They say that the opening paragraph of a book or story is the most important. They say that if you can capture the attention in the first paragraph and on the first page then you have them for the rest of the story.
So if you're still reading here, it looks like I have your attention.
Well, I don't know what inspired me to start this blog. Or what I'm going to write. I guess this is the best forum for pouring out my emotions and letting lose as to what state my life is in at the moment. I don't expect anyone to read this, so I'll be as honest as I can. But if you do read this then let me know!
So, about me... I'm a disappointment. Ask my parents. They'll tilt their heads to one side and protest. That's their way of agreeing with you. However, it's not them that are disappointed with me. It's me. Myself. I'm disappointed with myself. I'm 21 (some people will tell you that i'm still too young to feel that way, and that my whole life is in front of me - they're wrong), i've got a job with a prominent National department store (some people will say that my career is bedding in nicely - they're wrong), and a reasonable social life. That's the neutral view. My view is that i'm 21, so all the opportunity for me to do all the stereotypical things young people do has passed. I've got a steady job that i'm not too fond of, that's paying me peanuts and means travelling for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening. I have some friends, but they don't really seem too interested in me at all. I play a lot of sports, none of which i am any good at, despite constant practise, and i'm overweight. I don't mean a little bit tubby. I'm a big fat man. Ah well, these things happen.
I guess in this respect i'm like any other person. Most of the people i know could stand to lose some weight, and who actually likes their job? But i'm really disappointed because i feel as though i could do so much better. I was always very average at school. I was "gifted" when i was 10 years old, and that got me into one of the best schools in the country. Where i proceeded to be average, whilst others were exceptional. I'm sure i could have done better, but that time has passed.
I got into a really good university. I scraped the A-levels to get there, and finished with a very average degree. I know what you're thinking. An average degree is still better than no degree. Well think about it this way. There are about 650 universities/colleges in this country. Each year the average number of successful applicants for these universities is about 350,000 students. So in a few years' time, my average degree will mean virtually nothing. And what with the Education Secretary proposing new A+ and A++ grades for A-levels, i'm going to look like i should have gone to a "special" school! I guess my glass really is half empty, eh?
So that's a bit of background for you.
I've been angry for the last few days now about things. I'll make something clear here, i don't like idiots. Ironic really, seeing as i've just condemned myself as one, but i don't suffer fools gladly. I either get angry or start laughing, and invariably it's at them and not with them. The only other thing i dislike is "racism". What's the point? Two white guys have a joke at each other's expense then that's fine. My mates call me fat all the time. It doesn't bother me. It's my distinguishing feature. But someone getting angry because another person has made a joke of their most distinguishing feature being their skin colour is racist. Never really understood that. "But you are black" doesn't seem to be much of an argument with these people, and yet in my logical head it works. Maybe skin colour shouldn't be the first point of attack, but surely the most obvious.
Anyway, things in the news have reflected both these pet hates of mine. A girl has won a court case against a school she doesn't even go to anymore because the school forbade her from wearing traditional Muslim dress. The main argument was that this was racist and an infringement of her human rights. Rubbish. She didn't wear school uniform. She needs to be punished. If i turned up in great long beige and brown robes to school, my defence being that it is the traditional dress of my Jedi religion, i'd be pilloried and sent home. And yet she is awarded and put forward as a beacon of hope for Muslims. Normally i'd just sigh, question what the world is coming to, and turn the page to read about the latest credit card fraudster or what George W. Bush has done to disgrace himself today, but i have a problem with this. The school in question had been very flexible and designed a uniform to cater for those of a different religious persuasion. It met all the criteria set out in the Koran for how women should dress (apparently - but i'll come to that later), and yet she still refuses to wear it. This smells of phoney matyrdom to me. Her problem with it? The uniform didn't cover her head. Rubbish.
The Koran says that women should have their faces covered too, but she wasn't arguing for that. I just don't get it.
This brings me onto my next point of complaint. Islam. The most popular religion in the world. But it seems a strange one to me. Apparently it is written that Muslim men must have a beard the length of their fist. Women must keep all of their body covered to protect their modesty. Is that really very sensible? The Bible tells us that homosexuality is a crime and should be punished. It also tells us that slavery is acceptable. Neither of this teachings is right, nor are they applicable in today's modern society, nor should they be. Christianity is a fine religion, as is Islam, and i respect anybody with honest religious beliefs, but i also believe that religion must be adapted, not compromised, but adapted for today's society. Despite this respect for people with stong beliefs, i do not tolerate extremism. Why do Islamic extremists insist on blowing up buildings, cars and even themselves to prove that America or Britain are evil. If that is so, why do so many Muslims live in these two countries? So far, i hear in the news of all the "evil" countries bt never why they are evil? Because they have different beliefs? because they have leaders who don't really understand what's going on? I just want to know why. If we knew why then maybe we could sort things out to keep everyone happy. Probably not, but maybe.
I just realised that i've waffled on for ages, and probably lost the attention of anybody that got past the first paragraph, but these are my opinions. I have lots of them. I will let you know of any more that bubble to the surface during the days and weeks ahead. I anticipate that there will be a few...