Saturday, 30 May 2009


What do you do with these?

I mean on a single, individual level. When you have an idea, what is the best thing to do with it?

Generally speaking, through years of hard experience, I'd say wait. Greater damage has been done to people, relationships, poems, novels, games of cricket, politics and indeed the entire world, by ideas that someone somewhere thinks are just amazing but is not prepared to stop and think about than anything else.

The same applies to sentences. If I'd stopped and really thought about that last but one sentence, rather than blurting it out while half looking out of the window at the really nice trees on this side of the Chilterns, I'd have reworded it and punctuated it properly.

The guys and gals who invented fire. Or discovered it. I bet they looked at it for a bit, scratched their heads and then used it in small, controllable ways. I'm prepared to bet that they did not, as soon as they could manipulate a flame, go and burn down all the forests.

On the other hand, MPs, given wadges of public money, did indeed take wheelbarrows full of it to the bank as soon as they possibly could. If only they'd stopped to think whether it was a good idea to toss themselves off on publicly funded porn.

Alas, they did not.

Also, it was not really all that long between the discovery of the neutron and the destruction of Hiroshima. Einstein did try to persuade Roosevelt to think about it, and look what happened. Mind you, lots of other people were thinking about it too.

But they just couldn't wait.

Now. It's a fair bet that many people, enraged by our government's unique mix of corruption, incompetence and authoritarianism spiced with just a little sexual libertinism, might be tempted not to vote Labour next week. You know, out of knee jerk rage or opportunism or whatever the buzz word is this week among Labour lickspittle lobby hacks who still have their tongues up Gordon Brown's increasingly sweaty arse.

But if they waited -

No, fuck it. Don't waste any time rethinking this idea, you'll only paralyse yourself by realising that they're all a bunch of bastards. So vote non-Labour (and non-BNP). Hey, good idea, eh?

But generally speaking, if you have any other ideas, like riding your bike without a shirt on, do think it through first, eh? Wobbly guts look best inside T shirts or better still inside shirts, jumpers and coats, which is where I keep mine. Not that I'm accusing Britain of being a nation of lardbuckets like myself, or anything.

Monday, 25 May 2009

PIF42 - Love

Now, love.

Try to find someone who will love you.

You can survive a long time without love, but you will find that you become weaker the longer you go without it. Love is more essential to life than hate.

The time has now come to make everything ready for someone who will love you. This does not mean that hate is bound to come, but there is a risk of this, and we must all be prepared for it.

Keep your mind clear. Store unwanted thoughts in dark corners of the mind, where they will not disturb you.

Keep your heart open. Try to exercise it regularly and do not expose it to pain.

How much love is enough? Well, each person should have at least one other person they depend on.

You may not be able to love the right person. In this case you should examine your feelings carefully and try to ration all feelings so that they will last out.

And don't forget your sense of sympathy - or humour.

The internet will tell you what to do, when to do it, and how. Read the blogs and keep reading the blogs.

If however, you have had hate in your heart for more than five days, you should take it outside and bury it in a trench, and mark the spot of the burial.

Sorrow, Shame and Regret

Frequently I've heard the argument that the point of blogging is, ultimately, about giving the one who feels powerless and unloved the ability to reach across the world and pretend, for a moment, that people actually care. After all, there must be a reason why bloggers commit their thoughts to the public space instead of a sealed diary.

In other words, blogging is for sad people.

I don't agree. I think there are political and philosophical bloggers who blog because they really do have something to say: they say it and people learn by reading it.

In my case, I blog when I feel like it, because I feel like it. Over at the other place I write more rationally and keep it sensible. Here I give free rein to things I would never write in a diary. Not because no-one would read it, but because if I know I am writing for myself only, I cannot write. I feel pretentious and sententious and my style goes to pot (stop laughing at the back there).

I can only put finger to keyboard if I think there is point: setting down thoughts does not count as point, since they exist in my head anyway and aren't going anywhere. So I need the sense that it will be read, if only by a robot, to make me write. And I need to write or I go mad.

So tonight I want to set down a few thoughts. Everything I am now suffering I deserve: I asked for it all, I made it all happen, I suffer through my freely chosen actions. I live in a cloud of sadness. I do regret things, even blogposts I could take down if I wanted but won't.

Not all of it is my fault, to be fair. But everything I feel I feel because I created it all. And there I was worrying I wasn't creative enough. Actually I am very creative. I take a good, strong, working body, a brain with enough energy to hold down two good jobs - and exceed all targets there - and to do an A Level in maths, a soul that tangles itself every day with the (non) existence of God and purpose, a heart that holds a woman, another one, and a third, all in love; this is a working personality.

Yet - it doesn't work. It just doesn't work, never has.

But here I come to set down exactly what I feel, and why I feel it, and why you should care, and nothing comes but lines of deleted text. I was all ready to write masses of self-justifying whining, paragraphs of explanations, pleas into the endless silence to reclaim what I have lost; and nothing comes. I cannot say it, despite the promise of an audience and despite the wish to lay down my sadnesses. With everything I have I want to write it all, and make it permanent, and give it to someone else. Somehow this will take it outside of me, or broadcast it to the right ears.

But they are turned away, and rightly so. And the world has its own problems. This is why some writers encode these things in "semi-autobiographical" novels, or those awful poems about the narrator, who is always the same as the poet.

Others stay silent, as they should, and as the world demands.

And the sadness dies with them, and is gone.

Friday, 15 May 2009

No Love Lost

My silence, as well as being caused by the wretched busy-ness, has been a symptom of a wider dis-ease: not the anti-slumming on expenses that has suddenly brought democracy down to where it belongs, but something far more mundane.

The absence of love.

Indeed, just as my philosophy is that of an agnostic physicist circa 1907, so my understanding of love was that of a middle aged man with unspoken Christian tendencies in an Iris Murdoch novel. In other words, I believed, truly, that love was real and that you loved someone and they loved you and there was noone else and you'd fight things together as they attacked you (both).

I now realise that this is not true. In fact everyone wants sex, not love. Given that I was as faithful as they came (or, more to the point, didn't come); I am now shocked to hear the women I have been with since the end of the only relationship of my life tell me that kissing is just something you do; that you snog anyone, even if they're in a relationship, if you want to; that sex is just sort of a power game that you give and take from.

In fact, all of this makes sense, but I am kind of sorry to hear it and to know it. When I went on a date a while ago, and snogged my date passionately, I thought it was because we had a real connection, and were clearly soulmates (ho ho) - in fact it was because that's what you do - it's an indication of a date, a signal of an attempt to create a more than friendly relationship, but not sign that that relationship exists. In other words, the beautiful deep kissing that characterised my relationship, and that I thought showed I was starting a new one, is in fact a non-verbal way of saying hello, and nothing else.

Why am I making this fuss about kissing: well, you don't often see it in porn (or so I am told) and in my relationship you only did it to show love, lots of love, and you held each other and you felt soft and liquid and it didn't quite mean sex but might lead to it, or it might not, and it meant you were realigning your selves.

Since I started again I have realised that in fact no-one is ever faithful: that no-one cares and that no-one actually believes in any of that bullshit about soulmates. The women I've been with and the men I've spoken to all know the true score - that you find Mr or Ms Now, and you fuck them, then you move on, or you don't and you die alone. Either way, generally speaking, you die alone.

But no-one is under any illusion about faith, or faithfulness. Neither of these things exist, but are passionately held to in ignorance, in nightmares, in sleepy silences, in the careless looks. They stalk our sexy world, our freedom to fuck. Always there is the idea of who it is you want, who it is you believe in, who it is you live for, but hiding behind it is the one you want to fuck, and he or she is always there, in your mind and eye, always your eye, the one who will make you so hot, the one to satisfy you. And from time to time you will kid yourself that this somehow ties in with love (where in fact it creates it); you will use it to leave a relationship or start one. Your orgasms will justify the fact that you have no-one to sit and be silent with.

Nor will you ever have, ever again. Not if you live to be ninety will you find that person who will sit with you in silence and occasionally stroke your arm, while you both look at the sunset, or sit and read. But you will find the people who will fuck you, there will be lots of those. And so you will conflate the two, and then you are lost, lost in the traffic. The traffic and its endless lost libidos, its casting eyes, the traffic and its car-pooling.

Love is the one who will clean you; love is the one who loves you for what you have achieved and what you might achieve; love is the one who clings to you when they are at their deepest hell; love is the one you feel across the clouds, and you sense her settling down, you hear her prayers and wishes and you can't quite distinguish between them; love is the shared beating you both take one late summer's day.

Love is the thing you have for a bit; but only for a bit. Then they get bored, and the cock is better or the pussy is wetter. There is always bigger cock and wetter pussy. There are always bigger tits. There are always more rippling muscles.

And so eventually we kill our delicate tapestries of feeling because feeling is nothing beside sheer physical necessity, and even less beside sheer physical necessity amplified and falsified by cynical media. But we live by cynical media, who want us to want to die rich, so we buy all the lies because they're what we want to hear. Porn is a cultural religion, with its ultra clean lines, its plastic perfect bodies and its meaningless noises, some kind of quasi spiritual vocalisations that are lies, and that everyone knows are lies, but that make us want to be part of it: all in all, quite the profane version of the mass, as practised now, at the end of time, just another end of time.

All the cock.

All the pussy.

All the tits.

All the power.

Nothing. Nothing. No feeling, no love, no world, no time. just noise. Noise.

No love lost.