WRITER@WORK – February 2023

Caira Kelly inspired me again for this month’s piece: “I used to enjoy a good on-line row, but the fight has gone out of me.  I appear to have moved into the ‘couldn’t give a toss’ phase of my life – and I like it.”

Social media is the perfect arena for getting wound-up.   Pre-internet I could fall out with myself, given half a chance but nowadays I can rarely be arsed to get in a state about something I can’t do anything about.   I’ve done my fair share of activism in my time but I’ve reached the conclusion that the folk doing most of the winding-up are self-opinionated, self-righteous arseholes who are only interested in partial facts before going on the warpath!  And now that even the Millennials have been consigned to the old-fart generation, it’s doubtful whether we’ll get any sense out of Gen-Z who have been dubbed ‘social justice warriors’ – without having lived long enough to qualify.

When we’re younger we do feel passionate about a large number of issues and as Dr Kelly says, perhaps we only pretend we’re still furious about all sorts of things but the truth is, we’ve probably run out of steam.  I suspect that we care less about things outside our control – especially when I’m being harangued by someone who is preaching to the choir and already agreeing with my opinions.  Even those who are obviously on my side of the fence in the debate are not the ones who I’d want arguing in my corner, anyway …

In the 1980s I was an activist opposing those promoting the ‘Satanic panic’ but today I couldn’t give a toss about those twittering on about the ‘niceness’ of the modern pagan when I read what it is that they have to say for themselves and what they believe.  This is not my kind of Craft and I certainly don’t want to identify with any of their vanilla-light (to quote the late Michael Howard) pagan sentiments.

In truth, animal issues still get my goat and I will sign petitions or donate to what I consider to be a good cause … but not if it’s spearheaded by do-gooders, or those who can’t string a sentence together without using the words ‘cute’ or ‘sweet’ in the text.  I consciously make an effort, for example, not to buy anything or holiday in places that support the dog-meat trade, and avoid financially assisting any of those ‘poor’ countries that keep moon bears for bile extraction, or the fur trade.  Or help cater for some degenerate old oriental grandfather’s libido through the slaughter of dozens of different wild animals used in traditional medicine, which has been described as ‘fraught with pseudo-science, with the majority of its treatments having no logical mechanism of action’.

Hence I’m not really interested in media ‘awareness’ and ‘well-being’ since those promulgating the ideas don’t necessarily imply any knowledgeable understanding of their subject.  These fads, also known as a craze, refers to a fashion that becomes popular in a culture (or subcultures) relatively quickly, remains popular, often for a rather brief period, then loses popularity dramatically, as it either fades into obscurity … or becomes a regular part of a society’s culture.  For example, the zero-waste movement has inspired “scrap cooking,” or whipping up a meal out of would-be kitchen waste – which, for many of those brought up in a ‘war-time mentality environment, this was (and often still is) normal behavior!

Interest and participation in social causes are becoming more widespread among consumers. With over half of the US population qualifying as ‘conscious consumers,’ value-based marketing and cause-driven business practices are becoming more expected of brands.  So let’s start avoiding the various ‘brands’ that we personally find offensive (for whatever reason) and simply stop buying.  This is something we can all do something about and if each ‘protester’ eschews the purchasing of any item whose origins they find questionable, then it may begin to hit economies where it hurts and encourage them to change the laws.

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