Category Archives: Philosophy

How to be book and street smart

book-1568672There are two kinds of people in life. And no, I am not referring to coffee and tea drinkers. If I was referring to them I would have started with; there are humans and then there are sub humans. 

Just kidding.

Tea drinkers are ok. I have an Aunt who is one.

The two kinds of people are book smart and street smart. For those of you who are not too smart in either sense and don’t know about these kinds of ‘smart’, allow me to explain.

a) Book smart.

These people like books. They like to use big words and knowing their meaning and context is often irrelevant, especially when speaking to a street smart person.

Book smart people understand the world only through how it should be, not how it is currently functioning, which means they don’t really understand the world at all.

They drink tea.

b) Street smart.

This group of humans know how to fight and their fighting skills are usually acquired at the local drinking hole after making the bad decision to switch from beer to spirits.

Street smart people understand the world on a superficial level, but because the world is a superficial place, they actually do understand the world.

So, there you have it. Two types of people in a nut shell.

Assuming you can only be one or the other, which one would you want to be? Which is the more important of the two? Would you be more impressed by someone who had actually finished War and Peace, or by someone who could climb a tree and kill a zombie, preferably at the same time.

Who works harder? And don’t try to tell me that any physical job is harder than reading War and Peace.

These are all trick questions. The answer is you want to be both. You want to be able to go to the pub and get in a fight whilst using big words to commentate the fight you are about to win.

Anyone who is either type of smart has been watching The Walking Dead and making mental notes on how to survive the zombie apocalypse. I can’t see book smart being as useful in surviving the apocalypse as street smart unless War and Peace can be used as a weapon, or, has a section on zombies. 

I haven’t read it so I couldn’t say.

The education system is under fire because it reflects the polarity of the two kinds of smart. Teachers are being made to make fish climb trees and we all know that trees can give you splinters. If you could merge the two kinds of smart into one you would be miles ahead. Our murray cod’s would be climbing trees all over the place and that, my friends, is smart.

Yet increasingly it seems we can’t be both types of smart. Or perhaps we can but one is always valued over the other. Steve Jobs didn’t have a degree and he is a pretty successful guy and I have a friend who has a doctorate in Anthropology and she is not exactly making Steve Jobs kind of money, so the point (making the point again here for the street smart) is to be both kinds of smart. This is the way of the future, this is the only way to earn money and be proud of yourself for earning money. 

So, how can you be both kinds of smart? It’s simple. You need to finish reading War and Peace and be able to use it to survive the zombie apocalypse, probably by using it as a weapon. You need to be both a tea drinker and a coffee drinker. Play to the people around you, switch from one type to the other. 

Most importantly, be a fish that climbs trees. 

If you have are one or the other, or you have been able to become both, leave a comment. I’d love to hear about it.

 

 

Political apathy on the rise but no-one cares

 

I know, I know, elections and anything government related is boring. We are all sick to death of anything to do with politics. Sick of big promises made by little men and women. All elections are the same, the candidates never improve or change, why should we bother to care?

 

 Is it not enough that we have to give up our Saturday to number a comically large piece of paper, possibly half an acre long, then stick it in a small box only to walk away wondering why we bother?

 

I’m not going to get on my soap box to lecture you about politics and why we should all take an interest and take it seriously. Mostly because due to the collapse in infrastructure, there are no soap boxes available. I looked for a flat pack through cheap overseas labor but the phone dropped out, possibly due to the terrible mobile phone reception we have here in regional areas. Which is where I was when I attempted to make the call. I do realise that elections are an important part of our democratic society and that we should be thankful for them, but it’s all so boring.

 

Regardless of all this, politics is everywhere, in shades of white or beige. It occurs between ordinary citizens and is not just reserved for the politician at election time. As soon as you have more than a solitary human in a room, you have politics. Even if you have a split personality or two voices in your head, you have politics. Politics is about human affairs, and as far as we all know about each other we are all human, participating or attempting to, in the human experience.  PS. As tempting as it is not to care about politics and not vote, or complain about having to vote, or draw a dick on your ballot paper because you are ‘cool’, remember the government DOES affect you. It affects every part of every day of your life. It affects the ground you walk on, the roof you live under, the food you eat and the job you work in.

We could live in a country where we don’t get a say, don’t get to decide what we do or don’t support, or weigh up the good and the bad and have our opinion counted and therefore don’t ever have to vote! But if that was the case, we would likely also live a life in poverty, ill health and fear under a dictatorship we can do nothing about. 

 

Politics is a partnership between the individual and the community and part of the human condition is that we keep fighting no matter how pointless our battle seems. Drink more coffee, it should help. This should be applied to politics. With apathy churning around us any time politics is mentioned, we should still fight, we should still care. We have to.

 

Politics exists between all people. So why are we, as a society, so apathetic towards it? The answer is your own and for your own reasons. Just consider if the good outweighs the bad for what YOU consider being important and don’t be ignorant or the bad.  

 

It can be tempting to be apathetic about politics even though the government does affect you. It affects the job you have, the food you eat and the ground you walk on. We could live in a country where we don’t get a say or a vote, where apathy is encouraged. Think of Aung San Suu Kyi. If this was the case we would probably live in poverty, ill health and dictatorship, surrounded by ghastly tea drinkers.

 

As boring as it is, our freedom to vote is a privilege. Perhaps if more people were less apathetic, we could have a strong government that could change our world. Wouldn’t that be great?

 

Modern man’s memory

The memory of modern man is a complex thing, mostly because it doesn’t exist.

They understand the term, they can even use it in a sentence, but empirically the modern man does not have a memory. Instead, modern man has only the ability to logically organise, in their minds, tasks that they must do in the near future. But these are only tasks they really enjoy doing or experiences or things that they need to survive and unfortunately this ability when viewed by modern woman is incredibly limited. For example;

“I must watch the football.

“I must drink this beer.

“I must not change the toilet roll when it is empty.

“I must be surprised when the toilet roll is miraculously full again.”

The perpetual battle of who should change the toilet role is a mute cause. You cannot argue with a crazy person and you cannot train the modern man because he would not remember his training from one point to another.

Occasionally this ability to logically organise their thoughts expands slightly to tasks such as: “I must mow the lawn.” But this is invariably followed by “I must drink this beer.” And when it comes to more complex aspects of human memory the modern man falls drastically short.

“What do you mean a supermarket has entire isles full of useful things besides beer and sausages? Fascinating. I will try and logically organise my thoughts to account for this new piece of information – this ‘new’ piece of information that has been relayed to modern man over a billion times. But due to a lack of memory shopping bags are consistently filled with beer and sausages, a result of simple, organised thoughts propped up by generations of genetic coding and the pursuit of pleasure disguised as needs.

This lack of memory does not equate to a lack of love or a lack of intelligence. For example;

“I can rebuild an entire motor in a day but I cannot remember to put my tools away.

“I must be surprised when they miraculously appear back in the shed.”

Modern man has a hard time configuring his thoughts to think about where a particular tool may be at any given moment. Having a memory would prove most valuable in these situations. But as keepers of the only memory in a heterosexual relationship, modern woman must help her modern man where she can and always exercise the greatest of patience.

The modern man can love deeply and faithfully but they cannot remember the pieces that form this love. For example;

“I wonder how my dirty clothes keep appearing clean and hanging in my wardrobe? I swore I left them dirty right next to the basket full of other dirty clothes.”

Instead of memory, modern man’s brain is a web of things, feelings and experiences that they like. They don’t need to try and remember these things because, unlike changing the toilet roll, they are part of them. Sex, beer, football, playing with the over tired baby well after bed time and then complaining that said baby is too cranky, these are things that naturally fill modern man’s brain. No memory is required to complete these tasks or enjoy these experiences.

A woman’s memory on the other hand, is a fully developed tangible master piece. It has to be, so one part of the species is able to help the other part of the species live a better functioning life than they would be able to live without modern woman’s fully developed tangible master piece of a memory .

It is important to note that modern woman does not use her super power for evil, despite what modern man may think. Conversations are not recorded for future training and development. What men refer to as ‘nagging’ is simply the essential repetitive reminders to help modern man organise his thoughts so he is able to live a more fulfilled life, which according to most Socratics is the meaning of life so ‘nagging’ is an absolutely vital tool for modern man.

For this reason modern woman was designed to speak more words than modern man because they have to remember and then verbally relay to modern man what he must be doing beyond his organised thoughts of pleasure and happiness. Modern man cannot remember rubbish bins need to be emptied and refrigerators need to be filled.

It is not their fault, they are simple creatures of hedonism and as much as they need us we need them. There are many tasks that need to be completed that do not require a memory. Immediate tasks that require immediate action such as disposing of the demonic spider that just entered your view point. Or producing the shiny credit card on request when modern woman walks into a shoe shop.

Modern man cannot be trained, he cannot be tamed and he should not be changed. So modern woman must be well versed on when it is appropriate to use subtle verbal reminders, exasperated shrieking, complete with hair pulling, or sex to remind modern man of the correct behavior that should be applied in a variety of situations.

Yes, memory is indeed a complex thing. Since it is expected that modern man should be able to live peacefully with modern woman despite not being able to contribute in the way of remembering the more boring facets of modern life, modern woman must keep her rage in check, help her modern man and remember they are simple creatures who are needed for things other than changing the toilet roll.

No wine for the pregnant

Picture courtesy of Jose Torres

Apparently it is now illegal to sell alcohol to pregnant women in parts of America. Yes, I am well aware that our culture is slowly but surely being swallowed up by the culture of Uncle Sam, that our own Aussie uniqueness is being overtaken by the red, white and the blue and that another blog dedicated to an American theme is not needed. But of course, I write whatever takes my fancy and today it is the movement of the western world into a complete nanny state.
Drinking alcohol is bad when you are pregnant, we all understand that, we are not complete idiots who need laws to tell us what the right thing to do is in pretty much every circumstance. But as Jim Jefferies says, we have to walk as slow as our slowest person. Apart from an intrusion on our own moral judgement and apart from having another law that exists only for the really dumb, there are a few problems with this late night law.
picture courtesy of Izor Simonovioe
A woman would have to look pregnant for a bar person to refuse to sell them alcohol. But what if the person reserving the right to serve alcohol to a pregnant woman got it wrong? What if Cloe was indeed not knocked up but had been knocking herself around in the bottom of a biscuit tin after her relationship bottomed out? Should the filling out of her bottom and tummy mean that she is not served alcohol, and by god she needs to drown her sorrows after the bastard broke her heart for the final time. And what if Meredith really is pregnant but is able to order an entire bottle of Yellow because she insisted to the bar person that, no she is not pregnant, just getting fat after the rowing machine in her living room conked out. Are they taking bar people aside for secret classes on how to identify who is pregnant and who is fat? Not all women get that lovely rounded tummy that looks like they swallowed a basketball. It’s easy if a woman is heavily pregnant and looks heavily pregnant, no mistakes can be made here.
This brings us to our next problem. If a woman is heavily pregnant the chances of her getting the energy to lift a full glass of wine let alone get off the couch and into a bar are slim to none. So the chances of these women being in a bar in the first place makes the law a little redundant. And if this poor fatigued and feeling awful pregnant woman, by some miracle, got an energy rush that allowed her to get up, get dressed and get down and dirty would then she would have to wade through a sea of dirty looks from people who do not approve so it would hardly be worth the energy required to move. May as well ruin your babies’ brain development and get tanked in the comfort of your own couch.
And what about all the “bad” things that pregnant woman in the 70s did? They ate nuts, lettuce, deli meats, cuddled their pets, smoked and drank. They even rode in cars without baby carriers and rode bikes without helmets. Kids from the 70s seem pretty normal. Those pregnant women didn’t spawn a generation of underdeveloped simpletons. There is an entire generation of kids who survived this madness.  On the flip side, with all the laws and regulations and dirty looks reigning pregnant women in, does this mean that the kids born today are going to be some sort of uber human? Will the kids born of previous generations be stupid in comparison?
It seems as though freedom of choice is an illusion. People need to be free to make their own choices, even if they are very very stupid.

 

Introduction to brianabryon.com

Words of Happy

A blog is every writers fashion accessory, so I hear. And as a professional writer I simply must have the latest fashion accessory. Yes, I actually get to call myself a professional writer as I have and do write, on a regular and paid basis, feature articles and columns for national magazines. The most unusual of these is as a dating and romance columnist for a magazine that is produced solely for prison inmates. The most fun was for an industry magazine for cafes.

I have also been a journalist which took me to a weird place. I was hired as the sports journalist. Really odd choice considering I didn’t even know there were three different types of football. I wish I didn’t know there were three types of football. There really only needs to be Union. The other 2 are just trying to be cool like Union but fall embarrassingly short. League has a thuggish overtone to it and AFL has a propensity to love the sound of their own whistle. The bloody whistle goes off every 2 seconds, it’s ridiculous.

And hell, cricket is without a doubt the most boring sport I have ever watched and I have watched at least 4 different sports. Plus flies go up your nose a lot when you are out on the field. Not ok.

Anyway. My writing career began when I was 11. I wrote a story for my Aunt for her birthday, it was about a princess called Ashley (my middle name – lucky I wasn’t writing a mystery) who was going on a quest to kill her younger sister (I have one of those) because she was evil and was trying to destroy the world. In this case I can assure you – life did not imitate art. Younger sister is still alive but if 11 year old me had more of a say, this would not have been the case. We get on now though. She lives in another country and it’s far far away. A safe distance away. Just kidding, she’s a good bloke. 

Pre-blog, I did my homework, which consisted of thinking really hard about the name for the blog and reading Blogging for Dummies (yes really). Then it was a matter of stocking up on my writing material. According to Blogging for Dummies this will be a ‘life’ blog. It’s about everything and anything and most of all it is supposed to be entertaining and perhaps even a little bit funny.

And like all writers, especially the cliché ones, I have written a novel. It’s totally going places, it’s sitting in my top draw. Sometimes I take it out and think ‘holy s#*t this is a literary masterpiece’. But most days I take it out and think ‘oh god, this is a disaster’. And since the novel, after three years, is completed, I need an outlet for my sarcastic humor, so this blog is it. Apparently if I get a million followers, book contracts will fall out of the sky and I will be not only be a professional writer, I will be a rich and famous one. Fingers crossed. 

Comments are very much encouraged on this blog. Feel free to post as you feel, you can even say that you don’t like a post I have written. I doubt this would be the case, but the freedom of choice is there, if you so choose to use it. If you have a specific topic you would like me to cover, that would be super fun also. The only things that are off limit are my friends and family, which is a big shame because they are all very much insane and would make very interesting posts. But then I would have no friends or family and then there would be on-one left to read my blog and then I would never be rich and famous. Catch 22.

Finally, and most importantly, this blog is an excuse, a means to use my Philosophy Major. So now, after 20 years of people asking me ‘what can you do with a Philosophy Major’, I have an answer – write sarcastic pieces of writing and post them on the internet.