Hola Primate Nation! Welcome to another addition of Monke in Review, where we go over monkes both big and small across history! Today I present: Harambe the gorilla. He changed the world, sadly, in his martyrdom. But with his loss the collective internet began paying more attention to primate treatment in captivity. However, it was not enough. God saw what we did, and we’ve been living in his judgement ever since.
Hola Primate Nation! Welcome to another addition of Monke in Review, where we go over monkes both big and small across history! Today I present: Crystal the Monkey. She is as famous as she is talented.
Welcome one and all to PART 3 of the 2000’s MOVIES TIER LIST! Met with special guest host Samantha, we dive deep into our decade of young movie fun! Enjoy the final chapter!
Welcome one and all to PART 2 of the 2000’s MOVIES TIER LIST! Met with special guest host Samantha, we dive deep into our decade of young movie fun! Enjoy.
In episode thirty-nine of Thoughts, I go over Astrology, it’s history, objects and subjects involved in it practice, and my views on its legitimacy. Enjoy!
Power moves through muscles,
priming them to flex.
We teem with energy,
waiting for the right time to pounce.
People prop up and spring,
growing taller to jump higher.
Such whims want nothing more,
but to teem with excitement at the chance to pour.
On #53 of Joe Van’s Secret Podcast, I speak with a not-so-new friend from the big city about her life, from over the pond to here and everywhere in between. We also talk about how one makes friends and which friends to keep!
On #52 of Joe Van’s Secret Podcast, I speak with a once city local about his life and work, as well as philosophical inquiries on what could be.
We perch ourselves,
as little people in little heads.
We operate little bodies,
made up of little cells.
We roam between little sheets,
covering a little planet.
We soar on a little planet,
chasing a brilliant star.
Little seats make for grand sights,
if so we choose.
The brilliant stars dance,
and we are alive.
We are little people,
perched in little heads.
On #51 of Joe Van’s Secret Podcast, I have on return guests Sam and Xerxes! We sing only to jump head first into deep talks that have no end in relation to there being a possible conclusive answer. Life is a dance so we might as well sing too!
On milestone #50 of Joe Van’s Secret Podcast, I speak with a new guest about everything under the sun, from childhood and love, to wonder and hoping. Disclaimer; my dog appears throughout the episode schlopping and clopping.
On #49 of Joe Van’s Secret Podcast, I break a sacred rule and edit! What are rules for anyway? In the first promotional interview for a project, I talk with Writer/Director Reem Morsi on her first feature: Hysteria.
On #48 of Joe Van’s Secret Podcast, I talk with a fellow self employed, recovered alcoholic about the journey one takes to better their lives. We discuss addiction, scammers, persistence, cycles of bitter habit and finally taking that leap. Sometimes it takes getting shot in the head to wake up.
Happy New Year and new decade my fellow dudes! On #47 of Joe Van’s Secret Podcast, my guest from last week returns, making it the first ever back-to-back interview! Also clocking in as the longest episode so far, we discuss her early world and how she came to be city-neighbours with me. We talk about history, the current political facade of multiculturalism, representation in movies and a slue of other topics worth talking about.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays! On #46 of Joe Van’s Secret Podcast, I interview a public health worker in the criminal justice world. We talk about finding one’s path, community, authority, justice advocacy, the entertainment world, belief and judgment, the holiday of Eid, the British royal family, one race, and climate change consequences.
On #45 of Joe Van’s Secret Podcast I talk with a past co-worker about movies and the work that goes into them, secrets of the universe, addiction, trauma and how it can change people, whether or not free will exists and how the universe really works.
On #44 of Joe Van’s Secret Podcast, I speak with a young couple about their meeting and falling in love, what they do now and what we know about pop culture.
On #43 of Joe Van’s Secret Podcast I speak with a couple that have been neighbours to generations upon generations of kids. They talk with me about their early life, coming together, years of travel, the controversy of immigration, and finding time to talk.
On #42 of the Joe Van Secret Podcast, I speak with a fellow cinephile about recent and not-so-recent films, comic books, manga, nearly perfect television, and the dangers of interpretation.
On #41 of the Joe Van Secret Podcast I have my very first co-host! We speak with a returning guest about our love lives, past relationships, the importance of love languages, and friendship.
On #40 of the Joe Van Secret Podcast, I speak to one tall drink of water about growing up with positive influences, standing out and finding your inner child.
On #39 of the Joe Van’s Secret Podcast I prove that it’s better to be together, when person after person joins the conversation! In one long sit down, me and several guests talk about so much stuff I can’t even condense it for you here. Just sit back, tune in, and enjoy the ride!
On #38 of Joe Van’s Secret Podcast, I talk to a relative across the pond about his opinion on politics, humanity, and what’s possible.
Today’s Halloween themed episode #37 of Joe Van’s Secret Podcast I talk with Sam about scary movies, instincts, scary scenarios and candy!
I race this high,
and I don’t know why.
It feels good,
anonymity of a hood.
My loved ones shan’t know,
like discovery of a cove.
Darkness shrouds it,
as the feeling clouds it.
Peace will not hide,
what the high surly finds.
It must have an end,
to this high I defend.
One day it will end,
and so until then,
catch me at the bend.
where it burns.
What would you say is the deepest sensation? An orgasm? True happiness? Peace? You might say ‘sleep’ sarcastically, but no.
It is purpose.
It is the absolute and ultimate drive of intelligent life. It is what lies behind our every action and reaction. Every want, every need is predicated by our life purpose. It is found that those who suffer from depression also suffer a real physical deficiency because of it. They have less energy than those not suffering from it.
This does not mean that having a life purpose is always a positive thing, such as those who wish to do harm onto others. But overall, having a life purpose, even if that means making enough money to hang out with friends on the weekend, is leagues above having no such long-term desire at all. When it comes to living the best and longest life one can live, having a point to it kind of counts.
Meanings change in time though, like wanting nothing more than to disrupt the status quo, to becoming a working member of society. We all do what we must to survive. It lands in the ‘first-and-foremost’ category to be sure. As our lives develop, we will encounter changes. A person at 30 may realize McDonald’s isn’t going down the same as it did at 20. If we wish to be in this life for the long haul, we have to change with life.
Anarchists, starving artists, daredevils and those with mental health problems usually bend the knee to safety the longer they play the game. A man who bumps cokes on the weekends and sleeps with a different person every three days will soon find complications with their health. Life isn’t without a little risk-taking but to play the lottery everyday will leave you eventually broke. It is in all of our odds to play it safe for the most part.
The best advice is always, and will always be: moderation.
Hell even with smoking cigarettes, it is said that if you only smoke one cigarette a day it holds the same risk you would otherwise have living in a city. One glass of wine a day is good for your heart. One bump of coke a day I would highly advise against, same with meth or heroin, but you get my point. To jog one kilometre a day would be great. Life is kind of like a jog, isn’t it? Sure, at some points you sprint, and at others you walk, but for the most part we are all doing a jog across time.
So in short; make the meaning of your life, make it count, and make it last. We only get one short trip across the galaxy so why not make it last as long as a primate can? Oh, and make sure to eat your vegetables SAM.
Here is an excerpt from my first novel: Deviance. You can find a link to its Amazon page ‘Here’.
V took a seat. She looked a little bewildered.
“You feeling anything?” asked Nathan.
“I don’t know… maybe? I think I feel something.”
He took a seat next to her. “It’ll probably take a while for me.”
“Oh yeah?” V asked in a playful, fuck-you tone.
“Oh yeah? Tough shit?”
“It’s in my blood, on my dad’s side. We Australians got poisoned so much we’ve become immune to it.”
“Well my grandpa is.”
“Oh I didn’t know. That’s cool.”
“Yeah it’s not bad. We can handle toxicants, but we don’t seem to talk too much. At least not my grandpa and dad.”
V sat silent, intent on Nathan continuing.
“I can remember one time,” he blurted as the memory hit him, “where my dad actually pulled an amazing line. Like a heart to heart moment with me.”
“What was it?” she asked.
“I must have been ten. Our dog Moe died and I hid away in my room cause I couldn’t stop crying. And my dad, to my utter surprise, came in and told me, ‘You know son, in life, the further you walk, the more you know. The more you know, the more you grow. The more you grow, the less you feel. And the less you feel, the further you walk.’ At the time I just thought he was being a heartless asshole, but I see now what he meant. Life’s taken my family away and yet… I’m not destroyed. I don’t quite know how to say it but I feel as if, something might have played a role in my survival, so far. But then again, maybe not at all and it was just dumb luck. Who knows.”
Perspective is in my opinion one of the most incredible assets any person can have. It gives the ability to fully actualize yourself in whatever way you see fit. And the thing about this claim, is that having perspective gives you your way of seeing. So you can’t even be in a situation where you’ll have unrealistic goals. Understanding who you are with an outside viewpoint, what your abilities and limits are, garners advantages to your own life.You happened to be born female, or male. White, black, Asian, or any other pigment set. You happened to be born into a religion or culture that you parents raised you with. You happened to be born in the country, and neighbourhood you were born into. You happened to go to school with people you now know as friends. You happened to have the brain you have, that makes you better at rhythm than problem solving; or better at math than social bonding.You were NOT by chance born into the body of a poverty-stricken North Korean. Or stray cat for that matter. You don’t happen to be a fly that lives for one day and then dies forever. You happen to have the most incredible opportunity on this planet, and at this time. To be a human in the year 2018 A.D.E., in a first world is pretty damn lucky. The vast majority of people take this fact for granted. People are surprisingly selfish when they don’t need to be, or focus on little things that upset their whole day when there are countless others around the world that would kill to be in their shoes.Now, once fully accepting this mindset as almost a world view, it can be used as a tool in everyday life. Most notably, to help direct your emotions, and thus your actions towards others. If you understand how shallow most emotions are, it becomes hard to hold onto them. Take road rage for example. Someone cuts you off and it triggers anger. How dare they so rudely assert their dominance over you! It could be, though, that they simply didn’t see you, or they had been cut off so many times that they had finally broke and did the same this once. Even if it WAS an alpha bro with his top down, just owning the road, it doesn’t hurt him for you to hold onto that anger he created. If your goal in life is to be happy, then the way to achieve that goal would be to forget your agitator and move on. Remember, after all, your aren’t currently dying from the Black Plague in the 1350’s.Using perspective releases your grip on your ego. It makes you more empathetic. Most can do this when enthralled in a movie or novel. You can relate to a character who is nothing like you when you lower your guard on identity and allow yourself to see what it’s like to step into another’s shoes. Lack of perspective is what made slavery so easy for early white settlers. If a slave owner woke up one day in the body of a black man or woman, owned to a farm, how do you think their experience would change them?Stay humble I say. Carry on chasing goals, for it is the meaning you make that is the meaning of life. Get that people are ignorant of your experiences, but that you too lack their life. So we should all listen, appreciate, and understand each other, short or tall, guy or girl, wealthy or poor; from every walk of life. We all got something going on. We all want love. We are all living our lives.
I have to start this by making sure everyone knows as a basic fact that we are all alone, at every moment, inside our heads. Now, with that being said I will begin with a question. When you imagine being alone, are you sad? Or are you relieved?
As an evolutionary fact we humans are social creatures. We rely on each other to survive, to thrive, and in general to be happy. We have family members, friends, and partners. It is part of our makeup, regardless if you are an introvert or extrovert.
The majority of people today are introverts. It may be because of technology. The convenience to do what you want, when you want makes it more appealing to not socialize. Why listen to songs you don’t absolutely love, or put yourself in potentially uncomfortable situations when you can just stay at home.
Personally, I love being alone. With that said, however, I also love to socialize. But being alone allows me the ability to write for hours without interruption, go to the gym, watch movies or do whatever else without having to break up a schedule or not do it at all. It is very selfish of me and I am aware of that. I understand the role parents put themselves in when they decide to try and conceive. It is a truly noble and selfless act. I am currently at a stage in my life where I haven’t fully grown up, and won’t until I sacrifice the freedom I currently indulge.
For many people that I know, being alone is boring and something to be avoided. It makes them sad when they don’t have people around. They can’t find the balance between socializing and isolation unless the latter is moments before sleep. As I stated earlier, I haven’t fully grown up, so I am still working on the balance. Some people go their whole lives either pushing people away, or clinging when it’s inappropriate because of this. Socialize too much, and you don’t know who you are when you’re alone. Spend too much time in your head, and you forget what it’s like to mingle with company. Both things are equally important.
Time spent alone allows the mind to breathe. It allows thought without criticism, creativity without backlash, and wonder without insecurity. Great positivity can flourish in these periods, but also great negativity. It is important to notice those around you that may be in a place of self-hatred or degradation. It was not the fault of every serial killer’s parents that they couldn’t have changed their son’s life around before it was too late, but perhaps to notice someone spending too much time alone, and pulling them out into the world might do them tremendous good. Life may be beautiful but it wasn’t meant to be stared at for ten years straight without any interaction.
We are bipedal primates that managed to create language to better interact with each other. We built civilization on the notion of betterment for all. If we were only meant to be alone, we would still be living in caves and grunting at passers-by. I find tremendous purpose in being alone for periods of time, to allow inspiration and relaxation to flow through me. I also base my life on society, and the interactions I have with the people in it. To my mom, siblings, extended family, close friends and the like, and to my girlfriend: I love you.
There’s a hidden magic in people. It comes out like fire as a child.
Like a smile on an old face, or the fury in a friend seeing you get beat up as they come to help. There need not be any enemies. A kid can make friends with a rock but two old friends break up because of business differences.
You can chalk it up to complexity, but the hidden magic in people can be just as complex. Like a stranger, after losing their job and with little income, paying for someone’s meal behind them in a drive thru. Or someone coming across a dead fox on a hiking trail and taking hours just to bury it with a stick.
Sure, I could describe the magic in many words: random acts of generosity, sacrifice with no gain, showing kindness during hate. Sometimes the neuro-chemicals give us strange answers to things of spite, leech, or straight hate where we just… love.
Vancouver is a nice place I hear. I’ve never been, is what I’m inferring. Though I’ve lived in this country of Canada for 25 years now, I’ve never traveled west of Ontario. However, there is a connection Vancouver now has with the city I was born and raised in: Burlington, and it is for what the nostalgia in me is screaming, not a good thing. If you were around ‘the Couve’ way back in 1975, you would have noticed a bunch of convenience stores crop up with the name ‘Mac’s Milk’. Forty years later and anyone raised in a suburban or urban area in Canada knows about Mac’s Milk. They went big, to say the least. I lived down the street from one and along-side Tim Hortons it was a Canadian staple in my mind. Convenience you have a name! I never bought milk from them, but slushies you bet’cha.
My childhood passed into young adulthood and my time hanging out in plazas faded away… I went off to school, returned and began working steady. No more time for Mac’s except for the old drunken journeys to chips land. It became a thing of the past… Then the other day I drove to Timmy’s for a double double and their sign was gone! I think to myself this just can’t be. Is business not going well for them or something? I remembered back some years when one of their other locations in Burlington closed due to something of that like. So now what’s this? Circle K?! It reeks of corporation. It’s simple to remember and the sign is easy on the eyes. If I were a child or simple-minded I’d love it.
Another one popped up down the road. There! Another one! What the heck, it’s more than just Mac’s Milk. What’s going on here? So I look into it, and to my utter lack of surprise, business stuff happened. Completely legitimate business stuff. Back in 2015, Mac’s Milk was bought out by Circle K. Okay. Along with other companies. This American giant had the big bucks; good for it. THEN, making complete sense looking back from the future, Circle K decided to switch all the names over. And guess in what city they began this implementation? THAT IS RIGHT, right down the road from yours truly. Now it all adds up, eh? How Vancouver connects to Burlington. From the left side of the country Mac’s began, and to the middle-right it fizzled out of existence. Nostalgia what have you done to me?
In the end I don’t really care, it was only at first. It was only when I first found out did I feel the pain of losing something I thought would be around long after I passed to the other side. It’s like a dog experiencing the loss of its owner. It doesn’t really know to do with itself. You were bigger than me Mac’s, and now you have been dissolved, fare thee well.
There are always two sides to things. There is this and that. There is me and them. There is will and won’t, is and isn’t. Here and there. Right and wrong. Will they, won’t they. How and haven’t. Why and why not. Two extremes; light and dark.
Males and females split things rather cohesively, except that there is a spectrum. Males can be very feminine and females can be very masculine. The fact that there are trans people, gay people and lesbians builds the blur in the ‘black and white’ structure, even without tom boys and metrosexuals. It doesn’t make things equal out but allows to broaden one’s horizon on duality.
If it were taken further, many believe in a split between body and self. My body is just the housing for my soul. That is not true to those who are knowledgeable on neurology. The self is a construct of the brain put in place to help survival. We are not a special person, we are many people in this play at life. But duality still exists.
Self; selfish intentions, building one’s ego, being a self-made whatever, (be it songwriter, engineer, salesman/woman, officer of the law, whatever,) develops meaning in one’s life. And we all do so through the thought that it is us, and them. Or us against them. You can’t trust the police. You can’t trust the government. You can’t trust anybody. We all lie to an extent unless your life is devoted to honesty; which individuals do here and there and usually destroy relationships they’ve had by doing so. But it’s end goal is towards accomplishments, which is again a self thing.
Separation exists for everyone, and it is important to note it, like it is important to note your diet, exercise, professional interactions and so on. We are all in this life right here and now, and there is duality in it. For those in intimate relationships there is a positive way to look at it. Your entire life is a story. It started when you were born and it will go on until you die; perhaps noted on long after. And the other is the other story, to be attached to your life the moment you two meet. Afterward, the two great lifelong stories become intertwined, and create one tale. Chapters separate perspective of each, but mingle in a cocktail of experiences lived, and maybe noted for longer more.
We live even in our own selves with this duality as we rope our own thoughts and beliefs and dreams together. Shall I? Shall I not? One more day. No more. Let them have it. Not this time. Just breathe deep. Time to blow. Life is art and art is life. This thing we are all doing, in conjunction with the rest of nature, is a beautiful thing even if at times troubling. Trek on I say. Make experiences, and make note of them. Do the best you can, and try to enjoy the ride while it’s happening.
I spend nights alone. I spend days with friends, only sometimes. Days pass. Nights crawl. My hobbies lie, and parents spy. Who’s that? A face. A name. A friend. She’s cute, but no way, taken. Her name is Hope, Forsaken. I see trouble, no, prosperity from lonely. We develop, like film. Feel the screen. Hear me scream.
He’s nice, but… Nice. Nothing, nothing. Fun. Play. Here and, wait.
There I was. Here I am. In and now. Back again.
Back again. Yes. Future slaps fate, past -haps mate. We are who we are, and nothing more. Why me? How now?
I’m more than that. I’m more than fate. We are more than mistakes. We find miss plates. And life is more than love and scrapes… Rooms are a collection of our lives. Spring is inside. Sigh a relief of calm delight, and say goodnight.
There was once a naive wish that was lost.
The wish, was that we lived in a world where it was easier for everyone to express themselves without fear of holding back, instead of the world we live in now where we tow the line. The social psychology of humanity today is the same as it was hundreds of thousands of years ago. It revolves around reactions to and from each other in a game of trust, for the sake of survival and survival of kin.
You are beautiful,
you are kind,
you are very talented,
and really really cool.
You also have a big heart and good intentions.
The majority of people are selfish and shitty, the wish-giver lamented in the back of their mind. Intentions are usually always so damn selfish. If only we knew what the other thought. But now there’s the problem. No one knows how the other person or people in an engagement truly feel; unless their face is pale and their chest lunges forward.
And how can we?
Intentions constantly change so even if you were feeling one way about someone, the next moment you could not. It’s hard to trust someone, to go all in when the other person seems like they may not. So people give hints, little looks, but remain casual. In the end you can only ever guess, that not only you know what YOU’RE feeling, but that when you look at someone and catch something in their eye, your intuition is heading you in the right direction.
Wouldn’t it be sublime if people spoke directly regarding their intentions? Maybe sadly maybe not, this is not the world we live in. Terrible things exist… violence, theft, cheating, rape, murder. Deceits in every sense for a selfish goal. There are psychopaths and sociopaths performing most treacherous actions to be sure, but for the rest of it, so many people let their emotions build up in a trail of negative thoughts that lead down roads of destruction. Only in retrospect do people look back and regret their decisions.
I’m sorry I don’t compliment you enough or treat you like a lady.
I shouldn’t have said that about your brother, I didn’t mean it.
Okay, take the kids, I- I’m sorry.
Well you weren’t there for me when I needed you most!
How could I have known…
Where do we even start to pick up the pieces?
I don’t even know why I lied about that.
The future moves, and society heads forward. We learn more and more about how we are with each other, and the specifics about right and wrong. Maybe things will never change between people. Maybe we can find a way to be more truthful and honest, even when it hurts.
Time will tell.
I can’t sleep!
In my mind I have no distractions, and I feel everything.
Since I was born I could feel everything.
The whole world opened up to me and it was too much to bear.
Growing up I imagined myself fearless, but I’m grown now, and I know so much more.
How can any of us go on like everything is fine?
We have no idea what we’re doing half of the time, and then we die.
Everything all at once is too much to bear.
It scares me, but too it makes me cry because of how beautiful it all is.
My ego takes a beating, but I’ll be fine.
I am fine.
– Anxiety in a bottle
Sparks let out light in the dark.
Dear the coming summer, please bring me peace.
Shine on me joy; something of my childhood, when everything was so big, and new, and endless. I can remember the feeling, but I can’t FEEL it anymore. Winters have made me bitter and lame: a cruel indignation; a three century death season now coming to a close.
So, come the summer, and I will be a blossoming tulip to the nuance of festivities. I wait for the day now when it all comes back to me. Where peace brings all and breeds all. And the weather changes like prancing life, sparking in the dark…
We humans came from such deep seeded life… We came from single-celled organisms, to multi-cellular. From that, to plant and animal life. We evolved from aquatic, to insect, reptile and mammal life. Mammals evolved from rodents to primates. There they continued, to complex structuring; being thumbs, and using tools, to shedding of fur. Culture out of tribes led to civilization, religion, and other power structures; power based from the fact that we are social creatures.
And here we are today, constantly trying to better our past ways, and build a more stable future. There’s a long way to go, but take time to appreciate how far we’ve come and how lucky we are. It’ll always be time well spent.