I’m going to preface this post by saying if you were hoping for something funny, light-hearted or uplifting today, you might want to stop reading now, because this is not going to be pretty.
Ladies and gentlemen, I took over this blog from Jim almost a month ago, and since then I’ve written about bankruptcy, homophobia, religious intolerance, and far too many celebrity deaths. I’ve exposed elements of Jim’s back story and tried desperately to keep track of his progress across continents and oceans. I’ve provided you, the valued reader, with hours of entertainment and thought-provoking fodder for booze fueled conversation that lasts to the wee hours of the morning. I have done all these things for the love of writing, for the desire to effect positive change in the world, and because I owed Jim a pretty major favour.
But you know something? I’m burned out.
It’s true. There’s only so long you can troll the internet seeking interesting and relevant subject matter before you begin to realize that the World Wide Web is little more than a vast wasteland populated by backwards redneck cousin-impregnating bigots,
pock-faced overweight nerds with no hope of losing their virginity even if they sell it to the lowest bidder on eBay,
lunatic shut-ins firm in the belief that the World Trade Center attacks were the work of bobble-headed aliens from Planet X bent upon world domination,
vengeful religious nutters of all denominations convinced their God’s penis is bigger than your God’s penis,
attention-starved teenagers who view bad haircuts and self-inflicted superficial scars as fashion statements,
devious salespeople who flood our emails with promises of bigger breasts if we send our credit card information to disenfranchised Nigerians,
and an endless parade of uninspired music and mediocre porn.
Ever wonder why my blog posts only go up towards the end of the day? It’s because I have to root through this shit for literally hours before I find something of note or worth that isn’t pandering to the public interest or leaping on a band wagon. And I have to tell you folks – if you were anywhere near as plugged-in as I am to this hideous excuse for a modern culture we like to call home, you would almost certainly be cultivating the same cocktail of nausea, crippling fear and white-hot rage against the human machine I’ve been quietly tending for the last twenty-five years (but particularly in the last five weeks).
It’s a question of two steps forward, one step back. For every thoughtful, conscientious internet personality I encounter who genuinely wants to make a positive difference in the world, I read about a dozen articles like this one that never fails to remind me how faulty the wiring of the average human brain in 2009 can be. Granted, it’s not a new phenomenon – people have been raping, pillaging and killing their way across the globe since time immemorial:
but I can’t help but feel as though things are actually getting worse. It’s disheartening to say the least when I open up Digg and all I see are the postings of hypocritical environmental doomsayers,
news bytes abounding with suicide and imaginative murder,
fetishism of totally inconsequential celebrity news,
and uploaded videos of people getting kicked in the nuts.
Okay, the last one doesn’t bother me so much. Everybody needs a good laugh now and again, and few things are funnier than an old-fashioned bollock-kicking. But I digress.
I guess the question it leaves me with is – what the hell is wrong with us? I’m hardly the first person to make this observation, but the way our culture consumes food, mind-altering substances, sex and violence, we’re bearing more and more in common with this guy:
with every digital update we receive. In Western culture food is a widely-worshiped cult object despite half of it being genetically buggered-with or composed entirely of sodium and transfat,
alcohol and drugs are legitimate pastimes the abuse of which is glorified and promoted,
sex has become such a saturated topic that people resort to unbelievably imaginative aides to “spice up” what they perceive to be a bland, pedestrian activity (but don’t tell the kids),
and rampant violence is high entertainment considered fun for the whole family!
I genuinely have no idea how we’ve advanced this far as a race, and some days I get home, pour a sizeable whiskey and pray to whatever deity will listen for the asteroid that will wipe the slate clean and give old Mother Nature another spin at the roulette wheel.
Bearing all this in mind I’d like you all to take a moment to pay a wee bit of tribute to me. Yeah, to me. Why? Because thanks to this blog, you don’t have to invest your time reading depressing stories of death and tit-slips to find the stuff worth reading. You don’t have to interpret it through a veil of cynicism and desperate humour to make it palatable. You can just click on your doubtless-bookmarked State of Affairs link and rest easy with the knowledge that Alex James is on the job, bringing you the best of the worst, mixing the medicine with the spoonful of caustic sugar, and then letting you get on with your day. I am the point-man, ladies and gentlemen, and I will now accept your applause, adoration, and booze donations.
Or, you know, hate mail. That works too.