Not Just Myself

I’ve been removing social media apps from my phone as I’ve found that their form of distraction from the real world wasn’t enough of a distraction and a waste of my time. I still check-in now and then just to see what is happening but I try to do that on the PC and not waste my other time staring at my phone. This is really about me trying to not get too upset at all the shit that is going on in the world. I can only just about cope with my own life at the moment and so reading about all the crap that is going on wasn’t helping. I’ve had to change my approach and be a little more selfish about the things whirling around my head.

So, I removed Twitter and Reddit from my phone. I still subscribe to Private Eye but I find I don’t read much of it as it’s all about the corruption and bullshit in the world of politics and as much as PE does really important work I can’t have all that other stuff going around in my head. So, I am trying to read more books on my kindle which I love. I’m using the Kindle app on my phone to try and read some technically dense writing about the NASA F-16XL supersonic laminar flow boundary layer investigations. I’m trying to improve my own levels of knowledge and understanding while avoiding the shit-heap of politics.

I still care of course and so balancing it all is hard. I think it’s why I like Minecraft so much. It’s a world where I have control over most things except for bloody creepers and what my kids do in the world. I’m building a beach house at the moment and I’m looking forward to the results. So, instead of me having to think about all the issues going on in the world I do this by proxy. I give money [not that much but enough] to organisations I think are doing the right thing. I put my energies into work and getting money to live and then I give some of my time and money [mostly money] to people whose values agree with mine. So, here’s who I give money to:

British Humanist Society – because if I had to describe myself it would be as a humanist or as a pastor of the Church Of The Flying Spaghetti Monster.

National Secular Society – because I don’t believe any religion has the right to be a part or have influence over laws and government.

Green Party – I used to be a part of the Liberal Democratic Party who I joined just after the Brexit vote. But since then they elected a bigot as their leader and I no longer found my values aligning with theirs. The Green Party do seem to have all the right policies. I am concerned that many people my age still think of the Green Party as a bunch of unrealistic hippies but the party values align with mine more than any other party.

Puzzle In A Thunderstorm Productions – These guys take the piss out of religion and it is well deserved. I like their shows and so I donate money to them. Over the years they have been a source of comfort through some tough times and I align well with their values.

Extinction Rebellion – I honestly think these people are doing the right thing. The climate is going to be a disaster soon and so these people get my money because I’m not in a position to do much myself.

British Problems on Reddit has been one of my favourites over the last couple of years. Like minded people pointing out the problems about living in Britain and while it’s very much a list of first world problems it does make me smile. Recently I noticed a post [?] complaining about usage of the terms “myself” and “yourself”. The post seemed to think it was just estate agents who use the term incorrectly and I have pointed out that the educated professionals I work with [in a grammar school] mostly seem to use this incorrect construction. Things like:

“if you aren’t sure come and see Dave or myself
“please email myself if you want more information”

It’s one of those little things that really annoys me. It sounds pretentious and is just plain wrong.

“if you aren’t sure come and see Dave or ME
“please email ME if you want more information”

These are the grammatically correct ways of saying these sentences. Please help me change the world so that everyone speaks properly. Yes, I know the title of this communication is wrong, it’s called humour.

Considerations

I have been in the process of thinking about quitting social media completely. I just find that after over ten years being on Twitter and other places that I just don’t care about that stuff anymore. I originally joined Twitter to get more news about Formula 1. Over time it turned into a place where I could get news and views from all over the world and eventually I quit my general account because whenever a politician said something Twitter would go into a meltdown and that was an inappropriate reaction to that speech. Ever since 2016 social media has been a shitty place to be.

I wonder what the impact of me leaving Twitter completely is. There isn’t anyone who desperately relies on my latest thoughts or ideas. No-one out there really cares what I think about this or that. There aren’t really many people who give a shit what I rate a film at the cinema. Mostly my musings on Twitter don’t amount to anything. No-one is bothered and it’s just for me to feel as though I have been listened to.

It’s very similar with this website. I have spent a LOT of time, and some money, on this site. I really enjoy having this site. But in the grand scheme of things it’s just for me and no-one else really cares what happens here. I use it as a place to try and get my thoughts straight along with writing stuff about some music now and then.

Part of my motivation is that I am unsure how much protection I get for airing certain views on here compared to what I do in the real world. I do believe that I should be able to say whatever I want on here. Whatever my thoughts are they don’t impact on my professional choices or how good I am at my job. I am also aware that many people are unable to separate idealised thoughts from actions in the world. I definitely believe I am right on all matters I have answers for, but there are many situations where I just do not know the answer. There are many social and political ideals where I am very happy to say – that’s pretty complicated and I am glad I don’t have to come up with an answer.

Should the internet have this level of detail about me? I know I’ve put it out there voluntarily over the last 20 years or so. I’ve had a website since around 1999, in various forms. Does it matter? Should I decide to stop it all? If I delete my Twitter account then quite of lot of this site will become full of broken links. Does that matter? What is the point of this other than a use of time that I am meant to consider – good? Currently I don’t know. I have imagined hitting that “delete” button in Twitter. The only thing stopping me is that this website has links to the Twitter account and editing them all will take an age.

Does that mean that this website is important enough to maintain all my data on the web? At the moment I don’t know. I could archive all this stuff and just have it running locally as a kind of reference memory for me. We shall see what happens over the next year or so.

Being Bored

I have spent some time recently learning to be bored. I guess what I really mean is trying to learn to give up social media and put my phone down.

[I’d like to propose that mobile phones are no longer called phones, or telephones. They are now Portable Digital Devices and I rarely use mine as a phone. These devices need re-branding. The name needs to change to reflect their usage. I suggest PDA. This is controversial because PDAs were used in the early 90s and they died. They didn’t succeed because mobile phones came and took over. That is capitalism or progress I guess. So, Portable Digital Assistants need a revival. It more accurately describes the function of the rectangle of black in your palm.]

There are four main reasons that I have opted to try and get bored more often. One is Brexit, then there is Trump along with all the “stupid” and finally there is All The HATE.

I have a couple of twitter accounts. In one of them I follow a few people and use it to communicate with friends. The other account is full of random people and politicians who I follow for the news and pictures of aeroplanes. Over the last couple of years I have noticed that my overall personal mood has reflected the level of crap I see on twitter. I would look at my twitter feed every hour or so and catch up with what’s happening. But quite often the anger, rage and shock supplied by people on twitter was reactionary. It wasn’t considered or sensible.

I would react emotionally. I would re-tweet people I follow. I would become annoyed and enraged at the injustices I saw. It felt like everything I held to be good about the world was deteriorating.

When you read tweets about what racist shit the foreign secretary has said, try to understand trump, see the hatred towards minorities, see the hatred of the religious, see the twisted responses by people with internet-balls, see the hatred and such low level of discourse, then you start to feel worried about the state of the world.

If you can’t manage a walk to the corner shop without staring at your phone, then maybe you need to stop and put it down.

I removed the other account on from my phone about a month ago. I also have stopped the side-bar on my PC from popping up with that twitter account. I try to get my news from a couple of websites and the radio.

I constantly worry that I am missing out on a gorgeous photograph of an airplane. I worry that something might be happening in the world that needs my attention. This is FOMO I guess. I understand the troubles of generations younger than me who have never known anything else. That constant connectivity to a world of opinion and thought. Here’s the news for you people: humans aren’t “built” to cope with all that. Also, and this might be news to you, getting bored is a good thing.

I will add some provisos to that last statement. Make sure your mental and emotional health is good before trying to get bored. You don’t want to end up in a cycle of bad thoughts while out and about doing nothing.

Our best ideas and processing comes when we are bored. We have the chance to think and ponder and imagine. We should learn to put PDAs down. For an hour at a time to start. Then we can increase that. I’ve tried to leave my phone in the other room. I’m almost at that stage when I sometimes can’t remember where my phone is in my house. I hope to get better at this over the next while. Keep a book nearby, you know a printed book.

It’s important to switch off. To chill out. To wander the streets/countryside while pondering.

Status Update

This early evening I took a trip out to Rochester Cineworld, next to the river Medway. I don’t have to remember the state of the tide, I’m not even sure when this thing started, because I took a photo.

Medway State Of Tide
Medway State Of Tide

You can clearly see the mudflats and so the tide was not fully in or high or whatever the term is.

After watching a film I normally rate it on the IMDB website and you can read how those ratings work in this communication.

I guess I ought to tell you what I thought! I did give ti a 4/10 which I think means, I stayed just to see how it ended.

This film is, meant to be, a warning about the dangers of social media and the fake or edited lives that you see on them. They didn’t go with a subtle metaphor they just hit you in the face with it. Also, NO ONE GETS HURT IN THE END.

So, answer me this, Batman. Why are pupils in USA schools always in their mid-twenties? The whole school. There were no young kids. None. Just a school for backward twenty somethings who are trying to hold on to their youth for as long as they can while slowly accepting the fate of being grown up.

This film was just cliche bullshit. The jock were bullies. The fat kid was lonely. The swanky new blonde haired kid from California ended up being the most popular kid in town. There were no ugly people.

The bullying was horrific and this film pretty much normalises it along with telling kids that it’s your fault for getting bullied. Don’t tell anyone, don’t get back just sit there and take it. Accept the humiliation. FUCK this film.

This film normalises the pretty girls liking the jocks. FUCK this film.

This film normalises the gay kid being the drama and singing student. FUCK this film.

This film normalises shitty dads being a waste of space. FUCK this film.

This film normalises fighting to solve a problem. FUCK this film.

This film normalises humiliating your friends and closest female friend but it’s OK because after you’ve done that they will come back to you and you get the girl. FUCK this film.

This film normalises chasing and chasing means you get the girl. FUCK this film.

This film normalises that being really popular, a great singer and excellent hockey player will get you laid. The lead character ends up with all he wanted after being a real cock. This film overwrote the pain and suffering with a shitty happy ending. This film says: it’ll all be ok if you hassle people. FUCK this film.

This film was an atrocious piece of white ass trash cinema that normalises all the crappy behaviour that we don’t accept and shouldn’t accept. This film is a sad excuse for being every little small town American cliche.

 

Wow.

Didn’t think this review would go that way. I got all annoyed there. This film is why people have self esteem issues. This film reinforces all of those stupid high school memes about being popular and getting loved. IT ENDS HAPPILY. WITH ALL PEOPLE LIKING EACH OTHER. Fuck it.