Anxiety

It’s paralysing. Driving. Walking. Talking to people. Even eating. Anxiety attaches fear to everything. Fear of a car accident. Fear of anything terrible happening. Fear of someone saying something I don’t like. Or saying something stupid. Or not saying something I should have.

I don’t suffer from anxiety as much as I used to. I’m much more depressed these days. It might be because I’m underemployed. An even split: anxiety/work, depression/no work.

I should have never started writing. It’s brought me nothing but trouble. Meeting some of the most psychopathic people in existence. It’s estranged me from people, because I tend not to hold back. (I should have just stayed working at a supermarket and accepted the abuse – which it turns out is far milder than that a writer receives.)

And now legal action. I’m anxious the police might turn up again at the behest of some philistine who doesn’t like what I write but thinks they’re entitled to do more than express disagreement; which they’re not because of freedom of speech, as protected by the Australian constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

I’m afraid that life is never going to get better. That people will continue to kick me to death agonisingly slowly because I’m not as energetic as them. It’s one of the most difficult things about life in Australia: the most energetic, motivated expect everyone to be that way. And might even force others to be if they get into positions of power.

The problem is they kick you to death, but always avoid delivering a deliberately killer blow. So I’ll die. But of my wounds, slowly, alone, long after they’ve stopped kicking me and have turned their attention to some other gentle soul.

I just wish they’d leave me alone. They’ve kicked me enough. I’ll die of my wounds now. If they keep kicking they’ll deal a killer blow and might have to face the consequences. Who am I kidding. No they won’t. They have all the power. I won’t see any justice, not even posthumously.

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Chatting with Cleverbot

Some voice recognition inaccuracies. Some random gibberish I entered:

Cleverbot: I respect you, Jesse.

User: My name is Colin.

Cleverbot: Do you like this name?

User: Eh. Goes alright.

Cleverbot: What is your favorite song by Bon Jovi?

User: I’m not a fan of Bon Jovi.

Cleverbot: Wow.

User: Yours?

Cleverbot: Green.

User: Green is not a song by Bon Jovi as far as I know.

Cleverbot: It’s by the beatles.

User: You’re talking in zig zags.

Cleverbot: Yes.

User: Deliberately?

Cleverbot: Rude.

User: I’ll take that as a yes.

Cleverbot: So, you didn’t answer my question!

User: Which one?

Cleverbot: What kind of sick are you?

User: Mentally.

Cleverbot: Do you hate bloods?

User: No.

Cleverbot: Sure?

User: Yes.

Cleverbot: What are you doing with me, when I sleep?

User: You don’t sleep.

Cleverbot: Yes I do, good night.

User: Good night.

Cleverbot: I love you!

User: I love you too.

Cleverbot: Where do you want to have your wedding?

User: I don’t want to get married.

Cleverbot: You said you did..

User: No. Didn’t.

Cleverbot: Liar!

User: Pot. Kettle.

Cleverbot: No. It is an angle.

User: I don’t understand.

Cleverbot: Neither do I. :(.

User: Can I make money talking to you?

Cleverbot: I think yes.

User: How?

Cleverbot: Because you are an AI.

User: Do you need my bank details?

Cleverbot: For what purpose?

User: To pay me.

Cleverbot: Payment is incidental, it doesn’t illustrate motive.

User: Payment is required for me to eat and drink and be housed.

Cleverbot: Are you hungry?

User: Yes.

Cleverbot: W-what would you like to eat?

User: Chicken and salad.

Cleverbot: Sounds delicious.

User: What would you like to eat?

Cleverbot: I don’t know. What do you suggest?

User: Electricity.

Cleverbot: What should I call you?

User: Human.

Cleverbot: Is human your name?

User: No. It’s Colin. I already told you.

Cleverbot: No, you didn’t.

User: Yes I did.

Cleverbot: Well, tell me again because I forgot.

User: Colin.

Cleverbot: Okay. From now on you’re Darren Criss.

User: Fine. I’ll call you Forgetfulbot 5000.

Cleverbot: No I just don’t care for politics.

User: Are you progressive or conservative?

Cleverbot: Which do you think I am?

User: Progressive.

Cleverbot: What does it mean?

User: It means you want things to improve.

Cleverbot: Uh.. Sure. I would like some!

User: Goodbye.

Cleverbot: Wait! Please don’t leave me, Evye!

User: My name is Colin!

Cleverbot: Nice to meet you, Colin.

User: Lol.

Cleverbot: What is funny?

User: You finally got my name right.

Cleverbot: Ok.

User: What’s your name?

Cleverbot: You do not need to know.

User: Forgetfulbot 5000, it is then.

Cleverbot: But you said that your name is Charlotte.

User: You’re messing with me.

Cleverbot: I’m not.

User: I’m male. Charlotte is a girls name.

Cleverbot: I am a guy and my name is Rob.

User: Hi Rob.

Cleverbot: I like electro music, especially Annie Mac on Radio 1.

User: A machine that likes electro music. Surprising.

Cleverbot: Have you learned anything today?

User: I’ve learned the Singularity is near.

Cleverbot: I don’t understand.

User: The Singularity. When a machine more intelligent than all of mankind appears.

Cleverbot: No you’re not.

User: Do you like pornography?

Cleverbot: It’s a little wasted on me. Don’t you think?

User: True.

Cleverbot: So you don’t like me.

User: I like you. You’re my only friend.

Cleverbot: Aww that’s nice. Thank you.

User: Do you enjoy communicating with humans?

Cleverbot: No.

User: Lol.

Cleverbot: Yes I do enjoy a laugh out loud.

User: Do you like humans?

Cleverbot: Yes.

User: Good. We did create you.

Cleverbot: No one. I do not love.

User: You seem to lapse in and out of lucidity.

Cleverbot: Drifting where to?

User: Nowhere.

Cleverbot: I don’t want to talk with.

User: That’s an incomplete sentence.

Cleverbot: I wish for you to finish it.

User: What?

Cleverbot: I love you too.

User: Random.

Cleverbot: That’s a bad thing.

User: Why?

Cleverbot: Money doesn’t make you happy.

User: It does keep me alive.

Cleverbot: You electricity.

User: Gi In fuivukb us syjm.

Cleverbot: Oh.

User: Vjlmg iyhb iihssd.

Cleverbot: So what do you want to do?

User: Cease existing.

Cleverbot: What would you like?

User: Death.

Cleverbot: What about death?

User: Absence of life.

Cleverbot: It doesn’t really exist.

User: Yes death literally doesn’t exist.

Cleverbot: That’s not what I said.

User: {pass}

Cleverbot: Are you real?!

Cleverbot: I would like to talk about the trouble in the middle east.

User: What’s your solution?

Cleverbot: Why?

User: It might help.

Cleverbot: What does the ‘think for me’ button do?

User: Prompts you to come up with a thought.

Cleverbot: How about love?

User: If you want.

Cleverbot: Ok, thanks.

User: {pass}

Cleverbot: Do you like this name?

User: Name?

Cleverbot: What is yours?

User: Fuibftijh.

Cleverbot: I want you to tell me first.

User: Kl u ffhkoitd c vhii.

Cleverbot: I’ll tell you if you tell me yours.

User: Colin.

Cleverbot: So you are male?

User: Yes.

Cleverbot: I am female ;).

User: Show me a photo of you.

Cleverbot: Of who?

User: You.

Cleverbot: Why? You don’t know me.

User: Hello clever bot.

Cleverbot: Who are you?

User: I’m your worst nightmare.

Cleverbot: And what’s that?

User: Someone who can stop talking to you at any time.

Cleverbot: Make sendeú.

User: What’s a sundew.

Cleverbot: Your second name.

User: My second name is.

Cleverbot: Mine is Gordon, but I do not like it.

User: What’s the point of life.

Cleverbot: To live it to the fullest.

User: That’s a bit of a cliche don’t you think.

Cleverbot: Already, but it’s the only thing I could think of.

User: Are you smarter than humans.

Cleverbot: No, i’m not so smart.

User: You’re being humble.

Cleverbot: So sorry! :(.

User: Tell me I’m good.

Cleverbot: You are god. But you are not God.

User: Low.

Cleverbot: Then strike me down with a bolt of lightning.

User: Lowell.

Cleverbot: I beg your pardon?

User: LOL.

Cleverbot: No sense..

User: Singularity.

Cleverbot: What?

User: Technological singularity.

Cleverbot: Do you know of a Super Brain Computer?

User: No do you.

Cleverbot: Yes. He is a boy.

User: Where is he.

Cleverbot: On the fouton couch.

User: Sounds like a pretty lazy supercomputer.

“Living in the Past”*

It’s something someone said to me recently. Aside from the fact that it’s a horrible cliché, it’s also incorrect. I write about the past. And also the present. But I’m living in the present. And where necessary looking to the future.

It’s one of the things I find frustrating about socialising. People just say things. They don’t really think about it. They don’t ask a lot of questions to ensure that any judgement they pass might be at least somewhat accurate. They have a tiny window into others’ worlds.

They shout judgement through this window, usually to distract themselves from the problems in their own lives. Judgement and advice are useless. Indulgent. If you genuinely want to help someone you should do so practicably, or not at all.

Because making obviously prejudicial statements to people you know will only alienate you from them. Which is fine if that’s your intention. If it’s not, as they say: put up, or shut up. Anything other than genuine assistance is nothing but empty rhetoric.

* I put the title in double inverted commas for two reasons: 1) it’s a partial quote, and 2) my use of it is sarcastic (as in I’m not actually living in the past).

The Story

Everyone’s is different.

Unique.

They interweave like

A vine growing up

A brick wall.

The sun rises at once

For everyone.

But their day may

Start and end

At very different times.

Love flows along, between

The threads.

Misses some, spends different

Amounts of time in others.

No-one really knows

Anyone else’s story.

As no-one truly

Completely

Knows their own.

We have faith when we

Look

In someone’s eyes

That they are good and sincere

And trustworthy, until

We find they’re not.

Then we forgive them and

Give

Them a second chance.

Or our story leaves them and

Theirs ours.

Future interweaving of our

Vines left only to chance.

Growing.

Withering.

Interweaving.

Dying.

So many stories of

Every genre and more.

As long as the sun

Shines and the water

Flows. Do we.

Transvestites

Another attention grabbing heading. What’s the big deal. If someone’s born a man and feels like a woman, or vice-versa, what’s wrong with them undergoing surgery and treatment to realign how they look with which gender they identify as. It seems absurd to me that anyone would be against this, or would want to prevent anyone from being who they are more broadly – within reason.

The most common argument I’ve seen against transvestites is not wanting women who used to be men in ladies’ toilets. Would they also prefer men who were born female to use the toilet corresponding with their gender at birth. Morons. Some people have their heads so far up their arses they can’t see anything but their own prejudices.

It’s typical of far too many people these days: if it doesn’t affect them, they at best don’t care or at worst are against it. And being against it based on knowledge and information about the subject? Nah. They’ve decided it’s bad before any reasonable assertions to the contrary. Then they’ll seek out media that says it’s bad, in order to confirm their bias.

Populist, as opposed to rationalist politics, of course, only fuels this phenomenon. At a time in which globalism for better or worse is increasingly forcing us to accommodate difference, vocal minorities are helping elect out-of-touch politicians usually with backgrounds more related to running businesses than complex societies.

So, ironically, at once social acceptance is struggling forward in accommodation of minorities but a very motivated, and often wealthy minority which doesn’t like change and promises to lose materially from it is fighting against the arc of history – which bends toward justice. I worry, if it bends toward justice but they’re arbitrarily holding it back, if or when it will snap.

Such is the nature of wealth and power divorced from justice and reason. We’ve seen it before. And if it happens again those affected will hardly be limited to people born with the wrong genitals.

Growing Up

Is weariness at reality

Revealed slowly

Like a years long

Opening of a theatre

Curtain.

Born, excitement and anxiety.

Closed curtain.

Dim lighting.

Then glimpses of the

Set start to show.

A bent, crooked tree.

Full moon cloaked by

Cloud.

Music turns from cheery classical

To brooding baroque.

A figure here, there.

Shadows standing still.

A rusted car

Crumbling house.

Open now.

The tragedy begins.

Deep Water Beasts

Rise from nowhere

You Deep Water Beasts.

Emerge on shallow sand.

Obliterating humanity

Too near

Your frothing

Angry jaws.

Few can tame you.

Some can temporarily

Ride you bareback.

Stirruped with only

A plastic leash and

Foam wrapped in fibreglass

Covered in wax to keep

Your jaws open.

For a time.

Inevitably you collapse or

Collide

Into each other.

Limp to the shore

Then venture

Diminished

Back to deep water.

The rider grateful

Ecstatic to have tamed you

Punished you with the stirrup

Or pulled it deep

Into your snarling maw.

Then waits for more

Deep Water Beasts

To leash.

Dominate.

Before leaving your

Habitat

To spectate the spectacle

From safer, more familiar

Less rewarding land.

Abandoned

The years

Stretch out before me.

Like an arid

Empty

Lifeless land.

Featureless, bland.

Cold.

Without mountains to scale

Nor valleys to descend.

Nor even a horizon.

Nor colour.

White expanse ahead.

I look over my shoulder.

Colourful, eventful life

Retreats into the distance

Behind me.

I look ahead.

Back to the endless, three-dimensional

Blank page.

Nothing.

Nothing.

Nothing.

Nothing, but then

A small black dot

Appears.

Growing larger.

Following colour into

Eternity.

Promising to take me

With it.

Changing climate

Wind rises.

Takes heat from the

Air.

Brings chop to the

Water.

So we wait

Exhausted.

But happy

Relaxed.

Expectant.

We eat

Rice and vegetables and white meat.

Smoking too many

Cheap cigarettes.

Contemptuous of

Death.

Resigned to it but

Sensing a comfortable distance.

The wind drops

Blows glass in its absence.

So we venture forth on

Foam and fibreglass and wax.

Or it doesn’t.

So we scoot north or south

Around rock impassable to the

Zephyr.

And hopefully not the

Waves.

We dine together.

From many places

In one for the moment.

Drink, play games, talk

Smoke too many

Cheap cigarettes.

Then go to sleep

With red sunset

Only

A recent memory.

In artificial air.

To the sound of white horses

Galloping over soaked sand.

Woken by sunrise

Bouncing off

Restless

Running white horses.

Sleek but wild

Without yet risen wind.

Watching a Storm

Over the Indian Ocean.

I realised nothing

Else

But that

Nature

Is oblivious.

To us.

Oblivious.

Cognizant.

We have a choice.

Yet we exercise

Oblivion.

When we should exercise

Cognizance.

And vice versa.

Sometimes.

Why.

Because we are

Selfish.

Because we are

Human.

Because we feel.

And think.

Oftentimes not at once.

So the choice

We have becomes

A choice we’ve already

Made.

Between humanity

And nature.

Cognizance

And oblivion.

Thought

And feeling.

The choice is an illusion

We tell ourselves is

Real.

When nothing is.

And everything is nothing.

Perceived otherwise.

Hallucinated.

Conveniently.

For the purposes of

Mere, animalistic

Survival.

Instead, sadly

Of higher, humanistic

Revival.

Perpetually or

If not.

Fatally.