Not that I’m much of an artist; my passion for life drawing far outpaces my current level of skill. I’m not going to go so far as to pretend I think chiaroscuro is a model of Korean car, but I don’t use an easel, and I don’t hold my pencil the right way (between thumb and index finger). I sit with my sketchbook on my lap, and, consequently, I’m always drawing the models at an unflattering low angle. The one thing I do right, I think, is not to use (or even own) an eraser: one must commit.
Dear H. Sapien,
You know that scene in the Matrix where Agent Smith monologues his revulsion with your species by likening it to a virus?
You wish you were a virus.
Here’s the pecking order here on planet Earth: plants, unicellular organisms, viruses, fungi and — dead last — animals like you. At least you’re at the top of that totem pole.
I know, I know. It’s hard to take. Here you are, having dutifully woken up at 5AM, made your bed, drunk a litre of water, meditated, gone for a 10K jog and had your Greek yoghurt with goji…
Everyone’s heard of gender dysphoria (a lack of identification with one’s sexed body), but have you heard of body integrity dysphoria or the transabled? Here are some case studies to get you acquainted:
Anne (body integrity dysphoria)
Anne feels her left leg “does not belong”. She’d be much happier without it, and fantasises about having it removed. Anne has altered somatosensory processing in the premotor cortex of her brain, meaning she does not feel ownership of her left leg. …
You have to look at it from the outside,
Hover over your relationship,
Like a spirit gazing at an equally dead body,
And then you’ll finally realise.
It’s the postmortem before the end,
Seeing the light,
Before the train mows you down,
Those first stirrings of shame,
When you realise people are watching,
A fool — an absolute fool.
They wend their way past you,
And note he walks ten paces ahead,
You, a lost puppy, nipping at his heels.
When he does walk beside you, They must think you’re his cousin, From out of town, A distant cousin he…
It’s ironic that last time I wrote about writing it was to discuss The Mirror Moment — that pivotal moment within a scene where the protagonist engages in a bout of self-reflection, illuminating their backstory and the nature of their forthcoming transformation. And now here I am, writing about another sort of mirror moment. Oh yes, that painful, cringe-worthy scene where a female character, often underage, is prompted by a mirror to describe her nude body in lavish detail exactly as a man would — and a woman wouldn’t.
Anthropic principle: The idea that all household objects are secretly sentient and your toaster is judging you.
Alpha particle: The Chad of particles.
Beta particles: A bunch of loser particles without sports cars or six-packs.
Black hole: You can use these to escape wily coyotes. I think they’re manufactured by the Acme Corporation.
Big Bang: A loud noise, such as someone suddenly compressing an empty chip packet full of air.
Big Crunch: An even louder noise, such as that of a very large and crisp potato chip being eaten.
Classical physics: Physics that never goes out of style.
The world knows no greater evil than a White girl in a cheongsam-inspired prom dress or a non-Dutch person in Dutch braids (also known as Boxer braids and often worn by people who aren’t pugilists). I, too, have been the victim of cultural appropriation while in Japan during the holiday season, forced to endure “Christmas” sponge cakes smothered with strawberries, fried chicken vendors on every street corner, and what appeared to be the conflation of the good Colonel with Jolly Old Saint Nick. (Japanese people eat KFC to celebrate Christmas — go figure!)
Did you know How to Fool People into Thinking You’re Attractive went viral with almost 70 thousand views? However, it’s not as beloved as Self-Help Advice from a Single-Celled Organism, which has 5.5 thousand claps and counting. If you’re interested in psychology, biology, and having a laugh, check them out :)
*Answers are at the bottom of the page.*
After becoming a bestselling author and letting success go to my head, here’s how things will play out:
Yesterday, while I was playing chess with myself in the tub, Jeeves read me a pretty but wildly inaccurate article by Roger Penrose, figment of my imagination and theoretical — no pun intended —physicist. In it, Penrose endorses the idea of an “external reality”. As I had to reassure my butler, this is not so, for we are all safely tucked inside my head. Please, do not panic.
Many of you believe there’s more to reality than your individual or even collective reckoning, that is, your shared reality as my hallucinations. You tell each other, “There are more things in…
Glutting myself on all that life has to offer and writing about it. Art, language, science, humour, and whatever else takes my fancy…