June 2021

How I Became a Baller on Less Than The Minimum Wage

When I see those Tik Tok videos of migrants headed to the British coast packed into boats, I feel sadness. I look at their eager faces and hopeful eyes and think: you’re going the wrong way. I know they’ll get something out of it, but for you natives, you should be jumping on the boat and taking the return journey.

It’s similar to those who live on a bullet ridden estates of London. Many will try for years to swap their council accommodation with someone in an are less-gunny. And for years they will have no joy, whilst seeing an influx of young middle class out of towner’s actually choosing to pay ridiculous rates of rent to live in the same hell hole. They look at those fresh young faces and just think, “what a mug.”

Back in 2006 I was given a job working in telephone marketing for a banking back-room conference business (and it’s as exciting as it sounds). The pay was £8 an hour, the best wage I’d ever had, except for when I worked with my dad cleaning offices, but he was the boss and I don’t count nepotism as success. You may sniff at £8 an hour and call it poverty wages, but trust me, back then this was baller money in London for someone like me.

During that golden period I was partying hard, I could buy all the crack, coke, and crow I wanted, I was drinking in overpriced east London bars on my lunch break, I use to go out to restaurants during the week and dine alone. Dine alone? Why? Because I could. I had 8 pairs of trainers, ridiculous Italian designer clothes, and stupid gold watch. I even had £1000 in savings that I never ate into. People the same age now would have no idea how great living in London was back then, all they know now are fantasies of overdosing on Fentanyl. Life was once very fast and very fun.

Fast forward to 2016, and I was back in the same type of industry. Having completed a film degree (yes, I sold out, the shame is real) I had a plan. I had a little business, but this was going to take a long time to become profitable, and I had my YouTube lunacy, but I had, and still have, ambitions to make film. 

So I had this plan. I would get work straight away in the industry where I knew I could get decent wages and fast. The phone monkey industry. After that I would pursue a better paying job in customer service, something I had a lot of experience in, and during that time I would grind to achieve phase 3, which would be working in the film industry, doing whatever was available, so I could climb a greasy ladder and gain a foot in the door.

Phase 3 never came, neither did phase 2. I got stuck in phase 1. Everyone is stuck in phase 1.

I went to work for a company that did telephone market research, mainly for government departments. I had actually applied for this job way back in 2007, before finding a better paying one and choosing that instead (£8.50 an hour, the big bucks). Thing is, 10 years ago the wage was £7.50 (which was topped up to £7.95 with holiday pay), in 2016 the wages were £8.50, topped up to £8.95 with holiday pay. 

So in 10 years, the wages had increased by £1. 10 years ago, I was paying £80 a week to live near Kennington Park, roll on to 2016 and I would be paying about £120 - £140 a week for the same address. Luckily for me I was able to sub-let from a very good friend, costing me about £500 per month excluding water and electric (we won’t discuss the ins and outs of council tax, it just wasn’t on the bill). 

If I didn’t have my friend, I’d be fucked. It’s not just the price of rent that went up, everything went up, except minimum wage. How can a man do the same job and earn less for it after 10 years? This didn’t bother me at first, because I expected to have this job for a month minimum. Wrong. Dead wrong. I was there up until January 2018, and I’d left London by that point to do it as a home worker. I couldn’t find any other work, my 3 phase plan was flawed. I decided to go straight to phase 3 and ride it out as a phone monkey, and this ate away at my soul. 

My place of work was only round the corner from where I worked in 2006. When I would finish work and walk to the bus stop, I would pass places I once frequently inhabited, and I would keep walking. I could no longer afford to ball and boss it like I was Captain Money Pockets, I was a walking embodiment of poverty. What was worse is that during these modern times, the whole area now had PR people for clubs and bars, like it was Magaluf in high season (and I expect they earned less than me, well I bloody hope they did), and these PR people wouldn’t even harass me to come into their overpriced dump, they could see how down-beaten and broke I was, and they didn’t want to get infected with my poverty. Bunch of pricks. 

This is the foundation of many stories and many talking points about wealth gaps, stagnated wages, inflation and why the minimum wage is bogus, but that’s not the story I’m telling on this occasion. Because I didn’t hang around to try and change the system or smash the establishment, I just left London, and then I left the whole damn continent. 

You see, I kept going with that job because I had an opportunity and a better plan. I was done with how expensive and un-inspiring the UK had become. London became a soulless overprice death swamp, and I didn’t want any part of it. Even the countryside where I spent almost two thirds of my life had become overpriced. I gained home-working status and made a deal with my parents to live with them and work from their’s. I would build up the money to get the hell out of the UK and live a better life far away. 

What ended up happening was an even better opportunity came which allowed me to leave the country and continue working, but I’ll save that for another story. All you need to know is my plan came into affect, and I left. Since then, my quality of life has been better than you can imagine.

Now I am in south east Asia, I am not a poor man, in fact, compared to a huge number of people, I’m rich. The work I do equates to the same wages I got in London, but I work about a third of the hours. In London I was having to work every day at one point, and many of those days were 12 hours long. These days, 4 hours work is the same as 12 hours work, so I have way more free time, but crucially, the cost of living has decreased. 

I have rented some places for £110 a month, not £120 a week. And these places aren’t a shit den in the middle of a gunny south London estate, these are places with cleaning services, air-con, swimming pools, hot tubs, gyms, and high speed internet. I eat out as often as I like, I can drink myself to death every day if I want to it’s so fucking cheap. I can buy 5 kilo’s of peanuts for £1.50, I can eat half a dozen oysters for even less. 

The quality of life is astonishing. But that’s for me, a westerner earning western wages. But I’m pretty much on a low hourly wage compared to many others, if I was a proper nomad bro and coding websites or had an Amazon shop, I’d be on 4 to 10 times what I earn. But I’m still rich, and I rarely worry about the price of most things, because I always know it’s going to be fucking cheap. The best part of all, and one that may seem contentious, is that I am treated like I’m rich. This is a very new thing for me, and something I haven’t gotten use to. As a westerner, there are many places you will go where you are accommodated. 

To put it into perspective, imagine being a rock star going to the Ivy. Imagine going to a bar and buying a mack daddy cocktail and being pampered like a prince, with staff falling over themselves to make sure everything is to your satisfaction. A place where you can call over a waiter and make requests and they’re carried out! Imagine that happening but you don’t work for Goldman Sachs, you’re earning poor mans money in your homeland, and yet here you are, a rich man doing rich man things. 

Imagine your toilet gets blocked and you call your shitty slum-lord landlord and ask him to fix it, and instead of them whining and not giving you a definitive time and date for when they can be bothered to call someone up to come round and fix it, they’re instead mortified that you are so inconvenienced, and a team of plumbers arrive quicker than is even considered convenient! That’s what you get. 

This isn’t why I came out here, it’s just a very unexpected bonus, and one I never take for granted. It’s unbelievable that I can be earning such low amounts of money and be a certified budget king. Being poor is relative. I could have been trapped in that call centre for 10 years, and believe me that many others have been, and just dreamed of making life changing money. I didn’t make a move to make life changing money, I just changed my situation and made that poverty money into rich man money.

This all sounds like a long sales pitch for some hack course I’ve created, but unfortunately it’s not (I could sell a really good overpriced online course with this kind of story). Because you’re reading this, you are seeing part of what I love doing, and I have time to do it, because I changed my situation, not my finances, and that’s moral to this yarn. 

The answer to solving a problem might just be asking a different question. It’s not how do I make more money, it’s how do I make my money go further. I’ve sacrificed being around friends and family, and it’s had it’s repercussions, but I am a much happier and better person to know now,  so it’s paid off in the long run. Poverty stinks, get away from it, go to a poor country.

To be wealthy you need to save more than you spend. That is achievable here. 

What Are The New Rules of Gender and Violence?

Confusing times are all around us, what was once a very simple concept, like man and woman, has now become so convoluted, polarised, and subjective that it makes more sense to do away with the very idea. 

I find it bizarre that a generation of women in the early part of the 20th century would throw themselves under horse drawn carriages and meet their maker in order to give a mediocre weight-lifter the chance to be a king of all women. But apparently, that’s what they did. 

The war between so-called SERF’s and TERF’s has become so toxic that expressing opinions can get you sacked, de-platformed and even arrested. It’s a war like that one between the Arabs and Israel in the land of, what’s it called, oh yeah, Israel. It’s just best to not have an opinion and stay well away from this toxic nutter showdown. But I care, I care about the very confused and marginalised Joe and Jane averages out there who just want to know one thing. What are the rules of chivalry now? 

I rarely hear of women who transitioned into men and became top athletes in that division. There is no Ronda Ronaldo, Leona Messi or Uma Bolt, does this mean that women are physically different to men, or does it mean that the payoff for women athletes becoming men isn’t as good as it is in reverse. You see how problematic this piece of writing is already? 

Let’s stay away from sports, for the most part, but we’ll keep in mind the ancient art of fighting. You see chivalry isn’t just about opening doors, standing when a lady enters a room, or paying for a meal at Toby Carvery, it’s also about putting your hands on people. 

It’s been a common rule amongst most societies that banging out a lady isn’t a cool gesture. Women are often referred to as the gentler sex, and that’s based on science of physiology and not just an observation of how they react to Bambi’s mother dying. Ladies are strong, but they’re not punching bags. I mean this is a golden rule, there’s campaigns about it isn’t there? Even some of the nuttiest nutters out there who kidnap and torture their enemies would never even consider saying ‘booh’ to a lady. So when a man transitions into a lady and retains every male physiological advantage bar their man cannon and balls, are they now off limits for a damn good boffing? 

If a tower house of trans-lady squares up to you down a badly lit alley, do you just take it like a man and let them beat the crap out of you? Or do you punch back? And when you punch back, are you still supposed to be ostracised by society as a woman beating piece of scum? And it works in reverse too. 

You get into an altercation with a trans-man, a man who grew up with a vagina and was once called Cathy. Cathy is now Carl, and Carl is man but with lady strength, and Carl wants a fight cos he drinks pints like a man but handles is like a girl. Carl punches you in the face, so you let Carl have a nice upper cut and Carl goes down like a heavily packed sack of jersey royals. I mean, it’s a dude, so who’d have a problem with you knocking them the fuck out? 

In this scenario you’re in a pub, surrounded by tasty looking bald men. One of them says to you ‘you’re scum, you just punched a bird in the face.’ Do you correct him and say how dare he call Carl a lady, they are clearly a man. If the bald man gets angry because you’re excusing yourself for banging out a lady, is he now the piece of shit in this situation? I don’t fucking know, it’s a fucking mess. 

Let’s take it back to the ancient and noble art of fighting. It’s fair to say that most average people would struggle with the concept of a man becoming a legal woman so they can fulfil their life long dream of stepping into the ring and knocking women out over and over again. A lot of people find that idea a little fucked up. In their mind this not so different to a grown man becoming a toddler for the rest of their life so they can participate in weird heavy petting at a pre-school. It sends the same signals, the signals that make a man want to burn things to the ground. 

Now those who don’t participate in exploring ideas will now want to burn me, well listen up, I’m the messenger, don’t play with me. And what about the ones who don’t even properly transition, if transition at all? Can Marcus just call himself Marilyn and put on a dress and start punching birds to the ground at the Kickass Girl Boss fight club on Kingsland road? Must they be accepted into the sacred safe space of a women’s only social club? Should no dainty 6 stone lady called Louisa have a problem with a 16 stone brick-plop parlour pounding their innocent face in with their wok sized fists? If someone says ‘get off her you prick’, are they now a misogynist because they don’t like a half-arsed lady punching a lady’s face to pieces? 

Some of you now might say I’m being hyperbolic, and good for you, I’m sure you’ll have fun at your next fight club meet. 

I got mad respect for those who transition, it’s by no means an easy decision and comes with great consequences. Even though it’s becoming a weirder landscape and some transitions don’t follow the correct protocol, the OG trans community are people who’ve literally sacrificed body parts that most of us would murder to keep. 

I’m just here asking for a friend or two, the great general public who do everything they’re told to, what’s the deal with banging out a broad these days?

picture of Meghan Markle and Meg Mucklebones from Legend

Meghan Markle: A Tale of Aesthetic Privilege and Bias

You will have heard about privilege, you’ll have heard about it more than you ever needed to in recent times. You may not understand what it’s all about, and how people can see you living in your overprice shit-den and yell at you about how good you have it. 

White privilege, male privilege, straight privilege, oh so many privileged people. If you tick multiple boxes, you may find yourself at the back of the muffin line when the famine hits next spring.

Apparently there are biases too. When your pasty face interviews another pasty face for a job at the failing business you work mildly hard for, you look at that pasty face and think ‘my oh my, look at this pasty face, it’s like my pasty face, we’re so similar, they should get the job regardless of that three year period on their CV where they didn’t do any work. Were they in jail for hideous sex crimes? I don’t care, we share this pasty face.’

This has been, like everything else you can think of, labelled. And this new exciting label is Affinity Bias. It means when we share similarities with a human, we connect, and therefore our judgement is clouded by our affinity to this human. This makes sense, and isn’t so bad, because we all would prefer to work side by side with like minded people. But this is also quite bad, because the bizarre pursuit for aesthetic diversity leads to people just recruiting people who don’t have any diversity of thought from the rest of the staff or team.

So forget affinity bias, it’s time to address the sexy elephant in the pink tutu that sits in the corner of the room. How so many have failed to aknowledge it’s big old swinging trunk I don’t know. 

Our culture has become incredibly superficial and blatantly shallow. We were once taught you should judge people, and love people, for what they have on the inside. Not to be confused with the mindset of a lunatic serial killer who wants to see what your intestines look like through an open wound, what we mean is your character, your thoughts, your actions, and personality. Now all we see is aesthetics, and corporations, government bodies and activist groups only care to show you a rainbow of faces, all fronting one unified droning un-inspired voice. 

The elephant in the room with the big old trunk is aesthetic bias and privilege. 

I’ll address the privilege side first, and there is no better example on earth than everyone’s second favourite princess, Meghan Markle-bones. Markle-bones, or Markle to you regular TV watching folk, is clearly a 9, if not a solid 10. I say clearly a 9 because we’re going on her face, in my scoring system she would need a bouncy wagon at the back, but I have never examined or sought proof of its existence, so we can just ignore it for now. 

Markle-bones is hot, she has a face you can have no problem looking at for long periods of time, even when she is banging on about how hard her life is whilst sitting in a mansion with the richest black woman on earth. Markle-bones has so little self-awareness, from what she openly displays anyway, it’s actually delightful. Markle-bones is the classic example of someone who was born into the top-tier of privilege. These people just plop out, light up the room, and by the time they come of age, you can see that this person ain’t gonna have to worry about nothing.

The beautiful people of this world don’t have to work as hard as the rest of us 4’s and 6’s, they can just walk into a room and send a signal to a prospective employers ding-dong that they should give this stunning 10 the job. Markle-bones  could strut into a job interview at the Israeli embassy dressed as Goebles shouting death to the tribe of Abraham, and still get called back for a second interview. Hot people do as they like, because we all want to fuck them. Yes, crazy isn’t it? Some would say ’how disgusting’, and yes it is and why haven’t you done something about it yet? 

I’ll tell you why, because you still want to fuck beautiful people. 

There is no-way in hell that Harry, the new prince of progress, could land Markle-bones if he wasn’t an actual fucking prince. That is clear. But as hot as she is, in order to even get a toe into the realm where princes dwell for a shot at tearing apart one of the world’s most famous families, you need have some kind of status. There’s plenty of 10’s out there who don’t have the drive for sure, but even without much drive, they still have it pretty sweet. 

Markle-bones isn’t a great actress, she’s not even a good one, she’s ok-ish. But like many super-hot actresses before her, all that matters is that she remembers at least 40% of her lines, and makes sure she doesn’t accidentally tip acid on her own face. With beauty like that, you only need a couple of opportunities, unlike the rest of life’s wannabes. There will be millions of aspiring actresses out there, and plenty of very competent ones, and enough who can kill it in any role given to them. There’s enough talent to go around, but unfortunately for them, if their boat-race resembles a kilo of smashed spam covered in sand flies, they’ll never win a role when competing with a Markle-bones.

The fact that aesthetic privilege is completely ignored is one of the funniest things on earth. In a culture that screams about privilege at every turn, the one privilege that transcends race, class, sexuality, ethnicity, and even to an extent, age, has been forever ignored. I’m not going to hate on someone for being born a 10, but I will fucking point it out. 

How on earth can any regular person sit and listen to a c-list actress harp on about how hard it is for them and how Mr Bumpkins from Shit-Piss Town near Gateshead, who has four kids on heroin and a face that resembles a safety advert photograph spreading awareness of the dangers of kissing angle-grinders, has unlimited amounts of privilege is insane. Why hasn’t Mr Bumpkins thrown his piss weak mug of tea at his stupidly priced television and shouted ‘you’re c-list actress who played a supporting role in a TV show that no-one cares about that became a literal fucking princess! Do you know how difficult it is to become a literal princess!’?

You could hike deep into the dense jungles of the Amazon and find a tribe that hasn’t seen an outsider since wooly mammoths were on the rampage and spot a 10. You know this lady or man has no idea about your business, they don’t even know how to read of write, nor do they even wear clothes. But you’ll still give them a probatory period as CFO of your corporation because you might be able to smash them at the Christmas shin-dig. 

Aesthetic bias would be similar to aesthetic privilege, but is different to affinity bias, well, mostly. Sure some beautiful people out there will only want to be surrounded by other beautiful people, and that makes sense. But mostly aesthetic bias is about what your contents of front man or lady panel wants. 

You sit there interviewing for a job at your rubbish warehouse where everyday you dream of a better life, a life where you have the balls or lips to finally hang yourself on Monday morning. You have to recruit one new employee because the hard-working and beloved Mr Tippings died during his favourite pub quiz night. You have 4 prospects coming in to perform simple but physically tasking labour in your horror den of a warehouse. 3 strapping men and women come in, they have experience, they are friendly, and display the traits that confirm they are team players. Perfect, but ‘oh how to make a decision?’ You can’t, because you just don’t want to fuck any of them. You even ask about which football team they support. None of them like football, oh fuck. 

You consider just picking straws, as the guidance of the universe is your best bet on making the correct decision. But as you try to find some straws, you’re reminded that there is a fourth candidate, and they’re ready to be interviewed. They plod in, the face is acceptable, but the attitude is terrible. They have no experience, they hate being part of a team, and they support Man Utd. Every box says no, no, no, and again, no. 

During this whole time you have barely paid attention to the thick sweater they’re wearing. But as you pretend to make notes about them, the clicky part of your biro pen points out a crucial detail you had been blind to all this time. Behind that thick sweater are a set of 10 titties. Not titties as in they have ten of them and are some bizarre experiment that escaped a Gates Foundation facility. No, these titties are 10 out of 10. 

Suddenly your brain is producing porno movies for your usually mundane imagination, without going into sordid detail, these titties lead to countless fun scenarios. Now it’s decision time, do you want to spend the next 5 years chatting and working with good members of staff who stimulate your libido about as much as an HR head with a humanities degree? Or do you spend 5 years looking at a pair of titties so great that when God made them he gave himself a week off because as reward for his damn fine work. You choose the titties, because the dreams of titties will replace the dreams of Monday morning suicide. That’s the reality. 

The beautiful people of this world do not have the same struggles that we have. They may complain about all the ‘unwanted’ attention they get, but for a person whose face looks like it hit every branch on it’s way down from the top of the ugly tree, that’ some bullshit. Acknowledging how hot you are isn’t exactly a great trait, but ignoring it and demanding everyone else recognises your ‘struggle’ is far worse. You were born with something others don’t have, embrace it, use it, and get on with it, and please pipe down. Some of us have to be funny as hell to get ahead, cos we ain’t got much else going on.