David King, MSc, PhD
Writer, Teacher, and Health Psychologist


       davidking2311@gmail.com

"We need not to be let alone. We need to be
really bothered once in a while. How long
is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something
real?" (Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451)
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Individuality

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I have recently found myself faced with a peculiar conflict (of the existential variety). In my heart of hearts, I have long considered myself a socialist. I say this not in a strictly political sense, but in a moral one (I would more formally describe myself as a progressive liberal). I am sensitive to the connections among us. I see them in both the daily minutia and my life as it unfolds more broadly. Undoubtedly, we are all connected. We are all mutually dependent—even at our greatest distances, and in our most desolate of separations. As Carl Sagan (and many others) have reminded us, “we are made of starstuff.” The romanticized nucleosynthetic origins of our finer components (carbon, oxygen, etc.) might be augmented only by the preceding origins of hydrogen and helium during the Big Bang. With such temporal depth … Keep Reading Here

To Be Cool, or To Be Great

by David King on May 11, 2013

michael jeffries

In case you missed it, the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Michael Jeffries, is a jerk. He was recently quoted as saying, “A lot of people don’t belong in our clothes, and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.”

Not surprisingly, this has left people outraged. And rightly so. It’s pretty shocking that we even need to have a conversation about such dated use of the phrase cool kids. Seriously, Mr. Jeffries, we live in a world that’s trying its damnedest to be accepting, and to expand its definition of cool to include such acceptance.

But all is not lost. This guy has revealed himself as … Keep Reading Here

Gender Bent and Borrowed

by David King on February 19, 2013

Photo property of Carole Moran

Gender is an issue that has long been a bother – to me and to millions of people around the world. It’s a complicated subject, and it only seems to get more complicated. It’s the F in M/F, or it’s the M, depending on perspective; it’s the T in LGBT; it’s the pink and the blue, the doll and the truck; it’s both penis and vagina, both John and Jane; it’s who we are and yet not even close, a mere product of socialization; an evolutionary relic, forged in binary minds with eyes blind to all that lay outside the box.

When I was a kid, I struggled with my lack of conformity to the male gender role and all its macho stereotypes. Most of my friends were girls and while I enjoyed my fair share of action figures (and … Keep Reading Here

Remnants Heard

by David King on January 30, 2013

In my time spent as an actual adult (which has really only been about a third of my life), my perspective on time has experienced a remarkable shift. Days are no longer only escapist opportunities for future wonderment and anticipation. While some distortion of this remains, days are also opportunities for deep reflection and reminiscence – the stuff born of more mature realities. The stuff that regrets are made of, if you have dared to digress.

I don’t know what to do with it all, really. After five big moves in five years, a lot of loss, and a few heartaches to wear on my sleeve, I feel surrounded by it. The residue is thick, and the remnants plentiful. I look around my place, and it’s right there, in everything I see. It’s in both new and old, both bought … Keep Reading Here

Knowing Who You Are, Myth 4

by David King on October 3, 2012

brokenMirror-300x199

In a previous post, Knowing Who You Are, Myths 1-3, I outlined 3 prevailing myths associated with modern identity formation. Very roughly, these myths ascribe the following conditions to knowing who you are: 1) this state requires consistent and predictable behaviour, as perceived by others; 2) this state is impossible without mainly logical and rational examination and exploration of life; and 3) this state is optimized by the commitment to a single life trajectory or career path, which, after all, typifies a strong sense of self.

As I previously indicated, these perspectives are bullshit, remnants of an immature and entirely uninsightful stage of human development. Things are never so black and white.

There is a fourth myth, but this one resides somewhere between identity formation and identity resolution. The fourth myth is simple, really. It is the idea … Keep Reading Here

Hollywood’s recent obsession with superhero movies has met its fair share of criticism. And I get it. With so many outlandish storylines and nonsensical scripts (never mind the parade of sequels despite abysmal sales), it’s no wonder so many hero flicks are frowned upon.

But they’re not all bad. In fact many have been quite good – intelligent, well written, believable, and with depth. The Batman Begins/Dark Knight trilogy comes to mind, as do V for Vendetta and Kick-Ass. Movies like Ghost Rider, on the other hand, need to be deleted from our collective memory (or at least mine).

That being said, the growing obsession with superhero movies can be described as a phenomenon of sorts. Recently, an article in GQ suggested that this phenomenon reflected a larger shift away from original screenplays and towards branding – the … Keep Reading Here

Finding Voices, Sharing Ideas, and Tweeting

by David King on August 27, 2010

There was a day when good ideas were restricted to towns, cities, nations, or at the most, continents. Today, ideas belong to the world, once they’re released.

More important than ideas, I think, are voices, for indeed voices serve as foundations for all ideas, good or bad. Voices – voices that want to be heard, that thrive on being noticed, that cannot survive without someone to listen to them. We all have a voice. We all want to be heard, to be noticed, in one way or another. The challenge to this, of course, is that a pool of over six billion people leaves many individual voices unheard. It is ironic, of course, that an increase in listeners and observers, which has parallelled an increase in communication technology, has actually made it more difficult to find a voice. But the … Keep Reading Here

The Search for Truth…or, Tripping Over Figments

by David King on October 11, 2009

The word TRUTH is perhaps the strangest of all human inventions. This, as of late, has become very clear. I have come to the conclusion that to equate truth with reality is a serious mistake.

Reality is a tricky thing, as it is accurately perceived only by myself, just as it is also accurately perceived only by you. When we try to fit these realities together, there inevitably manifest inconsistencies and varying (or even opposing) interpretations. Why? Because reality is a thing owned by the individual, not by the collective mass. It is that which is perceived and interpreted WITHIN an individual’s temperament, disposition, history, climate, geography, political atmosphere, family, and the list goes on. More importantly, it is that which is created IN our consciousness. You might say, then, that to find reality is to find one’s self.

Truth, … Keep Reading Here

The Modern Expression of Ideas

by David King on April 18, 2009

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According to the Oxford Dictionary of Current English, an idea is “a thought or suggestion about a possible course of action, a mental impression, or a belief.” I will add to this the suggestion that ideas are a fundamental component of our intellect – a defining aspect of being human – and key to our past and present survival as a species.

So what’s bothering me? Their expression in the modern world. Yesterday, it was announced that celebrity Ashton Kutcher beat out CNN in number of followers on the newly popular facebook-ish website Twitter. In an interview, Ashton optimistically acknowledged that control over the media was shifting, from conglomerate media empires to individuals, and that websites like Twitter allow individuals’ voices to be heard in a way that was never before possible. So aside from offering yet another medium for … Keep Reading Here