“Get off YouTube if you don’t wanna be harassed”

“Well… YouTube is money.”

Remember my earlier post? Why are people so mean toward people who are not hurting a fly?

Why would someone in California find out who to contact in Missouri and make up a story about someone polluting a creek? And then a person in Tennessee calls the sheriff on him.

He wasn’t arrested, though.

English insularity versus continental craziness?

Some years ago, someone offered a bookcase on Freecycle. I wanted it.

The someone turned out to be a young German woman who was living in what seemed to be just one room in one of those very-hard-to-find addresses along Kingston Road (very close to where I am) that are very  different from some of the other hard-to-find addresses along Kingston Road (such as where I am). 

(I couldn’t find her address, no. I called her and she had to come outside, go into the street.)

How did she end up there? She had been married to an English guy who was in the military. Went to Afghanistan and in a nutshell. everything went pear-shaped. She was preparing to go back to Germany. Waiting for the divorce to come through. And had found some work here.

She and I, well, we ended up getting pizza (Papa Johns) and eating it at her place. 

The mere idea is bound to give any English person an instant heart attack!

But this is how most of the rest of the western world lives, folks.

And it scares the shit out of you English.

I continued to e-mail with her for a while after she had moved back to Germany. The last thing I heard from her was about either about going to talk about or having been hired for a job in Dubai. Not the Portsmouth shopping centre but the real Dubai.

Foreigners who have the audacity to go live in England, they go places.

English people, by contrast, are scared of even sharing a pizza.

That is an example of why life in England is so dreary and so limited for so many of you. 

This woman and I instantly crossed a ton of “otherisation” thresholds because she and I instantly knew that we had so much more in common than what set us apart.

And her bookcase is still in the same spot in my little office and I am still very happy with it. 

Yeah, we foreigners are really crazy. We socialize… We aren’t terrified of one another. Not as a rule in any case.

Also… this is how we crazy foreigners “network”.

When I started out as  a self-employed person, this sort of thing is how I got almost all my work. I used to know tons of people in all sorts of work fields. (And some people knew that, LOL.) On LinkedIn, I am now connected with some of the people I used to work with because they remember me. From decades ago. From before I went to university in quite a few cases. Crazy, isn’t it?

Let go. Be free.

Here’s to you, Meike.

What I learned? English vets – veterans – coming back from Afghanistan were not getting the support that they needed.

Okay, maybe I am being too harsh. Maybe it’s – also – me. In the Netherlands, a guy told me and only me about his wife’s suicide attempt. Until then, we had no idea why he was missing meetings, which was so out of the ordinary for him. (I don’t think I told anyone else, after that, as there was no point, though I must have mentioned to at least one person that I knew what was going on.) Another guy told me and nobody else why he had been missing many meetings; the next thing I heard was that he never shared anything with anyone from someone who would have loved to know more (and assist if he could, I am sure). In the UK, one woman told me about the affair she’d had with someone she should have married but did not while she was waiting for her partner to return from abroad – which he never did; instead he let her know he was marrying someone else. And then she said that she’d never never even told anyone about that second relationship. In the Netherlands, a woman told me about the relationship she was having with a neighbour that she did not think her daughters would understand. And some other stuff. So, maybe, it is – also – me? If so, what does it mean? I am just like everyone else. Just as fallible and human.

What it means?

  1. Forgive yourself. For anything.
  2. There is no right way or wrong way for living your life. Just live it (already).

“Becoming more crazy but not in a good way”

I just ran into this video below right after I ran into this quote and realized how much that quote sometimes has to do with my life.

Albert Einstein apparently once said:

“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”

But there was no internet in his days and the internet is making things possible that were unimaginable back then. That is changing things, and not always in a good way.

What can we do about this?

Take my own situation. I am based in a town – a densely packed island community, the densest population in the UK crammed onto Portsea Island off the southern coast of England – that is often a chillingly vicious place where just about everyone seems to hate just about everyone else. It all gets stale very very quickly.

(Remember what Einstein said?
No worries, I am going to make a video about this… to explain.)

People here gossip a lot about strangers.

I do not even have to make YouTube videos to draw all sorts of comments on the streets from total strangers. About where I’ve just been for example. It makes me feel unsafe. It makes me feel uncomfortable. Because it’s creepy.

It is one of the reasons why I often used to delete things that I said or did online. Because I was afraid – as in “worried” – about the effect it might have locally. The backlash.

Like this YouTuber in the video below, I cannot fathom why people do some of these things.

(No, I certainly do not have all the answers. But I do know that we seem to live in a world in which we are too quick to assume the worst about others, often enthusiastically encouraged by our esteemed non-leaders because divide-and-conquer gets them votes.)

I’ve also had a comment on Facebook in the past about things I bought at the supermarket. Apparently, some unknown person had looked into my shopping basket and felt it necessary to ask around as to who I was and then go look for me on Facebook to pester me there. About my… VEGETABLES! No, not even about whether they were organic or not.

I do not know who these local people are and why they are obsessed with me. They’re complete strangers. In my case, it seems to be merely part of English culture, and I increasingly often shrug about it, but it still almost always makes me feel like a hand reaches into my body and squeezes my heart when it happens. Not in a good way.

How much worse it must be if your livelihood – as is often the case for YouTubers – depends on the very thing that gets your bullied, threatened and stalked.

Why would anyone who is not in the long tail of neurodiversity or not in good mental health go to this woman’s home to pester her?

And why does this woman in the video have to be sexually harassed on a daily basis by men who apparently see nothing wrong with that? Would these men feel the same way about other men harassing their daughters in a similar way? (Regardless of whether the men in question have daughters.)

Now YOU start seeing the bigger picture for a change, dear Mr. Anonymous Local Buster. Because to assume that only you have the big picture means that you are deciding to lock yourself into a mental basement. Only you know what your tiny little basement looks like. Correct!

There is a word for that.

Insularity.

De Pfeffel’s priorities

Trump may be on his way out but we still have a vindictive irrational narcissist at the helm of the UK, where the situation was already beyond the havoc that Trump created before De Pfeffel hopped into the saddle.

26 June 2020: 26 pence per day increase for refugees

20 October 2020: Covid-19 support for Manchester 22 million instead of 66 million

21 October 2020: No free school meals for poor deprived kids during school holidays

30 October 2020: 3 pence per day increase for refugees (who by the way often become homeless as soon as they get refugee status) so they now get £39.63 per week.

19 November 2020: 16 billion increase in defence spending

What makes a sadistic stalker?

How does something like sadistic stalking come about?

Why does someone decide to target a stranger and wreck that person’s life? A lot of it seems to be a loud scream to be heard. To get noticed.

But how do you deflect that kind of behaviour into something neutral or constructive?

Sadistic stalking is horribly destructive. That destruction seems to be its sole purpose. Where does that urge to destroy a stranger’s life come from?

One of the things I want to do is help starting and existing business owners avoid becoming stalked.

(It makes sense, really. As negative as it sounds, anything else I undertake only causes me to be a risk to anyone I work with. A liability. My hacking and stalking experience becomes an asset, however, if I use it to help others within this context..)

As a business owner in this day and age – or anyone whose career takes place online for that matter – you have to be online.

It means that anyone can find you and anything you do or say may set someone off. It could be as simple as someone not liking your business name that draws his attention and make him decide to take a closer look.

Very few occupations may still allow you to operate without having any online presence at all and without using e-mail, text and chat.

How did I become targeted? I still don’t really know, but I have recently begun to realize that there is a possibility that the people stalking me already started to take an interest in me when I joined an online forum related to a hobby. I was anonymous but I joked a heck of a lot on that forum and it may have been in a manner that my stalkers did not like. They were on that forum. Then I asked for a reference on that forum when I was looking for someone who could do some repair and maintenance work. That set it all in motion.

Nobody ever sees it coming. Serious, highly destructive talking.

I certainly never expected to find myself stalked this way. 

Stalking is on the increase. As a business owner, there are things you can do to protect yourself and limit your exposure to stalkers. I can help you with that.

(Think police will help you if you ever were to get stalked? Think again. In England and Wales, even the police forces themselve are now admitting that they fail stalking victims as a rule, not merely incidentally.)

By the way, stalking is usually directed at women, but does not have to be.

 

Women / This / The end

“We are the authorities on male violence, from rape and domestic abuse to murder, but we aren’t believed. The result, today as it was four decades ago, is predictable – and fatal.”

By Joan Smith. Joan Smith is a journalist and chair of the Mayor of London’s Violence Against Women and Girls Board

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/13/peter-sutcliffe-crimes-women-police-investigation-murders-misogny

Poverty in the US versus poverty in the UK

Good morning!

The BBC just announced that the real living wage is going up to £9.50 an hour:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54867444

Yesterday evening, I spotted a tweet expressing concern for the fact that nearly half of Americans earn less than $15 an hour.

If you put “almost half less than 15 dollars” into Twitter’s search, you’ll see plenty of such tweets pop up.

The dollar has slipped a bit but the GBP/USD exchange rate (called “cable”) is still only at 1.1316.

The real living wage is what conscientious companies in the UK sign up for. It is not the government’s minimum wage, which is now called the National Living Wage. That’s lower.

In Florida, where life is much cheaper than in the UK, people just voted to increase their state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2026.

Yeah, horrible people, those Americans. They are worried about people who earn higher wages than what many in the UK consider outrageously high.

 

Stalking. Not as flattering and romantic as you thought

Stalking. Maybe not as romantic and flattering as you thought.

This is too often the reality for stalking victims. Someone breaks into their home, rips the couch apart with a knife, takes a photo album and attacks all the photos that have the victim in it and the police do nothing, take no finger prints.

I’ve had stuff like this – lockpicking and crap carried out in my flat – happen for the past eight years or so. There is nothing you can do to stop it other than, as she puts it, “take yourself out of the equation”.

And people laugh about it…

 

To the Royal Mail woman who had my Southampton address in her route

12 Oakbank Road

I lived there between roughly the start of 2005 and the beginning of 2009 when I left for the oh so charming-looking but immensely sadistic cesspool known as Portsmouth.

Thank you. Unlike most of your country people, your fellow English people, you never insulted me, you never lied to me, you never abused me in any way and you never stole any items from my mail.

To you, I was a fellow human being, not some piece of stinking excrement.

When I gave you an ice cream from the freezer I had until people in Portsmouth stole if from me, you were happy with that but it made no difference in how you treated me. I did not suddenly stop being excrement.

YOU never saw me as excrement.

You are one of the very very few English people who considered me a human being in the now nearly 16 years that I have lived in this vicious, bile-spewing mess of a country.

I don’t remember your name and that saddens me.

Thank you.


PS
Something similar goes for the receptionists at Strathmore Veterinary Clinic in Andover, which I frequented between roughly 2006 and 2011. Thank you.

It’s all gloom and doom

Many of the UK’s newspaper headlines this morning are about how the sense of entitlement of some people clashes with the practicalities of being alive during a pandemic.

Sure, the pandemic is causing hardship and heartbreak, but less so for the more fortunate in society.

Can we please remember that the pandemic is also creating some unique opportunities for good?

  • It highlights weaknesses in society, so it makes us see where we should focus our priorities. 
  • It also is sparking a lot of creativity, for example, by offering VR versions of experiences that are currently no longer possible for most of us.

Are EU citizens in the UK the only officially undocumented legal migrants in the world now?

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/sep/26/eu-citizens-uk-brexit-settled-status-jobs-banking-healthcare

The entire thing, the application, the status and the many empty promises made and reneged on, it means zilch.

We’re still vermin.

So far, at least one person was blocked from boarding a flight for the same reason as why the people in the above article in The Guardian ran into hurdles. The status means zilch. You have no legal proof of it. 

But what else can people do other than either go through the farcical rigmarole or leave?

I contacted Cygnet Healthcare this morning

This is what I wrote:

“Hello,

Yesterday, I ran into the following article about Yew Trees hospital in Essex and I learned that you used to operate another hospital that had similar challenges.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/sep/24/essex-hospital-where-staff-abused-patients-was-warned-by-cqc

I wonder if I could help you address such issues, for example, by visiting your facilities and talking with staff about what happened to me after I moved from Amsterdam to England.

To my utter bafflement, I became bullied in England. I suspect that this may have had something to do with some people around me assuming that I was learning-disabled in some way and on disability benefits because they didn’t see me go to work every day and noticed that I was living on my own (which also seems to carry a stigma here).

I am – or was – a geologist and marine biogeochemist working from home. Remember the attack with flour etc on Janice Morris who was sitting on a bench? That photo went viral; I heard about it from the US, where I have also lived for a while. Well, something like that happened to me too, for example, except that I got stones, sand and water thrown at me and two stones hit my head.

Please forward and discuss my offer. Let me know what you think of it.”

I am also in the middle of editing a new video.

Both were sparked by this:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/sep/24/essex-hospital-where-staff-abused-patients-was-warned-by-cqc

This is the video I made:

And now, for a good laugh,

read this:

Article in the Guardian.

Sounds like more people should learn how to “go floppy”. (It’s good to see police officers finally wearing masks too, by the way.)

Meanwhile, Priti Patel continues to be devoid of any semblance of a healthy perspective:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/sep/08/extinction-rebellion-criminals-threaten-uks-way-of-life-says-priti-patel

She Speaks (by Debbie Cameron)

Reposted!

language: a feminist guide

Three years ago, to mark the political party conference season, I wrote a post about Great Political Speeches—or rather, Great Male Political Speeches. On most Anglophone lists of the best speeches of all time you will find just one token woman, or if you’re really lucky, two. British list compilers typically select from a field consisting of Elizabeth I, Emmeline Pankhurst and Margaret Thatcher; their US counterparts, who (still) can’t choose a female president, tend to go for Susan B. Anthony or Sojourner Truth.

Of course, it’s not surprising if the female speechmakers of the past can’t compete with the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. In addition to being gifted orators, these men were leaders of global stature, speaking at key historical moments on subjects of grave import. Until recently very few women, however gifted, were in a position to tick…

View original post 1,513 more words

When is it time to leave?

A father said to his daughter “You graduated with honors, here is a car I acquired many years ago. It is several years old. But before I give it to you, take it to the used car lot downtown and tell them I want to sell it and see how much they offer you. The daughter went to the used car lot, returned to her father and said, “They offered me $1,000 because it looks very worn out.” The father said, ”Take it to the pawn shop.” The daughter went to the pawn shop, returned to her father and said, ”The pawn shop offered $100 because it was a very old car.” The father asked his daughter to go to a car club and show them the car. The daughter took the car to the club, returned and told her father,” Some people in the club offered $100,000 for it since it’s a Nissan Skyline R34, an iconic car and sought out after by many.” The father said to his daughter, ”The right place values you the right way,” If you are not valued, do not be angry, it means you are in the wrong place. Those who know your value are those who appreciate you. Never stay in a place where no one sees your value.

 

 

I so agree with this headline by George Monbiot: “If you think the UK isn’t corrupt, you haven’t looked hard enough”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/10/uk-corrupt-nation-earth-brexit-money-laundering

But it does not happen only in London and only on a large scale. It happens everywhere, also here where I live, and on all kinds of scales.