So you want to date my sister?
First up, this has no relation to my sister, or that boy that keeps showing up in her Instagram photos. Or any of my brothers who are hell bent on protecting our sister from teenage boy tomfoolery. No relation what so ever. Everyone in this blog is purely fictional. Please, if you think this is in relation to you, it’s not.
So, you’ve taken an interest in my sister?
That’s nice. So have others.
When you started showing up in my sister’s Instagram photos, I joked with her that I’d probably start checking the police database and googling your name, just to do some preliminary searches. You know, you can never be too careful, can you now?
So after joking that you might wake up next to a horse’s head, my sister told me that you could ‘easily’ beat me in a fight. Now, I expect that she’s right in that respect. Just to dispel any lingering doubt, we probably should go toe-to-toe. I’m usually a bareknuckle man, but we can use gloves if your hands are particularly dainty.
I need to mention that I’m on first name terms with police in every reporting district in SE Queensland and Northern New South Wales. For some reason, I thought you might like to know that.
Well boy, I expect you are quite nice. By the look of those Instagram pics, you certainly have kind and soft features. Let’s not beat around the bush – many gals these days enjoy the company of a ‘beta’ guy. Naturally, I’d prefer my sister to be keen on someone more masculine, but each to their own.
So if this relationship is meant to be, I expect we’ll be seeing a whole lot more of you. Of course, we will love to warmly welcome you into the family. I think I speak for my brothers that we are all looking forward to meeting you and getting to know you.
I’m sure my sister has mentioned it, but every year all the brothers like to go away for a fishing and camping week – we’d love to extend an invitation to you. You can fish, can’t you? I could not see any evidence of fishing, hunting, camping, fire-making, drinking home brew or any other usual manly activities on your Instagram, facebook or snapchat messages that seemed to have made their way into my possession. I remember two years ago with the annual boys camping trip when we brought our sisters last boyfriend, Wayne. Gosh, he was a nice guy, but it’s a shame he left the camping trip mid-week and was never found again, not even by police or emergency services. I do hope Wayne turns up, he was such a nice guy.
Again, I do eagerly await getting to know you some more and spending some time with you.
p.s. a word of advice – when you meet my sisters parents, please, for the love of God, dress up. A shirt, dress pants and highly polished shoes as an absolute minimum. Please come prepared with your resume, your parents last tax assessments and your fathers occupation and of course, yours and your parents birth certificates, if they have been issued in Australia or similar Commonwealth country (Canadian or British preferably) – I’m sure you’ll agree you don’t want to be dating ‘outside your own kind’!
Without a doubt, this whole internet thing has let a whole lot of stupid people be heard a whole lot more.
Every nutjob, fanatic, crazy, fundy, loony leftwing (is that an oxymoron?), wacky rightwing, conspiracy theorist specialist can get on the google machine and make themselves a webpage, then spout off any nonsense they want. Hell, even the Greens have a website and use the twitter, and they hate technology and development!
You’ll have friends on your Facebook account that say some whacky stuff that you totally don’t agree on. In fact, they’ll say things that downright infuriate you. I’ve even had to go for a walk after reading some things my friends have posted, or links they’ve shared!
Occasionally, I’ll jump into the torrent of controversy and post something (anyone remember my epic post about childrens’ dance concerts – let’s never speak of that again!), or respond to something that I disagree with. Naturally, the world sees that I am in fact correct, change their views are won over to my correct way of thinking. NOT!
Someone wise once told me that before you can believe what you believe, you need to know what you don’t believe and why you don’t believe that. Essentially, he was saying seek the truth.
Without a doubt, I’m ideologically libertarian. Socialism (or it’s even eviller twin Communism) really does not do it for me. I’m hardly progressive. Conservatism is useful but boring. Religiously, I’m Christian. I’ve had a read up of the other majors and know it’s the one for me. You could say almost everything I see, think, read and analyse is through those prisms. My fav blogs are the Cat and Instapundit (and possibly Visual News but that’s just poetry with pictures!).
Like I said above, I’ve got some friends that say some stuff that downright infuriates me. I couldn’t disagree more with them – usually. You know what? That’s what I love about them. I LOVE reading stuff I hate. Isn’t that strange! One of the thrills of being a human is to be able to reason. To have your own opinion, ideology, beliefs and to be able to understand others.
As I get older, my views seem to crystalise more. I see the fruits of an ideology and think ‘that’s just not for me’. I also begin to see the flaws in my own ideology.
I heart capitalism. I believe in the free market and the idea that someone can work their way to prosperity. I loathe this tall poppy syndrome we have here in Australia. I often get baffled how socialists and progressives want to tax the snot out of someones efforts, only to give it to the lazy.
Here’s the rub – as I look at capitalism, it’s plain to see the obscene disparity between rich and poor. It’s exponentially harder for a kid from a broken family with unemployed parents to get ahead in life. Why should that kid be punished because of the idiocy of their parents? This is why I need my progressive, lefty friends. This is why I need my unionist buddies to remind me of some of the craziness of this capitalist system that I love. Sometimes I need my more conservative friends to show me the permissiveness that libertarian views give.
I know this isn’t the same for everyone on the internet, but I’m thankful for my friends that I disagree with. I know their motivations – a free Australia, a fair go, justice, helping those in need – things that make this great nation of ours even greater. Sure, I might think the way they want to do that is crazy, but I know where they’re coming from. I know their motivations arn’t malicious (usually!) – they want the best for our country.
As I read posts, websites and facebook shares of things I disagree with, I constantly ask myself ‘why do I disagree with this’, or ‘why does this post make me want to stab progressives in the eye with a soldering iron’. More often then not, it’s because the post is idiotic and stupid. But sometimes, just sometimes, there’s something in there that makes me think ‘man, I got it so wrong on that point’. It’s in those times, I’m even more thankful of my friends that I disagree with.
So if you’re one of those friends that I’ve disagreed with (and you’ve managed to read this dross until this point), thanks for sharing your opinions with the world on Facebook. You’ve given me literally minutes of chuckles, hours of rage and often, moments where I need to eat humble pie.
I need you to help me remember why I believe what I believe and why I don’t believe what I don’t believe.
image from http://www.nrl.com/what-origin-means-to-mark-geyer/tabid/10874/newsid/78681/default.aspx
“Terror now being tweeted” the headline wrote. Boko Harum recently tweeted photos of innocent men being herded into a truck, machine-gun fire and dead men falling out of the truck.
Syrians are using all sorts of horrendous weapons and chemicals against each other.
The rise of tyranny was uploaded instantly throughout the Middle-East.
Boastings of church burnings were viewed on Youtube.
In the not so distant past, we learned of Stalin’s gulags. We were shocked at Hitlers camps of death. We wept for those killed under Pol Pot.
In the not so distant past, the West had an authority. A moral authority. Whilst from perfect, we had a mandate of liberty. Something so precious – a principle of liberty and a code of personal responsibility. There was a sanctity of marriage. Where unborn babies were not killed by the tens of thousands. It wasn’t perfect – far from it – but we knew that they cornerstones of liberty and personal responsibility were foundations to a strong society. Where a strong family was a bedrock for productive and engaged citizens. Where faith was the norm, not the exception.
We’ve squandered that moral authority. Liberty has been corrupted. Liberty without personal responsibility is selfishness. Liberty with entitlement is state-sponsored laziness. A lax approach to the covenant of marriage has resulted in the breakdown of family, with the flow of impact of a schism in society.
We could once fight for liberty, knowing that it was good.
Now, the enemies of liberty – Islamists, Communists, Socialists can all comfortably laugh at the moral authority we’ve squandered.
We can’t even keep our own families together – how can we hold together a nation tearing itself apart from civil war?
We issue ‘strongly worded declarations’ at nations who kill there own, but we can’t stem the senseless murder of our unborn babies.
We shake our heads when centuries of culture, art and music are destroyed, but our own state funds absolute perversions in the name of creativity.
Terror now laughs at us. It tweets photos of beheadings. It uploads videos of stoning’s. It publically rapes and kills. What do we do in reply? Hollywood poses with a photo and a kitschy hashtag telling terrorists to let our girls go.
We need to get back to the basics of liberty and personal responsibility. We need to show those in civil war that our way is better. Western democracy and capitalism does bring prosperity. Faith does bring personal freedom.
We don’t have a chance in hell to fight terrorists, not when our own countries are decaying from the inside. Not when all we stand for is being eroded under the name of entitlement.
We need to regain the moral upper hand. Regain our faith, or truth and our life.
Then, and only then, will we be able to defeat the haters of freedom.
Let us be able to tweet the sweetness of liberty, not shake our heads at the triumphs of terror.
I love photographs. I love instagram. I love seeing pictures of beautiful cities, sunsets, my family and new additions to the family.
Not too long ago, the family would have a camera. Usually an easy to use point-and-click device that had film in it. Some families were a bit lardy-da with a SLR and took nice looking photos. A family might take a role or two of film on holidays. A single photograph might be taken at a family picnic or a first day of school. Once the 24 shots had been taken, the film would be taken to the local camera store, where the photos would be developed. You’d excitedly open the packet of photos and eagerly relive the memories. It was an exciting moment, seeing the photos for the first time. Sometimes, the camera shop would put a sticker on one of the photographs, saying something like ‘I’d look great enlarged!’ if the photo was particularly beautiful or memorable.
The packet of 24 photographs would be taken home. A photo might go on the fridge. One might go with dad to work, to put on his desk. You might send grandma and grandpa a beautiful picture of the kids on the beach. Mum might make a page in the family photo album of the families recent Gold Coast holiday.
Only a select few people would see your family photographs. There was an intimacy to them. A specialness. A romance. When a son or daughter would bring home a significant other, looking at their baby photographs was a right of passage – it signified the significant other was being let into the family, into their intimate moments, into their story.
I just can’t help compare that with how different it is with photos these days. I recently went down south for my brother-in-laws 30th birthday. Even before the party started and the children were playing, I had taken over 100 photos on my iPhone! Can you believe it? Of those 100 or so, I culled them down to perhaps 60. I put maybe three or four onto my instagram.
These days, the trend seems to be that we generally take photos of everything and anything. Our morning coffee. The sunset. A funny face our children pull. A beautiful ocean vista. A family scene. Something arty. Multiple pictures of ourselves. We willingly submit these pictures to a corporation to manage. To hold. To own. To display. For others to ‘like’, for others to see.
Why do we do it? Is it just society telling us to? Do we need validation that our child is particularly special in eating baked beans in a highchair? Do we need to prove the view from our family holiday is amazing? Do we need to show the world that we can eat at some unique gin-joint? Have we all just become narcissists? Perhaps it’s much simpler than that. We want to share these special moments with others on a much grander scale.
I can’t help think that we have lost the intimacy of the photograph. The anticipation of taking a photograph on a camera and having your memories printed out on paper, just for you to see.
I’d love to know your thoughts. Have we taken photographs and social media too far? I’ve read about the hashtag #aftersex has become popular with the young and pretty. Now that’s definitely oversharing an intimate moment! Have we gone too far, or has photo-sharing been a good thing?
The phone was out of range.
There was no internet reception.
We only had each other.
We couldn’t instagram the bush tukka.
We couldn’t log into Facebook at check in with friends.
We couldn’t tweet about how amazing this place was.
Many people scoff when I tell them that I don’t have a phone. Well, I do have one. I share one with my wife. She has it Monday to Friday, I have it on Saturday while she’s at work. She uses it, I pay for it!
It seems that we’ve been so accustomed to sharing the ‘best bits’ of our life on social media. I’m not saying that’s good, bad or ugly. It’s just how we’ve become narcissistic in this social media age.
I truly believe that being disconnected is one of the best states we can be. When it’s just you and perhaps those around you that you love. When there’s no distractions. When you’re not tied to an electronic device that ejaculates inane crap 24/7. Don’t get me wrong – I’m quite partial to a bit of facebooking and my instagram addiction is well documented. What I’m saying is there is just something fantastic about being ‘off the radar’.
It’s hard to be disconnected in this day and age. When we are, it’s usually by technological malfunction rather than choice.
I want to know how you get ‘off the radar’, if you do. I’d love to know what you think about when you’ve got no facebook feed to check out or thought to post on twitter. When all you see is purely nature, and not a filtered photo on a small screen. Do you get scared about being disconnected? Do you relish in no one being able to contact you? No boss to ask about that project. No report to turn in. No phone calls to return. Nothing required of you, except to enjoy the moment.
How do you ‘disconnect’?
(yeah, I’m totally aware of the irony of asking about disconnection on social media, too!!)
Photo totally ripped from http://titaniumrunner.net/2011/09/disconnected/
Checking in before you check out. A guide to retirement villages.
Harvey Bay. Heaven’s Waiting Room.
Last call for drinks – a hospital food service attendant tells all
1950’s. When ‘Darkie’ was an observation, not a criticism.
Open hand or wooden spoon? Your guide to modern parenting.
Spoonning. What do you do with that awkward boner?
Twitter, because there’s bound to be someone out there who’s interested in your inane, boring thoughts.
‘Cool post’ and other lies you write on Facebook
‘Hide relationship status’ – Zukerberg’s gift to cheaters.
You look 34 seconds older in this selfie, compared to the last selfie
I’m interested in all the blogs that you haven’t written, but really want to.
I’ve had the luxury of recently spending some time in a relatively small country town. My brother-in-law and his family have been very kind to host my family and I for a few days in their gorgeous home overlooking a country vista. The children have loved spending their days playing with the dog, roughing up the chooks, collecting eggs and getting water-logged in the pool!
My hosts have lived in this area for quite some years, and, by all accounts, know and are known by many in town.
The massive proliferation of social media has seen the globalisation of community, which essentially makes me think about the nature of ‘self’. The Onion satirises the perfect ‘facebook’ family, and it can be easy to get slightly envious of seeing others ‘picture perfect’ lives on social media.
I don’t think it is uncommon for an individual to have difference ‘personalities’ on social media. For me, I’m on Facebook, Instagram as well as this blog. On each of these, I’m slightly different. My instagram is stacked with photos of my beautiful children, things I love and things I’ve drunk. My facebook jots random thoughts and chronicles random Friday night happenings. My blog is where I put to words some of my deeper musings in life. I am the same, but slightly different.
I suspect it could be quite easy for one to either project a completely different ‘self’ online, or even fabricate their existence all together on social medial.
Getting back to this country town, I was amazed to see how close my brother-in-laws social circles were. He played football with guys he worked with, traded with, drunk with. The wives met together, chatted together, met at the school together. I compare this to my life in the city. I work in town. My church friends will rarely come across my social friends. My work colleagues will never come across either of those circles.
Essentially, I could be the same or completely different in these different circles, without any major ramifications or affect on each other, due to the geographical and social distance between the groups. This is compared to my brother-in-law, who’s circles are all very closely linked. If you have a bad reputation in one circle, it’s going to very quickly flow into all other circles, due to the close geographical proximity.
What I’m interested in knowing is if people find their ‘selves’ more congruent when their circles or communities are more closely linked geographically.
Tell me – do you differ (or not differ) in your projection of ‘self’, depending on the community you are in?