Said George Bernard Shaw.

alc

 

“Liquor is the chloroform which enables the poor man to endure the painful operation of living.”

– George Bernard Shaw

The hedgehog dilemma.

hedgehog_smlThe Hedgehog Dilemma is an analogy by Arthur Schopenhauer (later also used by Freud) that attempts to describe the difficulties of human intimacy:

“A number of porcupines huddled together for warmth on a cold day in winter; but, as they began to prick one another with their quills, they were obliged to disperse. However the cold drove them together again, when just the same thing happened. At last, after many turns of huddling and dispersing, they discovered that they would be best off by remaining at a little distance from one another. In the same way the need of society drives the human porcupines together, only to be mutually repelled by the many prickly and disagreeable qualities of their nature. The moderate distance which they at last discover to be the only tolerable condition of intercourse, is the code of politeness and fine manners; and those who transgress it are roughly told—in the English phrase—to keep their distance. By this arrangement the mutual need of warmth is only very moderately satisfied; but then people do not get pricked. A man who has some heat in himself prefers to remain outside, where he will neither prick other people nor get pricked himself.” 

But then again Schopenhauer was known to be a miserable and sour bastard. The philosopher Russell later said about him: “It is hard to find in his life evidences of any virtue except kindness to animals…”. Which is a pretty cool virtue in my mind, but anyway… I believe great minds are often miserable, and in great part due to this exact dilemma. My solution for a thinker who finds himself affected by said dilemma is to preserve and fuel the “heat in himself” and I suspect the distance won’t feel as harsh.

Paranoia.

paranoia.small

Quote by Hunter S. Thompson.

I tend to trust what Mister Thompson says. So today I’m on the look out for moth minions, signs of the zombie apocalypse, and Hennie Smit.

I’ll be posting some darker doodles all week leading up to Halloween, are you excited about Friday yet?!

Every child needs a monster.

monster.small

 

Halloween is such a cool holiday and it’s right around the corner! You get to dress up, get drunk, watch cheap movies, eat candy, and you’re allowed to tell flat out lies and call them “scary stories”. Sadly, Halloween is terribly neglected in South Africa, and children are warned about  the dangers of hell, devil worship, and diabetes instead. But sometimes celebrating the silliness of witches, ghouls and ghosts can neutralise instead of encourage fear. Today’s doodle is a quote from a short story by Nataniël, which illustrates the difference between having a fear or a friend for life.

“When a child learns how the world works, he becomes scared, said Grandfather. He needs his own monster to fight the others. They have been giving children monsters in every fairytale since the beginning, dragons, eagles, geese and bats, creatures that can protect them and help them escape.

From what? Said Grandmother.

You know what happens, said Grandfather. You know what they do to children. Teachers, strangers, people they know, parents, uncles. Better you have a monster when you need one, than a demon at my age. You know what happens.

It took me many years to find out what happens. But since that day I have loved my grandfather, he might have been a little alcoholic, but he gave me the monster that has been my protection to this day.”

Nataniël, When I Was 8, When I Was, 2008

Sharing.

nataniel1

 

No one hides their insecurities as well as they think they do. And normally people see right through the strange and crazy things people do to “seem normal”. But the truth is everyone feels what they’re feeling differently. Schopenhauer said: “…the difference in individualities is incalculably great.” Even if you can see right through someone’s act, no one knows what trauma caused that person to wear leopard print leggings, or why she cries in cat food ads. Kindness (or mercy!) is severely under valued in our society. With the rise of trolls, critics, blogs, discussion forums, and memes, we all think we have the right to judge what someone else has put out there. To ridicule or scoff at another user’s honesty is a trendy past time. But just because we don’t get it, doesn’t make it less meaningful to who ever’s experiencing it.

There is a kind side to social media. I have been berated for wearing my heart on my sleeve online many times. But to be honest, I’ve received sincere feedback when I’ve felt really alone, and a tweet was more like a desperate plea sent out in to the universe. Stephen Fry thanked his Twitter followers for their support after his suicide attempt in 2012 and on Facebook a friend saved the life of a suicidal teenager from the other side of the Atlantic! Status updates are supposed to be personal, Facebook itself asks me how I’m feeling?! It doesn’t ask: “What competition are you entering today?” Why aren’t we allowed to say I feel like shit? My advice is to keep your FRIENDS on Facebook, the people who really care. The rest just find your ups and downs amusing.

You can not possibly know what battle is raging on their side of the screen. Why not reach out instead? I have experienced the healing power of a few kind words first hand and it’s a bit like magic for a sad soul. Post pictures of your kid eating peas, lament over the asshole that broke your heart, TYPE IN ALL CAPS, or connect with other people who cry when The Cure plays. Isn’t connecting what social media is all about? How can you connect if you’re not “sharing”?