Don’t Call Me Baby

We did Friendship on Wednesday. Today is Honesty. Some of you guys don’t like this as a concept on the Internet, that much is abundantly obvious. You’d rather maintain that air of mystery that helps make you look and feel like some kind of better, more worthwhile person. I’ll be over here, calling bullshit, and sticking you on mute. For everybody else, there’s a rule-set established in lots of other places apart from here. The basics bear repeating.

Put the fake disbelief away before you begin.

You’re a Brand, Charlie Brown.


Please, enough with the indignation already. EVERYBODY on Social media who are using the platform to promote themselves COUNTS AS A BRAND. By far the fastest way to make yourself look like a total tool is to start a fight over ‘brand loyalty,’ and yet I watch people do it almost daily. Bait is surprisingly easy to spot once you’ve been here long enough… and the ‘well it’s my feed, I can post what I want’ excuse only works to a point. Learning your lessons on Social media means understanding when you stop selling, or start listening.

Most importantly, if you start a conversation with only one thing in mind and then get upset that your intent isn’t grasped? You weren’t clear enough, it’s your problem to solve. If someone else decides to hijack you and it all goes horribly Pete Tong? Mute + block if it gets messy, and just mark it down to experience. Or, you might get lucky and your nemesis vanishes because they finally got a life away from the Internet. Anything is possible.

Talking of bait…

Asking for Trouble has Consequences.


I see you, dangling your controversial shit in my timeline. Yes, I’m pretty certain this is 100% brutal honesty here, but this is the moment to remind the room we don’t think alike, you and I. In fact, no two people do cognitive awareness in quite the same fashion. You may see that guy as a political extremist, I consider this the efforts of an attention-seeking twenty-summat desperate to be liked. Until they actually post summat I consider flagrant or fucking stupid, they can stay. The key here is to have people on your feed you don’t agree with. It makes stuff interesting.

There’s a point of course where honesty is fine until you decide to challenge it. Twice now in recent memory, someone’s made a comment about what I’ve posted and my response alone has been enough to trigger an unfollow. No, I will not do what you tell me to do. No, I’m not going to play along with games. I’m not a big fan of people making it about them when all I did was post what I felt, and yet it will keep happening because of those people’s perceptions of their feed. Every single thing I post is there for a reason. If I’m self-deprecating, there’s a reason too.

The ‘All About Me’ Party is No Fun.


Twitter is not where you should do therapy, I have decided. This in itself is a fairly controversial opinion, for a generation who feel the desire to share everything both pictorially and aurally. I do realise that for some people Social media has become their escape and often the alternate reality required to survive the real world they are uncomfortable and nervous within. The fact remains, however, that to remain a functional member of society, solving all your problems via anonymity will only work to a point.

I have accounts that are periodically muted for this reason, but I don’t unfollow, and here is why. I have my own, complex issues, which on some days I struggle to deal with. When there’s enough strength to feel I could be helpful to others like me, I listen to everyone. When the days are darker or there’s a struggle, these people are quietly moved away from. It doesn’t mean I care any less, I’m just a shit listener and don’t feel I have anything helpful or useful to add. History has shown I’ve done the most damage previously when I don’t curate noise out.

I think some of you shouldn’t say half the stuff you do in public.

My honesty continues to get me into trouble. I doubt that will ever change: that’s best for everybody, even when the whole thing falls down on me with a thump. Now you know this is a brand, and this content is all part of a process of awareness not simply for peace of mind, we can all just carry on.

This Woman’s Work


Last weekend, I watched the last episode of the current season of Dr Who. I didn’t mean to, it just happened, and even though the whole season’s only been absorbed via synopsis, I stayed to the end and was rather glad that happened. The last 45 seconds was so far out of left field as to be a genuine surprise: I won’t spoil it as this is still relatively recent, but fans have a very interesting situation at play, knowing at the end of the Christmas Special we’ll see another regeneration. However, I’m sticking to the assertion that unless the show’s creators break the mould so firmly it is indistinguishable from what has come before, my time with the franchise remains pretty much done.

Then on Wednesday, I read this in the Guardian:


Okay then, so is this really a possibility? Phoebe has been in a number of critically acclaimed drama series but is hardly a household name. That gives her solid credentials off the bat (in fact I am reminded of David Tennant coming from Casanova to the TARDIS) and now I’ve done some research, yes she’d be absolutely perfect. Reminded that Mr Capaldi used the f-word as Malcolm Tucker more than a few times, Ms Waller-Bridge using the c-word in Fleabag seems almost acceptable as part of the entrance exam. The problem, of course, is that BBC3 hit comedy is going to be filming a second season in November this year which might put her off the radar in terms of availability… but hang on, why am I even considering that this woman could be the Doctor?

At some point, one of these so very British, male-dominated bastions has to be stormed.


If you’ve paid any modicum of attention to my writing journey, you’ll know I’ve had a go at redefining the 00 Section in my own way. That sea change is probably even further off long term than Who is, lets be honest, but the fact that actors of colour and race are considered and summarily dismissed shows that hey, at least in that regard I’m not alone in wanting change. The problem, undoubtedly, is the notion of canon and traditionalism: Who and Bond remain very much a product of the ages they were created in. That age, for many people, is not to be disturbed or altered in any way, shape or form. For 007, the notion of insouciant masculinity as attractive clearly still rings true, but sadly the form that now takes is becoming less and less palatable. Only when that is deemed unacceptable by mainstream media, then perhaps the wind will change. Don’t hold you hopes out, though.

With a rapidly ageing population, many of whom are resistant to change (and if the Brexit vote is any indicator very much against anyone trying to make them European) the suggestion that you could have a Bond who didn’t sleep with anyone unless it was absolutely necessary and maybe cared more about teamwork than working alone is going to be met with very short shrift. In fact, when I hear many men talking about a female Bond it is in the context of simply changing this misogynist man into a sociopathic woman. That’s not actually an improvement, fellas, it simply gives you a whole new wank fantasy.  Real, developmental change involves you thinking outside of the bedroom, or outside the TARDIS, depending on your point of view.


Dr Who used to be a fairly asexual affair until the Moffat bloke got involved. Now sexuality is an issue, that makes the woman/man lead role shift even more awkward for the Who people. Except, watching the last episode of Capaldi’s Doctor, and the two Masters effectively flirting with themselves? There was so much potential subtext to be read into that episode: countless references to how women and men do things differently, that sexuality is largely irrelevant in just about anything once you gain the ability to look past the people involved. Honestly, of the two bastions of Britishness, Who seems the one more likely to crack first.

Now I have to hope it will come sooner than later.

The Edge of Heaven

Christmas has come and gone, and I’ve already broken in the new Fitbit Blaze at the gym this morning. It was less of a stress than I thought, probably because on Christmas Day I dragged the family out to walk. That meant I did do 2k yesterday, but not *technically* as a run so I will count that as rest and made sure I did extra this morning. I’m cautiously optimistic that I can keep up the exercise throughout January, at this level, and think about making some headway into serious weight loss. I also have a new Sony digital camera, and fully intend to go take pictures of stuff, perhaps every day if I can manage it. I’m cautious about committing myself to anything at this stage, and if I can do it without it becoming a big deal? So much the better. 


Today, I started the way I mean to go on. I’ve unsubscribed from over two hundred email lists. This includes online shopping, lifestyle newsletters, crappy shit I never remember signing up for but someone sold my information on, and Loot Crate. That company has lost my subscription this year purely and simply on the strength of the most aggressive and depressing sales campaign I’ve ever seen. There’s only so much useless crap someone’s prepared to pay for, and one box enough was enough, but they’d keep trying to sell me more, and more by e-mail and eventually, I had enough. Unsubbing is the best thing I’ve done for a long time, not just to save cash. It kick-started my desire to remove from my mailbox anything that is useless and pointless. So, I suppose I should thank them for making me so fucked off I went and sorted everything out.


Now I’m trawling through months of useless mail deleting message after message with an almost evangelical zeal. I’m even filing stuff in folders. It will be fantastic to not have to wade through dozens of messages I have no interest in. Once that’s done I have my last calorie packed meal of the season and after that we can go straight to healthy shizzle right the way until 2017 and beyond. Another one of my unofficial 2017 goals is to try and learn to cook without the whole process freaking the fuck out of me, and being able to cook my own healthy meals is pretty much a requirement going forward.

Let’s see how much of this I can manage going forward.

She Used to be Mine

Today in the UK is Mother’s Day. I know this because Facebook reminded me, and now I want to punch things. This I object to, so much it is frustrating: a specific day a year being dedicated to Mothers, that greeting card companies and marketers pick this point to sell 24 hours where you’re *supposed* to remember that Mums need love too. Except this process should happen every single damn day, not just once a year. I don’t need a fucking badge of honour, and I sure as fuck won’t expect my kids to roll out the red carpet for me 1 out of 366 occasions just because Advertisers want to make some cash. Because maybe, just maybe, just making it okay for people to not necessarily worry about consideration every single day *except* one is an area where society’s been going wrong all this time.

Maybe this compartmentalisation needs to stop, for no other reason than getting people away from conforming to gender roles that seem to cause so much trouble of late. Black History gets a month, even Sharks get a WHOLE WEEK so maybe we could stop just assigning one day to a task that isn’t just full time, it’s often not undertaken by a mother. Make it the remit of advertising people to actually think about selling their wares without compartmentalising gifts to fit certain situations: sell me power tools without irony on Mother’s Day for starters and I’ll know that society’s actually getting the memo about real equality. Mostly don’t make my kids feel guilty that they didn’t buy into it and feel sorry that I’m sitting here eating yesterday’s croissant and a cuppa while they’re out enjoying themselves. If we still need to assign days where people are forced to consider their personal relationships in terms of flowers and cards? [*]


This isn’t because I’m clearly frustrated that I don’t have that kind of relationship with my mum. I’m not doing this to upset people who no longer have mothers and remember them today. I’m doing this because the concept is outdated, pointless and actually completely shit. You spend YOUR ENTIRE LIFE being decent to people and celebrating what they are, when it matters. June 12th can be your Mum’s day if she does something amazing on it. November 6th is when you buy her flowers because she saved your arse. You don’t save it up and throw it all into a ‘birthday type celebration’ and then get the rest of the year to sit back and ignore the issues. In the end, I have more respect for those who understand the relentless, full-time nature of any caring role and reward it continually. That says more than any amount of expensive giftage or public demonstrations of affection. It’s why I only celebrate birthdays as significant and try and do my utmost to not only remember them, but provide respectful reminders of their passing. These things do only happen once a year. Mothers deserve your respect for life, as do fathers and indeed ANYONE who cares for you long term in an unconditional fashion. There’s another key distinction with the birthday ‘moment’ too: mostly, your friends don’t need to be there 24/7 to clean up your vomit or hold your hand when you’re scared. Parents and carers wander into unconditional love territory and that’s where the rules change.

Of course sometimes it goes that way with friends, but that’s a post for another day.


If your mum appreciates the day, you’ll know this, and act accordingly. If, like me, she doesn’t give a toss, you’ll understand that too. Ultimately, respect is the key.

I just wish there was more of that and less shameless commercialism… well, everywhere.

[*] Don’t start me on Valentine’s Day. It will not end well.