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rezzeJ  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Wait, are we doing it wrong? [Potential major Hubski experiment]  ·  

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rezzeJ  ·  50 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 29, 2020  ·  

1754 days ago, I made a comment on here about how my music of the past seemed a lot more popular. And how each new track got fewer and fewer listeners. kleinbl00 responded by saying this:

Today, after 3 years of sending tracks across, I got the go ahead for an LP from a label I have great respect for. Needless to say, I am thrilled.

I remembered the above comment many times during those periods where I doubted myself. So thank you for that, kb.

rezzeJ  ·  535 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A brief primer on Brexit and trade  ·  

You say that my comment is elitist and derogatory in the way it treats adults like children. I’m not sure how it’s elitist or derogatory to claim that the average person struggling in relative poverty probably doesn’t care to read up on geopolitics. I don’t blame them for it or think it makes them worse people. I don’t think it makes them intrinsically stupid or somehow worse than me. It’s simply a observation. The whole point of it was to fight against your claim that not knowing about the world makes you a pathetic schoolchild.

I mean, forget anything about relative poverty, just consider the average person. Me included. I am just as guilty of the ignorance that I'm accusing others of. I said it to kb in a PM and I'll say it again: I voted 'Remain' because... the status-quo was pretty good for me. On the face of it, I saw no reason for things to change so drastically. But there was no conscious geopolitical or economical basis behind my vote. And that’s coming from someone with a masters degree (though it's in music, so go figure) living a cushy middle-class lifestyle. If the people who swung the referendum are assholes, then so am I. I am the same as them, just with a more advantageous upbringing.

Did you watch the ‘Anywhere But Westminster’ video? I realise that the link was wrong for a while, so I don’t blame you if you didn’t. That notwithstanding, all the leave voters who talk to the host never actually say anything about the EU, geopolitics, or trade. It’s all about how their hometown has gone to shit. How they are unemployed and can’t get a job. Or how they are employed but effectively take home less than the minimum wage.

You talk about the ‘social contract’ and the responsibility one has as a member of a society. Fundamentally I agree with you. But someone whose disability benefits have been denied and has to get their meals from a foodbank probably doesn’t care much for the ‘social contract’. Where’s their benefit from it?

It’s all there in the figures. Out of those polled, the most likely people to vote leave were:

    - Those with no formal education qualifications (78%) or whose highest qualifications are CSEs or O-levels (61%) [rezzeJ note: These are the old form of GCSEs which are exams that you take at 16.]

    - Those with an income of less than £1,200 per month (66%)

    - Those in social housing provided by a local authority (70%) or housing association (68%)

    - Those finding it difficult to manage financially (70%) or just about getting by (60%)

    - Those who believed Britain has got a lot worse in the last ten years (73%)

    - Those who think things have got worse for them rather than other people (76%)

    - Those who perceive themselves as working class (59%)

    - Those who see themselves as English rather than British (74%) or more English than British (62%)

This is particularly telling:

    The NatCen Panel post-Referendum survey asked what people thought the current priority for government should be… It is worth noting that Europe and the EU was significantly less likely to be selected overall than every issue other than unemployment, and less likely to be selected than education, the NHS, and immigration for those who voted Leave. This suggests that people were more focused on the domestic issues, rather than the detailed arguments about European relations… Around one in five, even though their underlying preference was to stay in the EU, voted Leave.

And this is reflected by an observation from the host in another of the ‘Anywhere but Westminster’ videos:

    [There’s] a hell of a lot of other people who thought that [Brexit] was something that happened 2 years ago. And, for very understandable reasons, they can’t quite fathom why it’s dragging on

That’s the overarching point here. In a lot of ways, the result of the referendum has nothing to do with the EU. A lot of voters didn’t really have a clue about the nature of our relationship with EU. This is highlighted by the fact that even though the true impact of their decision has come to the surface and Vote Leave's lies exposed during the process of trying to leave, most of them still would vote leave again.

So what they were voting for? To fix what they perceive as a broken country. They were voting for: “we’re in the shit over here and if you’re not going to help us then fuck you too.” People tried to raise their voice before through the general elections, but the FPTP system negated the impact of their votes. The referendum gave the voters a voice. A straight choice where safe seats, FPTP, and all that made no difference. So unfortunately, leaving the EU became collateral damage in a process of these people finally being able to raise their voice.

    ...participants who agreed that ‘politicians don’t listen to people like me’ were significantly more likely to vote Leave (58%) than those who did not (37%)

Yes, some people who voted leave are racist assholes. And others are well-informed or well-off people with selfish agendas. But by pointing out all the things I have in this post, I am not attempting to “ absolves the assholes of their responsibility for this mess”, nor am I saying that it is the darn unwashed masses fault we’ve ended up here. I am saying that we need to be certain that we're pointing the finger at the right people. This is ultimately the fault of government, not that of the people who swung the vote. By blaming the people, you are doing exactly what Pie describes as populism in his video: masking the political failings by blaming others.

Edit: I have a sneaking feeling that we're actually on the same page and that we've just misunderstood each other. Is that correct?

rezzeJ  ·  1410 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Planet Earth II  ·  

You will not be disappointed. There's some extraordinary footage, as you would expect. One of my favourites was a chase scene between newly born Iguanas and pack of snakes.

Here's a part of the scene. I hope this isn't blocked for you guys in the US.

rezzeJ  ·  1891 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Trying and failing vs listening and learning  ·  

'Sitting quiet' is boring only if you never taken the time to fully experience sitting quietly. There is more value and meaning to be found in considered silence than forced noise.

What is gained by reinforcing to everyone here that you do in fact exist?

rezzeJ  ·  2041 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Sometimes, When You Need A Break - Is An Artist Who Stops Creating Committing Emotional Suicide? [KJ]  ·  

An artist who stops creating, or who doesn't create, is no longer an artist, in my opinion. Just like someone who claims themselves to be a baker but never actually produces any baked good is not actually a baker. The word 'artist' implies that you are a currently practicing producer of artistic works.

But to the titular question, I don't necessarily think so. Like you say in the article, there's a plethora of reasons one might choose to stop producing art. Maybe they no longer find it the ideal medium in which to pour themselves and their emotional states into. Artistic expression is a great facilitator of emotional processing, but it's by no means the only kind. It's not like people who don't practice art in its many forms are emotionally dead. Everything in our lives is ephemeral. And of course, some people see art as a higher calling, some sort of eternal yearning for truth, something beyond themselves that they must get out, but I don't think that means it's the epitomic way for one to express themselves.

When I compose (my electronic stuff), I wouldn't say I even use it as medium for expressing or processing my emotions, not consciously anyway. It's usually more a case of a search for the ideal sound, the pinnacle of music that I'd like to hear. Most of the time I'm thinking in realm of what that idealised music sounds like - it's timbre, rhythm, it's style - rather than how I should best express 'x' emotion via sound. I'm trying to get the music I compose to make me feel something, anything. Sure, others and I can perceive an emotion in my music, and I'm sure what I compose is at times a reflection of my emotional state, but I don't use it as a tool for self-expression in that way. If I were to stop, I wouldn't feel like I'm committing emotional suicide, just that it's no longer providing what I desire from it. Perhaps that means I'm not being genuine or true to myself, perhaps that is what its missing, but that's how it is.

Honestly, I'm unsure of what I've written here, its a tad confused but I'm a generally confused. It's quite a tricky question under the surface and this is what came to my mind as I was reading this post.

rezzeJ  ·  2293 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Can you come up with the first line of a novel/story?  ·  

Your advice is valid and it's something I'll remember, but it's much harder to accept when presented arrogantly. I had to spend a minute or two resisting from defending some my attempts, even though I knew you were correct. I was tempted to ignore it at first. And I still felt the need to make this pointless response.

rezzeJ  ·  2324 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: On Jumping to Conclusions  ·  

Practicing mindfulness meditation has been great for me in regards to this. One recent revelation of mine was that I'd instinctively react to almost everything my brother said with a slight distaste (we've bee living together recently). When I became aware of this and inspected it further, I found that this was because I subtly thought I was better than him. I was never openly patronising or elitist - I'm quite contentious of my outward communication - but there was definitely a mental state there. Of course, I saw how silly and potentially damaging this was and on letting that assumption go our interaction has been all the better.

I think the key is giving yourself space from the thoughts and emotions of the moment. When you assume someone has attacked or inflicted some negativity against you, its very easy to get carried away with your instinctive reaction. Especially so on the internet, where there's a lot more room for mis-communication. Also, being mindful to explore potential perspectives other than your own. Assumptions mostly come from us imparting our own experience, whether it be lacking or greater, on to a subject that doesn't warrant/fit it.

rezzeJ  ·  2418 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Today's Writing Prompt: Every key on my ring lost its purpose  ·  

The Keys

Samuel eyed his rear-view mirror and touched his fingers upon the indicator. His periphery was pierced. His eyes darted back to the road. The opposing truck’s lights blinded him in the crimson dawn, but he could see the shredded tire. He took a breath that lasted a lifetime before slamming his foot on the break. It was too late. His partner in this twisted dance of death had pirouetted out in front of him. At once Samuel moved to spin the wheel. But he hesitated. He took one last moment to think. Reclaiming his breath, he reached into his coat pocket and braced.

The meeting of metal was over in an instant. Samuel was greeted by the silence as he returned to his life. Out here, the road overlooking the town was peaceful, especially on the weekend morning. What had seemed a desecrating explosion of such force made barely an impact on the calm of these hills. It was an inconsequential colliding of unfortunate atoms, though one can hardly call such molecular encounters 'unfortunate'.

Samuel, arisen and unhurt, stepped out of the car and pulled his hand from his jacket. He was clasping a ring of weathered keys. He steadied his hand and gazed upon the two remaining pristine lifelines. He felt a pang deep within, as he always did, when he observed one of the golden keys starting to degrade, the gold turning to chipped paint and rust. 'One key left'. His mind was filled with only this. Even as he looked upon the limp body of his companion in death, a boundless expanse of thoughts and emotions now subdued into eternity, he could focus on nothing else.

He wandered away from the wreck. The road led far into the countryside and he would accompany the Sun on its duty. He thumbed the one remaining key, clutching it tight, feeling its fleeting security. He’d used the first one back when he discovered them. He had been playing in the river near his childhood house. He and his brother often retreated there on the summer days, building dens and play-fighting under the watchful shade of the oak trees. He had dived down as to touch the bottom by the dare from his brother and became caught in the reeds. As his brain overcame his will and took in a breath of depths he had spotted the keys glinting on the bed. He grabbed for them as his life faded. Moments later, he had awoken, his life restored and his lungs thirst for air quenched. Racing for the top he saw one of the keys deteriorate, just as it had done only a few minutes ago. When he finally broke the surface, he felt the hot Sun bathing his face in its warming glow.

Samuel noticed it was getting hotter now and was just as thankful for the heat chasing away the morning cool. Lost in his musings he had only now started to take notice of his surroundings. The cars were out of sight and he was ambling down a gravel track. There was a brook beside him, flowing gently to its own soundtrack and he set down on its bank. He took shade under an oak tree. He always felt most secure around them. Again he eyed the keys. ‘What will be my purpose when all my keys have lost theirs?’. The third key retold its story about how it transformed him into a better man, turning him to life of helping others. The fourth, the most recently used, was quick to remind him that he had long since abandoned that for self-absorption. The tormenting thoughts were soon interrupted by slowing steps on gravel.

“Hello... Are you okay?” The stranger hesitated before taking a few more steps towards Samuel. “I noticed the blood on your sleeve, are you hurt?”

Nature rang out in the few moments of silence that followed, finally Samuel turned to the man.

“Yes. Yes I’m fine. I… I was in accident a mile or so up the road and I wandered here.”

The man now quickened his pace towards Samuel and kneeled down beside him. He looked him up and down and saw no scratches or wounds. He touched a hand upon Samuel’s shoulder.

“You’re a lucky one then; looks like you got off scot-free!"

The man smiled, and sat down with Samuel. It was a warming smile, one that filled him with content. But suddenly his joy faded.

“There wasn’t anyone else involved was there?”

“Yes,” Samuel took a breath and closed his eyes. “There was one other man. He’s dead.”

The man stared beyond Samuel for a while, running his hand down his face.

“It must have been quite a wreck then. It’s quite amazing that you’re okay, my friend.”

Samuel was sure he heard a little suspicion in the man’s voice. He looked a similar age to him but something seemed off. He noticed his eyes, the melded maze of blue and grey playing around the entrance to his soul. An empty entrance. Something listless in the man’s gaze.

“Wishing you were somewhere else?” The man chuckled. He had noticed Samuel clutching the keys. “I’m Adam, by the way.”

“Wishing I was someone else, Adam.” Samuel replied

“Now now, let’s not be talking like that,” Adam’s eyes narrowed slightly. “Wait! This other man, the poor soul, did you just leave him there?”

Samuel sunk his head in his hands and tried to forget. The screeching metal and emptiness of the dead man plagued his mind. Back in school, his favourite teacher once made a speech on life. On how they all had this one time on Earth to make their mark. Not to discover himself, but instead create the life he was gifted. But the keys had created nothing but stagnation. The last time he’d truly felt alive had been that day in class.

“You should go back to the accident, my friend.”

Adam had stood up and offered him his hand. With a groan Samuel accepted and they started the journey back to the wreck. Nearing the bend before the cars, Samuel turned to Adam.

“I want you to have this golden key, I have no use for it anymore”

“Well, thank you. Though I do not know what use it is to me either?” Adam looked perplexed but gracious.

“Make of it what you will, Adam”

As they turned the bend, Samuel’s face dropped.

“He was right there, I swear!” Samuel ran up to the mangled truck. “He was lifeless and covered in blood!” He inspected the remains and saw no signs of the victim. No blood or body. “Adam! Come here will you?”

As he rummaged around in the truck his eyes were caught by something familiar. Shrouded by a coat were a set of keys of chipped golden paint and rust. Five keys, just like his, except all these were deteriorated.

“Adam…?”

He turned around, but Adam had gone. Along with his last key.

rezzeJ  ·  2751 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Today's Writing Prompt: Where We Hide  ·  

'Second Guess'

  I sense you. 
  Stifled by repression
  Hidden

  But over-obsession threatens through
  Hindsight and prediction 
  Inner confliction
  Beckons you

  When exposed to the unknown
  You attempt to arise
  And as I try and pry the grasp you have inside
  I wonder whether you’re ever going to subside

  Are you just part of me or some separate entity?
  Meticulously analysing every possibility 
  It’s a stark contrast to the past where 
  decisions were made fast without your fragility.

  You’re overgrown, unwanted 
  The weed whose seed
  Is too deeply sown
  To simply curtail

  If your reason for existence is to offer resistance
  Then I refuse to bow at your insistence.
  Persistence is your key, but honestly
  I’m in control.