Outing myself first

I have much to say to come out of my closet.
No, I'm not gay.
I have behaved in other ways that attract approbrium and this will come out; if nowhere else then in the book that is available via "The Imperfect Idealist" website: http://imperfectidealist.blogspot.com (see the column on the left hand side of the page)

In the meantime, this is perhaps enough self-disclosure of my shortcomings:

After my last relationship (which she ended due to overwhelm), I've taken 3 months off from seeing her in order to disentangle things. Here now is "Some of the Disentangling of what I have learned from this last relationship?" -which applies also to my interactions with many others in Hastings (eg The Happiness crew):

1) That I wish I'd spent more of the period of her and I having significant time for each other establishing how we'd want to process the inevitable conflicts ahead.

2) That I took much for granted and built some fantasies for the future without establishing enough of a shared bedrock.

3) That I pressed some buttons that set off alarms.

4) That I could do better.

5) That I know more clearly what I'd be looking for in any future relationship in terms of acceptance in particular.

6) That I find it hard to give affection, acceptance, appreciation in the way that it is perhaps most wanted by people of this era and that I crave too.

Yours in peace
And here is my ethical self-outing from February 2013, after triggering controversy on Facebook:

PC: Unbelievably naughty of me to take this photo?

S: because ...

C:  You are seriously going to jail. Have some sense.

S:  I'm inclined to agree with Chris. We can't think for you post-factum Paul, only prompt you to start thinking for yourself _before_ you do something you can't back away from

J: You know how parents feel about this sort of thing. Even the ones who are also friends of yours. I think you should set yourself the challenge of living without the need to upload everything onto you-tube. How about putting the i-phone down for a day?

PC: Jules, I'll make that day the 30th of this month! I also intend to be on retreat from 17th-26th and will have my iphone on airplane mode; just using the camera to photograph the Norfolk Broads - no not the women; the water:-)

J:  You should remove this picture, unless you had permission to publish it online.

PC: J, convince me that I'm doing more harm than you in the position I am taking on this and I will remove it. if anyone wants to beat me up for doing this meet me at Asda, St Leonards at 9.15 on Friday!

S: Paul, please don't treat this with your usual flippancy. And stop playing silly games for the sake of getting attention. Even though I do think a lot of people are a bit touchy about children and photos, they _are_ touchy and you really don't want to be on the wrong end of that particular taboo. So please take J's very sensible advice.

PC: I bow to my youngers and betters in the Triratna Buddhist Movement.

S:  I'd rather you bowed to common sense, but in this case I'll accept the latter

J: My position is that I am the owner of my image and, while my children are minors, the owner of theirs too. Anyone photographing me, or my children, is infringing our privacy and it has long been established etiquette amongst street photographers to seek permission when photographing others in public, especially if the intention is to publish the photograph. I don't feel particularly worried about predators on the net, but the lack of good manners is annoying. Several years ago a photograph of me and the children appeared on flickr and what incensed me most about it was that the photographer didn't have the decency to ask me if it was ok to use my image.

M:  Paul, anyone is quite capable of reporting this to FB (see pull down menu on right) as unauthorized use of the image of a minor if it so pleases them. It might not get you arrested but it could well get you banned from using FB. Seriously.

J: And why did you post this in the first place? Was it just to provoke a reaction or did you want to open an interesting discussion on the ethical use of pictures in this image-saturated world?

PC: Thank you for asking, J. Often on my wanderings something catches my eye and so I photograph litter, nature, graffiti etc etc. My gratitude diary has space for a 'moment of beauty' in it & on a day of 20emails to my siblings -with great tension- this is the moment I recollect warmly today & thought I was doing no harm until Satyadarshin reminded me as above. This prompted me to remember the inspiring Peace Pilgrim (reading this at present) p38 "I remember one experience when it said in the local newspaper I was going to speak at a church service. It showed my picture - front and back, wearing my lettered tunic. A man who belonged to that church was simply horrified to discover that this creature wearing a lettered tunic was about to speak at his church. He called his preacher about it, and he called his friends about it. Somebody told me who he was. I felt so sorry that I had somehow offended a man I didn't even know. so,I called him!
'This is Peace Pilgrim calling', I said. I could hear him gasp. Afterward he told me that he thought I had called to bawl him out. I said 'I have called to apologise to you because evidently I must have done something to offend you, since without even knowing me you have been apprehensive about my speaking at your church. Therefore I feel I must somehow owe you an apology and I have called to apologise!'
Do you know that man was in tears before the conversation was over? And now we're friends - he corresponded with me afterward. yes, the law of love works!"

PC: We're at tangents it appears and I'm shattered (though it was only 18 tense emails to siblings today afterall) This communication is one I suggest we carry on off-line. I tried removing this picture yet haven't worked out how to do that on an iPad or iPhone; previously I've done the removing via a net book but that's far away. Bear with me, please.

S: None of which explains, "Unbelievably naughty of me to take this photo?" If you thought it was naughty, what kind of response were you trying to elicit? I say a non sequitur is no excuse.

PC: Yes, it appears unsafe to follow up my post with an open discussion; sad that this is the only time I've felt nervous about having no privacy whatsoever on my facebook news feed. My nerves have been sorely stretched by working to support my father after his heart attack in the best way U thought I could and in the face of family opposition. I dearly need support and recovery - luckily Jn offered today to come down from Birmingham to London etc to provide friendship face to face within the 95%encouragement and 5%chalkenge parameters. EXPECT SOME SILENCE FROM ME ON FACEBOOK.

S:  Paul, please take your own good advice and start by telling us what your needs are and request the kind of support that can be offered through a medium like this. You'll find people much, much more sympathetic.

J:  I don't see why you are worried about an open discussion here? This is a subject I find very interesting and would love to hear what others think about the appropriation of images. Elsewhere you have asked why there is opposition to you filming interactions with your family when your mum was happy with it and trusted what you were doing. Why do you think people object to their pictures being taken and published without their consent?

PC: Sorry, however interesting this topic is I have just awoken from anxiety and a pressing story that I need to listen to every bit of (surreptitious or overt) filming of my Dad to tune into today's task of "springing him from prison"(as he might call it), returning him to his home, handing over the house-sitting to my eldest brother and getting to London by 6pm for Jn and the Living Dharma project, then Hastings tomorrow, Oxford Friday and London/Canterbury Saturday, by which time the siblings need to have installed guards at Dad's home to stop him attempting the stairs in his fierce determination to live independently and ignore medical advice.

PC: My ESP-like waking was to field my brother in Florida's email about my filming of Dad and give him this reassurance below. The reassurance I'd like to give the Dad of the girl in the photo requires my telling a story about Rio and the rich mum who said "My daughter is safer if she goes to the ghetto than if not" (for elsewise we create a divided society). This man's daughter is safer if we live in a society where I can approach/look at/photograph her without reproach than if NOT.

As for Michael in America I wrote, to quell his anxieties about my YouTubing Dad: Yes, Michael, YouTube enable their account holders whose accounts are "in good standing" to have this facility to upload a video without listing it. Dad understood last night that this enables you to get a sense of how he's doing and to make well-informed choices with your siblings based on having seen how he is on his feet and heard his words/dialogues at key times during the week.

PC:  I once carried the dearest boy in the world to me around a country park with his mum (Sarah) and he was blonde and this age. I bought him a (Matchbox) camper van; he was into those from 2-4approx and as I carried him he kept putting his toy in my shirt pocket y my heart and taking it out, saying "Damper Dan". Despite having nieces and a nephew that day for me is my life experience of innocent, joyful intimacy with a child. Now, as I see a child wrapped up in their blue (or in this case pink) world, I wonder for how many nanoseconds I am allowed to appreciate that life. This culture distances men from becoming primary teachers, distances young females from the male world, contributing I would suggest to a desperate over-early sexualisation of young women to get access to the male world etc. Fathers hold back from the most crucial stage in a young girls development before in puberty they are ready to go out and tackle the world with confidence i.e. being convincingly told that they are the most beautiful, wonderful being in the world and that they are loved deeply.

PC: Etc etc

PC:  I've just written this to D  : Thank you for sharing Alice on a bus journey in Bristol once; I was touched. I've written about adults and children in modern society and brought in your story around safety that I cherish the most on my FB page. If you added a comment underneath the pink child I controversially photographed in a cafe yesterday, your few minutes here would greatly meet my need for support and recognition of my social isolation for the wonderful world of children. Please suggest ways I can contribute to your well-being too?

PC:  Ultimately I'm looking for a world to be created that marginalises private transport (other than the bicycle)'and does the same with children too. It takes a community to,raise a child, not a couple of scared/scarred parents in an atomised world. How many cars do you really need on your street and how are you going to share them? Don't you need a few more children (instead of cars) playing on your street? OK, who is going to have them and how are you going to share them such that we can all live child-enriched lives whilst trying to build a sustainable world socio-economic system?

PC: Where is my Cosette? I came out of prison 20 years ago but still haven't found her/him, or rather I did in India, then the drunken wife-beater took her/him away, as alluded to & I have to see up to 7 years more through before I get to BodhaGaya to redress this wrong:-)

PC: Which one of you is Inspector Javert

J: You didn't answer my question paul. Why do you think people object to their picture being used without consent, or to being filmed?

C: OK, we could get into a debate about how sad it is that single men in their late forties can't photograph a little girl in a cafe without asking permission. And we can debate how unfair it is that people have a stereotype of a pedophile as an unshaven sleep deprived man in shabby clothes taking photos of little girls. But that perception is not going to be changed overnight. Add to that,PC, the fact that if challenged you would either feel the need due to your reverence for truth to blurt out something about your sexual predelictions or (as here) some convoluted piece of philosophical rambling rather than a straight answer, and you could well have the law feeling your collar. And you would have to be sure that nowhere in your various garages filled with junk or electronic storage devices there were any weird materials or dubious web searches . And mud sticks, which would blight a lot of career or relationship paths. All for the sake of proving some point about your right to post a photo of a stranger's child with the caption 'ooh I'm being naughty'. Incredibly stupid behaviour. Have the debate first if it means so much to you.

PC: The debate is to be had

PC: You are welcome to search my garages and my computers.

PC: I'm not yet in a calm enough place to do justice to J's questions though I've bought a friend down from Birmingham who will be with me in Asda on Friday, by which time I intend to put this matter to rest to J's satisfaction & mine.

PC: What's going on (if you want the back story) http://youtu.be

J: To me it's very simple. The dangers to ourselves and our children are the same whether or not we choose to live in fear of them. I choose not to live in imagined fear. But the issue of photographing others without consent comes down to a lack of good manners. It shows a lack of respect and courtesy, reducing a person to the same status as litter, graffiti or whatever else has caught your eye.

C:  I think this is the most interesting debate Paul has ever posted, and a shame he has decided to give it a low priority. I think that two different issues are entangled here. What rights if any do you have over your own image and is it right to photograph and publish images of children. For better or worse we live in a society in which the spectre of child abusers looms large. That means that pictures of children are in a different category. No matter how much you argue for sharing in the innocent joys of childhood, that is always going to prey on people's minds. And the way to challenge the stereo type is through parenting, early years education, voluntary work and so forth. Forcing the issue by taking and posting illicit photos just forces the issue and is likely to be seriously counter-productive. In terms of image rights, the child cannot consent and the patent or guardian is unlikely to consent on their behalf.

C:  On adult image rights, I am less understanding. You go out in public and your image becomes part of the common heritage of mankind. People see you, remember you, memorialise your image in any way that seems of value to them. I get very annoyed by the (small) number of interpreters I employ who complain about their image rights. It seems to me pretentious (that 1000 year building behind you is the view you are interpreting) and belittles the profession - this may effect my agency, my equity membership, my big break in the West End/ Hollywood. No this is actually your real career, and mr Yakimoto with his iPhone is just as important an audience member as a mythical talent scout.

C: And, like PC I have only pleasure in seeing my image multilplied across the Internet. As long as there isn't a wanted sticker across it.

PC: You'll be pleased to know that I'm now uploading this dialogue as my latest YouTube video (out within the next hour) and that I'm on a computer from which I will shortly delete this image, once I've copied all the dialogue into a word document for later....