Tuesday, 24 April 2018

The Anxieties of Futility

The Anxieties of Futility

After a certain time, when it has reached an unbearable pitch, we flee from anxiety, find refuge in a fugue state - like an autonomic stage of drowning where the brain has shut off, but the body still gasps for air.

There, there is a certain calm, dread pushed away a little. The mind has a moment to rest, the body to try to breathe. One tries to collect one’s thoughts, to make a plan, to invent strategies to escape the circumstances that make us so anxious.

Yet, to maintain that calm space, it is impossible to think of solutions, for that necessitates facing those same anxieties in order to unlock the way forward. So we have a state of screaming panic which forestalls thought, or a state of numb mindlessness which also forestalls thought. We are trapped in two opposites of futile stasis.

What about the transition, such as it is? Our precarious circumstances make us anxious. We seek to escape our circumstances. Yet every idea grasped at seems impossible, too futile to pursue. And with each blank moment of absent solutions, anxiety rises, and thought decreases, and anxiety rises, until we are back where we started.

The anxiety and the futility are two lines on a graph, each mirroring the other’s rise and fall. At any point along the axis, both added together equal full-volume; both states still inhibit thought and action in conjunction and combination. They are in essence two faces of the same coin. It is the coin that is the problem.

How do we lose the coin, spend it, or have it stolen from us? This world, lacking in any security or certainty, just tosses it straight back to us with indifference.

To be anxious about a specific thing is quite normal. To be anxious about a number of things is quite normal. There are many things in the world to be rightfully anxious about. But to be anxious about almost everything - so much that the brain is continually spinning about to see everything at once - is not usual, and very debilitating.

A specific anxiety can be reasoned with and addressed through logic, regaining a sense of proportion, and experience of having subdued it before. Add several other anxieties on top, and it becomes hard to concentrate on any one, and consequently more difficult to address any one of them. In other words, the more one is anxious about, the more anxious one gets.

We try to concentrate, to just focus on a single anxiety, to try to take steps to relieve it. But every attempt is sabotaged by the distraction of the others. Eventually, all the separate worries coalesce into an unaddressable gestalt of constant dread.

That is when the mind goes blank, trapped in that frozen desert of futility. Nothing can be made right. Our identities are useless, we are a waste of life. It will always be like this. What is the point in being alive? Just waiting continually for impending disaster, not knowing from which direction it will come. Will it be war, climate-change, drought and famine? Unemployment, illness, the punitive state? Eviction, starvation, humiliation? The asylum, prison? A car smash, the death of loved ones, the fear that one is not loved? Never to feel self-worth nor satisfaction for the rest of one’s life? Never to feel happy again?

Some of these are, of course, mainly out of our control. Others not so much. But so hard to address them, deafened by the admonitory cries of the others. But if we cannot even address our anxieties over the things we need to change, how then can we attempt to change those things? How do we escape the trap of feeling futile?

We need to accept that our anxieties have tangible causes, and that we can act to reduce those threats. Today, for so many people, the most basic needs are in question. Food. Shelter. To secure those two simple necessities seems impossible when living on the margin of society. But they are not impossible.

We can start by trying to move despite our paralysis, to prove to ourselves that we are capable of at least something. As the fly emerges from its pupa, we see there is some capability of movement, so therefore there is more capability of movement to come.

We can practise the most simple and beneficial actions. Leave the house, walk, admire the world, smile and talk to people, be friendly and engaged. Show love to those around us. By giving happiness to others, we can become happy ourselves. Aristotle believed that happiness is not a thing, or a state, but a process, a way of action. Practicing happiness leads to confidence. Confidence leads to ideas, opportunities, unseen paths. But isolation leads to despair.

We should, rather than think of an idea, and then reject it as impossible, take that idea and see how it could be made possible. Where skills are lacking, learn them, or refresh them. Devote an hour a day as a matter of course to thinking of ideas, no more, no less, and it does not matter if no ideas come. Manure the garden of our minds. Ideas never grow in barren soil. Read other things that are not newspapers, or frivolous babble. Exercise a little discipline and refuse to feel guilt if we do not meet our expectations. Be light and loving of heart, and keep a smile on our faces.

We need stability, and security of our needs and wants. Happiness is not going to appear as a result of obtaining those. Rather, those needs are dependent on happiness to be acquired.

This unrelenting positivity may make us retch in our very souls. But praxis is the only way to break this stasis. We have a choice, to remain still and sequestered, watching the hands of the clock each day tick forward, each day despondent at another day wasted. Or we can begin to move. We know what staying still results in. The only solution is to try the other way.

As Becket’s old truism states: ‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.’ To try is all.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

On a Terminal Diagnosis.

On a Terminal Diagnosis.

If I were to have one tomorrow, next year, ten years hence, how would I feel and what would I do?

I think I would feel a sense of relief before all else. If you have tried to kill yourself, then the blameless exit would feel like a grace. Of course there are all the blames of one’s lifestyle, one’s weakness, one’s disregard for longevity. Yet one avoids the damning act of finishing it, and hurts one’s loves less.

The thought of the process of dying - the pain, the embarrassment, the sheer indignity of the failing functions of the body - they hold little terror for me: firstly I know what it feels like to be so ill that one actively wishes for death; secondly, my friends will attest to the fact that I have a more than ordinary capability for laughing at embarrassing situations; thirdly, que sera sera.

There would be immense regret of course. I have been faced with imminent violent death more times than is fair for one life, and I neither include risky sports such as climbing or mountaineering or dangerous sea swimming, nor living in such unfortunate place as whichever war-zone is a la mode de toujours. Yet that regret is instant when faced with the immediate. There would be time to dwell on regret, and I hope and trust I shall be able to break it down into the many fractions of the resignation I have known before.

We are shaped by our upbringing. I ended up in a random conversation with a lone woman in a pub garden today. We both came from the same grotty town, and she had had some deleterious experiences in her growing up. So I returned the favour, and I was both amused in confirmation, and shocked in how appalled she was at the story of my childhood and youth. The thought of suicide first visited me before I was five. I know this both from factual dating of my family history and also my personal history. Sadly, it has never gone away.

So, that might be how I might feel. How would I like to spend my last two or three months?

With all my loved ones beside me of course. There would be impracticalities to that. I would hope they would be overcome in the circumstance. But also I should like to do some things that I would be too cowardly to attempt now. I would like to solo A Dream of White Horses for instance. I should like to stretch my swimming capability in the deep and cold sea to my utmost. So, a tent on Caer Gybi it is!

And last, but by no means least, one last loving fuck.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

ESA50 again! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Mental, Cognitive and Intellectual Capabilities.

(11). Learning how to do tasks.

Um… errr... what?

(12). Awareness of hazards or danger.

Shit, whoops!

(13). Starting and finis

(14). Coping with changes.

Turn and face the strain
Don't have to be a richer man


Turn and face the strange
Don't want to be a better man,

Time may change me
But I can't trace time

(15). Going out.

May I wear split-crotch panties and nipple tassles?

(16). Coping with social situations.

Fookin’ ‘it ‘em!

(17). Behaving appropriately.

She studied the infernal fucking machine, reached out a finger, and traced the lengths of the glistening steel probes. She squatted over her partners mouth, and slowly dropped a long turd between her perfectly made-up lips, and between her exquisite teeth. Igor came in with the donkeys.

(18). Eating and drinking.

I’ll have a large Lagavulin please, and a salami enema. Ta love.

Face to face assessment.

No thanks, but if I have to, byddai i yn hoffi fy asesu yn Gymraeg.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Being a Single Parent.

It's hard. I've clocked two years in total over the last six, with no support, and three burly, energised boys. You can't be poorly. You can't take a day off. You can't have a bad day. The reward is their love, and their recognition of how tough it can be.

Kudos to all single parents. X

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Woman with Two Elbows

I ended up from random scribbles thinking Olympia and Venus of Urbino, but even more shameless.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015


Ennead to the Power of Three. - Broadfield Garden, 10th/11/2015


Such anger demolishes my soul
I cannot find my way through Dante's forest:
the tokens we exchanged of tendency

are now quite inhumed in the distant past -
Archimede's soft bath-suds overflow again
eureka! - but we only have to miracle

our desperate situation, love,
there is a peace and gentleness to find,
without the two of us misplacing mind.


Give me yourself: you did once long before,
forget the past ~ our fates were matched before
we argued that first time, that second, third,

our might and meeting of our matchless minds
unparelleled in our intensity ~
come home my love, come home to my soft heart.

Or don't. If no way you can you see to set
me free, then make it brief and brutally
effective. Love me or just let me be.


I gave a bench to some carousers,
they did decline but then relented.
To give the tricks of kindness takes some front.

And yes, I am quite capable of being
a cunt ~ that lovely word, your aureoles,
scar-tissues, so, so, strange, I miss with all

my heart and tongue and cock and touch and taste,
I still desire you more than words depict:
be gentle, loving. Have ruth for this twit.

Pathos and Ramblings and Suicide

What do I want? To be with my lover who has declared herself not my lover. Oh it hurts, my gods it hurts, because all I want to do I is make things right, The bodies age, and the minds age too. But what are we to do? It seems senseless to give up at this time. A year of shit and pain, events outside our ken. Just dreadful in every sense. Suicide. Death. Two family members. It has broken us I think. I am still trying, but it seems so futile. Never such love and innocence again.

My black dog. Or as I prefer, my black beast. Psychiatrists and community psychiatric nurses tend to ask very banal questions, such as: “Can you identify your trigger points?” Well, the short answer is no. When the real and deadly fit comes upon me, it is always without warning, often with no aggravating circumstances. It is as if a black cloud exhales from my being – a me – not me – that solidifies and ossifies like a black beast that encases me. The real me shrinks to the size of a guttering night-light flame. The black beast has all the power, and the glimmer of me can do nothing but protest in a tiny voice.

Thankfully this has only taken me over fully twice in my life, in 2007 and 2008. It has partially tried a handful of times since, but I am canny. Last Thursday it turned up big-time. The black beast cares not for the consequences of your children findng you hanging or stabbed through the heart.

I took every variety of pill I had, and for the first time I called the Samaritans. She was wonderful. And so many friends have reached out and sent their love on facebook, so I suppose that spying, advertising, watching, habit-logger has some positive value.

Things improved gradually over the next few days. I'm still in a hole. But I'm not drowning. And the Samaritans got £20.

Monday, 26 October 2015

How We Have Have Changed.

I was born in 1971. That might seem a long time ago to some of my non-existent readers. But when I was growing up, from the grotty junction of Barton Street in Gloucester, to Maescourt on Upton Lane, to Tivoli Road in Cheltenham, to Dagmar Road in the same town, we all knew our neighbours.

I was talking about this to my lover a few minutes ago. The 70s and 80s were profoundly different to now. I remembered Mrs Uzzell. She lived next door. I haven't thought of her for at least ten years if I'm honest. But remembering her, and how she used to make sure we all had treats from her hand, her face was summoned from a thirty year old filing cabinet, and I saw her again.

The 70s were a joy. Call me out on childhood if you must, but it was a time when to survive only one parent had to work, The 80s were harder. 90s... 00s were good for me because I had a successful business. But this decade has been a stinking pile of tory shite.

It seems to be getting worse. Every year, every decade. It is not just me getting older and more jaundiced, losing hope, angrier by the week. I just urge you all to fight for fairness in our society.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

So What Has Been Up?

Long time I know, non-existent audience. But even if I have to write into the void, then so be it. I shall go in reverse order.

Communicated with my parents today. That's always a healthy sign. Yesterday I got persuaded by my delightful Hungarian/Bulgarian shrink to attempt the Lamotrigine. Another one to eventually tick off as useless, but let no-one say I don't have an open mind. Been a grim couple of weeks, due to the anniversary of a family death. Went on the TUC/Peoples' Assembly march in Manchester. A pleasant day out, and no misbehaviour witnessed. Passed my WCA. I might have posted about that before.

Well, that's that. How am I? And more importantly, how are you all, if there are any of you left? Myself: well I mistrust the Autumn, season of mists and mixed states. Can never tell if I'm down or up to be honest. But like comb-teeth, it all evens out into a straight line. Worry about others more than myself.

Am I doing anything? No, not really. Have a hankering to write *that* book about the subjective experience of madness. After all, it's mostly written. Just a hell of an editing job.

What do I want from the future? Love, peace, security, happiness. Ha.

See? I have nothing to say of import. Fuck the Tories. Bless you all. Dx

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Pick Up Your Bed and Work

Some brief thoughts on the Tory Party Conference, the TUC/Peoples' Assembly March, and finally, some views on the Labour Party Leadership Election, and where things might be going next. Plus, a postscript on my experience of the WCA last month.

i. Tories. 

So all the vile, vicious, decrepit marrionettes have been spewing their bile and bigotry across the stage and the airwaves these last two days. And we still have Dave-I-Fucked-a-Pig-Cameron to come. We've had the Satanic Robot, gimp-suited and coke-addled, lying his brazen teeth off left, right and centre. We've had Grendel's Mother rise up from her lakebed lair, vomiting prejudice and stoking hatred against desperate refugees. We've had the Blond Beast, grunting and whinnying his tired tropes, his lazy jokes, and his pathetic homoerotic rugger-bugger metaphors for his ideal Britain. And now we've had the Arch-Fiend, Mahu-Modo, Nosferatu, the Ghoul, the Blood-Sucking-Jumped-Up Reinhard Heydrich, spitting on the tears and pain of the protesters, threatening to do the same but much, much more, congratulating himself on all his incompetent, flawed and evil policies: policies that have caused innumerable deaths. Oh, and I forgot Jeremy-That-Part-Of-a-Woman is too beautiful a word to grace him with... we should all work as hard as the Chinese. Suicide nets on the factories, anyone? Not to mention Liam-Slash-Pensions-Now-Fox, do away with the Winter Fuel Allowance and the Bus Pass, because the poor old dears will either be dead at the next or election, or so gaga they won't remember who made their lives a misery. (Excuse me one moment while I go outside and shriek at the uncaring skies.) The fact these miserable pieces of shit exist and haven't been struck down by lightning is certainly a compelling argument for atheism.

ii) Manchester March. 

It was a very amiable affair, despite what you may have read in the papers. One hundred thousand people walking through central Manchester, and one arrest for spitting, and three others for drunk and disorderly. Listen: how many arrests for D&D does central Manchester get on a normal Sunday afternoon? More, I'd warrant. Anyway, around 0.002% of people connected with the march were naughty. That means 99.998% were not naughty. And the egg-incident has to be, it must be said, viewed with some dubiety. Quite easy to slur the opposition by staging a scene. The weather was perfect, and the atmosphere electric. I felt very proud of the great variety of my fellow citizens.

iii) Labour Leadership.

I was involved before Our Saviour got on the ballot. I was in two minds: if it worked, and by a miracle we can change the country's attitude by 2020, then all well and good; if 2020 ends in defeat, we shall at least have wrenched the debate to the left.

We all know how its panned out so far. It's been quite fascinating to see the support Jeremy gets wherever he goes. Now it's time for some hard-nosed policy-making, and I would be the first to agree that there will have to be some sacrifices.

But I wondered the other day about an underlying strategy from the Left - one that I do indeed approve of - a strategy I might hesitantly call the Road to Calvary. Perhaps Corbyn is just setting an example for the Left (especially the young and enthusiastic new left). Perhaps he is intent on proving that democracy and reason and politeness and turning-the-other-cheek will fail against the entrenched vested interests of Capital, and that the inevitable disillusionment of all these newly enthused members might lead another step on the way towards revolutionary change. But this is just a wild theory.

iv) Postscript.

The image at the beginning of this post came to me, sweating, in the middle of the night following my Work Capability Assessment. I ordered the extra props there and then. Because being raped up the arse is a fair analogy to the entirety of the whole disgusting process.

I had expected that I would cope well, knowing my ability to project an air of false confidence. But I was wrong. I almost vomited with anxiety on the train, in the assessment room, and on the pavement outside the DWP office. Tears were shed by both myself and my companion.

This is the rub: to try every day to feel 'well', I try to believe I am well, to accentuate every positive aspect of coping with this foul and wayward brain. These assessments force your entire consciousness onto all your negative aspects, and lo and behold, studying yourself though that dark and pessimistic glass has a deleterious effect on your sense of health and capability. It forces you to see how shit you are at many things. It makes you want to extinguish yourself in despair at your own shortcomings.

However, I passed. A bitter moment of ironic self-congratulation.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Whither Now, Labour?

Whither Now, Labour?

The media is getting its little panties in a right twist. Jeremy Corbyn has, utterly unsurprisingly, taken a strong lead in the leadership election. Why are all of the usual suspects so flabbergasted?

Well, for starters, they do not listen to the membership, neither the electorate. The myth that Ed Miliband was too far left seems to have filled their brainpans to the point that they cannot see the actual evidence before them. Ed Miliband was not half left enough. So many people I have spoken to over the course of this year have all said the same thing: give us a proper Labour Party back.

Many have jumped ship to the Greens, UKIP, TUSC, and last but not least, Plaid and the SNP. Many of them won't be coming back. But a lot of them will, given a practicable choice. And there are all of those people who have not voted since Blair, of which I was one until this year. And there are all of those young people who have been royally screwed by Osborne's Budget.

Why am I supporting Corbyn?

I'm sick of soundbites, focus groups, and safety-first wonkery.

I'm sick of the Labour Party being apologists for neo-liberalist finance.

I'm sick of seeing our, the peoples', shared wealth and heritage being sold off and then the poorest being asked to foot the bill.

I'm sick of our debate becoming so narrow and dumbed-down that no alternative seems possible.

I'm sick of the attacks to our education system, from the raw deal today's children face to the annihilation of adult learning.

I'm sick of the piecemeal privatisation of all our national assetts, through out-sourcing, contracting, PFI... These things belong to US.

And above all, I'm sick of inequality deepening every year.

The press and the media will spend the next five years attempting to convince us that socialism cannot win. We have to be ready for that, to fight it, to support and convince our fellow citizens, to bloody well get out there, rally the people and VOTE.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Fictions on an Imaginary 'He'.

He had given up trying to buy her presents. Although they were always graciously received, they went unworn into her cavernous wardrobe. He had always tried to choose things he thought she might like: a turquoise silk sari, a heavy Bishnoi skirt, purple jackboots, and she did admit to liking them very much, yet in practice it seemed she did not like them enough to wear them. It was as if his choices were just sufficiently off-target to make them impossible for her. He tried to imagine her wearing them, and failed. It felt like he could never get it exactly right, never make that perfect choice. The very fact that it was him who had chosen automatically made it wrong. He yearned for a lost perfection.

He felt like this in many other aspects of his life, these days. Where once they fitted together perfectly, now he felt he was obscurely the wrong shape. She patiently observed his wrongness without comment. He had evidently failed in some way and he could not identify it. Months of living with this sensation had changed his face, or so it seemed to him. He appeared permanently disappointed, a vague expression of confusion around the eyes. He felt old and wrong and discarded by life.

Before, when things were good, when they were both in full flight from circumstance and society, when they dared to come together despite the mounting avalanche of consequences, then they felt alive and perfect. It was the usual temporary madness of course, but it had made them feel immortal, capable of evading every hindrance and snare. In reality they were in freefall, blithely ignoring the ground that was rushing up to meet them, the jagged rocks of divorce, separation, child-custody, grief and regret. The impact when it came broke him to pieces. He had had to rebuild himself bit by bit, and even now he felt he had misplaced some vital parts of himself, whether by accident or design. A thing that has been broken and then mended cannot be as beautiful as when it was whole. He felt the stitching showed all over his character, too tight, constraining easy motion, a stricture on grace. Moreover, he could no longer trust his judgement: he doubted his passions, his hesitancies, the simplest act could be the wrong act. He felt crippled from head to toe.

Some deeds wreak a violence upon the person that is irreparable, and the shattered being remembers what it was like to be whole with nauseating regret. How does a broken soul move on? Some lift up their heads and continue as if nothing untoward has happened, be it through shallowness, selfishness, or exceptional force of character. But what choice do the rest have? To makeshift, repair, cobble a personality together from the fragments. The person that he once was still determined how he felt, acted, reacted, but the catastrophe in him gave him no right to those old determinations. It was as if he was trying to follow an outdated rulebook, operating to obsolete laws in a foreign country. Too fixed to abandon his old self, those fragments jarred and ground against each other, hindering any attempt to walk freely.

He had diminished himself in his own eyes. The workings of guilt are subtle and insidious. Forgive yourself, the smug scribes say. What right did he have to forgive himself? There was no higher power he could seek absolution from. If he discarded his own guilt, then he discarded his own agency, he reduced his actions to nothingness. His ego was too strong for that. To lose his guilt would be to doubly betray the people he had hurt. He would sooner bear the weight of responsibility - I hurt people and I care that I did - than to shrug it off with a so what? His sense of badness had become attached to his sense of self, his punishment was his validation. As for the duration of his punishment, he could not see so far ahead.

He knew what he should try to do. He should try to be more than his own guilt and brokenness, to remake himself alongside himself, to give himself somewhere to feel good, renewed, to diminish that corrupted part of him by growing a new self. But it is so hard. He tried to be generous, kind, patient, responsible, but his doubts nagged him constantly. He felt worthless, and arrogantly refused the good esteem of others, what little was offered to him. Perhaps he was self-indulgent, refusing to move onwards due to fear, comfortable in the familiarity of his torment. Perhaps he should make little of his guilt, even though that would be the final punishment: by diminishing the catastrophe, diminishing his part in it, removing the polluted glory of it from his spirit he could then, rightfully diminished, walk onwards. To move towards nothingness and then pass through it. To force himself to drink bitter humility and accept what he had done. But there is more than accepting the bad - the good has to be accounted for also.

The root of his fault was an overwhelming desire for the feeling of potentiality, that all things were possible, that there were an infinitude of lives he could have had. He made the mistake of allowing that sense to become real when he should have curbed it. The attraction of otherness, variety, plenitude captured his sense of judgement. He was addicted to the sense of new universes unfurling around him.

What led to this feeling? A high mood, grandiosity, delusion. An honest sense of feeling trapped in his life. An irresponsible sense of escapism. A genuine shock of ineluctable desire. In short, he was at high risk of falling in love and he did. The sensation was all-powerful, and he abandoned himself to it: it felt like a moral imperative to his existence to abandon himself to it. Chains snapped, the world turned over, calamity and disaster was symphonic music to a grand passion. The illusion of meaning had seized him.

There are some who would interpret this medically, some morally. His nature tended towards the latter. Both options were demeaning. The first said his nature could not be trusted, the second says his heart could not be trusted. There was an immense positive force propelling him in those days: it felt that he was choosing a good path, that his actions were all for the best, that the explosion that was happening inside him was glorious and illuminating.

At his most honest he wanted to become two people, maybe more. The self strives in two directions and ends up tearing itself. The part where he now resided had left part of himself behind. When he saw his children, he communed imperfectly with that lost part.

We cannot sustain these flights, and eventually reality painfully reasserts itself. If he accepted that he acted at the time under an impulse of good, no matter how it subsequently appeared to him, then maybe he could stand up and get on with life. Glorious stuff happens and shit sticks to the soul. But this world is made of blood and shit. Glory in it, and move onwards.

We are the sum of our actions and experiences. We were always destined to fall one way rather than the other. We may believe we will fall one way, and be surprised by reality. In the end all that can be said is: "I thought I would rather it had been so, but it turned out it could not." With that acceptance, one can allow one's heart to give again, to believe that one's heart has love to give. The choice is not positive acceptance or negative acceptance, but a true accounting of both sides.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Divorce, the Mosquito, and the Meaninglessness


It is a dreary process. Everything that was a life-affirming positive has to be reversed, like pulling the nails out of a coffin in which the humid corpse of marriage is slowly deliquescing. The eager anticipation walking up the aisle becomes a grim trudge through the threefold process of filling out arcane forms that seemed designed only to rub it in that you should really have the funds to pay a solicitor. It doesn’t help that you’ve managed to achieve a civilised separation, that you’ve even remained friends, that your children are happy and at ease with both of you, in conjunction, and apart. No, the Petitioner and the Respondent, like two jousting knights, are forced into a simulacrum of battle, when all that should be exchanged is a smile and a sigh.


The Mosquito

SCENE: A dark room, intermittent whining. Single bulb illuminates chiaroscuro.

I: I’ve been bitten again.

D: Where this time?

I: Left eyelid.

D: Oh.

I: And my left buttcheek.

D: Serves you right for wearing those hot pants.

I: I only wore them to please you. You always say how you like a curvy cheeky buttock peeping.

D: Did I? I may have been drunk. Does it itch yet?

I: No. I think I’ll take my pants off in the forlorn hope I get bitten precisely on the clitoris, because that would be, like, so hot, man.

D: The insertion of the proboscis into your tender nubbin, like an inverted fuck-possession?

I: The very thought makes my quim twitch uncontrollably.

D: So, shall we go and see the latest Beckett production?

I: No. I need a poo.


Nothing of any art-value feels important anymore. I have read all the novels and stories, and anything new is just a rehash of something old. Every image I see deafens me with the echo of others I have seen before. Every outrage on the planet is just deja vu. Perhaps all this means it is time to die. What else to do apart from become a Diogenes, irritating everyone, just because one can? I want to live in a world where the concept of hope (that evilest of evils, according to the Greeks) is alive again. But there is no hope. This world is dizzy with the acceleration of the vortex as it flows down the plughole of its own arse.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Nymphomaniac, A Review of Sorts.

Well, I went and sat through the five hours of back-to-back screenings of Lars von Trier's tormented ejaculation last night. From the oblique musical nod to Funny Games at the beginning, to the wonderful auditory shorthand of the ending, this film plays every trick with the weariness of a carcinogenic card-sharp suffering from delerium tremens. That's enough film-critic parody. A few brief notes.

Audience demographic. Male. Age-range, evenly spread. Over-representation of hipster-beards. Female. An inverted bell-curve. Many students, all curls and bobbly scarves, and some wise old birds, elegant in their understated attire.

Humour. It is a very funny film, but that depends on your sense of humour. It was often hard to tell if the humour was unintentional - it being LvT, I found myself generous enough to give him the benefit of the doubt. Self-parody is taken to new heights or depths.

Sex and filfth. There was nothing I hadn't done and had done to me, therefore there was nothing that widened my eyes. I may be broad-minded, or perhaps I'm a disgusting pervert, or just honest, but I would imagine one would have had to have led a very sheltered life to find the sexual content challenging or shocking.

Shock. Two scenes did punch me. They didn't involve sex. (In fact, boringly, they were mindlessly referential, but worked brilliantly.) The first made me speak out loud, involuntarily: "O Christ, Lars, not again." to general sympathy in my neighbouring rows of the auditorium. (It was a fair bet most of the audience had seen all of LvT's previous films.)

Positives. I was first to the bar in the 15 minute interval. Stacy Martin's arse. The audience.

Negatives. Charlotte Gainsbourg's voice and enunciation. Great performance, body-doubles and all, but a voice-double would have been better.

To sum up. Any LvT film is worth it because he is a consummate piss-taking anti-nihilist with no answers. No matter how he postures under his cloud of bitter, twisted, despairing bile, the gleam of an innocent childlike hope beams through. Don't go to see this film if you lack empathy or a sense of humour.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Will You Be My Valentine? AKA The Other.

Not much to ask is it? After four years of love and sturm and drang? Just a little token. Just a statement that on this feast-day I will voluntarily say "I Love You", and let's forget the shit.

Well. No. We can talk about the late-capitalist commercialisation of the Day till the cows come home, and hopefully get well-fucked by their bull. Wrong season. Or we could talk about the socio-philosophico-ambient-spacialness of the concept of the Deme(a)ned within the the Demen(e)se. Or something

But on Valentine's Day, poor subjugated martyr, I just want my lover to say I LOVE YOU.

The Other.

What a pain they are! They don't think like you, they don't see like you, they don't hear like you, and they certainly don't feel like you.

The other is the attraction. The otherness of the other. But there is the cosy part of yourself that wants your other to be similar. I can only put it down to a conflict of ape and aspiration.

Still makes me want to tear my own head off and drink the spurting blood from my neck-stump into my gaping maw held between my own bodily loving hands.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Bedtime Story

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there was a big fat wolf and it ate the grandmother. The End.

No, ok, then it vomited her up through his great crimson gullet, and just then Little Red Riding Hood walked in.

"Grandma, why are you covered in wolf-sick?"

Before Grandmother could answer, Goldilocks burst in, pursued by three bears. She punched Little Red Riding Hood on the nose, and loudly exclaimed: "This is MY story!"

Grandmother made three bowls of porridge. Of course the first two were too hot or too salty.

The wolf ate Goldilock's feet, and the bears finished the rest, apart from the hair.

Little Red Riding Hood, her grandmother, the wolf and the bears sat by the fire, chuckling and chortling. Grandmother's needles clicked and clacked.


(Get illustrating Mrs Maman. Howls of laughter from focus-group aged 6-11.)

Stand Up

Bloke walks into a bar. Bar reconfigures molecules and they perform an incredible material synthesis that even Feuerbach would approve of. Ok....

Confessional, that's it isn't it? The joke is dead. Ok, hands up who has ever tasted their own poo? I see a few hands courageously creeping towards the ceiling - ah, they're going down - too late in the 2nd row, your girlfriend saw you, didn't you darling? Ok. In that case hands up who's tasted their own pee-pee? Ah many more hands. Good - an honest audience. For the fella - every partaken of the bleachy-fish-teaspoon? All of you - very good. I applaud you. No - I applaud you - you don't need to clap just because I am. Girls ever tasted - oh we fellas know you're all filthy cats. Of course you have. Put your hands down! Are you proud? How can you be Madonna and whore without the whore bit edited for the sake of the children? No, Madam. Not that Madonna.

Anyway, that's as funny as Gary Numan at a hen-night. Actually that is funny. Or (Frank Skinner) Jimmy Savile at a school disco, or (that Carr twat) Osama Bin Laden at a 9/11 memorial, or (someone else) Iain Duncan Smith at an Auschwich reunion.

Problem with comedians, for immortals like me, is that as soon as you get the tone, you know every joke. Shock wears thin. How can you tell your sisters started her period, etc. The tragedy of comedy, is that nothing is very funny in this world. The act of laughter, when we consider it, is absolutely forced. Is life different for you? I wonder.

Pray, forgive me my ponderings and questions. I'm in a confessional at the moment as a never-Catholic-enough to call myself lapsed. I'm a locally entropy-reducing material complexity with a net-decrease in wider entropy thing. It's called life. We build to destroy more utterly. We condense for the ultimate aim of making everything bland.

In other words, true freedom is the realisation that it does not matter what we do, and the courage to accept the deal. So, let's just go along for the ride.

Anthracitic Moron

I am not myself today. Anthracite poisoning? Well, just dirty old housecoal really. I just like the word anthracite. So, let there be anthracite. And the heavens and the waters separated and it was jolly good of course, despite Beelzebub.

But still, waking naked with the sick realisation that my teeth were about to break, and that I had consumed half a lump of coal. I wasn't even drunk, more's the pity. My guts have felt rather rotten all day. Not looking forward to the scratchy poo.

I burned what was left of the lump.

My head has been going strange. I am still well enough to notice the cracks, chasms, rifts, slits in time and space, but not well enough to understand how or when I am crossing them - oh tricksy tightrope of cunnilingual nonsense! Yes I get scared sometimes, though I can inspect myself (O brave clinician!) but that's no use for the crevasse wanking.

Strange lycanthropic leprosy of the mind. Lunacy not idiocy. This world disgusts me. I'm sure it was seeing that inevitable ghastly headline about that poor Edinburgh toddler finished me off last night.

Plan. Boys are delighted to be allowed to cook. Everyone needeth bathing, baptismal batholitic scrubs and operations to be as white as snow wash me in the water you washed your dirty daughter in... Clean clothes for school. Tainted world.

Looked down a well today, guess what it told me? Crammed with invisible corpses of course. What else shouldn't be in there?

I reflected on the last six years last night until I held them in my mouth like a worm-blushed plum. And then verily I lost my clothes and ate coal and I don't know how I got there.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Retrospective and Prospective

Hello, Earthlings. Long time, etc, yes, no, etc.

Firstly I realised (an utterly unbiased opinion) that there is some rather fine writing on here, so decided it may as well be public again if it helps anyone in a hole.

Secondly, the Atos gits still haven't got me in for a medical and the file is growing, involving MPs, the relevant minister, and all sorts. Fight, not flight, even if that is ill-advised. Bring it on, Nazis!

Thirdly, I remembered today what a lifeline this old blog was in some strange times. Thanks to everyone who contributed.

Lastly, strange times never go away. We just get better at navigating. Anyway, enjoy, and if it helps someone, somewhere, then that is all to the good. Dx