Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Embracing your outer contradictions

Sorry to completely plagiarise J, but I will explain.

We went to visit Phil's cousin at the weekend (who I will try to keep anonmymous in case the Daily Mail get on to us - but you don't have to be a brain surgeon or even an upper GI trainee to work out who she is). Anyway she is the Princess (too young to be Queen) of blogging. She did a recent entry 'Embracing your inner contradictions' which was quite sweet. My contradictions are defintely outer. Whether that makes them easier to embrace or not I don't know. Sometimes I feel like smearing them on Tessa Jowell's nose. My contradictions also seem to reproduce and produce mutant cousins, which come round and whack you on the bottom when you're not expecting it.

Or are they whacking you with a fat bunch of fifty pound notes, which they then stuff down your greedy little neck?

To cut a long analogy of contradictions short, I had the worst interview since the classic Spud in Trainspotting scene of 1996.

It started badly, with the pleasant interviewer lady, who must have been a few years younger than me, saying 'You're from Leek', 'I'm from Newcastle'. I couldn't think of anything to say and rather than say 'any of your friends died from heroin overdoses or motorbike accidents' had to think of what I remember about Newcastle. Posh of course, but it wouldn't be polite to say that. The New Vic, I said. Theatre in the round (I didn't say that). What I said was 'Good Golly Miss Molly'! The 'classic' musical which was the most famous thing to come out of Stoke on Trent (allegedly) before Robbie Williams emerged.

Then my presentation wouldn't work, so I read it off the piece of paper, and felt a bit like one of Taggart's young policemen assistants reading out some crappy statement from a well known crook. Even I had a glazed questionning look as I finished reading the thing. It turns out I was the only person who said that a good quality service wasn't cheap. They even told me so. Part of my presentation said that 5% cost cutting would be difficult in the long term. They told me that actually costs were being cut by 10%. I don't know if it was audible, but I took a deep intake of breath at that point. I was shocked.

It finished after a few more cock ups with me trying to crack jokes when I didn't know the answers to their questions. Suddenly the car park attendance and reception work looks attractive. 10% cuts. So much for meditation too. Much better would be to practice interview questions.

One major outer contradiction I have is this. The strength of materialism lies in its ability to help people in the here and now. Teaching women of the developing world how to meditate or do yoga isn't going to feed their families.

But I put this to my Yoga teacher, Roberto four years ago, in December 2001. He said look up Entropy in the Dictionary of Philosophy. I argued with him, and said that I didn't need to look it up, I'd done A Level Physics and knew that it was the second law of Thermodynamics, that you can't generate energy from a closed system. Energy is not perpetual; life is not eternal. He said, look it up. The dictionary said that the second law had been disproven, and that entropy can be perpetual. Life can be eternal.

So I will carry on my yoga and meditation in the hope that I will not become depressed and/or anxious about the impending doom upon us all. Phil bought his Mum a midwifery bike for Mother's day - so there we have it, the modern day dialetical materialism. Idealism (me) with a bit of healthy materialism (Phil). I have embraced my outer contradiction.

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