........................................................................................ - a weBlog by Snowy and me.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Signs Of Greater Age (24)

1-thinking everything you see today
is expensive because yesteryears prices
made a far stronger impression on you
than how you recollect recent times.

2-going the the cinema on spec
but leaving more quickly than previous
when you find the violence more gratuitous
and unpleasant than you found comparable films
when younger. Forgetting that you, like others,
enjoyed depictions of violence because you were young.
But the money spent discovering  the sensitivity of maturity,
for leaving the cinema, is still money well spent.


Our generosity to Mother Nature is infinite. With thank to here.

'Slaughter Your Darlings'

is a term editors use with journalists
and proffessional writers, when they
want the writer to remove those phrases
that believe their readers will find superflous,
that the writer has is attached to,
which is proof of weak writing.
Alas, I don't write enough to have that dilema
and as self editor I would be talking to myself
when I said them.
Writing for nothing is one form of insanity,
talking to myself would raise me
a few notches higher on the madness scale.

The phrase makes sense to me with food
-not every meal I make turns out well
and with the best meals there are always lefovers.
Historically, one point of keeping a dog
was not just as canine hot water bottles,
but lived on the leftovers of the humans
who 'owned' them thus leaving less to the vermin
households were prey to. Now with food
that is less than appetising that still I am
disinclined to waste I wish I could summon up
the grattitude of my inner dog, and slaughter
those darlings, and be grateful for the scraps
my inner human has left for me.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Towards A Life Beyond Time

Has there ever been a war that was genuinely 'just'?
I will wager that if there was
it was a war that was just because
it was stopped before it was started;
the argument behind it over land or power settled
at it's core before the blood of man and beast was shed.
I would be happy to celebrate such a non-war,
because I would be cheering what never started.
The only difficulty with such a celebration would be
finding the date for the celebration of a non-event.  

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Pursuing The Best,

whilst knowing that we only ever see
how much we missed it by seems good to me.
The virtue is in seeing how much we miss by.
It tempers the jeaousy in the will to win
-an instinct it is impossible to extinguish.  

Thursday, 26 December 2013

From One Of My Favourite Anti-Natalist bloggers....

'Two days ago I was obliged to enter the huge Apple store in central London. My god, what an experience. I don't think I've seen a more crowded shop in my life. What really struck me was that most people were interested in the trinkets and accessories that go with their iProducts. An extra bauble here, another there, and let's be picky about what colour it is. I've rarely felt more alienated from my own culture and was so relieved to get out of there.

I then came home and put on Al-Jazeera and watched a big report on the current slaughter in both the Sudan and the Central African Republic. Comparing the narcissism of the Apple store with the slaughter in Africa, and then reflecting on the west's savage imperialism and raping of that benighted continent, all I can say is that if the African countries ever got their act together and united to invade Europe in a revenge crusade, I could only say we'd get what we deserve. To quote the greatest chronicler of western decadence, Michel Houellebecq, on the mindset of those of those in the 'advanced' world: 'I know only that every single one of us reeks of selfishness, masochism, and death'.'

  You can read his writings, going back several years, here.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Christianity Is In Decline,

both in depth of faith and numbers.
Whatever the hope and prayer
every reform hastens the churches
becoming more like the world
that they hoped to transform,
putting an end to with Heaven's arrival.
Decline is only right when through logic,
science and debit financing we have left behind
the history of martyrdom as the means to growth.
I think it was Tertulian, but I can't find the source,
who said 'Watching people in hell [and not being there]
is Heaven itself''. Whoever wrote it
did so after seeing a few too many Christians
become lion's lunches. Any respite there used to be
in the phrase has shrunk in the wash of history.

Why does the urge to gloat hide
inside every invitation to humility?

A Hunger

for modesty will help make
asking for less seem more like
asking for enough, and deepen
your delight in what you receive.

Leaving/Not Leaving

Paradise is somewhere we realise
we have been only after we regret
being expelled from it, Hell is a place
we understand best when we know
we want to leave but our exit is blocked. 

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

My First New Year Card Of 2014

and it looks next year will be as confusing as this year was.

The Hope Of Utopia

As a child I rarely expressed my belief
in the hope of Utopia, I rarely came across
reference to it except as the distant hope
of inept governments. But I knew what it was.
Mostly the idea came to me when I was in a car
at the will of all the grown ups around me,
and I was uneasy and not quite entirely passified.
I felt 'car sick', a symptom I now believe
was part of a wider anxiety that the grown ups
knowingly ignored. My Utopia arrived when
the adults acquiesced to my wanting to be let out
for some fresh air. Belief  in Utopia also surfaced
when not minding to be as quiet as my host wanted,
I asked my them 'Are we there yet?'.

Monday, 23 December 2013

For The Wealthy

their morals have always been tied
to the maintenance of their weatlh
'How else can we do good, except
through ownership?' they rhetorically ask
-equating their riches with good stewardship
as if relative poverty were proof of profligacy.
In London this self regard now extends
to buying second homes in the area where
they intend their children to go to school,
and buying into the religion who sponsors
it's ethos, whilst the (relatively) poor,
who's beliefs speak less vehemently
for their lack of wealth, pick through
the educational choices that are left over.
Caste systems that divide and separate
populations are as old as the oldest of hills,
if we in the U.K. are to be subject to one,
I would rather it be on theological grounds
than the self serving serving themselves
disguising their love of money as 'ethical'.  

Sunday, 22 December 2013

The Best Charity Is Unsentimental

Often I feel ill at ease with the modern charity
within rich western countries, and for no clear
reason. If a cause is good, well what is wrong
with it? Nothing per se except the ambition
with which the cause is pursued. Modern charity
means turnovers of millions of pounds, a glossy
image, big buisiness values, and public relations
campaigns that are meant to hook in the tabloids.
As the charity seeks to hook in the public attention
they seem to wallow in a queazy mix of shock value
images mixed with verbal prurience and add  token
 upbeat stories in the name of 'good taste', and for optimism.
The more thorough the dickensian scapegoating of an illness
the greater the suffering of animals in laboratories, the more
sympathy I have for the animals the illness and other secondary
sufferers than the charity fighting it. Using the language of war
in the name of charity typifies what I mean-propaganda!
Charities to cure cancer are the clearest example.
So far the cancer recovery story I like the most
comes from the BBC and you can find it here.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

What Am I Not Comprehending?

I have looked at many belief systems,
also many of the semantic declentions
of Western Unbelief. Continually what I fail
to appreciate from my research is how systems
focus on what they are not, and what they oppose
-more than what they are and what they consist of.
This happens with a consistency that reaches though
the verbal gymnastics, goes beyond the words
that give hardening unbelief it's grades and distinctions,
its currency as unbelievers would say, such as would put
The Pope and all his divisions to shame in their ways
of not saying what they mean in any langauge.
Still, I look for a unity in simplicity, where daily I aspire
to be what I appear to be and find in others a similar acceptance
-through a readable face and the good will of the moment.

Friday, 20 December 2013

A Moribund Vision

  I wanted to write about Adam Smith and his book 'The wealth of nations' (published 1776) but the more I thought about wealth, the nation state, and Smith's other catch phrase 'the invisible hand of the market', the more I realised whatever he wrote about money, goods and labour the more he was avoiding talking about power, who had it, how they got it, and why they kept it. What he wrote about was less Bread and Circuses, more turning the production of bread and other basics of life into a circus, making those who did the baking pay for doing through their performance, and measure of the daily takings for said circus was for the benefit of absentee managers of national profit and loss.

   The nation he wrote about was a constitutional monarchy with near absolute powers for the Royal Family, in which citizenship barely existed. The right to vote was something that the powerful bought from the few voters there were in the population, as if the voter and the voted for were both part of some exclusive club. If citizenship did exist then it was for men who owned extensive property in the form of buildings- they were citizens, and the fewer and smaller the buildings they owned the less of a citizen they were. Those who owned nothing were nothing beyond being names in the register of baptisms and burials in Parish Churches. They were nothings valued for their labour, and the status games their owners could play with them, with other status led citizen owners of nothings.

   The human chattels, children, wives, servants and prostitutes they used, bought, kept and discarded were not just not citizens, they would not have recognised citizenship if it wanted to hang them for stealing a stale crust. The invisible hand of the market was normally something that excited a rich man's man's groin, as if it was feeling him up, or it girded his loins sufficient for him to get aggressive towards other nations under license in the name of the state that granted him limited rights of citizenship.

  If the nation created the wealth then the wealth belonged to the nation. But in a country ruled by The House Of Lords and The King, all big land owners, the propertyless individual is more subject than citizen, worth only as much as their ability to preserve themselves with their savings and labour. If he could not be bought, then he was not worth having and better despised for being beyond purchase.

 Under the near absolute rule of George III that Smith wrote under, The King was citizen number 1 in his kingdom and everyone else's citizenship a fraction of the kings citizenship according the property they owned relative to his, and their ability to make other people chattels of even lesser citizens than themselves, thus reducing the chattel to an even greater non-citizenship. Even then such a system was relatively new and dated back to the 1530's, with the closure of the monastries.

 I gave up wanting to write when I was realised I was trying to write about a moribund vision that if it has been improved on since has been improved by being completely turned inside out, and in doing so it created modern consciousness and conscience free consumerism, a rather doubtful improvment on what went before.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Eating With Friends

is always a pleasure-from the preparation
of the fruit and veg prepared from scratch,
and the spices to be added, through to the course
by course presentation, which in the process
gives the host control of the table without them
being viewed 'in charge', to the shared humour
in the ease of eating. I like the washing up
that signals the end of the evening too.
But always the part that surprises me
is how much an elegant meal will make
pleasing leftovers which improve
in the quiet restfulness of the following day.   

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

For Older People,

and the tired of living, rediscovering sex
is the start of a slow dance with the ghost
within them, less out of being driven
and then divided by pro-creation,
more to refresh the simpler hope of gently feeling alive
through and with another, whilst the sense of touch
can still light up life, as it flickers through their frame.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

As Ronald Reagan Showed

and did not need to say, dementia is when we act
the role but forget why the part was invented.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Signs Of Greater Age (23)

1-realising how absolutely pointless Christmas is,
and quite knowingly seeking a retreat from the event
through agreeable company that shares your dislike
and leaves more at ease with how they share with you.

2-finding the start of a new year a much more
substantial event, and still going to bed early
on the eve of the year ending, because the rest
gained is more valued than the staying awake
for what seems by yourself to be a non-event.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

What Langauge

best describes a world where leadership disguises
wanting to telling everyone what to think as 'starting
a big conversation'? 'Doublethink' will do nicely,
thank you. The must notable aspect of the process
is how, when the language flips and flops on the lips
of politicians hogging the media, the unobservant think
that 'the issue has gone away', because they remain
disengaged about the issue. But with double mindedness
nothing is ever settled because nothing is thought out
beyond the needs of the demagogue of that hour speaking.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Small Minds Like Big Machines

and the more pointless the activity to do with them the better,
with thanks to http://erikjohanssonphoto.com/blog/ .

The Tool. The Product, The Waste

Man was not the first creature to make tools
to make labour and life more comfortable,
but of all the creatures under the sun he is
by far the most accomplished. He needs to be,
to compensate for a lack of senses.
It is such an accomplishment! The prowess that started
as three separate objectives-the intended product,
the tool for the work, and the waste produced
(which in the distant past was in quantities small enough
relative to the intended result to be naturally recycled
without him realising it), with complexity have multiplied
and become completely interchangeable.
With man as the centre of an greater self consuming wastefulness
than he could ever conceive himself as being.
The plan is now for a planet with a death wish,
which aims to kill itself and all it carries
through reverse engineering par excellence
by turning man the toolmaker for his survival
into man the tool for the extinction, of him and everything else;
The planet's chosen means of suicide.

Friday, 13 December 2013

When Did Taboo

conflate with darkness?
-find out here.

When I Am In France

I like shopping in the communal bins.
People throw away so many nice things,
for anyone to reuse, and they stack the items
with such elan that I can spend a long time looking.
How could anyone refuse such a time consuming habit?
The means of payment is equally stylish-whatever the item,
the question I have to answer 'Yes' to before carrying it away
is 'Do I have the right place to put it in?'

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Unlike The Religions Of Old

scientists and scientific invention are not the measure
our days. The dates of scientific discoveries are not
the equivalent of Saints Days or celebrations of miracles,
with festivals and days on which to fast or use up fats,
which conflate with lay observations of the seasons.
The dates of scientific discoveries and when scientists
were born are just not celebrated.that way. As a discipline
science has a different, rather sparer and impersonal, narrative.
But if such a calendar were devised-adjusted to mesh
in with be other, older, calendars-what are the chances
that at the core of this calendar Lamark would be John the Baptist,
the forerunner, to the tabula rasa, Darwin who as scientist
was Science Incarnate and man to reset the calendar at zero?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Emotional Security Is Never What It Appears To Be

When I was young one of the more regular (g)hosts
who appeared on television, who made what came
through 'The Box' seem real to me was the presenter
of University Challenge, Mr Bamber Gasgoine.
He exuded a geeky cool seemingly without trying,
well before the term 'geek cool' was ever devised.
I was always impressed by how when he gave marks
for the answers the contestants gave he often had
three supplementary facts to give the viewing public.
But of course in real life such control and calm detachment
would be the last word in being extremely annoying
when repeated too often. In real relationships admitting
knowing less is what leads to better sharing, and a more
careful listening-what glues people together is being honest,
and self knowledge as to where they are likely to be weak.
Everything else is just an ongoing cover up.  

The Height Of Self Awareness

and when it is all I have to rely on, long may it be so.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013


is the art of changing management
from irresponcibliity driven by testosterone
into drive-by-mothering without being seen
to do so. Most men recognise this only after
having lost their balls, finding there is no longer
the means of reversing the process. Little do they
realise that historically when men ran the lives
of women, and the distantly ruled the children
that women forcibly bore, the men saw them all
as tools and chattels, whilst talking merely of 'dependants',
but it was just as much making 'being kept a mono-culture'.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Progress Mostly Means Changing The Means Of Invisibility

Thirty years ago the height of intimacy for me
was sex was with strangers who withheld
their names but who gave their willies freely,
thinking that was all they had worth sharing.
Like me, they believed they were invisible
to all whilst in the public toilets in which
we all met. Now I have joined Facebook
and I am still invisible, but my vice-du-jour
is playing scrabble on line with people
I don't know and need never see. Visibility
is not an an issue if you know that hidden
or known you will be accounted for and credited
(or discredited) by your actions through rules that work.
The real gain from winning a game of scrabble
is how safely it rewards the use of my biggest organ,
the brain, for longer. And losing still gives me more to play for.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Hitting The Overload

It is only just more than a century since
the invention of the wrist watch, which was
originally a luxury item meant to assist the pilots
of early bi-planes, by freeing up that extra hand
for them to use whilst steering their primitive
but costly aircraft. It replaced the pocket watch.
This ticking time bomb on a strap that is forever
and slowly destroying our awareness, when combined
with the stick of corporate commerce, it's mate,
post modern banking, and the carrot of growth
through hyper processed advertising, is rending
the good will in the slow life practically obsolescent.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Housing Market Extends To New Possibilities

But home insurance may prove more expensive,
 and more profitable to insurance companies

than some may feel comfortable with.

I Want This Puppy For Christmas

because it seems the only way to preserve elephants for the future
is to cross them with Labrador dogs, to make them seem
tame and friendly enough to not leave us threatened....
 The only other choice of gift to myself re elephants was this
 which seemed way too anthropomorphic and self absorbed
for comfort, though the potential pain of the tattoo would
keep me a little more awake/aware.

Friday, 6 December 2013

At 95 Years Old

Nelson Mandela deserved the rest he now has
from illness, and from all else in life that irked him.
Most difficult of all for him to decline was the ill fitting
mantle of sainthood that the world's media thrust upon him.
The saints of The Early Church were martyrs
to whom unprovable acts of healing were attributed.
When The Church had power thrust upon it
these martyrs replaced the capricious cosmology
of the Greek and Roman deities acting out their soap opera.
The people on whom the charisma of sainthood rested
when they were alive were driven, difficult, and flinty
characters who's grit changed the world they lived in more
after they died cruel deaths than within their lifetime.
Nelson Mandela rightly rejected being compared with that.
He was charismatic and he used his life in prison to increase
his moral authority to help him find the better way to end
so called 'separate development' but not for him the false
posthumous extension of suffering to attempt to extend
The Glory Of Heaven. He was truly a humble man.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

What Big Eyes You Have Darling

The Vampyroteuthis infernalis literally translates
 as 'the vampire squid from hell'. 

It was first described in 1903 and was thought to be an octopus
 with eight arms. Subsequent sightings showed it had two arms,
tucked into it's pockets. For more information read here

The biggest eyes proportionate to size of any creature alive 

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Colour Blind Behaviour

When Bulls see rags being waved at them
what do they see? They see red, all right
but not because of the colour of the rag
or the the person irritating them, but
because of the red mist in their heads
which the human irritant, as unobservant
of the actualities of life for the aroused animal
as they are in language, are merely in the path of.

My Fifth Christmas Card Of 2013

Because those of us who dislike Christmas
understand good will better when
it is in a more abstract form.  

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Making Unease More Memorable

Drinking to the recently dead
makes the living as disagreeable
with each other as they who are
being remembered via the sharing
of a more then a few drinks once were.
But for those who need to mask their
pretence of forgetting, by 'moving on'
through drink, then who can stop them?

Monday, 2 December 2013

The Short Guide To Easier Communication Skills

all these are words we need to apply to our mind as we speak
to those far away, enabled by technology which we should

consider the effects on us of, more than we generally do.   

Why I Write

is probably similar in motive to why other people write;
Totalitarianism and kindness have never combined well,
if they did life would indeed be Heavenly. For as long
as they do not combine 'The world is the case' we have
to live with. Explanation is all we have. Particularly when
the case is one of records of our deeds and misdeeds
being secretly kept, as if writing could purge us of ill motive
when mostly it purges us of the memories of our actions.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Nothing To Hide, Or Hide Behind

I first grew a beard at age 19 and have been clean
 shaven on only three times in 33 years, only to let it

regrow immediately. For decades I endured cheap
taunts like  'what is that beard hiding?' from my family
when their mirthless jokes hid far more from me than
I hid from them in my facial hirsutism. Now I now have
 a transparency they never did and share hearty laughs
 through my luscious lip locks.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Friday, 29 November 2013


is a hall of mirrors that children
are spun through at speed in the hope
that afterwards they might vaguely
see themselves in the distortions
they were exposed to. And even more
that they recognise behind the twisted images
their sponsors-their families, driven beyond despair.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

When Power Equals Forgetfulness

I recently saw the film 'Philomena' and enjoyed it
at many levels. It was much more than 'an entertainment'.
One thought it left me with was how records are kept
of people's lives;the longer and deeper a person
is institutionalised the more complex the records
of their 'being kept' become, the less the kept know
of what their keepers write about them. All to keep
to the rules, until finally the inmate is bound by
the opacity of the rules by which they are looked after.

With a lot of help some people get better, and some
help comes from the place that hindered them into ill health
in the first place. One condition of their relative wholeness
is how the now enlightened institution still does all it can
to stop the former patient from asking 'Can I see
what you wrote about me?'. They are fobbed off
with polite resolve that won't be broken by comments
like 'Not that much was written', and 'It stopped being
relevant after you left' or 'We threw most of it away,
what there is left would not make sense to you. But the letter
of your admission was saved, it says 'It was all for the best'.
Their former life is made to seem as if it just never happened.
This leaves the ex-cared for relatively whole in the present day,
but now more fully aware that they have a past full of holes
that they know test of other people's ability to accept them.

Any authority can write away somebody's life,
religious or secular, authorities are all alike
in their arrogance, opacity, and selective amnesia.

Technology Is Only Ever A Means

never an end, the end point is always the use the end user puts it to.
 Thinking a little harder about what we do often helps. 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Limits Of Modern Charity

Every time I go into my nearest town
I see The Big Issue being sold. When
I see the sellers I give them a pound
in return for which they cheerfully ask
after my welfare. The last time I gave
I looked at the coin and looked at the lady.
I recalled the sobriquet by which the coin
was known-'a Margaret Thatcher'-the size,
hardiness and metallic nature of the coin
and the person were comparable. I answered
her enquiry and felt mortified by the memory
she raised as I offered her the coin. Is money,
however much it is shared and whatever we give
or have, always so inherently mean as to keep those
that have the least on the lowest possible social rung?

I Am Worth Only As Much As My Next 'Thankyou'

Work is over-hyped, except as a route
to the cheap grace of financial indebtedness,
which in turn raises The Protestant Work Ethic
to new highs in legal but legalistic tax avoidance
and the avoidance of all social responsibility.
Surely life is much more accountable when a person
is honestly beholden to the state through the constraints
of 'A life on welfare'. There any currency of repayment
is through personal thrift, small but daily acts of kindness,
and finally a gracious manner toward a neighbour.
Because after that there is little else left to argue over.

Monday, 25 November 2013

No Need For Jealousy

I never particularly cared about the origins
of the phrase 'nuclear family', I was educated
to ask less about what words meant, just as long
as they meant what adults wanted them to mean
when they said them, and they were not angry.
But my teachers could only bind so much ignorance
into me without being seen to do so. Later I learnt
that 'the nuclear family' referred to a household
of two generations, respectfully related by blood,
no bastardy*. The nucleus being the working male
owning the property. Older models were sustainable,
the extended family, living alone with family nearby.
Life in a caravan or on a barge+. Homelessness
too-if life was charitable enough and there are a series
of safe places to stay and do casual work (all this
was long before The Big Issue). I wish the proponents
of exclusively nuclear families understood clearer
that they don't need to hijack the media and exclude
all other models of family to defend their values.
The more the media is hijacked by nuclear family values
supported by (male) home ownership the weaker
every other family type social structure becomes.

*The fear of bastardy (children conceived out wedlock)
was a pet fear of my mother, and for all I know still may be.
It was undoubtedly a cause for fear for thousands, if
not millions, of single young women before the advent
of 'the pill'. That fear was the cause of many of the
genealogy (should that be gene-eology?) section to ripped
from the front of A3 size ornate covered Family Bibles.

+My great great grandmother on my mother's side
was a bargee, she travelled the canals transporting goods,
and according to my mother she was 'a wise woman',
meaning that she had a knowledge of healing herbs
and was probably a self trained midwife. Grandma Clifton
as Mother knew her died in 1956, five years before
I was born. She also wrote herself a recipe book
in mirror writing which was not treasured after she died.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Friday, 22 November 2013

In The Beginning

was happiness, and it was whole,
and all the life that there was was
imbued with an inexpressable joy.
Out of the joy, light invented itself,
and the light begat the dark
and severely diluted the joy by night.
Then the day was reassigned for labour
the night was for rest, thus the world
was divided and lost it's ease. By day
work made man a tool, and as a tool
he begat a hierarchy of stewardship,
but the ease of night did not truly calm him,
or his mate whom he ceased to see as his equal.
Nor did rest come to all they had dominion
/responsibility for, though they knew not why.
All they could see was that their troubles
came from the skies. Then Life was breathed
upon them and gifted man and his help-mate
with an unexpected insight; Man and his mate
were given a soul (not that he thought she was given
one like his if she got one at all) Truly this started
'The Fall'. This extra gift of Life that they received
helped them focus on their divisions; increased work
and rest, and their greater awareness, gave no ease.
Contrarily, it further separated them all, the stewards
and all he had stewardship over. The gift magnified
their division until unease was openly spread
over the whole of the earth. Even now,
we sowing and reap within this process.

The moral of this piece is that if you wish
to believe you have a soul then don't put faith
in work, make your life more play than duty;
split the difference through a vocation. If you trust
in work alone, and not in the soul, then you truly
have your life cut out and cut up by your work.
Your life is in your hands. When they stop, it will.
'Legacy' and similar ideas are pointless non-issues.

If Karl Marx

had ever written about organised sport
would he have been remembered for writing
'Cricket is the soporific of the people'?

But Marx would have met his match with beards.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

No Comment


The History Of Deference Is A History Of Quackery

One strand of British television documentary
that I half admire is 'exposing royal cover ups of the past'.
British royals have been breeding deference
towards them since the year dot, and always sweetening
their dirty laundry for the public.
Their confinement to projecting themselves
solely via the media is very new.
George II was the last British king to lead an army in 1743.
As documentary strands go,
it quite an interesting peep show.
The royal Achilles Heel, is medical mishaps.
Commoners deferred to royalty by command,
but doctors were universally deferred to, by those
who could afford one and even more by those
who could not who deferred to to money and land.
'How much was wealth the surety of health?'
was the nub of the question, even when doctors
openly failed. Only now, because in some newly rich
countries research is done into correlating
wealth to health, does it seem a safe enquiry.
hindsight is scary when all of it is declared and written,
our knowledge and wealth are only a measure
of our war against nature.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Double Bluff

When The Rolling Stones entitled their 1971 record 'Sticky Fingers'
the title appeared to be about the mild rudeness of the Andy Warhol sleeve,
though he missed a trick. A scratch and sniff version that cover that smelt of piss*,
would have rapidly become a most celebrated collectors item. What the title is actually
about was them disguising their corporate theft, their bleaching of the history of The Blues.

Smells wonderful......

Monday, 18 November 2013

At My Local Job Centre

the build is truly grand, because the market for long term unemployment
 is well maintained by making it absolutely impossible for anyone to leave
 when any staff member proves accidentally helpful towards clients
 who get somewhere close to something that merely could develop
 into profitable employment for the would-be employee.

The Truest

and most enduring anti-natalism
will come when women see rearing children
as the largest part of their carbon footprint,
and choose to reduce their imprint on the planet
by simply not having them. And if in the process
they find a more mature mutuality in their adult
life, through consensually choosing to be content
with less, well, that is that is an added  bonus.
If we are to free the future from ourselves,
and lighten up, then we have to do it slowly.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Man And Superman

Both of these gentleman were born in Graz, Austria,
but which of them has had the greatest influence upon the world?

Arnold Schwarzenegger, sports personality

Alfred Brendel musician.

Writing personally, I prefer men with glasses,
who are merely functional in their physique.
Those I know tend to be good company
in their dry humour, which looses and eases me
in some deeper place and makes them sexy.
 But what do I know of the world for other people?


My Second Christmas Card of 2013

Sarah Morris, Big Ben, 2012,
Household gloss paint on canvas
 with thanks to 

Saturday, 16 November 2013

The Overloaded Elevator Of Life

From when we are growing up the end of our sentience,
when we are helped the question we have to ask ourselves
is 'Is this leg up or a kick down?'
The young are easily flattered-the younger they are
the more everything they are offered is helpful.
We are slow to see when the help we receive
is a bigger leg up for them than it is for us.
If you are small enough, then a leg up seems
the only way to go. But the bigger we get
the more we are programmed to seek gain,
and the more we have to lose.

The more competitive the society
the greater the distance there will be to fall,
the more likely we are to find people
hiding how they want to push us down.
The wider awareness starts with how we can
resist all this and make being the same as others,
and try to reach for greater commensality.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Cleanliness Is The Height Of Insincerity

In 1967 Senator Ronald Reagan,
a man who knew how to project an image
on his way up from leading The Actor's Union
to American President, defined a hippy thus
'A man who looks like Jane and smells like Tarzan'.
I am no prude but with the mass advertising of male grooming,
the advent of 'the new man', and post modern
feminism we have a strange new mix and match
to confuse each other. Tarzan wants be pampered like Jane,
Jane wants to be a designer Tarzan, Jane likes her new man,
but neither of them would survive for long in a real jungle.

The Black Madonna Of The Kitchen

I found my inner housewife today.
She was at the bottom of the oven,
covered in a thin layer of carbonised,
therefore sterile, vegetable matter.
She wasn't really dirty. So I cleaned
her up, and all around her. Then My Lady
of The Oven shone brightly. Now she,
the oven and I are more happy, cleaner
and nearer the daily forgiveness of each other.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Always Blame Somebody Else

Why does Google Chrome, when it is slow to load,
say 'The following pages are unresponsive'?
The page is the page-it is out there somewhere
and it is neither responsive nor unresponsive.
It is the programme, Google Chrome, as loaded
on to my laptop, and backed up by super-computers
elsewhere in America, that is seeking to deny
that it is slow, the better for my corporate reassurance.

I Have Been Looking For My Inner Dog

all of my life, though occasionally we have met. He
 does not need a lead, and responds well to cupboard love. 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Practical Spirituality*

I like walking on my own in the country.
Every time I go I take a bag with me
to collect the rubbish I see in the verges,
the plastic bottles and chip containers
and drink cans strewn in the hedges.
Every time I pick one up there are
two voices in my head, one of them
says "How dirty is that? Put it down!
Did I rear you so that you would not
keep yourself clean?" and I disobey it.
The other voice comes from the planet, 
on which I try, and fail, to walk lightly
it says "Thank you for leaving me more tidy".

*the only time I am at ease with the word
'spiritual' is with the word practical before it. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

J. G. Ballard Is Alive And Well,

but is mostly in hiding. The last time his ghost was confirmed as present
was the 11/10/2012. He spoke through our esteemed prime minister,
who was speaking at the Imperial War Museum, unconscious of irony,
Mr Cameron said of the centenary of what up to 1939 was known
as The Great War, after that as The 1914-18 war or WW1
- 'Our ambition is to have a truly national commemoration...
  ...that captures our national spirit....   ....like the Diamond Jubilee
 celebrated this year'*. He linked the ease and luxury of life today
with the catastrophic losses and hardship of life a century ago,
which was very affecting after listing those losses at length.

This was so true to Mr Ballard's deadpan jet black
bone dry sense of humour that nobody recognised his
humour speaking through the prime minister at the time.

*the link is to the speech that was made and you will
find the full quote in the 26th paragraph, of the 37 total
in the speech with an added Q & A session.

My First Christmas Card Of 2013

Size Matters

The first world war was called 'great'
for the same reason that the word
is put behind the word 'Britain'-magnitude.
The 'great' was added to the country
to distinguish it from the French province
of Brittany, once a protectorate of English kings.
But the name change came long after that.
It happened under the successor to Elizabeth I,
King James VI of Scotland as he assumed the English throne.

Whether country, war, or both-combined in history-
the greater the magnitude the greater the ignoblility.

Monday, 11 November 2013

'Combat Suicide'

is a phrase I will never understand.
I have been close to suicide a few times,
and I contemplate it often, and with humour.
I like to think it is a friend who does not
need to see me, but might send a postcard.
Anyone who takes up arms against the sea
of their troubles, to oppose them, needs to see
that arms (and legs) are best for swimming with-
in the direction of the tide, but a little faster.
We have to know the flow we are in, to follow it,
and resist the reversing undertow underneath.
We can't do that through any metaphorical 'fighting
for our soul, against the will to live'. We did not make
our souls, any more that our bodies. They are a gift,
not ours to keep, much less to maintain in conflict.
Successful militarism, even against the lack of will
to live, means keeping close to your true self,
and keeping it's enemies even closer.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Marie Antionnette

is famous for saying 'Qu'ils mangent da la brioche'            
malignly misquoted in English as 'Let them eat cake'.
Soon the popular media will be attributing the phrase
'Let them watch television' with equal malignity
to Venezuela's President Maduro. Foodie that I am,
I would find brioche has more taste then advertising.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

How Do Governments Create New Monopolies?

And move to strengthen old ones?
They do it by telling the public
'We want to reform 'the market',
and then pass weak legislation,
which rich middle men then abuse,
thus the invisible hand appears
to open, before squeezing tighter.

The Shadow On The Face Of Modern Charity

Once upon a time the world was poorer,
and discomfort was normal for the masses
(they didn't vote so what did it matter?).
But there were a lot of private charities.
which applied some sort of Christianity
to soften the dis-ease of absolute poverty.
In 1921 Earl Hague formed The Legion.
With no British welfare state, they took up
the aim of supporting demobbed soldiers
and sailors, which back then seemed patriotic,
and vital for 'building the peace'.
The 'Royal' was added to their name in 1971,
when finally they were chartered.
It is a universal given that all charities drift
from their starting mission,
time dictates that they reinvent themselves,
their brand and activities,or die a quiet death.
And with reinvention comes dilution of aim.
What I have to say won't matter a jot,
nor do I want to decide how to separate
need from want (who would? who could?).
But where The Legion,
like others, once met basic needs,
with modern materialism they now serve Luxuria.

Friday, 8 November 2013

One Of My Lesser Vices

is not just watching television
(which for homes that have one
is the vice du jour) but leaving it
on the channel that shows videos
of popular music, with the sound muted.
As if my home were a public bar
where it is standard that the drinkers
need to be distracted by visions
of other peoples faking mis-spent youths
to make their visit more of a pleasure.
With all the scene changes and  micro-
edits every three seconds in a pop video
they are more visual than they are musical,
like the lowest level of infotainment.
As if the patron saint of television and remote controls
is St Vitus, and like Andy Warhol (who when young
suffered with St Vitus dance) it is not quite
in control of itself, or it's rampant creativity.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Is That Man Paid To Say That?

The BBC reported today that 'Parents are not prudes,
but feared for their children and the amount of media
they consume e.g. popular music videos where, unsupervised,
their children repeatedly exposed their minds to violent and sexual images'.
1500 parents were surveyed and 82% of parents
said that 'The children repeated the sexualised lyrics
of the videos without knowing what they mean'.
Many parents tried to stop their children watching
said 'entertainments'. I would never take the Gradgrind approach
and reduce children's vocabulary and knowledge to their understanding.
I love language too much for that, and how can anyone understand more
except by openness? And I trulIy abhor the idea of the weak and poor
and passive being prostituted to the wealthy, and information rich,
by some sort of utilitarian controlled and role based determinist education.

Rather I would wish parents to follow the example of Mr Frank Zappa,
who from an interview I read in the 1980s that was done in 1967 for Rolling Stone
watched television with his children and taught Dweezil, then aged 7,
about advertising-what could be believed and what should not be-
by teaching his son to ask of the adverts,'Is that man paid to say that?'.
If only more parents would teach their children to critically ask
 a similar question of Rhiana, Eminem and the corporate interests behind them.

The Odour Of Heaven

The first time I went into a specialist cheese shop, in Edinburgh,
I thought that with the rich blend of smells that wafted
from the doorway was an olfactory metaphor for Heaven.
I nearly fainted, but then I am quite sensitive.
Now I read about belief but am never sure what to believe,
because the labels for different beliefs multiply and divide
with the least amount of open discussion. But if any deity
were to listen to how through prescriptive descriptions
we flail and flop toward the art of communication,
and end up dividing from each other, becoming selectively deaf,
such a god would recall the humour of General Charles De Gaulle,
on becoming President;'How can anyone run a nation
that has two hundred and forty six* different kinds of cheese?'.

*the actual number of cheeses in France is nearer four hundred.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013


It is very difficult to play life
with a straight bat and deliver
with a clean drive if your grip
is broken when other people's
will to win triumphs over you
simply enjoying playing well.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Death Is A Piece Of Cake

The aspect of life that continually surprises me
is the middle class appetite for endless polite
(for which read evasive) conversations over bland food.
They like to see this as therapeutic,
when their lives are already so much
more comfortable than the closer-
to-the-knuckle existence of the billions
of humans and trillions of non-humans
on the planet, who get by with far less,
without invoking stoicism,
and who say nothing about it,
though we wail sentimentally
over their butchered remains.

Sometimes I think trained therapists
are aliens, who want their clients to be
as blind as possible to genuine otherness,
to disguise their foreignness of their origins.  

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Time And Motion In The Next Life

Whether your expectation is an afterlife
of which we can know nothing from here,
or whether it is some restful absence,
deeply longed for in this life
where the depth of our longing is the proof,
the measure, that we are not there thank goodness
that there is no time and motion study we can access
in advance of our arrival. Perhaps one small joy of life
for some is that they will write their own time and motion study,
and quietly keep rewriting it, whilst they are waiting.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Who Changed The Labels?

Whoever it was did the right thing
and helped capitalism become more honest with the public.

On This All Souls Day,

a mere seven years and half years
after my father died, I would like
here to wish him well in his after life,
where ever it is. And even more
to wish him greater warmth in his grave
than ever he shared with everyone
who knew him when he was alive.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Thursday, 31 October 2013

We Are All Rather Small

and we are very slow home birds, compared
 with the speed and distance light travels the universe.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

In Space Nobody Collects Their Rubbish

Space could be like Heaven,
both are places where there is no gravity.
Because of this the bones of anyone
who stayed there very long would
go soft and leave their muscles weak
which is fine for heavenly inactivity.
Both will cost you your life to get to
and change forever your sense of time.
Nor will you won't know what either is like
before you get there. As destinations
go both are the prerogative of few.
Theoretically* in both our actions have
more consequence for us than for the places
involved. Last and far from least, so far
-fingers crossed-they have both resisted tourism.

*alas this is where the comparison weakens. Heaven
would be a perfect vacuum with no waste, and how we
got in would be a pleasing mystery to us. but there are
an estimated 19,000 objects, most of them no more
than a centimetre wide, orbiting the earth. They are bits
that have fallen from spacecraft and satellites which
were not retrieved as they fell away. They make
space travel more dangerous than it might otherwise be.

What Else Would You Paint On The Side Of A Slaughterhouse For Chickens?

And is it a surprise if that building tries to be anonymous?

With thanks to Banksy and Streetart

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

In The Beginning There Was Silence

There are now so many gurus and teachers in the world
that we can't do anything or go anywhere
without going against a message that one of them has left,
which contradicts another message from another guru.
Nor can we keep the law-modern law is written to please
governments and lawyers more than their subjects.
Our world is made of utterances such that no clear
and simple salty morality will preserve us.
The lights by which to live all seem rather dim.
The teacher I would follow if I could find them
would prove their truth through their message being silence.
Through the expanding ripples of their silences
we would all be quietened, from the inside out.
The only ambient sound would be the faint echo,
a murmur, of subdued shared laughter which never quite dies out,
which nobody can tell where it comes from.
Like the lilies of the field, which don't labour
because they do not misapprehend,
we would be returned to the full rest
from which we have been for so long departed.

Monday, 28 October 2013

The All Year Round Halloween Good Housekeeping Guide

Even flies have an 'eat by' date,
as anyone who leaves spiders webs
in their house alone for long enough will learn.
Any fly that is left in a web for too long
will most likely not be eaten,
but left, benignly neglected in a sticky bundle.
If you like your spiders, and want them to bless your house
with their weavings, then clean up after them
when they leave their meals too long.
For as much as life is life there is always more....

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Dear Morrissey

...and the less it does for your muse, reputation, or peace of mind.

It Is A Truth

universally acknowledged that sticks are to dogs
what mobile phones are to humans;
a most engaging displacement activity
that invokes a sense of trust and engagement.
The more both are smitten by the object,
the less attentive either is to what surrounds them,
as their attention span shrinks around the focus of their delight.

Friday, 25 October 2013

When Zombies Attack.....

The Gadarene glaze in the eyes
of the debt ridden shoppers
who stalk the city's streets,
counting the shopping days
before Christmas makes me think
that there is a greater truth
than we would like to realise
in the retreat from materialism.

Thursday, 24 October 2013


died nearly a century before cancer, in all it's forms,
became the target of modern medicine, with the battle
financed by super rich western charities.
But if he saw how robustly cancer sufferers
had without thought adopted his line
'What does not kill me makes me stronger'
and how they have fought, and how vehemently
they still fight, to wear their illnesses out,
how surprised would he be?
I feel that he would have more empathy
for the cancer cells than their carriers.
Ultimately, he would have believed more
in the calm of acceptance, than the rigour of a life
defined by so deeply embeded a physical conflict.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Transports Of Delight

I don't drive, I never learnt. I am one of the few who never will.
My last instructor (whom I met through hitching a lift)
after testing my driving skills kindly said
'Hitching lifts is was what you are best at'.
I now have nearly fory years experience to prove this.
If I am waiting for along time for a car to stop
for me it is the exception that proves the rule.
Because my face fits my means of travel
it also fits my being asked by the homeless*
to give of my surplus. The little old ladies of foreign
extraction who sit on camp chairs by the entrances
of the larger shops of my nearest town, who sell
'The Big Issue', whilst demurely wearing head scarves.
Usually I give, after all what has got me to these ladies
but a driver offering me a surplus seat in their vehicle?

*I am sure that many of them have a roof over their head
at night, enough food,  and enough blankets to keep warm
in their beds, but have long known privation, and nonetheless
live in the poorest quality local lodgings permitted by housing law.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

How Many Ways Are There of Making Sex Unfriendly?

The most popular and least obvious way
is through marraige and parenthood
-there the enmity between sex and friendship hides
in plain sight, through people making property
of each other. This has gone on since the earliest
of times. If the thirst for sex wins then the marraige
dies from within. But if the friendship wins the sex
declines, or slopes off to find mutuality elsewhere.

There is masturbation, with its elements of covert
self love and fantasy, both of which have a limited virtue,
within consent. Masturbation often involves pornography,
where after the image is created the active investment
is totally one-sided, and one handed, too. No brain required.
From experience I found such commitment is exhausting.

Next there is prostitution, sex exchanged for money-
something I have never experienced, where the contract
lasts the length of the act and whoever comes out of it
best is conditional on who has the most of themselves
to disown afterwards. But with the best of it the pretence
at the time is almost magic and nearly a temporary consubstantiation
in a very different kind of church. From ancient of times
onwards many a war has been accompanied
by banks of prostitutes within the base camp.
Where there were no women to serve and wait
behind the front line, there is always rape of the enemy's women
as revenge.This is war brought home from the front
that leaves marks on all sides that last forever.

Perhaps we have to be worn weary by war
to call a halt on our divisions, and instead combine
in the lighter more consensual side of sensuality-a cuddle.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Travel Broadens The Mind

which is why ideas move when and where they want to,
 and are never evicted-but find welcome where they are accepted.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Hypocrisy Is Us

'By this you may see who are the rude
and barbarous Indians: for verily there is
no savage nation under the cope of Heaven
that is more absurdly barbarous than
the Christian World. They that go naked
and drink water and live upon roots
are like Adam or Angels in comparison to us'
-The Rev Thomas Traherne (1636-74)

How To Get Yourself A Self Image

that will last:-follow the poet who will help you
see yourself the way they see their world-
from inside out and sideways on, that breathes
in quiet open spaces, who's writing you can follow.
Through the lenseof their poetic sensibility
they will reveal a different self to you than the one
you would find, unaided, for yourself, each time you ask.
Each time you ask, the answer will change.
Always resist doing as your family want,
find the self that fits you best and keeps on
changing-there is no substitute for that person.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Nothingness Is The Height Of Achievement

If soul exists at all in homo sapiens it a prism,
a transparent chamber that bends the original light
of all life. The more perfect the prism inside us.
The more perfectly bent is the light that it bends,
the clearer the soul is compared with the solid body-
the voracious appetite-that frames it and weighs it down.
The hungrier the appetite for success, fame, and power
over fellow homo sapiens, the more anchored in darkness
all life remains, because for all we think we are.......

...we are no more than co-substantial with the stars. 

Friday, 18 October 2013

A Sub Clause In The Law Of Unintended Consequences

Hypocrites always think they are right
to be keen as advisers and teachers,
there is nothing new in that,
except how their delusions are renewed on the unwary.
Nonetheless if anyone has the will to dig deep
enough as a pupil, and give their unworthy advisers
more time and attention than they deserve,
they might still find in themselves a consistency
of hope, where with hindsight they can generously
accept what was lacking in their instructor.
To do this it would be best if they too nurtured a seed of hope
beyond folly-that in turn the same seed will be offered to them.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Democracy Has Bad Taste

In this age of multi-platform mass media
democracy is the most widely celebrated
brand of kitch that is commonly available.
Elections are the most popular performance art
going with all their whistles and bells.
The more corporate the sponsor of each party
 /show the more tightly compressed
the slogans each party message becomes,
the better to disguise their corporate origins.
They all want to attract the largest mass of voters.
Whichever act wins, the public have to be
encouraged to misremember the last show
as quickly as possible afterwards, for the bump
and grind of government legislation to continue....

Tuesday, 15 October 2013


are waiters who live on the tips from serving meals
made of nothing but air, offered to a public unaware
of what it means to live that lightly.
As un-waged waiters they are most creative of all of us
with the little they have even as the powers that be
 like reducing their terms and length of service.

Monday, 14 October 2013

The Quieter

the deed, the more genuine the thought
that spurs it. The greatest good of all
is the natural property of those who
don't need the credit for their altruism.

In These Recession Led Times

eating out has become a somewhat reduced experience.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Hold The Front Page

The British Public will know it's press
has found a sense of proportion about itself,
long gone for them being a license to print money
for telling lies, based on covert activity, when instead
of proclaiming press freedom should be the measure
of everyone's choice
the public can get the kernel of a story in two paragraphs.
Rather than have to dig deep, only to find it buried
in the small print on the fourteenth page, by which time
they have been so thoroughly distracted that they don't
notice that the headline is unrepentantly telling them
something completely different.

The Qualities Required For Employment

Because seeking employment does require overselling ourselves.