Our Love For Coffee Is Proof We Exist

A body that understands and responds to caffeine is what being awake is. Don’t get it? Read the following statistics.

  1. Caffeine is unquestionably associated with lower risk of mortality. And an even greater reduction in the risk of death with higher coffee consumption. In short, you can live longer if you consume more coffee (total, caffeinated, and decaffeinated). (study)
  2. Caffeine’s biological effect is antagonism of the adenosine receptor. This means that caffeine speeds up nerve cells by tricking certain adenosine receptors. (study)
  3. Contrary to its positive side, there is a potential discussion that coffee consumption is directly linked to health problems such as cancer, heart disease, and anxiety. This is when you take coffee consumption to an extreme level; that is, more than 5-7 cups a day. (study)

Of all the times I’ve come across such statistics, I’m convinced of the psychological effects of coffee. The secret to “waking up” even after waking up consciously is coffee; in its smell, aroma, and flavor.

So, do you wake up and smell the coffee for staying awake? Or do you wake up and smell the coffee because you absolutely love to?

I tried to draw a line between these two questions. The answer comes out groggy and confusing. Groggy because that’s how most of you feel before drinking a cup of coffee. And confusing because that’s how I feel about coffee after researching on something popularly known as “coffee psychology.” Coffee psychology is deciphering what coffee does to the human body. How it makes you focus on the positive and how it makes you see things more clearly. But what I didn’t find, at least not in the initial stages of my research is this: the deliciousness of coffee as a hot or cold drink. Yeah right. What was I hoping to find?

The first few words we think of when we talk about coffee is alert, energy, clarity, and active. It’s hard, but not impossible, to find the words: delicious, delicious, and delicious. No more or no less. Maybe this article will belong to the “delicious, delicious, and delicious” family. But wait a second. Is my love of coffee a trickery? Is caffeine tricking my taste buds, just as it tricks the adenosine receptors, into loving its taste even when it’s the most bitter thing one could taste?!

The more I drink coffee, the faster the caffeine continues to conspire and blur my sensitivity toward what tastes good and what tastes bad. To someone who’s never had a sip of coffee, coffee tastes bad, right? Wait until the caffeine kicks in. We can avoid it… we can but then we go ahead and dilute it with milk and sugar and the caffeine’s conniving booby trap begins. From very sweet to mildly sweet to not-so-sweet to slightly bitter and finally, to boldly bitter.

If someone were to ask me why I love drinking coffee, I would say, “Because I love the taste so much. And it’s not about the fact that it keeps you alert, thinking quick, and energetic. I just love the taste. And yeah, I only drink it without sugar. I mean, who drinks coffee with sugar anymore?!”

People do not talk about this. But it is a good conversation starter. Look at this for example.

Cornell University (study) suggests that caffeine alters the perception of taste. Just the act of drinking coffee every morning made participants feel more awake. Also, when you taste food right after drinking coffee, the flavor of the food is noticeably altered. This happens because caffeine tricks certain receptors in the brain into reducing our sensitivity toward sweetness as a flavor. That’s precisely why we crave the bitterness of coffee.

So, are you telling me that the day I stop desiring coffee in the midst of my coffee drinking habits, I stop existing?

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: When Time Isn’t Enough

We consider the flow of time to be infinite – filling a void that runs its course with every generation, every birth, and every death. The physical aspect of time is body seen through the years, growing in size, dexterity, speed, and strength. The readiness of time is anything but ambiguous. However, the flow of time is what humans have harnessed and tried to manipulate, through any medium, to remain obtainable in a sense that answers to our questions. Or in a sense, the way time flows forward is the only answer to our only question: How well do we live?

After watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – a film which represents an unusually obvious paradigm of aging and time – a movie which creates a spectrum of the world’s most dreadful trio that is loving an age that exists as a defense against time – forced me to think about perspective.

Perspective as we need it. Perspective as it actually is. Imagine a bird flapping its wings over and over again, wafting in mid-air; not moving in any direction; still yet so topsy-turvy are its movements as if it’s invisibly glued to its place with nowhere to go. A perspective that defies the movement of time in space, but adopts the space as its movement until time catches up with it. Isn’t time but a glass through which we glorify our perspective until it builds itself into an entire millennium? Narrow intervals that mark our thoughts, actions, and beliefs until we move on to another entirely different or inconsequential interval.

If you were to pin down these intervals of time, it would be a room full of stacked boxes; some too big in size, while some too small and almost invisible among the crowd. Some unemptied while some that look like they’ve been destroyed and yet its charred remains still remain scattered on the floor.

Or they’re drawers like the ones we have in offices to store documents. Small drawers, rusted with age, stacked on top and next to each other. Our time determines how deep and long each drawer is; each drawer manifests a different scent of a different time.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
At the end of it all, you glimpse into a few boxes or pull out drawers, but the rest remain dormant, almost futile to time. Is that how you perceive time? What happens when you reverse it from finish to start? Then, what will the room in which time marks everything down, so perfectly and so vehemently, look like?

Perspective holds time in its palms. Or is it the other way around? I guess the answer exists beyond what words can explain. Just one of those things we can experience, if in tiny fragments in movies like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Are Dysfunctional Relationships The New Normal?

It’s difficult to label this movie as something that provokes an easy laugh. Rather it is the kind of movie that forces you to have a peculiar or uncharacteristic reaction that’s completely unnecessary, to begin with. And this aspect is the whole and sole of why Margot At The Wedding caught me off guard.

Besides the point, I specifically chose to write about the illuminating reality of conversations that bind the idiosyncrasies of two people in a kind of relationship that defines nothing but eccentric consequences. The characters walk in zig-zag lines to not only observe but shackle the bond of beauty itself into something self-serving and conceited. In short, you’ll find yourself bound to misery in its fullest dimensions. That is precisely what a dysfunctional relationship ought to explore as a deeply exhaustive yet thoughtful concept. Perhaps becoming unaffected to a point where showing little to no concern in matters besides yourself is the greatest normalcy of life, as we know it.

Are-Dysfunctional-Relationships-The-New-Normal-4

The clever insanity and indifference portrayed is not shocking but seems too real to be true. The kind of dispassion each character provokes in another through brutal honesty and constant justification humiliates the conventional families that are often plotted on-screen.

This same logic applies to Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected).

I loved the unorthodox display of unanswered affection and unresolvable temperaments of each character. At this point, I feel a part of me exists as all the characters in the movie, including Malcolm, Ingrid, Jim, and Pauline. Margot and Claude taking the leading positions in my frame of mind.

In whichever way the concept of “family” is portrayed in this movie, it certainly sticks, in my way of thinking, as the epitome of perceiving the out-of-the-ordinary as completely familiar and relatable. There’s more than just seeing, but feeling the characters unravel in front of your eyes in-between the socially awkward, yet seductive, language of storytelling. And that’s one of the expert functions of good films like Noah Baumbach’s Margot At The Wedding and The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected). Both exquisite tools of knowing how often people wish to be confronted by their harsh and unwavering realities, within their own limits, regardless of how much or how little they care for it.

Am I The Rational Creative?

Can one mistake hinder all of your creative impulse and ambition? What kind of mistake would that be? Where does the power to recuperate its backlash come from?

These are the sort of questions most creatives are compelled to answer. Whether they work in creative agencies. Or even as freelance writers or freelance illustrators. We’re so comfortable to answer questions within our framework, we lose sight of the real trouble at hand.

What I’m talking about here is the value of ideas, in general. As a content writer, I often find myself inspiring action, but to what extent, I cannot comprehend. A mistake reveals my insecurities. My flight or fight response gets activated. Should I do another or make my current fault flawless? It’s a constant maze that makes me smile, cry, scream, and wonder.

“You must not let it hinder your creative flow”, my power of creativity tells me.

I’ve predetermined my powers on the basis of the kind of knowledge I acquire by reading and lots of reading. It’s not something I’m afraid to pursue, acquiring knowledge through articles and videos I mean. Especially when social interaction is one of the most effective and productive ways to increase knowledge. My story is a bit different.

The clear perspective of my life is my inevitable approach to redefining the subject of creativity. The power that unpredictably puzzles me into the fear of never moving forward. Remaining stagnant is never a good thing. And why shouldn’t it be?

Everywhere you look, the abstraction of objects, behavior, and experiences never remain as they were when they took form. Well, it’s simple to imply that the biggest mistake occurs when you stop at either nothing or everything. That means when you don’t learn at all. What’s next?

What we don’t say to each other is the inevitable experience of trying too hard. Trying too hard to stay informed, to remain fresh with ideas, and to be unpredictable. Our behavior takes form of that functional and, sometimes, too overwhelming brain we carry around. It’s not easy. But it doesn’t feel so difficult either.

That’s to say that nothing really kills creativity apart from the fundamental hypothesis of substance abuse, idleness, and lack of information flow in our heads. If we don’t read, we listen to music, if we don’t do that, we have something that we constantly feed our brains with to remain creative. Never let that creative juice stop. It’s a firm decree.

So, am I the rational creative?

The work we do is intended to strike a response. Any handy piece of advice is considered wisdom or crap. There’s no telling of success or failure because both are building blocks. A temporary state of inspiration is often filled with new ideas and conversations, but how?

The concept of delivering more when it’s demanded is simple. But in that process, we’re losing our social production quality of life. That means, content is becoming more ambiguous and those on the other side of the screen, the ones reading that content and inspiring action like it’s a never-ending spectrum, are contradicting.

It’s bewildering who’s the creator and who’s the consumer. Are you both? Of course, you are. But when are you taking the form of one while trampling on the other?

The Banned Books of Belief

After stumbling on The New York Times’ The Banned Books Your Child Should Read article, I found myself carving out particular details and reviews of many such repeatedly banned books worldwide. Whether it’s a book written about a complete totalitarian society, sex, the face of racism, religion, or cultural promulgation, any book that depicts a more challenging and open-minded perspective surrounding both children and adults, regardless of what the nature of the book’s message, was considered a threat to humanity. The assessment of how famously some books were banned from bookshelves across the globe is predictable, yet embarrassing.

Given the long history of controversies, suppression of thought, censorship, and the stereotypical ways of raising children, distinctively prescribing roles to both genders, I thought it was time to play a small role between such paradigms. It’s inevitable that once a book is published, if it stirs some unusual sentiments, it will be susceptible to control and confrontation, but does that also mean that the book is simply challenged or banned from public access?

Historically speaking, the roots of banning books digs deep into the past where the attempts made to control literature existed ever since published literature became a way of living. That’s to say that after years of doubtless accessibility, most of the books famously banned today are classics such as Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, 1984 by George Orwell, or Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

Conflicting similar sentimentality to such literature, these are also books that are considered “Classical Studies” books for children and young adults.

When books are challenged it means that there had been numerous attempts to restrict a particular book, while banned books are completely kept away from freedom, based on factors that attempt to exclude books from the curriculum, libraries, etc. To understand transparently why books shouldn’t be banned, it’s crucial to understand the concept of psychology for reading books.

To be able to map emotions, feelings, actions, and experiences, also body language of yourself and others, having a mindset beyond your conscious capacity of perception is paramount. It also guides us into emotion perception and overcoming roadblocks to mindfulness. Reading books for pleasure is not always how it appears. When you read books that are challenged or banned, you have the power to harness awareness about the world. It’s a great resource to gain information, discuss, and talk about why such books are troubling, in a more general sense.

Primarily, books were pressed in society as being extremely inappropriate for children. Materials that contain offensive use of words, are sexually explicit, or irrelevant for a particular age group are challenged time and again for the existing generation.

Reaching out to read books that have either been challenged or banned, is something every reader must do to make an effort to form a certain worldview in both cultural and social identity. If you want to deal with historical ideas with a modern twist, it’s impressively common to read banned books first. That way, you won’t be afraid of challenging relic ideas for thought-provoking ones.

ULYSSES by James Joyce

A modernist novel, Ulysses is considered to be the most dangerous book- to the extent that it has been banned by the United States and England, also it has been consistently confiscated and burned repeatedly. This book has seen episodes that led to its prosecution for obscenity. And throughout the 1920s, the United States Post Office Department had burned more than 1,000 copies of the novel on the basis of the book’s content and message.

“What is so staggering about Ulysses is the fact that behind a thousand veils nothing lies hidden; that it turns neither toward the mind nor toward the world, but, as cold as the moon looking on from cosmic space, allows the drama of growth, being, and decay to pursue its course.”

Carl Jung

The Banned Books Of Belief-ULYSSES by James Joyce

THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL by Anne Frank

Considered too explicit and veracious for education institutions, The Diary Of A Young Girl is a hard-hitting account of a 13 year old Jewish girl of her 2 years hiding in a Secret Annex because of the Nazi Invasion. This book was repeatedly banned not because of the Nazi Invasion narrative, but because of the kind of words she believed to express in the book. If you’ve read this book (as I have), you’ll find her intentions extremely transparent and of a curious mind. This is no ordinary novel. It has been challenged and banned from formal institutions because it expresses the curiosity and intelligence of a young girl who is learning the ways of her growing body and her relationship with those around her.

Also, The Diary of a Young Girl has never been permanently banned, but it has been censored many times for its literature (that is a young girl’s thoughts) which was marked with “unnatural” homosexual tendencies.

The Banned Books Of Belief-THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL by Anne Frank

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. SALINGER

A striking novel about a blatant teenager Holden Coulfield, The Catcher in the Rye has been subjected to many censors between 2000 to 2009. Because of its sexual, wicked, and provoking literature, this novel was identified with 785 profanities for a high school syllabus and was marked down as “part of an overall communist plot.” The meaning portrayed in this novel is to save children from losing their innocence, something the audience rarely sees. Rather they choose to focus on the teenager’s grumpy, angry, and sinister perspective on life.

The Banned Books Of Belief-THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. SALINGER

FAHRENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury

This book’s prediction of book burnings has taken the whole world for a startling ride. A dystopian novel published in 1953, it talks of a very futuristic American society where firemen were designed to start fires where books were outlawed. It’s a classic representation of how humankind craves to suppress what isn’t understood by them. In a radio interview, the author, Ray Bradbury had stated that he wrote Fahrenheit 451 because of the emergence of threat of book burning in the United States. He also concluded that his novel takes a whole new approach at how mass media encourages the interest of disregarding reading literature as a way of life.

The Banned Books Of Belief-FAHRENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury

BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley

Speaking of a complete hedonistic society where everyone seems to be permanently happy, warfare and poverty are nowhere to be seen or felt, and humanity is technologically advanced. All this because under the thumb of the society’s hatred to family, culture, art, literature, philosophy, and science. Those things that make humanity are eliminated for a totalitarian society. Aldous Huxley’s bold literature has been rigidly compared with George Orwell’s 1984, which too is a popularly challenged book. Many notable incidents have been censored because of its negative use of activity and perception of a futurist society. The book was banned in India in 1967, as the author was accused of being a “pornographer”.

 

The Banned Books Of Belief-BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley

There are many more straightforward books that are a part of the family such as

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
  • The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell

I think the scope of such books is a brave one. For once, shouldn’t we allow ourselves to expose something beyond that which is permitted and comforting to the masses. 

After all, if a book doesn’t affect the realms of consciousness and intelligence, then why read at all?

Other reads:

V for Vendetta, Fahrenheit 451, and five other books that reflect Trump’s America

Bannings and Burnings in History

6 Historical High Points For Book Banning