Facebook sickens me. Hell, a lot of things sicken me. But I’d feel overindulgent if I were to whine on for a few hundred words about one of my hatreds more than once a day. The whole thing is an advert. You can treat it like a marketplace too; if you know that saying a certain thing will get you a lot of ‘likes’, well then you’ll probably say it. Nobody can actually say what they are truly feeling, because nobody cares about that. It distracts from this online utopia, the invisible, non-existent but still horribly pervasive publicity room. Everything I see on there appears to me like a press release.
At this point you might ask ‘why don’t you just delete it’? Good question, to which I reply, you can’t just delete it. Don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting Mark Zuckerberg and his pals are trying to take over and control our minds – or are they? – but in life as we live it you cannot afford to be away from this social networking behemoth. Everything is done on Facebook; lives are played out, things are organised, experiences broadcast to gain the approval of others, anecdotes shared, false pseudo-conversations had and pictures uploaded to create the ‘advert’ that Facebook forces us to.
It’s taken me a number of hours, but I’ve finally found my gripe of the day (this really should become a regular feature). Said grievance is Westfield, the retail colossus with multiple personalities which has turned the formerly run-down area of Shepherd’s Bush into a yuppie paradise. It manages to simultaneously satiate the desires of chavs from near and afar, who loiter around stores they could never afford to buy from, as well as London’s nouveau riche. The car parking is extortionate, and advertisements entitled ‘park all evening for just a fiver’ as if this is some grand concession along the lines of the Reform Act of 1832, sum up the ambience of the huge, monolithic building under which seemingly every shop in the world is housed.
Exasperation and disbelief have long been core components of QPR fandom. From the inconceivably disastrous days of Gerry Francis’ second managerial spell at the club, to the jaw-droppingly ludicrous procession of misguided hirings and firings during the 2009/2010 season, there’s nearly always a dark cloud above Loftus Road. The opening of the summer transfer window yesterday will do little to lift the gloom, either, as Rangers supporters watch their closest rivals for Premier League safety, Norwich City and Swansea City, take intelligent, measured steps in the transfer market. The Canaries’ signings of Bradley Johnson from Leeds United and Millwall’s Steve Morison should see them well-placed to mount a survival bid, especially if the irrepressibly brilliant Paul Lambert remains at the helm.
I saw a wonderful film today. It was about a humble man from Brazil, a man who for millions of people was the only good thing about their lives. His name was Ayrton Senna, arguably the greatest racing driver who ever lived. His tragic death in 1994 at the San Marino Grand Prix shook the world; rightly, for a driver of his stature. His legacy is there, from Lewis Hamilton’s yellow helmet, a tribute to his great McLaren hero, to the overtaking, rivalries, and high-octane racing that still sends shivers down the spines of fans old and new.
Motor racing changed irreparably the day Senna passed on, and the improvements in safety have meant that to this day no other driver has been claimed from us through a Formula One accident. Yet the drivers nowadays, on the whole, have little in common with Senna. And how could they? To emulate such a great man is impossible; although he possessed extraordinary talent, he would never take the easy way out. This is not to say he was perfect, far from it.