The Worth of Words

Are you woke? Are you a special snowflake? Are you an entitled Millennial? Are you getting annoyed by those questions?

I’m still not entirely sure what those words mean or at least what people mean when they use them like that.

Fights may break out if you ask a forum of people online what those words mean, the definition disagreements turn into social justice wars, and before you can click your way out of there you’ve been infected by a computer virus which makes you want to destroy all technology starting with the smart phone in your hand.

That phone once made you feel all knowing and all powerful, but nowadays it makes you feel like you need help for a new kind of ailment and social dis-ease.

Trying to find information on the information highway is getting harder even though it’s getting quicker. Pros and cons always go together.

We’re have easy access to so much more, so many more, but can no longer believe anything we see because of photo-manipulation. Is that dress really black and blue or is it white and gold or… did someone just, oh no they didn’t!

The Daily Dot: This viral optical illusion is not actually a stress test“It all started when the image was posted on Tumblr last week with a caption saying the illusion was created by a Japanese neurology professor Yamamoto. The instructions the post gave were: “If it’s not moving, or just moving a little, you are healthy and [have] slept well. If it’s moving slowly, you are a bit stressed or tired. If it’s moving continuously, you are over-stressed.””

What we read is worthless because of fake-news, the spreading of misinformation by the villains of the moment, or the hijinks of the Darwin award nominees… but no one is in agreement about who should win the big D award.

I think it’s you, you think it’s me, we all think it’s everyone else except us – the aliens watching us from Planet Zerp which has a super-duper telemascopicom lens think we’re all going to die once they press the delete button so it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong, smart or stupid.

However…

I am fairly certain that people usually mean to be mean when they use those terms, especially if they say: “I don’t mean to be mean, but…” before they tell someone else something, share an opinion which they have every right to have about you.

Even if they disguise it as a question, plaster a smile on their face 😀 , pop a “lol” onto the end of it, add: “I was only joking!” after you’ve gotten upset with them… sheesh, you just don’t have a sense of humour, you’re just too overly sensitive, you’re always taking things personally.

How dare you share your opinion, which you have no right to have, about them and what they just shared with you about you, and how it made you feel. Fuggedaboutit!

The whole “woke” thing I only came across thanks to someone sharing Tracey Ullman’s You Woke? video with me.

Is it funny? I don’t know as I don’t have a sense of humour. Is it funnier than the Scandinavian Christmas Grinch cat knocking elves off shelves? Was that funny?

These days it’s hard to tell what anything is. Who anyone is. Even if there’s a label on it.

Online you may not be able to know who you’re interacting with but you can get a general location of, say, someone who comments on your blog, by using a tool like an IP address tracer.

But there’s always another tool to counteract it, although the ones which scramble your IP address can slow down your device. Still it’s worth it if you’re living in a country where you could get persecuted, maybe even killed, for using the internet and social media and saying anything other than what you’re allowed to say according to someone else.

These days the news is more interesting when it’s shared live online by people living it. It’s more real when those covering what’s going on somewhere in the world are regular people like us. When journalists do their special snowflake stuff (is that the correct usage of the term?), it’s all just too woke (Does it matter if I use it incorrectly?) for it to be real and be relatable enough for a cup of Johnjane Doe (or do I mean duh) like me.

Besides I need to stayed detached, as taking things personally is a crime these days – a crime against yourself most of all, apparently, which is why you shouldn’t do it.

It really bothers other people when you commit such an abusive act against yourself in their company particularly when they were in an impersonal mood and you’ve ruined it now for them with your me-me-me-ing.

Why am I writing all of this? Did someone upset me? Did I get offended… well, according to Stephen Fry, it doesn’t mean anything if I did.

I did make something personal when someone else was being globally aware.

But that’s my bad, I’m a Gen-Xer. The middle child between the type A Baby Boomers and the don’t you dare type me Millennials. I like Millennials, at least I like the ones I know personally… there I go making it all personal again.

I have this weird notion…

probably due to growing up without proper adult supervision, watching too much MTV, being lazy, useless, whatever, and convinced that, gag me with a spoon, nothing I say matters and no one is listening to me anyway…

…that things like world peace start from each of us being at peace with ourselves. If we can own our own shit, figure out our personal problems, and feel a bit more chilled and relaxed about ourselves, our lives… then we’ll be less likely to cause problems for others, such as the rest of the world.

But then again I did grow up during the self-help era…

Ah, self-help… help yourself… kind of made sense at the time when it was trendy and popular, then it turned into an excuse (I mean good reason don’t I?) to be all greed is good and more greed is better…

now… it just seems like, I’m not sure… but… isn’t everything and everyone else all about us now? And getting rid of what we don’t like about ourselves? Giving it to someone else – here hide this body for me, I just got my nails done and you’re dirty anyway. Until there’s nothing left but perfection?

Isn’t that what it’s really all about?

Oh, hang on a minute… I totes forgot to tell you why I’m writing this post, so there’s no way for you to know what the what is or did I mean the it?

This is being written sort of in reply to: Fandango’s Provocative Question #7

The anonymous man behind the copyrighted image created by someone else mask asks: “Do you believe that social media sites should be able to censor what people post on their sites and ban content creators from posting? Or do you consider such actions to be a violation of freedom of speech, which is guaranteed as a right in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution?”

Before you roll your eyes at an American yet again making everything on this planet all about them, he’s included this ps: If you don’t live in the U.S., please weigh in with your thoughts about freedom of speech versus social media sites banning content contributors in your country.

I hope Fandango won’t get offended by what I’ve just said, but if you’re playing at being an agent provocateur wearing the gravatar mask of Manuel “Manny” Calavera who works for the Department of Death, and ask a provocative question…?

In his #FPQ post he explains what inspired his provocative question – which summed up is basically two loudmouth Brits getting kicked off Patreon.

If you don’t know what Patreon is – it’s one of those sites where people give money to other people. But on Patreon you get called a patron of the arts for doing that, and you get lots of goodies (but not freebies) from the artists you are patronising in return.

I read a blog post recently by a Patreon patron who explained Patreon’s purpose all rather beautifully which (I’d share with you but I think I forgot to LIKE-like it so I can’t re-find it… too much time has passed on WP and it’s now buried under thousands of new posts per minute) made me almost want to become a Patreon patron.

It also made me stop grumbling that one of my favourite astrology blogs had now hidden half their articles behind a paywall. I’m a Capricorn, we’re cheapskates who like free stuff… although we do sometimes put our money where our mouth is (if we can find our mouth and don’t mistake it for our ass… although maybe our ass needs the money more than the mouth).

Fun astrology post from a differnt astrology blog which I like – Ohio Astrology: Act Like A Capricorn Day

I blog for free = I don’t pay WP for the privilege of blogging, and I don’t charge anyone to read my posts.

If the last bit sounds a bit whatever, quite a few people have told me that if I’d written a book they’d have bought it. And if I had a pound for every view on my blog, I’d now have the amount (minus the usual penalties which suddenly accrue due to earning) shown on the view counter down there in the footer.

If I was suddenly informed that I was no longer allowed to express myself freely… well, frankly, that’s probably for the best, I’m sure you’ll agree. Besides I was raised by narcissists, so I know this game and how it works (and doesn’t work), and I’ve had loads of practice being censored over everything and anything. Even breathing was problematic and I was almost not allowed to do that either, but luckily they were feeling generous and whatnot.

Anyway…

One of the loudmouth Brits who got kicked off his Patreon soapbox had a tantrum online about it because he makes a lot of money money money from it – which means he’s got a lot of patrons paying him to be a loudmouth Brit.

And whenever a loudmouth has a tantrum online it becomes news, which then gets repeated over and over until we’re all in an uproar about noble sounding ideas like freedom of speech and some big dudes in suits trying to taking it away from us.

Here’s an interesting article about it, with a slightly different spin on the whole debacle: Bitcoin News: Patreon’s Censorship Is Bad for Free Speech But Good for Bitcoin

Once again it all seems to come down to a common denominator – money.

It reminds me of Salvador Dali and the anagram of his name “Avida Dollars”. He is quoted as saying that the anagram was a talisman for him and expressed something something about all the money he made from expressing himself.

He was once arrested for breaking the display window of a department store due to an artistic tantrum – the shop had changed the display he had been hired to create because shoppers and passersby had loudly disliked it

It also reminds me of two TV shows I’ve watched recently.

The first one is Sky’s The Heist. It’s about a bunch of people from a village in the UK who get given the opportunity by a reality TV production company to rob a van full of money.

Each member of the bandit team gets to keep their portion of the haul if they can avoid getting caught by real coppers hired to catch them.

It’s actually quite a good show even though the idea sounds like a bad one. I wonder how the recruitment blurb went – Lads and Ladettes of the Western world (aka the UK), we know you’ve all been suffering so much in 2018, ’cause Brexit and stuff (yeah, not as bad as the Yanks, they’ve trumped the world when it comes to political misery, bet they’re so happy ’bout that, tiger blood really does make people winning winners!), so, hey, what about becoming outlaws and making money thataway.

One of the contestants when asked what she planned to do with her share of the loot said that she really wanted to travel to Syria to be a Mother Teresa-Jolie to the poor little children afflicted by the war. I’m sure her own little children would have been fine with mommy leaving them to save kids in another country. And it’s not like there are poor children in the UK who need help.

One of the tasks the robbers had to do was spend a portion of their share while the cops were hunting them – she bought herself diamond earrings (you need to be blingy when doing goodwill ambassadory stuff).

Another contestant bought his disabled son a specially designed bicycle so that they could go out on trips around town and local parks together.

Guess which of those contestants had people rooting for them to win.

One of the cops said that if he didn’t catch the wannabe Mother Teresa-Jolie he’d be devastated because she was so arrogant, was rude to the cops when she was briefly in custody, taunted them and thought she was a criminal mastermind.

When the other contestant was caught, the cops told him that they had hoped he’d get away with it.

The other show is Netflix’s The Fix – it’s hosted by Brit with an annoying laugh, Jimmy Carr, aided by a Brit data journalist who doesn’t know Geography, Mona Chalabi, and is about two teams of mostly American comedians solving world problems humorously.

In the first episode they attempt to fix Social Media, the bad behaviour on it and our addiction to it.

One team wanted to fix it by making us all get a license to use it – putting a face, name, address, etc, to our online selves, so we can’t be as anonymous anymore, and might have to face the consequences of our online self-reflections. Anyone caught using it without a license would get thrown in jail.

That option was nixed in favour of slowing down the internet – although it was pointed out that this might lead to people doing their ranting and exposing their dicks offline, so basically we’d be back to where we were not that long ago.

It’s actually a very insightful show, with smart people making smart points under the guise of a big LOL 😀 Just Joking Don’t mean to be rude but who cares if you’re offended you silly snowflake you took it personally but it wasn’t about you until you made it all about that!

See that guy in the quote right above these words… that’s Tim Berners-Lee, he’s a bit of a big-wig in these here parts.

He’s a really nice guy.

He gave us all this thing we’re using right now for free. He kind of had a different vision and ideal for it, but he’s been cool about how we’re using something he built.

Do you know who else is rather cool, all those nameless faceless (not literally) people who work in tiny dark cubicles (mainly in places like The Philippines), sifting through the worst images which people upload to the internet to share with others, to sell to others through sicker, darker versions of Patreon.

They get to look at the most horrific porn and the like for free, get paid a pittance for the loss of sanity and faith in humanity, so that we don’t have to be exposed to that.

For more on that – The Verge: The Cleaners is a riveting documentary about how social media might be ruining the world

Kind of puts things into perspective doesn’t it… or does it?

That’s more than enough nonsense from me…

Over to you!

8 thoughts on “The Worth of Words

Add yours

  1. I liked the days when I wasn’t so accessible. Sometimes it’s good to know that in the mountains, there’s spotty cell coverage and Google, and/or anyone else, can’t find me. The idea that Alexa can control your lights AND listen to your conversations is off-putting. Does privacy exist any more, even if what I have to say to my M is, in the scheme of things, very unimportant?

    My experience with some millenials has been negative, but no more so than other so-called generational “types.” However, atm I am having an issue with four millenials who could be poster children for the “snowflake generation.” Even though I’m trying hard to think outside the generational box, they will do or say something that just makes me clench my teeth and then I have to try to re-focus. Yikes. Being the boss has come with (predictably 🙂 ) stuff I never imagined.
    Great post. 🙂 I did a ramble of my own. 🙂

    Like

    1. Thank you, Lynette 🙂

      My partner bought an Alexa. Freaked me out at first because I’d read that news story about that couple who had their private conversation recorded by Alexa and emailed to someone else. Alexa is actually rather hilarious, every now and then she suddenly just starts babbling. We aren’t really using the system for much more than turning things on and off, atm. If she’s recording the conversations I have with my partner and our cat, whoever is listening has probably given up trying to make sense of it. Quite a lot of our discussions are video gameplay or TV watching related – there’s quite a bit of swearing, homicidal remarks (the amount of times I say ‘kill them all’ is rather excessive), shouting, and guffaws.

      Both you and I grew up with narcs watching us, judging us, looking for what was wrong about us, on a daily constant basis. We had no privacy then which I think makes us value having as much private space around us as possible even if what we’re doing in private is nothing more than breathing, farting or eating a sandwich.

      I think it’s great that you’re the boss. It’s not supposed to be easy, it’s meant to be a challenge which evolves your story. It’s your time to watch others 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “The anonymous man behind the copyrighted image created by someone else mask….” Ouch! Are you gonna snitch on me, blow my cover? Will I be getting a cease and desist letter in the mail, or, worse, a visit from two thugs with baseball bats?

    As to your response to this week’s provocative question…. Um, I’m sorry, what was the question?

    Like

    1. I’ve already ratted you out in my post, and I’m sure the creators of Grim Fandango follow my blog religiously so they now know, but they’re from Cali so they’ll be all artsy, spiritual and chilled about it. If you get a visit it’ll be from a courier delivering a pack of crayons, some hemp paper, and an mj vape, with a note saying join us.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Maybe I need to figure out how to use Photoshop to turn my grimace into a smile so that I will be transformed from Grim Fandango into happy-go-lucky Fandango. And I’m from Cali, too, so I know that of which you speak.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. That was an interesting ramble. 🙂 I may have missed where you actually answered the question though. Me? I think that private companies have every right to enforce their terms of service and there’s no such thing as “freedom of speech” in the private sector. Be an ass on social media (or anywhere online) and there should be consequences. That’s just my humble opinion.

    Like

    1. Thank you, Willow 🙂

      With questions like the ones which Fandango asks in his FPQ series, I don’t view them as being direct questions needing to be answered directly, I see them more as writing prompts, as philosophical questions, where you suck on them and then spit out whatever thoughts come up. It’s less about telling others what my opinion is about a subject and more about sharing with myself what I think and feel through how I respond to it. My posts are always conversations with myself. The more I ramble, the more I locate the tidbits which reveal something to me about what’s going on inside which also affects the outside.

      Loudmouths spewing hate always find a way to spew their hate loudly, they’re pretty much immune to censorship because they dgaf about anyone else but themselves and their need to shout at everyone, when they do come up against censorship they revel in it because it makes them feel that what they’re saying is important enough to be censored. They often scream about the abuse of freedom of speech when they’re being told to shut it. The consequences they suffer are usually becoming more famous and making more money out of their assery.

      I think there’s a value to having loudmouths spewing hate online – they make us less apathetic, they trigger our opinions to come out and represent us so that we don’t end up being represented by loudmouths spewing hate, they’re the enemy who forces everyone who dislikes them to band together and maybe get them kicked off their chosen platform. There’s a group which does just that, it’s mentioned in the Bitcoin article.

      Like

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