The Difference Between Sympathy and Facts

02/05/2014

Yesterday I wrote down my views on drugs and addiction to which I have received mixed feedback, some people agree with my views whilst some misunderstood them. I don’t have to defend what I say to anybody but today I will explain the reasoning behind my views. Firstly I will reiterate something I have said in the past, the overall aim of this blog is to share my thought provoking opinions in order to raise awareness towards the things happening in the world that receive very little attention. Will my thoughts please everyone? No. Do I claim that my thoughts and opinions are always right? No. And without sounding like an arrogant dick I don’t write for popularity and I don’t write to please anybody. I write about whatever I feel is an important issue at that particular moment in time and I write whatever comes to my head because this is my platform to share MY thoughts. I am just a man sharing his thoughts and I don’t pretend to be anything other than that.

The case of Peaches Geldof took a turn for me yesterday from the obsession of celebrities to the problem of drugs and addiction. I said how the whole incident has brought to the surface a pet hate of mine, that Peaches was a victim of the disease of addiction. I said  I saw one tweet that said addiction is not a lifestyle choice but a cruel disease. Then I said in my eyes this is completely incorrect, substance addiction comes as a result of your lifestyle CHOICES. I said I understand that addiction is a huge problem but like I saw somebody else say, you don’t get addicted to heroin out of the blue. Then I shared this passage from a previous post of mine:

“In recent weeks I have written about accountability with the focus being directed mainly at the police and other government institutions. Today I’m going to be shining the light on us and how in our cynical society it is becoming all too easy to just blame other people for things which we should be taking some personal responsibility for. This line of thought started for me this week when I read an article in The Guardian by Russell Brand which says Phillip Seymour Hoffman is another victim of extremely stupid drug laws. Wrong. Phillip Seymour Hoffman was the victim of his own choices and actions.

It doesn’t matter what laws are in force regarding any aspect of life the final consequence is always going to be as a result of the choices you make and the action you take. In the case of Mr Hoffman if you choose to be a drug user then prepare for the possibility you will self destruct. Russell’s argument in this case is that we don’t treat drug users correctly. I’m sure if Mr Hoffman wanted it all the help in the world would have been available to him. But we are going off topic, I’m not going to enter that debate of how to treat drug addicts today because it’s a whole different can of worms which I’m not really qualified to comment on. If you have read any of my previous articles or listened to any of my radio shows you will know I am as informed as anyone on the whole “War on Drugs” and the prison for profit business. I know people who have died from drug abuse, I’ve witnessed drug abuse with my own eyes but what I’m talking about today is personal responsibility.

I have very little sympathy for Phillip Seymour Hoffman, if it wasn’t for the fact he has left behind fatherless children I would have none at all. This may sound a little harsh but Mr Hoffman was successful at what he did, he had the world in the palm of his hand to do anything he wanted and he CHOSE heroin which he would have known leads to addiction. It was this choice that has led to his early demise and in the wise words from the film A Bronx Tale there is nothing more tragic in life than wasted talent.

There is a huge drug problem in this country and across the world, extending beyond illegal drugs to include prescription drugs. But with drugs it is all about personal choice, you would have to grow up under a rock to not know what lies at the end of the substance abuse road. Most people take drugs as a release, some people take them to purposely self destruct because their lives have just become so unbearable due to one personal tragedy to the next. But the bottom line always remains the same, people become addicted to drugs because they choose to take them. When I want release I will read a good book because I know the outcome of this activity will be constructive and not destructive. You don’t need laws to deal with book addictions do you, who was the last person to die because of stupid anti-book laws?”

A few people say these views are insensitive, they are not insensitive they are the truth. My views stem from a universal outlook and not the lower level of social groupthink. It is a FACT that people are responsible for their actions, therefore if they take substances that is known to destroy lives then they have brought upon themselves everything that comes their way. But before we continue let’s clear one thing up, I never commented on addiction itself because I am not qualified to do so. I talked about the choices and decisions that come before addiction. The choices are very simple with drugs, do them or don’t do them, say yes or say no. Yesterday I quoted Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five and today I am going to do it again:

“A million magic crystals, painted pure and white, a multi-million dollars almost overnight. Twice as sweet as sugar, twice as bitter as salt and if you get hooked baby it’s nobody else’s fault, so don’t do it!”

Yesterday I had quite a lengthy debate with a person who questioned my stance on this topic because it wasn’t sympathetic enough, that I over simplified the issue of choices. They countered that some people aren’t always able to make the “right” choices due to mental health issues, trauma, poverty, culture and lack of opportunities. They seemed to think that I don’t understand how circumstances dictate what choices people have, I understand that just as good as anybody else. I’m fully aware that bad environments often result in bad choices. But when somebody is offered a pill, a spliff, a line or a needle it is still down to that person to say yes or no, unless somebody has a gun to their head and is forcing them to take it.

Everybody has the opportunity to make the right choice, whether they do or don’t is up to that person.  Granted it is harder for some but it is never impossible. If I have over simplified the issue then in my eyes that is a good thing because when you break life down to its core elements it is actually very simple, it is ourselves that make life complicated. It is just as easy for somebody to get themselves to the library and better themselves than it is for them to shoot up and go down the path of oblivion. It is down to each individual to be a product of their environment or to be all they can be, it is very rare that a person comes from complete destitution and a place of absolutely no hope, people always have options regardless of circumstances.

In a futile attempt to try and belittle my side of the argument the person I was debating with said “It’s not that easy. It might be for you, but just because it was to you doesn’t mean it is the same for everyone.” This only validates my point that some laws are universal, people’s emotions or state of mind do not affect how they work. If you throw something up in the air, it is going to come back down because of the law of gravity. If you touch a fire you will get burnt because of the law of heat. It has been that easy for me to stay clear of drugs because I obey the universal law of cause and effect. If you read books you will become smart, if you take heroin you will become a junkie. I chose the path I took in life and, other than alcohol at the weekend, I have avoided drugs at all costs. Whilst I was out with my friends on the weekends they were spending their money on cocaine and my money was being saved for a trip around Europe that saw me visit Barcelona, Ibiza, Madrid, Bilbao, Lyon, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Milan, Verona, Venice, Naples, Cassino, Rome, Genoa and Turin as well as countless other towns and villages.

The argument of circumstances doesn’t work with me because I am no fortunate son born into privilege, I am from a council estate raised by a single mother. The place I am from is surrounded by drugs and the opportunities are none. Here is a headline from an incident that happened in a house on the street next to mine around ten years ago, this is the environment my views on life were formed: “Pair deny killing man found cut up” (http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/pair-deny-killing-man-found-1194209).

We all make mistakes, growing up I was a bit of a nuisance myself at times.  When I was 16 and still at school I was arrested for being drunk and disorderly after a Friday night of drinking on the streets with my friends. The mistake was made but I didn’t think I am going to become a helpless alcoholic who is always in trouble with the police, I thought last night I made a huge mistake and fucked up big time. My aim was to use my mistake as a lesson to learn from and to make sure it never happened again, which it didn’t.

If there is one thing the people of this country are addicted to then it is the victim mentality and the people who don’t like hearing this the most are the people who like to portray themselves as victims. If people want to argue against people being responsible for their actions then who do we blame? God? The Government? The weather? The alignment of the planets?

Sure the Government creates social conditions that can be very hard to overcome, especially if you are born at the bottom of the pile like I was. But you don’t sit back and wallow in your misery or self destruct at the first available opportunity, you fight twice as hard as everybody else to get to where you want to be in life. There is a distinct lack of personal responsibility in this country and when people aren’t responsible for their actions then chaos ensues. People know drugs destroy lives, we are taught about drugs at school, we see how drugs are portrayed on TV, in the centre of our cities we walk past homeless people with limbs missing from drug abuse, the damage that drugs do is everywhere to see and the simple fact of the matter is that people do them anyway. People don’t like me saying these things because it is a sign of strength which is the complete opposite of the weak victim mentality.

That is not to say I don’t think people who have made mistakes and are suffering from drug dependency should be castrated for their mistakes and be hung out to dry. Like I have admitted the treatment of drug addicts is something beyond my knowledge. If people are struggling and their life is blighted by addiction they should get all the help they can to become healthy again. The funny thing about the people who have disagreed with my outlook on drug abuse and say I am wrong is that they seem to fail to recognise the fact that I am a healthy and fully functioning productive member of society who is not dependent on any substances and takes zero medication. An old saying of the proof is in the pudding comes to mind.

This article is authored by Lee Cooper

Follow me on Twitter: @MCR_WAKE_UP

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Peaches Geldof and The Phenomenon of Faux Grief

08/04/2014

Today’s blog post is regarding something that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before in my life, it is the outpouring of faux grief regarding the very sad news that Peaches Geldof has passed away aged 25. I have been truly baffled by the attention this news has got off both people and the media. Now I’m not a monster, I’m not devoid of feelings and I know that the news of a 25 year old woman suddenly passing from this earthly realm without any warning and leaving behind two very young children and a husband would strike a chord on anyone’s heartstrings regardless of who it was that had passed away. In Peaches Geldof’s case I understand that her children will grow up without the vital and irreplaceable love of their mother, that her father and her sisters have lost someone they will never be able to replace. She was young and like most young people she was beautiful, which only adds to the tragedy.

On a basic human level we struggle to understand how someone so young and healthy can suddenly pass away, it brings to the forefront of our mind our greatest fear, the fear of death and the fact we are not immortal. Of course I understand all these things and just like anyone else they make me feel sad, they make me feel sorry and sympathetic towards her loved ones. But that’s all it does, my world will keep turning. What I don’t understand is where all the fake adulation has come from, the seemingly unstoppable flood of grief that has come from nowhere as if we have lost one of the great icons of our times.

On my Facebook and Twitter feed I’ve never once seen Peaches Geldof mentioned until she passed away. I’ve never once had or heard any conversations about the influential force amongst us that was Peaches Geldof. Now some people may say she was an icon, but to these people I would give the counter argument that she was a false icon. She was famous and known to the world for no reason other than she was blessed, or cursed, in the birth pool lottery and was born to famous parents. If she was an icon it is to a world that is fake, like the people who pretend to care so much about her life.

For me this whole sad story has brought about the age old debate of why are some lives seen as more important than others. Yesterday there would have been other 25 year old mothers who passed away from this world leaving behind their children. Yesterday there would have been children killed through unnecessary and needless wars. Needless other than the fact that war makes certain people on this planet very wealthy. Yesterday 20,864 people died because they didn’t have any food to eat in a world where others throw food away. Yesterday 22,000 children died because they live in poverty in a world where the richest 85 people have more wealth than the poorest 3.5billion people combined. None of this will be on the front pages or even be mentioned in the news and media.

Over the weekend I watched the Hunger Games with my sister and in the world I see around me today I can compare it to the world that exists in the Hunger Games. For those who aren’t familiar with the films or books, the Hunger Games take place in a world where twelve districts are held under subjugation by the Capital district. The masses in the twelve districts live in slavery and poverty whilst those in the capital live decadent and luxurious lives. Because of their obscene wealth the people who live in the capital have lost touch with reality and they have become caricature characters, they see themselves as beautiful people. That is how I see the world today, I see a moneyed class that control every aspect of our lives living better than ever before. I see that they own and control a media platform that creates a false reality, a reality that has no bearing on how people actually live. And whilst this moneyed class enjoy everything that life has to offer I can also see the lives of the masses. The masses who live under constant duress, who are drowning in debt and are always one missed paycheque away from destitution and hard times.

We live stressed and worried lives because we are desperately holding onto the scraps that have been thrown our way, we don’t want to lose what little we have despite having everything to gain. We put all our hopes and dreams into the hands of the men we call politicians hoping they will create a better world for us. We are either blind or wilfully ignorant and fail to see these men will never help us whilst they are under the influence and control of the money masters. All the problems we face today are completely man made and could easily be eradicated. But instead these problems go ignored, these problems do not matter because the “beautiful people” are still living the good life.

They have made us hate ourselves and love their wealth. In fact it is our problems, our hardships that gives them their wealth and privilege in the first place. We would be stupid to expect them to throw us a helping hand because as Martin Luther King Jr. once said; “it is an historical fact that the privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily.”

The influence of money is strong, there are people who try to raise awareness of the corrupt and unjust ways of the world but they are seen as cranks. Nobody has time to consider making a change for the better because everyone strives to be a beautiful person and will do anything to get to the top, the prettiest people will do the ugliest things. If only we could see the glass ceilings and notice that the carrot on the stick never gets any closer no matter how hard we work.

I will come to the conclusion of today’s post and bring it back round to Peaches Geldof. If there was any aspect of life that she did put her own individual mark on then it would be fair to say that it was in the false world of fashion. The artificial world that was originally created by men like Edward Bernays, the world that stands as the shining monument of modern times of how we have well and truly lost our way, where people care more about their clothes than their future.

When they weren’t pushing her as a junkie Peaches Geldof was one of media’s darlings, she was one of the “beautiful people” and that is why she has been propelled after death to the heights usually reserved only for truly remarkable people. She had no impact on my life and the world she represented does not match the reality of the one I live in. That is why there will be no outpouring of faux grief on my part. I will give my condolences to her family, I will say a prayer for her children. But I won’t turn a blind eye and join in the popular delusions of a hypocritical world just because everybody else does. To me this whole incident has just once again highlighted the power that the media holds over the masses of people and how it influences their lives, deciding who and what they think about on a daily basis. It would be wise for people to smarten up and protect themselves from this force because ultimately our minds are the most precious resource we will ever possess.

This article is authored by Lee Cooper

Follow me on Twitter: @MCR_WAKE_UP

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