Married man vs Bachelor

The fairytale all bachelors THINK they live in

You, my single young stallion friend –  are NOT as “free” as you want the rest of the world to think you are.

Yes, I know you can go out to clubs whenever you want and you have like a hundred names on your phone of girls you want all your buddies to believe you have on speed dial as booty calls.

Yes, I know you have like a thousand xbox games and a fridge full of beer and you and the boys have loud weekend parties at your combined furnished pad which you share with two other single friends.

Together your group is the Mount Everest of singledom. You and your man-pose have it made man. You are the modern hunters of the concrete jungle. If cool could be likened to a movie, you guys would make the Hangover series look like a Tom and Jerry rerun. Except of course the guys in the Hangover actually had careers. And money. And well kitted apartments. And they partied in exotic locations. With hookers. And they’re all actors.

I think your idea of being a single guy out on the prowl every weekend is a lie. Worst of all, it’s a lie you tell yourself and you know it. All your friends know that you’re lying to yourself but they keep quiet about it, because they find your lie rather amusing.

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Reality check boys!

You’re not a hunter. You’re just real easy prey.

Here’s the proof to blow your mind a little:

You and your single buddies hit the club on Friday night.

You go early and make sure you have enough spending cash for drinks and whatever else you need to make it a good night. At the club, you pay an entrance fee. You walk in and head straight to the bar (scanning the area for hotties of course as you do so). At the bar you congregate with other groups of single dudes and start talking about work, and sport and hot girls.

An hour or so later, you and the group move closer to the dancefloor (not to dance – because you haven’t had nearly enough drinks for that) to have a look at some of the girls getting their groove on with their girlfriends.

You recognize one of them and she comes over for the “hello hug” before you offer to buy her a drink. She places her order and like a good boy you run over to the bar and wait in line at the now overcrowded counter. You get the drink and deliver it to said recognized hottie who is now handing out “hello hugs” to the rest of the single guys who also recognized her.

In short. You end up going home alone, a little too drunk to text the girl who gave you her number after the seventh drink you bought her in the hopes of scoring. But you didn’t score. But you have added another number to your phonebook.

She, on the other hand, had a blast with all the free drinks, the attention from at least a handful of guys, good music, great party with her girlfriends and another funny story of “omg did you see how drunk that guy was who kept buying me drinks? Shame, I gave him my domestic worker’s number because he was trying so hard – poor dude. Hahaha.”

When was the last time you went out and had a group of girls buy you drinks the whole night? When was the last time a girl you didn’t know came up to you in a club and said “hey wanna dance?” or “hey my name’s Sally, you have such pretty eyes, can I buy you a drink?”

Exactly.

Why being a married guy kicks ass

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Instead of writing a long and complicated introduction as to why being a married dude rocks, I’ve broken it down into an easily understandable list below:

  1. Boobs. Yip, married guys get to see boobs EVERY day. And we get to see boobs in real life, not just on a mobile phone screen.
  2. Underwear. Married guys have a woman’s underwear in their bedroom every day without even trying.
  3. Hugs and kisses. To a married guy, hugs are not just for “hello” and kisses are not just pecks on the cheek. Oh no. We get those really-tight-up-against-you bear hugs that usually accompany a kiss on the lips. With tongue action.
  4. Exclusivity. Not only do we get to see boobs and underwear and whole bunch of nakedness every day for the rest of our lives….but we are the only ones who will ever see those particular pair of boobies, that sexy underwear set and all that nakedness again. And that, my friend, is a resounding win.
  5. Couples discounts. Many restuarants and spa’s have them. In fact, even retreats and resorts have special couple’s rates which you wouldn’t understand the benefits of if you’re not a couple.
  6. Inside Jokes. I could tell you but….
  7. Permanent conversation. Us married guys get to have conversations about literally anything. All the time. And you wouldn’t believe it, but we get to have discussions about other women that would literally blow your mind!
  8. Next round’s on me. Unlike my single friends, I don’t have to do all the pouring of drinks at a party, and when my wife and I go out to a club or restaurant, I’m not the one who always has to pay for the next round either.
  9. Driving roulette. Married guys don’t have to drive everywhere anymore. Long road trips are way more fun now that I have a driving buddy.
  10. Touch. Us married guys get to touch a woman’s hand, hip, bum, neck, back, hair and even her nose whenever we stretch out our arms. It’s really quite amazing to think that when you’re married just a few months, you’ve already had more physical contact with a member of the opposite sex, than most of your single male friends have had in the past two years.
  11. Showers. I would bet my month’s salary that my shower time beats that of any single guy hands down, every day.
  12. Sexting. Yip, we have that too. Except it’s way more rewarding than when you’re single because guess what? Me, I’m definitely gonna score.
  13. Gym Partners. Not only do I get to go to walk into the gym with a hot woman every day…I get to leave with one wearing yoga pants every day too. And then later…I get to shower with that hot yogi.
  14. A way out. Sorry guys I can’t go to the club to get pissed with the rest of you tonight because my hot, yoga pants-wearing wife and I are doing a Harry Potter marathon with wine and snacks.
  15. Knowledge. Since being married I have gained a lot of inside info on the world of the female which my single buddies will possibly never be privi to. Like for example what girls actually think about the guys in clubs who buy them drinks. 🙂
  16. A girl is wearing my shirt. And it looks so damned sexy when she brings us coffee in the morning wearing my shirt with her hair all frizzy and her makeup faded. Mostly because she is wearing JUST my shirt.

I have about a hundred more reasons that would fill up this list, but I don’t want to completely ruin the rest of your single life all in one foul sweep – afterall you have to figure out the rest of it yourself before your favourite barman resigns.

I’m going to leave you with one last thought. Being married is not a sentence, it is in many ways, the end of one.

Eighteen Minutes Passed the Hour

If a day had only eighteen hours I would gladly spend the first sixteen musing over the thought of her. A more amorous day I find hard to imagine, and were I to be proven wrong, that day too would become only if she insisted.

I am completely and utterly bemused. Reason tugs at me – It cannot, must not – should never be. It’s not reality, it’s all just an orchestrated play. But yes it is – as real to me as the shadow that follows as each footstep takes me further from away.

Drunk in awe I am of her. A fact I wish I knew of ways to adequately say.

I blink and she is gone too long, her touch I have so long evaded for fear of what I wish to never say. I really should just come out and say it, I mean really. But what if I ruin it? What if I make this beautiful place disappear – or even worse still, what if I make her disappear? I couldn’t bare that thought. As much as I long for just a moment to hold her – just a moment – not to speak or breathe or think, just a moment to be, I cannot risk it. She means so much more to me than superficial bits and pieces.

Why exactly I don’t think I will ever be sure. But then, I don’t think everything in life needs to be validated by proof or facts or even reason. Sometimes some times are just there. And they exist as do we…the trick however is to find harmony between them. The joy lies in experiencing them for what they are, precious.

Each time that I am near I sway to the pulse of her smile and have to stop myself from saying that “gods dammit I am so swept away by you”.

And I know that even as she reads this, the sweetest grin across her face is just appearing, a giggle, a chuckle or a smile perhaps?

I know she knows, because we both know.

You inspire me. I am captivated.

Smile again my name to me

A colour none as sweet as when

pale green eyes reflect in hazel brown.

Upon vanilla breeze a jasmine petal had came to rest,

beside the window of a Smith’s desire.

 

Amazed inspired,

relentless in her joys, he found to be.

Once again

drawn.

 

From days of greys and paler blues.

Her giggles, her laughter her smile her tears.

Her smell, her ways.

He feels.

Her touch.

She.

 

Merely mortal he was and then.

Again.

Devouring a darkness that threatened to envelop him,

but then away with her he threw it all.

Up and up and upper still a kiss, a touch, a moment’s will.

Denies it.

Defies it.

 

This gravity which pulls it.

A mind, his mind, her mind their souls.

With longing his days they have been filled.

To see her feel her warmth alone.

Just sit.

 

And stare and talk some moments shared.

Not even time a welcome reprieve here will find as around them…

none but they exist.

Her arms around him and it falls.

Away.

 

The anger, hurt, defeat and pain.

Her lips so soft a gentleness.

As kindness from the space between

the corners of her smile does ease.

His untamed restless over thoughtful mind.

 

Just a kiss.

Just one more time.

And then perhaps away.

But then when past her he must walk

the steps become too arduous

for with her he longs to talk and sit and speak and touch and kiss and hold and

be just be just be just be some more.

 

Her voice a song so sweet does sing

when upon her breath it’s him she speaks.

A single fleeting whisper

he against her neck released.

And with a sigh, a smile a kiss an angel just replied.

A moment longer just a moment longer just another little moment longer.

 

Just smile again

my name to me.

 

What I would say to the younger me

I read something quite profound today. It was on one of those really stupid e-card things, but for once, instead of inducing an uncontrollable scroll-the-mouse-wheel reflex, this one actually made me think. A little. The card read “ask yourself this: would your younger self like the adult version you’ve become?”

That moment when

Wow. Like the first time you see boobs kinda wow. Or that time you kissed that girl behind the grandstands and walked home smiling all the way – even though you knew you were half an hour late and dad was waiting for you with his belt at the ready. Man, it was worth it, and you’d probably do it again regardless of the outcome. (And I actually did – quite a number of times after that, he he).

I remember the day in the first grade when our teacher, Miss Barnard, asked the class what we would like to be “one day when we grow up”. The boy next to me wanted to be a policeman, the ponytail in the front (goodie two shoes) wanted to be a teacher, of course, and my friend James was aspiring to greatness as a pilot. Me? Well I wanted to be Superman.

The Epiphany

Miss Barnard, James and even Ponytail didn’t get it. But I did. I wanted to be my dad. He was invincible, bulletproof and how the hell did he manage to lift me up just like that – with one arm? He was a werewolf killer, a boogieman hunter, a detective of note and never, ever did he cry. I’m pretty sure he had a blue spandex with a red cape hidden in some secret superhero cupboard somewhere. (My sister and I will probably find out one day.)

He’s in his sixties now, and he still has his powers – although I’m convinced he only uses them now when it’s absolutely necessary. The point is, he’s still tough as nails. I recon life made him this way because it was an easier task than trying to get him to quit. He is a man who has had his back up against the wall many times, and never backed down – instead he pushed back harder. “They can kill me, but they can’t eat me,” he always says. I believe that to this day.

So would I like myself?

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The present day me.

Actually, yeah, I kinda think I would. At least I hope I would (if not, I could probably give the younger me a wedgie until he did. Or I did.) But the older me hasn’t done too badly really. Sure, I’ve made mistakes and Ive hurt people along the way, but it was never intentional and there are times I wish I could go back and prevent those happenings. But generally speaking, I kinda think Ive done alright.

I’ve traveled the world without any money, played in a real life rock band, lived in more places than I remember – mostly because I was fresh outta cash and couldn’t pay the rent, partied till the sun came up and even, almost, got hitched. It was tough, but I survived.

I have two beautiful, healthy kids whom I’m trying to raise by myself and I am fortunate to have friends and family helping out with that. Went through a terrible break up, lost my job and had to sell everything I owned a few times over to make ends meet – but I survived.

I’ve had my car repossessed, walked my son to school for three months during the winter until I eventually managed the cash to buy an old ’84 Honda which took another two months to get running. I lost some weight during that time, but I survived. During this time my daughter was born. I was forced to work three jobs to make ends meet. But I survived.

It has been little over a year now that I’ve been unemployed in an effort to follow my dream of owning my own magazine. I sold every little piece of furniture I owned to pay the rent – again. Lost the apartment I stayed in because, well there was that little cash issue. Many told me to go get a job in the months that I couldn’t pay my rent or even put petrol in my car. I refused. Three months ago the first edition of my magazine – The Planner’s Notebook – hit the shelves. The second edition is printing in three weeks by the way. So far, I’ve survived.

Even Superman has a weakness

Mine is love. It is the one area I seem to keep screwing up. And again, this is not because I want to screw up, but rather I obviously don’t get “the game”. Or I do, but I’m over it. This “game” is starting to become more and more appealing to the spectator in me. I could rant on about this, but I won’t – this blog is already way passed the attention span limit of most readers. I will say though that the further you keep away from your own kryptonite, the safer you will be.

So what’s the point?

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The younger me.

My point is that I probably wouldn’t like myself as an adult. But more importantly I wouldn’t care about the opinions of that younger me. In retrospect I probably wouldn’t like the younger me. In fact, if I could travel back a few years and meet the younger me, there is something I would say to him. He wouldn’t get it until now. “Pussy”.

That illusive corner piece

Sobering. That’s what it is really. The moment when you find that corner piece of the massive puzzle you’re trying to piece together. Most of the time it was staring you in the face but the rest of the pieces laying all muddled up around it, had hidden it from your sight. So you take that corner piece and put in place to start building the frame work. Suddenly, as the pieces start sliding into place you notice that the picture on the box looks a little different to the one you’re trying to put together.

“Why is that,” you ask as another piece locks effortlessly in. “Why is it that the pictures on the boxes of things differ so dramatically from the one you spend so many days working on creating?”

puzzle-pieces-bw-001

Is it not maybe in that where the problem lies? Maybe we should stop trying to build a picture and instead, take a step back, look at the box and ask yourself if you really have the time to build that 1500 piece. And once you’ve pieced it together you face another conundrum – where to find a space for it in your home. Do you break it up, put it back in the packaging and trade it at the local pawn shop or do you throw it into the cupboard next to the rest of the puzzles you only half finished?

Or you could try and mount it on a cardboard, frame it and hang it on a wall somewhere to show off to everyone. And this will be fine too, until someone comes along, looks at the picture and explains how he also pieced that same one together, and he did it in half the time. Your first instinct is to retort with “what? This same puzzle? But how could you have done it in half the time it took me to get this far? I’ve spent so much time meticulously piecing it together and loving every moment spent on it.” And then it hits you. It’s only a puzzle, just like every other puzzle. And this one has a price on it, like every other one. And a puzzle doesn’t care who wants to build it, it only cares that it is being built.

So why then does it feel so profoundly shit knowing that your puzzle, that one you really wanted to complete and display proudly in your home, also hangs on the mantelpiece in some other home? Is it because the puzzle itself is not the art you thought it was, because before you bought it you believed that it was unique and now, you realize it actually isn’t. And is this really the case with all art? Or is the only truly unique piece, the one that goes to the highest bidder to ensure its authenticity.

Like I said, sobering. And hangovers hurt like a caning on a wet bottom. But hangovers, like your desire to build puzzles, pass. And then we feel better. And then we decide to build another puzzle…maybe this time one that we created ourselves. And maybe this time one that will be a perfect fit on that empty space above your bed.

Love, goats and mind bullets

Perception. What a word. Three syllables that carry within them so many different conclusions it may as well become a synonym for itself. But the most basic definition of perception is the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through your five senses. Hence the term sensory perception.

RealityBut then you have another form of perception. Like how mother’s always know what you’re about to do before you do it, or how you just know that someone is lying or in a foul mood simply by reading a few lines on a text message. Webster’s dictionary explains extrasensory perception as “perception (as in telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition) that involves awareness of information about events external to the self not gained through the senses and not deducible from previous experience.” Better known by the abbreviation “ESP”, it is this power that separates the psychics and medium from the rest of us. But it has also been said that the mind is so powerful, one could kill another living being simply by using one’s mind.

And that brings us to the men who stared at goats

Yeah so what the hell was that all about? “Remote viewing”, that’s what. Apparently the United States took all this psychic mumbo-jumbo very seriously. So seriously in fact that they setup a lab during the 1970’s and 80’s to run tests on individuals identified as potentially gifted with the powers to see the unseen. the-men-who-stare-at-goatsThrough this program the US attempted to train a squad of psychic spies able to project their consciousness over vast distances in order to acquire intel from their Russian pals during the cold war.

So they used men with green berets, goats and a timer. These boys literally spent hours in staring matches with the goats. The first one to blink died apparently. At least that’s how it all started, because this guy witnessed a Green Beret killing a goat just by staring at it until it dropped.

Then Hollywood jumped in with their (per)version of the story. They called it The Men Who Stare At Goats and it starred George Clooney – which was enough to make it popular at the cinemas. Clooney’s character is based on retired Special Forces Intel First Sergeant Glen Wheaton who was not only a green beret, but also one of the first psychic spies based at The Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The Green Beret’s called it the Goat Farm and here, they would spend days attempting to kill goats with mind bullets.

Okay, so did this actually work?

They claim it did. Things got scary weird after that and you can read all about it here. I’m not writing about the US military, I’m writing about the human perception of love.

And may the force be with you

Star Wars showed us how Darth Vader, Yoda and Skywalker all used the “force” to conquer enemies or manipulate situations through mind control, move objects and even communicate telepathically. force1George Lukas popularized, nay iconified, the famous line “may the force be with you” in his epic tale. Could this force be love? I certainly think so. The light side of the Force was the facet aligned with compassion, selflessness, self-knowledge and enlightenment, healing, mercy and benevolence, while the dark side of the Force was the element aligned with hatred, fear, covetousness, anger, aggression, jealousy and malevolence.

I also believe that Lukas based Star Wars on the Bible, with a few minor name changes here and there. Darth Vader having been a very powerful Jedi before his fall from grace landed him the role of general in the Sith forces on the “dark side”. Aniken Skywalker as a young boy displays astonishing intellect and use of the “force” and is taken away from his mother by the Jedi to be trained to one day save humanity. And so on and so on.

Thanks for the lesson in Geek, but what has this to do with Love?

Everything.

This business of remote viewing and astral projection sounds very Jedi to most of us. But then so should anything of the supernatural really, even angels. Would it be too far fetched to believe that a guy killed a goat using only the power of his mind, or that two people can be miles apart and know what the other is thinking or feeling?

There have been a few reported cases where twins, siblings, parents and even pets have shared telepathic communication with each other. So why do we dismiss the same thought when it comes to lovers or friends? We speak to deities and angels in our minds, do we not? And we are told that were made in the image of God, ergo, we should then be able to communicate with one another in the same fashion.

Before you dismiss it as a message from the dark side

telepathy1Answer this. How many times have thought about your loved one and your phone rings or beeps? How many times have you and a loved one shared a similar dream? Or, how many times have you heard someone say “I had a bad feeling” after losing a loved one in an accident? Have you ever just had a gut feel that something is not right? If you’ve answered any one of these with a yes, well then read this article on the Daily Mail website and start believing.

I have a feeling that you’re thinking about liking this post and sharing it with all your friends because you just know they’ll find this interesting. How do I know this? Mindgrams (they trump Instagrams just so you know).

force2Thanks for reading and liking and sharing – you’re awesome.

Why falling in love has nothing to do with orgasms

A lot has been said about the idea of falling in love, or love for that matter, and what attracts us as mammals to the opposite sex. Religion says it’s a spiritual thing, science claims its all chemicals and Hollywood states it’s all about sex, letters in bottles and rose petals on the wooden floors of loft apartments to entice newly divorced neighbours.

But what makes us fall in love?

Cosmo just recently published another completely construed, sensation-seeking piece of defecation entitled “What makes men fall in love“.   In this pile of horse manure the world’s 13A-Can-you-Love-Someone-without-Physical-Attractionleading cause of heartbreak and dysfunctional relationships claimed to have found the four reasons that make a man fall in love with a woman. Being a man I developed Tourettes syndrome while reading through this crap and decided to set the record straight. Because let’s face it, it’s always the guy that cheats, its always the guy that’s not romantic or well mannered enough, or not well dressed enough and its most always the guy’s fault that the relationship didn’t work. Really? So you don’t think that maybe he also gets a little fed up with your crap as much as you do with his? Maybe he doesn’t think that Hollywood’s version of romance is actually romantic at all.

Why do guys and girls fall in love? Nobody knows, least of all me. Especially not me in fact – but what we do know is that being in love is fantastic. But why don’t we stay in love if it’s so amazing?

Sometimes we do, and sometimes those moments are the ones we hold onto.

Cupid, the Scientologist 

So Cupid’s quite a clever little bow-toting angel winged assassin. Another “recent study” has found that a lot of the times this little dude really is blind. And that it actually a good thing.

Time clipping Cupid's wings. By Pierre Mignard back in 1630.

Time clipping Cupid’s wings. By Pierre Mignard back in 1630.

At least it has to be if nature is to ensure that a species continues to procreate. So a number of tests were run and a number of people interviewed etc etc and what they found was that basically there are three stages of falling in love namely Lust, Attraction and Attachment. (And in the process they debunked the whole Cupid idea which I foresee will be the cause of many a Valentine’s Day break up.)

Each of these stages are driven by different sets of complex hormones and other really clever sounding chemical reactions – all of which have allegedly been studied to the nth degree by really clever dudes in white coats somewhere in the States. Isn’t it funny how “they” are always scientists from somewhere in the States?

Be that as it may, these guys asked some of their shrink buddies for input on the matter. These Psychologists showed that it only takes between 90 seconds and four minutes to decide if you like someone. Their research stated that this has little to do with what is said when you first meet, but that it kinda works in percentages as follows: 55% is through body language, 38% is the tone and speed of their voice and only 7% is through what they actually said to you. So it’s mostly very superficial.

The first stage – Lust

As it states, its all about getting it on. It’s that simple apparently and it’s because of the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen in both guys and girls. So would all the girls please stop with the “guys are so pathetic, all they wanna do is have sex” nonsense. It goes both ways, or according to science at least.

The second stage – Attraction

So here it would seem we have the three musketeers of all those butterflies in your tummy moments. Apparently attraction is all because of Adrenaline, Dopamine and Serotonin. imagesRoughly translated it means that the same stuff that helps you scale a six foot wall when that Rottweiler is coming at you from across the road, is the stuff that causes you to like someone. Which is probably why its so scary. Not the Rottweiler, the really hot girl in the bikini applying sunscreen at the pool or the six pack wielding hunk of man meat washing his Kawasaki in the drive way.  The initial stages of “falling” for someone activates your stress response, increasing your blood levels of adrenalin and cortisol. This has the charming effect that when you unexpectedly bump into your new “love”, you start to sweat, your heart races and your mouth goes dry. Nice!

The third stage – Attachment

Love_Hormone_InfogramAnd finally we have the evil sorcerer, the big bad wolf, the ogre in the woods. Oxytocin. Even the name sounds a little “dark side of the force-ish”. This is a powerful hormone released by men and women – you guessed it – during orgasm. Pay attention dudes, an orgasm is that thing you didn’t know girls also liked. Scientists have agreed that it probably deepens the feelings of attachment and makes couples feel much closer to one another after they have had sex. The theory goes that the more sex a couple has, the deeper their bond becomes.

So now what?

Well I don’t know. Do I care? Nah.

What I do know is that “falling” implies that the process is in some way uncontrollable and risky – as in the phrases “to fall ill” or “to fall into a trap”. The famous biologist, Jeremy Griffith, suggested that people fall in love in order to abandon themselves to the dream of an ideal state (being one free of the human condition).

I for one believe that it’s the physical consequence of a spiritual awakening. I like the fall. It is exhilarating and if it were likened to skydiving I would never open my chute. Hitting the ground at terminal velocity would be a welcome reprieve from the notion that pulling the chord and playing it safe could  forever take you from me.

And if I were forced to look at this through the Petr dish in some lab, I would still see you there under the microscope of things. Because maybe it’s all just chemicals and maybe it all boils down to stages and hormones and natural progression. Maybe they’re right and maybe all their scientific research has finally proven it…

Chemistry exists

and

you

are

my

drug.

Mozart and the Mosh Pit

“Music soothes even the savage beast”. Another perfect example of how misguided our education system is. Although this is possibly one of my favourite quotes, it is also one of the most misquoted.

It was the other William

Many believe that it was uttered by the Master Word Smith, William Shakespeare, when in fact it was from a play entitled The Mourning Bride written in 1697 by the English playwright, William Congreve.

William Congreve

William Congreve

The actual line reads “Music has charms to soothe a savage breast,” which is the first line of the play, spoken by Almeria in Act I, Scene 1. (The word “breast” is often misquoted as “beast”, and “has” sometimes appears as “hath”.)

As a quick point of interest, this guy was really done in by history as another famous quote was also attributed to Shakespeare – “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned,” spoken by Zara in Act III, Scene VIII. (This is usually paraphrased as “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”).

But anyway…

It’s a scientifically proven fact that music affects our brains. And different music affects different areas of our brains depending on a lot of things, including whether we are actual musicians or not. One thing i for sure though: we learn quicker when things rhyme. Case in point is the ABC song we were taught as kids. Why this is an affective learning tool boils down to how our brains process information.

When it comes to music

One side of our brain processes the words while the other processes the music. This activates the entire brain and ensures far better retention of information. Our short term memory can only hold seven bits of information, and by combining information into a song, you are effectively taking two or three bits and making them one. This means you can actually force feed your brain through music. Surprisingly though, the sound of music has more impact on us than the actual lyrics, which is comforting to me personally as a parent considering the amount crap the modern rappers and pop groups “sing” about.

courtesy of Huffington Post.

courtesy of Huffington Post.

It is also important that you stimulate your brain with the right type of music. And by that I don’t mean doing the world a favour and never using the words “talented musician” in the same sentence as Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus ever again. I mean that you need to listen to complex music if you are going to get your noggin vibrating sufficiently.

Like for example

It’s been accepted for a while now that to ensure your child’s brain gets stimulated properly, one should play classical music to them while in the womb and after birth. You know, classical, like Mozart or Hendel or Bach – real instruments and composers and stuff (for the kids reading…wait…oh well). But is it only classical music that has this affect, and if so why?

The Mozart Effect

Like “Crossfit” and other buzzwords being thrown around by people wanting to sound cool, this term is really misunderstood. It plays on the premise that listening to classical music makes your child smarter…much like how doing burpees and chin ups till you puke makes you stronger. So what’s behind this popular notion, what does it really mean and is it all hype or does it carry some weight…relax Crossfitians, we don’t care about your PB.

Basically in layman’s terms the reason the classical stuff works on your brain is because of all the different pitches and hundreds of different notes all clustered together making pretty sounds that get your neurons firing like the lights on your Christmas tree. The key being the combination of many different notes in highs and lows in short, dramatic bursts…like…a…really good…guitar solo…in a hard rock or metal song.

Meet the Slipknot offenders.

Meet the Slipknot offenders.

Before we continue…

I feel it is my duty as a musician and music enthusiast to set the record straight. Metallica is not metal. Seether is not metal. Disturbed is not metal. Linkin Park is not metal. Chad Koeger and Nickleback are neither metal nor rock musicians…in fact they are almost country rockers…like Crossfitians are exercisers, not athletes.

Alright so what I’m saying is…

Some clever people in white coats have found that classical, jazz and metal music have similar affects on the brain because of the dramatic time signatures and changes in the patterns and progressions of the various musical pieces. It also dictates that the brain is more stimulated by technically difficult to play pieces of music than repetitive melodies such as loop-tracks used in today’s rap and hip-hop genres.

Many argue that heavy metal is negative and causes rebellion in children. “Just look at those boys who killed all those kids at that school because they listened to Slipknot”. Really. Blaming music on school killings or teen suicide is like blaming spoons for fat people being fat.

We can experience music as something sorrowful, distressing, forceful, or aggressive, all in the comfort of our own home without feeling a shred of any real threat or danger. In the same way we look at art and perceive the emotion, we can understand the emotion of the music without really feeling it ourselves.

There is the fear of course that in the same way listening to cheerful music can lift one’s spirits, listening to angry music can actually make you angry enough to pick up a gun and start killing bunnies. Paradoxically, people often tailor music to their current mood, rather than use music to try and change their mood. Also…does listening to sexy music make you wanna hump your sister? Thought not. So drop it.

In closing (Phew)

To date, there are many theories on whether or not music makes your child smarter. Some believe they have found concrete evidence to validate this. They’re lying and want to sound cooler than their white coats and thick glasses make them look.

The reality is a report by McMaster University Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour in Hamilton, Canada which states that “The opposing sounds of Mozart and Slayer are presented but their difference not explained…at the sensory-cellular level there is no difference.”

Because we are all different,some people are drawn to heavy metal music for it’s perceived sonic qualities which means that this music is not making anyone more aggressive or violent than they already are.

Yes, really.

Do you agree? Tell us what you think. Join in the poll, it’s fun and you’ll get that great satisfaction of knowing you upset someone.

 

Love is jealous….oh wait, no it’s blind.

Let’s talk cliche for a minute. But, let’s not waste your time with the insignificant ones shall we? You guys don’t like reading anyway so I’m going to start with the biggest of the bunch – “love is blind”.

The Black Sheep

Made famous in classic literature way back by the revered novelist, George Bernard Shaw in his masterpiece An Unsocial Socialist. The problem is we have gone and misquoted the guy, as it seems we like doing with any literature from our past. The full sentence reads “You can hardly blame me for that: I was in love myself; and love is blind and jealous.”

But we left out jealous. Because jealous is not cool, and it certainly is not in line with what another famous writer said when he wrote “love is patient, love is kind… love is never jealous…”  In contradiction to this, the very author of the book containing this statement said “God is love” and later also that “God is a jealous God”. But love is not jealous, so that means that either God is not love or that there is a god called love and another called jealous. (No blasphemy intended here by the way, just taking a neutral and objective look at all the angles).

Anyway.

So now we have a problem. If jealousy is the opposite to love does that mean there can be not one without the other? Like a twisted Yin-Yang. That would mean that if you aren’t jealous you are not in love. Or am I completely missing the point here?

A little closer to home

Now, for a very long time I was the flag-bearer of the notion that love is a choice not an emotion. But, as of late I have given that some thought. If love is not an emotion that means you can chose and that means you can control it, right? So why then can jealousy not be controlled? Why is jealousy an emotion then? And after thinking for a minute I realized that jealousy is blind, not love. And jealousy can be controlled – by love. According to the Word Smith in the now-popular-and-soon-to-be-completed (uhum) novel, Dial Earth For Operator, “Love is the pair of spectacles you place on the weary eyes of jealousy to make it see the obvious.”

I like that. In fact I believe we’ve made a bit of a breakthrough here really. Two people see one another for the first time and they fall in love over time as they get to know one another. Obviously there is the physical attraction too…which is noticed through the use of….your eyes. That alone cancels out the blind part. But I think what the cliche intends to say is that when you truly love someone, you notice their faults and slight imperfections, but chose to look past them because the feeling you get from being around them is just too amazing to risk. And I agree in some way. But when a guy starts beating his partner, or she starts cheating on him, don’t you think “love is blind” is just a way for you to hide the fact that you actually like that kind of attention?

Surely there has to be a limit set somewhere, because I’m sorry but even a person who is really, physically blind would realize that when someone continuously inflicts harm upon you, they really don’t like you too much.

So the point is?

Okay, so back to the cliche. I think we can lay this one to rest. It has become clear after investigating the crime scene that love is not the perpetrator, but that it was jealousy…in the ballroom with a candle stick…

Tell us what you think, because your opinion matters to us…no really, it does…so do your shares and likes and participation in the poll at the bottom of this blog. Also, we know we’ve touched on some sensitive stuff here and that you all want a chance to have your say. So here ya go…here’s a soapbox.

 

How beautiful can atrocious be?

The old adage “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is a load of rubbish in my opinion. That’s just the apologetic way of blame shifting. Its a very clever way of escaping the fact that your scribbled little lines with a blotch of paint here and there on an over-sized canvas is not, in fact, pretty. Nor is it art. And you are sadly not a tormented creative soul. Its ugly, it doesn’t say anything and its only function should be convincing you that rugby or some other activity would be better suited to your unique set of skills.

You feel me?

I don’t believe beauty is something you see. I believe it is something you experience. It is a something that leaves you with a feeling rather than an image of it. Therefor I state that “beauty is in the heart of the beholder”.

To illustrate.

Your son draws you a picture. It’s something resembling a man and a sun with a carrot sticking out his ass. It’s ugly. But he hands it to you and proudly explains what each of the scribbles are and how they fit together to form the image of you in his world. Suddenly you get that lump in the throat experience. You look at this ugly thing on this crumpled sheet of A4 paper and it becomes the most beautiful thing anyone has ever handed you. Suddenly the carrot-assed-sun-man takes on a profoundly new meaning, he becomes a portrait of a golden god worthy to be framed and displayed in the lounge on that wall next to surround sound a little off center from the family portrait. See?

Atrocious

Man I love this word. It even looks really cool when you read it on the screen, especially when you use some medieval looking font or something. And it sounds regal, upper class even when pronounced properly. (Have you ever experienced atrocious as it passes over the lips of a beautiful woman? You should, it’s life altering really.)

Anyway, so what makes it pretty? I think it could be the different sounds you make at once when you pronounce it. Or, it could be the shape your mouth takes or the tone your voice changes to? I don’t know. But what I do know for certain is that the meaning of the word is far from pretty. According to Oxford “atrocious” is an adjective meaning horrifyingly wicked. But it doesn’t feel wicked, does it? So I would go as far as saying that “beautiful” could be synonymous with “atrocious” which goes without saying that beauty is indeed atrocious. An atrocity really.

So to summarize I have included this little poll as a test to my theory. Take part and make your little tick because I know that you are as curious of the outcome as I am.

 

Let me know, and follow me on Facebook, like this page and enjoy the different angles on life, love and everything in between.

And, yes, really.