Dangerous Game

If the National Football Team progress pass the group stages in the World Cup, I can already see a reckoning coming. Those of us who accommodate the interests of others, without getting upset or judgemental, will find themselves watching others fight over passion.ย It is already beginning: the polite reminders that ‘not everybody is the same’ and ‘perhaps what I’m watching is more interesting than your mob mentality entertainment’ will undoubtedly escalate to mutes and petty spats, followed by arguments over what people can stick on their own timelines.

I’m going to support my National Side (as I have every four years) and that is not going to change.ย Those paying attention on my feed will grasp my love of football, despite the fact I don’t follow a team. I love listening to games on the radio, which is as much (normally) as can be coped with. Watching England on TV is roughly akin to torture.ย When the winning goal went in last night, I was in the bathroom.ย It was too stressful to be anywhere else.

What Twitter does best, and that has always been the case, is link people together whilst watching events.ย Whether this is a football game or a niche music band, it allows a shared, participative experience to take place when one is alone.ย You can feel part of a collective whole whilst stuck in the bathroom. It gives those of us who have issues with large groups or social situations where you can’t trust yourselfย the vital ability to experience that moment, and it to be valid whilst doing so.

On the flip-side, it makes everybody capable of not only having an opinion over that same experience, but the confidence to challenge validity of others’ participation. Of course, that opinion doesn’t need to be shared, but if you’ve spent all day wading through people’s terror at their own existence, being buffeted by horror over child internment camps and the subjugation of minorities wondering how they’ll survive the rest of the year… there are going to be flash-points.

heknows

Eventually, you’re going to disagree with someone.ย How that works out isn’t all about you, either, but if the other person matters and you’re smart enough to grasp you could make things worse by pointing out more contention? You don’t do it.ย That’s the key, and that’s why last night I made a generic, non-specific point. The people I could have targeted should now know what to expect from me: it can be their choice as to how they react to this. I know certain people will mute and come back, some will leave, and for a couple this love of football will become a great way to pick a fight.

Except, I’m not playing that game any more. If you’d like a fair, adult discussion on football, or how ‘sportsball’ is a pejorative term, I’m utterly there. If I make disapproving noises over things I don’t like, then there is an acceptance that by doing so there will be consequences.ย If you wonder why I stopped talking about certain subjects, it has nothing to do with ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ and everything around knowing which people will accommodate reasoned discussion, and who should be left well alone. As a wise computer once typed: the only way to win is not to play.

Sometimes, you make things better by doing nothing.

Hello Hello

This week has become rather important for a lot of reasons. A number of these cannot be spoken about (as yet) but once the processes are complete, that will change. For today, however, I have daughter here after an extremely torrid week abroad and husband after a weekend where he couldn’t walk more than about six steps without someone admiring his bike. I’ve almost managed to clear the largest pile of washing that’s ever existed in the house, and (once my writing duties are done) the Gym is already calling.

Having comprehensively established there is no such thing as a body detox, my regime when starting a new exercise programme is lots of water and religious calorie counting. I’ll be taking the RideLondon46 training quite seriously too starting today, with at least five days a week involving some time on a bike.I am rather looking forward to a focus on exercise and not much else, with the free time dedicated to writing and preparing written stuff for awards, bursary’s and contests.

gagaarrogance.gif

It is going to be a bit me-focused this week as a result, for which I apologise in advance.

Goodbye

Normally today I’d not post, but because Eroica effectively starts tomorrow morning for me and ends Sunday night, I’m suspending all my ad hoc content until then. The scheduled stuff is being put in place for the weekend later and after that, you’ll get updated via Social media.

See you when its all over.

Torn

It has always been the plan, as money allowed, to get a bunch of kick-ass artists to create self-portraits for the top-left hand corner of this website. Fortunately I know a lot of people plying their trades online, so it is literally the cash holding me back. The first of these was by @Goobijen and is now replaced by a piece produced by @byelacey. I’ve got one more in the pipeline and once that’s completed, we’ll crack on finding some new people to draw me.

I am beyond happy with the new header. Once there are enough, we’ll start rotating them on a monthly basis.

Strange Days

My brain has adjusted to a lot of change over the last few weeks. Sleep patterns are the best they’ve ever been, insofar as I am actually getting decent, useful rest. Yesterday I walked the short way to the Gym and did a HIIT Run session on the treadmill for the first time in forever. Instead of giving up when things got hard, it was pushed through, and the benefit this morning is great for body but not so awesome for brain.

The extensive To Do List is written down so, once finished, a line can be run through it and everything gets moved on. There’s a bunch of stuff from yesterday that never got completed, mostly because of not being focused. That’s been amended now and so, if you will excuse me, this becomes another ‘just shut up and get on with what matters’ blog.

The more they occur, the better life is becoming.

Truth or Dare

Unless you have been living under a rock the last couple of years, it is abundantly apparent that ‘freedom’ has become a hill that many millions of people are still willing to die on. Of course, we don’t have World Wars any more that liberate the oppressed from tyranny. The Internet is our battlefield, enemy an interesting juxtaposition of a past where the bad guys were a lot easier to identify. Let’s agree that liberals hate the conservatives, and that same is true on the other side: progress stifles monopolies, multi-faceted freedoms makes policing an increasing challenge In the middle, the Judicial System have their work cut out keeping everything balanced.

Really, very little has changed since Roman times.

The key variable in all of this is us. Us lowly peons are suddenly party to government decision making on a daily basis. We have the opportunity to challenge experts and those in authority in a manner that is, quite frankly unprecedented. Of course there’s still a group of people who make dick jokes and fuck about because me me me I’m the most important thing on the Internet AAAAAAAAAAAA. This proves, if it were needed, that even when presented on a plate with salad an opportunity to change the world, some people would rather wank in public and not care.

I’m hearing the word curation a lot more lately, as platforms open themselves up to everybody’s input without making a simple, and quite logical assumption based on how Humanity has always functioned.ย There is ALWAYS someone who turns up to ruin it for everybody. Unless you make your social media platform a closed entity, that requires people to log in and register and then abide by a set of rules which you will robustly enforce on an equal level regardless of infraction, there’s going to be trouble.ย Facebook’s inability to be either consistent or transparent in this regard is going to dog them in the Western world for some time, but until that indignation is truly worldwide, it won’t matter one iota.

The problem with having curated content however is that you need to believe those in charge are truly looking after your interests.ย I still have reservations over Blizzard’s handling of women and minority groups in their games, but it is apparent we’re light years ahead of what was true a decade ago (you’ll need to read the Blizzard Watch article I linked in the tweet for context to this). Your annoyance with rate of change will vary, of course, and listening to people with mental illness over the last week berating those who don’t have a fucking clue what it feels like to live in darkness is a case in point. You may not like the way people are talking, but it is a start. Sometimes, you don’t get the beautiful, well-lit and brilliantly narrated explanation that’s craved, it’s a brick to the face instead.

Curation is something I’ve practised on Twitter for years, and it becomes increasingly easier over time to spot the wankers almost instantly. However, now there’s a new area of the landscape that never needed tending to which is beginning to require attention: the Entitled.ย The demographic you might believe that inhabits this space isn’t nearly as white and male as news articles would have you believe either. There’s a lot of people, of either sex, who could do with a reality check. However, the biggest single issue remains undimmed: what about me?ย Why am I not important, or special, or taking your attention away from other people who are clearly not as smart, clever or hardworking as I CLEARLY AM.

Arrogance is a dangerous emotion. Assumption is even worse, because your existence, like it or not, is VERY small compared with the bigger picture. On most days, you’ll just get by but if you’re dumb enough to post without thinking it through, or get obsessed or fixated with one subject and nothing else? Social media shows up the flaws in us all, often without realisation. If the smart people can watch you for months and realise that you’ve got them muted, don’t be surprised if they leave. However, you might want to think about why it happened, because those revelations can be really helpful long-term.

Idunno.gif

What worries me most is that we’ll all be looking back on this decade ten years from now and wishing that lessons had been learnt far sooner than is currently the case. Freedom has consequences, and if individuals continue to fight so passionately to maintain their versions thereof, there’s a war coming that could make the ones before look quite simple and pedestrian. I keep reading about the historians and economists predicting the fall of current Civilisation, but I’d argue it’s already taking place.

What will then rise in its ashes is what should be concerning everyone.