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

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Selective Viewing

The gift I most admire
in successful people
is their ability to disguise
their failures as after-thoughts,
or ideas that were never meant
to get anywhere near fruition.  

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Memo To My Teenage Self

Not only is the brain
the biggest sex organ in the human body,
but when it is not processing sex
it can process many other tasks too.
Many of which can be processed
at the rate of more than one at a time.

When sex is the pursuit
it is often only partial engagement
with another live human being.

And still very little happens.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Farewell Fidel

Bye bye Fidel Castro, who did for State Socialism in Cuba
what Mother Theresa of Calcutta did for Christianity
and the care of the dying in the poorest parts of the world;
he made his brand of Politics the fullest experience possible
for as many as possible, where previously the masses
had suffered under the yoke of imperial first world abuse.

In both India and Cuba the world was slow to report
and quick to forget the abuse the poor had suffered.
And first world news was rather prompt to condemn
the lack of choice that Fidel and Theresa offered.

But them the first world was always apt to rewrite
it's own history, and turn it inside out,
forgetting it's roles in creating poverty for others.

In the worlds of Fidel and Theresa's there was never
going to be thirty different brands of baked beans
on supermarket shelves that audibly groaned
under the weight of choice of their consumers.

Nor would they give the people they cared for
1000 channels of television, all supported
by advertising, fraudulent political campaigns
and state sponsored debt which was disguised
by complicated hypocrisies as 'the new financial probity'.

Fidel helped far more people survive better
than ever he made to suffer under his rules.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

In Tough Times

you will rediscover
you have centres of feeling,
in your head, heart, and gut
and there will be no 'But...  '
about it.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Gloating For Profit

Something I resist,
with varying degrees of success,
is being cajoled by the popular press.
I find their search for the worst
in human life bad enough in itself.
But it is far worse than that.

I don't want to imagine the profits
that the national press aspire make
out of advertisers who support them
on the back of their reporting disasters.

There used to be rural traditions
of paying mourners in some beliefs.
The moneys were small and stayed local.

What happens when the national press
gets to work is worse than being paid to gloat.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Sporting Metaphors

I used to loathe school sport,
And because I read the red top press
-the only press allowed into the house-
and I tried to pay attention, I thought
that I vaguely 'understood' Party Politics,
at least I got some of the appeals for fairness.

Forty years on I realize that I understood
much less than I thought back then.
The politics used to leave me angry.
There was always a strange buzz of fear
on behalf of those I thought might go without,
and their forced sacrifice go unacknowledged.

I could not see how the arguments in the press
echoed some of the sharper words between my parents.
Both shouted incoherently about fidelity and finance,
for which, for my owning so little, I had no frame of reference.

And a few years later I could never work out
why I was being told to lie by instructors
who's job it was to teach me how to make a C.V.
They wanted me to say 'I am good at sports',
whilst I made up something up the sport
that in reality I was barefacedly lying about.

What I understand now about school sport
is that as long as it looked like mentoring,
But individual attention was only given
when public punishments were afoot,
then the schools could do their real work-
grading children by who their parents were
and where their fathers worked and drank,
whilst flattering them as so called 'adults'.

Community and society depended
on children being graded and stamped,
and their social mobility constricted.

But Party Politics still works like school sports,

1-The pupil with the richest parents will be team leader.

2-S/he will choose their team from the elect of their followers,

3-Anyone else the leader wants to butter up they will choose later,
from their team rejects; they exist to praise their team's progress.

4-Anyone who is not on their side and not following them
they will systematically say they disbelieve, and publicly discredit,

5-Leaders will steal as many good ideas from their enemy team
as they can, whilst discrediting where the ideas came from.

6-The teams operate as binaries, excluding any third party
/broader consideration of consensus 'for simplicity's sake'.

7-First past the post 'works' in the sense that
it is always the shortest route to the cheapest triumph.

I understand now what was systematically hidden back then;
I, and 99.99 percent of those I knew, never stood a chance,
But we had to go through the system of 'being educated'
and wait until near retirement to prove this always was the case.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The Hidden Hoarder

People who prefer to live well day to day
and dislike special dates, like birthdays
and religious rest days often still imagine
that they are in some way ascetic.
But they will still be far more tempted
to hoard than they they would like to think.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Home

is a place that is more,
much more, than the sum of it's parts,
which becomes so drab when we take it apart,
which we sometimes have to, the better to resettle....

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Hypocrisy Modernized (1)

We all think, whether we say it or not,
'I am a collector, my friend is a hoarder,
and our neighbours should live well
on far less than either of us....  '

Saturday, 19 November 2016

The Disunited States

In the 1920's Weimar Republic,
during the time of gross inflation,
cocaine and morphine were legal
and high on the list of major exports.

In the Germany of the third Reich
the civil population were dependent
on amphetamines which were put
in everyday foods like chocolate.

Hitler himself was said to avoid caffeine,
along with women, and other 'impurities',
whilst being dependent on injections
of animal proteins and a relative of heroin.

When Germany lost the war, the symptoms
of drug withdrawal must have made the contrition
that the population were forced to show
seem far worse than the allied powers realized.

Now we have another genius off-the-cuff speaker
who is far less puritanical as the new leader
in that old first world power; America.
And we have the same rhetoric too,
'My country first, now and forever!'
and the country is more divided than ever

If the populous wants to resist
it does not know what to do,
Like the Germans of the 1930's
they are on more drugs than they know
what to do with, whilst pharma firms
create an unbeatable dependency
between the effects of their wares
and their adverts in every branch of media.

I hope for everyone's sake that the U.S.A.
keeps its gerrymandered divisions.
If Americans were ever to wean themselves
off 1-television 2-prescription drugs
or 3-extreme political partisanship
who knows how safe the world will be?

Friday, 18 November 2016

The Existential Hotline

You can't ring out on it and if it rings you don't know who will be on the other end...

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Old Vices

never die-they merely reinvent themselves
in more acceptable terms to later generations.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

The Logic Of Sleep

Other forms of inactivity are also very popular among the bored. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Light Entertainment

When St Paul wrote 'For now we see through a glass darkly'
I am quite sure he was not thinking of television,
any empty empire would have stood in for that darkness.
But television is a medium
which conveys so little useful information
at such great cost that it renders people passive.

He could have been been thinking that far forward..... 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Cheap Illusions Are The Easiest To Sustain

"[In America] the illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater."
-Frank Zappa

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Art For Armistice Day

'What War Means' by Ben Wiseman. To me war means separation,
 division and dislocation for those live through it, death for the rest,
Along with tombstones for hearts, to record the dead, in the 'the winners'.

Agency

Everyone 'has talent'. Anyone-
when well coaxed, in the right space,
with the full choice of materials,
paint, paper and clay-can 'be creative',

But the talent to create a mass of material
under consistent pressure, and survive
the hardness of 'networking' and commerce
via an agent, is a gift open to very few.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Future Presidential Reading

The voters who chose these Walter Mitty types can find their own version.    

The Unknown State

With true diversity
there is no tokenism
nor is there dishonesty.

Such a state is mostly theory,
and practically unknown.




Friday, 11 November 2016

Repeating The Stillness

It might be said of much of what I write here
that 'It has all been said before, and much better.'.
Quality will always vary. And what is wrong
with being hitched to old band wagons that stop?
They always seem quite stable...  

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Autumnal Thoughts

In Autumn in Southern France the figs ripen on the trees. 
In time they lose their plumpness and look like old men's testicles
Like old men's genitalia they lose their cover and ooze
 and leak bit too readily. But they still taste good.....

Keeping A Close Watch On Life

Nowadays timepieces are cheap
and often sold second hand.
With their last owners they work
for relatively short periods of time.
This has often happens to me;
I then keep them for the straps
which may yet find further use.

The first watch I ever had
was given to me by parents,
at age fourteen when adult fares
were charged on buses.
Without supervision
I had to know when to travel
and what bus to catch,
tmy parents still handed out
the bus fare money, and slowly at that.

The watch was given to me to encourage
my sense of 'being a grown up',
and for six months it told the time.
After that it was right only twice a day,
I knew how it felt. When it stopped
my long hoped for sense of adulthood
stalled with it. I was not given another
and by myself could not afford one, either.

The symbols for 'being a grown up'
that would last would have to be set
around less mechanical and financial
objectives and objects, things prone
to entropy; I had to invest in things
that would not break down.

The times before such signs
as I could believe in arrived
were a very long in coming.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

The Follies Of Followership

The more absolute the world leader,
 whether they are royalty, a dictator
a democrat, an oligarch, whatever,
the more the leaders get the led
to fake their sincerity for them,
as part of learning how to follow.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Simple Rules For A Better Life

1-Live within your means.
2-Promptly return everything you borrow.
3-Don't blame other people
(until they really did ill by you).
4-When you make a mistake admit it.
5-Give unworn clothing to charity
(bin clothing too worn to sell).
6-Listen more, talk less, use reason in speech.
7-Do good things naturally and discreetly,
(be modest but open about having done them).
8-Minimize your need for secrecy.
9-Walk 30 mins every day.
10-Strive for excellence, forget perfection.
11-Be punctual.
12-Don't make excuses to yourself  (other people
will see through them faster than you will).
13-If you need to argue, both be calm and use logic.
14-Be organized.
15-Be kind to unkind people
(whilst stopping them be cruel to you).
16-Take time to be alone.
17-Let people cut into queues ahead of you
when you have the time and they don't.
18-Cultivate good manners
(swear if you must but without anger).
19- Accept that life will not always be fair.
20-Go as many days as you can without criticizing people.
21-Know when to say less and make it sound enough.
22-Learn from the past, plan for the future, live in the present.
23-The small stuff is the small stuff, don't stress on it.

If you can do any or all of the above
without resorting to fear, defensiveness,
or a pietism that makes you seem falsely genteel,
then you will have gone beyond 'being an achiever'.

   

Monday, 7 November 2016

Oneupmanship

I find those who excuse thoughtless speech
by saying 'It was only a joke!',
or 'I was only saying!!' to be very odd.
What such comments seem to mean
is that 'It is only a punchline'
and the 'only' is meant to reduce
the sense of offence caused.
What such people are really saying
is 'You will be my verbal punchbag',
and 'You look better for receiving my insults
than I would; I'm too thin skinned'.
These 'humourists' seem to need a straight man
so much, to sharpen their one-up-man-ship.
The very least they should do is find one
who is genuine and willing whom they respect.   

Saturday, 5 November 2016

On 'Hate Figures'

We all know them, the public figures
who's every word and action we loathe
and who make us turn the radio.

We can be hate figures for others too,
and all without us ever realizing it.
But think on this; emetics will produce bile
-that is their function. And human emetics
exist to help us understand our hatreds better.

And if we can use them right
these emetic for our hate
can help us to be less bileful,
and much more phlegmatic.   

On 'Hate Figures'

We all have them, people
-mostly public figures-who's
every word and action we loathe.
We can be hate figures for others too,
and all without us ever realizing it.
But think on this; emetics will produce bile
-that is their function. And human emetics
exist to help us understand our hatreds better
and help us be less laden with bile, more phlegmatic.   

Friday, 4 November 2016

Brexit-The Metaphor

Because nation states can flush themselves into history, all too easily,
 if they try too hard to relive pasts glories that are faded, and rotten even. 

Three Positive Measures

for the utility and civility of any given society.

1-loners and oddballs should be able
to find the physical space to live in
where they can be themselves,
meet their needs on their own terms,
and not feel threatened, or harassed.

2-both a good dental service and national diet,
the better to stop the rot of  everyone's teeth
due to poor oral hygiene and malnutrition.

3-leaders of the country accept the mistrust
of the population because it is based on wisdom,
not cynicism, the grander the leaders plans
the greater their temptation to to folly.

How many countries do you know that combine all three?
The smaller the population and land mass to be governed,
the more likely these conditions are to be met
though natural melancholia may be the result.   

Thursday, 3 November 2016

How 'The Fall' Actually Happened

Eve was at her ease in the garden.
Mistaking her rest for boredom,
the snake quietly whispered to her
'Cheer up, Love. It may never happen'.
and in that very instance 'it' did.
Her curiosity was piqued,
she wanted to know what 'it' meant.
Adam wanted to be obedient
and so he avoided all her questions.
Being made in the image of God,
there was never anything he might ask
to which he did not already know the answer.

Eventually God-who was plural, infinite,
and unified had to act. Because He knew all,
and was in all had to stop her curiosity.
He gave Adam and Eve notice to leave,
to settle their, and their descendants,
curiosities for themselves.

Since then we can only look back
at a state we can never return to.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

In The Realm Of The Senses (1)

McDonalds fries 5 mins after you buy them:
These are great! Salty, tasty, hot, so good!

McDonalds fries 7 mins after you buy them: 
If I just eat enough of them at once 
their collective residual warmth makes them just about okay.

McDonalds fries 8 mins after you buy them: 
They taste like cold salt flavoured cardboard.

Why is it midnight? And why did I buy them?

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Laguepie, Chestnut Fair

was where I was last weekend. It was fun.
There were crowds gently surging past stalls
where chestnuts and pumpkins. Other vegetables,
were sold too, still with the dirt from the ground
they were dug from on them. The live brass band,
drew admiration, as did the fresh bread, pottery,
jewelry and wicker work stalls. The apple press
with the handle for turning was most impressive.

The crowds moved slowly enough around the stalls
that dogs were free to walk without being lead around
by their owners. No child seemed threatened or lost.

Alas nearly none of my photos came out the way I hoped.
how I wanted, but taking them in hope was enough at the time.
Finally, drinking my morning coffee from a new bowl
which was a work of art that astonished me, given it's price,
will be my chief reward until I go the next time.



Bon Appetit, until next year....   Photo credit; Anthony Weir.