michaelhodges3

A.D. vs C.E.

Hello.

I posted something yesterday that has been on my mind since.

I referrred to the ‘eighteenth century’  as ‘the eighteenth century A.D.’.  It occurred to me that non-Christians may find this inappropriate, as ‘A.D.’ means ‘Anno Domini’ – the ‘Year of Our Lord’, a Christian form of dating based on the birth of Jesus as its starting point.  It has become fashionable to substitute ‘Common Era’ (‘C.E.’) for ‘A.D.’.

However, I dislike using C.E. (and B.C.E. – ‘Before Common Era’), because it suggests that the birth of Jesus should be taken as the starting point in year-counting by everyone, including non-Christians.  So to me, A.D. is a more honest label than C.E.

And A.D. is a term used in eighteenth-century England itself, so using it helps to give a flavour of those times

Also, I wanted to make it clear that I was talking about the eighteenth century A.D. (250 years ago) rather than the eighteenth century B.C. (‘Before Christ’ i.e. 4000 years ago).

Take care,

Michael

Weekly diary, October 22nd, 2014

I apologise for not blogging last week.  Recently, I’ve been distracted by moving house.  I have moved from ‘E.’, a city, to ‘H.’, a nearby town.  H., a market town with a long and sometimes notable history, seems like a nice place, although a lot smaller and quieter than E.  The past of H. is visible in its buildings, many of which date from the eighteenth century A.D.

What can the past of a community contribute to its present sense of itself?  What effect does an event of 100 years ago have on that place today?

If the event was something big and famous, it can form a cornerstone of that place’s identity, it’s narrative.  A peg on which to hang a thousand stories.  For example, the Great Fire of London, which both physically and psychologically wiped the slate of medieval London clean(-ish).

However, even if the event was small and unnoticed, it is still a part of a universal web of connected events, of cause and effect.  And part of smaller scale webs.  The life of Mr X, the baker, 100 years ago, or the businesses housed in Y Street,  200 years ago, still contribute to the present.  They form part of the atmosphere of a place, of something we can sense deep down even if it is difficult to pin down with words.

And if we live somewhere long enough for it to connect with us on a deeper level, it becomes a part of us and we a part of it.  Which I suppose means that moving house, from one area to another, can bring a sense of loss, not just in the immediate sense of sights and sounds but in terms of something deeper.

My own move, from E. to H., has been softened by the fact that H. is part of E.’s area of cultural and social influence, and also a place where I spent a lot of my time as a teenager.

Nevertheless, the fact is that a couple of weeks ago, I was living there, and now I’m living here.  And as far as my experiences of H. in my younger years go, I, like all of us, am on a journey through time as well as space.  H. is the same as it was then, but it’s also different.

Take care,

Michael

Weekly diary, 8 October 2014

I’m in a bit of a hurry this week, as I have to leave soon for a meeting.  Why not just leave the post for another time? I hear you ask.  Well, maybe that’s a good idea, but now I’m getting into the swing of a weekly post, it seems a good idea to keep it going.

On the other hand, I don’t have a lot to say that I didn’t say last week.  The spying is a bizarre farce, but no-one seems to have the will, or the guts, to bring it to an end.

On a different subject, a couple of days ago, I had the chance to visit Topsham, Devon, England.  It was the first time I’d been there on foot, and it was beautiful.  It doesn’t get much better than standing watching the tide coming in up the Exe estuary.  The museum was also a very attractive place to wander round for half an hour.

I think I’ll leave it there for now.  I have this meeting to get to, and also, it seems like the more I write in my blog, the worse things are afterwards in terms of that.  I’m not sure why, but maybe it has something to do with the way my brain and physiology handle stress.  I don’t know.

If anyone reads my blog and wants to give me some feedback, please do.  It can be difficult to judge things with your own eye sometimes.

Take care,

Michael

Weekly diary, October 1, 2014

Another week of ‘spying’.

I want you to wake up, and what I want you to wake up to is this: a world in which ‘spying’ is seen as valid entertainment is a world in which human rights are trampled on just a little bit more.

Try to remember the world before spying.  If you had come across something like this then, maybe you would have been shocked.  But now you see it as normal.  It’s not normal.  Spying on someone isn’t normal, and spying on someone doing very private things, without their permission, definitely isn’t normal.

Why don’t you talk openly about what’s happening?  Is it because you’re afraid getting into trouble with the police?  I’ve consulted a couple of legal opinions so far, and they both thought it would be unlikely that someone who came forward to give information would be prosecuted.  Is it because you’re afraid of what people might think of you?  There are already so many ‘customers’ in the world that being open about what’s happening puts you on a higher moral level than keeping quiet.

Try being open about what’s happening, if you have any courage or decency.  I don’t want to set myself up as some kind of hero, because if I was an ordinary person who came across something like this, I might not have the courage to speak openly about it.  I’d like to think I would, but I might not.  The thing is though, this isn’t just about me, it’s about all of us who are involved in this situation: victim/s, spies and customers.  The whole thing is a mess, and it needs to be sorted out.

Imagine if it was happening to you, or a friend or relative.

Take care,

Michael

Diary, September 23, 2014

This week has been another quietish week spying-wise.

The big issue I suppose has been housing.  There has been more talk recently about me leaving the ‘hospital’ where I am currently staying, and moving on to somewhere longer-term.  The trouble is, there don’t seem to be that many places available, so it could be that the decision will out of my hands.  I went to look at a place yesterday, in a nearby town, and both the place and the town seemed nice enough, but I don’t know whether it is good enough in terms of security. See how things go, I suppose.

I could do with some feedback on how you think I’m doing, in terms of the spying situation, because it’s not always easy for me to see how I’m doing, being on the inside of the goldfish bowl, so to speak.  If you have any comments or suggestions, let me know.  If you’re too afraid to communicate openly, you can do it in code if you have to.

The spying has been going on for so long now that I’m starting to forget what it was like before.  I hope that things are going OK for you.

Take care,

Michael

(Please note that I will note down instances of trolling, and pass them on to the authorities if and when possible).

Weekly diary, September 3rd, 2014

This week has been a quiet one, spying-wise.  The talk and hints I have noticed suggest that the ideas floating around are similar to how they have been for a long time.

There is something wrong with watching or listening to spying footage in itself, but also something wrong with watching or listening and not having the guts to be open about it.  It’s not just about me, it’s about society.  What kind of society do we want?  What kind of society do we have?  What kind of society are we likely to have in the future?  It’s very difficult for a spying society to be a good society.

I don’t think it’s as simple as saying that spying customers must all be bad or evil people.  Some of them probably are, but I have reason to believe that some are good people, and people in positions of trust.  I think that maybe the spying strikes at some kind of psychological Achilles’s heel: it’s intriguing, and interesting, and not that wrong, surely?  I just want to see what happens next.  And anyway, everyone else is doing it, so why shouldn’t I?

It is about me on one level; about my rights as a UK citizen, and as a human being, but it’s also about things bigger than me.  This spying business is a kind of festering sore.  The poison is covered by a thin skin of secrecy, which allows the festering to continue.  And it’s society, justice and transparency that are being damaged as a result.

Take care,

Michael

Weekly diary, August 27 2014

For me, this week has been a quiet, slow week, on the whole.  I’m really only writing this post in order to meet my self-imposed quota of one post per week.

However, I have been thinking about the Palestine-Israel situation.  You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that the conflict has been a driver of various bad things that have happened in the world.  Likewise, you don’t have to be a genius to see that a good, lasting solution to the conflict would a good thing for the world as a whole.

I don’t know what the answer is, but I hope that there is an answer, and as soon as possible.

Take care,

Michael

‘The High Street’

Hello.

I don’t really have the time or inclination to work on a diary entry this week.  Some of the things I might want to talk about, I think I’ll think over for a while before I talk.  Also, my bus leaves in half an hour, which for me, is a big deal.  I thought I might try a poem instead.

‘The High Street’

 

Stately stream of georgian foundations;

wool money, mercantile dreams,

erased, periodically,

by Luftwaffe deletions, and built again, a modern siezing of the instantaneous, eternal day.

The weather, mild, paints it’s children with gentle sunshine and calming breezes;

a street of people moving, intently, slowly, quickly, calmly.

Unseen foundations of a greater future,

pavements repaved smoothly,

different coloured faces,

foreign jargon.

A community held together by invisible ties.

I hurry on my way to this place, observing, thinking, moving.

 

Hopefully I’ll write a normal entry next week.

Take care,

Michael

Weekly diary, August 13 2014

 

This week has been pretty quiet, as far as spying goes. Quiet for me, that is. I never know what may be going on behind the scenes.

I haven’t done very much in terms of campaigning. I wonder actually whether I should be campaigning at all. Maybe I should just wait until circumstances force someone somewhere to take action.

On the other hand, I haven’t done much campaigning until recently, and, since the spying first began, no one seems to have taken much action against it.

As I’ve said before, there seems to have been a slow drip, drip, drip effect of the public getting accustomed to what’s happened, and to seeing it as OK. What kind of world is that going to lead to in, say, 20 years’ time? If you see these things as OK, what else might you see as OK? And what if you see these things as OK, and you’re in a position of power?

It seems pretty obvious that the spying is a bad thing. What seems less obvious, to me at least, is what is the best way to deal with it.

Take care,

Michael

Weekly diary, August 6th 2014

This week has been a week of deja vu.
Yesterday there was an incident of ‘that’ in the library, followed by going back to my flat and receiving some car-horn-sounding. I have just checked my petition, and discovered that no-one has signed it for a while. I find this suspicious, given that probably millions of people have seen it. It feels like I’m trapped in a cycle of events that just goes on and on forever, like a hamster in a wheel.
I don’t understand why the spying is so popular. I would have hoped that people who like me would have avoided the spying for my sake. And I would have thought that people who hate me would also prefer not to spy on me, for different reasons.
I think the underlying problem could be that I started off dealing with the spying in a mouselike way, and now the world is stuck in ‘mouse’ mode.
If you don’t like the influence I seem to have on the world, join the club because I don’t like it either. I worry that the world is being shaped to some extent (even if people don’t realise it) by someone whose problems and lack of experience make them highly unsuitable for this role. (Also, I have read that it is possible for someone who has some of the things wrong with them that I have, to have an uncanny, ‘supernatural’ influence on events. I’m not saying that this really is the case, but I do wonder).
I don’t like the effect that the spying is having on the world’s morals. It looks like the spying started out as something less serious (although still serious), and has gradually become more serious. And somehow, people seem to have gone along with it. THE SPYING IS WRONG. And the biggest danger is that people get so used to it that they forget that it’s wrong. I can think of various historical examples where that kind of acclimatisation has happened.
This situation isn’t a world war, or a battle between ‘stars’. It’s a situation of a victim (albeit a rather foolish one) of a series of crimes and misdeeds, and the perpetrators of those misdeeds. Ultimately, it’s a situation of a failure of the British state in carrying out some of its responsibilities.
Take care,
Michael

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