Saturday, February 28, 2009


Some people enjoy politics – they study it, they watch it on TV and listen to it on the radio, they practice its vile secrets in everyday life. I do not enjoy politics. I do read about it, however, and watch the news on TV, so I am not uninformed; I do sometimes think I am more clued up on what’s going on than others.

My question, however, is whether we actually need politics of any kind in order to survive. The answer, in short, is yes. Human nature tends towards group actions and emotions, society and kinship. This very fact is what brings me to believe we are incapable of surviving without politics – politics are abundant in all situations where more than one person is involved.

No two people will ever know what the other is thinking, or what their intentions and motives are. Therefore, we are all, all the time, being secretive, and not disclosing information. Our furtive, sneaky thoughts – whether they are “bad,” stab you in the back, I stole your eraser kind, or whether they are “secrets,” the I want to sleep with you, I’m in love with your mother kind – these all bring about motives and direct the way we handle ourselves in public situations, they ultimately decide what we do or say.

The best politicians are the people that are able to read other people best – not necessarily the best liars (although that comes hand in hand) – but the best at performing actions and saying things that will lead to a course of action or a reaction that they favour. We all know it’s true, and we’ve all either done it or seen it happen. These kinds of politics are the “small” kind.

The “big” politics – these are the governmental kind. These politics are simply an overextension of the “small” kind, except that in this case a lot more is being held back – because by nature of the information available to high up members of governments, the government needs to hold back certain facts from the public in order to keep them happy and safe. This is where the games come in – they have to make decisions that will continue to keep this information undisclosed, and yet at the same time keep everyone happy. This, as we are all aware, is not possible. Thus – the best politicians are those able to surmise what the greater outcome of any said action is, and who will be kept the happiest, and by extension, what action will evoke the greatest satisfaction of their motives.

Thus – someone like Julius Malema is an excellent politician. He does not have motives that are of a high moral nature, nor are they anywhere near anything particularly intelligent. However, his actions (or rather, his words) evoke responses from his supporters that soothe his ego, and ultimately satisfy his motives. His actions almost always make him feel like some kind of god, and thus he is better at feeding his motives than others. The same can be said of Jacob Zuma, and many other African leaders.

The reason these leaders are successful in our countries, is because their sentiments target the largest portion of the population, and that portion is majoratively filled with people that are utterly, hopelessly stupid. They are uninformed, uneducated, and stupid. They are spoofed time and time again by promises of a better life for the poor, and cheer wildly as the next blue light brigade with their chosen leader rushes by, and then trudge home to their poverty-filled existence.

The lying politicians are not the stupid ones here – they are the exploiters, and in this country, unless the intelligent, educated and informed section of the public (black, white and coloured included) don’t wisen up and put their votes in the right box, our country will forever be plagued by that ever elusive, indefinable characteristic that they term “The African Problem”. I know where my vote is going this year. Do you?

Friday, February 27, 2009


So, Matthew and I both agreed to write a blog post on politics today, to be put up by 8am GMT. I went home, and thought about the topic, and tick tacked them, key by key, into a beautiful Microsoft Word 2007 document, saved to my laptop desktop. And, that is where it is currently sitting - beyond my ability to post it online until I get home tonight.

Thus, I must apologize for my unindustriousness, and point you to Thew's blog to read in the meantime (if he makes the deadline, that is).

Thursday, February 26, 2009

An Alternate Meaning in Dreams

This blog post is in direct response to Thewster's latest post.

I've done a lot of reading up on dreams and sub-conscious, and lucid dreams. If you're interested, check out dreamviews for more info on lucid dreaming - it's a fascinating subject.

To start my thoughts on the subject, I'll put to you a scenario that you may or may not have experienced before: that of the false awakening. Your alarm goes off in the morning, you wake up, get out of bed, walk to the bathroom, and suddenly discover that your bathroom is a giant room filled with plastic balls. "What the - ?" you ask. Then you realise you're dreaming, and you snap awake, for real this time, faced with your grimy bathtub that needs cleaning, rather than the glorious fun filled plastic ball room.

The thing with dreams, and with reality, is that it is all a fragment of our imagination, literally. The world we see and hear is a model, created by stimuli from our senses. Our eyes process light waves, and our brains turn this into what we "see". Our ears take sound waves, vibrations, and our brains convert that into what we "hear", and so on for every sense. When we're sleeping, our brain is doing exactly the same thing - only this time, the stimuli are coming from our brain itself, and not our external senses.

It's also possible for our external senses to play a part in dreams - we've all experienced sounds playing in our dreams when they come from waking life.

What does this mean for alternate meanings in dreams? Well, bearing in mind that your brain creates this waking life model, I think all dreams are most definitely creations of our sub-conscious; that's what's providing the stimuli. Are these signals then fired at random? I don't think so. But, do they contain some greater meaning? If you dream of being naked in public, does that mean you're feeling vulnerable subconsciously, and afraid of people's judgment? If you dream of running but not moving, does that mean you're unable to escape some kind of impending doom? Does it mean you're stuck in a rut and not happy with your life?

Maybe, or maybe not. Some elements are common in dreams - flying, running and not moving (or feeling like you're wading through very thick water, and not moving quickly), being unable to scream, your teeth falling out when looking in the mirror, electrical things not working, public toilets not having walls, having large hands or ears - these are all common dream elements among all people. So, does that mean that we all feel these insecurities?

I think that our sub-conscious minds are able to produce a set of stimuli that are directly linked to what is contained in our minds and imaginations. Would you ever be able to dream about being in outer space, if you never knew what outer space was? No! If you were, we would all be dreaming about weird and wonderful things that no-one knows exists. I think it's far more likely that dreams are just a put together model of what is foremost in that part of our minds where the sub-conscious is currently digging.

If you spend your last 30 waking minutes thinking about dinosaurs, there is a high possibility that you will dream of dinosaurs. And that is why I think people often put special meaning to strange dreams - they are constantly thinking about whatever issues are currently happening in their lives, and so that is where the most material lies for their sub-conscious to dig out, and so it is what they dream about. They will often attribute "special" meanings to these dreams, and it's entirely possible that those meanings are true - but only because sub-consciously, they have thought the issues through and have come up with the answer, and that is what the "meaning" is.

The sub-conscious is a wonderful thing, and if you don't mind - I have some daydreaming to get back to. Look for tomorrow's post on politics, and don't forget to check out Thew's blog.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Friday's Topic

So, we've decided on Friday's topic. It shall be:


Watch this space, and check out Spiral to the Abyss for our posts on Friday, 08:00 GMT at the latest.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The End of the World

I have often thought, as have many others, about how the world is going to end. A famous quote from Albert Einstein plays in my head as I write this:

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

Of course, this brings to mind images of mushroom clouds and advancing soldiers, technology ridden, pilotless drones dropping carpet bombs on cities of tactical importance, raining death on innocent civilians and hiding guerrillas.

Is this how the world is going to end? Is it an end at all? It surely is the end as we know it – money and belongings will have no relevance anymore. I certainly would not mind an end to all the materialism and squabbles about land ownership and religion, I could easily see myself living out an existence centred on family and survival. However, is that existence the merry situation we would find ourselves in?

The end of civilization is going to be the end of law keeping, the end of policing and certainly the end of a judicial system. Crime will run rampant – the strong and immoral taking advantage of the week. Will there be happy days planting crops and veggies, fishing in a peaceful lake, and not worrying about a mortgage? No, there will not. We will fight over land, we will fight over what food remains, we will fight over anything there is to fight about, because that is what makes us human.

We, who love the luxury of the internet, air travel, wonderfully cooked food, well made clothes, excellent movies and awesome songs, and the odd good book – we shall not live an ideal existence. I shall certainly not look forward to the end of the world, that is for sure. Let us hope it does not end in war, and that it ends with a grand explosion after a collision with a giant, fiery ball of outer space rock. It will, after all, solve all our problems.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Blogging

So, Matthew and I have decided to hold a dual blogging exercise. Every week, once a week, at a set date, we shall agree upon a topic to write about, and shall post said entry to our respective blogs. This entry is the first of these said agreed upon topics – a blog entry about blog entries.

My thoughts on this exercise were to have a means of having a “deadline” in which to complete an entry, to force each other to write, no matter what, and to limit the entry to some kind of predefined topic. This makes writing easier – I think it’s well known that being able to write about absolutely anything is far more difficult than writing about some preset topic, even if the topic is not the most ideal for your writing talents.

This setting of boundaries on writing and when to have finished by (with the added incentive of comparing your work to, and learning from, someone else’s work on the same topic) should get our creative juices flowing, and will make the task of writing easier. Each week, we now have a common goal. We have an extra something to discuss, and can get both our creative, writing minds going, with the addition of arguing over moot points in diverse subjects ranging from religion and philosophy to sport and culture (popular or otherwise).

We’ve both set a target of three blog posts per week over the year. This is my third post this week, though I am way behind in schedule for the entire year. I’m hoping that this task will motivate me to write more posts more often, and to get me thinking about things that everyone should be considering a little more. That’s the end of this week’s taster, and here’s looking forward to next week’s topic.

EDIT: Matthew's blog can be found here: Spiral to the Abyss

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Things the World Needs

So, I've decided there are certain things that the world is in dire need of:
  • A law that states that all cigarrettes are to be manufactured in such a way that smokers die much, much sooner, and are much more heavily addicted - so that these inconsiderate bastards (yes, I'm generalizing, if you don't like it read someone else's blog) are wiped off our planet in a coughing, spluttering haze of smokey death sooner rather than later.
  • A law that states that all cars are to be manufactured in such a way that if the driver has been consuming alcohol beyond an agreed limit, the brakes stop working. The deaths will be greater at first, but once people realize the impacts of their decisions to drink and drive, they will do it less.
  • Genetically engineered bananas that always peel correctly, every time.
  • Coffee jars that, when open, do not have a magnetic effect on tea spoons. Is it just me, or is the number of times I am spastically unable to lift the coffee-filled spoon over the lip of the jar (and in the process sending spurts of coffee powder unnecessarily all over the kitchen counter and floor) unusually high? Who decides these statistics? How can the spoon be magnetically sucked to the jar every time? That can't be right.
That's it. That's the list. We can only save the world one small step at a time.

Ghost Story

He smiled at me as he floated past, drifting into transparency as our eyes met, and heard him whisper inside my head as he passed, “Hello Michael.” I turned my head in the direction whence he came, and he passed again, floating in the same manner, “Hello Michael.” It took me three rounds of the same thing to realize that my ghost was not talking to this Michael, but to some other Michael set in the same time as he. I backed up and entered the shop behind me, in search of warmth and some answers.