Category Archives: Women

My Sister

I have fat thighs, am completely mad, and only look pretty if I hunch my shoulders, turning my knees in, and the person looking at me is on the sofa two feet below my eye level with her head hanging off the edge of the seat.

These are all things which my sister has told me about myself today. Of everything else, she says: “There’s a mad person with eyes on top of the bookshelves. But I have baked bread”.

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I Really Don't Get Why You All Fancy David Tennant

I’ve just read this article, in the Guardian. It’s all about the trend for skinny skinny skinny male models. And it’s very interesting in that it shows that men’s bodies these days are starting to be public property in the same way that women’s bodies are (no, seriously – as the author of this article quite justifiably points out, addressing, one assumes, all of male humanity: ‘Do you know what it’s like to turn 12 and find your body subject to the scrutiny of the entire world? Do you know what it’s like to be constantly judged by the opposite sex and (perhaps more harshly) by your own? To be conditioned to view your body in such a way that you regularly find yourself in a public space (a park, a train carriage, or walking down a street) rating the legs, or bellies, or upper arms of everyone you pass in terms of the merits and failings of your own? Do you know how self-conscious that makes you, how disarmed, how confused, how dissatisfied, how unbelievably freaking vulnerable?’). Which is obviously terrible, because the human body should not be objectified, judged, dissected and criticised like that the whole time, no matter your gender or size.

But anyway, what I mainly wanted to say was this: I really do not understand the attraction of skinny guys. I just do not get it. I find skinny men utterly weird in the same way that I find completely cleanshaven men slightly creepy. I do not get the attraction so many women seem to have to David Tennant or Matt Smith. I like a man who is bigger than me in all dimensions (I really have no objection to men with bigger boobs than me – if I did have such an objection I’d be right back looking at the skinny men and well just no). I like a man who is stronger than me, and a bit of fat never went amiss. Seriously.

Other than that I’m not particularly fussy about men. Or rather, I guess I am, but I have some slightly unusual ideas of what makes a man good-looking. And to be honest – as, again, the author of this article mentions – women actually don’t care that much about the looks of their man. We would all rather have someone with a good personality, who makes us feel good about ourselves and who makes us happy and who is happy when he is with us. Clever, funny, caring, and frankly it’s a massive turn-on to be wanted by someone. And actually, in the past, I have liked and gone out with and been attracted to skinny guys, because I’m fickle like that. But if you asked me to describe my ideal man in terms of looks he would be taller than me by a few inches, probably, broad-shouldered, strong, but not utterly ripped. And I know a number of girls who really really fancy skinny guys and I simply do not understand it, so having seen this article I wanted to register my confusion with the world.

Now let’s all have a nice long feminist-centred debate about manorexia, male grooming, and the pressure to look a certain way, and whether, after all these years, men possibly deserve it…?!!

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10 Years Younger

Another random little gem to keep you going while I am insanely busy elsewhere…

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If You Feel Like Getting A Bit Angry Today…

…read this. It’s by Janet Street Porter so it’s no surprise that it’s paragraph upon paragraph of utterly insulting, uninformed, discriminatory, ignorant and errant nonsense.

The point is though that she should not be able to get away with publishing an article like that. I mean, would she be allowed to write an article saying that, say, homosexuality was a myth? Or that it wasn’t possible to be transgendered and people should just get on with being whatever gender their body appears to be? Doesn’t just reading those last two sentences just make your toes curl with how utterly offensive that would be? So therefore how come she can publish an article in which she completely rubbishes depression?

So, what you’re going to do next is you’re going to complain to the Press Complaints Commission using their handy form, which you can find by clicking the ‘making a complaint’ box. They ask you to read a couple of things first, they don’t take long to skim and it’s worth doing, it’ll take you a couple of minutes, no more.

There’s also a Facebook group here where you might find more information on what action ends up being taken if any. Please just don’t think, ‘oh it’s Janet Street Porter it’s bound to be awful, end of’. Because yes. It’s JSP. It’s bound to be awful. But it doesn’t need to be so horrifically offensive or so freakishly delusional.

Mental illness is real. You don’t need me to tell you that, though I have, time and time again. Ask any person on the street if they know or have ever encountered someone with depression, and the vast majority will (if they’re being honest), say yes. It’s another one of those ‘my best friend is black’ things: a lot of people might think that depression is something people say they have in order to get out of doing the washing up, as we say in my family (long story), except in the case of ‘my best friend so-and-so, she really had it’. Well, so do an awful lot of other people. No-one would choose to sit around in bed staring at the wall if they didn’t have to. No-one would give themselves that label, that stigma, if it weren’t true. And it is a label and a stigma and don’t tell me it isn’t. Talk about glass ceilings.

Anyway, please write to the PCC. This is important, folks. Seriously.

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Church, Gender and Sexuality

Well there’s a title which does exactly what it says on the tin.

Anyway. Yesterday I went to a night hosted jointly by the LGBT society and SCM, the Student Christian Movement. There was stew and crumble and things and then there was a talk and discussion with Sarah Jones, the parish priest in Ross-on-Wye. Who, if you didn’t know, which to be fair you probably didn’t, used to be a man, and spent most of her twenties coming slowly to the realisation that actually, mentally, emotionally, she felt more like a woman. So she had a sex change before becoming ordained as a priest.

So for all sorts of reasons she had a lot to say. About coming to the realisation that she was transgendered (she asked us, ‘how do you know that you are the ‘right’ gender?’, pointing out that it’s a hard thing to think about, really, it’s not as simple as ‘just knowing’), about how people think transsexual and imagine some kind of panto-dame/drag-queen overly-made-up-and-coiffured caricature, when actually she was a perfectly ordinary, quite plainly dressed woman, with no make-up and sensible Ecco shoes.

She also talked about how her Bishop is quite conservative and yet was happy to see this as a medical problem; what he can’t get his head around is the fact that she is also gay, and this does then mean that she cannot whilst in this particular parish have a sexual relationship with another woman, because she would just lose her job, straight out, while in other parishes this might well be overlooked.

She praised the open-minded-ness of the Church of England – believers within the church of England really do fall on a massive spectrum between those who point accusingly at Leviticus and Deuteronomy, and those that say more forgiving things, quoting the story of the eunuch in Acts or the centurion and his friend/servant/lover in Matthew. It’s a church which can, with surprising ease, welcome those who believe (like me) that civil partnerships should be honoured in church and that gay marriage should be possible within the church of England and can’t really understand how you can make any other argument on that score, and can also welcome those who still believe that women shouldn’t be allowed to be priests and that homosexuality, let alone gay marriage, is a sin against God.

She talked also about being outed, about how one day the Daily Mail rang up seemingly out of the blue, and how she had rounds of press conferences to give and of course how then her whole parish knew and how they gradually came to terms with this, how it does now mean that literally everyone in her town knows and how in some ways the worst thing to bear is the children who have called her names in the past; but then she also talked about how she sat them down and gave them a good talking-to and how now when she passes them in the street they’ll cheerily call out, ‘morning, Vicar’, which I think is nice, because that’s a sentence I struggle to imagine any thirteen-year-old lout on a BMX uttering in most normal places, but then I guess Ross-on-Wye is probably a bit like the town where I grew up and that probably wouldn’t have surprised me too much there.

What I really liked about her was her absolute and utter honesty – she really was happy to talk about more or less anything that we wanted to ask her. Perhaps not the course she would have chosen in life – it’s like me having to spend the entire rest of my life with everyone knowing that I Used To Be Depressed, except more so – and you don’t really want that to be the defining feature that everyone knows about you – but I guess once that is why you are known, she has stood up to the plate and stood up for her cause and got on with it, and, well. I was inspired. I was really glad to have met her. And she made me realise that actually, if it annoys me so much that people make assumptions about me and about depression, then I bloody well need to step up and say so, rather than just…lying about it. Or rather, omitting the truth. I can’t carry on saying, when people ask me what year I’m in, ‘oh I was ill last year’ and leaving it at that. I always feel guilty when I do that but at the same time it does seem like sharing a bit too much (apparently I do have at least a shred of that English reserve, after all).

Anyway that’s definitely not what I came here to say. Also the food was delicious. Also I then went to the pub with some of the people who were at the talk, and then I went to meet up with the debating lot in the Union, and things got rapidly more insane from there until A and I left for chips. Oh, chips. How glorious. And then I went to bed at two and why-oh-why did I wake up at half past seven in the sodding morning? Bleh.

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I'm Going To Be Away All Weekend Again So…

…have some of the Notes I found on my phone.

Nine:

Rob says: “PESSAMIST: DIFFICULT IN EVERY OPPORTUNITY.

OPTOMIST: OPPORTUNITY IN EVERY DIFFICULTY”

(I love him but he can’t spell).

Six:

I wonder what of the music being made now will stand the test of time:? I have a theory that by and large the music that hits the charts now from less popular genres has broken through that particular barrier so maybe they will last?

(As you might have guessed the time stamp on this one is definitively the wee hours).

Eight:

I have actually developed a minor crush on that last guy becuase he takes photos of his pets and flowers :S !

Renegade Brass Band.

(talking to H at photosoc one night. Well, writing her a note, anyway).

Four:

Some kind of emotional dive bar I crank out the same feelings like cheap spirits or piss-weak beer in seedy profligacy. Discounts and doubling up so you get twice as much cliche for your cash and could drown your wretched face in the brine spilling from my eyes.

I imagine my heart skittering across a tiled marble floor – black and white, Italian, leaving a trail of shining scarlet blood, gappy, clotted, lumps and gouts and thin translucent trails between, and the toe of your shoe as you walk away, red on brown leather, pointed, shining.

(Jenny goes all emo ‘n’ ting).

Three:

‘Course you’re not, you’re not scared of anything. Box falls out of the sky, man falls out of box, man eats fish custard!’

(The first episode of the latest series of Doctor Who. As if you didn’t know).

Ten:

“…and every time we did it, it was destroying me inside…”. X’s testimony. Sex. Guilt. Oh, help.

Five:

Stressed is Desserts spelled backwards.

Seven:

Random Man At Bus Stop: What he’s looking at is the most beautiful thing he has ever seen, yet he can’t quite believe it and however much he loves it it hurts his eyes as it – she? – and now (if I ever wasn’t) I am extrapolating wildly, from my mute seat here in this bus in the slowly waking springtime heart of the city – walks towards him. The end. The beginning. Chapter One.

(Please tell me I’m not the only one that makes up stories about the people I see waiting for buses/on trains/on other journeys?)

Two:

You are the person that I love most that I’ve ever met. Shofolk sandals, £125.

(No, I don’t know either. I think one’s a quote from what is quite unreasonably one of my favourite books, and one is, well, shoes).

The rest of my notes are excruciatingly dull, the end.

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You Know You're A Folkie When…

Actually I never intended to complete that sentence straight away. I will tell you what it is that tells me, though, because it was a disproportionately proud moment for me.

On the Saturday night ceilidh I was standing in the middle of a set of three couples, the caller was half way through walking us through the dance, we’d already lost our fourth couple because they’d missed some instructions, as we all had, so our set was stood like lemons whilst the rest of the room walked through what had so far been said, and everyone (bar us) was halfway through stripping the willow (oh, Youtube it, can’t you?), having already done some steps previous to that, and I suddenly realised, based on what the caller said next and some half-forgotten half memory (yeah, thanks IVFDF for providing such useful quantities of decent real ale…) what we were meant to have done before stripping the willow. Which meant I was miles ahead of my group because they none of them knew even how to strip the willow and therefore left me in a fairly typical role for your average folkie: marching up to the gentleman of the top couple, giving him some fairly determined instructions, and then manoevring him and his partner into position, pushing everyone around the set, shouting lefts and rights and things all over the place, and basically teaching a whole group of people the whole dance from scratch. And it worked! All the way through. I also taught a group of people to ‘basket’, and attempted to teach James to polka but not very successfully because it’s really hard to explain and far easier to just lead, but doesn’t make a lot of sense in a room full of people who are careering all over the place in a sort of ale-fueled Brownian Motion, so we spent more time crashing into people who were going the ‘wrong’ way than we did polkaing. Anyway, that was a great moment in my life.

Some other folk-based great moments from this weekend were, for starters, long nights and mornings chatting to E, talking about everything under the sun, especially memories of folk festivals from long before my time, fifty years of tradition new and old, dancing, and the joys of being a teenager before it all got sodding complicated and it was OK to get off with just about everyone, but mainly in the context of festivals. It was really nice to get to know her better – last time we met we didnt get the chance to talk so much or get so close and I am so glad from that point of view to have had this weekend to do so.

On a different tack entirely the concert was beautiful. In the Methodist church, as slowly the sun set behind the stained glass windows (no need to explain how beautiful that was), and we sat in the encroaching gloom, we listened to Fidola and their haunting mix of Scandinavian and English folk traditions, their beautiful voices, and that instrument, played a bit like a guitar but surely with more and lower strings and shaped more like, well, a lute or something? I dont know. Beautiful, anyway.

The Young ‘Uns – a group of three young northern men singing in very tight, neat and beautiful harmony, with wit and obvious joy, a whole assortment of northern English folk songs, Irish songs, and so on, with a good dose of banter and a surprising lack of nerves for a group who had never done a ‘proper concert where people have to actually listen to us’ before. And finally, Eliza Carthy and Aidan Curran (E and I speculate, given the knowledge we have and the cues we picked up on, that they’re together, but we could be wrong). Firstly Eliza Carthy sang some solo stuff, accompanying herself on her viola. Her voice is beautiful, warm, rich, husky, lyrical, cracked and real. Yes, it really needs seven adjectives. Shut up. Then he came onstage and joined her with his guitar and his Canadian tenor, bizarrely complementary despite being a weaker voice, or so it seemed. They ranged through styles and moods and eras and places and I was entirely caught up. It was amazing to see the way they worked so completely together, musically. Brilliant musicianship and a lot of mutual respect. Oh lord I’m blathering.

Anyway, I was impressed. And then there were chips and there was that ceilidh I’ve already told you about, new friends and old, lots of ale I’d not come across before from small northern breweries that don’t appear to have yet reached the radar of Sheffield let alone the South (though the sooner the better in my opinion). Thankfully I danced most of it off and went home on Saturday night considerably less drunk than I had been on the Friday night, when I’d started before dinner on the G&Ts (sorry to drink all your gin, Martin, when I know you’ve given up alcohol for Lent *genuinely guilty look*, but it was nice) and we’d spent a lot less time at the ceilidh compared to the number of pints I got through. Friday’s ceilidh was a disco ceilidh – ceilidh dancing to disco music – great fun but not something I’d necessarily choose to do again, it was a bit surreal. But a great ice-breaker, if you will. The dances were a lot easier than the ones the following day though, by and large. And it did mean that you could throw shapes whilst standing on the sidelines, depending on how much you wanted to embarrass yourself/attract due-and-possibly-undue attention…! No comment.

I missed most of the workshops except one which I attended with Lucy and J, and no, I never did have the guts to take my violin to any of the workshops. But I listened, and learnt, and next year, well. First I have to actually go to a session here in Uni Town. Sadly they clash with my Bible group so I’ll have to… alternate? To make up for it I spent a long time in PJ Music being taught all kinds of things and sold exactly what I went in to buy. And anyway, Martin got my violin out and had a go (“where can I get one?”) and so it wasn’t entirely wasted. Everyone needs a violin. And I also got an IVFDF 2010 t-shirt, of course. It was one of those weekends where no-one ever remembers to actually get their cameras out, because there’s too much going on, too much to do, everyone knows what Durham looks like anyway and we’re all having too much fun to take pictures. It’s a funny rule that – by no means hard and fast, but the better a night I’m having, oftentimes, the less likely I am to record it on camera. I do wish I had now, as I knew I would, but, well, I didn’t. So I got the t-shirt just to somehow prove that yes, I was there. And yes, bring on Bristol 2010, I hope!

Of course I never did manage to wear all of my dresses. I did, however, wear all of my shoes. Most of which now need mending more than ever. Sigh. Anyway. I’m scheduling this to go up at a reasonable hour; this definitely doesn’t count as a reasonable hour and I should be in bed, Lark Rise finished a while ago.

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Alright, I'm Feeling Less Lovely Today

Frankly I feel ugly and old and spotty and my hair looks shit and half my shoes are broken and the other half are way too summery for this weather we’ve been having and although it’s sunny right now I can’t trust it not to rain, sleet or snow later, or indeed all three.

I don’t feel particularly clever or interesting or witty and I don’t feel massively settled here. I am accepted easily within different groups – different church groups and with people involved in things like Oxfam and the various music things I do – but I don’t feel at home in those groups myself. I am far more comfortable with my housemates for this year – and, I think, next – or at least some of them; and I feel best when surrounded by H and M and A, although then you have to contend with H and M’s beaming couply happiness (I’m OK with the fact that they’re so happy together they practically glow, of course Im glad that theyre happy, but do they constantly have to be quite so all over each other? They’ve been together a year now, they practically live together, you’d’ve thought they could hold off in Starbucks or, y’know, when me and A are the only other people in the room, or indeed, in general…yes?) and A’s distant adulation of his distant girlfriend, although that said, him moping is worse, so although I adore them to bits sometimes it all gets a bit too much, you know.

I’m sorry but sometimes it all comes out and I feel just a bit accursed, just once in a while. Unhappy at school, I screw up and screw around in sixth-form, I go to university and things only get worse, and they start to get better but it takes so fucking long, you know? I’m given a new chance with this year but it’s like a tanker turning around, it doesn’t mean that this year is actually enjoyable, because I’m still trying to claw back so much and so many things and fuck it hurts sometimes and I get all self-pitying and weirdly enough I would rather tell all of you on the internet, despite knowing who will be reading this, I would rather talk about this here than whine at any of my friends in the real world. Right now I don’t even want to go home, specifically. I just want to cry.

So, fuck the lot of you, I’m going to cry. Fuck you, PMS. Oh no, wait, I have to leave for my lecture. Keys, phone, notepad, blank expression: check, check, check…check.

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Lovely Recent Things

I’m going to make another one of those lists of good things. Because it’s a couple of days since I posted, I definitely had a good idea for a post, and I can’t remember what that idea was, so here’s the happiness list in my life at the moment:

  1. Dinner at A’s with friends and whisky and wine. Simple, convivial, my turn next week.
  2. Planning dinner parties. As for the cooking of them, well, we’ll see.
  3. The kind of friends who let you stay over because it’s late and rainy and you don’t feel like waking up alone tomorrow morning and anyway your shoes have holes in and they’d probably say yes, do stay over, anyway, because there’s a double bed and this is who we are and you can wear my Star Wars t-shirt and my boxers and have the sleeping bag as well as half the duvet because you’re weird, Jenny.
  4. Starbucks now they’ve gone fairtrade (who knew?).
  5. Getting involved in Church committees and the Chaplaincy.
  6. Stravinsky (in choir we’re doing an arrangement by him of four Russian folk tunes with really bizarre words, for four female voice parts and four french horns. Odd, but brilliant, trust me. And in the pub the other day we were discussing headbanging to Stravinsky but thanks to the rather good whisky I was drinking (OK, OK, I broke my lent, I fail) I can’t absolutely remember why. We were playing Scrabble though and I still won, so I wasn’t that drunk).
  7. The Archers, if only because I’m having a premature midlife crisis of some kind, according to H.
  8. Hot chocolate in Cocoa. A once-in-a-lifetime treat, I think, consisting literally only of couverture (chocolate scraps) melted with double cream, thick, gloopy, and astonishingly rich. And lapsang souchong to finish. And good company, or books.
  9. Oxfam. I love volunteering there, it’s one of the highlights of my week, and I can’t quite put my finger on why.
  10. It turns out the Easter break starts a week sooner than I thought. This is absurdly pleasing if only because I half-thought I would be going home an awful lot earlier and now it turns out I’m not (this is linked to that good news I mentioned; if you’ve guessed, or I’ve told you, breathe ye not a word).

Some bad things:

  1. It is actually still snowing on occasion. This is just bloody annoying.
  2. Every time I go to work in Oxfam I end up spending money. This is stupid.
  3. Tea and the kettle are downstairs; I am upstairs.
  4. I am so busy right now that I didn’t get to practice my violin or my cello all week, and how I think I’m going to fit singing lessons into this at any point I really don’t know.
  5. I still can’t drive.
  6. Sometimes, just sometimes, it would be nice to come home at the end of a long day and climb into bed with Someone, just someone to cuddle, to feel loved by, to feel the same in return. Something simple, reliable, and, oh, lawks, contentment. Apparently Uni Town is devoid of people who meet these ever-so-specific criteria (alright, I lie, I am famously picky), or rather, suddenly the whole world is going out with the whole rest of the world and I don’t actually know any single men! Sad times.

So, you know, on balance, the good wins out. I’m just tired today and perhaps a little hungover and hangovers and me don’t get on so well.

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Starbucks Shocker

I’ve talked about this a bit before but I’ve had a few more thoughts on the issue so now I’m going to put them all in blog form on the off-chance that some of those thoughts are worth the reading. Basically: my ovaries. Hello, you. See, it was quite funny for a while – in some ways it still is. Oh, haha, Jenny’s just seen a small child and she’s gone all crazy and gushing about it. To be honest it was quite amusing to me because obviously I’m not likely to have children of my own for at least another five years or so. There’s part of me that somehow believes I never will get married and have kids, just because I’ll never find someone who I love as much as they love me, or vice versa, I just believe it’s somehow never going to work out for me. I don’t know why I should think that but there you have it.

Anyway. I was in Starbucks the other day with some friends, M and H, who are a couple, P, a bachelor of 64 who was on the same MA as M and is now a good friend of his; and A, who I’m always talking about, who was, incidentally, suited and booted for the funeral later that day of his friend’s grandmother, may she rest in peace. We’re all in Starbucks with our coffees and mochas and hot chocolates, M soothing his hangover with fruit salad and water, me pigging out on crisps, sandwiches, syrup waffles and an apple fritter doughnut (it was just one of those days, I don’t know). And into the cafe arrive: five mothers, about seven children between the ages of about eighteen months and four-ish, buggies and bags and toys and coats and a lot of noise.

We carry on talking and actually at first H and I are OK. The group is directly behind H so she can’t really see them without turning round; I can see them over her head but currently I’m more interested in eating and a fairly absorbing discussion of something pretty surreal (yeah, you’d be scared if you spent any time with us as a group, things get a bit mental).

And then one of those children, small, curly headed, blond, just under two years, at a guess, starts crying. It’s probably partly the fact that I am twenty years old and a girl but hear a child crying and there is nothing you can do about your response, it’s completely preconscious, and it was all I could do not to get out of my seat and run to him and pick him up and try and make it all better. Just a completely emotional, hormonal lurch. H felt it too, I could see, and we were transfixed from then on in. She was constantly turning around and neither of us were particularly participating in the conversation any more as we literally just stared.

I wasn’t particularly thinking, ‘aww, that’s cute’ as two of them clumsily hugged one another, or marvelling at the way they play and how you can literally see the learning process going on, which is amazing really – oh! if I pull this cord the lamp switches on! and off again! And if I do it again…? it switches on! and off! and on!… – I was thinking all of these things, yes, but what I was mainly feeling is this irrepressible gut instinct about just how much I pray I have children myself one day. I’m not mad – obviously I don’t mean now (though jokingly I did ask A if he would be the sperm donor for my children) – but it’s not as if I have got any rational mental choice in the matter. Hormonally I am absolutely and completely cut out to be a mother, because that is my evolutionary role – to have children, and to teach and protect them until they can look after themselves.

Sometimes it amazes me that we think we’re all so clever – we build buildings higher than we can really imagine, we fly planes, we invent computers, the internet, solve the enigma code, know how to blow up our own planet, drive cars, play chess, write great literature, record history, the Bible, produce the most heartstoppingly beautiful music and paintings and sculptures, have conversation, complicated humour and wit, brew ale, set fire to things, cook food, ferment things to create whisky or wine or whatever. We have clothes, watches, make-up, houses, streets, a money economy where most of the money these days is in the form of imaginary numbers that get shifted about from computer to computer, transactions going on that sort of don’t really exist (you can see just how much I know about the economy…)  – and underneath all of this, all this intelligence and thought and beauty and might and power – we are just animals. We’ve just designed a hugely complicated system for satisfying basic animal needs for food, warmth, companionship, sex, having offspring. We are only a bunch of hairless apes with bad posture and 20/20 hindsight, and we only want these same basic things, on some level. We cannot escape the fact of our nature and in some ways why would we want to?

Think about it. You invite all your friends out for a sophisticated-sounding dinner party, when what you’re really saying is, come to my place where it is warm, look potentially sexually attractive, eat too much food and we’ll probably have lots of humorous but slightly coarse conversations and jokes all evening before finally going home and falling asleep. You go out to dance somewhere and it’s all just about the display. We may as well have bright green shimmering feathery tails like peacocks, we just happen to be a bit less elegant and (perhaps?) a bit less weird about sexual display but that’s all it is, posturing.

We are still animals, underneath it all. It doesn’t make the art or the philosophy or the science or the architecture or the other millions of amazing things we’ve done pointless, of course not, they add to our experience and appreciation of the world and they are great achievements, but we shouldn’t forget that we are basically apes who just happen to walk on their hind legs. That’s what I tell myself anyway, because otherwise there is no rational explanation for the complete hold small children have on me (no paedophilia jokes in the comments please, I might just cry…).

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