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Saturday, 28 November 2015
Lessons Learned, Pages Turned
Wreck-It Ralph taught me that I need to stay in my lane. Don't try and be better or anything other than what you are - the moment you try, you've fucked it. ...that's a double-edged sword.
Say Anything taught me that music can convey just about anything better than regular old words can. Especially when delivered personally. Via nineties-era boom-box.
Dog Day Afternoon taught me that love can drive people to extraordinary lengths. And body counts.
Gremlins taught me that stairlifts are very, very dangerous.
Civilization V taught me that as long as you are charismatic enough, anyone will help you, unless you CURSE YOU GHANDIIIIIIII
Die Hard taught me a great way to deal with jet alg and various other minor discomforts and maladies. Seriously, try the grabbing-the-floor thing. It genuinely works.
Inception taught me that I should ignore all of those ridiculous motivational posters telling me to Follow Your Dreams.
Pokemon: The First Movie taught me that all it takes for people to realise that conflict is wrong is to notice the effect it has on two people.
Gone In Sixty Seconds taught me that there is literally no car on earth sexier than a 1967 Mustang with a V8 engine.
The Great Dictator taught me that it's not the people that talk a lot that really deserve listening to - it's the ones that talk so rarely that you know they have something to say.
The Star Wars Prequels taught me that you should just watch the original trilogy. Also that it's far more okay to murder Sand People babies than non-Sand People kids.
Mad Max: Fury Road taught me who killed the world. It also taught me that being witnessed can be very important.
Terminator 2 taught me that even carrying a minigun won't make a white man seem as threatening as an unarmed black man to the authorities.
Pixels taught me to never trust Adam Sandler, and also to just watch Wreck-It Ralph again.
Yet again...more will follow in the future.
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
That may sound like I'm sympathising with terrorists. Understand this: I hate what they did, but that doesn't mean I can't draw a line of causality from why. Do I agree with them? No. Do I agree with what our governments have done? No. They're not mutually exclusive.
Yet more indirect shittiness can be found in the media. It sells papers to be extreme, to have eye-catching headlines, to appeal to the controversial in society. Fanning the flames of intimidation and tension leads to viewers which leads to more Good Things, and because they don't care about the irresponsibility of their actions and who may suffer as a consequence, they continue to be shitty to other human beings.
The thing of it is...it all sounds so wishy-washy and hard to achieve because...well...we all know people aren't like that. Nobody believes in the things that would reduce poverty, because that means redistribution of wealth, or adjustment of current living conditions. No one wants that. Fuck those worse off than me, I don't want to be worse off. Refugees? Charity starts at home. Charity? I've got enough to worry about.
It's an austerity mindset, an enclosed and fearful mindset. It is people unwilling to help the whole because the one is more important. It's a mindset that we are born into, live in, die in. As I said earlier, it is what society wants of us.
In the end, we have made a very uncomfortable bed. We've done a lot in the past that is coming back to bite us in the present and will continue to bite us in the future; and the only way out of it is to stop making the same stupid mistakes we keep making, fix the holes in the cieling we keep ignoring, and actually do something for our fellow people.
The crying shame is that the only time the sympathy comes out is when people die. That's what it takes: the corpses of innocents.
There's our solutions. There they are. Simple concepts, achievable concepts, if only people would DO THEM.
But they won't.
Not until it's far too late.
Saturday, 14 November 2015
The Question Is Why
A lot of innocent people have been killed, their only crime - being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Those places have been reasonably diverse. One occupies the majority of the media attention, of course, because...hell, in the Lebanon, people get blown up and shot all the time. It's monstrous and cruel and so very regular that nobody bats an eyelid. Like acceptance by mass numeral.
It is as tragic as it always is to see innocent people die. It's never right, for whatever reason. It's an awful injustice and it just shouldn't ever happen...but it does.
What really bothers me...what truly works my nerves...is not knowing why.
Why would these people choose to do what they do? Everyone has a theory. Some of those theories are perhaps based more on personal bias than actual fact. What chain of causality led to those people pulling the triggers, flicking the switches? What decision-making process took them from step 1 to the awful final step?
What caused those decisions to be made the way they were? Not "because X said so" or "because they were angry", but what led to that? What caused all of this to happen? If these acts of atrocity are the symptoms of a sickness, what is the sickness itself?
I only phrase it like that, because it's all too easy to treat the symptom, not the sickness. A comparable situation - in theory, if not in actual tragedy - is the spread of Malaria. To constantly try and patch the holes, to rush around curing each outbreak and instance - that is burning a lot of energy hacking at branches, when the roots of the problem remain out of reach. To stop the mosquitoes that spread the Malaria, to find a way to prevent them from spreading it, to get people out of areas where it spreads from...that's a cure.
I wish I knew why. I dearly wish I knew why. That way I could make sense of it and see a solution.
I can't. That is what keeps me up at night.
I suspect that there's many theoretical root-causes. Societal reasons on the macro-scale, which can be tackled with big, difficult decisions, the kind that make people say "yeah but that wouldn't work really would it" not because they won't work but because making people believe it will work is harder than just letting it all keep happening.
I just don't know.
I wish I did.
Sunday, 8 November 2015
I Love This City
I absolutely adore this place.
What is it about Brighton & Hove that draws me back? I find it hard to pin down but the draw is there all the same. Rain or shine, hot or cold. It's like this place is a second home to me.
Let us start with the obvious: it isn't home. Being somewhere else is necessary every now and then. It brings perspective, refreshes the bits of us that stifle and chafe when trapped in the same-old.
Related to that - the convenience of a city. Public transport, reasonably cheap, and well-managed too. 4G all over. All the big chains that one could ask for, within easy distance...
...and at the same time - a massive swathe of small shops. Specialist places, little pubs, music venues and eating spots. Stuff that would usually require a small town. All these things thrive and flourish
Culture and art. There's a big music scene, bigger than the surface are seems to allow for. There's galleries and art all over the place. Graf - down half of the streets you will find paint on walls. A lot of it good stuff, too. Those big green phone exchange boxes - half of those are decorated. It's refreshing to see. Like the city has tattoos.
The local populace. They are interesting people - some visibly, some below the surface. Walk down the street or sit outside a cafe and just watch. There's more life there than one would ever expect.
It just...feels good, to be here, in this place. If I ever get my shit together to the point that I can move off the Island, this is my #1 consideration. It's my kind of city.
I wonder how long it would take for the honeymoon to end.