September 18, 2022, 11:22 Sep

Old people are violent too

People use the word "violence" quite loosely. Let me put it another way - before going to university for me "violence" was reserved for things Vikings did, like murdering, raping and pillaging. The kinds of activities that get me out of bed in the morning. After school "violence" started popping up in places I didn't expect. A course called the "Geographies of violence". The frenetic pace of the modern world described by a philosopher as violence. That sort of thing.

It's quite an academic use of the word, which simultaneously dramatizes actions that cause physical or psychological harm, while at the same time sanitizing it. In this context I imagine someone in a lab coat peering down a microscope at a particular specimen of violence, completely desensitized by how horrible it is because it's exhibit just #12755, and it's got nothing on #854 which had her vomit into a latex glove.

I'm writing this because I have 6 essays on my Signal chat from an 80 year old activist awaiting me and I thought "This level of communication is violent". To be clear, this woman is an absolute boss, as is anyone who retires and decides to spend their time fighting injustices or painting jumpsuits (reference to a photo she showed me of her work at a creative workshop). Personally I don't see myself being that active at 80, mainly because I hope to be dead, but even if I weren't I'm fairly confident that I would be a miserable bastard glued to his armchair. Or more so than now at least.

Still, subjecting me to reams of text at 18:00 on a weekday, or in fact at any time, on a subject which only peripherally concerns me should be recognized by the UN as an act of aggression. I will of course take the high road and reply "Sure" because even though some people have forgotten apparently, at XR we're non-violent.

Some thoughts - I wrote this on my remarkable and converted my writing to text. It didn't a pretty banging job, given that I tend to write like a spider dragging its carcass along the page after a paragraph or two. I've also been a horrendously moody bastard recently, as has been reflected in the last blog post, so I felt that something silly like this was in order. Being grumpy and self absorbed is a pretty positive feedback loop so I'm trying to get out of it.

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