There’s a trend among the movers and shakers that stokes the fires of passion and invariably garners great rounds of applause from some, yet it leaves me colder than a delusional detached head in a cryogenic lab’s freezer (you’re dead and you’re not coming back as a cyborg, get over it). It involves the raising of emotive issues purely for the benefit of making the speaker look worthy and/or caring but in truth the words have the substance of a raincoat made of smoke. Here is a verbatim(ish) account of something one of the panel said on the BBC’s ‘Question Time’ the other night…
“It’s terrible the way this thing has happened.” (Applause.) “It’s an absolute, appalling disgrace.” (Applause.) “Here we are living in the fifth largest economy and this shame is all around us.” (Applause.) “This should not happen in the 21st century.” (Applause.) “Of course the fault lies at their doorstep.” (Applause.) “And I for one am so passionately against it that I am saying all these inflammatory words to condemn it.” (Applause.) “It has to stop NOW!” (Applause, cheers and one or two empathetic orgasms.)
Good stuff, isn’t it? The kind of monologue that could launch or secure a political career and be used by the banner carriers of many a good and varied cause. The trouble is, below the veneer of concerned passion is a massive serving of fuck all. There are plenty of statements telling us that there is a problem and that it needs solving pretty damned quickly, yet not one syllable suggesting how it should or could be done. But the thing that really gets on my tits is that there are people willing to clap this valueless bollocks, like moronic sea lions begging for fish, as if the required response is to be merely in agreement with the speaker’s empty vocals to make everything okay. “They’re right, you know, this really is a shitty state of affairs.”
I think world poverty is a disgusting sin considering the wealth there is in the collective economies of the world. Everyone should be happy…no, they have the right to be happy. I literally weep tears of snow thinking about how unfair it is that the icecaps are melting, it’s that sad to me that I’ve considered not watching ‘Frozen’ ever again. Everything is terrible and something should be done about all of it. (If you applauded any of those statements, punch yourself in the face now.)
How piss easy it is to make a stand about something without having the slightest clue what to do to stop or change whatever the something is you’re really upset about? (And frequently on the behalf of less fortunate, and often nameless, ‘others’ it seems.) I suggest any prick can do that. The harder option is make a move, not a stand. It always takes balls of brass, or fallopian tubes of ferrite, to suggest or demonstrate how things could be improved; to face possible ridicule or resistance or failure…but that’s exactly what is needed. It doesn’t even matter if the ideas turn out to be wrong as long as there are ideas or thoughts or dialogue or actions in process because sometime, somehow an answer will be found. History has proved that to be the case repeatedly. No one has ever moved forward making a stand….maybe if they’re making a hat stand but we’re being silly now.
Let’s look at the following quartet of concerns I have recognised and the logical answers to them I have cleverly constructed; a masterclass of how problem solving should be done.
1 – I find some young children highly annoying for many reasons ranging from them being violent juvenile brats to the fact that some of them appear to think they are my equal, can treat me as such and expect such treatment in return; I request the fruit of people’s loins be locked in a soundproof room for the duration of my presence at any venue. Problem, solution.
2 – Dogs fouling public parks is stomach churning and I am sick of digging shit out of the tread of my trainers with a stick every time I take a healthy walk; I suggest we have squadrons of automated armed drones patrolling the skies over our greenbelt to summarily execute anyone who does not pick their dog’s turds up. Problem, solution.
3 – Motorcyclists are in a minority of road users and unjustifiably targeted in a disproportionate manner when it comes to speeding fines, this is bigotry and should be stamped out; thus all speed cameras will be recalibrated to ignore any vehicle with three wheels or less. (This does not include cyclists who will be fined for being cyclists to make up the financial shortfall – no one, not even other cyclists, sees the reason for having cyclists.) Problem, solution.
4 – The ice caps are melting and sea levels are rising and (a bonus ‘problem, solution’ here) those rising seas are being choked in a stranglehold of discarded plastic; what we do is collect all the plastic and reuse it to heat-shrink the ice caps with an impermeable film so even if they do melt the water is safely contained…ab-so-lute fuck-ing genius. Problem, solution; you’re welcome, Gaia.
I’m sure one, two at most, of you might not agree with my suggestions, you have the right to be misguided, but at least you can’t accuse me of highlighting an issue I see as wrong or unjust, thus in need of a solving, and then not giving you a solution. I wasn’t waiting for your approval for a vacuous emotional splurge without a suggested resolution, I laid out my plans and gave you good reason to give your support via the medium of applause. That is how it should be done.
We have the power, literally in our hands, to show those who spout platitudes without substance that we demand more from them; that they are not contributing to the solving of the problems merely emphasising them for their own public image of supposedly giving a toss or for another selfish gain that might not seem obvious but, be assured, it is there. Next time a sincere looking wanker says something like ‘…the icebergs are innocent…’ or ‘…we can’t carry on like this…’ or ‘…it’s time something was done about…’ DO NOT CLAP. Leave them hanging in silence, looking like a meerkat desperately scanning the room for the lion of approval it was expecting. If you feel the undeniable urge to respond, do so verbally; shouting out something like: “And how do you propose we do that, smart-arse?” It’s time we make the buggers who are in charge, for that is who they claim they are, explain how they are going to help solve what it is they are so upset about. Passing the buck like a game of moral ping-pong will not cut it anymore, give us some fucking solutions.
If a bloke parked his car on your face and then jumped out to express in great detail how so very, very upset he was about the situation, how it caused him to have sleepless nights and that his deep-seated empathy was burning so hot he felt it in his very soul that something should be done; wouldn’t you prefer it if he shut the fuck up, moved his car and called an ambulance? Having said that, your hands are free, maybe you would feel the urge to give him a round of applause for making such a pretty speech; if that is the case I hope some passing trucker parks his eighteen wheel rig on your legs too. Dickhead.
You can clap at this point, I fully deserve it.
(Clapping emoji/emojis – apparently the plural is unclear – in the comments section are acceptable but buying my book from Amazon, ‘Sif Rants – One Man’s Stand Against a World Made Mostly of Mad’, is the preferred method of appreciation.)