Those of you who have seen the movie Babette’s Feast know that Scandinavian food is not renowned for its deliciousness. It is known for being one of the healthiest diets along with the Mediterranean and Japanese diets. This might be true, but its health benefits apply to physical health only, not mental. Whenever I walk past the seafood aisle at the grocery story I cannot help, but look at the fish. They are so alien to me and unappealing. Crab and shrimp, though I do enjoy their meat, they are essentially the insects of the sea. I like to watch people eating Scandinavian dishes, trying to understand how they can enjoy such beige flavors day in and day out. When I first saw someone eat chunks of coarse brown bread covered in buttermilk and sugar in a bowl, I thought it was because they were forced to due to dietary restrictions. It was only later that I learnt that this is a common snack for people… which they enjoy. Why? Don’t ask me.
Brenda-Lee shares her observations of a particular type of old man.
It takes all kinds of make a world and you’ve probably noticed that people fall into different categories: the incompetent boss, the naïve and angry punk, the air-headed bimbo, etc… This phenomenon should not be new to you (P.S. you are a character too). If it weren’t for our ability to categorise people into characters, we would not be able to enjoy stories (literature, TV, history, you get the picture) because we wouldn’t be able to relate to them. While some characters are more universal, there are some with which we only become familiar if we run in certain social circles.
I would like to describe a certain type of person of which I have only observed four specimens in my lifetime, they seem to be especially prevalent in academia, but I am sure they are to be found elsewhere.
Meet the Senile Idealist:
This man is at least 65 years old, he is still riding the waves of a brilliant career in either one of the social sciences, philosophy or theology. It has to be a “soft” field because if someone was rambling nonsense in the sciences it would be easier to ask them to back up their claims (unless they are speaking off topic). Even though it has been years since he has contributed anything of substance to his field, people keep inviting this kind of man to conferences so as to have a “big name” on the list of speakers – invitations which he gladly accepts, despite being obsolete. At these conferences or in his classes, he spends his time rambling off topic, quoting various authors though has a particular fetish for the works of Shakespeare and the Bible. You’re better off skipping class if you have the misfortune of having one as a professor and besides, as long as you ramble like him on your exam/assignment, you are guaranteed a decent grade.
What if there was a solution to daydreaming and distractions in class or at work that was within a hand’s reach, wouldn’t you seize it?
As the years have gone by, I have gotten better at paying attention in class. Everyone has missed out on what was being said in class either due to their own daydreaming or a fellow student’s disruptive behaviour. In my past articles, I have addressed issues mostly pertaining to teenagers (but which continue to haunt me to this day) and I will be making the case for a solution which I came up with myself which should be particularly handy in high schools especially. Ladies and gentlemen, I present the Masturbatorium™:
Within a humble closet such as this one, there would be porno magazines, tissue paper, lube as well as a small mattress to lie down on where disruptive or distracted students can masturbate in order to relieve some tension before entering class. Students could either use it out of their own volition or if a teacher requests them to do so. I personally was never a disruptive student, but know that during some sexual daydreams I had to check myself so that my mouth was not gaping open with drool sliding down my lips and many a pimply young man could be soothed by the rub-and-tug of his own hand.
I “focus-grouped” this idea with a few of my friends, some of them were for it, others were opposed and some drifted from one side to the other. Here is a summary of the main advantages and disadvantages:
There are some issues that are just so “after school special” that they are too lame to discuss, but if they are not discussed, we would be missing out on important information.
It is a sign of aging when you feel like reaching out to youngsters out there and telling them what you wish you knew when you were their age. This is often a futile pursuit, because sometimes the only way of learning something is by making mistakes – no matter how often you’ve been warned, you need to learn the hard way. I must be getting on with the years, because I have recently been able to put my experience into words and want to spread the gospel: you are indeed a special unique snowflake… but in a snowstorm.
Today, we will take a closer look a the world of teenagers and correct some of their fallacies.
Every few years, newspapers and magazines run a series of articles on teenagers in the hopes of educating parents and warning them about whatever new thing teenagers have cleverly/stupidly gotten themselves into this time. When I was a child, I revealed to a girl at daycare that I hated babies. She responded, “well, you were a baby, did you hate yourself back then?” to which I replied, “I was too stupid to hate myself back then.” As a teenager, I was smart enough to hate myself and my peers, and today as an adult, I can hate everyone. But, as I have gotten wiser with age, I have realised that I’ve had it wrong all along. Lameness it not age-specific; but people specific. Sure, certain stages of life might make one more obnoxious such as childhood and adolescence, but one doesn’t discover that until one has witnessed obnoxiousness expressed at multiple stages of life. Once lame, pretty much always lame. Our personality does change during the teen years, but it still remains relatively stable, it just becomes more polished.
Straight-talk with teens
During one’s teen years, many think that adults are sell-outs for working at that lame job, having all those responsibilities, not wanting to party, … . This is a like the archetypal teenage thought and I cannot blame people for having it, I have thought the same thing. The thing is, yes, some people get slower when they get older, but lame people are usually lame throughout all their lives and chances are that you’re lamer than you think you are. Unless you have more responsibilities, most teens have plenty of after-school hours to devote to their interests… and some people have cool interests and some people are lame. Look, if you like something passionately that is lame and superficial, you are that. If you like Twilight or Bieber, you’re like many others and who are these “many others”? Well, they’re sheeple. You’re a teen sheeple and a future adult sheeple. However, maybe the ones who think that people are sheeple, aren’t the ones who are the most mainstream in the first place so naturally, they would refer to the majority as sheeple. That could be true too. One can never be 100% sure and I am just writing an article here not conducting research, so this is just my untested theory so it’s worth what it’s worth.
Ever wonder what makes a pervert a pervert? Did they choose to be that way and why in Heaven’s name would they stick their erection into… that? If you’re like me, these questions make up a large part of your thoughts. Years of pondering has lead me to many discoveries on the subject which I will gladly share with you. Get a drink and a snack, this is going to be long.
First things first, what’s paraphilia? It sounds like pedophilia. Pedophilia is in fact a type of paraphilia. Basically, paraphilia refers to sexual deviancy, i.e. not socially accepted behaviour or preference but that doesn’t make it necessarily immoral or unnatural in itself.The difference between paraphilia and a kink is mainly if it causes you (or the society in which you live) distress. Paraphilia is one of my passions though I myself am not a paraphile. A lot of behaviours that are now acceptable sexual practices or orientations were once considered to be paraphilia. A big example of that is homosexuality, but you could also fit in BDSM, anal sex, even oral sex even and much much more!!! In fact, one of the first cataloguers of sexual deviancies, Richard Krafft-Ebing, who travelled through Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire meeting paraphiles and recording their behaviours, believed that basically, as long as it led to reproduction, it wasn’t deviant. This meant that women were very rarely considered deviant. So even if a chick liked it when her partner restrained her and defected on her, if it ended in a creampie, it was okay. Krafft-Ebing also believed that perversions came hand-in-hand with how ‘evolved’ a person was; this was based on race and so by his logic. Black people were less perverted than whites. Although today we realise that being of a particular race doesn’t make you more or less evolved, I think we still stereotype certain paraphiles according to certain groups of people. If one were to think of the stereotype of a pedophile, they would probably think of a creepy middle-aged white man, whereas if one is thinking about a panty-sniffer and proponent of frotteurism (rubbing yourself against an unsuspecting person), then they would maybe think about a Japanese person and then if one was thinking more along the lines of BDSM and coprophilia (arousal to feces), then probably one would think of a German person.
For a long time I was under the impression that only serial killers or creepy people were paraphiles. As I read more true crime and watched more serial killer interviews, I realised that although some of these people were horrible psychopaths who were unworthy of forgiveness, many of them had horrible childhoods and didn’t seem any happier after committing these crimes either. That’s when epiphany struck: although these people committed terrible crimes, and they should have controlled themselves and been more empathetic; they didn’t choose to be monsters. No one actively decides, “hey, screw this heteronormative (or even homosexual-normative) world, I’m going to have sex with corpses/children/animals/etc.” Everyone who has a sex drive knows how powerful it is, it is a very difficult thing to repress. We’ve all heard about poor people from strict religious families who experience extreme amounts of shame and guilt for feeling ‘normal’ sexual attractions. Now think of someone who has a taboo sexual orientation, can you imagine how difficult it is to repress it. And yet many do. You probably noticed how I used the word ‘sexual orientation’. I will discuss the reasons why I did this in the section on pedophilia. I won’t be covering all paraphilias. It would be never-ending and unnecessary and I would be robbing you of the pleasure of making your own discoveries. The way I see it, if you can think of something weird (not necessarily sexual), the chances are that someone out there is already doing that novel thing you just thought about.
Are young people these days drinking less alcohol and taking less drugs? And if so, is this a good thing… or a bad thing? Join me, Brenda-Lee Brendansson, on an exploration of this phenomenon. I promise it will be an enriching journey.
Do you drink alcohol? Have you ever gone to a party, expecting there to be alcohol (a fair assumption), and arrived with a case of beers/cider/wine/vodka only to realise that not only were you the only one to have brought alcohol, but that you were the only one to have brought any type of mind-altering substance, period?! I have experienced this first hand. I brought two ciders to a ‘get-together’ at a friend’s place and ended up feeling like a degenerate.
Why would young people have a party without drugs?
I used to think the stereotypical art student would be crazy, into novel experiences and eager to experiment with drugs, but that seems to be a myth as well. An art student friend of mine explained that some of her peers feel consuming drugs and alcohol is cheating and they would rather be weird in a sober state. This seems understandable, but why push it to the extreme, why not be sober 95% of the time. 95 times out of 100 is pretty sober to me. Having tried shrooms, I know they are missing out. So, really who are they trying to impress? What are they trying to prove?
It’s been 10 years since I last read Brave New World, back when I was in high school. However, contrary to what I wrote in my book report, I actually thought that Brave New World’s world wasn’t that bad. I don’t remember the book that well, but that won’t stop me from writing about it.
Brave New World is no dystopia, for the following reasons:
The fact that they don’t bear their children anymore is a big pro in my book. When are we going to get the iron womb?! I realise it’s not called the iron womb, but the artificial womb, yet I like how cold and medical it sounds (like the iron lung). Then again I am one of those people who enjoys frowning at infants (because they have to learn that not everyone likes them and because I am kind of a bitch). We live in a time where mothers are crazy about midwives and doulas (Whatever that is. Okay, I know what that is, like a sort of birthing coach, but I just feel like being a bitch (again). Why does it have to sound like an organic whole grain from South America?). It seems the fashion for mothers-to-be these days is to have a natural birth. Is it a fashion or is it just because as I get older I become more aware of these things? I would expect people to be thrilled about the breakthroughs in pain killing drugs and for everyone to use an epidural. I can get why people wouldn’t want a Caesarean though, ugh what a nasty scar. Anyway, I realise that making a human in a machine is still a complex and some might argue that it’s an almost magical process that cannot be mastered by science and even if they could, what about the beautiful experiences that are pregnancy and childbirth? Ugh… most people would probably say I am immature for having such views of pregnancy, but you know what? Humans, and I am no exception, often have a problem with the more naturalistic sides of our natures, heck, there are whole religions that aim to control our animal side.
In fact, the people who want the iron womb (such as myself) have probably have misdirected anger and view pregnancy as degrading due to our own issues (and to those of you judging out there, those issues aren’t just related to physical appearance). I am mostly angry at sexist people who see women as babymaking machines. With the iron womb, we could outsource it to machines! I am also angry at parents who think having children is some great accomplishment qualifying them for sainthood. The actual pregnancy or childbirth, while difficult on the body, isn’t an achievement, so why not make it an artificial womb?! The real accomplishment is what becomes of that person when they become adults… are they half decent people? Yes? Then you can start bragging about being a great parent… or actually don’t, your child is not an extension of you. And last but not least, with the artificial womb, clean up after a “birth” is as easy as 1-2-3!