Trying not to be part of the problem.

The Game of Evil

What I want and what I aspire to become are two different things.  Obviously, since one is the present and the other concerns the future: peace of mind, perhaps, belongs to those for whom the present and the future are the same.

Probably not the next Prime Minister
I was chatting to my friend Nicola the other day about this blog, the upcoming General Election, and the overall shittiness of the political landscape, among other things, and she suggested the idea of me becoming a "lifestyle blogger", living off the ad revenue generated by clicks from my millions of loyal subscribers.  Now there are a lot of words that make me cringe - and that's probably something I need to work on (too much cringing is not good for the soul) - and "lifestyle" is most certainly one of them.  I've had a kind of motto rattling around in my head for I don't know how long that goes, you can have a lifestyle, or you can have a life, but you can't have both.  It's just a thought, one that can lead you down various psychic rabbit holes, and not one I'd say I actually believe (or don't believe) but one that bubbled up in the course of our conversation anyway.  The commodification and fetishisation of the mundane is something I utterly detest.  Nobody talks about it much (Guy Debord killed himself - nobody talks about that much, either) and one reason for that, I think, is its ubiquity.  You can't see your own eyes.  

Probably the next Prime Minister.
Same as the old Prime Minister.
What could be more symptomatic of late stage capitalism than to mine the drudgery of the everyday in search the last, untouched corners of reality to turn into money?  Here's a video of someone giving you a "tour" of her kitchen and, specifically, of her fridge.  It was 5.7 million views.  She has 8.2 million subscribers.  She has published a cookbook, which was a New York Times bestseller in the 'Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous' category in November 2015.  There is of course nothing wrong with this.  I'm just pointing out that it is something that it is actually happening in real life.  Online "content creators" (here comes the cringe again) seem to be doing very well for themselves.  YouTube's recent tweaks to its advertising policy led to a decline in revenue for other many creators and, of course, helped to generate thousands of hours of exciting new content.  Sometimes at night I lie awake and wonder if the government counts YouTubers when it's calculating unemployment figures.  No really.  I do that.

Anyway I'm getting on a bit now, so all of this probably appears stranger to me than it actually is.  (I still don't really understand what 'Gamergate' is (or was?)  Also apparently there's a fourth wave of feminism, and I'm only vaguely aware of just how much Oxford's conflation of with students not making eye contact with racism, is going to generate lots and lots more angry content.  Apparently this targets autistic people, too, which I can imagine the internet is not going to like at all).  Here's me.  I started a blog in 2016.  That's what you kids do nowadays isn't it?

And it takes me five paragraphs before I can even get to the point.  My knees hurt.  My thumbs hurt.  What time is it?  I don't know, and I don't know how to think about the fact that I thought I'd give advertising on my blog a shot.  It feels a bit like pissing in the face of the spirit in which I started this blog in the first place.  Maybe it is.  So for now I'm just telling myself it's an "experiment".  Or a game.  To see if I actually generate any money from hosting advertising on my blog, now that I'm gaining a moderately respectable amount of "traffic" (cringe no. 3)  I've been tweaking my adsense settings so that (hopefully) I don't host anything unconscionable: ads in the "property", "finance" and "beauty and personal care categories" (cringes no. 4, 5 and 6) have all been blocked.  How effective this is remains to be seen.  Nicola very kindly clicked on some ads right as we were chatting, generating me approximately 35 pence, which isn't exactly enough to live on, but it's a start.  I don't think asking you to click on ads is allowed, so I'm not asking you do that.  Please don't click on any ads.  Or do, if you want me to help my generate lots of exciting new content.

All ads are evil, but some are more evil than others.


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