The Holly O saga is drawing to a sad and ominous close. It appears that she has been silenced by the British government for exercising her right of free speech. From Jim Quinn and Holly O at theburningplatform.com:
HollyO finally responded to our emails this afternoon. Below is her email and my response to her email. Hopefully, when sanity again rules in this dystopian world, she will be able to exercise her right to free speech once more.
I’m glad to see you aren’t in a dungeon for the capital offense of free speech. I understand your decision. These are dangerous times. You will be happy to know I’ve sent at least 200 Pdf copies by email in the last two days, and the requests keep coming in. Many of these people said they will be sending it to many others. It feels like we are spreading truth the old fashioned way, before the internet. I think your ordeal is convincing more people that our governments are the enemy. We are pushing towards a tipping point and every Pdf of your article sent by email pushes us further towards that tipping point.
I do not recall how the general rumour started on the Platform that I was an elder. What I do know is that when I realised it was assumed so by contributors at large I let it ride, marking it down to the human tendency to speculation where facts are thin-to-non-existent. The Platform is one of the few places I have ever posted anything for perusal as well as one of the few that yielded email exchanges with people I had never shaken hands with.
My initial impression of the Platform was much like when I first saw the film Ghost and observed the audience was overwhelmingly female — perhaps 75-80%. I had a similar epiphany here, only gender-reversed. It was the quality of what I read that seduced me to stay — I came for the writing and stayed to contribute.
All of that is down to you, Mr Quinn. Your only agenda appears to be the exercise of free speech; this is more than admirable, it is astonishingly rare. (Remember when zero hedge censored that weapon piece? I recall that was a wake-up call for me regarding your purity of intent).
When I came to the Platform I was impressed to find the demographic overwhelmingly testicular and my first thought was wouldn’t it be nice to communicate and learn with men in as pure and unobstructed a way as possible?
I was privately educated in the Trivium until age ten, the Quadrivium to age fifteen, then moved to the States and did a year of public high school. It was a miserable fit for me so I have no formal education beyond that age. I had at that time around a 95% fluency in Classical Latin, since dropped to 70-75%, maybe; at any rate, I am out of practice. I tell you this to provide cultural context.
I picked up an intern position at a television station when still in high school and was there just shy of three years, one of those years paid. It seems very long ago now. Afterwards, I taught myself HTML, Unix and enough COBOL to pick up lucrative contract jobs on the late-90s death march to forestall Y2K.
I don’t know how or where the rumour started that I was an elder, but I spotted the advantage immediately so disabused none of the supposition. The result: men relaxed more (never entirely, post-Internet men never do. Added to the essential distrust of women anyone descended from Adam knows, men are nowadays always braced for some scam) and I achieved what felt like a mind-to-mind basis with men for the first time. It was thrilling.
For the sake of argument, let’s say I am the natural child of a peer of the realm, hence the education. And the booted-from-the-nest path life took after age fifteen. And the resulting high school culture shock. What would your first reaction be? Rich entitled British bitch? I find I produce my best work when I can avoid being stereotyped by those with whom I converse, and when it dawned upon me that the scuttlebutt was that I was a rogue granny keyboard warrior, I let it roll, and the path became as clear as I could make for the mutual exchange of knowledge and ideas.
In short, if men find a woman desirable, every conversation is loaded with today’s version of sexual tension: Can I get her to have sex? –or– Is she trying to take me for half of everything I own? If on the other hand I was seventy-five years old, in the same room, and tried to initiate a conversation of the depth which I have been privileged to enjoy on the Platform, men would most likely not give me the time of day. A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi.
I love men and think I understand them very well, but love knowledge and learning even more. The crisis real men face nowadays — I have seen men absolutely deconstructed by feminism over the past four-decades-and-change — the bitter, burnt and broken souls I read every day. I weep sometimes for the state of the Western world.
But I have babbled on enough and will close for now.
Last year I paid fines totalling ten thousand pounds sterling and today I need to brick my computer. I think it the wiser part to hang up my spurs as an essayist before this folly bankrupts me. I am very grateful to you, Admin, for providing the venue, and to you, Yo, for encouraging me to write for the Platform the first time but I like the quiet life, I’m not looking for love in all the wrong places and it is time for me to move on.
For what it’s worth, for those who have written me in their pain and their curiosity, I offer this:
I dropped the habit of gauging my existence by any reaction I provoke in others. It is nice when they like what I do, but meaningless when they don’t, for I am not selling anything, nor marketing myself, I am not interested in fame or what I can wrest from the soul or the bank balance of another. What I learned was to take one hour off from fretting every day. If a fret comes up, I write it down on a piece of paper, along with the next fret and the next. When the hour is up, I go outside, set the piece of paper alight, come in, splash my face with cold water and get on with the rest of the day.
I discovered this was the only way l would ever truly be free: accept that I had a purpose, then stop testing it, stop banging on it to hear it ring like a bell. I practised knowing that I exist for a reason without depending upon any other human to continually affirm it for me. Tough to do in the age of social media, but essential to avoid addiction and to keep my purpose clear.