Not deleting facebook

31 05 2010

There’s been a lot of people shouting about the dangers of facebook leaking our private world to others, so today these people organised a little mass farewell party for facebook, I was not with them.

For one thing, I honestly cannot see any reason for it, if facebook have the information, it’s mainly because YOU dear reader, put it there. If you signed up and you filled out the form, Name, Place of birth, How much you weigh, Your shoe size, your dog licence, the type of shampoo you prefer, who’s brand of undies you wear, the girl you first kissed it’s hardly Facebooks fault, is it?

Some of the wisest advice I was given about the internet once was “lie”, good grief, don’t give up any details that you don’t have to.

However, if you’re still giving up Facebook, here’s a few things to think about.

Vegemite is owned by Phillip Morris, a cigarette company, Will you be giving that up this week too?

Having Sex could give you AIDS

Alcohol could make you impotent, put holes in your liver and make you have an accident.

Chocolates could destroy rainforests and give you diabetes.

Planes sometimes fall from the sky.

Dogs bite sometimes, I had a dog who, while running free in the park, spotted his nemesis and tore off after him, the two proceeded to tear strips off each other, and in a moment of madness I leapt in, and my own dog nearly bit right through my right hand, which swelled to the size of a tennis ball. He was remorseful and I recovered and we both got on with life.

I’ve had dogs, and loved all five of the ones I’ve had so far. When they died it broke my heart, but it didn’t stop me getting another one… because even though losing them is the most painful thing in the world, nothing beats having a dog by your side, to go without a faithful canine is quite a gap to leave in ones life.

As a child, I was told on numerous occasions that I shouldn’t climb trees, but I loved climbing trees and did it as often as possible. I fell only about twice, and once I ripped a huge hole in my pants and was laughed at by a friend… but I still climbed anyway.

A friend of mine recently joined the Police academy, If he becomes a cop, and so far it’s looking good, He could be shot at and could die. But even if he saves one life, it’s all been worth it.

Certain things about Facebook may be a bit dodgy, but if it’s privacy… as @_pants_ said “‘Privacy on the Internet’ is the best oxymoron I’ve heard in a long time.” He’s right, I’ve been online since the mid 90’s and in that time I’ve created webpages, uploaded photos, written stories, been involved with forums… and more recently almost any social network that you can shake a stick at. My Internet footprint is massive.

And in all this time, not once have I been confronted with child porn.

No, I am not deleting my facebook, To me, whinging about how evil facebook is, is pathetic, Surely there are other things more worthy of our attention and Facebook could be one of the things that gets the word out… and getting the word out, to me, is everything.

I’m not saying that people shouldn’t be careful, you should be, as with everything in life… but if you’re so worried about the evils of the internet, then why not just stop paying for the service and join a hippy commune, or become a monk.

And all this wonderful fear, plays right into the hands of Senator Conroy, doesn’t it?

Yes, let’s all be fearful of the internet and let dear old Uncy Conners wrap you in a lovely warm 100% non-allergenic cotton filter.

If I seem angry, I blame the immunisation I was forcefully given as a child, I’m 44 now and I’m sure I can feel a bad reaction coming on.


BTW: Here’s a post from Wolfcat which is well worth a read.

* I’d like to add that not long ago, I had abandoned Facebook because I was suddenly getting what seemed like endless offers to join people in games and recieve virtual gifts which I didn’t want. I’m a writer, and I simply wanted to write when I felt the need. I didn’t see Facebook as some sort of game. However I let people know how I felt, and added a message to my profile to say that I didn’t want any of that. People accepted my terms and everything’s fine now.

The glass curtain

25 05 2010

Those who I’m friends with often breathe a sigh of despair for me when I tell them I’ve met and chatted to a celebrity online, usually via twitter. Now I’m not into celebrities but I am into media, and people who are into media generaly like to talk to people… celebrities or not.

My dream was to have my own radio show, and I did have one for a while on community radio, a music show that ran for two hours, twice a week for three years. I quit once I began losing my health.

And I thought that I’d wind up meeting people who in some way made little parts of my life feel wonderful, I am not interested in gossip, I am interested in people. and so I sort of envisioned myself getting phonecalls from someone who wanted to tell me that they had a rough day, missed the bus, had problems with plane tickets, but it was fine in the end. The kind of stuff anyone talks about.

You see I have a frustration which I understood right from a very early age, that there was like a glass curtain which separates me from you, the celebrity, becomes an unreal person, someone who exists solely on the tv screen or behind the radio speaker, someone who for all we know is switched off and put into a storage closet after they sign off.

I saw people that even as a kid, felt that I ought to be friends with, I was a kid watching sesame street who saw kids with Big Bird, and I wanted to be with them, really badly too.

When I was a kid, if you asked me what I wanted most, it was to be a TV cameraman, and well, I suppose I grew up and bought my own cameras and made my own videos, which you can see on my youtube page.

But later I had heros who I wanted to be like, Wolfman Jack, The famous US DJ… and The equally famous English DJ Kenny Everett, who I admired greatly. We only heard scraps of Wolfman in Australia, But Kenny was seen and heard more due to Captain Kremmen, his comedy sci-fi series heard on radio and The Kenny Everett Video Show which was on TV in the early 80’s.

So being a part of radio suddenly became fa more appealing.

I didn’t get as far as I would have liked, but then, when I least expected it, along came Secondlife and Twitter, and I feel like I have started climbing out of the hole I was in, and getting, in a round about way, to a point where I should have been if things hadn’t gone a bit awry.

There are people out there, on the other side of this two-way glass curtain, who I can now hold a conversation with, I adore my Secondlife and Twitter friends, I always have… They don’t have to be some big celebrity to rock my world, it’s the connection that matters, if I can connect with someone on a personal level then I feel very happy.

I also really love connecting one person to another too, often I’ll find two people with the same interest, music, science, architecture, painting, anything… they’ll have met me, but not each other, and I’ll put them in touch. What I hope is this does someone some good, and if it does, I can die happy in the knowledge that I was worth a lot more to society than the dreadful marks I got from school would suggest I’d be.

@Wolfie_Rankin… Go on, You know you want to. 😉

My Youtube videos

Secret Men’s Business

22 05 2010

I have mostly been bought up around Women, there were few male figures in my family, Only Dad, I didn’t see a lot of my Uncles, and most had passed away by the time I hit my teens. Dad, who now had a Son, expected me to be a fishing partner and wanted me to do all the usual boy and dad stuff… gutting dead bunnies and staring into oily engines, but I wasn’t into it… I felt for animals and wouldn’t hurt them, besides, fishing made dad reek of dead fish for days. Dad would go out with a commercial fisherman from across the street and come home stinking. Even after he showered and Mum cleaned the bathroom, I could still smell it. It turned me right off fish, which I’ve only started having again at 44… but only salmon and only if it’s canned. I absolutely hate seafood.

I liked my Music, If Mum bought me a record, any record, I’d play it till it wore out, I liked sitting in my room just playing with toys or my animals, or watching TV. I had a strong urge to create but had to go without. I really wanted to make films, but in those days it was too expensive so I had to go without.

Anything that was clean, quiet and not smelly, was for me… although I liked a bit of gardening, My Aunt who lived in Ballarat was a keen gardener right into her 80’s and grew wonderful plants and flowers.

Anyway, I’m getting off the subject and dreaming.

The sexes whine about each other, and I really don’t know why, I don’t see much of a difference to be honest, I see fors and againsts in individuals, rather than sexes. Mum and my Cousin seemed to love a really good whine about Men, I wouldn’t defend it, My Cousin had a really bad relationship many years back, which pushed her right to the edge… but to her credit, she survived, and I’m really proud of her for that, so when she let off steam, it was fine with me.

It’s funny how things appear normal and then suddenly you view something from another angle, and the lightbulb sparks into life.

In my Mothers last month on Earth, She bought up something about Men, and sadly I can’t remember what it was. but it was something about sex. I hadn’t been too comfortable talking about sex but since I had gone through chemo, the ugliness of what that did to me made sex seem a lot less worrisome to talk about, so I became a lot more open about it.

I realised then and there, that Mum had no idea how a Man’s body functioned.

I had assumed a lot, I had thought that a Woman would ask her husband how he feels and what’s it like for him, I always thought that I would explain to my wife anything that she needed to know if I was ever to get married (something that would never happen though).

I asked Mum and She said that she had no idea, Dad hadn’t told her anything, I felt somewhat shocked… It wasn’t really my place… But then Dad couldn’t have said anything I suppose, He had very little understanding of his body, he didn’t have the words for it, and felt embarrassed.

So I told Mum everything, I told her what a teenage boy feels, I told her about masturbation, about semen, about how it makes us feel, I told her the lot, and she listened… I think it was stuff that she always wanted to know but she never had access to that information.

Womens magazines are loaded with items on periods, birth, lactation, PMS… they go on and on, but there’s never the raw information on what we males feel, and I think Women really need to know, and they should try to make their guys feels comfortable with the topic and try to get this information out of them.

I don’t feel that Women are a big mystery, I’ve lived with women all my life and yes, magazines and info everywhere, perhaps that’s why I never bothered to go out with them, I’d rather listen to my music and walk my dog. maybe to me there was no big mystery, I’m not sure… That’s not to say I don’t love Women. Women have bought me up, protected and fed me, and have kept me alive when things looked pretty grim, which is twice in my life now, without the Women in my life, I wouldn’t be here.

I hope this has given you something to think about.


Two sugars?

18 05 2010

I had a thought about football, now bare with me here, don’t tune out, please… you see, I don’t like it either.

And if you can admit that, then we’ve come far.

In the 70’s and 80’s, you couldn’t say that, admitting that you didn’t follow a team was a bit like saying your dad was married to his sister and you has six toes on your feet.

There was always the gasp of horror and the look of shame.

And tonight while moping about before bed, I realised it’s a bit like when you have someone with you, for the first time, and you offer them a coffee, you wouldn’t first ask if they’d like a coffee, you’d just ask how they wanted it.

I’d often be asked which team I barracked for, not if I followed the game at all first off.

Thankfully the TV remains off these days, one of the reasons it remains in that state is because I don’t have sports pushed down my throat every 15 minutes. but online, even in winter, I can be blissfully unaware of who’s “thrashing” who, you see, I really don’t care.

I’m a guy who never, ever watches sports… it’s a wonder I’m still single. 😉


Who is Wolfie?

16 05 2010

Once in a while, I’ll get people asking me about Wolfie, the part of him who’s me and the part of him who’s the character. I know a lot of people just read my blogs and tweets and try to work it out for themselves, but people can also assume the wrong things. so I thought I’d write down the ideas which were popping up in my head while doing my dishes and cooking tea, a very rare thing really.

Wolfie is my soul, which is a funny thing to say, considering that I call myself an athiest, to feel I have a soul… it might just be my feelings or thoughts. in any case, it’s a comfortable place within, like a bean bag near the stereo and your favourite dog curled up beside you.

While I consider that I am Wolfie, (My Real name is Peter) there are also the avatars… the Secondlife one and the White Wolf logo which you see when you read my posts in various places online.

Both of these are mechanisms for me to present myself as Wolfie, via these I want to show you my inner self, but quite often you’ll see bits of the regular, everyday me too… but where Wolfie stops and Peter starts is something I’m not sure of myself.

What I hope doesn’t happen, is that people see it as some kind of creepy, mad puppeteer thing, where the dummy takes on a scary sense of self, though I’d be Wolfie without the device (dummy/avatar/logo) in any case.

Lets make this clear right here and now, Wolfie is very much a Werewolf but he never eats people, so why does he say that he does?

It’s a reverse racism thing… in the story which I’ll probably never complete, Wolfie is friends with a group of local werewolves,
and they joke about eating people in the same way that Gay men can refer to themselves as fags and Italians can call themselves wogs.

I have a very good Vietnamese friend who once said “Yeah, I eat dogs, so what?” and I like that flippant, self-mocking talk, it’s very Aussie, and I base this idea on what he said at that moment.

Many years back I read legends that were written about Werewolves, from centuries ago, and although there were the stories about the dangerous blood thirsty beasts, which constantly comes up in books and movies too often…unfortunately, there was also the werewolf who was there to protect a village from danger, thieves and the like, and others who’d protect farms and animals.

The Werewolves of Melbourne are very definitely the protective sort of Werewolf, though I had no wish to write them up as some sort of super heroes (ninja turtles comes to mind), but if you were a large creature who could see in the dark very well and you heard someone scream, you could come to their aid, right?

To the Characters in my book, Werewolf movies are a bit like being black and watching black people play the part of servants in film.
Though they still like the werewolf movies, all the collected works on VHS tapes (80’s period) are stored on a shelf entitled “comedy”.

Wolfie is a very caring individual, very gentle and loving and always wishes to try and do the right thing for his friends and family,
Never a blood thirsty, baby eating beast… but the latter loans itself to comedy a lot better.

Years ago when I first got online, I found two groups of people… one set were involved in a chat group (alt.horror.werewolves on Usenet) and refered to themselves as werewolves, remarkably, these individuals thought along much the same way as I do about their inner-wolf, which was amazing really, why on earth would people be experiencing the same sorts of feelings, it was really something. and remember that I was having these thoughts as far back as the mid 80’s, long before I’d even heard of the internet.

The other set were furries, people who are into artwork, fursuits and so on, who sometimes shared similar experiences but would often change who they were, say, from a cat to a dragon, overnight, because they were tired of the other version of themselves or their friends were all dragons this week so “I’ll be one too”.

Weres rarely changed their view of who they were, although I confess, there have been changes with me… but then, don’t we all re-evaluate ourselves over time anyway?

I tend to see more furries these days, and furries too have come from a sub-culture thing which nobody really seemed to know about, to something which people are now fairly commonly (and often wrongly) aware of.

People sometimes say I’m a furry, and while I don’t really fit in that category (Weres refer to themselves as Therians or Therianthropes), I don’t really mind if people call me a furry… and I do it myself now and then too.

Now I suppose I could write down every detail I can think of, but I’d rather be asked questions on this, so please feel free to do so,

But there’s a few tidbits anyway.

* I am one of the early members of alt.horror.werewolves as mentioned in the wiki article, which began as a discussion about werewolf books and movies, but evolved into a group about therianthropy… the “horror” bit being a hangover from what the group was originally developed for.


Step out of the shade

13 05 2010

Incase you haven’t seen it yet.

Shiatsu days

13 05 2010

After leaving radio, partly due to my ill health at the time, I felt that I didn’t just want to sit at home and do nothing, but learn something and do something that was gentle and quiet, and thus I fell headlong into my crystal wearing hippy days during the 1990s.

I joined the Australian Shiatsu college in Fitzroy, not having a clue what shiatsu was, but I had thought that massage might be a good thing to try.

So I turned up one morning and suddenly it dawned on me that I had not touched another person in my life, and that for about two minutes I had an internal panic, which vanished after I reasoned that I was here to do this and learn something new and it was going to be fine, and it was.

I started off terribly, referring to the diagrams in my books as I was going, and once got told off by some woman who declared that I’d given her the worst shiatsu she’d ever had, but I think she was having PMS or something, I was defended quietly by other classmates.

Now and then I’d try out what I leant on Dad, who really enjoyed the massages he got, and I found that half way through them he’d fall asleep, which was a good thing as he was not a restful person.

I invited a friend of mine to the school once and worked on him, and was surprised when he started snoring.
the thing that I discovered was most fun was that I could sneak out after the massage, leaving the relaxed person alone, who would generally wake in surprise that I wasn’t there anymore.

The classes got harder and harder and acupuncture points became a part of the study, I felt I had not signed up for this and got a bit annoyed, though I didn’t express my discontent, I often don’t.

I didn’t pass, possibly because I didn’t study much, possibly because I couldn’t bullshit enough.

I think the day when I began waking up was the day that we had the food preparation day. it was one of those health giving hippy diets full of delicious blandness that real people just don’t eat.

Now I should say that I do or did, eat healthy food already. my lunch often consisted of a lovely big salad sandwich and I mostly drank fruit juices or milk (never coffee or tea). yet despite this, I still got cancer anyway.

I was quite happy to learn how to cook something new, but once I tasted it, and I was starving by this time, I hated it. I doubt that cardboard could have been blander.

Fortunately there was a Maccas down the street, and I hastily sneaked down the road and got myself lunch there, which was not really something I’d normally do.

Later there was a discussion on the food and everyone was asked to comment one by one on what they thought of the food… I decided to be completely honest, I told them exactly what I thought, and what I’d had for lunch. some were horrified, but I didn’t care.

Mum used to say “A hungry man is an angry man” and she was right, my stomach was fed up with all the hippy shit and just wanted something to eat for crying out loud.

I’m not saying it was a total failure, the experience was interesting, I made a few new friends, it made me less concerned about my body, I found that I could speak more easily about things which I’d keep locked away in a dark place… and frankly that’s a pretty awful thing to do. and I really did feel a lot healthier thanks to all the massages and yoga we did at the time.

But I was hoping that perhaps it would have lead to a job, it didn’t.

I moved on, I became a “friend of the zoos” and would help at Melbourne Zoo once a week, which I liked.

Everything I’ve done in life revolves around being a volunteer or a student. I tinkered with a dog walking business for a while, which bought in little amounts of money and I also had a job where I was paid $500 once, it was some council job and involved colouring in, I didn’t get it and found it kind of an insult to my intelligence and left.

and here I am.