4 Nov 2012

Post 374: An important lesson and I know I’m a hypocrite

If you're saying 'who the fuff is that? It will emerge.

One of the things that has stung a bit was when someone had a go at me because this blog was a bit ‘moany’. Well, who doesn’t get fed up with complaining twats? It would be a bit hypocritical and beyond ironic to complain about complaining – I know I’ve done it before! I have tried pretty hard all my life to not be a hypocrite but I’m afraid I haven’t practised what I’ve preached since my stroke. I think I’ve expected people to judge me totally on my brain, not what I look and sound like and I realise I don’t even do that myself, I have tried harder (like really hard) to make decisions about people based more on who they are and what they say! I’ve always tried to be openminded and fair, however, to always be 100% openminded and fair you seem to need to have energy so I’m sure I have cut corners in weighing up individuals in the last seven years. People who are not willing to make an effort are those who I am most angry at. Making an effort can take many forms. People who don’t communicate like adults (ie don’t spell or punctuate correctly and aren’t dyslexic) are quite a good example, or those who clearly don’t bother to stay in touch, this makes me lose faith in humanity. This is broken record territory so I’ll u-turn from this particular cul-de-sac. I like viewpoints that are not afraid to rise above the tide of effluvium that is political correctness and the sort of ‘right on’ leftie (ironic that) trendy proto-feminist Guardianista politics (spouted by both sexes)

that seem to have infected a lot of people who I thought knew better; It makes me worry that I am and have been a useless judge of character all my life and it’s gotten worse. It reminds me of one of the most valuable pieces of advice I have ever been given, by a trainee psychologist (at the time) called Patrick in Putney hospital (I believe he’s now called Dr McKnight), and the context he was addressing was my extreme fear at choosing carers/housekeepers and living outside the comparative safety of hospital in about 2007. As an essentially defenceless person, I was fretting about two strangers who I wouldn’t know living in my house who I relied upon to survive that I wasn’t going to have perfect information about, in much the same way I couldn’t possibly have realised that the college I chose (incidentally as the result of a coin toss) would mean I’d meet so many like minded friends who’d stay loyal even after I ceased to be a properly functioning human. In essence, what Patrick was saying was don’t sweat over information you’re never going to get. Make the decision based on the information you have and don’t worry about anything else – it’ll achieve nothing. Basically, use the 80/20 rule and don’t think twice about it. Have a bit of confidence in yourself that you have done the best you can. This worked just fine until my last carers were a blip. Shit happens. He was essentially telling me to use 80/20.
I compel people to use it if they don’t already. I don’t care if you think it’s clichéd. Half the stuff I do is probably clichéd in some shape or form. It will remove so much worry from your life
The 80/20 Rule means that in anything a few things(20 percent) are vital and many things(80 percent) are trivial.
This is literally the dictionary (well, Wikipedia) definition. Now, my last few jobs before I was disabled flooded me with unintelligible management Jargon but JL had a particular gift for creating ‘three letter acronyms’ or TLAs, my particular bogey was MLS or ‘Mid Level Signage’, now every buyer under the sun believed that increasing the information they gave to customers about the ‘stuff’ they sold would increase their sales but no-one wants to see a shop or anywhere crowded with signage so how did it get regulated? Well, as it happens, I never found out, having this damn stroke intervened. There was a lot of ‘who shouts the loudest gets the most’. It was often pretty Darwinian. If you learnt to ignore the trivial 80% but pay special attention to the other 20%, you’d pretty much get it right and as in any job the better you got at it, the better your 80/20 filter became, as no-one is an expert at living (think about it, anyone who thinks they’re a living expert can just piss off. The best you can hope for is to be prepared to take onboard little bits of advice hither and thither, it’s why I have a counsellor and why I haven’t given up always looking for people to talk to even if I find talking pretty damn exhausting these days, I think we all just prefer listening, and the chap who I went to listen to this week , (in fact twice because of a slight administrative mix-up) It was just as well, because like all really good comedians, you’re too busy laughing to remember what you’re laughing about but his, he was called Simon Evans incidentally

deconstruction (demolition more like) of football and John Terry was spectacular. Basically Football exists to make sure the underclasses are effectively coraled in out of town holding pens so they can shout abuse at people who are just like them but wearing different colour shirts for a few hours once or twice a week, thus allowing the rest of us to get on with life safe in the knowledge that we’re not going to get assaulted, this will also get a lot of their natural aggression and fear of other living creatures out, ‘everyone’s a winner’. Things were going fine until middle-class people with little real interest and no right to be there decided they needed something else to talk about, seeing the extortionate cost of attending a game they thought ‘this must be good’, the middle-classes infiltrated football, driving a lot of the underclass back into pubs on the high-street, completely defeating the object! Now, as you can see, this isn’t a PC viewpoint, but it’s not a nasty and offensive one – which is my kind of viewpoint (ie not the nasty and offensive one)! Doubtless, some middle-class bleeding heart will puff out their chest and be ‘outraged on behalf of the underclass who surprise, surprise, don’t give a shit. One of his other sharp observations was how wrong the modern philosophy of ‘if you have kids, all your plans should probably be completely binned because ‘what’s best for ‘little Johnny’ is what matters’, ‘little Johnny might not be the #1 priority! Shock horror! Outrage, burn the heretic!
Now it is empirically obvious that Children are the future, that is tautologous. Does that mean we essentially have to spoil our lives for them now? Well, as someone who looks unlikely to ever father any children despite the fact that passing on a neurological AVM like mine doesn’t happen, there aren’t a mob of fertile mums in waiting who want my genes despite me being in a pretty good real-world situation (ie good neighbourhood, good local schools, my finances are stable blah blah) I don’t see a queue forming. I have made overtures like ‘ wouldn’t we have good-looking and clever children? Unsurprisingly these have been flat rejected because blokes in wheelchairs aren’t anyone’s choice(we’re 2nd Class citizens basically regardless of our brains). I was going to write ‘I’m not bitter’ but I am.
Having seen what has happened to a lot of my friends I have to agree although I would assert ‘Children are for grandparents primarily’. I only have to extrapolate what my housekeepers #1 priority is, It is their grandson Grayson, it is nice that by living here they can be so close to him. It is a glorious mutually beneficial arrangement, up there with meeting Jose, I can’t point to a whole lot of good stuff since my stroke but there you have it! For 2 days a week Gary

and Gwen

look after Grayson, and the little fella (I think he’s about 18 months) is probably here two afternoons a week. I can confirm he’s definitely a human toddler but my goodness does he make Gwen and Gary happy!
Their voices go up several octaves and I swear I can almost see the sun shining out of Grayson’s arse.
I know I’ve said it a lot before, the same is true of my mother. I think to her, success in life is judged by the number of grandchildren she can easily call to hand,

so with my sister and her kids being in Connecticut, she must be a little disappointed. She has been known to talk as follows ‘[name of friend], of course she’s got [x] grandchildren living just down the road’, all I can say mum, is your non-performing son has tried and it isn’t looking good. My new focus is finding new local friends but it’s difficult. I’m still stung by not being the type of human that people can be bothered with.
It’s the unfortunate nature of a 1st person journal. It is self-indulgent shite to the max, but my efforts to come up with a decent bit of fiction are fruitless so far (FSF).
Thanks to the guys who took me to see Simon Evans this week, Ched on Tuesday,

we’re hopefully starting a Homeland and Red Wine evening next week. Ched’s wife Terri had originally suggested ‘Gossip Girl’ but that was quickly dispatched! And thanks to my schoolmate Owen for taking me to see Evans on Wednesday. Clever resonating comedy.

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