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.  : )