Saturday, 8 September 2018

Love is...

Mea culpa.

What do I mean by that? I had a friend, unfortunately no longer, because of my behaviour. 

This friend is a lovely, intelligent, compassionate woman who is also a survivor of some pretty serious abuses as a child. As a survivor myself - not of anything as serious, I should note - I have a lot of empathy for survivors. 

Early in our association, we colluded to make her partner jealous, purely in fun. It involved making a joke about her boobs.

And there, I realise now, it should have ended, but I'm an idiot, often with a somewhat bawdy sense of humour, and I'm known to go too far at times. I continued to make such jokes for some time, and eventually my friend told me that it was causing a problem and that I needed to stop it.

Then, during a live stream, I made the colossal mistake of cracking a joke about how I wasn't allowed to crack a joke. This was unacceptable, and I know it. I've apologised both privately about this and in public. I know that an apology isn't enough, and that I need to think carefully about this going forward and to modify my behaviour somewhat.

Now, I'm being accused of all sorts of heinous behaviour. I don't want in any way to diminish anybody's lived experience, and I think it important that we foster an environment in which victims of abuse of any kind are encouraged to come forward, so I haven't even tried to defend myself against much of it, nor do I intend to. Some of it may or may not have some bearing in reality - it's difficult to tell, since all I have to go on are innuendo and rumour - but I do know that some of them are flat-out lies.

I'm driven by love. My only goal is to increase the amount of love and well-being in the world, and the motivation for all my writings here and elsewhere, whether educational or polemic, is geared toward that end, by offering ways of improving our thinking about things, including how we treat each other.

Love is, to me, the notion that somebody else's well-being is in some way inextricably linked. It's a spectrum, with degrees and layers, and descriptive of connections made, whether intrinsically emotional or intellectual. For me to say that I love somebody means that I take their well-being as being my personal responsibility.

Some might suggest that this is codependence, to which I say, 'Yes, and?' Talking about codependence like it's necessarily a bad thing

It's been mooted that maybe I'm poly. I don't know about that, but I do know that love isn't something one only has for one person to the exclusion of all others. I've loved many people in very many different ways, and in fact I still do.

Recently, I've found, in an old and dear friend, love on a scale I didn't even know existed. This hasn't diminished my love for anybody else in any way, but it has taught me that I'm not living my own life, and I/we have acted upon it. She completes me, emotionally, intellectually, in every way imaginable. Is my love for her the same as the love I've expressed for others? Of course not. Does that mean that the love I express for others, both male and female, is somehow less valid? Of course not.

Now I hear through the grapevine that my deletion of my account is now being taken as indication of my guilt. This is such a colossal failure of thought that I begin to wonder if I have had any impact at all on the thinking of others, not least because the underlying fallacy is one that I've exposed countless times: affirming the consequent. 

So why did I delete my account without defending myself? Two reasons. The first is very simple: The #MeToo movement is bigger than me, and it's something I hold very dear. I absolutely agree that all abuse should be addressed and vilified, and any attempt to defend myself would have made my sincere public apology a notpology of epic proportions, and would undermine one of the things I'm most passionate about, the notion that we should encourage people to come forward. 

The second is equally simple: I have more important considerations to deal with than the uncritical acceptance of rumours and innuendo. I have a life - two lives - that have been thrown further into disarray by these events and the woefully unsceptical way it's been treated, including by people who enjoined me to be more sceptical in a situation not dissimilar to this involving somebody else. 

So no, I won't defend myself. I will say that my motivations have never changed, and they will not change. I will continue to promote love, tolerance and community. That I now do this in a situation in which those allegedly sceptical and evidence-driven have group-thought their way into my pity - because that's all I have left for those who've loaded up that bandwagon and gone for a ride - while the only support and love come from our wonderful Christian friends.

To those who still stand with me, I'm sorry to have gone dark. I need to focus on working out how I and my marama, my saviour, are going to live going forward, and I have no space for the toxic, uncritical shit that's going on now.

To the rest of you, I sincerely hope you have a nice life, but I'm so glad you're out of it. I hope you take some time to think about the colossal failure to think critically here, but I have no further interest in any of you. 

If anybody sincerely wants to retain contact out of friendship, you can email me at tony@hackenslash.co.uk

I will be vetting all contacts, and will not be responding to any vitriol or accusations. I will, however, be happy to hear from anybody for whom my behaviour has been a problem personally, and I will apologise sincerely and profusely. I'm not interested in any contact from Peter or his cronies, even those for whom I still have regard.

Those who would come between us, fuck you, good luck.

Goodbye, tweeps. If anybody wants me, you had your chance.

Please, please, please look after each other, and remember; we're all in this together, even those who'd divide us.

This is not a dress rehearsal, and there is nobody to correct your lines, rewrite your script, or protect you from bad reviews. This is it. This is your only chance. Think, people. Demand evidence, not that people have said something, but that what they say is actually true.

I love you all dearly, despite the fact that you wish to harm me, and I wish you no ill will at all. 

ETA: