Posted on February 9, 2012 by doctoredjnr
Walking to the shops on Tuesday to buy some bread and an avocado I came to the attention of the local Police Force. Walking up a quiet unpaved street I noticed a group of about eight cars parked on the lawn outside the old person’s home. Wondering why there were so many cars there and if I needed to cross to continue walking. I was not impressed with the idea of having to cross the road, it would mean having to walk on the left of the road and more importantly the walking on the wrong side of the road. That my chances of being killed in a car accident was raised by an inperceivable percentage was unimportant, what was important was they were and I was for unhappy with this. So I decided to continue walking on the right side of the road.
A quiet road.
I thought nothing of this as I approached the cars. The old person’s home is cornered by T Juction that connects the suburb to a major feeder road in the small town, a police car was approaching the cars and I. We saw each other at about the same time I think, because just as my brain reconciled the image with the idea, the Police car’s indicator light went on and the car made a U Turn and idled on the lawn. I walked onwards to the shops slightly concerned that I hadn’t heard a door open and close or the sound of a car driving off.
The bread I wanted was on special which was nice. Selecting an avocado was difficult but it reminded me of Goldlilocks. The first avocado was far too firm, the second avocado was far too soft but the third avocado I selected was acceptable. Bored and remembering the cream in the fridge I bought some snack sized apple pies.
I walked back home and saw the Police car parked across the road from a drive way with the indicator still on. The indicator signalled that were thinking about entering the road. As I got closer the Police car pulled into the drive way and sat there. Parked there, I realise this now, the Police would have been able to see down the entire length of the street from their side mirrors. The Police car sat there until I had walked past the group of cars.
Silly Police men.
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Posted on January 21, 2012 by doctoredjnr
On Wednesday I came home to find a handmade flyer in my letterbox. Lifting the mailbox up expecting to find a flyer for a real estate agent or home maintenance company there was a flyer that a neighbour had gone to the trouble to make up and letter drop. The flyer in simple elegant black text said:
FOR YOUR INFORMATION:The leasing agent for ADDRESS
(PARTY HOUSE) is: REAL ESTATE AGENT ADDRESS
ESTATE AGENT PHONE NUMBER
This flyer both enthrals and concerns me. It amuses me because I can imagine somebody getting outraged and doing such a thing. The righteous indignation as they went about their task believing that their community and neighbours share the cause. That the community are as outraged as they are and the good people will join in them in the fight. All they need is the right information and the encouragement from a helpful stranger. They are that helpful stranger and they will guide them to victory, if only the community will follow them. This is the idea that sustains the letter dropper as they distribute their work. This is the idea that amuses me.
I am commerced because there is somebody out there, close by, that has gone to the trouble to track down the quasi-private details of an individual who has displeased them and distributed to it possibly 5 to 30 houses. Especially since until this flyer turned up I had no idea that there was noise coming from that address. I do not know what has set this man off and that is unnerving.
Regardless this is one of the best bits of unsolicited mail I have ever received. It is up there with the printed and personally addressed invitation I received from a stranger once. This flyer like the invitation is something I will not be following up on.
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Posted on June 13, 2011 by doctoredjnr
Written 12th June 2011.
The urge to scribble is being suppressed by the knowledge and belief that it is important for me to write something down. It is something that is so far unknown, that has not taken its final form. It is frustrating and stopping me from doing what I want to do.
For the first time in a long time last night I spoke about things that were important to me to people that I know and don’t know very well. The ideas did not always come out properly but they came out. I do not think they were always heard or understood but I was able to vocalise them and not worry if they were being listened to. This is important I think. I was told that I needed to share more of myself with the world.
Growing up I never felt that my father and I had much in common personality wise. I think now this is because I did not know him as a person but instead as a figure, an actor who played a role and did a job. Now he is a person and I can see that he does have a personality not dissimilar to mine. A personality that he has either passed on to me or I have inherited from him. It appears that we both struggle with the idea of casual friendships. Those people that occupy the space between acquaintance and good friend. The people whose company I enjoy but inertia keeps me from seeing more of. When they are not around my desire to see them can be subdued by television or a book or a trip to the supermarket. Of course thinking about it that also describes the situation I find myself in when it comes to good friends as well.
This inertia is something I need to overcome.
I thought last night that my concept of fear may be different to other people’s. That what I see as fear they see as unpleasant.
I often wonder when I see a fat bearded man get on the bus and walk down the aisle if that is how I look. I do not think of them as people. This is unkind and unfair and something I need to work on overcoming.
I feel resentment towards people who gush over their animals. People who have decided that their dog or cat or fish is a demigod that must be worshipped, that it is a supreme being incapable of mundane actions. That the animal is in possession of a genius level of intelligence and instinctual behaviours are transformed into cleverly thought out schemes of Machiavellian cunning. My resentment towards them is two parted 1.) I am expected to listen to their stories and agree with them and by doing so tacitly recognise that there is no other animal as smart, adorable or wonderful as theirs (this is clearly wrong as they have never met MY cat or dog), an animal that I have no relationship or connection with and 2.) the way they that they have subjugated themselves to the animal. It is the second part that I find most offensive. The first part can be excused and overlooked, we are proud of the beings that we love and cannot conceive of anything more wonderful than they are, but the handing over of control to an illegitimate authority I cannot. I wish I knew why this bothered me so much.
There is no need for me to be concerned over the actions and thoughts of others that do not impact on me or others, yet I am.
I am not sure if that was what I needed to get out but I have no desire to write any more tonight.
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Posted on May 30, 2011 by doctoredjnr
Being asked to write down goals would cause me to sit and stare blankly at the paper in front of me until it was time to wait to be called upon to share them.
It was in Year 10 that I first learnt I was no good at goal setting. Since the next two years of High School would be dedicated to achieving the marks required to get into University and our chosen course, the School thought it would be a good idea for those students going to University to write down their top three choices for their future occupation. Then once this list was completed there would be a meeting with the Deputy Principal and parents where everybody would discuss the list and how these choices would be achieved. Not knowing what I wanted to do I wrote down what was expected of me, gave the required answers and promptly forgot everything that was discussed.
Through out University I studied a number of units – all taught by the same lecturer – that at some point towards the end of the semester would require us to make a list of the short, medium and long term goals we had for our lives. This was more challenging to bluff my way through.
There are countless other examples that could be provided but honestly are they required? All that needs to be said is I have no real goals. Well, no goals that are easy to write down and articulate. Even that doesn’t feel like an accurate representation of things.
Perhaps with more thought and application the goals I have could be turned into a list? It is not something that I have ever attempted.
It is only one goal really: to be a good person. This is a rather broad and overarching goal that accommodates so many things, so many sub-goals. It is also an intimidating goal and it is perhaps its intimidating nature that has meant it is has not been written down and shared. It is intimidating not because of its size but because of its requirements, because it is requires me to be something I feel I am incapable of being.
For to be good, to be what I see as good, I would be required to be compassionate, selfless and patient, to be tolerant and accepting and to do these things with no thought. But not only to behave in this way but to think this way as well. And it is this mental component that is so difficult, where I feel and believe I will fail. Because my thoughts and actions are not always synchronised, that I while I may give my time I am not happy about it and begrudge whoever has taken it. That while I am listening to somebody tell me their story I am wishing for them to shut up and to cease their inane prattling.
I have no idea how to fix this. I have no idea how to get rid of this contempt for others (not everyone) that I have. Because it is contempt that I believe is behind it . Contempt that is unjustified and the source of my own failures. But perhaps placing the blame completely at the feet of my contempt is over simplifying things? There is also a lack of empathy and compassion. An inability to see people as containers like I am. Containers that are filled with hopes, dreams, curiosity and beliefs. That what I consider is stupid and boring is actually interesting and meaningful to them. That all they need and want is to be recognised as having value. And it is this value I can not see.
I just want to be good.
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Posted on May 1, 2011 by doctoredjnr
Written 30th April 2011
Last night sitting in the taxi, half drunk, I realised how inadequate words are to express emotion. The taxi, stuck behind my regular bus home, felt like a vessel from a different planet or perhaps plane. It allowed me to view the world but not to participate in it. It was safe, it was a physical manifestation of how I have felt all week. It was not required, it just accentuated what was already there. For the last week I have been a spectator and not an actor in my life.
It is a strange but not unpleasant feeling and somewhat freeing. Gone is any kind of urgency or fear. The lack of fear is nice good while the lack of urgency is neither good nor bad, just worrying. There are things that need doing but there is no will or motivation to follow through and complete them. Is this what freedom is?
The world is larger and more intense as a spectator. To use a cliché (how common it is, I’m not sure) it is like seeing everything for the very first time. All that is needed are a lot more clouds and an avenue of deciduous trees.
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Posted on March 15, 2011 by doctoredjnr
I stood at the sink last week and saw a cockroach run out from the wall. It scurried across the floor, pausing, waiting perhaps for me to make my move towards it, perhaps just for as long as its nerve could hold before starting off again. I looked at it and told it I that I would not kill it tonight. I told it that I had spared its life and I wondered if it had any understanding of benevolence. I knew it had not understood the words I said to it, but were my actions something that made sense to it?
I believe one day that scientists will tell us that all animals engage in complex thought. That they think like we do. I believe this because goldfish have memories. because cows have complex social hierarchies and because gorillas will take on pets.
The idea that humans are the only intelligent life on this planet is a myth told for our comfort and vanity. It is accepted because we are the animal that has done the most with its intelligence, that we (in the developed worlds at least) have used it to make our survival easier than we can possibly imagine. It has allowed us to do things that were unimaginable 200, 100 or even 20 years ago; things that no other animal has been capable of.
But this idea is based solely on one difference between humans and other animals: humans capacity for written language. The fact that we can write ideas down, create records of events, in short posses a common knowledge that can be expanded and extended is what has allowed us to separate ourselves from the other animals and given us our houses, cars and plasma televisions.
The lack of a written memory does not preclude complex thought from occurring, it just prevents it from progressing further than a single individual or their immediate group. Just because there is no understandable evidence of something doesn’t mean that it isn’t there.
But getting back to the cockroach. For my actions to have made sense to it, for it to understand the idea of benevolence it would not only have to be capable of complex thought but also to have a moral system that is similar to the one that (most) humans posses. And while I believe in the universality of complex thought I do not (yet) believe in universal morality.
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Posted on July 20, 2010 by doctoredjnr
Of all the jobs that I do the pulling out and removal of weeds is my least favourite. It is not the physical discomfort of having to spend hours on my knees or the repetitive menial nature of the task that bothers me. No, it is the feeling of inadequacy, that depending on mood and mindset that I feel of varying intensity. With each weed that is pulled from the soil I am reminded that here is a living object that has succeeded at life, that is more successful than I could ever dream to be right now.
What constitutes success? What constitutes succeeding at life? All of this depends on what the purpose of life is exactly if in fact there is such a thing. That age old question. Because the idea that life is without meaning is something that most people can’t reconcile. The search for purpose, meaning and desire to understand is one of the things that makes us human. If there was no need for a purpose or meaning behind life there would be no need for the belief systems that so many of us build their lives around.
It is my definition of success that causes this feeling of inadequacy. Because in my mind the purpose of life, the reason for being is a simple one. We are alive for one reason and that reason is to ensure that our genes are replicated and passed down, so to speak. Everything else, the stuff that actually happens that is important and gives us enjoyment is unimportant, meaningless. It is nice but it is not what we are here for.
I should probably give up reading books on evolutionary biology.
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Posted on July 5, 2010 by doctoredjnr
Every time I go a certain way into the centre of the small town I call home I pass an art store called Gallery 500.
Every time I pass this store I wonder if it is named after the band Galaxie 500. It probably isn’t, but it is fun to pretend.
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Posted on May 29, 2010 by doctoredjnr
Last night I sat down to post two quotes from Camus’ The Plague. The quotes dealt with love and the feeling of loss and sadness brought about by the forced, indefinite separation from a loved one.
In my final year of high school for English I studied the play Cosi. It is one of only three plays that I have read in its entirety (Happy Birthday Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut and The Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol are the others) and my least favourite play. I say this despite having forgotten most if not all of it and perhaps were I to read it now my opinion and feelings about it would be changed. I do not remember much past the general story, a mention of a Velvet Underground song, and a monologue one of the character had about hate.
The character is of the opinion that hate is a far better (perhaps even nobler) emotion than love because man puts time and effort into choosing who to hate and devotes actual effort to maintain it. Love is just something you fall into with no thought or effort of your own or the one you love. This is what I remember, ten years on. I am unsure if this is a serious idea put fourth by the author (playwright really) or not. On one hand the idea comes from a patient of an asylum but on the other hand it is one of those pseudo-profound statements that people like to latch onto.
The statement sets up love and hate as diametric opposites which is untrue, for it is possible to hate and love something equally. But even if it were true and they were in fact on opposite sides, it would still make no sense. By choosing to hate you are choosing not to love. Hate like love is irrational. Finally you can choose who you love, why you love them. This could be explained better but I have no desire or ability right now to do so.
What could be said, and maybe was said later, is that hate is what love can become, that the intensity which you hate someone is the reflection of intensity with which you loved them, but this gets us into crazy stalker territory.
It is something to think about further and maybe when I have some answers I will elaborate further.
What a difference 24 hours can make.
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Posted on March 27, 2010 by doctoredjnr
The more I listen to this the more appropriate it seems to the ending of my last relationship.
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