I spend far tooooo much time online, particularly on twitter, these resting testing days, often struggling for words to compose tweets on subjects, writing #twitterpoems & this blog & I like to think it’s creative, but is it?
It’s almost like I think that my (to date 1464 followers are hanging on my every word. I get regular reminders of my failure to engage every time I check twitter, roughly a thousand times an hour, at a conservative estimate! I even admit to getting a little miffed when a great tweet has not been liked never mind retweeted. And don’t get me started on the criminal indifference to my #twitterpoems!
Of course it’s a bit sad. I’ve got too far much time I’m on my hands at the mo. Actually, NO! Stop this. I don’t like that expression! It’s like the devil makes work for idle hands, don’t care for that one either, it suggests you need a job or conformity to organise yourself. And you could analyse if you had a mind to why I am spending so much time like this, that I am trying to pretend that I have friends, that I am loved.
The reality is I that I virtually don’t see anyone these days, the people I know, the friends I have never see me, months in some cases many years go by. But don't worry, because I am in a lack of friends denial by hiding away on antisocial media!
For all the myriad ways we have of keeping contact now, it is ironically a more isolated & lonely place that in the bigger picture we are creating, and I have created for myself. So I am missing out on real interaction with people and I'm not alone in that. In fact it's a huge phenomenon. I am compensating for missing a social circle of friends to regularly converse with and I do miss that terribly, even if I won't admit it to anyone else but you.
Social media like the internet is one of the greatest inventions and has reunited me with old friends, helped ,me in my search to find my mermaid to swim with/Witch to put a spell on me. And of course does a lot of good with people who can't get out/won't get out or miss getting out for whatever reason. But then there's the dark abyss of it, the bullying, extremist beliefs/religion Not to mention the rise in self harming, depression, suicide especially in the young which you read in the media, I don't know if its true, or has been exacerbated by it, but then the tv & news media, (quite depressingly these days is unchallenging of the bad, whilst being frequently accusatory of the good), is itself largely hugely adept at making a bad situation worse!
I’m at the mo housesitting for my mum whilst she’s away with my sister on a 4 week cruise LA into the pacific & back. And I’ve only Maisie my mums Shih Tzu for company, Maisie: the best dog in the world, and I say that as more of a cat person. (my mum had cat, a black cat, love black cats, called Jez some years back & felt that she was the best cat in the world! Anyway so I am needing & using my social media medias more than ever. From pithy, (or wannabe pithy comments on twitter) to my fabulously, wonderful #twitterpoems.
With these it’s like I’m the only one who thinks I’m a genius, I even wrote one on that subject, I dream that one day I’ll be discovered & they’ll all be collected into a volume of my #twitterpoems. It’s like acting. I think I’m brilliant and can’t understand why I’m not on telly or films & don’t even have an agent at the minute. It might not be just bad luck and that hard & competitive, no the issue could just be, that I’m actually not that hot after all!
It’s same way my Billy Liar like mind imagines my streams of consciousness like this on vanity website will be viewed as brilliant as the likes of Caitlin Moran, adore her writing & James O’Brien who’s written a great sounding book, which I’ve yet to read called ‘How to be right, in a world gone wrong’ And who’s excellent show on LBC I catch most mornings. They are beacons of light, I look for them to bring rationale or to eloquently put unto words my disbelief, amazement, anger & disgust at what is going on, in a way that I could only dream of doing. Mostly I look for enlightenment on twitter and of course in dealing with the not so much road traffic accident, but multi million car pile up after a meteor has struck the earth, that is the "B" word!
I’m not one of those people who stop & gawp at accidents. The B word is like this. I confess to having become a B word addict, I’ve never taken heroin but equate it to being just as rotting. In fact the B word is definitely ike a particularly long & bad 70s disaster movie even without any implausible CGI but implausible still non the less, so terrible that you watched it anyway because you were addicted to the awfulness & there was no twitter to otherwise distract you then! The B word is like 1978’s “The Swarm"
Facebook is dull. Oh I’ll post something nice every now and then to let people know I’m still alive. On that subject, sad the increasing number of ghost accounts I now follow. Sometimes I go on their page, like my friend Mike Goodenough who I wrote an ear earlier blog about after finding out he’d died. And look at there last messages with a mixture of morbid curiosity and maybe a desire to find them still there!
And I do check out the Castings networks & Manchester socials, in fact got a little job out of there a few weeks ago playing Hodor in a Game of Thrones parody advert for a chain of gyms (still not watched GoT, want to & did a bit of research into him, all he basically he just looks a bit er lost, is a gentle giant & all he says is repeat his own name occasionally in different ways & at the end “Hold the Door”, Great, I was on same money as everyone else, but no lines to learn!)
But yes Facebook is dull really and depresses me as it reminds me how few friends I don’t seem to have friends now that aren’t just Facebook friends & how that is my own fault.
Instagram well it’s a bit like Linked in…I don’t really see the point of it.
Now I read the other day about how your web history could come back to haunt you if you become famous. Famous…mmm there’s a thought! Somebody I’ve never heard of from America, who apparently was going to be in the musical version of the Colour Purple, but now isn’t, (Lost count of how many people I don’t know who are famous these days & unlike some grumpy old men don’t relish this, but do show my age in thinking that famous was more famous up until about 20 years ago!) This person, it was a woman,not that it matters had spouted some of the usual homophobic shit about saying that nobody could be born gay, like she’s a fucking expert. These people who bang on about it not being natural & in Gods plan weren't born homophobic or religious bigots, but they were born with the capacity to hate & be fearful, for just like love & courage, being born woman, man, gay, bisexual or transgender is as natural as the earth.
Now at risk of sounding all self congratulatory, I don’t have anything I’m ashamed to confess! Of course being that I am writing this on my vanity website which only my imaginary stalker reads, (she’s mermaid like witch naturally!). Of course I could confess to being Jack the Ripper on here without anyone noticing, even if they will in the not too distant future when I am famous, and I'll probably be quoted as believing I am the re incarnation of Jack, "actor who once did Jack the Ripper walking tours, actually believed he was!" This blog is my confessional, not that I’m catholic or any religion for that matter, and I’ll fess up on more soon. Nothing too earth shattering don't worry!
You have to be responsible on social media, and not a shit. It's an unspoken rule amongst self congratulatory decent types! I can think of a slightly embarrassing incident with Les Dennis on twitter, where I got into a conversation with him about when I met him in Edinburgh in 2012 when I was doing my 1-man play ‘Beatle Mal’s Legendary Band’, I’d just seen him in his 1-man play Jigsy & was out flyering on the Mound when he walked past & I congratulated him and asked whether he’d spread the word about my play as I was struggling to get an audience, and he said he’d do better than that, he’d come and see me. He never did.
This thread at the beginning had been one about how he had just done an appallingly bad drunk act on Coronation Street and I had added a light hearted comment on the subject and then for some reason put in jokingly that he’d let me down about not seeing my play as well, not really believing he’d see it, but unbeknownst to me someone at the beginning of the thread had @ to him, so he could potentially receive this and did!
How did I know he hadn’t come?” he quickly replied to me. Surprised I said something like, Ah thanks Les, but it was a very small, intimate venue and I could see who was in every night very clearly as well interact with them, which probably sounded a bit unintentionally accusatory, and it was then that I noticed the others on the thread had been extremely rude & troll like to him, so felt awful about being unintentionally party to this bullying and said as much and that I was very sorry to him, which he didn’t reply to. So yes you have to be very careful what yo say on twitter, there are a lot unpleasant people who seem to think they can say what they like without a thought for peoples feelings.
Also once on twitter after a theatre company had treated me very badly, without mentioning the companies name I tweeted my frustration and a friend who happened to know who I meant, had well intentionally named & shamed them. Then I found out that the company was trying to use this against me in my claim for lost earnings. God they must have been desperate! With the help of Equity they eventually settled for not the full amount I was owed for a 3 month tour, but about a third of it, but on condition that I didn’t malign them on social media. which I thought was outrageous implying that I’d conducted a campaign against them, but was so stressed with it all, held my nose until this bad smell passed wishing to distance myself from such a mad cow theatre company who had only been creative in their lies.
Oh but hate isn’t the answer! There’s enough of that around at the moment. Love is the answer & you know that for sure, to quote Lennon’s Mind Games! I was going to say we all know that, but if you’re unloved maybe you don’t. Stupidity in the form of violent ideologies loves only their worlds of hate & fear, exclusion & isolationism and sadly, tragically these people have flourished with the B word.
WhatsApp is my current new favourite social media, although I'll admit to a love/hate relationship with it over the last few years. I have found in fact that it doesn’t seem like I am spending far too much time on social media, in fact it doesn’t seem like any time at all. It has allowed me to have to date three 5+ hour long phone conversations for free with someone rather fabulous & exciting & last night play youtube juke box into the small hours of morning, sharing fab music choices. (I can play music nice & LOUD as it’s fairly remote where I am) without it appearing that 5+ hours have elapsed. I have never done this with anyone before, so I fancy it's a rare, rare thing, but if only all Social media was like this for everyone, if it was, everyone wouldn't want to miss the opportunity to rush out and meet everyone else and wouldn't be spending so much time online!
As my good actor friend Andy Stanson, who clearly had experienced just such something so wonderful himself, tweeted a few days ago…
“Sometimes one’s on the phone to someone for ages and it feels like mere minutes.” #bliss