It’s been a while between drinks here at mattsoldmanrants, though I’m not really sure why. I recently entered my fifth decade so it’s clearly nothing to do with being any less old man-esque. It wasn’t about having nothing left to oldmanrant about either. On the contrary, I’ve actually decided that this is my calling: to rant about things that almost everyone knows almost everyone else is thinking, but which almost nobody else will ever say. Venting is therapeutic, cathartic even, but there are so many people who, for reasons that may be beyond their control, can’t do it for themselves. How selfless of me to offer myself as a conduit for communal healing. I always hoped I’d discover at least one primary reason for my existence and if this is it, well, why not?
Over the years I’ve had lots of feedback about my rants. Some of them have left people feeling quite liberated, others have raised a smile or a laugh. Ultimately, that’s all I want this thing to do. As much as I make myself sound like a grumpy old bastard (I generally am one anyway, so it’s not much of a stretch) and while I’ll always stand by every word I write (involuntary retractions notwithstanding), almost everything on mattsoldmanrants is said in a lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek way. I’ve mentioned that on here in the past and it’s worth reiterating now because, in isolation, a writer’s true intention is a mysterious, far-off land that can be invisible to the naked eye without very powerful binoculars.
And that’s the great double-edged sword of the internet: anyone can say anything at any time on any topic and legitimately post it almost anywhere; concurrently, rarely will anyone who reads it have any context or know a single thing about the person who wrote it. When their general tone is almost always interpreted as either ‘sarcastic’ or ‘passive-aggressive’ and without being able to see their face, hear their voice or know how they tend to think about the world, it’s very easy to get the wrong end of the stick when, in reality, there was probably never much of a stick to begin with.
But rest assured, dear reader, what you’ll find on mattsoldmanrants are merely my slightly old man views of the world around me. There’s no right or wrong about any of it – neither from my perspective, nor yours. I’ll never tell you that your viewpoint is wrong or invalid or can’t be shared and neither do I care for feedback amounting to the same thing. When all’s said and done, we’re all individuals with unique points of view. While the essence of my rants truly represent how I feel about a topic, there’s no real malice in my words and no intent to offend. Saying that, these days so many people take offence to virtually anything that doesn’t match their own world view that it’s quite difficult to avoid offending at least someone. Just as disappointing is that on the rare occasion when offence actually is intended, those at whom it’s aimed are generally too thick-skinned or arrogant to notice. Catch 22.
At any rate, nothing much has changed while mattsoldmanrants has been on hiatus. I still have a slew of old man-style rants up my sleeve. I still have an odd and, at times, irrational love/hate relationship with the modern world and life in the 21st century. And for reasons that will no doubt possibly become somewhat clearer to me at some indeterminate point in the future, I still enjoy writing it all down and publishing it online for goodness knows who to read!
For the uninitiated, the list that follows might serve as a short-form example of both the earlier articles you’ll find on this blog and what you can expect to see in future. It might also serve as a reminder to mattsoldmanrants loyalists, to whom I offer somewhat heartfelt thanks for their inconsistently wavering support over the past four or five years. It’s truly been an endless source of some degree of occasional quasi-encouragement. So here they are then: fifteen oldmanrantable things that I’ve either ranted about before or may rant about soon:
1. People who walk the streets with their heads buried in a phone, tablet or other mobile device.
2. People who add to the comments sections of online news articles.
3. The gradual disappearance of physical books and music.
4. Airline passengers who somehow think it’s OK to do the exact opposite of every single thing they’re told to do.
5. 24 hour news.
6. Social media.
7. Internet and social memes.
8. The increasing violence of modern society.
9. Politicians and their increasingly knee-jerk reactions to resolve situations that have caused public outcry.
10. Press and social media coverage of issues that leads to hysteria which results in politicians and their increasingly knee-jerk reactions to resolve situations that have caused public outcry.
11. People walking in crowded areas who, for some reason, never feel the need to move out of anyone else’s way.
12. Drug-fueled violence and crime and its lasting impact on innocent bystanders.
13. What the political apathy of Australians looks like less than a year after electing a government that turns out to be as awful as those who didn’t vote for them always said they would be.
14. The Australian tabloid press and it’s increasingly ‘lowest common denominator’ approach to “news” and “headlines”.
15. Not understanding apostrophes / “rather then” / “people that” / “try and” / “perspective” versus “prospective”… or any other example of language, words and their meanings being knowingly eroded.
These are the not especially hard-hitting and sometimes flippant issues that get my oldmangoat and leave my oldmanblood boiling, maybe a little more often than they should, possibly to an extent that’s exceptionally irrational and, occasionally, in ways that are downright unhealthy. So hold on tight… new oldmanrants are coming!