Category Archives: The Human Condition

To Those Who Would Not Meet My Eyes (If They Knew)

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When I was about ten years old, I received a present from my aunt (actually a cousin twice removed, I think, but I always called her “Tati” – Auntie – and so that is who she shall remain) that I carry around with me to this day, much like my cherished teddy-bear and my newer companion, my teddy-bunny.

My auntie is a writer, which is quite a magnificent and wondrous thing to be. Every now and then, she’d send me a box full of books she’d written and I’d be delighted. I too wanted to be a writer when I grew up (as well as a cat, and a mermaid, etc.) so the books bearing her name were proof that it was possible to become a real live author.

I’d always pick up her books with the intention of reading them cover to cover but I never got very far. Being a strong reader, I could understand the books just fine but they were always about – no offense, Auntie – boring things. Acclimatization to a new reality, separation from one’s family, solitude, fear, hope, hope, hope. Loss, tragedy, pain. Growth. I don’t know if there were happy endings; I never made it that far into the stories. Read the rest of this entry

On Being Burnt Alive

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“A history lesson: A faggot is a bundle of sticks originally used as kindling for fires that engulfed gays. When they were burned at the stake, people were firewood. But Moses came across wood on fire and saw God in it. What is a burning bush but bundles of branches on fire? Isn’t it funny how faggots and God can look the same sometimes?”

Excerpt from the slam poem  “God is Gay” by Elliot Darrow


I’m always hearing people use the words “fag”, “faggot”, “gay”. They use the former two as synonyms for “unworthy” and “unworthy” and the latter as a synonym for “most terrible evil bad of no-goodness”.

I’m also always hearing people use the words “fat”, “stupid”, “retard” and “crazy”. They use these words as synonyms for “unworthy”, “unworthy”, “unworthy” and “makes me feel unworthy, which is completely unacceptable”.

I’m always hearing people be unkind to each other. I’m always seeing people be unkind to each other. I have damned good hearing and my peripheral vision makes owls jealous, which might be why I notice this unkindness so much.

Or it might be because I’m not apathetic to the suffering of others. Read the rest of this entry

Dear Unsolicited Advice Giver

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Dear Unsolicited Advice Giver,

Ever since I was born, you’ve been approaching me with declarations such as “I wouldn’t do that if I were you”. This confused me for a very very long time because that sentence makes no damned sense. It makes no sense because I am 100% certain that you would do exactly what I am doing if you were me because you would be me. Being me, you would have the same genes, upbringing, experiences and thought processes as I do so and so, you would be exactly where I am now.

Your more audacious announcements such as “you should(n’t) do this instead of that if you want to amount to anything” or the particularly sadistic sanguine “it’s not that I don’t like you, it’s that you would be better/prettier/more likeable/more credible if you did/became that instead of this” confused me even more as they sounded just a tad bit shaming and dehumanizing mean but you always spoke them with a hopeful smile and kind eyes. The dissonance was a bit dizzying, to be honest.

However, because I cried myself to sleep night after night for years and gave myself a ludicrously high number of breakdowns in the process have excellent communications skills, I was able to translate your coded message of “I wouldn’t do that if I were you” and its kith to the following idea, which I am assuming is what you meant to say: Read the rest of this entry

The Hierarchisation of Preferences

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The hierarchisation of preferences is a practice better known as “being a Judgy McGudger”.

If there is only one thing possible, you have no choice. If you have no choice, whatever you take is automatically right because nothing else exists. In other words, in a Universe where varieties and differences do not exist, it is literally impossible for anyone to ever err, mistake, go on the wrong path or do anything reprehensible because no options other than “right” available. Such a Universe is, by necessity, very very small and also very very boring. No one wants to live there.

Thankfully, this is not that Universe. Read the rest of this entry

Resisting Hunger: The Dark Side of the Marshmallow Experiment

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Resisting Hunger: The Dark Side of the Marshmallow Experiment

The Dark Side of the Marshmallow Experiment

What does it say about a child when they feel hungry yet are still capable of maintaining the self-control necessary NOT to eat the single marshmallow they are offered, preferring instead to wait fifteen whole minutes to get two marshmallows? Most people agree that it says they will be successful later on because they can, from an early age, calculate short versus long-term benefits and plan for the future. Such planning is an essential life-skill because, obviously:

  1. Short-term benefits and long-term benefits are never the same thing in the final term, i.e by the end of a person’s life, and
  2. Long-term benefits are always better than short-term benefits.

Right? Right?

Wrong. Read the rest of this entry