I just realised that the Indifferent Ignorance Awards, which I thought I posted two days ago, shows up on the site as being posted on the 21st, when I started the draft. I’m going to have to get a grip on this Internet lark in 2015…
I’m quite busy at the moment, which is weird since this time of year is usually TV And Chocolate Central, but I moved on Christmas Eve so it’s more TV And Chocolate Stop Off Points. Speaking of new year, I was very glad to see the end of 2013. I didn’t even get all nostalgic, although parts of the year weren’t completely shit… They just got lost in the parts that were.
2014 has definitely been better, on the whole. I finished school, nobody died, no bands I love ended… In terms of things I actively did, that wasn’t too bad either! Indifferent Ignorance made it to five years and I made a little book for it, I survived three weeks in a foreign country without setting fire to myself once and I started writing without a wrist brace for the first time in three years.
If I want to keep writing without it I’d better get off my phone and unpack some boxes… So thank you to everyone who’s read, followed and commented the blog this year and happy new year to everyone regardless!
PS I took that photo in Zante on Halloween and don’t know how to do captions on the app. Please don’t steal it, etc., thank you.
If you liked it (or even if you didn’t) please leave a comment either on The Story Shack or here. I was tempted when I wrote it to make a longer story out of it, but I liked the ending so I wasn’t sure if continuing it would have made it less good…
Anyway, I have to get off my phone and get on with freaking out that it’s Christmas Eve tomorrow. I might do a Christmas Eve post. Hark the herald angels and all that!
Update: this is the last Five Ways to Celebrate Five Years of Indifferent Ignorance celebration, unless I’ve miscounted… which is entirely probable.
This year has some new categories and tough competition!
Books of the Year
I’ve stopped trying to pick one.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, which I thought was going to be about whiny teenagers and is actually a lovely story about twins with great names who go to university in Nebraska. One of them writes a fanfiction that has thirty thousand hits a day. Whatever you think it will be like, you’re wrong. Read it if you’ve ever read or written fanfiction.
Or How to Talk to a Widowerby Jonathan Tropper, which I read in Greece. It’s about Doug, a 29-year-old widower who hasn’t left his house in a year except to buy Jack Daniels until his sister comes to stay. The characters are incredibly real and although they’re not nice, you want to spend time with them… I wasn’t sure at first but it is A*.
Blood of Olympusby Rick Riordan. Because Nico and Reyna got their airtime and it was beautiful.
And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. I tried re-reading this recently and I couldn’t because after the first page I remembered how much my stomach was tied in knots the whole flipping book. If I could write like anyone, I’d pick Khaled Hosseini. The power to make your readers cry, man..
The True Lives of My Chemical Romance by Tom Bryant. I read this the Sunday after the #revenge10 meetup in Camden, which was the fist time I’d been able to listen to live MCR since MCR ended. It was lovely hanging out with other fans and not having to explain or justify how much I love this band. The book made me sad in a lot of ways because it opened a window to the inside of MCR, and it was contrary to the image portrayed by the media (and maybe the band) at the time… But by reading the entire history, told objectively by someone who understood and respected the magnitude of MCR, I felt like I could really start to enjoy MCR again. Listening to songs didn’t make me sad any more; I was genuinely excited for the guys’ new work. So thank you to Tom Bryant! Also I met him at #revenge10 and he is a good dude.
Best New Musician
Lorde. Lorde Lorde Lorde. I ignored her stuff for ages because I was bitter and twisted that someone younger than me had a) such great hair and b) worldwide success. I am now over that. Partly because girls should support girls on their quests for awesomedom, and partly because her music is excellent.
Best New Album
Stomachaches.. Hesitant Alien. May Death Never Stop You. Come on, was I going to pick anything else? I haven’t bought anything else! I am turning into an old lady when it comes to new music. I hope to change this in 2015 buy physical copies of the music I like.
Live Show of the Year
King Lear (amateur production) in my town. Lear almost dropped Cordelia. Unlike the Sam Mendes production, there was a little room for audience participation – mostly because there was all of 50 people watching and you could make eye contact with most of them.
Most Interesting TV Event
Eurovision… Conchita winning was pretty brilliant in itself, but I think this part of the show may have been the most entertaining for the viewer:
It was very hard to narrow the nominations down this year. So I haven’t.
The purportedly Muslim group calling itself Islamic State. You sirs are giving Islam a terrible name and you ought to be ashamed. My knowledge of Muslim theology is not as thorough as my knowledge of Christianity (A Levels, huh) but I’m pretty sure the Quran is not telling people to behead aid workers and use people as slaves.
Vladimir Putin and his inner government group. (I am not sure what the Russian name for that is.) Do you actually think no one minds or has noticed that you’re rebuilding the Iron Curtain? Please stop. I would like to go to Eastern Europe and Russia in my lifetime without feeling like I’ve stepped into 1965.
The citizens of America who think it is 1965. It’s not. Shooting people is not even remotely a good thing. Shooting them based on their skin colour is even worse. You’re embarrassing your country.
Okay I think that is enough for one post. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions for different winners or new categories? I couldn’t think up a category for Chantal Claret’s Pledge campaign, for example, or one for Lola, the chimp who does Gerard Way’s PR. 2014 has been an action-packed, sometimes-hilarious-but-mostly-depressing-news-stories year!
I am busy trying to think up new year’s resolutions for the blog, because I think it would be fun to see if I can keep them past 8th January. So far I have come up with:
Learn to cook and share the horror stories with you guys to dispel the cookbook-perpetrated myth that you need to skin a unicorn and boil fairy dust to feed yourself.
Advertise that I’m open to sponsored blog posts and paid reviews and see what happens.
Try to make indifferent ignorance more of a plot point; do regular posts where it has been spotted in the real world. You guys would have to help with this as I don’t get out all that much.
Annoy UKIP more by sending them lots of letters using the 1p stamps I purchased yesterday. You guys would also have to be involved because there is only so much a person can do by themselves before they get disillusioned. Especially where UKIP is concerned.
I haven’t got much further than that, although a brief list of short term goals is usually more realistic than lots of big ones, like “TAKE OVER UNIVERSE” or “MAKE DOG CUDDLING AN OLYMPIC SPORT”.
There’s been a weird influx of Etsy sales this week, which I’m very pleased about – but I’m also scratching my head as to whether my marketing tweaks are paying off or if people suddenly want to buy fan art as Christmas presents. Either way, it’s very gratifying!
I remembered when I was going through my shop that The Little Book of Indifferent Ignorance Volume I is on there! I have no immediate plans to compile Volume II, so if you fancy a good read over the Christmas holidays, I encourage you to head over there and use the SNOWFLAKE14 Christmas discount before it expires on 31st January. Alternatively, send it to friends and family for a good laugh – spot Uncle Victor’s annual racist Christmas rant in the pages, or reminisce about your homophobic grandmother as you click through the pages with your cousins…
This afternoon I finished my Christmas shopping, and I don’t even think I’ve bankrupted myself. I mean, I don’t usually – I’m not that generous – but I’d forgotten that it is actually possible to get a bargain if you plan what you want instead of striding around the high street tearing your hair out.
Still, at least I didn’t do my shopping in Brighton. (Maybe if you’re under the age of 13 you shouldn’t watch this. Also it may be faked. I don’t care.)
I don’t know about you lot, but I am both nervous and excited for the Strictly Come Dancing results show tonight. Possibly because sparkly dancing and bright lights are the best things ever, and partly because if the final is next week then Christmas is the week after.
Less than two weeks.
I need to do some more shopping… and maybe get a haircut, and definitely write the Indifferent Ignorance Awards and partially move house and also do some rigorous physical exercise because I went out and ate my weight in food yesterday.
I was so full when I got home that I couldn’t manage my advent chocolate, which is always a sign that I need to bust out some dance moves and the hula hoop. Still, the reason for the food was justified:
I didn’t go out to watch a YouTube video. But I did go see The Battle of Five Armies (“oh my goodness Francesca I can’t believe you made that connection!”) and it was brilliant so I might eschew everything else I have to do before Christmas and just go and read The Lord of the Rings, taking brief breaks to wonder if it’s possible for anyone else to create a fictional world that’s half as beautiful.
Snowflakes, last week I made an important discovery: UKIP has an address to which you can send mail. Unlike their now-defunct Freepost address, it’s a regular address for which you have to purchase a stamp, but they also have an email contact.
As a citizen concerned at the rise of UKIP, I felt it my civic duty to draft a letter informing them that they are by far the biggest source of indifferent ignorance in the news at the moment. Then I thought, why shouldn’t I share these addresses with everyone I can so they too can write a letter or email, or perhaps send a Christmas card or gift? But the more I considered my message, the more worried I became. Was I going to fully convey the seriousness of indifferent ignorance by myself? Would an email be lost in a spam folder or a printed letter be discarded without much thought?
So I’ve decided to share my letter with you, so that if you’re reluctant to spend money on a Christmas card or do not have the time to write a letter of your own, you can print off mine and send it, or copy it into an email. That way, well, there’s a chance that the administration department at least might begin to comprehend the full horror of living with such a dangerous case of indifferent ignorance.
To email UKIP, use firstname.lastname@example.org.To send them a physical letter (or anything you like, really), use:
UKIP, Lexdrum House, King Charles Business Park, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 6UT
To the members of UKIP,
I am writing to you out of moral duty, to inform you that in recent months and years it has become clear that you are suffering from a chronic illness called indifferent ignorance. A largely unrecognised complaint, indifferent ignorance renders its victims almost impossibly narrow-minded and with little desire to research or reconsider their opinions.
Judging by the public conduct of former members such as Godfrey Bloom and David Silvester, your party is a magnet for sufferers of indifferent ignorance – and evidence gathered from observation of tabloid press consumers shows that the illness is contagious. UKIP’s policies were clearly written by people under the influence of severe ignorance; for example your website’s ‘Safeguard Against Crime’ policy “make sentences mean what they say” lacks both eloquence and factual basis, implying the author has not fully considered the policy. The general UKIP attitude that European Union-sanctioned immigrants are ruining traditional British values also displays a magnitude of indifferent ignorance, as most British schoolchildren can tell you that Britain has been populated by foreign nationals since roughly 43 C.E. when Romans forces arrived from Europe. Many schoolchildren can also explain that the last four centuries of technological growth has resulted in such a vast increase of economic, political and cultural globalisation that no political party could achieve ‘Britain for the British’, to paraphrase your ideals, mostly because there is no peaceful way to return to a global state of total isolation. With respect, the most drastic attempt of a state to achieve complete sovereignty in modern times has been North Korea, and even your most fervent supporters are likely to be reluctant to elevate Nigel Farage to a god-like status.
There are simple methods to combat indifferent ignorance, no matter how serious the case. Proven remedies include: cutting the tabloid press from one’s consumerism, questioning one’s long-held beliefs (especially those picked up in one’s youth from one’s elders) and venturing past one’s front door into the 21st century.
I do not write to condemn you to the trappings of indifferent ignorance, but to educate you as to the seriousness of your condition and to the steps that can be taken to combat the epidemic before it becomes a pandemic.
Yours faithfully, ___________
Don’t forget to put the date in the top-left corner if you want to post it – but maybe don’t include a return address if you don’t want to make yourself a target for a purple-and-yellow leaflet. Keep it anonymous if you’d like… whatever happens, if you do in fact message UKIP and especially if you get a response, let me know. I’m in the mood for some Christmas cheer.
Normally this time of year I’m stressing about one type of end-of-year bullshit (termly tests and homework) and putting off another type of end-of-year bullshit – Christmas presents for eighty million people.
But this year I’m not in school and work doesn’t have termly assessment grades so…
I’ve bought at least half my gifts and I know what the other half are; I just have to buy or wrap or in one case find them.
I’m very pleased!
Or I was until I typed that and realised that I’ve misplaced one present.
Crap I have to get off the sofa and find the one I’ve lost.
It’s nice to have things in the universe keeping me humble.