First it was the truth. Once held up to be the ultimate in any discussion or debate, the truth has been swiftly sidelined for anything that pretends to be entertaining, frightening or awesome. Want to hear the truth about our road network? No, no you don’t. You want to see a motorbike carrying seven people and a bucket of blancmange being hit by a biplane full of penguins. And there’s the other new paradigm: while peace and love were once hailed as aspirational goals, now it’s all about hitting someone in the face with a bat.
Here it comes, the absolute end of the beginning. Here it comes, the Tobacco Products Directive. What was once spoken about, campaigned against and caused at least one petition a week to be drawn up faded from public debate. In fact, it’s been so long since many have openly discussed it that a sizeable number of people are totally ignorant about it and what it might mean to them.
Hunting out work stuff on the web uncovers a whole host of new information. As a would-be autodidact, vaping leads out through politics and public health policies into a wonderful world of philosophy, psychology and alien spheres of science. It’s an awesome jungle of discovery. And then, just to keep it fruity, I occasionally land on something like the article I read this week. The article explaining to me that a chimpanzee’s testicles weigh more than a third of its brain.
Flavours only serve one purpose, according to public health zealots, and that is to snare children. All a child needs to do is take one whiff of a donut cloud or a plume of lemon meringue pie and BOOM they’re hooked on fags for life. Moreover, you adults are all fooling yourselves. Not our words, those are the thoughts of the world’s public health experts.
Do you remember when everything was Top of the Pops albums and Clackers? Maybe you only cast your mind back far enough to recall Nirvana coming from your sister’s room and the smell of oven chips? Or maybe you suffered a head trauma and don’t recollect Pogs or skateboards or Katie Hopkins? If you fall into the last category then you won’t be moaning about modern life and we are all jealous of you. You are a very lucky person.
When we were younger we had them. Maybe it was Batman? Maybe it was that bloke who used to hang around the park with a bag of sweets? Maybe it was Hans Hollen Nielsen, winner of 22 speedway world championships for Denmark? But we had them, we all had heroes. I don’t know about you, but I’m struggling to picture a scene where a six-year old has a photograph of Martin McKee or Simon Chapman on their wall.
Do you remember going to see the careers guidance officer? At least that is what they were called when I was at school, I believe following continual cutbacks that the Department for Education has issued all institutions with a dartboard labelled up with all the options. Spotty hormonal teenagers now shuffle down a dank corridor, pick up a blunt set of arrows and have three opportunities to land one of the two placements in their town.
If you were to carry out a survey of the Stealthvape workforce, a proper survey designed to uncover the truth – not like those political polls at election time – and ask the vital question: “what is the most important thing in the world?” If you get rid of the soppy answers covering spouses, spawn and love, you will find one answer topping all others. You will find the answer is cheese.
We Britons seem to be busier than ever, every year we are set tougher targets and higher goals than the year before. As we struggle by on a mix of luck and fudging of figures (it’s OK, you’re among friends, no one will tell), looking forward to retirement, some bright spark suggests that we should all continue working for even longer. No wonder people are shouting at each other across the lanes of the M25 and M6. We need to get happier.
Do you put your hand up when you cough or sneeze? Do you lay and work from outside to in with your cutlery? How about kissing when greeting, do you go for the informal double from cheek to cheek or hide in the toilet till they’ve all gone home? Us Brits seem to be preoccupied with etiquette, well a sizeable number of us anyway. Heck, somebody gives Debrett’s money to tell people how they should dress and stand at parties.