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Big Brother?

Yesterday I rang my mobile phone provider to bleat something about ‘when am I out of my contract, please sir?’

The stern reply was not yet, but you could talk to someone to see what we could do, yada, yada, yada; blah, blah, blah.

I couldn’t be bothered with it, so I just muttered something about wanting shot of the Crapberry, thanks anyway, and hung up. My main beef with said item is it sticks on ‘O’ or ‘+’ and often times it is a battle to get something out there not full of ooooooooooooooooo s or ++++++++++++++++++ s. Plus it freezes. A lot. Oh and the camera is terrible.

Within an hour, I had an email from RIM, the makers of the Crapberry (apt manufacturers name, I think), imploring me to consider upgrading to the new SuperCrackCrapBerry.

Co-incidence?

You decide.

Exhibit Number 1

Measure for Measure

I’ve had a few things I was flipping about in my brain so I have decided to try and link them together under the mantle of David Cameron’s proposed happiness index. This is the development of measures to ascertain our deepest joy generally, as well as under our new dear Condem government surely. The cost of developing these questions none of us are going to answer is approximately £2 million. I can say from the off, I am not overly happy about that for obvious reasons. Have you noticed how the government say we can’t afford most of this, but at the drop of a hat we can afford that.

Then there is the knotty problem of how to measure such a transient thing as happiness at all. Apparently Tony Blair had a little go at it when he was in charge, but gave up as it was too ephemeral to capture. Not to say expensive I’d guess. Notwithstanding that minor glitch, Dave has set the Office of National Statistics the task of consulting with you and me to find out what criteria we think happiness should be measured on.

What they’ve come up with is not very imaginative I can tell you (here if you care). Have you got a job, have you got cash, have you got an education, do you have any friends, are you healthy, do you recycle and how long do you think that might all carry on? It doesn’t take a genius to work out that what Dave is trying to measure is not actually happiness, but 21st century consumer satisfaction with life. He may as well come round and ask me how much I like my breakfast cereal (I don’t).

Your actual personal satisfaction gets lumped in with: (volunteering, caring). Their brackets not mine. That mean one category also includes anything that could be accused of being spiritually or personally enriching as it mentions art and kulcha. Whoah. Could it really be that in measuring our prosperity you can arrive at a measure of our happiness as if they were always intrinsically linked? Of course being poor does not guarantee happiness, but having loadsamoney doesn’t either.

Mr Cameron may have confused the purpose of our lives (which is, incidentally, to be happy according to the Dalai Lama and that’s good enough for me) with a money-making and production line existence. Fortunately for him, most people meekly morph into conformist consumers that the capitalist societies depend on; those who believe that if they get what they want they will be happy. Actually, I think a fulfilled life is a little more about getting what you need.

to be continued… otherwise it would not be a blog post, more a rant, and my mother is not keen on those!