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Some People Just Aren’t Suited to Politics

I’m going for the position of secretary for the committee of my Ultimate Frisbee team next year. I have to write a manifesto for this. I started out with a blank word document, no idea what I was going to say, and an ill-fated decision to type up every fleeting thought I had. If you’re really bored enough to want to read that junk, here it is. I apologise in advance!

Right. Manifesto time. Right, write, rite – ritual. Is there a way to do this? Some sort of weird paganesque ceremony perhaps? Did George Osborne and David Cameron prance around a bonfire while chanting and thrusting sticks to the air when they were manifestoing? That’s definitely not a word; manifestoing. To manifesto, one can manifest, maybe a Spaniard manifestos? Seems pretty likely.

But time for my one, going for secretary of Ultimate Frisbee. Perhaps less glamourous than prime minister. But then again, I’m damn good at eating bacon sandwiches, take that Ed. I can’t just criticise politicians, I’m gonna have to write something eventually. Why would I be good? Maybe I wouldn’t be good. But I can’t say that, or people won’t vote for me, Clegg got votes with downright lies, maybe they’ll work for me too! Convincing though, I’ll have to be concing. Maybe wine would help. I don’t like wine but Clegg likes a Pinot Grigio. That’s post 2010 election though, things might’ve changed. He probably just drank water at that point, he didn’t have to null himself to all the hate. Good on him for staying off the absinthe thus far though. Not that I know he doesn’t drink absinthe. He could be a world expert in it for all I know. That’d be cool. Wonder if he’s been to the museum in Pontarlier yet. Probably not, bit far from the ski resorts.

Anyway, my manifesto. What are my pros? I’m organised, ish. I get things done in the end at least. That’s good enough really, there’d be no point in deadlines if last minute stuff didn’t work! That’s definitely not a valid point. I can’t claim that I’ll be an improvement on last year’s secretary, cos let’s face it, Jess was pretty good. Apart from the whole wingin’ it/sunburn fiasco of course. Maybe she was just embracing the spirit (ooh Ultimate joke) of the tournament name and adlibbing the whole shebang. Jokes in the manifesto would work. Maybe if every point I make has a Frisbee pun in it no-one will notice that they’re not actually legitimate ideas at all. And if I’m the only candidate then they’ll just have to grin and bear it, haha sucks to be you guys!

So far I don’t seem to have dabbled in manifesto-y language. Bullet points might help, that seems like the best sort of format for this, so here goes:

  • Bullet points or numbers though? That’s always a tough choice

2)    Nope, I’m thinking bullet points looks more professional, if that’s what I’m going for.

>  Arrows though? Arrows are cool

  • Retracted, arrows aren’t that cool.
  • Am organised. (Already said that, but this time with more conviction!)
  • Will get stuff done. (Rehash of first point, need more than that really)
  • Definitely not disorganised (Come on, this is getting silly)
  • Have lots of ideas for the future of the club (many might be secondary ideas that I didn’t actually come up with, but that can remain subtext)
  • Passionate about the sport (that one is true, with all the folly that accompanies it)
  • Wrote manifesto (that shows something)
  • Am standing for the position (better than almost 100% of my rivals for the post)
  • Believe in democracy (will push for elections again next year rather than attempting to establish a Frisbee dynasty of a thousand years)
  • Not a communist (such negative connotations these days, just seems like it could help my cause, especially if someone else opts to grow Marx-style facial hair, which, let’s face it, would sway some voters, myself included)
  • Will spend most of the budget on grapefruit spoons (ah, in-jokes are good)
  • Will not be exclusive (but if you didn’t get the previous joke then you’re out)
  • Will do MVP votes rather than electing one (supports democracy thing as well as being a slight at the previous committee. Ooh controversy)

That’s got to be enough bullet points. Election sealed.

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Freedom of the Press

PressTerry had just finished his shift at the local shop. He was a simple man of simple pleasures, as far as pleasures were allowed in these days. It was almost as if people had forgotten how to laugh. Walking down the street Terry looked around and saw a host of things that in one day and age people would have looked upon with a smirk and a chuckle. But in this time that wasn’t the response you’d have. As he passed the local grocer’s a few bananas were blown off the stall by the wind. A stranger who’d been browsing the apples stood on one and slid across the pathway, ending up grounded, sat on the ground like a dejected monkey whose last nut had been stolen by a brave and persistent squirrel.

As he watched the unfortunate gentleman slip and fall on the fruit Terry felt confused, as if his human nature was grappling with what he’d been taught throughout his life for control of his reactions. That very morning he’d watched a report of a man who smiled when a co-worker of his had experience the heartbreak of a exploding pen in his shirt pocket. A white shirt it was, moderate to highly priced and ironed to perfection. It had been a harrowing sight for so early in the day. The man who’d smiled at him had been accused of Schadenfreude and was scheduled to appear in national decency court the following week. Although the event had happened in a crowded office it was during the mandatory tea and light superficial chatter break that it had occurred. As such there were no eye witnesses, meaning evidence was sparse and there was a fairly high chance of the accused being found innocent. Although he did have a history, having, as the news had reported, previous record of exaggerating events of a tale he was telling in an attempt to extract mirth from his colleagues. For that he’d been given a warning.

Terry felt as though he wanted some fruit after watching this unfortunate incident, and proceeded to enter the grocer’s despite the fact he should have been attending to the fallen man as members of polite society were expected to. This time however he ignored the man, as was his right, as there were whispers of a new law being passed, making it a minor offence to blatantly ignore the needs of any person injured by an edible item. He entered the small green shop and wandered over to the portion of the store dedicated to the more exotic fruits of the world. He picked up an oval product, of a yellow-green complexion. He’d never seen one of these before. He took it to the counter and purchased the item, exchanging a small piece of talk with the man who worked in the shop. They discussed the weather, deciding it had been quite mild, and the recent results of their town’s sport team. The team had been successful recently, scoring a higher than average number of points per game than usual.

Walking back out of the shop, two men were carrying a large pane of glass down the street. A woman who was not as attentive to where she was going didn’t notice the glass and ended up walking into it. Terry felt an unfamiliar feeling in his chest. It was a sort of warming bubble, rising through it body, culminating in the upturn of the sides of his mouth and a small exhalation of air. He’d laughed. He begin to feel anxious, the press would surely be after him, condemning him for finding another innocent person’s accident and subsequent pain funny. Sweat started to trickle down his face and his hands were trembling so much with anxiety that he dropped his newly-acquired exotic fruit. The fruit rolled down the street and interrupted a couple sitting on a bench. The man on the bench kicked it away slightly. This act of violence drew attention from a nearby photographer, who took a multitude of pictures, chronicling the move that would be touted as an unacceptable display of aggressive behaviour that cannot be tolerated by this society. How would the world survive if people could show that much aggression without proper punishment? It made Terry wonder about the ramifications of his accidental laugh. He stumbled to a nearby patch of grass where a young woman was walking her dog. Terry noticed that it had no nose. It smelt awful.

That evening, when Terry sat down to watch the reports of people displaying unacceptable behaviours he noticed that there was no reporting of his accidental enjoyment of the misfortune of another. He’d found something funny and shown it outwardly in the middle of the street. He’d faced no consequences for it. He could never get away with it again, he knew the level of offense would be too high, especially if someone had seen him, but he’d laughed and got away with it. The press hadn’t got him, he’d won.

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