Socially Over-networked

The problem with trying to create a lot of content online, is that sometimes it can get too much. Motivation, as well as inspiration, can disappear. Which is great. Particularly when you try to give yourself a target, such as I have, where I am trying to write every day. This means that things can become too forced, to the stage that writing is something that I really don’t enjoy anymore. I know this, because it has happened to me before. And, because I also like drawing, my ‘creative slump’ can also effect that, and that is my manner in dealing with stress out of the window. Annoying.

That is why I have been quiet on here for a few days. I thought I’d take some time out, which isn’t a bad thing. That is a new thing I am learning, knowing when to take a step back. Because I haven’t before, and it’s caused me to completely stress out. Which is the total opposite to what I want writing to be for me. Because, it is something that helps me chill out and organise the nonsense in my head. To the point that I don’t know what I’d do without it. I think I feel suffocated, which is bizarre because it’s just rambling online, really.

But, the internet has become something that has taken over our entire lives. There is not a day that goes by, where we don’t use the internet for something. Even if I locked my phone and laptop away, just doing my job at work involves network connections that use the internet. Nothing would work, in fact, my job wouldn’t even exist. And that is quite scary. But, however scary it appears to be, it still doesn’t mean anything compared to actual experience of dealing with real people. And as real people, ourselves, we should never forget about the way we feel. Sometimes, it is too easy to be dragged into some battle on facebook or Twitter over something that doesn’t even matter. Whilst, I know I try to shrug things like that off, it is not always that easy. The best thing is, realise when things start to bother you, and try to take yourself out of such situations when they arise. That is a good thing about the internet, there is always a block button.

Sometimes, I wish real life had a block button.

 

 

Speaking Your Mind

I have always had the belief that everyone should be able to speak their mind. That every discussion needs a pro and con side. And that by doing so, people should take all sources in account when considering what opinion to have on something.

This, however, is not always the case. People could form an opinion because of one thing someone said. They read a particular newspaper, and believe their propaganda to be fact, rather than being paid by some lobby. This is the United Kingdom, people’s views aren’t that as radical or as ill-judged as some in other countries. Or are they?

Throughout history, people have craved conflict. In the worst case senario, war and fighting can break out. This is something that can bring the people of a country together as the strive to get some kind of comradery to try and keep people strong. In the UK, this last happened in World War 2, when our country was in direct attack. Towns and cities were being attacked by Nazi bombing, and communities had to band together, to stay strong and rebuild communities after the War. People were pushed into co-operating with one another.

We are currently experiencing one of the longest peacetimes on British soil, and the need to band together is not really a requirement to exist anymore. People still want something to fight for, so start supporting various causes. This, fantastically, should bring some things into discussion, and make changes. But, as time goes on, people can start to look negatively about their personal situation, and get frustrated that their views do not get represented fully. They may start to band together with those who have similar points of view to themselves, and get could get pushed towards causes that they maybe never considered before. But the need for unity, and being heard, begins to cause conflict with other causes. People look for the differences in one another, rather than seeing why we are so similar.

The more frustrated people get, the more they want to change people’s views so that they can make the changes that they want. The frustration grows, and conflict becomes more and more common. People protest, the fascist right wing groups start to gain momentum, as the government struggles to keep a calm. Situations may arise like the Scottish Independence Referendum, where frustrated people want to change something, to try and better the situation for them and others. But all facts may not be considered, as people get more passionate and less considerate. They say what they say, and f**k anyone who doesn’t agree.

In the battle to get a fair society for all, the perception of what is ‘fair’ changes from person to person. To some, protection of the Church and Christian ethics are an important part of the laws of the land. To others, religion shouldn’t be a part of any government, and things such as marriage should be available to all people, regardless of sexual orientation. These two opposing view points are something that should be discussed calmly.

But increasingly, what people are being dictated to, in what to think. If someone believe’s in God, and feels homosexuality is wrong, shouldn’t he be safe to say his opinion? I don’t believe religion is necessary in government, as I believe some of the ‘rules’ can be out of date, should I not say that for fear of retaliation? How about another example, we allow a Iraqi family to come to the UK and live, they do and their kids go through our school system and become productive members of society. That’s great, isn’t it? They then learn about UK soldiers bombing Iraqi civillians, do they not have a right to speak out against the country that accepts them as inhabitants, and at the same time kills their countrymen? Surely they do. But these people will get told to leave the UK, for not supporting our troups. They work and pay taxes as much as the rest of us, shouldn’t they be able to speak their mind as much as their neighbours?

And that is the problem with free speech and speaking your mind. It is never really free to some. The efforts to stiffle those who speak more unsavoury thoughts, is painting an untrue picture of public opinion. If you let pro-choice people demonstrate, let pro-life too. Free speech in any society should allow people to share the opinions, without fear of retribution.

I know I have talked about this a lot reccently, but I am seeing it a lot in the media around me. And it is something that dwells on my mind a lot, because I feel I can say what I want, but that is because I have quite liberal leanings, but what about those who have more conservative views? I think increasingly those with conservative views are hushed into silence for being not so politically correct.

Where Does Free Speech End?

I am lucky.

If you are reading this, chances are, you are lucky too.

We are lucky because we live in a society where we have freedom of speech. We can speak our minds, for no fear of the consequences. Well, that is what we believe ‘free speech’ to be. But is it really? If it is okay to freely state what you believe, is it okay for you to believe that a person is an arsehole for being religious? Is it okay to think all feminists are just needing a good ‘shag’? That gay people, just need a ‘cure’? I will openly admit that these examples are extremes, but they are what some people feel they have the right to say and do. If we truely believe in ‘free speech’ surely the bad things should be just allowable as the good.

I personally believe that if your opinion does not dictate to or demean other individuals, then it is fine. The idea of freedom, is that it should be for the benifit of everyone around you, not just yourself. So true freedom of speech, in that case, wouldn’t be saying every little thing that came to your head. But one that encourages discussion and urges the better of society. The sharing of negative opinion, can do nothing but bring other people down, and in extreme cases, it can cause a lot of terrible issues.

But, the idea is also there that we should have the tolerance to let people say what they want. If you want to say and do what you wish, and let others do the same. Which is easy to understand and apply to our lives, but if it is then why do some people not apply those things. And if it effects the well-being of another person, should it really be allowed? Particularly if it makes the situation worse.

I don’t really know. This was just some pondering, but what do you think? Is freedom of speech something that can be fully achieved? I just don’t know.

Free Speech Comes At A Cost

Ok, this is a follow-up to blog I did about journalism and the media, a few days ago.

The reason I am back on this topic again is because of a, much publicised, piece on, fashion magazine, Marie-Claire’s website about fat people on TV. Journalist, Maura Kelly, who wrote about whether ‘fatties should get a room’. This is someone who as a journalist, feels that she should be honest.

“I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room.”

Which is brutal, but it’s the truth, to her. She is stating , not what anyone else thinks, but what she thinks. Bear in mind also, that Ms Kelly works for one of the biggest fashion magazines in the world. This is a branch of society where being stick thin is the norm, and any amount of fat is deemed unacceptable. So I would imagine, if you call a size 14, fat, then you would find someone obsese mortifying.

“I think obesity is something that most people have a ton of control over.”

This is correct. A lot of people with weight issues, do have control and do need to take responsibility. People are advised by Doctors to lose weight, and they choose to ignore medical advice. They just point the finger of blame at someone else, a wonderful product of our culture. Also, she is saying that she believes people DO have control over what they eat. And they do, it’s a person’s decision to watch TV, rather than exercise. As someone who suffered because of an eating disorder, she changed her life around, and believes that ANYONE can change things.
We are frequently told that we are so lucky that we have free speech, and that the media is not controlled. But I believe that it never will be free. Someone stating their opinion gets slated. It’s like, ‘as long as you aren’t offending anyone, then you can say what you want’. Well, that’s opinion, it helps you understand another viewpoint, and realise we are not all cut from the same cloth. So all these people, saying that a journalist should be sacked for stating her opinion, are a disgrace. If there were more journalists in the media, who expressed themselves honesty, then the media would become something worth being interested in. But right now, you have to stick to the same rules and have the same thoughts as everyone else. And, to be honest, I hate it. I hate that no matter which newspaper you pick up, it’s all the same neutered ‘opinions’ that just written in a slightly different way.

You can argue all day with who is at fault for the article. Is it the Ms Kelly, for letting out her harsh opinions? Is it the editor, for giving a vulnerable woman such a personal issue to write about? Is it the site itself, for allowing the story to be published in that state? Is it the people who read this and got so ‘mock offended’, and spread their panic across the internet? Or, is just that too many people want to continue to bury their heads in the sand, despite the fact the fact there is truth in the article?

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is. And I don’t believe that Ms Kelly should have had to apologise to some overly sensitive people for her thoughts on the obesity issue. If you truly believe something you write, then show some conviction and stand by it, no matter how large the occurring witch-hunt may become.

It does show that there are parts, within our society which need looked at. The fashion industry, it’s unbelievably size-ist, and I don’t think that Ms Kelly’s opinions are the worst out there. But only by confronting the problem, can we see how  bad it really is, and even educate people from an overweight person’s perspective.

But the main disturbing thing, which came out of this article and it’s notoriety, is the pure hatred being shown towards Ms Kelly. This isn’t people who are as self-righteous as they make out. I mean, they were all taking a personal attacks on Ms Kelly, wanting her fired. This is disgusting, and it made me feel ill. At the time I read the article, there was almost 2,000 comments on it, there is probably so many more now. But almost all the comments were negative. Negative because people on the internet have no idea about a journalists expression to be truthful to oneself. Negative, because the internet is full of it. anonymous people saying that Marie Claire is terrible for allowing the piece to be published. But, are the magazine  not brave, by posting such a ‘hot’ issue, it has opened debate, and is allowing people to see something from somebody else’s perspective.

I applaud Marie Claire and Ms Kelly, because you have ‘stuck your neck out with the article’. You have given a sense of depth into a very one-dimensional field, and should be thanked for it. If people are too arrogant to understand journalism and opinions, then I believe they should just disconnect their internet and stick to their bland, opinionless, newspapers.

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For the record, I am termed as overweight. I am a UK  dress size of 20, and although I am happy with me, I am aware I eat too much rubbish, and don’t exercise nearly enough. But, it is my fault, and only I can change this. And when I do, it will be on my terms.

FREEDOM

Freedom! What gives you that sense where you feel completely free?

For me, it’s music. It is something that moves me so much. Whether I am listening to Tchaikovsky or N Dubz or Slayer, music is just so expressive.

Me and Gemma were talking about it yesterday. Because music is written from the heart and involves emotions, it easily effects other people emotionally. So because it’s based on emotion, it should also be open to interpretation. Compared to how a person is feeling, or what they have been through, they may think differently about a song. And artists should be able to accept this.

If people expect their work to be accepted on an emotional level, then they should be aware that people may view it differently. But that’s why I love music so much. It is all open to how I feel, not what others say its about.

Throughout history music has been used to voice opinion when people feel like they have no voice. In states which people feel as if their rights have been. taken away, they often rebel through art such as music. It is a way to get their voices heard. And this sense of unity, as the music brings people together, make the opinion louder.

With the UK on the cusp of becoming depressed under Tory rule, there is great expectations that the underground music scene will become more active again. With the unlimited amount of cutbacks getting pushed forward by government, people will feel jaded.

Because you can use music to describe anything, it will always have a sense of freedom, wherever the music itself comes from.

Free Speech, Costly Thoughts

I had an odd instance today. Where I talked about something, and was given the reply of death threats. Its an odd occurence. I am a very opinionated person, and never had the problem of such volatile reactions to my words.
It wasn’t as if the words were offensive. I mean, I spoke negatively about a singer from a bands actions. But that’s it. I didn’t berate him for it, I just said I did not agree with his actions. Simple enough, you may think. It’s just showing opinion, over something. Which is all it was. But when did opinion become a fight about what’s right and wrong?

I wish I could say, that my experience today, was a one off occurence.  But I know, just by watching the news, it isn’t. We are constantly being told how lucky we are, because we live in a country which allows free speech. Which is all very well, in theory. Free speech, also allows free thinking. And people, as complex as we appear, can’t seem to process anything other than a good side and a bad side, just black and white. So the thoughts you think up, are either right and wrong, as if that gives it an answer.

I mean, we like answers don’t we. Like to have everything in resolved in a neat little package. People are reluctant to say something is someones opinion, and to just leave it that. They feel the need to show why it is right, or wrong. Why?

Looking through the news, I saw that T4’s Miquitta Oliver has been suspended from her work, because she spoke negatively about US singer Ke$ha. She apparently used swear words when talking about the singer. Now, note that the words themself, weren’t what caused the damage. It was the thought process, connected to those words. But to say that someone is not allowed to air their frustrations, with this ‘free speech’, kind of indicates that we are not as free as we are lead to believe.

But that’s not anything new is it?