Wednesday, 24 December 2014

A Last Gasp of Madness for 2014.

Most folk know that Christmas can be something of a magnifier for things that are otherwise dormant for months and years. As people desperately rush around trying to prepare, tempers fray and frustration builds - and for what exactly? The shops are heaving with people manically pawing at goods, wondering if they'll be adequate enough to sate the seemingly desperate needs of family and friends. Cards are placed reverently on the desks of work colleagues who under normal circumstance wouldn't be pissed on if they were on fire while family members you detest are welcomed with open arms even although it'll be more moan moan moan than ho ho ho.
I feel queasy.
Meanwhile, round the giant fibre optic Christmas tree, children's faces glow with the expectation of material gain while parents fret over the payday loan they had to take to finance it all. Later, when they've finished scraping the kids of the ceiling, they'll weep silently into the small print and wonder how the actual fuck they ended up this way.

Oh my... I feel... Uurgh...
At least they have the dubious pleasure of having kids and company on this the most glorious day of the year for there are thousands who'll be sitting in alone also wondering how the fuck they ended up that way. With little to look forward to except a ready meal for one and a constant barrage of American made-for-TV feel-good schmaltz delivered by unbearably cocky shiny-faced robot children and their pastel-shaded adult minders. Sitting with the lights off while a kaleidoscope of TV colour plays across that third bottle of wine they promised themselves -because no other bugger is there - they wouldn't open.

Ah Christmas, its here again...

Anyway, I digress.

That last gasp of madness takes the form of this.
From the Edinburgh Evening News.
Just so we all know where we stand with this; I don't really care about flags - but I do care about hypocrisy & double standards; plus, who doesn't like highlighting a spot of good old fashioned fuckwittery from time to time.

Those two flags have prosaically flown above Dunbar Town House for the past seven years and no one gave a toss - the purpose was and presumably still is to symbolise a well remembered link between the town and its most famous son (John Muir) who moved to America and persuaded presidents there to create the US National Parks service in order to preserve wild spaces.

But hold on, community council member Gill Wilson backed the decision to swap the Saltire out with a Union Flag - she lectured:
 “So much has been said about whether we should fly the Scottish flag or the Union flag that really I could write a book about it. 
“I’m English and I feel the Union flag should fly because we haven’t separated. There wasn't a Yes vote in the referendum."
Presumably mistaking the referendum result as a dissolution of the country known as Scotland, she went on to sputter:
“It’s just so petty, it’s really not funny. It’s political, and community councils shouldn't be political.”
Hud the bus Gill; you're the one backing the change. The flags have been up there for years and no bugger said a thing about it until presumably you or someone like you decided the No vote meant you could be a colonist instead of a settler.

John Muir as a boy on Dunbar High Street - although not literally you understand; that's a statue.
It would be easy to become quite exercised by this, but you know how town councils are. You get one or two good people who genuinely care about the community, then you get those who are guilted or press-ganged into attending. Then you have the person my Mum always describes with the words; thurs' aeways yin.* 

This person hides behind the mantra 'I'm doing it for the community' when what they really mean is 'doing it for the kudos'. A pain-in-the-arse jobsworth who is unable to tell the difference between selflessness and selfishness - someone who after only minutes spent in their company you realise is a complete nutter. Everyone thinks this person is an arsehole, at each meeting they all hope this will be the gathering were someone snaps and tells this one hated individual to fuck off. 

I should say, I'm not suggesting Gill Wilson is that person, nope, not for a second.

Its also a bit moot, anyone familiar with Dunbar has to know a Union Flag won't last long - not because its a hotbed of nationalism mind but because there are several pubs along the High Street. Those hostelries will no doubt be well used at this most festive time of year - possibly by persons black-mailed in to attending town council meetings - forced to listen to that one arsehole droning on about the font used for the meeting's agenda and who always has an infinite supply of A.O.B.

Going back to the original digression, while its true to say I'm no fan of Christmas, I hope yours goes well. Its been a hell of a year and I hope for more fun & games in 2015. There might be another blog before New Year (I know, try to contain yourself) but it really depends on whether I open that fourth bottle of wine - I might need another ready meal for one to cushion the alcoholic blow...

* If anyone knows how to spell that, let me know - I could find no written record of the phrase. 


  1. To be entirely honest, I loathe Christmas. Everything about it is false.

    From years ago when I started buying my own presents, and had to suffer the rush around the shops, trying to fit everything into my limited budget, it seemed to me like it was such a waste of everyone’s time and money.

    Getting presents from people who absolutely loathe you doesn’t fool anyone. Giving them is a waste of money that could be better used.

    But over the years I’ve worked in “quartiers désherités” and I’ve watched as people struggled with pay day loans and loans from those folk that come round your door in poor areas… just to pay for a couple of days, which in the end no one much enjoys.

    I’ve heard them complain that they haven’t paid off last year’s loan yet, but have to take out a new loan, and for what?

    Do they believe in Christmas? Do they believe in Jesus’s birth? Because for 90% and more, it’s nothing to do with that. It’s about corporate greed.

    And you’re right. Some people, lonely, alone, poor, old, whatever, have a rotten life at the best of times, and in the middle of winter with every tv, radio, paper telling us all to be merry and have a good time, is it any wonder that they are even more unhappy, suicidal even, around now.

    We can’t stop it of course. Bug business needs us to spend spend spend at this time of the year. The government isn’t ever going to discourage it. The power of advertising. Most people hate it, yet, they say they are looking forward to it, because to do otherwise makes you sound like “Scrooge”.

    Someone on one of the blogs on my blog roll (a food bank manager) compared the Christmas that we see in the ads (busy shopping street, little shops with Victorian feel, perfect turkey and beautiful veg, happy children opening wrapped gifts, happy old folk looking on with warm smiles, mother in the kitchen all dressed up and with make up on)… with the reality of British High Streets being full of phone shops, betting shops, charity shops and pound shops, and most Christmas shopping being done in supermarkets, mother struggling over undercooked or overcooked turkey, soggy Brussels, children getting cross because they been up to long, grandparents sleeping, and father pissed.)

    But still every year people expect it to be wonderful. We are promised it will be by people who want us to spend 10% of our annual income on it.

    And then there’s all these people criticising that someone has dared to call it Wintermass or whatever, presumably in order not to offend a person of another faith, or none… (90% of us), utterly ignorant of the fact that the Church hitched Christmas to the pagan festivals of the winter solstice … and seemingly having never read in the Bible that Christ scattered the tables of money dealers trying to operate within the temple… (ie people making money out of religion.)

    Oh irony!

    Rant over. Enjoy that 4th bottle.

  2. Totally agree Tris - its an opera of fakery on a grand scale. People mock me when I say I hate it - I don't get called scrooge so much as grinch.

    The thing is, I'm not actually joking; it is shit - for all the reason you point out and because there is not much that is more condescending than being told to enjoy something you hate by some bubbly overcompensating screaming-on-the-inside half wit.

    This year I swapped presents most probably for the last time with one parent and received a sinister threat from my only sibling.

    Our xmas's look nothing like the crap in the adverts on the telly either, but I appreciate my reality probably wouldn't be an adequate vehicle for selling their tat to the masses.

    Other than that, its been fine.


  3. Paul

    Merry Christmas, sorry couldn't resist. Must admit Christmas is normally a time I enjoy as I have my Mum and brothers over for the day at the same time and some friends sometimes and that is all good. This year I was not looking forward to it at all but it has been ok.

    I don't do debt at Christmas at all and never have, if I don't have the money then I can't afford it and it's that simple but I appreciate that many don't share that view and will get themselves in deep this year, like any other year, and for those people they have bought into the whole commercial bullshit. I am a Christian so there is a religious element for myself but I also see it as a chance to be thankful for my family and I enjoy that.

    However, there are many alone at this time of year as Tris noted and for many of them this is a horrible time of the year not helped by the shit we are served up everywhere. Her Maj Christmas day bullshit and her trolls attending Church where they won't even walk past the spirit of Christmas. It's just their photo call to ensure they keep their opulent benefits system. They make me sick and while I avoid seeing any of it like the plague the good EBC will show it for months to keep those on Benefit Street in their place. The whole thing stinks to high water and many just put up with it or give it little thought when in fact they should despise everything it stands for.

    Anyway shitty year over all and glad to see the back of it. Next year brings opportunities and I hope that the voters of Scotland take advantage this time or I will just give up and be Mr Selfish, because you can only take stupid and ignorant for so long.

    Have a good holiday where possible.


  4. Hey Bruce.

    Aye, agree with that. And you're right about the royals and their daft maneuverings on Xmas day. I cannot comprehend why any one still gives a fuck about what the queen thinks.

    I think the coming year will be interesting from a political pov, can;t speak for other aspects of it - we just have to take it as it comes.

    Have a good one.



Thanks for comment as always and I apologise if you have to jump through any hoops to do so. Its just that, I'm still being spammed by organisations who are certain I can't get it up or when it is up its not big enough or that I don't have anyone to get it up for.

Who knew blogging could be so bad for ones self-confidence?