The Compostual Existentialist

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Free

Facebook_logo_(square)For those who don’t read my Livejournal, those who have only just noticed I’ve not liked or posted on Facebook recently and those who just don’t give a stuff, on 30th January I logged out of Facebook.

I went up to the little icon in the right of my Facebook page clicked and then clicked on Log Out. I did the same on my devices and desktops and I sat, twitchy fingered, waiting for the wave of withdrawal to wash. Fourteen days later, nothing. I’m not even cowering in the corner like a heroin addict from a 1980s public information film.

I have been reminded though, thanks to Facebook, that I have an account…AND…I might have missed somethings. M has posted an update. S has shared a picture. B was live. Messages like these, I had a few from the social network, no doubt in an effort to entice me back in. Even today, I received a message to tell me I had 19 notifications and 3 Event invites. I don’t care. I’m not even curious.

The sad side though, is none of my associates on Facebook have noticed my absence and if they have, they haven’t messaged me out of concern about my well being or to enquire my virtual whereabouts.

So I have a white F on a blue background shaped hole in my day to day activities yet I still yearn to share things like interesting links or thought farts. But thanks to IFTTT my link sharing addiction has allowed me to share links, Swarm logins and Pinterest pins to my Blogger account and, in turn, occasionally some legacy IFTTT recipes will post over to FB. Really though, I’m not arsed.

Then this morning, while trying to enquire about the imminent birth of a friend’s child I realised that the only way I can reach the guy and his missus was through FB. They were on Twitter, but rarely used it. The overwhelming urge to log in was, although fleeting, like when a smoker kids themselves that just one won’t hurt. But I endured. I fired up Twitter and fired off some messages. That way, at least if they think I don’t care, in several years time they might log back into Twitter and see my messages. Then again, they might not.

Instead, I have retired to former social media haunts. My feeling is that the love affair with FB has passed. With nothing to jump ship to, I have returned to the likes of Livejournal, Ello and I’ve even dabbled with other new pretenders to the throne. But the lack of familiar people on these new arenas just shows me even more how much of  behemoth Facebook has become. Its vast digital dirty fingers dipping into every aspect of the web like a rot. But, I’m free now. Free.

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Watching

cctv_2I just had an air guitar moment. It was to In Motion Pt 2 by The Gathering. Thing is I was really enjoying myself and then I thought “OMG! Someone might see” so I stopped. Thing is I didn’t think “OMG! Someone might see” because I’m sat somewhere public with millions of people passing by. Nor did I think “OMG! Someone might see” because I’m sat in a place someone might catch me in the act. No! I thought “OMG! Someone might see me” because after 30 odd years I still think there might be a hidden camera somewhere.

Historically, for me, this began before CCTV became as wide spread as it is in the UK. Longer term readers might recall my telling of what my eldest brother said to me on my first day in school that being “You had best be on your best behaviour because I have hidden cameras about”.

That really set me up for life.

Followed by bumping into Mrs Thingie (friend of my nans) on the Isle of Man at the age of 10 and often having my mum confront me about things and events that there was no way that she could have witnessed (only later to find out one of her spies had seen me and told her everything).

This all proved to be the grounds of my really good behaviour. I’ve never stabbed anyone, never robbed anything (apart from that little ring of rubber that you attach face masks to snorkels with from a Hypermarché in France) , even when picking my nose I make sure nobody can see me. So not being an exhibitionist as such I conform and do as little to embarrass, offend or upset as I can incase somebody is watching or sees.

big-brother-is-watching-youTotally unfounded I know. I know that people have got better things to do with their time than scrutinise my every move and laugh at (note…I said at not with) me doing air guitar or whatever. I know that really nobody could careless and I won’t end up plastered all over the Sunday tabloids as being “That wanker that did the air guitar” or whatever it is I’m doing. But in the UK today, what seemed like an unlikely event in the 1970’s, CCTV and hidden cameras are everywhere. I’m not being paranoid or weird or owt…THEY ARE!! Just cos you can’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there.

Ok they might not be there. But there is always the chance that they might be, so I adapt my behaviour accordingly. Likewise, being the person that monitors the internet and computer usage of the students here makes me more paranoid. WHO IS WATCHING ME? Probably  you or the CIA. Not that I care….

So I thought am I alone in thinking this….


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Censor this

It started about the 17th September. Groups of people from all walks of life gathered in Wall Street in America in protest of the growing corporate culture. The movement is called Occupy.

 

There has been frighteningly little news about this in the British media. I’m not saying it has not been reported; it has. I am not shocked by this as unless children get hurt or someone famous gets arrested at the event it was unlikely it would get reported.

 

Monitoring the news this week has been interesting. Very little in the way of actual news. Slow news week. Slow news. Nothing to worry about…move along…But scratch beneath the surface, read between the lines and you notice things.

 

Little things. Like the problem with the Blackberry mobile phone network. Curious that it happens here just as the Occupy movement swells in Europe and, indeed the UK. Cast your mind back to the events in August. Riots organised by youths….USING BLACKBERRYS. Cut off the network. Invent some crap about a server malfunction. Cut off the communication of the youth. Prevent gatherings and organised flash protests. Then what happens? The problem spreads to the US. Coincidence? Maybe.

 

Then there’s the disappearing links on Facebook. I tried sharing a link to a news story drawing attention to the movement. Mysteriously it vanished a few hours later. I pasted a link in a comment to a friend. It too mysteriously vanished. Paranoia? Cake?? Misdirection?

 

Something stinks. I don’t like it. When people start disappearing, it will be too late.

 

 

Further reading:

 

http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/

https://www.facebook.com/occupylondon

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002993390797

http://occupylsx.org/

http://www.occupytogether.org/

http://occupyeverything.org/


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Eyes Sea Yew Ewe Seize Mi

I’m told by the media and by “those who know better” that we live in a surveillance society in the UK. There are eyes everywhere. Cameras hidden, cameras in plain view. Some owned by councils, others by private companies and individuals. But in all, there are eyes everywhere.

My brother used to tell me he had hidden cameras at my school and could see if I got into mischief.  This was 1977 though and more than likely a pile of fibs as tall as a giant beanstalk. However, as I was young and daft, I believed him and behaved. Mostly.

Anyway, these days CCTV cameras are everywhere. Beady unseen all seeing eyes bore into your very soul from a distance away in an unknown room in an unknown location.

But…who is watching you. Who is watching the watcher watching you? Who is watching the watcher watching the watcher watching you? Who knows? Do you? I don’t. How can you be so sure it is not I that uses my eye to watch you. You can’t. I’m not. But you can’t be sure. Can you?

This is why I propose a day. I’m not entirely sure what day….lets say a day in the future…This time next year. When, if enough people can be bothered (and I know a lot of people really can’t be arsed to do anything these days), at a proposed time, say midday, everyone whips out their camera phones, camcorders and web cam enabled devices and films the people around them.

The resulting footage could then be uploaded onto the internet and would hopefully show people watching other people watching other people. Bringing to people’s attention that they don’t know who is watching.  Oooh the irony! It’s enough to make me want to put on my easy iron shirt and go to Ironbridge in an iron bath.


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Backdoor

One of the most odious things the New World Order is attempting to do is sneak identification cards through the back door.

I’ve been a long time opponent to ID cards. I dislike the current environment of “Everyone is a potential terrorist/master criminal/on the dodge/paedophile”. Having to carry a documents to present to some sinister secret police man makes me think of East Germany, Stalinist regimes and people getting whisked off the streets by unmarked vans and ferried to some sinister labs where they are injected with mind control drugs and reconditioned. That may sound far fetched, but it does happen.

Last night I was enjoying a pre-gig meal at the Wagamammas in Cambridge when a young gentleman who was seated at the next table tried to order a beer. Now, to my eye he could easily have passed as over 21. He was sporting stubble and had a deep voice so was no doubt at some stage of puberty. However the waitress refused to serve him a beer and asked for some ID. The young man foraged about in his wallet and produced a postgraduate international student union card.

Now, unless you are some sort of geeky 10 year old from a family where the dad looks like the bloke from the Joy of Sex books and the mother is something to do with the Floaty Vagina Collective, you’re going to be well over 21 if you’re a postgraduate. Of course, he could have been a master forger and have made the card in his dad’s shed using toilet roll and a laminating machine.

The young man was clearly upset by this and his mood sank further when asked to present something with his date of birth AND his picture on.

Of course this got me thinking. Even though I look a good deal to the wrong side of 50, do I carry any form of identification with my picture on?

Do I buggery!

I have bank cards, loyalty cards and a few business cards of my own, but nothing showing my date of birth or with a picture. In fact, I’ve never carried anything with my picture/DOB on. So I asked if she carried anything with her date of birth/picture on it and she said that she carried her Drivers licence.

Now that’s all well and good but as we know, not everyone drives so the carrying of drivers licenses is probably only done by those who actually drive. I drive yes, but I am not required by law (yet) to carry my driving licence with me at all times. So what, other than a driving licence, form of ID has your date of birth on.

Now, unless you’ve been living in a box in the Gobi Desert for the past ten years, the British Government has been nefariously pushing for the introduction of ID cards. This has had some fierce opposition from human rights activists and from the NO-2-ID lobby movement.

However, what is happening is more and more shops are requesting ID from shoppers buying items. Most of the major supermarkets and off licence chains now operate a Prove 25 scheme where people appearing to be under 25 must present, on request, a valid form of ID. Ok…so that sounds ok….but such requests are not limited to beer and fags. One supermarket wanted ID for quiche and another for the Sunday Times newspaper.

So the solution? Well its a tricky one. If you’re propositioned for ID. Get up…walk out and write a letter of complaint to your newspaper and MP and one to the company. Highlight that you have seen through their little trick and that you won’t be party to it.

That is unless, of course, you want to live in a society where secret police monitor your every move and whisk you off the street in unmarked black vans…..


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Wet Leather

I just watched a ladder appear into view on the Gate Cam, some bloke climb up it and then look all suspicious. (You can see him in the gallery)

I then realised it was just the window cleaner.

Doh!

Drama session was ok. It was mainly sorting out what the kids wanted to do. One of the girls got into a strop about something and kept letting out sighs. Nobody paid the slightest attention to her so the sighs got audibly louder until I asked her if she was having a problem breathing. After which the sighs ceased.

Returned home and got a pizza in. Of all the pizza delivery places in the area they were the quickest but their pizza was a bit shite. The kebabs from there are good though.

The pizza didn’t have any potato on it.

I have been potato free for nearly 26 days now. I feel wholesome but I haven’t lost any weight. I put that down to pizzas and the yummy Chicken Caesar wraps they sell in the college canteen.

We’ve got some proper CCTV cameras now. Going to put them up this weekend 😀


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Teeth

I upgraded J River Media centre to version 12. I love it. It makes Windows Media Fuckerupper seem like something cobbled together by a group of sixth form A’level Computer Programmers.

Mrs Owen was caught on Webcam on Friday acting suspicious. Who the chap the pocket bound hands is we have no idea. Probably some local scally.

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