Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dog Days of December

We're at that time of year again when the media - starved of real news stories and with most of their staff on holiday, anyway - turn to that irritating practice of 'reviewing the year', serving up bits and pieces of coverage which are supposedly representative of the previous twelve months. Damn it, even Piers Morgan, the closest thing to a slug in human form I've ever seen, has got his own 'Review of the Year' on ITV tonight. No doubt it will feature him fawning in front of various 'celebrities and making snide and condescending comments about everyone he feels is less talented and intelligent than him. Just about everybody, in fact. To digress slightly here, do you know the thing I most dislike about Piers Morgan? Not the fact that he is a slimy twat. Not the fact that he used to happily take Murdoch's money when he worked for The Sun. Not even the fact that he has now ditched Murdoch to become a a vassal of that odious creep Simon Cowell. Oh no! It's the fact that he's a bloody Gooner! Worse than that, he supports the Arsenal even though his father is a lifelong Spurs supporter. If that isn't the most despicable way in which anyone can show their utter contempt for their parents, I don't know what is. But then, Morgan just about epitomises the utterly unacceptable face of Arsenal supporters - smug, utterly lacking in humility and completely deluded.

But getting back to the original point, personally, I've never really seen the point of these 'review of the year' exercises. Why does anybody need to be told what the previous year's highlights were? We were there, for God's sake. Besides, it is all just a matter of opinion. You can guarantee that the Daily Mail, for instance, isn't going to include anything Gordon Brown might have done in the last twelve months as a highlight. Of course, this year it is much worse, as we're at the end of a decade, so we're having retrospectives f the last ten years rammed down our throats. As if trends, historical developments and events generally fall into neat ten year cycles. This obsession with breaking events down into these arbitrary ten year chunks is another thing which has always puzzled me. The calender is a purely human creation. History isn't obliged to conform to its constraints. But perhaps I'm intellectualising this all a bit too much. It's only natural that at the end of a year,or decade, people might want to take stock of things: their lives, their finances, or the state of the world, for instance. Personally, I look back and see ten years of struggling to survive financially, whilst seemingly treading water in other areas of my life. A wholly false impression, probably. But that's the trouble with looking back - memory is highly selective. From the outside it probably looks like I've been doing OK - ten years of continuous paid employment, gaining additional professional qualifications, establishing the website and putting myself in what is currently a pretty secure position financially. But from where I sit, there still seems to be too many things missing. But maybe that's my problem - I'm never bloody satisfied!



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