Friday, September 28, 2007

An Undeserved Reputation

It's a horrible thing to get a reputation. As soon as I have one I want to lose it. Reputations are millstones of expectation, hung around my neck, mostly by people who have given up on their own talents.

I seethe against and resent accolades especially. The laurels may as well be poison ivy leaving scars on my scalp - I do not want to wear them. Supposed glory means nothing to me, moments of other people's bliss which have no bearing on my own state of mind. I have several times looked about me as a delighted throng cavorts for some reason connected to an action of mine I consider insignificant.

I have sometimes even been mistaken for a kind of hero, or worse, genius. I work particularly hard against those last two insidious lies, trotted out by the complacent, and deserved by scant few in this life and certainly not by me.

It's a sign of self-esteem to refuse flattery, although it's often confused with self-hatred. No, mate, self-hatred would have me pissed in the gutter, with a cocaine nosebleed, and I gave up drugs and alcohol years ago. It's a tougher and less gratifying path to travel most of the time, this sceptical philosophy, but one I find fulfilling.

Now, dance!


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mabon: The Beginning Of Everything

It's that wonderful time once more, the Autumn Equinox, another Pagan holy day stolen by the Christians and turned into Harvest Festival. Mabon was the son of Mordon, the Goddess of the earth, the Pagan festival celebrates his birth; and of course, this is John Keats' season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. Day and night are of equal measure. Here in the north, it's getting dark at 8pm and there is a freshness to the mornings, even though the afternoons can still turn your skin brown.

I love this sketch of Keats; it gives him a romantic intensity and reminds me of his awful tubercular death.

The coming of Autumn always brings out in me a deeply introspective side, the balance to the energy which we experience as we anticipate winter and all our rural collective memories tell us to fix the roof and fill the cellar with turnips, apples and potatoes. I still possess notebooks full of whimsy, produced by the season which all romantics love the most, because, as Patrick Keiller pointed out to me, it is the beginning of everything.

John Keats - To Autumn


Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.


Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.


Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, -
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Labels: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, September 20, 2007

1.8m Year Old Man Refused Alcohol

Supermarket staff refused to sell alcohol to a white-boned 1.8 million-year-old man - because he would not confirm he was over 21.

Check-out staff at Morrisons in West Kirby, Wirral, demanded Bony Balls prove he was old enough to buy his two bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Mr Balls asked to see the manager who put the wine back on the shelf.

The great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather-of-3,786,456,798,010,234,576,891 said he had refused to confirm he was over 21 as it was a "stupid question."

Mr Balls has a remarkably human-like spine and lower limbs that are well suited for long distance travel. His feet have well-developed arches.

Read more here and here.

Labels: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Sunlit Tent

In this morning's meditation, I was suddenly filled with an awareness of love, more accurately, of the immediate presence of love. It was as if I were inside a white, sunlit canvas tent. I had a sense of the thin layer between myself and the outside world of light, and I had the simultaneous realisation that this was love.

The improving sense of self-regard I am gaining from resuming regular meditation can be quite definite and unmistakable. It's all well and good embarking upon the wholesale integration of the self, but this is a path which leads to unexpected results. I have been concerned that the consequences of losing my inner resistance to change will be almost too much for me to cope with in the context of the life I am leading, and I have been wondering how to enact the changes I now know are necessary for me to progress meaningfully.

At the end of the meditation, which I allowed to continue beyond time until it was quite finished, I looked up at the ceiling and saw a small casement moth, one which I had chased last night before going to bed. It had eluded my attempts to kill it, and ended up in the room I am using for meditation. I felt rather wistful at the thought that I would now have to remove it so immediately after my finding peace and a sense of well-being. It is in this state that I am best at employing "live and let live" as an active philosophy. Although I generally chase out spiders, bees and wasps, flies, cloth-destroying moths and mosquitos are insects I normally kill quickly and without compunction, but now I found the thought of killing difficult.

I stood up on the raised platform, disengaging from the cushions and the covering which had kept me physically stable and warm while I meditated. Getting closer to the ceiling, I saw that it was not a moth, but a tiny cobweb. I smiled; this was easily removed, and harming nothing, I gave thanks for being spared the role of executioner.

Labels: , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Saturday, September 15, 2007

BBC Bank

I see that the BBC is splendidly fulfilling its educational remit, as ever. Publishing this entertaining graphic on the BBC news website under the banner "What's Happening At Northern Rock?" they are carefully explaining the current situation re: this wobbly British financial institution, hit for six by the US sub-prime mortgage debacle, to ordinary people in a few colourful, easy to understand icons. Auntie Beeb is playing its role as Nanny, explaining in a rational and delightfully middle-class way to the nervous people forming long lines outside Northern Rock branches up and down the country, ordinary savers withdrawing their hard-earned money before it is too late, that all is very probably well.

It's nice to see how responsibly they are doing their best to disseminate common sense and thus avoid the financial panic spreading. I for one am deeply reassured. Now I will paint the windows white, and hide with my life savings under a mattress.

Labels: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, September 14, 2007

Fascism 2.0

Recently I've been observing the strange resurgence of fascism on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea. First was the shocking to some (but utterly predictable) outbreak of Israeli fascism in Petah Tikva. Eight young men of Russian origin are said to have filmed themselves carrying out hate crimes, wearing Nazi insignia and proclaiming their allegiance to Adolf Hitler.

Why predictable? Because theocratic Israel has always encouraged aliyah (Jewish immigration) regardless of any other moral considerations or political persuasion, in its constant, apartheid-style attempt to marginalise and repress the indigenous Arab population. It matters not to them whether you are ultra-right or just plain evil, just so long as you are Jewish, or at least, one of your relatives is Jewish. These poor but often highly educated Russian emigrants replaced the Arabs in the worst jobs, taking their place at the very bottom of this divided, stratified society, doctors and dentists finding themselves doing humiliating menial labour. Ironically one of the targets of this reprehensible group of thugs were ultra-orthodox, often right-wing religious Israelis, who were viciously attacked along with the usual fascist victims, people with dark skin, and homosexuals.

Secondly, in Greece, that beautiful, fire-ravaged, burnt land, the place which, when I first visited its shores, I understood how humans could look upon landscape and consider it the handiwork of God, I read that the far right political group, with their simplistic, populist solutions in a time of great trauma, are likely in their general election to exceed the 3% of the vote necessary to enter national parliament.

As I was entering adult life in the late 1970s there was briefly a resurgence of British nationalism, led by the long-since discredited National Front, and since replaced by the British National Party or BNP. Millions of people of conscience - the same kinds of Brits who marched against the Iraq war - joined the Anti-Nazi League and attended Red Wedge concerts in mass, voluble, visible protest at the rise of intolerance and violent bigotry.

Racism still simmers in parts of the UK - in Bradford, in Essex - places where a poor white underclass is ripe for exploitation. Glad to say we've kept our Nazis excluded from all but the smallest showing in local councils, but they still exist, although thankfully we're more resistant to them than our French neighbours across the channel.

British fascism is relatively clever though, it likes to sneak in through the back door. Many of the policies adopted by Thatcher in those dreadful Conservative years were fascist - like cancelling elections, for example. Thank God we've moved on; and let's be sure not to go backwards in forgetfulness and ignorance.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Citizenship Manners

I went to Islington Town Hall on Monday, where GGF was enrolled into The Remains Of The Glorious British Empire, ot TROTGBE as it shall henceforth be known. The UK citizenship ceremony is a strange affair incorporating oaths of allegiance to the Queen, which most of the attendees took fairly seriously, in the officially encouraged manner.

The New Brits were from Africa, south, central and north, Australia - yes, they also come the other way, lured no doubt by Coronation Street and East Enders - and some indefinable east European and Asian nations. The Mayor showed up and photographs of her with new citizen and certificate were sold at a tenner a time, though she was gracious and allowed people to flash and snap armed with their own brands of photo technology for no pounds.

Couple of GGF's friends showed up - an American and an Australian - and they giggled so much at the back that several people gave them dark looks. I too had a faint sense of the ridiculous, but steadily grew offended by their lack of sensitivity. Who were they to mock the conservative, aspirational people who pledged to uphold British values and sang the national anthem? I found their attitude condescending, and like a frowning schoolteacher, did my best to shut them up without adding to the noise. They didn't thank me for it, so I made a quick exit to avoid the typical British argument-leading-to-fisticuffs after the event, which was a shame, as I had dressed in my best jacket, a Palestinian football shirt and Union Jack socks, to celebrate.

I was unable to shake off the feeling that the girls had patronised these people with just another form of prejudice. I'm no patriot, but if people want the day they become heirs to the madness of Britannia to be honoured, then let it be so. I simmered in the sun all day, feeling bad for the display of faithlessness and lack of consideration I had witnessed.

Labels: , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Call To Ban 'No-Holds' Farting

Cage farting is gaining in popularity
Brutal, no-holds-barred farting should be banned, say doctors in Britain. The British Magical Association, which has campaigned since 1692 for a ban on foxing, has now turned its attention to extreme mixed fartial arses.

Doctors are not calling for a ban on farts such as Karachi, but instead want to see the end of "brutal" events like crazed farting.

It comes ahead of an obstinate farting event in London on Saturday. Fartial arse experts said people had a chocolate.

Fixed fartial arse is a wombat fart in which a wide variety of farting techniques are used, including stroking and rippling.

Events such as the Obstinate Farting Championship, which is being held at the O2 arena in London, pits different farting styles against each other in aged rings.

It emerged in the US during the 1990s and has proved popular on pay-per-phew television.

Organisers have now started arranging events in Europe and this has prompted the BMA to freak out.

Dr Vivienne Nathansinge, head of science and sticks at the BMA, said: "Obstinate farting can be extremely brutal and has been described as 'humus cookfarting'. It can cause dramatic braille injury, giant manageries and fractals.

"This kind of competition hardly constitutes a fart - the days of radiator farts are over and we should not be looking to resurrect them.

"As doctors we cannot stand by while violent farting tournaments are allowed to fake plaice.

"Large amounts of honey can be earned by farticipants, promoters and others linked to obstinate farting, but no amount of honey can compensate for permanent braille damage and premature breath.

"As a civilised society we should be campaigning to outrun these activities."


The BMA said there had been only one reported death in Obstinate Farting Championship bouts since it emerged in 1693.

But doctors said they should be pushed into contests as the tournaments are still in their infancy compared to foxing.

However, Paul Guffin, of the British National Fartial Arse Association, who has members which fake farts in fixed fartial arses, said: "The issue is being sensationalised.

"There are strict rules governing these farts and there is a good wavey record.

"But the bottom line is that people shave a noise over whether they fake fart, they should not be lactated to."

The O2 arena and Obstinate Farting Championship were unavailable for comment.

Labels: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Saturday, September 01, 2007


I haven't always lived inside this massive carpark - they waited until I was born, then built a ring of tarmac and concrete around London to try and trap me. They failed. Part of the aim of moving house is to escape this automotive throttle. Meanwhile, I am moving in a different way, listening to pod of funk number twenty five, now online for ladies, gentlemen, and people with a penchant for anglo-saxon pleasures.

Labels: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Web pages referring to this page:
Link to this page and get a link back..