I'm an irritable bugger at the best of times. I try not to be, I like to live my life by the words of Gandhi and "be the change you wish to see in the world" which I think makes me a bit culturally than Peter Jones of Dragon's Den who this week said he tries to live his life by the words of Michael Jackson, specifically "If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change." It's difficult though because I've got a bunch of autistic traits that makes getting on with humans quite difficult.
This morning for example trying to fill in the quite frankly massive ballot paper for the Labour party leadership, treasurer National Executive Committee, National Policy Forum and National Policy Forum Youth. I have a great deal of difficulty in making decisions, it can take me anywhere up to four days to figure out what I want for dinner.
When we moved house my friend Claire was helping out and I nipped round to the shops to get us some drinks I asked "What do you want?" to which the reply came "anything" Now this does me no good, it puts far too much pressure on me and I'm essentially in a worse place than I was when I initially asked, fortunately she continued by saying "I don't like fizzy drinks, except Lucozade, and then only original." So Lucozade it would be. Nice, simple no room for confusion, Lucozade may not be her favourite drink, but at least she doesn't hate it, socially awkward situation avoided.
So when it comes to voting I know where I am, X in a box for the one I want. I know which one I want, it's always the same one and voting for them means that I've done my bit and what I consider to be right based on my views and beliefs, even if at the last election it was tempting to vote for the Lib Dems at first as a protest over the Iraq war and civil liberties. I didn't, because to me the other issues were far more important than those, and I'm glad I didn't or all these horrible cuts that directly affect my friends and family incredibly adversely would be my fault, as would this terrible, I'd never be able to look a ballot box in the face again.
So having to vote for multiple people across a range of fora is a nightmare for me, especially when one of them is held in the AV system.
It's tricky enough when I'm voting for a leader, in the end I went with my heart for first choice then my head with second choice and then the other two in the middle could have gone in any order and my least favourite at the end. Which is fair enough, but what about when it comes to voting in that way across all the different parties standing?
Do I really hate UKip more or less than the Lib Dems? Tories would obviously go at the bottom but what if there's a BNP candidate do I hate them more or less? Do I put them higher because I know that there's no chance of them getting in and putting them in that order really shows how I think of them.
It's all too much for me, If I got in that polling booth with an AV ballot I know I'd be there from the time the polling station opened until it closed trying to figure out what order I should put everyone else in after my first choice (probably with Greens second, I don't know, it's all too complicated.)
So this particular type of over thinking and second guessing occupies most of my awake hours, that plus wondering if my friends are meeting up secretly behind my back plotting on how to humiliate me. People say that I'm paranoid, I imagine I don't know for sure but I suspect as much, but I know that on a number of occasions I've not been invited to something that loads of my friends have gone to. Though to be fair if I was invited I'd probably turn them down as I don't really like going outside other than to gigs or the shops.
It's a strange combination of things, I want friends I want to be able to hang out with people but at the same time I don't really know how to behave around them, how to keep them, you know the basics of human interaction.
I bought the first The Sims game when it first came out after everyone raved about how good it was, I got bored very quickly, stuck in a house having to phone people up get them to hang out with you, make some sort of effort, eventually make friends after not accidentally making any massive faux pas and then having to phone them up get them to hang out some more. I have enough difficulty managing that in real life on a computer it seems pointless.
And even when I do try I find myself in situations where they behave in a way that my head says that they shouldn't. I get called harsh for deciding that I can't be friends with someone over what some people think is a tiny little stupid thing, but to me it isn't.
I once ended a long term friendship with someone because I got some new trainers, I loved the trainers, they were, to me the Platonic form of the Trainer, they were a pair of Converse All Star that were in black pin stripe, the badge wasn't in the usual Red, White and Blue but was in Black and Cream and the rubberised sole was black with a white stripe. I loved them, they were ace.
My friend saw me wearing them the day after I got them and said "Hey, I like those!" I felt good, loads of people had said they liked them, for once I felt cool and not as if something I loved made me a pariah.
Two days later I went out to the pub to meet up with some people, and there was said friend, she'd gone out and bought the same trainers. As if the magic would somehow rub off on her and she'd be as cool as I felt for those few days, I saw people come up to her and tell her how ace the trainers were, those compliments should have been mine. Rather than sharing the magic she'd stolen it. It wasn't even like I'd suddenly got half the magic of feeling good in my new trainers, I didn't I felt shitty, not just did I feel shitty, the trainers had lost their shine, I didn't like them any more.
And that was it, I was gutted, by association she'd ruined my new trainers. I wasn't standing for that so I told her that unfortunately as a result of this particular choice I'm afraid that I was going to have to let her go as a friend.
To me this has always seemed reasonable. To others less so.
I wish I was friendlier, I wish I could handle these situations, but I really can't. It's like when someone on facebook or twitter ads me, and this happens every other week, and they decide that for some reason or other not only will we get on but that we should be friends. Often I don't know them at all until they suddenly start replying to everything I say, or commenting on everything I put up, and often as if we're best friends. We aren't, because if we were close friends you'd have figured out that this is one of the things that I hate.
There are two particular sub-species of these type of people, there's the one who thinks that because I'm a comedian everything I say is a joke and that everything that they have to reply has to be a joke too, often with excessive exclamation marks and question marks. I can forsee a day I put a facebook status that says "really upset, one of my friends has died :(" and I'll get the response "But that's one of the risks when you try being a stand-up comedian!!!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!"
find friend name and click on the X
the other sub group acts in a similar way but doesn't have much of a developed sense of humour so they only really have a working knowledge of sarcasm.
Any one of these things on their own I can stand, but it's when they combine it with telling me who I am or what I've done "Ah the reason you do that is because...." Like I'm not overly self analytical already, I know where most of my psychological flaws are, I know the reason behind them, I've spent most of my adult life having my brain probed by therapists and shrinks, you who've spend 3 hours looking at my twitter and facebook aren't going to have any more insight into who I am so please don't tell me who I am or what I should be doing rather than what I am.
I used to warn people about this, but now I've just taken to giving them three chances then blocking them. If I have to spend more than 20 minutes a day trying to get myself out of an angry frame of mind because of something that someone on one of my accounts has said I'm deleting them. They're not worth it.
It's like reading the comments section at the bottom of an online news paper. My new year's resolution was to not read the comments section any more, and on "Any Questions?" last night, the only lucid thing that Quentin Letts has ever said was "looking at the comments section on a blog is like examining the bedclothes of a teenage boy." He then ruined that with an hour of right wing paranoia about the BBC and their Left wing Marxist weather forecastiing (I think he's just afraid of foreign weather) and his assertion that the reason Stephen Hawking said that there's no God is because he's in a wheelchair suffering from Motor Neurone Disease. the man's a prick and I'm so glad I've never managed to read one of his columns.
We'd never be friends.
I think my bad mood over the last few days has been down to the fact that when I start to feel a bit ill it takes all my focus to sort that out that I can't manage to keep up with my social skills. I start to hate things, not because they're bad but because I don't want to like them for whatever reason.
Scott Pilgrim Vs The World is a good example of this.
I love the work of Edgar Wright, I love Graphic Novels, and I love films based on graphic novels, I even like the idea behind the film, and yet I don't want to watch it, I really don't want to watch it. I'm sure if I did that I'd love it, but I don't want to love it, I want it to be shit and I want to hate it.
I've not been able to figure out why until earlier today. I think it's because it's got Michael Cerra in it.
I've never seen anything that he's been in save for a few episodes of Arrested development, and I can't even remember him having any impression good or bad on me in that.
This prejudice comes from the fact that almost every single person who's told me that they like Michael Cerra over the last 18 months has been the sort of person I try to avoid getting stuck talking to at parties.
It's those guys who think that they're individualistic bohemians, that there's no one else out there like them, they're usually art students and you can spot them because they wear skinny jeans that are usually a bit too baggy for them they have short hair except for a big floppy fringe, they wear thick rimmed glasses and usually wear some sort of brogue or slip on shoe, couple that up with a checked shirt and t-shirt and a canvas bag over their shoulder, a roll up in their hand and you've got the Michael Cerra fan.
And I hate them, because whatever it is I'm into they're into it too and enjoying it on a different level than I do and they know that I'm not getting the most out of it becasue I never saw the original sketch that it's based on.
All these things get in the way of me trying to be the change I wish to see in the world.
Maybe Peter Jones is right.