Posts tagged: australia
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.”
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.
Some more from today. The top one is the most chilling… people just walked past this guy. He clearly needed help. It’s messed up when a kid with a camera captures people liek this man walking past people in need.
I do hope he’s ok.
I’m in the running to win a competition with Qantas. Voting closes soon, so vote for me.
I’ve decided the person who contributes the most I will take with me. So, friend of stranger, lets see what you guys can do.
Here are some more photos… Check out the fly.
For those of you who were unaware (which i’ll assume was… well all of you probably), I recently spent the Christmas holidays over in the United States.
Now, this here is a place that I’d wanted to visit ever since ever. I mean growing up in Australia you’re basically told that the USA is the shining beacon of everything that is great about everything in the world. For those of you who actually want to read what I had to say (albeit very limited) in my blog, you can see it here
However, for the rest of you, and indeed the few of you who will actually listen, I’m about to tell you the exact reasons why I never ever have any - even SLIGHT intentions on going back to the “home of the brave and free”
1. Land of the free? My arse.
The first second I got to the USA, after a long 15 hour plane flight (and mind you, I HATE flying with a passion) I stepped out into Los Angeles Airport (And don’t worry, this isn’t the last time I’ll mention this place) to find a huge queue for actually getting into the country (you know past the customs guys etc). Not only was this something I brushed off, but i figured it was early in the morning, and there were a lot of people probably flying in to see their loved ones at the festive time of year.
However, my what the moment came, when I was asked to be fingerprinted AND have my photograph taken by the TSA. What for? I’m a visitor? “Well sir,” replied the TSA agent “It’s in case you commit a crime in the country. We have to be safe you know.”
I love the fact that in the “Beacon of freedom” that the USA proports to be, a visitor to the country has to be fingerprinted to actually gain access to the country in case they do something wrong. I love the whole assumption of guilt there, like they’re assuming i’m going to come into the country and kill someone and then fly out.
But this was pale by comparison to other places and other things I witnessed in my time abroad. The entire country is so security focused, they’ve managed to convince their citizens that they are indeed free. You have to get to an airport 3 hours early for a domestic flight, because the TSA have a nasty habit of holding up the lines to the tune of 2 hours or more. This happened on my flight from L.A. to New York. Got to my plane by only about 20 minutes, despite being there nearly 3 hours ahead of schedule.
New York - you can’t even go to the trade center site without first taking off your clothes, going through a metal detector, being patted down, and all whilst being in the middle of the cold that New York has to bring. You can’t go to the Statue of Liberty anymore - thanks there to the hurricane AND the 9/11 events. You’re not allowed to take photos of government buildings - such as the post office. No word of a lie - not allowed to take photos of the place you go to sent a letter.
And then, there’s Washington DC. I have NEVER in my life been more frightened of a city. Police literally everywhere.Security cameras, government buildings everywhere that you can’t possibly take a photograph of (remember, Post Office) and then there’s that feeling. You know the one you get when someone’s watching you? That feeling. ALL THE TIME.
Even getting food was a problem. I went to the Reagan Center - which is akin to our own MLC Center for lunch. To get in I had to show a Passport, Be frisked, take off jacket and shoes, walk through a metal detector, and in the mean time get called an “Alien”. This is “Freedom” is it guys?
And then you have the outright stupidity of the government in this vein. In Washington DC, you can catch a train to the Pentagon. A Literal TRAIN, where you get off at the stop “Pentagon” and you can go right up to the front gate. Hell, if you get background checks you can even go inside for a tour. But remember no photos. Have you ever seen the size of the Pentagon? It’s HUGE. It’s not exactly a well-guarded secret or anything. It’s a big building in the middle of a big plot of land, next to a highway. But no photos.
I don’t care what government says that it’s a good thing, it’s bloody not. Any person who thinks that the government should keep constant tabs on what their citizens are doing is mentally deficient It’s alarmingly apparent to me that the people of the USA, all 314 Million of them have managed to sacrifice freedom for comfort.
2. The Health System… Or lack of it.
Whilst I was over there, I managed to pick up the New York Flu. I believe it hit the headlines here in Australia as well, but it was a pretty nasty one this year. Fever of nearly 40 degrees (Celsius, not that Fahrenheit crap you Yankees speak in). So, whilst I was in DC, I opted out of seeing a doctor. Now, despite having scripts with me which couldn’t be filled (Because they weren’t made in the USA) I’m glad I didn’t go and see a doctor over there.
In Australia we have a government subsidised healthcare system. Even if you have Private Health insurance you can still reap the benefits of subsidised medication, cheap doctor’s visits etc. I knew in the USA it would be expensive, so i decided to opt out and see how i went.
Thankfully it cleared up in a week or so. However, when I was in LA and about to get on the plane to go back home, I got talking to another Aussie who had also gotten sick in the States but had opted to go and see a doctor. It cost him: $400 for the doctors visit. $100 for the script. $100 for the medication. All up: $600 to go to the doctor for the bloody flu.
If I had done that HERE in Australia, It would have been TOPS $50. All up. Finished. Your system is SHIT. And BROKEN. All because you let moronic capitalist ideals run it. Take a leaf out of our book and do things our way for a change.
3. The Cities: Nothing special, Nothing Great.
I was really looking forward to getting to San Francisco, and New York. San Fran was OK. New York was one of the dirtiest, crappiest, crowded and altogether horrible cities I have ever been to in my life. I Mean what kind of a city allows sewer steam to billow into the streets? Central park was huge, but nothing really to write home about, and the shopping? What a load of bullshit.
Unless you went to one of five stores, and got there on boxing day, you missed out. That’s the plain and simple fact of it.
The good thing about NY at least was the food. It was much better than anywhere else in the USA. Mostly because it didn’t taste like salt, chlorine and fat.
Now, I’m aware I went in the winter. And yes, i’m also aware it gets cold there in the Winter time. However, If you really want to see how good a city is, go in the most miserable time of the year. For NY, it’d be winter. And all it is, is Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey with a lot of people running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Trust me you aren’t missing out on much.
4. The Movie things aren’t all that movie-esque.
Quick question. How big is the White House? If you answer anything other than “No bigger than two normal sized houses put together” then you’re wrong. It is seriously, tiny. To it’s immediate right there is a massive building that literally dwarfs it. But you never see that. All you see is the tiny white residence at 1600 Penn. IT’s two floors. Don’t get excited people.
The Brooklyn Bridge? Golden Gate? Sure. HUGE structures. Nothing super special. Along with the Empire State - which is completely packed with people all the time, every day of the year. I’ve already mentioned the Pentagon. Vegas is a tacky, crappy town.
And Memphis? Elvis Presley’s “Mansion”? Get. Stuffed. It’s the equivalent of an old house you’d see anywhere in Sydney that was built in the 70’s. Get over it.
But by far the most disappointing - Hollywood. You know that place you see every year at the Academy Awards? The Kodak Theater? The special little red carpet and the hourglass staircase? That’s a Shopping Center. It’s called the Highland Mall. It puts the red curtains and such up every year, just for this one event. IT’s not anything purpose built - it’s just a tarted up shopping district. And Hollywood itself? Tinsel town is probably right - that’s all the place is worth.
5. Stupid, Stupid people.
I knew that the average US person is stupid. But I was unprepared for the question of “What language do you speak in Australia. German?” And no, i didn’t miss-hear the girl - she said AustraLIA. Not Austria. Not to mention, that the majority of them look at you with some kind of blank look when you ask them where something is in their own city, let alone ask them what direction something else is.
And then there are the usual southerners (yes I ventured into the deep south - the place where you can hear the banjos before you hit town) where you have people spewing hatred for Obama because he was “Born in Kenya”. My brain hurts at the a) stupidity of the statement, and b) the fact that this redneck didn’t even vote.
And this is also reflected in their design of things like shopping centers, where you have ONE toilet for an entire building. It’s mindbogglingly stupid.
Instead of giving all these things a separate heading, I had to put them all under one category. Honestly, there was so much that was wrong with the USA, that i’m going to forget most of it.
The Food. Is complete and utter crap. It is not cheap, either, it’s about the same sort of money as we pay here for a meal. The difference is that it’s bland, and if it’s not bland it’s full of crap that you didn’t want anyway. I couldn’t wait to get home to a decent steak.
The Wine. Californian wine has to be the most insulting wine I’ve ever drank. To give you an idea, a $4 cleanskin here, will easily outstrip a $60 bottle of Californian wine, any day of the week. The wine there, white or red, is just like grape juice. Seriously, buy a ribena and compare them.
The Taxes. This one REALLY pissed me off. Everything over there is Plus Tax. So, if you see something that is $100, it’s $100 PLUS tax. Oh, but that’s not the best bit. The taxes are all different. So, you have 11% in one state, 14% in another, 9% in another… It’s a complete and utter joke.
The mobile networks. You want 3g? Too bad. You can’t get it unless you go on a plan. That’s just how it works. Yay for Capitalism.
Arrogant People. I mentioned Stupid people. Well people were also arrogant, and rude. “Haha, He said Toilet! What the HELL is a toilet?” It’s a restroom you uneducated, overgrown moron.
The Homeless. Go to New Orleans. It’s a shithole of a city to begin with, and no this is nothing to do with the hurricane. But you’ve got streets that are worth millions, and then you have streets with houses that have no roofs. Literally, two streets over. Something here is broken.
These are just a FEW reasons why the USA isn’t the greatest country in the world anymore. Would I go back? Yes. I’d go back to Nashville. But that is literally the only place i’d go back to. New York, New Orleans, DC, San Fran, LA, Diego, they can all go jump. They are all places that have a name with nothing to show for it. Nashville - at least the people there are nice enough.
We don’t have it all together here, in Aus. But by god we’ve got it more together than those up-them-selves so-and-so’s in the USA.
In case you haven’t heard the latest news, here is what happened today in the land of Oz.
Now, I know i’ve said in the past that i’m actually against movie and TV show piracy, however this little win today in the High Court could not have been better.
Yes yes, it seems that the High Court of Australia has basically ruled that the ISPs are not responsible nor should be held accountable for the actions of their users. Furthermore, the boss of iiNet Michael Malone said, in a nutshell, that the movie industry should be focussing on making things available in a timely and cost-effective matter. Which is, funnily enough, one of the big arguments for piracy. Cost.
Now, I do want to make a very interesting point here, and it is that they SMH article makes the point that downloading, or pirating movies etc is illegal. WRONG.
It’s so annoying when people get this wrong, it makes my blood boil with the rage of thinking about it. It’s not illegal to download something from the internet. Not at all, not in the slightest. It’s illegal to UPLOAD copyrighted material from the interwebs, but not to just straight download the material. Yes, it’s also illegal to host said material, but you’re doing neither. You’re just taking what’s freely available.
Let me put it this way. Someone comes to you with a free pen. you take the free pen. What have you done wrong? Nothing at all. You took a pen that was offered to you, for free, by someone else. As it turns out, the pen belongs to Sony Music, and they come knocking wanting payment for their pen, which has the engraving ‘I Disappear’ on the side.
But legally, they aren’t entitled to it. You were given the pen by someone else. You have the contract with them, not with Sony. THAT person has the contract with Sony, and has therefore stolen the pen. See where i’m coming from guys?
Anywho. The point is, that this landmark case in the High Court is one that should be celebrated for it’s potential application as precedent for music as well. Remember guys, it’s not illegal to download music, only to share it! And as always, if you really like the artist, then do the right thing and support them the correct way - buy merch, go to gigs, try and buy their albums or their DVDs or whatever direct from them. Perhaps if the Hollywood giants did this it’d feel more correct too?