Fuck, Marry, Kill: Brought to you by white upper-middle class male privilege

This is a post that goes into why you shouldn’t be concerned by anyone’s approval or disapproval and how you shouldn’t be overly concerned by what people ‘say’ anyway.

Me and my friend were playing the game ‘Fuck, Marry, Kill’ tonight and she was putting various people to me and if you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t played this before, or if you’re just a bit slow, she was asking me if I would fuck, marry or kill them. We actually play this fairly often as it’s pretty fun. If you want to read into this a little bit, it usuallkind of works like this for most people: if a person has a good personality, is funny, decent and generally tolerable, you’ll usually marry them. If you’re a bit attracted to them or like them but only in short bursts, it’ll usually be fuck, and if they’re a bit of a chode you kill them. There’s no point reading into this TOO deeply as it just a bit of fun and can have various permutations depending on the variety of oddballs you throw at someone. At the same time, it can sometimes be a little bit insightful.

When it comes to admitting your actually attracted to someone, there is usually a level of ‘politics,’ involved. You might be attracted to someone but be unwilling it to admit it openly because there is a level of social-expectation and JUDGEMENT. Because of all of the conformist bullshit if you admit to being attracted to someone who isn’t conventionally good-looking but you like because they’re a little quirky or fun for example, people will JUDGE YOU. So in terms of the game, it’s cool because people do let their barriers down a little bit and you will find that people are attracted to various ‘characters’ for a ton of reasons. So essentially, you shouldn’t be disillusioned AT ALL, if on the surface someone doesn’t openly admit to liking you. For example: if you go out, and you’re a cool person, you’ll actually find that the OVERWHELMING majority of girls will actually be willing to at least kiss you (well it works for me anyway). Although they may act coy about it. This is not remotely to say that you can just go around putting the lips on people. Some of these women may have husbands and/or boyfriends and to tash on with them as the kids say, you have to at least have some consideration, you know, for things like discretion, logistics, and ultimately putting her in a place where she is not going to feel bad about the experience. Just kidding. Kind of. I do not encourage this sort of thing.

Anyway, with regards to the experience this is something that most people actually overlook. Essentially, there are two parts of the brain: Like you’ll see these weekend millionaires spend like £60-£100 on a table and bottle service at Fluritas on a Friday and Saturday night and spend £30 on a taxi to get home, but for example would begrudge in their ordinary life paying say £30 to buy a new table from Ikea that they would actually own or spending £2 on a can of coke in their local newsagents or putting £20 petrol in their car to drive around for the week. Why? Essentially the two parts of the brain are the emotional/experience part of the brain. The other is the more rational/day-to-day part of the brain. The experience part of the brain will make you do craaaazzzy things in the name of fun, like spending £150 on a bottle of vodka or giving blowjobs to like 24 dudes to win what you think is a holiday but what turns out to be a £2 bottle of Cava. The other part of your brain, the more rational, sensible part would be like, ‘You fucking stupid bruh?’ If someone is experiencing good emotions around you, and their emotions are going up, they will be willing to do some fucking insane things.

Anyway, the point of this is, that you shouldn’t give a fuck if someone on the surface approves or disapproves of you. No-one actually knows the true you anyway, so by not knowing you, no-one can actually fully approve or disapprove of you. Likewise, you can never fully approve or disapprove of them either, because you don’t know them. Their surface opinions don’t mean shit. Things people say are more often a projection of their own feelings towards themselves anyway, secondly, there is the aforementioned issue of politics and social judgement, thirdly, they’d probably suck 24 dicks for a £2 bottle of Cava too, and anyone who can get that irrational isn’t worth your time.

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Sometime Around Midnight

In the spirit of continuity, let us explore the worrying dream I had last night and the significance of it.

I dreamed I was outside of my house and saw a woman I dated or more pertinently, I was sleeping with around ten years ago, she is the woman from the end of the Coolio story. The story didn’t end there. Actually, in many respects, it was only beginning. In the dream she is with her sister. I look at her, we ignore each other. Some people start to appear. She looks at me. We make eye contact and then I turn away from her and turn my back. Then these people try to get into my house, ostensibly for some kind of party and I am furious about this. However, when I get into my house no-one is there.

Now I will explain the significance of this. If I thought that I had feelings for Coolio woman, then I was in for a big shock with her best friend. This was a pretty transformative point of my life. I developed a lot of aspects of myself. However, despite my outward appearance of easy going confidence, which I modelled on my hero Matthew McConaughey. Inside I was painfully insecure and unconfident. I should have realised that my insecurities with regards to dating this woman were meaningless and she would’ve ‘liked’ me anyway, but this kind of knowledge and self-awareness usually comes at a price. I was about to pay that price. I developed genuine feelings for this woman and deep down I wanted her to be my girlfriend, but our ‘relationship’ was pretty much: meet up usually on a Friday (occasionally Saturday, Sunday or once through the week too) and have sex. I had absolutely no idea how to move the relationship forward. If you date enough women, you’ll usually find that you can ‘get away’ with this for pretty much exactly six months. After six months if the relationship hasn’t MOVED FORWARD, they will drop your ass. Suffice to say, I’ve had quite a few ‘relationships’ that have lasted exactly six months. In fact, this is no joke, you can almost set your watch by this as a guideline. Lesson: move things FORWARD. Anyway, the night that she told me she didn’t want to see me anymore absolutely crushed me.

A few weeks later I literally saw her at the bar of one of my favourite clubs. When I saw that she was out with another dude and the rest of her chode friends, I was beyond devastated. Like, I had felt my heart being smashed into a number of tiny pieces. I tried to circumvent this by going hitting up a bunch of women, but I felt like I’d had the air sucked out of my lungs. Your self is always coming through and despite the feigned confidence in the approach, women can probably sense when inside someone probably wants to cry and I was knocked back by everyone I spoke to that night which just exacerbated my already depleted mood. I remember walking home that evening, a perfect picture of fucking misery. This would go onto become something of a perfect storm, because deep inside I was an unhappy person feigning confidence and positivity, and this was the killer blow for this persona. I spiralled into a depression. These days I would probably view this as the universe being cruel to be kind. A way of telling you that you are not on your true path and that it wasn’t accept you living up to your billing. Aaaaanyway, another couple of weeks later, another of her chode friendship group started hitting on me in a bar. I made the mistake of asking about her, and her friend told me all about her new boyfriend and how happy she is with him and how they’ve been seeing each other for about FOUR MONTHS. These days, I probably wouldn’t even bat an eyelid at this. I mean, just one example in the ensuing ten years to put this in to perspective: there was a ‘fuck buddy’ I had with whom I’d pretty much spent an entire afternoon having sex, I casually ask her what she’s doing that evening and she tells me she’s going on a date. I mean this is moments after she’s had my dick in her mouth and I just have visions of some poor young chode all excited as he’s getting dressed, making a big effort, visualising their first kiss, their wedding and what they’re going to call their kids. So this stuff is more common than you think. So do not kiss on the first date. Or the second… just kidding, sort of. Anyway, I kind of digress. So I had feelings for her. Nonetheless, I found out not so long back that she actually ended up MARRYING the guy I saw her with in the bar that night. So good for her. Also, if you’re keeping score on this blog, you’ll now see where this is going. Dreams are deeply symbolic. She is a MARRIED WOMAN who I was totally in love with. This represents my current relationship. Wanting to turn my back and walk away represents my current feelings. The people trying to get into my house represent why. I don’t want to, or I’m frightened to let anyone ‘in.’ Of course, in the reverse, the back turn also means I can TURN IT AROUND, or you know, I could actually just go up to her, speak to her and you know take her back to my proverbial house which is right there. Welcome to the fucking jungle.

American Genius

I just picked up a story I started writing nearly ten years ago. There were a few aspects I liked, so I’ve decided to give the concept a rewrite:

The unnamed narrator is ostensibly Henry Chinaski on steroids.

The story itself is set in a dystopian 2009. The world is a miserable vast abyss of cities which are all *exactly* the same. Huge shining shimmering skyscapes of drollness. ”The last great literary novel has been written; and has been replaced by the self-help book (and travel guides).”

Our hero wants to destroy those who have kidnapped his girlfriend. He hopes to achieve this by seeking out his hero Charles Bukowski. Who he considers to be the last great American genius. Our narrator’s dilemma is: is Bukowski still alive? While conventional wisdom states Bukowski has been dead since 1994, a mysterious woman says that she has seen him being thrown out of several bars and hanging around a local bookshop. On top of this, our hero is having to contend with problems at work, and a strange warning apparently emanating from out out of space indicates ‘the world as you know it is going to end in two days.’

This is all set in glorious panavision in an over-the-top world of deserts, beaches, jungles and cities with huge skyscrapers that blast through the stratosphere and block out the sun, aswell as dirty terrifying streets with gangs of chodes who will kill you as soon as look at you.

Can our hero save his girlfriend?

The lesson may very well be, can the girlfriend save our hero from himself?

Or has the magic of life been drained through the bleak miserable purple sky?

As our hero later muses, ‘Maybe just one sociopath wanting to rennovate the world into a nasty deserted pulpit of skulls, bones and slave women like an overcompensating Chinese sweatshop owner isn’t the biggest threat to humanity. Maybes humanity is the biggest threat to itself.’ Quite. Our hero is very succinct. Of course, with this kind of attitude. It’s only a matter of time before our hero wonders why he’s bothering to risk his life for a lost cause, anyway.

Our hero notes, that this may be down to a religious upbringing. He wonders whether hope is truly the human condition. Perhaps, despite his cynicism that it’s only hoping for something better that truly gives us the feeling of being human. And putting yourself on the line and offering something back, may be the most supreme of all human acts. The suffering in the face of adversity is perhaps the only thing that keeps us grounded. ‘Maybes it’s because at our core, we are hopeless and afraid, and the thought of telling someone you love the truth and being hurt in the process physically or emotionally makes us want to hide for all of eternity. All we have is the hope that somehow, just somehow we will work up the strength tomorrow to be a little bit braver, a little bit stronger than we are today.’

He then muses that for all people are stupid. He always had a strong belief in himself. ‘With so many people always trying to tear you down, why should you tear down yourself?’ Of course this makes little difference to our stoic and angry hero. He is terrified by the thought of going into battle against the person who has kidnapped his girlfriend, he believes this person may be immortal and is intent on destroying the planet so he can transcend into a being of consciousness. He is also terrified by the prospect of having to truly put himself on the ‘line’. The ultimate test of his character. He tries to gain the requisite confidence from looking at himself in the mirror and at his beloved ripped abs. For once, this doesn’t work.

It’s only when he finally cries himself to sleep. That Bukowski comes to him in dream like a drunken Obi-wan-Kenobi. There is a steam of conciousness diatribe on human consciousness and ego. Our heroes ultimate realisation is that for all he is an ego-maniac and has always been somewhat arrogant and deluded. He understands that the ego is merely a story you tell yourself. For all he ultimately tells himself that he is better than everyone in the world. Which he believes to be ‘confidence’. Bukowski makes him aware that he is deluded. He tells our hero that he is ‘worse’ than many of the human beings whom he disdains. He then leaves our hero with a message ‘True confidence is there at the very core of your self-esteem. Your soul. It’s not in your head. Your ancestors survived and replicated for millions of years just so you can be here now. You can survive. You can even overcome. You have to lose the ego first. Unleash your soul.’ Our wakes up before he can hear the last of Bukowski’s words. He is even more confounded by thoughts of how he can ‘unleash the soul’ of which Bukowski speaks.

He has to come to the realisation that ”it isn’t until he can stop thinking and just act” and that he is wasting ‘his life’ away.

The mysterious woman appears to him one last time, he demands an answer on whether Bukowski is still alive. ‘You know the truth’ she tells him. ‘Bukowski died in 1994 but he lives on in your cynicism. You will die tomorrow, because the old man must die, but he will discover to his inexpressible joy that he has never existed. You are fighting against nature itself. It is time to undergo the process of reorder. It is not possible for two beings to come into contact and not be changed by it.’

Our hero after some contemplation approaches the final battle. An ominous scene is set. In the most underwhelming climax of all time, our hero effortlessly takes down the chode’s army of warriors, before our heroes girlfriend kills the kidnapper by strangling him. ‘I was told I was going to die.’ As the planet begins to explode, they watch from the rooftop the end of days. They hold hands. ‘Don’t go, stay a little longer’ she tells him.

Some Thoughts for Today

I was reading the Tao te Ching yesterday and one of the most profoundly interesting insights I picked up was this:

Have desire, but don’t have desire? Well this is an interesting concept, because to move forward in life you have to be 100% clear on what you want. 100%. At the same time, you must recognise that the manifestation of this is in the grand scheme of things completely fucking irrelevant. Like, it doesn’t actually matter. You can get to this paradigm through gratitude and being grateful for all of the cool shit you already have – and believe me, we all have plenty to be grateful for, and that’s without even mentioning the fact that we live in one of the materially wealthy times in human history – you have to get to that point of inner contentment, recognise what you want and then LET IT GO. You have to get away from that attachment to outcome and like aforementioned, you can kind of get to that mindset through gratitude and inner contentment. What you have is already enough.

‘Never count your money while you’re sitting at the table… the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.’

It may seem pretty contradictory at first to want to ‘win’ without having any desire to ‘win’ but you’ll get the hang of it.

Ultimately, the source of all our daily problems is our delusions such as attachment. We get so attached to the fulfilment of our own wishes, we have perform kinds of non-virtuous actions – actions that harm others. As a result we continually experience various kinds of suffering and miserable conditions in life after life without end. When our wishes are not fulfilled we usually experience unpleasant feelings as unhappiness or depression; this is our own problem because we are so attached to the fulfilment of our wishes. When we lose a close friend, a girlfriend, a boyfriend, a lover whatever, we experience pain and unhappiness, but this is only as a result of our attachment to this person. When we lose our possessions, position or reputation we experience unhappiness and depression because we are so attached to these things. If we had no attachment there would be no basis to experience these problems. You have to learn how to enjoy these things purely for what they are in the moment and be grateful for that. You have to appreciate things as they truly are in the moment rather than holding onto a fantasy or desire for people, places, things as you want them to be. Put your wish out there, be grateful, forget about it, move on with your life to whatever is next. It’ll all work out in the end. If it doesn’t and you walk out and get hit by a bus tomorrow morning, then you’ve saved yourself hours of pointless worry and you’ve lost out on nothing in the first place, because you’re dead or at least seriously injured and that will be enough to put into perspective how fucking trivial your wants and desires are in the great scheme of things anyway.

As a special bonus, here’s some outtakes from a great little ebook I’m reading by a gamer nerd about ‘playing to win.’ In any endeavour in life, you have to learn to ‘win’ not just ‘not get beat.’ I remember an old guy I used to work with said to me, and it really stuck with me. We were talking about people who go on protest marches and will often was lyrical about ‘solidarity’ with people who are oppressed. It certainly wasn’t that he was dismissive of the suffering of oppressed people, but he said, ‘People who talk about ‘solidarity’ worry me, you have to learn to win.’ It’s all well and good ‘protesting’ – and what he meant is for a lot of these people, all they want to do IS protest. That’s where it stops. Ultimately, in order to instil change you have to go through the “proper channels” and ‘win.’

‘If you’re gonna play the game boy, you gotta learn to play it right.’

If you look at this just in terms of the people who have brought about the greatest amount of social change and in some cases the greatest amount of social upheaval in the past few decades, they have gone through the status quo, became part of the status quo, then when they’ve got there, they’ve redefined what the status quo actually is in their image, this has been true of everyone from Atlee and Bevan to the neo-liberals of recent years like Thatcher, Blair and now the right-wing capitalist dogmatism of Trump. You don’t beat these people by protesting, you beat them by playing the political game and getting elected so you can instil change. Winning elections has a clearly defined set of rules, it is a GAME. Trump knew this, and a lot of the toxic bile he spewed and continues to spew – I mean, this is a person who isn’t an ideologue, I don’t even know if Trump has a genuine ideology at all – was and is aimed at people who were fucked over by and forgotten about by previous Clinton and Democrat administrations. Trump’s narrative continues to appeal to the voters HE HAS TO HAVE TO WIN. As someone who dislikes Trump, what genuinely concerns me, is that if all the Democrats have to offer are attacks on Trump, which actually feed into the narrative he has perpetuated, then the Democrats are not going to win back over those people in the key states they have to have to win. They are not objectively tackling the reasons people voted for this cocktard or offering anything to these people. Continuous denunciations of Trump and his ridiculous behaviour are not the same thing as winning crucial arguments. You will find that at least 99% of media coverage on Trump essentially amounts to, ‘Wow, Trump is such a fucking dick.’ You will be hard pressed to find anything that would persuade anyone in the key rust-belt states that beyond platitudes on social justice which they have definitely shown they don’t actually give a shit about, they should elect a Democrat instead. I mean, beyond the echo chamber of the internet and echo-chamber of the anti-Trump media, I suspect if an American election was held tomorrow, you’d most likely find Trump wouldn’t be leaving The White House. No-one knows better than a Marxist that when someone is standing at a ballot box, the only question that matters is: WHO AM I GOING TO BE BETTER OFF WITH? So with this in mind: For a voter – and let’s just assume that this person has the best will in the world – and this personal is watching an argument between a reprehensible amoral fuckwit who tells you you’re going to get a new job and a tax break and someone linked with the administration who put you out of a job in the first place, doesn’t offer you a new job or tax break, but does however have better morals than reprehensible amoral fuckwit, and will protest reprehensible amoral reprehensible fuckwit and his kinds behaviour to the nth degree. Who wins?

This is effectively the chode mindset distilled:

Punch through the proverbial wall and aim for success. Just don’t get hung up on the outcome, it doesn’t matter. BE HAPPY, CONTENT, HAVE GRATITUDE FOR WHAT YOU HAVE. Write a list of things you are grateful for and think about all of the things you are grateful for daily.

A Perfect Circle

I was describing some of my recent dreams to my little buddy, and she was shocked by these, ‘Jesus, Michael, is all you dream about picking up women?’ As you will see from what follows, I can understand how she got to that conclusion. I’ve become extremely interested in the nature and significance of my dreams. I’ve always been fascinated by SYMBOLISM and metaphor, and as a tru stable genius and full literature n3rd, I can’t really resist picking them apart:

Dream One: I am in a bar I know with the friend of a woman I’m dating. She stops and talks to a couple of women we mutually know, and as I have no real truck with these people so I wander off. I walk around this bar in a CIRCLE, as I am almost fully coming back on myself, there is a rope acting as a barrier, I step over this, then continue on my circular path. I see the woman I am dating and she smiles at me. We don’t speak. I walk back to her friend. Her friend and I walk over to a booth (which incidentally is the first part of this dream which hasn’t really resembled the real life venue. Anyway). We sit down and she starts leaning in towards me, resting up against me etc, the full ‘just kiss me you fucking dumbass,’ anyway, I go to kiss her and our glasses get tangled, second time we kiss, she acts a little bit coy and says something like, ‘you’ve spoiled it now,’ so I stand up and say, ‘Ok, let’s go and see your pal.’ I get up and see that down on the seat I have apparently procured a cool black leather jacket which has fairy lights on it (!), she responds ‘The woman’ is here?’ Although I was intrigued by whether this was more of a statement than a question. We walk over to ‘the woman.’ End of dream.

The Jungian interpretation: the CIRCLE represents the SELF. It’s interesting that after getting over a minor obstacle, to complete the CIRCLE, I then see the woman I am dating. She is with someone, but who it is is ostensibly irrelevant. She is therefore close to the SELF, and there’s a number of ways you could interpret this from a metaphorical or analytical viewpoint, however, I am firmly of the belief that the best person at analysing or dissecting the meaning of your dreams is yourself. So after I have overcome a minor obstacle to the completion of SELF, there she is, smiling.

The next part of the dream, from this analysis it is one of a material viewpoint and it is therefore actually superfluous and irrelevant. The friend clearly represents aspects of ‘the woman’ and the glasses represent our entanglement and the romantic nature of the relationship.  She tells me I have spoiled something. Well, that’s for another time. I stand up and see the cool jacket and the fairy lights. The fairy lights are interesting. I wrote ‘the woman’ a CELTIC ROCK OPERA based on the story of the Tuatha de Danaan. ‘The tribe of the goddess Dana.’ These were the gods of pre-christian Ireland who resided in the Otherworld. They were also considered to be fairy people. I wrote about this a few days back. In terms of the ‘completion of a circle,’ I also considered something I’d never really thought about. A few years back I dated a woman from Dublin aka the Tallaght girl. She was a tall, blonde haired, blue eyed ‘stun hun.’ She also had a heart of gold. As I am tru stable genius, I do often think, oh, I’m like really smart, however, upon getting to know this woman I would often think, ‘She knows all of the important stuff.’ It actually occurred to me that in many respects, she was far more intelligent than I was. This was a concept that I hadn’t really given a lot of though to. Most people associate intelligence with racking up knowledge in a particular field, academia, whatever. After meeting her, I started thinking about intelligence on a more intuitive level. It occurred to me that a lot of the parameters of intelligence we set are on the broader scale pretty fucking irrelevant and meaningless. Hers was an intelligence based on intuitive values: family, love, kindness, joy, happiness. Her name was Dayna. As briefly alluded to in my post a few days back, this is ultimately how this story began. ‘The woman’ doesn’t actually share much in common at all with ‘the Tallaght girl,’ but it has crossed my mind that they both have that same ‘intelligence.’ They know the important things in life. Anyway… back to the designated dream: as I stand up, put on my cool jacket, the friend declares ”The woman’ is here.’ Well, of course she is, she’s over the back with my SELF.

The second dream is like totes NSFW bruuuh. I don’t know if on some level this stems from the amount of time certain people I work with spend talking about a certain ‘street,’ but here we are. I had a dream about picking up a prostitute, without any money changing hands. At which point everyone is like, ‘Well how was she a prostitute if you didn’t pay her? You fucking sexist bro?’ Anyway. The dream: I am in some apartment, I have no idea how I got there and I am dancing with our minxy little harlot of desire. Full Strictly style. Due to my slick dance moves, this escalates and I am on her bed finger-blasting her, she squirts all over some oddly placed textbook of some kind. It has diagrams of some sort. Hot fun in the winter time. End of dream.

This one is pretty straightforward. In the words of my proverbial boy Brendan Behan, ‘The difference between paying for sex and sex for free is that sex for free costs more.’ This dream relates to the metaphorical COST of finger-blasting minxy little harlots of desire. More pertinently, I suspect from the dancing aspect that this relates to my previous relationship with a woman who incidentally wasn’t a prostitute, but with whom I subsequently paid a heavy COST: emotionally, financially, spiritually, and on some level as a result of those things, even physically. Our woman here CLIMAXES and squirts ejaculate all over a book. I mean, I’m no expert, but when that page is turned, it’s turned for good. It’s time to turn the page. All things are released etc.

I dedicate this post to my tru faves Maynard James Keenan and A Perfect Circle. Circles are the best shape, they have no beginning or end, like the Journey song: they just go on and on and on.

I am surrendering to gravity and the unknown,
catch me, heal me, lift me back up to the sun,
I choose to live.

Thought for the Day

Whilst sitting reading Deepak Ch0pra and listening to GREGORIAN CHANTING, I started thinking about why I find a woman who is attracted to me so vapid, irritating and annoying. Here is why: she constantly focuses on herself. Actually a lot of the situations, events, people and ideas this person describes should be interesting and at least somewhat attractive, if not alluring, but they aren’t. Every story, idea, allegory whatever, is focused and related through the lens of HERSELF in order to make her appear essentially ‘high-value’ or to present a facade of high social-worth. As a result, she becomes CHARACTERLESS. Actually, if for some insane reason you wanted to attract someone like this, then all you have to do is be somewhat stand-offish and aloof, this will drive them fucking insane and they will go crazy over you. In terms of their narrow world-view, your proverbial distance will be perceived as HIGH SOCIAL STATUS and they will think you’re like the second coming of Paris Hilton or some shit. This is actually one reason y INTJ’s rank so highly in r/K selection theory. Ironically, the INTJ’s disdain for tedious bullshit like this can be perceived as HIGH SOCIAL WORTH. K is for kwality. Anyway, that’s not the point of this.

The more you concentrate on yourself, the more CHARACTERLESS you become. You become more and more a narcissistic navel-gazer, rather than an actor in social events outside of yourself. Of course this is a tru neo-liberal attitude: the atomised individual is what matters, not the social act.

The solution? Stay PRESENT muthafuckas. Do not become solipsistic, self-indulged, narcissistic navel gazer. You are welcome.

Red Flag

Spontaneity is the first casualty of infidelity. On sunny days, you can’t ring out of the blue and suggest a drink. Dates are planned weeks in advance.

As the lover you get the edited highlights of a relationship: the laughter, the smiles, the sex. A relationship with none of the boring bits.

But what you lack is emotional closeness – that sense of wasting time together and the accompanying feeling of certainty.

I sat pondering this. The existential, ‘What if this is it?’ Or, ‘What if the person you’re supposed to be with is already married?’ Great questions if you’re writing an episode of Sex and the City, a chick flick or a rom-com starring that mischievous cutiepie (and my her0) Matthew McConaughey (in fairness, MMcC only does srs movies now, but still).

Rewind: Tallaght, Dublin. I am there with a woman I’m dating. I’m fond of her. Inordinately so. We’re in the bedroom of her small apartment. I pass her my phone and she messes about with it. Suddenly the air is seemingly sucked out of the fucking room. Icy. She sits up. Angry. The conversation goes something like this:

‘You got a message.’

‘What does it say?’ I honestly don’t want to know.

‘I want you to come and fuck me.’

‘For fucks sake. That’s X from work. She always sends me messages like that. You know I wouldn’t fuck anyone else.’

‘Interesting, because this is from Y from work. She sent a video too.’

‘I’m not fucking anyone from work. I’m not fucking anyone but you.’

‘I don’t believe you. So X and someone called Y just send you messages and videos about wanting to fuck you and you don’t do anything to encourage them?’

‘Fuck no. Honestly.’

‘That’s bullshit, Michael. I fucking trusted you.’

‘I honestly wouldn’t even look at anyone else. I opened myself up to you. I’ve never left myself open with anyone like I have you.’ I’m struggling to form coherent sentences.

‘I opened myself up to you, too. We both have. That’s the fucking problem.’

‘Honestly. I’m telling the truth.’

I knew it was too little too late. That’s how it started.

‘And I lost my heart to a Tallaght girl,

When I woke up I was all alone,

With a broken heart and a ticket home’

A few months later, I’m on the same dating site I met her. I’m looking at women from Cork. Fuck knows why. A woman grabs my attention. I click on her. The profile is vague. There’s a picture that catches my eye. There’s a glint in her eyes in one of her pictures which actually reminds me of the Tallaght girl. I send her a message and this escalates quickly. We exchange numbers and I message her on Viber. I run through the usual shit. I ring her the following day. I remember this well. I walk out of my office, across site and I’m standing in the dingy fucking work gym. She’s got a strong Cork accent and I actually don’t understand much of what she’s actually saying. Nonetheless, 99% of a good phone call is tone and vibe and 1% is what you’re actually saying. Suffice to say, she likes me.

Following this, I receive a relentless barrage of texts, phone calls, pictures. I mean, fucking relentless. I’m actually daunted by how ‘clingy’ she is and her messages and phone calls are always full of fucking drama. For example she goes on her cousin’s birthday night out and claims to have gotten into a fight, been arrested and then released within the space of about forty minutes. This should be a major RED FLAG. However, I’m going through an experimental phase and I kind of get the impression that her heart is in the right place, so instead of my usual callous, ‘I can’t deal with this, don’t speak to me again.’ I opt for the more low key, ‘I’m kind of finding all this drama a little bit too much, please chill out on it.’ In my most diplomatic tone. She does.

About a week later I get a flight over to Cork and I meet her at the bus station at Patrick’s Quay. It’s a grey Cork morning. She gets off the Mallow bus, she’s a small, slim redhead and it’s clear she’s made a big effort, even if her clothes are a little bit big for her. She’s got a big smile and she seems really excited. She says hello and then full kisses me. We walk along the Lee, and then walk in a circle, come back on ourselves and go for a coffee. Then we go for some beers. For someone in her early twenties, she’s childish in many respects and has a strange disregard for what I’d consider social norms. Like wearing clothes that fit, not putting your feet on the seats when you’re out in bars and coffee shops, public displays of affection. Again, I just put this down to some kind of innocent quirk. I mean, I’ve already seen all the RED FLAG and decided to ignore them, ostensibly because I think she is someone who is kind and caring, so what harm are a few quirks? Two o clock comes around and we go check into the hotel I’m staying at. The Isaacs. We have sex for a few hours. She apparently also has some disregard for ‘birth control,’ too. There’s another RED FLAG. We go out on the night, we drink a shit load of booze and we’re sitting in a bar and she starts to cry. I’m confused by this, but she says she’s upset because I’m leaving the following day. If I wasn’t such a fucking egomaniac, this is really the point I should have said, ‘You know what? This is far too much.’ She tells me she loves me. Not many people have told me they love me. The first time this happened, I was with a woman from Manchester. I’d been dating her for a few months and when she told me she loved me, she asked me if I loved her back. I responded, ‘I’m trying.’ She looked really upset over this. So with this in mind, I decided that it would probably just be best to just say, ‘I love you too.’ Like I said, it was an experimental phase and it seemed the most appropriate response for the occasion.

The following day I leave her. I feel a pang of sadness as I see her walk off looking teary eyed that I’m going back to England. The taxi driver asks me what I’ve been upto.

‘So, you from England, boy?’

‘Yeah. I’ve been travelling around Ireland quite a bit lately. By which I mean I’ve been to Dublin and Cork. Cork is obviously better.’

‘Are you just over here on your own?’

‘I met a woman. She’s really something.’

‘From Cork?’

‘She’s from Mallow. North Cork.’

He laughed.

‘A Mallow girl? Once they get their claws into you, you’ll never get rid of them.’

So begun a relationship that would culminate in a whirlwind of epic alcohol abuse, regular psychotic episodes, faked suicides and miscarriages, convoluted, fetishistic sexual psychodramas, lying and cheating. That wasn’t even the worst of it. I was left shattered, exhausted and divorced from all emotion. Broken. It starts with the best of intentions. It ends with you a complete fucking mess. You try and keep up a veneer of social decency, to show that despite your personal life being a toxic cesspit of drama, which has driven you to the edge, out in public everything is okay. You try and hold it together as your whole world falls apart. Only one person could see through that.

In fairytales, love strikes like lightning. In real life, lightning burns. It can even kill you. However, I don’t feel love. I can’t feel anything. I’m completely broken.

Still, there is hope. There is a universal dialectic. When two elements come into contact with each other, they will usually be fundamentally changed by the experience. One way or another, change is coming and it always happens sooner than you think.

The Muse

Some months ago I picked up an interesting philosophy book. It was an illustrated introduction to the works of the Danish existentialist philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. Yes, GRAPHIC KIERKEGAARD is a thing. I’m actually reasonably familiar with him and didn’t require an ‘introduction’ to his work – lot of which I’m actually fairly blasé about anyway – but there’s something quirky about graphic versions of great works – so, like the manga version of James Joyce’s Ulysses I own, resplendent with artistic interpretations of masturbating at da beach – I purchased it. I returned to this recently and there was a section in particular which really hit me. Kierkegaard wrote a lot about seduction, and one of his more famous works relates to the amoral seducer Don Giovanni who slept with thousands of women. In this, Kierkegaard talks about ‘faith.’ What the fuck has faith got to do with sleeping with thousands of women, you ask? Well, this is the part that got me. Kierkegaard had a fiancé called Regine Olsen. His relationship with her exerted an almost disproportionate influence over his work, his growth as a person, his theology and his legacy. As a result, his legacy is intertwined with his relationship with Regine Olsen. What does this have to do with Don Giovanni? Sleeping with thousands of women? Faith etc? The part that really hit me and the connection with Don Giovanni, is that Kierkegaard was terrified that if he let Regine Olsen ‘in,’ if she truly got to know him and his proverbial ‘dark side,’ she wouldn’t love him anymore. That is where ‘faith’ comes in. Somewhere along the line you have to say, ‘Even though I’m afraid this person is going to hurt me, could reject me, I’m going to take a leap of faith and love this person.’ Kierkegaard couldn’t do that. His relationship with his fiancé Regine Olsen is one of histories great failed romances. The connection with Don Giovanni? Don Giovanni slept with thousands of women because he was afraid he wouldn’t be loved by one. On a personal level, this is something I relate to.

I was thinking about this this morning after reading about the leannán sídhe for something I’m working on. In Irish mythology, A leannán sídhe is a beautiful faery sweetheart who will lure you against your will to your death, or, to ‘Tír na nÓg,’ which is a supernatural realm of everlasting youth, beauty, health, abundance and joy. In modern culture, A leannán sídhe is generally depicted as a “muse” who offers inspiration to an artist in return they receive love and devotion. This generally results in madness and premature death for the artist, however they remain youthfully immortalised through their work, so it’s a beautiful metaphor.

The story of Tír na nÓg tells the story of Oísin who is a member of the Fianna. A group of warriors who love and defend Ireland. He is lured away by Niamh, she has golden hair and is one of the faery people, but he swears to return to Ireland soon. Although Oísin believes he has only been gone a matter of weeks, when he returns to Ireland, he finds aeons have passed and setting foot back on Irish ground breaks the enchantment. Oísin must however return because it is not Niamh he truly loves, but Ireland. As a member of the Fianna, they are the true guardians of the island and are renowned for their bravery which stems from their love of Éireann.

Naturally, the piece I am writing deals with the implications of this. You can take a leap of faith, but the person you love will lead you to your death, or like Oísin, return across the mystical waters to your proverbial Ireland and die wearily of old age anyway. Are you ready to take a leap of faith?

Protecting Yourself From Insidious Hibernian Mate Poachers 101

I’d like you to meet my friend Fred.

Fred is what you might call your “average” Brit.

He has big dreams for himself, including a long healthy life, a happy family, a loving wife, a pension, and hopefully to have some fun along the way.

Fred has always been a really solid guy. He had a paper round when he was 12 years old that made him over ten pounds a week. He got straight “B’s” across the board in school, except in French where he got a “D”. He applied himself and got an apprenticeship when he left school and had a really great experience.

A tru Brit.

Fred’s favourite movie is “Forrest Gump”, a story about how by having a solid set of core values, pulling yourself up, and being a contributing member of society you can experience the best life has to offer.

This week Fred turned 31. His life is really just getting started. He has so much to look forward to.

Fred works for a big company where he’s got all sorts of cool perks like culturally diverse cafeterias where he can get burgers, a curry or mince and dumplings, sometimes in the same meal. Here he can safely discuss important societal issues like Brexit and blue passports.

Everything seems to be on track. 🙂

How could anything possibly go wrong?

Well, there’s a few things on the horizon that Fred hasn’t seen coming. This is the stuff that didn’t really get covered in school or even in Forrest Gump.

First off, like most good Brits, Fred likes to eat “Three square meals a day”. That includes many good old fashioned restaurants like McDonalds or KFC.

This, combined with being too busy to get to the gym, causes Fred to get fat.

Fred has no idea that you’re supposed to eat 6 small meals a day. Fred doesn’t even know what a “macro-nutrient ratio” is, let alone that the largest meal of the day is supposed to be eaten at breakfast and not before bed.

Of course, like most well-informed Brits, Fred is far too concerned about the exotic diseases he reads about in The Sun or on the Daily Mail website while he’s procrastinating at work – like AIDS, ISIS spread Anthrax, and even the dreaded Australian Flu- than to worry about the much less interesting possibility of eventually dying because he’s simply overweight.

When you ask Fred how old he’ll live to be he says “Probably 75 or 80”. Secretly though, Bob thinks he’ll live to be a hundred or even a hundred and three. He’s just too modest to say it out loud.

It never occurs to him that while the average Brit lives to his late 70s, most of them have physiques that aren’t really worth living in past 40, and that if he doesn’t proactively take on habits like lifting weights and eating properly that his knees and cardiovascular system won’t even be able to muster a simple jog up his quaint British street.

Beyond that, Fred also has a big debt on his credit card and he’s in several thousand over his head right now.

It’s funny, because when Fred got approved for his new credit card he felt so cool and adult being entrusted with the privilege of having credit.

What he didn’t realise, and what credit card companies bank on, is that studies consistently show that given credit, the vast majority human beings will be inclined to exchange the intangible numbers in a computer for the tangible goods that they can hold in their hands.

By allowing himself to go into debt more than 2 weeks pay (at least for “stuff” as opposed to investments like property or education), Fred is basically setting a pattern that ensures he’ll live with a lifetime of debt – paying interest upon compounding interest, always pushing for a “life-style upgrade” over just paying down credit cards and living debt-free.

Fred just keeps forgetting that he lives in the most consumer-driven society in the history of the world – a culture that is literally DESIGNED so that you can have a fist full of cash, blink, and find that it’s all gone.

However life really isn’t all about the money… and life isn’t necessarily even about living a long time.

Life is ultimately about quality. Living a happy, fulfilling life.

Fred knows that no matter what, he has what a lot of guys will never have. Fred has found his true love… his wife Amanda.

It was at a party back when he was 16 that Fred and Amanda first met. They had mutual friends and hit it off after Amanda accidentally spilled Fred’s drink.

“That’s OK…” Fred told her. Later, Fred ISOLATED Amanda to SEX LOCATION and they’ve been together pretty much ever since.

Life has been good for Fred and Amanda. In the past few years they’ve bought themselves a great house.

Fred has been working long hours at work to provide everything that Amanda could ever need. They still have sex in the missionary position once a week (after watching “Eastenders”), and while it might not be the marathon it used to be, the fact of the matter is that they’re still very much in love.

What Fred doesn’t know however, is that while his cholesterol-clogged heart is pounding on overdrive as he thrusts aimlessly through his 4 and 1/2 minutes of sex to orgasm, Amanda is on her back imagining a charming and exciting INSIDIOUS HIBERNIAN MATE POACHER from work.

Of course, Amanda still loves Fred. But Amanda has needs. She’s a woman, and she’s a human being.

And Fred is just… soooo Fred.

Anyway, while Fred is off for the weekend on a stag doo in Benidorm eating burgers and drinking good British lager, Amanda has been thinking about messaging back that charming INSIDIOUS HIBERNIAN MATE POACHER.

He’d slipped her his number, saying that they were into similar kinds of gardening.

It seems weird that he’d be the type of guy who would be into gardening, but really, he seemed to have good intentions and Amanda really wants to get some new plants to show to Fred when he gets back home.

Amanda calls up her INSIDIOUS HIBERNIAN MATE POACHER and he invites her out to a bar after work. Reluctantly, and after a lot of humour from her INSIDIOUS HIBERNIAN MATE POACHER Amanda decides that it’s no big deal to drop by.

She arrives and they have a few laughs and a few drinks…

Things get a little playful and silly and next thing you know Amanda is on her back (and various other positions she never knew about) getting railed by the INSIDIOUS HIBERNIAN.

Somehow it just…. happens.

This makes Amanda feel incredibly guilty, and she’s very distant from Fred when he gets back home.

Fred gets cranky without his weekly post-Eastenders lovin’, which makes Amanda seek more attention from the INSIDIOUS HIBERNIAN, which causes her to continue on getting railed… and railed in a way that Fred hasn’t railed her in years.

Woops.

Fred has no idea that any of this could be his own fault, believing that he’s done everything that a decent husband could ever do. Of course, when he finds out he will hate her and indignantly call her a “Deceitful bitch”.

Flashforward another 2 decades and Fred will be alone at 50 years old, divorced, broke, fat, unhealthy, and a workaholic.

Well, at least he can watch Forrest Gump and he has blue passport to brighten up his day….. *shrug*

There’s a basic societal myth that tells you if you’re a ‘good person,’ you serve the system, and you work hard – everything in your life will be OK.

The basic idea is that “THE SYSTEM WORKS…”

This is of course, a sweeping generalisation, and we could debate all day long on the true nature of this myth.

Social myths are overall a good thing. They give us a common bond, and empower us with the confidence to lead our lives feeling secure and at ease.

The issue, of course, is that times change. Things are moving fast… evolving faster than they ever have before.

In this day and age the educational system is oftentimes simply not equipped to keep up with the constantly changing landscape of our society.

The educational system (and people’s resulting systems of beliefs) tends to move at the vexingly slow pace of any other cumbersome bureaucracy.

Academia is typically rigid and rarely fluid – at least towards certain issues. To implement new knowledge into a curriculum often takes several years if not several decades.

Men can protect themselves from THE INSIDIOUS HIBERNIAN MATE POACHERS by challenging these notions and myths wherever they see them, and by keeping ahead of the game.

We still live in what is historically the most affluent and lowest mortality-rate society that has ever existed. We live in a truly phenomenal world.

It really is just a matter of staying ahead of the curve and questioning your assumptions – and making a habit of continually correcting and re-correcting your course as you become a smarter and smarter person, staying on your path to becoming TRU STABLE GENUIS.

That means being “in-the-know” about how the world works, and not just assuming that the system is going to “take care of everything” for you. The resources are available.

I hope Fred doesn’t think I’m talking jive behind his back. 🙂