Life of a Whirlwind

This article must begin with a confession. A confession of a sin. For it is a great linguistic sin to take the easy path in writing. And the easiest of these paths in the wood, the road most travelled if you will, is that of the rant. Rants pervade almost everything in our daily life, people complaining about service in a cafe, the price of petrol, public transport, or our glorious leaders. Fill your pen with bile, summon up the blood, let hubris reign and the article will write itself. Alas this is what I have done, but I feel I can’t restrain myself any longer. So I hope you will forgive me this little vice.

Dinner Friday? No, what about the beach Saturday? Still busy? Next week not good for you either? The week after you say. Super, what day? You are busy on all of them? Hmm, ok I get the hint. What it isn’t a hint? You want to spend time with me you are just too busy! Well I understand, life is busy. This oft quoted phrase has gone from the everyday, through the forests of cliche and emerged in the sun lit uplands of meaningless twaddle. This is not to say that I am holier than thou. I am just as guilty of being a grad A twazzer and trumpeting out this line to all and sundry. But this is just the point. It is now so universally accepted that ‘life is busy’, we all bleat it out lest we have it bleated to us. I cast it to you ere you to it cast I.

Then there are those who elevate ‘being busy’ to the worst kind of art form. Not only are they too busy to see their friends and family. But they don’t have the time to call, text or even Twitter an update. A thirty second exercise which instantly informs the entire planet, well the entire part that is not too busy to join, of your happenings. Who are these people? The President of the United Sates is a busy man. But if he did not keep in touch with people, or touch base to use that ghastly management metaphor, then he would not have garnered enough support to run for office. So if we have truly become that self centered that we do nothing unless it is self serving, then we should still be keeping in touch with the people who should matter to us because they may be ‘useful’ in the future.

If this is the case, then maybe it is best we are all ‘busy’. If it is such a chore to say hi, exchange a few pleasantries and then get on with the daily grind maybe we should confine ourselves to a void. Flounce down in front of the TV and remain distant from those who care about us.

But if not, if we really do care but are that poor with our time management or feel that we don’t have enough to say to justify a phone call, then join one of the social networking sites. Create a FaceBook or Twitter account. Or if you have one (as everyone seems to do these days) use it. They even suggest people from your friends list you have not poked, messaged or sent some new and banal Farmville pet. Trust me, you are not that busy you can’t type out a sentence. People do care, but they get frustrated to the point of not caring when there is nothing but a gaping void of silence from you.

There I go, burning bridges, frothing at the mouth and calling my friends and family lazy. But then if you are reading this I can’t be calling you lazy as you have taken time out of your busy life to read that I care about you. What is even more wonderful is that you clearly care about me else you would not have persevered though my rant; which if you have done you are a friend in deed and the world is all the richer for it.

The Lions Roar

I like to start my mornings with a sweet cup of Lady Grey and a saunter through the feeds and podcasts of my favorite blogs and news channels, keeping in touch with the third of my life I am unconsciousness. No, this is not a confession to over indulgence in Vodka; rather a glancing reference to that ever-present necessity of life: sleep. Though at times sleep is more than a necessity, crave as I do the dreams which may come; hemmed in as we all are by bills, commitments and shouts from our lords and masters, slumber can be most welcome. Yet upon waking it often seems as though I have fallen down one of Lewis Carroll’s rabbit holes; the events which unfold before me appearing more surreal than a Dali inspired fantasy.

In this sense today was typical. Pulled from a dream involving Rachel McAdams, prompted no doubt by my Sunday night escapade at the cinema, I struggled from the bed to the floor; grateful that I could continue to succumb to the laws of gravity in my attempt to get downstairs to my desk. Having reached this most mercurial piece of furniture, capable as it is of holding work, play, pleasure and delight within its capacious spaces, I powered my Apple into life. Not the seeded womb of Dan Brown’s imaginings, but that piece of technological branding which has become synonymous with creativity and innovation. After entering a score of passwords, and wrapping tinfoil around my head to ensure the CIA were not tracking me, I logged into BBC world news and clicked on the hourly bulletin audio link.

This morning presented the usual circus acts of back-flipping politicians, fire-breathing celebrities and water skiing dogs. But it also contained a reference to the approximated 4 billion dollar loss MGM was posting. A major corporate doing it tough in these troubled times may not be news, but that a film studio could struggle to do business because all it did was make films did strike me as news.

As the pundits circled, like so many armchair generals, citing lack of vertical integration and the necessity to have synergies with distribution companies, my mind turned to an earlier time in which people did as they could.  Directors made movies, rather than haggling over t-shirt designs for the gift shop. Editors brought hours of footage together into a master piece, instead of trying to find 5 seconds of the film to fit into the candy bar advert reel. The world corporate structure is, and in some cases must, continue to evolve. Shark like as it is, with a constant need to move forward else die. But let us hope that terms such as innovation and talent are redeemed from the scrap heap of ‘buzz words’. Jargon that is put in the shareholder brochures along with photos of the stars, like puppies in a pet shop window. It has been said that if talent exists money will follow. Let us hope it continues to do so.

What’s so interesting…

The other day I finished my final exam for this years round of University study. I write this years round for study is a life long passion as well as being something of a vacation. It is a glistening oasis in my working week. In this sense the great bard was right, ‘all that glisters is not gold’. Musing on my exam questions and answers I decided to go for a celebratory slap-up supper at my favorite wood-fired pizza place in Lavender Bay.

While waiting for my McMahons Point Special, my attention was arrested by a well groomed anxious woman. I write arrested as she engaged me in conversation with loud cries; somewhat necessary I should hasten to add as my aural senses were otherwise occupied by my iPhone pumping out a Bach cantata. Torn from my reverie, I discovered that her troubled cries were not occasioned by physical distress. Rather it was an emotional torment at being in the company of another who did not display a cordial level of interest in her.

Removing my earphones and lifting my eyes from the screen, absorbed as I was in a series of FaceBook status updates, I glanced momentarily to heaven; neglecting to realise that if the good Lord was not disposed to prevent this scene in the first instance he was unlikely to extricate me in the second. My gaze having returned from its etherial sojourn to this most earthy scene I was met by a face yielding a frustrated countenance. Momentarily my companion in the queue for dinner paused, torn between pressing on and feelings of remorse at having crashed into my solitude. Steeled by my bemused smile she pressed on. ‘What’s so interesting in that screen?’ A cloud darkened my brow, but this soon passed as I realised this demand hid a more profound truth than at first I thought.

More effectively than ever we are connected to friends and family thousands of miles away, yet seldom has the gaping void between us and the ‘others’ in our immediate vicinity been wider. We traipse the streets with music or podcasts subsuming our auditory senses. We sit alone, eyes glued to movies, applications or documents on a dazzling array of mobile devices so that we seldom look at those around us. In trying to be closer to some people we are getting farther away from everyone else.