Thursday, 4 August 2011


Having spent the last few days visiting my ancestral grounds of Cork, I've been mulling over the concept of justice. I have no idea what it is? Answers in full, please.
Justice is equivocal to punishment, in many ways; something else I don't really understand. Surely the aim of imprisoning somebody is to stop them from causing harm to themselves, society or other people? If this is the case, why does prison carry such strong connotations with rape? Further, why does this continue in a modern age, in the Western world, where human rights are allegedly paramount? Many argue that this is part of criminals' punishment. What purpose does it serve, other than to cause them further distress and pain, and ensure that any efforts of rehabilitation to society will be thwarted? It seems as though a criminal conviction relegates people to (and I'll use a German term here. Yes, I know, Nazi arguments are cliche, but it seems apt) untermensch. Sub-human. I'm not here to argue that criminals are innocent and should be paraded around the streets, given a key to the city and a warm pat on the back from some aging paternal figure, but their actions do not remove their humanity, as much as some people insist that they do.

As far as I can tell, the existence of imprisonment (I'll ignore fines from the umbrella of 'justice', as they tend to act as reasonable deterrents to minor offenders, and don't impinge on anybody's rights), is to remove somebody who may pose a danger from society, and then to rehabilitate them so that they can enter society and be functional and law-abiding. It is time that the criminologists get stuck in. I know it already happens, but the public need to be aware. Why do people commit crimes? Anders Breivik is an example (albeit a controversial one). Is he just "pure evil", or does he perhaps suffer from a mental health issue or personality disorder. I don't personally know, and of course, any issue is no excuse for his actions, but it should dictate what happens to him. In my opinion, this should be the case for everybody. I believe there to be a cause for every crime, and the cause for every crime should be learnt by the necessary authorities and A) used to rehabilitate the offender if possible and B) used to prevent similar crimes. I won't go on a political rant, but it's no surprise that theft is more prolific in less economically privileged areas.

My final concern comes from justice asserted "for" the loved ones of the offender, or indeed the offender. When a person is vilified by the media or the judiciary system in some sort of twisted 'service' to another person. That is not justice. I do not know what justice is, but if that is justice; justice is merely a more conservative, "morally upright" cousin of hateful revenge. I was watching an interview of the daughter of a murdered woman call for the death penalty for the convicted. The killing of Saddam Hussein. This is not justice. This is retribution and revenge. It is animalistic, emotionally driven and in my opinion, disgusting.

The man who instigates revenge is as guilty as the man he kills in doing so.

Perhaps I'm a naive, bleeding heart liberal. Perhaps I'm glad about it.

Monday, 25 July 2011

The past few days have been relatively action-packed.
It began with my first day at work, which exceeded my expectations. I had mulled over the notion of calling in sick, or just pretending that my commitment didn't exist, but I decided that I had to bite the bullet and forego my cowardice. In retrospect, I think I made a reasonably good decision.

I arrived slightly early at the store and suffered an awkward wait, skulking around Lea Bridge road whilst my manager opened the door for me. I approached tentatively and was pleasantly greeted by Gary, my manager. He was, in fairness, a very nice chap. He explained health and safety procedures to me and showed me how to use the cash register (a knack that I am yet to fully master).

A few customers in and I was fairly happy that I was doing a good job. My co-workers, whilst perhaps a tad simple, were nice enough and nothing much was going wrong. I did manage to charge a woman £28.50 for a book, because the cash register lied to me, but the problem was sorted out quick enough. The day was defined by sporadic and confusing customer-related issues. Firstly, I was warned not to let gypsies in the store because they had a tendency for theft. Whilst I strongly disagreed with the wide-scale social discrimination, I dared not contradict my manager, especially as it probably wasn't worth my job and an argument over. There was a woman who profusely swore at a push-chair... that wasn't there. I would hazard a guess that she had some form of dementia, but she was quite nice to me, so I can't complain. An elderly Muslim woman in a burka bought a £1.50 pair of ear-rings. The futility of this action cannot be expressed by words. My best effort at the time was to offer a sheepish smile and thank her for her business. Later on in the day, a furiously African woman (in the sense that the extent of her ethnicity - as an African - was so strong that it verged upon violence, if that makes any sense) demanded a refund for the DVDs that she bought.  She offered a compelling background story as to her intentions when buying aforementioned DVDs, but it served little purpose as she lacked a receipt... or the DVDs. I could not help but laugh at her. On balance, I didn't regret my attendance and will continue to do so.

My next day was characterised by trip into London with Charlie and Chanel. It was in fact, a very enjoyable day out. I initially intimated that I would enjoy relaxing in Hyde Park, but Charlie has a bit of a domineering tendency to get his way, and so we visited the Natural History Museum. The exterior I found mind-blowing, with its precision carved indentations and beautifully looming spires. However, the interior I am largely familiar with, and thus found a smidgen uninteresting. We proceeded to have dinner at Pizza Hut (the paradigm of class, I know...), which made for a thoroughly entertaining evening, followed by a smooth journey home.

Between then and now, I saw the new Harry Potter film, which was an expected let-down. The audience in the cinema didn't enhance it either; cheering every few scenes for any number of reasons. I was forced to abandon my distinctly British method of gritting myself and ignoring it, rather opting for the American, "Shut the hell up, you fuckwits!". Against my better nature, yes, but it proved successful.

Yesterday I embarked upon a day of sport at the field with the usual lot. I discovered that I have a talent for baseball, denting Tadas' bat in the process, and not very much of a talent for frisbee, falling flat on my face.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Some time has passed since my last entry, the exact amount of time is unknown (or rather, it is known if I were to exercise a modicum of effort, but I shan't do so).
The time itself has whiled away pretty quickly, and without progress.
I will start at what I now understand to be the beginning. Following my most recent entry, I attended a gig with Nathan. It was sweet gauging his excitement over the whole thing, as it was his first ever concert and I think he was (appropriate) especially excited about the mosh pits which I had described in beautiful detail. Travel there was no issue and the support band were interesting. The Computers are a sort of hardcore screamo bunch, which delighted Nathan (who knew?). They weren't quite my cup of tea, but they were good performers, which I shall grant unto them. Bad Religion donned the stage to rapturous applause and surreal levels of moshing. They were everything that I expected them to be, which was good. Bad Religion have an excellent live reputation and they certainly lived it up it, blasting out classics such as 'Punk Rock Song' and 'Sorrow', which was positively goose-bump inducing. The pits were absolutely mad. Nathan got thoroughly involved and managed to crowd surf, but my lack of involvement was testament to my poor fitness levels (something that needs to change - and hasn't since the gig...). By the end of it I left drench in sweat (probably not my own), gasping for water and smelling like a particularly rotund, middle aged, topless man in the mosh pits who insisted on swinging his arms like an orangutan with reduced motor skills in my general direction.

I'm not quite sure what happened between then and now, but I can outline some events. I got a call back from Uniqlo about the sales assistant job that I applied for 6 weeks ago. After passing the interview over the phone (with flying colours, I might add) I was all geared up to attend a group interview this Thursday. However, after some thought, I realised that I couldn't in good consciousness work for the private retail sector. The idea of toiling like a drone, folding clothes and giving 'customer support' in an avoidably bland manner is detestable, further, working for only personal gain and to line the pockets of some japanese billionaire who would doesn't care about anybody but himself (I presume). That altruistic nonsense aside, group interviews scare me shitless.

So, I made the decision to forego my impending interview, in favour of a nice charity shop job. I'm going to be working in retail at the Sense shop, for all of the people who can't see or hear. 'Double Trouble', as I affectionately labeled them in conversation with good Louie, whose blog I do follow and urge you to (even though only he reads this gash)...

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Well, it's been a fairly long week, and a very arduous weekend. After my last blog post I set sail for Mexico, moreover, I flew premium class with Thomson airways. The taxi driver may well be the most useless person to grace Whipps Cross Cars... First, he was 30 minutes late, which is even more spectacular considering the company base is 3 minutes drive away. Second, he insisted on doing 45kmph on the M23. Third, he was blissfully unaware that he could drive in lanes that were not occupied by the black BMW in front that was going even slower than us.

Check-in was fairly brief, as was security. The flight, however, was intolerable. Mark my words, whatever an airline says about making long-haul journeys pleasurable is utter tosh. The seats were uncomfortable and narrow and they were not suited for somebody of my height. The films kept me mildly entertained, but ultimately nothing can detract from the tedium of 10 hours in the air.

The week itself flew by quickly. The hotel was quite nice... very ornate. The room was large and there was a spot of American television to hold my amusement when I wasn't drinking, eating or swimming. The food was mostly ghastly, but it was free, so no complaints. Ditto with the drink. Mexicans make the worst beer known to man. XX vaguely resembles sewer water in smell, and ordinary water in taste. The beach was fucking gorgeous, as with the pool. The largest downside of the holiday was that I have met my alcohol match. The peach martini that I ordered was too strong for me to finish. That said, it was a Mexican peach martini, and the Mexicans invariably make every food and drink stuff worse (except for tequila, oh lord!)

The flight home was equally taxing and left be jet lagged and with gastroenteritis.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

What a spectacular night!
Let's start in the day first. Nothing happened. I prepared myself for the prom to some extent, as far as I styled my hair and took a shower, as well as buying some flip-flops for my holiday and a really nice white shirt that doesn't fit very well from Matalan. I think on balance, Matalan might be the worst place in the world. Sure, Afghanistan has its pit-falls, and Juarez isn't heaven on Earth, but Matalan really is the cesspit of fashion and home-ware. Don't get me wrong; I am appreciative of decent quality and cheap prices, but the sheer ineptitude of staff and the general riff-raff that the place attracts.

I then took a cab to the Town Hall to meet with my friends. We posed for pictures and just chatted for a while whilst the party bus arrived. Before getting on the bus, we let off a chinese lantern (with some persuasion) into the sky and watched it depart. We got on the bus and were pretty much blown away. The exterior looked like a double-decker bus that had been left in Hackney for a couple of hours, because it was totally covered in graffiti and whatnot, making it look particularly... urban. Inside, however, we were greeted with a modest splendor. The bottom deck was seldom used, but it housed a white bloke with dreadlocks, his bed, a fish tank and a fucking intense sound-system. Upstairs (where we were all sat) were two parallel sofas that stretched the entirety of the length; a handful of computer monitors (for whatever reason...) and a 52" plasma television. The journey only lasted 30 odd minutes, but was filled with tequila, blossom hill wine and lambrini, plus (frankly) racist black dancing on my behalf. When we arrived, I entertained the obligatory "Oh you look beautiful!" briefly before entering the venue and marveling at the size of the bouncers. They weren't particularly pleased when Charlie took a picture of them and made him delete them.

The prom itself was uninspiring. Shit music plus too many people that were stoned off their face. The banter was alright and it was nice to chat to teachers in a slightly more relaxed atmosphere, but nothing special. The cabbie took me to the wrong address, but didn't charge me, which shortened the journey and saved me money. WIN.

Have to get up at 5am tomorrow for my flight. I'll try to blog tomorrow but I'll be traveling for about 14 hours. Peace and love xxx
Today was my very last visit to school before I receive my grades. Initially, I was expected to attend Church. Oh what great fun. I gritted my teeth and endured as much as I could, whilst refusing to kneel, provoking concerned tutting from the devout. Most certainly my highlight of the mass; I made a comment about catholic mass and priests, which was overheard by one of the resident holymen. The comment included a comparative between mass and musical chairs, and may have made a reference to catholic priests and their preference of young boys.
This was followed by a free lunch of... I'm not sure. There was definitely cheese in it, but the only way that I could indicate that to the canteen lady was to point and grunt, for the sheer sight of the sloppy mess disabled my capacity to verbalise the horror.

Then, the signing of shirts. This was largely uneventful, to be honest. It is what you might expect. I drew a penis on the back of the biggest, blackest, scariest guy in our year and hope to survive the ordeal.  My shirt is covered in encouraging messages... "Good luck you racist atheist", "Good luck fuckface"... it makes me feel warm and cosy inside :).

From then on, I did nothing in particular, but watch the television.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

What a thoroughly uneventful day...
Well, not uneventful. Things happened, but more interesting things have happened in the past. Today was a day of football. The field was relatively empty but there was a hint of prophetic fallacy in the weather. Even after half an hour, the dark clouds loomed ominously overhead. We were stopped twice by a... I don't know what his job title was. He was a young bloke, first in a car, then in a golf-buggy, who instructed us to remove the football net that we were using. His reasoning? By using one net (not two, as common sense might dictate), we were signifying to the gods of Hackney Marsh Fields, that we were playing an official game; and thus it must be booked and paid for in advance. I won't go into detail of my response to this accusation, but the term "money-hungry cunt" was thrown about quite lacklustre.

We continued to play... netless for a couple of hours. I was in inferior form to last week, but I've been worse, so I can't complain tremendously. The weather continued to deteriorate. The muddy grey hue of the clouds got slightly darker, and the clouds themselves hovered above us. Eventually, the heavens opened and we were completely saturated with abnormally large droplets of rain. I can deal with rain for a short period of time, so I gritted my teeth and saw it through. We got another 30 minutes of a pleasantly warm summer breeze before it pelted again. This time, not only did it pelt, but we were greeted with thunder and lightning; the latter striking worryingly close and inspiring manly screams, though not from myself. After tolerating a fair amount of wetness, I surrendered and left for home, taking the 56 bus.

After that, nothing much happened. I braved Omeagle, but was overwhelmed by the prolific penises.