Monday 19 August 2019

Live And Let Nope

It is now a truth universally acknowledged that anybody who does anything creative will get battered for expressing personal opinions online. We get told artists aren't supposed to have political views. Don't alienate your potential customers, stick to writing/singing/crochet/cheese-making. You know, like George Orwell, Peggy Seeger, Margaret Atwood and Chuck D. Well fuck that. I've always been a little to the right of Karl Marx and rarely ashamed to bleat on about it.

I used to spend a lot of time getting into arguments in pubs, on the internet and anywhere where there are people with opinions. My first really big blog post was on this very subject (it was the first time I realised people were actually reading what I was writing and had to start editing this shit properly).

But then social media exploded, and I got tired of the endless bickering, those who wanted to win rather than have an intelligent discussion, and I stopped calling it out. This anger fatigue (a bit like compassion fatigue, but slightly less cunty) made me decide to be more tolerant, even going so far as to tolerate the intolerant. However, it turns out just avoiding conflict has not made things better for anyone. Since I have been scrolling past and respecting other people's opinions Brexit, Trump and Farage all happened, and the 'free-speech' warriors (currently crying about a 16 year old autistic girl on a boat who says climate change is real) have taken over the discourse.

So fuck them. From now on I will not be turning a blind eye to the bullshit. Expect comments, links to Snopes and requests for your source material. There is no such thing as an alternative fact. I won't be engaging in endless back and forth that goes nowhere, so don't assume you have won just because I stop.

IT IS NOT ABOUT WINNING, IF YOU ARE RIGHT I WILL ADMIT IT, I HAVE NO HILL I WISH TO DIE ON - unless you don't like Billy Joel's 'Scenes From An Italian Restaurant,' in which case you clearly have no soul and we can't be friends.

I expect I will lose some friends, some followers and some fuckwits. But honestly, I don't know what else to do, there are some genuine differences of opinion which I will respect, but if your opinion is that some people are not as worthy as some other people simply because of their faith/race/sexuality/class/gender then I don't have to respect that and you are an arsehole.

Opinions that differ from mine that I will tolerate:

That you don't enjoy the same music as me (Billy Joel excepted).
That you don't like my books.
That you think I dress like an idiot.
That football is important.
That capitalism can still work (though expect some laughing).
That the Monarchy are worth every penny.
That it matters whether the jam or cream goes first on a scone.
That tea is not a meal, but a thing you do at about half four with cake.
That your god is real.

Things that I will no longer classify as 'just a different point of view':

Nigel Farage.
That your god thinks the LGBTQI community are evil and subhuman.
That your god thinks you should inflict harm on anybody.
That racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic/rape jokes are just 'banter'.
That trans-women go through all they do to perv on cis-women in toilets.
That Trump is not a lying, self-serving white supremacist.
That this country is being brought to its knees by immigration rather than tax-dodging, land-owning, grouse-shooting, xenophobic cunts.
That climate change is 'just a natural process, human activity has nothing to do with it.'
That your linked article from Spiked, The Canary or the Daily Mail has anything in it that isn't complete propagandist bullshit.
Nigel Bloody Farage.
That unborn babies have more right to life than foreign adults.
That the laws of economics are as unchangeable as the laws of physics.
Any clear shit-stirring post that involves poppys or people in shops disrespecting our 'brave armed forces' I've never seen one that's actually true - check Snopes.
That an advisory referendum result won by breaking electoral law and barefaced lies represents democracy and anyone questioning it is a traitor.
Any shared Facebook post that begins or ends with the words 'Share if you agree...' or 'Share if you remember...' IT'S A FUCKING CLICKFARM KAREN!
That vaccinations are bad.
That mentally ill people just need to pull themselves together.
Anything at all that mentions chemtrails, prehistoric aliens or a flat earth.
That my socks, bright green crocs and corduroy combination is not cool.
Nigel Bloody Fucking Cunty-Faced Farage.
(I have not mentioned the Hopkins woman out of respect for her family).

And that's pretty much all I can think of, there's probably more, please add to the list in the comments.


  1. Well, I agree with all of the above; although I would suggest that had remain vote won it would not be regarded by 16m people as an advisory vote - but then maybe 17m would be suggesting that was the case! But I agree that everyone should question it all and be free from being called a traitor or receiving negative feedback when they do. Which brings me to the only point I take issue with in your second list... Intolerance of people who think "vaccines are bad"... Vaccine injury is a real thing and has cost the NHS £74m (equivalent approx £275k/week) since the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 was passed Vaccines are not necessarily bad, I agree - and in fact have helped combat many horrible diseases, but their manufacture processes, the method of deployment and not taking appropriate precautions before administering can be bad. This FOI back in 2017 asked how many claims had been made in the previous 10 years - 759 of which only 11 were successful (that is another whole topic and a damning issue for those that are likely due compensation but don't meet the questionable criteria; here's one example FOI link for previous 10 years - An excellent article from BMJ highlights some issues around the topic and also states that "Since its inception, a total of 6,026 have been submitted under the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 with only a mere 931 awards being made." Pretending there is not risk or debunking research which proves links or hiding reports of deaths does not make vaccines safe. Here's an article from 2006 highlighting one such report and another more recent from BMJ, not against vaccines, but highlighting how manufactures may be being tricky with statistics In my humble opinion, parents are woefully under informed of facts and how to reduce the risks associated with vaccination and overly influenced by propaganda and comments such as yours in your list. It is nuanced - call it the grey area, not a black and white issue. Take a family with 3 children and their oldest had an adverse reaction to their first 6in1 8 week vaccine - would you really not tolerate or even condemn them for not vaccinating their other two children?
    Yes use vaccines, yes check people before administering them (oh wait, we don't *really* do that), yes question whether it is right for you and/or your child, yes to freedom of choice without fear of condemnation from those who 'know better' or whose opinion is more valid. With respect, I just think that is a lack of tolerance too far Dave. There are all sorts of people, for all sorts of reasons, who make choices that are right for them and should not be subject to this kind of intolerance :D hehe (yes, i know there is a current plethora of vaccine safety studies published all proving vaccine safety...I'll leave you this for the HPV vaccine which should be cause for anyone to sit back and at least momentarily question prior to giving "informed consent")

    1. Grey areas are fine Steve. Nothing is without risk, I never suggested they were without risk.
      But measles is now coming back, because of the MMR vaccine not being taken up by as many as 1 in 4 (in London) mostly due to that thoroughly discredited link to autism.
      And that seems to be a step backwards in public health.

      There are no black and white issues when you get down to it, always grey areas.
      And you've agreed that they aren't inherently bad, so I'll compromise and say they aren't all necessarily entirely wholesome. I'd rather have had an MMR jab than gone through actual measles when I was 7 though. It was shit.

      And had remain won, the leave side made it perfectly clear they would be trying for another vote - before the count was even finished.

  2. This was a fantastic post. I couldn't agree with you more.

    1. Thanks, I knew I couldn't be the only one into Crocs and Billy Joel :)