Merely Burble – I Am Just Showing My Working Out, But I Am Not Sure What the Question Is

this is not really a blog post, just some sentences I am using to try and work something out. You may want to leave now. Merely Burble.

When I was young and hair my was lustrous, did I imagine that with age would come greater certainty. Was I more sure of the world at 15 or 45? I was never that sure of anything, apart from the diseases I thought I had and that those people over there in the cafe were laughing at me because of my shoes, hair, walk or face.

Everyone else seems so sure. Are they all discreetly hiding their imposter syndrome, or do they really know what they know?
Maybe this scepticism was a bad idea.

It is the cocksureness (I prefer cockcertainty, but that doesn’t seem to be a word as yet) that I keep knocking my head into that is swelling my uncertainty about nearly everything.

So many arguments where facts are stated and never backed up by evidence.
So many universal truths that can only be traced back to rumour or misheard pub talk.
(Culture Wars: The Media and The British Left is a very good compilation of how those 80s staples like “they have banned black bin liners for being racist” sprung from).

I have been accused of being arrogant and smug for asking people where their opinions came from. Last week, someone accused me of criticising and dismissing the work of an individual who I had never heard of (nor did I know of their work). When I asked the accuser why they believed that I believed what they thought I believed, they flew off the handle, they started swearing and taking great umbrage.

When I was told some alarming foreign aid statistics that seemed improbable, I was told that I was an idiot for not knowing about them, and if I couldn’t find these statistics, I should look harder. I searched and came up with nothing. I was then told that everyone knew they were true and the fact they didn’t exist anywhere and could be backed up by nothing did not change their veracity.

Today, I read of there is a launch of an Anti-Feminist party, as we all know, men are the real victims now and “Feminism is a hatred, and it should be a badge of shame”. Misogyny is apparently very rare and… oh, I have to stop typing now, I must force myself to believe this is all a grand parody that will have a delightful absurdist reveal. I have to presume this man really believes what he believes. His reality is granite solid, he is certain of his truth.

I was asked to write a reaction piece on the Hebdo murders and free speech, but I could find nothing but banal and obvious observations, so I declined. I could think of nothing that I might say that could contribute, not even in a pay per sentence scenario.

I am only typing this to try and diagnose my illness, to try and locate the the thought blockage and decide whether it should be flushed out or if a sharp burst of a bicycle pump up the nose will shift it, or whether it should stay write where it is – a needed wall that should have been built some time ago.

I feel I should have opinions all the time.
“I haven’t tweeted anything for ages, quickly, think of a view of the world that can fit into 140 characters. Now monitor the reaction – was it an opinion that stirred or has it shriveled up and died on contact with the web?”

“Damn, that person’s opinion on the thing I was opinionated on has been favourited more than mine.”

What purpose this slurry pipe of my perpetual opinions? Is it just to air my brain before it festers and rots in fluid of aging, septic thought. Is the internet predominantly a trepanning tool?

How deluded am I? When people have created such impervious bundles of barbed wire around what they must and will believe, what is the point of butting in?

I think it is time to read Neil Postman on Media ecology, which he described as looking into “the matter of how media of communication affect human perception, understanding, feeling, and value; and how our interaction with media facilitates or impedes our chances of survival” – but will trying to understand really help, or should I just read less and drink more?

If you are not in London, information on my forthcoming gigs in Didcot, Bedford, Swindon, Glasgow, Salford, Swindon and on, is HERE

And info of USA gigs HERE

And Australian tour HERE

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4 Responses to Merely Burble – I Am Just Showing My Working Out, But I Am Not Sure What the Question Is

  1. Richard Boon says:

    One of my journo friends, Suzanne Moore, was Twithounded (not sure if that’s a word, yet, either, Robin – spellcheck certainly doesn’t like it) last week after her piece on Ched (footballer, I believe). The most telling tweet (and kind of ironic – albeit, not much fun for her): ‘We’ll come round and rape you till you admit he was innocent’. Less than 140 characters. What a planet!

  2. mraemiller says:

    “So many arguments where facts are stated and never backed up by evidence”

    To be fair Robin unless you’re going to spend a month in the bowels of the local library with a microfilm reader it’s pretty hard to know what it was like in the 80s. There’s loads of stuff that’s undocumented and the mainstream media on both sides of the political divide couldn’t be challenged. Black bin liners etc I’m sure there were councils like that even if the details of the stories have got distorted they’re not that off the mark. The problem is more that to you if they were true they’d be politically anathema. This is one reason I have reprinted my old poems. They are to an extent a historical document. Publishing ANYTHING was so hard. People just couldn’t research or publish in the same way. They couldn’t communicate. It took a hundred of pounds and months of waiting for WH Smith to return our overheads in drip drip sales just to say what this comment will when I press send in a moment. Not to mention the chore of having to craft your writing and proof it properly becauae you only get one shot.

  3. tcthink says:

    Maybe your ‘job’ is to penetrate the barbed wire of Cox, with humour. Might be influential one day.

  4. rlmays11 says:

    When I was young and hair my was lustrous, did I imagine that with age would come greater certainty. Was I more sure of the world at 15 or 45? I was never that sure of anything, apart from the diseases I thought I had and that those people over there in the cafe were laughing at me because of my shoes, hair, walk or face.
    —I think at 45 we begin to be certain that nothing is for certain. Those people in the café may be laughing and at 15 it seems very important, but at 45 we stop caring so much, at 55 if becomes humorous to us as well.

    Everyone else seems so sure. Are they all discreetly hiding their imposter syndrome, or do they really know what they know? Maybe this scepticism was a bad idea.
    —Everyone IS hiding their imposter syndrome. They may know what they know, but they also know what they haven’t figured out yet, and they assume others have.

    It is the cocksureness (I prefer cockcertainty, but that doesn’t seem to be a word as yet) that I keep knocking my head into that is swelling my uncertainty about nearly everything.
    —Cockcertainty, and knocking heads: What is the motivation that makes you knock your head? Comedy does so much good. Your head should be pillowed.

    So many arguments where facts are stated and never backed up by evidence.
    So many universal truths that can only be traced back to rumour or misheard pub talk.
    (Culture Wars: The Media and The British Left is a very good compilation of how those 80s staples like “they have banned black bin liners for being racist” sprung from).
    —Practice trying not to control the uncontrollable.

    I have been accused of being arrogant and smug for asking people where their opinions came from. Last week, someone accused me of criticising and dismissing the work of an individual who I had never heard of (nor did I know of their work). When I asked the accuser why they believed that I believed what they thought I believed, they flew off the handle, they started swearing and taking great umbrage.
    —People are insecure. It is difficult to be in the very top tip of the pyramid of all the current humanity and not seem as tho’ you are attacking those just below you in the pyramid. Remember that you are special in your constant learning and growing. An open mind is open to attack from below, only the knowledge that you will continue to learn and edit your own beliefs while others don’t bother points out how much higher in the pyramid you are and therefore how many more attacks you may need to learn to endure.

    When I was told some alarming foreign aid statistics that seemed improbable, I was told that I was an idiot for not knowing about them, and if I couldn’t find these statistics, I should look harder. I searched and came up with nothing. I was then told that everyone knew they were true and the fact they didn’t exist anywhere and could be backed up by nothing did not change their veracity.
    —You know that when questioning the given standard a defensive reaction is not surprising. Can you find a way to learn the truth? Is it something you want to do? Is it a priority for you? Only hold on to the quests for truth that are important or you may lose yourself and the things that are important.

    Today, I read of there is a launch of an Anti-Feminist party, as we all know, men are the real victims now and “Feminism is a hatred, and it should be a badge of shame”. Misogyny is apparently very rare and… oh, I have to stop typing now, I must force myself to believe this is all a grand parody that will have a delightful absurdist reveal. I have to presume this man really believes what he believes. His reality is granite solid, he is certain of his truth.
    —Source for you next show I should think.

    I was asked to write a reaction piece on the Hebdo murders and free speech, but I could find nothing but banal and obvious observations, so I declined. I could think of nothing that I might say that could contribute, not even in a pay per sentence scenario.
    —How did it make you feel deep down, just you personally? What did it make you think about your life? Wouldn’t that be original enough? Sometimes the same sentiments just stated in different words hold great meaning to different readers, don’t you think?

    I am only typing this to try and diagnose my illness, to try and locate the thought blockage and decide whether it should be flushed out or if a sharp burst of a bicycle pump up the nose will shift it, or whether it should stay write where it is – a needed wall that should have been built some time ago.
    —It is a lovely insight to you.

    I feel I should have opinions all the time. “I haven’t tweeted anything for ages, quickly, think of a view of the world that can fit into 140 characters. Now monitor the reaction – was it an opinion that stirred or has it shriveled up and died on contact with the web?”
    —It is the fact that you provide something to react to that make your tweets important to your followers, even the trolls. You become a relationship that we have, no matter how distant for you. I said to a friend the other day about some celebrity they brought up. “I think he is a friend of Robin’s.” I chat about your thoughts often enough that she didn’t need to say “Robin who?”

    “Damn, that person’s opinion on the thing I was opinionated on has been favourited more than mine.”
    —Competitive much? :o)

    What purpose this slurry pipe of my perpetual opinions? Is it just to air my brain before it festers and rots in fluid of aging, septic thought. Is the internet predominantly a trepanning tool?
    —Trepanning? Well and for me it is also a vocabulary builder. Slurry pipe! are you kidding – your perpetual opinions are as purposeful and anyone else’s and more purposeful than most, so no more poor miserable me, please.

    How deluded am I? When people have created such impervious bundles of barbed wire around what they must and will believe, what is the point of butting in?
    —It is the only thing worth doing, isn’t it. Impervious, such a strong word. Don’t ‘butt in’ -show, make evident, explain, give example, AND for you make funny. Even the words “butt in” concoct a defensive response, that will no doubt provide for a disappointing result.

    I think it is time to read Neil Postman on Media ecology, which he described as looking into “the matter of how media of communication affect human perception, understanding, feeling, and value; and how our interaction with media facilitates or impedes our chances of survival” – but will trying to understand really help, or should I just read less and drink more?
    —Definitely read more and drink less.

    All of this is my opinion of course, from someone older tho’ not necessarily wiser than you. Remember that your ability to put your thoughts into words is a great gift, whether it is in 140 letter spurts, or if it is in the wrap up of an hour’s comedy routine. You have influence and as long as you use your influence for good and truth, then your talents are needed. I am stepping off my soap box now. :o)

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