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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Blog 147 More – Less Contact – is making us horrible!

I’m not talking about the normalisation of pornography and abuse. More ‘less human contact’ is making us just every-day horrible.

Internet interactions have a hugely important role to play – especially now when the mainstream media is controlled more blatantly than ever by money and vested interests. But is disconnection the price we are paying? IT is not just making us stupid (see blog 143) it’s obliterating those precious empathies that have taken so so long to evolve.

The other day I had one of THOSE incidents that push this phenomenon up into your consciousness. Walking along the river path, a rather too playful dog made a bee-line for me. Its owner was focused on whatever was happening on her screen. The dog – possibly due to the lack of its owner’s interest - was playing up. It made some energetic jumps at me then ran round barking before (and the woman approaching still hadn’t looked up from her phone) eventually leaping up my back with muddy paws dragging at my clothes. I called out to the woman and you would have thought she was the muddied, discombobulated party. She went from head-in-phone to screaming abuse in a blink. It was a park she yelled.  I should – she implied - expect and accept her dog's behaviour.  ‘You can’t go to the police unless the dog bites you’ she screeched as I silently took her picture with my own phone. Yes – I decided to indulge in non-contact interaction because really the only logical contact at that point would have been to punch her. I can only assume that her mood was matching – not the river walk – not the dog she was meant to be with – not the lovely morning - but whatever was going on in phone world.

Here in Edinburgh it is that time of year when, if you walk along any main street in the city, you will invariably rear-end someone who is stumbling along viewing life through some hi tech piece of equipment. They are utterly unaware of the reality round them so will suddenly stop when they notice something through the lens that interests them. One can’t help thinking that – if they ever go back to these images – they will be looking at things they have never really SEEN.

Don’t get me started on the dehumanising experience of dealing with any large organisation online or via a computerised phone system.

I suggest that a certain paranoia goes hand in hand with this disconnection especially when you mix it with the high octane flavour of much social media. On returning a small item to argos I had to give my name and address to the young man at the till. I asked that he ensure my name didn’t end up on their electronic mail-out list. ‘NO’ he said mysteriously, looking at me smile-less – ‘it’s to make sure it’s a genuine return and there’s no funny business’. I wrinkled my nose – funny business... with a £12.99 item when the refund is going back onto the debit card that paid for it? Looking at me with renewed intensity he added mysteriously and as if he thought he was an undercover FBI agent, ‘it often starts with small things’. He did not elucidate what ‘it’ was but clearly I had the look of an international money launderer – albeit one who used the bus, shopped at argos and whose budget stretched to a £12.99 shower rail. Today argos – tomorrow the world!!!

Recently a friend (a real one) found someone I knew on their fb book page and drew my attention to their pages and pages of selfies – but also to the number of ‘friends’ they had listed. It ran to over 500 – and this was a proper grown up not a teenager. I had to wonder if this is why the person in question has so little time to contact the people she really knows.

When I see parents walking along with toddlers in buggies – the child desperately trying for attention while mum or dad frown into their mobiles - I feel like snatching the phone out of their hands.

We are missing each other.

When I go to Lidl on Nicholson street and insist on using the till rather than the self service checkout and there is a sighing and rolling of eyes – I always push the ‘unhappy shopper’ button as I leave (like anyone really cares). 

When I realise I could get through my entire week - library, shop, travel, etc without ever speaking to another sinner, I need a sit down and have a cup of tea.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Blog 146 David Cameron’s radicalisation sparks international concern...

David Cameron’s radicalisation and commitment to elitist ideology has caused deep disquiet within the international community. Many organisations have expressed grave concerns at the radicalisation of the British P.M who is an unashamed member of  I.S.U.S – Inbred Self-serving Uber Shits.

Speaking for H.R. (Human Race) and O.W.P (Ordinary Working People), commentators claim Cameron was radicalised at a school called Eton. Eton and other similar training grounds are hotbeds of close knit extremists, they say. Young men are brought up with a single elitist view of the world, observers claim. These dysfunctional youngsters are separated from their families and taught that they are superior to others and entitled to the fat of the land based on birth and privilege. They intend to get their rewards in this world rather than the next. Their numbers include, for example, bankers who have manipulated the country and ignited the economy for their own ends and to the detriment of the majority. Also politicians and judges who failed to bring them to book.

Speaking from the Middle East, members of T.Y.B.a.B (Thank you Bush & Blair) said they are appalled and considering intervention to save the population from the exploitation, reduction of human rights, working rights, disability rights etc etc etc.

I.S.U.S infiltrated and have a strangle hold on the turgid traditional media. Many own newspapers and television channels where they pour out mind numbing programmes aimed at sedating the populous also misinformation and propaganda aimed at blaming the countries problems on the poor, disabled and foreigners rather than the eye-watering greed of their own members.

It has been suggested that some members of I.S.U.S could be de-radicalised with vigorous programmes of humanisation. This would involve talking to ordinary people, living on ordinary wages and occasionally coming face to face with real human beings. But most people think there is a cat in hell’s chance of that succeeding...

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Blog 145. Pop posts - first half 2015

3rd – blog.129 - Katie Hopkins & Trending Trauma
‘She accidentally got in my video’
As blogs go – this one’s been traumatic.
Deciding once again to venture outside my comfort zone (a small area three feet removed from what passes for where-it’s-at in modern Britain) I decided to point my modest blog in the direction of what’s trending. This foolish decision brought me into cyber space vicinity with a creature so ghastly in character she could be a plasticine monster in a Ray Harryhausen film.
And then things got worse...

2nd – blog.126 - Cameron Vs Brown Girl solves TV debate debate

Cameron can represent privileged out-of-touch white blokes who think a sound-bite is a policy, have dodgy mates with wildly inflated ideas of their own worth, who think a ‘moral dilemma’ means considering whether or not you will get caught tax dodging - and I’ll have a go at representing EVERYONE ELSE...

1st – blog.120- From My Demon toaster to Soylent Green
...via TTIP?
‘Less is More’ was a consciously obscure minimalist fashion term. Now it beautifully epitomises life at the arse-end of Capitalism. Rampant Capitalism – that rabid dog that Thatcher took off the leash in the 80s savages us today.
I’ll get to the demonic toaster in a minute...

In descending order – so as to increase the frenetic excitement - I’ve listed the three most popular blogs for the first half of this year for you to scroll back and have a look if you feel like it. 
Usually this happens at the end of the year but I just got word that Tangled Roots a publication focusing on the mixed-race experience in Britain - is going to include one of my blog posts in their 2015 anthology so I was perusing...

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Blog 144. Heathrow airport expansion – the sum of ALL madness...

Airport expansion at Heathrow says the government but with guarantees with regard to air and noise pollution!!! – aint that like giving a madman permission to shoot someone in the head as long as they promise not to cause brain damage?

I must be whistling in the wind again because according to the latest pro-Heathrow expansionist I heard on the radio this is inevitable because...
“We ALL want to fly more”

While I am at that age where I often find I want to scream at the radio – defenestrate it or boil it in acid - this catch-all laziness annoys me as much as any other over used phrase in the media. Who the hell was this guy and how dare he speak for me – presuming I am including in “ALL”. I do not want to fly more. I don’t want to fly much at all. I haven’t flown abroad in the last decade and a half and don’t feel I’ve missed much. Apart from, that is, being treated worse than factory cattle in an airport. I can see a certain madness in the whole situation. Having just bought a return train ticket for myself and my daughter to travel from Edinburgh to Warwickshire to visit family, I realise we could probably have flown to a sun soaked, beer drenched, tourist infested hell hole a continent away, for the same price.

Tax flights 2000% more and subsidise rail fares? That way the damage they do will be more realistically reflected in the cost. Or is that me being Don Quixote again. Except I am not ‘tilting at windmills’ these monsters are real and they are devouring the planet.
What I would like is to stop frying the planet. Maybe not EVERYONE feels this way but some people do – I do not presume to speak for EVERYONE. I’d like to hear fewer reports about species extinction but I’d never assume that ALL people feel this way.

I’ve blogged on and on about the weirdness of some folk living to excess while others starve (weird to me maybe not to ALL or EVERYONE). Equally, it occurs to me that people flitting cheaply round the globe at huge environmental cost in search of skin cancer while others worry about whether they can feed, clothe, keep their children safe through the night – is equally bonkers.

Surely at some point EVERYONE, ALL of us - most of us - some of us- one or two people (?) will realise that we can’t go on the way we are. (see the blog before last on Fracking)

Please – whoever you are – do not include me in your sweeping statements of craziness. I’ve no more need to get into a metal tube, breathing stale air, squashed into an uncomfortable seat with people escaping lives they don’t like to fry on a beach with other people who’ve come from where they’ve just come from - than I have to chew my own ears off.

I exclude myself from your idiocy so please – don’t ever use the term ALL again.

We need airport expansion like we need lilos in the desert.