Tag Archive: twitter


Jo_CoxThis is a blog post in defence of a tweet I wrote this morning which read as follows:  “In honour of Jo Cox & in opposition to the haters & racists, Brits must vote remain on 23/6″

In an excellent article in The Guardian, Polly Toynbee wrote of the “corrosive” anger aroused by the forthcoming referendum on whether Britain remains or leaves the EU.The venomous reaction to my tweet could be construed as evidence of this. Here are a sample of the numerous comments I received:

  • You really are despicable – exploiting her death for political gain
  • Your comment is absolutely disgraceful and shames the Remain campaign
  • You are a heartless, opportunistic ghoul.
  • Shit for brains.

I stand by what I wrote but feel motivated to explain / defend myself beyond the 140 character limit. Continue reading

THE ART OF ASKING by Amanda Palmer (PIatkus Books, 2014)

This book is part memoir, part manifesto and part egocentric vanity project.

Amanda Palmer is a performance artist. She has been a human statue, a stripper and is best known as the lead singer of The Dresden Dolls who, in their early years were, in her own words, “a punk-cabaret duo specializing in tear-jerking seven-minute songs with drum solos”.

The manifesto part, is her fervent belief that artists, and by extension all human beings, need to learn that there is no shame in asking for help when you need a place to sleep or money to finance projects.

The experiences she recounts are proof that this can work. The most dramatic example is a Kickstarter campaign to fund an album. She set a relatively modest target of $100,000 but eventually raised a record-breaking $1 million. This level of success was not without its critics. She has been labelled a “self-serving, greedy, superficial attention whore” but is thick-skinned enough to overcome such unmerited slurs. Continue reading

1. WRITING IS THERAPEUTIC.Blogging has a healing power. I find writing down my thoughts and ideas , even when not fully formed, is cathartic and makes me feel calmer, more balanced and less alone.

2. DAILY BLOGGING IS NOT FOR WIMPS.

I wrote a post every single day from 1st January 2011  to 30th September 2013. It takes willpower or just plain bloody mindedness to persevere. I feel quite smug that I kept going for so long but I  finally waved the white flag when I was taking a week long break and had nothing scheduled.  Now I try to post something as regularly as I can secure in the knowledge that I have conquered the wimp within.

Tis-Better-to-be-brief3. BREVITY IS BEST.

Enough said?
Remember the words of the Psycho Killer in the Talking Heads song : “Say something once, why say it again?” Continue reading

I’M MARTIN – GOOGLE ME

Any one of these ‘faces’ could be a troll.

To be ungoogleable might be a blessing or a curse”; so it says in a BBC article today.

Part of the story is about the fact that many  are going to great lengths to preserve their anonymity online and avoid being found by random Googling.

To my mind the only surefire way to achieve this is not to use a computer at all!

Perhaps a measure of control  can be preserved if you don’t engage with any of the social network ‘communities’ but it’s increasingly hard to carry out any meaningful internet activity without being lured into some thread or forum.

I can respect people’s  demand for privacy but I no longer see many benefits of hiding being a pseudonym. I agree with Jaron Lanier when he wrote that such choices make us more ‘gadget’ like in our behaviour and tends to encourage the inner troll in all of us.

In honour of this principle I today changed my Twitter profile from ‘Animal My Soul’ to my true name – Martin Raybould.

My first tweet as the real me was a quote from an article in the Irish Times by Joe Humpreys: “People behave less ethically when their identities are hidden”

Related links:
Anonymity on the internet is the cloak of the coward (Irish Times)
What is ‘ungoogleable’? (BBC News)
Is anything “ungoogleable”? (smartplanet.com)

beppe_grilloSilvio_BerlusconiI live in Italy but am not an Italian citizen. Though I was unable to vote in the general election, I do obviously have a vested interest in the result.

I am writing this post before all the votes have been counted but already a number of things are clear.

The number of people who still view Berlusconi as a legitimate leader remains frighteningly high. To my mind, this indicates a level of ignorance that difficult to understand. With large parts of his support coming from the South, it shows that the Mafiosi are also still on his side. Continue reading

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