Praise us now!

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Me when you criticise this post

Sometimes I don’t understand people in creative industries. If you’re someone doing something creative, there’s a chance that you’ll have to sell your product to the masses and when that time comes, it’s also possible that your product will get criticised because there’s nothing in the world that everybody collectively likes. It’s just part of what happens, when people experience something that’s on the market, they’ll form an opinion which they are allowed to have, it’s not offensive or anything it’s just an assessment of the experience. That being said, I’ve noticed that when some people hear feedback on their work and it’s criticism, they get emotional and start complaining as if it’s the consumer’s fault for not liking it and if that’s your attitude, why sell your stuff to begin with?

A lot of things in the world require people to have thick skin and selling any kind of product is one of them, you can’t take the good without taking the bad (unless there is no bad). Nobody likes criticism which is fair but, I get seriously confused when people get upset about others not liking their products as if it’s by force that people have to like whatever is marketed to them. If you sell something to someone and they don’t like it, it’s okay, YOU WILL LIVE! It makes me question what people expect when they get into this kind of field because it when people get angry over their product not being received well, it shows a degree of cluelessness.

It happens often enough for me to believe that within most if not all creative industries, there’s a mentality amongst those involved that they can’t be criticised and that isn’t right. I can’t say for sure but it feels like people tend approach things with this mentality and become shocked when they learn that others don’t abide by the same rules. Personally, I think it’s good to show passion and stand by your creations but it doesn’t look good for your character when you try to justify why your specific creation shouldn’t get criticised only to go and criticise those who didn’t like your project, now they probably don’t like you either (and that’s probably bad for business.)

Criticism isn’t the end of the world. There are times where responding to it negatively makes sense, like if the criticism is disrespectful and turns into an attack on your character but in most cases it just makes sense to accept the criticism and keep it moving. There’s an audience for everything and if a creator has found their audience, they just need to focus on developing that and making sure they continue to receive love from those they are trying to appeal to. It’s really a non issue in most cases which makes it so confusing as to why people get upset when their work is criticised.

Using the Lord’s name…

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The power that could be in my hands. hmm

I think God is one of the most interesting subjects that people can talk about. There’s so much to speak on like if you think he’s real, what you think he may have done for your life or why the world works in such a way. Depending on the way God is viewed, God either gets a really good reputation or a bad one (like Marmite) and part of the genius in it is how people use God for their own benefit whilst convincing others that it’s for their benefit.

There is some immorality when it comes to God and how some preachers use the name. Personally, I don’t really pay too much attention to that kind of stuff, I find that a lot of the times when I listen to preachers, they tend to give common sense statements and package it with God’s name. I’m sure that the preachers who do this are aware of what they’re doing but it’s somehow justified because it sends the people hearing it into ecstasy. I don’t really get it because it supposedly has a profound effect on the lives of those hearing it, so much so that they feel like a different being entirely for hearing things that have most likely been repeated to them through many other mediums just without God’s name.

God is a name that gives hope to a lot of people because it makes them want to be better and those people who believe are always happy to show their appreciation however, I think it makes it too easy for others to take advantage. It’s hard to measure how good of a person you are in God’s eyes, all people really have to work with are the rules that are stated in their respective religious texts and I feel this allows preachers to dictate to others believers how much their actions impress God. It’s impossible to prove and disprove what preachers say in relation to God, I think some people might even feel that preachers regularly make specious claims but because of the nature of any individual relationship with God, it’s too hard to argue.

When it comes to the things that preachers say, it’s a question of whether they’re doing more harm than good. Some preachers convince the people they preach to, to donate money to God because some religious texts request that you do that with some of your earnings (or something along those lines) and because of this, it’s easy for preachers to say that the more money given, the more you’ll be rewarded. Some preachers suddenly get luxury cars and expensive suits when others donate more money to God but on the other hand, the feeling that it gives the donors is probably unrivalled by most experiences in their lives. I don’t know if this is the case for most people who subscribe to a religion but I know that for some people when they do any act that they feel God wants in any capacity, it gives them some kind of hope (maybe even validation) and keeps them striving to be a good person. It’s hard to argue that these preachers don’t encourage other believers to be better and improve their lives as well as the lives of those around them and in turn that has a good effect.

I can’t say I agree with everything that preachers say, but the gain of said preachers is safely wrapped in the goodness of those that they preach to. Just thinking about that and the work you have to do to make that happen makes me respect the hustle, although with that being said, it doesn’t do any favours for God’s name.

This ain’t your life…

Sort your life out and mind your own business. When you’ve done that, continue to mind your own business until someone else wants you in theirs, at that point you can make a choice. Maybe some people feel as if they’re a teacher or leader of some sort but regardless, people need to learn how to mind their own business. People have good intentions, and I understand this but sometimes I hear stories about how people want to help those around them because they feel that the people they know have nothing going on in their lives. I can admit that the same thing has happened to me and I didn’t appreciate it.

Chances are that if you intrude in someone’s life telling them what you think they need to do in order to start moving forward, they might be reluctant to listen to your point of view or straight up disregard it, even if the advice comes from a good place. It’s very easy for that information to be misinterpreted, even you just want to see the best for said person, who confirmed that you know what’s best for them? Are you trying to see a better version of them or the version of them that’s in your head? Are you in a position to be throwing out advice? Is your life really setting an example? These are just a few questions that you have to ask yourself when you start believing that you can save somebody else from falling into supposedly evident mediocrity.

Everybody is different, people don’t tend to have the same views on life as everyone they meet and so they all deal with things differently. From the outside, it might look as if somebody’s life needs help moving forward but truthfully they may just be fine but keeping all their moves to themselves. It’s true that some people don’t know how to ask for help and it’s a good thing to look out for them but at the same time, you can’t assume that you know who wants to ask for help. It’s impossible to pilot somebody else’s life and backseat driving is even worse. One of the most underrated abilities in my opinion is minding your own business and getting your shit in order so that people can really see what you’re achieving.

I can’t think of many things that take the piss on the same level as someone who is at the same place in life as you, telling you what you need to do to improve your life. It seems helpful in some ways but really when you think about it, it comes across as extremely arrogant. For the most part humans have the responsibility of working on themselves, there are exceptions such as teachers, parents, guardians and things along those lines but if you’re not falling into those categories, do yourself a favour and mind your own business until you’re required not to, you’ll waste much less time that way.

Journalists…

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What does this truly have to do with Stormzy?

When I look at certain news outlets and the stories they write about people, it’s clear that they’re trying to get a high readership. The headlines tend to give it away because at times, they can be damaging to the people who are named. Originally, I thought some journalists would consider that it might be kind of unethical but having seen as much of it as I have, I’m not sure that they’re bothered by what they write. To be fair, if a journalist constantly argued against the subject matter of the articles that they were asked to write then they’d probably get fired (unless they were freelance) and when you’re unemployed, your bills are still hard at work.

Is it wrong of journalists to write articles, knowing that they could be damaging to certain people? There’s always the chance of the organisation that the journalist is associated with being sued but it seems like a risk that a lot of people are willing to take. It’s a tricky situation in my opinion, because as a journalist you can’t stop to think about the feelings of the people you write about. It’s a cut throat business and if one person isn’t willing to write something then there are plenty of others who will do it no questions asked. The damage that the articles do to the people in question most likely don’t affect the journalists greatly since they have no relation to them. Ethically, the profession can get to the point where it’s considered despicable but, it’s hard to find a way around what’s required of you.

Don’t get me wrong, I reckon if a proper discussion was held about the ethics in journalism and what people are willing to do to put food on the table then maybe the standards associated with the profession might change but, at the same time, it’s a little much to ask. I think one thing everybody can accept is that journalism takes advantage of the interest that your average person has in someone else (celebrities in particular) as well as our attraction to sensationalised things. It might not always be respectable but it gives us something to talk about and from those discussions there are a lot of things that can come of them. No matter how much we chide journalists, for disregarding the respect that they should have for the names they write about, we do find it interesting and we respond which is justification enough for journalists and outlets to continue those same practices.

There aren’t many jobs that I can think of, if any outside journalism which are ethically shit but understandable in its own way. As much as I understand it, I can’t say I agree because I’ve seen news outlets target people, then try to wash themselves off their actions in a bid to self preserve which is pathetic.  The craziest thing for me in all of this is that there will most likely always be a space for journalism and ethically grey practices because there will always be an audience to entertain it.

Work thoughts: perfection

Is perfect a trap? People love saying that nothing is perfect because humans are flawed and all of that so I’m guessing by extension, anything we make is flawed, especially if we’re trying to make it in our image. It’s all a bit confusing to me, I won’t even lie, I sometimes think that the statement isn’t something that shouldn’t be read into too much but it’s also part of human nature to read into things that aren’t there.

Anyway… that first paragraph has nothing to do with what I’m trying to say but don’t feel like you’ve wasted time reading it because I appreciate you! I sometimes think about perfect and people wanting to get things just right and I feel like I get it but at the same time I don’t. Perfectionists like to approach their projects as if there’s going to be a point where the light shines and they know everything is right and because of that it causes things to take time. There’s nothing wrong with putting a lot of time into a project, but over time the definition of perfect can change and it can ruin everything.

I don’t see much that’s great with the perfection concept, I think sometimes it only serves to confuse someone’s vision. There can be a point where you decide that everything you’re doing isn’t good enough and it might even be high quality. I think the worst thing is when your expectations become so high that you mentally talk yourself out the goal you’ve set yourself. When you set yourself a goal, doing something of a high quality should always be the plan but a lot of care should be taken when the perfection thought starts creeping in.

Ideas are always getting better and the world is evolving everyday. Perfection in that sense is a myth.

Another social media post

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Looking at social media outrage

Are people on social media addicted to outrage? Yes. I feel like I might have said this before at some point but I have a lot of social media posts so for the new readers/random people stumbling on this blog, I’ll say it again. A lot of people on social media are aware that there are some who are addicted to outrage and become vocal when something “worthy” of outrage appears. There are a lot of offensive things that pass through social media websites but sometimes, I ask how offensive they truly are because we seem to forget about the topic within 48 hours (or at least that’s how long it takes to disappear off my timeline).

Are things controversial on social media or are people just gagging for something to be pissed off about? People the latter when I look at it, but why? I know that controversy sells and it sticks with people but it kind of feels like controversy is trivialised to the point that anything can be a problem. A couple of months ago, I saw a tweet where someone talked about the Captain Marvel trailer and her complaint was that Samuel L. Jackson had more words in the trailer than Brie Larson. Think about that for a second. Think about it for another second. Go and make a drink and think about it then come back to the next sentence. It’s stupid. It doesn’t mean anything, Samuel L. Jackson having the most amount of words in that film trailer isn’t even patriarchy in action (furthermore, why are you counting how many words people have in their film trailers). Being angry at things online builds attention, it doesn’t matter what kind because on social media it’s all good (apparently).

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When Brie Larson talks in her own film trailer

I said how trivialising controversy on social media is a problem and I do believe that. I think people are aware of the response they get if they’re noticed for being offended at something and they almost use it for personal gain. When people get outraged over things, if they’re lucky enough, they’ll have people in their mentions and it doesn’t matter whether those people agree or not because they get attention and they can feel important. I never really noticed it before but when somebody is topic of conversation on twitter for being upset, even if their name isn’t mentioned, there are so many indirect references to the person that it becomes easy to figure out who’s being talked about. When people aren’t using outrage to be important on social media, the other problem with the so called controversy is that people have to ask and redefine what’s offensive, since we’re taking a lot of “sensitive” opinions into consideration.

I don’t expect outrage culture to stop (or slow down) anytime soon, in fact I think that somebody is going to find a way to make a sustainable income from it (if they haven’t already). Being outraged is a go to option for some on social media, so much so that it’s surpassed the realm of common sense. We all understand what outrage means and the value of it online and that’s kind of dangerous. It feels like a worst case scenario but with how the internet and real life are slowly mixing together, I could bet that a lot of societies where political correctness is in fashion will get bubble wrapped to the point that we might have to ask for permission to make statements that aren’t offensive.

Part of me feels like I have to give props to the people who actively search for things to be upset about because that’s got to be a full time job. You can see by the nature of things that people find offence with that they’re trying to be offended. It’s a sign that things have changed and it gets clearer each year especially when I consider that when I first joined social media, it was the Wild West. ANYBODY COULD CATCH A JOKE AND FIRM THE L. It’s a part of society and shows how we focus on a lot of negative things. I would be lying if I said that I want to see how getting offended online develops.

Brands…

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This face is me all the time

What does it take to make a brand? This is something I’ve wondered for a long time now. I look at things like Harry Potter, WWE, and others and they are all hugely successful. There are brands out there which are less successful but still have a lot to their name but making a brand isn’t easy. I’ve never made a brand out of anything, if I’m lucky (I think this is important) then I might be able to make a one in my lifetime that will see me living good for the rest of my life. There are so many videos and pieces of advice that you can find to make a brand but at the same time, you could find countless people who have followed these steps and still failed.

In this conversation, one thing that comes up more often than not is marketing. Marketing is the way to get your name out but marketing is very vague. By making a cold call to someone you’re marketing, by spreading the name of a brand to your friends you’re marketing. I don’t know much about branding but it looks like anyone who wants to get involved has to know that they’re selling something to someone. Marketing might be easier for some than others because of factors like money and connections but with that being said what type of marketing is the best? I assume it’s hard to find the answer because the type of business and the audience most likely influence the kind of marketing. The thing is, just because two businesses are going after the same audience, it doesn’t mean that the same kind of marketing will work for both of them. From what I know, you’re supposed to be relentless in spreading your brand’s name, whatever it is you’re trying to sell, you have to find a way to make people associate it with you. There are so many things to say when it comes to marketing, so many methods and principles but the result is the most important part and the result that you’re after is never guaranteed.

Networking is another important thing. Making connections, letting people know about your brand and building that rapport so it’s easier to sell your product. It makes a lot of sense, you can’t have a brand and sell a product without having anybody to sell to. It’s also hard to do things by yourself, the larger a project becomes, the more people it’s going to need to help it take off. Just like marketing, I wonder how you get it to work. It’s easy to say that a give and take rule works, you meet someone and help them spread what they have to offer and in return they do the same for you but how do you know you’ll get that favour back? The crazy thing is that the results of networking aren’t in your control, no matter how much you try to influence it. It’s not possible to get around this one, it’s not like buying fake followers online. There has to be a genuine connection between the brand and the audience but forging it is so tricky because the way I see it, unless you have a lot of people you know that can help you network, it relies on a random person taking a chance on you and hopefully liking what you’ve offered. I can’t imagine how many situations there have been with people selling something to someone, doing everything right (or everything they read they should do) and it not working out for some reason.

I could talk about more of the things I’ve seen that are involved with building a brand but the main thing that I’d get across is how much of it you control. I feel like most of it is down to luck which is why I wonder if there’s a guaranteed way to build a brand. I said earlier in the post that if I was lucky, I’d be able to build a brand to live off forever but that’s how I feel with everybody. There are steps that can get you closer to your goal but luck plays such a huge role and there’s no way to influence luck. For me it feels like regardless of what you do, it will either happen or it won’t and whatever comes of your effort, you have to accept because that’s how life is. There are so many stories out there and the people telling them might do so with such confidence that it makes you believe they had everything under control but chances are that they weren’t sure at some points and just freestyled until things started working.

It’s not an easy question to answer. Building a brand isn’t something that’s so straightforward, I feel like there will be a way to list the right steps without dispute in the sense that a lot of future successes will have journeys that are similar. That being said, luck will still be a big factor.

Gimme money?! (Please)

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Me looking at Paypal Requests

Every time I look on the internet and the interactions people have on it, questions come to mind. People are so brave with the things they ask and I don’t get it. It’s great to have confidence but there are a lot of weird people online and in a lot of cases, I feel that most people don’t know what these strange people are capable of. I’ve heard of people tracking down IP addresses, finding social media pages with no links and learning details that they shouldn’t have access to just to speak to someone. That being said, I want to know why people are so comfortable asking for money online.

I see a lot of people (mostly women) go online asking for random people to paypal, cashapp or send them money through some other service and the craziest part is that they get the money they ask for. Hoever somebody wants to gain money is their business, I don’t approve of all the ways but that’s another conversation all together. What I’m saying here is that it’s very sketchy to receive money from a stranger online just because. There needs to be a reason uniting people, like a tragedy or something, I don’t know how people can trust money from random strangers and not even think about the possibility of strings being attached. There’s a chance that people who send others money online are just extremely generous but there’s also a chance that they could be socially vulnerable and think that’s how to start a genuine interaction. How can someone be so sure that they’re not receiving money from the type of person who likes to powerfully sniff socks that have just been used for jogging? (If this counts as fetish shaming then it is what it is)

I’ve always seen this kind of thing as dangerous, maybe because I feel to take things from people who don’t represent organisations requires some trust. It’s easy to consider taking money from strangers online as harmless but the internet isn’t a straightforward place. People are unaware of the information they put out there, they’re also unaware of how the information gets used. One day you make a few keystrokes and the next day, you’ve got an email telling you that you’re part of a marketing plan that you didn’t sign up for.

It’s possible I could be thinking of the most extreme cases which is why it doesn’t sit well with me when I see people getting money from strangers online. Until proven otherwise, I don’t think any sane person would give a stranger money online, just because the stranger said that they want it. It doesn’t make any sense, no matter how I look at it. Money is usually hard earned or exchanged for time, so for someone to come online and say ‘hey give me money! I don’t really need it for anything but I want it and don’t want to work for it’ and expect that they’d get it from someone who’s definitely sane is stupid. I’m not trying to talk down on anyone who asks random strangers for money online for no reason other than they don’t want to work for it (although I feel I can be forgiven for calling these guys bums) and I’m not trying to talk shit on anyone who gives these strangers money (even though they probably have a few screws lose), I’m just saying that it’s something that people should really take more seriously.

Tradition…

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Tradition vs. Logic

 

Recently, I read a blog post by Prince Petty (Link here) and watched a video on bridal kidnappings in Kyrgyzstan and I’ve got to say fuck that was something I didn’t expect. It just goes to show how different each part of the world is even in the 21st century. When I think of kidnappings, usually it happens when someone is pushing drugs on the wrong turf, maybe you just want to teach someone you don’t like a lesson, or if you’re Madeleine McCann. I don’t ever think of it happening if you want to tell someone that you love them, that’s a different level of fucked up. The thing that stood out to me was that a lot of people were aware of how weird the tradition of kidnapping women and forcing them into marriage was (and is) but they accepted that it was the tradition and that made me question if tradition is so important.

Essentially, what I saw was women being kidnapped and having their futures decided for them and no matter how much they opposed, it wasn’t relevant. In the west, the idea of kidnapping someone sounds crazy! I think you can get arrested for it and because of that, I can never see it becoming a tradition around this part of the world. That’s enough on kidnapping (for now), what I want to know is if tradition is so important that it can justify anything. Even if you know something doesn’t make sense, or it’s clearly wrong, is it ok to accept it and not speak out because it’s what you’re culture has known for years. The way people raise each other is crazy, the rules that are set can play a big part on how someone views life when they grow up and it helps to form their moral compass. In the little things it’s not so bad but then with bigger things like kidnapping, or beating up people for gang initiations, there are clearly questions that have to be asked.

In the video, one person implied that she knew kidnapping was wrong but she asked what could be done given that it’s their tradition. It makes me think that people don’t speak out on some things for the sake of not disrespecting the rules but when it comes to a set of rules, there’s no way that everybody accepts them without question. Honouring tradition definitely shows a respect for the culture but with some traditions it looks like there’s no consideration for certain lives and I don’t get it. Humans come together and make communities, they also make the rules the communities live by so as time passes and people become more advanced, it only makes sense that they update the rules.

Some people hold history sacred, we look at old rules that are set in place and some look at it like it’s law so they don’t question where said rules came from. Some things make sense but I don’t think everything should be blindly followed because it doesn’t allow for growth. It’s hard to speak out against traditions, in fact I reckon in a lot of cases it might be smarter not to voice it if you’re not so fond of it (at least not on your own). I (mostly) respect how people can follow tradition through time but the case of the bridal kidnappings shows how it doesn’t benefit everybody. Tradition is tradition, it’s part of the being of a society, I know that for a lot of places it will take time before it changes and that’s just life but when looking at some things, I think that no tradition is above being reviewed.

Once again it’s crazy how different upbringings can be depending on where you’re based. The kidnappings make me think that a lot societies need to speak about things are embedded in the culture but just because it’s weird to me, it doesn’t mean that it’s weird to them. I don’t think tradition should be held as highly as it is by people because it can always change, it just depends on who has the power to change it and if it benefits them. I don’t think traditions justify much either, in a sense they’re just ways for people to interact with each other but that’s something that changes over time as well.