Look Away

I have a confession to make: this is me, more and more, as it becomes apparent there is too much to do and not enough time. Instead of watching a movie that looks interesting I’ll instead go to Wikipedia and read the synopsis. Twitter’s ‘recommended reading’ section is becoming increasingly useful to be au fait with the leading outrage du jour and honestly I don’t need to know eight seasons of TV show minutiae when with a few well-picked memes, everything becomes clear.

Am I being unfair to myself? No, I don’t think so.

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Being relevant has always been a hard ask, and when your friends group has such a vast and diverse set of interests, it can often leave you reeling. It’s unlikely I’d ever get involved in a deep and serious genre lore-related conversation ever again: I’ve seen what happens when you do that online, and increasingly it doesn’t end well. Discussion these days is less about speculation and more around ‘I’m right, you’re wrong so bugger off.’

Knowing about this stuff allows you to be able to spot spoilers when you see them and help others steer clear. It helps knowing what’s being talked about to keep your work current and relevant. Being a Jill of Most Stories and Expert in a Few has always been the way I’ve operated, allowing the wisest possible range of subjects to be available for discussion. You could call it a good self-defence mechanism too, which I suppose it is.

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I’ve learnt the lesson about ‘pretending I know more when I don’t’ too, enough times to ensure there’s no preemptive wading into discussions where I’ll look like a twat. Life currently is as much wrapped around knowing when to keep quiet as it is when to stick up a hand. Watching a good fight is always preferable to being in one. With social media becoming more and more like a spectator sport, is this really something I should be doing?

With so many people convinced their opinion is all that matters, it’s becoming a tougher gig with each passing day…

A Whole New World

I put a lot of stock on my fitness devices and the result they provide, but today’s post is a reminder that sometimes, numbers are not the whole story:

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59% effort looks, on reflection, like I didn’t try. In this case, nothing is further from the truth. What those numbers don’t show is how long I was able to hang without arms dying, after two days of Blaze that took a lot out of them. It doesn’t consider the 25 40kg bench presses done with little to no recovery time, or the 16kg weights held when doing step ups.

What yesterday showed me is significant enough that I need to write it down:

  • My initial first burst of exercise is tough, and will leave me breathless. Once I’m over that hump, it becomes increasingly easy to manage breathing and push harder. I know this now from an absolute boatload of historical evidence. Management is the key.
  • Overthinking is inhibiting my ability to push further. There needs to be considerably less worrying about how hard shit is, and just focus on ignoring that voice that constantly suggests I should temper effort. Learning how to listen to my body is one of those skills that requires most work.
  • I am way too hard on myself. This is massive. I’m strong, and able. Technique is solid. What is required is speed, and that will only come via practice, so that is what needs to happen going forward. Less fear in being capable will then allow for increasing confidence elsewhere. Honestly is winning the day.
  • I possess so much potential to improve. There was a minor epiphany this week: the people who work hard, and practice their moves, get so much more overall out of their experience. They are the ones for whom progress really means that. All the hard work that’s being put in isn’t just about conditioning and weight loss, it involves learning how to exercise more effectively. My brain is missing out on a load of developmental activity, and that needs to change.

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These are extremely interesting times for my body. Once upon a time, half of what I’m doing seemed virtually impossible, but is now conducted with a measure of ease. Moving forward, it is time to make giving blood every sixteen weeks a bit less of a trauma, to keep building stamina and good technique, and to deal with the continuing psychological fallout when I fail to keep going at a level that feels acceptable.

However, today I’m having a rest from lifting and only doing a bit of cycling…

Yesterday

An awful lot happened yesterday. So much more needs to be done today, so I’d better get on with it all. Therefore, you get today’s blog in bullet point form, thus:

  • New area of exercise progress. Yes, I’m tired but not like it was before. Giving blood next week must not be allowed to derail this, so we’ll plan accordingly. Weekend of strong eating and careful exercise incoming.
  • I have a major project to launch next week, AND I AM READY. 
  • There’s new long form fiction properly in progress now and it is joyous.
  • Completely not fussed about Bond 25. That’s cool too, the obsession is broken for good. Now to focus that on stuff that can actually benefit my future and not go to waste.

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Must crack on, then.

The Sun Rising

Three weeks worth of counselling done. One quarter of my set allocation. Will I need any more after this? I dunno, but if there’s honesty over the usefulness of the process thus far, I’m a good distance forward in progress than was true at the starting point. It is NOTHING to do with what’s being asked of me either, but what is willing to be given and dispensed with to move forward. That’s a big deal. It’s not you, it’s definitely me.

Last night’s Blaze was paced. Actual, proper understanding of what I had in terms of energy, what was doable in the space, how much energy got burnt. Core strength has been the perennial weakness up until now, not any more. I’ll heart rate belt myself for both sets of exercise tonight and yes, we’re gonna go for it. I’m no less physically prepared, mental strength is the key to that door being unlocked.

There is also a wonder this morning: is this what it’s like for everybody else? Does ‘normal’ allow ability to build on progress in a structured, unemotional fashion? Can you move forward without all that shit that seems to disable or derail? Is it about understanding yourself and the abilities within, or releasing the need to be a certain way, acting in a particular fashion… I wonder.

Part of me knows the answer to this, and it won’t be popular.

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No, I’m not. I’m wrong and hold myself back from potential progress because there’s not the proper understanding of capability. I become the hindrance to progress and progression because of fear, and trepidation. Releasing myself from those emotions is incredibly, staggeringly hard but once it takes place (as it did last night) the transformation is unbelievable. So much is possible, if I can believe.

Once you can, the normal coping mechanisms become unnecessary. Historical desires become largely unnecessary. Once upon a time I’d have been really hyped for the Bond 25 launch today, for instance: really don’t care any more about either franchise or direction. It’s a dinosaur, relic of past interest, and is no longer required for future progression… and is being recycled, in most wicked fashion possible.

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The latest long form work, allowing me means to move from old fiction practices and into new ones, is a story about spies. The influences littered within owe a debt of thanks to the two pieces of Bond fan-fiction I remain insanely proud of. I have no idea if this is any good enough but I am having IMMENSE fun writing it, and losing myself within the narrative. The three main protagonists are all strong, brilliant women.

Honestly, I’ve never been happier.

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This week, undoubtedly, nothing matters except the Endgame. Except, I’ll be honest, I’m not desperate to consume the end of an era instantly, because once I’ve watched it, that’s this part of the MCU done. I will undoubtedly lose a couple of characters I love for good, one at least (allegedly) in a way that, if true, is a bit of a kop out with my writer’s hat on. That’s the trouble when you create worlds for a living.

Other people’s narratives piss you off when you think you could do it better.

I know why arrogant’s a metaphor that gets thrown at me a lot, but honestly, don’t care. MCU is not my world, it belongs to you people and I just watch at a distance. You enjoy the final hoorah, and I’ll be over here getting far more excited over Godzilla because this, frankly, is the hokum I am here for. Marvel built the benchmark from which all genre movies will now be measured.

I’ve got other stuff to worry about.


The increasingly larger concern going forward is how I watch arrogance manifest online, under the auspice of opinion. I did it up there, did you notice? So much of the MCU is sacrosanct now, you can’t abuse particular movies, because of the important cultural diversity demonstrated… and yet that’s exactly what happens. Find a thing that a minority enjoys, then destroy it, when you could just say nothing at all. Except, of course, that defeats the object of owning Social media. You’re not the problem. Other people are.

You won’t find me pissing on anybody’s fireworks however this week. Everybody gets to enjoy their stuff, you don’t wander in and give them grief. The number of things I’ve seen where a comment could have started a fight this week is a lot higher than normal, and we’re only at Wednesday. Something is fundamentally wrong with the picture when saying how you feel will cause conflict, that others are being so thoughtless and selfish in their pronouncements to provoke such reaction.

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‘Hot Take’ Culture is giving people legitimate excuses to be idiots, and then blaming others for getting upset at them when all they’ve done is speak their minds. Once upon a time, if you saw something and didn’t like it the polite thing to do was just to keep quiet. Not any more. Get more views by upsetting other people! Insult their race, culture and attitudes, and at the same time become the centre of attention! No experience or intelligence is required, please leave your empathy off the Internet.

The bigger problem then comes with those people who attempt to be objective and who are simply accused of the exact same crime, when nothing is further from the truth. This is especially rife in gaming culture: you either love a game unconditionally, or you shut the fuck up. Constructive criticism has literally become impossible due to the reaction you’ll get for not being a 100% complete and utter fangirl. Objectivity in gaming design criticism is dead.

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When historians chart the destruction of modern civilisation, undoubtedly it will be the weight of individual outrage that pulled an awful lot of society down to their demise. So easy to get apoplectic over the minutiae, totally fail to use that anger constructively to save the Planet you’re ignoring and that is slowly choking to death via your consumerism and ignorance. Enjoy your brief moments of glory whilst they still exist.

Maybe, just maybe, consider stopping and thinking before you chat shit online.

Worth It

Why am I doing this? was the question asked this morning, as my mind became obsessed with something else, deflecting me away from an incredibly important, other task. To be honest it’s still whirring right now, trying to grasp why these things matter to people as much as they undoubtedly do. Then comes the counter: you’re not other people. Let them have their moments of revelation. Allow them the opportunity to rant and rave, because that’s how respect is supposed to work.

Just smile and move on, because they’re not listening.

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Following on from yesterday’s observations on serial moaners, an important distinction can be made between the followers and non-followers in my feed. When I’m the one listening in on a ‘famous’ person’s conversation, the tolerance for moaning changes: you allow them a measure of flexibility, until a point is reached where the amount of unhappy stuff outweighs positive content. Then, off you go.

On the counter, if your reciprocal follow is just moaning non stop, and you’ve made a point that this is something that bothers you, there’s probably a reason to be a bit miffed. More significantly, when your comments are ignored… well, that seems to indicate that person really isn’t listening. Then you’re faced with a choice: mute, unfollow or block. Just how nuclear would you like to go with your displeasure?

More and more, it must be said, I really don’t care.

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What’s most disappointing, at least from where I sit, are those people who act like this but spend their entire time stating how public spirited they are, how they care about stuff and what people think. Except clearly, absolutely, they don’t. It is the modern disease of attacking everything that’s bad and wrong with humanity right now yet failing to grasp that starts with you first.

As life is literally too short for this shit,  principle and politeness somehow get lost and forgotten in the melee of living in the moment. It’s entirely understandable, on reflection. What matters now will be different tomorrow. You’ll have forgotten what it was that so irked you, or it will have been replaced by something far more important. Except, in all of this, a vital sense of perspective is eroded away, and that’s sad.

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I’ve come to use this blog as the means by which some sense can be made of the random interactions in my life. In pretty much every case, communication is at fault. When you ask a question but don’t get the answer you wanted, what was the point in doing so to begin with? Are you prepared to listen to the same complaints, time and again, assuming that you can’t be the one at fault? At what point does hearing truth change your perception of a situation?

How many of us say we’re listening, when that’s a lie to begin with…?

Shut Up

We all love a good moan: accepting how horrible the world can be (at any given moment) the opportunity to kick back and explain what bothers us has become therapeutic, especially in the safe, shared spaces of Social media. One just has to look how these places combine when it’s must watch TV (Line of Duty, Game of Thrones) or an important sporting event to understand the power and enjoyment of sharing.

That’s how negativity works too: when you hate something, find somebody to share it with. Then you know you’re not alone. Then you can get angry at the people perpetrating this bad stuff with a sense of purpose and direction. It becomes easier to work out why you hate things. It becomes simpler to organise resistance and positive action to remove it. Except, as we all know, some love to complain, yet do nothing to change their lives.

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I appreciate that a lot of people have difficult existences, that it is often impossible in daily auspices to change a position or individual situation without a LOT of time and space. However, with increasing numbers of people using Twitter as cheap therapy, a permanent soapbox without positive action, the means by which others are condemned yet they remain somehow above blame… something has to give.

I’m not talking about occasionally reaching out for validation and support. This isn’t about finding means to recover after trauma. It’s people complaining at everything ‘other people’ do: self-righteous sanctimony that only comes from a certain level of affluence plus a complete inability to grasp that it isn’t just the bad people in the world who ruin it for everybody, but those who expect everything done for them yet refuse to help.

It’s the kind of person who’ll read this and assume I’m referring to them.

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Over the years, a lot of people have accused me of being passive-aggressive. Just so we’re clear, this is actual, full-bodied anger fuelling this blog post. It is no longer worth anybody’s time to just sit and pronounce judgement on others for entertainment. It is the modern equivalent of going to the town square, laughing at the miscreant in the stocks whose been put there for some petty misdemeanour, then throwing fruit at them.

It’s the content of an increasing number of ‘commentators’ who’ll love to tell you how bad and wrong someone is, and the moment you challenge them as to the validity of their statements there’s an immediate and angry backlash. Truly evil people can be spotted from a very long way away, because they stop caring about anything but themselves. Many of these people aren’t bad or wrong. You are, using them to further your own agendas.

If someone’s spewing hate, the last thing you should ever do is retweet that to show how wrong they are.

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The practicalities of teaching people in the World to be better is fraught with potential danger, of course. If you’ve been verbally abused or attacked for challenging someone to be better in reality, that might well affect your subsequent desire to be positive. Except, online nobody seems to give a fuck about how angry they get, the consequences are never truly considered. Yet here we all are, continuing to do so.

Positive action is everywhere right now, truly a great time to be alive and trying to make a difference. Once they introduce the IRL version of the Mute button, of course, we’ll be able to see everywhere the people who nobody cares about yet continue to spout sanctimony 24/7 regardless. Except, the planet will be a rubbish-choked, uninhabitable wasteland by then, and it will be far too late.

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Maybe this is the opportunity to stop being the twat who’s making capital off other people’s apparent stupidity and start changing your part of the World for the better. If enough people got off their arses and picked up rubbish instead of tweeting pictures of it in bushes and on parks, maybe we’d change the public consciousness. You’ll never know until you try.

Right now, EVERYBODY is part of the problem.