Covid 19 and your stupid brain

It’s safe to say that these last few weeks (and months for some around the globe) have been just fucking bizarre. Going from a place of perfect normalcy and let’s face it, complacency to turning the whole situation into a real-life version of ‘contagion’.

And suddenly you dust off your primal instincts which have been gathering dust in the last few decades and you replenish your supplies of fear and your ‘survival instinct’ (which lead to the infamous TP disaster). 

Quarantine is not normal. Choosing to stay inside because you’re an introvert and simply preferring to watch anime all day is a TOTALLY LEGITIMATE LIFESTYLE THANK YOU VERY MUCH but it’s with the acute awareness that if you did decide to spend the day outside, you could. But when self-isolation suddenly becoming the mandate – time spent at home doesn’t quite feel like it used to. The four walls around you may just feel a little more claustrophobic than comforting. 

Do you know what the most annoying thing is? Unless you believe in the theory that Covid 19 is a man-made bioweapon, there’s nothing substantial you can point your finger at and hate. It’s impossible to personify and therefore villainize a fucking piece of code. A virus is a thing with no brain or intention, no evil cackle or plans of world dominion – even if that’s exactly what it’s ultimately doing. 

So if you’ve had some time alone with your thoughts, which seems more likely with the quarantine, you’re finding out that your brain is a pain in the ass and is taking you to some dark places. 

In this case, though, I don’t think it is necessarily paranoia alone, but it’s your brain instinctively trying to prepare you for the worst. So that if the worst does happen, that somehow, by having run through the situation in your mind (i.e. the prepping stage) you may be able to better cope with it if it does come to pass. And the truth is, mine delves into diluted forms of nihilism. I’d like to say it’s the kind of nihilism that eases the weight as opposed to make you all cynical and dark and an absolute pain to be around (which doesn’t help if others are confined with your sorry ass).

Nihilism in itself is the assumption that life is meaningless which has never been quite my philosophy, but if you follow it down to some of its logical conclusions and mix it with a sprinkle of Buddhist acceptance, it’ll lead you to ‘whatever happens, happens’. I feel confident in this when it comes to my own mortality, but I’ll jump ship and embrace becoming a fully-fledged hypocrite the second it comes to my loved ones and will disavow nihilism in a second. I’m trying to work on it, so I can find monk-like understanding in something as natural as the concept of mortality even when it comes to losing people I love. 

I feel this fusion of nihilism and Buddhism is a better way to go then Darwinism which at this point in time leads to some dumbass buying 18000 bottles of sanitizer and price gouging the hell out of it. Today, as dispersed and disconnected as we are because of technology, the virus forces us to work as a team. This means letting go of grudges and prejudices and the need to park your belief in individualism because your actions right now do affect others. This one time, you can’t be the only authority you listen to unless you live in the middle of nowhere with no one else around. Let’s all take some responsibility and see if we can’t minimize the harm we’re experiencing. 

In the meantime, if you’re scared beyond your wits because of your parents and grandparents, those with immune or lung complications – I hear you. I’m absolutely terrified myself, and that’s the only thing that gives me pause but while you may feel powerless – every single day you spend in self-isolation, see it as an active step of fighting the pandemic. It’s weird that sitting on your ass is the act defiance that we need – but it is. Because we’re all sacrificing something precious. In the meantime, and I know I don’t have to tell you this, don’t leave anything unsaid.

Thought leader

What makes a thought leader? On the surface it has a lot in common with what you’d look for in a cult leader – charming, charismatic and strong. But you want something more when it comes to a legitimate movement; the courage to leave room for debates and arguments. Being perfectly comfortable being confronted by those who critique whatever he/she’s put forward.

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“If you could see anything, what would you do?”

What would you do indeed? Sometimes it comes in the form of a painful realisation that just because you can doesn’t mean you should. It’s about knowing yourself well enough that if someone offers you gold on a platter that it might not be the right thing for you, even if objectively it is. Maybe it’s not wrong now, maybe it always will be. It’s holding yourself back from short-term pleasure by understanding the weaknesses you have. That something may change you for the worse or result in more pain means turning your back on something that no one else would. You are the only one who understands your flaws and what will exacerbate those flaws. Act on what you know about yourself.

How many times have you yourself thought about how amazing it’d be to be able to read minds? But once you dug into it more, you understood rather reluctantly that this blessing was a curse in disguise.

Ignorance is bliss‘ may not be the perfect over-arching motto of life but it counts as a significant footnote.

“Learn to close my eyes.”

Your legacy

We have an innate desire to be remembered and to leave a legacy. The things we do to have our existence be marked. The need to be continued to be thought of even if we aren’t around to do so directly. Whether it’s in secondary school, carving your name into the playground bench reading ‘Maddie waz here’ or leaving something behind at your workplace so that whenever people do see it, they think of you and your legacy. To plant something for an infinite amount of time which represents you. The whole – “this is your song” is synonymous for “Remember me when you listen to this”.

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Review, standouts, and discussion – Black Mirror Season 4

I’m not a big movie fan. In fact, there are maybe 10 movies I genuinely like and would be willing to re-watch, I myself am far more prone to comedy sitcoms. Then there are movies that gently and with time rather aggressively lead you to a soothing self-destruction of existential crises. Inception by extension, Matrix rather directly and then you have Black Mirror.

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