Do you boast about your fitness? Watch out – you’ll unavoidably become rightwing
Yesterday was Fitness Day. Sorry, let me give that its proper title: #FitnessDay. The space bar is always the first casualty of a manufactured social media movement.
Sweet, hot take! It's not like hashtags are the most basic way of linking together commentary on a topic in our modern age. Hypertext is based on linked documents, Zoe.
Do too much, and the self-love develops a carapace of self-sufficiency. This is especially a problem for cyclists, who come to think of themselves as an off-grid warrior class, having performed their commute drawing on no more resources than their own glutes, and maybe a sports drink. Unavoidably, over time, this makes you more rightwing, as you descend into an aerobics-powered moral universe where only the weak need each other, and all the strong need is a waterpouch in their backpack that pipes straight into their mouths.
Bit of a fucking leap there imho. How does that work? I enjoy exercise for a variety of spiritual and physical reasons. Not once have I ever thought of myself as self-sufficient, a "warrior" (in a non day-dreamy / roleplay sense). I also don't own a water pouch. Rude.
How heroic do you find the armed forces? And is that just those in active combat, or also the ones who fix army IT and count parachutes? I found the questions on YouGov’s recent poll peculiar, but I often do when they ask us to make qualitative judgments about one another (do benefit claimants want to work? Are migrants ambitious? – there is no possible answer beyond “I’d have to take this on a case-by-case basis”).
So we've tried to draw a straight line from liking exercise to soldier-hero worship? Sweet. No problem there at all.
From the people who brought you the Ostrich Pillow – which lets you nap anywhere, the next best thing to being a baby – comes the three-way hood: you can wear it as a hood, or as a snood, but its unique selling point is “eclipse mode”, where you pull it right over your face and that alerts people to the fact that you don’t want to talk to them. So, someone has just reinvented a pillow case, for a generation of people who have forgotten how to deploy a simple, offputting grumpy face. It’s the hood that says hell-in-a-handcart.
Wait what? This is the conclusion of the article. I'm really confused now. What has this to do with anything? Are we just trying to glue together random pieces of "individualism bad"? I get the sentiment; rugged individualism is misconceived at best and outright fascist propaganda at worst. But as mentioned before we're hardly the voice of solidarity are we The Guardian. That concluding paragraph indicates that this is nothing more than a strung-together vitriolic ramble. What the hell?
Don't fucking read The Guardian folks. It's centrist tripe.
Been watching some old Dmytri Kleiner videos lately and this really hit home:
One of the biggest weaknesses of the co-operative movement besides not being federated is that it's often a-political. It often takes care of its own members but doesn't actually use this economic power to like, like fight for social justice more broadly for other workers.
When I joined a worker co-operative this was the first thing that struck me. I absolutely adore my colleagues at ODSC and we are doing very good work and we provide a wonderful place to work for our workers. My loyalties to them are strong and I will struggle for each and every worker there. But we're not (currently) agitating for worker's rights elsewhere. We don't take a class-oriented approach to our very existence as a workers' organisation. We share Guardian articles about Boris and Brexit (my opinions on The Guardian are documented), and we don't put our resources to work in terms of capital or labour
It irks me that the co-operative movement in general has such potential for radicalisation but it just doesn't make use of it. We have P7… but that's it? Donating to an environmental charity is absolutely a good thing to do; but better is to take radical action by allowing and encouraging members to help dismantle capitalism. To throw their bodies on the gears. To use our capital not just to support charities but to support radical liberation movements, trade unions, and start venture communist endeavours.
Maybe after my thesis is finished and I have my evenings back I'll join a Trade Union and agitate more.
Note: This was written on the Friday morning (9th Jun) following the result of the UK General election
As I write these words I have been awake for 28 hours. I began with some strength training; then did some writing at the lab; then I went to a meeting with my fieldwork partners; then I got tattooed; then I stayed up all night following the election; then I showered/dressed; then I left my flat and smiled as I felt the sun on my face.
This is the first General Election that I've ever stayed up to watch. I've voted in three now. The previous two, I've woken up to disappointment. I've seen the Tories sit and dismantle the futures of myself and my generation, whilst the Liberals sit impotently in the corner watching. I've listened in horror as my older relatives of both blood and association have actively revelled in denying us opportunities that they enjoyed throughout their lives, and I've been downtrodden when I've heard that others of my age bracket admit that they don't vote because they don't care.
Since casting my first vote, I've grown from naive Liberal, to idealist Green, to diet Socialist, to Marxist-Leninist. A tale as old as time. To me, the Labour Party was always the party of Blair. The party of war, who brought terrorism to our nation. I was always told that not voting for Labour was voting in the Tories. I saw this in action in 2015. I watched as a small ray of hope when a democratic socialist by the name of Corbyn showed promise as Labour leader. I watched as I saw the theories of media control and Murdoch-puppets became flesh before my eyes with the echoes of sound-bite smears ringing in the voices of those I interacted with daily.
Last night changed all that. I watched my generation mobilise. I watched the stirrings of socialism become enacted at the ballot box. I saw my peers come together and defy our elders, and I saw us begin to unite as a species. I watched as a man that everyone said would destroy the party galvanise a people -- members of my species! -- and begin to wrest back control from those who sustain themselves through exploitation, lies, and fear.
I get this isn't over. I'm not silly. The Tories are still entrenched, and now they know they've got a fight on their hands. The Murdoch machine will be working at full steam to swing public opinion. I won't be surprised to find that UKIP make a comeback with Farage to split the working class vote again.
That said, this morning I left my flat an entered the street of a country that showed me its potential once more. I felt a faint sense of unity and connection with the land that I'd spent my life growing inside of. I looked towards the sky, red eyes blearily adjusting to the daylight, and I felt the sun on my face.