Sailing

Seinfeld fans? Bueller? Bueller? Well, with those two references I’ve probably lost anyone under 25 – to be generous.

Anywho. . . . So this is my Desperado.

Sailing, by Christopher Cross.

I couldn’t figure out how to embed a link from either YouTube or Spotify.

Wait, I’ll try Soundhound.

Nope. Google that shit, yo.

Or don’t. I’m not your mother. Or boss.

Wait. Here’s an artwork screenshot:

Underwhelming. But I went to the effort of some imagery so you’re welcome.

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Love

It’s absorbing. Like travelling to another dimension – to a place that only really exists in the form of chemicals in one’s brain. It’s at once fantasy – an unreal spun into existence by mutual passion – and the only real thing there is. I have been in love. I remain in love – unreciprocated. Pain is not a stranger to me, yet I have met no greater agony than that of unreciprocated love.

It stalks the mind and deadens the heart, unreciprocated love. Though, the love remains, albeit one-sided, and sustains. It is still a reason to be happy. To have purpose. To be optimistic. Because true love is stronger than diamonds. Only death can defeat it and, even then, it will echo into history no matter how short its mutual manifestation.

Love is feeling no greater pleasure at the slightest touch with a lover. It is admiring them as something more perfect than one’s wildest imagination could conjure. It is wanting to die to protect their life. Love is uncompromising, unflinching; eternal. It is the most beautiful, sweet-smelling, long-lived, and, sadly, rare flower in the universe.

It is the only reason to exist. Its absence makes one momentarily, in times of weakness, fantasise self-destruction. But, its permanence and resilience is such that it is the only permanence acceptable or possible. Love is life. Life is love. Neither can truly, honestly exist without the other.

Love is an absence of greed, jealousy, envy, deceit, superficiality. Such things can still exist, to one in love, but not between them and the person they love. Love is truth, which is literally undeniable. Love can be suppressed. Ignored. Abused. But it cannot be killed. It is immortal. All powerful. It does nothing but win, wait to win, or revel in its triumph for eternity.

I fought love, once. Considered myself unworthy. But all deserve love. Even the most evil. Because love is the ultimate force for good. Evil is not defeated by love – it is eradicated. There is evil in this world only where there is an absence of love. But not for long. Because love is patient as evil is earnest. The fickle fuel of evil, no matter how seemingly plentiful, will inevitably burn out – leaving nothing but love – finally, or necessarily urgently – in its wake.

Maybe I Was Wrong

About the necessity of revolution. Things seem – seem – to be changing. Or more accurately approaching a change. A very long-overdue change. Still a revolution, but one not necessarily violent. I would say I’m impatient, if it wasn’t for the fact that impatience in this particular context is a waste of time.

It will happen suddenly. And I write that having absolutely, or at least very little idea what form the suddenness of change will take. It is necessary. It has long been necessary. There are signs: LGBTQI acceptance, global warming being an accepted fact by all but the most stupid or corrupt, wealth inequality set against gargantuan abundance – to name a few.

Humans have always been predominantly rational, despite superstitions ranging from the obscure (ghosts) to mainstream (monotheistic religion). But, hundreds of years since The Enlightenment, it seems like we are finally seeing the importance of bringing to a close the transition from ignorance to understanding. From injustice to justice. From brutality to compassion. And etcetera.

There are not many particular, concrete reasons why I think we’re near the end of the darkness that has plagued civilised us for more than 10 millenia. One is notable. The absurdity. The batshit craziness of the stubbornly ongoing status quo. I don’t think anyone not willfully ignorant needs examples of said absurdity.

But there it is. Surely absurdity more than anything else not conceptual is the enemy of true civilisation. The wait is nearly over. I can’t wait, so to speak, but I have to. I might be wrong, but if so I’m content to die, childless. If I’m right: I’m looking forward to bearing witness to the human race assuming, achieving its destiny so long delayed by greed, ignorance, selfishness, arrogance – those other enemies of civilisation that have finally produced the clear absurdity that should finally become slavery’s death-knell.

The Root, Trunk, Branch and Leaf of All Evil

(Reading time: 35 seconds.)

The bitter irony is that when they tell you knowledge is power it’s because they’re lying to you, and it’s not. (Although obviously it should be.) Material wealth is.

Conveniently, objectively, hoarding of finite material wealth is evil. And under the ridiculous socio-political-economic system we (still, bizarrely) inhabit, encouraged.

So, literally, in our current reality, power is evil. And evil is power. Which is why it seems like everyone with any power these days is a cruel psychopath.

Because you’re not crazy. They are. But they have the wealth, so they have the power. Their appetite for both is insatiable, so do yourself a favour and stop them the only way they will be stopped:

yourself.

Seriously. They can’t stop you. They’ve merely convinced you that they can. And besides, if you haven’t noticed that if they aren’t stopped urgently, we’re all fucked, then they’ve done a better job of brainwashing you than I think even they intended.

My Father Forever

He was born in 1949. A gentle, loving, intelligent, simple man. Father to four children. Grandfather to five. Husband to his loving, caring wife – my mother. A professional footballer in his heyday. Somewhat tortured by a past unfairly characterised by poor treatment and ill-fortune. Afflicted by Parkinson’s syndrome the final decade of his life. He will be missed. He was and remains loved. His suffering is over. He is cured.

He died today (May 10, 2018).

My first memory of dad took place on a beach in Victoria somewhere.  He kicked a football so high and straight into the sky that it would almost disappear.  It would hang there for a while, then hurtle back down and he’d catch it with ease – while I was surely scurrying for cover.  The man seemed a god.  Unfortunately my memories since then are dominated by Parkinson’s syndrome.  It was at times a nightmare – especially for dad.  I’m hoping now death has cured him of his disease more memories of better times with him will swim to the surface.  Even during the past decade or so, there were good times.  I was with him and mum at the aged care home one day.  It surfaced that during his football days his nickname was Magic.  I asked him if that was his reputation with the ladies.  He grinned wryly, and mum playfully reprimanded him.  There was always something so comforting about dad, that extended beyond the fact that he was my dad.  He was a good listener, and he was logical.  You could lay out your problems to him and, even if he couldn’t practically help, he could spell out a solution in only a few words.  He had a cheeky sense-of-humour, that I for better or worse inherited.

Most of all he was a teacher – which all the best dads are.  I learned from his words.  And his actions.  Or inactions.  The best lesson he taught me: love and respect for women, through his love, adoration of and admiration for his wife, my mother.  The importance of familial love.  The precious fragility of chosen love.  The love my parents chose to have for each other always seemed as strong and eternal as it was priceless.  Until Parkinson’s came along, but that love didn’t go away.  It merely changed.  Dad reaped what he’d sown.  He’d worked hard.  Suffered.  Endured.  Been wronged, even.  Most importantly he loved and protected us, and his wife.  And when the time came it was our turn to look after, love, and protect him.  As much and as best we could.  We, or at least I, started saying goodbye to dad when he was diagnosed.  He’d been dying ever since, agonisingly slowly.  And now, both tragically for our grief and gratefully for his suffering being over, he has gone.  He was of course not a god.  He was just a man. A good man.  The football he booted is hanging, resisting gravity for a few more moments, a black dot against the blue sky.  Dad is not there to catch it anymore.  But we are.  Those who loved and were loved by him.  And we will catch it.  He taught us how to.  And we can teach others how to.  So in that way, at least, dad was a god – who will live forever down through the lives he touched and created, and taught.

Dad, just this summer past. Edited by Mitch Gilmore

Two Things I’m Obsessed With

The first is commonly known as the (technological) Singularity. Put simply, it refers to the moment in which a machine emerges that is not just smarter than humans, but smarter than the collective intelligence of all humans. The average prediction of various experts places this occurrence at about 2045. Which means it could happen much sooner, or much later – depending on the rate of technological progression. I won’t bother with references. You can look this up if you choose.

For me, the consequences are simple. And about three-fold. One: humanity will be capable of achieving a type of immortality, through people being able to upload their minds to what we now call the cloud. This will possibly also permit downloading minds into bodies of any imaginable type, not unlike in the Netflix series Altered Carbon. Whether one would actually want to be immortal or not, is worthy of an entire book. Two: machines will replace humanity as the dominant species of Earth, and possibly the universe. This might happen through the direct destruction or dying out of humans, or because humans fuse with technology to the point in which the cease to be explicitly human (cyborgs). Such an occurrence could be seen as evolutionary – as in the next logical step in human evolution is superior beings originally of our creation taking over.

And three (which leads me to the other thing I’m obsessed with): the current ownership class (the bourgeois) of humans (think Elon Musk, Rupert Murdoch et. al.) use their ownership of the increasingly automated means of production to render the vast bulk of working class humans obsolete, perhaps homeless, or even liquidated by the very machines which made them obsolete. Frankly, as things currently stand, I think the third scenario is the most likely. Wealth inequality is at catastrophic levels, and the super-rich are showing no signs of either intending to, or actually balancing things out. While I admit this possible future might solve the problem of overpopulation, I also venture that technology advanced enough would solve the problem of overpopulation (and associated resource shortages and pollution and climate change) itself.

The second thing I’m obsessed with is called Universal Basic Income. UBI involves giving everyone, from poorest to wealthiest in society enough money to live on. Say four or five or six hundred dollars per week. Without any obligations in return. The idea is that they can then work or create/expand a business for more money. Or they can travel the world eating banana sandwiches. Or they can become the artist they always wanted to be. And etcetera and etcetera. When I mentioned UBI to a narrow-minded but intelligent friend recently, he gave a cliched response, something to do with that it wouldn’t work because people need an incentive to work and excel and achieve. Unfortunately, what he didn’t grasp because he clearly hadn’t read into the issue is that, yes, UBI is not an incentive. It’s a tool. Much of the world is too impoverished to be really of any use to their fellow humans. You have to spend money to make money, as the old adage goes. But if you don’t have any to start with, then you can’t make any from it.

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Current welfare systems across much of the developed world already seek to achieve this purpose. The problem is they provide a subsistence, not dignified, level of income. And they require recipients to look for work – ignoring the absurdity of such a requirement in a rapidly automating labour industry which is increasingly prohibitive of the sort of low skill, low wage people on unemployment benefits. UBI gives people enough financial power to not just survive, but live a comfortable life, and also possibly live an even more comfortable life if they wish to work/innovate/invent for it. UBI gives people choice. Freedom. Freedom they’re otherwise denied, whether they’re working or not. It gives them the ability to achieve their dreams – even if their dreams involve sitting around at home, ordering in pizza and buying products from the internet.

Another criticism of UBI is the cost to taxpayers. Firstly, it’s a “basic” income. They’re not going to be squirreling away much of the money. The vast bulk of it will be returned straight to the economy, and into and through again the hands of taxpayers. Secondly, even if they are saving a lot of the money, eventually they will make a big purchase with it. Maybe use it to create a product beneficial to mankind that wouldn’t otherwise had appeared. Third: the cost of current welfare systems are bogged down in their complexity. Their bureaucracy. The myriad different payments to and requirements from welfare recipients make up a sizable bulk of their cost. The argument goes that UBI would eliminate this complexity by giving everyone a flat basic income. Any losses of employment in the public or associated private sector would be mitigated by the fact that said unemployed would be receiving the UBI, and would now be free to pursue activities or work surely more enjoyable than sitting in an office unnecessarily managing the lives of society’s worst off.

Barring an unforeseen catastrophic event, or perhaps a foreseen one in the event of climate change, technological progress will only continue to accelerate. Humans will become, in a productivity sense, more and more redundant. Artificial immortality is an at the moment science-fictional ethical dilemma for individuals and their families. If humanity is replaced or absorbed by machines, then by then we won’t have much to whine about. But if the vast bulk of humanity is not just enslaved, but made redundant, homeless, starving by a tiny clique of super-wealthy elites who own all of the machines that produce everything, that would be the worst option for me and any children I might have (that currently I don’t want to have because I believe that’s exactly what might happen in their lifetime). Wealth will always be limited, depending on how much of the universe’s resources we eventually have access to, but it has never been more abundant. Why is it not psychotic that this world has several billionaires, while millions starve to death? We need to start asking ourselves, and our elected representatives, one simple question: is it necessary, or even humane, for people to be forced to work for water, food, housing, clothing, and small luxuries such as technology and travel, or otherwise languish in poverty?

I say no. Certainly not. And I hope for ever more agreement.

Loud Engines

Shit, it’s obnoxious. You’re sitting at a mainstreet cafe or chilling at home, and: RRRRRROOOOOOOAAAAARRRRRR! Some dickhead overcompensating for something flies past on a Harley or in a customised automobile.

Ford Laser, circa probably 1990ish. A much more practical, quiet machine.

It’s just kind of wanky, really. Totally inconsiderate. At least if someone’s just playing music too loud maybe others won’t mind so much. But otherwise, take your loud engine and drive it off a cliff (and jump clear before the edge, if you like). Please.

Why I Don’t Follow Many Blogs

Recently I went through my (slightly more than 200) followers looking for ones to follow back. I decided not to follow any that were either uninteresting, poorly written or themselves had a lot of followers (say, more than 500). Not to be vindictive, though. Just because I figure someone with a lot of followers doesn’t need me to.

It turned out all but a couple had at least several hundred, if not one or two or even twenty-thousand followers. So I only followed-back a couple. And I don’t tend to search often for random blogs.

So that’s why I don’t follow many blogs.

Depression

It’s just as paralysing as anxiety, but for different reasons. Anxiety is fear. Depression is resignation. Anxiety is worrying things are bad or will get worse. Depression is being sure they are or will. It’s hard to say which is worse.

Anxiety can be physically painful. Though, depression can be a total numbness almost to the seemingly oxymoronic point of severe pain. Depression is being sure that others in society won’t do what you need them to, while they will certainly still force you to do what they want.

It’s jumping through the myriad hoops of life, put there by others, but wanting to just lie down and close your eyes. It’s thinking “I wish I’d never been born”. It’s fuelled by little things, such as the fan making that stupid random noise that wakes you up at 3am and then you can’t get to sleep and then you’re grumpy at work and with your girl/boyfriend and with your family so you lose your job/relationship and fight with your family.

You know what I mean? I hope you don’t. I don’t blame people who are mentally well and don’t understand mentally unwell people. It’s when they don’t factor our health into their expectations of us that I don’t like. They get something they don’t want from us. Or they don’t get something they do want. Or not enough. Or too much.

Then again, maybe they aren’t well either if they don’t react well to someone with poor mental health. This is why depression is so isolating: it’s not exactly cheering to spend time with a depressed person. So the person will avoid others in case they’re depressed too or to keep from bringing them down. And people will avoid a depressed person because they don’t want to have a negative experience. Or they’ve just got other shit to do.

It gets better and worse, but it never ends. . . .