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Blowing One Strumpet Voluntarily

Cogito ergo waffle

I don’t kid myself I actually know anything, certainly not about the world at large, and maybe not about people either, though I sometimes sound authoritative, don’t you think? Truth is, even my self-knowledge is suspect, as any self-description I care to give will be different each time. It’s always a case of, who the fuck am I? And what the fuck did I say that for yesterday? Which just about sums me up.

I’m always up for giving opinions though, and I might even point out why yours are wrong, despite my ignorance. Why’s that, you say? Because that’s how it is. You think the likes of salesmanship, politics, the Law, or anything else you care to name is based on truth or it’s disclosure? That’s naive. The spoils go to the most convincing, that’s all!

I swear I’ve just seen a badger with a gun [this is that part of the post that adds light relief].

Bwanas knockers!

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Dreaming

For years I didn’t dream, or to be precise, I never remembered dreaming. What’s more, I could guarantee feeling refreshed in the morning, as long as I obeyed the “golden rules of sleep preparation”: “don’t get to bed late”; “don’t eat late”; “don’t drink late”; “avoid online chat immediately before going to bed”; and most important of all, “never, under any circumstances, buy a home close to a major airport”! Anyway, back to the plot…

Since those halcyon days of blissful unconsciousness, I’ve moved to one in which, despite my sleep being more or less uninterrupted, and following the rules, when I awake I’m feeling less than refreshed. And if you’re wondering perhaps, are my dreams of the nightmarish kind, the answer is no, and though I can’t remember their fine detail, I know they’re not particularly out of the ordinary, and certainly not outstanding enough to impress on my memory. They consist of the usual random mix of past and present, with just a touch of the surreal, and sadly, are never ever, not ever, not even in the slightest, sexual.

At 66 years of age, you wont be surprised to know, there have occurred inevitable physical changes within me. So no longer can I boast the form of the legendary adonis, nor can I pretend that I’m gobsmackinglly “fit” for my age (though I do fancy I’d fare well amongst the needy, the desperate, and maybe, on a particularly dull day and certainly of a night time, the partially-sighted). Anyway, I digress from my intended path, which is to say, I would suppose physical changes have a concomitant effect on the mind too, given my understanding that consciousness and physicality are two sides of the same coin. So I’m tempted to believe, maybe this change is something I have to live with?

If you’ve dug deeply into my blog(s), you’ll know I relish rubbishing authority of all kinds, almost without exception. But I have to confess, I’m more than a little impressed with the theoretical physicists who, without ever straying from their armchairs (or in the case of one notable, his wheelchair) are capable of arriving at astonishing and TESTABLE theories, and all via the process of thought, a little maths, and (I’m convinced) countless cups of tea or coffee, not forgetting the absolute necessity for biscuits, that proverbial food for thought. Anyway…

As astounding as the scientific method can be when applied to the world at large or the infinitesimally small, it becomes less than effective when the focus of attention moves to that place, located conventionally, between our ears, namely, our consciousness, in particular, the mind. Testing here in the most rigorous way becomes more difficult, and who knows, maybe impossible, and will forever amount to speculation only.

So, not having much faith in the so-called science of the mind, I did some “research” on how to effect a good night’s sleep, and so I chose Yahoo Answers (Please don’t laugh) though I did, at one comment in particular. As for the rest, I got the usual “current understanding”, “this is what dreams are all about, blah, blah, blah”, as they authoritatively, and to my mind, pompously informed me and the rest of the readership, of what they’d probably googled themselves just minutes earlier. I switched off, so to speak and decided, I might be better off paying more heed to the lady who made me chuckle. Don’t, she said, try to switch off your dreams, for this is God, talking to you! And most kindly, she followed this with some very practical advice, to wash ones legs prior to bedtime. This, she says, will aid a good and refreshing night’s sleep!

Tonight, probably between 9.30pm and 10.00pm, I’ll be found with my trouser legs rolled up to my knees, with my feet placed in a bowl full of hot soapy water. Though I’ve yet to work out what’s best to do first, the praying? Or the washing? One has to get the order right where these things are concerned, or they wont work!

A dodgy old man

July 17th, 2014. That’s the date of my last post. Almost a year! Time has moved on so quickly. And I’m sure you’re all asking, how come I’ve not posted during the interim period? Well what can I say, except, I’ve “not been myself”.

This then begs the question, who have I been? Or is that taking it too literally? I mean, we all know what it means to, “not be ourselves”, don’t we? Hmmm…

Anyway, let’s not follow that particular philosophical argument, if only to avoid boring shitless, not only myself, but you the readers. So we’ll settle for it in it’s figurative sense. Okay? No? Well tough shit, for as the author of this post I’m omnipotent, a veritable God! So onwards…

If you didn’t already know, the general thrust of my life over the past twelve months has been of two significant life events: 1) I was made redundant (and “forced”, so to speak”, to retire); and 2) in September of last year, my mom died.

Now, what I’m about say is pure conjecture, inasmuch as, I can’t possibly prove what I’m saying. It’s guesswork, though hopefully, of the educated kind. Still, it’s my life, my experience, so I’m the only person who has the ultimate authority to make such a diagnosis.

I thought I was depressed. Influenced by the popular and widely spread psychological understanding of such events, I took it on trust, I was somehow, “ill”, and needed treatment.

The change in me was particularly apparent over the Christmas period, and “worsened” through the New Year and into the Spring. Throughout this period, I became markedly withdrawn, retreating further into myself than is usual (which is saying something, trust me). Suffice it to say, my “mojo” went walkabout, had disappeared, gone awol, it had FUCKED OFF! And so, after consulting with a doctor, I was prescribed anti-depressants, Serlatrine, to be precise which, as an aside, sounds like a particularly low-level knight of the round table: Sir Latrine! Anyway…

Nothing much happened. Despite taking the medication over a period of four months with a steady increase in dosage, the status quo was maintained. No highs. No lows. No joy. A flat existence. And so, and without the Doctor’s approval (he urged me to stick with the treatment) I weaned off the drugs.

Here I am. A few weeks after the decision, and  what else can I say except, I’m good. Indeed, I’m better than good, I’m optimistic. Hopeful. That’s all we need isn’t it? A non-specific optimism, just a feeling that whatever life throws at us, we’ll cope?

I don’t think I  was ill. I was blighted by an existential crises, a normal, to be expected, temporary lack of meaning, to be resolved  only by time and gentle contemplation. I didn’t need the medication. It was acting in my worst interests, dampening both the highs and lows of my emotional life, leaving me practically indifferent to life in general. In short, I’d stopped caring.

And so, I’m beginning to believe we have periods in our lives where we have to retreat, to engage in a kind of mental hibernation, in which we become necessarily self-absorbed. And as long as at some point we’re able to extract ourselves from within, to pull our heads, so to speak, out of our arses, then we can move forward, leaving behind the waft of shit, and instead, get to enjoy the fragrance of roses once more (Jesus Christ, corny, or what?)

Regards,
The Old Codger (rocking on!)

The lottery of life

Okay, so where were we? Oh yes, I was trumpeting the absence of migraine attacks. Last one occurring about the 21st of March this year. So let me see, that makes… forty four plus 27, carry over nine, multiply by 3, and subtract the number I first thought of… which gives me… erm… wait a moment… 4 months! As near as dammit.

I’ve no idea what caused my attacks, and I suspect, the cause will never be known, so I put it down to one of those “unknowables”, you know, those things that just happen? What I don’t want to hear is, “but there’s a reason for everything that happens” (imagine this said wide-eyed and in reverential tones) because that’s just stupid… yes, I said stupid! Stupid, if you mean it in the sense of some higher power orchestrating the whole shebang. I’d say, get a grip you weak-minded fool and meditate on the mantra, “The Universe, and all that happens within it, is ultimately Random!”. Hrrrmph!

Talking of events, I was recently made redundant. In working terms, I cease to be. I am an ex employee. I’ve shuffled off the toil-coil! And it’s all thanks to my employers who, in their infinite wisdom (maybe they control the Universe) released me.  And sure, this wasn’t a random event, but then again, my employers weren’t being controlled by an invisible intelligence hell bent on forcing little old me into a new life-direction. So on the micro level there are reasons, but at the macro level? Forget it! Understand, puddingheads?

Here I sit, in forced retirement, doing nothing in particular. I could get showered, dressed, and go and make things happen, or at least make the attempt. But for the moment, I choose not to. And yes, there are reasons for this, but they are to do with me, and me alone.

Heads up…

Without wishing to tempt fate, it’s with glee I update you on the current status of my migraine attacks!

So far, during the season starting 21st March… till now… the total count of migraines suffered is…

[drum roll…]

[fanfare…]

[more drum roll…]

[adding a flourish with the crashing of cymbals…]

[wait for it…]

[here it comes…]

[……….   ]

NIL!!

Ta da!

And this despite my best efforts at breaking all of the rules, aka, eating sugary junk-food (mostly biscuits) and drinking prodigious amounts of the strongest coffee imaginable!

Puzzling, isn’t it? What causes them? [Strokes chin and ponders] Hmmm…

You know, maybe I’ll celebrate and forthwith, post something a little more substantial, unless that is, I have a migraine attack….

 

 

 

 

Nothing in particular…

Do we ever do “nothing”? In the literal sense I mean. I doubt it. Even the Buddhists, who claim to achieve a state of what they call “no mind”, are in fact, meditating, so indeed, they’re doing something, correct? So what do people mean when they exclaim, “you can’t just sit there doing nothing!”? Are they merely making the logical (but trivial point) that the use of the word “doing” implies a “something”? Or is it a value judgement, implying the dastardly doing of something low down on their hierarchical scale of productivity?

Those of you who know me well will know I often make a virtue out of “doing nothing”, in the figurative sense of course, i.e. I can sit still for relatively lengthy periods, doing no more than letting my thoughts flow, examining them, discarding them, chuckling at their profundity, or marvelling at their “sickness”. Though these days, I’m prone to do such things accompanied by more biscuits than is good for me, and dipped in strong doses of coffee too, which I’m sure, though stimulating, is, in the long run, doing untold harm, but hey, “WTF?” (or like me do you prefer the classic, “who gives a flying wossname?”)  Whatever, my “activities” are unlikely to create the Great Modern Novel, inspire the production of a  cure for cancer, or even, and I say this without apology, make a modest contribution to society.

I’m good at doing what plenty others, the majority even, would call, “idling”. That is, my activity is often non-productive (in their meaning of the word) and alarmingly (for them) it’s non-social too; disturbingly, nay, outrageously self-indulgent, totally self-absorbed, a prime example of plain and utter selfishness! Well what can I say? “Oh my god! I’m so sorry for offending y’all, for shocking you! Beat me! Shame me! Punish me ‘orribly”.? [For the less astute, this is an example of irony].

I remember a short period of unemployment back in the 90’s. I was aged somewhere around mid-forties and lived in a council flat, just Ruby (my dog) and I. It was a simple life, with little money, few luxuries, and in the main, just the routine of walking her twice a day and “existing”. But I do remember one summer’s day in particular, at the local park where I would allow Ruby to run around off her leash. She was young, she was beautiful, she was mischievous, and liked nothing better than running at full tilt chasing non-existent rabbits, or splashing around in whatever body of water or mud she could find. She had a habit of stopping too, to look back at me, her proud “parent” (I fancy she thought of me as “daddy”). On this particular day, I sat on a bench, doing nothing in particular, apart from admiring her athleticism, when once again, she stopped and looked over at me. For reasons unknown, it was the perfect moment. It was an epiphany. Just me, Ruby, and the summer day –  the sum total of the Universe! I cried. Or at least, my eyes moistened.

There is no justice in this life, is there? On the one hand we have those most admirable and industrious people, the unsung heroes and heroines that society loves to submit as examples to us all, and on the other hand, there’s me (at that time). Living off state benefits and doing nothing in particular, indeed, taking my time, not rushing to find work, and what happens? I have a “moment”, an epiphany, a “religious experience”, a bona fide joyous interlude. And you know what makes it worse? It wasn’t the first time in my life, either! Fuck me! Is there no justice?

I’ve been thinking about this (yes, again I’m doing nothing in particular, other than sitting and thinking) and wondering, maybe the way to get the “best” out of life, in terms of special moments, is not to try too hard, indeed, to not try at all. As with relaxation (including sleep), if you try too hard, you’re doomed to fail. And why is this? Because by definition, relaxation and sleep are an absence of effort!

Nuff said.

Thoughts (almost serious) on authority and institutions

I don’t trust human hierarchical organisations. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with them (in theory, at least) except they consist of people, and we all know about them, don’t we? If you’re not sure, then trust me, vanity, money and sex are the key components when analysing an individual’s motivation, and what better arena in which to express oneself, or exploit others, than in an organisation, whether at the level of family, business,  government or, for the uber-ruthless and ambitious, “ze vorld”!

Vanity, money, and sex, aka, status! I’m better than you due to my stunning good looks, my superior intelligence, my wisdom, my privileged insight into the nature of the Universe, my goodness, my mega-wealth, my ownership of the latest Apple iPhone, my strength, my ability to gain the amorous attentions of the opposite sex, the whopping dimensions of my penis, and of course, my social background. And on it can go, ad infinitum, ad nauseam (note vanity creeping into my writing via the superfluous use of latin terms?).

Do I hear you say –  so what? Or is it an hallucinatory side-effect of the pain-killer, Solpadeine? I take this as a treatment for migraine, but that’s for another time in another post, unless you’d rather hear about that? Shall we take a vote? Hands up all those for the continuation of the “hierarchical organisation” post? Hands up for the latter, an account of the migraine? One, two, three…

Okay, migraine is to be discussed another day, so… where were we? Erm… er….you know, I’ve lost interest already. Not that I don’t give a damn, but I do have a problem with taking things seriously. I contradict myself too! Anyway, let’s restate the latter, so maybe it’ll make more sense – I have a problem with taking MYSELF seriously! Okay? I can start a post with such assurance, only to find a few sentences later, I disagree with myself! I become unsure of what I’m saying, or, and this is most common – I feel the urge to be silly, as if I’m playing a part in a Monthy Python sketch! Anyhow…

Let’s cut to the chase and get this wrapped up. I’m against authority! Of all kinds. Of both institutional authority, and the “authority of expertise”. I particularly dislike “working for the man” and do so grudgingly. I find even the best of managers pompous and overblown with ideas of their importance, and so, I’m always looking forward to those times I’m free from another’s watchful eye, to say and do as I please, typically in solitude (discounting the cat) and armed with caffeine-laden beverages and biscuits galore!

There are no truths, only myths, planted by self-interested institutions and individuals. Religion is the worst of these, urging us to accept the veracity of statements spoken of in antiquity. Oh yeah? Really? Pah! All of them governed by the vain, the greedy, and those driven to control. I say we have a “Let’s Not Stand For This Bullshit” day, and collectively bare our arses, farting in their general direction. We’re adults, and no one can possibly know better than ourselves.

Gosh! I do feel light-headed. A post-migraine symptom I’m sure.

[Thinks] Phew! Glad that’s done. Now I can go do what I do best – nothing in particular!

Thoughts on writing

You sit at your computer, stare at the screen, only to find your language and the ability to write has abandoned you. Not only this, but neither can you speak. A ridiculous idea? You ever hear a bricklayer complain, “alas, woe is me guvnor, it aint no good, I just can’t seem to lay one brick on top of another today! It’s the muse, it aint descended!”? Absurd? Unless one’s hands and vocal chords are compromised, what the fuck is “writer’s block” about? Well I’ll tell you… it’s the pretentious self-pitying bollocks of a person lacking in self-esteem; their deluded (and futile) attempt to convince themselves (and others) they’re better than they are!

Now we’ve cleared that up, but staying on the topic of writing, have you heard opined the notion that alcohol and “great writing” are somehow connected? Authors such as Hemingway, Dylan Thomas, and Charles Bukowksi, are amongst the many often quoted, but I don’t think it can be proven if the drink helped them creatively or they were “good” in spite of it. However, I do know about myself, and drink most certainly isn’t an aid for me, unless lack of focus leading to ill-considered, uninhibited, and always regrettable claptrap, is the desired end. So as with “don’t drink and drive”, I’d advocate sobriety when engaging in most, if not all activities, when in the pursuit of excellence. But really, should the idea of alcohol as an aid to creativity ever have to be discussed?

You don’t have to be a literary giant to engage in online conversation, but it sure helps if your writing ability is above competent. You ever been in the position where your opposing interlocutor is unable (for whatever reason) to understand or appreciate your most scintillating wit and irony? And I’m not just talking of ill-educated persons whose first language is not English, it occurs too with those who I’d expect more of : –

them: hi
me: hello, and how are you today?
them: good. you?
me: well, you can have the polite and universally expected, “I’m fine thanks”, or, I can be honest, and tell you, things aren’t so good. I’m experiencing sleepless nights, I’m 64 and unable to hold the attention of young women, the economy here is shocking with energy-prices going through the roof, and I’ve a wart on the tip of my nose! It’s not all bad though… my daffodils bloomed overnight!
them: oh

It’s at this point I get that sinking feeling, that flattening of the spirits that signals disappointment. Another unsuitable sparring-partner.

Here’s a strange thing. On those infrequent occasions I’ve used webcam or, to use the universally adopted generic term, Skyped, I’ve found myself drawn away from speaking (no matter how well I know the other) wanting to express myself in written words instead. And on occasion, my chat partner has expressed surprise to receive a message via the chat box! It’s my comfort zone, online at least, one in which I feel more relaxed, less inhibited, and with an enhanced ability to think clearly. I guess if the question was posed, “why do you write?”, this would in part, explain why.

As ever, being unable to finish that which I started satisfactorily, I go out with a whimper. Here’s what may be considered an appropriate word: abecedarian – one who is learning the alphabet.

Bwanas Knockers!

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