Salacious Gossip

One of the perhaps most difficult things to quit, to give up, when one seeks to adopt a “spiritual” way of life is the modern addiction to salacious gossip in all its forms. One could say that gossip is a bedrock of social media and that it sells newspapers and magazines. Humanity lives vicariously through the lives of others presented for our consumption. Gossip is pushed like a wrap of fentanyl laced heroin.

Many would say, “oh no not me, I am not a gossip”. Well they may not be a pusher but they will score a wrap from time to time. This pays the pushers.

Quite a while back I was thoroughly shocked by an old acquaintance from school. We met up and he wanted to know the ins and outs of both my private life and those of anyone we knew in common. I was genuinely surprised because it was so obvious that he was almost salivating. “Really?”, I thought.

I have joked that the collective noun for a group of academics is a gossip of academics.

In principle an academic is detached and has a cool considered oversight. But that is not the case, they seemed obsessed about who got which grant, who has the higher measure of esteem and where people are in the “blessed” league tables.

Lofty pursuance of academic thought, nah. One upmanship and gossip about who is on the up and who is on the down are readily to be found. If there is any sex scandal, all the better. In the past academia had its own version of the casting couch too. Academia gets a metaphorical hard on for scandal. It likes the salacious just like anyone else.

Trungpa suggests that the Ego is forever trying to use spiritual teachings for its own benefit. Thus, gossip about whichever guru may masquerade as intelligent inquiry, when in fact it is just gossip clothed differently.

If you look at various publications you can classify a very large amount of their content as being gossip related and much of it hearsay carefully couched so as to avoid libel court action. It seems we all want to know what people are speculating as to the minds of Harry and William. There are “clairvoyant” royal “experts” who can read their minds for our “benefit”.

I know that at various stages of my life I have been a subject of gossip. The use of “a” is deliberate because I was only one topic amongst a host. It rarely occurs to people that gossip can damage even ruin careers. But people, it seems, cannot resist and love the attention from listeners which a juicy titbit might offer them


“Have you heard about…”

“Really? Well, I never…”

I will make a postulate.

You cannot achieve liberation whilst you are a purveyor and consumer of gossip. If you are in anyway attached to gossip you are not free. You are addicted and suffer from the fear of missing out on the latest juicy and salacious titbit. You damage the web of life by your obsession.

You may be able to do the most complex asana but if gossip has you, then you are simply a bendy gossip.

In order to be free one has to reorient oneself apropos of gossip, maybe go cold turkey.

Here are some questions to help. Honesty instead of justification may help.

Do I like to hear gossip?

Do I find it a tad salacious?

Have I ever damaged anyone by gossiping about them?

Have I ever been damaged by gossip?

Am I perhaps more addicted to gossip than I would like to admit?

Is gossip in any way life enhancing?

Who Are You Monitoring?

I started using the internet in the mid-late eighties using FTP to transfer large files produced by quantum chemical calculations. It has changed a lot since then. It has become the #1 enabler of person stalking. It is very easy to look somebody up and find out stuff about them. One can monitor all their social media and see if they put photos up which are inconsistent with the narrative they tell you. One can obsess about the exes of current partners, or the new partners of one’s exes.

The internet is a doorway into obsession which never existed before.

It is therefore possible that people are monitoring me via this blog, in a manner unknown to me and with a motive which I do not know. In the unlikely event that this is happening I wonder if they think it wise to do so. We all feel it our right to monitor, spy and otherwise act in a voyeuristic manner here on this brave new world, the new playground which does not have a literal sand pit rather an ability to comment on content, judge and obsess.

Most of the people who visit this blog do so in a grown up way, they swing by, if they like something they click. They are not playing sneaky secret squirrels; they are being sensible and overt. I don’t think there is any conscious “monitoring” vibe.  Some may use keywords or topics and that is about as far as it goes.

I have been experimenting with Twitter, TikTok and Instagram. I cannot see what all the fuss is about. There is so much stuff that I would never want to read / look at. OK. I am an old fart and a dinosaur. Given all the hoo-ha I was expecting something less shite. Expectations…hype…next best thing since sliced bread…hmn…

It turns out that if I was to ever need a new CV I could say, given this blog, that I am an Internet Content Creator. I could hype that up at interview.


Knock me down with a feather

Clever Trevor

Widebrows wonder whether

Clever Trevor’s clever

Chaz Jankel / Ian Robins Dury


So, despite my best efforts I have been brought kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Next thing you know I will be downloading Android apps to my ‘phone so that Big Brother can monitor my whereabouts by GPS. They can look at the chip which was implanted by Bill Gates during my Covid vaccination. They can control me electronically with it like an Iranian drone. And when the Aliens come, they can offer them some of my DNA.

These social media apps encourage you to follow people like footballers and fashion influencers. The Daily Mail gives a précis of social media. If someone famous un-follows a partner, it is big fricking news. The newspapers monitor social media. Weird.

The only account that I look at regularly is “No Context Brits”. I don’t monitor it but I do visit. A bit of piss taking can help with the day.

Anyway, here are some questions


Who are you monitoring?

Why, what do you get out of it?

What is your motive?

Is it entirely healthy?

Are you a clever secret squirrel?

Self-Obsession – The New Pandemic

I think it accurate to say that the phenomenon of self-obsession is reaching dizzying new heights in this century. It is pandemic in that it can be found on all sides and in all nations. Never before in human history has there been so many terabytes of self-images recorded either with or without filters or photoshopping. People are obsessed by and with image. The imaginary illusion of image holds great power over the human psyche and causes untold self-induced mental angst and suffering. The obsession with self-promotion and having a blurb to sell to others about our wonderful “self” is a cul-de-sac, which leads nowhere other than our own lower posterior sphincters. It causes myopia and blindness, whereby we imagine that the entire universe rotates around our own wants, needs, desires and things that we imagine we deserve.

If we do not engage in this pictorial and presentational folly, we are to an extent excluded from the lunacy of the herd.

People can go to extraordinary lengths to protect this “image” without acknowledging the specificity of language implied. They can even imagine that their image is real!! They defend an illusion and feel thoroughly justified is so doing.

They do not suspect that they are blinkered or blinded. They cannot see the blinkers of obsession which prevent them from having a wider view with a more comprehensive perspective. They are unaware of their own selective and limited world view.


Are you blinded by your obsession with your own self-image?

Is your world view almost entirely self-centred?

Are you an important being?

Does the universe revolve around you?

Binary or Hexadecimal?

It seems to me that there is a whole lot less hoo-ha about the “self-assignment” of gender and sexual orientation here in France than there appears to be in the UK and the USA. What I don’t get is why would anyone want to switch from one label to another. A label remains a label, now matter how trendy or right-on it may appear to be. If you are confined by a label you have given over some of your freedom to that label.

It remains a form of identification or even an obsession with some social definition or other.

In the late eighties and nineties, I was an evangelical vegan. People expected me to harp on about plant based diets. I was proud of my plastic shoes and the fact that when I went into a vegan shop with a female, they assumed she was the vegan and not big meaty me. I was pretty hardcore vegan.

I started to err with the occasional KFC. Then I had a series of “coming out” events in which I ate steak in front of someone I had preached at. It seemed to me that most people did not really care how I labelled myself nor how much a fuss I made of it. It was mostly my own drama.

I suspect that the ME drama is aback much of the hand wringing as to which gender or sexuality label we wish to inflict for ourselves onto others for the time being. Despite all the fashion people who identify as paedophiles or as zoosexual are unwelcome under the rainbow banner. Inclusion only goes so far. There are taboos. A self-assigned woman is allowed {culturally if not legally} to wave a semi-erect penis in a female changing room in front of women and girls. A Welshman is not allowed to shag a sheep. A film director is no longer allowed to have sex with a fourteen year old actress.

I personally remain uncomfortable when medical professionals interfere chemically or surgically with people who are not adult and/or of sound mind. I include in this people who have multiple breast augmentations. This is a form of self-harm to my eyes. An addiction to surgery is not healthy and even if the price is right, it is harmful. Scars both physical and psychological remain.

What I do not like about this “debate” is that it is not a debate. The evangelists from whichever side harangue those who hold differing views, in a manner not that far removed from the thought police. Extremism in whichever manifestation is still extreme. I knew people at a distance who did hard core animal rights protests. I never went along myself. I wonder after a decade or so of being vegans how many of the young fit and trendy will end up with a B12 deficiency like I did. It takes time.

Minorities can take over.

What is in Vogue today can have very negative effects in the long term. Fancy a cigarette anyone?

People are quick to reach for the knife and the hormones. There has not been any phase three clinical trials on the health/risk benefits of “gender” reassignment surgery.

I’ll predict that in the fullness of time there will be post hoc recriminations regarding what is fashionable now in the whole binary or hexadecimal debate/feud.