Friday, 14 February 2014

Valentines cards for the one who isn't The One

'Love' is a powerful term that should only be used to describe the way you feel about McNuggets, your dog, and that-person-you-met-during-Freshers-week-who-you-just-knew-would-be-your-BBFL. You're sensible, you know this. You can't just throw the term 'love' around willy nilly like it's nothing more than the release of oxytocin and serotonin in your brain. Love is totes special, and that's why you can't use that word to describe how you feel for them. You know, them? The way you feel about them is somewhere on the treacherous scale between a Facebook like and a marriage proposal, but you're not quite sure where. You can't say 'I love you' because you don't, and you can't say 'I don't love you' because then they might stop buying you things. So what can you say? 

Fear no more! A new selection of cards has been released in time for Valentine's Day that are the perfect gift for that person you're with (but not with, you know?) 

For the sex-ex:

For the one who makes you cry:

For your tinder date:

For the one you're playing it cool with:

For the one that broke your heart:

For the one that's there:

For the self-obsessed hottie:

For the fuck-buddy: 
Inside message: 'Thanks for improving my street cred during games of Never Have I Ever' 

For the one who doesn't look as good in daylight:

For the one you really should stop having  sex with:

For the one your friends aren't happy about:
For the one you'll marry from spite:

For the other one who'll do:

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

'Happiness was the real mental illness all along' say scientists

A ground-breaking new study from scientists in Mabedrum, London, has revealed that happiness is a dangerous psychological abnormality.

Happiness, characterised by positive and pleasant sensations, is a state of mood that affects people's thoughts, behaviour, and actions in a disturbing manner. Happy people have been known to believe in themselves, smile, and even make eye contact with other people on public transport. In extreme cases of happiness, sufferers have also reported being able to look in the mirror without crying.
The disturbing artwork of someone who sees
joy in the world around them.

Dr Christian Jessen, who is campaigning to get happiness listed as a psychiatric disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is concerned by the rising number of sufferers.

'In the modern world, happiness is a dangerous thing' said Jessen. 'Anyone who can live in a world of NekNominations and selfies and still go to bed feeling pleasant emotions is clearly insane.'

One of Jessen's patients, Gillian Marguerite Marley, 41, is willing to open up about the horrors she has suffered in order to dismantle the taboos surrounding the disorder.

'I live in a world which hasn't yet managed to design a fully-functioning umbrella' said Marley. 'I mean, those things just collapse at the slight gust of wind.

'I also went to the gynaecologist the other day and she didn't compliment my pedicure. Despite this, I still feel happy and even genuinely and sincerely asked the cashier in Tesco how their day was going. It's debilitating.'

Marley expressed deep gratitude to Dr Jessen for helping her to overcome some of the symptoms of her mental illness. 'Whenever I feel like smiling' she said 'Jessen has advised me to think of the Kardashians. It helps.'

However, Jessen's findings still need to be peer reviewed by others in the psychological community. The doctor is no stranger to controversy; last year his suggestion to redefine 'eating disorder' as 'anyone who actually eats five fruit or veg a day and/or gets up in the morning on time to have breakfast' was met with degradation by his fellow scientists.

Jessen is still positive about his results. 'It is clear to all that depression is a natural and desired reaction to the modern world. Anyone who feels happiness is clearly deranged. We urgently need to get these people the help they need.'

If you or anyone who know is suffering from happiness please call our helpline on 0800-YOLO. In urgent cases please advise the sufferer to immediately reflect on the state of the economy, graduate employment prospects, and that person at work who named their new born son Kal-el. 

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Why your Tinder addiction makes you a horrific human being (and that's okay).

Did you know that in 1566 French peasants would draw self portraits in the mud of the town green and other peasants would place brightly painted pebbles next to the images to indicate romantic interest? You didn't, because it's not true.

French peasants liked to have sex (usually surrounded by cattle and their parents- this bit is true, you can check my history degree) and sometimes get married (usually for more cattle, mmm warmth). 

The reason I am telling you this is because love - the biological, emotional, psychological, physiological grown-up-version of the Easter Bunny - and indeed sex, have never been as pleasant an experience as centuries of art, literature, and Ryan Gosling films have lead you to believe. 

That is why although I would like to place Tinder on the 'Timeline of the Downfall of Humanity', right between the April 2003 split of S Club 7 and the 2026 invention of the Hover Onesie, I can't. Tinder is a horrific, disgusting, damaging, and infuriating attempt to find love (read: sex), and as such, is nothing new. 

In case you weren't already informed (where you been gurl?) Tinder is a 'dating' app described as 'like real life, but better'. Users swipe through images of potential mates with a ruthlessness only the SS could envy, splitting human beings into two camps, those they 'like' and those they reject. If two people click 'like' on each other then Tinder informs you both, giving you the opportunity to get to know each other (read: have sex). 

Tinder taught me nothing about myself. Sure, it showed me that I am a bitch. It even pointed out that I am an unattractive bitch. Then it reminded me that I can never resist a topless bald man holding a bottle of Grey Goose vodka. The thing is, in actuality, these facts have plagued my entire existence, so I repeat: Tinder taught me nothing.

(Click to Enlarge) Note: if you would like to skip boring words and just look at pictures of me being incredibly immature to men whose only crime was finding me attractive, then scroll to the bottom.
I remember the moment of my first match (and I've written it down to tell the grandkids). 'You and Liam have liked each other!' bright colours yelled from my phone screen. My hands began to sweat. I was finding it hard to breathe. Suddenly, my heart burst out from the cold block of ice named cynicism that had been surrounding it for years. I finally believed in love.

The joy soon wore off. I quickly began to feel sick as I sent out rejection after rejection into the universe, slowly becoming aware that I am a shallow and horrific individual who isn't willing to look under a backwards baseball cap to see the true beauty within. I have to delete this app, I thought.

But it was 2:17AM, I had to be up for work in five hours, and I couldn't stop. 

Yet as quickly as it had come, my disgust soon transformed into the realisation that Tinder was in fact evolution-in-action. The media have respectively praised and disparaged Tinder ('I had fun, fun sex' writes Kate Leftie, 'Oh no, teenagers can have sex now' writes Chim Chimenee, 'Tinder gives you Cancer' write ten monkeys with typewriters). The point they are all missing about Tinder is that it is not News, because it is not new.

Like a hunter-caveman in search for a gathering-cavewoman, I needed a man whose picture demonstrated sporting ability, or musical talent, or compassion to baby seals. I needed a man whose genes were so obviously a perfect match for mine that pheromones flew through the phone screen and hit me in the face, as nature cried out that we must procreate for the good of the human race. I needed a man who owned, and looked really, really good in, a suit. 

So sure, Tinder is shallow, it's gross - but it is merely a monetization of an age old phenomenon. Social psychology has long since acknowledged that humans are, by nature, pretty damn shallow. We can argue that shallowness is awful, but the fact is it has evolutionary advantages. We look for healthy and attractive partners to carry on the human race. The 'matching hypothesis' proposed in the 1960s shows that people choose partners based on similar social desirability. We are wired to know, simply by looking, whether a person could be a good match for us. Romantic attraction is, and always has been, primarily determined by physical attractiveness. (Then, yes, as Tinder allows, you can 'get to know' more about a person).  All Tinder does is take the subconscious and make it conscious. 

Tinder is a new chapter in the book of love, but it's the same old story. If it had existed in days of old, you can bet Antony would have liked the profile in Cleopatra's profile picture, Queen Vic would have clicked old Al, and Tish would swoon at Billy Ray's muscled selfie-arm reflected in his sunglasses. All Tinder does is make it much easier for attractions to lead to interactions. It finally delivers the internet's age-old promise of 'hot sluts in your area'. It gives you the same ego-boost you get when someone checks you out, but without the fear of them following you home. It takes the experience of having-eye-sex-with-sexy-sexy-strangers-on-the-street and gives you the 'what if?'. (Note: The 'what if' is of course, usually disappointing. I, for one, can never see past poor grammar. If a man can not distinguish between 'of' and 'have', then he will certainly never of me.)

So, you might wish that we lived in a utopian universe where the app was actually called 'Kinder' and users wrote one-or-two lines about themselves and other users showed their interest based on their personality, not face,* but in doing so, you are anti-Love. Tinder continues our historical and psychological tradition of choosing John Smith over Quasimodo. Tinder is shallow, because love is.

So use Tinder with pride. People might call you shallow. They might call you horny or perverted. They might call you a bitch for your constant need to laugh at people who are not aesthetically pleasing to you and who behave in ways that you deem beneath you. They might call you a hypocrite for refusing under any circumstances to 'like' a man whose picture is a selfie, despite the fact that um, guilty. People also might happen to be incredibly right when they call you these things. But you can hold your head up high, because in being a shallow, perverted, horny, hypocritical bitch who sexually objectifies complex human beings, you are following in the footsteps of your ancestors, taking Romance off life-support, and keeping the grand old tradition of Love alive. 

The topic of this article was requested by a reader. If you would like to request a topic please contact me on twitter or facebook or re-evaluate your life choices.

*If any tech-savy readers want to help me make this app and thus my millions, please holla. 

NB: You are a horrific person because you use Tinder for ruthless, unemotional sex. I am a horrific person because I use Tinder like so (please see slideshow).