Before Friendship

It probably comes as a surprise to none of you reading this that my opinions earn me just as much ire as they do respect. For every feminist that stands at my side or ME sufferer that applauds the awareness I raise, there is another person willing to call me an over-sensitive wuss or accusing me of ignoring the struggles of men. Don’t be mistaken, this blog doesn’t get the traffic necessary for anonymous hate mail and when I do receive that, I can shrug it off as easy as anything. No, far more often, the people waiting to the sidelines to jump in with snide comments and putdowns are friends and family. My usual response is try to talk to them one to one to explain my point of view but if they’re gonna be pig-headed or, heaven forbid, insulting, that’s that and their name is quickly scratched from any Christmas card list I have going. I’ll never back down on my morals, I just can’t, morals define who we are, our codes are unique and we must not let others force us to against them or we lose ourselves. I won’t deny it can be disheartening but I won’t ever compromise on that aspect of myself. That said, here are some common arguments I want to lay to rest:

1. “That’s just your opinion”

I will not cut you out of my life for having a different opinion to me. I will not cut you out of my life for following a different religion or voting differently to me (Unless you support a party such as UKIP or Britain First). I understand my friends will have different opinions to me, I have friends who think minions are adorable, that Transformers are dull and that Dynasty Warriors is a braindead button-mashing experience but I don’t unfriend people over that. Opposing feminism isn’t having a different opinion to me, it’s an entire viewpoint away from mine, a whole different set of rules and values that just aren’t compatible with my own. Using feminism as an example, if you’re anti-feminist, then there a whole host of views that you may or may not fall in line with – victim blaming, slut shaming, the ‘place’ of women in society, friend-zoning, supporting such views is anti-feminism and opposing them? Pro. You might not wear the label but if you believe a woman shouldn’t deserve to be abused because of what she wears, that’s a feminist belief. Opinions are singular, you can look past those, what I am talking about is so much more than “That’s just what I think”, it’s “That’s what I deem to be morally correct”

2. “You’re refusing to hear what you don’t want to”

I think it’s fair to say that in this day and age of technology and viral videos and such, burying your head in the sand and ignoring the world around you is harder and harder to do unless you exclusively use the internet to do your Tesco food shop and watch porn and even then there’s probably going to be some crossover. We have the right to speak, the right to listen and the right to ignore, it’s a big deal with free speech. In all fairness, I’m not so much rejecting the viewpoint, I have to accept that such views exist and I am constantly aware of it, that’s why I do what I do, what I’m rejecting is the association of friendship between people like that and myself. I am AWARE of Donald Trump, that doesn’t mean if we met I’d have to have him added on Facebook to know that he is a racist orange gibbon.

3. “Refusing to talk to people with different views is cowardly and proof you can’t beat them in a debate”

This, I hear a lot, a sort of “If you don’t fight your case, you’ve lost” deal, like I’m on trial every time I put a link to a Laci Green vid in a status. I’ll start by saying that flat out refusing to talk to someone just because they’re right-wing or such isn’t how I start, that’s certainly a buffer I have up against new friends or partners, if a date makes a joke about Poland being full of cut-rate builders ruining the British economy by taking our jobs, I know I won’t need to bother asking her out on a second date. I do try and talk people around and I find, more often than not actually, it is not me that first resorts to personal attacks. Granted, in the past, I’ve had a tendency towards dismissing my opponents as imbeciles but more recently, it is often my critics that come forth with harsh barbs. A wide belief is the first to resort to such, is out of actual intelligent points to argue. I will try and talk someone around but if they’re being unpleasant or mocking me or such, I have no obligation to listen to the rest of what they might say

4. “What about Echo Chambers?”

Echo Chambers, for those who are unaware, are the idea of having a social media account that is loaded with nothing but people who agree with everything you say or do and as such, you become both big-headed and narrow-minded. I mean, if a hundred or so people are telling you on a near daily basis that you are very clever, attractive and morally righteous, surely it stands to reason you might one day believe all that to be fact? Well, aside from my hilariously out-of-hand anxiety having the power to keep any sort of ego of mine in check, not all my friends agree with me on everything I do and we are all capable of critical thinking. Dangerous as it is, I will always peruse the comment sections of news articles and videos, to see different views being expressed beneath. Largely, I’ll admit, it is people making vulgar remarks and such but there are a broad spectrum of opinions represented in these places, some fact-checked, some not, and I will take my time to mine the internet for comments actually worth reading. However, beyond that, on something like Facebook, can you blame people for wanting to be surrounded by people that like them a whole bunch and tell them nice things when we as a society are so readily prepared to pull one another apart? If you want an Echo Chamber, go ahead, you can always self-administer some doses of reality by watching the news or going outside, you don’t need a quota of dickheads on your Friends list to water down your self-confidence.

5. “You won’t win anyone around to your way of thinking by unfriending them”

Err… I’m sorry, when did that become my obligation? When did it become my job to try and win the hearts and minds of every person I meet? No, you see, the BLOG is where it’s my job to defend my viewpoints because that’s all this is, this is literally a website full of me saying shit I think and believe. My Facebook is just my day-to-day thought journal and means of contacting friends and sharing dumb photos I like because penguins are in it or it contains a pun or something. In my daily life, I have every right to just tell someone to piss off because Jacob Wolfe needs his space, Old Man Wolfe, on this site, is the guy doing the debating and lengthy arguments and such and if I need to illustrate my point, I can just tell Facebook friend “Go read this thing I wrote THEN talk to me”. I’ll defend my beliefs at any point in life, sure, but a highlight of the digital age is that if someone is an annoying wanker, you can click a button and they no longer exist in your radar, why would that not be a feature I would make use of?

Well, that’s that then, feel free to use these points in your own rebuttals when you have to explain to your parents why you blocked Aunt Carol on Facebook because she won’t stop sharing anti-vaccination posts on her profile. Your media, your choices, you don’t have any obligation to argue with people if you don’t want to and your beliefs are more than just opinions, they make you who you are and if people can’t accept them, they can’t accept you and that’s not on. Tolerance is all well and good but it’s a two-way street so don’t just put up with nonsense for the sake of being a good person, you have to let yourself break away from toxic influences. Just keep up to date on the world affairs and you won’t lose sight of reality behind rose-tinted glass (And hey, fuck reality once in awhile, take an evening a week or something or an hour of the day to just forget David Cameron is in power and go play a game or watch a film). Remember that you are no less for wanting to spend more time in the company of people like you and that it is a clever move to remove people from your life who will only cause you harm or upset. Okay? That’s all.

Really need a sign off phrase…

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Twenty Years On

Trigger Warnings – None

Today is my twentieth birthday. No, I’m not expecting birthday messages from my readers, don’t worry, though any received will be greatly appreciated. I had a fairly standard day of it, nothing special but nice enough and the evening was spent on a dinner date with my closest friend, essentially combining the two things I enjoy most into one evening. Anyway, I’m twenty years old, inside I feel much older but I figured given the occasion I’d share some personal feelings with you all about my journey through life thus far

I consider myself the old man for more than one reason. Yes, I can rant and grumble and be generally miserable at times but I  actually feel like an old man because my life has been so full of stories and mishaps so far. Almost a dozen failed romances, countless short-lived flings, friends and enemies too numerous to list, a number of jobs and journeys and so many good times and bad. I’ve been lots of different people, all ruled by the same underlying traits but I’ve been an emo kid, I’ve been a typical child, I’ve been an artist with a head full of clouds and I am currently a cocktail of characteristics picked up along the way

The teen years are all about trying to be someone people will like or that will get you the response you want from people until you get older and realise you’re better off just being whatever the fuck you feel like being and telling the world to love it or loathe it and shut up either way. I made that realisation leaving college really, I did a lot to try and keep people as friends but I kept losing more and more as life went on and now I’m used to it, I can carry on strong and stone-faced through almost anything and everything, though the blogging helps and I have good friends to rely on.

I sometimes pine for what I’ve lost – the friendship groups that were such good laughs, the relationships that could’ve lasted if I’d done this differently, the people I’d never have hurt if I thought more carefully about how I treated them and on a darker note, the people who have passed away who I once held so dear – but through it all I’ve sorted the wheat from the chaff and I’m happy with what has come from that process and what I see for the future if the present is anything to go by. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a long way to go though and I need to crack on with that sooner rather than later

I feel jaded, a terrible thing at only two decades of age but still, so many failures so far and so much having happened in such a short time, I worry the next twenty years will be drab by comparison. I have my fears for the future, romance and career-wise mostly, fearing I’ll never achieve my goals and never find a woman to spend the rest of my life with romantically, currently I’m struggling to find one I can even spend a few months with. I’ll avoid the entire story of my love life, it’s a long one and a little too personal for this blog, maybe even for some that know me but those that know why I am as I am now will know why I struggle

Oh well, this isn’t a day for finicking over that, this is a good day and it has been nice enough, the past few years have been an interesting story indeed. I have a number of good friends now, one friend in particular who has seen me through hell and high water, stood at my side when I’ve been a total twat and we cannot picture a future in which we are not still thick as thieves, two goofballs versus the world. You know who you are, the world probably knows, and I know this is mushy but it’s my birthday and a bit of a milestone so I just wanted to give thanks for you and to let you know that I love you so very much.

And of course, to my family, my father in particular, who haven’t always liked me but have never abandoned me, even when I convinced myself I didn’t want them. I’ve been an ass and that’s only just improved in the last couple of years but thank you all the same, to those I live with and to those a little further out. To my newer friends and friends of the past few years, credit goes to you for actually consenting to joining the craziness, you’re special kinds of people for doing that and I hope the friendships I have forged as of now are the ones that will last because they are with some brilliant people

Mushiness and sentiment about aging and such aside, I look now to the future and to what a genuinely Old Man Wolfe will one day be. Anyway, the birthday time is passing over, less than three hours left until the day is over so that’s the syrupy sweet stuff done, bleh. Ok? Tributes paid, grumpy as usual again tomorrow! (I make that sound like a conscious choice…)

Yo-Yo In An Elevator

Trigger Warnings – Mentions of death, self-harm, suicide, cannibalism

British people, calm down, I know to us it is “Yo-Yo In A Lift” but that didn’t have the same ring to it. In case the title leaves something to be desired, this is a personal post, insert the standard apology for doing more personal blogging than political or topical stuff, lord knows my view stats are taking the bullet for that one, the past week has seen a steady decline in my reader base but when I have an agenda, I don’t want to make a hack job of it by blogging about it when I don’t feel up to it so tonight is some more personal stuff.

My mood has been fluctuating again. Remember recently I did a post about being really content with my life and having this sense of well-being? And remember how I enjoyed my birthday celebrations and stuff and was happy then? Yeah well I feel flat now, perhaps there’s more to my mood issues than I thought, it had previously just been a constant crushing sadness but now it temporarily vanishes and clears away to blue skies before coming back as one hell of a storm. I’ve decided as of next week I shall keep a mood diary listing my mood each hour, on the hour, and what I was doing at the time, see if I notice any patterns and I’ll take this journal to a doctor, who will probably dismiss it as needing more sleep or a job I enjoy more than the one I have but hey, worth a shot, maybe one day one doctor will actually admit there is something wrong and help.

I’ve been having some weird dreams lately, some are pleasant and normal enough but some are very disturbing. Last night, I dreamt I asked someone out, won’t say who, but I was so overjoyed they said yes that I wasn’t looking where I was going and stepped out in front of a bus. Yes, Doctor Who-ey I know, your dreams are influenced by that kind of thing but anyway, I didn’t wake up. Well I did, I woke up in the dream and found myself in a rundown abandoned military building with some friends and strangers, who told me the place was safe except for the West Wing, which is full of cannibals and the only reason the cannibals are kept at bay is the sacrifice of one of the group once a week. We couldn’t escape, we had no weapons, we had limited supplies and we were all scared. I dreamt I was being told to go give the cannibals their sacrifice, they’d chosen someone, but when we turned up there the sacrifice attacked me and locked me in the wing with them so I was eaten alive. Then I woke up for real, confused, horrified and nervously lying still in bed for half an hour.

I do not self-harm, I kicked that habit when I was fourteen (Roughly, can’t remember exactly) and I don’t contemplate suicide. I looked into it, it can mean either a crushing realisation the pursuit of happiness through wealth is impossible or it can be a metaphor for feeling overwhelmed by sexual desires. I don’t sit well with those ideas, the wealth thing sounds silly and my sex drive hasn’t been this low in a long time, the desires I have in my heart aren’t lustful and depraved, I desire someone to be with, to laugh with, to hold close, to enjoy a relationship with, not a fuckfest. I’m still jaded about all that though, I see a pretty face now and then but otherwise I’m resigned to being single for some time now, I accept that fact

Anyway, my other dreams have mostly been along two themes – my own death or a new romantic relationship. The romantic dreams are fairly standard, they’re clearly subconscious, well… conscious fantasies playing themselves out but the death dreams? I’ve been eaten, shot, hit by traffic, stabbed, pushed off a cliff, drowned, it’s disturbing that I’m dreaming about such things and it’s one main reason I don’t sleep very well lately, I’m not sure what awaits me, a dream so perfect I don’t want to wake up or a nightmare so horrific I’m scared straight for half an hour when I wake up

I realise this is deeply personal and very disturbing, I’ll have to look into professional help I can afford but I need to talk about this stuff but actually forming words on how I feel and think is incredibly hard, I’ve never been very good at it. I struggle to express emotions through my own personal behaviour, I can barely cry unless it is something overwhelming and even when I lose people I care about, my face doesn’t budge an inch, I haven’t wept for a loss in so long. I’ve heard it’s a common male issue of being pressured to be tough, so tough you struggle to allow yourself to be vulnerable and being a boy who lost a lot as a child whilst being the elder brother of two young boys and having male role models who were never shown to be weak, I guess I’ve internalised the constant rule of never admitting to weakness or need so the written word is how I do just that. Heck, even romantically, I struggle to say the words out loud and some feelings have remained unspoken forever because I just can’t face the rejection and humiliation

Urgh, that was a huge emotional dump and after all that, I feel no better really. I’ll keep this diary as of Monday and track my mood up until the New Year then see a doctor about it, see what they say. Here’s hoping they’ll take action this time

The Gift of Receiving

Trigger Warnings – None

In a week’s time, it will be my birthday, in fact today is my sister Nicola’s birthday and a shout out to her, hope you had a great day of it. I’m not drawing attention to my birthday in the vain hope of receiving messages of love and adoration from my readers to commemorate the fact I am now twenty years of age (Yes, Old Man Wolfe is misleading on that front) but on how the event always comes out of nowhere for me and I find myself being the least prepared man for it of all, which is funny considering, I thought it was beyond age thirty you were supposed to stop caring about your birthdays, or rather wanting less of them, not twenty

I visited a friend of mine today and she read out this list of things I’d mentioned I wanted as gifts and she asked me about everything on the list so as to maintain the element of surprise, I knew my gift would be from the list but it could be any of them and I found myself amazed at her for considering me so intently. Granted, she’s my best friend of the past eight years but even so, I have to commend her, I’ve seen family members give less effort, even I have given less (I generally listen to what people say they wish they had and buy it for them when possible). I felt awkward though, I barely draw attention to myself on celebrations but I have such good friends and family that won’t accept me doing anything short of streamers and cheering. Come to think of it another friend of mine has already been spoiling me with gifts before my birthday has even come and these gifts do not look cheap, some hand-made, it is rather touching and I’m of course very thankful for what I receive from such considerate folk

I don’t know why I always feel awkward about receiving gifts or asking for things though, something inside me feels really shitty whenever I ask for something I want for myself, be it a game, a favour, a bite to eat, I’m a pain in the ass for it. I think it might have to do with how when I was younger my Dad never had much money so whenever I asked for something, he usually couldn’t afford it and had to disappoint me, except on the odd occasion when it was something I needed or it was a gift for a special day, but otherwise we lived a life of making-do, not indulgence, and recently my Dad said that we’re a bit better off now than we were so that’s less of a concern than it once was but still, I absolutely hate to impose. Have me for a guest sometime, you’ll see, I’m very meek and quiet and just stand there not asking for anything and not even moving, unless it is to follow whoever invited me in. I don’t know why, I can’t break the habit, even with my oldest friend I still stand in her kitchen like some poorly chosen ornament

Apologies to her by the way, I didn’t mean to be awkward, I’m very much a fish out of water when not in my own space. Incidentally, you are a gracious host and don’t think I don’t enjoy coming over, I think I was just overly conscious of being polite as a kid and it’s stuck ever since, still breaking out of that strange self-enforced code. To my friends and family who are making a real effort for me on my birthday, a huge thank you, you all seem to love me more than I love me and that can’t be easy.

On the same token, I find myself gifting people a lot more, particularly the aforementioned friend that has sorta been central to this article, no doubt she will not let me live this down that tonight’s post is pretty much all about her. For the record, it’s not dear, if it were it would take an entirely different tone, I assure you, it would be a long winded investigation into how we’ve survived eight years of driving each other insane for shits and giggles… Erhem, I mean uhh… it would be about how amazing you are and how much I love you of course, please don’t murder me. In all seriousness though, I think I just enjoy giving and feel some strange aversion to receiving (No innuendo intended). I’ll break out of it and actually I’m rather excited for the planned birthday celebrations to come, some people who can’t make it to certain dates are determined to do something, if only small, and insist on seeing me another time for a drink. I never thought I inspired such strong bonds but it would seem so and that truly makes me a rich man… like, in character, my friends don’t have much more money than me or I really wouldn’t have an aversion to receiving from them. There you go, go get rich you lot then we’ll celebrate my birthday by all of you pitching in to fly me off to New Zealand in a private jet, that suits me fine.

Erhem, dickbaggery aside, I’m truly grateful for what I have and I’m looking forward to my birthday now, I hadn’t been, I’d been dreading it being a lack lustre celebration of people finding excuses not to show up or acknowledge me but in fact it’s the opposite, friends new and old are all showing a keen interest in making me feel wanted and valued and I’m lucky to have such good people in my life. I will repay such kindness in return when the time comes, some of you are really in for good things this Christmas

Ah fuck, I mentioned Christmas in November before my birthday, I’ve defiled myself. Bleh. Anyway, that’s that, another little personal post as I had a brainfart with regards to proper topics so instead just went with what was on my mind

The Lone Wolf

Trigger Warnings – Mentions of death and loss

Hello again folks, nice to see my blog still did pretty well even in spite of my absence yesterday at this time, the party was fine by the way if you read my post yesterday. Well tonight’s post is another personal one, which I realise the ratio is tilting towards being more in favour of personal posts than political or whatever but this is my blog, my rules and I really just want to get things out there. Incidentally, sometimes people do ask how I can feel so comfortable telling the whole world how I feel about my personal life but truth be told, it’s more for my benefit than the audience, I can’t always be satisfied just wittering away to myself in a corner, I need a human response to what I’m feeling so I figure if I shoot enough arrows, one hits a target, if that makes sense?

Moving swiftly on, no doubt you’re wondering what’s on my mind then? I hope you are. I want to talk about my nature as a person, as I am now, and my disconnect with people around me. By now it is no secret that in my younger days I was not a friendly person, I liked myself a lot and maybe a few other people but for the most part I went out of my way to exude this frightening presence that told people not to approach me, my dress sense revolving around covering as much of myself up as possible in black leather and spikes, a bandana around my face and a wide brimmed hat on my head, even my hands were not visible under two gauntlets. In my full attire, only my eyeline was visible to the world, two fierce golden beads peering out with rage at everything and I barely spoke to anyone about anything. You see a part of being young is angst and identity issues and trying on lots of different looks to find an identity you think people will like until you realise it doesn’t matter and then you find your true self, well the dark demonic look for me was something I liked and something that gained me the response I wanted – respect out of fear and respect out of awe. For the most part, my attire gained three different responses:

1. “Ah! My god, you look like a demon! That’s frightening!”

2. “Wow, look at that guy, that is fucking bad ass!”

3. “Look at him, what a weirdo… there must be something wrong with him…”

I embraced all of these responses, even the third, to laugh at those people and welcome their prying eyes. I went out of my way to be as eccentric and jarring as possible to expose the judgmental nature of all my peers so I could tear them down and feel righteous in doing so. I wanted people to hate me and fear me because that made me feel powerful and soon enough I had a reputation as being some sort of monster in human guise, the “fucking sicko”, the “psycho”, to me it validated me as some sort of lord of darkness and further emphasised this romantic loneliness to who I was which fuelled some awful bleak poetry (You know the kind, it’s nothing but death/heartbreak metaphors from start to finish and usually talks a lot about blood and it’s supposed to be tragic but instead it makes you cringe). I was unbeaten in a fight, feared by all and an oppressed minority in my school because there was so many ‘normal’ people and only one me without a true match in all the school, there wasn’t a rocker clique for me to join or a leather-wearing badasses society, there was some goths and emo kids sure but I didn’t fit in with them either, I was me, I was the lone wolf, I was tragic and romantic and that made me feel like my entire life story would one day be a touching novel or heartbreaking play as I rose to greatness over them all and laughed from my lofty heights at their insignificant efforts to break me

So what happened? I noticed the consequences of my actions, I knew I could not always be Mr. Hard Nut because if you devote your life to having the loudest bark, your life is under the constant threat of meeting someone louder who pisses on your corpse just for trying it on. I suppose it hit home for me when my selfishness started costing me people I wanted in my life, when those around me had to struggle so badly not to give up on me altogether because despite it all, I did have a heart and underneath all that blackness was an inherently kind guy trying to get out, he was just a slave to the demon of his rage. I suffered a lot of loss growing up and it made me angry, I wanted the world to burn and cry and lose because I had done, I wanted revenge on God, I wanted everyone to feel as shit as I did until I took some time to stop, think and change. Why? Why make the world suffer? What would that fix? I would only be remembered as a harbinger of hatred, a bringer of chaos, the biggest bastard in the world and that was not the legacy I wanted to leave and despite what I am now, there are those out there who see my name and think only of the word cunt. I wanted to be called honourable, to be remembered as a lover and a fighter, not just a fighter. I then decided “If I live my life feeling awful, why not devote myself instead to making sure people don’t have to feel like I do, rather than making everyone feel like I do?”

See, as an atheist and a man of science, I do not believe in an afterlife and my concept of the immortal soul is instead that of the legacy we live, the stories of us that people tell long after we’re gone and whilst death is still tragic, I believe in life, in the significance of our actions whilst we were are here. No rewards await us, we must claim them in life. I believe all of us are, at our core, lonely people and life is a hard and horrid thing that we make better by being good people. Pick up some rubbish, talk to someone who is upset, let someone go in front of you in a queue, just do something, some little thing, because why not? Don’t worry about the whole world, just one good deed every once in a while because, maybe it’s not true of you, but seeing people be as horrid as I once was makes me feel bad myself, I see these people and see that version of myself staring back at me. I pick up a lot of other people’s rubbish, I’ve actually caught three people in the act and just taken it out of their hand and wandered off without another word, just because. I sigh and huff but I’d feel worse not doing anything. I know this sounds childish and maybe makes me come across as some sort of beatnik hippy “Love everybody maaaaaaan” kinda guy but I just think, I spent eight years of my life, from losing my mother to leaving school, dedicating myself to scorn and greed and I did that much damage, a whole world on that principle is a horrible thing

I’m not perfect, I am prone to selfishness or dickish moves on my part, sometimes my laidback nature can lead me to just think “Oh fuck it, they can just hate me for this” and I’ll do something or not do something for whatever reason suits me but I like to think I’m a better man than I was and that I’ve made a meaningful impact upon the world around me so that, God forbid, if something ever did happen to me, my eulogy wouldn’t be about how I was misunderstood and impulsive and full of sorrow but instead it would be about how I tried my hardest to be a man of love and honour, a good man who would be missed and that maybe someone out there, someone who knew me well, would remember what I tried to do and carry it on, not out of obligation to a dead man’s legacy but because it was a good lesson to learn in life

Apologies if this is a dark post, it’s been on my mind as I look at my reflection each night and truth be told, it’s one of my weirdest fears is actually what I leave behind. Morbid for a man only just approaching twenty but when you don’t believe in getting what you deserve after you die, death can be a subject you mull over at any given point just as it crosses your mind, which can be a lot of the time if you have a particularly large mind

Ignorance and Inspiration

Trigger Warnings – Whilst outdated, this article contains opinions that may be deemed offensive to certain people, though they only serve as examples. Mentions of sexual assault and homophobic attitudes

Hello everyone. So, at the start of the week I did an article for Asexual Awareness week and I did a lot to teach people about the subject but I realise it is one of those topics that if it doesn’t directly affect you, you’re not likely to know about it and probably don’t even consider it, perhaps some of the ignorance in this world is simply a result of such. Ignorance, if not worked upon, is not exactly a brilliant trait for one to possess but you can’t shame someone for ignorance, only if they are not willing to learn more and so to help give you some perspective, I want to give you some insight as to the ignorant views I myself once held in my younger days

I think angsty is probably a great word to describe my younger self, maybe more towards raging asshole actually. A romantic would view me as the lone rogue, dressed all in black and standing apart from the crowd without a peer or indeed a care in my heart and I am not ashamed to admit I was a selfish and melodramatic young teen. However, for my academic smarts and brute strength in a fight, I was ignorant of people, I knew nothing of their struggles and pains, of their ways of life, I knew only the path I stared down and thought nothing of the world around me. I wasn’t always a man who promoted equality and justice, I thought justice meant revenge and here are some of the ignorant things I once thought

1. Being gay is okay (Just don’t be gay with me!)

A common one I hear from a lot of lads, saying “He can bum who he wants but if he tries touching me up, I’ll kick his head in”. This is a presumptuous statement, it assumes that by default you are attractive to gay men. Is every woman in the world attracted to you sir? No, they’re not, same applies to men. I don’t know why I thought this, it was before I had met anyone of the LGBT community (excluding not knowing my brother was in the closet, I suspected but never thought much of it at the time and I barely knew my eldest sister at the time who is a lesbian). I believe this is more a comment of fear and misunderstanding, some men view homosexuality as an infringement on their masculinity, as if they’ll be treated by gay men the same way they treat women. I would urge people of this philosophy to calm down, in all my life I can count the amount of gay men that have hit on me on one hand and it’s not a difficult situation to diffuse and heck, I feel flattered to be truthful, especially as not one of those men has ever presumed me to be gay, at most bisexual. You need only be courteous and decline politely, the way women tend to decline you lads (Well, nice women, let them down how you’d like to be let down)

2. Dressing provocatively is asking to be assaulted

Again, this is a common argument I hear, the line being “Well when you’re dressed like that, what do you expect?”. Newsflash, you don’t dress for other people, you dress for yourself and to be honest, if a man walks down a street with his chest on show then he isn’t checking every corner for an attacker, why should a woman have to? A woman should not have to dress with the views of society in mind, simply her own tastes – wear that skimpy top if you really want, you like it, you wear it and if, heaven forbid, you are a victim of assault then it was not your fault for your dress sense because men as a rule should have self-control to not lose themselves to a lustful frenzy just because they saw a bit too much cleavage for one day. I can manage it and I’m a man with a knack for womanising and a history of self-control issues but not once have I ever even considered attacking a woman for dressing provocatively, heck I’m too modest to even oggle

3. The friend zone

Yes, I believed in the friend zone once upon a time, being the non-threatening guy pal to a lot of attractive women who knew I wouldn’t step over the boundaries when they were laid down. I resented it and I always grappled with this conflict in myself as to why these girls weren’t falling for me when all I ever did was do everything they wanted from a guy. Well, I feel this needs an article in itself and I’ll admit I only got over this view rather recently after some soul-searching but the truth is you shouldn’t validate your efforts as a friend by the end-goal of sex or a romantic relationship, the platonic love is no less significant. I know it sucks that she’ll never see you as her boyfriend and that you might never have what you wanted but if you love this person, love them enough to let them pursue what they truly dream of, don’t try to force your dreams upon them because it will destroy you inside as they resist those dreams until it makes you burn inside just to look at them

Those are just three for now, it was actually rather hard to think these up surprisingly but yeah, I haven’t always been uber-liberal love-and-acceptance, I used to be bitter and self-entitled to my personal dreams in life, as if what I wanted meant more and the issues of others fell upon their own shoulders, nothing more. I thought everyone was responsible for their own bad hands in life and maybe that’s why it cut me up for so long with everything that happened to me in life, I accepted the blame for every bad thing that happened in my life. The point of this article is to encourage people not to just despise those who are misinformed but educate them, nurture them and make them an ally as was done with me. I learnt about these things because they affected friends – I had relatives in the LGBT community and made friends there too, I had friends who dressed in rather alluring attire and felt sick to the gut at the thought of something happening to them, I did not want to ruin my friendships by resenting people for not reciprocating my desires. We all change as we learn about the world, a friend of mine recently admitted to me in confidence that they realised they were a misogynist and weren’t fully comfortable with that so rather than bite their head off, I tried to understand the roots of these views and I hope to help this friend of mine find a new outlook on the female gender over time

My friends upon the left-wing, we face a difficult battle with gender equality, gay marriage, the understanding and acceptance of the full sexual spectrum, better education on mental health and sexual education and even those of non-mainstream religions so let us not see every white hetero male as a villain, let us befriend them and teach them what we know and be taught in return. Ignorance is the enemy of humanity, we must unite as one and slay it

Good Company

Trigger Warnings – Nothing as far as I can tell

Nothing hot-button to discuss tonight folks, I’m rather tired and woke up feeling shoddy. Admittedly I recovered over the course of the day but I’ve had a nice day in all and I’m more just taking a night to let myself breathe, things have been hectic in the world of Wolfe lately. The Christmas season approaches, though I protest for it to wait until the end of November, and with my manager working harder in her duties, I’m working harder in mine and I’m ok with this but it can still become tiring. Ah well, I had today to myself, I made the most of it and I’ve only got two more days of work before enjoying two more days off. Admittedly this funny rota can mean the days of the week mean bugger all to me, I don’t have your conventional weekends any more so I can’t really keep track of what day it is any more but I manage perfectly alright so I shan’t make a fuss

I’m home by myself this evening for the last time in a while as my stepmother and her mother are coming soon so as soon as I knew this would be so, I went out of my way to enjoy it. I say that, I made myself a nice tomato and bacon pasta dish, bought myself some nibbles and am currently sat in front of Samurai Warriors 4. The game is article worthy in itself but I’ve found whenever I’m home alone I talk so much more and about so much, just out loud to myself, even using body language. I imagine to any voyeurs peering in at me I must look mad, waving my arms around in the kitchen as I tell myself the joys of cooking one’s own food. I recently discovered talking to yourself isn’t a sign of madness but in fact intelligence, for whatever reason, but a study showed that those who do talk to themselves are generally higher up the IQ scale. Yes, IQ is flawed as a measure of intellect but still

Creature comforts are fun, nothing is quite the same as a quiet evening with a warm jumper and good food. Yes, I overcooked the bacon a smidge and didn’t prepare quite enough sauce but as I sat there eating, I remembered this would be the last time I’d do this until I had the money to live independently and even then it’d only be for so long until I wanted someone in my life, if only to bounce ideas off. I’m a madman when left to my own devices, I never shut up, I giggle, I make bad jokes, I even dance and my ultimate ambition is to one day not be embarrassed to do such things in the presence of someone who brings out the best in me. I’m thankful for my closest friends, they bring me out of my shell but even so I think they’d begrudge me if I lounged across them all the time (though a particular friend does so enjoy making me into furniture)

As vane as it sounds, I like my own company, I like thinking aloud and I like being as unconventional as I am. Yes, I’m probably weird and would not make the best neighbour in the world but in my own company I am confident, I speak with perfect eloquence (Despite what my written style might lead you to think, in person I rarely say more than three words at a time, a sentence of four words or longer often includes some sort of stutter or is entirely nonsensical for all the grammatical mistakes. I don’t know why, just is). I can get bored and lonely sure, I do sometimes wish that the evenings to myself were instead nights in with a partner or a night out with a few good buds but I think everyone should enjoy their own company and be just that extra little bit weirder. I’d encourage you all to talk to yourself once in a while, be truly passionate about your hobbies without fear of judgment, strut around your flat naked without worrying about decency, reflect on the joys in your life whilst nobody is around to make you feel awkward. The world will provide you with enemies so work hard at being your own friend