The News - 2011 Road Toll


Friday, 30 December 2011

Good afternoon.  This is the Discombobula news for Friday, 30 December 2011.

In our leading story, the national holiday road toll rose to 31 last night after a Victorian man in his 20's crashed into a tree in Wangaratta.  He was unable to be revived by paramedics and died at the scene.  His passenger was injured.

Insert here a paragraph about empty chairs at Christmas dinner tables to emphasise how awful it is that 31 people have died since we all went on holidays and 31 families are grieving (well, hopefully) for 31 people who died.

That above paragraph is contained in this news report because we the media basically think you are all too stupid to be able to work out that 31 people dying on the roads in the holiday period is a bad thing.  If we didn't spell it out in extremely large capital letters we are concerned that you would confuse it with the cricket scores and think that we need to raise the road toll, resulting in an anarchic nation of souls taking to the roads seatbeltless and pissed, to see how many old people they can run over in a 24-hour period.

Because we know, deep down in our market research, that you are a bunch of morons.  Our polls show that neither you nor we are capable any more of any mode other than fearmongering mode, and that giving you the colour and the shape of the whole story is a pointless enterprise, given that you would not know what to do with it unless we spelled out to you what to do with it.   And we frankly can't be bothered.

This last paragraph of this news report is not actually really here.  For all of the abovementioned reasons, we are too scared to paint the entire picture, which is this:  despite there being thousands and thousands more cars on the roads since the 1970s, the amount of people who died in road fatalities in 1970 was 3978.  In 2010 it was 1367.  That is good news.

May your news be good news, and good afternoon.

Writing vs Copywriting - Hicks Style


Thursday, 29 December 2011

I've been looking online at a few sites like Elance lately to scan the freelance writing gigs available on there. Many writers say that because of the competition, you must be prepared to write for many different forms, including copywriting.  Indeed, people make VERY good money copywriting.  Advertising has always suckled writers, a creative avenue for them to earn a living moving words around so that they can be well-fed enough to be able to work on their novels.  Many writers do this.  It is completely and utterly acceptable to do this.  And yet, for me, looking at these sorts of writing jobs on Elance and thinking about doing this sort of work feels rather like attaching a giant vacuum cleaner to the bottom of my feet and letting it suck my eyeballs out through my soles.

So I guess copywriting isn't really the bag for me, right?  But idealism is a high-priced commodity these days when we're all for sale.  Sometimes I think that one day not so soon we will begin to feel bereft whenever we read anything that is not trying to sell us something because we've become so conditioned.  Sometimes, I can feel myself beginning to dwindle, looking at the shrunken writing market and the giant mass of people who wish to compete in it, and my low self-confidence blobs me forward an infinitesmal nanostep towards the landslide that will tip me down into one day thinking, "Well, come on.  Why not write copy for Lockheed Martin?  They're just providing a service like everybody else."

But I really don't think so.  Because, folks, when it comes to black and white thinking about this stuff, my view is a little Bill Hicksian: 

I wonder what Bill would have thought of the developments in the world today 20 years on if he had survived the cancer that felled him in the mid-90's.  I watched a documentary about him the other day, and followed it up last night watching one of his routines.  He was high-octane, passionate, visionary, a little scary ... and bloody brilliant :)

Oh, to live in a world that is not fuelled by marketeers.  They do not understand highest common denominators.  Beauty.  Rhythm.  The natural world.  Those are what will keep us from drowning in our own plastic.

A Very Grinchy Christmas


Monday, 12 December 2011

I really didn't think Weekend Notes would post my uncommercial Christmas-hating piece, but they did :)

Juet Sculpture


Thursday, 8 December 2011

One day, when I've got money to burn, I'm going to go buy some beautiful piece from the guys at Juet Sculpture.

We went to their open studio several months ago.  They had a big open storage area that was full of bits and pieces of discarded metal, old cogs and woks and thingymyjiggies. The pieces they'd created were scattered all throughout the garden, making my heart swell.

Me and copper have been having rather a battle with each other lately.  I must say, it looks much sexier
in this sculpture than it feels inside, fucking with me.  

The Politics of Australia


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

"What does it say of a nation - what does it say to a nation - when in a time of austerity, of slashing of essential public services, that $1 billion of Australian taxpayers' money - our money - is being spent annually to persecute, damage and sometimes destroy the lives of people of whom between 80 and 95% are finally proven to be genuine refugees? That is to hurt the most powerless and helpless and deserving of help and kindness. It shames us a nation that claims to be both humane and generous, it belittles us as a people, and none of it will deter the wretched of the earth, forced to choose between despair and hope, from continuing to choose hope" - Richard Flanagan

I'm rather taken by the work of Carl Jung.  He's the one behind the Myers Briggs Indicator you've probably taken at some point.  He coined the idea of the collective consciosness, and of the shadow side of a personality - the place where we repress and suppress those things which we cannot consciously integrate or handle.  What lies out on Australia's shadow side - a country founded only a couple of hundred years ago on genocide and displacement of a people?  What happens if we cannot bear to think too much about that element of our history?  Does it transfer itself into paranoia that what hunted will now be hunted?

So much media space has been taken up in this country in recent years on both sides of the political spectrum fearmongering about the boat people.  Terrified we'll be overrun by the boat people, the boat people - the same people who make up just a blip on the radar of people who arrive on our shores every year.  Because of a politically-fostered myth that just continues to be perpetuated because of the stain in our psyche and the bloodstained earth, the politicians of our country persist in punishing the most vulnerable who arrive here.  How much longer do we put up with it?

They are the 99%

Valoracion by Alfonso Maggiolo Peirano



Sunday, 4 December 2011

Do you write or read poetry?  I really like the way occasionally a poem will come out of the blue.  Sometimes I wake up with a phrase in my head that feels like a poem phrase.  It's like it's this little compact world that with a bit of tinkering I can tease out.

I have never really written any poetry until several years ago.  It's something I'm glad to have discovered.  It tends to feel very different than any other form of writing.  Fun.

I have never written poetry in any regular way, but I do remember what I think is the very first poem I ever wrote.  I suppose I was about eight or nine when I wrote this amazing piece of ethereal beauty:

Mel Brown went to town
in his mother's dressing gown.

On his way he went to church
in a little town called Murch*.

Inside a man called Sheep Shanks gave a cough
because he said Mel popped off**.

*Murchison, in country Victoria.  My grandmother came from them thar parts.

I find it interesting that Sheep Shanks was so terribly rude that he would cough and also mention, in the middle of a church service, Mel's unfortunate flatulence.  What an unfortunate sort of a fellow.  Must be the burden he's carrying, having a name like Sheep Shanks.

I can remember my mum laughing at this poem.  I think it definitely boded well for a glittering literary career in the distant future.

The High Copper Person


Saturday, 3 December 2011

Emma mentioned in her comment to my last post about copper toxicity that as she searched for more info about it she came upon a page that mentioned showing "endless compassion for oneself" as a necessary attitude to help balance copper.

I went searching myself, and I really love what this person said:

Adequate rest and sleep are important. Any technique to help handle stress is also helpful. A simple but powerful technique for handling all negative emotions is given in an excellent book, Emissary of Light, by James Twyman. He suggests feeling our negative emotions purely, dissociating them from thoughts. Feel them in the body. Then move the feeling to the heart area, visualize a small door just in front of you, open the door and release the emotion. Realize that all feelings are just energies. They can be transmuted, sent forth and used for good.
High copper people are often sensitive, must acknowledge this and 'live their own truth'. At the same time, a careful look at one's attitudes, especially hidden fears, angers and resentments, is very important. Overcoming copper imbalance often involves overcoming deep fears.
Life is not always easy for the copper-toxic person. There is a temptation to become resentful or depressed at times. With understanding, nutritional help and endless compassion for oneself, these obstacles can be overcome. Then the creative, intuitive and loving qualities of the high-copper individual can shine through to the world.

This rings so true for me.  I have a big vat of old fear that has festered in the dark for years.  A big giant monster that accuses and binds.  "Living my own truth" sometimes feels like such a burden.  Knowing how to let go of fear has been and still is an onward and upward battle.  It is no surprise, I think, that turning to really acknowledge how deep my fears go has led to this place.  This was so helpful for me to read because it tells me what I know, and what I need to keep being reminded of.  I can definitely relate to feeling resentful and depressed.  I feel so often that I struggle to live properly in the world.  I feel so sensitive some days I think I could just melt through the floor, even without leaving the house.

Learning to deal with being me has been rather the difficult thing in recent months and my self-esteem has taken a battering.  I'm so grateful for the people I have around me who I know love and care for me, like Anthony, Andrea, Jane out in the real world and people like Erin, Kel Barbara and Harry and all the people who take the time to comment here.  Thank you everybody *mwah*.

Endless compassion for oneself.  Now, there's an idea :)

Throwing Copper and other Schizo-Affective Happenings


Friday, 2 December 2011

Well.  Let me just say that dealing with the high levels of copper you discover you're carrying in your body is only a tad more fun than impaling yourself on a bunch of freshly sharpened knives or being eaten alive by a plague of tarantulas.

Because hey, I like nothing better than walking around on my own personal rollercoaster.  Rather unlike Queensland, I've been beautiful one minute and suicidal the next.  I have had paranoia, anger and suspicion settle over me like a mantle since I have started detoxing this stuff, like the fine cloud of dust that settled over everything in our house during the Ash Wednesday fires several decades ago.  It's waxed and waned and I've had to remind myself over and over again that it's simply a physical reaction of this copper - called "the emotional mineral" - leaving my body.  And despairing about that.  Reading things into what everyone is saying that aren't there.  A feeling of hopelessness and depression.  Something that I really cannot explain to you.  The most strangest feeling.  I imagine it must be something like when people develop schizophrenia.

Indeed, high levels of copper have been reported in over 50% of schizophrenia cases.  I understand, just a little better, simply from doing this copper detox, a tiny little something of how that might feel.  I have wondered over the past few weeks if maybe I really am going crazy, even while knowing, in that small little watcher part of my brain that no, this is just detoxing.  I've been here before.  Just not quite as mental as this.  But I concede defeat - I can't continue on at the levels I've been doing this one.  The levels which are a one-size-fits-all on the bottle are too much, apparently, for me.  It takes a friend with CFS on the phone to convince me finally of this.

So I have cut my detoxing levels back to half the recommended levels. Because apart from having to deal with the psychological effects, this whole experience is taxing my already-depleted adrenal glands too, and so I am feeling like a car with too little oil - every little thing in my environment that changes, I feel the gears crunch and grind.  My adrenal glands are not properly manufacturing those beautiful, beautiful hormones, the ones which you don't even think about until they're not readily there.  The ones that enable you to float through your day, dealing with things in their proper context.  Not stressing out because you have to go to the supermarket.

I have found out that there is such a thing as a high copper personality.  Someone who tends to retain high levels of copper.  And that I pretty much fit the bill.  This feels like it's maybe one one of those big jigsaw puzzle pieces as to why I have not been able to regain enough energy post-CFS.  The at-home test for copper showed quite conclusively that I have high levels.  The other day I had a hair mineral analysis done, a  much more in-depth check to determine my copper levels.  I would bet a whole stack of money that the test will come back confirming what I have been experiencing as I have been detoxing.  This is a description of a high copper personality:
Positive traits include a warm, caring, sensitive, emotional nature, often with artistic orientation and a child-like quality. Often high-copper people are young-looking. Many traditionally feminine traits are associated with copper such as softness, gentleness and intuitiveness. This may relate to the qualities of metallic copper, which include softness, malleability and an excellent conductor of electricity.
When the personality is not fully integrated or the copper becomes too high, negative traits show up. These include spaciness, racing thoughts, living in a dream world and naiveté. Other qualities include childishness, excessive emotions, sentimentality, a tendency to depression, fearfulness, hidden anger and resentments, phobias, psychosis and violence. Artists, inventors and other high-copper types often "live on the edge", in part due to their high copper level.
The copper personality tends to accumulate copper easily. Copper can function as a psychological defense mechanism. It causes one to detach slightly from reality. This provides relief from stress for the sensitive individual. It works well as long as the copper does not become too high. Very high copper can cause a psychotic break from reality, a type of schizophrenia.

So, that's what I've been doing lately.  Struggling through this latest hellish thing which I know is going to help me in the long run.  But realising, finally, that it's just too much.  That I need to gear it down.  I have gained a respect for this damn mineral and just how destructive it can be to your psychological health.  Appreciative of how much better I am feeling after having a break from the whole thing yesterday (a birthday present for me).

I don't think you can really appreciate anything until you've lived on the underside of its tapestry.  I tell you what:  I appreciate mental health and a well-functioning body.  They are difficult things to maintain in this plastic-soaked world.  I appreciate knowledge and wisdom.  I appreciate extra pieces of the jigsaw puzzle. I appreciate peace.  I appreciate feeling up to writing here today.  I appreciate coming out the other side :)

Cuando el alma esta podrida by ekanss9 nebadon