On Friday, I managed to head over to the cinema and watch that new Disney movie that has seemed to swoop everybody into a frenzy. I went in with no prior knowledge and certainly had no idea that it was essentially a musical (which is lucky, because I’d have probably passed on it if I had known before the fact) and certainly had no idea that it was going to be the first Disney movie to say “But you can’t marry a guy you’ve just met.”
So with the spirit of Frozen in the air, I figured it was high time that I wrote out my own theories on this thing called “love”. So, dear reader, sit back and prepare to either agree or disagree with what I’m about to say.
Firstly, love doesn’t exist. The whole idea of true love was somehow morphed from the idea of “love at first sight” which, as any half-brained human will tell you, is a total crock. The traditional sense of LAFS was introduced, we think, by the Greeks, who described it as “theia mania” or “Madness from the Gods”. In actual fact, it was often explained through the use of magic arrows or darts, which were usually explained by a certain small child floating around firing his bow at people.
The idea was fleshed out in a few books and poems from both the Roman and Greek times (after all, the romans did err… borrow heavily from the Greeks when it came to a lot of their gods and deity influence) such as Ovid’s Metamorposes or Plato’s Symposium. Both, funnily enough, described “love” similarly as some kind of an immediate longing for the other person. There was also another kind of “love” – one which came about after some passion and dating and all that good stuff which we know today as the forerunner to getting into someone’s pants.
I mean hell, even the bible has references to LFAS, with Isaac and Rebekah and Jacob and Rachel – both are deemed to be LFAS by historians across the world. And even later in human history we find examples of the concept running deep in literature and music – from Shakespere’s As You Like It: “Who ever lov’d that lov’d not at first sight?” right through to today’s pop music charts where we can see any kind of addition to the notions of “True Love”, Love at first Sight, or even just general, ordinary, every day “love”.
And whilst the artists of the world may wish to believe such a nonsense exists, luckily for you dear readers people like me and other logically, rationally brained humans exist so we can get to the bottom of the facts of the matter. And the fact is, there is no scientific basis for Love At First Sight. Ever. What we merely are seeing is a physical attraction – which humans are very good at deducing by the way – which usually takes about 1-5 seconds. So in 1-5 seconds you’re supposed to know if you’re to be wed with a complete stranger who you haven’t even so much as been spoken to by yet? C’mon. No this is called physical attraction. And I’m sure you, dear readers, will agree when I say that it is a far cry from being “true love”.
In fact, what we are talking about here is a theory called “Interpersonal Attraction”. Now, whilst Physical Attraction relies on the other person being pleasing to the eye, interpersonal attraction on the other hand relies on the overall image of someone who we create in our head of them, which later develops into friendships or romantic relationships. And funnily enough, there are a few different types and causes that completely debunk the ideas of LFAS.
The first two, are relatively easy to explain so I’ll get those out of the way. Firstly, the Propinquity Effect: Simply the more you see of someone and spend time with them, the more likely they are to become a friend and/or sexual partner. This is a little different from the Expose Effect, which states that the more we are exposed to something, the more we like it. So, both of these theories are, in short, reliant on being in close proximity to a person for an allotted period of time – not limited to but usually a few weeks.
The next one is a little bit more involved, so I’ll try to make it as fun as I possibly can. It’s called the “Similarity Attraction Effect” and it relies on a few different things, which basically all revolve around the idea of “birds of a feather, flock together.” Physical Appearance, attitudes, personal style, interests, social skills, demographics etc all come into play, and the more of these are in common or similar with each of the other, the more likely the people are to become friends or more. Physical Attraction is an interesting one – because studies across the field have shown that people who are of similar attractiveness seem to wind up together, or at the very least prefer to be together. Even things such as having a gentle, cheerful voice can be a deciding factor in someone wanting to bone you.
And then there’s the attitude side of things. In 1971, “Law Of Attraction”, an essay by Byrne, was released. It found that there was a positive correlation between similar attitudes and attraction between people. Put simply, this is that people who share the same attitudes are more likely to hang around each other. In 1972, Miller noted that similarity in attitude means people are more likely to find each other attractive and favour one another – and dissimilarity has the opposite effect. And difference in these theories and ideas lead to dislike and avoidance. So if you share attitudes in general, you’re more likely to get together. And it’s not just the above. People with a massive similarity in Social and Cultural Background, Personality, Interests and activities, social skills, even down to their opinions and beliefs on marriage, are more likely to get together, and people with all of the above shared are more likely to last longer in marriage than those who do not.
It’s interesting to note that all of the above rely on someone knowing someone for a little bit longer than four seconds. But then there’s the evolutionary theories which speak more to us having an attraction when the people we are looking at indicate that they are the most fertile. In fact, these seem to make the most sense scientifically – with the mixture of the chemicals and electronic synapses firing in the brain such as Oxytocin for attachment, Dopamine and Serotonin for attachment, and Testosterone or Estrogen for lust. That is the chemical, scientific basis for “Love” as we know it and yes there are a few more chemicals there than what I’ve listed.
So if there is no basis for “Love at First Sight”, and in reality love is just a mixture of chemicals and electrical pulses coupled with our logic of knowing a person for longer than a minute, what exactly is love?
Well it’s simple. It’s nothing. It doesn’t exist. Love, is merely the above – logic of situational awareness coupled with some chemicals rattling around in our skulls and possibly linked with some evolutionary process which wants us to procreate. And that’s where we have gone wrong.
You see, “Love” is merely an image. When we meet someone, we ascertain where they are from, what they do, what we think of them – both sexually and intellectually – in about the first fifteen seconds of “Knowing” them. As the weeks and months pass, you might be fortunate enough to know this person for longer and hang around them more often until that tipping point comes – where the little thing in your head goes “Click” and you decide that maybe you like this person more than you thought and maybe you should date. Or get busy with it. Whatever the point is, you end up with the person and you start dating, and then the inevitable “I love this person” comes out. Well, that is until the image that you’ve built up for ages in your head of this person is shattered. Because when people “Fall of of love” it is simply a point that the image in their head is no longer in line with what that person is seeing in the real world – and it happens more often than you think.
You see, the image is created as an evolutionary measure to get us to procreate – to care long enough to have sex, and then bail. Like it or not, it’s true. We were never supposed to be monogamous – and doing so is completely against everything, which we, as humans, are. Sleeping around is a part of our genetic code. So the image, which by the way is what we “fall in love” with, is there temporarily to get us to procreate and move on. The difference is, that in today’s day and age, we don’t move on. We stay with the same person. So the image we have built up in the first few seconds that we see the person from across the smoky and hazy room of the club has a greater chance of being shattered. Instead of remembering the wistful days of your teenage years with that girl, Stacey, instead you now have an ex girlfriend who is aptly named Stacy and “Broke your heart”. The image also happens to explain love at FIRST sight, because we create it initially as a way of saying “Yes, I would like to have sex with that person.” The image is all that matters.
“But what about the people who are IN LOVE? I know…” I hear you cry in an overly judgemental tone. Well, that’s easy. It’s not Love. It’s caring. You have gotten to the point where you realize that this person who you are sitting across the table from, who does all those little things which irk you, as a whole, is worthy keeping around. You overlook the small things that piss you off, and go with the things that don’t. You, as a logical human, care more about that person’s feelings and opinions and you put them first. That’s not a chemical reaction; it’s a logical override that we, as sentient beings, have evolved to embrace. We call it “Love” because we’ve been told for aeons that people fall in love and that’s what it is. It’s not. It’s simply a binary statement of putting them first.
This theory, which I personally hold, also explains why people have trouble letting go. One party might have seen the change and the other not. The image for one was corrupted and thus they “Fell out of love” with them. But for the other, well the image was never corrupted. And there it sits, laying on the top of their brain and still, it cannot and will not be changed for they are never going to, or if that rarely see each other enough any more for it to be corrupted to enable them to let go. Not amount of telling yourself that the person has changed, or moved on and therefore you should too, will change that either. People cannot let go, because their image is still intact. And these people are deemed to be wimps, or deemed to be whingers. No, they are just the victim of evolutionary process which was never completed.
Love does not exist readers. Love, as we define it in a modern society, is an abstract. It’s a human construct. A collection of matters that go against the very nature of humanity, and instead work with the ideas of monogamy and playing ideals of a society which is all based on consumerism and nostalgia. As in the afore mentioned movie, the act of “True Love” was the sister sacrificing herself for the other one. That’s not “love” crap, that’s caring. It was putter her first. And that’s all it is. And all we can do about it is recognize it. Realise that we live in the world where we are going against the naturalistic way of life, and figure out just how much we care about the person sitting across the table from us.
Because after all, that’s all that matters.
“Out on the patio we’d sit,
And the humidity we’d breathe,
We’d watch the lightning crack over canefields
Laugh and think, this is Australia.”
Street Photography at it’s finest… sorta.
Journey appreciation post
ITS no surprise that people are disgusted by the recent spate of deadly “Coward Punches” which have rocked the already troubled Sydney nightlife. But, the NSW Government’s new measures to curb these alcohol-fuelled violent nights are fruitless and useless – no more than a headline grab. Let’s break these down and I’ll explain why.
The application of the new laws will be wide-spread throughout the community, from Kings Cross, to Haymarket, The Rocks, CBD, and Darlinghurst. And it comes with a new minimum sentencing for any violence (occasioning death) that involves alcohol or drugs. And right here is the first issue.
In the case of Thomas Kelly, the now convicted killer Kieran Loveridge was arrested a week and a half after the event. So, how would the police be able to test for drugs or alcohol at the time of the event? They wouldn’t. So that immediately removes the minimum sentencing – remembering that the burden of proof is Beyond All Reasonable Doubt AND lies with the prosecutor. So realistically, unless the police are able to apprehend the suspect at the time of the punch, and do a drug and alcohol test right there and then, it will be pretty much useless.
Secondly, shutting the doors of bottle shops at 10pm is going to be as useful as a pocket in a singlet. What will people do? Plan ahead. Go and do a grog run early in the night. They’ll just move their purchasing forward by a few hours, and still achieve the same result. Possibly “pre-fuel” themselves more so, having to do so due to a government change in opening hours. So once again, not well thought out.
Also, take into consideration the next point, which states that venues will be forced to lock people out after 1:30am, and have to stop supplying alcohol at 3. Forgetting for a moment that this doesn’t apply to smaller bars or venues, or anywhere designated a tourist district (which I would have thought Kings Cross would have been considering Sydney.com refers to The Cross as a place to “Stay, play, eat and drink”), this means pubs and clubs lose money from 3am to 5am, and they’ll probably just close – simply because there is no money to be made. So, all those people in the club are suddenly going to be milling onto the streets, with a skinful mind you, and what happens when a lot of drunk people get together on crowded footpaths? People bump into each other, and one of them ends up with an assault charge.
And this, swiftly, brings me to my next point – and possibly one of the best points of the entire proposal. Credit where credit’s due, the idea of free buses every 10 minutes from Kings Cross and the CBD on Friday and Saturday nights isn’t half bad. But they need to take another few steps in this direction. Firstly more busses and more frequent. Every five minutes, and perhaps more than one per five minutes. Also, take into account how many people a bus can sit – it’s not even going to make a dent into the amount of people flooding out from the clubs. So, they should do what people do to get there and use it to get them home – trains.
At least 100 people per carriage, times eight. It would be a lot easier to control – should police be on the trains and stations – and it would help decentralize people a lot quicker. Those who lived within the vicinity of the venue would be able to either walk, or grab a taxi, those in less immediate would be able to grab a bus, and anyone else could grab a train. It would mean it would get people sitting down, which means they are less likely to get up and start something – especially if they are drunk.
Sydney calls itself a “World-class city” so, we should have a 24-hour train service as it stands anyway. To do this on Friday and Saturday nights would be a great place to start.
The other, less interesting points are the fines for offensive language and behaviour – that is just going to open up a world of pain and paperwork for police. And, as we’ve seen in the past with the Kaitira case in Queensland, swearing is almost a part of our national identity. It’s going to waste time, so why bother. And, of course the obligatory advertising and social media campaign – which unless they are going to take a leaf out of the New Zealand way of doing things, are just going to be ignored by the majority of us.
But, the biggest problem here is that none of this will work. Sure, you can decentralize people, put as many police there as you think you can cram into the already crowded pathways, and top it all off with as many threats of minimum sentencing as you want, but the bottom line is this: the people who go out to do this are going to do it anyway. As the father of Thomas Kelly, Ralph, told the ABC today, these measure will hopefully “Stop thugs from hitting other people.” That’s all they are – thugs. And last I checked, thugs aren’t really moved or intimidated by a campaign on TV, or new laws enacted to try and stop them. These people will do this, because it is the kind of people they are. It’s a sad, dpressing and disgusting fact, but that’s how it is.
I agree, alcohol and drugs don’t help the situation – removing one’s inhibitions rarely does – but really, we shouldn’t be punishing the majority for the actions of a few morons. Instead, putting systems in place to mitigate as many of these problems – which in reality come down to crowd control and decent public transport – as we can. No, it won’t fix the problem, and yes it might cost a little more. But in the long run, it will help more people than it costs.
It was a steamy Friday night for Sydney, and I had been waiting in line to see one of my favourite bands of all time – Karnivool – as they toured on the polymorphism tour with Aussie Prog-Rockers Dead Letter Circus, as well as the fantastic post-metal outfit sleepmakeswaves. I hadn’t slept too well the nights prior, and to be honest I was reasonably tired by the time I got to the general standing around waiting for the acts to begin. And then I had a thought – I really hope these guys do well.
For those of you who remember my review of DragonForce’s “The Power Within”, you’ll remember me saying that the change up from heavy studio production to a more live-orientated sound was a good move. Why? Simply because it meant they could tour with the new album and worry less about what it was going to sound like live – namely whether or not they could actually pull it off when they hit the stage. And this was a very smart move – after all it is important that you can play the album live – otherwise the band dies.
Keep this in mind whilst you read this review – I’ll be coming back to it later.
The first band, the afore mentioned sleepmakeswaves were a pleasure to watch. Post-metal, I admit, isn’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea – and not exactly my go-to-genre for listening either. However, watching this instrumental Australian take on ISIS brought a swaying smile to my face as I watched the band members play their heart out to the few early-comers to the gig – no more than thirty people who graced the floor and watched the opening act.
Needless to say they were solid, and despite their short set were well received by the fans of the two bands who were to follow. Intermission, and some more people began to flood in. By the time Dead Letter Circus hit the stage, the UNSW Roundhouse was packed with fans to the sold-out gig to hear the new album by the band. And this is where the first hurdle became apparent.
Remember what I said up earlier, about being able to play the material you write live? Dead Letter Circus can’t. Either that, or the singer (Kim Benzie) was hideously sick and shouldn’t have been singing live in the first place. However, from the way he was trying to hit the notes that he was able to hit in the studio I’d say the band didn’t think too much about what this was going to sound like live. Don’t get me wrong, those notes are hard to hit – and when he did hit them they sounded reasonable. But the silence where words should have been really turned me off the band. So much so that I lost interest halfway through.
Like I said earlier, you need to make sure you can play live what you do in the studio. Otherwise, you don’t get well known enough to become big enough to support yourself. Take a look at MUSE, who singlehandedly put on some of the best live shows in entertainment today. A three piece who realized they needed a fourth member to do some of their songs. So they got one. This is what I’m talking about – a dedication to the fans and the authenticity of the music, not just a “near enough is good enough” attitude. And no, no matter of on stage actions justify your lack of singing correctly.
Sadly, this spoilt the night somewhat. However, that was all about to change.
I’d seen Karnivool before – on their Asymmetry tour last year. But this night, they were perfect. Note-for-note, utter brilliance in all areas. They showed the fans there that night, why they were playing the final spot of the night. With songs like COTE, Goliath, New Day, The Refusal and Fade, among a few others which were all perfectly executed, they demonstrated my previous point. A good band, is a good live band. You can do whatever you want in the studio but if you can’t do it live, then there’s no point. Karnivool didn’t just do it live, they took it to another level.
Now, you’ll all know by now that my reviews always come with a but. And in this case, it’s the usual – drunken idiots in the crowd spilling drinks on people and generally bruising people for little to no reason. So much so that girlfriends have to apologise on their behalf. I really hate this type of behaviour. It just ruins concerts for people who don’t agree with your drunken enthusiasm.
On the whole, it was an ok evening. Sadly, it was ruined by drunken idiots and a band which should know better than to give a half-hearted attempt. On a whole, I would go for Karnivool and sleepmakeswaves again, but not so much for Dead Letter Circus. Maybe once the band is able to pull everything off live, It’ll be a better show, but until then you’d be better off listening from the bar.
One of my biggest pet peeves is that four-letter word that you seem to hear flung about at universities and young people these days. It’s often used in conjunction with other six-letter words, seven-letter words, and any other number of phrases and saying that all mean the same thing. Wealthy, well-to-do, well-off – it all means the same thing: Rich. And, I really, really hate the term.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll tell you now – my family is probably classed as “Upper-middle” class. My Dad has done well for himself in his career and my Mum also worked – also doing rather well for herself. And yes, they are still together. Myself being an only child meant there was only one mouth to feed whilst I was growing up. It also means that unlike most kids who were playing with Action Men (yes, I’m a child of the nineties), or hanging out with their brother and learning about new music and all that culturally specific stuff that siblings seem to pass down, I hung out with mum and dad most weekends.
So I didn’t really have that cultural specific knowledge – I had more so the business money-making brain due to endless hours of listening to my parents talk about investments and wise money management. But, I’m the first to admit, that my tastes are quite eclectic. And my circle of friends have influenced me to look at different things and life in a different matter. But, if I have the choice of a Mercedes or a Holden, I’ll take the Benz. It’s what I know. So yeah, I’m well-off.
So what do I hate about the term “rich” then? If it’s true, surely I can’t be that annoyed about it? Well I am. It pierces my ears every single time I hear it. Because, it’s used as a slur. Going to University, you rub shoulders with a lot of different people – but sadly being a university it means that these people are generally left-leaning. Now, there’s left, and then there’s those left people. The ones who say things like “people shouldn’t have a house that big. That’s just wasteful.” Or, one of my personal favourites, “You drive a what? Oh, I don’t’ see why you’d spend that amount of money on that.”
You see, people judge me for my tastes. That is what it comes down to. And that is one of the reasons I hate the term “Rich”. Because all of a sudden, I’m lumped into a category that I don’t think I belong in. You see, that’s the big problem here with the term. Wealth is relative. To me, I’m not wealthy. Sure, I’m better off than some people who I know, but I’m not rich. A family friend I know, who owns a house which a thousand square metres, with a guest quarters of four-hundred square metres, and a garage, swimming pool and a driveway which is about half the length of my street all paved with individual stones? He’s rich. The family friend who has a house in which the skirting boards are made of carved marble? Yeah, that’s rich.
So somehow, I’m put into the same category as them. I just can’t see it. And yet people still comment on the car I drive, on my clothes, my house (I still live at home by the way) and class me as “rich”. Even to the point of insult – my favourite being “F*****g rich people and their houses.” Or “What a waste of a house for only three people.” What they don’t see is my work hours – which are still in retail thanks to a lack of jobs in the Journalism sector. My own scrimping and saving to one day buy a house. Am I going to be buying it tomorrow? No. But I’m not renting either, so instead of paying $300 a week to some other land owner, I’m saving that toward my own home.
And while I’m on the subject of it, another pet peeve is people who are against people generating more wealth for themselves. If people are able and wanting to take risks, and they pay off for them – then all the power to them. So what if they own fifteen houses across Sydney, each one pulling in $1000 a week in rent? It’s not your place to judge and lump them into a vein of people who are despised by the lower-middle class for the simple notion of jealousy.
And before you say something about my family probably being wealthy from the get go, I’ll tell you this. My grandfather on my dad’s side was a truck driver, and grandma didn’t work. They never owned their own home until nearly the end of their lives. My grandparents on my mum’s side were farmers. Wool farmers to be precise. They weren’t anywhere near well-off. My dad was a TAFE teacher, who threw it in to become a builder and now builds houses which are not exactly your standard project home mark for clients – some of which have won design and building awards. So my dad was a risk-taker and luckily, it paid off.
I’m a firm believer in being able to be whatever you want to be in this country. Generally speaking, there’s a risk involved, and there’s a pay off. You have to weigh up the risk and pay-off and see whether or not it is worth it. Some people risk trying to become wealthy, and it works. Like Twiggy Forrest. You want to talk about rich? The man’s worth four-point-eight billion dollars (yes, with a “b”). Or how about Rinehart? Triguboff, Lowy, Packer, Walker, Lew, Stokes… the list goes on. And nearly all of those people have risked something to make something of themselves.
You see, it’s all about perspective. Does anyone need billions of dollars? No. But do I have a right to tell them they can’t have it? No. Just like no-one has the right to judge me for my clothes, or my hair, or my car or my house, I have no right to judge them either. And that’s how it should be, period.
So next time you or someone else goes to call someone “rich”, think before you say it. Wealth is relative, and in fact if you’re reading this, then you’re better off than a lot of people around the world. We live in the best country in the world. Stop trying to make out like you’re so hard done by, and give us a rest.
One of the greatest poems… and what a performance.
You know, people in the media really make me angry sometimes. Not a blood-curdling scream I’m going to kill you all kinda way, just more of a passive aggressive “I should smack you for that” kind of way.
Most recent is the evident swing that people seem to have against Tony Abbott. Especially those in the media. Now, I admit that what Abbott and this government is doing isn’t exactly all right (much akin to the former government – not every one gets it all right all the time) however the recent swing and nit-picking of extremely biased media is really starting to irk me.
This morning, Tony Abbott announced that workers from Holden would be liberated from their jobs as a result of the closure of the plant. Or at least, that’s what people from a few news sources told us, and one major news outlet’s somewhat ambiguous title for their coverage played on the same ideas as the others - although theirs was the most level headed report of the lot.
Here’s how it is. Tony Abbott did not say that workers would be “liberated” in the same terminology which defines the Russian Revolution – one which depicts an uprising from the lower classes against the injustices in the world. No, instead what he said was “Some of them will find it difficult, but many of them will probably be liberated to pursue new opportunities and to get on with their lives.”
Lets look at that last bit. People would be “Liberated” (which comes from the word liberate, or to release someone from a situation which limits thought of behaviour) as to find new opportunities in their lives. What the hell is wrong with what he said there? Absolutely nothing.
Also, one big detail that it appears everyone has glossed over: The plant isn’t closing tomorrow. It’s closing in 2017 – that’s a good three years away at the very least. That gives these workers three years to find a new job. Three years. That’s more than enough time to do so, I say.
Back in 2012, I was involved in the collapse of Allans Billy Hyde Music. I was working on the sales floor at the time, and when the company collapsed I was one of the last out the door working at the flagship Sydney store in Pitt Street. I was then unemployed via redundancy for a good seven months. I was on the dole, and I hated myself for it. I have never been one to ask the government for assistance, and I felt like crap for it. So I’ve been there.
However, what it did do, was open my horizons for that section of time. In that time, I concentrated on my writing, the very thing which now, I am trying to get a job with as someone who now holds a degree in Journalism. So it liberated me from the comfort of my position and pushed me onto working and going after better things. It made me shoot and aim higher, looking for somewhere that paid a little better, was in a different area, pushed me and changed and developed me into something better than what I was. That is what it meant to be “Liberated” from my comfortable job in the music retail sector.
But I agree somewhat, in that “liberated” probably isn’t the greatest word to use. I mean it does conjure up images of pitchforks and flag-burning. However, for some they just were focussed on the word, and not on the meaning behind it. Which seems a touch harsh, when some have attempted to find the meaning in a picture from the 1980’s and explain it using a political slant. But when someone says “liberated” about jobs, that’s a no go area.
It is clear to me that the press just aren’t having any luck any more. Because the government is no longer handing out press releases willy-nilly like the former Labor government, journalists are actually having to work for their stories – especially those in political journalism. Thus, they are resorting to writing personal reflections and applying it (albeit loosely) to the current situation, claiming they know from personal experience what these Holden workers are going through.
This isn’t journalism. You should be looking at the Marxist theories on unemployment, which argue that it can be beneficial to industries by keeping wages in check, can promote labour productivity and profitability. You should also be looking at the negatives, which can range from people losing their homes, right through to civil unrest. The latter won’t happen here but it can and did during the fall of the Weimar Republic in 1933.
But instead, and sadly, we’re hearing about how Tony Abbott has misused a dictionary, and how he has slapped people in the face who were working at the plant. Because after all, that makes a much better story doesn’t it.