Suicide: Inside Story Part One

Not to worry, it won’t be tonight. But it probably will be at some point. Think about it. We’re all going to live 100 years or so. There’s only so many crossword puzzles.

Tonight, I kinda wish that was me: 103 and legitimately sick of it all. But I ain’t, so I’m sitting at my computer when I would rather be stewing in bed or flying off the balcony, because I want to capture the moments before a suicide. Before I go on, some destruction of suspense, a little planning and a smidge of foreshadowing:

  • If you’re reading this, I hit publish. Nothing you read ends in a surprise suicide. I’m a human.
  • Tonight is not the night. I see bed, I see soberness. I see the girl of my dreams next week. Heaps to live for. If you’re thinking I’ve got hope in similar quantities to what Walt Whitman had chocolate then you’re  on the ball.
  • I promise you that I will endeavour to sit down at this very keyboard on my final evening*. I will tell you why, I will tell you why not. I will not be filled with conviction, I’m quite sure of that. My struggle will be a little well-formed poo in a flaming paper bag that I leave for someone else to clean up.

Tonight is not the night for me. Goodnight everyone, and Erica, if you’re reading this, everything is OK.

I’m OK.


*Seriously, who commits suicide in the morning. I’m not an animal.



Just a Thought

If you were a triplet, and one of your triplet siblings died, would you then say you’re a twin? I think I would. I’d mull it over with the other twin/triplet first, but it sure would save a lot of “Where’s the other one” nonsense.


Yellow Brick Road

Naming a business is hard. You have to make sure the domain name is available, that the name is easy to spell, that it isn’t also a swear word in another language, and so on. Maybe the founders of Mammoth Erections had a sense of humour (if they’re as witty as the website is slick, nope). Perhaps these cunts are really quite nice. There are simply no words to describe this. Unfortunately it’s a flash site so I’ll just tell you that they’re a seafood joint with the tag line “I got my crabs from dirty dick’s.”

Up the road from where I live there’s a big yellow shop. “Yellow Brick Road Wealth Management”.

Image 3

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the yellow brick road representative of a long, annoying journey down a path that ends in the discovery that the person you’d put all your trust in is really just a conman from Omaha feeding you lies? I’m pretty sure he then fucks off in a hot air balloon to go back to the circus. None of this screams ‘wealth management’ to me.


Fat Blind People

OK, I get that once you’re blind it doesn’t really matter what you look like; you can be pretty sure that if someone loves you it’s not because you’re a great waterskiing partner.

So your life isn’t really about the looks (get it?), but still, to me, there’s something odd about a blind person that is fat-as.

First of all, if my chief concern in life was not bumping into things, I would think that being three feet wide would be somewhat of a hindrance. If you’re bumping into doorways on both sides at the same time then dear lord stop eating or stop walking. You may not be able to read the nutritional information on the side of the packet but surely the sheer volume of food you’re consuming should be setting off alarm bells.

Second of all, if I was the primary carer for a blindy, I would be trying all sorts of shit out (you know, to help). I’d replace your normal milk with the low-fat variety. I would add a greater and greater percentage of Slimfast to everything you eat until you ate only Slimfast. And – for shits and giggles – I’d put cocaine in your toothpaste. I think it goes without saying that I’d move the furniture around.

I want to come to a conclusion, I badly do, but I can’t wrap my head around what I find odd about really fat blind people. It makes sense, the more I think about it. Being blind has to be really weird (and probably sucks quite a lot). I wouldn’t leave the house. I’d sit around all day eating whatever my primary carer left for me and hoping the supreme pizza in the fridge had mushrooms that weren’t fucking magic for a change (who wants to hear in colour when you can’t even see in it?) and that the TV remote was where I left it (and ditto for the TV). And please once could there not be firecrackers in the microwave.

I’d be a big fat angry piece of shit if I was blind. There’s my conclusion.

I love you blind people, keep up the good work.

Update: two days later it’s dawned on me that blind people probably don’t care where the TV remote is.



Where Does it All End

I think charity is great. Really great. There are a lot of sick, starving, miserable people out there in the world while I, for one, am having a pretty fucking great time over here. And did I mention I’m white and male?

Fuck yeah.

The disparity is almost hilarious; for example, while I just rearranged the words miserable, sick and starving because I thought they sounded better in ascending number of syllables, a fuck load of people took their last hungry breath and died. I’ve just realised what made me think to write on this topic. I didn’t know how long puff pastry took to cook so I’ve got a pasty looking thing in the oven that ain’t getting browner at the rate I would like it to, and it’s way past my dinner time. I think I’m close to starving to death and that’s connecting me emotionally to all the little black babies on the other side of the world, with their funny little distended bellies and flies on their face and whatnot.

I’ve got a muesli bar though so I reckon I’m safe.

I’ve had the thought that to send food all the way to Africa* is quite expensive, but to drop it off on the way to somewhere else, not so much. The amount of food that cruises through the Suez canal and right by Ethiopia on a daily basis is truly colossal. Well, about 15 boats a day**. Maybe more ‘big’ than ‘colossal’. I’ve been spending too much time with the gays, everything’s a duh-ramah (jazz hands). New rule: every ship that cruises through the Red Sea has to drop off a container or two of whatever the fuck goes into Big Macs. I cannot for the life of me think of a Djibouti joke. The ships could drop anchor in Djibouti? Is Djibouti big enough for all that cargo? Meh.

I continued that thought, down the following path:

  • how to get food to people that need food?
  • how to get food to people that need it in the most efficient way
  • how to calculate the most efficient way to convert dollars to lives saved
  • how to build a statistical model that takes in every avoided death, how premature it is, how much pain is involved and blah blah blah
  • that death isn’t avoided, it’s postponed, oh and …

… and then it hit me. Epiphany right in the side of the head. It doesn’t really matter that lots of people are dying. Kind of depressing sure, but the more I think about it the clearer it seems.

It doesn’t really matter that lots of people are dying.

How do I know it doesn’t matter? Because I’m not over there. You’re not over there. I’m not helping; you’re not helping. If it really mattered, we’d all be helping.

But it’s sad when we realise stuff doesn’t matter, and it’s nice to have stuff that does matter. So what does matter? Enter my new favourites saying. “What would the future do.” Because you know who the smartest group of people are? They’re not scientists, or a retarded person that can play a sonata after having heard it only once and is also getting pretty good at cutting his toenails. It’s not some as-yet-undiscovered genius or world leader either. It’s … everyone in the future. All of em. Go forwards a few hundred years and every single mutherfucker will be smarter than the best we’ve got right here in dumb-ol’ 2014.

Are the people from the future going to look back at us and say “wow, they sure did a great job of saving lots of lives, hey, … ugh … excuse me, you’re in my designated square 30cm of personal space. Ah fuck I dropped my keys. EVERYONE, EVERYONE! can we all waddle to the left a little I dropped my keys …”? No, they are not. They’re probably going to be quite shitty with us for helping the African’s breed.

Buckle up, this is going to sound racist but of course it isn’t. Most of the civilised world is at a nice steady replacement rate when it comes to having babies. Europe is shrinking a bit, America is growing a bit, China’s due to start going backwards soon but India and Indonesia are going strong. All in all fairly mundane stuff. To keep a population at this mundane level of growth, each lady needs to have around 2 or 3 children. 2.3 is the replacement rate. Europe is somewhere around 1.9, hence the going backwards. India’s at 2.5, China’s at 1.5, USA is bang-on 2. The average fertility rate for most countries in Africa is somewhere between … 4 and 7. Have you seen a pregnant woman eat? No wonder there’s no food left over there.

Sadly, 5 – 10% of babies will die before they send their first scam email, but that’s still a shit load of bebes for a bunch of countries where I’d always figured everyone was wasting away.

And so, the population of Africa is set to double by 2050. That’s double (!) in 35 years. I can’t get over that, five or six little ones per woman is enough to double the population of an entire continent in 35 years.

So saving lives is not what we need. And I think they’ve had quite enough genocide, so let’s just not mess with lives in any way.

What will really impress the people of the future is how well we spread knowledge into this giant sex-orgy of a continent. Fuck food, they don’t need any more food, they need laptops and internet. There, done.


*Africa is not a country.

**Referring to ships as boats is great.

I’m even going to link to a source!


We Be Carrot Cake

First of all, if you’re one of those people that don’t believe in evolution, you need to leave. I don’t understand you, and you don’t understand me. I mean, fuck, you don’t believe in dinosaurs, how is that reasonable? Off you go.

Next, if you love carrot cake please go away. Carrots have no place in a cake; that’s not what cakes are for. To me it’s about as appetising as cabbage ice cream or onion muffins*.

We are the product of a crap load of millions of years of evolution. We are machines designed to propagate, and not much else**. Males want to spread their seed to hundreds of females. Females can only produce a few dozen offspring so want to pick only the best males (naturally fat chicks take what they can get). Everyone wants to survive, which means sticking with your tribe, and being wary of anything or anyone you don’t know. This is the meat of us; this is the undercurrent to every decision we make. This is the carroty bit.

Our beautifully crafted cultures, that exquisite set of rules that define civilization, is the icing.

Fucking great metaphor, Dirk.

We can slather on the politeness as thick as we like. We can follow the rules and be good people. We can be monogamous and kind to all. We can have Thai food and Indian food and Italian food, all in the same week. We can share indiscriminately with our fellow humans, like the friendly communists. But under it all, a man still wants to spread his seed. We still don’t trust the other tribe. And we still want to protect those that are close to us (cheer up, it’s not all bad).

Don’t forget that these are the qualities that got us this far.

Of course, we will continue to layer rules of civilization on top – we need to because there’s just so many of us. Different tribes will have different approaches to the rules and we will go to war with the other tribes for having an approach different to ours. Because protecting people, protecting beliefs and fighting are all the same thing.

And we will always fight the other tribes, we will always murder. We will cheat and rape and discriminate, and we will always love those close to us. These are not signs of good and bad people, it’s built right in to all of us. These things are merely signs of how well we cover our carrot cake with icing.

* Now I’m craving an onion muffin, dammit.

**I use the word ‘design’ when talking about evolution just to toy with the creationists.



The Pointelessness of The Average

Are you standing up? I’m about to blow your mind. I love statistics, I have the hots for numbers, and there is one type of number that is my favourite for all it’s sneaky deception: the humble …

Don’t you hate it when someone tries to build up to something and then do a reveal, but the thing was in the title the whole time? (Actually I don’t care if you hate it, I don’t need you to be similar to me.) It’s like the title is better than the body at getting to the point.

… the humble average.

If Bill Gates walks into a bar the average salary of people in the bar will be over $1 million dollars a year. That was Example 1! So I hope it’s clear that in this case, the statistic of average salary has absolutely no meaning. Nothing intelligent can be inferred from it. And any attempt to infer anything from it will result in a faulty assumption. Any decision based on this assumption will be a bad decision. It will all happen so smoothly. And it happens so often.

The average sale price for a house in a nearby suburb (where one would go to pay a lot of money for clothes that were made by the person that owns the shop) is a smidge over $2 million. That’s a lot for a house, and that’s the average price. A younger, more stupider, me would have looked at that statistic and thought that most houses were around two million bucks. Or that half of them cost more than two mil and half of them cost less. That’s how our brains work (mine anyway, fuck knows how your brain works), which is why the average is such a great tool for misleading.

Here’s the sale prices for recent sales in the aforementioned fancy suburb:


What the fuck does $2mil have to do with what you now know? Nothing, that’s what. That was Example 2! Stare at it. Stare at the point where $2mil is. It took me a long time to understand that an average can be completely devoid of meaning. I felt so enlightened when I finally got it that I want to share that enlightenment. Also, I’ve started a religion. We meet on Wednesday nights, come along. Don’t bring anyone you know, do bring lots of milk.

Back to it… Remember, won’t you please, that the job of the common journalist is to make you mad. So if there’s nothing bad happening, but they want to make you think that there is, they will employ the great deceiver: the average.

Here comes Example 3… Recently I read that the gender wage gap was growing. Really, I thought. Bullshit, I then thought (being in-tune as I am with my fellow humans). So I took the day off work, got naked, and dug into the numbers. It was absolutely true that the gap between the average wage for all women and the average wage for all men had grown further apart in the last year. Weird, thought I.

Now, if you’re not going to come to any conclusion based on this information (I’m trying not to use the word infer so much), then you may continue on your way. But that doesn’t happen. You will tell someone else, they will tell someone else, and we will all know that world is falling apart ‘cos bitches be scrounging and men are all cunts that rape and pillage.

But everything isn’t so bad. Broken down by industry, the wage gap had gotten less for every single industry. How the fuck could that be? How could the wage gap be smaller for every single industry, but bigger on average? First of all, thank you for reading this far. Secondly, mining pays really well. The average salary is up around $150k. Also, the mining industry is a real sausage fest. And also, mining is really booming. So there are shit-loads more $150k jobs. Across all industries, the average is about $60k – so the average bloke salary goes up. Not so many new jobs for the ladies, so the average salary there doesn’t change so much. And there you have it: average male salary up, average female salary the same. Headline: Gender Wage Gap Increasing

So next time you hear an average being reported on the evening news, shoot the television and everyone in the room.

While I’m at it, I want you to think about the second go-to deceptive statistic: opt-in reporting. This is where you see a survey that reports on responses from people that responded to a survey. Before the internet, this was mostly 60+ year old women. Now it is mostly 20- boys.

For example, the rating of a movie on IMDB is not the average rating. It is the average rating of people that rated the movie on IMDB. This is why, in the top 20 movies of all time we have one Batman, two Star Wars and three Lord of the Rings movies.