Your Universal Digest (1/4/2016)

Happy New Year folks 🙂 Let’s start with good and bad news.


The bad news: At this point, your hangover should be nearing completion, and you’re slowly starting to realise that, aside from the date, not much has actually changed for you at the start of this gloriously uncertain* year. And, knowing most of you readers, you’re already starting to regret making a resolution that you likely won’t keep (or are near blowing off, anyway). Love you loads, but it’s true.

The good news: It’s all going to be fine.**  We make promises to ourselves because we want to change, because we recognise in ourselves the things that can be better –  that should be better – if all went according to plan. But that’s not always the case, is it? Life has a fucky tendency of getting right in our collective way and making it damn near impossible to stick to the letter of whatever law we wrote on 12/31. I’m going to paraphrase a speech by David Foster Wallace called “This Is Water”, so bear with me (or just skip to the gifs***).  In this new year, you are beholden to whatever it is you worship. If you worship your possessions, you will never be happy with what you’ve got and you will always want more. If you worship your looks and your sex appeal, you will always think yourself ugly, and time and age will be your worst enemy. If you worship success, there will never be a plateau of work/life where you can allow yourself the contentedness you so desperately deserve. If you worship your intellect, you will always feel as though you are on the verge of being found out, never quite escaping the fear of stupid. This may sound too depressing to be good news, but there is a freedom from all of this. It begins with recognising that these thoughts are unconscious and generally inescapable. And, the alternative to the freedom of accepting that this is unconscious – and I’m going to quote directly here – “involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom.” SO what’s the good news, then? To me, the good news is that you have a choice to look past the shitty inconsistencies in life that make your resolutions obsolete, your worship unhealthy. You have a choice to recognise the awareness in others, to pay attention, to discipline yourself more this year than you did last, even if it’s in the smallest of ways. This year is yours, and you can do with it whatever you want.


If you want to read all of David Foster Wallace’s really remarkable speech, check the transcript out here and the video here. It is well worth it.


*Escalating tensions in the Middle East, a Presidential election replete with fucksticks, a refugee situation that has us all sitting naked on a moral fencepost. At least there will be no shortage of shit to write about

** Probably. Sometimes life just sucks really, really hard. Should that be the case, call me.



there is an xkcd for everything.


***There are no gifs today. I wanted to write, but my internet is too shit to handle upload/download. I’m in Amsterdam, so blame it on the Dutch. You’ll feel better.


That’s all for now. The coming weeks will feature more on what The Year of the Monkey will bring , what I’ve been up to these 3 long months that I haven’t written anything, and of course the internet download you’ve really come here for.

For what it’s worth, I am writing this once more because of the (handful) of you who have asked me what’s been going on with this little shitty blog, and I gotta say – it means the world to me. So, for you small lot, my resolution is to write this every morning you have to wake up and go to work. Because hopefully it brings you just a bit of distraction, a small smile, a momentary upwards inflection in your day.


Have a wonderful day ye fooks.






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