Concerning The Inconsistencies of Social Media Algorithms

Red warning content disclaimer tv show background design.

A responsible heading when dealing with controversial topics.

A good friend of mine (whose name is withheld to avoid them having to suffer further censure) when producing a politically themed post on a social media platform suggested certain politicians and pundits of strong and controversial views might have their perceptions improved by a bracing dive into a large natural body of water,

Jump in a lake 2

no doubt working on the basis that such a refreshing immersion would clear away their ill-humours, latent dyspepsia and possible heart damaging frenetic outlooks. The social media platform upon which this was posted (the name is withheld to spare The Well-known International company being subject To abusive or satirical comments turning up on their site) banned my friend for 12 hours for allegedly encouraging suicide.

This action puzzled me, for the actual activity is a popular one, often social groupings and bondings, all very healthy in fact.

Jamp in a Lake 3

Now if this ban were on Health & Safety grounds I would approve for there should always be caution and some manner of supervision when amusements take place around large bodies of water. In particular where styles approaching athletic or acrobatic are employed, in a possibly less than professional manner.

Jump in a Lake 4

However, as you can see from the evidence displayed this activity gives many folk joy and amusement, gifts which in these troubled times should be welcomed.

Jump in a Lake

Side view of dog jumping into lake against sky

Wow factor of 11

It, therefore, can only be concluded that the algorithm used in the company’s surveillance suggests that certain people of high public profile and controversial views when coupled with the idea of large bodies of water might give rise to morbid thoughts within some sections of the population. This, in turn leads inexorably to the next deduction, being the person or persons mentioned are the ones which give rise to the distressing thoughts and not the large bodies of water. (see additional evidence)

Wannsee, Germany, 20-29 Years, Adult, Back Lit, Carefree

Thus I would raise the issue, should not the company’s concerns be addressed to the principal subject matter; this being the person or persons, their content and all references of support to them be removed from the said platform (or platforms)?

Second Responsible Public Warning………

Red warning content disclaimer tv show background design.

Ron_DeSantis_in_2020

While the topic of engaging with bodies of water with enthusiasm be left open to mature and reasoned debate.

As Legions Before Us. We Will Be Tested

Child victim of War

Foreword: Two previous attempts at this post binned; five days of rehearsing paragraphs in my head before they made it to the page, and I still don’t know if  it is even close to the original intention. The drive would not let me rest though. Bear with me. Encapsulating these aspects of The Human Condition were never destined to be easy.

Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, then Libya, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Northern Mozambique, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Niger (to name but seven of the approximately twenty plus conflicts in Africa), Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, (blink and you might miss those two) and now a war in Ukraine which is coming into its eighth year when shorn of the curtain of a fight for independence by minorities was elevated to one which cannot be avoided. These are the sometime headline ones; not the ones packaged into small items on the brutally repressive regimes and the bloody conflicts between communities or criminal gangs.

Ukraine. If we are starkly honest with ourselves, and this is a time to be so, this one takes hold of us by the heart and mind, because those folk and their towns look so very similar to our own. And in the next sentences I walk a literary minefield. Do we notice more because of the colour of their skins. Yes? For the simple reason that familiarity brings a greater degree of emotion. Deep inside lurks the feeling with a myriad of deeper causes ‘That could be me. Us,’  You can’t stop it. No more than someone native to any of the nations above would bitterly think ‘Welcome to our world. You, of The First World,’ Human nature: You might be blessed enough to have the gift of Thinking Before Speaking; dare anyone here claim they have the gift of Perception Before Feeling? You will have to accept, I don’t believe you. No person has that sort of Objectivity. The Invasion of Ukraine, an industrial powered, visceral, savage, unavoidable, twenty-four seven media reminder what has been going on non-stop somewhere, sometime, somehow. For some folk who follow the world news, maybe the last straw. If anyone out there and has been weeping, threshing, howling, shutting down their TV or laptop save for rom-coms, sports feeds, domestic themed shows, or wildlife documentaries….I for one don’t blame you. Just come back to us some time.

And of course there are those issues on your doorstep. Pandemic, voter suppression, job security, rising prices, civil rights, domestic and civic violence, environmental concerns; those for examples. We agonise and rage over what is happening in Ukraine, but we worry about doorstep issues. We even might taste fear over one or more of them, dread them starting to link up, like a series of small forest fires merging into one vast wall of speeding immolation.

A short while back, I wrote about the importance of Hope. A plea to not to give way to despair. In all honesty an easier work to write. This is about the application of Hope. … Firstly we can all Hope, and we can all believe we will sustain the intention in a good way. Until our own Reality comes in; the inescapable truth of a War in The First World. Not just in the fierce imposition of the media, or the stream of consciousness interchanges between others. It comes creeping up on us. Sometimes swirling about us when we planned on going to sleep, or maybe dragging us out of a restless half-place, or maybe hovering there while we go about our daily chores, worse intruding upon our leisure time asking ‘Should you be….’  

You will be tested. I cannot predict how, where or when. I can tell you those myriad of emotions you are feeling are part of rehearsal. Steady yourself for a journey into a Batman’s Gotham City grotesque warping of Doctor Suess’ ‘Oh The Places You’ll Go’. You could already be finding you are wishing one man dead, perhaps joyfully celebrating resistance and shrugging at the sight of dead Russian soldiers, bitterly seeing those in your country who are ‘soft’ on Russia as not just wrong or nuisances but traitors and possibly paid by Moscow. Be prepared to be feeling emotions beyond anger, to find callousness has become part of your prism. You will be drawn in. Conflict and War are most adept at justifying; the shock being you will believe, In This Case, it was right to embrace them. If you ever thought you were angry over something outside of your own personal life, now you are stepping up (or down-depends on your viewpoint) a piece. Beware how you tread; an emotional solution the Ukraine could became your template for problems at home. You might well feel fatigue at some stage, taking comfort when the news slips down the ratings…’Can’t be so bad anymore?’ Really?

Those words disturb you? Do you feel I have stepped too far into incitement, a tabloid rabble-rouser, safe in his age and home? Are you, instead nodding your head and invoking battle criesIf You Want Peace Prepare For War’, ‘Democracies Don’t Start Wars. We Finish Them,’ ‘Justifiable War. It’s In The Bible’ (it’s not actually -Augustine of Hippo might have been the first to write on the subject). Or are you shaking your head and thinking What is he on about? I don’t understand where he is going with this?’. Perhaps you are there gnawing on your lips and saying ‘Well. Yes. But there has to be a better way. There must be. Surely we can’t keep on killing. Can we?’. There we are then. You, me, others; drawn into in a confused internal conflict where principals, ethics we are told about and the ever raw emotions collide, maybe merging in pairs or a trio only to fly apart like some of the more exquisite subatomic particles, or remain in constant antagonism. Whichever; they will plague us with a constant restlessness, even if that be only a far off rumbling of someone else’s storm.

You might cryTested? I did not sign up for this!’ Well sorry soldier, The Human World’s dynamics has the monopoly on this particular conscription, switch on some communication,  step, outside the door. Yep. You’re drafted. Even trying to be detached is some kind of statement. Your only other option is Hermitage while trying to avoid the Media finding out about you and placing you in today’s circus side-show.   

Regrettably there are no test-papers, no Yes/No/Maybe forms to fill in or on-line courses for you to tackle to see if you have passed as an In-Tune Human. (We don’t count social media for this circumstance, there are too many opportunities for pollution by those who wouldn’t even qualify for consideration to try the test; they come from Right, Left and up underneath). Thus you justifiably ask ‘You are telling me an awful lot of grim stuff. Is that all you are dealing in this time. Some Old Testament prophet re-enactments?’ 

Well, maybe. Or look at it this way. This is a journey. The weather is unsettled, make sure you carry an umbrella, a hat, and a shower proof jacket in a back-pack. Ones woven with judgement, perception and reflection. Unsettled weather. Best carry a bottle of cool reason ease the parched feeling brought on by the sudden heatwave of anger. Take opportunities to find yourself some shelter to get out of the extremes; wait for the breaks, indulge yourself in the respite. If you can grasp a short span of calm and understanding, a wish to be charitable or helpful in some positive and constructive way, thus you are coping, you are not destroying. ‘So far so good’; ‘I could have done worse’ ;’I’ll know better next time’  Maybe not the most positive of statements or evaluations, but, in testing times perpetual excellence leads to burn out, or worse Arrogance – the doorway to…..too many bad choices.

To conclude The Testing will not end in the foreseeable future. Your continued, dogged, sanguine efforts to help the victims and stand against oppression mixed with the realisation we are all fated to stumble at times, not living up to expectations; these will be part of the way upwards and outwards. Surviving and then washing away this latest deluge of the dross of Ignorance and Aggression.

Take care of yourselves folks. You are a precious resource.

9/11. Its Other Toxic Fall-out

World Trade Center Attacked

394261 14: A fiery blasts rocks the World Trade Center after being hit by two planes September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Forward and Warning: This is a very long post. Nothing about the events of 20 years ago can be encapsulated in mere statements. These are strong views, strongly put. In particularly the last paragraphs. The views are strong because of what has happened to the nation I was once so fond of, and at times might even have emigrated to. I am angry with all those who have pulled her down. In this post I chose one culpable group.

Revisit and Response

We reach the 20th anniversary of the most effective terrorist attack on American Soil. Those of us of adult age or late childhood/teens can remember where we were and the subsequent hours as we drew in the shock and awe of the event. I remember the news seeping into the UK from 2.30 pm onwards; coming out of work at 5pm and noticing the streets of my small town almost empty as if everything had stopped and everyone was watching news feeds, making sure what they heard had actually taken place. A death toll in hundreds upon hundreds? Surely not. But there they were, images of planes crashing into two towers and one managing to strike the pentagon too. A classic surprise attack. Maybe not so much of a shock in the UK, we’d been suffering the smaller scale Irish Republican attacks for years and were aware how much death and damage home trained and resourced folk determined and directed could cause.

Then came the aftershock 400+ emergency services personnel were killed, and another aircraft had been brought down by the passengers’ sacrifices. Both losses enshrined as an heroic acts and maybe the deaths of the emergency personnel resonated deeper, they were rushing in as other rushed away.

There would be other ramifications, trauma through loss, injury or survivor guilt, health issues through the toxic fallout, innocent Muslims or anyone not of white skin attacked. And two large scale military operations taking more lives and with no victory parades at the end.

There is another though, not the first instance but arguably at one the most insidious, most ridiculous and still all pervasive, like a cancer corrupting the body social and politic, spreading its poisons and thus causing similar sicknesses. This being that the events of 9/11 were a conspiracy promulgated by a mix of government, commercial enterprises, Israel (of course- Jews y’see) and the CIA, FBI etc etc.

Now I am not going to wade through the morass of little details, twisted, fabricated, pounced with a morbid glee to suit this inane premise. This is not the place to explain to the most dogged of these folk yet again why they are incorrect. It is a task as pointless as explaining to an adolescent why they should keep their bedroom tidy without being told. There will be drama, excuses, accusations, and storming outs. And why should you have to suffer yet again that annoyance? In the USA you have suffered 4 years of Trump as alleged president you do not need more immaturity.

This is actually a series of direct challenges to these folk to their flawed thinking and in consequence their true motivation, which many of them may not be aware of.

First Assumption.

The US government was involved.

Hostility to the Bush administration was wide and understandable. After the 2000 presidential election’s sojourn through the legal tangles of electoral laws, a lot of folk who did not vote for the winner would feel aggrieved. Now the usual response would be to blame the administration for flaws in security which allowed this to happen. However thanks to the JFK Conspiracy Cottage Industry, Watergate(The one dirty trick which was caught out) and Oliver Stone’s ‘Big Sleep’ take on JFK’s death the ground work was already set for Conspiracy Addicts and Zealots Against Bush to burst into action. Of course there was something ‘fishy’. How could a bunch of men living in caves possibly carry out this act. Never mind that one attack had been semi-successful in 1993. They could not have done it. NO it had to be a government conspiracy, carried out by….

A bunch of White, Educated Americans. Only White Educated Americans could have possibly planned and been ruthless enough to have done this. This line of thinking runs racism in two directions. The first one being that only White folk do evil things as second nature, everyone else had extenuating circumstances; well apart from those in the Far East, because we all know about Fu Man Chu; right?. The second flow of racism is that it is quite impossible for not-white men living in caves to think up such complicated and sophisticated plots. Never mind the times they succeeded since the 1970s, never mind that in one region they beat back the USSR. According the Conspiracy Schools even if they were the trigger men, they were, all right up to the top manipulated by White Americans, because only Whites are this clever. Ironically the only other extremist conspiracy addicts who didn’t buy into this were Nazis, KKK and other like-minded folk, folk who had never even heard of Islam were suddenly experts. So there we are. Buy into Conspiracy by White Governments and you might as well sign up to the odious Jones of Info-Whores. (Of course I did leave out the last resort of all ignorant folk be they right, left, liberal etc, etc, Israel was involved (that’s the polite term for ‘Jews’ these days), which is kind of odd since there are any number of polluted, warped, bastardised versions of Fatwahs around saying its the duty of Muslims to kill Jews)

Second Assumption 

Because I read it in A Book or On Line.

There have always been armchair generals and followers of the Simplistic School of Politics who bandy about words and phrases they have picked up from somewhere which pushed their buttons, without having the faintest genuine idea as to what they are truly talking about. Every subject is replete with the hack authors and their willing followers. The ones I noticed are popular amongst the addict fellowship are for instance  ‘Psi-Op’; ‘False Flag’ ; if you happen to question their own practical experience in such matters they either get very tangential or tell you its obvious and you are either Sheep, Sheeple or a Shill; some of the more inventive will tell you they were told by someone they cannot name, which be fair is a bit of a cop-out, as unverifiable sources are easy to manufacture. For quite some time folk of this ilk have been desperately trying to show how clever, astute, and thus superior they are to the rest of us by ‘knowing something’. Sadly there is so much fiction peddled along these lines, it is understandable it sinks into the conscious, like in the old Westerns where the hero was only shot in the left shoulder and we all believed that was not a serious wound because he kept on shooting (even if he was left-handed). Amongst all this armchair-babble by folk ‘knowledgeable’ in this area there is only one ‘False Flag Psi-Op’ which is possible- That the security services of the USA  set up the Conspiracy Theory networks themselves to detract from any ideas incompetence or complacency played a role in the events of 9/11. This makes as much, in fact even more sense that the stuff swilling around.               

Third Assumption

The Shadowy Cabal 

This is from another set of the myths which are as old as communities, and is a left-over from the time certain folk of a community would hike off somewhere secret to do secret things. These evolved into secret societies, exclusive clubs, higher echelons of belief systems and so on. Naturally those not selected either because of class, lack of resources or not being of the right status would tend to get jealous and feel left out during hard-times; these being more common than good-times, from jealously you get hostility and folklore to support that. Some wishing to elevate themselves of their own status would endeavour to prove they knew about ‘what went on’ , so if you couldn’t be a member of the secret lot, you could least to a member of those who watched the secret lot.

Now it has to be said government tends to take on this veneer. There are decisions made in private, some with good cause (telling enemies of your defence and security plans is not a good idea) and others because it would have been bad politics to let the raw process made public (who knows what the Markets will think, for instance). And that is how it is. Where the system breaks down is when the word ‘Conspiracy’ gets into the accounts; things get overheated. Let’s examine this in the 9/11 spectrum.

So assume a secret cabal of government, financiers, favoured foreigners and throw in a few religious folk decided sending plans into targeted locations in the USA would suit their nefarious purposes. Now those folk will have to draw other folk in, because the thought of a clutch of late middle aged to elderly males doing all the arranging, meetings, placing explosives and falsifying signals etc themselves is pretty hard work and likely for several of them to have coronaries or strokes. Thus in the art of delegation they must bring in other folk who in turn would do the same thing. As this goes down the line the numbers grow exponentially and three figure numbers start to appear. As all these people are presumably not going to go back to hermit-like existences  after the event, they will have personal contacts and the numbers by degrees of separation expand to four figures. This is all very well if we are talking about  The Day The President experimented with transgenderism we can all keep that quiet, right? But any event that killed nearly 3,000 people? Do you honestly think that everyone involved in that is going to keep quiet? That the knowledge would not burrow into their minds and spirits and in the resulting corrosion of guilt or anger at not getting a good enough rewards, thus causing them to give the game away? Not just the one or two beloved by the Conspiracy folk, but whole swathes of them, enough to have every professional and genuine investigative journalist on the trail, every opposition politician asking questions? Do I have to mention Watergate?….Obviously I have to. Coupled to that, such small cabals given to such thoughts and evils are prey to paranoia and rivalries and are not known for United Fronts. No one is big enough not to be thrown under the bus if it suits the rest. The idea that this mythical cabal would cling loyally together does not work. French Revolution, USSR, Nazi Germany, Communist Russia to name but a few with bloody hands were never solid dependable fraternities, many were booted to the wall or knives of some sort were drawn. For this idea to hold water we are at best in Darren Brown, Hollywood or Comic Book territory, at worst the rancid racist works such as The Protocols of Zion.

Overview  Then.  

Whether folk like it or not the guerrilla or the terrorist moves in the shadows, seeking out the opportunities, the weaknesses, the possibilities. As an IRA member once said ‘One Lucky Day’. To survive they live in subterfuge, more aware than most their lives are conditional. Above all they are dedicated. Some may already consider themselves dead, waking to their successful end. You have seen enough examples since 2001, surely.

  It is of comfort for some to think all is controlled by ‘The Government’, the conspiracy addicts feel safer with believing there is ‘a plan’. They would prefer not to think their lives are conditional upon what as in the scheme of things are random events, be they natural or enacted by those who are not part of their society. It is far easier for an American 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist to believe the events of 9th September 2001 were enacted by a government than to hold to the concept that this day they could be shot down by a random gunman, struck by ice falling off of an aircraft wing, hit by lightening, killed in collision with a vehicle which had brake failure, in the wrong place when a tree blew over, or where there was a mud/rock slide, an elevator lift system failed and so on. They would rather have someone remote and unseen to blame. That takes the natural chaos out of Life.   

There Is More To It Than That 

If this was all there was to the 9/11  Conspiracy annoying as it would be I would not trouble to write a post of this length, in fact my comments would probably be limited to a reply to some other post. This is not the case. The principal reason to assail them with basic challenges and at such length is because of The Cause & Effect this particular grouping has had in society as such. John & Robert Kennedy’s assassination were world-wide events, but in the human perception; politicians and leaders get killed from time to time, you are shocked, you grieve and you move on; even if JFK’s death did spawn that cottage industry, nothing else changed. 9/11 by its scope and being seen live; did. To repeat we all know where we were and what we did. To claim that as being false at such length and depth  made The Conspiracy more viable than ever in the 20th/21st century. It settled into the American conscious not just on the Left or Liberal wings but on the Right too. The Right had dallied with this: McCarthy Era, Fluoride in Water, Lyrics in Rock Songs Played Backwards and always that National Government was essentially trying out to take your (ie White) freedoms away. But now it had a bedrock to work with. If 9/11 was a Conspiracy and gosh there was a lot of ‘evidence’, then who knows what else was going on??? The 9/11 Conspiracy had opened the door.  

Sandy Hook was bad enough, but for the parents to be accused of being actors and threatened.

QAnon which once could only have figured in the book by the masters of the satirical and fantastic such as Carl Hiaassen has now become a solid belief system for far, far too many.

The vile, poison of anti-Semitism and its literature of Hate is back and sits comfortably with other Conspiracy works.

A teenager concerned with environmental issues was subject to hideous abuse and accusations of being a front for….. Well apart from World Wide Socialism I could never make out what? The Thunberg-phobes are not renowned for their eloquence or ability to write more than five or six words; ten at tops, then a link to some spurious site

If these were not bad enough a creature of media indulgence with no experience of anything other than questionable property dealings and cult-like following on TV became president not by a popular vote but through a freak of the voting system. Because ‘apparently the whole system was rotten and filled with conspiracies’. This individual then proceeded to court the far-right and break his Oath of Office from day one. When we thought this could not be topped as the 2020 election results came in, what did the spoilt brat of privilege do? Why? He cried Fraud and Conspiracy, and later gathered a rabble to try and storm the Whitehouse. In early years his antics at the election would have damned him to obscurity and ridicule, but in this Age of Conspiracy? No. He had credence amongst the majority of the 70,000,000+ who had voted for him. Thus the toxicity of The Conspiracy nurtured by the 9/11 adherents to this Unholy Cult had its greatest triumph, the acceptable assault on the Democratic process.

The next words are going to seem very harsh indeed. They may even hurt some who have hung on this far while doubting my argument. But I make no apologies. No more than those who support Gun Control will cut any slack for those of the NRA who cling to The Right to Bear Lots of Arms. Gun Control will tell Gun Rights they also have blood on their hands for the random killings

Because if that style of accusation works in one case it works in another.

If you cling to the 9/11 Conspiracy, you are culpable of the spread of the Conspiracy in any form as an argument. In that case you carry some of the weight of Sandy Hook’s aftermath. You must bear a part played in the farce of the 2016 presidential election and the subsequent years. Your brothers and sisters in fantasy and ignorance attacked The Whitehouse and threatened and took lives on the 6th January 2021.

And people are dying of Covid through denial, let us not forget.

Nearly 3,000 people died on the 9th & 10th September 2001, many more lives were wrecked in the aftermath, more would die in Iraq and Afghanistan in the years ahead. In the USA I could not begin to count the death, injuries and intimidations caused by Hate Crime of one sort or another. To repeat you very nearly lost your seat of government and many elected officials on the 6th January 2021.

By your denial of the rational and the factual, by your RPG indulgence as some fearless seeker of The Truth (whatever that might be in the broad sweep of Humanity’s dealings down the ages), you insult those who died, those who suffered and those who worked to seek out the true villains. You do as much as Al-Qaeda could ever have hoped for.

It’s Not Religion That’s The Problem.

  There is one common flaw that us Humans all share, this being that we are all too willing to blame a system be it political, theistic, atheistic, cultural, social or whatever. We all assume that if ‘we’ got rid of ‘that’ (irrespective of the opinions of the followers / believers) things would be better because into the gap would flow rational thought, understanding and all those negatives would evaporate.

And we would all live happily ever after.

Cut to end music and credits.

This idea, nice though it would be and goodness knows I have subscribed to it so many times over the years (Far Left Socialist writing here). The hard and sad fact is take something away from Humanity which they have been misusing and they will find something else to misuse and pervert in a short space of time. Classic case being post Revolutionary Communist states and if die hard apologists persist I am wrong, then let’s talk about Pol Pot, shall we?

Another Human flaw being that if we do not like something then we will go looking for the worst case example of that ‘something’ to prove our point. Never mind that within the something there are numerous variations and differing opinions. As long as we can find that shocking example (and there usually are plenty) then we will be content or justifiably outraged depending on our mood.

So let’s look at religion. Firstly if I try and go blundering about discussing all religions I am bound to offend some of my fellow theists as I don’t know everything about every one of them, just enough to appreciate all have a common code of ethics which everyone is supposed to adhere to, but don’t. Therefore I will firstly narrow down to the three Abrahamic religions, as regards Islam and Judaism it is essential to be brief here too because not being a practitioner of either I have no right to go preaching about either, thus simple observations

  1. There are 1.9 billion Muslims. IF they were all fanatics intent on world domination and force-converting the rest of the world I think we might have noticed a few more invasions and ravening hordes. The notion that all Muslims are a threat is grotesque and just another excuse for other races to hide their racism. Tell an NRA member all gun owners are dangerous and potential mass killers and see what they feel about that parallel.
  2. NO the Jews are not all devious business and financial manipulators bent on world domination. If you had been persecuted for one thousand years by every other group and forced into certain occupations by corrupt or ignorant governing powers then you would develop a certain caution in your culture. So get your perspectives sorted there people. And I am also looking at other minority groups who have suffered persecution and thus should know better. And before we go any further Israel’s current administration is what happens when right-wing exclusivity takes hold, it is not the sole flaw of Jews, every nation around the world has that stain in some form…Ask their minorities.   

Thus I move onto home ground. Christianity, which itself has a fine history of folk who think they know better than God and so go around slaughtering other Christians to ensure that they, the group doing the slaughtering have a place in Heaven. After a while they decided that slaughtering was not beneficial to the economy, so they calmed do a bit, settled on persecution and eventually into simple suspicion and not letting ‘those folk’ have the better jobs, housing, etc. And before anyone tries to tell me that The Communists learnt that from Religion I have to say ‘You’re reaching folks’. There were times when Trade Wars..were…well wars. It’s the Human thing again. Get angry. Hit. Don’t think. Grab the loot    

When viewing the antics and the hypocrisies of those who wave a Bible about and tell you about a selected line out of the Testaments which suits their arguments, then it is only natural to despair. However this in itself is selective. Be honest you know you have gone there to disagree with them; the opposite side of the coin as the ‘true believers’. Barely regulated, unedited YouTube available to anyone….seriously, that’s not the way to judge the Big Picture.   

So here I am.(pre-covid). At Mass in a Catholic place of worship. The Mass begins. We come to the Homily…..and I don’t recall one calling on us to gather up our wrath or sharp implements assail non-catholics, march on places of government, or not render unto Caesar things which are Caesar’s. I do recall a lot about getting our ethical acts together and start thinking about our personal short-comings and how we should stop paying lip service to the English version literal of the Bible and look at the meaning.

And cut to New Testament Gospel According to Matthew Chapter 7. The whole chapter, not neat little bits. The whole instruction from Christ:

“Judge[a] not, that you be not judged. For with what [b]judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

The Narrow Way

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 [c]Because narrow is the gate and [d]difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

You Will Know Them by Their Fruits

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

I Never Knew You

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Build on the Rock

24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

 

Yes, that is the full instruction. That is how it should be. Anyone see anything there about killing anyone? Anything there about getting wealthy on religion? Anything there about starting wars? Persecuting minorities?   Have a look at verses 15-20…..AND that is what is going on in the Kingdoms of Humanity. Jesus warned about that, as had the Old Testament Prophets, and here we are still doing it while hiding behind fogs of words and firecrackers of sound-bites. And before we move on….consider verses 1-5…………Yes….all of us. Humanity in all its flawed stumbling ways.  

So across the politics. My neighbourhood: Socialism & Socialists. Many of them like to announce their credentials as against war, looking for justice, worrying about minorities, seeking equality. And yet I have witnessed packs turn on journalists who did not agree with their views (Free Speech?) with a MAGA like ferocity. They turned their back on the sufferings of millions in Syria because of some odd notions to do with American imperialism. They have indulged in the old European Sport of Anti-Semitism under the guise of being concerned about Palestinians and very cross with you when you ask why they are not equally concerned about other groups around the world. Pretended that Putin was not as bad as American Presidents…..until rumours started that Russians were funding the Conservative Party and Brexit……        

And we could go onto. Into the polite and not so polite manoeuvres in The Arts, Entertainments, of course the pestilences that crowd Social Media (Shaming, Trolling, Misogyny, Malice and so forth). And on and on.

In short don’t go looking for some convenient or fashionable reason to collect up the World’s ills and blame it all on that.

It’s in you and me. It lurks in all of us. The problem and the cure are the same Humanity.     

Just for Marketing and Giggles- The Comic Tragedy Approach

shy-man-partyThere will be scenes and commentaries which some readers may find disturbing, even offensive. Although to be fair there is something of a nascent allegory to certain themes within the volume which has given rise to these marketing ventures. I would also like to go on record as stating I had nothing to do with this post and even counselled against it…. Oh dear……oh dear.   

Laughing GuyYes folks with each copy of Of Patchwork Warriors

You get a free course of pogo-stick lessons

Impatient fellowWow! That’s a great idea. Why don’t you come into my office and we can discuss it in more detail.

punched laughing-guy (2)Duhhhh…hurr…hurrrrr…I’m goin’ ‘ome…duhhhhh…..hur-hur.

Well, we’d love to help out but we’re off to Oshkagoodle to help publicise the annual Oshkagoodle Lychee Fruit Workshop Festiva

Yeaaaa Team Lychee!!!

Impatient fellowNaaah, there’s no joy to smacking such folk, they are already in their own painful world of existential denial….. OK Sis’ over to you.

Haughty response 4Oh great here comes Ms Blue Collar again

Wives and lovers exasperated-11451246

Yeah, like one way-ticket to Cliché Central

Wives and lovers woman clothedHi honey. Sorry to Skype in on you like this. Just to let you know I’ll be a bit late home tonight. Plumbing job. Anyway tell the girls they can watch Frozen II again, and they have to phone their Aunty Jane to wish her fiancé Sandra a Happy Birthday…OK…love you man of mine…Oh nearly forget would you be a sweetie and contact Professor Williams and tell him I’ve given it a lot of thought but I won’t be taken up the Lectureship on 16th Century Literature in Europe. Bye..darling……

Hi Ladies…….

That was mean!…..

Yeah!

You’re-you’re just so lucky we lost out phones in there otherwise we would twitter something…

Yeah!….

We’ve had enough, we’re off to Oshkagoodle to sneer at Lychees…..

Yeah! 

Ah sometimes ya just gotta clear out the dead wood 

FX Twang

Young woman, finger on lips, looking confused surprisedOh….. It’s gone all quiet… Well I guess that just leaves me…Ummmm… There’s this book. Of Patchwork Warriors 

And it’s one of those Fantasy sorts. There’s these three young women, a soldier, a kinda wacky traveller, and a housemaid, now she gets stuck with these…powers I guess… and the other two are hunting her, because they have to, y’see. Anyway, they all get together and bond, and have adventures beating up bad guys. And sort of grow in experience, stature and stuff like that. The wacky one and the soldier fall in love which is sorta sweet, and the housemaid becomes really powerful, brave, determined and respected. So it ends well, but it’s part one, of a trilogy….forgot to mention that . There are a few laughs, adult situations and girls talking, y’know girl-talk. And there are lots of other folk doing sneaky back ground things, but like I said it works out, OK…all upbeat. And costs 0.99 on Amazon Kindle.      Was that OK?

Thank you……..WIN_20201130_14_37_57_ProI wish I’d asked you to do this in the first place.

Melodrama“Comedies are fit for common wits:
But to present a kingly troop withal,
Give me a stately-written tragedy;
Tragadia cothurnata, fitting kings,
Containing matter, and not common things.”

Vintage engraving of a victorian era professor or schoolmaster reading a book.

Ah a quote from Kydd’s Spanish Tragedy …… How very apt.

Pondering one I’d have gone from something out of Dostoevsky, but I guess that works.  

worried-manThat’s all folks!…Good night!

Just for Marketing and Giggles -The Controversially Aggressive Approach

Just for Marketing and Giggles – The Advertising (Emotional Appeal ploy) Approach

Just for Marketing and Giggles – The Controversially Aggressive Approach

Portrait Angry older man screaming on white background

WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH THE LOT OF YOU!!

Laughing Guy

You’re just gonna love this, aren’t you folks?

shy-man-party

Words fail me.

Portrait Angry older man screaming on white background

Listen to me willya! This book has been out for one month, there’s been a advertising campaign and still you an’t buying it!! WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE?????  Ohhhhhhh I know what it’s all about. All those social media types with their Youth Orientation and what is ….’Trending’, so anyone who is not in the right profiles gets ignored. It’s just like what happens to me, Pete and Burt when we asked the Town Council if we could play our Kazoo renditioning of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ on the 4th July three years back, and they turned us down because it might have been seen as ‘disrespectful’……. HA!…Disrespectful! They just didn’t want three old guys strutting their stuff that’s all! And don’t think we haven’t noticed they have not replaced that old omnibus of Dick Tracy cartoons in the town library which they removed because ‘they’ said it was in need of repair….HA!! What AND happened to the ‘Smokey Stover’ collection???….They still won’t answer that question!!    I tell ya, it’s a pretty sorry state when an ordinary guy who’s lived an ordinary life, not making a fuss or being on ‘Reality TV’ can’t get his book noticed…Just ‘because’. You take Burt, who spent ten years researching  and writing up a three volume commentary on the History of Pot Roast and did anyone take it up? Did they…Huh? I mean, it’s POT ROAST for pity’s sakes, y’ can’t get more patriotic or basic roots of culture  than POT ROAST!!!  And then you can’t get anything controversial  published unless you’re already well known or some sorta wacko that a bunch of TV executives found. Me an’ Pete collaborated on two volumes being critical of folk of high profile irrespective of politics, gender, race, religion or which baseball team they followed titled ‘And Here’s Another Idiot’ followed up by ‘It’s You Stupid Lot that Make Them Wealthy’. I mean how controversial can you get? But did anyone give us a sniff! Did they? Hah! Nnnnooo because in their eyes we were 70 year old nobodies, with no profile or ‘Twitter’ accounts! I tell ya, it’s The Living In A  Stacked Deck scenario all over again!!! 

PuzzledErr…Excuse me. But…err…What’s the book, and have you read it? 

Doffing a hat

Oh I can help you there young lady.

Of Patchwork Warriors It’s on that Kindle device  

Portrait Angry older man screaming on white background

I was gettin’ there! I was gettin’ there!!!    Laughing and pointing

Just catching his breath…That’s all

Portrait Angry older man screaming on white background

I heard that Charlie Smerhoffer! You and your stupid easy going attitude! Well, let me tell you, when ‘they’ come and take away all those Short Story collection you read at the Library and replace them with ‘Controversial’ drivel written by any yahoo who’s got a PROFILE and a bank account inversely proportional to the size of their brain then don’t come moaning to me about it!! 

Pondering twoI’ve read all the posts on this topic and I’m still none the wiser. 

Confused person on Brexit

Yeah, I printed them out and collected them in a binder. It still didn’t help.

Portrait Angry older man screaming on white background

THAT’S BECAUSE YOU SHOULD BE BUYING AND READING THE BOOK!!!!

Vintage engraving of a victorian era professor or schoolmaster reading a book.

But you see, my dear sir, there is an inherent flaw in your argument. For surely the whole purpose of these whimsical marketing endeavours is to raise the profile of the work in question and thus encourage the individual to purchase a copy. Thus by your last statement you have created a contradiction in that, if a person were to purchase a copy of the said volume, then there would be  no need to read the marketing. Ergo your previous comment is void of any substantial meaning.

Little girl sticking tongue out. PNG - JPG and vector EPS (infin

Naaah! Stop being mean to Gramps!

YEAH!!!!

Wives and lovers exasperated-11451246Oh great. Another marketing classic.

Haughty response 4

Awww don’t worry, I’m sure Ms Blue Collar is on hand to save the day.

Meanwhile……

ITALY-FRANCE-WEATHER-FEATURE

Pondering oneNo sales since the 21st of Feb then? 

WIN_20201130_14_37_57_Pro‘Come what come may,
Time and the hour runs through the roughest day….’

Furtive…Uh-oh that don’t sound regular.

WIN_20201130_14_37_57_Pro

 

‘If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well . It were done quickly’

worried-manQuoting Shakespeare’s MacBeth…to himself….That will not end well.

WIN_20201130_14_37_57_ProBear like I must fight the course.’

Pondering oneYou might want to miss the next post folks….

Just for Marketing and Giggles- The Bandwagon Advertising Approach

Just for Marketing and Giggles- The Advertising (Emotional Appeal ploy) Approach

The UK Labour Party…An Avoidable Tragedy. Commentary and Judgement.

Introduction

This is mostly for folk ‘Across The Pond’ in the USA; something to take your mind off of the Apocalypse Now theme which appears to be gripping your presidential election. And within lies the seeds of warnings for the struggles you will face in the aftermath in which not just Unity but Flexibility and Perception will be essential . This account includes a great deal of necessary history so is a long post.

SUBJECT: The suspension of the previous leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn on charges of Anti-Semitism

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-54730425

Now because this news has, is and will continue to generate a lot of glee, wailing, outrage, conspiracy theorising, told-you-so, etc etc from many sections of the UK here comes a declaration on my own stance: I am hard-left with an authoritarian streak mixed with what could be taken as either a pragmatic or Realpolitik outlook. No fluffy folk-lore, conspiracy layered tropes here. In my ‘book’ it is the duty, I stress that Duty of every member of the Labour Party to struggle, by all means necessary to work towards the goal that The Conservative Party does not have a say in Government. It is a very tough world and Compromise is not a Dirty Word (and by the way the State of The World….. it’s all Our Collective Fault (Humanity that is) no use blaming one side or another). Thus on with the commentary.

Overview and History

Corbyn comes from what folk like to call The Far-Left of the UK Labour Party and being of a post-war generation carries the baggage of that time. State ownership, antipathy to large commercial outfits, latent hostility to the Conservative Party (so far so good), suspicions of the USA, tendency to give Russia in whatever guise it is operating a second and third chance, anti-war no matter what and of course an urge for ‘freedom’ and ‘rights’. (by now he and I have parted company). Following Blair’s Bright Future being afflicted by Hubris, Brown left holding the bag but successfully navigating the near collapse of the financial system in 2008, one romantic wing of the Labour Party called itself Momentum, gathered itself together with the sole purpose of getting its man into the top job did that with commendable success.

The first thing it did, which is, to be fair classic Socialist/Communist style was to seriously discredit the predecessors, caste out those who would not tow the line, get its own folk into places of power, and start to intimidate any internal opposition. In this it was doing as would be expected (it’s what I would have done). It then ran out of ideas, the most important being on how to get into government in an essentially conservative (mood not party) nation, Nearly got there in 2017 through a mix of dislike of Conservative Austerity and possible hope placed in Labour, BUT thanks to the historic intransigence of Sinn Fein ( When it comes to politics They do things differently in Ulster) not taking their seats in the House of Commons Labour failed (‘Close but no Cigar’ as was the saying in the USA). And this is where it all goes wrong. When history, heritage and a lot of murky within the Human Nature start to play their parts.

Commentary

One of Humanity’s dirty facets is prejudice and it is no use denying that ‘you’ are not prey to it. Be honest you do judge some folk by labels and without knowing them dislike or are suspicious of them… Yes, yes I ‘know’ some ‘deserve it’….. See what I mean?. Anyway, one ingrained in European history, folk lore, warping of religious beliefs, social outlooks and politics is…The Jews . Oh, yes we have decided that they are so different and so inward looking, you never know what they are thinking…..actually if you had been persecuted, pogromed, vilified and mis-represented for several hundred years you wouldn’t exactly be going out into the world with a happy innocent smile on your face would you now? And not even the horrors of WWII have cleaned that stain out of our collective consciousnesses. Thus in every European there is a sensitivity to ‘The Jews’ . Where the toxicity was allowed to flourish on the Left was when it was the USA and not the USSR who got to support Israel. You see another prejudice in Europe, particularly on the Left is that the USA is bad. For instance -never mind that the majority of Americans voted against Trump, many on the left promptly labelled every American as stupid and White Fundamentalist Evangelical. Never mind that to be Jewish can leave you open to vilification in the USA, somehow Israel, Mossad and so all ‘the Jews’ were also behind Trump.

Thus to a section of the Labour Party be Jewish is to be associated the corrupt, and horrific Israeli government of now, and all Palestinians are victims, and let’s not go into what happens to those Palestinians who speak out against their own ‘representatives’ in Hamas. Now this outlook is an obvious weak link in the Party which espouses equality and claims to be opposed to discrimination, and something which the Conservative supporting media can work with. Conservative spokespersons can be ‘horrified’ about (while hushing up the Islamophobic tendency of its own ranks…nothing to see here folks…move along please).

Any half-astute hard-nosed operator within the true ranks of Socialism would have seen this happening, and knowing it was a problem would have confronted it by one very simple manoeuvre. Criticise the Israeli government and announce talks to affiliate with one of the left wing Israeli Parties : Meretz for instance who does have seats in the Knesset or Da’am Workers Party (very, very Left wing) to name but two without even trying. Embrace indigenous UK Jewish groups who are opposed to the Israeli government and its policies. Make it very plain to folk who are not on board with this policy to either get on board or quit Labour and set up their own little group (with a sub-text that such an outfit with be vilified by Labour by all means necessary). Tell all those fashionable personalities who raise their profiles by announcing their are boycotting this or that to shut up or also get on board. Although that would seriously annoy the Israeli Government and their UK supporters this would defuse the situation. So simple. All it needed was determination and a few threats to those who stood in its way. But no, the Party Split over the issue, it lost its traditional Jewish base and looked all kinds of Nasty in the media. And in defence of their Anointed many of Corbyn’s supporters took on the mirror image of the supporters of Trump, blinded to anything but support and visceral hate for those against them. Absolute bumbling, rank amateurism, blinded with prejudice and out-dated tropes of warped folk-lore. Although hard-left I am also a Christian and did often mentally cry to the Lord God ‘Give Me Strength Lord! Give me Strength!

You had it all. A divided unpopular weakened Conservative Party and you still failed, in fact seen to be failing. And all you and yours could come up with were excuses.

And now the proverbial chickens have come home to roost, and while all those who still cling to the notion that Corbyn is but a victim of a vast conspiracy do rend their garments and caste ashes this way and that, I can in all honest anger and reproach say:

‘Jeremy Corbyn by your own narrow-mindedness, inflexibility, adherence to out-dated concepts have played a major role in this unhappy collection of Islands being administered by the most inept collection of people in many a long year to sit around a Cabinet Table at Number 10 Downing street. In this I judge you guilty of that most major crime any socialist can commit you complied in allowing a Conservative Government. In the words of Oliver Cromwell to The Long Parliament on the 20th April 1653:

You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately… Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!

Plots and Things That Might Be Plots…or Not

I suppose the basic idea of a plot is broadly linear. A narrative starts at A with an intention to end up at at, shall we say D with diversions at B & C and there it does end at D. Fine, because so much can happen in between those four points of juncture. If however I were to continue along this thread and assert this is basically what all writers should strive for if they want to be succesful in their art then I might as well suggest we have a National Let’s Be Mean To Children day for the amount of rage and controversery resulting.

Basically ‘What is a Plot?’ is a question no one is ever going to answer successfully. If someone not a writer were to ask that question in a room of say six writers, the said person would end up (A) Having to break up at least one fist fight (B) Pick up the chair when one writer stormed out asserting everyone else was a twit before slamming an innocent door (C) Make a cup of tea or coffee to soothe the one who was having existential crisis because they couldn’t answer the question (D) having listened to the remaining two come away with the idea there were at least ten different answers (E) Wished they’d never asked the stupid question in the first place and (F) Wondering if they will ever be able to read fiction again without twitching.

And that’s before we reached that most volatile and dangerous of statements

‘It is the melding of words which matters. Who needs a plot?‘ (NB. An Innocent to the world of writers should never ask this question. It’s like starting a discussion on Religion, Politics or Sport; it never ends well., Even if the said Innocent does try keep the assemblage supplied with tea, coffee, biscuits and cookies)

Basically I would suggest one answer (out of an infinite number of answers and permutations of answers with or without qualifiers; ipso facto, quid pro quo-one should always try and throw some Latin into a debate it looks good) is:

The plot is what the reader discerns it is.

Any quick sift through books, articles, reviews, criticisms etc about other books, articles, reviews, criticism etc will reveal that there are inventive folk out there having tremendous fun (and making a living) out of telling you what the author of aforementioned books, articles, reviews, criticism etc was actually saying in the first place AND are not they (ie the inventive folk) very clever was discerning this. Such a statement will be followed by other inventive folk saying in books, articles, reviews, criticisms etc  how wrong the first inventive folk was/were and actually the message/theme etc of the orginally cited books, articles, reviews, criticisms etc was….

This unsettles some folk who just wanted to sit down and read a book, etc and not have their worlds upset by strident assertions. This is why you should never read any review on any books, articles, reviews, criticisms etc, without your ‘Oh Yeah. Says You,’ monitors and response metres tuned to full strength. I proclaim this in advance of the next part of this post which I, (only me, that is) look at some works from the perspective of plots, or not as it were….

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf 

mrs-dalloway-virginia-woolf-9781781398197 Now it could be excusable on a first brief glance to think ‘A day in the life British upper class woman organising a party for that night. So? Is it going to be a comedy like P G Wodehouse with things going wrong. It’s not? Huh! That’s going to be dull’ Where in actual fact the party is but a backdrop to varied interactions between people, none of whom do run off with each, even if there is a subtext some want to. At this stage it can be argued there is no particular linear plot. However it is what it is; which as I see it is a view of the complexity of people’s lives, the appeal lying in the use of language and juxtapositions of past and present. You will have another view. We could discuss…hopefully not argue on the subject. Anyway just bear with me, I’m not done yet.

Moby Dick (or The Whale) by Herman Melville

Moby Dick Entire literary or academic careers have probably been built around this novel. ‘Ahab a sea-captain has had his leg bitten off by a whale, Moby Dick and wants to seek revenge on the said whale. But consumed by this obsession ends up being bested by said whale’. Is that the plot then?’ Well not really because, Melville fills up the book with all sorts of information about whales and the history of whaling, it’s told from the point of view of Ishmael the only survivor, Ahab the captain doesn’t turn up for quite a while and Moby Dick in terms of wordage nearly at the end. So who or what is the book about? And does it have a plot or is it a commentary about things deeper? Personally I don’t know, it overwhelms me, like a huge whale rising out of the deep. One thing is certain the whole work has and will continue to intrigue and captivate. No doubt there are legion of opinions are to what the actual plot is (or not as the case may be)

Having thus skirted around the dangerous area of whether one may or may not need a plot, or part of a plot I will comment on safer ground for me anyway….. Fantasy novels. Most of the best selling having plots. In these following examples Plots are strong factors, but the telling of how they work out are the most important features.

The_Lord_of_the_Rings  Now this one needs no introduction or detailed explanation does it? Very simple outline- throw the evil ring down the volcano, good defeats evil. Tolkien doesn’t just go from A to D via B & C though, he goes through the entire alphabet upper and lower case for good measure. Small wonder many folk say ‘This year I shall I read Lord of the Rings, properly and in depth’, because it will need that length of time to appreciate all the histories, nuances and colours. Simple premise while allowing whole swathes of detail, proving you don’t need a complex plot.

Best Served Cold by Joe Ambercrombie

Best served cold Joe Ambercrombie does not write subtle, nor simple, nor good over coming evil. But he does write plots. This book set in a world familiar to his readers is one of basic revenge. Monza Murcatto a ruthless mercenary is betrayed and left for dead, she gets up and seeks revenge; there is a conclusion. On the way though there are many characters some of whom people other books in the series. Monza is not nice at all, in fact you might think considering her background she had this coming and you might also feel sorry for some of the folk tagging along with her. In fact it is very hard not to get engaged, if bloody, unsentimental, colourful alternate worlds (approx. 15/16th Century Italy) are to your taste. One with twists to the plot which are not of Monza’s plan or even foresight. Plot figures strongly, fleshed out though with strong characters. No particular moral other than in this one Survival is Everything.

The preceding four books were taken as random examples of just a few of the facets encountered when talking about The Plot (or not). You will have your own examples and permutations. I tried to steer clear of the issue of Complex, Tangled or Obscure plots as these tend to be a matter of perception and some folk get quite upset, nay even insulted if you suggest one is, or isn’t when they have an opposite view and we are back in the world of heated arguments.

Basically to underline the issue it would seem we must always consider this.

It is how the piece is written which counts.