Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Hidden Test

There is one test in life that is all pervasive, yet often never identified.  That test goes a little something like this:

·         How well can you lie with a straight face?

Basically, no matter what you are doing, no matter what field you are doing it in, if you are able to lie convincingly, you are at an advantage.

Why is this you may ask?  Well, let The Spear fill you in.

To put it bluntly, if you are able to tell people what they want to hear, rather than what is actually the case, you are making it easy for them to like you.  And you must keep in mind that opinions are relative.

If you have two people, one of whom is saying the right things - however untrue - and the other is telling you the honest, ugly truth, which one are you going to prefer, assuming that they both appear to be genuine?

The straight-faced liar, while presenting a seemingly polished and potentially fabricated story, is nonetheless telling the right story.  The fact that they are simply able to say the right things, even if they are being untrue, indicates that they are savvy enough to know what the right things are, and have the skills to bull-shit their way through a potentially sticky situation (with say, a client/customer/judge).  And then there is the off-chance that they are actually as on-the-money as they proclaim to be.  It’s a win-win scenario.

While the one who is telling the truth obviously has less reason to be lying, given the less-than-perfect nature of what they are saying, they have failed the hidden test: they were not able to say the right things when they had every logical reason to.  By being honest, they have willingly displayed their weaknesses, potentially insulted you, and may potentially do so to the wrong people in the future.

While being honest is often ‘doing the right thing’ by the person who you are being honest with so that problems can be resolved, it unfortunately is often not ‘doing the right thing’ by yourself.
And then the questions must be asked:

1.       Is it more important to do the right thing by yourself or others? 
2.       Can doing the right thing by yourself also be the right thing for others in some circumstances?

The answer to 1 probably depends on the value you place on your own self-worth, and will likely be situation-specific.  The answer to 2, The Spear reckons, is ‘yes’, given a few assumptions.
In order to do the right thing by others as well as yourself by being dishonest, the following assumptions must hold:

1.       The majority of other people must also agree with the dishonest stance (honestly or dishonestly).
2.       Those who take the dishonest stance must genuinely be in the wrong.
3.       By being dishonest you gain the ability to win the wider battle.

Example 1:
You are a member of a regime that is perpetrating crimes.  You, yourself, are against these crimes, however everybody else in the regime seems to be fine with them.  In order to have the greatest impact on stopping/mitigating the crimes, you are best to outwardly agree with the regime, but secretly work from the inside against it.  If you were honest, you would be quickly terminated.

Example 2:
You are an applicant for a job, and while you know you will do the best work, you are sure that other applicants are lying about their experience, placing them at an advantage.  In order to get the job and maximise the company’s investment, you too fabricate experiences to even the playing field.

Example 3:
Your significant other asks you how their new haricut looks.  Everyone else says it looks fantastic, but you think they’ve been butchered.  By also saying it looks good, you strengthen the relationship and increase your chances of being able to convince them to go in for a ‘trim’.

Unfortunately, The Spear has a long history of failing The Hidden Test, but at least now that he has identified the formula, he knows there are situations whereby he can pass the test but still ultimately do the right thing by others: the smart way.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Aphoristic Enterprise 3

1.       Chances are you too are part of the average demographic.

2.       If you want something done properly, do it yourself – unless it involves hard labour, where a compromise is generally acceptable.

3.       The smallest of details can make the biggest and longest lasting of impressions.

4.       It is an impulse to shake an offered hand – salesmen and crooks know this, and crooked salesmen are oft to employ it.

5.       The only thing sadder than making a drunken call to an ex is not having an ex to call.

6.       It’s possible to go so far East that you end up West.

7.       It is better to be safe than dead.

8.       When fulfilling the ego, the fact people are aware of your achievements is more important than the achievements themselves.

9.       There is something innately wrong with people who aspire to political office.

10.   Most of the time it’s all too serious.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Aphoristic Enterprise 2

1.       We have tried our hardest to hide what our reason has not been able to conquer.

2.       Two attributes, which while admirable in isolation, should never be brought together in the world of business if one is to maintain a hefty margin; honesty and smarts.

3.       Anything can be difficult without the right resources.

4.       Some people’s products consume them.

5.       One is heavily influenced by the last thing one read.  Don’t you think?

6.       An employer has won when its employees are thinking of work as they go to sleep.

7.       Honest minds rest peacefully, on hessian pillows.

8.       The burden of having to think of what is NOT said or NOT written lies with the critic.

9.       The key to Apple’s success, as with any other brand item, has been to fool people into thinking that they can purchase popularity.

10.   One cannot purchase popularity.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Aphoristic Enterprise 1

1.       Anything said in an authoritative tone will find some believers.

2.       The deeds performed within great buildings rarely live up to their surroundings.

3.       Capitalism is giving others what they want.  Socialism is giving others what you want.

4.       One cannot help but be human.

5.       Anything can become a tourist attraction if left long enough.

6.       Possession is nine-tenths of the law.  The other tenth is sheer bastardry.

7.       Taking a break from existence is not an option.

8.       To wake up refreshed and relaxed is a rare state to be cherished.

9.       A woman in the bed is worth twenty in the head.

10.   An absence of dread means it must be a Saturday.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Relatively Speaking

Relatively speaking, small is only smaller,
Than something measured wider, or that which stands the taller.

But to the tiny critter, the small is thought as big;
A morsel to a fritter, puppy to porky pig.

“Medium’ the in-betweener, knows not which way to lean,
On one hand she’s a princess, the other she’s a queen.

So if in doubt, as to clout, you find yourself a-thinking,

Mind that even Einstein, was relatively speaking.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Retromodern Fashion

The Spear heard them before he saw them. 

As he walked through the city the other night, The Spear - trying to clear his head after a long day - was beset by a series of wild cries: “Toga, toga, toga!”

‘Oh no’, The Spear thought after registering the most basic of chants.  He knew what it meant, but it was already too late. 

Around the corner streamed hundreds of youths, all clad in white linen and recently purchased $3 Big W bed-sheets.  A Toga Party was afoot.

An ancient frieze of the first ever 'toga party'

As the pissed-up pack of presently pubescent pricks passed The Spear, with their mandatory mock motions for high-fives and general vulgarity, The Spear thought it odd that a bunch of 18 year old Australians, in the pursuit of popularity, would take to dressing like they did two and a half thousand years ago on the other side of the world.

Talk about a timeless look.

The Spear thinks back to the fashion of his teenage years: backwards caps, shorts half-way down your arse, socks up and hoodie jumpers.  If it sounds like a wannabe American skater boy from the 1990s, that’s because that’s exactly what the fashion was.

As the years passed, the fashions changed.  The caps got truckier, the shirts got pinker, the shorts got shorter and the socks became non-existent.  Oh, and the hair got Biebered.
Most of those fashions are now on their way out.

The thing about fashions are that they are always changing, and always inevitably flowing from the ‘cool’ to the followers to the late adopters (The Spear always found himself in this last category, only making the change to the latest fashion just as it was to be rendered ‘uncool’.  Or was it the adopting of the fashion by him and those like him which rendered it so?).  Like trends in baby names, what were once hallmarks of distinction and class, due to their mass adoption and passing to passé, now are no more.

But you can’t see it at the time.  We have one-way retrospective vision, always looking at the past but never at the future.  We judge the trends of the past as ‘out of fashion’, without really considering the future datedness of what is popular today, or even how future fashions presently worn would look out of place and thus subject to mockery.

To be honest, The Spear doesn’t give the fashion of today a chance of being the subject of a party in the year 4500.  What long-term impact can modern fashion, with its vast number of competing styles and products and its fleeting seasonal state, really make on our culture?

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Area Man Slices Hair From Face in Bizarre New Craze

MELBOURNE,VIC: Area man, Brian Jones, today admitted to reporters that he had recently taken part in the latest craze sweeping through the risk-taking 15-30yr old male demographic, known to its practitioners as ‘shaving’.

Australian authorities are concerned about the growing number of young men taking part in the ‘shaving’ phenomenon, a practice which requires its participants to run between 1 and 4 razor-sharp metal blades over their necks and faces multiple times, mere millimeters from critical arteries, in an bid to slice hairs at a lower level and thus obtain a slick and smooth look – which is believed to be the latest fad amongst fashion circles.

“At first I didn’t want to do it, I was like ‘That’s crazy,’” said Jones.  “But once a couple of my friends had done it, the pressure – you know – the peer pressure, was just like, too much,” the eight-teen year old admitted.  “So I did it.  And once I started, I just couldn’t stop.”

Confessing that he takes part in the dangerous ritual anywhere from one to three times a week, Jones admitted that he knew he was risking life and limb, but that the payoff was worth it.  “I mean, you only live once, you know,” said Jones, misty-eyed and staring into the distance.  “YOLO, man.  YOLO.”

At press time, a cleanly-shaven Jones was last seen downing a pint of vodka while lying face-down on a balcony hand-rail.