A message to the Bigots in the comment section

Dear Bigot in the comment section,

Black history month this year is about celebration, a time to mourn, a time to look back and reflect on our past.

It’s a month for us to celebrate on our own terms and not the terms dictated by company diversity policies or the government.

Our stories are not there to make you feel uncomfortable, our stories are not there to divide or create racial tensions, our stories are there for people to understand the world through our eyes. For a few minutes of the day through an article or book, you get to understand our experiences and the battles we have fought silently through every corporation and loudly after every act of violence on us, whilst you could comfortably turn a blind eye.

But under every article, documentary, interview or film sharing the black experience in the UK, I see a comment section of denial from you, rejection and straight up bigotry.

How dare you dismiss our pain, our feelings, our lived experience, because you are not elevated enough to comprehend a different perspective from your own.

The black experience is a human experience which deserves to be documented.

Yet you choose to reject it because you don’t understand it. Your bigoted comments create chaos to disrupt moments of valuable teaching; diminishing the existence of injustice and blaming oppression on the oppressed because it fails to fit into your world of logic.

I have been living my whole life through your Eurocentric lense, seeing depictions of myself as violent, aggressive, uneducated. I’ve watched my history be reduced down to slavery and subservience because it fits into a narrative which makes sense in your world. Yet, I dealt with this falsification by choosing to work harder to exceed the low expectations society had of me.

I was always taught that your skin doesn’t determine what type of person you are, but it determines the way people treat you.

So why when we are trying to share these lived experiences to educate, bring awareness and help others who have dealt with the same issues, not to feel so alone, why do you seek to destroy this progress?

We do not want to make you feel guilty, and your guilt can only be a reflection of your own internal battles.

Despite the wrongs of your ancestors past, I as a black women can still accept you in the present as an individual, tied only to your present actions and words, why can I not be treated the same or even speak out about my mistreatment?

I don’t have a chip on my shoulder, I actually walk through life giving people the benefit of the doubt, naively seeing only the good in them. I work hard to lift the voices of the underrepresented or those who have experienced injustice, as I believe equally their voices matter as much as anyone else’s, but if their experience have anything remotely to do with racism, the window of timing on the issue is so small because you don’t want me to talk about it and my question is, why?

Racism is nothing but a social construct, which means someone is benefitting from its existence and I can tell you now, racists you are not the ones benefitting from this divide.

I do not believe racism will destroy us, but what will destroy us is how we choose to deal with it and heal from it.

Again, racism needs to be an area in which we heal from on both sides. The psychological and the physical effects it can have on either side can be detrimental and whilst we sit fighting over the very skin that connects us all, the world is crumbling beneath us.

God is watching us all be deceived by this illusion of indifference because of our egos and pride. We all need to let go of this illusion of indifference because it is stopping us from understanding one another.

Every group has their own story and no story is more or less important as the other.

Dear Bigot in the comment section,

Black history month this year is about celebration, a time to mourn, a time to look back and reflect on our past.

It’s a month for us to celebrate on our own terms and not the terms dictated by company diversity policies or the government.

Our stories are not there to make you feel uncomfortable, our stories are not there to divide or create racial tensions, our stories are there for people to understand the world through our eyes. For a few minutes of the day through an article or book, you get to understand our experiences and the battles we have fought silently through every corporation and loudly after every act of violence on us, whilst you could comfortably turn a blind eye.

But under every article, documentary, interview or film sharing the black experience in the UK, I see a comment section of denial from you, rejection and straight up bigotry.

How dare you dismiss our pain, our feelings, our lived experience, because you are not elevated enough to comprehend a different perspective from your own.

The black experience is a human experience which deserves to be documented.

Yet you choose to reject it because you don’t understand it. Your bigoted comments create chaos to disrupt moments of valuable teaching; diminishing the existence of injustice and blaming oppression on the oppressed because it fails to fit into your world of logic.

I have been living my whole life through your Eurocentric lense, seeing depictions of myself as violent, aggressive, uneducated. I’ve watched my history be reduced down to slavery and subservience because it fits into a narrative which makes sense in your world. Yet, I dealt with this falsification by choosing to work harder to exceed the low expectations society had of me.

I was always taught that your skin doesn’t determine what type of person you are, but it determines the way people treat you.

So why when we are trying to share these lived experiences to educate, bring awareness and help others who have dealt with the same issues, not to feel so alone, why do you seek to destroy this progress?

We do not want to make you feel guilty, and your guilt can only be a reflection of your own internal battles.

Despite the wrongs of your ancestors past, I as a black women can still accept you in the present as an individual, tied only to your present actions and words, why can I not be treated the same or even speak out about my mistreatment?

I don’t have a chip on my shoulder, I actually walk through life giving people the benefit of the doubt, naively seeing only the good in them. I work hard to lift the voices of the underrepresented or those who have experienced injustice, as I believe equally their voices matter as much as anyone else’s, but if their experience have anything remotely to do with racism, the window of timing on the issue is so small because you don’t want me to talk about it and my question is, why?

Racism is nothing but a social construct, which means someone is benefitting from its existence and I can tell you now, racists you are not the ones benefitting from this divide.

I do not believe racism will destroy us, but what will destroy us is how we choose to deal with it and heal from it.

Again, racism needs to be an area in which we heal from on both sides. The psychological and the physical effects it can have on either side can be detrimental and whilst we sit fighting over the very skin that connects us all, the world is crumbling beneath us.

God is watching us all be deceived by this illusion of indifference because of our egos and pride. We all need to let go of this illusion of indifference because it is stopping us from understanding one another.

Every group has their own story and no story is more or less important as the other.

A London State Of Mind: Mask Mandatory

This city has always been such a fake concept to me.

Like a simulation of a mad scientists dream of dropping millions of people from different tribes onto one fragment of a small island. Selling them a dream, that any opportunity on this island will make them wealthy enough to live like a king.

People migrate in the floods for their opportunity, even risking their lives. They see higher salaries, bigger buildings and headquarters of their favorite companies.

While the scientist sits back and watches them fight over this hidden capital until they realize, they were holding the capital in their minds all along.

The irony behind this mandatory rule to wear a mask is people have been wearing a mask here for years!

In London you can truly be whoever you wish to portray. Its all about symbolism. London in itself symbolizes capital and, power and wealth – therefore by association of you living here, you must also be that, no?

When really its all smoke and mirrors. Most million pound properties are just investments with no tenants and with higher living costs and a minority of salaries to match, the residents here are struggling like the rest of the country.

Then you have the subtle micro aggression’s, the death stares in the boardroom and the blissful ignorance of HR and higher management which adds to the layers of unhappiness and quality of life.

There are many shallow and insecure individuals here who share a common language. Usually due to their lack of original thought, they speak in pompous tongue of recitals of academic quotes and references. When someone lacks true substance here, they always more than make up for it in academic achievements.

Yes, yes, yes, I know, I must preface my bluntness with ‘I’m not talking about everyone……’ but you know exactly who im talking about!

Unfortunately, the true innovators are labelled as disruptors – which in itself has so many connotations. But you’ll find these groups of the self made are silenced by their lack of experience or contacts or family connections, but luckily for them, the wonderful internet has evened the playing field. You can find them on Youtube or The London Real.

Passive aggressive behavior is a shared language towards minorities and Brexiteers protest against the Europeans who serve them drinks………..

This is London.

A city where your quality of life is gambled on a table of sinking industries and coronavirus government rescue packages. When all you truly need is a Windsor accent to convince the masses you actually know enough to rule the Country.

The longer I get to grasps with the bizzare social dynamics here -the more recognisable the fragments of purposely crafted social engineering appear like red flags in a green field.

Brixton, for example, a historically Black Caribbean district in the Borough of Lambeth, is now a gentrified rabbit hole of wine bars and gourmet dining, the carribeans can no longer afford to buy in.

The district has welcomed new residents of ‘woke’ white people and hipsters who hope to live next door to Rastaman Leroy. But with rent prices sky rocketing its more likely they’ll live next to Dylan – the PHD Music teacher who likes to have casual smokes on the weekend.

Now when someone says ‘Oh, I live in Brixton’, they really want you to have this instant profile in your mind of someone pretty liberal with a diverse group of friends. When really – even their postcode is yet another mandatory mask of, ‘Hey, I’m super tolerant, look I live in Brixton’.

But we are not talking about Brixton…….or Dylan.

We are also discussing the educational institutions in London which have become a breeding ground for oppression of free thought and a solid foundation for old white male patriarchy.

Views of opposition against the opinions of the ruling white male lecturer, teaching a class of naive minded book suckers, that his line of teaching may be conducive of a hostile environment to the migrant girl or international student sat quietly upset in the corner, is highly unwelcomed.

Or if you are not privvy to the racial jokes made by the male director of your company who would make a point of coming to your desk to make you uncomfortable on purpose, just to put you in your place – well, your just don’t have a sense of humor.

This is just a London state of Mind.

Its a state of mind where unplanned social interactions set off a robotic malfunctions causing a whole system breakdown. Everything is super planned so people can in fact remember to put their masks on.

Shards of glass insults, racial jokes and projected insecurities fly towards you and if your wearing your mask – nobody realises just how much you hurt until you get home and cry your eyes out.

Another sick day coming up!

You spend most of your time stitching up your open cuts – walking around in layers of plasters; bound to the ‘othered group’ by shared economic and cultural constructs which are misunderstood to those whom London is their playground.

I guess this is also the reason why I have taken so long to post. As I have been dealing with this inner conflict of falling in line and throwing on a mask or taking what can be a very lonely path of indifference and free thought.

I guess in London I’m classed as a disruptor – but for me, I dont and wont ever be forced to wear a mask to make you feel comfortable.

The Bridge of horrors

Towering skyscrapers surround the Waterloo bridge with beaming rays of iridescent lights.

After midnight, the buildings take centre stage; morphing themselves into a dazzling spectacle of shiny glass cylinders.

Just imagine the sight of multiple buildings emerging from the depths of the concrete and illuminating off the dark waters.

With the backdrop of the velvet blue sky, the whole landscape made the night almost perfect.

Well, almost.

It was so close……

But as always………London snaps me back into reality – in the form of a human crisis that catches me completely off guard.

Stopping mid run behind me, a middle aged man pressed pause on his midnight run, to unleash a colossal round of “SCREAMS OF RAGE!”

His screams were so loud and sudden, everybody froze around him like statues as he slowly walked towards the edge of the bridge.

The atmosphere was filled with horror because the screams were so violent it heightened concern of this mans safety and what the man was about to do, especially as we were on the Bridge!

Yet nobody dared move and nobody dared approach him. I guess we shared the same though of not wanting to scare him, yet wanting to be close enough to save him.

The handful of civilians surrounding him waited, but for what?

All we knew is that he was completely unaware of our presence.

Some passers by slowly observed the scene, staring at the man holding onto the bridge and facing the direction of the Thames.

The moment he straightened up, he became aware of the watchers around him.

Cautiously, he backed away from the bridge and continued his jog.

We all looked at each other with a sigh of relief and as if someone pressed play on life, we all just went our separate ways. The surrounding sounds became louder and the moment of horror had now passed.

After all, London during the midnight hour has became infamous for witnessing a stranger on the brink of a mental breakdown.

In fact there are more police calls here in the night than there is at any other time of the day.

It was actually that night I gave the Waterloo Bridge the label, ‘Bridge of horrors!’

The midnight runners sudden “Screams of rage” really wasn’t that surprising.

In London, everyone is slightly more unhinged than it seems on the surface. The midnight runner is your manager, director or the guy on top being driven around in his town car.

Most professionals have built there whole existence around their careers. I mean, lets look at their social lives – most peoples relationships are a direct connection to their workplace and here it is very easy to blur the line.

Their successes are their promotions and their wealth is measured by economics.

Therefore, failure in their world means failure in life.

The breathtaking picture of the Thames you take selfies on, is also subject to multiple suicides throughout the year. In fact, in 2014 the suicide rates of those jumping and drowning in the Thames rose to 57%.

Although we all may feel the pressures of metropolitan life weighing on our shoulders, there is this unique detachment here that can eradicate simple forms of human empathy; that probe the question, ‘Are you okay?’ to the person plugged into their earphones, the timid girl behind a newspaper or the sunken head to the floor.

Why is it that we have to wait for something to happen to approach someone?

Why are we no longer present to those that need the help around us?

Or is this just a London state of mind?

The ‘personal data’ illusion: time to opt out

The data century is upon us. Modern technology is now a natural part of our daily lives. We are now reliant on our devices as a primary source of information, with one in five adults spending as much as 40 hours a week on the internet.

Every second we spend plugged into this hypothetical digital matrix, is an opportunity for our personal information to be quantified, stored and measured.

What for?

Well, if you believed your data was used exclusively to customise your online content to better enhance your browsing experience, you would be very naïve.

Personal data can generate useful insights into upcoming trends, help to observe how users interact with new products and most of all, it can help predict future buying behaviour.

Your search engine history, your messages, your posts, your contacts, your work history, your location, your media, your leisurely activities you name it, has been sold to large corporations to be analysed so they can find out what you as a consumer want to invest in.

For large corporations, this information has been coined as the new ‘oil’ of the digital era, as your data is now one of their biggest sources of revenue.

Think about it as the equivalent to a cheat code on a game, how can they possibly lose when you are giving them all of the answers?

Companies are basically creating products and services as a response to trends and insights they have accumulated from your online activity, and they are making trillions!

But these ‘Silicon Valley’ mad scientists are greedy and just like technology once upon a time started with one idea and a formula, now, it is being pumped into the bloodstream of each generation – changing life as we know it since the first invention of the Microsoft computer.

Behind the curtains of illusion lies the dirty truth and the truth is your data has been used as a tool against you, to confuse and delude you into making choices and forcing you into beliefs.

Data science is the new digital formula – once created to improve the services of businesses, now, has developed to monitor and influence human behaviour and change the mindset of targetted groups in countries around the world.

Techies are now lurking in dangerous waters; analysing your personal data to work out how you think, whether you can be easily swayed and what group you identify with. They want to know your triggers, whether you can be misled and once they’ve worked out just who you are, they bombard you with targeted videos, advertisements, images and content until they start to influence the way you think, further having monopoly over the choices of you and your whole country.

Look at Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm on paper, but really a huge criminal data mining enterprise, who illegally harvested over 30 million US citizens personal data, to carry out one of the biggest criminal data led campaigns in history to get Donald Trump in office!

How did they do this you ask?

Easy, they targeted you through Facebook, analysed your online behaviour to create customised adverts, videos, images and content which would cater to you personally, but would also sway your political vote.

They painted Hillary Clinton as a criminal in the eyes of the masses. Painted Trump as the business tycoon and Americas economic saviour, and before you know it, he’s president.

Country to country, they played God by manipulating the masses to make decisions to which they had no idea of the consequences. Brazil, Trinidad & Tobago, UK, Kenya, Nigeria, I mean the list goes on.

With more adults using social media as a source of information, it has become even more easier to manipulate decision making, spark racial tension and divide populations around the world?

Look at Facebook, the powerful sinister data brokerage firm, who make a majority of their revenue through the selling of your personal data. They team up with government agencies to spread propaganda and enable discriminatory advertising to be shared on their platform.  

A system once engineered to bring us closer together has single handedly created enough of a divide that we can no longer comprehend what the truth is and what has been manufactured for us to believe.

The ‘user’ accumulating this data has become the victim of their own choices.

Your personal data is gold and you should have the human right to decide how its being used!

Unfortunately, with any commodity, corporations, governments and the latter, are using this information for their own personal gain. Data can create fortunes if it’s exploited in the right way and this should be regulated to avoid the breach of our human rights!

But the introduction of the ‘internet of things’ means your car, your fridge, your watch or TV are now connected to the cloud, generating more data than any application you can opt in or out of. The collection of our data is becoming so seamless, sophisticated and hidden that we are not even given the right to ‘consent’.

Which makes you think what rights do we actually have over our own information?

THE STUDENT CON GAME

The deftly tones of the grand organ drown the theatre in a tribunal concerto. The atmosphere is palpable. A sense of nobility fills your body and you are proud that this momentous occasion is a result of your hard work.

Graduates are seated in the centre of the action; bodies covered down to their feet in their signature Hogwarts gowns – colour coded in ranking of their degrees importance of course. Teamed with an inexcusably immoderate oxford hat, like a student ready to be initiated into Gryffindor, you get the sense that Mr Potter may appear at any moment.

Yet the only magic taking place here is deception, the magical illusion of ceremony and reward, that will make the worries of a £50,000 debt and a high risk of unemployment, miraculously disappear.

Throughout your time in high school and college you’ve been fed the same line, “The more educated you are, the more successful you will be”.

This same line has now become a deep embedded ideology institutions have been repeating for decades, which has dramatically changed the peoples general behaviour towards education. Now, education has been deemed the only way to create access, opportunity and career success.

The reason why?

Well, it’s our societies obsession with meritocracy and its adept association with education and class. To be educated can only be proven by merit i.e GCSE’s, degrees, PhD’s, NVQ’s………..and the list goes on. You are taught that by obtaining such merit, doors into higher paying careers and specialist industries will open.

A UK Bachelor’s degree:

Average Cost: £50,000

Result: Certificate

Pro: Education

Con: No guarantees of employment in your chosen field of study or preparation for the working environment.

Introducing: THE STUDENT CON GAME.

After basking in the afterglow of your graduation; its the moment you discover your new reality of unemployment. You solidify your place in an overcrowded job market and realise there are more graduates than there is jobs.

But don’t expect this suprise to reveal itself until you receive your degree.

With a lack of opportunities in your specialism, you discover you’ve been conned. All of a sudden your degree isn’t enough. At this stage, you recognise the value of hands on experience is held to a higher standard, than your shiny certificate.

This is when you contemplate whether your £50k loan was worth the paperwork?

Not only are you competing with graduates, and the general public, but internal employees are applying for the same positions. They may not have the education, but good companies will invest in educating their current staff to degree level.

But don’t expect to be forewarned of these formalities whilst in university, because who knows…………..you might just end up leaving.

Just imagine the disappointment of the 50% of students who don’t even end up working in their field of study? (Independent UK, 2014)

Unless you have paid for your degree outright or have financial support, debt is a result of why you may probably fall into a different industry. As higher education comes with a cost that you now have an obligation to at least try to clear before you die.

How are students to know that despite their dedication to receiving this degree, they may end up choosing between their career and a job?

Years later, you yourself will go on to find truth in the latter. Fashion graduates in the insurance industry, biomedical graduates working in property management firms, law graduates working full time in restaurants, I mean the list goes on. University is nothing but a blurry memory to these individuals who discovered a passion in different industries.

At this point, university just seems like an expensive investment you make to justify that time in your twenties where you get to answer the question:

‘What the heck do I really want to do with my life?’

But my question is, is that answer worth £50,000?

The Office Meeting – Time to call your bluff

old-one-in-office-argument

It’s 09:30am.

The tension is unbearably thick. Accusing eyes scan the room. The boss – the conductor to this orchestra, basques in the awkward silence he has created by his mere presence in the room. He smiles smugly and takes a sip of his steamy beverage.

Nothing goes ahead without him and he knows it.

Decided on his approach, he throws his cards on the table. Cutting through the silence with his bladed tongue, slowly, he begins the sadistic routine of going around the room; picking out each victim one by one, secretly assessing their reaction to his quick fire round of multiple questions. Of course each question is loaded with cruel intention.

Watch out for when he asks for your opinions and your input.

It always starts with a “So, How are you finding things so far?”

This is a test.

Unfortunately, he already knows the answers, but the true revelation comes the moment you realise this test isn’t even for you. It comes the moment you understand you are just a mere pawn in the game of his office politics.

You see, the boss knows you have no clue to his line of questioning. So before you rack your brain desperately trying to conjure up a smart answer, admit your defeat.

Who he really wants to identify is the unappointed shotcaller when he’s not around – observing from the sidelines, waiting for the opportunity to jump in with the answers you don’t have.

The moment they jump in, falling for the trap, he has revealed his cards.

We all know this is no way to play poker.

The quiet new bloods in the corner sink into their seats, already defeated, for the purpose of the inevitable – they just don’t stand a chance!

Welcome to the ‘The office meeting’ – the moment of the day you walk out of a claustrophobic room populated by your coworkers with a feeling of complete delirium, wondering, what the fuck just happened!

Prepare to be humoured by an awkward exchange of words between people whose dry banter would otherwise drain you.

Put on your game face ready for the back and forth power play between seniors. Listen out for the sly insults hidden behind a transparent curtain of sarcasm and gritted teeth. Watch your coworkers as they nod enthusiastically at nonsensical task delegations, from the dictator at the top end of the table.

Meanwhile, you spend most of the time watching a ping pong match of opinions flying from end to end of the grandiose table in a little room, nodding every so often to show you are awake and interested. The whole time you think to yourself, “My job could have been executed perfectly without this information”. Yet you don’t share this opinion, you in fact choose to appease your seniors by smiling in their direction.

Sitting silently, awaiting your gloomy fate of impossible deadlines and targets for the week, you stay quiet and for a moment, your invisible………well, until he sees you.

Deep down, you hate him almost passionately.

You take very shallow breathes.

Admit it, you’ve been tricked. Tricked into attending a time wasting bartering exchange between your seniors, purely for the entertainment of your boss.

The meeting is also the godforsaken part of the day when the guy with the massive ego who likes the sound of his own voice, pipes up for a prolonged speech about………….well, himself. This is also the guy that will ask extra questions to ensure the director smells his not so hidden desires. The self appointed shotcaller at the table waving his cards around. Yes, that prick!

The boss humours him for a while, until he becomes sick of him, then he moves on to his next minion.

The office snitch – who walks pitifully into the arena, head sunken, no eye contact. Aged by years of undermining and empty promises of a promotion that never came.

Gosh I almost feel sorry for the lad as he sits quietly next to the boss.

He’s almost a teachers pet, but rather than being eaten alive, he’s sadly used as an ‘office informant’. The snitch. The one who informs the dictator whose late, under performing or getting divorced.

Yep, don’t feel sorry for him.

Understand that the great white sharks of the office and their evil minions awaiting to catch you alone in the sea, so they can pounce and feast on your blood, all boils down to what happens in that meeting.

What role did you play?

I’ve come to the conclusion that nobody is safe here, so put your best poker face on and be ready to reveal your hand.

Game of Thrones: The Commuter Edition

DISCLAIMER: Despite the title, this article is not a direct reference to the TV programme.

07:45am

It all starts one step behind the yellow line – literally a line between you and accidental death by tube.

The doors slide open, and frantically the commuters burst onto the train, darting crazily into different directions. The grey haired fox pushes past you to slide comfortably into the seat you had your eye on. You scowl.

Already you’ve been cheated and this wont be the last time.

If you are new to London, you will learn very quickly that it’s easy to get left behind when boarding public transport. You end up in a group called, ‘The standers’. Their usually the newbies like yourself. The capitals rookie re-locator’s, who get lost in the chaos and settle for a standing space in the aisle.

You can spot them a mile off. They are jumpy, easy to push over and suffer from a mild case of PTSD from their first commute. So please be patient with them when you tell them to move down. Know they have heard you, and their pause or minion like shuffle movement, is just a generic malfunction caused by their untreated PTSD. (And this is not a joke)

In fact during your first few weeks in the concrete jungle, these are your first commuting friends in London, as they are the ones who will help squeeze you onto a train when they backwards reverse their backpacks right into your stomach!

Every morning and every evening without fail you will start to notice the same faces. They will stand in the same spot, pick up the same newspaper and will stand on the same side of the platform.

Introducing ‘the regulars’.

Unlike ‘the standers’, these individuals are the top primates of the jungle. The top of the food chain, the ultimate contenders, who have fought this fight nearly all of their lives. This is their habitat and they will display their position of hierarchy by who sits first and who stands.

They display their position by offering a seat one of ‘the standers’ have been guarding, to a lady behind them.

Apparently, they were more in need, despite the lack of visual ailments which would say otherwise.

You bite your tongue and say nothing.

The game starts.

Grabbing onto the handles above, staring at the weakling below, the feeling of being cheated comes rushing back and all of a sudden you need to sit down.

You stare at the person seated below you intently, practically seething at the mouth, knowing that by every turn of the head, and every bum shuffle, they will eventually get up – and that is when, the throne is yours!

Yes the throne, that oh so precious throne that was unfairly pulled from your grasp by these savager hunters. That enticing seat with its magnetic pull that charms you towards it, tricking your mind into believing this seat is yours for the taking.

The moment you sit on it, you’ve won the game!

You body immediately relax, letting your mind travel to a place of satisfying tranquility; amidst the pandemonium around you. Deep down, you can’t believe you’ve finally won this precious seat, and you try your hardest not to gloat in your recent win.

The win of the luxury of sitting on the throne of ignorance, where you can ignore everything!

The losers look over you sour-faced at the reality of being stood for what could end up being hours, constantly being tugged from side to side like a boneless fish.

In this game of thrones where every move is calculated, there can only be one winner. Whilst the vultures congregate greedily- pushing, shoving and cheating each other for a seat, you begin to understand the savage behavior and the unique mindset of the people here.

Lack of eye contact for example is definitely one of the biggest signs of a savage. Understand that this is part of the community here, and as a outsider, you will notice accidental eye contact will create an awkward exchange of eyelash fluttering and robotic head movements. I call it, glitching.

You see, the lack of eye contact makes the cut throat behaviour easier, it allows you to remove yourself from the human you are as you ignore the pregnant or disabled and keep hold of your throne. By not looking you can pretend you are disconnected rather than ignorant and heartless.

Pregnant and disabled have even started to wear badges on their scarves or jackets, to ensure people can see these individuals are a priority.

What type of a nation needs to be prompted in this way?

In Manchester, you don’t have to wear a badge. No local will allow you to sit in a disabled seat if there is a pram, elder or disabled person on the bus or train. It just wouldn’t happen. Mancunians are way to self- aware of their surroundings to have the luxury of ignorance, especially when such an obvious injustice is taking place in front of them.

The Game of thrones is just another example of the problems with capitalism and the retention of rivalry it produces in the hearts of the people who live in these cities.

Common practices like commuting; turn into an almost animalistic combat between a nation of competitors who just don’t know when to stop.

It’s a sickness and it has poisoned us all.

This is why people here look the way they do. There soul is slowly and surely being chipped away, with every commute, with every push, scream and abusive threat on the tube. You will notice the people sat down will give you dirty looks. They kick you if you accidentally touch them. In this seat they feel they have an advantage above ‘the standers’.

They avoid eye contact so they don’t have to give up their throne to someone who may need it.

Its a different world here.

A world where the highly strung and driven meet their savage contenders in the fight of all fights, ‘The Game of thrones’.

London: The fight for a piece of the pie

We all know that in the capital, life is bigger, louder and schedules, are tighter. That being said, there is a majorly naive presumption that there is more opportunity.

There is no wonder that there are so many people flocking here to get a piece of that heavily carbed capitalist pie – that is London in its essence. The naive presumption comes in when you think there is so much opportunity, that you are as entitled to a piece of the pie as anyone else.

Why? Well because you have worked hard enough to be at the table. The education, the experience, the burning ambition to win!

You see the competition here starts way before you have the job, or even during the interview stage.

The moment you come across that first job description, know one thing, there is more than meets the eye and you have literally signed up to the hunger games!

What they don’t tell you Is that this city is full of over qualified dreamers and scarily competitive employees. Once they sniff out competition, the hunger games are on and you have to fight a good fight in order to sit at the table.

By working here, you will notice there is alot of smoke and mirrors, and dont think that behind the scenes there is someone cheering you on. If you are good, you have to be brilliant!

Picture a calm office on the surface. Very quiet, people sit silently and focused. Laser beamed on the task ahead.

Your lucky to hear a pin drop. It’s silent and you can almost taste the stress and anxiety. Behind every banging drum beat of people slamming their fingers into keyboard oblivian, is a floor trembling undercurrent of hatred, jealousy and greed. Nobody says a word. There’s no small talk, just focus and straight faces. Every conversation is calculated

An email too far, a “fuck off” under the breathe and mix of oversized egos are a normal part of office life here.

Everyone is gunning for that position, that title and that intoxicating piece of that pie that smells so good on this boiling melting pot of concrete.

I can see why, as everyone wants to be that somebody, the somebody that makes the decisions, gets picked up by their driver and avoids the overcrowded traffic of savage commuters and sits comfortably upon a pedestal of wealth.

I’ve yet to experience the uplifting northern atmosphere of office banter. I’ve actually been truly spoiled in Manchester, because during my past office experience there; the employees are real people, humans. Not relentless working machines with no soul. When your bored, get up and walk over to another desk, for nothing other than a chat. It is normal for the girls to be chinwagging about boyfriends and big brother in Manchester.

But here in London, where the crown is so heavy and the power is so close that it’s almost as if you have it, here, everyone has this imaginary piece of the pie.

Well, until they really don’t.

Yesterday I turned up for work and got fired: A quick story from an Ex Restaurant Hostess

image

There are some moments in life when you just know that you are reaching the end of a specific stage. You have exhausted all avenues, ran in a relentless tirade of circles and reached the stage where you can no longer do the same thing anymore and you move onto something new.

Then there are times where you turn up for work and get fired and your manager tells you:

“Your everyday late, you have been warned and again your everyday late so you show up today on time and you are supposed to show up 10 minutes early, so you can take your uniform off and you can go”

Word for word this is how it was said, with a smug smirk and bad English. I just stood there until the first response that came out of my mouth was:

Will I still get paid?

She confirmed, and after telling her I had no other clothes as I was silly enough to wear my uniform to work, she told me to bring it back another day. She later threatened me and told me I would not get paid If I didn’t bring the dress back, which is highly unethical and unlawful, but I digress.

I share this because I want you to know that you are never safe in this city. One day your in, the next your out and the people here take pride in positions of power no matter how low or high they are, and they will abuse it.

Restaurant turnover is high anyway, and in this specific restaurant there was so much going on behind the scenes that I understood why people left so frequently. Despite these faults the doors continue to sway, and people turn up in the truckloads to be seen and be seated in this place which is purely smoke and mirrors and verging on the slippery slope of going one turn away too far.

Regardless, my time here was short and sweet and I learned so much. But one lesson that I am glad I have finally mastered is to not be late!

London Life: Why reading the paper is Fundamental to Newbies

donald-trump-protests-1419276

13.07.18

Only in London can a Trump visit majorly interrupt your day.

So I am three months into living in this illustrious city and my days are longer and nights are shorter. It is my third month of joining the army of Wimbledon local’s stomping the concrete to the district line (local train) at 7.45am. The moment I got my first, ‘Marning lav’, I realised, I am officially a commuter.

I’ve been squeezed, pushed and shoved out of the way, I’ve been the girl desperately running onto the tube, obstructing the doors from closing behind her with her annoying backpack- whilst locals curse me under their breathe referring to me as a ‘fucking tourist’. I’ve shouted explicit language at the back of buses in central London as they drove past me in spite of me standing there for what felt like hours on end. I’ve been through it all here, but despite my champion ability to just go with the flow, there was one major detail I missed. One important detail in the morning that every resident is never without…………. the fucking newspaper!

Please understand that the daily newspaper is the blueprint to London living.

It is not only used to read, but used as a weapon to hit and an obstruction tool to avoid all eye contact with the person you have just shoved out of the way to either get on the train or sit down. But thats another story.

You see this is not just a newspaper but more of a guide for living. It can be found in every tube station, bus station and empty seat (if you are lucky to find one of those rarities). Picture it as a precursor to what is planned for the day.

The problem emerges the moment you miss the paper, as this is when you miss important information like train delays or strikes! Even dangerous news such as crimes and even terror attacks!

In my case, the one day I missed the paper, I completely missed the news of a major protest and naively walked right into it!

Imagine the shock when I stumbled across hundreds of frustrated residents in the middle of central London marching and banging drums!

My initial thought was …..what in the hell?

Heres the story, I was heading towards Covent garden, and from where I was, google maps, my director and saviour since I have been here, directed me to get the tube from Oxford Circus.

Walking towards the station slowly, I took the longest root. The rationale behind this was that I had a two hour layover between both appointments, so there was no way I could be late.

Strolling slowly, all of a sudden I start to hear what sounded like drums banging in a repetitive rhythm. Not thinking anything of it, I continue to stroll.

It was when I noticed I was no longer strolling alone that things started to become weird. Looking around me, I realised at some point on my stroll towards the station, I picked up a dozen followers.

What was even weirder is we were all walking at the same pace with a purpose in the same direction.

I turned around and I kid you not, there was a whole group of around 20 people following me. Mothers and children, students and randoms. All dressed in what looked like festival dribs and drabs, walking fairly quietly holding placards with words I didn’t even have time to read.

Undetermined by the crowd, I shrugged it off and continued to walk to oxford street, and when I hit the corner I was immediatly bombarded by a sea of placards and banners held proudly in the air by an assemblage of troopers from all walks of life, who walked directly into me sporting their multinational flags.

_102517942_60a2d723-2114-4e73-9aa6-86bdd37471e0

You see, If I would have read the paper that week, I would have been informed that Trump was planning a visit to the UK on Friday; and Londoners wanted to make it very clear that Mr Trump knew he was not welcome.

It was loud, it was aggressive it was colourful and vibrant!

IMG-20180713-WA0002

I watched on the sidelines in complete awe, and did what anyone else would do and well, took pictures.

This was just one of the many reminders I have that in London that anything can happen at any time. So for all the newbies in the city, read the fucking paper!

Journalist. Writer. Producer