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reSenTinG YoUR DArLiNGS

haters gonna hate – even the shit i be proud of, yeah?

Month

March 2015

she’s in parties – bauhaus

I’m almost sorry – almost – that the next month will be spent, instead of arguing politics with my fellow man, writing the first draft of my next work.

With the general election just the other side of NaNoCamp, I’ll be taking a wee hiatus from the merry cut and thrust of the Westmonster parties screaming in unbridled xenophobic terror at the thought that some uppity jocks might actually be elected. In an election. By voters, many of whom are also Scots of some sort.

Of course, since I’ll be writing about the Victorians, I imagine the outpourings of David Camerong, whatshisnameagain Clegg and the human Milliband will feed somehow into what I’m writing.

And of course, there’s Jim Murphy, a man so determined to refuse to admit Labour are finished in Scotland, he’s trying to bring back glue-sniffing at football matches. Anybody who “can’t remember” whether they’ve sniffed glue or not is a liar, take it from me. I haven’t used toluene since 1980 and I still remember it VERY vividly indeed.

I wonder if I’ll miss Murphy’s idiotic pronouncements? Probably not. Or Nicola Sturgeon being attacked with Gestapo-like efficiency about having both clothes and hair – while not having kids.

For the last twenty years or so, elections have been fought, not on policies but on the moral vacuum at the heart of your opponent’s soul. There’s been no refutation of anything Salmond or Sturgeon have to say, just the sort of refusal-to-understand, hands-up-in-horror approach the tabloids have to child killers. We’ve seen Sturgeon as Miley Cyrus, so what’s next? Alex ‘n’ Nicola as the Moors Murderers? The Wests? Venables and Thompson? Or is that too far from the racist stereotypes the media are pushing?

It’s bizarre, watching a general election being fought where none of the main parties have anything worthwhile to add, but simply spew vitriol over everybody else. Hysterical, though.

What all these unionist commentators are all missing is, the SNP have long been regarded as harmless eccentrics in Scotland. Their followers are traditionally the wackos and crazed loners that you don’t mind saying ‘hello’ to in the pub, but that you try to avoid getting into conversation proper with. Like most fetishists, they had nothing else in their lives – or to talk about.

So how did they suddenly end up with one hundred thousand members, clear policies of social justice and led by brilliant strategists? Nature as ever, abhors a vacuum and that’s what Westminster politics has evolved into. Scotland’s voted Labour ‘to keep the tories out’ and been rewarded by three Thatchers, a Major and now Cameron. During the eighties, as Kinnock swerved to the right, following the trail of breadcrumbs dropped by The People’s Princess, Margaret Thatcher, the likes of Blair and Murphy came up the food-chain, learning how politics worked. As Ken Livingstone said at the time, “Thatcher’s greatest triumph was to convince just enough of the electorate that there was no sensible alternative to her policies.” And that’s the lesson Tony Blair and Jim Murphy learned at her knee.

There is no difference nowadays between the red tories and their blue equivalent. There’s even been talk of a Labour/Conservative coalition. Now that I’d pay to see! Both parties pissing over their core supporters from a great height, sharing power – y’know the way Cameron ‘shared’ it with poor wee whatshisnameagain Clegg – and doubling the SNP’s support while they’re at it.

edgar allen poe – lou reed

The planning for next month’s NaNo was pretty much finished as of last week. I had a basic outline, scrawled on fag-packets, toilet walls and untattooed body parts, which I’ve been mind-mapping – in reverse order – one scene at a time. This lets me spot and iron out logic bubbles before they creep into the text when the time comes to write it.

I finally bought the bullet and bought a new computer after years of swithering and putting it off. It was second-user (i.e. a mongrel from many sources) so it had Linux installed. My initial plan was to cart it home, have a look at the operating system before ripping it out and installing Windows.

As it turned out, Linux nowadays is a damn sight more user friendly than it was in the days of slackware. I’ve had to install next to nothing – just a mind-mapping program, I think – and it worked perfectly, straight out of the box it didn’t in fact come in.

I’ve also been reading up on Victoriana – both fiction and non-fiction. I’ve never read Dickens before and I’m thoroughly enjoying ‘David Copperfield’. Same with Edgar Allan Poe. Since next month’s book is set in Victorian times, I’m immersing myself in that world, both the fiction and non-fiction on specific facets of Victorian behaviours and attitudes.

There are plenty of books available on Victorian life, certainly on the areas I’m researching just now and the fiction is an absolute delight. Poe is the master of description and Dickens’ humour sticks out a mile. On top of all that, I’m completely wallowing in the language and vocabulary of the period.

This is my first foray into steampunk. It’s an interesting genre, with its own rules and conventions, which I’m already planning to blaspheme against, every chance I get!

wild is the wind – david bowie

I don’t see what all the fuss is about wind farms. They provide cheap, clean electricity that will never run out. There are, as I see it, only two significant problems. Firstly, birds collide with the propellers and secondly, they’re created – in part – out of rare metals. Which our planet cannot continue to provide. A bit like oil, really.

To the second of these, so are our computers and cell phones. And our cars. And our CD/DVD/Blu-Ray technology. And our plasma screens. And our washing machines. And our microwaves. And pretty much anything else with a chip in it. And nobody sensible is asking us to relinquish our grip on any of these, are they? Plus these minerals are often mined in areas of conflict, funding weapons for people to wipe out other people.

And to the former, well, let’s go back to cars, shall we? Cars are responsible for a veritable genocide on wildlife – not just the flying ones, but the ones that walk on the earth or burrow in it.

Between 1951 and 2006, 309,144 people were killed and 17.6 million were injured in road accidents in the UK alone. We don’t actually keep figures for other species, what with homo sapiens being so much more important than all the others put together, yeah?

Let’s face it, the human race is doing a fine job of wiping out every other species on the planet – and when we run low on them, other humans who don’t have the common decency to look, dress or think exactly like us.

Personally, I find wind turbines beautiful. Where I work, there’s a wind farm on the outskirts of town and I can honestly say I love the sight of them as they loom up before me, turning slowly and gracefully against the sky. Or on a good day, like say November of 2014, tearing round and generating more electricity than Scotland actually needs. A surplus.

I first got into wind turbines when I lived in Bootle. There’s a line of them, right up the Mersey and it was the first chance I’d had to see them – in formation – in their natural habitat. To me, they add to a view, they do not in any way detract from it.

How many of those violently opposed to wind farms are giving up their cars, GPS, laptops and mobiles? How many of them turn their computers off at night or make sure their phone chargers are switched off when not in use? It’s NIMBYism, pure and simple.

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