Know Thyself and Others

Self_preservation

Self-Preservation

Photo courtesy of Timothy C. Flood – http://www.timothyflood.com

Ever since last year when I decided I had had enough of writing and maintaining my blog, I have had very little else to do but play online games. It was a choice made during a very hard period between fall and winter and a very hard struggle to reconcile work with my personal life as well as how much my job has undermined my social life and my health. I know that many people out there would be glad to have a job at all and find that my previous statement is that of someone not truly appreciating the fact that I work and can sustain myself while others struggle to make ends meet by any means necessary. Yet, having a job, though it may truly benefit you financially, is not by any means the answer to all life’s problems.

As you all are very well aware, I work the night shift, which means I have to get up every day at 1 a.m. to go to work, six days a week, putting over 50 hours a week into my job. Being more of a night person I didn’t mind at all for the first year and half. It wasn’t until much later on that I realized I was slowly falling pray of set schedule which forced me to have very little time for personal life, for meeting new people or simply going out with the friends I already have. All this became more and more evident as months kept rolling. It didn’t help that a year ago, after my last attempted relationship ordeal I decide that I would not meet anyone new for 1 year. It ‘s not the first time I make such a decision, in actuality I have done so three times in my life so far and succeeded. Now, you may ask what such a decision accomplishes? Well, it serves two purposes; on the one hand I take time off from more drama and on the other hand, it serves to prove to myself, I do not need a man in my life at all. Results from self-made polls so far indicate that yes indeed I do not need a man in my life, but there is a high percentage which indicates that such self-induced seclusion raises more health issues than the alternative.

In the past year I have been more ill than ever before in my life. I have had many issues from the head down and as of last week things are just getting worse. Even though these ailments are not life threating, so far, they have become an even greater threat to my psychological stability. You see, when someone sees him/herself as a strong, self-reliant individual, who can face anything and survive it all, it is very hard to face the fact your body is less than perfect in helping to stride forward. That is exactly what happened to me last week after many days of tests, being poked and probed like a Ginny pig. Many of you can attest to the fact how insignificant you feel at a doctor’s office. How small you feel when you’re being told one thing, to have it change at your other appointment. As if needle after needle (just so they can be on the safe side by the idea of Elimination), scans, going from doctor to specialist to doctor again, wasn’t enough at last you have to deal with the aftermath. You see, in all my years at dealing with the so called “healthcare professionals” I’ve learned one thing; what they tell you-you have-can and must be tested by YOU.  I would like to give you a personal example. Last week after many test I found out much to my astonishment I not only had a lot of crystals in my kidneys, but also 3 little stones (two on one side and the bigger one on the other) as well as blood in my urine. Considering I drink 4 liters of water a day (not kidding), once a month perhaps drinking a soda just for kicks and almost never adding any extra salt to my food, it’s really amazing how much build up there’s in my kidneys. I went online and started to read about this issue and found out that in order for a doctor to truly help in this case is a test done to said stones to find out what they are actually made off. You see there are many different kinds of kidney stones (who knew right?), and by testing the composition of one of them they can determine the best treatment. So I went back to the doctor acting the usual dummy just to test her, the result you ask? She said and I quote “I know what the stones are made of just by looking at your tests, you can take this tea and you’ll be fine”. I said what about the blood in the urine of actually getting a stone and testing it? To which she replied there was nothing to worry about, what worried her most though was my liver which in both tests and Echography had shown up to be in great shape. So, now my dear friends, we switched from “you have a severe issue with you kidneys, good thing all the rest of the results is fine” to “you have nothing to worry about your kidneys, and it’s your previously perfect liver which is guilty party now”. Needless to say, I thanked her with the fakest smile I could manage and left her office.

I may have mentioned before in this same blog I have very to no respect at all for most doctors. They may take an oath, they me go extensive training to become said professionals, yet they act like they know it all without almost never fully listening to the patient or caring much about their feelings either. What do you say to a doctor which blurts out loud at the front desk of his practice you need to take an HIV test while six other of his patients look at you like you just spread Ebola in that office? Or when you ask for an STD test and the doctor replies; is there a reason for concern on your part that you’re asking to be tested? I almost wanted to go; nah, not really, I just love to be poked with a large needle; I love the adrenaline since I don’t do drugs and it’s the only way for me to feel alive somehow without having to cut myself. All these visits and test were paid out of my own pocket since I am not insured.

In conclusion, after you meet with a doctor (for whatever reason), do your own research, ask as many questions as you can and put them on the spot to test and see if they truly know what the hell they’re talking about doing to you in the short and long term.

As for my personal life, things are in limbo and will continue to be so for a long time, until I feel I’m ready both body and mind to face another person for a date.

P.S I checked this post on Blablameter and it said it had only 0.1 index bullshit, that says it all.

The Importanct of Self-Scrutiny, and Holding My Own Values to the Fire

Lucianus Mauricius:

” Essentially, I believe that it would be unwise to simply brush off the point that a world safeguarded to the point where no one falls, is also potentially a world where no one rises.” – I guess this only sentence envelopes the whole post in a nut-shell for lack of better words. We’ve often have discussed about mine and your ideas of an egalitarian society and my position has always been that only an egalitarian society is not possible but at the same time it is not a good idea for two reasons;
1) This also brings us to the issue of who is to be the arbiter warranted with upholding the principles of an egalitarian system. The judiciary? The policymakers? And does this then bestow on these individuals a set of authority (i.e. power and privilege) that thereby creates a disparity which in itself violates the very premise of a truly egalitarian model? – I couldn’t have said it better myself and …
2) In an egalitarian society, where everyone is equal, inevitably comes a moment where there’s no progress because there’s no need nor drive for moving forward as everyone gets the same for the same amount of work or contribution to such a society.
The drive for any society has always been disparity. The poor and middle class, looks up at the apex and wants to achieve what the rich have achieved by all means necessary. Thus this brings a drive for invention and betterment by means of rivalry. If we are all equal, treated the same, having what everyone else has and lacking nothing, than what is the point of striving for more? Thus an egalitarian “regime” soon becomes obsolete and falls onto itself like a house of cards.

Originally posted on The AntiNietzsche:

Genuine self-scrutiny is a personal virtue that is much easier preached than practiced.  Usually the furthest most of us are willing to go is a relativistic acknowledgment that differing opinions exist to our own and that, all things considering, we would be willing to change our minds if these alternative viewpoints were to persuade us sufficiently.  But, in my opinion, this sort of tacit relativism isn’t much in the way of self-scrutiny.  To self-scrutinize is to actively challenge the values and ideals we hold dear to our person–to dare to shake the foundation holding up our most cherished beliefs, so to speak, and test if the structure on which we house our beliefs is sturdy enough to withstand a direct attack.  In contrast, the aforementioned acknowledgment that differing (and potentially equally valid) views exist to our own is a very passive stance, as it strictly relies on an external source…

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The Importance of Self-Scrutiny [Part Two]: A Word On TV Violence and Young Children

Originally posted on The AntiNietzsche:

Every once in a while I like to set out to frustrate myself by researching a topic on which I have already forged an unyielding conviction about.  The influence viewing violent imagery on television (or any medium of entertainment) has on the minds of children would be one such topic.  As a child I wouldn’t say I had no supervision over what I watched on TV, but it definitely wasn’t strict by any sense of the word (I think it goes without saying that, even if my parents did forbid a certain program, it takes relatively little in the way of childhood creativity to find a means by which to get around the parental ruling).  Thus, I estimate I spent a decent amount of my childhood TV viewing time being enamored with violent imagery, and can honestly say that I have suffered little to no adverse effects from it.  Meaning…

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In Response to AntiNietzsche; The Importance of Self-Scrutiny [Part Two]: A Word On TV Violence and Young Children

Let me start by saying that you, once more, have tackled an issue which is relevant and much debated, like most themes you have tackled before. So my dear AntiNietzsche congrats on yet another well worded analysis.

Now that the stroking ego hand has paused, let me get down to what I do best; comment.

First and foremost, I’d like to point out that my commentary may sound more like a tribute to the Freudian idea of sexuality apparent in most parts of an individual’s development and later on maturity. So in that spirit imagine for a moment if we swap the words “violence” for “sexuality” or even better yet “libido”. Why am I doing this? Well, it has been apparent to me for quite some time now that the sexual development of an individual is, just like in your case mentioned above, affected by television/media. Just as many studies conducted on violence attributed to television programs, so have been done when it comes to sexually explicit shows, movies, games, music and so on.  As you may have experienced yourself growing up, as much as violence was prevalent in TV shows, just as much sexual innuendo (or full right sexually explicit imagery) was just as easily available to us all. I’d like to bring to your attention three cartoons I grew up watching; Inspector Lupin, The 12 Knights of the Zodiac and last but not least Sailor Moon (yeah I was a real geek), not to mention Disney’s Classic and not so classic. Let me show you what I’m talking about here;

a)      Inspector Lupin was a very influential character for me for he had an insatiable sex-drive and even though this was gratuitously directed to the ladies, I couldn’t help but see him as a sex-symbol.  Though the cartoon was quite graphic as I remember when it came to him fighting crime, just as much his libido was, dare I say “explosive”, so much so that it made watching him almost make me wanna “explode”. The sexual drive was so unbearable that at times it became almost violent in IT trying to express itself on the outside, which in my case were attempts from my part to be as sexually forward as he was to my male classmates.lupinflyer3large

b)      The 12 Knights of the Zodiac, follows a more undercurrent of male erotica by showing 12 heroes/brothers in arms, all belonging to a brotherhood dependent on the planets and such. Yet, during each fight in each episode, though there was plenty of violence and blood, so much so that I remember fainting once, there was also a huge amount of sexual innuendo in what each character portrayed. Point in case; facial features, speech, armor/wardrobe, weapons and above all; muscles, muscles and more dripping wet muscles from sweat and blood. There was a fine line between heroism and sadomasochism in it. Needless to say, their long swords were quite an easy attempt to once again use them as extensions of their masculinity for lack of direct phallus exposure to the audience.  knights_of_the_zodiac

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Saint-Seiya-The-Knights-of-the-Zodiac-love-angels-22646077-1024-768

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c)       What can I say for Jennifer Love Hewitt a.k.a Sailor Moon? I know most girls grew up watching her fight crime and all sorts of other dangers with her little school girl outfit which left very little to the imagination for the male counterparts. I’m sure it derived from the fondness of Asian males for such outfits as portrayed in many porn movies made there as much as it may have perpetuated the idea even further. Now, since I was never interested in a sexy little girl fighting crime by showing her underwear and perfect round breasts as much as she could, I did identify with her as a heroine I would one day love to be, just so I could get all the other guys’ attention.SEXY_Sailor_Moon__by_FujinKazeno

sexy_sailor_moon_by_evilryu86-d4m1chc

sailor_mars_x_eternal_sailor_moon_by_artemisumi-d5x1xstI went to all this trouble of explaining these three characters to prove a point which I mentioned above, sexuality/libido and violence go hand in hand. So much so that in recent studies of different countries in the world have shown that the amount of violence & violent acts is at par by the amount of sexual expression or repression such a country/society has on its subjects.

Now, I understand we are talking about how media influences behavior in children and adolescents and it may have looked like I forgot that part with my explanations mentioned above, but trust me, it’s far from it. I am a fervent advocate of sexuality and libido being inborn and developing further more with the help not of parents but media, be that television, games or print. When such an innate- animal like desire for self-expression cannot be directly acquired as it is mostly the case, it must express itself using other venues, case in point would be video games.  It is the slashing, kicking, killing and more that gives libido finally a venue for expression which would otherwise turn inwards into a hateful/loathing and at times criminal behavior.

In conclusion, I am not at all debunking what you stated and stand for, yet I’m not so sure we can easily dismiss what the studies have shown to prove otherwise either. Having said that, what I can and would like to debunk is the limited view of such researchers when it comes to violence as the sole cause and effect of media. Children and above all adolescents are far more sexual than they are violent. It is the subdued sexual urge which turns a person violent. Not to sound graphic or plain nasty, but it is a bully’s incapability of self-expression which lashes out as violence when indeed all he/she wants to do is reach orgasm.

 

The Rationality of Suicide

Originally posted on The AntiNietzsche:

Note:  I am not advocating for anyone who may stumble upon this post to commit suicide.  If you are someone contemplating suicide I’d advise you to seek therapy or counseling from a certified professional, or a trusted alternative (i.e. family, friends, etc.).

Now that I have the obligatory disclaimer out of the way, I would like to discuss the potentially sensitive topic I’ve been hinting at, and you may have already guessed at from the title of this post alone.  I’m talking about suicide, or more specifically the irrational response people commonly have towards the mere proposition that suicide can be a rational choice for an individual.

For the sake of brevity, allow me to list what forms of suicide I’m not talking about here.  I’m not talking about an act of self-sacrifice for the sake of saving another life.  Generally, people think quite highly of these sort of acts…

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In Response to The AntiNietzsche and The Rationality of Suicide

__social_suicide___wallpaper_by_scarypaperIt’s very interesting you chose the topic of suicide for your last post. I must say that you have very carefully covered all the bases on which most people chose to “judge” such an act on any individual which has carried it through. Unfortunately, I myself have been faced with those same “commercial statements” most people use against such and act a survivor of at least 3 attempts to end my life. Now, you and other readers may say that I am biased in my remarks listed below, but it’s not the case. I’m fully aware of the many reasons which drive a person to end their own life as I am of the consequences of those left behind. One point that must be stressed above all though, is that of how complete strangers (unrelated to the suicide-r) act upon hearing of such an act. It’s very true what you mention and I quote; “revulsion, condescension, and condemnation of the very idea”, which in itself is an oxymoronic reaction to say the least and absolute falsity and self-righteousness at the most.

“How dare you?  Don’t you know that life is sacred?”

– As you very eloquently mentioned, the supposed sanctity of one’s life is a mere point of view from the outside observer of the act. Those who hold dearly to religious beliefs of any denomination are against it because of the indoctrination that life is a gift from some deity up there somewhere, in the clouds deciding who comes into this world and what such an individual is required to accomplish with that s/he has been give i.e. life. To them, the act of ending one’s life is a sin and thus they react accordingly to this set of belief system. The sanctity of life has as much to do with suicide as religion has to do with saving one’s soul. It is one thing to find something “sacred” and another to shove that on anyone’s throat as absolute truth and OBLIGATION towards others and one’s self. It has very little weight on the whole of one’s life and misery for that matter, as it doesn’t hold much water under careful scrutiny. As Lord Henry Wotton says in The Picture of Dorian Gray; “Only the sacred things are worth touching.” So life or ending of it is my Sancta Sanctorum right to end.

“How dare you?  You’re going to die one day anyway, so you might as well appreciate the gift of life you’ve been given no matter how bad you might think it is.”

- It is an absolute truth, we’re all going to die be that today or in 100 years. Considering the strides modern medicine has made to lengthen life on this little rock amidst black matter this means two things;

-         a) You can live a long fulfilling, productive and happy life

-         b) You can become so engulfed by personal tragedy, loss or finding yourself obsolete among those surrounding you, to the point of insanity setting in and making it home for itself. I can only think of Edgar Allan Poe as an example which you have covered extensively in your previous posts.

The point of living life for the sake of living is contrary to any logical mind trying to understand the world s/he lives in and his/her place in it. Once again we’re bashed with “The Gift” of life, we were so fortunate to have been given by the same deity/ies mentioned above and once more such a statement doesn’t hold against scrutiny of a reasonable mind. One may argue, as I have argued myself many times over, that if life was such a gift, than what had I done to deserve a re-wrapped one? Why reason and intent born in me, after carefully determining current or previous predicaments, comes to one and only conclusion, to end it all? Is it because of lack of determination to change one’s situation, or is it because of outside forces who determinately come rushing in wave after wave and pushing back any effort an individual tries to undertake? At such a point/s in life, how much more of a gift life is? What is its real value and if it indeed has any, why it has been devalued with time, pretty much like any currency used in human history? It seems to me, these individuals value more the sadistic ideal of suffering no matter what, pretty much like Mother Teresa used to believe as she left people die in strides and did not allow doctors to save them, but instead chose to let them run their course in a “dignified” way with a piece of cloth on the floor for them to rest before actually ending their existence due to something which could have easily saved their lives. Of course this is almost an absolute of a one-sided spectrum, but one does not have to live in filth to actually want to end their life. At times, it takes much less than that, but yet still, it is quite a miserable existence to which the end has to come for the sake of being human up until the end. This reminds me of my own grandmother who’s 85. She’s been suffering all her life, and for over 25 years has been living with debilitating diabetes and high blood pressure. She always talks about how she wants to die, yet she refuses to end her life by not taking her insulin, because and I quote; “it’s a sin and only He (looks up) has the right and decides when it’s time for me to go.” And while she insist on this last part, she’s bed-ridden and being fed like a baby, changed pampers like a baby and leaving others to ask for days off work while she insist on living for the sake or sanctity of life given to her as a gift. I fully believe it is much crueler to exist that way than actually go.  It is sadomasochistic and selfish as it is for those attending to her every need. My mother would rather see her live a few more years like that than actually let her go and this is the most selfish reason of all. We do not and refuse to let others go for our own selfish reasons, something said to me many years ago and I quote; “You have the obligation to live for me and your sister. How can you live us like this, alone?”

“How dare you?  Suicide is an act of cowardice.  You should face your problems instead of running from them.”

- This is something I’ve had to endure and argue against all my life. Many people I’ve encountered have said such a thing to me or others. In their minds the act of suicide is cowardice because as they say; “It’s the easy way out”. Is it? Are you sure about that? Have you even been in front of a street with running traffic and actually walked right in the middle of it? Do you know what it feels like to feel the air pressure change as the cars sway around you trying not to hit you? Have you ever sat in front of a table full of a variety of pills (mostly anti-anxiety, antidepressants, anti-psychotics  and mood stabilizers) bottle upon bottle you’ve been taking for years that has done nothing for you, while those who could have made a difference are somewhere out there working and living their lives oblivious to say the least of your needs as much as careless to give you the only thing you actually need; support? Does anyone have any idea how much planning goes into a suicide? Any idea at all? I doubt that, and that’s why IT… IS… NOT… EASY, far from it. Now one may argue that instead of spending so much time trying to coordinate an act of suicide, one could very easily use that time to “get out” of the predicament their in. The problem with that way of reasoning is that one may try to do so, but one seldom gets and not for lack of trying I tell you. It is these same people who gave up on you before you even did so for yourself. The ones who frown upon hearing you’re seeing a therapist when you could save at least money talking to them instead. Who needs therapy when you have supporting friends and family, and who needs friends and family when you have e therapist who is much more helpful? That’s the dichotomy.

The New Ethnic by Mariano Vivanco

Originally posted on FASHIONABLY MALE:

DSECTION-VIVANCO-GIVENCHY-7DSECTION-VIVANCO-GIVENCHY-6DSECTION-VIVANCO-GIVENCHY-1DSECTION-VIVANCO-GIVENCHY-2DSECTION-VIVANCO-GIVENCHY-3DSECTION-VIVANCO-GIVENCHY-4DSECTION-VIVANCO-GIVENCHY-5

Mariano Vivanco photographed the cover story ‘The New Ethnic’ for the ninth issue of DSECTION magazine, featuring looks from the Givenchy Spring/Summer 2014 collection selected by designer Riccardo Tisci himself for the story. The editorial features models Harry Goodwins, Andy Walters, Emil Terry, Betty Adewole, Ivan Gonzalez and Jibril; styled by Paolo Zagoreo with hair by James Brown and makeup by Joe Zatlor.

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