If only cats could talk …

What would cats say, if they could talk? What would they tell us?

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This is Rameses. Rameses is nine years old, and has a lot to say, if the constant loud meowing is any indication. What might he be trying to say?

  • I exist in a constant state of semi-starvation, and my human doesn’t care.
  • My human is a big meany, who will not let me go outside and slaughter the neighbourhood wildlife. The occasional spider or bug is all very well, but a hunter needs more challenging prey!
  • My human has some weird objection to me sitting on her computer keyboard and playing with the screen. Why is it there and why do little things move about on it, if not for me?
  • My human gets annoyed if I meow at her when she’s sleeping. You don’t hear me complaining at the noise she makes when I’m sleeping. So selfish!
  • The other cat won’t let me use her as a pillow. Why’s she so fat then?
  • The other cat always wants to stop playing before I do. She is falling down on the job of entertaining me, which is clearly the only reason for her existence.
  • What’s wrong with sitting in the basin, and then sitting on my human with wet fur afterwards?
  • The human knows I like to drink from the tap, and yet refuses to leave it constantly running for me. The fact that I have a bowl of clean water available for me is irrelevant.
  • No, I do not know how that thing that was on the table is now on the floor, and the human’s insistence that she saw me push it is a clear sign of her delusional state.
  • Anyway, it was in my way.

 

tsarina

This is Tsarina. She is seven years old. She has less to say than Rameses, and thankfully at a somewhat lower volume. She does, however, hold some opinions of her own that she would be happy to share.

  • I too, exist in a constant state of semi-starvation. I do not know what the human means by ‘fat’.
  • I like having my belly rubbed. The human does not do this enough. All the time would be acceptable.
  • I like cat nip. I want cat nip and belly rubs.
  • And food, don’t forget the food.
  • Why is the other cat constantly annoying me? I do not want to play all the time. I want to sleep on the human’s bed.
  • I am not a pillow.
  • Why is the human’s bedroom door shut? I will try to dig my way under the door.
  • I have no idea how that hole in the carpet got there.
  • The other cat did it.
  • If the human does not feed me soon, I will trip her up.

So if only cats could talk … I suspect they’d drive their humans around the bend.

The plan

Once upon a time there was a country where a group of people had been selected by the rest of the people to be in charge. (The rest of the people may have made a big mistake doing this, but that’s another story.) Anyway, this group could be identified in various ways. They all dressed the same, spoke in the same way (usually no more than three words at a time, repeated incessantly, that would bear little relevance to anything in the real world), earned the same astronomical amounts of money and had accounts in the same offshore tax havens. Sometimes they would try to pretend they were different from each other by disagreeing, but they always did things the same way in the end.

Now these people had two aims: to get even more money than they currently had, and to enable all the people they knew (other people with lots of money) to get more money as well. They needed to hang onto their power to make this happen, and they discovered that their power might be in danger of being taken away. They tried to control how much information the rest of the people had about what they were getting up to, and they pretended that bad things meant good things when they had to tell people something. But the problem was that the rest of the people had other ways of talking to each other, and the ones who found out about the bad things would go around and tell everybody.

So the group in charge concocted a plan. They passed a law to make it illegal for anyone to say bad things about them. They said that if bad things were said then this put the country in danger, and it destroyed the country’s reputation. They said anyone who said bad things was bad themselves, and they should be put in jail.

The law was passed. And the bad things got worse. And anyone who said anything about it was sent to jail. Bad things got more bad, and everyone was too scared to say.

 

This is not long ago and far away. This is now, and it is closer than you think.  What is your government up to? Do you know?

 

References

https://www.crikey.com.au/2018/06/12/list-of-evidence-that-australia-is-becoming-a-police-state/

 

http://thebigsmoke.com.au/2018/06/30/silencing-dissent-government-moves-ban-gatherings/

 

https://theaimn.com/lesson-one-dont-dob-on-the-government/

 

 

 

 

 

The Law of Attraction – the narcissist’s handbook

We’ve all heard about the law of attraction. What you put out, you get back. You attract what you are inside of you. If you are positive the world will be positive. We are told things like ‘this is a universal law’. There will be a lot of talk about energy, and karma, and so on.

I believe this notion to be, of all the pop psychology ideas being bandied about these days, the most pernicious. There are many ways in which it is wrong, some of which I will list.

  • This idea is based on the notion that like attracts like. This and similar statements are meant to make you believe that this is all very scientific. It has, however, been widely debunked and has absolutely no basis in scientific fact.
  • Apparently if you believe as if you already have something, it will happen. No work is required. Some proponents will even tell you that effort is not necessary. Why would anyone believe this? I am not sure.
  • Because you need to avoid everything negative (only positive vibes allowed) this includes challenges. You must avoid challenge because challenge is stress and stress is negative.
  • To show faith in the universe and live as if you have achieved your goal, you are essentially living in a fake future that does not exist. Lose your belief in this reality and you will lose your goal. Does this not sound like a delusion?

 

 

Of course, this is all very extreme. Many people do not take this to the extremes that are mentioned here. They will tell you that this is not what it’s all about. But what they will tell you, what you will find all over the internet, is this – you must guard yourself against the negative. Disassociate yourself from negative people, and surround yourself only with positive people. Where this runs into danger is what is being defined as negativity.

Negativity is being defined as anything bad. If you know someone who is ill, avoid them. They have attracted the illness due to their negative thoughts and apparently you can catch the negativity and get ill yourself that way. If the person is mentally ill, avoid them. Negativity has resulted in their condition and you must avoid them to protect yourself. Has someone in your life had an accident, lost their job, had a failed relationship? Negativity strikes again. They are immediately labelled a negative person and you don’t need that in your life. The only way anything negative happens if the person who experienced this attracted it via mysterious and unverifiable negative energy. The people who think this way have apparently failed to notice that they are blaming the victim. If something bad happens to you, it’s your fault. You attracted it by not being positive enough. In a world full of suffering, where so many people are in poverty, in need, in war zones, displaced, sick, and so on, do we really need a philosophy that encourages people to live in a ‘positive’ bubble that ignores any pain beyond the end of their own nose? Do we really want to be discouraging empathy, to be encouraging narcissism?

 

Another issue of this, is of course, that this nonsense takes people into self-hatred. According to this, positivity always attracts more positivity, with no exceptions. That means that if you do not miraculously achieve your goals, or if something bad happens to you, then you aren’t positive enough. You face the sole responsibility for everything that happens to you. And you are going to fail, of course, leaving anyone silly enough to believe this nonsense in a state of self-blame and self-loathing.

 

There will be a million statements insisting this is all true. The placebo effect and confirmation bias can account for them. In my opinion, such notions encourage disconnection, disillusion, delusion, lack of empathy, and mental distress. Live presently, not in some fantasy future. Attend to what is going on now. We should all strive for betterment, but the key word here is strive. Don’t make believe, don’t fantasize, work for what you want, and take pleasure in what is real. It’s an imperfect world, but there is much to take pleasure in.

 

 

Reference

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_attraction_(New_Thought)

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-blame-game/201609/the-truth-about-the-law-attraction

Someone I met at the park

 

While not unheard of, it’s not all that common to run across pelicans at our local Botanic Gardens, so I was quite surprised to see this guy sunning himself on the lawn. I got as close as I dared and started to take pictures, expecting to get one or two before he got spooked. However, this pelican apparently did not know the meaning of ‘spooked’.

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As more passers by stopped and started taking pictures, this fellow started strutting up and down like a model on a catwalk, flapping his wings and basically showing off. Eventually there were about a dozen of us humans standing there frantically clicking away.

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This went on for about ten minutes, at which point Mr Pelican decided he was bored with us paparazzi types, and took off.

Australian Pelicans can be found in all states of Australia. They are not endangered, though habitat destruction is an ongoing issue for much of our wildlife here. They like open water such as rivers, lakes estuaries, even swamps. In the last few years there has been an overall decline in their population on the Murray-Darling basin. A study done by the University of New South Wales in 2017 indicated a 70% decline in waterbird population along the river, which is considered to be an indicator of overall river health. It’s believed that the number of dams in the area is significant – the Murray-Darling has 240 dams, while the similarly sized Lake Eyre, with one dam, has experienced no such population decrease, and is in fact a popular breeding ground for the birds. It would appear that water flow is affecting the bird population. The experts believe that it is possible for the population to recover if action is taken to improve the free flow of water.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-05/murray-darling-basin-waterbirds-population-declining/8587720)

 

After the thrill of seeing such a beautiful creature so close (and not in a zoo), I am reminded of how important it is to remain aware of the damage we cause to our world by our manipulation of it. As a group of strangers bonded for a moment over this experience, it was a timely reminder to be mindful of how we impact our environment.

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