Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

what's the point...

What's the point in my blogging? Why do I blog? I guess I want to make a difference. Change the world. Well it's just not happening, is it? The level at which I would like to change things is not the level at which I'm able to operate. At the level at which I do operate, very few are interested in changing the world. So, what's the point? Who am I kidding? And anyway, the fire in my belly seems to be going out. I blame the anti-depressants. Should I wean myself off them? Would I get back into blogging again if I did? And then there's the whole question of who the fuck reads this blog anyway? Oh, there are a few regular readers. Most of them are like gawkers at a car crash. Spectators. Waiting to be entertained. Well I don't do entertainment. Some would say "don't write for the readers, write what you want to write". Well, there's the rub... What I want to write is something which will communicate to the reader something I want him or her to know or think about. It's an attempt at interaction. But it's mostly one-sided. It's like talking to a wall most of the time. And then there's my persona... I wouldn't know how to be sociable or polite if my life depended on it, and so sooner or later (usually sooner) I piss them off or bore them and they stop reading this blog. Is blogging a fad whose time has passed? Is it all Facebook now? I'd rather be slapped with a wet fish than do Facebook. Oh, I was silly enough to get involved in the Facebook thing on a couple of occasions, but it's purile, childish and up there with carving your initials on a tree...

What?

23 Comments:

Blogger me & God ... said...

happy new year mate.

fraid so. it's all about facebook these days.

we all gots ta evolve.

January 02, 2008 12:08 PM  
Blogger phil said...

For what it's worth, I am not interested in car crashes.

But I am mightily intrigued in where roads lead. I wish I knew where mine was going, for instance, but I also like being with people as they navigate theirs.

I am on facebook but (a) don't use it anymore and (b) haven't deleted my page, although I read somewhere that you can't delete, or something.

I'm also wondering what to do with Chateau VVB now that I don't have a Howard to hate.

January 02, 2008 7:01 PM  
Blogger JahTeh said...

I'm with Phil, I'm not interested in car crashes either.
But I could be amused by you poking yourself in the eye with a burnt stick.
I'd probably read this blog with reverence even if you just posted the labels off your Cab Sav bottles.
Stay away from FeckBook, it's shite. Phil's right, I tried getting my page obliterated but no luck, you can only de-activate.
Blogging is the only true pure internet crapathon.

January 02, 2008 8:35 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Nothing like a bit of a whinge to get the comments flowing, eh...

Nora, thanks, and a happy new year to you too. But Facebook is the work of The Devil. Aren't you supposed to be in Hong Kong already?

Phil, don't for a minute think that Labor won't need some ear-boxing to keep the bastards honest. That's what VVB can focus on now...

JahTeh, you read this blog "with reverence"??? You need new drugs, girl...

January 03, 2008 2:48 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Gerry,

You tend to think eclectically, that's one of the reasons why I too subscribe to the theory that one should blog how one wants.

Facebook and YouTube are more for people who want some fun and games. Blogging is more about interactive media, synthetic philosophy and making platonic friends.

The internet is a diverse place. But there will always be a special place for blogs there in the mix.

I take anti-depressants btw. Lotsa bloggers do. Keep on trucking!

January 03, 2008 12:20 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Hi Matthew, nice blog you got there.
Do you find that anti-depressants tend to make one complacent and an emotional flat-liner, or is that just my own shit...

And yes, Jesus WAS a communist pacifist. And if not a communist, then a social democrat.

January 04, 2008 9:19 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Drugs affect people in different ways. Refugees sent back to Afghanistan are given sedatives that often don't work for them.

Most anti-depressants speed up the rate of neuro-transmission, hence they give you extra "bounce".

As a former psychiatrist told me, drugs themselves do not "cure" - some people with my other condition - schizophrenia - can wake up tomorrow and be cured. (Obviously only a small percentage do).

It took me a couple of years back in the early 1990's to find a drug therapy that seemed to work for me, but when it did I was enormously impressed. My sleeping improved enormously and it took a bit off the nervousness I felt in stressful situations.

I am glad you are fighting back, blogging is a form of social interaction that can only help.

I am also glad you like my blog. I think of Oscar Romero giving up his life to try to oppose the militarism that overwhelmed the US-supported dictatorship of El Salvador in the 80's. Even the Vatican told him to shut up - twice in fact, as Noam Chomsky records.

Liberation theology is on Wikipedia as well. I've often meant to read some of it, but life is a bit too busy.

I consider myself a social democrat, I try to see myself more as a social rights activist than just another party politician. I suspect most people I know would think much the same of themselves.

January 04, 2008 4:17 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Blogger ate my comment!!! Grrrr...

"I am glad you are fighting back" ??

I'm not fighting back, I'm forever on the verge of giving up.

"Liberation Theology" ?? That would require the presupposition that there is a God. I've a strong suspicion that there ain't no such animal...

I'm still waiting for someone to give me a convincing explanation for what God is, why God is, how God happened, who made God, and why the fuck "he"(?) would favour the most dangerous and psychotic species on the planet. There's more, but that'll do for starters...

January 04, 2008 9:19 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Ok Gerry, it's hard to generalise about other people's depression.

But with me I get crabby and the world doesn't make much sense without me trying to understand my condition and fighting back against it.

Did I say I agreed with God? I don't believe in the supernatural. But I do like the idea of reading some Liberation theology, if only because of a sense of historical fascination with Oscar Romero, a man they've made movies about.

It's just a diversion Gerry - don't get me wrong!

January 05, 2008 2:44 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Ahhh Matthew, you are like life itself...

You raise more questions than there are answers...

If life is a struggle, why bother? Just so we can satisfy the senses? Is it really just about hedonism? What's it all about, Alfie... ?

And now I must go look at Liberation Theology AROOAAH AROOAAH ***OXYMORON ALERT*** just in case you're on to something...

What's "just a diverson"? (confused look)

Ahhh questions... what would we do without them?

January 06, 2008 6:36 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Hello... Back again... Liberation theology... definitely oxymoronic in nature, but if Ratzinger is against it, I'm for it... :-)

January 06, 2008 7:22 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I like the fact you notice I raise more questions than answers, that's very much my style...

A "diversion" - an object or subject I show some interest in for academic reasons but don't necessarily believe in. That's true of Liberation theology because I be a godless atheist.

I often use the word "sense" when describing my interests, it's got to do with Marx saying that "the notion precedes the idea" in logic.

My favourite psychologist is Erich Fromm, he's just so easy to understand and a prolific writer. I've read a couple of his books and they dwell on matters similar to that you've raised in your post.

"To Have or To Be" was one of his later works and it says that it's better to trust your instincts than to worry about having, using case studies and Marx's philosophy on life.

The Wikipaedia article on Fromm is a little academic. That's a shame because Fromm is dead easy to read.

Thanks for the conversation Gerry!

January 06, 2008 12:04 PM  
Blogger Ann O'Dyne said...

Yep - going over to farcebook was just an adulterous one-night-stand, but we always come back to blogger... "Blogging is the only true pure internet crapathon" ... and I just proved it by lifting my new post from somebodys else's blog.

(Matthew: that's just the fluvoxetine in me talking)

January 06, 2008 5:24 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Matthew, I have six of Fromm's books:

Man For Himself
Beyond The Chains of Illusion
The Art Of Loving
The Crisis of Psychoanalysis
The Sane Society
Fear Of Freedom

I think Fromm rocks!

The conversation has only just begun! ;-)

Ann, onya!

January 06, 2008 7:12 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Matthew, I also meant to say thanks for drawing my attention to Oscar Romero. I've ordered a booklet about him, written by John Dear. I've mentioned John Dear a couple of times in this blog, use the search function in the sidebar if you want to find those posts.

January 06, 2008 7:16 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I've only briefly skimmed your post on the firebrand Jesuit John Dear. Anyone who is prepared to speak out about the stupidity of Iraq is a friend of mine.

"The Art Of Loving" I've partly read, "The Crisis Of Psychoanalysis" I brought and read then gave to a young Socialist uni student.

His intended magnus opus was published posthumously - "The Art Of Listening". I read it through the state library.

That was three years ago. You'll see plenty on that book I'm sure if you Google it.

Yes Ann, I see you're a fan of rants blogs, as Fromm would say "we are all creatures of passion" in the finish.

My zyprexa says I understand you clearly - super clearly in fact. And my endep anti-depressants make me feel very energetic about this crapathon!

January 06, 2008 11:09 PM  
Blogger me & God ... said...

gerry!! :):)

yeah i went to china and then i came back. it was only short-term, i still need to finish up my degree. got a couple of months before graduating. do you have any advice before i hit life outside of school?

you're probably right about facebook, its unbelievably shallow. i'm sorry for giving into the temptation. please convert me back hehe.

lots of love, nora

January 07, 2008 10:44 AM  
Blogger Unsane said...

heyho.

January 07, 2008 2:30 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Nora, advice about entering "the big bad world"? Easy, "it's tough out there, kid." And... you want a diletante who thinks he's an atheist one day and an agnostic the next to guide your conversion? I think not, my child... [mad cackle]

Jennifer (of the unsane kind), heyho to you to. If your blog didn't boggle my feeble brain so easily, I'd visit it more often. Now, I'm not suggesting you lower your academic standards, I'm just apologising for my sloping forehead and indicating that I know my place in the order of things... :-)

January 07, 2008 7:45 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Matthew, I think Fromm's book Fear Of Freedom is brilliant. It, more than any of the others I've read, really did it for me. Mind you, I wish I could _apply_ what he teaches... But that's my problem, and not his shortcoming.

January 07, 2008 8:15 PM  
Blogger me & God ... said...

Especially for you :P

Obama, Facebook Join to Mobilize Record Turnout of Young Voters
2008-01-09 00:35 (New York)


(For a special report on the 2008 election, {ELEC}.)

By Christopher Stern
Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Barack Obama has a powerful ally as he
pulls what may be a record turnout of young voters into this
year's elections: Facebook.
The Illinois senator has energized students across the
country who are using Internet-based social networking sites
such as Facebook to enlist supporters and get out the vote.
These voters were pivotal to Obama's Jan. 3 victory in Iowa's
first-in-the-nation contest for the Democratic presidential
nomination: a record 65,230 people aged 17 to 29 turned out for
the caucus, triple the number in 2004, according to a survey
conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International.
In yesterday's New Hampshire vote, CNN exit polls showed
that people aged 18 to 29 accounted for 18 percent of all
voters, up from 14 percent in 2004. While Obama won support from
61 percent of voters 24 and younger, rival Hillary Clinton edged
him with 25-to-29 year-olds and won the primary.
``Facebook is critical to organizing now,'' said Jane
Fleming Kleeb, executive director of Young Voter PAC, a group
that supports Democratic candidates. ``It's how we find voters;
it's how we find leaders.''
In Iowa last week, Kleeb used Facebook to organize 150
carpools for out-of-state college students who were at home
during winter break and wanted to return to the state to caucus.
Her group spent $35,000 on airplane and bus tickets and hotel
rooms.

More Efficient

The Internet doesn't eliminate the need for more
traditional forms of political campaigning such as door-to-door
canvassing or phone banks, it just makes them more efficient,
said Kleeb, 34.
Sites such as Facebook -- where more than 75 percent of
college students have an account -- allow people to join groups
online, advertise their political affiliations and plan events.
Volunteers can organize themselves, making it much easier for
political operatives to take advantage of their network to
distribute a political message or stage a rally.
``We basically organized our Iowa program in a month when
in '04 it would have taken us six months,'' Kleeb said.
In addition to her efforts on Facebook, Kleeb sent 56,000
text messages to young people in Iowa and another 96,000 to
potential voters in New Hampshire.

Romney's Sons

Republican candidates also have taken to cyberspace. The
Web site of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, 60,
features a blog written by his five sons and allows volunteers
to download software for making get-out-the-vote calls. Texas
Representative Ron Paul, 72, has raised almost $28 million, most
of it through Internet donations.
Still, Obama, 46, has embraced the social-network
phenomenon more than any other candidate, and young people have
responded with enthusiasm. One of the first full-time staffers
to sign on with Obama was Chris Hughes, a co-founder of
Facebook, who had a leading role in creating my.barackobama.com,
a Facebook clone designed specifically for the campaign.
More than 300,000 accounts have been created on the site,
allowing each person to create groups organized around their
neighborhood, workplace or social connections.
``The ability to share information just wasn't there four
years ago,'' Hughes said. Members of the my.barackobama.com site
have used it to plan more than 20,000 real-world events,
according to Hughes.
Facebook and youth organizations such as Washington-based
Rock the Vote lean disproportionately toward Democrats, with
Obama being the biggest beneficiary in this election.

Republicans Outnumbered

CNN entrance polls in Iowa found that young voters
identified themselves as Democrats rather than Republicans by
better than 4 to 1. Obama got 57 percent of the youth vote in
Iowa, compared with 14 percent for former North Carolina Senator
John Edwards and 11 percent for New York Senator Clinton.
In Iowa, Rock the Vote pursued 17-year-old high school
students, who under state law are allowed to participate in the
caucuses if they turn 18 by the time of the general election in
November.
While turnout of young voters still lags behind other age
groups, they are casting ballots in bigger numbers. In the 2004
presidential election, 47 percent of those aged 18 to 29 went to
the polls, an increase of 9 percentage points from 2000.
Participation in midterm elections has also increased: 25.5
percent of voters under 30 voted in 2006, up from 22.5 percent
in 2002.

Voter-Registration Site

Rock the Vote asserts that an independent study found that
80 percent of the 800,000 people who registered to vote through
its Web site for the 2004 election ultimately went to the polls.
While the group is non-partisan, it sells names and contact
information it collects from young people through its voter-
registration Web site, said Rock The Vote spokeswoman Kat Barr.
``We do make that available to campaigns at fair-market value,''
Barr said.
Rick Ridder, a political consultant for Clinton, said the
Internet has changed the way campaigns are run. As an example,
he described how two-dozen volunteers working in Phoenix were
able to call more than 5,000 voters in New Hampshire by using an
Internet database that guided them to people who would be likely
to support Clinton, 60.
The Internet has become a ``formidable'' political force,
Ridder said. ``Everyone is their own organizer. They are their
own headquarters.''

--Editors: Max Berley, Robin Meszoly.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Christopher Stern in Washington at +1-202-624-1966 or
Cstern3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Michael Forsythe at +1-202-624-1940 or
mforsythe@bloomberg.net

January 10, 2008 8:18 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Nora, you imp, if I ever run for the US presidency, I'll surrender to Facebook, but not till then... :-)

January 12, 2008 8:10 PM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

pretty similar line of thought dampens most of my impulses to start writing again.

I hear now and then that some one or two people think I should. I definitely think YOU should because you don't screw around or care for fashion...I NEED that iota of sanity that you have because it helps kindle mine.

selling people the gratification of making connections and celebrating themselves is a good internet business, ask Rupert. But you and I have work to do.

-still reading you after all this,
Greensmile

January 17, 2008 12:33 PM  

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