bunch of chain smoking, insular cutthroats living in a crowded, sweaty, unwashed flat illegally, probably making a living off drugs and plotting to burgle and/or rape anyone they caught alone. I didn't subscribe to this so much, as I'd never seen anything to indict them, but I certainly started to get affected by the incessant talk of how probably awful our neighbours were.

One day, the Scots girls and myself were away and the Dutch one locked herself out overnight. She braced herself for a cold night on our doorstep, until one of our wicked and malicious neighbours walked past on his way home from a late shift. He asked her if she was ok and she explained her situation, precipitating an offer to stay in the drug den for a night.

She accepted, so as not to seem rude, and was taken inside to a flat no worse than any other. Taken into the girls' bedroom, she was given one of the two single beds, while the two girls already in there doubled up without complaint upon having the situation explained by the man (my flatmate's offer to sleep on the floor was met with cheerful refusal). She spent the night comfortably, was not touched up or hit on by any of the men, had nothing of hers stolen, and was offered food in the morning. It was an act of pure altruism - one which, I hastened to realise, we would not have extended to them if the roles were reversed.

Turns out we were just being unreasonable, prejudiced, and very obviously the worse people, despite being white. Who would've guessed?

Length? I think she slept six uniterrupted hours that night. Much easier in a bed than on an unheated concrete floor.
(Thu 1st Apr 2010, 20:28, More)

» "Needless to say, I had the last laugh"

The scene is a dingy basement club in Edinburgh.
A while ago, I tried to chat up a lovely-looking Turkish girl on a sticky and murky dancefloor, a task made at once easier and infinitely more difficult by the fact that I was pissed as a bastard and in no fit state to be out in public. To her credit she dealt my drunken advances fairly patiently, up until I pulled my trump card: an absolutely ripe one that smelled like the aftermath of a mighty battle between cabbages and eggs.

I couldn't really hide that I had just stenched the house down, but by God my alcohol-raddled brain thought it had just the plan. She provided me with the perfect opening when she asked "did you just fart?". Aha! thought I. There's room for doubt! It all depends on my next line!

"I thought that was you."

Needless to say, she didn't go near me for the rest of the night. I had the last laugh though, as I cracked one out when I got home that night and managed to avoid weeping.
(Sat 5th Feb 2011, 15:34, More)
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