More-or-less disorganised thoughts on the difficulty of leaving Twitter

I’ve heard that Twitter is “hard to quit”.

But, no. I’m going to hard-disagree with that. Twitter is easy to quit. Lock your account, just stop posting, and after a while you simply forget it’s there.

It is, in fact, remarkably easy.

Listen to your elders, kids. The ones who burned through dozens of news groups in the 90s and VB forums in the 00s. They’ll tell you that the quitting part isn’t that hard. You can leave communities and websites behind. In fact, you’ve probably done it while in possession of a Facebook or Twitter account — you’ve just left a sub-community behind, a Facebook Group slowed to nothing, you started to forget to check in with your favourite hashtag as it began to bore you, that sort of thing. You almost certainly left something already, but the base of the URL just happened to stay the same.

I think we need to be honest about why it might feel hard to quit a big website like Twitter.

What’s hard to quit is that little dopamine rush you get when your notifications go haywire because your clout-chasing finally paid off and you got yourself a hit tweet.

What’s hard to quit is the FOMO from not continually refreshing a feed, because you accidentally re-wired your life to get news at random intervals from strangers who are clout-chasing for hit tweets instead of a healthier and, frankly, saner method for staying informed.

Does that sound smug and self-superior on my part? Yeah, probably.

Sure, communities are hard to leave behind if you’re forced to do so early, before they fizzle out with a natural end. But consider Twitter, you’re going to be in one of two situations.


A) You’ve got a small account, with few follows and followers. You’ve met and replied to and post at the key people you like to talk to. That’s easy to pick up again elsewhere. If you actually care about others, you’ll find another platform. If it’s community that you’ll miss, it takes no time at all to rebuild it elsewhere.


B) You’ve got a much bigger account, at least in terms of follower number. Thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions even. I’ve seen these people say that it’s the community that they’ll miss.

But… let’s be brutal, and frank, and honest, here. If you’re in that second category, are you really in a community of tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people? Do you really know the names of those 150k followers? Be real, here; you’re not. If you’re experiencing Twitter at that scale, you were at the centre of, and on the receiving end of, multiple parasocial relationships. You were getting that buzz from the endless on-tap attention that such a following grants you. You’re the person who could post a poop emoji and get a hundred likes in minutes. For you, it was never a two-way street of communal interaction, because the influence and power are so lobsided in your favour.

And, yes, it really is the case that on Twitter, followers equal power. That site can ruin lives the instant someone with 1M followers quote-tweets a regular person to say they’re wrong. Follower counts are leveraged to win arguments by sheer weight of numbers, in chasing that ratio and winning by numbers going up — and even the “good guys” do this. Some people get the hit of dopamine from the hit tweet sending notifications constantly, but the flip side is the dread that the little bell is going to show you, at best, just some offensive slurs.

The splash damage from that culture is very real, and not imaginary because the website is somehow virtual. It’s an extension of, or part of, the Real World, not a separate entity that is somehow free of consequence for the meat and blood humans typing those words.

For some people, yes, the high follower count has been a vital part of their job. Authors, artists, anyone who used it to simply broadcast their work and gain an audience. Fair enough. It’s not right that those people are going to have their livelihoods threatened because some dick with money to burn decided to fire all the staff, alienate advertisers, and ban accounts at the request of literal fascist trolls. But, also, if you were sensible, you shouldn’t have bought into one specific URL only and should have a diversified presence to fall back on. After all, Twitter was not your job, it was just one tool, of many possible tools, to help with it.

Everyone else…? Just get the fuck over yourself.

The Trash Pile – 2022 in Netflix

I watch a lot of Trash. That stuff that people scoff at for being cheap, trope-ridden genre fiction. Well, guess what? I don’t care. It’s great. It’s TV that gives back way more than it asks of you. It sustains me. Please take the ratings below not as actual reviews, but as niche, dumb jokes. Here’s a celebration of 2022’s finest genre trash!

First Kill

I felt quite offended at First Kill wasn’t recommended to me until after I saw Rowan Ellis’ video on queer TV shows getting cancelled. It was a hit with the LGBT+ audience for its sapphic lead characters, playing supernatural Romeo and Juliette as a vampire and vampire hunter who fall in love – because of course they would.

But, to be honest, it’s pretty clear why the numbers completing the series were low. Despite a strong enough start, it suffers from some unimaginative vampire/monster lore (it could be straight up fan fiction of any number of other series from Buffy to Supernatural) and held together with some ropey, confusing moments — like, does the world know that these monsters and vampires are real? Or are they playing at mass hysteria? The show doesn’t seem to know. Or, at least, it glossed over it very quickly.

Still solidly entertaining if you’re into this sort of thing. At its heart it’s a queer love story if the kind we need more of. You could spend 10 episodes doing much, much worse.

6 sapphic wall-pinning moments out of 10

Fate: The Winx Saga (season 2)

As an adaptation of the cartoon series The Winx Club — about fairies and their adventures in a magical school and the wider conspiracies and threats to their realm — this series has made a lot of fans of the original very, very angry. Of course it has. It’s an adaptation. Fans of an original hating the adaptation is a given, it’s hardly “man bites dog”.

I quite like the setting of this one more than the story. It isn’t afraid to throw social media and mobile phones at a magical world (unlike other stories set in magic schools that contrive to remove the mod-cons that might be inconvenient to the plot…), and it really feels like a functional world with people and politics. There’s wholesome friendship themes throughout, making a nice change from the Grimdark of other popular shows. Though it jars with some of the plot, which can be pretty heavy, even gruesome at times.

I’m unsure about Season 2. Some interesting twists, focused plot, clear stakes, but… did they toss out a bunch of things set up at the end of Season 1? Or felt like a self-contained aside compared to get broader themes if Season 1. If it’s got this far, hopefully a 3rd will bring that all together.

5 slightly dodgy VFX shots out of 10

Fort Salem (season 3)

Good god I love this series. Absolutely unironically. The premise is that witches are real and, after the Salem Trials, witches were conscripted into the army to do the United States’ dirty work in winning the War of Independence. Now they have to face off against magical terrorists (including a unique and terrifying use of the term “suicide bomb”) and then later a secretive inquisition and the government itself.

The thing I really noticed is how the world building works seemlessly. Witches aren’t just conscripted into the Army, they are the Army. So, since witches do all the fighting magically, and can communicate telepathically, firearms and communications technology are pretty far behind the real-world — everything from the helicopters to TV cameras and even the light bulbs, and the complete lack of computers and phones makes sense. The show never labours this point or even points it out to you, it’s just in the setting and direction. The characters act like they already know what is going on. Add to that a well-developed magic system based around witches voices and sound (and some grisly corollaries about how normal humans can steal that power…), and it’s little wonder that many people assume (incorrectly!) that it’s a book adaptation.

Season 3 continues with the remarkable world building as the main cast go on the run into the Chippewa Cession — a feature of this alternate North America that divides the United States in two, retained by Native Americans.

It won’t get another season. But that’s the decision of the producers, not because it’s fading in quality and ratings (apparently). It’s come to a natural end, with plenty of scope to explore the working world it’s set in, but it’s raised its stakes about as far as it can get before it gets far too silly and incomprehensible. More TV should go out like this rather than hanging on and degrading to nothing.

Also, they’re hawt nubile witches who (at least in the first season) power up by fucking their harem of equally hawt, ripped, young studs. So, let’s be clear, even though I think this is a genuinely good series in the urban fantasy genre, this is absolutely God Tier Trash.

9 My fucking god! These witches gay. Good for them! Good for them! out of 10

Warrior Nun (season 2)

This is very, very loosely based on the comic series Warrior Nun Areala, which you can look up, but if I say “90s comic book” and “fighting nuns” you’d probably get the gist of it without help. Anyway the TV version strips out the split skirts, suspender straps, crotch-hugging body suits and wimples in favour of more leather, tactical gear and sensible footwear.

I genuinely think that the first 10 minutes of the very first episode is a masterclass in how to introduce a series. It lays out the rules of the world you’re in. It shows, rather than tells. And, impressively, the dialogue says everything you need to know without sounding lile forced exposition — the characters talk to each other like they already know what’s going on. So, I was a little disappointed that the opening episode of Season 2 took nearly half an hour to get going. It jumps around, trying to catch up after events that weren’t shown — and unfortunately couldn’t even be filmed due to the sudden departure of one of the actors that would be needed for it. So the connective tissue between the two seasons has been left as something of a mess.

Oh well, shit happens…

Once you get over that, Season 2 definitely raises the stakes and the action much more. It keeps the pace up where Season 1’s mid-game slowed to a crawl (if you happened to leave at that point, do give it another shot!) and they’ve toned down some of the voice over that left a cringe aftertaste during the first season.

Blood, guns, knives, magic, mystery, mayhem, demons, and minute-long single-take fights. There is nothing not to love about this. What? Check the title of the post, you weren’t expecting high brow Citizen Kane stuff were you?

8 overproduced fight scenes out of 10

October Faction

October Faction was released in 2020, as an adaptation of a comic that, obviously, I hadn’t heard of, so I got around to watching it this year and I’m including it now. (maybe I can retroactively do 2016 and talk at length about The Shannara Chronicles…)

Anyways, this is fairly normal monster hunting stuff. Secret societies protecting the world from invading supernatural beasties etc. So far so good. But this one does a good bit of storytelling about family, and parents coming to terms with getting older and their children becoming independent. That’s at least a novel feature of a densely packed field of supernatural dramas with a 15 Certificate. Like First Kill, the supernatural elements are the setting, not the story, so it doesn’t really need that uniqueness — even though it does weaken it a bit.

But, overall… meh. It didn’t quite grip me, and it looks like it didn’t grip many people as it got canned after one series. Which is a shame, as it does have its moments! Such as the two leads getting baked on weed before having to go on a monster hunt and that the high school angst that’s done pretty well. It could have grown a lot — but that’s the world we’re in now, and it won’t get the chance to.

5 stoned Gen X parents out of 10

The Imperfects

I went into this fully expecting it to be terrible. And, let’s be clear, I like terrible. Or, at least, my definition of ‘terrible’ greatly differs to most normal and well-adjusted people. But I did not have the highest expectations.

But, I was pleasantly surprised!

The Imperfects has a lot going for it. It’s a nice mix of the standard tropes — like one character who I’m pretty sure is referred to as Sexy Science Glasses Lady in the script — to the unusual twists on the usual and played-out tropes — our typical vampires/werewolves are replaced by a banshee, a succubus, and a chupacabra, to start.

Okay, sure, they’re basically C-List vampires and werewolves. Fine.

Rhys Nicholson’s camp take on a mad scientist might grate most people, but it’s a refreshing change to “grey haired men with serious faces and fake German accents” you see normally for far stock character. And there’s some unexpected but clever twists I didn’t see coming, along with its surprisingly high body count delivered by often-comic, accidental violence.

The whole thing is more “science gone wrong” than supernatural, but despite playing very fast and loose with the science it’s all… kind of plausibly done? The jargon seems like it’s come from someone who knows what they’re talking about, but gives it enough artistic licence not to kill the fun of the series. I had to take a moment on hearing cyclodextrin and t-butyl lithium used more or less correctly. Someone on the production has to be a chemist, surely.

Also, it’s always a good sign when your show could have someone’s shoe collection act as a character in its own right.

8 gratuitous bondage scenes out of 10

Honourable Mentions (the non-trash class of 22)

Stranger Things 4 was a huge hit, and felt to me like a much more focused, stronger story than the rambling 2 and 3. Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville upgraded its budget from “IOUs for back rubs” to “more money than god” and was totally worth it. She-Hulk and Ms Marvel got review-bombed by sad-act arseholes who hate fun. We got another Space Force, which was totally stupid in all the right ways, but I still think it could learn a lot from Armano Ianucci if it wants to be a satire. Speaking if whom, Avenue 5 came back after an extended pandemic-induced break. There was another round of Love Death & Robots, which was a good mix of tense and silly. And of course, the year was dominated by Gaiman’s The Sandman, which bravely asked the question “what if Doctor Who was depressed?”, and is an absolute no-brainer to get renewed, so get to it, Netflix, you bastards!

In fact, Netflix, you bastards, does come out of my mouth more often than it should…

FFS, I’ve always disliked Harry Potter…

One key reason that I hate JK Rowling’s speedrun of “I have legitimate concerns” to “send them to camps!”, is that she’s destroyed my ability to dislike Harry Potter on its own terms.

I have never been a fan of it.

Obviously, I never will be.

Yet that’s now fundamentally inextricable from the bloody author’s best attempts to make life hell for a number of my friends — and the complete denial of this from her most dedicated fanbase. That’s been covered better elsewhere, Shaun’s video on the people that have driven her radicalisation is pretty comprehensive, and Lyndsay Ellis’ contribution on Death of the Author explains why I think its fans are morally complicit in her views…

However, I just cannot stand this series, and it has nothing to do with any of that.

The memes are a saving grace of the series, I’ll give it that.

I tried reading a book in 2000-something. On a family holiday, I got handed it and told it would be enjoyable. I got fundamentally bored within pages. I cannot remember which one it even was. All I remember of it is:

Harry Potter was a special boy. Because, you see, Harry Potter was a wizard. That made Harry Potter very special. Because, of course, you should know, wizards are special people.

At least, that’s the impression I had literally at the time. Then, it turns out that this is exactly how she writes even in her serious, adult fiction.

Sure, you can get away with the conversational “settle down, children, while I tell you a story” method in a literal kids book, but a detective series that supposedly isn’t Richard Castle style satire? Good grief. This is an author that people fawn over as good!

A few years later, I tried another one after I knew the story from the films later. Whatever one opens with the exceedingly boring conversation with the Prime Minster that reads like political commentary written by someone who has only ever seen two episodes of Grange Hill. You’ve got to have quite a writing talent to lose my attention to staring out of a train window, instead.

“It’s so clever because the werewolves are named “Sirius” like the ‘dog star’ and “Remus” like the Latin or whatever for wolf!” Jesus Shitting Christ that is not clever. That is barely high school poetry level.

The films are, at best, so-so for me. They spend that much time gurning through this magical world that they actually forget to explain the plot. It’s borderline-incomprehensible if you haven’t read the books and don’t have someone next to you to explain plot holes. I have not read most of Lord of the Rings, I followed the films just fine. I haven’t read Song of Ice and Fire yet, but the TV show was perfectly understandable! They adapt, they cut, they merge, they add… all in service of moving people through a coherent and consistent plot in that format.

The Harry Potter movies? I’m still not entirely sure I know who it was that stole the thingy and left the note at the end of the film where they… I forget, it blurs into one. And who was the… werewolf one that was running around a corn field setting fire to things…? I’m sure I’ve seen these films more than once. But, honestly, without leaning on people who have read the books for explanation, these films make no sense. They’re so beholden to people who think “true to the book” means adapting the dialogue word-for-word, whether that makes sense or not.

I also don’t think the premise is that clever.

The “boy in a cupboard” and the practically-comic abuse he gets from his adoptive family at the beginning of the story is knock-off Roald Dahl at a best. I don’t think setting it in a stereotypical public school is that imaginative (the Worst Witch was released in 1974, please read a second fucking book). I don’t think the world is as fleshed out and well-realised as people claim, at least not compared to something with the momentous mechanics of Discworld. See, in Night Watch, Pratchett bothers to consider that, as a living, breathing thing, the city of Anhk-Morpork would have countless deliveries of food and materials heading toward it, and that would pile up in the event of a revolution. In Harry Potter, our hack of an author invents time-travel and then has to profusely apologise for it by accidentally destroying all the time travelling stuff off screen. Except for when it’s needed again.

I know it’s all opinion, but, come on, this is not good writing.

I especially dislike the reliance on paratext, with the author continually updating and ret-conning things in a way that, at best is cringe-as-fuck (such as naming a character after Elizabeth Warren in hindsight) but extends to outright fucking-offensive (Dumbledore is gay for the liberal cred, but, you know, not gay-gay, as in, visibly-gay or doing anything gay, ewwww). Still, I miss the days when this was the most objectionable thing on the author’s Twitter account. All being lapped up by a fanbase that’s rapidly ageing, with no threshold for cringe, and with no sign of every wanting to read a second book.


Then, you end up digging more into the subtle-maybe-not-that-subtle racism in it. The stereotyping. How the main character is an obnoxious jock if you stand back and look at it. I really cannot relate to this, and the only reason I think it ever took off was an accident of publicity sometime in the late 90s.

I’m openly not a fan of Lord of the Rings. But I don’t actively think it’s bad. I may even get around to re-watching the films or trying to get through the book again. Harry Potter, I actively dislike, and always have. I wouldn’t willingly turn one of the movies on again. I would not be paying Actual Money to see the stage production thing. I will not read a book, because I have tried it and failed miserably to care about a single word written on the page. I admire the sheer strength and belligerence of the people who have managed it to critique it as literature.

These are opinions on the series I have held for years and they’ve never really mellowed. From that first tedious attempt to get through the pages to sitting in a cinema in 2013 and shrugging as we were meant to feel sad about the deaths of characters that had 8 seconds of screen time to introduce them.

But, no.

Apparently, I just want to “cancel” her for “disagreeing” with me. I must dislike the series because I dislike something the author said. It’s my only possible motivation. After all, it’s popular, I must be wrong! I have to “separate the art from the artist”.

Fuck that noise. It’s not mere “disagreement”. I hate that she uses her wealth and privilege and platform to demand that several of my friends get erased from existence to satisfy her and her mates’ absurd conspiracy theories.

For that, sure, I do think she’s personally an odiously catastrophic fuck of an individual.

But, no, that’s not why I dislike Harry Potter. I formed the opinion that her writing is asinine, boring, trite, dragging, tedious, lame, clunky, dull, morally awkward and unimaginative 20 years ago. The only thing that’s changed is that I’m less bothered by letting people know that.

Now, look at yourself. You’re in your 30s. That Hogwarts letter is never coming. Grow up. And for the love of God read another fucking book.

The Twatterpocalypse – where next?

Given the inevitable implosion of Twitter following Pylon Crunk’s (really stupid) takeover of it, people are wondering “what now?”

Or, more specifically “where now?”

Which site will come rescue them? Where do they need to abandon ship to?

To me, I don’t particularly mind and don’t think it matters too much. Indeed, not thinking about it too hard and spreading around multiple sites might be beneficial. We all know the joke that the internet since the 2010s has been just five websites, filled with screenshots of the other four. Seeing that era die off feels like an exciting potential development.

I’ve certainly gained a lot from Twitter since kind-of-accidentally signing up in late 2016. I’ve created many new professional connections, reconnected with former colleagues, got conference speaking invites, and various inspirations for how to do my job as people share their work and ask to learn as much in return. Without that, I probably wouldn’t be in the (reasonably successful) position I am now compared to when I last published to this WordPress backwater.

But none of that is really to the credit of the site. It’s all down to the community that it happened to host. As someone else recently pointed out; if you buy Twitter, you’ve bought a community, not a tech company. I agree with that assessment. I also agree that, as something ran on ads and selling data, that community is your product, not your customers. It’s probably best not to destroy your product. Best not to alienate customer or product, either, but I digress.

The point is that it’s not a site, it’s a community, and it’s a (sub) group of people, that have made it worthwhile for me until now.

As a site, and as an overall culture, I actually have very little to say about it that’s positive.

Let’s be honest, it’s a bit crap

As technology, it’s remarkably limited. I don’t think I’ve watched a whole video via the platform, even a 15 second clip, before an endless buffering loop — but at least the interface is dominated by people shilling their crypto scams via the Spaces feature that I can’t get rid of. I can’t direct my posts to dedicated audiences, but I can buy a hexagonal Enn-Eff-Tee profile picture. I can’t edit out spelling errors, but it’s possible for hidden accounts to send abusive minions toward me for it.


Culturally, Twitter is almost terminally self-obsessed. As if we’d get the UK back into the European Union if you simply follow everyone who tweets a single “follow back!” hashtag. As if you can swing an election by writing 200 characters on a website where only a tiny fraction of the population is actually active. People have acquired countless thousands of follows for simply following prominent politicians and replying “zingers” to them, in the hopes of mining it for likes. Entire personalities exist around “having a twitter account”. An entire cottage industry of people tweeting “Sir, this is a Wendy’s” was destroyed the day Donald Trump was finally banned.

Exceedingly tedious stuff that’s often difficult to mute.

The massive objections to an “edit” function seemed to reek of a weird “Twitter Exceptionalism”. The argument goes something to the effect of: what if you liked a tweet about cute puppies, and then they changed it to be a racist comment, and then they forwarded the screenshot to your employer? Certainly, such a convoluted plan that would fall foul of anyone ever checking the original post and seeing the edit history. And if someone isn’t going to check, then any of the fake-screenshot generators online — or, hell, even MS Paint! — could do the same job with or without editing tweets being possible. Web forums have allowed some kind of editing since forever, and yet no problems. Politicians have prominent Facebook presences, which allows editing, and yet no grand conspiracies to hide their mistakes have emerged. To Twitter’s userbase, that site is magically special, and different.

How? It just is!

But it is not.

Sorry to put on a costume and get on stage to play the “Grumpy Old Internet Guy” character, but it is not the centre of the universe. And, frankly, the site’s overall attitude is utterly insufferable. Flaccid internet drama doesn’t become less tragic and sad just because you’re on a social media site with millions of users in 2022 instead of a VB forum with 35 users in 2002.

Twitter’s centring in discussions and discourse is largely an accident of journalism. The posts are publicly visible, and various court rulings granted them a fair-game status for reporters to cite and use. Your posts, and your comments, are now a potential source of free content for everyone else. Suddenly, “So-and-so tweeted about…” becomes a headline. Pop-cultural reviews have descended into endless articles about how a particular episode or movie has attracted ire and criticism which, once you dive into the article, turns out to be two tweets with 6 likes between them.

Journalism ate itself in the last few decades for a multitude of reasons, but Twitter certainly provided some tasty seasoning for it.

The bad and the ugly…

Then there’s the abusive aspects of the site.

Twitter might not be unique in having problems, but it is very structurally based around promoting abuse. Tweets themselves — being short, isolated posts — aren’t so much easily removed from context, but exist atomically in a way that means they barely have any context in the first place. Caveat your points in the replies all you like, that won’t save you from countless people making those misinterpretations anyway. The site is one of the few of Web 2.0 social media that, to quote someone else, rewards being deranged more than being hot.

If you can’t say it perfectly in 280 characters, the site is designed to punish you.

The “quote tweet” feature, while valuable for sharing content you like with your own take, context, or a description to advertise it to your own followers, is the core mechanism for abuse to be spread. The site is filled with accounts whose main schtick is to use that quote tweet feature to send their hundreds of thousands of followers to spam and reply, and further quote tweet, the original — making life unbearable for one poor user who accidentally crossed the path of the bigger account, until the smaller victim locks or simply deletes their account.

And everyone feels like they’re justified in doing it. Chasing the euphoric high of that “like” number going up, up, up as you stick it to the Bad Person. The cultural obsession with the “ratio” of likes/comments/quotes drives it further. The “main character” trope where one person is the willing or unwilling victim for that day. It’s all structurally horrid.

Twitter showed no signs of curbing that behaviour, nor holding people to account for their followers’ actions, even actions driven by them. The plausible deniability of not being responsible for your following remains strong.

Moderation is frequently patchy — and the fear is that it’s going to become non-existent. That’s par for the course for any large site, let’s be clear. When your user base cracks into the tens of thousands (never mind millions), you either have to outsource your moderation decisions to under-paid people, forced to spend mere seconds on a decision to block/ban/suspend, or try your hand at some algorithmic magic to speed it up. In either case, context, background and intent are impossible to convey in your reports, and you end up in a situation where user “H1mml3rFan69” can say he has “14 words” for “globalists” and hopes they “88 themselves”… and it doesn’t break the rules.

Not unique to Twitter, of course, as the crypto-fascists of the world are very good at making themselves look reasonable to those without any knowledge. But Twitter seemed to put even less effort in than most large sites.

So, divesting out of it has been a goal of mine for a while, now feels like a reasonable time to start winding it down.

I don’t believe I’ll miss it, though. Some of the people? Maybe. If they care enough about me, they’ll find where I am. I’ve gone through half a dozen forum communities since the early 00s. Some of those people I still hang around with in other spaces! Some of those groups fizzled out slowly. Others died in a hellfire of profanity-laden drama. Some friendships burn bright for months and then end. Others become strong, almost intimate, over years or even decades, and yet can still evaporate overnight as you wake up to find someone has unceremoniously deleted their account.

“This, too, shall pass” should remain in the back of your mind whenever you join such a group. It’s the flip side of building a community not restricted by geography, but by membership of a platform stored on a disk somewhere. This is no different. It was never too big to fail, or too big to come to an end.

So what, or where, now?

After 4-5 years, is it worth returning to blogging? In fact, let’s do this all old-school! Everyone get a blog. Read them via RSS! Maybe. It’s tempting, sure. But might run the risk of being a bit rose-tinted about the period of transitioning to the social media era. But I think I might try it again. Twitter will die. One day, Facebook, too. I have long-form posts and material on there I might want to keep around, and a blog is a better-kept archive of that material.

So, yes, I might make this page more active again. What theme? Probably none, as before.

I spent some of today re-reading old posts and… actually, it’s not that bad. I expected to be far more embarrassed by some of it, having matured and developed further over half a decade.

It’s certainly not how I’d write now. We can be sure about that.

I’ve spotted a lot of instances where I’d approach things differently. In the specific, I’ve made a few odd references to “western / first-world democracies”, which is fine if you take the intent of addressing an audience that largely lives in those places, but still ignores a more global view. Some of it is less well-researched than I would otherwise do now. There are a few corrections I’d shove in. There are more diverse series of viewpoints I’d be capable of locating and acknowledging now. Some aspects contain slurs I wouldn’t use now — I used to hold a stronger use/mention distinction, whereas now I believe mentioning is still a deliberately form of usage. I can edit those out as I find them, although, contrary to the “I’ve been cancelled!” crowd, people can smell the difference between such mentions and deliberately malicious use.

The big, abusive creationist rant that hit Reddit and pinged my phone with endless notifications for 48 hours? I probably wouldn’t write that now, but I suppose I still stand by it. There’s a fair argument that you cannot shout and shame someone into changing their mind but, also, that wasn’t the intent. Also, they’re creationists. Any creationist capable of altering their opinion on the subject will do so of their own accord, and pretty quickly.

I’d have less patience with people in comments. I can take so much on good faith, but otherwise it’s so much less productive than it appears. In my earliest days on Twitter, I’d actually try to convince the transphobes (aka “TERFs”) that they were wrong. But, no. That never works. That’s a group, along with the forced-birth/anti-abortion crowd, are so used to lying to themselves and others that there is no point. Now they’ve all coalesced into a fanatical, single-issue pressure group, the best course is to just dump them into your blocklist. Pre-emptively if possible. I have better things to do with my life than deal with people like that.

And that’s where we’re up to… if you give a shit — and I highly recommend that you do not — I will see you the next time I hit the “publish” button.