Blogging: a historical record of my development and thinking

I’ve been blogging here for a little over two years now (and longer than that elsewhere) and I have to say that I find it really therapeutic. The more I do it, the more I enjoy it. Consciously writing down my thoughts and thinking them through allows me to really think about a subject in a way that my brain does not typically do.

It’s an intriguing hobby/exercise akin to journalling, where you can look back on your thought process on a variety of subjects as you grow, evolve and mature.

Since I’ve only been writing here for 2 years, I haven’t really had a change of heart on any given subject but I can still see changes in the way I think and even the way I write.

I intend to keep this up as I think it will be a great way to look back on what was important to me throughout my life and how my perception of the world changed.

My favourite album: The 2nd Law

Whenever I’m asked for my favourite anything, I always seize up because a favourite anything is so binary. It’s less clear cut for me and I can always convince myself that there are many favorites for different occasions and situations.

This is equally true for my favourite album. It’s so hard to select a single album which reigns supreme above all others. There are certainly a lot of good albums out there.

However, I think that all considered, my favourite album ever is The 2nd Law by Muse. Muse have probably been my favourite band ever since Origin of Symmetry came out. Their songwriting, production, creativity and especially their talent (as evidenced by their live performances) have rightly made them one of the biggest rock bands of the 21st century. Continue reading My favourite album: The 2nd Law

John Oliver – a perfect blend of journalism and comedy

John Oliver is something special. He jumped into the limelight last year with his own show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver after a brief 8-week stint guest hosting The Daily Show.

Last Week Tonight is an HBO show and as such, I’ve never seen a full episode. However, they put the main segment of each show on their YouTube channel which I look forward to watching each week. The main segment is a 15-20 minute piece looking at a topic that John wants to shine a light on. Sometimes the topics are current and other times they’re longstanding issues.

John does an excellent job of making us care about things that we’re either unaware of or that we’ve just had a tendency to accept as a society. He and his team of journalists research the topics in great depth and show just how much of a mockery they have become, both from a social and a political standpoint. He publicly highlights and humiliates politicians that pander to big business and lambasts companies that conduct themselves unethically, all while threading through a wave of comedy.

I think watching a few clips will do a much better job of highlighting the kind of show this is, why it’s such a hit and maybe cause you to take action on a few things yourself.

Sugar

Continue reading John Oliver – a perfect blend of journalism and comedy

The weekend

By definition the weekend is the end of the week. People’s definition of the weekend may vary slightly but I think that most people would agree that includes most or all of Saturday and Sunday.

So why then do Americans insist on putting Sunday at the beginning of the week in calendars and diaries? It just seems to be another example of religiosity creeping in to American culture and dictating that Sunday should come first in the week because it is the holy day.

And once again, America just looks silly and goes by a convention that no one else in the world observes.

The Human Podcast: deep discussions that provoke thought and change

A few months ago, my wife sent me a link to a podcast episode, because it featured a guest that I knew and she thought I might enjoy it. His name was Justin Stumvoll and he and the two hosts Wes and Ryan spoke intelligently for an hour about men, our sexuality, the fact that we’re emotional creatures and that real masculinity is not found in bravado, but in your confidence and humility.

It was an excellent episode that really engaged me, got me thinking and more importantly wasn’t a dull repeat of oft-repeated clichés: it was out-of-the-box thinking that challenged the status quo, dared to ask the questions that people shy away from and invited discussion, disagreement and debate.

It took me listening to this episode to realise how much I miss conversation like this. I’ve discussed previously how objectivity is so absent in America and how dearly I miss it. Continue reading The Human Podcast: deep discussions that provoke thought and change

Things to not say to a pregnant woman

The way in which we talk to and about pregnant women (and their husbands/boyfriends) is a little bizarre as far as I’m concerned.

Just yesterday, we met with our midwife who made a good point that there comes a point in a woman’s pregnancy where she is now undeniably pregnant (maybe at 5 or 6 months in) where people feel her body is now an acceptable conversation piece.

Aside from just being plain awkward, there are certain things which make the expectant mother feel bad. This is by no means exhaustive, but it’s just some of the things that we’ve experienced over the past 2 years that have caused irritation: Continue reading Things to not say to a pregnant woman

Saying no to good job opportunities

I was recently presented with a job opportunity that was hard to pass up. It would have meant venturing into my preferred career (WordPress) full-time, taking an increase in pay, working from home and more. But I had to turn it down.

During the interview with the owner of the company, we started discussing the logistics of a trial which we both wanted to move ahead with. The looming arrival of Jack caused me to note that at any given time, I would be away from my desk for two weeks and I unapologetically would not be checking email or working as I enjoyed my paternity leave with my family.

That commitment to my core values acted as an excellent guide when considering this job offer. All along the way, everything lined up with what meant the most to me and it was only for that reason that I continued to pursue it. Continue reading Saying no to good job opportunities

Why $15/hr for fast food workers just doesn’t make sense

I haven’t paid attention to this “news story” where fast food workers in the US are demanding $15/hr for the work they do, but an opinion piece from Matt Walsh (Fast Food Workers: You Don’t Deserve $15 an Hour to Flip Burgers, and That’s OK) caught my eye on Facebook and I proceeded to read through his thought process.

Matt’s thoughtfully crafted article is an excellent rebuttal to the orders of fast food workers. Jobs are paid commensurate with their implicit value and as Matt elegantly puts it:

So, real talk: Your job isn’t worth 15 bucks an hour. Sure, as a human being, you’re priceless. As a child of God, you’re precious, a work of art, a freaking miracle. But your job wrapping hamburgers in foil and putting them in paper bags — that has a price tag, and the price tag ain’t anywhere close to the one our economy and society puts on teachers and mechanics.

Continue reading Why $15/hr for fast food workers just doesn’t make sense