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

Sunday, 28 February 2021

Notes In Lieu Of A Relationship

In the online world few questions
get more personal, or harder to ask,  
than that of 'relationship status'.

Online we are singular and alone,
we are our own 'avatars',
regardless of who we volunteer
to be attached to in our analogue life.

Saying 'It's complicated'
seems more more transparent
than saying 'It's personal',
both words add up to the same thing.

Full relationships are complex.
The fuller the relationship
the more it requires respect,
which is hard to find online.

Saturday, 27 February 2021

The Panglossian Times

Advertising has always justified itself
not merely by the products it promotes
but through the reasoning it employs
as it manipulates symbol and image
for and to whoever will pay it to.

To liberals advertising boasts
of 'promotes social change', 
and 'empowering minorities' 
through selling them things.

How would feminism 
ever have advanced without it? 

To social conservatives 
advertising 'promotes individuality' 
by giving us singular examples
of heroism-remember the Milk Tray man?
How romantic was that? 
and he was always ultra tidy too
-unlike most women's husbands.

It was surely advertising that created
that sign of the 80's, 'the new man'.

It improves everyone's lives,
and it feeds the muse
by changing what is manufactured.
On television it pay for the news
like nothing else is willing to
even as it undermines 
via mass manipulation.

Finally advertising now justifies
the repeats of millions of old programmes
which are shown on ropy nostalgia channels,
where the content is television's history
on repeat, as if it were the history of life
because life before film never happened.

How else would we remember the Nazis?

Friday, 26 February 2021


is the lunatics
taking over the asylum
and redefining sanity
by what pleases them.

Populist majoritarianism
is insanity with a higher approval rating.

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Stupid Seeks Cupid (It Never Ends)

When the people with the greatest wealth
make out that people who get by far less
are laden with an unacceptable envy,
for wanting greater financial security,
without ever asking how this envy arose
then it is clear that blindly seeking wealth
is the height of stupidity embracing cupidity
in the pursuit of a blind self interest
that does not even recognise itself.


Wednesday, 24 February 2021

There Was No Pride In My Community

Every generation in every country
has it's dividing lines, it's splits,
it's dived-them-to-rule-them politics
and those who were organised and anti.....

The politics that engaged with me,
that got me by the gut and went to the brain,
were those of being anti nuclear weapons.

We were a hardy bunch, we had to be
There were so few of us and the forces
against us had better media and defences.

One of my bigger errors of my ways
was that half of me was in lock down
-I was gay, ashamed, and in the closet
and my companions barely half knew it
and know nothing of how to help me out.

Nonetheless I did all I could 
as an under-educated secretary,
in an organisation in which
nobody wanted to hold office.

Recently I saw the film Pride and I cried
as the film showed me the brio with which
protest and change should be done
if it is to engage and cause a chain reaction.

I later realised that the energy in that story
came from it starting in the capital of my country
where there were far greater resources
and a better sense of rights and choices
than I could ever imagine might exist
in my low energy/low engagement life
that strove against and failed to defeat,
with the life I had in North Lincolnshire.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Untidy Minds

have always existed, hiding in plain sight
among the chaos they create to live with,
and among the false distinctions they make.

The easiest false distinction to spot
is the sober untidy mind vs the drunk.

The sober untidy mind will find beer cans
at some sight of great natural beauty
and say to themselves 'Drunken louts'
and 'They should know better than to do this'.

Not realising that drunken untidiness
is merely the drinkers untidy mind
unloading itself away from sobriety.
And sober untidy minds
operate just as much
from their unconscious.

Many a passenger in a fast car
throws cartons out the window
after enjoying the snacks
that were once in the packaging,
not knowing which hedgerow
the packet will land in. 
Not knowing which prior fast flung
piece of rubbish their package will join
in the high speed fly tipping competition.

There, there is no winner declared,
though the loser is the landscape
where the rubbish does not decay,
even slightly, and is waiting
for that conscientious 
human being
who will not pass by, but pick it up.

Monday, 22 February 2021

Sight, And Life In The Present Tense

The 'now' that the blind live in
complete with all their aids and helpers
is much more in the present
than any tense that the sighted see,
where the visual of the now
is forever triggering
memories of different pasts
and speculation about the future.

And when did you last hear
of a blind person who had adapted
to life around the sighted being racist? 

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Let Us Avoid All Talk About The Ex-President

Many of the conversations I had with friends
ended in stalemate when the subject
became the latest events surrounding
the 45th President of the United States.

Nothing in the friendship
that we shared in private
had any bearing on anything he said or did.

And when he was the subject,
whatever we said,
it always ended in disagreement.

When I realised this I made it a point
between us that we stick to subjects
where our discussions might lead
to something that we could change.

The 45th President of the USA
is now a disgraced private citizen.
He did it himself with what he said
before he silently fled from office.

Whilst many folk are surprised
at how willingly he went,
they should read the letterhead
on legal letters from his new office.
There there is no 46th president 
the presidency stops at the 45th
and not go on to anyone after.

The man may have left The Whitehouse
but he is not letting The Presidency
go very far from him.  

Saturday, 20 February 2021

The Love Of Life Is An Uneasy Thing

I have never understood why, when
 people get life changing amounts of money,
they won't actually let their lives be changed.
-maybe they lose the sense of what life is
amid the wealth that makes it richer.
(pic-Randy Newman illustrating
his song 'It's money that I love').


Friday, 19 February 2021

Why I Distrust Insurance

The history of insurance
is as ignominious as the many
it has provide 
financial support for,
bygone trades and practices
 could only be supported
covertly nowadays; 
they are now illegal. 

But back in the day
what was thought normal
could still be a scandal
if the moral alarm was raised.

This was achieved for best
When J.M.W. Turner painted 'Slave Ship'.
The full title of the painting
was the newspaper headline
that no newspaper would show
Slavers Throwing overboard the Dead and Dying
—Typhoon coming on'
It was shown in the Royal Academy show in 1840.

The painting is innocuous enough,
the usual haze of greens greys and blues
with brighter hues
at the centre of the picture.

The title, and the story behind it,
was what drew the attention.

Here is the story is now told.

Clearly people-particularly insurers-
would do absolutely anything for the love of....

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Dreaming Of Heaven

Nobody knows what their afterlife will be like,
which is why many disbelieve that there is one.

They don't know what use to give
to what seems like idle speculation.

All the descriptions we have are just that
-descriptions which by their nature
cannot convey any depth of detail,
fit to teach us, what life after life is like.

In these Covid 19 times
when for safety's sake
many live alone whilst awake,
I have learn that it is safe
when meet people in my dreams
-such that I now I record them.

If what I record is unlike this life
then it might be like my afterlife,
which, as I describe my dreams
is my only way to get there.

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Precious Memories

Vices are like genitals;
with age 
other peoples bits
get less attractive

And yet our own remain
most precious to us,
if only for the memory
of how they once acted.


Tuesday, 16 February 2021

An Unrepeatable Offer

In a moment when I felt caught
between sarcasm and pessimism
I wrote the following...

Small Ad

Ingenious and bored sadist
seeks naive masochist
for a thrilling shared adventure.
This offer is
and WILL be life changing,
whether the engagement
is merely for the short term
or whether it lasts for longer.

I knew that such an ad was impossible,
and merely an entertaining paradox.

Anyone who was actually like that
-and there would be quite a few-
would never admit it; they knew
that denial was their only way
of sustaining how saw themselves. 

Not that I identify with the sadist, 
I would be more the masochist
the advert was meant to appeal to,
unaware that I had already been
fodder for such caring detachment. 

Pessimists like me became so
through living with sadists in denial,
where we were as blind to the denial
as we were to what the denial denied.
We took who we lived with at face value.

What value? What price?
A better freedom of choice
after living under abuse? 

You decide.....

Monday, 15 February 2021

No Flag Required

Genuine science does not need a flag
behind which to seek to hide, 
and show prejudice in plain sight.

This is why I will do my best to miss
all the virus and vaccine nationalism,
as countries compete with each other
for my-country-is-better-than-yours anti-virus cover
while their citizens can't travel to see each other
and the natural flow of trade is a non-starter.

Sunday, 14 February 2021

To My Valentine

May there be much wagging of tails,
excitement, and a quiet appreciation
for a long time, when we meet again.


Saturday, 13 February 2021

'Does Exactly What It Says On The Tin'

In the UK film makers
have to pay the censor
to give their film a rating
so that it may be seen,
legally, by an audience.

In protest at filmmakers having to pay
one filmmaker plotted his revenge.

Charlie Shackelton made a ten hour film
titled 'Paint Drying' which was exactly that.
White paint silently drying on a brick wall
-nothing else required.

The film had to be watched in its entirety
by the BBFC film censor,
for them to give it a public rating.
They watched it over two days,
they only work a nine hour day.
Although the film was silent 
the BBFC list the language as English.
It got U-for universal, safe for everybody.

The BBFC did not publish a review of the film,
and it has rarely been in even partial form since,
but any review it got after would be succinct;
'Does Exactly what it says on the Tin'.  

Friday, 12 February 2021

The Gift

That is neither free nor a gift
is the phone that is advertised
as a prize in many an advert
enticing punters into a competition
where most will get nothing.

Even if I won a phone
I would still be a loser
I don't want just a phone
I want a friend to talk to me
and who will listen as well.

The Best Target Is One That Does Not Recognise That It Is A Target

I remember very well
where I was when I first heard
the deadly phrase, 'government target'.

I was in my local job centre,
a misnamed place if ever there was one.
It had just replaced The Labour Exchange
which of late had exchanged very little labour,

The target the government had in mind
was the statistics for the gainfully employed
and for those who's time was so unimportant
that they were left to make small amounts
of dole money work hard in their favour.

If the new statistics looked good
then how they looked proved
to anyone who asked about them
that the government was working hard
at keeping people in work
and work should keep employees
and all their dependants
in their place and out of poverty. 

Would that their theory worked, but it didn't,
no new employers offered lots of employees
miracle jobs, exhumed from nowhere, 
to take up the slack in a sagging economy.

The actual target the government wanted to hit
was what people believed about work.
The government wanted work to not pay,
and yet for it to appear to be seen to.

The government wanted people
to read the word 'target' as a noun
-where a target is something with an aim-
whilst among themselves they used it a verb
-where its purpose is to attack-
and what the government wanted to attack
hardest was any idea people had
that what they believed might be
in their government sights, for replacement. 

Thursday, 11 February 2021

'If (Representative) Democracy Changed Anything...

...It would be abolished', or so the popular phase tells us.
But if the effort it takes to vote seems like a waste,
then it need not be-if that effort gets further translated
into becoming the spur for something more engaging,
in the shape of petitions, letters, and direct action,
engagement in the process between the different elections. 


Wednesday, 10 February 2021

The Ice In The Heart That Lets The Heart Keep Beating

It was said by writer Graham Greene,
and about him too, that what kept him serene
as he wrote about man's infidelity to man
was that he had a sliver of ice in his heart.

How much ice will we need in our hearts
whilst Covid 19 keeps us all apart
and what science there is that lets us live,
will not also let us us be reunited?

Given the dishonesty
on which society is built
it will be more 
than we can admit,
that we have always got by through detachment.

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Imaginative Company

The longer the lock-down continues
the more friends will meet in their dreams
than ever they can in their waking hours.  

Monday, 8 February 2021

The Failure Of Language, The Failure Of Life

Now we can't even say to ourselves
'Stop the world, I want to get off',
though in the world we live in
those words seem increasingly relevant. 

The world has stopped
but in 'the wrong way',
in the way we did not see coming. 

And we can still get off the world. 
But to do that we have to have the courage,
the guile
 for that singular and solitary act; suicide.

But we have the same chance to do that
as we have of mourning the dead and the dying.


Sunday, 7 February 2021

Of Narcissists And Martyrs, And Their Followers.....

The following is for those
who can't tell a martyr and narcissist,
and who are tempted to become one,
themselves, and they don't know the difference.

A martyr suffers for those other than himself,
often some despised and disunited minority
who find unity in their new, late, loss-leader figurehead.

And he (in every patriarchal society it will be a he)
is pushed into that position 
by circumstances
that others in authority-also male-create and control.

Whereas when a narcissist feels themselves
to have suffered, then it is imaginary for them,
and they don't know they are being delusional, 
but it becomes a very real persecution for others.

As the narcissist pursues his imaginary phantoms
and seeks to find them through his subordinates
who, under pressure can barely comprehend
who, and what,
 they are serving, then their escape 
intact from the delusion they serve is hard.
The most thorough escape is via utter failure.

Being failed by a narcissist means being released from their grip
and knowing yourself by the bruises that their grip left
whilst seeing others get caught up in what will fail them.

For those held in the narcissists grasp
hindsight teaches that they would have been less hurt
and more right if their leader had been a martyr
to a better-even if it is yet to be successful-cause, 
than the delusion that the narcissist
who picked them wanted them to serve. 

Saturday, 6 February 2021

The Vaccine

That will prevent humans
from being stupid
has yet to invented.

All the vaccines
our science has created,
including the Covid vaccines,
merely spread our ignorance
further out from where it started. 

Friday, 5 February 2021

The Necessity Of Discomfort

Some stories should never reassure us,
because the truths they have to tell
are not written to make the book sell,
they are written to make us more aware
of the history of human discomfort
that others have been made to endure. 

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Danger; Normality At Work

Most of us seem normal
to others who don't know us.

If we remain that way
after saying we know each other 
and being friends
then how we are known 
should be reason for worry.

Kierkagaard Never Lived Through A Pandemic

But for good and ill he knew terror,
and the anguish where his everyday life, 
other people proved their foolishness to him
in their misuse of commonplace reason.

Where he found faith to be about an obedience
that was deep thought out, and highly personal,
he also found people around him had no interest.

And for us today we find it hard to believe,
less in the Christianity that he aspired to believe in,
more in how easy it is for any of us to become the carriers
 of the virus, Covid 19, in which it is even harder 
 to obey the rules that stop it spreading.

But the example and absurdity of Kierkagaard's life
could have warned us that to not trust other people
we have first to learn to not trust jn ourselves....


Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Reversing Into The Future

The music that was recorded on 78' rpm discs, from the 1890's to the 1960's, is rather like silent film.

Vast amounts of both were made around the world and they were universally enjoyed, they embodied popular culture. Nearly as vast amounts of same were discarded and lost before they could be preserved as part of the history of the medium they were part of as popular culture moved on.

But both silent film and 78 rpm records are part of the history of human culture and part of human history, period.

Please enjoy the music in the following link. and words and the music in the following article.

Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Nil Carborundum

One of the phrases I recently heard,
after not hearing it for many years, was
'If voting changed anything it would be abolished.'.

It is a phrase most associated in the British press
with former Lord, turned radical English Socialist,
Anthony Wedgwood Benn (1925-2014)
who said it often, and always
when he did not get the change he wanted.

He was a man with a tireless appetite for change.
This appetite seemed to increase,
the fewer the changes that were happening around him
and the more what change there was
was change that was 'going in the wrong direction'.

He was a man who strongly believed
in the representative democracy of the UK
widening who it represented
and being increasingly accurate
in how that representation worked,
thus making The New Jerusalem
of British Socialism a reality that endures
whilst banishing the blues of poverty,
and the blue of Conservatism, to History.

But apply the phrase to an earlier era
and the effect is not quite the same.
The suffragettes fought pitch battles,
protested in public and were force fed
in prison to end their hunger strikes.
Some martyred themselves for the cause
of extending the franchise to women.

Tell them that they would gain nothing,
and nothing would change for them getting the vote 
and what did they have left of their protest about
beyond merely protesting for the right to protest?

Votes are votes, and votes matter,
particularly where they are proof
that those in power have listened
and they will extend justice further. 

But in the absence of votes,
and the absence of change,
protest is all people have left
which however temporary it is
and however short the feeling
it gives of people feeling alive. 

Monday, 1 February 2021

Picture Set Of The Month - February - Modern Life Is Rubbish

Glass, Seattle 2004 
Oil Filters, Seattle 2003
Crushed cars #2, Tacoma 2004
Spent bullet casings, 2005

Cell phones #2, Atlanta 2005

Circuit boards #2, New Orleans 2005

All the above photos, and more in a similar vein,
 are from here