Scanning the news and other online points of interest looking for something to write about. I’ve had an uneventful day, no explosive surprises or unusual encounters to pique my interest. No adventures, revelations, or long-lost friends falling down on my doorstep. I slept off a hangover, woke feeling flu-y, listened to music and played Civilization 4. All together it makes for a dull day, and has left me with a dull, unimaginative brain. Last night I learnt the slow-cookers make incredible beef curry, and the new Robin Hood film is boring beyond belief. Tonight I’ve learnt that the Sun and the Telegraph are jumping on a pathetically prudish bandwagon to voice their uncritical support of a one-sided report criticising the NHS spending a few quid on porn for use in sperm banks. I’ve learnt that robots can manoeuvre like dragonflies, and soon we’ll all be living in San Angeles or Mega City One.
I’ve learned I don’t know whether to use learnt or learned, and I don’t know the Millibands from the Eds from the Balls (and I don’t really care). It’s hard to maintain an interest in politics between elections. There are no clear-cut definite goals (i.e. get elected), no simple plots to follow with set-up, conflict and resolution, no storyline, and no emerging victor. The day to day runnings of a country seems vague, and even someone like me who considers themselves politically minded, feels distant and unexcited. I want to be involved but I’m just not. At a guess I’d say the first step in becoming involved in politics is preparing the mind. I have my own issues that interest me (mostly secularism), but that is no preparation for the everyday things. Perhaps simply watching Question Time and Prime Minister’s Questions are good ways to start. But watching them on my own is like watching comedy on my own. I laugh out loud when I am watching with other people; the laughs are mostly inside when I watch alone. As with televised political debate. I live with my girlfriend who has no interest in politics. Watching politics with someone who is bored by it is like watching comedy with someone who says ‘I don’t get it’ after every joke.
Unfortunately watching the news no longer seems to be a viable way to learn about politics. Non-stories are all over the place; the headlines are always things like ‘Family member expresses feelings about something that happened to relative’, or ‘Someone reacts to something that someone else said’, or ‘Public figure apologises to the public for something that is none of their business’. None of these constitutes worthwhile news, and the important stuff gets buried under piling mounds of shit. So a footballer shagged someone; why should they apologise to their fans, and why do we need to know about it. People might want to know about it, but that still doesn’t make it news. News should only be things we need to know, anything else – pop stars going to prison (unimportant, gossip), Prime Minister’s calling a bigoted old woman ‘a bigot’ (unimportant, cynically-motivated), reality tv star’s sexual revelations (pointless) – should be kept out of newspapers and news programmes. Any newspaper featuring such gossip, or Rupert Murdoch-style financially-motivated political pestering, should be punished by Trading Standards for their incorrect use of the word ‘news’.
So that’s my plan. Completely change the world first, including all media outlets, and then get interested in politics, so I can change the world... before the robots take over.