Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What’s the difference between Merry and Jolly

So what’s the difference between Merry and Jolly you ask?

Are they not but two adjectives meaning the exact same thing?

In the confusing muddled mush that is the English language where there are such sillinesses as silent gh’s stuck in the middle of words, and words that contain no vowels and are then forced to utilize the ridiculous “but sometimes y” rule, do we really need adjectives that mean exactly the same thing? I wish it were that simple.

While on the surface these two adjectives appear to mean the same thing, under further examination they are quite different.

A simple deconstruction of Christmas carols (where the two adjectives became famous) will shed some light on the answer and thus lead us from the dark times we are in now, thinking these two words are twins of one another. This is actually quite far from the truth.

Let’s look at merry.

If you’re anything like me, the words that come to your mind while thinking of the word merry are happy, jubilant and joyful.

And with jolly, my mind is instantly filled with happy, jubilant and joyful thoughts. So where’s the difference?

Let’s look at the carols.

“We wish you a merry Christ-mas”

Focus on what follows the word merry. Christ-mas. A direct reference to Christianity.

“T’is the season to be jolly, fa la la la la. Deck the halls with boughs of holly”

An eruption of singing, followed by instructions to deck something.

How could we be so blinded to only see the happiness of these two words.

One is conservative, and while happy in nature, designed to create a solemn reference to a religious icon.

The second, steeped with a vibrant energy, complete with song and violence.

Never again will I confuse these two “happy” words.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Overdoing It On The Condiments

I began my lunch hour today like every other lunch hour...waiting in line at some fast food restaurant trying to decide whether or not I wanted micro-waved chicken or fish, perhaps even a burger that has been dropped on the floor. For some people these types of thoughts might be bothersome, but for me, not so much.

I will gladly gulp down micro-waved poultry and bacteria infested beef and I'll do it with a smile (which is free).

But the one thing I am getting sick of is everyone overdoing it with the condiments.
I can't begin to tell you how much it disturbs me to watch people squeeze the life out of packet after packet of ketchup trying to drown their sorrows in sugary tomato paste.

It's even worse watching people plunge nuggets elbow deep into honey mustard containers, and don't even get me started on the sweet and sour sauce!

Are the days of salivating over a chicken sandwich that doesn't require the janitorial department to clean up its mess over?

You can't pull the wool over my eyes', I see what's going on. It's blatantly obvious that the American government has realized they are in a desperate time.

For decades now the western world has reigned supreme utilizing the pillars of industry to develop their way of life, relying on the ever important black gold...oil.

Scientists have been warning us that we're depleting our resources, and no one has done anything...

...or so we thought.

Could it be that the age of oil is over and the age of the condiment is here?

Is it a coincidence that the three largest condiment producers in the world are all American companies?

It appears that George Bush and his conglomerates have shifted their focus and began the shift of having the American economy driven by the condiment industry.

Subliminal advertising has been taking place for years "suggesting" that you put more and more sauce on everything you eat. Before you know it we'll just be downing the whole bottle, fuck the burger!

So drown your hotdog in mustard, toss a little more mayo on your sandwich, but while you're doing it salute the flag because you're being a good American.

So drown your hotdogs in mustard, your ketchup

Thursday, August 2, 2007


From "Simon's Sorrows"

When I'm in a situation where I'm meeting new people there are a few things that I do each time as a way of trying to get a grasp of who it is that I am talking with. Without a doubt the most informative one is "What kind of music do you listen to?"

The magnitude of responses is infinite and often times uninteresting. Most people will say "I listen to everything", really meaning that they don't give that much thought into music. Others will immediately have a specific sub-genre of music that they jump right into, backyard birthday canonballstyle! These are the types of people who interest me. Because when you hear them tell it to you, it's not about the music, it's about the passion.

There are certain types of music that I haven't been able to understand....yet. But hearing about them from people who are passionate about music lets you hear through their ears for a minute. When someone is truly passionate about music they appreciate what is going on and how it connects with them regardless of anything else. A country music fan who loves country music talking to a deathmetal rocker who loves deathmetal actually have a lot in common. The level of excitement they share about the music they listen to is the profound beauty in their lives.

Can you believe that some people I asked this question to said "I don't really listen to music"


They don't know what they're missing.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Where Has The Love Gone?

From "Simon's Sorrows"

Doesn't it seem like the world has gradually become less and less friendly?

I look around now and all I see is people being rude to one another. Perhaps a roll of the eyes, or a thumb of the nose, or any other generally offensive gesture. They're becoming more common with each passing day, and I for one am really getting sad about it.

I look at days gone by and say "where has the love gone?"

August 14th, 1945 "Kissing the War Goodbye"

Who hasn't seen this timeless photo of a soldier being swept up in the glorious moment gloriously sweeping a stranger into his arms in a heartfelt embrace.

Can you imagine trying this now?

He is sure to be met with a slap in the face and if he's not lucky a paternity test. Where has the love gone?

August 15th 1969 "Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music"

A country ripped apart by war coming together to celebrate peace and love with music. Naked hippies covered in mud embracing one another in the pouring rain. Does a more romantic image even exist?

30 years later they try this again. The result tractor trailers being lit on fire. And that was in 1999. Try it in 2007? Steroids, Dog Fighting and Match Fixing are bound to be involved, hell you'd probably have a hobo fighting league erupt in the middle of it. The humanity!

Where has the love gone?

I Simon McGuillicutty demand change! I am making it my mission to reverse the evil trends of the past 35 years and bring this world back to the love filled oasis that it once was. And it all starts here.

This August will be known as Random Acts of Love Month.
Feel free to walk up to women on the street and dazzle them with a random act of love.
Ladies you get in on it too.
Don't let fear of commitment or not wanting to make the first move stop you. Walk up to that man on the subway and grab his rear end in the same sort of heartfelt embrace that was captured in time forever in "Kissing the War Goodbye"

Where has the love gone? I don't know, but I tell you this, it is coming back.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I'm a little teacup

Each day I begin my life with a song. It never changes and it never will, it is always the same song. For some reason, throughout the eternity which my life seems to be, this one song has tickled my fancy more than anything else. And we all know how much my fancy has been tickled, so that is a lot!

I'm a little teacup. So simple, yet so beautiful and full of meaning at the same time. Lets break it down line by line.

I'm a little teacup short and stout

Simple, explanative, good use of vowels, consonants and punctuation. It is what it is, how could you ask for anything more?

Here is my handle here is my spout Such confidence! All of us should learn to take pride in our features like this teacup has. Imagine walking up to someone and saying "here is my hand, here is my foot!" The teacup shows us the way. Let everyone know that you know the names of your body parts, and let them know Now!!!

When I get all steamed up hear me shout
Hear that assertiveness. Don't fuck with this teacup, it knows who's boss and it wont take any of your shit. Might as well have said "You talking to me?" Robert De Niro aint got nothing on this teacup.

Tip me over and pour me out
Here's where it all comes together. The grammar and control of the language, the simple explanation, no long winded stuff here. The confidence, even the arrogance! And what makes it truly brilliant, the functionality. This teacup, brimming with english language, explanation, assertiveness and even tea, ready to be poured out, in fact Demanding to be poured out. Which is the exact thing it is meant to do. Everything in life should be so perfect.

Friday, July 13, 2007

"I Have a Dream!"

Who can forget the image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. professing to the masses that he had a dream. A man fighting for change that will enable his children to be judged by the content of their character rather than the colour of their skin.

A more powerful image and cause doesn't exist.

This morning I also had a dream.

However with a much less noble cause.

As I awoke and started about the normal does and don'ts of my day I found myself taken back when I was standing above my underwear drawer.

For too long I have lived with the fact that many of my boxer shorts, jockey shorts and briefs alike had holes in them.

As much as I wanted to my underwear drawer to be everything that it should be, it appeared that I was going to have to settle for the fact that it is just everything that it shouldn't be.

For years I have tried to have a hole free underwear drawer.

Each day as I put on a different portion of a garment I would say, "why do I do this to myself?"

But never the less I would put them on anyway, and go about my day pretending like everything was normal.

But in reality everything was anything but.

Today is the day everything will change.

I vow from now onward to gradually phase out holed undergarments. I will go to zellars, walmart, or another value type underwear outlet and buy a new pack.

For each pack that I buy I will begin to discard those that had holes, yes even if they're my favourites.

Little by little, piece by piece, hole by hole, these imperfections will be eliminated, and my underwear drawer will become the ideal oasis of fun that I have always dreamed it would be.

That is its Destiny!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

On Optimism

Imagine this essay as an argument for how to live your life in the best way possible. Similar to a doctrine like "Utilitarianism" by John Stuart Mill or The Bible.It is a collection of thoughts and influences put together into one guiding constitution that suggests a way to live better than all others.

I start by saying that the idea of being optimistic is not something many people utilize in their lives. All too often people focus on past experiences, dwelling on negatives in a situation and worrying about things they have no control over. What makes this particularly interesting is that many recognize what it is that is troubling them and may even acknowledge the fact that a possible solution would be to "find the silver lining" or "not cry over spilled milk."

This is an attempt to put forth an argument for how one can incorporate any number of sources to develop their individualized version of Optimism.

Something important to recognize before even beginning is that what I am writing is the way I have used influences in my life to develop my version of Optimism. For each person reading it they will draw on their own past, experiences and influences to develop their own version of Optimism, while still falling under its umbrella.
In my recent life I have found myself wanting to look at all of the people around me and boil them down to what really makes them operate. To look at a person, observe how they act and be able to understand what their guiding principles are. Through doing this I have been rewarded with the realization that all of the people I know are each as dynamic an individual as I am myself, no less unique, but also very predictable when you recognize what it is that motivates the individual.

Through looking at differing types of people I have begun to understand that each person has a set of guidelines that they stick to throughout their life as a type of constitution outlining how they should act in each different circumstance. Of course many haven’t articulated it, and may not even be aware of its presence but each individual is actually very predictable if you can truly understand what it is that makes them operate.
With that said I move on to how I operate. I benefit here from having one of the greatest writers of all time pen a great line before me that applies itself perfectly. "This above all to thine one self be true." Everything starts with having a firm sense of self and the confidence to act like yourself under any circumstance. It is not to say that your sense of self is a stagnant thing that you must always be trying to be, it will be a continually evolving thing that is slightly abstract in nature but very genuine in feeling.

Staying truthful to yourself allows the person to have supreme confidence in all of the decisions that they make. Many other ways of operating obsess far too much over others views about them, and whether those people like to admit it or not, to a certain extent their actions are being dictated by the people surrounding them. Staying truthful to yourself is a way of giving you the power to dictate your actions.

Rather than be concerned with petty differences, accept the fact that people will have a problem with you sometimes. For Someone who is very concerned with things that you aren’t such as image or appearance it will be hard for them to accept that you do not give it more thought than you do. Some people will not like you. This is not a bad thing. Instead look on it as a sense of freedom, where you have been given the unbelievable ability to know exactly what to do in any possible scenario. Act only in accordance with what you believe to be truest to yourself and you can never go wrong. It is only when external things come in to play and begin changing the way that you operate that you truthfully get into trouble.

This gift of freedom in its truest form gives you the ability to be infinitely capable of producing whatever you can imagine. You are not bound down by the constraints of conservative views or societal norms. It is the ace up your sleeve that works every single time and isn’t even considered cheating.

Followed by this sense of self there is also an ability to let things go. Drawing from many different philosophical arguments I point notice to a few in particular that illustrate how this is an advantage. The first is the idea explored by The Ontological Argument for the existence of God originally written by St. Anselm. It states that if you attempt to imagine an infinite being with all perfections, in the process you are forced to accept that existence is a perfection. Is having a million dollars better than imagining 1 million dollars? Of course it is, therefore by the very nature of existence being a perfection and of you attempting to think of an infinite being with all perfections you have proved that it must exist. Lets not waste time debating The Ontological Argument, that is not our purpose, so for the purpose of this paper we will just accept that it is true.

Following this I draw on work done by Albert Camus about the idea of the absurd. Basically the absurd is living in a world that has contradictions. It is looking at world, created by an all powerful God with all perfections, and recognizing that there is still evil in this world. This can mean one of only two things. Either there is evil in the world that God put here and he is not all good, or there is evil in the world that God did not put here and he is not all powerful. Here it seems like there are contradicting theories about your God. One thing states he should be one way, another states he should be something else. This contradiction when extrapolated has the capacity to make the human life meaningless. Now you just become another spec on the map of the universe, completely unoriginal and insignificant in the greater scheme of things. How can you make things meaningful for you?
The answer is actually the opposite of what most people would think. Rather than place significance on the things that are occurring in your life, you are going to take all the meaning out of every possible circumstance. Imagine that, truly developed to its fullest extent. People living so immediately in the present that no change could impact them because they were already living in the moment ahead of the moment that had just passed. No murder, suicide or lost loved one had any importance because it is all about embracing the singular present moment and living it. For many people this is a tremendously unnatural way to think and I admit I struggle with it myself. What is important to recognize is that this idea is an idea that exists in theory but is not practical in everyday life. Living in this state would simply create non-action where you were literally starving yourself to death because you were living in the moment.

That is not what I am arguing for us to revert to. Instead treat it as a process, with that as the goal at the end of the road. Look at the way you live your life and see how much more enjoyable things can become when all of a sudden things aren’t capable of hurting you anymore. Imagine being able to go through some of the most tragic events of all time and feel no guilt or remorse what so ever because you were so caught up in the current moment. It gives you the ability to progress towards infinite happiness.

Keeping that in mind as an end goal it needs to be balanced with the demands of the physical world. You must eat and you must drink, and there are many other things that you must do. There are certain things that you should probably do and there are certain things that you probably shouldn’t and the gray area that is created by this entire process is the interesting field where you play the game of life. Keeping in mind the end goal of having nothing matter, while still being able to motivate yourself with goals.

How this relates to being able to let things slide is very simple. Time and time again there will be situations in which you can make a personal sacrifice to do a group of people a greater good. A split second example when it may take you swallowing some of your dignity to allow a collective group of people to be more comfortable in a situation. You should look at this as in your best interest too because even though it is you making the sacrifice you are advancing the interests of the group collectively to the maximum potential. Here you are doing a sort of cost benefits analysis similar to John Stuart Mill’s argument for Utility.

You will find that you will be able to do little things that really don’t impact you too greatly, but allow you to significantly increase the amount of enjoyment had by the group of people you are with. When problems present themselves it is then your job to recognize that problem so that in the future you can do your best to avoid it even while not making a big deal or "crying over spilt milk" immediately after it has happened. This removes the stress from your life.

The last thing that needs to be established is meaning and faith, which go hand in hand. Words like God and faith often have negative connotations because of the amount of damage that organized religions have done by causing things like conservative social views to be associated with God, when in actual fact God literally is just an all perfect infinite being. But is that the type of thing you want to have faith in? More than likely it is lacking of any real emotional connection that would make someone want to be faithful to it. What is there to be faithful to? What answer can help every problem no matter how absurd while allowing the person the still act truthfully to themselves, and let things go? The Answer is Optimism.

Optimism is a beautiful thing that gives you the ability to pull yourself away from any situation because, couldn’t it always be worse? And therefore don’t you have it pretty good? Have faith in goodness. It is the most genuine of all things. Whenever things appear to be going terribly wrong, whenever you are completely down on yourself, and thinking that things couldn’t be worse, stop for a minute and recognize that actually, yes, things can always be worse. Infinitely worse. They can also be infinitely better. These two thoughts actually work together. Things can always be worse. Realizing this gives you the ability to rationalize your placement, and understand that you don’t have it that bad. Then thinking that things can be better gives you the greatest gift of all. Hope.
At no point do you have to stop having hope. Hope for all things better. This hope is what I call Optimism, and is what you can have fun being faithful to from now until infinity.