Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, identified three stages of development: oral, genital and anal. But he never had to endure a boyfriend changing lanes without indicating just because “it’s his birthday”. Like gender reassignment therapy, just because you can do it doesn’t mean you must. But whether you’re an introverted deadbeat or an extroverted rebel, there’s always that one thing that gets your heart thumping.
There’s nothing like a spot of public singing to bring out the inner diva or cause your throat to contract while you break out in a cold sweat. Karaoke is rocket fuel to drunks and divas but kryptonite to anyone with a smidge of social unease or an over-tweaked sense of shame. A friend of this office, an otherwise respectable editor-turned-event-director, became a minor sensation in Japan for her filmed, YouTube-uploaded performance of Led Zeppelin’s Immigration Song, so dreams of international stardom are not impossible, however random and remote. And of course, karaoke is now the mainstay of television entertainment, glamourised and amplified in shows such as the X-Factor and The Voice. For the rest of us there’s the shower.
It’s your birthday, as if you didn’t have enough to worry about. The time of year to measure yourself, your successes, your so-called life. Did you achieve the dreams of the year past? Are you on your way? Of all the days in the year this is the most personal, and for half of us it’s the day we want to hide away, enveloped in a cocoon of self-indulgence. And then, surprise party! Some well-meaning friend fills a space with well-meaning well-wishers. Or your boyfriend proposes. Or hey, I just got us a dog. All guaranteed to put a smile on the face of anyone on the same page, but that’s not you, not today, not with this person or these people. But, y’know, thanks for caring.
To be or not to be? Getting over the nerves of the first time with someone is stressful enough without knowing what territory is off limits. Could it be the build-up and hype or the fear of the unknown that turns people off? Will she like it? Does he want it? Probably the questions running through the heads of any “anal virgins”. Depending on one’s point of view this may be the exception to the “try everything at least once” rule. Then again...you only live once right? And if you’re the instigator, for heaven’s sake have the bloody lube ready.
One nibble and you’re nobbled, used to run the tagline for a popular brand of biscuits. So it is with tattoos, where one visit to an ink merchant starts a lifetime of personal skin branding. For the clean of skin, tattooing is some strange and exotic route to personal expression. And one that ages you. Got a Celtic knot? Probably born in the 1970s. Got a Disney character? Probably born in the 1980s. And so it goes. If your dream is to be a waitress in New York and LA, then fully-loaded sleeves are your passport to a lifetime hustling for tips. Every tat has a story. But not every story deserves a tat. Just sayin’.
Not the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio but any beach, anytime, anywhere. Nothing is more beautiful than the clear blue ocean glittering with sunlight, the sand submitting into a perfect bed for your body, the sun beating down on your all-but-naked skin. Wait, what? Oh yes, the beach is about strolling around naked for all the world to see, a bit like that nightmare you had every night from age 12. Your body, out there, for skeevy pervs with visible erections and camera phones. And jeez you wish you’d put in some more effort beforehand: towels and sarongs and cover-ups, sunscreen, water, snacks, books, headphones, parasol and about a million sit-ups. When was there time to get organised? If you’re not an exhibitionist, ignore that at some point the sea will tip you over and make you look like a dork, and go for the vit D and the fish.
Insurance is a form of gambling. Investing in an “up-and-coming” neighbourhood is a form of gambling. Smoking is gambling. But pitting your credit card against a digital roulette wheel, or digital pack of cards, is palpably moronic – the win’s so obviously stacked against you. You’re not playing, you’re being played, doofus. And if you think it’s cool then how come professional gamblers are such a bunch of creeps? For some, gambling is a high like no other, and ultimately we have to respect anything that makes you feel alive. Though swimming with sharks is infinitely more respectable.
Vaping is like smoking without the dangerous fumes. You keep the nicotine addiction but skip the perilous tar and cancer-inducing chemicals. At least that’s the sell. The main point against vaping is that you look like a fucking idiot. The idea of being able to wander around getting high on liquid marijuana without anyone knowing is obviously a genius innovation. And if that’s your ambition in life, go for it son. But meanwhile you are sucking on a miniature lightsabre like a gay Jedi and exhaling mild clouds like a pathetic dragon.
Do “all the single ladies” bow down? Or is the world growing tired of Destiny’s all-grown-up Child? For years it seems like the pop sensation who needs only one name, like a Brazilian footballer or Jesus, has been placed on a platform of royalty. Just to put it into perspective, the last time The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went to an American basketball game they made headlines but not for the reason you’d think. The morning headlines read, “When Will and Kate met Beyoncé and Jay-Z.” Indeed, courtside was filled with royals that evening, both political and cultural. In the world of entertainment, God save Queen B.
A bunch of self-righteous, ignorant, hypocritical, wasteful, childish bullies and assholes. Jeez, Americans think they’re tops. “We invented Friends and the nuclear bomb, the world belongs to us now.” Invented being a fat fuck more like. Invented meat swollen with hormones and sucking the goodness out of every sweet thing on the planet and turning it into a consumer good. Americans have great teeth and make great TV; you love their electronic goods and have seen all their films; you say “like” every fifth word just “like” your “like” Californian idols. But new Star Wars movies and new Apple electronics can’t erase the fact they have adopted a President whose name and actions are a euphemism for number twos. Culturally, American stock is at an all-time-low.