Friday, February 26, 2010

Down a Peg

Another day, another thought

So I was having a perfectly good day today. It started off kinda miserable due to traffic in my brain, but I sauntered on none-the-less, as one does. One meditation and one coffee later, I was full of beans and ready to tackle another day in the great outdoors. It's nice to come down to earth after too much time spent thinking. It's Friday and I try to keep Fridays free of any writing or feeling the need to. No matter how bad a day was in paid employment, I don't think I have ever felt the need to write it down. Fridays were usually pretty OK in work. It didn't matter what happened there, I could bask in two days of freedom from it until it was time to go back in on Monday and come back down of my joyous cloud of happiness. It was life's way of taking me down a peg and remind me that I couldn't always be happy. I misunderstood this "Happiness" merely for "pleasure". It was a pleasure to drink loads. It was a pleasure to sleep in. Happiness, I found, just came from truth and honesty. If I was to be honest with myself, I wasn't "happy" in that damn job. if I was honest, I wasn't happy sleeping-in all weekend long, It was just overindulging in pleasure. I was working to get drunk and party and buy shit. You may think I'm just playing with words here but in fact there is a huge difference once that ignorance switch is in the "off" position.

And so it came to pass that I decided I wouldn't work for a while as I had lots to think about. What would I be happy doing? Rephrase: What would I enjoy doing? Will I go to college and do something because I should, or should I spend my limited years being happy, like I mean really happy? Was spending cash really the key to happiness and was selling my days to a company the best way to do it? Sitting at home thinking is not very productive either. In fact, It's very time-consuming. So those years were to go ticking by slowly, month by month by month, until I decided.

See I have always been rubbish at taking advice from others but yet others would come to me for advice. A strange trade-off it seems but it's often hard to take advice from someone especially when you never asked for it in the first place (See "Pedantry" discussion). Advice, as any seasoned living being will tell you, is pretty much useless and mostly ignored in general and our innate ability to learn is dominated by the need to experience things first-hand. It's best to save your breath in 99% of cases until you are asked for it. Advice to me came in many forms: be a nurse, be a language... dude, you could be a feckin' PRIEST (that is the funniest by far) etcetera etcetera. I have taken all of these seriously at one point or another and it took a great many years to flush them down the toilet. "What could be my "thing" to do?". This bothers me daily as well as other things.

And then this thought eventually clogged the plumbing in my man-brain too much so I had to wedge it out and write it down, just to see what it looked like. I wrote it down on a piece of paper and stood, looking at it, for a great many more hours. What do I want to do? WHAT DO I WANT TO DO?? It was no good. This was no use. I was becoming obsessive. I walked away from it many times from frustration until I noticed that when I left it there, It never bothered me again. Because this thought was now trapped between the ragged edges of manufactured tree remains, It could not get back into my head! My thoughts were free to flow! But alas, they were to flow far too fast and eventually, they merged together until they were inaudible and unreadable. The great flow of dialogue, comedy and tragedy was too much for my poor brain to handle after many years of keeping them behind the gates of the lock of my mind. They were cascading and deluging to such a degree that the brittle barriers of my brain were eroding too fast! Action had to be taken! I needed to make those thoughts my prisoners! Quickly and franticly I wrote them. I franticly penned them on to as much manufactured tree remains as possible! I typed them and typed them. I still wasn't sure that they made sense, but I did it anyway! I had to. They were going to destroy me! I eventually had the guts to post them on a God-forsaken blog somewhere.

I never did get back to that one thought that released them all. To be honest, I cannot find it anywhere. I swore I would shred it if I ever found it so as to bury it for good, or I would take the remains and clog up the pipes again and perhaps go back to the simple life I had before when I obsessed for hours and hours about what I should do to make me happy with my time. Perhaps I was happier then, when I was just like every confused man in the world looking for his place. I was to be my actions, An Office Clerk, A Warehouse Operative, A Shop Sales Assistant, rather than my thoughts, my musings and my daily wondering. Maybe I should hang up my bass too, stop playing music. Stop being busy with my happiness. Stop being busy living. Wait, that sounds like something...Get busy living... didn't some book guy say that once? I dunno. I think so. What right did he have to say it?

Someone should take him down a peg. Get a real job like the rest of us. I mean, who the hell wants his advice anyway?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Masters of the Universe

I'd like to start by quashing any hopes you might have about reading about He-Man right now.

OK, now that that is out of the way, I just want to share with you, something I have been mulling over for quite some time now. Actually, it's not item specific as such. This will probably drone on and on about this and that and finally rest on a point that I never meant to make... which is so often the case when I start writing. Still though, just to justify the title and to get something that's been niggling at me out of my head, Masters of the Universe, this one's for you!

Recently, I have become the master of my own universe. Well, so I'd like to believe. I have resorted to channelling a lot of my ideas about life into 2 departments for now and to play by ear, where all others should fit in. For stuff that my experience has led me to believe are true, I have started "Matt's Daily Rant" which already I am starting to regret somewhat. It should read "Matt's Daily Theories" or more accurately "Matt's Bi-Weekly Theories" soon changing to "Matt's Weekly Theories" or "Matt's Bi-Monthly Theories" and so on. Let's face it, I'm not getting paid to do this, so I only really do it when I feel like it. It's not that I want to earn money from it, But what I have now is just scraping me through life. But the main thing is, I enjoy doing it so the ends justify the means in that regard. Also, I have taken theories in their infancy and shared them with a friend of mine, Roland Peacher, to see if anything comes from them. Results are interesting so far. It's Roland's input that helped me come to the impermanent conclusion that I am indeed master of the universe. But only my own universe. I have mine, you have yours and if they cross over, all well and good. They usually do. Now bear with me because this is gonna get a little bumpy.

You have your world and I have mine. I like where I live. In my world, there is an explanation for everything. And if there isn't an explanation for everything, there's a theory. And if there isn't a theory there's an analogy or story or something like it. It makes the inexplicable quite bearable and tolerable. There is no answer as to why I participate in it only to the end that it helps others to participate too. They could be gay, straight, black, yellow or even fucking purple, but they serve the exact same end as anyone else. In my world there doesn't need to be a creator or a reason so long as everyone is happy. The only time there is a problem in my world is when man is being killed by an unknown force that cannot be linked, through fairytale nor paranoia, to some faction or group. As long as a man doesn't believe he is a master of his own universe, this will continue to thrive as an idea or dare I say, Ideology. When your world crosses into my world via anything that isn't a necessity for living i.e.: religion, money, hatred, dependence then that's where things start to go wrong. But I am happy in my world, so I don't need to acknowledge such intolerances.

But you say I have an ideology of my own do you? That's where your world crosses unwelcome, into mine. Let me tell you about my world a little bit more. The inhabitants woke up one day and they were fully aware that they were alive. It didn't all happen at once, it happened on different days, to different people over a course of thousands of years. People noticed they were participating in a living, breathing society. They noticed others were too. Suddenly, as if by magic, people were saying things because they wanted to and not because others wanted to hear it. People were doing as they would without harming others because they wanted to and not because they were told to. People realised they were alive and that they had something known as time to work with. These people knew that they had only about 70 years or so to do all this stuff. They didn't sleep because they had ideas. They didn't eat for comfort, they did it because they were hungry, they spoke, they wrote, they played and they expressed because all their inner universes functioned better that way. They all became masters of their universes by writing their ideas down. The people that lived in their Inner Universe came to life. They lived in songs and film. But they did not insist that you believe them. They were written as expressions of true feeling and necessity. They were optional.

And so it goes that I had to follow suit. As I read up on ideologies, claimed songs were good because everyone else did, followed blue-collar journalism because that's what was normal, followed main-stream fashion because all the blue-collar journalists printed it, I ceased to function in my universe and became a part of theirs. Their universe is unstable because ideas change there so often. It's not an easy place to belong because everyone in it is unhappy and unstable. It's always in a state of flux. In my universe it's normal to be sad and happy in equal measure, it's normal to wonder why the first person belongs solely to you, it's normal to get clinically depressed, It's normal to have sex with a person if they have similar genitalia to you, It's normal to want to be left alone and love, is something that passes and is impermanent. I became master of my own universe because there was simply no other way to exist. I've seen you around you know. Is that because our worlds are crossing over?

Or have you always been here?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Pedantry

Hello everyone

Allow me to introduce myself. I am the scourge of the uneducated. I am the correction of misspelled words. I am the anti-intellectual. I am the saviour that the English, or indeed any language needs but never asked for.

Perhaps said language was too was too dumb or undereducated to specify what it wanted. I am the pedant who interpreted this for myself. I turned up and changed everything.

Rather, everything changed until the pedant showed up.

Pedantry is, unfortunately, a growing art. It appeals to those that nobody really wants to listen to. They speak very loud and very clearly about points of conversation, both written and spoken that nobody, especially the speaker, really gives a shit about or didn't address in the first place. Pedants live frozen in the epicentre of a language that was meant to grow and was always unstable to begin with. Anyone with a taste for understanding will pretty much write or type a sentence so you will understand it, to the best of their knowledge and education. Misspell a word often enough and with enough perpetrators to back it up and it will make Oxford English dictionary. But in order to make it into the Oxford English dictionary your misspelled word had to penetrate a wall of pedantry. Through people that halt any kind of progress or regress, as it were, of spelling. Is the word “thru” more useful than “through”? It's certainly easier to type! If I said to you that I was driving thru Athlone in order to get to the funeral of my Grandmother, you might say “Wow, your grandmother died?, that's so unfortunate! If you had driven through Meath it would be so much quicker!”. The pedant will say “It's through, not thru” half way through your typed sentence. Missing the point for the sake of giving you a lesson you never asked for. One fun thing about school was being free afterwards. I'd hate to close my eyes and wake up in school. Why do you subject me to this nightmare? Anyone ever have a nightmare you were in school or late for it? It makes me wish cyber-punching was possible. Man or woman, my first instinct is to punch the offending pedant. How I have to stave of the unrelenting hunger to thwart this scoundrel!

And indeed, the pedant may go as far as to correct my last sentence too. They might go out on a limb and say it was valid once to talk in ye olde English but they still want to correct you for being wrong! They are so completely anti-progress and it grinds my gears something terrible. And there's something else about it that bothers me too. Why feel the need? Do you understand what's being said? Did the speaker actually ask for your advice or are you dishing it out free of charge? Certainly, accuracy is needed when teaching a child their native language or a grown-up a foreign language. It helps them get around in the world. What if this pedant was in school with you, is friends with you and actually knows that you understand in the first place? What then is the point? I'll tell you why. In the presence of someone they know, they don't want to feel better than you. They just want to BE better than you. Humankind is competition. If these guys were in the same league as you it's no surprise they want to shine. They say “Look at me, I'm so clever and educated”.

I say “Look at you, you miss the point almost every time. Sorry I didn't speak my sentence, syllable by syllable, EXACTLY how you imagined it”.These guys hold back the process of change and advancement to a large degree. Did it occur to you pedants that we might have more important things to do than sit by correcting everything we say so your anus can loosen up a little bit in our company? Ultimately, the pedant is someone who cannot let go of textbook knowledge. I myself love textbook knowledge for what it is, but I know nobody wants to be exposed to it, mid-sentence when it has absolutely noting to do with what I was saying in the first place. Textbook knowledge is there to be elaborated on, not taken word for word or in this case, l.e.t.t.e.r b.y l.e.t.t.e.r.

Teachers are teachers and pedants are pedants. Teachers teach you method and to some degree allow you the freedom to express it and sometimes, ENCOURAGE it. They have learned and they have had hundreds and thousands of students. Pedants don't want you to draw outside the lines because their narrow view cannot accommodate it. Within their scope, you are under their control and guidance. More often than not a pedant is not a teacher, lecturer, professor or guide of any sort. They might be someone currently studying a subject or art, but they are never professionals. They just want to be professionals. And they want you to know that. They correct you so you might say something like: “Wow, aren't YOU super-educated! Thank you for affording me your guidance FREE OF CHARGE!”. If you are a pedant and reading this I'll tell you this free of charge. Quite often, people don't want your advice. I would go out on a limb and say 99.5 times out of 100 people don't want it at all. That .5 of a person is accepting your advice begrudgingly. If you want to be a teacher, do it in the classroom. If you want to be a professor, a lecture hall will do. A pedant? Morgue. Simple as. You are killing progress by snagging every single error and mistake and hopefully progress will have it's revenge and kill you by causing an embolism or aneurysm from straying outside your grey, boring and repulsive borders. Go do something worthwhile like give people advice who need it... Junkies, under-age pregnant teens, Juvenile delinquents, criminals the list goes on, really.

Any fool can tell you mistakes make for better learning. Nobody likes a perfectionist - People who claim they never get it wrong, they piss everyone off. Mistakes and errors make a person more respectable. They are not afraid to say “This is what I am, I'm not proud, but not ashamed either, but I've learned something”. It's admirable. Mistakes are the things that make people perfect.

Pedants, you leave nothing to be admired. I have never learned one worthwhile thing while being corrected by a pedant.

Oh wait, there is one thing.

I dislike pedants.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Battle of the Ages

There once was this little planet called Helzbich that orbited as star so far away that it can only be seen in redshift by the world's top astro-physicists. However, radio waves interpreted by modern technology were decoded and they picked up a tale about this little planet so far away in time as to almost be forgotten.

Local lore spoke of a huge intelligence situated on a planet in the same system called Alpha. There were great many ideas beamed straight to Helzbich from Alpha and civilisation on Hezbich grew rapidly as a result. It grew so fast that after only a few years, denizens of Helzbich could travel outside their planet and visit other planets like Warteva Doob, situated closer to their sun. The denizens of Warteva Doob worshipped the sun because it gave them light and crops, but the denizens of Helzbich now worshipped their lords on Alpha because of all the technology they had afforded them.

Alpha asked only one thing of Helzbich in return for their technology... That their denizens would never leave Helzbich for any reason other than to continue to send more people to mine on Warteva Doob and to bring back ore from the planet to leave on a moon of Alpha called Sooka. Helzbich were indebted to Alpha, so they agreed.

In the mean time, the miners from Helzbich, who were working in the mines of Warteva Doob were taking insult to the denizens of Warteva Doob as they were referencing their new immigrant workers as "Ma Doob". Ma in Warteva language meant "Visitor to" but in Alpha language meant "Property of". Very soon, tensions mounted and the denizens of Warteva Doob, who weren't getting much in return for their precious, but purely decorative ore, Decided enough was enough, as they were getting no payment for it other than cheap jewellery and animal skin clothes. Warteva Doob were a peaceful people and had no experience in war or technology, but their hearts were pure and just. Their government represented the minority of people, but those people happened to vote, so the government represented all by default. Pretty soon, solar war was declared.

Alpha, in the mean time never advised Helzbich, nor stopped them, from staying away from violence, they only advised them to keep depositing the ore to Sooka for Alpha's use. They never mentioned the cutural difference in language that Helzbich had noticed and interpreted for themselves. Eventually, with no help from Alpha but purely from the knowledge they had acquired for themselves, Helzbich acquired a massive H-Bomb and blew Warteva Doob to smithereens. They had no more tensions and no more ore. They had done their lords proud.

Eventually Alpha stopped co-operating with Helzbich and Helzbich civilisation begged for technological advancement. Alpha now asked that Helzbich send it's denizens to Sooka instead, but only the miners. They had no means to carry on by themselves so they had no choice. As miners were in finite supply, eventually they ran out of those too. Helzbich were in a crisis. They decided to invade Alpha.

Alpha were so technologically advanced that they easily won the war. Scholars , Historians and Scientists of Helzbich were able to isolate the reason why Alpha had won so easily. Their particle cannons were running on a special ore that had come from Warteva Doob and had crystalised from years of mining in the denizen miners of Helzbich. They had known that this day would come and they obliterated the entire Helzbich army in the blink of an eye and half the denizens of the planet Helzbich in collateral damage. The remaining denizens were moved to Alpha's moon Sooka after Helzbich became uninhabitable and were used as slave labour, making more particle cannons for the Alphanian army. A few had tried to invade Alpha in protest, but never got closer than their poisonous atmosphere before dying. Alpha had never told them how to.


The last remaining slaves from Helzbich transmitted this message in radio waves before submitting to exhaustion and dying off, some hundreds of millions of years ago. "Reality", they said, "was unbarable to deal with without dependence". "I hope your society, if you get this message, can learn from Hellzbich's plight. Peace be to one and all in the universe. May your lords serve you well"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Guilt has the loudest voice

Guilt, more often than not, has the loudest voice.

The only reason I can make such an arrogant claim is that I am subject to it myself. In my experience, any time I jumped off the bat to defend something, it was always because I was guilty of the offence myself at some point or another. I remember jumping to defend a band I listened to, or a decision I had made previously. I would also defend a horrible habit like smoking or something, just because I indulged in it and wanted to justify the fact. I have defended poor judgement, bad purchases and horrible clothes in this way too, often with the curse that is hindsight. In the beginning, I wanted those around me to stand by my decisions based on how well I defended it or by how I sold the idea to them by describing it in eloquent detail. Education to smother guilt is a very clever trick indeed. I can remember getting into heated debates in order to defend my actions that I had maybe done, for example, while out drinking the night before. I can remember judgements made on people that i rigorously tried to defend to the bitter end until my conscience got the better of me and I admitted defeat. Perhaps I belonged to a poorly represented organisation and want to justify my sticking by them. Quite often though, It seems, the louder my voice is, the more right I am and the more entitled I am to continue on my road to denial. Yes, guilt has a massive set of lungs and screams every single word imaginable except the ones you want to hear. "I made a bad decision! And I'm sticking to it for shame, god forbid that I should admit I am wrong!"

Every other day a friend or acquaintance or friend of a friend can be heard justifying their bad decisions and poor judgement. And they will NOT be quiet about it. That's not bad for a guy like me. I can glean hope from it if I feel like it, which, I have to say, doesn't happen often these days at all. I want to believe that X-boxes and PS3's are as good as each other. It's gotten to the point where I just don't give a shit any more. In the end of the day they are insignificant pieces of plastic. A time-box and a time-box 3. They just use up time in our lives by replacing our boredom with cartoon heroes. I want to believe there is a God or Gods who is/are fair and will one day prove that they are not big jokers or complete sadists by releasing each and every human life, past and present away from the torment that is humanity. I guess blind faith has it's merits. Bad shit can happen everywhere and you don't have to give a shit about it because you imaginary friend does that for you. You can be greedy and ignorant and you ultimately answer to no-one, but you will defend it LOUD and PROUD because thinking for yourself is just so damn difficult. I would like to believe that there is at least one relationship that works and has no hidden agendas, no over dependence, separate individuality, openness to instinct and has both parties feeling 100% happy with each other all the time. It gives both separate parties enough room to sort out their own problems. It needs no agony aunts and the sex is as good as the communication. I want to believe that every morsel of food is good for your body without fluctuating opinions by this and that scientific body. I want one person to honestly say "I am HAPPY to be a smoker and everyone I know is happy with my decision, no questions asked". Guilt sure does speak loudly. Everyone who doesn't care is subjected to it as well.

Don't get me wrong here, This subject, like all I write about, is open to criticism. Go right ahead and give me your feedback. Fortunately for you, I am not jumping on any band wagon and judging by my followers (currently none) I am not preaching to any choir. I am defending this on my own. I write about it purely from my own experience and using said experience (I have a ton of it from bad decision making in the past) to make a fairly balanced opinion on it. I have rigorously defended bad choices, people I was standing by, music I was listening to, clothes I was wearing, the list goes on really as I mentioned previously. I may not agree with some things folks I know are involved with in some way or another, but this is only because I see said people reflect back a mirror attitude that I once carried on it before. I have stood by bad relationships in the past. I have seen friends do this too only to end up following the exact same road as I had done. It's like a real-life, never-ending movie but with different character actors. It's the same script, the same scenarios and like a movie, you can do nothing to change the outcome. Of course it's not all bad. Well, so we're led to believe. I know that after a certain amount of wear-and-tear, as a result of my own stupidity and ignorance to loud guilt, that I am compelled to speak the blunt honest truth. A lot of people I associate with these days are inclined to do the same and it just stands to the same reason. We should have been more honest with how we were feeling at a given time. We all went through a period of bad decision making only to come out and wish we'd been more realistic about it all. However I find that perhaps there is a buffer zone where maybe, after years of bad experience I may be wrong. I am open to it as I am open to everything, but can't help being a wee bit cynical. I am still assured by new friends and very few old ones, that perhaps there is room for loud, justifiable innocence. People who are sure that the decisions that make are justified by real anecdotal evidence. I'm not convinced by the God argument because there is no evidence but there may be, I'm told, real evidence of a working relationship. The cynic in me says that maybe someone isn't being honest with themselves and that maybe someone is in denial, or just going out with a complete liar. Deep down I have a glimmer of hope, but it's embers are dying fast. People ask me "Matt, why do you CARE so much?" I was under the guise that I didn't care at ALL! How's that for horrible horrible horrible irony?

In the end of the day, It's just the loudness of one person's guilt over others'. We pass it on to our children and everyone we know in order to quieten down and justify our personal guilt. It's so damn loud we want it out of our heads and into the free airwaves to be swallowed and digested by anyone who will listen. Guilt always speaks first in the face of new ideas followed by it's good, trusted friend Fear. Unfortunately these guys have an unbroken bond. They always roll together.
"So", You say, "Matt must be feeling pretty guilty in order to write an article this long about guilt having a loud voice". Let me be the first to say "YOU ARE RIGHT!!" Go ahead, have a beer on me. I might pay you for it eventually. I am just as guilty as you are. I have stood by bullshit in the past and most likely will in future. The only difference is, I am incapable of standing by bad decisions and I was never that good at verbal disputes anyway. What you see is pretty much what you get (and i say this only in relation to your expectations of me). Thing is though, I won't shove my guilt in your face if you don't want me to. People who bellow and shout about their beliefs and habits and poor decisions and judgements in front of others leave us with no choice but to bear the brunt of their phenomenally loud guilt and pressure. I will write it and you will read it if you want. I just want to break this damn illusion that blankets society. I will give you a choice and honesty.

I expect the same treatment too. Is that too much to ask of anyone?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Good Luck!

I can only hypothesise on what I think is going on at any given moment. I could not tell you 100% about what is currently happening or what is going to happen. I cannot tell you even how I will personally feel in 5 minutes time. Chances are, I will double, triple or quadruple back on this piece etc etc before i post it. I will say it here and you will read it. You may believe me, you may not. However, I'm confident you will take my word on it, from my perspective and add your own little twist. Chances are high. I'm taking a chance on writing it and you are reading it. It's not high stakes, you might get angered or enlightened by it and either way, I will be unaffected. The one thing I can say in certainty though, In general, you will agree with is that there are two definite things in life... Birth and Death. One day I was born and one day I will expire. And you will too. Every other event that happens in my life between those days is down to probability and chance. Chance will play a key role in everyday pursuits and achievements. It's fair to say chance is a fairly big deal too. I'm not drawing any conclusions here but in my opinion there are three definite factors in life. Birth, Death and Chance. Chance is neutral and can work negatively or positively.

Luck is nothing. It's a linguistic trick laid down by lazy and dependent people. It is laid down by cowards and fools. Luck was invented by people who are scared to try things out. Typically, these people can be heard uttering phrases like "If I'm lucky I will win the lotto!" "if I'm lucky I'll get that job promotion!" "I'm unlucky in love". It's quite a shambles when you leave your actions or lack of actions down to luck. I guess I do say it myself out of habit. Thing is though, when I want something I work for it. I'm not against the use of the word... fuck it, it's a free world. I'm just against the dependence on it. I've noticed the overuse of it more and more these days and the dependence on it by folks on the lower end of the food chain. What else can you depend on when your government shits on you and the chips are down? You hope your luck will change. I'm sad to say it won't. Chance is all you have to depend on. We all know luck is a bullshit concept to live by. You cannot depend on it. Luck stands in for lack of motivation and lack of talent. It's true. Well, chances are high that it is anyway.

When you consider it, Chance is a pretty big concept in life. Definitely well above that of "luck" and what we understand it to be. We, as a species only exist by chance. We weren't "lucky" to exist. How can something that doesn't exist yet be "lucky"? We are existent as a species purely on the fact that our planet resides where it is in this particular solar system. Scientists will tell you that chances of this happening at all ever are pretty slim but quantum physics will tell you similar... that it's low in probability but not impossible. Einstein would have said "God does not play dice". Luck is not innate, chance is. Apparently man is made in God's image so will you kill that spider in your bath? Chances are 50-50 that you will. God can smite, why can't we? Yes, chance is innate in us by that rationale. God and man works in mysterious ways apparently. Why do you cross the street when you see that dodgy looking guy? Cuz chances are he'll attack you. You don't know. So why do we exist? Who knows? You are not "lucky to be alive". You are alive by chance. 1 in a billion apparently. The human species does not exist because YOU are lucky. Shut up. Stop being so selfish.

So let's look at chance some more. You make chances higher by being persistent. I got with a girl once by being persistent. I'm not particularly good looking nor was I wealthy or even successful but I guess now, looking back on it, that I was just determined. It's the only thing I think I had going for me. It just kinda pissed me off eventually sitting around waiting for luck to play it's part. You have a pretty low chance of your lotto numbers coming out on top. Your chance is just the same as anyone elses. Unless of course you buy more lines, but that's higher chance, not luck. It's not your luck. remember, the world does not revolve around you. It's your luck versus everyone else's, which means that it's cancelled out by a null factor. Tough luck. If you think your luck is low and someone else's is high, chances are they are trying harder than you. It's that simple. You didn't get that job or promotion because your chance is either heightened or lowered by what you put into getting it. Low qualifications, not trying hard enough. Your boss is not stupid. You didn't get the promotion because you didn't work for it. Plain and simple. If you think it's because of your bosses mood or something, chances are he's pissed off because he didn't assert himself.

Luck is about as useful a word as religion is in this day and age. I will say one thing though, religion isn't a stat you can build up in a video game, but luck is. This means that non-free-will characters can have an opportunity to do things because they cannot rely on chance. If you tell me I have no free will, I will probably punch you in the face.

Chances are high. And you can count yourself lucky I warned you.

Achievement is no accident. Take some chances.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Competition time!

Do you need more time?

Ever feel like life isn't fair?

It's just work, work, work and then sleep, isn't it?

One might, after too much of the "grind", feel compelled to leave it all behind and travel. You might take a nice sun-soaked holiday or else leave it all for a few years and go to Australia or the Far East. Seems to be the template for the majority of people that I know anyway.

Don't get me wrong. Travelling is quite amazing. I love to witness different cultures as much as the next person and see how it all works in places that have different infrastructure to Ireland. But I know this is the one place I can ever call home. But why do you lose time? Why do you wish for more? Why do you take holidays away to make time for yourself? What keeps you in your shitty, unrewarding job and makes you wish to leave it all behind so much. Why is your life divided into two distinct categories that are time well spent and time wasted? I'll tell you why. It's competitiveness. Yep, the sun is one thing and rain another. We're Irish and we give out about it either way when it happens here.

So I'm calling you up on your competitive streak. You have one and so do I. It's one of the amazing factors that we survive on as human beings. It's how we have survived for the majority of time we've existed as a species and it will continue on until our extinction. But we aren't slaves to it, we just let it take over from time to time and some of us, a little less than that.

So how is a competitive streak to blame for lack of time and how has it anything to do with wanting to travel while you're young before you slave to the grind? It's really very simple. All one has to do is take a step back and look at any pattern that emerges in our civilisation and you can pick up on it. The one I want to attack today is competition. Competition with each other in order to have a better life. But better than whose? Better than your own? You are the one living it, why would you want a better life than the one you have? That makes no sense to me.

As far as I'm concerned, I have a great life. I rent a place in the city. I get ample amounts of sleep (5-8 hours usually does it), I write, I jam and I play video games. I have an awesome girlfriend (for the amount of time it'll last before one of us inevitably gets bored) I didn't have to be rich or have bundles of shit I don't need to get with her. I travel occasionally. I get my shopping done cheap and I drink modestly priced wine that doesn't taste a whole lot like vinegar. That is my life and I'm happy with it. I make it so and I compete with nobody. Occasionally I get badgered to have the perfect relationship like other couples seemingly have, but I nip that one as soon as it surfaces.

Now I'm going to take a guess at your life. You probably work for a company that you hate because you need money to buy shit. You get home in the evening and wish for more time in your day to do what you enjoy, or probably just to do nothing at all. You are buying a house that you can just about afford because you think you should. You have a wife or girlfriend that you probably love or probably have because you don't want to be alone, because everyone else isn't. Those car payments are getting you down. They are hard to keep on top of. But you need it to get from A to B so that's all right. You probably wish for a sports car or a luxury car because all the wealthy and famous people have them. You are in pretty good shape, maybe a few extra pounds here and there. Most people do. They are hounded daily by ads that tell them otherwise. You wish you could be thin or that the world thought that a normal person's shape was sexy. Sorry mate. We're all in competition here. You want it too, because apparently everyone else has it. Have you looked around lately?

So it is in my opinion that we are in competition in almost everything. I have heard friends say in the past that they "need to travel before they are too old". They need to travel because that's what everyone does and they envy it for some reason. I was no stranger to that myself either. I wanted to return to Japan because I felt like I should. Like I owed it to myself or something. It didn't take long before I called "bullshit" on it. For a start I was racing. Racing against no-one but my need to "succeed" in being like everyone else. I had friends who travelled to Oz and I worked with goal-orientated solicitors who travelled the world when they were young because they would soon settle into a life on unrelenting labour. They would have great stories to tell colleagues they didn't really like that the colleague would either resent them for, or or just not give a shit about either way. Who was I trying to impress with the pressure I was putting on myself? Great personal development and satisfaction starts when you appreciate what really makes you happy, not on the shores of some foreign land you were pressurised into travelling to. They say children are wise because they do not care about how their actions will affect others. How funny it is that I made my first two huge trips when I was just a "child" (I was 18. That's so damn young). I went because I wanted to, out of curiosity, not because I was trying to compete. Now that I have free time, I don't really care about travelling for the sake of competition with others and their seemingly marvellous lives. I still want to do it, but I feel like I can do it any time. Yeah, maybe someone wants to do it on the legit, but I don't feel the need to do it because they do!

Anyway, enough about travel. Went on well too long that.

The grass is always greener on the other side. I have no money at all and right now you are competing with me. You will get high and mighty and say things like "Get a job", "you're stealing my money" and so on. You envy me because you have a competitive streak in you. You want what I have. You want free time. You want the time to sit and give out about stuff or compare it against your "perfect" life. It's all relative I'm afraid. But I will give you some news you probably don't want to hear. I don't care what you have or what you want. That's your choice you see. Do you want to be a high-flying legal executive because they are "better" than everyone else? How about a well-paid surgeon? Do you want to be a police man or woman who gets an (ARGUABLY) nice state salary? This I'll tell you for free. They are only a better legal-executive, surgeon or police person than you. They are not better people. It's that simple. I know personally that they are no better a human being than I am. They still fart, argue, smell, fight, have sex, drink too much and are overweight just like you and me. I just don't feel the need to compete with them. OK, so they might have a palatial house in D4 that stands well in their name, but, like me, they too will die one day and that house will be left behind them. They will have slaved away all their good years just to leave a concrete epitaph behind, never truly enjoying life themselves.

I destroyed my completive streak a long time ago and I feel better for it. I exist only for myself, not for the shit job I once had or to have a comparative, better life than some snob. I don't even exist for a loved one. She can take me or leave me, depending on her own material or other needs. That's not my problem. I look after my health somewhat by taking vitamin supplements, fish-oil and anti-cholesterol drinks because it's convenient for me, not a multi-national drugs cartel. The only competitiveness left in me is easy to find on a Saturday night playing Street Fighter II with friends, or in a game of pool. It is virtual and it ultimately affects no one. No country will explode because of it and I won't be left feeling unfulfilled or in need to make more time as a result. I would suggest that you would look for the same in you.

But maybe you don't want to because you don't want to "give in" to my advice or think I am wrong in some way.

That's competition for you right there.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day...

So it's Valentine's day tomorrow.

Wow. Quick everyone, brace yourselves for the onslaught. Hope you bought enough shit for your loved one

I don't like Valentines day. Surprised? Didn't think so.

Now I'm about to tell you why.

Valentine's day is typically represented on the clock by a 24 hour period, which is two normal 12 hour revolutions. You want more details, go read about a day in Wikipedia. Anybody will tell you anyway, that this time period represents a typical day on this slab of mud, on a ball, floating through space. Unless you want to go into leap-year time in which case, the door is right behind you, please use it. Valentine's day is also the day of a Christian patron Saint who goes by the name St. Valentine. The same, arguably reliable source tells us that St. Valentine may actually be more than one Saint, not just the one single Saint we have all come to believe it is. I think it should in fact be Saint Valentines' day rather than Saint Valentine's day as most illiterate or ignorant card-makers would have you believe it is. Either way, without getting too detailed, It is a Saint's day and Saint's days are generally Christian festivals which were in fact, stolen pagan celebrations of some kind. I could go on researching more reasons why it's a farcical celebration for most, but I'm sure you get the point as of the end of this paragraph, which reaches it's powerful climax at this full-stop.

Yes, St. Valentine are Christians who were persecuted by the Romans. That sentence sounds fucked, but that is the way it should read. St Valentine is PLURAL! Now, any human can relate to a person dying. It's sad. But we don't celebrate every single death of every single person as we'd always be smashed, so we just stick to the ones we know. Christians celebrate Christian births, deaths and so on. But generally, non-Christians like myself don't give a shit. But this is not why I don't like St. Valentine's day. It doesn't even scratch the surface. Granted, I love to get smashed at Christmas even though I'm no longer Christian, but the birth of Christ is not why. Christmas is just an excuse. I don't get smashed on Valentine's day because it's not fun to fall around the street drunk when everyone might have to work, seeing as there is no national holiday for the precious "St Valentines". If there were no gimmick tied into it, no one would give a shit who St Valentines were. Most young people will tell you they are not religious in any way, so why do they get a dose of the sweats when Saint Valentines get a mention? It's not because they operate double-standards at all... no no no no no! They don't care that it's a Christian Saint! If they thought that they were celebrating a Christian "Festival" they might shit a brick! (Incidentally, notice how I'm allowing everyone room to deny Christian worship by giving them "benefit of doubt. You don't need my permission, just don't go barking that you don't care about Christianity when you shit your pants when Chrimbo, Paddy's and Valentine's comes up)No. These people the world over only care for one reason. And I cannot stand it.

St Valentine's day is now about having a girlfriend/wife/fianceƩ/boyfriend/husband/significant other/slave/bitch or even a prostitute to dote on. It is now about a marketing scheme and about 1 day where it's necessary to spend time with someone you care about. You have to show love. I do not know where to begin tearing this one apart. I'll start with, first of all why it's necessary, by some archaic tradition to spend time with someone symbolically, even if you are not in the mood for it. I'm going to take for granted that I am normal and that you are too. I am driven mad when anyone spends too long around me. I like to give my time to those that I care about once I have had the breathing space to deal with them. Yes, it sounds cruel, only because you are denying yourself the reality that sometimes you like to be alone. When i walk down the street and I see someone I know I don't always feel the need to make eye contact. I avoid it. I sometimes hope that the other person will try to do the same. And you know what? they do! The other person is you! Isn't that fascinating? But it's fucking normal. Don't get high and mighty because you are different. You aren't. I've seen you all do it before for one reason or another I don't care about. Big whoop. You want to be left alone to shop or walk with your iPod. That's OK. Me too. So why should I want to, or feel it necessary to spend time with someone when I don't particularly want to because of what date it is or what some Advert says I should do? There is no rule. You're just afraid of being alone. Welcome to the human condition! It's a weird catch-22 that says "I don't want to be alone but I don't want to be smothered". It's weird. Buying things for people when you don't want to because of Christianity, Loneliness or marketing isn't weird. It's pointless. Feeling pressure to have a boy/girlfriend is strange too. Especially when it's to line someone's pockets.

"But Matt, that is so unreasonable. It's about showing them you love them!"

Stop it. Who are you trying to convince here? Me, You, or the one on your arm you are insecure about holding onto? Please don't use St Valentine as an excuse. Why do you need, specifically, to show someone you care on February 14th? If I was part of a couple that wanted to show particular interest on this day I would break up with them because I had nothing in common. No sign of intelligence. Shallow. Vacant. The list goes on really. At the moment I am in celebration of Chinese new year because my girlfriend is Chinese. She doesn't go to church to represent that fact and she doesn't have to buy stupid themed gifts because she is Chinese. She was born that way. I want to get drunk. Everyone here is happy.

Lastly, the most common thing I hear about this time of year is people going to the pub to score, or people saying they are lonely and it's a depressing time of year. What a crock. If you go to the pub to meet a woman, your approach is flawed. I only ever met one decent girl in the pub in my entire life. Suffice to say we are not together now. Chances of finding someone you have anything in common with in the pub are about as thin as looking for a wine connoisseur in Fibber's. Not good. Finding a guy in the pub is as simple as finding a weirdo who doesn't know how to interact with a woman properly because he goes to the pub to meet them. It's a paradoxical situation really, not an impossible one. All I'm saying is, It's possible to meet a girl/guy in the pub that you really like, but chances of a match are pretty damn slim. This is purely anecdotal. Anyway, to move along, I hear these guys saying "Valentines' is depressing because i always spend it alone... I have no girlfriend".

Fuck sake.

Man up! Here's "how to get a girl 101" courtesy of Matt. No expert, but no idiot either. The only reason i know any of this is because i know a failed method WHEN IT GETS ME NO WOMEN!

* Stop whining and crying.
* Be confident
* Talk to women first if you're interested. They probably won't
* You want to meet a woman you have something in common with? Get off the computer. Get out of the pub. Do a class. Have a hobby. Talk to women. TALK TO WOMEN
* TALK TO WOMEN
* Talk a lot, in general
* Talk about her hair, her shoes and what she's interested in
* Don't give out about things around them all the time for sake of conversation. They don't like that... unless they are weird or you are humorous
* Laugh. Laugh at jokes. Make jokes. Lots. Laugh at yourself. Make little jokes about her too. Little inoffensive ones. Women like a guy who is funny

What am I doing?

Valentines is bullshit. Anything you do on this day can be done any time. I have already wasted enough time on this. Time to celebrate Chinese New Year!

Nothing better than red wine for the occasion ;-)

Peace.

P.S: Stop whinging and play the game

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Insecurity

Dear Reader, I just wanted to share something with you today. I couldn't stop thinking about it. The only way I could stop thinking about it was to write it down. And so it goes.

I am insecure. There, I said it. It wasn't that hard and you probably guessed it already. That's cool. I commend you on your victory. Bet that made your day. Someone feels insecure and a little worse than you. Well done!

But you know what? So are you. We all are. We're human beings

See those zealots over there? They are insecure. Their God is nowhere to be seen

Captains of ships. Generals of vast powerful armies. Presidents of major countries.

We're all insecure. Each of us deals with it in different ways.

This is how I deal with my insecurity. I write about what's on my mind, about thoughts in process and about things I can theoretically say are true. But only in the majority of cases. I'm not psychic and I'm no scientist. I do not command a galleon, sailing the seven seas. I do not lead a brave army of people wishing to make their mark in history by defending a big slab of mud stuck on a ball, floating through space. I do not lead a minority of rich people into making myself richer and everyone else poorer. No, none of that

I'm just a guy. A guy who writes, on a slab of mud, on a ball floating through space

You see, throughout the years I have discovered a talent I have. I didn't study it, I didn't learn it, I wasn't taught it. It was just innate it seems from day one. I never realised it until I noticed some other people were saying one thing, but doing contradictory other things from what they were saying they were going to do. Bit of a mouthful, that last sentence. Anyway,I went through a period of that myself. people will recognise things like "I'm going to ask her out", "I'm going back to Japan", "I'm going to college this year" being said by me over and over through an unspecified period of time. But you know how it is, try some on and buy it if it fits.

It never really felt comfortable though.

Yes I did talk a lot of shit once, but I gave up on it. Some people never do. They never feel happy unless they are talking shit about someone else and getting everyone they possibly can on board. Some are not happy until they are saying that people with different skin tone are worse than they and oh!, how fortunate it is for them that the person cannot do anything to change the colour of their skin! That means that the person talking that crap is always on top! It might be worth noting at this point that the individuals who are insecure enough to use something biological and unchangeable as an Insecure bias are the most dangerous. They bask in ignorance. Ignorance and Insecurity don't sit well together, just look at your nearest zealot. Or Hitler. Hitler was a devout Catholic, look it up. And how the insecure band together!

So this talent I say I have well, it's always been there. Readers will note at this point that it's not my punctuation or vocabulary. If it weren't for spell check I'd be fucked. I'm not going to mention how much I deplore pedants who always miss the point, or consider correction half-way through a sentence as more important than what's actually being said. I try to remember that they are insecure too after all. No, spelling is not my talent nor is writing in fact. But, I confess, they do come in handy when I'm trying to make a point.

My talent is virtuous, I discovered. Through it I have learned a great many things and I have seen situations turn out in my favour in high probability just because of it. When I divulge information to people I am usually given great merit on the usefulness of the required information because, over years this talent has acquired me a lot of useful knowledge. I am Insecure as I said, but that does not mean I am not confident in my ability, otherwise I could not tell this story. And I will stress at this point, I never worked a day for it.

People of all ages seem to think I am approachable. I don't know why this is. I could never figure it out and I still can't do it as I write this note. However, one thing I am happy with is that, even though I stand at a lofty 6'2, Have wide shoulders and a beard, people still approach me and talk to me. It used to shock me a lot in the beginning , the type of things they used to talk to me about. Granted, this shock, as it happened in great frequency, tired itself out after only a short while. I always treated the stories, anecdotes, advice, jokes and other things I was offered as dust in the wind. I just let it float away as it blew in my face. But damn, sometimes when you're walking through a shitstorm you get dirty. And sometimes you try walk in the same direction so it's not always in your face. But every time I got home I could dust off and relax. Maybe not walk through that shitstorm again unless it was necessary. I guess what I'm hitting at here is I have always listened and I have always been interested.

That's why I can tell you I'm insecure and so are you. I have heard many different things over the years from good people and people I just have no time left for. The good people are the ones that are just as Insecure as I am in life. We share stories and we share parts of our lives. We share heartbreak, sympathy, empathy, funny stories, embarrassing situations, memories and short term plans. We change every single day we live. The ones I have no time for cling to things, cling to bias, cling to ideals, cling to people. They just never ever learn. They don't want to. It doesn't suit their insecurity. They don't want to be insecure and knowing they have things to hold onto makes them better than me and mine.

I cannot tell you what my only talent is in life as I am still becoming it. Maybe one day you could if you ever notice it. As far as I'm concerned I don't have to do anything. I never have.

There is just no time.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I need to pace myself...

I was going to have a day off. I really was.

I had to get up early today and go to the Social Welfare office.

For all those that don't know what a welfare office is, because maybe you think that having a job makes you happier and better than everyone on the dole somehow and therefore makes all those without jobs instantly the scum of the earth (we all have a billion kids each, drive sports cars, wear expensive tracksuits and runners, are uneducated, drink 24/7, live with our partners who take every social welfare payment available as well as our own unmarried partner's allowance, pay €10 per week rent and live in palatial tenements)and that it's "demeaning" to queue for handouts because the government they voted for buggered the working class (a class which they also, happen to be a part of. Ironic and cruel) again, I hope I've explained it all in this, the largest sentence of the 21st century. Actually, looking back on that sentence it's rather disjointed and not very eloquent at all. But one thing I've learned while writing is to leave it alone for a while, take the flak and maybe learn something from it.

So anyway, I went to the Welfare office today. I really wasn't in the mood for queuing, I wasn't in the mood for walking to Pearse Street to collect my "Scab Money" (I'd like to see the guilty parties rename this when they have to accept it) and I wasn't in the mood for going to the Police Station to sort out my passport either. I also had to go to the bank to change my address and then request a statement via snail-mail so I could inconvenience myself further by changing my address with the Welfare Office again, only so they could cut my rent payment while I wait with the legions of unemployed people who patiently wait for our screw-up government to "fix" our country so I may have a dignified existence eventually. Now I mean dignified by my own standards, not by those of folks who study because they feel like they should, just to justify themselves somehow to people that don't give a shit. Yep, it was going to be a fun day today. If I was one for looking at the future, even the near future, I would have to say it was looking bleak. But I don't look to the future except when I'm forced to, either by a disgruntled girlfriend, or when I'm writing a rant that no one reads.

I really was going to have a day off.

What's that? I'm unemployed? I have every day off? Do you think it's easy to fill up your free time every day? You're lucky that you work. And I mean that only, in that you don't have to be creative in how you fill up your time! Someone has plans for you! Your need to fit in and "succeed" in life and your slavery to your own expectations and the expectations of others, coupled with that of the price you put on your time means you don't have to do anything! I try not to be bored! I actually had to work hard to strike off everything I was ever interested in (so far) just so I don't go crazy. I spend every minute torturing my brain with this rubbish. You get to sit in an office doing mind numbing work! You lucky thing you!

I honestly thought I would do nothing today.

But then I got a call from a person who likes to call me all the time for some reason I cannot yet fathom. Apparently, from pit of high-expectation I was crawling out of, I forgot to include this person once. I hear this quite a lot actually. I didn't do as I was expected to. As I was EXPECTED to. I DIDN'T DO AS I WAS EXPECTED TO. What the hell is wrong with that sentence, or is it just me? (For the pedantic linguists I have but two words for you at this point. FUCK OFF!) Ahem, now I shall continue. So, what is wrong with this sentence? Well I think it's terribly rude for someone to impose their expectations upon anyone, not just me! Apparently I am a bastard because I DIDN'T BEHAVE AS THEY EXPECTED ME TO. This grinds my gears so much I just don't even know where to start with it. But another day perhaps.

Anyway, after a visit to the Welfare Office, The Post Office (To pick up my shame money)and this unexpected and quite frankly UNWELCOME phone call, I had to go to the Police Station to face a Guard, Who, when I asked "Can you look after this for me" (in reference to my passport) quipped "I suppose so". A public servant ey? I'm lucky I'm unemployed and not paying this guy. I really wouldn't want to. But the female guard there was hot. I mean HOT. So I forgave him. But, trying to make conversation as the nice guy I am (Except when I'm not living up to the expectations of others) I said "Sorry, I would have brought it to Rathmines Police Station but I don't know where it is as I'm new to the area". His response was classic. He said "Well you could find it if you just asked someone". If I wasn't paying a cop's salary or ever wanted to, I'd certainly want to hire a writer for their wit. I kinda felt proud of my response to him though and lightning fast it was too. "Or if I ever got in trouble". It was such an open ended answer that could go either way, when you think about it. The girl who was standing beside me seemed to like it too as she snickered quite loudly. It's the closest you could get to smart mouthing a cop, but getting clean away with it. He had tried to be a sarcastic fecker with me and I one upped him without even trying really. The girl beside me was an unwitting accomplice. It was the perfect crime.

All I wanted was one uneventful day where something didn't happen and I didn't feel compelled to write something. All I wanted to do was lay back and be contented. Have someone do stuff for me. Have someone make my decisions. But alas, it was not to be.

Damn brain

:'(

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The odds are stacked, but you're unique

So I was out with a friend today and had a very stimulating conversation indeed. It's always great to catch up with people you haven't seen for a long time. I'd be fucked without it to be perfectly honest. What am I, in the end of the day... Why, exactly what I started out as at the start... A loose bag of skin with a blob of jelly somewhere in it that has ideas and notions. Pretty much the same as anyone else. When I look around, that's all I see. Old bags, Young bags, Self-concious bags, Fat bags, Skinny bags and Disguised bags who drive around in over-priced auto mobiles all for the sense of self worth. Skin bags who need to justify their existence through other material possessions. I'm no different. A skin bag with silly notions and nothing to base it against other than a blog with 0 viewers. No Car, No Money, No Home, nothing. What do I do with myself? Well from time to time I Justify my existence and silly notions by chatting it out with someone I think can stand me for a little while. Did pretty well too... That conversation lasted just under 2 hours. Turns out we're going on a reconnaissance mission to find another confused skin bag we call a friend. It's going to be awesome!

OK, the term "Skin bag" might be a little upsetting for you. Well that's too bad. Have a look in the mirror tomorrow morning and call yourself something else if it makes you feel better. You, like me, are an insecure skin bag. Your name might be Daryl or Jacinta or Pedro or something equally spine-chilling, but you are just smart-talking meat dressed in lovely clothes just like me. But do not even think of despairing for one moment! There is no need. I didn't come here to call names or depress you, no, I'm not that way inclined. You are important. Very very important indeed! Think about your financial situation for example. Are you poor? If you are reading this you are probably not too wealthy... I don't know any wealthy people. But you are useful! Much more useful than that Arts degree or that Diploma in engineering, both of which have gotten you nowhere except out of the pit of worthlessness, a rung higher than the rest of us. You are more important than our useless politicians who are only a few thousand in numbers to that of our 6 billion+ world population. There are more of us than them! We must be pretty damn important, right? Yes we are. If we didn't exist, there'd be nobody around for rich, materialistic people to feel better than. We are important. We are individual beings with a huge sense of self worth that cannot exceed that of our rich counterparts who, I suspect, have a hidden extra appendage that they never show us,that makes them feel important. They are superior beings. They mix together only. And they have their BMW that they like to drive dangerously too, let's not forget that either. They keep the useless politicians there and the politicians turn them favours in order to keep the balance. The rest of us are left to deal with only what is in our brains. We have nothing else to think about because we are poor and bored. It keeps us stimulated for things to do to pass the time, like paint, create, write, converse about reconnaissance missions and so forth. Artists are always poor. Funny enough, so are the religious among us who actually do believe. There are also another faction that exist. Those that want to be rich and forget their troubles. They sacrifice life and limb to afford that which they have been led to believe they should own. They are so far from humanity and so far from materialism that they are frustrated. Confused. I'd rather be a ranting Skin bag than a confused one. And definitely more than one who didn't scrape through life and learn a thing or two about people. I share one thing in common with the Rich skin bags. I try to avoid the skin bags that have fucked, or will fuck me over and the Rich skin bags avoid them because they know no different. They were bred and schooled to do that. I just learned the hard way I guess.But at least I wasn't ignorant. I should count my blessings, for want of a better word.

I'm not sure where I was going with this. I had a starting point and an ending one too but I have trailed off as usual and will, therefore, miss my target by a few inches. This is the problem when writing, I find that I have too much going on in my head at once. Way too much on this topic that I could type to reach my goal in a way I'd be happy with. My friend and I discussed how I should keep a raw copy of what I write, should I choose to change it. I thought I would do a justice by leaving this as-is. How wrong Was that! Anyway, I wrote two notepad pages on this today and I haven't even touched on what I actually wanted to write. It occurs to me now thatI probably should have omitted this paragraph. Raw copy indeed.

So anyway, Just on an ending note, I want to say what I feel is my official opinion on the Uniqueness of each and every individual out there. On each well-dressed, self-justifying, shallow/deep, degree-earning, utterly self-fulfilled being out there that fights for what they want only because someone else has it;

We are all Unique
We are all Individual
We are all entitled to what we want and should not be restricted in getting it
(Are you with me so far? Great!)
Each of us is 1 in 6.8 Billion, give or take a few hundred thousand
(a billion. that's 9-12 zeros, depending on what side of the Pacific ocean you're living on, but in this case, Wikipedia tells me it's 9 zeros)
That is exactly 1/1 in 6,801,600,000
That is a 1/1 in 6,801,600,000 chance of making one person, completely happy
Now, if said person considers say, love, money, humour, personality, body and sexual performance as factors of happiness, that has changed your odds to 6/6 of 1 out of 6,801,600,000
If your loved one is unhappy with any of these factors, that lessens your "happiness factors" considerably. Things are looking grim for scoring Dympna in accounts if you last only 3 seconds in bed.
So now your chances are looking between 1/6 of 1 - 6/6 of 1 out of 6,801,600,000. You are either working hard to impress the shit out of your loved one, or you are searching constantly for the majority stake in "Happiness factors". Keep truckin'!
If any of these factors are contrived in any way, she or he is not for you! By trying too hard you have lessened your chances to 0/6 of 1 in 6,801,600,000.

No-one likes a liar! That is a negative factor! -1/6 for being a big fibber!

Love is blind! There are plenty of Fish in the Sea!

Feeling better yet?

Changing Everything

When I started this blog, I promised myself that I would always have an important point to what it was that I was writing about, no matter how small. I'm pretty sure that it's easy to digress and labour points when you feel passionate about them. There's nothing quite like conservative banter... the kind that a person uses to justify their decisions. Decisions made within a certain small space of life with no window to move about or have alternatives in. I'm pretty sure that it would be easy for someone to point the finger at me and tell me that I was doing the exact same thing... Trying to justify my decisions by talking constantly about them. I don't think this is the case however. The only reason I even bother, sorry, the only REASONS I bother to type up this stuff when it occurs to me is that it was hard stuff to learn in the first place and also, it's not easy to step outside oneself and see the world for what it is... Dynamic and changing. I do it for my sanity and for the benefit of the 1 or 2 who will read this. Yeah imagine that... Matt is alturistic. Who would have thought it.

I remember battling for years to try and carve a niche in life that i truly could call my own. Turns out it's a losing batte. People are fickle only because everything you do is so forgettable unless it's something bad. People want scandal, gossip, headlines, excitement, scores, results and rivalry. It's everywhere and in everything. we want to feel better than everyone else by justifying our decisions. In fact this blog itself is borne of rivalry. I am against wasting time. I love change. I love watching it. Witnessing it. I love being a part of it and realising that it carries me away too. I love seeing it happen to those that deny it's existence. That is quite a bit different to how it used to be. I struggled to be somebody. I was trying to be a nurse, a Japanese speaker, a nutritionist, a boyfriend and a reliable predictable friend. I was so wrong about all of that. Apparently it takes a real man to admit that he's wrong. Apparently real men drink beer, have a family, have a career and play sports. I'm a little confused where I fit into all that as i do none of the latter. The only thing I can say for certain is i have a penis and am attracted to women with great back sides and awesome legs. I won't go into the personality side cuz it'll kill my joke.

But I guess a real man loves rivalry too, or so I'm told. Apparently, guys are more competitive than the opposite sex. I hear this all the time. I've seen that jealous boyfriend routine a thousand times at least. I guess men, genetically, like to stand their ground when another guy wants in on his turf. I had to be reminded by an ex and a friend of mine who was crazy about her that I should be more jealous of other men trying to chat her up. It got me thinking. I never did the competitive thing. Always found it was just too concrete. So what if a guy came along and chatted up my girlfriend. If he won he probably deserved her plus, wasn't it her choice too if he stole her away? Doesn't it have something to do with her choice? Why did i have to supply all this competition, rivalry and jealousy if this burly guy was to win out eventually anyway? Of course I didn't know for sure then that it was all gonna go down the toilet. But that's what happens when you stick to routine like that. Well, that's what I've learned over the years. If you're in a relationship and one of you sticks so rigidly to what you want with no compromise, it's destined to fail. When you get used to being in between a rock and a hard place it all gets a bit fucked. That's psychology 101 right there in 2 sentences. Not very eloquent though. I've seen it happen to nearly all my friends and acquaintances in the last few years. Even the idealists end up sorry about it. Tell me about one long term relationship that happened after the 80's that's still going now and I'll accept it as evidence on the contrary to what I have been led to believe. All i know is purely anecdotal, not some crazy concrete stuff. Besides, I don't wanna be "one of them" by saying I'm right all the time and the only other acceptable alternative is damnation. You can take my word for it or just close the tab there. Go on, I don't mind. I'm pretty sure this'll hold true for you one day, for some reason or other.

I have always found that planning long-term always seemed to work out to the contrary of what I wanted. It could be argued that what I really wanted reared it's head only after a result of a failed plan or that i made it fail. But that's just stupid to think. The only plausible explanation is that it was doomed to shit the minute it all became concrete. Imagine I believed that I would be married in 2 years. Imagine my disappointment when it didn't happen. Imagine I believed my team would win on Sunday and for some reason poured all my feelings into it. Imagine my disappointment when they failed hard. Life is that guys, life is that. Yeah I know, you are married, you are in a loving relationship, you may even be buying a house. All that stuff is great. I'm glad you like it. I'm glad you believe in it. I'm simply stating that in the likely event that you stop believing in it, it's ok! One thing that crushes people when their plans don't work out is that they have failed. Yeah, you failed to meet the concrete expectations of that one man/woman in the billions out there. You failed to keep paying for that house you lost interest in before you lost interest in the job you hated in order to keep it. You failed to do what apparently everyone expects you to. You failed in your expectations of yourself. To succeed... Who made up these goddamn rules for success anyway? "I'm impressed that you've worked for this company for 40 years to support the wife you no longer love and the kids that don't appreciate the dump of a neighbourhood you live in. Well done! I am paid to do this and do it for the same reason you do!" You know, I hear people say "Well what else will you do with your life if you don't have Family & kids and a house?" My answer is always the same. EVERYTHING ELSE. Everything you have ever wanted. You know, when or if that day comes when you get pissed off either by your admission or you were somehow forced into it by someone who realised this stuff, Just know that it's fine. It's grand. It's normal. If you decide to stop walking one day, life will continue on without you. Like a hyper young dog legging it all about the place. That's how it works. It does it's thing even when you don't want it to. People, plans, situations, relationships, your body, your heart, your mind, your health, your kids, the condition of your neighbourhood, your beloved car, your beloved team members and everything else. It changes. Whether you want to admit it or not. Take That were lying. "Everything changes and so do you" should have been the lyrics. Fuckin' hated that song i did, even when i was a young twit. Now i just think it's a bit delusional and fantastical.

So, why do we hold onto our past so much? Well you cannot change that can you? Presto. One thing you can rely on. Good stuff. Well done to you. But look at how uncomfortable it makes us too. OK, you might look at your wedding day now and think it was brilliant. That's fair. No problem. Now remember a death, Remember an accident. Remember an embarrassing situation. Now try change it. Nope, not happening. OK, now imagine that denying it's existence is a good escape. Yeah bad memories are hard to forget but no amount of obsessing over them will change it. And denying that it won't happen again isn't healthy either. Change is inevitable. Your life will change and so will those of the people you are closest to. Allow it. Embrace it. Move on. Just don't take it personally. Change is impersonal. It happens to everyone.

But the most important thing, Deal with it.

It's late and I'm tired. Signing off for now

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Problem With Metal

OK guys, this is something I posted last year in a separate blog. After posting "Don't Stop Believin" a few days ago, I thought it appropriate to repost this, so I could get these issues well and truly out of my system. "But you keep attacking rock and heavy metal!" I hear you say. Well I think I can leave them alone for a day or two after I have these posts up and running. Again, if you have a problem with these, please use the exit behind you and don't let the door hit you on the way out. It has a nasty spring on it all together.

Anyway, this is edited so as not to over stress some of the ideas and motivations I intended to suggest. Open your mind to them, don't clench your sphincter.

Matt

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Before I go on here, I want to state that I do actually like Metal. Not as a whole genre as such, but there are a few bands I have a soft spot for.

See, I'm 28 now and at that, I'm grown up, whether I want to be or not, so I'm not exclusively a metal fan any more. I can appreciate every instrument's contribution when listening to a particular musical piece, not just exclusively metal and it's important that I hear every one when I personally judge whether a song is good or not. This is where metal has failed me as I've gotten older and it works on a few different levels.

firstly, I cannot listen to blistering death metal any more because I find that every single instrument including the vocalist's contribution is so loud they all want to demand my attention all at once. This, I'm told, is a difficult thing to appreciate about death metal as it's all intentionally failrly brutal. And I mean brutal in the literal sense, not in the Irish slang sense. I find now that as I've gotten older that my decibel tolerance level has gotten pretty low. How do those bearded 'oul fellas in Bruxelles constantly punish themselves like this? It beggars belief. So what is so appealing about death metal when you're hitting 30? I'd love to know. I used to love it and there are a few bands I think I have sentimental attachment to. However, I don't take it seriously at all. Open the cover of the nearest death metal sleeve to you. Look at them there, arms folded looking angry. They are pissed off because they couldn't get their levels right when it came to print.

Next, there's the neglect and poor production that has infringed on the rhythm section in Metal. Don't you think it's worth hiring a good producer to bring out the best in your rhythm section? The horrible production on some of these albums means that the drums are usually way too clangy or too smothered, never, almost, a fair balance. Sometimes the bass is too over-driven and most times you just cannot hear it at all. I know that some will argue that bands are going for this poorly produced sound and that's fine. I guess. But my question goes out to Bass players and drummers. Don't you care that all your years of playing are going unappreciated by constantly playing E in every song continually or having your snare louder than everything else? I stand by the idea that Metal Bassists have the easiest jobs in the world with exception to a few Bassists. Notably Steve Harris and eh...

As for metal guitarists on the most part, they are way too distracted with wanting to prove their worth by layering wanky guitar solo over wanky guitar solo everywhere in order to be heard over the din. Everywhere! It's more impressive to write a melodic flowing guitar riff than it is to say "look at how good i am on the guitar!" Soloing for the sake of Soloing. Metallica Black comes to mind. Steve Vai and Joe Satriani might actually write some good solos here and there though. I'm guilty as charged by owning one or two of these albums myself. But does every heavy song have to have a guitar solo? What ever happened to consistency?

As for vocalists and lyricists (and I say this with respect to the musicians who write the lyrics and not necessarily sing the songs) well, most of them annoy me for another set of reasons. with lyrics, I have personally grown out of the whole "Metal Leather and Chains" aspect of it all and frankly see it all as a bit gay. Seeing as I'm neither gay, nor young and rebellious, I don't buy into those kinda lyrics any more. Also, the whole "we are the best, better than everyone, metal is the one voice... etc etc." line of lyrics is so juvenile and redundant, it makes the band as a whole look like they are idiots who support this non-sense. Just tell me where this mythical gauge that measures how good you are compared to everyone else in the world resides and I'll get a repair man out to fix it because you're obviously deluded, seeing as the majority of the people of the world don't agree with you. Grow up. That leather waist coat doesn't fit you any more besides. Wait! "Most people don't agree? We're trying to be different!" Trying = contrived. As for Satanic lyrics, well this is probably the lamest thing and here's why: As an atheist myself i don't believe in a "God" or "Gods", so to hear this line of bullshit being growled down a microphone (when it's decipherable) is both completely unnecessary and a bit juvenile at best. The lyrics hold no personal message for me. When I hear the Vocalist say that they don't believe in God but they want to be "Satan's servant" or some other drivel I'm compelled to ask them "you do know that the belief in the Devil also merits an acknowledgment of God's existence too you know. They are part of the same Ghost story".As for the vocals themselves, i don't much buy into growls equivalent to those similar to noises i myself can be heard made after one too many Jack 'n' Cokes in the pub on the weekend. If i want to be reminded of this discomfort, i will not be putting it on a stereo for my amusement, i will simply go and repeat the liver punishment again at the weekend... All the while not listening to it being blared so loudly in the background that i cannot enjoy a chat with my friends while being stared down by depressives wearing black for not wearing corresponding dreary apparel. And i'm not talking about priests here.

Lastly, there's one more thing that I don't understand about metal. Since when did listening to it mean that you had to join a uniformed regime? I like metal but I don't wear black tee-shirts exclusively and don't spend half my day getting in and out of leather trousers. I had a person once say to me "oh, I like metal because it stands against society and the desire to follow fashion. I like being different. I like to be non-conformist". Wait a minute, you wear the same kinda uniform as every other metal fan. You have long hair and a beard... like every other metal fan. You go out of your way to dress the same as every other metal fan. You are the most conformist person I have spoken to this long time! When I look at you, i know you like metal. When you look at me, you have to ask or assume. It was a girl I was talking to.
Personally, I dress however I want. I see something I like, I buy it. Simple as. My musical taste has never affected how I dress... at least in my adult life anyway.

So yeah, that's what bothers me about metal. If it's good and melodic, consistent, not contrived or formulated and doesn't have ridiculous lyrics that compromise the integrity of the music or a certain organisation of followers that must "Die for Metal" or something equally redundant or compromise the integrity of the listener, it's OK by me. Let's not forget the production either ;-)

Sure I guess It's a matter of personal taste after all

Anyway, this is my blog, my opinion and my rant, so it doesn't matter if you agree or not.

Thanks for reading all the same.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Don't Stop Believin'

While walking through a shop the other day, browsing electronics I cannot afford right now, A song caught my attention on the radio. It wasn't your typical pop drivel, there was something else that made this song significant and it got me to thinking. Before i go off and start telling you what i thought while the song was playing, it might help that i told you what the song actually was. The song was "Don't Stop Believin'" not by Journey, but by some girl who is obviously topping the charts with it right now. OK, so it might not be some girl... Manufactured pop music now seems to turn out guys that sound like girls all the time these days. There is no novelty in Androgynous pop stars any more, it seems to be standard. In the 80's we had Boy George and Marilyn, Dead or Alive and we even had groups where singers sounded female but actually weren't... I was convinced for years that there was a female singer in Sparks and that "Flash" by Queen was, in fact, sang by a woman. Now, before i digress off topic again, i just want to state for the record that Androgynous pop, rock, whatever is fine by me. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice? I probably deserve it.

I cannot say I was pleasantly surprised by the experience of hearing this song but rather i was just "surprised". It's not often that rock songs make it into the pop format, granted there has been Queen's "We Will Rock You", Joan Jett's "I love Rock 'n' Roll" and a few others that shall go nameless, only because they are so forgettable and that I'd rather not waste my or your time by recalling them. Also, i'd rather not fall to the ranks of the children, greedy pop executives and morons that demand this stuff be made to justify their manufacture in the first place. Furthermore, I cannot go as far as renouncing it either as I would be just the same as those that tried to "displace" pop over Christmas by voting Rage Against the Machine to number 1 over some X-Factor sludge that shouldn't have even been noticed by any self-respecting rock fans. Without going on about it, I'm sure some of you will be familiar with my opinion of this. Those that aren't can request a copy of that debate off me. Let's just say it wasn't popular. Not nearly as "pop" as Rage Against The Machine last Christmas anyway.

The Music industry has been in tatters since the 80's and don't get me wrong here, I don't say this in any Conservative manner as I intend to divulge to you progressively as you read on. In my humble opinion, nothing good or ground breaking has surfaced since that decade at all. I'm not the only one to notice this. Look around you. Ask around. Who remembers Bros with pride? Anyone want to pull out their East 17 posters? Do Teenage Mutant Hero Turtle fans remember the Turtle Rap? Acid house? Will you be re-buying your NAFF CO jackets? Maybe, OK, give or take 10 years or so. What are the chances of music taking a turn for the 90's again? Doubtful but not impossible. The 80's are everywhere. TV shows on DVD. 80's Fashion in every pub and club. Every Zara and Bershka. Every Topman and Topshop. Retro Gaming is on the rise again and 80's bands are reforming once more. I'm not crazy about the idea of old men rocking out in spandex any more than you are, but this is for real. We see old buzzards cashing in on their greatest hits almost weekly. I'm not innocent of the charge of paying to see them either. I paid €125, 2 years ago to see The Police in Croke Park. Why can't we have a nostalgia on 80's prices? We're even going nostalgic on 80's recession! But i have to say, the gig was phenomenal. Nostalgia sure is expensive. But i'm also a heavy advocate of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". However, I'm led to question this loyalty in myself when i hear "Hurt" by Johnny Cash arguably one of the best cover versions ever made. Also, in my opinion, "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley and "The Man Who Sold The World" by Nirvana are my close seconds. Remember i said "Arguably" and "In my opinion" so no whining. So it's fair to say that a band or artist truly deserving of recognition can cover a song. Well actually anyone can. I certainly ain't gonna try stop you. Besides, it could be interesting. I'm an 80's fan, not an 80's Conservative.

Anyway, this song that i had heard that day was not the original, but a cover version and I wasn't really listening to it, i just kinda overheard it, spilling into my ears as I was lost in a chain of thought. The first thing that occurred to me or rather, that i remembered was a few nameless people on Facebook that were giving out about it. These guys and girls were typically rock fans and people i consider as friends (otherwise i wouldn't have them on my page. Bleh) These are the same people who say that pop music is ruining rock 'n' roll. I'd like to add at this point that there have been tons of rock versions of pop tunes... "Hit Me Baby One More Time", "Wild Boys", "Ant Music", "Poker Face" and "Smooth Criminal", just to name a few. It seems to me that said rock fans are OK with pop covers, but when it's the other way around they are up in arms about it. It's typical double standards. It is my contention that rock fans were usually the ones rebelling against things, being different, striving for change and standing against the status quo. Why has it become so uniform, inflexible and conservative? We are talking about the same people who wear black everyday, have long hair and leather trousers as standard and call themselves "non-conformist". Gimme a break. If you're gonna complain about something at least don't be a hypocrite to start off with. Yes, I did conform to these standards once and I'm no stranger to it but I grew up eventually. I think music has a much greater potential so long as it's allowed to be expressed freely. If you don't like it, change the channel. Rockers/Metallers, you may think you are non-conformist and are not Conservative but that's only true so long as you Don't Stop Believin' it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Matt's Daily Rant

First of all, i owe the name of this particular rant to my brother Dug who named it while i was distracted. I just wanted to get that little elephant out of the room before a mouse came in and, well, you know how this analogy ends.

Welcome to my little corner of the Internet where i will most likely have a problem with everything you cherish and hold dear.

The world is such a strange place to live in. It's crazy, random and all over the place, just like the people who inhabit it.

Now I know you will say that not all people are crazy and random and you'd be right (haha, quite literally) in saying so. Some people do not like to be crazy and random and all over the place . However, I am one of those people that happily embraces randomness and change and goes with the flow of things.

"Now", you ask, "why should i follow this particular blog and not some other fella's?"

To be honest, I have absolutely no idea. What I can say in my favour is that your visit to this place should be colourful, now that I have this incessant need to keep typing and saying stuff that no one seems to agree with of late. My Facebook daily status updates were pet named "Matt's Daily Rant" by a few people who know me and I have to say,I felt honoured that more than one person actually read them (at last count it was two)

It also may be possible to post a few more things I've been working on here on my trusty little netbook. I even bought a pad and pen the other day because I just can't stop dreaming up of things to write about even on the move. Who knows, this might be a fad and I might soon grow out of it. I may not. I have a few things I'd like to share which some of you might remember or I might elaborate on if you ask nicely enough. Also, i would like your suggestions on stuff i could ramble on about in future. Sometimes I have to think of other things that are important to me like Food, Sex, Booze, Gaming and maybe one or two other things.

I guess the reason I like to write mostly is because this whole damn bubble I call a home is changing all the time. Even my body is changing and my mind, well, that always changes too. Apparently every single cell in your body will change after seven years so you eventually become a new person whether you want to or not. It sure is fun watching people cling to their past and old ways and I'm no stranger to it either. But I just can't keep that information to myself. Whether this brain of mine is a blessing or a curse, offering me an alternative perspective to the status-quo, is a decision I am incapable of making myself. There's no point thinking about it, I just cannot reach a conclusion.

Conclusions are overrated anyway.

I'm pretty sure most of those people who have had to put up with my status updates of late are not entirely happy with them or don't agree with them. That's a shame. I would say "Fuck You, You Bastards!!!" but what would the fun be in that? It'd be like pissing in the wind anyway. If everyone agreed with me I would have nothing to talk about and the world would literally stop spinning. I like that some folks are so rigid and unchanging. They are like big drawing pins on a map of the earth that has been ripped off the wall.

Sorry, that was the first analogy that cam into my mind.

Anyway, i have a book to work on and i hope that the two of you who read this feel welcome to drop by any time.

This has been Matt.

And this has been My Daily Rant