Thursday 28 February 2008

The Mary Paradox

It's rare that I pray, outside church, though if I do, it will always be the Rosary. I don't believe in the power of prayer, because by definition, you'll get what you want if it's meant to be, and not if it isn't.

But on the sporadic attempts I do attend Mass, I occasionally burn a candle in front of the white icon to the left of the altar once the service has ended, though sadly, not until I've been out for a cigarette first.

I know that the idea that the Mother of Jesus is actually sitting somewhere listening is unlikely to be true and certainly doesn't remotely accord with my view of the universe.

But if you have to talk to something to represent the universe, then Mary always seems someone good to talk to.

I sometimes wonder how much this affects my outlook. Protestants call this practice Mariolatry, suggesting that we actually worship Mary. I'm not sure we do that. But certainly, she represents a kind of ideal of womanhood and perhaps she appeals more to Catholic males than Catholic females.

It is, of course, an impossible ideal for any woman to live up to. No woman can actually be both virgin and mother. It doesn't happen in the real world. But when I have my eyes actually fixed upon the figure of Christ's mother, I manage to suspend disbelief here.

I certainly don't expect any woman to try and live up to Mary's standard, and I'm not certainly not advocating chastity for women at all. I think women have laboured too long under a societal belief that a woman should be judged in terms of her sexual behaviour.

But I think somewhere deep inside, the way I view Mary creates a curious prism through which I, and indeed probably many from Catholic culture, view women.

I am idolising and holding up to myself, as the image of female perfection, a woman for whom the very idea of entertaining any form of sexual desires for, would be the greatest evil imaginable, to my mind.

One feels a love for Mary that makes having sexual desires feel dirty in itself.

How healthy is that?
For me, I'm not sure that it is. I suspect the root of much of the trouble in my life stems from that.
I remember talking to a friend some time ago and I simply said, as a throw away remark 'She's the type who is way too cute to f**k.'
He asked what I meant and I said 'Well, you know how there are some woman, you couldn't go to bed with, because you'd just feel so guilty about what you were doing, that you would be physically incapable of actually carrying it out? They're just too nice, too wholesome for you to want to sully them in that way.'

He didn't. I then realised that this was almost certainly a Catholic hang up of mine.

I've realised over time that I can do the whole one night stand thing with no qualms as such, I can indulge in sex-based flings and feel quite comfortable about it. But most of my relationships fail because at a deep psychological level, sex and love are incompatible, in my worldview.

I think this explains the relationship I had with D. It started as an attempt by me to seduce her and became a strange sort of platonic love where we actually lived together. The feelings I had for her were stronger than they ever were about any girlfriends of mine, precisely because she had moved up to a higher category in my head.
In fact, I had no problem with her bringing other men back- they weren't me, so I had nothing to feel guilty about. Quite often in fact, she'd come find me after she'd made love, and we'd go and have a cigarette together.

If I'm honest, I have actually had some huge crushes in my adult life, none of which have ever been pursued. Almost without exception, all my relationships have been women who showed interest and were taken up on the offer. I often saw them as friends, in some cases as almost their brother, but they failed, because the romantic love was not there on my part.

Deep down I seem to be wedded to this idea that if a woman is worth me being in love with her, then she's certainly worth more than me. If she loves me, then in some strange way, there is a limit to how high my regard for her can be.

I can only love a woman by putting her on a pedestal I can never reach.

The Mary Paradox.

PS I'd Like it very much if we could treasure bloggers we will miss by putting them permanently in our sidebars. I put the first blogger whose absence hurts in my sidebar. She'll stay there during the life of this blog. Can we make this blogging custom?

Tuesday 26 February 2008

A Phish the Sea Will Miss

Not all blogs have an axe to grind. Not all bloggers want to change the world. For some, blogging is a personal journey. For some, the blogosphere is a place where they came to find themselves or to free themselves, to open themselves up to total strangers in a way maybe they can’t in real life.

And I suppose even those of us who do have an angle, share those motives too.

I think those who have known Phish in the blogging world, have grown to love her. Phish has always only ever been Phish. I came upon her blog early in my blogging life, and liked the person who shone through straight away.

Phish always told it straight. She never blogged on politics, or philosophy, or any of the things that I often blog on. Phish blogged about Phish.

But Phish did that well. Phish showed herself to the world, a kind, caring, shy but loving person, with never a bad word to say, whose heartbreaks and tribulations always hit a nerve in their brevity, whose happiness touched us in its expressiveness.
Many people blog about themselves. It takes a special kind of person to make us want to keep reading.

Phish wasn’t afraid to be just human. Phish was never afraid to show when she felt down. Phish never pretended to have the answers to things, she didn’t lord it over her readers, like a pop princess. She didn’t delude herself she was a comedy genius (for the record, I only know of one comedy blog worthy of the name and that’s Blogpower’s favourite hound, Mutley. The rest couldn’t raise a nervous chuckle from the Rowley Regis Working Men’s club), or think her insights were somehow special.

And yet they were. They were, because they had a candour, a refreshing honesty to them. Phish gave us the world Phish saw, whether it was her walk to work, or her long standing admiration for Green Eyes, or her cat, she said what she saw.
But there was more to Phish than that. Phish had a sense of decency and a deep reserve of moral courage that puts a lot of bloggers who lay claim to both virtues, to shame.

Phish knew what friendship meant. Phish is as guileless and honest, as her blog told the world she was.

It’s understandable, I suppose, that I’d think that. In Real Life, it’s girls like Phish I tend to choose as my female friends. I relate to them, I understand them, essentially, they are people who live their lives in a way that isn’t strange to me. She’s the sort of person I’d socialise with, the comments I left on her blog, were the sorts of things I’d say in Real Life. And I suppose it’s no secret that we exchanged e-mails, and I always felt safe trusting her. She never let me down either. She was a good friend, a good listener and more. It was the sort of platonic friendship I’m comfortable with.

In many ways, she is very similar to D, my former flatmate and close friend. Aside from the fact D is blonde, they even look similar. Certainly, their way of looking at things was almost identical. D was a good cook, a good housekeeper, but also a good pool player who had no problem drinking with the lads in a working man’s pub.
It’s also what The Baker calls ‘The Puppy quality’. Some girls, you couldn’t hurt, because it feels like kicking a puppy.

That’s what D has, that’s what Phish has I think, and really, it’s the quality any woman worth bothering with has.

It’s not about being ladylike, it’s about being feminine. Airs and graces don’t make a woman, in fact if you’re me, they positively put my back up.

I think Phish has found happiness now, and she is a loss to all of us. But we can at least take comfort that all of us, in our own way, were part of that.

She will have a special place in my heart for opening my eyes about a daydream I was living in, and showing me the appalling nature of the reality. Not only that she showed considerable courage, suffering herself in the process, to do that. I wish at that time I’d had her moral courage. I will never forget that she put herself on the line, that she lost out on something important, ultimately because she was motivated to do the Right Thing. That’s the sort of person Phish is. People like that are rare. They are the truly good, it is thanks to people like them that there is hope for humanity.

I hope that Phish has found a life full of joy and happiness. In fact, I really think she has. I think all she had to do, was wait. In the end, she shines through.
Because the man that finds a Phish, is going to be a lucky man indeed. Not only, is she sweet, caring and at heart, loving, she knows the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach (well, not in my case so much, diet isn’t a strong point of mine, but in most cases).

Phish was a special person in this crazy blogging world. She was the girl next door, she was a sister, a girlie friend to many, a shy ladette, a girl a man would happily take to meet the parents.

The world is full of brash, strident women who think that making it in what is still, sadly, a man’s world, means taking on masculine characteristics. And they wonder why they spend their lives alone.

It’s a shame Sanity Optional, will no longer be around to show them the kind of girl other girls like to be with, the kind of girl most men prefer as friends. A lot of people could have learned a lot from Phish, if they'd only taken the trouble.

The sea will be a poorer place without her.

Monday 25 February 2008

The Rise of the INGSOC Systems

This post continues the series on human history seen in systematic terms.

It looked like a new world. Kings and Princes gone from much of Europe, small nations of the world basking in their freedom, an international organisation, the League of Nations, to ensure that powers talked round tables BEFORE going to war.
It wasn’t. The causes of the First World War had not been solved.

The world was still a world of spheres, a world of power zones, and keeping the people of the homeland happy, meant needing people to sell to.
The League of Nations was essentially there to protect the interests of the powers. The idea was certainly a sensible one, but it depended on good will alone, and wars tend to happen when good will has been lost.

It was a strange time, our age, yet not. In some ways, we can see our modern era. They dressed much more like us than they did the Victorians. It was an age of cars, of Aeroplanes, of telephones, of cinemas. It was the age of the semi-detached suburban home, but also the council estate. The First World War had removed anachronism from Europe.

Or had it? Half of Europe nurtured a secret suspicion that the Jews had engineered the war to destroy western society- and had succeeded in Germany and Russia. Many accepted as scientifically correct ideas that seem archaic today- such as the idea that black people were closer in evolutionary terms to apes than white people. Responsible parliamentary government, in much of Europe was a modern novelty, untried, untested, whereas monarchy and autocracy were at least known to be viable ways to run a country.

It was very easy to suggest that autocratic systems work best, it was just the hereditary principle that was flawed.
This is hard to understand now, but the fact was that for a long time, a state existed in Europe which seemed to prove that.

There are two schools of thought about the word Fascism. There was a time when I was loathe to use the word (even though it almost constantly escapes my lips), simply because it is often misapplied to Hitler’s system. The two ideologies don’t have quite as much in common as often alleged. Hitler and Mussolini had a alliance of circumstance, and during the war when Mussolini was under Hitler’s thumb, he had to sing Hitler’s tunes, but had he been sensible and stayed out of the war (as Franco did), it seems to now be agreed, he’d probably have died in power, as Franco, likewise a genuine Fascist dictator did.

Of course, the truth is, it is possible to describe Nazism loosely as a Fascist system. But by the same logic, Stalin’s rule was likewise a Fascist system- indeed the history of the USSR, of Communist Eastern Europe, of Communist China, even, to a degree Thatcherism AND Blairism, are Fascist creeds, if we adopt that loose a definition.

The whole point of Fascism, is that it is pragmatic dictatorship. It is the unashamed belief in power for power’s sake. Fascism believes that the state is the true entity, and that individuals serve it, not the other way round. There are in fact, no other distinguishing beliefs. To try find any other principles at all in Fascism, is ultimately self-defeating.

The thing that needs to be remembered is, for a long time Mussolini made this concept look pretty appealing.
It worked especially well in Italy, where the golden age most recently treasured, was the golden age of the Rennaisance, where the great men of power and social advancement were autocratic princes; The Medici, the Della Scalla, the Sforzas, the Farnese. And Italy accorded him with the title it believed such men should have; Il Duce.

Mussolini didn’t particularly much dislike anyone except Communists, so most Italians found him quite easy to work with, especially, oddly enough, liberals. Liberals, confusingly, formed the backbone of the consenting majority, because they believed Mussolini had saved them from Communism.

He made things work in a country where for so long, they hadn’t. He raised an aspiring power to the status of a true power. And, he didn’t have any labour camps.
It is hard for us today to understand that at the time, Fascist Italy provided a genuine alternative model of how to run a country, and one that to many eyes, showed it worked; the old monarchical autocracies had failed, because they were based on anachronistic principles, this was a technocratic autocracy, the way of the future.
In fact, Mussolini called it ‘A Third Way’, a way between Democracy and Communism. Anyone heard anyone else talk about ‘Third ways?’

And then, in 1929, it happened.
Capitalism hit its limits. It was a knock on effect. What happened, in a nutshell, was America, an isolationist economy, had reached its limits of internal growth. It couldn’t sell to itself any more. Banks went bust. Since so much of the European economy had been rebuilt with US Dollars during the twenties, Europe too fell into depression. Capitalism had reached crisis point. Materially, the world had reached its limits. The only way to keep the system going, to keep an economy based on more money existing year in, year out, was to abandon completely any link between money and precious metals.
The economy could only exist now on fiat money.

Wealth stopped being real. All that actually happens now, is that when banks lend ‘money’ (tokens to exchange for real materials), they expect to be in control of a greater share of the world’s resources as a result.

It can only end with the usurers owning everything, and the rest of society essentially renting our lives.

But back in 1929, the ways forward seemed stark.
Democracy, it seemed had failed. Essentially, everybody gave up on it. Too many people now, it was simply a question of which sort of autocracy, was the way forward.
The position of Communism was a difficult one. Lenin had been clear; Communism could not work whilst Capitalism remained. It had to be a global revolution, or no revolution. Until the revolution had taken place globally, a dictatorship of the proletariat would be needed to safeguard the revolution where it had happened. For Lenin, soviet autocracy was an unpleasant necessity.

This also, was Trotsky’s position. Stalin, however, had other ideas. Stalin didn’t want a global revolution, because that meant that the dictatorship had a good excuse for continuing indefinitely.
Many European Communists had no illusions about Stalin, but believed that once the global revolution had occurred, then true democratic communism would triumph.
Were they thinking on the right lines? Yes, but with a certain degree of error. The system wasn’t anywhere near as close to collapse as they thought and their efforts caused more harm than good to the societies they aimed to save.

As many as turned to Communism, turned to Fascism. 1929 had been the year Fascism shone, the year Democracy failed. Mussolini had made peace with the Pope, Italy forgiven for stealing the Papal States. In most Catholic countries, Fascism was seen as the only real alternative to the Left. It’s quite hard to face this, sometimes, it casts a slight shadow on Irish history to realise that most Irish Volunteers went to Spain to fight for Franco. 1930’s Ireland was a polarised place. Fine Gael, now a respectable liberal party, had a uniformed wing, the Blueshirts who were organised to oppose the left-oriented IRA and Fianna Fail, and was openly Fascist in tendency.
The Austria and Poland that Hitler invaded, were not free countries- they were run by dictators espousing, essentially, the Fascism of Mussolini.

Hitler’s Germany is a curious phenomenon. It is a unique phenomenon, whose roots lie deep in German history. It was a creed that could only have born in the times it was. There is something so completely bizarre about it, it almost defies explanation. It has the curious power to fascinate, because of what it represents. If ever there was an Anti-Christ, surely Hitler fits the bill?

Because that’s what he was. A spellbounding, charismatic figure, whose very words seem so full of truth, if we do not intersperse clips of his rallies, with clips of the dead of Belsen. He came in a time needing Messiahs, and not too fussy if they were false. Germany didn’t care if their last hope came from God or Satan, as long as he gave them back their pride, gave them jobs and gave them the share of world power they believed was their right.

And in Britain and in France, the governments felt the anger of the people at the depression, at the failure of those with whom they had entrusted their lives.
The showdown between the Totalitarian systems must surely come one day.
Were the Capitalist Democracies going to be dragged down within it, part of the battleground, doomed to fall under one or other of the systems?
Or could the powers that be save their country homes and their Gentleman’s clubs by playing them off against eachother?

Could war be peace?
Now that, was the question.

Sunday 24 February 2008

The First Battle For World Domination

This post continues the series on human history, seen in systematic terms.

The twentieth century needs to be broken down, I realise, for several reasons. The main one, is that we are now so near to our own lives, that we often do not interpret modern history with the clarity we interpret events of the more distant past.

The reasons for this, are numerous.

Firstly, the consequences of these events still lie with us. We are still living out the results, and their interpretation, is political. To be frank about these events, is to be frank about where we are now. And there is a systematic prejudice against honesty.

The First World War, it has been said, ended the nineteenth century fourteen years too late.
This isn’t just a frivolous point. It’s true. The defeat of Napoleon commenced a century in which the values of the Nation of Shopkeepers, took over the world and changed it. The world of 1914, was a vastly changed world.

In a sense, I’m glad I delayed the writing of this post, because I came upon a recent titbit of thought, which I wholeheartedly agree with. Modern geologists are debating whether or not the Holocene Epoch- the geological time period commencing with the Mesolithic period after the end of the last age, is not in fact any longer the Epoch we live in. They create a new Epoch, the Anthropocene, commencing with the Industrial revolution, an Epoch defined as the Epoch when Man rules the Environment, not the other way round.

I concur. The previous systems I described, were systems that improved living conditions over time. The Capitalist system HUMANISED the globe, it CREATED an infrastructure, The Capitalist age, is the first of that brave new period of time, the Anthropocene, the era of global technology, when man first cut the apron strings of superstition and mother nature, when Man started to move away from thinking like an animal, whilst at the same time realising he was exactly that.

The First World War did not happen by accident. Nor is its title quite correct.
There had been conflicts before which touched the whole world. The Seven Years War, the Napoleonic wars. But we dimly realise this war was the first of a new type of war.

What had happened was that the whole world had been turned into producers and consumers. Capitalism, driven by the interest motor, needed feeding.

When I was very young, we used to go for picnics at Witley Court, a burnt shell of the palace of the Earls of Dudley, a kind of Versailles in miniature. Built on the sweat of the Black Country industry, the home of the tenth richest man in the world. And of course, most of the nine richer men, were British too.
It was about markets. One in three guns made in the world was made in Small Heath. Three quarters of the world’s chains, were made in the Black Country.

This country produced goods on a scale other countries did not match- but most importantly it controlled the markets to sell them to. It had exclusive control over the markets of a quarter of the world’s population, a captive market of consumers, themselves lacking the technology to produce. And in hidden terms, it had more. All South America, bizarrely was part of Britain’s hidden Economic Empire.

Material wealth depended on productive industry, productive industry was useless without a captive market outside Europe.
America could escape this, its industry was developing itself, half its territory WAS newly colonised, it was both coloniser and colonised to itself.

But what of the other new competitors in the power game?
The Germans seemed to be making huge leaps forward. But who were they going to sell to?
The German list of colonies was unpromising. Togo, Cameron, Namibia, Tanganyika, New Guinea...Oh, is that it already?

Everyone else seemed to have so much room to grow. It didn’t matter that the French were really not great at this industry business. They had most of Africa to lackadaisically exploit. But more worrying, was the new tiger appearing on Germany’s Eastern Frontiers, the most rapidly industrialising country in the world, Russia. Russia was clearly, after a rapid phase of growth, with swathes of the globe at it’s tail to develop, going to dwarf Germany.
And the Triple Entente, to Germany, was a Union to keep Germany in check, to keep her out of a place in the sun.

Germany needed colonies to maintain momentum, but there were none left to grab. Her best hope, was to seize French West Africa. To do that it needed to repeat it’s easy success of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. This time round however, Russia would come to the aid of France, so there were several basic necessities. It had to take place sooner, rather than later, whilst Russia had not yet developed quick military responses. France had to be defeated with lightning speed, then Germany could turn her whole strength on Russia. The bonus of this double victory, would be the adding of Russia’s newer (and most historically European) territories to the German Economic sphere.

Basically, the Germans were investing everything in the hope of an excuse to go to war against France.

This is often played down today. We place the blame for the Second World War firmly on the shoulders of Hitler, but we ignore the fact that only one European state in 1914 WANTED a war.
The powers at the Versailles conference were sure that the blame lay with Germany, and they were right. Why?

Because the Germans turned a Cold War, into a real war.
The assassination of Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo did not start a war. It caused the government of Austria-Hungary to send an ultimatum to the Serbian government which the Serbian government did not answer.
Austria-Hungary mobilised the day the ultimatum expired. Troops rolled to the border. None crossed.

There had been several wars of this type in the Balkans between 1878 and 1914, paper wars, a bit of a threat, some diplomatic wrangling, everyone goes home. It was a primitive type of UN sanction- though not particularly safe, as things turned out.
The Russians decided the Austrians were being unreasonable and told them to back off. They didn’t, so Russia declared war and mobilised. The Tsar was so sure that it was nothing more than a diplomatic incident, he went off on holiday to the Black Sea.

What happened next, was slightly out of sequence. German troops crossed the Belgian frontier hours after the German government had simultaneously declared war on both France and Russia.

Quite simply, the Germans used a very liberal interpretation of the terms of the Triple Alliance to justify their actions. The official position was that Germany was bound to defend Austria-Hungary, if the latter was attacked (the third member of the Alliance, Italy, didn’t get involved, for the simple reason, Austria-Hungary hadn’t been attacked). Germany then justified its move on France by saying that France was bound to assist Russia (even though France, as yet hadn’t got involved).

The rest of course, is history. The Germans failed to encircle Paris, were beaten back to what becomes the frontlines, the manhood of Europe spent the next four years sitting in wet ditches.
And it was a no win situation. It was a no win situation, because once Britain got involved and once it started bringing in it’s troops from across the globe, Germany and her allies were surrounded on all sides and outnumbered. But the siege could hold out, it was just a question of how long, and whether the ring could be broken.
In 1915, the World’s largest population centre, was London. Second place was held, in its own right, by the western front. It wasn’t just Lancashire Cotton workers and French peasants, it was Canadians, Australians, Hindus, Muslims, Nepalese, the Germans faced a World Power.

This was a new type of war. No war had taken place like this. The petty wars of rifle wielding cavalry in the Balkans, were old style wars.
The colonial wars, waged by the powers against comparatively primitive societies, were not wars, they were no more wars than the Gulf war, they were military operations.
A war, is when two parties fight in physical terms to decide an issue, the issue being in the balance. Up till now, the risks had always been worth the effort. The loser loses, but the winner wins.
The winner wins, because he gains victory, and he goes back home to his untouched homeland.

But there is a type of war which no one wins. A civil war.
A civil war, is a war in which both sides fight within the same culture, where civilians are part of the conflict, where the entire culture is shaken and normal life drives to a halt.
And when a global infrastructure has been created, when global communications have essentially created a global civilisation, all wars between powers become civil wars, in a global context.

Wars may have been good once, in the Anthropocene, they can only be bad.
As an aside, this does beg the question, because it is often pointed out that the two wars sped technology forward in major ways. Not only that, their overall social effect in clearing a lot of societal dead wood, was quite positive.

It's not actually a good point at all. All it proves is that the system doesn’t favour innovation and doesn’t in fact work to maximum efficiency, if it is only capable of bringing about social and technological progress by threatening the end of the species. People who use this argument aren’t really thinking, the point they make doesn’t actually prove that war has its good points, it proves that our system only actually works at its best when you speed up material consumption to a life threatening level.
It proves that wars are good for the capitalist system. But it doesn’t prove that wars are good for humanity, because they are obviously not.

Anyway, back to the war.

I’m not going to dwell on the actual conflict, fascinating though it was.
I’m going to look at the results. Who won?

Britain? France? America?

The victors were several, and they aren’t the ones who put their signatures to treaties.

Women won. The proved that they had a valuable contribution to add, and not just saying ‘Yes dear, you must be right, you’re a man.’
They won the vote, they won their way into commerce, employment and politics.

The people of Ireland, of Eastern Europe, the subject people of the powers, they won. They either won their freedom, or won the right to expect their masters to at least listen to their complaints. The British government was at least forced to tell India ‘You will be an equal partner with us one day’, even if at this stage, we reserved the right to decide that day.
Ordinary people everywhere won, because the old order had shown it needed everybody’s contribution, and people now expected more of a say in how their lives were governed, because they did not want the next generation to face the same ordeal.

Their hopes, were fragile.

Because there were some other winners. Out of the ashes of the monarchies which the war had swept away, came new rulers.
In the west, the war was mainly won by the technocrats, by the bankrollers, the ‘hard faced men who did very well out of the war’. They did not shed their blood, which cannot be repaid, they loaned their money, which can be.
The capitalist system, had a new lease of life. Reconstruction of Europe, meant room for growth. The waste of the war, meant ground to be filled.

But what of Russia? Had not capitalism been overthrown there?

No. No, it hadn’t. The Russian revolution bears no resemblance to the end of capitalism. Capitalism comes to an end, it can’t be overthrown. Russia got rid of a Tsar and an Aristocracy. It remained a cash based system with a rigid apparatus of state. It didn’t bring in democratic control of the infrastructure. It brought in a permanent dictatorship, state capitalism, a state run externally on capitalist principles, because the state still exists within a global capitalist economy, but within, people no longer even have the freedom to determine their own destiny. It took the name of the future system, and applied it to a system that took a step backwards.

In this new world, power derives from the ability to pervert truth, to win minds over by perverting good ideals to serve power structures.

In the new world Freedom will be used to enslave and Equality to preserve power.
And the difference between the ideologies, is more one of grade, than kind.

Celebrating Life- A Basic Human Right

Entertainment and Leisure are a funny thing. In spite of the fact that our rulers tell us how free we are, they really love to tell us what are acceptable ways to have fun. In business and industry, any freedom is allowed. Make yourself rich off the backs of Chinese slave labour till your hearts content, but your recreational time should be spent either down the gym or in front of the TV.

God forbid that you should indulge in any kind of life affirming social activity where boundaries between people are broken down.

It's just another part of the mind control system. People getting drunk and collapsing in the street in piles of vomit is OK. That's a GOOD drug. It's a good drug, because drunken people aren't really coherant. True, drunken people do bond, but the sense disappears from the conversation after a few drinks.

The great myth of modern times is the way the dance scene is presented. Ecstasy is equated with heroin, presented as a social evil.

Proof of the pudding is in the facts. Heroin deaths never make the news, they happen every day. Alcohol deaths never make the news, they happen every day.

How long is it going to take politicians to stand up and admit that no one has ever died from taking pure Ecstasy?
The handful of deaths from this chemical, which are so few and far between, are in the main caused by 'dirty' pills, by drinking too much water, in the mistaken belief that drinking as much water as you can is necessary, or in a few cases from an allergic reaction, which is as statistically likely as someone dieing of a peanut allergy.

Basically, legalise it, NO ONE DIES.

It's not Ecstasy that is the target, just as Cannabis wasn't the target in the sixties. These things are outlawed to try break up the culture that goes with these things. Beatniks do it, you don't like Beatniks, so pretend that Cannabis is as bad as Opium.

It's the same with Ecstasy. The fact is, it was used for many long years as an AID to psychotherapy and marriage guidance counselling, for the simple reason, it opens people up.

What they really hate about dance culture, is a group of people who have found a way to enjoy themselves, without having earned it. Pleasure just shouldn't be that easy.
Slave for capitalism, get a new kitchen on installments, pay by Mastercard.

THAT'S how you should be happy.

What's worse, people come back from clubbing and spend hours talking, in states of heightened consciousness. And what sorts of things do you think they talk about?
Bad for a society built on divide and rule principles.

This next track, is my mobile phone ringtone.

I wish people would open their eyes. Dance culture is a triumph of human ingenuity, a triumph of the advances we as a species have made.

We are able to create pleasure in amazing new ways, ways in fact, free from harm.

Anyone who has actually been to a dance club knows what I mean. These aren't temples of debauchery, they are places where people go to celebrate life, and yes, it is almost a religous experience, it is transcendant, it is uplifting, it is liberating.

It is people freed from the false personas they live as, free from the chains of the nine to five.
It is people, just for a short period giving their love for the world, for life, for experience, for eachother, with a freedom not normally seen.

Of course that scares the powers that be.

But in future generations, we will look at this as one of the great social triumphs of our age. Synthetic pleasure, is not a bad thing, it is not unnatural, it works with us to press our buttons, to enrich our life experience.
Chocolate eclairs do not grow on trees either, we made them.

Dance Music is a technological triumph. The history of Music has been a history of greater understanding of which rhythms, which harmonies greater energise us, allow our minds to transcend our physical existence, stimulate thought and passion.
Mozart and Beethoven were great trailblazers, but theirs is still a primitive technology.

Modern technology allows us to produce symphonies which Mozart would have believed were made in Heaven.

This last track, I believe, WAS made in Heaven.

I firmly believe that very little good has come out of our time.

But this? This is something great, this will outlive the downfall of this system, and it will be embraced by future generations.

I hope, a hundred years from now, there is no Friday night TV, no Friday night fighting.
Let future generations celebrate the end of another working week in rooms full of love and euphoria.

Friday 22 February 2008

Onward, Upward, Forward- Back to Work


I've always liked the word. It's a good word.
And yes, it's real concept.

Sometimes, it really does seem to happen, that suddenly, you look up and see clearly. Standing back, you suddenly realise that everything is in fact clicking into place.
Things aren't in the places you were trying to put them, but actually, everything fits.

I've defended my anonymity for over a year, primarily because I felt that it opened up avenues that were closed to me in RL.
For almost a year I lived in constant fear of any details about myself coming out. It was a shadow to live under, as I'm sure you can imagine.
Well, as regular readers will know, I had no choice but to lay the worst on the line.

It was heartbreaking, I won't deny it. I really felt my hopes had been shattered. I almost gave up.

But you didn't.
You lot, reading this.

You lot kept me going.

And for that, I thank you all. From the bottom of my heart.

I think a number of events over the last week have just made me look and realise 'It didn't kill you, it made you stronger.'

Of course it did. Just as my little holiday in the House of Fun completely removed my physical fear, I now have absolutely no fear as regards Crushed.

What's actually happened, in real terms?
A setback? Of course. But partly, I can blame my own despondancy and letting things slide. But taking it easy for a bit and collecting my thoughts was maybe no bad thing.

During the other little trial of life, I was able to come out, look myself in the mirror and say 'Well actually, you couldn't have handled that any better. That was a life test, and you passed.'
And being honest, I can say the same this time round.

I know that the people who know, know the truth. And truth will always win in the end. Time will solve all. Mud will always wash away, leaving the true rock underneath.

It's refreshing to pick up from comments, just how well those of you I've known a while, actually do know me. You know I'm certainly NOT 'respectable', when judged by the standards some of our moral guardians like to spout. What I do have, is complete integrity. Nothing stated on this blog has ever been untrue. Nothing this blogger has stated, in his blogging identity, has ever been untrue. And it's nice that there are people who can see that.

I'm candid about who I am and what I believe in. I'm candid about my life and how I lead it.

Well, as I say in RL, 'If you like me, I like you. If you don't, it's not my fault you have bad taste.'
I think that's fair comment really.

As far as I am concerned, all that's really happened since December, is I'm free of any blogging related worries, I've lost respect for a few people I once looked up to in the blogging world, having seen their true colours, I've gained a lot more respect for quite a few people and put bluntly, a lot of wheat has been sorted from a lot of chaff.

And I'm still here. The good guys still come :). And there are way more good guys out there.
In blogging terms, I need to get out more, certainly. Way too many good blogs I'm missing out on. I think I need to move beyond the same old circles.
There are 75 million blogs in the world. Don't any of the rest of you think we just move in circles?

I'm a lot more netwise now, I can see the landscape a lot better, and this little lamb knows now who the wolves are.
And who are the sheep in sheep's clothing.
And to be honest, I really can't quite see how I could have avoided being sucked into the ridiculous playground business, but I'm not going to rise to it anymore. It was petty, pointless drivel, beneath contempt, and those who attacked me (or even sympathised), are, in my book, likewise, because they really miss the point of what this is all about.
In fact, these people shouldn't really be blogging. This site is more suited for them.

Although actually, a mysterious byproduct of all this, has been making one of the best friends I think I'll ever make.

Anyway, enough of that.

The great thing is, it's up to you lot now to decide what you think of what I write. And that's really what matters. That's what counts. The sideshow has finished, and it's time to get serious.

This is about responsibility. I treat this blog as a responsibility. What I write here, is my contribution to the world. I work to earn money, I do this out of love.
Love for what I write, love for the World, love for all you guys.

The day to day satisfaction is just getting that little buzz of all of you, of course. And that, of course, is a lovely buzz, one of the nicest there is. Priceless.
But long term, it's bigger than that.

We are in interesting times, as the Chinese proverb says. I think the system will fail, globally, within the next fifty years, maybe as soon as 2020.
We may blow ourselves up in the struggle that follows.
If we survive, it may really be, not hidden INGSOC, but open, naked, global INGSOC that we live under.
I don't think we have time to p*ss around.

It is our duty, here, to take responsibility.

So, I'm going to restate clearly, the long term aims of this blog.

  1. Eventual ordering of posts into a consistent book, outlining my overall theories.
  2. Working towards the setting up of a SERIOUS online, direct democratic debating forum, in which bloggers of all shades of opinion, and all parts of the globe, can participate.
  3. Working with like minded bloggers to bring bloggers of similar opinions together in some kind of union.

Those are long term aims. I don't expect any of them to happen over night. But they are good aims, and certainly worth working towards.

And I'm under no illusions that I will never come under fire again. I know damn well my opinions really offend some people so much they have to fight dirty, due to a lack of anything constructive to say in my comments section. And I expect that to continue. I guess I wasn't prepared for it, but I guess it's something I'll have to accept. It comes with the territory, I suppose.

But I also know this. I know my inner strength, and I know it's there. I know that the things I say are correct, and that they are worth standing by. I know that I am more than ready to devote a huge chunk of the rest of my life to this. I know that ultimately, intelligence and integrity will win.

It would be arrogant of me to say 'God is on my side', but what I will say, is I am working WITH the universe in the direction it wants to go.
I'm actually taking the trouble to use my life in actually trying to work out the truth, not blindly parroting mantras, without troubling to think about them.

Crushed is dusting off his boots, adjusting his rucksack, and setting off on the road again.
Crushed isn't Winston Smith. Crushed isn't going to betray Julia and accept that 2+2=5. Crushed has been in Room 101 and survived the rats.

And the invitation to share however much of the road you choose to share, is open to anyone who feels like taking up the offer in the spirit it is given.

There's no one's company that I reject.

We don't know where we're going yet, but I think it's going to be a very rewarding journey.

Thursday 21 February 2008

Yes, THIS is The Point

If you haven''t got this album, you should. Thanks, Phish, for making me think of this track, with your comment. Do you know why?

It could have been written, perhaps, to go with this post. But it means something more to me as well. It is a special track to me.

Summer of 1999, our last year at University.

Sitting in my bedroom in our house on the seafront. Getting stoned. Listening to this track.
And I remember listening to the lyrics and saying 'It's true though, ain't it, people ARE the greatest thought. Everything else is pointless if you don't have people to DO them with. What's the point of being rich if you have no mates?'

And I remember thinking; We graduate in a month. I wonder how many of us WILL stay in touch. I bet we'll ALL meet up for ALL the parties this summer (all 'the lads', about fifteen to twenty of us), but I bet within a few years many of us will lose touch. Not these guys, I hope. Not those of us sitting here. These guys are life friends, I hope.

There were five of us sitting in that room, that day, as this sequence of thought passed through my head. One, I see perhaps three times a year, maybe, though he regularly e-mails details of Indie gigs down in London. The second, I have seen twice in the last year, he borrowed Reactivate 12 from me, and I have my doubts as to the likelihood of it's return.

The other three? Myself, The Baker, The Chimney Sweep. I see The Chimney Sweep at least twice a month, often more.
And the Baker? On weekdays I don't see him (He DOES live over a hundred miles away), but I at least get a phone call most days. Weekends, we generally spend together.

Life is about priorities.
I think mine are the right ones.

People are important.
Listen to the lyrics. That was me then, it is me now, it will always be me.

And I'm sorry to say, if you don't agree with the sentiments of the track, there's no hope for you.

Post below explains the whole thing better.
Yeah, I'm having a lazy night :)

Wednesday 20 February 2008

How I Feel About You

An ex-girlfriend of mine once said to my grandmother 'After a year of living together, I still sometimes feel I don't know him at all. I have no idea what goes on in his head, and he never tells me.'
My grandmother replied 'It will always be like that. He's a hard man to love, but he is worth it. But you can't force things on him. He will never allow anyone to connect with him, unless it's on his own terms.'

She knows me, of course. She's more than just a grandmother, she's my closest relative, really. I can talk to her about things I wouldn't discuss with any other family member. She will keep trying till she dies to break the groundrules, but at the end of the day, she knows, if I have decided I'm not talking about something, I'm not going to talk about it.

I'm actually more comfortable in crowds, than in smaller groups. A lot of people fear public speaking. I love it. Huge buzz, huge adrenalin rush. Stick me in front of the office and I have absolutely no problem talking loudly about things a lot of people regard as taboo.

It's one on one situations I don't like so much. A girl at work said that she thought I wouldn't go out every night if I wasn't single. I told her the truth; Yes I would. I actually need to go out and be in rooms where there are several people, I need to, as my boss put it 'hold court'. It's a compulsive need. It's a continual need to keep interacting with as many people as possible, a need to ensure that when I walk through the doors of one of the places I frequent I get a cry of recognition from people, a 'Hello, Crushed!', a pat on the back, a 'Guiness, Crushed?'

And yes, I love to stand leaning on the bar, gesticulating wildly, in a forceful tirade about the smoking ban, or football, or music.

I love parties. I love it when you find that more than one person has been making sure you have a drink, and you seem to have acquired four glasses of various concoctions.

I love being in the thick of things, the centre of the dancefloor, the flouncing peacock of the company I work for.

This has always dominated my life.

I'm not capable of love, in the sense most people see it, because that One on One stuff doesn't hold much interest for me. You love me? Great, cool, sorted. Now I need more people to love me. And how do I do that?

Believe it or not, I'm actually pretty tactile. I hug my mates when I see them, I even hug acquintances at parties, I'm always saying 'I love you mate', I blow kisses at every woman I know (If you're a bloke and I'm blowing kisses at you, it's actually a gesture of contempt, and yes, I do do it, I'm sorry to admit).

The wierd thing is, I'm actually a really affectionate person. I will playfight any dog I come across, have him on his back, paws in the air, rolling around for a good scratching and when I'm done, chances are, your dog WILL actually follow me.

OK, that bit was for everybody.
The rest is for you.

I've THOUGHT I've been in love many times. I'm like that. I'm easy come, easy go that way. I've never really cared about a breakup since I was nineteen, except with Claire, and that was the abortion that screwed me up, not Claire.

Relationships are a thorough pain. You think you want them, until you're in one and then you remember how much BETTER your life was when you were single.

I've been engaged twice, once to my first love, which I meant, once to Claire, and that again, was just a situation that got out of control.
Funny story there. I knew she wanted to get engaged, but I put her off by telling her we couldn't get married in a Catholic church unless she converted to Catholicism, and I wouldn't even consider any other form of marriage. Well, on one of her days off work, she actually went to see our local priest to discuss possibilities and found out that no, all she had to do was agree to our kids being raised Catholic.

So we ended up getting engaged.

I'm absolutely useless at relationships of this kind. I'm quite good at the initial stages, because then it's exciting, but I really just lose interest. These things are great, as long as they are not ACTUALLY regular parts of my life. I can deal with flings, they are just temporary hobbies, but once they try probing into my core existence, I wake up, smell the coffee and realise, this stuff is fine, as long as it does not in any way impact on anything else in my life.

The second they do, the barrier comes down and the other party will be asked to back off.

I really have managed remarkably well in preserving myself from heartbreak, since nineteen.
Since then, much as I have often KIDDED myself I've been in love, I haven't.

The Baker, The Chimney Sweep, D, SS, yes, I love them. This blog, I love that too. Birmingham City FC, yes I love that. The Catholic faith too. Those loves are true, they survive my fickle caprices.

But I think I woke up this morning understanding something for the first time.
Love is not wanting to lose someone from your life. Love is wanting to cry when you think you have lost someone from your life. Love is feeling that their absence from your life leaves a hole inside you.

That's an awful, terrible thing to feel. I can see why I fight that feeling so hard. The things listed above, I know I'll never lose, so I can afford to lavish my affection on them.

You belong in that list.

I don't know what that means. I'm not even going to even try pretend I do. All I can really explain is the huge swing that took place in my worldview in the space of a few seconds this morning.
It was like an explosion. I pretty much danced round that office.

You are one of my best friends and I never, ever want to lose touch with you. I never want to argue with you. I never want you to be hurt. I never want you to be down. I want you to find everything that can make you happy. I will never judge you. I will never make demands of you. You enrich my life just by being in it.

You're young and you are such an amazing, beautiful person, with your whole life ahead of you, and I so want it to be the life you so, so deserve.

There really are not many people in the world like you. You are pure, in your heart. You have those special qualities which mark out Human Beings from clothed animals.

You buoy me up.
I just went out for a cigarette and do you know what was running through my head?
'In to your hands I commend my spirit, Glory Jesus Christ,
in to your hands I commend my spirit, Glory Jesus Christ,
Glory Hallellujah, Glory Jesus Christ,
Glory Hallellujah, Glory Jesus Christ.'

I'm sorry, I know you're not a big fan of JC and the Catholic faith, but it plays a funny role in my life. I'm a lot more devout than readers of this blog might realise, just not in that conventional a way.

I guess I want to talk to you about these things for ever, to know what you think, to know you'll care what I think. I want to talk to you about Nietzche and you to argue back with me. I want to go shopping with you (I used to go shopping with D, I like going shopping with female friends), I want to go round Warwick Castle with you, I want to introduce you to my friends. I want to take you for a pint in the Star. I want to sit in the living room whilst I play you Violator (Depeche Mode), easily the finest album of all time.

I want to sit out on the step and see if we can spot planets. I want to explain the curvature of space to you- I know you'll get it, I love it when people get it.
I want to play you at pool. I want to go halves on the juke box choices with you and give you the choice left over (out of five).

I want to tell you the pointless, mindless trivia that are in fact my staple conversation.

And if this never happens, that's cool. It WILL ALWAYS BE COOL.

And yes, I'm partly afraid of actually doing all those things I listed above. You know why that is.

Because I'll not do anything to jeopardise what we have.
I trust you. I missed you (which was daft, you'd not gone away, but I thought you had).
And I know you will never hurt me.
And it takes a lot for me to say that.

I want us to be friends for life, however that works out.
That really is how I feel about you.

Tuesday 19 February 2008

Dangerous Fireside Tales

In 1309, the Grand Master of the Order of the Templars was burnt at the stake in Paris, charged with heresy.

The Templars, it seemed, were not what they appeared to be. They were no holy order.
In their chapterhouses, they worshipped a three faced idol found on the temple mount.

An idol that allowed them to tap into satanic powers.
The idol Baphomet.

Or, another way of looking at it was that King Phillipe the 'Fair', an ironic epithet if ever their was one, was an avaricious, money grabbing monarch and would burn innocent people, if they were rich enough.

But the Templars were hunted down.
A political lie.

But though they died, horribly, the lie did not.
Not only has the lie not died, it has grown. It has fed so rich in the murky waters of the deception system that is INGSOC, that it lies underneath our culture, proclaiming itself the real truth. It feeds on the hidden feeling we have that we are being manipulated.

And of course, we are. We are conned into thinking we live in the best of all possible worlds, when in fact we obviously don't, and in our heart of hearts, we know it.

We don't, any of us- well, none of you reading this, get back what you put in.

The conspiracy theorist perverts this to his own ends. He creates a new truth.

Reality is, we accept being kept down, because we don't know what else to do, so we pretend we don't realise we are. Just as the bullied child pretends he isn't being bullied.
And those with the power? They just happen to be the beneficiaries of the system. Historical accident, nothing more. They came, they will go.

But not for the conspiracy theorist.

Let me distinguish here between conspiracy theorists. I don't mean those who allege Kennedy was killed by the CIA, or other 'single issue' conspiracies. As an example of a GOOD investigator for truth, let me quickly plug a new blog I've found.

I mean the grand conspiracy theorists. The dangerous ones. The ones who blame all that is all in our society on one recurring plot.

And the adherents of this belief ALL HAVE ONE UNDERLYING AIM.

Their enemy is liberal thinking. It is democracy, it is Marxism, it is Internationalism.

In their minds, the minds of the early proponents of this myth, God ordained the nation state- preferably with a King. All else, is abomination. The social changes of the last two centuries happened, because they were spread by the devil's minions.

This theory originated in the nineteenth century.
The common version, is this.
The Jews, after the diaspora, sought revenge on the world, so formed a Council of the Elders of Zion to enable the takeover.
It took two thousand years (That's one hell of a long conspiracy with no insiders exposing the plot, but hey, logic isn't the key point here).

The Templars were part of this Jewish plot. Later the Templars were refounded and rebranded, as the Freemasons.
Things really kick off in 1786, when Adam Weishaupt founds the Illuminati. Now, most sensible historians will tell you this was a short lived Bavarian political grouping, which was soon disbanded after a failed attempt to assassinate the Elector of Bavaria. It's only real interest to history, is the fact a member of the Rothschild family was an Illuminatus, but also, that it's aims were a United European Republic.

Well, in conspiracy land, it continued, it caused the French Revolution, it polluted Europe with liberal ideas, designed to destroy monarchy, ordained by God to run Christian people, because without Kings, the Jews could just take over.

Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche, all paid by the Jews and the Illuminati. The Newspapers? Run by the Masons. America, not really a democracy, a sham state run by Jews and Freemasons, to entice the European peoples into overthrowing Kings. Once that happened, society would collapse and Zion would be here.

The culmination of this underground myth, was this document of 1905, a forgery, but one so many people believed. Including, Adolf Hitler. And most Germans.

Here, was the proof. Countries needed strong rulers. This democracy business, was a Jewish lie.

Well, surely this stuff ended in 1945?


People still peddle this lie, they just remove the Jews from the equation, or at least keep that bit quiet.

But in other ways, the myth has grown. The Freemasons, footsoldiers of the Illumati, still run much of the world, engineering Financial crashes and wars to move further and further towards world domination.
It always looks ALMOST plausable, because usually, these theories explain very well the methods of mass manipulation used. The thing is, they then invent non-existent reasons for these methods, as opposed to individuals in a position of power defending what they have.

And of course, some have the Aliens involved. Some go further. Some say, the Aliens did it all along. They have been running us for thousands of years.

I dare say the Muslims will soon be dragged in. It stands to reason. These sorts of hate based conspiracy theories have a habit of merging.
There isn't an Illuminati, but nor is there a terror network.

But in the minds of the conspiracy theorists, there is.
The EU, the UN, again, all part of it.

Is it harmless? Is it just a few cranks spouting their paranoid delusions? No.
The Nazis showed what will happen if you let these ideas permeate sub culture.

And look at the people who propose these theories. I have yet to find someone proposing that the Freemasons really are run by a sinister circle called the Illuminati, who isn't a closet Nazi. And when I see someone seriously allege that Karl Marx wrote Das Kapital because he was paid by the Illuminati to deliberately poison Europe, then I know I'm not dealing with a balanced objective mind.

This belief can only seriously be entertained by a naive schoolboy, or by a Grand Master of the conspiracy theorist school.
And that school of thought, is the first step on the road to everything it pretends to be exposing.

It leads to a tyranny based on ignorance, hatred and fear.

David Icke may be the obvious example, and yes, he just looks like a New Age Ex-Footballer with some wierd ideas.
But those ideas, are National Socialism in a new package.

So. Put bluntly, if you see an author anywhere using the following phrases in a manner to suggest a correlation; Bilderburg Group, EU, Marxism, UN, Freemasons, Illuminati, Majestic 12, Roswell, CFR, remember.
That train of thought is a cattle truck filled with screaming babies, leading to Zyklon B for millions.

No, things aren't as you are LEAD to believe them to be. But stand but look long enough and you really CAN see. The pricks who are walking all over us, don't hide it. Their golden arches, their red and white triangles, are stamped somewhere in every high street across the globe.

And they laugh, they really do. Because these nutjobs divert attention from GENUINE exploitation and manipulation. Whilst these short trousered social misfits go hunting for further (non existant) proof that the Queen is a reptile, or finding out where the Illuminati temples lie, the ordinary men and women who happen to have found themselves with the wealth of the world in their hands are safe in their unaccountability.

Because the conspiracy theorists MISS THE POINT.

You're right, it's f**ked. What you going to do? Hunt your scapegoats down? And then? Gas them?
And then it's still not right. Maybe you've missed some. Maybe you didn't realise what a crucial role the Women's Institute play in this plot?

Round them up shall we?

Stop creating groups in your heads. Stop your dangerous schoolboy fantasies.
War is REAL. Poverty is REAL. Governments taking power from civilians and creating tyranny by stealth is REAL.
The Illuminati AREN'T.

You've identified the problems and you've identified that we are kept down and lied to.

Now, do you want to change that, or find fuel for your bonfires?

Fight lies with lies, or fight lies with our lives.
You choose.

Monday 18 February 2008

Coming to Terms With Personal Failure

The will to survive is truly amazing. People are, in some ways, stronger than they realise.
Psychological scars don't go away, but unlike physical scars, we can at least try and rise above them.

The bottom line is you're here. And one day you won't be. And all that really matters, is what you do with that. That really is up to you.

So you may not like the road that got you to the point you're at, but you're here.
Regret isn't going to get you anywhere.

The last couple of years have been in hard for me, in very real ways. I guess this blog has provided very real catharsis for me, and in some ways enabled me to deal with the realities of my actual existence.

I'm not yet thirty, but to all intents and purposes, I've effectively written my life off, and that's been hard to deal with. Knowing that you were once considered bright enough to have a shot at Oxbridge, and now, even if you won the Nobel Peace Prize, the headline would read 'Controversy as former Ecstasy dealer wins Nobel Peace Prize'.

That's hard enough. Then there's the life I saw. I can't explain, and there's no point in trying, except by saying, watch The Shawshank Redemption.

I mean, it's gone. Long gone. To see little me now, with my curls just as sculpted as they were at twenty, in my suit and tie, I'm just another wide boy, a foot soldier of the capitalist system.

I don't have a bad life. But in a huge sense, it can never satisfy. In life terms, you're a eunuch. So many pathways now, are closed.
But from the day that judge said 'Take him down.', there was no point in crying about it.

But it was certainly worth contemplating. I mean, there's no point in presenting me as otherwise than as the author of my own misfortune. The thing is, that DOES pose wider questions. And the one that perhaps most affects my worldview.

The simplest proof of the failure of our society, is me.

What do I mean by that?
Well, very simple. No, I don't blame anyone but me for my misfortunes. BUT. Looked at in a wider sense, it's not just me that loses out.

I have to come to terms with the fact that I will never make the social contribution maybe I could have done. But that's the point.

However many times, I go through everything, one still comes to the same conclusion; it would panned much the same however. If I'd done all those things differently, it wouldn't have been ME any more doing them differently.

The root of the problem, you might say, is a huge hatred of authority from an early age. Completely undisciplinable, confrontational, headstrong, over confident, unpredictable. These would be my key failings from the point of view of the processing machine that is our educational system. I'm just not a 'team player'.

I guess my graduation to a pure pleasure seeking existence, was almost guaranteed. A waste of a life, true, but more from society's point of view than mine.

This basically, is the point. People are going to find the ways of life that please them most. Society has managed to structure itself in such way, that my finding the best available of the paths to happiness on offer, meant me putting myself in a position where society declared me its enemy.

Why? Because the thing is, I was never going to get excited about buying a big house, putting a barbecue in the garden, all that 'keeping up with the Jones's' stuff, which FORCES everyone else to serve the system.
I needed more. I needed a sense of real purpose, and I only ever found that on the dancefloor, tight black jeans showing off my tight little bum, black T-shirt, showing off my girly white arms, a hint of eyeliner showing off my eyes.

That really was life. Up on the podium with a bottle of water in your hand, making sure all eyes are on you.

Innocence. It was. Youthful innocence. Sex and Drugs, yes, loads, but it was pure innocence. I was still a child in so many ways. After graduation I just moved from woman to woman, never really having to look after myself.

But wasn't I a triumph of capitalism and consumer choice? I, the consumer, working hard, to play hard?
Free Market Economics?

Well, you get time to think about these things.

The more one looks at all with unprejudiced eyes, the more one can see a society where systematic failure, increases by the day. We know it, because there's only one way you can measure a system, by the level of satisfaction people have with their lives.
Are we happier than our grandparents, as opposed to materially better off?
No. Because the gap between conceptual possibility and reality, is now huge, whereas in our grandparents day, the two were close. The system was still working.

Time was, when society would not have let me throw my life away. It would not have allowed a contribution to be wasted. It's human energy lost.

How much HUMAN energy do we waste? THAT is the question that matters.

Imagine if we used it all. Think of all those who we don't use, here in the West. Think of the labour wasted in the third world, simply by not providing proper technology.
And think of what a waste our employment system is. I sell you a phone system, so you can sell me back a photocopier. Most of us sell stuff to eachother, just we can sell stuff back. Eighty percent of the total labour of western humanity, simply serves to move assets around.


The economic and political system is basically, too archaic to suit modern requirements.
All it needs to do, is extract resources, process and manufacture goods, distribute them, feed people and transport people.
That REALLY IS all we need to be doing.

And that really, wouldn't take as much labour as we think.
And the rest of time?

We could run this planet, to European standards, assuming an equal infrastructure across the globe, on the basis of around fifteen hours labour contribution a week, each. True.

Imagine if we all did twenty.

Half as much work (Less, in most cases), everyone enjoying a middle class European living standard, 33% more productive as well, in terms of expanding the infrastructure.
Because that's the point of the putting in the extra. Extra Labour, extra resources put in building our dreams, habitats beyond our frontiers, place for humans of the future to live.

Let us pass 10 Billion, 100 Billion, a Trillion people, we will have the confidence to know that the mind of man will always feed and find homes, for her chidren.

It's doable. Once this phase, shackling us all, comes to an end.

Do I live for that?

YES, YES, I do.
That is all I have. That hope, that dream, that vision, is all I have left, and I will not lose it.

My own happiness is long gone. I'm finished, in terms of my real life identity. I live day to day, longing for the weekends, and when they come, I miss work. Life streches ahead of me, grey, lifeless. It's bleak. Soon I'll be too old to party. Settling down is a pipedream, I couldn't deal with it, it will never happen. I don't trust my grandmother with my phone number, so the idea that I could ever allow someone else to have access to a bank account my money is paid into, is completely unthinkable. And anyway, who wants to live with someone who will never really let them in? Who will only push them away if they truly try to share their life?

It's a bugger, because I'd love to have children, I just couldn't deal with the rest of it.
Of course I want children. Flawed as I might be, it's up to Darwinian laws to decide whether my genes are as junk as my life turned out to be.
Another pipedream.

And so, I find myself in a reverse situation to the rest of humanity, feathering their nest eggs and their pension funds, yet seeing the future as a nuclear holocaust, or an environmental disaster, or the current trend towards a global police state continuing forever.

You see, I don't really care too much what the future holds for me. Nothing to aim for, nothing to fear either.
The worst? AIDs? Overdose? Am I fussed?
Not really, no.

But I do care about the future any descendants of mine might have.

A united Earth, where a peaceful global confederacy rules over unarmed states, where the infrastructure is run to process and distribute in the most efficient manner possible, where the entire populace is the legislature, where voters can change their minds on the executive as often as is technologically posible, where the landscape is sculpted to maximum aesthetic standards, where the annual exponential population rise is matched by the triumphant abilities of humanity to expand it's habitat.

Where our technology supersedes the need for us to live this miserable existence.

Where people live together in vast communal households, where labour is divided to maximum efficiency.

We don't ALL need to wash our OWN clothes in our OWN washing machines.

And GOODBYE to people telling other people what should and shouldn't make them happy.

And this is why, I guess, I continue. After the ordeal I went through of late, you might wonder why I bother, why I continued in a situation which was driving me to nervous breakdown.

Because this is where I have the chance to redeem just a part of that rubble that is my life. It's worth fighting for. Nothing else I ever do, will be.

If my existence aids the future I pray for in coming about, then, no, I won't actually have lived in vain. I can't do a lot, but I can blog on the overlieing theory whilst I have breath in my body. That, actually has the capacity, to give me moments of satisfaction.

I still have something to live for.
I have something at least, worth the fight.

Sunday 17 February 2008

Calming, Thoughtful Stuff

No particular logic behind tonights choices, just thought they went well together.


Friday 15 February 2008

Good and Evil- As Real Concepts

There is truth in religion.
Not in the religion that blows up buildings, or marches in orange sashes through rival council estates.
Or in the religion of the sanctimonious hypocrite.

But in a real sense, it's true. It describes the Why.
It describes the dynamics of the universe, as Science tells us the How.

It explains the point the die hard Atheists cannot admit that here, true Atheism fails.
This is the simple point.
The universe does not, in fact, behave chaotically. The long term effects of this seemingly random set of events known as The Universe, is in fact behaving in a fairly defnite way, along a seemingly structured path towards heat death. A journey, that amongst other things, has produced us.
It's going somewhere, it's doing something, even if that something might in fact be something very simple; burn outself out as quick as it can.

All that's happened is this. We stopped seeing the wood for the trees. We didn't explain God away, we just discovered how God works- he stopped being mysterious.

God IS a trinity. The Laws of Thermodynamics.
That's it, THAT'S your God.

So yes Atheists, God exists. Lord Kelvin proved that.

And Good and Evil are real.
Why? Because time has a direction.
Past and future really are mathematical points that NO laws of physics will allow to meet. The gap in time between first point and last point is the chasm that contains everything.
The gap between good and evil.

It is the paradox of thermoydamics...
How to dissipate the energy, yet use what's left to speed up further dissipation.

The universe keeps finding ways- That thrust forward, is the force we know as Good.
The wastage point, the dissipation, is the force we know as Evil.

Good unites us, to thrust the universe forward, whilst Evil drags us back.

It is the stages we have left behind on our evolutionary journey, the animal traits that built us, as we advanced from flatworm to hagfish, from hagfish to reptile, from reptile to monkey.

And now we don't need those hollow used up stages. But their organic taint lingers, dragging us back to animal ways.
That's Evil.

It's not embracing the evolutionary stage we have reached, of exploting the dynamic which serve our species best in it's continued journey upwards.
Enlightenment, Reason, Love.

Religion shows us what the virtues are that make our species what it is.

These virtues are the skills that turned an Ape into a Man. And will turn Man, into space travelling Superman.

Evil is decay, it is wastage. It is like any other reaction- and life is a reaction- energy is lost. The imperfections in Man, the imperfections in our species and it's culture, are the Laws of Thermodynamics in operation. Perpetuation of imperfections and flaws wastes some of our energy.
But in spite of that, we still progress. Ultimately, the continued advance of the universe towards heat death, is dependant on our advance IN SPITE of the wastage. That's is how the universe- and all chain reactions, which are the motor of the universe, work.

Fighting for good, IS choosing the winning team.

And one that we see everywhere in our society. But the names of the soldiers of Evil, hide their true colours. But we know who they are. Fascists, Nazis, Stalinists, Terrorists, those who corrupt human energy by using it to hold others down, reducing our total human efficiency.

But we know that they won't win.

Striving to be Good, is striving to be a rational, enlightened and loving human being.
Evil is thinking on the basis of what your chemically based instincts tell you to do- just being an animal.

God doesn't have a white beard and he isn't going to send you to Hell on the basis of your love life.
And there is no Devil waiting for you with a toasting fork.

But don't ever think that Good and Evil THEMSELVES aren't real.
They are. They are two most diametrically opposed realities in the Universe.

Thursday 14 February 2008

The Mythology I Believe in

If people ask me if I read the Bible, I admit- not all of it. The New Testament in full, yes. The old testament, about a third. The prophets do not interest me one bit.
But I don't take the old testament seriously- it's a cultural collection of historical myth. The bits that claim to be the history of the Jewish people, all well and good, but they are no more honest than Geoffrey of Monmouth's history of the Kings of Britain, which chronicles all the ancient Kings of Britain, descendants of Trojan colonists, right the way up to King Arthur, final destroyer of the Roman Empire.

I love historical myth and legend. I find it fascinating that the current King of Sweden is Carl XVI, because a 16th century Swedish pseudo historian invented three thousand years of non existant Swedish kings, including six called Carl.

Hindu myth is interesting, as is Greek myth, but Celtic and Norse, far more so. Their tales breathe fantasy, but it's fantasy you can believe in- it feels real. Their capricious Gods, their otherworldly yet worldly elves and fairies.

When we read them, we see with our ancestors' eyes, there is no clear line where the age of legends ends and becomes the age of history.

And then, there is that strange series of legend that has a unique orgin.

One man did it in a lifetime.

One man sat down and CREATED a whole mythology and legendary history of the world.

And just as the pinnacle of Greek myth is the Iliad, of Roman myth, is the Aeneid, just as Norse myth is encapsulated in the Eddas, his mythology had it's pinnacle.

The Lord of the Rings.

It is not just a book.
It is a theological contribution of a Catholic thinker.

It even has within it, a Messiah for our age.

The Messiah of a generation which needs no human figures to worship.
It can listen to the Messiah of a fictional text.

He is our Buddha, our Zoroaster, our Gilgamesh.

Gandalf the Grey.

You see, devout Christians ask what Jesus would say.

Yes, I acknowledge Jesus as the greatest philosopher whoever lived.
But not as great as the wizard from the pages of fiction- who's wisdom defeated the Sauron impulse, defeated Mordor.

Because I don't believe in the Devil. But I do believe the Sauron impulse exists- the wish for power, for power's sake.

That's what we're fighting. That's what the Lord of the Rings says- fight the power impulse- power is dangerous, it is so hard to use it without being corrupted by it.

It is the clearest statement of what the battle between Good and Evil is all about, that has ever been made.

It describes the human condition. What are we? We can't be Gandalfs- that's the point, he is the Christ figure, so who are we?

Are we Frodo?
Are we Gollum?
Are we Galadriel?
Are we Saruman?
Are we Eomer?
Are we Boromir?
Are we Arwen?
Are we Eowyn?

I think the character I can emote to, is Boromir. I so feel for Boromir, because I would have succumbed the way he did. He has fought so long in the frontlines against evil, his heart is driven only be the need for victory against evil, and he cannot see what it is he opens himself up to.

But in life we meet Sams and we meet Aragorns too. They keep us on the straight and narrow, and maybe us Boromirs get to die protecting two hobbits after all.
Bormoir dies redeemed.

What a powerful message. Gollum. Gollum saves the world. And remember Gandalf's words...
'Pity? It was pity stayed his hand. Deserves to die, I dare say he does. Many that die deserve life. can you give it them? No. So do not be so eager to deal out death to others. Maybe, in same way we cannot understand, Gollum has his part yet to play in this tale.'(This may not be word for word correct- it's from memory)

That's the message of the Lord of the Rings too.
Don't hate- vengeance is not yours to give.

Gandalf is against the death penalty.
So, to be honest, I do often wonder what the old Wizard would have said to me. It is Gandalf who is the key sage in my worldview.

I am not really ashamed to say, I'm an LOTR nut. It IS a myth for our times, set three thousand years after the downfall of Atlantis, in the world before the Great Flood, but long after the explusion of Adam from Eden. It is the history of that age the Bible just spans in a few generations, but in this new mythology of pre-history, becomes the age of legend.

And how much BETTER a creation myth is the Silmarillion's 'Eru, the One, that is Illuvatar, said 'Ea', let it be, and the World was.', than any before or since.

It is the finest creation of all mythology and legend in human history.

It is out of all of them, the one most worthy of having serious adherants in the twenty first century.

It is the one that best describes the human condition.