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

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Towards An Improved Sense Of Resignation

I left England behind when I started to grow up.
Every so often I used to look back, well beyond
who I used to be, and the more often I looked
the more 'the old country' shrank to nothing.
The past appeared as if it were a false memory
of television shows watched which I could remember
when prompted, but any bonds I attempted to form
through shared activities foundered in circumstances
that outwardly changed so rapidly that no relationship
ever held, or stuck to me, in the way I hoped it would.

It was like life was meant to be both oversold
and highly discouraging. Between the overselling
and the quiet wish to die the conflict was tough.

Now I live in 'backward' Northern Ireland,
and I 'get' the politics here, because late in life
I live deep in the country, and from a distance
I appreciate now how the peace walls in Belfast
protect vital false fronts and one-sided histories
when the alternative would be much worse.

These walls are like the television of my youth,
they stop people who have no real history
or character of their own, in opposition or together,
from dissapearing for having no identity atall.

So that is is why nothing happens here
though a more thorough nothingness
would be much more truthful,
but would not attract as many tourists. 

Tuesday, 29 September 2015


"An idiot is an idiot
Two idiots are two idiots
Ten thousand idiots are a political party."
- Franz Kafka

Monday, 28 September 2015

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Change Always Has It's Limits

It is in the nature of being a catylist
that what you catylise will overtake you
and eventually make you seem redundant. 

Freedom Of Speech?

Why is it that when I hear politicians
bigging themselves up through praise
for the country which they say they run,
when they are covering up how they are puppets 
it always brings me out the tourettes in me?

Perhaps that is the effect of democracy....

Saturday, 26 September 2015


I can't be alone in finding that we get between the sheets
to get deep enough to get under each others skin
to realise it friendship, not sex, that we wanted
from the other person in the first place.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Heaven Is Other People?

Ulster folk like nothing more
than making minor complaints
in order to gain a sympathy
which they think they are owed,
whilst saying they live The Gospels.
The Afterlife might be a wonderful place
but many of them might think twice
about eternity if they took stock
of the choices; at one extreme
all needs met/nothing to complain about
at the other plenty of genuine anguish
which is compounded for it being ignored.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

The Hawthorne Effect

was the name given to what happened
in Hawthorne Illinois when the owner
of a light bulb factory got social scientists in
and varied the lighting to test  for for the level
of light made for greatest productivity.
With every observed change in the lighting
the effect was the same. Improved output
when watched, which fell flat again
once the observers had gone.

This proved that lighting levels
had no effect in themselves
but being observed by social scientists
did wonders for factory output.

Is there some similar sense of false projection
or cause and effect when rich western countries
forcilby examine their divided weaker neighbours
for evidence of nuclear proliferation
and state sponsored terrorism?
Does the mere act of investigating mean
that the 'guests' will always find something
with which to incriminate their 'hosts'?
Will this evidence be found
because the poor country will have a state
which is both too weak to do much good
for citizens, and highly ineffective in stopping evil?     

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

In The Present Recession

and with work being 'incentivised'
by lower wages and reduced choice
the supply that dries up the fastest
will be the milk of human kindness.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Re-Writing History

Being Politically Correct is like being Catholic.
Both divide history into lists of 'approved'
and 'denied, never to be mentioned'.
Both divide via the power of langauge,
and make a powerful use of shame
to prevent a proper sense of choice.

Other faiths are just as impure
-they all exist to hide dirt,
some of them better than others.
The best faiths hide it in plain sight-
for all to see and none to recognise.
Were we honest we would all admit
'It is integral to life to like dirt, but hide it'. 

We create taboo through disapproval.
Whereas Science takes a longer view.
Human history is a short litany of governments
who have all done the same, swept the shame
into little piles of facts in nearly lost documents
for us to trip over when we rediscover them.

I don't mind tripping over something hidden
as long as I can examine what made me trip
and raise myself up to get past it-however slowly.

Monday, 21 September 2015


is the vice that ensures
that any revenge against it
will always be served cold. 

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Goodbye Mr Sewell

and thank you for your deeply barbed way with words
which raised the bar with public speech when it was falling.
It was this which enabled you to be yourself as a critic of art,
and gave you a means to explain, as best anyone could,
the twisted life you were pushed into living-for all to read.

You found truth to be like art-complex
-and you let both be, with vigour.


Saturday, 19 September 2015

Mild Modern Dystopias (2)

I can't mind that nearly all online public information
gets there because it is 'paid for' by adverts
but why so many ads for hair care products
that I, and millions of others, will never use?
These short films before what get what I click for
on youtube etc are awash with a glossy images
where adult women seek to appear more youthful,
as manufacturers persuade us we are vain
to help us empty our pockets.

I does not matter to me- these mousses
and shampoos are something I can't use,
I don't have the hair for them,
but the material they support matters.

I wonder, given a choice of public message
to subsidise to our 'entertainments', is there nothing better?
More morally uplifitng? Perhaps there is no choice,
but if there were then shampoo adverts might still be
the best thing is going. To be depressed by the idea
of beauty being so misused seems all too familiar.     

Friday, 18 September 2015

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Modern Art?

I looked at it, then looked away
and did not know what to say,
beyond how as art
it strained credulity.
Perhaps it was final proof
of how much money it takes
to make people fall in love
with shallowed-out idealism.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Greedy Guts?

In the rich west we feel enriched
through complex mutliples of choice
mostly not realising that these choices
will test us, and prove our character.
They also double as the means
by which we allow ourselves
to be policed as we seek growth
from a planet bursting at the seams.

To seek to simplify how we understand life,
from source through all the different stages
of life's growth into our hyper-consumerism
will force us to question what we have become
-the top of a tired and collapsing chain
of appetite which never tires of itself,
which foolishly expects to last forever.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

War, Drugs, And Aesthetics

The older I get the more I want calm to be what drives me.

Wars seems to be what drives the world forward,
and the 'peace dividends' they eventually give
are goods with no further use for creating the future.

It is less easily understood that wars are started by junkies
and modern jihadists follow the pattern of The Futurists
of a century ago. As adrenalin addicts driven by speed,
whilst filming the victims of their fetishistic killing means,
they seek the end of any consensus independent of them.
Thus it started in Fascist Italy and has now gone into Islam,
which is catching up with the most violent century in history.

Time outside of time, through some deed quietly achieved,
is the calmest way, and still creates the most valued of spaces.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

At What Temperature Should We Serve Revenge?

Religionists would leave it to go cold,
ritually praying over it, to preserve it's life.
In their generosity they would leave it out
for all and any to find. After the winds of time
had spread it far and wide they would say;
'We forgot to serve it up, where is it now?
Where did we, sorry you, leave it... ?'.
Armies would serve it warm, and make it
integral to daily rations, particularly in action.
Government ministers would have their flunkies
disguise it and serve it to their immediate opposition
and put some extra disguise on it for those further away,
from those they assume support from without good cause.
Even more than the official opposition and their hangers on,
the unsupported are trully  'the dis-served poor' of their society. 

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Crisis? What Crisis?

As long as we sell arms to friends of our enemies we will be confounded.

Arousal Is Not Desire,

though men often conflate the two
and when they do
they get rather too rigid
about what they want,
before abandoning it when it is over.....

Friday, 11 September 2015

The Ultimate Unequal Relationship

At some levels prayer is quite easy to describe,
the preparations, the rituals, and the outer form
-where there is much of anthopological interest
with which the agnostic may be engaged.

I prefer mine to be of a practical nature,
according to the sense of urgency at hand.

But stripped of all externals,
prayer remains the impermanent
addressing the omniscient,
whilst denying it wants to hide
when the omnipresent answers back.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Unlikely Ideas

Thinking that in countries of plenty
refugees with good will for their hosts
would be more welcome than the arms fairs
which promoted the sales of the guns
which helped make them stateless.

If we were so inclined there would be fewer refugees
to help and our media would have to look harder
for other causes in which to use their lack of judgement.

Is It To Reinforce Competition

That television 'entertains' us with quizzes?
It can't be out of wanting viewers
to be more enlightened-that woud mean
television being slow and reaching out
beyond itself into real worlds and history,
and providing booklets with references.

What I will never 'get' is why people think
distant competition is such a good.thing.
It must be to remind people too old
to remember what their exams were actually like
-and make them seem exciting with hindsight.   

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The Impossibility Of Success?

Self actualisation seems like the Salvation of old
-something for that is actually for the few,
but which the many are called to aspire to.
Abraham Maslow said that historically
only 2 % of people were self actualising.
His list included, modestly, himself, Beethoven
who's suffering for not being able to hear
the music he wrote must have been acute,
Ghandi, Mother Teresa, and Eleanor Roosevelt
who redefined the life of a wife of a U.S. president.

Perhaps self actualisation is real, and is a process
where from the least resources in some individuals
they touch the greatest number of other people
and catylise the greatest of changes in those peoples lives.
That really is more than just busy-ness, or being rich,
but some greater serendipity of nature.

Any suggestion who the living 2 % self actualised might be?

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Today, 76 Years Ago....

the Nazis started their invasion of Poland.
We don't have to visit the death camps
to learn what it was like for those populations.
With their eeire silences and neatly kept grass
the death camps can only yield so much to us.

The way I learnt about it was to read what it was like
in the first person, from a diary written by a Polish Rabbi.
From the 1st of September 1939, when that dreary man,
Chamberlain, declared war on Germany in funerial tones
to August 1942 Rabbi Chaim Aaron Kaplan wrote daily
and hid his writings away. He is believed to have persished
in a death camp in spring 1943, after burying his diaries.

The book is an astonishing work, written in the present tense
and covering as many days as possible, it is more accurate
and more expansive about the everyday privations
of the rights of the citizens of Poland being salami-sliced
out existence, along with the citizens themselves,
through progressively abusive new laws and customs
than you will ever want to read about. Find it here.

I read it on holiday, and I read every word.
I knew before I took it away with me that I was odd,
I had yet to realise how strange I could be.
An accurate first person account of those times
should be a tough read, and will make many shrink
from understanding because of the refusal to gloss over
how dismal life could be. But still we should mark,
read, and inwardly digest this material, to understand
how we are blessed, and keep the right side of fear.

I told my local Jehovah's Witnesses about the book
when they joined me, walking alone last Sunday.
They agreed with me-dilute second hand digests
of other people's suffering are insufficient reminders
if we want to map their inner journeys properly.

Mild Modern Dystopias;

With every redesign of car
computers become more integral.
The new tech become more normal
with every journey. Until the in-car computers
dictate how and where we go
-and like the fallen angels of old
when they say 'No' we don't go.

Monday, 7 September 2015


Not so long ago and not so far away good health
was something best found through inherited wealth. 
Poverty was just as inherited, and far more widespread,
and well despised but hidden-in-plain-sight
because it made life short and miserable.
Doctors were often very far from helpful.
So the rural poor had wise women for births
and self medicated on herbs and tonics,
whilst many a townie turned to alcohol,
for seeing doctors as policemen
policing hospitals like Bedlam.
Hospitals were places designed
to make men ill through denying them liberty.

This made nosocomephobia,
the fear of doctors, seem quite logical.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Holiness Is A Matter Of Perspective

and few of us reflect on how 'self edited' our history is as we try to learn through the luxury of popular literacy. 

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Know Thyself?

The above words are 'Know Thyself'
in ancient greek, and are one aphorism
among about 140 which have survived
the centuries from the the oracle
at Delphi, in Ancient Greece.

This is where rulers and military leaders,
all of them men, asked questions
about what they should do to rule well
of the prophetesses who resided in that place.

It is typical that men with doubts
will treasure certainty-but be the last
to recognise where certainty should start
-with wise, quiet and very distant women. 

Thursday, 3 September 2015

For Years And Years

I was told 'It is just a phase'
and so it proved-eventually.
All desire to repeat family values
fell away from me......

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

I Would Like To Ask Self Help Gurus,

whose see their profession
as being to advise others
whilst presenting themselves
as above their own needs,

'Where do you get help when you need it?'.

Depending on how candidly they answered,
this would perhaps help me work around
my percieved need of them during the times
when I have most deeply felt my own crises. 


Hindsight is a great thing.
It continues to teach me the paradox
of being open in the present day
about pasts where the people
who said they knew and cared for me
were so secretive that they denying everything
-particularly that which was in front of them.

All of which at the time
made me more secretive towards myself
than I could ever have concieved of being.