comparisons are bad science, but ignoring even bad science can be worse

It’s not good to compare out of anger, but to compare with coldness is vengeful in the extreme.

A balance, as always in life, far outruns the sprints of pent-up fury.

Yet the fury of the young and old, who find themselves unable to reach their potential, who find themselves called blunt tools by famous newspaper liberals, does demand of us all that they – that we – are offered a better shake of the dice.

In fact, they simply deserve a shake of dice which are not loaded against them from the start.

If we learn to see ourselves as blunt tools, intellectually and emotionally too maybe – if that is the idea we accept about ourselves, more so because interested parties tell us so with commanding authority – then what chance do we have of changing the baselines?  What chance do we have as society, culture, business, art, education and medicine to fashion the hierarchies of all our relationships in a way that befits our century?

I am sometimes aggressively against the waste of humanity that modern work has imposed on how we are.  I shout and vent when I should discuss and debate.

But allegedly careful debate is often conducted by those who would share the blunt tool thesis: there are the clever by nature (often themselves), the industrious by temperament – and then there are the rest of us who deserve only a life of unremitting toil.

And many of us now … well … not even that.

I complain vigorously about the wasteful culture of the city I have lived in for the majority of my life. I see virtues in other places and make negative comparisons about the city in question.

And there are people who say: “Make a difference locally” – whatever that locally may be like.  And I would argue – where this locally ranges from wilfully mediocre to petty smalltown mafia – that this is exactly the same as telling an abused spouse they should hold out for better times.  And when politics and its practitioners demand we get involved because if we don’t then it will involve us on its own terms, we are creating inequalities of power that replicate awfully.

Such inequalities exist in many areas: between good friends only love and compassion drive what we do; between doctors & nurses and their patients, however, the prime responsibility ends up being  that which the institutions dictate, and this ultimately is the state.  Compassion is a huge black hole of an absence here, too: massive training programmes would be necessary to tip the balance in favour of a more whole-person approach to wellbeing and recovery.

Meanwhile, a husband who demands his wife does his bidding because a piece of paper says she must is just as unjust as the previous examples – and just as widespread.

Therefore, when we say a desultory childhood and young adulthood wasted in a space of middling creativity and ideas generation should be fought and battled with by those with finite lives (this is my case, by the way), when so many wonderful environments far more beneficial to mental and creative wellbeing already exist, we surely have no right to go ahead and demand this of any young person: we have no right at all to demand they stay at home to fight cruelly loaded dice.

And if not to be asked of young people, then not of older generations either.

Above all, we must respect the decisions and choices of sovereign individuals: local is not necessarily good; those who pursue global are not always pursuing the pernicious. 

Each to be judged on their own multiple merits.  And just as rightly, in terms of their own negatives.

And then let a judicious combination emerge, which serves to enrich us all.

The combination already has an optimistic name: glocalism.

So true: comparisons are often a poor science.  But far poorer still is to allow human beings to live their lives, in the belief handed down by those with grand and bountiful – but not benevolent – privilege, that some greater power made such human tools fit only to be cogs in deathly machine.

Let our boundaries exist, of course, to allow beautiful identities to coexist generously and with compassion, but equally let these boundaries not enclose us away from each other: for I plead that all boundaries be osmotic in nature.  Above all, free and unbidden passage of ideas, peoples, cultures, unconventionalities and the refreshing quirkinesses of the truly free.

And let our litmus test be as follows: if we can respond to anyone’s curious ways of seeing and doing and believing and making and doing – where such ways respect above all the ways of others – with a hug of humanity and a welcome and an emotional and intellectual embrace, we have done the job our 21st civilisation demands of us.  And where the unconventional stops being seen as such, where the wildest of dreams becomes second nature – logical and kindly, in fact – then we have done our job too.

And where we can express our love of difference in such manners, we will know that each and every one of us is slowly rising from the prejudices of upbringing and adult hurt and abuse to those young minds who should’ve enjoyed better.  Even as we appreciate that these culpable adults perhaps themselves, in their own times, had no opportunity either to rid themselves of the very same pain they went and – in turn – inflicted.

cross(ed) messages / nothing about you without you

 

Had a really fab day in Liverpool today, meeting interesting people – and a great artistic soul too.  But people who I believe reserve the right to call themselves my friends sent me what I feel were abusive messages, at the end of the fab day I’ve described: if not abusive, certainly in extremely bad faith.  Not much I could do ‘cos they were about as ephemeral as they get, so recourse to the authorities ain’t within my possibilities.  And I didn’t feel threatened, ‘cos I don’t get scared by stuff like this – ever since I started flying and driving again.  But I do get very very angry.  I wrote a post the other day, also in anger, about para-fascism – about people doing to you what’s best for you in their opinion, but never – in truth – consulting you first to see if you agree.  So I felt I went too far in that post, and apologised in the succeeding post I wrote the same afternoon.  But now I am not so sure I should actually have apologised.

 

 

I strongly believe in people taking ownership for their actions: I have attempted to do so as far as I can for many years.  And where it has not been possible, I have suffered the consequences: in a way you could argue I have been duly punished over and over.  My life has been no emotional bed of roses at all. I have missed out on love, physical contact and the small things of life that make life a big thing.

 

 

So in that sense, the universe, its people and I have done stuff to each other which equals things out.  And if any party thinks not, then I’m here and quite ready to talk.  Tbh, I really haven’t done anything apart from talking about my confusion re the world around me for the past thirteen years – maybe much much more.  Clearly I cannot be accused of not trying to communicate with others.  Others, however, have abused the trust I placed in them many a time, repeatedly, frequently – and currently too.  By not sharing with me the things they know about what has happened to me, they do what no member of our species has a moral right to do: reserve and maintain and sustain a hierarchy of knowledge with respect to the people they should be supporting, embracing and honestly befriending.

 

 

Therefore I am going to say this once, and only once: people who consider themselves my friends need to take ownership for all their actions around my person.  Meanwhile, people who don’t take ownership for all their actions around my person will not be considered – any longer – friends by me.  And if this leaves me to be just about the most solitary being the world witnesses at the moment, then so be it.  Because at the same moment, right now, as I write these words, I do sincerely feel I am living a solitary life amongst crowds of ciphers who simply, flatly refuse to engage with me at all; certainly refuse to engage in the good faith any decent human being should have a right to expect of the rest of humanity.

 

 

why i’m feeling it’s a problem communicating with people unlike myself

This started when I began to feel uncomfortable about going to a park alone.  I don’t feel like that when in Spain or Croatia; only in Britain.

Men, alone, in a park, are considered potentially dangerous in Britain.

Or, at least, that’s how I feel men are seen these days.  If you’re walking out with a spouse, it makes no blind bit of difference, of course.  No one is afraid of (say) a husband dutifully connected to a wife.  And women, in fact, can go for walks by themselves without parents feeling children may be threatened.

But men – God forbid.

That’s how I see it anyhow.

Does anyone else feel the same about how men are seen in Britain – or is that only, sadly, me?

*

The reaction, or the behaviour, appears to be expanding further now.

When an avatar on Twitter appears to be of a woman (so leading one naturally to assume that the person behind it is a woman) or is self-asserted transgender or is demonstrably religious or is anything but white, privileged, mostly secular myself, I feel I am without any real right to intervene and communicate back.  This is partly because my privilege has made me unable to understand another’s plight, reality, situation or joy.  Also, I am part of a wider threat to a more equal humanity.

In particular this happens when the person in question is saying quite sad things about their life.

Sad things I’d like to support them on.

Sad things I think (I think we can fairly assume) they’re asking quite publicly to be supported on.

I still do exchange info and tweets with all sorts of people, of course; but on what I consider relatively neutral topics.  Or perhaps that’s actually clearly neutral topics.

The emotional ones, the ones which I as a writer and human being am bound to be interested in, I feel are out of bounds for someone as white and clearly privileged as I am.

I’ve begun to feel online communication is so easily a spark away from tinder-box reactions that discretion cowardice is the better part of valour.

So, instead, I now feel that people will think I am simply looking to wear politically correct badges of courage, when in reality I’ve always thought I was trying humanely to reach out.

And maybe if I now feel that, then it’s going to kinda be true.

What do you think?

Are these the blatherings of confused – maybe gradually auto-anxiety provoking – privilege?

Or is there a real human need for equal communication being lost to what’s becoming an ether of righteousness?