What To Do When Social And Traditional Media Mocks You

I was on the way home from college last week feeling very tired and irritable as I lugged my acoustic guitar, case & backpack from train to bus after an intense day of musical collaboration. As my mind drifted through the things that have irritated me recently, I remembered a recent experience on the morning bus. In a misguided attempt to get it off my chest I posted the following message about it on the Bondi Local Loop Facebook group, which at the time had over 42,000 local members:

To the lady who abused me on the packed 389 from North Bondi the other morning as she alighted at Bondi Junction by shouting: "I hope your bag enjoyed the seat, you fucking prick": I would have preferred you to ask me politely to please move over during the trip if you wanted the seat. That would have given me the opportunity to point out the full sized acoustic guitar case that you didn't see was taking all the leg room on the seat beside me. That way you wouldn't have had to spend the journey fuming at me for no good reason, and I wouldn't have had to cop your misguided abuse. Please be more assertive in future, not passive and then aggressive. Thank you.

I failed to mention in my original rant that I have a chronic health condition that makes standing for long periods rather challenging. The bus in question didn't have a luggage space suitable for a guitar, and I didn't mention that either. Nor was the woman in question standing anywhere near me during the journey; she was behind me on the bus, and for all I know she may have already had a seat herself. Only at the very end did she express her disapproval, and she chose to do so in a manner that left me powerless to do anything about her complaint. I figured that even without this secret inside knowledge, it's self-evident that abusing people on public transport isn't an effective way to influence someone who is doing something you don't like. (more…)

By Graham, ago

The Forgiveness Speech

[caption id="attachment_1981" align="alignright" width="300"]Look, it's on my to-do list, OK!?! Look, it's on my to-do list, OK!?![/caption] A form of unsolicited advice typically launched by anger denialists in response to me saying that I feel angry about something. Especially prominent when the anger is directed towards my mother in response to some form of destructive behaviour that she has indulged in for most of my life. The launch of The Forgiveness Speech typically goes something like this: Graham: “I feel angry when my mother criticises and belittles my father in front of me” Denialist: “You need to learn to forgive” (more…)

By Graham, ago

2013 Oscars Stub My Big Toe

In a huge shock to legitimate movie fans worldwide, the epic blockbuster My Big Toe was completely snubbed by its peers as it failed to win a single Oscar at this year's 85th Motion Picture Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood. [caption id="attachment_758" align="alignright" width="220"]Oscar Statue My Big Toe failed to win one of these[/caption] The epic saga, which depicts the heroic story of one man's quest to save the universe and gain enlightenment, had been expected to clean sweep the Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Script, Best Music, and the coveted Best Anatomically Correct Feature film categories. The obligatory making-of documentary [intlink id="616" type="post"]Inside My Big Toe: The Making of a Masterpiece[/intlink] had also been expected to pick up the Oscar for Best Documentary. (more…)

By Graham, ago

Share The Love

Have you ever noticed that in any reasonably large group of people, there's always one person who you just don't seem to get on with? One person who gets in your face, and just doesn't seem to agree with you or like you, no matter what you say or do? How do you deal with them?

Earlier this year I went to a Shamanic Practitioner's training course, up near Byron bay. The purpose of the course was to learn shamanic healing techniques for dealing with spiritual, emotional and sexual problems. I had been lured by the promise of dealing with three of my biggest bugbears: guilt, fear and shame. It was one of those courses where you just know everyone's going to wind up getting naked.

This was a residential course lasting 6 days, in the beautiful, warm Byron hinterland. There was a lot of stomping, pillow-hitting, tantrum-throwing and … Continue reading…

By Graham, ago

Path of Love

I went to Path of Love hoping that it would help me deal with a constant feeling of mild anxiety that I was experiencing. Whenever I wasn't engrossed in some activity, I felt anxious and I just couldn't seem to shake it.

David Guetta's "When Love Takes Over" (Featuring Kelly Rowland) always reminds me of my Path of Love Experience. Play it as you read along:

There were some obvious contributing factors: I had been ill with Chronic Fatigue for over two years, and although I was gradually recovering, my limited energy and feeling constantly unwell for such a long time was a constant source of frustration. I was also lacking direction generally: it had been about six years since I'd had a full-time job, and I was unsure how to find a new vocation earning money doing something that I loved again, especially with the added burden of illness. … Continue reading…

By Graham, ago

Anger Management by Crockery

One of the rules that had to be obeyed when I was growing up was: Don't run in the house, because you might break something. Walk instead. Stay calm. Don't get too excited. Getting excited might cause you to hurt yourself, something or someone else. It also seemed to irritate the grown-ups; it seemed that grown-ups just weren't supposed to get excited.

Not when they were happy anyway. The only time grown-ups seemed to get excited was when they were angry; and then there seemed to no limits to how excited they could get. The rest of the time they seemed to be holding their excitement inside; but when they were really angry, they really let loose. I found that terrifying. I got in real trouble when I acted like that, but grown-ups were allowed different rules to me. And so I learned that I wasn't allowed to get … Continue reading…

By Graham, ago

Not Everyone is Going To Like You

Ever since I was a kid, I've felt a burning desire to have other people like me; to be accepted. It's not unusual to want to fit in with other people, and perhaps you can relate. Often when I didn't feel accepted by other people, I thought the problem lay with me. But a recent interaction with a rather extreme neighbour was an opportunity in disguise to learn otherwise.

A few years back I moved into a block of flats in a neighbourhood not far from where I'd previously been living for several years. I knew the area well, but the immediate neighbours were all new. It wasn't long before I met a neighbour who I'll call Edward, who lived upstairs in the same building quite close to me. At first he was friendly and appeared very charming. A little too charming perhaps, to the point of being a bit … Continue reading…

By Graham, ago