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.

Spawn of satan

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Left handed people are the devil. In boxing, he added. I feel it’s probably important to add context when demonising people.

The thing about left handed boxers, or south-paws, is that nine out ten people you spar with are the solid, decent sort. Also known as orthodox fighters… built the way god intended. But every once in a while you square off against a lefty.  And because you have less experience fighting these hell-spawn, you have to suddenly un-muscle memory everything and fight in very deliberate, mindful way… which when someone is trying to enter you into the realm of unconsciousness with their fists, is a somewhat challenging circumstance in which to suddenly find yourself in.

Now replace fists with some form of edged weapon and what you get is a recipe for disaster. I can totally appreciate the medieval knights attempt to mandate battlefield etiquette (by drowning all the left handed toddlers) Can’t just have some lefty waltz into a codified conflict and start messing with the feng shui of close quarters combat. It’s also likely the reason the crusaders eventually failed in their quest to hold onto the Holy Land… no experience in fighting left handed people.

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Although the ubiquitous templar that gets used in all those crusader/western imperialist memes has been drawn as a left hander. Hmm. Now that I think about it, maybe it was only jousting where left handedness was forbidden… and that the crusaders lost the holy land because they were motherfuckers, more interested in slaughtering every living thing with the city limits of Jerusalem once they’d breached hers walls. Not exactly the greatest ‘hearts and minds’ campaign ever devised. Interestingly Jews fought side-by-side with Muslims to defend the city against the crusaders. Both were indiscriminatingly massacred by the christians when the city fell.

Sorry.

Beggars can’t be choosers

I tend to oscillate wildly between waving my wooden pirate sword around and shouting ‘all content should be free’ from the yardarm. A yardarm is a nautical thing right? The rest of the time (when I’m not channeling Edward Teach) I’m thinking some content should be free, with the rest available, should you so desire it, through patronage (where if you enjoy someones content you can donate what you feel the content is worth). My position tends to fluctuate wildly between these two extremes throughout the day before resetting itself at nightfall, ready for tomorrows internal moot and aggressive discourse. Har har har.

Of course content creators need to eat. And buy MacBooks and Teslas. And fulfil all manner of other consumerist and probably Maslow-vian (I have no idea how to turn that into an adverb) needs. Why then do I begrudge giving them my money so much? I mean, they give me stuff in return. Rage… anxiety… hives. Although some of them also make me smile or give me something cognitive that I appreciate or even end up mulling over and considering for days…

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The above made me laugh. I was in Cape Town the other day and a beggar came up to me as I was getting my laptop out of my car and asked me for money. I almost never have cash on me, but I was driving a rental car and someone had left all their coinage in the center console cup-holder (which leads me to believe their cleaning service was somewhat cursory) In any event I explained that I didn’t have any money… but then I remembered the coins… and said ‘Wait a second’ and scooped the contents of the console into my hand and gave them to him. He looked at me disgusted and tossed the coins down onto the sidewalk and shuffled off, muttering to himself. ‘God, even the beggars are uppity fucks here’, I thought to myself before skipping across the street to order a skinny red chai latte and a vegan croissant.

In any event, apparently beggars can be choosers.

I have been thinking about this lately. Not the beggar so much (that was mostly an aside that suddenly occurred to me), but rather how one gets past this psychological imps arse (Terry Pratchett) of paying for content. I guess the options are free, fan-funded, advertising, product endorsement, data mining or selling your own consumerist claptrap. On the last item, seriously, there is nothing so lame as buying a podcasters coffee mug or ironic t-shirt. I don’t care how much you like them. In fact seeing you parading yourself in public with your virtue signalling attire makes me involuntarily scrunch my face up (which may incline those around me into thinking I’m having a stroke… it’s actually the acute pain of  embarrassment). You are actually hurting me, physically, with your sadness. Is this worse than having to listen to your favorite podcaster prostitute himself by reading advertising for mattresses, underwear or haemorrhoid cream?

z45rc0o0aer21.jpgWeirdly my reticence to part with my currency does not (broadly speaking) occur when someone has written a book or is hosting some sort of live event (like a debate or a comedy evening or… even I guess some sort of Ted-esque type talk). Then I’m totally happy to hand over my credit card details. But ask me to donate as a form of patronage so that instead of having a crappy office job you are free to create content that entertains me and chances are pretty good that I will be mortally offended. ‘You goddamn freeloader’.

I used to think maybe it was the anxiety of managing my inner turmoil that holds me back. If I support this one person I really like with $5 a month… what about this other person that I also kinda like, maybe he’s worth $2 a month. Doesn’t this start to add up? I mean none of us follow just five people anymore. Are we expected to patronage all of them? Some of them? One of them? Maybe ad-hoc donations as we go? Do they accept other forms of payment? Left over festive season fruit cake, Nguni cattle or blowjobs? Having actually never performed a blowjob I wouldn’t necessarily pick the latter as your go-to reward, since you are likely to be left feeling unfulfilled and/or horrified. And maybe even injured now that I think about it.

Why is this so complicated? Why do you even have to go pro? Can’t you just be an amateur? Have a day job and create content (for my pleasure) at night when you should be sleeping or spending time with your kids. Sacrifice yourself on the altar of having to express yourself. Just don’t have any expectation of being rewarded for it, that would make everyone happy… except you of course. But life is hard, and getting to tick those self esteem ticky-boxes is not necessarily a given, despite what you’ve been lead to believe by the self-help/entrepreneurship industrial complex.

I have (at the moment) largely automated my patronage. I budget $50 a month which gets chopped up into ten donations, more or less the equivalent of a grande Cinnamon Dolce Latte, that then get distributed to various creators that I like. I have no idea if thats a good number… it actually brings me incredible consternation when I start thinking about it and breaking down my mental models around this. This also means that once I’ve hit my limit I’m done. These days I often find myself having to step over the prostrated form of a creator asking for support (while I peruse his wares), sorry guy, I don’t have anything on me right now I lie. Maybe next time?

Color me interested

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Coloring books sure have changed since I was younger. *hauling out his crayons* I mean I’ll still take a stab at it, I’m assuming I’m allowed any other color but Ottoman red?

To be fair though, this is actually harder than it looks. Maybe I should use the original Sykes-Picot method of getting uproariously drunk and then throwing darts at a massive cork-board cutout. Unbeknownst to the proletariat most high level government decisions around the world are in fact decided by throwing something at something else and seeing what sticks. Seems about as valid as any other decision making model, after all you can’t please everyone and at least you’ll have some fun doing it…

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Caveat. If you’re going to throw people though, you should likely get them to wear a helmet. Blunt force trauma is surprisingly jarring and is also harder to walk off than you might anticipate. Trust me on this, I’m a boxer.

I’m a lonely croc… sitting all day on my sunny rock.

This 100 year old crocodile died from over eating. Worshipers at the Hazrat Khan Jahan Ali Shrine in in south-western Bangladesh believed that feeding this particular hallowed croc would bring them good luck and economic fortune.

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Apparently the occasional chicken became a slew of never ending poultry and the odd desultory goat when the word got out that this reptile had the power to change your reality.

I suppose its better than starving to death in your sacred pool because no one thought you had any special powers. And so when faced with a choice of two potential end games, I think this is likely the better one. (from a narrow philosophical viewpoint)

But then again I’m (generally) against keeping animals in captivity (especially for religious purposes). This crocodile should have been free to swim the streams and rivers of Bangladesh, occasionally snacking on some errant fisherman or laundry woman on the shoreline. God intended these to be hazardous occupations (which theoretically should have been remunerated with danger pay). Alas, we have stuffed up the carefully calculated economic cycle as set down by our creator.

Having now killed the… eh… croc that lays the golden egg, so to speak, everyone is now robbed of the opportunity to alter their destiny. Although maybe lucky crocs have an inherent Dalai Lama like ability to be reincarnated (hopefully in the general geographic area where the previous entity passed). I imagine the trick is find the new and correct crocodile (to nurture into obesity and eventual heart failure). They all look the same to me. Would be a terrible waste to feed all those chickens to a crocodile with no magical powers.

How are you?

I want to say this ‘kid’ makes a valid point. But then, looking at the handwriting I decided the evidence is not conclusive, this could have been me at age 40, so maybe I shouldn’t rush to any conclusions about the lifespan of the author based on penmanship. Whoever wrote this is clearly a philosopher though.

Why do we ask how people are? Clearly, most of the time we don’t really care. Well… I certainly don’t care how you are, unless you’re part of my niche circle of friends, family and confidants. This trite exchange has been drilled into me since birth and reinforced through social convention and it’s a difficult one to shake.

I have (lately) been trying to end my salutations with hi and hello and not necessarily take it to the next superfluous step. People are reluctant to leave it there though, most of the time I am ‘good’. I mean unless I have a gushing head wound, or other circumstance that may potentially be accelerating my demise faster than I would prefer. But having to constantly underscore that I’m ‘good’ feels like I’m bragging.

I tried briefly substituting other words into the standard formulaic exchange. But quickly found people weren’t really listening to what I was saying anyway. Or if they were listening it quickly becomes awkward for them. Words like irritable bowel syndrome and femoral hernia are like spike traps in the conversation free flow… especially if all you want is a pint and a pack of Marlboro.

In any event, I think we should stop doing it. Drinking, smoking and asking people how they are. Maybe give it up for lent… or take up a 30 day challenge. I think we’d all be better off.

Devil bread

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Three stars is still pretty good… if you consider the satanic aura of the baked goods (usually a deal breaker for me).

While evil spirits aren’t really my area of expertise I did have a notion that maybe it wasn’t necessarily Mephistopheles whispering into your ear… but rather the ghosts of your ancestors telling you to go Paleo.

Although if anything is going to lead you down the path to damnation… might as well be bread.