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

Thursday, 30 April 2015

On Ceasing To Be 'Religious'

When we break our last taboo
what will we have to do
to keep it broken? 
We have to keep look out,
for all the ways that secrecy
will use to reinvent its disguise

Pride Is Stolen Dignity

David Greaber wrote in his classic book
'Debt; the first 5000 years' of the slave owners
in the dim and distant past who were deferred to
by so many that 'their dignity lay in having too much
honour, an honour they stole from those they owned'.
How much honour is taken away unawares, nowadays,
from those on the lowest wages with the least security
of tenure by those who live in greatest ease
in the world,  where, by strange co-incidence
there the greatest waste as proof of wealth. 

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

On Wanting Less

In some of the less respectable circles
I keep my place in, for humility's sake,
I hear of what is known as 'Size queenery';
The praise and worship of those with more
who are bigger and fuller of the things people
say they like. When I hear such talk I smile
-I admire their ability to be so easily pleased,
but I live with a very different reality.

I misspent some my youth attending
different evangelical churches,
places where preachers competed with each other
for extracting more belief from their followers
by shouting how much bigger their God was
than the deities of the other churches.
They never realized that they all used
the same rhetoric, Each disowned the state,
and the law, history, and simple neighbourliness.
All of them depended on the queens shilling.
This was size queenery, christian style,
and like every other version of it
at root it was about never knowing
when it's ambition was going to be punctured.

I have no measure for loyalty,
but it is best when earned
through an attempted consistency
where thought connects to word,
words connect to actions,
and actions lead back to thought,
where the aim is simple solvency.

When we pine for less
we aim for the better.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

A Life Through Fiction?

What sort of life is possible
when the popular understanding
is split by extremes; at one end
by fiction informed by a Therapy Culture
that we unknowingly misunderstand,
and which nobody could follow
because it magnifies suffering
for the sake of drama. At the other....
a humourless religious hagiography
that denies the complexity of life
through taking literally stories
about a past where life for nearly all
was as brutal as was materially poor,
and nothing like how it was described?

Monday, 27 April 2015

Signs Of Greater Age (32)




1-The quieter life is
the slower it seems to go,
until silence seems
like a very good thing.

2-The amounts of alcohol
required for a shared sense
of enjoyment gets less
as the years goes by,
so you can more sociable.

3-The reassurance of a bed
preheated with an electric blanket
can never be under estimated.

4-As the politicians get younger than you
so their arguments echo every election
that preceded them. You know more
than they do that their rhetoric is old rope
for hanging a new electorate. They can have
your attention because the old anger is gone.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Maritime Charity?

'Slavers throwing overboard the Dead and Dying- Typhoon  coming on', also known  as 'The Slave Ship'-J. M. W. Turner.





What is presently happening on the high seas
between Libya and Italy looks nothing like this.
The ship sinking here was as grand as you'd expect
when The British Empire waived the rules
in a trade which found partners in every port and town.
But the logic of sick slaves being thrown overboard,
still in their chains, by their slavers because the boat
is worth more to insurers without them on it
than their lives were ever worth commercially
to those who would enslave them is being replayed.

As Organized Crime trafficks people for profit
out of the African Continent by filling boats
their insurance is built on how unseaworthy
the boats are-the traffickers take the money
knowing that many of the trafficked will die at sea,
and even more be drowned through their vessel
capsizing because of EU attempts at rescue.
This is the last stage in the estrangement
of those squeezed out by Islamic Anarchy,
using armed manufactured by the west
on one side and mafia capitalism telling lies
about the ease of life in mainland Europe
that immigrants were to expect on the other.

Europe is not called 'The Old Continent' for nothing.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

How Much Slack

must we cut our enemies
before they hang us
then hang themselves?
For as much we have enemies
it was not our intent to create,
and did not ask for,
we must be as crafty as snakes
and as gentle as doves
to survive the unexpected.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Voluntary Spirituality

As a teenager I grudging said grace
at every meal, by order of the staff
who made it. We never thought to refuse
to say the prayers on the grounds
that we had not the faith, or argue
against them on theological grounds.
Education was about being taught
how to agree with our superiors
without them openly warping our values.
Once they were gone I was alone.
When I ate I never raised my voice
in praise or in prayer about my food.
What prayers I had were silent
thanks, in gratitude at being alone
after too many failed instructions.

Now, as I bake for friends unasked
I pray for them as I prepare and mix,
and make my wish for them to be happy,
so they don't need me to prompt them.

The Definition Of 'Democracy',

as led by post-modern capitalism; 
The blind bleeding the blighted.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Deceptive Underachievement

The first record by The Velvet Underground
was the poorest selling album of it's time.
It was so lo-fi that it was scary, the songs
were so honest about drugs, nihilism and fear,
that album could not be played in broad daylight.
The lyrical themes on the record aptly reflected
their sickly vampire of a manager, Andy Warhol.
Upon release it became the nightmare
compared with slick psychedelia
that was The Beatles 'Sargent Pepper'.
It was an absolute financial failure.
But in 1982 Brian Eno said
'of the 30,000 copies it sold
in it's first five years every purchaser
formed their own band and set out
to make their own music.'
Who then has had the greater influence?  

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

A Short Story

Like many before him
his church of choice was the pub.
There were so many to choose from,
and betrothal came when he drank underage.
When he married, all his mates were best men
and alcohol was the bride. The reception never ended.
With them he lost his money through holey pockets
which he felt no need to repair.
He met a woman who held her drink
better than he held his. She willed herself
to reform him by staunching his leaky pockets
through good housekeeping. He accepted her
as his second wife (not telling her about the first)
and together they bred. So much for self control.
As the children grew through dependence
they each related differently to their parents
who were estranged, but co-dependent
-each trapped by the others insular nature.
For both parents the children became the means
of evading the consequences of their actions.
So whether the trap was nature or nurture
the parents ills mutated through the children,
and made a viral virtue of their regeneration.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Do It Yourself?

For too long I have known the expression
'Those who can do, those who can't teach',
and disliked what goes unsaid in the phrase.
Disliked how by saying nothing it defines 'doing'
as doing for others, as if a person can't enjoy
contentment through self improvement in its own right.
It is that strict and unspoken division that has us
pleasing others poorly and displeasing ourselves
until we make ourselves ill, all as if mis-education
were the perpetual aim of every social system. 

Sunday, 19 April 2015

The 'Absurd' Stage Of Life

is when you have the answers
to what you have set out as problems,
but all solutions seem null and void.
The saving grace is that compared
with your friends your lack of answers
to your questions are marginally better than theirs.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Friday, 17 April 2015

False Innocence

Adults regularly enjoy public entertainments
that have almost biblical quantities of violence,
linked with sex and drug taking, in them.
It is as if such coarse intimacies
were more articles of faith drawn from life
than dystopic urban shaggy dog stories.
Children's Films are meant to be more innocent
but instead end up being Bowdlerised versions
of films for adults. Where once adults thrilled
at the movies showing ideas of a life outside the law
what children now get are false sentiments
about how adults are untrustworthy,
the catharsis coming from how children
escape the consequences of adult lies.
If children were disallowed being entertained
by these cowering imitations of adulthood
should it be because first the director/
distributors of the film and then the families
who indulge the child all be drowned
with a millstone at their neck for perpetuating
their corrupting influence? Or should none of us
want to see this faked up filth?
Least of all as mere 'entertainment',
lest we collectively will to drown ourselves?

Or should we all seek a positive alternative?



Thursday, 16 April 2015

Unknown Unknowns


Irritable Old Man Syndrome

is what happens when you are too old
to remember when the phrase 'well being'
replaced the idea of keeping life simple
through eating well. And people ate at home
because that was the natural corollary
to a financial solvency where nobody
needed their identity to be repackaged,
ready to be resold back to them.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Moving House,

when done by yourself as much
as possible, is the spring clean of a life.
And it will be stressful. That is not
a threat or a promise, merely a prediction.
But the reward for accepting being shook up
is that when what once seemed settled,
both fuzzy and warm, is disturbed
it proves that the comfort of winter dust
is what has grown in layers around us.
To remove that is to find freshness


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

It Is Predictable

but always surprising
how a mind out of time
with with it's surroundings
will always feel harassed.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Sexual Preference Is Like Taboo

-both depend on a process
where as an opinion is formed
the person forming it is unaware
of until a very long time after the event.
Neither has that much individual effect
on the number of children eventually born,
both are far too 'of the moment'
to cover that sort of complexity,
though contraception offers
the prevention a lot of misery.

Where they differ is that
a choice in preference allows
for personal exploration.
There are many scientific labels
for sexuality that we can let ourselves
be known by, and the more there are
the less our choice matters.
Where as taboo even hides
that there were choices
in the times prior to it telling us
that there were none.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

For A Life After Testosterone

Many men are in love with their senses,
women too, particularly when engaged
in a heightened sense of mutual sensuality.
Who would deny another a shared high?
But the taste of well prepared food
shared with a companion is what settles me.
And even more powerful is a heart
that is feels light, from an easy burden.
 

Friday, 10 April 2015

The False Self

that brings us popularity
gives us a false popularity.

The Frustrations Of A Historian

The real question being 'which of the two
 has the most patience to live with the repetition'?





Thursday, 9 April 2015

Robert Frost Was Wrong

-home is not home because 'when you go there
they have to accept you, they have to take you in'.
Too many folks outgrow where they once
were obliged to live, and can't shrink themselves
back into those old spaces for that to be true.
For many a front door they can rent
to keep the world at bay would be the best
but in the absence of that, a quiet hostel
with thick walls between rooms would fine
-for a while at least. Somewhere to go
where they can leave unstained by any judgement
pressed into their character by the owner.
Where as for many in this 'home owning 'democracy''
home is where the damnation starts, and it continues ever after.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Modern Therapy


Domestic Heresies (3)

In popular culture parents love their offspring
-'unconditionally' so the cliche runs.
When the young are cute, easily bent
into submission, they are easy to praise.
The narcissism behind sentiment seems safe.
But when children reason they see
how promise and reality keep separate company.
Then, more than ever, parents
want theirs to only anger in the house
to keep the peace, the better for the children
to sustain the illusion that the parents
have not marked down the children's future,
any more than their own hopes were squashed.

Meanwhile shared affection strains
in mutuality-each family member strives
to agree with what they deeply dislike.
This gets characterized, piously,
as something between familial self sacrifice
and a stale repetitive co-dependency.
At worst it is an unending grudge match
between zombies who don't know how to die.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Can I Ask For Less Of Myself?

I assume I know myself well enough
to know my needs from my wants,
a roof over my head against the weather,
a bed, and food for each day
and (since I am so limited in myself)
some quiet and very limited company-
the furry four legged sort is the best.
It all adds up to 'my daily bread'.
I also know that out there,
somewhere well beyond my head
-and outside of my reckoning-
there are vast systems updated hourly
to keep me afloat in creature luxuries
that I did not realize I deserved.
It is best for me to keep a distance
from these systems the better to not be
overwhelmed by choice. But what to do?
When even after all the above I am ill-at-ease,
restless even, in the sef-defined self by which I define 'need'?
Would I be more settled with less? Maybe I had better say 'please'... 

Monday, 6 April 2015

The Curious Thing

about Jesus' Crucifixion was not
that The Disciples were kept
out of the loop for it to be achieved.
That seems normal-plots will require
'creative discretion' to make them work.
The oddity was how grand the plan
was, that it was meant for all time,
and for all of man and woman kind.
It was to be the truth that was to set us all free-eternally!
And yet however often the story is traced
it with-holds its facts and keeps it's mystery.
As if parts of the story that were known are lost to history
and the roles some people played were meant never to be revealed.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Saturday, 4 April 2015

How Much Denial

does it take one half of the human population, 
to be ignorant of how the other half survives?
Surprisingly little it seems.....

Friday, 3 April 2015

Alas

irony is the last thing
education can teach us
-but it is a vital thing
for understanding life.

'We Should Celebrate

that a child died when a child. 
That one escaped. 
We lock them in our schools, 
we teach them our stupid taboos, 
we catch them in our wars, 
we massacre the innocents.
The world is for children. 
The real world.  They climb trees
and roll on the grass, close to the ants . . .'
-Film Director Jean Renoir

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Dejavu For The Future

The future is going to be like the past-
there will always be those
who are going to be admired
as examples of behaviors
and ethics worth repeating,
the Ghandi's, Jesus's and Buddhas
to name a few, whilst they are unfollowable
(and they privately knew this at the time).
Time would deny the same scenes
repetition, by falsifying memory,
but time will always permit
false memories to tempt us....

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Working Class Atheism (2)

was as proud as it was stupid
and all the more powerful
for the ease with which
it became self garbling.
It even had its own press,
which through the compression
of stories about the use of power
that once had an internal logic
into a cheap and sexist gibberish
with a nasty streak of humour
drew advertisers like never before-
but not even advertising could stop
the great mass of people going to church
for the minimum three times in their life.
For baptisms, marriages and funerals.
But with the unforgiving feudal nature
of atheistic family life participants
made it hard to pick out
any one event from any other.