Jayesh Fernando's blog

What’s that sound? It’s the voice in my head telling me to drop out (2)

Apr
09

I struggled thinking about how I wanted to approach this topic.

 

Option 1 – I write about it in a way that is me deflecting from something that might be a real problem with random musings that probably aren’t funny but make me do that “exhale forcefully from your nose” kind of laugh.

Option 2- I treat it seriously and open myself up so people can have an insight into my thoughts. That is not fun for a person known for his lack of emotion (see my previous blog post about me congratulating my burglar (it still counts as link economy if I link to my own writing, right Ian?)).

 

So the natural conclusion to that was that I write both. This is the second one.

 

 

I think the inspiration for this probably came around the time the Bob Friend nominees got announced. I was pretty bummed that my name wasn’t there. Not because I felt I deserved it, but because it was the latest in a series of reminders that I wasn’t good enough. Going into February, I had yet to see the signs that anything journalism-related I had done in my second year had been any good. Bad marks. Unsuccessful interviews for jobs. I didn’t pass the NCTJ Essential Journalism exam. Even the name is basically a middle finger. “Essential” i.e. this test is to show that you can do the basics of journalism. And you failed. PS. You owe a £100 for this exam and the retake.

 

That’s the kind of thing that makes you question your ability and re-evaluate everything. It was becoming clear that continuing to go down this road would probably be unfruitful for me. I’ve been plagued by thoughts of dropping out for a while. Probably since the first couple of weeks of first year. But at that point, you sum it up to uni being a new experience. I thought that once I’d settled in, everything would be fine. Well, it was now a year and a half later, I was thoroughly settled, and I still wanted to leave.

 

I think my real problem is that journalism isn’t a good fit. It’s just not for me. The thing is, I’m not sure it ever did. When it came to choosing a university degree, I found it really difficult. I didn’t know what I was good at and what I wanted to do. It’s not exactly something that’s easy to know at that age. All I had was this feeling that I was a somewhat decent writer and I spun that into this fantasy about being a journalist and looking to make a legitimate change in the world. Since starting uni, it didn’t take me long to realise how deluded I was. Don’t get me wrong, if you actually want to be a journalist, the CFJ is probably the right place to be. As much as I’m not that enamoured with the profession, I still think the course is good. I don’t have too many problems with it other than the NCTJ, but that’s because I don’t feel like I’m being “trained” anymore from that than what I’m learning on the course already. I don’t think our lecturers are holding back the secrets to journalism that only the NCTJ is unlocking for us. It’s just doing the exact same stuff, except now you become qualified because of what it says on a piece of paper which, if you ask me, sounds a lot like what a degree should be for.

 

So why haven’t I dropped out already then? If I’m being honest with myself, I’m too scared to do it. I can’t let go of this idea in my mind that dropping out is a sign of weakness and that’s something I feel I wouldn’t be able to face up to. That’s not even to say that I think dropping out is something to be looked down upon. A good friend of mine on my course dropped out early into first year and I couldn’t respect him more for it. Our dissatisfaction with our situations was the same but he had the guts to be proactive about it. It’s not that’s it too late to drop out either. I quite like the idea of the sunk cost fallacy, so you’d think that I’d just bite the bullet already. But I can’t.

 

Instead, I am trying to get my life in some kind of order. I’m trying to figure out what I want to do. Everything seems like a bigger problem than it actually is if you let those thoughts ruminate around in your head for too long. So I’m choosing to believe that everything will work out in the end. I might be wrong, but it’s better than being constantly stressed out about it.

 

Posted By Jayesh Fernando read more

What’s that sound? It’s the voice in my head telling me to drop out (1)

Apr
09

I struggled thinking about how I wanted to approach this topic.

 

Option 1 – I write about it in a way that is me deflecting from something that might be a real problem with random musings that probably aren’t funny but make me do that “exhale forcefully from your nose” kind of laugh.

Option 2- I treat it seriously and open myself up so people can have an insight into my thoughts. That is not fun for a person known for his lack of emotion (see my previous blog post about me congratulating my burglar (it still counts as link economy if I link to my own writing, right Ian?))

 

So the natural conclusion to that was that I write both. This is the first one.

 

 

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Why don’t I care more that I was robbed?

Dec
10

I remember the day well. I had just got home after many hours of not listening in my lectures. All I wanted to do was relax by watching an episode of Seinfeld. Sadly, that was not to be. The previous night my PS4 had been stolen, and in my morning rush out the door, I hadn’t realised. And I do understand that technically it’s a burglary and not a robbery but “being robbed” sounds catchier, so that’s why it says that in the title. Maybe it’s clickbaiting but so what? I can’t imagine my burglar is going to come out of hiding to sue me for defamation, so I reckon I’ll be fine.

It’s closing in on two months now since that happened. I’m still PS4-less. The guy is still out there in the wild, evading arrest. But I’m not actually that bothered. It’s not something that has been weighing on my mind. Despite what it says on the picture above, my heart is still intact (that’s only partially true, but that’s a longer story for another time). So yeah, my shit being taken hasn’t really affected me. But it should have, right? Why don’t I care more?

I have a few theories.

 

1.       I’m too emotionally inept to care.

It’s fair to say that I’ve been called emotionally distant. I’m beginning to realise that that might be bad. I generally don’t feel strongly towards that many things. Even then, you’d think this would probably be an exception; but it’s not. The reason I find it hard to complain too much about this situation is because a lot worse could have happened. A man was in my house in the middle of the night and nobody got hurt. In my book, that’s a result. Literally the next morning, I opened my front door and saw police tape cordoning off the road ahead. A young couple had been stabbed, no more than a minute walk away from where I live.

I should be worried that such a thing would happen in such close proximity to me. But I’ve heard and seen incidents like that with enough regularity that I’m largely desensitised to it. Medway currently has top-billing in Kent in both the stabbing and burglary categories. Talk about an impressive double-whammy. I’m very aware that it’s not the safest place to be, and it’s something that I’ve taken on board and then moved on from. Because you have to. I know that if I’m walking back late at night on my own, I might just cop a knife to the gut. If you’re not prepared for that, then Gillingham probably isn’t the place for you. It might be bleak, but I think it’s just realism with a dash of my own-brand apathy towards life thrown in for good measure.

All of that is to say, if I don’t care about potentially bleeding out in a place that might be the closest thing to hell that I’m ever going to experience, then is a stolen PS4 that big of a deal?

 

2.       My anger has been redirected towards the police.

Let’s get this out of the way from the outset. Medway police are not good. Not in my eyes, at least.

When I noticed the PS4 was missing, I rang them straight away. I was on hold for about an hour. When I finally got through, I gave a quick statement which the operator responded to with “We’ll try to get there as soon as we can”.  To me, that meant that I should stay at home until they arrived, because they could come over at any point. Turns out, what the police actually meant was “We don’t give a shit, we’re not coming to your place”.

It’s hard to feel angry towards a burglar that I knew no specifics about, but the police, by wasting my time, had given me a tangible target to be pissed at. But I normally try to give people the benefit of the doubt. As described before, Medway is like a real-world version of Gotham City, so of course the police were going to be incredibly busy. However, my empathy for their job disappeared when I went down to the station to give a statement and I realised how much of a mess they are.

It felt like I had stumbled into a workplace sitcom about the incompetency of the Medway police force. First, they told me that the person who was supposed to question me was an hour behind on her interviews. After spending 15 minutes looking for another member of staff to take over, I overheard them talking about potentially postponing my appointment, even though I was sitting in front of them. Eventually, a policeman came out and said he was there to interview me, to the great surprise of the others. But he was just as useless as the rest. He chose to conduct my interview in a break room. There were interview rooms free, but they were locked and obviously it would have been too much effort to grab some keys. That might sound like I’m being a bit harsh on him, but he really didn’t want to do any extra work. I asked him if the police were going to come and look at the CCTV footage from my building. His response? “Well, the thing is, we would have to confiscate the system and spend time looking at it, which would be quite a hassle, so it’s probably better that you do it and tell us if you see anything.”

I tried to spin the narrative into me being like Batman: working to fight for justice when the police couldn’t do enough. But in reality, they were too lazy to do their job properly and I was their lackey. I still did it though. I spent hours at a security system, trawling through footage until I found the burglar. And his face was clear as day. So clear in fact, that the police immediately recognised who it was upon being sent the footage. The detective on the case told me he’d be arrested within 24 hours.

That was over a month ago.

 

3.       I have a strange level of admiration for my burglar.

Ok, I’m not saying all thieves should be respected but I think mine deserves a bit.  Hear me out. Being a thief is no easy job, and because it’s quite high risk, I imagine that they normally plan to be in and out of a place as quick as possible. This is what makes my burglar special. After breaking in, he decided that all his sneaking around had really worked up an appetite. Bear in mind, my flat is the furthest point in my building from any kind of exit. There is no quick escape here. But to my guy, toast and noodles was too tempting. He stayed for over 20 minutes, before strolling out the flat at a leisurely pace: a black sack with my PS4 in one hand, a slightly-burnt piece of toast in the other. Off he disappeared out the front door, into the night, never to be apprehended by police (as of yet).

I can’t tell whether he’s just an idiot who got lucky or the world’s most relaxed person. Either way, it’s such a baller move that all I can do is hold my hands up and say fair play to him. Whenever I tell people that he whipped himself up something to eat during the burglary, they always laugh. I don’t blame them; the whole thing is ridiculous. He came for the expensive goods and stayed for some food. It sounds more like a Saturday Night Live sketch than it does real life.

That’s why I can’t take it seriously. Or maybe I just like to see people beating the system. Sure, it doesn’t feel great that it was at my expense, but his display that night showed he deserved his good fortune. In my eyes, he should be given a medal for exhibiting bravery in the face of peril. But since that's unlikely, I suppose my PS4 will have to do.

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Ricky Gervais’ “dead baby” joke: Where is the line in comedy?

Apr
08

Recently, Ricky Gervais came under fire for making a joke about a dead baby. For a couple who lost their infant son last July, this caused them distress, leading to them to walk out of the show. In the backlash against him, there were people claiming that it’s not something that should ever be joked about. This begs a larger question; what can’t be spoken about in comedy?

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My opinion is just as important as the Golden Globes

Jan
11
 

Jimmy Fallon really dropped the ball with his hosting of the Golden Globes this year, because if they’re not fun, then what’s the point in them? It's not like I take their award giving seriously.

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