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Fish on Friday?

I wonder if anyone reading this has NOT tried some sort of fasting – maybe the one where you fast for 16 hours each day or maybe the one where you only drink fruit juice laced with plankton for a week.

I’ve tried them all. I’m as faddy as they come. I actively seek out ‘the latest thing’. Let me see … I don’t eat any red meat and haven’t since 1985. I don’t eat soya or palm oil [they are ruining the planet]. I don’t eat almonds, mangos, mushrooms [the devil’s food], blackberries or strawberries [also the devil’s food, growing in hedgerows to tempt us]. I eat cabbage but not Savoy Cabbage, spring onion but not onion.

It’s some sort of bizarre musician thing. A totally disproportionate percentage of music makers [maybe other artists too] are veggie, vegan, pescatarian, cavemen and women or even Atkins [this latter much less likely because it’s been around a while, like Buddhism so it’s not on trend.]

To be on trend we need to be vegan definitely, climate change warrior, therefore electric car user definite, anti-government not so much, anti nuke hardly at all nowadays, supporter of minority rights … er …well that’s a weird one for sure.

No doubt about it, condemning chauvinism and misogyny, racism, bullying by action is absolutely mandatory.

But when it comes to language, it’s clearly all a bit of a minefield for people who think of themselves as right on … . I’m noticing greatly increased anxiety among over 40 neo liberals, particularly those who may not have experienced discrimination first hand …

‘I just don’t get this trans thing. Where will it end? Will all six year olds be given the option of a sex change?’

‘we have lots of people of colour in our office. I don’t see the problem…except they all want my job and think they’re entitled to it’

‘I have no problem with disabled people but they seem very touchy’

‘it’s all right for minorities to use self-descriptive slang but not ok for me to do so. Why not? it’s just banter’

‘I don’t see any difference between ‘coloured person’ and ‘person of colour’.

If, like me, you’ve experienced every imaginable sort of bullying and insults by children and by grownups your entire life, you know just how much it hurts. Every time. never diminishing.

I loved the ‘shut up and listen’ movement because, for me, it was and still is a no-brainer and a solution to so much.

Where is the downside of just stopping defending your position? What’s the problem, now you know loads of people find certain terminology deeply distressing, not just ‘idle banter’.

Is it really that hard to stop? Well, yes, it’s clearly hard for everyone to remember everything off pat. Today even, Beyonce and Lizzo both put out new records referring to spazzing. As soon as they were advised on the reference point, they both immediately re-recorded the vocals. Fantastic behaviour and brilliant result [even though quite alarming that in 2022 they had no clue what it referred to. We at Scope changed our name from the Spastics Society in 1994!]

So I have a message. don’t worry. Relax. Try to put yourself in others’ shoes. This is almost always a good idea anyway. You’ll soon get the hang of it. after all, 90% of what was considered ok fifty years ago in reference to racial stereotyping humour is now history.

So … vegetarians are not threatening you. Black people don’t want any more than they are worth, which is the same as you. Disabled people working in companies make those companies more effective and profitable. Trans people are usually happier, much happier, after settling in a skin that feels good. They don’t want to kill you or to corrupt your children. Asians, Irish, Jamaicans, women, people with CP, gay people – none of them want to destroy you, they just don’t like being abused. Do you?

Ah yes, fish on Fridays.

Yes, you got it. The day Jesus apparently died. Forty years of fasting to mimic and suffer with The Lord, who did his wilderness thing. But fasting in them their days did not mean carrot and plankton juice only. It meant no warm blooded animal meat. Jesus was warm blooded. Fish are cold blooded so that’s ok. So fish and vegetables which were considered ‘poor people’s food’ was the standard meal during Lent [incidentally, the global rise of the fishing industry owes most of it’s early impetus to the fish Friday fad.]

I just read this back. I have a problem. I have two cars. One a traditional gas guzzler, the second a hybrid. Clearly thinking of moving to an EV [I KNOW you all know what that is]. the problem? A new movement gaining ground, declaring potentially huge downsides to EV’s from the toxic cobalt gathered mostly by children, to provide the power; heavier cars so more wear and tear on tyres so more rubber trees knocked down and polluting tyre production ramped up. Jesus.

Oops sorry Jesus.