I refuse to be drawn.

A lot of people worry about things. Don’t they? Any thing. Many things, or just one or two things.

But what really is the point? I ask you.

We hear so much doom and gloom these days. It’s everywhere. On the news, in the papers, online web sites, and even here, there are constant posts about how everything is so fundamentally rooted and how it’s all going to get worse.

It’s like everywhere we are all whipping ourselves up into a collective apocalyptic lather of doom and devastation where the only glimmer of hopes lies in aliens descending to whip “the true believers” away or to gag back a cup of orange cordial.

Andy Warhol, the 1960’s alternative pop icon attracted a crowd of down and out ‘follower’s at his New York art studio, come apartment, come nightclub, each with their own sad tale to tell.

“So what” was Andy’s stock standard response. Hippies would arrive at “The Factory” and describe how they had to run away from home “so what” would reply Andy, or couldn’t find somewhere to sleep “so what” he’d say, or were sad and lonely “so what,” or just wanted to be part of what was going on at the Factory. Big deal. So what.

When things got tough, Andy would just trot out another painting and that would keep the “hangers on” in food, drugs and alcohol for another few months.

I always thought that modern psychologists could’ve learned a lot from Andy’s “so what” refrain.

Everyone’s got a hard luck story. Some people wear it on their sleeves, others keep it hidden. Others don’t even know they’re living it until one day they wake up with a wife (or husband) three kids and a McMortgage and wonder how TF did I get here?

Meanwhile there are people struggling to make a bowl of rice, working knee-deep in mud all day every day, who have no idea what life is like outside of a 15 kilometre radius of where they were born and probably never will. What financial crisis?

Apparently Australian viewers are turning away from “reality TV” in droves. Instead preferring the more true-to-life “unreality” of quality shows like ‘Home and Away”.

It’s disturbing to think that the reality of “reality TV” had become so distasteful. The vile putredeness of teenage adults behaving badly suddenly became obvious to the entire population of Australia. As if a sleeping audience woke up to themselves, realised the ugliness of it all and simply switched to more mindless garbage with a synthetic veneer.

Was I missing something, or are we all just meant to stand around staring at each other like something out of The Invasion?

Meanwhile some health-kick poster screams “ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR LIFE?” My Life? I’m not even sure about this sausage roll…!

And Harvey Norman wants me to buy a thousand dollars worth of shit I don’t need for a thousand days interest free! I can’t even count to a thousand without stopping to think about it for a moment, or to walk into another room, come back, and wonder what I was doing there in the first place.

Yesterday I re-arranged some bamboo.

It will probably be there when I get home.

It’ll probably be there tomorrow.

Apart from that, I think I know very little about anything. I try to avoid people who think – or like to think – that they do. And even if someone did, and it were true, I’m not sure I’d really want to know.

I quite like it that way.


18 Responses

  1. You look pretty drawn in your avatar, reb.

  2. Nice sentiments, Reb.

    My way of dealing with the day-to-day inevitability of life is to concentrate on those things which make me happy, and pay little attention to the rest.

    There are plenty of people who want to tell me how we’re all doomed to financial Armageddon, but I refuse to give them the time of day. What for? So I can feel miserable and sorry for myself? No thanks.

    Our friend John Mc knows I don’t ususally read his posts for that reason – I’ve told him so, and I’m sure he understands.

    Now I’m off to have a soak in a nice hot half-full bath, while sipping a half-full glass of champagne, and might even take time to feel sorry – but only very briefly – for those poor bastards who haven’t yet learnt to look on the bright side of life, and are stuck in a half-empty world of gloom and pessimism.

    *splash & clink*

    You wouldn’t be dead for quids.

  3. Thank you Tony.

    It was a bit of a rant. Clearly.

    I’m not sure if any of it made any sense. But I totally agree with you, misery loves miserable company as they say.

    And as Oscar Wilde once said – “We’re all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars!”

    *splash & clink” back.



  4. It’s interesting that I just noticed this post come through on a now-rare visit to my Bloglines feed.

    I used to be a blogaholic visiting many of them everyday and many times a day. I also had three blogs of my own. This went on for years until I suddenly realised why I was in constant depressive state – blogs.

    With the newspaper you read it over breakfast or in the train and that’s it whereas blogs can be a 24/7 habit.

    And the simple fact is most blogs are about complaining, doom and gloom, minute dissection of all things political and economical, etc etc.

    Anyway, now that I’ve been weaned myself blogs for awhile now (and no offence to the good people here and elsewhere because this is MY problem), I have felt an improvement in my outlook on life and day-to-day happiness.

  5. Hi Sans Blog,

    Nice to see you again, and I can totally appreciate your reasons for avoiding blogs.

    I’m on a mission to cheer things up around here.

    So please feel welcome to stick around as the events unfold..

    and give my regards to Katoomba.

  6. give my regards to Katoomba

    Reb, that made me grab a hat and cane and start dancing in a Fred Astaire-like manner.

    And now I’ve scared the dogs: they’re hiding under the bed.

  7. Sans Blog, play some Peter Green, that’ll make ’em happy.

  8. Reb, you have inspired something in me that has laid dorment for many years: my thoughts on life. I will do some of it again later, but first, here is the first verse of a poem that I wrote some time ago where I reflected much as you do now.

    The poem is about people who stirred life in me and it starts like this:

    As I grace the evening of my life I reflect upon this passing day.
    A day not withered with simple ritual. I would not be tied that way.
    Nor have I blossomed, by desire my triumphs were to keep a humble mind.
    And every mortal or moment I countered, were just there to fill my time.

    I won’t reveal the rest – it’s very personal. In the meantime, I will do more thinking.

  9. Here are the results of my Reb inspired thinkfest:

    I have assigned myself the seemingly simple task of writing about a person I know very well: Me. It all sounded too easy at first, until self-limitations were placed on the subject matter. “Provide an insight, not a life story”. (No luxury here of being able to scrounge over my life’s events and pick out historical data. No, I have to pick my thoughts instead). For most of my life my thoughts have slumbered peacefully, alone and undisturbed. Now I am to disturb them.

    I could have cheated and based this story on any number of people, or even a fictitious person and nobody would know the difference. Or maybe I could have picked somebody else and still been right. I am, after all, a reflection of everybody I have ever known. I have taken the policies and philosophies from a great many people. I have imitated the shrewdness and cunning of others until it become inherent in me. I am a blend of the thoughts of thousands, but above all, I am still an individual. Whatever I have acquired is now mine to keep, until something better comes along.

    To surrender while I am content would not be very rewarding. I am aware that tomorrow, next week, or next year more people will enter and shape my life. That is how it has been forever. Life has delivered me to this day.

    Having always been of management status has provided me with the gratitude to acknowledge a variety of credits. My success in management is more due to the good fortune of working in good teams filled with good people. I have gained as much from my subordinates as I have from those who manage over me. I also reserve some credit for myself: had I not learnt from every moment or mortal I encountered I believe I would not be in this position of authority, and I would not be surrounded by the trappings I have earned.

    The funny thing is I’d never stopped to look at it this way until I asked myself to write this story. Tho hours ago I was purely a self made individual. But like a self made millionaire has gathered the millions of dollars that has come their way, so too has a self made individual gathered the experiences that have come along. I was born with barely a thought in my head. Some I grew, and as I have said, some were borrowed.

    Initially I had intended to write about the “home grown” thoughts. These were the only ones I knew and are still worth mentioning. Like many others I thought that I had a point to make or a purpose to complete (and while this is certainly creditable), I was a victim of the “I’ll do it my way” syndrome. And all of my life I have believed, simply and solely, that I did do it my way. In truth, nobody on Earth ever has. There is not one person on Earth who has not gained or learnt something from every interaction in their life. Remember the old adage “We learn something new every day”? I might extend it to “We can learn something wise every moment”.

    In the past two hours I have learnt so much. What then, can a lifetime provide?

    To the reader, I hope your own thoughts have been stirred as much as mine. Or perhaps my words have meant nothing. In that case, stop reading this blog and travel in life as you please. But maybe tomorrow, next week or next year we may meet and I’ll be fortunate, because I will learn something from you. Sadly, I will have nothing to offer in return.

  10. “But maybe tomorrow, next week or next year we may meet and I’ll be fortunate, because I will learn something from you. Sadly, I will have nothing to offer in return.”

    I think you greatly underestimate yourself Miglo.

    I always read your posts. You and I have a lot in common.

    I’m gobsmacked that my innane rantings have compelled you to make such a post, but I am very humbled.

    I have learned so much more about life and living through my experiences and interaction with people who have so much less than I have – mainly overseas – which keeps reminding to keep things in perspective.

    Which is why I think that all this focus on the GFC is all just a fleeting load of bollocks.

    Everything is just a distraction. Interaction with other people from all races and walks of life leads us to the inescapable conclusion that we’re all here for just a short time. We enter with nothing. We leave with nothing. Everything else is purely transitory. Sharing a moment of joy (or sadness) or even just the simplicity of life and existence with someone from another culture and another land can be one of life’s most uplifting experiences.

    “If a man travels far enough, eventually he will find himself”.

  11. Reb

    “Which is why I think that all this focus on the GFC is all just a fleeting load of bollocks.”

    I guess time will tell whether it’s bollocks or not.

  12. Reb, that sentence was in the context of a person not wanting to learn from others. If that person does not want to learn anything, then I have nothing to offer.

    ” . . .or even just the simplicity of life and existence with someone from another culture and another land can be one of life’s most uplifting experiences.”

    That explains why I have always enjoyed meeting with and talking to and sharing life with Indigenous Australians on their own turf. It’s just another world. One we rarely see, or even acknowledge that exists.

  13. “I guess time will tell whether it’s bollocks or not.”

    Um no, consciousness will tell, and in the greater scheme of things it is just nothing.

  14. Great thoughts reb!

    I especially liked “Yesterday I re-arranged some bamboo.”!

    Better half and myself were similarly engaged – we rearranged our dragon plant on Saturday (dracaena draco, I think it’s real name is?) which was looking quite poorly since we put up the verandah and cut out its light.

    All part of our sustainability drive – an updated version of good ol’ Aussie homestead wrap-around verandahs to keep the sun off the walls.

    When all else goes pear-shaped, the little things in life are still rewarding!

    On Sunday we rearranged our dragon plant again, and I stroked its leaves and reassured it that all would be well, now that it had a bit more sunlight.

    I am very hopeful that our dragon plant will come good again. He is a very handsome plant when he is doing well. The way he efficiently converts solar energy into biochemical activity is a wonder to behold… such a pity that we humans are so much less efficient at using solar energy.

    Anyway, I am also hopeful about the Aussie economy… Just wish we knew how to move it into a better spot in the sun. Starting next week, or even next month, would be good!

  15. “My way of dealing with the day-to-day inevitability of life is to concentrate on those things which make me happy, and pay little attention to the rest. ”


    WTF else can you do?
    Attitude is self regulated & all powerful.

  16. “I especially liked “Yesterday I re-arranged some bamboo.”!”

    Don’t know much about it but I’ve recently, along with my daughter, germinated 7 jacaranda tree’s in a bansai kit.
    It says they can (with due diligence) possibly live past 100y.o.. Cool.

    I look forward to twisting their shapes.

  17. Elise of Perth, on March 3rd, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Well, well, well!

    Nice to see you here, Elise (finally!)

    They keep trickling in, sreb!

    (I keep expecting, Tim, to turn up!)

  18. “Was I missing something, or are we all just meant to stand around staring at each other like something out of The Invasion?”

    I forgot to mention…great post reb.

    Apart from the sugary ending, The Invasion was an interesting exercise. Real life is altogether different.

    Lucky to be here & your point about working in mud, day in day out, is a good one to keep in mind.

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