Loud Noises

I’m so sick of being yelled at. The worst part about it is that there’s no respite or relief from it. Advertising is in every single direction we turn our eyes and ears, and it’s only getting louder. With more competition for our increasingly limited attention spans, advertising companies seem to have done away with the clever and would prefer to place themselves in front of us and scream noise at us.

I had a realisation recently about just how much this advertising was affecting my psyche. I had gotten so used to radio and TV ads just being a regular part of life, that I had forgotten they can quite simply be turned off. Turning it off consciously offers an almost immediate cognitive pressure release to our minds. I have physically felt that release from my cranium after deciding that the latest “warehouse closing down sale” was not critical information.

In a world where we rely on advertising revenue to stimulate many parts of our economy (I mean it basically keeps our radio stations in work, and our professional sports accessible to us) we have to remember our sanity. We have to remember that it’s okay to turn off some of these overwhelming senses, and be comfortable with the silence again.

When the loud noises get too much, take away their power. For you own sake.

Guise.

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Summer Sport

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, not the fat guy that supposedly breaks into our homes, watches when we’re sleeping, has done so for years and still has faced less charges than a Hollywood producer. No, I mean it’s the end of Spring in Australia, which means the start of the test cricket season in Australia.

A time of year which unites a population who hate each other for their winter footy allegiances, and a certain free to air TV channel earns three quarters of its ratings for the year. Radios dial in from the moment in the morning that we hit the office or the job site, and we celebrate inappropriately every time a visiting wicket falls.

Cricket brings something out in us down under. We’ve grown up with it from an early age so now we look forward to November when sport becomes a massive part of our culture.

Ignoring the fact that we live in security and our standard of life is significantly better off than half the global population, the cricket season is superficially exemplary of why we’re lucky as country. That we willing choose to put aside or forget about our immediate issues, and we escape. We escape to a cultural alternate reality and we enjoy the luxury that we have as a population.

We sit in nerves as our captain creeps to a score of 97, and lose ourselves in pride and euphoria as we watch him streak towards a match saving century. The sound of “come on!” becomes synonymous with an Australian bowler taking the first wicket of a test. And we sigh profanities when a batsman throws his wicket away cheaply.

This is us. This is Summer Cricket in Australia.

Guise

Double Standards

I’ve previously shared my thoughts around the difference between equality and equity (The Myths of Equality), but I guess this is about one of those specific realities. A reality which says that despite all efforts to normalise their lives, sports stars and celebrities are different to you and me. The expectations, the scrutiny, the public presence, and the value they add to a large quantity of strangers lives. For this reason, we are not equal to that of a celebrity, sportstar, politicians, or other public figures.

There are benefits of this inequality and disadvantages, for both parties. Good and bad is a measure of perspective, it is simply a demonstration of opinion.

We forgive disgraced celebrities and sports stars because they offer something to our life. They provide art or entertainment, and help us escape from life’s daily challenges.

But there is a cost for this type of immunity, having every moment of consciousness scrutinised by the masses. A level of privacy comparable to a public gym change room.

Putting all that a little to the side, there is the final, more cynical approach to this imbalance between the ordinary and the famous… Money. And as we know, money talks.

Guise.

Politically Incorrect

The revolution against political correctness is coming.

You can feel it building, can’t you. Generations of humans who have grown up in a world where everything they say and everything they do is scrutinised and polished for fear offending someone. They’ve passed through some of life’s most fragile and uncertain phases always conscious of the eggshells they step upon.

What we can feel is that has become tired, and a generation so aware of the eggshells is starting to choose to ignore the sensitivity once thrust upon them.

If we look at how the PC revolution came about, we see a culture at an extreme to the one we currently reside. A world where racism was casual and common, indigenous Australians were statutely considered flora and fauna, women were out of the home only physically, and the physical assault of homosexuals was a social activity. This was a world filled with abused majorities, not just minorities. Where mental health was unheard of and “soft”, and asking for help was completely misunderstood.

Considering where we’ve come from, the last 30-40 years of the PC revolution has been monumental for our society and balancing the field, to some degree.

What I see, though, is that as this mindset has developed, it’s almost over-developed, and people are becoming tired of being told they are a bad person for the way their mind and belief system works. This is not to say that these people aren’t wrong, this is not a commentary of the merits of conservative, or even non-left wing views. No, rather this is commentary of the movement which will see us change the way we talk about sensitive societal and cultural issues.

Hopefully that change means we, as a society, are in a place where we can have proper discussions of issues, without branding the opponent as ignorant, or preaching about how offended you are.

Here’s to a world of discussion, not eggshells.

Guise.

Fear of Loss and Life

My greatest fear in life is losing what I love, from my partner, my family, my friends, my mind, to even my life. For this reason, (perhaps even prior to this fear fully developing) I’ve learned to cherish what it is I have, to appreciate the people in my life and how fortunate I am to be in the world that I live in.

I think the greatest factor to this fear, is the lack of control I have in stopping loss. Death is inevitable and people do/say/believe things that we do not agree with. In all honesty, I am not what you would typically consider a control freak. Flexibility, open-mindedness, and empowerment of others are some of the traits that I am most proud of, but this fear and subsequent lack of control in avoiding this fear becoming reality comes from the realisation that life changes in an instant. It is devastating and destabilising. It forces us to adapt when all we want to do is stagnate.

If we look at one of the defining flaws to result from this fear, I now live a life which is as risk averse as possible. Decision making is tiresome, and opportunities become limited, all because of a fear that I may set in motion a ripple which inevitably causes me loss. And then I’ll only have myself to blame for ruining what I had.

Considering how short life is, as I really appreciate with ever-passing day, I want to make a committed effort to forgoing the fear, and remove risk (to a fair degree) from my regular decision making, and to just live.

I know that there is plenty to experience and learn when I let it go, now it’s a matter of making it more of a reality.

Guise.

Up for Discussion

For many of us, the art of discussion, of debate and disagreement, exists no more. Done away with by the ongoing discourse of being offensive to somebody’s ears. In an age where we’ve made these efforts to protect disadvantaged members of society, we have in turn created a pseudo-culture where offense brings with it a full stop on your conversation.

In this bubble wrapped society, even the most insignificant choices of words are enough to be brandish offensive. Your image is now of someone who is out to negatively impact everyone else.

What we’ve done is warped an effort which was intently good, and created a weapon in the disarming of conversations we now choose to be a part of. So much of the conversation rests now on symantics, and we often overlook the content.

The reason this problem is so important to us, is because in a world where we are never sure which news sources are on the straight, whether we are being lied to, or even with suspicions that the masses are being mind numbed for suppression, discussion and disagreement are our way to activate the truth finding parts of our brain. It is the sharing or discussion of ideas in order to learn, to grow, and to change.

Instead, we’re now too busy being offended to have a discussion, to willingly closing our minds off for fear of being wrong. As a collective, we must stop our fixation on winning the argument, and open ourself up to what somebody else is actually saying.

Who knows, maybe I’m just rambling for the sake of rambling, maybe I’ve proven a home truth. Prove to me otherwise.

Guise.

A Broker named Existence

We’ve heard the term “borrowed time” in films, songs, books, tv and probably even used it ourselves at least once in our lives. It’s one of those paradoxical idioms we glaze through, unfiltering what we actually mean by using it other than colloquially whipping off some response to make it sound like we’re listening.

But it’s quite a morbid term to use as liberally as we do. Tugging at the existential heart-strings of our psyche. Whether we’ve done deals with the devil, or simply been graced the chance to live a life we didn’t ask for (that I know of), we exist within a bracket, a set of two dates. A set of time which is not ours, but with which we use.

It makes you wonder, maybe even ponder, the purpose of this debt. The reason we were granted a chance to achieve a goal we were never set.

I guess that is the beauty of this existence. We are given a chance to do whatever it is our minds and hearts desire. A chance to choose our outcomes, or at the very least influence the path we are walking on. Making as many poor decisions as we do wise ones. Learning new skills, having unique or common experiences, creating memories for ourselves or others.

Want to make a lot of money and obtain a socially valued status.. go for it. Want to travel the world and share your stories with anyone willing to reach with an ear.. knock yourself out. Want to have a family and pass on your genetics to survive another generation.. heck, life doesn’t even care if you should, so why not? Maybe you want all of the above and more, well, nothing is impossible.

It’s a beautiful life, or maybe just a beautiful concept. Either way, you’re in debt, so go and enjoy it whilst you can.

Guise.