Coming to you in 2022…?

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[Note: I originally wrote this on New Year’s Day 2022, though worried I might be getting a little personal here, so hesitated a little too long to publish. Nevertheless, might as well just do it…]

[Update, 21/02/2022: I’ve make some minor tweaks/edits since yesterday, to edit mistakes or to make the article read better. Please be aware this post was originally pretty stream-of-consciousness and the spelling or grammar may not be perfect.]

I will, of course, begin by wishing my readers (whoever is out there, hi!) a Happy New Year, even if, by the time this post is complete, it might be a day or two late. [Addendum: Try a couple of months late…]

It probably hasn’t escaped the notice of anyone who has actually bothered to peruse my blog archives on those rare occasions such a thing actually happens, or anyone who has seen my near constant attempts to take the “pee” out of myself, but I don’t write very frequently. What’s the point, it sometimes seems, of having a blog one rarely posts in?

Of course, it might, on the surface, make some sense if I had anything particular going on in my life to justify that, or any particular responsibilities to justify that, but really, I don’t. At the same time, there are justifiable reasons for this. In part, as I’m not always the world’s greatest or (in all situations) most confident communicator, except for those times where I seem to get into stupid arguments and/or stick my foot in it somehow. Being on the autistic spectrum, this is far from easy, as relating to supposedly “normal” people on the same wavelength as they are, and actually have myself be understood, isn’t always easy. Do I say this, or will it offend someone? Will they understand what I’m getting at? Will they be bored to tears? Can anyone understand my sometimes long-winded and convoluted style of writing? All these things I sometimes feel is true of me when I actually try interacting with other people on any more than a superficial level. And (yet?) once upon a time, I did have a bit of a history of getting into stupid arguments online. These never and well for anyone it seems. More so when you have views that might be at odds with many people, and you have difficulty fully explaining them.

So, to actually write a full blog article, get it finished, publish and hopefully not be damned, and then know I’ll come back to it in years to come and find a dozen typos, unfinished paragraphs (this happened once!) and worse, can actually be a pretty daunting prospect. Same goes for much else in my life, even though in all those cases it would be easy to do what I used to do: put it down to simple laziness. Which perhaps, it sometimes is. It’s always easier to get sidetracked by something more interesting, or less mentally and/or physically demanding, or just get lost in one’s own thoughts. But even there, habits once formed are not easily overcome.

As regards 2021, the less said the better. As you will see from my previous post, the last two years, especially in terms of what is going on in the world, are hard enough for most people to have to deal with. Perhaps I am relatively sheltered from the worst of it (should I thank whatever Gods are out there?) but trying to blog about it is still a major headache. Why some people react the way they do, in the face of events (be it coronavirus, racial issues, climate change or politics in general or anything of the other million and one things which come up from time to time) is ultimately beyond my ken. I can’t think like these people, I don’t know their circumstances, I’m no expert on some issues, so somehow it seems whatever my thoughts are on them are not worth sharing and would seem too much.

At the same time, I have had a post in the works exploring an idea I had which might seem pertinent to both the coronavirus situation and that of climate change, given last year’s hype over the UK hosting of the COP26 climate conference, which I might eventually finish and publish, though I might have to rewrite the whole thing. The original idea was that many of us, at least those of us who comprise the more comfortably off in the Western world of all but the oldest generations, have less and less had to put up with major threats or worse still, anything that would constitute an existential crisis. As such, we simply aren’t prepared for to happen and this shapes our responses. I did add in an observation I’ve hard before, that we are more evolved to deal with short term threats to our lives (for example predators, potential enemies, the immediate challenge of finding food etc.) But of course, that gets complcated by things. What about people who live in places where extreme weather events, seismic activity happens? Which obviously is not the UK, but in certain parts of, say, the United States, this is true. And what about the 2008 financial crisis? Not existential, but it certainly affected a lot of people’s livelihoods and how the economy fundamentally operates, as well as, quite probably, being partially responsible for all the divisions, mistrust and sometimes extremism in politics. So, does my idea have any merit to warrant a full post? Watch this space.

There are certain topics, though, which seem too thorny to touch, including anything to do with anti-racism (thinking particularly about George Floyd and BLM), identity politics or culture wars in general, or anything to do with revolutionary politics. Moreover, I don’t think I can be sure enough to make my mind up about some of these issues. I might want to touch on the nature of things like free speech, religious tolerance etc. in a more general sense though as opposed to in reaction to specific events, as these seem relevant enough to anyone including me. On that score, there is also the very personal matter of why, coming up to nearly 7 years ago now (how time flies!) I ended up leaving Christianity behind, which I think needs going into, somehow.

But at the same time, this was mostly meant, as I recall, to be a blog about my random thoughts on the world, not just covering the news and hot-button topics like it often ends up being, plus more filler posts like this one when I can’t think of anything to write. A couple I have been working on, on and off, are about those strange and sometimes annoying words, phrases and sayings that people use from time to time. Some of my views on these might get a little controversial, mind, so I don’t know what to include. As I said before, I worry about offending people given I have had a tendency to do it at times in the past. So I’m somewhat wary of doing it now.

Of course there is also my other blog, Tales of Lyniezia, which is meant to showcase my dabblings in creative writing. There as much as anything I have some difficulty with wanting to get many of these stories finished, even if I have a rough mental outline of how I want them to go. I’m not even sure what it is sometimes, either lack of confidence or I just give up too easily. Even if I just prefer the random stream-of-consciousness, don’t-take-this remotely-seriously travesty/farce sort of thing (like Insanity Claus, Princess Lucidity to the Rescue and the like to the somewhat more serious ones like, say, Grangefield Park or the still as yet unfinished A Not-So-Brief Encounter) I find it hard to really finish them. Even if I do, I suppose most of these will be for fun than ever meant as the basis for commercial publication. That seems to be a very difficult gig to get into and make anything out of even for those whose capability for work is much greater than mine. Who knows what the future holds, though. So hopefully, expect at least some of these stories maybe to get finished sometime over the course of this year. I don’t know what other ideas I have in store, yet.

Nevertheless, I think if I have to make any “New Year’s Resolution”, it will have to be to try and focus and overcome my fears, habits and excuses which prevent me from doing this blog and a lot else in life. It won’t be easy, but, I suppose, what is?

Another possible New Year’s Resolution pertinent to this blog is reading. In order to talk about any remotely serious topics, I think reading around the issues in order to gain a better understanding of things is always a good idea, especially since I have been accused on occasion of not understanding what I am talking about with certain issues. And in terms of fiction writing, reading other fiction (and factual works, too) to gain inspiration and perhaps pointers on how to write a good story is needful.

There are, of course, many more, but they probably aren’t relevant to this blog, and I would rather keep a few things still private!

Anyway, watch this space over the New Year. Hopefully, more posts will be on their way soon!

Brexit, Trump, Brexit, Trump….

…is there a hole I can hide away in, call it Lyniezia, and ignore the whole thing for the next 2 years at least?

Or maybe better still, some meaningful thing I can do to benefit society and the world around me that doesn’t involve caring about either?

Any ideas? (Apart from the obvious, if you happen to be related to me).

I’m ba-ack! Or am I? (In which I drop bombshells, and write about what I might be writing about… maybe.)

Well, this is a short post just to let you know that I am alive, well and hope to start posting more of my thoughts on this here blog. (Oh yes and, people who didn’t know I have a blog, I have a blog. ) WordPress tells me it’s been nearly a year. Of course, you’ll say, we’ve heard THAT one before, haven’t we? Well, true. But there have been certain other reasons besides my usual sheer laziness. One of which is perhaps a year of spending a lot of time worrying about certain faith matters before getting to the point that, all things considered, maybe it would be better off not having that faith at all. That is to say, I have come to the point where if Christianity (at least in the sense I believed it) is going to be worth following, it had better be true: its demands are so great that it had better be worth it, and there had better really be a God out there able to make us into the kind of people who can follow it. But, on closer examination of reality, how much of the evidence seems to point the other way? Just which claims, interpretations of scripture, etc. are true and which are not? Is this God everybody claims is really there and working in their lives, really there, or is it just all coincidence and tricks of the mind? All in all, I concluded, it probably was not. Unfortunately not all of my Christian friends might know about this, and I have also been hesitant to make it public. Partly out of fear it might upset the faith of some, partly as a lot would try to react with surprise, tell me I haven’t really stopped believing or try to bring me back into the fold. Well, I have no objection to you believing what you want, if it is true for you then as long as it harms no-one else, I have no problem with it. But do not expect me to believe any longer. I hope perhaps to address this in more detail in future posts. In the meantime, I have this whole EU election thingy (even if it ends up being last minute again and affects nobody’s opinion or vote) and reflections on certain very nasty murders that have taken place in the last week or so. Not much fun, sadly, but needs comment. In the future, who knows? Maybe I’ll write that big ideal democracy post (my ideas have shifted on that), some stuff about capitalism (short: it has many shortcomings and needs to be replaced, eventually), and maybe more fun stuff like anime reviews, wry observations, silly rants about inane nonsense… oh yeah, and I forgot that Jenny Everywhere story.

Watch this space.

(In memoriam to the victims of the Orlando shootings, Jo Cox MP, and all victims of senseless violence everywhere.)

[Edited for typos, 23/04/2018]

Updates on me, and other addenda

Well, I’ve been on holiday for two weeks in Florida. I had aimed at least to have a good time, try to get on well with my hosts (my mother’s friend and her family) and get all the books read I’ve taken with me, I suppose. So far I have only finished one- John Brunner’s Times Without Number, a sci-fi novel set in an alternate history where the Spanish armada successfully defeated the English and invaded, yet Spain itself was reconquered by the Moors; where time travel has been developed (deceptively easily, it turns out), yet travel in spatial dimensions is limited to the horse and carriage. I suspect in a Catholic society, the lack of Protestant work ethic discouraged any industrial revolution which might have lead to the development of the steam engine? I wonder. It is a world where aristocracy and slavery is the norm, where the Catholic Church wields considerable influence, and the Inquisition is considered humane for using truth-drugs and hypnotism instead of torture as a means of interrogation. But these are the good guys, aiming to prevent the misuse of time travel for personal or political gain, or the timeline from being altered significantly. The epitome of Deliberate Values Dissonance, for any of my fellow tropers who may be reading. Oh, and I’ve also started on Jane Austen’s Emma and a collection of sci-fi short stories from the sixties.

So, I’m now in Florida, and have been for about a week, along with my mother. The weather is certainly as warm as can be expected, but can be very stormy, with lots of lightning and at least a few power cuts. Due to issues with lost or delayed luggage (a nightmare for some) we haven’t yet done too much, besides shopping, Starbucks and a couple of trips to the beach. There is some interesting wildlife to be seen even in the extensive back yard of our hosts, including various birds, a squirrel, the occasional deer and raccoons and even evidence of a bear which left its mark on the fence. In the interests of privacy I will not share too much about my hosts save to say they’re pretty nice folks, if I must be reminded it is the GULF (of Mexico- we’re in southwest Florida) we have been to the beach of, not the SEA! (Presumably a customary distinction the locals make?)

Next week, possible boat trips to see dolphins and possibly a tour of the Everglades. Pictures I hope will find their way to this blog- minus, for the sake of privacy, any well-defined human subjects, as agreed.

My post on the Israel-Palestine conflict seems to have been viewed by at least one Palestinian- possibly someone who commented on one of my friend’s Facebook thread. I hope I didn’t disappoint him by being a little too pro-Israel. It seems the guy who was supposedly captured was actually killed in action. I forget his identity. Now, at last, it seems there is actually a more lasting ceasefire and the chance of some talks… or is there? And the fact the Palestinians have gone to the world courts? I wonder how that will lead. O world, when will you learn to stop fighting and wasting life in this way?

That said, the whole business with the oppressive, murderous “Islamic State” does make me think that some military action is necessary. A cautious approach, however- maybe a few airstrikes to limit effectiveness, arm the Kurds or Iraqis in general, aim to reconcile opposing groups within Iraq, and let them sort their own problems out. Don’t give in to the demands for all-out action at any price- this will only lead to more support for these radical groups and end in more waste of civilian life. And do our best to help those in need- do not ignore the Christians and others who they are persecuting.

Anyway, enough of this.

Hopefully I could before long get some books or videos reviewed. I have bought and hope to bring back a few VHS tapes which are unavailable in the UK, including the badly-dubbed version of Macross- Do You Remember Love? as well as They Were Eleven (mystery thriller in space), Explorer Woman Ray (Indiana Jones type fayre, but with a female protagonist?) and the Leiji Matsumoto classic Galaxy Express 999. Maybe I shall review the Moorcock and the Brunner.

And maybe finish the (currently long and rambling) essay on what might make an ideal democracy, if certain of my readers don’t mind yet more political fayre. (Note, ideal democracy doesn’t necessarily mean ideal political system.)

Maybe I’ll even have some ‘gators or dolphins to show you.

[This post has been edited from its original form for personal reasons.]