Interesting, our conversation about virtue signalling in the WhatsApp the other Monday (31/05/2021) and the irony of the exact problem occurring 3 days later (03/06/2021) 🙄😅
Just realised that it was a premonition.
It is a trend. HZ does not know why. It is not fun anymore.
In our generation, there is a culture for people to get upset or offended by anything and everything. 15/06/21
Yes, totally. I was upset about it. It seemed like a ganging up / herd mentality. I briefly alluded it to the admins on Saturday, I dropped a subtle hint to Anna that I was not happy about it 😏 message received, I think 🤞...JW seemed to agree.
That is good! What did they say?
Anna walked away 😉
JW said that she would not have removed him.
I like and respect both of them but I felt that the point needed to be made. Yes, because I bet there are more people in the group who feel the same way. Yes, probably, and they are possibly too afraid to say anything for fear of being blocked. That is only a speculation, though (I speak for myself, ha!). Although I did say something. I preferred to do it in person. Keyboard Warriors!
Yes. HZ does not know how to deal with it himself, but he will not let people get ganged up on every time someone says something that might not be PC. No, and that is wise 💪 😌
Interestingly, I have since been speaking with Rob. He did it to see what would happen. As a ploy to demonstrate how overly-sensitive the group is. He meant nothing offensive by it, though. Genius.
This afternoon, I had a deep and philosophical conversation in the office about life, death, angels, demons and spirituality, as one does...
It was triggered by the present that landed on my desk. Thank you for the rich gifts, Anna! How kind and thoughtful 😊 I am over the moon with them! I am now kitted out for when I am next at the park. How strange. It is almost like Anna knew that I wore my badge with pride at the picnic in green park last Saturday. I made it out of the house and got as far as Vauxhall bus station. But I could not find any decent alcohol in the Sainsbury's. Then, I realised that I left something important at home (the badge). Since it matched my outfit, I made a special detour back home and out again because not having it equated to one of my wardrobe crises 😅
Well, I have options now. Next Saturday, I will be fully prepared, and people will notice it more. And I have something that no one else has. They are unique. To me. 😝
Yes. It has a bottle opener! 😃
This is amazing. Anna reminded us it is my artwork. Now I will be super popular at the picnic. I can help people with their drinking, too. Full circle. How ironic.
What is that thing? It looks like a demon. As a child, I saw it in a James Bond movie. It captivated my imagination. As an adult, I researched where I had seen it. I found out that it was in License to Kill. Several scenes in the movie were shot at Villa Arabesque, Acapulco, Mexico. Apparently, there were a lot of animal sculptures and fish furniture lying around. When James Bond wakes up in Sanchez' mansion, we see a brief shot of a human encapsulated within a spherical fish's body. An online source says that this a prelude to the "winking fish" in-joke seen at the end of the movie. James and his Bond girl (Pam Bouvier) jump into the swimming pool. The shot pans to a winking fish before the credits start to roll.
My colleague explained that this ties into mythology. Apparently, the fish-man sculpture is a "marine spirit". Marine spirits and maritime creatures are used as a symbol of repressed sexuality. You only need to watch "The Little Mermaid" to see more examples of this.
At BOTW, I became known for that fish sculpture. I planted it in the venue ops database that I programmed as an Easter egg. Back when we launched in 2012. At the time, I mentioned that there was an Easter egg concealed inside a database. There was much speculation about it. A few years later, I was still working there. I casually dropped it into office conversation to try clicking "Help" during the Welcome screen to see if anyone might notice. Sally picked up on my hint. She found it! Quite possibly the most hilarious moment that we have had at work.
Ever since, it became my office alter-ego.
At 29, my colleagues presented me with a birthday card in which my face was superimposed over the fish sculpture.
Even at DT (where the fish-man was less celebrated), I had it as my desktop picture so that visitors would be gawped at by a gormless human trapped in a fish body whenever they walked into the office. My manager sarcastically asked me which surrealistic piece of art I extracted it from.
I am glad that I have carried the tradition through to my 3rd job. I have it as my desktop picture to greet people as they walk into the office. 😈
This year, in February, I painted a picture of it on my iPad using an Apple Pencil. It took me several evenings. I emailed the painting to Villa Arabesque in Mexico but they have not yet replied.
From: Rory Duffy <roryduffy
My mum acknowledged that it has been a special image in my life for a number of years. I even turned it into a character and built a story out of it in my fictional hobbies. My colleague seemed impressed that I had brought it to life. It caught my imagination as a child. It has remained a big part of my life.
We talked about clowns. In France, clowns are popular. They tie into the Pierrot / French mime art nouveau culture. Whenever we were on holiday, we stayed in French Gites (cottages), where clowns were often prevalent. In one bedroom, there was a giant rag doll clown hung up on the wall. I loved it. My colleague asked me if that is not a little creepy? It is creepy, but in an alluring way. I believe that the clown is like a concealed spirit guarding me while I sleep. 🤡
More on this theme: www.pinterest.co.uk/roryduffy27/moonstruck-clowns/
Do I believe in demons? I believe in manifestations. Forces of good and evil that manifest themselves through the people who I encounter through life. 2 years ago, I was going through a 7-month period of depression. During which I experienced psychosis. During my hallucinations, I saw demons. As I later found out, these visions were a symptom of low Self Esteem.
I have managed to capture and categorise my visual representation of Drifters, Flag Wavers, Fools, Future Fakers, Ghosts, Jokers, Phantoms (whatever I wish to call them) in my Pinterest Board "Foolography".
Event during my lucid state, I still believe in these ideas. The difference is that I have maintained a level of control over myself. I am no longer letting myself be controlled by the universe. During this time, people would say to me "what will be, will be". Although they had my best interests at heart, this was actually unhealthy for me because it was a form of disempowerment. It prevented me from saying or doing the things that I needed to say or do.
I recounted my experience of sleep paralysis, a few years ago. It was after watching a horror movie, late into the night (not recommended). Case 39 featuring Renée Zellweger. Although my body was conscious, my mind was unconscious and dreaming. The demon from the movie appeared in my bedroom before my bed. It had white, translucent skin under which the red blood veins were barely visible. It leapt from the floor up onto my bed. Although I could not feel it, I could sense that it was as light as a feather. Since my mind was dreaming, there was nothing that I could do to stop the vision from unfolding before my eyes. What happened? I screamed myself awake. My flatmates all heard. The next morning, my flatmate asked me "Rory, are you alright?" I explained what happened. Patricia, my landlady, explained that the movie opened up a doorway in my mind to the spiritual plane.
My colleague asked me if I am a spiritual person. I have become more spiritual as I have grown older, partly due to the influence of my landlady, Patricia. I believe that she was a shaman. I lived with her for 7 years. She had a profound influence on me. She taught me that we might die tomorrow. Live for the moment. My grandfather was a vicar. I was baptised. I stopped attending church just before adolescence. When I was a student, I got heavily into Buddhism. Sometimes, I might label myself as agnostic. But for the most part, I prefer not to put myself in a box. If I were to label, my worldview syncretises aspects of Christianity and Buddhism.
2 years ago, I was out of control. I was controlled by the universe. I believe in destiny, fate and serendipity. I believe that there are forces out there that influence circumstances and change the course of nature. But the difference between now and then is that I have been given some measure of control within myself. I have a more healthy, equilibrium dialogue between myself and the universe. This is why I am sensitive and recognise the underlying reasons behind certain eventualities. Or maybe that is simply my own reasoning and understanding that I draw out of them. It does not mean that it is not real. Seeing is not believing. Believing is seeing.
Do I believe in God? I am not sure. I have not formulated it within myself. Why should I not believe in God? Good question. This ties into the cosmological argument. I will get back to you on that one.
Back to the fish, I thought that it would be useful to copy and paste all of the information and references that I can find about it online. So that it is in one place for my convenience. In the process, I discovered that someone has made a real life sculpture of it! I have messaged him asking where I can buy it. My lifelong dream is to have one that sits at the end of my bed so that I can be protected through the night and wake up face to face with it.
At the M&M, JW revealed that her and Tom describe me as weird. But in a good way. Because they describe themselves as "weird". She asked me to take it as a compliment. It is like an initiation ceremony. They helped me interpret Sam, too. At the end of our date the other week, Sam said that he is weird. Serendipity, indeed. Perhaps everything is finally coming together. 🐟
Fishman sculpture in LTK
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I have talked about Destiny vs. Free Will. Not to mention Karma & Fate.
Today, I have had a moral dilemma. On 29th May, I was drunk in Hackney. I picked up a white UNIQLO Premium linen shirt from the ground. It was in my size (S). I completely forgot about this until the next morning when I picked out a random white shirt from my rucksack. There was a sweater, too, which was also in size S. I kept it.
Regarding the UNIQLO white shirt, my initial plan was to keep it, too. However, it still had the tag and original receipt (£29.90 + £29.90 + shopping bag £0.10 = £59.90). My follow-up plan was to return it to the shop and get the money paid into my bank account (£29.90). But my brother who works at Superdry advised me that this would not work. The money would go back to the original buyer's credit card. And I might be in danger of getting busted for money laundering, excuse the pun.
Just after my birthday, my mum planted a seed. She kindly ordered me a beautiful pastel orange, crew neck UNIQLO T-shirt in the hope that it might dissuade me against buying cheap crap from Primark. Although I requested size S, it was a little loose fitting for my liking. Last week, I discovered that UNIQLO produce a size XS.and even XXS on the website. I visited the shop in Oxford Street, tried on an XS and found that it was a better fit. Anyway, the point is that I was able to exchange size S for a size XS without requiring my mum's receipt (I did offer the shop to ask my mum if she could email it across should they need it). But they did not require it.
With that in mind, My follow-up plan was to keep the shirt and sell it on Vinted. But last week's exchange gave me a better idea. Why not exchange the white shirt for a few UNIQLO items totalling up to £29.90 or more? Besides, I was planning to buy a few plain, coloured T-shirts to go with my aztec shorts and harem pants. In this way, I could successfully avoid Primark. As I was leaving work, I explained my plan to TC. Instantly, she thought that I was doing a good deed by returning the shirt to send the money back to the original buyer. Looking at her smiling face, I was suddenly seized with a feeling of guilt. I thought about how I would feel if I lost £60 worth of goods on the streets of Hackney. And how nice it might be if the money were returned. I was half way through explaining my plan when I changed course. I might as well come clean to the shop, since it is the honest thing to do.
TC echoed my thoughts that if I send positive energy out to the universe, I might draw positive energy back. Why not return it? Make someone's day? That way, I would not be expecting anything back in return and I might feel much better about the situation.
I have mentioned Karma. Added to that futile plan was the complication that I would need somewhere to park my bike since I would not be returning to the office in the morning (I had my running gear on me). If I were to launder money, there is a possibility that Karma might get back at me and my bike gets stolen while I am in the shop.
At this point, I had 3 options:
I decided to do a good deed and return it to the shop. Not in the vain hope that Karma might reward me in some way. Because that would not be doing it for the right reasons. There is a deontological approach and a teleological approach. If I opted for the latter, i.e., if I performed a good deed as a means to an end rather than as an end in itself, I might be doing something right but for the wrong reasons. I needed to get myself into the mindset of returning the money anonymously to the buyer and thinking nothing of it afterwards.
As I was cycling down Pentonville, Tottenham Court Road and into Oxford Street, I felt excited by the prospect of what I was about to do. How wonderful it would be for the guy to notice £29.90 from UNIQLO drop into his bank account? I found a side street, locked the bike by the wheel against a lamppost camouflaged among a row of motorcycles (carefully checking with a nearby security guard that it was risk free). I walked into the shop ground floor and went to customer services. I patiently waited in the queue, half looking forward to getting this over with but half pleased at myself in prospect of how the cashier might react. At one point, I even thought that they might refuse a refund and encourage me to do an exchange after all. Feeling guilty again, I pushed away that thought.
I said "a bit of an odd one, I found this shirt discarded on the floor with the original tag and receipt. I was wondering whether I could return it so that the money could be sent back to the original buyer as I am sure that he would appreciate it. It is in mint condition." The cashier was a little taken aback and seemed to agree.
She paused and said "it is very nice what you are about to do, but unfortunately we have a policy at UNIQLO whereby the item can only be returned to the branch from which it was originally purchased. On the receipt, it says that it was purchased in Wandsworth."
I faltered. Oh. When would I ever get the time to trek down to Wandsworth?
I said "I do not know what to do."
She said "you are welcome to choose something from the shop floor and get it exchanged."
I said "I guess that this is what I will have to do. I cannot say that I have not tried."
For a moment, I thought about it. But I no longer felt guilty.
I said "can I find something upstairs, bring it down here, get it exchanged and pay any extra difference?"
She said "yes, go ahead, feel free to do that if you would like to."
In a way, the universe gave back to me simply because I was having the right moral attitude. I had done the honest thing by coming completely clean. And the universe rewarded me. I reckon that there was a reason that my mum wanted to get me a UNIQLO T-shirt for my birthday. That reason paved the foundations of this eventuality happening.
Yesterday, I received 2 INCERUN printed t-shirts from Wish. Although I had ordered them in both colours (yellow & black) and even messaged the seller to clarify what I had done, I received both shirts in black. I was not impressed. I kicked off big time, repeatedly demanding a full refund for the 2 t-shirts after having received a partial refund for the 1 shirt, since they are now out of stock on Wish. I have managed to re-order both colours from NewChic but effectively made a loss of £30 in the process.
Maybe this is karma teaching me not to act like a spoilt brat.
I could sell the Wish t-shirts on Vinted. But my instinct tells me to wait until I have received the NewChic replacements. And so the life saga continues...
Rory spent the first few years of his life in an ice cave, carving out his palace of wonder. He's a bit of a love doll, but he who melts the ice shall have his reward.
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I have been recommended to acknowledge and process all that I have been though, where it all started from how it has affected me.