Scream If You Wanna Go Faster

Some people call ’em blog posts. I call ’em brain-spews.

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There are a multitude of reasons not to take life-coaching tips from former Boyzone singer Ronan Keating, not least of which being the time he wore a snakeskin suit. Which, by the way, he is now so embarrassed about he has had all photographic evidence removed from the Interwebs. I know, I looked. I found this instead though. Equally abysmal. The cowboy hat was a nice touch.

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But for me, Ronan is guilty of something far worse than crimes of fashion, imparting as he did, the immortal line;

“Life is a rollercoaster, just gotta ride it.”

If by this he means one of those rollercoasters that you get on, and you don’t have a safety harness, and it stops every 30 seconds for you to decide whether it goes up, down or loop-the-loop, and everyone on the rollercoaster experiences a completely different ride of their own making, and sometimes it goes for ages with nothing happening all, and at the end you die, then yes Ronan, life is exactly like a fucking rollercoaster.

But, there seems to be a massive proportion of people in the world who have taken the gospel of Saint Ronan to heart. They think that life is something that happens to you. On the day you are born, that hydraulic harness pins you down with a hiss, and you are locked in for the ride. The twists and turns are all laid out before you. You are a passenger, powerless to do anything but cling on, and perhaps hold your arms up in the air at certain points to show the world you are a “crazy” risk taker.

But, your life is your own.

It is not a rollercoaster.

If anything, life is more like one of those travelling fairgrounds. Loads of different rides, each offering its own unique style of life or death peril (especially when you see random nuts and bolts rolling around on the floor) and you are constantly being spun round by greasy-haired teenagers wearing vests. There is temptation at every turn (candy floss, donuts hotter than the surface of the sun, rat-burgers, cheap speed), you have to make split decisions (is it worth spending £2 to go on the Ghost Train when you know it’s going to be shit) and if you keep trying to hook those ducks long enough, you could go home with a massive, fluffy toy giraffe.

In my own roundabout way, what I’m trying to say is YOU can make things happen in your life, you don’t have to be a back-seat driver. It’s so much easier to sit there and blame the economy, your parents, the alignment of the stars on the day you were born or the fact that you never got a Mr. Frosty for Christmas, even though you asked for one every year (I’m not bitter though, everyone who actually had one says they were rubbish).

I only started writing seriously this Easter, after years and years of thinking I could never be good enough. I would start writing something and bin it the next day. Then a lovely friend, who is also a hugely talented best-selling author, told me the only way I would find out if I was any good was just to write and write and write until I’d actually finished something.

So that’s what I’m doing.

When I was a little girl, the only thing I ever wanted to be was an author. It’s taken me 30 years to take the first step.

My life is not a rollercoaster. It’s a Choose Your Own Adventure book, that I’m writing myself, one page at time.

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Incidentally, whilst researching for this piece I learned that “Life is a Rollercoaster” was written and produced by the frontman of The New Radicals. You know, they did that song. You know the one. That bile-inducingly awful pile of goat-turd “You Get What You Give”, where the middle-aged singer whines about how he is going to go round to those big sell-outs Marilyn Manson and Courtney Love’s mansions and “kick their ass in”. He runs around in the video with a load of teenagers, like a creepy man-child Christian youth group leader. Hey kids, I’m one of you, just another young rebel. Now, why don’t you come over here and let me give you a shoulder rub.

He also wrote songs for Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Enrique Iglesias. How can one man be responsible for so much ear-pollution? There should be a law against it. Perhaps a carbon offset situation for the music industry; if you must pump out MOR chart pap for people with no taste, you should be forced to put a percentage of the money you earn into developing actual talent. Just a thought.

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