Let the Right One In

Anyone making money off the Internet cannot afford to upset anybody. The plan has to be, like it or not, that anybody’s money is good right up to the point where people get hurt. That certainly seems to be the case with Gab, a social media platform ‘that doesn’t police hate speech’ which had the rug pulled out from under it by infrastructure providers after one of their number went on a shooting rampage in Pittsburgh. With each new outrage comes the call for other places to crack down on hate speech. Without strong leadership from places normally meant to provide such guidance, individuals and organisations are taking matters into their own hands.

This month’s #Narrating2018 soundtrack on the IoW site covers great speeches from movies and TV, and for my last entry… there’s two films that do some very good work screwing with the fundamental set of rules and beliefs for a proportion of religious folks in the Western world. Bruce and Evan Almighty might seem like fluff, or an excuse to make God even more contentious, but inside both movies lies a significant, beating heart of enlightenment. Can you really change the world without massive organisations behind you? Of course you can, you just have to want it enough.

It may seem sometimes like there’s a massive mountain to climb in terms of changing people’s outlooks or opinions, but there’s always a way if it matters enough. That’s the key, of course, why God laughs when Evan complains he doesn’t even know how to build an Ark. None of us are born with the tools required to overcome our lives. EVERYBODY has to learn. Your willingness to do so is a measure of our flexibility as human beings and demonstrates a desire to grow. Those who can only see their own inflexibility, narrow minded thinking or are constricted by fear… well, we all know what happens then.

Giving a platform to hate is utterly unacceptable. However, ignoring it is, at present, probably a greater sin. Hoping somebody else deals with the issue isn’t going to work either. So, whilst some’s response is to filter out noise and ignore the issues, people are dying. Although there’s an understanding of why having a quiet life would be lovely, the reality remains that nothing is not an acceptable response to your way of life being slowly eroded. It might mean some of us have to work a bit harder than was previously the case. I really don’t see that being a problem.

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So, how do you know what works? Good question.

The best way to start, undoubtedly, is to admit there’s an issue that needs solving in the first place. Pick a side (in my case education and truth) and away you go. Nothing will happen if you expect someone else to do the work.

Starting with random acts of kindness is as good a place as any.

Your Game

I had to wear a jumper for an hour this morning. I’ve missed that.


I’m also still on the first cuppa of the day, thinking about what happened yesterday and trying to work out what should be written about. At 5pm I found myself in East London when the heavens opened, and it is easy to grasp why such biblical scenes become inspiration for poets and artists. It was glorious, watching the World (as I saw it) cleansing itself so suddenly and brutally. Then I got home and was reminded that my view of the World is not everybody’s and that sometimes, it matters to understand the bigger picture when you’re talking to an audience.

When it all gets a bit fraught, comprehension can be a problem.

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Occasionally I’m sitting watching my feed and am quick enough to see someone Tweet something, clearly think better of it and then delete it. When you see several people do this on the same subject (as was the case last night) it is a clear indicator that tempers are running high and the sane people understand they gotta be careful. This is why I don’t run an abbreviated feed either, because to really get how people think, sometimes, you appreciate it when they do make a mistake. It doesn’t make you bad or wrong, just human.

It’s also a worrying state of affairs when someone won’t feel comfortable enough to stand by the courage of conviction and would rather leave a conversation completely than be a part of it. It shouldn’t matter what you think, it really shouldn’t. People can and ought to respect that diversity. You don’t have to agree with each other to be friends. The irony in all this (from where I stand) is in this particular argument I’m quite happy not to agree with people. My enjoyment is not being impaired by doing so, as it transpires there’s a lot more satisfaction to be had just by being allowed to disagree.

Holiday is coming up, as of Monday it’ll be travelling and Italy, but rest assured I am thinking a lot about the Worlds not only inhabited but that will be left behind.

On my return, I already know that things are going to change.