15 06 2014

I’ve remained fairly quiet on the issue of internet twats when it comes to the indyref – partly because I learned a long time ago starving trolls is the best means of killing them, and partly because even mentioning the T word (troll not twat) seems to get the attention of every brainless moron displaying the extensive vocabulary of a Viz dictionary with most of the interesting pages ripped out. Who can really be arsed?

I won’t pretend there aren’t many, many abusive arseholes out there on both sides of the “debate” because I’m not going to patronise any poor bugger bored enough to read this. I’ve met my fair share of Yes and No cybertwats. I’ve been called a traitor by a member of the yes camp for not slavish licking Salmond the Hutts rotund belly every time he speaks, and I’ve been called much worse for daring to want more for the country I live in. Oddly none of it (yet) has focused on my ownership of breasts or vagina – maybe that’s why you’ve not seen my hatted head gracing the front page of the Daily Heil. I’m sure there’s time yet.

While many are quick to jump to the defence of the hundreds of thousands who don’t embark on offensive cybertwattery, there’s a huge, important issue we’re missing out. This is a huge part of Scottish culture. It happens in real life as often as it does online. It’s just much harder to document or prove when you can’t take a screenshot. I’ve been subjected to verbal abuse since the day I moved back to Scotland. This was long before indyref was ever mentioned. It’s like a cultural game for some. Insults are normalised and because abuse is ‘just having a laugh’, people struggle to see the problem. The issue here being based around the independence campaign, highlights that what was widely distributed, localised and aimed at fatties, ‘alts’/goths or people of colour, for example, has become politically focused and virtualised. I’ll be honest, being the recipient of street abuse has dropped for me personally since the growth social media. That’s not to say some imbecile with the intellectual capacity if an overripe banana hasn’t attempted to give me what for from the safety of their car, but as this anger has transferred online, it’s just not happening as much in real life.

I think we’re being awfully naive if we believe that cybertwats (regardless of stance) are a new thing and we can’t say anonymity is always a reason as some of these fuckwits don’t have the foresight to anonymise their interactions. The internet just gives those who have the ability to shout loudest to complain about it and give the mushy banana-brained twats access to big media names in a way they never had before. The goths of the country breathe a huge sigh of relief!

Talking of celebs, let’s not pretend that the whole Rowling abuse debacle wasn’t entirely stage managed either. I mean it was like a gift. She says just wait for the cybernat abuse to appear after highlighting her obvious support for No, and lo! just like an angel of the Lord before an unmarried, virgin, teen mum, it appears. Funnily enough, it just so happens she’s got a new book coming out too. A PR guru couldn’t have timed such a non-story and predictable response so well, or could they? Half of me wants to say, surely even noob trolls aren’t so daft as to fall for that invitation but I’ve wandered down sauchiehall street when there’s been a hint of sunshine. These fannies just don’t have a single brain cell between them. Poor bunnies don’t realised they’ve been played and it’s fuck all to do with indyref really, it’s just the PRs-PR machine spluttering into action.

Christ I can just see it now. Cybertwats will become the latest PR tool in the slimy arsenal of slimy arses, and they won’t have a clue. Twaty McTwatish will continue to drop the C-bomb cos he, or she, thinks it’s dead clever. Or funny. Or something. Truth is, they don’t know why they do it, they just do. Just as their father, mother and grandparents did before them. Like flies to shit they swarm and regurgitate unintelligible bullshit because that’s how it’s been for generations. Just sit in any Scottish pub and among the genuinely intelligent and engaged debate you’ll always find one or two who just cannot do it and turn to insult. They don’t understand it and unless they break free from the twatty habit they never will. These are the same people who’d rather end a pub debate with fists or jaggy bottles and call it a laugh the next day. At least online the fists are only pounding a keyboard.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with online or offline abuse of celebs or ordinary people, but someone somewhere has to recognise it’s entrenched in Scottish culture under the heading ‘banter’ and who wants to be the “miserable bastard” stopping “the lads having a laugh”? This problem isn’t restricted to the independence debate either and it won’t miraculously disappear on September 19th after the referendum. Something does need to be done about it both online and off but it’s bigger than the ‘online bantz’ suggests. The Scottish male’s (and females) acceptance of aggression and violence in every day life confuses me. I’ve asked people why they do or accept it and have been told “just cos” or “it’s always been that way”. I’m not claiming every scot is violent or even the majority of them, and I have seen an improvement in the past few decades but social media has given these people another outlet, this time using words and threats in writing, where it can be proven instead of in-street interaction.

How long before someone’s having a go at me for daring to say this? Well I’m allowed my opinion and to discuss my observations on my blog. Don’t like it? Scream into a pillow! I won’t be listening.


7 billion parasites, where do they all belong?

24 10 2011

I saw Comment is Free looking for people to discuss why they decided to have the number of children they have or don’t and while I could have responded in the hope that my piece over the many others submitted would be picked, I thought, who am I kidding? I’m not in *that* clique and anyway who needs a word count?

So I thought I’d be very honest here about my thoughts on having children.

I had never wanted children. I am lazy and selfish but on a deeper, possibly more laughable scale, I was all too aware of earths finite resources and a larger part than I cared to admit, of my child free choice, was down to the idea that there were already too many humans on this planet for it to cope with us all.

I looked around me at the society I lived in, and human civilisation as a whole, and I didn’t like what I saw. There was so much hate, murder, abuse, poverty, inequality and any number of additional negative qualifiers. The world was a horrible place and I felt I would hate to be responsible for bringing a human into such an environment.

When I hear about the 7 billionth human being due to be born any time in the next week, I think of the destruction of the planet, the changing climates, the resources one human being uses that contributes to planetary problems. I think of the growing hostilities between different cultures, religions, countries, ways of life…I still think that when I am gone, any children of mine will be left to put up with an increasingly more challenging existence due to the aftermath of behaviours of civilisations that went before them.

The love I knew I would feel for any offspring of mine would be so great, I would find it hard to deal with the guilt of the state of the planet that I and my ancestors left behind.

I know this sounds all hippy, floaty, tree huffy stuff but I don’t pretend to live a perfectly natural life. I have done my fair share of damage to the planet. I am as guilty as everyone else of creating this mess and I know I don’t do enough to rectify it. Hell, I won’t even pretend to be particularly good at recycling.

When nature decided that a contraceptive wasn’t to work for me this time, I had no decision to make. I was having a baby and that was that.

The love didn’t come instantly as some mothers claim, the instinct to protect and care was intense from the moment I found out I was pregnant. It was a strange reflexive behaviour,not something I had expected. I didn’t want children, I thought I was about to live my nightmare.

I was so wrong. I saw a different, smaller, microcosm of life. The bigger picture was no longer important. Ensuring my child was protected, loved and cared for was more than enough of a challenge for me. The world could wait.

As a result, my worries on leaving the planet to my relatives disappeared until recently. This latest discussion on the vast growth in population has caused old feelings to resurface. The fears I had for a fictional child now become fears for a very real child, a fictional grandchild, great-grandchild or great great grandchild. I am experiencing a very natural animal response to prolonging my genetic line but I am doing so with a mind to a time far greater ahead than my or even my daughter’s lifetime.

I dread to think of the state of the planet three or four hundred years from now. Will smog be so thick there is no natural light? Will nuclear leaks be something humans become so accustomed to in their craving for electricity, that noone cares about the dangers anymore? Will the middens cover such vast areas of the planet that they are considered scenery and the stench no longer noticeable? Will war and murder be so common place that watersheds no longer exist to protect the innocent? Will Earth go hurtling towards the sun wiping out all life on it?

It may sound ridiculous worrying about 1000 years in the future but someone’s got to do it.

I want to change the world. I want to stop the planets destruction. I’m just so busy being a mother and trying to survive in my time, to concentrate on 1000 years ahead.

That said, I am thinking about these issues as a reality and that’s a start. Most people don’t seem to care about tomorrow. Why should they? They won’t be here… But their grandchildren will, their great great great grandchildren will.

We have a responsibility to look after what we’ve got for them. Somehow I feel I’m fighting a losing battle by saying that. As people struggle so hard to survive in these difficult times, considering non existent relatives 1000 years from now seems a ridiculous activity.

I have said since I was a child, when I discovered the definition of parasite, that humans are parasites. We move into an area, destroy its resources then move on. But what happens when there’s nowhere to move to? We’re getting very close.

I have one child. I do not expect to have more. It certainly is not planned. One is more than enough for this planet and any potential wants of mine regarding another, really do come second to my desire to ensure my existing child, (and any children of hers should she choose to have any) has a comfortable, safe environment now and in the future.

Opinions on internet privacy sought

14 06 2011

I deliberately don’t read about breach of privacy on the internet as I have a particular dislike of the idea of being watched or followed by anyone. Not that I do anything of interest to anyone but I do value my right to privacy and have had it breached on more than one occasion by creepy stalker types. I hate the defence, if you have nothing to hide why should you object… in my case it’s because I don’t agree with the whole Big Brother is watching scenario. You don’t need to be guilty of misbehaviour or crime to feel that way and I know I’m not the only one who does.

That said, I get really disturbed by sick search terms that appear on my stats as Google sends visitors to my site. I’ve moaned quite a few times about it recently.

I wont list them here as I don’t want to draw more of the wrong attention to my site.

Needless to say, these visitors are usually looking for images of child abuse. They can’t be very bright if they insist on using Google and while I’ve read flamewars on Slashdot etc about how true abusers would never use such easy to trace search engines, the results on my site suggest otherwise.

The search terms are pretty specific about what they want to find and there is no doubting these “visitors” motives either. These are clearly not curious teens wanting to know they’re physically normal and judging by the poor spelling and explicit graphic nature, they’re not likely to be academic researchers either.

anyhoo, my point of asking was to find out the opinions of others on this issue:

Should there be stricter checks on certain keyword combinations by the likes of Google or does this impinge on basic privacy rights?

Should there ever be a point where a users right to privacy is over-ruled by the likes of Google, with the backing of the relevant legislative bodies, when considering particularly explicit and abusive search terms?

Would you extend this “Big Brother” behaviour to other offensive searches or just those seeking graphic info on abusing youngsters?

I’m quite torn on this. I can see why allowing policing of such search terms could be beneficial in the fight against child abuse but I also can see how it could go so dreadfully wrong or be surreptitiously extended to other arenas to suit political or religious agendas.

I don’t want to have to, and refuse to, censor the Grumpyhatlady & Chums content but I also don’t want to have to read such graphic and disturbing search terms on a daily basis either. Thankfully people arriving with offensive search terms never stay on the site.