An open letter to humanity on getting its collective act together.

Doubtless you’d have preferred a revoltingly twee, anthropomorphised depiction of the author with big googly eyes. You make me sick. (Image by Axel_Kock)

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…

Everything wrong with Insta “poems” and “poets”

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I attended a writer’s group the other day and observed an interesting inter-generational divide. A young man scrolled through his Instagram and read some of his poems out loud, prompting some very illuminating feedback.

As far as Instagram poetry goes, his poems were quite good. Most such “poems” read like a fourth grader wrote them, and not an especially bright one. This explains why so many semi-literate Youtube personalities have put out “poetry” collections in recent years. I blame the perception that the existence of free verse implies any jumble of words can be a poem. …

Angela Volkov’s greatest of all time humour, saty-ire, ram-blings, and faun-tastical poetry all in the one place

Image by mamita (edited by author)

Welcome to GOAT Humour. The publication name comes from a) needing an inherently funny animal for the banner, b) conveniently making for an ever-so-humble acronym (“greatest of all time”) and c) that fact that I recently milked a goat and checked that off my bucket list. I had to stand in the sweltering heat, do some backbreaking hoeing, and pretend to be interested in permaculture for two bloody hours before they’d let me milk a goat. And then I got to play with them!

“Do you want to raise goats in the future?” the farmer asked. Negative. Though I may…

Body integrity dysphoria and the transabled; parallels with gender dysphoria and transgenderism

Image by Andrey_Popov

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. …


When you feel a fool for trying, know that everyone else thinks you’re a fool too

Image by Eroshka

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…

Can this trope die its undignified death already?

Image by George Mayer

A tale of two mirrors

It’s ironic that last time I wrote about writing it was to discuss The Mirror Momentthat 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.

It’s even more ironic that when I last critiqued a male…

General relativity: When you’re related to someone but you’re not quite sure how.

Image composed with Canva

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.

Cosmic inflation…

What can we learn from Japanese gift-givers, Italian coffee aficionados, Indian festival goers, and African meetings?

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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!)

And while I was stoked to find…

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 :)

Firing my editor is only the first step, can you figure out whose footsteps I’m following?

Image by Ilin Dmitriy

*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:

  1. Each book shall be twice the length of the last, bloated like a dead ferryman’s corpse.
  2. I will fire my editor for questioning the narrative value of dedicating 12 pages to the silk brocade buttons on a minor character’s jacket.
  3. I won’t bother with facts; if I don’t know a word (“semiotics”), I will just invent one: Symbology, the study of symbols.
  4. Fans waiting on the next installment of my fantasy series will eventually…

Angela Volkov

Glutting myself on all that life has to offer and writing about it. Art, language, science, humour, and whatever else takes my fancy…

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