Yesterday’s Men

Day 3: My mother in law has gone into hospital. The prognosis, from distance, is not good. She is in her 80’s, and a Cancer survivor. Whatever may now happen in the next few months, her legacy is significant and will be long-lasting. The world she knew at my age, over thirty years ago when I first met her son, has in many places vanished and in others altered beyond belief.

An awful lot has changed, on reflection.

This video has split Twitter, apparently. It’s an advert with a message embedded within it. If I believe half the crap being generated around the reception, this is the first true Horseman of the Apocalypse. Or, on the day when my Country is set to implode under the weight of it’s own fucking stupidity, it’s just another metaphor for how fast some parts of society shift compared to others.

However, this is significant from an advertising point of view for one reason alone: Gillette know better than anybody else the state of their business right now. It is VERY rare that such a company will embark on a project of this significance without full possession of the facts. This is not an advert aimed at Racist Dad, or any pompous wank-stain TV commentator who might hold an opinion on everything, for the sake of exposure.

This advert targets men who are already listening, and not those who embrace ignorance.

I get angry at those who will retweet the ravings of idiots as a means of pointing out that they’re wrong, because by doing so you’re giving that person the impression they’re agreed with and, by extension, popular. If The Orange Twat currently running the USA was unfollowed by millions of people as a protest, he’d complain to Twitter they were censoring him, not grasp that maybe the tide of social media use might be changingThere’s some pretty basic double standards at play here: we all have a responsibility to step up our games and make a difference.

Debate ought to be about being sensible, but caring. It should talk to us in a fashion that is fair and truthful, not condescending or unhelpful. Finding someone who cares is a rare and beautiful thing in the World right now, especially under current circumstances in the UK. Giving the time of day to strangers was always a thankless task to begin with, but now there is so much anger and frustration that we are reaching a tipping point. For us, the next 24 hours is crucial, and not for the reasons many might think.

awkwardhug

Extremism is our enemy, BOTH SIDES CARRY THE CAN. Too much one way, too much the other. It isn’t just the Far Right that is the enemy: I see you, Far Left people, and you’re doing nearly as much harm as good. Just because nobody talks about you and you’re not the target of as much airtime and tweets does not mean you don’t get to stand there and be smug. In fact, NOBODY right now is particularly covered in glory.

If you don’t want your future to be remembered like this?

time for ALL OF US to start making things better.

Life in Tokyo

I’m at the Gym, earlier today, looking at the people working on a Friday lunchtime and realising I’m the only one sweating. The women either side of me are perfect, thin specimens with co-ordinated clothing and beautiful hair and yet neither of them perspire at all. They run like mice, all scurry in the legs, yet neither appear to expend any calories at all. I’m dripping after my first 500 metres of running and it gets worse, I begin to smell unpleasant at 3k and decide to put in a 5 % gradient for the penultimate mile to give my legs some variety. As the pair get off I realise I probably pissed them off by taking the treadmill between them and preventing them from talking, and the look one throws back at me as she leaves is enough for me to consider giving the finger back. No, that’s not polite, but I can sure as fuck think it after the event.

My second major objective in 2017 is Persistence, which means running until legs ache and body drips. I don’t care what I look like in the Gym, I’m there to work, not win a beauty contest. Doing life properly is accepting that occasionally I do have to look decent, but at all the times in between it’s a frippery that’s not necessarily needed, especially not during exercise. I really don’t understand people who turn up, do the minimum amount of work and go home again. I do understand however that sometimes people do shit to make them feel as if they are making a difference to their own lives, and if that involves you never wearing out running shows or getting holes in the ankles of your leggings because you’re a fucking short arse and they’re always too long? Honestly, totally fine.

You are what you are, and this is what it is.

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As time goes on, I want to spend less time being something I’m not or will never be. There are better things to be doing, after all, than pretending to enjoy not eating. I fucking love my food, and despite trying my damnedest to lose half a stone (quite possibly more) and keep it off in January I am going full into cooking my own stuff and making more sensible meal and menu choices. I really would like, if I can, to cut out as much junk for as is conceivably possible going forward. It will be interesting to see how far I can take this and how much is achievable considering my current lifestyle choices. This is probably the biggest step in the dark I’ve taken for a while, but already it is bearing fruit.

Yesterday was a passable Chicken Casserole I’m already planning on making better. Tomorrow will be Pulled Pork. None of this will get me on Masterchef, but it’s a step towards further autonomy and helping make the most of what we have available. That’s all it ever has to be, one step after the other, until you’re not afraid to run.

I learnt how to do that in 2016. Now I can, there’s just so many new places I can go.