Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Staghorn Cable Wrist Warmers: March 7th to 8th.

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you. I have been training in a new role at work (eek) and it has been taking away all my knitting and writing time. The sooner someone can start paying me to do these things instead, the better. Sugar Daddies can apply in remarks section—only serious, non-perverted offers accepted.

Fore warned: Turns out I am going to rave and rant in this post too/two posts in a row. This isn't planned for your discomfort, it just turned out that way.

Arm-twisted by the desire to spread the good news that I was blogging and needed an audience, I joined up on Facebook. My password betrays my reluctance—it is something along the lines of 'icantbelieveihavegotsodesperate113'. I fully expected to see pictures of my friends' children, cats, drunken exploits and holiday antics. But I didn't expect to be scrolling through the everyday only to be confronted with a skeletal picture of a dog. Graphic, disturbing. I can't remember the exact circumstances except to say that the poor thing had ended up in a rubbish skip or similar for a very long time, unable, possibly through to injury, to get out, and that when found it was still alive but in this horrible condition. I was shocked and very saddened. And this is where the raving begins. Because thousands of people, in a show of solidarity against, and abhorrence toward, the perpetrator of this horrible act had 'Liked' the post. 'Like' in the Facebook world loses its normal meaning, but I still have trouble accepting the liking of bad or distressful news. It emphasises, to me, a removed and superficial emotional attatchment to what happens in the world around us, to what happens to our fellow man and beast. But what irks me most of all, is that it gives the 'liker' the impression that in making a 'like' protest, they are doing something meaningful. I'll say 'to me' again because maybe I am getting it all wrong, but to me it seems that 'liking' atrocities becomes a substitute for taking meaningful action, as a society, against the wrong that befalls it. It has, to me, the equivalent value of carbon offsetting—it justifies changing nothing in your behaviour while at the same time alleviating your guilt!

Slavoj Zizek [the Slovenian Marxist philosopher and cultural critic; you know the one—he starred in a great series, put all together for a Melbourne Film Festival movie one year, which was a marxo-psychoanalytical take on the Hitchcock oeuvre, yeah, him, the one with the lisp] puts it succinctly:
The threat today is not passivity, but psuedo-activity, the urge to 'be active', to 'participate', to mask the nothingness of what goes on.*
I am being harsh. There are lots and lots of people who go out of their way to make their convictions real. And, as I sat and looked at this awful picture that I didn't want to see, I couldn't even begin to say what it was I needed to actually do to have a meaningful reaction, and consequent action, to what had happened. It reminded me of how helpless we feel against what happens to us. Or others. The sad thing is that, properly directed, that people power, those thousands of 'likes', could change things. We forget that governments work for us, not the other way around. We have allowed our ability to personally act to be taken away from us: we don't have to be responsible for anything. We throw money at things. There is always someone we will pay to do what needs to be done—fixing our cars, looking after our children, building our Ikea furniture, stopping world hunger, fixing the hole in the ozone layer. And we have gotten so small in our communities—possibly even so that each community in the modern first-world numbers exactly one inhabitant—that we have forgotten what we can do as a group. What we can do meaningfully, not just as a token thumbs-up on a social network.

But here I falter again. What should we do? What stops that poor dog ending up dumped in a skip? How do we stop a person from regarding life, any life, as so worthless that an action like that is justifiable to them? Maybe it gets down to not accepting it, any of it. If all you want to do is click a button, then do it on something that will make a difference—like Start your very own petition even—My Petition. If you can be bothered getting off the couch, go down to your local elected members office and talk to them about what it is you need changed and how to go about it. Volunteer. Sometimes I feel like the only thing I could positively do is get into politics itself and change things that way. But then I look at politicians and wonder if they started by thinking like that and ended up how we see them now. Maybe all you can do is introduce yourself to your neighbour. And then the one on the other side. Take an interest in what matters to them and help and support them in those things. Already that's a community of three. But will the only people who'll do that be people who want to make a difference? Are we already too late because in the bigger scheme of things so many people just don't care enough to care. How very sad.

Before you get mad at me and my negative world view, please remember two things: I am naturally cynical and loathing of what I perceive to be the horribleness of human nature; and; I work in an industry where I witness that horribleness more often than most people usually do.

What would Osho have to say about my negative overview of humanity. The way I read it, he thinks humanity is lower than a rock. Okay, what he actually said was that man (and I presume by man he also means woman) is stonier than a rock.'If you can love a rock, then you can love a man.' Mmm, I'll start with rocks. This project Osho would like us to feel, really, truly, all-absorbingly, feel an object. Any object. But one that you like is preferable. The rock is a hard start; he recommends a rose. Touch it, smell it, become it. Lose yourself to it to the point where all else around you is absent. Once you are absorbed in it, and once all else is gone, then leave your object. In leaving it when all else is gone you enter the nothingness, the void, even the abyss, of pure light and consciousness—Nirvana.

His little piece of advise is don't try to do it all in one sitting: feel the item repeatedly over time until you can really loose yourself in it and loose all around it. Then do that for a bit longer. A little longer again. And then, then let go. It won't work if you try to manage it between two and three tomorrow afternoon.

About the wrist warmers. I think they are sort of cute. And it is not just because of their proximity to Lollii. They are made from cream pure wool and what I plan to do with them when I finally get around to it in about a decade will probably look outdated but seems hot right now! It'll come back in style one day.

*Violence, Slavoj Zizek, Profile Books, 2008, page: 183.


  1. There are some crimes that have plausible excuses for example revenge for a murdered child or loved one or "in the heat of passion". There is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for any act of cruelty committed upon an innocent animal. NONE! I just hope that Hell has a special section reserved for these callous people.

  2. Thanks for dropping by my blog!
    People who are cruel to animals deserve to be shot.

  3. I think if we have "a removed and superficial emotional attatchment to what happens in the world around us" it is because we are actually removed from so much of what we encounter.

    I'm guessing you and the others that saw the picture did not know the person who took the photo or even where in the world it was taken. It is not possible to do anything about this situation, all that is available is to "Like" the condemnation of the perpetrator.

    You could argue that people could use this the spur them into action - adopt a rescue dog, volunteer at the lost dogs home, give money to the RSPCA, etc - but then what do you do about the picture of saving African's the next day, and the picture of Queens residents standing on the spot where their homes used to be the day after?

  4. You're right. I feel helpless in the face of it all. And the thing about Facebook and blogging and other social media platforms is that every single person's news becomes global news. We are both more exposed and more removed in a way. It is overwhelming. Maybe Facebook needs a second button - 'Dislike' or 'Wrong' or '#%£*'n €¥^+'.

  5. so cuuuteee :)