Time for humanity to say goodbye

Written in response to a friend asking how much longer humanity has. I said about a century before we are a minor species struggling to avoid extinction, then followed up with:

“I genuinely think that the level of technological ability that we have, combined with our intellectual and reasoning powers – let’s just call it “intelligence” as a shorthand – is an indicator of a species’ evolutionary dead end. Not just for us, but anywhere and everywhere in the universe. 

Species reach this level of intelligence but lack – woefully in our case – the emotional maturity to control and use their intelligence correctly means that they self-destruct incredibly quickly. 

There are millions of species on this planet that have existed perfectly happily for tens or hundreds of millions of years. It took a bloody great asteroid to end the dinosaurs’ hundreds of millions of years reign. None of them preyed on themselves like we do. 

We pop up about four million years ago and here we are, just ten minutes later in evolutionary terms, about to wipe ourselves out. We’re not just an evolutionary dead end but a pitifully short-lived species. 

For a long time, we’ve wondered why we haven’t detected alien radio waves. That’s why. Everyone else nearby is either dead already or hasn’t reached our stage of evolution. 

The intelligent life detection window is very very much smaller than we think it is and intelligent life far rarer and much shorter-lived too.

Having both intelligence *and* the ability to usefully control it is incredibly rare.

Nature always rejects its failed evolutionary experiments. Always. It has to, that’s how evolution works.

That’s us.”

The World’s Longest Walk Around the Olympic Park

While the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park venues and information point were closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020, I did a few “walk-through” videos for my fellow Park Champion volunteers. These are those videos.

My Park website “Parkipedia” can be found here: http://parkipedia.co.uk

The YouTube video playlist, which grows by several videos per week, can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzUzfkCEaV2S2JZReIw_PKrh_5orh73VD

Brexit Day

So it’s finally arrived. The day we join the list of countries with a glorious past, but no detectably interesting future. Just like Greece, Italy, Turkey, Mongolia, Egypt and a few others. Today’s the day we become a nation of also-rans. A midget.

No longer a member of the biggest peace-keeping, trading and political coalition on the planet.

No longer at the centre of continent-wide decision-making.

No longer acting as a check or balance when over-enthusiastic or self-serving safety or business regulations are created.

No longer able to freely travel, live, work or retire in our neighbouring countries.

No longer the largest and most relevant financial centre in the world.

No longer in control of anything that matters.

We are diminished as a country, diminished in the eyes of the world and have become easy prey to the many stronger and more powerful forces out there.

We are just a carcass, our bones ready to be picked clean by the flocks of surrounding vultures.

Sold into servitude by a corrupt élite interested only in their personal enrichment who were enabled by millions of unthinking drones who without question believed the carefully crafted and targeted lies they were told because of the perfect match with their own prejudices and biases. Death by database.

It shouldn’t be surprising, and it isn’t.

A nation that claims to love its NHS but isn’t willing to pay the tax to properly support it is never going to work.

A nation whose peak cultural entertainment is watching I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, gawking at the freaks on Love Island or avidly consuming anything with Ant & Dec, Simon Cowell or David fucking Walliams in it is never going to work.

A nation that totally relies on EU grants to fund development in regions its own government completely ignores but then those regions vote to cut off that funding is never going to work.

A nation that has an institution as rare and valuable as the BBC but allows the competition to threaten terrified politicians to the point that its very existence is now being questioned is never going to work.

A nation that threw the best-ever party for the world in 2012 but was a global laughing stock less than eight years later is never going to work.

A nation so collectively lacking in aspiration, confidence and ambition that its lowest common denominator has now become its highest attainable achievement is never, ever, ever, going to work.

So now that is us. A tired, washed-up, former colonial bully, brought to its knees by generations of benefit addiction, over-entitlement, selfishness, greed, appalling parenting and chronic under-education. A country full of people who know their rights but are oblivious even to the existence of the rights of others.

A key element in any Shakespearean tragedy is the inevitability of that tragedy. Seeing all the way through what is going to happen, but being unable or unwilling to change that outcome.

Brexit is just that. A Shakespearean tragedy. Despite millions of our voices raised in warning, it happens anyway.

The cliff is behind us and it’s too late for the lemmings to turn. We are just along for the ride now and, like a meteorite, our descent will be brief and fiery and soon forgotten by everyone else as we rapidly fade to irrelevance.

Since I have no expectation of any favourable future for this country – we are neither as important nor impressive as we think we are – I’m pulling up a deckchair, getting a cold beer and, secure in the knowledge that I and people like me will be on the right side of history, I am going to calmly watch as it all goes up in flames.


Boris Johnson: The Very Definition of “Out of His Depth”

Johnson’s actually managed to achieve what I didn’t think was possible. He’s proving to be even worse as a Prime Minister than I expected.

The arrogance, over-entitlement and lying were entirely anticipated, of course. But the rank amateurism, the desperate cronyism and above all his deep-seated insecurity and the absolute terror in his eyes, in his speech and in his body language are all far worse than I thought they would be.

All of his life he has been desperate to be Prime Minister and now he’s got there, he is hating it. He has spent his entire life seeking out the limelight and he has only now realised that what it is illuminating are his weaknesses not his strengths.

His political manoeuvring is proving to be nothing like as effective as he thinks it is, and his frustration at being mocked instead of respected is showing more and more. The arm-waving, the stream of unfinished sentences and the rapid-fire speaking patterns all tell a story of a man already on the edge of a breakdown.

His strategy of pandering to the prejudices of the uneducated, the unthinking and, yes, the racist portions of our population is coming unravelled as he encounters people who know what they’re doing and are determined to stop him.

He is a triumph of ambition over ability and of education over intelligence. He’s nowhere near as clever as he thought he was, he’s starting to realise that and he absolutely hates it because he knows that we all see it too.

1st November 2019. Our first day outside the EU. Erm… Oops.

Oh look. It’s 1st November 2019 and we’re still in the EU. This is now Leavers’ 4th attempt at leaving and we’re not even allowed a 2nd referendum. Hmmm.

I’ve checked out of the window and I can’t see any vast plumes of smoke rising over the London skyline, just as I didn’t on the 30th March or the 13th April either.

I don’t hear any smashing windows, crashing cars or rioting knuckle-draggers. It’s almost as though the fearful stories of mass civil unrest, of fighting in the streets, of looting and of death & destruction if we don’t leave on time were all just some fear-based project designed to intimidate people into supporting an otherwise unsupportable cause.

Almost as though we’ve all been lied-to. Again.

Almost as though under-endowed White Van Man and his fishwife missus with their notoriously stunted, punctuation-free vocabulary have decided that although they could beat us all to a pulp if they wanted to, unfortunately at this very moment they have something else to do, sorry.

But we’d better watch out, ’cause next time…

Yeah. Sure. See you on the 1st February next year.

“Look at me, I’m gay” – Who cares?

A year ago, the Metro newspaper did a piece offering advice to young LGBTQ+ people about dealing with life in general. My response was this, which I think bears repeating:

My advice to young alphabet people leaving home is to never forget that you’ll be subject to the same pressures, disappointments and expectations that everyone else is.

There’s still a way to go, but being gay is a lot more mainstream these days which mean that a lot of people, quite rightly, couldn’t give a toss. That indifference is, after all, the ultimate aim of any drive for equality.

If they’re expecting to march into a room, throw their arms wide open shouting “look at me, I’m gay” and have the world fall at their feet in an orgasm of admiration, they’re in for a lot of disappointment.

If there’s nothing more substantial to their character than their sexuality then they should expect life to be trivial, shallow and full of sneering contempt from other people.

Acceptance and indifference are pretty much the same thing, so don’t make the mistake of thinking that the world is building you a pedestal. It isn’t.

7 years ago was my first Games Maker shift

Seven years ago this afternoon was my first-ever volunteer shift at the Olympic Games – working at Stratford Gate getting people into the Stadium for a technical rehearsal of the opening ceremony. I remember it being a weird combination of excitement that it was all starting, fear at the sheer scale of what we were attempting, and worry that it was going to go wrong somehow. 

Of course, it didn’t go wrong at all. It turned out to be utterly brilliant and the best ever advertisement for this city and this country. There was hope and optimism and people were talking to strangers and they were smiling all the time. It was exciting, inspiring, thrilling and the community spirit was phenomenal. A real shared experience of everyone pulling together where we threw a huge party, invited people from all over the world and did our best to make sure they had a good time.

I miss those days. I miss them terribly. It breaks my heart to see just how far we have fallen in seven short years. From a country that stood proudly on the world stage and was applauded for “doing it right” to a country slinking off the stage as an example of exactly how not to do it. From a country that opened its doors to friends from around the planet to a country determined to slam that door, friendless, in the faces of everybody outside.

From inspiration to embarrassment, from leader to left-behind, from participant to pariah.

So sad. So very, very sad. Not least because we did this to ourselves.

“I don’t judge”

I really wish people would stop saying & writing “I don’t judge”. 

It’s a lie. Everyone judges all the time. 

It’s how we decide how to vote, where to shop, what to wear and who to like, marry and have sex with.

“I don’t judge” is just virtue-signaling, smug, sanctimonious bullshit and a juvenile attempt at putting themselves on a quite unjustifiable pedestal.

It’s their attempt at saying “Don’t judge me” and it never – *ever* – works, because by saying that you’re automatically judged and found wanting.

Bored already with the Danny Baker fuss

Bored already by the Danny Baker fuss.

Was it juvenile? Yes. Was it inappropriate? Yes. Was it racist? The intent was not, but the interpretation was. The second that the racist interpretation was pointed out to Baker, he deleted the post and apologised for it.

But that’s not good enough for the professionally-offended fuckwits on social media who love nothing more than being judge, jury and executioner. The people actively seeking offence, usually unrequested and on behalf of someone else.

These days, sadly, it’s not enough to raise an indignant eyebrow, tut, and metaphorically slap someone around the head, telling them to grow up.

These days, at the very minimum, it has to be career-ending in order to placate the mindless and moronic audience around the social media gallows.

It’s fucking pathetic, it really is.

I’m no fan of Baker – I have him blocked on Twitter because his whitterings irritate me. So this doesn’t come from any fanboy perspective. I don’t even like the guy.

But I’ve used this phrase so often lately that I want it on my gravestone:

Where did all the adults go? I miss them.

Things to avoid when you’re anywhere near me.

There are many irritating things about modern living.

In order to save some time in the future, here’s a short and incomplete list of things that irritate me.

Avoid them and we’ll get along just fine.

  • Over-entitlement
  • Platitudes
  • Wilful ignorance
  • Expectation of empathy
  • Demands for respect
  • Bandwagons
  • Opportunism
  • Professional victims
  • Populism
  • Religion – all of them
  • Clichés
  • Hand-wringers
  • Virtue-signallers
  • Shallow thinkers
  • “Inspirational” stories
  • Trial by social media
  • Instagram “models”
  • Assumptions
  • Under-analyses
  • Bureaucracy
  • Videoing things instead of watching them

And finally…

  • Lists.