2 + 2 = 5.

youre-wrongOh boy it’s been a while, just taking a break from preparing a quiz to try my hand at another round of aimless anger and fruitless, fickle frustration (funny how procrastinating seems to bring out the best of my alliterative skills).

How’s 2014 going for everyone so far, good? Stuck to your goals? Had new experiences? I hope you all have, because the A.I. (me, the Angry Indian, not that Spielberg film with Haley Joel Osment that no one seems to remember these days) is back with another tequila shot of reality to chuck in your eye when you’re least expecting it. What’s that I hear you ask, what can you possibly be angry about now? Well, allow me to explain…

The Internet is a cesspit of opinion, a veritable Sodom of misinformation, a Gommorah of fanboyism, a Scunthorpe of political squabbling and misogynistic rhetoric that would make Don Draper wince. This is common knowledge, or so I hope, there can’t be many people out there that are completely naive to the shittier parts of the world wide web (except those who live on the Daily Mail website in a cosy cocoon of crochet and celebrity…c-word). However, during my recent travels across the vast plains of connection, from the constantly warring console factions inhabiting IGN, to the latte sipping self-congratulatory liberal utopia of The Guardian, the murky depths of Facebook to the gleaming white spires of Reddit, I have noticed something new and worrying from atop my noble steed of HP (he’s called HAL, guess why); everyone has an opinion, and everyone is wrong.

It is sad that we’ve approached the point as a species where we’re all constantly wrong, all the time. The amount of wrongness we exhibit is surely a matter of deep concern for the animal kingdom, the Gorilla UN is at this moment very likely debating the prospect of a pre-emptive strike on humanity just so that we can stop fucking stuff up for the rest of the planet all the time. Our wrongness stems not from moral concerns, but rather it’s relativistic, everything we do will be wrong in someone’s eyes. Right now I’m eating a positively delicious mushroom and cheese toastie, I think it’s great, people who hate mushrooms will not. Ergo, to them, I am wrong.

So all we need to do now is extrapolate that a little, every choice you make or action you take is bound to be wrong according to someone somewhere, and therefore we are all wrong. That’s just the start of it, after probing a little deeper (cheeky) I have decided that the problem is even more endemic and just a tad too Mary Whitehouse-y, everyone these days is just too easily offended. You can’t go a day without hearing about someone getting angry about something that really isn’t worth getting angry about (you may scream bloody irony, but like I said, we’re all wrong), people will honestly find a way to complain about everything. Here’s an example, I’m a fairly regular reader of the Guardian, and just after Daft Punk announced their new album the comments section was all aflutter with people hailing the imminent return of “real music” after years of Taylor Swift and her bubblegum ear rape. I’m fine with this, I bloody love Daft Punk, but as soon as it came out and people had listened to it the backlash began. I saw one comment, and I shit you not, the person’s reason for calling the album “shite” and “self-indulgent” was because it wasn’t what they were expected.

It is more than a bit concerning to think that people are at the stage at which they’ll pass something off completely, no debate of merit or not, just because it’s not what they’re expecting. I experienced a similar situation when I saw articles about Gravity, half of the comments on any website were “Looks like lots of CG, nothing special, Sandra Bullock is rubbish, blah blah blah Blue is the Warmest blah,” when in reality it is a good film. If they had said this after watching it and had some valid reasons, fine, but this was off a bloody trailer, a little rectangular youtube player that could only go up to 480p for some reason and made everything look like it was filmed through a thin layer of vaseline. Offence and opinion seem to go hand in hand when really they’re nowhere near alike, just because you don’t agree with something doesn’t mean you need to get all weird when someone else does. Jeez.

So, as always, what is the solution to all this misery? Quite simple really, everyone just needs to grow the fuck up. It’s time to stop being so prissy and pernickety and just let things go, be more open, embrace the je ne sais quoi, stop speaking random bits of French like a tool but don’t get pissed off at those that do. As a hugely opinionated person (I’m told since birth by some), I have faced an enormous struggle in getting myself to the stage at which I can happily listen to some Earl Sweatshirt with my Lamb of God, or just as easily enjoy 2001: A Space Odyssey as well as Pacific Rim. Compromise is never easy, but it’s worth it just so you don’t have to be an utter dick to everyone you meet, as I once was, and I dare say that I’m marginally happier for it.

We don’t have to be wrong all the time, and we probably will never be right either, but I see nothing wrong with settling into the big, squishy expanse of “okay” in the middle.

“Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.”
― Leo Tolstoy, A Confession

Oh shit wait, no I don’t see nothing wrong with it, have an opinion people, or otherwise things would just be boring as hell. Wow, what’s wrong with me? A “squishy expanse of okay,” fucking hell, shocking. Here’s a far better quote to end on.

“Take sides! Always take sides! You will sometimes be wrong – but the man who refuses to take sides must always be wrong.”
―Robert A. Heinlein, Double Star

XOXO, The Always Opinionated Indian.


New Year’s Revolution


Bon soir, and welcome to 2014, which will hopefully be a hell of a lot better than the blood soaked, money drained, icon killing clusterfuck that was 2013. As is common during the first week or so of a new year, many people will be attempting to come up with some changes they can make to better themselves. Or worsen themselves. Depending on your perspective. 

This year however, I won’t be joining in this time honoured tradition, because I’ve finally realised that resolutions are doomed to fail, always. Why put yourself through the pain of disappointment when you will inevitably cave and devour a whole bag of Cool Original Dorito’s when you can just drop the pretence and pig out? 

According to that noble bastion of all things bullshit, The Daily Mail (hail Satan), the top three New Year’s resolutions among residents of the UK are:

1. Lose weight

2. Get fit

3. Eat more healthy

Seeing as 1 and 3 together essentially make 2, it’s easy to see why I’m a bit jaded at the whole concept, there never is a deep and meaningful change that someone can make within a year (the rest of the list includes wonderfully vague gems likes “Read more” (more what, the fucking Mail?), and “Get out of a rut,” that would be me, now, getting off the DM website). So what’s the use?

An unfulfilled resolution is basically a masochistic version of the drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket, screaming insults at yourself only to lose it and blow your brains out in a bathroom a few weeks later. It’s arguably even worse when you make your resolution public, then everyone else can join in the shaming and turn the whole sordid affair into a bukkake of judgment and tear stained Ryvita minis, watching you choke on your carrot and beetroot smoothie as they walk past fellating an éclair with a look that says “I don’t give a flying fuck, and look how happy I am.” 

This year, I’m saving my cheer, saving it for a change that I really want to make. Right now I’m past caring about my double chin, or my rapidly growing belly (fat guys are more fun to cuddle ladies), or even the fact that I’m a cynical judgmental pillock to everyone but those I deem worthy of my niceness. My resolution is not to have any resolutions, to stop having expectations of myself and others, to let life take its merry course and deal with whatever ruinous bank it dumps me on.

The simple fact is this, dear reader, life is just too short and too fucked to spend it endlessly fretting over calories and measuring your waist every day in case you may have perchance lost an inch. Life is for living, be it good or bad, for taking everything as it comes and letting how you act define who you are, not subjecting yourself to drunken whims and distant wishes. 

I understand that this does sound weirdly out of character for me, normally I’m the (self-confessed) voice of reason, but something has twigged inside that has led to this outpouring of manly introspectiveness. It might be the fact that I’m growing more pensive in my old age, because I’m more scared than excited for my year abroad, perhaps because I watched the beautiful Italian film La Grande Bellezza the other day and its message has sunk in to some deep, uncharted depth. I honestly don’t know.

But fear not, though I (and surely at least one other person) may be of the persuasion that arbitrary annual goal setting is a fruitless endeavour, there are others out there with the necessary determination to see it through, and I applaud them. Hopefully for every cynic like me there are a dozen do-ers, achievers who will stop at nothing to reach their aim. These are the Sir Edmund Hilary’s of the Mt. Everest of Weightwatchers, the bathysphere Triestes of the Mariana Trench that is the gym, and though I may never expect to join their ranks, to wait arms open for success, I, like everyone, can dream.

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

T.E. Lawrence

XOXO, The New Indian.