5 Things that are guaranteed to get me worked up

Seeing as it’s Christmas time, the season of gift giving, overeating and arguing, I thought a nice festive blog post was in order. Here is a list of all the things that are guaranteed to get me shouting at the top of my voice defending my point (even if no one was contradicting me).

1.  That there is a tax on tampons

How on earth has this happened? VAT is intended for luxury goods except the system is so backwards and complex that exotic meats are tax free, alcoholic jellies are tax free, MEN’S razors are tax free (you’ll guess from my emphasis that women’s razors in comparison are not) and tampons are taxable. Those luxury items we women treat ourselves to once a month. A bit of a splurge I know; sure I could just bleed on to the bedding or through my clothes or onto the seats of public transport, but no, I’m one of those eccentrics who buy tampons. If any of what I’m saying makes sense to you (and if it doesn’t then you must actually be George Osborne) then there’s a petition here you can sign and maybe end this lunacy.

2.  Films that are longer than two hours

This is a new addition to the list inspired by a recent trip to the cinema to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies which comes in at an epic two hours and 24 minutes and I forgot to go to the loo beforehand. It’s not the kind of film where you can just nip out for a few minutes and come back and understand what’s going on – actually it totally is. I leave and they’re at war, I come back and they’re at war. But what if it hadn’t been? What if I’d missed something vital? And I hate getting up in the middle of the cinema because you have to make such a scene getting people to move out the way and blocking their view. So I just sat tight and prayed I’d make it. Oh it’s fine when you’re at home with a DVD to sit down for two and a half hours watching a film. Under these circumstances you have the pause button at your command. You can pick a convenient point and nip to the loo or make a drink or check Instagram. But in the cinema this is not an option. And it just seems presumptuous and bordering on arrogant that film studios and cinema chains think we’re going to shell out £10 to sit in an uncomfortable seat unmoving for over two hours getting increasingly hungry and unable to stop thinking about why we didn’t buy popcorn at the beginning (although there’s a very good reason why we didn’t – it cost more than the cinema ticket).

3.  Neoliberalism

It was a terrible idea and the future of the world was doomed the day Milton Freeman opened his mouth. I did two modules on the future of neoliberalism at university and now I pity the person who mentions it in front of me.

4.  Female sports reporters on the BBC News

I have no trouble at all believing that a woman was well qualified for the job of sports reporter; knowledgeable, presentable, well spoken, but that more than half of them are women is obvious positive discrimination. And I hate positive discrimination. It’s why I have my doubts about feminism (although please don’t tell Caitlin Moran I said that). When you can’t just hire the best person for the job then something has gone wrong.

5.  People who sit down in cafes before they have their food and drinks

Before I start I should explain that I exclude from this rant anyone who has medical reasons for being unable to stand for long periods of time. But other than them I hate all people who sit down in cafes before they have got their food. It is just plain rude. Think about the poor woman who comes in on her own. Perhaps she has bags of shopping or a toddler in a pushchair. She doesn’t have anyone else with her to go and save a table. So she orders her food, somehow navigates her way through the busy seating with a pushchair, armfuls of carrier bags and a tray of hot soup to find all the tables are taken by selfish people who are waiting smugly for their companions to return with the food while they monopolise tables. It is just plain rude.

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