Just recently I deleted over two and half thousand unread emails from a couple of my accounts. That’s two and a half thousand useless and completely redundant pieces of information that will never be read, never be looked at and never be acted upon. The contents were so pointless, banal, dishonest or self-serving that they didn’t even warrant the physical exertion of a click on the delete button until that point. However, all that has happened is that they have now been replaced by several hundred more messages of digital nothingness. At some point I will have to spend another hour or so of my life deleting them all, only for more to arrive and so the whole sorry cycle will continue until I have a mental or nervous breakdown, throw my computer out the window and start living my life as a hermit underneath a motorway bridge with just cheap cider, cardboard boxes and vermin for company.
However it’s not just emails telling me that a network problem in Budapest has been resolved, Voyage holidays have a fantastic sale on, I am entitled to claim back thousands of pounds on an accident I don’t remember having, lots of single women are just waiting to meet me or that I can extend the length of my penis. No, life is just one long succession of pointless messages being fired at me like some kind of scattergun shit spreader. Do I really need to know that MFI still have a sale on (when don’t they?), or that my Chicken Tikka Masala needs to be served hot? Do I need to know that my local councillor has fixed a pot hole in the road, an X Factor contestant has had a hard life, Katie Price has never been happier, Katie Price has never been sadder, objects in the rear view mirror may be closer than they appear, my cup of tea ‘may contain traces of nuts’. Do I really need to be told to look left? Look right. Buy now. Pay later. I really don’t want to be poked by a friend of a friend of a friend. Who cares that M & Ms melt in your mouth not in your hand, Friday night is music night, a duck’s quack doesn’t echo, cats like Felix like Felix or that Christina Aguilera doesn’t know where the Cannes film festival is being held.
Add to this the ever-increasing mediums for all this information. Once upon a time there were three TV stations. Now there are thousands that are either repeating what was once shown on the three channels that used to be enough, or trying to entice us into an inevitable downward spiral of despair that is the world of TV poker/bingo or online shopping. As for the printed word, we are now drowning under a tidal wave of paper covered in more shit than an alcoholic’s boxer shorts. Just to add to the data diarrhoea, you are now nobody unless you have your own celebrity magazine. Oprah Winfrey and the likes of Gordon Ramsey, Rio Ferdinand and Jamie ‘I’m so sincere and good, really I am’ bloody Oliver all have their own magazines. Who the hell reads a Jamie Oliver magazine? Contents: Jamie’s recipes. Jamie’s gossip. Jamie’s advice page for sad fat people who like Pizza and chicken nuggets. Jamie’s driving tips and Jamie’s spot the odd one out between Jamie, Jamie, Jamie and Gordon.