The world abhors disorder and embraces equilibrium. Yins need yangs. Dogs need cats. It’s the whole “for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction” thing. Or as I like to think of it, “there are people who suck and people who blow.”
Curiously, most folks consider these to be one and the same. In the common vernacular, saying “ULTRAsomething sucks” is perceived as having the same meaning as saying, “ULTRAsomething blows.” But here’s the thing — I only agree with one of those statements.
It’s curious that sucking and blowing have become synonyms, since one obviously involves inhalation and one exhalation. Physically, we all do both — equilibrium. But metaphorically, we tend to favour one over the other.
Personally, I much prefer people who blow to people who suck. People who suck consume more of the world’s energy, creativity, knowledge and compassion than they replenish. We all know people whose very existence drains us of our own vitality, and who reduce our stockpile of enthusiasm to levels barely adequate to sustain an evening of Netflix binging. Soul vampires.
We also all know people from whom new ideas flow easily; whose presence energizes the room or whose generosity is above reproach. Soul nourishers.
The reality, of course, is that we all suck a little and we all blow a little. But there are very few people who do this in equilibrium. Rather, equilibrium is achieved on a global macrocosmic level — where society, as a whole, manages to both suck and blow in proportion.
I definitely strive to be someone who blows. Granted, I don’t blow anywhere near as demonstratively as a Mother Teresa or a Ghandi. But then, to compensate for my moderate blow levels, I do try to subsist on the most minuscule quantities of suck.
And that’s why I’m perfectly fine with the notion that ULTRAsomething blows — after all, it has no real purpose other than to hopefully inspire others to blow. Its mission is to give a (very) little something to this world — to improve it in some microscopic way; to advance society by a nano-nudge.
So a tip of my hat and a hearty and heartfelt “thanks for noticing” to all those readers who, for all these years, have proclaimed that ULTRAsomething blows. And to all those who have suggested ULTRAsomething sucks? All I can say is “your ignorance is showing.”
©2018 grEGORy simpson
ABOUT THE PHOTOS:
In an effort to illustrate just how much ULTRAsomething blows, I decided to populate this article with recent photos from my 1969 Olympus Pen FT camera. By using a 50 year old camera, I’m not sucking up more of the word’s precious natural resources for the purpose of building a new one. Why would I do that when the Pen FT takes perfectly adequate photos? Same goes for digital media — why consume all that cloud storage bandwidth and all those backup drives, when all I need to preserve my images is a single strip of acetate? And just in case some of you believe the chemicals within acetate (and a few mils of Rodinal) smell slightly of suckage, note that the Pen FT is a half frame camera, meaning I get 72 exposures on a single strip — halving my per-shot chemical use and thereby minimizing my toxic footprint. In fact, the only thing that doesn’t blow about the enclosed photos is the photos themselves. Upon making my selects, I realized they neither blow nor suck. Rather, to my eye they appear to bite — a discovery that sort of messes up my entire metaphor. Oh well, it’s not like anyone reads this “About The Photos” section anyway.
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