Prozac and The Lord

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“What? Prozac? You’re not taking Prozac Ma? That’s bad! You gotta get off that shit Ma. It’s bad!”

I overheard a girl talking into her mobile, alarmed and even angry, to presumably her mother and I was rather taken aback and a little disturbed by the remarks she was making about antidepressant medication. It’s bad? In truth I became angry myself at the unashamed ignorance of this girl. I felt like stopping this woman walking home in the dark, the cold winter air chilling the bones like the depravity of idiocy that was gushing from the mind of rigid moral absurdity and asking if she knew what the hell she was talking about. I checked myself and just looked at her and watched as she marched past. I wondered if she would be taking the same moral high ground and blatantly declaring to the world of the vast evil that Prozac represents if her mother, or the person she was lamblasting  about the alleged badness of taking psychiatric meds, on her next visit was found hanging from the roof rafters?

Perhaps there was some rationale in her emotional outburst, which is not all too unfamiliar in a society disconnected from reality and obsessed with an ideal of perfection and as a consequence, unable to deal with imperfections that transgress from an idealised norm. The rationale being fear, fear that the mind is not invincible, that anyone can be inflicted with instability or “mental illness”, even one’s mother. Could it be fear that causes such an angry reaction? Denial of admitting “weakness”? In essence it is ignorance and as always ignorance is a killer, although it can be bliss the “truth will set you free”. It is a sad state of affairs when admitting a problem and  seeking a solution is considered “bad” in reference to states of being, if it is anything other than psychological or mental it is okay, even alternative medicine is good or even psychic intervention from ghosts and goblins is commendable. Psychiatric conditions, syndromes or dis-orders, a big NO-NO!

Obviously the wide appeal and education campaigns like Beyond Blue and the like just haven’t sunk in. Will Australians ever become attuned to depression and other mental illness or will we persist in demanding a moral high ground and keep ourselves in the dark? Is the problem of this girl who rather absurdly placed a moral judgement on a chemical a moral one or one of denial? Will she permit her mother treatment or will she will her mother’s illness away? If the treatment excludes medication what treatment will she prescribe for her mother, seeing as she knows how bad this chemical is? Is her preconceived judgement a manufactured response implanted by fear-mongering in the media? Hopefully she never has first hand experience of mental illness because the first line of defence is medication and having a deep moral objection to chemical assistance may very well kill her.

Perhaps she will take refuge in Him who died for us. I overheard another woman lecturing a boy at McDonalds while I was indulging in my guilty pleasure tonight, “He died for you. Man. He died for you” I heard while walking out the front gate, turning to see a stern looking woman pointing her finger at some kid who looked somewhat distressed at being lectured. I wondered why all these kids were flocking into Maccas and then it clicked after seeing this disgraceful guilt-mongering that it was the local churchy youth group come for a last supper. Again I felt like saving this kid from the torments and hell fire of delusion considering he did appear a little disinterested in being lectured. But each to their own, if this kid has any integrity of self then he’ll escape from being indoctrinated into guilt by default that is Christianity. Maybe he’ll have to go on Prozac after that fanatical evangelical woman is finished with him.

The things that are said – what a strange world!

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Posted by Comments Off on “It”

Absolutely nothing. No wonder I’ve been so silent and unmotivated lately. I have nothing. My mind is absent. Tired. Weary. Sleep has been evasive. Some mania has gripped me, holding me fast into wakefulness. Insomnia. Burn out! I’m functioning purely as an automaton in some austere sphere of disentanglement. I need something but I know not what it is. Just some sense that “it” needs filling but with an overriding estrangement of sense, of meaning, of purpose. Desire in flux with fulfillment. How can “it” be filled. It can’t. It won’t. The chase. Absurd. Memory. Fragments. Pieces.

Just little pieces. Little bits and bytes. And in the end…….

What’s it all supposed to mean? No answers….

Keep going. Keep doing. Don’t think. Don’t dream.  Don’t question. Don’t speak. Just keep the ball rolling…..

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Happy Birthday!

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Another year has passed and I am ever the more detached from what these whole 36 years have been about. I live in momentary fragments of time that stitch together to form a life, however if I examine these pieces in detail they really have no cause or use. I’m somehow just a branch in the tree of life and a branch is probably stretching the truth into a grandiosity that is unwarranted. The insignificance that represents this time I’ve consumed is probably testimony to what we all share, more or less. Although in rare moments a larger leaf may form upon a lone branch that changes the course of events, I can safely say that this leaf will drop and be swept away with an autumn breeze grazing upon isle of time without impression.

I say this not in a self piteous way but merely as a statement of fact. I celebrated my birthday yesterday and I really enjoyed the day as a moment that I owned. I received no phone calls wishing me happy birthday, no cards or mementoes, apart from an email from my Dad. My Mum, Brother and Sister, no word nor sound, to be fair my dad sent his birthday wishes from mum also. I don’t advertise these events so I am relying on the memory circuits of family and I do understand that things can get difficult and hectic especially in the dysfunctional lives of my kin. My circle of friends is a constricted one and I have no ill feelings that they didn’t realise because I didn’t announce the day in advance. I’m only mentioning this in passing, perhaps only as a memento to myself because the interesting thing and perhaps of concern is the relationship I have with this network of electronic nerve endings; it actually remembered my birthday. Three forums that I subscribe to, wished me a happy birthday.

It is more than anything an indictment against myself if it can be described as an indictable offence. I probably have a more intimate relationship with machines than I do with humanity. It is not so alarming to myself however I may be criticised for this sub human fetish and be accused of some crime or misdemeanor. Machines are safe and relatively risk free, they don’t badger me for answers. I’m not accountable to a lifeless machine. I can have some control over them. I have no control over other people. Machines don’t tell me that I’m not up to standard. They don’t criticise me.

And they wish me happy birthday when everyone else forgets. 🙂

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Posted by Comments Off on Belief

I’ve been reading “God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything” by Christopher Hitchens and this attack on religiosity has been a common recurrence or theme with me lately. Perhaps it never really left my side, since I’ve easily retorted back into my atheistic tendencies after flirting with pseudo spiritual musings for a period of time. One can get caught up in spiritual yearnings and fantasies for awhile but when the lofty flights of fancy and wishful thinking starts its decline, falling foul of reason, the whole endeavour becomes absurd.

What’s left after one has the revelation that a deity floating high up in the sky is merely a reflection in empty space? The world, this time, this space, the revelation that this, in itself, is of primary importance when we look at the selfish sidings of our being. There is no other life apart from this one and it is best to make the most of it while it exists for the beholder. Unlike the lofty ones who believe this sphere is merely a testing field for some absurd battle between formidable foes, this world is the only one we have, so it is prudent and vitally important to look after this little blue planet as well as ourselves since an omnipotent being is on permanent vacation in flights of fancy.

The more I contemplate the notion of God, of a creator, a supreme being, ordaining and micro managing the universe and a universe that we have purportedly been given for our enjoyment and dominance no less, the more I’m inclined to disbelief. Having said that I have this niggling wish that there should be some patriarchal figure looking out for me and who has my best interests at heart; the idea that life would be considerably easier if I could just suspend disbelief and submit myself into serfdom for an ever vengeful deity is a tempting indulgence. However I am unable to curb my curiosity and inquisitiveness to allow such conversion into irrational belief and to make the leap into blind faith just for the convenience of consolation and servitude. It is an impossible task for a heretic such as myself and often I perplex myself needlessly in this wishful preponderance, which if nothing else fuels a searching longing to seek some ultimate truth. Truth that is perpetually out of reach, nevertheless it keeps me occupied while I inhabit this lonely planet.

Are Gods even required in this age of celebrity, where ostensibly the likes of Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Brad Pitt or their countless ilk allow us to supersede or suspend God worship with an alternate idolatry to fill the empty shores of lost community and tribalism. Isn’t our fascination with images of seamless beauty and perfection all which is required, to relinquish the burden from our father in heaven? Is it not transcendental when we gawk at these pictures and recount the extraordinary lives of celebrity, a dream of utopia we are sold when we stare into the void of superficiality allowing the horror of everyday banality and the corruption of ideology in our leaders to wither away in shells of numbness?

Why wouldn’t we seek this alternate eden, fabricated for us to protect the insidious reality that is foreign to our comfort level? Idolatry is loose change when we countenance the fear mongering that is forced upon us by powers greater than ourselves. To think religiosity offers consolation is to bury one’s head in the sands of ignorance when the driving emotive force predominately called upon in the pursuit of conversion is that of fear. The same tactics are employed by our esteemed leaders who arguably borrowed heavily from the archaic keepers of conformity, the church. Wherever conformity is being called for, fear shadows and commands some form retribution for its non conformance.

To believe or not to believe? Heaven or Hell? Freedom or Terror? War or Peace? Choice? There always seems to be some either/or proposition at stake and it is ironic that the sellers of peaceable future command a sublime lust for its antithesis. Can there exist a voice of reason that extinguishes polarisation because seemingly the spiritual realm is deaf to such calls if by chance you happen to be on the wrong side of its knife edge.

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Winter’s Mark

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The cold breath of winter shadow, misting the day with bleak and sordid sorrow. Sorrow without face nor name to call, as it drenches in waves of what should be, dwelling with past yearnings of what could or might have been. Frosty air livens and quickens senses, naked in neural freshness, frisking skin with icy nails while the mind falls asleep. Wanting to hide, hide away amongst visions of bright and sunny days, where alluring warmth embraced in vivid light, can pierce the capture of unsightly thought.

Why oh why must this journey through winter dark be so very, very cold, vacant inside mind, body and soul? Is the day not haven from this nightmare so old? Can we run from this savage beast or will it remain, locked inside, inside the cavern of empty light? Alone we stand in this rapture of winter sight and again the season has shift and the morrow will dawn; in hope do we lust for the return of summer’s morn.

And is it not in hibernation that truth be sought? From the isolation and solitude of winter dark does nightfall not shine its hidden torch? As in day there is night, where the shadows of northern light illuminate inner thought. And try as we might, to fight with sorrow, shadow and the hallow dark, alone we do stand in winter’s mark.

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Poppy Dreams

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Sadness, a mere breath away, joins us as we gasp for unburdened air and in moments only just past, were skies clear and crisp in abandoned gay. As we gaze at a flat horizon, stormy mists swirl and gather across, empty and vacant skies. Filling the quiet seas of blue with angry, leering grey, grey which threatens to weep, weep the wretchedness of heaven lost, in tears of solidarity with the plight of an ordinary day. Wishing to wash, wash us from the happiness we cling to, but can never fulfill or attain. It remains in our hearts as dream, ever reminiscent of what could be or might have been. Angels of a shameful heaven, lash us with promises and appeal us with thoughts and ideals, in visions of a world that resemble peaches and cream; all the while distracting our intentions to live with the what is, with apparitions of the carefree. Whispering the poppy rich violets, blues, oranges and reds, into ears drawn heavy from the anguished cries of frightened and troubled child. Seducing the heart with opiate dreams, luring us away from real and muddy and earthly soil, which carries weariness of blood and toil, from our aching feet.

As we lust for unrequited dream, the thunder shudders and roars in solemn sky. Furious and vicious and savage lights, whip at the darkened sky. The storm has come! It hath awakened us from insouciant desire and fitful sleep. It shakes us with vivid clarity and in earnest do we now despair, the soft dreams of deception, lost and vanished inside clouds of heavy, dank lair. Grey envelops our feeble senses, inviting and demanding that we may share, in the truth it wishes to speak and again do we now despair. We listen. We cower, quivering and afraid, afraid that the dark will smother and consume us and oh how we long, long for poppy cradle of painless slumber, so we may not despair. But alone we are now, alone in omniscient grey and in fear we struggle and pit, against haunting wails and ghosts which beckon and call us; in tearful cognisance do we now embrace, embrace the true and real, amidst sleeting grey.

At last the storm abates and alone we now understand, having learnt of oft spoke lies, lies of angels heaven sent, from lofty skies. In tribute to rebel lands afar, we summon truth, truth which grey has adorned us and no longer do poppy fields float in wondrous willows of sleepy haze. As we shed tears in melancholic grief, befallen yesterday in the moments of sorrow, sorrow for mother who hath suffered in the hands of lofty heaven and angels of wind swept lies, we begin to stand and make our journey through uncertainty, fear and the decrepit wind swept lies. We walk upon the earth and cherish the mother, our mother of dust and sand, river and ocean, who nourishes with the cool anointing rain. Through bleakness and in despair, we have come to love the true and real, painted from bristles of grey. We have life, spun in webs of sorrow, glistening misty in grief, but it is naught now that the grey has cast its shadow to mark the sure and just way.

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PM Howard skates on thin ice!

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Prime Minister John Howard has announced the federal government’s plans to inject a further 150 million dollars into the war on drugs, in particular to fight against what the media has coined as the “ice epidemic”. It seems rather odd that the PM would say that he is proud of his zero tolerance approach to the drug problem when almost 75 percent of this new funding will be directed towards the addiction treatment industry and a mere 40 million to be allocated to law enforcement. It would seem that Howard has fingers in all pies when he attempts to placate the masses with rhetoric about what is essentially a highly emotive social disorder. It is also amusing that Howard takes possession of the falling heroin overdoses, which is somehow a reflection on his government’s tough on drugs stance. It is clearly a result of Asian crime syndicates moving away from the poppy fields into the more profitable business of amphetamine manufacture and distribution. I guess all the Howard government’s rhetoric is just a ploy to gain votes in an election year.

I personally would rather see the funding going into research, only because the treatment of addiction is statistically an abysmal proposition. At best what we as a community can hope for, is a 10 to 15 percent success rate out of any treatment method and those figures are highly optimistic. If we are to fund the treatment of addictive disorders then I’d like to see the a good proportion of this funding in alternate approaches to addiction treatment, alternatives like SMART Recovery. The mental health services, which is the front line is in the battle with crystal Methamphetamine could do with a significant boost from this allotted election bribe as the most dangerous affect of amphetamine use is psychosis. It would be a pity and seem like a waste of funds if the greater proportion of 80 million dollars were only available to prop up existing rehabilitation centres that are affiliated with traditional 12 Step therapy which is arguably non treatment. We’d be fooling ourselves if we believe that a system that coerces substances abusers into treatment programs that promote 12 Step philosophy as the only way to treat addictive disorders will benefit the community in a significant way. Some not so favourable insights into into the effectiveness of 12 Step treatment can be found in the Orange Papers, it is compelling reading for anyone interested in the treatment of addiction. Wasting funding on drug diversion programs such the drug court is in my opinion tax dollars going down the drain. No one can force a person into sobriety so sending criminals to rehab is not going to have any significant impact on the successful treatment outcomes of these individuals.

It is an ineffectual use of resources that could be better spent in the long term on developing policy that decriminalises substance abuse and promotes real education rather than half baked educative programs that depict some misinformed sensationalist message aimed at political votes rather than useful information on harm reduction and prevention. Spending more money in social services and mental health will be a better instrument in fighting addiction rather than passing the buck into a no responsibility hands in the air rehabilitation system that has essentially no better outcomes than no treatment at all.

I can see why the government is happy with their system, it is a system that requires a minimalist expenditure in a short sighted vision. If the addicts are passed into a system that perpetuates for the most part 12 Step self help and away from relatively expensive professional therapy the costs seem an advantage. Voters aren’t going to be happy if the government supports a program of professional help for what the community at large sees as a moral failing. However the costs are a misleading when one considers the high relapse rates of addicts and consequential hospital admissions with further detoxes and rehabs and damage that relapses often incur. Ultimately the tax payer dishes out for these failures and it is swept under the cover of yet more treatment through coercion.

The cost adds up and it may be time that we voters seriously began to look a little deeper than an added 150 million dollars.

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Posted by Comments Off on Hypocrisy

There’s something strangely appalling when one enters into the halls of hypocrisy and is then outraged that another could be exhibiting a behaviour that they themselves are not above. I am speaking in terms of family and it never ceases to amaze me; the dynamics that are present in dysfunctional relationships. My dad was having a go at my brother, which was somehow directed at me for some unbeknown reason and he was somewhat upset at my brother’s alleged state of well lets just say inebriation. I couldn’t help but think that this is a case of the kettle calling the pot black. I really don’t understand why it is such devastating news that my brother would be in a incoherent frame of mind. Its not like anything will be vastly different because my dad hasn’t talked with him for a while. It’s unlikely reality will shift into a more pleasing form because you’ve buried your head in the sand for a period of hibernation. Reality would suggest that my brother likes to be in an altered mind set and it isn’t likely to change because I or anybody else would desire it to be different.

Anyway, if one is to throw stones then it would be wise if one didn’t do so inside a glass cocoon of self righteousness. I would’ve liked to have informed my dad of this ism but what is the point? Dysfunction exists for a reason and who I am to shatter the illusions of self righteousness and contempt. I only have one more week to contend with the dilemma I face with having my dad stay with me and it will be wise to keep my mouth shut. I don’t particularly want to be the one throwing stones even if I have a distinct advantage of not living in a glass house. Of course my dad may stumble upon this post and he may even be a little belligerent but this is my space to rant and indulge my little secrets and in a smug sense of relief it isn’t I that has some dirt that needs sweeping under the carpet whilst pointing fingers at someone else.

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Shameless Self!

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Addictive behaviour has turned me away from techno lust into more selfish pursuits in a bid to win favour amongst you, my reader. I’ve committed myself to world dominion and have designs on having my rants spread like a malicious infection in a binary world already filled with virulent gossiping and marketing of penis enlargements. All I ask is to be heard amongst the rabble of distraction, porn and information. Perhaps my rants are inferior to those of professional bloggers. I’d be willing to sell myself out for a pay cheque, if that’s what it takes to have a voice heard. I’d even be willing to write about Britney Spears and her latest rehab romance.

Hang on a second, just one damn second!

That is taking things too far. I’d refuse to write about such transparent self promotion. Oh my God! Britney’s in rehab. So fucking what! I’d sooner rather see her committed inside the an endless treatment program in some public hospital detox (at least the television would be free to air some useful information) rather than having to see her exploits at marketing her latest hair cut. This is old news but no doubt it will infest our airwaves again with more 12 step promotion with Britney Spears as poster girl for pseudo spirituality.

Anyway I am yet to acquire the discography of Skepticism. Red Eye Records emailed me and informed me that the discs are no longer in print and their worldwide database is incorrect. I have to give them credit just for the fact that they wrote to me explaining why my order had been canceled. So much for going legitimate, I’ve enrolled Amazon to service a one last quest to get the the CD’s and if that fails then I can safely say that I did try the road to support the artist. I’ll confess that channel BT has aided my enthusiasm for this band and I would really like to show my appreciation to them by buying their albums. They are a finnish doom metal band, and my lineage is from that northern sphere, in the forests of 1000 lakes, the snow, the ice and dark winter months of frigid cold. Hopefully Amazon will pull through so I can then enjoy the macabre darkness of brooding seductiveness that are Skepticism’s songs.

In a self induced shameless desire I’ve joined forces with Technorati to promote this little space on the web but perhaps all I am naively doing is promoting Technorati. I’ve even joined MySpace, initially just so I could view someone else’s pics but am now musing with the idea that maybe I really need a MySpace too. More shameless self promotion to coincide with the my gregarious need to belong and be loved by the whole of humanity.

Edit: I’ve just canceled the MySpace thing because it is lame and I’d rather do my own website than support a Rupert Murdoch enterprise. I only wanted to view some links on someone else’s myspace but it was way too much hassle to even do that.

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As Darkness Falls

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I was sent a link from a friend today to sample his involvement in a new metal/hardcore outfit here in Sydney, As Darkness Falls. I have to say I was impressed with the demo’s available on their myspace site. The vocalist Adam is a friend of mine and I wish him well in his efforts to brutalise Sydney with his harrowing growls combined with the hard hitting drumwork and breaks of the band.

Check em out http://www.myspace.com/asdarknessfallsaustralia

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