All jobs require very different skills. For example, to work in retail you need to be able to smile on cue and finish every sentence with an upwards inflection. To work on a bar you have to have the cheery outlook of a cat living on a catnip farm and to work in politics you have to be able to look slightly less ridiculous than your opponents while trying to complete normal people activities like eating a bacon sandwich, riding on a zipwire and articulating an original thought.
Recently I’ve been driven to madness thinking about politics a lot by a brief and mostly indirect encounter with a particular British politician. I won’t mention his or her (what am I saying? When would a woman get into a position of power in the British government?) identity but let’s just say he’s often pictured as being as happy as Nick Griffin in a Mosque and has the power and influence of Brazil without Neymar. For the purpose of this post we’ll refer to him as Mick. Now, Mick taught me so many things about the workings of politics in this once by nature, but now only by name, Great Britain. He taught me that politics is not, as it once was, about changing things, not for the better, not for the worse. What politics is about is convincing people that they are valued and agreed with by the people in positions of (relative) power. People want to know not only that their representatives share their views but also that they’re down-to-earth, that they’re really no different from anyone else. But the sorry truth seems to be that they see themselves as above everything, and they have to work ever so hard to repress this feeling when they’re slumming it by listening to their ignorant supporters ranting about this and that while they nod their head mumbling ‘mmm’ ‘yes’ or ‘you’re right’.
They wouldn’t dare disagree with vital support, and as a result they end up being little more than reflective surfaces when they’re actually with the underlings of the party, the proles. No progress is made, no ideas are challenged, and thanks to the monstrous ego of the politician, no possibility of their own ideas being altered is entertained, even in the realms of imagination. There’s a theory that there’s a infinite number of parallel universes yet I still can’t fathom one where politicians’ ideas could be impacted by the words of their loyal party grunts. This rejection of taking to heart the concerns of the ordinary people highlights the shift in politics that’s occurred in recent times. Politics isn’t something one gets into in order to change the nation to help the majority but rather a career path where games are played and people are manipulated almost as much as statistics in order to gain votes. Whoever gets the most votes, whether they’ve been completely above board or not, wins the game. It’s chess, with an election clock and plenty of disposable pawns.
Mick tried to come across as caring and understanding when faced with his potential votes but had a remarkable sense of entitlement. I was frankly a little taken aback at that. For someone to have such a blatantly inflated opinion of his own importance after years of being the media’s whipping boy was admirable. Satire has failed us. I shudder to imagine the level of self-worth needed for people to rise to the top of the political toilet.
It’s not long ago (in real terms rather than internet years) that that fun little game Flappy Bird was all the rage. And I do mean all the rage. I’m almost certain you’ll have noticed the phenomenon fly by were you not dropped in the midst of it, but for clarification I’ll explain it. There were some Super Mario-style pipes, with a gap in between. You played as a small bird (that changed colour! Oh the wonder of the modern age!), tapping the screen to go up with the objective being to fly unharmed through the gaps to progress on to the next exciting set of pipes that might be considerably higher or lower than the previous pipes. Oh, and there’s a lovely cartoony NYC-esque skyline in the background to create the perfect ambience for playing a game that a woodpecker could beat you at.
After the excitement around Flappy Bird died down, there came a new video game that tickled the fancy of many. A video game that broke boundaries. A game that showed us that there was a different way. A game that allowed you into another world. A game called Goat Simulator. That’s right goat fans, now you can get answers to the age-old question, what is it like to be a goat? The game allows one to roam around in the guise of the mild-mannered mammal, butting and eating along the way. Here’s a game safe from trolls. Kids love it too.
But I know that for some the burden of knowledge about a goat’s life is too much to bear. Some things are just too exciting, so for you restful types, there’s something to allow you a way into the joyful world of simulator games. Where others step into the shoes of a pilot, train driver or goat, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the show from the point of view of a humble stone. Yes, you read that right, now stop excitedly jumping around and we can explore the possibilities.
For now it’s only an app, but there are surely big things in the future for this game. Stone Simulator is the pinnacle of technology. Edison, Logie Baird, Berners-Lee, Gates, Jobs. They all dedicated their lives to the advancement of technology available to the humble Homo Sapiens and now we can state with certainty that all the toil was oh so very worthwile.
Yes, that is a screenshot from the wondrous app.
Serene, beautiful, slightly pixelated. All the things one could ever want for their first venture into stonedom! The green cut out only by the roundish grey protagonist, this is a startlingly captured piece of art. The peaks rising and falling, perpendicular to the wind that only the rock can feel, so strong, yet our hero is unmoved.
But I know what you’re thinking, that looks like it would get dull quite quickly. Well fret not dear friend because we are not stuck with the one view, no, stones are famously 3 dimensional, and to know the ins and outs of the stone’s life we must be treated to the whole picture
Here we are treated to a changed point of view, that encourages as to do as the stone does, look at the world differently, step into others’ shoes and let your empathy grow. See the stone let itself be covered by grass, shifting our focus to the valley created by the looming monuments to nature that guide the eye into the distance, piquing the desire to explore, and yet the stone’s lack of movement reminds us to sit back and enjoy it before going forth in search of new stimulation.
But wait! There’s more!
We conclude our journey with a front-on look at the stretched mountain. The bare land, devoid of vibrant plant life, emoting emotions most people would think a stone incapable of experiencing.
I hope you’ll take something away from the adventures of our humble friend, its journey is far from over. If you’re just not content, you too can get acquainted with the agile-minded philosopher on the play store.
Your move, paper.