Smile Like You Mean It
Updated: Jul 2, 2020
This is my first post in a while because I’ve been bare busy sitting at home by myself, battling inner demons and learning five-star skill moves on FIFA. From Grenfell Tower to the new Twitter layout, everything seems a bit bleak at the moment. I’ve felt a bit isolated and depressed – it’s tricky trying to write comedy when the only voice you’ve heard all week is the one in your head telling you to end it because you’re incapable of both being loved and performing the Okocha Sombrero Flick.
Sometimes I feel guilty about being pessimistic, especially when you consider we live in a world of amazing technological advancement, and at least when we’re dying in unnecessary fires as a result of an aggressive policy of austerity, we can make it part of our Snapchat story. We’ve never had it so good, so we should be able to bear the tortured screaming of burning children, just as long as it gets enough sad face reactions on our Facebook live feeds.
Before remembering that every moment of happiness is an illusion, I was buoyed by the result of the election. Theresa May’s approach towards the whole thing seemed to be that of someone who does the dishes badly so no one asks them again – after months of insisting under no circumstances would she be doing the dishes. Except now, after making everything less clear than it was before, she’s remembered all she knows how to do in life is to destroy things, so she remains clinging to the sink, smearing faeces on dessert spoons and inviting anyone who hates gay people to help her out.
Despite the way things are, you’ve got to at least try to be positive – if you smile the world smiles back at you. If you frown, the world still smiles back at you, it’s just a much more sinister grin that mocks your inability to feel happiness and breeds in you a rage so acute that you want to wipe the fucking smirk off of everybody’s stupid face. It’s unlikely that everybody will admit how miserable we all are: the best approach therefore is to plough ahead, with manic smiles on our faces, dismissing people who look sad as Weak Fucks, and cackling at how funny it is that all our hopes are just things that haven’t disappointed us yet.
Within me is a desperate desire to be more important than I am, to feel like I matter. I want a voice. I want to be telling my funny stories on the Graham Norton Show one day. And not on the red chair – I’ll be a proper guest. I’ll be relatable and charming and quirky and I’ll be fucking killing it. Greg Wallace from Masterchef will be sat next to me, giggling like a school girl, and he’ll be like “that’s so true Eric, I’m really bad at doing skill moves on FIFA as well.” And I’ll say, “Shut up Greg Wallace, no one asked you mate. You’ve had your fifteen minutes talking about cheesecakes. No one else can get a word in edgeways – Judi Dench has been sat here all night as quiet as a mouse, God bless her. You’re overpowering. Let other people speak, it’s called being an adult. Sorry Graham, carry on.”
What a brilliant life that would be.
I’m writing this blog in a Caffè Nero because I can listen to other people’s conversations here and it makes me feel less alone. Earlier on I overheard two girls talking. One of the girls was going on and on about her life, relentlessly complaining about how annoying everybody is, blaming them for her problems. Her friend, who surely had problems of her own, was given no room to speak. She just sat there, forced to listen to the same old shit yet again.
In that moment, I realised the girl with her ceaseless complaining was me*. I’m constantly whining at the world, telling it to make things better, asking it to care about me. But maybe sometimes you just need to shut the fuck up. Let the world react; see what it has to say.
Maybe if you listen, things can get better – even when the world is a massive psychopathic ball of despair.
Anyway, that’s about it.
*Metaphorically I mean. There was an actual girl, and she was being a massive gobshite. Felt sorry for her mate.
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