#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!!!

The Wedge – Audiobook Review

So this morning, after acknowledging that my downward dog needs a lot of work (or sending to the farm) I tried to access the following week of the Wim Hof Fundamentals course (stress management). It was locked, meaning that I’ll be learning patience as a bonus lesson!

After some dire attempts to get more bendy and once my other exercises were done, I did a thirty minute Zwift cycle before my ninety second cold shower. During the cycle, I listened once again to this excellent book – I would highly recommend it, so here’s my review.

Summary from Scott Carney‘s website

Thrive or die: That’s the rule of evolution. Despite this brutal logic, some species have learned to survive in even the most hostile conditions. Others couldn’t—and perished. While incremental genetic adaptations hone the physiology of nearly every creature on this planet, there’s another evolutionary force that is just as important: the power of choice. In this explosive investigation into the limits of endurance, journalist Scott Carney discovers how humans can wedge control over automatic physiological responses into the breaking point between stress and biology. We can reclaim our evolutionary destiny.

Review

Journalist Scott Carney, who also wrote the New York Times bestseller, What Doesn’t Kill Us, seems to be a kindred spirit (except he doesn’t like running? What’s THAT all about?!). His sceptical approach and original goal of debunking Dutch guru Wim Hof, peaked my interest right from the start. His first book was the warts and all account of encountering Wim and his method, that humanised the Ice Man and lowered my reluctance to becoming a practitioner.

While I’m still at the beginning of my Wim Hof journey, Carney writes that it, “gave him superhuman levels of endurance and quieted a persistent autoimmune illness.”

The Wedge is about the underlying technique that can enable a person to have an edge in almost any situation.

In his latest book, Carney travels the globe in search of those who are also exploring the potential of the human mind and body. In doing so he:

  • visits a cutting-edge neuroscience laboratory at Stanford to overcome fear/anxiety
  • achieves flow states by tossing kettlebells
  • explores the benefits of heat from saunas
  • reaches transcendence through breathing routines
  • searches his mind in sensory deprivation tanks
  • hacks his mind with MDMA
  • tries ayahuasca

I really enjoyed this book, and while I’ve already start the Wim Hof Method, saunas and flotation tanks, I still have a long way to go to earn my psychonaut black belt.

“Under certain circumstances, one is actually better informed concerning the real world, if one has taken a drug than if one has not.” – Terence McKenna

I would rather do this without ingesting psychoactive substances, so I’ll experiment with some of the other methods first…but who knows…in future…maybe? You only live once, and Carney really does seem to making the most of his time here. I appreciate him sharing his experiences and experiments – it gives me ideas and encouragement to continue my own!

As this was an audiobook, I need to comment on the narrator, Scott Carney! Yes, I always appreciate the author narrating their own work – when they’re good that is – and Carney is as skilled a narrator as he is a writer.

Thank You

This is blog post number 7 out of 10, and I am really encouraged by the views I’m getting. Hopefully these will translate into some more subscribers, likes, comments, etc.

On the home front – lockdown is going well (F****** Covid-19), Wim Hoffing is going well (except the stretching – I suck – so inflexible) and writing is…well you’re reading this, but don’t expect my novel any time soon!

Procrastination cure? Not yet. Allen Carr’s Easyway need to get onto this!

Take care – be safe and well – peace.