Longevity is overrated

“Why are you here?”

 

“Why did you call us here today?”

 

“Why did you come here today?”

 

“Is it OK to send her home?”

 

“Your mother is elderly, there is no point.”

 

“The NHS wouldn’t do that, there is no point in referring her.”

 

“This practice doesn’t do that.”

 

“She was diagnosed with dementia as everyone over 80 who has a stroke is diagnosed with dementia.  She has perfectly normal thinning of the cerebral arteries.”

 

“We have drugged your father as he is difficult. Perhaps he is in pain.”

Elderly face NHS discrimination under new UN death targets
Sentenced to death for being old
Elderly Patients NHS care – your stories

These are all direct quotes.  Being elderly is no picnic.  Being elderly on your own must be absolute hell. Having experienced being ignored, sideswiped, having anything I say ignored with my own doctors of late –  talking of which – here is a doozy from the doctor I was with a few years ago –

 

“If it was what I thought it was, you would be dead by now.”

 

And I can tell you that it makes no difference whether you are healthy or unhealthy, your doctor is likely to make a decision about you and stick with it, no matter how much effort you put in to getting to know them or avoiding going, to prove you are not the witless hypochondriac they seem to think you are.

 

Here is the treatment for a head injury in an elderly lady a year ago in the allegedly inferior Victoria in Glasgow:

Heart check ECG
Scan for cranial bleed and/or stroke
Blood tests
Three days observation in an appropriate ward
Occupational and physiotherapy

Here is the treatment for a remarkably similar head injury for the same lady since the Queen Elizabeth hospital was built.

Wound cleaned
No appropriate beds for elderly patients, even if any action were to be taken following a scan, which would not be taken.  No scan

I have also been told that even if she required a drip or post-operative care, I will be doing it at home, with the occasional aid of drop in paramedics.

 

Believe it or not, for me the new system, of making lay carers responsible for nursing duties, with no training in observation and rehabilitation, is not altogether bad news as I do not have a problem with devoting 24 hours a day to my mother and I detest hospitals.  My father died very drugged  in one, my friend died in the same one, and my uncle died rather unexpectedly in one.  When you are over eighty, your survival depends on having a lot of visitors, so the fact that I am here all the time and can work flexibly around her location in the house is OK for me.  It is not the same for other people, and it certainly isn’t the same for the unfortunate elderly who lack a relative prepared to live like a nun to take care of them. The rehab is 24 hours here, and I have the luxury of knowing what motivates her, which is a mystery to most of her family, never mind anyone else.  It is extremely hard on me, however, and my life, in turn, is going to be considerably shorter as a result. I would hate to see her go the same way as her brother or my father however, so I am glad to have her here in many respects.

 

It seems that the new corporatist state wishes only for workers.  You are entirely expendable under a system of discretionary excuses, regulated by NICE and delivered in varying degrees by doctors.  Basically if you wish to attain longevity, you had better pray that you have no problems requiring conventional medicine, because from my experience, unless you have spent your life amassing visitors, you will not survive it if you are over whatever age they have deemed appropriate.

 

There is additional discrimination against women, from doctors of both genders, according to some studies, but I will not go into that here.  I spend a disproportionate amount of time monitoring the chasing pains across my chest to see if I think they are getting any worse.  Additional pains that were shrugged at turned out to be inflammatory in nature, and so alkalising helped considerably.  Try telling your doctor, or even most nutritionists that, and they will laugh in your face. Quoting what you have read about the issues does not help, and many doctors are very threatened if you have done any reading at all.

 

Since the banning of smoking in public places, and the reduced consumption of alcohol as a result, they have less means to ensure that you do not survive too long beyond your working life.  The internet and TV led culture we live in at the moment certainly help to make us unfit, but unfitness in itself does not kill us nearly as effectively as smoking and drinking. In addition, smoking and drinking pays valuable taxes, so they have discovered, since sending us on our health kick, that they have shot themselves in the foot in two respects – less tax income from cigarettes and booze, longer living and very inconvenient patients.

 

Whilst I appreciate that costs have to be managed as a result, it does not seem terribly fair that the elderly, who have paid into the system all their lives, should be told that they have had their fun, and they can just pop off now thanks.  Or that women, who pay into the system less, and take more in the course of having babies should not have their concerns dealt with. If my mother had had urethral dilation four years ago, instead of being put on permanent antibiotics, for example, I am pretty sure the cost issue would cancel itself out.

 

Instead we had problem after problem, with the former doctor who knew perfectly well that her medicine needed updated every three months, and used it as an excuse to argue with me until I changed practice so that his figures added up.  I dread to think how his parents get treated.

 

So, all in all, longevity is not altogether a desirable thing, unless you happen to have an awful lot of money to ensure that you get the best medical care possible, from someone who benefits from keeping you alive rather than balancing the books.  Living your life as hard as you can would seem a preferable option, especially in the absence of family or friends.

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In the mind of a conservative voter

Conservative voters should really be encouraged to live in gated communities, far away from the rest of the population.  I propose that we fence off Essex and the home counties and send them all there.  Or perhaps we could use all those nice tax havens for them.  In any case, people who are more concerned about themselves than about the welfare of their fellow countrymen are not people that I would recommend living next door to.

 

Why?  Well, as someone with a very progressive attitude to economics and a couple of Tories amongst my friends and family, I naturally have a lot of conversations about politics.  My Labourite and former Labourite friends tend to think I am a bit right wing, and my Tory friends just think I am stupid for caring and possibly a bit rebellious and over emotional.

 

It is very simple.  If you are interested in the nation state, and when I think about issues, I tend to think at a nation state level, rather than how things affect me, then Conservatism makes no more sense than Socialism.  When dealing with people over the long term, you become very much aware that people’s politics are determined by their self image.

 

The hospital issue in the West of Scotland, that I was discussing yesterday is a case in point.  When I informed my Tory friend about it, his first reaction was how this affected him. It did not cross his mind for one second that thousands of people were suffering and potentially dying as a result.  This is typical of the Tory voter.  It is all about you, the money, legally obtaining the money whether it is fair or not, and everyone who does not think like this is simply stupid.  Such people need a lot of bombs, weapons, policing and laws to protect them, because they, at heart, just aren’t very nice people who do not care about others.

 

Socialism, on the other hand, is in a sorry state in the UK.  It is divided, it is still hampered by this Blairite hangover of Thatcherism, and the genuine socialists wait to be told what to say and then repeat it ad infinitum.

 

Here is my perspective – running a country is no different from running a tribe, in much the same way that running a multinational is much the same as running a market stall.  There may be more components, but the basic transactions are the same.  If you want to run a country well, you make sure that all sectors of the community are treated with a basic level of human dignity.  If you cannot manage that, arm yourself because sooner or later the rest of your tribe will turn on you.

 

Conservatives like to think that there is a rule book for life, that nothing bad will happen to them, and if it does, the money they have squirreled away will solve the problem.  Try replacing an absent arm or leg with a pile of cash and you will see that this idea is false.  Enjoy the sensation of that pile of cash dwindling because you do not qualify for benefits if you have too many savings. Pay out some more cash on people to do what you cannot because of your absent limb. Nobody will help you, in a conservative world, because nobody can survive without working, just like you. Life is not fair, and the only thing you can do is decide that if you prefer not being murdered or robbed, it is really better if people do not starve to death or commit suicide.

 

Likewise, in Scotland we have the case of the Unionists.  Unionists, whether Conservative or Labour, are a little bit thoughtless, a little bit selfish and they have little imagination or vision.  They have their house, they have their pension, everything is very neat and the question of independence is too far fetched for their tiny brains.  Having ‘eaten their cereal’, they are now constipated and their movements are hampered as a result.  They do not wish to consider the matter of morale, of a rebuilding of a system that does not work and they fail to realise that Scotland is actually an occupied country.  It may not be occupied by military (so far) but it is certainly occupied by the media and the crippling influence of Westminster.  It is entirely beyond them to consider that they could create something much better, that works for everyone and makes it much easier for people to progress and enjoy their lives.

 

I have earned astonishing amounts of money at different times in my life, in my various careers, and it has never crossed my mind to begrudge my taxes to people who either should not be in the workforce, cannot be in the workforce, or who are taking a few years out to have children or take care of the sick.  I had a Tory mother and a very strong tradition of Socialism on my father’s side.  I count myself lucky to have experienced a great deal of debate in my family household.

 

When I visited America playing backgammon in 1998, I was asked several times whether I wanted to move there, and my reply, a surprise to me as much as anyone else, was that I could not possibly live in a country that allows people to starve to death or deny people healthcare on the grounds of money.

 

The primary reason for fairness in a society, and this ought to be understandable to all, is safety. Your pile of useless cash and friendless, money funded life of luxury is far more assured by treating everyone with a basic level of human dignity, than by having an armed policeman outside your door. In a corporatist world, people are learning not to trust government.

 

This is serious stuff, we are moving out of the period of political economy financially, and everyone is aware that artificial growth figures are sustained only by inviting more rich people into the country and selling them luxury goods, by using our tax havens to get 3 percent of something rather than 23 percent of nothing, and by putting thousands of students into debt, hampering their growth in a way that would have been unthinkable a few decades ago.  Yes, students, your debt counts as growth on which the political class get themselves voted in.

 

As a result, nation states are going to be phased out, unless we find a way to make our governments trustworthy, unless we stop feeding the giant companies that influence them, and unless we stop getting bound up in issues of who has the biggest pile of cash and whether that makes them more worthy than us.

 

It is very simple.  Nobody is more worthy than you, and your pile of cash is meaningless to anyone but you.  If you employ others to work for you, the likelihood is that you are paying them less than yourself.  It does not make them a less essential component.  It just makes them impermanent. And so you can continue to draw the analogies.  Everyone in a society is worthy, and whether you are a nasty little boy that went to Eton, or a paraplegic from Cardiff, you deserve a basic level of welfare.

 

Lining your friends pockets with public money because you managed to get your hands on the public purse is not smart, and it isn’t funny. Neither is pretending you are something you’re not. Honesty is a basic requirement for running a country and there is nothing funny about putting one over on the public.

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Your capabilities versus Toby Young

Your capabilities versus Toby Young

Continuing on my theme of public cooperation and the lack of social cohesion we have all experienced in the last few decades, this morning I briefly lost my temper with Toby Young.

 

Toby Young, for those who are unaware of him, is the Conservative sponsored answer to ‘celebrity’ journalists such as Julie Birchill and Tony Warren.  All three of these people have had sparkling and very easy careers thanks to their expressed views and the people they court.  I remember when Toby’s book ‘How to Lose friends and alienate people’ came out, wondering why someone in my peer group had effortlessly made it into the mainstream with a mediocre piece of work, useful only as a present for family members you do not particularly like.

 

It is a very English sensibility, the idea that a sector of the population somehow deserve an easy life, on the grounds of a few connections, a lot of massage oil, and a nice dinner.  People are quite prepared to accept their lack of importance.  There is a kind of safety in sitting in your house, complaining and doing absolutely nothing whilst someone else takes money to do something simple very badly.

 

Toby has defended the indefensible several times on behalf of his cronies.  He has a very nice house, a very nice life, and a mealy mouthed appreciation of everything he has been given.  In short, people like Toby represent why taxation is unfair, why people like you are unlikely to ‘hit the big time’ without agreeing to something you don’t want, why a sector of the population who prefer money to morality continue to use their incompetence and greed to ensure that you have an utterly miserable time whilst they take their lovely dogs for a walk and laugh about what a scrounger you are.  He even displayed his incredible ignorance of what socialism represents in his Twitter feed.  Sorry Toby, but I was so irate by the time I got to your stupidity on health that I could not continue.  You are a moron, of the lowest order.

 

This week, I discovered that the entire West coast of Scotland are expected to use A and E in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow. If you break your arm in Campbelltown, you are told to go to Glasgow for treatment.  If you hurt yourself in Oban, you also go to Glasgow.  I can only assume that someone sitting in England made this decision, which has also had the side effect of devaluing already cheap property right down the coast. In addition to this, I have been told that the new hospital cannot take patients like my mother, and if she requires a drip or extensive healthcare, this will still be managed at home, and I as an untrained person will be expected to take on the duties of a trained nurse.

 

Labour sold you all out, so that Helen Liddell could sit on your television set and smirk about the 42 new hospitals she was so proud of.  Under PFI, these hospitals will be unaffordable in ten years, making privatization of an essential service more attractive to the population. The only people who benefit, are the builders that presumably donate to Labour and got the work.

 

My heart broke ten years ago, when I discovered what a shitty, corrupt little country run by very average idiots I live in. Sometimes a broken heart is a good thing, because you have to recover somehow.

 

If you allow things to continue the way they are, you only have yourselves to blame.  You are just as talented, if not more talented that the people you sit and complain about.  Do something about it. Your country is already infested with scum like Toby and his cronies.  Get motivated, and get your lives back.

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Happy world health day

The Huffington Post, that source of minimal knowledge that we are all unaccountably familiar with, published an article on improving your diet to avoid diabetes this week.  At last the World Health Organisation have come right out and said change your diet to reduce diabetes.  I am sure the Boards of Nutrition in the UK and USA will be nonplussed.

 

Why?  In the UK, in particular, ours voted against dietary advice for people with diabetes.  Several of the board members also have interests in Kraft, Mars, Coca Cola, so naturally they voted against giving people nutritional advice along with their diagnosis of diabetes, as outlined in Hannah Sutter’s ‘Big Fat Lies‘, a thin but very comprehensive volume written by a lawyer shortly after Gary Taubes excellent study ‘The Diet Delusion‘ came out.

 

Both of these volumes conclude that a low carb diet is the answer, which is part of the truth and certainly better than poisoning yourself with sugar, chemical additives and white flour, but long term, I can tell you that it is not the complete and fully comprehensive answer.

 

Having spent years on a variety of eating plans, and having listened to an awful lot of people talk about what they eat, I can tell you that after you have got rid of the ‘Pure, white and deadly‘ sugar and flour, you should focus on getting ten, not five, portions of vegetables and fruit per day.  You will see a magnificent improvement in your health, and you certainly will not be hungry. Once you have achieved that, you will have little room left for anything else, but I can tell you that low carb in itself contains too much fat, and too much of the wrong kind of protein, which we have been eating far too much of as far back as the seventies. It is also simply too heavy as you get older, so once you hit tipping point on your long term low carb efforts, up the vegetables considerably.

 

Even a cursory look at the world of raw food will show you the benefits of a raw food diet, but again, it has its problems long term.  It is also a steep learning curve for most people, and some people just cannot completely manage it.  From a personal perspective, I would say as a rough and ready way of actually having a life – concentrate on getting your ten a day before you even start investigating further as this will get your body working properly faster than anything else.

 

OK evangelizing over.  Can you see why an increasing proportion of the population no longer trust authority figures such as governments to give advice?  Advice is never impartial.  When your doctor or some aggressive type challenges your choices, they are not necessarily talking from a position of knowledge.  The only person that can deal with your day to day health is yourself, and woe betide you if you prioritize anything above your health. (such as caring for someone else.) If someone is sabotaging your health, get them out of your life as fast as you can, because I am (almost) living proof that compromise is not an option.

 

Why were we given incorrect advice on nutrition for several decades?  Money. John Yudkin, a comparatively quiet man who advised against sugar and simple carbohydrates, was not nearly as well backed or funded as Ancel Keys, a noisy American with a lot of research funding to preserve.  The result was that millions of people were given incorrect information for decades, the information distributed by the medical profession, who do not receive a great deal of nutritional training.  They merely deliver the information.

 

If I had listened to my doctor instead of Wolfe 6 years ago, I am entirely confident that I would have had my first serious heart attack, and/or had treatment for depression by now.  My last few doctors have tested my blood, told me that I eat too much, and that they are very surprised that I am so fit.  The fact I have strong symptoms of an impending heart attack or stroke, and have nearly collapsed several times is apparently of no consequence at all. The fact that I am sole carer for a very dependent person does not even ensure that I matter enough to save.  I am past caring what they say, since I no longer trust them with my health as a result.

 

I may not be in perfect shape right now, but I am still here, with the benefit of a great deal of knowledge, if not motivation. (it is very difficult to care how long you live when the future looks a bit lonely and grim.)

 

So much for that. The point of today’s post is – whatever your health issue – do some reading for yourself.  I cannot tell you how depressing it is repeatedly telling people that they need to eat more vegetables and having them decline. As a research interviewer, I was able to tell what people were eating the minute they opened the door, such are the effects of a high vegetable diet.  The most important things for your overall health long term? Gym? Protein shakes? Slimming Classes? Expensive healthcare?

 

No, the most important things, from my insight gained from interviewing hundreds of people:

eat as many vegetables as you can
then eat some fruit and a small amount of fish
get a dog
if anything stops you doing the above, change things and just do it.

 

 

 

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Fat people can dance

Today, I blocked a South African lady on my facebook page.  I do not block people regularly, as I have little dealings with anyone apart from seriously boring men on my friends list, and even they get short answers if they cannot be bothered looking up my work with the website provided before they talk to me. I am under yet another alias on facebook, in case Wolfe would like to block me again.
I blocked her because she posted a video of a thin woman dancing out of time, followed by a very drunk lady who had become intoxicated and had mistaken the forward and backward roll for dancing.  This was supposed to be funny.
“She seems exceptionally talented at rolling about.”  I tried to see if she had a sense of humour.
“That thin one can move.” she replied.
“Not in time.”  I replied, and provided her with a link to a very talented break dancer who is frankly enormous.
“Not my thing” she sniffed.  At this point I decided I had nothing to say to this person and blocked her.
I have no time for people who cannot see why other people are fat if she sits and victimizes them, for obvious historical reasons.
Let me get this straight, for any fat people reading this, and please follow the links in blue in the text.

The bigger the belly the better the lover
Obese people less likely to get dementia
Fat people may statistically live longer

Let us now pause for celebration with this lovely video

Now that we have shared this information, allow me to continue with the other side of things.
Allowing people to bully you out of doing whatever you want to do when young, makes you frightened as you get older.  The fat won’t kill you nearly as fast as the fear will.  There is no reason why you cannot swim, enjoy a walk, dance, garden or whatever else your mobility allows you to do.  I do not recommend running, as your knees and hips are precious, but that is a personal choice.
I am not recommending fat as a lifestyle decision, I am merely pointing out that as a victim of two vindictive sisters, who would have bullied me over something else if it was not fat, that spending your life scared shortens your life a whole lot more than eating.
I have gained and lost well over a thousand pounds of weight in the course of my life.  Basically it has usually gone something like this:  

I get upset, and nobody wants to admit or address my issues, so I eat to stop myself talking about it.
I continue to eat because there is nothing I can do to make things better for myself.
I stop going out in case anyone sees me because it is too upsetting.
I eventually find myself uncomfortable, frightened, isolated and I find something else to do.
Eventually I cannot do all the things I want to do and I put tremendous work into losing it all again, only to meet some tiresome guy, or have a tiresome ex return and start the whole cycle again.
In the meantime, my family have usually eaten up all the time in between getting me to do stuff for them and complaining about it.

I cannot tell you how many similar, miserable people I see in the same predicament, particularly in the caring community.  Take heed, that it is the fear, and not the fat that is killing you.
So here is my recommendation:

Get rid of the people who don’t listen to you or show any concern for your feelings.  They are worthless, inadequate people who do not deserve you.
Show kindness only to people who deserve it, or who for some other reason you wish to show kindness to.
If anyone sneers at you for moving around, taking some time for yourself, dancing, or showing happiness, you have my full permission to give them the finger and carry on with whatever you want to do.
Do not allow anything you see on the internet to dissuade you from living your life, however you want to live it.
Thinster nazis will get dementia and die quicker, so bear that in mind as they abuse you. Enjoy a quiet smile at the clueless selfishness and lack of talent in the sack.
Bear in mind that the thin people complaining do not actually eat much less than you do.  They just did not make the mistake of allowing themselves to be crushed into a chair with comfort food. They went out and enjoyed themselves, with the added spice of having made you unhappy.

I will be losing weight again shortly, after I figure out the best way of dealing with the mother issue, and after I have started making the game, so do not assume I have some sort of fetish, however as someone whose wrists are 3 inches bigger than my sister of the same height, I am well aware that BMI is a lot of nonsense used by insurance companies and the NHS to torture people, and not everyone is supposed to be the same size.  I am positively Amazonian in comparison with both sisters, and I am also a lot stronger. I am never going to look like a gazelle. Get over it.
Finally, here are some nice pictures:
fatchickgroupfat
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The Public persona

Some wee millennial was making snarky comments about the blog the other day, and I do realise that I am not your usual chick, so I thought we could make today’s post about public persona.
I am going to talk about David Wolfe and Ina Disguise, since this is an abnormal representation of abnormal personas formed by at least one and a half perfectly normal people who know exactly what the rules are and exactly how to break them. (sorry David, but I genuinely have no idea about the other fifty percent as I stopped looking some time ago.  I think I know, but I do not have any confidence that my idea is correct. I do know that my idea of you is better than yours, so I keep going anyway.)
The game of Peek -a-boo is a game that all mammals understand.  I have even tried playing peek-a-boo with young mice, and they understand it too.  The game of peek-a-boo is all about you, your ego, and your relationship with the world via your eyes.
Creating a public persona is very similar to peek-a-boo.  There is you, there is your hand, there is the outside world.  Many people create public personas to lessen the effects of the outside world by creating a ‘hand’ in the form of a public persona. This persona necessarily includes elements of you, but it does not entirely represent you, as features such as your enthusiasm for scrubbing floors or counting floor tiles everywhere you go are excluded.  You would be surprised at the number of glamorous stars that suffer from OCD (I am not one of those, incidentally.)
Here is a peek at my character:
Some years ago, I was on a course in a fairly rough part of Glasgow.  There were a couple of guys on the course with learning difficulties, and I spent more time helping them than doing my own work.  I was condemned as a ‘manpleaser’ by one of the older women on the course as a result, as she did not perceive what was going on.  I learned a lot about why people in traditionally class-beaten households do not try to progress, and I learned a lot about how social pressures dissuade people from trying to do anything for fear of chastisement from their peers.
I considered writing a book called ‘Manpleaser,’ since I know that would get a lot of readers, but I was still too anxious and jumpy in those years to go ahead and do it.  I am from a fairly repressive family, as regular readers will note, and my mother continued laying on the ‘sex’ guilt really until I turned forty.  Now she laughs when she considers that she has effectively prevented me having a normal life, but that is another story. She may not be the nicest or most logical person in the world, it still does not mean that I would condemn her to misery. In any case, the point is, my natural reaction was to make the findings of my mini-experiment public, via an entertaining and slightly naughty book.  My nurtured reaction was to cringe and become extremely upset.
I had a similar problem with the artwork.  My artwork was done, in the past, as presents for the people concerned, not to get a response, but as a souvenir.  Many people in my life actually got their presents, and many more did not, as I was told that I should be ashamed of my gift making habit.
Even women of some intelligence are inclined to condemn each other for going after what they want, so I have taken care, since my twenties, to avoid them.  I think it is far more interesting to ignore social mores, such as waiting to be asked out, being nearby and looking pretty, making oneself available and not making any statements.  I think it is challenging for the reader, and I think it promotes a certain freedom that most people are not capable of giving themselves.  Therefore, when I heard the immortal words ‘chicks dig it,’  a bell sounded and David became my muse. The few people who are aware of my other self will know that I was considerably healthier for some time as a result.
My limited experience of David is that, although he is rather easily flattered, he is a perfectly normal person with a perfectly normal range of feelings, including a very similar rageburst to my own.  So although much of my work as Ina is promoting David’s public persona, there is a genuine empathy.  My understanding of some of David’s maligned activities in the past are from the experience of an overworked, over-generous at times, over-affectionate and over-emotional manager of a self-created situation.  I thought long and hard about it before I came up with Ina as the solution.  There were many alternatives to Ina, but Ina was the most effective, the most flexible and the most amusing solution to a complex problem.
What was this problem?

David fails to communicate with people offering to help, because he perceives that most of them are timewasters and he is aware that people can turn on you at any given moment, whether you are good or bad.
David likes to think that he does not take his career seriously, when the truth is that I have never seen someone take their career as seriously as he does.
There are holes in his work which cause a lot of his efforts to be wasted, and since I cannot discuss them directly, the only thing I can do is throw hints in the form of coloured marbles in fictional text.
Some of David’s associates are less useful than he believes them to be, and this wastes valuable time in terms of his ambitions. (both genders)
I would like him to exceed his own ambitions, not be killed or made miserable by them.

Now, my efforts as Ina are small, but I am told by more committed writers that I have done extremely well in the last couple of years, despite a minimal marketing budget and effort, and a work ethic which is constantly interrupted by my other commitments.  Once the game is completed, we should have a nice diverse range of cultural strands off the ground, and my hope is that other artists/writers/game makers will pick up the ball and run with it.  This is how cultural influence works. People like me scavenge concepts, juggle them, sculpt them a bit and send them on their way, for no real reason other than that we like doing it.  As I was saying about new social media concepts, if we all made some effort to promote things we liked, we would not be left sitting paying facebook to boost posts. The ‘chain letter’ effect, so to speak.
There are some wild facebook horror stories out there, including the man that paid out half a million dollars and got no responses at all from his ad, because he did not understand how the format worked. There are still ways around this, as long as you aren’t fussy about the target audience, but you need to put some hours in.
So, what is Ina Disguise’s function in relation to David Wolfe?  On a public level, Ina exists to put an alternative and thoughtful perspective on a question that had and probably still has no answer.  On a personal level, she leapfrogs all those pesky groupies that kept blocking any attempts at communication and does this very safely since everything she says is public.  She also says the things that nobody tells David, because David does not like hearing them.
She is the short, fat, ugly, nagging voice of somebody that actually gives a shit, for no good reason. She is everything that the David Wolfe persona has been set up to avoid.

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How the other half live

Had to get out of Glasgow fast this morning, as the family are cranking up to cause us problems again.  Went to see a house I was interested in, and it is extremely solid, although I am not too sure if the lack of mobile signal and evidently pisspoor broadband (I am half a mile away right now, but in the same loose grouping of buildings) might put me off.

 

So, I am in a Taste of Scotland Restaurant with rooms.  I do not normally waste any money on such places as the difference between a 40 GBP B and B and a 140 GBP Hotel tends to be minimal.  The linen matches and they give you home made biscuits.  If I wanted home made biscuits, I would not need to pay a hundred pounds for them.

 

dunvalanree

 

This is the view from my window, taken by someone else.  This is what Scotland charges for.  People from other places think this is magnificent.  On the native scale, this view is probably around six out of ten, but foreigners, including English people, seem to think it is out of this world.

 

kintyre-450

 

It is near to Campbeltown, Kintyre, which I checked out before I returned to this hotel.  Basically, the song, ‘Campbeltown Loch, I wish you were whisky’ is a reference to the level of boredom induced by living there.  It is very nice, very friendly but not remotely stimulating.  Stimulation can be overrated when the skin on your face has just indicated that you cannot do any more caring right now.

 

In the last two years, it has become apparent that my body is saying no to much more of the twenty-four-hour-stuck-in-the-house-under-stress thing.  I now get an unpleasant rash all over my face when I am stressed for a few weeks.  The only thing that clears it up, it seems, is getting right away and not thinking about anything much.  I am not happy about this, but I am not sure how to go about elbowing myself any more room. I miss the years when I was able to work and swim every day.  I miss how much better I looked when I was eating properly.  I miss not caring about not seeing people who do not have dementia, because I had time and space to think about something else.

 

I announced some time ago, that there was no reason why I should be expected to parent my mother’s children.  They do not seem to have understood what this actually means.  This means I will not be held responsible for my eldest sister’s war of nerves with my mother, which she seems to take for granted, and I will not be tolerating the drunk lying and not turning up.  What on earth is so difficult about saying you are too drunk to drive on a Sunday afternoon?  If my sister’s drinking is so important to her that I have to be a twenty four hour servant and die childless and lonely with no pension, then I am not sure why she isn’t proud of it.  It must be a good thing to do, surely?

 

Anyway I have now delegated responsibility for the lunatic’s tortured love for her mother to the drunk.  I wish them the best of luck with that new relationship. I spent today driving and laughing about Tantric Super Vegetable Guru, which has led me to believe that my Wolfe fetish is all about stress relief.  I have handed my emotional self to somebody entirely disinterested as he is the best person to look after something nobody wants.  I think this is an interesting and complex idea.  I doubt that every exchange we ever had would fill even a paragraph of one of my blogs, and yet I evidently decided that yes, he was the man for the job. It was clearly the right decision, since in terms of self expression, I have positively bloomed ever since.

 

The same cannot be said for my health, sadly.  The first year after he shut me down the first time, I tried and tried not to confuse my intense pain with loss of belief in myself and what I was eating.  I was OK for a while, but the weight loss had stopped anyway because of the stress induced by the family. Eventually it came down to the social exclusion issue.  Nobody I know is raw, and it was not really possible or practical to go out with normal eaters in a country of salad dodgers.  My social life improved markedly when I finally ate something ‘normal.’ My health, however, has ground down to a markedly low level currently.

 

Usually, when I rest, I look completely different in under a week.  It is difficult to determine why caring is so tiring.  Emotional exhaustion is a strange thing.  Because it is a slow and yet time killing activity, you do not understand that sticks falling on the floor, hearing aids going missing, phone calls she refuses to make, are gradually eroding your sense of self to the point that you are physically drained.  It gets to the point where you forget what walking at a normal speed feels like.  I looked at a log that I wanted to walk to today, and guessed that I could not make it that far, because I was judging it on what she could do, not me.  Hence your health is quite seriously affected when you take on permanent rehab of someone else.

 

Thankfully, I am very mean with money, and did not spend everything I was supposed to in the earlier stages of her illness, otherwise the financial issues would be starting to press by now.

 

One less thing to worry about.

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I’m seriously weird

I discovered everipedia yesterday, and duly created my entry.  Little did I know, how seriously weird I am.

 

I naturally assumed that everyone thought like I did about new services such as this.  I immediately used my entry to publicize everipedia and myself at the same time, with the idea that the more people who put their entries up, the more useful the service becomes. This is what I had assumed the Better Person Project and Better Fashion Project people would do. I had visions of students and businesses adding themselves and their research to it, forming a community, networking etc.

 

I was a bit disappointed that visitors seemed to assume that I was going to sit and fill the website.  Either of these research tasks are pretty mighty to do on your own.  I imagined that providing the resource was sufficient, and that people would create a resource for themselves as intended.

 

All the recent trends in social media point to specialist fragmentation.  Whether that pans out for you or not depends on a number of factors;  whether your web format is simple enough (mine isn’t); whether you are marketing sufficiently (I don’t); whether you have an online network of enthusiastic bloggers punting the idea for you (I don’t) etc.

 

What I did not know, was that I am an unusually collaborative and cooperative person, and that I am pretty unusual in my ideas about sharing good ideas and information.  I assumed that everybody used their flushes of enthusiasm to benefit other people as well as themselves.  They don’t.

 

I think that this is very sad.  The internet has brought people together, and what do they do with it?  They misunderstand, they misinterpret, they argue, they discuss, they self express but do they cooperate?  Not really. They just assume that someone else will be doing it.

 

I wonder how people expect things to go if they continue to go only with what some giant PR agency or marketing monolith has told them is cool?  How do you think the world will develop, if we are socially isolated, badly educated and easily convinced that a label determines what is fashionable?  What happened to spontaneous group formations and diverse interest groups, promoting interesting creative and social action in collaboration or opposition to others?  Are we really turning into thoughtless consumers, who imagine that someone somewhere is throwing money at something for no apparent reason?

 

From an era of free speech, freedom of action and reaction, in my lifetime, we have ‘progressed’ to being a nation of inactive, demanding and thoughtless zombies, waiting to be told what to want next.  It is not healthy already, and this is only the beginning.

 

Officially I am now rather popular on everipedia, when I look at the entries of even well known people. In about 24 hours, I have spread the word to a million or so people (by facebook count) and have some hits not only on my profile, but raised awareness that people can put themselves on the site.  Now imagine if everybody did the same thing.  The site would become useful.  A rather more realistic and less snobby version of wikipedia, with more imaginative responses.  What on earth could be wrong with that?

 

Instead, I imagine that it will become another tsu, which is far better for you than facebook.  Still relatively small, tsu shares revenue with users, and everyone is ignoring it.  They will sit on facebook, having their data plundered, looking at ads and having their posts ignored unless they pay for them, but they cannot manage to find the energy to click on a new website, far less switch the computer off and do something else.

 

All hail Candy Crush Saga, and the tedious posts of some housewife that has a thousand likers on her list.  That is what the world boils down to apparently.  The spirit of the people is candy crushed.

 

That could get very expensive for you, if you are a small business or trying to get your ideas out.

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The Joys of Misery

The Joys of Misery

So, after I tested all these games yesterday, plus a few more I was looking at for artistic reasons – it is sometimes easier to produce style than detail – my motherboard fried, after 2 minutes of Saints Row 2 (which otherwise I really recommend – but only if you have a relatively slow system.

 

I turbo charged my old t5400, and it is very sad that the motherboard got fried, as replacing it will cause much swearing when I get the new one.  Although it is marginally less fiddly than a normal PC, rebuilding an entire system is not something I particularly enjoy, although it is immensely satisfying having a hi-spec computer for under three hundred quid.

 

After a quick trawl on ebay, I have now purchased a bunch of stuff which will mean that instead of taking a week off next week, I will be awaiting parcels and rebuilding the computer room.  The one I used for the Prisoner game on Second Life is now going to be retiring, and will probably lurk in my studio until I get around to throwing it out.  In the meantime, I am a bit scuppered with testing games, I am still wary of sewing due to my sore hand, and I am not sure about writing at the moment.  It seems futile unless I throw more money at marketing.

 

Which leaves me with:

Plotting out the game structure on paper, which will take a room full of paper as it all has to lie carpet like on the floor with two cats playing on it whilst I draw it out.
Finishing my work on my new Victorian bannisters for the hall.
Finishing my redesign of the gardens.
Thinking about Best Adventure Ever, and what I want Kira to do apart from lusting after inappropriate people and accidentally starting social movements.
Studying, since I have about 12 programming languages to get through, and not very much time to do it.
Tinkering with the decor of the painfully beautiful work of art that is the house I life in.

I am a strangely busy bee, for someone who has no social life and who probably looks very lazy to the untrained eye.  Sometimes the carpet does not get hoovered as a result.

 

I am amused however, that I did not feel at all like freaking out when the motherboard fried, despite the thousands of poundsworth of software that cannot currently be accessed since the computer cannot pass POST.

 

On the grand scale of bad things to happen, it is far better that this happened before I started in earnest on the game.  Now I have purchased a second workstation and a new motherboard, and am redesigning the computer room to incorporate yet another in my bank of computers to enable me to back up my work. Sweet.  This can only be a good omen.

 

Ina

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Tantric super vegetable guru

Dear David,

Note – this is the working title.  I am absolutely not going to be making a game with this title, although I am sure it would sell very well, and if the game is played a certain way, I am sure you could manage to create a super tantric vegetable guru if you wanted to.

 

Making a game involves playing a lot of games, I have wasted a lot of time investigating what I am shooting for this week.  The idea I have in my mind is little to do with cults, but I have been looking at how cults are handled this week with a view to making the real idea work well in terms of gameplay.

 

Clockwork Empires is my favourite at the moment.  A city builder with Lovecraftian elements, it has factional warfare and potential for your own cult, but the developers are still having tremendous fun with process tree work at the moment, and it will be a while before it will be ready in terms of frictional behaviour and AI.  Lovely idea, but I do not think a city builder is right for the game I want to make.

 

Super Cult Tycoon 2 Deluxe A lovely little game which you can play free of charge, this is a simpler city builder which is extremely funny.  Basically you have to kidnap as many acolytes as possible before the FBI shut you down.

 

Evil Cult is a game for people who miss Dos.  The manual is an education in itself, however, and you can also play this one free

 

Pathologic is an old game which has been reworked in HD.  It is a little old fashioned and a bit too scripted, and even in HD, I do not think this is the look I am going for.

 

This one looks as if it will be ideal, so I will be purchasing this later in the year, although I see it retains the traditional American fear of socialism.  You aren’t all unemployed millionaires you know. People still starve to death in the richest country in the world.

 

I am bouncing around a couple of ideas at the moment, which may or may not intertwine, depending on how development goes.  The first part of the game is basically a career/management game, but since the course of becoming a guru and creating a cult run along similar dynamic lines, I think it is appropriate to look into how people handle AI, resource management and community.

 

It will not be a violent game, although it may have a mature rating, for the purposes of incorporating all these hot and horny health food fans.

 

I see from Rulers of nations, that I could actually just use David’s image after all, since he is now a public figure.  I do not think he would like this, however, although you never can tell with David.  He will freak out at the sight of a paperclip on some days, and be totally laid back on others.  Much like the rest of us, I guess.  It seems wasteful not to, on one hand, but he is never quite sure about my sense of humour, so it may be best to have an avatar and let you choose for yourself.  The plan is to make the topic variable also, with an emphasis on educational development in the course of a sweet looking game.

 

I am swithering as to whether to make a facebook style app to promote the 3d version, since the purpose of this is not strictly to make me money.

 

I think maybe do a relatively simple app first, and work on the more interesting 3d elements of the final piece of work later.  I have an awful lot of work to do.

 

In the meantime, if anyone wants to bounce an idea at me, feel free to use the comments.

 

 

 

Ina

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