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God bless you, Heshan drenched confession kestrels. Welcome to the playing by podcast. How are you? Are you having a charming day, a charming morning, if you're a brand new listener, maybe go back to one of the earlier podcasts? There's lots lots of earlier podcasts on Spotify. I have a playlist of my favorite Blind by podcasts. Get a listen to those to acquaint yourself with the the flavor of this environment. To the regular listeners, what's the crack?
We are still in the midst of a global pandemic. I don't think it's going anywhere for a long time and. It's Grine I'm dealing with this, I'm dealing with I. It's what does it know it's only six months, six months now of dealing with a global pandemic. So it's the garden of strange and uncertain times, but I think we're no longer in the strange and uncertain times. It's now feeling normal.
I'm seeing more and more people wearing masks in the shops from August 10th, I believe in Ireland.
Masks and shops are now mandatory and we're just getting used to it. We're getting used to it. And the phrase they use is the Noonamah. It's become normal.
I can't really. I can't really remember what it was like before. Coronavirus. I did a podcast a few weeks back where I analyzed the coronavirus response within the stages of grief. Because it is grief, grief is when you when you lose something and it's unexpected and I do think we're in the stage of acceptance now, I think we're accepting the big one to accept is this. It looks like coronaviruses. Probably a couple of years, probably a couple of years of it being a thing, even if vaccinations were to happen next month, it's still takes like a year for that to be effective on a huge population.
But we're all adjusting and change and and Copan to the restrictions of us. And it's not as scary anymore that it's become a normal and manageable. So it's no longer this big goblin of strange and uncertain times. It's just.
It's like someone in the room just doing loads of bad farts all the time, and you just have to go, I'm in I'm in a waiting room and that person over there is done farts and successful successively. These adverts are an assault on my olfactory systems. But then you kind of go. Look, man, I'm stuck in this waiting room. This person over there has done several efforts. The air is thick with the smog of fart. It's I'm making it worse for myself by concentrating on the smell of fart in the air, I'm my resistance to the farts is what's making me upset.
If I leave the waiting room, then I lose my place so we can have that. But if I obsess, obsessed continually about the facts in the air. Then I'm just making it worse for myself, so I need to accept that the air smells like farts right now. And through that acceptance, I can go back to enjoying my magazine while I'm in the waiting room and I just deal with it, there's farts in the air. What can I do?
Not an out of my control. So where I am at the moment with the garbage in a strange and uncertain times, what I'm wondering.
What I'm wondering is. There's the optimist in me that says, OK, wait, coronaviruses is doing is that it's a type of it's a forced asceticism. Asceticism is a spiritual practice where you deliberately deny yourself sensational pleasures. It's present in a lot of major religions, Muslims fast during Ramadan. Catholics don't masturbate. Bodies starved himself, Buddhist monks don't eat their training plan, bland food. Kellogg's Corn Flakes were invented by Protestants as a way to stop wanking.
That's a fact, I can do a full podcast on that at some point. But like asceticism, that the denying of physical pleasures to attain a spiritual understanding. Is a thing. I don't agree with it in in its extremity, but. I think asceticism is it is a good thing. Look, I do it I've spoken about it before. I get up in the morning early and run for 10 kilometers in the rain. Because I can face anything at the end, in my day, if I've just ran 10 kilometers in the rain, it sounds like something that's not pleasurable, but in a spiritual way, it actually is pleasurable.
And then coming home at home and having a shower, that's asceticism. I'm. So I'm thinking, right, OK, we've been forced this asceticism has been forced upon us, we can't socialize, we can't go on holidays, you can't shake someone's hand or hug them when you meet them. You can't go to a pub, go to a smoking area, meet someone you haven't met in ages, and both be six points deep, essentially spitting into each other's faces as you chat and share in a cigarette.
The concept of that right now sounds absurd, but that's how things were.
And there was. That intimacy was lovely, but that's gone now. So my hope is that when all this lifts, we now all have this new spiritual here and now appreciation for the little things because coronaviruses remove the little things. But then I'm thinking. What if this becomes so normal that when restrictions are fully lifted and the powers that be say we we have heard immunity coronaviruses gone, will we be able to step back going into normal life completely? I don't think we will.
I I don't know. I don't know is this a 9/11 style event? Like, I don't remember what going to airports was like before 9/11 because I was too young, but. I know. You could do whatever the fuck you wanted in an airport in the 90s, let's you could do whatever you wanted if your friend was flying to America, you could walk through security with him. And security wasn't even a security. A man from NASA came up and smelled for pet to make sure your clothes weren't doused in petrol.
That was it. And you could walk right up to the gate if you're and see the. Yeah, Foxcatcher.
My dad worked in an airport. When I was a kid on Sundays, I'd be brought to the airport to look at the airplanes. No security. No, not. And then 9/11 happened, then it changed everything, and now you can't bring a water bottle on a plane, and that's the inconvenient new normality. So maybe it'll be like that, maybe be like that, maybe. And it could be a good thing. Maybe after coronavirus, you still see people wearing face masks, you still see people washing their hands and being aware of social distance could be a good thing all around.
I'll tell you after Benoff lose this this winter. There have been outflows, there'll be no one getting sore throats, so why have they been doing Fourcade? All right, I've been staying in my house, I've been visiting the shop once a week. Going for my runs, I'm back at the gym, I go to the gym twice a week, engaging once more in the intense orgasmic pump of lifting heavy weights, which I adore. It releases some very special brain chemicals.
And I'm so grateful to be back and being able to be in the gym. And it's safe as well in my gym is safe. There's no one there. So I'm grateful for that. I've been livestream streaming. Definitely my favorite thing to come out of this pandemic for me, I love doing live gigs. I miss live gigs, I miss.
The communal aspect of my job, the pressure of being on stage, the sense of connectivity that I have with a room full of people when I'm doing a live podcast. Doing livestream, and I have that feeling again, and I'm on Livestream, performing to an audience of between 500 and a thousand people each night. Just making songs are Chaton. And either being creative or talking to people. And it's really fun, and I'm so glad I've found that twitch, that TV forward, slash the blind by podcast if you want to see me doing it.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, for sure.
I think I'm going to start at eight thirty this week, eight thirty PM Irish time and I do Friday and Saturday sorry I do Saturday and Sunday as well, but I don't tie myself down to that just in case I do a little bit of Cairns on a Friday night. I don't want to be streaming with a hangover and so come along and enjoy that. You can chat to me, you can chat to me life.
If I'm writing songs, you can literally say to me playing by write a song about Colonel Gaddafi getting his ear pierced and I write his life and it's fun. So. This week's podcast. I'm going to do a question and a podcast, I just steam and heartache. Last week, I was very happy with last week's podcast investigating the history of the Irish influence on pop music. I've had a lot of heartaches recently, and what I haven't done is a question answering podcast where I get tons of fucking DM's for me on Instagram and Fokin, on Twitter, on Patreon, and I get lots of questions.
So I keep these questions and I answer them when I can. Every so often in a podcast and every time I do it, I make the promise. I'm going to answer as many as possible and I end up answering Fokin to but I'm really going to try and answer as many as possible.
This week I write. So I got a good question here from Avel. And she asked before I answer this question, actually just a little. A little heads up a content warning that this is about. Violence towards women and sexual assault, boss, I want I'm not going to speak about anything in. What a kind of irresponsible level of detail that it might be triggering for some people's trauma. I'm going to speak about it in a responsible way. And still, if you don't want to hear it at all, just fast forward 20 minutes.
All right. About 20 minutes. So Apple asks. Well, Blain by. Do you have a hot take on how women are always charged and taught to do things to protect themselves, for example, carry car keys between their fingers, don't sit in your car in public places, don't wear revealing clothes, etc. Instead of arguing and teaching men that they shouldn't attack women and the many things women have to do for their own safety because rape culture is so heavily embedded into our society and victim blaming is extremely common.
It's not exactly a question more of a topic of conversation, but I'd love to hear your thoughts. I'm currently reading your book and I'm a podcast listener. I've been following your work from when I was far too young, and I'm a fan of everything you've done from rubber bands to the BBC documentary That's Fucking Cars, I've been following your work from when I was far too young.
That's gas, because I was obviously now an adult who's been looking at rubber bands and she was eight and that was an adult is gone, I shouldn't have been looking at this.
I shouldn't have been watching this. But I was. And now here I am. I'm so I've I've dealt with this topic on one of my very earliest podcasts, I can't remember the name of it it was.
I did one more attack is kind of, I suppose, toxic masculinity, and I spoke about consent and misogyny and how I was raised, how how I was raised as a man in a misogynistic culture to benefit from misogyny and how I was raised to be a misogynist as such.
With misogynistic views and how I've had to challenge all of them and relearn things as I get older and become an adult. One thing, so one of the questions there. Like, I was well into my fucking 20s. Late 20s and early before I started to realize. The absolute freedom that I enjoy. As a man, when I'm just going for a run, when I go for a run. I'm not I'm never, ever thinking about is someone going to attack me, it just doesn't enter my head.
It's. When I was a teenager and when you're when you're a teenager, there's groups of lads who go around in gangs and they want to rob your phone and they want to rob your money. And I used to worry about that when I was a teenager. But then once you get to an adult being an adult man. The idea of being attacked is you think about it the same way you'd think about. Will I get hit by a car, boss women?
It has to be a continual, non-stop awareness of how must I, instead of enjoying the run that I'm going to go on, are a lot. I always get asked Lords to whenever I speak about traveling because I go to Spain on my own to write to race. And I always get women in my DMS asking me blind. When you spoke about going to Spain there on your own for three weeks, that's something I would love to do, but I just can't because it's just not safe.
I don't feel it's safe to do. And. It always gets me thinking about rather than having a society where the onus is on women. To. Protect themselves, that what they do instead, can we have a society where men feel greater responsibility to not attack? And now one thing I said back there, because it's something that was pulled up on before, when I say that as a man, I don't fear being attacked, I don't fear being sexually assaulted.
And someone points out that, like, men do get sexually assaulted, men do get attacked. It's true. That's a fact. And I'm not denying that those experiences are denying anyone's pain around that. All I'm saying is, is that legitimately it's it's it's not really something I think about how I've ever had to think about. To be honest, it doesn't it doesn't come into my. Awareness, nor have I ever needed it or felt physically threatened in a situation.
And what I think back to is. That there so I was taught from a very, very young age race and a lot of other lads are taught from a very young age to not be physically violent with girls. OK. Don't hit girls. And. Most lads are taught this, and what I'm what it's caused me to reflect on is the way in which it was taught to me. Was actually quite fucking toxic rice. And I think this might be part of the problem, it's just one aspect, one aspect, it's just something I want I want to reflect on.
So when I was like three, three or four, when you're when you're a toddler, we say when you're a toddler and you're able to walk and when you're a toddler and you're in playschool and you act out and you hit other kids because that's what toddlers do.
If your kid if you're a young boy and the other kid that you hit happens to be a fucking girl. You're immediately like whoever the adult around is, you're chastised immediately and you're very quickly told, no, no, no, you don't hit the girl. But the thing is, the way that it was told to me and the way that it's told to other lads. It was never explained to me as a little boy. Don't hit that. Ghale, because it's wrong to hate another person.
It was sold to me. As nonono, you're a big, strong man. You're a big, strong man and your guards are weak and you mustn't hate this guard because if you hate her, you could knock her stone dead. Now, the thing is, I'm three. Now, if you remember being three. Ah, even as far up as six or seven. Guards would kick your fucking head in when when I was six, guards were three foot taller than me and were bigger and stronger and.
As a young boy, I would have gotten my fucking head kicked in by girls in the schoolyard. There were bigger and stronger. It was that simple. But yes, I was being told, no, no, you must not hit the girl in particular because you're a big, strong man.
You're a big, strong man, and you have this potential force and power. And. You end up doing. It's like the adult tells you that you have this sort, it's like you've got this sword like Excalibur and this sword is your masculinity that you must it's chivalry. Your it's not about basic human respect. Instead of it being this girl or this boy is a separate human being. And this separate human being has rights and they have a right.
To exist in the schoolyard without their physical safety being in danger, right? That's the healthy thing to say to someone. You don't hate other people because other people in a civilized society have a right to exist and have a right to piss you off without their physical safety being put in danger. That's not what I said to young boys. That's not what was said to me. What was said to me was nothing about the other person's boundaries, nothing about the other person's humanity, not about the other person's rights.
It was she is a weak little girl. And you're a big, strong man. And then it's seen as shameful. Then if a lad. Why wear it where that kind of goes then as an adult? Right, and you see this in. Facebook comments. If you see. An article on the Irish Times of the journal story about domestic abuse. Most men will get very angry in the comments and most men will say things like, what a fucking scumbag I kick his head in and the men appear to be.
Rallying behind in support of the the woman who's been domestically abused, and they appear to be shaming the man who is the abuser and wishing retribution upon him and from a distance, that can look like a positive thing. It's like, OK, all these lads get it, they get it. What's been done here is a bad thing and domestic abuse is bad. Boss. I think those adult men with that anger, they're not angry for the right reasons.
They're angry because the man broke the code of chivalry that we've been told since the age of three, and that has actually not do respecting another person's boundaries are another person's right to live safely. What they've done is you've been given the secret Excalibur sword of masculinity and you made a promise when you were three to never use this sword against weak women. Instead, you must use it to defend their honor. And you you use the magic sword wrong. And they're chastising them for that.
It's not about respect, it's not about boundaries, it's not about human rights. It's not about dignity. It's getting angry for the wrong reasons, and that thing is toxic, and then when it comes to something like rape or sexual assault. You end up with grown men who categorize. Sexual assault into. I don't want to say what they'd call good and bad. It's. A lot of men, in order to get angry about hearing about a sexual assault and a rape, they then need to know, they need to know or find out.
Well, did he beat her as well? Can you get me it's not about. A person's right, human right to consent, to consent, to consent, to have boundaries around their sexuality. It's not about the person's right to say, I consent to this, I don't consent to. That's what it becomes about is, well, which type of sexual assault was it? Was it the one where he physically also beat her? And then when that happens, you'll get most men get really angry on that fucking bastard.
He beat her up and were also raised with this idea of. A rapist or a person who. A rapist is like a bogeyman that hides down dark alleyways and commits acts of physical violence as well as sexual violence, and that's what we're raised with. We are raised with don't hate girls because girls are really weak and you must protect them.
And who are right? Who am I protecting them from? The creepy bogeyman, rapists in a dark trenchcoat who lives down an alleyway and jumps out and catches weak women and beats him up and then forces sex on them, and that's all we're kind of told regarding sexual assault. So we were given this incredibly narrow, unrealistic vision of what is and isn't. A rapist, OK, and when something then arises in the media where someone is saying that they were raped or sexually assaulted.
And when it doesn't fit into this unrealistic, narrow definition of what men are told, you get men not believing. If the situation is a woman coming forward saying, I was at a house party and I went into bed with this fella and then he raped me.
You get lads not believe in. They're going now, you asked for it, you asked for that. What were you wearing? Why did you go into bed? All these questions? Absolutely ridiculous, unrealistic questions now if you said that the same Ladds, OK, you'll get into a taxi and you say that a taxi drove me home and then instead the taxi driver drives me to Dublin Airport and charges of 300 quid. How would these men feel about that?
Well, that's completely fucking wrong, but you got into the taxi. Yeah, but I told him I wanted to go home. I didn't say I wanted to go to Dublin Airport. They understand that very quickly then. But when it comes to. Having to think that someone who who sexually assaults is. Someone who looks like them. Someone who looks like your dad, your brother, your neighbor, we're not taught that we are taught that's about the bogeyman, the unrealistic, dirty bogeyman who like a type of ogre like troll who uses physical violence to attack women, breaks the rule of chivalry.
And uses physical violence, but if it doesn't fit within that, then. They're questioning whether the woman is telling the truth or not, and that right there is straight up misogynistic mythology that young boys are taught that has nothing to do with human rights consent boundaries. It has to do with fluffing the male ego and justifying what is considered appropriate behavior for a young boy. If a young boy is physically aggressive, were not chastised, what kind of. It's like if you go to if a young fella hits a girl in the schoolyard or hits another lad, but mainly when they hit a girl.
The adult says, no, no, no, I know you're a young, strong little boy and this is what you do, boys will be boys, but you must understand this great power you have. You have to use it for good. And it's it's rewarded when I remember it, I remember it was it was actually it was a female teacher. Telling me it was if it wasn't me, it was one of the lads I was with or something and very, very young.
No, I'm talking playschool and saying you're big, strong lads. You're a big, strong man, no, you can't go around hitting girls and you don't feel as if. You're being given out to you don't feel as if you've just been told you've done something bad. You feel like you're getting a compliment. It's a really strange. It stops your hit and girls, but it doesn't stop you hitting girls for the right reason. It also. The other lads then will police other lads behaviour, so if by the age of six or seven, if you're the lad on the schoolyard who's hit and girls, the other lads will beat you up because you've broken the rule.
Now, what happens if what happens if the young boy gets into an argument with the little girl and instead of hitting her, he gets upset and he starts crying, then you feel like you're in trouble. Then the teacher comes over and says, what are you crying for? That's what little girls do. That's wrong, fork das. Don't be crying, you're a big, strong man, I thought you're a big, strong man, big, strong little boys, don't you don't cry.
What you do is you have a magic sword and you have to keep it that at all times and only use it to slay the the bogeyman dragon. But don't be cryin what you feel when you're crying and. Again, your. Your outlets of emotional expression are then confined to. Certain types of anger and you end up with. That's how adult men in the punch line was because. Tears are removed from our emotional vocabulary at quite a young age.
I can barely measure I I measure my adulthood. If I think back, I remember, you know, when you're 10, ten and you're keeping tabs on the last time you cried. Ten years of age and you're gone, I cried last March. Because my mother wouldn't let me play the Nintendo on Akroyd last March, but I've done three months now with North Korean and I remember measuring my sense of of how old and mature and manly I am by how much I couldn't cry.
I didn't cry, and then you get to 14, 15, and maybe something makes you cry once a year, and then in my late teens, my father died suddenly and I didn't cry at all. I couldn't cry. The biggest issue I had around my grief was. That the sole issue around my grief, my father dying suddenly was being unable to cry, I couldn't cry. I felt numb. And. Wondering whether that was OK or not or whether I should cry and you're going, why the fuck you think crying is a human thing?
That's what happens when you're sad. And I'm spending all my time stressing about. Is it OK to cry now? Am I bad because I'm not crying, am I a bad person because I can cry instead of going?
You've been told you're not supposed to cry since you are three because you're a big, strong man who doesn't hate girls. So what are you crying for?
Really fucked up. And then. Just taken aback that a schoolyard violence. When I was six or seven or younger, maybe four or five. And I remember being on a slide in a playground that was near my gaff and I was it was a very big slide and I was always kind of scared of this slide. It was a slide that had been put in the 1970s and 1970s. Playgrounds were no joke like Jesus Christ, when I think back to the playground that was near my gaf.
I saw my friend and he split his head open because he fell off the and slide, it was 13, 14, 15 feet in the air, just way too big for kids. But this is how the bill slides in the 70s. And I would have been playing on this in the 90s before it was it was removed, removed in the very early 90s, but anyway, I was at the top of this slide or was kind of scared of going down because it was 12 times my height.
This was a 13, 14 foot slide. And while I was on the top of this slide. This older girl who I didn't know was behind me. And she wants to go down the slide, too, and I was being scared and like, taking my time going down the slide. She got pissed off and kicked me really hard into the back and I went flying down the slide and. Probably started bawling, crying. No, I remember really consciously holding the tears in because guards were around and I was four or five and I'd just been kicked down the slide really hard into the back by a girl.
And it felt humiliating and it felt like my rights had been taken away. I'm trying to enjoy a slide and I've just been kicked into the back. And a girl that is, she got physically aggressive and kicked me really hard into the back. She was older. She was about a. But then, like, no one saw her doing this. But what would have happened if an adult chastised that girl for kicking me down the slide? Would they have said to her, you're a big, strong woman now and he's a younger boy and you can't be hitting boys?
No, she would have been chastised because of acts of physical violence for a little girl are not seen as ladylike or feminine. She would have been chastised for the physical aggression part. It would have had nothing to do with.
That little boy has a right to be on that slide and that little boy has a right to be nervous on that slide and that little boy has a right to go down the slide and not be kicked into the back. You've removed his rights right there, his right to physical safety. That wouldn't have been communicated to that girl.
She would have been told, don't kick other people because that's not ladylike. However. If. I wasn't moving on the flight. And her response, instead of what her response should have been, no, I shouldn't say should have been. She's a kid. If an adult was present, what an adult should have said. What was that? Little boy is nervous. He's entitled to be nervous. Give him his space and space with the. DeLay your gratification, let him go down the slide in his time and you'll have your turn.
That's the mature, responsible thing that should have happened there.
But let's just say she didn't kick me into the back and send me flying down the slide. Instead, she started bawling, crying.
He won't move. I want to use the slide and he won't move. And she starts bawling. Crying, which. Again, isn't a fully. I don't want to be judgmental of kids, but an adult should step in there and say. Even Ukraine there maybe have some patience and let him down the flight. What if she did cry? She'd have been rewarded for that because it's OK then for little girls to cry. That would be seen as ladylike, but definitely don't kick him because that's not ladylike.
And then what happens? You know, she grows into an adult woman with. Narrow boundaries of emotional expression and. She feels angry and instead of expressing anger, it comes out as tears.
And now she's crying, but she's actually angry and doesn't understand why tears are a response to something that should be anger. And what you have there is again, it's none of it has to do with people's boundaries. None of it has to do with consent. None of it has to do with rights. It's all.
Bizarre gendered scripts about how to gender should and shouldn't be, and it has not to do what rights and both those cases are incredibly unhelpful, misogynistic fantasies that don't apply to reality and.
In the case of Ladd's. To be raised like that, to be raised with. Don't hit cars because you're a big, strong man. And they're weak. Like and use your only protect women from these imaginary bogeymen who jump out from alleyways and physically assault and sexually assault, you have to protect them from that.
You end up with adults who then believe these things internally because they're so deeply internalized from a young age, and then you end up with a fucking legal system, which.
Has a narrow definition of what sexual assault and rape is and tends to believe abusers protect abusers rather than people who are being abused. So I was asked for a hot heartache. And that's that's my that's just one train of thought I have around the whole issue, it's one personal train of thought that I have when analyzing my own life and things that I was taught and learned. It's obviously far more complex and bigger than what I've just mentioned there. That's just one little thing that I answered in response to a specific question.
I've definitely spoken about this stuff in an earlier podcast. I can't think of the names of. OK, I'm going to answer another question about something which is less. Emotionally taxing and emotionally heavy, because that's a tough that's emotionally taxing territory for me to talk about and I'm sure it is for you to listen to. And asked if you were in government now, what laws would you change? I'm. I don't know about like, OK, not specific laws.
My general beliefs and what I would like in assist in the society I live in, right. And I get called. A fucking Marxist communist. I get heavily chastised people thinking that I'm fucking Joseph Stalin. And. All I want, all I want, right, this is all I fucking want, and this this is why I got this from my dad. My dad was a socialist, we say, bordering on communist, but.
All I want out of a society, I believe that. Housing. Health care. And education should be a given. That's it. That's what I want, housing, health care, education. That regardless of who the fuck you are in a society. Regardless of how much money you have, whatever your conditions were growing up, that everybody without restriction should have equal access to housing, health care and education, that is a right. Nobody should be denied a home because they can't afford it.
And some people think that sounds mad. It's like, so would everyone should get things for free. Why? Why not why I consider. Home, what why can't having a home be a human race, an undeniable, unalienable human fucking rights? There's people in Ireland living in tents and living on the streets. That should be illegal. All right, and I don't mean criminalizing the person who's doing this. It should. There should be a department and the responsibility this department is to provide that person with a home and I say the word home because.
Look, here's the situation we have in Ireland at the moment, let's just take homelessness, OK? This is this isn't spoken about enough. This is very fucked up, and I'm going to say this in the least amount of words that I possibly can. We have a situation in Ireland called emergency accommodation, right, if someone finds themselves in homelessness in Ireland. What do they do? What what, what? What part of the access to. Well, they have access to what's known as emergency accommodation.
Where? Mostly, if it's. Someone with a family. They are put into a hotel room. It's called emergency accommodation. Which would suggest that it's temporary, but in all it's in all practicality, it's not used as a temporary solution. It's a long term solution. There are people who can't afford. To live in a house and they are living in a hotel room, usually like it could be a mother and a father and three kids living in a fucking hotel room for three years.
All right. Now, here's what's even more fucked up. First off, that's not a home, right, you can't prepare your own food in a hotel room, you can't the basic human things that dignity that give you a sense of meaning in life.
Preparing food for your family, washing your clothes, personal hygiene, a sense of space, a sense of privacy, these things don't exist in emergency accommodation. I've I've stayed in hotel rooms for two weeks in a row after two weeks. It's unpleasant. We're talking about people in Ireland for three years in a hotel room with a family. Right. That's not living. That's not a home. And then you think, well, why are these people not given access to social housing or some type of affordable accommodation or just simply given a free house so that, you know, to keep them from the streets?
Why isn't that happening? We must not be able to afford that if that's not happening. No, no, no.
What's happening is, yes, we can afford the country, people have jobs, people pay taxes, there's money for the government to build social housing. They're not building social housing. They are not building. If you give that family access to social housing, they would have the ability to cook their own food, the ability to wash, the ability to have a degree of privacy, these human things that give life meaning. These people can have that, yes, we can afford to build social housing.
We don't. Instead, we have a very fucked up system whereby tax money that comes from if you work and you pay taxes. And you're wondering, Phuket, the government have taken all these taxes from my wages. Why are there still people on the streets where the people living in emergency accommodation?
Because. They've created a quite corrupt system whereby they take the tax money that should be used to build social housing, and instead of building a social housing, they give money to people who own hotels. And that person, the family that's living in emergency accommodation, it cost the taxpayer maybe two grand a week. Two grand a week to keep a family in a hotel room that's tax money, two grand a week is a huge amount of money. And instead of that money going to build a house, the government are spending like maybe 150 grand, a family, 200 grand a family a year to keep them perpetually in this emergency accommodation.
And the person who owns the hotel are the company who owns the hotel, is profiting from human misery and profiting from homeless people, continually staying in an inhumane environment. And it's in perpetuity. It never ends. So that right there I considered a corruption and then you go, Why? Why is that the case, because that's called neoliberalism, the government ideologically does not believe in providing people with, quote unquote, free housing. That that's not incentive, they want to incentivize people from homelessness, so you punish them.
And it's just. So rather that what I would like to change is that instead, if someone becomes homeless for the many reasons that people become homeless, it's not just lack of money. It could be mental health issues. It could be dealing with issues of trauma. There's a lot of things. It could be addiction, huge amount of issues if someone doesn't have access to housing and they end up on the streets. You give them access to social housing, they have a home, you give them a home, you build them a fucking house with the money that exists that's being used, it's been funneled into hotelier's.
Your tax money is being taken and someone's profiting off it. And the person who loses out is the homeless person who's being made a fucking fool of and being kept in inhumane emergency accommodation. Take the money for that and build the fucking house and allow that person the human dignity to live in a house to cook food, look, look after a family and do these things. So that should be a human right. No one should live in emergency accommodation and.
No, but it should be illegal. All right, and I don't mean criminalizing the homeless person up. Someone should not be living in a tent on the side of the road that, yes, they should be given a home with the money from tax. Yes. And. Think of that what you want, if you think potentia, no one would work and everyone would have a free house. That's not how humans work. Humans. Humans aren't like that.
Humans aren't like that. iRace humans, always a healthy human.
Always searches for meaning and self-improvement and things like that when they're given the opportunity. All right. Health care, similarly, all right, if you're if you're poor and you get sick, then you should have access to exactly the health care that you need to get better. And if you can't afford it, I'm going to pay for it with my taxes. For private health fact, the deliberate dismantling of our health service. I've no problem with the Hajazi many fine people working in the Hajazi who work their absolute fucking asses off, right?
Same with the mental health services, nurses, doctors, psychotherapists working as hard as they can. And why are the services ineffective, is it their fault? No, it's not. It's poorly managed from the top and some would argue it's deliberate. Again, a deliberate attempt to fuck up a public service so that you can hand it over to the private market. That's the neoliberal belief. Don't directly provide for people. Instead, try and hand everything over to this wonderful animal known as capitalism, the private market.
And finally, education, I'm someone I I didn't grow up with a huge amount of money, but I didn't grow up in poverty, so I had the weird situation of growing up in Limerick.
My parents owned the house that we lived in.
It was we had a mortgage which afforded me a certain amount of privilege. But even though there was a mortgage, both my parents worked and the jobs they worked weren't particularly well paid. So we had our own house. But I still needed a medical card for access to health care because of my asthma.
But when it came to college, all right, because my parents wouldn't have been able to afford to send me to college.
Because it was in the mid 2000s and things were slightly better. I went to college for practically free with a means tested grant, the Department of Education had a look at a parent's income and said, well, you can't afford to send him to college. So taxes are going to pay for it. And as a result, even though I fucked up my and start, I went to our college and it was paid for what it means tested. Grant, these things are slowly being eroded now.
I'm. In 2020, I don't think I've gotten that grand to go to college. I think I'd have just have had to not go to college. I don't think a job would have existed because college fees have gone up massively, too, just don't think I have gone to college. So that's what I change about the country. That's what I want health care, education, housing, their human rights, and everyone should have equal access to them.
And it's as simple as that.
That's how I that's that's the society I want to live in.
And. I hate making that fucking off a capitalist argument for it, you see, it's the same argument they want you to make regarding immigration when it's like something like when it comes to people like asylum seekers who are escaping horrors. Some people argue that. Or what if they work, then they're taxpayers and it's measuring someone's worked in terms of their economic contribution, which I don't believe in, but. If you have a Fokin society where. Health care, housing and education are afforded equally to everybody.
You've got a better Fokin society, you've got less crime, you've got the ills of society. Tend to dissipate when people are given equal opportunity like that. So that's what I change about the country. That's what I'd like to see. And like, if you want to chastise me there and say, blind boy, you're a fucking Marxist, Egypt with his head in the clouds. Marxists are just people who spend other people's money, you can't print money.
The more the money exists, we're all paying taxes. What you need to be getting pissed off about is your tax is being funneled into private interests to perpetuate problems and not solve them. We have socialism in this country. We've got socialism for rich people.
I described their emergency accommodation, taking tax money, exploiting vulnerable people, and then funneling and paying that tax money to privately owned hotels, that's hotels getting loads and loads of tax money, getting real rich. That's where your taxes are going. That's socialism for the rich. We are a country that's huge. Multinational corporations come to this country and because of our cheap, low corporation tax of twelve point five percent, but they're not even paying twelve point five percent.
Look at the apple rolling there between. I believe it's 2003 and 2014, Apple paid something like zero point one percent tax. They're not even paying that. Even if they paid the twelve point five percent, which is the lowest in Europe, even if they paid that they're not they're paying not the most fucking richest country in the world. That's socialism for rich people. We have it get pissed off at this. All right, that's what you want to get pissed off at.
I want the taxes that already exists to become socialism for people that are poor. What's wrong with that? I'm speaking of socialism. It is time for the ocarina paws. I don't have the ocarina, I don't have any instruments directly at hand, but I do have. I've got a little tub of of retinol ice cream that I use after my when I'm Lifestream and. This one is kale, aloe vera, sunflower oil, trapezoid, five and retinol when I'm livestream and my eyes get sore.
So I use a little ice cream afterwards. I also have a USB stick. So we're going to have the ice cream and use basic powers and I'm going to bang these off each other gently. And while I do this, you may or may not hear an advert.
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That was the ice cream and USB stick pause, the podcast that I am making right now is supported by you, the listener, via the Patreon on page. I don't have any live gigs during the global pandemic. I don't know when. I'd say a year, maybe before I can gig again realistically, so this podcast is my sole source of income. And I'm able to earn a fucking living and from this podcast because of the patrons of the podcast.
All right. So all I'm asking really is if you're listening to this podcast, if you're enjoying it, if you're listening to it regularly. This is my work, so just pay me for the work that I'm doing. All I'm looking for is the price of a cup of coffee or a pint once a month. That's it. Patrick Entercom, forward slash the Blind Boy podcast and pay me for the work I'm doing. Also, it allows me editorial freedom every so often.
I will have an advertiser on the podcast, but I'm not beholden to any of them. I can tell advertisers to fuck off. I have been telling advertisers to fuck off. I've been approached by two advertisers in the past week. I don't agree with I don't want to sell their shares. And I just said, no, I don't want to do this and I don't believe in the product. So I'm able to do that because of the Patreon.
And it means that full editorial control I can speak about whatever the fuck I want to. I don't have to pander to advertisers and what the thing that you like about this podcast can maintain because it's funded by the listener directly from that. It's a wonderful model, even better. If you can afford to give me the price of the point and you're listening to this and you're someone who can afford to give me the price of a pint once a month, then you are the person I'm asking to pay for my work.
But there's other people and they can't afford it. They're either out of work or they're a student. And the price at that point means a lot to them. You're paying for them to listen for free. So it's a very equal democratic model. I earn a living from it and people who can't afford it are listening to the podcast for free. It's just absolutely fucking fantastic. I plugged the patch on every week because people come and go, so I have to keep at it.
Patriot dot com forward, slash the blind by podcast. And thank you so much to everyone who is a patron once a month or on a lottery. I will contact one patron at random and I will send you a hand drawing, one of a kind hand drawing in the post. All right, so that's the crack. Let's answer another question. What how long are we what time is this? You'll be pleased to know again, 4:00 in the morning here, because I fucking destroyed my sleep patterns.
I don't know what sleep is anymore. I do what I do, I don't like sleeping. I don't really like sleep. And I'm not it's not that I have difficulty sleeping. I just think it's pointless. It's lying horizontally in a dark room and I just can't wait to get up in the morning. And my Twitter stream as well. I'd be finishing the twitch stream at 11:00 at night, and my brain is just happened in Boston. And I don't want to go and lie horizontally in the dark, I want to drink tea and look at Wikipedia articles, so I'm up at four o'clock recording this podcast, and that's fine.
That's fine. And I'll be in bed by five most likely. And that's fine. Too grand. I get up at ten. I don't really need sleep. And so. So Knive asks, what is the best way to work through writer's block? It's been going on for a while. I'm a bit of in a bit of a slump for the better part of the pandemic myself.
So firstly. It's OK to be have a bit of writer's block during the coronavirus pandemic. All right. The world is scary and you're stuck inside home, you're not receiving a lot of input into your unconscious mind, a lot of people put themselves under huge stress at the start of this pandemic to write a book, to write an album. And it just didn't happen for some people. And there's people right now feeling mad, disappointed. OK, it's OK.
I'm. Like I have, I should be I don't want say I should be writing a book now I have the I'm going to be writing two more books. I'm definitely writing two more books. By which I mean two books are on the table, there's two books being offered to me and. I'm not doing that right now. Because. I don't think I can write books. Right now, in the four walls in my house, in order for me to write fiction, I need to leave my house.
I need to sit in a cafe. I need to see human beings walking around me. So I'm not writing right now. I'm going to. Give it a bit more space, so instead what I'm doing is I'm making music, I can make music at home.
If you want to, to be perfectly honest. OK, so my Twitter stream. I'm on Twitch and. I'm playing a video game, Red Dead Redemption, which is a virtual environment set in the Wild West, and I have all my musical equipment and what I do is I write songs live, and I use Red Dead Redemption as inspiration for what the songs are going to be about. That right there is me proactively and actively confronting writer's block. That's the opposite of sitting down with a piano or a guitar and telling myself, I have to write a song, so.
In order to overcome writer's block. You have to be playful, you have to be playful and nonjudgmental. So when I'm riding around in a digital environment on a horse.
And I decided I need to write a song about a tree that appears in the distance, I have no criticality there. I'm not thinking this is going to be good or this is going to be bad. I'm simply doing for the sake of doing so.
What I would suggest here. The easiest way. So the last book that I wrote my second book. I had a bit of writer's block here and there, so what I said to myself was. I'd give myself a hard count, I'd say today I'm going to write 500 words of something. It doesn't have to be good, it doesn't have to be bad, but I'm right and 500 fucking words and I would promise myself that at the very least and some days I would write 500 words that I wasn't happy with at all that I wouldn't use.
And it's tough, but at least I got my 500 fucking words, because if I didn't, the writer's block would get worse. So the easiest way to get out of the writer's block, you simply have to do. You have to do. Writer's block can only be unraveled in the act of doing it won't be unraveled, thinking about writing, reading, about writing and planning, about planning, writing, it only gets Ravid unraveled in the act of doing so.
You need to fucking rice. And. A good way to get is sometimes writer's block is created when you have visions or notions about what good and bad is. So take yourself out of the fucking comfort zone.
When I if it's scary to say, what the fuck do I write 500 words about? That's when you start incorporating random input when I'm playing Red Dead Redemption. It's just an excuse to give me random input to write songs. I do two hours on Red Dead Redemption and write about five songs. Four of them aren't grace.
Usually one is is good.
That's how it works. Random input for you can be anything I'm. Open up a picture book. But that doesn't have words and has loads of pictures are open up a Web browser and go into the Web browser and type in random image generator and let us generate for you any picture, any visual picture and just write 500 words about that picture and the act of. Let's just say it's a fuckin. A swan with a fire engine in the distance, something utterly ridiculous.
Random input tends to present what really ridiculous suggestions and because the suggestions are so ridiculous, that takes us out of our comfort zone, it makes us not scared. I just write about the random image that's generated and say to yourself, I'm going to write about this for 500 fucking words. And if you can do that, it will relax you to the point that you can access your true creativity. That's just what happens and that's simply doing. And if you're right, the 500 words and you're not happy with them.
It's still a success because you wrote 500 words, and if you write 500 words and you're like you're really unhappy with him in a week's time, that's what you were unhappy with, can actually come back as a fully formed idea.
So. Writer's block is combated by the act of doing you have to do. There's no other way you do, you simply race, if it's painting, you paint, take yourself out of your comfort zone, bring in ridiculousness and humor, the five conditions for creativity, right. Number one, you give yourself space. So you create for me when I'm writing the book, space is a cafe, but it could be a desk. It could be a couch.
Whatever formula tends to work nicely when you have a little desk and a chair and a laptop and this turn off your fucking Internet unless it's essential. Right. Second thing you want to do is time. You need to give yourself two hours. You need to actually say to yourself, this is my two hours for writing. No, and it's not two hours when I get up every five minutes to make tea or recheck check my phone all the time, put the phone into a different room.
This is two hours for just writing. OK, third thing. You want to do is confidence, right? No confidence. You can have confidence while thinking you're not confident. Confidence to me would mean I am confident that I'm going to write 500 words, that's all it needs to be. It's not the confidence of this is going to be good. No, I'm going to write 500 words and I've two hours to do it. And I'm confident that I'm going to reach that.
There you go. And then finally, humor. All right, you have to you have to allow humor into what you're doing, you have to laugh at yourself, you have to allow ridiculousness, you have to allow silliness, even if you're a writer who doesn't write silly, ridiculous things. The beauty of silliness and ridiculousness is they circumnavigates not circumnavigate the. They subvert the part of ourselves that takes us too seriously if you're taking yourself too seriously, if you're thinking about I am I'm a good writer.
I want to write like Sally Rhône. I want to write like James Joyce. That's the shit that keeps you from creativity, you have to connect with the playful, fun part of yourself that when you were three or four years of age playing with Lego and you didn't care what the Lego looked like because you were just doing Lego, that's why you bring in absurdity and silliness and foolishness. It's just a way to unlock your creativity. That's why I said bring random images into it, bring silly images into it, bring ridiculousness into it.
Right about a fountain teapot. Because once you start writing about the farting teapot, first off, you've set yourself up for failure. There's no such thing as failure. The only failure is create, not because you were scared to try it as the only failure, but if you write 500 words about a fountain teapot.
It will unlock the part of you where. The ideas you really care about come from, but only a farting teapot can unlock that. I'm. What's the wrong thing to do, the wrong thing to do was to do nothing because you were scared to try. That's the that's that perpetuates creative black. So. Create physical space for yourself, give yourself time or two hours, be confident that you're going to get your 500 words done and bring in humor and absurdity and ridiculousness into your process.
And that would get you out of writer's block and get your real comfortable with if you do that five days a week. For those days, you're going to write something that you really don't like. And the more and more you write something you're on you're unhappy with, the less you sell flagellate for writing something you're not happy with. So it's a win win, so one last question, though, this one was from Stephanie. This is a big question, and I really want to answer it in a concise way.
My microphone has decided to take on Fox flaccid. I've got a microphone that. No, but the microphone does it moves forward. And then the pop, she'll take off my nose and makes me want to sneeze. So Stephanie asks a beautiful question.
And over the past week or so, I've become more aware of how I'm human rather than a bit of dust in the wind and that I'm a microscopic speck in a vast, vast universe. I found it difficult to come to terms with this. And get extremely emotional when those thoughts pop up again and again, do you have any advice on how to overcome these strong emotions that come with these thoughts and to keep grounded? As I've struggled with meditation, as I've always been taught that meditation is time that you spend in and out in silence.
And staying still, which is something I struggle with so much. I'm laughing there, I'm laughing there, Stephanie, because. That's just such a beautiful common. I betcha I don't know what age Stephanie is, I would I would wager that Stephanie is like 19, 20. Because that particular that's such a 1920 thing. It's. What that's called Stefanie's, that's existential anxiety, and all humans get that at one point in their life.
I think 1920 is is a a big age for that is when you become an adult and you take a look around and you just go, what the fuck is life? I mean, the nature of that is what the fuck is life?
And. Pondering the overwhelming. It's like it's like. When I used to get anxiety, you know, you look up at the fucking sky and you try and think of the size of the universe and it can make you feel really scared and small. And reality is is deeply irrational. And when you think about the size of everything and even what is being alive, what is these are questions.
Of human existence, it's it's it's when you're a human. I need become aware of what the fuck am I? What is this what's going on? That's existential anxiety, Stephanie, and all human beings.
Struggle with that, I mean, existentialism is is an entire school of philosophy based around its existential psychology, is a school of philosophy around it. It's it's your search for meaning that right there is what am I, who am I? What is meaning, what is life? What is existence? What is consciousness?
And. How did I struggle, how do I struggle with that, or how do I come to terms with that? Because. So what can become frightening about that thought, that thought of. Holy fuck, I'm I'm a microscopic speck in the grand scale of the universe. What the fuck is this? What you're being confronted with there is the chaos of existence and reality. The uncontrollable you're it's almost like when we think like that we're striving for definition and control and then you realize, fuck, it's all outside of my control.
Life is chaos, the universe is chaos by chaos. I mean, it's it's undetermined. Anything can happen. And. To take from John Paul Sarte, who's an existential philosopher, existentialist philosopher. We're condemned to be free. It's almost. Like, when we feel that way, we're. Noticing the sheer freedom of choices that we have and. Existentialists say that we choose things like religion and we choose things like work in a nine to five and hobbies and all this stuff, because we're trying to find certainty in something which we know is uncertain.
The universe is uncertain and chaotic, but yet we strive for certainty and we don't sit well with this grand, chaotic uncertainty. How I deal with that is. Again, I take it from cognitive therapy, it's I have I accept every day that I have no control over what happens to me in my life, but.
I have absolute control over how I react to what happens to me in my life, so. The way to to sit with existential anxiety you accept is you accept this. The universe is chaos. But you you find your personal meaning within it, if the universe is meaningless and the universe is vast and the universe is mysterious, and when I say the universe, I don't necessarily mean space. I mean the very fabric of existence. That includes space, that includes your emotions, that includes you, your consciousness, your friends, your friends, consciousness, your dog's consciousness, everything that is existence.
It includes being alive. That's all chaos and overwhelming, so you'll find your own personal meaning within it because that you do have control over and.
It's a personal meaning is unique to you. I get personal meaning from my creativity when I'm writing, making music. Listening to music, cooking, doing anything which fulfills my personal sense of personal meaning, then I'm not worrying about my insignificance in the universe. I'm just not because I have meaning in my day that keeps existential anxiety at bay. So. What do you get meaning from what? And it can be anything. Is it sports?
Is it fucking an interest in fashion, is it Robin Dogs?
What do you enjoy doing and do you get personal meaning from and a sense of accomplishment from and a sense a narrative from like Cauchon is the great one for me because cooking has narrative set up conflict resolution.
Find the moments in your day where you can have set up conflict resolution set up. I am hungry. I go to the shop, I plan what my meal is going to be. I buy ingredients when I'm at the shop. I'm choosing the best ingredients. Do I want this orange or that orange? Is that carrot a bit bent or do I want that carrot that looks fresher? Conflict resolution. I purchase the goods, I create a meal, I prepare it, I eat it.
Set of conflict resolution. Within that story I've created meaning. Meaning comes from story. Story is always a three act structure.
Set up conflict resolution exercise. I go to the gym, I put on my gym clothes. I do the exercise. I enjoy it when I'm doing it. It's difficult. There's conflict resolution. I've left the gym. I feel fucking great. Now I'm starting a new journey into fucking alley to begin the narrative of purchasing my meal, set up conflict resolution.
These things give me personal meaning in my day and my life and when I feel a sense of personal meaning. Then I'm not. Beholden to the chaos of the universe. And that's that's human life, that that's human existence, to take it back to what I was talking about earlier with people living in emergency accommodation are in direct provision. These people are being stripped of access to that type of meaning, and that's what makes it so fucked up. So.
What you're experiencing, Stephanie, and the reason I'm laughing is just it's gas, because I know you're getting that feeling for the first time and every human gets it. And it's always when you leave, when you stop being a teenager and you're you know what it is? It's when you stop being a teenager and you're confronted with the freedom of adulthood, which is fucking terrifying, the freedom of our shit. And I used to go to school and I get up in the morning and there was classes and my parents used to look after me.
Fuck no, I'm an adult.
Existential anxiety, all was present at that crucial step in the autonomy and freedom of adulthood and ultimately being responsible and autonomous. And of course, the other thing that can free us and relieve us from existential anxiety, love and compassion, love, compassion, empathy. There's a reason why most world religions at their very core have messages of love, compassion and empathy. We're social animals. We are social animals built on cooperation and helping one another and loving one another and forming bonds and.
Doing something kind for someone for a stranger. Listening to somebody that you love, speaking to them and not talking about your problems, but listening to what's going on for them. All right, if you have a pet, a dog or a cat loving them, feel the warmth of their fur feeding the cats, you know, and seeing how your action of feeding this cat makes that little cat happy and makes some power. You know, Hogan, someone I know now with fucking coronaviruses, but love, compassion, empathy for other people, for yourself and for animals.
There's huge meaning in that, and that helps around that makes existential anxiety seem insignificant. Love makes that insignificant because it is it's kind of it's a selfish enough feeling, it is quite as a self and where is my place in this great universe? But when connection to humans, animals, nature and love and compassion and wishing good and wanting to do good things and see those good things reflected back, that love, compassion and connectivity is also a great way to deal with those feelings.
But in fact, that's what can make that seem insignificant. Love can make the universe seem small. It's not. I mean, a book I would recommend for you and for anyone who's in this situation. I've definitely done a podcast on this. I'm up to nearly 300 podcasts now, I don't know what fuck I'm on a book called Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, who is an existential psychologist. It's about his he was sent to a Nazi concentration camp that he's a Jewish man and he spent time in a Nazi concentration camp and he came out of it and.
It's he developed a school of existential psychotherapy based on that experience, and it's called Man's Search for meaning. That's how even in the horrors and terror of a Nazi concentration camp. Man, he was still able to search for meaning and he saw other people search for meaning, and he watched as he felt that the people who lived longer were the ones who were able to find meaning, even though their lives were so terrible, as opposed to the ones who gave up.
That was Frankie's thesis.
So there you go. I'll catch you all next week. I probably have a heartache. Come join me on Twitch Twitch Stock TV forward, slash the blame by podcast I'm on most nights. It's great crack. If you like this podcast, you like what I'm doing on Twitch. You can come chat to me, Art.
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