Articles in Category: Essayammerings

Thoughts and feelings, dissected and plastered in an attempt to make the world a better place.  I failed.


An Open Letter to 2016 (cc 2017)

Dear 2016 
(cc 2017)

Within a matter of just a few weeks, the time will be upon us to usher you out of our lives. Just as we did last year, we will replace the empty void with a brand new year - but this time around we are doing it with a feeling of suspicion and fear, hitherto never experienced by my ageing generation.

You turned up to the party last year, just as we were waving 2015 out of the door. We joyously popped open those champagne bottles and acted like demented Formula 1 champions on the winner’s podium, covering our faces and your boobies in bubbly - totally unaware of your resentment toward the human race and the well-being of the planet.

Within days, your anger and raison d’être started to manifest itself. You began your demolition by blindly killing off some of our most beloved musicians actors and celebrities. Slowly and methodically, you picked off the greats. One by one.  A carnage meant to disarm us and steal the very arts that made us human.  A virtual book-burning that was to herald your true aims of a Nazi rebirth.  

With the aid of your loyal right-wing, multi-billionaire servants, their tabloids and well-oiled propaganda machines (now given the more facile moniker of “Fake News”, as those suckered in by such drivel generally can’t manage more than four letters in a word at a time), you were able to extract Britain from the EU and install the greatest divide across our country, Union and Europe since World War II. You gave Boris Johnson a big boy’s job and then you set him and Nigel Farage on an absurd world trip, making the global populous believe they somehow represented British people with their non-sensical, seemingly drunken and insane waffle.  For that alone, you deserve a massive punch in your suppurating gonads.  Apparently, hereafter to be referred to as your “Red, White and Blue Brexits".

Then after all that - you casually walked into the centre of the room - whilst we all stared, aghast at the audacity you showed by still being at the party - you pulled down your lavishly soiled underpants, crouched to the floor, smirked maniacally and defecated the world’s most hideous, repugnant, massively steaming, straw-topped Donald Turd on all of us.  Then you heartily laughed, handed him Time Person of the Year award, a Twitter account and tried to high-five 2017 (who I am sure, by the vibes I’m getting, is standing at the door, sweatily texting 2018 with “WTF brah!? Why didn’t anyone tell me about this shit??!? BTW - tell 2019 and the rest of the gang that climate change is really happening this time - full steam ahead; 2015 must have lied or 2016 SERIOUSLY screwed up! OMG, WTF, BBQ etc!”).

You sir, yes you sir, gave an unrepentant and powerful voice to the grotesquely angry, the bemusedly malcontented and the outlandishly stupid.  You gave massive rise to racism, homophobia, bigotry, misogyny, ignorance and a blanket intolerance to anything different. Let’s not forget you beat up, raped and killed a lot more people along the way.  You normalised fascism and washed clean the sheets of the Ku Klux Klan, just in time for their Christmas lynchings. In your one year’s tenure, you basically threw a nuclear hand grenade in the room and walked off, washing your hands as if nothing had happened. Yes, a bit like the Brexshit Vote Leave camp. 

2016, you fucked up so very monumentally, it would take all of the world’s stonemasons and artists (both alive and dead) over two thousand years to build and furnish a monument that would suitably honour your massive fuck up; after of course all of them conceding that there wasn’t enough basic building material on earth to finish said monument - meaning the majority of the fuck-up tribute would need to rely on modern art techniques and the use of the general public’s collective fucked-up monument imagination. 

So, it is with a stoic, stiff upper lip that I open the door widely and lean in to your ear and whisper softly, yet firmly (just as many people have done to me in my lifetime) “You’ve upset enough people now. I think it’s time you left”.

Your friend, 2017, is too close to you for the coming New Year celebrations to be as much of a party as we have generally been used to but, being the generous and gracious people we are, we will of course get utterly shit-faced and attempt to make him or her feel welcome.

You and I won’t say farewell. You will walk away silently into the night. You will not collect your things and you will not say goodbye to any of your colleagues. You will leave knowing that the damage to our friendship is irreparable and you are hated by most of the educated planet (those of whom are currently not going crazy with the newly revived fads of pussy grabbing and Nazi salutes). 

This time around, I won’t make any New Years’ resolutions, because you don’t deserve the attention. In fact, I’m going to smoke harder, take drugs faster, drink more deeply, eat more pies and do absolutely nothing to help myself get any better than I was during your short but sorry reign - because you’re a dick and I need to get my happy back on!

2017, come in, take a seat in the corner while we boot out 2016.  We’ll be over presently to discuss your terms and the newly imposed limitations on the duties and responsibilities New Years may take on.

My final words to you, 2016, are that I trust you will spend your remaining days mulling on what you have done and not, as I suspect you will, pull down the collective human race’s pants and give us all one last, right royal shafting for Auld Lang Syne.

Goodbye 2016, I hope we never meet again.

Yours sincerely
1972 to undecided (but it’s not looking good).

A Fairytale for Modern (Little) Britain

Once upon a time, in a secluded edge of a beautiful, peaceful forest, there was a hospital. This hospital was home to 100 people. 48 staff and 52 patients. 

The patients that lived at the hospital were there for all sorts of different reasons.  Some were too old. Some were not very clever. Some were too angry. Some just hated people for no other reason than the fact that they weren’t born within the confines of the hospital and came from the beautiful, peaceful forest. The rest; well, they were unfortunately press-ganged into being there, through underhand tom-foolery, skullduggery and fatuous propaganda distributed by the self-serving and evil conglomerate that ran the hospital and their media machine.

The staff, who were permanent residents of the hospital (despite having total free-access to the beautiful diverse and peaceful forest) performed their duties to the best of their abilities.  They lived alongside the patients, doing their best to ignore the occasional outbursts and educate those who would listen.  Unfortunately, there weren’t many of those.

One day, the head of the hospital, Mr Cowardly-Weasel, felt that his command was being questioned by the patients and one of their poster-boys, Nigel the Nasty Nazi. So he decided to hold a gala ballot evening.  He sent out leaflets to every room asking whether each resident would like to build a huge wall between the hospital and the peaceful forest, destroy the building from the inside and burn it to the ground.  The other option was to leave things as they were and for him to do a better job at managing the place instead.

Of course, he and all his colleagues laughed at the master plan that they had hatched.  “Who in their right minds would opt for the destruction?”, they jeered into their Oxford mugs of fine brandy.  No, it was plainly clear that this gala ballot evening would be an entertaining way to ensure some of the disgruntled patients would vote for him to pull his socks up and stay on as manager of the hospital forever and ever. If they did verge on voting the unthinkable way, at least the experts amongst the staff would be listened to when they pointed out that any other choice apart from staying in the forest would be quite plainly suicidal. But, he neglected to take into account that there were 52 patients and an evil Australian wizard controlled all the information that would be fed into the wards before the day of the ballot. He also neglected to take into account that the 52 patients were allergic to experts and quite plainly suicidal.

For the next few days, the hospital was awash with more than the usual feculence of misinformation and promises of a Nirvana away from the forest; where all medicine would be free and each patient would suddenly become employed, as all the skilled doctors visiting from the peaceful forest would be thrown out of the hospital and replaced with the patients.  None of them saw the flaw to this preposterous and ludicrous idea.

Some of Mr Cowardly-Weasel’s colleagues saw an opportunity for them to take over the hospital when they saw the kerfuffle that was starting to play-out, so they joined in with the evil Australian wizard in spreading lies about current state of the infested hospital and the bright future it had after it wa burned to a cinder; floating across the sea like a dead whale’s carcass, far away from the beautiful, peaceful forest.

The night of the gala ballot came and, as sure as shit, the 52 patients all voted to burn the hospital to the ground. 

The 48 staff members stared on in disbelief as the trucks started to bring in the tanks of petrol and matches and hand them out to the now rabid patients.  As the wall was being rapidly erected, some staff started to question the sanity of what was  happening - but swiftly got set upon by the patients, soon after they had killed the Polish nurse.

Mr Cowardly-Weasel’s office lay bare.  He had already run and left the competition of who would take over his office to his once friends and loyal team of colleagues - all now exposed as a bunch of cunts who would rather lead a pile of rubble than be in the shadows of a once shining hospital.  Even the incomprehensible St Bernard dog, Boris, that he had bought for shits and giggles and to throw sticks at, had disowned him and made an attempt to jump in his chair (only to leave the room when he accidentally shit himself mid-jump).  One particular cunt, Mrs “Isn’t a Mother” Theresa (as one of her opponents once called her), shone through and took over Mr Cowardly-Weasel’s office so quickly, it was almost like she had planned the whole thing from the start.

She took over the hospital radio and announced that Burning Down the Hospital meant Burning Down the Hospital.  The 48 staff still stood there; incredulity etched upon their weeping faces. 

The evil Australian wizard laughed heartily as he watched his empire solidify in the ruins of the hospital.  He knew that he would be better served by 52 “specials”, “bewildered” & “misinformed”, albeit in amongst a pile of cinders and ashes, than he would be by 48 staff members who had free and open access to the beautiful, peaceful forest where his powers were weakened by rational thought.

Mrs “Isn’t a Mother” Theresa continued to spew forth commands to rebuild (burn down) the hospital with her own hatred of mankind by setting dates for the walls to be reinforced with asbestos and dynamite and by announcing that the hospital’s doctors’ time of looking after the beleaguered but enflamed patients was coming to an end.  She cackled down the charred hallways repeatedly screaming “Burning Down the Hospital means Burning Down the Hospital!!!” 

The rabbits and deer stood on the edge of the beautiful, peaceful forest watching the hospital burn down. They disbelievingly wept as they saw the destruction being caused by the evil Australian wizard and his puppets and watched the 52 patients crying out in pain as they fell to the floor in flames, “we won, we won, we are free again!”. They watched as each and every one of them lost everything they thought they never had to the flames and still, in their dying breaths, claimed victory.

From a top floor window, the 48 staff look out at the creatures in the beautiful, peaceful forest and waved goodbye. They wished that the gala ballot evening had been a non-binding, non-legal advisory vote that didn’t actually mean anything whatsoever - especially “Burning Down the Hospital means Burning Down the Hospital”. No, that would be ultra-fucking, nuts-in-a-vice ,unthinkably moronic and unfathomably imbecilic.  They stood there hoping that the 52 patients were savvy enough to realise they had been duped by some extraordinarily rich people who wanted more power and money - but this all seemed to be be just wishful thinking.

There was no happy ending and no one lived happily every after. Except the evil Australian wizard.  

And so, he, his puppets and his pawns played on to…

The End.

Get Over It!

I’ve been told by a lot of people “shut up”. Guess you knew that already! 

Those reading this far will probably agree. I have a penchant for ranting about what goes on in my tiny little hairless head. It’s what I do. Get over it!

Of late, you will of course be aware, said head has been filled with two tired subjects. Britain leaving the EU and the freak-show that is Donald Trump. I admit it now - My name is Benedict and I am a TrumpaBrexitholic and I have a problem.   I am aware and I know most of you don’t give a fuck.

So, I figured I’d use this therapeutic Friday night, whilst my good wife (a student, under 30, preferring to binge on chai latte instead of booze - and wear the most geriatric slippers and socklets you could imagine and thereafter go to bed at 10pm - go figure!) to sit and expunge my reasons.

Firstly, Brexit.  I give little to no fucks about the economic impact.  Who cares. Most of you will care as equally as I do.  We can afford a few quid extra on petrol.  We don’t care about the unemployment rates, because we get by being employed, freelancers or living off mummy and daddy’s inheritance. I care even less about Marmite, because I like caviar on my toast.  And the pound against the dollar? Shove that shit back up yer bum - we don’t need to import, we have tea and jam!

What I care about is the right wing rhetoric that was given a voice.  That’s it. That’s all.

On to Trump.

I don’t really mind if it’s a man or woman who resides in the Oval Office (although, considering Oval consists of four letters, three quarters of them being the word Ova - perhaps it should be a lady! Tenuous I know, but as much of a reason as Trump seems to offer for himself).  I don’t really care about Americans.  Not that I dislike or have any kind of negative feeling toward them - I live way over here, in New Little Britain.  Why do I care about their choice of leader?  Apart from the tiny little matter of nuclear warfare.

My thoughts of Trump’s groping and misogyny are, at best, hypocritical.  In my mind, William Jefferson Clinton (Bill to his mates - but why, oh, why didn’t he ever get the moniker Willy?) was one of the best presidents ever to have presidented(?) over the disUnited States, outside of Mr Obama.  Despite his transgressions!  Yes, Trump has been an utter c-word (or cunt, to those less offended) to women throughout his life - but I do my best not to judge his inability to string a sentence together by his tiny-handed contempt for females.  Yes, he is unfit to run for office; as much as he is unfit to run for a donut. He is the epitome of all that is disgusting in a human being. But, that doesn’t wind me up as much as it should.

What I care about is the right wing rhetoric that he has given a voice to.  That’s it. That’s all. Again.

Brexit (and latterly Donald John Trump) has done the unthinkable.  Two, three, four, five or six years ago the civilised world would have been horrified by the thought that all the years of progress we made towards tolerance and diversity, would be dashed against the rocks in the year 2016? Who would have thought - with history as our teacher - the world would become so very right-wing and, simply (if I dare to use a non-atheist word) evil?

Let me also underline - I am very well aware that not every Brexiter and Trumpite is right-wing or racist.  I emblazon that on my lapel right now. I know some bloody lovely Brexiters (less so many Trumpites, due to geography) that have their opinions and leanings based on some very good and understandable reasons.  I will, however, push them aside and ignore them.  Not because they mean little to me, but because they are not the voice that made the change.  I focus mainly on the majority and subsequent horror that they inadvertently helped to unleash.

2016 has been created and orchestrated by a few terrifying people who needed more.  Johnson, Murdoch, Farage, Trump, May, Cameron etc.  It was based on a need for self-serving and financial or personal gain that fed on the lowest common denominator.  People. Humankind, so very easily led by lies,  fear-mongering, propaganda and rhetoric. A shameful race of scavengers that thrive on destroying difference, in order to make themselves feel safe in the comfort of their own insular lives.  I lament you.  I lament me.  As condescending as it sounds, I lament us. 

I am angry because we let this happen.  I am furious because people tell me to be quiet.  I am enraged because people don’t shout about it enough.  We will sit and cry at a film about slavery, inequality, oppression and violence towards a minority - but we will quite happily ignore what’s happening, post pictures of what we have for dinner or how far we ran (not guilty), instead of use these platforms to voice outrage.  Because outrage is boring.

Our history is there for a reason.  It taught us that everything that is happening in 2016 is wrong.  Everything that The Daily Mail, The Sun, The Express and all right-wing, fascists preach is wrong.  But, what is perhaps worse, is watching in silence as it unfolds.  

So. I moan.  I write tedious posts like this.  Because I can.  Most of the people I decry in this post wouldn’t have got past “shut up”, but I don’t really care.  This is my wall.  It separates no one and nothing.  You can chose to climb it.  You can chose to read it (sorry!). You can chose to ignore it.  But it’s my wall and I erect it in your face to do with what you will!

Peace! x

All Works Copyright © 2017 Benedict Francis

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