Skin Deep 232

Skin Deep 232 10 December 2013 232

These things tend to come in phases. In the last month, there have been phone calls galore from journalists, production companies and researchers wanting information on… wait for it… not how many people have been disfigured while getting a tattoo but while getting the damn things lasered off! My, my - how far we have come in a short space of time.

My first reaction is “how the hell should I know?” - as a radio DJ, how would you like a question fired back at you about how many broadcasting personalities have been caught up in Operation Yewtree? That’s like asking a car salesman or garage mechanic what the fatality rate is amongst people that drive a Ford (random example, don’t shoot me Henry) and then inferring that they are somehow responsible by proxy.

I get that it’s a job for some people. You did your school time, you went to college, hit the university and got the grades. Like a hound with a new scent, every day brings a new challenge - and who knows, maybe some of these people are hoping that it will help make their name or that their boss will take notice of them and all of those things are fair enough, but why does it always have to be at the expense of somebody else?

Ladies and gents, I have news for you - this is not news. I’ll grant you that it’s more newsworthy than Kate Middleton having some grey hairs, but in the big scheme of things, this is not so far removed from Mrs Jones and her cat that’s stuck in a tree and otherwise known as “playtime in the schoolyard.” I won’t be making any friends with that comment but it’s nothing I wouldn’t say to their faces. You are the scratchers of the literary world my friends. Just because somebody put a device in front of you with a keyboard attached to it, does not mean you are a writer no matter how many sheets of paper you have to your name to say you are.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but we moved house recently and got a new phone number that must have been recycled over a dozen times. Day in, day out it rings with callers looking for people that I’ve never heard of. I was quite polite the first few times (well, OK, the first time) but after a while, I had to devise a plan and thus, a new Game of Thrones was born:

They call, they ask for whoever it may be and I ask if I may ask them a question and mostly they say yes.

That question (and variants thereof) is this: “What did you really want to do with your life before you whored your soul for the money? Do you plan on doing this long term? How do you feel when you go home at night? Fulfilled? I hope so because you’re a long time dead in the grave. Winter is coming my friend…” It’s a good game. I hope it brightens their day. Maybe it will even give them something to think about but maybe not. It’s hard to teach a single cell animal new tricks.

Going back to the start of this, I’d be a lot more amenable to the concept of playing nicely in the sandpit if somebody were to call looking for information on how lives had been changed positively with the use of a laser removal - come to that, how about asking me how lives had been changed for the better with tattooing itself! I could give you hundreds of examples and every single one would make you cry if your soul hadn’t withered to a husk while you were feeding your ego.

The media in this country is, at the top level, amongst the best in the world. At the bottom it’s nothing but dirt filtering. Sure, you need to earn your stripes but at what cost? It’s one step above that cold phone call nonsense - and one step above it is still only one step from actually doing it.

That said, despair is not in my nature but Winter is definitely coming for some.


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