#BLACKLIVESMATTER

As I’ve made clear in previous posts, and in the title of the blog itself, I’m no rocket scientist. I am Joe Average.

I have the same 24 hours as everyone else each day, and a finite amount of time, energy, money and mental bandwidth.

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

I do my best with the resources I’ve got to:

  • educate myself to develop the mindset and habits that will help me achieve my goals
  • exercise and eat a healthy diet on a daily basis (and not be a burden on my family or the NHS) for as many years as possible
  • be kind to people and where I can’t quite manage that, at least be respectful and listen
  • help other people, encourage and support them to achieve their goals, and serve them as best I can (that is my real job, my purpose in life)…starting first and foremost with my family

I feel quite sure about the above, I am committed now and have been for many years. Falling short of acting on those four things on a daily basis would cause me to feel guilt, shame and ultimately feel “less than”.

I can’t see myself ever joining a Pride march, or BLM protest, or adopting a unicorn…not because I don’t see their plight as serious or important, but either because a) I don’t believe in their strategies to implement change or b) there are other causes more important to me that I choose to invest my limited resources in.

I will never buy a piano with elephant tusk keys, but my decision to send £2 a month to Cancer Research UK (subtle virtue signal) instead of the WWF won’t cause me to lose sleep.

Questions Not Conspiracies

Black Lives Matter. More? Too? This needs a qualifier. Otherwise isn’t it just common bloody sense?

Why did black lives not matter enough to protest before George Floyd?

Why did black lives not matter enough to protest about the numerous black on black stabbings and shootings year after year in the UK? Outcry about the tiny leak in the side of the boat after you’ve hit an iceberg makes no sense to me.

All Lives Matter. Why is that such a trigger, when again, that statement seems like good sense?

Has corona virus suddenly disappeared? If not, then as a member of the BAME community is it wise to be attending a mass gathering (the protests) during a global pandemic that is disproportionately affecting your community?

So in an effort to educate myself, initially I do what everyone else with no time to read an actual book does. I surf the web.

So much violence, lawlessness, hate and anger. But then, I come across Candace Owens.

WOW! Apart from being an incredibly attractive, confident and articulate young black woman, the content of most of what she said about BLM and outrage culture in general just resonated with me. She is living proof that coming from the projects and having family members in prison is no excuse, that there are no limits for those who are willing to work hard.

I’m still not convinced about Trump, and the Rogan interview showed her to be lacking on the topic of climate change – but I was looking for a black voice on racism and the current situation. She is not alone…but she is definitely not every black person’s, or white progressive’s cup of tea!

Deep Dive Conclusions

  • Victim culture sucks – whatever happened to “empowerment”? Choose a decent label if you HAVE to have one
  • Outrage culture sucks – stop being so sthen-sthe-tive
  • Cancel culture sucks – people make mistakes, words and behaviours taken out of situational or temporal context seem far worse than they actually are
  • The media edits everything to manipulate its consumers – be a selective and sceptical consumer, and consume less
  • The Left sucks – I’m all for freedom and equality, but there has to be some responsibility, duty and order (I’m not so keen on the right either though)
  • Black on black crime is a MUCH bigger problem (statistically) than white on black – that’s in no way pretending that there is no white on black crime, or police harassment, etc. But the black community has lost far more members through stabbings and shootings by other black people than from police brutality
  • Public outcry about racism seems to coincide with election cycles in the US
  • Welfare policies have hurt the black community more than helped them – again, going by the numbers
  • Trump might be a good guy underneath it all and misrepresented in the media…and his administration has done more for black people than any other since Abraham Lincoln? Maybe?
  • I have no control over my ancestor’s actions – no guilt required

It makes absolutely no sense to me to intentionally treat someone unkindly or unfairly because of their skin colour, religion, sexual orientation or gender. None. A natural reaction to an individual being unkind to you is to retaliate, but not to take it out of every person who fits the same description. That’s ridiculous. Moronic.

Whatever your colour or other group identity, I’m not the biggest fan of angry or aggressive people, drill music, welfare spongers, deadbeat or absent fathers, lawlessness, gang culture, hard drugs and the violence that accompanies the selling of them. It’s a prejudice. I don’t see that as a problem until it leads to me discriminating.

If someone wants to say, “well that racist because that’s MY culture,” my immediate thought would be, “you really want to claim ownership to THAT? Good luck with that.” I am guilty of discriminating against those behaviours mentioned above, because I don’t want to assist or perpetuate them. I don’t buy that music, I don’t associate with perpetually angry or aggressive people. I’m not going to actively discriminate – my resources are better invested elsewhere – but I won’t help those attitudes and behaviours to flourish.

Learning is a lifelong process, so I’m going to keep on reading, watching and listening. I have started listening to Robin Diangelo’s book, “White Privilege” and I’ve pre-ordered Candance Owens’s book, “Blackout”. Like Bruce Lee’s philosophy of Jeet Kune Do, learn what you can from every martial art, keep what is useful and discard what is useless – I’m looking for what works. Works = improves the situation. Improve = positive, measurable change in the chosen area of focus e.g. unemployment, murder rates, academic achievement.

So I will do my best to support the BLM movement, while believing that All Lives Matters, be an ally without being a white saviour, use my white privilege to benefit all without feeling guilty for something that’s completely out of my control – being white and history. I will not be silent in the face of racism…so in reality, after learning all of this, will my actions be any different to the last 39 years?

Signing off for now. Peace and love to you all. Stay safe, and buckle up for the second wave!!! And I’ll leave you with this hilarious sketch:

Facebook not playing on here for some reason…not the full compilation, but google “famalam gang wars” hilarious!!!

…You Think You Have Time…

“The trouble is, you think you have time.” – Buddha, maybe

Where did the last 10 weeks go? Admittedly, some of it passed in a drunken haze (hence Dry June for me) but seriously, it’s going to be 3 months before I know it and I have accomplished…F*** ALL!!!

The first few weeks I stuck to my routine. I was full of energy, aspirations, excitement about the vast amount of time in front of me…and then it all went to pot (that’s a British expression, meaning “everything went wrong”, I didn’t add weed to my list of vices).

I started staying up later and sleeping in later. I skipped my daily exercise (or at best I can say it was sporadic), and my 5:2 diet of 5 days of clean eating to every 2 days of whatever takes my fancy…well..I stuck to the ratio…just reversed the numbers.

My lower back started to give me problems and I can’t put my finger on whether it’s just lack of flexibility or a herniated disc. Either way, I can run and cycle, but sitting down for long periods and dead-lifting are out of the question.

On a positive note, I did grow that beard, and was proud of it…but no one was ready for me to look THAT old, so off it came, along with the mop of hair that had grown over the last 10 weeks.

I also plucked up the courage to speak to a couple of policemen about my novel – which was very helpful – and I have daydreamed a lot about the individual scenes…but write? No, I haven’t actually WRITTEN anything!

I even took a break from the blog because…well…why not? Why not? Why not? I seem to be saying that far too often, the further into the covid cave I get. It’s dark in here at the moment…and it ECHO-ECHO-ECHOOOOOEEESS!!!

Why not have some chocolate? Why not have a beer or some wine? Why not binge watch another Netflix series and turn off my morning alarm? Why not leave my writing, reading, studying, exercising until tomorrow, or the next day?

There are some bloody good reasons for “why not?” and yet they never seem to come to mind at the right time! So instead, as of the 1st June 2020, I’ve decided to mind f*** myself and ask aloud “WHY???”

Why eat some chocolate – knowing that 4 squares is never enough and will ultimately destroy my dreams of ever possessing a visible six pack?

Why drink alcohol – knowing that getting up to run is hard enough without a hangover (which doesn’t take me much) or that booze seems to send my resting heart rate skywards and ruins my heart rate training?

Why put off writing/studying/exercising – knowing that I’m already further behind than I want to be as a result of my earlier poor life choices and delayed arrival to the game?

I have plenty to be excited…(well, at least enthusiastic) about, even without a definite upcoming race or exam to focus on:

  • We have just bought a puppy, Ronnie – he’s a collie cross (border collie and a huntaway…a hollie, if you will…or if he’s been naughty, well…you can work it out. He will eventually be an ideal running partner and perfect answer to “why run this morning?”
  • The Paris marathon is 20 weeks away, as long as it doesn’t get cancelled. I plan to train as if it’s going to happen, and as if this is the sub 3 hour attempt that Berlin should have been.
  • The blog was doing well, lots of views, even if the likes and comments were few and far between, so I’ll go back to writing that on a daily basis, publishing weekly.
  • I have a great story to tell…right now I feel that way. Funny how the blinking cursor on the blank word document convinces me otherwise! One – word – at – a – time!!!
  • I have found so many books to read, films to watch, online courses to study…I have so many things I would like to do, I need to start them! And start them again.
  • I know a routine works best for me, so it’s back to waking at 04:30 and going to bed at 21:00, I’m far more productive that way.

Anyway, I can’t do anything about whatever time was wasted over the last 10 weeks. All I can do is make sure that the next 10 are far more fruitful. Some people only wake up and realise this after 10 months or 10 years, so I should count my lucky stars.

So thank you for all of those encouraging slaps and kicks up the backside. I’m back on both feet, soon to be back on track and into some sort of rhythm again.