Words are very. Unnecessary

jjjI talk too much.

Anyone who knows me would quietly agree and nod glumly at this statement.

The most common advice I have received throughout my life, apart from ‘If you try to put it in there I will slap you’ or ‘Maybe honey you shouldn’t have another pint’, is ‘You should try to listen more’.

I am also not so self unaware as to not see it. I recognise it but have come to the conclusion that I cant change it. Its just part of who I am. And in the grand scheme of things with all my good points and bad points totted up I am ok with this. It could be worse, I could be silent. You could have to drag conversation out of me, which on balance is much much worse, I think.

Have you ever seen a Ryan Gosling movie?

I accept he looks fantastic but the mean silent, no fucking words, act is starting to wear a bit thin. At least for me it is anyway.

Start speaking and stop looking so good, it will do your career the world of good Ryan. Look at Matthew McConaughey.

He started looking like shit and won an Oscar.

Anyhow, the silent mean moody type I’m not. I also have an opinion on pretty much everything.

I will talk and talk and talk till your ears bleed about anything and everything.

Sometimes, embarrassingly, the pitch of my voice rises up above what is considered manly in octave terms if I get excited. I do try to minimise the occurrence of this though.

Even if I really haven’t got a clue about the subject matter I will talk about it.

Ekpyrotic Universe? No problem. Dark Matter? Easy. Rules of Cricket? Yup. Black/White holes? Come on, give me something hard!

World peace? Done. And so on.

Start a conversation about what the fuck goes on in a woman’s mind however and I will turn all Ryan Gosling immediately. There are some things in life which one should just accept are beyond them. And this is well beyond me.

I stopped trying many years ago and now just agree and say sorry regardless of the subject. I value sex and food too much to do otherwise.

I got called an anti–Semite the other day.

It was part of a back and forth on the current and ongoing issues in the middle east, specifically Gaza. Its not the issue I want to talk about here, more the political correctness which surrounds such delicate subjects and my apparent falling foul of the rules governing such things.

So I started digging into the subject, I wanted to see if I had, inadvertently, said something which could be considered anti-Semitic.

The answer I came up with was, disappointingly, it just depends.

What I did find out by reading through a lot of postings and press from Israel and elsewhere is that there are some members of the Jewish community who consider any criticism of Israel, at all, as anti-Semitic. If you don’t agree with the Israeli government on any topic and voice your opinion, you are defacto an anti-Semite.

Now, clearly this hardline and simplistic view cannot be one shared by the whole Jewish community around the globe, however the article was published in the Jerusalem Times, a widely read and respected newspaper in the region so it has to be taken seriously.

Of course, going back to my earlier comments, I have an opinion on this, and to risk my self proclaimed anti-anti-Semite status, I disagree.

Put in very simple terms from another viewpoint altogether, if this is true then this would mean the whole electorate of Israel are disenfranchised. If they too were to avoid being tagged as anti Semitic.

The discussion in question was about the situation in Gaza and judging from opinion polls taken in Israel its a moot point. There appears to be a +90% approval from inside Israel.

But what if there is another topic or if the government had decided on a different approach? Lets just say they decided to not launch an all out offensive against a civilian population. Lets say they decided to use other means to crack the nut other than the sledgehammer. What then?

If the approval for the current approach is so high then I would guess that any other approach would get less approval. And if this was the case would Israelis start voicing their concerns and thus immediately become anti Semites?

You know this discussion is too easy. Its such a ridiculous situation as to almost not warrant the discussion at all.

I and anyone else who is critical of Israel is not an anti-Semite full stop. If I was to start criticizing Jewish people that’s an altogether different matter but I’m not. So there.

Iraq is also another topic I have talked a lot about recently and this one is not so black and white. The current situation in Iraq ultimately poses the worst of all decisions for the rest of the world.

Do we intervene (again), solve nothing and just delay the inevitable. Or do we stand back and let them sort themselves out, knowing full well we could be watching a murderous situation unfold?

Its when shit like this starts happening in the world I am very glad I am not a president or prime minister. Because these are impossible questions to answer.

For example what will bring long lasting peace to the middle east?

I don’t know the answer to this but do know if history is anything to go by it will not be achieved without an awful lot of bloodshed.

The west has been trying to solve the problems in Iraq and Afghanistan for years, spending trillions of dollars and losing young men at an alarming rate. To what end?

What exactly have we achieved in Iraq for example, other than removing a monster who kept the lid on everything with Stalin-esq techniques.

There will never be a war in Europe again.

I think I can say this with some confidence. The EU, including the UK, is so interwoven I cannot think of a situation where tanks would be lining up against each other in a muddy field. Russia is a different story but even there I just cant see it happening.

We need to remember though that the price which was paid, not that long ago, for this peace was over 60 million lives. Which is a very very heavy price in anyone’s books.

Would we be willing to go through such horrific pain again knowing that in the end we would have peace?

I’m not so sure and I am starting to think this is the situation in the middle east.

Do we think we can intervene and figure out the issue for them? Our track record on such things would say otherwise.

The problem is, we cannot sit back and just let it happen.

Today, right now, at this moment, there are over 20,000 people sitting on a hilltop surrounded by the Islamic state militants awaiting their fate.

Should we just pull all aid and support from the region, let what happens happen and then in ten years or so just start discussions/negotiations with whatever government or situation has unfolded afterwards?

Borders (which we in the west drew up a long time ago btw) will be redrawn. The Kurds will have their own country most likely and everyone else will settle into a new region created along ethnic and religious boundaries or wherever the fighting reaches a natural stalemate.

I for one hate the thought of this occurring but I also don’t know what the answer is. We cannot continue indefinitely trying to force democracy down the throats of peoples who might actually not want it in the first place and we cannot continue intervening and achieving nothing in what is essentially other peoples affairs.

The approach of burying your head in the sand is not one I subscribe to either though.

The neutral standpoint of the country I live in is not one I agree with, at all.

I believe we should defend human rights and try to step in and stop atrocities whenever we see them happening but after the last 15 years I am seriously starting to question this approach. At least for certain parts of the world.

It’s a conundrum which perhaps I don’t have the brain power to figure out. Maybe there is a route of least resistance through all of this which I am just not aware of. I just cant see it.

Maybe I have found something which I am incapable of unraveling.

Maybe this is a subject which will teach me that its not possible to have an opinion on everything.

Maybe I should just stop talking and stop pissing off people by making anti-Semitic statements.

Maybe I should just bury my head in the sand for a while, let the world get on with it, stop reading the news and just chill out.

And maybe, maybe I should just try to listen a bit more.

At the very least I might get fed and you never know I might even get some sex….

Free Sex. Free Money. Free Beer.

money-girlYou want free sex?
You want free beer?
You want free money?

Having recently discovered the statistics function on my BlogSpot page this post is a test. It’s a test posting to prove or disprove my hypothesis that most people end up here by accident.

I know most of the people who read this regularly. I know the people who link up with me on the various social & professional networks end up here by being nosy but I think the bulk of traffic is accidental, random. This is not a pure guess, looking at the statistics function I can for example see which country you come from. I can see what operating system you use. I can see how you got here, I can see the search term you used to find this page and I can also see which posting you have read.

After spending an extraordinary amount of time analysing these data I can conclude that there is a significant statistical correlation, for the sake of simplicity I will randomly call this r, between the title of the post and the number of views it gets. Recently the bulk of traffic passing over this page comes from Google and the most popular search term which people find it through is Penoplasty.

Now I cannot think of a scenario whereby someone would type the words Mike Shanks and Penoplasty at the same time into Google and thus have to conclude its purely accidental.

Does this also mean the bulk of people reading my blog have small penises and probably can’t type?

Regardless, to prove or disprove my theory I will upload this post and monitor the traffic. I am not sure what I will do with this information once I have it but I for one think it’s a very worthy exercise.

Its Saturday 8th September 2012, close to midnight and the current count on the blog is 2,474

Lets see.