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By Fiona MacGregor
What is the point in complaining about stuff, shopping, and Steven Fry when everything’s shit?
Other people are probably one of the worst things about everything. They’re everywhere – even when you slope off to seek solace in your own miserable company, they’re staring nonchalantly out at you from grainy, over-exposed profile pictures with all their edgy, sexy friends. They’re on the news, being all clever and wrong about stuff. Or worse still, they’re near you, being all ugly and boring.
What’s the deal with places as well? Take the place where you live. It’s too warm occasionally, and sometimes filthy or poorly decorated. And if it’s not doing that it’s too far away from somewhere you want to be, or too close to that guy outside who’s making an annoying noise with a banjo. This wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the concept of ‘things being in the way’ – for instance chairs, or other objects. You can look at pictures of nicer places, sure, but it’s hard to get to them and if you do sometimes you’ll discover that they have a strange smell. Farms are a good example. And to look at the pictures you might have to touch a magazine. These are made of an unpleasant shiny material and contain advertisements for horrible things which you don’t want like Yakult, and if you’re particularly unlucky there might be a picture of a big insect or Jeremy Clarkson.
On some days, the things which happen can be surprising, downright astonishing, as well as perhaps bland and predictable. It is hard to decide which of these is least desirable, and this task in itself is quite tedious. Things which happen also inflict a variety of effects on you, which can be emotional like rage, or physical like queasiness. Needless to say, these can be quite unpleasant.
I’m going to talk about food, but rest assured that in your immediate surroundings there is an abundance of sources of distaste, which you are welcome to reflect on when you have exhausted all other less-useful occupations. Food sometimes tastes nice but this pleasure is directly negated by the resulting displeasure of becoming unappealingly large and insecure. People also might say you’re greedy if you eat too much, which is insulting. Insults are useful for directing aggression towards people whom you would secretly prefer to be, but the downside is that they can also be directed towards yourself by others. Examples include adjectives like “butters”, directed towards your physical appearance, and nouns like “twat”, which indicate your disagreeable character. Both types can be quite damaging to self-esteem, if you have some to begin with.
If your life’s going well, you are probably strong-jawed and wealthy, and therefore hollow and embittering. You can’t win.