Monday, 30 November 2009

Who lacks empathy?

They say that us Aspies and Autistics lack empathy, yet some of the least empathetic and most self-centred people I have ever met have been NT's. This theory is as credible as the refridgerator mothers causing Autism, AS and Autism only occurs in middle and upper-class families, and those with Autism and AS have no imagination beliefs. It is time all four beliefs were disowned, and expunged from the medical books and any future literature on the subject.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Gary McKinnon's extradition

Last Thursday, 26th November, it was announced that the Home Secretary Alan Johnson has rejected a last ditch appeal by Gary McKinnon, the computer hacker who, like myself, has Asperger's Syndrome against extradition to the USA, where he will eventually face trial for his allegedly hacking into 97 USA military and Nasa computers, causing around £425,000 of damage. If found guilty, McKinnon could face up to 60 years in prison. He is now 43 years of age, being born on Thursday 10th February 1966. If he serves a full sentence, he could be 103 years old when released, so he almost certainly will never be released if he does.

I found Johnson's decision to be disgusting. As I wrote on my blog earlier this year, McKinnon was in the UK when he allegedly committed the crime. Therefore, if found guilty, he should serve time in the UK. This would also apply if McKinnon had been an NT hacker. If McKinnon committed the crime whilst in Canada, after being found guilty, he should serve time in a Canadian jail. If he had committed the crime in Australia, then he should serve time in an Australian jail. If he was in the USA, then he should serve time in the USA, but he wasn't.

David Cameron can see that McKinnon's extradition is unfair. Boris Johnson, the London Mayor and home secretary's namesake, can see that it is unfair, David Davis, the Tory backbench MP, can see that it is unfair, Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, can see that it is unfair, Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat MP, can see that it is unfair, the Daily Wail, Express and Daily Mirror can see that McKinnon's extradition is unfair, eighty-four Labour MP's can see that it is unfair. Andrew MacKinlay, the Labour MP for Thurrock, resigned partly in protest over McKinnon's extradition, so why can't Alan Johnson do the decent thing and halt it?

McKinnon's mother will have to relocate now to the USA, if she wants to see him again, should he be found guilty. Personally, if I was a judge, I would give McKinnon a ten-year suspended sentence, on the premise that if he does this again, he will be taken to the USA and made to serve 60 years in a normal jail, whilst at the same time, taking his condition should be taken into account.

I wonder if Johnson would have extradited McKinnon, had he hacked into German cyberspace, or Russian cyberspace, or Argentine cyperspace? When did the USA extradite the so-called Irish Americans in New York and Boston, who were funding the IRA? The UK government seems reluctant extradite genuine criminals or terrorists, but is happy to extradite an Autistic man who has neither bombed, shot, burned or injured anyone.

McKinnon has done the USA a favour, in a way, because he has exposed the comparatively easy access of their cyberspace, which they previously thought was impregnable. It obviously wasn't. Now, as a result, the USA can make it genuinely impregnable, and prevent any would-be terrorist or Al-Qaeda activist hacker from causing genuine damage, certainly damage which would be far more severe than what McKinnon caused.

If McKinnon is to be tried in the USA for what he allegedly did, then shouldn't those who maintained the security of the US cyberspace be also on trial, for negligence, as they made it possible for an Autistic computer hacker to be able to gain access?

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

What I Would Keep And Change About Having AS

Unless some magic cure or pill is introduced to alter one's brain structure, and without it precipitating any ill-effects or brain damage, if one is born with Autism or AS, then one will remain Autistic or Asperger. Yes, early diagnosis is essential. Yes, intervention is essential. Yes, support and understanding is essential. Yes, the general public at large need to be educated much more about the two conditions, but nothing at the moment can or will "cure" Autism or Asperger's Syndrome.

Would I want to be cured? Yes and no. There are certain things about having Asperger's Syndrome that I like and there are some aspects of it which I dislike. Frankly, there are one or two attributes which make me hate having AS.

What I would be delighted to lose is be the hypersensitivity to sound, touch and smell. I wish I could filter sensory stimuli out like NT's can. I can't wear wool and I dislike labels on the back of clothes rubbing against my skin. I hate bus engines, pneumatic drills, burglar alarms and car alarms and chatter. The smell of egg literally makes me feel sick, yet such stimuli hardly seem to bother NT's.

I would like to lose the monotropic thinking which comes with AS. I wouldn't miss that at all. I would love to be able to nonchalantly drive a manual car and have a flowing conversation, like NT's effortlessly can. I wish I could write a passage on my website and chat to someone freely whilst doing it. I don't like the mental overload problems, which occur when too much is happening at once, or when there is too much stimuli for my senses to process.


I hate not being able to follow instructions from NT's, or sequencing problems. I would say good riddance to the fine and gross motor problems. I wish I could dance and be a brilliant mover on the dance floor. I wish I could bowl overarm, or throw better than I can. I wish I could dive gracefully if I go swimming. Commonly, it is stated that individuals with Asperger's Syndrome have poor handwriting because of this, but for some reason, it hasn't affected me in that respect. Another area where my co-ordination is unaffected is catching a ball or item. I don't have an unusual gait when walking, as is often stated.

Finally, it would be great to be able to see the back of problems with processing information and with interaction and communication.

Which parts of having AS would I wish to keep? The logical, rational thinking, seeing issues in the objective manner in which I see them, the self of individuality, the special interests and my apparently good memory. I would dislike to lose all those aspects of having AS. It is very rare that I get bored, due to those the special interests, the Internet and my website.

I believe, whether I am here to see it or not, that some time in this century, medical science will discover what causes conditions such as Autism and AS.

Another aspect of having Asperger's I have felt, all my life, before AND after I was diagnosed, is the self of being alone. I always have and I believe I always will. I rarely bother with family bashes anymore, because I don't like the noise. There are too many people around at once.

They have children, careers and mortgages. I don't have any of those things. I am not criticising them. I probably would be doing the same now if I was an NT. If I didn't have AS, whilst one can never know for certain, I think it is fair to say I would have a decent job, be married, have children and a mortgage now.

It is just that we are not on the same wavelength and our life experiences have totally diverged. Even if I was to get married, have an ecstatic home life, and have, say four children, which I doubt will happen, I will still feel alone. Whether any offspring of mine would have Autism, AS or be NT, I would feel alone. If I got a job I loved, I would feel alone. I feel alone even if in good company, with everyone getting on famously, and if there are 10 people there. People may be baffled to understand why I feel alone, or how I feel alone, but I do, every moment of my waking day, whether I am alone or not. You can't help who you are, who your parents are, when you are born, where you are born, what you are and how you feel.

Whoever said that being Autistic was like being trapped behind a glass wall was correct. I also feel that it is the same having Asperger's Syndrome, no matter how it affects you.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Extend CRB checks

People go on about a nanny state, then at the same time, they support ID cards! They can't have it both ways. At the moment, you have to have CRB checks when you work with children. I think this procedure ought to be extended for men who work with women, if they have convictions for rape or sexual offences, because there is always the chance that they could do it again. They should also be made available for people if they buy dogs and cats, to see if they have had convictions in the past for animal cruelty.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Concentration Span

When I am interested in something, my concentration span is quite good to exceptionally good, and I take in, and retain information a great deal better than when I am not interested in a subject, or partially interested in it. When that is the case, I have to work hard to retain information, and master the subject.

In life, my concentration span is generally quite poor, and it is true that I am quite easily distracted. My brain is not as efficient as the NT brain at filtering outside noises. That is a cause and factor. I accept that. I am an Aspie, after all. What do you expect?

However, I am seriously considering seeing my GP to see if a tablet can be given to stop my mind switching streams when I am doing something that requires concentration, or to be given downers, as you will learn below! I accept nothing can be done about myself being hypersensitive to touch, sound and smell though.

Another pecularity of my concentration is span is that when I feel low or depressed, it improves. I ought to feel low or depressed more often! When I am in a good mood I find it hard to concentrate on more than one thing at a time. When I am in a average mood, I can, but I have to struggle, but when I feel low, I have brilliant powers of concentration.

I am neither a euphoric or a extremely depressive sort of person by nature. I am rarely euphoric or ecstatic when anything goes right, nor am I suicidal when things go wrong. I reckon if I won 45 million on the lottery, whilst delighted, I would keep my emotions and feelings in control and in check. I never get carried away or totally suppressed in life. Nor do I lose sight of reality. Some people are like that. Others aren't.

Another problem of mine is that I can get impatient when I don't do things as well as I want to, though I have a lot of patience in other ways, and am not generally a volatile person. I can be hard on other people and very critical, but I can also be critical and very, very hard on myself if I get things wrong or if things don't progress as well or as quick as I would like. I also find, that life is so rushed nowadays, certainly more than when I was young, and you get the impression that time is everything, and if you don't speed up, you fail.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Never Mind Friday The 13th - Avoid Friday The 20th

Some people on Facebook have jokingly posted that they were going to stop in all day last Friday, the 13th November. I didn't as it happened, but I might do the same next Friday, the 20th, because it is in Children In Need Day. I have three favourite charities, as listed on my blog and am not a scrooge. Indeed, on my birthday in August 1985, a few weeks after the Live Aid concert, which I can vaguely remember, me and a couple of friends on the street had a stall across my garden gate to raise money for the Ethopian crisis. In our naive way of thinking at the time, we would raise money. I can't remember what we sold, but we raised about £8. The following day, me and my mum took the proceeds into the Oxfam shop, which used to exist where I live. It closed about 2001.

I am sure Children In Need is a good cause, but what I dislike is how "In yer face" the whole thing is, and how it is foisted on you.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Greed And Lottery Wins

It has been in the UK news about that couple from South Wales who won £45 and a half million pounds on the Euro-lottery this week. All I can say is good luck to them. It would have been better if I had won 45 million pounds, but I wish them a good life, and hope that they enjoy the fruits of their success.

If I were to win that amount of money, apart from being delighted, I wouldn't go public. I would keep £20 million to myself and spread £15 million amongst family and friends. Winning the lottery would change my life, of course it would. How could my life be the same if I had even £10 million?, but I can only drive so many cars. I can only live in so many mansions with swimming pools and tennis courts and I can only go around the world once. Why would I want more cars than I can drive or have houses across the globe that I never even live in? I just can't see the point or reason in having more money than one can spend.

Therefore, I would give £10 million to charities. Autism charities would receive £5 million pounds. Animal welfare charities would benefit by two and a half million, and brain and spinal injuries charities would receive the same amount of money.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

False Humour

In life, what I find false, and I am sure you have come across such a situation yourself, whether you are NT, Aspie, Autistic, GLDer, SLDer or whatever, is in a pub or working men's club or other similar kind of place, when six to ten people are sat around a table, and someone present comes out with the worst, or most unfunny or the corniest joke you have ever heard, or ever are likely to hear in your entire life, and those present falls about laughing in a sycophant fashion, just because they like that person. Then the joke-teller repeats it and everyone present falls about laughing again, often laughing in a contrived manner.

Another, similarly false situation is someone when could come out with the funniest, most hilarious or most original joke you have ever heard or likely to hear, and because those present may dislike or not be keen on the individual that has told it, there is little or no reaction.

If I was in such a situation, I would laugh at the funny joke and remained straight-faced at the unfunny, corny one, regardless of who had told it and where. It is also the same when a well-known comedian is on stage and he asks the audience a question that he knows very well will evoke a positive response or says something like "We've all done it haven't we?" and they all inevitably cheer "Yes". That is understandable. They have paid money to see and hear him; so therefore, they are going to agree with his viewpoints and humour.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Christmas Gets Earlier Every Year

This year, on November 2nd, I saw a Christmas tree in a shop as part of decorations. Then two days later, on November 4th, I saw the first Christmas advert on TV. In 2040 there will probably be Christmas trees up in shops, and adverts on TV, in the middle of September. Don't get me wrong - I don't dislike Christmas, but when the hype starts so early, I am fed up of it by the time the big day arrives. Christmas adverts on TV or elsewhere, and decorations, in town or city centres, should be banned until December 1st!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Differences In Addressing People

An idiosyncracy of mine is that I have always called my aunties and uncles by their first name. I have NEVER used the prefix Aunt or Uncle when talking to them. When addressing my parents, I use mam and dad. I answer to both Kevin or Kev with people who know me. I don't mind being called either.

At Secondary School, most teachers called the male pupils by their christian or first name name. The addressing of pupils by their first name had mainly died out by the time I got there, but one or two old fashioned teachers still addressed us by our surname. Those who did, both taught Mathematics. As I have wrote on my website, there would be no place now for those two.

At my cousin's Prom in 2007, the pupils who were leaving were addressing teachers by their first name, like "Dave", "Andy", "Rob" and "Chris", as if they were the pupils mates. My aunt said it was very much a "We are all mates now" type of atmosphere. I wonder if they are allowed to do that nowadays in Secondary Schools generally or if that rule just applied because the pupils were leaving? We never did that because we weren't allowed, but also, we didn't know what most of the teachers first names were. Besides, I wouldn't have liked it if we could have called them by their first names anyway. It would have seemed so false. I think pupils addressing teachers Sir or Miss, and in return, teachers addressing pupils by their first name is appropriate and balanced.

Teachers are not there to be pupils friends or enemies. They are there primarily to do their jobs, though nowadays, they have other functions, such as being a psychologist and counsellor.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Both a good and bad memory helps

In life it is essential to have both a good memory and a bad memory. A good memory helps with people's birthdays, appointments, when people owe you money. It can also help with exams, though knowledge and understanding is also important. Then, a bad memory helps when you owe people money, when embarrassing situations are discussed involving you, or when you hear about, or see someone you dislike from the past!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

1990 - So near and yet so far

In two months time it will be January 2010 and a new decade, which means that the year 1990 will be 20 years ago. It is the first year ending in a zero that I can properly remember. I can't remember hardly anything happened in 1980, and I wasn't here in 1970. Nor had I even been thought of.

To me, it seems that 1990 in some ways was recent, as there were computers, computer games rap music and CD's around. Soccer teams played with sponsors on their shirts and a lot of music was similar to today. And yet, in many other ways, 1990 seems so long ago and so distant.

My parents went out on the final night of 1989. That night, I slept at my Grandmothers house. She was then an active, vigorous and energetic 72-year-old. I remember that she went to bed at about 10.30pm, and I stayed up, watching TV until just after midnight, then I went to bed. I watched Cilla Black's Goodbye to the '80's, on ITV, made by the now defunct London Weekend Television.

The year before, my mum started legal action for a neck injury she suffered when working as a cleaner for Tesco supermarkets. Her accident occurred on Tuesday 28th March 1989. My mum was given Legal Aid, (I'm from a solidly working-class family. It is bollocks that you have to be mMiddle and upper-class to have Asperger's Syndrome or Autistic. That is about as credible as saying that one's upbringing makes one Autistic, or that the Earth is flat or the Earth revolves around the Sun. If you have to be middle or upper-class to be Autistic or have AS, then I obviously need more money!).

Tesco fought all the way. Then, suddenly, at the end of September 1990, around the 26th, the week before the case was due to go to court. They capitulated, and settled, paying my mum compensation and her legal fees. Why did they capitulate if they had a good case? Two weeks later, my mum had a big bingo win. It was also her birthday, so 1990 was quite a good year for my her.

On Thursday 25th January, there was a terrible storm. Forty-seven people were killed, and two slates blew off our roof. I was in the bath when it happened, at about 5.30pm. I saw the film "Rainman", for the first ever time, on video, on the snowy night of Wednesday 28th February, and I failed to make any connection with Babitt and myself. I was suspended from Secondary School on Thursday 5th April, threatened with explusion, and put on report for a week when I returned, as was the person I fought with. Two days later I got my dad to put some money on a Horse for me, Mr Frisk, which won.

On Saturday 2nd June, I went on a bicycle ride with a friend. We went through a cemetery and saw a grave of his late relation, who died on Friday 25th February 1966, at the age of 66. Then, 11 days later, On Wednesday 13th June, though I loathed my time at Secondary School, I was awarded a "Merit Slip" for my contribution to a Geography lesson, and everybody in the class applauded me when I had finished talking about the Suez crisis of 1956, in Egypt.

My late Grandfather, Thomas Phillips, was into antiques, and in June, he managed to get hold of an antique chair. My dad's younger brother, Tony, brought it to our house and my dad did it up by sanding and then varnishing it. They sold it and split the profits three-ways. In July, me and a friend, who lived across the street, camped out in his garden for the first time. I didn't go on holiday that year. I hadn't been abroad by 1990 or even visited London. Both of these events occurred in the naughties, so as far as I was concerned in 1990, they were in the distant future.

I celebrated my 14th birthday on Monday 20th August. I went for a meal to a pub that was demolished in the early 2000's called the Wharncliffe. Three days later, for the first time, I deliberately provoked, and wound up, a man who was a bully, who lived on my street. Between late August and early October, I was in the habit of getting up at about 5am and going for early morning walkabouts. On Tuesday 18th December, I was bought an Amiga computer by my parents for Christmas. I had it until the Autumn of 1996, when it packed in.

We had a brilliant Spring weatherwise and a very good summer in 1990, though a wet and stormy winter. Friday 3rd August was a scorching day and temperatures reached 98F in Cheltenham, though they were about 93-94F where I live. On Saturday 4th August 1990, I slept at my Grandmother's house, where we watched the Queen Mother's 90th celebrations on TV. I remarked to my Grandmother, "I wonder if she will make 100?". My Grandmother (Then three weeks off her 73rd birthday) answered with "If she doesn't make 100, I won't make 74". Seventeen years later, on my Grandmother's 90th birthday .... I phoned her up to wish her happy birthday. She said thank you. I then said, "Just think, if you live another 10 years, you will get a congratulatory telegram from the Queen". She replied, "Yes, if the Queen is still alive then!".

Liverpool won the league title for which has, so far, been the last time for them to do so to date. Liverpool looked on course for the double, but Crystal Palace knocked them out of the semi-finals in a thriller held on Sunday 8th April. On Saturday 5th May, Leeds United and Sheffield United were promoted to the old Division one. Hooligans purporting to support Leeds United rioted at Bournemouth, where they won 1-0. I dread to think how they would have reacted had Leeds Utd lost! Manchester United won the FA Cup 1-0 in a replay, five days after a thrilling 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace that was held on Saturday 12th May. On Friday 8th June, the World Cup started in Italy, and in the first match, Cameroon beat the holders, Argentina, 1-0! England reached the semi-finals, before being beaten on penalties by West Germany on Wednesday 4th July. That match is also famous for Paul Gascoigne being booked, and his tears. West Germany beat Argentina in the final. Germany became a unified country in October 1990.

On the evening of Thursday 4th January 1990, one of the funniest sitcoms, at least in my view, in UK television history started - One Foot in the Grave. I didn't see that series. I didn't start watching it until series three, though I have seen the first two series since.

On Sunday 11th February, Nelson Mandela was released from prison in South Africa after serving 26 years inside. That very day, James Buster controversially defeated Heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. On Saturday 31st March, there were massive anti-poll tax riots in London. The following day, Sunday 1st April, there were the Strangeway Prison riots in Manchester. On Thursday 2nd August, Iraq invaded Kuwait. On Friday 28th September, "Have I Got News For You" was broadcast for the first ever time. On Thursday 22nd November, Margaret Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister, to be replaced by John Major. The poll tax, low opinion poll ratings and splits over Europe brought her down. 1990 was also the year of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles craze. I was never into them myself.

In 1990, the Soviet Union still existed. In soccer there was no premier league. A lot of teams still played at dilapidated stadiums. Players weren't earning astronomical sums of money. You saved information on a floppy disk. There were no USB sticks. There was no mass usage of the Internet in 1990, certainly not in the UK. Mobile phones were large, cumbersome things, and hadn't gained popular currency. You didn't send text messages to anybody. There were no MP3 players in 1990. There was no Freeview. There was no single European currency. There were no DVD player's. Everybody used video recorders. There were no digital cameras. There were no plasma TV's. There was no Channel Five.

My parents didn't have a telephone in the house at the time. It was three years later, in 1993, when they got one. There were no mass Asperger's Syndrome diagnosises. I certainly hadn't heard of AS in 1990, and wouldn't for another four years. though some people had been diagnosed with AS in 1990. I was diagnosed ten years later.

In 1990 there weren't reality TV programmes, such as Big Brother or Wifeswap on TV, or Westlife churning out their dross. However, New Kids on the Block were around, and some garbage got to number one. Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikina by Timmy Mallet got to number one somehow, for four weeks. Looking at the number one list for 1990, there are three songs now that I can say I still like. Nothing Compares To You, which reached number one for four weeks on 3rd February, Vogue by Madonna, which was number one on 14th April for four weeks also, and Steve Miller's the Joker, which was number one on 15th September for two weeks.

It is certainly true that some things were better in the past. However, for me, the past is over-rated. I wouldn't want to go back and live in 1990 again. I am much happier in the present day, for all its faults and problems.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

The 112-year-old marries the 17-year-old

Last week it was in the news that an 112-year-old man has married a 17-year-old female in Somalia. If he is 112 years old, I wonder how much Viagra he uses! However, having read the report further, it stated that he apparently has 114 children. He obviously hasn't been in need of Viagra in his lifetime, if that story is correct!

I doubt if the man in question is even 112 years old. He probably doesn't even know how old he is, perhaps due to lack of education, but say if he is in his eighties, I still find it quite repulsive a man of that age marrying a 17-year-old. What would they have in common? I even doubt he has 114 kids. In Britain before 1837, people didn't register births, deaths and marriages, and 200, 300 years ago, the majority of people couldn't read or write, so many didn't how old they were or when their birthdays were. That is why old people would have exaggerated their ages in those times.

I remember years ago, when the late Anna Nicola Smith, then aged 26, married an 89-year-old Oil Billionaire. Howard Marshall I think his name was. He died a year later, of either old age or exhaustion! Smith said she loved Marshall and that his age was irrelevant. When my grandmother was 89 in 2006, I don't seem to remember many well-toned, 6ft 2in, 14st, handsome 26-year-old men proposing themselves to her. I don't know why. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that she was frail and lived (still does) in a three bedroomed house. She also wasn't a billionaire. I wonder what anyone else thinks?!!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Bonfires and Strikes

It was on the news yesterday morning about dustbinmen being on strike in Leeds. The news coverage of it showed of rubbish piling up in the streets. I think they should throw it all on the bonfires this Thursday, so it won't be piled up and left to rot and fester in the streets.

Mind you, in fairness, you don't know why the binmen are striking or what over, so I am not knocking them. My dad, is a welder by trade but he has been a postman since May 1982. He still works, part-time, at Royal Mail, and he's been on strike recently, and trust me, the management there are crap. Crozier is paid £995,000 a year, and he's asking postmen, who are on much, much less to work conditions that he wouldn't work. You wouldn't believe what conditions they are trying to bring in, even though we live in rapidly changing times, with the advent of email and text. Change is inevitable. I accept that, but not on the terms of the Royal Mail management.

So whilst people moan and whine about strikes, you have to look at why people are striking. From a personal perspective, I just wish I could win that lottery, mainly for my own's sake, but also, so I could get my dad out of there - for good.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Modern Art reflects our society

I admit the only thing I can draw is a pair of curtains, I am talentless as talentless is at drawing. I could draw a black line down the middle of a white canvass. I could pile up a load of bricks. I could can some excrement. I could gather up a load of rubbish. Where is the talent in that? Ask me to reproduce the Mona Lisa, or a Monet or a Constable or Turner, and I couldn't if you offered me 100 million dollars. I couldn't draw a landscape very well. That for me, is talent, and when it comes to drawing, I don't have it, but I could make it is a modern artist.

I admire paintings done by individuals such as Monet, Picasso, Di Vinci and Michael Angelo, or Constable and Turner. Paintings that require talent to produce them, and I admire talent in whatever area, discipline or field that it is in.

In 2006, someone called Rebecca Warren was paid £25,000 for five suitcases of rubbish. Also, someone whose name I can't remember, was paid thousands of pounds for a black line drawn the middle of a white canvas a few years ago. According to the abstractists, the line represented the doors of today, closed against the uncertainty of "Tomorrows world". I thought that programme had been taken off TV years ago!

An abstractist may say to me that I am not imaginative or intelligent enough to see the "talent" that lies behind a black line down the middle of a white canvas or a pile of bricks. If that is the case, then ignorance is bliss.

In modern art, if I emptied twenty pound coins into a gold fish bowl, I would be praised as protesting against capitalism. In the real world, I would be arrested for cruelty to animals, or thought of as a loony for wasting money. If I went on a load of tall buildings and had a shit on people below, I would be praised as representing the world in which the average person is shit on, but in the real world, I would be arrested or sectioned under the mental health act

Modern art reflects our society, in which talent is eschewed and swept aside in favour of non-talent. Style over content also predominates. It is seen with people like Jordan and Kerry Katona becoming stars. It is seen with the X-factor, with those twins getting through time and time again over more talented acts.

As for myself, I would hate being famous. I couldn't do with my privacy being intruded, photographs being taken of myself if I walked anywhere, or relentlessly being fired questions, often banal and trivial ones at that. I have done nothing with my life, or in my life, that merits myself becoming famous, and therefore, I am in the obscurity and oblivion that I richly deserve to be in. I wish others, such as Big Brother contestants, would follow suit.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Bullies occur everywhere

In life, bullying is predominantly seen in mainstream school, most notably in Secondary School, but it can also occur in Infant or Junior schools, and even at sixth-form. It isn't even restricted to there. It can occur at work. Teachers can also be bullies, and so can adults. Bullies can be serial bullies. If the person they bully moves away, or goes to another school, or leaves the workplace, or moves to another shift, they will find a new target, because they have an antennae for who or what makes a victim. It is like they have an inner compulsion to behave in that way.

When I mention that adults can be bullies, there was such a man who lived at the bottom of my street. He is still alive. In July 1986, just before my 10th birthday, this person knocked on my door. My dad answered it to see what was the matter. This man complained to my dad that I had climbed up a tree half-an-hour before. My dad asked, "Has he? Is this tree in your garden?".

This bully/coward/saddo replied, "No, it is down the street, on the green". My dad then asked, "Why is it bothering you that he has climbed up a tree down the street? What's it got to do with you?". The bully snapped, "I don't know what's the matter with you, you never speak to me when I see you". My dad told him to bugger off back down the street or he would kick him down it! The guy who complained did exactly that!

A year later, this bully shouted at me for jumping on his flowers, when I had been at a school event. The woman next door, whose son this bully/coward/saddo also had picked on for several years, for no reason whatsoever, said that it wasn't me, but her son and his friend who did it. Normally I would condemn this sort of behaviour, but as it was done to him, it was justified.

This bully and coward also once emptied his dustbin, deliberately, which was three-quarters full of rubbish, in his garden. The guy who lived to the right of him, who died in December 1997, aged 72, saw him do it. He was a nice bloke, and he fell out with the bully/coward in the 1970's.

The bully/coward then blamed the two who lived next door to him, on the left, and said they had done it. They weren't angels by anyone's standards, but they did nothing to deserve the treatment he gave out to them. This bully then had a go at them over it. Another one of this bully/coward's party pieces was to put barbed wire on his fence, so no-one would touch it. He once had a go at me for calling for the eldest of the brothers and told me to stop calling for him, when I was walking up his path, as if he owned their house as well.

My last brush with this bully/coward came in August 1990. About a month before, he had got a no-ball games sign erected on the green. I was the instigator of this final clash, just as he went out of his way to get onto us in the past. I decided to wind him up, and asked the elder of the two brothers to start playing playing soccer, or football with a balloon. Predictably, the bully/coward marched down the path and roared at me "AYUP, CAN'T YOU READ? WHAT DOES THAT SAY?" in an angry voice. I replied, "Yes, I can read. It says "No Ball Games". It doesn't say anything about playing with balloons though, does it?". The bully/coward glared at me, but didn't reply, and instead retreated in the house! What was he going to do? Phone the police because I was playing football with a balloon?

He was a bully, because he went out of his way to get onto us when we were between the ages of seven and thirteen. He was a coward, because after the age of 14, he left us alone and never said another word to me or any of my contemporaries. I can also back up my assertion that he was sad, because if all he had to do in life was get onto children, then he should either have got a life, or topped himself.

In February 2008 this man said hello to me. It was the first time since August 1990 that we actually spoke to one another. I didn't insult him, but at the same time, I didn't speak. I just blanked him. Why should I speak to him? I don't like the bloke, and besides, even though it was a long time ago, he demonstrated that bullies are everywhere, and wherever they are, they must be stamped out, and not tolerated one iota.