Muhammad Ali – Speaking to Himself

I’ve heard some criticism as of late.

Following the seemingly destined article from Time magazine by a chap following Ali through his early to late years, an article of magnificent insight and appreciation as only from one who was there if not him, I read a “Dear Editor” letter in response.

Apparently a wanker had a pencil this day.

Forgive a paraphrase or two, (something along the lines of which I’ve said prior) for the response came as thus:

“I don’t like boxing. He wasn’t great. Nah.”

Indeed, this Italian chap named Fausto, spoke of his likelihood to not even read this edition; so strong was his disappointment of what it contained within. Not that he would know; owing to not opening the edition he was so disappointed in.

Little minds might well sift for insight into menial and miniscule subjects, and that’s fine (what could be finer than thinking about nothing much at all – please see metaphysics), but I don’t like a bully with or without a pen and to see a journalist and the dead picked on for the purposes of you wishing to share a bad day are unacceptable.

Get thee to a nunnery and from there turn left to OFF in a FUCK manner.

Why was Muhammad Ali great?

Was he?

Only in terms of people; yes.

In terms of the science of the sport; indeed – “Nah”.

Nifty and continual; a chap who showed his penchant for dodging like a loony-tune, and leaving a man exhausted from successfully achieved swings and far more numerate misses.

His boxing was very good; and that is an understatement when regarding the mass murder (he could kill me repeatedly if he wished) of him vs I, and then an enormous overstatement should he have ever dared (as surely he would have) to dance with Tyson.

And that’s that; most thatilly.

And it is joyfully important to recall to all minds that his boxing talent and skill were merely as they were; “His boxing was very good”.

Naturally you’re to assume I’m on my way to thriving in verbosity over his spirit and standing; his courage and morality; which I have regard for, but not before compliment boxing as the scene-setter it is.

A world of men willing to receive a knuckily death-threat to the pretty and increasingly ugly face, the whimpering brain and even the shocked visceral innards.

It might not be the art it is often entitled as; but it is an extraordinary frame.

And so on to the man beyond the athlete.

Compare the term “sacrifice” to the term “donation”. The sacrifice of three prime years to a melancholy ether, could well be a synonym for donation to his might, his thought and his future.

Less so a matter of sound fiscal planning; his absence from the boxing scene was a departure from the income scene; his heroism of self did his wallet and entourage no favours.

Still, though I am grateful to this man, who made demonstrate the easeless act of will in order to achieve a more contented heart.

Morality made apparent.

There is a final credit to devote to this man.

I’ve heard a plethora of vocal recordings, capturing Ali and often letting him loose, from squeaky loud mouthing to an old hat wearing a better one than you, I’ve heard what Ali said to himself.

“I am the greatest!”

“I AM the greatest!”

And thus he became so.

Amidst a dislocated brain from the meat mountain of Foreman and the part immovable object/part irresistible force of two-hundred-thousand-year-old genetics from Frazier, and the shuffling existence of the concussion-infused Parkinsons disease; Ali has remained the greatest through no victory other than this; he took the time to realise he was.

“I AM the greatest!”

Ali was because he told himself he was.

And luck – both good and sour.

Ali told himself he was the greatest and so he was.

Self-doubt can lay a person to the unknown foundations of tomorrow, but Ali would only be the foundations of that tomorrow following a regard held highly and a continuation of the mantra.

He told himself: “I AM the greatest!”

And then; see what happened.

Thanks,

Sam

For the superb article of Ali by Robert Lipsyte, see the following link: http://time.com/4358073/muhammad-ali-robert-lipsyte-on-the-life-of-the-greatest/

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The Greatest Human to Ever Live (Part 4. Make it a Brunch With Moi, Sister)

The Greatest Human to Ever Live
(Part 4. Make it a Brunch With Moi, Sister)

I am the greatest human to ever live.

Especially when the competition has such an admirable ‘keep-at-it’ attitude towards eliminating one another.

I can’t deny the embarrassment I suffer in acknowledgement that it’s all because they’re trying to impress me.

And it does.

Take a look at the budget they use on warfare.

Ahh fuck it.

Fuck this warfare wile-away-the-moment topic whilst instead I could take you firmly by the ears (if you were in the room with me. And had ears. I apologise if you don’t. Wait…no I don’t. Why the fuck should I apologise for your lack of ears?) and blow the contents of the following subject down your ear canal.

Brunch with me is transcendent.

Soon it’ll be a reward for curing only the most high-profile of diseases. The lady who cures missing limbs by replacing it with something more powerful; like a kangaroo.

(“Well, I sure do miss my foot, got a kangaroo on the end of my leg there now. It’s company but kind of fucks up my driving something awful and bouncy.”)

That lady…she can brunch with me.

Brunch with me with will turn any commie. I’ll have them being intimate with a fist full of dollars by the end of it.

Had I brunched in the Cold War there would have been moments with men in dark rooms sitting around cold metal tables with a sloped-shouldered American offering a whole mouthful of: “You know we’ve got brunch with Sam. So get the fuck out of Korea.”

And I’m fine for that to happen; I don’t like Korean communists anyway; they’re ridiculous and have too many statues.

Don’t forget that life imitates art.

Do you want to be marble?

Of course you do, marble like me baby, but I’ll bet a couple of my own feet that that you aren’t looking to suddenly become granite in any way but metaphorical, are you?

No, because you hate Korean communists too, plus they have a silly march.

Plus your silly march is sillier and you deserve some recognition for that but until North Korea falls you’re going to have to restrict your silly march to your own private corridor.

You see, when you’re having brunch with me you feel the gratitude of fortune to have gone to have endured such a classical education that forbade your jaw from dropping, which is prone to happening when you see what I’m about to do with the oatmeal on my foot.

I’m cheeky with the oatmeal, but I use the syrup as though I was bred for it.

You can smell the discipline I emit; albeit tinged by the syrup jug’s wafts.

No good thing is tinged; I expect it’s the connotations of sounding like minge. And that’s a vagina.

And vaginas (at their worst) are the pits; literally.

And penises (at their best) are the tits; metaphorically.

And tits are neither; technically.

All go well when impacting on the brunch counter. All body parts are welcome here; except kangaroos (“fucking up my brunch-bar as though they don’t even know what it’s for! That’s not how you hop on a breakfast bar!”)

If you haven’t been able to deduce to this point by now, I am dunking my body parts in the brunch and, in many ways (many happy, noble ways), am dunking brunch in my body parts.

And here’s why.

Breakfast is stifling – I dislike necessity, particularly regarding phrases such as “well-balanced” and “cornerstone”. Those terms should leave me alone otherwise I might retaliate; somehow. I prefer to be dominant regarding my tummy.

Lunch is redundant; you should be busier.

I pride myself on being too hectic for a sandwich.

Too noteworthy for salad.

Too inevitably going up and down in history as a sweetheart with a tendency to be photographed in chrome for liver.

Liver.

That word should mean more than just…liver.

It should be a base note of humanity; “all that remained was…liver”.

And dinner is disappointing.

If you didn’t find it on the end of that stick you jabbed and bobbed and weaved and threw with; you missed the point entirely (unlike the unfortunate creature impaled. Luckily it was ugly so you gave no fucks) and now we can’t be friends. You disassociated acquaintance you.

At this point I’ve moved on to the meatier part of the meal because I’m too liberal for your typical 09:00-11:30 eating habits.

My eating habits are as though someone attached (inhumanely; because this is just a metaphor and I just feel it exclaims the point better) the engine of a formula 1 racing car to a headless cockerel.

Messy and pointless; but things are happening pleasingly fast, albeit without much progress.

I move on to the meat because I grew bored with oatmeal on my foot, though you should know by now I’m not done with it yet.

Because I’m an oatmeal kicker and I’ll be back for more.

All this while you’re sitting in your seat, much as a seat-sitter would. Not that I sit on seats. You see, seats are what I raise my oatmeal-lathered foot onto so I can rest my arms on my knee and look deep into your arrested and near-wet eyes and explain something to you.

Explaining something like why I’ve got to do what I’m about to do with the waffles.

And from that point forward you are (not hit with, since there’s nothing violent here; only inspiration physical and sweaty – meaning therefore you are…) fucked with the realisation that my current waffle-motif adorning the bosoms and hairdos of all other customers in the three-table radius is for you.

Still messy and pleasingly fast, but no longer pointless and now we’re getting somewhere.

I’m just making you realise how brunch with me can be; just enjoy the unforgettable nature of whatever the fuck is happening right now (you have a pepper in your hair by the way…).

I lean forward to caress it out and the, pardon me, you are overwhelmed by my very own ridiculous masculinity.

You probably took note of my plumage.

My chest hair is like a field of muscular black wheat in a summer’s heat. Far away.

That’s why I tend to be compared to a swan more than any other animal (e.g. a human).

There are three main reasons for this.

  1. Plumage. Of the two, it’s been said I’m more regal on the externally.
  2. I can break a man’s arm just by swimming. Proximity irrelevant.
  3. In many ways now…I am the Queen’s.

My word, I am a marvel at catching women as they swoon.

I’m very last moment too, as I always manage to be granted an audible gasp by those slow and still sitting men (Ha!) surrounding us who have plucked up the courage to watch you descend and wish you all the best as you do so.

My technique is that as you swoon, I swoop. Like the cool coconutty power of a Hawaiian wave, only with the muscular arms of a ballet dancer.

I exercise only by lifting women and kicking doors down. That…and feeding the people between 09:00-11:00. Within a three-table radius.

Brunch with me is bliss to be endured.

Because I am the greatest human to ever live.

And so are you.

Sam


I am the Greatest Human to Ever Live. Part 2.

I Think I Could Fuck Up A Wolf; Should It Come To That.

I am the greatest human to ever live.

I’ve dwelt upon this, particularly since I’m a species-ist and there is a resentful degree of contempt in my heart and head and sandals for other species.

Fur and feathers – I permit.

Some of the feathery ones talk back and I like their gumption; whatever that is.

And then there’s giraffes – I couldn’t fuck up a giraffe.

Out of sympathy.

I’d ride them.

I’d ride them out of sympathy.

And they’d permit me to ride them because I’d work out how they like to have their knees massaged and win them over.

They may remain.

Fish and other ocean or water-way dwellers; they need to stay the fuck away from me.

Because I am most certainly the sort of fellow to point at them and bellow “No”.

I’ll just stick my finger, like a knuckled wand, into the water and give them the gist of me.

Pointedly.

I’ve got a lot to say about what obscenities live beneath the surface (some of them don’t even breathe air – try to show me up will ya?!) as I have an issue with things that are too wet.

I feel wetness should be an unexpected treat to come home to involving champagne liberated from the Nazis, or a hell of a way to go to work and give your inspiring and innovative speech to the board.

I’d hate to be on a board; I’m not good at sharing tables owing to my need to swing my heavy-heavy boots upon them as I lean back in my tilted chair and astound my other board members for no other reason than that I want them to back off somewhat and let me swing my heavy-heavy boots around. All this…whilst wet.

My boots are weighty. It builds up the shins – and that’s the mark of me.

You can tell if I did the deed for you’ll find the scene of the crime heavily shinned.

By me.

Ain’t nobody got shins like Sam.

However, even I can go off topic at times.

Because I’m whimsical.

And I’m whimsical because I’m the greatest human to ever live and I can take the time to relax about my intentions in a conversation like this (I’m presuming you’re all nodding along and every now letting loose a “Hmm” of approval or…is it…admiration?). Women admire my whimsy.

My whimsy’s better than yours. Because I whim it.

And that’s why I did it, that wandering off-topic thing, again.

I’m so good at meandering away; I can even meander away from talking about meandering away.

You try it.

Still, there is still the issue at hand.

That I think I could fuck up a wolf; should I whim it.

I have never in all my months of living been nearly attacked by so many dogs as the past 30 days have offered me.

The month of July just generally snarled at me; from day to day.

A lot of slobber; another unpleasant wetness is slobber being held most dangly in the worst of erogenous zones.

And I made it to August with a whole new opinion intact; I could fuck up a wolf.

Let’s look at the basic physiology of a wolf.

The key to its success in a fight against the man mountain that is me is its agile mouth.

The wolf, let’s call it ‘Diana’, has acrobatic jaws.

But so do I, Diana.

And I do bite.

I’d bite Diana the wolf right in the choppers.

And then there’s the rest of me.

Just take a slow and casual glance over my right hand and peek away, I don’t mind, at my pianist’s finger that branches from it.

Every single finger there is an advantage I hold over Diana and I will apply them most verily.

If I were to ram, and I do mean ram in the same way a pianist wouldn’t, my index finger straight and true up one of her nostrils; what would Diana do about it?

I ask because I’m going to do some presuming now and what I feel like presuming today is that Diana would whimper and try to depart from my index finger.

Let it be.

I would just let it be.

Diana is probably the lone-mother of the pack or some other responsibility, plus I’m humane.

I’m so humane I run with horses, so long as they can keep up and wouldn’t get embarrassed by my floppy-semi brought about by the excitement of running and my bountiful strides. That’s right – my strides are bountiful. I don’t know why; I just enjoy striding with an excited semi.

I’m so humane I’d put a ladybird on the windowsill rather than just exhaling it out the window and pausing to see if I can hear it land. I’ve seen too many good ladybirds land in my time.

And…if Diana the wolf wanted to flee from the index finger I currently have penetrating her snout as though I’m pointing with sincere curiosity at something in her sinus then…I would let it be.

Because she’s a good girl and a fine mother; probably trying simply to protect her cubs, who I would have raised myself and taught them how to become the kings I always knew they were if she were to pass away owing to my finger.

There’s also the fact that I could also pull her tail.

A tail is, with as much relevance as I can perceive for the situation in hand, a third of the spine which I can help myself to and give a good tug.

That’s a spine.

Fancy having your spine tugged like I’m trying to win something here?

I want to win your spine and your respect, Diana, so whimper now before I’m holding one of each in either hand.

You’re such a good girl Diana, and you’re a wonderful mother but…I’ve got to stand by my principles.

And my principle here is that wolves are scary and I this was my first instinct.

And that’s noble.

It’s okay; I’m being noble.

I have a crest.

It’s a wolf with a finger up its nose.

And then my large grin beneath it, showing all my teeth (slightly wonky because I’m well-travelled and I bite a lot of things), with my brow above it.

My brow will be frowning slightly because I’m working hard and I’m dealing with it, head looking down, eyes looking up as though I’m saying: “Seriously world? Seriously?”.

My brow is prominent in a way that if not slightly further forward than the rest of my person, it does at least receive compliments at a steady rate.

At least, it would if I didn’t pre-empt a fellow’s compliment with my classic: “Thank you!” and then: “But your bone structure will get there too; just do more things with milk, my dear old friend.”

Oh…there will be archaeologists.

And they will in some distant and lush green field begin to dig, eventually unearthing and taking care not to shovel my remains.

They shall lift my skull from its by-now ancient grave and stand and stare in honest astonishment at my inspiring-brow.

And they will compliment it.

But where in the timeline of humankind’s evolution does this remarkable figure belong? And then they will get it.

Fiction.

This must have been from a fairy tale.

Because…yeah…I’ve got damsels to spare and they’re all nicely in peril and ready for my brow.

And then I shall decide to leap the moat to delete the vile Wolf-Queen Diana from my newly acquired castle, complete with a unfortunately narrow-nostrilled fiend and beautiful damsel of high-birth.

Next time…I’ll show you how to do all of this, particularly the high-birth part.

Also, I recall saying this article would be about romance and my smile, but that’ll do for next time too.

And that’s a fine thing indeed.

Because I am the greatest human to ever live.

And so are you.

Buddy.

Sam


How To USE A Panic Attack

There is a current format recently taken on since the death of Robin Williams to talk about mental health. The format is that there is no weakness in mental health.

Well, evidently there is. There is no benefit to mental depression; it cannot help. And of course, this weakness is nothing to be ashamed of- in the same way that a man may suffer from fragile bones, another might be unable to see in bright light, whilst one more continually feeds coins into a machine of bright lights- unable to stop, perpetually about to win (if the winning actually matters to a gambling addict when compared to the thrill of the risk).

These are weaknesses. The point is that there must be no shame in having them.

Of course, you might not wish to admit having them, nor should you at all have to, but openness is always an aid to diagnosis and treatment. In most of the West anyway- I wouldn’t recommend it in The Badlands.

However, the weakness of a mental illness is not what I aim to focus on here.

I’m going to make clear, from what I have learnt through my own issues, that there is a strength that can be taken up through the momentous energy of a Panic Attack.

I have suffered from these things throughout my late-teens up till now and they have been a despicable hindrance to my fun and pride as a young man.

My own triggers for a Panic Attack centre on being unable to escape- in terms of a great distance to make or a social obligation. If I feel I have to do something, or that I feel as though my comfort is a great distance away, then I feel a sharp energy beginning to flow through me, leading on to the failure of despair.

Other sufferers might recognise the other typical triggers such as: having little option in what is about to happen, fast and manic activity out of their control, and what we might regard as normal stressful situations (E.g. An interview, a test, receiving a large responsibility, public speaking…etc.).

When a person feels unable to control what is happening, they will feel a dark sense of energy coursing through them as the aspect of their stress they are focusing on becomes increasingly tense until the reality of the situation goes completely out the window like lost luggage and we suddenly feel as though we are one or more of the following:

  1. Having a heart attack (which makes our hearts beat faster, which feels like a heart attack, which makes our hearts beat faster, and so on via this tortuous psychological cartwheel).
  2. About to vomit. This also causes fear in that we might vomit in view or earshot of people, which at the time seems totally unacceptable in your mind and so goes further to cause you to freak out. Essential we fear vomiting on our friends, family and work colleagues.
  3. About to faint…in front of everyone…down some stairs or into the wedding cake (again- something which causes you to feel even more stress).
  4. Something else odd. Such as your head swelling and the pressure on the brain killing you, whilst also being obvious to passers-by who will surely mutter to each other: “That guy’s head was throbbing. That’s unacceptable! If he needs medical care we’ll have to ignore him”. This seems crazy, and it is.

It seems crazy because it’s not reality. It’s as crazy as your bountifully-imaginative brain can conceive.

You are not having a heart attack.

You’re having a Panic Attack.

If you feel you’re about to vomit then go about it- you’ll feel grand afterwards and the tension will relieve itself.

Feeling faint? Lie down and attempt sleep. It will pass much like sleep does.

To begin with, your body is a sturdy thing (even if right now you’re telling yourself it’s not). It can, and always has, coped and in all honesty it would probably prefer it if you did pass out so that it can get back to being in control and sorting your innards out. As I said before, you are not having a heart attack. Rely on your body for the powerful and adorable little engine it is. Most chemicals and injuries unpleasantly introduced don’t stand a chance against a pissed off human body.

Most of what I listed above was a concern for your own physical health whilst, actually, the issue being fought is concerning how embarrassing this might seem in view of those around you- be they strangers you don’t know if you can rely on or old friends you don’t want to let down.

This is why talking about it helps- so that your friends know what’s happening and strangers might be familiar with what you’re going through.

If you’re not a fan of suffering from the Panic Attacks, my advice is to begin with the long-play strategy.

Diet and exercise.

For your diet, just eat healthy. You know exactly what I mean by that- we’ve all seen at least pictures of vegetables and fruit so go forth and acquire. However, the main part of this is to cut out that which actively deteriorates your wellbeing: caffeine and sugar, alcohol and tobacco.

These might seem to make you feel better; calmer. These things are addictive poisons only to be had when in a sound sense of mind and body. If you’re having a bad series of Panic Attacks, which can happen, then you should drink alcohol to the same degree as a patient with liver damage.

Exercising is a tremendous bit of medicine for the mind and body. Get your heart and lungs to hump each other and your skin to sweat you wet and you’ll feel the warm rush of endorphins throughout your body all the way down to your toes. Why do I mention toes? Because they’re a great distraction from a Panic Attack. Focus upon and give sensation to the toes (you’re welcome) and time will pass in your favour.

With a regular exercise routine of cardio and weight-lifting (particularly the buttocks- also very distracting to behold and get involved with and not just on other people) you will develop a much greater control of your emotions and what you do with them.

During exercise, you might feel a tad dizzy, breathless, as though your heart is jumping out the window and that body parts suddenly feel very light. That’s because this is normal. The only advice is this: remember that this is what happens to everybody during a workout and so you might as well try to enjoy it.

That brings us very nicely to the end of the long-term strategy (although a quick workout might help relieve some building tension in the short-term as well) and bring us to our immediate remedies for a Panic Attack.

Before I go into detail of the life-changing methods of ruling your world, here are some quick aids I have come by before arriving at where I am now:

  1. Remember what this is- a Panic Attack. Don’t deny it- accept it. Now we can actually deal with it.
  2. Study your reflection and remind yourself that this situation is actually fine and that it will end.
  3. A sudden sharp slap to both facial cheeks. Do it to yourself to regain self-control.
  4. Cold water applied to the hands, feet, face and (most effective of all) the back of the neck. Feels great too.

Going about the last two is a method of bringing you back to a sensible reality. As well as this, getting cold water and achieving a jolly slap will distract you from what unpleasantness you feel is happening.

Now here we are- the methods of dealing with a Panic Attack that will make your life a little better if you let them.

As it turns out, the key to your happiness is good body posture…

Sure- sitting up straight is just swell and all, but there are some other postures that we associate with some happy victory, which will win the day for us here.

First of all- smile!

Smiling is not only the result of happiness, but as you will discover by experimenting with yourself, it can be the cause of happiness too.

By smiling, our facial muscles are triggering nerves which release endorphins into our bloodstream, much as exercise does only a great deal faster.

Sit where you are now, and flash your pearly-whites for us (in other words…smile) and don’t continue to read or do anything else until you have about 60 seconds of hard, constant smiling under your belt. See you in a minute. Go.

See.

Not only are you feeling happy, but you are finding things genuinely funny. I’ll bet the first thing you laughed at was the thought of yourself sitting there with a silly smile all over your face, right?

That’s what I always laugh at first anyway.

So we have this- already a great help in treating a Panic Attack and a bringer of ‘immediate happy’. You can’t even get this in bottles it’s so good. It only comes in brains…

The next piece of treatment I learnt from watching a truly fantastic TED talk by the inspirational Amy Cuddy.

In her talk (which I’ve linked at the end of this article) she speaks of the various poses our species, and other apes, take part in when going through certain emotions.

For example, when stressed and nervous we literally try to make ourselves appear as small as possible via hunched shoulders and lowered heads (sound familiar?). This is a ‘weak’ pose.

When indulging involuntarily in moments of joy and pride (say for example: winning the race, getting the job or “SHE SAID YES!!!!”) we throw our arms up as though we were the ‘Y’ in the ‘YMCA’. Not as though you were a construction worker or a Native American of course…or even a bad boy biker. This is a ‘power’ pose.

Amy Cuddy put people through trials in which those in a ‘weak’ pose and those in a ‘power’ pose were asked to hold these positions for roughly two minutes and to then have fluid samples taken.

The results showed that those in a ‘weak’ pose had an increase in the chemical known as ‘cortisol’- essentially: ‘fluid stress’.

Those grinning volunteers in the ‘power’ pose were also tested and were revealed to have a significant decrease in their cortisol rate and a distinct increase in their testosterone levels- also known as liquid balls for the brain.

Testosterone, as you likely know, is a chemical that gives your body, brain and personality such ‘Oooomph’ that it has been regulated by sporting promotions and has even be known to do that thing that it does to teenage boys.

In smaller doses however, such as in the quantity granted by the ‘Y’ without the ‘MCA’, will bring about a sense of confidence and optimism- basically as good as you’re naturally meant to feel without enjoying the latter stages of a hefty bout of sex you can be proud of.

You feel good.

I know this not only from Amy’s marvellous talk, but from trying it for myself.

It works. You feel slowly filled with a subtle confidence and optimism that you can do as you please with.

And, once more, let’s do for ourselves some experimental self-treatment.

Stand, with your legs straight and your arms outstretched high as though forming a ‘Y’ with your body. Hold this for two minutes, and focus on something pleasing- like a Labrador or 70’s fashion.

Do this now.

See you in two minutes- I think I’ll take part too.

How social of me.

Welcome back!

As I said in my article on the feeling following skydiving… “I feel goooooooooooooooooooood”.

Now this might not feel quite the same rush as a 12,000 foot drop at 130 miles per hour. But I know I feel swell.

And so do you. You feel a little more ready to take up a challenge and to win, though losing is no loss. You feel like you got what it takes and that you could take it anywhere.

You’re in control and you feel goooooooooooooooooooood.

Amy Cuddy recommends that, when feeling the need before as stressful situation, you should spend two minutes doing this- wherever you feel most comfortable- and then reap the benefits.

My suggestion is that you do this ‘Y’, with a big old-fashioned grin, when enduring a Panic Attack.

These measures will go some distance in either helping you through it, or using that natural energy your brain sees fit to give you to do whatever you want with. Remember, you are in control and you feel goooooooooooooooooooood.

As I always say: “Mingle”.

Only now, rather than panic, use this natural energy of yours to distract yourself from the dire and inject yourself into what’s happening with a gusto that will make people either want to avoid you or try to meet you.

Talk to people and be involved in anything that is happening. Be interested in many things and you shall become what is interesting about many things.

And this is why I say that whatever psychological reason causes us to have a Panic Attack is no weakness- it is a strength. Within you there is an obvious power of energy that permits you to enjoy yourself via only a few very simple means of control…smiling and ‘Y’ing.

Smiling and ‘Y’-ing.

Great writing.

My final suggestion to you is that you no longer refer to these bouts of energy as ‘Panic Attacks’. Rather- do as I do, and know these cases now as ‘Power Attacks’.

In any case- however you choose to take my advice- be sure to talk to people and do not forget that the option to turn your ‘Panic’ into your ‘Power’ is entirely yours.

Congratulations on all that power.

Have a blast.

Smiling and ‘Y’-ing…

Sam

For Amy Cuddy’s brilliant talk, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWZluriQUzE


Name’s Australia, But You Can Call Me ‘Oz’.

To begin with, you can call Australia: ‘Oz’ (not that you needed my permission). It seems to mean a lot over there, and reading further will divulge reasons why.

In Australia there’s not much to do but be very alone in Asia, pretending that you are a continent nearer to Europe that it actually is. And since it isn’t, you have to insist that you are Australian at every turn.

I can only imagine that it is very lonely being so far from the rest of the white people, and so acting as though you are a people unto your own is possibly simply a means of coping.

Or maybe it’s the heat.

Either way- referring to this place as ‘Oz’ is smiled upon by the more-recent of the local population.

In ‘Oz’ you also have the option of insisting.

Insisting on history and insisting on identity. In my opinion, although this might seem absurd to some, in life you need more than Steve Irwin to know yourself and get ahead.

The man is idolised. His figurine is adorned in gold and made for taking the pride of place upon the mantle-piece of all those that visit the continent, because…why wouldn’t you want to have a golden Steve Irwin on your mantle-piece? I do believe that was his true message: ‘buy me’.

I feel that the people of ‘Oz’ want to be associated with the man in the same way that most British people don’t want to be associated with the Queen- in case Americans ask if you know her.

However, there’s not a lot of Australians, so in his time, you probably did know him fairly well.

Australians know how to accept company. They are a nation built for two things: tourism and trying to find the other thing. When they’ve found it, you can be sure that you’ll be able to purchase a tea-towel that sums them up perfectly.

Australia also has Aboriginal people and, as a people, those Aboriginals really could not be more fucked. Even more fucked than Native Americans, which must really sting after a while.

In terms of a national outlook they really aren’t fitting into the traditional and successful European franchise. For example, just take the previous sentence- “in terms of a national outlook”- Aboriginal ‘Ozzies’ were never a nation- they were a bunch of people that came from a place, having no idea that there were other blokes at either end of where they came from.

Poor buggers. They just don’t fit there anymore, and regrettably, they have to, and…currently…they never will.

This is extremely similar to the First Nation people of the US- everyone but them assumes that they aren’t around anymore.

So here’s an evil truth- the Aboriginal should be dead for the ease of the actual Australian people (Aboriginals are NOT Australian in the same way that the French are not German- they are simply near one another).

The injustice should have finished by now, the lingering of the race is against the benefit of the Australian progression and that progression is to sell, sell, sell the national identity. It would be much easier to sell some of that identity if the Aboriginals were all gone so that (1.) they could indulge much more heavily in the bullshit that equates to a paying audience and (2.) people wouldn’t see how poorly the Native people are currently handling themselves.

This is common knowledge- if the native people weren’t around- it would be much easier to get along with them. Aside from what is listed above, you have to consider that if the True Locals were already dead and gone, the white people wouldn’t feel so guilty, and they could make up some mysterious shit about who they were and how their souls are still ‘blood in the land’, ‘voices on the wind’ or ‘semen in the billabong’. You can make what you want of the dead. They’re dead- fighting back is a little beyond them.

As for the actual Aboriginal folks, I think they may be even a little more doomed than they were prior to the recognition of their ‘cultural contribution’. Before the assimilation of their art and history in the European selling machine- they were seen as a sub-race requiring decimation on the grounds of there not being enough room…in Australia. Following this process, the True Locals are now seen as a people…well…not quite a people- more of a ‘cultural aspect’ that offers the chance to demonstrate aspects of modernity, such as political correctness, and flogging didgeridoos.

Ultimately, the Aboriginal Natives of this continent are a property of the Australian nation. Not slaves, but their image is owned as much, and used in the Australian identity to suggest that there is more to it than is really there. Aboriginals are their own, and are much left to their own historically crippled devises, whilst their history and culture are assimilated into the Australian output that can be snuggly fitted onto that afore-mentioned tea-towel.

The insects are also really something else on that continent.

They regard you.

When I was out walking one day, a bug paused to let me pass before it went off on its way. I’m not saying that this beetle-like little boulder of a bug was being polite, but it had the worldly know-how keeping out of the way of the bigger guy.

Not that it would have been squished if I’d have trodden on it. It would probably have made a rude gesture and walked away from me, swaggering as it actually seemed to. That’s the kind of intelligence that comes with size, normally because the brain just follows along in the fashion of the rest of the body. This is in the same way that elephants and dolphins are witty- owing mostly to the rest of them being fairly large.

Humans, however, are ahead of the fashion curve in terms of brain size- clever enough to presume a beetle might have good manners.

It is undeniably odd that to reach this country, you have to cross many social, cultural, political, religious, geographical and actual borders- the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

It is strange to pass through a country that forbids music and dancing, to then arrive in a nation extremely similar to your own, just…as it is…on the ‘other side’.

I think that the problem might be that Australia doesn’t contain enough Australians. Perhaps if there were more people, and perhaps if there was therefore more history- there might be a little more of everything that I’m looking for here: The Confidence of Culture. The balls of history being in your favour and fearing no future that could be worse than the worst that most societies have already suffered.

Australia has strived through colonisation, exploration, immigration, racial injustice, ethnic cleansing, two world wars, yet throughout all this the overwhelming suggestion from the national Australian demeanour is the insistence on their being something in the culture worth your time and money of visiting and, once again, that bloody tea-towel. As opposed to their being able to relax to the degree of self-assuredness that comes with having a hell of a past that has a ‘you’ve probably heard of me’ attitude (e.g. the entirety of Europe), Australia has an attitude of swelling itself up to appear storied and historical, therefore bringing about a means by which actual stories and history do not happen.

Aside from this one.

Imagine if there’d never been Steve Irwin or Crocodile Dundee movies.

Maybe you’d be thinking that Australia was that country near where ‘Lord Of The Rings’ was filmed.

So, I guess entirely, what I’m saying is…watch out ‘Oz’…New Zealand is coming.

But, if I were to permit this nation of good, bright and adventurous people one reason as to why this is how they are, it would be TIME. Or rather the lack of it.

TIME is the thing that made Britain a little country that was known simply for being a place that Julius Caesar wanted to have for himself.

So, after only a few hundred years of colonised history, when ‘Oz’ has a couple hundred more- it will be a place that no longer feels such a desperate need to ask you to visit.

I truly hope that one day I shall hear a recent-local of Australia utter the words: “Yeah it’s a kangaroo. So fucking what?!”

Australia.

Relax.

Sam.

P.S. You are a beautiful country, filled with fun, clever, hard-working and exciting people. Keep it up and you’ll rule your world, like the Aboriginals one did.