The government may tell you that it is merely monitoring the internet for signs of terrorism or whatever the current Big Bad is -- Irish republicanism, communism, an unnatural love of cheesegraters -- there's always something. But the thing with information is that governments will *use* it.
Do you trust your government right now? The government that was so lax on regulation that it allowed fatcat bankers to develop the equivalent of mortgage DDT and spray it around the entire global financial system? The government that let top secret photographs be sold on a camera on eBay? The government that might possibly be able to find its arse with both hands, but only with an instructional video, a torch and a report from four focus groups on arse-hand relational strategy.
They will use the information against you. It will leak. It will be misattributed. It will be lost. It will be sold to whatever dodgy fuck just gave the party £100,000 and wants to target their sales force at you.
Do you want to apply for a job only to have the HR fellow ask you why you did that search for "giant cocks" on google when you were 15? Or 30? Or ask about that email where you admitted you went out and got twatted on something illegal all weekend? Hell, I've drunk-googled many, many embarrassing things. I've sober-googled many embarrassing things. The human brain's capacity for curiosity tag-teamed with lewdness is legendary.
And don't go telling me "if you don't do anything wrong you've got nothing to fear". I am so sick of that half-wit excuse for wilful blindness that I could scream. You've got nothing to fear only if you're the one in control of the definition of what "wrong" is. And here's the clue: you're *not*.
We already live our lives in public. Our movements can be tracked, our spending monitored, our health records scrutinised. If you have a blog, even more so. It's already a calculation, a dare, putting this much on public view, and guessing that you can front out whatever's coming. Do you want them to be able to access even more of your soul?
I have a package at the Post Office. I've been avoiding collecting it since Saturday because I am afraid I will discover I've been drunk ordering off Amazon again.
I have spent a ridiculous amount at Amazon in the past two months. I always do this when I feel like I am hurtling downhill on a bike with no brakes, which is what my life feels like at the moment. Work is uncertain, my house is a shed...
The one good thing about the credit crunch is that it makes me look prescient. I needed to take out an arse-squinchingly large loan to repair my house, and I did it 18 months ago instead of waiting until I knew for sure I'd found a builder. I was berated for this and then urged to put it in a high-interest savings account, like the one at Iceland's Landsbanki, which I failed to do. I left it in the only bank in the country which doesn't have bloody huge liquidity problems. And now the loan which I would never be able to obtain if I were to apply for it today is sitting in an account and covered by credit guarantees. Go me! Laziness can pay!
The financial meltdown is the most interesting story I can remember reading in, well, ever. There isn't a single say that goes by without one of my colleagues saying something along the lines of :::hushed tones::: "Oh god, NOW we're screwed", and then the next day it just gets worse. And worse in new and unpredictable ways.
Or as the sungod often says "FACK-in HELL"
I keep feeling the urge to rewrite newspaper headlines in l33t and lolcat just because it's the only way to deal with the endless deluge of bad news.
"Internashunal finans - ur doin it wrong"
"Ur penshun. I has it."
"OMG WTF HSBC!"
"Iceland pwned. Pls send hard licker"
"I can has no money"
"I'm in ur markets, losin ur wedge"
"All your base rates are belong to us"
Seriously. How can a *country* go bust? Iceland, I hope you enjoyed the party.
* * *
Today's song for rocktober is this:
Move On by Abba
This is one of the songs from Abba - The Album, which was the first album I was ever given. I think I have managed to cut off the truly excruciating spoken word intro, an intro which is only not the nadir of 20th century music thanks to All Saints' Never Ever. Move On asks some very pertinent questions and tells me useful things like life being like wind. I have often thought that life is much like a bout of wind. Particularly when listening to politicians.
It's like my anthem. Like a roller in the OH-SHUN life is MO-SHUN! Move ooooooonI love this in a very uncomplicated, unironic way. I just love it. And the mockers can fuck right off.
* * *
I went to the football with my dad on Sunday again, but it was a very different experience. The team won (though they played a bit shit, and Spurs should've won), but every once so often there was this weird sound coming from some of the people around me, and I was like "WTF are they doing?" I just found out this morning what they were doing and now I never want to go again. Either that or go again and take a cricket bat with me so I can pound the shit out of the people who were doing it. Those utter, utter, disgusting pricks.
I think this might violate several anti-hooligan policies though.
* * *
Whenever I buy an embarrassing book at Waterstone's or Borders or whatever, I still get the urge to show the person in the shop that I am not a terrible philistine/geek/sad old cow or whatever, by chucking it in a three for one deal with the most pretentious and/or hardcore fashionable book I possibly can. So I never buy a book by Marion Keays or Lisa Jewell without also buying some poncey literary fiction, or Georges Perec in the original French or summat -- in case the book store worker thinks I am stupid or shallow. If you can explain why I should give a toss what a perfectly pleasant stranger thinks, answers on a postcard please. I've already thought of "Because I am stupid that way."
In accordance with that principle, having offered you Move On by Abba, I offer the following slice of superb electronica, which is precision engineered to make you wave a glowstick in the air and shake your arse.
Anthepic (We Have Taken Over) by The Japanese Popstars, from the album We Just Are.
Even if you don't like the whole thing, please take my advice, slide your iTunes to the 4m25s mark, when the record quiets to a mantra of We have taken over you, just like you asked us to, and then at 5m12s it kicks back in like donkey on PCP with a glorious fat 90s Belgian-style synth sound
(kids! do not give donkeys PCP! You'll get done by the RSPCA. Take it yourselves and listen to this instead)
* * *
I have a shiny new fandom. Well, it's an old fandom because I've always loved it but I'm still at the stage where you discover there's all this amazing fiction on the intarwebz for it, and kinkmemes and ficathons, and it's like diving into a warm pool on a sunny day and just sculling about in the wondrousness of it all. I do worry that it's a symptom of being fed up though because I've been here before. I can't call it depression because I don't want to cede that much ground to it. You know, it's nothing major, just three verses and a chorus of "why am I so rubbish?"
I just want to tell myself to go out and play in the sunshine. Maybe I'll go and buy something expensive that I can't afford tomorrow because that solves EVERYTHING. As Iceland could tell you.
* * *
And finally because I love you and want you to be happy -- though not if you try to hug me, because I don't want to DO hugging, not even with J, M and S, who I would bury bodies for. Seriously, why do people do that? As if I would like hugging if only I discovered the wonders of violating the personal space bubble (roughly the size of Basingstoke) with someone who is going to *airkiss* me? Get to fuck.
The Scots produce the best folk-pop music in the world. That is a FACT. FACT is what it is. King Creosote is a god among men and you should buy his records. They will make you happy. There are two on iTunes, KC Rules OK and Bombshell. He is not rich. He appears charming and compares playing in a band to conjuring a patronus.
At the back of my mind I was always hoping that I might just get by
I think maybe the last one is my anthem, after all.