Tag Archives: intercourse

Enter The Plankton

CLS_Mini_Participant300

If I’m lucky!

Spoiler alert: I’m not exactly the world’s greatest conversationalist.

For the curious, the opening line above is an example of my patented Start-By-Telling-Them-How-You-Suck approach to writing. You can buy a pamphlet describing the technique – and much, much more – for only three easy payments of $19.99. -Ed.

As the holidays cascade down upon us like a perfect storm, I’m already anticipating how I’ll surf that wave and/or navigate the complex maze-like quagmire of quicksand in quixotic fashion.

The holidays means lots of group settings of social interactions. Historically I do not fare well in these and opt instead to spend my time studying in minute detail the nearest potted plant. I’m bringing my magnifying glass just in case.

Since I remain ever hopeful, however, I’ve been role-playing various stratagems in my mind that might increase my odds of getting the occasional word in edgewise. Or I could give up in advance and just play the lotto.

A normal conversation consists of the following:

Person A: Me.

Person B: No, me!

Person C: Bloody hell to both of you. Me, me, me!

Person D: Did I ever tell you about me?

Person E: Did you say something?

Person F: … Apple’s tri-tone sound …

Person A: Ahem. You weren’t listening. I say again …

Every once in a while as the conversation morphs dynamically through these shifting realities, I may actually have something interesting to add. I hate it when that happens.

Person A: Yeah, there are a lot of elephants in Thailand

…. 20 minutes and 420 topics later I finally awkwardly interrupt and take my dream shot …

Me: An elephant sat on my head once.

Everyone: What the fuck are you talking about?!

Yeah. About that potted plant.I’ve heard that one thing that helps make you seem interesting is to ask questions about the other person. Especially if you can appear thoughtful and fake sincerity in the process. If successful, your only job is to tlean back, stay silent, let their mouth do all of the work, and celebrate a job well done.

I’m looking forward to trying this out. To that end I have prepared some questions in advance.

My only worry is that the conversation will run through a googolplex of permutations before I get my first chance to speak. That would be bad and could go down like this:

Person A: So, can you tell us what’s new with your son?

Me: Eeeeiiiiii!

swift kick to the nards …

Me: I was gonna ask that question!!

Person B: Someone dial up the whambulance!

Lastly, sometimes the floor is occasionally dished my way. If and when that happens I should be ready. Usually this is a provactive attempt to surprise me so much as to induce heart attack. Assuming I survive long enough, I usually succumb to the intense pressure. The stress of filling that space is simply too high. I usually stammer out something like, “Goo goo gah gah.” Then everyone shrugs, wonders why the hell they bothered to give me a chance, and resumes talking about the fractal shapes of their bunions.

Also, something about the spirit of the season and it’s better give than receive but I can’t remember any of that crap right now. I’ve been much too busy with the pre-conversation planning.

I just hope I’m not over-thinking it. Perhaps I should limit my dreams to the Ribbon of Participation.

Barriers to communication

In a previous post entitled Intellectual Intercourse Interruptions I introduced my discovery of the modern communication model.

Since then, I have discovered a few barriers to communication that I’d like to share with you now.

The first barrier is called Mutually Assured Distraction (MAD). In this model, two me-oriented persons are transmitting simultaneously. The messages hurl towards each other much like two freight trains on a single track. When they meet somewhere in the middle, the messages explosively cancel each other out, very effectively preventing any actual communication from taking place. Since the transmit sources are so fully locked in me-only-modes, neither party is aware that all communications have been blocked. This blockage is also known as Conversational Mushroom Cloud.

Some modern communications are so completely surrounded by this particular barrier that they go through life locked in transmit while remaining blissfully unaware that none of their messages have ever been received.

The second barrier turns out to be something inside each and every one of us. (Well, most of us.) It is our very own brain working against us being effective communicators! Cranium drainium is a condition suffered by an alarming number of modern communicators. In a process known as thin slicing, our brains peripherally receiving incoming messages. Involuntary functions within the brain perform a very limited analysis of these messages. Those that are identified as pertaining to ourselves are admitted to higher levels of consciousness. Those that don’t pass this test are vigorously attacked, much like antibodies defend us against biological intruders. Those with highly developed cranium drainium systems are able to go through life believing that everything is about them.

The third barrier I’d like to discuss is something I’ve dubbed recievius terminus. Those with this condition are, like the rest of us, very developed me-oriented communicators. They can expound about themselves nearly 24/7 and with an amazing level of excruciating detail. But even the best me-communicators need breaks. That’s where recievius terminus kicks in. Literally nanoseconds after their final me-transmission has ended, a recievius terminus expert will take dramatic action to prevent the possibility of communications from anyone else being received. The most common form of this is probably turning one’s back and aggressively walking away.

See how many of these barriers to communication you can identify as you engage in conversation in the coming days. I bet you’ll have a plethora of opportunities to witness these in action.

I would suggest that you return here to report your findings but alas, I won’t be listening.

Good luck!

Intellectual intercourse interruptions

Pretty much what I learned in school. Unfortunately this is woefully incorrect.

Who doesn’t love a healthy dose of intercourse? I know I do.

But before proceeding further, perhaps we’d better define things a bit. Possible (and germane to this posting) definitions of the word include:

(noun) exchange especially of thoughts or feelings
(noun) communication and actions between people

For the purposes of this discussion we will disregard other definitions. (Minds out of the gutter, people!)

Sadly, these days, true intercourse is such a rare thing I feel like we’ve all taken a vow of interpersonal celibacy.

So what is “communication?” Don’t answer too quickly. The question is just a bit trickier than it seems.

Ask that question of any member of genus Modern Homo Sapiens and you’ll likely get an answer like this: “Communication is when I speak and you listen.” Note the implied message here: The reverse is not automatically true.

What I learned in college is that “communication” requires four essential components:

  • Sender (shown above as “emisor”)
  • Receiver (shown as “destination”)
  • Message (shown as “content”)
  • Medium (shown as “form”)

“Medium” is the method of transmitting a message. It could be sound waves traveling from my mouth to your ear. It could be an electrical signal connecting two telephones across the country. Or it could be something like a computer disc.

The point here is that, as far as communication is concerned, all four of those components are vital. If any single component is missing then communication cannot take place.

A modern communicator in the revised model

The model depicted above, it turns out, is incorrect. Like a lot of theories, our understanding can change over time. The modern era has proven the old model of communication to be insufficient and outdated. The time has come to revise our theories.

Generation Y may be the most “bombarded” in history. Baby boomers and Generation X mainly had to deal with television. But Gen Y is faced with omnipresent cell phones, texting, the internet, and a constant barrage of new media that is close to infringing on their brains in a continually 24/7 assault.

Think 24/7 is a bit of hyperbole? An exaggeration? Think again. A 2010 poll by the Pew Research Group found that two-thirds of American adults have slept with their phones on or right next to their beds. And that number jumps to over 90% in the 18 to 29 age group.

That is an amazing poll! I would argue that never before in the history of civilization has a generation taken adopted such a completely new behavior so universally and in such a short period of time.

It used to be that self-expression was limited to entertainers and authors. The vast majority of the public limited themselves to expression in the form of tshirts and bumper sticker.

These days, the soap box has gotten immensely bigger and the world a whole lot smaller. The internet has made “publishers” out of us all. We went from a culture of consumers to a society of producers at light speed. Now we all can have our own video channels, recording studios, art galleries, photo exhibits, blogs and even interactive social networking where we are rated, respected, judged and admired based on how many “followers” and “friends” we have garnered.

In other words, there has been an intense paradigm shift. No longer do we merely and passively absorb content that is beamed in our direction. Now we actively create it.

To put it in a slightly different perspective, it is now about the “me” more than ever before.

And this is exactly where communication has taken a hit.

Your typical modern human being is so busy generating “me-based” content, that this activity has essentially formed a new and unforeseen barrier in the outdated communication model. I have dubbed this discovery the “Me-Barrier.”

This Me-Barrier is so intense and invasive, it can actually block the communication process. An excellent analogy is a person with lips flapping so loudly that their ears can no longer hear other sounds.

On the roof of ibn Tulun

A very modern conversation

Gen Y, absorbed in their own culture, and raised within it since birth, is completely unaware of the Me-Barrier. They see other persons as nothing more than mirrors to be used only to seek their own reflections. Their awareness is limited to social “pinging” which exists solely to see if the other person is talking about or responding to them. If not, the person is deemed irrelevant and the person either resumes transmission of me-based content or begins searching for a new audience. In either case, the acceptance of outside input and stimuli does not take place. There is no communication.

To put all of this in context, you can look for and identify this phenomenon and Me-Barrier in daily life. Do you know someone who loves to tell stories about themselves in excruciating detail but won’t ever listen to anyone else? Do you know someone who interrupts whenever anyone speaks or attempts to join in a conversation? If so, you have just successfully identified the Me-Barrier.

Once you know how to look for it, you’ll notice that the Me-Barriers are more plentiful than you could have ever possibly imagined.

In my own personal experience, I happen to be one member of a three-person team at my job. Two members have extremely developed Me-Barriers. These function much like the guns in the movie Ghostbusters where it was strongly admonished, “Never cross the streams!” When Me-Barriers come into contact with each other, the sparks can really fly!

I can only sit back and clinically observe as these two people interrupt each other then begin an escalation in the form of vocalizations that get increasingly loud. It only takes a few microseconds for them both to be yelling over the top of the other and neither of them are listening. It is truly a sight to see. (And hear.)

Normally, identifying the problem is the first step towards working for a solution. In this case, however, I sadly see no way out. Our culture, our society, and even our entire country is at risk, due to the Me-Barrier and it’s powerful interruption of the flow of knowledge. Soon we’ll be left with nothing but drooling idiots talking to ourselves.

This is my “I” post for the April 2011 “A to Z Blogging Challenge.”

The Most Holy Depressional

Jesus has Arrived

Step right this way. The Guru will fee you now. Amen.

Key words for this post: Deity, depressional, destiny, deduction (tax).

Maybe it’s not too late for me. Maybe I can still see the light. Let us pray.

Maybe the reason I ended up an atheist is that I was destined for other things. This thought occurred to me today. Perhaps, instead of believing in an existing religion, it is my destiny to create my own.

Yes, now that I think about it, I realize that must be it. Finally, answers at last!

I don’t want to get things too out of order, but it occurred to me that the first thing I have to sort out is what makes my religion unique. Luckily a vision came to me quickly.

The Depressional.

The depressional is a small, enclosed booth used for the Sacrament of Negativity, often called depressionizing, or The Purging of Positivity.

The procedure is simple. In the booth awaits the Guru or one of the holy elders. The holy one hears the positive thoughts of the repenter and then offers a blessing. The blessing typically will consist of verbally abusing the parishioner and/or telling them how their positive thought sucks the big one. The holy one may also expound on the many ways the positive thought is bound to fail.

After that, the percentage of tithing will be of paramount importance. We’ll probably start small, say 25 percent, and see how it goes.

Lastly, we’ll need a deity. (I did get this in the correct order, right?) Ah, hell. I’ll figure that part out later.

So, all I have to really do is start my own religion. And get a small, enclosed booth. Those shouldn’t be too hard, although I may have some trouble with the booth part. I don’t have a lot of resources.

Luckily, in the United States, we have “freedom of religion.” We have the right (mostly) to believe what we want and practice religion as we see fit.

Mary Ellen and Wilbur Tracy

Of course, I’m not the first to have the bright idea of starting my own religion. Allow me to introduce Wilbur and Mary Ellen Tracy. Back in 1981 while living in Santa Monica with their eight children, Wilbur was visited by God who poured “pure knowledge” into him. The knowledge was specific to Egyptian scrolls which he then confirmed with his own research. He shared the knowledge with his wife Mary Ellen. They moved to Los Angeles and established their own church.

This is how Wilbur described his divine revelation:

On April 24, 1984, in broad daylight, I had a revelation that changed my life and the way I perceive the world and others. However, because I was blinded by the ignorance of the modern education, which I foolishly accepted as knowledge, I did not immediately understand the full impact of the revelation. I failed to understand that the mind can perceive only what the mind can conceive. What I experienced was beyond my conception, while my perception was completely distorted by what I had been taught was enlightenment. It was only when I set aside my prejudices–those beliefs which I had been conditioned to accept as fact, but which were in fact false–that I began to understand the experience.”

The church was called “The Church of the Most High Goddess.” Mary Ellen became the “High Priestess.” One of the tenets of the church was that the High Priestess would be required to have sex with one-thousand men in a series of rituals that would cleanse sins.

Mary Ellen took the name “Sabrina Aset” and began her duties for the church. In her words, “I have performed the same sexual rituals which involve oral sex and vaginal intercourse with thousands of men.”

Shit. This makes my religious aims seem downright boring. Dammit. I thought I was on to something, too.

I think I need to visit the depressional.

Sources used for this post:
http://www.denofhearts.com/churchof.htm
http://www.goddess.org/sabrina/theology.html
http://articles.latimes.com/keyword/mary-ellen-tracy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Ellen_Tracy

This is my “D” post for the April 2011 “A to Z Blogging Challenge.”