“Smile”

In a world where being a consumer

Is more important than being a thinker

 

Where a smile sells

And a heart sits on the shelf

 

When appearance is everything

Changing one’s mind becomes an admission of something unsavoury

The shame of having not known everything before

 

One must protect one’s own perfection

One must retain imperfection to hide from it

 

We devolve to prove we are not animals

We sink continents to keep ourselves afloat

 

We elect to stick to our guns

Even when they are pointed back at us

 

Smile

We Look To The Stars

It wasn’t always like this.

There used to be more.

Sometime far from the beginning, creation, seemingly too curious to be satisfied with mere existence, begat self-conception.

The same lifeless stardust, the same burning energy of infinity coalesced into the white-hot presence of life itself. And for a while, everything moved in the wake of our significance.

But, forever true to form, things change.

Whether by decree or by some unconscious turning of the tides of minds, substance seemed to fall from favour. Insatiable hunger became the impetus for instant gratification, to the detriment of all else. A waste of time. A waste of life.

And, as greed and ignorance formed an enviable bond, there was a moment felt around the world. The passing of something.

We shun empathy, unwilling to entertain the concept of equal ground at the expense of the possibility of being the victor. We find it’s hard to listen when we’ve got so much to preach.

After all this time, still we allow ourselves to be overtaken by the mad desire to beat the rest at the human race.

So now, tired of what we’ve made for ourselves here, we turn from introspection to escapism.

Every civilisation in history has turned to the stars in longing.

But whereas we used to look for meaning, now we yearn for release from the prison we built ourselves, trying to make a home.

Still we dream our dreams like boys as we look out to stars on the outer reaches of observable space. Blessed, as we are, with reflections of their past lives. Long gone now, but preserved for us by the lethargy of light within the context of forever.

And as we look upon those stars, we see ourselves. Long since dead by our own hands. Preserved for time being as the amusement of a universe made conscious. An ironic embodiment of self-awareness.

And we still cry at night, instead of making any change at all.

 

Lyric Spotlight: “The Last Leg” – Thomas Williams

We crawled our way up through the food chain, no man left behind.
But wanting more, we start to push some back, having changed our minds.
Is it too much to bear the weight of civilising us?
Have we reached a universal limit?
Must every species self-destruct?

We know from past experience that history has a lot to teach,.
But we find it’s hard to listen when we’ve got so much to preach.
We’re so good at finding differences our sense of family dulls.
There must be something more to life than splitting hairs and skulls.

So we make our demons real to lock away the flow of sentiment.
And we carve our names with steady hands on rifles, or on monuments.
Taking orders from the left, or from the right, or up above.
Proactive in our segregation from the people we’re afraid to love.
We build walls on the foundations of colour, faith or race.
Taking futures, taking innocence and idolising faces on the covers, on the airwaves, smiling blindly at the profit
engineered from facts and figures and the promises of false prophets.
Never thinking of the simple truth we cannot bear to face.
Overtaken by the mad desire to beat the rest at the human race.

Thomas Williams, 2015

On eBay and the “who gives feedback first?” debate

feedback2

The question of whether the buyer or seller leaves feedback first is one which has plagued mankind since time immemorial, or at the very least, since the introduction of eBay’s feedback system.

Buyers and sellers alike are split fairly evenly on the issue, resulting in a standoff that leaves sellers without the positive feedback they need so badly.

Untitled

The Bane of the eBay seller.

It’s quite a simple issue to resolve. The crux of the issue lies in the question of who has the final responsibility in the transaction.

Whether buyer or a seller, you are leaving feedback regarding the other party’s behaviour in the transaction as a whole. (On a side note, as is common with eBay practice, buyers have extra protection, because sellers have been unable to leave buyers negative feedback since 2008).

As a buyer, you are rating the seller on the following criteria:

  • Listing and item accuracy.
  • Handling time.
  • Postage cost.
  • Seller communication.

When you receive your item, the seller has completed their side of the transaction and you have the necessary information to leave your feedback.

 

As a seller leaving feedback for a buyer, you are reviewing their end of the transaction, which includes their reasonable assessment of the item when they receive it, and leaving of relevant feedback. Needless to say, this is impossible to assess until they have actually left feedback.

To reiterate that point, being easy to work with is a responsibility of both parties, and the buyers responsibility includes being reasonable to deal with after they receive the item. If a buyer receives an item and becomes abusive once they get their positive feedback, what is the recourse of the seller? Did the buyer deserve positive feedback purely on the basis of their payment going through? Of course not.

Still, many buyers claim the responsibility lies with the seller to leave their feedback first. As a result, they hold the seller’s positive feedback to ransom.

 

The fact that a seller can’t leave negative feedback is not, in my view, a decision that makes any sense, it certainly puts sellers at a further disadvantage. But if anything, it makes clear the issue that a buyer leaving feedback first has far less to lose than a seller.

If someone from eBay themselves should happen upon this post while perusing the web, you might take note of the suggestion that the issue would be resolved better if negative feedback for buyers was reinstated, but coupled with the rule that positive feedback for a seller only becomes public after the seller reciprocates with feedback for the buyer. This would resolve the issue both sides have that whoever leaves feedback first, the other party has no incentive to leave positive feedback.

“Another Song” – Demo

 

IMG_20151226_144106

It’s an interesting thing to consider exactly how simple it is for new boundaries to change your way of thinking.  A simple case in point, I sat down this morning to fiddle around with a new glass slide bought as a Christmas present (I’ve never been much of a fan of metal ones), and finished a demo I had been letting sit for well over six months. In retrospect it seems strange to hear it without the slide.

 

So, here’s the link. Have a listen. Try something new(!)

https://www.reverbnation.com/thomaswilliams7/song/22474815-another-song-demo

Excuse me, I just need to vent for a second.

Having relationship problems? Does your partner not listen enough? Have you ever considered that YOU might be the problem?

Everybody knows that any relationship between two people is based on a certain amount of give-and-take. But that doesn’t mean everybody you are friends with has to listen to your bullshit.

Think about it, man. Any social interaction is based on the simple truth that it only works if both people are trying to interest the other (unless you happen to share a common interest which is interesting to both parties by default, but that’s not what we’re talking about here), and yet there seems to be a vast swathe of the population who think that by virtue of being “friends” with someone else, they have earned the right to bore the fuck out of them with their own fucking boring problems.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this is a new development. I am saying that a lot of people are (and have always been) self-absorbed arseholes.

Of course, being a part of a friendship group of any size affords you a certain amount of control over conversation. Those who are the best conversationalists use this power for good, are aware of the control they exercise over their friends and do their best to pick up on social cues to assess others boredom so that they can move on to another potential avenue of interest.

Let’s explore this. If you are a part of a conversation with ANYONE else you care about, it’s your job to entertain them. Simple. That’s it. Most people have to temper this with the selfish compulsion to vent or complain, and that’s fine. These are not mutually exclusive objectives. If you need to complain about some dumb fuck you work with, there’s no reason you can’t couple that with some insightful humour or absurd characterisation to frame it in a way that will retain other peoples interest. It is when this objective is lost sight of and people start employing the “I don’t care, I’m just so sick of dealing with it, so you guys have to listen to my problems forever because I think it will somehow help me” tactic that people start losing interest.

And why not? Being friends means that people should have some kind of empathy for each other, it doesn’t mean they have to be interested in what the other is talking about 100% of the time. You hate your job? Fine. I sympathise, but I don’t want to hear about it in exactly the same way every time I see you. I can’t offer any new information to you if your situation hasn’t changed and your conversation sure as hell isn’t offering anything to ME.

I love to complain more than most, but if I thought for a second that I wasn’t being received well, I’d change my tactic somewhat. And if I was unable to make the conversation work, I’d stop and I would CARE. And if you care about YOUR friends, you should be more concerned with their own enjoyment than yours. If you are using your friendships to vent your own problems and giving nothing in return, what right have you to expect that your friends retain their interest in you? If your problems are the only experience people have of you, they eventually start perceiving you AS a problem.

Consider this. Every relationship starts with a grace period where people are held together, in part, by a shared interest like music, each other’s humour, or a desire to have intercourse with each other. But every relationship that lasts must eventually come to a point where these wells are bone dry, and at that point, it is only the ability to converse for the pleasure of it, without the need to convey new information that remains. If you can’t be a person who makes people happier than they would be if you weren’t there, then why be there?

And to my friends who make me listen to their problems, I love you. But you have no right to EXPECT me to be interested in your problems. I DO care about how you feel, but I care because I am a decent human being, not because you DEMAND it of me. I will do anything I can for you, but fuck you if you try to exploit that.

Detective John Dorm Pt.2

FX: Jazzy Sax music to denote a detective story.

John (voiceover): Wednesday night. I had returned home in my car which I had used to drive from the events of the previous episode. As I was developing the pictures of Mr. Lotsacats and the saucy broad he was balls-deep inside of, the red and black light of the dark room made everything seem mysterious and red and black.

Wilson: Hello John, I’ve been here the whole time.

John: Yes, I remember.

Wilson: Any leads on the case?

John: As a matter of fact, the case is solved. Mr. Lotsacats made it only too easy for me to take these filthy photos of his foul frisky fornication.

Wilson: Isn’t that Mrs. Lotsacats? I recognise her from the last episode.

John: I thought she looked familiar.

Wilson: (resignedly) Right. And what’s the dead body for?

John: What body? What are you talking about? You’re not making any sense!

Wilson: That body in the doorway. You walked right over it to get in here.

John: I have no recollection of that.

Wilson: I saw you pushing it out of the way.

John: Oh that! I thought that was just a pile of garbage.

Wilson: Right.

(long pause)

Wilson: Maybe we should take a look…?

John: Okay, he’s medium build, blue eyes, brown hair, 6’1”, 43 years old, an organ donor…

Wilson: You’re just reading his drivers license.

John: …licensed to drive C class vehicles, “please carry license when driving” Then there’s just a bunch of scribbles.

Wilson: That’s his signature.

John: This man appears to have drowned.

Wilson: What makes you think that?

John: Because there’s some kind of red water coming out of that bullet hole in his head.

(Pause)

That’s a joke. This man was murdered.

FX: Jazzy sax.

 

John (voiceover): After a good night’s sleep, I called the police. A short while later my office was a crime scene. And not the kind with good coffee.

Officer: Mr. Dorm, you should have called us immediately.

John: I know. He’s starting to get a bit whiffy. (sips) This coffee is terrible.

Officer: This is a very serious situation you’ve gotten yourself into, I have to consider the reasons you didn’t call us earlier.

Wilson (arriving): I got here as early as I could. Have the police been here long?

John: Yeah. About an hour.

Wilson: An hour!? When did you call them?

John: About an hour ago.

Wilson: I thought you called them when I left! What where you doing all night!?

John: Sleeping.

Officer: Mr Dorm?

John: Do you know, I haven’t known you for very long officer whatever-your-name-is, but in that brief window of time, I like to think we’ve become good friends.

Officer: I am arresting you on suspicion of Murder. I am going to have to ask you to accompany me to the station.

John: The radio station?

Officer: No. (Pause) The Police station.

FX: (Jazzy sax to denote a cliffhanger)

 

End of Part Two.