Sewer Side !

dreamstimefree_101996This isn’t funny, but was conveyed to me as a written “joke” – “By the sewer he lived, by the sewer he died, they said it was flu, but I know it was sewer-side”.   I reiterate… not very funny.

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Even less funny, given the report on a current affairs show in Australia recently about the phenomenally high rate of suicide in Australia.  This is a quote from the show – “in Australia, it is the “LEADING cause of death for both men and women under 30”.  What?  That’s mad.  The LEADING cause of death… under 30 ?   Surely not !!!

The Australian Bureau of Statistics site shows “Intentional Self Harm” (Does that mean suicide?) as the 10th leading cause (across all ages) of death for men in Australia, in 2010.

Ah, then we get to the following note on that statistic…  “Excludes Sequelae of suicide (Y87.0) as per the WHO recommended tabulation of leading causes. Care needs to be taken in interpreting figures relating to suicide. See Explanatory Notes 98-101”.

Um, what?  Yep, sorry, that’s when my brain goes dry.   Can not the ABS call a spade a spade, and just say what’s what.  Clearly not.  Are they saying that death by “intentional self harm” is not “necessarily” suicide, or what?

I’d say “care needs to be taken” when trying to research anything via bureaucratic websites.   There’s even a league table – a league of nations table, if you will – on Wikipedia.  I have no idea how accurate the information is, and some of it is several years old, but… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate

WTF is going on in Lithuania, South Korea, Guyana, Kazakhstan and Belarus.  Seriously, it’s simply terrible.

Australia is “Ranked” as 46 in this league.  Why?  Why is Australia the 46th highest ranking nation in terms of people suiciding (not even sure if it’s a verb, but then everything is potentially a verb these days, n’est pas.)?

This is the “lucky country” right?  “God’s own chosen land”?  Yes?  Isn’t that what we always say?   I’m being slightly flippant, but beneath this I am deeply disturbed by these stats.

What I want to know is what’s being done about it?  Why is the rate so high?  Why are men killing themselves at 3 times the rate of women.  What the F**k is going on here?

Actually I think I know what’s going on here.  But the problems are so deep, so endemic to our societies, that “fixing” them, according to my way of thinking, is a long way off, and will only come about as a direct and attributable result of a massive paradigm shift in the way we think and live; a complete change in the things that we value and aspire to, and conversely (and perhaps obviously) a complete volte-face in the things many of us don’t value or aspire to.

But, for starters, as suggested in the show, let stop not talking about suicide or calling it something other than it is, or turning away from people who are the “victims’, of suicide, ie: the family and friends left behind to try and understand and deal with the fact that someone they love has been so desperately unhappy that they killed themselves.

I think many of us have got to stop sweeping things we find disturbing under the carpet because they make US uncomfortable, and WE find them difficult to handle, when there are people who GENUINELY find just being alive difficult to handle !!

I want to say to anyone reading this who might be contemplating suicide – DON’T.

I know that that’s facile, and easier said than done, and I understand that many people in that situation are dealing with mental health issues that preclude thinking rationally about their own well-being.

The most important self-preservation question is – Do I need help?  It’s not a difficult question to ask yourself, and even in the grip of despair – you know the answer.  If the answer is yes, then get help.  Get PROFESSIONAL help, and get it now.  Bugger pride.  Bugger not wanting to ask for assistance.  Bugger not telling people how you really feel.    Bugger all this nonsense that makes people hide how they really feel behind a veil of coping.

Guess what?   I’m NOT alright and neither are you.

Definitely, definitely go to a shrink (sorry shrinks, I think you do an absolutely essential and admirable job in society, but I still like using the word Shrink!).

I’ve been to a shrink, and I wasn’t at the bottom of the pit of despair, I was on my way down, but I hadn’t hit rock bottom, and I hope (but I don’t know) I wouldn’t have contemplated taking my own life, even without the help.  But the help was amazing.  It helped me to get perspective on my level of despair.  It helped me to look at things in a different way.  It helped me to discover what my particular neurosis was (apparently most of us have at least one), and to start to deal with it.  And it helped me to realise that I wasn’t alone… that the pain that I was feeling had been felt before, by many other people, and that there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

I discovered things about myself that I had been unintentionally sublimating, and acting out in various scenarios, for all of my adult life.  I now know what they are, and where they come from… that doesn’t mean I’m “fixed”, and nor does it mean that I was particularly, or especially “broken”.  In mental health terms, I’m relatively mentally “well”, but I still had a time in my life where I really felt like I was “falling” and I NEEDED some help… not from a “pull yourself together type”, but from someone with the knowledge, expertise, compassion, empathy, and workable practical solutions that only a shrink could offer.

IF YOU NEED HELP, GO AND GET IT.    NOW.    REACH FOR THE LIGHT.

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rooshkie. x.

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Painted Veil

scanned gauze abstract(Right – decided after the last one  – oh deary dear… but these things need to be said… usualy by me !!! … no rant this week… a nice one… I think… encouraging !!!)

I’m a great fan of W. Somerset Maugham’s ‘The Painted Veil’.  A monumental and profound novel.

The movie adaptation is exquisite, although it does slightly smooth over some of the least pleasant aspects of the story, and some of the betrayal and confusion is downplayed (I KNOW really… the betrayal in the novel was even worse than it is shown in the movie).

That said, it is a stunningly worthy movie.    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0446755/ Our own (if you’re reading in Oz) Naomi Watts, plus Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber, and the brilliant Toby Jones, are all sublime, in this tale of love, betrayal, cholera, lust, acceptance, boredom, convention, forgiveness, death, inequity…  well, let’s just say that it’s many-faceted.

Directed by John Curran, and elegantly so; filmed in China amidst some of the most breath-jarring scenery.

In the DVD’s Extras, there’s a “making of”, which being slightly obsessive, I watched (I wonder if other people ever watch this stuff !!??).

John Curran is interviewed, and talks about Maugham’s novel, and that the title is taken from a Shelly poem of the same name, which is enchanting if a little forlorn, and it goes like this…  I’ve rearranged the lines – Sorry Perce – but the understanding of this poem is hindered by it’s organisation – just tryin’ to be helpful… as usual.

THE PAINTED VEIL

Lift not the painted veil which those who live call Life:

Though unreal shapes be pictured there,

And it but mimic all we would believe, with colours idly spread.

Behind lurk Fear and Hope, twin Destinies;

Who ever weave their shadows, o’er the chasm, sightless and drear.

I knew one who had lifted it –

He sought, for his lost heart was tender, things to love,

But found them not.  Alas !  

Nor was there aught the world contains, the which he could approve.

Through the unheeding many he did move,

A splendour among shadows,

A bright blot upon this gloomy scene,

A Spirit that strove for truth,

And like the Preacher found it not.

Percy Bysshe Shelly

Curran goes on to say that, behind this painted veil, is where the pain lies, but it is also where the richness is…

I loved that… loved it.

I am MORE THAN happy to take the pain, if it’s reward is richness.

And in my experience – it absolutely is. 

And, I’ll add my thought…. IT IS ALSO where the divinity in us lies  !!!

So, if you’re looking for things to love – you absolutely must lift the veil… WILL IT HURT, Oh fuck yeah, and will you find richness and rewards and things to love… OH YES, YES MY FRIEND, YOU WILL… IN SPADES.

Next week my lovelies… well, I’m gunna leave it wide open…

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rooshkie. x.

Do-mess ? Tick !

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Old Boiler !

Every so often I’m going a get a little ranty… a bit preachy… get on my soapbox, and sound off about something that pisses me off.  So, if you’re not in the mood for that right now, and you want fluffy and funny, then best not read this one.   This could reasonably called a “first world problem” given that there are women in India who meet with Kerosene stove related “accidents” if they don’t toe the domestic line !!!

Many thanks to www.dreamstime.com for the image.

I ran this past a male friend of mine, and he said I sounded man-hatey-feminist – so to clarify… this is my experience of domestic… um… bliss… I also hear a lot of other women say the same thing.  Further, if I were not a heterosexual female, and say I lived with another woman, then it would be equally problematic if she showed this kind of domestic sense of entitlement and lack of respect for the person with whom she lived… namely me.  Phew… that was kinda exhausting – imagining myself as a lezza – ain’t gonna happen !!!  (Not that there’s anything wrong with it, just not my bag baby).

Why is it still, in 2013, there are men living in the ‘westernised’ world, who believe it is their entitlement to be ‘serviced’ by a woman, and I don’t mean in a sexy sexy way.  I think some men are screwing up their relations with women because of this most basic error.

My last ex was pretty domestically useless, but his own father was the worst I’ve met, so I guess it was hardly surprising.  His mum had never ‘earned’.  Ok, I’m good with the fact that if you don’t contribute directly (there’s an exclamation mark there)…  to the family income and someone else “butters your bread”  (appropriate inverted metaphor – 10 points)  then you should take on the majority of the household stuff.  No issue with that.  It’s called division of Labour.  But.  This scenario of domestic inequality of workload frequently exists even when that isn’t the case.

At this point in his life my ex’s Dad was retried… home all day, with the Mrs.  Even though he no longer worked, the scenario of being domestically useless and unwilling continued.  He “couldn’t” even make a cup of coffee.  He could drive a car, had held down a job, he could buy a house, but he COULDN’T make a cup of coffee.  Bullshit.  Wouldn’t is the right word.  Wouldn’t.  AND he’d do that teeth-grindingly annoying thing where he was proud of it !!!

If forced into the very rare scenario where he had to make a cup of coffee (because his wife was out, or bedridden), he would make such a big f**king performance out of it, he should have been given an actors equity card.  Noise, mess, swearing, questions like…

“Which button do you press again?”

My mind goes……   Well, there’s only one on a kettle, you total domestic moron.

He’d continue…. “Wheres the coffee?  Where’s the sugar?  Where’s the milk?  Where are the mugs?  Where are the spoons?”  He’d only lived in the house for twenty years !

This kind of thing represents a lack of consideration and respect.  I bet we could halve the divorce rate if only we could get half of the “blissfully wed” male population to realise that this is not a joke.  It is not a small thing.  It’s something that affects a large proportion of women every single day of their cohabiting lives.

I’d suggest that domestic inconsideration is one of the major contributing factors to the fact that around half of all Australian marriages end in D.I.V.O.R.C.E.  Of course there are many other factors, but this is certainly one of them.

 Are some blokes really so domestically blind that they can’t see how damaging this ridiculous sense of entitlement is?

The other chap I lived with (foolish foolish girl) worked for the same company as I did, and I had the more senior role (how I even dared to do that, I cannot imagine).  He’d leave the office before me… I’d continue working my corporate-bi-atch arse off… go home two hours later, only to have HIM ask ME what was for dinner !!!  I mean FFS !!

God willing, I’ll never have the misfortune to live with this kind of person again, having made the mistake twice (once could be excused, but twice is just carelessness !!).

But, if I did, then I’d have to have this (at present) hypothetical conversation…

“Why don’t you clear up after yourself?  Why don’t you cook?  Why don’t you do the washing?  Also, given that we’re not fortunate enough to be able to employ someone else to clean the house, then why don’t you clean the bathroom, the kitchen, any room…..?

Do you really think that by virtue of having a penis, that gives you the right to behave like a little prince; that because you’ve got a dick, I have to do all the domestic work ??

He nods imperceptibly.

Oh I see, well that’s a good reason (rivers of sarcasm).  Could I make a slight amendment to that and suggest that the real reason is because you ARE a dick.”

Rant complete… for now.  And hypothetical relationship terminated… by text…

“Dear imaginary boyfriend… YOU’RE DROPPED”.

Next week my lovelies, I go mental about “the en-vi-ron” – Oh shoot, that might be two rants in a row… oops.

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rooshkie. x.