The regression of Darryl Sloan

Something is going on with me, and has been for a few months now. Some kind of … regression. It started when I moved house, although you could argue that my earlier purchase of an old Commodore Amiga computer was part of the same “syndrome.” When I moved house, I thought, Hey, let’s try life without the internet. Then I thought, Let’s try life without TV. And you know what? I like it (although I hate the way the TV license people keep sending me those OFFICIAL WARNING letters; boy, am I going to look smug when they finally send the inspector round).

Just lately, I’ve been thinking, Could I live without a car? After all, why shell out the guts of a grand per year on insurance, tax, MOT, repairs, fuel, when all I’m using the vehicle for 99% of the time is a two-mile trip across town to work? A decade ago, before I owned a car, I thought nothing of going to work on my bicycle. But saving money’s not what this is about; the main thing holding me back from selling my car is a strong desire to buy a canoe, and there’s just no way to bring a canoe to the water without a car.

But maybe the canoe is just another part of this regression. Maybe I won’t be content until I’m living in a log cabin beside a river, deep in some Irish forest. A while ago I decided, for some reason, to grow my hair long, and I haven’t been do a barber in nearly half a year. I’m also sitting here with almost two weeks of beard growth. Heck, I’m turning into Grizzly Adams!

But seriously – regression? Pah! This is really about stepping outside of the trappings of your culture and giving yourself permission to be different. I got rid of the internet because it was a bad influence on my life. I got rid of TV because 90% of broadcasting sucks, and the other 10% I can rent later on DVD. I’m growing my hair long because … well, because I’m a 1980s freak and I remember the days of glam rock (no, I won’t be putting on make-up). Being unmarried means I can have total control over my home environment, and I’m trying to create an atmosphere that is more conducive to creativity and holiness. When you take away the TV and the internet, it doesn’t leave behind an empty space that can only be filled with boredom; it allows you the space to do something better with your time. So far, so good.

9 thoughts on “The regression of Darryl Sloan

  1. PRAEst76

    Oh I agree wholeheartedly. It’s not regression. Rather refusing societies insistance that we need cars and TVs. I plan to learn to drive at some point mainly because it look better on a CV, but I’ve never needed a car. I can cycle around this small island and I enjoy walking. For anything else I can bum lifts off friends.

    TV is mostly shite. My moods also don’t allow me to always watch the few things I do like when they are on so there is DVD and the evils of b*t*o*r*n*.

    I also decided to resist the demands of others for me to become more civilized and have refused the scissor for quite some time… except for romantically detaching a lock for exchange with my girlfriend.

    However… 80s appreciation is all well and good but if you grow a grizzly-adams mullet we’ll have to have you shot.

    You never did show me a photo of you with the Mr T trim…

  2. Darryl Sloan

    The Mr T haircut! There’s a blast from the past. I actually don’t have one single photo of me with that crazy Mohawk; my friend Graham was the man with the camera. I usually see him once a month or thereabouts, so next time I’ll ask him to find me the pictures. Stay tuned. 🙂

  3. Eddie Mullan

    Yep, I know how you feel- Getting away from it too, I would recommend. You sound like you would like to travel- I went to the states for a month on my own and went snowboarding. rode the railways from chicago to miami, all the way through Philly, Washington, NYC, New England, up to Boston.

    I think we all eventually grow tired of advertising and people’s opinions and webforums and all that- and revert to primal behaviour to escape.

    Time to watch Fight Club again?

  4. Darryl Sloan

    I do have a bit of a travel bug, although I hardly ever take holidays abroad. I could almost picture myself at some future date making some whimsical decision to sell my house and go nomad, roaming from country to country, living off my savings and taking odd jobs, experiencing the world. I am reminded of John Travola’s words to Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Ficton: “You want to be a bum.”

  5. Jeffrey Allen Davis

    My family doesn’t have cable television. With a two-year-old in the house, we have to be very careful about what is available. I’m a 31-year-old man who has the Dora theme song memorized and can impersonate Archibald Asparagus and Mr. Nezzer from Veggietales. Oh, and I like Joe as a host of “Blue’s Clues” better than Steve. Yep, I’m definitely a father.

    BTW, what are the “Official Notices” that you are getting? Is it something that they only do in Ireland?

  6. Darryl Sloan

    In the UK (which incorporates Northern Ireland), every household that has a television is legally obliged to purchase what’s called a “TV license” every year for around £?140 per year. As far as I know, the main reason for this charge is because our two BBC channels are not subsidised with advertising. It’s nice to be able to watch programmes without breaks, but unfortunately it only applies to 20% of the channels we receive. Overall, the situation sucks. I’ve heard from a friend of mine who has recently emigrated to America (Missouri, would you believe?) that advertising has reached epidemic levels on American TV.

    We’re required to pay a TV license if we have any form of appliance containing a TV tuner. That means, if I buy a fancy laptop computer which just happens to have a built-in tuner, I’m required to pay a TV license even though I may never plug it into an aerial. I realise I’m a bit of a unique case, though. There can’t be many computer junkies who never watch telly.

  7. Eddie Mullan

    Yeah, in the States it’s like there’s a million channels, but mostly, it’s adverts. haha! Kinda like in The Fifth Element the wimpy policeman singing along to the advertsing jingles radio station.. It’s pretty accurate!

  8. Darryl Sloan

    Hey, Adam, I know you’re joking, but stranger things have happened. I’m getting more and more aware about how much we’re wrecking the planet … but I won’t be planting explosive charges on oil-rigs any time soon.

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