All entries for November 2007
November 28, 2007
What the fuck is wrong with people?This story is fucking ridiculous. It reminds me of the Gere-Shetty kiss that was also blown massively out of proportion.
When will these fucking idiots get a sense of perspective? I know it's hypocritical to be intolerant of intolerance, but we make certain allowances for people who come to this country without full knowledge of custom and etiquette etc. But the fucking paranoia displayed by these so called 'top clerics' in labelling this incident part of a Western plot against Islam beggars belief. If someone named a teddy bear Jesus, we wouldn't flip out, and fucking threaten to string them up. It's idiocy on a grand scale, and some people will lap it up. This is why I can't stand organised religion...
November 26, 2007
"We need to be discussing how we can put this new network into place, because delay could be a barrier to the future success of our economy," said Stephen Timms, minister for competitiveness.
There's a minister for competitiveness? That's amazing. Do you think it's his job to go around the party conferences boasting and one-upping everyone's anecdotes? "Our country's better than yours" sort of thing. Reminds me of the Mitchell and Webb Minister for Metaphors vs Shadow Secretary for Similes sketch...
November 25, 2007
Freedom of Speech
Now, this article pissed me off. Everyone with even a sliver of brains knows that Griffin and Irving are complete arseholes. But they have the right to debate their views as long as they do not break the law, by, say, inciting racial or religious hatred. I know it's a tired quotation trotted out every time this debate is had, but I'll repeat Voltaire in saying "I disagree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it". Not that I'm actually sure I'd die for Nick Griffin or David Irving particularly, but, depending on circumstances, freedom of speech probably is worth dying for. I don't believe in absolute freedom of speech - laws that protect against incitement to racial or religious hatred, for example, are a necessity (though not where these apply to comedy, that's just idiotic). But it can be argued that these are not really laws against what you say, but laws against how you say it, marking the difference between self-expression and opinon proselytisation.
There are some laws which I find simply ridiculous. For example, in Turkey, there is a law about comitting crimes against Turkishness (Article 301), which has lead to the villification of great national writers like Orhan Pamuk. One must allow for criticism of a government, as long as it does not spill over into incitement to treason, which, sensibly, ought to be covered in any treason-based laws.
Equally ridiculous, though for different reasons, are laws against the denial of the Holocaust. These laws are, to my mind, patently absurd: if people want to be idiotic and ignore (what most of us consider to be) factual evidence to the contrary, then let them. We don't punish people for saying they were visited by aliens, because we can't prove that they weren't, and that aliens don't exist. Similarly, we can't prove with exact certainty that the Holocaust is not, in fact, an extremely elaborate hoax, however unlikely that seems (and it does), nor can we prove that it is not being misused by certain peoples as a source of gain. We don't apply this law to the first World War, or the Boer wars, or the 100 years war, to 9/11 or Rwanda, or any other conlict or tragedy in recent memory, so why is the Holocaust so different? Even if we did apply them to such events, the law would remain as Draconian, idiotic and unnecessary as it is now.
As relates specifically to the article, this MP throwing hs toys out of the pram is ridiculous. I in no way support the views of either of these cretins, but I wouldn't mind seeing them destroyed on a debating floor. The MP writes:
"Nothing which happens in Monday's debate can possibly offset the boost you are giving to a couple of scoundrels who can put up with anything except being ignored," he said.
"It is sheer vanity on your part to imagine that any argument you deploy, or any vote you carry will succeed in causing them damage.
"They have been exposed and discredited time and again by people vastly more qualified than you in arenas hugely more suited to the task than an undergraduate talking-shop, however venerable."
How fucking patronising and self-important can you be? It's almost like he has never heard of a process of attrition - it is entirely possible that under sustained pressure, one or both of these idiots may one day crack and give up their moronic views. But to assume that there is no point to such a debate before it has even occurred is ridiculous. It might well steer some people who were uncertain away from such lunacy when they see the arguments presented clearly, or, as is more likely, the demagoguery on display. Granted, it might push some people to support them, but if anyone has it in them to be a BNP sympathiser or Holocaust denier, better we know about it anyway than not. Otherwise we might mistakenly think we were engaging with rational and intelligent individuals. If they're that easily swayed, it's probably only a matter of time before they subscribe to some idiocy or other.
The position reminds me a lot of idiots like Jack Thompson (prominent anti-videogames campaigner), who is right near the top of my Most Hated list (and subsequently one of the principal reasons why I could never support Hilary Clinton, she being one of his biggest supporters). Jack takes a Tabula Rasa approach - he believes that there is no violence inherent within man, and that instead people are filled with the idea to go out and rape, steal, kill, or whatever, by games like Grand Theft Auto. I say bullshit. GTA is a cathartic process, a healthy channeling of aggression which is inherent within everyone, which would otherwise manifest itself in more damaging and disturbing ways. Even if there are people so impressionable as to take to the streets after playing GTA and go on a real life rampage, you have the same problem with the freedom of speech laws. These people were likely to get this informative input from somewhere eventually, be it film, television, music, art, even, dare I say it, literature. And until all those are banned, or about to be, any approach against video games specifically (probably because they are a famously interactive medium, in relative infancy compared to the other genres I've mentioned) is inconsistent and incoherent.
Ditto with drugs - alcohol and tobacco are two of the more damaging drugs, according to an actual updated, non Neolithic rankings system like the A B C Class system, (the new system can be viewed here), yet they remain legal while less damaging drugs are deemed high priority. Consistency is important for any argument, and if you're saying one can't allow the impressionable to come into contact with 'bad ideas', then you are left with no choice but to outlaw all ways in which they could come into contact with those ideas. Which, as far as I can tell, would be cutting off your nose to spite your face. Fuck the impressionable - this would be a classic case of levelling down, as you are significantly reducing the quality of life of the majority to cater to a few gullible, easily-led idiots. Violent games do not necessarily promote violence, drugs don't necessarily kill you, and racist wankers aren't necessarily invulnerable to criticism.
November 22, 2007
Uxbridge English Dictionary
Right, so anyone who's spoken to me for more than 5 minutes probably knows I am a big fan of the Radio 4 show 'I'm Sorry, I Haven't A Clue'. One of my favourite games on there is the Uxbridge English Dictionary, where old words are given new meaning - for example, miniscule would be a creche in Liverpool (mini-school). It's basically a huge exercise in my favourite type of comedy, punnage. So here, for your bafflement and to inspire the hatred you'll no doubt award me, are some I've been creating myself. The randoms come first, and the series come last. Feel free to add your own...
Lederhosen – spraying the postman
Philosophy – when you’ve had enough of Sophie
Solicitor – a sad Chinese man sitting down
Cooperation – a speech from the head of a supermarket
Samurai – the choice between me and Sam
Hirsute – what she wears to work
Filibuster – a lover of steak
Temporal – short-lived foreplay
Internet – something consumed by an apprentice
Phantasmagorical – one who predicts the addition of drugs to Fanta
Calamitous – devices for measuring colour
Gastronomy – to be bombarded with gas
Superintendent – trying to cover her with soup
Dostoyevsky – old English for “Do I have to ski?”
Garibaldi – Gary’s gone bald
Pusillanimous – dismay at the stench of a seal’s soul
Gelatine – to get the product and the packaging the wrong way round in hair care
Ballistic – a damnable lump of wood
Indubitably – to competently undo something
Valedictorum – when things are torn by a twat from Wales
Banister – to outlaw ogling
Prima Donna – before Madonna
Tonality – the property of being like a toenail
Ornament – a Brummie phrase meaning intended for the governor of California
Berlusconi – something heavy set that goes well with jam and clotted cream
Dandelion – a gay feline
Salamander – to flog Amanda
Teacake – wood pain
Scabbard – to recover toughly from a wound
Defer – to strip something of its hair
European – to call someone common
Detrimental – that tree is insane
Pornographic – being too broke to afford pictures
Evangelical – so desperate as to talk to Jelly
Condemn – how you get people to give you their money
Orgasm – the alternative of gassing people
Celeritous – to toss celery
Monarchic – to lament the weakness in one’s legs
Dumbfounded – discovered by a flying elephant
Existential – smelling of eggs
Clandestine – the Stein family
Military – a chocolate orange cookie
Disturbing – to remove one’s turban
Pandering – to paint something black and white
Mosquito – a little place of worship
Demented – to spit out your toothpaste
Morbid – what continues an auction
Psychosomatic – a flea that goes crazy in the heat
Disinterest – insulting Turrets and dyslexia sufferers at the same time
Posturing – after an Italian city
Menstruate – the thing men dislike the most
Macaroon – what one must do after eating too much
Deliberate – to lock someone up
Unfasten – to slow someone down
Improvise – to alter an imp
Bonanza – a Russian monarch in the act of lovemaking
Germinate – to maintain a grudge
Substantiate – to be not as good a Muslim as Stan
Mushroom – where huskies are kept
Belligerent – mocking fat people
Anonymous – a Scottish mouse
Senile – thinking you’re in Egypt
Buffet – to sexily say hello in the style of the Fonz
Eunuchs – it’s your turn now
Lasso – to be sick of Girls Aloud
Extreme – something you thought you wanted, but didn’t actually
Vindicate – a girl who eats mostly curry
Jezebel – a posh doorbell
Inflammatory – to set light to David Cameron
Hobgoblin – to eat a kitchen appliance
Eye doctor – online medical advice
Sandalwood – what shoes wish they could do
Hurly burly – when Liz puts on weight
Matriculate – to move away from Imperial measurements
Urban – to cover in garlic
Llandudno – to mistakenly think your place has set down
Subcutaneous – people to small to wait in line
Hospitable – capable of equine salivation
Entire – a pissed off tree
Longitude – his protracted mastication
Ramification – to turn something into a sheep
Upholstery – telling your mates how you got laid last night
Rational – a place with no vodka
Chlamydia – a damp stag
Gusset – to swear at something
Ajudicate - having felated a Hebrew
Anticipation – when a doctor treats an ant
Anterior – a scarier ant than the one before
Ignorant – to disregard ants
Rudiment – to intend offence
Intrude – to deny that something is offensive
Television – a town in Israel
Telemetry – another town in Israel
Tantalise – a tent full of untruths
Scandalise – to look over untruths
Herbivore – the film after Herbie Three
Carnivore – the fourth carnie along
Fructivore – an insult to the channel T4
Piscivore – Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, John Aschroft, and George Bush
Tendency – the third tendon along
Acne – a Scotsman banging their leg
Acumen – a Scotswoman cursing her husband
Marquis – what you say when you’ve lost your keys
Machiavelli – what an Italian says when they lose their keys
Congenital – with your penis
Congenial – with a magic spirit
Political – to molest a parrot
Polyamorous – to love several parrots at once
Oscillate – a tardy Australian
Undulate – something which is inexplicably delayed
Anti-Semitic – to be against things that are only half right
Anti-aircraft – to be against boats made of eggshells
Procrastinate – to be in favour of eating poorly constructed containers
Proselytise – to be in favour of Tie Rack
Purloin – something worn in the underwear department
Pernickety – for those interested in brewing underwear
Parabolic – a supernatural testicle
Diabolic – a poor excuse for a testicle
Metabolic – a superior testicle
November 20, 2007
Discount your curses
Right, so this is last week's assignment, where we had to write a curse, to create the dragon of fire within ourselves. I wanted to focus more on concepts and evoking emotion and sensation than on language, because of recent criticisms about being too wrapped up in language, despite the beauty of angry words, like vitriol, vituperative, venomous etc. What I ended up, though, with was probably too conceptual, and a bit tired. Apparently, the rhythm was more of a detractor than an amplifier, which surprised me - I thought the meter, combined with the repetition, would help with the feel of an incantation, but aparently not. The rhyme certainly did force me to stretch more than a few times, but it's just my preference, my predilection for rhyme in poetry as well as song. The only bit which people really liked was "I hope you're too sickly to take your own life".
The story is based around an actual event: recently, coming off a motorway onto a roundabout to get into Leam, a guy came through on the right hand lane to cut me off turning left, which is dangerous, illegal, and just plain rude. So I followed him all the way to his house, got out and had a go at him. He pretty much ignored me, just walked into his house. It was a fucking businessman, too - I was expecting a student, but some mid-30s office worker really ought to know better. Anyway, the curse is a curse on bad drivers.
We then had to translate it using the antonymic method (take each word, phrase or sentence and replace it with its opposite), and then polish it into something more comprehensible. Because of the highly conceptual nature of the original curse, the blessing became high philosophy, impenetrable, proposing austerity in life, a kind of Mother Teresa-like "salvation through suffering". 'I hate you' becomes 'you love me', and while there are a few flashes of brilliance (slurp from the womb, moral gym, celibate genius passenger), it's mostly quite obtuse. The final line, though, makes me think of the Dark Tower series, especially the first book, the Gunslinger - along with the line "Caught them looking towards me without that careful silence", it just recalls those landscapes and that sense of the Western...
I Hope – A Malediction
I don’t wish you death, because death is too easy
No, I wish you life, oh so tragic and long
For suffering’s greater when varied, extended
So I hope you suffer for years to come
I hope you get everything you ever wanted
Only to have it ripped from your hands
For loss is the deepest of all of life’s sorrows
I hope it infects every one of your plans
I hope you gain fame and in one single instant
Throw it away with some careless remark
So nowhere is safe from a menacing public
Who mock you all day and attack after dark
I hope you get rich and then lose all your assets
With only the memory to keep you warm
Go sleep on the streets with no house to go home to
Pneumonia have at you, with vigour and scorn
But not just pneumonia, all ailments and illness
I hope you’re too sickly to take your own life
I hope that existence is pain ever-lasting
You’ll only know torment and suffering and strife
I hope your own children will grow up to hate you
I hope your own family will spit on your grave
I hope you die knowing the world will be happier
That it was your doing, the bed that you made
I hope that you never know faith or self-confidence
Every thought should be wracked with self-doubt
I hope that your ego will splinter and crack
From the weight of self-loathing that’s trying to get out
I hope that God hates you, I hope that life shuns you
And all that you touch turns to ash and expires
Maybe then you’ll think twice before cutting me up
On the roundabout, fucking idiot driver
You Despair – A Work in Progress
You do begrudge me life, for life isn’t little hard
Yes, you begrudge me death, ah, hardly comic or brief
Because prosperity’s not lesser when not constant, shortened
Inappropriately you despair I prosper for days from go
You despair I lose nothing I never disliked
Possibly from lack them to my feet
Because gain isn’t a shallowest not relating to none not relating to death’s joys
You despair they purify no many not relating to my chaos
You despair I lose anonymity or out many multiple eternity
Catch them towards without that careful silence
To avoid that everywhere isn’t dangerous to the comforting individual
Which encourage me no night or defend before light
You despair I lose poor or now gain none my liabilities
Without possibly a precognition from lose me cold
Come wake off a cell without every office from come workplace from
Heat stroke lack away from me, without apathy or praise
Also only heat stroke, no clean bill of health
You despair I’m not little healthy from give my communal death
You despair this extinction isn’t pleasure never fleeting
I didn’t possibly ignore peace and prosperity and ease
You despair my communal parents did not shrink down from love me
You despair my communal friends did not slurp off my womb
You despair I live ignoring a void wasn’t sadder
This they won’t be my inaction, a gym this I destroyed
You despair this I always ignore knowledge and doubt of others
No emotion shouldn’t be brushed without trust in society
You despair this my hive mind didn’t defragment and reintegrate
To a lightness not relating to love of the world this isn’t can’t be arsed from lose in
You despair this Satan loves me, you despair this death welcomes me
Or none this I avoid remains from ice or is born
Certainly now I didn’t feel once after fusing you down
Off a crossroads, celibate genius passenger
You Despair – A Valediction
You don’t begrudge me life, though life isn’t a little hard,
Yes, you begrudge me death, ah, hardly comic or brief,
For prosperity’s lesser when inconstant, shortened:
You despair if I prosper only for days from the word go.
You’d despair if I lost something I never disliked,
Possibly from lacking it to boot,
Because gain is a shallow thing relating to none, relating to death’s joys:
You’d despair if it purified things relating to my chaos.
You’d despair if I lost anonymity, or, in multiple eternities,
Caught them looking towards me without that careful silence,
To avoid that everywhere isn’t dangerous to the comforting individual,
Which encourages me night and day to defend the light.
You’d despair if I lost poverty, or now gained none of my foibles,
Without which I could not foresee my loss of cold-heartedness.
Come wake in a cell without every office or workplace function!
Heat stroke keep away from me, without apathy or praise!
But only heat stroke, no clean bill of health please!
You’d despair if I were healthy, give me communal death!
You’d despair that without extinction, not pleasure, ever looming
I might ignore peace and prosperity and ease.
You despair that my communal parents did not shrink away from loving me
You despair that my communal friends did not slurp from my womb
You’d despair if I lived ignoring a void not sadder
Than this would be, my inaction, a moral gym I’d destroy
You’d despair if I always ignored knowledge and the doubts of others
No emotion should be brushed aside without trust in society
You’d despair if my hive mind didn’t defragment and reintegrate
To a lightness not relating to a love of the world, that can’t be arsed with losing
You’d despair if Satan loved me, you’d despair if death welcomed me
Or if none of this I avoid remained in ice or was born
Certainly now I didn’t feel at all after setting you down
Off those crossroads, celibate genius passenger
Alcohol is a fucking sickness. It’s a disease. It’s not that I don’t drink, or occasionally get drunk. But this whole fascination with going out and getting plastered is obscene. I was led on to this path of thought by Locke referring to diminished responsibility, not punishing the sober man for the drunk man’s actions (though in his defence, he later retracts this). But to not punish them? Why the fuck not? After all, the sober man got drunk in the first place, and is therefore responsible for all the drunk man does. Being drunk is not an excuse for cheating on someone, for example, though it may be an explanation. I know what I can get like when I’m drunk, some of the things I do. Solution? I don’t get drunk. Some gambles are not worth taking. So why excuse some fucker for killing his wife because he was drunk? By Locke’s extension, he was the same person, with the same consciousness – he remembers doing it. Even if he doesn’t, it doesn’t change the fact that he chose to get drunk in the first place, and therefore is responsible for his own actions.
I’m not being puritanical here, I’m being logical. If you know you will do, or might do, bad things when you’re drunk (which you wouldn’t do when sober), then don’t get drunk. If you do get drunk, in the knowledge that you might do said things, then you’re entirely at fault, and should be tried as if you were never drunk in the first place, and held fully responsible. It is patently ridiculous to say that we should not blame the sober man for the drunk mans actions.
Madness I’m less sure about – for it is probably beyond one’s control. But temporary insanity is just bollocks. Someone who’s genuinely mad should stay locked up – temporary insanity is just another way of saying I couldn’t help myself, which is a fucking nonsense statement. The whole idea of will-power is bogus – people do what they want to do. They make value judgements, weigh up the pros and cons, and come to a decision, which they invariably follow. I know it sounds quite Platonian, but people don’t do things they know aren’t best: they’ll think but not really believe that the best course of action is actually the best, and hence will do the one they actually think is best, regardless of whether it is or not, or whether society dictates that it’s the best (or at least, regardless excepting the need to conform to society’s expectations in the original value assessment).
I gave up smoking with a click of my fingers – went from at least 5 cigarettes a day to 4 cigars a year. Why? Because I knew, and properly believed, that it was the right thing to do. When people do the wrong thing (we’re all guilty of it, no one is perfect), it’s because, at some level, deep or shallow, they are deluding themselves into genuine belief that it’s actually the right thing, or at least the best thing for them. If you have an essay deadline and don’t do the essay because you’d rather do something else, it’s because you think that that’s the best course of action for you, for whatever reason, be it that you’ll get an extension, or say you were ill, or rush it off the morning before, or even just get away with not doing it.
So when people talk about willpower, or lacking it, or say “I couldn’t bring myself to do such and such”, what they’re actually saying is “I took what I considered the best course of action for me, but I’m too chickenshit to admit it, for whatever reason, because society, or some relevant subsection of it, condemns that course of action”. When something is in your power to do, within your control, and you want to do it, then you fucking well do it. I should qualify here that I’m using a sort of cumulative or summative definition of want– in the case of two or more conflicting desires, while you might theoretically desire each of them, the thing or action you desire the most is the one you really want, in the end. In mathematical terms, you have a centre point, a zero, and either side you have desires that equate to positive (wanting to do x) or negative (not wanting to do x), and whether you want to do something or not depends on whether the final sum of those desires is positive or negative. So if you say, “I want to quit smoking”, what you really mean is “I want to quit smoking more than I want to keep smoking”. If you don’t mean that, then you ought to say “A part of me wants to quit smoking”, because that implies that the whole of you does not, and that the part of you has been overwhelmed by the whole of your consciousness. So we should say ‘I want’ only when that is the overriding truth – don’t even get me started on people defining language! So, people that want to quit and don’t are either lazy or deluded: lazy in not being arsed to fight their bodies (which is a legitimate difficulty in coming off nicotine), or deluded in thinking that, actually, they’re somehow immune, that smoking isn’t going to damage them, that it’s still the best course of action for them to take, which it arguably is – better to live well and die young than live poorly and die old.
So if you want to quit, you quit. And if you want to murder, you murder. But take it on the chin, like a fucking man. Don’t hide behind temporary insanity, or alcohol, or whatever other diminished responsibility bullshit they come up with. If you got caught, you fucking well deserve everything that’s coming to you (which is not to say that those clever or lucky enough to get away with it don’t, necessarily, but rather that they have successfully played a system that requires suspicion or proof ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.) People are far too quick to pass the buck sometimes, because they forget that explanations are not excuses. ‘I was drunk’ might answer the question why, but it doesn’t absolve you of the consequences.
One of the worst things is that people get drunk precisely to give themselves an excuse to get with so and so, or to tell you something, or because they want to forget about their lives. Forget about their lives? Why not spend the time and energy (and money) wasted on alcohol on actually changing your life to be something you can enjoy without a 10 unit minimum? Is it so fucking hard to be honest with yourself? I already admitted there are a few things I’d do drunk but not sober, but they are few and far between. By and large I don’t change much when I get drunk, but that’s because I don’t see the point in repressing most of the things people do normally, but don’t when pissed. So I’m the King of the Overshare, so what? If you don’t care about me, why are you talking to me? Fuck off and talk to someone else! If society says it’s not acceptable or normal for me to sing in public, or to admit to my 3 years of forced celibacy, or to write songs for people, then society can go fuck itself.
And that includes not getting wankered. Does it make people uncomfortable that there are people who are at ease enough with themselves to be truthful and uninhibited (seeing as ‘losing inhibitions’ is the phrase so often associated with alcohol) without the aid of social lubricant? Because it seems to me there is a certain sort of stigma against people that don’t drink, or that don’t get drunk. If I get drunk, it tends to be accidental, by which I mean I don’t go out with the intention of getting drunk, and haven’t since I was about 15, but rather I get drunk as a by-product of actually enjoying the alcohol I’m drinking, hence my preference for booze that actually tastes good rather than the cheapest or strongest swill available. But if I do get drunk, and I do something idiotic, I’m not going to blame my stupidity on the alcohol, though it might explain my actions to some degree. But that action was always within me, some dark animus that we smother for the good, be that collective or individual good.
And sure, the problem here is the line. The arbitrary line (as most lines are, it seems). How much of ourselves can we be truthful about, or ought we to reveal? Even accepting that some of the inhibitions many people generally live under and escape through alcohol might be permissible, which ones? Obviously I’m not advocating total honesty, free from tact: there’s honest, and there’s just plain rude. Nor am I advising an absolute instinctive hedonism, total surrender to all our urges. Clearly there is such a thing as too far – murder, rape, etc. – just as there are things which, where alcohol is concerned, are generally permissible, if a little odd – singing in public, hugging a lot, shacking up with someone and the like. But the middle ground, ranging from adultery to cartwheeling naked across your lawn, is treacherous waters. If there’s something it’s actually acceptable to do when drunk, but not when sober, why is that the case? Ought there to be anything which falls under that category, or are we simply again permitting for certain acts performed under diminished responsibility?
Let’s take an example we’ve probably all come across: if we say that it’s ok to tell your same-sex best friend you love them (in a non-romantic way) when you’re drunk, but not when sober, is there a reason for that difference? Is it a British thing, a repression of the emotions we work so diligently to disguise, to maintain that reservedness that characterised an empire? I doubt it somehow – it seems, from experience, more universal than that. Is it, to return to the subject of the fear of difference, merely a reaction to that degree of honesty with oneself and the world, a frankness which makes people uncomfortable? Perhaps, but then is it really that such an action is acceptable when drunk, or is it merely more acceptable (and, perhaps, contingent on the drunkenness of the receiver of said compliment)? If it is a fear of honesty, surely we are just relegating such an outburst yet again to the realm of the excusable, rather than the acceptable. Is it possible, then, that my original explanation was correct, that such actions are actually, in some form or other, no more right (or less wrong) when sober than when drunk, but it is just that alcohol is required for some (or even most) people to open themselves up to a certain level of uninhibitedness, hence the phrase Dutch courage?
I don’t really have any definite answers, just a desire to ask the right questions. I do know, however, that until someone gives me a better explanation, I shall have to continue to look on deliberate drunkenness as a form of cowardice, a recourse to alcohol to provide both the opportunity and the excuse for actions considered otherwise too risky. To anyone reliant on the crutch of alcohol, I have only these words: carpe diem, and strap on a pair.
November 14, 2007
I think might give up poetry, because I've just discovered the best fucking poem ever, and no-one will ever beat it:
November 12, 2007
Intermittent winter ramblings
I fucking hate the cold.
I really resent having to wrap up. I know it's just the cycle of the world, and nature needs its downtime, and all that crap, but seriously, I want to move someplace where the lowest the temperature ever goes is mid teens. It's so fucking unnerving. The cold is like a clingy ex-girlfriend - no matter how you try to shake it off, it always gets under your clothes, touching you in unwanted places, upsetting the balance you've created for yourself. The cold is an enemy, a necessary evil, but necessary for whom? If the cold is so necessary, how come the rainforests thrive (or would without human intervention)? Presumably they have cycles too, seasons with life and death for plants and animals, but they don't get cold. I shouldn't have to wear more than 2 fucking layers, November or no. It's so much more satisfying ( to walk in from the heat ouside to an air-conditioned building/room than it is to come in from the cold to a heated room, not least because it's so much more immediate. You're not even promised that, anyway - so many buildings aren't properly heated, I sat in the Union this afternoon, and in the Arts Centre yesterday, and fucking froze. You can still drink hot drinks (tea, coffee, hot chocolate etc.) in hot climates, as evidenced by where chai comes from. Granted that being warm in bed when it's cold(ish) outside, but it's an acceptable casualty. Sweat>numbness, heat stroke>frostbite, heat>cold.
I also fucking hate snow. I've explained this many times in person, but I'll lay it out here, to stand eternal (probably Ozymandias-like) in data's annals. Snow is shit:
- It's cold, which I've already stated my reasons against.
- It's wet, in the wrong sort of context - wet is fine when you're going swimming, and dressed for the occasion, but wet when you're fully clothed AND cold, so that you're not going to dry any time soon, is bollocks, because it lingers and the cold gets under your skin.
- It makes everything look the same - "oooh look, isn't it all pretty and white?" No, it fucking well isn't. All the vibrancy of colour gets sapped out of the world, and you're left with this glossed over bullshit, like a pale (pun intended) attempt to make us examine the form of everything and the soul of nothing.
- It leaves sludge - when the snow is gone, what do you get? Browny black shit everywhere, sludging and slurping everywhere like snowmen with explosive diarrhoea fell from the sky and splattered all over the show, making it fucking impossible to drive, soaking your shoes and totally ruining what should have been the relief of getting all the colour back in the world.
- It produces snowballs - great, an excuse for all the wankers of the world to hit people in the face with compacted water, probably with a stone or two in there for good measure. Last year, I was walking from the Union back to halls when some cunts, who were driving around campus, lobbed a big snowball out their car window which hit me smack in the face. You can say I take myself too seriously (I don't think there is such thing anyway) but I fail to see how that's in the Christmas spirit, or in any spirit other than the one of fucking up other people's days.
I'd like to make clear at this point that I am NOT a Scrooge. I love Christmas, for many reasons, both right and wrong. It's just the fucking weather I can't stand. Christmas on a beach somewhere in the southern hemisphere (so it owuld be the height of summer), with sand instead of snow, now that would be perfect. You can celebrate Jesus' birth without putting yourself through the same fucking conditions that he had to endure. After all, we don't go crucifying ourselves for Easter. It's just the mass delusion that snow is this awesome thing that makes Christmas perfect - if you like snow so much, go to the fucking alps. I say bring on global warming (there's at least one theory that says, despite losing the warm currents we have, Britain comes out of it a hell of a lot warmer than it went in). And yes, I know me telling other people to move when I could do the same holds a certain petulance, but I do intend to move, although sadly San Francisco isn't a whole lot warmer. And even when I'm rich and famous, I'll still have to spend Christmas with family (which is what it's really about), but that's only a week or so of the winter months. Otherwise, I'll spend the time somewhere blistering, like the desert...
In conclusion, fuck the cold, fuck snow and fuck you
(Disclaimer: last statement was added only for the sake of the tricolon, and applies only to Creationists, terrorists, Mother Teresa, George Bush, Man Utd and Liverpool fans, and those cunts who hit me with the snowball last year.)
November 01, 2007
Three Years in the Desert
Right, so that slam poem I did on Tuesday I recorded. It's now up on soundclick - http://www.soundclick.com/jimmykent - a site I urge you to check out, please. It's where I put up all my songs, which will probably give you an insight into why I write the way I write (if you're interested, that is). Plus, I think they're quite good, or I wouldn't be banking my future on them.
Anyway, here are the words:
Three Years in the Desert
Three years in the desert
I’ve spent three years in the desert
Constantly trying desperately to make sense of it
Are you testing me? Developmentally arresting me?
What can the reason be, tell me, for these long three years?
Am I supposed to look out at all of my peers
And not mind? I do mind, I’ve been left behind
I’m a sexual repressive, a relic, some kind of
Untouchable, deemed unlovable, branded
Unfuckable, by God only knows whose utterables
Am I making any sense? It’s gutterable,
Garbage, set off by alarms, it’s hard, it’s
Me, and my hand with nowhere to go
Getting tired of this 5 finger show, and what I
Really wanna know is is it a problem with me?
Is it just my mum and dad think I’m good enough to breed?
Cos I bleed, I got needs to feed, please believe
That I’ve tried the other side, and it’s not for me
I know there’s people think I’m gay, and there’s people think I’m straight
And it’s Neolithic labels like that that really grate
But if there is a guy that could make me wipe the slate
I haven’t met him, I’m still too attracted to girls
Since I started getting urges, they’ve been my whole world
Bout the age of 11, I began to unfurl, but let’s
Take a little second, slow down, before I hurl
In, out, in, out
Ladies and gentlemen, this rant is brought to you by three years of forced celibacy
Is it really such a long shot?
Is it really such a long shot that in
A world so full of people needing sex
That the best a man can get is vexed
I’m a nervous wreck, always wondering whose next
What the plan of attack should be, complex
Or simple, do I let em know that I like them straight?
Or should I take the time to inebriate,
Implicate that I maybe wrote a little song
If I give you the words, would you like to sing along?
So I come on a little strong.
I thought girls liked my songs, and I thought
That the cool approach just felt wrong,
If you like someone, then why stand off?
And I thought that the drought couldn’t last that long
But I was wrong, so here I am, living proof
That sometimes you’re better off being aloof
I scare girls off, I’m too “intense”
That motherfucking word again and again
And again and again till it loses all sense
Till the walls of my mind start to bend,
Till I’d fuck my guy friends, and sure, there’s an easy way out
Go to a club, grit my teeth, hang about
Till the drunk girls show at the end of the night
Like picking on the weak in the herd, and alright
I could do it, I know that I could, but I won’t
Cos I’m not that guy, and that’s not my zone
I’ve always thought of sex as communion
Confusing, sure, but organised confusion
Communicating souls, and because we’re only human
The more we fuck, well the less it means
Cos the more of yourself you’re giving out for free
And there’s only so much to go around, you see
To know and be known, entire, complete
That’s the grail, that’s my life-long dream
So I’m asking again, is there a reason for this?
Cos I sometimes feel life’s taking the piss
When jerks and ugly guys get laid every day
And I can’t even get a girl to look my way
Look my way, PLEASE, and help me out of the desert
Yeah, I know the irony is that it's a little intense (but is that ironic if I'm aware of it?), but it's genuine. I didn't think that it was very funny, but people were laughing a lot (I won't say it didn't hurt a little to have my misfortune laughed at, but hey, schadenfreude is a part of human nature), and in unexpected places. Yeah, so, this is probably why I'm the king of the overshare, but who gives. I also wrote this little ditty last night:
When he’d fixed all the clocks
And darned the odd socks
And tidied his room up again
And eaten his tea
And watched BBC
And spent a few hours in the gym
And played some guitar
And napped for an hour
And Facebooked, and forumed, and blogged
And spoke to his rents
And flatmates, and friends
And prepared himself for the slog
By buying caffeine
And chocolate unseen
In such volume outside the store
Our poor student found
His time had run out
Quoth the student “Nevermore!
Nevermore will I wait
When there is an essay to write
For I’ve pissed time away
Now confronted by day
When I should have worked through the night”
With vigour renewed
And gusto imbued
The essay was done in a flash
Which maybe explains
The terrible grade… At least I’m not that rash
Certainly not based on real-life experience (this lie is for the benefit of any parents or lecturers reading this blog, please do not use it if you don't need it)...