Are we becoming a nation of idiots?

In the past I used to believe that America was home to some of the dumbest people on the planet.  After all, they have no clue about anything outside America and their grasp of sarcasm and humour (or ‘humor’) is as tight as a slut’s vagina.

But after meeting my wife, who is from Las Vegas, I’ve had a lot more exposure to them (Americans, not sluts’ vaginas) and I’ve come to realise that this belief isn’t true.  I mean, it’s true of a lot of Americans, but it’s not fair to tar them all with the same brush.

Since my wife came to England I’ve started seeing the country through her eyes and cracks are beginning to form.  I’m slowly noticing that we are a lot more flawed as a nation than I realised, or cared to admit.  It’s like peeking behind the curtain at a magic show to see levers, pulleys and a white rabbit taking a colossal dump into a top hat.

England is also home to some of the dumbest people on the planet.

Case in point:

Last night, on the London Underground, my wife and I got off the train at Victoria station and shuffled with the masses towards the two upward escalators leading to the surface.  There were two guys in front of us and as we approached the escalators, one of the guys took the left escalator and the other took the right.

Neither of us paid any attention until one of the guys started talking to the other.  With a distance of around six feet between them and the combined noise of the escalator and the throng of chatting commuters, I should say one started shouting to the other.

Guy 1 – “So what happened next?”

Guy 2 – “What?”


Guy 2 – “Oh, right. Well she decided she was going to work Saturday instead”

Guy 1 – “She was going to what?”

Guy 2 – “PARDON?”




Guy 2 – “WHAT?”

I couldn’t believe it.  These two guys were together!  It wasn’t that busy in the station which meant they weren’t herded accidentally onto separate escalators; they’d CHOSEN to do that.

I looked back at my wife who was staring at them in disbelief.  She looked back at me, rolled her eyes and mouthed the words “Why the fuck?”

As we reached the top of the escalator my wife shared her thoughts with me.

For fuck’s sake England!

When an American living here rants about the sheer stupidity of people around her, it’s time to sit up and pay attention.

england fail

Pram sham

This morning at Victoria tube station there seemed to be a bottleneck forming at the top of the escalator. This is usually due to some penis who either has a massive suitcase with no understanding of how to steer it, or an inability to successfully step onto a moving staircase without counting in their head.

One, two, (step forward)

(Falls over)

But not this morning. No, this morning it was a woman with a pushchair.

I won’t lie, my initial thoughts were…

“Get the fuck out of the way you twat! We’re all trying to get to work! I mean who the fuck brings a child onto the underground at rush hour you massive wanker!?”

…but I soon realised that might be a little insensitive, so I didn’t say anything.

This poor struggling mother clearly had to travel at rush hour, otherwise why would she?  And it couldn’t have been easy pushing a small child around; navigating the escalators and trains with hoards of busy and ‘incredibly tolerant’ commuters rushing past her like a torrid river around a stupid fat rock.

She finally managed to count to three and merged with the moving staircase; shuffling to the right (and quite rightly so), to allow other commuters to walk past her on the left.  As I approached her I could see she was hunched over uncomfortably; desperately holding the pushchair and two massive bags in position as the escalator took us deeper into the bowels of London.

I felt for her, I really did. Poor cow.

I suddenly felt a wave of guilt come over me as I got closer to her.  Who was I to judge her for holding us all up? Who the fuck was I to get impatient because she had a pushchair with a small child in it?

Hang on…hold the fucking phone…

As I got level with her I noticed the ‘small child’ was in fact a boy of at least four years old! He was certainly too old and too tall to be pushed around by his mother.  I mean this literally of course; a lot of men are mentally pushed around by their mothers all their lives, or until the cyanide takes effect.

What the fuck is she doing pushing him around?   Lazy little shit.  I did wonder for a second if he was disabled, but he was using his perfectly healthy legs to turn around and talk to mummy; presumably to feed her a lump of sugar or whatever it is you give to a good horse.

Who’s a good horse?  Who’s a good horse?

It pisses me off that this little prick was being shuttled around when he had two perfectly good legs, just like the little two year old girl STOOD on the escalator with her dad a few feet in front.

It makes me so angry that some parents pander to their children a little too much at times. We spend the first year or so encouraging them to walk, so let the fuckers walk.

In India, as soon as children have competent motor skills they start making trainers, presumably for English kids who don’t walk in them.


Say Cheeeeeese….

I’ve just spent the evening on a photography night shoot with a friend.  It was, in short, awesome.

I did notice however that there’s a certain level of power that comes with having a proper DSLR camera on a tripod.  There seems to be an unwritten rule that says ‘I’m allowed to get away with stuff that seems a bit weird and might get in your way but you can’t question me because that would just make you a twat’.

Allow me to explain…

At one point we were photographing the Queen’s gaff (or Buckingham Palace as everyone calls it), and we  were stood there, having debated apertures, shutter speeds and ISO settings*, waiting for our cameras to finish taking their long exposure shots of Her Majesty’s crib, complete with traffic light trails.  We soon realised there was a family of people patiently waiting for us to say it was ok to pass.  We ‘gave them permission’, and they hurried past (and I mean they did that awkward run/jog type thing past us) thanking us for allowing them to pass.  One of the guys was built like a brick shit-house and yet here he was, totally submissive to us and our three legged toys.

And it didn’t stop there…

At one point I held up people who just wanted to go up an escalator so they could go to a restaurant for dinner.  I wasn’t in their way, nor did I have a sign saying “None shall pass” like some multi-lensed Gandalf.  No, I was just taking long exposure shots of the moving escalators, and yet here were full grown adults asking if it was ok to use them.

I said no.  They had to wait.**

This also happened with my friend who was photographing the same escalators from the top.  He made people sit and wait there until he was bloody well finished.  They did.  We got the shots.**

This degree of power is increased to include a level of importance when you’re both walking along with extended tripods firmly attached to your equipment.  (Er…that sentence sounds a bit rude!  By ‘equipment’ I meant ‘penis’; ‘CAMERA!’….I meant ‘camera’).  Or at least the perception of importance; allow me to elaborate….

Have you ever  seen a group of young people in a convertible car on a hot, sunny day with great music playing, looking like they haven’t got a care in the world?  I’m sure you have.  And what do we think when we see them?


And yet, when it’s US in a convertible car with friends on a hot, sunny day with great music playing, we just assume that everyone is looking at us ‘cos we’re super cool.  We feel pretty damn good about ourselves and we know that everyone looking at us are jealous of our cool car gang.

What the hell is that all about?

Well, with photography it’s the same principle.

When I see people with ‘proper’ cameras taking ‘proper’ photos of stuff and not just ‘snapshots’, I think they’re pretentious arseholes trying to look important (“Oooh, look at me, I’m so important with my big camera and my tripod and my selection of lenses that are big enough to compensate for my lack of telescopic focal length in the bedroom”)

And yet tonight, whilst walking along with my mate and our camera gear, I had this real sense of importance.  I felt like everyone looking at us thought we were professionals, and that we were super cool, and under no circumstances did anyone think we were pretentious arseholes; not even the woman who asked if it was ok to walk behind us.  She could…if she did it quietly.**

But all joking aside, we got some great photos so I thought I’d share one of the Buckingham Palace pictures and one of the Escalator pictures with you.  Let me know what you think.

*Yes, we really WERE being that geeky.
**Not actually true.