Rednecks

I keep sabotaging my own following stats: it’s ridiculous, if you happen to be the person online thinking that 10k followers suddenly makes you ‘all that’ the LAST THING you wanna do is be picking out the robots. They’re the ones who don’t start petty spats with you, or make sock accounts to taunt your stupidity in unfollowing them. Except, as the idea of being a digital curator becomes increasingly attractive, it has to be done.

What this process also does is hold up to the light those who are following these type of accounts, and whether they themselves are as real as bios and postings would suggest. Of the people following the account I think’s a robot, three I’ve interacted with. The fourth is also posting very much on US time, and therefore I really never get to see them. However, their feed is muted, and so today I unfollowed.

The reason why I muted them is one of the reasons why stuff has to change.

thatsit

It is abundantly apparent that for more and more people, Twitter’s just an adjunct of their promotional material. That’s not why I’m here: it’s a living, breathing writing tool, that is increasingly useful to plug into. That means being able to rely on interaction, and when you’re talking to robots? The responses are not nearly as organic as I’d like. Therefore, it’s time to start being objective over who’s listening.

It will undoubtedly mean that I’ll kop some abuse. That’s not a problem. If I am not confident in my assertions, they don’t get shared online, simple as that. In the Kingdom of Dick Moves, being a dick now and again is clearly more than acceptable behaviour for some, right up until someone else calls out your stupid and you need to justify your actions. I have no problem being comfortable, pointing a finger.

If people were really forced to earn each and every new follower on merit…

dominate

It’s a twat eat dick world out here, people. I can be objective, polite and really not give a fuck, all at the same time. Those who know me well understand this is a massive lie to boot and I do care, very deeply about everything. However, when all is said and done, you have rules by which to live. If you cannot be true to yourself, really, what is even the point in the first place?

You can call me arrogant and pushy, but it doesn’t stop my quiet, unswerving desire to make the spaces I inhabit better for everybody, not just the mouthy dicks who think they’re all that. If you have nothing to hide, being transparent is a really easy ask. That’s the key: if you’re comfortable and confident with what needs to be done, some random gomer should never derail you from the path.

Once the robots start posting bios, then we really are all in trouble.

Different Class

I am behind, but only notionally. It’s an indicator of progression that I realised this yesterday and have therefore made today a stay at home one, with all the stuff that needs to be done ‘outside’ tackled tomorrow. Assuming I can edit this pamphlet submission to my liking and have that plus another piece ready for husband to look at this evening, everything else is eminently completable.

Much has improved this month, and undoubtedly exercise is at least in part responsible. However, there is a downside, which doesn’t matter so much now when I’m busy, but will really begin to bite when I’m not. After all, part of the wider plan last year was to drag my sorry arse out and become more sociable. It was working very well too, right up until yesterday when everybody appears to have decided they’ve had enough.

I can’t make anyone else like exercise as much as I do right now, that’s not how this works. I also get that these people have lives which are not comparable to mine. Trying to fit everything in becomes an increasingly precarious ask, and as a result it might be time at the end of the month to rethink my exercise position in terms of what is done where. I may well go down to two classes a week instead of three.

The rest therefore can be done on a bike, in the mornings instead of evenings. It occurs to me I need to set a notional goal for February as has been the case in January, and it might be a plan to do so now rather than panic and scrabble about to do so the week before, especially as classes are organised so far in advance. In fact, whilst I’m having that crucial third cuppa, that’s exactly what I’ll do.

Time to move exercise to the next level.

Look Around the Corner

Welcome to the first blog post for several months that was organised the day before. It’s rather satisfying to have the ideas and then the chance to pre-plan. It doesn’t happen very often either; that needs to change. We’re in the planning stage :D Today, therefore, I want to talk to you about variations in experience we encounter in our lives and how the perception of that is a really, REALLY big deal.

My discovery of exercise as freedom was not a precise moment to be pinned down and glorified. If truth be told, it happened over a quite long period of time. I’ve referred to certain moments as epiphanic, because they were, but only recently did it become apparent that this has happened with other people too. Key moments that changed their existence had the same, life-altering effects.

Finding faith does not have to be a religious experience.

surprisedgurl

Increasingly I am encountering those for whom religion really does matter an awful lot. I try and have the same conversation with them all: when did you know your deity of choice existed within you? Each time, listening to the person involved, the passion and dedication for religious faith that I also possess with exercise is apparent. If they are to respect me and my beliefs, that belief must exist both ways.

I understand the need to respect choice, even if it is counter to my own opinion. What never used to exist before was a grasp of what underpins that: now some does, communicating generally is considerably easier. Mass participative culture only works if you are prepared to accommodate the diversity of those around you. The ignorance that prevents it, wilful or otherwise, is where so many issues now lie.

To become a kinder person, something of yourself has to be sacrificed.

dontlikeyou

There’s a lot of people out there who make a career out of their Difference, whatever that may be. It might be religion, or science fiction, or cross-dressing, perhaps weightlifting… all these things are potentially niche in the modern world. All those spheres of difference have their own hubs, groups, forums, meeting places, celebrities… and if you’re all in the same groups that means at some point people will be outside, looking in, likely being less than kind to your life choices.

When different becomes dangerous of course is twofold: either someone inside your group decides they don’t like another sub-group and attempts to remove them, or society as a whole points a finger and says ‘no, you are now socially unacceptable’ which is where we are now. Would the world be better without all the alt right and alt left extremists, climate change deniers, xenophobes and colonialists..?

Once they were gone… who would be next up?

Is utopia ever possible when humanity is unable to deal with it’s own inequality?

watchingyou

Well, you won’t know until you try. The whole process of acceptance and tolerance is not happening when you’re mocking people you think aren’t as good as you are, and a cursory glimpse into my timeline shows that this is happening with increasing frequency. If you keep giving airtime to the idiots, even if it is to show just how fucking stupid they are, that makes you just as bad. No really, it does. If you want to be the person who’s learning in this World of Utter Fucking Stupidity, there are ways and means.

Listening is a good start, thinking more about what you post also helps. After that…? Everybody needs a reason to exist. Maybe, if you’re sitting here and reading this, wondering what exactly is it that I’m supposed to be doing with my life, this day when everyone is supposed to be at their lowest could be the one you choose to try and discover your real self.

The only what you’ll ever know what you could become, is to try.

Enough is Enough

Somebody tweeted some vile sensationalist rhetoric into my timeline this morning under the auspices of ‘comment’ and I was very nearly sick in my breakfast. Other people’s lives are nothing to do with me. The particular story is so far away from personal life and experiences that even talking about it from distance just feels wrong. Speaking as someone who is making a lot of effort not to be confrontational right now… just, no.

Encouraging people to be better is a tough ask. Most don’t really care, especially if it has the potential to disrupt their own lives, and in so many cases things like this could. I made a little speech yesterday to a group of people about how we can try and unlock the door inside people’s minds behind which their true potential lies. It might also be a place that they want to keep very much closed. That was me, until very recently.

Trying to understand how to help people is an even tougher ask.

smokey_cat

There’s a complex set of circumstances that takes place, however, that I am slowly beginning to understand. When you realise that your life is lacking something, this is normally the point where a previously difficult idea or unexpected concept has the most chance of successfully altering your viewpoint. However, the key is not what is presented to you as salvation, but whether you’re prepared to accept it or not.

Nothing will ever change unless you want it to. This is the issue I saw other people coming back to yesterday, watched groups discuss and grasp because pretty much everyone else in the room with me had accepted their shortcomings and knew that to ‘get better’ was nobody else’s job but theirs. There has to be an acceptance not only of guilt, but culpability. This is undoubtedly the hardest task of all.

This will not sit well with some of what I’m about to be taught in seven days.

stopwhining

Yesterday’s Time to Talk training was Events Management, which with an actual Events Manager on my table was a pretty academic ask. Next week however is the simply-titled ‘Social Contact’ training, required by anyone organising an event with the public if you are a Champion. Part of me already knows this is where I’ll struggle. Its where the most work will need to be done.

This is why I’m here, in essence, to learn how to interact with people that frighten me. This is the practice required to be able to become a more effective communicator. It is not easy, and I will struggle: last night I was mentally exhausted. It is not just body that needs training and conditioning, when all is said and done. There are other, just as important tasks to be completed.

If one mind’s stubborn door can be unlocked, then this is progress.

The Real Thing

Star Wars, despite its title, is not an accurate depiction of the battles between the Rebel Alliance and the Imperial Empire. They are undoubtedly cyphers around the underlying  narratives of love, devotion and loyalty. I also reckon George Lucas is a Lover, and not a Fighter as a result. I know there’s been a lot of muttering about The Mandalorian, many of them based around the concept being too much western and not enough sci-fi.

This is the first time I’ve seen at least that someone’s pulled the military tactician card. Of course, they’re applying 21st Century Tactical Ability to a show that’s… you know, set in space, where doing the exact opposite of what happens on Earth could easily be considered as military genius. The fact someone’s applying their labels to this approach is increasingly where we are in fiction: this is the state of play.

Communication is becoming a Problem.

I wonder, is this statement is blanket, or does it depend on the person speaking. I don’t have any more context, just this one line, which I feel needs a bit more meat on its bones, but frankly at this stage I’d feel genuinely afraid to approach the author. If we were in the same room, face to face, that would not be the case. Instead, as this is Social media and I am not a mutual, it remains a retweet and no more.

The means by which I am able to learn about diversity right now is dependant on quite a strict set of rules as a result: mostly, I listen. I am often afraid that what is said and done could not be interpreted as the support I’m trying to show but in fact the exact opposite. I’ll look superior, or act as if that’s how things ought to be, and that’s why quantifying a lot of queries right now is becoming something of a worry.

How do you ask questions you never had until now without looking like an idiot?

A lot of it, of course, comes with time and patience. If I’d have waited and watched, this tweet would have appeared and given me context. Following this person, listening to their tweets should, in time, give a decent grasp of what it is they’re attempting to communicate. The biggest single issue with so many of us right now is not taking those vital moments to stop and think. The author, I’d say, is worth following too, if he was prepared to offer what was required for better comprehension.

The reality of life right now is that doing this, thinking through what we see and read becomes increasingly difficult on top of everything else being asked. Someone I really like unfollowed me overnight, and I’m fairly confident that my output over the last few weeks will have been the reason. It’s been political, controversial for some. I could ask for the real reason, it would be really easy.

However, I’m not sure I will end up liking what’s heard as a result.

I did that once. A person I really enjoyed reading, and interacting with, cut me off so suddenly that I had to ask why. That email is kept, printed out, as a salutary warning: sometimes, your heroes are the villains. The people who play a certain role because it keeps people interested are, in reality, nothing like what you wish they were. They end up knowing that what you are is not what they want in their lives.

Trying to work out the reason for that is pointless: it goes back to that word, ‘tolerance.’ Eventually they grasp that perhaps you don’t belong in their feed: too preachy, not fun enough, don’t get the point of the way they use their platform… because it is their platform. They are the main point of it. Everybody else is there because they allow them to be. Is it pedantry, or is it arrogance? Is there even a difference online?

It doesn’t matter. All that matters, in the end, is how it is said.

kindness

I read something yesterday that was amazed at how those who advocate kindness can then be so angry and combative when challenging other’s opinions. Passion, I realise, is not a good emotion to try and demonstrate in a text-based medium. Undoubtedly, people just look at you and decide you’re angry instead. So, if you want to communicate better in the modern world..? Learn how to make your points in 280 characters or fewer… 

Before you reply, consider the consequences of your words. Pedantry is becoming an art form. Everybody’s looking for that unique angle, when what really ought to happen is honesty. You can do it without starting a fight, if it’s done well, with thought and application. Most importantly, you can be kind and still make your point. It just takes more thought than many people can afford to spare online.

That’s what I need to work on going forward.

Sail Away

This record is broken, yet people keep playing it. That’s the stupid white fuckers who don’t grasp that there’s a problem here. It’s existed since… well, I reckon you could find lots of places where history shows up stupid white people for what they are. The one I enjoy the most is when Henry VIII decided to make his own religion because the Catholics refused to indulge his clearly massive male ego. 

White people trampled all over lots of places in the name of progress. The superiority complex of our ancestors was staggering, including ensuring their religion was more important than anything else the indigenous populations could provide. Stupid white people have caused a phenomenal number of historical flashpoints, and continue to do so, but it’s okay now because we put a diversity tick-box on our form.

Seriously, who are you people trying to fool?

elmo

Government is being run by people who look, walk and talk like racists. Large organisations are full of them. They turn up on TV shows and try and convince people that if they’re not racist, there’s obviously not a problem. That’s not how this works, it’s NEVER EVER worked like this. This is Social media assuming that they’re somehow speaking for people they’ve never met, interacted with or even tried to respect.

White people can’t see past the end of their streets, their Facebook groups, their own self-importance, and yet when challenged on their desire to improve the World for people other than themselves? We don’t need to. We’re not racist. We employ everybody, as long as they’re born in the UK. We have diversity, as long as it’s not foreign workers taking our jobs. Some of those immigrants are white too, so we can’t be racist, right?

I am, as a result, part of this problem. As of right now, that changes.

jokerhi

White people don’t get to say if they’re racist or not. That’s the job for those people who are having to put up with our shit, day in and day out. They are the ones WHO GET TO TELL US how fucking dire this all is and we get to listen and MAKE SHIT BETTER. That’s how this works. You work for improvement: read wider, find diverse voices, listen to the things that matter to them and PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF YOUR FUCKING DEITY OF CHOICE do not then assume you’re suddenly ‘not racist’ anymore.

That is not your pronouncement to make: on a TV show, on Twitter, wherever. You don’t get to say there isn’t a problem. Sorry, we all lost that right a very long time ago. If you wanna blame anyone, go do all that ancestry shit and work out which one of your white forefathers thought they were better than the rest of the fucking planet. They were wrong. We still are.

Until everyone accepts there’s a problem, this never goes away.

This country will remain racist as a result.

Imagination

Planning is everything, they say. All of us who wear these belts are in a social group together, via the proprietary app. Yesterday morning the class trainer took part in the 45 minute version, managing to pull up an impressive 30 minutes in red. Seeing this was hugely helpful: it meant there was potential to run well. I also fuelled with some intent, meeting protein goal at lunchtime, in one hit.

We’ve spoken about aerobic threshold before, last night was all about managing the anaerobic threshold: normally 85% of heart-rate or 75% oxygen intake. Going too far into yellow is tricky for me, because exhaustion has pretty much followed whenever it’s happened. However, stamina training which the last few weeks represents gave me an interesting plateau to run in, and I didn’t stop to ‘recover’ between transitions.

I was exercising before each new round of exercise was supposed to start, so heart-rate did not drop. This ended up not as a HIIT class, but an exercise in endurance. However, form dropped significantly, especially at the end, and if I tried to duplicate this as a run I severely doubt 42 minutes would be doable. What it does show however is that with the right conditions, I’m in a new place.

Question is, can I prove this to confirm that is in fact the case…?

gym_time

Not gonna lie, I’m tired this morning, in a way that means a nap will be scheduled later in the day. This is a new and interesting World I find myself within, and potential is not going to be squandered. Day 15’s cross on the back of my shirt for RED January will not just signify almost halfway in my journey, but will serve as the testament to not only hard work, but sticking to a healthy diet.

All this shit really does work when you put it together.