Thursday, 20 December 2012
Quentin Crisp once said that: ''Whenever people read in the papers that someone has purchased a machine-gun and mowed down a whole neighbourhood, they invariably say, 'I wonder what brought that on.'...To me the motive is self-evident. Mass-murderers are simply people who have had ENOUGH.''
Quite. People go on about perspective all the time, you know that hackneyed line: ''there's always someone worse off than you.'' Only ignorant people say that. Perspective has nothing to do with personal problems. Opprobrium, trouble at work, making enemies of all the wrong people (senior management, priests, family, etc), constant anger, cutting off your nose to spite your face, money trouble, depression, trouble with family, having a tendency to always speak your mind, to whomever indiscriminately; take your pick! In the context of all this the very mention of ''perspective'' makes unexpressed rage take the mastery! I don't honestly care about starving people in the back of beyond, whom I've never met, when everyday I wake up I ask myself whether it's worth getting out of bed. A few weeks ago I was in the warehouse at work and an in-store demonstrator was there. This is an incredibly ignorant woman who, every time she comes to the office to sign in, always has to ask for help to fill out the perfectly self-explanatory visitor's book. Anyway, she was looking for Flora Cuisine in the ambient section, which tells me she doesn't know the first thing about what she is trying to sell, I shewed her to the chiller, and went back upstairs. Later, when I went down to recycle some paper, she commented to another colleague (in my presence), ''well, at least someone's happy!'' Maybe she saw the look on my face, my unironed clothes or unkempt hair; who knows? Have you ever wished someone dead, and meant it? I have, and do. We're all put to the test at some point. What worries me is that my wishing is not inspired by adrenalin but cold contempt. The very sight of at least one woman is enough. She was here yesterday, when I came home from work, so I went to bed just to shut out her noise. Waking was no better, though fortunately she was gone by then.
Maybe people don't realise that it's silly things that tip the scale; a look, a stupid comment, you run out of toothpaste or milk for your tea, and that's it. You bring out your revenge list, walk down to the garden shed, pick up the sledge hammer, and off you go. Or you can't face going outside, being exposed to the common light of day and peoples' scorn, and you just go into the kitchen and cut your wrists with the steak knife.