I’m quite surprised at the support for my previous piece; I somewhat expected it to be gloriously overlooked – at the best of times I treat my social media pages like they’re the testing ground for a rival to an Ernest Scribbler joke (that’s a Monty Python reference there – you probably won’t get it), and so it’s easy for myself to be confined to the ‘unintelligent joke telling wanker’ category.
Above all things though I’m a writer, and my compulsion to finish what I started burns deep inside me like a nun’s first Vindaloo.
I haven’t waned in my desire to man the battle stations of S.S Agony Aunt – and every day my workload steadily increases under the weight of a dozen new ‘help’ based applications that offer advice over a multitude of different disciplines and lifestyles.
My examination of the religious applications continues – you can read about that here. My conclusion stays the same – our religious upbringings do little to help individuals fit into a world that is slowly losing its grip on godliness. More importantly, our religious social networks don’t offer people enough support when dealing with real life issues; when God is the only thing you’ve ever known, it’s difficult for someone to talk to their family or friends about, for instance, homosexuality without one’s worth being brought into question.
Leaving religion alone for a second, my other duties include overseeing a range of Relationship apps, with characters I portray ranging from metro male hipsters, all the way up to flamboyantly professional single mothers, aimed at catering to an audience of confused and hard working single parent families.
Very rarely do I question my own ability to answer the multitude of questions that get flung in my general direction – more often than not the need for qualifications is a moot point; when people want advice they do so because they want it to fly under the radar, that is, to be unrecorded in professional channels.
Most people want to remain anonymous – even on a backwater and barely downloaded advice app people are afraid to give even their first name, lest by serendipitous circumstance their local clergyman happened to reading it over the shoulder of a passing ruffian in their local shopping centre.
“Betty? I have a Betty in my church group. I wonder if that’s her? I didn’t know she was actually a lesbian. I better fetch my holy water and tell the pope at once”.
What seems to trouble people the most is love; unsurprising really when Hollywood has created a false sense of reality for many people – love and relationships are the most popular of all the topics I encounter, and very rarely does it stray from an overall theme of pettiness and uselessness.
My aim in this particular blog is to help come to grips with the mindset of people that experience relationship issues, and why most of those that reach out for help all seem to be weaved together in a single theme – a complete lack of wits and logical thinking.
And indeed, how much the idealism of Hollywood has destroyed common sense in young adults.
For you readers, hopefully it’s also a chance to laugh at the stupidity of truly stupid people saying really stupid things.
Burn Hollywood, Burn
I’ve never been to Hollywood, but I get an overall sense that it would probably be exactly like Surfers Paradise if Starbucks had come to town 20 years earlier, and all the locals had ditched their morals and town pride in an effort to sell nothing but knick knacks, Elvis wall clocks, and themed Marilyn Monroe leather jackets.
That part of California holds no interest to me – the Hills, Valley, Gully, Crest, Plateau, Plains type of vomit inducing consumerist environment that 99% of the world truly reviles, yet somehow still provides 80% of media outlets with its stories.
It’s where movies are filmed, but not where movies are created.
Movies are created on buses, they’re created in conversation, they are cobbled together by truly unique and amazing individuals in one bedroom apartments in the middle of New Delhi, India. Movies are limited only by imagination and the unique environments that writers used to draw their inspiration from.
Except romantic comedies.
Romantic comedies aren’t created, they’re found; romantic comedies are small crusty globules of bauxite that are winched up from huge wells that scrape the bottom of an ever deepening barrel – bauxite that movie companies recognise has the potential to be something else, profitable Aluminium. Aluminium that certainly isn’t as valuable as golden nuggets like James Cameron’s Avatar, but is still more highly prized than dirty coal like Kevin Costner’s The Postman.
More often than not they remain as bauxite – unopened and untreated potential, something that unless it’s processed, cleaned and polished won’t ever be turned into Aluminium.
Rom Com’s unfortunately do however make an impact on the ‘relationship audience’ – more likely than not because after a month of dating, most couples suddenly realise how truly boring their partner is, and instead of finding new and exciting ways of exploring each other’s character, they spend their Friday and Saturday nights watching movies because it sure as hell beats having to actually talk to each other.
Women primarily do the movie picking too – in the democratic society that is “the relationship”, both partner’s need to agree on the film. However it soon becomes apparent movie night is a far cry from democracy – it’s more like one of those far east Asian democracy’s that have “The People’s Democratic Republic of…” in the title, where on the outside the illusion is a truly unified society, but clearly one person is at the top of the hastily assembled government pyramid. Women rig the elections, and sweep themselves into power with all the pomp and pomposity of a soviet era show of arms, ending with a coordinated march past the Kremlin.
In the end it’s easier for men to agree with Kim Jong Un, than it is to face a wall of barbed wire, cold machine guns, and even colder sides of the bed.
I would bet a hefty amount of money on the fact that Cloverfield, Looper, or Prometheus have never been watched during a sitting of a relationship movie night.
Relationship movie night is the sole reason that Matthew McConaughey is still able to feed himself, it’s the sole reason your boyfriend loves going to his mate’s place to drink beer and watch sci-fi, and it’s the unmistakable death nell that rings loudly for me letting me know that on Monday morning when I open my inbox, I have to wade ankle deep through a slew of questions that could be easily avoided with the application of common sense.
Camera angles, smiles and clever editing
“If a guy comes really close to you, leans in, makes a joke, takes a few steps forward, turns back to look at you, smiles, then takes a few steps, turns and smiles again does it mean anything?”
It means you were doing the hokey pokey.
Talk about semantics – how does one even begin to answer this question? My response was thus:
“You mean he leaned over, told you a joke and walked off?”
Welcome to the world of rom-com camera angles, where those ‘look to the floor then look upwards smiling’ coquettish glances are examined in such excruciating detail and helplessly tacked on to every social situation in an effort to make something mundane look excessively romantic.
I can’t glean an age from this question, but my best guess is they’re a helpless pre-teen, waiting hopelessly in vain for the boy they like to walk into the room with their backpack slung over one shoulder, effortlessly flick their perfectly manicured fringe, and glare in their direction in slow motion.
It’s not going to happen.
“If a guy looks down and smiles to himself when he sees me, could he possibly like me?”
Another wonderfully lit and shamelessly flaunted camera angle, this time set to a hideously blood curdling Hillary Duff soundtrack. He could like you, absolutely, of course it could also just be your stupid haircut he’s laughing at, or maybe it’s the fact you’re adorned with Twilight memorabilia and spend most of your time fantasising about vampires swashbuckling you away to various romantic locations instead of spending most of your time assessing life in reality.
Most of the time I want to answer “There’s no handbook to men – there’s no user guide that I can reference using a clever index system to help you. We’re not robots or tricky VCR systems; our moves can’t be catalogued and plotted on a flow chart to adequately predict future actions”.
Of course it would be a pretty useless app if I did that – logically however that answer seems to fit most questions:
“What does it mean when you have talked to a guy a few times but then one time completely ignores you? But mite [sic] look at you a few times”
It means he didn’t like you when he met you the first time.
“What does it mean when a guy smiles at you, then looks down while still smiling, and then looks up at you again, with his head still down but eyes on you and still smiling?”
It means I need a minute to mime this one out, hang on a second. So, he’s sitting down, or are you sitting down? Wait. What?
“What does it mean if a guys eyes flick back and forth between yours from one to the other? So from left to right and back again and he does it several times?”
Have you ever seen The Walking Dead? You know in season 2 there’s that guy that Shane shoots and leaves for dead so he can escape? The guy with the crazy eyes that played that kiddy fiddler on the X-Files that ended up being the dude that killed Mulder’s sister, even though they spent like 6 seasons beforehand setting up she was taken by aliens? Yeah. Well, that.
This is why Hollywood and romantic comedy needs to die slowly with sharp things protruding from their heads – it’s created a set of predictable falsities that we now associate with romantic situations. The questions are fielded from an audience that is 95% women – women that seemingly have been deluded by the promise of romanticism. Those of us that are either in or have experienced in-depth relationships before know full well the Hollywood version doesn’t exist – as Jerry Maguire stood on the doorstep, I scarcely remember Renee Zellweger emphatically belching “What do you want fuckhead?” as her eyes darted between the door and the episode of My Kitchen Rules that the doorbell had so rudely interrupted.
No Jerry, you didn’t have her at ‘hello’, you had her during the ad break.
Somehow everything has a meaning – somehow even stigmatism with a poor unfortunate sufferer’s eyes is a precursor to a romantic interlude, as though stuffed on a shelf somewhere is a body language handbook that’s to be used in the same manner as that unofficial gay ‘Handkerchief Fetish’ manual, the one that told us that hankies placed in certain pockets denoted whether you were a top or a bottom.
Seemingly what drives them to ask questions is the unknown; a bevy of young love enthusiasts that had been promised the world by Zac Effron, trying to make heads or tails of their current situation – a situation that clearly doesn’t involve a date to the prom (what does prom mean anyway?), a love triangle between the class cool guy & the cute but heartbroken nerd, and a pair of travelling pants.
They are given false hopes – a generation of young minds that inevitably never stood a chance because the romanticism of Hollywood took them to new heights that reality could never even dream of coming close to rival. It’s like Karl Pilkington’s story of the chimp that went into space, and inevitably committed suicide because it could never regain its former glory.
Picture a sea of a thousand chimps, heartbrokenly typing into an iPhone app, waiting for me to patiently plug the hole in their twisted reality with rhetoric stolen straight from the pages of an episode of Friends.
Fighting fire with fire.
The Bleeding Obvious
But where along the line did we lose the batteries to our “Um, Duh” detectors? Even when we truly love someone, the ability to spot bullshit isn’t lost on us – scrolling through the pages of said relationship apps one can come to the conclusion that the people asking questions certainly never grew up on a farm; their inability to spot bullshit is painfully obvious as they traipse muck laden boots throughout the confines of their middle class homes with finely manicured carpets.
The following people not only never grew up on a farm, clearly they’ve never even heard of the concept a farm, a cow, or even the letters C, W or O.
“My fiancée have sex with escort and he said he need my help how can I stop him”
A delicate issue; one of two things is happening here – either she’s in a relationship where the fiancée is excessively controlling, or (more likely) he’s milking her stupidity for everything it’s worth. Either way she’s being deluded into believing that the fiancée is in desperate need of help, like he wanders through local shopping centres with his cock out screaming at young women that pass by, “I can’t help it, I need to have sex with you immediately. Seriously, it’s for health reasons”.
Needless to say my response involved seeing forests for trees, rising from slumber and sniffing coffee, and setting a place at the dinner table for the imminent arrival of captain obvious.
It says a lot about the nature of love and how closely it ties together with gullibility – as though common sense is merely a backseat passenger in the college road trip of ‘relationships’. The sacrificial pawn we throw in front of a passing bishop, so our Queen can devastate to her maximum effectiveness.
“My bf has been to jail three times, is it time to call it quits?”
Well I’m sure he went to jail for NICE things, like helping old ladies cross roads, rescuing kittens from immensely tall trees, and paying wait staff at cafes excessive tips. Wait, no.
“My girlfriend dumped me what should I do”
Learn to use punctuation? Dude, go forth and spread your seed. Throw yourself head first into a table filled with inexpensive beers, cheap wiz and side boob. What can a stranger on the other end of an iPhone application tell you that your friends can’t? Buck up, pull your pants higher, slick back your hair, and launch yourself into so much rebound pussy that both the words “rebound” and “Pussy” lose all meaning.
“If a man emails you does it mean he still thinks about you”
Technically yes – well, I mean at some point while writing the email he was thinking about you. I scarcely think he opened up his email account and typed in a random mish mash of letters into the recipient window, and by pure lottery evoking happenstance the haphazard grouping of numbers, letters and @ symbol magically happened to match your email address.
What did the email say? Surely the content of said email is an indication of how much your lost lover is thinking about you? Why didn’t you fucking tell me what he said, because unless at some point my name has miraculously changed to ‘The Great Mysterio – Psychic Extraordinaire’ I have little to no chance of being able to decipher his level of involvement in your wayward love life.
For instance if the email content read, “Don’t talk to me again you ugly bitch”, then perhaps we can both save ourselves the time of continuing our iPhone application based discourse and move on to more important things like gaining weight eating pizza while playing endless Death Matches on Battlefield 3.
I must admit, it’s taken me longer to come to grips with the relationship side of the Agony Aunt series I’m writing – for religion it was easy to identify the repression; deep seeded anger and self loathing at the inability to express our feelings the way the rest of society are able to.
Relationships on the other hand are multi-faceted – however I think I’ve finally been able to reach a conclusion.
Daddy’s gone, and he’s not coming back
In a terrific eureka moment while standing in my kitchen, nonchalantly filling a side plate with olives and feta, it suddenly struck me like Sarah Jessica Parker’s inability to act – what we are truly seeing contained in the blog above us are two distinct phases in the breakdown of relationships.
The first is the disillusionment of fantasy; the sad and weighty moment when Zac Effron doesn’t emerge through the door holding a bunch of flowers, and a bevy of cheering onlookers and jealous cheerleaders refuse to emerge from the side entrances of the school cafeteria.
With fantasy dead, the poor hapless souls are left confused and bewildered, reaching out to faceless and supportive comforting words leaping out at them from the screen of a second rate relationship iPhone application.
Their friends could never truly understand, “I mean, they all have boyfriends and long term relationships with ups and downs that hardly mirror the perfect and amazingly romantic world that me and my soon to be boyfriend solely inhabit”.
But their friends truly do understand, because they’ve come to grips with the second phase observed in the blog – the acceptance of reality.
With the disillusionment of fantasy still in full swing, the hopelessly lost souls lose grip on reality, forcing acceptance further and further away into the incandescently lit distance. Their refusal to accept leaves them oblivious to how things truly are, and they ignore the bleeding obvious.
They refuse to believe that their fairytale wedding isn’t going to happen, so they delude themselves into thinking that their fiancée ‘needs help’ to stop having sex with prostitutes.
They have been told so many lies that they put their life on hold for their boyfriend a fourth time while he is incarcerated, because they refuse to accept that they can move on without him.
They are so comfortable with the idea of a girlfriend, something they probably strived so hard to attain, that once that figure leaves them they still don’t feel free.
They get so caught up in the notion of love that the fact he emailed at all is more important than the content of the message.
And there lies the conclusion – that Hollywood has created a monster that some people interpret as gospel, because the fantasy of perfection takes us away from the acceptance reality, and when it all goes to pot they’re bewildered and can’t find a suitable shoulder to cry on.
Because let’s face it, speaking to a complete stranger on the other end of a cheap and excessively tatty iPhone application is far less embarrassing than telling our closest and dearest friends that we are hopeless romantics.
With hooker addicted boyfriends.