Wednesday, January 27, 2010


What Colour Is A Charlatan?

People often give out to me about how predjudiced I am: "You are always stereotyping people, Noreen. You should open your mind and realise people cannot be put in pigeonholes. What insecurity is it exactly, that has you categorising people like some form of a human librarian? You are bitter and closed minded".

Fair play to them, as I am indeed very bitter. However, I am also very "now", with the categorising. Just yesterday, this one was talking about his executive coach, a sort of modern day school matron for the workplace, who offers guidance and training in how to behave like a human being at work. Executive Coaches are held up as a picture of wisdom, when in truth they are merely capable of displaying the occasional flash of lateral thought, amongst some long winded stating of the obvious, with a smattering of cod neuro scientific language: "limbic" this, "programme" that, to give their chat some gravitas.

In addition to generalised pontificating, to impart true wisdom and give a good service to his clients, the coach must wheel out some awful old categorising exercise, so the client can finish his coaching session, with a personality label, that is shared by other people and googlable on the internet. You've probably done these sorts of things too- I certainly have. The Belbin scale ( stereotypingand labelling people in a team). Myers Briggs (stereotyping and labelling individuals). And now there is some recent, trendy gayness, some ghastly coaching tool where people are alloted colours and shades, which reflect the way they behave at work.

Effectively these gesticulating, coaching charlatans, who adminster these tests and hold forth afterwards with their straightforward analysis of the results, are being paid decent sums, to make narrow minded statements about people based on a couple of hours of wittering and a questionnaire. Do people give out to them: "Bitter this,insecure that?". No, of course they do not, no. Rather they open up their wallets, or paypal accounts, and pour streams of coins (or virtual currency) into the polyester laps of anyone willing to inflict a cretinous, profiling exercise on a group of gullible executives.

Whereas I, I make generalised, prejudiced statements about all sorts of people, regardless of their means or occupation, based on limited observations, out of the goodness of my heart. And I don't make anyone fill in a gay questionnaire, nor do I talk in acronyms or neuro-babble. What is more, since I am keen to avoid the sin of pride, I won't even draw your attention further to the fact, that I do all this pro bono work alongside full time employment, motherhood and shouting at the telly. AND do you know what I am going to do about all the abuse I get for my generous-spirited anthropological research? I am going to offer it up for the starving children in Africa.


Thursday, January 21, 2010


What Should James Do?

My friend James got the worst present imaginable from his sister this Christmas. She bought him a unicycle. A fucking unicycle. He lives in a flat in London, and works in a bank, and he now has a unicycle. He can't ride the thing inside his flat, so he will have to go out in public on it. At best, he is going to look like a proper cunt, riding up and down his street, in his suit, balancing well on, and doing a good job of, riding a unicycle. At worst, he is going to look like a big arsehole, falling off the unicycle and going over the front of it, landing on his head and bleeding all over the pavement, with great rents in his trousers for his wife to darn.

"I will ride it at night" he said to me. "That is the only time I will be able to practise it".

I don't fucking think so. If I were a nutter, or a junkie, or some other kind of marginalised London street creature, and I saw a middle aged man, in a suit, on a unicycle in the dead of night, I just think it would nudge me up to the next level of offending. I mean the neck of it - Jesus, I am feeling violent just thinking about it, and I am incredibly sane, and James is one of my dearest friends, but imagine, a fucking grown man, riding on, or alternatively falling off a unicycle, in pitch darkness, in fucking London! My heart is beating like a Protestant drum. I must lie down.


If You Are Incredibly Binary, I Suppose It Might Be..

I just watched that new film called :"It's complicated". It really wasn't complicated at all. It was a film about this old one who was divorced, getting the ride off her ex husband, who had remarried, but his new wife did not understand him. Then the old woman decided that it was stupid to go back to shagging her ex husband, because he was an ex husband for a reason, that reason being that he had overlong, greasy hair and a great pot belly on him, and he was pretty much of a selfish cunt. So instead of shagging her ex husband, the old woman rode the man who was working on the extension of her house.

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