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.

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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.

Nail Polish Polka

Everything forever a mystery.

What a wonderful thing adding to a colour – something to mean.

A brush upon pearlescent.

Surface so pure.

An aesthetic to please none but the weary pools of lost endeavour.

 

Coy it becomes.

The glimmer of her smile across a place

that captivates so

this humble servant of written word.

Another stroke of nine to go as one is left so perfectly to cure.

 

Moments not even left for gone had determined this colour upon

a place where I long for mine to ever clearly be.

Touch.

The bristles sway as she controls its wash.

Moving with grace a lifetime may see never perfected, this artist does.

 

Eight to go and time stands still.

Again she looks and sees it right

enough to shift her gaze and with a slight adjust

the brush to colour another must.

 

Trivial a thought this pattern be.

For one as amazing and careful as she,

the artist drops to seven as bristles they seem just never quite right to be.

Colour this darkness true

as black and things for her it just

doesn’t seem to rightfully do.

 

A beige, a natural more reflective face

she opts for them to have.

Subtle she decides to be.

They sway slowly from side to side, this artist and her five.

 

A lover’s choir in the auditorium

of brush and subtle colour.

Just to dry and then to bed, she looked across to him and said.

Just to dry and then to bed.

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.

 

Batman vs Superman: Who would really win?

Batman vs Superman. Let’s be honest for a second. If they were both standing naked in a ring and it were up to a no weapons, bare knuckle fist fight, Supes would definitely knock the crap outta old Brucey and win in the first round by KO. Take away super powers however, and Clark Kent would have his ass handed to him like a cheap cheerleader at the senior prom. But the reality is that Superman has super…well super everything… and he is about as close to a demigod as the DC Universe can offer. But, he lacks a few things. And those things make him weak. And weakness makes you vulnerable which in turn makes you defeat-able. Especially against an opponent such as the mighty Batman. With the big build up to the 2016 Heavyweight Championship bout, let’s do the weigh in.

The Batman

Essentially the fight between arguably the two greatest heroes in the comic book universe, will never be as simple as just a physical battle. Batman is a dark character with a screwed up past and an even more twisted psyche. He’s not the best superhero, in fact he’s not even super as he possesses not a single super power.  ultimate_batman_by_silwenga-d46l3a1But, he is driven, calculating and downright dark with a moral code as flexible as chewed up bubblegum. And he has – on more than one occasion – proved willing to cross certain lines to achieve the mission objective. If you really take a look at the character build up of Bruce Wayne, it’s frightfully clear that he has some serious mental issues. The man is a sociopath running around a city dressed as a bat for crying out loud. But, as unstable as he is, he is a master at mind games and finding opponents weaknesses – and using those against them is what makes him dangerously underrated.

Pro’s

  1. Trained Fighter – he is a trained martial artist and strategist (thanks to his time in the League of Shadows).
  2. Skilled Warrior – He has had plenty of fight experience since childhood.
  3. Tough as Nails – he has survived many attempts on his life and still made a come back. (Even when Bane broke his back)
  4. Armed – Batman has an arsenal of only the very latest in weaponry at his disposal.
  5. Ruthless – He doesn’t spare his enemies.
  6. Intelligent – He is smart and calculating.
  7. Prepared – he studies his opponents and always knows what they will be doing next allowing him to plan ahead. (This is thanks to the fact that he is just mortal and has had to deal with many a superhuman in his career).
  8. He is not a good person. As quoted from Batman: Hush                                         “If Clark wanted, he could use his superspeed and squish me into the  cement. But I know how he thinks. Even more than the Kryptonite, he’s got  one big weakness. Deep down, Clark’s essentially a good person… and deep down, I’m not.”

 

Con’s

  1. No Super powers.
  2. Superman’s best friend.

 

Superman

We all know and love perhaps the most recognizable hero in all of comic book history. We think of capes and we see The Man of Steel. He stands for “truth, justice and the American way” and let’s face it he has the ultimate man-of-steel-henry-cavill-superman-concept-art-5bouquet of superpowers. But there is one decidedly important point we all seem to forget about ol’ Supes – he is only “superhuman” while in our solar system, and more so while on earth. He gains his powers from our yellow sun and our lesser gravity, but he would be an average guy back on Krypton (in fact he would probably be bullied). See what happens when he faced Zod? He got whipped. Because Zod, like Supes, is superhuman here on Earth, but Zod has actual combat training. Nonetheless, he is Superman and the fight in question is against a mere mortal so here goes the pros.

Pro’s

  1. Heat Vision – He could literally fry Batman from a mile off.
  2. Freeze Breath – Or just turn him into a Popsicle and then crush him
  3. Super Strength – I mean the guy has been knocked straight on the kisser by The Hulk and still got up for godsakes.
  4. Super Speed – his punches travel at just under the speed of light.
  5. Flight – He can pick Bats up and fly him into outer space.
  6. Bulletproof – Or basically anything human proof.
  7. Super Intellect – because he’s super and stuff.

 

Con’s

  1. Kryptonite – All his enemies know it kills him, and all of them know where to find it.
  2. Red Sun light – It removes all his superpowers.
  3. Magic – Superman has no resistance to magic and has on more than one occasion fallen under the mind control spell of some or other magical being. He also has his ass handed to him when he faces an opponent who is magical like Thor or Captain Marvel.
  4. Batman’s Best friend.
  5. He is a good person and that alone always gets him.

 

In summary

Because of Superman’s inherently good nature, he never uses his full power and always holds back. His greatest weakness is the fact that he is such a goodie-goodie with a major conscience and never allows himself to step over the line. He is predictable and his greatest weakness plays right into the greatest strength of Batman. Batman has an advantage mentally over the boy in blue in that he knows him. In fact, in the comic books, Superman actually charges Batman with the task of putting him down if he ever went rogue to “save humanity”. That means that from the start of the fight Superman already has an inferiority complex.

Batman for the win. What do you think?

 

 

Winter’s lesson lies hidden in Spring

Spring is in the air as we ready ourselves for flowing floral dresses, knee high pants and our favourite pair of strapless sandals. Soon, the trees will start to blossom as they do each year and swarms of bees, chirping birds and sunny rays will bring our gardens exploding back to life. But it wasn’t always like this. Not a week ago we still experienced the last lashes of a delayed winter and one would have been hard tasked to pinpoint exactly when summer said it’s goodbyes. Three months into winter and we can hardly imagine what it felt like to walk outside without a jacket or leggings. People complain about the cold and the stuffy noses and miserable moods that winter brings, forgetting that without winter there could never be sunshine, for along with all the ailments, weight gain and apparent moodiness, Winter brings us the gift of spring – or rather the appreciation of it.

There is a lesson that winter brings

We prepare for winter by stocking up on jackets, scarves and woolly hats and bid it farewell by discarding them. In life too, we continuously discard and replenish as we wade through our personal seasons. And it is personal, as each of us experience change in a different way. Change is scary for all of us no matter whether it be good or bad, in fact there is no bad change only a negative perception of something unknown – change therefore, is relative. To illustrate this point, one could look at a rose bush and be sad that it has thorns, or be happy that the thorns have roses. The trick is to ready yourself always for an approaching winter, knowing that everything is fleeting and that if good exists then so too there must exist the opposite in order to restore balance. Manic depressive sufferers struggle to see the rays that their Spring brings, because they refuse to look outside the window. So there they stay, stuck inside the circumstances they have created around themselves. Most of the time those circumstances are related to financial stress and the instant they come into some money, they feel empowered once more – until the next winter hits. In the summer months we don’t sell our jackets and winter wear, because we know that the season will change and we will need them again. The same outlook should be adopted when we look at our personal lives.

It is not about the money

The greatest lesson winter teaches us is that we need to learn to let go of our routines and hold onto change. Let go of the things and people in our lives that keep us locked up inside, unable to experience the joy of Spring, the freedom of change. Learn to take chances, dance in the rain, phone your loved ones, kiss your children as often as you can, roll on the grass, walk to the store, if you like green apples, buy red ones, ride a bike to work, smell the pages of a book, switch off your phone, turn on the radio and play it loudly – smile. Forget about the confines that social media and corporate marketing forced around you. Surround yourself with good people instead of good things, because in the end it is the things you own that end up owning you. Wear your heart on your sleeve, you never know, somewhere there might be someone who needs to see it. In all things never forget that winter will come, and it will pass, but when it comes be prepared with memories that warm more than just your hands.

You can stop reading now Mom

I’m having a beer as I write this – it’s a cold one I kept at the back of the fridge next to the apples, especially for today. I don’t really drink much, but the last time I wrote you something, mommy, was 14 years ago – and it was a goodbye which I had to read to a bunch of people who never knew you the way that I did. So come on, have a seat, let’s reminisce a while…

Twenty nine years ago you asked if you could marry my dad. I was only six then and we were standing in the kitchen making hotdogs on a Saturday afternoon. Has it been that long? I will never forget your smile when I hugged you and said “yes, Blommie, I don’t mind.” As if you really needed my blessing. My sister was tiny then, four, I think – but she came running in and hugged your other leg tightly as if she also agreed.

Right there in that kitchen my life began. Right there, I met the first woman who ever loved me. I know it sounds corny ma, but you were my first love.

Remember that time, I think I was in high school, when I walked into your sewing room while you were typing on the computer and challenged you to type every word I read from Stephen King’s Pet Cemetery? Hehe, I started reading and your fingers danced across that keyboard like tap dancers on a wooden stage – 110 words a minute, was it? Anyway, you suddenly stopped and I boasted, “what’s the matter, can’t keep old lady?” You looked up and said, “no, you read too slow.”

I can’t tell you how many times since then I’ve chuckled to myself about that, because now, I type faster than you. Okay almost, but the point is that I type because of you, and now, for you. You read this time mommy, and I’ll say stop.

I’ve never again heard the words “I love you” said quite the same way as when you used to remind me how much I meant to you. Until the day I repeated them to my own children. I have a son and daughter now and they know all about you, don’t worry – only the good bits I promise. I wish that they could have met you in person, you would’ve been an awesome grandma and I’m certain my daughter would have hugged your leg as well. My son would have spent hours on your lap playing with your chains. I think my sister kept your jewellery, but it doesn’t really matter because we both kept all of you.

You would’ve loved some of the people in my life too, and I’m pretty sure a few of the women would have had a very stern talking to – the last one especially – you would have warned me about her. And when I didn’t listen, you would have warned me against myself.

I am okay though, I found you in the lady you sent me to. She reminds me so much of you, I’m sure you would have made a formidable team. And she keeps me inline just like you did – between the two of you I’ve become me again.

I remember everything about you, I remember your life and I remember what all of that meant to mine. This letter has been a long time coming and every year I promised you that I’ll write and let you know how I’m doing. See? I remembered that too.

There is so much I want to tell you, so much has happened, but we’ve run out of time. The kids need to get to bed and the workload on my desk has started swaying on its own already, it’s deadline tomorrow. I wish we could do this more often, I wish you didn’t have to go just yet – but I know you’ll come back again, let me see you every so often.

I wanted you to know that I still feel your hugs, I still smell your perfume at times and I’m sure just the other day I saw you sitting on the floor, playing with the kids. I wanted you to know that it’s been a struggle, but I haven’t given up, I haven’t let them beat me. I just wanted to let you know that the little blonde haired boy you hugged in the kitchen that day has grown to be a man you would have been proud of.

But what I really wanted to say is happy birthday mommy. And happy mother’s day – I remembered the flowers this time, but someone ate your chocolates. I miss you today. I miss you every other day. Love you too much mom.

You can stop reading now, I’m beginning to type too slow.

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.