Man And His Gadgets

Trigger Warnings – None.

I do so hope the laptop is fixed soon, or replaced or anything, this is not looking to be a practical long term solution using my phone. I’m not the biggest fan of phones on the whole, I use them more as a convenient means of quick communication or to have the odd conversation but the current situation has made me come to see my phone as an internet browser, a work space, a games console, a media player, all those other things people regularly use their phone as that I didn’t. I always get phones with these features, just in case are three words I live by, but only recently have I taken the time to explore my phone and its capabilities. We are all far too dependent on technology aren’t we? I sure am anyway, being without a laptop has deprived me of my work, my main research tool and a form of entertainment. I can’t help but feel a little pathetic about that really but this is so deeply ingrained in our society now that people lose their temper when their Wi-Fi goes down for half an hour. Mad world.

The future of technology will no doubt change the future of education and of priorities in learning. I hold the firm belief that in time it will not be data retention that is a key skill in school but data research, learning how to find accurate information, how to critically understand it and use it, not just learning facts and figures to regurgitate in exam conditions. I’ve nothing against such a future, despite thriving in a classroom environment as a kid I can still see our present system is fundamentally flawed, it just poses questions as to the changing face of intellectual pursuits and the division between our own genius and that of our technology. Even now, if computers world wide all went dead, permanently, how would we function?

I’m tech savvy, I think, I was certainly a computer whiz back in the era of Windows XP, I could get my head round that no trouble, but I don’t keep pace and don’t often care. Tablet computer, yet to find myself wanting one that badly except to do scenes from Star Trek. I’ve never used one though so maybe I don’t know what I’m missing. I’d say I sound like a real old man but apparently tablets are more popular with the older crowd anyway. Still, we must keep developing, we must always make progress for the good of humanity and its home planet, knowledge is a fine thing to pursue and will provide you a fulfilling life long quest, certainly does for me anyway.

Anyway, it’s nice to switch things off hey? Spend honest time with other people and that’s coming from a moody eccentric introvert, even I can admit it is nice to go outside. I used to hide away in my room all the time growing up, avoided everyone. I do still have those moments and after enough socialising or if too many people talk at me at once, I retreat into myself and some form of gadget. Life is always a balancing act is it not? We just need to be analytical of ourselves and see which side we are teetering towards and make informed decisions from there.

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All Together And All Alone

Trigger Warnings – Death.

At the very core of our fleeting existence upon this world, we are lonely creatures. We may well be born into a family, make friends and fall in love as is the way life often proceeds but in the face of death, one meets their maker alone, you can’t hold hands with your parents and ask them for moral support whilst you die, it simply is the way things are. With the threat of the end looming over us, it is in our best interests to lead rich full lives and enjoy laughter and love whilst it lasts and thus relationships are formed when you meet people like yourself that you want to spend that precious time with, be it playing video games, discussing literature or wrestling under the bed sheets laughing.

I am lonely, we all are, we are a race of social animals seeking our place in the grand chaos of the universe. We face this human struggle in different ways, we might be anxious, we might be arrogant and we may even be angry but there is not a human being that has not considered or will not consider their own end. The pursuit of purpose makes us yearn for wealth or the afterlife, the justification of this lonely struggle against the coming darkness, but as a man with no real desire for great wealth or a belief in the afterlife, I embrace the struggle all whilst accepting the fact that light and dark shall forever feud between themselves.

Do not take this as an attack upon religion but for me, I find the reward of a good deed is the deed, not the concept of heaven. Heaven or not, our lives as we know them now are nothing but the blink of an eye, we must cherish that moment and why use your time on this Earth being cruel or unkind, what does it ultimately achieve? We are all in this together on one planet, perhaps in the interest of being civil, we should look to a society of empathy, not envy.

Pick up litter, ask someone about their day even if you don’t really care, hold a door open, all these things are so trivial and insignificant yet they bring me an endless sense of wellbeing. If there is a higher power, they will notice and they will reward you but if not at least you lived a life of positivity and you can rest in peace knowing you did what you could, in your own little way, to make that struggle of life better for someone else. If we all did that, that would be beautiful wouldn’t it? An endless cycle of little joys selflessly given away from one human being to another so that we can feel a little bit better about the reality of our situation as temporary beings. I’ve made these points before in many ways in many articles and there is more to be said but perhaps with time I will come to see someone take this to heart

Call this tripe or rubbish, maybe even beatnik lunacy, but for me, it gets me by, what makes life better for me is making life better for someone else just because I can and I care. I won’t pretend to know the hearts of everyone around me but I cannot be the only one carrying doubts, fears and unspoken wishes with me, if my kindness can lighten that burden for someone, why not? Perhaps someone will do the same for me, perhaps not, I will find the road to happiness either way.

Thank you.

Dulled Edge

Trigger Warnings – None.

Blogging. Blog blog blogging. Bloggy bloggy blog blog. Erhem, my more astute readers will probably have already guessed that I am clueless about tonight’s topic, this whole no computer deal is a pain in the ass, I tell you. I’m worried this will actually have a seriously damaging effect on my blog and my writing on the whole to be honest.

I really don’t have much to talk about today, today has been a rather dull day in all fairness, the highlight was going for coffee with a friend. Granted, said friend instantly brightens up any day. However, other than that momentary joy, today has been uneventful. Things being what they are, I am a man without a purpose for the time being, so to speak. I’m sorta drifting really, I’ll get back into work soon enough I’m sure, my CV is certainly much more impressive than it used to be and as it was it already attracted good attention so who knows hey?

I like working, not for myself though, I’m never really that good at doing something purely for my own benefit which makes me naturally selfless but can bite me in the butt at times. Charity work is appealing to me for that very reason, I’m not working solely for me or for some corporate jerk-off, I’m working for the benefit of those less fortunate than me. With that in mind, I have come up with a solution to my Christmas crisis.

As covered yesterday, my issues is I just can’t get with the hype, it’s never been my strong suit. If you look around on here I did an article at great length talking about the over emphasis on the excitement of Christmas which dies off pretty damn quick after the day itself. I don’t want to be the constant downer at the party, I like the idea of getting into the spirit of things and I’ve found how to do it – gifts. Not receiving, giving, giving what is requested and what isn’t expected, to see faces light up. I’m generally quite giving as a rule but this time of year, this year at least, I’m getting into the festive spirit by buying gifts. I’m not quite done yet, I have way more people to buy for this year compared to the last but it is nice looking around thinking what loved ones would want. Not to toot my own trumpet but I think I have done a good job this year. Let’s see hey?

I’m generally happy with life I think, my mood doesn’t seem to agree but I am. I think I know some of the big issues holding me back from real full on happiness. Still, good family situation, for the most part, good friends, hair is slowly coming back proper and I seem to have lost a little weight. I would diet but Christmas. I’ll wait until the new year. Anyway, here’s to hoping I get on with my life sooner rather than later!

Cheer Up Sunshine!

Trigger Warnings –

I’ve probably covered this topic before but I am not a sunny man, my disposition, whilst perfectly hospitable, is one of a stone faced man who can only just about force a smile onto his face most of the time. I’m capable of having a laugh and enjoying myself, don’t get me wrong, but my cheeriness is generally quite reserved and softly spoken.

With Christmas fast approaching, I feel I should be excited for it, it’s been a generally good year for me, I have a tight social circle, I know I’ll be receiving some nice gifts and I have gifts lining up for a number of friends and family members, quite good ones too. However, I struggle to feel excited, I always have in all honesty and I’m not 100% sure why but I have theories.

Contrary to the impression given by the number of personal posts I make on this blog, my innermost feelings are really quite valuable to me and I tend to keep them under my hat, which has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is strength, I can plough on through personal dilemmas and get stuff done. I can suffer indignation and still be driven to rise from the ashes like the metaphorical firebird of legend. Disadvantages are that I give off this impression of never enjoying anything and when people comment on it, I internalise it and so here I am, unable to be excited because everyone has to ask why I never am.

I guess this is a standard of masculinity forced upon me by being a male, the eldest brother of the household at that, everything was about strength and resolve, weakness was not an option. I went out of my way to be a strong person, I had to prove it at every opportunity. Feelings, or at least feelings like excitement, were weak, they were childish and unnecessary to a fighter. All of this loops back to my teenage years of anger and fire, I’ve overcome that part of myself but there is so much more to it than just learning not to resolve problems by punching them in the face, you have to rethink everything.

Overcoming that anger was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and even now there a handful of people I’d love to do some damage to if there were no consequences to it. However, such things exist only as petty fantasies like we all have, we all know that one guy you would like to see get what’s coming to them, for me I used to do just that by mashing their faces into walls, now I just mumble. The trouble for me was learning to walk away or breathe slowly but also the process of changing because I think only one person ever really had any faith in me, everyone else seemed to label me even after months without so much as a raised voice. Change is like that though, a painter isn’t paid for holding brushes, they’re paid for a painted wall and any substantial change is the same, nobody will applaud you for saying it will happen, only when it has happened and even then they’ll remind you how much of an asshole you used to be. I don’t mind people bringing up my past but when it’s in the context of “You used to be a real sack of shit”, how do I respond adequately?

Anyway, rambling on, this sorta wandered across a broad spectrum. I meant to say I feel too exposed when I’m visibly displaying a passionate emotion and open to mockery so don’t take it personally if I don’t jump up and down grinning when you say you’ve got me a Christmas present. If you ever see me opening up, don’t take it for granted and don’t call attention to it or I will clam up right away.

Final note to anyone struggling to change, don’t give up. People will doubt you, deny you, resent you and maybe try to break you but we are all capable of great things if we have but the courage and resources to try. I used to be a hyperaggressive super jerk with delusions of grandeur, now I’m just me, I’ll leave you to your own descriptions of me from there.

Expiration Date

Trigger Warnings – None.

Well, the job has come to an end, the contract technically expires on Friday but with no more hours this week, today was my last day. I’ve been told to be on my way, take time away from the store and come back refreshed in the new year to volunteer. I’ll still pop in to see the team, celebrate with them but come the new year, I will need to think about the next step up, such a thing is inevitable really.

So my plan is to look into retaking a subject I did in college, maybe a couple, knock the grades up and then look into further education from there. Granted, it’s late but I need to move on somehow, not just potter around Shrewsbury playing second fiddle to a bunch of different managers and supervisors. I’m walking away from this job with stronger social skills, admittedly still an introvert who would rather leave people alone than bother them with my awkward company but at least I can make decent attempts at human interaction now and my presence isn’t greeted with indifferent sighs any more.

I need a job though, got to pay my way somehow and I don’t want to live with my dad forever, my independence would make everyone’s lives
much easier. In the future, I would like to say farewell to Shrewsbury altogether, go out into the world for real, not just for a day trip with a train ticket. I’m not sure where to, picking a path to walk down has always been a tough one for me, I feel like I am always sacrificing something that could be amazing to walk down the path before me. Curse my tendency to overthink fucking everything every moment of the day, it makes me sensitive and indecisive

I should have invested more in my future but truth be told, it never interested me until recently, to want for myself has always filled me with this sort of nausea. Strange, I know, I can’t explain it very well but it explains why a child prodigy wound up working behind counters if he never took interest in using his talents to do something for himself. I enjoy charity work, I’m working for my pay (or was) but also for a good cause far beyond checks with my name on. I hope that whatever I end up doing, it benefits people beyond myself or I would be going against my core ideals of community and such.

In other news, I need a laptop, seriously, this blogging using a touch screen is maddening. Finger blog is accurate by the way, I use two hands to type on a keyboard, a single finger to type on a touch screen. Takes forever to get nowhere, this post feels long but it isn’t really is it? Bleh. Life sucks, first world problems and all that.

Anyway, gonna have to call it quits there, my hands hurt, I get awful pains from using touch screens but you can’t avoid them now. See you all tomorrow for more mini posts!

Fingerbound Blogger

Trigger Warnings – None.

So I’ll start by saying the laptop is pretty much a total write off and I am now stuck working from my phone because I have neither a tablet or a desktop and libraries aren’t open this late in the evening. This is a bother, long passages of text are a nightmare by touch screen, even with predictive text. Ultimately the impact of this on my work will be that the posts might be shorter, I get a buzzing pain in my fingers if I use touch screens for more than half an hour straight. I also apologise but there isn’t a justify the text option on this app so the posts may look messy. So yeah, that’s a setback.

Ugh, that last paragraph took forever and it’s barely even a fifth of the article, this is going to be hell but I haven’t stopped this daily momentum before now, can’t let the lack of a computer stop me now can I?

Being fingerbound, a term I have invented and already realised doesn’t make sense because I still use my fingers to operate a keyboard but hey, I can’t really write articles along the lines of the calibre I would like, this might just be some personal posts and little oddities, if that already sounds uninteresting then just skip the next week or two. Hopefully I will get to a proper computer soon, maybe I will have to visit the library after all.

Anyway, I have waffled on a bit and not about anything in particular I notice other than my current situation. Truth be told, my fingers ache like mad now, seriously. However, kudos to whoever developed this app, it does work, not without space for improvement but at the core this thing is useful. I would appreciate it though if it didn’t keep forgetting my blog exists, that gets old fast. Oh well, we shall see how it goes but I think I’ll wrap it up here for now if you guys don’t mind. Goodnight!

A Matter of Correctness

Trigger Warnings – None

A progressive and liberal minded person will often find that when comedy and insensitivity mix, they tend to cringe, which can often lead to this talk of “political correctness” as being a negative thing. I hear it a lot, if you say to someone “I don’t tell people to grow some balls because your genitalia has nothing to do with your determination” then you’ll probably hear them say “Alright you lofty twat, I was just using a figure of speech” and then you look like the dickhead for daring to object to that racist/sexist/homophobic joke or remark. Right now, I bet some of you are thinking I’m a lefty tosser with pretentious standards I enforce upon everyone and recycle my own shit to save pandas or something, am I on the right lines? Political correctness has been painted with a bad brush, much like feminism or pride regarding sex and sexuality but in truth, political correctness isn’t about being the better man, it’s about forming a better community

I’ll start by admitting that in my time, I’ve told people to man up and made a racist joke here and there, I was a teenage lad in a chavvy school, you had to have something up your sleeve just in case. However, growing older and more mature, it’s harder to laugh at a joke in which the explanation is “Get it? Because they’re Chinese!” and we’re supposed to just go “Oh ok, so I guess that’s just how Chinese people work huh?”. I find such jokes less funny when the point of the joke is to laugh at the expense of a minority and generally think to myself “Could I make this joke with the sort of person targeted by this joke and still be on good terms with them afterwards?”

Now don’t get me wrong, comedy is on a first name basis with controversy and tragedy, that’s something I understand as well as anyone, but comedy can and should be better than the lazy effort of generalisation. You can often hear people make these jokes and justify it by saying they’re “half Black” or “my best mate is from Asia so…” and it’s a hard situation to handle but I find if they justify it in such a way, they don’t suffer the discrimination they’re inadvertently endorsing, someone who justifies their joke as “Well my sister’s a lesbian so I can do this” is NOT a lesbian, she can’t identify with how a lesbian would react to the joke and if she did tell her sister, her sister might tolerate it as just being an annoying sister

Political incorrectness is still very much a social norm and it’s a privilege we need to get over as a society, if you can’t think of a funny joke that isn’t about dumb blondes or wussy gay guys, you’re not a very funny person are you? Try harder, there are so many things in life good for poking fun at but it has to be a poke, a light tickle in the ribs, not just some dismissive “Well the joke is that you can’t drive properly because you have a vagina”. Jokes are always going to offend, sure, but it doesn’t mean we can’t have a cull on some of the jokes that are just based in the world of stupid stereotypes and ignorance as humour is the work of intellect, not burbling. I realise I might upset a few people saying this but frankly if you can’t have a laugh without it being at someone’s expense, that’s your problem, not mine

Now before people get in a huff about free-speech, let me tell you something about free-speech, free-speech is the right to speak and that is all it is, it is not the right to say anything without consequences, it is not the right to have everyone hear whatever you say and it is not entitlement to a podium or stage if you want one, it is literally just the right to open your mouth and say something if you want to but you still have to accept the responsibility for what you say. So, if you want to make racist jokes, fucking go for it but accept the fact you will be considered a racist. If you think I am infringing on your rights by telling you to not make these jokes, I’m not, my right is to say this to you as it is yours to make those jokes, it doesn’t mean I can’t suggest you don’t make those jokes or argue against these remarks if you make them

So, in exercising that right to free-speech, confront someone whose comedy arsenal is a load of jokes about Muslims, Indians and women, tell them these jokes should be left where they belong, in the past, in a world of division and ignorance and that we need to move forward. If you are an aficionado of the dumb blonde jokes or laughing at how Chinese words sound so funny compared to ours, why not try to broaden your horizons? You think you’re funny now huh? Imagine how much funnier you’d be if EVERYONE could join in your fun, if everyone around you thought you were a great guy, even the little people you might overlook. Political correctness isn’t about being smart or elitist or high-brow, it’s about being a decent human being that treats all people as… well… people. Call me a radical but I think that’s a damn fine thing to do