Sunday, 20 October 2013

Why I don’t agree with spending millions and billions on Peace and Trauma centres.

Mike Nesbitt has proposed that we build a ‘Trauma Centre’ as an alternative to the Maze peace centre.

I don’t think we should be building either a peace centre or a trauma centre.  This is a very good example of how people look at the surface of society and start clutching at proverbial straws in their attempts to make things better.  They throw a few billion at the problem and hope it’ll go away.  Well it won’t away until we get real with what the problems here are.

We are not very deep collectively.  We see things in a narrow-minded and shallow manner and I really don’t blame people for seeing things this way anymore.  Over successive generations we have not been taught about the importance of emotions and the society we know have is a result of that.  People don’t like looking too much for solutions because we are very immediately minded.  We scan the surface, pick up on the first things we notice and make knee-jerk decisions based upon what little we know.

When people look at society they always end up blaming other people and one another for the problems we have.  This then creates a world where everyone is blaming everyone and few people stop and say “hang on, we need to start looking at Human Nature here and how our emotions and instincts are causing ALL these difficulties.  When we look at our difficulties we always relate them to worldly matters but I know for a fact that ALL of our difficulties lie in Human Nature, in instincts and emotions.

Because people don’t want to accept that their own instincts and emotions could be somehow flawed they take short cuts and try to fix our problems by focusing on surface matters.  This never works because much deeper down the same problems are left and they continue hindering us without us ever admitting what they are. Looking at History clearly shows our constant repeating of past mistakes and this is because we’re refusing to look at things in greater depth.  We’re refusing to accept that it is our nature that is flawed and petty squabbling about who started it and who said and what will not suffice, because it didn’t work in the past did it?  So it isn’t going to work now either.

So why would I not agree with a trauma centre or peace centre?

A Peace centre would presumably be to promote peace wouldn’t it?  I don’t think it is necessarily the thought or sentiment that’s the problem here, they have that in abundance, I think the problem is their methods and the fact that they’re not looking at something very important and that is the social structure. 

When we got ‘Peace’ back in the 1990’s what did we do thereafter?  We had a great time of it.  We got Tesco and Sainsburys and Asda and all them big firms who would not invest here due to the troubles and we got loads of jobs for the young people and we partied and said “Yes, this is the life!” 

So while all this was going on what did we not do?  We didn’t go and look at the Loyalist and Republican communities.  We just pushed them off to their respective sides and tried to make a little oasis of happy, fun loving people between them!  We acted like they weren’t there, that we’d somehow grown beyond all that nonsense, like we had arrived! We got complacent!  In each of those communities though the same issues existed and still exist and what happened as a result of that?  The rise of dissident Republicanism on one side and continued protesting on the other. 

So what does that mean? It means that if you fail to address the problems within a society the problems remain and they will keep coming back unless we go and make those communities more productive and more emotionally aware of their HUMAN IDENTITY, rather that their National and Religious identities.  Rates of unemployment and alcohol and drug misuse are widespread and where this occurs in large communities you will have thousands of people who will be more likely to be miserable and hopeless and thus extremist views will be more easily accepted.

This is depth.  I am not just looking at people and calling them scumbags because of their behaviour I am looking at the sociological matters that exist within the communities where these people live and I am using Human Nature to show how people will end up behaving as a result of that.  I know a lot of people will disagree and this is because the very same factors of immediate thinking and intolerance are currently aeffecting most of the population here.  Rather than look into why things are the way they are we pick a group of people and start demonising them.  These demonised people then realise that everyone hates them so they stop caring and start attacking.

A trauma centre would be to look at mental health wouldn’t it?  I think more does need to be done about this but if we keep just looking at the surface of mental health we will only be treating those with mental health issues rather than going deeper and trying to find out why people have these issues.

Again back to those communities and community in general here.  Our society has huge alcohol and drug issues.  When people take alcohol and drugs for prolonged periods of time they become mentally and emotionally unfit and they have difficulty integrating and having normal relations with others.  Add to that high numbers of unemployed and people who simply have no hope you get large numbers of individuals living among us who are more likely to be anti social, they’ll be more likely to turn to crime and they’ll be les likely to be productive.  These people get bored easily and their lives end up being based on simply getting through each day as it comes.  People who smoke cannabis and drink regularly end up having a ‘don’t give a fuck’ mentality and so they cannot understand normal things that the rest of us take for granted.

When a community has a combination of drug and alcohol and hopelessness over successive generations you get people who were not reared properly bring up children and after about four or five generations you end up with individuals who simply have no idea about what life is all about and on top of that they don’t give a fuck.

Right now, all over this city another generation of children are growing up to become future drug and alcohol users and a percentage of these children have already zero chance of being productive members of society.  Employers won’t give them the breaks that need and the rest of us mock them and laugh at them.  Stand up comedians go on stage and call them spides and everyone thinks it’s hilarious and these kids become more and more despondent and many of them will die young.  

This society is deeply disproportionate.  The playing field is not level and that is why things are the way they are.  It is not right and some of us have too much while others don’t have enough.  We have lost the ability to cooperate with one another and to see where the problems lie.  Human Nature is driving us further and further apart due to our apathy and our suspicion.

If you have whole communities who are without the basics you will never have a stable society because those people will continually attack society because they are angry and see that some people are being treated better than others.  If this disparity continues so will our social and emotional and mental difficulties.

So what can we do about it?  It won’t be easy and it won’t be achieved in my lifetime but each of us and that means YOU must look at ourselves and our attitudes towards other human beings.  How do you think and speak about others? Do you think people are scumbags?  If you do you’re partially responsible for the way that this world is.

The money they are proposing to spend on these projects should be put into cross community and community rebuilding ventures and each of us should commit a little bit of time to going out and doing a bit of work for no money and no reward in our communities.  We have gotten selfish and complacent and we all need to take a good look at this in more depth before we start pointing the finger at groups of people who are already so far down the ladder that we’ve lost a lot of them before they’re had a chance to know what it means to be human.


Look at how Human Nature is aeffecting us all. 

Think about how people end up behaving how they do rather than focusing on mocking them for their behaviour. 

Peace and Love.

Feed the Monkey

What happens surrounding sports is often a good indication of other unrelated aspects of society.  I wrote something not too long ago about Tottenham fans use of the word Yid and the subsequent backlash it caused.

Last Tuesday England were playing their last World Cup Qualifier against Poland and something came out about what the England manager, Roy Hodgson, said during his half time team talk.

Hodgson told a joke about a man and monkey being sent into space.  The joke is shite, I only read it once but can’t remember it exactly and now I can’t find it again!  Basically the man keeps asking NASA what they want him to do while he’s in space and they keep saying about what the monkey is doing until at the end the man is told ‘Feed the monkey.”

Hodgson was attempting to use the joke as an analogy to say that they needed to ‘feed’ Tottenham midfielder Andros Townsend who is currently in scintillating form.  One of the players subsequently leaked details of the joke to the press anonymously and everyone started accusing Roy of Racism.  I checked the squad for that game and 6 of the 22 players are of African origin so one of those players obviously took offence.  Andros Townsend however , the player who was being referred to as the Monkey took it as a compliment!

So lets break this shit down.  An old white man tells a shit joke and one of the players (presumably one of African Origin) takes it the wrong way. 

Firstly why did the player do it anonymously?  I mean if he was offended and he genuinely thought Hodgson was being Racist why did he not go on record?

Secondly Townsend is of African Origin and he was the one being talked about but he took it as a compliment and later went public about saying he had no idea what all the fuss was about.

I think matters like this highlight the Human ability to find offence sometimes where no offence was intended.  I abhor Racism and all forms of intolerance but incidents such as this make it difficult to highlight where the real problems are because they create a very unsure world where someone may or may not be behaving inappropriately but who knows?  I think this incident has more to do with the sensitivities of the person who decided to leak the information.  Again why anonymously?

We must all be very mindful of ourselves and how we see things before we go making accusations against people who we see as being intolerant.  If we are too sensitive we will end up finding offence were there is none to be found and then we will end up accusing people who have done nothing wrong.  We must be very careful about this type of thing.

Another matter which I know most people don’t get is that if anyone chooses to call you something which they know is derogatory and you then get visibly upset by it you are merely encouraging them.  When anyone goes out of their way to upset you and you react you are giving them the emotional stimulation they need to continue.  Sticks and Stones.  If you go around allowing people to upset you you will be making your own life difficult by the simple fact that it is YOU who is getting upset.  We all need to control our emotions better to stop allowing idiots to get us riled up.

People who feel the need to go around offending others are obviously socially unwell and probably pretty miserable about their own lives.  The fact that they want to cause others hurt is a clear indication of this.  You should avoid and ignore people such as this rather than get angry at them.  Racism is not something that is going to end, so long as there are people who are ignorant and miserable they will always look for a way to vent their bile and they normally choose obvious surface aspects of others or the vulnerable.

It seems to already have reached the point that it is unacceptable to say the word ‘Monkey’ when a black person is around for fear of offending them?  What sort of world does this create?  I remember that people were calling Gareth Bale a Monkey due to his appearance when he rose to prominence at Tottenham but he’s Welsh and European!  Where do we draw the line here people, seriously?

I think it is wrong for anyone to go around calling people names due to their heritage or appearance but I think it is equally wrong that some of us are sensitive to the point of distraction.  We all need to be a little tougher when dealing with people who are intolerant and realise that they are not at all well.  They are dangerously childish and deserve our pity rather than our anger. 

If you get angry with people who are miserable you’re only giving them the energy to continue.  These people have nothing going on in their lives and they need any form of emotion just so they can feel something because they’re obviously pretty shallow.  If they know they’re causing a stir they will continue because that is exactly how wind ups work fro ma psychological point of view.

Toughen up and ignore the hatred.  Work on your own sense of yourself because if you feel settled and happy with who you are it doesn’t matter what other people say about you so long as you know and the people you love know what the craic is.

Peace and Love.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

One mans Terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.

Unionists really need to stop being so hypocritical when it comes to how they approach what Republicans and Nationalists choose to do in regard of their Culture.  This week they’re complaining about what names are given to GAA clubs after a club in Dungiven was named after Kevin Lynch who was a member of the club as well as a member of the INLA and an ex hunger striker.  This sort of thing happens all the time, Unionists moaning about what Republicans do Culturally. And in the interests of parity, Republicans do a right bit of complaining themselves!

Unionists need to realise three things.

1.  The Conflict here played a part in the life of both communities therefore all subsequent commemorations are a result of that.

2  If it is acceptable for the Protestant community to celebrate their part in the conflict then it is equally acceptable for Catholics to do the same.

3.  It is none of anyone’s business how any given group choose to express their Culture.

Out of interest I don’t think any of them should be celebrating the past the way they are, with flags and marches, because it is not only divisive it is dangerous for future peace but out of tolerance I am holding back and saying we should allow people the space to celebrate their culture how they see fit.  We need to accept each others right to grieve collectively.

I don’t know of any examples off hand and I can’t be bothered going digging but I am damn sure that Northern Ireland as a state has named many things including probably buildings and roads after people who were not exactly Godly in their treatment of other Human beings.  Just because the state is legal and the mighty British Empire says something is alright that does not make it acceptable that Protestants are allowed to commemorate their dead and Catholics are not.

Unionists constantly play the Terrorist card well whether they like it or not ‘One mans Terrorist is another mans freedom fighter’.  You can look at this anyway you wish but you cannot go partitioning blame.  The British dead are commemorated every year as heroes well I have news for you all, some of those Soldiers murdered children.  Do you think that is acceptable?  Do you think it is inoffensive to the living relatives of those innocents who died?  Or is it different when a Soldier murders someone?  Anyone who thinks it is alright to commemorate one sides dead while refusing others the right to commemorate theirs is a bigot and a hypocrite. 

Republicans, Loyalists, The Army and The Police all did a lot of damage in regard of causing murder and mayhem.  YOU CANNOT PARTITION BLAME.  All sides did damage and depending on who you speak to they all probably saved some lives as well.  It doesn’t matter who started it or who thinks they’re more righteous, WAR IS WRONG.

There were Soldiers on both sides and BOTH sides really need to start accepting that each community respects its dead the same as the other.  The reason why we continually have War and Conflict is because of this complete one sidedness when it comes to how each side sees the enemy.  Even if you think they are crazed fanatical heathens there is support of them somewhere among their own people and this principle transcends time and country of origin. 

I am not saying your enemy is right, I am saying both you and your enemy are WRONG.

Unionists need to take a good look at themselves because there are a lot of hate mongers among them disguised as law abiding citizens.  Yes Republicans see their dead as heroes just as Unionists praise their own so can we draw a line under that and do some work that doesn’t involve talking about the past.  Why don’t they start looking for ways to improve our collective society instead of taking everything that the other side does personally all the time?

As well as that if any of YOU be you prod or taig or muslim or jew or whatever you THINK your identity is believe that it is acceptable to go around praising the dead you are sick and you are holding us all back.  To die violently is a horrible thing and you are all glorifying it with your nauseating little ceremonies.  War is WRONG and if you commemorate and glorify it in ANY WAY you are WRONG.


Thursday, 10 October 2013

A shared society begins with each of us reviewing our own attitudes and that means YOU.

I wrote something quite a while back about people in the BBC who had a twisted idea that Northern Ireland can be sort of example to Colombia with our peace ‘achievement’.  I highlighted in that essay that we have yet to actually achieve anything and so we are hardly an example to anyone.  Most of what I am saying here I have said before but I will keep saying it.  The truth is readily available but you must change your perspective to see it.  It is and has been there the whole time the thing that stops you from recognising it is your own sheltered and intransigent mind and your social stubbornness!

The more I look the more I can see the problem here and I can see it very clearly.  People don’t understand how things are working collectively because they’re all looking at things solely from their own points of view and they’re then extrapolating from that model.  This is a completely unrealistic version of our society, things need to be looked at more collectively, I cannot stress that enough.  If you are either Republican or Loyalist and you look at our troubles here from either of those perspectives you end up seeing your own unbalanced version of events which always has the other side as the aggressors and your own side as being somehow oppressed.  THIS IS TRIBALISM and your minds will be twisted into believing things that are simply not true.  Similarly if you are a law abiding citizen you will look at both the Republican and Loyalist communities and use their anger and hatred as an example to make them the ones who are at fault all your doing is failing to recognise how the conflict has aeffected those communities and how human nature will do that to people given the right (or wrong!) set of circumstances.

I must mention something here though and that is that there have been injustices in this country.  There has been a lot of damage done BY BOTH SIDES TO BOTH SIDES and a whole lot of innocents who got caught up in that.  I am not saying there has not been disparity but constantly looking at the past and bringing up what happened during the conflict is not helpful and it will do none of us any good.  I wrote that if one side can march and use the trappings of militarism during commemorations of their dead then the other side should be able to as well.  I didn’t say that because I necessarily agree with it, I merely said it because that is evidently what people are doing and I think they should be allowed to get their collective grief out of their systems.  People need to revisit the past to find closure and the more traumatic and hate filled the past the more time and space those people need to do that but they cannot do it if everyone else is pointing and mocking and calling them scum.  We must all accept the past otherwise we’ll just end up repeating it.   Tolerance is a two way street you cannot ask others to be tolerant while you’re being intolerant.

I had a Republican who I have known since childhood like my page a few weeks back but he quickly unliked it when I wrote two articles about Northern Ireland.  One article in particular probably done the damage, it was about how WE as a Society demonise Loyalists.  This is symptomatic of the problem here, if something doesn’t fit our own version of events then we simply don’t consider it and will either simply laugh it off as nonsense or act aggressively to try and make it seem the wrong kind of incredible.   So each side only listens to people who they’re connected with through Culture and everyone is just waiting for them un’s to do something stupid so we can point at them and mock them and laugh at how stupid they are.  None of this does anything for the collective good, it all just allows the merry go round of shame and hatred continue in the name of having a laugh.  Our collective childishness and inability to take our History and indeed our present seriously is damaging our ability to move on and have a more inclusive society.

Most of us who are not directly involved in the conflict don’t see ourselves as having anything to do with it but we all live here.  Tribalism does not only aeffect those who are involved in the conflict though.  Tribalism has changed and still aeffects those of us who are not Warlike.  Think of Tribalism as being like a shared set of social circumstances.  Those among us who work hard and socialise together are a tribe of sorts as well.  We work, shop, eat out, go to gigs and concerts, we watch Football and Rugby, use social networks, go to watch movies etc.  This is still Tribal behaviour.  When large groups of people support various social undertakings it is Tribalism because they do it with a shared sense of themselves, a connection that brings them all together.  The modern age means that we are all involved in many tribes simultaneously and it can get confusing but it is important to remember that the same human rules apply no matter how detached you believe yourself to be.

When people look at Society what do they see?  Well The Foreigners are coming over here and taking all our jobs.  The Loyalists are rioting and ruing our economy.  The Orange Order are inciting hatred. The Republicans are dangerous dissidents who are out to wreck anything which is even remotely British.  The Alcoholics and Addicts are just scumbags who are not pulling their weight.  Then we have The Rich, Christians, Gays, The Poor.  Can you think of anyone else?  Who else has their mucky hands in the downfall of civilisation?  The Goths maybe or them Hipsters, they’re up to no good that lot, pretending to be intelligent!  Who do they think they are? ;)

What about you and your abject apathy?  Could you not be playing a part?  What about all of us?

It’s interesting how Tribalism works.  People always use groups of others either that they don’t know or that they have no social involvement with as scapegoats for all our wrongs.  This needs to start being looked at more even headedly and with less negativity to get a balanced view.  When everyone spends their time singling out all of the above groups of others what you end up with is a free for all of hatred.  Everyone ends up being angry and they all just throw their anger around without any constructive thought as to who they’re aiming that anger at.  This anger then builds up and builds up until it gets so intense that it has to come out somewhere and it usually ends up being directed at the Police because they’re the ones who must be at the front line of civil disorder.  People who are not involved with the conflict also see civil disorder as being somehow out of sync, they don’t look at it concurrently.  They look at those rioting and say “Everything’s alright what are they complaining about?”  but they are of course looking at their own lives when they say it’s alright and the lives of those around them and they’re using that as a model for the whole of society, again this is unrealistic. Because they are neither involved with  nor care about the community who’s venting their anger they simply disregard them as scumbags who are just born bad!  People who are angry are hurt and they don’t know any better than to pass to that hurt on, it’s human nature but the rest of us who are doing alright simply dismiss it as bad people doing what they always do.  This inability to understand anger means that anger never gets addressed and so angry people will always be there and they will always attack society because society doesn’t try to understand them.

While you’re all sitting at home watching Coronation Street sighing at how wonderful your lives are you’re not doing anything for your society.  People who work hard think that they are somehow contributing to the social order but work is merely giving you the means to live your life how you see fit.  I am not criticising people who work I am merely saying it like it is. A lot of young people who work spend most of their time when they’re not working socialising and drinking and that is all well and good and great craic altogether, I know I partied very hard!  But I am seeing things different now and I can see that this social model does not work.  What we have here is a very fragmented social order where everyone basically just does what they want to do and then they hurry off into their respective corners to work hard and complain hard about where it’s all going wrong.  We need to take a more active role in our communities for there to be change.

The article I am talking about on Colombia surprised me at the time.  I was slightly shocked that right thinking people within the establishment here could be so insensitive to our on going troubles that they would tout us as peace givers to the rest of the world.  I can see what the problems are and where they lie.  I have looked extensively at both History and Sociology and when you take these two subjects and combine them with current affairs you end up with a working model of ANY country at ANY time, it’s common sense once you know the rules.

From the point of view of human nature we need to be more understanding of people and how they work.  Anger is a deep interpretation of pain linked to depression which comes from fear.  If any of you have ever felt fear you should remember that we all suffer from it and when whole communities suffer from fear the results are usually an attack on society.  Fear and anger cause people to think irrationally and can cause them to speak and act in a negative way.  This is interesting when you think for example about those who hate Foreigners, they do so due to perceived wrongs and they simply end up being just as wrong as those they are attacking.  So they attack the Foreigners and the Foreigners attack them and everyone forgets that it is Tribalism which is causing it all in the first place.  This is how fear and anger work because they are completely negative so no good will ever come from trying to use those emotions in a positive way.  Similarly with Northern Ireland while the two sides are attacking one another everyone else can see clearly that they are both being as bad as each other but each side of course is busy blaming the other side so they justify their wrongs as being  result of what ‘Them’un’s’ did! But an old cliché which is very true states ‘Two wrongs don’t make a right!”

If you go back to earlier when I wrote a list particular groups and look at those groups individually and do some common sense thinking you will be able to come up with reasons for why the more extreme thinkers within each group do as they do and it usually has something to do with fear.  Imagine if you were a Foreigner coming to a strange country to find work and the people within that country already hated you without even knowing you.  How would that make you feel?  Some of the rhetoric that Racists use to demonise Foreigners is that they only mix with their own kind and that they don’t learn the language.  Well if the natives in the country you lived in already hated you for no reason why would want to go mixing with them and using their language? 

Imagine if you were a Christian who believed in a God of love and you looked at the world and all you seen was people who were in pain and were hurting each other you would want to tell them about that God wouldn’t you and then of course you would be called a bible basher.  Not all Christians are bible bashers and not all Christians hate Gays.  I know a lot of very tolerant Christians who are simply good people who believe in love and acceptance.  You cannot go around saying that groups of people who you have never met and have no understanding of are this, that or the other thing because all you’re doing is spreading lies and negativity.

Not all of the people in those groups behave the same way but when we think about and look at any of those given groups we have a kind of social model in our minds for how each of them works and things that we perceive them as doing but most of these perceptions are WRONG! You cannot judge hundreds or thousands of people based upon often outdated perceptions which completely ignore peoples humanity. Think about it, it’s common sense! 

Each group of people that I have highlighted will keep themselves to others like them because that’s what people do in order to be comfortable and to feel accepted.  Fear of the unknown and fear of ridicule stops people from mixing outside their own kind but what this does in the long term is create a society where everyone becomes entrenched in their respective groups.  We all do this to some degree we have the comfort of our family and friend circles and we tend to not go too much outside of that because we already have all the support and love that we need.  This is human nature of course but when you start dealing in numbers in the hundreds of thousands and millions you get this group dynamic occurring and clear social lines get drawn as to what certain groups believe about how others act.  It is like we’re exaggerating and summarising in order that we can understand something which is difficult to fathom but it is dangerous to see some people as being somehow better or worse than others. 

Being able to understand our species in higher numbers rather than just from singular perspectives is essential but most people never do this. People tend to either look at things either from a completely personal or a very general point of view but what we really need to do is use both these models together to get a wider understanding of Humanity. We have this aversion to knowledge, for most of us Sociology is some boring subject that we hated at school.  Indeed much of what we do at school gets left there when we move into adulthood but study is essential for all of us all the time because how the world works is not necessarily how your mind tells you it works.

People are of course busy and that’s understandable.  I am not slating anyone here, I admire people who can raise children and work hard but aside from all the good you’re doing on a personal level you really need to find time to think about your species and the bigger picture.  Another thing you should know is that you don’t actually deserve any credit for taking care of your children, that’s your duty.  Too much of us expect praise for what we’re doing right but we really don’t deserve it.  Life is not about heaping praise upon one another it’s just about doing what needs to be done.  People who most of us end up ridiculing don’t deserve all the flack they’re getting either, it needs to be more balanced. 

We cannot keep running a society that is based on making particular people look bad while at the same time making others look good, this creates an unbalanced collective where we always wind up drawing unfair lines in the sand.  A lot of us are selfish by default, out of complete necessity, but what if you turned the television off for a couple for hours every now and then and actually thought about how human nature works rather than just blindly accepting your surface thoughts on the matter.  We all know people who are intolerant, why can we not speak to these people and accept that they have fears and insecurities and maybe we can all learn about ourselves and each other collectively?  If you have children and you’re constantly being negative and shouting at the television about the state of the world and who’s at fault you will be responsible when those children grow up to be angry and negative.

I have said much of this before and if I am still here in ten years I’ll be saying it all again.  We’re all responsible for the way of the world.  Lets fucking try a bit harder folks because we will be leaving the next generation with same mess to sort out without giving them the means to make sense of it if we continue the way we’re going.

Be good to yourselves and each other.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Past: Always looking back

Politicians reckon Northern Irelands past will be a ‘tougher issue to resolve’.  I really have to laugh to myself sometimes when I hear people talking about ‘The Past’ because the issue is not The Past at all and THAT is the issue.  The problem here is that we’re always looking back and the major stumbling block we all face is that WE CANNOT ACCEPT THE PAST.  Humans don’t like change therefore the transition between the present and the future is turned into a place which is fraught with difficulty because we’re simply not accepting the fact that The Past DOESN’T EXIST.  The future doesn’t exist either there is only this moment and if we don’t start focusing on NOW we’re doomed to constantly repeat our mistakes and we’re doing just that, RIGHT NOW.

I have been saying for years that we need to just allow each other to be and accept that we have different traditions and cultural quirks, we each simply are, and therefore they should be allowed, the traditions I mean.  I grew up in a Nationalist/Republican tradition but I abandoned Republicanism in my late teens because I started studying History and I began to see major flaws in the ethos of Republicanism.  I think Craigavon helped immensely with this because I was growing up with Catholics and Protestants and this meant I stopped noticing differences pretty early on and by the time I got to an age were I was ready to learn to I could see that the two communities here were not studying History in its entirety they were and are in fact studying versions of History.

I remember when the whole Drumcree thing was going on back in the mid nineties.  I had not long come back from England at that time and I fell in with a couple of groups of people all of whom I knew from School and from growing up from before I had went over to England.  Sometimes I would drink with the guys over at Drumbeg and at other times I would be over at Drumgor and Westacres.  I didn’t realise what was happening at the time but I really got a sense of how people felt in a much fuller way by being in contact with both Loyalists and Republicans at that time.

I was working in Moypark and on a few occasions we would have to be sent home early due to threats of road closures and civil disorder because Moypark was close to Portadown.  I remember saying to Catholics I was friends with and was working with that we should just let the Orange Order march and go indoors and wait until they had passed on and I got some really strange looks like I was crazy or something!  The people who lived on the Garvaghy Road had and probably still have a very besieged mentality when it comes to matters of contentious marches and some of them would say things like “You have no idea what it’s like living here!” which more or less meant that I wasn’t entitled to have an opinion on an issue that I wasn’t directly aeffected by but I obviously was being effected by it just like everyone else in he area was.  People were murdered during that time and it was horrible but I still kept finding myself back at the same conclusion and that was that if we get upset about something it is not just the thing which upsets that is the problem it is THE FACT THAT WE’RE ALLOWING IT TO UPSET US.

Both Traditions here use Marches and Commemorations to celebrate their History.  The Protestants use the Poppy to remember their dead and the Republicans use the Easter Lily, I have worn both over the years out of principle but I wear neither now because I know something important about how those emblems are being used to keep an already deeply divided population further entrenched.   Recently there was a lot of controversy about a Republican march in Castlederg and I thought exactly the same thing about that that I think about Orange Order Marches.  Let them walk.

All sides in any conflict have the right to commemorate their dead in any way they see fit so long as they do it with dignity.  If one side can use military trappings and flags and banners to do so then it should be that all sides can do this. If people within any organisations are complaining about what the other side is doing then they cannot be seen as trying to resolve the issues surrounding the conflict, rather they are looking for ways to continue it.

Peace and reconciliation is about giving those who were once your enemy the rights that your own combatants have in life after conflict and in death. No one side has a monopoly on grief and all sides have lost people. If you disagree with this you’re either a bigot or you haven’t grieved effectively…

You can look at this any way you wish but whether you like it or not the facts surrounding any conflict are very simple and easily explained:

It takes two groups of people to make a conflict so by reacting you are allowing the conflict to continue.  People of a more extreme mindset will disagree with that because they will always blame the other side and that is a result of their mind being constantly in conflict mode.  These people exist on both sides and there are many people here who go to church and preach peace and reconciliation but do not practice those sentiments.  There are a lot of people here who are not outwardly angry or negative but their vitriolic words give away the fact that while they may not be violent they certainly keep things just as they are by being stubborn and deeply nasty with their thoughts and language.

If you cannot allow the other side to be you are responsible for deaths in the future and for allowing future generations to grow up in a land filled with hate and bitterness.  This is almost like a form of generational child neglect because you will be helping the children of the future not to have a future with your hatred and inability to be tolerant.  This does not just go for prods and taigs by the way.  Any intolerance will be passed onto the next generation and if the next generation is angry and have issues with their emotions it is the fault of ALL OF US, NOW.  Future suicide rates and drinking and drug problems and criminal activity are being forged here and NOW.

The only way to move forward here is to come to the very clear conclusion that THE PAST IS GONE and THE FUTURE WILL BE A RESULT OF YOUR ACTIONS NOW!  NOW!  If Republicans want to march and wear Easter Lilys they should be allowed to.  Orange Order marches should be allowed to pass off peacefully and the rest of us should give both those Traditions the time and space to Commemorate their dead, because it is like a collective grieving process and they haven’t grieved properly.  Either side should stop holding counter demonstrations and just go home and do something constructive until the roads have been cleared.

People have died let them rest with dignity and stop using them as tools for hatred.  If you can not accept a personal death then you should think about going and talking to someone who is trained to deal with bereavement.  If there are injustices we must trust that the law will do its job and sort those things out but if the law fails, and it sometimes does, we must let go and realise that if something is beyond our realm of control we must simply let it be and hope things will improve in the future.  If you have anger and hatred towards anyone for any reason it is not their fault, it is your fault that you are allowing your emotions to grow out of your control.  If you think hate and anger are acceptable then you will destroy your happiness and the happiness of those around you and your life will be miserable and unbearable. 

If you find yourself being negative find something positive to do.  Work for no money in your community and expect no reward or praise.  Do it only because it’s the right thing to do. 

Love and hate are merely interpretations of energy but the energy is the same so it is up to you which way that energy is used.  If you have difficulty doing the right thing, you’re not trying hard enough.  Try harder.

If you cannot Accept and respect the traditions of other people then you are just as responsible for the continuing intransigence as the other side are.  In any conflict the reaction of one side to the other is what allows the whole thing to continue.  It takes a lot of courage to swallow your pride but if you can do it you will simply halt the difficulties before they even begin.  If the other side continue to be angry after you have failed to respond it will not take long for them to show themselves up for what they are without your encouragement.

The problem here is not the past, IT IS THE PRESENT.  The Past does not exist, the future does not exist there is only the present. 

The key here is very simple.  EVERYONE of us has got to ACCEPT that we’re all part of the problem.  If the next person either won’t or can’t ACCEPT then that has nothing to do with you, IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.  Stop looking at what other people are doing and focus on yourself and your own community.  Stop the deeply judgemental thoughts about how others should behave and focus on the only thing that you can change, YOURSELF.  You must take personal responsibility and let others either take or abandon their personal responsibility.  If other people continue to do wrong it will become much more obvious, much quicker that they’re not pulling their weight in a world were most of the rest of us are living life the way it should be lived.  It is none of your business what other people do or say even if they’re talking about you. 

Let them go and focus on what you can work with.

Look after yourselves and one another.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Cultural Warfare

Ever since the Flag protests last year there has been a concentrated effort online to continually mock Loyalists and their Culture.  I can’t say this with any degree of certainty but I would surmise that most the people that are doing it are either Catholic or Republican or maybe a combination of both.  It is all done in the name of a joke of course but being able to pass bitter nastiness off as a joke is something that we in Northern Ireland do particularly well. 

These Catholics have short memories or maybe their memories are perfectly fine and what they are currently engaged in is in fact a form of Cultural Warfare via modern Technology.  I was only a child in the early seventies when my family were being burned out of our home in Ardoyne but my mother still tells me about their experiences back then, about the daily terror of being targeted by roaming gangs of drunk Loyalists while the Police and Army stood by saying they couldn’t do anything about it.

It seems these days the proverbial boot is on the other foot and Catholics are now in a position to get themselves some payback on the Loyalist Culture which they perceive as having done so much wrong in the past.  Young Catholics nowadays didn’t experience the Troubles but their parents have obviously passed their hatred onto them and the old adage of ‘them uns’ having started it and being responsible and therefore it is acceptable to mock them because they’re bad people and they deserve it! 

I would urge people here to be very careful about how they approach what they see as being deserved behaviour.  If retribution is acceptable then we create a world where disharmony and nastiness is second nature.  This means that it is alright to behave this way because we can say that the people who we’re getting revenge upon deserve it.  The difficulty with this model begins when those who are taking their revenge start assigning blame to those who apparently deserve it and they start blaming people who are innocent.  I mean where exactly do we draw the line here?

People need to take a deep breath and look at how the events over the course of the troubles played out and what has happened to our struggling Cultures as a result of that.  Mocking a whole Culture merely ostracises them further and causes them to get more bitter and twisted.  Loyalists and Republicans both are currently very confused because they feel that they are being played by the other side, this is a result of the conflict which has not yet ended by the way.

Either side may say things like “Yes, but they’re behaving like animals and they’re ruining our economy!” but the confusion being felt is a result of the fall out from our Cultural differences and lack of emotional security in this age of deep disharmony.

If the current trend of Mocking Loyalists continues what will happen is that another Generation of young Loyalists will grow up feeling like victims and ultimately they will simply not be able to be integrated into our Society.  What this does is exactly the same as what it did before.  When Catholics were mocked and treated like less than human they became angry and bitter and they attacked and what we had as result was the troubles.  We need to start looking at the long term implications of how victimising a whole Culture will cause serious consequences for our collective society long into the future and in 50 or 60 years time the tables will turn again and the other side will get their chance to get their revenge, again, and thus the Sociological cycle of pain and hate will continue.

Many of those doing the mocking probably don’t even associate with their Religion and Culture half as much as the previous generation did so they may not look at it the same but the result will undoubtedly be no different.  Much of the hatred and anger is not even Religiously based it is based mostly on image and level of intellect. You see so many comments about how ‘Stupid’ the Loyalists are and about how they dress.  Since modern technology is being used Spelling mistakes are picked up on and used as a means to show how these people are uneducated and somehow subhuman.  

Making people feel bad about their image and about their intelligence will cause them to become insecure and self conscious, it’s like a form of Cultural bullying and it will only result in those people feeling worthless and create a ‘nothing to lose’ ethic within their ranks, this will mean that as they continue to protest and cause disorder in the future it will get worse and worse and then of course the goading will continue to rise and SOMEONE WILL GET KILLED AND EVERYONE WITHIN THIS CURRENT SCENARIO WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THOSE DEATHS WHEN THEY HAPPEN. 

The Individual who throws one petrol bomb is not isolated and is not wholly responsible for that individual action.  They are part of wider community and country and everything that happens within that community and country is playing a part in ALL the actions and words of ALL involved.  

If a whole group of people feel their Culture is under threat the last thing they need is for that Culture to be attacked further.  If they choose to carry out acts of violence then the law will sort that out it is not up to the rest of us to point and mock and make people feel like shit.  Do not forget that while all this is going on dissident Republicanism is on the rise and just as the Loyalists feel threatened so do those Republicans.  This place is bitter brew of discontent and anger and we could easily find ourselves back to how it was during the dark days of the past.

How people feel in terms of their patriotism and pride toward their Religion and National identity is none of my business and it’s nobody else's business either.  The rest of us should just carry on living our lives in the best way we can and be mindful of the deep Cultural and Religious differences that have always been here and will be here long into the future.  Their needs to be tolerance from those of us with sound minds and an understanding that both the Republican and Loyalist communities are suffering from a type of Cultural trauma which is a result of having had a long protracted conflict lasting hundreds of years.  While the rest of us may have woken up and seen sense long ago it is not that easy for people who only know bitterness and pain.

If you choose to make inflammatory statements via social media or support these pages which are carrying out these Cultural attacks then you will be partially responsible for our conflict continuing into the next century and beyond.  Violent actions and words may appear to be different but the differences therein are merely by degrees.  Be mindful that you may be prone to do and say things via Social media which you could regret.  People feel somehow protected by the anonymity of the internet but it is not so and your hateful opinions are not merely words on a screen they are the voice of a generation, your generation.

I am not saying that civil disorder or lawlessness is acceptable I am merely stating how the social mechanics work and History is testament.  What happened in the past will repeat in the future if we continue using retribution as a means of venting our anger.

If you mock and hate people who mock and hate you are being no better than them and are merely justifying what they do by emulating it.

This is not a joke.  We lost a lot of lives here to hatred and intolerance and if you choose the route of mocking peoples Cultural and Religious identities you will be partially responsible for deaths when they occur.

Take care of yourselves and one another.


Thursday, 26 September 2013

Asteroids and History and no food for the starving

Why are we so intent upon putting little overworked minds on matters which really don’t concern us?  Our curiosity is what got us this far along our current line of development but I fear it may be the very thing which also destroys us, via apathy?

I love History, always have, but it seems that we’re completely obsessed with it.  I love reading about new discoveries like the moai on Easter Island and archaeological digs here, there and everywhere but recently I have been thinking about things differently.

I read an article today about an Asteroid which will be passing close by us in 2018 and they’re going to put a craft on it, the craft will then return to Earth 5 years later and we will collect “…rock samples that could tell us exactly how planets are formed.” Fascinating stuff, how Planets are formed!  Don’t we already know how Planets are formed?  Oh I am sorry, we want to ‘exactly’ how they’re formed!

Now I am well aware the those with power are not willing to relinquish it and they will not feed the third world because that would then make the third world an economic threat to the West so I am not asking anyone to do the decent thing and divert some of the money from these ‘worthy’ Scientific and Historical projects all I am doing is highlighting the disproportionate nature of this Species.

And never mind the third world what about right here at home.  Education and Healthcare are not up to the righteous standards that people would have you believe and we could really be doing with more funds in those areas.  I am aware that the venture to land a craft on the Asteroid is more than likely an American venture but the points  I am making here are not based solely upon one country, when I say ’we’ in cases such as this I am usually talking about all of us who make up the so called civilised ’West’.

People talk about conspiracy theories but I believe the real conspiracy is much more subtle than many may realise.  I believe the Government are engaged in a wholesale hijacking of the intelligence of our Species and they have been for quite some time.  When great dictators took over in the past one of the first things they did was round up all the clever fuckers and shoot them, that would take some doing nowadays so they seem to be going for a more subtle approach.  What they’re doing is allowing all the Scientists and their like minded cousins in various fields to carry out their work via funding and ultimately who reaps the rewards?  They’re just keeping them busy so they don’t get too upset and stopping those fantastic minds from being swayed by thoughts of maybe helping causes of a more Humanitarian nature.

Now even if my grand conspiracy theory is rubbish lets look very seriously at a very important point in all of this.  We’re failing in grand style here.  We’re having an awful lot of difficulty looking after everyone and we’re losing people because they don’t have the resources to live productive lives even though the resources are there and we certainly have the capability to distribute them.  This is very, very disproportionate. 

Why are we so intent upon the past and matters in space?  Why can we not start focusing our efforts on the present and the Human beings who need help?  I wrote before about something interesting.  Human Beings began making maps of the sky before they started mapping the Earth, fucking Space Cadets the lot of us.  We’re trying to do things that we can’t do just for the sake of doing them instead of doing the things that NEED to be done.

Knowing exactly how Planets are formed is not going to do us any good.  Knowing that the Moai have actually got bodies doesn’t really do much good either does it?  I am mean it’s fascinating but I really think we need to focus on the present a bit more here before it’s too late.

Look after yourselves and each other.

Peace and love.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Study. Accept. Tolerate. Love.

I have been thinking about changes in recent times, big changes, shifts of consciousness which have occurred not only at home but worldwide. I am really beginning to see the very clear parallels between what was and what is and it is fascinating at how the Human element plays out during all of this.

People don’t like change.  They never have and this struggle with inevitable changes are a major reason why we are so slow to keep up with ourselves.  Yes I did just say ’keep up with ourselves’ does that appear like a crazy statement? When you take your thoughts off your immediate mindedness for a moment and begin looking at the wider view it is very clear that Humanity is deeply divided.  These divisions can be summed up by looking at how some people still live in poverty while others live lavishly.  This is a simplified and singular abstraction of it all but I am just using that as an immediate example, there are many such examples which mostly follow this kind of trend.  What I mean is that people with lots of money usually have more power and thus have better opportunities. 

We’re clearly all at different levels but this is not only the case with financial or material matters, we’re also divided in how easily we can accept change.  Not a lot of people think about this because what we tend to do is look at everything and everyone from our own perspective but this view simply doesn’t work.  People who are emotionally and mentally unequipped for what many of us see as being easy in life will find themselves struggling with the basics of how society works and thus they’ll be more likely to accept truths which are more extreme.  This is not wholly their fault though because society has kind of abandoned these people and thus society is in fact responsible for them.  Society CANNOT be balanced if people are being left behind, there needs to much more parity.  Education of both an emotional and sociological nature needs to be given to everyone, the proverbial playing field needs to be more even or these people will continue to hold everyone back through no fault of their own.  If people find themselves without the emotional basics with which to live normal lives then they will be easily lead and more likely to gravitate toward extreme views.  If you yourself have extreme views towards groups of people such as Foreigners, Homeless, Loyalists, Republicans, The Rich, Addicts, The Poor, Gays or just about anyone for any reason you and society are at least partially responsible for the subsequent bad behaviour of some of those groups.  Remember I am not blaming anyone in particular here, this view is very balanced and based upon logic, basic human requirements and Human nature. If you think this is nonsense it is because you have a lack of emotional education and knowledge about the simple principles of cause and effect.  If you think this is nonsense you are as bad as those who cause civil unrest because we’re all at least partially responsible for it just because we all take part.

Read about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, please and think of it from the perspective of everyone not just the people you agree with or think are righteous.

You must realise I am not urging that people with money are to blame though, that’s not what this is about, I am not trying to cast blame anywhere all I am doing is looking at it and stating what I see.   The way our society is must be looked at from many different levels in order for it to be categorically understood, currently this is not being done.  Most people look only at aspects of the social order and make their judgements from these social singularities.  People who think this way are usually intolerant and often angry, what they do is look at things that happen on a very immediate level and think about them in narrow minded way.  But it is not only the seemingly narrow-minded who are at fault.  Many decent hardworking people hold extreme views but they don’t see them as being extreme.  People who tell the Homeless to go and get a job like they’re talking about something which is simple to do.  Anyone who expects that there will ever come a time when everyone has a job is deluded at best and probably mental along with it.  It is very easy to look at others and judge them when your own life is going really well but it doesn’t mean that everyone can do the things that you take for granted. 

The way people find their lives when they wake up in the morning is much more complicated than we all believe.  Of course the way those of us who are doing well see it is that we’re brilliant and we did it all ourselves but the reality is more sobering than that because we all arrived on this Earth through family lines which did not always chose their circumstances and the knock on cause and effect from that is both obvious and inherent.  If you got what you got through hard work always remember that an ethic of hard work must have been instilled in you and that would reflect itself on how good a job your parents did but not everyone has good parents, in fact not everyone even have parents, period.  Not everyone has a comfortable emotional upbringing so don’t be so quick to take all the credit yourself and don’t be so hard on others who didn’t have the luxuries you may take so for granted.

I am not going to go into this too much because I don’t want to veer off subject but I would urge you if you’re interested to look at how the ending of coal mining in the 1980’s was both viewed by the public and how the world subsequently changed as a result.  To keep it short there were many social and economic reasons for what happened but at the time no one cared and they didn’t have the ability to listen to reason because they were angry that people were losing their jobs.  Hindsight is wonderful they say but in all honesty if people would stop being angry and stop putting so much effort into futile struggle they would be able to clearly see why things are happening and how.  But don’t stop there look at any place where there has been civil unrest and if you do enough Sociological digging you’ll find reasons for it all.

The thing that I am trying to do is draw direct parallels between the past and the present and I am actually able to do just that due to the way I am thinking about it all.  I have begun taking more perspectives into consideration and thus I can see peoples points of views better.  If you take as an example the gulf between how the Government act and how the majority of people think you may get some understanding as to what I mean.  When the Government do something which people see as being as unjust all people do is criticise them and get angry but this type of behaviour does nothing, it has no purpose whatsoever.  Do you realise how difficult it is to govern tens of Millions of people?  Do you realise that you’ll never be able to keep everyone happy?  Anger stops us from thinking clearly and it does nothing except urge more of itself.  People get angry and then other people get angry because they’re angry and everyone starts attacking and defending and they all forget what the issue was in the first place.  Like I mentioned with the Miners back in the eighties, the coal mining industry was operating at a massive loss which made it completely unviable but no one thinks about that they just start rioting and blaming the Government, as they always do!

If you are a member of either the Loyalist or Republican communities I would urge you to look at how your part in the struggle against the other community has shaped your thinking and the direction of your community.  You are tribal, we all are and you may well hold views which are not only harmful to that other community but ultimately to your own community as well.  Vengeance and Retribution are deeply harmful to the people who are seeking them because they are very negative, you may feel elated at getting your own back but so does an addict when they take their hit and with every dizzy high comes the eventual demoralising low, the principle is exactly the same. 

If you take a side in any conflict, real or imagined, be mindful that your enemy always thinks the same way you do.  Your enemy sees you how you see them and to be blunt if you think it is alright to kill anyone for any reason why should it not be alright for others to think the same?  Are you the centre of the Universe?  Do you have a monopoly on what’s right and wrong?  Who exactly do you think you are if you see the world this way could you ever expect it to end in any other way than how the past as shown us it always does end?

There is a deep seated unfairness throughout our world and because human beings are adverse to change they become unsettled when they perceive a lack of balance.  I can understand how people feel but I have also become very aware that people and groups who often begin behaving in a very angry and unsettled manner actually cause a lot of their own misfortune.  I don’t think I would have see this as easily some years ago but now it has become very clear to me but it doesn’t stop there.  There is a knock on effect.  The rest of society gets angry at these groups who then get even angrier and thus the cycle continues until something on the scale of civil unrest occurs.  So it is not just about those people who you can see as being the problem it is your subsequent reaction toward them that lets it keep on going.

To redress the balance we must all learn that tolerance is a two way principle not only should you expect to receive it you must give it as well there is however a catch here because you must be aware that some people and groups of people struggle with the whole concept of tolerance because they are unaccustomed to it.  These people need to be given time and we need to allow for their sometimes erratic behaviour.  Another thing is that you cannot expect that if you’re behaving in an intolerant manner that others are likely to not only see this but they’ll probably react to it unfavourably.  This is not something which is going to be easy with all the disharmony in our world but we can all do our bit to make things better for ourselves and one another.

If everybody keeps on losing their cool and getting angry at one another then we will just continue like this for another however many decades and society will just meltdown to critical and probably cataclysmic levels.  Think about your world, think about how it all fits together and remember there is no easy answer so accepting the first supposed truth that comes along will not help anyone. 





Look after yourselves and each other.

Peace and love. Always.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Yids and Niggas and Fenians and Huns!

The use of an Anti-Semitic term has been in the Football news recently.  Spurs fans have been told they will have to stop using the term ‘Yid’ which is of course slang for ‘Jew’.  I am a Spurs fan, have been for most of my life.  My Mothers two sisters settled in North London in the 1950’s and thankfully I ended up on the right side of that divide via my cousins Denise, Marilyn and her partner Ricky and my second cousins Paul and Chelsea, all fervent Tottenham Supporters but this is less about Football and more about Humanities ability to be constantly offended!

The term ‘Yid’ is seen as being offensive by many Jews and that’s fair enough.  I can understand that some people take offence at certain terms and having grown up in Northern Ireland I know all about offensive language and its widespread use but in all honesty I think this comes down to something else and that is that different people see offence in different ways and some people do not use offensive terms to be offensive.

The word itself is Jewish but it comes from high German and it has different pronunciations and different ways of being used more clarification of this can found by doing a simple google search for the word.  Large numbers of Jews settled in North and East London at the turn of the last century and Tottenham became a club associated with having a Jewish following and often it has been Jewish owned.  The term ‘Yid’ started being used as an insult and some of the Tottenham faithful turned it around and started using it as a way to incense those who were attempting to insult them. 

Tottenham fans are now being told that they cannot use this term anymore after many decades of its continued use.  Some of the Tottenham following use the badge of honour ‘Yid Army’ and chant ‘Yiddo, Yiddo’ at games.  Aside form all the controversy this is brilliant example of how words and terms can change over time and how language can be used differently by different people.  Even non-Jewish Tottenham fans fully acknowledge the clubs Jewish roots and their use of the word ‘Yid’ is one which is not used as offensively, rather it is used with pride.  So that’s the strange thing about this scenario a group of people are using a term in a completely inoffensive manner and another group of people who have no regard or connection to that culture or location are taking it offensively!  What’s the deal with that?  I have read many articles over the last few days by Jews based in London both Tottenham and non Tottenham supporters and even the odd Goon who are saying that this is stupid and they’re Jews themselves!

In Northern Ireland we use so many terms which could be deemed hateful and offensive.  Fenian, Hun, Taig, Prod to name the main ones.  How these terms are taken depends a lot on who’s using them and how they’re being used of course.  I witnessed an incident not too long ago were one woman called another woman ‘Hon’ as in short for ‘Honey’ and it was taken as ‘Hun’ it caused a massive argument.  I knew the people involved and I was aware that the woman who took offence at the use of the word was very easily offended so it wasn’t a surprise really.   I was brought up in the Catholic persuasion but I have never been offended at being called a Taig or a Fenian. Growing up in Craigavon at the height of the troubles I was mates with both Catholics and Protestants and we used to call each other all manner of names in the proud tradition of Slaggin’.  Slaggin’ in Northern Ireland has no rules and often peoples mothers and sisters will be spoken about just for the craic!  I maybe would have been a bit more sensitive to this sort of thing when I was much younger but to be honest it doesn’t really matter what people call you.  The way I see it is that if you’re easily offended then you will be setting yourself up for people to go out and try to offend you.  Human beings are offensive so the only sure way to fight against ignorance and those trying to wind you up is to not mind what they say.

There’s another offensive term that I use just about every day.  My music play lists are absolutely full of this word and to be honest because I am an awful man for learning the words of the music I listen to and singing them to myself I will easily have used this word tens of thousands of times from the late eighties onwards and word is ‘Nigger’ or at least the less offensive version of it ‘Nigga’.  This word is used in Rap music by black people who are doing something similar to what the Tottenham fans are doing.  They have taken a very offensive term and started using it themselves thus nullifying the use of it by anyone who wished to be offensive. I know Hip Hop inside out up until the mid 1990’s from the early eighties onwards.  ‘Nigga’ started being used a lot in Rap after about 1988 when ‘NWA’ released ‘Straight Outta Compton’ and the controversy around that word is still a key issue in Black American politics.  I can fully see that some people would be offended by someone calling them something that they didn’t wish to be called but seriously if someone who themselves is Black is singing the word in an inoffensive manner why is there a problem with it?

That’s what this comes down to, the context and meaning of the term ‘Yid’ when used by Football fans is completely inoffensive.  Lets say for the sake of example that a devout Jewish family lives within earshot of White Hart Lane and on match days they can clearly hear things being chanted from the terraces.  So if every time the chant ‘Yiddo, Yiddo’ rings out and they begin getting agitated by it then I am afraid it their problem and not that of the fans chanting it.  The key here is that those fans are not singing those words in order to upset that particular family, it isn’t personal, they don’t even know the family is there they’re busy watching a game of Football. 

What is actually happening here and more or less everywhere is that Human beings are TOO SENSITIVE, that’s what this all comes down.  Many people are just going around with their politically correct aspirations and trying to tell other people that they can’t do things because someone a thousand miles away might hear about it on the internet and get offended.  It’s not just sensitivity it’s utter madness.  If someone walks up to you on the Street and calls you a derogatory name to your face then you have the right to be offended if the term is deemed such by yourself but if a couple of thousand men in Football stadium are using the term as a means to bond and support their team that has nothing to do with anyone but them. 

I’ll end this very simply.  If you are easily offended then you will find yourself being constantly upset by matters which often will have no bearing on your life whatsoever.  I would advise you whoever you are to toughen up a little, this is bastard race you occupy and if you allow people to hurt you with words you are letting beat you without them ever even needing to lift a hand.

Look after yourselves and each other.

Peace and love.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

The proud Irish Nation: Racists and Hate mongers.

Everything comes down to money doesn’t it?  We have a very childish and intolerant way of looking at the world collectively.  So much jealousy and hatred over who has and who doesn’t have.  It is getting more and more difficult to help people who are vulnerable and needy because others who see themselves as being decent and hard working end up being angry and direct so much hatred towards those who are being helped. For what reason?  Why so much hatred towards other Human beings?  Do the people who are allowing themselves to become so venomous towards others realise that there isn’t any way their hate can be justified?  Hard working many of them may well be but I am afraid a lot of them cannot call themselves decent.

Us Irish are particularly intolerant and to be honest it is sometimes a little surprising.  I mean look at our History, we’ve had a good deal of intolerance directed at us and I am beginning to see very clearly that circumstantial factors are a lot more prevalent than many of us will ever know.  What does that mean?  Well if you do the old shoe on the other foot routine how would those spouting so much hate to the Roma Community and Eastern Europeans and Africans and other Nationalities feel if they and their families had nothing and they needed handouts?  Of course they won’t consider that will they?

If all these people who are shouting so much hatred were to find themselves without enough money to feed themselves due to circumstance I wonder what they would do.  I wonder would they prefer to curl up in a ball and die of their illusionary pride or would they lower themselves to ask for handouts?  So many of them appear to so well to do and so emotionally together but no Human being who attacks the poor and vulnerable in such a way can ever be considered balanced or decent.  Their hate will eat them alive.

The way people work is very simple if they’re doing OK then fuck everybody else but if they’re not doing OK what then?  Alright I accept that they work hard and that the Government make life difficult for them but whose fault is that?  The Irish went everywhere in the world to escape poverty at home and faced hatred and intolerance everywhere they went only for their ancestors of today to treat other Human beings with the same venom and hatred that was cast upon their passed on kin.

Do people not know that money is not more important than Human beings?  Do they actually believe that vulnerable people deserve to be treated like dogs just because they are poor?  Some of the comments I see on news reports are pretty shocking.  They talk about murder and about letting people die and about sending them back to ‘their own countries’.   What is wrong with us seriously?

We should fucking know better the lot of us.  We are truly a shallow and despicable people.  No Human being is any more or less important than any other in spite of Race, Religion, Nationality, Sexuality or ANYTHING else.

It doesn’t bode well for us, all this intolerance.  It shows clearly that we really have no compassion unless we’re getting something out of it. I would be less surprised to hear anger and hatred coming from those who are destitute themselves but for it to be coming from hard working and supposedly decent people is worrying.

My Mother lived in England in the 1950’s and she has always told me that the stories about the signs in the windows of boarding houses saying “No Irish, No Blacks” were very real.  I wonder how all our dead ancestors would feel in knowing that those of their own blood are treating vulnerable Humans exactly the way they were treated.

It’s shocking is what it is…

Friday, 13 September 2013

Dealing with nasty and negative people

This last couple of years I have grown to understand something very important about people.  The reason why what I now know is so important is because the level of understanding I have reached can not be achieved by many of the people who display the traits which I am talking about.  This is a terrible shame because while I know what ails them I can do nothing for them.  This used to frustrate me but I have since let go and I am now resigned to simply knowing.

There is a lot of negativity in this age but people who are negative often have no idea that they are such.  People hide their feelings a lot or over compensate for their feelings.  I see this pretty simply and I would never have been able either to see or explain it a couple of years ago but this last 3 years in particular I have grown a deep understanding of human nature.  The main thing I have been able to do with this understanding is to protect myself from negativity coming from others.  In short I don’t react to it like I used to and so I don’t suffer from it as a result.  The reason I am writing this as with all I write is because a few of you reading will identify with it and hopefully as a result you’ll be able to use it to become more peaceful within yourselves.

When people suffer from trauma or abuse they can get very negative in the extreme but this is only at the far end of the negativity spectrum.  Negativity is everywhere and everyone suffers from it at some point.  I am sure you have all experienced those days when nothing goes right, we all have them but most of us know how to handle it.  Sometimes though we don’t relate events in our lives as being concurrent and connected.  We have a very matter of fact way of looking at life and often things can build up and build up without us being aware that anything is wrong until we find ourselves in the middle of bad mood or episode of some sort.  Of course most of the people reading this type of article will be saying to themselves “What is he talking about?” if you ask yourself that, maybe you should start looking at your past and your daily reactions and interactions for possible signs that something is wrong.

Due to the structure of our societies and our nonchalant disregard of instincts and emotions people are suffering greatly from themselves but it is much more complicated than that.  As if it isn’t bad enough that these people are angry and depressed society doesn’t have a very good outlook on such individuals.  In short the people who are negative end up blaming society and in turn society blames the people who are negative.  This is a cycle of negativity and it is both continuous and self perpetuating.  The depressed person becomes more and more despondent and society chooses to push them further and further away.  Can you see this?  Can you see the obviousness of the whole scenario?  Something else you should look at here is that this type of situation is both all inclusive and self fulfilling.  It takes both sides to behave as they do for it to occur, so it neither societies nor the individuals fault, it is in fact both their faults.

So what am I trying to say here?  Well negativity needs itself in order to thrive and sometimes people can be negative without realising they are.  Indeed those who want nothing to with people who are depressed are actually just protecting themselves but the after aeffect is that they are doing a great disservice to society as a whole with their disregard.  The depressed person becomes more and more so and they spread their negativity that way but the people who are pushing them away also become negative because they are displaying a high lack of empathy by doing what they do and to be honest their blaming is no better than the blaming of the individual.

When people get very depressed they usually only deal with it in one of two ways or a combination of these two ways.  Either the person pushes the negative energy out of themselves and tries to harm others or they turn it inwards and try to harm themselves.  Like I said some people do both but other people can do it very subtly and they can seemingly pass as if there is nothing at all wrong with them.  Most people don’t like admitting this but if a person is always being nasty to others or always being quiet, distant or generally miserable they are probably suffering from some level of depression.  Similarly  the person might just not be very helpful or they might always be picking up in the faults of others but all these modes of behaviour show that there is at least some level of disharmony within them.  People often excuse this in many ways.  They might say that they’re fine it’s other people who always find fault in them or that they are just having a bad day but the fact remains that if someone is always having a bad day then it may be obvious that something is wrong. People who drink too much too often or who sulk a lot or always behave in a very needy way are equally suffering from sort of insecurity which could be verging on depression. You may also know people who are always very critical but they veil it in humour and they laugh while they’re attacking others so it is “just a bit of a joke” but it isn’t really people who always do this are deeply unhappy but they’ll never say they are.  Laughter is good disguise because it is a positive force but seriously if someone is always laughing at the misfortune of others they must be a bit sick, mustn’t they? People who gossip and constantly nitpick are similarly unhappy but if the bahivour is not completely out of order maybe just having a quiet word with them would suffice.

People who are very nasty a lot of the time can be very difficult to deal with and can often find themselves always at odds with those around them but like I outlined earlier this is not exclusively the fault of the person displaying such traits.  Nastiness can be particularly difficult to deal with if the person is attacking you directly and it is human nature to want to give some type of response when being attacked but this is the wrong thing to do. 

There are two main aspects to this:

1.  Try and reason with the person who is attacking you.

This won’t usually do any good because if a person is attacking you for no apparent reason they are already displaying completely irrational behaviour and you cannot rationalise the irrational so it is usually a waste of time.  Remember I am not talking about isolated incidents here I am talking about continuous and aggravated nastiness.  You CANNOT rationalise the irrational.  You CANNOT look at a person who is in irrational circumstances and find simple answers when you yourself are doing alright and you’re happy because your answers and suggestions are going to be out of the depth that the nasty person is looking for.  If you are judging a person who is in irrational circumstances and you’re not you will tend to either get annoyed with them or pity them neither of these reactions is helpful though as both pity and annoyance will further entrench the person.

2. Be nasty back.

If you attack a person who is attacking you all you are doing is giving them what they need to continue their tirade. Nasty people need one of two reactions from you they either need you to cower and act afraid or they need their nastiness to be returned to them, if you do neither of these things you basically starve them emotionally.  Being nasty back to the person has another aspect to it though by doing so you are behaving just as they do and that gives them the psychological rational that it is alright to be nasty because you just justified it didn’t you?  By doing it you have said it is alright and that makes you no better than them.

Unfortunately the way to deal with this type of behaviour is often by either completely ignoring it if that’s possible or just by taking yourself out of the situation completely and cutting ties. I have seen this from both sides where I was both the aggressor and the aggrieved at different times so I know about it and to be perfectly honest there are some people you would just be better staying away from both for your own sake and theirs.

Nasty and aggrieved people will constantly look for others who they can blame and so you will find over time that they will end up isolating themselves, it is very, very sad but what can you do?  You always have to ask yourself  Could I do anymore?  Should I try harder?  If you are having difficulty with someone it might be a good idea to talk to others around you who are connected to the person to find out other peoples points of view and could do with being frank with them and asking for their opinion as to whether or not they feel you have done all you can for the person.

I have had to cut quite a few people out of my life and conversely I have been cut from others lives as a result of my behaviour in the past.  Sometimes the only way to deal with people is to not deal with them anymore.  

An important thing to note is that I have stopped reacting to certain people because I no longer take their nastiness personally.  It is a fault to constantly take things others say or do to us personally and it shows insecurity in ourselves if we always do that and I feel that if you take offence too much and too often you may well be on your own path to some type of deep insecurity or depression.

Nasty people are not emotionally well so we should give them all the breaks we can before making decisions about how to deal with them.  You should also try to understand what they are going through.  The person is already probably beating themselves up to a large degree and this is the reason they will show defensive and sensitive behaviour when you try to reason with them. Think about the position they must be in.  From a societal point of view think about how we are always taught to look out for ourselves.  Even though these people are angry and depressed they still have pieces of their human nature intact and they will be still be trying to well and will often convince themselves that they are well.  No one wants to be told that they’re doing terrible at life especially by those close to them so please try to understand it from their point of view.  Empathy is in short supply in this stuttering age so we should all try our best to understand one another.

There are many ways to lead a productive life free from negativity but you have to know about yourself and you have want to change in order to do so.

I am pasting in a site which I have read a lot which can be helpful but you must look inside yourself in order to find out about your own strengths and weaknesses before you can try to be happier.

I am by no means a know it all or some kind of brilliant person.  I have a daily review of myself and my behaviour and everything is just for today.  I don’t look too far ahead and take life as it comes because I could easily end up drinking tonnes and being in a state in the future depending on my circumstances.  The thing I have now that I didn’t have before is awareness and self awareness.  I smile today because I have built a life that is conducive to smiling and for as long as I feel how I do now I will continue to be happy.

Take care of yourselves and each other.

One love.  : ) 

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Slane Girl, Freedom, Gender and what the FUCK is wrong with our Species?

Slane Girl!  What have people done?  How can this be considered funny? 
On Saturday I had a Gig in Bangor and I travelled up there with Micky Bartlett.  Some of you may know Micky, he’s a comedian and in my opinion he is one of the most genuinely funny people I have ever met.  We were talking on the way up about how people who are not comedians see humour and indeed how they see what comedians write and do.  He was telling me about a time when he was presenting his work to the BBC and the producers and people he was speaking to where telling him that he couldn’t say certain things due to ‘taste’.  Micky told me that he ended up saying to them that he knew what funny was and he was better placed than they were to do whatever he thought was funny.  I agreed with him because I am a firm believer in not censoring but then this thing with Slane Girl happened and I have been thinking about it differently.  My attitude has slowly been changing anyway due to so much of what happens online and how people end up being abused so bad that they sometimes kill themselves.

Here’s the thing about humour, What is funny?  It depends who you speak to right?  I have written some very nasty pieces in my time which were directed at particular individuals and others which were more general and aimed at groups so what’s the difference here?  Well I know what I did and I have come to terms with it.  I no longer perform the pieces in question and I am very aware that when I wrote and performed them I was pretty fucked up, so does that make it right?  Of course not but I can’t change the past all I can do is learn from it and I am trying to do that, daily.  If your laughter is going to effect another persons happiness to the point of depression and maybe worse then I am Sorry but that cannot be considered funny.  I know about subjectivity and all that but surely we need to draw a fucking line at some point people.  Being funny generally and mocking our society is one thing but this is now a witch hunt and one single Human being is getting Trolled for the sake of Humour here.

The week before last we had the news that a young girl had hanged herself due to trolls and now this Slane Girl thing happens. 

So the question is where exactly do the problems lie here? And moreover what EXACTLY is the problem.  The problem is PEOPLE, they’re brutal.  Most of us have never really grown up and we use the misfortune of others as entertainment.  It’s one thing to say something is funny and to laugh at it but it is another thing entirely to shame a young woman by allowing pictures of her giving oral sex to different men to be plastered all over the internet and then to be shared and counter shared by thousands of people who think it’s funny, it isn’t funny.  We are talking about a human being here, a person, she has feelings and surely none of us would like this to be done to us so how can anyone condone that?

We change when the group dynamic kicks in and do the most terrible things to one another.  Online people give abuse like it doesn’t mean anything but it does mean something.  We have this ‘Catch yourself on’ attitude to everything.  Individuals who don’t take offence at anything look at other people who do take offence as being some kind of freaks and they act like it is the persons fault that they’re sensitive.  Here’s the deal… People don’t choose what affects them, how they have been brought up and sometimes traumatic events in their past can be responsible for how sensitive they are but IT ISN’T THEIR FAULT and THEY HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING WRONG.  All of us really need to stop this deluded sense of belief that because WE as individuals can handle this, that or the other thing then everyone else can handle it as well.  We all need to be more mindful of one another.

But here’s something I have learned, people who do wrong often have no idea that what they’re doing is wrong.  Take Racists for example, they actually believe that their guff is true and I have come to realise that that is not actually peoples fault, it’s bad teaching and our species has been getting bad teaching for arguably hundreds of generations and it just seems to be getting worse.   Of course me saying that leaves it pretty open ended doesn’t it?  I mean if I am not blaming anyone what am I even talking about?  I am getting less and less liberal the more I look at our world and I am beginning to think that people are not responsible enough to control or enjoy the freedom that we all take for granted.  Surely if what we call freedom allows people to post and repost this photo which they know is going to mortify and probably seriously disturb this young girl in the name of a bit of craic then there is something seriously fucked up in this world of ours.  If a human being kills themselves because of this type thing is that alright?  I am not sure we deserve all this freedom to be honest because it is leading to one tragedy after another and it seems to be like no one ever considers that the issue here could be the fact that online controls are non existent.  As soon as you say that “Nazi!” but in all honesty what other options are there?

One other thing that needs to be said in regard of this is the about the issue of sex.  When something happens Human beings often start aligning themselves in terms what sex the person who’s being victimised is.  THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH GENDER.  The battle of the sexes is just one more way and probably the ULTIMATE way that people discriminate.  Everyone sets themselves up to defend or attack others depending on how they see the gender War but it is not an issue here and is not an issue anywhere else either.  This is about a HUMAN BEING who is being treated like she was less than such.  This is not about the men in photos either it is about the people who have taken the photos and subsequently shard them to the world and about the thousands of people who now think it is alright to have a laugh and in aeffect destroy another Human beings happiness by doing so.

When someone does something wrong so many people automatically start the ‘stupid’ tirade like that makes it acceptable to deride a person because apparently they’re ‘stupid’.  What exactly is a ‘stupid’ person? And is it their fault that they’re ‘stupid’?  It is almost as if ‘stupid’ people are a subspecies, less than human and they deserve all they get.  If you look deeper and have a bit more understanding you will be able to replace the word ‘stupid’ with other words like Irresponsible, Drunk, Young, Disturbed and any other number of words that you can think of. If you want to go to the extreme end of the spectrum what about people who have mental and emotional disorders?  Are they ‘Stupid’? People make mistakes, we all do but we wouldn’t want our loved ones crucified for their mistakes would we?  So why is it alright to rip apart a Human being online like it doesn’t mean anything when it clearly does mean something?

I am beginning to change my perspective toward what is permissible online.  Now I am beyond liberal!  I watch Pornography and listen to Gangsta Rap, I don’t have a problem with it but recently I am staring to think differently.  I am very comfortable with my sexuality and I have always been of the opinion that we should not make sex a shameful act because it isn’t shameful but where is the line now? 

I mean if we just allow people to post anything they want online what are we condoning?  Why can beheadings and Child pornography keep getting online and why is the Government not going out of their way to stop that sort of thing from being posted?  How do we decide what can and what cannot be put on the internet?

Our species is completely out of control and we really don’t know which end is up anymore.  If you say something needs to be controlled you’re called a Nazi yet if we allow this to just go on like it is currently people are topping themselves over Trolling and abuse online.  What has happened to Humanity?  I think it’s obvious, we’re drowning in our own success and that’s a fact.
As with all up’s there comes a time when perspective must be reached and when that will happen I have no idea but I do know that this species are probably fucked beyond all comprehension.  We would need something of a fucking biblical scale flood to sort this shit out and that kind of makes every ancient prophet 100% right in their assessments of our species.

We’re all very vengeful collectively aren’t we?  There is this overriding feeling in our society that people who do wrong deserve all they get and so many people go out of their way to ‘deliver’ revenge to whoever they think deserves it but we often don’t think about the other person we just assume that we’re right all the time, when sometimes we’re obviously not.  This continuing vengeance we use is everywhere and even supposedly good honest people use it often anonymously to pick holes in our social order.  This is critical and it is not OK to get revenge even if it feels good and may be righteous it doesn’t mean it’s right.

We can’t go on like this, we are killing each other with our apathy.  When people can go online and Troll a child to death like happened the other week when exactly do we start doing something about it?  I am beginning to think we need to have some sort of controls here, it has gotten beyond our control.

Take Care of yourselves and one another