Love of Country vs. Jingoistic Bullshit

I am Australian. I love my country.

I love the land. Australia is deserts and rainforests and reefs, strange and beautiful and wild. It’s isolation and distance and a scattered cascade of stars spiralling around the Southern Cross. It’s lyrebirds and magpies and mopoke! mopoke! It’s the smell of eucalyptus, the startling double-take when a tree stump unfolds and hops across the trail in front of you, fat tail stretched out straight for balance behind. It’s a wallaby meeting your gaze and waiting to see who’s going to move first.

It’s a wild sense of space, of grey leaves and red sand.

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Do you care if what you are saying is true?

I’m developing a new policy before arguing with anyone. Essentially, arguing with people about things that I care about is exhausting. It’s emotionally trying. It can bring me to tears – which is already an uneven playing field for people who don’t care about what they’re arguing, who just want to stir up shit. It’s almost impossible to explain to someone who never has a personal stake in these arguments what it feels like to have a personal stake in these arguments. No, you’re not hysterical. You’re not overreacting. This is your life. It’s personal. It’s real. It matters.

So, when I argue, I’m investing, heavily. Often, the other person isn’t. Often, they just want me to perform.

I’m operating on a limited resource budget. I do not have the spare fuel to dance for the fucking audience.

Here’s my question: do you care about the truth?

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Doing Painkiller Math: Pain Levels and Interference

There’s a lot of talk lately about living with pain and what to do about pain, and as a person who is in pain a lot, I thought I might throw my two cents on the pile.

People who aren’t in chronic pain, or who have never done anything worse than had to get through a crappy sprain, might not understand what it does to you long term. Now, that applies even to relatively low level pain that marches along in the background: if that pain was short term, no worries. You’d just tough it out, maybe try some paracetamol (if that works for you), or ibuprofen (if you’re able to take it. I’m not). You’d rest, take it easy.

The problem comes when even that low level pain is constant, or even only goes away for an hour or so at a time (FREE! I WILL DO ALL THE THINGS!).

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