A Journal of the Plague Year 2.0 Day 23

27th November 2020

I’ve decided to give up on the architecture forums I have spent literally 20 years lurking on. A couple of weeks ago someone posted on there about how giving up on Facebook was one of the best things he’d ever done for peace of mind and getting on with life. This coincided with an article, perhaps algorithmically sent my way, about how a new study revealed the same predication among Facebook users having a negative mood for their day after using it. I barely use social media anymore, but on dallying back again on FB have realised how much of a political debate everything is these days, beneath the blizzards of likes and pictures of babies and kittens, and glasses of wine by the sea. Statement after statement.

I realise this is the same addiction I get on the forums. That although the intent is well, architecture, one gets waylaid by what everyone else fucking thinks all the time and chirps to all and sundry to what they think everyone should think all the time. Everything is Twitter these days.

I first got onto the ‘architecture’ forums after being entranced about skyscrapers and buildings at a young age. Here finally I could get updates on the latest going up, big sidelines in all other types of new building, threads on classic styles and increasingly urban planning, cities, history, and humanity at large, from photos of people’s trips around the world to -of course -current events and political discourse. By 2008 one of these forums -back when strangers chatting was a big thing -became the largest in the world. All this also coincided with the rise of China, aka The Great Motherfuckerland, which sent me into frissons of delight at everything being built, but also apoplectic with the usual trolls, racism, underlying bias -a neverending battle in which I’ve spent a good chunk of my life working for free as a teacher/ journo/ hack writing online posts that are very much like articles. Such a fucking waste.

One such thread came up yesterday that’s sealed the deal. A retrospective look on if having been on the site has changed our outlook on any countries. Many mentioned their experiences on cutting fresh eyes through the usual BS media tropes, but others on how their experiences actually marred their outlook on certain countries, after running into obnoxious forumers.

There are the good and bad. I think we all know in our heart of hearts that you get nice people and nasty people in every culture, not to mention all the usual gamut of personality types. We only need to remember any of our school days, and the personalities, tribes, cliques and loners that inhabited them, then transpose that state to any schoolyard anywhere, everywhere. It’s just quite astounding that so many people don’t admit it to themselves, that the media keeps categorising and portraying peoples as one and the same while we lap it up -and with some still striving to reinforce the status quo. It’s weird we trust media interpretations more than our real life experiences.

Let me titillate you on the exotic, rare flowers I have encountered over the years. In Attenborough’s dulcit tones, just imagine these as the be all and end all of your classroom:

A: A self-confessed Brazilian sociopath living in the Netherlands, who is a university lecturer (pity those students), turning up at every disaster story to blame the country it befell. His pathological urge in life being to rid the world of all dangerous animals, of anything that can conceivably harm humans, with the rest living in zoos and farms. The Amazon needs to go too, for better land usage.

B: A lovely, sweet gentle Spanish guy who loves SE Asia. He also loves SE Asian girls -as in children. He includes shots of charming holidays in his hotel room with an assembled collection of local Cambodian 12 year olds, and comments in how he’s helping out the Khmer ‘dark one’ as they’re not considered pretty. Yes, he’s paying them for sex, and showing off he can.

C: A White supremacist from Finland, very nerdy, things changed after he went to SE Asia, picked up a girlfriend willing to see through his bullshit/ stupid enough to take him on, and left the forums with lingering shots of him with a whole woman on jungle piers in Thailand. Likely murdered her, or her him.

D: A breath of fresh air, an Australian ecologist defending everyone from the usual trolls with calm, empirical evidence and high EQ. Much of her days are spent out in the Australian bush, rescuing cute things and plants and doing a lot of science. Very anti-China, but canyer blame her?

E: Brazilian gay Stormfront member, very likely on the spectrum and undiagnosed. Wanted to travel but refused to set foot in a list of northern states in his own country due to a certain ratio of the Black population. Spent years dodging bans by politely arguing for endless pages in an underhand manner, changing the goalposts whenever anyone called him out on his racism. Final straw came after the Airmax crashes (where Boeing’s typos would send the aircraft into a nosedive whenever anyone tried to correct it). He spent weeks trying to convince everyone the planes had obviously gone down due to pilot error, the irrefutable logic being the pilots were dark skinned, the airlines were run by uncivilised darkies (just look at their history) and Boeing was from a White American, First World country with flushing toilets and everything. Admitted to doing a hit and run in his Mercedes -running because the woman on her bike he hit was Black and he would have been in danger.

F: Swedish scientist with a contrary view on everything ever, piping up with scientific data to obfuscate his every claim and sweeping statement. Will heckle from the sides constantly anything beautiful or proud, will plant his views in the middle of anything that is slightly weak. Now recently married to a Chinese woman that gives him carte blanche -excuse the pun -to be racist to Chinese, and criticise how backwards we all are. Runs Youtube channels on his travels, and judges cultures on how much litter he can spot, however tiny. Admits people don’t much like him in real life; likely spent school getting punched in the face.

G: Another breath of fresh air, Brit who takes everything with a sensible outlook, high EQ, and lots of humour, including on how fat and nerdy he looks, and how twee his hometown of Fungus-on-Neath is. How bo-ring! But my hero on certain dark nights.

H: Ugandan American, Muslim SJW constantly making enemies by having the gall to defend the Third World, and every stereotype thrown their way. Never backs down, fiercely intelligent and wise despite his youth, all with a certain calm. Yet works in finance with fast cars and faster women, before he remembers to be all inclusive.

I: Dubayan dude, stupidly rich, well travelled and sweet (lots of pics of his new family) and the most polite, big-hearted forumer going, despite enduring years of abuse for being Muslim and living in the UAE, thus with a shariah knife over his head, hating women, tacky tastes and a terrorist. He is an annoying vision to the hecklers of everything the opposite.

J: Pakistani forumer moved to Canada who insults everyone all the time, in every post. Toxic. Literally cannot help it. High powered business job.

K: Pakistani forumer who is his nemesis, good natured, funny, intelligent, high EQ. They spend days arguing. He also does time, like any Third Worlder with the gall to hang out in the West, arguing against the hate and assumptions, though liable to suddenly get sentimental and send likes to everyone’s replies.

L: Indian forumer who bickers with both of them over India-Pakistan. Every chance he gets.

M: Brazilian forumer who seems completely normal -until you find out his underhand views on White supremacy, how colonialism was a good thing and will only refer to African countries by their colonial names. Loves art deco.

N: British forumer who believes all things modern is good, hates how everyone hates brutalism. Also believes how all things old is bad, wants all old buildings destroyed in London, celebrates when one does get bulldozed and argues to the teeth why. Very, very likely on a spectrum.

O: Turkish gay moderator, who spends each post insulting people on a personal level, and laughing at their cultures in a knee-jerk reaction. Hates Muslims, despite living in an Islamic society, thus a poster boy for Islamophobes. Became a mod due to his love of cats, which he thinks is endearing enough to get away with his crazed power plays, or that sociopathy itself must be loveable quip of character.

P: Odious far righter, despite being a decidedly non-White, ‘browntown’ ethnic minority. Makes one think either he’s completely in denial, or that far right is a pathology. Or perhaps his riches has made him buy into the mindset in order to keep it, and those are who he hangs around with all day.

Q: French guy who only talks in riddles, including odes to how shit Islam is. Weird, annoying, thinks himself enigmatic when all he does is troll and everyone ignores him anyway.

R: American old guy, Trumpist, banned under several guises for his constant racism against Black people and Chinese. Lives in San Francisco, where he constantly has to warn his visitors about ‘The Blacks’. Spends every other post on the coming economic downfall of China. Completely backs Xi Jinping’s mistreatment of Muslims though as, well, he hates them more.

S: New Zealander who spends every other post hating on women. Tries to portray everything as a gender war, and how men are being attacked, and that women are base creatures. A one-issue poster driven by a pathological hatred. Likely an Incel (Involuntarily Celebate) activist.

T: American consultant in a hospital -Trumpist, supremacist, racist with rambling, drug-addled (or just plain weird) diatribes on his support of the local strip joints and prostitutes. Oh and how Mila Kunis is White enough to be hawt (no, her East European ancestry has no thread of Judaism no, he’d made sure of it on Stormfront). And wants to find where she lives and how he’d be able to show her a good time as an older man wining and dining her, and she’d be afrenzy at his compliments and displays of wealth (because she can’t have that right?) and we’d all be jealous ha! Took a week off work during the election to ‘drink our tears’ over the coming Trump win.

U: Loveliest, inclusive, accepting Brazilian woman, of Filipino heritage. Very kind to all, and the ambassador’s wife at the ball, pretty much everyone loves her to bits. Don’t think she actually contributes anything on urban discussions come to think of it, she just floats around being gentle and supportive.

V: Filipino guy who posts endless articles on the Philippines at every drop of a panama hat, as we are of course all dying to know the detailed history of the last Royal Family of Luzon when talking about mass transit sytems. Is obsessed by how much Spanish lineage, history and culture there is in every aspect of the country, and trying very, very hard to convince everyone it is a White country of mestizos, and thus highly cultured, respectable and relevant. Is under the impression we walk around all day thinking about the Philippines.

W: Hong Kong supernerd who has written over 240,000 posts on every wheedling aspect of Chinese urban projects -and made any development in the region disappear under an avalanche of smalltown newstories. On councils appointing a new secretary, the wonders of legislature by-law changes in Fuzhou, new rubbish collection routines, tax bracket amendments, that someone planted a tree, a sewage pipe got a new turn and that big vote on whether a stretch of highway to Shitzou village should be expanded. Single-handedly vanquished all forum visitors to the region with adversely the most development. Very much on the spectrum.

X: American old guy, became a mod. Very wise and fair as a moderator, but when he writes his own posts the stylus scratch. ‘Applauds’ whenever a Black person is unlawfully killed (even over a photo of the grieving mother at a funeral), defends every cop or perpetrator no matter what, constantly posting crime figures and correlations to the ethnic minorities. Went doolally during BLM.

Y: Romanian American leftie campaigner, pretty aggressive but never gets banned, will argue endlessly over any little thing and peppers it all with insults, sweeping accusations or dismissals, and sudden turns to the Right. Is on about the 300th page of coronavirus and why it is a scam. I suspect someone who’s only there to argue, regardless of the subject.

Z: Literally a Russian bot, who will send blizzards of likes to literally hundreds of posts from a decade ago, to people asking a question about signs in Moldavian, or personal messages in an inbox. Then will snap out of it and be real again. We reckon a mix of the two -quite a nice person when the human takes over.

OK, I’ll stop there. I could go on for days, literally. But you get the gist -this is just a damn architecture forum. And you can imagine the comments that are hard to ignore day in day out. Your fingers itching for the keyboard as someone celebrates the Amazon burning, or how it’s Haiti’s fault 300,000 just died in an earthquake (due to them being the first country created when slaves fought off their masters).

But overall, I think in any tranche of people you have to look out for elements that mar the rest, and that a huge amount of society has been set up to handle just this toxic minority, sometimes negatively:

1. sociopaths/ psychopaths -the toxic avengers, manipulative, enjoying the ‘power’ over insulting others, cannot help but prey on the weak or signs of weakness -say, put up a story on Africa and wait for them to arrive. Also why people from Developing countries will hesitate to portray their countries negatively in the world forums, as it attracts these usual commentators like flies to shit. The ones who can’t help but insult on literally every post, anywhere, even if you are talking about the weather.

2. small cock syndrome -people with low worth/ unheard who want to take down others, to make themselves feel better. Bullies. Or just plain, everyday jealousy.

3. pathologically on a spectrum (find it hard to understand others viewpoints or feelings unless heavily pointed out). This isn’t their fault, it’s not out of animosity and it’s part of our social contract to accommodate and educate them.

4. Personal prejudice -mostly talking about racists on here, many of whom can be tied to all of the above. Or normal people but buying into media tropes/ a bad personal experience, due to a lack of critical thinking.

In short these kinds of people or comments aren’t a norm among societies. Yet they are so vocal they start to dominate despite being the minority. Classic Dunning-Kruger effect, in which those with low EQ shout about their ignorance and are proud of it, while those with high EQ politely listen and give them their batshit crazy platform.

I think at the end of the day, just get the fuck away from it all, regardless. Hell is other people. We feed them by listening, and as a great woman said, when one argues with an idiot, no one can tell you apart. Society has always been an exercise in granting trolls the attention they crave, thus giving them the power. Tell a lie often enough and it becomes a truth.

Have I just lost? Am I not the great idiot alongside?

Who cares. Fuckem.

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A Journal of the Plague Year 2.0 Day 8

12th November 2020

Met a friend for a bevy today, socially distanced though not distant, parked on a bench in the swanky Coal Yards development of Kings Cross. Remember when it was the ginormous Bagleys nightclub where I’d spend many a schoolboy weekender dazed and confused, a narrow, booming warehouse of four dancefloors with a capacity of 1,000 punters each, who’d greet the sun a wasteland of marble eyes, and tongue chewing.

A lazer fantabulosa inside but grim wreck of a joint beyond -bombsite of Victorian industry, skagheads and prossies, though today it’s morphed into a civilised parade of designer outlets, mixed with overpriced food (sarnies starting at £8.50) and coffee, so much coffee. The roof dutifully lifts off halfway and meets a neighbouring canopy like two giant slugs getting it on in the low light. Now everywhere closed of course, with the restaurant kitchens glowing like lanterns in prep for the dinner delivery shift, or training attentive, be-hatted staff behind the glass. How it’s changed.

We watched the preppy locals swarm out for the school run, laughing at a seriously awkward moment when a lone 7 year old, perhaps with needs, parked her bike and sprawled herself across the bench, slowly nuzzling into a complete stranger from behind. Occasionally staring up at him. He was frozen in terror and pretending none of it was happening, while we whispered Heeeyyy Daaaadddy between ourselves. I know it was wrong, poor guy, but exquisite.

Ah, Britain, how I’ve missed you.

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But all in all we spent a good few hours over some cans of cider, and an unctuous set of kebabs, catching up, reminiscing old times, decrying the days of our lives and talking about whether we were all just sociopaths -a common worry to many but unwarranted, because if you were such a nutter you wouldn’t be worrying about it. You’d just pathologically be it. Also, if a tree falls in a forest, does it make a noise? If a sociopath doesn’t act out, and abides by our society’s rules, are they a sociopath?

I think we all can be on that spectrum, knowing full well how to lie, steal, beg, borrow, cadge and sleep our way to the top -if we need, or just plain decide to. We know how to lie convincingly, portray a mask, inveigle our way through the politics and backstab others from confided-in harbours of safety, or subtlety. We know the full gamut of hatred, jealousy and tactics in competition. We do not really applaud the success of others, but feel it as a robbing of our own corpus behind the smile. But it’s one thing to think it, possibly even feel it, and another to do it.

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And even if one does do it, it’s one thing to carry it out -then question yourself after in a private moment -another to do it without a second thought, ever. Thus the question is: if someone acts like a sociopath, regardless of the knot that is the soul -are they still a sociopath? Another more stark, easier question to ask is, do you motherfucker, enjoy destroying other’s lives? Do you find it hard to refrain when given the chance? Do you understand love?

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Anyhoo, there is a test out there, among many, and a lot of entirely normal, nice folk find they score on the spectrum even if they don’t enjoy a round of social sabotage. It appears the hangover from our predatory days (you only need to look at the behaviour of cats and why they’re bastards), when we exploited the weak or you know, chased them down to rip their throats out, still lingers in much of the population.

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Also in our social set up: trained for years through hierarchy the minute we venture a schoolyard that first time, then followed up with a lifetime of standard business practice that’s an aria to managing exploitation for a bottom line -notably, yourself. The fact by the time you’re hitting the higher Finance end those well on the spectrum are as high as 1 in 7 (rather than 1 in 200). And from personal experience, via a stint in the echelons of a City skyscraper -corridors echoing with evil and connivance, cackling over child sacrifice -I’ve definitely seen it. Where narcissism nurtured such a belief in their capabilities they’d laughably hold meetings to declare their ignorance and openly backstab those who were missing, showing the stereotype so true.

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All these millennia where we’ve staked out territories and discovered ownership has had a staining effect, imbedded down the line. Where it became duty to kill all strangers (to protect one’s own), to stamp out difference (lest it infect a new norm), to rid one’s newborns of deficiencies (lest they pass onto new generations), to maintain the hierarchy or die on the dagger, or keep up the pretence at all costs. The triumvirate of self preservation, manipulation and upkeep is what instills such people into power and their endearing values into a culture.

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We still see it in our less regulated niceties today, from media tropes to the freedom/ anonymity of the net inviting every opinion, consensus and darkness of thought. Look at the toxic rain of comments, insults and bickering on just about anything, especially before they got everyone to register names or identities. We like to think we are good people, but what will we, can we do when not even God is watching, and never will?

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This is the result of nature and nurture combined, whereby for too long the psychopathic and sycophantic in league have created many a cultural trait. Control, ambition, power, judgmentalism -rising through the ranks to instill their ways -the Trump administration is a good example of enablers lighting the way for self serving buffoons. Who get to wield out their fantasies over the cultish following they engender among the easily led and selfish -hundreds of millions strong.

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Anyhoo, we surmised we weren’t sociopaths in the end, I was way too empathic (it’s almost a problem) despite knowing full well how to be an unhinged, murderous bastard when cornered, B too much of a romantic despite putting himself first. And the fact we’re almost pathologically nice guys.

Well, we would say that if we were nutters.

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But then a fat bloke plonked himself down, exposing his builder’s arse to the extent my mate took a pic, to share with his loved ones. We surmised the man couldn’t feel the bite of the cold due to it being so furry. I also think alcohol numbs the front part of the brain, the one associated with critical thinking and empathy. Given the fact he would likely have lamped us one, or been very ahem, butt-hurt, I wonder if we would have tried to throw chips into it otherwise. I like to think I wouldn’t want to hurt the unfortunate fella’s feelings, but then I am writing about him to all and sundry on a public forum.

But man, you shoulda seen it, like pumpkins in a sack.

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So, right then.

Now, honest to god, I don’t know whether I should mention the more sobering note hereon. To sign off with? To break the narrative -or add to it?

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Anyhoo, fun and games aside, lovely day we’re having and all that, the shadows lengthen, reminding us of a monolith that can’t be ignored, not really. Time to go in again.

I’ll sign off, yeah – ignore the rest. I mean, who really cares any more?

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A Journal of the Plague Year Day 69

Wednesday 27th May 2020

I have just witnessed one of the most disturbing things caught on camera. The slow death of a person, pleading for help, occasionally screaming. At some stage he calls out for his dead mother.

He is being kneeled on the neck by a sociopath till suffocated and wets himself, while people all around plead for the man to get off. After the victim passes out the perpetrator continues, in broad daylight, in full eyes of the law as they tell him he’s unconscious, not moving, not breathing, with blood from his nose. Another assailant keeps watch, standing ground against the gathering, both being armed.

The onlookers ask him to just check for a pulse, which the men ignore, along with the fact they are being filmed the entire time, and their badge numbers recorded and still they do not budge. It is the arrogance of killing, of complete power.

How dangerous can an unarmed man be, handcuffed behind, another man on his back, another on his neck for 8 minutes and passed out, no longer moving?

After the killing, with the lifeless body hauled onto an ambulance, the police officer gets off, head held high as the crowd yell he just killed a man. He briefly talks to the ambulance workers, another police officer, then calmly gets into the squad car and drives off without another glance.

George Floyd wasn’t even formally charged. Reports of a fake banknote had sent the police down, who then claim he got belligerent, that when they arrested him they then noticed he was in need of medical aid. From the video that does appear to be true – because two police officers are sitting on him and slowly suffocating him.

He called out that he couldn’t breathe, an echo of the 2014 case of Eric Garner, another unarmed Black man arrested for illegally selling single cigarettes in NYC, and choked to death in an arm hold, who said the same words eleven times as he was suddenly slammed to the ground by several police officers. In that instance no one was ever prosecuted, not even for manslaughter, and the one officer using the illegal hold only sacked four years later.

George Floyd also asked them: ‘Please don’t kill me’. What were his thoughts as he could hear the people pleading, and it being ignored? No longer able to move, just lying there. This is what being buried alive is like, as people watch helplessly. The police and news have subsequently reported he died shortly after arrival in hospital, the video shows him dying in front of our eyes, or at the very least inculcating everything that led to his death.

*edit*^ the emergency crew transcript has since shown that when they turned up his body was pulseless and not breathing. He was declared dead on arrival at the hospital. In short George Floyd is killed on screen, in real time.

************WARNING ******* DISTURBING VIEWING **************

Jacob Frey, the Mayor of Minneapolis where the killing took place, was visibly moved. He mentioned: “Being Black in America should not be a death sentence.” It comes fast on the heels of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, shotgunned three times as he was jogging, and condemned to death for peeking into a house under construction -cameras record several visits that day by passersby, though all were White and thus did not incur the tresspass of the local Neighbourhood Lynchmob, armed with guns and pickups.

Protests have taken over Minneapolis, one of America’s most progressive and livable cities on par with the Nordic qualities and equalities of life. Outside the house of the officer in question, now sacked, a small crowd gathered, peaceful, with the local head of police joining them. They blocked all food deliveries being sent to the property.

A larger gathering (expanded by social distancing) met at the crossroads where George Floyd died then marched to the 3rd Precinct where the officers are stationed. Police confronted the so-far peaceful march with tear gas and foaming bullets (used to identify people after), which was replied with a barrage of plastic water bottles anyone was carrying. As dusk came harder missiles began to be thrown, police vehicles spray painted and in the streets running battles with vigilantes.

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Four Minneapolis police officers fired after man dies in police custody

'I Can't Breathe' Protest Held After Man Dies In Police Custody In Minneapolis

There is something very wrong with our world when an innocent man can be murdered in public, for a horror-stricken world to watch. How many times has this happened before? Before the advent of cameras and filming on our phones? That still happens when crowds are not around to see it? The fact that when police had to adopt body cameras themselves, police complaints fell by 93%, showing they not only protected the police but the public from them.

George Floyd, remember his name.

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A Journal of the Plague Year Day 58

Friday 15th May 2020

Slept a good night, woke at 8 then did some scrolling. Slept again at 10, then up for lunch, of a biscuit and cereal. The giant chocolate chip cookie I treated myself to the other day in Lidl has bitten back, so sweet as to be near inedible. Entered a sugar coma till 6pm.

In short have slept for 15hrs out of 24. Can’t be good. They say you need 8-10hrs a night for healthy brainwaves, which is come on, ludicrous with our modern lifestyles. -Working well past our recompense and any accrued efficiency, with that sesh on Netflix our only downtime (which is why we’re so addicted). Mine recently’s been about 5, an hour or two less than normal.

Will casually namedrop this while pretending to look for a spoon:

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The day’s been a write-off. But been good to have time with A for a change, in bed and watching shite together on phone or tablet. Picking up the pieces, slowly.

Been witnessing especially lurid dreams recently, as have all of us. Perhaps there’s something in the air, or we’re all hitting a collective stage of isolation-spazz endemic to humans. I have recently, in the land of nod:

  • chased some old Karen lady out a library after she hit A with a handbag, she tried to escape in a getaway car, hissed at her that she was a cunt
  • seen the sunlight falling on A‘s face in the dark, woke up crying
  • getting caught watching porn, can’t remember who by
  • something about a painting, some woman, yelled in my sleep that she was a cunt too
  • midway in a dream a big thunder strike that woke me up, the sound equating to an explosion of colours, like a Holi fest. Turned out it was something/ someone falling over in the flat above. Am increasingly convincing myself dreams are another dimension beyond our understanding of 3D sight and timescale. Like a feeling of presence, form and being, inhabiting the space.

Okay, slightly worrying the repeat of calling women the C-word (though Ms Woolf does urge us to claim the word back). Perhaps misogyny embedded and rising to the fore, or as they say, the subconscious trying to tell you something you’ve not heeded, even if it is that you left the fridge door open. I hope it’s that some woman shoplifted from my basket, rather than schizoid serial killering. Or too much Ricky Gervais recently and his love of the word, or anything really that’s crossing the boundary. I just remember being outraged each time.

Was watching some podcasts on weeerk motivation -overcoming procrastination (do the hardest part first), pefectionism (a form of self-sabotage, don’t set your expectations so high), and selling yourself (and not being guilty/ fake/ grasping about it). Can’t remember who it was but it was nicely framed by an author, so she had several nice quips about the book business, albeit from too charmed a position. Namedropping one really should contact movers in the biz, or ask other successful writers to run things past, which to your average hack is far too readily immersive.

On that subject, didn’t mean to leave this lying around.

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Made some fajitas, substituting the chicken with Quorn chunks. The tortillas were too bready and a bit like eating a rubber-paper mix, the ‘meat’ flavourless other than the BBQ coating, the packet sauce way too sweet, sour and pungent. Adding lime and raw red onion to it just created a chemical attack. Gawd, supermarket packet food. AVOID.

Never had a good Mexican in the UK, every time they stimp on the chilli, (the WASP repackaging) which is vital to the flavour balance. Also over a hundred ingredients traditionally go into your average fajita, from the spice mix to the dough to the guacamole and sauces, many of which get dismissed. It’s one of the reasons why it was the first of only two cuisines UNESCO listed as world heritage status (the other being pan-Mediterranean). Peeps from the Americas often complain about the starchy, bland substitutes over this side of the pond and I’m inclined to agree without ever having tried the real thing. Even in Mexican run establishments it’s all watered down or catering to local tastes as they lose custom otherwise, the old adage for Asian food the spectrum over, notably Chinese that comes in over-sweet, gloopy sauces unrecognisable in the homeland.

 

In other news the UK death toll from C-19 is lowering, albeit still 400-500 daily. A curious thing happens each week, the numbers fall encouragingly with each new day, hitting a nadir by weekend -then shooting back up again Monday.

It remains to be seen when we open up, how much it will again rise. As reminder, the UK has the second highest amount of deaths yet recorded, behind the US, at over 34,000 and 240,000 cases. Our strain appears deadlier than Italy’s.

It’s amazing how we’re used to it now, it barely registers anymore. We are perhaps too engrossed in our domestic lives, the screen that is our inlet now tiresome from the same single note, with a new normal at play. Doom! Gloom! So now we’re knowingly ranking our small dramas, whims and recipe suggestions ahead of the fate of the world, even when we’re the ones so threatened. I’m sure it’s something we all do as per norm, but so brazen and acceptable these days it’s how a sociopath must live. The other option? Lighting a tealight in vigil? Taking to the barricades?

Rather just soldiering on, defeatist to all that shit hitting the fan, from the protests against lockdown to the casual racism, the ineptitude of governments to the people fallen by the wayside, or willingly sacrificed to it.   Worra buncha Cunts.

Oops.

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Meanwhile: Has Jeff Bezos Become a Trillionaire During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

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A Journal of the Plague Year Day 41

Monday 27th April 2020

Literally today has been the worst.

WordPress is shit.

WordPress is shit.

WordPress is shit.

WordPress is shit.

WordPress is shit.

Please recite this mantra with me. Do not under any circumstances take up WordPress to set up any form of anything ever, use Wix, even if it is denizen of world’s most annoying ad of the year 2018, 2019 and 2020. Wordprick is classically designed by the autistic for the autistic, believing everything is linear, and nothing intuitive.

It celebrates the most long-winded, roundabout way to do things, coupled with a new ‘block’ party format to write in (you’ll need to download a wrangley spacing tool/ entire new layout ‘theme’ if you wanna add space between paragraphs, as opposed to just pressing return), hoisted onto you with a pop-up questioning if you wanna join at every click, then defaulting into it anyway (and still asking, like a needy neurotic). Oh and it’s absolutely riddled with bugs -I really fucking wish they’d sort this crap out before release.

Computer programmers should never, ever be allowed into command positions associated with interfacing, or people. They’ve created essentially what is a typewriter that fights you.

Everything so slow I thought it the browser and even downloaded Chrome, thus having to do the rigmarole of trying to stop them syncing everything to make you another Google Sim, your every interaction requiring their devices. If they could they’d make you download their apps every time you needed a shit. Also not only do they rummage through your data and have a laugh with all their besties, but use your comp’s brainage space too when you’re not looking. And their default search engine (practically impossible to opt out) is Yahoo.

Now who in God’s shitting earth willingly goes to Yahoo these days?? A vintage has-been of a company that sells nothing (but your browsing habits) and relies on lost visitors to waylay. Like when you accidentally find yourself in the women’s lingerie section at the dept store -that hadta be one hell of a kickback to get Chrome in bed with it, possibly employing strippers, vodka and secret cams.

It reminds me of the time Ask Jeeves became the default search engine for Windows 7, in a last ditch attempt to inveigle netizens to fight off their looming insolvency. All I can say is Jeeves must’ve been royally bummed, at every angle under the desk to land that honeypot. Imagine if you will his doughy face mewling, being pressed into a creaking, wooden corner like a transportation victim. Hit repeatedly on that shiny pate with a stapler. Yes Jeeves, serve your master.

Twat

So the other option is Firefox, legendary wastage of so much customisation it’s MO is to literally lurch from crisis to crisis, year on year, and sends updates every 6hrs because Shazza Naylor in Felixstowe just typed in ‘Internet’ on the internet after turning her landing page pink, thus starting a fire in their HQ.

And don’t even get me started on Edge, in the best tradition of it’s earlier namesake, Explorer which it likes to pretend never happened. As always a year or three behind everyone else, like that kid at school smelling of wee and sporting clothes circa 15 years old (never so much as to be pleasingly retro), as dressed by his highly embarrassing Mum. Who in turn received her first mobile phone last week, and still uses the post office religiously as bank, wireless, shopping and community centre. I’ve heard if you have a problem you’ll need to fax them, and they only accept cheques.

Fuckem, the three horsemen of the Apocashit. I’m talking about browsers btw, they’re differing portals to the internet that try and fuck you on the way in.

WordPress was still slow AF, perhaps to do with our Virgin router, an endless source of intrigue, dinnerparty conversation, overcharging and wall punching throughout the year. J keeps saying he’ll replace it. It’s been erratic and patchy to say the least, like a patchouli-scented Garbage Patch Kid named Patch patching a patchwork blanket in a cabbage patch. The 5G no longer working and people across the country complaining even 2G’s down, sometimes for days.

Serves Branson right, whose planes are now being impounded round the world as he tries to shirk airport fees. Maybe he can sell tickets to his damned island lair his family and other animals live out on in the tax-dodging Caribbean.

When trying to update a webpage WordPress will helpfully flip it so that you are occasionally updating a different one, to keep you on your toes. When editing a sentence it will jump to the bottom each time forcing you to write blind. After editing, a pop up will appear for a second (you sometimes have to chase it round the screen as it flashes mirage-like in and out), which if you miss means you will forever be stranded on the editing page and have to log out again. It also puts an immovable date on any banner, which made me:

1. Delete all the dates I’d already written in, at the start of each of 40 posts.

2. Then realised the dates didn’t correspond, and had to correct them one by fucking one. And there’s no overall layout, you just have to click and memorise.

3. Then realised they disappeared again when scrolling from the Home Page.

4. So had to write them in again, using the wonderful editor tool throughout, and it’s love of playing counter-intuitive games, and lying.

Oh and I found out I missed a day on the blog, after the detective work corresponding dates and publishing days. Along with the 3 episodes of the diary I’ve just written it’s taken me 14 hours so far without meal or break. May the God-of-All-Things-Just infect the WordPress team with Twat Polka (Riverdance with vogueing) and make them do a 14 stage choreography for every step they intend to take for the rest of their lives. And if they get it wrong they have to start back from their little wankernomic office chairs again. Bunch of pandafucks. Based in a distant campus in San Francisco -says it all.

Half the fucking pictures across the website also need resizing now they’ve made a new resizing tool (and you’ll have to do it twice as the first time has no effect). Pure fuckery, how an automated update forces you to rework everything you’ve ever done, to compensate for their spack-handed bullshit. It is the classic of companies starting to get too big for their boots, and trying out a good arse-kick: once they have you as loyal within the barrel, they make you do the work so they don’t have to.

When you update something, putting in a blizzard of extra steps, relying on pop ups that spend most of their time on a fag break or hiding, and mislaying buttons (and linking entire pathways via them), then converting all labeling into hieroglyphs it’s not really an update is it? It’s not really user-‘friendly’. Despite what they sold it as in the spotless white boardroom, the kind where people whoop and think it’s cool they get to eat cronuts. I reckon it just makes it a bit easier for the spectrum-courting programmers, having less of a seizure every time someone puts an icon out of order.

Or maybe just the usual corporate affair: the gurning sociopath, Type A legs askew in the swivel chair, having sold it to the witless and fawning and now they just have to keep ploughing at it two years later. Rather than admit it’s a dead end pile of crap shitting on the brand that benefitted only one person: Fuckfeatures there who originally billed them for the idea. Card-carrying members of the Wankstain Society the lot of em.

Tried to tessellate two pictures today -an all-day family affair that’s proven it’s less challenging, and faster to climb K2.

I mean seriously, am I trapped in a random universe here? Has the Matrix gone bonkers and voodoo somehow gotten jiggy with Cyberdine Systems? Somebody please fucking unplug me, let the world burn.

Nothing is working anymore. The front door interminably rattles every 15 seconds in a mystery draught (which stops if you lock the top, but then you can’t reopen it again as the key gets stuck), the sink in the bathroom is blocked no matter what I try and do with it (plungers, ice-cream scoops, cucumbers), and I’m trying to dye my hair still (now progressed into lemon, possibly custard).

May just fucking go ape, and start shooting people I think look Californian from the top of the tower block, their beads and machiattos flying. It’s that kinda day, where writing isn’t manifesto enough.

Hell is other people. The kind who describe themselves as ‘bubbly’ in dating apps but actually means they’re loud, obnoxious and competitive sociopaths. And their enablers, cowed or cuddled by errant, genetically enhanced stupidity. This is everything that’s wrong with the world, from doorbells that don’t work to you know, war.

Stupid fucking cunts.

s

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A Journal of the Plague Year Day 40

Sunday 26th April 2020

Donald Trump is a sociopath.

The more one looks at his behaviour, the classic signs of a Narcissistic Personality Disorder appear.

  1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance.
  2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
  3. Believes himself ‘special’ and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with other special or high-status people /institutions.
  4. Requires excessive admiration, regularly fishing for compliments, and highly susceptible to flattery.
  5. Has a sense of entitlement.
  6. Is interpersonally exploitative.
  7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling or unable to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
  8. Is often envious of others or believes them envious in return.
  9. Shows arrogant, haughty behavior or attitudes.
  10. Highly reactive to criticism and can be inordinately self-righteous or defensive, often reacting to contrary viewpoints with anger or rage.

Outta the way ProMo of Monto-nogo!

^That btw is also the 101 on standard business practice. Think about it: does a business apologise for bad customer service because it’s genuinely sorry, or a ploy to keep you spending, and unraging on Twitter? Does it give discounts/ deals because it genuinely wants to benefit you, by imparting a loss in profits? Does it ever cut costs from the top to bottom? And does its pay structure reflect this? Does it ever, ever give back to the customer if getting nothing back?

For that would be bad business sense -the lowest common denominator, the shareholder value, the constant demands for growth, and the pyramid schemes for those at the top they soon start to resemble, well until the next financial fall-out. They say psychopaths are 1 in 200, or 1 in 60 for those on the spectrum (so about 60 of the nutters running amok on your regular cruise ship). They tend towards positions such as doctors, surgeons, lawyers, the clergy and business. By the time you’re hitting higher finance management they say it’s as high as 1 in 7.

Trump appears somewhere between textbook sociopathy and narcissism. Tom Schwartz, the ghost author of his bestselling biography, The Art of the Deal, said if given a second chance he’d rename it The Sociopath.

Before all this applied to the dictators and aristocracy, then banking, then multinationals, the military-industrial complex, and now the US government. And it’s impossible to negotiate with this kernel of supporters behind the grand plan, not just for their vastly vested interests, but their condition. Everyone it’s said ‘has their heart in the right place’ -not so much this cabal. And neither is it them we should blame -they are after all pathologically inclined to behave as they do, and for most part cannot help it.

What we should be looking at are the enablers, and blimmin eck, what an army that is. The droves of downvoters, upvoters, voters, rallyists, tweeters, meme-makers and story sharers (which of course we are as guilty of in our own camp).

Thus Trump appeals to those on the spectrum, and frankly, the stupid, taken in by their visions.

What is interesting is those stricken with sociopathy, psychopathy and narcissism, are deficient in the same part of the brain as those who are a bit shit in critical thinking -the frontal lobe responsible for reasoning, decision-making, empathy and regulating emotion.

There was a time when right wing politics attracted normal people (having friends n everything!), who maybe preferred a different tax structure (notably paying less) or a different policy on say dentistry funding, park management, the way their local rep behaved, or simply envisaged a different approach to help others. Not so much now.

One can see as late as the 1980s the traditionally Republican heartlands today of the southern States and prairielands were openly voting for the Democrats. In short, sides were interchangeable, and not as partisan and set into stone as it is today, the age of the algorithm, social media and fake news.

1984 election results – blue centre left, red centre right. Heartlands such as Texas, Kansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Lousiana, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, the Carolinas, the Dakotas and Virginias, all voting Democrat:

Today is another story entirely. Donald Trump’s 2016 win:

A word of warning: this does not mean all those who voted for Trump that year still currently believe in him, nor that they aren’t just voting for their ruralised or industrial sector interests as promised. Also despite the large blanketing of Trumpian red, more people actually voted for Clinton by 2.5 million, who was better represented by the smaller but more densely populated urban areas.

It’s just a strong shame so many don’t any longer hear the opposing side. It is how a democracy is not necessarily functioning as one.

s

The current Benny Hill show that is the White House (the protagonists actually look alike) has given democracy a bad name, and increasingly invalidates it. It gives equal power to ignorance (if not more so) than facts, patriotism over charity, xenophobia over universality. The Dunning-Kruger Effect won the Nobel prize by showing that stupid people are more believing in their capabilities, and thus more vocal, while those with a higher EQ/ intelligence were less so -and adversely more liable to give platform to the belligerent and shouty. Listening politely and attentively -discussing, engaging, and thus allowing donkey kong views onto the table, and the vote. Dunning and Kruger won the prize as they showed how the world gets changed:



“Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood.”

“…voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

Hermann Goerring 1946

In short our world has long been a shitshow of keeping the sociopaths and those on the spectrum in power, enabled by legions of the easily led and patriotic, and who lack critical thinking.

It can be summed up by:

Do not understimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

The great man also said: “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.”

 

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