Saturday, 12 November 2011

Rebel Without A Cause

Last week I had a dream that I was Lady Sybil from Downton Abbey. I was all set to abandon the aristocracy and run away with Branson, the politically radical Irish chauffeur, when, regrettably, I woke up.

Ever since then I've had a slight feeling of dissatisfaction. This is partly as I'm not actually about to elope with a fictional character portrayed by a man voted the sexiest in Ireland, and partly because it is very hard to rebel against anything nowadays. My views (men and women are equal, gay people should be able to get married, we should narrow the gap between the rich and the poor) were radical in 1912, but not so much now. This is, of course, a good thing; it shows that the world has generally improved.

Rebellion nowadays is a bit...lame. It's completely impossible to rebel against open-minded, liberal parents who I completely agree with on all major issues. I wouldn't want to. I like to think if I were actually a member of the Edwardian aristocracy I would be a bit radical, but you never can tell. If I wanted the disapproval of my parents, I would get an offensive tattoo, date someone from The Only Way is Essex, a programme I have mercifully never watched, and join the BNP.
Reading 'How To Be A Woman' by Caitlin Moran, hilarious and insightful though it may be, is not going to cut it. My mum wants to read it after me.

In the good ol' days they could rebel with style. Please take a moment to do a Wikipedia search for Jessica Mitford. She was, in my opinion, the coolest person of the 20th century. Her family were aristocrats, and they were all completely and delightfully mental. One of her sisters married Oswald Moseley, the head of the British Union of Fascists, another sister fell in love with Hitler and then killed herself when Britain declared war with Germany, while Jessica became a communist and ran away to join the Spanish Civil War at the age of nineteen. There's a picture of her (which I have in a book but can't find on the internet) as an old lady playing boggle with Maya Angelou. What a badass.

It seems the way to cause controversy nowadays is to go backwards. This can only be another sign that the world is improving. My cousin's fundamentalist, homophobic, majorly conservative views are met with far more concern from my grandparents than anything I believe ever could be.

Because I can't think of a sufficient way to finish this blog, here's a picture of Caitlin Moran with Sybil and Branson from Downton Abbey (Jessica Brown-Findlay and Allen Leech, because there is no point pretending that I don't always remember actor names)

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Hugs Not Drugs

I've had a chesty cough for the past week, which is weird because I rarely have a cough, and I don't have any other symptoms. Interestingly, this cough began on the day that the three smokers in my hallway realised that it's possible to smoke in the bedrooms without the smoke alarm going off.

I couldn't sleep at two this morning, and I heard voices outside my room, so I went to hang out with two smokers in one of their bedrooms, which gradually turned into a weed den. As the night of listening to slightly pretentious Indie music on YouTube progressed, my voice became huskier and huskier until I eventually had to leave. I'd taken my duvet with me so I had to change the cover at four in the morning, because it stank of tobacco. My cough has worsened today, almost certainly due to the passive inhalation of both tobacco and weed.

The cleaners are turning a blind eye, which, in a way, is good of them because they also turn a blind eye to our new kettle which hasn't been safety checked, but I kind of wish the smokers would return to just going outside. I understand that it's cold in November and it's an effort to walk, but they chose the habit.

The more I hang out with smokers the less I understand it. These people spend about a third of their weekly allowance of cigarettes, while I spend about one twenty-fifth of my weekly allowance on the Strepsils which I need because of their smoking habit. They have to find people to supply them with weed. They can't walk from our building to the building where we eat dinner without lighting up on the way. Some of them need weed to write essays. I for one, keep a bag of chocolate Crunchie rocks in my desk drawer, which are cheap and I don't need to block the bottom of the door with clothes to prevent the smell of the Crunchie rocks escaping and setting off the chocolate alarm.

Oh dear, another complainy blog. On the plus side, soon I'm going to buy a hat with the proceeds of not smoking.