Archive for the ‘ humour ’ Category

Anger – keep it in or let it out?


Today I had a conversation about anger with a colleague in which, ironically, I laughed until I cried and nearly slipped from my chair in the process, laughter somehow leaching all strength from my limbs. Go figure.

Anyway, the point of this post is to ruminate on the relative merit of my colleague and I’s differing responses to anger and how we deal with it. At the time of the anger, she —whenever possible— violently bakes …

…and I batten down the hatches and seethe, hoping that no one I actually like makes it into the blast radius…

…(while secretly hoping that someone I don’t like does).

When discussing the anger-inducing situation later on, I attempt to retell events in a calm manner and not let myself get re-wound up

please note: irony of using Clint Eastwood to represent calm retelling

my colleague just lets rip with a full-volume retelling complete with wild gesticulations, but injects humour into the retelling.

So which is the better method? Seemingly uncontrolled venting which can be, frankly, scary for the audience OR theoretically controlled bottling which may indeed backfire if just enough additional pressure is added inside the bottle?

Having your cake and being forced to spit it out


So recently I’ve been having a small meltdown —I mean, carefully and calmly considering my future and the futures of my course mates and in fact everyone facing the threshold of graduation. Here’s how that’s going:

 

So with creative media I’m entering a highly competitive field, I knew that. Cut throat, rat-race, etc., but seriously the future’s looking pretty bleak if I actually want to get to use my brain for something not mind-numbing or that I actually enjoy. What does that feel like? This:

 

 

So I got to thinking, who’s to blame for this quandary? Is it me, for being born a creative type?

 

 

Is it the world for not providing enough places for people like me to earn a living that’s above the poverty line without having to sell my soul? Or is it somewhere in between?

Now, call me ungrateful, I absolutely love my university course and I don’t think I’d have come to university to do anything else that was on offer (if you ignore that brief time I considered nursing or psychology)… BUT the thought occurs: why are there so many courses like this one? Why are so many universities churning out graduates for saturated markets? There seems to be a breakdown in logic here. If there aren’t the jobs to go to, why are there so many people being trained for the aforementioned nonexistent jobs? Surely there are fields that actually require people to work them. The answer, of course, is money. Everything comes down to money.

 

 

 

Perhaps (probably) I’m just a little chewed up that the carrot of an exciting career after uni has been dangled in front of me for three years, but now that it gets close to crunch time I can see the path becoming a very narrow iron funnel, not a great expanse of open pasture. Though in fairness no one ever said it would be easy, but I can’t help wondering does it really have to be this hard?

 

 

I had to go for 'easy' because I assure you you don't wanna know what came up when I searched for 'hard'.

 

 

I’m getting way ahead of myself here though, I have to graduate first. Plenty of work between now and then. Except that to hit the ground running when you graduate you have to do a lot of career-minded legwork while you’re still stuck in the quagmire of uni-minded brain grind. To say that this puts a little pressure on an already stretched temperament would be an understatement.

 

 

So that’s where I’m at. Less the grey hair and, regrettably, less the espresso IV.

But it’s okay, everything will be fine.

And in the meantime? There’s always retail therapy.

 

 

 

Guide to proper f*ck distribution techniques (via KC @ Autostraddle)


I found the following inspiring article via Twitter, my omnipresent link to the world. At some stage I may count how many times the F word is used throughout the article, but until then, I intend to refer to it often in an attempt to view life as a less stressful place to spend my time. Pro-read.

Autostraddle — This Is How We Live, No F*cks to Give: KC Danger’s Guide To Not Giving a F*ck.

Book review: ‘Nation’ – Terry Pratchett


Gary Carr as Mau in Mark Ravenhill's adaptation

Terry Pratchett’s Nation takes place in a world not too different to our own – but it’s not the Discworld either. Hence my misgivings about reading it. Being as my exams are over and I am now ostensibly free to read what I want for a few months, I thought I should probably read it (and give it back to the person who loaned it to me in 2008).

Here’s a rough synopsis of the book from , quite literally, the horse’s mouth:

For a fuller version, Waterstones provide this.

Having just finished it, I have to say my doubts were unfounded. While being set some time in Britain’s past when ‘map-makers would run out of red ink’ and therefore in a pseudo-real-world, Nation retains Pratchett’s style, formula, wit and philosophy. Particularly his philosophy on religion. Much of the book focuses on the protagonist Mau’s changing perceptions and understandings of what religion and belief are and why they are necessary.

Pratchett describes his own beliefs here:

A point of criticism is a lack of differentiation between some of the characters in this book compared with those from his others. Case in point is Mrs Gurgle, an old, mysterious and extremely powerful woman who rings loud bells of Mrs Google in Witches Abroad.

Despite this, Pratchett spins a fantastic yarn which satisfies right up to its unusual ending—  unusual for a Pratchett and unusual for many other books. The two protagonists, Mau and the ‘ghost’ (white) girl Daphne (was Ermintrude) part ways. The final chapter of the book is set ‘today’, with the story having been retold to two young children who protest the unfairness of Mau and Daphne’s parting. The teller helps them come to the realisation that Mau and Daphne had acted in the best interests of their people and not of each other or themselves. This kind of moral is not uncommon in a Pratchett tale, but it’s delivery in this instance is.

Perhaps the message is that the desire to sugar-coat the world is childlike, it is time to wake up.

Overall I was thoroughly impressed by the book, though it does not compare to many of the mid-span Discworld novels.

8/10

In looking for the sleeve image I came across another review of nation on WordPress here.

Animation: [heteronormative] gender stereotypes?


Found this while looking for revision material. Yes on YouTube. What’s wrong with that? Anyway, it amused me because as much as I’d like to disagree with the simply animated and aptly orchestrated message, it wouldn’t be funny if it wasn’t largely true*

That said, it may be more true for hetero[sexual]s than gays.

Then again, there are a hell of a lot of stealth lesbians and gays out there, some –but not all– of which may indeed merely have their gender roles reversed from heteronormative folk.

Is the issue clear?

As mud. Always has been, always will be.

Diversity rocks :):-

Photos: Mudfight!


Remember when you were a kid at school and there was even the vaguest hint of a scuffle somewhere on the playground? Everyone would flock to see what was going on and to chant ‘fight! fight! fight!’ at the brawlers until a teacher came over to put a stop to it. Well apparently that behaviour is not limited to playgrounds, nor to children.

These photos are from an incident very similar in formula to that above, but this time involving adults and a lot of mud. What started as a few people watching a playful mud-slinging contest ended up as a dense ring of onlookers. It even made it to the big screens by the stage.

The victor…

The usurper…

The reassertion of victory…

Evolution, creationism, intelligent design & the huge lack of proof for any of it.


Or more accurately:

Evolution, creationism, intelligent design and the huge lack of proof —as far as any layman can understand— for any of it.

I recently read a Guardian article by Oliver Burkeman about how the way we live our lives now may have an effect on the longevity of our descendants. However, the article was interestingly couched in the Evolution versus Creationism debate and it sparked my interest. Burkeman describes the incident in 1960s Maryland, at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in which, having found a day missing, thousands of years in the past, one of the astronomers remembered a passage from the bible where Joshua asks God to stop the world for a day, which God —being the thoroughly good egg that he is— obliged. This, of course, proved the existence of God and his omnipotent powers of creation and, indeed, cessation.

So the Adam & Eve thing—and I understand this may be opening a can of worms here so feel free to correct my patchy knowledge. God creates a man (simples) and a woman (no mean feat) and everything’s wonderful until Lilith (the woman) wouldn’t ‘lie beneath him’. I’m lead to believe that this is both metaphoric and literal. So she gets packed off for having to much free thought and possibly a more exciting view of sex than St. Peter (the alcoholic woman-hater responsible for the transcript of some stories passed down orally—chinese whspers, anyone?— for 200 years that regular folk call ‘the Bible’). So God, not wanting the only man alive to be lonely or possibly for the purposes of procreation, makes Eve from one of Adam’s ribs, conveniently giving Adam the option to blow himself should Eve decline (at her own peril, evidently). Anyway, skipping to the end part, Eve persuades Adam to eat the apple of knowledge, God throws his toys out of the pram and exerts his almighty autorita to kick them out of Eden. At which time the only man and woman created stumble ashamedly into a village full of people, who probably also had clothes on.

‘Nough said.

Now, the Big Bang Theory (which is explained in great yet understandable detail here), that’s science, right? (As opposed to psyience perhaps). We’ve all heard of e=mc2,but to the lay person, the average joe who is not so good at maths or algebra, let alone physics or astrophysics, it’s about as much mumbo jumbo as Adam & Eve. Of course, there’s Evolution too. Dinosaurs and such. But seriously, for the layperson, that too is a lot to get your head around. A rather amusing video regarding what is termed ‘the Atheist Delusion’ is here. It puts in perspective the whole debate, assuming it doesn’t offend you first.

Natural selection is simpler. As Oliver Burkeman puts it:

In the way it’s generally understood, the whole point of natural selection – the so-called “modern synthesis” of Darwin’s theories with subsequent discoveries about genes – is its beautiful, breathtaking, devastating simplicity. In each generation, genes undergo random mutations, making offspring subtly different from their parents; those mutations that enhance an organism’s abilities to thrive and reproduce in its own particular environment will tend to spread through populations, while those that make successful breeding less likely will eventually peter out.

…From two elementary notions – random mutation and the filtering power of the environment – have emerged, over millennia, such marvels as eyes, the wings of birds and the human brain.

Simples?

Not any more, apparently. Research has now shown that the relationship between genes and the environment is not actually one-way, i.e. genes produce random mutation>  the mutation is either suited to the environment and stays or unsuited to the environment and gets the boot. As David Shenk points out, according to new research, it is two-way. Environments can shape genetics too, such as the viruses that make up part of the human genome.

And here again we have a lot of confusing evidence that as laypeople it becomes hard to understand. It comes down, perhaps, to who you trust, what makes the most sense to you, the individual. After that, it’s just getting on with it. However, in the light of the studies mentioned in the Burkeman article, it’s worth remembering that the effects your environment has on you does not extend just to you. Stressed chickens whose abilities are impaired breed chicks with those impaired abilities, even when they’re raised without stress.

In the words of David Shenk:

If a geneticist had suggested as recently as the 1990s that a 12-year-old kid could improve the intellectual nimbleness of his or her future children by studying harder now, that scientist would have been laughed right out of the hall.

Not so now. Although on the brightside, your grandchildren won’t have these traits/impaired abilities as they are only affective of the first subsequent generation.

So think happy thoughts:):-

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