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  • Writer's pictureJack Martindale

But you can't say that!

If you’ve perused though many of my blogs – along with deserving a gold medal – you’ll hopefully see that my bottom line equates to not taking myself, let alone anything that I ever say, too seriously. Perhaps this is what seems to occasionally rile certain people. Ultimately it seems as though my concept of a light-hearted conversation may sometimes go over certain people’s heads.

This can prove difficult in our information age to be correct about any piece of information. There’s always a counter viewpoint towards everything and I cannot say that I want to be that rigid or inflexible about anything. To try to put this into a nutshell, all that I ever wish to do is the provoke thought and discussion around certain topics that may be of interest.

It appears that the concept of not wishing to point-score or claim any degree of championship over a way of thinking can be entirely lost on certain people. It certainly wasn’t so long ago, when you must have been able to be far more detached from your writings i.e. you’d submit it for consumption and be detached. Well not anymore!

Overall this has to be a great thing, in that we can engage with whatever the reaction of people may be and choose to respond accordingly. What I see as a negative consequence to this is, the level of aggression and superiority with which people can convey their counter viewpoints. It’s almost as though we’re locked into a bottomless fight for purity.

Such an intimidating line to cross, is the one that differs from how people in your grouped mindset may think. This makes for a very tight ship and one in which it is impossible not to be held to account or offence deemed to be given to what seems like an inoffensive comment. Of course it can only ever be a positive thing, to be aware of the weight that may be carried by what you say and the effects that this may have upon people.

On the other side, it is as though there is not much leeway with anything that you explore. It is almost as though George Orwell’s prophesizing in 1984 runs painfully true. This is in that we appear to have become conditioned in a kind of ‘new-speak’ in which we cannot step aside from the increasingly sanitized way in which we can appear to be made to communicate Almost as a substitute for religion in a humanist’s mind, in that they’ll construe criticism or even just a bit of intently playful satire [my last blog before this] as an equivalent to blasphemy.

To launch any reasoned opinion towards anything that they believe contradicts any of a person’s inbuilt polemic. Jeremy Corbyn springs to mind here. I’ve got no criticism towards the man himself. What struck me most acutely, was that people far more intelligent than myself would somehow be coming out with pronouncements such as “he’s obviously a trustworthy man”. Apart from understanding that being able to separate fact from opinion was a Key Stage 1 activity, it really struck me that people could be so inadvertently underneath a spell. Just to disclose that I admire and like Jeremy Corbyn as a man; that is where it ends. Anybody elevating him to any sort of deity might as well join the flat-earthers in my beady eyes.

What I’ve been trying to cover in this little piece is the damage in placing such a degree of faith towards any idea that you have. Going with comedian Tim Minchin (who I love!), I’ll end upon my general belief that life is short, we are all pretty insignificant and let’s just do stuff like having beers going for curries etc. with friends to make things a bit more bearable. Come on people, lighten up! It might never happen. Or at least don’t take yourself too seriously; luckily I’ve never mastered that recipe for disaster!

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