57 plus 52: Ten, [well, The Other Five] Things I like…

Posted: 8 October 2021 in 57 plus, stuff, ten things
Tags: , ,

Last week, I started a Ten Things post, then the time and words both ran away with me so I ended it after five, always intending to complete it with the final five today.

So, here is the rest of the post I should have written last week; five more things I’m grateful for, right now. No sarcasm, no snide ‘yes, I’m really grateful for that’ while my expression could curdle milk at seventeen paces…

Just Ten Five More Things I like, and am grateful for, right this moment, with the usual Ten Things reminder… they’re not the objectively considered best things in my life, nor necessarily personal favourite things. They’re just, in no particular order, Ten Things I like… at the time of writing. (And why.)

Last week’s started with my son, comedy, comics, friends (very much including my ex-wife Laura) and… London.

And so…


It was only when I saw the last five today that I realised they share a theme, which kind of surprised me as I didn’t realise they did when I wrote them out last week.

The enthusiasm of others for things I don’t like or don’t understand
Not for everything, of course. I don’t understand, not really, enjoyment of mocking or decrying someone ‘because they’re different’. That doesn’t mean that I enjoy others’ doing it.

And I should say immediately that ‘not liking’ something isn’t the same as ‘disliking’ something. If I don’t like something, say, a tv show, then it just means that I don’t get enjoyment from it. It doesn’t mean that I actively dislike it. Some things I do actively dislike; some tv genres, for example. I actively dislike talent shows. OK, not the shows themselves, but everything that makes the shows everything that others enjoy. I dislike the auditions, which seem to me to be merely the current iteration of ‘laughing at the halfwits at Bedlam’. I dislike the judges pantomime reactions and their performative playing to the audiences. I dislike the blending of ‘quality’ and ‘popularity’, and their conflation.

But that aside… I don’t enjoy sports. There are some aspects I actively dislike, mainly due to my early experiences and for that you can blame a) my teachers at school, b) the prizing of athletic ability and my own weedy body as a youngster, and the general view at my schools that bullying while officially decried, was unofficially tolerated and encouraged.

So, no, I don’t enjoy sports, especially team sports, especially at the amateur level. It brings back too many bad memories. But professional sports? Something I have no experience with other than ‘not liking them’? So, so many of my friends do. And watching their enjoyment, that I quite like.

Same with tv shows. There are few (as above) genres I dislike, but plenty of critically acclaimed dramas and sitcoms that I merely ‘don’t like’. I don’t share other’s enjoyment of them… but I do like their enjoyment. There’s little enough in the world that brings unfettered enjoyment so when you find it, and enjoy it… I enjoy your enjoyment.

Another one: food. As I’ve mentioned before, many times, I’m not a foodie. The enjoyment of preparing, making and consuming food entirely escapes me. Honestly. If you could give me a pill that would give me all the nutrients, the feeling of fullness from eating a meal (and it didn’t taste like shit, that’d be nice), I’d take it without feeling like I was missing out at all.

My friends, every single one of them, Do Not Understand This, and most of them think I’m just saying it. I’m not. I would take such a pill. (Some have suggested the powder thing that does the rounds every so often, but to be honest, it looks so complicated to buy, measure out, use etc, I might as well stick to food…)

But I genuinely enjoy the pleasure other people take in food. Some friends love cooking and baking. I love that they enjoy that. Others are epicureans, enjoying the finest food they can… and their pleasure in that consumption is something that pleases me enormously.

I like that others like things, even if I don’t share that enjoyment, nor even understand it. If that’s odd, well, it’s not the oddest thing about me, now, is it?

The Internet
The comedian, actor and director Chris Addison once had a bit in his stage show that went, roughly:

The Internet is one of the genuine modern miracles. If I want to look up information, it’s there in a heartbeat. If I want to buy a book, or go to the cinema, or even watch a movie there and then, or even if I want to see what a traffic cam in downtown Tokyo is seeing right now, I can. At the click of a button. It’s incredible, it’s wonderful. It’s… a genuine miracle that we take for granted at our peril.

BUT… if this modern miracle, this wonder of our ages… if the internet goes down, it takes about thirty seconds for this wonder of our ages, this thing unimaginable to generations before us…

…to become a basic human right.

He’s right of course. The internet ceased to be something ‘new’ and a luxury item some time ago. Many things, certainly many interactions with the state, with national and local governments, or with your bank, can only be done online, or at least can only be done efficiently online.

And while I hugely dislike that, I do like the first bit. I was born in 1964, and discovered ‘the internet’ in my 20s. I discovered computers before that, sure; we had a teletypewriter unit at school, but ‘the internet’ I discovered in my 20s. But I didn’t ‘get online’ until I was 30. That was almost thirty years ago, and I was part of probably the last generation to think of the internet as ‘new’, and the last to still think of it as a privilege to be allowed to use the internet.

Today? I genuinely cannot imagine what life would be like without not only The Internet, but also constant access to it via phones, tablets, computers…

I like that I can, with a press of a keyboard button, or a tap on the screen, bring up the news of the day, or the weather, or a dating website (heh, yeah, not going to happen) or tv listings, or a site offering mental health advice.

Or that I can visit odd, fun, weird websites such as

See, how could you, or more importantly, I, not like that?

Technology
As I’ve mentioned before, I have a windows laptop, an Apple iPhone (currently an iPhone 12 Pro) and an iPad (currently an iPad Air 2019).

There’s nothing I can say about these that you don’t already know… except why I like them, especially the iPhone and iPad.

Simply, they do everything I need them to, and introduce me to new things that they can do that I didn’t know I’d enjoy.

Every phone I’ve ever had has had a camera.

I’ve not been able to take night photos like these on previous phones though.

I like that technology improves, and improved what you thought you needed, and what you thought you can do… which leads me straight onto…

Innovation
Well, this one is cheating, because it’s not innovation I enjoy so much as the study of it by one James Burke. I managed to finally get ahold of videos of all three series of his wonderful Connections tv show, possibly the finest ‘science explainer’ of all time. Between that, and the books and the radio shows… no one has done more to explain to the interested public in a fun, sensible, clever, entertaining way how innovation works, why it works, and what it’s meant.

As he points out, history rarely happens in the right order, with Thing A leading to Thing B, leading to Thing C. What Burke does again and again, is explain how Thing A led to Thing Omega which led to Thing Woogahoomtamoof… which led to Thing Q. And not only that, that in some cases, the same destination could have been reached by another path or seven, while for other cases, that’s the only way it could have happened to get to that destination, for the destination was never been imagined when that first domino was toppled.

This
The final thing is an odd one. Because it’s this… this blog… or, more precisely, the opportunity, ability and inclination to just type something and see where it goes. Ok, you say, you know where it goes. It goes into an app, which when I hit ‘post’ pushes the content onto a pre-formatted page on the internet.

And that’s true enough.

But as often as not, I don’t know where the blog entry will end when I start typing it. And I don’t know how it will be received. And I don’t know whether it will mean something to someone, will spark an idea of theirs. I don’t know whether they’ll like what I write.

But someone might. Someone reading this might well like what I write, might enjoy it, might have thought “that was time worth spending in his words’ company”.

And THAT? That I like very much indeed.


If you enjoyed this Ten Things, I’ve done others… During the last huge blog run, I did a few ‘ten things’ I liked: individual episodes of tv shows, individual comic book issues, and pilots, and two on old movies ,then one on old-ish movies, and a couple about podcasts. And I wrote a series of Doctor Who posts, about each incarnation/regeneration, and my sometimes tenuous relationship with the show.

And in this run, I did one on things I’ve been watching during the various lockdowns plus others… and then Ten Columbo episodes I liked and Ten More Columbo Episodes I liked


See you tomorrow, with… something else.

 

 

Fifty-seven more days. Fifty-seven more posts. One fifty-seventh birthday just had.


I’m trying something new with this run. I’ve signed up to ko-fi.com, so if you fancy throwing me a couple of dollars every so often, to keep me in a caffeine-fuelled typing mood, feel free. I’m on https://ko-fi.com/budgiehypoth

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting up from my fifty-seventh birthday on 17th August 2021. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here. (And you can see the posts in the run counting down to the birthday here.)

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