You Wear It Well

This week has changed the game plan. A lot of that has to do with knowing I’m not happy with other people’s handling of mass participative events as someone with historic anxiety issues. Forget for a moment about all the other potential mental complications involved in next week’s Ride London, it’s all about knowing I’m uncomfortable in this situation on my own. Decisions need to be made best on previous experience and best principles.

Taking both of these things into consideration, everything is going to be better off for the next couple of weeks without that pressure. Part of the issue before has been the misguided conception that by entering something, I am then obliged to see it through to the end. This is no longer about commitment or expectation. We have entered the realms of what matters to me, finally, for the first time in many decades. I say this is not a priority now. There are more important things to do.

Let’s get on with it.

A Change is Gonna Come

May was always going to be important for me. There is a LOT changing in my life, new skills and ideas coming to the fore, and this will be the month when that INFJ-T in my Twitter profile also comes into its own. Everyone has something they need to do away from their normal plans and routines. Advocacy is mine. I always tell myself you can’t change everything, but there are most definitely parts of the world that you can. This is the moment. This is my time.

If it can co-incide with a period of general growth and consolidation, so much the better. I have a 10km run and a 30-mile bike ride on closed roads to factor into the equation. There are some very important poetical events taking place too: my first ever legitimate book launch event of a poem in an anthology. I’ll be reading again with my favourite venue hosts, who are expanding into print over the Summer… and I’m involved :D

All things considered, this is going to be a month when everything changes. Once upon a time, I’d have viewed that with trepidation and fear: not any more. This is my future, slowly coming into view, and to be quite honest I would rather not have it any other way. Life is all about adapting to change and being mindful of how you must always be listening and growing. I never used to take stuff like this seriously, either. A lot has changed in 5 years.

Fuck You

We’re working well right now. I have lots of plans, but very few of them involve stressing about paying people to validate me. We have officially reached the ‘fuck this shit’ portion of the year and December is already being planned, and will be taken as Holiday, because honestly I have had enough of sending stuff to people and getting not even the acknowledgement of failure.

What is becoming increasingly apparent is how bigger forces than I are dealing with the change in focus: no longer looking totally inward, many are beginning to realise the true consequence of their actions, or in many cases complete inertia. The rules here remain predictably intractable.

It’s not your job to curate your content but other people’s to remove it if they don’t like what they hear. You can absolutely be critical of said content, but expecting people to change it is unacceptable as it is a) theirs and b) you need to respect the work. That ‘respect’ can mean constructive criticism, creating your own version of reality or indeed just rejecting the work completely and leaving. You don’t get to demand it changes.

I kopped so much grief as a Gaming writer on this stance. Gamers ‘have a right’ to demand change. If it doesn’t work, the Devs HAVE to fix it. No, really, they don’t. If they choose to because economically half the player base fucks off in protest? Different scenario. That’s not like a book or a TV show where you make the creative decisions and people just have to live with it, and do.

Entitlement has fucked so much of modern existence. It really has, and the people who fucked me up over it will never be forgotten as a result. I have a list of people that could be cited, confidently blaming for a number of mental stutters in the last decade. It’s easy to see how fandom attacks and warps the fabric of our daily existence.

Except, learning the value of moving on is something so many fail to do.

So, this is me, moving on. You were warned well in advance. Some old stuff is coming back, some other stuff going away for good. I’m tired of the assertion that you somehow have to preserve some level of content civility, or else people won’t listen. That’s bollocks, it really is. I’ve seen how people like Mona work. Her reach, her work ethic, her honesty.

This is the future more people should be aspiring to.

Waves

It was blustery as fuck, but the skies warmed my heart, even it the wind was enough to take my breath away. Came back with a handful of flotsam, and a river-worn piece of glass I’m tempted to set as a pendant. There’s going to be a lot of time spent here in the months that follow. A plan is already in place, going forward, to make this part of the landscape into a part of my existence.

Video is also locked into the outlook, as of this morning. There needs to be a bit of organising next: everything is still far too nebulous to be healthy. Next up in the ‘General Scheme of Things’ is taking video at the Estuary, but I’ll probably want a tripod and camera for that. Yeah, honestly I require some kind of proper direction and as it’s already Tuesday lunchtime and this is the first blog of the day?

Extract the digit.

All Together Now

It is becoming apparent that many of you operate in a WIN ONLY environment: that is, unless you have a loser, plus the obviously ecstatic victor, your Thing is not worth doing. You people have learnt nothing from the 52/48, clearly. This was, and will never be just about coming out on top. If you’ve never been a minority, or genuinely subjugated for the entirety of your existence, this shit never makes any sense.

That’s what it is, in effect: a load of bollocks. It wouldn’t matter if positions were reversed, with women as dominant sex on the planet. There’d still be a loser, because that’s how nature and evolution ensures we have to look after each other, because without both sexes there is no reproduction and the human race is extinct. Of course, it might not be long before sex will be irrelevant if science has its way…

Once reproduction is weaponized, nobody’s safe in the pecking order.

anyofthat

My husband this morning was marvelling at some piece of random video on Facebook where a bloke in a small car attacks another bloke in a bigger car, culminating in him driving into and ripping off an open driver’s door before exiting, finger aloft from his window. If this is the kind of shit blokes are inflicting on each other in the name of evolutionary supremacy, I want no part in your fucking stupidity.

It’s been happening since we all came out of caves, undoubtedly. That other bloke’s wearing a nicer fur than me, and he’s never cold. I’ll kill him, steal his fur and that attractive female he’s been hanging around with is free for me to claim. It only worked back then because most females were kept subjugated for a reason… then I write this and accept just how little has changed in human evolution.

Many of us are still in caves.

Today is always sobering, because giving women just one day will always be too much for some men. It’s the extra inch of rope that ties the planet closer to chaos. If women are allowed any freedoms, the World will end. Instead, of course, it is old white men who have strip-mined the planet, destroyed systems to support and help the most needy and exposed, and who continue to give no fucks about anybody except themselves.

At some point, the conceit will collapse, and one has to hope it happens before the world spontaneously combusts. Until then, if more of us acted as if every day was for everybody, including the people we detest, at least there’s be the chance of some improvement. The key, of course, is harmony. Thinking other people are less equal than you is not harmonious. It’s a lie, we see all of you twats doing just that.

Come out of the caves, then start learning how to be better human beings.

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.

Holiday

I didn’t post at all for two whole days. Here’s why.

View this post on Instagram

#365daychallenge Sunday, Tate Modern

A post shared by Sarah Reeson/Internet of Words (@internetofwords) on

There’s been some quite robust discussion in the house over what should happen at weekends. As a result, on Saturday and Sunday nothing was written as part of a plan. I’ve stated in other places that now writing is my job, there is requirement for alternate means to relax when that doesn’t happen. Saturday was gaming, Sunday was the Tate Modern. Both had their surprises.

I’ll write at length about Olafur Eliasson in the week, as his exhibition caused an unexpected anxiety attack. It’s a measure of my progress that didn’t utterly ruin the day. It also provided a surprising amount of material that I now wish to write about, so in that regard I’m very happy with the entire weekend’s exercise. If there was worry previously over being unable to be creative, this has greatly assuaged it.

I’ll be in a forest in a week, which is the holiday I’ve been looking forward to for a lot longer than was previously believed. There’ll be a lot of writing there, but all the real work will happen when I come back. Many things will be pulled from their spaces on hard drives to be re-written. I’m ready to do that now, and instead of using new stuff as contest entries, it’s going to be old things, re-imagined.

I’m surprisingly determined at what will be achieved.

Answers to Nothing

/points at new header.

This is a thing of awesomeness.

GO FOLLOW @QuelFabulous immediately. Honestly, you will not be disappointed by the content.

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I’ve come to a number of revelations this week: a smart Influencer would save each one up for a separate, damning series of posts, but I’m not here for your drive by fealty. Instead, it’s time to sum up the week in a series of five line paragraphs, just to prove that its possible. The biggest revelation, by some way, is that I don’t give a flying fuck about appearances any more. I’m here for the real members of humanity.

Asking people to give feedback based on what someone else perceives as an acceptable method of management is largely pointless. If you’re not prepared to engage in dialogue over the stuff others consider incorrect, your measurement system becomes redundant. There’s no point me turning up at the Members Forum with my list of issues, because it appears the majority of them are ingrained as company policy.

I have no desire to provide feedback any more, and its your fault.

doIlooklikeIcare

However, I do completely love the group of people I have pitched up within, and last night realised that the method of exercise has become secondary when compared to those taking part. Everybody is different, but they are all special and brilliant and therefore I will be printing and framing my Blaze poem for everyone who gets a mention for eternity in the verse. People need to know how much they matter.

They also need to understand that they are the arbiters of real, lasting change in their communities. Hopefully, by the process of inclusion, others will feel the desire to explore their own possibilities with more interest: how they operate under pressure, how they react to stress and confrontation. Kindness really does need to be the norm in more places, but only if people are prepared to listen to reason.

These changes matter far more than I first realised was the case.

reallyproperlyangry

You can be emotional and reasonable. It is possible to be angry and coherent: you don’t have to grab a woman by the throat to escort them out of a room. There is a lot to be said for understanding the significance of appropriate response, especially in contentious or difficult situations. However, if more people did their homework, it would be remarkably easy to spot the wankers in the room.

You can do that yourself: read people’s feeds and don’t just rely on other people’s responses to you. Check their followers, see what they’re ingesting as news and current affairs. Most crucially however understand that you can be different AND STILL GET ON, but it requires a level of give and take that most people simply aren’t prepared to offer any more.

Imagine what would happen if famous people read the feeds of their online champions and realised that sometimes, what you are given is not the whole truth.

schadenfreude

The truth is never exactly as you think it is.

King James

Halfway through my counselling; the paradigm has changed.

I wrote a Dear John letter this morning which has been put off for months, because tomorrow Activision Blizzard relaunch the game that started all this trouble in the first place and

nopenotdoingthat

yeah we’re absolutely done with hiding inside video games instead of dealing with issues head on. I fully accept the debt it paid to saving me back in 2009 and now, for everybody’s benefit it is high time to move forward. May you all enjoy the new stuff and if you want to do it all again from scratch go right ahead, but this is my reminder that this is not my personal reality any more.

That destiny lies elsewhere.

Tonight is a 55 minute Blaze with a pretty impressively cut disco hits soundtrack. I was allowed to hear it today as I photographed the PT and staff at the health club doing a 45 minute class for the Project which, quite frankly, I’d never EVER be able to do that well, even if I were super fit. It was very inspiring, and made for sober realisation. If I’d begun this a decade ago, how fit might I be now?

Of course, I’ll never know.

Also, I went to the Estuary today, and was reminded of a past that can no longer be ignored: further back than a decade, a VERY long way. We apologise for the interruption of normally scheduled tomfoolery as a result, because like it or not all this stuff’s gonna be sorted out one way or another.

What’s the worst that can happen?

Cantaloupe Island

Hey there Sunday. I did the majority of the work for next week last week and had hoped that there’d be time to swap over my desk space today but honestly, it isn’t going to happen. For the next two weekends I’m a lone parent anyway: it’s possible I might be going to Birmingham for the second one, dunno, it will depend on various factors. Whatever does transpire going forward, there is a lot on, but I’m ready for it.

Let’s make the second cuppa and get started.

header53_crop

I’m working on a new novel. There is, of course, nothing at all wrong with the old ones, they just need editing but that’s not something I’m capable of doing right now. So, instead, it is time to make something new from scratch. That means a cover. This might be the best cover I’ve ever made, most relevant to content.

Provocatrix

Needless to say, in the downtime between poetry in May, this gets chipped away at… it also has a playlist, which is always a good guarantee stuff will be successful. This one gets to be listened to in the car, at the Gym, when exercising, so brain can be stimulated as well as the other muscles. Let’s see how successful it is.

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I have a submission to finish. It requires an artist’s resume. I bloody HATE talking about myself but it has now been proven that doing so produces results. Therefore, I’ll jerry-rig summat from that last successful submission (can’t talk too much about it yet, more as it happens) and see if we can hit the target again. This is tough work mentally, but knowing now it is successful, that people notice… that’s the key.

Just keep moving forward, doofus.