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

Monday, 31 December 2018

Somebody Else's Carelessness

Or the story of  'The Irishman and His Donkey'.....

Where I grew up, the English were very English indeed,
they thought they always had the best,
and they were the best at everything.

What they were particularly good at was telling lies
about other countries to comfort themselves
about how much better their lives were
then everyone else's in the world.

Often they were sly about it too,
they talked about it highly indirectly
-through the metaphor of animal husbandry.

They often talked about 'The Irishman and his donkey',
and how when one day the man had no feed for the beast
he made it accept no food that day, as if it was of no matter.
And how often the poor Irishman repeated this pattern
and lived within his means until his beast of burden
could carry no more, in this life at least, it died of starvation.

This was the English way of explaining to themselves
the effects of the potato famine of the 1840's,
where selectively across Europe crops failed,
and explaining why the Irish population who survived
left for America-it was all there was left for them to do.

This was also the English way of explaining to themselves,
without ever appearing to admit it, that if you have an empire
and mismanage it well enough that it's population starves
then you will lose your empire in the end, but by then
the story has to be about somebody else's carelessness.

Sunday, 30 December 2018

'Improving' Capitalism

Everybody knows that Capitalism
is the addiction of a nation state
to infinite economic expansion
where growth is said to come
from the upgrading of a surplus asset
previously unrecognised for it's worth.

Everybody also knows
that Capitalism for The Poor
is The Rich mostly recycling
what they feel they no longer need,
but have to discard whilst it still has value,
without thinking too much
about the shortness
of life there is left in it.

So whether rich or poor
give what you have
to where the need seems real
whilst there is plenty
of life in it for others,
to prove the wealth
of your generosity.  

Saturday, 29 December 2018

A Life Of Cheap Grace

will surely be sinful life.

But when we are error personified
then we should know
that it is all we can look forward to.

Through trust in grace
we should know what we are and will be,
know cheapness by which we live,
rather than get overwhelmed
by the awareness of our nothingness.


Friday, 28 December 2018

Great Turn Off's Of Our Time (17)

When I hear some celebrity talk of the great life change
they have have engineered 'without help from anyone else',
least of all their spouse, manager, or others who support them,
say of their latest confessional book or television programme
'If this helps one person see clearer the errors in their life
it will have been worth it' then please save me the rest of their shtick.

Who would knowingly fall for such a self sufficient sales pitch?
Other than those the already self sufficient,
who hardly need more encouragement
to a solipsism they so readily encourage in themselves?

Thursday, 27 December 2018

The Race For The Bottom Through The Selling Of The Top

Many large scale government innovations
get sold to the public as gleaming new technology
deployed to make citizens lives Utopian
in some new and transformed economy.

But because government are shown to be
bad at innovation by a privately owned press
the new technology that governments use
is nearly always private in origin.

And as Gov't deploy their new hi-tech ideas
it enriches the private few a lot
whilst making the mass of public poorer.

The mismatch between intent and effect
always takes a long time to register,
because Governments will cover up
targets missed by a country mile.

When they admit to missing their target
it becomes their excuse for further failure.

Thus government is spelt h-u-b-r-i-s
and it is natural to not know what we miss,
for not knowing where to look for it. 

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Laying Waste To Nothingness

Having nothing to say
is quite a powerful message,
but having nobody to say it to
because people cease to listen
lays waste to the power of absence
in the message we have to convey.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

When Reassurance Leaves Us In Doubt

If every company and charity
that said it was 'saving the world'
did as good as their word,
even merely in their own small part,
then where we live would not only
be much safer from us than it is
but we would not need half as many
reminders and reassurances
of how our environment is being saved.  

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Keeping The Distance From Normality Clearer.

I have never been able to explain
how it is that when those who are odd
who are well able to explain their oddness
with some coherence, if not eloquence
they are somehow seen by normal people
as nearer 'normal' than ever they thought they were.

I preferred to trust that their clarity sets the distance
that they need to keep from all potential misdiagnosis. 

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Good Hedges Make Good Neighbours

Cotoneaster; fine for stopping fruitful friendships
when it outgrows the space it is meant to fit in.  
Japanese Knotweed; it will soon prove you 
to be a worthy enemy.
Rubus; will soon take root next door unawares. 
Lelandii Catlewellan Gold; with this growth
you may never see your neighbours ever again. 

Friday, 21 December 2018

The Epitome Of Opacity

-that is the definition of modern politics.

What appears to be our end,
the purpose that one individual chooses to be active for
merely becomes the means for other folks
to undo all sense of shared reason,
and divide and confuse us all forevermore.  

Another Modest Proposal

The government needs to change
their policy with regard to 'the disabled',
the people who employers like to avoid,
and then find that they have to disguise
how they like avoiding employing them,
thus perpetuating an anti-social situation.

To make it more transparent
the disabled should be relabelled
as 'Not Safe For Work by the state,
because that is how employers view them.

With this change in appellation
I don't know what those who go
to dark places, on the internet,
will now call their destination,
to make discreet why they go there.

But I would like to think
that it will make disability
sound more sexy.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Popular Turn Off's (16)

When any public figure talks
of 'being cautiously optimistic'
we know that they don't know
what is actually going to happen
-or how. All the phrase says
is that the speaker expects
that should the worst happen,
it will be much worse
for everybody else
than it will be for them.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

If The Homelessness Were A Nation

How would we characterise it's citizens?
What effective light touch government would it have?
What ideas about spiritual nourishment would seem right there?
What would they have to say about mutuality and nurture?

Whatever the answers to those questions
they would do less damage to the planet
than the competitive self righteousness
of the world state of House Ownership. 

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Laws Are Like Hysterias

Each country and tribe has their own of both
and each one prefers to keep it that way,
however much they decline to say otherwise.

When one tribe find that another lives differently
then logically they have to examine their differences
from other tribes who they once thoughtlessly did not expect to.

Then they find that tribes and nations
are more alike than they want to admit,
and each of them draws on elements
that have a lot in common, that leave
the individual with only themselves to stand on. 

Monday, 17 December 2018

Non-Leadership

Modern Democratic politicians are not leaders;
they are spokespersons for the rich and clever,
who hide the interests of those they represent
though the speeches of these pretend leaders
who we have to assume articulate the wishes
of millions of voters who vote in good faith.

But such faith in wealth is blind,
and easier to manipulate
than the voters want to know about. 

Sunday, 16 December 2018

The Intelligent Outsider

Will always have difficulty accepting 
how they are different to everybody else
they know how much other people dislike
how the outsider is different from them
and how much it causes everyone difficulties.

Sure, they will find friends.
But keeping them is something else.
That is when the strength to live well
on your own is your greatest blessing.


Saturday, 15 December 2018

From 'Gender Fluidity' To (Relative) Freedom From Poverty

I see today's transgender warriors
protesting en masse in the metropolis
and I wonder what their beef is,
though many would claim to be vegan.

Then on face book an image appeared
of a man clenching his fist in a toilet
in triumph at his 'fluidity of gender',
in the lamest surrealist protest I could imagine.

Then I thought of all the word's poor
who for lack of clean running water
and lack of privacy about where they crapped
-they did not merely have no freedom
from the germs that would kill the fragile and ill fed.
but the (lack of) arrangement left the poorest women
exposed to threats of both rape and murder.

I don't know what to do
when what binds us to others 
is what blinds us to how they live.

But taking some action
on seeing that something needs done
should be our starting point.

Friday, 14 December 2018

The Squeaky Toy Solution

With the never ending stream of cold callers
that people respond to on their telephones
the problem comes with how to  remain calm,
be civil, and retain a sense of humour.

On no account give the caller your name
and never confirm that the address
that they suggest they are calling to,
but instead get a squeaky toy
-such as you might buy for a dog.

After delaying all conformation
keep them on the line with squeezes
in squeaks of vocal sized lengths.

Let it do the rest of your talking for you.   

A Small Notice

This blog is now more than 3000 entries long,
not that longevity means renewing the messages
here, which frequent readers will know
are often repeats of a small stock of old ideas,
varied only in approach and by how tired
or fresh I was when they were written. 

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Bromides 'R' Us

When other people say 'Don't upset yourself'
they often mean 'Don't you upset me'
and the more we let them say it
the more the tender among us will be upset,
as we unknowingly and forcibly esteem others
more than we are allowed to value ourselves.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

At The Church Of Coca Cola

the worship is as fizzy
as the communion drink,
and the blessing on the fries
brought in from McDonald's
are as toxic as only they could be.

But like many blessings
they take their time to take effect.
They appear later in life,
when illnesses cannot be traced
to how their carrier lived before,
but the body follows the death wish
its owner so spiritually wished for.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

See It And Disbelieve It

How will we know when machines
has developed 'true intelligence'?

Like the gods in the myths of old
they will be detached and self absorbed,
sufficient that men will lose all belief
in the technological future
the way they discredit
the many narratives of the past. 

Monday, 10 December 2018

Popular Ignorance

When ignorance becomes sufficient
to not just mistrust every idea ever known
and every human being that embodies them,
then what hope is there of knowing anything else?

That is when we would be at our most graceful
imitating the natural courtesy of the animals
that we previously affected to despise,
and when such innocence would befit others
and we would least understand or be aware of it.  

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Perverse Grace

Is what happens when do not expect to work for us,
but we have to cheerfully endure,
works out unpredictably in our favour.
And what should go right does not,
and yet we survive,
by means beyond ourselves
and we simply don't know why.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Unbelievable

When popular belief
gets formalised into doctrine
and doctrine hardens into dogma
then our dogma will become our cant.

With our cant
we will build a democracy
on empire values
which is far less rational
than we might imagine,
or vaguely dare to think.    

Friday, 7 December 2018

My Third Christmas Card Of 2018

'Redgreen and Violet Yellow Rhythms' -Paul Klee.
Here is a further brief selection of Mr Klee's work.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Now Wash Your Hands

But a change of shit is still a change
and refusal does seem churlish
when as changes go, it is all that there is. 

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

How To Disagree Successfully

The older I get the less I take seriously
Humanists who criticise all the religions
in the world for being different to each other,
criticise the paths down which they don't go.
Because they disapprove of all hypocrisy.

Everyone who can't be consistent
needs to accept their hypocrisies,
to esteem to others and themselves
when they might not feel like it,
but need to keep the future open.

And if the Humanist line of consistency
in personal development is to be serious
then what are they/we going to do for jokes?
There will be nothing left to laugh at....

On the whole I believe that history
is full of folly, full of religions, and full of life.
If we deny it, and refuse to investigate it
then we will perish, along with our curiosity
and desire to learn-which will include our capacity
for disagreeing constructively and successfully.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Have Faith In Your Disabilities

Sometimes they will be all you have to give.
With the confidence that faith gives you
at the very least you will believe in yourself
when sometimes it seems nobody else does.

And when you are accepted by someone
who makes you feel useful, disabilities and all,
then please accept their generosity with alacrity....


Monday, 3 December 2018

When The Best Security Is Knowing What You Don't Know

Do you ever cover the camera  lens
of your lap top or other electronic device,
as a precaution against it 'accidentally'
taking images of you, that you don't know
that it is it taking-it does not tell you?

I do, and I am not precious about my image
-if I were I would not be writing because
the words themselves create an image of me.

But some think that having mastered the jargon
around the tech they use they understand these machines,
when often when they don't understand themselves,
as very different, very much softer machines
who seem to work well but do something different
to what they tell others that they say they do.

So by all means guard your privacy with bits of tape,
but no amount of watchfulness or intelligence
or technology can improve on is knowing ourselves
and knowing the consequences of us being us,
from the inside of our minds out.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Engineered False Humour-A Brief Guide

The laughter track is integral to television culture, and an odd part of modern life. Fake laughter sounds are regularly added to comedy television shows, as if such a thing were normal. As if the engineered laughter is the clincher to the viewer that proves the writers wrote a good script. As if the audience merely need signals to know when to laugh. Nowadays the best way to escape the laughter track is to not watch television, though who knows, it might still appear on radio comedies. How did this small part of mass media engineering, others are available, become quite so universal? And why?
The earliest laugh tracks were used when radio was the dominant mass broadcasting medium. Since recording tape was so rare then nearly all radio shows from the 1920’s-1940’s were performed live and in front of an audience. Any limits in the laughter and applause of the audience were natural and accepted as an unavoidable part of the broadcast. But with the advent of tape an occasional laughter track was added live to a radio broadcast to cover when an audience responded differently to a joke than the producer of the show expected. When television became the dominant mass medium, in the 1950’s, like radio had been before television was performed live. And television was performed live for the same reasons radio had been-lack of recording technology. The laughter that was broadcast was as live as the programme was, however cheap it seemed at the time and might seem even more since. 
But broadcasters feared jokes being fluffed or falling flat, leaving an awkward silence with poor visuals. It might scare the shows sponsors-vital for the programme to run. At other times very loud audience laughter could cause the sound of the speaker of the viewers television set to distort. In the very early 1950’s a CBS sound engineer named Charley Douglass developed a solution to the problem with a technique he called “sweetening”. By using pre-recorded laughter sounds Douglass could enhance the applause of an audience when a joke fell flat and mute the laughter of an audience when it threatened the rhythm of the script. In 1953, Douglass invented his “laff box”, a machine which resembled a typewriter and could recreate various pre-recorded applause and laughter sounds at various lengths, volumes, and pitches with the stroke of a key. Douglass kept his technology a close secret. This gave him a near monopoly over “sweetening”. By the end of the decade he was paid by almost every American broadcasting company to sweeten almost every comedy show on the air.
By the start of the 60’s, fewer shows were aired with a live audience. It became easier and cheaper, and sometimes better,  to pre-record shows instead. But nervous TV producers still believed that it was necessary to falsely create the atmosphere of a live show with a pretend live audience. So editors and sound engineers added pre-recorded laughter and applause to recordings post production. Writers and directors eventually joined n the process and wrote words for the creation of false response with a setup, a punch line, and a lengthy pause where the fake response would be added. This method permeated even cartoons and children’s shows. Look up 1960’s episodes of The Flintstones and Top Cat. There the fake audience are, forever.
In 1965 CBS tested how necessary the laugh track was by previewing the pilot episode of the World War II comedy “Hogan’s Heroes” to test multiple audiences. In one version a laugh track was used in the other there was just the actors in the studio. The results were that the version with a laugh track scored highly with viewers, the version without scored low ratings. The test was not scientific, the audience used for the test were familiar with laughter tracks, whether they were aware of the mechanics of them, and the reasons they were used, or not. Finding an audience who were not familiar with laughter tracks would have been difficult for CBS. As a result, in 1965 CBS began airing all of their comedy shows with laugh tracks. In no time at all other broadcasters were doing the same. And Douglass had refined his technology to creating whole diverse laugh tracks for entire shows. he maintained his monopoly over the laugh track business until the 1970’s, when eventually competitors developed their own laugh track technologies. M*A*S*H created in 1970 or so by Larry Gelbart and Gene Reynolds did not want a laugh track due to the cerebral and often serious nature of the show. However CBS required them to. So they used a laugh track but used a subdued “audience” and used it as lightly as possible.  In the 1980’s many shows air episodes without laugh track, led by the M*A*S*H example.
Today television shows that lack laugh tracks can find their place in the schedules, but the fake laugh track humour still dominates the comedy and sitcom output of every American popular television network. 

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Friday, 30 November 2018

Laws Are Like Hysterias

Each country and tribe has their own of both
and everyone prefers to keep it that way
by decline from saying anything otherwise.

When one tribe finds that another lives differently
then logically they have to examine their differences
from others when previously they did not.

Then they find that the more they look at others
the more variety they find inside their own tribal life,
a choice of life some than some of them avoided.

In the name of The Demos they all get sucked in,
into unending debates about what has to be shut down
to avoid the hysteria by one group within the tribe
at how another who is part of them does not fit
for never having been officially declared acceptable.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Haiku For A Friend



          Our dog thought the old Camembert 
                was as fine to roll in as to eat. 

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

The Hope Of Companionship

When we put the extra 'n' into fiance
-between the second and third letter-
it will always cost us a lot more
than we are are prepared to admit.

But it should open up resources within us
that will expand us that might be
vaguely worthy of the hope in the word.  

Monday, 26 November 2018

Web-wise Thinking

In my home the spiders
are more houseproud than I am,
and they are easier to keep than I am too.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

The Oldest Management Bromide Of All

is not the idea of management itself,
though it might seem like that to many
who dislike being managed by others,
but the phrase 'Something must be done'.

It was first recorded as said in public
by Edward VII. As their king he spoke
to some Durham coal miners at a mine
they worked at which was due to close,
on his last full day as their monarch.

He was clearly more engaged
about how he was due to lose his own job,
through his own madness and folly,
than he was about them losing theirs.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Comment Is Free

and it often comes as bad poetry,
where the more that is written
the less memorable it is when read out.

But making small marks
in other readers lives
is the what bloggers live for
and if bad poetry be the means
than they know the need
-though their audience.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Weather And Grace

'The Heaven's Opening' is an expression for rain,
which has by implication always made people
shrink from it, and seek cover.

But the Heaven I would like would see open
is the one that meets my needs, 
and meets everyone else's
through  an abundance
that makes jealousy
seem pointless.

   

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Canine Governance

Dogs are very wise when they ignore 'Dog Whistle Politics'.

They know when they are not the dog in the fight,
and they are right to limit their politics to forming small packs.

They are calm when well prompted against aggression,
unlike their many human carers who credit themselves
with always knowing best, but often prove neglectful.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Robots Have Always Been With Us-They Are Integral To Human History

The market for robot labour is older than we are ready to admit.
Issac Asimov gave The West the word 'robot', in the 1950's
it was a Hungarian word that meant 'slave'. Nowadays
the 1950's is as far back as some folk like to mis-remember.

Asimov meant by 'robot' 'mechanical domestic labour'
and wrote stories casting robots as boons to women,
to keep them happier whilst they remained in their homes,
separate from the men who wholly owned them and the home,
men who claimed the women as their companions,
whilst making something lesser-chattels-out of them
this idea of robots as 'chattels of chattels' remained unsaid.

Real women, and companions of whatever gender,
would have preferred a device that gave that validated
them leaving the house, not being property,
however useful or not, and not being seen as same.

The modern history slavery grew up with modern empires
The British, the Dutch, the Spanish the Germans and the Portuegese
all had them, other countries too. Out of such finery came America.

Where for the many coloured imported humans 'freedom'
was the freedom to be a slave, and for a white few
freedom was their 'duty' to be their owners.

The words 'sadism' and 'masochism' had not yet been coined,
neither as states of heightened emotions in relationships between individuals,
nor as words that described the normalising of cruelty between races.
But the evidence for those terms hid in plain sight, for all to see, or avoid.

Under empire 'slave' meant 'mechanical labour
that meant nothing the slave owner when the slave's body
stopped working and died, because according to their owners
only the slave owners 'had souls and feelings', understood refinement.

Their owners clearly felt a lot, and both their soul
and their capacity for violence came from the right
to render others property, remove and rename them.
According to how the slave owner treated them
the only eternity for the whole of their property
was the eternal 'now' of their enslavement.

Other ideas of slavery and robotics also existed,
when the Czar of Russia freed the serfs in 1871
he achieved it with relatively little loss of life
compared with the suffering of America
in it's Civil War, which probably because of the war
aborted the enlisting of former slaves into full citizenry.

Nowadays we in the west can leave our houses
and have the world brought to us. We live
is such luxury that robots do everything but live for us.
Electricity and technology are like that.
We work for this these luxuries and are changed in our work
by how the language of robotics has re-invented
us beyond all belief, and we have trouble adapting reinvention.

We don't know whether to give up on the idea of 'a soul'
or whether to claim a soul, and be cruel and self righteous.

For humans to work well they need feel good together.
to do that they need a sense of being a team.
Thus employers will work hard on rhetorical P.R.
that make working for them an attractive prospect.
If this gives the boss a self-righteous soul
with which to hoodwink would-be employees
into pretend mutual agreement then so be it.

But woe betide anyone of us
when they get unfit for for work
or when work gets unfit for the doing.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

One Of My Lesser Weaknesses

is my admiration of good writing about bad situations,
generally filed under satire or humour about corruption.

The humour makes the democratic deficit more bearable
by making light of it. I need to live within my limits
with my sense of tragedy-I don't want to go under with it.

But still I wonder what good I am
when I observe from the infinite sidelines
of the internet how much of life needs changed,
for it to be sustainable and self preserving,
and it won't be without my direct engagement. 

Monday, 19 November 2018

Love Your Rubbish, Love Yourself, Know The Difference.

I have never understood what now seems to be a mania
 for marketing plastic packaging for it's own sake.
 If ever I not only 'understand it', but without demure
embrace the marketing to the point of failing
to differentiate between product and container
please shoot me for becoming brain-dead.

I will have become like the rubbish I have embraced. 

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Popular Turn Off's (17)

The accusation of 'overthinking' something
when the accused is in clear distress
and the accuser has reason to be evasive
because either they think their avoidance is charm,
or they are are trying to justify being unhelpful.  

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Two Views Are Better Than One

This is an old idea, two self contained internal dialogues
which work even better when joined up.
Very few of us will 'make a living by being ourselves,
though some may find their hearts on their travels.
In the end it is not a trick, it is 'just' language....

Friday, 16 November 2018

In The Land Of Lies

The best leader is the biggest liar,
the one who can make what they say
seem the most sincere and credible
compared with lesser liars who compete
and follow the bigger liars footsteps.

That is what we have to the vote for.

The bigger the lie the easier life is today,
for the few and sometimes for the many.

And the more we unknowingly
leave future others to process all the troubles
we neglect for them to collect and to live by.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Practical Living/Even More Practical Dying

Urns are tight places
When we are ashes
and want to turn in circles
when the world appals us.

So to have a more comfortable afterlife,
with how the world going to the dogs,
and to still think 'ecology'
by avoiding costly pine boxes,
choose for yourself a bigger urn
in which your relatives keep your remains
when you have to be cremated.

It will give you more room
in which to turn, in the after life/eternity
when witnessing from there how the living live
and it seems disgusting beyond words.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

There Is Nowt So Queer

as making war for making citizenship homophobic,
and negative or forgetful of so many other minorities
and communities too. Learn from nature-there even as life
is maintained by limited aggression, diversity comes first-
without diversity there is less to be aggressive against....

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Twenty 'Rules' For Better Living

1 - Live beneath your means.
2 - Return what you borrow.
3 - Accept gifts according to the thoughtful generosity in them.
4 - Give clothes with wear in them to charities you trust.

5 - Be kind to unkind people.
6 - Admit it when you have made a mistake.
7 - Seek excellence whilst abandoning perfection.

8 - Listen more, talk less.
9 - Do good deeds without seeking credit for them.
10 - Acknowledge that life is uneven and unfair.
11 - Selectively let others ahead of you in queues.

12 - Be on time. Don't hide behind excuses.
13 - Be organised. Use arguments to help organise yourself.
14 - Know when to keep quiet with other people.
15 - Cultivate good manners, 'please' and 'thanks' work.
16 - Gift yourself plenty of time to be alone.
17 - Every day take a thirty minute walk.

18 - Be humble, be highly selective in your criticism of others. 
19 - Let small matters pass when bigger matters are more immediate.
20 - Use the past, however appalling it is, to live well with others in the present and plan the future.

These rules will improve how we deal with other people every day as individuals.

Apart from no 20 the guidance they can give us is every day and limited. But they will make each day the advice is followed better. The limits of the advice shows up most when we need help and advice because our foe is some faceless government, private corporation or any other legal but non-corporeal human body which does does not care about the inconsistencies it shows to others, but concerns itself with applying rules it did not write, and does not care about, to individuals it/they care about even less. 

Monday, 12 November 2018

How To Cancel The Future; A Simple Guide

Dystopias are are often described as 'nightmares'
for those that recognise such suffering in others
but who like to think that their pointing at dystopias
leaves them outside of what they see elsewhere.

For those who struggle to live
for being too close to merely existing
the lack of light is not a metaphor.

Darkness is key to the nature of Dystopia.

And in the deepest Dystopian states
there is no sense of time, no night no day,
it is a life beyond all light or darkness.

The people who live there live as if....

Man and his political choices
have reversed the clock of life
returning the sequence of Creation
to the The First Day where it is stuck,
we are all water, without form and void.

Time and light might once have been known,
and may still exist, but only in an unknown future
with no means for us who know nothing other
than what and where we are to get there.
.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

There is No Such Thing As A Civil War

All wars are uncivil,
if not completely barbarous
-on wildlife, landscapes,
and last and least of all,
the humans for whom 'heroism'
is their Almighty excuse. 

Saturday, 10 November 2018

The Royal Perogative

I often think of King Canute
when I go from room to room
tidying all before me in my home
until there is no more to be done.

If I do not learn how to reverse my untidiness
it will come back at me like the tide and control me.

Friday, 9 November 2018

The New Sociable Brutality

There is a new tribalism about,
less the old binaries of  class vs class,
but multiples of groups of otherness,
each of which gets more critical
of what it is not, the more of them they are.

The height of criticism is brusquely
describing other people as 'sensitive'
whilst thinking of your own group as tough,
whilst denying that your toughness causes damage
is the oldest cliche, and adds to the cliches
of the accompanying media anger.

Defensiveness is like the tide,
it will not be denied;
it will cover everything.

I can't stop it, but I will resist the lies.



  

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Signs of Greater Age (46)

(1) Seeing handsome young men and women online
and knowing that you should know who they are
-they are famous. But feeling infinitely damned
for by being unable to recall what they were famous for.
The media generates far too much material
for even a small fraction of it to be memorable.

(2) To understand the modern life
you refer back to what you read earliest and most,
such that at the time felt like 'your guide'.
What you find that the book still holds true
-but not in the way you expected it to.



Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Only Disconnect

Solipsism is the immersive experience
where we share our loneliness with others
and they share their loneliness with us,
all of us hoping to see our isolation halved.

When in reality it grows exponentially,
and by it's nature we are that last to see
how continually we connect the wrong way
to create bonds of trust that will last.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Beware Of The Malgorythms

When you go online, in search of thrills sublime
you won't know the digital footprint you leave
until the next time you are faced with a adverts
for products that you didn't think you wanted.

These adverts are what make your journey free
at the point you set out to it. With being a consumer
and there not only no such thing as 'a free lunch'.
When you most think that your life is 'free'
it will be what marketing departments munch on.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Sight For The Uninterested

Both blinkers and habits can help us
to avoid seeing what we think
we really don't need to see.

But more often than not both bind us
to seeing less than we ought to view
of the consequences of what we do.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

The Past We Never Thought Was With Us

In recent years the public have been made aware
of the issue of institutional sexual child abuse,
to the point of mass burn out on the issue.
Misery memoirs citing abuse in amounts
of the vary between prurience and detail
are probably third on publishers lists,
behind 'I survived the Nazi death camps'
and all new celebrity autobiographies,
for supporting a sagging publishing industry.

But books published in the past, in the 1960's
rarely describe child abuse in any detail.
Though one book I read recently did.
and yes, it does involve Catholic clergy.
To understand what is going on
the reader has to read between the lines
of what was originally poetic prose....



'Father Gusewski had thick wavy hair,
black with the merest hint of grey.....

....Once when I was about thirteen,
he ran his small hairless hand down my back,
from my neck to the waist of my gym shorts,
but stopped there because my shorts
had no elastic band and I tied them with tapes.
I did not give the incident much thought,
Father Gusewski had won my sympathy
with his friendly, often boyish ways.
I can still remember his ironic benevolence;
so not another word about the occasional wanderings
of his hand; all perfectly harmless,
it was really my Catholic soul that he was looking for.'

From page 87 of  'Cat & Mouse'-Gunter Grass.
First published in German 1961, in English 1963.
Translation; Ralph Manheim. 

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Future Signs Of Emptiness

When virtue is more signal than intent
the messages will increase in their urgency,
if only to make the fullness of the past
seem equal to the vacuum of the present,
as our morals go into terminal decline.

Some will ask where our morality went,
when it seems to be distinctly absent
and previously it seemed to be there.

But the new, now emptier, future
cannot be cancelled now it is summoned,
particularly when so many murmur
that it was hiding inside us, all along.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Thought For The Present Millennium

There can be few nations, if any at all,
that have not been found rape and racism
to be useful tools to raise their world ratings.  

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Photo Set Of The Month November

A French pottery fair in Summer
with lots of bright and very expensive pottery.
Not everybody liked it.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

An Ontological Argument About Ignorance

The violence that modern ignorance
commits to thought and understanding,
and the longevity of the planet,
is too vast for us to account for.

St Anslem of the tenth century (regnal calendar)
was the first to write of the ontological proof
of the existence of an  all wise deity, who wisdom
more than covered our blushes at how foolish we are.

His theory was that however far we thought
whether it attempted wisdom or not, infinity was further,
eleven centuries later and his cap fits our stupidity
and it being our stupidity we just don't recognise it. 

Monday, 29 October 2018

The Past Is Always With Us, We Can See It In The Present

'They [the French government of 1939/40] had developed that technique for lying to themselves to such a degree of perfection that the term 'In good faith' no longer had any meaning; for when self deception becomes routine it ceases to be an excuse meant anything'

From page 119 of the book 'Scum of the Earth' (published 1942 by Cape, Arthur Koestler)

And again, from page 227

'The tragedy is that we move in a vicious circle, without education of the masses, no political progress; but without political progress no education of the masses'. 



Thus proving the fake sincerity in politics produces a fake representative democracy, the democratic equivalent of religions fuelled by cheap grace. Both the politics and religion end up encouraging utter cynicism.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Popular Turn Off's (15)

When a politician says of an initiative
that their party/gov't is undertaking
'It is not just about the money'
they might accidentally be honest.

But after that they will speak in lies,
in the form of managerial bromides
that will disguise their indifference
to ordinary people's lives.

It is what they are paid so well for. 

Saturday, 27 October 2018

The Oldest Tradition

Every tradition and art form has it's price,
whereby it survives because it pays for itself
and it is the healthy roots of a popular culture.

The test for any tradition and culture
comes when the art is a prompt for profits
for big non-local backers who buy into it.
They have no interest in the future of the message,
everything they see is merely a medium
for increasing their personal wealth.

When in reality, a low level of sustainability
for the many is the oldest tradition of all.... 

Friday, 26 October 2018

Frozen Hospitality

I can name to the month
when I first had sex in public toilets.
October 1978 if you wanted to know.

My parents knew nothing of a habit
which absorbed more of my time
than I knew I ever realised I had
because I had no words to describe it.

One of my parents knew, he learnt
one Sunday in the Autumn of 1980.

That was when my dad and I met each other
in opposing cubicles, both of us hoping
to meet somebody, anybody, except each other
in the place where we least expected to.

He was drunk enough to be mildly confused
and evasive. I was sober, so maybe I had less excuse.
Though neither of us knew what was excuse enough
to justify our false and naive assumptions of invisibility.

Public anonymity is odd that way,
and familial anonymity in activities
that it was inevitable would be discovered even more so.
Thankfully some of my shame was wiped away
by that public toilet being demolished,
and a concrete TARDIS put up in it's place.

What is harder to date,
because of the anonymity of the sex,
and of the men with whom it happened,
is when one of my fellow cottagers finding out
that I lived alone, and where I lived.


It was one late Friday night, after the pubs shut,
in spring 1982 when he knocked at the front door
that first time and shamed me into letting him in
for only-we-knew-what. I froze every time he knocked.
My consistent lack of response made it easier for him
to insist on the one sided oral sex that he came for.

After that first time he called randomly,
and shamelessly, usually late on Friday nights.
When he had got what he wanted he left,
his silent lack of thanks getting dressed
left me feeling soiled and unimpressed.

As my anti-social sex life of giving invisible men
frozen hospitality in the discomfort of my home
progressed in isolating me I did what came naturally.
I became depressed, and my depression was added,
like it's latest cause, to the long list of problems
that for the lack of any easy to apply resolutions
could never be opened out through conversation.

There was a way out of how depression fed into invisibility
and invisibility compounded depression-leaving everything.
But finding the courage to leave and not look back came ten years later.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Monsters Inc Circa 1940

'When the French government [of 1939/40] discovered a welcome diversion for the general discontent by exploiting people's natural  hostility to foreigners, and appealing to their pogrom instincts, they merely followed and ancient recipe; the sacrifice of scapegoats is an old established institution. Up-to -date rulers however want something more spectacular than a goat: they need at least a dragon. Hitler had invented the first composite super-dragon called the Judeo-Liberal--Stalin-Rothschild-World Conspiracy. Stalin followed with the Trotsky-Menshevik-Imperialist-Well poisoning-Crop destroying-Fire spitting-Monster dragon. One of the advantages of the modern dragon over the antiquated goat was that the it received one deadly blow after another, but never died, and when slightly tickled in the solar plexus at once regained it's menacing ferocity, thus allowing the modern St George to continue to fight over an unlimited number of  rounds. Another of it's advantages is that the dragon can be re-baptised, consisted so to speak of interchangeable parts. Thus in Hitler's dragon the vital organ called 'Bolshevism' was replaced 'Capitalism' and in Stalin's dragon 'Fascism' by 'Pluto-Democracy' without the least weakening of the effect.

The French dragon, of course, was less ambitious and of a poorish aspect. They could not paint on it the genuinely scary features of 'Dictatorship', 'Persecution'  and 'Tyranny' lest the real little dragons beyond the Pyrenees and Alps should recognise their own portraits and be offended.They painted it [Communist] red but this somehow missed the point, as the enemy happened to be [Fascist] brown. Sot they had to stuff it with all sorts of old rags and trash, Prussian boots and Hun caricatures and sauerkraut and Nietzsche; It's only impressive feature, the piece de resistance so to speak, were the meteques. It was not a very splendid dragon, yet goood enough to stage a fight in a Punch and Judy show and to receive some thudding whacks amid general applause'

-Arthur Koesler from page 90/91 of his first book, 'Scum of The Earth', first published by Cape in 1941. It is about life in wartime in France and all the uncertainties thereof. I recommend it as a good read.    

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

The Future That Came Out Of The Past

Progressive conservatism is a form of government
where policies are designed with ideas stolen from pasts
that those in power disdain and discredit, the better to disguise their origins.

These ideas are rarely explored in the everyday journalism
of the popular press-it has not the time or the drive to expose
as the roots of gov't policy-the press prefer a good pun instead.

The pun will sell more papers, whilst those in power sell us
debts that look like futures, debts that we would refuse
if we saw what we were being sold for what it was.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Self Control And Appetite

I should accept more readily than I do
that if I serially snack through the day,
in imitation of the continuous partial attention
that frequent use of the internet encourages me to,
then the least effort I can make
is to miss out  on that big evening meal,
equal to being sat in front of the television,
that most people see as normal.

What other way I can give body and mind
the refreshment they require for the next day
for the next day's snacking/partial inattention?

Monday, 22 October 2018

Politics From Abroad

Many times I have lived for six weeks at a time
outside my native country, less to avoid the place,
more in pursuit of a quiet, joyous, and more creative life.

Each time I go away I observe
how different The News sounds
when I am not in the country
that it is about. I listen better
with a more detached ear,
and a calmer frame of mind.

When I return and the news
is about where I am it worries me,
the ground underneath my feet
seems less stable for reports
of what is going on there.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

No Action Required

As a gay man I have long known
that some of those I identified with
have talked of, and shared in,
so called 'Sado-masochism'.

And sure, as a gay man who likes
to be well informed I checked it out.

I so enjoyed 'Venus in Furs' that I read it twice
and many times and then I had to give the book a rest
-what I had read left me breathless with expectation.

By the fifth reading I 'got' what the book was about;
undeclared hierarchies which if they were given a name
would be declared not merely null and void, but unhealthy.

The works of the Marquis de Sade bored me much faster.
His writing about rape, sodomy and pillaging other people's lives
only for his fictional victim's morality to live on to be pillaged again.
He showed no awareness of what real human being were actually like.

As I understood more how the silence around violence works
I found I did not need the fear his books set the readers up for,
any more than I, or anyone else, needed his familial insecurities.

I decided that I did not need to be locked up
for half my life the way the Marquis de Sade was by his family,
though my own family did try hard enough.

My reading liberated me from libertinage
along with many other failed hierarchies.

After that no action was required.
I was better off being brave enough
to choose the avoidance of violence.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

A Grace

I thank thee Lord
that whatever 'the issues' were
that I grew up with,
where my struggle to understand
became the adult life that I was given to live,
a wholesome attitude towards fruit and veg
cooked from scratch, and a heart appetite,
have not been among them. Amen.  

Friday, 19 October 2018

Multi-Tasking

Many men are victims.
Nearly as many are bullies
and some disguise their roles
by trying to rescue other people,
the planet, of not the whole of space,
or merely the economy of their country.

Some men, particularly preachers,
appear to take on all three roles
at once in single performance.

Don't try this at home folks,
instead save it for the public stage
-at least let others in their privacy
see through you when you act falsely.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

The Moon Tells Me

that all the light we know
is reflected from sources
beyond our understanding.

What seems to be our light
is merely a reflection
of light from other places
in a world needs to deny it's own nature.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Excuses Are Like Memes

-they multiply when we are not looking
until they become such a blockage in our lives
we thought that we were leading (but we are not)
that we can't work out where they came from. 

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

My First Christmas Card of 2018

Because the more abstract the idea of Christmas becomes
the more inclusive it appears to be, and it can happen more often and for longer too!

Monday, 15 October 2018

Popular Turn Off's (14)

The word 'Stupid' is a blunt instrument.
It blunts the logic of any argument
that it is implied in, or used in directly.

Such bluntness will score for the user in the short term.
But long after the user has forgotten their bluntness
the bruises the left behind will reduce the future
of maturity in Politics and logic, such as it was.
  

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Reduced Speech

In 'speaking truth to Power'
and refuting Power's lies
open speech will be reduced
to weak and repetitive rhetoric
-as speakers get shouty
about other people's hypocrisy.

But when there is so much hypocrisy
to choose from,
and so many cliches about which to speak,
then refuting it
will reduce speech to noisy repetition.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

The Alcohol Culture Explained

and it takes a feminist to observe through a question
what patriarchy has preferred to not say about itself
for thousands of years; the great virtue of alcohol
 is how much it creates and excuses a moral amnesia.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Media Wars

As everyone who listens only to the radio knows,
the road to Hell is paved with radio content
adapted from forgotten and unused film scripts,
and television formats that were cancelled,
which were never to be used.

Speech written for just the spoken word,
for a station that is gives the sense of being live
should be just that, well prepared in it's own medium....

Thursday, 11 October 2018

On Preserving Nature for Future Generations

When in the distant past men cut trees down,
and fished for fish all of it
was at a lower level hierarchy of need.

Though men back then
might had egos the size
of lonely planets, I doubt
they took out the biggest
in what they were hunting
merely to flatter their ego.

Their ability to extinguish all life
around them was still far too limited.

Now, conditioned by hyper-industrialisation,
we don't think of today, nor of tomorrow,
but lie to infinity about the abundance
that there was in the past
and wish for life to be that easy again.

Our abundance was always built on us living on less.
how easily folks had it yesterday, yester-year
or whenever industry was not yet like war
-all consuming of everything around it.

By taking out the biggest and tallest first
we reduce the apex of the food chain
and shorten the future of everything
without ever knowing what we are doing.


Wednesday, 10 October 2018

False Living

The more man-made and material the light of life becomes
the more spiritual and natural the darkness that follows from it will be. 

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

A Choice Of Bad Government

The consensus of stupidity known as Representative Democracy
is the system that the wealthy West relies upon for it's wealth, at present.

But it is not the only way that we might be ruled,
monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy and mob rule
have all had their run, and all of them could return
-depending the mix of wealth and charisma
of the speaker a political party chooses.

The greater the level of charisma and wealth, the easier 
the concentration of the potential for corruption in fewer heads,
which claim to be all-wise and all-knowing,
the harder it gets to prove their corruption.

Government is the problem we can never fix.

Monday, 8 October 2018

The Cartesian Questions Nobody Wants To Answer

Did Jesus die and rise to live forever
to uphold a world where robots, automata
and other creatures who appear to have reason
but apparently don't have souls should be
recognised as being 'among the living'?

And should those without souls live well?

When they do I would like to think
that it because those who esteem themselves
as having both a soul and sound reason,
and therefore the Eternal Moral Authority,
to realise that their 'having a soul'
makes them even more responsible
for the futures of those that don't
than they can ever understand.

And if it should be different
and those with souls
can treat those without
as shabbily as humanly possible,
with no risk to themselves,
then Eternity is surely
the acme of pointlessness.....

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Popular Turn Off's (13)

The illogical overuse of superlatives
by politicians from Micheal Gove to Donald Trump,
and many shades of politician in between in public speech.

Such language is hailed as 'bold and 'inventive'
by their followers, whilst it is actually nonsense on stilts.

The misuse of these superlatives renders language
so meaningless and banal and so turns off the listener
capacity for reason that I dare not quote any examples
for fear of boring the reader into a submission
where their mind goes blank and I am responsible.

We can all find out own examples and silence them
before they numb us into a state of not being able to listen.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

When We Are Bored With The Best

then the rest of  what life has to offer
won't get the appreciation that it deserves.

Not even our capacity for snobbery.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Common Judgement And The Limits Of Life

When a family of algorithms unite,
to attack something that humans put up online,
then it is natural for us to worry about internet security.

We are taught to think that the point of technology
is to provide us an infinite expression of thought,
as long as it avoids real people speaking to us directly.

We resist anything that attacks 'our freedom'.

But people have been divided by different ideals
and the records of events that they have survived
long before human beings passed so much time
amused by the effects of computer algorithms,
some of which will prove by turns to be hostile.

In The New Testament, which quotes The Old
the classic binary division was sheep and goats,
both of whom had to face their final judgement.

We are not there yet.
So before any such judgement
we can be the animals that we are,
in mixed flocks, and prone to entropy
and rather less binary divisions.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Popular Turn Off's (12)

'Slowly, the tide is turning....  '

see also

'The tanker [of state] is slowly changing direction'.

When ever pundits and politicians
talk of slow change it means
that they will be doing too little way too late
for those other people whose serious problems
they are meant to be addressing,
but they will protect their own interests with vigour.

And such talk gets them off the hook twice.

Whatever change happens and good is done
for those living in the future it cannot be credited
to any leader who is living in the present.
  

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

How Blindness Breeds Perversity


This is clipping from the local newspaper 
in the town I grew up from 1962,
the year after I was born.

It says that the council are celebrating
the opening of a public toilet.

I wonder, was there a ribbon
over each entrance
and did the mayor cut it?

And was he the first to use the facilities?

I knew that toilet well, for reasons common to me
and many others-the sense of my sexuality 
being fit only for keeping well out of the family house. 

I find it perverse to imagine the pomp and circumstance
that the council and the local press cooked up between them
being invested in something that was going to embody shame 
and become the stain of self mistrust for many generations of men 
who were going to wave their willies there, 
in the hope of attracting similarly stained/shamed men.

All because nobody wanted them 
as the people they actually were.

But then again this cutting is evidence 
of how much perversity can be blind to itself,
as if blindness itself breeds perversity.... 


Tuesday, 2 October 2018

The Low Tech Revolution That Never Happened

Part of the left wing life in the 1980's
was being critical of the lobby
that made the values of a military economy
out to be more important than the civil life
that we were told that it was there to protect.

I was one of many who wanted to see
the factories that made military hardware
that supplied the arms for all the little wars
around the world that never stopped kept open.

I believed that the factories should stay open,
but be turned over to making peace time goods,
for people that needed them.
We should end 'Want' as well as we could.

Nearly forty years on from then, and what we have
in the developed west is vast amounts of money
spent on high tech pleasures developed in Silicon Valley
where the goods are controlled be the few and used by the many.
In the digital age pleasure is defined as detached
and it is supported by the glossiest promotion possible.

For all the change in budgets and priorities
this is not how I saw the future back then,
what I saw put skills into people's hands,
rather than disabling their critical faculties.  

Monday, 1 October 2018

Photo Set Of The Month-October

Reflections in glass architecture 
seem to me to be an apt metaphor
for the life of multiple surfaces of  people who live in cities.  

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Deities Don't Have Debtors

-they make everything they create
to remain in perpetual debt to them.

Some deities are said to be selfless,
whilst others in their graceless behaviour
reflect the less law abiding elements
of the society that they reflect.

It is also true that believing in one god
and expecting this one ruler and their rule
to be universally easy to adhere to
is far harder logically harder to do
than anyone can think through.

Human variants in obedience and rebellion
are far harder to link to an unseen solid-state ruler,
who never changes and is a fixed point around them,
when their followers will fluctuate quite so much.


than they are to gods who portray human psycho-dramas.

And Heaven's treasures never age-they have no 'sell by' date.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Time And Distance

The difference between a British person and an American
is that the Brit will think that 100 miles is far to travel,
no problem to the American who will be stumped by time
-thinking that a 100 years is an longer than eternity.

Friday, 28 September 2018

My Latest Reading

is 'Dishonest to God; My Autobiography'
by Satan (Sisyphus Publishing Press).

There is no year on which it was published
and there is no copyright law on the text,
which rearranges what I have already read
each time I start afresh on a new section.

I have checked,
and yes,
the book does have an end.

But I have no idea when I might reach it.





P.s. The flyleaf tells me that there is a companion volume,
titled 'Unreliably Yours; How I Inspired History's Greatest Liars'
-by the same author, Satan, with some of is more fallen helpers.
No copy could be found when I searched for one. All extant copies
are presently used as guides by the departmental ministers
of every national government around the world, as part their quest
for eternal rule and the vanquishing of all opposition,
particularly from those they say they rule for but actually over-rule.