Sunday, 13 October 2013

Head scratching

There are many things in modern life I totally understand and welcome. There are other things I don't understand at all. I ask myself, what is this all about? What's going on here? But I'm buggered if I know the answer. Here are just a few of the things that leave me scratching my head:

1) The obsession with celebs
2) Tattoos
3) Tongue-piercing
4) Stag and hen weekends
5) The prejudice against public services
6) Posting naked selfies on Facebook
7) Wearing a face veil
8) Having private quarrels in public
9) Personalised number plates
10) Going mental on a plane
11) Nouvelle cuisine
12) Barbecues
13) Thongs*
14) Cosmetic surgery
15) Weddings on the other side of the world
16) Gangnam
17) Letting kids run wild
18) Teeth whitening
19) Designer labels
20) Lads' mags

I'm not saying these things are wrong. I'm not saying they should be stopped (well, maybe some of them**). I simply don't understand the attraction or the need or the pay-off. Different strokes for different folks and all that. Of course if I lived in Australia, I would have to attune to 12. I mean, barbecues are compulsory, aren't they? Don't you get jailed if you refuse to have one? Or so I'm told....

* that's the underwear and not the Aussie footwear
** maybe 5,10, 17, 20?


  1. completely agree on most. Although I'll never get one, tattoos don't bother me. But I wonder if people will still be happy with their choices when they are older?

    I have no idea what a stag and hen weekend is and I'm not even clear on what you mean by public services.

    Some nouvelle cuisine is delicious. Cosmetic surgery to fix defects or repair after, say a mastectomy or car crash, seems fair enough to me. I don't actually approve of surgeries like breast augmentation that alter the cultures view of what normal should look like. I don't care about teeth whitening as long as you don't end up with weird chiclet-like teeth. But the, I'm an American and we're a little obsessive about dental care.

    Thongs are insanely uncomfortable BUT there are some form-fitting clothing where any other underwear would show. In those cases, I go commando if I can get away with it, but sometimes a thong is a necessary evil.

  2. Oh, and why are you hating on barbecues? There's some harmless fun if I ever saw it!

  3. Agent: Stag and hen weekends are wild boozy flings for the friends of an imminent bridegroom and bride.

    My gripe about nouvelle cuisine is the idea that a tiny smatter of something in the middle of a plate amounts to a meal. Sure, I have no problems with necessary reconstructive surgery.

    And I don't hate barbecues, I just don't get the attraction. What's the big deal about cooking outside?

  4. I love wearing veils, Nick. It's romantic, mysterious and hides a multitude of sins. Anyone can wear a pair of shades. Try and wear a veil in this day and age (outside a funeral) without being pulled over by the political correctness police.

    Personalized number plates are an abomination. Which won't stop me to have one should I ever deem them worth my money. What would you suggest suitable for yours truly?

    You don't get the appeal of "cooking outside"? My dear Nick, nothing whets the appetite more than fresh air and an open fire. Try it some time.It'll bring out the caveman in you.


  5. Old fogeyism much? :)

    I suppose hanging around with younger people (i.e. granddaughter is 19) gives me a different viewpoint on some of your items. But not all.

    I see the need for cosmetic surgery in the case of mutilations, accidents, etc.

    But the overall problem is with our culture that demands women be "f***able", otherwise they are invisible.

    Love barbies, I use one.

    As to exploding on a plane, well, I've been close to that point myself a few times. Flying can be very stressful.

    I need my own blog post. I'll stop now.


  6. Ursula: A bit too mysterious, methinks. If you can't see someone's face, a lot of essential communication is prevented.

    Oh, please, you must have realised by now that I haven't an ounce of caveman or masculinity in my being and I don't want any, thanks very much. And what whets my appetite is hunger and good cooking, the sort of cooking that requires a bit more than a barbecue grill.

  7. www: Old fogeyism? How very dare you. I'm all in favour of mobile phones, laptops, online banking, and all those other newly-hatched phenomena. I even like Fiona Apple and Lissie Maurus. But there are some things I simply don't connect with.

    Unfortunately the idea that women should be fuckable is not recent but goes back a very long way. Re-educating men into respecting and valuing women seems to be a lengthy and uphill task.

    Flying can be very stressful. But I wouldn't take it out on the cabin crew, they're under enough pressure as it is.

  8. Agent: Oh, I forgot to say, by public services I mean the welfare state - social services, the NHS, care of the elderly etc.

  9. Yep, totally understand(hope it's not my age)!

  10. Suburbia: I don't think it's age so much as not being fashionable. Most of this stuff is trendy and a lot of people feel more comfortable if they're following the trend. I'm still not saying that's wrong. I'm just saying these things don't float my boat.

  11. I wonder, then, why not stag and doe parties or rooster and hen parties? Here they are called bachelor and bachelorette parties. And some of the things that can happen on them would end a marriage for me before it started.

    What about picnic or cooking over a campfire? The appeal of cooking outside is that you are enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. And grilling is just another way to expands your cooking repertoire.

  12. That is a wide variety! I'd say only about half those things bug of the list being people who argue in public. I swear I run across it on a daily basis.

    Personally, I'd rather see unnaturally white teeth than yellow ones. But cosmetic surgery is over the top to me, so call me illogical.

  13. Agent: Good point. So the US equivalent is just as over-the-top?

    Yes, I like picnics but cooking over a campfire doesn't do it for me. Give me a warm and cosy kitchen-diner any time.

    Bijoux: I'm not even saying they bug me necessarily. I just don't understand the appeal.

    I agree yellow teeth are not very pleasant. Often the result of heavy smoking, I think?

  14. I was in church for Harvest Festival yesterday and there were really good refreshments afterwards, people had gone to a lot of trouble. I watched a dad patiently explaining to his sons that they could take one piece of anything they wanted, but not a plateful of any one thing because that wasn't polite to the people waiting to eat. Delightful to see the opposite to 17 being demonstrated.

  15. Z: Yes, it's encouraging when you see a parent emphasising consideration for others and not just throwing up their hands in helpless dismay!

  16. The one that peeves me most is the prejudice against public services. It really is just fashion, but in this case it has a serious effect.

    By the way did you delete a post? I tried to comment on something on my phone, but Safari, that useless browser, doesn't support Blogger so it didn't work.

  17. Jenny: I think a lot of people who knock public services really haven't thought through the personal consequences of things like the NHS being relentlessly starved of staff and funds.

    No, I haven't deleted any post. The only things I delete are duplicate comments and spam. I know Blogger can be a bit temperamental....

  18. Yes, I'd agree with lots of those. I'd add the firm belief that all policemen and politicians are crooked.

  19. Apart from number 18
    I am in full and complete agreement with you

  20. Liz: Do you mean it's a widespread belief you don't understand, or a widespread belief you share? Presumably the first....

    John: Goodness, I'm flattered! So I take it your teeth are so shining white they blind everyone in the immediate vicinity?

  21. I saw an Irish comedian once making fun of Americans and their (our) fixation on having white, straight teeth. Imitating an American accent he smiled hugely and said, "Bowling is what we do in between trips to the dentist!"

  22. Agent: I don't think I quite get that. What's the significance of bowling exactly?

  23. And I can add a few more to the list with which I identify too. On top will be the modern phenomenon of a group of people together, but each focused on a hand held device.

  24. Beats me. He must have encountered bowling leagues while he was here?

  25. Ramana: Absolutely. Why bother to go out together if you're going to spend half your time texting someone else?

    Agent: Ah, so bowling is a classic American pastime? And he sees the typical American as obsessed with bowling and getting dental work?

  26. In between getting their toothypegth whitened, they thmash bowling ballth into their gleamerth at the end of the alleyth.

    But thongs, c'mon Nick! What can pothibly hate thongs? Altogether now...
    Thing. Thing a thong. Make it simple...

    Handy for flothing too.

  27. Paul: Who can hate thongs? Well, the women who have to wear them, I guess. Sexy maybe, a smooth pants line maybe, but anything but comfortable.