One of my favourite TV concepts is that of Room 101 (where people have to pick 3 pet peeves which could potentially be banished forever into the mysterious Room 101). As a miserable git, I like nothing better than being reminded of all the things that get on my nerves. So much so whittling them down to 3 is a Herculean task in itself but I’ve given it my best shot.
People who talk in the cinema (or text, look at their phones, move, breathe or even exist)
Spending time in the cinema has always been one of my favourite things to do. However, in 2017, I had to call time on what had previously been a great source of joy due to the presence of other people. I’ll confess I’m not 100% sure if it’s me who’s become increasingly intolerant with age or other people who have mutated into loud, annoying oafs. I suspect the rot set in with the arrival of mobile phones and the fact that people can’t seem to go for longer than a few minutes without checking their texts, Facebook status or whatever. Once the mores of cinema life relaxed to accommodate all that nonsense, it descended into anything goes. Every cinema experience involved me telling someone to get their feet down, stop talking or indeed just stop being a general prat. To be fair my remonstrations were always met with an apology but I didn’t sign up to be the cinema police. I simply want people to behave in a way that is conducive to me watching a film, that’s a couple of hours sitting quietly. Too much to ask? It would seem so and consequently I’ve defected to Netflix in the comfort of my own home.
Assertiveness/ Feistiness/ Insert your own synonym
The synonyms go on and on and for some reason we are all supposed to celebrate the idea of self-promotion. Dress it up all you want but as far as I’m concerned it’s just ego gone mad and our society basically giving the green light to selfish, arrogant tw*ts. Everywhere I go I seem to find myself the recipient of unsolicited advice and it’s usually the kind of advice that allows the person doling it out to wax lyrical about their own successes. Not only is it frankly boring to have to listen to other people talking incessantly about themselves, it is setting a dangerous precedent for future generations. Suddenly everyone wants to be successful in the kind of way that requires others to bask in their glory. No longer is it a reward in itself to be doing something you love. Young people are shunning the prospect of being a nurse or engineer – far too boring. Instead they all want to be on TV and it doesn’t really matter in what capacity, it’s enough to have a medium through which they can preen and boast. We’ve created a society where everyone holds the belief that they are interesting to others and have valid opinions regardless of how idiotic or ill-informed they may be.
Another sign that our society is going to hell in a hand cart is surely our obsession with yester-year. I have zero interest in re-living the past, admittedly this could be partly down to the fact that I can’t remember most of it, but whatever the reason it puts me glaringly at odds with my fellow Brits. It seems we can’t get enough of 80s bands, school reunions and Mama bloody Mia. Now, I loved Donny Osmond as much as the next ten year old but do I want to see him singing Puppy Love as a middle-aged man – hell no! Some things are just better left in the past and no good can come from trying to recreate what once was. I was once foolish enough to attend a school reunion and it was the stuff of nightmares. My alma mater was dominated by fat, balding men who should never drink and fussy mothers who made me hope I was barren. Considering that was the 20th anniversary I can only imagine what horrors the subsequent celebrations held. And don’t even get me started on Mama Mia.
Right now over to you – what would you consign to Room 101?