Friday, September 24, 2010

On Romantic Propriety

I’m a romantic fool. Think about that short statement. Now flush out any mental image you have of me, because that’s exactly what I’m not. I’m a more literal romantic fool, in which I am completely ignorant and foolish in romantic situations, despite my very best intentions. While normal romantic fools surrender to their emotions and passions, my logic, emotions and physical desires all stumble blindly towards each other in my mind like some demented 3-way mating ritual of frenzied mountain goats with ear infections. As you can imagine, this is extremely inconvenient for all parties involved. While my feelings are throwing proverbial house-bricks at each other, minor social pleasantries and civilities (like talking, for example) are brought to a halt until the dispute has been resolved. Too much of this and the partner in question feels that they’re wasting their time and leaves to find someone more suitably ‘cool’ and ‘manly’, by which time I’ve already freaked out completely and started thinking about Tomato juice.
But being the massive coward I am, rather than acknowledge that I’m entirely responsible for my failure in romance, it’s far more appropriate to blame all of you and the rest of society for your illogical romance customs. And yes, it’s entirely YOUR fault, and not the hundreds of thousands of years in human evolution and social interaction.
If any of you have read my old blog, you’d probably know how I feel about cinemas. I’m a bit of a social anomaly as I’ve always been so incorrectly under the impression that cinemas were designed for watching movies. I never kiss while at a cinema, and the one time I tried, somebody got bruised. Going to the cinema as a date makes absolutely no sense anyway. If you’re dating someone, presumably you want to get to know them. If you’re in a cinema, presumably you want to get to know a movie. It’s very difficult to fully enjoy a film with another patron stuck to your face. It’s also quite difficult to get to know someone when you’re not allowed to talk in a very low visibility environment after chipping a tooth on a poorly thrown Jaffa. Clubbing makes courting difficult for similar reasons. Why bother trying to talk nice, look nice, and play getting-to-know-you games if you can’t see them for the smoke or hear them over the terrible music (though it’s been a while since I’ve been to a club. Is Hanson still in?)? Sometimes you can’t even move at a club. Last time I was there, I was just about ready to leave when my shoe was fused to the floor by what appeared to be a combination of blu-tack, jelly slice and jungle chews. I really hope those were the actual components. This makes absolutely no sense! In a world where things aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing, we’ll never get anywhere. Do people really think that the LHC was designed in the hopes that young couples would make out against the control panels? Did Ferdinand Verbiest really design the first Shaggin’ Wagon? Perhaps.
So it would appear that for a person to be successful in society today, meaningless events like picnics and beach walks have to be swapped out by loud, smelly, sweaty, uncomfortable places that have nothing to do with the interaction in question. Why has the world insisted that romance needs to go hand-in-hand with chaotic situations for true validation? It’s a paradox of sorts. You’re only supposed to kiss in kitchens, churches, cinemas, banks, supermarkets and the like, and only because you’re not supposed to kiss there. Kissing anywhere else is a faux-pas. You’re not meant to kiss at those places, and you’re supposed to kiss at the places you’re not supposed to kiss at, even though you’re expected to kiss, and those places you can kiss at, you can’t. And even I, with my unshakable knowledge of these rules, get consistently confused. So why not make a big change for the better? Think of how wonderful and simple the world would be if we all just reserved these functional places for the events they were designed to hold. We can all watch movies at cinemas, go shopping in shops and listen to music in clubs without anybody expecting you to do something you shouldn’t be doing.
Which you should.
Precisely because you shouldn’t.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

On shoes...

Deuteronomy 33:25 – Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.

I don’t like feet.

I really don’t. And while I respect them are far as their functionality, they are bony, weird looking things that aren’t the least bit attractive to me. And I’m not so arrogant as to feel this way just about the feet of others. My feet are disturbingly hobbit-like, and I figure the less people see of them, the better. I’m aware that my opinion of feet isn’t particularly common, and it could be a strange result of being brought up in a morally conservative family. But I’d suffer people walking about shoeless on their hands if it meant the current trend of footwear was abolished.

Shoes today are overwhelmingly stupid. So stupid, in fact, that it’s difficult to understand why people continue to spend hard-earned money on them. As the transition to the fucked shoes (or ‘shucks’, as I call them) has taken less than a decade, the movement seems less like the natural evolution of clothing and more like an invasion of modern culture. The reasons why shucks shuck so hard are obvious. Firstly, the look. I walk down the street trying to work out where I was when Ugg boots with leggings (which aren’t pants by the by, no matter how many times you print yellow stitches or pockets on them) became popular. The one truly great thing about leggings is they match so many other shucks so well. Be it those stupid, overly wrinkly elf boots, ballet shoes, or ridiculous high-heels that are connected to the front of the shoe (but honestly, I dislike most high-heels. And basically all pointy shoes. Most men feel uncomfortable around sharp-looking shoes. But hey, maybe that’s the point). And let’s not forget the most practical of shucks; the gumboot. Once a functional shoe for wading through mud and cow manure, they’ve been adapted with such coatings as pink Che Guevara faces to wade through bleach, bogan saliva and the vomit of people like me.

While this is all good and disgusting, the footwear’s appearance might have been at least half bearable if the designs were somewhat more pragmatic. I was walking with some friends to my work the other day. The total walking distance was 1.1 km. About halfway through this incredible odyssey, one of my friends mentioned how her shoes were ‘killing her’, and wished we weren’t walking. Both she and I were shocked to find that, after searching deep into my very soul, I had absolutely no sympathy. Normally, I respond compassionately when a person is experiencing pain; physical or emotional. However, this particular friend had chosen to wear shoes entirely for their aesthetics over comfort and practicality. That’s when I realised I have very little patience for those who will put up with the aches, blisters and pieces of glass just to look ‘good’. I may as well wear shoe boxes filled with Lego pieces and Meccano spanners. This completely eliminates the point of shoes, and ridicules people like me who wear nice, comfy, cheap shoes.

You may have noticed that this is all mostly directed at women’s shucks and, as such, may come across as somewhat sexist. Which I completely agree with. Why should women in contemporary society be expected to wear shoes that do their body absolutely no good, and that everybody secretly hates (yes, that’s right. Culturally enforced sexualisation is a religion of sorts, and is fully capable of brainwashing its followers. Anybody you know who likes shucks or finds them attractive most likely has friends or family that do even more.)?

So next time you feel like going out clubbing or to a pub, slip on a pair of hiking boots or runners. You simply won’t believe how good your feet will feel, and you may even attract a higher quality of man/woman.

Or wear chucks. Who doesn’t love chucks?