Saturday, 18 September 2010

The patter of tiny feet

Morning, you. How's the wife and kids? Or the husband and kids? Or the significant other / lesbian life partner / crippling pain of loneliness?

As is well documented, I have no 'kids' and have no desire whatsover to spawn any. Having conducted a comprehensive range of mathematical simulations, I have concluded that they would be parasitic drains on my free time, finances and sanity. Ah, you say, but what about the joy they bring? And yes, they do seem to make other people happy, albeit in a rather annoying and tunnel visioned kind of way. Fair enough, you enjoy them. Just don't ask me to hold them or pass opinion on their attractiveness. Well, not until they are at least 18.

Liars, thieves and communists tell me that I'll 'change my mind', and that once I have children I will feel differently. I'll become all paternal and not mind at all that I suddenly don't have any money, time to spend with friends or perspective on the world outside the slobbering lump of noise and farting that now occupies all my time. I just 'don't know yet', because I haven't had the 'joyous experience'.

I wouldn't mind this attitude so much if it didn't so often come with an undercurrent of pity and superiority. Because I don't want children, I am incomplete; less alive, several squares back on the Game of Life. I may be living my life, but really, what is it for? I am, in essence, just pissing around until die, and when I do die my life will have been a failure, because I didn't leave any little versions of myself behind to annoy future generations. I don't really blame those who say these things to me, though. No, like so many things, this is symptomatic of a wider ideology - one which tells us how to be normal, accepted and 'right'.

I'm not just having a whine about this because it makes me feel different. It doesn't, really, except to occasionally irritate me. I'm nearly forty, and haven't change my mind yet. If I do end up changing my mind, that will be fair enough, and I'm sure it'll be lovely. But I have a problem with an ideology which seeks to ostracise anyone not producing the requisite amount of children for everyone to coo at. Firstly, it contributes to the subtle process of 'othering' which relegates same sex couples to the position of lesser human beings. And it makes those who are struggling to conceive feel not just sadness, but sadness and failure.

Also, it reduces the idea of conception - something which should surely be a privilege, a wonder and a miracle - to the level of a 'right'. Whenever I hear that someone feels they have 'the right' to have children, I feel profoundly uncomfortable. A right? Really? How odd. I can understand someone really, really wanting a child, and I can attempt to understand how painful it might be to be denied that. But to call it 'a right' kind of smacks of entitlement and selfishness. You may say that I can't really comment, as I have put myself outside the argument, and maybe that's correct. But... a right? To create life? Something about that just doesn't sit well.

And isn't it possible that while we're trying to preserve the environment of our little world, maybe a way forward is to have fewer children for a bit? To pause in our collective rutting and desist in filling the world with carbon producing oxygen thieves. Not to stop having them altogether, but maybe just to stop thinking of them in terms of a 'must have' accoutrement to the successful life. And to stop making people who don't have them feel like lesser citizens. That would be nice too.

Anyway. Rantings about ideology and the future of the human race aside, I have something to tell you. I am not expecting a child, of course. But I have something far, far better than a child.

I have Flimbleby. Here he is. Say hello.

Flimbleby is an Adipose. He is cute, loveable and fun to be with. Even better, he does not need food, sleeps quietly at night and can be left alone while we go to the pub. He has made us ever so happy since he came into our lives a few weeks ago, and I anticipate him doing for many years to come.

I recommend you get your own Adipose, to love and to cherish. In fact, I think that, until you do get one, you should feel a gaping chasm at the centre of your soul. Until you do feel this way, I will be sending you an endless stream of pictures of him and updates on his progress. Perhaps I'll even bring him to your house and make you admire him.

I know, you don't need one, You're fine without. But I promise you this. You'll change your mind. When you get older.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

H based Star Wars trivia

Well, it's been an exciting few weeks. I went to Ireland, I didn't go to Cheltenham, I went back to work and I made a guitar go 'thraannng'. And thus I neglected to blog, of course. But now I'm back, and in greater numbers. For today, because Gav demanded it, here is some more of my comprehensive and enlightening Star Wars dictionary.


Han shoots first.

The surest sign of Lucas’ dithering descent into crapitude was his decision to change the coolest moment of Solo’s career – blasting Greedo in the nuts without warning – into a badly edited act of self defence. No matter what he did for the rest of the trilogy, it would always be viewed through a filter of namby-pamby cry-baby morality. Whereas before he came across as a super cool space cowboy who might just shoot you to see the look on your face. We can, I suppose, be thankful that we didn’t get the threatened ‘young Han’ in the prequels. No doubt we’d have learned that his dad, ‘Jim Solo’, used to beat him and that his sister was a stripper and that his only defence was blah blah blah.

Made only slightly better by the ineffectual ‘simultaneous shooting’ re-edit in the DVDs, which Just. Looked. Like. Toss.


Hot shower? Not advisable.
Or you’ll melt the bathroom
There’s probably not much to do on an evening
Hunt the Wampa, anyone?