1002: Irritants of the Modern World

I have a peculiar sense of déjà vu as I write this as I have a strange feeling I’ve written a very similar post before… but d’you ever feel like the world just isn’t quite built with you in mind?

I’m not talking about difficulty getting around — though obviously there are people out there with physical difficulties for whom the world literally isn’t really built for — but rather a sense of detachment, a feeling of not quite “belonging” to modern society, a sense that others are “getting” something you’re not. (No filthy comments!)

I’ve been having this feeling to an increasing degree over the past few years. When I consider the things about modern society that irritate me, I sometimes find myself wondering if I’m just being unreasonable or if there is, in fact, some sort of root cause for the feelings of dissatisfaction and frustration I so often feel.

Let’s take a few examples to demonstrate what I mean.

Firstly, one from my professional life. I review social and mobile games for a living, from the perspective of whether or not they’re likely to be profitable and if developers can learn/steal something from each other. Objectively speaking, I can recognise the patterns in design, structure and the use of compulsion mechanics to draw players in and encourage them to spend money, but I can never picture spending my own money on such titles. It might be because I’m a traditional (or “core” as we tend to be called nowadays) gamer and thus have certain expectations from my entertainment — expectations that more often than not aren’t met by puddle-deep mobile and social games — or it might be something else. Rage of Bahamut, for example, which is complete crap in almost every way it is possible for a game to be crap, is immensely successful and has been showing up high in the Top Grossing charts ever since its launch. I do not understand this.

Then there’s the perpetual popularity of terrible, terrible television shows and the attached assumptions that you should know who Rylan(?) from The X-Factor is in order to have a successful water-cooler conversation. Thing is, every time X-Factor comes on, all I see on Twitter from the fairly broad spectrum of people I follow is unbridled hate — but they’re still watching it. I do not understand this either.

Then there are smaller, stupid questions. Why do people buy clothes with dates they probably weren’t born in printed prominently on them? What possible use could a 19-inch 1080p television be? What sort of pillock falls for those text messages that tell you how much money you could claim from your “recent” (and non-existent) accident? Who wakes up one morning and decides they want to be a loss adjuster? Why would I want to join yet another mobile social network that does nothing more than allow me to “Like” random things? Why do so many people respond to those utterly inane brand posts on Facebook? More to the point, why does the block of cheese we have in the fridge have its own Facebook page?

I do not understand any of these things either.

It’s not difficult to see why certain subcultures, be they socioeconomic or interest-based, find themselves feeling somewhat alienated from “normal” society, whatever that is. I certainly do at times, and I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one out there. There are too many unanswered questions out there, and either I’m not looking in the right place for the answers or the rest of society just doesn’t care.

Oh well. Time to sleep. The world will continue not making sense in the morning. This has been your after-midnight philosophical bollocks for the evening; hopefully I should be feeling a little more coherent come the morning.

Good night.

Published by

Pete Davison

Southampton-based music teacher, writer and enthusiast of Japanese popular culture.

3 thoughts on “1002: Irritants of the Modern World”

  1. OMG Like totally sick,man! What the? Who said that? Noone in the room with me. Spooky.

    I’ll start again. I know exactly how you feel and agree totally with all your statements and more. Of course I class this under ‘Bah Humbug’ of which I am a huge fan, and an expert practioner. It’s my way of dealing with it all – the having to mute all the ads because they shout at me; being told that a new show about to be seen is most loved and talked about by the Aussie audience who haven’t yet seen an episode; shows that begin by showing us snippets of the whole thing (spoilers) so that we then feel like we don’t need to watch it: and that’s just the television! There’s the lack of manners, the lack of consideration for others in every possible venue and metier you can think of, the lack of education in the language of those around us including the misuse and mispronunciation of words by those in the public eye . . .
    I could go on but I’ll😀 and say ‘BAH HUMBUG!’

    I wish the ‘force’ could be with me. S i g h . . .

  2. I don’t tend to be bothered by these things. I think that this is mainly because I ignore them. There are some terrible computer games, T.V shows, songs, adverts etc. I don’t watch/listen or follow the conversations about them. There are people being nasty to each other online. That’s sad, but I can’t see that I can do anything about it except to try not to be a part of it. There are people doing jobs that don’t advance the human race. I guess that they just need jobs. Maybe their priorities are different to mine. Why does cheese have a facebook page? Probably because someone thought that it would boost profits.

    Try doing a post on the things that you really enjoy every day and see how it makes you feel. Negativity can become a downward spiral.

    1. I actually post about stuff I enjoy most days, as it happens.🙂

      I’m well aware that the tastes I’ve developed are somewhat niche in nature, but at least I’m catered to. That said, the sort of things I describe here permeate mainstream culture to such a degree that it’s difficult not to feel alienated at times. You can always find someone with an opinion about some twat on X-Factor, but finding someone to enthuse about anime with? Less easy. (I’m talking specifically real-world interactions here — the Internet makes finding like-minded people a lot easier than it once was, thankfully!)

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