The Ramblings of a Madman: Millennials are C**ts

The Ramblings of a Madman: Millennials are C**ts

Us millennials are the innocents, born just that bit too late to do anything significant. Born too late to go to the moon first, born too early to travel space. Constantly on the brink of achieving, yet never crossing that threshold. Doomed to create hipsterism and listen to shite music, wear shite clothes and walk around with an undeserved sense of accomplishment. Most of us will only live to serve one purpose, to procreate and provide the next generation. Personally, I don’t think that’s a bad thing because, although innocent in respect of opportunities, we are the most spoilt, deluded and possibly the most heartless generation the Homosapien genus has spawned.

 

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Where to begin with us. All millennials have this belief that you HAVE to be well travelled, and to not be well travelled is to be an uncultured chav, who gets their hair cut at Sports Direct and is often seen outside the off licence in pyjamas, talking to someone in a stolen Vauxhall Astra. The amount of conversations I had with people at university about their fabled “Gap Year” where they did relief work in Africa, repairing the damage that the families of these privileged wombles caused or how they “Found themselves” in Thailand or India and just sound like a walking Thomas Cook advert. How do you “find” yourself somewhere you’ve never been? You couldn’t have left yourself there in the first place. I doubt putting a GPS tracker on these people’s personalities could make them visible. These are the type of white people who tend to return wearing t-shirts with the sleeves ripped off and dreads, talking about spiritualism, and how they’re vegan because meat is murder, but wearing sweatshop Primark leggings and taking pictures on a phone where most of the raw materials were mined using children. Its like a training ground for hipsters. Telling me I need to go travelling to find myself. I’m right where I left myself, I’m not as careless as you. I don’t treat my personality like a set of keys, and leave them in a forest in Thailand, only to be discovered as I’m being ragged out by a tour guide named Tristan who plays ultimate frisbee.

 

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Get a load of Tristan and his f**king skateboard

 

We seem to think festivals are brilliant. Coachella is brilliant. Rio Carnival is brilliant. Festivaling in Britain is paying £400 to camp in the middle of a muddy field, out of your nut on Ket while its pissing down with rain and some c**t stands on stage playing his iTunes music library. Everyone pretends to have fun and then spends the next 2 weeks telling me how “the burgers were expensive” and how they could almost see the whites of a celebrity’s eyes from a distance that if a trained marksman pulled the trigger, would go down as the longest confirmed kill in military history. We convince ourselves that festivals in Britain are amazing but it’s just your favourite singer, singing songs you already know but worse, with half of the words missing in the hope that the audience knows them, then holds the mic to audience like the situation needed assistance from high powered speakers. IT’S THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE, Of course they can hear themselves! The only thing that perks up the weekend is if some prat overdoses in a tent. We always talk about making memories but you can’t pay for a nursing home with memories.

 

“Sorry sir, we don’t accept memories. We’ve had a few millennials in here asking that and you know what they got? The room by the bus stop. Hope those Leeds Festival tickets were worth it!”

 

Suddenly everyone is allergic/intolerant to everything. Suddenly everyone is eating quinoa and rye bread. Smashing avocado on everything and doing the “clean living” thing, just to go out on the weekends, down vodka, smoke cigarettes and have unprotected drunk sex with strangers. Bread has been in the human diet for 5000 years, I don’t recall cave dwellers providing warnings about bread in cave paintings, as he smears shit over the wall for it to be unearthed by some millennial wank stain on a gap year, trying to discover himself. Most people’s coffee orders sound like when someone is trying to impress with Italian but knows no Italian, so they press a bunch of Italianesque words together and produce a sentence only comprehendible to anyone with access to a “Rosetta stone” of coffee orders. All girls want to look emaciated and all the guys are gym douchebags with the emotional depth of a blow-up paddling pool on a shooting range. Youtubers show poor people all the clothes they bought or were given for free by companies, and show women how to contour their make up so they end up looking like Pete Burns from Dead or Alive.

 

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Women nowadays must be watching “Contouring, with Pete Burns”

 

We all have an incessant need for likes online. Women contort their bodies into shapes I’d report to the Vatican for an exorcism, just to get their arse and face in the picture, and post it online with a caption like “I’m ugly today”. Most guys would unfollow if they didn’t think they could smash because you look like you’d be wetter than a spastic’s chin. Men post up pictures with their “team”. Everyone’s got to have a “team”. I use the word “friends” but that wasn’t good enough for millennials, we have to make every Friday night sound like a five-a-side. Its 3 for £5 jagerbombs, not penalties against Germany. Birds caption selfies with things like “Rate my pic”. So, am I rating the many filters you have on that or the duck lips you’re pulling that make it suggest you can suck dick? When the only thing that sucks dick is this f**king picture. “I’m like Marmite, you either love me or hate me”. Yeah, you’re like Marmite, because half the world hates you and the other half think you’d look better on the end of a knife.

 

In short, we are the worst generation. We don’t provide anything. We just live to make the word a little more snobby and unbearable. You’d think spending a month around monks and learning inner peace would make these people into decent human beings. Instead, they just use it to fuel their egos at parties to make themselves seem more interesting, in the hope that no one peels back that veneer of culture to reveal a vast nothingness, the likes of which could only be compared to black hole opening up in Chipping Norton.

 

Let’s face it, millennials are the worst, and admitting it is the first step.

 

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A symptom of a Failing System. A revision of “Too poor to live in safety”.

A symptom of a Failing System. A revision of “Too poor to live in safety”.

After my words about Grenfell, I sensed that certain, errr… “affluent” types weren’t quite getting what I meant by “Too poor to live in safety”. I didn’t think I had to spell it out but, hipsters being hipsters I felt I had to facetiously cram their thick frame Raybans so far down their throats that they can heat up the shit they were about to vocalise, simply by tilting their heads towards the sun.

 

The problem with Grenfell and others like it, is a complex one that goes back to Margaret Thatcher’s government in the 1980’s. I can’t speak for Grenfell per se but I can speak of East London, which has a similar problem that I understand from the ground up.

 

East London was primarily used for docking with docks such as St. Kathrine’s Dock handling goods from all over the world and various other docks, also manufacturing using factories all over East, with the famous “financial square mile” situated squarely in the City of London (think of it as a city, the City of London, sitting inside another huge city, London, or Greater London). Historically, the east has always been the poor area of London. This didn’t change through the centuries right up until the 1980’s and 90’s. A few big things happened, firstly Margaret Thatcher introduced a “Right to buy” scheme which encouraged council house tenants to “buy” their houses (no one really owned their council property, it was effectively a 100-year lease). Secondly, they built Canary Wharf right at the top of the Isle of Dogs. Smack bang in the middle of the East End where everyone can see it.

 

Why build Canary Wharf 5 miles from the City of London? It wasn’t going to offer jobs to the locals, most of our residents were labourers. We could help you build it but the business that would take place thereafter had no cockneys in mind. Furthermore, if they weren’t targeting cockneys, then who were they targeting to be the workforce in Canary Wharf? The answer is, the gentry. The people whose families could afford to send their children to university, to get the degrees necessary to do the jobs required in Canary Wharf. The trouble is getting the gentry to move to East London, at the time one of the poorest places in Britain.

 

This is where Maggie’s “right to buy” makes an appearance. Gentrification takes two forms, what I like to call “Infiltration” and “Reformative”. Right to buy appeals to the Infiltration method. It works by making the housing affordable with a mortgage, tempting the council tenant into “owning” their property seeing as they thought they could never own property. They now own it, property 10 minutes from Canary Wharf with good transport links, and now have the right to sell it. No one local could afford it, so they sell it to someone who can. The people who can afford it are the rich types, at the time yuppies, now it’s hipsters. They would generally avoid “ethnic” areas with “higher crime rates” (we have to remember racism plays a part too). They would move to “safer” parts of East, predominantly white, so there’s some kind of a connection. This created pockets of gentry that slowly spread out over time, infiltrating East London.

 

The second method started happening in the 1990’s and peaked in the 2000’s. The Reformative method. Every council estate had a kind of community, you probably knew your next-door neighbour at least. However, every council estate has its criminal element. So, if you provide poor education, poor wages, and very few opportunities to those in estates, and make them watch Canary Wharf grow in wealth while they struggle to find a pot to piss in, don’t be surprised if you see the crime rate in an area climb faster than Peter Kay’s cholesterol level. People will find their own way to make large sums of quick money. There’s only so long you can watch someone eat before you make yourself a sandwich. This played into the council’s hands perfectly. They practically cum in their pants at the thought of having a crime estate. Crime sends the value of the area through the floor, which means property investors become interested. So, the council let the crime continue until the price is low enough to turn a profit. Property investors buy the land up from under your feet and before you know it, your council estate is knocked down and you’re moving a sofa into your lovely new apartment in… Dagenham. Most cockneys live outside London now, fun fact.

 

The property investors build new, luxurious and coincidently fucking expensive flats right where you used to watch Countdown. Of those flats, 10% are made available as council housing. The crime rate drops, property price booms and a few millionaires just got that bit richer, and that’s just YOUR estate, they’re doing this all over the shop. They “Reform” the area. Now, with the infiltrators pricing out the established community, and the reformers absolutely obliterating it, East London is now “safe” enough for hipsters and gentry. Look at Brick Lane, JUST LOOK AT IT! I only go there for the biegels now. Hipster hell.

 

Where I live, a council estate maisonette (which is posh for “two floors”), we have complained 17 times about our plumbing, as in sewer water comes up into our bath. In that time, the building across from me, a “Reformed” building made by private property investors, just had its stairway rebricked for the 5th time for decorational purposes. To make it look better.

 

It is this attitude that I believe aided the fire at Grenfell.

 

When the surrounding area has been gentrified there is no incentive to keep an existing building in good shape. They would rather knock a building down than keep it going if it doesn’t appeal to the gentry, which it didn’t. This fire was unfortunate, but the cladding wasn’t fireproof, the “renovations” were made by the lowest bidder. A £10 million budget, and how much of that went to wages for the labourers, then the salaries of the managers, then the middle men, the serveyers, not to forget the peripheral companies like skip hire, crane hire etc.? That would’ve eaten away at the budget. How much was actually spent on high quality materials? No wonder it went up in flames.

 

"Apparently this place used to be a swimming pool."
Actual footage of me fucking up a hipster brunch. Proud moment.

 

Obviously, now the gentry are the hipsters who can afford the inflated rents, and the posh folk who own the houses, they are the problem. I just hope the plastic cockneys who sold out our heritage to the highest bidder can live with themselves in their Penge drums, fingering their overfed wives while watching Saturday Night Takeaway. We don’t have the money to make our own renovations, so we rely on the state to source the safest renovation. Hence the previous title “Too poor to live in safety”. We are too poor to afford state of the art renovations to our rented properties, that we couldn’t make if we wanted to, because it is technically criminal damage without prior permission. We couldn’t even buy our housing if we wanted to now. My house was worth £55,000 in the 80’s, to buy now would be £560,000.

 

The gentry and the hipsters have ruined East London. They ruined council estates and have a huge part to play in Grenfell. The cladding, that same cladding has been used all over East London, was put up because Grenfell was an “eyesore” to the surrounding prosperous residents who find poor people an inconvenience. The need for council housing wouldn’t be so high if the same prosperous residents paid their employees a fair wage, and if councils didn’t keep selling our land to the lowest bidder. Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone both sold us a dream, telling us that they would be injecting money into deprived areas, had I known that would mean injecting rich people and ejecting us, I’d have told him where he could stick his money.

 

Not just blazing buildings like Grenfell but poor upkeep in general is a direct result of Gentrification. Putting money ahead of people. Not caring enough to maintain the building, or to put a sprinkler system in it. Nor paying the extra £5000 to fireproof the building. This is commonplace, no one wants to maintain a council estate when someone will come over, knock it down, build expensive flats that make the area look nice but have no one from the area actually in them. Failure to maintain a building will result in more tragedies like Grenfell, maybe not to that extreme, but why not? It’s already happened once.

 

Grenfell is just a symptom of a failing system.

Too poor to live in safety. Gentrification.

Too poor to live in safety. Gentrification.

First of all, this is written from the perspective of someone who has lived in tower blocks his whole life, and couldn’t imagine the horror of being caught in a tragedy like Grenfell Tower. This is written out of anger and love, an odd mixture that only occurs in situations like this. RIP to the victims of Grenfell.

 

I’m sat in my metal lined council house thinking how lucky I am that I’m not surrounded by £10 million worth of cheap plastic cladding, wondering when and how I’m going to escape an inferno that may engulf me and everyone around me. You’re telling me that a council estate in the richest part of London suddenly goes up? One of the only council housing estates in that part of West London, and it goes up in flames. Gentrification in motion right there, must be nice to be on the rich side of West London thinking your cladding probably underwent testing, and you won’t have to throw your baby out of the 10th floor window of an unprecedented blaze. It was £10 million worth of kindling to make sure there’s nothing to rebuild, because I guarantee anything they build there after won’t be affordable to the previous occupants. I hope you rich folk understand how good you have it. If my council contemplate wrapping my house in the kind of cladding that makes Lego consider a law suit, I’m gonna rip it off the wall, and leave it in a nice pile outside their office to give me and mine a 10 minute window of escape before we turn into coal.

 

Grenfell was wrapped in flammable material. Eventually, it was meant to go up.

 

Labour have promised 1 million homes, I voted for them but if the homes are of that quality I’d rather live in a Wendy House. At least I have the privilege of knowing its plastic and could probably go up with the heat of a well-aimed cough, instead of being lied to by a council who will take my money and not fix my heating in time for the winter, and wrap me in enough flammable material to warrant a straight-to-earn burial should someone dot a cigarette out in a 5 mile radius. I want to see someone in prison after this. Not a fine, not community service, prison. 30 long years of being fucked by the state so they understand what they did to the average person at Grenfell Tower.

 

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A screenshot of dangerous_energy’s Whisper reply

 

This is in most part to do with gentrification. I simply made a Whisper on the Whisper app saying “Grenfell Tower happened because the people who live there aren’t rich. Gentrification. God I hate rich people.” I know hate is a strong word, but I do. To further the point, that building was fine before rich people decided it wasn’t good looking enough, now look at it. The lives lost are lost because London became “trendy” and poor people are seen as the scourge of Britain, as I found out from my Whisper. Literally, the second reply read “I consider it Darwinism. If anything, Gentrification helps remove the weak from a tribe making it stronger. That fire was one big culling!” Inspiring words there from Mr. dangerous_energy. I know it’s not the most scientific look at this problem. Seeing as the reply was just the opinion of one bottom feeding parasite, the likes of which I’m used to seeing crawl out of dog shit when the heat goes above 15 degrees, but the point can be backed. It’s no coincidence that government tried to pass a bill that would force landlords to make housing habitable. The Conservative government has 70 landlords as MPs in the House of Commons. All 70 voted against. Obviously, this fight can’t be won the right way, so the scenes at K&C council with people shouting “MURDER!” and “JUSTICE!” don’t surprise me.

 

I see this going one way if something doesn’t change. The working class are faced with less opportunities, worse education and more exploitation from firms not willing to pay a fair wage, now even the promise of safe housing has literally gone up in smoke. If nothing changes, the well-off won’t be able to buy their way out of the riots. I don’t condone rioting, but look at what happened when police shot one person in Tottenham in 2011. Consider the death toll of Grenfell and tell me that public feeling isn’t swaying towards a similar outpouring of emotion.

 

All I can say now is that I hope the cladding that wraps the buildings in my council estate is removed. We need a revision of the building safety law, and we need government to start treating people as just that, people. Not stats and figures. Not the unemployed or the underprivileged. Not the uneducated or socially dependent. We are people, most of us are hard working, honest and brilliant people. Let us live safe, without fear of the walls around us going up in smoke. Let us have opportunities to thrive, not just survive.

The Lost Cockneys of Old London Town.

The Lost Cockneys of Old London Town.

As a cockney of 25 years, born and bred right here in God’s own glorious backyard, that is East London, I’m sick of some cockneys letting the side down. Places like The Cockney Bible on Facebook, a place I liked because I thought it’d be full of cockney banter is just full of conservatism and racism. Is this what we are?

 

During the election, I kept reading their messages to other cockneys about the Conservatives and the anti-Corbyn rhetoric which just seems to bore the pants off me the more its passed around. The same rhetoric that has been disproven since May teamed up with DUP who are a gang of climate change denying, homophobic, anti-abortionists. Their longest standing member Jeffery Donaldson worked with renowned fascist Enoch Powell for god’s sake. This is who May considers a friend, I want to know what enemies she could possibly keep closer considering their disgusting background. They’re basically Nigel Farage with an Irish accent.

 

This is who a lot of cockneys considered voting for. Someone so desperate for the keys to No. 10 that she teamed up with a 1960’s National Front throwback squad. Flairs are another old fashioned idea that seemed good at the time, don’t mean we should all break them out and listen to The Beatles back catalogue. It’s not the outcome I was hoping for. I know the Queen is “Unbiased” but cut her in half and she’s bluer than Elvis’ suede shoes. She allowed May to form a government without a majority because if she could vote, it would have been May all day long. When Tony Blair was in charge, the Queen only met him on matters of urgency. When Cameron was in charge, she met him for tea every Sunday. What chance does that leave us?

 

If you’re a cockney and you voted Conservative, you’re a tool. You may have made money, you may have left the East End and it would seem you’ve forgotten where you come from. If you’re here, earning less than £80,000 and voted Conservative, you’re lost. Don’t let them blind you with talk of terrorism and their measures. Listen to everything before making a decision. The odds of dying in any terrorist attack are 1 in 9,300,000. Letting your whole decision be made up by something that has less chance of effecting you than falling off a ladder, workplace injury or a road accident combined is like sleeping in asbestos because someone lit up a snout.

 

Think about your money, realise that the Conservatives have the best interests of the mega rich and companies at heart before you. YOU are simply a cog in the machine to them when you are so much more. The Conservative ideal is that you “live within your means”. In other words, stay in your lane. Don’t push for better. We are better than that. You get nowhere living within your means, they want us to stay where we are.

 

I feel a lot of buyer’s remorse coming on, or voter’s remorse in this case. After what May will do to this country, you’ll be looking back at the 2008 financial crisis like it was a treasured childhood memory. The well off will be the only ones that come out of this with something while the rest of us struggle to feed ourselves, and the cockneys who voted for May will searching for their ballot paper to use as kindling, while they pour price inflated petrol over themselves as a human bonfire, out of despair for their poor decision making.

My final piece for my Fine Art Course… The Ramblings of a Madman.

My final piece for my Fine Art Course… The Ramblings of a Madman.

The Ramblings of a Madman

 

This course, as enlightening as it has been, has been the source of despair, ill-health and dysfunctionality. I have reached depths I never thought I could sink to, nor thought I could embody. Seeing as this show is the culmination of 3 years work, or in my case 4 years, I don’t think I could adequately put into image what has happened to me, so I felt a statement would suffice. I nearly left university entirely twice, after realising I’m not a “conventional artist” who tries to push the boundaries by doing what has already been done in a slightly different way. Kind of like what Union J was to One Direction, or Art Garfunkel to Simon. I decided to embody what it was to be a copycat artist, or a “reproduction artist”, which is just a nice way of saying I had no original ideas because I was born the wrong side of 1980. I feel like if there’s a god, he gave me the gift of drawing 20 years late as some kind of sick joke. Either way, I persevered.

 

I grew up around kids who thought they were the next biggest rapper, yet couldn’t grasp the basic English language. I wasn’t asking for champagne, but at least to know the difference between “Your, You’re and Yaw”, “There, Their, and They’re” would be a decent start. From the beginning, my competition were a bunch of hypocrites and cretins so I never had to try that hard at school to shine. This led to me falling in with the wrong crowd, which was the intellectual equivalent of a giraffe sinking in quicksand. I knew these people were not my type of people. I didn’t sell drugs, I didn’t, nor would I stab someone out of some stupid affiliation to a postcode, that I could easily get kicked out of if my mother did something as simple as miss 2 month’s rent. I needed to get out, however at school, I had bigger problems. I had a fight with someone who pulled my oversized stud out, which looked fucking stupid anyway. Who was I trying to look like, fucking LUDACRIS?! I digress… This fella just tried to yank a cube of Cubic Zirconia out of my ear, so I did what any self-respecting 15-year-old would do, I headbutted him in the nose. It blew up like a hepatitis firework. His older brother was a very naughty fella who I heard drove around with a machete on the back seat, so I stayed in my house and became a recluse for the next 4 years. However, me falling in with wrong crowd meant I did whatever to please people.

 

What does all that have to do with my 3 years at Herts, I hear you think? Good fucking question, and you’d be right for thinking that. To the untrained eye, that was all waffle, and to a degree it was. It was certainly self-deprecation. I like to poke fun at myself before other people do. And failing a Fine Art course, to the uninitiated is grounds for a ribbing… All the engineering lot think we sit around doing potato paintings, or think of it as a retirement home arts and crafts circle, where we sit around and knit blankets while discussing who shagged who on Eastenders. But I like to tell them I draw comics, and naturally I get a pat on the back. I could see the slight jealousy in their eyes, not as much I have for their future salaries compared to mine when I realised that a Fine Art degree basically qualifies you to squirt the sauce on Big Macs, but at least I’d be providing my customers with satisfaction as they swallow something that brings them closer to a heart attack with each bite. Again, I digress, I have an inert need to impress, like a cancer it swallows me whole until I find myself on a night out, wearing t-shirt 3 sizes too small and skinny jeans wondering where it all went wrong.

 

This need to impress became a running theme. My Laptop broke down on me in 2nd year, a normal person would buy a similar or better product at a similar price, but nooooooo… I go and buy a £1000 computer because it had Beats speakers built-in, like a total weapon. The irony is the £350 laptop I’m writing this on now is more powerful than the overpriced piece of shite I had before. The only silver lining was that I could play all my games on low resolution, like something out of Nintendo 64, but the bass was awesome. The Beats sign lit up so even in the darkness of night, I could see how much of a tool I was. Naturally, my work shared a similar theme, I decided to do work on where I come from, latching on to the Kray twins like I was their long-lost nephew who wanted to take back Bethnal Green one hipster at a time. I didn’t do it because I like the Krays, in fact I hate what they did for East London (which I’ll explain in the next paragraph), I did it so people thought “Ooooh, he’s from East London! What a legend, bet he’s seen some shit”. However, the truth was, between racking my brain for ideas in the daytime and porking my ungrateful girlfriend at night, I was lost. My need to impress people was destroying my life, I still do it. Deep down I think I’m doing what I want, but I know if I was doing what I wanted, I’d be fishing off the coast of Cuba on a yacht, firing machine guns into the distance with Dan Bilzarian, but I’m not. I’m doing what I love, and what I love is pleasing people.

 

I realised early on that university wasn’t for people like me. Being from East London, we have a stereotype of people who live outside the M25 as being carrot crunching cousin fuckers, who milk cows all day so I can buy four pints from Asda for a £1. I know this stereotype isn’t true, so I don’t hold people to it. From the outside in, people from outside London seem to think we’re all violent thieves, who are all related to the Kray twins (see, I told you I was coming to it) and that our education extends to key stage 2 Chip, Filp and Kipper. However, it seems that stereotype stuck. I couldn’t ask for the time without someone jumping 8 foot in the air, and throwing their belongings at me in an attempt to avoid this famous kicking I was supposed to inflict upon them. Everybody thought I had the IQ of a potato, and when I turned up to parties I was greeted by the sound of 6 locks turning in unison; regardless of there being 20 people there before me, suddenly I was in the frame for cheese theft. I found myself becoming the outcast, not because I deserved it, but rather because they had their assumptions, presumed I was a braindead moron and shunned me as a university pariah. Even on my own course, when someone was up to some skulduggery, suddenly I was Captain Flint and had a treasure trove of stolen Oil paints, professional pencils and canvas material.

 

I found it hard to fit in, although I found one good friend, Buwa Tetsola. We used to drink all the time, try and fail to pull birds. We later fell out, the one person I had an actual friendship with there and I fucked him off, over £89. Typical Stephen C. Mills right there. I seem to find myself in a hole, and instead of climbing out and moving on, I just find a bigger shovel. I found that I wasn’t the only Londoner to find myself in this predicament of being left out. I saw that the same white girls who would run all the way to Starbucks if a black Londoner asked them the time there, were all over them in the club because they heard that black men have longer appendages. Nothing racist on my part because bro, do your thing. Honestly, you get 12” in those guts. I’m just pointing out the part time racism that occurs in university. I’m just saying I’m not a fan of shoddy work, go hard or go home. Don’t be racist in the kitchen and pro black in the bedroom. Pick a side. I’ve heard what they said, white people know who the racists are.

 

I found that the easiest way for me to not be accused of anything was to stay indoors and work silently, around the quiet surroundings of the gentle buzz of my overpriced computer, and the mould making its way up the wall. My Ex and I spent a lot of time having unprotected sex with seemingly no consequences for around a year. I assumed all my sperm had a stroke in around 2011 and found themselves hobbling towards an egg with no discernible way to impregnate it. One fateful day, one of my sperms decided to don the cape, put its underwear on the outside of its tights and flew to rescue this egg from its lonely fate. Impregnated the shit out of it and turned the Clearblue test positive. We decided it was too early to have kids, I was half way through Far Cry 3 and could barely afford food; I was living on toast sandwiches and was fast running out of bread, she had a penchant for bulk buying low cost fashion. We were absolutely out of our league on this one. We decided to abort it, this was one of the most soul-destroying experiences of my life. I joke about it otherwise I’d cry. I was broke. Nothing makes you feel like less of a man than knowing you can’t look after what you put out. I feel that it was the right decision, I didn’t want my kid on benefits.

 

The months that followed were a slow incline to happiness. Then a sharp drop. 2016 was the single worst year of my life. I didn’t mention before that my father left…

 

**BACKSTORY ALERT**

 

When I was 4 years old my father must have thought “my work here is done” left us to our own devices, went forth and procreated like the good lord asked. All out of wedlock mind, the only time my old man went near a church was to rob it. Honestly, he was the world’s worst thief. He worked as a council painter and decorator. When he was given the keys to the house, he would go back at night, rob it blind then give the keys back. When the occupants realised they’d been robbed with no signs of forced entry, the only person who had a set of keys was David P. Mills, master thief and full time Womble. My mother knew the officers by first name. By the time I was 5, he was gone.

 

**BACK TO THE STORY**

 

… When my Father left, my mum’s father took over. My grandad is my father figure. He did everything a dad would do. In February 2016, he had a seizure and died in my arms for around 6 minutes. He came back just as the paramedic was about to jab him with a defibrillator. My world fell apart. I needed a kind smile, that’s when my girlfriend decided to split with me. When you fall through hell, you never know what level you’re on. When you think you’re at the bottom, there’s always a level lower, ready to take you in with open arms. Grandad’s hell was worse, going from being an active-ish person to having me changing his clothes was a severe comedown. The only silver lining for me was meeting a woman who really appreciated me. She stuck by me through thick and thin. Supporting me through the remainder of 2016 into 2017. Even through me getting beaten up in South London for wearing a West Ham shirt. Might have been asking for it really.

 

I started university this year and was immediately kicked out of my house for a month. My computer was smashed, containing the only copy of Photoshop I had. My work ground to a halt. I moved on to what I know best, making the best of shitty situations. I worked as a security guard the whole time. I figured that I couldn’t do any work, I also realised I had worked myself into £5000 worth of debt so working would be my best option. I’ve taken to writing a novel because I challenge anyone to have more source material than I’ve had in the last 4 years.

 

If this course is made to challenge students then it failed. I have been tested by everything except this course. I’ve battled with ex-girlfriends, family, health, finance and employment. This may not be the most interesting thing you see today. But, you will remember it. In that, I have served my purpose as an artist. This may be the most original thing I have produced.

 

It hasn’t all been sunshine and roses, but I lived my life, not draw it.

 

I worked my arse off to get somewhere. I might have been running on the spot, but I did it.

 

How do I visualise all of that into a final piece? You couldn’t.

 

All you can think of is that giraffe sinking into quicksand, right?

 

I hope this note finds you well.

 

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