Movin’ Out (Tim’s Song)

It will soon have been 10 years since I first lived away from my parents’ home for an extended period, and by ‘soon’ I mean ‘in two years’. Aside from university accommodation, I’ve lived in five places since then, soon to be six. The numerous indignant sixty year olds that no doubt read my blog will be asking ‘well instead of wasting money on agency fees and deposits by moving multiple times, why didn’t you stay in one place, and save money for a deposit on a house?’ And to those people I say, no, I can’t afford a deposit on a house, because in Bristol where I live, the average house price is now nine times the average salary, let alone my paltry salary due to me working part time, since working full time in an office would cause me to become so depressed I’d probably kill myself, which would at least ease the competition slightly for everyone else. My current plan is to rent flats until this blog reaches a critical mass where it becomes just so brilliant that people have no choice but to buy me a house in exchange for the privilege of reading it. Here’s an example of something pleasant aimed to cause chuckles, so you know I’m getting really good at doing this blog:

 

If animals worked like Pokemon, I’d definitely wait until my badger learned quick attack before I evolved it into a panda.

 

See? It’s something isn’t it?

For now though, I’m going to be moving in with my girlfriend, which may seem like a big step to some people, until you realise that you move in with your pets instantly and they don’t even chip in with the bills (unless they’re a duck. Jesus Christ I’m fucking nailing this blog). But each time you move, you have to re-evaluate all of your belongings, and decide if you’re happy to be seen loading these things off a van by your new neighbours. Would they mind watching me unload my ornamental gongs, or numerous instructional tomes on homemade air horns? One thing I have suggested which my girlfriend has vetoed, is to go to our nearest new neighbour’s door, and leave a pair of ear defenders with a note reading: ‘Hi neighbour! You’re gonna need these!’ with a cheeky winking smiley face. Obviously we won’t specify what they’re for, but hopefully they’ll make a disgusting leap of logic that leads them to worry about the imminent prolonged sounds of industrially loud sex. Little do they know it’s actually for the ear-piercing sobs of my girlfriend who will realise very quickly that living with me is misery. Such a sweet prank.

In the lead up to the move, I’ve unfortunately found myself watching a fifteen minute long YouTube video entitled ‘You’ve Been Storing Your Comic Books Wrong This Whole Time’ which I found to be a very presumptuous title. Granted, I’d been storing my comic books loose on the back of a flatbed truck travelling at 60mph on the M4, but they need to breathe don’t they? I plan on having a separate area in which to write this barnstormer of a blog/runaway train of verbal success, where I’ll likely store my comic books, so I have an area designated for writing and creativity to prevent me from being distracted. How could I expect to get any writing done in the living room with the distraction of a TV, or family and friends? I should stress that I don’t see this separate room as equivalent to a ‘man-cave’ – a concept which seems reserved for men who still use the phrase ‘she wears the trousers’, and apparently undertake activities so heinous and Neanderthal that the space in which it happens isn’t even afforded the designation of ‘room’, in case this attribution is somehow considered too feminine. Caves are mostly reserved for Batman and moss, so unless you’re in the spare room trying to work out the identity of the Joker while your butler bandages up your broken ribs, maybe calm down, or get photosynthesising.

 

Anyway, I have a lot of organising, flat viewing, and comic book storage methods to reevaluate. The first place we viewed had a landlord of a similar ethnicity to my girlfriend which she thought might give them a connection and give us the edge over other potential tenants. Unfortunately he seemed to answer any questions she asked by addressing me, the only white man in the room. So much for cultural kinship taking priority over societal sexism. When we explained our desire for the second bedroom to be an office, he also asked if I planned to turn it into a man-cave. I considered countering the fatuous suggestion by explaining I planned to actually turn it into an equally ridiculous racial enclave, instead of a gendered one. Although I’m not sure what the optics on the phrase ‘white-cave’ would be, so luckily I restrained myself. Anyway the living room was shit so we won’t be living there. I’ve asked my girlfriend to tell the next landlord who asks a similar thing that she plans on letting me have full use of the entire flat in a daringly modern move, but I don’t think she will. She’s the boss after all.

 

 

 

Next time on the bandwagon, I completely flip this entry on its head, and instead of writing about ‘moving out’ I talk about ‘moving in’. What a talent.

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Paranoid Solutions

Everyone’s out to get me presents! – Optimistic Paranoia.

I know you’ve all been talking behind my back about when I’ll finally get around to writing about paranoia. Well here I go, so you can stop harassing me now. I assume that’s what’s happening. Otherwise I get a lot of strangers approaching me with very little pretext. I seriously had someone approach me last weekend who just wanted to ask if I thought true power was showing weakness or if it was showing strength. I’m not joking. I was sitting reading a book on a park bench and he walked up and asked me what I thought power was. I’d blame this hypothesised blog-voracious cabal for this sort of shit, but I honestly don’t believe such a baffling encounter could be manufactured for any purpose, aside from blind-siding someone before trying to convert them to Scientology. Anyway, now my Thetan level is balanced, I admit, I can only talk about paranoia in a general sense, not necessarily as a clinical condition. Lord knows I’m not qualified to attempt to educate on a mental illness, no matter how many TED talks I’ve read the titles of. Remember that one on being successful? Yeah I didn’t watch it either, but I’m pretty sure one of the tips isn’t to admit all of your weaknesses to a stranger in a park.

 

Paranoia’s obviously worse than just believing you’re unlucky, since that’s down to just being on the wrong end of chance. Although I suppose if your bad luck got so exaggerated, like if you consistently trod in dogshit every single day for a week, and it wasn’t even the same dogshit each time, you may start to think that there was some sort of deliberate design behind what was happening. You could possibly view the potential for paranoia as just a movement of the threshold at which you can no longer accept coincidence as the reason for unlikely events. In that way it feels like it goes hand in hand with believing conspiracy theories. Really the only difference is that a conspiracy theory suggests a concerted effort to cover up the truth, and hide what’s happening. So perhaps your daily dogshit dalliances are the result of a collective with a vested interest in stopping you from enjoying your walk to work. Or trying to turn you against dogs? It wouldn’t take a huge leap to then assume that the culprit would be cats with ties to the automotive industry. But personal paranoia can be just as outlandish, but also with only one perpetrator. For example I once went on a date with a girl who worked in a shoe shop, and rejected her advances at the end of the date. Since then every pair of shoes I’ve had has either fallen apart or caused the skin over my Achilles’ tendon to bleed. It doesn’t help that we went dancing on the date, and I’m wondering if the shoe problems since could be down to me somehow literally being cursed with two left feet. But in reality, I know that it’s because I’m cheap, and therefore rarely splash out much money on shoes, so end up buying ones of shitty quality. Or I end up not paying my way on dates I’m not enjoying, and see that as a pre-emptive rejection of an inevitable advance from my date.

 

I actually have a decent pair of shoes now, which I recently found out, are somewhat similar to the pair every single member of the Heaven’s Gate cult from 1997 were wearing when they committed mass suicide. The specific shoes were black Nike Decades, which Nike have since discontinued, apparently to distance themselves from a religious death cult. That seems paranoid. I don’t think anyone would have assumed that Nike were the official sponsor of mass suicide, anymore than people think Yale are the official sponsor of kidnapping. That is a non-connection that does not need to be stated, and if anything just sounds suspicious. On an unrelated note, no matter what you may have read or heard, I am not now, nor ever have been, affiliated with that pile of foxes outside my house. I know my silence on this issue has been deafening, but rest assured, any reports of my connection with said foxes is an entire fabrication, and as such I will be discontinuing my wildly successful fox-based t-shirt line to ensure there is no confusion. The fact that all of the foxes were wearing my t-shirts, is frankly unimportant and irrelevant.

True power is showing weakness, and true weakness is admitting that you don’t know what the fuck is going on, instead of imagining a situation where you’re always the victim of unrealistic and ridiculous systems. Maybe your weakness is literally your Achilles heel being shredded by a pair of Doc Martens, or being so susceptible to mass hysteria that you think suicide is the path to an alien spacecraft hidden behind the Hale-Bopp comet, which in a very literal sense is coming out to get you. But when life gives you sour lemons, doesn’t mean you have to drink the Kool-Aid.

 

 

 

 

Next time on the bandwagon, I’m going to let my intern Mike have a go at writing something. His most recent idea was ‘the unsung heroes in the war on dandruff’ so we’ll see how that goes.

See Myself and I

“You look how I feel.” – Pricks who don’t realise how terrible they look.

 

I don’t think you can ever truly know what people think of you, unless you were to fake your own death, and go to the funeral, and only reveal yourself after listening to the eulogies. Not because people would speak about you honestly, but because that would be such an obviously awful thing to do, you would at least know afterwards that everyone definitely hates you. There would probably be a freedom in that, knowing for sure that you’re hated, instead of worrying that someone might dislike you a little – I can definitely see the appeal of it. Okay, the rest of this blog will be peppered with awful false truths about me to turn anyone against me, so I can live in the purity of unquestioning hatred. Like the hatred I felt for that fly I killed that one time (God I’m awful).

A lot of value is placed on how we present ourselves physically. The phrase ‘look good, feel good’ only works to the extent that someone who shows no sign of physical illness is probably healthier than someone who does. But suggesting that putting a bit of slap on will drag you out of your depression makes no sense. You may as well put a bumper sticker on your recently crashed car in the hopes that the mechanic won’t write it off once he sees that ‘this vehicle makes frequent stops at your mum’s house’. Which is only half true. Sometimes I host.

 

In some ways I actually think the opposite can be true. I feel like people focus on their appearance as a way of covering up insecurities, which is not a condemnation, I do the same thing. Like wearing long sleeves because I’m self-conscious of my huge arms. Or wearing no shoes because I’m self conscious of my huge shoes. And now there’s the additional layer of a self-projection on social media to maintain as well, weighing in with a hot take on Twitter, or assuring people on Instagram that you’ve witnessed food. And the more you advance that dishonest portrayal, the thicker the boundary becomes between your real and online selves, making it harder and harder to penetrate the boundary if ever you need to genuinely reach out to people. Think of it like a window you can choose to leave open or one that you can keep adding glass to. Have you ever tried to break a double-glazed window? I have because I’m awful, and let me tell you, it takes a few tries, and if you try for too long, people come along and tell you to stop, even if you explain you’re just working out the realism of a future metaphor.

 

I do wonder if we’re on a constant quest to try to match the outside with the inside, or to trick the outside into the changing the inside? An outside in approach, hoping the make-up and clothes and moisturiser will soak in so deep that it pretties up our soul. Or certainly hoping that other people can be tricked into thinking that’s what we’ve done. But then what’s the alternative (aside from mandatory mood rings obviously)? Walking around wearing a t-shirt that says ‘I’m unhappy’? Because actually it kind of works to project confidence, precisely because our self-worth is often so tied up in how we perceive others to be judging us, whether that’s healthy or not (it’s not). But then it becomes an issue of from where we derive self-worth and happiness. And if it’s from others, for example in how people respond to attempts at insightful writing, then maybe it should be more about what we feel about what we’re doing ourselves. I shouldn’t care if people like this blog, I should just write it to the best of my ability so I’m happy with it. And to be honest, if you have a positive opinion of me after I’ve admitted to killing a fly, owning an awful bumper sticker and breaking a metaphorical window, well then that’s fair enough. Turns out I care so much about what people think that I couldn’t even bring myself to make up more heinous obviously nonsense examples in a blog that no-one reads. Christ, look at me. Whatever version this is.

 

 

Next time on the bandwagon, I submit myself to a series of double blind tests to determine the difference between Venetian and slat.

Win Liner

“There are two tragedies in life, one is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it. And the third is not being able to count.” – George Bernard Shaw

Success can be measured by any metric you want, if we’re talking about personal success. It doesn’t extend to any kind of success, because then you’d end up with a situation where your older brother starts changing the rules of Subbuteo halfway through in his favour, turning you off the concept of football for the rest of your life. And then where are you when the World Cup rolls around again? In a hinterland between wanting to feel more included, and wanting people to think you’re intellectual and alternative because you claim to hate a game that’s symbolic of a wartime Christmas truce in no man’s land you fucking commie. Even the rules of success in football are quite nebulous. If it’s the game itself, the rules have changed a few times, my sources tell me, from requiring a clear gap between the last defender and the player receiving the ball from a teammate, all the way to having to use more politically correct language on an unamplified pitch than the President of the United States. And of course Raheem Sterling’s gun tattoo is a complete no-no, even if it’s there because his father was killed with a gun, and he got it as a reminder never to touch a gun in his life. Just think how it could be interpreted by young, impressionable fans who would apparently be more affected by a gun tattoo they can barely see, than the racist terrace chants still in circulation. David Beckham literally has a tattoo of two almost naked children on his arm. He claims they’re ‘cherubs’ and represent two of his sons, but as we’ve learnt, an uninformed observer’s ad hoc interpretation is what really counts, and I think that in reality, this tattoo is tacit approval of paedophilia. This man is a role model, and frankly the narrative I’ve constructed inside my own head disgusts me.

 

Personal success is whatever you want it to be though. Any of those lists of ‘5 things all successful people do’ are usually overly literal, unrealistic goals like ‘get up at 3am’ or ‘be a white man’, either one of which only ever happens by accident. More important would be to identify what success means to you, if it’s to earn a lot of money, complete a certain artistic project, or just to be happy. For example, being a stand up comedian makes getting up early a terrible idea, because you have to have late nights. The ‘white man’ thing is pretty universal though, unless your idea of success is to be a symbol for the oppressed and underrepresented. Jesus somehow managed it, although he didn’t start out white. Now that’s dedication.

Even if you’ve set a low bar for yourself, success rarely happens overnight, unless you’re the narrator of the song ‘Monster Mash’, and your goal is witness the Monster Mash. In fact a lot of truisms about success are nonsense. It’s metaphorically true that most pursuits are a marathon, not a sprint, but that’s also true of being a professional sprinter, which is a marathon in terms of it being a long term career/time investment. A better one might be ‘Success is the research, time and irreparably damaged test subjects put into developing a cure for a disease, not just having a natural genetic immunity.’ Not pithy, but tediously accurate, and what better metaphor for not only success, but also this blog.

There is one innate, atavistic impulse for success that trumps all others, for most people at least, and may in fact be there as an end-goal that any other goals are only there to facilitate. And that’s that filthy sex stuff. It may be weird to think of copulation as a form of success, and weirder still to explain that during the act, but it’s the ultimate evolutionary success. Even non-procreational sex, since your balls (I say that since I personally am ball-laden, but really I just mean the royal balls, which includes ovaries) don’t know that they didn’t just contribute material towards half of a person. And that feeling of satisfaction can certainly feel like a sprint, especially when compared to the daunting marathon task of achieving success through any sort of creative means, which I suppose is what leads to the hilarious portmanteau act of procrasturbation. Short story not going anywhere? Take a break to feel genetically successful.

 

I wasn’t expecting to go off on a wank-tangent in this blog, but I like to think that I never begin with set boundaries. If I did, I may not have decided to write about sex, masturbation, David Beckham being a paedophile, and The Monster Mash, which would have been awful.

Success only exists with boundaries, unless my metric is that it has no boundaries. Which of course means that I’ve just imposed one. So I suppose this blog exists in a superposition of good and shit. Pointless, with out of date references and constantly under a state of self-examination. My blog is the Eurovision Song Contest.

 

 

Next time on the bandwagon, I finally go it alone, without the help of my blogging entourage. No editors, no managers, no fact-checking interns, no groupies. Pure, unfiltered Tim. At last.

Privacy Matters

These blogs are probably the most open I am on the Internet. And even then I haven’t written one for months. I cringe when I get Facebook memories popping up of my social media infancy, where I’d reveal to the world such intimate and necessary truths as ‘I’m getting a haircut today’ or ‘I forgot to log out of Facebook on the school computer and I’m a big gay boy with no friends.’ Honestly sometimes it’s like they were written by someone else.
Now I just use social media for jokes that would otherwise probably not see the light of day, such as the underappreciated:

“If pica’s a real condition, I’ll eat my hat.”

Solid gold.
I do this maybe because of a sense of feeling that my intimate, non-hilarious thoughts are not worth sharing most of the time, especially with the tenuous Facebook friendships of people who I haven’t spoken to since school, or close friends of my ex-pat ex-girlfriends. Yes more than one has left the country. And yes my current girlfriend is a second generation immigrant, and it may look like I’ve realised I have a certain country-fleeing effect on girlfriends, and am now trying to enact that on a person of colour, but Jesus Christ what kind of person would even make that connection. I mean I’m either a psychopathic racist, or am so desperate to find patterns in things that I don’t mind if it makes me seem like a psychopathic racist.
But I’m very private remember.

In any past relationships, be they interracial or monochrome, I am lucky that we’ve never had to face the daunting prospect of accidental pregnancy, and the ensuing fear of realising we aren’t ready, deciding who to tell, arranging an abortion, and the subsequent guilt. But luckily I know that if that had happened, that’s how things would have gone. And not down a terrifying road of forced procreation as dictated by the law. It’s great that Ireland have repealed the 8th amendment, and while the phrase ‘too little, too late’ comes to mind, it’s still better than the referendum not happening at all. Now we just have to wait for the inevitable irony of uber-religious Pro-Brexit English people, desperate to meddle in Ireland’s affairs, suggesting a second referendum, because the people ‘weren’t informed enough’. Still mad to think there was that giant red bus campaigning around Ireland telling people that ‘abortions are the cause of 9/11’ or ‘terminating a pregnancy results in seven years bad luck.’

Personal privacy is now linked inextricably to online privacy, as evidenced by the fact that new data protection regulation came into force this week to take into account the impact the Internet has had on the usage of personal data, a mere 27 years after the Internet began. With so many well overdue instances of updating privacy, it feels like someone finally allowed to put a lock on their front door after their house has been burgled for the seventeenth time.
Receiving so many emails from the ghosts of mailing lists past feels like being contacted by those people you’d forgotten you were still Facebook friends with, and being asked if you still care what their feed has to offer. ‘Please re-friend now, if you continue to be interested in pictures of my latest Pandora purchase, or hilarious chewing gum pranks.’
One of the emails I got was from something called The Inner Circle, which as far as I can remember, was a site/app that tried to give the idea of online dating a feeling of prestige, by placing you in the upper echelons of potential match-ups, supposedly giving you some sort of tacit advantage by virtue of being on that site at all. I never ended up using it, partly because one of the requirements was to get three friends to sign up too, which in hindsight makes it sound like a pyramid dating site – a Ponzi Tinder. If I’d taken a moment to consider it, instead of giving up because I didn’t want my friends to know that I was trying to sign up to a dating app for ‘beautiful people’, I would have realised that it seems like a terrible idea anyway. Why the hell would I want to place myself in contention with people who actively consider themselves good looking? I guess the idea is that I’d feel I deserved to be there, right until people could see me, like those videos of baby animals raised by a different species, when a baby pig that thinks it’s a cat, and has no idea how out of place it looks.

On a related note, Facebook announced an initiative to cut down on instances of revenge porn being uploaded to their site, by asking users to upload the images themselves first, so that the digital fingerprints could be recognised if uploaded by someone else. These images would of course only be seen by Facebook employees, a company with a famously stellar reputation for using people’s information ethically.
Facebook has ensured the public that the people viewing these images will be specially selected, presumably the process for which is asking:

Do nude pictures make you horny? If no, we may have an opportunity for you.

Very on brand though, for a company that routinely reminds you of all of the embarrassing things from your past anyway without prompting. I’d love to be an Irish government official now, looking back at their Facebook memory of the time they passed the 8th amendment, and shaking their heads in embarrassment. ‘What were we thinking? Anyway, best get these dick pics uploaded.’

 

Next time on the bandwagon, I’ll either continue to attempt to be relatively topical, or finally write up the results of my ‘Giant Hippo vs Giant Zippo’ experiment.

Friends In High Spaces

‘Alien abduction’ is an interesting phrase. It brings to mind lapses of memory, hushed conversations about government conspiracies, and anal probing. In other words, the perfect weekend. But it shares its syntax with the phrase ‘child abduction’, a phrase which surprisingly does not suggest that you have been awoken in the middle of the night to find a menacing infant at the foot of your bed, ready to hogtie and drag you to a Wendy house to play with a Fisher Price game of ‘My First Vivisection’.
My point is, ‘alien abduction’ for some reason means abducted by aliens, and is a phenomenon I would equate with any paranormal or supernatural belief. Partly because it’s obvious, but also because if I’m espousing the argument against alien abduction on a blog, I must be part of some global cabal eager to silence the truth of abduction. And while I’ve been in bands, groups, collectives and communities, I’ve never been in a cabal, and as a white man I’ve always wanted to know what it’s like to be in some sort of minority. I think that’s how the Bilderberg Group started.

 

I assume that there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, because the other option is that we are in some way special, and I don’t know if you’ve looked at you recently, but if you are the biological apotheosis of a universe which contains supernovae, quantum entanglement and gravity, then someone’s fucked up. There surely has to be a sentient species out there without recurrent back problems or one that doesn’t have a continuing need to dull their existential longing for worthwhile creative endeavours by playing Minecraft.
There is the idea that we are only special in the sense that we were created in God’s image. He wouldn’t make creatures that look exactly like him if he didn’t identify with them in some way. No one watches Star Wars and assumes it’s Chewbacca’s personal story about being a walking carpet who has to find his place among some weird short, bald-bodied people. We identify with what we know. So either we’re God’s favourite, we’re God’s only creation, or we’re just another species in the cosmos, who look like this because we just do, and God is a concept founded on the accumulated auditory hallucinations of long dead kings who were mythologised and amalgamated into an increasingly more powerful and more distant being. It’s that same identifying logic that makes most of our visions of aliens incredibly human, which is an even greater demonstration of self-obsession than when I realise how many times I’ve Googled myself in the past week. The heptapods in the movie Arrival give us a vision of aliens very different to us, specifically with how they view time all at once, like Kurt Vonnegut’s Tralfamadorians. But usually the differences are aesthetic, or just regarding the level of scientific advancement. But the possible variations in how intelligent life can evolve are related more to fundamental laws of biology and physics than just ‘how mental would it look if we had eye-fingers?’ And how exactly could the heptapods even plan for interstellar travel without a linear concept of time? Could the engineers who worked on the ship even claim overtime?
‘There is no overtime, or undertime. There is only time.’
‘Yes but you made me miss Ultimate Frisbee club.’

 

Interstellar travel is the real reason I don’t think we’ve been contacted. I don’t think it’s realistic to assume any other intelligent species would have the means to have already travelled the huge distance to get to us, based on how far away the closest life-sustainable planet is.
The Kepler space observatory recently discovered a new exoplanet in a solar system 2,500 lightyears away. The reason for the big announcement of it, was that they had discovered a planet which was its solar system’s third rock from the sun, which aside from being a nineties sitcom starring John Lithgow and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s hair, is what Earth is. While I was still watching that programme, I had no idea the title referred to Earth. When I found out, I assumed that it must have been revealed as some Planet of the Apes-style twist. Although come to think of it, Planet of the Apes probably gave its twist away early on by heavily featuring horses, which as we all know, are indigenous to Earth.
They also revealed the newly discovered exoplanet had a surface temperature comparable to Mercury. What a waste of time.

 

I think our desire to believe in visiting aliens speaks to our need to be convinced that there’s something out there with a better handle on what’s going on than us. If we view aliens as physics-defying, utopian science gods, maybe it’s not our fault that we keep fucking up. We’re just not ready yet. We need to focus on technological advancements we can barely handle, remove everything that makes us stand out as individuals, and invade foreign soil for no good reason. Then, and only then will we have figured out the true meaning of a utopian society.

Oh wait.

 

 

Next time on the bandwagon, dogs might know what Christmas is, but do they really get it?

Daze Ex Machina

Yep, it’s the big one. Goodings is tackling the concept of God. Make room, open the hangar doors of your preconceptions, and let me unload my truth freight into your shipping bay of ignorance. So, let’s decide once and for all, is there a god? Nah I’m joking, I don’t fucking know. I just like to pretend I’m the annoying sort of atheist that sneers at people who hold religion dearly. But actually, I’ll happily sneer at anyone, I don’t discriminate. Black or white, gay or straight, religious or normal.

The idea of god is interesting, and the concept that some people need a higher power as an arbiter of morality and truth. I don’t mean that as a criticism. There are loads of day to day things that I read on the modern-day deity of the Internet, and like a chump, I just believed them when they are obviously false. I mean, I once read that Einstein abandoned his theory of the cosmological constant as a static universe stabiliser, and for a second I was like ‘Oh yeah that makes sense.’ But then I was just like, ‘Hello! What about the shifted wavelengths of light in between accelerating galaxies that point to dark energy as the cause for an expanding universe?!’ Boy was my face red! Redder than the redshift of the light stretched by dark energy! Haha!
Similarly I recently typed into Google: ‘do spiders eat their own legs?’ And the results amounted to a lengthy version of ‘yes, sometimes’. And now I am entirely convinced that all spiders eat all of their legs all the time. Although that also seems obvious.

But the idea of people needing something to worship is interesting, and not in a BDSM way. For example, the ‘higher power’ needed to complete the twelve step programme for addiction can easily be a religious god. But without having a faith, I have no idea what my higher power would be. The main commandments I regularly surrender to are the cooking instructions on the back of ready meal packaging. And the only thing that can offer me as clean-living advice is the nutritional information on the front, warning me of the dangers of eating ready meals.

I suppose your higher power can be your own well-being, as though you are worshipping the platonic ideal of your own potential, which feels pretty narcissistic. It’s essentially what Matthew McConaughey said in that awards acceptance speech about looking up to a version of himself ten years in the future, who has more wisdom and perspective. A nice idea if you’re Matthew McConaughey, but very few of us are. The ideal version of me ten years from now just looks much more tired, with more wrinkles, but with another 500 blogs written ostensibly about highbrow concepts, but with numerous digressions into self-referential bullshit.

Julian Jaynes has a controversial theory that what humans used to call ‘gods’ three-thousand years ago and earlier, was actually the result of something called the ‘bicameral mind’, which if you’re any sort of discerning legend and have seen the Westworld TV show, you may have heard of. A bicameral mind is a human mind before consciousness. And according to the theory, under stressful, unprecedented situations, we would hear an internalised voice providing advice that felt like it wasn’t under our control, like a form of schizophrenia, or a guided meditation podcast. These voices were attributed to gods, whispering assistance inside our minds on how to deal with a never before seen threat, like a horse with a guy on top, or a blue telephone box landing out of nowhere, producing some old white guy who decides to stick his fucking nose into everyone’s business.
If it seems difficult to imagine someone with no level of insight or self-reflection, essentially running on autopilot, who feels as though they’re constantly under the scrutiny of some remote intelligence, just watch Gogglebox and you’ll see it.

Jaynes also uses the example of the feeling you get after a short, habitual drive where you realise you weren’t ‘tuned in’ during the journey, even if you remember it, known as ‘Highway Hypnosis’. He says this is us behaving without consciousness, enacting a routine task that you do so regularly you hardly have to think about it. In my case that would be something incredibly commonplace like writing a great blog post, or receiving a shower of compliments about my latest great blog post. Also forgetting to take the bins out. Happens so often I hardly have to try now. Don’t even realise I’m not doing it.

I imagine it would be very comforting having a god to look to for guidance, but if Jaynes is right, then that guidance attributed to gods was just coming from our own brains. We are the masters of our own destiny. We are our own messiahs. What I’m saying is, as far as I’m concerned, I’m God. I am the ultimate architect of my own reality, irrespective of whether or not that tallies with a possible objective reality. Maybe McConaughey was right, and I’m the only inspiration I need. Maybe I should strive to be the best version of myself, drowning in success and fulfilment, a subjective god of personal direction.

Really feels like God would have a greater blog readership than this. I blame Richard Dawkins.

Next time on the bandwagon, if radiators radiate, and indicators indicate, do alligators alligate? The answer may surprise you, if you thought the answer was ‘yes’.