A life half-lived

Imagine every embarrassing moment of your life being relived over and over. Groundhog Day without the good bits. What a terrible inhibition on one’s ability to live one’s life.

Well, that had been my life until recently. There was, for instance, the time that I said something complimentary to one person that I later realised to be a terrible insult to another person present; a simple clumsiness that I regretted later; something from my childhood years, my adolescence, my first marriage, at a social function, at school, at work, in front of my workmates or my relatives, whatever, would pop into my mind at any time of day or in any place. I would cringe and groan and then try to forget it; but the memory would come back a few days, weeks or years later, only to repeat again. With seemingly hundreds of these cringe moments, it wasn’t uncommon for my wife to often say, “what’s the matter?” and I would shake it off and say, “ah, nothing.”

Well they are all gone now. I found a solution. Whenever a cringe memory hits me now, I think about what happened, I write it all down on an imaginary piece of paper, with a pretend pen; I try to learn from what happened ask forgiveness, then fold it up and place it in  an invisible envelope and post it into a make-believe letter box to nowhere. It never seems to come back. No more cringes, no more groans, no regrets. All gone!

I just hope I don’t regret writing this.

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Boring

I’m pretty boring. I know it. That’s why I’m not in television. Some boring people make it into television – they are called ABC news-readers. I have met a few flamboyant, irrepressible and down-right disgusting people in my time, even in my limited experience. ButI feel that when you enter the realm of entertainment that the likelihood of people there being debauched, pretentious, conceited, egotistical sociopaths rises exponentially. I don’t want to excuse bad behaviour – definitely not – but I don’t want to condemn people who are not like me just because they are not like me. I don’t want to watch television where only people like me are allowed on the set.

Recently we have had a lot of news about some entertainers’ lascivious behaviour. There has also been a lot of nonsense spoken, like poor Oprah’s tedious speech. The sight of a woman displaying her ample bosom, surrounded by a lot of women, apparently attending a public function in black underwear, demanding more respect seems odd.

There do need to be some standards – Harvey Weinstein should probably go to gaol and maybe share a cell with Dustin Hoffman. On the other hand, when we hear about someone’s behaviour, and it’s behaviour that we would consider unacceptable for ourselves, which of us really has the right to condemn them?

Our own Australian-made pair of Don Burke and Craig McLachlan have been exposed with shock and horror by Fairfax and the ABC. Their compulsive and at times repulsive behaviour has outraged everyone who likes to be outraged and brought their respective careers to a halt. But, when you examine what they actually did, you have to ask the questions, were the participants adults, who was actually harmed, which laws were broken and how much of what the accusers are saying is just in their own minds?

 

Logic fails to make sense

I may have mentioned before, that I often have to solve problems in my work. I like to use logic and I find that in isolating a problem there is a simple set of rules to follow that I learnt about twenty years ago. You see a problem and you isolate it in terms of time – when it happens, when it does not happen – and in space – where it happens and where it does not happen. Once you have split your observations into these four quadrants the answer sometimes leaps out at you.

Another way to sort out what’s right or wrong is to go back to first principles. If there is a relationship between two events can one be causing the other or is there some other cause? However, if ‘A and B then C’ is true, then can we say ‘if not A or not B then not C’ is true? How can you tell? There’s not enough information.

Recently, I have been trying to apply my form of logic to problems that involve peoples’ feelings. I would like to think that using logic gives a better result than emotion but some people don’t like my conclusions. Let’s draw a Venn diagram around all that stuff and forget it.

Isn’t specialising a form of discrimination?

Just did a google search and found a plethora of sites “specialising in same-sex marriage.” Huh? With all the agonising going on in parliament this is surely bizarre. What if someone’s business specialised in not providing for same-sex marriage? They’d probably be persecuted, graffitied, hounded into an early grave, taken to the Human Rights Commission and put in gaol. (Maybe not in that order.)

Can I change my vote? I misread the question.

Can I vote again? I must have misread the question. It seems that we were voting on the question, “Do you agree that gay people should be afforded the respect and love they deserve from the community at large?” I would have voted ‘yes’, of course. That’s what 62% of Australians did and I congratulate them for their warmth and sincerity.

Unfortunately, I thought the question had read, “Should the government change the law regarding the basic unit of society, with unknown consequences, and so that some people with unfulfilled needs can experiment with the lives of children?” Must have made a mistake!

Ian Thorpe’s compassion

Ian Thorpe wants people to get behind the ‘yes’ vote on same-sex marriage to give hope to young gay people, “that young people can feel that and we start to get rid of all of those layers of discrimination the LGBTIQ community can face.” That’s a nice objective but is that a case for same-sex marriage? It is certainly not conclusive or assured. It seems a roundabout method to achieve such a goal. As I said in other blogs, same-sex marriage does nothing to benefit gay people, who already have the freedom to choose their partner and live in whatever way they like. I’m still waiting for a convincing argument on the ‘yes’ vote.