Zoella and David Wolfe

Today’s entertaining sideswipe is all about marketing.

 

Zoella’s fans are very upset because the Sun decided that 3 inches of her very sensible pants apparently indicates that she is changing her image to be a bit raunchier.  Whoever dreamed this up at the Sun, was not really considering that they are irritating many, many teenagers who love Zoella’s message of :

Staying in!
Feeling anxious!
Looking pretty!
Playing with clothes!
Putting on makeup!
Making lots of money!
Having a boyfriend!
Smiling!

I was called a bitch within seconds of their protests trending, simply for mentioning that it was free marketing, so feelings are running high on this extremely important issue. 3 inches of pants in a newspaper for thick people have apparently become a women’s rights issue.  All this is, of course, excellent publicity for Team Zoe, and so I expect that she will make even more money.  Good for her, if only we could all pull off that level of devotion to superficiality.

 

I of course, am doomed, due to my persistent interest in varied and original content.  One of my first inner battles in relation to David Wolfe was why I had found myself to be quite so fascinated.  I could not understand why the books were written the way they are, why I was drawn to listening, why I was concerned about how he was actually feeling versus how he presents himself.

 

Possibly because of the similarities in facial structure between him and I, I see a whole lot more than he would like when I watch him, which is one of the many reasons I avoid watching him.  It feels a bit like one of those embarrassing dreams where you are caught naked.  At length I broke down the reasons why I found my holistic view of David and his methods interesting into the following:

Popularity is a whole lot more important than depth
Depth should be concealed in a brightly coloured package
Presentation can be personalised using subtle, actually low denomination cues
Complex problems should be presented alongside accessible solutions
Whimsy is a useful tool to engage the listener
Carelessness or anxiety is a good method of conveying warmth
Superficiality is comforting and easy to understand for the listener
If you are losing the listener, lower the bar of the content

I have listened to some little known videos, I believe one of our first brief conversations was me complimenting him on a university lecture he had done, which was far more complex than the videos which gain more hits. (this was a very, very long time ago, David)

 

As you can imagine, after this, I got quite a shock when I read one of the books.  It took some time before I understood why the books are the way they are.  They are a badge, a tool, and a simple way of leaving a calling card to the purchaser.  They simply aren’t a priority.  David wants you to want to see David and  buy products, not buy a mere book.

 

All of this is very complex and subtle marketing, which he does very well.  I have never seen someone move faster than he does on social media, on the rare occasions that he has, wittingly or unwittingly, allowed me to watch what he does to get support for events. He puts an incredible amount of work and time into fairly mind numbing tasks, and it pays off, which considering the number of marketing tricks he does not apply, is impressive.

 

So, at length I thought, why would I take seven years over writing a book which I know neither he, nor the public will read due to its weighty content?  There are far more effective ways of getting a message out to a far larger number of people.  My strategy is very slow, but it should ultimately pay off.  My problem is the constant need to remind myself of the bottom line in terms of time.  There just isn’t enough of it, and I do not plan to throw money at the problem.

 

What can we learn from David and Zoella?  KISS.  Keep it simple, stupid.  Start with a simple concept, employ your creative skills to work on inventive ways of delivering and promoting that concept.  Do not complicate the concept. Do not imbue the concept with too much complexity.  Show warmth.  Show frailty.  Be appealing, even in the face of opposition and never, never engage in discussion if you can avoid it.  That might imply that you are more knowledgeable or ‘better’ than the listener, and this will not sell products.  Impart your enthusiasm, but do not impart your expertise.  There is safety, and money, in superficiality, and if you are smart, you will conceal your own particular brand of genius within it.

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It’s good to be unpopular

It’s good to be unpopular

Sometimes, it is good to be unpopular.  I am growing into it.

 

Anyone who has done a quick post trawl knows that I look after my mother, who has dementia.  I also took care of my father when he had it, and she was trying to be responsible, and not really managing it. I have restored a large house, and maintained the grounds. I have done this at the expense of my career, family life and personal freedom.  There are people in a state of slavery that have more freedom than I do.

 

My family, in response, who were brought up, if you could call it up, when my parents were in a different life phase, fear that there is some financial implication of my doing this, and have repeatedly attacked me, legally, medically, and in terms of trashing my name at every opportunity. They have also attempted to take my mother’s money and blamed my terrible behaviour for this.  My terrible behaviour consisting of taking care of their parents and their inheritance whilst they do nothing, and avoiding them as they repeatedly refused to help and attacked me.

 

You would think that at some point in twenty years, perhaps during the years when I spent a considerable portion of my day weeping whilst I looked after everything, that my mother would perhaps show some support of my taking care of everything.  Not so.  When she is with me, she will either tell me that I should not say anything, or find a way to blame me for her other children’s behaviour.  When she is with them, she complains about me.  I am not sure why people like my mother have children when they, and I quote “do not see why they should parent adult children, and have declared themselves retired from parenting.”

 

As far as I am aware, my mother had retired from parenting before she had me.  If the first three children are an example of parented children, and I am an example of a non- parented person, this does not say much for a parent who should be instilling compassion, helpfulness, self-worth and open-mindedness in their offspring. The first three wasted no time in announcing that they had no intention of being helpful, either in person or in terms of support with issues such as repairs, prior to my father becoming ill.  I tried many times to call them and ask for their help in imparting information to their parents, to be told that as I had no rights, I should not even bother telling them.

 

Is a role-playing sense of entitlement the only thing you should take away from your experience of being in a family?  Would you allow your at times unwittingly cruel parent to be placed into very expensive care at the expense of their health?  Especially when the alternative is that your life is taken away.  I have not been out for an evening from this house since 2003.

 

I have little to no prospect of using my education, making the career that I worked extremely hard for, having a family, building up a pension, or restoring my personal life to any semblance of normality.  I am unable to access third party help, because my eldest sister, in particular would see this as an opportunity to drag my name through the mud as she has done in the past.  My friends have long since become fed up with doing the chores along with me to see me at all.  The only people I see are my mother’s POA and tradesmen or people at her medical appointments.  There are times when I cannot even attend my own appointments, as she would be left alone too long.  Is anyone really worth this level of devotion, especially when she cannot spit out five words “you are putting my care at risk”  to stop her own children from attacking you on the basis of their own dishonesty?

 

I have had to make this decision many times over the years.  I have been extremely ill twice, during which she informed me that I could take a break whenever I want, simultaneously refusing to stay with one of the others or allow me any time off to recover.  As a result I have often wondered if her intention is for me to die, and I am really just here to make sure her idle children get as much money as possible.

 

Basically it is a question of how much stress you can handle.  Having watched my father’s unpleasant end in a hospice, where it was decided within days that he was difficult and needed to be drugged, I am not in a hurry to repeat the experience with my mother.  My family’s repeated attacks have told me a lot about supposedly respectable people, and the only plus in this situation has been having time to pursue creative projects.  I have learned a lot, but am yet to monetise this creation, so I keep learning.  This keeps my mind relatively flexible, but my physical health is now suffering to quite an extent.

 

I am quite sure that my mother’s POA, a neighbour and friend I was introduced to years ago when on another local project, is quite sick and tired of my constant anxiety in relation to the family, and I do not feel great about keeping him informed of the activities of my frankly scummy family.  He has done what he can for me, and anything else, I guess is probably superfluous. What bothers me, is that I now get the impression that sticking up for myself is frowned upon from every angle.

 

My mother does not help, none of the supposedly supportive third parties can help, he cannot help.  I am supposed to sit here, taking care of parental family health and business, with the expectation of being attacked by the beneficiaries.  This situation makes no sense to me.  I have lost count of the number of days I have lost to anxiety and worry.  The house has never looked better, but with a property this size, you always have a list of things to do. When my life is draining away, for the benefit of others, you would think that somebody somewhere would appreciate that I have to stick up for myself on the basis that nobody else is going to do it, even over things as simple as people turning up when they say they are going to.

 

I sat for years, miserable and saying nothing.  It did not stop the attacks.  Recently, I have taken to writing letters when issues have to be addressed, so that nobody can lie about what I have said.  Even this is risky, since the sisters are in a state of sufficient lunacy that my saying, for example, that it is not OK to make false police reports is evidence that there is something wrong with me rather than them.  This on the basis of them having more credit cards or property than I do.  At one point, my family even debated why I should be provided with somewhere to live whilst taking care of their parents. (even my mother had to have this explained to her several times before deciding that yes I could have somewhere to live)

 

It took a long time to accept that I was not the problem.  I basically did most of the work before I woke up and realised that the loudest and craziest complainants had not devoted a single day to the family, whilst I have had to give up everything.  I find it incredible, when there are so many people in a similar position, that there is nobody to protect the carer.  One care home owner told me that if she had a pound for every carer being attacked by their own family, she would not have to run a carehome.

 

So, in the event that everybody is claiming that you are a problem, even when they do not know you, or help you in any way, it is not necessarily because you genuinely are a problem.  It is because they are inadequate, selfish and are trying very hard to defend themselves by attacking you.  It is up to you whether you take the sensible route of getting as far away as possible, or put yourself through the trial of strength required to decide that no, you are worth more than money, that you are able to tolerate more than you thought you would ever have to, and that stupidity comes in many forms.  You are perfectly entitled to defend yourself, and perfectly entitled to opt out of toxic relationships, no matter who they are with, and just because society says that parents, for example, are supposed to protect and instill moral values into their children, it does not mean that parents are infallible or capable of actually doing the job.

 

Basically you cannot depend on anyone. It is up to you how you respond.  You can be as shitty as they are, or you can be the better person.

 

 

 

 

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So you want to make a game?

As a developer, I would not call myself highly experienced, but here is my take on building games.

 

Longer term readers will recall that I made a fairly extensive game in Second Life just after my father died.  My father was a fan of Patrick McGoohan’s Prisoner, and as I knew he was dying, just when some cheeky swine was attempting to remake/ruin his legacy, I decided to make a tribute island for him in Second Life.  As it turned out, he actually visited it with his grandchildren, so the creative exercise was worthwhile.  The letter from the family was sufficient for me to make a full working model of the entire series, with the help of a couple of more computer savvy friends doing the scripting.

 

It took quite a while just to psych myself into thinking in a more linear, and yet less sequential, way to make this happen.  My friends patiently waited for me to figure out that I had to drop the idea of story and concentrate on objects and what they do, and how they move you on within a game context.

 

So, for your first game I would advise that you do not do it alone, although at times it will feel that you are waiting forever for something very minor.  The more people you can involve the better, particularly in the later stages when you need them to test your idea without bias.  Some people who get involved will just appear to be sticking spokes in your wheels, but even this input is useful.

 

Knowledge of the following  is desirable:

 

The games market – do not waste time following every blog and trend.  It is far easier to look at the shops and reviews to see what people actually enjoy playing, and what demographic goes for what game.

 

Artwork –  it is helpful to have more than one person on 2d artwork, and some experience of machinima, as well as photoshop; and texturemaking is useful. Do not pick a perfectionist to work with until you are bored with fiddling with your game, as they will just hold you up and waste your time. Spend some time in Second Life and practise machinima and building to get better at this yourself. It is amazing what you can do just messing about.

 

3d modelling – A thorough knowledge of the marketplace before you start is helpful.  I recommend you spend some time in Second Life or similar, as there are alternatives to the mainstream programmes that are far easier to use and cheaper.  Anyone who has spent any significant time with Blender will agree that there are much more pleasurable ways to die.

 

Game engines – Get to know more than one, so that you have some options.  Take careful note of what they expect in the way of recompense’licensing. Look at the games job sites to see what skills are most marketable before you decide which one to learn. Again, spend some time in Second Life, since many of the skills you can learn from classes in there will stand you in extremely good stead with Unity in terms of building, texturing etc.

 

Scripting and Coding – If you have a friend that is good at this, bear in mind that they need very precise information to give you what you want.  You need to list your requirements, not necessarily in order, and then wait for them to figure out how to make it happen.  Scripters are amazing, magical people.

 

Game structure and dynamics – You will get better at this the more games you make.  It is a bit like making films.  Do not worry terribly much about your first ten.  It is more important that you get something done, so that you know what you want the next time.

 

Animation – there are many ways to go about this, I am mediocre at best, so I will refrain from comment at this time.

 

Shaders and lighting – considered by many to be the difference between an amateur and professionally made game.

 

Music – a handy composer is always helpful

 

 

 

I have a very specific idea of how the game I am planning is going to work, but I plan to do it all myself this time, so it will take a while to acquire the relevant skills.

 

In the meantime, here is my early coding lesson for you to amuse yourself with.

 

Futile tribute to David Wolfe  Caution – does not work in Chrome

 

The latter build in Second life

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Why I write

Why I write

First and foremost, it should be said that I have not been writing regularly for all that long.  I wrote intermittently for years, usually some male was involved, and I was unable for various reasons to speak to them.  Men go from being callously immature in their twenties, to almost retirement in their forties if they are not carefully managed by themselves, their partner, or their lifestyle.  You have to try very hard to get your message across in the brief romantic period during their thirties when they are wondering where their life is going.  Since I veer between overworking, hiding in the house and doing things for other people, this has left little time for chasing dudes. Besides which, they turned up like over-ordered pizza for twenty years until I told them that their visits were pointless.  Apparently all I wanted was a decent muse.

 

I do not write for the purpose of gaining fame, it would be a very inefficient way of doing it.  I was originally working on a social commentary about natural health, the environment, economics and how these things link with your personal liberty and level of society-led brainwashing when I wanted to speak to Wolfe  He was quite possibly entirely unaware of this until after the incident with the screen, which was really intended to make up for a rather caustic and probably embarassing film I had made about the state of raw food at the time, in addition to completing a piece of work I had put seven years into.

 

Since then, my primary purpose was to let him know what had happened, since he was unlikely to hear about it from his moronic staff.  The hazard of using ‘friends’ as colleagues is that even when they get it wrong you are likely to give them the benefit of the doubt, and I am quick to admit that I am a very odd fish at times.  I doubt very much that very much has changed, beyond the girls getting younger, and I am quite sure that he has no appreciation of what I do whatsoever, unless some richer person has told him that it is kewl.

 

It was something that I always knew I could do, on one hand, but not something I felt terribly motivated by.  I always thought I would end up in some sort of heritage career.  Then again, I did not think that I would be bullied for years by my dangerously stupid sisters, nor lied about for the purposes for their gaining money at the expense of all reason and the welfare of their own mother. Everything has been a bit of a mess for more than a decade.

 

The good thing about it is that I am less likely to accept the shirking of responsibility for their actions on the grounds that they claim to be too stupid/not remember/not understand what they have done on the grounds that I am a bit eccentric and they do not understand what acceptable behaviour is.  The fact that I am now middle-aged and considerably brighter than them does not seem to occur to them.

 

The latest in the family saga is that they are attempting to bully my mother, since they are unable to get to me.  I have curtailed their ability to do this, and I await their next assault.  To give you an example, we went away before Christmas, and despite my mother’s claim that she had a marvellous time, they are telling her that she did something wrong by not forcing me to ask their permission. My eldest sister, as I have mentioned before, is a dangerous lunatic who is obsessively driven by her vendetta against me, which has no basis in anything I have or have not done.  Quite the reverse, the more I do, the more she demands, so it is much better to prevent her from interacting with me as much as is possible. My mother, assisted by me, called her four times before we went away, and she did not return any of the calls because the only thing that matters to her is herself, and how much power she imagines she should have despite doing nothing at all to earn it.

 

So, despite a wall of ignorance, I have the comfort of knowing that I now have approximately fifteen thousand readers of the books, and a few thousand a month on the blog, all of whom understand exactly what I am saying.  This provides me with a bit of emotional reassurance. It has been very difficult to remain unaffected by this barrage of irrational stupidity.

 

In the event that it is fame that you seek, I do not recommend writing as a way to do it.  There are far more effective ways of gathering a following.  Social media is also scheduled to fragment very shortly, so in the event that you wish to make a start, I recommend that you do it very fast indeed, since Facebook is now effectively useless unless you have an enormous marketing budget and team of groupies like Wolfe, or are sufficiently dogged to sit on it all day.  Twitter is heading the same way, and so new avenues, such as Tsu and other social media providers are likely to become more popular.  It does not make economic sense to pump money into a format that no longer works, even when chatting to your friends. It is a shame, but Facebook is fast becoming irrelevant.

 

I have completed about 16 or so courses, and have another 45 or so to get through, so work is postponed until I get through that.  Twisty is now absent, so I have more work to do with mother.  It is very strange, but her health appears to be improving as a result of all the peace and quiet. I think that it will be worth it, when all the courses are finished and I produce some new formats.  Hopefully Wolfe can be induced to take a look at it, when he is not too busy being his usual ebullient self.

 

 

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New Scottish Culture

After the referendum last September, the Scottish National Party became the most popular political party in Scotland.  The reasons for this may seem unclear to people who do not understand Scottish culture.

 

Before I go into that, here is my own position.  As a former interviewer for a research organisation that formerly worked extremely closely with national government, I was initially a no.  I just could not permit myself the space to consider whether Scotland could afford the number of disabled, long term sick, or unemployed people that we support without the ultimate insurance of the UK.  When I finally discussed it with a friend who is a lot more interested in domestic politics than I am, I made the decision to take the risky, yet positive Yes route.  Why did I change my mind? Certainly not because of oil revenue.  Oil does not really affect Glasgow, it barely affects most of Scotland.  The chattering classes on the east coast would tell you something different, but the chattering classes on the east coast are not really considered to be very pro-Scottish by most of Scotland.  There are logistical reasons for this that most Scots, never mind anyone else, do not really understand.  There is also a strong sense of rivalry between east and west, which historically far outweighs anything as mundane as the price of oil.

So, first, the east-west divide:

When you drive to Scotland from England, you have three main options – the A1, which takes you up the east coast,  the M6, which takes you up to a fairly straightforward artery to the formerly industrial zones in the west, and a wee road that we like to send the English tourists through Galloway, via Moffat.  The Moffat road allows you to delude yourself that you are seeing pretty parts of Scotland, whilst gently directing you towards Edinburgh.  It never fails to make me chuckle, this idea that we are keeping the best bits for ourselves, and directing the tourist traffic away from Scotland’s actual capital, Glasgow.

 

I have lived in both cities as well as a considerable number of other areas in Scotland, and contentiously, I can tell you that it is a lot easier to live as a single person in Edinburgh.  Like Kent, it has a steady through traffic of incomers, and an arguably more cosmopolitan atmosphere generally.  Like Kent, although people are generally less friendly, they are actually a bit more tolerant of strangers.  I have shocked many an Edinburgh native, when asked about the two cities, when I have said this, as they assume a natural rivalry exists.  No, we in Glasgow are quite happy for Edinburgh to accomodate all the tourists they want.  It keeps the place tidy for the extended clans that prefer to do Scottish business and shopping in Glasgow, from most of the rest of Scotland, including places that are actually nearer to Edinburgh. Glasgow is designed for mercantile and domestic business, central Edinburgh is designed for something somewhat more genteel and anglified.

 

So what implications does the information I have given you so far have for the new Scottish culture that has developed since the referendum?

 

What do Euan McColm, JK Rowling, and  ‘what about my pension?’ Historywoman, all aggressive Unionists have in common?  They are all residents of Edinburgh.  They genuinely believe that their self-hating and often ill-informed opinions reflect the views of most of Scotland, because they are assured by their positions that the masses really care what they as individuals think.  JK, as it turns out, is a titanic egotist that believes the slavish followers that hang on her every word, without any alternative information to her apparent dislike of the country she is choosing to throw her money about in. They are apparently unconcerned who they are bombing, and whose house gets fracked, as long as they are right, right, right. Euan even tried to tell me that the SNP were at fault for the activities of SEPA, an organisation that I am familiar with from my days working for the main utilities companies in Scotland.  Sorry, Euan, but SEPA have never done what they say on the tin, it is nothing to do with the SNP, a party somewhat fettered by its own democracy.

 

As a result, many unthinking no voters believe that the question of Scottish independence is akin to a primary school exam question.  It is multiple choice, and all they have to worry about is getting the answer right.  They do not like the couthier elements of the SNP, or the devotion shown by some supporters (particularly those who are formerly left wing activists) and they do not trust that anybody in Scotland has sufficient wit to run a country. When you consider that Scotlands upper working and lower middle class are often heavy drinkers, who work extremely hard and have limited time for information gathering, never mind thinking, it is less surprising that they take the views of these people seriously and write the entire argument off as ‘lefties dreaming about oil.’

 

As the Scottish voting public have demonstrated since the referendum, the question of independence for yes voters is not at all about oil.  Whether you are left or right wing, it is about your idea of what a nation is, your level of self confidence as a person as well as a nation, and your opinion of how well the UK functions for you as an individual.  I am sure that if you are a mean-spirited academic worrying about your pension, a fearful author worrying about your house getting burgled by poor people, or a minor journalist who just wants to be in with UK bricks, the idea of independence is very frightening.

 

If you are a cultural observer, however, it is more of a question of how one would go about making the country work for people who have been forced to accept a culture of loss,  historically, industrially and in terms of the lose-to-win social housing rules. What Scotland actually needs is a generation of factories, in order to achieve future generations of bankers, engineers and designers to move the country forward.  Are we likely to achieve that by ensuring that we are under Tory rule from the over-populated England?  Many middle class thinkers in Glasgow apparently think not, going by the referendum results.  Despite an engrained class tension, exemplified by a friend of mine from Pollokshaws, who despite a £50,000 a year job as a builder, cannot imagine owning a house ‘because he has no capital like the middle-class c****,’ Glasgow apparently has the confidence that Edinburgh appeared to lack at the time of the referendum. What my friend requires, apparently, is an injection of morale that people like Rowling and McColm cannot find in their hearts to provide in the country they choose to live in.  Good luck with that stinking self-hatred you are punting.

 

Meanwhile, the English media would have the snarling chavs believe that the Scots are whinging cowards, milking the teat of English supremacy whilst complaining about their lot.  They have been trained to think this by enthusiastic misinformation, and they are very good at hating whomever they are told to hate.  Hating is apparently much easier than thinking, or hoping, or building anything new.  It requires no energy at all.

 

What the #SNPbad crew do not understand is that the SNP are a conduit.  They are not just one party.  Many of us in the party detest the couthier elements, but it does not mean that we will cease to support the SNP for as long as it takes to rebuild our country and create a new basis for healthy discussion.  No, we do not sit over a brazier discussing the good old days of scraping a living off the croft, people working in mines or tales of shipbuilding. Yes, we are aware that there will be decades of hard work, just to persuade people that it is OK to think, OK not to hate, Ok not to rely on past wounds for guidance. What we all have in common is this dream of self determination, unchained to the desires of public schoolboys lining their pockets with backhanders, defence spending and welfare pensions which relentlessly punish people who are without hope due to a lack of strategy from the top.

 

My view comes from one of the most stratified cities in the country.  Nevertheless, unlike the impoverished No voters, we managed to agree on one thing – Scotland needs to be Scottish in order to progress.

 

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All about Love

All about love

Well, yesterday’s post about Return of King’s author Roosh and his allegedly rape-supporting club of inadequate males went down like a lead balloon.  I took a gander at his facebook page today, and those people who would potentially be interested were very busy threatening to kill him.

 

I think it is possible to give such people too much credit.  He is just a little guy, after all. I took much the same view about Harley when Wolfe was at his most furious about him.  There are key moments in your life which define you, and getting annoyed by little men should count as moments when you realise how big you are.

 

In the case of Roosh, he is just trying to make a living like everybody else.  His points are fairly puerile, but there is a lot of money in the puerile market, especially in the USA, although he seems to think many of his fans are British.  I caught a video of someone trying to interview him, and the punters are all clean cut young men, which says more about their sense of society-grade emasculation than about women.  Far be it from me to pander to this market, but I strongly suspect that I could help them a lot more than he can. Food for thought.

 

So, all about the love. I have written on this topic before, so forgive me if you have read my books, or been around for a while and seen this stuff covered.  It is not quite my favourite topic, but it is something I know rather a lot about, in a variety of contexts.

Here is what love is not:

It is not a list of conditions or aspirations.

 

It is not a duty.

 

It is not a game.

 

It is not a weakness.

 

It is not about ownership.

 

It is not necessarily about suffering.

 

It is not necessarily about being together.

 

It is not necessarily about sex.

 

It definitely is not about being nice to each other.

 

 

Here is what love is:

It is irrational.

 

It is about self-development, in every context.

 

It requires focus and strength.

 

It requires the development of a high degree of self expression.

 

It is about stamina against the odds.

 

It is a self-challenge.

 

It is similar to a lengthy backgammon or chess match, depending on who you are playing.

 

 

 

Obviously, in my case, I am playing this lengthy backgammon match against me, as attempting to play against Wolfe would be rather pointless. He probably does not know how to play, for one thing, and for another I am a rather good player. So perhaps we should look on this as a lengthy exhibition match that I am playing for his benefit.

 

I do realise that a great number of my readers will wonder to what end I would pursue this project? Do I seriously want to be hooked up with Wolfe?

 

The answer to this question is obscure, even now.  I am working from a very small amount of information, delivered in some haste on a very limited number of occasions.  Without going into it too deeply, it does not take much information exchange to pick up several year’s worth of communication, and since I am, for some reason, hyper-sensitive to it, it is much better to avoid as much as possible. It would drive you insane, if you let it, so it is much better to assume that you are taking a small seed and growing it carefully for some unknown end.

 

I would not, in person, be beneficial for Wolfe’s career, given the grief he has been given over the years.  I would not enjoy the public eye, and I would not appreciate the people that he clearly relishes being with.  The reality is, that despite my intuition, he would be much better off with someone less connected, less interested, and considerably more attractive.  This does not stop me seeing things every day that I am well aware he would find as funny as I do, and they are by no means obvious to anybody else. We should probably look on my project as a well-meaning and rather fractious hug from a very safe distance.  Whilst I am sure, in another life, it might have worked out very well, I have pondered this carefully and I do not see myself ever making myself a good fit for a power position in the sense that he appears to require.

 

I do not think that there is anything all that strange about this, but then I have been in a variety of very strange situations throughout my life, many of them extremely unpleasant.  This absentee situation that I have created, on the other hand, has been extremely fruitful and does not cramp his style one bit.  He is extremely welcome to do whatever he does, as long as it is not making him miserable.  If I suspected misery, it might be a different story, but I try not to look. In addition, the situation that I am in makes it impractical to either look, or worry.

So, then, to conclude:

The person you are in a relationship with is not necessarily the person you truly love, or end up loving, because love itself does not really require companionship, feeding, or conditions.  Those are earthly requirements, which Plato would refer to as bestial.  When he says this he means that you require those things as an animal, not in the modern context.

 

What we are looking at in relation to the Ina Disguise/Wolfe epic, is a tangible expression of what Plato refers to as divine love, which is a form of inspiration in order to express something which cannot normally be expressed.  An abstraction, which is not only useful, but has enabled me to unlock the door on my own peculiar brand of bravado.

 

It is not something that I expect poor old Roosh V will have much of a handle on.

 

 

 

 

 

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Roosh v male emancipation

 

Today, I learned that I am a fat cyborg.

I am a fat cyborg because all my friends are male.  I am a fat cyborg because my exs have come back so many times that I actually had to devote a year to telling them to fuck off and leave me alone because I was in love with Wolfe.  I am a fat cyborg because looking after my disabled mother 24 hours a day leaves me with little inclination to conform to Roosh’s ideal world of submissive women awaiting a charmless twunt to waste their time and presumably steal their diamond’s worth of hymen.

So, all in all, I am quite happy to be a fat cyborg.

I took the trouble of looking through Roosh’s blog to see if I could find any redeeming features.  This is not the first time that I have taken the trouble to investigate the world of male emancipation.  I previously infiltrated the male rights movement on Youtube, thinking that since I was quite sympathetic, I would find some interesting points.  This stems from my disappointment at university, in finding that only one student was studying gender studies from a male perspective.  Seriously people, this ain’t good enough.

Where does my sympathy come from?  Men, whilst their mistakes may seem unforgivable, such as suddenly remembering that they only really wanted to sleep with you until you got bored, as opposed to actually building a future together, are just like women.  The difference is that they waste a lot less time jostling with you for social supremacy, and they are unfettered by the constraints of a fertile life that really lasts only 25 years or so.  They do not understand that life is finite, because it is in the interests of the gene pool that they spray their tiresome seed around as much as possible until they are killed by old age, disease, or each other.  Quite a few of them just do not know any better, and why should they, if they can avoid the consequences?

The economy is set up in their favour for this very reason.  Were we to impose the constraints of fertility on them, that have been set aside for women, such as enforced leave, regardless of the source of their children, they would suddenly discover consequences for actions and we would quite rightly impose the same social norms “Why didn’t you keep your zipper up if you didn’t want kids?”  etc etc.  Instead of which, women continue to bear this burden.  Roosh, with his childlike sense of unfairness that his ass does not get kissed often enough, just echoes the views of many men, who quietly type with one hand and seek out big girl pornography whilst telling everyone how much they love anorexic chicks with fake tits.

The great shame of the modern male, in my view, is that they are being groomed to be just as neurotic as women when it comes to their looks.  It is undoubtedly great marketing for the personal hygeine products, and if you have some issues with body hair, I am sure that it is very nice that they seem to be taking umbrage with their own fur, but largely, I am afraid that I am with Germaine Greer on this one.  Anything over 5-15 minutes is a waste of your intellectual capacity and time, and you really should get a life if you spend it staring at yourself in the mirror. When it’s right it’s right, and you really will not care if your ultimate beloved has less than two eyes/arms/ears never mind if they have had twenty concubines, six wives or husbands, or have plucked their surplus eyebrows or beard. Sorry to burst your marketing bubble.

Anyway, back to the youtubers.  It turned out that their victimitis consisted of wondering how they could shake off the psychopath they banged in the bar of a weekend, and why should they pay for their own offspring.  What lovely gents.  I note that Roosh would like to prevent women from working.  What a bleak future his offspring are going to have, given that he seems to think anorexic submissive virgins are in unlimited supply.

Should they all be white too, Roosh, given your evident hatred for immigrants?

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Advice for carers

There is a shortage of advice for carers, particularly those, like me, who did not start out in life with the idea that we would be spending the best years of our lives stuck in the house with an ill person, or people in my case.  I will give you a short history before I continue.

I finished up with postgraduate study in 2003, as by this time my father was bedridden and my mother, despite having the help she was entitled to, was struggling.  I continued to work as many hours as I could, some jobs being completed on the way home from other jobs, and found various inventive ways of fitting in as much work as I possibly could around providing support for her in the form of looking after her property and lifting my father when necessary. This still meant that I had to work in temporary, hence easily ditchable employment. My mother would not admit that she required help, and so the siblings found it quite easy to belittle my efforts alongside providing no help.  Just before she succumbed to a stroke I was working full time as a banking consultant, part time as a government research interviewer, and doing some corporate research during mealtimes.  A total of about 17 hours a day, six days a week, the remaining time being spent on maintaining the house and gardens and letting her get out.

My father became steadily worse over the five years between 2002 and 2007, and it was impossible to take the reins due to the fact that my mother was extremely difficult before her stroke.  When it became apparent that she had a heart problem, I spent two years arguing with her as I tried to tell her to go to the doctor.  It was obvious that she was not going to take this advice, and again the siblings ignored my entreaties to invite her to their house to give her a break, or advise her to go to the doctor as requested.  Therefore it became pointless to speak to them at all, since it was clear that they were not prepared for their parents dotage, nor willing to listen to me at all. I have never had much of a relationship with them, since my unexpected arrival over a decade after they thought the family was complete, came as a bit of a shock to them, so it was no great loss.  Their subsequent behaviour has been so poor that I frequently have cause to think I would be better off with no siblings at all.  These are middle class, respectable people who are in late middle age, so this came as quite a shock to me, never mind anyone else.

There is no legal or supportive body to go to if you are in this position.  I have been told by several care homes that I worked in on a temporary basis whilst trying to help my mother, that it is entirely normal for the absent children to attack the unfortunate carer, and there is no help for you on this basis at all.  You have the responsibility, you have the loss of your own life, and you have the daily drama of caring for your relative.  The last thing you need is to be attacked by your own family.  Having been through a particularly bad example of it, I can tell you that the only backup you are likely to receive in the face of such attacks is to be told, after investigation that you are off the hook.  You are basically at the mercy of adults who are functioning as particularly nasty children.

My advice is to opt out completely.  Despite what you may be told, there is no reason why you should make yourself available to be attacked.  My course of action was to ensure that I was notified of the impending visits in order to avoid them.  For the first few years of looking after my mother, I simply avoided the house during these visits.  Recently, I have been more inclined to guard my belongings, and ensure that my mother is not left alone as she tends to forget what she has been told within a few minutes.  I get no time off at all.  The vulture-siblings are not aware that she rarely gets through a night without needing something, and they have chosen to be so unhelpful and vicious that I am trapped in the house 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is preferable to accepting help from a third party, with associated worry garnered from years of my eldest sister seeing any third party involvement being an opportunity to accuse me of things I have not done.

Considering the amount that each carer saves the taxpayer, in the course of their poorly paid excuse for a life, and the associated knowledge of the person being cared for, who is almost always receiving far better attention than they would in the conveyor belt care home system, I find this lack of support astonishing.  Yes, there are courses available, should you need them, to help you react correctly to the situations with the person being cared for, there are day care facilities provided by local bodies where you can drop off your patient, should they agree to it, but nobody cares if you are persistently victimised by your own family.  Nobody cares that your life has been destroyed, and nobody cares about your privacy.  You can, if you do not care about privacy, get help from a third party with the direct daily activity of caring, but in my position, with two vicious sisters, this is not at all helpful.  I have learned over the years to either take my mother with me, when I do need to go somewhere, or schedule it at times when it is either impossible or unnecessary to inform them at all.  All this to protect my mother and her assets from attack by her own family.

You will find that your house becomes messy very quickly indeed.  It is amazing how much mess one tiny woman can generate.  Your family may also attack you on this basis, especially if you lack the funds or inclination to redecorate frequently.  Personally, I spent several years decorating whilst caring for my parents and neighbour, and became a familiar figure, covered in paint, in my local area as I was rarely out of my painting clothes.  I am about to have to start again, as this house is large and I keep it on a five year cycle.  As long as you enjoy this process, it is something you can do whilst your patient is sleeping or watching TV nearby.

You will find yourself crying a lot, particularly if you are female and are looking at a life with no children or opportunities to go out.  This means that you cannot even hope that a gallant gentleman will save you from destitution in your dotage, so you have a bleak old age to look forward to, whilst your selfish relatives roll around in the money they were able to make by being selfish.  The only good part about this element is that you are forced to be inventive.  Towards the end of the period of my being able to work, I worked from home to avoid claiming the benefits I was entitled to.  This is considerably easier to achieve than it used to be, thanks to the internet, but particularly with a progressive illness, you will have to give this up eventually in favour of something that you can either do whilst providing care, or nothing at all.  Be prepared for some dark moments as you realise your hope of the life you previously worked for is diminishing with time.

As your patient’s illness progresses, it will become increasingly difficult to keep up with even the simple things that you were able to easily cope with, so it is wise to be extremely mean as you may have to draft in a gardener or painter that you did not need to begin with.  The time you spend in a chair with your patient is still valuable to them.  If you are fortunate, you will have some means of utilising this comfort companionship.  Artwork is particularly good for the elderly generally, so if you can find some creative spark, especially craft related since you can get them to help, this is a good way of reducing your inevitable feelings of helplessness and loneliness.  Again, being online, you can find various places to dispose of what you have made once you have come up with a product.  Cooking may be your thing, but make sure you have an audience to consume what you have made if this is the case.

There are some examples of fairly high powered people who are in exactly the same position as you, and who have admitted that caring is the hardest thing they have ever done.  You have to be tough and self aware to pull off the whole caring thing, and being a nice gentle person will not cut it when the person you are looking after becomes difficult.

Some days are horrific, and you will feel like the worst person in the world because you did not cope as well as you should have.  You are a person too, so it is important to remember that the scummy person criticising you has no idea what you are going through, or that nobody becomes an angel at age 70.  My elderly best friend was one of the most evil, fun people I have ever encountered.  She would have been fun at 30, and she was fun at 89.

There are times when your patient will start a fight out of boredom and frustration, and it is in the nature of dementia, in particular, that they will play people off against one another for sheer spite.  It is in your interests to remain out of it, for your own sanity as well as ensuring that your patient does not inadvertently catch themselves in the crossfire.  There are very few cases in which carehomes are the best option, so even if you have a bad month, it does not make you a bad person.  Two years ago, my mother did not let me sleep for more than two hours for four months.  It was appalling, but we got through it, just as we got through her stroke, the death of her husband and brother, and the dishonest and despicable behaviour of her children.

Finally, pat yourself on the back for your commitment despite all this.  You are probably stupid for being so softhearted and allowing everyone to take advantage of you. Congrats for having what it takes to tolerate the bullshit that goes with it.

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TV and alternative media coverage

Ok, continuing in my series on promoting yourself, here are a few avenues you may not have considered, or have felt to cowed to pursue.  There are a variety of avenues to go down.  In the UK, we traditionally prefer people to be on the radio before they are considered for TV, but this should not stop you registering yourself as an expert on some of the directory sites.  Some of these are quite well used, and as we know in the UK, you do not have to have a squeaky clean rap sheet to make it in the media.  Adopt the same principles as for your SEO – start small and diverse and generalize from there.  If all else fails, the channels are woefully short of ideas, and it is up to you if you want to try the various production companies to pitch a programme idea if you see nothing that currently suits you.  Well worth an afternoon or two of effort if your schtick is publicity.

Find a TV expert UK

TV connect Event London

How to be a TV expert Peter Shankman USA

Female experts wanted for BBC

Interview guest Directory

Expert file

What does it take to get booked as an expert?

How to get media coverage as an expert USA

Find an expert online

Expert Guide Australia

Expertise Finder

How to find an expert and tap research networks on deadline: Tips on Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Search

 

Pitching for TV

BBC pitching for TV advice – go for radio first (see below)

TV writer’s vault

How To Pitch A TV Show – The Pitch For The Wire

Pitching for Radio

Pitch Me a Story

Pitching Story ideas

Pitching for BBC radio

 

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Conscious Branding and business gurus

An interesting feature I have come across since embarking on my current course binge, is the rise of the digital hippies.  A great number of high achieving, big brand middle managers and branding specialists seem to discover yoga at a formative mid-life-crisis point in their lives, and are now making their living ‘transforming’ business.

 

Far be it from me to criticize this worthy effort, but I have to say the effects of this B2B marketing are variable.  I do like the manner of some of these uber calm Steve Jobs impersonators, but I am not at all sure that creating a kind of hippy subculture in relation to something as serious as ecological economics is entirely sensible.

 

Here are a few examples:

 

Conscious Business Institute – Peter Matties – Peter has a lovely manner, but is very keen to sell courses in leadership and culture transformation, as long as it suits his work-life balance at the time.  You can find more information from his website. Whilst, as a habitual overworker, I can see the value in ensuring that your (often very productive) time off to think is just as important as your time in the saddle, I question the general value of meditation and spiritualism in a business context, unless you can persuade everyone to do it.

 

Ulab Presencing InstituteOtto Scharmer  MIT has a department devoted to Otto, who has some interesting publications, and 28,000 people, including many from the Scottish Government, have embraced his notion that collective hivemind meditation will lead to a more progressive form of economics for the future.  Sadly, I missed the course, but I have some of the files from the 2010 course.  In the event that he runs another one this year, it might be worth taking a look at, since this seems to be the Scottish Nationalist/civil service equivalent of Common Purpose for the Labourites in the UK.

 

Robert Bo Lockwood Regenerating America. I am sorry to say that I was unable to complete Bo’s course as he has a bad tendency to stick to a script, to the point of rendering his course unlistenable-to.  He is using hippy imagery to sell a branding and ethical concept to American business.  Good luck to him, but he really needs to sharpen his act to appeal to a wider audience and cut down on superfluous words and uber-patriotism.

 

Seva business Networking A place for believers in conscious business to oil each other up, in the tradition of business networkers everywhere.  Again, good idea, but we seem to be creating a B2B niche, rather than genuinely making efforts to change business practice.

 

About Us

 

I am sorry, Cathi, but Abundance Reality Group rings serious bells of doom.

 

Conscious Business Network another network for practitioners of conscious business.  If you are in the USA, enjoy yoga, or sell to people who like talking a good game and selling themselves as ethical/sustainable/conscious this is possibly the place for you.

 

Fred Kofman

 

Fred Kofman has a book and some of the usual American marketing techniques, but this at least appears to be some attempt at a cultural shift in addition to money generation. The difference is that if a cultural shift were affected, Trump would be sneering about his better-than-the-opposition commitment to renewables, instead of dissing Mexicans.

 

Conscious Business Network UK the UK version, for serious worthies who want to meet, greet and market to each other.

 

How Conscious is Conscious Business?

 

Call me cynical, but I feel a style is developing in which people talk only to each other.  A worthy clique, or set of worthy cliques, is not the same as a cultural shift. I am working on a couple of relevant courses at the moment, and the spirit of perfectly normal marketing is strong.  Nobody is making any clear definitions, and nobody is being encouraged to talk about it rationally.  eg. Sourcing a proportion of organic cotton is not the same as recycling waste.  Hemp is not truly avoiding exploiting land for production.  Discussing the ethics of re-use in terms of lost jobs, is not the same as a genuine commitment to think differently.  Then, of course, you see a backlash:

 

Beware the digital hippies

 

Most of the genuine eco-warriors I know, who are carrying out perfectly normal, if technologically advanced, businesses in solar, renewables and alternative technical wizardry, would find this movement rather perplexing.  They have a completely different approach, involving a more scientific vision of the world, and practical methods of approaching change.

 

I’m with them on this one.  Either you make a policy statement if you are an artist or small business; you market, if you are an alternative health practitioner; or you learn and transform as an individual or academic.  B2B marketing is a different thing, and whilst I applaud the sentiment and the effort, I would caution people in the conscious business movement not to cling too hard to the sandals and dreadlocks. There are plenty of meditative pursuits that do not involve sharing a space with cross legged friends.

 

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