“We’ve been trained to prefer being right to learning something,
to prefer passing the test to making a difference,
and most of all,
to prefer fitting in with the right people,
the people with the economic power.
Now it’s your turn to stand up and stand out.”
Tag Archives: relationships
Amongst good friends, when troubles brew,
Mind what you say, watch what you do.
Resist the need to analyse
The goings on in others’ lives
And make quite sure that what you see
Is not projected fallacy.
As even with the best intention,
Making thoughtful intervention
Could so easily misplace
What you perceive to be the case.
Unfounded whispers distance friends
And fractured words prove tough to mend.
Who said what to whom should just
Not be enough to earn your trust.
Let rumours be and if in doubt,
Leave those involved to work it out.
Friends are warm comfort after a shock,
Friends are the key that fits in the lock.
Friends are fresh rains coming after a drought,
Friends are the whisper instead of the shout.
Friends are oases amidst desert sands,
Friends are the pathways to faraway lands.
Friends are the food source when famine is rife,
Friends are protection, deflecting the knife.
Friends are the hope when it seems there is none,
Friends are what make two far better than one.
Friends are the hand always helping you up,
Friends are the saucer supporting the cup.
Friends are the wishes that always come true,
Friends are the ones who accept you as you.
Friends are the sunshine in grey cloudy sky,
Friends are the twinkle in every eye.
Friends are what’s certain when all is in doubt,
Friends are one sure thing you can’t live without.
Well, less appreciation for Skyrim and more for Lemur Lady, who has so well encapsulated what it means to be widowed in reality by this world of total un-reality, that I’ve had to re-post it here.
For those (blessed) un-initiated few, Skyrim is the latest in immersive role play video gaming (think dragons, magic, castles, lots of aimless wandering through medieval landscapes etc. etc.). If your housemate/boyfriend/husband enters this realm, prepare to live alone. Oh and did I mention it NEVER ENDS?
At the time, I read Lemur Lady’s post and it thoroughly tickled me, to quite a disproportionate degree given that until that point I didn’t even know what Skyrim was, let alone had seen it in action.
Now that I have experienced it (well, second-hand as I watch my better half slowly plunge into its mysteriously addictive depths night after night), I find Lemur Lady’s words so pant-wettingly accurate, I have to re-post them here.
What not to say to someone who is playing Skyrim:
“Gosh. That is loud”
“How are you carrying all that stuff? That’s ridiculous.”
“Is that you on fire?”
“You’ve bought a house? I thought this was medieval warfare, not the Sims.”
“Awesome, a dragon! Wait…don’t…don’t hit it! LEAVE THE DRAGON ALONE!!! What’s it done to you? Have you any idea how endangered those things are?”
“She is so not appropriately dressed for that sort of weather”
“Haven’t you already done this bit? Twice? Oh. It was you on fire”
“Surely once you’ve wandered around one dungeon looking for an amulet, you’ve wandered round them all?”
“There’s an awful lot of walking in this, isn’t there?”
“Is something going to happen soon?”
“You’re going shopping now? This is like real life. Only with more walking.”
“Why does everyone have so many consonants in their names? It’s like they’ve been picked out of a Scrabble bag.”
“Can I unplug *this* one to plug my laptop in? What do you mean I’m in the way of the screen? Oh look, you’re on fire again.”
Source: Knitting My Own Yoghurt
I’m slowly working my way through the list.
Unlike Skyrim. Which will eat you alive.
*You can follow Lemur Lady’s antics on Twitter here. Be prepared to giggle.
* You can purchase Skyrim here. Be prepared to commit social suicide.
* Fellow Skyrim widows should also read this. Evidently, you are not alone.
A little lesson in marketing for a Thursday afternoon.
I found this a while ago – I think on some eternal email forward – and I love it.
For anyone that doesn’t understand our crazy world, here’s a bit of a breakdown in terms everyone can understand:
1) You go to a party and you see an attractive girl across the room. You go up to her and say, “Hi, I’m great in bed, how about it?”
- That’s Direct Marketing.
2) You go to a party and you see an attractive girl across the room. You give your friend a fiver. She goes up and says “Hi, my friend over there is great in bed, how about it?”
- That’s Advertising.
3) You go to a party and see an attractive girl across the room. You somehow get her mobile number. You call and chat her up a while and then say “Hi, I am great in bed, how about it?”
- That’s Tele-Marketing.
4) You go to a party and see an attractive girl across the room. You recognize her. You walk up to her, refresh her memory and get her to laugh and giggle and then suggest, “Hi, I am great in bed, how about it?”
- That’s Customer Relationship Management.
5) You go to a party and you see an attractive girl across the room. You stand straight, you talk soft and smooth, you open the door for the ladies, you smile like a dream, you set an aura around you playing the Mr. Gentleman and then you move up to the girl and say, “Hi, I am great in bed, how about it?”
- That’s Hard Selling.
6) You go to a party, you see an attractive girl across the room. SHE COMES OVER and says, “Hi, I hear you’re great in bed, how about it?”
- Now THAT is the power of Branding.
All jokes aside, it does rather sum up the life blood of our industry: relationships.
In Helen Constantine‘s introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of Laclos‘ most notorious and celebrated work, she touches on the aristocratic social pressures felt by Valmonte and Merteuil that prevent them from succombing to any ‘real’ emotion throughout the entirety of the novel. She summarises thus:
In that debased society love is viewed as a failing, a weakness, and something to be avoided at all costs.
Valmonte’s connection with Tourvel is the closest we get to raw emotion (for the pop culture translation, that would be the Sebastian/Annette, Ryan/Reese pairing in the Cruel Intentions adaptation), but he is forced to deny himself even that due to the restrictions imposed upon him by his upbringing and continued engagement with polite society.
In fact, this was possibly the greatest moment in the 1999 remake – the emtionally charged raw battle between Sebastian and Annette in her bedroom when he tears himself away, all the while belying his true feeling for her by the fact he can hardly stand the deception any longer.
What did this remind me of? A couple of weeks ago I picked out a few of Coupland’s glossary definitions that he used to define his era of a nihilistic void to share on this very blog. And two of these, when combined together, exactly mirror Valmonte’s struggle, providing a deeper exploration of Constantine’s statement above:
1) Derision Preemption: a life-style tactic; the refusal to go out on any sort of emotional limb so as to avoid mockery from peers
2) The Cult of Aloneness: the need for autonomy at all costs, usually at the expense of long-term relationships, often brought about by overly high expectations of others
The former, when applied to Valmonte’s eighteenth century aristocratic setting, makes perfect sense – he is physcially unable to admit any form of emotional attachment for fear of derision from his peers, largely fearing Merteuil’s reaction (which is indeed mockery combined with a healthy dose of jealousy).
Valmonte’s expendable is his relationship (or potential relationship) with Tourvel, additionally fuelled by unrealistic expectations of her heralded by his previous relations with Merteuil. For Valmonte, no one will ever match up to Merteuil (he holds her somewhat on a pedastal), and in any case, his desperate need for complete independence from any form of attachment prevents him from committing to any kind of meaningful relationship with Tourvel regardless.
So what can we draw from this parallel? Was Laclos simply miles ahead of his time in his awareness of basic human emotion? Or has it taken 200 years for the inclinations and emotional withdrawal of eighteenth century French aristocracy to filter down to mass society? Or, and this is the one that I like the most, were both writers simply finely tuned to a fundamental of human nature?
Modern pop-psychology and relationship advisers, the likes of Greg Behrendt et al, would have us believe that the non-committal emotional ‘retardedness’ that both Coupland and Laclos touch on here is almost exclusively (or at least primarily) a male outlook. But surely the Marquise de Merteuil puts forward just as strong an example as Valmonte? Coupland’s definitions were not solely ascribed to Andy – would Claire have not sympathised in the same way? In other words, the girls can be just as bad as the boys – throw in a manipulative streak and possibly even worse.
If such principles can cross centuries, cultures and oceans, permeating time and history just as fervently as the pop culture consciousness, then surely there must be something in it?