Monday, 26 February 2018

Present continuous

I’m afraid I was rather rude to an evangelical Christian yesterday, as I rushed from a rehearsal in Notting Hill to another rehearsal back in Highgate. He was handing out fliers at the tube whilst saying “Christ the Lord has risen” or something ghastly like that, so I looked him in the eye and said “shut up.” Yes, of course, I could have been considerably ruder, but I was fairly shocked at myself for the anger he made me feel. With all the desperate problems we have in the world at the moment, I think it’s time we started trying to work out how we can unite, rather than wasting time handing our fliers at tube stations which tell us how we should behave. It’s incendiary. I have no objections to anyone with religious faith - my friend Abbie has taught me that not all Christians are anti gay - but I strongly feel that religion needs to be a personal thing: it should not be inflicted on anyone and people must not be either frightened or cajoled into getting involved.

I have very much enjoyed watching the Winter Olympics on telly and shall miss them now they’re over. I’m quite a sucker for an Olympic Games and will happily sit and watch almost any sport - with the exception of team games, which I hate. For some time, I’ve tried to work out what it is about team games which irritate me. I find them utterly boring. Football, rugby, cricket, hockey. Dull. Dull. Dull. Dull.

Football is, without question, the most loathsome game of them all. My least favourite part is the after-match analysis and interviews. Quite why everyone feel the need to talk in the present continuous, I’ve no idea. The match is over. We can help all viewers to acknowledge this fact by talking in the past tense, which is, after all, what it was invented for. I feel the same about the very same trait in historians: “so Henry the Eighth is fighting with all his might to suppress his feelings for Boleyn.” In what world is this still actually happening?!! It’s an affectation and I simply don’t understand the reason for it. Just as I don’t understand why midwives talk about “baby” without using “your” or “the.”

So who have I offended today? Christians, footballers, historians and midwives? Not a bad roll call.

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