Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Bonfire night:

Where we burn a pretend human to celebrate a moment when the ruling class stopped some other members of the ruling class who had different religious leanings from blowing up a building. The gunpowder plotters weren't just thwarted, they were hunted down with the survivors of the chase being hung, drawn and quartered. But still might as well pick one of those rich Catholics who wanted a different flavour of monarch and make them into a symbol of how dissent will be punished. Let's tell children this is a story about bad people being thwarted or about how revolutions can't happen. And let's get people to gather together to pretend to burn a person. 

Not that Catholics weren't being persecuted by the state of course. The persecution of either side of the religious divide however could be argued to be down to which ruling class was winning: kings v popes. 

I like bonfires, don't get me wrong. I enjoy fireworks (in moderation so I'll be avoiding tonight's smoke filled semi warzone).  

But bonfire night spins and distorts history and celebrates state control. 

Remember, remember the 5th of November: torture, murder and lies. 

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Why I signed the petition against #SamaritansRadar

I think this app whilst well intentioned will do damage to people who are vulnerable in myriad ways. It will enable people to harass and bully other's more efficiently, it will cause people to feel guilty and responsible when they can't help their friends, it will cause discord and confusion between friends and acquaintances and it will mean that people will feel unsafe using social media and their voices will no longer be heard. As someone with mental health issues who loves people with mental health issues and wants people to be supported and that love and empathy and care are important I have signed this petition asking twitter and the Samaritans to pay attention to the large amount of feedback on this. (Feedback being given by people who use twitter and who have mental health issues, the very people this app is supposed to be for.) For some people this may be a life and death issue, vulnerable people who are already suicidal and then are exposed to abuse, and I don't want any of those lives lost.

(The reason I stress the love and empathy bit is not to say I'm a good person, trust me I'm under no illusions of that, or to say I'm unusual in thinking these things are important, it is to emphasise that the exact things the app thinks it is helping to spread are the things the system in practice lacks.)