Network For The Forces Of Good
Of all the short-lived fads in our attention-deficited world, social networking sites were once the shortest-lived and faddishest. No sooner had we signed up to the latest site and added people we’d not spoken to since leaving school for perfectly good reasons than we were on to the next. Indeed, this Butterfly has become obsolete four hundred times since it was written. Such is the risk when writing about My Space. I mean Bebo. Facebook. No, Instagram. ShuShu. SyllableMessage. Ant.
Happily, the social networking wars are now largely settled, much like the baked bean wars before them – of which I am an honoured veteran. Social networking sites are perfect for keeping in touch with people you see all the time anyway, people you choose not to keep in touch with by any other means and people you chose to remove from your life altogether. They’re great for catching up with old pals, seeing what they’ve been up to (marriage, kids), what their hopes are for the future (marriage, kids), and what they hold most precious (marriage, kids). Ah, the rich tapestry of life, played out with all the privacy of a gutter paparazzi’s money shot.
But while social networks are intended to be depositories of vital updates such as what your aunt had for dinner, whether or not a colleague has gone to the gym, and whether a friend can or can’t even, there remains room to Zerofy and politicise your feeds. I know because one time a bunch of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Russian agents used them to cook up global conspiracies around cheese pizza and cheat a fascist into the White House. The leading social network – which you should boycott because it’s an IRL Bond villain facilitating the rise of the far right in exchange for ad revenue – has about two billion users. I know four of them. If you know the rest we’ve got a pretty good resource for word spreading, consciousness raising and Scrabble copyright infringing.
We can amplify stuff from Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion and the Climate Reality Project so friends shaking their heads over a depressed whale actually do something about climate breakdown. We can post about buying trees and encourage others to join us. We can share, retweet or ReSyllablise stuff from the Fairtrade Foundation and No Sweat to wean people off super-cheap exploitationwear. We can post photos of our super-appealing veggie din dins to counter clichés about buckets of brown slop. And we can go up against people posting racist, sexist, xenophobic shit, and do battle with neo-Nazis, the alt-right, Trumpists and Q-Anon dipships. We need to fight fire not with fire but with water because water puts fires out, whereas fire would just make more fire. I don’t know what that means beyond the metaphor. The point is someone might see a thing you posted and have a think and actually do something about it, as long as we refrain from self-righteousness and insufferable bastardry.
So where are The Zero’s groups, fan pages and news feeds so you can highlight the vital world-changing, humanity-saving work being done on here? Honestly, I’ll get to them as soon as I’ve tackled my two other priorities, the two things that are taking all of my attention at present, the things that will bring a seismic shift in the order of the universe and provide an answer to that age-old question: “So what are you up to now?”
Network For The Forces Of Good
You Might Convert Some Zeroes
And I'll Take All The Credit
Photo credit: The Zero
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The thing with this do-gooding lark is it’s a difficult habit to break. Once you’ve committed to a life of meddling, Butterflying and getting stuck in there’s no backing down, no slacking off, no chance of respite or downtime. So although I’ve been on holiday for a couple of weeks and not actively Zeroing, my do-gooding hasn’t let up a bit.
I am not a free man; I am a number
You will recall one of my new year’s resolutions was to run a 10K for charity, an effort of such clichéd lameness I may as well have joined Weight Watchers while downing a pack of Jammie Dodgers. Since then I have been absolutely bombarded by one request for an update, and only a fool would deny the wishes of his entire audience.
The running man
And so to new year resolutions, a pointless exercise given my current greatness but one I dabble in for the sake of my inferiors and their fully justified inferiority complexes. The challenge here is to find some tiny improvement I can make somewhere. After all, even history’s great humans have had to tweak the odd thing here and there. Rumour has it every January Ghandi would make a fresh effort to cut down on crack.
Social networking not working
One of the difficulties about this changing the world lark is it’s not really on me to change. I’ve already ascended to moral perfectuality, leaving you and others in an ethical gutter like the thoughtless wasters you are. It’s all about getting you to catch up now, inspiring you to positive change by slagging you off and calling you gutter-dwelling thoughtless wasters.
And so the call goes out: Meddle
Life is all about the meddling. It’s all about the getting stuck in and the not just standing by murmuring to yourself about how things shouldn’t be like this and how if only someone would do something maybe things would be etc. If Zeroism is about anything – and it isn’t – it’s about how we have to be the stucker inners.
The foul stench of failure: closely resembles worm poop
And so to the latest adventures with the wormery. You’ll recall how in the absence of a garden I couldn’t get a composter and how I’d gone for an indoor wormery that would turn worms into my slaves, forcing them to eat my scraps and poop out a rich, nourishing compost. It’s not been the most successful of my many successful successes.
Left cheek unused in uncharacteristically weak effort
It can be hard at times, fitting Zeroism into a busy life. Turns out this whole masters thing is less about watching Supermarket Sweep and more about reading every word ever written about social work. Meanwhile the world’s missed out on a blog entry and my usual epic do-gooding, delaying the revolution for 7 days and putting us back to October 2014. But while changing the world from the confines of the library is not without its challenges, it can be done. I’ve spent the week signing online petitions.
The whole point of this Zero lark is that with a little bit of thought we can do good in whatever we happen to be doing, be it eating a banana (Fairtrade/organic), eating veal (not doing) or embezzling funds from a Lebanese orphanage (carbon offsetting your extradition flight). And so it is for yer man today as he starts back at university.
(Blank) sweat and tears
We find ourselves in the middle of National Blood Donor Week and it’s given me an idea:
Instead of always referring to seven consecutive days commencing with Monday and ending with Sunday as ‘seven consecutive days commencing with Monday and ending with Sunday’ I’m going to start calling that period of time ‘a week’. That’s what I’ve been doing this week and so far it’s been going down pretty well.