Before the Dawn


I love this .GIF, but it bothers me greatly, because if you’re paying attention the plug prongs don’t line up with the sockets. They need to be that way however so the visual joke lands first time. Life is never as simple as many people paint it as being; the complexities involved, to make everything function correctly, are often mind-blowing. It is also a continued surprise what people will tolerate as acceptable.

There’s going to be a lot of indignation today over wording. That pleases me greatly, speaking as a part-time pedant and full time champion of words. It is ALWAYS about the language: how it makes people feel and act, crucially react to the world around them. There’s a song by Frank Turner that I only in the last few years came across for the first time, which sums up the emotional resonance rather well.

It isn’t just words for him of course, but words in songs.


This is also poetry, but not ‘proper’ poetry, just the same as there’s only one true Star Trek series and the right way to serialise Jane Austin. Everything has a fandom, and I’ve promised my mutual Penny I’ll write a sequence of poems especially for her at some point on how utterly redonkeylous all of that is in terms of being right. Happiness should never be about winning, and yet somehow that’s what it’s become.

There should never be a right way to express joy. You should just feel it.


Everybody is different, and that adage that you can’t please everyone is so unbelievably relevant at this moment as to be almost ridiculous. This isn’t about what people are saying, it’s what’s NOT being said that matters more, and if you watch how ineptitude is steering us towards almost certain disaster, it is very easy to walk away. You just read what you’re given, and then choose to believe it or not.

The inescapable, inevitable truth is that COVID never ends as a threat to the vulnerable until everybody is vaccinated, and the playing field is levelled. That’s the hard, scientific reality. Anybody trying to pretend this isn’t truth is an idiot. That includes our Government right now, the same one that promoted street parties and may now trigger a second wave of new infections.

All this to celebrate people who gave their lives to preserve our freedom to be dumb.

Yeah, good work everybody.

Nobody is taking anything seriously any more, and it all boils down to words. I’m a writer, and I’ll stand and fall by the words I use. What matters more than politics, pedantry and preconceptions are lives: lost to stupidity, through ignorance and because we refuse to think about humanity before everything else. Maybe those are the words that need to change before anything else can, or will get better.

What I believe should not matter as much as how I act.

If things really matter, rethink your language appropriately.

I Am What I Am

Rose’s story is a lot like mine, when all is said and done. It is reassuring to know that other people feel the same way you do, massively helpful for those whose mental health is not in such a good place when surrounded with other people whose task, most of the time, is to pass judgement on others. I know how judgement like this feels, and it’s not funny at all. It comes from years of being looked at as ‘different’, then feeling incapable of adequately describing why that was.

A lot has changed, as you all know in the last few years. Confidence is at an all-time high and I’m weaning myself off the daily scales weigh in. I know my body image issues aren’t affecting my health any more (the gallbladder removal pretty much fixed that) but last night, still, I felt guilty about eating. YOU SHOULD NEVER FEEL GUILTY FOR ENJOYING YOURSELF. Yet time and again it rises, silent and self-judgemental.

Once upon a time I would never have enjoyed it either, but I spent 30 minutes consuming it. Mindful Eating has become a game-changer, and the hour on the bike last night after I ate this was more than enough to balance the mental in versus out scales. Then I got a bit cross at the Adele thing (there’s a Twitter rant about it, shouldn’t be hard to find) because Rose is right, it’s nobody’s damn business but hers.

However, all this surfaced again this morning, thanks to a tweet on, of all things, tea.

So, here’s the thing: just because this isn’t how I like tea doesn’t make this wrong. It just makes it different. If this is genuine (and I have to believe jchelle36 is just that until proven otherwise) then if that’s what she drinks, that’s not a subject for ridicule, especially not on a corporate Twitter account. It makes them, and us who have not drunk this (and presumably don’t even have the ingredients to try it) arrogantly assumptive and subsequently judgemental.

Why has this struck such a chord with me? Well, I found myself thinking of situations where I’ll be in a conversation and Person A is talking about Thing X where I don’t know what it is. This happens quite a lot: if enough people know Thing X well enough, there will inevitably be judgemental conversations that break out. Not knowing about it is almost as bad, of course, as Not Having an Opinion about it. Except, in most cases, I’ve never even thought about Thing X, when it seems to all that matters in that moment.

Then I feel small, and often a bit upset.


You should learn about X, people then tell me, as if this will suddenly make everything better, because then I will have an opinion and become better as a person. Except, often when I do it becomes apparent that there is nothing of massive value by doing so, except the ability to know which conversations to avoid in the future. So, I find time to learn about other things that I think are important, and when I discuss them with people they get upset because that’s not what’s important to them.

I get how this works now. You need to focus on the larger constants, the opinions that are those which have massive, global ramifications, and then you live your life upholding these. By the end of the year therefore it is my task to not give a fuck about all this trivial shit that keeps billions of people from thinking about the things that could save their lives, or improve the planet for future generations. I’m going to let people be what they are, and challenge anything that stops true equality.

That means that people are allowed to be whatever sex they want, whatever weight they want and look however the fuck they want, and that means that if they want to name their firstborn with numbers and symbols, then off they go. What is right and what is wrong can be left to other people to arbitrate. Right now, honestly, I’d just like to be happy: all this stupidity is a waste of everybody’s time and effort.


Happiness should never judging anybody else’s choices, and yet this seems to be where we are right now. Laughing at other people because they are stupid, or different to you, is never the answer to anything. This year I am determined to wean myself off this, once and for all. It’s not about being right, but grasping that different is not scary: that’s the wider issue that needs to be addressed.

Overcoming fear is real key to unlock all of these wider issues.