Time for a two-minute hate session (that might go on a bit longer than two minutes…)
Something has changed about Room 101 over the past 65 years.
In Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four it was the room that contained your worst fears.
In Golder’s Twenty Fourteen, it’s a room where you consign all the things you hate the most. Surely a BBC celebrity entertainment show alone cannot be responsible for this subtle but significant shift in the zeitgeist’s perception of such an iconic concept?
Or maybe it was.
Anyway, ever since this outlandishly DayGlo pair of Zoot runners appeared in the Future cycling mags’ free box, they’ve been earmarked as the poster boys for my 101-themed post. Sorry, Zoot, you’re not coming out of this challenge well, are you (see Day 22)? They, and their bizarre disc-based, plastic fastening system, go straight into oblivion.
But here are ten more things I’d like to lock in Room 101 (in no particular order):
I don’t care if they’re “comfortable”, “hard-wearing”, “practical”, “non-slip” or even the answer to world poverty and war (and all the other things their supporters claim), Crocs still look like sawn-off wellies that have been left near a radiator too long. They’re not an anti-fashion statement; they’re just foul.
Have these pointless new crossing lights reached your town or city yet? If not, they’ll be taking over soon. Instead of being conveniently positioned ahead of you, in the direction your eyes naturally fall when you’re waiting to cross the road, they’re off to one side, meaning you keep craning your neck to look at them (because, let’s face it, the bleeps rarely work). At first it’s just a minor irritation, but after using them for months, the effect is like some kind of mental waterboarding. Why change a system that worked fine for decades?
Remember, I’m a cyclist myself. I’m not a motorist with an axe to grind, and I will defend my two-wheeled compatriots against many ill-founded accusations from the Top Gear brigade (any driver who has ever broken the speed limit has no moral right to moan about cyclists crossing red lights). But cyclists who use roads when there’s a cycle path available – thus clogging up roads, causing tail backs and giving drivers more ammunition to loathe us – are a special form of selfish.
A vegetable that tastes of licorice? If it didn’t occur naturally, you’d assume it was culinary nightmare dreamed up by Heston Blumenthal. I’ve got nothing against vegetables (I’m weird – I like broccoli) but fennel is vile and unnecessary.
When Doctor Who fandom goes into an internet fugue after an episode like “The Time Of The Doctor” I think back to the mid-’80s and stories like “The Twin Dilemma” and thank my lucky stars that the show today – even when it’s not firing on all cylinders – is infinitely superior to that televisual tosh. Tin foil sets, lisping kids, embarrassingly bad science, Colin Baker’s Doctor at his obnoxious worst, a slow, tedious, then-this, then-this, then-this plot structure, papier-mache monsters… it is a truly dire combination of everything that Doctor Who’s ever been criticised for.
I can still love Lost but hate the final episode. As I’ve said before, I have no problem with the questions it didn’t answer. Rather, I have a problem with the fact that the answers it did give were utter drivel. A waiting room for heaven? Oh dear… A giant plug? You are kidding?
I don’t care that he once a directed a film that wasn’t complete crud (The Cell). The fact is: this man gave us the double whammy of Eternals and Mirror, Mirror and therefore should never be trusted with a camera ever again.
Don’t be fooled. This is not a railway station, it is some Kafka-esque vision of hell. Nobody actually goes to Westbury. It’s just one of those stations First Great Western forces you to change at for no apparently good reason other than vindictiveness. The waiting time always seems to be hours: in truth it’s not, but time moves differently at Westbury station, so it seems that way. The temperature always seems 10 degrees lower than the surrounding area. There’s no shop, nothing to do. It’s miles from the town, so you can’t even pop out to get a coffee. Incoming trains regularly swap platforms just before they pull in, resulting in a mad dash through the subway. But worst of all is the flagpole. Even when there’s no wind the rope slaps against the pole with a non-stop, teeth-grindingly irritating, mournful clang that eats into your mind and breeds despair.
I have no feelings either way about Scottish devolution, to be honest. But as far as I can see, the best reason for a No vote is to wipe the smug smile of Alex Salmond’s face. Surely the biggest elephant in the room is the clear fact that Salmond’s main motivation for pushing through devolution is not political, or social, or economic, but because the man has an insufferably large ego and wants to go down in history as some kind of national hero. He’s not. He’s a tit of Nigel Farage proportions.
Dear Lord, what was I thinking?
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