The first cut is the deepest

I am never taking a Gillette Mach 3 to my dome shaped melon head ever again! Or to any other body part for that matter. Okay, that’s a lie. I wanted to try some outrage on for size, see how it fits. Turns out outrage isn’t really my color or indeed my cut. (see what I did there)

In the spirit of full disclosure (and other body parts) I did try shave my legs once… which… if anyone had walked in on me would have had them hauling my plus sized carcass out of the bathtub and frantically bandaging me up… all while giving me a serious oration about how ‘life is worth living’.  APPARENTLY there is little to no skill transfer in being able to shave your face and being able to the navigate round the curvature of your knees and ankles with a razor blade. Who knew.

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While I roll my eyes at corporations who wants to moralize and preach ideology in their commercials and press conferences I don’t really mind if they do. I mean really, who cares? Apparently though we do care… enough to get a little bent of shape, suggest boycotts on social media, debate the state of the world (which is completely fucked btw) with our co-workers around the water-cooler and listen to angry soliloquies from our favorite podcast or youtube personality on our morning commute. That doesn’t really feel like time well spent… but maybe thats just me.

Razor blades is a tough space. It looks competitive and while you can make a commercial that glorifies a macho lifestyle the net effect is likely a zero increase in razor blade sales for that particular brand. If you want to blame someone… blame the hipsters and their penchant for facial hair and beard oils. Might as well try a change of tack and appeal to a different market segment… the one who is likely still doing the shopping. But hey, if it doesn’t work out for us… consumers are fickle… and unlikely to remain outraged for long. Strategically, I think its probably not a bad idea.

In any event, while I don’t agree with Gillettes eh… attempt to school me in acceptable behaviour, I am inclined to take the stoic approach to their machinations. If you choose not to be offended… you won’t be.

Easy peasy. Japaneasy.

Zeno-ness

I’d never heard this particular anecdote about Zeno before. (In all honesty I don’t know very much about the founder of the philosophy I’d most like to… eh… aspire to). As far as I remember pretty much all of Zeno’s writings have been lost… and so whatever we know of him is apocryphal at best, or is commentary on his work by another philosopher in their own work.

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A non extant text called Republic notes that Zeno advocated for the abolishment of civil institutions, including money, temples, law courts and marriage. He also thought genders should dress alike from head to toe and also practice free love. All of this, he believed, were constraints that held us down, and abolishing them would free us to live much simpler lives.

Entry on stoicism, Ethics 101, Boone, Brian, Adams Media, 2017

There are some definite libertarian ideas in there. Probably more of an anarchist than a middle of the road libertarian. I could likely get behind most of them. Except for the abolition of money… I kinda like money.

A book for all and none.

I’m casually re-reading ‘Thus spoke Zarathustra’, which, as it turns out, seems to be working out much better for my internet addled mind than reading it all in one go and then getting irritable and frustrated when it all starts to blur together into a lumpy alphabet soup of meaningless words and chunks of mystery meat. I envy people (that were gifted with concentration spans of more than your average Fantail or Comet) that can devour this sort of literature without having to resort to a piecemeal approach. How nice must it be to be them!

I interpose my exercise in mediocrity (insofar as all reading Nietzsche really does is underscore how stupid I am) with Playstation by pretend hunting hapless elk in a simulacrum western reality where I pick up faux-tuberculous and start to feel bad about my mass-murdering tendencies. I really enjoyed Red Dead Redemption 2… I’ve binge played it to (almost) completion, sacrificing sleep and sociability… and squashing that nagging feeling that I really should be doing something (with my life) that involves just a smattering more vitamin D.

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I don’t think Nietzsche would have approved of Playstation (or indeed of Red Dead). But then again, Nietzsche went insane… probably because of a lack of blowjobs. Wait… that might have been Schopenhauer… I might be conflagerating my disgruntled Germans here. In any event I’m pretty sure blowjobs were frowned upon by the Lutheran Junkers at the time… so certainly we can’t rule it out as a potential cause of dementia.

Continue reading “A book for all and none.”

Arbor Mortis

I wake up every day at 03H59.

Which is a stupid time (I know). But it is also a very considered time. Most importantly its thirty one minutes before Jocko Willink gets up. I have this weird competitive thing (forward slash mental disorder) going on.

I don’t actually roll out of bed, attack my day and kill my enemies (unlike Jocko). It takes me a solid ten minutes to haul my (plus-size) carcass out of bed. Then I loiter around and lollygag for a bit. This morning I thought it might stop raining if I waited…

At zero dark thirty it was still bucketing down and I was running out time. I decided to swap out my backpack for a poncho instead for my 5mi tour de neighborhood. On my way back and probably 700mtrs from my house I suddenly hear a thunderous crack behind me. I turn, three or four meters away this huge tree comes down across the road, directly were I was a second ago.

Holy cow! I stop and stare. Death by tree. That would have been… so incredibly… uncool!

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‘Despite all my rage…’

‘…I am still just a rat in a cage’ – Smashing Pumpkins, Bullet with Butterfly wings. 

It is still, after all these years, one of my favorite songs. Even if I don’t lace up my sixteen hole doc Martens and step into the mosh-pit anymore… Mostly because that’ll mean a week of ibuprofen and misery afterwards… also lets be completely honest, at the venerable age of thirty nine, anything that may result in hard living happens WAY after my bed time (these days).

Speaking of hard living, enter stage left, Louis CK, comic, ginger and chronic, serial masturbator.

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… I’ve wasted a lot of time just being angry at people I don’t know. You know its amazing how nasty we can get as people, depending on the situation. Like most people are okay… as long as they’re okay. But if you put people in certain contexts they just change. Like when I’m in my car I have a different set of values. I am the worst person I can be when I’m behind the wheel, which is when I’m at my most dangerous. When you’re driving that’s when you need to be the most compassionate and responsible of any other time of your life, because you are fucking driving a weapon among WEAPONS. And yet its the worst people get… and I am the worst. 

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Regrets…

‘… I’ve had a few’

Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse working in palliative care, recorded what she perceived to be the top five regrets of the dying. They were:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Brown, Darren. Happy – why more or less everything is absolutely fine. Penguin Randomhouse. 2016

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Making a case for the commute

Joey likes Mustachianism. I am however a poor adherent of this philosophy. This is likely due to a number of deeply rooted pathological conditions where,

1. I don’t like being told what to do. So I constantly rage against good advice. Often becoming uncooperative and doing the opposite.

and

2. Once a concept reaches a certain critical mass of partisans I tend to get combative and burdensome on those around me and trundle off to go find something new to edify/inflict on others.

One of the core tenants of Mustachianism is ‘Live close to where you work’, which is conceptually logical, good advice and offers a range of benefits. I refuse to accept this. (mostly because living near to where I work would mean prostitutes congregating around outside my domicile, interspersed with the occasional dead body)

There are some advantages to a lengthy commute. Okay, maybe only two that I can think of. The first is the time to listen to audiobooks and podcasts… for without my commute I doubt I would have the ‘time’ to commit to such an enterprise.

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The other is being able to practice stoicism.

Continue reading “Making a case for the commute”