It’s really quite impressive isn’t it, that what appears to be a very small percentage of society are causing all kinds of ructions in demand of rights everyone’s a little confused about. But of course, it isn’t about that small slice of our people, not at all. We’re getting some pretty serious mission creep. Trans people are just what’s being co-opted to glom some moral authority, some sense of righteousness. And it’s a damn shame.
Lately I’ve read quite a lot about censorship. In one sense I believe every platform should be free to choose what it should allow but in another I’m very unsettled by this growing culture of cancellation where people will see perfectly legal material which appears to be within the TOS of a platform being removed due out outrage culture and pressure on the site and advertisers. This doesn’t sit terribly well with me. It’s not about platforms for extreme voices, we’re seeing platforms removing even moderate voices simply because they don’t toe the line according to practitioners of cancel culture. Surely there must be a solution? So, in my own small way, I think it’s time I sort of provided one.
Lately I’ve been a bit more, shall we say, pro-active and vocal on Twitter on a certain topic. I’ve been asked why I’m so fascinated with Trans people, usually as a dig from activists throwing something at me in the hope it will stick. Thing is, and I mean this with the greatest of respect, I don’t often tweet about trans people as a group because I’m just not that invested. As individuals I can be interested but overall, it’s just something going on in the world that’s always gone on in the world.
Despite the obviously catastrophic levels of boomerism I frequently display I’m actually Gen X. As a 47 year old man I was bumbling along minding my own business when I suddenly found out that I am the enemy and “literally Hitler”. As you can imagine, this came of something of a surprise even to me given my choice in career has not exactly enamoured me with the more “right on” sections of society.
First a disclaimer. As you read this please keep in mind that I am under no illusions as to how important I am, what I have failed at, or indeed my place in the universe. Okay? Good. This is going to be quite long and rambling so bear with me.
It seems nowadays we log in to maybe two or three URL’s each day. We might have some sites we visit but predominately we tend to congregate around social media, the life sucking polarisation machines which have replaced one of our greatest achievements.
I bought my first PC in the late 90’s from a friend. It was a desktop manufactured by Tiny. I don’t remember too much about it outside of that beyond the fact it had a whopping 500MB hard drive. That hearing aid beige box of wonders would change my life dramatically the minute I plugged a phone cable into its thrusting 33.3k modem.
After signing up with an ISP to whom I would pay a monthly bill plus call charges of 1.5p per minute off peak and 3p per minute peak I clicked the dial in button. This was exciting! After listening to some arcane noises I clicked on the icon for Netscape Navigator.
We often look at government apathy towards us in abstract terms, it’s very hard for us to truly quantify things unless we can make them somehow personal. Look at the holocaust, 6 million people is a mind boggling number but distil that down to the story of Anne Frank and you put a face on things. I’m not comparing what I’m about to write to the holocaust, not even slightly, but you get the picture. Let me tell you a story.
It might come as a surprise to many of you to hear that I find many things in life annoying. The fact that, despite my best efforts, the lawn refuses to die so I still have to mow it. The fact that where I live everyone is apparently a builder. Those flies that pretend to be bees, they’re bloody annoying and unnerving in equal measure. Also the sight of people in a face mask winds me up for reasons I have not yet fully come to understand. What really gets my goat though are the experts. You know, social media experts.
Covid 19. It’s not the draconian lock down procedures, it’s not the fact the police are getting decidedly close to wearing knee high, shiny boots. It’s not the queues, it’s not the death, it’s not even my looming financial meltdown. No, it’s the fact everyone’s treating this like some kind of hyper-extended bank holiday weekend and I hate them for it.
Today I had to take some supplies down for my parents who are most definitely locked down. I took Junior with me to get him out of the house for a while for something other than a short walk. After we’d dropped off the food and things and had a chat through the window he asked if we could drive the long way home. I decided to show him the areas where I grew up and talk came around to how I used to play out. I told him how you’d be up, fed, dressed and out and you’d try not to come home until you could hear your dad shouting. You’d roam for miles and there was “Red Rock” (a large sand cliff), the water treatment plant, abandoned WWII buildings and motorcycle scrambling course we’d taken over for BMX. He loved hearing it but I noticed he was thinking and it’s clear what about.