A Puff of Absurdity: On Anxiety

I just finished John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down, which I read because he claimed it was his way of trying to put words around what it’s like to live with profound anxiety, and then I saw this article asking “Why are more American teens than ever suffering from severe anxiety?”. I was raised ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On the Absurdist Victory: All is Well

A while back I wrote about a video comparing Stoicism and Existentialism. The video also touched on different psychology principles developed from each philosophy. Stoicism is easily seen in CBT and REBT, which start with the premise that when we’re upset it’s because of our perception of things, not the things in themselves, and we often ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Comparing Existentialism and Stoicism

This summer, I went on one camping trip with a book on Stoicism, then another camping trip with a book on Existentialism, and I was intrigued by the many similarities. Then I came across this video that has some overlap with what I had noticed. As they say in the video, Massimo Pigliucci (MP) on Stoicism ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Beauty and the Beast

I saw the newest version of this classic, which was close to being very good. There were a few long boring bits, and the CGI of the beast was hard to watch, but I liked that they added a little subplot about LeFou. I’m not talking about how inclusive it was, how in 2017 the ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Cancer Doulas

When last we left our heroine, she had just had an invasive tumour removed, but found out there could be traces of cancer left behind. She was left to choose between surgery, radiation, tamoxifen, or nothing. Let’s see what she does next… I had never heard of Healthcare Navigators before, and it seems they don’t ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Cancer Doulas

I had never heard of Healthcare Navigators before, and it seems they don’t exist as much in Canada as they do in the more expensive and privatized healthcare to the south (except for Indigenous needs), but they’re becoming more of a thing here. In Ontario, some hospitals have them, and we’re apparently leading the way to ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Swiss Army Man

I first saw this at the theatre and, despite the fact that it starts with a whole lot of farting in a wide variety of tones and tempos, the ending had me in tears. I highly recommend it. The surface story is about Hank, trapped on a deserted island – sort of – who finds ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Swiss Army Man

I first saw this at the theatre and, despite the fact that it starts with a whole lot of farting in a wide variety of tones and tempos, the ending had me in tears. I highly recommend it. The surface story is about Hank, trapped on a deserted island – sort of – who finds ...

A Puff of Absurdity: HyperNormalisation or Welcome to The Age of Absurdity

I added the subtitle above because this is one trippy film, but it’s important to see (or read this summary in about 15 minutes) after last night. It actually helps explain Trump. After Adam Curtis’s The Century of the Self, a very straight-forward documentary (albeit 4 hours long), this one, at just shy of 3 ...

mark a rayner: The Procedure

Grounding the team had been difficult, but not impossible. Dr. Hansrik assured them there would be no danger, once the patient was unconscious. Prior to sedation, the patient was capable of anything. (Just ask the good folk of Peoria, Illinois, who’d made the terrible mistake of not taking the patient’s demands for “unlimited chicken wings and non-stop ...

A Puff of Absurdity: A Reasonable Doubt?

A post wherein I get a little grumpy and swear-y about it all. What does reasonable doubt look like? Is there really, REALLY, a reasonable doubt that Jian attacked the women who had their lives scrutinized on the stand? With sexual abuse cases, it all hinges on the credibility of the victims. But the problem with ...

A Puff of Absurdity: A Reasonable Doubt?

A post wherein I get a little grumpy and swear-y about it all. What does reasonable doubt look like? Is there really, REALLY, a reasonable doubt that Jian attacked the women who had their lives scrutinized on the stand? With sexual abuse cases, it all hinges on the credibility of the victims. But the problem with ...

A Puff of Absurdity: The Terrifying Ramifications of the Verdict

I can just barely read about Jian’s acquittal on all charges. The Guardian has a telling interview with Lucy DeCoutere today. And of course some people, like Aaron Harnett, see it all as a “win” for Canadians because it safeguards us from accusations from anyone who has a remotely shaky memory of a traumatic event. ...

A Puff of Absurdity: The Terrifying Ramifications of the Verdict

I can just barely read about Jian’s acquittal on all charges. The Guardian has a telling interview with Lucy DeCoutere today. And of course some people, like Aaron Harnett, see it all as a “win” for Canadians because it safeguards us from accusations from anyone who has a remotely shaky memory of a traumatic event. ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Childhood Angst

Can children be existentialists? What I’m asking isn’t so much whether or not it’s possible, but should we allow it?  If I dare to claim to define some central ideas here, the part about living authentically and embracing the freedom that comes with taking responsibility for all our choices with no excuses, that side of it ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Upset Them at Your Peril

Professor Edward Schlosser wrote an interesting piece in Vox about, in part, the power his students have to call the shots these days.  I can attest that it’s at best, defeating, and at worst, absolutely terrifying. First of all, to clarify, my students are typically a delight, but the current system is fostering behaviours that ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Sublime Madness

“You don’t fight fascism because you’re going to win. You fight fascism because it is fascist.”      – Jean-Paul Sartre, The Age of Reason I previously intended to write about Hedges’ new book, Wages of Rebellion, but I got thoroughly overcome by a rant that’s been building.  So here’s the gist of his writing ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Harris on Harper

Michael Harris discusses union busting tactics, forcing members out of office, refusing compensation for veterans, and other scandals of the Harper years – so far.

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Lucidiva™ — Side effects

Common side effects include heavy breathing, panting, hyperventilation, lack of peripheral vision, excessive screaming, painful hearing and nasal discharge that may look like rice pudding. Sorry, but it happens. You should probably enjoy flatulence if you want to take this … Continue reading →

A Puff of Absurdity: On Fear of the Worst Thing and First-World Anxiety

I just successfully transferred four years of family photos onto albums on-line that got shipped to my home as big colourful books. Then I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I was ever anxious about anything happening to my laptop because I’d be devastated to lose all my photos, and my dropbox is full.  Now ...

A Puff of Absurdity: It Doesn’t Matter

It doesn’t matter why they’re dressed as a tiger, have they got my leg? Just one more thing about educational reform.  Well, for the weekend at least.  It relates to the video above because we’ve spent years talking about why we need to make these changes, why these new ideas make up the best way ...

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Paging Dr. Godhead

“…whoever wishes to become a philosopher must learn not to be frightened by absurdities.” –Bertrand Russell “The satirist is prevented by repulsion from gaining a better knowledge of the world he is attracted to, yet he is forced by attraction … Continue reading →