A damp rag.
We do however have Jessica Valenti. Every day, a new horror, or alternatively, a new breakthrough. Although I don't mean to pick on Valenti, more writers whom are hired or worse, expound constantly for nothing on a single, deadening topic. Last week women were no longer expected to be virginal, which is a wonderful triumph, something I imagined was fairly self-evident considering it's long been far more shameful to be a virgin rather than not, and the culture of the moment seems to dictate the more bare flesh you display the more successful you are, but there you go. The next day, "sexual assault [is] infecting our every institution and town", which is a scourge. I also don't mean to pick on feminism, more those where the record is always the same, the topic never changed, a problem never solved or even close to getting somewhere positive, but always requiring more action. I don't doubt Valenti has a lovely, well-rounded personality; surely though this monetary monomania requires that you can't switch off, or at least not fully or for more than a few hours.
Yes, I realise I bang on about much the same topics here, and have been for way too long. You could say they're all interconnected and interdependent, so they're pretty much the same one too. You might even have a point. I've never claimed to be anything other than a colossal hypocrite. You can't have clean hands when you're all in the same plague pit, whether you try to be holier than thou and claim to be above all the other keyboard batterers out there or not. My point, if I still have one, is that as much as you might think about something, and I think about everything and certain things in particular way too much, to actually write it all down is something different. Some people it might help, I don't know.
As well as being a direct reference to a Chuck Palahniuk short story, I originally named this blog Obsolete both in reference to how my politics seemed to be and still are, but also down to how I've felt like my whole approach to life and who I am is redundant in this age. I despise the falsity of everything, something epitomised by the apparent harmlessness of the ice bucket challenge. It's not just that once you've seen one person drench themselves in cold water you've seen them all, requiring even less creativity than the fucking Harlem Shake craze did, it's that charity can no longer be a quiet thing you do for all the right reasons, rather one that requires the attention of the entire world and has to be passed on. If it was more unpleasant than just cooled liquid it would help too, but celebrities only ever eat rats' cocks if they're the ones being paid or they really will do anything for the attention. It's also just self-promotion in disguise, being a good sport, rather than a damp rag. I've always rather liked damp rags.
I don't then give a shit about social media in any shape or form, just as Twitter doesn't about you, or your asymmetrical haircut. I don't care about Lena Dunham or any of these other anointed chroniclers of now, a now I don't recognise, a now which of course puts poor little rich people centre stage. I can only laugh when the police urge the public to call them if they're worried about an "aspiring" terrorist, both words utterly perverted and corrupted by politics, conjuring up an image of jihadis who want more from life, like buying their own home to cook hydrogen peroxide up in. I just sigh as we hear the same tunes from all concerned on this "new" threat, a media which has to reduce everything to a cartoon, moving on from the "white widow" to "jihadi John", alongside the demands for the entire justice system to be inverted. I wonder about the point of it all when Israel and the Palestinians reach much the same agreement as they did three years previous, nothing changed except for the extinguishing of thousands of lives. Anyone would think both sides need each other more than they do their supporters. I'd like to snicker at Hopi Sen reaching for the "Stop the World coalition" moniker in his latest hand-wringing demand for bombing somewhere, setting out oh so rationally why doing nothing isn't the answer, even when doing nothing is the opposite of what we've done, but this particular joke isn't funny any more, especially when John Gray is also resorting to it.
There are a mess of contradictions at work here. I prize anonymity while pining for the same attention I denounce others for wanting. This very piece couldn't exist if it wasn't for all the above. I need it as much as I loathe it, guilty of the same thing I criticise Jessica Valenti and the single issue campaigners for. The other day I was attacking Russell Brand and others for writing about themselves by proxy. Something I would never do. Obviously.