An update about my videos

Hi everyone.

So I’m still doing these YouTube videos occasionally. They’ve proved to be surprisingly popular, actually – which has taken me aback, since they started off as just a little experiment (just as “add-on” material to embed onto this site), but my YouTube channel has sorta taken on a life of its own.

I’ve had some fun doing them. I’ve especially enjoyed recording the video podcasts that I’ve done with Claudia Christian, Robert Rapplean and Katie Lain Goyatton (note to self: need to nag my old friend Joanna Duyvenvoorde into doing one with me, as she’s a great speaker).

I will say this about the videos, though: I need to do something about all the “ums and ahs” and instances of “y’know” after every other few sentences. It’s like a nervous tic that I have – it’s a bit distracting, actually.

The term for this type is “speech disfluency” and it’s something that’s extremely common – most people do it, but some of us do it more than others.

Anyway, I’ll leave things there. Hope you get something out of the video. I am indeed taking a bit of a step back with a lot of the TSM stuff these days and instead trying to help new voices find a platform, so if you’ve got a story you want to tell please do feel free to reach out.

 

Peace and love,

x

Gary

 

Big changes coming – The Evolution of The Free Pigeon Press

Time for a bit of a breather and a bit of a pause for thought about how this blog is doing:

Overall, it’s not been a bad few months. I’ve picked up some extra followers (“hello!”) and it’s obvious that the site is now starting to show up in more search engine listings about The Sinclair Method as well as get a steady number of referrals from Facebook.

Great stuff.

So what next?

Well, given the favourable response to some of the Q & A articles I’ve recently posted I’m seriously thinking about adopting a podcast format as it’s obvious that an audience really enjoys hearing people’s stories and really gets a lot out of hearing an actual dialogue… and I’ve gotta say that I’m quite inspired by the work of my friends Michael and Katie with their excellent respective podcasts and YouTube videos…

…So I think now would be a good time to experiment a bit more with things like YouTube and also perhaps doing some work to improve the actual look of the site with a new template perhaps – as, for one thing, even though the site looks quite decent on my Sony laptop it honestly leaves a bit to be desired when viewed on my Samsung S7 screen (where it looks a bit “crammed”)… so it might be worth seeing if I can find a webpage template that’s visually more cross-device friendly.

Anyway, besides that it’s all good. Everything’s ticking over quite nicely and I’ve got a couple of really exciting collaborations coming up that I can’t really currently talk about because I don’t want to give away any “spoilers”, but that will appear on here quite soon.

The only bit of anxiety that I have about experimenting with new stuff is just around the fact that whilst I’m arguably a confident enough writer I’m honestly like a chimpanzee trying to solve a Rubik’s cube when it comes to trying to figure out some of the tech stuff… it’s all “flying by the seat of one’s pants” with me, given my lack of technical know-how (hehe! – you know what? I think poor Mike is starting to despair of the number of “How-the-f*ck-do-I-do-this”themed e-mails he gets from me all the time! Haha!!! 😀 ).

Oh well.

Okay, well that’s this particular reverie over with for now, I think.

Bye for now.

 

Peace and love,

GARY

The Infernal Möbius Loop of Addiction

Möbius Strip II by M.C. Escher. Like many artists, mathematicians and philosophers, M.C. Escher was fascinated by Möbius bands and how they symbolise infinity.

Hi everyone. Hope you all had a safe and happy Christmas. I pretty much just binge-ate yesterday, caught up with some TV and did my now traditional thing of watching Scarface. As I previously mentioned HERE, I don’t really celebrate Christmas – to me it’s just another bank holiday… just another day, really.

About today’s post: this is an unusually deep entry for me; a chain of thought that emerged after reading an article by another blogger the other day (see: https://afracturedfaithblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/spin-class-stories/). A good post; one that had me contemplating a Stephen King quote: “Hell is repetition”.

It really got me thinking about the never ending loop of addiction that is so hard for many people to escape from.

Many addicts will describe it as like being stuck on a hamster’s wheel, but, as far as visual metaphors go, the image that I prefer is that of a Möbius band.

From https://sites.google.com/site/themobiusbandart/artistic-implications:

‘The fascinating properties of the möbius band – its one-sidedness and one-edgedness – have unsurprisingly resulted in association of the shape with symbolic meaning. Most prominently, the möbius band is often associated with the concept of infinity, because of the infinite uninterrupted paths one can trace along its single surface. The band is also associated with unity and non-duality, due to the fact that two sides and two edges are joined and become one side and one edge in the construction of a möbius strip. Because of its symbolism for infinity and unity, some couples opt for möbius band-shaped wedding rings. On a similar note, some consider the Möbius band to be a fitting symbol for the relationship of space and time in the universe – they appear to be separate, like the two sides of the möbius strip, but there actually is no separation; space and time are not distinct and together form our universe.’

Hmm… yes, it has some romantic symbolism too. As the article mentions, it’s become a symbol of marriage – but that doesn’t invalidate my use of it as an addiction metaphor at all. Especially when comparing being addicted to having a weird form of Stockholm syndrome and the booze being like an abusive romantic partner that you keep going back to again and again and again, despite how damaging the relationship really is.

The saddest thing is that many people don’t realise they’ve become stuck on that loop until too late. In my own case, I crossed an invisible line and went from being merely a heavy drinker to someone who actively craves the stuff all the time.

Escaping the Loop

And that was me for many years: I was one of M.C. Escher’s ants crawling along an infinite loop: every day was like Groundhog Day for me.

But internally, despite the usual denials, I knew that there was something very, very wrong. I knew that my journey through this life had steered badly off-course somehow.

It’s quite hard to adequately put into words this feeling of ‘wrongness’ about my place in the universe that I felt around this time. But – put it this way – the lyrics of the Talking Heads song Once in a Lifetime always resonated very strongly with me on an emotional level… lines such as ‘How did I get here?’, ‘My God, what have I done?’ and ‘Same as it ever was…’

The story of my search for answers, how I tried everything from Alcoholics Anonymous to acupuncture and how I subsequently discovered The Sinclair Method is well-documented on here and other places, but what I don’t think I’ve ever come close to adequately articulating is how inspiring David’s Sinclair’s work has been to me. His epiphany regarding the relationship between Pavlovian reinforcement and extinction and the discovery of the endogenous opioidergic system is an example of genius synthesis that still floors me even today.

It really does.

It is a crime that he was never awarded a Nobel for it. It really is.


So what else have I been doing the last few days? (aside from contemplating really deep stuff about time, space and infinity, that is. Haha)

Well, it’s been quite interesting because a gentleman called Anthony who had seen one of my videos on YouTube ( this one HERE, to be specific) got in touch to tell me how much The Sinclair Method has helped him and how he’s become inspired to add his own voice to the campaign to raise more awarenesss of it by volunteering to do a podcast interview with the LDN Research Trust.

Great stuff – it’s wonderful that other people are choosing to pick up the torch like this and add their voice to the campaign. Not just that – Linda Elsegood and the other guys and gals from the LDN Trust are old friends of mine, so I really look forward to hearing that interview, which is scheduled for the second week of next month.

Here’s the interview that I did with Linda some moons ago. (God, as the photo shows, I was fat back then! Haha)

Meanwhile…

…I also finally got round to adding my name to the Wikipedia article on Spit! comics (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spit!_(comics)).

Somewhat narcissistic, perhaps… but hey, after years of disowning and being really embarrassed by my old work for that magazine, I’m finally taking ownership of it and finally standing up and saying ‘Yup, that was me – I was the dude that wrote and drew Sefton Ward: Paranormal Detective and Nero Ramone: Porno Star turned Hitman‘ for Spit! comic.

Scroll down to see a mildly NSFW scan of one of my old Nero Ramone strips…

 

 

 

(Still with me? The NSFW disclaimer didn’t put you off?)

…Okay, here it is:

Nero Ramone: Porno Star turned Hitman. A comic strip I wrote and drew for Spit! comic waaay back in 1996. I quite like the artwork for this one and the concept isn’t too bad either (a sort of hybrid of King Dong and the Sam Jackson character from Pulp Fiction). The only problem with it is that it’s fine as as one-off strip, but the concept didn’t really have the legs for a series.

The Wikipedia article on Spit! is marked as ‘stub’, by the way… meaning that it’s in need of expansion, so I may take it upon myself to add some further stuff to it about some of the other contributors and what they’re up to these days. I think that there should be a proper chronicle of the history of these type of magazines because, historically, Spit! was part of this whole new wave in adult humour that became very popular post-Thatcher in the UK… it signified a new freedom of sorts.

Okaaaay… it’s come to that point again. The point where I’ve just about ran out of things to say.

So for now I’ll bid you ‘adieu’ and leave you with hands-down my favourite film trailer of 2017, the Deadpool 2 teaser with its hysterically funny Bob Ross parody:

‘I’m gonna whack off again’… ‘hugs, not drugs’…hahahahahaha!

Classic. I just hope the film lives up to such great marketing.