I’m too much of a consumer

We as people are consumers. Whether that be basic necessities, extra items of comfort, or the never-ending barage of information from media and any social networks you may be a part of.

I’ve come to the realisation that I am, just like everyone else, too much of a consumer and not enough of a creator.

I want to be more of a creator.

Whether that means drawing, painting, writing or something else I dont know, but I’ll just go with any ideas as they come.

That’s not to say I’ll stop consuming completely; eating is a necessity after all, but I think I’m going to close all of my social network accounts and cut down on TV I watch. I think it’s important to still absorb art whether that be paintings, TV, film, music – but just TV for TV sake, no. Also with social media I think it’s just a huge time sink. I don’t even want to know how much of my life I’ve spent so far refreshing Twitter’s home page.

What a waste.

That is sort of what this site is for too: a place for me to write any thoughts, feelings and ideas through life without any pressure to fit within a particular topic.

Faith in humanity restored

I write this post on just another commute into work. The journey in is almost always uneventful, albeit for the occasional train delays and cancellations. However, today was different and my faith in humanity, and what we can accomplish, has been restored – and all from one simple interaction with a stranger.

I pretty much always get a seat on my train due to where I get the train from – one of the only benefits to my journey. Today the train was particularly busy and some people needed to start standing. One of these people was a lady who I noticed had two heavy bags with her.

Out of an automatic response to this I offered her my seat. She replied, “Only if you’re sure?”. I stood up for her and she accepted with thanks. Now, I’m not telling you this to show how much of a gracious person I am. No. I tell you this because of what came next and how it made me feel.

So I stood up for her and she sat, put her bags down, and the train continued on its journey. A few more stops down the track some seats were freed up – I took the opportunity to sit down, where I then proceeded to zone out to Hante’s latest album – it’s great and you should take a listen. Anyway, I digress.

When the train later pulled up at a further stop many people got off. As the train emptied I felt a hand on my shoulder – the same lady was stood over me smiling and said to me, “Have a lovely day”.

I smiled, replied in kind, and she went off on her way.

This small interaction between two perfect strangers highlighted to me the difference that can be made at the smallest level of society – embracing these tiny interactions in a positive way and always being willing to help, or offer help, to those around us. By acting in this way, creating change at the smallest level, we may help to affect positive change at higher levels.

For the many not the few…

I’ve not long got back from voting in my first ever General Election. Then after about ten minutes of trying to decide whether or not to put some money on Jeremy Corbyn to become Prime Minister, I closed the browser window – I just don’t have faith in this country to put the right person in power. I really do hope I’m kicking myself tomorrow for not having put that bet on.

I’ve never been a politically-minded person and as such had never voted in any capacity until the Leave / Remain vote last year. This is something I have made a conscious decision to change as of this week. It really is important to get off your ass and vote for the people that you want to represent you over the following four years. Just sitting back and saying “My one vote isn’t going to make a difference” or “They’re all the bloody same” just isn’t good enough. It’s lazy and it’s dangerous.

For my recent political awakening I have Russell Brand to thank with his Under the Skin podcast and Trews video series. Him and and his guests have opened my eyes up to see past all of the sensationalist bullshit that floods the news stands every day. I also have a new appreciation for more ideas around me as well questioning things that I hear; not always taking what I hear at face value.

Here is the video of Russell Brand urging people to register to vote. In the past I had the impression that Russell was a complete idiot. He’s now one of my biggest influences online as well as being one of the sanest political voices out there. Thanks Russell!

If the Conservatives gain power for the next four years, I believe that this country will enter a spiral into an abyss of fear, eroded human rights and regret.

Let’s talk about the term ‘Terrorist’

Over the past three months the United Kingdom has witnessed some horrific acts of terrorism. The ones I am specifically referring to here are the Westminster attack on 22nd March 2017, the Manchester arena bombing on 22nd May 2017, and the London Bridge attacks of 3rd June 2017. These are disgusting, unforgivable acts of terror. One of the issues surrounding these, as well as other similar events, that I find frustrating – other than the events themselves, of course – is how the word ‘Terrorist’ or ‘Terror Incident’ gets used.

Seven people have been killed and dozens injured during attacks in two closely connected areas of London on Saturday night. The police are treating the attacks as terrorist incidents.From the Guardian website report on June 2017 London Bridge attacks.

Officers – including firearms officers – remain on the scene and we are treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise.From the Guardian website report on March 2017 Westminster attack.

Terrorist

The below definitions taken from Dictionary.com

noun

  1. a person, usually a member of a group, who uses or advocates terrorism.
  2. a person who terrorizes or frightens others.
  3. (formerly) a member of a political group in Russia aiming at the demoralization of the government by terror.
  4. an agent or partisan of the revolutionary tribunal during the Reign of Terror in France.

adjective

  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of terrorism or terrorists:
    terrorist tactics.

Let’s not mistake what is happening in these events: people are commiting horrific acts of violence and desctruction; killing, harming and scaring many innocent people – they are, by definition, terrorists. However, within the media you will find quotes like the ones above, discussing how incidents are only being treated as terrorist incidents. One even goes as far as to say “[…] until we know otherwise”. I mean, with all the facts currently available at the time, nothing could change the fact that it is a terror incident.

What do they really mean?

I think what they are really talking about is the origin, nationality and agenda of the attackers. While this is important to find out in the context of the investigations, it makes no difference to the fact that that person, or persons, are terrorists. Plain and simple. If a Christian fundamentalist goes into a crowded place and kills a bunch of people, they are just as much of a terrorist as if a Muslim person did the same – any religeon for that matter (or none). The origin, nationality and agenda of the attacker(s) makes no baring on the outcome they are aiming to achieve.

So why is there such a reluctance to classify an incident, like those mentioned above, as terror incidents until further information is gathered? When the events in question so blatently are.

I was first woken up to this way of phrasing such news by Akala on Frankie Boyle’s Election Autopsy 2015. I have timestamped the link but I strongly urge you to watch the whole discussion.

Continue the discussion

I am not a politically savvy person; these are only my initial thoughts when reading the news of these tragic events. I encourage you to reply if you feel I am completely missing the point in what the news is trying to say. This post isn’t written to just try and get people angry. If anything, I’d like it to get people to think.

Thank you for reading.