Thursday, 5 August 2010

Ceramics and blogs.

Typing could be more error-ridden than usual because one finger is currently out of action due to injury.

I have a ceramic tiled floor in the kitchen and I'm sick of it. Drop a teaspoon and one of those wretched things will crack. So I thought I'd rip it up and try something different. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Those tiles are a paradox. One tap with a teaspoon and they shatter, yet whack them with a two-pound hammer and it leaves barely a dent. Hammer, brick bolster and two forms of crowbar (I have a set that most burglars would envy) and still they are not all up. The kitchen is littered with ultrasharp ceramic shards everywhere - and I mean everywhere. The tiles don't pop up in one piece, the way they like to do when you want them to stay put. Oh, no, now I want them to come loose they cling to the floor like limpets and only come away in little flying bits.

They are so sharp you don't even notice you're cut until you see the blood. So now I have a leaky finger and a few other leaks too. I have used a fair few plasters, I look like a nicotine patch addict and one finger can't bend because the shard went right into the joint, so the plaster stops movement for now (I did get the shard out before covering the hole). Before I finish the job tomorrow (too late for hammering and swearing now) I'll get my gardening gloves from the shed. I know, I should have thought of that earlier. I did have enough sense to find my safety glasses, so there are shard-free patches around both eyes. Tip: If you ever do this, no matter how hot it is, short sleeves are not a good idea. I recommend a welder's mask and body armour.

The floor under the tiles resembles a close-up image of coarse emery paper and I am not scraping that off. I'll phone someone who knows about such things tomorrow and get it levelled with cement. Perhaps it would have been better to just pour cement over the tiles...


And now for something completely different.

Over at Obo's I learned something new. Labour's ability to leak information has become so astoundingly skilful that they can now leak blog posts in advance. That is truly amazing, or would be if they were really 'blogging'. What they are really doing is using the illusion of a spontaneous blog to disseminate the outcomes of committee decisions. Nobody over there is simply sitting down and writing the first thing that comes into their head. Nobody is producing their immediate reaction to some piece of news. It's committee-speak masquerading as individual thought. I doubt they can even tolerate the concept of individual thought.

In the interests of fairness, I should point out that the Cleggeron Coagulation don't like individual thought either. Unless it's thoughts they approve of, and have provided.

In the comments to Obo's post, an enraged anonymous Righteous attempts to silence him by insisting that blogging makes no difference and it's all a waste of time. It is a standard Righteous technique - belittle the opposition, make them feel unhappy and guilty, make them feel small and irrelevant. These days they call it 'denormalisation'. One such anonymous Righteous has been tracked after using this technique to extremes and might even end up being sued. Another has made it his mission to make Pat Nurse's life difficult. He also attempts to make smokers feel guilty for not going to pubs. Note the wording - 'shame on you smokers for deserting the pubs' - which conveniently turns the truth on its head. We didn't desert the pubs. We were thrown out.

Back to Obo's current back-monkey. If he wants to trade insults with Obo, that's up to him but when it comes to insults, Obo gets them wholesale. The back-monkey is right, though. Blogging is not going to change the world, and since we don't get paid for it, it's a waste of time. Then again, this is my time I'm wasting writing this stuff and I will do with my unpaid time anything I choose to do. Some nights I waste my time imbibing doctor-frightening amounts of alcohol. Not tonight because there's a big job coming up and I have to get the lab ready. When I have time to waste, I waste it.

To me, it's not wasted time. I write here for the same reason I smoke, the same reason I drink, the same reason I do the job that I do. Because I like it. Obo's pet back-monkey is using the same approach as the antismokers - "Well I don't like it, therefore you have to stop even though it's not affecting me at all". They don't have many techniques, these Righteous.

One day I might decide I don't like it any more. If that day comes, I'll stop. Corrugated Soundbite has had enough for now and has brought in a worthy substitute, Captain Ranty almost quit, and Mummylonglegs is finding it less appealing than before. All I'd say is the same as I'd say to a smoker who doesn't want to smoke any more, or to anyone who is finding their hobby has become a chore. If you're not enjoying it, don't do it. Maybe after a break you'll find you miss it and take it up again. Maybe you'll occupy your time with something else.

We're not supposed to be static creatures. We're not supposed to be clones. We are not doomed to do one thing in our lives and do that one thing over and over again. Tastes change, habits change, people change. Sometimes dramatically.

These Righteous blog back-monkeys don't see that. They imagine that if they can shout down a blogger, then the blogger is destroyed. They imagine that blogger spending the rest of their days sitting in front of a blank computer screen, hopeless and forlorn. Instead, the blogger might re-emerge with another blog, another identity and start again. They might decide to give up blogging altogether and take a tour of the world. They might do anything, might be doing anything when they're not blogging. The back-monkeys cannot see beyond the blog.

One thing that is totally lacking in Righteous is imagination. They have none and therefore are incapable of understanding what it is, or of recognising it in others. Their lives are single-issue and they don't change. They cannot change. That's why they fail to see the 'point' of blogs. To them, everything must have a 'point'. Everything must have a defined reason. Everything must have a budget.

It is impossible for them to understand that someone might spend a while typing out a load of drivel like this for no other reason than it's fun. Even if nobody reads it, I've organised my thoughts a little by writing them down, I've let off some of the fury and I've enjoyed myself by wasting my time - and by now, yours too.

Nobody pays me to blog. Nobody dictates the content. Nobody instructs me in what to write or when to write. One post might be deadly serious, the next might be a comic video, the next might be a story, purely for entertainment. Anything goes. No agenda, no plan, and to be honest, until I start typing, there's often no idea. Sometimes there's still no idea when I stop but it doesn't matter. The act of stringing words together is fun.

It's not so much that the Righteous hate this, it's more that they cannot understand it. It terrifies them, the thought that maybe someone is doing something without consulting with authority, without asking permission, without following a standard operating procedure.

I write this stuff because I like to write and even more than that, because the Righteous don't like it.

Also, blogging is considerably less painful than taking up ceramic tiles. That is one activity I will not be adding to my list of timewasting hobbies.

Tomorrow I'll wear my hat and headbutt those tiles out.


Pat Nurse MA said...

Thanks for wasting my time LI. Great post.

Yes, I know well the deviousness of ceramic kitchen tiles. Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

standard operating procedures should be capitalised, but I'm far too pissed to pass judgement or captilising your mistake...


subrosa said...

Honestly, you never cease to amaze me. You're 50 now and still don't accept you'll never be a DIY expert. Fortunately, long before I was your age, I decided life would be far safer if I paid for help. Maybe it's a female thing.

You could have put vinyl over the top of your tiles. Ask your smoky/drinky pals. :)

Martin T said...

I'd go along with putting vinyl on top of the ceramic tiles. Bear in mind that if you do take the ceramic tiles up, you've still got the adhesive to get rid of!

Chief_Sceptic said...

Haahhh - Ceramic tiles ! - when I last lived in Scotland, I decided to remove some old tiles from the kitchen wall, and fit new tiles right around the entire worktop level ...

Huge mistake - ripped off the plaster from the old 'laths' ! - took me a bloody week to repair the damage and fit the new tiling ! ...

p.s. - if you DO decide to stop blogging, I'll be very happy to be your "surrrogate" ! ...

Leg-iron said...

Pat - I need more than luck.

Anon - I would have capitalised it if it was important ;)

Subrosa - most of my DIY efforts result in a phone call to someone who knows what they are doing. They're all used to me and I'm used to hearing 'Oh, hell, what have you done this time?'

Vinyl didn't occur to me. Too late now.

Martin T - I have a better idea (although my 'better ideas' don't have a great success rate where DIY is concerned). I know someone who knows how to put a cement screed onto a lumpy floor. I'm already braced for the laughing when he comes round.

CS - my brother had a similar experience when removing old kitchen units. Black mortar everywhere.

If I ever get cheesed off with writing, I'll remember your offer.

garden spade said...

I've just re tiled the kitchen and bathroom. After trying various 'specialised' tools to get the old tiles off I resorted to my trusty garden spade and a sledge hammer. Once you get a few tiles up you can get right stuck in. Loud music is good aswell to get you motivated.

View from the Solent said...

"It's not so much that the Righteous hate this, it's more that they cannot understand it. It terrifies them, the thought that maybe someone is doing something without consulting with authority, without asking permission, without following a standard operating procedure."

Bullseye. Gold. Ground zero.

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