Three Years

Three years ago, our triad actually got together for the first time. There was laughter and silliness, pub visits, and shopping. Its a pattern that has continued and evolved ever since.

We’ve had ups and downs, good times and not so good times, but no more so than anyone else. Above all there’s love and support, understanding and honesty, and no small amount of teasing.

Even with the lockdown, these amazing people have stuck around, challenged, and cherished me. I’m a very lucky man.

How Lucky Am I?

I suppose we’ve all done it at some point: laid alongside a partner at night, not yet sleepy while they’re dead to the world, and looked at them to just feel a sense of amazement and happiness that they’re there.

I know I have, at least, with each partner at some point – and I think it is equal parts joy, comfort, and sheer disbelief on each occasion – the latter stemming from my own insecurities. And that’s how I know that these moments are universal.

There’s a sermon my father often gives at weddings where he talks about how each of us looks at our partners and thinks they see the worst parts that we know about ourselves in our halves, which is part of why we feel so lucky when someone wants to spend their time with us.

It rings true with everyone there, I’ve seen people of all ages nodding along as he tells us to hold on to that wonder and awe about our partners. And by extension it’s how I know that as much as I can’t believe that I’m lucky enough to fall asleep with Lady M, that when she says the same that it is also true, and coming from the same place.

It is something I treasure, and feel renewed by every time I notice it.

Gonzo Opinion: Uncle Ranty’s Lament

Right children, settle round, I have delicious facts and angry thoughts to bestow on your sleepy minds. I have watched from high rooftops while those who claim to act for you have stolen your birthright from under you, so now I’m here to put the half-bricks of rebellion and the Molotov cocktails of illumination back in your hands.

Who are you? I hear you muttering. I see you standing there at the back with your fashionably cute t-shirts and studied indifference. Get your arses down here and listen to what Uncle Ranty has to impart. Pay attention, there won’t be a test.

The enemy isn’t merely at the gates, they’ve been teaching you and your offspring; hiding behind ironic sneering and disaffected posturing to appeal to your demands for easy answers and fear of actually having to give a damn about anyone.

They’ve made a virtue of every base and craven instinct you swore you’d grow out of; and laughed at how much of a joke everything is so that you didn’t take it seriously when they started peddling their true intentions. You’ve given away your own outrage out of fear of being labelled ‘other’ without pausing to consider how arbitrary that label has become in their hands.

Are you angry yet? Why not? You have billionaires pandering to base instincts under the guise of offering a solution to problems they’ve made themselves. Then they appoint fellow billionaires who have profited from those problems to review and ‘solve’ that system while claiming to be in the same position as the people they’re exploiting.

Then the very thing they’ve lambasted their opponents for become the things they demand as their sovereign rights. Godsdamnit people. You’ve not only given the keys to the asylum to the inmates but you’ve put them in charge of hiring policies too.

So what can we do? Well at least some of you are asking that question. Look around you. Look at the living breathing people all around you right now. If you don’t know them or their ways then get in there and find out about them. Some of them are going to be arseholes, but if this situation hasn’t taught you there are arseholes everywhere then you need this rant more than I thought.

You’re more likely to find there’s something you have in common. I’m not going to give you trite examples like a love of cheese sandwiches or of the smell of the sea. I’m not going to pick up small details like sports teams supported or favourite tunes. No, let’s dare to poke the elephant in the room. You all have someone you love. If you’re lucky, it’s several someones of various relation – romantic, filial, parental, platonic, whatever.

Everyone has someone they love. Even the arseholes who have taken everything from you. Even these thugs and bullies know love, even if they can’t bear to admit that others do too. That’s why they feel so threatened by the love you hold in whatever permutation, flavour or complexity works for you.

They need to feel unique. They need the sense of control that love strips away to prove to themselves that they are superior. To acknowledge that others’ love and passion is equal is the scariest thing they can envision.

So they will build their walls, internal and external, and shout and posture. They will shut down debate by calling dissent lies. They will coin their own language and hide lies with alternative truths; and they will still be utterly shocked at your strength when you remember just how strong and loving and kind you are.

It’s your turn now children. Show them what real love and pride is. Tell them Uncle Ranty sent you.