Here we go again! What is there to Muse about? A few things…
I have no idea why (beyond perhaps, the YouTube algorithm suggesting videos, that then seeped into my subconscious), but the other week, I had a dream about the Napoleonic War series Sharpe. The bulk of what I remember involves me, Sean Bean, and pan-handling for gold in a river. Where the pan-handling element came from, I have absolutely no idea.
The Dream of a Thousand Cats
Not to be confused with a Sandman episode with a similar title, the next weird dream to enter this Muse featured a lot of cats. My friends (who appeared to be Ned and MJ from Spider-Man) were in a house filled with cats of all shapes and sizes, who kept coming for us, though their intent wasn’t entirely clear. We had to trap them, so we locked them in this house. We knew that, eventually, they’d escape, so we made plans to move far away. We said goodbye to our own cat (who happened to be my real cat, Castiel), and got to a train station, where we were told of a delay until 5am for our train. At this point, a lady waiting for the train got in a huff, and told her husband she’d fly back to Australia to get the car, as it would be quicker. I was thoroughly confused by this point, and then the alarm punctured my dream.
The Dream of a Mysterious Realm
I like the word ‘realm’. I don’t know why, but it conjures images of fantastical worlds, and that certainly describes the third unusual nocturnal adventure my subconscious decided to have. It might have been loosely inspired by the new Lord of the Rings series, with additional echoes of The Sandman thrown in. I was in a colourful land, filled with strangely-shaped buildings and unique creatures, but there was some unseen threat to this land, and the mission was unique a small group of powerful, magical entities to stop it. I woke up as efforts to enlist the last, most powerful sorceress were underway.
The Deadly Theatre
Yet another dream, yet another strange adventure. I was at a play, and the cast kept dying in various, orchestrated accidents. The dream then sort of… replayed, where I was able to understand how the cast members were being bumped off. It was a bit more complicated than that, but it was an interesting, creative dream, and I am not at all sure what prompted it.
This is the title of a podcast series I’ve been doing. Season Three is now underway, and I thought I’d push it a bit harder. It’s as simple as it sounds, I take a random idea, and make a short podcast on the subject. Ideas are always welcome!
The other day, I noticed one of our display toilets was tampered with. The seat was completely out of alignment to the pan. This could have happened on its own (seats do work loose over time), but given how rarely display models are actually sat on, it seems to me that someone, for reasons known only to them, interfered with the fixings.
I say reasons known only to them, but I feel the reality is that there is no reason. It’s a toilet, why would you need to fiddle with the fixings?!
Control your Kids!
It’s often said that we love our own kids dearly, and sometimes, we loathe other people’s kids. If you work in retail, then you’ll understand just how true that is. The demon spawn who did not stop shouting, getting into everything, and generally being annoying, tried my patience to near-breaking point, and the quiet, ineffective words from their parents were meaningless. The parents made sure to drag out proceedings too, right up until closing time, at a stage where my colleague and I would have preferred to be closing down for the evening. This meant we had to endure the annoying kids even longer.
A bathroom shop is not a playground. There are many ways for someone to injure themselves, especially if that someone is a child. Control your kids when in any kind of store! Retail workers aren’t paid remotely enough to endure screaming, bickering, misbehaving kids. We are not babysitters. If you don’t control your child, and they hurt themselves, that’s entirely on you.
This experience, and countless others like it, have made me wonder if I want to continue working in retail. Granted, office-based work would be mundane, but not having to face annoying kids and their absent-minded parents… oh I can dream!
The Rings of Power
I alluded to this TV show earlier, and this series, based off the Lord of the Rings books by J. R. R. Tolkien, debuted at the start of September. Stylistically, the show (which is reportedly costing a billion dollars to produce, making it the most expensive TV series of all time) is similar to the movie trilogy that got released at the turn of the century, though the series covers events set thousands of years prior to the movies and books. Some characters are the same (elvish characters in particular), however, the overall character list is brand-new.
The show has proven interesting, especially for anyone interested in Tolkien’s wider lore. There are numerous works that explore a time before the Lord of the Rings, and the TV show will attempt to explore some of that. It is ambitious, but the production is clearly well-polished, with a lot of time and money taken to ensure everything is as good as can be. Unfortunately, the series has detractors, for no reason other than the appearance of people of colour in Middle Earth, and some ass-kicking women.
What’s so terrifying about showing a world based on realism? People of colour exist. Women capable of kicking ass exist. People whinge about things being too ‘woke’, but if being woke means being unafraid of representation, or being kind, or compassionate, then label me woke. I do not care that this show has ethnic minorities in it. I could not care less that there are strong women characters in it. Their presence does not scare me, it does not bother me. It is greatly ironic that right-wingers are, to coin a phrase they are so fond of, ‘triggered’ by these developments. Get over it.
The end of a bad Error
Boris Johnson is no longer the Prime Minister!
I wish I could say this will completely end the shit-show that is UK politics, but at least one of the worst cretins to ever take political office is now gone. Johnson desires a return, but surely there is no one gullible enough to believe he’s done a good job? Surely?!
Alas, there will be people out there who think Johnson’s been a good PM. This is despite a terrible covid death toll, the disaster of Brexit, a spiralling cost of living crisis, sewage in our water supply, and holding illegal parties whilst others endured lockdowns. Worst of all, Johnson himself seems pathologically incapable of realising how inept he is. The man cannot grasp that he has made serious errors, and I doubt he is capable of remorse for the failures that inflicted pain upon so many.
Of course, a true recovery from the Tory shit-show can’t begin until they are voted out of power. I cannot think of a single Tory who would make a good PM.
Johnson’s replacement, Liz Truss (my autocorrect wanted to say ‘Lizard Truss’, which is sort of hilarious), is cut from the same cloth, so don’t expect any meaningful progress, in terms of an empoverished NHS, a broken energy supply system, or indeed in any way, shape or form. She might have made noises about freezing energy bills, but the reality is, the means exist to dramatically reduce them, and the means and money exist to dramatically help those in dire need. Instead of doing this, Truss has hinted of a ‘bonfire of worker’s rights’, and if such a thing comes to pass, it would be disastrous for the working class.
In the USA, employers hire people on an ‘at will’ basis. This means they can, without warning, fire someone, whenever they want. In the UK, worker’s rights are protected against this kind of practice, and do we really want to shift to such a system? If the Tories consider it a good idea, it’s safe to assume it’s a terrible one.
My wife and I have now been married for 13 years (and been together for 18 years). 13 long, long years. Long long, long, long, long years…
We didn’t do a great deal on the day, save for indulging in a local buffet, and in my case, seriously over-indulging! Oh, we also watched The Batman, which I dare say is easily one of the best Batman movies of recent times. The idea of a younger, less-assured Batman is quite an interesting one.
Yes, I know it’s September, however sometimes it helps to be prepared. I have my costume now.
I went to collect my daughter from school the other day, and ended up caught up in the midst of a car accident. I don’t know the details, however the news reported a collision involving two cars, and a pedestrian. There were quite a few ambulances, and police cars, and even a fire engine at the scene, and it goes without saying that traffic was chaotic. The injured parties were taken to hospital, and hopefully, they will all be fine.
On the 11th of September, the world marked the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. It is strange, and surreal, to think that so much time has passed since those terrible, terrifying events. In the UK, the anniversary has barely been mentioned, as it has been overshadowed by something else. However, it is important to pause, to reflect, and remember how the world changed on that awful day. I sometimes wonder if the world has learned from those events, and if we have learned the right lessons.
Rest in Peace, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
On the 8th of September, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II passed away, at the age of 96, shortly after becoming the longest reigning monarch in British history. Queen Elizabeth reigned for seventy years, and whilst her reign was not always without incident, the Queen herself always held herself with dignity and poise. She discharged her duties without complaint, and kept her composure across numerous upheavals. It would be fair to say that I have mixed feelings on the Royal Family as a whole – the Prince Andrew saga, and the treatment of Meghan Markle, are two serious stains on the monarchy – but the Queen always did her best to be noble. Her passing is a sad moment to me, for she has always been there. I, like millions of others around the world, have only known Queen Elizabeth. Now she is gone, and now Britain has a king, King Charles III.
The monarchy does not have much more than a ceremonial role in UK politics and society, but nonetheless, there are many duties that a monarch needs to perform, and the monarchy, rightly or wrongly, provides a sense of stability. In the wake of serious political changes, this is yet another form of upheaval. What will the King say, and do, to shape the future of the country? In the meantime, I must say, Rest in Peace, Queen Elizabeth.