The problem about being an adult is that to maintain some form of balance in life and ensure that the old grey matter does not begin to atrophy, it is advisable to participate in some form of Self-Improvement. The power of the Internet and availability of free sources of Self-Improvement contained thereon has created many opportunities to fill your boots with exciting information and learned thoughts.
I reflected on this with a work colleague on a significantly higher pay grade than me who showed me how he was using his IPad to stream self-improvement clips on topics as diverse as corruption in sub Saharan Africa to alternative models for parenting.
I cooed with admiration of the source of Delphic inspiration he had come across which was genuinely impressive. I kept quiet though on a similar font of knowledge which I had downloaded from the Academy of Zombie Survival and listened to that very morning for the first time. While it will not change my life, it did make me reflect on topics as diverse as do gay people make good Zombies (I gather the problem is they do a lot of flouncing), a particularly disturbing Youtube group called "Zombie go boom" and reflections on a heavy implement recently acquired for disabling Zombies. They were all preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse. One referred to this as the Zombie "pot of lipstick", which I took to be the same, with a little bit of rouge and a body to die for, which of course they had.
It was a unique view on life (or more properly on living death) made all the more refreshing by the fact that the more vocal of the members of the Academy appeared to live in the West Country.
The problem with Self-Improvement is it is all very grown up. I have great admiration for grown up friends and colleagues who read "The Economist" for instance but when I try I start with enthusiasm before grinding to a dead stop after two or three articles. There are not enough laughs, no gossipy articles about celebrities. The journalism is first rate but I am essentially a little shallow and the times I pick up "The Economist" make me conclude that I am intellectually inferior to those who consider "No Economist, No comment". To make matters worse, I gather there is an App for the IPad which will read "The Economist" to you. For me, this would only work if it was read by Mariella Frostrup, husky and full of raw sex appeal or Ruth Archer from "The Archers" with her long Geordie vowels suggesting she would try anything. The reality is a little more Dalek-esque.
For me, it is "No Economist, No problem" now please pass me "Hello" Magazine so I can see how Kim Kardashian looks after her latest re-spray while being photographed naked with Mr West (Kanye as opposed to the bloke whose name is on tinned Salmon).
Self-Improvement is possible if you have the capability to remember what day of the week it is or even care. With me, this is not guaranteed. So, the benefit of reading a book on Emmanuel Kant as I return from work may be negated if my consciousness cannot get beyond my occasional view that I work with a bunch of Kants.
I find myself drawn back to Zombie survival. There is a simplicity of objective for the Academy and that is to be respected. "Zombie goes boom" does what it says on the tin (although I would not recommend it to the faint hearted) and you would not want to see the tin once they have finished with it. Alternative models of parenting may fall away if ones' children lurch awkwardly towards you with dark eyes, pale complexions and blood dripping from their mouths before ripping your heart out and eating it. There are transferable skills in preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse. The Academy may come across as West Country weirdoes, but they could be right. Brothers and Sisters - we should prepare.