Mark Zuckerberg or a little octopus… give me the octopus


Dear friends, therapists and little octopus, 

Today I need you as my therapists, so forgive me for that.  My head is fried with agitation, but once I’ve poured it out, I will be grand again.  Once the agitation flows down my ‘pen’ and out of my brain, at that stage it may be less intense, but I will have exorcised it.

Delete now if you do not need my brain dump.

Firstly, I need to download from my brain a programme that I listened to a week ago.  It was a documentary on RTE1 about child porn.  I was sitting in my kitchen doing something crafty and brain numbingly lovely as the words from the radio began to burn a hole in my head, but I could not turn it off.

The detailed stories of how child porn, or ‘Kiddie Porn’ as it is so inappropriately titled, takes place and the watchdogs that chase the perpetrators, overwhelmed me.  Millions are addicted and click daily.  Millions get drawn in deeper and deeper.  

The Internet has unleashed twisted and dark forces into our world.  ‘Ordinary’ porn is one thing, but child porn is a whole other level.  Child porn, kiddie porn, child abuse, child rape, children stolen and picked up off the streets, homeless, used to make films for very, very sick individuals who have no place in society, people who are born to damage children.

Most of us have all seen adult porn.  It is used to turn people on, used by singles to get their jollies, used by teens to ‘teach’ them the tricks they don’t know yet and to give them a skewed version of reality, sadly.  But that is all for the grownups, adults using their bodies for money, drugs, or designer bags.  Adults buying it is in some way acceptable, although it should never be three simple clicks away from anyone under 18.  That is our fault, as we allow it.

I am neither condoning it nor endorsing it.  It is a massive, massive money-making industry and has been around as long as mankind could draw a picture on a cave wall with a mammoth’s chalky toenail.

We see Louis Theroux interviewing prostitutes who do porn and make movies, who all look willing and show off their fancy apartments and flashy cars as they laugh it off.  We think of Pretty Woman with two gorgeous people shagging while they chat and fall in love.  Most of us rarely see manky, stinking bodies demanding blow jobs, beatings, rape, etc.

Not all porn is made with willing participants, much of it is severely violent to the point of death. Young girls and boys are stolen, drugged and used to satisfy the buyers.  Snuff movies are unimaginable to me, yet shared far and wide, with our wonderful Internet giving them wings to get to the furthest corners of our globe, into every schoolbag.

But when it comes to child porn, I cannot cope at all.  18-month-old children being used, according to this documentary on RTE.  5-year olds raped by animals and I do not mean nasty men and women, I mean actual animals, all spreading further and faster around our globe.  Millions are addicted, millions more join daily, the spread is faster than climate change.  18 months old…think about that for a minute.  In some cases, even their parents are involved, all, according to the documentary on RTE, available in three clicks for everyone to enjoy.

Any person who watches child porn or has any hand, act, or part in it is a paedophile in my book.  If you get pleasure from watching it, what else could you call yourself?  We must talk to our children about this, we must educate them from an early age.  We cannot ever let them become customers in this shop.

I believe real paedophiles are born with this desire.  I genuinely believe there is no place for them in our society, as they cannot control their desires.  Our children are not safe on a street, in a town or in a city where they live.  Sad for them, but a stark reality.  There appears to be no changing them, it is the who that they are.  I spent many years visiting Arbour Hill prison, as I was working on a project there.  They are mostly sex offenders and a more chilling place you will never be.

I remember during the case of Tim Allen (of Ballymaloe’s cookery school ) who was caught with thousands of images of child porn on his computer, saying to my mother that they should lock him up and throw away the key.  Mam replied, “But sure he is only looking at it”, innocently and with no real idea of what this disgusting industry does and the savage damage that it causes to vulnerable children.  Who looks at children being raped?  What kind of people do this?  Every time you click on it you are encouraging more people to make more films.  The more you download, the more children they need to find to supply the market and the more children who are raped and tortured and sometimes murdered on film.  Raped and murdered for the viewers pleasure, these innocent little children.

We must educate our children and grandchildren about the horrors of this industry which lurks on their phones and in their bedrooms, just three clicks away.  Millions are addicted.

The internet has given it new life, new oxygen.  Phones, iPads, computers, have all allowed it to fall into the hands of innocent children, teens and adults who think it is acceptable.  Get your jollies from giant boobed women pretending to like the man ramming into her but leave the children out of it.  If you see it anywhere, report it, it could be your child or grandchild stolen on the beach or from the playground one day.  Child porn must be one of the worst things on this planet of ours.

Two days later I sat down to watch the much talked about Netflix programme, Social Dilemma.  Brilliant minds explained how we are being deluded, used and abused daily by all social media platforms.  I could hardly take it in.

‘If you are not buying the product, you are the product”.  Ex-staffers from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram explained how every thought we have is mapped and they then have the power to make us rethink.  Their carrot is to keep us addicted with happy cows, puppies, beautiful food, lovely houses, fake filters, fake lives, a fake reality.  They know how we think with every ‘like’, so they feed us what they know will keep us glued to our screens and it works.  We are addicted.  We ask a question or seek a Pinterest photo and before we know it an hour has gone by as we are bombarded with stuff that the creepy people know will keep us online.

DO NOT MISS this documentary.

Is there a solution?  One or two of the ex-staffers say yes, that it is only us that can turn it.  It’s a dilemma as we all love it but we need it for good not evil, need to minimise screen time to literally nothing and go and live a real life.  None of these people allow their own children near a screen, as they know the damage it can cause through bullying, harm to their self-esteem, body shaming, increased suicide and self-harm etc.  In the USA, teens are going to surgeons to look like their filtered selves.  I discovered filters two weeks ago and was thrilled with my new lineless face, until I looked in the mirror.  I got a high from the filtered me, just a small little high, like having a bite of chocolate, but then I got a low when I saw the real me without the fuzzy haze, the one without the filter.  I can handle it, in general, I am balanced, but many cannot, as we see.

Social media has unhinged us, it has unbalanced us, but worse, it has destabilised our beautiful world.  It is the most profitable industry to ever exist.  I do not think Facebook and Instagram started as a manipulative weapon of mass addiction, but as soon as they saw the money that could be generated from the sheep they could herd (us), they got smarter and smarter and used our easily addicted brains to make them billions, to create havoc and to destabilise us.  We are addicted and they need our addiction.  They need to flirt with it, feed, it, wine and dine it, titillate it, and they do.  We give them more hours every day.  Just look at Tik Toc, absolute addiction.  We think it’s fun and jokey.  It isn’t.  It is much more sinister.  It is designed to keep our faces ion our phones and to increase our addiction.  It is not designed to make us happier, laughing out loud at funny things.  That is just the tool they use to keep us addicted.  How do we live without it now?  That’s the dilemma.

Our children now rule our roosts, so taking away their phones is not an option, or stopping them and their addictions.  We have no control over most teens now, we do as they wish.  I think there is something wrong with that picture.  We must educate them, we have to let them know what is going on.  We all use and love social media, it connects us, it gives us dopamine hits, it brings lovely people into our world, but we need to learn how to only use it for good, as I for one, do not want to be without Facebook and Instagram.  I do love them.

Are we intelligent beings, or are we so easily led that we cannot see what is happening?  We need Facebook, we need Instagram, we need to see what Amy Huberman is wearing, we need to see our fake colleagues living their fake lives, we need to click daily on filtered humans trying to get enough clicks so that they get paid to advertise yet more products.  We are their clickbait.  Has the addiction gone too far?  Absolute millions, if not billions, of people are being shaped and moulded by theses giants in social media.  Is it responsible for more and more suicides, more and more depression, more and more mental health issues?  Do we even care or does the dopamine hit we get compensate for the guilt we may feel when we see horrendous bullying and the mental health impact?  Will it destroy us?  It is certainly heading that way if you believe this programme.

Please watch it.

We watched Cambridge Analytica shape the last USA elections.  It changed our world, they knew how we thought, they knew from our “likes”, our shares, our patterns.  They can control what we see and what we think.  Google, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all do some wonderful stuff, no doubt, but at what cost?  The cost is us, our mental health, our children’s mental health, but we are addicted, so we cannot really stop it.

Who ever thought that Man’s weakest point was addiction?  There was me thinking it was Adam and his enthusiastic willy.  Can we row back to a simpler life or are we terrified we will miss so much if we don’t check Facebook and Instagram 100 times a day, maybe 200 times a day, the average number for most teens.  Am I that dope?  Yes, it seems I am.  Am I addicted?  Yes.  Am I one of their sheep?  Baaaah.  Can I just use it for what I want, connections and pleasant stuff?  I am not sure.  Am I going to try and beat it?  Yes I am.

There is no turning back now with the Internet.  The cage is open, the animal is out, but we must keep asking “Does the bad outweigh the good?”.  We must keep our brains sharp.  We must find real news, real stories, real people and surround ourselves with them, before we are asking someone to change our face, so we look like our own filtered version.  Do we really need to know what is in Trinny’s wardrobe?  Wouldn’t it be better to go for a walk and listen to the birds or absorb the positive energy from our nearest sea?  We can turn it, we do not need to dump it, but we need to do it fast because the addiction levels are off the scale.

The Octopus Teacher…

Later in the week, I tuned on to this documentary and was transported to another zone.  I was in my idea of heaven, snuggled up on my sofa, fire lighting, glued to a love story between a very attractive man and the most magical of creatures from beneath our seas, Octopus Vulgaris, your average octopus.  For me, it was like a real-life version of Disney’s Little Mermaid.  I was lost in it.  It was real and the filming was spectacular.  The man was easy on the eyes and ears, but it was not about him, he quickly became insignificant.  It was only about this spectacular little octopus that was simply light years more developed than any human, the tension, the love, the trust, the colours, the other sea creatures, the terrifying sharks, the sadness, her brilliance, the joy of her babies…it was just magnificent TV.

Mother Nature, God, Allah, I have no idea who created our world, but if they could create something as magical as this creature and her surroundings and they also created us, maybe the human can evolve to her magnificence.  Maybe there is hope we can save ourselves and our beautiful world.

This little octopus lifted me out of my previous grim documentary haze, she was so much more pure, magnificent and worthy than the Mark Zuckerbergs of this world, sadly our current masters.  I woke up the next day full of its pure magic, thinking joyful thoughts about it all day. 

So, my message to myself: Control what I see, control who I click on, control my precious time on social media, control my ‘likes’ and only share good.  Try to find real news, as there is none on social media.

Thank you, little octopus.  Compared to the humans I watched and listened to all week on TV and radio, you were by far the most inspiring.


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