Thursday, January 06, 2005


Brian: Please, please, please listen! I've got one or two things to say.
The Crowd: Tell us! Tell us both of them!
Brian: Look, you've got it all wrong! You don't NEED to follow ME, You don't NEED to follow ANYBODY! You've got to think for yourselves! You're ALL individuals!
The Crowd: Yes! We're all individuals!
Brian: You're all different!
The Crowd: Yes, we ARE all different!
Man in crowd: I'm not...
The Crowd: Shhh!
(Monty Python's Life of Brian)

Now I’m riled. This is the second time in the space of two days that the Office Sheep have tried to force me to frolic with the herd.

I’m a grown man. I can think for myself. If I want to do something, or if I feel that it is appropriate that I do something, then I will. If I don’t want to do something, or if I feel it is pointless or illogical to do something, then I won’t.

See, I’m evolved. With a brain that works and everything. I don’t have to join the Pack.

Fuck the Pack.

Sometimes, my behaviour may coincide with that of the Pack. And that’s fine, too. But just ‘cos you do something, don’t expect me to.

You don’t know what I’m talking about yet, do you?

Someone is leaving the Company tomorrow. Congratulations. I’ve never met this man. I’ve never spoken to him on the phone. If you showed me a photo of him, I’d say, “Who’s that guy?”

Consequently, I feel absolutely no desire to sign his leaving card. I don’t know him. He doesn’t know me.

OK, I’ll concede. I’ll sign the card.

But I won’t give you any money for the motherfucker. I don’t know him! He’s nobody to me! Leave me alone, you shrill fucking harpies! I keep hearing sly digs that “someone” didn’t put any money in. “Someone” is fucking tight.

People keep shooting me dirty looks. Because I won’t Play the Game.

Shit. Don’t hate the Playa, Hate the Game! Knaamean?

Don’t get me wrong. I frequently give towards leaving gifts. The more I like someone, the more I give. Even if I don’t particularly like someone, but I’ve worked with them for a significant period of time, I’ll throw something in.

But I’m taking a stand now. And this comes after yesterday’s initial attempt to crowbar me into someone else’s plan. Now, this might not be one of my most popular theories, but hear me out.

Yesterday, there was a planned three-minute silence for the victims of the tsunami, at midday. Fair enough.

But answer me this: How does this benefit the dead, wounded, lost and suffering? Isn’t the silence just a balm for your own conscience? As if you are doing something constructive?

Silence is not doing something. People are entitled to mourn, or pay tribute, or deal with this tragic event in any way that they feel is appropriate. And I’m sure they do. If silence helps you deal with it, by all means be silent. If crying helps, then cry. But don’t do it just because someone told you to.

I don’t object to the silence in principle. I’m just wary of the ill-defined reasoning behind it.

Why don’t we try this instead? Why doesn’t everybody stick their hand in their pocket and pledge £3 pounds simultaneously to the relief effort? Or, even better, £30? If you can afford it, how about £300? There’s a group activity that would actually help! Don’t buy so much crap in the January sales (that you don’t really want anyway), and give that money to something important. Skip a meal, or a movie, or a trip to the pub. There’s the money right there.

Or why doesn’t everybody spontaneously donate 3 hours of their time to a charitable cause? Or, even better, 3 days?

Alternatively, ignore me. We ARE all individuals. Do what YOU feel is best. Not what the government, or the media, or, worst of all, your fuckmonkey colleagues bully you into doing.

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