Deception and Lies on Social Media

Rhonda Smolarek wrote a short article on LinkedIn about the social media and it reminded me of a ‘Facebook’ discussion a few month ago that went sour.  A video of a US policeman punching the crap out of someone on the ground by a busy interstate was posted.  What intrigued me more was the reaction of the Facebookers.  I’m calling them facebookers as they take on a different persona than their real/ corporeal ones.  They all assumed on face value that the Policeman was punching the person because a. She was black or b. She was black or c. She was black.  Immediately a complete mistrust and assumption that the White US Policeman was a racist who liked punching old black women at the side of a busy interstate.  I posed the question as to why the Policeman was punching the crap out of the woman and the response was pretty abusive to say the least.  I asked what happened prior to the video clip?  What was the reason behind the attack? Ex Girlfriend From the further responses I understood what the term ‘Troll’ meant and decided not to continue and left the conversation.  It was pointless continuing as people who posted the clip had already made up their minds when they posted it.  In effect it wasn’t a discussion, but a joint call for outrage.  There’s a reason why these people will sit in their living rooms and comment on stuff and not make any real impact in a court of law.  It seems that the whole social media phenomena has altered how we interact and influence the world.  It draws on moods and motives we would normally inhibit around real people, it pulls out alternative versions of ourselves, as to how we want to be viewed.  For many people it’s escapism and some of the things posted are to simply to evoke responses from the cyber masses.  The whole organism, the whole multicellular community is host to influence and will sway and move in a manner the protagonist’s want.  The media have been doing this for a couple of centuries and they’re very good at only showing you a portion of the facts, whilst not lying to you, but leading you down the wrong rabbit hole to a conclusion divorced from reality.  Only recently have the ordinary person been enabled to wield this power – vloggers, bloggers, Facebookers and Twitterers alike.  The consumerists among us are vulnerable to this, such as those poor, hapless Facebookers who were subjected to that video clip of Police aggression.  No thought had gone into motives and reasons for the attack – I didn’t make any assumption or come to any conclusion with regards to this at the time as there was insufficient information.

Propoganda/ bullshit on the internet

Propoganda/ bullshit on the internet

+++++The expressional release of ourselves or our virtual selves can be seen as a healthy output for many of us who cannot express ourselves in the real world whether it be for health or psychological reasons.  But for many as Rhonda mentions in her potent article, there is a lie and in a sense we’re losing ourselves to media influences such.  There are parallels to the host of young people who flock to the middle east in the illusion that they’re fighting for some romantic cause for the Islamic State.  Cast your minds back a century to those German and Commonwealth soldiers who marched to war, smiling, banners flying, crowds cheering,  only to have their minds dashed away by the reality of war.

BATUS 1990 – ISIS – UKRAINE

Being the victim of a department clear out wasn’t such a bad thing when your job was in Iraq. Especially with the jihadists banging on the door to the ancient Kurdish capital of Erbil. The atmosphere at work was becoming more like a scene out of the ‘Game of Thrones’ with all the rumours, lies and deception. Despite the high pay – I’m relieved to be out of that corrosive arena. I’m now pursuing work in local areas now where the only flak I get is from the wife and kids. I learnt valuable lessons in Iraq – that money isn’t everything. Yeah, it helps, but family and friends are more important.
+++++I see the gradual mission creep of the US and I can see parallels to Vietnam. Naturally the British are following in the heels of the US, never far out of the arse of the president is the head of the prime minister. Where does it start? Back to 1991? Probably further back than that. But I want to start in August 1990.

BATUS – CANADA 1990

I was on an Alberta plain in Canada at the time – getting beasted. I’d only been in the Army a few weeks and I’d been sacked from the FDC (Fire Direction Centre), sent to the BQMS then onto an M109 Self Propelled Gun with a crew of guys who were going to make my life shit for 3 weeks. I don’t blame them either – I didn’t have a clue what to do on an Artillery Gun. I soon learnt and was preparing the charge bags, which were the US variant. They were easy to sort out as they were in white bags and you just simply put them on top of each other depending on how far you wanted to throw the 98lb shell. My name was Nig for that time and I was happy with that. Nig has no racist connotation, but it was thought to mean ‘New Intake Gunner’ or ‘New In Germany’.
+++++Tommy Huntley came round to the gun one day and told us that the Iraqis had invaded Kuwait.
+++++“My Mam and Dad’s in Saudi,” I say. And they’d been there for a year now. My dad had gotten a new job with British Aerospace Corporation (as it was known then).
+++++“Guess where we’ll be going for Xmas?” Tommy says.
+++++“Fuck’s sake!” Curses all round at the thought of Xmas in the middle east.
+++++“Hey, we’re off to Ireland, man! We’re not gannin’. That’s all sorted oot.”
+++++We had a tour of Northern Ireland booked in the January for 6 months. Sunny Bessbrook sounded just as far as Kuwait at the moment in Canada.
+++++“They’ll get yer parents out if they’re in any bother. Saudi’s protected anyway,” Tommy goes to me.
+++++And that was that. The exercise carried on for what else were we to do? If we were off to the middle east, then an exercise was just what we needed.

* * *

post_august-1“Oh – for fuck’s sake.” A Lieutenant said as I ambled into the group of men designated a ‘gun runners’. We were to be shown where the M109 Artillery Guns were to be put. The Battery Reconnaissance Officer would take us out in a Land Rover and show us where our individual guns would go. I was the only Gunner who’s helmet had no cover. I think it had been stolen from me in the early hours of initial deployment.
+++++In the Land Rover we’re all over the place in the back. It’s off road and it’s like a group of particles banging off each other. Great example for a physics lesson. Thank god for the Mark 2 kevlar helmet. We all stink, but we don’t notice it, our clothes are a just dirty and sweaty. The Rover stops and gradually the guys get out and they’re shown where to run to – the officer points in a direction near these sticks with triangle pointy bits on them that point off in a direction. I hadn’t been shown what to do here and this was my first job since I’d been sacked from the Fire Direction Centre. I get shown and then we’re all taken to a point where all the vehicles would pass through.
+++++It was about 34 degrees out here and not a cloud in the sky. Straw coloured grass to the horizon on undulating terrain. We could see the smoke of a convoy approach, the ground under our feet began to vibrate. Then they’re upon us, one after the other, 40 tonne hulks racing towards us. We began to run and my Gun turned in my direction, its engine screaming as it did a 90 degree turn, churning up the ground. I ran for a good kilometre to a point where the Lieutenant pointed out to me and I halted in front of the vehicle willing the vehicle’s brakes to work. Dust and earth flew up to me and into my face as the M109 halted, a near skid. Out came Baz, climbing out of the commanders hatch squeezing past the Sergeant with a menacing look on his face. He was nearly twice my size. This was a little like David and Goliath. A fist came crashing out and into my chest nearly dropping me.
+++++“Where the fuck are we meant to go!?” He screamed.
+++++“Here!” I shout back, “I was sent here!”
+++++“Yer dumb cunt!” He gets the driver to manoeuvre the big gun and points it in the correct direction.
+++++That was the precedence to a shitty 3 weeks in the prairie on an eggy, cordite smelling gun. To make matters worse we had an officer cadet who joined the gun for four days and I remember him telling me how he was going to me a commander and would be my boss in the future. Smug fucker. I never met the bloke again – thank fuck.
+++++The last fire mission was done and we were racing across the prairie in these M109 Guns – they’re basically tanks, but don’t tell that to an Artilleryman or they’ll have a go. The rations were thrown at opposing guns who were driving alongside; we had six to a battery. Eggs were flung, high angle and splattered onto the chassis. Fuck! That’ll be me cleaning that up!
Back at the camp, we park up in the Gun Park and begin maintenance. The Sergeant and the others go off on the piss while I’m stood there like a pleb – didn’t have a clue, sorting the gun out.
+++++Impetigo scabbed my lower lip and it looked like somebody had taken a knife to it. I had to use my own basin and not shave it. A fucking nightmare.
+++++Despite this, I went into the City of Medicine Hat and partied. Swimming pools, giant foam stetsins, massive cars, massive portions of coke and burgers and fucking huge ice creams – no wonder they’re all fat over here!!

ISIS

I digress…. ISIS are a wave of thought. An idea, a way of life and a surge of influence through the world especially in the minds of young muslims. 1407532171724_wps_1_Pictures_posted_online_ofWhat they’re doing in Iraq and Syria is nothing new and even worse shit happened in the last century. It’s just that you get to see it on your computer whenever you google beheading, buried alive, execution etc etc. The Americans had the Vietnam war in their living rooms in the 1960s and 70s and didn’t like the taste that. Luckily both World Wars didn’t get the same media attention and the horrors were safely hidden by technological constraints. I suppose this was part of the reason why so many of the people coming back from the front felt alienated by their experiences as none of the selfish people back home knew what or could comprehend what had happened to them.
+++So, ISIS burying people alive, shooting women, kids, men, chopping heads off – nothing novel there – it’s already happened and on an even grander scale especially during the great upheavals of peoples post World War 1. Swathes of people, literally smears of dark stains from outer space could be seen on the land as they were forcible moved and exchanged – I’m talking about the Greeks and the Turks of either country to be ‘repatriated’. There were massacres, but you don’t really get to hear about that. Millions of Russians…. I’m lucky. Very lucky I was born in UK.
+++++

The Turks were just as bad... anyone else?  The US, UK, French, German, the list goes on....

The Turks were just as bad… anyone else? The US, UK, French, German, the list goes on….

The Americans are now re-arming the Kurds to protect their US interests in the Oil reserves up in Kurdistan. The ancient city of Erbil may hold. It will get suicide attacks and may even be in range of ISIS artillery soon. I like it how the US begin by saying they’re not going to get involved and then all of a sudden we’ve got US special forces on the ground, Air strikes, Drones, Arms shipments to the Kurds etc etc. When there’s oil and it’s in the US interest then they’ll help. The Yazidis are just a sideshow to the US. There have been many more massacres in Syria on an unprecedented scale, but weren’t publicized.
+++++I run a parallel to this with trying to get a book sold. Unless you have the right media you will not get the attention.
+++++Forget the parallel for now, but for Iraq. Her only survival here is unity as we all know – sectarian violence is tearing it up. Already the Kurds have an even stronger foothold in the north, with a probably US backing. With the world police backing you up, you’re sorted. The only way you’re going to get the jihadists out of the country is with Western boots on the ground. The Iraqis just don’t have the discipline to deal with them. The Kurds are doing okay – the Peshmergah have a reputation of being hard bastards to uphold. The rest of them…. fuck. I was there in 2004 and saw just how corrupt/ undisciplined their security forces were. We’d arm the police, kill an insurgent and recover the weapon we’d given the policeman a week earlier.
+++++

The death of Robin Williams now eclipses groups of Yazidis clinging onto helicopters to escape the murderous jihadists.
+++++Many of the Jihadists are UK, Australian, US and other western nationalities. If they survive their jihad and come back they should be deported to the country which they fought in and tried there. They may be executed depending on the capital punishment system of that country. I think it’s hanging in Iraq. It would certainly make the world a better place and it would be preferable to the Tax payer paying for a prison cell for these brainwashed numbskulls.

UKRAINE

A few weeks ago we had a plane go down in the Ukraine and fuck me – it’s a Malaysian Airline. Here we go, let’s wait for the conspiracy theories. I didn’t hear any about the airline, but that it was a Russian jet that shot it down. President Putin is getting flak from every fucker about the plane going down. Let’s do some number crunching now. How many people affected by the crash? Take the number of passengers and cube it – 25,672,375…. maybe not. Whatever took it down didn’t vaporize it, but probably took out the wing and that’s what initiated the uncontrolled descent. We may never get to find out who press the button to make that missile fly or who authorised the firing of it. One thing’s for sure. It has widened the gap between the US and the Russians…. That means the UK, Germany and the rest of Europe too. Businesses are feeling the pinch due to embargoes. Even over here in Belarus – I’m writing this in Belarus – the fish imports from US are going to stop soon. The Ukrainian President’s chocolate brand is slowly dwindling in Gomel’s shops as they’re no longer importing them in. A patch of land mainly occupied by Russians and contested by them, is that what it’s for? Of course not – the Germans don’t want the Russians making land gains like they did 50 years ago. A bit rich coming from zee Germans. Whenever you get a mix of languages, cultures and colours, you’ll get divide and clash.
+++++One solution – brainwash every fucker. Forget your nationality, name, colour, race and creed. Reminds me of We, written by, Yevgeny Zamyatin, who inspired Orson Welles to write 1984.

Rolf Harris and The History that is written by Liars

I was listening to a Kate Bush album and one song was sung by the disgraced entertainer : Rolf Harris. I thought nothing of it, and then – fuck! He’s a fucking Paedophile!! I should have been shocked and disgusted – turned off the song; but I didn’t. It was about being an artist and the effect of rain on his paintings.
+++++Rolf Harris has been turned into a monster, in a matter of seconds, based on the calculated, decision of a panel of people in a building in London. Made global news within the minute – as quick as the speed of light. As soon as the verdict was made, I cringed at reports of people coming forward attempting to claim compensation for alleged abuse he’d done to them. Can money really heal that sort of damage? No – but it fucking helps. “I got my arsed squeezed on Top o’the Pops in 1973 and I can’t sleep, have sex or form meaningful relationships with other men…” — absolute bollocks I say.
+++++I saw the blind, resolute and loyal wife accompany the man to the court on each day, apart from the day of the verdict. It seemed that the reality of it all had come crashing down and that veil had been lifted with life shaking consequences. All those years and was the wealth worth it – the limelight? From the words of Jesus, Voltaire, FDR, Churchill and Peter Parker’s (aka Spiderman) Uncle, With power, comes great responsibility. The fallout of changing attitudes to sexuality has taken its toll on powerful and influential people. Many of them failed to see into the distant future and see a world where the powerbase of man and woman has shifted. Like the latent effect of asbestos, the changing attitudes of society will bite people in the arse. Maybe there’ll be compensation for all those homosexuals who were booted out of the British Army before it was made legal. Maybe the slaughter of all those animals in the abattoirs… no, maybe that’s a step too far for the veg munching, tree hugging, liberals out there.

Yesterday I saw on Facebook 20 Iraqi Soldiers all lined up, kneeling preparing to die. Just how you prepare for that is another matter, but credit has to be given to these men as they didn’t go kicking and screaming. One after the other, faces exploded as bullets crashed in through the back of their heads. I think I’d have wrestled a rifle from one of those men in the balaclavas at least. Iraqi Soldiers Dead12345To think I was only a few hour’s drive from that place last month. I’m not sure how I would have reacted, maybe I wouldn’t have put myself in that situation in the first place and fought the death. I read the comments other people made and saw with dismay that people had attributed a religion to the executions. Many people ‘don’t know what they don’t know’. I worked in Iraq for 13 months and I worked with many people up there, a split of Christianity, Muslim and Yazedi. Naturally there are towns that are made up entirely of their religion, but no hostilities have occurred. To judge a people and a religion from the comfort of one’s chair in the relative safety of the western world is already a failure in reducing conflict. You aren’t going to completely eradicate bloodshed and war – that’s just plain ‘pie in the sky’ and frankly – fucking boring. To judge – first go and see the people you’re judging, get a taste of their culture, taste their food and shake their hands, look them in the eyes when you speak to them, see their children before you call them mass murdering, blood thirsty animals and call on the so called ‘crusade’ : again ‘pie in the sky’.

My message to these Nationalist extremists is:

“… to grow some fucking balls and do something – it’s okay talking about it, but get off the fucking computer and start a ‘crusade’, arm yourself with a sword and shield and beat back the encroaching tidal wave of multi-culturalism. You may find that you are already too late – about 20 years late, so you’re going to have to stage a guerrilla war. Good luck.”

History and the human brain has a great way of covering up situations and facts. History is written by the victors of battles and wars. History is written by the powerful. History is written by liars. History might as well be transmitted by word of mouth, from generation to generation. Instead, it is tattooed on the skin of paper and outliving the human lives that wrote it, it is then, having survived purges and the immolation of libraries, picked up by our descendants and they act as a voice of bias as to what happened. There are two religions that are both similar and act as a record of history, both subjected to the thoughts and bias of their writers. Islam and Christianity have a very similar history when you look back. Perhaps, if both survive, they may merge, or be the sole reason for our destruction.neurons12345

The rocks don’t lie, fossils don’t lie, they are incorruptible – neither does the camera, so they say. That is provided the film isn’t edited first. The influence the corruption of books are beginning to dwindle due to the rise of technological advances. It’s a pity – fiction books don’t count, they’re already (beautifully) corrupted with the imagination.

ISIS, Iraq and a 1970s childhood

The kitchen was the living room, bathroom and cooking area – it was the centre of our family. It wasn’t a perfect ‘Father, Mother, two kids’ nuclear family in that snapshot of the 1970s, but they were perhaps the happiest days of my life. The weeks would stretch off into an eternal summer bliss where I would explore the ‘fields’ and build dens and form and break alliances and attend to the childish politics of our time. I can remember dogs running freely through the streets, yapping, shitting, pissing on lampposts, screwing each other (and having water thrown on them) – I once saw two dogs conjoined back to back and could not separate; some of the kids would throw stones at this spectacle.

The dreamworld and the catalyst of my fantasy lay in the fields for that held secrets of the past, of days gone by. A path that led to Seaham Mine, and the men that walked there. There were a few slabs of concrete that were set in the bank of a beck that cut a wound through the field. The miners would, after work, bathe here. The route to this area had many paths, forced by the tread and paw of many passing through. Up on the low banks that led to the main path we would sit and eat cold boiled potato from Sunblest bags. The seaview part of Murton could be seen, partitioned by a wooden fence. There were breaches in the fence that children would use to access the fields.

I don’t really remember staying in the house that much, to be perfectly honest. The cul-de-sac had three garages and these would prove useful in hide and seek games. We would line up plastic soldiers of various guises and eras and bomb them with the gravel. Action Man would be turned paratrooper with a shopping bag attached to him and catapulted into the air. A new man arrived into the family and my Christmas was bountiful. I got a bike and I thought I was on highway patrol from CHiPs. Through the streets and onto the paths; wood slats on bricks provided ramps for us and we’d vault into the air from path to road. There weren’t many cars back then either, just dogs and miners. I think on how we used to sit on the kerbs and lay in the grass with no concern. Thirty six years later and parents won’t let their children out of their site. Instead we cook them up in houses and feed them to electronic fantasy; the Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto and Final Fantasy. We keep them away from bacteria and germ, only to have their effects greater on them due to their low immunity. I wrote a blog post on how parents should be held accountable for their behaviour to their children – if their kids are obese, it’s the parents fault and they should be punished for this. Just recently it was in the news that some parents had to go to the Police for just that.

Now on a different topic and that of ISIS who are currently controlling a city 1 hour 30 minutes drive from here. Mosul is cut in half by the Tigris river that makes its way down to Basrah, a vein of life running through this arid cradle – birthplace of known civilisations and religions. I was a bit concerned I would have to get my Black Widow catapult out to defend myself against these Jihadists, but it seems they’re skirting around the autonomous region of Iraq’s Kurdistan. You don’t want to come in here – I hazard the Kurdish security forces won’t abandon their posts. The Pêşmerge (original meaning ‘those who confront death’) are a group you don’t want to be up against and I’m pleased to say they’re defending my work area as I’m not a good shot with a catapult.

They’re currently sweeping through Iraq like a blitzkrieg through France in 1940. They’re not too bothered about logistical supply as they will steal from the locals. However they may be spreading themselves too thin, recruiting from prison breaks seems to be the best place for quick replacements.

They’ve spread themselves thin like butter and the Iranians aren’t too happy with what they’re doing. The UN is pissed off. Turkey isn’t happy either – there’s a horde of PKK fighters on the border poised to protect Kurdistan if they have the balls to take on the Pêşmerge. Lots of moving parts to this complex issue – about as complex as Northern Ireland with regard to the sectarian dynamic. There are rumours of Saddam loyal personnel in Iraq switching sides to ISIS and it seems that the current leader needs to focus on unity as the Sunnis are going mental. On a side note the Shia and Sunni are both Muslim, but are at odds with each other – I daresay it looks similar to the Catholic / Protestant clashes of Northern Ireland in its most troublesome days.

Anyway, I’ll stay up here on the Turkish border with my Black Widow Catapult and wait for the smoke signals.

It’s not all that bad – we’re still watching the World Cup up here!