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Thursday, 17 August 2017

Don't LGBT me

I belong to a species long before I belong to a sexuality. 

I belong to a society, a religion, a gender, a culture, a group of friends and a group of people with the same passion - all before I belong to a sexuality.

And we could all use this message: 




Yes, I'm one of those who finds that a Pride Parade sends all the wrong signals: 

- That society is so homophobic, whereas it isn't. 
- That those last few people who are, aren't allowed to have their feel or view. 
- That our frustrations are so much more important than those of anyone else. 
- and that 'our' history, is so much more painful than that of anyone else.  

If gay teenagers consistently keep having one of the highest depression and suicide rates of all social groups, and a few decades of Pride Parades did not do anything to change that - they are also useless. For it points at: not giving these teenagers pride. On the contrary: pinning them down in the role of victim in the Drama Triangle. 

It feels like getting out of a closet only to climb into one with more people.
The overruling of the bedroom over any other room in our lives. 

I would want to join the best choir, the best sports team, rather than the one based on the sexual orientation of its members. 
Personally I can't really get rid of the idea there's selfishness involved: 'let's fight for a cause... but only ours. Ours is the cause we need to advance'. That's no cause, that's being self-centered. 

Especially in a civilization that is already in chaos, for no longer having a shared set of morals and splintering into dozens of sub-tribes, I don't see this as much help. Society should be the cause. 

I embrace society and society embraces me. If someone does not, then so be it. I'm not the end product of millions of years of evolution to not be able to cope with a stupid tweet. I even find it insulting if someone finds that I need to be defended.

The video above is a message that me I found to be helpful - and for everyone with a scar, and that is: everyone.


Ben

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The prejudices of being anti-bullfighting

Question: What is the role of animals in our lives? 

Instruction: Be very honest. 

Answer 1: The overall majority of animals we ever meet is on our plate: meat

That means: to be grown as crop and having no life whatsoever. 

No space, forget about natural conditions, forget about 'standing a chance'. Between 1 and 24 months they feel and smell death coming - and then they are killed 'humanely'. For the pleasure of our taste buds. 

Answer 2: Of the second largest group we are only vaguely aware: 'nature'

Day after day biologists warn us of the annihilation of billions over the past decades, and the mass extinction having started. Anywhere over the western world wildlife is under enormous stress of our lifestyle (transport, noise, radiation). Every time we take an airplane we put a dagger in some bird somewhere. For the pleasure of our city-tripping or to have mobile phone reception in the underground parking. 

Actually we really dislike animals. Bees annoy us, trees must be taken away for our views, and a tranquil country road is perfect for motorbiking. Bar our personal pet, the well being of animals is hardly ever on our radar. 

Because: we don't have to see them, we don't have to know. We are fully disconnected from their lives. 

So, then you stumble over a bull farm in Andalusia...

and you stumble in with all your prejudices and instant-judging, all your lack of background and all your refusal to even educate yourself a tiny bit. 

And then you see an animal that lives a minimum of 4-6 years, sometimes up to 25 years, in semi-wild conditions, in group as this species needs to be, on 10,000 square meter per bull or cow. 

And then you start to hesitate. For if it would not be there in that bull farm, it would be meat - or get extinct

Very factual and dry
This is what we are rooting for when we are rooting for abolishing the corrida:
the abolishment of seeing cruelty. 


I don't know about you, but me and the zoos I know don't have the enormous money, space, dedication to keep the gregarious toro bravo of 700 kg. We are rooting for its extinction or curve towards a meat producing animal.

We prefer a short and invisible no-life that ends 'humanely', over a humane life that ends 'cruelly'. 


The prejudice of 'cruelty'

For a prejudice it is: instant rejection without studying or investigating

We do not see farmers at work, we do not study a millennium old tradition and how it was forever fine-tuned, we do not read Emperor Hadrian, Hemingway, Orson Welles, Vargas Llosa, to name just a few great men who were attracted to the nobility of the corrida. 

We have already made up our minds; it's not noble, and we don't want to hear anything about it, for it's clear, it's not noble, we already know!!  

We see a sword in a needle, we see torture in something that is meant to reduce blood pressure.

Do you really think Hemingway would be fascinated by anything... ignoble?
Hemingway, the pope of courage and masculinity?
How horrified he would have been to be associated by something that is NOT fair?  


The prejudice of 'entertainment'

This is perhaps the most saddening sign of our times. 

Going to a mosque is not entertainment, a procession is not entertainment, and a bullfight is definitely not entertainment. 

But there too, we have already made up our mind - and it tells more about us and our modern society, then about the bullfight: 

'Fun' and 'entertainment' seem to have become the only possible reasons for people coming together. We are evolving towards a society without further heart or soul or duende or religious experience; everything is and there fore must be entertainment.  

The prejudice of 'barbaric' bullfighters

I have seen no understanding for animals, their needs and character, as the triangle between farmers, their horses and their cattle. 

They grow up together. 
You only need to see the massive respect and fascination of a farmer looking into the black eye of a bull, to know that we city-people and suburbanites, by now fully disconnected from nature or farming, maybe, maybe, possibly, who knows, are just not getting it.

We stumble over images of a bloody 'spectacle', without any preparation, explanation, background, reading on the history and how it evolved - a sheer guarantee for shock or disgust. 

Just as we push away any thought about where our meat comes from, or don't want to think about the implications of our own transport, internet use, oil and concrete addiction - we judge and condemn him. 

We have our own pet - "there, you see, I'm an animal lover"! 

The fight in the mind

It's too soon for me to say I'm pro-bullfight. 
After all, I did not grow up in it either, and

My mind finds it a very difficult topic and debate - to which it actually can't know a right answer. 

I can see that a bull has a 500 kg weight advantage, can outrun anyone and can turn on a tad faster than any man. I can see that anything in its evolution was directed at fighting, and that it will not stop until it has you no longer moving. He will not withdraw, not refuse to fight, not go stand in a corner - he wants the adversary dead

On the other hand, the toreador has got the advance knowledge that this bull will go for the thing that moves. 

The bull can learn during the fight (that it's the man who is the adversary, not the cloth, for it's a clever animal. But it's the only thing that the toreador has got. He does not protect himself in any other way - he dresses lighter than you and we would when going for a walk in the park (ballet shoes! silk!). And he does not know the specific bull: in the arena they see each other for the first time. 

He knows that his life might not be a long one - and possibly be among the very few people on earth who know when they will die: at 5 o'clock in the afternoon

He is cowardly nor cruel. 
In fact, should he not eat meat, and live a lifestyle that does not affect nature too much - he might be the person who understands animals best. 

I can talk ad infinitum about this topic... let's leave it at this right now - with this our minds have already enough on their plate, no? 

Ben

PS
Thank you to ReservaTauro in Ronda, the only ranch in Spain that I know that allows visitors. I can recommend a visit to anyone - pro and anti alike. It's a first step towards learning at least a bit about a tradition from Phoenicians and Romans alike. 

Ben 


Thursday, 13 August 2015

We do what we are

It's the premise of all marketing. 

And marketing in all its shapes and forms. 

'My front door is of quality, for ME I am quality'. 

You can apply that to the physical appearance as to the voice, a leaflet, business card, website or any other personal or professional marketing tool: anything that is meant to leave an impression. 

There's not a s-h-r-e-d we put online or its subliminal message is: this is me

No message on Facebook or it provides the person seeing it with a wealth of information and it's decisive

90% is unconscious communication: We are not aware that we're aware of it. 

Neither the person posting it nor the person seeing it are not rationally aware of the meat of the message. It's picked up nevertheless: not just what you care about. But how much. How much time you have put in it. Care. Commitment. Money. Energy. Quality of thought.

Everything you are not saying or don't know that you are saying is transmitted anyway - from one unconscious brain to the other.

We do what we are and we are what we do

At least, that's both the perception, the expectation as well as the hope. Ergo: it's everything. 

Example: I do not need to write an 'About Me' page: For your impressions have already long been made. 

You already know it's about cost-effective marketing for small businesses. For you already see the 'cost-effectiveness' and the 'smallness' in everything. 

Your emotional decision to see me as a reliable source or not, was made within seconds after you landed on this blog. Whatever I write or do not write in this page, has no relevance or purpose. It's done. It's too late. You have made up your mind and have taken your emotional decision. 

That was the hardest and most difficult lesson I learned in marketing: 

It took 1 year to rank in the Top 3 for 'SEO advisor' or 'SEO Brussels'. 

It took 1 year to understand that these rankings were not cost-effective marketing at all.
It took 
1 year full time studying conversion techniques before my own website started to run by itself, without further marketing costs.
But it took me 8 years to truly and fully grasp the above. 

Don't tell what you can do, show it, from the very first second. 
For we are perceived to be doing what we inherently are.  

Bernardus

TIP: If you hate this article, you'll also hate Silence is a language too and definitely How is your Halo Effect?

Monday, 20 July 2015

The 3 secrets of happiness

I'm at that age where it starts to feel natural to spread wisdoms.

There has been enough mud, mist and wilderness to also stumble over diamonds. 

Enough time has gone by to let most lose their lustre,  and recognise the ones that still shine decades later. 

Here are the diamonds that made all the difference for me myself - small and simple, for great truths do not need capitals nor exclamation marks:

'Choose your friends wisely'

For we are nothing but the average of the people we spend most time with. They are decisive for your quality, ethics, integrity, wisdom, fun, mildness, reliability, stability, freshness, self-motivation, spice, success - and ultimately your happiness. 

'It's never the destination, always the journey'

Try to avoid destinations at any cost - be them geographical, financial or psychological. They are good to have, for they provide direction and are the icing on the cake, but nothing more than that. Destinations, especially the popular ones, are, per definition, downtrodden, beaten, unoriginal, lacklustre, inside the box. The city-trip can be 'OK', 'cool' or 'great' - it's the journey that can provide four-letter word extasis, satisfaction and insights. 

'When you come to a fork in the road, take it'

Don't get grey hair pondering about the choice. Great opportunities are very rare: cease them. In fact this is also a bit of a sad wisdom: it's already been decided. Whether you take the left or the right, your personality, character, temperament will still be with you - and ultimately lead you to the very same point. DID you make the wrong decision, no worries: 'It's never the destination, always the journey'. DO you think that your character or temperament or background obstruct you: 'Choose your friends wisely'. 

Bernardus