I have been living in London for nearly six years now. I’m in my thirties and it is becoming increasingly apparent that this is no longer a city that meets my needs. However, the decision to leave is not that easy and it is actually filling me with a lot of sadness as each day passes. I think almost every Londoner who wasn’t born and raised here struggles with the decision to leave. It is scary the amount of people I have met over the past several years that talk about leaving London. Yet none of these people ever leave. I’ve asked people how long they have thought about leaving. So many have been struggling with this for longer than half their time in the city. Recently a girl, that has been in London for 13 years, told me she has thought about leaving for 11 years. You would think for such a transient population, it wouldn’t be difficult to leave if they wanted to.
Seriously. Go fuck yourself Tony Blair. The Chilcot report over the UK’s involvement in the Iraq war was recently published and Tony Blair responded in front of the media on the same day. This guy just will not admit that he ever made a bad decision and that the entire dalliance was a fiasco. Blair insists that his decisions were always correct and that he’s only sorry for how things turned out….but it wasn’t a bad idea in the first place. Things just went bad, but it was the right decision. This is the kind of response a stubborn teenager. The ego on this man is nauseating. Things in the geopolitical realm don't turn out bad out of thin air....you can usually tie these issues back years in the making to an initial disruption. You can keep going back in time, but there are only a few key decision makers along the way that have influences on a time series of events. The Iraq invasion in the early 2000s is one of those. Tony Blair was a part of that. The risks were huge. He made a bad decision. What is so difficult about admitting that? You can't collect million dollar speaking fees anymore? Is that it?
We live in a 24/7 news era. It started with CNN, then 24 hour business news, then the internet, mobile phones and now social media. When it comes to investing this is the kind of environment that poisons judgment. Things have only become worse since the financial crash of 2008. Of course the CNBC’s of the world are the biggest put option in the financial world. When things get dark and scary, people tune in and their ratings go through the roof.
I don’t love the NBA like I used to. I prefer College basketball, but even that has taken a dive in quality since players started leaving early for the big bucks in the NBA. I felt the early departure trend has watered down both products and coincides with a “get my money” culture that perpetuates the world of celebrity and its outputs. Nothing feels genuine in the NBA anymore. Players are all buddy-buddy, they all want to play with each other rather than against each other. There are no real rivalries and no real struggle. Players play well in a contract year, get their big contract and then promptly begin to stink up the gym.
London. When we first started our relationship I was head over heels in love with you. I would have done anything for you. Life was colourful. Everything I saw, I saw beauty. Everything I experienced, was warm. Every challenge I faced was never too big. I would tolerate the most painful dates, the most arduous commutes in to work and even the wind and rain pelting me in the face.
I used to love the solo mission. Some of the best stories I have come from solo travel. They aren’t blow-you-out-of-this-world stories, and I am sure others have more dramatic, but they were good enough for me to remember. My friends back home were all getting married by the age of 25. I sought a different path and the only way to have any fun in my boring-everyone-wants-to-get-married-and-have-babies-hometown was to seek greener pastures elsewhere.
In the neighbourhood I grew up in it was common to get a part time job as early as the age of 14. It was actually common throughout my home country and many parents forced their kids to do it, typically middle-class families. Rich kids don’t have to. I started a humiliating career of part time jobs in the 9th grade, but they provided great lessons and motivations that would shape my future world future. The first job was at McDonald’s. I was useless. I think the hiring manager must have known that, for it was only when my girlfriend’s sister intervened did he give me a job. I was always put on the meat or frying station. They once tried me in the front but realized my cold demeanour did not make me suitable for customer service. So they hid me in the back.
I feel it the minute I walk out my door. It does not matter if the sun is out or if it is cloudy. It is independent of weather patterns. The rage is just lying there, under the surface. I begin to walk and there’s a heavy-set person in front of me, waddling side to side, almost taking up the entire sidewalk. I’m not sure which way they are trying to go….which way are you trying to go you fat fuck!? Fuck, get out of the way! I speed past them, walking angrily. The rage is now climbing, but it is not yet at its full potential.
When I was younger I craved Friday night. I couldn’t wait to leap out of my chair and leave my soulless job for a few days to get out and meet a new girl, the chase. Every week was filled with the same level of excitement. What would the weekend bring? What new gorgeous girl could I get?
We first met at a bar in Sweden. I had no clue what I was in for. On the encouragement of my friend I approached you, and then shortly after, I tasted you. I was hooked for it was like a drug. I had never felt a high like that and I haven’t since. I was numb to everything else around me. There was nothing anybody could have said to me in that moment that would have made me take my thoughts off of you. That has been a theme throughout our tenuous relationship since.