Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Train your Brain

So they say that we have only utilised around 10% of our brains . I recently read that even that is incorrect thinking because our brains have infinite potential, so a percentage of infinity is impossible.

Shouldn’t we be striving to explore this potential? Even if it is infinite and therefore unconquerable, that is just more liberating. I would rather spend my time exploring the infinite than settling for 10% that I put through a slow death of alcohol and TV commercials.

So how do we do it? We should strive to devote more time to focus and learning; to trying new things.

Here’s just a few ideas on how to train your brain. And we should all share these ideas so we can grow together. So post more in the comments as you think of them.

  • Reading
  • Meditating
  • Playing or listening to music
  • Staying healthy physically (your brain is a physical thing anyway)
  • Writing
  • Nintendo Brain Training
  • Learning a language
  • Sharing ideas – seriously write down some more in the comments section
- Eden

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rant of The Skinny Man

A few months ago I read an article in the newspaper. It was about how Mars have reduced the size of the famous Mars Bar. Now I read this and think “What the fuck?” but this was not the angle the article chose to take. They preferred to say it was a social choice from Mars to help combat the obesity problems in society. Again, what the fuck?! No doubt the genius marketing gurus at Mars figured they could make their product shitter (but not cheaper) and pass it off through some positive publicity. But I’ll save my rant on advertising for later. No, my friends, my qualms arise from the fact that I like, nay, I love Mars Bars. I’m a skinny guy. I’m as far from obesity as one could be while staying healthy. Does Mars consider the fact that I need more calories because of my incredible metabolism? Does Mars consider that when I feel like a Mars Bar I want a decent serving size? I am willing to put up with the price hikes, you know inflation, sure whatever, but a reduction in the size? C’mon, they just make us skinny guys suffer because the fatties can’t balance a chocolate bar with a sit up. And it doesn’t stop here. As a kid I loved 2 minute noodles like nothing else. Now the noodles are ‘baked not fried’. For those who don’t understand the lingo, that means they ‘taste like shit’. The flavour mix is even worse as well. Instead of the glorious full flavour of yesteryear, it tastes like my dog pissed on a cube of chicken stock. Everywhere I look I see same shit happening, robbed of the chance to truly indulge. Just cut us skinny guys some slack. Leave the full fat items on one shelf and the low flavour ones separate. And if the fatties keep choosing full flavour and get sick then maybe that’s just natural selection.

- Eden (while listening to Between The Buttons by The Rolling Stones)

Mental Post Script:

Compassionate Eden: Uhh, I don’t know about this one guys, it’s a little callous.
Humorous Eden: I thought we were just trying to be funny…
Heartless Eden: Funny? Pfff. Just shut the fuck up, you pussies and let the fatties die. There’s too many people on earth anyway.
Self conscious Eden: This doesn’t really fit with the free love attitude of our recent posts.
Heartless Eden: Who gives a shit? The compassion fag gets heard every fucking blog.
Humorous Eden: Nah, you guys are just joshin’ me aren’t you? It’s funny. Yeah I still got it baby!
Self conscious Eden: I don’t know man. I’m not even sure if this PS ‘bit’ is funny…
Humorous Eden: What?! This is hilarious…right?
Economics student Eden: Well it’s a smart move by Mars and if the ‘fatties’ get diabetes then our taxes subsidise their medication anyway.
Compassionate Eden: I’m OK with that.
Humorous/Self Conscious Eden: I’m funny, aren’t I guys?
Heartless Eden: Motherfuckers...

Sunday, December 20, 2009


When I read Robert Thurman's book, Infinite Life, a word that stood out for me was relativity. Everything is relative. But it was one of those things where I understood it, yet experience is needed to fully grab ahold of it's meaning. And the other day, I caught a glimpse of that true meaning.

Sometimes I think of how small we are in our lives and the fact that we are just a blip on the radar. There is so much more that is bigger than me and I truly am inconsequential. And I thought the other day, I guess I wouldn't mind if I died because of the loss of ego involved in my new found tininess, and that's true, but only relative to the rest of the universe. But I had this image of Dr Manhattan from The Watchmen, and how he realized that even if human existence isn't important to him because he now exists far beyond the world of humans, he found out that it IS important to the humans, because they ARE human. So that's where relativity comes in, because me dying may not be important to the galaxy when you take into account how small we are, but relative to an ant, we are not small. And relative to other humans, we are perfectly in line, and we are important.

So I think to live a healthy life, I'm going to need to find a middle ground and alternate between different scopes of relativity, because I definitely know that I value both my small, grain of sand existence and also my wonderful, controlled, powerful existence here, right now, in this body. Relative to myself.

- Lee

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Go With What You Know - Part III: My Existential Experience


Parts I & II

Eden, the former Catholic, learned that experience in this religion lead to making informed decisions based on the knowledge gained from said experience. This simple concept was then applied to all the possible wonders of life – art, books, music, movies, food, travel, meditation, etc. He realised that if he wished to have knowledge of something, anything, then it must be experienced.


Now I reached a fun time in my life by this point. The last two of the above examples came into their own with a trip to South America and a meditation camp. There was still all the music, movies and books to explore, but my natural curiosity wanted more. I had left my spiritual outlet years earlier and now I wanted something more to satiate my soul. This is where the meditation came in. I was fresh off of a ten day course and doing volunteer farm work at a Hare Krishna-run organic farm. The combination of organic vegetarian food, 2 hours of meditation a day, simple farm work, yoga, lack of drugs and plentiful spare time led me to go deeper.

Using my simple theory of experience I tried to define all existence with my own religion (I did have a lot of time on my hands), and a couple of days later I had the forgings of a theory. It was based on three levels of existence:

“All We Have is Now” – The Flaming Lips

Obviously we all exist in a physical sense. We have our five senses to constantly gauge the make up of our surroundings. Whether we look at it as a human being eating an apple or one mass of ever changing atoms interacting with another to sustain the life force within, it is all a physical existence.

Originally I summed up physical existence as the three dimensions of space, existing in the fourth dimension of time. I can’t however speculate as to the presence of a fifth dimension and beyond because I have not experienced it, and do not know if it can even be defined in a physical sense. Speaking of fourth dimensions, I keep saying that if I can’t experience something than it doesn’t exist. So what does that say of the past or the future?

So how do we define physical existence? My body experiencing a moment right Now Now Now Now Now Now Now Now Now Now Now Now Now Now Now Now Now Now Now Now Now Now Now.

“Nice Dream” – Radiohead

On what plane does a thought exist? It seems as though thought can exist absent of actual physicality. When we dream, there is no denying that we believe everything that we experience within (until we return to the physical world and forget most of what ‘happened’). We can create anything in the world with our imaginations. If we try we can convert it into a book or a song or a movie, but where did it come from?

So how do we define mental existence? My mind being able to choose to exercise free will because it is free to do so.

“All You Need is Love” – The Beatles

Do we exist in a spiritual sense? I already abandoned the concept once. Choosing to not believe in God. Does God exist? Have I experienced God? The idea of spiritual existence is much less tangible yet I am equally assured that the soul exists in some form. How else can I explain the love I feel for George Harrison when he says we are all one, or for Wayne Coyne saying happiness makes you cry? What about our desire to find connectivity on this world through friends and loved ones?

I disagree with many things a church might say but when they say God is Love, I can’t argue. Love, to me, is a limitless power that I hardly understand and one of the few things I know exists.

So how do we define spiritual existence? The soul? Love? Infinity?


I guess there has to be a point to all this, right? Don’t despair. There is. If you combine these three planes of existence there is one simple message which no religion could dispute:

Choose Love Now

- Eden (while listening to The Man Who Sold the World and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie)

Monday, December 14, 2009

You Are Your Teacher

When I write a blog preaching something amazing and mind blowing like this, or this, I’m not claiming to be an expert on ‘acceptance’ or ‘anger management’, in fact, quite the opposite - I’m still very much learning all these things myself. So, I’ve only just come to the realisation that anger for instance is something that has a huge impact on our lives (our happiness) and taming it is pretty handy. It’s only during and after writing the articles do I realise how much I have to learn.

This is the case for anything, if you don’t play the piano, you’ll already know that there is a lot that goes into it and that it’s rather complicated. But if you begin to learn, only then do you begin to uncover all the intricacies and nuances.

I guess all this leads me to realise something, taking time for self reflection is incredibly important, not only does it allow us to see our flaws but most importantly, it allows us to decipher the truth behind the flurry of emotions we experience everyday and to see what’s important in our lives.

"Do you realize - that you have the most beautiful face" - The Flaming Lips

- Dogman

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tisk Tisk Tisk...

When I smoke marijuana alone, a natural plant that has been used by humans since 3000 BC, I tap into a subconscious sense in my brain and it helps with my music writing. A lot of amazing melodies have come after smoking THC. And I am not out of it. I am comprehending everything that is going on, only now I can focus on the music in a different, more subconscious way and I enjoy the way the melodies flow out of me.

When I smoke marijuana with a group of people, we all laugh, but it is not pointless. We are laughing at something real, it's just that now, in this state of mind, we are looking at it from a different angle.

And sometimes, looking from different angles can open your perception of what is being shown to you. For example, when we watch ads normally, we zone out, letting the ad invade our subconscious so that the next time we go shopping, we just feel the need to buy a certain product, which is what they want. But watching TV advertisements becomes educational with marijuana, because you can clearly see the hypocrisies and the fact that ALL companies are lying to us. I would much rather be aware of the lies than to just be a cog in the wheel and let that part of the world have its way with me.

Through this, I realized that we are living in a world that doesn't know what to do. We have created way too many people, so we need them all to have jobs. And to create more jobs, we need more stores. And to create more stores, we need more wants. So we have advertisements to create an artificial need. We need shopping malls to put all these stores in. And everybody goes, always going back to our cars with more than we had coming in. All this is not conspiracy stuff, they are all clear facts that an economist could tell you. But I'm not an economist, and I realized this, a truly sensible and enlightening thought, after smoking marijuana.

After smoking marijuana, you can read between the lines, which is why people have always enjoyed subversive forms of art after smoking. The subtext is easily readable, and you can find what is hidden between the looks, phrases and happenings in a subtle piece of art.

The only negative thing I've heard about marijuana is that some people have smoked way too much and formed schizophrenia. Well if you ate too much chocolate, you'd get fat and die.

There has never been a case of someone dying from marijuana, or even becoming damaged from its use (not abuse), and anyone that finds they react negatively to this drug, then it's just not for you. Hey, some people are lactose intolerant but the government doesn't ban milk!

- Lee

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thoughts On Evolution: Physical evolution in its infancy?

"Evolution did not end with us growing opposable thumbs. You do know that, right? There's another 90 percent of our brains that we have to illuminate."
- Bill Hicks

It was easy for me to say that Intelligence and Love, from an evolutionary standpoint, are fairly young and have a lot of possibilities of growth. But then what about the physical world? Has it reached its peak?

We look at our bodies - efficient in mobility, clever thumbs and a large well protected brain. When we imagine alien life forms, they often possess a similar structure; we say God created us in his own image; does this mean that the physical side of evolution has completed its run? Or is it foolish to ever assume evolution can cease?

When I try imagine what could be next, I first think of our flaws. We still get sick and are vulnerable to many dangers. But to combat these we seem to prefer to use intelligence, designing medicines and technologies to assist us. We could evolve to be stronger or faster, develop more acute senses, but again it seems like technology is covering these roles as well.

Do we have to make predictions of sci-fi proportions to find a possible path? Maybe telepathy or telekinesis are on the cards. What secrets are there to be unlocked in that spare 90% of our brains? Maybe we must realise our true physical connectivity with the world and universe. But as cool as that would be, would it ever really be reached? Technology lets us control our entertainment systems from the couch. We can communicate with whoever we want, whenever we want through mobile phones and the internet. Who needs telepathy? Maybe Wall-E is the indicator of our future physical evolution – we become fat, lazy and gluttonous.

Or maybe I am simply wrong to separate the achievements of the mind or soul from those of the body. I recently watched a video on YouTube that attempts to illustrate ten dimensions of space. And that is what struck me – that they are all dimensions of space. Maybe intelligence and love are simply the next step of physical evolution. The brain is the hub where ideas and emotions are felt, but in the end it is just made up of atoms like everything else.

- Eden (while listening to Embryonic – The Flaming Lips)

Thoughts on Evolution: Intelligence in its infancy
Thoughts on Evolution: Love in its infancy

Saturday, December 5, 2009


“The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That's pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps.” - Marsellus Wallace

The first thought that comes to mind when thinking about pride is enjoying something that I have created (writing a blog for example). After I have finished, I am pleased with my output - I often read it over with a smile on my face taking "pride" in the fact that I was simply able to collate a bunch of ideas that were in my head. If I were a painter, I would surely feel pride after finishing a work of art. This type of pride is felt by all people, and the resulting emotion is happiness; so far so good.

There is however another phenomenon I associate with pride, and that is Nationalism. This is not to be confused with Patriotism, and up until the point of writing this article I thought of these as one in the same. But from my new-found wiki-knowledge, nationalism is basically being a part of a cultural or ethnic identity within a state - whereas patriotism is the love of one’s country/homeland. There is much more to these ideas, and to save repetition I won't summarise the Wikipedia articles - this blog isn't an Encyclopedia.

On a strictly high-level view of nationalism, having pride in a collective cultural identity is very important. However, when taken to another level, nationalism is the devil. Take this quote from George H.W. Bush, "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God." How is uber-nationalism of this sort beneficial to anyone? And this sort of nonsense isn't restricted to right-wing American nuts, it spans across the globe into the minds of many power-hungry world leaders. See: (Kim Jong-il, Robert Mugabe, and Adolf Hitler). In these cases, pride of nation (or pride of ethnic background), has seen the deaths of many people - pride gone too far.

Then there's patriotism. Like nationalism - prima facie it is a good thing. To be truly patriotic, you must want the best for the country that you live in - ethics, law, and devotion to the common good. However, when you become so patriotic that you view your own country (and possibly your race) as superior to another, that's when patriotism sucks. For me, I don't really care about being Australian. Don't get me wrong, I love this country, and growing up and living here is probably the reason that I love it, but that doesn't mean that I think being Australian is any better than being Chinese. If I were Chinese, I would love China etc. etc..

Pride also gets tossed around when talking about sexual preference (no pun intended). Gay rights have come a long way since the 1960s, and "Pride" is a big reason why. I know a few people that would automatically think of gay pride when the word pride is mentioned. This is a good thing.

There is one facet of life where I find myself taking immense pride, and that is sport. No other thing I can think of gets my blood running and emotions flying more than an intense game of sport; the physical contest, the extreme athletic ability on display, the pressure! OK, I won't go on about sport, but what I was getting at was how taking pride in a sporting team that you support, a team you play on, or an individual performance such as a triathlon is pretty special. And when you think about it, pride in sport usually stems from nationalism/patriotism anyway - I know that I can't stand England winning, well, anything.

Coming back to the quote from Marsellus Wallace. When he says that pride only hurts, it never helps - that made me stop and think for a moment. What would the world be like without pride?

- Russell

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ten Minutes Ago...

I was originally going to write a different article, but at the last minute I have decided to tell you this.

A few years ago, I experienced severe depression several times a day. It was really serious, but I got through it and learned so many things that will help me for the rest of my life. I became aware of Buddhism and found that it holds so many keys to happiness.

Today, my girlfriend was having a bad day. Some unfortunate things happened and she has been very upset. It's nothing serious, but it's just that she's having a few things go wrong in her life lately.

Pretty much everything I said to help her was something I've learned or taught myself since finding Buddhism.

After I had finished telling her all that I could to help, she was feeling better. She said, "it's almost like you went through all that stuff so you could help me right now."

I cried, because it's true. My pain, and the strength I eventually found, ended up helping myself and the girl I love.

Ten minutes ago, I found even more meaning to my life.

- Lee

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Why W*F with Marc Maron is Awesome

"Lock the Gates!"

I have never been one for podcasts before. Whenever I have spare time and an iPod around I am all about picking whichever album tickles my mood and fancy at the time. Why would I care to listen to people talk? There is nothing better than listening to music.

But then Lee, informed me that Marc Maron had a new podcast out, insisting that I listen to it because it is amazing. I have been a big Maron fan ever since I saw him do a show here in Sydney about two years ago. He is by far the funniest comedian I have seen live (admittedly I haven’t seen that many live comedians, but still…). We even got to meet him after the show where he talked a little about the hardships of alternative comedy while trying to sell a few CDs. The combination of the show, with his raw display of emotional baggage, and his slightly dejected self talking to us afterwards was very impressionable on me as I was only just truly discovering real comedy at the time. I was definitely a Marc Maron fan from that point on (Although I still didn’t buy any CDs…)

So this began a new era for me. I got into my car to drive to work. I scrolled past Música and selected podcasts – W*F episode 1…

The Rants:

The podcast runs for about an hour, but I could listen to Marc talk all day. His voice carries such emotion and his timing is perfect. At the beginning of each podcast he takes some time to tell a story. Now on the first show of anything you want to make a good impression, right? Well Marc decided to open his podcast – the first segment of his first episode no less - with a story about how boycotting a large, overbearing retail store, Wholefoods, in the States may not be enough of a protest. He actually encouraged that people steal from Wholefoods.

That’s what I love about Marc – not that he tells it like it is, but that he tells it like it is to him. He has strong views from politics to pop culture. He recounts detailed life experiences with loved ones and stalkers alike, family and work issues and of course the timeless question/statement of “What *** Fuck!?” He puts his opinions and emotions out there, almost objectively, whether they be happy, angry, jealous or anything. All this is laced with snippets of his memorable comedic set or improvised side notes.

Guests and Comedic Conscience:

The guests on each show are always interesting. A gathering of comedians talking about comedy. Most of them I am unfamiliar with until Marc’s personal interview style allows them to be free and reveal themselves. And because these are real comedians struggling through the fairly unglamorous lifestyle of alternative comedy, they tell it like it is. And when they feel uncomfortable about going on too much about it, Marc assures them that that is what the fans want. And that is exactly what I want!

As a comedy fan I love hearing Marc describe a meeting with television station E!, or Jeff Ross breaking down the fading art of the roast, Todd Barry describing a comedy festival in the UK, David Cross talking about living in the same house as Marc and Louis C.K. back in the day, and a run in with a backwards audience member while on the road in shitty little towns. They discuss the evolution of comedy from simple observational humour, the influence of Lenny Bruce, and Bill Hicks to the quirky magic that Mr Show managed to do ten years ago, and how this affects the comedians of today.

And then there are the non comedic guests. Writer Sam Lipsyte for example, who Marc showered with praise for his amazing writing talents. Marc questioned why it is so hard to find someone so in touch with his art. I didn’t fully understand why until Sam read a passage from his upcoming book. For maybe 60 seconds it sounded like he was guiding the english language into a new dimension of uncharted territory. I was immediately convinced that I had to go buy one of his books.

And before discovering a writer I would otherwise have never heard of, the podcast offered up other recommendations, including Battlestar Galactica from Patton Oswalt, a discussion of Inglorious Basterds and the TV series Madmen. It is almost like having another friend who shares similar tastes suggesting and discussing quality art/entertainment.


In most of his shows there is a segment called A Few with Matthew. I don’t know who Matthew is, but he and Marc have the most unique of rapports. Sometimes Matthew is the straight man and Marc the funny man, then they switch it up in an instant. At one moment Matthew is preying on Marc’s neediness and then Marc will start belittling Matthew’s superiority complex. I can only say you have to hear it from the start, and understand how the relationship evolves to truly know its awesomeness.


I can’t get enough of this podcast and there is so much more to it than I can describe. I have only heard the first 13 episodes at the time of writing this. But probably the greatest thing is to see the evolution of Marc’s outlook on life, from the first time I saw him live (where I left slightly concerned for his well being) to the way he has let the podcast be an outlet for his frustrations and a tool to deal with the W*F moments of his life and make them entertaining and inspirational for the listeners.

- Eden (while listening to Axis: Bold as Love – The Jimi Hendrix Experience)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

We Wonder

"Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere." - Carl Sagan

Do you ever have a moment when you're by yourself, or with your own thoughts and you think something amazing? Pretty broad statement I know, but I'll get to the bottom of it. For example, on occasion I've been sitting down and looking at my hands, opening and closing them for some reason and at this moment - this action is amazing the shit outta me. Has anyone defined this state of mind? Is it in a psychological journal somewhere, or is it just something we do and no one has ever thought too hard about it?

What prompted me to write this was the old powers of ten. I was having coffee by myself at work when I looking into the coffee cup and thought to myself how incredible the motion of this liquid is. Yes, you're only going to find coffee here on Earth (in likelihood), but the fact that it is a liquid is not unique to Earth. The same laws of nature govern the entire Universe, but what other universes might there be, what if there is a universe which doesn't have gravity... this universe could be part of me. This isn't an 'original' idea but the thought an imagery that accompanies it each time is wonderful.

Every person has strange and wonderful thoughts, whether they be cosmic or just simply being awestruck by the beauty of a flower for a moment. You cannot create nor replicate these moments. These moments in themselves are wonders - how does our brain, evolved from the hydrogen of a dead star begin to wonder about wondering? And so we wonder.

- Dogman

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's Just A Habit I Formed

We are creatures of habit. I form bad habits.

My lack of focus, which is a habit, results in laziness, another bad habit. They both help each other. The thought of a life of focus is exciting but a little daunting at first glance. The work involved seems hard, as if I will have to focus all the time. Yes, I will be focusing certain parts of my mind at every moment, but the focus itself will now be in my nature. I can practice and repeat the art of focus enough that it becomes a habit. I can indent it in my subconscious so that it becomes apart of my nature. Just as I have done with lack of focus.

And I can use this to live my life in the western world, dealing with day to day things and enjoying art and relationships.

- Lee

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Default Sense and How To Go Further

We were talking the other night about dimensions. As we were talking, my mind drifted off (I have no idea why) and I came up with a theory. Well, 'came up with' isn't correct because it's surely been thought countless times before, but anyway, it requires a little audience participation so here it is:

Think of a moment that happened yesterday. Let yourself go back to that moment for ten seconds........

That wasn't ten!! Start again!

Okay, now that you're actually playing along, I have a question. In those ten seconds, did you see the images of yesterday's moment? The answer in almost every case is yes. Did you hear the sounds of the moment? The answer in almost every case is no. Of course, it takes some mental power to remember anything, and we must go one step at a time, so ten seconds will only allow the minds eye to interact with the memory. But the minds ear would most likely come next if we were to spend a minute with yesterday's moment.

But could it go further?


We can, with patience, immerse ourselves in any memory and sense by sense, layer upon layer, I think we can live that moment again. And the beauty is that it's not going to be exactly the same, there will be parts that are NEW!

All of this is part of the imagination. Children live in the moment, but not just the moment presented to them. The greatest minds choose which moment to live in. I think we can all do the same.

Before anything happens, it has to be thought.

Infinity means that whatever we could ever think up will happen, has happened and is happening right now. Therefore we are much more free than we realize, to live in any dimension we choose.

- Lee

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Go with what you know Part II – My Own Experience

"I'm free" - The Who

Previously on GWWYK:

Eden was raised Catholic, and a pretty decent one at that. He learned of morality and gained focus through prayer and stories of Jesus. However, after a need to know more, a natural impulse to rebel and a conflict with the goals and purpose of the religion, Eden became an atheist. But the decision of not believing without proof in God led him to similar conclusions about “no God”. Eden became agnostic and chose to be free in spirituality and let others do the same.


I found myself overwhelmed by the apparent level of God-like knowledge it would take to understand the universe (or God for that matter). But then I am not God, I am just a man. But I am a man with the capacity to do many wonderful things and I haven’t done the majority of them. I decided to lessen the scope of my curiosities. Forget the universe. Forget the world. I need to go back to what I truly know – My own experience.

It was simple. I have sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. Anyone can tell me an apple tastes like this or that, but I could just taste it myself and suddenly I know. Same with music, books or movies. It’s all good that Lee thought Television made a great album with Marquee Moon, that Hamish took some thought provoking ideas from 1984 or that Russ loves a range of top quality movies, but you know the only way I can truly know is to experience them for myself. If a continent is beautiful - then I should go see it. If a drug opens the fifth dimension - then I might like to try it. If some German dude tells me I can walk around with Pumas - then perhaps I should have a go. You never know it could be a life changing experience.

Even negative things are not for me to judge blindly. Cold showers sounded like a horrible idea to me once, but I have since found a special value to them. I used to view meditation as some weird thing that Indians did, but then grew curious of it. I didn’t actually have any valuable information on it because I had never done it. I always thought Lee and Hamish were wankers but then I became friends with them and…well sometimes it’s best to stick with your intuition.

I found that I agree and disagree with many things and the only way to truly gain knowledge of something is to experience it. I have never been to Russia, and I don’t think I have even met a Russian. The country is beyond my knowledge and although in all likelihood it does exist, it doesn’t actually exist to me in any tangible form.

Life became, and has been since, a journey of discovery to me. The fact is I may never get to Russia, but that is almost the beauty of life: that there is more for us to experience or know than we could ever possibly do in one lifetime (infinity?). Each day is a chance to try something new and different, to better understand myself and the world around me and that is why I have listened to Marquee Moon, read 1984, and plan to watch the movies that I haven’t yet seen from Russ’ list. It’s why I travelled, took Drugs Many Times and write on this blog!

- Eden (while listening to Abbey Road – The Beatles)

Part III

Monday, November 23, 2009


"Of all the means which wisdom acquires to ensure happiness throughout the whole of life, by far the most important is friendship." - Epicurus

We only have control over ourselves. If you think you can control others you’re only going to make your life and others lives unpleasant. Some things are easier to accept than other things, if someone has different taste in music to you, that’s easy to accept. A different political opinion, well… lets just not talk about it, we can still be friends. What if someone says they’re going to do something for you but they don’t? How aggravating. They’ve let you down.

Something I’ve read a lot of lately is just accepting that things are the way they are. Stuck in traffic? What are you going to do, be angry or just accept that this is the way things are right now? You’ve got no choice if you want to be happy. Someone doesn’t meet your expectations? Exactly, they haven’t met your expectations. There is no point in being angry, let others be and you can be too. Your view of the world is totally self-imposed. If you want to see the colour green all day long, you probably could if you tried, it’s up to you.

Not being able to accept things can make you angry, or sad, both are just as pointless in the end. Both defeat happiness if you let them.

- Dogman

Friday, November 20, 2009

Lee's Comedy College

By the title it might seem that I will be teaching you the art of being funny. I wouldn't dare do this though, because you either have it or you don't, and as much wisdom as I could dish out, it'll never make you as funny as me. No, what I will be providing you with is a key to the world of the comedy album. Every week, I will be posting a new album from the Sullivan vaults. It's going to be a long, fun journey as all my favourite sets will be posted to expand your feeble minds.


We all love music albums here at BOTM, but not enough is ever said about stand-up albums. Just like music, there is the bad and the good. Sometimes a comedian I love will disappoint me with their new material, as if maybe they have lost some of that magic from that last masterpiece of a set. Perhaps they've softened in their new life since the last album or the first album was all the bits they have been doing for 10 years and now the new, less toiled over set doesn't match up. Or perhaps just as I'm starting to think they've lost what they once had, their new album arrives full of passion and wisdom and, well, everything that makes a great stand-up album so satisfying.

There are stand-up DVD's, which are a wonderful way to see the intricacies of the physicality of the act. But I prefer an album, something that leaves just enough to the imagination that you have to work with the performer to get the whole experience. There is just something so intimate about lying down on your couch or driving in your car and sitting back and listening to a set.

But all the analysis must come much later, after you've heard the album a couple of times and have just let it do it's job... to make you laugh. There can be moments in an album where you find yourself laughing at a point where the audience isn't, or you're not really 'getting it' while most of the audience is laughing uproariously, but that's what we're dealing with here. A true personal journey into comedy and it's ability to make us think and make us laugh.


Doug Stanhope - Something To Take The Edge Off (2000)

Doug Stanhope is one of the great comedians currently working, along with Louis CK, David Cross, Patton Oswalt and a handful of others who made their own unique mark in the world of stand-up over the decade. Stanhope has emerged in recent years as a fearless social critic and raconteur afraid of nothing and standing as a role model to anyone that is willing to run their own lives without the fear of judgment from other people. I won't talk too much about him just yet, as we'll leave that for the comment section. So anyway sit back, go for a drive or, as I prefer with this album, go for a walk and enjoy the first album in our new series.


- Lee

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Things I Don't Like

"Once upon a time, in some out of the way corner of that universe which is dispersed into numberless twinkling solar systems, there was a star upon which clever beasts invented knowing." - Friedrich Nietzche

Be aware this is going to be painful and tedious to read, I hope you can enjoy it and join in on the disliking. Let the listing begin:

• Sunday night when I have to work early on Monday, somehow it takes away the weekend feeling.

• The majority of women who work in an office environment. I should be more specific really, not all, not even majority, just women with ‘PA’ or even worse ‘EA’ in their job title.

• People who prefer cats to dogs.

• Sunrise/Today. I can’t believe how quickly those shows destroy time. Has anyone actually stopped to think how shitty they really are? Think about it, over the course of 3 hours they have 6x 10 minute news reports, and then they have mindless banter between hosts for 6x 3mins, 1x 15min cooking segment, followed by Kochie’s joke of the day. At first I thought it must be hard to make a show like this, especially when its 3 hours every day. Then I realised it was so mind numbingly formulaic that any dope could do it. Even Karl Stefanovic did it drunk… actually that was better than all 45 hours (yeah FORTY-FIVE HOURS, ABC2 have their own show too, slightly less crappy) of breakfast show television that week put together.

• Bouncers.

• Any club in the city that has even the slightest air of self-importance. If I have to line up, dress up, pay to get in… consider it part of this list (I’m sure all those places are deeply offended too)

• Working early.

• Working late.

• Working.

• Daylight savings. Changing the time just gives me the shits. Why don’t these dickheads from WA do it to, are they too good? I just think if we’re gonna every state should do it (or not).

• Those who talk shit about McDonald's. You get these fat people who’re all like “oh I wouldn’t eat McDonald's, that stuff’s terrible for you”, or these ex employees who say they won’t eat. Well I’ve been eating it for years and have never gotten sick (actually I got sick once) and I’m trim and healthy as a mule.

• Feminism

• Racism

• Judaism

• Eden *

• First names as surnames that end with an ‘S’. E.g. Matthews, Stevens, Johns, etc. The surname ‘Wagstaff’ gives me the shits too.

• People who don’t shut up about manual cars and are all like, “oh I could never drive an auto”.

• The sound of ringing phones, or the sound of a phone on silent vibrating on a wooden surface.

• People who are always negative.

• Traffic lights. Well ones that make you wait a long time.

• Holding lifts for other people. This is why when I walk into a lift, I try not to turn around. Seriously, who wants to hold the lift for other people? I sure as fuck don’t, and you know what? I don’t want people holding the lift for me, because I don’t like:

• People.

This might be the stupidest blog yet. However, I’ve always thought about writing a list of stuff that irks me. Funny how it’s my longest one yet, I probably should read some of my earlier posts. If you don’t like the this article:

• People who don’t like this article.

- Dogman

* Eden is one of the best people I've ever met.

Album of the Week: Between the Buttons

Between the Buttons
The Rolling Stones

Between the Buttons is the fifth (British) studio album by The Rolling Stones, released on 20 January 1967, in the United Kingdom.


All songs by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards

Disc one

1."Yesterday's Papers" 2:04
2."My Obsession" 3:17
3."Back Street Girl" 3:27
4."Connection" 2:08
5."She Smiled Sweetly" 2:44
6."Cool, Calm & Collected" 4:17

Disc two

1."All Sold Out" 2:17
2."Please Go Home" 3:17
3."Who's Been Sleeping Here?" 3:55
4."Complicated" 3:15
5."Miss Amanda Jones" 2:47
6."Something Happened to Me Yesterday" 4:55

Length: 38:33

Why I chose this

Along with Sticky Fingers, this is my favourite Rolling Stones album. It still has that early 60s pop feel to it, but also displays the radiant talents of the band to produce an artistic masterpiece. Brian Jones is at his musical supreme, with multiple contributions on each song through a variety of instruments, proving why he is a legend of rock n roll. The chemistry between Mick and Keith is displayed not only in their song writing, but in the dynamic that they add to the group and to these songs. I haven't heard this album as much as the Stones later works (namely Beggars Banquet through to Exile on Main St.) but there is nothing quite like laying back and letting Brian Jones and Keith Richards duel their guitars for the prize of my heart.

- Russell

AotW Home

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Go With What You Know Part I – My Agnostic Experience

"thinkin' 'bout the way that I
Don't understand anything at all..." - The Flaming Lips

** You are not at all required to read this!!

So for the first 15-16 years of my life I was a devout Catholic. I went to church most Sundays and listened as best as I could, though being young my attention span couldn’t always hold out. I prayed to God each night. I kept a cross around my neck and believed in God and Jesus as the church would like me to. There was even a time where I said the Rosary once a day without fail for some three years straight, starting around the age of 11. If I forgot one day I would say it twice the next to catch up.

But then the natural urge to rebel, that is common in teenagers, kicked in. I questioned the existence of God, the practices and methods of the church, which would be very odd if I hadn’t been doing them my whole life. There was the relevance of the church and its expectations of seemingly blind faith. With this my faith began to slip and by 17 I had stopped considering myself a Catholic or a Christian or anything. Anything to do with religion became irrelevant. I became an atheist.

Even at that point, though, I still respected what I had taken out of the religion. I felt I had developed a sense of compassion and morality, but I no longer needed everything that religion said to know of these things. Even now I look back and recognise that saying the Rosary is a form of meditation and I must have gained a sharper mind from the focus and discipline it required without knowing or intending to. I wasn’t regretful about what I took from the religion despite how reassured I was and am now that Christianity is not for me.

So time passed in my assumed state of atheism. Science was the only logical process in my field of existentialism (which at the time was not even a word I understood the meaning or significance of). But eventually my belief system was to take another shift. It was as if the momentum of my release from structured religion carried me to almost the opposite extreme. But that simmered and I analysed why I left my religion – it lacked consistency in its purpose and holes in its logic and method. So what do I have now? I have a theory of evolution that traces back to a point of unexplained mystique. The Big Bang!

Wait, wait, wait. So I stopped believing in God because the proofs are just from some book that said he created it all out of nothing. Now I follow a theory that says it was created out of… Oh right, nothing…

And there I was: Quite certain that I had no reason to believe in God as many had described the concept to me. Yet equally certain that, following that logic, I couldn’t not believe in it. I realised that I didn’t know anything about the subject at all. The sheer scope of thought and experience needed to know this ultimate truth was so far beyond my grasp that I would be lying to myself to say yea or nay. I became agnostic.

I positioned myself firmly on the fence. I wasn’t defined by any religion or view of life except to say that I don’t know. My new philosophy was to let others be free to believe or disbelieve in what they wanted. I was free to believe in what I wanted (nothing as yet) and wouldn’t force that opinion on anyone else.**

- Eden (while listening to Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd)

N.B I do, however, love to discuss my ideas openly with someone with similar or differing views.

N.B.B. If, however, we do engage in a discussion you will realise that my truth is, however, the right truth.

N.N.B.B. I, however, am, however, writing a book about it, however, and if, however, you read the book and follow the seven, however, teen simple steps I outline in the book you will be converted into one of us or go to hell. However.

Part II

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Dog Kennel

Dogman's Dogma:

Here is a chronological listing of all my blogs, oldest at the bottom.

To Beard, or not to Beard
Eden and the Shit Cat
Relationship Troubles

Why SMS is Beautiful- Together with Lee
Just a Dream I Had
Dogman, a Historie
Danny & Annie
Enter the Dogman
Punishing Purchasers
Why Pig Destroyer Is Awesome
Yogo Gorilla!
DCC: The Filthy Folds of Flesh, Revealed
Public Toilets
Dr Hell - Guest appearance from my friend, Hamish
My Quest for Minimalism
Music and Memory
A Bad Plan
Dogman's Top 10
High School
Piss Fiend
Timeless Mind
Metal - My Old Friend
The Internet Shield
Dogman's Cock College

You Are Your Teacher
We Wonder
Things I Don't Like
TOE: Mobility in the 21st Century and Beyond
TOE: Equality and Effectiveness in the Lavatory
I Am Man
Earth 1, Humans 0
Why South Park Is Awesome
Start, Don't Regret
Anger V Happiness
What Happened to Moderation?
Book Review: Nineteen Eighty Four
Don't Worry, Just Laugh
Expand Your Mind Into the Cosmos

Lee's Blogs

Blog Archive 

Wrestlemania XXVI Review 
Alex Chilton R.I.P.
Lee's Top Ten
Space Camp
My Lonely Quest To Expand The Boundaries
Sack Whacked
Patton's Take
Lee's Comedy College: Dana Gould
Why Fastball Are Awesome

Tisk Tisk Tisk...
Ten minutes Ago...
A Habit I Just Formed
The Default Sense and How To Go Further
Lee's Comedy College: Doug Stanhope
A Game of Trust
Inside Your Mind
Seeing Colours
Trying To Focus Can Equal Loss of Focus - Let It Be - You Are Not Always In Control
The Hypocrisy of the Full-Time Procrastinator
The Plight of the Wrestling Fan : Part 3
Measly Humans
The Plight of the Wrestling Fan : Part 2
The Plight of the Wrestling Fan
A Poem
Why Curb your Enthusiasm is Awesome
Love Story
The Art of Rebellion

Eden's fun loving Page

Beatles on the Moon rocks my world.

Have you ever wondered if you truly exist? What is this movie reel spinning before my eyes? What is it that makes me me?

Onions, Fools and Entourage

I could listen to this guy talk all day - even if it is about boring shit...In fact that is what I do for a large portion of my life

Retro Album of the Week

Three listens and I was hooked.



Guest Blogs

Here at BOTM we love to have many different people contributing whenever they feel like contributing. If you ever want to post an article on here just let one of us know and we will have it posted within the next few days.

Just remember when writing your post, there is one important rule to follow:
You can blog about anything!

Guest Bloggers

        Wednesday, November 11, 2009


        "Lay down all thought, surrender to the void" - The Beatles

        A friend of mine recently asked me if I could teach him how to meditate. Having completed two ten day courses of Vipasanna meditation, it is fair to assume I should have some idea on the subject. It is true that I personally know how to meditate, but for two clear reasons I don’t feel comfortable in teaching what I have learnt.

        The first is to do with the meditation itself. It is a very personal process, with simple principles. Basically it aims to purify the mind and body by providing a path towards liberation from suffering. In the course I did, they provide an organic vegetarian diet and don’t allow for drugs to ensure that the body is cleansed. They also ask that you abstain from talking to keep the mind focused and avoid the temptation of lying or speaking ill of yourself or others. Meditation is then performed for over 10 hours a day for the duration of the course. The process is revealed bit by bit to the students. Because such an intense environment like this is impossible to achieve in everyday life, I can’t do the technique justice by teaching it to someone.

        Now I know this sounds like a horribly strict and unenjoyable process, but it is like a detox from the clutter of the world and the benefits are amazing. These include:

        • A more settled mind that doesn’t get lost in its own thoughts constantly
        • The ability to prevent yourself from entering negativity
        • The ability to choose to exit self imposed suffering (and the realisation that all suffering is self imposed).
        • An appreciation of what we already have, and the ability to detach yourself from craving, i.e. Letting go of the pointless obsession we have with money and possessions
        • A stronger will power and increased proactivity through the ability to make personal determinations and stick with them.
        • Living in the moment more often
        • Appreciating heightened senses to enjoy music, movies, exercise, food and all the sensations of life, even pain, to much higher levels
        • Increased creativity
        • A new level of spirituality and connectivity with the world
        • A new level of respect for every part of the world
        • A new perspective on the bullshit of mindless activities like artless media and advertising
        • The ability to do fun things like this
        Now the second reason that I can’t teach the technique is simply because I am no good at it myself. Despite my personal resolve to keep up the practice, I have - on a number of occasions – been meditating regularly only to let it slip to the point of no meditation. Even though I am conscious of and have experienced the above benefits to various levels, I haven’t meditated for months.

        But things are gonna change my friends! This blog is a product of the improved proactivity I achieved from meditating, so in return I am going to use this blog to reignite my practice. Starting this week I am making the determination to meditate at least once a week and hope to increase it from there.

        To get started I have to go back to the simplest form of meditation, and this I actually do feel comfortable describing the process to anyone willing to try it. Basically find a quiet place to sit, preferably inside. Close your eyes and without consciously changing the pattern of your breath, try to focus all your attention on it. Just try to observe the manner in which your breath enters and exits your nose. Only focus on the nasal area. Each time your mind drifts away, just accept that as a reality and again focus on your breath. Try this for 10 minutes (or more if you like).

        It’s a tough process to get your mind focused, but stick with it and hopefully I will too. Happy meditating

        - Eden (while listening to SMiLE – Brian Wilson)

        Monday, November 9, 2009

        The Theories of Efficiency: Mobility in the 21st Century, and Beyond

        It's time to examine the way we move, something which has been neglected for too long. Let us begin.

        Walking Backwards

        Walking backwards isn't easier when you're on a level surface, this technique should only be used when going up. You might not be able to see how this is easier, but please let me explain: When you walk forwards up a hill, you lift your entire leg with each step, bending the knee joint and hip joint - a completely unnecessary step if you ask me. If you walk backwards, you only need to bend your knees. Go ahead, next time you're faced with a hill, walk backwards, some may laugh (if they've still got the breath left after all that forwards walking) but you'll be pleasantly surprised by its outstanding efficiency. The only way to improve on this would be to invent a knee joint that bent both ways, that way you could enjoy then benefits of walking backward and still see what’s in front of you.

        All Fours

        Did you ever scamper up the stairs on all fours as a kid? I did, and it was efficient as fuck. I was able to conquer a staircase with ease because my body weight was spread over 4 limbs. Can you imagine how easily you could race up a set of stairs if your legs had to lift only half the weight? If you have stairs at home try it please, if you’re going to attempt this in public you might want to get stair-gloves (more like wrist guards, its funnier):

        If you don’t have these you’ll get dirty and could contract a serious bout of HBP, it’s possible you won’t get over that for weeks.

        And now for my most radical idea, this will revolutionise human travel:


        In the future, all will skip. There is no doubt about it, everyone knows how to do it and everyone likes it. It’s fast and it’s efficient. I can skip really fast (let’s race), next time you see me I will be skipping. I am serious.

        - Dogman

        Post Script: I was chatting with a colleague about efficient means of travel when he suggested a rather curious and arcane method - the Piggy-back. I've been thinking about it and thinking about it, I believe it should be included in this manifesto in some form (if only a "PS"), as on one hand it violates the laws of efficiency (for the piggy-backer) but on the other hand it flourishes as a way to travel with almost no effort at all (for the piggy-backee). One to think about my efficient friends.

        Read Part 1 in this series: Equality and Effectiveness in the Lavatory.

        Saturday, November 7, 2009

        Cinema with Russell Gill

        This film is perfect. Every piece of dialogue floats beautifully on the screen, staying there for just the right amount of time before drifting into the back of the viewer’s eyes and ears. Tarantino made with Pulp Fiction something special. Every actor in this movie does their job with such grace; Ving Rhames' soothing voice, Walken's unforgettable monologue, Travolta's comeback, and Jackson's 'bad motherfucker'. Within each scene lies gripping drama betwixt with pulsating action and hilarious lines.
        This film will carry on as not only one of the most memorable films of the 90s, but of all-time.
        By far my favourite movie.

        Oh what a treat this movie is. Two film-making geniuses come together on one of the most intriguing and warm stories put to screen. Kaufman's script is amazing, blending an inevitable love story with elements of science fiction, and using an unconventional narrative style to do it.
        Gondry's ability as a director transforms my psyche.
        On top of all that, I reckon the acting in this movie is awesome, not to mention Jon Brion's effective use of music. Definitely recommend watching this, and then watching it again.

        I saw this film when I was about 7, and was mesmorised by its appeal. I have seen it many times since and that appeal still sticks with me; and since have noticed that as a film it is a piece of art. Connery plays on Bond's every mannerism to perfection, making you want to be a part of 007's world. James Bond is one of the original film hero's, and the formula works to perfection in Goldfinger.
        I mean c'mon… the Aston Martin, Q's scene, Oddjob, the golf scene, Pussy Galore, the one-liners, Felix, and one suave dude named Bond, James Bond.

        THE best action movie of all time. Both the first Terminator and T2 provide one of the greatest stories I've ever been told. James Cameron creates a powerful film with T2, not only delivering on groundbreaking special effects, but on drama as well.
        I believe that the Terminator story should finish here, with this film. T2 brings everything to the viewer that he/she desires. So please, please watch these movies; they will not disappoint.
        "The unknown future rolls toward us. I face it, for the first time, with a sense of hope. Because if a machine, a Terminator, can learn the value of human life, maybe we can too."
        - Sarah Connor

        Exciting, thrilling, a classic! Well-told story of Hitchcock's wrongfully accused man with a beautiful blonde getting mixed up in the drama. Clever use of 'Northwest' symbols throughout and hidden innuendos. Hitch was one of those directors who was able to make slightly offbeat/ different films, whilst having one foot in the Hollywood door. NbNw is oh so enjoyable.

        Mulholland Drive is a film that explores how ones deepest desires (or the inability to achieve those desires) are contrasted with that of pure fantasy. Diane uses fantasy as a way of escaping the reality of her unattainable love for Camilla, as shown by Lynch in the first half of the movie. The fantasy scenes are presented with a clear narrative structure, using a plot of what Lynch calls the perfect mystery, suggesting that we can only experience or make sense of our desires by following fantasy until it self-concludes.
        David Lynch follows Diane's fantasy until a traumatic silence is achieved, absent of the noise of everyday life - and possibly of the noise surrounding Hollywood itself.

        A chilling return to the story of one of the most exciting and interesting superheroes. An excellent revamp of the batman series that goes back to the roots of where it all started in Gotham City.
        Tim Burton's classic Batman films are great, but should exist within themselves. Christopher Nolan's 'new' Batman however, is something special.
        Jim Gordon: I never said, "Thank you."
        Batman: [looks back to Gordon] And you'll never have to.

        Absolutely fantastic. It is amazing how much turmoil that Francis Ford Coppola and the crew were put through to make this movie, and still put out a great film.
        Martin Sheen is perfect as Willard, a confused man given the task of tracking down an estranged war hero (Brando) that has been consumed by both the jungle and the Vietnam War.
        In many respects, the most real movie depicting war I have seen; possibly not in the historic sense, but in the shocking human reality it displays.

        Such a special insight into one of the most important periods in music history. I like how Scorsese focused on Dylan's early life and 60s beginnings, as this time period is able to show who he was the most clearly. I also enjoyed seeing the current thoughts of Dylan and a host of other people that have shaped his life.
        It was cool how Scorsese made it not only on Dylan's music, but a commentary on his influence and just how important he was as a figure in a new generation that was saying f*#% you, this is who we are, and we are the change America needs.

        Life and death. This is the key theme that I took away from what seems to be a convoluted movie on the surface, but as is the case with all of Kaufman's scripts, there lies something hidden. That hidden thing will have a different meaning for each viewer, but the driving force behind the director’s pen and camera is the same.
        The central truism I speak of is that we will all die, and Caden knows this; Caden knows this, Sammy knows this, and Kaufman knows this. The fact that he can be so honest about it is very refreshing, allowing one to see past any anxiety we have about mortality, and accept our existence. These existentialist themes of human value and worth are explored in a way that I have not seen before.
        The movie does get confusing, however if you look at it hard enough the plot will make sense; it's the ideas that become confusing, but isn't that what life is all about?

        - Russell