Part of me wants to break down barriers, set people free and make the world a better place. A bigger part of me wants to sit on the sofa, drink tea and play through old Nintendo games.
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30/08/07 : Room 101
I'm not going to tag anyone with this - it's probably something that's been done before anyway - but if anyone wants to have a go, the rules are simple: select 5-10 things that really annoy you then write a bit about why you think they should be consigned to Room 101. Try to have a mixture of serious and not, and avoid obvious things like "murderers and rapists". Here is my selection.
1. Religion. Millions of people trying to restrict the freedoms of others, arguing about what their version of god wants us all to do, killing each other and stuff ... and the thing is, yeah, god doesn't actually exist . . . (this statement usually prompts the response "but you can't disprove there's a god", resulting in me having to point out that I don't have to disprove something that hasn't actually been proven in the first place).
2. Text/chatroom speak. I prefer reading properly constructed sentences rather than strange, almost newspeak-like abbreviations and phrases. The acronyms irritate me too, partly because they tend to be ridiculous exaggerations - I mean, when someone writes ROFLMAO I'm pretty sure they're not actually rolling around on the floor in hysterics. And LOL - laugh out loud - which seems to end every sentence - is just a replacement for the exclamation mark. Which is two characters shorter!
3. Straight across fringes.
Pretty girl, spoilt.
Actually, I think the reason that I don't like this is the fact that it chops the head in half, in a kind of "Look, this section is my hair, that section is my face" way. The first time I saw Sarah she had a straight across fringe and I had to check with someone else as to whether she was a babe or not (she was).
4. Possibly the worst noise in the world is electronic dance music - the type that consists of a fast four-beat bass drum with deeply irritating noises over the top - being played by a neighbour in the middle of the night with the bass turned right up.
When it comes to actual music though, it's country music that annoys me the most. Partly it's the actual sound, particularly the pedal steel guitar whining away in the background. Mostly it's the almost clever way in which depressing lyrics are added to sickly sweet tunes.
5. The Daily Mail. Why do I hate this paper so much? Well . . . it's the hysterical reporting from the floodgates. The spreading of moral panic. Exaggerating "society's ills" then putting the blame on any group of people they find "distasteful". Immigrants for example, who are all potential terrorists and should be sent back to where they came from. Or teenage single mothers, who are all scroungers that deliberately get pregnant because they know they will be provided for and who should have their benefits stopped because that will stop them all having sex in the first place apart from the ones who still do it but they can starve on the streets or perhaps we should build Victorian-style workhouses for them . . .
Basically, it's written for middle aged, middle class, compassionlessly conservative, progress hating right-wing bigots. People who like to start sentences with "bring back" - followed with things that liberal society should be glad to be rid of (hanging, public flogging, national service ...)
6. This might seem petty, but it annoys me when I read something and find the word "there" where it should be "their" or "they're". As the three words mean completely different things, it shows that the person who wrote it just bunged in a word that sounded right without really understanding what they were saying.
It also irritates me when things are repeated to emphasise a point that doesn't need emphasising. "One, single solitary bean" for example. Either there was one bean, or there were a different number of beans. You can't make it "more definitely" one bean by adding two other words that also mean one! I call this the "danger hazard" syndrome, after once seeing a notice being placed by a spillage on a shop floor stating "DANGER! HAZARD!" - so, that means "be careful, because there is something to be careful of"?
7. Aubergines. I once came across some in a pasta dish and, if I hadn't have known otherwise, I would have thought that someone had chopped up a slug and thrown it in the pan. Chunks of sludge with a weird skin around it. And a whole one is even worse when cooked, resembling a giant turd. Yuck!
8. Spiders. Mention to someone that you don't like spiders and they're bound to say either "but they can't hurt you" or "they're more scared of you than you are of them". Well, duh, obviously ... but then phobias aren't rational things. When I was a kid one crawled over my face when I was half asleep in bed, which I suppose it where the fear comes from (although it's more of an extreme revulsion to the hideous creatures than fear).
A flat-mate of mine once kept a tarantula, and that was ok until one day we walked into the front room to find the lid of the spider's tank on the floor next to a sheepish looking cat. This induced a moment of quite extreme panic. We found the thing climbing up the wall, which at least made it easy to capture.