memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

Archive for the ‘human behaviour’ Category

Obsessive Compulsive

The world is divided into two classes of beings – those who, on sitting down for lunch,  automatically adjust the position of their knives and forks, move their glass half a centimeter to the left and centralize their plate in some totally imagined pattern of cosmic symmetry and those who don’t.

We are not born with this disorder; we don’t think, as a fetus in the womb, I know, I might try something different this time around, I might try being an obsessive compulsive – sounds like a lot of fun!

During our childhood when our natures begin to manifest themselves this preoccupation with order is seen as a virtue – it’s called being tidy.

Then, as we grow older, our minds arrange things into compartments, the walls of which we find increasingly hard to breach.

It is known that the interaction between the two hemispheres of the brain differs according to gender. While your male brain plods deliberately from side to side, your female brain flits seamlessly from left to right and back again in a zany fashion.

To really understand OCD you have to think male, take a few paces to the end of the street, turn right between the pylon and the hedge, go along a narrow lane and you will come up against a high stone wall.

It’s on the other side of that wall.

PSYCHOSIS – PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

The last Tasmanian

The last Tasmanian.

Sailing to Byzantium (1)

Sailing to Byzantium (1).

Human weakness

Human weakness.

Quack quack

Quack quack.

Saramago & Censorship

Saramago & Censorship.

Lady Lazarus

The University of South Carolina has developed a sociology course dedicated to the life, work and rise to fame of pop star Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga and the Sociology of the Fame is to be taught by Professor Mathieu Deflem, a fan of the singer. The course description aims to unravel some of the sociologically relevant dimensions of the fame of Lady Gaga with respect to her music, videos, fashion, and other artistic endeavours. My personal opinion of this High Priestess of the Iconography of Popular Culture is that, while she is a talented singer with a great voice and is undoubtedly at the cutting edge of dance and fashion etc., her videos show a leaning towards the macabre and have sado-masochistic overtones, which (call me old-fashioned) make them unsuitable viewing for children.

LADY GAGA

LADY GAGA

Let’s listen in on a possible first lecture of the course, shall we? –          « … Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, aka. Lady Gaga, was born on March 28th 1986 in New York City ….. ….. right, that’s it for today; now for your assignment I want you guys to gather into groups of four or five and watch with attention the video of POKER FACE and then sit around discussing your reactions to it, kinda brain-storming session, word-association with flow-charts …. Anything that pops into your head, anything at all is cool … and even if nothing whatsoever occurs, that’s cool too (NRR – Negative Response Reflex). Later, at the Fraternity House: –          Hi guys, some of us are going round to Brad’s pit later to discuss some aspects of Wittgenstein’s theory of Logical Positivism over squash and cookies! It should be a real blast; why don’t you all join us? –          Tempting, it sounds like a real hoot, but I’m afraid we’re going to have to give Brad’s bash a miss this time; we’ve got to stay in tonight and work on our Lady Gaga assignment which is due in tomorrow; it’s important for this semester’s grades. –          What a drag, bad luck! –          Yeah, while you guys are having a good time discussing and debating the night away, spare a thought for us lot having to stay in and  get blathered and watch Lady Gaga videos and have ideas and stuff.  

Ambulacrum

St. Edmund's College - AMBULACRUM

St. Edmund’s College – AMBULACRUM

Here is an old picture of The Ambulacrum at my old school (from the Latin ambulare: to walk) where people would amble, saunter or stroll before mealtimes or during breaks between lessons. There was an obscure protocol concerning who could avail themselves of this privilege and when and why, the details of which have long since fled from my mind, I’m glad to say.

Walking (also known as ambulation) is one of the main methods of locomotion among legged animals and is typically slower than running and other gaits. Walking is defined by an inverted pendulum gait in which the body vaults over the stiff limb or limbs with each step. Although walking speeds can vary greatly depending on factors such as height, weight, age, terrain, surface, load, culture, effort, and fitness, the average human walking speed is about 5 kilometres per hour.

Let me just jump in here as someone who has observed walking from both points of view (can and can’t).

I can testify that walking suits people.

Locomotion makes people dynamic, whether the upright graceful carriage of an athlete or the haunchy waddle of the villager, walking makes you look good.

walking_person_silhouette_clip_art_15563

Not so much fun however is sitting round all day in a wheelchair watching other people walk.

To my chagrin I haven’t greatly improved the quality or speed of my walking on my frame. Always at the back of my mind is one of the (unwritten) maxims of this place: to stop is to die. Goaded on by this thought, in spite of the inherent indolence of my nature, I continue to doggedly sway across halls and lurch down corridors, sweating and stubborn … while I am thus ambulating, my mind sometimes stretches across the universe to grasp at some elusive truth … other times I focus on the matter in hand – to continue defying gravity for just one more step.

But we make progress my masters; courage my friends; keep on going for just one more step.

Don’t give up!

I leave you with a spot of oriental wisdom:

What the caterpillar thinks of as the end of the world, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.

Lao-tzu

BUTTERFLY - PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

BUTTERFLY – PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

Human weakness

Where do you stand on obese people who put artificial sweetener in their tea while munching on a large slice of chocolate cake?

Chain-smokers who drink decaffeinated coffee?

People who drive to the park on weekends with bicycles on the roof of their car?

Teetotallers who drink non-alcoholic beer?

Vegetarians who eat meatless hamburgers?

Weight-conscious women who eat/drink endless low-calorie yoghurts?

Pudgy teenagers who wrap their faces around a Big Mac & French fries while delicately sipping diet cokes

Don’t cha just love them all?

 

WOODLAND PATH - PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

WOODLAND PATH – PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

How I wish I loved the human race

How I wish I loved its silly face

And when I was introduced to one

How I wish I thought – what fun!

Ogdon Nash

Obsessive compulsive

UNTITLED - PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

UNTITLED – PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

The world is divided into two classes of beings – those who, on sitting down for lunch,  automatically adjust the position of their knives and forks, move their glass half a centimetre to the left and centralize their plate in some totally imagined pattern of cosmic symmetry and those who don’t.

We are not born with this disorder. We don’t think, as a foetus in the womb:

I know, I might try something different this time around, I might try being an obsessive compulsive – sounds like a lot of fun!

During our childhood when our natures begin to manifest themselves this preoccupation with order is seen as a virtue – it’s called being tidy.

Then, as we grow older, our minds arrange things into compartments, the walls of which we find increasingly hard to breach.

It is known that the interaction between the two hemispheres of the brain differs according to gender.

While your male brain plods deliberately from side to side, your female brain flits seamlessly from left to right and back again in a zany fashion.

To really understand OCD you have to think male, take a few paces to the end of the street, turn right between the pylon and the hedge, go along a narrow lane and you will come up against a high stone wall.

It’s on the other side of that wall.

PSYCHOSIS - PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

PSYCHOSIS – PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

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