How to be unpopular on WordPress.

Too many followers? You want to reduce them? Here is the simple Opher Goodwin guide to weeding out your followers.

Start by reviewing what most people want.

Here’s a list I prepared earlier:

  • short articles
  • colourful
  • photos
  • food
  • fashion
  • humour
  • Nature poetry
  • everyday life
  • inspiring quotes
  • travel
  • pleasant tone
  • friendly

I do a fair bit of that.

Here’s a list I prepared earlier of things they do not want:

  • Long articles
  • Discussions
  • Religion
  • Politics
  • Brexit
  • Racism
  • Sexism
  • Trump
  • Political poetry
  • Environment
  • Terrorism
  • Extremism

I do a lot of that. It doesn’t make me popular.

Most people do not want to think about issues. They prefer their news in short bites and would rather be distracted by trivia and entertainment.

If you believe that people are basically good but are being led astray by false news and propaganda in the media, that politics is messing up the planet and it does have to be like that. If you believe that the environment is in danger, that wars are unnecessary, that religious extremism is terrible. That politicians lie and seek power at all costs. If you have faith that things can change for the better. Then you have a moral duty to speak your mind and try to improve things, to make people think and question.

I could have an extremely popular blog just focussing on travel, photos, food, tittle-tattle and humour. That is easy to see from the stats.

I choose not to.

I prefer to at least try to make a difference.

 

Poetry – They come

They come

 

I heard them.

They moved quietly

But I heard them.

Rising up off my haunches

I signalled.

Our two mothers

Gathered up their children.

All looked to me.

Only one young buck

Stood questioning.

This was no time for confrontation

And he knew it.

I glared at him.

He backed down.

I led them all silently off,

Deeper into the forest.

I knew it might not be enough.

They would soon find where we had been.

They were clever,

Not easily put off.

I moved fast

Setting a pace that the weakest could keep up with.

They all followed behind.

They understood.

All we could do was hope.

 

Opher – 8.9.2020

Freedom.

For me, freedom is not the right to bear arms and do what you like. It is about living responsibly within a society without violence, hatred or division. Within that society, I want to be free to do what I want without repression, oppression or restriction providing I do not do harm to others, incite hatred or violence, or infringe on other peoples’ rights. That is a compromise.

Freedom to me is having a good standard of life without having to work too hard or in dangerous conditions.

Freedom is about living in an environment that is pleasant, congenial and has respect for nature.

Freedom is about not having to worry about healthcare, injustice, discrimination, exploitation or violence.

Freedom is about having choice.

I feel extremely fortunate to live in a country with a great deal of freedom.

I think we take it for granted.

I live in the UK.

I am free to travel inside my country or abroad.

I can follow or criticise any religion I want.

I can vote for any political party.

I can follow and criticise any political party without fear of retribution.

I live in a country that at least aspires to provide equality to all races, religions and genders (even if there is still inherent racism, sexism and prejudice).

I have access to free education and healthcare.

I have a pension.

I have a welfare system as a safety-net should I need it.

In the workplace, there are rights – minimum pay,  safe working conditions, maximum hours, holiday pay, employer contributions to pension and health.

We do not have a brutal armed police regime.

We have clear restrictions on detainment and the conditions we experience when detained.

We have a justice system.

We are not terrorised by crime. Our criminals are rarely armed. Our society is not riddled with guns.

There are environmental laws to prevent the environment from being destroyed and my food, air, soil and water being polluted.

I am free to protest and complain.

 

If I compare this to other countries, even Western democracies like the USA, I feel extremely fortunate. Many countries have tyrannical governments, theocracies where other religions or atheism are persecuted, discrimination against homosexuals, women or racial minorities, gagging of protest, heavy police states with armed police and no adequate justice systems. There are places where workers are exploited to the point of being slaves and the environment is trashed for profit, where the air, water and soil are so heavily contaminated as to be a health hazard.

Our rights and freedoms have been long fought-for over many centuries. This is not the result of benevolence from our rulers and bosses. They gave every shred of freedom grudgingly and are always looking to claw it back.

We see in the States the environmental laws being dismantled and workers’ rights being reduced – to maximise profits and stimulate the economy (ie. to put more money in the pockets of the wealthy).

We see the same thing in the UK with Brexit where environmental laws and workers’ rights are up for grabs.

History shows that we have to be vigilant.

I am glad I am living in a free country. It is by no means perfect. There are many battles ahead to maintain our rights and freedoms and to improve upon them.

But, every now and again, perhaps we should stand back and think how lucky we are to live in a country with such freedom and how grateful we should be for the people who fought (and gave their lives) for us to enjoy these freedoms.

The onus is on us now to build upon them.

 

Poetry – Mother

I woke this morning with this poem in my head.

Mother

 

Slowly, circuitously she approached.

Her eyes fixed on him.

Not wanting to arrive.

Reaching his side she squatted and poked him with her finger.

He did not stir.

She picked him up and shook him

As if trying to wake him from a dream.

His head lolled.

It was no dream.

Already his body was cooling;

Giving its heat to the warm air.

A low moan escaped her lips.

She sat back on her haunches

Cradling him to her breast,

Into her fur,

As if the warm of her body

Might revitalise him.

Her vacant eyes stared.

She began to rock back and forth

Like a metronome.

Two hours passed.

She was still rocking.

 

Opher 6.9.2020

Nick Harper book – Nick Harper: The Wilderness Years Paperback

The Nick Harper book –

Nick Harper: The Wilderness Years Paperback 

 

Is available in paperback or digital from your local Amazon.

I first met Nick when he was a young child and over the years he has become a close friend. This book illuminates the genius that I feel is Nick Harper and is designed to accompany ‘The Wilderness Years’, a trilogy of vinyl albums. Nick talks candidly about many aspects of his music and career. I include, with Nick’s permission, the lyrics of all the songs featured in the trilogy. There are also many photos dating from his childhood to the present day.

One review:

‘Humorous anecdotes and autobiographical exposition, paralleled with notes on the complex work of Harper bring the reader on a journey of wonderful insight into this quiet troubadour. Lovely entertaining read.’

In the UK:

In The USA:

In India:

If you would like me to sign a copy you can purchase a book directly from me – please PM me. (Or leave a message in the comments).

Lisbon – the gothic Elevador de Santa Justa – photos

The Elevador de Santa Justa is a gothic gem of wrought iron that gives a magnificent view over the city. It is like a lift in a casing of beautiful wrought iron.

Great views over the city.

The ironwork is beautiful.

What an incredible, unique structure the Elevador de Santa Justa is.

We never learn – an extract from ‘Farther from the Sun’.

I was a little boy running around in a playground and falling over and scraping my knees. She was the headmistress that made the new rule that we were no longer allowed to run around because we might hurt ourselves. We had to play games such as statues because it was deemed safe.

I was the little boy made to memorise and recite poetry, and who fucked up because he was out climbing trees and running around putting scabs on his knees, so he didn’t memorise his lines, consequently he was made to stay in while the others did P.E. I was the boy who sadly watched out of the classroom the window while the others threw a ball around in the sunshine. But I never learned. I always ended up enviously peering out of the window and not learning the fucking poetry.

I was the young boy made to wear a uniform and politely touch my cap, who instantly became the dirtiest, scruffiest, snotty-nosed kid going as soon as I got home.

I was the adult who never grew up.

3.11.01

 

Happiness is birth.

3.11.01

Phuket – lunch by the floating fishing village – photos

We had our lunch by the side of a floating fishing village on a lake. We had fresh fish – delicious!

There was a poor elephant kept caged up in a tiny enclosure.

Pigeons in the trees.

Fishermen out on the lake.

A little village floating in the middle of the lake.