Tim Walker’s Century

All going to plan, in exactly one month’s time I shall head to Christchurch’s NZ Blood Service for extraction of my 100th apheresis donation.

Friday the 13th of July is scheduled to be the landmark date in question, and is the perfect day for a number of reasons: firstly it is the date of that month’s New Moon (conversely to a Full Moon a New Moon is actually no moon, which is pretty awesome); secondly, technically, it’s Black Friday which is pretty awesome as well and finally, indeed most importantly, the 13th generally falls the day after the 12th July, which is my 35th birthday.

I first donated to NZ Blood Service sometime throughout my early-twenties, probably as a way of giving back to the nation from which I felt I was taking so much; then from there, on a quarterly basis, I continued giving pints of ‘whole blood’ (simply, the unadulterated red liquid that comes out of our veins – a process which takes under ten minutes but for some people, may act detrimentally on iron levels).

This Friday – Friday 15th June – I intend to head into NZ Blood Service to squeeze out number 99.

Obviously, doing the math, twelve or so years at three or four times a year is not nearly long enough to achieve such a milestone; thus eight or nine years ago, under the recommendation of NZ Blood Service nurses, I made the conversion from whole blood to ‘plasma’ (effectively blood concentrate, plasma is the translucent substance taken from within whole blood – it’s the ‘weeping’ around the edges of a fresh wound – and due to its versatility also beneficial/regenerative/life-giving/saving properties, is considered even more valuable than whole blood) which, for most people, can be given as frequently as every two weeks.

Originally occupying Riccarton Road’s defunct Georgie Pie building, Christchurch’s NZ Blood Service now resides at its very own, purpose (Ngai Tahu) built building, nestled away down the end of Lester Lane, just off Deans Ave.

The plasma-letting process really is a sight to behold; first comes my favourite part – watching that lustrous needle penetrate and become enveloped by, then disappear beneath, ostensibly becoming one with, the supple skin of my right arm. After that, similarly to whole blood, the machine draws a quantity of red blood cells which, in this case it collects in a centrifugal chamber that – mingled with anticoagulant to avoid clots – winds up and spins furiously, separating plasma from the red blood cells. The most amazing part then follows: as I lie there in my wonderfully, my delightfully ergonomic chair, restfully and relaxed, the red blood cells are slowly returned to my body, thus rendering the depletion of iron reserves minimal. This ‘draw’, ‘spin’, ‘return’ process is repeated – for someone like me at my diminutive 71kgs – four times, with each draw varying in quantity from person to person but, in my case around 500mls.

Admittedly this current scheduling has worked out less than perfectly, with my desire to make the date of July 13 number 100 meaning that I’ve had to deliberately miss a few appointments and will likely miss another still; alas it’s my own fault really, given that I have not fallen afoul of any prolonged illness since returning from Vietnam this time last year.

The entire plasma-letting process takes around an hour, that’s including coffee and all the glorious ANZAC biscuits I can eat – also as many hard candies and mints as I can stuff into my pockets while the delightful kitchen lady pretends to look the other way – but for me, it is ultimately my hour to reflect, to contemplate, to know I am surrounded by good people and to know furthermore – with each unit of plasma that I donate saving potentially three lives – that my efforts are appreciated by a great many more living people throughout New Zealand.

Commemoration of this momentous/fortuitous/serendipitous occasion (which I had last year been hoping would include the earning of my jiu-jitsu blue belt at our impending grading day but, after failing to grade up last December, this has become less likely) is to be marked by a trip back to Vietnam a fortnight later where – amid a country that I feel won the battle last time – this time who knows?

It really is a tremendous shame that more able bodied Kiwis don’t visit the NZ Blood Service; whatever your reason for not, there is probably a far better reason for Giving Blood.

 

 

Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Sal E Brace

Photography by Archie V Mont

 

Tim Walker’s Shot

The Government has conceded that New Zealand has ‘one shot’ at eradicating Mycoplasma bovis.

Across the world eradication of this cattle-borne bacterial illness has never been achieved, making New Zealand’s attempt to do it potentially groundbreaking…

I find this scenario oddly reminiscent of the Government’s past (albeit feeble) attempts at pest and predator ‘eradication’ from New Zealand’s native forests; seems those situations were never deemed sufficiently dire to unveil the ‘one shot’ policy.

…Mycoplasma bovis, which threatens a cow’s milk production along with the health of the animal itself, is not actually detrimental to humans; neither milk nor meat from an infected beast will harm people…

For as long as I can recall DOC have been ‘attempting’ to ‘eradicate’ pests and predators from New Zealand’s native forests to no avail; hiring a few rustic trappers with their ‘humane killing systems’ or attempting a half-hearted poison drop to succeed in merely hampering the existence of wildlife – that is before the eco-warriors find out what’s going on and put a stop to proceedings – seems to be all that ever happens around New Zealand’s native bush-sites meaning the pests and predators continue to thrive, ultimately unchallenged.

…Over the next few years 126,000 cattle are expected to be culled from Kiwi farms, with the Government providing affected farmers with a compensation package of $886 million; still this will leave farmers out of pocket by around $278 million, but with the alternative of an estimated $1.2 billion for disease ‘management’ looking no more auspicious…

Over the years the cost to the New Zealand Government of effectively ‘managing’ its unwanted species has been astronomical; if they had settled on the decision all those years ago that the issue of introduced species ravaging our wildlife could be rectified with a ‘one shot’ attack, they could have executed the sweep with precision and dedication, it would have done its thing, then we could have spent the last decade ‘managing’ our native wildlife, rather than the pests therein.

…The likelihood of eradicating a disease such as M Bovis, given nowhere else in the world has managed to do so, is slim; however if the Government use all their resources and over the next two years take every follow-up precaution necessary, it assuredly can be done…

A ‘one shot’ approach to New Zealand’s pest and predator problem, years ago, would have meant that forests had been temporarily devastated and sure, many varieties of wildlife might have perished throughout the process – but so too would have the pests – and surely the wildlife could have been replaced..?

…Imagine a world with no infection, no disease, no pests, no inimical entities of any kind; New Zealand could have (had) just that.

 

 

Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Mai Coh Plazma

Photography by E Raddy/K Shinn

 

 

Tim Walker’s Offset

Air New Zealand are pleased to announce that a portion of its travellers are volunteering to pay a supplementary fee intended to ‘offset the impact’ of carbon emissions.

Given modern peoples’ assumed understanding of ecology, Global Warming and, by implication, most everything environmental, they are of course aware of the massive volume of exhaust discharge emitted by an aeroplane also the detriment to which this is assuredly subjecting New Zealand’s environment; Air New Zealand has perceived the willingness of their customers to pay them this additional guilt-tax as ‘a step in the right direction’…

Quote from the Air New Zealand website: ‘Air New Zealand is committed to helping customers minimise the impact of their air travel on the environment’; thus in their attempt to achieve this claim Air New Zealand is – net of taxes but reportedly taking no administrative fees at all – using every bit of those customers’ extra funding to purchase ‘carbon offsets’, which are presumably intended to offset the Greenhouse Effect.

…A step in the right direction indeed, as Air New Zealand now has its customers paying more flight-tax than ever before; according to the airline though all funds raised are going towards the ongoing establishment and maintenance of New Zealand’s nature reserves, where thousands of square kilometres of native bush will work to neutralise airborne pollution across the nation and potentially, around the world…

Going back a few years, people who propagated large stands of forestry could apply for something known as ‘carbon credits’, as these vast plantations were seen to be ‘capturers of pollution’ and were therefore working towards mitigating/negating the onset of the Greenhouse Effect.

…Also thinking a few years back, the New Zealand Government made a pledge to ‘significantly reduce its carbon footprint by 2020’ and started planting trees in earnest, in order to meet this target while in the meantime, of course, earning carbon credits for its efforts; then only to discover that it was in fact far quicker and much easier to simply purchase carbon credits from other, already heavily forested nations such as Ukraine and Russia, rendering the Government’s ‘carbon credit scheme’ something of a farce…

Ultimately Air New Zealand customers have no guarantee how their money, the taxation being used to fund their so called carbon offsets, is being used; they have only our eponymous airline’s word that it’s being used for good not evil and ultimately Air New Zealand has no guarantee either that its money, the revenue from the taxation which it is allegedly passing over to New Zealand’s nature reserves, is being properly appropriated by those reserves or more importantly, is having any tangible effect on the state of our environment of which the reserves are a part and which they are supposedly protecting.

…Air New Zealand, the largely New Zealand Government-owned airline, has started encouraging its customers to pay a voluntary tax to cover the cost of the environmental impact caused by the emissions of its aeroplanes…

This is an undoubtedly superb thing that, around the nation, our Government is committed to the propagation of nature reserves for the benefit of nurturing and supporting New Zealand natives, but realistically, do we actually believe that this new concept of ‘carbon offsetting’ is truly advantageous to our environment and that it’s not just another way for our Government to squeeze more tax from hard working Kiwis while improving its own image in the face of World Climate Change?

…Air New Zealand is committed to helping customers minimise the impact of their air travel on the environment; yet it is unwilling to absorb any of, thus appears to have zero compunction in passing on, the environmental cost from the effects of its planes’ pollution.

Still I’m undecided whether the above script ought to be categorised as Political, Ecological, or Financial.

 

 

Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Flynn Haer

Photography by N Vie Ron-Cost

 

 

 

 

Tim Walker’s Haters

There is an intrinsic element within the human psyche which often prevents someone from perceiving another’s success with anything but resentment.

This natural form of competitiveness can be traced back to Man’s beginnings; in that time if someone was deemed inferior to somebody else, that someone might just struggle for survival…

It would be hopeful to find that people have evolved since the petty squabbling and territorial pissings of Prehistoric Man; our frontal lobes are now prominent, they’re more active, and are therefore, supposedly, more rational than ever, after all.

…Thus inspired Primitive Man’s quest to be the best, to be the strongest and by implication – also as time has gone on – to be begrudging of all other attempts at success…

Seemingly, in 21st century New Zealand we have so little going on in our own worlds that, for many of us, our primary source of enjoyment is the belittling, the undermining of other people’s worlds; today when somebody steps forward to offer their opinion/insight, irrespective how well thought out and worded or even accurate that statement may be, another will stand up to invariably mock/ridicule the suggestion.

…The ‘Alpha Male’, while originally a term given to the dominant lion among a pride of lionesses, is a premise which today is still very much in effect; take a group of young men, mingle in half that number of women, add just enough alcohol to inflame and befuddle the senses while maintaining reasonable cognition then watch as, with their underdeveloped frontal lobes overcome with testosterone thus primal instinct, they discover among themselves which is the Alpha…

In this time of online commentary it has become so very easy for someone to shoot down someone else’s idea; then also given how this can be done anonymously, meaning that the gutless derider behind the insult need never actually reveal his/her identity, it has opened up a new world for the kinds of pathetic human who thrive on the elevation channelled through the act of bringing down another – cretins who target someone vulnerable, someone who is having a genuine go at something different then, from the comfort, anonymity and risk-free safety of their home they disparage, they denigrate, they demean to their cruel heart’s content.

…Whether it’s a controlling/dominating sibling/relative, an assertive/opressive partner/spouse, or just that bumptious pillock who believes he is the most important person in the world and plays an indispensable role because he affects the outcome of everything in everybody’s life as well as that of his own, but who really just suffers Narcissistic Personality Disorder…

I used to do a ‘Caption This’ section on The Rock FM website, where you’d take a look at a humorous photo before leaving an appropriate caption, to potentially be ‘ranked’ (in the form of a ‘Thumbs Up’ or ‘Thumbs Down’) by other Rock website-goers; many of the entries were silly, some were clever, and a few were brilliant (of course I never bothered to ‘say’ as much, as my own attempt usually fell somewhere in between), yet each week after the first few captions had gone up, along with a few sensible rankings, somebody, for some reason, would run through and administer a spate of ‘Thumbs Down’ feedback.

…Although we’re only small, New Zealand comprises a populous of ambitious, tenacious, and generally driven people, with many Kiwis constantly aspiring to be superior to one another; although in order to be better, somebody must therefore be worse and in order to be elevated, the belief is thus one must be downtrodden…

After more captions had been posted on The Rock website, suddenly another wave of ‘Thumbs Down’ comments were given, and this was when I began to notice a pattern; each time a wave of ‘Thumbs Down’ comments went through, there was always just one who was given a ‘Thumbs Up’ suggesting that for each new caption submitted, the aforementioned author was giving himself (yeah, ‘himself’, obviously, because this is such a bloody male thing to do) a ‘Thumbs Up’, while giving every other person a ‘Thumbs Down’ which, am I alone in finding that utterly juvenile?

…In a perfect world (of which this most certainly is not) somebody could experience personal elevation without feeling the need to bring down someone else; as stated though, this world is far from perfect as it seems the best we can do is perhaps a 50/50 Ecstatic/Dejected ratio, which is a really daft plan of existence to maintain…

A major problem is that (and I have had recent experience with an example of just this scenario) most Narcissistic Personalities, much as they are striving to elevate, become so invested in themselves they are actually unaware that their impending grandeur (which these guys do actually need to survive so perhaps try to cut them a break) is often coming at the expense of the happiness of others; although given that Narcissistic Personalities tend not to accept or believe that anything they do could ever be wrong, it’s likely that even if they did realise they were harming others they would soon find a way to justify their actions to themselves until they felt at ease, because that’s what narcissists do.

…An equally daft way to be is just plain nasty, but this is the way for a portion of younger people; for whatever reason – upbringing, lifestyle, personal hardship, health (incidentally digestive/bowel health plays a significant part in youthful mood and I would be delighted to elaborate on this #wearekillingourkidswithantibiotics alas, #homemadehashtag that’s a story for another time) or other negative situation a child may face – the ability to look upon a new face with an empathetic approach is simply beyond these creatures’ abilities, hence their often debilitating, ‘pull down, leg up’ strategy…

Haters, generally, are created, they’re not born; while haters will always do what they can to bring us down, it’s up to us to stand fast and be the bigger person.

…Haters are naturally Negative looking to become Positive; so you just have to use your naturally sourced Positive to overcome their bought of terminal Negative.

‘Terminal’ because too much negativity will kill a person.

 

 

Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Haytuss R Wurthles

Photography by B Kim Postiff

 

Tim Walker’s Lawless

There has been a recent increase in the prevalence of oxymoronic Kiwis who choose to practice their operations outside the bounds of established society/government/law.

In fact it’s far from an exclusively New Zealand-based issue; idiots around the world have been exploiting this grotesque human paradox for a long while…

Oxymoronic because, as much as they might consider themselves ‘outcasts’, ‘rebels’, ‘free-thinkers’ (or in other cases, ‘budding entrepreneurs who do what we want when we want without no control from no Po-lice no how’) who go to serious lengths to avoid the constriction of official influence, of course when things go bad for them they are only too keen to come running back to the comparative shelter and safety of our Government-controlled society.

…In many places in the US gangs believe they control the streets; walking proudly among their cohort, disrespecting authority, pervading intimidation, demanding respect – until they encounter a situation they cannot handle alone…

A few years’ ago in New Zealand ‘car surfing’ – where a car’s passenger positions themselves  on the roof as the car is being driven at speed (and of course captures the entire ordeal on camera for a surfer’s shot at fame, glory and instant popularity), often while yelling profanity or hurling disdain at authority – made it’s official entry on our streets. The punishment for such an act of recklessness is loss of licence, demerit points, possible impounding of vehicle and/or a fine of up to $3000 yet, “Why can’t we do it?” comes the indignant query from one such apprehended surfer, “’snot like we’re hurting anyone … Yeah, and we’re only gonna hurt ourselves, anyway..?”

…For example, in an eruption of gang warfare Police will likely become involved, if only to ensure minimal fatalities, and much as this might not be welcomed by those engaged in the violence, assuredly welcome will be the paramedic and ensuing hospital care that the injured gang members will receive, as well as the (also Government funded) rehabilitation process they might then require…

In the event that a car surfer does become injured, despite only moments earlier shirking the need for authority thereby effectively relinquishing their dependence on the Government, they will undoubtedly have no issue limping to their nearest ACC office to capitalise on New Zealand’s First World Nation goodwill.

…Or other groups who make their living through illicit practises, who do what they can to avoid paying Government-imposed income tax, thus realistically ought not to be entitled to any of societies benefits which are ultimately paid for by taxes, yet who, for example, despite spending a lifetime avoiding authority, when they step out of their Government-allocated State House to pick up their children from the bus stop, to later find that one such child has been improperly treated by a teacher – thus obviously requiring the Police (Government) to be called upon to come and inspect that school (Government) and to ensure the child is indeed receiving a proper education (Government) yet when the parents (Liabilities) push their complaints further – ensure that, through that public school’s own code of conduct and the proper channels of law enforcement, the teacher in question is promptly dismissed…

People riding bikes without helmets, going out in boats without lifejackets, riding in a car without a seatbelt, or texting while driving; it’s all the same thing – the Government tells you not to do it, of course you ignore the Government’s pleas, until you are injured doing the exact thing the Government told you not to do because you might get injured – now you run crying to the Government for support.

…Whatever the country the theme appears the same: idiots who make a point of avoiding authority figures, who think they can manage on their own – dismissing regulations, spurning society, flouting laws, condemning the Government and such – until they need help and still believe that they are entitled to receive it…

Everybody needs help at some stage and whether it’s Police, Education, Health or Injury related, it’s all ultimately the Government and they will always come to the rescue.

…Therefore, save yourself some embarrassment, stop being a dick, grow up, pull your head in and realise that the reason you’re being told to not do it, much as it is probably intended to prevent unnecessary Government expenditure through employing the gamut of government services to save your arse, is generally for your own benefit.

Work with them and they’ll work with you.

 

 

Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Ida Yacht

Photography by Ian Jury

 

 

Tim Walker’s Moons

This year the 1st of April produced not just the internationally recognised ‘Fools Day’ it displayed the first of April 2018’s two full moons.

Manifesting only once in every two or three years, the occurrence of a second full moon across a calendar month – a Blue Moon – this year, will take place April 30th.

The full moon is synonymous with peculiarity; apparent strange happenings mingled with a supposed relaxing of peoples’ inhibitions, ultimately it sounds like a good time for all involved – still, not surprising it only usually takes place once a month.

Astronomy is a topic that I have long found intriguing and – the planets, the stars; the immeasurable, the incomprehensible vastness of space along with all its eternally drifting matter – it’s a topic that I believe ought to warrant anybody’s interest.

Despite the name I do not believe, come the 30th, the moon’s colouring will appear any more ‘blue’ than it ever does.

Our moon is widely thought to have come to existence around 4 billion years’ ago, when a collision with a ‘wandering planet’ sent gargantuan chunks of earth/Earth hurtling out into space, then with time becoming compressed into a spherical shape, and with more time being drawn in to Earth’s gravitational orbit, so became The Moon; part of Earth yet not exactly.

On the surface of it, Earth’s moon is essentially a floating lump of dead matter, however through pressure the Moon does generate its own heat; it’s just that this heat is not adequate to create the quantity of magma which lies under Earth’s crust – hence an absence of surface heat or substantial tectonic movement – yet like Earth the Moon is said to have an iron core while unlike Earth, there is no significant atmosphere and no magnetic field.

Given the Moon’s comparatively slender tilt – 1.54 compared to Earth’s 23.45 degrees – it endures much greater extremes of weather than Earth, in fact with some portions of the Moon’s surface remaining untouched by sunlight.

That marvellous segue right there permits us to touch on a number of interesting and perhaps scarcely understood points: the fact is that our Sun, our gargantuan flaming mass, so much larger than human comprehension will even allow (also, incidentally, said to consume around 600 million tons of hydrogen every second, yet is so very large that this massive consumption of its own mass is tantamount to the evaporation of a mere water droplet in a swimming pool), is simply one of a potentially infinite number of similar, also largely unremarkable, stars. (When one gazes unto to the Milky Way for example, one sees millions of the aforementioned, largely unremarkable, celestially flaming masses.) Of those countless, largely unremarkable stars, as a result of aeons of gravitational compaction of space-dust and other floating debris, most are orbited by Solar Systems (planets that have come to existence through similar channels as our moon), not unlike the planets in Earth’s Solar System. Thus of those potentially countless stars’ potentially countless Solar Systems with their potentially countless planets, it seems unrealistic to imagine that with all that potential, there is no other planet with a proximity to its respective sun which, given a similar duration to Earth’s purported lifespan thus allowing for millions of years of evolution and such, might just afford it life-bearing capabilities.

The question therefore, ‘Could intelligent life exist on other planets?’ I believe is a query that is best answered with one word – potentially.

Blue Moon on April 30th – don’t miss it.

 

 

Article by Tim Walker

Edited by E T Gahume

Photography by Blue Mooney

Tim Walker’s Trolling

Ask most 21st-century-born people their opinion of Facebook and chances are they will come out with some kind of comically ignorant response such as, ‘God’s greatest gift to man since the wheel’.

Probably the majority of the above demographic would struggle to even comprehend life before this social networking institution, and now that basically the entire planet’s population rests at our fingertips, fair to say Facebook has changed the way the world communicates.

Seems almost counterintuitive though, that amid a time where an individual’s privacy has become such an apparently sacred aspect of life that people would wilfully divulge/post personal information/data to a public forum accessible to practically every other person in the world.

Back in 2004, with the corporation that would soon become world-renowned as ‘Facebook’ still in its infant stages, the network’s founder (plagiarist) and CEO (having paid off the concept’s genuine brainchild and now free to make his fortune – also be forever remembered – as ‘Facebook Genius…’), Mark Zuckerberg, at the age of 19, became the subject of published transcripts, (reportedly) depicting him in discussion with a school chum:

 

‘Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard, I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS.

What? How’d you manage that one?

People just submitted it. I don’t know why. They “trust me”. Dumb fucks.’

 

Interestingly most people are compelled, when prompted, regarding a questionnaire or other inquiry-related form, to fill out a box, ironically, without question.

A pertinent question therefore, might indeed be, ‘While remaining hysterically sensitive about the shifting of personal information by a Government’s hand, when did people decide they had no issue with the disclosure of the aforementioned data by their own hand, providing it was restricted to a forum called Facebook, where they could then delude themselves into believing that it would only be seen by close friends and relatives?’

Remarkably many Facebook profiles contain enough personal information (also intimate photography) about the subject that through those Facebook profiles alone, one could easily come to feel they ‘know’ that person.

Virtually any person can see the face of, also discover a plethora of personal information about, virtually any other person through Facebook’s social networking platform which, given the liberal nature of this 21st century tool of personal inquisition, not surprising is the fact that its otherwise wholesome intentions are being abused.

Among other forms of Facebook abuse, online bullying is arguably the most severe; ‘arguably’ because opinions are still spread regarding the severity of cyber-abuse.

While much of the world seems to maintain an online bully or troll can be escaped simply by logging off and/or walking away, personally, if a person takes their kicks from demeaning, devaluing, or denigrating another – for whatever reason and in whatever form – that person is obviously still struggling to understand what it is to be human.

I read a newspaper article the other day in which the columnist was encouraging people to ‘drop Facebook’, citing the simple explanation, ‘Facebook is ruining society’.

Incidentally, other than posting the occasional excerpt, I don’t use Facebook; however in the course of my research for this particular article I did find myself stumbling over profile after profile of ‘Aren’t I pretty?’ selfies, ‘Hey everyone, look at me,’ pleas for attention, ‘Don’t I look hot in this?’ shots, and ‘I have just spent hours in the mirror working on this face but if I casually hold my tongue like this, kind of in but kind of out, you don’t know that,’ looks (which, when poring over the profile of a young man, is genuinely disturbing), leading to my unequivocal assessment.

Facebook is breeding a generation of youth whose greatest/only source of validation is a ‘like’, ‘comment’, or ‘notification’ on their profile; thus validation which they have really done nothing to earn, validation for which they have certainly achieved nothing, validation therefore which is shallow, hollow, and ultimately meaningless.

Ten, twenty years from now we are likely going to be met with a generation of hunch-backed, affirmation-seeking, weak-spirited, soft, superficial, insecure, insincere, pathetic excuses for adults, and we are only going to have ourselves to blame.

 

 

Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Fas Bik Trawl

Photography by Hunch Buck/Dame Notre

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tim Walker’s Talking II

For those people who find themselves struggling through life with little or no support, the ability to enter into compelling self-discussion might just be the saviour.

Talking – whether or not somebody is there to hear it – is regarded as the most efficient means of dealing with hardship; clinical psychologists charge exorbitant fees to essentially sit and listen as their client unloads upon them, sometimes without even needing to offer any form of insight.

This is the beauty of talking; it allows the speaker to hear the issue spoken aloud – instead of bouncing arbitrarily around the inside of their skull – thereby enabling them to perceive it from a variant angle and perhaps with a different outlook to the way they have been viewing it in their head.

In the original ‘Talking’ I postulated that ‘talking to oneself is a sign of active imagination’; now giving strength to this assertion is the fact that, of all the world’s famously habitual self-talkers, I can find none who are/were dullards.

To elaborate, no person who has ever been guilty of merrily mumbling away to nobody in particular has ever seen the world in entirely black and white; thus the minds of self-talkers are not strictly superior but certainly, they are inherently more flamboyant than their dually-conversing counterparts.

2017 saw a number of self-inflicted deaths in the Rock Music Fraternity (RIP Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell) yet nowadays, this kind of revelation is received not so much with shock or a sense of outrage and loss, as it is almost with a feeling of acceptance or resignation, as though the terms ‘rock star’ and ‘suicide’ have become grotesque synonyms.

Today depression or ‘mental illness’ is accepted as an everyday condition but what is furthermore acknowledged is that, ostensibly selective as its debilitating effects may be, it can affect anyone.

Horrifically most people have come to expect that rock stars – indeed musicians in general – are a less stable variety of human and are probably more given to self-harm than other, regular, untalented or generally uninspired, folk; so here’s the thing about that: musicians are artists, developers, creators of passion; developers of beauty – a musician, composer or other artist’s mind is therefore able to perceive things that ‘ordinary’ folk might find difficult to comprehend, meaning they are more susceptible to emotion thus tend to feel things more strongly than others and in most cases they do require the support of frequent communication.

While it is true that an extensively creative mind is vastly different to the mind of one less gifted in this respect, it does not necessarily make them ‘more given to self-harm’; it simply makes them more tender, more able to recognise emotion and yes, it probably does make them somewhat less able to cope with hardship – without the aid of a voice.

Rock’s famed ’27 Club’ boasts names such as Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, and Cobain (incidentally, all renowned self-talkers); of whom all died in their 28th year and all, presumably, suffering from severe mental illness.

The recent awareness on this topic has gone some way to ‘normalising’ the issue yet, even with as much publicity as there has been including widespread encouragement to ‘talk to someone’, I believe that for a younger mind afflicted by this blanket of gloom with its bleak and perpetually overcast skies, ‘talking to someone’ might still be too far out of reach.

In which case the answer is simple: Talk to Yourself; Listen to Your Issues, Understand Why You’re Hurting, Tell Yourself What You Need.

Be your own best friend because ultimately, no one knows you like you do.

 

 

Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Fey Lin Good

Photography by Torque Power

Tim Walker’s Talking

Whoever first made the assertion ‘Talking to yourself is a sign of insanity’ was likely a small-minded idiot; also probably an ignoramus.

The act of talking to oneself, logically, is less a sign of insanity and more a sign of highly active imagination.

The fact is those who do partake in self-conversation are, generally, not so much talking to themselves as they are conversing with another; it’s just that this other person is technically not present at that time.

Unbeknown to other, regular, normal folk, self-talkers are, generally, opening up a totally new world of imagination – a variant existence if you like – while still having the decency to physically remain in your current world of realism.

Many perceive this pastime of chatting away, ostensibly vacantly, to oneself as nothing short of ‘weird’, ‘unusual’, ‘crazy’ or yes, ‘insane’, but ponder this: how is the act of a person developing their own world of imagination then conversing with the beings therein any different to an idiot teenager becoming immersed in and utterly consumed by his idiot video game?

Alternatively, how is it any different to somebody allowing themselves to become so infatuated with a television rom-com that when their favourite character dies at the end, they break down in tears?

Additionally akin to this comparison are those joyful kinds of people who are seen murmuring song lyrics as music plays in the background; then there’s the 21st century phenomenon of ‘virtual reality’ goggles which, let’s be fair, if someone requires an alternate world to physically be put before their eyes in order for them to see it, they are obviously equipped with a downright insipid imagination.

Imagination is all it ever is and all it ever has been; it’s simply our ability as humans to convince our brains that something we know to be a fabrication is actually real.

There are many people in this world who regularly watch corny movies and find themselves crying uncontrollably, and there are a great many more who regularly allow themselves to become so utterly consumed by video games that they feel the world might end should they step down from their post; no one labels these people ‘insane’ – nobody questions these peoples’ hold on reality.

As a populous we tend to look down on those who ‘talk to themselves’ – or like somebody mindlessly reciting their favourite song to a vacant audience – as though because there is nobody physically able to reciprocate their words, this makes them something less than those partaking in discussion with an actual person.

There should be no reason to ever deride somebody simply for possessing the strength of imagination to create another world from nothing.

These people, these ‘self talkers’ don’t require a video game to see a fabricated reality in their heads, they don’t need a drippy rom-com to incite their emotion, they don’t need music playing to see a line of song lyrics running through their heads and certainly, they do not require virtual reality goggles to see an alternate world played out in their mind’s eye; these people are already transcendent before anything is even put before them.

The next time you witness somebody standing alone, staring into space with lips furiously mumbling in no apparent meaning, don’t judge, don’t be predictable and assume that this person is ‘weird’, or less able to be approached; throw down your proclivity to paste them with a 20th century stigma and just try imagining the world that this brilliant character might be seeing.

Chances are it’s infinitely more exciting than what you’re seeing, anyway.

 

 

Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Sal F Tolker

Photography by Brill Yant-Mind

 

Tim Walker’s Equality

Throughout New Zealand, employment inequality is a fiercely lobbied topic; yet is it even rational to expect equality across all industries?

Men and women are different. This is not disputed and, as far as I can recall, this much has always been true.

New Zealand now has activist groups seemingly dedicated to disproving the above truth; they are trying to establish a variant truth – that aside from their inherent differences men and women are the same.

In my opinion the term ‘gender pay gap’, in reference to the amount of respective remuneration a man and woman receive for performing essentially the same task, is the most nonsensical grammatical institution of the modern world. If a man leaves a particular position of employment which is subsequently taken up by a woman, of course she ought to be paid the same as he was; she’s obviously just as qualified as he was to do the job, therefore the job is being done to a similar level thus the same level of remuneration is obviously required.

Generally, women are equally as capable as men. They are the more delicate, more elegant and generally less robust of the two, yet with experience, most any female can perform most any job of their male counterpart.

Here’s my issue: much as we might hear about certain industries ‘not being well-represented by women’, or how ‘we need to get more women interested in this industry’, sometimes, it’s just not realistic to expect our biologically fairer gender to be interested in particular industries.

A female can work in the male-dominated Forestry industry and…

Providing she is content doing this variety of work, certainly, a female ought to be compensated on a level equal to that of her male colleagues.

A female can work in the male dominated IT industry and…

Providing she is content doing this variety of work, certainly, a female ought to be compensated on a level equal to that of her male colleagues.

A female can work in the male-dominated Heavy Road Transport industry and…

Providing she is content doing this variety of work, certainly, a female ought to be compensated on a level equal to that of her male colleagues.

A female can work in the male-dominated Mechanical Engineering industry and…

Providing she is content doing this variety of work, certainly, a female ought to be compensated on a level equal to that of her male colleagues; as much as the typical Women’s Rights advocate might refuse to admit it the female mind is very different from a male’s, with different likes, dislikes, interests, preferences, passions, repulsions, and such.

…Still, there are women out there who blindly maintain ‘A girl should be able to do anything a boy can do’…

Take a glance over ‘Tim Walker’s Inequality’ (circa September 2015) using the ‘Search’ box at the top right, and see what you reckon about that.

A female can work in the male-dominated Male Erotic Dancing industry and…

 

 

Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Adam N Eve

Photography by E Koala-Tea