August 15, 2010

Did you know…

That the way we subconsciously determine who we think is attractive and who is not is based on the principle of assessing a potential partners physical characteristics in terms of their genes for the purpose of procreation? In other words, we find people ‘hot’ based on the quality of children they would produce. If, like many people I have relayed this mind blowing concept to you cannot see truth in such a thing, consider this.

When you see someone you like, what do you specifically like about them. Their perfectly proportioned, tanned body? Eyes, hair, soft facial features? Take for example, perfect teeth. This implies that the genes of this person are good, whereas buck teeth insinuate the opposite. So you might be wondering, how do we supposedly judge what makes a characteristic good or bad? Well it is basically based on a practical/survival instinct. Long slender legs? Great for catching food and escaping predators. Big breasts? Perfect for providing plenty of milk for our offspring. The idea can generally be extended to any physical and I believe, mental trait exhibited by humans. 

It is really not that different from the alpha male lion being the biggest and strongest of the pack, or the antelopes mating suitability being judged upon the size of it’s horns.

In terms of mental characteristics, this principle is far more abstract as desirable traits differ significantly from person to person. Take for instance, a girl who has an effervescent maternal instinct. This will certainly appeal to a particular type of male, and conversely act as a detraction to another. Interestingly, the best indicator for which of these traits we will look for in a partner are derived from the parent of the opposite sex (if you get past your initial revulsion, you will find this to be at least somewhat true). Furthermore, surveys have also proven that as a generalisation, marriages in which the wife at least partially resembles the husband’s mother have a much higher success rate, a fascinating finding especially in light of the controversial Oedipus Complex ( Oedipus complex - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). 

Finally, I am intrigued to know whether this adds logic to the often irrational nature of ‘attraction’. Does it change the way you feel when you are hit with a spontaneous crush on the checkout attendant who just gave you the wrong change or the friendly stranger who let you borrow their phone when yours was out of battery? 

July 27, 2010

Something that has recently struck me

With the federal election coming up, politics has become a conversation staple of late and something quite disconcerting has been brought to my attention. Quite a large number of people have absolutely no concept of what they are talking about. Sure, you could say people have no idea what they are talking about a lot of the time but the issue here is that these are the people who are voting for the government that is going to run this country. These are just a few of the most common forms of political blasphemy that I have recently encountered.

1. Making a broad sweeping judgement based purely on a persons physical trait. Yes, Tony Abbott has funny ears. Yes, Julia Gillard has red hair. This really doesn’t qualify as a justifiable reason as to why this person should not run the country. You may not be enamoured by some politician’s charisma or the way they articulate themselves in an interview but if that is all you’re going on I would ask you to kindly please refrain from saying “they’re a faggot” or “I hate them”.

2. Grossly exaggerated accusations that carry no weight whatsoever. It astounds me how some people will readily liken the election of the Labour party as a national shift to communism, or claim that the Liberal party will mean the end of workers rights. If you think or say this, you don’t understand modern Australian politics.

3. Calling politicians “dumb”. Yes, sometimes politicians do get tongue tied and under pressure fail to respond in a fluent and easy to comprehend manner although I can assure you that no senior Australian politician is stupid. The amount of policy that politicians are scrutinized on is the equivalent of years of schooling in terms of information, probably more. It is peoples JOB to sift through the mountains of information that politicians are obligated to not only know but understand the ins and outs of and find something to catch them out on. It’s really no where near as easy as it seems.

4. Opinions without knowledge. I think this one basically encapsulates the essence of what frustrates me about this topic. If you hate Kevin Rudd, would you be able to name three issues pertaining to policy and his governance that you could use to verify your opinion? If so, would this be information that you acquired through a means other than listening to your parents, friends etc? 

Basically, the problem with this is that the idiots that I have just described are given equal voting power to say, a university professor or heart surgeon. You might hear people talk about how great living in a democracy is but I personally tend to side more with Winston Churchill, who described it as “the least worst form of government”.

July 15, 2010   1 note

What are these Muslims on about

The next time I hear the words “feminist” and “muslim” in the same sentence I think I’m going to shoot myself. These muslims who are trying to say that wearing the hijab, burka or whatever is done completely out of their own will are kidding themselves. Any person that would willingly choose to drape themself in what looks like a black tablecloth would only do so given some sort of legitimate incentive. In this case, that is a first class ticket to Muslim heaven, 72 virgins each sold seperately. It is unequivocal that the very large, vast majority of Muslim’s were all born into this most insidious of religions. What this means is a lifetime of indoctrination, teaching and subtle brainwashing, starting at birth. They have not been taught about the alternatives to Islamic faith, their perspective is put lightly, limited. Bearing this mind, I fail to be able to take seriously any genuinely Muslim women who claims their is nothing oppresive, degrading or inhibiting about spending your life trapped in a curtain. There is also the arguement that Islam has no veracity whatsoever when scrutinized objectively, with both hypocritical and heretical convictions that if it were not for the guise of religion, would be laughed at. There is also the libertarian arguement that banning the burka would be an infringement of our visceral rights of freedom of speech and expression. It is true that you are endowed with these rights in a democracy such as Australia, but that is not to say your actions aren’t to be held accountable or exempt from justification. The oppression of women is rarely as conspicuous as that displayed by the Muslim community’s use of the burka, which is a tenet clearly contrary the values of France, Australia and virtually every other liberal democracy.
Finally, I would like to seriously question anyone who claims that the wearing of the burka serves any other feasible purpose other than the oppression of women. It is unsightly, impractical and quite frankly an idle gesture to one of the world’s many dubious gods.

July 15, 2010

White Guilt

I’m extremely over what I’ve heard to be described as “white guilt”. Yes, I acknowledge that atrocities have been committed against the aborigines, jews, native americans and virtually every race that isn’t white anglo saxon, but I think it’s worth noting that me and my generation weren’t in any form of existence while those acts were comitted. That is not to admonish the severity of the very numerable number of instances in which the white race has exploited their powerful position, although I cannot help but feel annoyed by the way we’re conditioned to feel partially responsible. I didn’t choose to poison the aboriginal water supplies when the British arrived in Australia, neither did I play any part in the enslavement of millions of blacks. Despite this, the media and public perception appear inexorably intent on placing a very heavy burden of proof on all members of society when it comes to such sensitive issues. Conversely, I think the same principle applies to the aboriginal and black youth who plead generations of cultural degradation as a legitimate defense for their behaviour. Like me, they have not been directly affected by any of the atrocities committed against their ancestors and should ideally abdicate their self proclaimed right to plead such bygone events as a mitigating factor in the face of adversity. Yes, the treatment of African American’s has historically been far from idyllic, but is that a relevant excuse for why predominantly black ghettos are the most crime ridden areas in the United States today? Is the Ku Klux Klan even vaguely related to the plight of the 19 year old drug dealer? If these minorities are serious about eliminated the stereotypes constantly perpetuated about them they should have enough pride to take responsibility rather than hiding behind the mistakes of the past.

July 8, 2010   1 note

Things That Annoy Me

1. Waiters at restaurants who insist on putting your napkin on your lap for you. Unless you are a quadraplegic, I don’t really see why they insist on doing this . It might’ve been courteous 50 years ago but right now having a waiter lean over you and place a napkin over your upper thighs is just awkward.

2. People who take extreme care while unwrapping a gift. I fail to see the need in meticulously pulling apart wrapping paper as if it were some precious commodity. What are you planning on doing with it, sitcking it in a frame and hanging it up in your living room?

3. Nicely decorated living and dining rooms that are used about twice a year. Maybe this is why they look like a hotel foyer, no one ever touches them. What makes it even worse is if in the likely event that you DO get to use such a room, you are treated like you’re carrying some sort of contagious disease and are constantly warned that if you spill a drink on the couch that has been sat on less times than the household pet the world will literally end.

4. Rappers and Hip Hop artists who are lauded as “talented musicians” when their songs have about as much artistic complexity as mary had a little lamb. I don’t care how many grammys lil Wayne has, there is nothing creatively brilliant about a song with the chorus “lick it lick it lick it like a loliipop” and it pisses me off that their egos are constantly being inflated by all the hype they are surrounded with. I don’t care if soulja boy makes more money with one song than I am likely to make in my entire life, he’s deluded if he believes he has anything unique to offer or that he’s genuinely talented. I could pick out any generic black guy off the street, give him a Cadillac Escalade and he’d be about on par with at least half of today’s successful rap “artists”.

5. Young kids who swear too much. With almost everyone swearing at any given opportunity, the words themselves have lost the impact that they once had. This isn’t helped by 12 year olds telling each other to “go fuckyaself”, because it completely derides any significance the words once held.
*note if you are a girl and swear excessively it gives a very strong impression that you are a bogan.

6. National 9 News. I think the word news in the title is quite misleading. When you have 10 minutes of ads, 5 minutes of weather, 5 minutes of sport and 4 minutes on some cute little story about a cat being saved from a sewage drain, the amount of time left for actual news is pretty limited. Be a man and switch over to ABC.

7. People who have really strong political views but no actual knowledge to back it up. You might hear mummy and daddy say Julia Gillard is a communist or that Tony Abbott is a right wing religious zealot but for any of that to carry any pertinence you need to be able to substantiate it with some sort of fact. While virtually every child or teenager would gladly say that George W. Bush is an idiot most wouldn’t be able to offer any piece of evidence to attest to their assertion. Sure, you can say John Howard has funny eyebrows or that Kevin Rudd looks like the milkybar kid but I don’t think parrotting the views of your parents qualifies you to tell everyone whose opinion differs from yours that they’re wrong.

July 1, 2010   4 notes

Self Esteem?

It has come to my attention people really value their self esteem and self worth above all else. This precedence can be found in the many different ways people attain their wants and needs. For example, some people measure their worth as a human being based on a test score while for others it’s proportional to how much physical action they can extort out of the opposite sex. Each to their own.

 

I’d first like to talk about how people often invoke intelligence as a means of bolstering their self esteem. I’m sure there are plenty of people who held the fact that they believed themselves to be intelligent as not only a consoling fact but perhaps a justification for why they were bullied by their peers during their childhood. Maybe they were too mature to relate to the other kids, maybe the reason why they read books instead of socializing was because they were bored by the mediocrity of their age group. The reality is, if they think it long enough they will start to believe it and hence, their self esteem is boosted. For these people, the way their self worth is maintained against the dismally confronting reality of the world is that they measure themselves according to what they value, which is in this case intelligence. If being able to read three books a week is the criteria they set themselves for being a successful human being, they will excel and consequently feel good despite what others might call inadequacies. That being said I do believe there are certainly worse qualities than intelligence to judge yourself upon.

 

Another way people love to validate themselves is through the physical conquest of the opposite sex. Unlike intelligence, it is far more difficult to dismiss this pursuit as a pretentious means of building an ego. In a completely rudimentary sense, procreation is our most basic primordial objective and in light of this I find it difficult to criticize people for valuing it, although there are definitely problems with such a hedonistically inclined philosophy. While our instincts undeniably influence us to desire sex it is worth noting that promiscuity is unequivocally linked with many other undesirable lifestyle factors. Besides obvious things like STD’s, knowing that you’ve had a lot of sex won’t be much solace when you wind up with eight kids to six different fathers. Furthermore, I think it is worth realizing that this is such a common way of obtaining self esteem and validation that achieving it is correspondingly simple. What I mean by that is if every human being wants to have sex then your chances aren’t exactly terrible, with intervening factors such as alcohol likely to mean that as long as you aren’t morbidly obese or have three eyes, you should do ok. Bearing that in mind I don’t personally feel obliged to bow down to those who “slay so much pussy,” as I can’t realistically see it justifying the sort of over inflated egos that many self proclaimed alpha males posses.

 

So what am I trying to say here? Well basically success is purely arbitrary to what an individual defines success to be. The type of scenario where I like to bear this pertinent fact in mind is if while I’m at a shopping centre with my parents I’m confronted with death stares from the local emos. As having perfectly straight black hair, staring sullenly at everyone I encounter and mutilating my body with piercings do not rank highly on my list of priorities, I couldn’t care less. 

May 14, 2010   1 note

Are There Good and Bad People?

This question appears extremely simplistic to the average person, but after being recently introduced to an alternative viewpoint, I’m starting to question this everyday maxim.

Firstly, the actual meaning of the words good and bad require clarification. In this instance, a definition is not adequate as any person’s practical application of either of these terms is not consistent with what a dictionary will tell you. For example, my understanding of the word good is a cumulation of 16 years of life experience, the values of my parents, friends and in a larger sense western culture underlying my persepective on ethical matters. I am innately biased due to my middle class white life and my limited understanding of the world. Through experience I have learnt to apply the principles taught by the authority figures around me to situations to determine whether they are “good” or “bad”, this is not an ability I was born with. Basically, what I am trying to say is that our judgements of good and bad are completely arbitrary, and with such diverse beliefs permeating our world it’s easy to see how conflictions arise.

It is obvious that people will often take an absolutist approach when it comes to moralistic judgements, unable to even comprehend the possibility that their own ethical convictions are not 100% correct. Take for example, Hitler’s Nazi Germany and the holocaust. We see this as an atrocity and an act of immeasurable cruelty and many people have wondered “how could Hitler do such a terrible thing?” Well the answer is that Hitler’s world perspective meant that he thought he was doing the right thing, his actions noble and therefore morally justified. A staunch Nationalist, Hitler was sickened by what he believed to be the Jews reaping Germany of its wealth leaving the true Germans short changed. He held fervently ambitious ideals, with no inhibition to stop the realisation of what he envisioned to be a perfect world. Sure, we believe that Hitler was a sinister character, the embodiment of evil yet if I was an Iraqi civillian, arm/legless from the US military’s ongoing bombing, I wouldn’t have a hard time thinking the same about George Bush.

Maybe Socrates had it right when he proposed that the greatest wisdom is the acknowledgement that you know nothing. Neither you or I can truly understand the essence of what makes another human being unique, their life story, their perspective. I think I will take Socrates one step further in saying that the greatest knowledge one can hold is that their perspective and judgements are purely arbitrary, utterly reliant on knowledge and influence skewed by these very same biases. It is for this reason that I am wary of assigning people to the labels of good or bad, simply because they could just as easily say the same about me.

May 8, 2010   1 note

Banning The Burka

There has been alot of talk in the media lately about “banning the burka”, amidst claims that it isolates the islamic population as well as the recurring arguement that it poses a security threat. The burka has become a common sight in virtually every western country, infiltrating our schools, hospitals and shopping centres to the point where we are now completely desensitized to seeing a poor women who looks as if she has been dressed using a bed sheet. Belgium has liberally  taken the bold move of banning this symbol which has become synonymous with the middle easts permeation of the Western world (or repression of women, depending on your perspective). French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy is now attempting a similar move, perhaps an attempt at venting the frustrations of an increasingly islamified Europe.

Personally, I would like to think that the rebukement of one of the most archaic, draconian traditions still in prevalence today has more significance than just “eliminating a security threat”. There is a certain sanctity that is associated with religion in our world today, it’s position in society exempt from the scrutiny and cynicism that has infiltrated every other facet of our modern world. Anything that can be construed to pertaining to the elusive term “religious conviction” is inherrently sacred, no matter how absurd with the world placing little burden to justify these practices. As far as I’m concerned, shrouding a woman in black cloth serves no practical purpose and is symptomatic of the Middle East’s extremely chauvenistic tenets, ones that are oppresive with belittling connotations for both sexes. The fact that women are covered to the point of being unrecognizeable is irrevocably intertwined with the notion that men are unable to control their sexual impulses and that women must resemble a table cloth to prevent us from reverting to our primitive mating instincts. Foremost, this is insulting to our intelligence and displays just how backwardly paternalistic Middle Eastern culture is. But no, I am not allowed to comment on the absurdly draconian practices of the Islamic community as it is part of their religion, yes because of a religion with as much veracity as a Harry Potter book we cannot criticize this, despite its ubiquity in our society.

Now let’s take a step back from Australia, USA, Europe etc. and have a look at the countries that these archaic traditions are derived from and how they accomodate for the free thinking secular portion of humanity. It is a criminal offence for females not to be concealed behind a burka in Saudi Arabia, as well as women not being allowed to leave the house without being accompanied by a male relative. Like many Westerners, I vehemently disagree with this yet, we are forced to conform to these absurd traditions when we are in their country. So please, explain to me how Muslims protesting against the banning of the burka is completely hypocritical. I can say with wholehearted conviction that I will not respect the intrinsically backward, chauvenistic and intelligence insulting proclivities of the Islamic culture, regardless of their quasi religious justification under the disconcertingly futile guise of faith.
?

May 2, 2010   3 notes

My most treasured childhood memory

It is the morning of my first day of grade 2 and the anticipation of another school year is evident in my freshly cut hair and assiduously polished black shoes. The teacher marks the role over a constant murmer of excited chatter, symptomatic of two months of holiday stories to catch up on. Everything is fine, up until now. Bursting theatrically through the doorway, the young and unshaven deputy principle bounds through the room with the jubilance of a young puppy, eyes shining with an enthusiasm that precludes most teachers.
"Guys," he says, the whiskers ensconcing his mouth moving animatedly. "I have, AMAZING news."
"What…?" squeaks a girl in the front who I remember only as Madeline due to her bearing a striking resemblance of the kids show character. "It’s big guys, I haven’t been this excited in a really long time," he continues, spontaneously bouncing off his left foot onto the desk at the front of the room, blocking my now visibly concerned teacher from view.
"What?!" asks the class now in unison, my classmates staring up at the deputy, entranced by his bizarre manner.
"Hmm," he moans, taking an audible breath and then sighing exaltedly while his forehead creases. "It’s killing me guys, I don’t think I can hold it in any longer…"
"TELL US!" chants the class loudly now, the feverish anticipation palpable.
"Ok, I’ll tell you," he agrees, springing off the desk in what I now believe to be a poor Willy Wonker impersonation.
"Jesus loves you!" he cries, throwing his hands up in self induced euphoria. The class stares back at him perpelexedly.
Oh… Jesus

May 1, 2010   2 notes

Judging a person by their appearence

I’m currently attempting to gage just how much we judge people based solely on appearences. It’s a badly kept secret that good looking people’s attractiveness tends to correspond with popularity, something that is ubiquitous in almost every society. Think of the kids at school who were not held in very high esteem, now you can’t honestly tell me that they were very attractive? Sure, maybe they weren’t ugly but the people that have this elusive innate quality will always breeze through life,  miraculously becoming best friends with everyone they meet. What I’m interested in, is that I cannot think of one example where an absurdly good looking person has been dethroned from their position of power despite the fact that many people may despise them. Why is this? Why do so many of us automatically treat the queens and kings of the social scene with such sanctity, when honestly we often don’t actually like their personality. Pretty much most days I see even the most outspoken, extroverted and confident people acquiesce to those who reside at the top of the food chain and it actually frustrates me. I think some of the most satisfying confrontations of my life have been ones in which I have completely dismissed another person’s authority and treated them exactly the way they have treated me. I would really encourage others to do the same, you feel almost like you’re leading the social equivalent of the French Revolution. Anyway, back to why good looking people are treated like demi gods. Whether you are aware of it or not, every person’s perception of what is attractive lies in their instincts judging another by the quality of their genes. A big nose, crooked teeth, pale freckly skin? No thanks, I don’t want to infect my offspring with your genes. This is what you are subconsciously thinking when you judge someone by their physical attractiveness; the quality of the offspring they are capable of producing. There is something within us, I believe, that channels this desire to find the ideal mating partner in our daily lives and interactions with the opposite sex. No matter how annoying the hot girl/boy is that is sitting across from you on the bus, waiting in the line before you at maccas or asking the teacher for help in the classroom, it is highly unlikely that you will say anything to them about their stupid behaviour. It is for these reasons that I put forward the quite controversial assertion that if many of the personalities of the social elite were transposed to inferior physical vessels, they would be despised (thinking of my grade at school a few examples immediately come to mind). You may disagree with the last part, however, I strongly encourage anyone and everyone reading this to diverge from what your primordial mating instinct is telling you. Tell the rude bitch who pushes in front of you to go stick it, correct the alpha male know-it-all when he says something stupid. Try it and then get back to me?