Thursday, 30 October 2008

A Wasted Youth Is Better By Far Than Knowing You Can Drink Premium Juice.

Sometimes I buy the newspaper every day. Sometimes I don't buy it for weeks on end. Usually, though, I get it when there is a nice chunky section on music, or film, or because something particularly exciting is going on in the world, like a squirrel is learning how to water-ski, or some girl named Keeley has lost her top... I kid, I kid. I only read tabloids when I'm in a staff room or on a train. The Times all the way for me, baby! Ahem.

Anyway, recently I've found myself buying newspapers more sporadically. Like most people, I don't like bad news. Unlike most people, I simply take the logical step of eliminating as much bad news from my life as I can. If I see miserable headlines, ones that I know will disturb and depress me, I do not buy the paper that day. What with the looming economic apocalypse, this has left me cutting back substantially in recent times on my news reading.

There are downsides, yes. The most obvious being that I miss out on a lot of news. I know, for instance, that there is a so-called economical crisis. I probably won't know when it finishes though, and as a result will leave doomed to Tesco's Value long-life juice. For life. On top of this, I end up with more spare time, having nothing to read in that area after lunch, before lectures, which I have set aside. To anyone else this could only be a positive thing - perhaps there's time to read a short story? Sort out my life? Search for a job?

Not Stephen. No way. You give Stephen free time and he's positively, 100% guaranteed to waste it. It emerged today that in the last week - since I last bought a newspaper - I have listened to over a day's worth of music. A day! That's one-seventh of my week spent listening to music! I could be learning about world affairs, and what am I doing? I'm systematically working through the music of 1970's Cohen! I'm breaking down to the dulcet tones of Hercules and Love Affair! I'm not working.

Maybe someday all this time wasting will turn out to be worthwhile. I don't know. Maybe I'll get to become a music journalist, or present a radio show. Maybe I'll find renown as the world's greatest music quiz compiler. Perhaps, somewhere down the line, a troll will stop me on the way to work and threaten to kill me unless I can name all of the tracks, in order, from Billy Joel's debut 'Cold Spring Harbor'. I do hope not, I always have a tendency to forget which way round Turn Around and You Look So Good To Me go.

More likely than not, it'll be five years from now and I'm in a pub with my mates from work. We've just won the weekly music quiz for the eighth time in a row, mostly down to me. One of my friends turns to the group and, starting a new conversation states: 'Well, looks like we're finally coming out of that recession, then.' And all I'll know to do is buy premium juice again.

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