As anyone who's met me will testify, as a rule, I'm a pretty easy going fellow. It takes quite a lot to wind me up. Obviously, I'm not perfect and, like anyone, I have my little foibles - things that, though trivial, will always hit the exact spot most likely to cause me to fly into a brief but passionate rage before once again returning to my more usual demeanour of icy cool, zen-like calm. Often they're such silly things, I myself wonder why I'm letting them get to me at all. Like the way that Rachel in Friends pronounces Joshua; "Josh-oo-wah". Or Kirstie Allsop thinking that by paying someone a tenner for a tatty Reject Shop mirror, passing it on to a master craftsman who will charge her several hundred pounds to give it "that distressed look" she is somehow "personalising" her vast country pile in Devon. Then there's Carol Kirkwood - don't you just want to shoot someone who's that chirpy at 6 minutes past 6 in the morning? Alex Ferguson? Fucking sclerotic cunt - I'll fucking chin him if I'm ever within spitting range of his unsportsman-like wristwatch-pointing because his team of over-paid, wife-beating superstars needs another 10 minutes of time added-on-for-stoppages in order to win or draw the game that they've probably already fixed with the referee. Bastards. And don't get me started on David Cameron. Just because you once looked at someone else's copy of The Queen is Dead doesn't make you remotely cool, you chinless middle class tosspot. Fuck off back to stockbroker belt and take that stuffed pig Allsop with you, you effete tory wanker. Maybe you can make her Minister for Skips in your first cabinet re-shuffle and send her out to make multi-coloured tumblers or cushion covers with some Holocaust-denying Polish Euro MPs, eh? You fucking arsehole.
Of course, this inner serenity is easily explained. Unlike today's breed of self-obsessed, overly materialistic youngsters, people of my generation were bought up to be grateful for what we had and to be prepared to wait for the good things in life rather than having everything delivered to us via a digital download two minutes before it's even been finished - and then having the temerity to complain because the download speed in Dumfries means you have to wait 22 minutes for the entire Godfather trilogy to be delivered in HD format onto your i-pod instead of the national average of 17. In my youth, you knew you'd enjoy that Scalectrix or Arnold Palmer indoor golf game (complete with moving Arnold Palmer doll at the base of the trigger-operated golf club *and* extensive range of woods, irons and putters) *so* much more once you'd waited for your uncle/nephew/older brother to bash the shit out of it for several years before handing it down to you - by which time you'd discovered masturbation anyway and so had no use for pathetic plastic replicas of South African golf legends, even if you could use them to hack lumps out of your sister's shins and be far enough away to avoid getting kicked). Whereas nowadays, if the slightest thing goes wrong in anybody's life, it's been posted up on the world wide inter-web and within weeks turned into a raunchy ITV2 vehicle for Billie Piper that no one will watch because it clashes with Ladette to Lady.
It could be argued, I suppose, that this is all part of the empowerment of people which, we're told, is such a beneficial by-product of the globalisation process. Whether you're from Ankara, Kabul, Midlothian, North Carolina or Peru, you have the same right to complain as someone from Hertfordshire. It's called democratisation, but doesn't it often ring hollow? In any case, I suppose we'll have to get used to all the moaning minnies who want everything on a plate, instantaneously, as a matter of right, and whose freedom to do as they damn well please is the single most important issue in the whole history of human affairs. But it comes to something, I'm sure even the most rabid free-market individualist would agree, when even the *criminal* *classes* begin to mither about how hard done by they are. Like the granny murderer who featured on the news the other night. Rather than count his good fortune for having got away with his despicable crime on a technicality (the police "lost his files") and put his hands up in time honoured "it's a fair cop guv, but society's to blame fashion, when cornered by a brave/foolhardy (delete as applicable) journalist trying to bring to his attention the recent changes in the double jeopardy laws that may lead to a retrial he thrashed away with his stick at the cameraman yelling at him "get out of my face". So, right now, personal space, it seems, is above all else sacrosanct.
Right, where's the Radox?