Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Bareback

They say a gentleman doesn't kiss and tell, and so I won't.

Attempting only to divulge information about me, condoms are a reliable, affordable form of birth control and protection from the spread of sexually transmitted infections, as well as having side effects like prolonging the duration of intercoarse. Ribbed and studded condoms can provide all of the above and act as a sexual aide to boot.

Other novelties, who gives a shit.

I'm pro condoms, but I still find them awkward in places. Most obviously one has to  disrupt foreplay at some point to put them on, more stressful (which is to say, not very stressful) is the presumptive act of carrying them around. I have some fear in the back of my mind that should I reveal to my new old lady that I turned up packing rubbers her amorousness may run away from us.

However carrying condoms is less about overconfidence and more about underconfidence that a majority of women will not only be responsible for their own birth control and sexual health but mine too. I would say the ladies should keep their own stash on hand as insurance against stupidity of the moment, but if you're in a relationship with a man he should bear the financial burden of keeping his and your stash stocked. (I hear vaginas are much more expensive than dicks to maintain)

It's refreshing to see the main strip of my adoptive home town sporting condom vending machines, they are actually both visable and plentiful in a country that sports more cathedrals than condom vending machines and plays host to the Vatican. I'm not sure  (because I don't care) whether the current pope is down with condoms, but I like seeing that pragmatism will win out over superstition.

Equally have I been surprised in the secular/agnostic homeland of mine that the condom party seems to have dropped off.

It is one of those things that made me feel out of touch, feel like I was a sexual partner of a bygone era, like I'd been out of the game since one stared at the ceiling and thought of England.

But even women my own age have dumbfounded me with an expressed preference for sex without condoms. People who should, like me be able to remember aids scare campaigns that played during episodes of degrassi junior high, where the character of Dwayne Myers was hiv-positive.

Yes, I was subjected to a scare campaign at an impressionable age, and I accept that my own mother's 'talks' about girls who would want to get pregnant by me did not leave me unscathed.

But rest assured my fondness for condoms is a rational one, following the simple rule of risk taking: you don't risk something important to gain something unimportant. In this case your and their sexual health (and psychological health) and the health and feasibility of potential offspring, your future finances etc in order to gain the incremental pleasure of membrane on membrane action.

Fuck that shit, and if you are into bare back action, or even okay with it, that's fucken stupid. (A judgement I generally refrain from voicing during liasons, I simply insist on the condom)

I don't know to which social factor to attribute a phenomena I percieve but can't substantiate. Given I don't have sex with men, I cannot personally testify as to the general attitude of my gender and how much it contributes to womens willingness to have unprotected sex.

My first inclination is to blame a generational decay in memory. 'The kids these days' have seen the outbreak of sars and swine flu, two epidemiological non-events. Someone barely younger than me can't remember a grim reaper bowling down naked men and women on prime time tv. They are more likely to recall it from modestly successful film 'pride' than childhood.

But this doesn't hold up in the face of partners my own age. Which makes me turn to the greatest shaper  of sexual trends and sexual politics the world over: porn. It is rare to see porn performers using condoms, it may be over two years since I had a porn habit, but I cannot recall any era where condoms did feature in porno scenes.

And just as porn inflates the expectations of what acts men and women will consent to in actual intercourse (yeilding some positive liberation from sexual mores and inhibitions and I fear more negatives particularly for women who may not particularly fancy anal penetration followed by sucking the dick that was inside their colon, but you don't want Johnny-Pokemon-Go-star to say you are bad at sex to all your fb friends.)

Anyway, perhaps porn makes it look like we all are capable of managing the spread of sti's without condoms. This for me though is the most perplexing part, I've been told the measures non-condom users take to indulge their preference for bareback and I fail to see how it can possibly be worth it.

Even with rigorous testing, testing is not a preventative measure, until you test positive, then it simply prevents you from transmitting to someone else, provided you have the sudden change of heart to start being responsible.

Then I've heard second hand accounts of an over-reliance on 'plan B' I regard myself as lazy and a procrastinator (I'm procrastinating right now) but this is beyond my expertise, plus as a male, I don't get a fucking say in plan B just plan A.

Anyway use fucking condoms you fucken morons.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Love-in

There are many times one is justified even worthy of veneration when called to point out 'we're arguing semantics here' because generally semantics aren't what we actually care about. (So much as our ego) but semantics and the etymology of words can be a great source of insight. (Particularly into foreign culttures)

Now is one of those times when I'm seeking that insight, because to describe my state in the colloquial currency would be 'in love' a state I quite enjoy.

But to me the words suggest a misleading description of the state, one that is possibly not likely to mislead anyone given how universal the experience is, but nevertheless here I go.

In love seems to describe that we have walked 'in' to a new environment, a chamber, a room. Our internal state interacts with an external phenomena of love. My experience is quite the oposite, love invades my internal state changing ultimately how I interact with my environment, it colors my perception of reality.

Furthermore being salient and unashamed of this state I enjoy being invaded, I enjoy going, 'oh here it comes!' When a wave washes through me. I enjoy it, but I'm not 'In' love, there's stimulus yes, but that stimulus isn't responsible for how I feel, nothing is doing it to me. I am doing this to everything around me.

Stalkers need to learn this distinction.


Thursday, July 07, 2016

I don't relate to feminism

Thanks to the tablet I write this on's penchant for refreshing every time you go back to a tab in browser or switch between applications I was given the opportunity to rethink the title of this post, originally 'why I don't relate to feminism' a hard case to plead and had me feel the slight sense of foreboding that what I was going to write would be irresponsible. But pruned of the why it suddenly became a 'of course I don't relate to feminism, I'm a white cisgendered hetero normative male who was a former prefect at a private school in a non-diverse regional city, one of the most privileged members of the most privileged class, I don't really relate to being oppressed period.

But I do have a morbid fascination with feminism, and often serious feminist articles about serious issues posted by serious feminist friends amount to clickbait to me. I go read them to experience a small exhilarating horror at how much I (potentially) will dislike the content. (Like addictive behavior it isn't the 'having' but the 'getting'.

And to be sure I'll attempt to disclaim at this point. This post is a complaint, and while I'll no doubt through sheer laziness do a poor job of 'being specific' I am determined to follow rule number two of complaining and doggedly 'own my point of view' and point firmly that I'm talking about myself and myself only as an audience member, not on behalf of all men or 'real men' or any shit category I may belong to. My complaints are a statement of personal preference that I doubt can be expanded to people who share my myers-briggs INTP designation as much as anyone that shares my Libra star sign. Though if my complaints constitute arguments that wind up getting appropriated and repeated by loser MRAs to justify any 'male rights' etc I'll take responsibility for putting them out there but I'll never not think 'male rights' aren't up there as the most worthless things to devote energy to, speaking to the cost benefit analysis of the 'struggle'.

Which in turn, is disclaimer number 2, I devote little to no energy arguing against male rights activists (aforementioned MRAs) because I find them 'beneath contempt' in my behavioral practice though I think of them more as sad, sometimes tragic. I'm generally not in their line of fire so don't have any defensive pressure to engage either. I'll devote energy to complaining about feminist practices though because I want them to win, and step to. I'm in the audience because I want the team to succeed, though like a fan in the basketball stands for all my ideas/complaints I am not qualified to coach.

And this complaint is more or less already undone, I feel in my bones that at some point I read a quote by some civil rights leader the gist of which was 'you can't let the oppressor define the rules of acceptible resistance, that's crazy' I feel like Malcolm X is most likely to have said something to that effect, alas I can't find the actual quote and starting to wonder if I imagined it. But I feel the argument/sentiment has to be respected, oppressors need to recognise that they are only going to deem acceptable ways of resistance they don't feel threatened by and the oppressed need to recognise that oppressors are always going to try this tactic, and so here I go, read on if your morbid curiosity urges you to:

In a simplified binary world my preference is to practitioners and not academics. I've been instilled with a disrespect of academia at an early age, believing without needing a reason, that PhD's were quite useless. Now that I've grown, I have rationales to back my orientation, but my orientation hasn't changed. I've been walked through abridged versions of the history of women's rights movement once, possibly twice but the detail's haven't stuck. I'm left with the impression though, that feminism has a long standing seat in the couch of academia. 'Prominent' feminists are often academics, writing theses an impression reinforced when I read the Wikipedia article on rape culture in an attempt to disambiguafy what that actually is.

I know I'm not the first nor the last to notice that 'feminism' struggles with being an undefined term. I don't identify as feminist though if you define feminism as 'not shitting on women' ie not wanting to intentionally harm women and the simple act of committing not to doing so, then the shoe fits me. If your definition of feminism demands more, like a willingness to make personal sacrifices to stand up for the rights of women, I feel I've been tested with that glass slipper a few times in my life and I am honestly, feminists ugly step sister.

Furthermore, the most common definition I hear of the undefined term is a belief in equality between men and women. (Sometimes 'the sexes' and almost never 'genders') this definition featured on the light hearted ABC series 'Judith Lucy is all woman' and if that's the definition, I'm honestly not a feminist either, since I don't believe in equality so much as equal opportunity. (And equal opportunity may require affirmative action, which I'm all for, but don't personally believe that equality necessarily follows equal opportunity).

So I feel the least misleading and  therefore most honest personal identifier I can adopt is 'not-a-feminist' and thus far it has been my experience that it costs me nothing to do so. Like all my experiences with Johari window exercises. Symmetrically speaking though, I observe that it costs men nothing to identify as feminist too, and as such I have little respect for those that do, I have met one that I intuitively felt would actually pay the price of holding that identity at the expense of their own privelege and I respected him. Later the friend that introduced me to him revealed to me he was trans, which leads me to assume he lead his formative years without male privelege possibly explaining my intuitively extended credibility. Credibility I do not extend myself, based on experience.

I sense I've digressed but the digression has some relevance, it being how complicated undefined terms can be in creating an engaging conversation or even engaging an audience. For example, I've been told third hand that there are people that define all heterosexual sex as rape, something about 'women are oppressed by men' being the definition, Stephen Frye's unfortunate appearance on the Rubin Report (strategically a mansplaining disaster/minefield of a show no matter the intrinsic merit of any content) reported that there exist definitions of rape that include uttering the word itself, though I've never seen this definition exercised in internet land. But I have come across 'all porn is rape' firsthand and conversely there is Dick Dawkins tweet about a spectrum of rape and that there must be acceptable rape on that spectrum some where.

Dawkins probably identifies as a feminist himself, and feminism is to me sufficiently undefined that I believe he could believe it, while simultaneously fitting other definitions of misogyny, though probably not his own.

Part of my morbid curiosity with reading feminist articles like they are clickbait designed for me, comes from the carcrash/trainwreck that is the semantic civil war going on waged over these undefined terms resulting in purity tests and feminist critiques of feminist critiques.

But mostly what I'd complain about is the 'academic tone' most of the writing has. By academic tone, what I'm referring to is the degree of certainty, the 'here's all the answers, I have them and you need to listen' subtext I feel when reading these articles, often driven by sighting studies, reports and prominent academics. Which is not to say that it is the citations and practice of which I object to, its the presentation of the writers subjective reality as objective reality. Almost all perspectives are through a prism, and perspective taking is really hard, the most common hubris I find is when an author confuses projecting for empathy.

For example, the sexism of wolf whistling, has been explained to me as mens assumption that they control public spaces, hence they also assume the role of appraiser when they feel entitled to 'compliment' a woman on her appearance.

It's true, it blue my mind, and practice of projecting that women think about controlling communal spaces. I've been vaguely aware of this battle for control since I was in highschool and trying to predict the deferral rules as to who gets out of the way when students pass eachother walking home on the footpath (facial hair can trump size). It was news to me that women aren't attuned to this contest and don't play.

In an attempt to clarify what I object to tonally speaking though, is that when it was explained to me that 'men think they control public spaces' it was explained in exactly those words, which are wrong. Assuming control of some public space is for the most part no more an exercise in conscious thought than trying to get your shower's temperature just right. In fact I'm pretty sure the conscious brain isn't fast enough to handle the task, possibly why the kids formally diagnosed with aspergers get bullied so readily, lacking the social intuitons to navigate this contest.

Thus telling someone what they are thinking (deliberate oppression) when they witness their own thoughts as 'that wall looks good to lean against' to me just invites men to throw up a wall, because feminist descriptions of oppression almost never describe the lived experience of oppressing in so far as those kinds I can relate to. Admittedly the task of figuring out what thoughts drive behavior is to me impossible, but rarely do I see the concession, let alone explicit acknowledgement that the thoughts described are or are possibly not conscious ones.

Leaving a tone that I experience as descriptions of thought phenomena I know not to exist. This experience serves to explain to me why I come across educated thoughtful young men that feel inclined to share with me refutations of phenomena like mansplaining or manspreading.

Here selected with confirmation bias is a specific example of an article that possesses the academic tone I love to hate. Chosen simply because it was the first I found, and for no other reason. Though I feel I've read many articles in this exact tone, and I'm sure there are more, I would also not assert that this represents feminist writing definitively or generally, nor is the form exclusive to feminists, just that this is the domain I tend to collide with this written behavior most often.

The article 'has all the answers' I'm willing to accept that the history of male oppression of women has resulted in a felt need by feminist writers to try and present ironclad cases backed by research and citations so as to block the male part of the audience from poo-pooing what's presented much as all debaters try to preempt rebuttals of their opposition.

I discovered though, that what academics rigorously set about determining they know through years of primary, secondary research and literature reviews tends to produce poor descriptions of reality in the soft sciences.

Which made comedian Bill Burr a discovery, watch his Conan appearances on Caitlin Jenner or stand up bits about Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tiger Woods, or Rhianna and Chris Brown and you see a tone that I feel is more engaging and entertaining. The opposite of the academic tone.

Bill Burr suspects he is wrong, demonstrates humility regularly and quite articulately describes his struggles to hear the feminist message. I'm not quite sure how to describe his tactics, just state my own preference for listening to a dumb guy trying to figure out the answers while suspecting he is wrong than to a smart guy who is confident he has all the answers and here's what I need to know.

Hayek observed in 'the fatal conceit' that intelligent people tend to overvalue intelligence. A suscinct explanation of why I find all progressives annoying, but I suspect it can translate to academics overvaluing academia and subsequently/mathematically undervaluing practice. Yogi Berra said 'in theory, theory works in practice. In practice it doesn't.'

The rationale I believe that I do not conversely overvalue practice and undervalue theory is that I go to the martial artists for practitioner bedrock, the practices where if your theories are wrong you die and don't get to theorize.

Yes, to move from describing my complaint and owning my point of view to stating MY preferred solution, it would be that somebody write with me in mind as an audience member, somebody who likes ambiguity rather than answers and doesn't respect academia. I would be engaged if the discussions appeared to me as stepping to me rather than watching someone drown in their own hubris. Basically I want my feminism written in this tone. Aka written like a winner.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Can Conformity be overcome?

I have a confession, while overseas I've allowed many personal disciplines to slip, including but not limited to not reading my facebook news feed. And for one particular reason:

Car-crash appeal.

Aka morbid curiosity. It began with the hashtag brexit incident. For those few that have randomly stumbled across this post. I come from Melbourne, Australia as does the vast majority of my social network and overwhelming majority of what fb algorithms allow me to see in my newsfeed.

I must also confess I don't actually know the pigeonholes, but my morbid fascination was around how such a large contingent of remote and uninformed people relative to an issue felt the need to opine on it. Obviously major world news brings with it a wealth of mildly amusing memes, and if it's a 'slow-life day'* sure share a joke.

But the amount of people opining and attempting perhaps to inform me about the brexit honestly baffles me and makes me a little sad. Flash forward not a fortnight and I woke up to the close of polls on election day, a process I'm sufficiently removed from that I've really enjoyed not having to hear anything about the election at all. The early election is a holiday bonus to me. And please don't worry about educating me on our nations preferential voting system and campaign contribution for first preference votes and all of that, I know it, and I am still glad to be spared the inconvenience of voting, in much the same way as buying cheap shoes in a foreign country is a perk above the sunk cost of spending hundreds of dollars on a flight.

What I ravenously picked over my newsfeed for was that which would satiate my appetite for conformity. And I found it in the democrasausage. The overwhelming coverage given to its presence or lack of at a polling station was the common thread to my newsfeed.

Now I'm often described as a cynic or at the very least cynical, whether I accept the charge or not, I get pegged with it and functionally it means that my opinions and observations can be immediately dismissed because everyone knows cynics are bad and that Oscar Wilde quote.

But for the record I'm aware that democrasausage is just a bit of good fun, an accessible way to celebrate Australian irreverence during the solemn duty of voting. At worst celebrating a sausage in bread, and how united everyone is in doing so is a slippery slope argument for Australian Nationalism. I don't think the progressives though are going to slip down that slope though. They'll be back on the streets of Fitzroy looking for 'authentic' Kim Chi before the votes are tallied.

What fascinates me is the inability of technology to transform our lives. We should be, thanks to social media living in an unprecedented age of self awareness, and perhaps we are. What sparks my curiousity is that we behave as if we don't.

Fb changes are most often unwelcome to fb users, and full disclosure, my battle to not install fb messenger is still ongoing, and I'm still hashtag winning. One change I did welcome though was the little box in the upper right hand corner of browser based fb that told me what was trending.

It was a handy salient guide on what not to post about. If the number one trending topic is the x factor finale then that box told me it was covered, for the first time in history (as far as I know) I had something that informed me what topics my opinion was most devalued on. Imagine if you will, planning a holiday overseas and seeing a table of currency exchange rates. Like a true economist lets assume you are indifferent to which country you holiday in, you can see plainly that your money is worth 10 times as much in China as it is in the UK (even post Brexit vote).

The foreign currency market is actually a shitty analogy because it is far more complicated than what 'trending' tells us. Trending tells us how many voices are talking about the same shit, I'm asserting of course that despite all the marketing material out there, social media is not where conversation takes place. Trending tells us what people are shouting, not conversing about. It tells us simply on what topics our opinion is worth dick all.

I don't feel like I was ever particularly prone to posting topical world news related status updates, but admittedly I'm not going to go validate that feeling by trawling through my data. What I'll simply say is that I appreciate the reminder 'trending' gives me to keep statuses personal or fantastical.

I've sited many times the fantastic art/social anthropological project of exactitudes
The Amsterdam based photography project exploring the phenomenon of why people in expressing themselves wind up dressing exactly the same.

This is what I see in the newsfeed, and the interesting paradox offered by the trending/self-awareness age we live in. So I'm a contrarian, my behavior is pretty predictable, whatever people on aggregate find most interesting I find least interesting.

Attention being focused though, as a practice it's easy to determine what is most interesting to the aggregate, but the inverse doesn't really work, there's a multitude of thing people aren't interested in at all. Just like there's millions/billions of people who shae the title of 'world's poorest person' vs the one title holder of 'world's richest person'

What though if there was conformity around contrarian thinking. If you reading this were persuaded to follow my practice of never posting about anything that was 'trending' and this idea went viral?

Well nothing could ever be 'trending' if everyone was anti-trend. Which historically has been a trend before with the rebellious hippies (who all dressed the same) and the punk rockers (who all dress the same) and returning to the springtime of my youth - grunge (who all dressed like lesbians still do) which is to say that being anti-conformist generally results in conformity.

Alternatively though, if everyone actually just kept their status updates and tweets personal, local and possibly non-topical, the trending threshold could be theoretically set real low - like 3-5 people discussing the same thing could be the trendingest topic in the world (presumably all the guests at a dinner party)

But if I can wax cynical, that low threshold is probably only ever going to be a theoretical one. My suspicion is that we are actually on average, not very self aware.

When we watch a Jon Oliver or Seth Myers clip on youtube explaining the Brexit to us, feel a swell of emotions and log onto social media to share that emotion, we don't seem to catch ourselves and laugh saying 'oh gee whiz, I'm acting like a 12th century village peasant running to the town square/tavern whatever to repeat the news I just heard out on a country road, and not like a person living in the 21st century who watches entertainment content not even intended for me as an audience from half a world away through means available to 98% of people I can personally reach in a medium that applies algorithms to ensure that not only I but everyone connected to me tend to see content that already agrees with their opinion. What a quaint waste of my time.' 

It doesn't happen and it probably won't. I will remain fascinated by conformity in the light of self-awareness though because there is no answer and I can't relate to those who derive some small pleasure or comfort to conforming.

I'm sure also there is an exactitudes set for me, my tribe of people who have somehow wound up all dressing the same despite no coordination whatsoever. I'm sure this post has been written and posted by people other than me over recent weeks and years also.

I'd just rather spend an hour writing this than 30 seconds posting a link about the brexit or how my vote is never wasted in the Australian Federal election.

And I'm going to eat whatever the hell I want today. My vote's going towards hamburgers.


*a day where nothing of particular interest happened in your daily actual or mental life.

Friday, May 06, 2016

The Interview

A disadvantage of taking a flight at 2.40am out of Melbourne is that when going through customs you get 'randomly' selected for everything they can throw at you, because you are just about the only person going through customs.

One thing I've never had before is a police officer stepping out after I clear customs and he asked me a bunch of questions about my trip. I was wondering as a lone traveller with occupation 'artist' etc if I fit some profile, and it was the only time in all the 6 month lead up to my trip this officer was the first to question what I was doing.

Afterwards, assuming that I had passed the test, whatever it was and I should have because I have no other agenda aside from exactly what my trip is.

It occured to me though that nobody had questioned my trip on psychological grounds. I mean, I had a good life, sitting in a studio eating doritos and watching tv, taking it easy for 8 months a year and working intensely 4 months a year, which is ideal for me. I had good friends, an easy job. Shit was going on. I'd worked hard to get that life.

Then last week I basically dismantled it, left my studio, my job and flew out of the country to spend my savings. Hitting the reset on the whole thing. I mean I don't anticipate losing my friends. But why? Nobody questioned my sanity. I was able to say, that lacking responsibilities I was able to answer the why question. But really was it sane for me to do what I'm doing?

My rationale is that the comfort of my life was getting dangerous. That old philosophical problem of when a few stones become a pile. It isn't one, or two, or three, but eventually you get an ambiguous number of stones that make up a pile, but even if you empirically literally added stone by stone until somebody said stop, that number you had would not be a definitive answer.

So too, at 32 there was no real problem with continuing my lifestyle, as is, for anotyher day, a few more weeks, a couple of years maybe. But one day it would have become sad. I had to blow it up, and I was never going to make that call for myself. No, tohm of 6 months ago had to make that call for myself.

So when I come back, I'll be changed, probably slightly, and I'll have toi rebuild. Hopefully something better.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Collaborated

Today is a new day. Today I am someone who has succesfully collaborated with another artist. It is a weight off of my mind.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Age of the Anxious

Today, needing something to get me to sit at my studio desk for the last ten minutes to get the last drawing of the day done, I started watching the series 'Luke Warm Sex' on ABC iView ('A' for Australian in this case)

I like it, and I like the host. Having just seen anomalisa Kaufman's latest film, I've now seen two things in quick succession that are positively dealing with people who are awkward at sex.

Now, I should disclose, I have a gripe. I'm tired of awkward protagonists. Put them away. My overwhelming feeling after I watched season one of Mr Robot, was that the main character was shitty, more so than the shitty twist (spoiler alert it's Tyler Durden) in an otherwise entertaining and interesting show.

I found that character shitty because he was a drug dependent dude that had social anxieties. But I understand the rise of these anxious protagonists that are only going to populate TV screens as much as they dominate slice-of-life indie comics now. Because we live in an age of anxiety, and it doesn't seem like the one-eyed-man is king.

Interestingly, this podcast from YANSS corelates the sudden explosion of interest in mindfulness to the rise of the smart phone - and posits that it has become a necessity because we for the first time in the western world we have an anxiety inducing addictive device in our pocket at all times. Which was interesting.

To jump about again, (and I don't know if I'll be able to circle back) I was watching a clip from the Late Show with Stephen Colbert where he took a Myers-Briggs personality test. Nothing about that is relevant except that it reminds me of a common failing of personality tests - Myers-Briggs describes the stable behaviors that make up a 'personality' being that 'we are what we do' and as such it measures preferences. The common failing of having your own personality described is that you focus on your personality whether it is one of the 16 nuanced personalities of Myers-Briggs or one of the more general 4 personalities of most quick-and-dirty and generally reliable personality tests administered in many business settings - is that it's just preference, it's how you tend to behave. That's what your personality is, it isn't a medical condition other people need to be sensitive to so if a test describes you as a task-oriented extrovert, doesn't mean everyone else should get the fuck out of your way.

What it means is that you are going to get tripped up in predictable ways if you fail to adapt, which is to say, work on adjusting your non-preferential behaviors in order to accomodate other people's preferences. That's where a lot of personality tests fail - to really drive home the point that you need to adapt your behaviors where your personality lets you down. Everyone will have to even with the weakest preferences.

In the same way consider this:


This video, like Mr Robot, left me with a shitty impression. Because even though I too wish that Airlines would fucking get rid of the reclining capacity of any cattle-class seats, it's perplexing to me both that these features exist and how adamant passengers can be on reclining as soon as their ass hits the seat. As a person who can be awkward but would never use the word 'awkward' to describe myself - the world should not be catering to awkward people. Awkward people need to actually engage the world until they aren't awkward anymore.

Conversation is a skill, a practice, it can be practiced and you can get better at it over time. Joining a group is a skill that can be learned, everything social can be learned. 'Neuroplasticity' the amazing scientific breakthrough that discovered that practice results in changes in the brain. Resulting in us having a fancy name for the word practice.

But it has also been on the backs of discovering the brain is more changeable that many people assume. Such that I posit that 'Awkward people' don't exist, just people who got discouraged and gave up early on the necessary practice required to attain social competence and confidence.

So I don't like Mr Robot's sexy protagonist that does drugs to stave off his depression and anxiety while working for psuedo-anonymous hacker group trying to take down corporate something something-blah-blah. Interesting TV yes, good for my mental health no.

But I don't mind an awkward person like Luke McGregor hosting Luke Warm Sex, it's perfect because he's actually getting homework and shit to practice and doing shit to get comfortable with sex and have better sex. That's better than the ABCs other show 'Redesign My Brain' interesting though it is, featuring a handsome can-do go-getter amassing a carbon footprint to demonstrate in seemingly the most expensive way possible that neuroplasticity is actually just practice shit and you'll get better at it.

It's hard to say that watching a successful graphic designer supposedly improve his creativity is more therapeutic than luxurious, whereas watching Luke meet a group of nudists and how often he apologizes during a ten minute segment for who he is and for wearing clothes or not wearing clothes or not being in shape etc. It's clear that this guy is doing what almost nobody I feel, is recommending, which is rather than accommodating anxiety, overcoming it.