Raymond Kirkpatrick Goes Online
Raymond Kirkpatrick is a colleague of Arthur Bryant’s. The bear-like heavy metal-loving Professor of English is currently working at the British Library and is our occasional guest speaker. His opinions are very, very much his own.
I work in a library so obviously I prefer books, but last week John May, in his desperate attempts to cling to his middle age, followed the Youngs onto loads of stupid websites and persuaded me to go online.
The last time I bothered to look at it on my walkie-phone, the internet was for sharing information. Now it’s been taken over by Millennials taking videos of themselves standing very still, falling off cliffs or being snapped in front of paintings and monuments while all they have to do is hit SEND.
I surfed through his list for a bit for a bit (how it can call itself surfing when it involves watching a small lengthening bar is beyond me) and I found the following articles;
Students wanting to ban the raising of hands in class because ‘it invades safe space’.
Vegans wanting to ban fivers because they contain minute traces of fat, just like the keyboards they type on.
Teenaged girls getting botox in time for their Christmas selfies.
Millennials outraged that employers aren’t keen on hiring the facially tattooed.
And some overprivileged gobbledeygook-spouting American bird called Cassandra de Pecol doing her bit for the planet by visiting every country in the world. I looked at her musings;
‘Looking into the eyes of the youth and hearing them realize their potential and limitless possibilities through listening to me speak — this is what I live for.’ So nobody else will talk to her, basically. ‘It pained me to eat even just plate of steamed vegetables knowing that people are suffering…’ Stone me, I used to bore the neighbours with my holiday snaps but this takes it to a whole new level.
So I try more basic online functions. I look up ‘dogma’ and am instantly directed by Microsoft word to the 1999 Kevin Smith comedy film ‘Dogma’ instead of the actual concept. It’s a bit like finding that an encyclopaedia has turned into an Argos catalogue.
The internet is now stuffed with illiterate folderol like this, the equivalent of babbling to yourself in an empty room. Suddenly I long for the days of watching drunk Russians driving and twits falling off skateboards.
So I try social media. On Facebook my ugly-arse sister and her progeny are talking about cakes. On Twitter suburbans from the School of the Bleeding Obvious are moaning that Brexit has let them down because the EU isn’t going to pay for the potholes in their roads anymore. Snapchat appears to be an online version of wanking. Instagram is scrapbooks for salad dodgers. I try to play a couple of online games but every ten seconds they try to flog me 5 fireballs for £1.99.
I read some online papers. The Daily Mail has illustrated Andrew Sach’s death from dementia with a shot of him with his hands on fire. Its two other main articles are a complaint about the ‘waste’ of testing at-risk people for HIV and an article that women are illogical because their brains are different. Honestly, that paper’s never happy. At least the Daily Telegraph has got what it wanted; it’s behind a wall.
Apparently phones are now really germy because people text while they’re having a dump. I’m taking a copy of Thomas Love Peacock’s ‘Nightmare Castle’ to the lav. I may be some time.