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Referendum.

**Disclaimer: I'm very tired, but I wanted to make this mess of a post, so please excuse me if I occasionally ramble off on a tangent or accidentally a word.**

So, it's no surprise I'm voting Remain tomorrow, if you've been paying attention to what I've reposted on my feed. While I have tried to keep what I promote to articles or sources that are informative and well resourced, they've all had one particular bias. (It's worth noting that I honestly don't think I'd have been able to find Leave posts with the same level of fact checking and information, because they have not run that sort of campaign).

The vast, vast majority of my feed is also voting Remain. So honestly, this post has little point if I were aiming to swap you to my side; if you're reading it, chances are, you're already there. Which is good, I suppose, because that's not really what I want to talk about.

What I want to talk about is the fact there should never have been a referendum in the first place. I do not have, and do not have the time to gain, the knowledge and experience required to make a truly informed decision here. Neither do the vast majority of the British public. We elect officials to act in our best interests. Experts provide data and break downs of that data for them to use to decide. It is the officials' full time JOB to turn that data into actions that will benefit the British people. What we're all going to be doing tomorrow is mostly closing our eyes and pinning the tail on the donkey; going by gut based on who has told us what. I am hoping and praying that the majority of voters go with the evidence supplied by the experts rather than the propaganda peddled by those who need your vote to keep their (often ridiculously high) income, but I suspect it will be closer than I'd like.

So why are we here? There are a few possibilities, but I have a theory why, and if it's true, it's the reason why there is a referendum is also the reason it's going to be so close tomorrow.

And, in my theory, the reason is the media. Newspapers in particular, to be honest.

Papers aren't doing so well (or shouldn't be) in modern days. Their format, whereby they provide an infodump of the news from the last 24 hours at the beginning of the day, and that's it, doesn't mesh well with our lifestyles - those of us who live on the net (I can't claim 'youngsters' here, I'm 31 FFS) are far more used to, and get far more use out of, constant microstreams of information that come in throughout the day delivering up to date news. Some have a decent online presence, but it's nothing compared to the % of the market they used to command, given the big names in online news are BBC, Huffington Post and, of all things, Buzzfeed. My observation has been that rather than adapt their format to this new way of obtaining and processing information, they have instead adapted their content to induce more people to buy. Namely, the sheer amount of alarmism and fear-mongering they promote and peddle.

Additional disclaimer: I might be entirely wrong. Nostalgia is a tricky beast, as the Leave campaign well knows, but as best I can recall in my youth, headlines and articles contained nowhere near the levels of overt racism, xenophobia, and what I term 'proud and righteous ignorance' they do now.

And the effects are far reaching. One of Grove's frequently used lines is 'People are fed up of being told what to do by experts!' What? Used to be people strove to BECOME experts. Now they boast about ignoring them as if it's a mark of pride. Similarly, train-wreck journalism has meant that the far-right has been lent an air of unearned legitimacy, because politics is a lot harder to sell, because it looks a lot more BORING, when you strip it of sensationalism. The headline 'Vote on issue X defeated by respectable majority' is a lot less likely to sell than 'Far-Right Politician says He Will *insert discriminatory action* Against *Minority*!'

And it's had a palpable effect. We've gotten used to seeing these extremist idiots on our front pages, and mentioned in the same breath as the prime minister, as if they're of equal importance. We've sort of made room for them on the political scene, as if they're a frequently invited guest that we need to appease and make allowances for, rather than what they ought to be - fringe extremists who should be a foot note at best. Until eventually, we end up pandering to them, at least in part, to win 'that section' of the vote.

And thus we have this referendum. Because a right-wing idiot screamed loud enough that he wanted it, and the media, rather than treating it with the proportionality it deserved, handed him a loud speaker.

Sidenote: I've heard tell that some companies are gearing up to sue the Leave campaign for false claims. It is my fondest wish that everyone who has made a patent and willful falsehood in this race gets dragged through the legal mud. Maybe it would lead to less ridiculous campaigns in future.

Anyway, obviously, it's severely impacted British politics, and the voting patterns of the British public. Because we've got the nation going to the polls tomorrow to vote on something we should never have been asked to vote on, and apparently half of them are proudly proclaiming they're not going to be listening to those damned 'experts'. I keep having flashbacks to listening to American Republicans talk about things like gun control and global warming. We have lost the right to mock them about Trump, we really have.

So, what can we do? Not a lot, to be honest. The press commission can police what is printed but not what *isn't* printed; they can't do a square thing about what proportion of a newspaper is devoted to which candidate, whose agenda and campaign promises they print and laud and whose they ignore entirely.

But what *I* can do, and I intend to, is never buy from them again. Most of my generation already don't bother, but it can be one more straw on the damned camel. And maybe, just maybe, those papers can die at the same time the man who owns most of them does, and it will get better...not for our generation. But for the next one.

Weekend

I'm up and down at the moment. My mood is odd, in a way that indicates I'm approaching socialization burn out, which is good in some ways, because after months of struggling with it, it's fantastically nice not to have the lonely feeling dogging you at all times, even after a couple of weeks where Doug has been out of the country a lot.

But in others, I'm so, so glad I'm taking tomorrow as me time. The flat is a tip, which always stresses me out, so getting that straight will be nice. I'd like to do some writing. I'd like to coo over my plants. I'd like to go on a bit of an adventure around town and see what new fun things I can unearth to drag Doug and/or Phil to when the opportunity arises. I will step foot in the car not once if I can bloody swing it.

Trying to follow doctors orders and avoid stress is being met with limited success. Blah. Talking about that here will only cause drama. As will realisations I've come to about the attitude of 'if I've done something wrong, tell me about it', which is causing me to rethink some things. Those are for the other blog I have where nothing and no one, Doug excluded, from irl has any links to it, but I've been posting here now for 12 years, almost, so it seems wrong not to at least mark it.

3 hours to go until I can escape and go hurt myself at the gym some more. Ho hum.

Oh yay, bad brain space.

So much for doctor's orders of staying away from stress.

Whooboy.

Nothing creepier than realising that one of the 50+year old men who has messaged you more than once on OKCupid, with a missive that, while not outright rude or NSFW, pinged up at least a couple of red flags, especially given the repeated messages even when you don't reply...

...works in your office.

Thankfully, the reason I didn't catch on at first (aside from my fucking memory) was that I've never actually had to interact with him in a professional capacity, so his face - and I've never had a good memory for faces - sort of disappeared into the crowd.

It was only today when I caught sight of him in profile that I had a sudden thought of 'hey, he looks familia-oh no." Double checked, and yes, it's him.

*sigh* Life, would it be so hard to ask for a date that, y'know, I could actually get excited or hopeful about? I mean, really?

*mutter, grumble, not worth the damned hassle.*

PSA: Good news everyone!


I've managed to make you read the title in Professor Farnsworth's voice!

Ahem. But genuinely, I have a positive-feeling thing. It is not a thing I have talked about in public before, so bear with me. But the good thing is! My memory loss is not permanent!

...actually, it is, but it's not immovable! This is a good thing! Huzzah!

Ok, so, let me catch everyone up.
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Can't be arsed to do screenshots, especially as this is being written while LJ is down to be posted later. But I need to vent.

Under a cut for people who are bored with my whining:
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Dear woman at work who sits behind me,

Thanks but I don't need to hear you rehashing the details of the German wings flight, now with bonus discussion of how terrified the passengers must have felt and dramatic enactment of the 'pilot banging on the door' bit again. For the 5th time. I already get antsy about how much Doug flies, and how much of it is done on budget airlines with less than sterling safety records. This isn't helping.

No love.

Dancing

Oh dear. Think I may be hooked on Salsa. Whoops.

It's not a form of exercise, not really. I was never breathing hard, by heart rate never really rose. But it's interesting.

I thought it wouldn't be at first. I got there when the doors opened, ended up being third in and then sat in a corner people watching and wondering WTF I was doing.

People there fell into three groups.

The middle age to late middle age couples strode in, threw their arms around each other, kissed cheeks and then asked how the curtain rail hanging had gone, stood in an odd hodge podge with just enough personal space between each adult that you got the impression they were used to children running between them and making room for them was now automatic.

The women trickled in to huddle in corners in colourful groups, talking noisily. There was apparently a uniform that they lied about on the website - tight jeans, sparkly top, high heels that are as glittery as you can make them. Me in my dark blue work dress with flat gold ballet pumps (in line with the recommendation we wear flat shoes) felt out of place.

The men rolled in in defensive packs. There were a surprisingly large amount of them. From the backslaps and punching each other on the arm, apparently this is considered a manly thing.

I confess, I was surprised.

Then the beginners were shuffled into a different room, and we went through the basics.

I did salsa for about 3 months, once upon a time in college. It was all girls, so, naturally, I danced the boy section and never really cared. This was different. The bit that makes it interesting is the communication. All that arm waving between the couple is actually them talking. If you were going through an entirely preprepared routine, their arms would remain entirely still.

There is a way you hold your arms, your wrists your hands. You should never close your hand, your thumb should never come into contact with your partner or your own fingers - your hand should hook, not grasp. And then depending on how your partner moves your hands, that indicates the move you're about to go into. And you don't tell them 2 or 3 move ahead so they have warning, oh no. You do it as you're starting the move. Like, literally, the second you go into it.

If you're not on the ball, toes get crushed, walls get run into, it's all a horrible mess. A lot harder mentallty than anticipated.

A slight pressure back is a step back. If it's followed by a pull, that means forward and back. A semi circle with your right hand means open step. A movement out to the side is rumba. Side motion with side step means half turn wrap. Let go of one hand means a switch positions step change. I'm sure there are huge numbers more, but this was a beginner's class, even if some people have been there months.

Incidentally, yes, I am already wondering if this has combat or practical LARP applications. More thought required.

Only, naturally, because I'm me, I couldn't help but work out how to hack it. I despise Vivienne in DA:I as a character, but she has an attitude or two I can get behind. 'A leash can be pulled from either end' is one of them.

Turns out, you can lead from either side, even if they don't realise you are.

Tangle your fingers in theirs at the top of the twist means it's not possible for the man to wrap you twice in a row, instead falling into a simple forward-back to recover their grip. A slight forward motion as you change steps, as if you've stumbled but hit it spectacularly well, and they'll likely drop back to a back step to get distance. Step confidently out to the side in a rumba and they'll panic, think they've accidentally indicated to you that's what was about to happen, and end up following your lead.

Sorry guys - contrary to what the instructor has told you, there are women who know exactly where and what they want to do on the dance floor, and they will use you to get there. I am one of them, turns out.

Picked most up from an older gent - judging from the lime green paisley neckerchief, I'm presuming his male partner was present somewhere, but he seemed to know everything, despite occupying a spot in the beginner's room, rather than moving on up. You get at least one whereever you go - someone who'd prefer to be the big fish in a small pond than push themselves. He was interesting and taught me things though, so frankly no judging - whatever makes him happy.

Will go again, I think. Will wear the uniform next time. And see exactly how much more of this I can pick up.
Getting really fed up with talking to guys, only for them to reveal later in the conversation that they have a partner and their relationship, as far as the partner knows, is monogamous. Augh.

Let's have at them.

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*sigh* Not exactly uplifting stuff.

More online dating ridiculousness.

Because it's late and I'm bored, have a few more.

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