Monday, 19 April 2010

Sheep in wolves' clothing.

Well, I am in shock. It seems the Met Office were just making up all that stuff about the volcanic ash taking down planes and the last week of no-fly-zone over most of Europe wasn't necessary at all. Those we entrust with climate change and other weatherly things, getting it wrong? Again?

You know, if I made mistakes with a fraction of the Met Office frequency and cost my clients a millionth of what the Met Office has cost theirs, I'd not only be out of business, I'd be sporting a new tar-and-feather overcoat with spikes on the inside. So how come nobody is sacked, no departments are shut, nobody is expected to do anything other than say 'Whoopsie'. Again. It's because they are immune to blame.

This culture of immunity is insidious and dangerous and potentially useful to a nasty bugger like me. It has spread into the general population. Every day I see people stepping out into traffic without a care, and it's not just the younger generations. People of all ages believe themselves indestructible now. Everyone regards themselves as the One of Ultimate Importance and the traffic will stop because they want to cross the road.

It's Teddy logic from the old black-and-white TV days. Andy Pandy and Ted were playing hide and seek. When it was Ted's turn to hide, he covered his eyes. "If I can't see Andy, then Andy can't see me" was the logic, and even as a child the lunacy of it was clear. Yet it is the same logic that many people apply to speeding lumps of steel these days. That programme should really be shown again and so should Bill and Ben the Flowerpot men. I want to know if they really did swear among the 'flobalob' language. Oh, and the Woodentops just for Spotty Dog. Still makes me laugh. Especially Mrs. Scrubbit.

In this progressive Labour world there are no consequences to being a total mindless arse. Those in high places have proved it and continue to prove it again and again and again. No matter what, there are no consequences. 'Progressive' derives from 'progress' which implies motion. It does not specify whether that motion is in the right direction. Evidently, Labour have not grasped this. As long as there is 'progress', they don't care where they are going.

Everyone is untouchable. Unless you do something a clone shouldn't do. That will get you into big trouble. Acting like you own the world is fine, but having a bit of fun is deviancy and will be punished.

Now, everyone is in a hell of a hurry, all the time, and nobody else matters to them at all. I was at Tesco earlier this evening. When I have the chance of a lift, I stock up, but I'm always out first and have to wait because shopping is not fun, it is just something I have to do like cleaning the toilet. It's unpleasant, but not doing it can result in something more unpleasant. Like running out of booze.

I finish my shopping fast despite the habit of too many people to use Tesco as a bloody social club. If you want to stop for a chat, do it without parking your trolleys like a barricade across the aisles and never, ever do it in the whisky aisle because you are in the way of the main part of my shopping. If you must stop and socialise in a supermarket, do it in the fruit and veg section. It has wider than average spacing and it's easier to get past you. There is a real social club just down the road from Tesco. Join it if you want to speak to people. Tesco is for rapid shopping, not catching up on the last fifteen years of trivia.

Tesco have stocked Lagavulin but they want £40 a bottle, so I'll wait until they realise nobody's buying it and put it on special offer. That's just a bit of incidental information.

While I was waiting, I watched a Big Issue seller at work. I didn't rush to buy because he had a Burberry cap and I thought, well, wearing a trendy cap while claiming to be poor doesn't really cut it. It looked new, too. The thing is, if you're trying to get people to approach you and reveal that they have money, then looking like a chav isn't a good idea.

He wasn't doing well. People drive those trolleys as if they are in a race. I'm going to have to get a chequered flag to wave as they pass. One woman thought it a good psychological trick to push her trolley very, very fast and straight at me in order to make me get out of the way. I stared straight into her eyes, she stopped and apologised and went around. People don't like eye contact these days. So I do it all the more. Try it, it really scares them.

I watched the poor bugger try to sell his magazines to the high-speed, phone-glued-to-ear blurs of things that shot past him. He'd taken the trouble to put them into a plastic cover, which I thought a nice touch. After a while he moved to just inside the shop doorway but out of sight of security (it's bloody cold here and I know how he felt). Still no luck.

Security. That's another thing. When did shops acquire bouncers? I seem to remember going into huge shops - if you've ever been in David Morgan's in Cardiff, which seems to span almost an entire street, you'll know what huge means - through multiple entrances and not a sniff of anyone who was at all concerned who came in or went out. Now, if I go into Homebase, there is a camera looking at me as soon as I go through the door. It's aimed at the door and here's the clever part - above the camera is an advertising screen. Look at the screen and the camera has a perfect view of your face. I have never seen what's on that screen. I've only seen it from behind and asked others what it shows. In Tesco, there is an imposing (fat and old) bouncer at a desk covered with little televisions. In case there is a fight over knee bandages when the pensioners come in a little tipsy. I shouldn't joke. A few Christmases ago, there really was a fight over the last bag of sprouts in this very store. Unbelievable.

Finally it was time to leave. That Big Issue seller had behaved perfectly despite his 'see you Jimmy' look. He had answered every 'no' politely, he had backed off when insulted, he had stayed calm against people I would have hit with a bottle (the wine, not the whisky. It might break). He tried no hard sell, he merely offered his wares and accepted that they were turned down.

So I bought one. It has Derren Brown in it. I'll read it sometime to see what the amateur psycho-tricksters are likely to try next. The seller was a decent bloke, as it turned out, apart from that silly hat.

The episode taught me more about the controlled, speedy people than about the seller who stood still. I can see how easy it is to control them. They are all selfish, spiteful and generally nasty to each other. They act as if they are, each one of them, the only tiger in the woods.

They think they are wolves when really, they are the sheep. Keep them moving fast so they don't realise and it's easy to control them. Every one of them is certain that they are the only important person on the planet and in that state of mind, they will listen to anything that starts with 'This is for YOU...'

Not for the plebs around you, but for you.

I think I can work with that.


Chris said...

You can be a scarily perceptive observer of the human condition you can Leggy, and I'm glad you're on the side of the angels (for a given value of angel).

Fellas like you are the reason God invented whisky.* If the Righteous had even half the sense of Earthlings they'd make sure you had access to the stuff by the gallon at cost or less. Thankfully they're sneaky, but a bit thick. ;)

(* Scots, world domination, etc.)

Spartan said...

The Met will continue with their inferior inept computer model and totally ignore the fact that 40 airliners have flown with no problems whatsoever, Expect more prophecies of doom from them and cont closures of airports.

ln the meantime the sheep will take it all in because 'it's for their safety' and they've been well and truly indoctrined in this over the years.

Meanwhile Russia keeps all it's airports and flights open but the MSM are seemingly oblivious to this ... maybe this ash is only EU ash and so doesn't effect Russia?

Private Widdle said...

You're dead right about the "stepping-out-into-the-traffic" thing, and the obnoxious, selfish & obstructive behaviour of supermarket shoppers.

People are generally just oblivious to everybody and everything around them. How and why has this happened? Have you noticed how the underclass females use their prams (which generally are now the size of a combine harvester) as battering rams? And then you get those jokers who march into shop doorways whilst addressing someone over their shoulders and thus barge into you? I just stand my ground. "It's all right," I say. "I'm six feet tall and sixteen stone so I'm easy to miss". One bloke waited until I'd walked another 100 yards down the street before shouting after me that I was "a sarcastic cunt".

I think a lot of this selfishness has come from the poisonous crap that is chav-telly. When the common method of discourse in "EastEnders" is the furious row, and reality TV/gameshows/whatever are pitched at such levels of hysteria with everyone screaming "Omigod I don't beleeeeve it!" at the slightest little thing, then perhaps it's not surprising that the world is begiining to fill up with solipstistic numpties.

microdave said...

Knock, knock...
Who's there?
Big Isch...
Big Isch who?
No thanks, I've already bought one....

Collects hat & coat, and proceeds towards the door.....

Leg-iron said...

Chris - it's no secret. I just do something most people have forgotten how to do. Sometimes I just stop and look around.

Spartan - I don't remember the US grounding flights when Mount St. Helens blew. In fact, I don't remember hearing about this from any eruption anywhere.

Further, when one of these things blows, isn't it usual to fly in aid?

Something smells wrong about this.

Leg-iron said...

Private Widdle - Next time, stop, turn and head back towards him. Say nothing, keep calm and expressionless.

I'm not imposing at all but 'calm and expressionless' really rattles them.

Leg-iron said...

microdave - groan.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

I can vouch that the Met Office has lost the plot.

In my business (things offshore / on / under the sea) I honestly can't think of the last time I used them on a PAYG basis. Vessel masters in my experience will not use them in uncorrobarated isolation and may occasionally make mildly incoherent foul mouthed mutterings when asked about accuracy. They like the noise the R4 shipping forecast makes.

It would seem that pretty much all communication with the outside world is PR managed.

The outside world being that dangerous and unpredictable place outside the window that steadfastly refuses to conform most of the time to their best efforts.

It is a politicised shambles - didn't they move it from Bracknell to Exeter to give the LibDems some interference in the SW?

I recall seeing something about MOD being ticked off about their service ...

Not of use and not much of an ornament. Tax eaters as Wiliam Cobbett used to call them.

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