Give A Little; Get A Little

Feminism, let’s take this blog back to territory it belongs in, wash our hands of Transformer posts and personal stories for a while and once again utilise this blog as the launch pad for topical discussion… or at least, hopefully. I want to talk to you about sex and in particular, how society sees sex as something to be given or something to be pursued, depending on how you fit into that power dynamic we’ve settled on. I’ve been inspired by “That’s What He Said”, a YouTube series I fully recommend in which just ordinary men sit and discuss feminist issues in a calm civilised manner, there’s no aggressive “Change this!” rant going on like I’m prone to, it’s more just a group of men exchanging ideas and you are given this seat at the table to overhear their discussion. What inspired me was one participant in the discussion described sex in a way I had always thought of but not consciously, not in any depth – sex is something women give and men get and as a man, I’m gonna get it. Paraphrasing but he essentially pointed out that sex is seen as the end goal, the flag on a conquered fortress that a man has to earn and a woman has to relinquish which puts strange standards in place that I would like to address here.

You probably don’t need me to point out that men are typically somewhat aggressive in the quest for sex, typical male tactics of machismo, cat-calling and even forceful coercion and women either play along, resist or utilise such tactics themselves (though they are seen as whores for doing so). Men play the quest-taker then, they have a goal and must utilise whatever they deem best to do so be it honest communication, money, blackmail, dinner dates, whatever, the end goal is sex and women play the part of the goal and the goalkeeper, by this model they can either choose to let the player win or ensure he loses somehow and this creates a weird disconnect and competition between ourselves that needn’t exist, for the sake of everyone involved.

I’ve highlighted this before but between men, frequent sex with multiple partners is seen as an aspirational thing, like war stories you’d expect to hear in a Viking meadery, whereas between women it’s seen as a lack of self-respect, a willingness to go along with the whims of any old idiot. Why? Well, this standard of men get, women give, ties into how we view ambition and charity and other such things. Someone who gets what they want all the time? Ambitious, commanding, successful. Someone who gives everything away? Foolish, naive, a pushover. As a result, the more men get, the more we think of them as conquerors and the more women give, the more we think of them as conquered, even though the women have to give for the men to get (Obviously not the case of homosexual men, I realise this blog post applies to a cishet gender binary and apologise for that, I am boiling down this issue to the most basic principles. If you have anything to say with regards to sexualities and genders outside of cisgender/heterosexual, leave your comments below, I’d love to read them). By doing this, we put pressure on men and women alike, for men to get as much as they can whilst women must give as little as possible, essentially making sex much less fun for everyone and turning our biological urges into a battleground.

Men, you’re told to get, if you don’t get laid soon enough or often enough, you’re a loser right? Single men are seen as creepy or pathetic a lot of the time, your mates talk about past girlfriends as if they were boss battles in a video game and your role models are always seen as attractive and strong. I mean, there’s no male role model in the modern world that doesn’t have some strongly infatuated fangirl community and it’s not like you’re after that, even just two or three girls secretly thinking of you would be great wouldn’t it? The pressure to “be a man”, to get action, means that men develop a variety of tactics, as indeed they would if they were actually fighting. Some use charm, some use money, some are honestly just attractive and well-endowed but what about the men that aren’t any of those things? Here are where you find the cat-callers and “good guys” waiting for their female best friend to offer him a blowjob just for being a nice person – they don’t see themselves as attractive, or society doesn’t, and they lack charm or impressive talent so they resort to underhandedness and aggression, they blame their failures on women. After all, you get stuck on the same level in a game long enough, you start blaming the game for being too hard or unfair or not making the answer more obvious. The same logic applies here and men are only ever seen as playing the game, very rarely is it that men can be the game. A man is told to get, not give. Why? A man has every right to be called desirable and chased after, it’s not pathetic, it’s wanting validation and wanting someone else to put some effort into you, men deserve that. Men should have the option to give, to be engaged by a stranger or to have someone crush on them without it being weird. Sex isn’t a trophy and if it is, men can give the trophies if they want, that’d be fun for all involved.

Women, by contrast, are put under pressure to not have sex, to ‘save’ themselves for someone and even in this day and age, I hear women talking about saving their virginity for their husband or true love, as if it already belongs to a man they might not even know yet. If a woman expresses a love of sex or long track record, we judge her, we think her irresponsible and stupid, we think of her as ‘easy’, again tying into this whole competitive game. Easy? The level everyone cleared, the tutorial for getting a REAL woman. Heaven forbid she’s a liberated woman who decides who she sleeps with and how often, that’s madness, no she must just be some floozy moron that can’t stop herself. Women have to give in too, that’s how that works – a certain number of dates, a certain number of drinks or a man with enough masculine presence and she’s supposed to give herself to him. We see fictive works of men like Christian Grey, men who are bold and ruthless and unafraid to take advantage of a woman and that’s supposed to be an erotic image for women? Maybe for some but to me, alarm bells ring that this man is essentially a very handsome psychotic stalker and rapist abusing a very naive woman. Women shouldn’t give in, it’s not about giving in, it’s about seeing another person you honestly want to have sex with and both parties agreeing to it, or all parties, go crazy.

I realise our biological differences mean men are naturally inclined to seek more sex more frequently, nature tells a man to spread his seed far and wide to ensure his genes carry on whereas women are the fields to be ploughed in this model but we are more than the sum of our urges and even so, this competition doesn’t ensure anyone gets the best deal. Picture a society in which sex is just another run-of-the-mill thing, it’s casual, it’s given and received on terms we all agree on as individuals and there’s no pressure on anyone about anything. Still a virgin at 32? Nobody bats an eyelid. Fucked a different man each day of the week? Cool, you’ve made seven different men very happy and you had fun too, awesome. Men have nothing to prove so there’s less coercion and pestering and women have no false reputations to lose so if they fancy an idle fuck, woot, go ahead. I realise to some of you this sounds like a godless debauchery but our warped views on sex are much more harmful to society than this alternative vision could ever be.

I will end on this note, if anyone ever gives you grief about your sex life, well I guess just Sodom! (EYYYYYYYYYYYY GET IT? GET IT?!)

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Seeing Red This Christmas

The content here has delved into some deep matters so here is something so stupid to blog about it that you’ll either laugh at the fact it is deemed blog worthy or cringe and moan at the depths humanity has sunk to in its ignorant rage. There is genuine talk in the news and on social media of Christians urging people to boycott Starbucks for their new Christmas cups. Why you ask? Do the cups have Pagan images on or Satanic verses? Nope, the cups are plain, the cups are just plain red paper cups. Starbucks have done away with images of snowmen and wintry trees and opted for a minimalist design so as to appeal to as many people as possible by not bombarding their customers with Christmas themed imagery and thus excluding those who do not celebrate the occasion. Seems reasonable right? Well, apparently not.

Internet Evangelist Joshua Feuerstein is perhaps the most well-known opponent of this decision, accusing Starbucks of hating Christians and Jesus, urging people to keep the Christ in Christmas and encouraging people to tell their barista their name is Merry Christmas so the barista is forced to write that on the cup. Oh, very clever, well-played – the cups have never had those words upon them, even when they had snowflakes on. A lot of people are calling this a “war on Christmas”, I’d call it the exaggeration of the year but today the Sun published a two page spread on why Jeremy Corbyn is a dick for not bowing down and weeping for the fallen at a remembrance parade (Even though he attended two separate parades in two different areas and passed up on a VIP party to meet some of the veterans face-to-face). Starbucks has never claimed to be a Christian company and if you want to keep the spirit of Christmas alive, pushy Evangelists and whatever, there are more Christian things to be doing than protesting about cups. This same Feuerstein fellow protested the anti-second amendment rule (In the USA, Starbucks do not permit open-carrying of firearms in their stores) by waltzing in with a weapon on show and calling it his patriotic freedom. To recap then, we have ourselves a zealous gun nut defending his faith and freedom by waving a gun at a hapless barista and ‘pranking’ the unassuming customer service worker into writing Christmassy messages on a cup because the cup doesn’t have a picture of a snowflake on it… do you realise how stupid that sounds? This is what God allowed Jesus to die for is it? Paper cups with pictures on?Sure, I remember that passage – the Lord gave His only son that we might have decorative receptacles for our warm beverages.

If you ask me, the red cup is the perfect happy medium, it’s Santa’s sleigh red so it’s Christmassy enough but without being over the top and pushing the images of angels and baubles down our throats. Starbucks has never been all about the Christian market, they’re neutral on political and religious stances so as not to offend people – they only join in on Christmas because everyone does, it’s Christmas, it’s fun and you make a shit ton of money when you put out those festive deals. Christmas has its fair share of issues, a Christian hijacking of a time dangerously close to the Winter Solstice celebrated by Pagans, the imagery of Santa’s sleigh is taken from the Vikings and as a Christian celebration goes, this time of year is becoming more and more about throwing bigger parties and spending more money to get more ridiculously expensive gifts than it is about actual goodwill and charity. Therein is my biggest problem with this war on Christmas idea about the cups, the cups are not what is ruining Christmas, we are.

Put simply, if you’re outraged by these paper cups but not by some people spending Christmas face down in a gutter or soldiers fighting in a foreign land rather than gift wrapping a PS4 for their kids, I have serious beef with you. If you need a coffee shop chain to represent Christmas spirit FOR you, take a good long look at yourself and your relationship with God – rather than getting some barista to scrawl Merry Christmas on a cup, why not do something to keep the Christ in Christmas that has meaning? Soup kitchens always need volunteers, maybe give that red cup of hot choc to someone freezing in the cold and rain, maybe you could get less caught up in some trivial bullshit about a coffee shop packaging design and do something selfless that Jesus himself would smile if he witnessed. Life is much too precious to waste it on boycotting a shop for not selling the right design for you, is the biggest and brightest thing you can think to do this year for Christmas to be the guy who encouraged people not to buy coffee from some place? That’s your impact is it? That is what God wants people to remember in their hearts this time of year? I may not be of faith but if there is a God, he expects us to be good people at Christmas and all throughout the year, whatever our cups look like.

The spirit of the season is one of inclusiveness and togetherness, of spreading joy and happiness to all, friend and stranger alike and Starbucks has done so by offering a neutral stance at a time when some of us get a little too crazy for angels and babies in mangers. God sent his son to preach to us the importance of love and community, not snowmen and trees covered in tinsel. Maybe it’s easier for you to get upset over a cup than it is for you to show genuine concern about how many of us will spend Christmas in poverty or in a hospital bed or possibly won’t even see Christmas at all but that tells us only volumes about you. The Christ in Christmas is in loving one another, not in loving Christmas.

Real Resolutions

Trigger Warnings – Some strong language

Hello everyone, how are we all getting on with the resolutions? Anyone cracked and called it quits yet? I’ve not managed to jog today but I have been walking a lot back and forth between places, that surely counts for something right? Even if only to burn off the amount of food I ate. Anyway, if you have made a resolution and you’re struggling, do stick with it, half of the battle with most of these things is sheer willpower, perceive and achieve! If you’re really struggling and you’re not getting anywhere, it is still pretty early into the year, don’t worry too much, you won’t notice a difference for a few more weeks yet but maybe you’ve given yourself an unrealistic goal? Was your goal to quit something cold turkey perhaps? Or really get into something you’re not actually into, like jogging… erhem… Anyway, just in case you’re stuck for some goals or you want some better ones to strive towards, here are my suggestions based around things that I’ve heard, seen and are, you know, just good goals to have. Bear in mind, these are just ideas, run with them, shrug them off, whatever, just don’t be shitty alright?

1. Say ‘Yes’ to more

A lot of people often tell me I’m too selfless, that I give away my time to anyone as if I were immortal but if karma’s a real thing, maybe I’ll get a lot out of my selfless time donations. I’d encourage my readers to just go along with the ride a little more often – take up on an invite, volunteer somewhere, do a friend a favour even if it’s a pain – obviously use your common sense,  don’t say yes to a poison taster session or joining your particularly stupid friends in lying naked on train tracks but y’know, the little things in life, it doesn’t cost you much to just go along with it. I find it can also come with unexpected benefits, usually free food and drink as a thank you but I’ve sometimes earned money or made friends this way.

2. Do something to make you feel more positive about yourself

I’m all for loving the skin you’re in but people who tell you to never diet or never gain weight or never dye your hair misunderstand the point, you can make a change to be comfortable, just be sure it’s a healthy one. Take me for example, I’m not by the common definition ‘fat’, but I’m doing my best to just lose a few pounds from my belly and my cheeks, why not do the same? If you need a new haircut, a tougher diet, a few more piercings in order to look in the mirror and admire the reflection, go for it. Make 2015 the year you woke up to smile back at that face staring at you in the bathroom mirror, not the usual “Ugh” noise that I tend to make.

3. Learn where you stand

You know I find people mistake arguing less for being mature, for rising above, but there’s a difference between arguing and bickering. Rise above petty arguments over where you sit or who gets the last custard cream, sure, but when it comes to your stance on politics, on gay marriage, on the representation of minorities in media, you’re not rising above when you say “I don’t bother with these things”, you’re just invalidating yourself. If you don’t know what your opinion is on contemporary feminism, read up on both sides of the argument and ask yourself if woman are still perceived as at fault for sexually motivated crimes, if woman should be the ones responsible for remembering protection, if women should or shouldn’t have to shave their armpits – it’s immature to squabble and shout but to have something you believe in and to defend that is not childish or obnoxious, it shows commitment and integrity which are very adult traits to have!

4. Record your thoughts

Seriously folks, you have no idea how helpful a blog or a diary can be. Do you ever have those feelings that you just want to let go of in a big burst of verbal rainbows and then afterwards you feel much better? My blog and diary serve that purpose, I funnily enough don’t have a 24/7 therapist to call up at any given moment to tell them that I think the universe is amazing or that our species is doomed but with a diary, you can sorta do just that. Blogging is great too, you can say so much more to people in just one go rather than awkwardly burbling your feelings at them through stuttered “What I mean is…” moments. You can also use it to see how far you’ve come in your year or how you’ve changed and it allows you a lot of room to think and ponder about yourself, which is something we should all indulge in now and then

5. Challenge those thoughts

Part of self-discovery is contradicting yourself, if you’ve never contradicted yourself, you’ve never grown. Ever had that moment where you say something and then someone cuts you down by saying “But wait a minute, didn’t you once say…?”. Now, that’s a humiliating moment, sure, but once you get past that think carefully about the point they raised and the point you were trying to make – why don’t they fit together? Which do you truly believe? I used to think things like “Women are free to vote and work whatever they job they want sure, but y’know, they’re still delicate creatures, they probably don’t work in trades like mechanics because that’s not something women generally do”. Now, forgive me, younger me, not quite worldly-wise yet but I had to challenge my thoughts – what made me think a girl doesn’t want to be a mechanic? Why did I assume such a reason as her being too delicate to fix a car? I now realise gender and career aren’t linked and y’know, I’ve met many women who know more about cars than I do in the same way I’ve met men who know more about interior decorating and hair care than some women, the gender binary is a crock of nonsense in the grand scheme of things, choose to adhere to it if you will, I’m very typical male, I don’t ever wear mascara or don a dress but that’s my conscious choice, I’m sure that as I am now, if I wanted to wear a mini skirt and tights, I’d fucking do it so always challenge yourself to grow and change

6. Lastly, try to see things from a perspective you can’t easily empathise with

I’m not here to toot my own trumpet, I assure you, but I pride myself on fighting alongside groups I really have no reason to need to defend other than human decency. Gay rights, women’s rights, minorities in media – none of those have any effect on me so why should I care right? Well, every ally helps, I hate to be the kind of ally shouting from the rooftops “Admire me because I give a shit about people that aren’t exactly like me” but we always need to look to other people as potential allies but as allies, we need to look to ourselves to see who we can really help. I mean, it’s nice that you defend your gay friend from some extreme religious nutcase but you and your friend might be otherwise well-off white folk, what about people who are killed or forced into corrective therapy? You might have a black friend, that’s great, but what about friends from other minorities that are still oppressed and stereotyped? Reach out, educate yourself on the plights of people from so far away, you might not know how to point to where they live on a map, understand their world and fight for fairness for all mankind, not just your group of buddies.

I guess I’m ultimately just trying to say to people that this year, think more, that’s a great resolution, think more about others and think more about yourself, work as a community to make the world a better place. Start small, spare some change, look after a pet, let someone ahead of you in a line but try to think what you can give to the world, not what you can take. A good person strives for a good world to live in because the world really needs a lot more empathy in it if we’re ever going to stop shooting at each other and start talking. That’s just a thought anyway, do what you will, you could always make your resolution something completely different but make it something you can imagine achieving realistically

Thanks for reading, hope I gave you some good food for thought there. If you’re hungry for more, look around or click the link below to find me on Facebook where you’ll get information on the latest blog posts and such. If you’re a generous kinda person and want to share a platter of posts, hit the share button, show your friends that resolutions aren’t all about less nail-biting or more fruit-eating, it can be much more rewarding if you want it to be!

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Christmas Day Special – My Christmas of 2014

Trigger Warnings – None.

Merry Christmas folks! Sorry if this is up late but come on, credit where credit is due, even posting anything on this day deserves a pat on the back really doesn’t it? I hope you are all having a jolly good time of this festive occasion, my Christmas hasn’t exactly been what one would typically call Christmas Day but I’m not here to complain, not today, not on Christmas Day, I’ll save you that much. Anyway, Christmas and the New Year come so close together that it is at this time of year, particularly in the evening, we come to reflect on how far we have come since this same time last year and whilst I plan to do a personal post on all that another day, my mind still dwells there and I’ve been rather thoughtful tonight so allow me to share my musings.

So, Christmas was sort of cancelled this year, for us – our family has endured some hard ordeals that have been taxing on my father and my stepmother and a recent family incident destroyed the festive spirit of my Dad, the youngest of our family stole a great sum of money from other members and for a holiday all about family and togetherness, this came as a harsh blow. I’m all for second chances but if you knew the history, this kid isn’t on his second, he’s on his tenth, we’re tired. Anyway, moving on to less depressing subjects, we managed to enjoy some festivity here – there were gifts being passed around, we had a very large dinner and we’ve enjoyed some films and games, as well as you know, plenty of chocolate. Yes, Christmas is a cosy time of year for most of us, we cannot all enjoy it, there are those who still starve and scream even today and for that, we have to be thankful for what we have, as I am sure you are all aware.

I am thankful for a lot this year, even in spite of finding myself unemployed and some less than ideal health issues, mood issues and family issues but beyond that, I have a lot to be grateful for even so. You see, as Christmas looked set to be miserable, I was flooded with love and support from friends and even invitations to join them for Christmas next year if it looks set to be much the same. I dare not think that far ahead but the invitations are very much welcomed and maybe I will take up on one of those invitations, maybe not, time will tell and it is much too soon to make shots in the dark at what the next Christmas has in store for me. I like to think I have been very festive this year, I had a fair sum of money to my name at the time and did what I wanted to do the most with it – I wanted to spoil those close to me, to buy them thought out gifts to tell each of them that I care because each of those people that got something, they got me through the year, they gave me strength and I knew I would not get the opportunity to indulge them too often so I figured why not? I find the most joy in the joy of others, sounds cheesy and stupid but I do. You know what sound I love more than anything? A gasp, a gasp of surprise when you have got someone something they did not expect, when they put their hand to their mouth and smile. I find it deeply satisfying and maybe there is an element of selfishness in pursuing that reaction but it’s a redeemable selfishness surely? I’ll leave it to you to make that call.

I’ve not been a true saint of the holiday, I’ve done so few charitable deeds unless it was for someone within my family or circle of friends, I didn’t help out at a soup kitchen, I didn’t deliver toys to children in hospitals, I didn’t give my coat to a homeless man and such things are indeed praiseworthy, I wish I had the resources to do such things constantly and rest assured, come the new year, I will get back into charity work, it is rewarding and can be quite fun in the right environment. The new year holds a lot in store for me, mostly the reality that I must get my life on track and move forward from this endless wandering in circles. Still, as I said, it being Christmas, let me take this opportunity to thank you all for a great year – my blog is back and better than before, I have such good close friends and I have done so much with this year that it amazes me that this has been one year, it has been a long one for me but what I’ve gained from it, I am happy to have found.

Merry Christmas readers and a Happy New Year to all. Give me a little present of a like and a share and be sure to like my page on Facebook. Thank you for reading and let’s see what the new year brings for us all!

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Chains Of Avarice

Trigger Warnings – None

Christmas is coming, unless you’re Australian, it already came, or you don’t celebrate Christmas in which case I apologise, this article probably won’t interest you. As I was, Christmas is coming, it’s almost here for us here in the UK and so in honour of that occasion, I plan to do two little Christmassy posts, today and tomorrow. Yes, I am that dedicated to you my readers that I will be giving you all the gift of two festive posts, I hope it beats another ugly tie or pair of socks. Granted, your feet will be no warmer but perhaps your mind will be a little more open.

Right off the bat, I’m going to assume we all know the story of the Christmas Carol, if not then you either REALLY don’t celebrate Christmas to the point of not acknowledging it even exists or when someone mentions fiction, you look confused like “People write stuff that’s not true? I thought that was just The Sun?”. Zinger, I know. Anyway, as a brief recap the Christmas Carol is the story of a greedy businessman called Scrooge being visited by the ghost of his dead friend Jacob telling him to change his ways or spend eternity bound in the chains of his greed and so Scrooge is visited by spirits that show him visions of his past, present and future which upset, disturb and enlighten the old miser so that come Christmas morning, he becomes a jolly philanthropist like none other. I’ve sometimes questioned if Scrooge actually changed or if he was just scared straight, certainly in the actual novel he has a hellish time of it meeting his unwanted daughters, seeing his own gravestone and realising that everyone who has ever been important to his life resents him, but he keeps the spirit of the season well and being scared into good will by visions of chains is much akin to having the moral imperative of virtuous behaviour for fear of fire and torture in eternity.

Erhem, pretentious musings aside, I love the Christmas Carol story, it’s one thing I have always wanted to act in but never have (Incidentally, as either Scrooge himself or Bob Cratchit), my acting career has never really existed beyond some dynamic reading and a bit part in a school play. My favourite interpretation of the story you ask? Well, I love the one filmed in Shrewsbury but I most commonly watch the Muppet version, I like how it brings forward the core message of the story in a way children and parents can watch, it’s devoted to the story but not too seriously and it’s much more visually pleasing with colourful puppets and impressive acting than say, plain old animated versions for kids – we all know kids engage more with anthropomorphic characters than emulated realism. I bring up the Christmas Carol because I feel there’s an important part of the message people forget and that is just why Scrooge needed to change his ways. You’ll probably shrug and say “Come on Jake, he was greedy, all he cared about was money and he was a bitter old man ignoring those in need, that’s a bad guy, the story is his redemption”. Key point there, he was greedy, the story is about how his GREED is a curse, not his money. Greed has a much broader definition than a lust for gold and silver.

I often get called Scrooge for not being festive out the wazoo as I don no antlers, wear no silly jumpers and don’t constantly burst with excitement, nor do I sing along to any carol or song but I think a modern Scrooge would actually take part in those things, Scrooge is not a caricature as simple as “Don’t like wreaths of holly? You grinch!”, give Dickens more credit than that, Scrooge is a man made bitter by years of isolation and he lusts for money because money doesn’t betray people, money makes sense, money can be understood in ways you can’t apply to people. So why would a modern Scrooge enjoy Christmas? The focus of greed has changed in the past few years, money is something we all yearn for, even those who have it, so judge someone by their drive for financial success is plain hypocrisy but what is truer now than it was in Dickens’ time is a greed for consumerism, a desire for receiving gifts and getting what we want, ensuring our Christmas is the best it can be, a modern Scrooge is the guy who has a clear cut Christmas list you can’t deviate from or he’ll begrudge, a man who doesn’t always return kind gestures at this time of year, a man who complains when he receives the accursed wrong gift. I’m looking at you entitled children of the world, your parents got you the wrong make of iPhone? You’re the Scrooge now, your selfish greed will be your undoing.

At this time of year, some of us go overboard, in particular parents wanting to spoil their children rotten with brilliant presents, which can present a problem. I saw a Facebook post recently that made me think, parents shouldn’t label games consoles and bikes as being gifts from Santa because then less fortunate children might question as to why Santa got them some new jumpers and a couple of action figures whilst his best friend Timmy got an XBOX One and an iPad. Maybe this is the poor boy in me speaking but I resent such spoilt children and people who do so, it is excessive and only fuels this greed in the child, who will expect more and more as the years go on. I got games consoles at Christmas, sure, but it wasn’t mine, it was a shared gift and even then Dad would tell us “If you want something so big for Christmas, Santa will have to bring you less gifts to make room!”, which we agreed to, even by needy child logic that seemed fair. Do not make your children slaves to greed and if you must buy them big gifts, tell them it was you that bought it, not Santa, make it fair and help your child realise that the gift is not just a reward for good behaviour, but a sacrifice and an investment made by those that love them and should be revered as such. If you say Santa gets them everything, their love is for Santa that day, not the parent and they feel they deserve everything they get in life, which is a terrible lesson to teach because it’s not true – good work can go unrewarded.

Greed and impatience are cornerstones of our society really, aren’t they? That cannot be avoided but if it could, this is the time of year for it. We all neglect certain people in our lives, mostly those that are strangers to us, but let us not forget that it was greed that doomed Scrooge, not money, Scrooge didn’t find salvation in throwing every shilling he had into a lake, he found it in selflessness – buying a feast for his loyal clerk, rekindling the love lost in his relationship with his nephew, donating to charity – money in itself can be used as a force for good if the person that holds it knows to keep the spirit of selflessness in their heart

As always readers, thanks for your time and a Merry Christmas to you all! Please, spread the word, let us remember what this time of year is all about! Remember to like, comment and follow me on Facebook at my official page, call it a gift to me from you!

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All Together And All Alone

Trigger Warnings – Death.

At the very core of our fleeting existence upon this world, we are lonely creatures. We may well be born into a family, make friends and fall in love as is the way life often proceeds but in the face of death, one meets their maker alone, you can’t hold hands with your parents and ask them for moral support whilst you die, it simply is the way things are. With the threat of the end looming over us, it is in our best interests to lead rich full lives and enjoy laughter and love whilst it lasts and thus relationships are formed when you meet people like yourself that you want to spend that precious time with, be it playing video games, discussing literature or wrestling under the bed sheets laughing.

I am lonely, we all are, we are a race of social animals seeking our place in the grand chaos of the universe. We face this human struggle in different ways, we might be anxious, we might be arrogant and we may even be angry but there is not a human being that has not considered or will not consider their own end. The pursuit of purpose makes us yearn for wealth or the afterlife, the justification of this lonely struggle against the coming darkness, but as a man with no real desire for great wealth or a belief in the afterlife, I embrace the struggle all whilst accepting the fact that light and dark shall forever feud between themselves.

Do not take this as an attack upon religion but for me, I find the reward of a good deed is the deed, not the concept of heaven. Heaven or not, our lives as we know them now are nothing but the blink of an eye, we must cherish that moment and why use your time on this Earth being cruel or unkind, what does it ultimately achieve? We are all in this together on one planet, perhaps in the interest of being civil, we should look to a society of empathy, not envy.

Pick up litter, ask someone about their day even if you don’t really care, hold a door open, all these things are so trivial and insignificant yet they bring me an endless sense of wellbeing. If there is a higher power, they will notice and they will reward you but if not at least you lived a life of positivity and you can rest in peace knowing you did what you could, in your own little way, to make that struggle of life better for someone else. If we all did that, that would be beautiful wouldn’t it? An endless cycle of little joys selflessly given away from one human being to another so that we can feel a little bit better about the reality of our situation as temporary beings. I’ve made these points before in many ways in many articles and there is more to be said but perhaps with time I will come to see someone take this to heart

Call this tripe or rubbish, maybe even beatnik lunacy, but for me, it gets me by, what makes life better for me is making life better for someone else just because I can and I care. I won’t pretend to know the hearts of everyone around me but I cannot be the only one carrying doubts, fears and unspoken wishes with me, if my kindness can lighten that burden for someone, why not? Perhaps someone will do the same for me, perhaps not, I will find the road to happiness either way.

Thank you.

The Gift of Receiving

Trigger Warnings – None

In a week’s time, it will be my birthday, in fact today is my sister Nicola’s birthday and a shout out to her, hope you had a great day of it. I’m not drawing attention to my birthday in the vain hope of receiving messages of love and adoration from my readers to commemorate the fact I am now twenty years of age (Yes, Old Man Wolfe is misleading on that front) but on how the event always comes out of nowhere for me and I find myself being the least prepared man for it of all, which is funny considering, I thought it was beyond age thirty you were supposed to stop caring about your birthdays, or rather wanting less of them, not twenty

I visited a friend of mine today and she read out this list of things I’d mentioned I wanted as gifts and she asked me about everything on the list so as to maintain the element of surprise, I knew my gift would be from the list but it could be any of them and I found myself amazed at her for considering me so intently. Granted, she’s my best friend of the past eight years but even so, I have to commend her, I’ve seen family members give less effort, even I have given less (I generally listen to what people say they wish they had and buy it for them when possible). I felt awkward though, I barely draw attention to myself on celebrations but I have such good friends and family that won’t accept me doing anything short of streamers and cheering. Come to think of it another friend of mine has already been spoiling me with gifts before my birthday has even come and these gifts do not look cheap, some hand-made, it is rather touching and I’m of course very thankful for what I receive from such considerate folk

I don’t know why I always feel awkward about receiving gifts or asking for things though, something inside me feels really shitty whenever I ask for something I want for myself, be it a game, a favour, a bite to eat, I’m a pain in the ass for it. I think it might have to do with how when I was younger my Dad never had much money so whenever I asked for something, he usually couldn’t afford it and had to disappoint me, except on the odd occasion when it was something I needed or it was a gift for a special day, but otherwise we lived a life of making-do, not indulgence, and recently my Dad said that we’re a bit better off now than we were so that’s less of a concern than it once was but still, I absolutely hate to impose. Have me for a guest sometime, you’ll see, I’m very meek and quiet and just stand there not asking for anything and not even moving, unless it is to follow whoever invited me in. I don’t know why, I can’t break the habit, even with my oldest friend I still stand in her kitchen like some poorly chosen ornament

Apologies to her by the way, I didn’t mean to be awkward, I’m very much a fish out of water when not in my own space. Incidentally, you are a gracious host and don’t think I don’t enjoy coming over, I think I was just overly conscious of being polite as a kid and it’s stuck ever since, still breaking out of that strange self-enforced code. To my friends and family who are making a real effort for me on my birthday, a huge thank you, you all seem to love me more than I love me and that can’t be easy.

On the same token, I find myself gifting people a lot more, particularly the aforementioned friend that has sorta been central to this article, no doubt she will not let me live this down that tonight’s post is pretty much all about her. For the record, it’s not dear, if it were it would take an entirely different tone, I assure you, it would be a long winded investigation into how we’ve survived eight years of driving each other insane for shits and giggles… Erhem, I mean uhh… it would be about how amazing you are and how much I love you of course, please don’t murder me. In all seriousness though, I think I just enjoy giving and feel some strange aversion to receiving (No innuendo intended). I’ll break out of it and actually I’m rather excited for the planned birthday celebrations to come, some people who can’t make it to certain dates are determined to do something, if only small, and insist on seeing me another time for a drink. I never thought I inspired such strong bonds but it would seem so and that truly makes me a rich man… like, in character, my friends don’t have much more money than me or I really wouldn’t have an aversion to receiving from them. There you go, go get rich you lot then we’ll celebrate my birthday by all of you pitching in to fly me off to New Zealand in a private jet, that suits me fine.

Erhem, dickbaggery aside, I’m truly grateful for what I have and I’m looking forward to my birthday now, I hadn’t been, I’d been dreading it being a lack lustre celebration of people finding excuses not to show up or acknowledge me but in fact it’s the opposite, friends new and old are all showing a keen interest in making me feel wanted and valued and I’m lucky to have such good people in my life. I will repay such kindness in return when the time comes, some of you are really in for good things this Christmas

Ah fuck, I mentioned Christmas in November before my birthday, I’ve defiled myself. Bleh. Anyway, that’s that, another little personal post as I had a brainfart with regards to proper topics so instead just went with what was on my mind