Story ideas

1) Michael, a thirty something white male, has a top job at a leading accounting firm. He’s married with three children but just can’t seem to find happiness. A story about the trials and tribulations of rich white guys.

2) Mick, a thirty something white dad and husband, must deal with the emotional pain caused when his wife, after years of violence, leaves with his children, leaving him to have to cook and clean for himself. A story about the trials and tribulations of violent white guys.

3) Mark, a thirty something white barista who lives with his parents, desperately wishes to be a famous musician. The story is a series of anecdotes about how hard it is to learn an instrument when your hours are taken up by work and drinking. A story about the trials and tribulations of a deadbeat white guy.

4) Macca, a thirty something white retail worker, is desperately in love with Susanne, the manager where he works. After several attempts to woo her, including several hilarious dick pics, Susanne refuses his advances. A story about the trials and tribulations of a creepy stalker white guy.

5) Marty, a thirty something “professional” DJ, has a mid life crisis when his mix tape is yet again rejected by a major record company. Marty goes on a wacky adventure to prove to himself and his friends that even white guys can make it in a harsh world. A story about the trials and tribulations of a deluded white guy.

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The Bigotry Of Personality

The Fable Of The Monkey And The Pig

A pig and a monkey were sitting in the commons, enjoying the freedom given to them by their glorious country. It was only weeks until a new government would be elected and the topic turned to the presidency.

“I may trot for government!” oinked the pig to the monkey, in exclamation.

“You?” replied the monkey, incredulously, tittering hopelessly as he scratched an annoying itch on his shoulder.

“Of course!” grunted the pig, “And why not?”

“No need to be like that,” explained the monkey, “After all, isn’t it obvious?”

“Just what are you saying?” snuffled the pig, indignant.

“Well please then,” the monkey replied, expectantly, “explain to me what would make you a good president?”

The pig snorted, and trotted in a small circle before breaking into an elaborate presentation. “Well I’m just as good as anyone, and that’s just for a start. I’ve been thinking, there are much better ways to feed all the animals. And moreso, WHY are all the candidates monkeys anyway? It’s not fair, not fair at all,” and at this she squealed and plonked herself down hard on the dirt.

“Well, you see,” retorted the monkey, “it’s not enough just to have good ideas. The position of president requires more than being smart. It requires dignity and tact, of which, you clearly lack. For instance, why dost thou snort so oft? How do you think other farms would see us if you were in charge? It may not seem fair, but such a role requires certain, attributes, that must come before, so called, equality and good ideas.”

“But WHY,” the pig grunted angrily, “WHY are all the candidates monkeys? Isn’t that unjust? Tell me that my friend!”

“Now,” the monkey responded with seemingly natural serenity, “I’m not one to say that a pig COULDN’T run for presidency. IF a pig was to have the right manners, and the right constitution, surely they would be given just as much opportunity as ANY animal. Alas, so many I’ve met do seem to lack heavily in, shall we say, communication. It would just never do in such a world.”

“Harumph, my friend! Harumph,” exclaimed the pig raising her snout high, “What of equality then? Do you say there is no such thing in the real world?”

“Why of course, my friend,” replied the monkey, sitting back on his two hind legs. Waving a hand, in an explanatory manor, he continued, “There IS equality. And any animal, be that monkey, pig, goose, or ANY other animal, is perfectly at liberty to run for government, JUST so long as they teach themselves to ACT in the appropriate manor, just like all these monkeys have done.” With that he waved his hand in a general way, to imply that he was talking of the caucus proper.

The pig stamped her feet. She snorted through her snout. She looked piercingly into the monkeys eyes. “Well one of these days, I WILL be president, just you wait and see,” she said finally.

At this, the monkey took a step back, reproachingly. “Now, now, my friend. No need to make idle threats. All I’m doing is explaining to you how the world works, don’t put the blame on me if it doesn’t suit your choices. Getting angry won’t get you anywhere. And with that, I bid you adieu, good friend.” Having said so, the monkey and the pig parted ways.

The pig trotted back home to the trough from which she and the other pigs would feed. As she approached for her evening meal, some monkeys were filling the trough with slop.

“I say,” said one monkey to the other, “rather not sure why we have to give all this slop to the pigs. What do they do for us after all?”

“Well would you eat it?” joked the other, poking the first monkey in the ribs.

“Oh, of course not,” said the first, hooting at his joke, “I eat at a table, like ALL good mannered animals.”

“So what does it matter than, eh?” furthered the other, questioningly.

“Well, it’s just, if pigs are to eat our food too, I just don’t see why they shouldn’t try a little harder to fit in. After all, they don’t HAVE to eat at this trough, they’re perfectly welcome at the table too, if they were to learn the proper ways of behaving. None of this grunting and stamping nonsense. It’s really not that hard,” the first replied indignantly.

“Perhaps you’re right,” concluded the other, “If only they acted more like monkeys none of this would have to happen at all.”

Moral: Monkeys can go fuck themselves.

So much of what we say and believe goes unexamined in life. People, as I see it, tend to live between two versions of reality. The first is the patently bigoted reality, in which one openly declares hatred for other people. Live in this world, and surely you will be rightly declared a bigot by society, even while you enjoy some comfort amongst others of a similar nature.

At the other end of the scale, is the imagined reality of total equality, in which “all men live as brothers” (and if you can’t see the obvious problem with that common phrase then you’re not really paying attention). Mostly and largely, I think it’s fair to say, that most people would, at least ostensibly, agree with this stand point. Even if it’s purely for purposes of self interest and wanting to maintain the delusion that each person could themselves crawl their way to the top of the pile, all the way to wanting some type of true equality for the goodness of all, there are many reasons why people generally believe this is a good thing.

In reality, though, in spite of loud and raucous claims to the opposite and condemnation of both camps from either side, the world isn’t like either of these, nor, as is often asserted, a clearly divided conglomerate of both. In some ways, the out and out bigots help reinforce the delusion amongst the “more enlightened”, through showing by comparison how much more enlightened those folks are, and diminishing the bigotry that is extant and omnipresent in their own lives. In doing so, this duality serves to further, regardless of any intent, the needs of the privileged, while at the same time creating the perfect narrative to both hate the disenfranchised and boorish, as well as to silence the critics, that exist as truly enlightened to the nature of the world, from disturbing the hidden reality that silently benefits them.

Personality, far from being an objectively measurable quantity, is the mystical oil that greases the gears of this silent bigotry. Virtues such as good manners, an even temperement and eloquent grammar, are such a deeply ingrained TRUTH in essentially all of us, that any sort of analysis seems a forgone conclusion. In fact, such things are the CORNERSTONE upon which almost all other orthodox arguments on the topic of equality are based. I suggest that it wouldn’t seem entirely distorted to suggest that equality, in the neo-modern sense, could be described as that state in society, in which, each and every person has the same opportunity for success, given they act in the same mannerisms and with the same temperament (incidental luck aside).

Here is where so-called “equality” gets thorny though. After all, who gets to decide upon which mannerisms ALL people will be judged? How is this conundrum resolved if there is disagreement? Does it revert to the dominant class? And, to take this analysis further, if a member of a minor class is in disagreement with the dominant culture, what happens if the dominant culture believes disagreement to be a bad manner? Therein lies the mind trap…after all, consider the case that a person is completely convinced of the dominant cultural norms. How could one, using reason alone, break that trap?

Nowhere is this kind of thinking more apparent than in the political arena. It almost goes without saying, that almost all personal traits are of benefit to the politician, but none is quite so ABSOLUTELY necessary as that of cultural mannerisms. The history of the collapse of political careers, is the history of politicians being labelled as jerks and scum. Yes, some times there are coinciding criticisms of political decisions, but almost ALWAYS there is corresponding criticisms of personality. This is even within the incredibly finite spectrum of personalities that are even considered worthy of entering the political arena.

After all, as the argument generally goes, politics requires such lofty things as maintaining favour, and forging relations. Therefore charisma (or at least a large enough collection of individual’s definitions of charisma) is almost an absolute requirement for the role. Being a good person is simply not enough.

Of course, this becomes self reinforcing. Those who are oppressed by the current political climate are naturally angrier, one of the most demonised personality traits, and hence representation becomes atrophied amongst them. Given this, it is completely self serving to try and separate the issues from the personality traits. Claiming you are not a bigot, and making arguments to the effect of “I agree with their opinion but you won’t get anywhere acting like that” is hypocritical at best, and oppressive and discriminatory at worst.

And then there’s the whole issue of being groomed towards certain cultural standards. Is it any wonder that children of the rich find it easier to “fit in” in the political arena when it’s already so much closer a leap from their (raised from birth) natural position? At this point it becomes apparent that one of the biggest forces reinforcing the class divide is not money but the CULTURE OF CULTURAL STANDARDS that are given to the rich FROM BIRTH, and reinforced by the private education system, to be used as keys to the kingdom.

After all, in a world of pigs and monkeys, equality can never be considered just if we define equality by the terms of the monkeys. Or, to put it in the words of one of the greatest writers in modern history:

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” George Orwell, Animal Farm

See Also:

False Equivalency, Nonsense Thinking and the Grand Delusion

My Superego Makes Me S.A.D

In an attempt to overcome some late night despondancy inspired insomnia, I attempted to take some (I’m currently suffering a mild cold) cold and flu tablets night time edition. The ones with the magical stuff that supposedly helps you sleep. This would have all gone very well if it weren’t for the subtle choice to imbibe said tablets with a glass of mountain dew, at which I realised that right now there is a battle raging in my nervous system between the calming effects of some kind of chemical and the raging stimulation of caffeine. Which will win? Only time will tell.

I thought, since I’m now no closer to sleep, I might take the time to talk about a particular form of anxiety, one of which I suffer greatly. It’s called social anxiety disorder, and it’s one of the most common forms of mental illness, affecting around twelve percent of adults (citation not needed, it’s my fucking blog I’ll write what the fuck I want). It’s also the form of mental illness with the most adorable acronym, “S.A.D”. Awwww.

It’s hard for me to write about, since if you understand the disorder, you’ll understand that one of the most important aspects of it is a constant feeling of being judged by others. You’re judging me right now, I feel it. You think my jokes aren’t funny at all. That previous joke was probably too subtly ironic. I’m such a fucking failure. Excuse me while I berate myself for a few minutes.

(…you can’t read it but I’m silently paralyzed as to what to write next…I’m also judging myself by the irony of the previous sentence…)

When I said earlier that it affects around twelve percent of adults, that’s a little misleading as to my own personal experience. In fact when psychologists talk about that figure they’re including people who suffer with all levels of severity. This includes a subcategory known as performance anxiety (or the technical term “social anxiety disorder performance only”) which applies to people who have problems such as panic attacks when performing, such as giving a speech. This falls under the general category of disorders I like to call the “yes sweetie, you’re mentally ill too…no really” disorders. I’m not sure if I’m stretching the term too far but this is a kind of “first world mental illness”.

In all seriousness though, this is a real problem for some people. That said, however, that version of the disorder is far removed from the more general form of social anxiety disorder. The severity is a very important distinction. Someone who suffers “performance only” anxiety can generally lead a relatively normal life. For instance, many actors suffer this disorder and yet continue to lead successful careers.

The more general form of S.A.D is a debilitating disease. It’s a well researched fact that S.A.D has a high level of comorbidity, which in spite of sounding (to me at least) like some kind of domicile sharing with a necrophiliac, merely means that people who suffer from S.A.D are at much higher risk of suffering related illnesses like depression and inferiority complex. This is on top of the actual symptoms of S.A.D such as isolation.

Wait, did I forget to explain what S.A.D is? Such a fucking failure.

Essentially what this means, in the more acute general case, is an extreme fear of social interaction. For instance, imagining you reading this right now is causing me to have a mild anxiety attack. I’m sweating, my heart is beating a little fast and my super ego is yelling insults from the sideline like a heckler at a stand up comedy show. I can only respond back with explaining to him that it’s his body too, at which point he goes to the corner and cries. As such the thought process can get a little complicated.

I suppose I’m what you might call a high functioning extreme case of S.A.D. I think that’s probably due to a number of coincident reasons, the primary of which is my extreme inferiority complex. The way I see it is, I can ignore the fear of gaining social disapproval because I’m already a loser anyway, so fuck those guys. Some people have it worse than me. Some people literally (the real literally, not the version all the young punks are using these days) can’t leave their own home. I do have those fears though, and they get stronger as time goes on. Even interacting with people I cohabit with is a stressful situation, that I often try to avoid. That’s where headphones and video games come to the rescue.

I think, in fact, that most of my issues stem from this disorder. Or, to look at the other side of the coin, social anxiety disorder stems from all of my issues. It becomes a big ball of string that’s impossible to untangle. To take a Freudian description of it, would be something like the following.

The Superego

The superego is a difficult thing to write about. That’s because it doesn’t like you talking about it. I could go into detail, but this is the basic meaning behind the famous movie quote “The first rule of fight club is you don’t talk about fight club”. The reason this is so successfully achieved in the mentally ill, is that the superego’s primary responsibility is to tell you what things will earn you disfavour in society. If you talk about the superego, it says, society will hate you. It’s telling me this right now.

Freud talked about the mind being divided into three primary functions. The first function that developed was the id. This is the part of the mind that tries to achieve basic pleasurable desires, such as sex and food. As humans developed, the mind evolved to have a second function, the ego. This is the part of the mind that we are most familiar with, and allows us to think of ways to optimise the satisfaction of the id, by delaying immediate pleasure for (presumed) more pleasure in the long term. The superego evolved when humans realised that other people have thoughts too, and that unfettered actions towards pleasure would possibly cause distaste in other humans which could lead to problems such as having no friends, being shunned by society, or even worse, imprisonment or death. The primary function of the superego is to veto the egos plans if it feels they will cause the above problems.

Herein lies the root problem with (at least my) social anxiety disorder. It is theorised that a maladjusted childhood can lead to development of an overactive superego. The superego becomes the primary driver of behaviour, and if trained to have certain beliefs, will punish the victim for having thoughts of normal social interactions. To go back to the Fight Club analogy, this is why the protagonist “beats himself up”, since Tyler Durden is a metaphor for the superego. You know that old saying, “Don’t beat yourself up over it”? Now you get it. Still don’t believe Fight Club is a metaphor for a problematic superego? Notice that I started this essay as a way to fill time during insomnia? Coincidence? Maybe.

I can hear you thinking right now, “oh doesn’t everyone have that?”. The severity is very important however. Everyone has a superego. Not everyone has a maladjusted superego. It’s the difference between a personal trainer and a dictatorial sadist. Yes, you have a superego, but chances are, you don’t have mine.

Parenting

There’s a reason I believe that the popular beliefs surrounding disciplining children are fucking bullshit. Go back a step, and think about what might cause the superego to become the “primary driver of behaviour”? A part of your mind that has a set of unbreakable rules that punishes you if you dare to even think about breaking them. Sound familiar?

This is probably going to be hard to hear for some people, but if you think that this is unquestioningly acceptable, there’s a high likelihood that your opinion on the matter is being driven by your superego. That’s part of what drives the cycle of abuse. You’ve been trained by your parents, who were trained by their parents, that to have a “non rules” mentality is deserving of punishment. When someone suggests such parenting, your instinctual reaction is for your superego to punish you for even thinking about it, and then, through transferance, to get angry at other people who would dare to talk about such things.

That’s not to say there isn’t any value to rules. Clearly the superego is the most evolved part of our brains, and it does help in society to have certain rules that we take for granted such as don’t be violent (at least without reason). It’s just that in focusing on rules for rules sake, and not on reasoned thinking, we are training our children to submit to their superego, rather than on the primacy of the ego. Without going into the explicit details behind it, punishment, especially traumatic punishment such as physical punishment or extreme verbal abuse, is one of the most effective ways of strengthening the child’s superego, and thus impoverishing their natural self in the process.

My Superego Makes Me Sad

This leads to the cause of my disorder. My overactive superego is constantly running. I suppose this is what people mean when they say things like “you think too much” (fuck them, they don’t think ENOUGH – s.e). I simply can’t participate in normal everyday activities without having the sound of it in my ear. It’s a constant struggle.

I find it incredibly difficult to explain this part of it all. I suppose there’s a lot of complicated little bits, and what’s worse, each and every part in itself could be easily brushed off with “oh everyone has that”. You’ll have to trust me that chances are you don’t have what I have (I’m talking generally here…obviously there may be other sufferers reading this).

To try and explain, imagine if you may, you’re in a group of people. Except you don’t see a bunch of other people as an opportunity to engage in meaningful activities, but rather you see giant hands waiting to slap you. If you ever got to see the movie version of Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, think of the vogons home planet (or just watch it now) as the classic illustrative example of social anxiety. Now imagine that your life is like that every moment of every day. That is how I see the world.

Now, to add to that, imagine that every time you have a conversation you have a constant barrage of noise playing next to your ear. It’s kind of like the worlds most annoying and idiotic heckler is your constant companion, but for some reason you’re compelled to listen to it. “Dumb!” it smugly asserts after every sentence you utter, and, “By the way, did you notice the way that person didn’t respond with  overwhelming enthusiasm? You’re as useless as a pig with pockets, you are.”

It’s paralysing. This is why (at least so far as I hypothesise) most sufferers prefer isolation. It’s just easier. Even if a social interaction may have been successful, the FEELING of failure will still be there. That’s why it’s kind of useless to suggest to someone who suffers S.A.D to just “give it a shot”. While the person making the recommendation sees that there is a chance of a successful encounter, the sufferer knows that, for them personally, all encounters carry some emotional cost regardless of the outcome, and much higher penalties if the risk doesn’t pay off.

The costs accumulate too, at least in my experience, with a social faux pas causing immense stress for anywhere from hours and days to, potentially, many years to come. For example, I once made an embarrassing comment to a friend of mine, and even though we have become good friends I still constantly stress about reprisal and disapproval, nearly two years after the fact. She even hugged me recently (which causes a bunch of stress in and of itself that I won’t elaborate on here), but still my brain finds a way to discard that evidence and to return to the stress.

And The Rest

Back to the start of this whole train of thought, it’s fairly obvious, at least to me, why there is a high rate of comorbidity in relation to S.A.D. I’d fairly confidently suggest that probably the primary cause of my depression is due to a lack of fulfilling relationships. I might even venture to say that my self esteem issues are a result of allowing my failure to form said relationships be used as ammunition by the superego to punish my sense of self.

Perhaps the worst contributor to depression though, is wondering what I could have achieved had I never suffered this problem. S.A.D is known as the “illness of lost opportunities”. For an artistic person like myself this couldn’t be more true. When I try to create something, whether it be music, art, writing or other endeavours, I constantly have the fear of social disapproval weighing me down. I’ve lost count of the number of projects I’ve completed to various stages only to be overcome with anxiety about presenting the result to the public and abandoning the whole thing. The thoughts get pretty extreme, to the point that I find myself thinking things like “if this isn’t the most adored piece in the history of the world, you’ll be a total failure, and can you really handle that kind of rejection? (McFLY!! Hello!!)”.

That’s partially why I’ve decided to avoid proofing and editing these things any more. It’s just another opportunity for my superego to gain the upper hand. Perhaps that’s why I sought private feedback in the first place, to try and avoid any potential negative perception. Also perhaps I unconsciously was seeking an excuse not to publish.

This Is Bigger Than Me

Perhaps the single most recurring thought that has been coming from my superego as I write this article, is that it will just sound like a bunch of whinging. It is perhaps one of my biggest fears, that I am completely out of touch with the severity of my problems and that in fact I’m just “having a cry” about things that are not that big a deal.

I hope to move the conversation beyond that though. I’ve wrote in the past about the subtle link between mental illness and economic policy, and it has been shown that S.A.D may be a risk factor to relying on government welfare, as well as living in conditions of poverty. Social anxiety disorder may be one of the biggest problems facing our world today, and yet, it is fairly much unknown to the majority of people, including those that unknowingly suffer from it.

In fact, even in academic circles, acceptance of the severity of S.A.D (even the acceptance that it is actually a disorder) is only a fairly recent development, and it is still quite controversial. It was once thought that S.A.D was a rare disorder, but the evidence is building that in fact it is perhaps the most common mental illness. A lot of the controversy revolves around arguments such as where you draw the line between shyness and mental disorder, but all this achieves is to further muddy the waters around a problem that is consistently unexamined in society.

And yet, in spite of all this, this is a disorder that has been observed by our species for thousands of years:

“…through bashfulness, suspicion, and timorousness, will not be seen abroad; loves darkness as life and cannot endure the light or to sit in lightsome places; his hat still in his eyes, he will neither see, nor be seen by his good will. He dare not come in company for fear he should be misused, disgraced, overshoot himself in gesture or speeches, or be sick; he thinks every man observes him.” Hippocrates, Father Of Medicine

Perhaps it is time we took notice.

Nothing Changes

It’s been over a year since I started writing here. It’s been almost two years since I’ve been having a psychoanalysis. I understand a lot more now. I understand how my brain works in intimate detail. I can recognise the voices now, and understand their agendas. I can physically sense my anxiety creeping up, like a burning sensation in my forehead, just like Harry Potter when he senses Voldemort coming. I see it like a cloud coming over my eyes when the anger starts to boil up, and I’ve learnt when to turn away. Some days I truly believe I’m healing.

Yet nothing really changes. I still feel the same as I always have. A feeling of hopelessness. A feeling of isolation. Like I will never truly know what it is to connect with another person. It keeps me awake at night. Itching, like a dog scratching at the inside of my mind.

I’m starting to see that some things can’t be healed. The anger, for instance, will always be there. It’s like a load bearing post for my personality, and I must either retain it or discard everything that I am. The only hope for not feeling what I feel is death. This makes me sad, deeply so, because I don’t know if anyone can truly love so much anger. I’ve learnt to redirect it somewhat, and turn it in circles. Yet, it still remains.

I have many reasons to be angry. This isn’t simply selfishness. If you had the memories I have floating around your brain you would be angry too. So many memories. When they all start to flow out there are so many thoughts I can barely focus on any single one. This makes it hard to know what is even real, when your thoughts aren’t even opaquely conscious, more of a miasma of anger and half remembered things. They keep me awake at night, like I am now. They taunt me.

People often make romantic notions, such as “you chose to continue being the victim”, but this is simply not true. If you believe this then you probably were either never really a victim in the first place, or you have deluded yourself that you’re not now. For instance, when I was young my family was poor, something you can’t really understand unless you’ve truly known what that is. Even though, in some measures at least, I am quite wealthy now, I will ALWAYS suffer from poverty. There are just some scars that can’t be healed. No, it’s not even that exactly. It’s that you can’t kick the monkey off your back if the monkey is you.

I don’t even know who I am any more.

It’s still just as painful to write. I still hear the voices judging every word I put down. My overwhelming desire is to delete everything and run away so that I don’t face the risk of discovering that everything I think and say is self indulgent nonsense. I just don’t know what else there is I can do. One thing I’ve come to realise is that the moment you think you’re somewhere is the moment you suddenly realise it all runs much deeper than you ever imagined.

“Well the tiniest little dot caught my eye and it turned out to be a scab
And I had this funny feeling like I just knew it’s something bad
I just couldn’t leave it alone, I kept picking at the scab” Only, Nine Inch Nails

I have learnt one thing about myself. Well, not learnt exactly, more came to recognise the obvious truth. There is one overwhelmingly defining trait that has allowed me to make it as far as I have. I will never quit. I refuse to lay down and die. I will find a way to beat this or I will die trying. Sometimes, though, the road seems so long. I spend a lot of time wondering if I’ll make it to the end before I die, and if I don’t is there really any point?

The Bottom

Eat your veggies. There are children in Africa who would love to have food like this

Every Parent Ever Dinner Time

A lot of things in life go completely unexamined. We have far too much to do in our busy lives, it’s much easier to just take a short cut on some things. If a handy saying SOUNDS like wisdom, that’s “good enough”. We go through life, thinking we know a lot, calling it common sense, but actually know very little.

Australia is called the LUCKY country. It’s people are lucky to live here, or so they say, and in many ways we ARE lucky. We have very low rates of illness, homelessness is rare (although unfortunately growing in recent years), we have a (somewhat) healthy democracy within which everyone has the right to free speech. That’s all well and good but it ignores big problem: poverty.

Many of my friends are probably aware of how much it annoys me when people make flippant remarks of “glass is half full”. This is one of those sayings that is so common it goes completely unchecked. On the surface it seems like wisdom, but underneath lies a dark side that, to me, is a representation of everything that is wrong in a modern wealthy society.

Glass half full economics is, in many cases, the perfect cover for shifting the blame from the rich to the poor. It takes the focus off “who has more and why” and shifts it to “who has a little and why are they complaining”. This is privilege at it’s very worst. It is widespread, rampant, and so institutionalised as to be seen in plain sight: not as a force for control but AS COMMON WISDOM.

I have been incredibly lucky. I am wealthy (to a point), I have access to care (such as psychology) that others could never afford, I have the kind of job that many would die for, and I never need to worry about how I will pay the next bill. I was lucky enough to live in a time when university was more or less free, and lucky to have passionate teachers who pushed me to attend. I was also lucky beyond belief that my father fought for me to have these opportunities. To put it another way, my glass is quite full.

It wasn’t always the case though. Many people may not realise that my family was fairly poor when I was younger. We were never homeless, but we often had to go without. It wasn’t all bad. It’s actually quite amazing what you can do in a small country town with enough land to grow food.

But it wasn’t all good either. I couldn’t say for sure, but if I had to guess, the number one issue preventing migration from poverty to wealth isn’t opportunity. There are definitely big problems in this regard, especially for remote and isolated areas, although even if these problems were to be solved an even bigger one remains regardless.

The truth is far more insidious than that. Our whole social structure is constructed to keep poor people down, and it’s an endless struggle fighting against that beast. It’s a two pronged sword, firstly overcoming the indoctrinated belief that you are not worthy of success, and secondly accepting the position of outcast if you try to change your fortunes.

Both of these problems stem from the same reasons but they effectively form two completely separate neuroses. It all comes down to what Nietzsche referred to as slave morality. It’s hard to pinpoint exact instances of this behaviour, because in many ways, especially to those who have grown up in the lower classes, it is almost indistinguishable from reality. In fact, one might say, to those living under it, SLAVE MORALITY IS REALITY.

Reality is a kind of wibbly wobbly thing. In fact, people who state things as fact and call themselves REALISTS couldn’t be further from reality. What we know as reality is in fact more truthfully, the reflection of the natural world as refracted through our moral prejudices. You see freedom fighter, I see terrorist. Essentially speaking, if you could reprogram a persons morality and stereotypes you could completely change the story of their life.

At some point in the past, so the theory goes, the cultures of the rich and poor gradually evolved. To the rich, riddled with a nagging guilt at owning most of the property, positive (but still delusional) neuroses gradually evolved to form the master morality. Master morality is all about convincing yourself that you deserve everything you have. As an example, imagine the son of wealthy parents who invested his inheritance in a risky venture, and worked hard to make that venture a success. Master morality for that man is believing that he deserves what he has because he had the courage and the determination to risk everything in order to win big, while simultaneously ignoring the fact that he was born with infinitely larger table stakes.

On the other side of the coin, slave morality evolved from the neurotic desire to have an intact sense of personal power. As a slave, there is one obvious salient point when it comes to power: you have none. Since the prospect of being powerless is perhaps the single biggest fear one can experience, slave morality evolved as a way to convince ourselves (also delusional) that, in fact, it is us with the “power” to resist the temptation of success, as opposed to being too poor to have any.

This had always been a problem for me, although I only recently found a name for it. I’d been brought up on a diet of television four hours a day. For the most part television is exactly as they say, it rots your brain. At least though it gave me one gift: it fed my subconscious on a diet of romantic heroes and epic journeys. The side effect of television being largely controlled by sociopathic inbred families is that they mostly write what they know. In their own lives master morality is so prevalent as to seem like reality.

This works to suppress the slave class for the most part. The heroes are portrayed as gods, something a “normal” person can never be. Even more so, a lot of fiction serves to reinforce the idea of the rich (batman) and powerful (superman) as protectors of the “helpless” common man. No wonder that we idolise our politicians and take their demands for obeisance as love.

As for me though all I saw was something I wanted to be. No, it’s more complicated than that, although I’ll try to summarise since that might be another story into itself. For various reasons I believe my unconscious took these heroes upon itself as it’s own persona. It saw something that I needed. I needed something to “exact revenge” against those who would bully me, and the power to protect the weak, and so my mind took from these fictions what I needed.

There was another factor at work. I was obsessed with computers and especially video games. Back in the dawn of time, in the year zero ][e, the vast majority of video games were power fantasies, inspired by the epic stories such as Lord Of The Rings and War Of The Worlds. What’s even more important, the video games portrayed YOU as the hero, and in doing so secretly trained a generation in the morality of the masters. This is perhaps why the younger generation seems so distasteful to the older generation: they LIVE BY A NEW MORAL CODE. (Not to get too far ahead of myself but this may even be a distinct shift that explains the extreme split in modern politics). For me, however, it presented a vast and complicated problem.

From a very early age, it seems so obvious now, I suffered from extreme levels of anxiety. My parents, who had the best intentions, were only doing their duty to “slave morality” and following the moral code that told us all, “We are the bottom. It is not our place to rise above our station, and it is an abomination to even imagine so.” I dreamed of greater things, of epic journeys and worldly exploration. This was simply not possible in the world I came from, and so I kept my dreams secret. They were pushed deep down to a place where they could hide, and I formed a mask of steely resolve that would define the next twenty years of my life. And in doing so, I became the slave.

Something strange happened next though, and even then I doubt I had barely the understanding as to the significance of these events to the years that would follow. For a few years my pushed down dreams had turned sour inside me, and a rage was bubbling up, almost out of control. I found myself arguing with my family at random times about random things. I guess they just couldn’t understand the things I thought. How could they? They had grown up in a different world. This conflict grew and grew until I could barely stand it any more. I made an unconscious choice: kill myself or get away. Lucky for me, I chose flight over fight. So this led to my failed attempt to run away from home. I had a bag with a few things and my skateboard, which, in spite of the amusement others had in imagining I skated towards freedom, I merely carried with me. At one point on the way I was attacked by a protective magpie, and I used the skateboard like a weapon to defend myself, heroic in the most romantic sense. I made it about fifteen kilometres before my dad found me.

It was all so long ago that I don’t even remember the order of all the events, but I guess something must have shifted in dad that day, when he saw my bed empty. Or maybe he’d been noticing something wrong for a long time. Either way, for whatever reasons, my father did something that was very unbecoming to someone of his upbringing. He fought for me.

I remember the rowdy arguments my parents would have, even to this day. I never asked but I think that time was the closest they ever came to leaving each other. Through some stroke of chance, for that time at least, my father chose my life over his marriage.

It’s important to understand the significance of these events. To my parents, brought up on their morality, I was a pariah. In many ways they still see me this way. In fact, it’s possible they will never quite understand me. I had become the worst of all things, the man who dreamed of breaking away from the chains of a normal life. Even still, in an act akin to rejecting the culture of his family and history, my father took the chance to be the heretic, and joined my side. And, somehow, we won. With what little power my father had, he pushed me as high as he could. It was somehow enough, and I escaped that world.

One might be forgiven for thinking this is where the story ends. The epic hero had overcome the dark world and escaped it and all of it’s demons. Alas, the end of one story is the beginning of another, and the demons of my childhood would return in a most unexpected way. That, however, is a story for another time.

The Wretched

I think there’s something special about double albums. I have to admit I find myself drawn towards them, usually for reasons I don’t quite understand.

Pound for pound, most double albums have counterpart single albums that are objectively better, start to finish. The White Album vs Sgt. Pepper. The Dark Side Of The Moon vs The Wall (or Ummagumma which is an exception to itself). The Downward Spiral vs The Fragile. Appetite For Destruction vs Use Your Illusion. The single album in all these cases are critically genius. The double albums on the other hand (with the arguable exception of The Wall, and with the caveat that the White Album is critically aclaimed despite it’s randomness) are generally considered good, but hodge podge, and lacking something.

I suppose there’s a consistent reason for this. It’s quite difficult to think of twice as much content and keep it of high quality. It’s a result of the creative process. I’m definitely not the first to observe that creativity, more often than not, consists of creating reams of bullshit and selecting the diamonds amongst the turds. Presumably as a musical artist, there is only so big a pile of dung you can build in an economically feasible time, and then you need to select the best from that.

It might come as some surprise to my friends that I use this process myself. It’s not entirely true that I have the most stunningly attractive son in the world (although that IS true). Rather, for every photogenic picture I put on Facebook, there are ten others that are, less than perfection.

 

shakespear
A baby smacking themself in the head, or a gifted child reciting Shakespeare?

 

A friend of mine has a theory on art. As best as I can describe it in a single sentence: the critical aspect of art is not in the creation, but rather in the selection. By way of explanation, photographers, rather than being the quasiartists that people often brand them as, are in fact the purest form of artist.

I don’t necessarily agree with his hypothesis one hundred percent, but I do think there is some truth to it. Rather than beauty being in the eye of the beholder, it might be more accurate to say, beauty is in the eye of the SELECTOR.

Back to the double albums, I ask myself what draws me to those things. These big inelegant monstrosities. It occurred to me, as I “rewound” my phone to listen to NIN’s The Wretched for the third time in a row, that in fact I focus in on parts of those albums. It’s like a collage that a brain can be thrown against to draw out the salient unconscious thoughts, much like a modern take on Rorschach ink blots.

On the flip side of random unconscious selection however, inherent to the process of making a double album, is the inverse artistic process. Rather than selection, it becomes a question of inclusion. Tracks that otherwise wouldn’t have made the cut, under an objective analysis, become the saviour of the time-filling gods.

Would Revolution 9 have made the cut, if it had been on Seargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band? Probably not. Even more so, the fluid unconscious thoughts that bring themselves to every decision we make, ARE subtly manipulated by extant circumstances. Even if R9 might have been considered on Seargant Pepper’s, the easy cop out of “there’s just no room” would have been all the ammo the superego would need to tip the scales in favour of extinction. Also are the songs of high art, like My Guitar Gently Weeps. Could it have existed on any other Beatles album, each with their highly focused musical theme? On the white album, however, it’s just another stroke of random genius, and more so, in my opinion, the most moving track on the album, and perhaps (one of) the most moving pieces of music in the electric guitar repertoire.

When I was younger, not even at the time understanding the significance, I would listen in darkness to Guns And Roses Coma over and over. Now it’s fairly obvious to me that the song reflected the disconnection and suffering that I found in my life at the time. Would such a self reflective song have found a home on the high energy rock anthem album, Appetite For Destruction?

It reflects a profound truth about all art, and the struggle within. We are our own worst critics. Self editing can be a destructive force. I found this, inversely, when one of my articles turned out to be quite popular. This piece, which to me was nonsense mind refuse, seemed to strike a chord and became my most read piece yet, fifty percent higher than my previous most read. I seriously had debated not posting that piece, which would have been a tragedy, both to my readers and my stats (not to mention my ego).

The truth is that people aren’t generally looking for perfection, even if most people would claim that ostensibly they are. As far as I can tell, what people really need, what they hunger for, is authenticity. They crave to know that the scabrous pile of retchinal vomit before them validates their own imperfect existence. There in lies the strength of the artist. The strength of the wretched.

Just a reflection
just a glimpse
just a little reminder
of all the what abouts
and all the might have
could have beens
another day
some other way
but not another reason to continue
and now you’re one of us
the wretched

Trent Reznor, The Wretched

You

I don’t remember your name but I can’t forget you. We were in school together, grade prep and maybe one. I remember we were best friends. We used to play together on the bars during recess. I remember other people making fun of me, and vicariously you, which made me sad. You suffer from Down syndrome, which to everyone in the school (maybe the town) made you some kind of enemy. It made me sad that no one else could see what I saw. I remember someone who always had a smile for me. I remember someone who was happy just to be together. It has always seemed like a lot of stress to me, trying to put on the pretense of making small talk, but you didn’t care. Very few people I feel comfortable around but I remember that was never a problem with you.

I remember something else. I was in the hallway at the school, and I remember parents descending like a mob. Everyone was there and watching you being taken away. Is it all a dream? I don’t know, but I remember it. I remember it because I have a clear memory of my father standing next to me. I remember asking him why they were taking you away. My dad said you were going to a special school. I never really questioned it but even at the time it seemed strange. Why had so many people arrived to make sure my friend was taken away? It still doesn’t make any sense.

This was in Mortlake, Victoria in Australia. It was some time between nineteen eighty and nineteen eighty two. It was around the time when Father Gerald Ridsdale was living at the Catholic presbytery.

When he came to that town we all rejoiced. He had a fluffy beard, he looked like Santa, and he acted like him too. He loved children. He made sure to treat us all like we were special. As it turns out, he perhaps loved them too much. He came to welcoming arms, and left behind him a hundred lifetimes of shattered memories.

I remember the corner of the school yard we would all sneak out of during lunch time. I can still remember the taste of the sour grass we used to suck, and the flowers which, when you removed their petals, looked just like an Olympic torch. And when kids snuck out of the grounds they could run a short way to visit Gerald.

He had a game: if you told him a joke he would print it in the newsletter and give you fifty cents. I don’t remember the riddle I told him, but the answer was porpoise. I can see his chest of drawers from his room even now. I don’t remember much else, but every day I wonder. Now I see it from the eyes of an adult, it was like sneaking through the lion’s den.

And I wonder too, was it Gerald who led the mob against you? I don’t know. Coincidence? Maybe. All I have is bits of memories, it was so long ago.

I’m not even sure of anything, truth be told. The only reason I even think about this is that every time I think of you I cry, and I don’t understand why. Do you have the answers?

I’ve seen photos of myself not long after that time, and I can see the fear in my eyes. Is it all just a fiction? I know they say that we can create very real memories that never happened, but this DOES seem oh so real. And then there’s the crying. And the sadness that I can’t seem to make go away. It’s there always.

Sometimes I wonder where you are, and whether you still smile every day. And sometimes I wonder do you remember me? And does it even matter?

Sociopaths And The Collapse Of Conservatism Prologue

A Tale Of Two Blogs

This is part of a series on politics and psychology. You can jump to other parts here:
Prologue: A Tale Of Two Blogs
Part 1: The Most Annoying Thing
Part 2: Sociopaths, Losers and the Clueless

It all started in a weird sort of roundabout way. Here was an article, full of moments of incredible insight. About small things, and about large things. Maybe about both at the same time, as is the way of most thought travelling from the unconscious forward.

Perhaps, it’s impossible to say for sure, this was how it was meant to be. As though a philosophy was slowly forming, and my conscious mind had just not been made aware of it yet.

This piece I had written, I sought feedback, but the same thing kept being said: this is two blogs. Disjointed. Skipping from one random thought to the next. Now psychology, now sociology, now politics. Perhaps they were right, even though social proof is often misleading in these cases, it seemed likely that the writing hadn’t hit the mark.

I put the article aside to think some more. I must admit I had trouble defining what it actually was that I intended to communicate. Something about it confused me, yet, at the same time, something about it seemed to connect, in my mind at least. It remained unpublished for many weeks, my unconscious pondering the problem.

There was some not very good writing in the meantime…writing experiments more than proper articles. Then one morning as I lay half awake this idea popped into my head. It was a grand idea…well a hypothesis really, at first. It was politics, but it was also sociology, and again psychology (of the pop variety at least)…and yet one more thing: math. An idea of set theory, so applicable it seemed like a bolt of an idea. But politics and maths? I’m not talking obvious connections like economics. Rather the kind of connection that leaves people saying things like, “but we’re not talking about maths, we’re talking about politics”.

I’ll get to that idea soon. But first it occurred to me that these ideas that had been bubbling around inside were all somehow intimately connected. And therein lies the first problem.

Many times I’ve found myself confounded, when attempting an analogy, or a metaphor, by a miscommunication. At first, well at least the first time my understanding started to clarify, I saw this as a pattern/facts dichotomy. Perhaps I should explain a little more clearly.

As far as I can tell, given my background in computer software, and understanding of people, as well as pop psychology, there are, as is usually the case, two types of people.

First there are those amongst us, who primarily deal in facts. Now, perhaps there needs to be a better word for what I’m talking about here but I’ll try to elucidate. I’m not talking about facts in the sense of something being true or not. Rather I’m talking about facts in the sense of discrete pieces of information, easily measured, and all in their own little clearly marked boxes. For instance, and I’ll coin a phrase just for the sake of the argument, it is a thoughtlet that in democratic societies politicians tend to gravitate into two dominant parties.

“But the hour presseth them; so they press thee. And also from thee they want Yea or Nay. Alas! thou wouldst set thy chair betwixt For and Against?”

Excerpt From: Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. “Thus Spake Zarathustra.”

The second type of person is the type that thinks in patterns. They don’t concern themselves too much with facts and figures (although this doesn’t necessarily mean they believe in nonsense or oogity boogity), but rather concern themselves with organising general patterns of ideas. They more easily see the connection between, say, the movement of atmospheric pressure and the political vacuum of war and peace. This gives them advantages in predicting general outcomes for an unknown discipline, but less understanding of specific areas of knowledge.

I am more of a pattern thinking person, although I only realised this a few years ago. Till that point it hadn’t occurred to me that there was any reason to suspect that others didn’t even understand the general style of thinking I was using.

Pattern thinking is the basis behind such things as fables. Almost no one would suggest that “slow and steady wins the race” only applies to tortoises, so at least on some level pattern thinking must be understood by most people. And yet in most topics it seems to be almost anathema.

Where does this resistance come from? It’s probably out of my range of skills to make conclusions, although I do have a certain suspicion. Most of us, from the age of about five, are sent to school. It becomes a (if not THE) dominant influence on our modes of thinking. For (I assume) reasons of efficiency all the information is delivered via a number of discrete categories: maths, science, history etc. Therein, with increasing levels of difficulty, we are presented with gruelling examinations, testing us on each topic individually. Is it any wonder than that we develop minds that try to separate conversations to singular discrete topics? It’s probably also the reason why we hear arguments like: why should I learn statistics if I’m never going to be a statician? (Answer: you’re an idiot.)

There is perhaps nothing more preposterous a notion than that of separating ideas into their own baskets. LIFE IS MESSY! Life doesn’t separate itself, it just is! Economics (to use an example) can be no more separated from philosophy, can be no more separated from politics, can be no more separated from psychology, can be no more separated from baking, building, designing, nor living than a heart can be separated from a living being. Sure, you CAN separate these things but what you have left is a pile of human remains WITHOUT life, only death.

As if one can play soccer without considering the importance of a healthy heart and diet! In that regard, at least, perhaps sports people are a little ahead.

And yet we must never let the disciplines cross. And why? Why must we talk about political climate WITHOUT discussing the mental state of those in charge of it?

It’s obvious, in retrospect, that Adolph Hitler was seven hens short of a dozen, but if he was around today, and there ARE MANY JUST LIKE HIM, we would excuse him and mark the naysayers as deluded conspiracists!

It’s no longer viable to talk about these things as separate ideas. EVERYTHING IN LIFE IS CONNECTED. DISCONNECTION IS DEATH, and it’s high time we talked as so.

“In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues….” George Orwell, Why I Write

Sociopaths And The Collapse Of Conservatism Part 1

The Most Annoying Thing

This is part of a series on politics and psychology. You can jump to other parts here:
Prologue: A Tale Of Two Blogs
Part 1: The Most Annoying Thing
Part 2: Sociopaths, Losers and the Clueless

The most annoying thing for many sufferers of mental illness, so far as I can tell (or at least for me), is when a well meaning normal tries to relate. It’s a special kind of (probably unintentional) arrogance that assumes they would have any idea what it’s like to suffer the kinds of anxiety that true sufferers go through.

I figure it’s all meant to be some kind of harmless bonding exercise. I suspect, and this is just hypothesis, that it stems from the fact that for many people the worst thing they’ve ever had to deal with is having to drink Pepsi instead of Coke (which I understand, believe me). And so you go through life trying to optimise your privelige, “Oh you like drum and base? I like drum and base TOO!”. Of course it’s assumed that they’re already in agreement of all the really important matters in life and what they’re after is simply another priveliged person with whom they won’t have to worry about what station the television is switched to.

So when a person with really difficult problems opens up to them, they respond in the only way they know how: a sort of quasi believable connection. “Oh you sometimes think of slashing your wrists with razor blades because your uncle used to rape you as a child? I have bad days TOO!”

And it gets even worse the longer a normal attempts to be supportive in this world that completely bamboozles them. They attempt to offer advice…which at the end of the day is like a mouse trying to tell an elephant how to lose weight. There’s two things wrong here: one, they’re assuming the problems the other person has are the same (either in intensity or type) as the problems they experience, and two, they’re assuming that the only reason they’re not in the situation the other person finds themselves in is because of the rather intelligent actions they took.

This is largely because most people are still living under the delusion that most if not all of our actions are the result of conscious free will. Many religions, for example, express free will as some kind of gift. The reality couldn’t be further from it: most discrimination comes from using the concept of free will to judge and persecute people who never had any real choice in the first place! (This, as an aside, is one of the main tenants of existentialism.) If you’re still convinced that this is true then youhaven’tbeenpayingattention!

“Thoughts simply arise in the brain. What else could they do? The truth about us is even stranger than we may suppose: The illusion of free will is itself an illusion” Sam Harris The Moral Landscape, p112

In fact, there is almost no scientific evidence that supports the idea of free will, while most indicates that thoughts are initiated unconsciously while coming all but completely debunking the myth of free will (in the sense that people usually think about it in terms of contribution to outcomes, let’s leave the religious interpretation of free will to another time).

And so, with this myth prevalent in their minds, along with perhaps a certain amount of Dunning Kruger effect, normal people go ahead and make suggestions such as, “just go out and have fun”. The same principle applies to many things in life, and it’s really no different to claims such as “go get a job”.

Privilege, not to put too fine a point on it, is like being lucky enough to have a seat on a crowded train…and THEN having the gall to eviscerate other passengers for wobbling around.

It’s quite convenient, in fact, for people in positions of privilege to perpetuate this belief. It allows them to continue their privileged lifestyle completely guilt free, and to oppress the people that otherwise might claim sovereign right to their properties. This is something I’d like to call The Abbott Paradox.

But wait, doesn’t paradox imply some aspect of irony? At first appearance, it would seem that applying this sense of privilege reinforcing logic advances the status of the normal while oppressing the status of the victim. And for the short term that is almost certainly true. But what is paradoxical about this logic is that IN REALITY a divided system will almost always collapse and take down the top and the bottom with it both!

For instance, in the nineteenth century, before the invention of public garbage disposal, cholera threatened to wipe out entire populations! And it wasn’t just the poor who were at stake since so many poor people with cholera meant rich people were contracting it too. Hence began the tradition of publicly funded waste removal (aka socialism..omg).

In fact, the vast majority of human improvements have come about because of social minded decisions. Think about it: where would we be without roads? Gas pipes? Water pipes (aka aqueducts one of the earliest examples of social responsibility)? How about police? Ambulances? Firemen? Our armed forces? Public education? Whether you like it or not, you are a socialist by the very virtue of enjoying civilisation. Even the basis of civilisation, the social contract, IS ITSELF A FORM OF SOCIALISM!

If we look still further back, to the dawn of time, as seen in our closest living relatives, “even the most extreme form of human tolerance and altruism is in part driven by our genes”.

What would happen if we take away our medical system from poor people? DO GERMS OBEY THE LAW? They bow to no master and will attack and destroy the lowliest pauper to the tallest of kings all the same. Do you want to live in a world where you could contract a deadly disease by merely walking down the street?

Or to return to the original topic briefly, do you want to live in a world where people under extreme mental stress lose control and kill yourself or your friends and children?

This is why inequality is bad for everyone. The only difference between the privileged and the oppressed is that the oppressed have seen the man behind the curtain. H G Wells explained it best in The Time Machine, in which the underclasses are pushed so far down that they are forced by necessity to EAT THE RICH!

It gets worse. Lately, it seems, there appears to be a growing delusion that not only should we reduce support for the oppressed classes but that the government should spend as much on services for the rich as the money those people contribute. As though the government were nothing but a pay for service toy for the rich. The self entitlement is astounding. Far from the truth though, they ignore the fact that their wealth was set in place HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO at GUN POINT!

NO. Government assistance is repairing the damage of YOUR forefathers. They wax rhetorical about true Australians (AS IF THERE IS SUCH A THING), but in truth Australia was founded on the backs of criminals and paupers. And now they want to take back what WE created.

Capitalism has truly become a farce. It serves no one but to perpetuate the DELUSION that some are born masters and some are born slaves. And the lie exists in many forms, whether it be mental illness, race, creed, sexual identity, or more, but they all exist for some purpose: to maintain the position of the rich, paradoxically making us ALL poorer by virtue.

There’s a second paradox though. Kind of a meta-paradox you might say. In fact, the likes of Tony Abbott are guilty of NOTHING MORE than that which they were preordained to do, caused by the hidden restraints of the privileged class. The truth is that the encumbant rich are in fact suffering from one of the strongest mind traps of all: one that is in PLAIN SIGHT! That may be the silver lining to our current times, that long after we’ve evolved past this idiocy, that Abbott will be remembered for the sad, degenerate, mentally redundant imbecile that he is.

“‘Cause I’d rather stay here
With all the madmen
Than perish with the sadmen roaming free” David Bowie All The Madmen

I guess there are people out there that will see this all as quite a stretch. Wondering how I got from misunderstanding of mental illness to REBUKING THE SYSTEM AS A WHOLE! I suppose it’s easy to dismiss this as the rantings of a mad man. But just like epistemology revolutionised modern thought, it is idiotic to ignore the truth of all ideas: ALL IDEAS COME FROM FRAGILE MINDS.

I suppose that’s the point of this whole blog. If you’ve been wondering why I switch from philosophy to psychology to personal experience (seemingly randomly), there’s a reason for this. It’s a fundamental truth I’ve come to learn. Philosophy without psychology is simply guessing.

Sexist, Imbecilic Opportunists And You

im•be•cil•ic (ˌɪm bəˈsɪl ɪk)
adj.
contemptibly stupid or silly.

con·tempt·i·ble (kn-tmpt-bl)
adj.
deserving of contempt; despicable.

So this just passed my facebook feed. You can read the article itself but you may have already heard about it since (as far as I can tell as someone who doesn’t really follow mass media) it’s a somewhat big news item.

Basically some worm piece of shit with money decided that his ability to extract money out of morons by appealing to their misguided sense of hate is more important than the thousands of people (including young girls) that will be affected by this garbage.

Lately I’ve been trying to remain calm in these situations but I was pushed over the edge by this marvel of modern intellect as seen by a comment from a friend of a friend of a friend. I won’t name and shame because, really, this is about more than just one person. I even used to be guilty of this kind of analysis myself. These kinds of comments can be found everywhere and this person is just one type of every man (obvious pun excluded). And I’m going to heap some (slightly) misdirected anger at this person.

“Sounds like a bit of an overreaction to me.
I think things like this mean princess in the character trait sense and not just ‘a female’
And yes, princesses are traditionally female. But nobody means that kind of princess when they say ‘toughen up princess’ to their mates. They’re using princess in the colloquial term as someone who is prissy, delicate and needs looking after.
I wonder what the reaction would have been if it said, “inside every tough guy is a twink who wants a bear try him out.””

No you fricken toadstool. By your own (albeit ironic) example this is, if anything, an underreaction. The problem isn’t less than we think, it’s exceedingly worse.

Lets put aside the rape culture, violence and pedophillic intentions put forth in these scum vehicles and have a bit of a look at what you just said.

“Sounds like a bit of an overraction to me.” EXACTLY! To YOU! I’m assuming from your picture you wouldn’t find it too offensive, being that you’re a westernised white adult male. What makes you think that YOU are in any way qualified to decide how people should react to this? Tell the little girl that cries herself to sleep at night, or the young woman who went out for a good time and came home with a lifetime of post traumatic stress disorder. “You’re upset that we are encouraging each other to rape?” said the barbarian to his daughter, “Overreacting a bit aren’t you young lass it’s just a bit of boyish fun. Go clean up the blood and get back into your school girl outfit for me.”

GOD. Why do we put up with this?

I think things like this mean princess in the character trait sense and not just ‘a female’ And yes, princesses are traditionally female. But nobody means that kind of princess when they say ‘toughen up princess’ to their mates.” WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN? For starters a pop quiz. Being a princess makes a person: a) less important than other people b) mentally ill c) acceptable to rape. If you answered a, b or c, congratulations, you’re an idiot.

The last part of your summation of your brilliant powers of deduction tells us more than you ever could: you completely miss the implication in every day common speech. You use the phrase “toughen up princess” as though the words have no meaning, when it’s plainly obvious what the implication is: princesses are girls, you’re weak, therefore you’re a girl, therefore you’re pathetic (as all girls are).

They’re using princess in the colloquial term as someone who is prissy, delicate and needs looking after.” When you use the word ‘colloquial’ do you mean:

characteristic of or appropriate to ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing; informal

or:

implied sexism?

God, do you even know what the internet IS? And how the f*** did you manage to find your way onto a facebook thread if you clearly struggle with the basic principles of google? This is gender debate 101. Is research something that only “faggots” do? Are you too busy spending your time “down in da hood”? FFS wake up.

I wonder what the reaction would have been if it said, “inside every tough guy is a twink who wants a bear try him out.”” ARGH! MY EYES! THE GOGGLES DO NOTHING! Is it not completely apparent that you’re (presumably) “opposite” is in actual fact, through the amazing powers of double speak, not opposite at all but in fact completely sameosite? (I just made up that word, by the way. You seem to be fond of using the English language for completely arbitrary purposes so I thought you’d like it) In a world where the opposite of raping women is being gay is it any wonder that people still write entire treatises to feminism? It’s almost like there is an unspoken truth here: it’s against the rules to make fun of straight white males. Such an ingrained truth that people seem to silently gloss over the obvious fact, almost like insulting straight men is only legal on platform 9 and a half.

What the hell people? How is this not a case of obvious and apparent casual rape culture, used with the express purpose of a greedy person trying to make money off the misery of the defenseless? Casual talk leads to gross outcomes. Just take the recent example of our illustrious leader making casual comments about hitting children. For the prior better part of a decade or two, hitting was considered the kind of thing that doing in public would get you arrested or at least enquiries made to child services. Just weeks after the comments by Tony Abbott I witnessed several cases of kids getting hit in public, sometimes multiple times, for trivial or non-existent offences. Think casual talk doesn’t encourage idiots to live out their sadistic fantasies? In just over six months the public conversation has moved from promoting the beating of children to promoting a grown man illegally beating up children. I wish I was exaggerating but this man is in charge of recommendations to the future of our schooling. He has already implied that using physical violence at school is not off the table.

Without the resources to put extensive research into the matter, I would all but assume with certainty that at least one woman will get abused because of the scrawlings on these vans. In fact I’m being generous, there will probably be many but even if just one isn’t that reason enough?

Cigarette manufacturers have to pay massive taxes to the government in count of the fact that smoking causes serious injury to health, the care of which must be footed by the government. Should John “shitstain” Webb have to pay the psycological bills of the people he is inadvertantly damaging?

Maybe you think I’m being emotional or hyperbolic. If so, a-fucking-men. Who wouldn’t get emotional when the safety of friends and family is at stake? You’d have to be a truly emotionless zombie to not get emotional about rape. It’s pretty much the only thing that virtually everyone agrees is a horrible thing.

What’s even worse is that these vans are RENTALS. “No muss, no fuss. You’re privacy is our priority.” You couldn’t get more dangerous if you gave a redneck a loaded M16, a youtube stream of fox news and let him loose in a room full of Greens. The company that rents these vans have come out and said it just wants ‘to have a good time’. “No shit sherlock,” said every rapist ever, “hey man, lighten up we’re just having a bit of rape over here, it’s all good”.

And people wonder why Queenslanders embarass us.