Is That All There Is?

You may not know this, but I have a Facebook page.

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Let’s be honest here, it’s just a place where I retweet blog posts and my two Instagram feeds. I’ve tried interactions but honestly my heart is not in it. I also have a personal page but it is never used and I frankly refuse to acknowledge the procession of ‘friends suggestions’ I’m given. I can tell you exactly when my love affair with the platform ended. In the same 48 hour period, my dad and a woman I’d taken steps to distance myself from in the past both asked to follow me in quick succession. There’s a reason you put life in your own hands and don’t hand it to algorithms. After that, Facebook was always going to be an afterthought.

Honestly, I have no regrets at all.

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From The Guardian’s article

Now I’m told that all that Fake News in the US has wrought some mindful change in the platform… except people I trust are saying this is hollow. You can now make adverts for lost pets or to poll your community on what is the best picture from your family photo-shoot… but you’ll be asked to pay for them. There’s no way this platform can sustain itself as free without advertising somewhere, and it has to happen as a result, because there’s only so many ways your finite data resources can be sold. Mostly, any notion of change is irrelevant when it lies to its own users in order to get attention. I am consistently told I have far more notifications than is actually the case. An algorithm offering a new friend ‘suggestion’ is not a notification I asked for or wanted.

If I didn’t think there might be some redeemable part of this company, I would have deleted my presence a long time ago. As it happens, we may well be about to reach that point.

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As I approach the point where social interaction matters less and less if accompanied by any kind of deception, it is easier to simply uncouple from the drama. Not everybody has to be your friend. Just because other people follow you does not mean it is a requirement to either reciprocate or feel an urge to become overtly social. I have decided that if there is no real meaning in my relationships, it won’t matter how many followers appear after my name. Most people only turn up for two things anyway: offering free shit is always a great guarantee of grasping that passing interest, or having a notion of genuine skill. If I get good enough via writing to garner a large following, they will get my sense of humour and how I react to shit like this, OR ELSE THEY’D NOT HAVE FOLLOWED ME TO BEGIN WITH.

Social media is never truly yours to dictate until a certain level of ‘fame’ is reached.

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If I believe what I’m told, every time I use the f-word in a Tweet half the platform’s automatically censored from seeing I exist anyway. It doesn’t matter what I say, it is all being sanitised before the World can get indignant about it. The fact my follower count is in the negative this month for the first time in a while is nothing to do with people leaving in droves. I’m setting my own rules, and once they’re organised, we’ll see about turning those numbers around.

I’m not afraid of being alone. The bigger concern remains being genuine and true to what I believe. Once that’s consistent, we’ll work on everything else.

February Content :: Get It On

After six months of Patreon curation, I’ve begun to grasp that themes are really very useful for focussing the mind. Whether it be a Book of the Month or simply a strand of associative subjects, planning in advance is utterly essential not simply for cohesion. With February marking nine years of Warcraft blogging, I decided to take the easy route for inspiration this time around. This isn’t about romance, however. I’ll leave the hearts and flowers to others, my Month of Lurve is all about the stuff nobody talks about during daylight hours but still counts.

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Next month’s short story (serialised on Twitter and then reproduced here in complete form) is a cautionary tale based in an ‘alternative’ England where it is men who are considered as both fairer and weaker sex. Ignoring both tradition and dress codes in a show of rebellion, two lovers decide to build a better future for themselves in the most public manner possible… plus there’ll be the regular weekly selection of Micropoetry and Haiku on a number of subjects relevant to relationships in the 21st Century. I also have some other ideas, and if time permits there may be some erotic fiction on offer.

Well, we all know that’s how this works after dinner and a movie, right?

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With video and music streams to complement all this, I’m already rather excited about February’s schedule. What this announcement does is confirm that I’ll be working on the longer form of next month’s content starting today, thus maintaining a constant stream of TOP QUALITY GUBBINS from month to month. If this all works out I’ll also make time for the personal projects I wish to complete, and (hopefully) encourage more people to throw cash at me. I’m not gonna lie, this is the long term aim of all the hard work, and hopefully consistency will end up as its own reward.

Without further ado, let’s get to it.

Seconds Out

I made it through an entire week of content. I’m not sure whether I should celebrate or not, because this means I am now obliged to do the same for the next 51 weeks, and that might be a bit of a stretch… except the process of organising myself is already reaping unexpected rewards. Instead of feeling sorry for myself whilst unwell yesterday there was a bike ride and some really satisfying application of energy to improving the World around me. All that stuff about individuals being unable to change their circumstance is only true to a point.

The more sharp-eyed amongst you will notice that there’s now a page dedicated to my poetry (in graphic format) which started to appear on Twitter in the second half of 2017. I’m hoping to write at least a couple of these a month for 2018, and when they get an airing on Social media you can expect to see them archived here shortly afterwards. I hope at some point to shove all of these together in an e-book or some kind of more formal presentation format, but don’t hold your breath on that.

Traffic Jam Remix

After that, this week is about getting ahead on posting and making some clear air for editing and back-end work. That means you may not see me about as much on Social media but you can rest assured I’ll still be around, working hard. I am looking forward to sharing with you what is coming up for February too, which I’ll be revealing this time next week.

For now, it is on with the grind.

Wondrous Stories

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This site is still not nearly as ‘done’ as I would like, and as a result, for the next few days, lots of stuff’s gonna get poked and prodded. That will include adding pages for the two new ideas I decided to throw into the mix at the 11th hour on New Year’s Eve, and are already looking like the best ones I’ve had for quite some time. Both are completely autonomous too: they rely on a regular scheduled post, and the ability to organise myself once a week for the next fifty-one.

#Narrating2018 is the more esoteric of the two ideas: taking random memories from my past and recalling them in the present, then using that inspiration as a basis for more content and reflection. This month, that means colour documentaries from the 1950’s to the 1970’s, uploaded by a disparate bunch of individuals to You Tube for posterity. It is memory preservation without the often annoying subtext/soundtrack that modern YT content creators think is funny or relevant. I like my past untainted, so it can be judged objectively.

Then there’s the #indy31 which forms a larger part of #Soundtracking2018: a year’s worth of music that matters to me, on a month by month basis. I’ll be sorting out my You Tube channel next week in anticipation of actual usage, where these songs can go as fully formed playlists, plus some written accompaniment as context. It is all very simple: other people have done the work, I’m just curating the results. It is one of my skills, which should be used to the fullest potential possible.

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All these things are a part of my life I live with a passion, but have never really taken the time to share with other people. It seems sometimes like too much effort to do so, when in reality the only real problem is being willing to share. In a world where so many people have lost the basic ability to both accommodate others and embrace their differences, it is high time I left my prejudices at the door and celebrated things just for what they are and not what others tell me to believe. More importantly however, my own, often dangerous inability to think outside the box I live in has the capacity to serve as a real hindrance. If I can show willing to step outside my comfort zones, then maybe this will encourage others to follow suit.

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The proof of all this will, undoubtedly be in the consumption. Time to shut up talking a good game, and start playing it.