Like Sarah Stokely, I'm sick of the emergence of the “cult of hard”.
"HTFU" is yet another piece of plastic solidarity, invented only so that the arsehats at the top of corporations can justify their “we own you so do as we say!” Invented to ruin lives, steal weekends, cancel holidays, eliminate sick leave – and adopted out in the community by suckers, racists, toad-eaters, pole-climbers, place-seekers and all that drops from the arse of the corporate world onto the anchor-fluke of the ship of commerce.
“Harden the fuck up” leads to nets under Foxconn dormitory flats to catch the jumpers, to trolls that don't think “ape” is a racist insult to an Aborigine footballer, to miserable lives of desperation no longer quiet, to silent misery after yet-another-buggering by a priest.
In my father, enough “hard” to serve in WW2 meant a man who was never completely sane until his death from Alzheimer's Disease in 1989.
To hell with hard. And here's my Twitter-stream because I'm proud I found the words. With thanks to @stokely who started it.
@stokely The world doesn't need more hard. It needs more soft. I'm as hard as a lemonade sandwich. "Strong" != "Hard".
All that follows is me as @r_chirgwin. I have suspension points where thoughts spanned more than one Tweet.
In general, "HTFU" and variations on the theme are just evangelising passive conformity. Takes a lot more "hard" to speak than not.
Someone says "this is rotten", and a whole heap of vested interests say "harden up"...
…(And a chorus of eunuchs chimes in aligned with their meal tickets). Who's strong? The vested interest, or the ordinary person saying "no"?
I'd rather admire the "soft person" who trembled at the knees and spoke up, than the conformist saying "harden up" or any of its variants.
"Strong" is a virtue. "Hard" is not. Ask my wife: I'm soft. But you won't get a hammer through my skin...
…and in the face of hell and death and illness and all the rest, we're 26 years together and still hold each other every night.
The "harden up" crew in the world look a lot less potent if you imagine them in tunics with pom-poms...
…the cheerleaders of a toxic culture introduced to the world by people like Al Dunlap. It's not something to aspire to. It's to despise.
If you love your loves and love your happiness, love your ability to be moved to tears or appreciate beauty, NEVER "harden the fuck up".
People who say "yes" in fear of the horror of being disdained by the boss aren't "hard". They're followers hoping the arrows don't hit them.
And the jewels you win by being "hard as concrete" won't be more than glass when live turns to shit and desperation.
The only things worth holding are love and laughter, and those things you do because they strike at your heart. The rest is chaff.
I ended the Twitter-rant because dinner was served. It was a home-made chicken pie, cooked by Ms T, with leek and mushroom in a cream sauce. Served with chat potatoes in butter and parsley. OK, she ran with frozen peas as well!
She is seriously ill and on chemotherapy for an immune system disorder, and her chronic pain is good enough for synthetic opiods. And she and I live on the knife-edge of expertise: what's enough chemo to keep her immune system down, but not so much that it causes cancer (she had two tumours removed last year)?
“Cooking for you guys [me and our sons] is the last thing I'll let go,” she said tonight.
I'll take your HTFU and raise it “love through the pain”. Even with a pair of twos in my hand, I'll win.