Saturday, 16 May 2015

DOMINANT OR SUBMISSIVE?

 
I'd like to introduce you to the pending new addition to my family.  Meet Bindy, a beautiful but nervous, 8-month-old Cairn terrier who was found in a drain two months ago, discarded and abandoned by her previous owners.  Unloved.  Unwanted.
 
The animal society described her as needing a quiet, loving home, with plenty of TLC and patience, with a tendency to urinate if frightened, but stressed this would pass once she learnt to trust and feel safe again. 
 
My heart melted.  I made the call.  Floors can be washed if she pees. And Bindy arrives Sunday afternoon to join what I hope will be her forever home, and one which I will endeavour to make as happy, peaceful and loving as I possibly can. She also has a tendency to steal anything that she finds lying about, to take to her bed.  The fosterer told me, as we spoke, that Bindy had just passed her by with a teaspoon.  What a great incentive to up my housekeeping skills.
 
You see, my other dog is a submissive.  She is stunningly beautiful with a heart of gold, but quite pathetic when we walk the fields daily and she encounters any other dog.  She belly-crawls as soon as she sees them, rolls over onto her back, legs a-kimbo, and offers herself up as sacrifice.  Thankfully, I have a swift boot to guard her in the event of a pending attack, and a firm voice to pull her out of that mind-set, lest she be eaten in one gulp.  So in choosing a mate for her, I knew I could not go for a very dominant dog, because Keela would simply blend herself into obscurity.  This I cannot allow, as Keela's home is her haven and I will not have her frightened in her place of safety.  Hence Bindy's description seems like the right kind of dog for her - two submissives.
 
But of course this has got me thinking.  Why IS it that I have ended up with, or chosen, two dogs who have submissive natures?  My last dog who passed away a year ago was the same.  Good, kind, obedient, and no trouble at all.  Is it that I have a need to control?  Have I, without realising it, exploited dominant traits by choosing submissive dogs?  And if so, where did this need come from?
 
Are we hard-wired to become the people we are by the experiences we have known?  Of course.  It's what I've been banging on about all this time.  So I referred back to my trusty books of knowledge to uncover the symptoms of a submissive person, and why they feel the need to kowtow to a Dominant. Or vice versa, why do Dominants feel the need to dominate? 
 
Dominance is often driven by fear of being vulnerable, excluded, or rejected.  So in order to counter-act that, you try to control your environment so that you are not threatened by others.  Dominants hold their heads up high.  They will sit on the higher of two chairs offered.  They will expand their arms and claim their space, warning off any would-be challengers.  By doing so, they are giving off an energy that says do not mess with me, I'll take you down.  Once they have made their mark, and feel secure in their environment, they can then relax enough to be quite sociable and gracious.  But put them in the presence of another dominant personality?  They will falter.  Challenge them at your peril. They will display mistrust and suspicion, often slating others in a vain attempt to regain authority.  So the Dominant needs to rule every aspect of his environment, laying down the law, and lording it over others to puff himself up with a self-fulfilled importance.  Dominants are often bullies by nature.  They have to destroy you, be it verbally or emotionally, in order to feel superior. 
 
Submissives, on the other hand, have little or no personality or sense of Self once they subject themselves to long-term contact with a Dominant.  The Dominant saps them of any self-value. They require direction, orders, and need to be told what they can and cannot do.  Their sense of worth has been eroded over time by the Dominant who has, by all accounts, taken ownership of them.  They are told what to wear, how to behave, and are quickly reprimanded by silence or disapproval if they dare, on occasion, voice their own opinions which do not agree with the Dominant.  They will be shot down, and silenced.  Punishment will be swift, and the submissive quickly learns that avoidance of the Dominant's reprisals is important for a quiet life.  There is a pecking order, and the Dominant will not tolerate defiance.  It is your duty to obey the Dominant.  Be warned.  God better have a seat ready for the Dominant, and it had better be right next to Him. 
 
In the animal kingdom, this is blatantly apparent.  Take Keela, my dog, for example.  She tries to make herself as small as possible when encountering fellow-members of her species.  She cowers down, rolls over, exposing her neck to show compliance.  In human form, the submissive would often sit in a hunched position, perhaps wrapping their arms around themselves, keeping their heads down, making little eye contact with the Dominant for fear of it being seen as a challenge.  Keela does not do submissive with humans.  She does submissive with her own kind.  As do we.
 
So back to my question - have I inadvertently chosen submissive dogs over the years because I have a need to control?  If so, have I felt out of control in other areas of my life that I now need to do this? I wouldn't like to think that of myself, but it's possible.  And if I have, what am I afraid of?  I'm not a bossy person.  I'm laid back, easy-going, but I have a ferocious ability to roar and flare up if I feel an underdog is being abused.  Underdog, or underhuman. 
 
It galls me to see another life form being intimidated, bullied, or harassed.  I am the defender of the defenceless.  I am Superwoman to the weak.  I am healer of the mentally lost.  But put me in a room full of women preening and competing and bitching?  I become a submissive, and I choose not to stick around too long.  My confidence wanes in the light of dominant personalities.  Strange, isn't it, really?  Or have I just been wired up wrong?
 
I have used my superpowers to rescue Bindy.  I have swooped in and saved her, and committed to making her life better.  Better than what?  The one she had?  Or the one I had?  It's an interesting question, and one I am kind of answering even as I write.
 
By pure deduction, can we stretch this a little further and ask ourselves, do we choose our partners in real life based on experiences of our past?  They say we seek out partners that reflect our parents, that which we know, that which we experienced.  My father is a Dominant, no doubt in my mind at all.  I hated it, I hate it, and I will always hate it.  Never allowed a voice, never having respect as an individual.  Being made to feel inferior, and without true value. And my ex-husband?  He was a submissive.  A follower. A good man, but pliable.  Safe. I chose him without thought, there were no calculations made when we hooked up.  But at a subconscious level, I must have made the analysis, seen that he was the polar opposite of my father, and as my father and I don't see eye-to-eye, decided that my choice was the right one for me.  Safe. 
 
I have not yet met a dominant man here.  In my own opinion, they don't exist.  Every man I have met, socially, professionally, and romantically, have been too submissive for me.  Too soft.  But I wonder now, with this revelation, whether or not at a subconscious level, I dismiss dominant men from the outset, based on my past? 
 
Perhaps the theorists are correct:  I am searching for a masculine man like my father, but with respect and one who is prepared to submit his heart.  And yet all I have come up with are submissives, period.  I had one friend who was Dominant, but he lost my friendship eventually because he had no respect.  It was his way or the highway.  I chose the highway.
 
Universe, if you're listening tonight - I am changing my order.  I want a dominant and strong manly man who has respect, and the ability to give great love.  There you go.  I'm waiting at the check-out for you.
 
So, Bindy, my little black angel, you are joining a psychologically challenging household, but I can promise you this - you may steal my spoons, you may pee on my floor - I have the mop at the ready. And you may be as gentle and nervous as you like.  You won't be reprimanded for that, because I have great compassion, and great love, waiting for you. 
 
We may, however, have to do something about your name...  :-)

Friday, 8 May 2015

MIRROR, MIRROR, ON THE WALL.....


I have a new friend;  she's called Nettie, short for Netflix.  And Nettie shows me amazing things and keeps me out of mischief for hours on end.

My last couch-induced coma was called Orphan Black, an amazing series about Clones... well-worth a watch, and kudos to the actress that took the various characters on board - she did a sterling job.  And whilst I was still wondering what it must be like to have identical people to you out there, living different lives with different people, an alter-ego if you will.... along came the next series.

Once Upon A Time.  Wow.  I am fascinated by and in awe of the writers of this show - they took, in summary, old fairy tales such as Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, the list goes on... and spins a modern-day tale with red herrings, hooks, twists and turns so psychologically clever, I bow in defeat.  A story of two worlds, of how those same characters would fare in our own world today, without magic (at first), and how the personality traits transverse the portals between our many worlds, or our many facets. 

And, but of course, it got me thinking about what titles I would put on people that have crossed my life;  which characters they would take in that other world, how their behaviour mirrors some of these people the Brothers Grimm, so long, long ago, devised.  And perhaps the Brothers Grimm need to be added to our list of wise men, for they certainly knew far more about the human psyche than even they first realised. 

I like writing;  it releases a lot of stuff I don't want to carry around.  But I don't have a very vivid imagination, therefore I am better at analytical writing than fictional.  I can't visualise a character, or a magical forest, or fairies or elves.  I can't see it.  I'm too logical.  Even when I wrote a fictional novel, it was based on a couple I had known.... their character traits, their quirks.  I'm afraid my imagination is very much black and white, devoid of the colourful dyes required to bring it to life and make it three-dimensional.  I'm too bland to create something new;  but I can take something someone else has created, and admire the beauty and skill of it.  How they spin a tale of gold from straw. 

So now, back to the characters of Brothers Grimm.  Whilst I have met a lot of them, I have not had a physical relationship with all of them - that would make me a slut, and terribly tired.  I am neither.  But I have come into contact with them.  And so have you, if you take enough time to stop and think.

Take Pinocchio - we've all met him, haven't we?  The liar?  The one who can't help but spin himself into a web so intricate, that even he can't remember where the thread started.  Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.  You know the one - his nose grows.  Or perhaps nose is a euphemism for penis.  Perhaps he is the adulterer, the one who deceives his wife, his family, and thinks he is beyond reproach.  (I've just heard an incredibly stupid Pinocchio on the Niall Boylan radio show, he came on air to admit how many affairs he's had over the years of his marriage - and someone recognised his voice, and ultimately played the podcast to his wife.  This Pinocchio's growing nose has got him into an awful lot of bother).

I know of another Pinocchio who is having an affair with Snow White who has, perhaps, in the interim become Black Ice.  And we all know how dangerous it is to drive on roads with this.... you can't see it coming.  Before you know it, you're mangled on the barriers, leaving detritus and debris behind you in your wake.

I've met Prince Charming - but his alter-ego in this world left him wanting.  He was dapper, and kind, and handsome, but he was weak and unable to slay his earthly dragons.  He was no warrior, had no drive in him to fight,, choosing instead to become Little Boy Blue who now has to blow his own horn amongst the sheep where he now lives.  He lost something in chancing a journey through the portal to this world - he lost himself because he gave up. 

I loved the Huntsman once, for seven years - my first love.  Strong, masculine, nature's boy.  A real man. He is still the Huntsman, just old and weathered and jaded now, with less reason to hunt; his strength sapped since he cut his hair.  Now he is merely an ageing man with no family, living in a workshop with no trees or forests surrounding him.  What magical powers he once held over me;  that love I will never forget, it is my benchmark in this world.

I've met Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, Dopey, and Stealthy.  No diamonds were found amongst their rubble, and they were forever cast into the abyss.

How about Rumpelstiltskin with his ego of gold, and where any favour bestowed by him comes at a price too high to pay?  The one who always has an agenda with his name clearly printed at the top?  The one who is always wheeling and dealing, trying to pull a fast one, thinking himself so clever?  And who, at the end of the day, will end up alone and peeing into his slippers.

Red, as in Riding Hood?  She turned out to be the wolf.  Her cloak kept her from turning, but there were times she chose to leave her cloak behind, and wreak havoc and destruction with absolutely no conscience or memory of doing so.  Her grandmother knew this, and tried to protect her from herself by giving her an enchanted red cloak, but evil, like water, has a way of finding another way out.

Sleeping Beauty was a lazy wench, feigning sleep to avoid pulling her weight, expecting everyone around her to sort her life out.  She currently has a mattress attached to her back as the world outside passes her by.

Cinderella?  In our world, she'd probably be a single mother bemoaning her lot in life, having wanted it to be oh-so-different and now despondent and depressed as she works in a laundry;  what a wicked world this is, for not providing her with the life she felt she was entitled to.  Get a job, you layabout.

Hansel and Gretel?  The children no-one wanted;  the wicked step-mother who used her wiles to persuade the father to lose them in the woods....  These are our adopted children who are forever condemned to a life of feeling unloved, left wondering what they had done wrong.  These are our restless and empty souls who never find the peace which they seek.

The Frog Prince - well, we've all kissed a few frogs in our time, and none of them turned out to be Princes.  They are still out there, spreading warts and all sorts amongst unsuspecting women.

Tom Thumb - the wannabe-boy who was too insignificant and small to make any kind of impact on the world.  The one who tries to convince himself that he is equal to his peers (which he is), but who can never quite accept that it's true, and so condemns himself to a life of feeling inadequate, not strong enough, big enough, worthy enough.  Condemned therefore to a life of searching for that one elusive element he thinks will make his life complete.  He is the "if only" man.  The problem with "if only", is that he never recognises when he finally gets there.  How can he?  He keeps moving the goalposts.

And of course, how can I forget : The Wicked Witch.  We have ALL met one of these, be it someone you work with, someone you live near, or someone - even - that you may be related to.  The one who is jealous of everyone, who claps her hands in glee when something bad befalls you, who relishes in your downfall, whilst smiling sweetly all the time.  Check her handbag.  You'll probably find a large mirror inside.  And she probably owns an orchard.

Enough examples given.  But it does give us pause for thought, doesn't it?  For those that believe in reincarnation, could it be that we were once a stronger, nicer, more successful version of ourselves in another world?  Are our disabilities and impediments in this world a penance for our actions in a world we no longer remember?  Just because we don't remember, doesn't mean it isn't there. 

Which brings me nicely to closing up with the philosophies of Buddhism - that we are filtered over and over again, paying penance and debts incurred in our previous lives, until such time as we have become the best version of ourselves that we can be.  An accumulation of talents, skills, kindness, honesty and love.  You've met those, too, haven't you?  Those wise old souls that you wish you could be more like.  Those people who seem to have knowledge beyond our realm, a depth and a soul so old you can almost touch it. Almost. 

Yes, I've met a lot of different souls along my journey.  Their bodies are only the shells in which they travel, and given time, they reveal themselves for who they really are.  If they show you who they are, believe them.  The Good, the Bad, and the very, very Ugly. 

I think the strongest character of all, is Pinocchio.  People are liars.  They deceive.  They promise things they do not mean, or have any intention of following up on.  They disguise themselves in any one of the above cloaks, never being true to who they actually are.  Or perhaps they are being true - perhaps they are the scurge, the ogres, the pong of our society.  I meet Pinocchios all the time. 

But every now and again, you find a diamond.

I think I shall remain Queen of Hearts, collecting them as I go, and losing them in the maze when they turn out to be duds.

Off with their heads.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

SAFE SEX...


For the most part, schools are becoming more pro-active in teaching our kids about the art of safe sex in the hope that it will prevent any unwanted pregnancies whilst they are fooling about under bridges...  it's a frightening thought, how young our kids are when they start giving themselves to random people.  If your daughter (or son) has taken to wearing a lot of scarves, take a closer look. The territorial marking amongst youngsters, I'm afraid, remains at the ol' lovebite stage.  Amongst their peers, it seems to be a badge of honour.  Look - I got laid.  Or at least groped.

A lot of the time, it's in the hope that said boy will make said girl their "girlfriend", and they will then be able to belong to somone who will hopefully send them a Valentine's card, or buy them jewellery from Penney's.  It's the same old same old - we are all looking to belong, and to be wanted.

However, this post is about safe sex in another context.  How much do you really know about the person you are seeing?  Ok, if you're in your teens and hanging out around your local town, and know all the local boys, chances are you'll know which ones to avoid and which ones to take a chance on. Sadly, girls tend to go after the bad boys, and they, more often than not, can land you in an awful lot of bother.  Bad boys are notoriously seeking attention, defy authority, and try and be as rebellious as possible - look closer at their home life, and you might find out why.  Regardless, "edgy" boys have a kind of magnetism about them - the female inevitably wants to be the one that tames him.  And that will never happen, girls, move on. Fast.

That studious boy who plays sport after school, and helps his father out in the garden?  He's a good start.  The one who doesn't smoke, or get plastered as a form of entertainment, and who has manners? He's another good option.  Most girls don't look far enough ahead into their futures when picking a partner.  They are very much in the here-and-now, and as such, wonder why, as they sit alone at home a few years later with a couple of kids, no money, and a wandering philanderer missing in action, how they got there.

How? You chose him.  Never forget, you can unchoose him, too. 

But let's take this one step further.  What if said girl is older? Wiser?  Well-travelled?  Knows how the world works?  Well, they have to be even more vigilant, because the bad boys have grown up into bad men, and they've become sneakier, and better at duping you.  Ah, if it's only your heart he will break, you'll get over him in time;  hopefully put it down to experience and learn from it. However, what if it's more sinister?  More dangerous?  How do you ever really know the person without the passage of time?  Truth is, you don't.  So you trust, and take a chance, sometimes at the cost of your life.

I will not mention the girl's name here, but one such tragic instance has befallen our small community, too terrible and shocking and horrific to contemplate for one of our own.  She was out with her friends in a nightclub.  You've done that, right?  She was having a few drinks, letting her hair down.  You've done that, too, right? Let's paint a scenario now that we don't have the full facts for. 

Let's say it's you.

You meet a fella inside.  Perhaps you dance, he buys you a drink. He's flirting with you, making you feel good, desirable, pretty.  You flirt back.  You've been there, too, haven't you?  Perhaps you've seen him in the club a few times...  he seems to know some people, has become familiar somehow.  Perhaps he has been grooming you. I don't know. Perhaps it's your first meeting.  We've all been there at some stage in our lives....

Things are heating up, and you leave said club with him.  A complete stranger, really.  And your young, hopeful, bright future is snuffed out with that one snap decision.  He is charming; of course he is.  That's his tack. Look a little closer.  Use your common sense, in the name of all that is good.  But common sense is tempered now with that last tequila shot;  you feel happy.  So you ignore your survival instincts and turn up the volume on your primal ones.  You've condoms in your purse - check.  Your lippy is back on - check.  And you've your phone with you just in case - check. Someone's sure going to score tonight - the only thing is, it won't be you.

He has a nice car, you chat, the music is turned up, he suggests going somewhere quieter to talk - and you know full well he wants to make out.  I mean, what could happen, right?  You have your phone...

The newspaper said she'd been viciously hit over the head with a spanner, before being strangled. Her body parts - yes, parts - were found quite a few miles away, where he'd tried to dispose of her body in chemicals, probably after the likes of watching CSI or such on telly.  If he had not chosen that night to do it, she could well have told her friends she'd met a really nice man.

With the online dating world becoming the norm, how well do we really know the men, or women, we choose to meet after just a couple of emails?  I don't meet them, simple as.  I am wise enough to know that nothing is as it seems, and it will take a lot of digging to come up with that diamond. That's ok - I'm in no hurry, and I want the best, so I can wait.  And watch very carefully.  Because eventually the signs will out.  It might be a word here, or a gesture there, but something will start to feel wrong, and it's at this point that you listen very carefully to your guardian angel, and step the hell away.

Not everyone has that level of common sense, though.  It's human nature to want to love, be loved, and belong.  That's the commonality amongst us all.  But at what cost?  I remember nights of sweating whilst my beautiful daughter was out on the town.  She dated young, and "went steady" young, too - much to the disdain of her father.  But I took a different tack.  I'd rather her be with one person that I knew, and knew the family, than have her out single and short-skirted and drinking...  at least she was being taken care of.  Did it mean nothing bad would happen to her?  Of course not, the risks were still there - but the odds were in her favour that it wouldn't.

And I'm not condoning staying single, either.  I'm just saying, be very careful.  Predators hunt their prey for a long time before attacking.  They watch your movements;  they gauge your body language, your signals.  They sweet-talk you.  Flatter you.  They might even spike your drink.  Yes, it happens. It's happening right this instant somewhere in the world.  And if you're giving them the come hither, it's as good as a green light for action.

So how do you protect yourself?  How do you "check them out" before learning that your trust is correctly placed?  First of all, take your time.  Take as long as you want.  If he's worth the wait, he won't be going anywhere.  If he heads off, let him go.  There's a saying that I love - if you love someone, set them free.  If they come back, no one else wanted them.  Set them free again.  :-)

I don't believe in one perfect match for a person's lifetime.  I believe there are many permutations of that philosophy, and I believe you can meet many people in your lifetime that you can love.  I do believe in soulmates, and again, there can be a few of them.  This is a connection at a deeper level : mentally, physically, and emotionally - and they do exist.   And you'll know for sure when you find one, because it simply just fits and makes a whole lot of sense.

I always told my daughter that looking for a mate is almost like applying for a job.  Yes, the "employer" has to want you, but you have to want them, too - it's a two-way partnership.  Will they provide you with longevity, with security, with safety?  Will they be understanding, and supportive, and encouraging?  Are they kind?  Will they make a good father?  Will they be faithful?  There are many things to consider when choosing the right mate for yourself - it's not all about stars and banners, although that is probably pretty important, too.  But first and foremost, do you like them as human beings, because you're choosing to spend an awful lot of your time with them if you don't.

That girl?  She won't have another chance to choose differently. Her family are forever broken, destroyed with mental images they will never erase from their minds.  Their hearts weep but will never find peace.  For those that believe our lives are fated, and laid out from the day we are born, I have but one word to say to you : really?

Our life is, as always, about the choices we make.

Choose wisely, people.  And practice safe sex.  And that starts a long time before you get to the bedroom.

RIP KB

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

THE MOST STUPID QUESTIONS ASKED ABOUT SOUTH AFRICA....



I lived in this stunningly beautiful and diverse country for 27 years of my life, most of them my formative years.  I completed a high level of education there, enjoyed sunshine, and a lifestyle that only a few can dream of - not one of wealth, not in the financial sense, anyway - but one in abundance of great days spent playing frisbee on the beaches with friends, going for sundowners with friends, braais (bbqs) with friends, heading out for a meal at one of the thousands of restaurants with friends, riding off-road motorcycles, fishing in crystal clear rivers, camping in some of the most remote and beautiful parts of the country.... the list goes on.  Did I mention it was with friends?  Oh yeah, that's because we are very social and like nothing better than gathering ourselves around a fire.

Was it dangerous?  Well, yes, it is pretty high in crime, but nothing ever happened to me. Why? Because I have something called Common Sense, and when I use it, I generally find that I remain quite safe.  It's a very handy commodity to own, and I keep mine close at hand.  Going alone into a township in the middle of the night does not belong in my Common Sense box.  But that's another blog...

However, I am gobsmacked at some of the ludicrous questions that I am often asked about South Africa, so I have decided to blog about it and to clarify - once and for all - for those that are interested in learning.  



WHERE IS SOUTH AFRICA?
Do you know where America is?  New York in particular?  
It's nowhere near there.

ARE THERE WILD ANIMALS ROAMING THE STREETS?
Yes.  We have elephant, lion and springbok - sometimes it can cause quite a traffic jam, those elephants are notoriously slow at zebra crossings.  But if you keep your wits about you, you may be lucky to flag down a cheetah or two, which could speed up the journey to your destination.

DO YOU KNOW JOHN FROM DURBAN?
Yes, of course I know John!  Wow, what a small world it is.  Is he the one that lives in the third hut from the sun?  I'll send him a smoke signal. 

HAVE YOU GOT DOGS IN SOUTH AFRICA?
No.  We ate them all.

WHAT IS DRIED MEAT? (biltong)
In Voortrekker days, when journeys were long and arduous, it was important to keep protein as long as possible.  The Voortrekkers discovered that you could preserve meat by coating it in a mix of salt and spices, and hanging it out to air-dry for a few days.  It is now a delicacy and common fare to all South Africans.

DOES BILTONG TASTE NICE?
No.  It's as awful as smoked salmon.  We spend a lot of time preparing it and consuming it - we eat it as a penance for our sins.  We also export it all over the world in an attempt at World Domination.

IS THE CRIME RATE HIGH IN SOUTH AFRICA?
Yes - the animals are getting quite out of control.  Baboons and monkeys in particular are nimble-fingered deviants of the highest order.  We shall have to shoot them all.

IF YOU'RE FROM AFRICA, WHY ARE YOU WHITE?
Um.  Because my parents are? 

DO YOU TAN?
No.  We just self-combust in intense heat, hence why there are less Whites than Blacks in South Africa.  

DO YOU RIDE ANIMALS FOR TRANSPORT?
Yes.  We really do find it's easier than cars, and much cheaper.  We have very good motorways, three laned, which is quite suitable for elephants.  

DO YOU HAVE ELECTRICITY?
We used to.  Now, due to load-shedding, I'm afraid we don't.  Candle sales are on the rise, and we are currently recruiting for wick manufacturers.

Our Minister told us he had good news and bad news about the economy.  

"The bad news is, the shit is going to hit the fan.  
The good news is, the fan will be off due to load-shedding, from 8am to 6pm."

DO YOU ALL STAY IN HUTS?
No, no, not at all.  Some prefer caves.  Others still prefer tin shanties.  Some even have brick houses, although this sighting is rare.

DO YOU HAVE RUNNING WATER?
No, we use buckets to catch the rainwater, which we then boil on an open fire.  
Most South Africans are immune to Eboli.

DO YOU HAVE ATMS?
A few. 

DO YOU ACCEPT VISA?
No.  We prefer to complicate matters by carrying around all the cash we own.  
It encourages others to rob you. 

IS CRIME RIFE IN SOUTH AFRICA?
No.  The barbed-wire, electrified fencing around most houses is purely decorative.  


DO YOU CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS?
Yes.  But by New Year all our Christmas presents are stolen.

DOES EVERYONE HAVE AIDS?
It all depends on the severity of the disability.  Some have hearing aids, others walking aids.

ARE YOUR POLICEMEN GOOD?
No.  They sleep a lot.

WILL I GET CAR-JACKED IF I DRIVE?
Only if you get a puncture.  Failing this, there is no reason to jack your car up. 



I do hope I have answered some of your pressing questions above.  Rest assured, your trip to South Africa will be nothing short of memorable, and a great way to lose weight, especially if you go diving with White Sharks.  

You will never forget your adventure to the Rainbow Nation, just don't expect any pot of gold at the end of it.  Jacob Zuma has already confiscated it....

FOOD FOR THOUGHT....

Some interesting points by Eckhart Tolle that I am reposting for everyone.....  some people get their heads right at a young age.  For the rest, it's a matter of learning from our wiser counterparts.

Enjoy.


Here are 10 valuable and powerful insights taken from his teachings:
1.) Happiness: Seeking happiness is futile. If you seek happiness you will never find it. Happiness is created in the present moment by finding the joy in everything you do.
2.) Unhappiness: Situations don’t bring unhappiness, your thoughts about the situation do. Be aware of your thinking and aim to bring facts so situations rather than emotional “stories”. One example Tolle gives is this- “I am ruined”- this is an emotional story whereas, “I have 50 cents left in my bank account” is fact. Sticking to the facts will help bring you clarity to move forward.
3.) The Ego: The main voice in our head is the voice of the ego. You are not this voice, you are simply observing what this voice says. By observing this voice, instead of reacting with it, you create awareness and through this awareness you can free yourself from the limiting talk of the ego.
4.) Present: The present moment is the only moment that is real. The past is already gone and the future is not yet here, so the only way you can live with truth is to live in the present. Living in the present moment and focusing your attention to the here and the now is the first step to achieving higher consciousness.
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.”
5.) I Am: Who are you? You are not your physical body but rather you are the essence that runs through it. While your body is your temple, identifying yourself with the physical can lead to suffering. Appreciate your body, but understand that you are so much more than it.
6.) Doing Good: Being a good person has nothing to do with “trying” to be good, being a good person starts with finding the goodness that is already present inside of you and then allowing it to emerge.
7.) Peace: If peace is what you really want, then you will always choose peace. If you would rather sit and suffer in the validation of the ego, you will go after the drama. Instead of trying to change your life in order to achieve peace, consider realizing instead who you are on the deepest level.
8.) Stress: The main cause of stress and anxiety is wanting things to be different than they currently are. When you bring acceptance to all situations, despite your expectations, you instantly remove the need for stress and worry.
“Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there.’
9.) Love: Looking outside yourself for fulfilment is the work of the ego. Instead, bring your awareness to the treasures that you have within and know that to love another, is to recognize yourself in the other.

10.) Life: Whatever events life brings, know that they are here with the ultimate purpose of helping you to raise and expand your consciousness.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

STUPIDIPITY...




stupidity
noun
  1. behaviour that shows a lack of good sense or judgement.
    • the quality of being stupid or unintelligent.


"Serendipity is the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way."

Stupidipity is the complete opposite.  John Cleese sums up the definition of stupidity in a way that even stupid people may have a chance at comprehending it:

"The problem with stupid people is that they are so stupid, that they have no idea how stupid they are. You see, if you're very, very stupid, how can you possibly realise that you're very, very stupid? Surely you have to be relatively intelligent to realise how stupid you are?  

There's a wonderful bit of research conducted by a guy called David Dunning, who has pointed out that in order to know how good you are at something, requires exactly the same level of skills as it does to know that you are good at that thing, in the first place.

Which means that if you're absolutely no good at something whatsoever, then you lack exactly the skills you need to know that you are absolutely no good at it."


Now we have all come across this in some shape or form in this modern society in which we live.  Take X-Factor, for example.  Some participants absolutely, categorically, and beyond dispute, cannot sing a note.  Yet they are so stupid that they do not know this, and are convinced beyond reasonable doubt, that they could be, and in some cases, would be the next X-Factor superstar.  How can someone be that stupid? How can you not know you are not good at something?  

Does this depend on your intelligence levels?  Of course.  Because if you had any intelligence at all, even just a modicum of it, then you would know that you are no good at whatever it is you're trying to do!  However, it does of course make brilliant television viewing, and offers the rest of the world - with a modicum of intelligence - a benchmark against which to measure their own intelligence.  

Result?  Stupid people have a place in this world, after all.  

They serve to make us feel better about ourselves.  They help us feel intelligent, superior, and more successful.  Imagine a world where there were no stupid people whatsoever.  We'd be under fierce pressure to up our own games to keep up with the Joneses.  So, inverto, stupid people allow us to take days off, to relax, to take time out, because we know we are not stupid, so therefore we can afford to relax without fear of the lesser beings catching us up anytime soon, and we safely maintain ourselves on the upper rungs of evolution.  They are our benchmark for our own roles within society.

Now I am not sure if pure, undiluted stupidity in its finest form is a result simply of genetics, or a lack of education, or perhaps simply the inability to engage the ol' grey matter into some semblance of progress.  Perhaps some brains are just not ever ignited, or fuelled up.  Could this have to do with our food intake?  DNA?  Too much in-breeding?  I don't have the answers.  But boy, have I met some stupid people in my life.  Or rather, people who have made very stupid mistakes.  Or choices.

Language, and use of it, is a sure sign of someone's intelligence.  I can forgive basic spelling mistakes, I do them myself.  Even grammar mistakes.  But when someone fails to have a grasp of the basics, I shake my head in amazement that they have survived thus far.  Here are some errors taken from real CV's received by prospective employers:


  1. While working in this role, I had intercourse with a variety of people
  2. Hobbies enjoy cooking Chinese and Italians
  3. Career break in 1999 to renovate my horse
  4. I am great at pubic speaking.
  5. My interests include cooking dogs and interesting people
  6. I am a rabid typist

The next level of stupidity, after language, is behaviour.  I don't discriminate against anyone.  I take everyone at face value, until such time as they reveal themselves to be assholes.  And I am continuously fascinated at how people's minds work;  how they treat other people, how they feel they can pull the wool over someone's eyes. Now, granted, there are some very intelligent conmen in the world, who have simply chosen to use their intelligence for the betterment of themselves at the cost to others.  Those are automatically cast into the asshole pile, and forgotten about.

However, take Jackass, for example.  Why?  What would make someone sit at home and think up the most dangerous, ludicrous, and self-harming activities known to man?  What is wrong with them?  Is it Stupidity at full-throttle?  Or are they so in need of attention that they allow themselves to be egged on by fellow-stupiditers? Where are the boundaries?  The logic?  More importantly, what are the rewards?  In short, there aren't any. Other than watching in glee as their Youtube hit counters rise daily.  "Hey, man, one million dudes have watched me set myself alight!".  Alrighty, then. You little human fireball, you.

I think they are striving towards a Darwin Award, where some must behave, and ultimately die, by stupid behaviour in order that one less idiot survives, thus ensuring the long-term survival of the species. 

Some people should just have "Insert Foot Here" tattooed above their lips.  You know the ones.  No matter how hard they try, they just don't manage to learn any common sense.  

Take fat people who just can't understand why they are fat.  Here's the revelation you've been waiting for:  You Eat Too Much.  It's not rocket science.  No diet, or fad, or quickfix is going to make you lose weight.  Movement is.  Or less food.  Get up.  Get out.  Walk.  Eat well.  If it's really what you want, of course....  you can also just stay exactly where you are, and have another packet of crisps.  And if you're happy eating your crisps and staying just as you are, then what's the problem?

And of course, lest we forget, the Bible Punchers.  Praise the Lord for all the good things in my life.  Let's not praise the Lord for all the tragedy, hurt, starvation, deprivation and poverty - no, that's not my god's fault.  Well, if the negatives aren't your god's fault, then surely by pure reasoning, the positives aren't either?  Aren't they a compilation, rather, of choices, and co-incidences?  And to put an end to all this malarkey about your life being charted out, and fate, and it's God's Will, let me ask you this:  if YOU were God - and assuming now that you are All Good and stuff - would YOU not make sure that all the negative sufferings of people around the globe were obliterated?  Of course you would.  But it's easier to lay praise, and blame, at another's feet rather than face up to the reality of Life:


Blessed are the Meek, for they shall inherit fuck-all.


Ain't that the truth.  You make your own way in this world;  no one owes you anything at all.  You could live seventy years on this planet and not make the slightest impact at all;  or you could live thirty and be remembered for the good work you did.  It doesn't cost money to be decent, and kind, and honest, and loyal.  These are attributes of behaviours you are free to choose from. So if you choose to be bad, then you need to take the consequences for your actions.  Because D-Day will come.  It might not involve a man in a white cloak on Judgement Day - but then again:  it might.

I watch youngsters on a daily basis flailing about in a pointless, directionless manner.  I speak to people regularly who are lost, confused, hurt and befuddled by this world.  And I can't help but wonder, what are you waiting for? Intelligence comes from opening the mind.  From using the eyes in your head to absorb, and process, information that surrounds you constantly.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed, ever.  So the only thing you can really control are the choices you make today - these choices will lay the foundation of the tomorrow you'll experience, if you're privileged enough to see it.

For the assholes out there?  I'm afraid there's no cure for that.  That's an inherent kind of stupidity and ignorance for which there is no known cure.

Herbert Spencer coined the phrase "Survival of the Fittest", after studying Darwin's On the Origin of Species, and perhaps stupidity has, in fact, its own purpose here:  to eradicate the weaker species in order for the stronger to survive.  

But in order for that to happen, more stupid people need to abound.

And I don't think there's any fear of us running out of those quite yet.