No Fear of Death

In my last post I was asked in a comment why I don’t fear death, what brought me to that attitude towards it.

I would guess that due to the amount of death, ‘near death’, and ‘about to die’ that I have seen due to my work it has driven me to think about it a bit more than a ‘normal’ person would.

The two things that influence my thoughts about death would be my atheism, and my grasp, tenuous as it may be at some times, of logic.

Firstly, my atheism, means that I have no fear of a Heaven, or Hell, no Limbo (and sadly no Valhalla). So I don’t think that there is anything after death. You die, and you stop. Stop thinking, stop feeling, stop worrying about work, or family, or why the cat keeps scratching your sofa.

And if I stop thinking, then there is no consciousness, and therefore no experiencing of anything, including time.

So when I am dead, that’s it – I won’t feel anything because I won’t exist anymore. When I sleep I have no experience of time, no feelings of pain, no nothing. I don’t worry about if I am going to wake up because my conscious mind ceases to exist for the time I’m asleep.

(I know that with the different phases of sleep and with dreams the analogy breaks down somewhat, but I think the general point is made).

So, logically, why should I be scared of death? Even if I die in a horrible and painful fashion, I’ll not remember any of it, because I will no longer exist. So ultimately it won’t matter how I die, because even with a long drawn out death it will end eventually.

And I don’t plan on having a long, drawn out death. If I become terminally ill then I shall scream for the really good medications, and when I’m fed up of that – well, there are ways out of the situation.

As I have no sense of self before I was concieved, I will have no sense of self once I have ceased to exist. All of which, in my mind, is comforting, that no matter how bad things get, in the end all worries, all pain, will cease.

Of course, if I’m wrong? Well won’t I look foolish as Anubis weighs my heart against a feather.

But that’s a bridge I’ll worry about when I reach it.

Nightmares Don’t Work On Me

I’m not massively scared of anything. In part because I’ve seen a lot of bad stuff, in part because once you are not scared of dying a lot of fear goes away.

So when my brain wants to try and scare me with a nightmare it has to get a bit ‘creative’.

So it tries to frustrate me – Last night I dreamt that there was an older Star Wars ‘sequel’, it made no plot sense, the lightsabers were plastic toys doused in lighter fuel, and David Cameron had a guest role.
Bad enough, but my dream went further, the creators of the film had managed to hijack IMDB, so when I looked up the film (in order to avoid any other films the director had made) it loaded malware onto my computer.
And then every time I tried to delete it, it would reinstall.

Nightmare.

New Year Resolution

Normally I don’t care for New Year resolutions, in my view one day is much like another. This is something that is also reinforced by shift work – I barely had any idea what day it was, let alone the date. Heck sometimes I didn’t know my own name.
So, one day is very much the same as another one, so why wait for a special date to make a change in your life.
However, this year feels different, in part I think it’s because I’m not in work (I am technically,but it’s… ‘complicated’), so it seems to make sense to mark a certain date, especially with things that have been whirling around my head for quite some time.

Also, if I write them down I’m sort of honour bound to follow them. I may well explain some of them in more detail at a later date.

1) Blog more – As in blog at all. I used to love blogging, then I sort of fell out of the habit of it. Partly because of the reason for resolution 2. Planning on writing something a few times a week, luckily hardly anyone will see it as my days of being a world famous sexy internet ambulance god are far behind me.

2) Play less MMOs – These are a terrible timesink and at my age I’m starting to foresee myself on my deathbed cursing the hours spent playing yet another endless treadmill.

3) Sort out my diet – I successfully stopped being a fully tubby bastard and am now only half a tubby bastard, which wasn’t that hard, but now I have an addition reason to sort out the rubbish that I eat.

4) Get TRUTH BASTARDS done and out into the world – This is a project I’ve been noodling around for a number of years, but never sat down and cracked on with it. Hopefully following Resolution 2 will mean I actually get something into a presentable state.

5) Stop tiptoeing around fuck nuggets – No longer am I going to let complete idiots annoy me/hold me back/make me angry – instead I’m going to either ‘sort them out’ (as we say in my part of the world), or just ignore them completely.

I think will do – I don’t want to be too energetic or enthusiastic. I am English after all.

What a Difference A Day Makes

What a Difference a day makes.

On the anniversary of the 7/7 bombings,

In the Commons, MPs paid tribute to the actions of NHS workers and members of the emergency services in the wake of the bombings.
Speaking during health questions in the chamber, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham described the actions of NHS staff on the day as “heroic”.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt praised the “extraordinary bravery” of the emergency services.

And then one day later

Public sector workers, including civil servants, teachers, nurses, police officers and members of the armed forces, face another four-year pay freeze as a result of today’s budget.

Thoughts on 10 years later

There is a reason why I tend to keep off the internet when the 7/7 bombings anniversary rolls around, it’s not because of any traumatic memories (I did nothing more than turn up to cover my colleagues who dealt with it all, while I had one ‘Maternataxi’ job).

My thoughts on the days around it can be found here

What makes me angry is that on the anniversary there is a big hoo-ha about how ‘London stood as one’, with no hate but just a determination to keep on living and muddling along as we did before the bombing.

And it’s true – we did.

But then the media realised that they would sell more papers, get more eyeballs, and have a bigger influence by villifying muslims. By causing hatred and fear. And now we end up with groups like the EDL and ‘Britain First’. Two organisations that came into being based on the lies that the media has spun.

So something that should have unified us has, instead, just divided us. And it seems it’s going to continue that way – all for the benefit of media mogals and shareholders.

SEO Scumminess

I checked my email – something I now only do two or three times a week and found this email.

Hello,
Thank you very much for getting everything wrapped up so quickly but unfortunately I cannot say the same for myself.
We are having some annoying payment issues and it has caused a pretty hefty back log, as it’s a bot running payments there is a queue, Once you are first in the queue you will be paid but until then I cannot really do much.
If you need to pull the article then fair enough but can you please keep hold of it to repost as the payment will certainly come at some point.
Regards

omnibuzzmedia

I think as a species we are becoming more and more adept at filtering spam, and I found it strange that this would be sent to me.

Then an hour later I got this.

Hello,

I am very sorry for my previous email, I have just realised I sent the complete wrong message, the intended message is below. (if you have received this message more than once please excuse me, my email system is bugging out)

Thank you for taking the time to read my email, I am contacting you today to enquire about the possibility of collaborating on a post for your website.

Just a few quick notes to point out we are working with a client and the article would need to have a link to their site in do-follow format which we can pay you for hosting.

If you would be open to something like this or would just like some more information please let me know and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

I look forward to your response.

Kind Regards

omnibuzzmedia

So basically it seems that they pushed the ‘Give Excuse As To Why We Aren’t Paying You’ button, before hitting the ‘Try To Get Someone To Shill For Us’ button.

So draw your own conclusions.

Lord Warner – A Challenge

Lord Warner has released a report stating that we should pay £10 ‘tax’ to use the NHS and that the NHS is ‘not cost effective’ despite all the evidence to the contrary. Both of these statements are frankly bollocks. However we have grown used to these lies and, as the media keeps pushing them, eventually they will be believed.

I looked up Lord Warner, he is the executive director along with a Suzanne Warner of ‘Sage Advice Ltd.’ A company that has no contact details, no website and no telephone number. At least none that I can find. This doesn’t mean that this ‘company’ is in any way dishonest, but as a simpleton in the ways of business I can’t see the reasoning behind it.

Of course, this, and Lord Warner’s previous job advising Apax Partners (a company that invests in private healthcare) might mean that he has some sort of vested interest in bringing about further privatisation of the NHS.

Sadly the newspapers only printed Lord Warner’s side of the story (i.e. Bullshit) and have not in any way highlighted these vested interests.

So, as I lay in bed trying to sleep but with sparking neurons of flaming anger keeping me awake I came up with an idea. It’s not a cunning idea, and Lord Warner would never agree to it, but it might be nice to dream.

You get a small, agile, hell – even amateur, filmmaker to stage an hour-long debate between Lord Warner and a defender of the NHS. They each have plenty time to prepare and can bring actual, real, evidence to defend their position – and this evidence is added to the debate, maybe even using whizzy computer graphics. Maybe there could be a referee who calls for the evidence to be brought out when one side or the other makes a statement and challenges the participants.

This film then goes up online where anyone can see it and we try to get newspapers (who really should be the people doing this sort of thing) to publicise it.

Every soundbite has to have evidence to back it up, there is no ‘playing to the crowd’, there is only truth.

Not that this sort of thing would ever be allowed – because Warner, (sorry, forgot the ‘Lord’ and tug of the forelock) already has all the power and this sort of truth finding would only have the risk of him seceding power to someone opposed to him. While the defender of the NHS has nothing to lose (except, y’know, the NHS) Lord Warner would have everything to lose by taking part in such a radical idea as a search for the actual real truth.

So, silly idea, but at least it gets this idea out of my head and onto the screen so that I can hopefully get some sleep.

That Forcefeeding Video

I’m going to state right now that for most cases I am completely against force-feeding. There are issues of capacity and sacrifice and so on that would take a post of its own to describe, and that is not what I’m writing about here.
 
It’s the Yasiin Bey video showing him undergoing the procedure for the force-feeding of a prisoner at Guantanamo bay. It was created to highlight the evil of force-feeding.  

Here it is.

 
I have serious issues with this video.

 
Here is another video showing the exact same procedure.

(Here is a video on how to insert one into an eight month old child)

The procedure shown is the insertion of a nasogastric (NG) tube. I have placed more NG tubes than I can remember and I have never seen a reaction as strong as that shown in the first video. It certainly isn’t very pleasant to have a NG tube inserted as it tickles the back of the throat that makes you want to gag (or swallow), but it is not this apparent torture that is being shown.

 
An NG tube is inserted in hospitals for a number of reasons, sometimes for surgery, sometimes because a patient cannot swallow.

 
In the first video Yasiin Bey isn’t given water to drink during the procedure, but in many of my patient’s I also couldn’t give them anything to drink to ease the passing of the tube as these patients would have no gag reflex and so giving them water could result in them inhaling rather than swallowing the water. Inhaling water can have side effects that include death.

 
Yasiin Bey is also shown to be resisting, while the person in the second video is complying with instructions. Many of the patients that I passed an NG tube into had some form of confusion, either due to a stroke, due to dementia or due to a multitude of other causes . In some cases I would be passing a tube into the stomach of someone against their will because they had tried to commit suicide and were under a Mental Health Section.

 
Even in these cases I never saw a reaction as strong as that of Yasiin Bey.

 
Note also in the video that at one point Yasiin Bey’s hands and head are restrained, but later on they they are free – all to show how the medical staff have to use physical force to hold him down which makes it look even more brutal.

Once an NG tube is in place you can leave it in. So it is not something that necessarily needs to be done twice a day although in this case they may remove the tube in order to stop the prisoner from hanging themselves with it, or for some other operational issue.

 
This video is bad for two reasons. First – it makes a medical procedure which is carried out in hospitals up and down the country in the order of probably hundreds of times a day look like torture. As I note, it’s not pleasant, but it certainly isn’t torture.

 
The second reason is that this video is, in my mind, a lie. The discomfort is exaggerated, the physical restraint is unnecessary, and it is filmed to be as ‘shocking’ as possible.

 
Similar to what Islamaphobes do this is ‘othering’ the enemy. The people inserting the tube aren’t human, they don’t have faces – they are just shown as unremitting medical automatons. How is this different to how Islamaphobes only show the fully veiled woman or the bearded terrorist?

This video is the equivalent of an anti-vaccine campaigner, thrashing, fainting and drooling after a ‘flu jab. And we would challenge that video as being untruthful. We need to do the same here.

We need to be better than this – the Islamaphobes and warmongers can and do lie, they hide things, they distort and deny. Those of us on the side of peace need to avoid stooping to this level. We need to be better than this, because every time our opposing number can catch us in a lie our support will drop, we’ll be targeted by the media (just look at how the news is now about Snowden himself and not about how the NSA and others spying on us), and what is worse is we’ll lose the support of those who are most likely to be swayed by truth.

 
Truth sets us free, propaganda keeps us in chains – and in my opinion this is propaganda.

Damn Brain And Insomnia

I needed to write this down as it was rattling around my head stopping me from sleeping. Please excuse the formatting.

V/O ‘Thiamine and vitamin B. I’m sure that there are people out there who take only these two medications and who aren’t alcoholics. But I’m yet to meet one.’

Panel – Overhead shot of a dishevelled man sprawled out in a very untidy room

V/O ‘The interesting thing about alcoholics is they don’t normally drink themselves into unconsciousness, which is why I’m concerned that the man laying on the floor in front of me, whose only medications are thiamine and vitamin B, isn’t moving.’

V/O ‘The medication isn’t my only clue he’s an alcoholic.’

Panel call outs – An empty bottle of Tennants Super. Nicotine stained fingers. Fag burns on the carpet. The shirt buttoned up lop-sided. Dried urine stains on the trousers.

V/O ‘And then I see the thing that is going to make this a very long night indeed’.

Panel call out – Two sealed up fang marks to the neck.

What Random Acts of Reality turned into