The accidental hypocrite & the fake plants that died because he didn’t pretend to water them…

Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine…

Thomas Aquinas

Nikon026x600Just as my wise and decidedly erstwhile therapist once neglected to tell me voluntarily, if you ain’t got none then fake some— something which was no doubt passed down from one learned bejacketed chap to another and then to him in order to band-aid folk in desperate need, for reasons both earth shattering or as erroneous as whatever mine happened to be at the time. Now just happens to be time to water the plastic tree and I don’t even consider myself to be overly sceptical. But I must confess to considering such sandwich-filler philosophy to be some kind of joke that few, of which I wasn’t one of those who were in on; or that perhaps this was his idea of faking it, and in some round about way, was him subtly demonstrating how to use the prescription.

Whatever it was, I accepted it and have attempted to use it many times since with varying degrees of success and failure I might add— all with the exception of sincerity, since I’ve found it’s the one thing that if you can fake, you can fake anything. As for me, my hypocrisy only goes so far and since I have so few opportunities to be genuinely sincere these days, I much prefer giving it a go the old fashioned way. Besides, it also seems to be something that becomes rarer with the passing of time. I suppose a lot of the ‘pretending’ nonsense is much better suited to young folk and their flexible skin, as my walrus-like derma gives the game away with far too much swift to be considered fair game— and I’m not one to be deliberately foolish, any more than I am to be accidentally hypocritical.

Enough as they say is quite enough. I’ve reached that unfortunate point in any period of sub-par-ness, whereby I’ll actually start rewinding moments and days in an attempt to fathom the unfathomable, or at the very least, the invisible bottom which deserves my unreserved wrath to be turned spittoon and crazed. It’s imprecise, futile and impossible to spank. Nope, it merely adds to the joylessness of something which belongs confined to the golf course. I’ve even begun harbouring ill thoughts concerning my recent trip— that if I hadn’t gone everything would’ve been fine, I’d still be sleeping and working and perfect— but that’s B.S. as well. For starters, I don”t believe it, secondly, I needed a break and had a wonderful time— I’m not much of a drinker these days and nothing quite validates the conscience like a change of scenery whilst corking a splendid Pinot Noir in the late ante meridiem on a school day. Nope, it wasn’t that and I bear nothing but resentment for even thinking it.

What I needed yesterday was some perspective and if I couldn’t muster any, I just had to fake some. I needed to lash my resentment and throttle my ill thoughts with a dash of fake perspective and put away all that reflection nonsense, because the last thing I needed was for my last trip to be the last I ever have— that just won’t do— I like a large glass of wine before lunch from time to time; and since the issue at hand isn’t really all that complicated: mainly sleep with perhaps a few pre-operation nerves thrown in for good measure, I decided to get some sleep-aids to knock me out, so at least I might be able to start unreversing the bollocks. If I can’t sleep, I might as well fake that too.

Anyway, I took a few of them last night and must’ve nodded off pretty quickly, because the next thing I remember is coming to, at least feeling like I’d had a good nap— gave a little nod to gods— and got up to make a cup of tea before realising it was still only 12.25.

And that was twelve hours ago—

 I’m going to shower and go shopping for something a bit stronger I think…
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54 thoughts on “The accidental hypocrite & the fake plants that died because he didn’t pretend to water them…

      1. Mikels Skele

        In the sense that whatever you “fake” is a genuine and deliberate act on your part, and represents a truth about you, although it may not be the one you’re trying to project.

      2. JALBN 2.0 Ishmael Received Post author

        All acts are acts, that’s perfectly valid – however from a language perspective, not particularly useful. The manner in which our language works is elegantly simple – we have words which provide information about objects and actions and words which provide information about them – that’s it.

        As a linguist, that sort of observation isn’t particularly helpful – however the observation of such observation is and it is a form of catachresis, in as far as the modifier is being used as synonymous with the act or verb itself. This would be described under onomasiological or semasiological conditions. I think the meta-language and construction of the descriptives that explain the functions of what you describe are more interesting than the proposition – but it’s the field I work in.

      3. Mikels Skele

        Not meant as a linguistic observation, or even a philosophical one; just an observation. No matter how hard you try to fake something, it still contains all the information about you that sincerity does, just cloaked. Ok, I get that cloaking is the whole point of fakery. I’m just saying that, ultimately, you can’t escape revealing yourself if you choose to interact with others.

      4. JALBN 2.0 Ishmael Received Post author

        Sisi, I do agree with what you’re saying, which is why the gist of what I wrote is essentially a subtle mockery of the advice – I single out subjunctive perspective and sleep – two things which cannot be faked.

        I’m not really a fan of pretence and like to make my points in less obvious ways 🙂

      1. merbear74

        Cotton balls soak up blood quickly.. 🙂

        Yes, I am almost always awake by 5:30 am. Sleeping in is a distant memory lately. Get to watch the sun come up, though. 🙂

      2. JALBN 2.0 Ishmael Received Post author

        Lucky thing – the sun is becoming something of an abstraction at the moment – I know it’s there but I can’t see the bloody thing – it’s a grey world! And wet and cold!

        It’s a good time to get up – I used to wake a little earlier when I was still teaching, to work for a few hours, so by show-time, I was peaking!

        I’ve always used bits of tissue 😀 like Cary Grant!

      3. merbear74

        Well, today is raining and grey..all the snow has been washed away…I meant some days I get to see the sun.
        I love the early morning, everything is so quiet and I can think deep thoughts and such.
        Cary Grant was both resourceful and very handsome. 😀

      4. JALBN 2.0 Ishmael Received Post author

        You know he was born, Archibald Leech! Somehow he was debonair enough to pull off even that miracle 😀

        I love a bit of Cary – Mr Blandings Builds His Dream Home is in my top 5 favourite films of all time – it’s rather wonderful! 😀

      5. merbear74

        Oh, I like that. Archie. I think I like Cary better. Never saw that movie before, sounds wonderful. I hope the dream home was built somewhere sunny. 🙂

      6. JALBN 2.0 Ishmael Received Post author

        Hahaha! Connecticut 😀

        It is really funny, I can’t recommend it highly enough – he’s in fine form! I think it’s between that and North by Northwest, I like him most. Although, he plays a great grump in Father Goose 😀

        I might have to pop a couple of them on over Christmas!

      7. merbear74

        Connecticut..never been..isn’t that where all the blizzards happen? I might have to give Father Goose a watch, I love grumps.
        Oh my, taking over your comments again it seems, lol.

      8. JALBN 2.0 Ishmael Received Post author

        LOL that’s OK – Father Goose is lots of fun, he plays opposite Leslie Caron and a bunch of precocious public school girl-types – on a deserted island! It makes a good double-bill with Operation Petticoat actually, which is a lot of fun too – pink submarines and Tony Curtis! 😀

      9. merbear74

        Have you ever seen any of the old Alfred Hitchcock movies? I loved all of those when I was younger..he had such a twisted sense of humor and cast Jimmy Stewart in half of them. Vertigo is a favorite. Pink submarines? I know what I am asking Santa for Christmas.

      10. JALBN 2.0 Ishmael Received Post author

        I have all the old Hitchcock films – I gave my first lecture on him when I was in my early teens – I think Stewart was in three – Rope, Vertigo and Rear Window. I always thought he was miscast in Vertigo – it’s funny, that film was unavailable for years and years and its reputation has grown markedly over the last 15 or so. It’s certainly one of the most interesting films made by anyone in Hollywood at the time – the late 50s were a bit of a transition period for film-making – the US was a little sterile, the classical Hollywood style was in its death throws, it was the end of the era of film noir – Vertigo was essentially an European style drama, which was where the most exciting stuff was being made at the time – it was Psycho that rebooted the studios to a certain extent, but it was another 7 years until they really got their acts together for the most glorious period, ’67 – ’80. And there’s barely been a decent grown-up film made since *sighs*

      11. merbear74

        It’s been years since I have seen one, so I bet I would notice more details now. I grew up watching the old movies, and you are right. They are just not the same anymore, I hate when I feel like I have wasted 2 hours of my life on something dreadful. Though I will admit, I enjoy the occasional silly comedy when I feel like going brain dead for a time.

      12. JALBN 2.0 Ishmael Received Post author

        At the onset of the 90s the average running time of a film was barely 100 minutes – these days it’s not uncommon hit the 150 mark – that is something I can’t stand – there’s something called maximum intelligibility, which is essentially a process where narratives are tied up neatly, so you’re not left with too many questions, however this has been taken to the extreme where EVERYTHING is handed to you on a plate, explained or shown in great detail – it’s mindblowingly facile and I can’t stand it – that and films which are all plot and no story. And don’t get me started on that Avengers film, which was like having my head thrashed against a wall for three hours. How on earth that is good writing is beyond me. I enjoy a bit of fluff as much as the next person, but when rubbish like that starts getting critical acclaim I just start to wonder exactly what the hell it’s being compared to!

      13. merbear74

        Movies like that make my head throb, so much action and details. I like to use my imagination and you can’t begin to try when nothing is subtle. Ever see Rosemary’s baby? My absolute favorite horror movie..imagine having the devil’s spawn, truly creepy.
        It’s rather obvious we enjoy conversating now, I had thought the last one was a fluke. 🙂

      14. JALBN 2.0 Ishmael Received Post author

        LOL It’s funny you mention Rosemary’s Baby, for years and years I kept having mishaps whenever it came to recording it off the TV, it was always done on the timer because it was on late, and for some reason I’d miss the beginning or the end, have the wrong time altogether or wrong channel – one occasion the coaxial lead had pulled itself out so I had nothing but static – and when I finally got a whole copy of it, it got taped over accidentally before I had the chance to watch it – and when I did finally have the chance, I kept falling asleep before the bugger had finished… I have very odd feelings about that film – creepy feelings and it’s nothing to do with evil children! I have a similar relationship with Scorsese’s Kundun – a film I have never managed to sit through without nodding off… it has either the most absurdly hypnagogic quality to it – or it’s the dullest film I’ve ever seen. I can’t decide…

        I always think of chocolate mouse when I think of Rosemary’s Baby though and that awful pink typeface they used on the titles :p

      15. merbear74

        Yes, it really is a genuinely icky movie. Watching it alone should be done in daylight hours, with lamps blazing. For some reason, you’re not meant to see the whole thing in it’s entirety. Probably better off.
        Pink should never be used for anything frightening…but why chocolate mouse? 🙂

      16. JALBN 2.0 Ishmael Received Post author

        They serve some dodgy chocolate mouse in it! It’s the first image I associate with the film, besides Mia Farrows impossible match-stick pins! 🙂
        I actually watched an old favourite this morning – I was up at midnight – I’m slowly closing in on a ‘proper’ hour. The Verdict with Paul Newman; David Mammet wrote it, I think it was directed by Lumet around ’82… it’s just wonderful, understated, dramatic, agonising at times – I recommend that definitely – masterful in every sense. And not a pink in sight!

      17. merbear74

        My first image is of petite Ms. Farrow, drinking that awful concoction they gave her, a health drink. It was green and looked like..well, you get the idea. 🙂
        I like how you put that, closing in on a proper hour. I am trying for 6:30 am.
        Mine would be more like tiki torches. :p

      18. JALBN 2.0 Ishmael Received Post author

        Ha! I had to look up tiki torch! I wouldn’t want to mix those up with the fireworks 😀
        There was an Italian footballer called Mario Balatelli, who played over here for a few seasons and he was utterly bonkers – there was a story that got out about him letting off fireworks in his bathroom, I think it was!

        Colourful character but not quite all there!

        Actually, a midnight rise will suit me for the next few weeks I think – I’ll still get to see some cricket and I’ll be able to skip the nosier parts of the day!

        I think I remember the sludge guzzling – I might revisit it and see if I can manage the whole film in one go!

  1. ksbeth

    oops, by my calculation, you’ve actually been asleep for 13.4 years. wondered why i wasn’t’ seeing your posts. now it all makes a bit more sense.

    Reply
    1. cho wan yau

      Absolutely genius, I love how you portray the banality of life and poke fun at yourself. Forget the wine and bath it was the humble cup of tea that got us through two world wars!

      Reply
      1. JALBN 2.0 Ishmael Received Post author

        Haha – you must have caught one of my few banal posts where I haven’t guzzled a gallon of tea! I tend to write about the most ordinary things I can find – socks, weather, air fresheners as chemical warfare, hair products – from a linguistic perspective of course…

        But mostly take the piss out of myself. The Furniture post is special – lots of tea!

        Thank you very much for your lovely comment 🙂

      2. cho wan yau

        Any time mate. How about check out my blog too also about the banality of the shit I have been through and poking fun at my own stupidity in giving my all to a guy who didn’t give a damn.

  2. fergusandthedruid

    Ah, I felt down last night myself, and sought sleep for some release, but I was plagued by a dream that felt worse than reality. Not a nightmare, but in it I was so stressed by feelings of lost, that I shaved my head in the dream out of grief, or some kind of shock as if the worry of possible loss was realized to have been confirmed with time in the dream. It would take a lot to get me to shave my head, I am committed to having long hippie hair, it’s how I feel comfortable and most like myself. It’s a laid-back look, and it’s conducive to me relaxing. Also I have social anxiety, and feel comfortable with my hair in my face, often covering one of my eyes, as some kind defense mechanism or something to protect me from predators, or at least to make it easier to avoid eye contact in social situation. Introverts do what they must to survive in the social jungle, I suppose, though mostly I just stay at home (had hoped to go to a party tonight actually, but it’s 8 and the invite never came…) Also it’s to honor my favorite tree, the Weeping Wilow, with a somewhat similar appearance….

    If you didn’t realize, I am being satirical, and deliberately, as you seem like you would make a better therapist then your’s, based on your representation of him or her in your post. So this comment may have seemed out-of-place, but surprise! I love satire, and I believe one’s one life is great material for humor, and that if we can’t laugh at ourselves, we take ourselves way too seriously!

    Glad you seem to have gotten the kind of sleep you needed though 🙂

    Reply
    1. JALBN 2.0 Ishmael Received Post author

      Ha! I wrote about the weeping willow last month, in as far as I used it’s Latin name as part of a play on words babylonica – I’m an introvert in its normative sense – and you probably noticed, I’m rather partial to a little quipping and self-mockery myself. I must say – you do leave the wildest comments I’ve ever had the pleasure of receiving – and as interesting as anything you actually publish!

      I’ve managed to rotate the sleeping so I’m about 6 hours early, which isn’t all together horrendous – it means I get my sleeping done during the evening and have the quietest parts of the day to myself – on the down side, it’s mostly dark and gloomy!

      I’d keep the hair for now, you’ll never know when it’ll come in handy… You should consider coming up with a list of alternative uses for hair in social situations – perhaps even work in duct-tape somewhere!

      Reply
      1. fergusandthedruid

        yeah! Maybe if I want to try dreadlocks out, and am too lazy to do the work to get my hair all matted, I can just use some duct tape!

        That would look redonkulous though… I’d be better off using clear adhesive tape for dreadlocks. A bonus side effect of that, is that my hair would like sleek, shiny and clean, and would trap in the smell I image dreads have from not washing them to get them matted… I have heard that you can actually get dreads from over-washing your hair though, too…

        Thanks, I’m not able to show that goofy, relaxed side of me to everyone in conversation as easily I see I can with you, and members of my girlfriend’s family. Normally it takes me a long time to feel comfortable like this.

        For the most part, the only other people I’ve been able to let my guard down like this around in actual conversation, are a group of Christians from a church I attended for a few months a couple years ago, who had the community aspect of Christianity down great, but doctrine-wise, the leadership there did not know the Bible well enough to be able to teach from it accurately enough for me to respect the leadership there. Then the church I went to after that, had their doctrine down well, but had issues with the community aspect, and though I was able to get along great with the elderly members there, because of my eccentric nature, I did not get along well with many of the people there my own age. I’d like to believe I’ll find a church someday where I can have my cake and eat it too…

        There is a nearby church that meets on Wednesday nights named Matthias Lot Church, where I could possibly find that, but there are so many college students that go there, and because of my introverted nature, I’d rather attend with my girlfriend, so I will feel more comfortable. I am sort of like those lucky people who because of social anxiety and a more open-minded society towards people who suffer from it, get to take a therapy animal to work, like a cat or a dog, and it actually helps them adapt socially to their work environment without having panic attacks.

        Now, I’m not comparing my girlfriend to an animal, I am the one who is more like an animal, with my talk in my previous post about my hair as a defense mechanism, but I have noticed that in new social environments or in high stress social environments where I am in the company of a close female friend or a female I know well enough for her to not feel awkward around me for my eccentricity, I am a lot more outgoing around the other people… I guess because I fear I seem like a creeper, and that if a woman is treating me like I am ok, it’s easier for me to believe that other people will not see me as one, because of seeing me interacting with the female friend in a comfortable way.

        I didn’t used to be like this though. I got self-conscious about how I am perceived years ago, when Adrienne, my ex, started gossiping about me and saying cruel things to and about me, privately and publicly, and it really gave me some kind of complex about how others perceive me, that I’ve never recovered from. I forgive her though. She can’t earn my forgiveness, I’ve accepted that she can never undo the damage, but I understand that forgiveness itself is never deserved, it’s a grace, which by definition is unmerited favor.

        I can only seek to move forward with my life, and hope to cope with my issues as healthily as I can manage to. Holding a grudge against her, would not help me cope, it would only make me a bitter person, and less enjoyable to be around. It’s actually good for me in regards to letting go of my grudges towards her, my dating her sister Amanda. It’s made it easier to forgive Adrienne, because despite the strained relationship between Amanda and Adrienne because of my dating Amanda, I care so much about Amanda, and by extension, I care about those she cares about, so in a way it’s made it necessary to let go of my anger towards Adrienne for things like what was going on that led to our breaking up. Amanda has been good for my soul. If it weren’t for her, I might have held on to anger and bitterness towards Adrienne for years. God works in very unexpected ways sometimes. I don’t know if you are a Christian, so if that’s not something you can agree with, then at least we can agree that life works out in unexpected ways sometimes…

        But yes, I’ve noticed that you engage in some self-mockery at times yourself too, and I admire your personality for that… It’s like you are a brother from another mother! 🙂

      2. DB James Post author

        lol oh my! I hope you lot can find a way to get on. I’ll have to get back to you properly later – but have a great Christmas 😀

  3. psychologistmimi

    I was just talking about maximum intelligibility today. why does a film need to run more than 90 minutes? but back to the subject, faking it is all the rage; got hop up on that gravy train. have a great year ahead.

    Reply
    1. JALBN 2.0 Ishmael Received Post author

      Ha! Well this is essentially a subtle dismissal of faking it – as for maximum intelligibility, the idea is 80 years old and hasn’t been used properly for 20.

      I’m not against appropriately running times, but the vast majority of things these days is 20 minutes too long. I never thought I’d warm to 80s cinema, because at the time it was just frustrating. Modern film-making has made it look good.

      Reply
      1. cho wan yau

        maybe cos i always had to fight my own corner thinking of doing a law degree so i can defend the vulnerable if it is a unjust i will fight you till the cows come home the judge will beg me to stop ha ha

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