Monthly Archives: July 2016

Lao Tzu says

chair

But you knew that, right?

Kate Granger 1981-2016

change

Source: Kate Granger 1981-2016

The old people

Since Brexit there’s been a lot of vitriol flying around.  I’ve kept out of it, but I’ve certainly given it a lot of thought.

Part of my puzzlement has been that, according to the media, many people voting for Brexit were of the older variety – by which I take to mean not my generation. In truth, I am approaching 50, and my generation were the vainglorious crew who took us to the precipice and pushed us off the edge in the first place, so there’s small comfort in that thought.

So let’s be clear, demographically at least.  The young (under 30s) if they bothered to vote were more likely to vote remain.  The old (the baby boomers, post 60 year olds) were more likely to vote leave.  There will, of course, be many, many exceptions to these broad statements and I am personally related to a few.

What I have been puzzling over is that some of those voting to leave must surely have been  those who may very well have voted us in to the Common Market, in 1972.  The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away… or they simply changed their minds after a 44 year experiment.  Chin chin.

Until I took a bus trip.  And I heard old people talking to each other about such things.  Their words threw a bedraggled doily over the tabletop of the referendum – of course we want our children to have a better world than we did they said…  But the truth was the table itself was built of bitter wood.  Cerebrally these people wanted the younger generation to have the world as their oyster, but emotionally they begrudged it.  They begrudged it to their flesh and blood, and they begrudged it to anyone who had not earned it.  Our parents had no help they cried.  Why should they?

Young people: you have been robbed.  Some of the contingent that makes up your grandparents and great-grandparents (unknown) have voted because they suffered, and many of them don’t see why the rest of us shouldn’t too.

They avow that they do not want the young to have it all on a plate.  So that’s what that was about people.  Now we know.

Edited to add: I can accept that those who voted to join a common market in the 1970s felt that by now they had got more (and less) that they had bargained for.  I can accept that they wanted to rectify their perceived error.  What I find harder is the general fuck you too from people who won’t be so affected (determined by income and life expectancy) by the very real consequences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DNS, pointers, mapping, transfers and ICANN

I’ve been ‘working’ with the team at RO Literary since April this year.  I put working in inverted commas, because actually they seem to be the only ones who are putting in a professional shift – attending book fairs, workshops, and other writing events, quite aside from all the reading and editing and so on they do for their authors.

I, on the other hand, have been blundering around in the world of social media trying to get my author platform up and running, prior to going to market in the publishing world this autumn.

In the past I thought I had been pretty quick to jump onto the various emerging platforms:

  • Facebook – check
  • Twitter – check
  • WordPress – hell yeah I’ve been on this shit since 2007

But no, as it turned out, my social media was shot to hell with various pseudonyms (Westmead Hawk being my personal favourite) and my blog was a catalogue of personal musings running to the length of *insert the title of favourite doorstop*.

This blog has 1968 published posts and 203 drafts (this being 1969) and surely runs into a word count in excess of 600,o00 words – far too unwieldy to navigate for a slick platform for a writer hoping to make the big time.  Italics intended as irony, just in case you know me and are worried my head has suddenly become super-sized.

The truth is, I squirm at the thought of a platform, but I am a realist.  I believe in the book wot I wrote.  The fact is that is that I was entrusted with a story to tell and I owe it to those people who gave me the story to ensure it reaches the widest possible audience.  Writing was only the half of it.  The other part is getting my act together.

That’s where Sandra and Laura at RO Literary have been invaluable.  Clear-sighted and professional, they tell me what I need to do, and offer to help and support where they can.  Determined, in my usual way, to be as self-sufficient as I can, I buy the domain name I can afford and launch myself headlong into a world in which there is a whole new language that I do not understand, in which I attempt to link the new domain name to the relevant pages on this existing blog.  So far, it’s not been going well.

When you buy a domain name, and either don’t want to or can’t afford to make the registration private, the first thing that will happen is that your inbox will get jammed up with spam offering website building services.  The second thing that will happen is that you will find out the thing you want to do (transfer your new domain to your existing platform) is not possible for 60 days.  It will take you a long time to work this out.  Then you will forget when the 60 day period was up and go through the whole process of finding out how to transfer your now less new domain to your existing one, only to find out you can’t do it for 6 more days.

As part of the process, you might, as I did, do the wrong thing: namely map your existing domain to your not-so-new one. This means no-one can read anything you wrote over the last 9 years for a day or two, until you figure out how to fix your mistake.  Fortunately, no money changed hands in erratum, although I came close.

As I said about 500 words ago, I used to think that I knew what I was doing more or less on social media.  Today, I put my hands up: I don’t.

Will I connect my blog to my new domain jessicamrussell.com?

Will I figure out if Instagram has a ‘retweet’ facility as Twitter does?

Will I ever be brave enough to drop my Facebook pseudonym that I adopted on police advice?

Who knows.

Will my book ever be published?  If RO Literary have anything to do with it – yes.

I am going to play my part as best I can, even if it’s a muddle for me in getting there, so watch this space and enjoy the ride.  And if you were hoping for an explanation of the title of this post – sorry.  I might be in the world of these new words for now, but I am never going to learn the lingo.

 

 

 

The Problems with the Parliamentary Labour Party

I wrote this post a year ago. Nothing much has changed. As with the EU, I have always seen that Jeremy Corbyn has his faults.  Like the EU, last year when it was time to vote, he was better than the alternative.

Unfortunately it seems that Angela Eagle has an even bigger fault: that of self-delusion. She thinks she can lead the party out of troubled times; she can’t even answer a question in a tv studio properly at the current moment.

Yes, Corbyn gives me the creeps sometimes, probably because he is actually fuming inside, as he makes a huge outward effort to appear quite reasonable, but emotionally incongruent as he is, I can’t ever forgive the PLP for letting the country down at this critical juncture.

I am well aware that the rebels in the PLP are positioning themselves for a general election, one they hope to win.  What Labour think they would do about Brexit beats me; they can’t even get behind JC for a year without pressing the self-destruct button.

And as for Angela Eagle’s future chances – if she wasn’t so deluded she would understand that she’s unlikely to keep her seat at a general election – let alone lead the Labour Party any time soon.

On wishes and horses

2015-07-24 10.14.08

As I see it.

My fingers have been hovering over the keyboard for nearly a week about this post because I don’t quite know what to make of it all.  Last night I remembered the Isaac Asimov quote – that writing was thinking through his fingers – so here goes.  Not quite sure what will come out…

  1. Moving left is not going backwards.  It’s moving left.
  2. Moving left does not mean that the centre is completely abandoned
  3. Actually, all this moving anywhere stuff is completely bogus (backwards, left and centre) because no-one is moving anywhere.  It’s like a heated argument over a map between a party of broke ass backpackers before they leave the hostel after a heavy night.  Direction is meaningless unless you put one foot in front of another first.
  4. Jeremy Corbyn is probably appealing to people because he is moving, at least somewhere.  The rest of the…

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#MarchforEurope – some thoughts

#Whingers #Whiners #TantrumThrowers

This is how the Marchers for Europe were described by the ‘critics’ quoted on the BBC website yesterday.  I don’t mind that especially.  It’s an inaccurate characterisation, of course, but most of everything to with Brexiting was inaccurate too, so no point expecting a leopard to change its spots.

Yesterday I saw no whinging, or tantrums.  I saw (for the most part) an apolitical, peaceful diverse group of individuals coming together with good humour.  I saw people stepping away from their devices, to stand together in technicoloured 3D reality and simply say

‘We Love EU’

Loving a union of diverse peoples is not to say we are uncritical of some of the political aspects of the union – who could not look on in abhorrent horror at the treatment of refugees and migrants around the Mediterranean over the last year?  Who could not flinch at the treatment that the Greeks have experienced as the Germans turned the screws on austerity?  Who could not wonder at the gravy train that people like Nigel Farage have lined their pockets with over the years, even as he uncoupled the carriages?

No, a desire for the values of unity is most certainly not a rubber stamp on anything that those who are appointed to govern decide to do.

Yesterday was an opportunity to express the values of unity in a positive way.  Yesterday was a chance to be with people who were not prepared to overlook the incipient xenophobia (if not racism) of the Leave campaign.  Yesterday was a place to go and be accepted – it was a time to demonstrate that we have more in common than what divides us.

I have two quotes I reach for, often:

We cannot step into the same river twice – Heraclitus

Every wall is a door – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I did not march for a new referendum (Heraclitus).  I did not march to turn the clock back.  I marched because I expect those people who are elected to represent the people in our democracy (because, despite the referendum we do not live in a direct democracy) to listen to the views of those who elected them going forward (Emerson).

That many of our elected representatives are too busy saving their own skins, or promoting their own careers is a disgraceful consequence of the referendum.  This will pass.  When the feasability of untangling the UK from hundreds and hundreds of EU laws made over decades (up to 20% of the civil service’s workload for up to 4 years at a cost of billions according to some reckonings) kicks in, so will a reality check – across all sides of the house.

The next general election will feature, I predict, an even angrier electorate than that which delivered the ‘unpredictable’ Brexit result.  This anger will be predicated on everything that made the electorate angry enough to believe Farage/Johson/Gove’s pack of lies plus more austerity, a depressed economy, just as many immigrants as ever before, and a recalcitrant EU governing body.

The UK will find itself to be a collector’s live butterfly, twisting on a pin of its own making.  The countries that make up our Disunited Kingdom strung over barbed wire fences like dead, short-sighted moles as a warning to others busy digging their own holes across Europe.

I will regret this.  I imagine so will those I marched with yesterday.  In our minds we tried to save the Brexiteers from themselves, but it is too late.

Like it or no, post-referendum, we are finally all (Scots, Northern Irish, Welsh, Gibraltarians, English) in it together, now.

Brexit Blues

Brexit Blues