Screw you Apatow – This is 32*

*Or, you know, maybe not. I have nothing against Judd Apatow. Not even the fact that he’s personally responsible for Katherine Heigl’s movie career. Sometimes you just need a title, and “The Introspective Ponderings of a Self-Loathing Potential Narcissist” seemed a LITTLE heavy…  

“Sigh… and then what did Kim Kardashian say?”

It will come as no surprise to anyone that’s ever read my drivel to know that I’m far too obsessed with all the wrong shit. I’d love to spend my days entrenched in conversation about philosophical concepts beyond the comprehension of 98.4% of the general population. It’d be great to have an extensive knowledge of the history of Baroque music. And I have no doubt that spending hours conducting exhaustive research for the thesis I’d someday write about the geo-politics of Australasian territories… that’d be swell.

However, what also will come as very little surprise to you, is that I ain’t that smart.

Not as smart as I’d like to be. Not as smart as I pretend to be. Not even as smart as I’d settle on being.

And so, rather than high-minded pursuits, my attention is dragged to what is basically the ephemera of world news. I’m so focussed on the algae resting atop the aquarium, that I never even notice the tropical fish below.

A point made doubly true by the fact that I know so little of algae, or of tropical fish, that my clumsy metaphor might be complete bullshit.

Just be thankful this is a picture of an actual aquarium… I’ll bet a million dollars someone somewhere uses ‘Dirty Aquarium’ as a sexual euphemism

GET TO THE POINT! 

So in the past week, I’ve been swamped by the kind of stories that would normally constitute their own posts here at the BPM.

There was the leaked video of Mitt Romney at a private dinner, where he told potential donors at a fund-raiser that approximately 47% of Americans believed they were entitled to things like food, or health care, and that “…my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives”.

There was a kind of international moral litmus test involving the topless photos taken of Kate Middleton, as she and Prince William  sunbathed at a private château in France. The argument for publishing is encapsulated in this quote from Danish magazine Se of Hoer: “It is in the DNA of Se og Hoer that we should entertain and fulfil our readers’ curiosity. Therefore it is always relevant for us when a duchess and future queen of England is topless and voluntarily shows her breasts near a public road”.

And then there is the counter argument, that photo’s taken of a private estate from over a kilometre away, of the wife of a Prince whose mother died as she was being chased by paparazzi, might not be totes cool. For the record, thus far the British, American’s and Australian’s have chosen to err on the side of “Dude… really?!?”, as the Dane’s, Italian’s and French maintain their stance of “Hooray for boobies!”.

There was the initially peaceful protest by Muslims in Sydney’s Hyde Park, revolving around the now infamous American amateur film posted on YouTube which mocks Muhammed. As absolutely no one could’ve predicted, it swiftly got wayyyy out of hand. There was the image of a 4-year-old holding a sign that read ‘Behead All Those Who Insult The Prophet’. There was his mother, who upon being investigated by police, insisted that she didn’t know what the word ‘behead’ meant. And, of course, the inevitable online rush of white, middle-class, anglo ‘real’ Aussies to join Facebook groups represented by pictures like this one:

Don’t rush to judgement, the bottom word there has more syllables than any other word in his entire vocabulary

There was the vote in Australian parliament on the possibility of legalising gay marriage, where Liberal senator Cory Bernardi, a close ally of Tony Abbott, was forced to resign from his position after controversially phrasing his objection to gay marriage as follows: “The next step … is having three people that love each other be able to enter into a permanent union endorsed by society, or four people… There are even some creepy people out there, who say that it’s OK to have consensual sexual relations between humans and animals. Will that be a future step?”

Wow… all this is too heavy, Monkey. What about something to lighten the mood?

Well, there was ex-child star Amanda Bynes yet again throwing down the gauntlet to Lindsay Lohan, by continuing to unravel in public… you know, if you call driving on a suspended licence, multiple hit-and-run incidents, and driving whilst smoking pot unravelling. Lindsay responded by (of course) tweeting…
 … only to ‘allegedly’ hit a man in New York less than a week later, trying to park her car outside a hotel. Whilst under the influence, natch.

Now, the REAL challenge here… how does one create some kind of tangential link between such a disparate group of stories?

Well, how about this – they all elicited more or less the exact same kind of reaction from me. A reaction that kind of went something like this…

Sighing. Slumping of shoulders. Shaking of head. Curse word. Acceptance.

That’s in real-time, too.

I’ve officially finally reached the point of apathy where it’s almost impossible to legitimately feel any sense of outrage at the kind of source material that drives most of this blog. I emphasise the word legitimate, because I, like so many people, can still manufacture outrage well enough on occasion. But real emotion?

I suppose on one hand this is potentially a healthy development for me. Why should I give a shit (or indeed, quite so many shits) about these strangers, whose lives will never really intersect with mine on any level whatsoever? Shouldn’t this free up some psychic real estate that can now revolve around newer, healthier thoughts and obsessions? Like Baroque, philosophy, theses… you know… all that shit?

Baroque Art… kind of like an album cover for the band ‘Live’ circa 1995

Perhaps. I don’t know yet. I do know that more and more often I’m seeing no resolution to a raft of world issues as disparate as the Australian political stance on gay marriage, or anglo-Islamic relations, the intrusiveness of the papparazzi, or… Lindsay Lohan… no resolution except for “Well, what are you going to do except wait and hope for generational change?”.

Which still feels like a cowards way out to me, on many levels. Sure, I still believe in the causes that I believe in. I can call out bigotry, or prejudice, or the evils of Twitter, celebrity stupidity and entitlement. But even as I’m doing so, I increasingly find myself thinking that the only hope we have is that the next generation of Button Pushing Monkeys grow up in a society incrementally less hateful towards homosexuals, incrementally less divided by religion and culture, incrementally more respectful, and hopeful, and… better?

I’m still a young man. But I can admit that as far back as I can remember I’ve always been (perhaps to a degree that’s unhealthy) a cynic. Is this just what passes for hope as we get older? I’m interested in others opinions.

Perhaps in this world the most important thing is retaining any kind of hope at all.

It was Stephen King that said “Remember, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies”.

And I hope that’s true.

Thanks for bearing with me this long down the rabbit-hole/ up my own ass, folks. I promise our usual dick’n’fart joke broadcast will resume shortly.

BPM

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