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The world's longest suicide note: ONE MILLION words.

I write about life with bipolar disorder (a.k.a. manic depression).

All opinions are my own.

twitter.com/ManicGrant

nick@manicgrant.com

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LGBTQQIP2SAA

9 min read

This is a story about individualism...

Disguise

It's fun to dress up. It's fun to put on a silly voice. It's fun to wear make-up. It's fun act camp; to mince around. It's fun to belong to a subculture; to be able to identify with your 'kind' - your clan or tribe. It's fun to think of yourself as special and different. It's fun to have a sense of belonging and a strong sense of identity.

Take a walk down Old Compton Street in London's Soho and you'll see lots of men with shaved heads and moustaches wearing white sleeveless T-shirts. They call them clones. The clones are kinda über-masculine - they're generally stocky, muscly men and their bald heads and moustaches accentuate their extreme masculinity. They're so masculine that they live in an all-male world. There's a kind of hyper-sexuality to the clones coupled with a general sense of aggression and strength. It's notable that the clones appeared on the scene before the acronym LGBT started to gain all the additional letters, and vast numbers of teenagers started to become non-binary and pansexual.

In a world of toxic masculinity the pressure on cisgender (i.e. straight) white middle-class men has become unbearable. Born with original sin which means that to whisper "me too" when entering the highly charged arena where everybody claims to be an oppressed victim, is to be aggressively abused by every identity group, from feminists to LGBTQQIP2SAA gender-queers. "Check your privilege" we are told, when it's blatantly obvious that only a very tiny minority of white straight men are the ones who wield any power and control. It's highly unpleasant to be blamed for a situation that I neither created nor supported and I have no power to change.

Viewed as a "success object" I'm regularly asked about my ability to provide, which is like having somebody lecherously staring at my breasts. "Do you own your own home? What car do you drive? Do you have a well-paid job? Do you have a prestigious job title?" I'm asked, with a complete lack of subtlety that I'm being probed to find out if I'm wealthy and conventionally successful or not. It's like having my bum pinched or squeezed. It's like having a lewd pervert mentally undressing me.

I cringe with embarrassment that I wrote a blog post [now deleted] entitled "Feminazi" once, with only a hint of irony. I was trying to annoy an ex because I was in a messed up state - very unwell - and I was suffering some rather strange thoughts and ideas. I'm making excuses where none can really be made, but that's what I did, and I'm ashamed of myself. In the blog post I listed all the many disadvantages of being a man, such as 97% of workplace deaths, 99% of combat deaths, 79% of suicides etc. etc. Those things are all very good evidence that modern man has a pretty tough gig, but I was flirting with misogyny at times and presenting my beliefs with an unhealthy amount of anger and bitterness driving what I was writing.

I wish I was gay.

I've wished I was gay for a very long time. I've tried my very hardest to be gay but it's just not for me, unfortunately.

The reason why I want to be gay is that I've found the homosexual world to be more to my liking than the world in general. I like the quick and easy casual sex of Grindr. I like the flamboyancy and femininity of acting camp. I like the 'scene' and the identity that being gay brings - they don't have "hetero pride" parades, do they? I mainly like the fact that I can be ogled as a sex object and be passive, with potential sexual suitors buttering me up and massaging my ego, and all I have to do is decide who I want to have sex with. In the hetero world as a cisgender man, it's stressful taking risks, making the first move, trying to impress and having horrible knock-backs; it's a lot of pressure to present yourself as eligible and successful, and having gone to all the effort of getting a girlfriend there can be power struggles, with sex and children used as pawns and men are the usually the ones who lose out.

Of course by now, you're probably screaming at the screen that it's harder being a women, gay, trans or whatever particular thing it is that you identify as. You're probably very offended. You probably believe that my opinion is somehow encroaching on your rights and that I'm stealing valuable airtime which needs to be used exclusively by oppressed minority groups.

Everything I write, I worry that I'm somehow veering dangerously towards opinions that would be more at home on Brietbart. I consider myself to be an open-minded lefty liberal who's been through bi-curious periods of life and is quite comfortable with my identity, insofar as I don't think I'm homophobic or transphobic. I really don't think I'm a misogynist, although I admit that I rather bristle with annoyance that men's issues cannot be openly discussed without aggressive hostility being directed towards men who are suffering some very real and extremely horrible issues, and simply want to share their opinion and experiences. Obviously, to be lumped together with the likes of Donald Trump because I'm also a wealthy white man, is quite offensively racist - I'm not part of the so-called patriarchy just because of my skin colour and socioeconomic circumstances.

All these things are unspeakable.

I'm quite well aware of experiments such as this one: Two groups of psychiatrists are given identical case notes on a fictitious person, but one group is told that the person is black, and the psychiatrists in that group will view the fictitious person as much more violent, suspicious and dangerous, even though the only difference in the available evidence is skin colour. Clearly, people of colour still experience dreadful prejudice and discrimination, but we should be able to discuss other instances of prejudice, discrimination, oppression and abuse without considering certain things to be 'off limits'. I know that anybody who said "all lives matter" in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, was heavily criticised for seemingly undermining the central point: that black people suffer a grossly disproportionate amount of police brutality, incarceration and general mistreatment by the criminal justice system. I don't write in reply to movements which seek to reduce rape, sexual assault, discrimination, racism, bigotry, homophobia, transphobia, hate crime, oppression, exploitation and all the other awful things that are going on in the world; I write in addition. Holding and expressing my opinion does not diminish, discredit or undermine anybody else's struggle.

I'm on extremely dodgy ground.

I feel vastly outnumbered. I can't count myself amongst the angry white working-class disadvantaged men who swill lager and spout racial hatred with a St. George's flag draped around their chubby shoulders. I can't count myself amongst the highly-educated metropolitan liberal middle-class elites, although this is the group I most closely identify with. I can't count myself amongst the homeless addicts and alcoholics, although this is the group I'm most socioeconomically closely related to, surprisingly. I've tried my very hardest to be gay but I'm clearly not able to join the LGBTQQIP2SAA club, despite my best efforts. I know that there are men like me - at least in terms of gender, sexual preference, skin colour, education and wealth - who have successfully infiltrated feminism and groups of Social Justice Warriors. Perhaps I could ally myself with a group of outraged individuals and add my angry and aggressive voice to the unified noise that they create. I would certainly like to feel that I safely belong to a group, rather than being an outlier who holds very untrendy opinions which could even be mistaken as similar to those held by horrible gangs of knuckle-dragging thugs.

Am I a racist, bigot, homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic fully paid-up member of the patriarchy, responsible for the oppression of all the very many minority identity groups who'd gladly queue up for an opportunity to abuse me? I certainly lose a lot of sleep at night worrying that I've unwittingly wandered into the less extreme fringe territory of the groups that I detest: the right-wingers.

I'm somebody who's had a lefty liberal multicultural upbringing, and who has been open minded to the point of being almost a terrorist apologist, so desperate am I to distance myself from the Islamophobia sweeping the UK and US. I'm somebody who's always aspired towards equality in the workplace and at home, and has lived and worked in environments more diverse than any other place on the planet: 110 languages are spoken in London, which is twice as many as the next most multicultural city. Is it possible that I'm actually the enemy? Is it possible that I don't know myself at all, and I'm actually chomping at the bit to get swastikas tattooed all over my body and then go tell some women to get back in the kitchen, before kicking a transexual to death?

What has happened in the world where I feel like I've done something wrong and I'd better keep quiet for fear of causing offence and becoming a target for abuse? Why do I feel like I'm speaking the unspeakable? Why do I feel like I'm uttering heresies which no member of the lefty liberal metropolitan elite should ever utter? Why do I feel like I'm risking further isolation, loneliness, exclusion and being viewed as the enemy by people who I like and respect?

I wonder what my right-thinking right-on friends would say if they read this. I fear that they think I've been driven into the arms of the Brietbart brigade and I've become a nasty horrible right-wing scumbag. Is that possible? Have I missed something? Am I sleepwalking into enemy territory?

 

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What Do Artists Do All Day?

1 min read

This is a story about the value of time...

Cast and Crew

I should have been at work today. Instead, I was trying to entertain and amuse my fellow patients in hospital. We put on our own rendition of There's a Hole in My Bucket. I must stress that this was a team effort. I co-wrote the script, helped make costumes and props and played the part of Liza. Everything is cool when you are part of a team. Everything is better when we stick together.

I might be a drama queen, but you don't have to attend the performance

We even tried to work in some plot lines for Black History Month but this was somewhat of an afterthought. We definitely challenged gender sterotypes though. Homophobes might also be somewhat disbelieving when I say that I'm mostly heterosexual, but I was able to have make-up applied to my face, wear an apron and play the part of a LAY-DEE, OOH!

Today's Society

Yes, this is a satirical critique of today's society (October 2015)

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Institutional Investment has Failed

4 min read

This is a story of two different investment strategies...

Junior and Senior

The guy on the left is Junior Banker, William Marshall. The guy on the right is Senior Analyst/Programmer Banker, Nick Grant. We are both professionals in Global Banking, economists, and philanthropists, who have read law and practice accountancy.

We have followed very different strategies for the banks that we have worked for. William is 'old money' and has practiced the buy and hold strategy of passive investment in the world's biggest companies. Nick is 'new money' and has practiced active investment in startups and disruptive companies.

I would say, that as we are well into the 21st century, and we have seen many cycles of boom and bust, that we have enough economic data to make a bold pronouncement: passive investment has failed.

Having large amounts of capital locked away in pension funds, where the fund managers are old and lazy, is not a good strategy for anything. In the 1980s it lead to asset-stripping of profitable enterprises that had employed a lot of people and were generating wealth. This made the Mayfair Set very rich, but left Britain with huge numbers of people laid off, and factories closed and sold off for the land and asset value. In the 1990s and beyond, it has led to boardroom excesses that frankly disgust me.

Male-domination of the boardroom, and eye-watering salaries, bonusses and golden parachutes that are paid to our company executives. This is a situation that must change immediately.

Both William and I share a common belief that we need to see more women in the professions, and we need to smash the glass ceiling that woman have been held beneath for far too long. Both of us have supported our partners to the fullest possible extent to allow them to be the Wonderwomen that they are.

William's wife is a Rocket Scientist, working on Europe's most important Space Missions. My ex-wife quickly became an amazing software developer, outclassing me in every company that we have ever worked for, including Research Machines and JPMorgan. I supported us delaying starting a family and her retraining to become a Teacher. With incredible speed, she rose through the ranks to become Head of the Chemistry Department at one of the best State-funded Grammar Schools in the United Kingdom. The admiration she has of staff and pupils, and the exam results that she has helped achieve are amazing.

Our boardrooms, our corporate culture, are starved of women, and a non-macho feminism in the thinking of the way that we build businesses. We are not being diverse enough in selecting the best minds in industry. We are still sexist in our thinking and our hiring. Myself and some colleagues had to fight tooth-and-nail to retain one of the most brilliant women that I have ever worked with, on the most important project in the biggest bank in Europe. That's not right.

Law, accountancy, medicine, journalism and IT are all lacking in women, while teaching, childcare, events, hospitality and catering are lacking in men. Meanwhile, strong independent intelligent women are being short-changed in their careers and sidelined into roles that they are totally underused and undervalued in.

Myopic business leaders are also short-changing our young people too. By investing in old dying people, rather than energetic young people, the pyramid of society has been stood on its head. Retirement is not a right, it's a priviledge. You only get to retire if you have left the world a better place than you found it. Sorrry, buster... you don't get to spend your hoarded cash until you fix the environment and create some damn jobs.

It's time to do the right thing.

We do need to respect our elders, but that should be strictly in a non-executive capacity. Should these people receive huge remuneration for such positions? Absolutely not. Only those who have already managed to build enough wealth, and can therefore afford to not have to keep working, are entitled to sit on the boards of companies.

The most enterprising and hard working individuals are implementing and executing large-scale changes to our economy, creating jobs, creating wealth and inspiring the next generation. The value of sitting in a chair and criticising everything is precicely zero.

Darth Lol

 

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