“Don’t be such a Square!” or should that be cube…

First blog post I have done in a while, I’ll try and make it a little bit different.

There’s been a story recently revolving around where the Star Wars franchise is heading and what is to be done with it. If you pay attention to news of the film industry a lot like I do then you’ll have heard that they have secured a director for the new Star Wars in the form of J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Cloverfield etc.). I have no doubts about Abrams being director, I loved what he has done to Star Trek and I think he could work his magic and really do something great with the franchise, and show audiences that not all modern Star Wars films are rubbish. Yes that was an option. No I won’t elaborate. For the time being it’ll suffice to say I think the older Star Wars films were master pieces, the new ones (prequels) were a big let down. Enough said. For now.

Anyway the latest news was whether or not the other Star Wars films were going to be re-released in 3D, which thankfully they’ve confirmed won’t be happening (much to our favour) but it did have me thinking about what is so appealing about 3D. Now I’ve only seen two films in 3D; Avatar and Toy Story 3. Avatar wasn’t as good as everybody made it out to be and Toy Story 3 was an absolutely amazing work of art, but in Toy Story’s case it wasn’t because of the 3D. I enjoyed Toy Story 3 because of the messages it had behind it and because of the sheer entertainment value it has. Avatar was in 3D but it didn’t make me enjoy the film any more than if it were 2D. The idea of 3D is to make you feel more involved with the film so you have a better connection with it, which was absolutely not the case. If anything it made more withdrawn from the film, I was distracted, I felt dizzy, it was not an enjoyable film experience. So why then, did I have to pay near enough double the usual admission fee? Food for thought.

And thanks to craze from Avatar the idea of 3D has picked up massively in two different ways; films being made specifically for 3D, and films being re-released in 3D. Both of which I feel very strongly about.

The first is the idea of films being made specifically for 3D, which makes me angry because it shows how far our expectations for modern films have declined. It’s not only encouraging film makers to make awful actions films with lots of explosions, wooden acting and no substance, it’s allowing them to make such films with the knowledge secured that it will make money because people will still pay to see them. A specific example I can give is Piranha 3DD (yes double D) for which I saw the trailer and a couple of reviews, it appears to be as terrible as the title suggests and yet it still took money. How? People should have seen the title and avoided it like the plague, instead of risking it and sitting through such rubbish. It just goes to show what film makers will do nowadays to get money, and it shows what we really do with 3D. Some film makers need to take advice off of Christopher Nolan, he’s made some of the best films of our generation such as Inception and The Dark Knight Rises. Were they in 3D? No, of course they weren’t, Christopher Nolan proved that you can make a big and bold film that is a huge success without it being in 3D and he has my up most respect.

On a side note, in the news towards the end of last year Skyfall made it is the highest earning film at the British Box Office of all time. It beat the combined total of Avatar in 2D and 3D. I thought this was brilliant, not only because it was a Bond film, but because it proved yet again you can make an amazing film that is entertaining and with depth without being 3D. Complete and utter genius.

The second is the one that really gets on my nerves, taking a film that was perfectly alright in the first place and re-releasing it in 3D. Some examples? Lion King, Titanic and the latest one Monsters Inc. Titanic I’m not too fussed about, I can appreciate that it’s a very well made film and James Cameron did a stunning job with it, it’s just not my cup of tea and we all know how James Cameron feels about 3D. The one that really annoyed me to the point of me swearing at the cinema website when I saw it; Lion King 3D. I know some of you will be questioning how I can be so passionate over a film. Easily. The Lion King is one of my favourite films, it is a big part of my childhood and I think it is beautiful and a complete master piece. So to see it fitted to 3D just to squeeze money out of cinema audiences is near enough a crime for me. They attempted to reel us in to something we already loved and cherished in the first place. If a youngster who missed out on the Lion King first time around wants to see it they should do what I did; dig out the VHS.

It’s only going to get worse from here, we’ve already seen the release and rising interest in 3D televisions. Which is a completely ludicrous idea that is aimed at the people stupid enough to buy them. Honestly now what is the appeal of owning a 3D television? Who is so bored with their lives that the only way to feel satisfied is to have everyday television like The News at 10 or Countdown in their living room with them? The idea of Saturday Kitchen is that it’s in the studio, not in your actual kitchen. It’s just a way of squeezing money out of the public for an experience that is scarcely worth it. It is like having the choice to buy a regular car, or pay extra to have the exact same car but with a fifth wheel fitted. You don’t need the fifth wheel, so why would you pay extra for it? To anyone that feels like they need a 3D television to feel entertained or satisfied I have one piece of advice: switch off the box and read a bloody good book!

I’ll leave you with a quote from Mark Kermode, the famous film critic who feels just as strongly about 3D as I do. In his round up of 2011’s worst films, Lion King 3D made it as number ten for many reasons and I love the quote because of how spot on it is and it’s raw honesty. Feel free to leave comments about what you make of 3D, I’d love to read what others have to say. Until the next time all I can say is au revoir, and choose carefully the next time you visit the big screen.

“Did it need to be in 3D? Did the circle of life need to become the sphere of life? No, we didn’t need to be drawn in to those wonderful landscapes, we were drawn in already” – Mark Kermode, 2011.

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How the times have changed.

Haven’t posted an entry for a while now, apologies to those who enjoy them, and further apologies to those who don’t; I’m back. However this isn’t going to be a negative post as such, and for a change it’s not a rant. 

This post has been inspired by a song I was listening to earlier today entitled “Photosynthesis” by Frank Turner. For those who haven’t heard it the idea behind it is staying young while the world passes by and others get old. This had me thinking about how much I’ve changed since I was younger and just how much my aspirations have been altered. It is with this that I present to you Eleven things I wanted to be when I was younger

1. A Tree – I was five years old, and had no understanding of the biological barriers that would have to be conquered to achieve this goal. My mind was focusing more on the idea of being really tall and having birds for friends. 

2. A Space Ranger – Toy Story had a huge influence on me as a child and is responsible for many of my different career aspirations, but this one is understandable. You get a Lazer, you get a cool outfit, you get to fly (or fall with style depending on your perspective) and you get to go into space. If only this position was real. 

3. Cowboy – Woody was basically a hero for me in my younger years and his position was more realistic than Buzz Lightyear’s. However it soon dawned on me how silly I would look prancing around Thatcham on a horse with a stetson on. Next. 

4. A Soldier – yet again this was Toy Story’s fault, the little army men made it look a lot easier than it actually is. Although they clearly had a hard time, I imagine being stood on my Andy’s mum was very traumatic.

5. Footballer – It was basically what every boy wanted to be from my primary school and to most of them it was a reasonable choice, but not me. I changed the game completely for my classmates; frequently catching the ball by mistake, falling over the ball with my two left feet, and touching the ball with my face more than my feet. It didn’t quite work out. 

6. Fireman – The bravery, the excitement, the sense of adventure, what could go wrong? I had a fear of heights making ladders a challenge and anything hotter than a British summer annoys me. 

7. Rock Star – Perfect job for a young lad like me. Except I couldn’t play an instrument and my voice was more suited to a rural Church than Reading Festival. I was more Aled Jones than AC DC. So it was more “back to the drawing board” than “Back in Black” for little Lester,  

8. Geography Teacher – What can I say? I was talented with colouring pencils and a prit stick.  

9. Archaeologist – Indiana Jones was the ideal scenario. Tony Robinson was the actual scenario. 

10. Book Writer – My ideas were very imaginative and I was even willing to do the illustrations for them, but I had an even bigger talent for getting half way through a story and realising I didn’t have a clue where it was going. 

11. The Doctor (Doctor Who) – again, I didn’t really understand the biological factors that made this near enough impossible. Also my Tardis was a red push bike. Doesn’t quite have the same affect to it, other than the dodgy brakes sounded roughly like the Tardis if timed correctly. 

Upon reflection all of those ideas seem daft and somewhat entertaining but at the time they seemed plausible. This leads me to think that perhaps the aspirations I have at the moment follow the same principle. Will I look back in ten years time and chuckle like I am now? I hope not. 

Bob Dylan was right in saying the times are changing, and it’s only when I really think about it I actually consider how much I have changed as person. I would like to consider myself as still quite young, but with my long winded thinking sessions and the opinions of a grumpy old man it doesn’t feel like I’ll stay young for very long. I am still just a big kid on the inside and I would like to keep it that way.

It was with that thought I leave you with the chorus lines from the song that inspired this entry.

“I won’t sit down, and I won’t shut up, and most of all I will not grow up!”  

Band Shirts – What is wrong with our generation?

Someone asked me today if I was ever going to post about something in a positive nature, which i was going to…until I was reminded of something that I literally cannot stand.

As the title states there is something that is wrong with our generation, and it is a problem I come across on a daily basis and it is frankly very annoying. I’m referring to those who purchase and furthermore wear t-shirts with a band logo sprawled across the front of it, but without actually knowing or indeed appreciating the music.

Sounds like a stupid concept when somebody says it out loud, but as we all know it’s even worse when somebody puts it into practice. I constantly see amazing and influential bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Ramones, The Beatles and Guns’n’Roses splattered across the shirts of young teenagers, posing like a six year old with a camera combined with a duck who somehow managed to find hair extensions. It wouldn’t bother me, if they actually knew who the bands were, and appreciated their music. But they don’t know them. And they don’t appreciate them. So these bands have masterfully molded themselves to the industry with their iconic music, all to be hollowed out like a Turkey at Christmas, and used as part of these idiots’ image to look “cool”. It’s like taking everything a band has ever stood for and binning it, leaving a hollowed out shell of an image that they can exploit to get likes on their profile picture. Which for fans of these bands, such as myself, it’s very offensive.

It just goes to show how much image means to the youngsters of the today, that they are willing to use the image of a classical band without actually appreciating the strong messages and significance behind their work in order to look cool. However it’s not fair for me to place the blame  solely on young people because I know there are people of my age that still do so. Yes that’s right folks, there are people taking their A Levels who would happily buy a Guns’n’Roses shirt but not know who Slash is, or buy a Rolling Stones shirt thinking their logo and name was a fashion brand (both of which are unfortunately true examples).

But it gets worse still, looking through shops recently I found that there are pink shirts with the Rolling Stones name and logo slapped on the front of them, for eight year old girls. Now I’m sorry, but do the designers of these products think that a child who prances around their bedroom dancing and singing to Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj, will have even heard of Mick Jagger or Ronnie Wood? No. So they need to stop.

Of course I’m not complaining about those who do have a genuine knowledge of classic music and appreciate it because they’re not in the wrong. I mean when I was fourteen I had AC DC and Led Zeppelin blasting through my headphone every waking moment. This rant is specifically aimed at those who don’t know who the bands are. You the know the ones who wear a Rolling Stones shirt in their profile picture and yet on their likes list under ‘music’ is artists like Justin Bieber. I don’t know the technical term for them but their is a popular word used to describe them. I won’t say what it is but it’ll suffice to say it’s a derogatory term for the female reproductive system.

It’s interesting actually, a friend of mine once raised a rather thought provoking point; should there be a test on the band that has to be passed before the person can purchase the item? Admittedly it does sound a little extreme, but if you do question someone with a band t shirt on that you’re a bit suspicious of, the answer is usually golden. For example asking someone with a Rolling Stones shirt “Do you know who Mick Jagger is?” and they reply with no. Now call me pedantic or picky, but I’m sorry, you cannot say you like  the Stones but then not know who Jagger is. He is one of the most iconic front men for a band and has been performing for fifty years now. In the words of Stewie Griffin “Educate yourself fool”.

The cream is put on top of the cake for me however, when somebody goes to buy either a Slash or Jimi Hendrix t shirt, without knowing that either of them are guitarists. Now that is stupidity on a high level, and even more stupidly those are both true examples as well. Examples of people who make walking out into the the middle of the road very tempting. And those clever people who wear Nirvana shirts without knowing Kurt Cobain was in Nirvana. Painful.

If these people want to use the image of a band to look cool, then I’m sure KISS are more than happy for them to circle their image like hungry Vultures, it’s pretty much what the band was designed for. It’s a rock band that has merchandise that expands into a Hello Kitty section, they’re basically inviting childish and immature people to buy their items.

I am yet to see one of these silly people with a Bob Dylan t shirt on, but the day it happens will be the day I loose my faith in our generation entirely. Because it will show me that the work he did and everything he ever stood for has been brushed under the sofa to make way for those who just want to look cool. Which is near enough a crime considering what an absolute legend he is and how inspiring his songs are. I hope no one attempts to take away how symbolic he is.

To close this post I would just like to say, if you ever see someone of a young age with band t shirt on, go up to them an question them. There are only two questions needed. 1. “do you actually know who that band are?” and 2. “do you still have the receipt for that?”.

 

What has happened to the human race? The 60s seemed better.

This isn’t going to be a short and snappy rant, but it is definitely going to be somewhat of a moan. It is concerning a certain pop star who has recently caused a bit of a stir on Twitter. Which of course is Justin Bieber. Now I’m not going to insult him because I am above that and I’m not going to defend him because of the allegations, but I am going to tell the truth from my perspective.

For those of you who were lucky enough not to see this monstrosity of an event I shall explain. Basically due to the revealing of Mr Bieber being caught supposedly taking drugs his fans proceeded to tweet pictures of them self harming under the hash tag “#cut4bieber” because either they feel sorry for him, or they are offended because of what has become of their idol. Now I’m not offending any people who do self harm because I know it is a very sensitive topic and not one to be made a joke of, so apologies in advance if anyone misinterprets my opinions. I assure you my sympathy goes out to those who do have a problem with self harming. I’m afraid this will not be a quick post, but I will attempt to throw some light on the situation by explaining three points that will hopefully prove to be food for thought, as they were for me.

1. It has been well established on many occasions that Justin Bieber is a very successful artist and has risen to fame somewhat over the past couple of years. This also enlightens us to the amount of money he has earned through his career, which I am told is a substantial amount. This leads me to beg the question; why would he be unhappy with his life or be suffering? His fans took pity on him because he has supposedly snapped and resorted to drugs to make him happier. Now I’m sorry but someone who has had a career like his and has as much money as he has cannot have a life that is even slightly bad. Someone who has a large amount of money coming out of every orifice in his body doesn’t seem like someone who would be unhappy. I understand some celebrities have cracked under the pressure of a celebrity lifestyle, but they’re not usually the ones who have opportunities handed to them on a plate. And also for someone who is so successful, why do his fans always want him to be portrayed as the victim? He has supposedly done something wrong, which either way was part of his life choice. Deal with it.

2. As the title states the 60s were better for dealing with this kind of situation, because musicians and artists could take drugs and it wouldn’t cause such a disgusting uproar as the events of yesterday. I am in no one approving the use of drugs on a daily basis, it’s just in the 60s people had a better way of dealing with these issues. Take the Rolling Stones for example. If Mick Jagger or Keith Richards were found in possession of drugs, their fans wouldn’t be loading up their six shooters or sharpening their knives, they would just accept that it happened and accept that it’s part of the artist’s choices. They wouldn’t start an unnatural spin of self harm just to show their emotions about the artists or start protests that are equally controversial. If they did want to express their views then there are clearly better ways to do so. Then again, if the Stones fans did react in the same way they wouldn’t have any skin left.

3. Just a quick point that most people will understand, posting things on social networking sites that are deliberately aimed at celebrities does not mean a response will be gained from them. I’m not sure what the people who actually took part in this little exercise were trying to achieve, but the result was far from positive. Posting a message directed towards a celebrity is not the best way to present your opinion on a particular subject. I hope people such as those who were involved in the trend realise that there are better ways to present their thoughts. HINT do what I did, start a blog.

Most people I know including myself were disgusted by this little stunt because it did give a bad name for teenagers and people who are fans of the artist. Also it seemed like it was making those who genuinely have an issue based around self harming feel terrible, because it was taking something that they have a problem with and making people form negative opinions on it (such as it’s mostly teenagers over reacting, or it’s not a real problem because they bring it on themselves). Just because some individuals took their duties as a “fan girl” a little too fair, it doesn’t mean our opinions should change on those who do actually need help.

It was a disgusting idea to take a story from the news and take it completely the wrong way so that it is blown out of all proportion. I’m sure the artist would have explained his side perfectly well if he was given half a chance. But instead his fans decided to use it as an excuse to make him seem like the victim, and join him in his emotional torment. Shame on them. My opinion on those who used this little stunt in a negative way cannot be posted fully however, because a lawsuit of some kind is sure to follow it.

As I have said before I do not want anyone to feel offended by this post, it was merely me stating points that were thought provoking in my mind. If anyone is offended then I am truly sorry and if you talk to me about it then I will apologise to you directly.

It is with a heavy heart I say that I was heavily disappointed with many people yesterday and I hope that is something that is not repeated in the future.

Right, so where was I?

I may as well continue with my post from yesterday about reality t.v. and all of the delights it doesn’t have to offer. If you read that post you’ll know that towards the end I started to rant about this Rylan character who has emerged (not victoriously) from the latest series of The X Factor. Just as all of my anger for this pathetic excuse for human was vented into yesterday’s post, I look on Twitter and see his name plastered all over my homepage. Why’s that I hear you say? Because he’s just entered the Big Brother house. Oh good.

It may be an absolutely terrible situation because he’s an awful person going on an even worse show, but it illustrates my point so clearly; he is a not a celebrity or talented in any form.

If he was a celebrity and had talent then his career would be soaring, he would have job offers being thrown at him left-right-and-center. He would not be signing himself up for what is essentially career cancer. Celebrity Big Brother is for the needy. It’s for those people who are so desperate to see their name planted on the television screen, they are willing to loose all of their credibility and kill any chance of a future in the television industry. But the funny thing is, it’s usually something that comes later in a career, when someone’s fame has lost all of it’s power, five years down the line Celebrity Big Brother is the perfect plug socket for them to recharge the batteries.

Rylan has signed up for it without the fall in his career first. That’s because he doesn’t have a career.

He is a failed singer/ entertainer who is now willing to be watched by the masses 24/7 in order to become famous. Yes he’s so desperate he is willing to let the general public witness him annoy the other housemates, embarrass himself during tasks before finally having an emotional break down resulting in an unhealthy addiction to mars bars and self esteem problems. Knowing our luck he’ll have a book sorted by the time he’s out of the house. Maybe it will be just as good as his Mentor’s book. ‘Being Jordan’ by Katie Price is one of the best pieces of literature of the modern age, it really helped me to fill a gap in my life. By gap I mean it was successful at propping the door open in the summer. That’s all the uses it has.

But oh no wait, the contestants have already said “it’s about the experience not the fame” which just shows their stupidity further because they are either terrible liars or people who genuinely want to participate in that shambolic mess of a show, and Rylan is a prime example of one of those people. It is safe to say he is an idiot, and not just any kind of idiot, a desperate one too. One that the broadcasters can exploit to get viewers while the participant has one last bash at fame and glory.

The sad thing is the people who go on the show do actually achieve fame, but luckily for the wrong reasons. They don’t become known as the brilliant entertainer, or the amazing singer, instead they become known as the one who took their top off, covered themselves in porridge whilst badly singing “Pappa don’t preach” like a Yorkshire Terrier. How very credible.

Now I like to structure my arguments and try my best to include a “however” section, which is difficult in this case. It would require me to have a little think about how much more there is to the show and what positives there are to the concept.

I did. There aren’t any.

So when the endless complaints flood in about how terrible it is, and how annoying it is, the only people that are to blame is yourselves if you watch the show. You encourage the making of this program by watching it in the first place. Being one viewer out of several million is your participation is encouraging them to do more. Shame on you.

Unless you’re like me of course and realise if there’s nothing decent on the television to watch, there is always a good book to be read instead. In which case I wish you well for the future, while the reality t.v. obsessives of our nation have to be prized of their television sets using a spatula, to wipe their dribble off the screen as a way of preventing any electrical accidents from occurring.

God help us all.

The Victorian freak show didn’t leave.

Yes it’s been established so many times before that this is 2013. 2012 is over, it’s fresh start, a new beginning, a chance to change for the better! Yes granted, but there are still some things that will never change or maybe in fact get worse. That little niggle that remains constant. That little scab that gets brushed off before the wound can finally heal. If you hadn’t guessed from these hints and the title I’m talking about reality television.

This entry has been inspired by the latest atrocity to the reality tv family entitled ‘That dog can dance’. That’s right folks, we’ve become so desperate for entertainment that we have to bring animals in to the equation just keep the smile on our faces and money in Simon Cowell’s pocket. Genius.

Just as the X Factor had finally finished and we thought we were in the clear, that awful excuse for a television show had to appear on screen. I’ve heard the comments about it saying “It was terrible, but thank god it was just a one off”but they’re too optimistic, it doesn’t even deserve a one off, it deserves to be put out of it’s misery before it even reaches the pilot stages. If you need an explanation of what a pilot is I refer you of course to the speech made by Samuel L Jackson in Pulp Fiction. It does a better job of explaining than I do.

Writing this reminded me of an article I read the other day about reality tv. Apparently there is genuinely a program where women compete to win nose jobs and liposuction before the day of their weddings. Which made me feel sick to the pit of my stomach. As if regular reality t.v. shows were bad enough, they had to turn it up to eleven and make one that is truly unnatural. It is shows such as this that make me lose faith in the human race. If the future generation our country has in store, is filled with people who enjoy watching this show, good luck finding a reasonable applicant for the future PM. In fact good luck finding someone who can spell PM.

The only thing worse than the reality tv shows  such as The X Factor that are being offloaded like black market meat, is the fact that people still watch them and encourage them. The viewing figures are what basically whisper in Simon Cowell’s ear saying “Go on, make another series!” because inevitably of course he is the one sat holding all of the Aces, he decides what is what and who will become famous. I’m sorry to those who are under the assumption that the winners are the best contestants but they’re not. They’re the ones who will make Cowell the most money.

There was a brilliant quote from The Hunger Games last year that came from the character of Gale (played by Liam Hemsworth) who said “What if they did it? Just one year. What if everyone stopped watching?”. I think that is brilliant because it is basically what the situation is; the public has the power to stop these shows being made, but do we use it? No. Of course we don’t. We would rather see a desperate 46 year old man who still lives with his parents and believes he can sing like David Bowie. Aren’t we clever.

So they’re churning out winner after winner who each get their five minutes of glory  before being pushed to the bottom of the Z List where they remain until four years time when they release their “Greatist hits”. Which incidentally is what annoyed me recently, because I didn’t watch this series of the X Factor, I’ve avoided it like the plague for four years now, but I still heard about this Rylan person. So I was looking down iTunes the other day and saw that a new album has been released by this moron entitled “Greatest hits”. Which is a complete load of rubbish. Why has he gotten a record deal? And furthermore why is it entitled his greatest hits? they’re not even his songs! He needs to have some hits first before he can sort through what his greatest ones are! In fact anybody who gets famous through a reality talent show needs to show their so called “talent” and actually write their own songs.

Why has Rylan become famous with a record deal? Because Katie Price has become his friend and thrown him a life line. That sums it up really. Tweedle dum and Tweedle stupid right there.

So for those who breath a sigh of relief as the Victorian Freak Show closes off, don’t get too carried away because it’s just doing a lap of the block. It’ll be back before you know it, with even more torturous shows to plague our screens. What’s next? “Celebrity Bikini Wax”?, “That cat can tell jokes”?, “That coma patient can dance badly if we poke them with a tazer”? I can’t wait to see how humans are exploited next.

Happy New Year to us.

Spiders. Not from Mars unfortunately

Spur the moment post that was inspired by a rather odd series of events.

A friend of mine has a spider in her room that is tormenting her, which is very odd considering it is January and very very cold. She is struggling to deal with it and it could be the start of something serious. It is because of this I present to you my top 15 ways to deal with a spider (in no particular order)

1. “accidentally” drop a book on them

2. Build them a house of Lego and the destroy the house with them inside

3. put them on the edge of a toilet and flick them in whilst shouting “This is Sparta!” (or replace Sparta with your current location)

4. Attack with various pieces of stationary, such as pencils, rules etc.

5. use an elastic band to catapult skittles at them

6. drop a Bible on them and say “God works in mysterious ways”

7. throw a toothpick at them as a spear

8. put them in a remote control car and some how cause an accident that wasn’t their fault (no claims available)

9. place them next to a lamp but “accidentally” leave for too long – better known as the ‘sunbed incident’

10. dare them to sky dive off of a curb but don’t supply them with string or an adequate parachute

11. set your phone to vibrate, place next to the spider and then ring it – better known as the ‘earthquake’

12. attack with flip flops

13. Make them listen to “Voodoo Child” by Jimi Hendrix until their mind is blown

14. hold in front of a fan and then let go

15. Place them in a mosh pit and let nature take it’s course

Please leave a comment to say which is your favourite method.

Or least favourite for that matter, I’m not too fussed.

New Year Sales? No thanks.

As we wave goodbye to 2012 all of the delights and aspirations of 2013 are welcomed gracefully, the first of which comes in the form of the new year sales. The opportunity to buy items you want/need at a price that is considerably lower than normal, all to make your life easier and make you happy. Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? That’s because it is.

Now forgive me in advance because this is going to be somewhat of a rant so if you don’t enjoy reading the moans of a pessimist I advise to wait for my next post.

Long story short I went into town today to get some things, but didn’t take into consideration how many annoying people there would be. I’ll refrain from going into specifics but I’ve managed to narrow down the four types of people I’ve encountered frequently today who have made me unhappy in some form. The list is as follows: ‘Blockers’, ‘Smokers’, ‘Shouters’ and ‘Project Leaders’. To the uninitiated these terms are meaningless, allow me if you will to explain.

Firstly we’ve got ‘Blockers’, now these are the people who stop to talk, or stop to look, or just stop altogether in inappropriate places. What do I mean by inappropriate places? I mean places like doorways to shops so anyone that wants to continue on their way has to either awkwardly squeeze past or wait until the ‘blocker’s’ business has reached a conclusion. The specific example I can give you from my experiences, is a man and woman who decided to stop and chat in the main entrance to a building, so everybody else had to squeeze in awkwardly one by one. Or the kind gentleman who decided to suddenly stop when I was walking behind him in a shop, so I could either nudge into him awkwardly or quickly turn and act interested in the nearest item on shelf. So when he finally decided to turn around he caught a glimpse of me looking at dance workout dvds. Brilliant.

Secondly we’ve got ‘Smokers’, which is less general than it sounds because it is reserved specifically for people who walk very slowly in front of you puffing away like the Flying Scotsman, creating a rather annoying smell and polluting the air I have to breath in. Lots of coughing and a mild headache is the resulting affect of these inconsiderate people. Also from this there are the ‘Smokers’ who will just happily blow smoke in my face as I walk past, instead of trying to contain it and wait to exhale at a more appropriate time. Thanks.

Now thirdly we have ‘Shouters’ who are less common but still annoying, these are the people who will stand in a shop and talk in a very loud voice, informing the entire shop (if not street) of their choices of what socks to buy, or what film to rent or whatever it is they feel is so important they must share with us all. They might as well just borrow the tannoy system so that we can all stay updated on whether or not the jumper they have is too dark a shade of blue. Oh go away.

And finally we have the ‘Project Leaders’ who are even less common than ‘Shouters’ but annoying nonetheless. These are the women who bring their boyfriends into a clothes store and bombard them with clothes that the boyfriend doesn’t necessarily want, but she thinks will be cool. They use these poor men as something of a project (hence their title) that they carry out for the entire shop to hear. So the boyfriends are bundled with shirts they don’t like, hats they don’t need, and trousers that wouldn’t even been worn by a Victorian grandmother. Oh, and while this continues it means blocking the fitting rooms for a long period of time so others can’t use them. Happy me.

I can’t complain entirely though because not all people are like this, but they do exist either way. But the day wasn’t all that bad and thankfully I did manage to buy the items i required, so minus the hassle I went home not filled totally with hatred.

I hope I’ve managed to enlighten you as to who to avoid whilst shopping and provided you with something of a spotter’s guide to these people, but above all I hope I haven’t bored you half to death.