Category: well-being

Self-help: Want to change your life? Be fascistic! (OMG. Really? Yes!)

Help yourself be a BETTER self. How? Stop making excuses, stop prevaricating, just commit and friggin do. Be committed to yourself. Be fascistic - have zero tolerance for your own excuses!

Thousands of blogs, newspaper articles and much else besides will be endorsing, articulating and advocating all kinds of steps to take to improve your life. Yes, the dreaded “New Year’s Resolutions” (NYR).  Well, fcuk resolutions, New Year’s or otherwise. Why? Well, there’s evidence a-plenty that says that most people who make resolutions (whether to lose weight – the biggest one, no pun intended – and more, besides) fail within the first few months. I suspect this is one major reason that I, among others, hate the BS about NYR. Or even simply just “R”.

Why is there such failure? I mean, why do vows and determinations to commit to a new, positive action, to overturn a bad habit, to be a better person in some sort of way, end up in failure?

We know that society and its innumerable institutions and social conditioning coerce us to become not better but less of ourselves. Education is not about education, but rather about conforming to accepting the status quo. And where has that left the new generation? With Sweet F. A.  Governments across the globe spout on about achieving a beneficial understanding to succeed in society, according to certain prescribed criteria they dish out in curricula et al, but all such governments typically fail – and brilliantly so (i.e., miserably). Well, apart from the Northern European ones, who are so successful it’s embarrassing to the other governments and outsiders are just simply relieved that some of them instead suffer from bouts of depression, suicide/suicidal behaviour and alcoholism way above the “happiness” factor measurements would otherwise show) itself fails and we fail with it.  (Facts: Typically Western societies fail to help children to achieve what they advocate: They espouse the importance of the fundamental needs for children to read, write and do basic maths, yet XX% children are coming out of school at the age of 16 with poor skills in these three areas. Studies have shown that universities are deeply troubled at the inadequacy of candidates who apply to prove capabilities in these areas. And these conclusions are about the teenagers who succeed in achieving qualifications that supposedly show the very abilities that the universities say are absent. WTF?!)

So, let’s focus on the fundamentals, then, in a real way. Let’s take a philosophical approach that demands definitions and examines behavioural attitudes and the consequences of such attitudes. Let’s understand the societal impositions, the social conditioning, the infrastructures of child development, the inadequacies of State education (and Private – the muppets – after all: Oh, yes, I want my child to have the best, that’s why s/he’s in private school. That’s all that matters – a solid grounding to have more opportunities available to him/her. [Subtext: Actually, frig/fcuk the fact that my child may end up highly qualified but will be an absolutely HUMONGOUS TWATTING, CONDESCENDING, UPPITY PRI*CKLESS PRI*CKS FROM TWATLAND – read: David Cameron‘s/New Gingrich’s ilk – because of their innate sense of superiority that Private School affords them.]).

Actually, let’s not. First key point: Normally, I’m incredibly anally-retentively keen to give evidence-based arguments. So all those points above that are listed in bold italic should, ordinarily, be annotated with evidence from many Western governments‘ own departmental research, independent think tanks’ research, UN’s various bodies of research evidence, and never ending. Fcuk it.  The research is there but, let me be like all the Neo-Conservative/small-C conservatives out there and not cite such research. If you want to find it, it’s available. Check the web. Equally, if you’re a Neo-Con, anti-liberal, anti-libertarian etc., you will find evidence to support those views.

So let’s get back to basics (a phrase you’ll recall is often fondly used by Neo-Cons throughout UK, Europe and the US to discuss returning to a fascistic, less liberal, less tolerant, less understanding, less supportive way of life: well, let me qualify: LESS supportive of those disenfranchised, dispossessed, alienated, alone, segregated, misunderstood, misconceived, and more besides – again.

How do you then achieve real self-help? The self-help industry is worth billions of dollars every year. It follows swiftly behind pornography and oil and other such fun exploits of life and the earth and such.

SO! How do you achieve self-help, how do you make sure you are REALLY going to achieve POSITIVE CHANGE?

Well, HERE’S THE SECRET: BE FASCISTIC. YES! SERIOUSLY! (Erm, that’s one bold italic that will never be substantiated by evidence and, if it is, the person who presents it to me can go frig themselves, if they’re lucky.)

Ok, first perhaps I should define terms, as that’s otherwise going to lead us to a slippery slope of misunderstanding and I’ll end up writing a book like John Gray and men are aliens and women are other types of aliens and it becomes a horrendous bestseller that millions believe.

FASCISTIC: DEFINITION: I’m going to take the highly web-popular dictionary definition from, definition 3:

“a person who is dictatorial or has extreme right-wing views.”

Still sounds awful? How does this connect with self-help? Simple. Most of us all pretty much agree (I hope) that we are our “own worst enemies”, our “own worst critics” and – so, surely, we agree that we are our own BEST “self-sabatoeurs” to self-help.

Most NYRs or even Rs for self-transformation (whether complete or singular of an aspect of oneself), are sabotaged by none other than, YES, you guessed it – NO – you KNEW: ourselves.

OUR UNIVERSAL BULLSHIT TO OTHERS AND TO OURSELVES: We are the most brilliant creatures at making excuses for our pathetic, inexcusable behaviour. We self-deceive, we prevaricate, we obfuscate, we obliterate (usually others, including good friends’ and family’s arguments to the contrary), we deny, we go at tangents, we circumnavigate, we look beyond, underneath, other-which-way, play sleight of hand, fall asleep, get tired, yawn, explain that we are too tired, too low, too miserable, too dejected, had a bad week/day/month, say we’re too busy, say there are more important things to focus on, say that YES I WILL STOP – BUT NOT RIGHT NOW – TOMORROW/NEXT WEEK/NEXT MONTH when life is less stressful, when the Xmas Season is over, when I’m adjusted to my new job, when I’ve done this, that or the other. And so it goes. Ad infinitum. And there’s always the other. We all know that, right?

Ok, so let me get to “brass tacks/bottom line” cliché. The reason you have to be fascistic for self-change is to avoid the scenario immediately highlighted above. How?

By being absolutely intolerant – fascistically so – of anything other than absolute obedience to our own self-defined plan to change for the better.

Will this really help? Well, it depends on how fascistic  you’re prepared to be with yourself. Your intolerance of prejudice, of sexism, of homophobia, of racism, ageism, of innumerable “scape goats”, should in turn be the fire and dragon breath to help you to decide to succeed in achieving real change. But you won’t, if you’re not absolutely, completely 100% intolerant of excuses/reasons/BS of any kind that will steer you away from your goal/plan.

Will it work? Well, when I chose the path of a fascist (noted, of course, that I was born a liberal baby as soon as I popped out of my mother and – besides being rather overwhelmed by the entire mess – ahem (I’m rather anal retentive, but there’s only such much one can endure – I hoisted a placard saying: What are these barbaric conditions of giving birth! Poor woman! Women unite! Protest!

I’m getting away from the point, I know. Let me say this, then: YES, CATEGORICALLY IT DOES WORK. As I said in the beginning of this post, and we all pretty much know this, the biggest universal NYR/R is to lose weight. OK. I vowed/R. But whereas I did so in the past with absolute tolerance of my innumerable infringements and faux-pas and eff-ups and excuses, this time I was – YES, DEAR READER: FASCISTIC.

Every time I came up with one or more of the three biggest self-sabotaging excuses below, I countermanded and overruled them immediately – an absolute promise/pact I made with myself always fascistically, relentlessly to find a solution and alternative to whatever the excuse was in order to ensure I stuck to the original commitment.

Classic self-sabotage excuses include one or more of the following and, after the dashes, typically what I said/did to keep my fascistic rules in place and, thereby, my behaviour also. Some of my fascist counterpoints are lengthy – I didn’t necessarily use/apply all of the responses, but used one or more, depending on the strength of feeling of the self-sabotating. Note: Unsurprisingly, fascists and fascistic talk are rarely if ever diplomatic, so don’t be aghast by the occasional nastiness of the fascistic counterpoint. It’s fascistic – hello!

Self-Sabotaging ExcusesFascistic Counterpoint(s)

1. I’m just too tired from overwork/lack of sleep So do your exercise [or whatever it is] more slowly but, if you do, it’ll take you twice as long. But even when you’re exhausted, you can stick to your rule. Otherwise you’re just making excuses. Plus, the more you fascistically commit to your plan, the less likely it is you will be so tired in future because you will have more energy and strength both physically and mentally from continuing to do what you’re doing now in your plan.

2.I just can’t be botheredYou friggin lazy bastard! This is why you’re in this mess. And how exactly are you going to feel about yourself in a week’s / month’s / six month’s time when you’re still facing the same problems in the future with absolutely no improvement. Pull your fat finger outta your fat arse and get a friggin move on. Move it, asshole!

3. An emergency/crisis has happened (at work / home / with a friend / family member). [Sounds like a solid reason, eh? NO – it ain’t!] — Fair enough. However, for any planned physical/time-involving action (e.g., going to gym, jogging, talking a fast-paced walk), then either immediately plan/put into your diary the necessary alternative date(s) to cover whichever ones you have to miss now, or (better) remain committed to your schedule but just do them earlier/later in your day/evening so you remain on track. Otherwise, you’re just making a friggin lazy MOFO excuse and exploiting the emergency in order to avoid respecting yourself and honouring your own integrity. You want to be a two-faced lying sonofabitch to yourself and build self-respect that way, huh? Stick with the plan, otherwise one day you’ll end up in emergency and it’ll be too late to help yourself. And don’t be such a hypocrite: always going on about helping others to help themselves and being there for your friends and family and how important it all is, but you can’t even remain committed to helping your own self.  Who the fcuk are you to advise others when you can’t swallow your own healthy advice?!

As I result, I stuck to a healthy diet, physical exercise plan and routine and kept to it “religiously” as they say (a funny term, I think, considering “religiously” means nothing like such a meaning!). In three months I lost three stone, no stretch marks, no consequences, and I achieved an ‘ideal weight’. (Erm – it didn’t stop my face from looking like a slapped arse, but that’s nature and the weather conditions for you – ahem.)

CONCLUSION: If, in 2012, you want to achieve any sort of real change in your life, be FASCISTIC. Yes! Be truly intolerant of you making excuses, backsliding, saying you can’t because of this/that or the other (there’s always ‘the other’, eh? I know!). You can’t say, “never mind tonight, I’m going out with friends and so won’t have the energy to do it tomorrow, according to my schedule. I’ll just postpone it to another day/time”. If you’re going to commit to a particular aspect of yourself changing, then commit. If you really don’t want to, really just can’t be arsed? Fine, then don’t. But then don’t feel guilty – that’s a bloody stupid waste of time, energy and emotion better spent doing something else rather than feeling more negative because of your own stupid behaviour/backsliding [note I didn’t say you were stupid – a big, important difference in self-analysis/evaluation!] – but don’t friggin kid yourself, either, okay?

Meanwhile, Just promise me you’ll continue to be open-minded, liberal, liberated, questioning, challenging of the status quo, loving to all and fascistically hateful of true intolerance. Please?

Love, bobbygw

Great books for well-being, keeping balanced and staying sane

If I were Warren Buffet, I’d give these books out for free. I highly recommend them to help you gain a healthy perspective on life, gain balance and stay sane. The literature ranges from the profound, to the challenging to the utterly charming. I stand by all of them and each one is well worth the read. Check them out and see if any of them tickle your fancy and help to make a difference in your life.

I’d love to hear from you, so if you have a mo, zap me a comment sometime in the future and let me know if any have helped to make you laugh, see things differently (better), and to enjoy life perhaps a little bit more than you were doing. And if you like the list, perhaps you’d like to send the link to your friends, family and enemies!

Sandra Bullock’s drug addiction movie 28 Days – a confessional review

I'm cute, have a wickle button nose, wear snuggly-wuggly baggy cardigans in lots of my movies. But don't let that fool you, cos I eat children innit.

I confess that the first pleasure I gained from watching this movie was enjoying Bullock suffer so much (but since it was due to drug addiction, I admit that sounds rather twisted/nasty). I also confess that Bullock is one of my least – no – the least – favourite actresses. Why? Because she’s so incredibly limited, including in her comedy, which mostly comprises her falling over herself and being silly/talking silly, clutzy, and acting through her cute button nose and obsession with baggy cardigans (the latter only when her character is in either a sorrowful or ‘look I’m cute and innocent’ frame of mind, that is. So most of the time, yeh).

However, this movie about Bullock’s character’s forced stay in a drug rehab centre in the US, while curiously unclear about being a satire/straightforward comedy on such a centre, and otherwise a celebration of the quirky (read: drug-addicted) characters, resolves into a film that addresses some interesting issues about different kinds of drug addiction. Having said that, I still couldn’t figure out by the end of the film if the ridiculous American-style chanting among groups in the movie, was sincere (i.e., worthwhile, meaningful) or the opposite. Having been a counsellor in a former life, all I can say is I hope that the chanting was a satiric take on such activity, as I’ve never known it to be effective (besides which, there are no studies, as far as I know, that confirm otherwise).

Still, it is genuinely charming to see Bullock’s druggie-character transition over time to an individual who not only is struggling, but confronts and deals with the trauma in her life (especially in regard to her helping others). On top of which, and this is the best part of the movie, you have the wonderful

I love people you know, but it's like sometimes I think a lot of them are turkeys. Why? Because a lot of them come up to me and are always saying "gobble, gobble". Go gobble someone else.

Viggo Mortensen, playing an alcoholic, yet also endearing, and – surprise, surprise (no! — ahem), Bullock and Mortensen fall in love with each other but – wisely – this is a matter of deep appreciation of each other, not fulfilment for each other’s sake.

Besides the love interest, all the “quirky” characters are well-drawn and amusing and involve strong actors in their own right. While I think it is, ultimately, an entertaining engagement about drug problems, as opposed to a warning or serious movie about the issue – in contrast, one thinks of Hubert Selby Jr’s and Darron Aronovsky’s film Requiem For A Dream (to buy, click here for the UK/Europe version, and here for the US edition). None the less, it still does take time to address seriously some of the issues involved. Especially, given the actors’ efforts to impress their characters as bonding with/as well as challenging each other. Also, especially, Steve Buscemi, impresses as the lead-drug-addicted counsellor. And Viggo is, frankly — as always — thoroughly convincing and gorgeous in his role. No matter whom he plays as a character (in Lord of the Rings, Eastern Promises, A History of Violence), he comes across, just as he does here, as beautifully genuine.

So: my last confession: yes, Bullock can act, but for me this movie is the only proof. And what a charming, thoughtful and even occasionally amusing movie it is. And, yes, it is consistently, intelligently entertaining. Recommended.