Tag Archives: Awareness

As ridiculous as it may be, there are times I really wish I could be a woman…

A continuation of Point B:

Pay it no heed, t’is just a muse to dress in—

Concerning Woman…

IMG_6956 cIt is not uncommon for me to awake and only realise it because I must be in order to be thinking, before thinking I’m up and it’s time I should be able to think. Which can be disconcerting because of the realisation that all the preceding thoughts were a waste and an ultimately useless praxis of sleep-like consciousness. I mention it not because I consider the act of thinking without my knowledge or prior consent useless, but because I was thinking about, well…

Woman has been described in many fashions over the years— some have dated and many are just of an odd and barely bearable manner. But, thanks to man’s ineptitude for timely invention for all our sakes, few have been recorded.

From the foul creatures of bygone days, ingratiating and nefarious— to the ne’er do-wellers unheard of on the Earth today— there is a prism strong with the clutches of obsequiousness at the one end and oblique at t’other. Suggesting a submissive who ‘ain’t got no straight dice’ in her, on her, with her, or indeed ever-ever.

Naturally, I consider it a duty to expound such hostile ‘truths’ and then obliterate such indifferences if I found them to be harbouring even the slightest shreds of unfounded poppycock. Unfortunately, I think on the whole, a completely objective opinion is impossible to find, so I’ll not even attempt one.

The gist…

The morning I’m in question with, saw me becoming aware that I was awake and thinking about Woman, which considering the previous post is hardly surprising. There was no specific article or example, but more the age-old what are they? Which of course, any self-aware man will tell you who has taken the trouble to observe one for any period— and it needn’t even be considerable: they are anything they bloody well want to be when ever they damn well choose. Though on the face of it, this may seem unfair— there is a but.

It doesn’t stop man from secretly desiring the chance to be one, for a period— and it needn’t even be considerable.

I like to choose my words carefully and I would hate to think my last sentence was a badly phrased pun, as much as it was just badly phrased, because I can’t think of anything I’d like less than never having been one.

Unfortunately for me, I grew up only having Cauldron-stirrers to watch; and although they speak a little more whilst saying a little less than most, requiring the maximum of concentration for the minimum of reward— I’d have to experience the condition personally before forming an opinion as to why. That said, I’d rather not have to endure my time as Woman as a witch or hag should the opportunity for a touch of gender-bending ever arise.

What would be most satisfying though, would be to suffer despicably, at the hands of those ghastly hormones that run ruin throughout their bodies. I’d like to be ill with ovulation and feel the ‘eggs being fired out’, as an old friend once described it. Maybe a spot of pregnancy too— not so much as to over-stay my welcome by any means, but enough to know what the unusual cravings are like, and just perhaps, a little of the moaning, groaning and agonies of a thirteen hour labour.

I am a great fan of Woman and enjoy them on a daily basis in some way or another and I can’t help but feel they’ve been treated most meanly over the years and deserve to have things put right. With opinions like:

  • Woman’s at best a contradiction still…

  • Most woman have no characters at all…

  • Because women can do nothing except love, they’ve given it ridiculous importance…

  • A woman is only a woman, but a cigar is a good smoke…

You’d be forgiven for wondering why it has failed to stop man from wanting one. Strange isn’t it? Man likes nothing more than crediting Woman with innate deviance, perhaps even more than Woman herself…

And so…

There’s something so desperately feeble about it all. Woman though has her answers to certain profound quandaries— and enlightenment when it matters, ‘[they] have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size…’

But how wonderful it would be— as long as I could have the worst bits— how ever many there may be— just, to see if it’s all it’s cracked up to be. Anyway, it’s what I woke up in the middle of realising— when I was in fact already awake and thinking of something more wonderful than usual.

I am man, I count nothing human foreign to me…

Terence, Heauton Timorumenos

What is Woman, if not the heart of the world?

A continuation of Point A:

Martian melting-pots

And pre-cursing concerns: Point B…

nnnma01It’d be an understatement to describe my feelings regarding discrimination, injustice and inequality as something I dislike. But as things, they denote unambiguous concepts which I like. One of the greatest challenges someone like me faces in the world growing up, is deciding what things are and how we can define them in stasis, as a unit of information we can be certain of and depend on: something inflexible if you likebut because no unit of information is ever completely still when it’s used situationally, more and more definitions are required that are context dependant; and you can be rest assured that those contexts are never dependant on just the one unit of information.

It’s one of the reasons why autistics are described as natural outside-the-box thinkers. There is truth in this, but only in as far as we’re never actually in the box. The box is jam-packed with the wheres, whys and whatfors of any of a hundred variations of contextual, situational determinant based on previous outcomes and strategies: whether they worked or not, but also an unimaginable series of permutations of static definitions that are in constant flux.

When we get it wrong it can be hilariously inappropriate and embarrassing for all concerned, but not always entirely pleasant. But this is the reason some environments are so exhaustingwhile the processes I describe take little discernible time, they are constantly active: we receive the information, intellectualise the information, throw it away, add it to the box, or discard something that’s no longer required it’s a form over-clocking which is difficult to maintain for very long without practice and even then, it’s not something I’d describe as best practise. Far from it.

The reason I mention it, is to offer a context; describe the box as it were, because how stuff sometimes comes out is a mystery— links, overlaps, patterns, systems and definitions frequently collide and contexts are sometimes erroneously cast-off. But sometimes it’s nice to just, not throw these things away because they serve no purpose— because whether we like it or not, we are in some way defining ourselves as much as we’re trying to make sense of the world by defining what’s in it. Sometimes however, some things just will not be put in a box. No matter how much we’d prefer it.

*

“No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and … as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same.”

*

Those of you who are familiar with that piece of text will know it be the work of H. G. Wells. It’s twenty words longer and less snappy than Jeff Wayne’s adaptation, but far fitter for the purpose of elaborating the work of John Gray Ph.D. I’m sure at the time of writing it, he considered women to be from Venus to be quite original, but I think the switch in celestial body was more a ploy to conceal his inspiration, just as Wells may have, regarding his epiphany about the Martians’ hostile take-over of the planet.

I certainly can’t see the problem with finding it analogous to certain gender-identity stereotypes, at least not with all these planets and primates whizzing around, and almost impossible not to with the application of the odd suppostion-paradigm to the text. I find it quite amusing how much Woman and aliens have in common in this respect— mass destruction and want to annihilate the species excepted.

But for starters, the period is a little off, so we’ll bring it forward a hundred years, at least in line with the post-internet shopping revolution, but for purely cosmetic reasons you understand: lipsticks and what have you. If I’m going to go-there, I want to get the scenery correct.

From there it’s easier to allude to the concept of being watched keenly and closely, for this is one of the more astute gifts Woman possesses: they will observe shoes, handbags and precious stones in great detail and all manner of things they rather like, whilst at the same time and without remorse find error in them; then tell each other about it. This is because Woman possess intelligences greater than man’s and were it not for other women, they might have nothing whatsoever to talk about.

That said however, I draw the line at making inferences suggesting Woman’s ability to reason is better than man’s, because I cannot and nor can anyone on Earth— which is quite fitting as I have imagery of Woman having man scrutinised and studied [like] creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water and finding error with them, just whizzing around. I think I’ll let the ‘drip’ similes speak for themselves, of which there are many, as it seems especially pertinent when comparing man to the contents of a Petri-dishand by water, I do not mean Coco Channel.

Woman is not afflicted with infinite complacency either and though man may be serene in [his] assurance of their empire over matter, they are not when it comes to Woman: Woman is less straightforward than that. Matter has rules which govern it: Woman does not.

And so on and so forth…

Personally, I have always found this streamlining of humanity problematic; as much as I need definition to function properly, I resent pigeon-holing, and no doubt the invaders did too. I don’t even associate masculinity and femininity as too separate an entity, or even two too separate entities, considering instead gender-identity to be more in-keeping with sexuality; more along the lines of a spectrum— quite where I’d place Martians on the scale is by the by, but for all their questionable habits, I wouldn’t discount the possibility of the odd conscientious objector.

Whether it is intended or otherwise, discrimination will always occur with such binary systems, hence the medieval logic earlier: conflict cannot be avoided. It’s why I don’t think I’ve never met a feminist, despite meeting a lot of people who claim to be.

I find it’s as much a language issue than anything, because I’ve never heard the same definition twice and I’ve heard thousands— as such the term is completely without meaning to me; and I’ve always felt that tacking it on to what are sometimes supportable, passionate and well reasoned individual beliefs to be utterly devaluing to the person having them because of it.

Just because [some] feminists:embody an ideology based on what is best about our species both emotionally and spiritually for the betterment and improvement of the world,” doesn’t make them separate beings.

That’s not equality— which is one of the things they seem to agree with: equality that is, but you’d be surprised by the number that don’t. With equality however, it’s far easier to ask: what is Woman, if not the heart of the world?

Woman was God’s second mistake…

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Two fortnights; four weeks; one month or thirty very odd days…

To a month of links and thinking differently;

And a little bit of noise—

I hope it’s been some fun…

coacheswar-crimescricketbreadsticksblogging cats baby-sitting aboutbad-teaching balloons  ettiquette  coffee furniture girl gnomes habits grammar house-sitting immigration golf knitting meltdown marshmallows lost miniamlism nail-clippings onearmed man rules procrastination phone-calls senses shit pockets sick

stuffed-cats superhero syntax

I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained…

Walt Disney

Owing to the spam problem not being resolved, I’ve had to change a couple of names a couple of times: JALBN 2.0 Ishmael Received is now my reluctant alternative. I take back what I said about the tech guys; they aren’t so smart & I’m sure there are still dozens and dozens of comments languishing unread…

on the kub no parking

Denied

It’s a contentious issue, but I can’t help feeling the powers that be have missed a trick with their immigration policies…

It’s bows and arrows against the lightning

They ‘aven’t seen that fire-beam yet…

Herbert George Wells, War of the Worlds

394934_10150749353871041_1787771566_nIn the Telegraph today, Douglas Carswell writes:

“For years, the debate about immigration has been dominated by “experts”.

“Complex and inaccessible data was used by remote academics. They crunched the numbers and were left to draw the conclusions. The rest of us had to take it on trust that the facts sustained what they told us.”

The Guardian’s Mary Dejevsky agrees somewhat and tells us [the] immigration debate is not just about numbers … We have to consider people’s daily experience too:

“[The] Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration at University College London, found arrivals from the European economic area (EEA) since 1995 to have been even more of an asset to the UK economy than previously thought. They had, it calculated, contributed £8.8bn over the 15 years between 1995 and 2011, and if you considered only the past 10 years, the balance was even more positive.”

However Steve Doughty from The Daily Mail, read the same report and interpreted it slightly differently, claiming that :

“Immigrants from outside Europe have taken £100billion more in benefits and services than they paid back in taxes, a major study revealed yesterday.

“Over a 16-year period, the bill to the taxpayer of providing them with welfare, health and education was 14 per cent higher than the money they put in the national purse.”

This is a problem— when our source material is provided by unimpeachable sources but the conclusions drawn from it are wildly disparate, I’m afraid either the nature of the data or the conclusions must be rendered as lacking validity. At least in a usable, practicable way. Studies ought to inform, not divide in such a binary manner.

This is not a new problem. In an article in Scientific American, Patternicity: Finding Meaningful Patterns in Meaningless Noise, Michael Shermer writes about the mechanisms that allow us to see such differences; it also alows us to see bunny rabbits in fluffy clouds— the same mechanism which results in ‘complex and inaccessible data’ being summarised and presented as fact, while ignoring that:

Unfortunately, we did not evolve a Baloney Detection Network in the brain to distinguish between true and false patterns.”

It is describing a form of apophenia: the ability we have to see what we want to see; or more simply, the ability to make sense when there is none.  In fact, the irony is, I too could be doing just that, but I’ll be describing how I perceive the opinion process in another post, I just wanted to get the Baloney Detection Network out there because I love it, just as much as Hemmingway’s bullshit detector. It’s more or less the same thing.

Anyway, no amount of numbers can alter the fact that immigration is simply someone moving from one place to another. So I ask you, simply

Why not just employ nightclub doormen as immigration officials?

Have you ever tried getting into a club if your name wasn’t on the list?

It’s just a thought…

It’s not everyday you can say you answered the call of nature and ended up committing a crime against it…

The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time…

Friedrich Nietzsche

942750_10151627526991041_1958403882_nThere a lots of reasons why I started actually writing things down again. One of the isn’ts, was a fear I’d run out of thoughts should I ever to feel the need to just write; granted, I’ve kicked myself from time to time for being so complacent, but when not-actually writing things down is the healthy alternative, you must be philosophical about it; what comes with ease, likewise goes–– and with any luck will do again. I think anyone who’ve ever wanted to go through the motions of transcribing their brains, will agree that it helps to have something in it: a maraca therefore, is preferable to a balloon.

Minds however, regardless of their content will go completely blank from time to time, sometimes in mid-sentence. It can almost feel as though the meadow through which you were just strolling was replaced suddenly by a large carpetless floor with no sky. Sometimes, just sometimes, like all good things and boomerangs, women or elephants; it’ll come back…

It’s realisations like Dorothy Parker’s in The Ballade of Unfortunate Mammals, that makes me smile. I grin only, because it helps me find my place; so at least, when the push comes to shove me to one side and ask me who I think I am, at least I can declare with some certainty, that I am neither woman nor elephant…

I mention this only because it’s more interesting then what inspired the imbecility that followed–– it must be, because for the life of me I can’t imagine whatever possessed me beyond my compulsion to read signs, packaging or anything with writing on for that matter, regardless of what I’m doing–– add to that, a day two bitching %#@&$ing cold.

It was in-part at least, inspired by something I’d read concerning air-fresheners some time back and part, an absurd idea to check out what I reckoned to be an unnecessarily outrageous claim on the back of the packet: one squirt apparently, could keep a bathroom smelling ‘pretty’–– whatever that means–– for thirty minutes.

So upon the utterance of a dismissive twaddle under my breath and in mid-stream, I decided to depress the dispenser not once but thrice–– and it wasn’t long before I was doing my best to recoil from the spot and think of something other than asphyxiation, toxic acidosis or any of a hundred unpronounceably aggressive lung diseases in their most virulent form from overcoming me… and making a mess; right there and then: in mid-stream.

I think it’s moments like these that compel the weak to overcome insurmountable obstacles, like lift buses single-handedly, charge a fortified enemy with nothing but a battle-cry, or survive an asphyxiating atmosphere for thirty seconds longer than need be. I could even be in contravention of the 1899 Hague Declaration Concerning Asphyxiating Gases. It’s not everyday you can say you answered the call of nature and ended up committing a crime against it! Is it?

Besides, If I die young I want it t be something heroic involving thin-ice or a runaway train and not because I became over-come by a raspberry smelling wonder-mist in a toilet. It was a very near thing for sure and must have had something to do with the brain-leak, it’s just gotta…

Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again—

L. Frank Baum

Easier said than done Mr Wizard…

The Art of Babysitting: the lowest paid high-risk job in the world…

Spare the rod, spoil the child—

Boys will be boys. And so will men…

This could have been possible without the help of a few like minded individuals, but it would not have been nearly as fun to put together. I just hope that that enjoyment shows on the page. It’s also nice to have the blame for conjuring up such rotten behaviour shared. What was omitted of course, will stay that way.

19171_281714681040_1679334_nThere is no such thing as a perfect mother or a perfect father for that matter. So it stands to reason that babysitting, as an art form is impossible to master. This doesn’t mean that an attempt to do so is futile, it just means the odds of success aren’t exactly weighed in your favour. We do live in the age where man has voyaged to beyond the unquestionable fathoms of the deep; leapt from the edge space; we do have Usain Bolt, and children are being born at a much younger age, year after year, but like the babysitter, parents are doomed from the start it’s an insurmountable mountain that must be negotiated from the moment they arrive to bring joy, warmth and happiness to them, and it is their responsibility alone to confuse and disturb them. The humble babysitter however, has no enduring claim, other than to provide little-more than a form of cheap entertainment; a gift if you like, from the parent to child, as a pay off for abandoning them to seek out entertainment of their own.

So, what follows is rule number one, of one, in multiple parts: not exactly the key to being a good babysitter so much as it is the key to surviving babysitting…

You see, the problem that most of us encounter whilst looking after a couple of mitching-snipes, is that we still think of them as children. This is not the case, it is a basic thought-error and wild under-estimation from which trap, should you fall into it, a lifetime of therapy could be necessitated. Children, under the supervision of a babysitter must be thought of as miniature-creatures, since they regard us at best as pretend people. We don’t really exist in the sense that we have powers to anything but occupy space or heaven-forbid we actually tell them to do anything they ought be or not be to-do and this is something a miniature-creature can work out by simply exchanging looks with a sibling, or ogling us.

Within a moment of surmising we harbour weakness, they will begin to determine inappropriate actions amongst themselves and begin to divide the bibs they intend to plant on us whilst nabbing the regulars of acceptable behaviour in the bud, one nip at a time: they truly believe that anything goes. You may as well resort to pirate talk straight away; but arrghhs and it meb’ees will only hold them at planks-length for so long, because they are scheming little terriers who love nothing more than to leave you sunk and drowned whilst they strip your quarter decks and fetch you a kop of the unfortunate variety across the cheek, up the bracket or if you’re really unlucky, right in the mouse-trap leaving you shivering up and down whatever timber you have remaining…

This is where your counter-planning must begin if you’re foolish enough to enter Amityville without any. You must muzz, before being muzzed, because you are vulnerable within seconds of being seen. The rule starts here. You must be sure to keep your movements to a minimum. A for limp example, will be noticed uncannily, because while you are hanging up your coat, items of furniture will be being moved with the express purpose of clipping it, regardless of the room you enter and they somehow manage this without uttering a single syllable. Therefore, if you do have a limp pretend the affliction bothers the other leg, or both, or if that’s too much, a pair of baggy trousers will suffice.

Naturally, if you manage to navigate the obstacles without so must as an inconvenience to your balance, never put it past a creature to shimmy in with a nudge or two of your own. Sometimes as a defensive strategy, an accidental clip round the ankles of your own works wonders to keep them on the other foot. I knew of one brood strategically placing roller-skates around the house when breaking in a new babysitter, so it’s important to remain focused.

Any successful completion of a booby-trapped path can earn you respect, but you have to be quick to register any sleight nods of approval this fetches you because it’s as stealthy as their next move…

If they can’t topple you through material mischief alone, they will be forced to barter with you and ask you seemingly innocuous questions that you freely submit to answering. This can be dangerous, as they use this information to be beastly. Remember, these are not children. And you my dears, are not real.

So when they ask you if you’d like a cup of tea, return the compliment and suggest that you will make it; being careful not to trip over the rocking horse that has by magic appeared by your right foot and the marbles by your left and proceed to the kitchen, whenever possible, alone— but should that be impossible— by making positively sure that you lead whether you know the way or not. Knives and other stabbing instruments have the unlikely habit of becoming unhinged and accidentally lethal at this point. You should make sure there is nothing suspicious about the kettle, and make doubly sure you don’t find yourself standing in a small puddle of water before engaging it.

Just in case you’re still a little apprehensive, I’d recommend a startled leap away from the counter. This is a cunning ploy. Not only does it grant certain observations to be made, it give you a chance to draw your own conclusions as to the motives of your creatures. If they launch themselves back and hurt themselves, so much the better, you can inform the injured party that it was in fact their sibling that caused the wounds, so by creating a diversion whilst finishing up with the tea. If they merely stand firm with a look of excited wonderment on their faces, you know you’re in for the long haul. Not only do they have their code to protect, but they are, in all actuality, going to make pretty certain that you never leave the house alive.

This is when you must plan pre-emptive revenge if you’d been in a rush and had forgotten to before accepting the appointment. For my guarantee, comprehensive enlightenment is always sought, and I employ the services of a master. Her insight into the ways of the sneak are beyond reproach, therefore her advice, beyond question:

  • Turning one child against the other by favouring them; preferably the older child…

  • Threats and bribes…

  • Feeding them huge amounts of tryptophan to induce sedation

  • Winning them over by allowing them to do things expressly forbidden by their parents under the guise of deal-making and secrets; staying up late and watching TV…

If however you do not have the heart to drug your tiny adversary, and you just want them to know who’s boss make their tea the Mongolian way and use salt instead of sugar. This is when you can start to turn the tables back on them; regardless of its shape. Reverse psychology on a creature is a powerful tool. Not only will they seek personal compensation for damaging their palate, they will also chuck a little hurry-durry your way. Combine this with a sneaky aside to the untainted sibling by suggesting his brother, or sister is a wimp and you’ll be granted an honorary high-five on the spot. If you play your cards right the brothers, or sisters will spend the next little while exchanging names and daring each other to drink the tea at which point, one of them will, have rush to the toilet, and be sick…

With one down it’s easier to work on the other one. This can be achieved by suggesting he is beastly, and he should apologise immediately, and keep him company if that fails, you should use the ‘golden ticket’ method:

  • Show them a horror film or ghost story; anything that deals with keeping all limbs on the bed, under the covers and keeping quiet so ‘it’ will not find their next victim…

I remember to always keep a copy of Scream handy, and simply tell them it is the new Casper film. They will be horrified by the antics of the unfriendly ghost; and go to bed.

With the job done, it is important to reflect on what has passed. I tend to believe that in order to be a good babysitter, you must think in the language of kiddish monsitous if this means you have to put your self to bed early for being naughty so be it: for it is quite possibly the lowest paying high-risk job in the world.

With the ultimate goal of ensuring that everyone is alive and the house is intact when the parents return; even when the odds are stacked against you, it’s not entirely unfair to know the rules for playing a little hard-ball now is it?

‘Children sweeten labours, but they make misfortunes more bitter.’

Francis Bacon: ‘Of Parents and Children’

Nothing’s changed much in 500 years has it?