Hump’dee #2 Fecundalicious

Just in time for #IWD2021 and a hump day poem about the best time of our lives, that time when expectations of us shift and we can truly be ourselves – post 40 #badpoetry #midweek #humpday #IWD2021

It’s Wednesday, Hump Day. It’s all down hill from now on. But you’ve had enough. Enough of people. Enough of work. Or not working. Enough of the kids. Enough of your partner. Enough of the government. You need a hump’dee poem. Closed caption available.

Transcript:

Fecundalicious

On the platform they stood

The fecund train rattled away

Cousins joined by experience

Dressed for weary traffic

One tired in gleaming red

Overcome by hottest of sweats

The other in confused colour

Feeling like a prickly faux fur stole

The younger opens to engage

Shifting uncomfortably side to side

Thought for a moment then said

“Do you think you’ll miss it?”

Meno squared up as if to fight

“No, Peri, Peri, Peri, I shall not”

“One thing I’ve noticed, Dear Meno”

“Yes?” said Meno, flicking salty beads

“That clock did not seem to tick”

“My dear clocks and bombs tick,

This makes a schlocking noise”

Peri raised a half smile, nodding

“Yes, more like a monotonous drone”

Said Meno, rolling her eyes

They picked up their baggage

Facing the longest platform

Journeying to the exit

“Do not fear, Peri, my dear,

It only gets better from here”

Peri looked dazed and confused

Meno just chuckled gleefully.

Throwing red gloved hands upwards,

“Oh yes! Now is our time!

Despite what society imagines,

Now we make the men uncomfortable.

Why else is it called Menopause?”

Hump’dee #1 – Letter to my desperate friend

It’s Wednesday, Hump Day. It’s all down hill from now on. But you’ve had enough. Enough of people. Enough of work. Or even of not working. Enough of the government. You need a hump’dee poem.

Here’s Hump’dee Poem #1 That friend you love, that you are there for, for every breakup. A poem for them. Because at the end of the day, there are a lot of assholes out there. #badpoetry#midweek#humpday#baddates

Transcript:

Letter to my younger, desperate and very heterosexual friend

Always icky when you’re in love

You’re floating like a butterfly

But trust me to wonder why

We use stinky birds like doves

To describe peace and love

Cause everyone knows it

That feeling of bird shit

On your head from the sky

Suddenly falling from high

I suppose that’s a bit like

New loves dopamine spike

Maybe in reverse

I’m being perverse

I’m being a cynic

That’s not like me is it

Stop cheeky grinning

In love you’re winning

For now – Oh wow

I’ll need to keep in check

Later when you’re a wreck

My inner goblin like glee

Cause I love being free

Finding other dopamine

Sorry? You think me mean

History repeating I’ve seen

Now don’t make a scene

You asked my opinion true!

You made me promise you!

Before you get screwed!

Please don’t come unglued!

Your first date was a mess

You came to me to confess

But they had love to bomb

And you thought me wrong

When I sang the old song

About red flags and shit

And you never listen you twit

And then you rage at me

I wait for later apologies

Undoubtedly they come

As the creep comes undone

Here’s the thing my friend

I’ll be with you at the end

And together we’ll talk shit

All about this monstrous fuckwit

And then I know you’ll start to feel better

And write your 16 year old self another  f’n letter

And I will secretly hope that next time

You’ll boot them at the very very first sign

Truth is I love you, my desperate friend

Enough to be there at each shitty loves end

I’ll be your talking post until you uncover

That love of yourself and the perfect lover

Binary (Valentine’s) Busting #2 – Love vs. Loneliness

I am delighted to say I know a whole of happily married folk, who don’t need to make marriage the entire focus of their lives, it is an enriching element of their lives. I’ve been to some wonderful weddings.

But then there are always, those weddings and those couples who once lived inside an actual fairytale and now it ain’t healthy and today is their day, dammit.

So I suppose today, the most commercial celebration of love, is as good a day as ever to post my cultural cynicism! Welcome to the gory 14th of February! When celebrating beheadings and martyrdom and the oppression of pagan peoples is converted into flowers, declarations of love and the day of the year the most people get engaged to marry! Even some young folk believe in this!

One thing in the hell of 2020 that stood out for me, from the depths of two lockdowns was how desperately some cling to the ideal of romantic love; and just how weird that feels for me, as an asexual person. And also someone whose been happily single for 16 years, with the odd pause for vain attempts at otherwise, I’ve never been happier without any romance for the last 6 of those years.

And news flash, I am not the slightest bit lonely. I have bucket loads of love in my life. It’s just not the desperate kind. By desperate kind, I mean capitalist romantic headfuck that dominates the covers of women’s magazines (still! wtf!).

There seems to be a persuasive cultural conflation between romance and love. Because romance (infatuation, lust, coveting etc. etc.) is quite different to love. Can we stop smashing the two words together into “romantic love”? Have you not noticed the contradiction yet? Valentines Day is the epitome of this; a day of drowning in fake sentiment and once a year efforts from the typically disinterested.

I need to stress that I love celebrating when others celebrate. Be it a marriage, a birth, a promotion. Fuck it, the world can be so dark, I want to celebrate with you and to do that I don’t have to agree with you on the merits of the institution of marriage or the romantic ideals often associated with it. I experienced my fair share of pain during the plebiscite, I fought for the right to marry for my community, but just don’t tie me to the idea that marriage is good for everyone.

But…recent experience prompts me to say…to those addicted to romance, please resist the urge to make your happily long term single friends your own personal projects in the name of love.

Love encompasses self-love, love for humanity and the planet, love for friendships, love for ideas, love for each other. But in 2020 I lost a handful of friendships, because I prioritized my own self love over other people’s needs to use my home and my life as dumping ground for their relationship problems. Because I was single I was expected to play counsellor, savior and provide haven to people in the name of love. There was also a kind of manipulation in there that because I have a history in a profession that fights for the victims of domestic and family violence, that I was expected to be a trauma dumping ground. When I resisted and tried to protect my own safety and wellbeing, and recommend they use official supports, I suddenly became the enemy of ‘love’. There are ways to be actively supporting someone without handing them your safety as well or retriggering your own trauma. People help each other through trauma in our private lives, and I’ve certainly done that for many, but like the unrealistic expectation that love solves it all, helping and loving others should not be overly dangerous to your own well-being.

Trauma in our most intimate relationships can be a hellscape for our future relationships, both intimate and personal or it can be a learning ground, or let’s face it, a lot of both. But the experience brought home just how happy I am not shackled to romantic ideals and a number of my other long term single friends have expressed the same.

This maybe an yet another unpopular opinion, but I am a little bit tired of hearing about people having a “love of a lifetime”. And somehow, for some people, having the love of a lifetime seems to be code for putting up with more shit than Flash Gordon (including abuse).

Being in love with the idea of love to a point where you will give your identity away, is not love. Take it from someone who did it, as a young person desperately trying to be what was modeled to them. Then when I embraced my asexuality and stopped seeing myself as an anomaly, it was like the fairy godmother of relief had visited.

Sometimes, people say “you are so lovely, you deserve someone who loves you” to people like me; the irony of which is not lost on me as an out and proud asexual with no desire to be shackled in romantic conquest. I have quite a visceral response to this, and it almost makes me want to vomit.

I feel like asexual people are used like an insurance policy no one read the fine print on; people’s ‘sadness for us’ is the insurance that promotes their own scramble to be shackled to the nearest wild chemical attraction, then when it all falls apart we are the fine print that says “I told you so”.

The societal need to prove asexual people wrong is strong. But we don’t exist to make anyone feel better about their own sexual and romantic urges and particularly not when things go bad for them. People go out their way to involve us in their romances, weddings and romantic stories with such vigor it is as though it might be contagious and suddenly we might change. News flash, the short answer is no.

You can love each other however you like, but enough with the romance ruling your life to a point you are confusing it with abuse. Romance spawns reality TV and an ever burgeoning and expensive wedding and divorce industry, that isn’t about love, it’s about money and control of people’s bodies.

If you are like me and reject romantic ideas for broader ideas of love, then the idea of until death do us part, is well, akin to dying on the spot. Yet my parents did have a happily codependently romantic marriage that appeared to make them happy. Honestly I don’t begrudge anyone else who prioritizes this.

But kindly fuck off if you think that the choice to live alone makes me lonely or that I am loveless. Embracing who I am, which is aromantic, asexual, has made me the happiest and least lonely I have been in my lifetime. The search to be other than that, was the loneliest time in my life. Being freed of that was the most liberating thing to happen to me. That does not mean I do not experience love.

The pressure I experience to be married is still there and I avoid these conversations endlessly, but still there is always someone who will ask why I am not married and if I have been as a matter of priority, not in passing. In my view the wedding industry is a case in point about modern capitalist agendas, not really about love.

Again, love isn’t either/or. It’s not a binary between love or loneliness, but the romance/wedding industry depends on binaries. There IS such a thing as being alone and liking, or dare I say it, loving it. And then there is loneliness. True loneliness is a pervading feeling of sadness at your lot in life, and you can be in love and experience that. Romantic love does not conquer all.

That true loneliness like that can be experienced surrounded by people who are supposed to love you. Anyone who comes from abuse knows how muddled the boundary between abuse and this romantic notion of love conquering all can get. I’ve experienced a lot of ‘negging‘ relationships associated with romantic ideals rather than realities and thanks, so no thanks.

I eat out alone, I shop alone, I live alone, but I am not lonely and I am very loved, thank you very much. I’ve stopped socialising with people who flap their gums about romance and get excited over weddings like it’s the pinnacle of a life times achievement, because frankly, I find them, well…boring. Give me politics discussions and robust philosophy any day. But gossip about who married who is my equivalent to watching paint dry. And because I was assigned female at birth – this attitude means I am apparently a dreadful traitor to the patriarchy. Thank goodness for that!

I have a simple rule when it comes to relationships, because where I show love is often in friendships, and during lockdown I’ve found them challenging with the coupled up heady romantic types. I will stand beside friends that others have abandoned, I’ve gone beyond and above for people I love as friends, over and over. But the moment they start blurring abuse boundaries, I’m out. I’ll try for a while to put boundaries in, but if they consistently cannot respect my boundaries, it won’t work.

I’m not a fan of capitalist agendas, and to me, the need to spend large amounts of money celebrating weddings in the name of something that is meant to be pure in essence (love) seems a tad egregious. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve then laboured through the “how much it cost” conversation with people. If you think talking about how your wedding cost more than my car, chances are the look on my face will resemble Lucille Ball’s most cringeworthy. And my car is secondhand.

This need for people to validate romantic love is symptomatic of romance-itis in my view and I remember my own wedding having a life of itself. I wanted to jump off the wedding train but it had a life of it’s own.

How many people will get engaged today on Valentines Day and stuck on those tracks because of an idea rather than the reality? Will they feel pressured to carry on relationships that are literal train wrecks? Will they just find themselves constantly complaining about it, and focus on the romantic wedding bit (as opposed to genuine love), as though that will fix EVERYTHING? A text book foundation for abuse.

I’ve got plenty of coupled and/or married friends who don’t feel the urge to bash me around the head with their ideas on romance and marriage and I won’t do that to them either. If me being honest about romantic bullshit makes me the asshole, I am quite happy to be the asshole. If you have to bully your friends into your worldview about love and marriage and not except that this may not be their view, I’m out! Because I will them as best I can, but once it becomes all heteronormative, that’s dangerous for me.

Some people believe a marriage ceremony and reception are going to seal a happy union, therein lies the rabbit hole of institutionalised thinking. Bridezillas are created by this patriarchal bullshit as women grapple for their piece of the sexism pie. I will fight for people’s right to marry, but as for the institution and industry of marriage and the oppression it stands for, is something I have long railed against. Like all institutions if we are empowered to use them in a constructive way that can have deep meaning, and we will benefit, but if we use them in a Valentines once a year way – they will last waste to us.

But not all of us have whole identity pivots on the premise of being married. Basically married folk who know me, have to be really secure in their marriage and their identities (instead of shackling the two together), because I ain’t going to gush whenever they use the language of ownership “my husband, my wife”.

If they use these terms in too close an order, like three times in less than ten minutes, I become like a three year old whose just handled a itchy grub. I will have to fight the urge to verbally itch out, “what’s your husband’s name again?”. And what’s worse, is that people will not see I am being ironic, seeking a name for the chattel they are talking about.

Love doesn’t have to be the love of your life to have meaning. In fact, I would argue some of the loneliest people I know lean on notions of romantic love like it’s more important than oxygen and then appear like gasping goldfish in an inch of water, searching to find joy.

IMHO, there isn’t one love that without you are doomed to loneliness; there are many types and forms of love. Ultimately, love is where you find it and you won’t be lonely if you appreciate what all types of love mean to you.

Happy beheading day, don’t lose yours to romance.

I feel a little gleeful, so here is a poem

Going back to Uni at 50 is a wonderful thing,

It makes me want to break out and sing,

But the scariest thing for me on offer,

Is coming out in a few years…a doctor…

And not that kind that starts in proctor…

I’ve met enough assholes in my own time,

But I thought I’d put my glee into rhyme,

And here’s some extra food for my soul,

My first club I’ll join is one most F.O.U.L.

FOUL Friends of Unnatural Llamas

#badpoetry #oweek

The Deadline: Of Death and Gin

A little something I have been working as the 5th generation descendant of Irish-Australian brewery owners.

It’s been delayed a year…but hoping to do some filming and podcasting out at Kilmore in the coming months.

The Deadline combines autobiography, anthropological ethnography and comedy to discuss mental health and addiction taboos. It will tell quirky darkly humorous stories of inter-generational family resilience, Irish-Australian migration and family business to explore if we really have learned any lessons about how we treat mental health and addiction issues over the last 200 years. It will combine research, family history, religious and political commentary to look at changes over time.

Dark humour meets ethnography, family history and critical social commentary on Australia’s lack of mental health services and the taboo’s about talking about intergenerational mental health.

And don’t be that wanker who says you can’t laugh at that…The Deadline looks at our healthy and not so healthy ways of coping through the ways families laugh through trauma. Plus it will mock the system, not people’s pain.

https://the-deadline.org/

And here is the first blog post –

Stage I – Costume for Change

Content warning: discussions of female genital mutilation (FGM).

Okay! Now that is out of the way – please, if you haven’t read the post I did about why I am making this costume please do!

There is no capacity for comments on this post for a reason. No one is going to explain this to anyone, unless you are Khadija Gbla herself!

It’s really quite simple, if this project bothers you…scroll on by!

It’s taken me a long time to start this costume making project, life got in the way, I’ve been really unwell for over a year now and my comedy has been part of my recovery (although in a much less capacity). And this costume has had a couple of design attempts which failed. But I think I have it now…

First things first, I have to build this so Khadija can pull off what parts of the anatomy are removed, through the different types of FGM.

So it’s constructed in reverse to how FGM is carried out, mainly so I make sure it will work when worn on the front of Khadija’s body. I will attach shoulder straps and a waist band, a bit like if you have ever worn a backpack on your front.

So stage one of this project is equivalent of Type III FGM – where all external features of the vulva are removed and the vagina entrance sewn shut, with a small opening left behind.

I’ve deliberately made the stitching rough, but effective, as the diagrams often show stitching that looks almost aesthetically pleasing, which is not the intent of FGM. However I do think I will make the stitching more easily seen from a distance for the purposes of caricature.

And here’s a video of getting it so far to the point that this will be the piece worn in front of the body and I will build out the other types and anatomy from here…there is much to be done yet…

2 days (with a lot of distractions) squished into 2 minutes.

Binary busting #2 Career vs. Hobby

Seated around a camp fire on a camping trip not of my choosing, with people I was struggling to be with. We’ve all had those trips. Then I get asked what I do…and at the time I was a university lecturer…

Opinionated but frequently angry white man: You academics don’t contribute anything but a load of elite bullshit.

Me: Yeah! How are you finding the aerodynamic design of that canvas camping chair with a beer holder in it and clever lightweight construction? I suppose the academic wankers of design and engineering like a comfortable chair and a beer too?

*campfire laughter*

But seriously, I was forever happily known as the smart ass in that group. Fortunately it was just for the weekend. But I really could not sit there and listen to the tall poppy bashing any further. *note, I wouldn’t have been that direct to a student, not ever.

If the Aussie-ism is “no one likes a smart ass“, my response is “that’s fine with me, I don’t like an ignorant ass“.

I think I got into comedy because I was sick of the phenomenon of Australian anti-intelligentsia. There’s been so much written about the Australian brain drain phenomenon I won’t bore you with it, except to say that some of our cleverest squirrel away quietly or leave the country. If you don’t think that’s a loss, then you better give up all your tech (just one example), right frigging now.

I once had my comedy described as a “much funnier TED talk”. I’ll take that as a compliment. It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy other genres of comedy, it’s just this is what sits well for me to perform.

People ask me if comedy is a “hobby” and I just say, “I don’t believe in hobbies”.

But it does come down to the value we give a career in terms of usefulness and for someone like me – who turned their passions into a career, I am seen as a bit “woooo”. I still get people who have to diminish that into asking if what I do with comedy or my study is a “hobby” or not. I am very much an applied academic and an anthropologist first, but comedy seems like a natural extension.

I realise that for some money is the measure of success and neither comedy or anthropology are associated with large fortunes. For me, the measure of success isn’t financial wealth, it’s the feeling of satisfaction I get from what I do. And to date that has managed to pay the bills too.

The fact is I meet comedians comment they view it as a “hobby” and that they would do it as a career if possible. But we all know how poorly the arts are funded and comedy isn’t even seen as art by some pundits. There are so many unfair negative associations with comedy, that again, I am not willing to turn over with a blunt plough in a blog post.

I remember telling an aunt about a Melbourne Fringe show I was excited about, with very nerdy comedy content. I then discussed a book I was writing and it winning a publishing mentorship. The conversation and her responses went like this:

On comedy: Well we have to get these things out of our systems I suppose.

Book: Oh that is worth talking about.

The irony was my comedy has done much better than my book, which has been rejected more times than Trump’s foreign policy.

So much floods the self help market with pithy commentary like, “if you work doing what you love, you’ll never do a days work“. Yet, when you actually pursue that, you get the above response.

All ‘hobbies’ have skills. My hobby has always been knowledge and learning about why people suck, in short.

If you’ve been to a comedy show of mine, you’ll see me talk about young autistic me terrorising people with talk of fascists and the perception of evil in the schoolyard from about eight years old. And trust me, when young autistic people indicate to me today that their interests are useless (as more than one young person has commented) I just want to cry. For example, if they make detailed lists, like I do, you’ll make a great scientist or accountant or journalist or whatever you channel that into.

So naturally a career in anthropology got me excited and I’ve taken it far and will continue to do so. It’s not been short of disability related struggles, but I reckon it’s better than listening to my high school guidance counsellor who asked what form of social retardation I had been diagnosed with (was then undiagnosed), right before I dropped out of high school at 15.

Thanks dude, I’ll put you in the acknowledgements of my future PhD thesis as negative inspiration. My proposed PhD topic relates to exploring Australian political satire and if it is (or to what extent it is) a vehicle for social change. Nice combination of comedy and anthropology careers, conducted like consecutive career sentences of my own making.

If you are thinking about monetising your *hobby* and rebranding it a career (or just calling it a career because you are working towards it being so), I’d ask you “what took you so long?”

So am I a comedian or an anthropologist? I’m a variety artist anthropologist. #sorrynotsorry

On turning 50

I stood in the kitchen today and took a deep breath. I’ve just had a significant birthday.

I am exactly where I wanted to be by 50.

This would not be by many people’s standards, but I’ve never paid other people’s standards much attention, so that’s unimportant. It’s also vastly different from my working class roots, but still has aspects of working class sentiment.

What prompted this thought:

A battered passport filled with 18 countries that most people don’t get to. Not your usual suspects, but the kinds of places that make conservatives heads spin. They’d think me a drug lord or a terrorist. All travelled on shoestring budgets, for lengthy stays, guided by locals and more like immersion than tourism. Not just travel for travels sake, but for love of diversity and the planet.

A home filled full of meaning, not just objects. Things like a hand made chess set from Bolivia – with comical chess pieces (that I bought from an old lady in La Paz). Second hand up cycled furniture, some traded, gifted, some bought, some salvaged. Babysitted plants. Art and music space. Everything has a story and not just for decoration, but stories of not just of how it got here, but also why I have it.

Stories worth telling. I am that quirky character I wanted to be as a child. Really I am; but it still shocks me that I am. I had no desire for a suburban life filled with people. Rattling around a house minimally filled with the quirky, living alone, monitored closely by an overprotective greyhound, onto the next course of study (of many) and in no need of validation from anyone or anything. I study because I love learning, not to prove anything, just because I’m curious and interested.

Wealth beyond money. I’ve rejected the notion of acquiring property and land and instead, exchanged it for a life filled with experiences. To others monetary wealth is not renting and staying settled and acquiring property – and that’s fine for them, I have no issue with that. But it’s not for me. To me wealth is the freedom that I’ve got the next few years here doing a planned PhD and getting back to teaching work and I’m not sure what else is next.

But I’m promising myself it will be interesting. Today’s the first day in a while I’ve felt this hopeful, this is huge for me.

2020 was rough, but it was only 1/50th of my life.

I’m looking forward to the rest of this life, however long or short in time, however challenging or rewarding that might be.

Binary Busting #1 – Leaders vs. Dictators

*Menippean satire warning* Leadership is not really a matter of good vs. bad, it’s a matter of amplifying ideas considered effective and acceptable over a certain time period. Can someone burn those “Leaders” Vs. “Boss” memes now please?

So, the world is filled to overflowing with advice on what ‘good’ leaders look like, or what a leader supposedly is. In the current climate of world politics fixated with leadership styles; I’d like to offer some philosophical fat to chew (apologies to those I have just pissed off with a meat eating or considered unhealthy lifestyle reference).

When I studied anthropology I was fascinated with double bind theory and cartesian duality and I read widely. And primary to those studies one notion become clear.

THE binary. Not just any binary. But primordial ooze of social constructs – good vs bad. Good vs bad infiltrates most things humans do and nuance can be lost so easily in the mire.

Sit down. Buckle up. If you are religious, cross yourself, pull out the prayer mat, beads or depiction of any deity, prophet, saint or martyr of your choosing. If you are not religious, then hang onto to your science, relevant belief system, dead or living musician or artist of choice. If you are ‘other’, then wave a crystal, sage stick or do a bog dance or prepare to google stats and take them out of context. The fact is all of you will have a point that will be valid in some way.

This is uncomfortable to write, so I am guessing it may or may not be comfortable, for some, to read.

If I see one more reductionist post or story about what is “good” leadership I am going to vomit. The only thing reduction is good at is great tasting sauces.

But first, an obligatory disclaimer for the manufacturers of outrage and the “you can’t say that” purists. Dictators exist. I am not debating that some leaders become dictators, or are dictatorial from the beginning. This is not angsty existentialism, but I am also sure someone will take it there, and I shall get ready with my popcorn.

Similarly, there are most certainly, leadership styles. But to reduce them down to “one is better than the other”, means donning a funny hat and dancing a jig in the town moot with a jar of snake oil in our collective hands. It’s a sales pitch.

The fact is, some people respond to authoritarian styles and other to humanist leadership styles and some to all the modes in between, around and in circles.

Some of the worlds “leaders” have done awful harm to the world and the planet by killing and destroying. I think most people agree this is bad (yes, I do!), however some will justify it, somehow.

So, a portion of humanity does not share that view, based on experience or their social conditioning throughout life. It’s kill or be killed to their way of thinking, although that might be acceptable to them through “they are taking our jobs, our economy” etc. etc. So leaders who take this view and harness it, are just amplifying what is effective and acceptable to the people they are trying to reach.

And then there is the in between-ers on what is an effective, acceptable view. The “they didn’t die of COVID, they died of an underlying condition – so I am unsure of who I support” folk who will sit on the fence unless they get a painful splinter in the anus, get sick with the virus or someone they know dies. This too is not good or bad, it just is a way of processing information. Some will sit on the fence forever, others will be pushed off it by…well…life. There’s always going to be fence somewhere that all of us will sit on for lack of knowledge or not a large enough splinter.

The notion that there are good or bad leadership styles, in the moral sense, suggests hate spouting leaders who divide and conquer are bad leaders. Yet millions follow them and millions die or create certain social outcomes in their name. So therefore, this ‘evil’ is also good leadership if painted with a binary brush, because that leader has achieved outcomes in large proportions.

Divide (make effective) and conquer (make acceptable) as a leadership technique has worked in the building of kingdoms for a very long time in human history. Even the most moral and ethical leaders can be found promoting a little divide and conquer if you look close enough.

What I am saying this is that people follow other people with worldviews that are acceptable to them at any given point in time and that may shift over the course of a lifetime.

If the ideas of a leader appeal to a human, that leader is effectively reaching someone, then those ideas are acceptable or becoming acceptable to them.

How many more TV shows that put people with different views in the same place under pressure can you watch? Some come out changed, some come out with bits of another views, some come out unchanged. And while there is an argument it’s not a sustained time period with ‘others’ by which to change or that going home to privilege negates that experience – you can witness the varying interpretations of “good” and “bad”.

It’s only when presented with counter positions over a sustained period that humans begin to question the ideas of what a leader or dictator is presenting to them.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the grains of arguments I thought I held dear in the arguments of supposed dictators. So I watch and listen. And usually I am that annoying person at a party who knows the ins and outs of policy, rather than an assumed position and who is quite content to observe people arguing and learn from it.

Leaders are. Dictators are. But I don’t think we are divided so much as people that the two are concrete binaries as some decry, I think there is a more practical reality than good vs bad leaders. You what a position from me? Perhaps humanity needs to stop treating the world stage like a zero sum game to be won or lost.

But then, I don’t consider myself a thought leader or any other kind of leader, so what do I know? *insert splinter here*

Stay tuned for other choice binaries as this unashamed nobody writes them in my head on walks with the dog over a period of days.

Hypocrisy vs. Integrity

Parenthood vs. Martyrdom

Madness vs. Sanity

Religion vs. Science

Hustle vs. Luck

Left vs. Right

Holism vs. Health

Fact vs. Fiction

Love vs. Loneliness

Alliterations vs. Assholes (I’m trying to resist both, I really am).

*Authors note: Google has reasonable reference to satire. I was asked to refine my brand. So my brand is chaos.