reviewthislife

It's my world – and I'm grading it

Category: humanities

Tinder

Yes, I’m a little late to the game, I know. But I’m not really a huge fan of online dating – to be more precise, I don’t like it. I don’t like the pressure that I feel there is to be impressed by someone (you’re looking, aren’t you? well then, why not me?). I don’t like the spiels and their cliches, all these people who “only live once” and who know that their pictures aren’t the best, but are positive that you’ll like them once you get to know them. The people who are “sick of playing games, so if you’re into playing games, don’t bother contacting me”. And fuck me if the entire Western world doesn’t like to have a good night out every now and then, but is also just as happy to spend a night on the couch with a DVD and a nice bottle of red. GAH!

So why am I using Tinder? Well I appear to have a terrible habit of falling back to online dating when I’ve been dicked around by a guy. That’s right, buddy, I’m gonna go out and get all the men, ALL THE MEN. Then we’ll see who doesn’t need who! I could have had them all along, actually, I just didn’t FEEL like it.

And so it goes that I just done gone got dicked again, and not in the good way. So here I am.

I have tried both RSVP and Oasis Active on a few occasions, and the experience is like… it’s like being in a bar full of sausage with a giant flashing neon sign over your head that says “SINGLE AND LOOKING”. The sausages all see this sign and regardless of whether or not they would normally approach you, they do. All of them. And you politely say no to about 98% of them. For the other 2%, you both then need to decide if someone wants to buy the other one a $20 cocktail so that you can start talking. Unless you’re using Oasis Active, in which case you’ll probably end up sitting out in the gutter drinking tinnies of VB.

I have also tried eHarmony, which is akin to visiting a small bar every single night. If by chance you happen to like anyone out of the 5 or so present at any given time, you communicate in Newspeak.

Tinder is like walking into a bar, scanning the room with your eyes and thinking “You, you, and you – you’re hot.” And if one of your hotties makes eye contact with you, you talk. This, I feel, is about as close to real-life as this whole virtual dating thing is ever going to get.

A massive upside to it, I have found so far, is that you don’t have to really go out on a limb to show someone you’re interested. It’s just eye contact, as opposed to walking over there with a giant glass with a little umbrella sticking out of it and getting knocked back. I know it’s online, and that they don’t know you (not the real you, amiright?) and so it shouldn’t hurt, but it does. Using Tinder, I’m free to say yes to whomever I like, and the only way they will know that I have is if they have also said yes to me. I like that.

Another thing that I like about it: minimal personal information shared. All of those dating sites are so concerned with making sure that you meet your “perfect match” that they don’t stop to think that maybe you don’t need to know all that stuff straight up. That maybe it’s better if you actually don’t know. Remember, we just met – I just think you’re cute, is all. Let me enjoy the feeling of finding out that we have the exact same taste in music. I don’t need to know that you’ve spent the last two years traveling and are now trying to settle back into the real world and you don’t feel like you have any friends, not yet! And please, just let me enjoy the fuzzy rush of attraction brainjuices without judging you on your atrocious understanding of the written word. Who knows, if everything else is good, that might not even matter! But if you give me the chance to reject you for it right now, we’ll never know (and same goes for you rejecting me for coming across as a cynical, sarcastic genius).

Again, let’s keep it real. Tinder runs out of facebook, and basically the only information that is shared is: A/S/L; some photos; mutual friends; mutual things liked on facebook. It’s like walking into a friend’s birthday party, spotting a cute guy/girl you’ve never seen before, and then maybe at one stage you both hum along to the song that is playing. And then you talk about it.

At the very least, you might get laid that night.

I created my Tinder account Monday night and it’s now Wednesday afternoon – less than 48 hours. I’ve been swiping pictures left (for no) and right (for yes) with almost absolute abandon, free of the fear and guilt of rejection (both receiving and giving out). I’ve got 7 matches, which is waaaaaay more than I was expecting – unfortunately there’s no real way of avoiding the awkward online conversations, but I’m hoping that I’ll find some quality in amongst all the “so how was your day?” (it was shit, it’s always shit! but you don’t need to know that right now!).

This review is a work-in-progress, so I won’t be giving any sort of numerical grade, not right now anyway. For now I give it: so far, so kinda ok.

UPDATE: It is Sunday, meaning that we’re approaching the end of the first week. I have seen so many photos of men that it’s starting to affect the way that I see them in real life. I’m looking at ALL THE MEN, and my eyes are mentally flicking right or left to accept/reject them, never mind that Woolies is not a real life dating program and they’re not actually there to show that they’re single – they just also happen to be buying potatoes right now. I feel like I’ve become something of an expert on the subject, and I’ve seen some pretty baffling things, so I thought I would use this update to give the men out there some friendly (or not so friendly, depending if I’m putting shit on your style or not) advice about profile pictures.

First of all, in this day and age, there is really no excuse to not have at least one clear frontal photo of yourself, just one that shows your facial features and your natural eye colour (apologies to any vampires/devilspawn reading this, your red eyes are lovely). This app is entirely dependent on the photos, we need to be able to see you. Hiding your face behind ski gear, motorcycle helmets, a dog, or some strange gauzy mask made of layers of cotton wool and blur, is not conducive to getting the green light. When you first download the app and set it up it automatically picks photos from your facebook profile for you, but these can be changed. Review your profile and pictures and choose those that don’t simply defeat the entire purpose of doing this in the first place.

Have more than one photo – if you only have one photo of yourself, it doesn’t matter how great it is, we will think “he only has one good photo of himself” and will probably pass. Give a cross-section that allows us to compare and check for consistency. Photos of dogs, sunsets, etc, are completely useless.

Having friends is important. To some women, photos with friends is evidence that you’re affable and socially capable. But photos with friends is not going to help your cause if a) ALL of your photos are with friends and we don’t know which one you are, and/or b) you and your friends kinda look like pack-rapists when you get together and pose.

Having female friends is also important, but I would advise against having too many photos up there with your arms around some beautiful woman. Try to look single. Wedding photos where you are not obviously a groomsman are an absolute no-no.

Screenshot_2013-12-12-23-40-25

it does happen

And ok, I understand using your photos to give a little bit of insight into yourself, I’ve done the same thing! My selection reminds me of Krusty the Clown showing his “range”, there’s daytime makeup cute smile shot, whacky onesie shot, cheeky wine shot, professional ZOMG shots… the many faces of me! But GAWD, am I sick of seeing the following:

  • surfing
  • dogs
  • snow-boarding
  • dogs
  • fishing
  • diving
  • dogs
  • tourist shots that show the places you’ve been… oh, you like to travel? I like to travel! It’s a match made in motherfucking heaven

Yes, I see it… I’m a cranky bitch and that’s probably why I’m single and trawling dating apps, whatever.

But my last piece of advice is for a very special bunch that I’ve come across a few times now. I’m talking to the pre-pubescent boys trying to use Tinder to get some Mrs Robinson action. Sweeties, darlings – cap your age at 20, max. (and then pray some hot moron comes across your profile).

Screenshot_2013-12-14-14-04-42 Screenshot_2013-12-15-15-15-01

UPDATE: Here we are at the one week anniversary of my original post. My “match” list is now numbered at 16… 16!! That’s more requited attraction than I’ve had in the last 1o years. The list is running off the edge of the screen, dripping off it, forming a little pool of validation on the ground… it’s almost on par with having heaps of people “like” something I’ve done on facebook. But for this whole “dating” thing to work, there needs to be a next level – conversation. Out of my 16 “matches” I think I can safely say that I have had two interesting/amusing conversations, one of them being some banter about the habits of highly effective unicorns, and the other being with one of my best friends [male category]. Everything else can be divided into three groups:

  1. Polite small-talk about weekends/weather
  2. Variants on the “let’s get sexy” theme, such as “you seem cheeky”, “that’s hot”, and “a massage would help *wink wink*”
  3. Waiting for a response/first message

The third group is currently in the lead, with number 2 probably coming second.

One of my best friends [female category], who was inspired by the original post last week to reactivate her account, is officially over it and has deleted it again. I’m determined to give it some more time though. It’s my usual way to give up on these things, to find fault and dole out shit… regardless of how good I am at it, though, I need to fight the urge. Hell, it’s Christmas! Holiday times! Persistence could reward me with a date/chat/snog/otherthing – at the very least, it gives my finger something to do while I’m hungover.

It is frustrating though, and apparently it’s worse for the guys. I don’t agree with the notion, though, that we’re the ones with all the power, that all of the pressure is on the guys to man up and impress us – I try, I really do! I look at your photos and pick up on conversation-starters, if you have something written in your profile, I’ll read it. I’ve tried the “mutual interests” tactic and the “acknowledgement of something in your profile”. I’ve tried “acknowledging that this whole thing is awkward and I’m just trying to say hi”. Sometimes I do try the “screw this, you can be the one to talk to me” – lately I’ve simply typed out the conversational prompts that the Tinder app gives you verbatim and had a giggle.

Time, give it time… I mean for all I know, these people could have lives. It’s almost as if they don’t have to spend every spare moment plugged in, as if they’re happy to amuse themselves with past-times both interesting and trivial, and only think about their being alone on random vulnerable occasions. As if the constant buzz of thoughts in their minds hasn’t settled into a metronomic counter, marking the death of every hour of every night in which some kind of connection could have been made, but wasn’t. Shush, do you hear that? That’s the sound of a minute passing by in which I did not try to quell the ennui via the internet…

FINAL UPDATE: When did I begin this?? December 2013… here we are 6 months later and I have recently remembered that this whole Tinder thing is a thing, and that I wrote about it, and now I have to finish that off.

First, some stats from my experience:

  • # of men who didn’t disappear after one week = 1
  • # of “hook-ups” = 0
  • # of party-pashes = 0
  • # of “in the flesh” meetings = 0
  • # of men who reached the phone call stage = 0
  • for God’s sake, woman, did you get anything out of this??

No. No, I didn’t.

There is this image, though, which I am going to use to wrap/sum this whole saga up. Oh, Tinder! You just keep being you 😉

No. We cannot.

No. We cannot.

 

FOR REALZ FINAL UPDATE: I lied. I lied to you all. It wasn’t over. But mostly, I think, I was lying to myself.

You see, when I wrote my “final update” I actually had a Tinder date lined up. I told myself that it was the “Sydney Saga” that I was wrapping up. How is the Sydney Saga any different to the Melbourne Saga? Well, I guess I was telling myself that things were going to be different down here… that Tinder worked down here… that yes, I was going to meet a guy, and that it wasn’t going to be the same old hogwash I’d been writing about.

It was indeed different, but more in the sense that I haven’t been exposed to such nutjob levels of inane rambling since my days of handing out flyers outside of Kings Cross nightclubs at 4am (on a Tuesday).

This man, we’ll call him Danny (because that is his name), is pretty darned handsome. He passed all of my tests: he could chat; he could spell; he wasn’t Sleazy, Dopey or Grumpy… he’s Polish, raised in Paris, has lived here and there and could speak to me of books… and then he called me, spoke in a fairly articulate manner and we organised to meet.

Saturday 2pm came round and I found him at the appointed place, and even as I was sitting down I was thinking to myself “girl, this ain’t right”. He looked at me like I was the only woman in the world, which is lovely – except when you get the creepy feeling that “the world” is “his basement”. Of what we spoke, I could not rightly tell you, because the entire conversation was uncomfortable (me) and incomprehensible (him)… tripe! Basically. Utter tripe. Sentences begun and not finished, repeating himself, cutting me off, staring at me with arrogant, dirty eyes, starting a thought, trailing off, staring some more, and talking about realities, how dating should be awkward, it’s good that I’m uncomfortable, more about different realities and different planets, staring at my boobs, and what does he have to do to end up spooning me tonight? I am still quite literally gobsmacked when I try to recall and make sense of anything that was said.

The highlights included:

“I mean, you’re a total bogan, you’re sitting there and you exude bogan, but you’re an intellectual…” – him

“To look at you, you wouldn’t think you had any degrees. I’m serious.” – him

(I have 3)

“Just give me some of that fucking house stuff.” – him, to the waitress of the really nice establishment we were in

“I have to ask… are you high?” – me

That’s actually one of my theories, that the big night he’d had the night before was actually still going (guy couldn’t even pick up his wine properly at one stage). The other two theories are that he does this on purpose, takes girls out and then sees how long they last listening to his offensive and crazy bullshit, or that I was suffering under some kind of nerve gas attack at the two precise times that he called me.

For the record, I lasted about half an hour. I stayed that long because the champagne was $19 per glass and I’m too nice to walk out without paying my way (so damnit, I was finishing it). But walk (eventually) I did, after telling him that “this conversation is incomprehensible, I have no idea what you’re saying. I’m uncomfortable and I’m feeling awkward. You called me a bogan and I’m really offended… so I should leave.”

Fin.

“Is this really the end, though?” – I can’t blame you for asking, I’ve led you on before. But I think we can safely say that I have been scared off Tinder for good.

And when the inevitable day comes and I’m sad and drunk and lonely, and I whip it out again – I promise not to bother you with it 😉

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Warning! E.L.E Extinction Level Event Cover Up! Aug 2013!

I thought I would try my hand at reviewing this Extinction Level Event warning that my sister found on Gumtree.

1. a) Kudos to them for upholding their responsibilities for all that time! I would have told someone within 12 minutes of hearing it.

1. b) Ronald Reagan could not have known about it in 1983 if the idea originated in 1995. To make this work you would need to expand the conspiracy, for example: maybe Reagan was one of the Zetans?

2. If they have indeed known about it for 30 years, if it’s that big, I would think that we would have noticed something happening a lot sooner, yes? Something more substantial than the illusion of two suns? It makes no sense that *now*, July 2013, one month before the big event, is the time that the whole cover up is coming undone.

3. a) This is how clouds are formed.

3. b) Speculation, overruled.

4. Chinese TV would not be showing pictures of it if, as you claim, every government agency is part of the cover up.

5. As a technique, I find this to be too simple and cliched – it just so happens that your local paper has a picture of the phenomenon? Too convenient, consider revising.

6. Ok, is it a star? Or an entire solar system? You really need consistency here, this object is your entire argument.

7. Again, I’m coming up against some temporal and spatial issues. Is it orbiting our sun only? If so, it’s teeny tiny and pretty slow, taking 3,600 years to do one loop, and has had no affect on our planet. Or is it orbiting our solar system? If that were the case, see point 2 – it would be affecting other planets in our system by now, and those effects would be noticeable.

8. Contradictory advice – “Go to higher ground… Japan’s tsunami” implies flood action that will be caused by an internal tremor, but then you tell us to get us far underground as possible to hide from solar activity. You haven’t made the threat clear – “chaos” only works as an outcome when the threat is supernatural, eg. “The thing brings chaos wherever it goes!” If this is a real, physical event, it needs to have a real, physical outcome.

9. You know, we do have a Prime Minister. I don’t understand why everyone is always standing around waiting for the US to tell us what’s what.

10. What’s your source on this? You cannot give an exact percentage with backing it up.

11. You’ve got two temporal markers there: “one day” and “3 months ago”. One is enough.

SUMMARY

Spelling/grammar: appalling. I have no other words. You do not have to be an acclaimed researcher to know that bad spelling and grammar will instantly negate your claims in the eyes of the reader, so FFS, type it up in Word first and note the squiggly lines.

The theory itself is not an original claim by Steven M, so he can’t really be held accountable for it. What he can be blamed for, though, is his failure to note the inconsistencies and check the facts. I understand that he would be in a hurry to get the word out and warn people as quickly as possible, but an extra hour or so to plug up the holes would have made all the difference to the feasibility of the claim, and more lives would be saved in the long run.

Advice-wise, I’m torn on how to respond… “stock up on food and water and hide underground” may add credibility to the claim by being relatively commonsense, but it’s not nearly as exciting as, say, “wrap your firstborn in Alfoil and hide in a vat of cordial”. Either way, I’m just happy that he hasn’t done what the original harbinger of Nibiru Doom did, which was to advise the world to euthanise their pets and, potentially, feast on their carcases.

2/10 – as thanks for the concern and well-wishes.

Kotsko, Heidegger, Awkwardness, and here’s what I think about your damn social rules

My Decision to Enrol in a Masters Course Full-Time

Less than two months ago, I made the split decision to enrol in a Masters course, and to complete it full-time whilst still working full-time. It has been three weeks since class began, and I would like to review that decision.

Working and studying full-time-at-the-same-time did not seem like a big deal to me, because I actually completed my two Bachelor degrees that way. Studying through Open Universities, I was able to get it done in my “spare time” and still work the full-time job and pay the rent. True, I took a lot of stimulants, and drank many a bottle of red wine – but also true, I really enjoy drinking red wine and staying up until all hours, so… *shrug*

The Masters is different though, it requires actual on-campus attendance, the thought of which really excited me after six years of fleshing out my thoughts with facebook, a mirror and a sullen cat. When I found out that all classes would be held on the one day I ran straight to my boss’s office, presented my hypothetical situation and solution, assured him that if he acceded I would be happy and would not quit, and got my way. I would attend university on Tuesdays, and fit five days worth of working hours into the remaining four.

Brilliant, am I not? Four days in the office, starting an hour earlier than usual and doing 9-10 hours per day, remote access to fit in some extra work from home, one full day at uni, and whatever spare time I have around all that can be spent reading and doing assignments. And, like, writing a 10,000 word creative piece. Oh, and I do muay thai once a week, and have pre-paid for a term of belly dancing.

I did get some practise in with the 8am starts, for a couple of weeks before it officially began, and that went really well. But now we are in the third week of actual classes/work/shebang. Whereas I would usually get to bed somewhere between 12am-1am and get up about 7:30am, I am now getting up at 6:30am – but still getting to sleep at the same time.

I have missed the last two weeks of muay thai.

I have been responding to every single situation arising at work with “fuck”.

I have a packet of cigarettes (despite having “quit” just before classes started).

I have started making an afternoon (on class day) snack of a Mars Bar dipped in coffee, a combination I haven’t indulged in since high school.

I haven’t done my dishes for the last two nights (tonight will make three), not because I’m frantically studying/working, but because I DO NOT WANT to stand at the sink.

Tonight, on my way to belly dancing after work, I went down into the train station, pulled one of these, and went straight back up those escalators and home to stare at the walls.

I decided, for the first time in my life, to try to use good food to fuel my body instead of eating whatever the hell I wanted. I looked into some “good carb + protein” recipes that I might like to try for lunches, to help get me through the long days, and made a conscious decision to cut out white bread, white pasta, and superfluous sugar. Today my mind, in solidarity with my exhausted body, made me eat four jumbo-sized Caramello Koalas from the fundraising box at work.

And I seem to have forgotten to eat dinner tonight.

It has been less than three weeks, and I’m pretty fucking tired.

I am also faced with the fact that I have to write something this year. Something big. And good. About 3/4 of my waking moments (and maybe 1/4 of my sleeping ones) are consumed by the question: What the fuck am I going to write?? I have no idea, I cannot run from it, and by the end of the year I will know, once and for all, whether or not I am a writer – no more hiding.

It has been less than three weeks.

Upon review, I give my decision to enrol in this course an 8/10.

Because fuck you, body.

“real women”

“Real women *insert descriptive phrase here*” – when I first heard (or more properly, read) the words, it was with bemusement. Next came mild irritation, followed swiftly by severe irritation (I tend to suffer from Sudden Onset Irritation), and culminating in absolute fucking loathing. I loathe the words.

Let’s break them down.

“Real women *something something*” is a statement which claims that, well, “real women” *something something*. The most commonly heard *something something* is *have curves*, or a variant such as *are not whatever stupidly small size you are*. But “real women” have also been known to *lift weights*, *squat*, *be fit*, and even *bench press their own body weight*. I personally think that last expectation is a bit much, but there are people out there who believe that a real woman really is able to do everything (whilst simultaneously doing nothing, but hey). “Real women *something something*”

*something something* is a representation of the desires of the speaker, and usually conveniently matches their own (usually) physical state.

“Real women” is a load of absolute shit.

The phrase is used by people in order to justify, not even who they are, but what shape they are (repeat that, slowly: to. justify. what. shape. they. are.) to themselves and others, at the expense of anyone who is not like them.

.

Many women have ranted about this issue and I have seen some common arguments out there, the first of them being the somewhat superfluous “so what, I’m imaginary?” Logically, it’s sound, yes – but I think it’s a little obvious and unnecessary. Another common argument is “c’mon now, ALL bodies are beautiful!” Another unnecessary argument, and, I’m going to be brutally honest here – it’s not entirely true, is it? Some bodies are outstandingly aesthetically pleasing, some bodies are pretty horrendous. Most of them are just nice and normal and lovely and fine. Same with noses, and teeth, and elbow skin that looks like vaginas. But see, I don’t think that’s the real issue here, it’s not about whether your body is gorgeous or grotesque or pretty much the same as everyone else’s. It’s about what you’re doing to other people in order to feel better about yourself.

It’s about being a judgemental, spiteful bitch.

That’s essentially what you’re doing.

Glorifying a body type is inherently offensive to all others. You cannot argue out of that fact. Prefer, strive towards, be proud of, that’s fine! But to laud one over all others carries with it the inevitable side-effect of putting shit on someone else, and that is my issue with “real women”. As far as I can tell, “real women” are not curvy or fit, or powerful or chaste; they’re nasty, immature schoolgirls.

Just quietly, it doesn’t bother me how you feel about yourself. I don’t like the idea of people hating themselves, I do have empathy, but unless I am emotionally close to you and somehow able to help, caring too much about how much you love you is… well, it’s pointless. And quite often, those feelings can’t be changed, by me or you. What I do care about, what does directly affect me, and what we can all try to change, is how the people around us are affected by the expression of our feelings. Look, I have been blessed with a pretty decent metabolism, I am still considered quite slim, rarely watch what I eat, and have been described using a range of words on the pretty-hot-beautiful spectrum – and most of the time, I don’t like me. Sometimes, I hate me. Sometimes, I can’t even look people in the eye, I hate me so much. What I’m trying to get across here is that I have enough trouble feeling good about me with only my own negativity to deal with. I don’t need negativity from anyone else. And neither do you!

You cannot always, or easily, change the way you feel about yourself. But you can change the way you treat others, and you can start by not being a hateful bitch toward them your for own personal gain. And maybe after a while, if everyone is that little bit nicer to everyone, you can stop caring so much about your shape. Imagine being given the chance to drive through some of the most amazing places on earth, along the most breath-taking coastlines, through beautiful forests and fields, really experiencing this life on this planet and the wonder that’s just waiting for you to acknowledge it. Now imagine that you got to the end of that drive and realised that you had wasted the entire trip bitching about what sort of car you were driving.

Do you really want to end like that?

The term “real women *something whatever*” is complete and utter tripe, and I am publicly denouncing any of you who use it. Curvy women, denounced. Fit women, denounced. And if anyone ever claims that “real women eat whatever they want until they get doughy in their thirties and try to cover it up with high-waisted pants” I will denounce them too. Not because it’s nonsensical, or because we should all love our bodies; because it’s inherently nasty and indicative of spite in your own nature.

To “real women”, both the concept and those claiming to be one:

The Mayan Apocalypse

It has been just over a week since the passing by of December 21, 2012, and the whole world well and truly knows that they have survived the Mayan Apocalypse. And they’re not happy about it; just ask humanity’s latest spokesman.

Ok, so we didn’t all perish in a ball of fiery fire with added flames, or turn inside out as our poles suddenly shifted, and I’ve yet to see any zombies… I personally would consider these all to be good things, and now that I’ve had a week to ponder it, I’ve come up with a few reasons why I think that this particular Apocalypse, whilst not particularly successful, was still a little bit cool.

THE BREAKDOWN

Firstly, this is by no means the only Apocalypse that we have lived through. I think that it is definitely, however, the most popular. From memory, aside from Nostradamus, every other prophecy of mass destruction that I have heard has come from some obscure religious group with good Google luck who managed to get their word out to a decent amount of people. Getting the goss on the latest religious Apocalypse requires an internet connection, a curious mind, and a whole lot of spare time. The Mayan Apocalypse, however, was everywhere, whether you liked it or not. And I think that a big part of the appeal of this particular Apocalypse is that it wasn’t based on strict religious doctrine. You didn’t have to believe in any associated religious teachings to believe that maybe these guys quite simply knew their shit, and that maybe it could quite simply all end. As far as Apocalypses go, it was pretty universal and user-friendly.

Another factor that I think had an effect on the Mayan Apocalypse’s popularity was its delivery. Most prophecies rely upon a little-known reading of an obscure version of something that hardly anyone believes in anymore anyway, but the Mayans, they didn’t mess around – they just stopped the fucking clock. They pulled the “blank future gag” on the whole damn world (a technique that I recently saw in a charming old flick called Night of the Demon). You know how it goes, the protagonist is told that he will die on a certain day and then finds that the pages after said day in their diary/calendar/schedule are missing/blank. It’s simple, requires no explanation or justification, and has just enough “what if?” to make you wonder… what if?

So the Mayan Apocalypse was a little bit easier to swallow than the other ones, it didn’t rely upon calculations and doctrine and obscure faith, and it had just enough hype and mystique to grab people’s attention. But yet another aspect of it was that it had two levels of potentiality. Level one – the sky falls down, and we’re under it. But on a slightly less FARK level – the sky might open up. This other rumour had it that the planetary alignment at the specified time was going to open up human consciousness and let it expand. I don’t know about you, but I found it a little comforting to know that I could be curious about what could possibly happen without having to commit myself to the idea that we were all going to die, scared, and begging for our mothers.

THE EVENT

I approached the night of the Mayan Apocalypse with a disproportionate mixture of cynicism, curiosity, and hope (for the good stuff, not the bad). At approximately 10:10pm (AEDST) I stepped outside of the bar that I was in to have a cigarette and some me-time. My phone is chronically set to the wrong time, plus, I’d forgotten what the exact time for the Apocalypse was anyway, but at some stage between my saying to the security guard “so do you realise the world is meant to end right now?” and going back inside one step closer to cancer, the moment came. Was it going to come to me as thought? I opened my mind to hear it – I heard Marvin Gaye singing Let’s Get It On from inside the bar. Was there something for me to see? I looked, really looked, around me – and caught two middle-aged men in striped shirts looking at my butt. I wracked my brain for some evidence of heightened consciousness, but the only thought that came to me (aside from “not dead! YAY!”) was “if the world had ended while I was HERE, I would have been pissed off”. Following my enlightened decision to leave that shit-hole and head to an even shittier-hole, a stranger returned my friend’s wallet that she’d left behind (which I refuse to attribute to an expansion of human consciousness, as it implies that we would have been better off burning), and I ended the night by sobbing into a stolen schooner glass – this is a quarterly occurrence for me, and cannot be blamed on any alignment of planets.

THE CONSENSUS

I am now going to rate the Mayan Apocalypse using three scores: Overall Apocalyptic Theory, Earth-Destructedness, and Heightened Consciousness.

OVERALL APOCALYPTIC THEORY

As stated above, I kind of dug it. It was simple, engaging, and not nearly as demanding as “Kool-Aid now, ask questions later”. I’m giving it 6/10.

EARTH-DESTRUCTEDNESS

The fact is that the world did not end. Whether or not this turns out to be a good thing is for future generations to discuss, not I – personally I’m quite happy to be alive, unhindered by zombies, and without having to play the “race must continue” game with anyone even vaguely resembling Jeff Goldblum or John Cusack. But on a scale of 1 to 10, in this category, it has to be given a zero. Yes, I know that zero is not on the scale. Shut up.

HEIGHTENED CONSCIOUSNESS

OK, so we haven’t suddenly figured out how to end war and famine and Gangnam Style. A simple look around is evidence against the advanced consciousness that one would expect from an apocalyptic planetary alignment. But a look around is also evidence that maybe all that is needed to heighten human consciousness, even by a little, is to force people to actually think for once. This, thing, idea, non-event, whatever, it made me think; “Is my life going to change? Is this going to inspire me to change my life? What kind of idiot am I if it’s going to take the end of the fucking world to inspire me to make changes in my life?” And so if it made me think, it’s possible that it made a few other people think too. I’m giving this 3/10.

And so the Mayan Apocalypse has a total score of 9/30. At this point, I am going to deduct one mark, because of this. 8/30 = 26.6%

2.7/10

In hindsight, maybe it wasn’t actually as good as I’d thought.

reviewthisblog

I used to write stuff. Exactly what it is that I wrote, I couldn’t say, because it was basically anything and everything that popped into my head. Regardless, it provided me with great pleasure, and a select few with varying levels of amusement – until one day, tertiary education and the dreaded “9-5 job” stepped in and drained my brain of all its useless ramblings.

Now that the university studies have been completed (for now, anyway) I am hoping that I will regain my ability to make vaguely entertaining words. Rather than simply Dear Diary my way along, I am going to review stuff. I think it fitting that my first entry be a review of this blog.

First, a definition (courtesy of thefreedictionary.com):

re·view 

1. To look over, study, or examine again.

2. To consider retrospectively; look back on.

3. To examine with an eye to criticism or correction: reviewed the research findings.

4. To write or give a critical report on (a new work or performance, for example).

 

During the course of my inane ramblings I am going to be looking at my life and the stuff in it, both in real time and retrospectively. I am going to examine it, praise it, criticise it, and no doubt give my genius opinion on the way that things ought to be. Be it social events, music, literature, the sandwich I ate for lunch, or the state of the world today – I am going to examine shit, and then tell you what I think.

Fascinating stuff, no?

In light of my intentions, and their relevance to and compatibility with the above definition, I’m going to go ahead and give this blog a 10/10.

Let’s do this…

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