diamond geezer

 Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I'm shouting more often.
It's one of the advantages of living alone.

I'm shouting more at the television. When Simon Cowell appears and says something fatuous, I shout at him. When the continuity announcer reads something smarmy and condescending from a script, I jeer. When yet another Christmas commercial kicks off featuring some Fortnum-fed celebrity prancing round a snow-covered supermarket, I yell "humbug". It's easy to shout at the television because it can't shout back.

I'm shouting more at the television news. When Tiger Woods' mother-in-law is deemed more important than 112 deaths in Iraq, I screech. When apportioning blame trumps real news, following some Daily Mail agenda, I shriek. When some politician spouts forth opinion as fact, and pours scorn on her opponent for doubting, I thunder. When the same 12-second video snippet is played twice in three minutes, I wail. Whenever some lazy journalist spins out a press release into a full two minute feature, I despair. Every time a TV reporter appears in Wootton Bassett High Street and starts talking to camera, I howl. It's easy to shout at the TV news because it never reports the world quite the way I would. I can't change the presentation, but shouting at the screen makes me feel better.

I'm shouting more at blogs. When bloggers flaunt their politics assuming everybody else is wrong, I hiss. When persistent trolls who should know better hurl nasty insults out of pure spite, I bellow. When I read 90% of comments on any newspaper website anywhere on the internet, I roar. Whenever I see the content of a PR email I received yesterday recycled into a post elsewhere, I shout. I know that shouting doesn't change anything, and it would be easier not to look in the first place, but I shout anyway.

I'm shouting more at people who can't hear me. When my neighbours leave a cigarette smoking on their balcony, I audibly curse. When an automatic loans-robot rings my telephone to offer me a stilted deal, I scream at the leech who programmed it. When someone schedules a delivery for a day I'm not at home, and refuses to change it, they get a distant earful. I'm not changing anyone's behaviour here because I'm never directly confrontational, but shouting helps me vent.

I'm shouting more at inanimate objects. When I stub my toe on the edge of the bed, the bed gets shouted at. When my laptop stalls and an hourglass freezes the screen, I cry out in despair. When what's left of a bottle of milk smells strangely foul and I'm in dire need of a cup of tea, I yell at the fridge. Pointless, I know, but the louder I shout the better I feel.

It's OK, my walls are fairly thick. It's OK, I don't have stress or anger issues or serious intolerance or anything. But I'm shouting more than I used to. Has the world changed, or is it me?

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