Things are going to move pretty fast…

I just rounded off my first twenty four hour fast by eating three meals all in one go. In keeping with spirit of health and personal improvement I made sure they were the cornerstones of balanced nutrition. Three hoisin chicken breasts, and entire tub of double cream yoghurt and a bag of microwave popcorn.

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As someone who believes that life is mostly pointless it is (apparently) important to create your own meaning, lest you tumble down one of the myriad rabbit holes that beset you on a daily basis. (Where, as I understand it, you are likely to engage in a meaning of life discussion with a hookah smoking caterpillar and various other characters you might (depending on your proclivities) find either more or less hallucinogenic)

As a rule I like to avoid rabbit holes and so I have to occupy myself with other things, a chore I mostly achieve through forcing food through my digestive system. Up until recently this near constant grazing (and pooping) has worked out pretty well for me.

Of course nobody told me* that when you breach the thirty five mark your almost X-men like metabolism starts to slow and when you wake up on your fortieth birthday its has inexplicably disappeared (without even the common decency to text you something along the lines of ‘Its not me, its you’). You spend the first few weeks sending out search parties and exercising your right to denial… but eventually you have to come to terms with the fact that you’ve been ghosted by your own biology. Which makes you sad. And so you eat pancakes.

*seriously someone should add this to the Life FAQ. (Along with breeding is hard work)

As a spoiled (and entitled) dilettante I always imagined that not eating for twenty four hours was somewhat akin to abuse or self harm. Or maybe a lack of means (I have to add that so as to sound particularly odious) Actually… that view hasn’t really changed. But it’s also harder than I imagined. Seriously, what do people do with all this free time? I found myself wandering around aimlessly through my warehouse and engaging my staff in deep and meaningful conversation about their hopes and dreams. Okay… I made that last part up. (its harder to fire people when you humanize them)

Apparently you will not die if you don’t eat for a day. Although I thought maybe I would feel like I was dying. As it turns out the only real discomfort I felt was on about hour twenty… two or twenty one. When I had a serious dizzy spell. I actually walked from my office into the open-plan sales office because if I was going to pass out… better to pass out there I thought. But it only lasted about a minute or so and then the internal combustion engine (or whatever fuels us) kicked back into the green. I know, not only is this paragraph quite dramatic… it is also super technical.

I should probably also come clean (right near the end) that I didn’t… eh… do a… whats the right terminology, an orthodox fast? You know, where you just drink water, sleep on the floor and flagellate yourself. I did the ‘lite’ version which was a bone-broth fast. I drank about one and a half quarts of bone broth during my “fast”. I feel the need to put it in inverted commas now. Which… to the purist…. is like claiming to be paelo, but shoveling in a baguette on the side. With cheese. Which I also sometimes do.

What is life without a little hypocrisy?

Unintended consequences

The air in a man’s lungs contains 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms, so that sooner or later every one of us breathes an atom that has been breathed before by anyone you can think of who has ever lived – Michelangelo or George Washington or Moses.

– Jacob Bronowski

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I mostly dislike this quote. And while I appreciate that it is likely true and that this should, I suppose, fill me with a sense of wonder and connected-ness to all of humanity, it also means I’m breathing in the same atoms that have traveled the pulmonary veins and arteries of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong, to name just a few of the previous century’s more charming individuals. This obviously fills me with less awe and instills in me instead the deep desire to take ammonia hydroxide and a wire brush to the surface area of my alveoli. Which was likely not the intention of the speaker.

Also, Michelangelo, George Washington and Moses are your go-to paragons of the human race? I mean I realize this is quite a subjective thing and that everyone of us has their own weightings they use to ascribe value…  but Moses? The man, wondered round a desert for 40 years. A relatively small desert at that. Color me generally unimpressed.

Finally shouldn’t it be ‘in a persons’ lungs (as opposed to a mans). I like quotes to include the lesser and more maligned gender too. I mean if your point is inclusivity.  Although maybe girls use less oxygen. And therefore are less likely to have inhaled tainted atoms.

This kinda makes sense to me.

En passant

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Eke out any advantage you can I say. Hmm. Every so often you read something thats meant to be allegory but instead makes you tilt your head ever so slightly as you consider. ‘Wait… I haven’t done this have I?’ (I used to take my tabletop gaming incredibly seriously) Although these days my board game defeats are resolved with a modicum more propriety.

I do however, have the dubious distinction of getting into a fist fight during a chess match once. (while I was still at school). I don’t even remember what it was about… although I have a suspicion this guy vandalised my locker or something (the things that used to vex us) so there were already some unresolved issues and a simmering need for retribution.

In all fairness, it wasn’t that much of a fight, but there were some punches exchanged and a table or two was flipped.  As an interesting aside chess players don’t try break you up…  this being quite a novel experience for them they have no idea what they should be doing. Usually you can safely rely on someone to hold both protagonists back, there is some verbal exchange, perhaps inferring something obscene about the others female progenitor… some more posturing… but for the most part both parties can save face, because, well… there are people holding you back. While the details of our conflict are sketchy, I distinctly remember being on top of him and thinking… ‘shouldn’t this be over already… now what?’. 

In any event, don’t feel too bad for that kid, he went on to become this big time… I want to say, rapper… but maybe it was hip-hop… whatever, he moved to London and became a pound millionaire a couple of years out of school and then (basically) retired at age twenty five. Married a super model, flew his whole wedding party to Corfu… the whole nine yards. One of those people you shouldn’t necessarily follow on social media.

Darwinism

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‘But I am very poorly today + very stupid + hate everyone + everything’ – Charles Darwin writing to his friend Charles Lyell.

I often see this posted to social media along with something trite like, ‘see, Darwin also had his off days’. Possibly with some comments further down critiquing his handwriting, the horror of which has led some people to believe that Charles Darwin was a lefty. (He wasn’t).

I think we should be allowed our ‘off’ days where we can wallow in misanthropy and self loathing and that it shouldn’t necessarily be bandied about post event as a character flaw or moment of weakness to make it seem to people that those being quoted were more relatable and somehow more human than originally anticipated.

I also often wonder about personal diaries and more intimate thoughts revealed in letters that, after the person has passed on, have been made available for public discourse (and indeed criticism). Marcus Aurelius famously helped spawn the mental models of stoicism (which I try with varying degrees of success to follow) with his own personal diary (which he never meant for anyone else to read) whose public availability I am very grateful for. So theres that. Also the dead can’t really complain about us profiteering (either mentally or materially) off their penmanship. Neither can they be embarrassed by their words anymore.

When I die don’t publish my emails. I feel I should mention this, even if I doubt anyone would ever be tempted to take on this baleful task. My correspondence is unlikely to be complementary or indeed even vaguely cerebral. For a moment I was bloated with hubris and I briefly imagined being someone of import or having (one day when I’m I’m big) done something profound with my life. When really, after a single generation I will likely be completely forgotten. Although perhaps not irrelevant, since to my decedents, without me, they would not exist. To be fair I don’t give any of my individual ancestors any thought or credence, thinking of them more as a collective. Still, I find that unbroken chain (that spans an insane mind bending number of astronomical and biological events) that has led to me being here to be a fascinating thought experiment (usually done lying on my back and looking up at the stars). I totally understand why people need to assign a deity to govern such a happenstance.

Maybe (coming back to the point) I shouldn’t sell myself short. I might still do something erudite (on the scale of the Origin of species) with my life which may lead people to seek out my thoughts on other more mundane topics (like my personal hygiene routine and what I eat for breakfast)

*someone in the peanut gallery starts laughing*

Although… to be completely truthful, contributing to humanity seems like a metric fuck tonne of work and really, I am far too lazy. It also would likely cut into my Playstation time which is quite a significant opportunity cost. (look me at me, not only considering myself comparable with the greatest minds in history and then being dismissive about my apparent talent, but then also making excuses for my lack of something discernible to show for myself after forty years on the planet). Yeah, I could build electric cars/terraform Mars for you guys, or I could play Red Dead Redemption. It’s a tough call.

I like using Elon as my go-to example (even though he is seven years older than me) for  underachieving because for a while at least, he lived close to me and went to the public school not far from my house. We also shared some Venn diagram overlap in terms of the books we read, the arcade games we played and even the games we created (although mine were in Basic). Me and Elon are more or less simpatico.

That last line might not be read with the sarcasm that I had intended and so I feel the need to underscore it for the casual reader who is not entirely familiar with my usual self depreciation and heavy sarcasm.

Although I think I had a better childhood than Elon. Mostly because my dad wasn’t a cunt. And that, at school, I hit back…  although in fairness my prowess in fisticuffs was not yet so developed and I rarely got to say, ‘You should have seen the other guy’.

I don’t think this post has a point… eh… anymore. I probably meant it to have one when I started out… but now I can’t remember what it was. I seem to have wandered off the path and into the brambles. My strategy now is sit down (before I hurt myself) and blow my emergency whistle until someone finds me. I may also eat this (emergency) sandwich while I’m here. And maybe also go behind those trees over there to pee. (Yes… despite being alone)

Hopefully y’all are having a particularly groovy type day. And since it is Easter Sunday, be cheerful in the knowledge that Jesus rose from the dead so that you could go to heaven (if you behave yourselves). Unless you believe in one of the other (illegitimate) gods I mean… in which case you should probably look into doing something about that…

Precipitation. And other things that will get you wet.

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Sometimes I succeed at passing myself off as having some semblance of stoicism… the point on the philosophy spectrum I’d ideally like to occupy. But really, I likely seesaw between cynicism and epicureanism, teetering back and forth, in a very uncommitted fashion. Not actual epicureanism mind you, which was quite a serious philosophy and not nearly as frivolous, or indeed gluttonous as the modern incantation of the word has come to mean. Although I tend to channel the more contemporary hedonistic definition thereof. *Joey takes another sip of wine* (which I stole appropriated from my parents house earlier today)

In my defence, it looks like a bottle that I may have gifted them at some point in time previously, the wine in question being woefully out of place in their otherwise… eh… dim collection. In so far as it is has (according to the description) intense black berries and cloves with hints of dried herbs and vanilla on the nose. A combination of blue berries and black cherries with a firm, juicy tannin with a long finish. 

Wine comes with its own particular brand of bullshit. In my humble opinion anyway. Although maybe I’m just challenged in the olfactory and taste bud department* since I  never experience ANY of that. Maybe I need drop acid and then drink wine… because well, I hate to think I’m missing out.

*which might potentially explain my mad cunnilingus skilz. I jest. I’m probably completely average… well I assume I am having never asked for rating on services rendered. Ego however prevents me imagining myself lagging too far behind my peers on the bell curve.

In true Dionysian fashion I’m combining my wine with Easter eggs. I went snuffling around the study cupboard earlier and found my wife’s stash. After my best puppy dog eyes routine (and then when that didn’t work making a high pitched mewling noise) she acquiesced and said that I might as well just eat them, if only I would shut up. This is how I roll. Sad and pathetic. And then pivoting into annoying (depending on results).

And on that noteworthy stratagem on how to succeed in life I will wish you all good night, Godspeed and an auspicious bowel movement.

Irreverent Easter post

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Nice thing about Christianity and christians generally is that you can post irreverent stuff about them and, for the most part, they won’t find out where you live and mail you a pressure cooker filled with gunpowder and dry wall screws. If you’re lucky they’ll even pray for you. Which, personally, I find quite nice and certainly wouldn’t object to.

They’re not quite at the point of Mormons, who, in my opinion, occupy the very pinnacle of the tolerance spire, but pretty damn close. If this sort of thing was a competition where you could win something (like a microwave oven) I mean. Of course this wasn’t always so. Lampooning Christianity used to be considered in quite a dim light… remedied with all manner of invasive (and sometimes heated) instruments you wouldn’t necessarily like inserted up your rectum. Not even some saucy pillow talk before hand to get you in the mood. And then eventually, on the sweet release of death, your soul would be taking the express elevator to damnation anyway. Which kinda makes the mortal realm torture thing seem a little superfluous. But maybe they were just warming you up for things to come, a little orientation week taster.

In any event I’m scared to say who I think the least tolerant religion (right now) is, because well… I’m scared. I know what happens to those people who are inclined to express an opinion on such a taboo… eh… leitmotif.  Mean stuff gets said about you on twitter and enraged agitators post your home address on their feed and incite their followers to do you harm. And thats just the actors and comedians.

In any event, I think we need to remember that Easter is all about chocolate… and that chocolate is basically love. And that love is good. Spread the chocolate, if not on the bosom of your significant other in the sanctity of your bedroom, then in foil wrapped bunny form among your fellow sapiens. Show someone you care. Preferably with Lindt.