What gets up your nose? Your index finger probably! But apart from that, everyone has pet hates. Usually they just bubble away under the surface - you live with them and get on with life, but sometimes, well, you can't hold them in any longer.
Xenophobia. I hate that. That's the fear of foreigners. It also mutates into intolerance, racism and bigotry. People who are immigrants are the natural target of the bigot. Do you really expect someone from another country to be exactly the same as you? If you are born somewhere else, speak a different language and have your own religious views then of course you might seem a little different to an outsider. Of course, I fully support the idea that if you want to live somewhere then you should make an effort to learn the language.
America, Australia, Canada and many other countries have original inhabitants that were there a long time before those countries were settled by immigrants. Did we stop speaking English? Did we ignore all the traditions and cultures of our original countries? Did we adopt new religions? I don't think so.
Let me say, however, that illegal immigration is a completely separate and complex topic. Maybe I'll rant about that one another day. The line between being a humanitarian and just throwing open the border gate is blurry at best.
Religion quite often gets right up my nose as well. I can make my own decision thanks very much. Don't knock on my door selling your particular brand of faith with your kids and parents in tow. I'll be polite because it is the right thing to do but really, that is something I find offensive. I have many friends who are religious and I respect that. They made their decision, and although I just don't get it, I'm happy for them to get on with it. I have some good friends who all have a strong faith. I can have rigorous discussion with them about religion and none of them see me as an outreach opportunity. I like that.
Lastly, on a slightly lighter note, "The Biggest Loser" really pushes my buttons. There is no way that any of them got that fat without significant effort. It takes a lot of TV, cakes and pies. So, why should we glorify them? I am always impressed when someone makes an effort to lose some weight or make their lifestyle more healthy - that's great. But making it into a TV event is just wrong. Anyone can lose weight if they train all day and are forced to eat the right things. But life isn't about that. For everyone else, being healthy is a choice and something that needs to become part of your daily routine, not a spectator sport. I like the Billy Connolly diet - so simple, but for most people, quite effective; "eat less, move more".
So, those are my views. Of course, yours could and probably should vary. As long as you had a bit of a think then that's cool. If you skipped to the end looking for a song that's fine as well. Self-censorship is an important part of living in the digital age.
It would be unlike me to leave you all without a piece of music. This track was one of the first of my songs of the week and is never deleted from the iPod. Listen to the lyrics, they have a LOT to say.
The Proclaimers - Scotland's Story (live) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y67ZTTRzqVk
Lastly, if for some reason Craig and Charlie Reid (The Proclaimers) stumble across this post then it really is time for a live album - please??
That's it. Rant off.
Comrade Rob ;-)