Rhythms

There are rhythms in my life.

Excluding primary school, where I was overachieving, ostracised and miserable, they go thus:

  • Fight for and realise place place in prestigious/competitive institution
  • induce mental breakdown
  • retreat to comfortable, unchallenging, unprestigeous place
  • recover
  • fight for a more prestigious place

So I got a place in a grammar school and went from being top 3 in my class to being upper middle on a good day, but most of my days were bad days so I slowly sank towards lower middle. I don’t learn or function well when I’m placed in competition with people a bit more talented or just more with it than I am. I get panicky, and don’t function. So I flunked out of my grammar school sixth form with CDDE (or thereabouts) at AS level.

So I got a place in a local HE college. Not the worst place at all, but decidedly middle of the pack. They weren’t trying to funnel me into Cambridge, they just wanted me to pass. I could breathe. I was around people who wanted to do well but absent a superiority complex. I went from CDDE at AS at my top of the league tables “good school” to AAB at AS at my “struggling” local HE. I was still depressed, anxious, and delusional, but I came out with BBB at A2. I wanted to get into UCL. Prestigious. London based. Turns out high income graduates. They rejected me outright. I was accepted into the “Dog of the Russel Group” (still Russel group) and largely forgot about my old friends. I was shedding my social anxiety and I had 18 years of repressed socialisation to burn through. I was going to be an Investment Banker, or a think tank analysist. I burned out after first term and scraped through into second year with 34% and 5 unit resits. But I found my common law husband , who was also struggling, and together we helped each other. I pulled back up and graduated with 57.5% overall, a 2:2, which I’m discovering is the “go fuck yourself dear” catagorisation. Dreams of a high income not quite dead, I got a job stacking shelves at my local sainsburys to clear my overdraft. It is work with its own skillset, but not he most mentally stimulating. I was (and am) surrounded by people who were not arrogant. I lost weight. I continued to mentally recover from the wounds of my childhood. I moved to a new city and half heartedly searched through the trash bank of jobs which are left once you filter out the “mimimum 2:1” specs. I had an interview for a “””graduate job””” last week and I was once more back in that grammar school environment. Bitter bastards with superiority complexes and RP accents and suits.

And I thought to myself, why am I killing myself to get….here? Because my folks want me to get “a proper job”? Because the people I went to school with are creative directors, marketing juniors, and finance analysts and I don’t want to be a till staffer? I work part time and I don’t have much money but I have a lot of time to rest. I’m still recovering. I still don’t know what I enjoy that isn’t just drinking or gaming myself into obliviating the present. I like learning, I really do. I’m teaching myself french for a few house a day in the library just 10 mins walk from my house, which my part time “menial” job pays for. Am I just trying to repeat the same cycle I’ve been bashing my head into for 10 years? Will I crash out of this “graduate” (it is not a graduate role) job after 1 year and have to spend another year picking the pieces of myself back up again?

Why do I want to do what everyone else thinks they should be doing when I’m currently finding out the life that’s right for me?

If the job is offered I will probably accept it because it is more money and consistent hours, and the work itself, having been on a trial shift, is definitely not beyond me. But I think I’m not interested in professional, corporate work. I think in an idealised, probably niave kind of way, that I want to be some kind of self employed artisan. Selling a skill, a constructive skill, not just grinding for Capital. I like the idea of that skill being software engineering. But I’ve got a way to go yet.

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Centrism and Extremism

One trope often bandied around by self proclaimed centrists is that extremisim is bad, and that “extremes of left and right” are insensible and bad policy – that the best outcomes lie in the centre. It is a favoured refrain of the Liberal Democrats and their fellow travelers, and it is bunkum. It only takes a few minutes thought to see that centrism can be evil and extremism right. Consider the issue of drugs.

It is a fine and honerable liberal position to support the full decriminalisation of all drugs. It is not part of the Liberal Democrat party platform, and afaik it is not about to be. But it is rational, and has support among Liberal Democrat supporters and liberals more generally. And it is extremism. The UK population is very authoritarian on this issue. Suggest hard drugs should be legalised and people will look at you funny, if you’re lucky.

It is liberal extremism, and it is right. A centrist response would, perhaps, be the partial decriminalisation of some drugs (there is some support for instance for the decriminalisation of Cannabis), but more likely the “central” position, either between Labour and Tory or in the centre of the public, is the status quo. So we see here that the avoiding the “extremes of left and right” and taking the sensible, moderate, centrist position arrives at us an evil policy – the continuing prohibition on substances rather than treating substance abuse as a public health issue. What is needed is extremism. Extremism here is good,

That’s all I need to prove to do away with a lot of the rhetoric around centrism. “Centrist” is a bad word, ill defined and used mostly by liberals for legitimacy rather than to describe their actual policy positions. But that’s a different blog post.

Moving on

I’m tired, I feel like all the age of the earth is in my lungs. With each sigh I exhale granite.

I’m moving to Liverpool at last, I have a shift later today. Money will be tight but there will be some money.

I’m transitioning once again, moving on. I feel like I want to exercise my freedom of movement regularly, to move to a new city every few years, but I imagine this will pass.

I’m transitioning intellectually to, from liberal to socialist. I can’t help but compare it to realising and accepting how my sexuality works. There’s a sense of things just falling into place, and it has sparked off a whole slew of thought chains. 

This will fall where they fall, im finally finishing off the consolidation of my university phase of life.

A thing that I can’t articulate properly and that I don’t know is insightful or not

Three examples: Scandinavia and Scottish Nationalism. Europe vs US on progresssiveness. 

The idea: progressives is often ascribed to places that don’t actually warrant it, as it’s mostly just cause they aren’t under enough scrutiny because the problem is less obvious in that places.

That idea is what is badly articulated. What I mean is that often people compare American racism and intolerance and seem to hold Europe as a more tolerant, progressive place. My point is that white racism is a lot more evident, and a lot more underacrutiny in the US, which is only 67% white, compared with places like Sweden which are 97% white and not the centre of one of the biggest media-cultural complexes in the world. Racism may seem, to the (white)  observer, to be less of an issue but that’s just because it has less scope to be an issue. In addition because the problem is less obvious, these places do not have to go through the same development and conversation that the US has to go through just to function, and so you end to with places like Denmark (seen in the popular imagination as enlightened, tolerant,) stripping refugees of their jewelry to pay for their asylum (deeply inhumane, regressive) 

I will revisit this and redraft, this is a first draft of something I’ve been trying to articular for a long time

Ever wish you could be out of your own head? Just for a little while? 

Smooth, healthy, pacific. 

I think I like a lot of the music I like because it’s so serene. Sad, at heart, like I am, but languid and simple and clear. 

I’m so plugged in all the time, and simultaneously so distant. I’ve always lived in my head, I had to, and the Internet lets me live in my head and be in the real world at the same time. But  I can be overwhelmed just like anyone else by too much stimulation, all the time.  

I don’t really have any relaxing habits. Sleep is the only time I let myself get smoothed over and reset. My other leisure hobbies are either gaming on screens, learning on screens, or absorbing from paper, or daydreaming, idling but not actually relaxing. Socialising isn’t really relaxing, it can be fun but it’s still needs effort and thought and only rarely will reset me. 

Alcohol is an illusory relaxant, causing anxiety or illness later as a balance. 

Sometimes things are too much. I’m always in my head. I’m always in the future. I want more balance. 

Recipie

Feeds four

Onion, garlic, spinach, cream cheese, quorn, splash if white wine or sherry, mushrooms

Oven to 190

Sauté onion, mushrooms, spinach, garlic gently till spinach wilts. Stir in salt, pepper creamcheese, wine, pour over quorn, cook in oven till quorn is cooked. 

Hmm

I need more inspiration in my life. I am a broken record, saying this over and over again year after year, but I don’t have much in the way of motivation or drive or goals. I tend towards oblivion, to idleness, I default to it.

There’s a girl I used to follow on tumblr, Kyoko, and she makes me really happy to read about, gives me hope and comfort to see her doing what she does. I want to find more people that make me feel like that, to see what kinds of ways of living there are out there and help me formulate my own. 

I need to think about when I did get shit done and when I haven’t. Rekindle the fires in me etc