the baggy trousered misanthropist

missives issued from the lair

 

Given the response to his club’s tweeted status last weekend, you might have expected Cristiano Ronaldo’s entourage would be keeping a closer eye than usual on statements about their charge emerging into the public domain. Cristiano is used to golden breezes caressing his bronze and chiselled cheek so the harsh blowback from the press and social media over Juventus ‘great professional’ comments will have chapped his face quite badly.

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I’ve just realised how mentally ill I was in my twenties. Not via the conventional channel of therapy, upon which I’m frantically paddling after waves of mental health, but by listening to a podcast about serial killers and an old Oasis B side.

The human brain is a very complex organ, y’know.

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My Monster. Yesterday.

My subconscious is definitely smarter than I am. Unfettered by me, it would probably have passed loads more exams than I did, gone to uni, been a proper person, made good contacts and given itself the best possible run at a career in writing.

My subconscious had it easy though. It was able to see life clearly, assess it and identify a sensible, well lit path for it to follow to the required destination. Sign posted and everything.

I emerged onto that same path in the midst of a fistfight with a foe I wouldn’t get a good look at until I was in my early thirties. Every step I took, every decision I made was critiqued by this relentless, petty creature, who liked to lounge on my back and critique my progress, desperate for a misstep so it could remind me how the whole thing was my own fault because I was crap.

Reader? Anxiety. Anxiety? Reader.

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Some books are bad. Not in a Mein Kampf sort of way, although there’s plenty of that about. In this case I mean the ‘if my parents catch me reading this trash, some non-specific unholiness will envelope my family and I’ll be ostracised from the community’ way.

In my early teens, these books were generally located on my Gran’s bookshelf.

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r/Braincels, earlier today.

No one cared about Incels when they were just writing shit on the internet. We all care about Incels now because a man called Alek Minassian committed an atrocity in Toronto, someone looked at his internet history (which is basically the first thing journalists and writers do while normal people are still in shock) and found a Facebook shoutout referencing Elliot Rodger.

The net effect of this is to make us feel incredible anger towards a group of people that claims it only exists because ‘normal’ society has already excluded them.

For reference, Incel is a term reportedly coined by an individual called Alana “as a name for an online support forum for singles, basically a lonely hearts club”.

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Do you remember what you were doing when you first saw This Life? Did you discover it when they did the reboot in 2007? Find the DVD box set in a charity shop? An 8mm film in your Nan’s attic?

Or like me, were you drunk on life (and copious amounts of cider) in 1996, distractedly tapping your fingers on the night bus bell as it might somehow speed up your journey to your room in your parents’ house where the latest episode would be waiting for you on VHS, probably with the beginning or end missing?

Or both.

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My tablets aren’t working.

A bold, self-conscious step into the fray that followed Johann Hari’s contention that the drugs don’t work? Or indeed the same into reports of research showing that they do?

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We’re having a conversation about sex at the moment. Not so much the great British tradition of ‘who’s doing it to who’ (although that continues unabated) but more how people arrive at the point of ‘doing it’ and others asserting their right to be in that conversation.

I could tell you all about it here, but Rachel Parris did such a good job on The Mash Report a few weeks ago, I’ll just leave it to her.

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