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

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Whatever The Hierarchy

and whatever the logic, systems
will always create 'winners' and 'losers',
through varying levels of competition.
Whichever role we end up playing,
for the benefit of ourselves or others,
the will to take responsibility
and share any credit going relies
on an absolute lack of absolutism.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Intelligence

is about far more than knowing a lot and quoting it 
ad nausiem to people whether they know it or not,
which is merely holding forth with your opinions.
Anyone can do that. Intelligence is about questioning
 what you know, allowing others to query you,
and listening. This is what refreshes us, 
what allows us to be changed, by surprises.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Progress

is merely the prison cell in the cul-de-sac
where the wallpaper seems the nicest,
until we can find somewhere better to ruin.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Signs Of Greater Age (31)

1-With age learning the difference between outrage
and irony. When we were young offending others
seemed fun, we thought we were 'waking people up'.
But later you realize they were awake all along,
but alert to quite different set of signals.

2-If born working class finding it easy
when young to dress according to the level
of self esteem permitted to you.
Without knowing it, the lack of money
made you naturally dress down,
and your peers made it all seem normal.
Later in life peers separate and the angst hollows out.
Through comfort you become declasse,
and enjoy watching the rats race past you.




Friday, 26 December 2014

Conditioning

I have never been homeless,
though I have often felt myself to be near it.
In an economy where to be officially recognized
as a citizen you have to have an address
it takes 4-6 weeks for a homeless person
to become habituated to their situation.
That is to find themselves naturally ill at ease
with having more than they can carry,
mistrustful of exchanges with other people
of more than the few words it takes
to thank people for their loose change,
whilst restricting eye contact with them,
and never exchanging names with anyone.
Nor having a roof over their head that is theirs
to maintain for which they don't have to pay
more than is due for the space, in gratitude.

I know how long it takes a young person
from an average to poor household
to become habituated to long term unemployment.
It takes nine months, the length of time I spent on the Y.T.S.
I was pushed on two short pretend apprenticeships
in which, whatever the appearance of being instructed,
the actual intent was to get me to learn how to live
in a very low income, be patriotically passive
to the government and my family, and most importantly
accept having very few friends for lack of money
whilst doing the most minor tasks for 'my employer'.
All the while being unable to become more independent
or move house without a support from a family
that was always tardy and unforthcoming.

I was grateful to avoid homeless,
but still the feeling I had most often then,
which stays with me still, was one of being frozen.
Deeply Learned Helplessness is hard to forgive in one's self.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Like 'Our Lord'

-a saintly patron for non-breeders
who has too long been hijacked
by the zealots of patriarchal 'family values',
many of them women-all we can do
is hold to what we sense is true
and resist the family centred world,
where false behaviour comes with such ease.
We can think carefully about our own flesh/nature.

How To See Christmas

And wanting to avoid the modern Christmas is quite natural.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The Advertising Strapline

I remember the most was applied
to the sale of televisions in the 1980's.
Naturally it was on television.
I forget which manufacturer's sets
it was there to promote. Bit it ran
'You'll be glued to our sets, not stuck with them'.
It reminded of how stuck I was my family,
and how much I'd like to held in a bond
that would hold me, close.
Rather than be trapped in ill fitting arrangements
that had to be constantly repaired and reapplied.

Icelandic Humour

From here

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Monday, 22 December 2014

What Value Honour

between opponents in a civil society
when the urge to revenge
outweighs the will towards hospitality?
Where the ready availability of arms
makes the uneaseful death of enemies
too much of a temptation to resist?

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Proportion And Passion

are very hard to balance.

The Man Who Loved Trees

'I will willingly confess so great a partiality for trees
as tempts me to respect a man exactly in proportion
to his respect for them'-James Russell Lowell

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Heroism

has always been about a gainful opportunism
that with the false hindsight of others
becomes more like a pre-determined plan
than we cannot conceive or understand.
We can never understand the generosity
of The Hero's perceived effect, though we strive to.

Where this leaves the workaday dreams
of good will, kind deeds, and ideals of a fortune
for all, is left hanging for you and me to guess at.

Friday, 19 December 2014

On Living Alone

which will find priority
-the freedom of solitude?
Or the energy of silence?
One thing is for sure,
time will be less important.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Christmas in Dystopia

starts when families renew the year's disagreements
and disappointments to share over Christmas,
leaving something smaller to bicker over for birthdays
and other celebrations throughout the year to come.

Having aired their bad news they will proceed
(quietly at first) to accuse each other
of misunderstanding of their wrongs,
until the enmity falls as freely as the spent bottles
that surround parties of drunks who sit in public parks,
oblivious of anyone who feels disturbed seeing them.
The tipping point comes when outright one person
tries to defend their wrongs as not just their doings,
but a joint effort where they had not the means
to stop themselves from later wrong-footing others,
only for others to say 'You should have had the means,
because of you we can't have this, that, and the other now.
It is your fault that you did not stop. Stop blaming other people.'.

The accusations stop sharply when the one who feels
most horrible for losing their argument turns on the television
to watch a programme they insist should be watched,
which the rest of the family endure in silence.

Some families are better dismantled, root and branch,
and the members kept apart, never to cause each other trouble again.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Life Without Laughter Is Hell

'A religion where you cannot laugh at yourself
is a joyless and destructive thing'-Sara Maitland

The Great, The Average And The Small

Generosity of spirit is still the best proof of greatness, whatever the size of mind.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Small Ad

Hermetic seeks emetic
to get the life of the world
out from inside his insides.

Monday, 15 December 2014

When Breeding Is Over-breeding

What is the point of being The Master Race,
the breed who by nature deserves a place apart
in their own monoculture, if in our mastery
and isolation we shrink from what we think
we are meant to be masters over?
If mastery was the plan, it now seems half baked
and all there is left to prepare for now is a doom
for us where we don't doom all other species
to extinction. We owe the planet the duty
of making it sustainable-if only
for future master races-all else is folly!  

Sunday, 14 December 2014

A Healthier Desensitivity

I used to feel rotten many a time in the past,
as if I'd personally made other people suffer,
as if their hurt was mine to help them recover from.
Even though logically I knew not all their ills were mine,
not all the time, there was no escaping this personal belief.
Had I been able to observe I would have seen
that there were many who acted being hurt
by blaming their ills on whoever come along,
which in my life just happened to be me.
My greed for acceptance made me accept
their blame, since that was all there was going.

I see now that I should have learned to feel and want
a whole lot less, thus I might have been more kind
and generous to myself, and to everyone else around me.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Merely Middling

I used to dress down when young
to be more working class
and authentically miserable.
In middle age I lost my angst
-a better life got cheaper
and I became declasse.
Now I am merely middling.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

An Observation Of Civility

Is it just me? Or is it plain to all
that amongst everyone we meet in life
those who say 'Please' and 'Thank you',
and apologize, unprompted, are the people
who are usually the more observant
of the effect of their thoughts, words and deeds on others?   

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

When Waste

is definitive proof of choice
then Consumerism is King,
and the kingdom is for the willfully blind.
Those who seek forever-seek to consume
and destroy the here and now,
rather than to try leave behind the least trace
of their presence possible, for others
who have to be thrifty to live with and mourn.


The Amazon forest being destroyed, to make way for cattle.








Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Monday, 8 December 2014

Life In Peace Time

Alcohol is like many a substance,
it makes a good servant and a horrible master.
To make the best of their choices
imbibers have to know themselves
inside out, to learn which they are
-unhappy servers or well served?
Those that avoid asking, out of fear,
have already made their choice plain.
Furthermore they will always create
in their dependents a bleaker sense
of humour and hope than ever
they dare to imagine.

Not that a communal life
without substances is temptation free.

If Winston Churchill had been asked
'Which causes does alcohol serve best?'
He would have answered 'War and government'.
Where this leaves the life of the masses
in the long domestic peace since 1945,
with so many outlets for drink
and so little for imbibers to rule over
is beyond hope and guesswork.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Naturally Artificial

The sign that would become easy proof to the masses
that artificial life had arrived would be if the machines we make,
and we rely on, spontaneously made Christmas cards
for each other. Some humans might think this insulting,
believing the machines do not have souls to rejoice with,
or expect the machines to do more for their makers
than each other, and send said cards to who made them.
If the humans returned the favour it might be okay.
But given the amount of despair that humans
have put into the planet they could hardly complain.  

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Friday, 5 December 2014

Hoarding Oblivion

for future use is not world leaders collecting weaponry
the way George the Sixth collected stamps,
to loving gaze upon them in self reflective moments.
It means cultures of addiction across the world
joining up with each other to make themselves
collectively unable of stop each other destroying
what they, and everyone else, is dependent on.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Acceptable Dystopias

The height of public intimacy for me used to be
being the younger partner in distrustful sex in public toilets
between drunken men and idiotic boys.
Mutually deceived about the effects of alcohol,
we fiddled with each other' bits through holes
men had made between the cubicle walls.
The married men always got the most attention,
Just like they did at home in different circumstances.
We further deceived ourselves that nobody knew where we were.
The mothers and wives in the town knew exactly what was happening,
but let it be, rendering it taboo, uncommentable on.
They were grimly glad to avoid drunken male fumblings.
I was never arrested. Nor was anybody I knew, there was no need.
When family values were about members guilt-tripping each other
into ever darker corners where neither could see, then nobody could trust the law,
nor could we seek help for poor mental health from the local social services.
The more powerful the family member, the more they could deny their jealousy
using spurious moral reasoning as their cover, whilst removing other peoples exits from them.

I have lived in places from which nobody was ever meant to retrieve themselves alive.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Stephen Hawking

need not be afraid of humans
creating an intelligent technology
which will outsmart them
without us knowing how it did it.
Look at life on Planet Earth,
is the most complex and complete
functioning mechanism we know,
complete to the point where
it is much more complex
than we know how to discern
and accept. The best we can do
is diligently test it to destruction
through our stupidity.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The Currency Of Acceptance (2)

'What will people think?'
is a question the english use
to express their fear of disapproval.
It is used by those who in their vanity
don't realize that fear and approval
are always conditional.
They are merely different sides
of the same coin-the hope
of being taken at face value. 

Monday, 1 December 2014

The Eternal Catch-22

Where the idea of escape is the ultimate trap,
and existence is a matter of torture or be tortured. 

Sunday, 30 November 2014

The Currency Of Acceptance (1)

From the dutch courage of alcohol
to deodorants laden with synthetic chemicals
-and much much worse-
human sophistication never extends further
than how we deceive ourselves
whilst being received by others.

In all we do
we leave a bitter taste
and appalling waste
in our wake.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

The Price We Set

on neighbourliness is conditioned
by how much more we think we have
than the other people we think we know.
The more we have the more protection
and hiding it will need from those we fear
who might be jealous of what we have.
We don't know how much others have,
because like us they have to hide it,
and count every word they share to create
masks of generosity from behind which
to give less than they appear to.
When security means individual wealth
it means the more we give the less we can expect
to receive, for having given what we have away.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Families That Breed

-which means all of them-may be well intended,
at least as much as the road to Hell ever was.
But worse still are the corporate breeders
who multiply undreamt of inequality through money.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

For Personal Growth

have the most fun you can conceive of having
in times you live in, especially when away.
When you return home you will arrive tired,
changed and in need time to reflect.
But you will also find yourself refreshed
in many of the places that quietly ached.
So that what was were once both comfort
and  discomfort zones have shifted.
It does not mean you will not ache again,
but the new ache will be in a different place,
and exploring it will set you on some new course in life,
the more to change you through times to come......

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Charities That Advertise

on television, that most corrupt and corrupting of mediums,
will automatically debase the virtue of their intended cause
through the presentation logic that advertising agencies use.
Which is sub-post Freudian in it's division of the audience
into victim, persecutor or rescuer.
Whatever the cause is, from saving tigers and white rhino
from being poached to extinction to offering eyesight
to the dirt poor and blind, in whom it is preventable
at very little cost to us the presentation will be the same;-
your wealth and power did not make them victims
but it can stop more of them suffering if you give.
If you keep your money for yourself and they will still suffer,
and your stinginess will make you their persecutor.

Television presents the the poor and persecuted animals
like it presents everything else, as if the medium is your friend
because the adverts pay for the programmes, which are why it is justified
more than the person/animal is your neighbour because they are in need.
Fake empathy is still fakery and always will be.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Shame

is what happens when we are more appalled
by the solution than we are at the problem
presented to us. Faced with such a choice
of what to be appalled by we choose the path
which offers us the least change in the circumstance. 

Saturday, 22 November 2014

The Royal British Legion

-the patriotic placebo against future wars
that never works, but instead-in the longer term,
makes the families of the combatants
of said wars pay up in the loss of human life.

Cynicism Incorporated

Anyone with more power than responsibility will behave like this.




Friday, 21 November 2014

Hostile Silences

Depression and an embarrassment
have share two distinct qualities
-they both become stronger
than is good for us as a means
to stoking up anger for future use.
They both find further life
in the silences that give them cover.
For myself I want a peaceable silence
and rarely spot the anger in others
before I am being pushed away
for the feelings they have not dealt with.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

A Heartache In Every Dream

So many of my dreams are set in my place of birth
and the house I, uncomprehendingly, was raised in.
And in nearly every one of them I find myself
repeatedly searching for a missing happiness
through the people who said they were my family.
Every overlay of my night time adventures
set in the past wakes me up mildly frit,
fretting at words amiss, without knowing why,
at actions that seem beyond comprehension.
On waking up and reflecting I remember
some recent occasion in which I recognize
the actions of the dream.
But still the location drags me back
to where I know now never belonged.

At least the ache proves I have a heart.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Clean Conversations?

When people say 'Cleanliness is next to Godliness'
it is not just a way of shutting down arguments
about social diversity in the name of a singular
religious regimen, or social/public order,
nor is it justifying a particular monoculture
from above by those at the top bluffing their way
past prevarication by using more bluff and prevarication
-until that is all there is. Nor is it merely hierarchy
for its own sake. It is those who are speaking
planting their shame inside the lives and actions
of people too weak to resist being misused so.

But emotional sterility will begat its own reward.
Where people escape The Voice Of Authority,
they will decide for themselves the distance needed
to keep from being told how to think and what to be ashamed of. 

Monday, 17 November 2014

Old Age Creates It's Own Tunes

In my own small way I salute Robert Wyatt.
For fifty years, and for better and worse,
he has balanced being a musician
with trying to be a sentient human being.
Now nearing 70 he is retiring
and facing the issues of old age
which seem incompatible
with creating new music.

Perhaps old age creates it's own music.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Breeding Insanity

Nearly no human I know who has chosen to not breed
has done it for the purest reason; after 10,000 years
humans beings have made themselves the apex
of the world food chain, and through want and waste
we are destroying the planet faster than we realize.
When our reason is unreasoning what is there left to say?
 
In the mid 20th century in the richest counties
the standard narrative for resisting having children
was the fear of shame for any life for an adult
outside of wedlock, and it affected women most.
Sheer poverty was most co-equal as a way
of discouraging parenting, which had the bonus
of empowering the rich to greater self indulgence.
The more deeply the next generation could be marked
with the same fears the more the virtue of relative solvency
within a patriarchal parenthood was reinforced.
I remember those lessons, the onus was always on women
to make sure sure they stayed on the straight and narrow.
Whilst men gave each other the right to carouse all they could afford.

Earlier in 20th century insanity, being a mental defective,
and being declared a hereditary criminal were the standard
justifications for thousands of women to be involuntarily sterilized,
under the emerging laws of eugenics. The case for it was proven
beyond doubt in a court of law in Virginia, Buck vs Bell 1927.

After the excesses of the The Third Reich,
who defended themselves at Nuremberg
by quoting the U.S. sterilizations of the 1920s, 
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948
did not stop nation states continuing with the practice.
It merely swept the worst excesses under the carpet,
as if the last 2000 years of religious patriarchy
that had limited women's autonomy to breed
had been right, and never mind the reasons why.

Now, if as an individual you should ask your doctor
to help you to never to have children, you can't tell them
the truth, or use philosophical, ethical or ecological reasoning.
Medical reasoning is what they respond to,
and rarely self diagnosed mental health at that.

So if you do see parenthood as breeding insanity
then don't ask your doctor, with their secular amorality,
to help keep you sane and keep you from having children
-the more you try using reason the more contrary
and resistant to your wish they will become,
until they have quietly transferred the power of life
and death away from you and put it out of your reach.
They will put it, and want to keep it, In State Hands.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Calculating Risk

What should any of us trust to
when we find that the systems
we are pushed to accept
as our sole means of support,
are far more stupid
than those that run them
are prepared to admit to?
Forgiving stupidity,
whether in others, systems,
or yourself is always more complex 
than we can account for.  

I Am Glad

that neighbourliness,
if not yer actual Christianity,
is alive and kicking
against the pricks of State
in 'christian' America.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

This Is Why We Have Armistice Day

Click on it to make it bigger.

Charity In A Property Owning Democracy

In the USA charity begins at home,
and is often disallowed as public show,
depending on how socially conservative the state is.
This project got through, this one was stopped
-for now. Time will tell if they keep on trying
how much feeding the homeless is permitted.
The idea that succeeded surely won through
did so not just for it's obvious practicality,
but also by being self evidently more charitable
to those with houses than those without.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Addiction Speaks With Its Authentic Voice

When I first found the quote from Charlie Sheen
'I don't pay prostitutes for sex, I pay them to leave'
I could not quite comprehend it.
I have known many men shrink from intimacy
immediately after sex has ended for them,
without them thinking what might be happening
with who they were being intimate with.
The guilt in their responses was saddening.
But now I understand him.
He was speaking in a court.
He had to justify himself from the inside.
He is an addict of drink, drugs and sex.
For him the point of the addiction
was/is to combine appetite with denial
in a way that makes them fit smugly together.
His quotation was perfectly reasoned denial.
To say he paid people to leave,
when they had met his needs,
was to deny he was actually insatiable.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

My Last Christmas Card of 2014

To represent the predatory nature
 we have made of the event, 
and prepare for 2015.

I Am Glad

that neighbourliness,
if not yer actual Christianity,
is alive and kicking
against the state
in 'christian' America.

Life

is what puts the fun into funerals.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Necessary Pain

Reversing turbo-capitalism for the masses
and reclaiming community life for the community
in small towns naturally means working
around the painful stage known as bankruptcy. 

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Calmness Takes Time

Humility is an attribute rarely displayed by converts,
keen to prove their conversion to a given system,
the better for further conversion to said belief.
But when a believer has believed long enough
to take Faith seriously, but not literally,
and knows from the inside their own absurdity-
then they find the generosity in their belief. 

Friday, 7 November 2014

A Worrying Question

How cynical must we be towards ourselves,
the better to be internally consistent,
when we examine the apparent cynicism
in the actions of other people?
When one is cynic about cynicism
what does it leave to be open about?

Thursday, 6 November 2014

When The Pressure To Live Is Not Life, Just Pressure

Every adult in the world must have at some point
in their youth thought of ending their life rather sharply,
as it would hurt other people more than them.
Wanting to go missing is a common symptom of depression.
In pressured civil societies mental illness is far more prevalent,
and is a far more rational response to pressure,
than is publicly accepted. The common fear for anyone
who is thinking of their end too often for their own ease
is that they will leave behind a mess, which others whom they respect
too much to allow so will have to clear up.
That fear is enough to make many endure the taboo against suicide
and make their reduced sense of agency try to work better.

But for many the bigger fear is of showing any mess at all-even in this life.
This means they concentrate on keeping the mess inside their heads
and refuse to let others deal with it openly.
To them I'd say 'Others will see it anyway, and deal with it
according to their means-do you really think others can't read you?
They do and they will, and the more you resist being read,
the harder you make life, for everybody'.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Monday, 3 November 2014

Heaven And Hell?

While walking down the street one day a Corrupt Senator was tragically hit by a car and died.

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.


"Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."


"No problem, just let me in," says the Senator..


"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from the higher ups. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."


"Really?, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the Senator.


"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."


And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.


The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.


Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people


They played a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and the finest champagne.


Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who is having a good time dancing and telling jokes.


They are all having such a good time that before the Senator realizes it, it is time to go.


Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises...


The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens in heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him, "Now it's time to visit heaven.."


So, 24 hours passed with the Senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.


"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity."


The Senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell."


So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell..


Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.


The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulders.


"I don't understand," stammers the Senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"


The devil smiles at him and says,   "Yesterday we were campaigning ... ....Today, you voted.."  

Relative Serendipities

Intelligence for its own sake
is often mistaken for arrogance,
whilst ignorance always seems
more unintended but equally annoys.
The measure of a secure individual
is that they resist both perceptions.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Tactile Dialogues

Noise often overwhelms me.
I feel lost in some silences too-
disengaged from who I am
by what I have to do.
Failure is what I taste
however much I try to apply myself.
I am most at ease in quiet engagement
with a physical materials. It is still not rest,
but a beginning of being calmer.
If the fruits of my small labours please some
and calm others after me what else matters? 

Friday, 31 October 2014

Making Dirt Creative

Reverse Graffiti is a most creative way
 to selectively clean public walls and spaces.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

When Sorry Is Just Too Easy A Word

When I recently visited England I was surprised
at how the place had more in common with India*
than I expected, though the locals were unaware of this.
The English often dislike what they are dependent on,
and their attitude to telesales call centres is typical of this.
They expect to have phone numbers to ring
to contact the companies about consumer durables
and phone lines they are sold, and they like the telesales
employees to speak clear english with no flannel or excuses,
but want it on the cheap without thinking through the consequences.

The companies selling the product square the circle
by exporting the unwanted job/task to India,
where the staff know little, and they are told even less
as they are dissembled to. To save face they apologize
for what they don't know more than for any other reason.
They have been set up and can't say so.
This apology and its reasoning annoys english callers
who'd kept face by exporting the jobs in the first place.

When I was catching a train in England
every fourth train is late and some are cancelled
and went un-replaced. So the station master announces
his many apologies, when really he is not sorry
and there is nothing he could do if he tried.
He is just another cog in a machine set to gridlock.

In airport customs the signs say 'we do not tolerate abuse'
and the customer passing through finds only too late
that this means abuse of the staff, not themselves.  

England and India are alike in that in both
the greatest opportunities come from laws
which benefit the middle men/fixers in the system
more than anyone else.
E.g. the lawyers who take public actions
where the gain for the plaintiff is swallowed up
by the courtly process. Civil servants do similar things
with rules at their disposal-which they adapt to suit themselves.

The middle men keep on fixing to stay rich
and the poor (the biggest number) who have no face
get left to the systems which keep stripping the intended gain
away from them. Guess who makes the most apologies there then......



*my perception of India never having been there.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The New Continuity

I am much more at ease
with the word 'spiritual'
when the word 'practical'
is put before it.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Role Reversal?

I have lost any fondness I ever had
for the phrase 'We need to talk'
because when it was said me
it came 'I want to be listened to
without having to ask twice'.
But I will valiantly continue to try
take words a little more seriously-
even though their owners would be
more wholesome and happier without them.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Darwin-The T Shirt

It says everything that Darwin could not say about his society in his time
and it does not need to go through seven re-edits for reprinting.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Left Dress*

I used to keep my thoughts buttoned up
like the flies on my short grey trousers,
which my mother liked me in so much,
that she want me to wear them forever.
The more I grew the longer my trousers got.
As zips replaced buttons everything loosened.




*dress in trousers probably does not exist
now but it used to the side of the crotch
where there was more room to contain the contents.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Empathy

And I count quite a few crazies
 to be among my closest friends
-you know who you are.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Nasty And Brutish For Being Too Long

Care homes are actually funeral homes
for the infirm, places where they go to die
very slowly and from the inside out.
Whilst all the while they appear to live
-and they are cared for at vast expense.
Had the residents sufficient sense of agency,
strength of will, were their determination intact
because they were on fewer medicines,
they would have cheaper and better fun
as residents in a good hotel room
that they would make individual.
They would find their sense of privilege
in the variety and choice of room service.
But the privilege and choice now goes
to the accountants of the multi-national
drug companies instead.
Their reward comes from profits on the licenses
of the drugs they sell to nursing home owners.
Drugs that extend the natural physical life
of the residents whilst through quiet neglect
the owners of the home choke the residents spirits.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Retreating From Over-Reaction

I find it odd that all fundamentalism,
from the (r)evolutionary zeal of Richard Dawkins
down through consumerist Conservative Christianity
and primitive Islam, all back themselves up
with a great depth of rhetorical defensive bluster.
This is mode of speech, where the faith
is in power, and words create empty echo chambers
as a substitute for an inclusive public life.
They make systems that perpetuate
a false collective self that they can't see
and therefore can't turn off or retreat from.

The second oddity is how, in thrall to their own voice,
they fail to see that a similarly reactionary defence
becomes the most obvious way of retreating from them,
so they back each other up in a public mutual deafness.
Thus the main choice for the individual
who values the single self is to join in with the rhetoric
or retreat into an agnostic relative silence.


Monday, 13 October 2014

Sunday, 12 October 2014

A Theory For The Mass Extinction Of Animal Species

In his assumed omniscience omnipresence,
and even more far fetched omnipotence,
Mankind/Homo sapiens have been the cause
of many animal extinctions.
It is quite possible that humans
originated from outer space,
through Panspermia, the mites
and microscopic creatures in dust
from outer space that land on earth
through inter-galactic storms.
Space is a tough environment,
which inhibits most growth and life,
and that what we do to other species.  

Friday, 10 October 2014

I Am Quite Keen

on recycling, though even with the best will going
it extends the use of recycled materials very little.
Vast amounts of materials simply end up in landfill.
I was reared on 'make do and mend' stretched to absurdity.
Second hand clothes were a must,
like the low status that went with them.
As clothes wore out, and went the way of all flesh
I regretted it, never thinking 'this is inevitable'.
As Mother took me to the thrift shop
for the umpteenth time and we dug around
for cheap shirts and school trousers
she repeatedly told me how much more
I had than she idd when she was my age,
and how much better fitting my life was than hers.
To be told this hurt me. It seemed that my having better
had made her suffer, as if I had made her a martyr.
Her DIY martyrdom still bounces around my head,
even though I know now that she was the was the one
to drive me to accept solely what she found.  
Now I make sure that what I have is cheap,
and rejoice! I am no better than I ought to be.
I am of dubious morals, and the low in virtue.
So I can be truly glad that others are better than me.
This way I hurt less when they recycle
their jealousies by looking down on what ever I have.
I partially deaden myself, sufficient to quietly live
because I know that to live by jealousy is far worse.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Could I Ask For Less?

 Only if there is are substitutes for accepting others
 and being accepted, which don't demean.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Obese Egos

Charity which reduces the life of its recipients
is well known, from Pre-Victorian times onward.
Back then the rich in England divided the poor
between the worthy and the unworthy.
The worthy worked hard to keep themselves
in poverty but out of penury, the better to stay out
of the new workhouse where the newly unworthy,
displaced from labouring on the land and the factories,
were kept in squalor as a disincentive to their unworthiness.

The inheritors of that too-little-offered-too-late help
now live in the third world, where the IMF etc
pass restrictions on to failing governments,
and said governments pass said restrictions on to the poor.
Like work house managers, local Kleptocracies
shrink service of their populous in the name of efficiency,
and those shrunk by reduced choice are pushed more
towards mean and too-late-in-coming charity.
It is as if Thomas Malthus, and his queasy mix
of maths, theology, and apparent unawareness
of class-based power had never been refuted.

Meanwhile international charities spend less abroad
than they raise at home, because home is where the profile
of the charity most, more than helping its intended targets.

Who dares do to improve government
in failing states when that would refute the IMF?
What should we do when bad government
leaves big charities so much work to leave undone?

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

How Much Is Our Suffering Worth?

However much it is,
and whatever the currency
in which it is counted in,
we like it to be valued.
Which often means
covertly having others suffer
more than we do.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Virtuous Non-Alignment

The Governments that are most 'joined up'-
cohesive and consistent in all their ministries-
will always be the most effective at oppressing
their population by internalising the pressure
to conform, and hide it from the worlds press.
Such a government is unlikely to trumpet abroad
the material gains for it's civil populous
beyond making a virtue of isolation from that cliche
'the community of nations' in a dishonest autonomy.
Whilst the rich in said country will continue
to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else.
As civil law collapses so quietly we don't see it happen.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Promises Promises

When I was young and naive
I was taught how to write from the care home
everyone pretended was a boarding school
to my parents as part of my English grammar.
To make us more compliant to write
there was a mildly comic draft letter
we were taught never to imitate. It ran
'Dear Mother I am sending you a pound, but not this week'.

With hindsight the joke was very much on us,
we had insufficient money to send anywhere.
And we were kept at far greater cost
than ever we could have accounted for.

Now British citizens are facing a season
of resprayed/recycled electoral promises
and I remember that prototype letter.
I have to ask, did the men (it is mostly men),
who probably went to a proper boarding school,
now making the present politics of hope-deferred
for those with less ever know about that joke letter home?

It seems to me that they have adapted it,
word for word, in all their manifestos.

Friday, 3 October 2014

When Praise

and thanks seem cheap,
compared with money-or solvency-
we know more than words permit
that we have been turned inside out.
That is when accuracy
about the past is hard to find.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Putting the 'less' Into 'Hope' (2)

'One day we shall all die,
all other days we shall be alive'
- Per-Olof Enquist

'Don't take life too seriously
you won't come out of it alive
no matter what'-Henning Mankell

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

I Don't Know

when the phrase 'People should know their place [in life]'
lost its public currency and power to shame.
Anyone who says it now only ever says it in private.
As a phrase its declining value can be measured
against the rise of advertising as the presentation of choice.
Though that choice does mean 'no freedom from advertising'.
The place where we learn to know ourselves
should be the only place we should ever really accept.
Though I know we progress towards  there
only by serendipity, mistakes and experience.
If we come to know ourselves then we may know others.
That is the only way we will be truly accepted just as we are.

Monday, 29 September 2014

In This Age

of mass public skepticism, collective non-values,
and a small a 'atheism' for the millions to follow,
art is the confession that is without absolution.
The aspiration to redemption that cannot redeem.
The more personal a work it is to the author,
the more they are celebrated and emptied out
by the media in some hollowed public persona,
as they hollow out the society their work represents.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

The Scent Of Change?

In Cuba men were to have a new choice
in how to present themselves to the ladies,
though they were not to have it for very long.
Were our own dear leaders, present and past,
offered the chance to have the public
re-scented in their image,
what new kind of spin
would we sharing in
by politicising our olfactory senses?

'Markets' and Marketing

are no more than us thinking
we have bent serendipity to our will.
The more willful we become
the more we delude ourselves.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

So That Is Why The News Is So Confused

It makes one almost wish the old dictatorships
were as benign as our media told us they were
when our governments wanted them as allies.

On Family Life

When flesh is heir to flesh, and heir nothing more,
the result is always going to be war.

Friday, 26 September 2014

When Nation States

move like tectonic plates
against each other
it is clear that war's ahead.
Whether via arms or through money,
life is surely going to get cheaper.
The only doubt left is how long
such a choice was in coming.


Thursday, 25 September 2014

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Disability Awareness

Few people think of Alan Turing,
the inventor of the principles
by which modern computers work,
is having dyslexia.
He is much more famous
for the oppression of his sexuality
and his chosen means of ending it. 
Nonetheless it is true, and still no excuse
for the proliferation of poor spelling on-line.
Though I am sure, had he lived to see it,
he would have been gratified by spellcheck.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

'But For Now We Shall See Through A Glass Darkly....'

The picture is of a stained glass window by Laurence Whistler
in the the church of St Nicholas in the Dorset village of Moreton.
The title quote is by St Paul, from 1 Corinthians-chapter 13 vs 12.
 With thanks to here.  

Monday, 22 September 2014

The Outer Life

The constant hype of new electronic
communications devices is about....

1-trying to fix something that is broke,
human communication skills,
the wrong way by increasing the ways,
and the distance at which,
we miscommunicate with each other.

2-fixing something that is not broke,
the technology, by reinforcing status,
which is most constant communication
of fear and insecurity between people.