Verbs, and other confusing concepts
Not to come over all Munchausen by proxy, but I must confess I’ve been looking up symptoms all day. Because there seems to be a plague, a plague I tell you, sweeping the country. The only symptom I’ve been able to pin down with any degree of certainty is this: the inability to tell the difference between ‘sitting down’ and ‘throwing things’. Annoyingly, it fits no diagnostic criteria I can find. But what if it spreads? What if we become unable to tell the difference between ‘eating something’ and ‘writing something’? The end of days, my friends, the end of days.
I have known many, many deeply irritating and offensive people in my time. Most of them are my friends. And they do many things which could annoy almost anyone. But generally speaking, I, and everyone else they annoy, can tell the difference between when they sit down and when they throw things. And one of these things is much worse than the other. For example, sometimes they sit down for too long and refuse to leave or go to bed; this can be distinctly inconvenient. However my reaction to this is of a very different degree of irritation to that which I experience if they throw things. That reaction tends to be brisk and efficient and marks the end of any good evening.
So on Saturday some things happened, in case anyone has been under a rock. And then there was news coverage. The things were as follows:
There was a march.
There was a peaceful occupation, which I will refer to as a sit in even if they were sometimes standing.
There was throwing of things.
These were three different events, represented by three different verbs. Despite the fact that standing and sitting are now growing confusing for me (because you see, this plague is almost certainly contagious) I am still fairly sure that I can see the difference in these verbs – marching, sitting, throwing things.
Unlike in rock-paper-scissors, one of these things will always win. So, as ever, rock-throwing-pillocks make the papers, ensuring minimal coverage for those fighting the cuts.
Right at the start of the march I saw an odd sight: lots and lots of young people – teenagers, young teenagers – all getting dressed up in their best black uniform and matching headwear. Watching teenagers ‘suit up’ is not a pleasant experience. It is against the laws of god and man and any right thinking person recoils from it as from eating spoiled meat – there is something truly unnatural about a group of teenagers willingly donning a uniform.
Happily, being younger than us, they moved much faster than us, and we didn’t see them for long. Off they scampered through the crowd on their young legs, off to throw things. These little pillocks were the black bloc(k), which I refuse to capitalise, because they don’t deserve capital letters. They are also Wankers, which I am happy to capitalise, just for emphasis.
Had the convenient UKUncut not been around to pick up the blame, we, the peaceful, kid-carting, wheelchair-using massive who schlepped two miles in about five hours, would have been picking up the slack for those little pillocks and their actions. ‘A vote for Labour is a vote for anarchy,’ some balanced news-rag would have proclaimed, and we would have been indignant. We would have been blamed for kids out for kicks, which is what most of them were, and we would have been furious because walking is not the same as throwing things.
Instead UKUncut are carrying the blame for something that is nothing to do with them – as little to do with them as it is to do with us, the general marchers. The black block (teenagers who like wearing uniforms for fun at the weekend) are football hooligans. I’m fairly sure we figured out a while back that professional football hooligans can’t be blamed on football fans, no matter how annoying we might find football fans. These are two unrelated, albeit juxtaposed, groups. Even if the football fans are ‘drinking’ and ‘singing’ we are forced to acknowledge that they are not ‘stabbing people’ or ‘throwing rocks.’ It comes back to those verb-things.
Sit ins, even if they aren’t your cup of tea, are not violent, and they are not the actions of the unmitigated jackasses who ran riot on Saturday. Sit ins, at worst, are the unwelcome guests who want to sing one more song at 4am when you’d prefer to just go to bed. Not the same as the twat who came along with them who, off his face, is now putting his fist through a window.
Getting these things confused is the same as blaming a random member of the police force for killing Ian Tomlinson or blaming a random priest for abusing kids – illogical, annoying, probably libellous and utterly, utterly self-defeating.
So I continue to search the medical databases. What could be the cause for this sudden inability differentiate between verbs? Is it cognitive? A new variant of synthaesia? Wilful myopia? We need to figure this out, people, because until we do we’re going to continue to sound like fucking idiots. And this country is already being run by enough of those.