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

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broken man – status quo

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I haven’t posted in here (or pretty much anywhere else) for ages. The truth is, I’ve been falling to bits since November of 2014, when I went down with a couple of bugs within a day or two of each other.
Then, I was off work for five weeks and ever since, I’m getting exhausted after short periods of effort. It’s a bit like a hangover – plus a speed comedown – except it’s lasted over a year now.
I’m still writing – and working – but between them, that’s all my energy spoken for.
With David Hameron’s banning of all barely legal highs as of April fools’ day, my new year’s resolution is that, from now on, it simply must be class A or not at all. After all, why risk consuming drugs the government keep telling us are terrible, when the dark net is paved with good old fashioned non-scheduled intoxicants we know – from years of experience – to be completely benign?
Joking aside, my strategy for 2016 is to teach myself to revise fiction. Properly this time. Since 2011, I’ve wrung out three first drafts a year and by now, I reckon I’m pretty damn good at it. I love the adrenaline rollercoaster of a first draft, fifty K in thirty days. Revision, though…
Shitting them out is easy. Polishing these turds I’m so proud of is far more difficult. It feels like hard work, ploughing the same ugly furrow for little or no return – when I’m already bored with it.
In the last month, I’ve ground my way through last July’s novel, ‘Wifies’ and have started on one, ‘Person hair’ I wrote a couple of years back. The plan is to complete these and get them out there by the end of 2016. Cameron, Trump and ISIS willing, of course.

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born in a prison – the mob

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The big problem nobody’s addressing with regard to the twelve hundred free-range paedophiles is, where are we going to put them?According to exaro news, as of last month, police had identified fourteen hundred sexual predators. Two hundred are dead and a further two hundred or so are ‘prominent’ people – respected politicians and much-loved light entertainers. Arresting them is now possible, but the prison system does not have sufficient space for twelve hundred more inmates. And the VP wings in Britain’s prisons definitely don’t. When you factor in that many of these men will be elderly and have medical issues associated with age, this is the worst logistical nightmare since the health and safety executive had to organise queueing for those wishing to pish on Thatcher’s grave. I don’t know what the answer is. Tagging – for life – might be the most humane way of containing them. Fuck their human right to attend splendid galas or vote on legislation. They’ve only stopped their careers in sexual abuse when either ill-health or public opinion caught up with them. Let them be stuck indoors doing jigsaws all day until death sets them free.

Seige over as Murphy gives himself up

There were tears of joy, hugs and a certain amount of whistling today as former First Minister to be Jim Murphy put down his weapon and gave himself up to police. Late this morning, Murphy’s voice could be heard, delivering the same rambling lecture that had started last Friday when he learned that he’d been ousted as MP for Renfrewshire East by almost four thousand votes.
A police spokesman said that Murphy stopped talking, then a figure appeared in one of the bay windows of the property, holding a plastic bag to his face.
Murphy then opened the door. He had soiled himself and kept repeating, “it’s gone, it’s all over.” police freed Murphy’s wife and their nineteen children who are recovering from their ordeal at an undisclosed Nando’s.

i travel – simple minds

Trying to get to work these days is getting progressively more repulsive and terrifying. Waiting at a bus stop’s like a scratchcard – only, you’ve a far better chance of winning when the odds are only a million or so to one against you.
Essentially, while I still have a job, I have a couple of choices facing me: either I leave with plenty of time to get to work (and arrive half an hour late), or I leave thirty-to-sixty minutes earlier. Either way, I have to spend a lengthy period of time sitting like Robinson fucking Crusoe at the brand new Halbeath park ‘n’ ride.
Halbeath park ‘n’ ride is truly one of the seven wonders of Fife. Quaint tearooms, second hand bookshops and some of the finest restaurants known to man. By night, the sky is ablaze with the most expensive laser lightshow in Scotland awhile top European DJs vie for the attention of the swarms of tourists from all over the globe. I’ve personally had the best sex in my life in a few of the many cheap ‘n’ cheerful hotels dotted around the area.
The above, as regular visitors to this top-flight entertainment complex will know, refers to a parallel universe. One where I’m not stuck in the middle of nowhere, day after day, praying a bus will one day come for me – and burning leaves and newspaper as I attempt to keep myself above the ambient temperature.
In the reality you and I inhabit, Halbeath park ‘n’ ride is a bit like Las Vegas – as it was before Moe Green turned it from an army truck stop into something the Corleone family might want.
Stagecoach East Scotland have managed to perfect a timetable that works on the principle that the bus you need to complete your journey should *just* be leaving as you pull in. They’re not perfect and on occasion, I’ve been obliged to dart from one bus straight into the maw of another and complete my journey home without a Ballardian imprisonment in concrete nothingness. But the service is so good that this is a problem I’m rarely faced with.
The entertainment consists of a snacks machine and a television, hard-wired to mind-crushing rubbish, presented by people no jury on earth would convict someone for killing. There are staff on hand, but they are, as I’ve learned, purely for decoration.
Bored? Then why not sit below the overhead board, where your bus will slowly move up the list until it winks out, never to be seen again. When pressed, the staff will insist it never existed, that perhaps wolves have carried it off and that Eurasia are our friends and we have always been at war with Oceana.
Coming home after a day at the coalface, while exhausted, rather than staring into the face of unemployment, sanctions and extinction, feels equally like not actually moving.
Sitting (if you can call it that) on their so-called chairs, eyes buried in a book and with my headphones on, for long periods, dreaming of my bed and the warmth of a human hand. It’s enough to make you misty-eyed. Or to go on a killing spree.
Still, I suppose this is what I get for living indoors AND trying to have a job.

holiday in cambodia – dead kennedys

#scotland has been trending on twitter non-stop for about two weeks now – with all sort of freaks and weirdos (and one or two sensible voices)  all throwing up their tuppenceworth onto the pile of steaming outpourings that passes for discussion  in this here and now.
I just read that Gordon Brown’s threatening that if Scotland leaves the UK, we won’t be able to afford  pensions. Deal, Gogs. Since the the last labore government got rid of the age of retitement and Kim Jong Cameron hasn’t exactly rushed to reinstate it, what’re you threatening us with, exactly?  That we might lose the opportunity to slave until we perish of exhaustion and malnutrition? That we might no longer have the right to our heads skewered on a stake? I’ll take my chances with a country that resembles ‘holiday in Cambodia’ a wee bit less, ta.
The hand-wringing over us poor Scots and how we’ll perish like rats has all but ended now.  The main thrust of George Arseborn’s argument seems to be, ‘it’s my pound and it’s burst and it’s raining’. Since we don’t as a nation, seem to have the common stupidity to believe that the coalition who’ve attacked the most vulnerable people in the country – after demonising the bastards, of course – just want the best for Scotland, the velvet gloves are off and we’re staring into the iron fist. Of Gideon. Who, let’s face it, when you slot him in amongst the bullies at your school,  resembles, not the hard men that could actually take you, but the fat specky kid who, after the IDS hard men have leathered you, decides to try to prove something for himself. The same kid whose bitch as you kick for his cheek before throwing his glasses onto the roof of the school by way of reminding him not to be so bloody silly in future.
China Mieville’s ‘the city and the city’ should be compulsory reading in Scotland just now. Especially the bits about economics. We’re already the poor relation and threatening to strip us of our debts really isn’t going to make much of a difference.
Basically, Tories-R-Us have given it their best shot and if that’s the best the anglo-saxons can do, when we all stop laughing, it’ll be a resounding ‘AYE’ vote.
We’re a celtic people, given to passion and coarse language and hitting things that seem unfair to us. Sometimes we get it wrong, but a lot of the time we get it right, too.
And in the red white and blue corner, the mongrel, multiply invaded and ethnicly cleansed by anyone who fancied invading over the centuries. Just remember, when the Romans were making David Cameron’s granny their bitch, they had to build a wall to keep us out. Such is the respect with which the Scots have been treated since we first came over from Ireland and ethnically cleansed the shit out of the indigenous Pictish folk back-in-the-day.
I’m not sure where it goes next. First, bullies give out dominance signals, “I’ll kick your cunt in” or the politicallty correct equivalent. If that doesn’t work , (and I’ve found a smack in the mouth often changes their approach for them) then they give submission signals. The fists disappear, the be replaced by tears. “oh, you big bad man, how can you give me such a hard time?”
The ones I met at school were wankers and Cameron’s junta are no different, believe me.
One problem is, salmond seems to be being built up into a messianic figure – not by us but by the ‘naw’ lot. And as a politician, he’s a cunt until proven otherwise. Common sense should tell you that.

let’s stick together – bryan ferry

I’ve started mapping out April’s NaNoCamp novel. So far, it’s set in the same world as dreich NOiR and I have a list of characters, which I’m adding attributes to as they unveil themselves to me. (and I’m still adding to that list, as of this morning!)
They say, you should always build from the characters up and that’s a model that’s always worked for me.
I’m also recycling one or two characters from earlier works. Since I already have a bit of their background, it gives me a bit more skeleton to hang other characters (and plot) on.
Through no fault of my own, I attended an ice hockey match recently. Interested parties might like to check my twitter feed from the evening of 25 i 14. I imagine this will feed into this as yet untitled novel in some way, shape or form.
The rules of ice hockey are simple: a dozen padded maniacs, half in one costume, half in another, beat the living shit out of each other. The audience, dressed either one way or the other, cheer and laugh when someone dressed like them hurts someone dressed differently. Conversely, when someone dressed in the other colours kills or maims someone in the same colour scheme as yourself, the idea is to take great umbrage at this.
Basically, apart from the overcooked veggie-burger that gets flailed around in the melee, it’s a string of hate-crimes – with applause.
Sort of like the rape scene from ‘The accused’, except with more people cheering.

your without sound – clock dva

I left my rucksack in a taxi last Saturday. Second, third maybe, time – in my life – I haven’t memorised the taxi number in case of this sort of thing. There’s about twenty CDs in the rucksack, including John Cale’s ‘The island years’ which I haven’t played yet and disks three-to-six of Miles Davis’ ‘complete On the corner sessions’. There’s my tablet PC, with all my writing backed up – and all my passwords for well, everywhere. And there’s my hearing aids. For the next three days, no upper register to my hearing. And my tinnitus has been in full bloom ever since.
Earlier on, I’d lost a ring I’ve had for years and is of great sentimental value. It turned up – in my shopping – just as I realised that the rucksack wasn’t. I’d been sitting in the taxi. The rain beating down like a maniac with a lead pipe. I tried to let go of the ring, telling myself it’s only a piece of metal. It has no numinosity. I was just about there with that when it turned up. Then I had to worry about whether there was anything incriminating anywhere in the rucksack – just in case it turned up at a police station.
I got through work Sunday and Monday, made it through to Glasgow on the Tuesday and even managed to sit through ‘Anchorman 2′, picking up pretty much all of it. And around 20:30 on ex-mess eve, the driver of the taxi rang to say he’d only found it that morning, dug through it to find my phone number and had been ringing me all day.
Within thirty minutes, I had my hearing aids back in and was back in all those little noises I can’t hear any more without electronic enhancement. Proud to be a self-repairing cyborg, me.
Those three days were difficult – not impossible – but I found myself having to ask people to repeat themselves more than usual, I found myself facing people so I could lip read them. I put out word on both Twitter and Facebook and my thanks to everyone who reposted and/or retweeted.
It was a year before, on December twenty-fourth last year, that I got my hearing aids after five-and-a-half years of my ears’ slow depreciation. Suddenly I could hear all the little noises again. The plethora of wee electrical sounds a bus makes, the detail in Miles Davis’ work. I could hear people when they weren’t even pointing directly at me, I could follow the dialogue on television, even during the reaction shots.
All of this left me in an appallingly good mood as we unwrapped the presents and pretended to thank each other. A good mood that kept going as I watched ‘Zero dark thirty’ and tried to figure out what was most annoying about it.
It’s a Christmas miracle – two years in a row. God bless us, every one.

*hearing aids, taxi, john cale, miles davis, tablet pc, writing, anchorman 2, work, facebook, twitter, christmas eve, sound,

january – pilot

it’s too easy to let things pile up, isn’t it? Life can get on top of you and it all seems too much – there seems to be no edge one can get one’s fingernails into and we end up steamrolled by something that appears massive like a shark. When, in actual fact, problems, hassles and other difficulties are generally made up of lots and lots of tiny fragments, most of which are quickly – and easily – defeatable.
It’s perspective that hamstrings us, insisting that what we’re about to fight is a shark, when it’s only a hundredweight of tiny goldfish.
Funny. Here we are again, the  downswing of another year. It’s getting on for that time when the thoughts of a young man (or even an elderly gentleman like myself) turn to thoughts of new year’s resolutions.
I’ve been reading up on altering habits for the last week or two and 2014 might well be the year I divest myself of a few. I have a wee list of the ones that piss me off the most and come next month, I fancy skinning one or two alive as an example to the others.
So, for the duration of December, I’m practicing living according to my resolutions; a couple more weeks and I’ll have it down pat.

repetition – the fall

I’ve been thinking a lot about the aging process recently. When I was in my late teens, i read Yukio Mishima’s ‘Seas of fertility’ quartet and, a few years later, read Iain Banks’ ‘The wasp factory’. The former, in particular is an appreciably different proposition at eighteen to the same book viewed after a further three decades.
When ‘The wasp factory’ first came out,I’d have been in my early twenties – and of course, I knew all of life. Nothing could shock me. Rereading the novel again, after the Thatcher years, a couple of kids and learning a whole lot about substance dependency, i found the child murders and the animal cruelty pretty hard to take, if I’m honest.
Ever since I got my first e-reader around three years ago, I’ve (finally) gone back and reread a few of those books I’ve been meaning to pick up again. Tellingly, the very first book I e-read was Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave new world’. I hadn’t read it since my early teens, led there by David Bowie via George Orwell’s ‘1984’. Good old dystopia – from the days when the future was a damn sight better than it is now!
I’ve reread a number of old comics, too. Howard Chaykin’s ‘Black kiss’ (and apparently, there’s a ‘Black kiss 2’!!!) And Gilbert Hernandez’s ‘Heartbreak soup’ trilogy. And frankly, I’m enjoying them at least as much as I did the first time.
I don’t normally embrace repetition. My philosophy is generally never to look back – or at least, not to admit when I’m wallowing. Recently, I’ve been looking at how I absorb things. I’m one of those people who go back to films I’ve already seen more than I’ll watch new movies. And I’m not talking musicals here – I mean drama. And comedies.

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