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

Monday, 31 August 2020

'Can't Happen Here'

is a line that often stops people
doing what they know is right,
where the speaker who is speaking,
then and for a long time after,
'seems right' though they are not.

For some the speaker who is speaking now
seems to be speaking for all of history
for the rest the point of history is to change it.

Other, different, places are available
and people will find the ways of finding them
and making them more possible for sharing.

Sunday, 30 August 2020

'We Are Not Robots'

the sports spokeswoman said
explaining the refusal
of certain American sportsmen
to continue to perform to order
whilst their country rioted.

Rioters are definitely not robots,
but protesters against what they see
as unfairness beyond irony
in 'the land of the free'.

But the freedom of speech and action
that their country promised
was never to their ancestors,
who were indebted former slaves
who could never earn their freedom
from their former slave-masters
who if they understood the word 'robot'*
would have applied it to those they kept as debt-slaves.

*Robot is drawn from an old Church Slavonic word, robota, for “servitude”, “forced labour” or “drudgery.”. The word was a product of the central European system of serfdom by which a tenant's rent was paid for in forced labor or service. The word was applied to artificial/non-human automata in 1920, by Czech writer Karel Capek in his play R.U.R. where 'soul-less' robots rise up against their human owners, echoing the historic rebellions against slavery by slaves in America where their white owners 'had souls', but for being slaves, the labour those with souls believed they owned did not have souls. One of the conditions for having a soul was disbelieving that the people they buy/own/haggle with other (male, white) souls over can have souls in themselves. Go figure.....  

Saturday, 29 August 2020

When An Apology Would Have Been Impossible (And Improbably Insincere If It Were Offered)

This is Ota Benga, once an exhibit in a Bronx zoo.
It took over a century for the zoo to admit that he was
used as an exhibit, and still the zoo will not come clean
about the racist politics and bogus racist science

behind how they used him. Read more about it here

Friday, 28 August 2020


Doctor to Salesman; 'How can you sell something you don't understand?'

Salesman to Doctor; 'Not understanding it is what enables me to sell it.
                                  Isn't that what psychiatrists are paid to do?' 

Thursday, 27 August 2020

A Sad Symmetry

When I was growing up
male sexuality was a thing of 'smash and grab'.

A random loss of consent where the male,
who in being lost in the sexual moment himself,
further confounded the temporal self awareness
of his highly unprepared would-be mate.

That this smash and grab happened mostly within marriage
was meant to make male violence seem safe
and make a virtue out of the woman 
becoming invisible to herself
for her being the lesser half 
of the man she had married.

Yes, sex did exist outside of marriage,
including sex between people of the same gender
but for it to survive intact it had to be kept invisible.

There Believers in suspicious churches
would act out their strange orthodoxies
and declare 'gay' relationships to be 'of the devil'
or in modern words 'psychologically disordered'.

They would stage public would-be exorcisms,
which were more like public trails with a jury,
where the church would re-enact the random anger
of the possessive aroused male, this time Jehovah,
to restore the old 'smash and grab' world order.


Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Without Blue There Is No Green

One of the best stories I heard recently
is the monetising of the recycling of fishing nets
across the world. There the poor retrieve them
from the seas where they damage wildlife
whilst ceasing to be of any service to fishermen.

There the poor exchange the waste nets for hard cash
which sustains hard pressed poorer communities.
After that the nets go on to become carpet tiling
of a very distinctive hue. Read more about it here.

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

A Dutiful Boy

I now prefer reading over television,
which I rarely watch deliberately,
but it was not always the case.

In the 1980's I read, studied,
and watched a huge amount of TV,
but it was never really 'me'.

The lives of the people on screen
that I watched from a distance
made my life feel second hand.

It felt like they were at a party
and my invite to go had got lost,
and by the time it arrived
the life of excess they lived was over.

I joined in later on,
and got to make my choice
of what became their leftovers.

Monday, 24 August 2020

Omniscience On The Cheap

One of the lesser known
pleasures of the internet
is the weather map.

There the clouds and skies
can be magnified
to trace their movements
over land and sea more easily.
until the one with the mouse in their hand
feels like they are in charge
of making the weather happen...

Sunday, 23 August 2020

True Tears Silent Lies

It used to said that men should never cry,
the better to look brave and strong. Why?

Because need becomes competition
which becomes an end in itself,
that makes men endlessly defensive.

Thus men sacrifice their feelings
and deny the fragility
to get what they want
out of whoever is in their way.

They harden their sorrow
to build a macho new tomorrow
from which there is no return. 

Friday, 21 August 2020

Understanding Vs Disability

When relationships last a long time
the participants will tire,
and their faculties will decline.

It is then that in arguments
people misremember their facts
and fail to contextualise them,
making it easier for their other half
to say to themselves 'Forget this for now,
I am going away to listen to my tinnitus
it makes more sense then you do.'.    

Thursday, 20 August 2020

The Smallest Joys Disappear Most Quietly

What I miss most, post Covid
(after the first wave at least)
is the ease with which
I used to talk to strangers
whilst hitching lifts
to the nearest small town
to do my own shopping.

Now neighbours do
my shopping for me,
which is kind of them,
but the open chat
and the sense of being out
and about was a big part
of  my sense of reward
with the journey.

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

A Short Message

Even when that most seems to mean
very little on the terms on which we recognise

what life might be for.

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Mask That Thought

When people refuse to wear masks
in public because they don't want to
and when forced to cover their mouths
say from behind their masks
'I can't breathe' what they mean
is 'I don't want to have to think'.
Thus the right to be thoughtless
becomes the acme of civil liberty. 

Monday, 17 August 2020

'We Are Following The Science' They Said.....

when the government held
daily public conferences on Covid 19
to appease the public appetite for information
between March and June this year.

But most of the time
they were hiding behind the scientists
and making it up as they went along,
such that when a scientist objected
to being used as a political shield
they were thrown off the payroll.

T'was it ever thus though,
back in the era of A.I.D.S.
the fear of the illness was used
to hurt many men who identified as gay
but accepted their 'being in the closet'.

Another lock was added to it
when the NHS said 'Medically
your blood is clean enough
only when you are in the closet
and have no identity..... '.   

Saturday, 15 August 2020

Where I Used To Live

The three windows above the far shop where the blue van is.
I say I used live there, from 1982-84. In reality it was a half-life.
where, poor and watched, I tried to make good the chances 
the half life offered me as best I could. It was not quite
Winston Smith renting a room above a junk shop, 
but with every attempt I made at living more fully 
I germinated more of the seeds of self sabotage.

Until I left, and started again from scratch.....

Friday, 14 August 2020

No Laughing Matter

We find ourselves with nothing to say
when the politics of the day
sound like the satires
of the politics of yesterday.

Now is what is for real,
but back then we thought, we knew,
that they were 'only' joking,
and we were in on the joke.

Now the jokes are on us,
and it happened without our knowing.

Thursday, 13 August 2020

The Overcooked Life

Time is a nervous souffle.
It requires the right temperature
for the molecules to expand the mix,
until they stay fixed in their expanded form.

In the time of Covid 19 time has collapsed,
proving how relative it was all along. 

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

The Quieter Way

to confuse ourselves quietly is still superior
to confusing ourselves by making lots of NOISE. 

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Gotta Serve Somebody

The slaves to wealth
become the masters of death
in the hope of being the acme of the living
by all who they hope to be seen by.

Monday, 10 August 2020

The Worst Kind Of Hope

is that depressing optimism,
the cheer that never gives up.

This is the cheer that has no 'stop' point,
and always believes, whatever the weariness,
however cheap the grace of the situation
the aim that will be met is is full restoration. 

Sunday, 9 August 2020

A Darkness Shared

Might-only might-be a darkness halved and small step
on the path that goes beyond the need to be enlightened.  

Saturday, 8 August 2020

Boys Will Cry

when the cause is good enough for them....—God damn you! You left me for another guy.. —Shit! I forgot to buy beer.. —Damn do these trunks squeeze my balls!

Friday, 7 August 2020

From Rebellion To Maturity

is the journey we take as we change
from wanting to 'break every rule'
to learning how and why
the rules got called rules
in the first place.  

Thursday, 6 August 2020

The Unforgiving Talk

of taking an eye for an eye,
whilst those they take that eye from
have to turn the other cheek.

Others find their noses out of joint
for them being ignored.
Whilst for the rest, their ears burn
when they try to speak, to intervene.

What is left for them to save face with?

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

The Online Life

More and more when I open a new tab
it feels like I am walking around the house
and opening a door and asking myself
'What did I come into this room for?'.

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

The Covid Weight Problem

Long before Covid 19 came along
millions in the west were overweight
as freedom of choice made them targets
for advertisers who were selling junk food.

During the inactivity of lock down
many put on weight for doing less
and making to much of their own food
-from scratch, using raw ingredients.

But now the weight problem is worse
as the weight of our expectations
of some new 'normality' don't line up
with the reality of how alive Covid remains.

Now our brains have become dulled
by the fresh weight
of the government's blind optimism
towards their inadequacies.

No wonder an opposition
that is fit to rule come the time
is so hard to find.....

Monday, 3 August 2020

Absolute Poverty

is have so little that whoever is that poor
they can't afford  even the slightest irony,
or humour, about what they don't have. 

Sunday, 2 August 2020

Of Virtues And Viruses

I tried to believe in simpler living
long before it became the fashion
when austerity brought on
yet another recession.

But how rich people lived
amid Covid 19 outdid me.

I felt outdone again when so many people
pretended to be normal because they thought
too soon that Covid 19 'was all over',
at least where they were....

I don't believe them, I still feel sure
that like the virtue of simplicity
Covid 19 is going to outlive me,
and I will be long forgotten.....   

Saturday, 1 August 2020

Picture Set Of The Month - August - Life On Mars

The four images presented here
Are photographs taken by the robot mission to Mars,
Curiosity was launched on November 2011,
and landed on Gale Crater  August 2012.
So far it has taken 700,000 images.
To find out the latest about the mission click here.