Dear Friends – How are we hardwired?


By Charlie Brown

“How are we hardwired?”

This line really got to me. It’s from the movie Bandslam, a well thought out teenage drama about Will Burton, a constantly depressed and emotionally/socially repressed teenage boy with a jewfro and an Indie rock/Ska obsession. One interesting thing about him is that he chronicles his days of perpetual misery into journal like emails that he sends to David Bowie everyday with no reply, tentatively describing school in his inaugural email of the movie as being like Novocain for the soul. Without revealing too many details of the story, midway through he suffers an emo inducing tragedy that shatters the fragile self-confidence he built over the course of the film, while still wallowing in his depression he asks the above question and I instantly began writing this piece. In fact I haven’t even watched the end of the movie yet because the same question keeps filtering into my thoughts like a broken record. It’s a simple question that deserves, almost begs for a complex answer. I’ve spent a fair bit of time asking myself this question, honestly all the answers that I managed to dig up seemed rushed, almost half-arsed in their simplicity and they truly don’t deserve to be mentioned at all in this blog. The solution wouldn’t have been satisfying if you managed to find it in one night, maybe not even 2 nights. It’s the type of type of answer that needs other people’s accounts, perspective or even contemplating the universe and the ultimate question of life itself. Maybe the answer is multifaceted with no absolute solution at its core but is rather based off of the individuals own experiences. While I can’t call myself the expert on the subject I would like to throw in my proverbial two cents as it were.

Full metal jacket comes to mind, the cover art of a helmet with “born to kill” in bold white letters on one side while a peace symbol hangs adjacent on the other. It serves as a visual representation of my “answer”; it doesn’t deserve to be called that but serves the purpose of describing my opinion and views in the subject matter. To sum up my findings in one word is effortless. Duality.

To me, humans as a whole seem to fall into the clichés if good and evil a lot. We can love unconditionally or hate without reason, we are capable of amazing compassion and inhuman cruelty. We hold the potential for awe-inspiring good and nightmare inducing evil. For me at least, it’s our duality that sets us apart from other beings in the known universe, only humans have periods in our lives that are both filled with happiness and heart wrenching sadness, we do eventually grow out of it or we stay depressed and make music that appeals to the paper-thin constitutions of the younger teens.

We seem hardwired for chance and change; we can choose who we are and change to be that person or we change and choose to remain that person. We are swayed by our parents, our circumstances, our environment and our experiences. They all help shape us into the person we will become. As Winston Churchill once said, “I have always been fifteen minutes ahead of my time and it has made a man of me.”

We make music and art and sculpt great masterpieces inspired by god or the stars or our own avarice, mausoleums of our own two-headed nature. We can also kill and rape and destroy lives and people and things, avoiding judgement by hiding in the vast ignorance of the world and those who seek to expose this ignorance are deemed trouble makers and terrorists. Killing is not the answer but for some it is as close as we can get. This is our greatest gift and curse, duality of soul and mind and body all wedged together in a convulsing mass of flesh and spirit. I believe we are hardwired for transformation into who we are meant to be.

At the very least it is something to ponder, leave a comment below on how you think we are hardwired.


Dear Friends – Naked At School


By Charlie Brown

Dear Friends

Today was like I came to school naked as the day I was born, every one of the incoherent drooling masses laughing their asses off at me. It may seem like I’m being overly dramatic but if it’s been going on for a while you tend to become paranoid, hearing people laughing at you everywhere you go. This tends to put a dent in your confidence which leads to you becoming more paranoid as time goes by. It’s a vicious cycle of self-induced torture; as if life wasn’t bad enough. Luckily like all things, the usually gut-wrenching sensation has deteriorated to a dull ache at the bottom of my scrotum; an annoying burning sensation not unlike if I acquired an STD from the mere presence of one Grace Cooper, our resident woman of the night wannabe. Literature is really liberating, I mean usually I’m stopped from expressing myself due to the inhibitions that compel me to be excessively nice to people. Not that I’m only nice because society forces me to be but you probably get my point; I’m just blabbing anyway. My problem is one Heinrich Muller, a joke slash jock in my class, which means he’s twice as annoying and everybody loves him. I’m in a damned if you don’t situation something that happens to be the story of my life.

On a lighter note, Concerts. I’ve only gone to a concert once in my life. This was awesome until the band made us sing out the lyrics to the songs. Have you ever noticed that when a crowd starts to sing that they always sound like a choir of retarded people? That officially destroyed my favourite songs for all time. This only solidified my lack of faith in humanity.

Life’s not all bad; I doubt everyone had such a bad life that they always get depressed about something. It seems like puberty is a sort of survival training for adulthood, you go around with your hormones out of control, constantly cycling between a sense of euphoria or a suicide inducing depression until we hit that point when it suddenly just stops. Your hormones balance out and you realize that the whole decade or so of bad decisions, alcohol induced sex and raving parties are over, not really but you understand. I wonder what I’ll miss about my teenage years.

I’m feeling a lot like a doormat these days, for example, this one girl I know who asked me for some advice. We chatted via text for about 5 hours and I thought we really connected, not that I wanted to date her but because we literally could talk for hours about any bull we wanted until the sun came up.  The very next day it was like we had never spoken at all, she didn’t greet or sat thank you or anything like that; once again I was a doormat for someone’s emotions.

An old proverb I read once says that the path to wisdom starts with a heart filled with love. I think that pain has something to do with it, the more love you have the more pain you’ll feel in life, the pain will make you smarter and the mistakes you made because of the pain will make you wiser. Frankly I would have preferred to stay a fool.

This reminds me of a book I read for school once, Of Mice and Men. It’s the story of two labourers, I can’t remember their names but they aren’t important. One is this huge retarded guy with a furry fetish and his best friend who also use to torture him when they were children. The only thing that set them apart is that they had a dream: to own a piece of land and be truly free to do as they please. The story goes on and you realize that the big ones furry fetish is going to get him into trouble and eventually it does. Long story short, the average one has to mercy kill his best friend and put an end to their dream of being free men together. In the end, the smart one was left to live out his miserable life as a man with a broken dream while his best buddy has gone to the great furry beyond to pet all the rainbow rabbits he wants. In my opinion the big guy gets the better deal; dying is easy, living is the real curse for some. Don’t believe me? Think about all the teens who attempt suicide because life was too difficult. My point is that ignorance is bliss. Maybe that’s why god was so angry about Adam and eve eating the forbidden fruit; maybe he was trying to protect them from the pain of knowing.