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

Monday, 31 March 2014

Like Empires,

when civilisations insist on being formed, they take a long time to build.
When they are founded both come to rest over-and unintentionally bury
-'uncivilised' origins. A civilisation has to decline to catch the hindsight
that what it is built on was actually far richer, more durable, intelligent
and creative than it appeared to be when it became the foundation for an unkown future.
Perhaps the trait that most defines humanity is that to build
we have to be blind to what we have, blind to the remains of what we once had,
and have since destroyed by building over it, to make way something else.
All progress is short term, a temporary change in how relatively near
or far and near sighted we are at the time we look at a present,
where our focus is never truly centred and fixed.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Nil Carborundum

Hope wilts eternal
whilst despair lingers long
and happiness needs a break
to seek more durable company.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Perfecting Collective Time Wasting

1-Join or form a committee in which
you make yourself indispensable.

2-Attach a status to office holders
that makes lay members deferential
and hobbles how officers work.

3-Invent buzz words for mechanisms
/procedures which flatter their hearers
which also obscure the work attempted,
and stretch beyond breaking point
the attention span of anyone
who is interested in finding out
what the words really mean.

4-Make consensus a point of pride,
so that whilst everybody appears
to agree with each other when together
privately they misunderstand the minutes,
but everyone is too ashamed to encourage
each other to deeply question matters.

This is how to make decision making
take four times longer than it should do,
and decisions null and void by the time
they are to be acted upon.
Similarly metaphor and simile are powerful
for obscuring inactivity.
 If there is a plan that might cause hope,
were effort applied to it, then that is how to kill it.
Instead suggest everyone fill in their expenses, twice over.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Amen

In my daily self acceptance
of my limits in companiable
homosexuality I thank thee,
Lord, that I am not as other men.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

The Science Of Unawareness

Humans invest so much in science
on the basis of 'better the parasite you know
than the one you don't', and they always
want to know more.
This is fine, up to a point.
But the best parasites, e.g. domesticated pets
have a self knowledge of their dependent nature.
They practice a calm and passivity towards their keepers,
the better to be kept-
even when the price is living ill and mis-bred.
We euphemize this as 'cupboard love'.
We project that they know nothing.
But pets have a modesty and calm
which we as the species on the planet
that is the most over consuming,
over wheaning and over-bred, lack.

Perhaps it is sub-section of Gia Theory
that the species to define parasitism will be
the biggest parasite of all, and the most resistant
to recognising the power of parasitism on itself. 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Knock Knock

When I was young I saw by the front doors of big houses
a sign that read 'no tinkers salesmen or barkers, thank you'.
I was too young to understand who the unwelcome
were, or what they had done, beyond my fear I could be one.
I could not spell 'itinerant' but I knew that people became
what they could not spell then others wrote them off.

Now with my webmail I receive petitions for many causes,
from one-step-at-a-time utopians of different hues and political views
who say they need my support for their next step to help the needy.
I am amazed that these transient utopians are so easy to please
with merely a few words. How solid is the world they are making?

Every on-line petition I sign makes me wish
I had next to my front door a sign-
'homeless welcome here', and that tramps
still had rural networks where they were met with civility
daily, and I had a supply of every day cheer that was theirs to find.
 .  

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Monday, 24 March 2014

I Have Never Sought The Prizes

in the lottery of life,
but I am glad I have been allotted my ticket.
All I ask is a good breakfast each morning,
and then some cheap and creative activity that engages me.
That I may prove attentive until the day ends.

The Quiet Paradox

is not that people get lonely-that is all too easy
-but how the loneliness multiplies
as they come to exist in densely populated areas.
Such that when they are all so alone
and all so close to each other
the lack of consolation multiplies also,
so that with so little to exist for, they each
come to perpetuate each others loneliness.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Signs Of Greater Age (27)

Missing the times when as a matter of course
the passports of travellers were stamped
every time they entered another country.
The stamps in the passport were a visible sign
to you that you had been to places other people
who never knew you then never learnt about.
With no stamp that says you were there
in the present, now the past, and now
no stamp to say you are here, the present
continues to seem like a very big non-country.  

When older you piss in the sink
rather than in the lavatory,
because you can stand to do it and it saves water.
When young you saw many a man
who used the sink so in their youth
-but for different reasons, back then
it was a rebellion against the feminine order
of cleanliness which used to cow you into submission.
So whilst you hold the shrinking remnant
of a youthful masculinity in your fingers,
you feel more alive for letting it flow,
and rinsing the sink afterwards.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

When Dogs Gamble

they don't play bingo or use scratch cards.
They scratch and sniff themselves and each other.
Some dogs like to lick too.
That is the currency that retains it's value.
More dogs win with it than ever lose.
It is highly practical, non-addictive,
and helps them live well where they live,
and get to know their neighbour far better
than any equivalent human activity
that involves money, numbers and false company.

Friday, 21 March 2014

A Bridge To The Future

 
should also be a bridge to the past.
See a slide show of eco-bridges for wildlife here.

















































































Good Husbandry Starts With The Self

And for many of us, becoming part of the land
 may be our most lasting contribution to the planet.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

The Pursuit

of luxury and ease
in lieu of having a creative life
is displacement activity.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

What Is A Vote Worth?

It will not reform the civil service.
It will never make collecting tax
from multinational corporations effective.
It will not change the money markets.
Only rarely will it disburse powers downward
from the top in some amended constitution,
though in referenda the vote will be used
to disguise the farming out responcibility without power.
It never softens highly authoritarian governments,
who rhetorically seek approval through votes, 
whether the system is absolute monarchy
or rule by military commitee-oligarchy.
But in some civilian peace time economies
you may use your vote to dispose of a party leader
who has lost their touch with the media, and their party
who has not quite got to grips with this yet-
only the party deepest insiders are the first to see it coming.
Such a Party will prove eager to enlist your vote to rubber stamp
their choice of new leader in the ballot box.
So, the sole time we can prove that the votes change
anything is in peacetime, and when the vote exists
to safely get rid of leaders openly past their prime.




Monday, 17 March 2014

Prolix

-a short word that describes
an expanding condition
which left to it's own devices
will run and run.....

The Umbelical Cord Of History

is an adult, once a child, catching Mother's echo
from another universe, 'I am here, where are you?
Why aren't you with me?'.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

The Discomfort Of Fake Despair

I tried to watch the DVD of the film
of Cormac McCarthy's bleak book
'The Road', but what came through
the script was just not bleak enough,
though the backdrops were worthy
of Andrei Tarkovsky.
I stopped the disc at a sentimental moment
two thirds of the way through,
soon after a spoken comment finally
lodged with me. After being a guest
at a big picnic of tinned food in a bunker
a blind and ragged Robert Duvall
was asked 'Do you ever think of suicide?'
to which he replied 'No, I never had that luxury'.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

One Quarter Schopenhauer

The real test is how we maintain the value of the three quarters
 of themselves that other people forfeit/leave with us,
the better to pass it around further-wholesome and intact.

Friday, 14 March 2014

The Missing Comma

'It is hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs,
they always take things literally'.

Monsters 'R' Us

Humans will believe they have created artificial life
when they see that the technology of which it is made
is also the means by which it further remakes itself,
and said technology ingratiates itself by proving
that it is part of us. Except we will not know it.
Because for us to accept as genuine a self starting
intelligence that we once sparked which did not
need managing would strains our minds beyond belief.
We would have to think it monstrous, a monster
that needed our control, needed us to want to own it,
and for us to be it's origins. The two arms of the modern state
-parenting and militarism-are proof, were proof needed,
of this mindset. Children are not just presents to us,
but are our weapon, our plan, against the future of the planet.
We are the aliens who are never at home anywhere they go.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Liquid Similes

Between the empty glass of hope
and the sinkhole in my unconscious
I think I have a problem with drainage.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Gender Values In Orbit

If men are from Mars
and women are from Venus,
where surely the shopping is wonderful,
then what planet, or stoney sattelite,
do gay men, lesbians, and those nearer
being a third sex than they are at ease with come from?
Wherever it is, between Venus and Mars,
they have to work quite hard
at being a force in their own right,
to resist the magnetic pull from one direction,
and the push of a sterile vacuum from the other,
to be stable and secure members of society.  

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Signs Of Greater Age (26)

Being glad you are as old,
if not older, than the politicians
who claim to serve your populous.
You have now lived long enough
to see how their more outre ideas,
are retreads with no thread in them
-long before they have to admit this.
And you can quote when the same
presentations failed last time.

Finding that for all your memory
of public life reaches back quite well,
in the present-when in shops
you find have to say how much
you tender for the goods
you have purchased as much
as the cashier has to say
what the goods cost, for you both
to be sure that the shop is honest.

Monday, 10 March 2014

The Currency Of Stones

Give a man a fish to feed his family
and he will come back for more.
It is a gift or the beginning of a system of barter.
Sell the same man a loan to buy a rod
and he becomes the bait for you to fish
among his kith and kin for more needy people,
and he will have to keep on repaying his debt to you
long after he needs to.
Set the interest rate high enough and make it compound,
then you have got him by all his descendents,
by their balls, their purse, and later on
the land they can ill afford to live upon.
Jesus once, apparently misleadingly, asked*
'Which of you fathers would offer your son a stone
when he asks for bread? Or if he asks for a fish
offer him a snake instead?', referring not
to the goods concerned but the spiritual deafness
behind the misplaced gifts to the needy.
Anything that irreparably weighs down the heart
and mind is equal to, and is just as un/forgiving as,
a loan that is permanently unrepayable.


* The Gospel according to Luke Ch 11 Vs 11 

Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Frailty Of Certainty

A friend wrote to me; 'I am glad I have never been brainwashed'.
Amazed at how blithe he was, I wrote nothing back.
I was too much in awe of his surety. In some uncertainty
I asked myself what it meant to be brainwashed.
I realised that at some point I had been.
I had lived in worlds where the words
I had to use automaticallly meant the opposite
of what was commonly understood, and pointing this out
with conviction was deemed to be deeply cynical.
I had seen how my family relationships were malformed,
beyond repair. I also knew that the brainwash
would fade if worked on. If I left it far enough behind
in another life it would rinse out.
To depart from it was the only cure.
I felt wiser for remembering that it did happen
and better still for learning how I had gotten over it.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Friday, 7 March 2014

The Evolution Of False Teeth

Tina Turner's open smile radiated a thousand miles.
Like her wigs, her teeth said 'fake youth' to me.
Her teeth were that bright for being bleached.
They were the advert of their time for falsity.
Not that the gaps in The Queen Mother's grin,
or her taste in hats, were necessarily more genuine.

Thirty years on, and however hard dentists tried
the future of false teeth could not be brighter.
The edited highlights of costly dental surgery
are now integral to lifestyle make-over shows,
which are all advertising because the show
is practically paid for by the expertise being filmed,
the more to make the changes displayed seem easy.

Life is to Lifestyle what a book is to it's cover-
for a sense of life to show through
their has to be a correspondence between them.
I became the slave to fashion that I am
when I embraced NHS spectacles,
greying facial hair and early male baldness.

What folks can do if they do it themselves is amazing.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

From Lent To Easter,

i.e. going from giving up some small things voluntarily
to giving everything involuntarily,
 can happen more rapidly than we like to think. 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

When An Oscar Winning Film Raises More Questions Than It Settles

Recently I saw the film '12 years a slave' and I left disappointed at the end. I liked the restraint of the musical score. But the film was too clean, and a farm that seemed to have nearly no animals, dogs, cats, vermin or cattle, seemed improbable. And the teeth of the slaves were that bright that the film could have been sponsored by Colgate. Never mind that my friend said 'The script was 'stagey'', it was slavery as it would have been portrayed by Walt Disney, somewhat shorn of the actuality.

Filming historic injustice properly will always be difficult. This is why there are so many mediocre films about resisting or succumbing to Nazism. When the films are bad it is often because they are dressed and set according later, higher, peacetime standards of health and wealth than would be authentic to the time. Also the scripts do not tackle or reveal the moral weakness and dependencies inherent in The Nazi System. For instance the guards in the camps are often portrayed as blind to what they depend on, slave labour, and yet they are so close to it they know they need some basic good will from their captives to extract their labour from them, even as the guards they are meant to be so all knowing that they did not have any regard their prisoners. One of the films which proved the exception to this rule for me was the German film 'The Counterfeiters' where the guards were ordinary sadists going about their duty, with some of them proving the exception through small acts of kindness which seemed all the bigger in the circumstances. One of the more memorable scenes was a Christmas where the soldiers and guards danced with each other to music from a phonograph, and passed around minatures of alcohol. Scenes like that seemed to pull in to view the real life that was happening just off to the edge of the script/screen, which in the watching you were encouraged to believe was there but which needed some prompt to push it onto the screen.

Nearly nowhere in '12 years a slave' was the insecurity of the slave masters, or their moral lassitude, laid bare. The weaknesses of slave owners was with-held even between slave owners. The only ill effect of dependence in the slaves owners came mostly in portrayals of periodic drunkenness, which seemed to leave no long term mark on them, though the increased terror of the slaves when they saw their master drunk and ill tempered was telling. But the idea that the best slave owners remained sober the better to get the best from themselves and their slaves was notably absent. I was grateful when there were scenes that would enlighten an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, where links were made between the wretched treatment of slaves and the abuse of alcohol. As a film about an iniquitous economic system it sort-of worked. I wish that the economics of mortgages slave owners took out on slaves, where slaves were sold on to other slave masters, to repay the mortgage, could have been explored more fully.

The glaring paradox of a white culture wedded to a literate and numerate protestant work ethic which was dependent on denying black slaves any similar reward and autonomy for their labour would have made a powerful story, and such ideas were possible but were commented on only in passing, from a slaves eye view, which mostly seemed to be frozen in horror. The portrayal of how slaves who revealed they could read and write, would be killed by their masters was telling-but by inference rather than something shown on screen. Slaves were meant to settle for an oral culture in they could neither write nor read, but through their labour they could be kept, and even the oral culture had it's limits in consistency, slave's names were changed as they were sold-to cut off any sense of being potentially freedmen, with full civil rights. To be named by a slave master made the individual their property to sell or keep. I very much appreciated that it took somebody who was kidnapped to know the difference between being a slave and a freed man, because it was clearly very difficult for a slave who was raised a slave since childhood to de-condition themselves from being merely kept labour.

If that was all a kidnapped slave could see, and they reported well on what they saw, then fine. Perhaps me asking slaves to speak for the insecurities of their masters, and the darkness of such a system, was asking too much. Yet I feel that such a script being filmed is now more possible, with '12 years a slave' breaking the taboo of talking about slavery as a live evil, and the film has put the big moral issue up on the big screen.

Self Education

The journey anyone takes
from being a young autodidact
-for whom, whatever their age
to learn is to feel more alive-
to asking themselves later in life
where they are on the autism scale
is truly an education in relationships.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

King Solomon Was Not Wise

when he suggested that he bisect the child
to fairly meet the claims of both mothers.
He knew it would disturb them both,
which is hardly insight-or 'psychology'.
He was being contrary, and a bully.
And like most ordinary bullies
his power came from his gift
for the division and rule of others,
by exploiting their weak points
whilst being singularly himself
which, Jehovah like, he practised often.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Bilateral Disagreement

What is does it mean to 'combat normality'?

It has many definitions, but one of them
is resisting 'The Narcissism Of Minor Difference'.
Normality is the acceptable consensus of any given group of people.
Each group is unique in itself, according the materials it uses,
but as alike as every other group, given that every group
share more common values than they like to think.
The group-think of groups is so all absorbing
that the members of the group are blinded to how similar
 to each other they all are, within their group, and with every other group.
The smaller the difference the more members of each group makes a fetish
of that minor tic, claiming their individuality through it, whilst avoiding
the power for agreement that comes from respectful listening.

Thus combating normality is about keeping a distance,
apt for yourself-everyone's will vary-from all groups
and their norms. The better to know your commonality
through a vastly reduced sense of jealousy.  

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Pulp Criminal

The worst is the death of the tree
 where there no intent of reading
what is printed on the paper
 made from it's pulp.  

Saturday, 1 March 2014

My Mantra

'Thank you' and 'Please' were the first words I was taught.
As I learned them, I learnt then, and have found since,
that my family/my teachers valued these words more than I could know.
How much my outward appreciation covered the multitude of their fears
of sin and pride, which of necessity needed disguise went beyond recognition.
My Pleases' and 'Thank you's sealed my deference towards them,
which allowed them to see me as simple, and easily satisfied.
In an ingrate world such kowtowing was worth its weight in gold,
though since then it has been devalued.
Perhaps they needed cupboard love in aural form,
not that it helped me mature. But what to do
when giving to keep control was all they knew?
Now I use the verbal formalities
to give without expecting to receive, in order to teach others similar.