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October 27, 2008
I've currently forgotten to do my laundry three weeks on the trot, and am now wearing a little ensemble I like to call "best clothes with pyjamas for underwear", a look a believe is well on its way this winter. As such, I'm currently wearing a waistcoat and tie, with a suit jacket and a dress shirt. My attempt to make it seem 'just thrown on' nonchantly really rather more makes me look like a mad Victorian scientist. This is also accentuated by the fact I still have white dye in my hair from Thursday night, and on the best of days my hair looks like a ball of chaos unpicked by an adventurous kitten.
This led to my favourite line of today being uttered by a dinner lady, the conversation went as such:
Her: "Oh, you look dressed up interesting"
Me: "Well, you see, the thing is I hadn't planned..."
Her, noticing my accent: "OHHHHH, You're ENGLISH. I see"
Being English (actually from Jersey, but never mind) is an odd participating factor in my dealings with Canadians, which causes them to forgive me for a lot -- but expect a rather lot too. This is good when Police on the street attempt to give me a drinking ticket, which I can get out of by being clumsy and comedic; but bad when it's assumed that I will hold views by virtue of ethnicity.
To the rest of the world, the Englishman comes in two forms. Rom-com or Drama. Your choice is to be oddly attractive but incredibly misdirected and stuffy, or to build a volcano-base and try to kill James Bond. In attempting to break this delusion, I'm going for the both simultaneously option. Bond is a smug cunt anyway.
Another example of this:
Helen: "Can you be an Atheist Kantian?"
Sierra: "Alex, you're English, can you be an Atheist Kanitan?"
Me: "Hang on, I'm not... Well alright I am I guess but... I mean, that doesn't have much to do with it"
Oh yes, I forgot to mention, the third type of Englishman is the Atheist Bastard, as represented so well by Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. These are the English who know a lot, and can offer answers to most things, but don't like y'know, appreciate the love man. There's a very real perceived failing in the Logical kind of Intellectuals, in that there must be something robotic and inhuman within them to account for the fact that they don't see God in the world. They, and I up to a point, are regarded with a kind of angry pity. They deny the existence of Homoeopathy despite the fact that I once totally heard of when it worked on this guy, and he was like completely cured and grew a new arm. They deny the existence of ghosts but I've got this picture on my computer where there's like a smudge except if you draw a face on it it kind of looks like a face. They deny the existence of God, even though they know that we really, REALLY want to believe in him.
I'm occasionally, though not always, that guy. I suppose it must be just as frustrating for those who attempt to explain their point of view to me as it is for me to try and explain the benefits of logic to them. Many Canadians have been trying to encapsulate the movie 'The Secret' for me, so I may better my life. Essentially, it's the belief that when you have a thought, it gets sent out to the centre of the universe, and if it's desired highly enough it can attract events to you. If I think: "I wish I could meet a hot redhead", hard enough - a hot redhead will I meet.
I can see why people would think this, really. I can see why if you concentrate hard enough on something you'll be more aware of occasions where it seems you could fulfill that thought. I can see that if you express a thought so clearly it may motivate you to fulfill it. I can see why perception alters reality, as perception IS reality. However, I can also see why the whole thing is bullshit.
And you, dear reader, can too, even if you wrote the damn book itself. You can see all the reasons why it could easily seem true if it weren't. The point is, though, that you may also be able to see why it is true; as do thousands of adherents to this film.
This makes me seem almost unimaginably English. There is something about the world that I am unable to perceive that apparently everyone else can. This was okay in England, where there was only a small distribution of people claiming to see something beyond the physical world, of being party to a cosmic secret; but here in Canada I'm very much in the minority. The minority is so small, in fact, it appears to be me; and all the Canadians are so eager to pity my lack of ability, my cold soullessness.
Well the hell with them, and the hell with the Dinner Lady too. Perhaps I am predisposed to be more critical and more cynical of things, but that's not going to affect me. I can still see beauty in stars, complexity in life, magnificence in nature. Some of the most mesmerising things I've ever seen are photos from the Hubble Space Telescope. I admit to not being able to see farther than the edges of our universe, but that's plenty far enough for me. As far as it is, my smell has probably already reached there. I really should so some laundry.
You'll almost certainly have this week's album, but I'm now reminded how fantastic it is through having listened to it non-stop on repeat for about four days in a row. If you have it, I want you to bring one hand up in the air, and hi-five yourself. If you do not have it, bring one hand up in the air and slap yourself in the face. It's 'The Dark Side of the Moon' by Pink Floyd