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This is a question Terrified!

Bathory asks: What was the most scared you've ever been? How brown were your pants?

(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 13:32)
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Take a look at yourselves. At ourselves. At the world around us.

We live in a world not of our making, where people's worth is judged not by their actions, but by the fucking clothes they wear, the car they drive, the TV shows they watch, the music they listen to...

No-one ever tries to take a step back and see it for what it is; too content to live within the thin, artifical veneer created for us by soulless corporate entities whose grasp on society tightens with every penny they lever out of our pockets. They dress it up as a privilege and trick you into thinking that buying their products and living your life the way they make you live it somehow equates to expressing yourselves in a meaningful way. It doesn't. I'm not a fucking T-shirt. I'm not my phone, my car, my computer, or any of the other intrinsically worthless pieces of shit I've bought over the years.

That's right, I'm just as guilty as all of you. I've bought into that lifestyle as much as you. I own a phone. I own a computer. But I can't help it. None of us can. We're born into it. 'How would I live without it?' - We don't see any alternatives, because there are none presented to us. And we assume that's right, just because it's the way things have always been.

But scratch away at the veneer, and you reveal a warped and rotten core. A society where people feel so alienated and downtrodden they will riot in the streets. But even that act of rebellion is massively overshadowed by the inherent greed sown into fallow fields of people's desire. Confused, and incapable of turning their anger into anything other than a palpable violent rage, people expressed themselves in the only way they could: they took to the streets and stole designer clothing, televisions and all the other trappings of a modern life.

That's right: while the streets literally burned around them, in the face of violence, arrests and death, the overwhelming greed in people prevailed over every single other emotion on display that night. Shops were smashed, their contents looted in what you called “mob mentality” afterwards.

Of course it's a fucking mob mentality. You create it yourselves. It permeates every single aspect of human existance. And in the modern world you try and manipulate it. Control it. Wield it as power and reap the financial rewards that come with it. And then you act surprised when people act on it when the muzzle comes off.

Many years ago, scientists looking into human mob mentalities conducted an experiment: Five monkeys were locked in a cage together, with some bananas placed at the top of a ladder. Whenever any of the monkeys tried to get the bananas, they were all sprayed with water. Soon enough, the five monkeys learnt not to go up the ladder, for fear of being sprayed.

After a while, one of the monkeys was removed, and a new one put in it's place. It immediately went to get the banana from the ladder, and was attacked by the other monkeys without knowing why. Soon enough, it learned that going near the ladder would result in being attacked, and so it stopped trying.

This pattern was repeated until none of the original five monkeys were left in the cage. But whenever a new monkey was introduced, and it went near the ladder, it was attacked by the others. Not because they feared being sprayed – none of the monkeys now in the cage had ever been sprayed – but because it was 'the done thing'.

And that's us. We're nothing but a bunch of fucking monkeys, locked in a cage, and we attack anyone or anything that might try and do things differently. If someone doesn't fit into our predefined set of bullshit rules and expectations, we attack. We seperate and segregate, label and deride, because that's the way it's always been.

But there is always an alternative, and we could have chosen it at any time but we are so terrified of being attacked that no-one wants to be the monkey that goes to the ladder. We could have just stopped it all, but we won't. We could turn off the television. We could reject this shallow consumer society, but we won't because we won't open our fucking eyes and see what it's doing to us all.

Now we live in this festering cesspool we call society – where we can't walk ten yards down the street without seeing an advert for something we don't fucking need. Where disgusting, collagen-injected, silicone-implanted fakeries and perma-tanned, self-obssessed degenerates with money are held up as aspirational figures to our children. As though these are people we should look up to. As though the lifestyles they lead are in any way conducive to being a decent human being. What kind of future are we building for ourselves?

This is what happens when you build a society on the foundations of greed, accumulation and personal gain, as opposed to any of the things that make you a fundamentally worthwhile person. The whole thing is so fucked it hurts.

We're fucked, because we have fear. Fear that we won't survive if we change. Fear that others will reject us if we go against the grain.


These aren't (necessarily) my views. Well, some of them are, but not all of them. This is actually a monologue from a short story I'm writing that I thought I'd stick on QOTW to see what kind of reaction it would get. And it was pretty much exactly what I thought - Some people agree, some people start foaming at the mouth.

Not that you give a shit, but the story is about a terrorist who has a bomb that makes people see the world for what it is. The build up to him setting the bomb off deals with different people's reactions to his point of view.

So cheers! You can all calm down now.

Incidentally, I liked the "very trainspotting" comment. That's one of the things I'm trying to take inspiration from (ripping off).
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 1:44, 36 replies)
So your story is 'Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah'???
tl;dr: 'I get on my elitist high horse because I think I know society's problems, but I won't give any solutions because i'm too busy being smug'
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 1:54, closed)
Awfully judgemental considering you didn't read it.

(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 1:58, closed)
your reply comes across as "waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, someone wrote something I disagree with'.
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 2:11, closed)
But on the plus side
I really do like my phone
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 2:28, closed)
I think you make a very good point.
Society really is fucked.
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 4:47, closed)
Interesting points
however, it is not a result of conditioning that we are thus.

Put 2 very young children together. Toddlers who can barely talk. Give them one toy.

They don't share. One will get possession of the toy, there will then be a fight, or one will give in and cry.

Humans don't share. We're not programmed that way.

Society is as it is, not because this shallow consumerism has been forced on us by aliens, but because that's the way we want it. As I used to say to someone who sold Socialist Worker - if it was popular, it would be on sale in Smiths. No-one forces people to buy the Sun, or God help us, the Mail. These are choices people make. No-one forces people to watch Jeremy Kyle, or buy Heat. Alternatives do exist.

We are a virus. Those corporate entities are us - they are of our own creation. Communism will never work, has never worked, not because it isn't a good idea - it is - but because it is innate in human nature not to be communist.

"These are the days of the open hand
They will not be the last
Look around now
These are the days of the beggars and the choosers

This is the year of the hungry man
Whose place is in the past
Hand in hand with ignorance
And legitimate excuses

The rich declare themselves poor
And most of us are not sure
If we have too much
But we'll take our chances
Because God's stopped keeping score
I guess somewhere along the way
He must have let us all out to play
Turned his back and all God's children
Crept out the back door

And it's hard to love, there's so much to hate
Hanging on to hope
When there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it's much too late
Well maybe we should all be praying for time

These are the days of the empty hand
Oh you hold on to what you can
And charity is a coat you wear twice a year

This is the year of the guilty man
Your television takes a stand
And you find that what was over there is over here

So you scream from behind your door
Say "what's mine is mine and not yours"
I may have too much but i'll take my chances
Because God's stopped keeping score
And you cling to the things they sold you
Did you cover your eyes when they told you

That he can't come back
Beacuse he has no children to come back for

It's hard to love there's so much to hate
Hanging on to hope when there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it's much too late
So maybe we should all be praying for time
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 5:52, closed)
That monkey story, done better
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 8:02, closed)
How very trainspotting.
However, I agree. Shame is that any socialist or communist society is inevitably doomed to fail because of the inherent corruptability of the human condition. None of us can be trusted with power.
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 8:38, closed)
There's an element of Fight Club in there too.

(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 14:28, closed)
Emmanuel Kant
And the Rule of Law - basically laws are fucked because we as humans are only in this for ourselves.

You can probably chuck in some Darwin as well...
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 16:59, closed)
I have read a lot of Emmanuel Kant,
so you're probably right there...
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 17:22, closed)
You sound like an iPad owner

(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 9:04, closed)
I will never own an iPad.

(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 12:58, closed)
What about phones?
Yes, I own a phone and a computer, too. I own some spanners and a saw, and a couple of screwdrivers and a multimeter. I own some baking tins, a large mixing bowl, some wooden spoons and an oven.

They're tools. I'm not defined by them. They're stuff I use to ensure that tomorrow I'm still here. They're not my lifestyle.
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 9:15, closed)
Nice try,
but I think you'll find that you actually are a spanner.
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 9:21, closed)
I dress like a cunt, does this make me a cunt?
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 15:27, closed)
Wow. Can you teach me to be an individual?
Failing that, can I have your gourd?
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 9:19, closed)

Don't you want to haggle for it?
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 9:30, closed)
I think OP would have liked more respect than this,
but I'm just going to venerate his sandal, instead.
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 9:44, closed)

(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 9:58, closed)

Only if you teach me how to be as cool and sarcastic as you are.
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 14:00, closed)
While society may be a bit shit...
The mere fact that we have one, let alone one which has somehow managed to offer healthcare, education, food and housing to the majority is a hugely encouraging fact.

It's shite, but it's still better than most.
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 9:30, closed)
You could cheer the fuck up and be grateful you're not in Syria, being shot at for trying to make a better life for yourself, or in Ethiopia scratching for insects to eat in order to stave off starvation, or on an estate in Hackney having to deal crack in order to avoid being turned over by the local gang lords, or even just be fucking grateful that your mum and dad work hard enough and care about you enough to provide you with such a comfortable, carefree life that you can spend your time indulging in pseudo-philosophy that will impress equally well-off girls that attend the sister school to yours, and will hopefully one day result in you being allowed to have sex with one of them.
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 9:39, closed)
That's it,
I'm totally burning my "Anarchy" t-shirt.
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 9:42, closed)
I can't remember a finer example of complete pwning than this.

(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 9:52, closed)
Then you should read more.

(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 14:02, closed)
I actually agree with you for the most part
And yours was pretty much word for word the argument I raised when all the 99% bollocks was going on.

however, (and theres always a however),

saying "you should be grateful you don't live in x" is always a ridiculous comeback argument if the person you are aiming it at has absolutely no experience of living anywhere other than where they live, and in the society they live in.

I have never been to Syria, or Ethiopia. I have no idea what living there would be like, so why would I be grateful not to live there? It's beyond my frame of reference. As an argument meant to elicit a sudden feeling of "wow, you're right" it fails horribly. I'm guessing you're basing that point on the news footage and charity adverts you've seen on TV, as opposed to any first hand experience of going there. the only opinion you can realistically form without any sort of experience of that kind of life is "it must be shit to live there".

You might as well say "yes, but, be grateful that you're not suddenly transported to the moon where you will freeze and choke to death in seconds".

You can only comment on what you know and I was born, raised and currently still live in England. It's all I know. I see the city I live in a negative light, because I have first hand experience of it. Getting beaten up for having long hair. Rioters smashing my city up, for the sake of £100's worth of designer goods. I got on the bus the other day, and three people sat behind us were pretending to shoot my girlfriend because she had a metal band t-shirt on. Granted, we're not actually being shot at in the streets, but are you saying in the face of people acting like that towards me and the people I care about, I should just go "well, it could be worse, I could live n Syria"?. Bollocks. You'd be just as pissed off as I am, you wouldn't suddenly count your blessings.

Also, not that it really matters, but I live on the edge of Gorton, one of the most crime-ridden and disgusting estates in Manchester. Granted it's no Ethiopia, but it's about a poor as it's possible to get living in a first world country. It's the kind of place where people spend their child benefit money on scratchcards and cheap alcohol instead of feeding their families. I would not go into the streets past 9 o'clock at night. If you're not familiar with Gorton, you may be more familiar with Shameless, the TV series they filmed on location there because of how fucking grim it is. Until they had to move the production elsewhere because the crew were getting death threats just for being there, and too much equipment was going missing.

Basically, imagine Shameless, without any of the humour. That's where I live. And that's what I base my opinions on, something I at least have first hand knowledge of. Call it pseudo-psychology if you want. I call it trying to have some kind of understanding of why, in one of the richest countries in the world, where I live is so completely, unrelentingly shit.
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 13:55, closed)
Gorton is a proper shithole though

(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 15:30, closed)
I travel through it sometimes.
At high speed.
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 15:34, closed)
Yes. Yes it is.

(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 16:18, closed)
If its such a shit place
and you hate it so much, why live there? You seem like a smart person, move.
(, Thu 12 Apr 2012, 2:07, closed)
The first chance I get to leave Manchester
and maintain gainful employment, I will.

I'm a freelance film-maker and college tutor, and the only place I can get work (at this point) is in Manchester. So I stay.

If I get a job I can do entirely from home, or the BBC/ITV/CH4 wants to pay me to make a TV series or something (which I very much hope they will do and am currently working towards that goal) and I don't need to be here every day of the week, then I'm moving to Windermere, by the lake. I'd like to live somewhere where, when I wake, the first thing I see isn't a council estate.
(, Thu 12 Apr 2012, 2:43, closed)

Have you ever thought of taking your head out your arse and actually doing something about the things you hate about Gorton? Or would that be too much effort, compared to just whining about it? If moving to the countryside is a far-off prospect, why not move to another part of Manchester? There are plenty of places where the things you dislike about Gorton are much less prevalent. But again, perhaps you're too apathetic to do that.
Gorton has it's problems but nothing compared to some parts of the States. Gorton has got a massive cinema, easy travel into the city centre, a couple of nice parks, some great community groups, an amazing old monastery building, and some really interesting people.
Obviously if your main interests are fixating on the negative and sneering about people, none of that will appeal to you.
(, Thu 12 Apr 2012, 12:46, closed)
Good plan.
Maybe I'll don my batman costume and go and fight crime single-handedly. Perhaps meet some of those "interesting people" you were talking about.

As for living in other parts of Manchester, have you tried to buy a house in Manchester recently? Do you have any idea how much it costs? I live here because it's the only place I can afford to live. I'd would very happily move to Didsbury or Chorlton, if I could afford the £250,000+ it costs to buy a house there.

And again, why would I give a singular flying fuck about parts of the states? I don't live in the states, I live in Manchester. And I live in a part of Manchester where I am verbally abused on a daily basis, and occasionally physically attacked, for doing nothing more than looking different to the people I live around. I think I'm within my rights to moan about people that want to kick the shit out of me based on nothing more than my having long hair. I've been put in hospital before now because of it. I had to give mouth to mouth resuscitation to my best friend to stop him from fucking dying. Before you judge, you might want to consider that perhaps other people's experiences of living somewhere aren't necessarily as rosy as your own.
(, Thu 12 Apr 2012, 13:29, closed)
I'm glad that you managed to do such a long tirade
without every paragraph starting with 'I' or 'I'm' which is why I read it to the end.

I have been known to do that kind of thing.

I'm pretty sure it's narcicisstic in nature.

I'll have to decide about that.

Meanwhile, carry on.
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 18:20, closed)
Armchair revolutionary.
Fight the power man.
(, Thu 12 Apr 2012, 11:52, closed)

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