Welcome!

So, hi! This is my blog, resurrected from the depths of 2015.

It’s here because I’ve given a lot of talks over the past few years. I write scripts for all of them and people requested that I put them all somewhere. So here they are!

I usually cover various nerd stuff (generally video games, tabletop roleplaying, and fandom) and its relationship with sociopolitical topics.

Some caveats: most of my talks came with slides, so there might be the occasional line where I refer to them. The talks also date back a few years, so be aware that things may have changed since they were written!

I’ve also recently started writing poetry, and you can find that here too.

Enjoy!

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#WorldMentalHealthDay

I thought very hard about making a post about this.

There are a lot of things I could talk about – the NHS, how various -isms and mental health intersect, how one day is not enough, how saying ‘just talk’ is not enough – but I decided what I want to do is talk about my experiences with therapy, because I think they are hopeful and if there’s one thing most of us need lately, it’s hope.

Strap in, this is going to be a pretty long one.

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Morning poems

This morning is golden.

After venting all night
The sky smiles on me
And every tree reflects joy.

For this short time, I am truly myself –
Full of peace; alone.

*

This is a grey morning, and the rain is hard;
My eyes are colourless.

Everything in me is slower than usual.
I try to remember blue skies
And cannot.

*

This morning, and the one before
And the one before
Is heavy and unhopeful.

The sun has hidden itself from me
So I surround myself with walls.
It rains indoors.

a story about my father

Once upon a time
We went on one of our adventures
Scarborough, Bridlington
Filey or Flamborough –
Somewhere with sand
And greenish blueish northern sea.

The beach was full of things to discover
But the tides trapped us:
We started to return
And found the waves had met the rocks first
Stranding us in a horseshoe of stone.

To the left, the sea.
To the right
Ahead and behind us
The cliff.

You went up first
Plastic bag of food in hand
Showing me a trail to safety
Probably made only for goats.

I followed anyway
Sometimes on my hands and knees
Eyes up, determined to be brave
Like you.

You never crawled
You didn’t fear the drop.

I remember, vividly
Balancing on a path no wider than my foot
The cliff dropping away on both sides
And I was too stubborn to call for you
Too frightened to distract you –
What if you fell?

Anyway, we made it.

I think I held your hand in relief
And we laughed the laugh of avoiding death
And on the drive home, we agreed
Never to tell my mother.

Two line poems

There are many ways
To hold someone.

*

Have you ever just
Wanted to abandon yourself?

*

You are my brother
And I will always be yours.

*

God, no, don’t touch me
I will collapse.

*

There are many places I call home.
I am not sure if any of them are true.

Wilful ignorance; or, why debate is often useless

So today I quote-tweeted a thread on why anti-racist people like me don’t bother debating Nazis (full thread here) and I particularly focused on this:

I’m home now so I’m just going to elaborate a little on it – particularly as this is still a sticking point with many of my friends and acquaintances.

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