Listening to: XTC – Drums and Wireless – BBC Radio Sessions 77-89

It started four or five years ago. I’d been having increasing problems with much of mainstream society, especially some forms of accepted behavior. From trolling on the internet to some really shitty people ruining what were otherwise awesome occasions (dance night, parties, gigs, workplaces etc). Their behavior was often normalized and very difficult to do anything about. But leave.

Alternatives were found. I started going back to my roots and hanging out in the DIY music scene. Ya, this unit was a bit older, but there were a few others of similar vintage about and after a bit of time, enough people warmed up that it became “home”. I eventually ended up joining a collective and it was an interesting experience. Mostly for the good. But undercurrents of mainstream “hate culture” still remained. Mostly subdued but on occasion, completely out in the open. If against some populist negative stereotypes, over the top and overt. Despite signage and policies to the contrary, racism, sexism and ageism still reared their ugly head.

Common social media was eventually dumped. Other options were also found here. The main one being Fosstodon. A respectful, privacy-centric non-profit community of like-minded souls. While not a free speech platform, there is little censorship, relying on the community to make any needed corrections, hopefully before the admins need to get involved. From the ever present “caterday” pics to conversations with paleo-biologists about their work. It’s been awesome.

Which brings us to a direct comparison of the two groups mentioned above. Their “Codes of Conduct”. While the application is different, the two documents were remarkably similar in tone. Alas, enforcement in the former’s case was lacking. “Safe Spaces” turned out only to be safe for the chosen social groups. Negative stereotypes still persisted, coming close or reaching the definition of “hate speech” on occasion. Disappointing.