Credit Where Credit is Due.

It was pointed out to me yesterday, by my very dearest and very oldest (she’s not so old, I’ve just known her forever) friend, that I have a long standing habit of ‘referring to other people’s authority’ in conversation.  A statement which initially confused me somewhat, for as anyone who has known me for longer than twenty minutes has probably figured out – me and authority don’t get along so well.  Never have.

However, my friend’s keen sense of observation has noticed a particular idiosyncrasy of mine – apparently when passing on information, I have a tendency to reference what I am saying, to others whose expertise I acknowledge and respect, rather than just stating the information out right.  Presumably to lend or gravitas to the argument, according to my friend.  For example when discussing infant bottle feeding, at some point I have told her about the myth of baby bottle sterilization – that we, as an ever obedient consumer society, are conned into buying expensive bottle sterilizers to clean baby bottles.  However, apparently I didn’t just tell her that these expensive products were time consuming and unnecessary because if you think about it, common sense tells you that once you remove the bottle from the sterilization unit they are no longer sterile… No, apparently I referred to the authority of a microbiologist friend who had initially informed me, that sterilizers are no more effective than simple hot water, dish washing detergent and air drying practices (don’t use a dish cloth – your average kitchen dish cloth is bursting with fruit flavour… ie: germs.), thus lending expertise and weight to my assertion.

On various another occasions I have shared general information with her about cars, car maintenance and even driving practices, apparently drawing on the authority of an ex-boyfriend who worked in the car industry and raced cars for a hobby as the relevant authority.  Likewise apparently with IT or computer related issues, always referring to someone that she perceived, that I perceived, held more expertise than myself in the area under discussion.  I also have a tendency to cite research and articles I have read rather than stating things as just knowledge or facts that I have acquired (likely this a habit of the perpetual student, in me).

Not only that, but she has also noticed that I apparently unwilling to take ownership of those little idioms that you come upon in life that stay with you – eg: ‘Having one child takes up all of your time, and having three children takes up all of your time as well’ (wise words passed on as being from my mother).  So after many years of study – yes, my friend is a particularly analytical creature with an extraordinary memory, and she has a habit of studying her friends – she has decided that I have some underlying habit of referring to the authority of others.  She didn’t express a hypothethis ,as to why I do this.  Whether it is because she thinks I have difficulty trusting my own judgement, or whether it might be simply to reinforce my position with my listener by referring to a (perceived) more expert opinion.

But I have been thinking about it and honestly?  I think it is simply a matter of giving credit where credit is due.  We all learn things from so many sources around us, especially now in the Information Age, some of it credible, some of it not so credible, some of it down right bullshit and for many many years now I have been taking things I learn with a grain of salt unless it is from a well respected source or well referenced.  And yes, this often includes information gained from my friends.  Can I claim credit for realizing all on my own that my baby bottles are no longer sterile as soon as I open the container?  No.  I would have keep on wasting my time using the stupid thing, like a good little consumer, if my friend hadn’t pointed out the nonsense staring me in the face.  So I pass on the credit for providing this jewel of common sense, to my friend.

It’s weird how this works in my head.  But I strongly suspect I am not alone.  I believe this, giving credit to individuals for the information they bring into our lives, is important to a lot of people.  On Facebook, for example, if we want to ‘share’ a link that a friend has bought to our attention, we are given an option to include their name on our page, connected to the article/webpage/photo, as the original finder or provider of said information.  Now, unless Facebook is being stupid (which it frequently is, especially from your phone), I ALWAYS leave the name of the person who originally posted it.  If someone has provided me with information that I feel is worth sharing, then I feel they deserve to have the credit for finding it.  My finickity nature on this one also extends to things that are sent to me privately – if a friend sends me something via private message or something, and I think it is worth sharing with the world at large… I often feel the NEED to ask that friend if they mind if I share it on Facebook, or Reddit or via email or whatever?  I have no idea why I do that, except that I feel people should be given credit for the knowledge they bring to us that variously (or vicariously?) enriches our lives in some way.

So yes, in discussions I am probably frequently heard referring to authors of authority, especially on politics and current events.  But when discussing the wisdom that friends have generously bestowed on me, and which I am now sharing with others – I strongly suspect it is primarily a matter of making sure I am passing on the credit to the person to whom it is due.

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10 Reasons To Avoid Reading Lists On The Internet

Lately there seems to be a veritable plethora of numbered lists going around the internet.  They’re taking over Twitter and Facebook and even LinkedIn (how bizarre!).  They are wide and varied in topic and content, but mostly tend towards the complete banal…

24 Signs You Are A Writer – buzzfeed
10 Things You Need To Know About Losing Weight – SMH
45 All Time Best Wedding PhotoBombs – HuffPost
18 Things You Need To Know About California’s Worst Drought In History -BF
28 Things You Didn’t Know About Google – news.com.au syndicated version* of:
29 Awesome Things You Didn’t Know About Google (But Should) – HuffPost
11 Times When Retail Therapy Was A Completely Valid Choice – Mamamia
8 Reasons Why You Are Wrong About Not Vaccinating Your Daughter – blogger
10 Influential People Who Never Lived – Listverse

Well, here is a list of 10 Reasons To Avoid Reading Numbered Lists on the Internet!  (Oh, the irony?!)

1.  Most of these lists are ‘click bait’ designed to sucker you into clicking through to particular websites to boost their view numbers, so that they can then use your ‘clicks’ to sucker in potential advertisers.  End result – everyone is a sucker.

2.  Many of these lists are written by wanna be journo/writers at the bottom of the food chain.  99% of it is fluff and/or complete shite.  If it wasn’t, it would be written into a decent article, by a credentialed journo with (god forbid!) references, that might be actually worth reading!

3.  Many of these lists are the equivalent of a Grade 2 Reader – complete with pretty pictures to attract and keep your attention (beware the animated .gif list!) … Do you want to continue being treated like a seven year old?  If so, keep on clicking through!

4. A good deal of the content in these lists is either appropriated, recontextualized or just plain stolen from other websites, by people either too lazy, too stupid or completely incapable of writing their own original content.

5.  These lists are literally designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator – ie: the least educated and least savvy of internet consumers. The level of banality becomes apparent with you see lists like, ‘The 20 Sexiest Ugly People‘… seriously?

6.  The recent proliferation and obvious predilection towards numbered list making, and numbered list sharing, is an unnecessary and unwanted distraction from the True and Proper Purposes of The Internets – stalking your ex, sharing LOLCats and searching for pornography.

7.  Not one of these lists, including the ‘Top 10 Celebrity Side-Boob, Cleavage and Near Misses‘, are in any way conducive to bringing world about peace, ending poverty, saving the planet/whales/white spotted owls… nor can they even help find a decent cup of coffee.  This last criteria alone renders them completely without purpose.

8.  <this space intentionally left blank… but that’s okay, none of you will notice>

9.  A growing body of research suggests that the superficial engagement and distraction of constant internet overstimulation is actually making people dumber. Lists like these are de-evolving our brain’s innate abilities for higher functions like analytical thought and reasoning.

10.  But most importantly, striking up a conversation with a desirable member of the opposite sex that starts with ‘I read a list the other day of ‘10 Reasons the Moon Landings Could Be A Hoax‘… is just about a guaranteed to stop you from getting laid.

internet listmania listverse

Okay, so maybe there are only 2 potentially valid reasons to avoid reading numbered lists on the internet… but my list, just like everyone else’s, is one or two valid or interesting points, fleshed out with crap.

Either way, the current propensity for inconsequential information being regurgitated into pithy little easily digestible lists that are then spoon fed to the masses is having an alarming effect on the delivery of more important information.  Mentioned above were ‘8 Reasons You Were Wrong Not To Vaccinate Your Daughter’ and ’18 Things You Need To Know About California’s Worst Drought In Centuries’…

These are serious topics requiring deep engagement and serious cogitation and hopefully lively and enlightened debate.  But what’s going on?  In order to get anyone to share a serious awareness raising campaign on topics such as the ramifications of global climate change, and the tragic consequences of choosing not to vaccinate children in the 21st C, these complex and sensitive issues are being distilled into stupid dot point lists!  Or else the masses won’t fucking read it!

 

*Your writing staff are getting pretty fucking lazy if they can’t even be bothered coming up with their own stupid lists anymore – and for anyone who was paying attention, you’ll notice the missing ‘Awesome Thing’ on the news.com.au version, was a tip on how to get around paywalls on news websites… huge surprise that the Murdoch press would cut that out of their syndicated list of Google Awesomeness!

Malinger – to feign illness, in order to shirk one’s duty or avoid work.

“I know what people in pain look like… and she’s definitely not in pain.” said the stupidest, most ignorant fucking prick this side of the Black Stump, to my friend…

What gives someone the audacity, sheer gall, to meet me for a few hours, pass judgement on my body, my pain and my inescapable daily experience of it, and then decide that I’m some sort of malingerer?  What sort of arrogant wanker thinks he has the right to look into my mind, my heart, my body, and decide what I do or do not feel?  What sort of smug, pompous, self involved, vainglorious little arse of a man (who, by the way, is not in possession of any sort of medical degree, extensive nursing training or engaged in the healthcare professions), gets to decide that I am LYING about MY pain?

Many of you know me pretty well… you’ve seen me at medieval events wearing heavy and uncomfortable clothing doing things that I shouldn’t be doing, you’ve seen me laughing and being social at parties pretending everything is fine, you’ve seen me (like this fucktard has) standing around all day in pain teaching people to shoot.  You’ve seen me helping out where ever I am physically able, whilst simultaneously acknowledging and yet attempting to ignore the limitations of my body.

Some of you will know that I’m wearing bright pink today, or purple, or red, so that hopefully the people around me won’t notice the pained look in my eyes.  Some of you will know that the awkward or slightly limping gait with which I am walking is from sitting too long, or the strained expressions as I execute the extremely difficult manoeuvre of getting out of a chair is from nerves shooting pain signals around my body.  Some of you will know that I’ve constantly got more pharmaceuticals in my system than should be allowed for short blondes, or for operating machinery or for consuming alcohol.  Some of you will know these things but then will politely refrain from mentioning it, because you know that I really don’t want to talk about it.  Some of you will know that I am not really the surly bitch that my facial expressions might indicate, that it is just the strain of keeping my shit to myself all the time.

What very few of you know is just how much fucking effort it takes to keep myself upright and functioning, each and every day.  Very few of you know that I have not slept for more than five or six hours any night for the last six years.  Very few of you know that I am in so much pain that I take freezing cold showers in the middle of the night, to feel something other than pain.  Very few of you know that I am habitually just one tiny unexpected inconvenience from tears, as I constantly channel all my energy into ignoring my pain, leaving very little energy for dealing with ‘other people’s shit’.  Very few of you know how many times I have wanted to step off the planet and cease to live this painful existence.  Very few of you know how dark the dark times really are, and how little real joy there is in a life filled with pain with no hope of reprieve.

What this self centred, egotistical, callous, and downright malicious cretin of a man, who made this hideously inappropriate and ignorant comment about ME, after barely four hours acquaintance, will NEVER know is just how desperately I want to march right up to him, right now, and tell him like it is.  Tell him how horrid it is living in this traitorous body that gives me nothing but pain and heartache.  Tell him what it is like to be constantly medicated to the point where your own recollections of the days events are notoriously unreliable.  Tell him what it is like to be absolutely bone weary exhausted and yet be unable to sleep because the pain keeps you awake.  Tell him what it is like to be afraid of picking up a fucking electric jug in the kitchen or reach down to pet the puppy, without steeling yourself against potentially painful spasms that could last all day.  Tell him what it is like to have your first and foremost thought of every minute of every day be how much pain your body is experiencing.

Instead, I am just sitting here, asking myself why the fuck do I even go to such extraordinary efforts and measures to keep my chronically painful self TO MYSELF, if intellectually challenged individuals like this ignorant simpleton are going to judge me like this?

Just because I am not crying does not mean I am not in pain.
Just because I am not wearing a cast or a brace, does not mean I am not hurting.
Just because I am forcing a smile onto my face does not mean I am at ease.
Just because I am laughing and participating does not mean my body is pain free.

What it does mean, you narcissistic, brain dead, self-important, insensitive, chicken fucking dimwit… is that I have had over twenty years experience in dealing with MY pain.  And I choose not to inflict MY pain on everyone else’s life by constantly forcing others to acknowledge its existence.  Just because MY body and MY life is full of pain – day in and day out – doesn’t mean that the lives of those around me need be constantly likewise reminded and affected by MY pain.  The fact that I don’t seem like I am in pain is a sign of MY achievements, in managing and mitigating MY painful circumstances, hiding MY no-longer obvious distress at being in pain, managing to attempt going about MY life as best I can.

What you can really take away from this, is that MY PAIN HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU, and I work my arse off to make sure it stays that way.

SO STOP BEING A FUCKING CUNT AND MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.stop being a cunt

 

You want to tell me that you love me…

Why is it that he always sends an, “I love you” message, right when you are in the middle of storming around the house cursing his fucking name?

Is it ESP or something?  Does he feel that right at that moment he is mentally being burned in effigy and suddenly feels the need to try and buy some good karma or something? Because I frequently get the text message that says, “I hope you’re having a great day. I love you.’, when I am so pissed off I want to scream!!!

I’ll be in the middle of wiping the coffee stains off the kitchen benches, the cupboards and even the goddamn floor, and mentally calculating how many more times I am prepared to do this before I throw the malodorous filthy fucking espresso machine out the fricken kitchen window and my little iPhone will innocuously go *ding* with an ‘I love you’.

Or I’ll be scrubbing the toilet of HIS skiddies, or scraping phlegm off the bathroom sink or washing bits of beard off the porcelain… and wondering ‘Ferfucksake why?!?  Does he not see it?  DOES HE NOT FUCKING SEE IT?’ and the phone will go *ding* with little messages of love.

I’ll be thinking to myself, ‘what part of, “you need to find somewhere else to hang those ties” sounds like a fucking suggestion?’, or ‘he said he fucking cleaned this, and yet here I am, on my hands and knees, doing it properly’, or sighing in slumped resignation at the realization that my request to take the stupid garbage out has been ignored for the umpteenth time and my phone will go *ding* with a text window telling me I’m so awesome.   🙁

WELL FUCK THAT SHIT.

You want to tell me that you love me… scrub down your own damn dunny and leave it smelling fresh and clean for the next occupant.

You want to tell me that you love me… actually clean the dishes when you say you are going to, and realize that cleaning the dishes also involves wiping down the sink!

You want to tell me that you love me… look after your own shit and don’t leave disgusting coffee stains and smells permeating the entire kitchen.

You want to tell me that you love me… don’t use the bathtub as an ‘overflow’ laundry hamper hindering anyone from actually taking a fucking bath!

You want to tell me that you love me… don’t vacuum the floor in part of the house and leave another part of the house littered with crap.

You want to tell me that you love me… then fucking DO something useful and fucking do it properly!

clean-up-wall-art-stickers-01-02

Here’s some free advice… thinking of getting married and sharing your life with someone until ‘death do you part’ or until one of you is lying about screwing some sort of window licking crazy in a dodgy hotel room on a Tuesday?  By all means.  Marriage rocks.  Having someone to share your life with is awesome.  BUT for crying out loud, save yourself years of heartache and marry someone who has the same sense of ‘clean’ as you do.  Else you are just buying into a world of fucking hurt.

And don’t get me started on having compatible concepts of ‘punctuality’…

New kind of road rage.

I’ve never been driving before and wanted to get out of my car and actually punch someone.  Sure, I’ve sworn and cursed and quelled the desire to verbally eviscerate other drivers for their utter stupidity and complete inability to perform routine traffic manoeuvres… but I’ve never actually wanted to get out of the vehicle and engage in an act of physical violence before.

Until yesterday.

I was in the car coming back from Ikea – for those of you who don’t know BrisVegas very well, the nearest Ikea is not far from the Logan Hyperdome… more commonly known as the Bogan Hyperdome.  And yes, down in these parts of town there are more personalized number plates and bumper stickers per square inch in the car park, than you can poke a stick at , so you know roughly the demographic I’m talking about here.  Anyway, driving along, and saw something that absolutely made my blood boil – a Mitsubishi Lancer containing four young-ish adults and an infant in a rearwards facing baby capsule.  You might be thinking – so what?  Well, at least two of the fucking miscreants in that vehicle were smoking.  That’s what.

That poor child.  Probably only a few months old and already inhaling second hand cigarette smoke.  No doubt the baby is also being forced to breathe toxic fumes in the home as well.  I saw this and was just infuriated beyond reason.  What do I care if these cretins don’t take proper care of their child?  It’s not like it will in anyway effect me or mine, in any way shape or form… but I really, really wanted to get out of the car, walk over to the other vehicle and punch the stupid bint with the words, ‘Butterfly Kisses’ tattooed down her forearm, right in her stupid, big hair, big sunglasses and too much bloody makeup’d, face!

How dare these people, who are fortunate enough to have that precious little person in their lives, show such a complete and blatant disregard for the health of that tiny baby who is so totally unable to advocate for itself?  It’s a parents job, and in cases like this I would argue the responsibility of all adults that are anywhere near an infant, to ensure it is not harmed in a manner so insidious and neglectful.  I just don’t understand it.  How could anyone be so stupid, ignorant, selfish and irresponsible as to smoke near a little baby?  It’s one thing to knowingly and decisively poison your own body with hideous amounts of toxins, and dismiss the overwhelming body of evidence about the repercussions for your own health… and quite another matter entirely to make that decision for a newly formed, tiny and defenceless human being.

People like this do not deserve to have children.  And let’s not even get started on women who smoke through their pregnancies…  this whole thing just angers and deeply saddens me beyond expression.  🙁

smoking-near-baby

Then again perhaps the entire incident was just a result of spending a futile hour getting lost in Ikea, an endeavour in itself, guaranteed to raise one’s hackles before you even get to the vehicle for the return drive home.