A pox on you all! May you all eat shit you bunch of worthless camel fisters! Yes, that’s right, I’m angry! In fact I’m mad as hell! About what? I hear you ask. Does it matter? I’m just bloody angry! And you know what? It makes me feel bloody good! You see, there’s this orthodoxy floating around ‘polite’ society these days which says that anger (or, indeed, any kind of emotional response to a difficult situation), is bad. Very bad, apparently. Instead, we should all try to be reasonable and attempt more constructive responses. Like sitting down and discussing it all over a nice cup of tea. Or writing to our MPs, perhaps. What a load of bollocks! Let me set you all straight on this – anger is good! There is a very good reason why this emotion exists – it galvanises us into action, gives us the drive and determination we need to take a bad situation by the scruff of the neck and resolve it effectively and decisively. Don’t listen to all this ‘reasonable’ crap – it’s just more ‘management speak’, or, as I like to call it, abject shite. I’ve had the misfortune to encounter the ‘reasonable’ response a lot in the public sector. It usually consists of a manager refusing to respond to any of the issues you are trying to raise with them and instead trying to palm you off with platitudes and corporate catchphrases involving ‘targets’, ‘visions’ and ‘customer interfaces’, all the while never altering their voice from a dull monotone.
Unfortunately, rather than making them appear reasonable, this approach simply makes them come over as smug, complacent and entirely self-serving (which they usually are anyway). Indeed, all this ‘reasonable’ act makes me want to do is punch their lights out. Ultimately, the message such an act sends out is ‘I don’t care what you’ve got to say, I don’t care about you, I’m just going to carry on regardless in pursuit of the corporate agenda’. This is bad enough when your dealing with colleagues, but even worse when dealing with the public – to them it sends the clear message that the system doesn’t give a toss about individuals and their problems, despite all the talk of being ‘customer focused’ and the like. Either way, it is a corrosive attitude which breeds apathy – what’s the point of trying to do anything when management always responds with ‘reason’/complacency? It’s because everyone seems to have been brainwashed into this ‘reasonableness’ crap that management is shitting all over us workers. I say everyone, but some of us hold out – trust me, the best results are gained if you get really angry with these bastards, make it clear that you will do something, scare the shit out of them! Don’t bother with all the shit about ‘proper channels’ and ‘formal procedures’ – go over their heads, behind their backs or whatever else it takes! Short circuit their system! Believe me, General George S Patton didn’t get the Third Army halfway across Europe and into Berlin by being reasonable – he got very, very angry! Let’s not forget that Neville Chamberlain tried being ‘reasonable’ with that chap Hitler – look where that got us!
Which brings me to my point. I’m not advocating that you should go around ranting, raving and threatening to stick one on anyone in authority who obstructs you, but there’s nothing wrong with being awkward and standing your ground and defending your principles. Contrary to the current received wisdom, anger is not unproductive, quite the opposite, in fact. I believe that reasonable discussion of issues is ultimately preferable to open conflict. However, such an approach can only work where there is a genuine dialogue, where both sides are prepared to engage in real discussion and a genuine exchange of ideas. This is clearly not the case in the modern-day corporate version of ‘reasonableness’. So bollocks to it, I say! Man the barricades!
Of course, the other great danger of this ‘reasonable’ approach is that it will eventually turn us into a race of emotionally constipated drones incapable of reacting to any stimulus outside of mouthing corporate jargon. A terrifying thought. Mind you, the modern civil service seems these days to be manned largely by emotionally and intellectually repressed chancers who slipped off the greasy pole of commerce. They try to talk the talk of ‘competition’ and ‘customer service’ without ever grasping that, unlike the private sector, this sector is all about providing public services which cannot be delivered through the much vaunted free market. But hell, I’m ranting again, aren’t I? Good! Anger is what fuels revolution! And, by God, do we badly need a revolution in this country! People really do need to be shaken out of their middle class complacency and see what’s really going on! Feel the sleaze folks – it’s lapping around your feet and the tide is creeping higher every minute!
But back to website-related issues – it’s been a real roller-coaster ride since the last editorial, hasn’t it? Well, it has been for me – traffic has been all over the place, plunging to disastrous depths in the wake of Google’s bots failing to get to grips with the new code, to unheard of heights when The Sleaze featured on the index page of The Straight Dope for a while. Right now, we seem to be becalmed again, traffic wise, making little apparent progress. Life away from The Sleaze (I know it is hard to believe people, but I do have a life separate from this place), has been equally tumultuous, with writing duties disrupted by academic obligations and the sudden return (after a considerable absence) of an old and valued friend. I’ve often thought I should include a section entitled ‘Sleazewatch’, in which I chronicle the other places on the web that The Sleaze has been mentioned and/or linked to. What disturbs me are the number of twats who seem to be incapable of grasping that it is satire and, by definition, not true. A while ago some right-wing message board linked to the ‘Hollywood Sex Pests’ story in the archive, it took them over a page to finally conclude that it might not be true! Even then they had the audacity to describe this site as ‘crass’! Well at least we aren’t a bunch of dumb shits with no critical faculties!
Then there was the inevitable po-faced toss-pot on another board which had linked to ‘Blindman Begins’, tut-tutting over what he claimed was making fun of David Blunkett’s disabilities. Try actually reading the story shit for brains. The last person who tried to take issue with me for making a satirical comment related to Blunkett’s blindness was a pillock who thought that it was OK to crack ‘jokes’ about ‘wogs’ and ‘pakis’. Still, on a more uplifting note, we have been linked to by The Guardian, well OK, their message boards, and the ‘Dr Who message board to be precise. But I don’t care – we’ve finally arrived and been noticed by mainstream media! All of which brings me to another question which has been rolling around my mind of late whilst lying in the bath – does anyone famous ever read The Sleaze? I’m not talking Tony Blair or Wacko Jacko famous, here, more Radio One DJ-famous, or even Russell T Davies- famous. You know, semi-celebrity famous. So, if you’re mildly well-known and have been bothered to read this far, drop me a line (obviously, I’ll want some proof of identity, otherwise I’ll have every tosser in creation e-mailing me from a Hotmail address claiming to be George W Bush). Well, I think I’ve done the required wordage for another issue. So, till the next time, keep it sleazy!