Monday 31 March 2008

Death Is The Ultimate High

Well, I've told you pretty much everything else, so I might as well tell you this.

After all, I often think that it's pretty much one of the most important facts about me.
You either feel this way, or you don't.

And it's like Adam and Eve eating the apple, you can't uneat it. Once you've had this vision, got stuck on this thought, you can't be shifted.
It's your world now, and you will carry it forever.

Death is the ultimate high.
A favoured saying in real life of the author of this blog.
A belief that the most euphoric ecstasy to be felt is right on the very edge, the border between life and death.

That it is only when you know that you are being flung irrevocably towards your final moments that you will truly cling onto and savour them, as the sweat pours off your brow, your mind is full of the most powerful illuminations you've ever seen, and your blood vessels pump their way to oblivion.

I've never actually been suicidal in my life, not really. On two occasions, the very worst in my life, the idea crossed my mind for a brief period, more in a kind of speculative exhaustion, but a couple of beers soon dispelled such notions.

However, it is also true that I don't really try extra hard to stay alive either. One could say I am largely indifferent to the moment of my calling. The idea of dieing doesn't bother me over much.
Partly I suppose, there is my general hankering to die in glory rather than old age, but also, there is the fixation with the 'death is the ultimate high' thing.

Where did this start?

It's actually one of the shared rites of passage myself and the Baker went through. We both talk about it sometimes. It was the same for both of us, that night. The night life changed forever. The night we both changed. Both suddenly saw the world in a way most people never will. The night mind altering drugs, altered our minds for good.
An end to physical fear. An end to fear of mortality. But an end also, to happiness the way ordinary people may find it.

The Opera House, Bournemouth. Summer 1998.

We weren't either of us big Ecstasy or Cocaine users then. We did use it, but not hugely.
We enjoyed it, but it wasn't everything.

This night, we got carried away. Any guy who asked us if we wanted more pills, got a 'yes' answer.
And we ended up taking three each in the space of five minutes.
On top of everything else (whatever that was, and neither of use at that point were used to triple dropping, though sadly I did later become so), this was a bit crazy.

Next thing I knew, I was a-flying.
Literally, it seemed.

Below was a beautiful city.
I could feel the wind blowing as I zoomed through the clouds.
Illuminated by night, thousands of lights, little silver craft flitting through the ziggurats.

Euphoria. Ecstasy. Orgasm.
It was an out of body experience, I've never felt so close.

And then I began to realise, it wasn't a city.
It was the floor. What I could see, was simply a strobe lighting effect.
I was lieing on some seats, next to the Baker. And I couldn't move.

I wondered if I'd ever move again. I was paralysed. And yet, my bloodvessels felt volcanic. My pulse raced, it was like a wind was blowing through my mind.

Am I overdosing, I wondered.
If I am, I don't care. If you had to pick a way to go, this surely is it.
Worth dieing, just to feel this.

And then it subsided. I shook the Baker and we attempted to reach the dancefloor.
I fell down a staircase, because I couldn't actually see it. It looked like flat carpet to me.

I pulled on the dancefloor as well, God knows how. She came from Hertfordshire, I know that.

Later, getting stoned, the Baker and I talked about it. He'd had almost word for word the same experience.
Even then, I said 'Our lives have changed. That was amazing. At one time, I thought this was just a uni thing, now I know; Coke and pills together are better than sex, better than anything. Nothing can possibly compare to what I felt tonight. Nothing. Even Joanna couldn't do that.'

This was six months after I'd split from Joanna, the only girl I ever loved.
I've never loved anyone since- or had any real hope I would.

I guess this experience changed me. The world really was different. Because every moment I've ever lived since, has fallen short. I've had moments which have come close, but there is always this idea that true euphoria lies right on the border of death, that you don't truly know you are alive, until you truly know you're going to die.

It dominated life ever after. The high points have been those sought after moments of euphoria, seeking to push closer and closer, nearer to that line, the liberating brink between life and death, the Ultimate High.

It's not been so much a Death Wish, as just a lack of concern, an indifference, sort of 'Well if I go, I go.'
Generally. You just don't care. And in a way, it's a strength, because people can tell. Death doesn't scare you.

I've only really started to move away from thinking like that recently. Started to feel that life in itself, could be beautiful.

I suppose things have started to emerge in life which kind of make you at least think of putting this high chasing on the back burner.
After all, I've got a blog to write, and that can't really happen if I'm engaged in playing Russian Roulette with chemicals.

And I want to see D's child at least take his first steps.
And a couple of other things.

I think I've actually spent about ten years trying hard to die one way or another without realising it, and it didn't quite pan out (Oh, they lie when they say smoking kills as well. Fifteen years of it! I want my money back!)

I think I'm almost getting reconciled to this life business.
Slowly :)

I think some of the people are worth sticking around for.

And I think I've still got things I need to do.
And to do them, I need to stay alive and keep posting.

Sunday 30 March 2008

Drum N Bass Sunday

Today is all about the Drum N Bass.

Now I'll let you into a little secret.
I don't really see Drum N Bass as Dance Music- I wouldn't really dance to it.
Trance, yes, Hard House, yes, Drum N Bass, I'm more likely to listen to whilst relaxing.
I think it's often very good music for stimulating thought.

I'll often just lie on the sofa and listen to it. Sometimes I listen to it whilst writing blog posts.

This next one is almost impossible to find anywhere now- Doc Scott's Unofficial Ghost.
It's one of those wierd ones, essentially it's three mixed tracks, with a common leitmotif running through. Myself, it's the first section I prefer, it's beautifully dark, beautifully brooding and always sets me off into thinking of the cosmos, and attempting to conceptualise future technology. If I had my way, the first third, would continue for the whole track.

Last, we have one of the most soulful Drum N Bass tracks I know. It's stylish, sophisticated and does touch you. Just makes you wish you had a stylish, sophisticated woman to make love to while you played it :)

Have a great week!
Love you all loads! XXX

Friday 28 March 2008

Platonic Sentiment- Communicating

We are a special species. Of that there is no doubt.

And there are so many reasons that make that so.
Of course it's what we have done and how we live.

But's it what makes us that, it's those special skills we have, that raise us to that level.

And the main one, is what we are doing now.

We are no ordinary ape. Is this our equivalent of picking fleas? Maybe. But what an equivalent it is!

Our fellow apes do seem to have fairly rudimentary languages, that is to say, tribes of apes have their own signalling systems. Studies even suggest they understand lieing.
Somewhat depressing, I guess. We learned to lie before we learned to talk.

But it is language and the ability to co-operate that have made us what we are, and what we are going to be. The last two hundred years have seen an amazing communication revolution.

We share our deepest thoughts with other living beings, they can be stored after we die. That, really is an amazing concept.
And really, it is what makes humanity.

I often think that one of the crucial factors in the victory of the Anglosphere over the Francosphere, one of the factors that ensured the British Empire dominated the globe, and not the French, which after all, is what ensured that the global Lingua Franca is English, is perfectly simple.

You can think more in English. You can communicate thoughts better in it. There are five times as many words in English, as in French. It has more words than any other language in the world.

Words are the building blocks of sentences, sentences create concepts.
An English thinker can comprehend and communicate in a way a French thinker cannot.

Perhaps ultimately, it is why a little island in the Atlantic became the crucible of thought, political innovation, and scientific advance that it did.

In linguistic terms, survival of the fittest, is on the side of the English Language. It may not be a beautiful language, or a melodic language, but it does best what languages are supposed to do.

And it continues to grow.

Orwell saw that. One of the key points of 1984, is the creation of Newspeak, a language so limited in vocabulary, that concepts alien to INGSOC, can no longer be comprehended by someone who can only speak Newspeak.

It is nuance, shades of meaning, the fact that French can only give us 'Je suis fatiguee', whereas we can be tired, fatigued, worn out and so much more. They all fulfill that one term in French, but for us, there is variation in the meaning.

Perhaps this is why other European nations traditionally saw the English as unemotional. We never needed to wave our arms or pull facial expressions to convey exactly what we meant. The subtleties of our language do that anyway.

But communication is not just a tool. It has evolved into something more. We are compulsive communicators.

Most carnivorous species, for example, have a series of ingrained instincts, which are related to hunting. This is because hunting is an arduous process, unlike eating fruit. The antelope doesn't hang on a tree.
So evolution creates a series of urges; first the urge to hunt, then the urge to kill, then the urge to eat.

We have those of course. It's why we always prefer to commute to work, rather than work from home. We like to feel we've gone out to hunt. We leave our caves and go out on to the savannah, spear in hand.

But in humans, communication too, has become an instinct. We NEED to do it. And finding satisfaction in communicating with others, has become a powerful driving urge.
Evolution favours the better communicators, it has favoured those who mastered language.
And so we have within us, an ingrained urge to communicate, to share thoughts. It keeps us primed, but also, it rewards us inside, perhaps as deeply as eating.

And this, I think is the root of Platonic sentiment.

I think any Love worthy of the name, is Platonic at it's base. If it's based purely on desire, we have no hesitation in calling it what it is, Lust.

But Love, of the real kind is based on a deep intertwining, based on communication.
We love those we communicate best with.
And this, I think, what was what I was hinting at in my post on Internet Emotions.

The communicative power it gives us, stirs strong platonic sentiment. But by definition, the lust aspect is a delusion.
But Platonic Love IS love, because no Romantic Love, could exist without it.

I don't mind saying I love my friends. I would burst into tears if The Baker or The Chimney Sweep died tomorrow. What makes these friendships? The fact that communication between us, is effortless. There are no barriers. Conversations can go on for years. We have our own in jokes, our own sayings, etc.
For example, if the Chimney Sweep is wittering, as he is prone to do, simply saying 'Did you find the mushrooms in the end?', will shut him up, or at least make him pause.
No one else will ever understand, except us three.

It's that sense of total ease and comfort in the company of another, based on the fact that the communication between you, is perfect.
And, free of any deceit, free of any omission.

You feel you can see into eachothers minds.

I think, really, that's Love. And we feel that sentiment to our friends, our loved ones, and those lovers worthy of the name.

And I think that's partly why we get so hooked on this medium. I think we do emote strongly, because we are PURELY communicating. There is nothing else to see, but the mind. And isn't one of our deepest desires to be able to say 'This how I REALLY think, this is how I REALLY feel, do you get me?', and find other minds say 'Yes, Yes.'

Because I don't think really, love has anything to do with desire.

I don't think that when we really love someone, it's the sex that is the rewarding bit. It's more coincident than anything else. And this is why I believe Love and Sex aren't necessarily intertwined, that we as a species cheat ourselves, devalue both by cementing them, ultimately losing out.

We all want passion, I guess, it's an urge.

But Love?

Isn't what we really want just to hold someone close and just tell them everything in our heads, whilst they stroke our cheek?
And then ask them 'Do you get me?'

And hear them whisper 'Yes', as they plant their lips on our foreheads, before we snuggle up next to them and go to sleep in their arms?

Isn't that REALLY what we want?

And if you have that with someone, what else can possibly matter?

Thursday 27 March 2008

Flutter by, Sweet Butterfly

Flutter by, sweet butterfly.

Do not let anyone else tell you what should make you happy.
Do not live by rules that someone else has written.

Live for the moment and bask within it.
Do not unravel beauty so much you unravel it away.

Fly over the heathers, fly over the glens,
find what it is you are looking for.

Because you are pure of heart, you are strong in spirit,
and if you can't find it, little butterfly, no one can.

So do not dwell in anguish, do not cry at the complexity of the world,
what's yours is yours, your heart is your heart.

Be guided by your heart, not the tongues of others.
Do not live in a prison of guilt, or a cage of fear.

Fly with joy, because when you do, the whole world will stop and watch.
I want to watch you fly. Then perhaps, I'll smile.

Fly with freedom, fly with hope, fly with beauty.

Flutter by, sweet butterfly.

A World Without Pair Bonds

I suspect this will seem quite stark to many people.

It certainly will be, I think. I'm going to suggest that something that so many of you strive for as an ideal, something that is a much cherished ideal for many, CAN be removed completely from human existence.

I've hinted several times this is the way that my mind works, but now I'm going to seriously define how Free Love can become the way we'd ALL prefer to live. It will happen, when the nuclear family disappears.

I suppose part of it, comes from an understanding of why it is that most people strive to pair off for life, yet clearly, it's a concept that doesn't- and can't really- work for people like me.

There are sound reasons why, which I will come to.

We are called womanisers, love rats, rakes, cads. We make people fall in love with us and cast them off.
We are seen as deceitful. We must have been using them, playing on their emotions. We don't.

We aren't any different to the rest of mankind in our PROGRAMMING. It is the CONDITIONING that is different.

There are sound reasons why we seek affection, connection- and yes, sex- but continually transfer the objects of our desires. We aren't constant.

I think most people cannot quite grasp how our minds work and why.

I am now finally, I think, able to admit frankly and honestly that I am in no sense capable of any kind of emotional or sexual fidelity.
To people used to seeing things through the prism of monogamy and sexual fidelity, that means I either fall in and out of love very quickly, or that my emotions are completely fake.

This isn't the case. Removing Joanna from her pedestal involved an admission to myself of why she was on the pedestal. She was not only the first person I felt such strong intensity for, she was the only one I lost before the intensity had burnt out.

The relationships I've had which lasted beyond three to six months, turned into, from my point of view, friends who also have sex. And they were kind of a drag, because they stood in the way of me finding fresh intenisities. They needn't have done. Social expectation, the pair bond conditioning of the other, was the problem, from my point of view.

Basically, I don't pair bond.
And let's be honest, I never will.

Let's look at this, let's understand the dynamics of falling in love, and how it then moves into mating for life- up till now, a norm for the human species, and a cultural ideal, ingrained so strongly in us, that it is hard for people like me to admit that it isn't in them. And even more difficult, even for people like me, to actually promote changing that dynamic, and feel they have a clear conscience in doing so.

Falling in Love I think we all do, many times over. With many people, it stops when they pair bond- because they stop trying to fall in love elsewhere.

That initial stage- falling in love, lasts a few months. We're ALL programmed to do that. That intensity, that obsession with another person.

It has a purpose. We are designed to feel an overwhelming intensity for a specific human being that our genes have selected as good breeding material, for long enough for us to court them and mate with them enough times to make fertilisation likely.

Which is why that intense period of overwhelming euphoria lasts about three to six months.

We all want to fall in love, it's our desire to procreate.

What happens next, in most cases, is NOT chemical. It's conditioned.

Desmond Morris calls it the pair bonding process. It results from the way our society is structured.

The majority of people spend their first years emotionally bonded to another human being; their mother. Psychologically, most human beings spend their lives looking for a bond to replace that. Most people want to find someone who will become their whole lives. The intensity of the falling in love process, initiates a desire to form a true bond with the person they fall in love with.

And of course, this has been socially useful. It creates a family unit to raise the children that result from the falling in love process.

Morris points out, that in human society, children who grow up being fairly distant from their parents have a hard battle growing up. Most end up emotionally scarred. They have to learn early to build their own defences, or go the wall.

One of two things happen. They fail, they are bullied at school and grow up broken.

Or they grow up successful at building up large social networks. They grow up having conditioned THEMSELVES, never to become over reliant on a single human being.

And of course, they drift from intense fling to intense fling. They keep falling in love, but never pair bond. And what's more they genuinely can- and do- fall in love with more than one person at the same time. They aren't so bothered about monopolising the objects of their love, because they don't want a pair bond. They want the affection, the connection, the sex- but not the pair bond.

I recognise that as being me. I realised when I read 'The Naked Ape' for the first time, that on the occasions when I had been sexually jealous, it was really only my dignity I cared about. In fact, I realised that at a deeper level, the idea of sharing partners was something I actually found quite erotic.

It means, I suppose, that what we want out of relationships is very different. We always want to hold someone tight at night, and I guess we'd like it to be someone we felt genuine affection for. But we don't really want them to be ours, and only ours. Nor does the fact that we feel affection for them in any sense stop us falling in love with new people.

Our love really is freer, because we haven't been conditioned by the pair bond. It is an alien conception to us.
In fact, this was so difficult for me to realise, in fact, I think I only really properly came to terms with it recently, realising just how much the desire to mate for life is ingrained in so many people, and it is an ingrained piece of conditioning that I can never possibly grasp the power of.

Because my programming, lacking the pair bond, simply wants to mate with as many as possible, to give my genes as many possible chances as it can. I'm programmed to love them and leave them. Of course, that's the way our society forces it to be. It doesn't allow us to keep the old, while finding the new.

We are villified, because we fall in love, make people fall in love back, and then, at pair bonding time, we can't deliver.

Now. Here's the bit I have always had difficulty being upfront about. Because so many people seem to find such joy in their pair bonds. To conceive of how their lives would be without them, would be hard.
After all, it's people like me who are out of kilter. Perhaps we should be pitied.

But no, I disagree. I think actually, we're the lucky ones in some ways. Our lives ARE hard, because it is a minority system of thought. But pair bonds and family units have a lot of negative points.

One of the benefits of communal living, would be that children would see their parents more as siblings. They would grow up with a mutiplicity of people rearing them. They would never become emotionally dependant on specific individuals. All children would grow up, desiring to create as wide a social circle as they possibly could. They'd grow up better communicators, but lacking the pair bond conditioning.

In such a world, Free Love would be practical, would serve human desires, and would in fact be more positive. Genetic diversity would be better served. People could be discouraged from having more than one child with the same person.

And we'd more fulfilled, I think. We could fall in love with many different people without our lives, share affection with people, connect with people in a much freer way without the shackling bonds of monogamy and sexual fidelity.

We would grow up, not wanting these things. Love would divide into many different functions.

There would be the intellectual type, a beautiful bond that could be formed with any mind that made your pulse race, that sent your thoughts racing.

There would be the affectionate type, the person- or people- you wanted to hold close as you slept.

And then, the short, brief, flings of desire, the desire to couple with another person, born of the desires of the flesh, and freed from any other obligation.

To love many different people, in many different ways, that's what breaking the pair bond offers us.

I have no desire to pair bond, to live this way really would fulfill me. I try to do as far as I can, but it's hard in a world held back by this historical fact of human development.

What you have to realise, is you'd all think like me, if you didn't have this conditioning, born from the dependancy you had on your parents.

Yes, it would be a brave new world, but yes, I think it would be a better one, not a cold meaningless world, but one with MORE love going round, because we all loved MORE people, in MORE ways.

I actually think us philandering love rats are in some ways, more loving. We're more open to it, because we can separate our bodily desires from our platonic urges with greater ease.

Being obsessed with an individual, wanting to tie them to your life, surely has to be an ultimately destructive and unwholesome urge. Getting upset because someone you love, also loves others, doesn't make them bad, it makes you bad.

I think I'm comfortable now with facing up to the fact that I just want fall in love with as many as people as I can in life, and never own any of them, or have any of them own me. And I probably would like someone special to keep me warm at night, someone who was both a friend and a lover, but I hope she'd think the same way. That's my ideal of love, and I look forward to the day the rest of humanity can join in sharing this ideal with me.

And I like to think that if you really cared about someone, you could love her lovers too.

I believe in Free Love and Communal living, because I believe that the mankind that lives this way, will be a more fulfilled mankind.

Let's all share, not just our homes with eachother, but let's ACTUALLY SHARE EACHOTHER.

Wednesday 26 March 2008

What Should a Man Look Like?

Aesthetics has always been something of importance to me. In fact, it is something I have fairly definite views on, especially as it relates to men and women.

I think aesthetics are often a far more profound statement than we realise, because to a huge degree, the image we present to the world is under our own control.

And they say a lot about us as individuals, but more, about the perceptions we have in common.

For example, I cannot see that having big wooden plates as lips, will ever attract me, but there is a culture somewhere that does hold this view. How this conception originated in that culture remains a mystery to me, but they do it all the same.

If I look at myself, there are some quite definite statements I make in my own mode of self presentation. I'm obsessed with my hair, this is something most people seem to be aware of, most especially the curled forelocks I've spents years cultivating. They hang down my forehead, stopping short of the eyes, but if pulled straight, will actually reach to below my lips.

And of course, there are several statements I'm making. The most obvious one, is that I'm more concerned with fulfilling a certain aesthetic vision, than I am with judgements people might make concerning my sexuality. Since I know what my sexuality is, I really don't give a damn what anyone else thinks. So my hairstyle alone, conveys a huge signal about my social attitudes.
But also of course, in a more pernicious way, it's a status gesture. It's a statement that I clearly don't work at something where my hair could get out of place. I'm identifying myself consciously and publically as someone who firstly, spends a fair bit of money on their hair and secondly, can keep it the way they sprayed it in the morning, till they come home at night.

Why I go for the 'kisscurls', as my mother calls them, is part of my wider aesthetic outlook, which I'll come to later.

Status does of course affects a lot of aesthetics.
Why do we wear ties? Potentially they're quite dangerous. They could get caught in machinery and choke us. If you work in a restaurant, it could fall into the food.

Precisely. We wear ties mainly to prove that we don't get our hands dirty. It's a public statement; my brain, not my brawn earns my keep.

None of this is new.

There are two obvious aesthetic movements throughout history which have tended in this direction.
The first, was a conception that played a huge role in the development of racism. It begins in the middle ages, as a poetic concept. Read any medieval romance, a sign of beauty and breeding is the soft, snow white skin. Not just for women, for men. It proved you never got caught in the sun, like the serfs in the field, or even the townsmen plying their trade. Even the robber baron only ventures forth into the open air, firmly covered by armour, his hands gauntleted. So musclebound he is, but his hands stay soft and his skin stays white.

This was taken further in Spain, where a large proportion of the population were of Moorish origin. The only way, in time, that you could tell the real old, undiluted nobility of Castille, was if the skin was so white you could see the veins. Which of course, show up blue. The blue blooded.
This was carried by the conquistadors to the new world where, as Humboldt said, shade was the definer of class in a world where the blue blooded really were a tiny minority, then a more mixed class of settlers who had mixed somewhat with the natives, then the natives, then the darkest of all, the African slaves.

It is actually a fairly recent idea that being tanned is beautiful. Even last century, it was seen as 'weatherworn', hence the parasol.

The other obvious example of status driving fashion, was the eighteenth century, and this, I think, may be of more relevance to us today.

The aristocratic males of the early eighteenth century were making a definite statement.
They had long wigs, wore make up and high heels.

They were so refined, so confident of their social status, they didn't need to dress practically. They dressed extravagently. And, in a way that if we look at it, emulates women.
It is if the highest eschelon of male society says 'We are SO much the dominant male, we can afford to look like women. We don't need to make ourselves attractive to the women, because we have all the power. So we'll make ourselves attractive to US.'

The funny thing is, I do think they did look rather fine then. I'd love to have dressed like that.

I think these days, men are in a different position. Feminism scares them. Men fear the loss of their manliness, so they try to hype it up visually.

It is, I think largely insecurity, that fills the gyms with Effogen taking weightlifters, uncomfortable with the advance of women into typically male fields.

At the other end of the scale of course, men generally DO make more effort with cosmetics than they did twenty years ago.

My own view is, that really, the whole idea of maintaining such wide divergences in our aesthetic judgements of men and women, is flawed. I think the eighteenth century male was on to something. I think the fact remains, that women have traditionally had the best deal on this front. Being the 'fairer' sex, not having to go to war (where shorter hair is better in preventing the spread of lice), shoe horses, work in coalmines etc, meant they got to keep their hair, their cosmetics, to be pretty. Men weren't allowed that luxury.

Women have been conditioned to look for the musclebound breadwinner, whilst men have felt that a certain aesthetic slovenliness should be aimed for. The muddy schoolboy with his shirt hanging out.

There are certain things which will always be appropriate for one sex and not the other. Women always look nice in dresses, men never will. Men's legs don't look good on show in that way. But I think it's more rewarding now that dresses are reserved for special occasions. They allow us to really appreciate the female form at it's best.

But hair, I think we're still wrong about it. Generally, although a minority defy the conventional wisdom, women have long hair, men have short hair. But in fact, the length of hair that suits a face, depends on the shape of the head. Some men look a lot better with long hair, and one does see women who pull off a shaven head in a way that is quite striking.

Make up is another area. A lot of men tacitly use cosmetics, but get uncomfortable using mascara and the like. None of us would wear it to work, certainly, and whilst I did occasionally use it in my youth, I wouldn't now, mainly because of the societal judgement.
But generally, the reason why most transvestitites look truly awful, is because they are wearing a ridiculous amount of make up. A woman wearing that much make up would look just as awful.

I think really, most women look better when the make up isn't obvious, it just covers blemishes and heightens their best facial features. The same, in fact, would be true for men.

I often joke with my lesbian friend that lesbianism is simply female frustration at the grotesqueness of the male physique, an underlying recognition by women that in fact, men are very aesthetically unappealing.

It's tongue in cheek, but I sometimes wonder if there isn't something in it. I don't believe that homosexuality and heterosexuality are clear cut, I think we all tend to the bisexual one way or another, and to ally the two different forms of homosexuality against heterosexuality, often seems to me slightly bizarre, because in some ways, you can't get much further apart than men who like men, and women who like women.

Personally, I think too much muscle definition looks pretty unattractive, regardless of gender. There is something slightly primeval about it, one suspects their underwear smells of sweat.

Obviously, we all basically want to look attractive. But aesthetics should emphasise our best features, emphasise those points we want to show off to members of the opposite sex. Often, it turns out, the same things will work equally well for both genders.
Tight jeans for example. If you have the figure for it, works either way. It did for me when I was 22, I even used to get the odd catcall about that particular part of my anatomy.

The fact is, we are still bound up in creating separate visual images for males and females, without really concerning ourselves with freeing the aesthetic potential of the individual.

My view?
Come on Metrosexual males!

Time for us to get some of the benefits of feminism.

We don't have to be knuckle dragging unkempt beefcakes any more.

There can be TWO fair sexes!

Tuesday 25 March 2008

Internet Emotions? What Are They?

Some of you may well realise that this post is based on actual experience.
Since you know that, there's no reason for me to allude to what it was, and so I won't. It's history now.

But it's based on a bit more. This is an evolving medium, and looking round, I see a lot of people are asking questions on this point.
In a sense, we're all beginers at this, it's a new medium, the medium hasn't found its feet, and nor have we.
Though maybe we're getting there. Day by day, I think our relationships with eachother online evolve, certain concepts are developing, concepts of how we see eachother are changing.

And perhaps we are getting wiser.

Somebody recently told me that my posts had got more interesting since I'd had to show the real me a bit more. Now in fact, there's a lot I always meant to keep back. Now, pretty much everything about me lurks in the archives.

And in a funny sense, now it's come to that, it is a weight off my shoulders. I don't have to hold back. I still have to retain anonymity, mainly, to protect my career and those close to me, but otherwise, I've nothing to hide.

Of course, that doesn't mean for an instant that you know me, or can EVER know me, no matter how many posts I write, even if I write thousands of posts over the years, you'll never really know me. And the same is true of you. I'll never REALLY know you.

It's the same principle that a photo rarely tells you what a person looks like. When do you ever see someone in suspended animation? You don't. You need to see several photos of someone to get any idea of what they are like in motion. Which we always are.

Now of course, this puts us in a funny position. Take Electro-Kevin. Over the last year, one picks up a lot about him- he's very open on his blog. But there are, obviously, things none of us can EVER know about Electro-Kevin, which, were we to meet him in a pub, we would pick up in a matter of minutes. His intonations, the way he stands at the bar, his mannerisms, his laugh. The REAL bits of his character, which would show the person he REALLY is.

The barmaid who sees Electro-Kevin in the pub and thinks 'Hmm, he's all right!', might not in fact like his blog.

Herein lies the problem. We're pouring our souls out here a lot of the time. We write with passion, enthusiasm, with emotion.
And often, that comes across.

And the power of words IS Erotic. Othello tells us that. We can come across blogs and be mesmerised, a person shines through that can captivate us. I'll be honest, more than once I've come across a blog, where, knowing the blogger to be female, one gets a kind of crush.
It's great. They're no more flesh and blood than the pin ups of Liz Hurley that you had on your walls as a teenager, but you can leave them comments, like a lovestruck teenager, and they answer back.

Let's be honest, some of level of flirting is an integral part of blogging. As of course, it is in real life interactions. I do it every day, with almost every woman I come across within a certain age range. Only on the internet, you can slip into delusion.

Because it ISN'T really flirting. It SEEMS to press the buttons, and we respond to it as if it is, but it isn't.

Because the real emotion you actually feel in this blog crush, ISN'T EROTIC.
It's platonic. Purely platonic.

The problem is, in real life, when we get that feeling, it is usually coupled with some desire to be physically close to that person. Body language, tone of voice, mannerisms, it is a whole person that we are attracted to.
On the internet, really it IS just a mind, and part of their mind at that.

We're just not used to such strong platonic desires, and thus, we wrongly label them in our own minds, as being erotic.

It is something beautiful I think, but we haven't understood it. We see a mind that inspires us, a mind we feel we connect to. And that isn't, in itself, an invalid connection. What IS invalid, is reading more into it than that.

Even exchanging e-mails, yes, you get to know a lot about a person, but not nearly as much as you THINK you know.
Even on the telephone, no, you don't know them- how can you?
In fact, speaking on the phone to me, would be positively dangerous. My voice is my best asset, and I have a definite telephone voice, low, lilting, seductive. It's my business voice, it is my flirtation voice, down the pub, it disappears, to be replaced by a far louder, more abrasive, coarser, Brummie dialect.

I know it's my best asset. My business voice has definite hypnotic qualities. I have learned how to use it over the years and I use it on the phone, without thinking. If I'm speaking to a woman, I just naturally slip in to it.

None of it, of course, is real. It's a mutual delusion. The internet allows us to cross barriers, to communicate with people from walks of life, we'd never otherwise come into contact with. There is a certain excitement, I guess at penetrating beyond the walls of a blog, and finding what lurks behind, in a world so very different to ours.

To put it in context, most people I know in real life, lead lives that bear some relation to mine. I work in a sector, which has its own codes of practice, which aren't those of other sectors. The way I lead my life, is perfectly acceptable within that sector. Temperance and sexual fidelity, are exceptions rather than the norm for salespeople. My friends are all fairly similar to me in outlook, the way we interact with eachother, the mores which we are agreed upon, are those we consider to be right. Not everybody in society would.

Most people who read this blog, lead very different lives to me. They do, it's fact.
That's the joy of blogging. When I have discussions with my friends, we tend to see the world, if not the same, at least in a similar way. And of course, we all know eachother.
That's why blogging is so much more rewarding. It's throwing yourself into the great unknown, and making some surprising friends.

And in a sense, they are real friendships. But they can only REALLY be platonic. No matter how strong we may think we feel.
And I think we don't always see this straight away. Maybe we have to be once bitten twice shy. Maybe one has to see the huge personal damage- to both you and the other party- that come from neither party standing back and being objective.

Oh, I know people are going to say that there are many internet romances that have worked and quote me a tale where it did.
I'm sure you're right.
But as sure as hell, the vast majority met and found they weren't meeting the person they thought they were meeting.

And that's not because either party lied.
But because both parties saw the other through a self-constructed prism. They saw only the words, or heard only the voice and their minds filled in the blanks.

And people will say that people make love over the internet, or over the phone. Cybersex, phonesex, etc.

Making love involves two people who actually know the three dimensional form of the other, desire to feel the warmth of their three dimensional form and unite.

Mutual masturbation at a distance of hundreds of miles is not love making. It is not even sex. It's a delusion. It's not wrong, anymore than looking at porn is wrong, but please don't glamourise it.

The whole thing is fantasy, and dangerous fantasy at that.

Dangerous, because it becomes a hope, and yet a fear at the same time.

The thing is, people have real lives. They have real careers, and real friends. They go to real parties, they meet real members of the opposite sex.
And you can't really expect to have an inkling of the real life of someone you don't know. For example, you know what I would say about how I see my friendship with my friends. You don't see them, except through my eyes. If you knew me in real life of course, they would be real people, with their own personalities.

And when these things go sour, they can go sour in a far more damaging way than real life equivalents. They can cause more damage for a start.
But also, there can be much more bitterness and anger.

I think, there is an element where people think they have been misled. And in a sense, they have. Misled into thinking that these things are what they can't, in reality, be.

You can delude yourself that you love someone you've never met, but you don't.
Not in that way. Platonic yes, romantic, no.
And that's where people fall down.

But aren't we all yearning for that special someone? And isn't it oh so tempting to think that that platonic connection is something more?
Because maybe, we do free ourselves and open ourselves up to forming platonic connections in a way we don't so often in real life. We're more guarded, less trusting.

I think what we find here, is that actually, we end up quite liking people we wouldn't give ourselves time to get to know in real life.

But would we like them in real life?

I guess maybe, we don't really always need to know the answer, and maybe we shouldn't push the question too far sometimes. Maybe we should accept the beauty that exists in the way we interact as avatars.
And when we e-mail eachother, just accept that for what it is too, two minds, sharing thoughts. In itself, that does mean something.

It's perhaps a new kind of friendship, a new kind of relationship that defies our preconception of categorisation.
And maybe, in trying too hard to find terms for these connections, we force them into boxes they don't really fit in.

I suppose, in a sense, of all the regret I might personally feel for the situation that happened to me, the saddest part was to realise just how much someone hated you (still hates, I think). To realise that someone who you thought kind of got you, was now drifting deeper and deeper into a falser and falser picture of you, based on the fact that really, none of you had ever really known eachother in the first place. And now the gaps that had once been filled in, in the best light, were refilled in, in the worst light.
And yet somewhere, in the innermost recesses of my heart, was a faint tingle remembering a conversation about Nietzche. Somewhere, in all that debris, was a platonic friendship lost. And I always regret the loss of a friend.

I think one can develop deep and meaningful friendships with people through this medium. I have mentioned before how important one of my online friendships is to me, and it is important to me, very important. I understand the dynamics of it far better than once I would have done. There is no conceivable way I would see her in anything other than platonic terms, and vice versa. She's- very sweet, I guess that's really all I can say, and that's probably all there is to say really. She cheers me up. She adds to my life, in a good way.

I think for so long, our society has downplayed the importance of platonic friendship. I think here we are discovering it's beauty again, we are making friends, valuable friends, in a way not tangible in real life. They are just different to our real life friendships. But not necessarily less meaningful.

But they can't be romantic. And we can't fool ourselves they are.

For romance, really, you have see them walk, hear them talk. You have to see them in 3D and want to hold them tight, to caress their cheek, feel their breath on your neck.

We have such potential here, we really do, in forming personal interconnections in a wholly new way.
Blogging is amazing, it really is.

And those of you I consider my friends (Those of you who receive e-mails with my name at the bottom), I love you all to bits (PLATONICALLY!!!!!!).

But Romance.
Let's start getting real, people get hurt.

When two people look into eachothers eyes and their pupils dilate, their arms touch and they slowly move towards eachother, when their lips slowly press against eachothers, when their hearts are fluttering like a butterfly, when the taste of the other's lips is sweet as strawberries, THAT'S romance.

And THAT only happens in real life.

Monday 24 March 2008

Well, I Hope You Enjoyed Your Rest

I was going to post tonight, but events intervened. I hope your break, was a good one.

Enjoy the music.

Sunday 23 March 2008

Pointless Stream of Consciousness Blogging

Well, it's quarter past midnight and I'm getting quite drunk really.

Since I'm unlikely to go to bed for a bit and it's too late to be ringing people to tell them I'm drunk and depressed, I figured I'd talk to you lot.
Of course, by the time you read this, I'll no longer be drunk, most likely.

Betty Braddock accused Churchill of being drunk. He retorted 'And you're ugly. But in the morning, I'll be sober.'

I just noticed this can contains the words 'Responsible drinkers don't exceed 4 units daily (men)'.
Who are they kidding?

Well, I had no Easter eggs, mainly because I forgot to buy myself any yesterday. I had one last week, but I don't suppose that counts.

This living on your own business doesn't really have a lot going for it. The flat is a bombsite. Quite what the hell has happened to the living room is beyond me. I know the Baker moved some furniture around to create a cinematic effect for watching City of God, but why there are piles of mail in every chair I don't know. Logical answer, I dumped them there, and probably should open them.

This twelve pack has done a good job of sitting untouched in the fridge for two weeks. Dizzy got it for my thirtieth, and since I rarely drink at home, it has sat there ever since. But there comes a time when the pub has to shut, and you really need to carry on getting drunk.

I don't usually like getting drunk. Four to five pints in one sitting is usually enough. And I don't really drink on my own much either. But sometimes, what the hell?

They say there are no answers at the bottom of a can. It depends on the question you ask. If the question is, can I consume the contents of this can, then yes, you will find answers.

Alarmingly, perhaps, I've finished another can since I started this post.

Exhausted, frustrated, bitter- or is that last just what I'm drinking?

I want to be a real person. Like the other real people. This always bothered me from an early age. Do you know what the first conscious thought I remember is?
Why can't I see me?

I mean, I could see everyone else, but not me. So was I there at all? It took me a while to grasp why I couldn't see me.
Then as I got older, it used to bother me when my parents told me that I could have died when I was a baby, because I was born so early and was so small as a baby. That I'd been a week in the incubator. I used to think that I wasn't meant to be here at all, that really I was a miscarriage and I hadn't got a soul, because in early times, I wouldn't have lived.
And that made me think that maybe, if God had planned everything for everyone, than he hadn't plannd anything for me, and that although I thought I was interacting with everybody, really it was just an illusion, that it was a trick, that really nothing I did would make a difference, that I wasn't there at all.

Like Roger Rabbit. He makes a lot of noise and bounces round, but you know he''s just an animation added afterwards.

Or if I'd seen Sixth Sense at that point, a bit like Bruce Willis in that. He thinks he's real, but actually he's dead.

Maybe this underlies my extreme hedonism as an adult. A lot of the time when people have asked why, all I've ever been able to say is 'To know I'm alive.'

Claire's abortion added to this sense. When she had it, I remember thinking 'What did you expect? Nothing of you will stick. When you are gone, it will be as if you never were.'
I've never been able to shake this belief.

Until D got pregnant. I remember standing out on the porch with her.
Crushed: You know what this means? It means I'm real.
D: What do you mean?
Crushed: It means, my existence does mean something. That child couldn't exist, if I hadn't. There's no way you and (Baker) could have met, if it hadn't been through me.

All my life I've wanted to change the world. Exactly how has varied through time. when I was a teenager, I'd not properly read Nostradamus and realised what a load of bollocks it is, but back then, I believed World War Three would break out in 1999, and to be honest, I was all ready to go off and be a war hero.

Of course, by the time I got to Uni, I figured World War Three wasn't going to happen.

By Uni, Member of Parliament had become the ambition. Working on the principle that Labour were popular, but wouldn't be when I was thirty, I became Vice-Chairman of the University Conservatives. I was Chairman for a bit, but gave it up when I fell into post-Joanna despondancy (which included buggering off to Amsterdam for a month).

I actually harboured ambitions on this front for a while. To hear me talk at political meetings, you'd have assumed I was quite Thatcherite, and superficially I was- except of course, if you picked any topic that WASN'T Europe or the Economy.

Interesting aside- one of my Labour friends, who went on to be a researcher for his MP (who defected to the Lib Dems later on, which made me laugh), said if I ever became a PPC, he'd write to the Sun telling them about the drugs I'd used at uni (specifically Coke). I pointed out, that his housemate had walked in on him, on his knees, semi circle of magazines around him, organ in hand. Voters can tolerate a bit of saucy gossip, ridicule is more likely to swing votes.

I left the party briefly in 2001, when they picked that useless prick Duncan Smith- at this point, I was a die hard Portillista.
I rejoined, because I was asked to, and the party needed council candidates. Of course, then the other life I was leading- the pill popping variety intervened, and I was put in a position that legally excluded my taking part in politics.

Of course, to be fair, by this time the idea of me being a Tory candidate was somewhat of a joke anyway. Privately, I'd already concluded that Marx's economic theory was correct.

It's odd that I was probably 26 or so before I was actually starting to develop the overall worldview I have now. For a long time, there were huge parts of it which made me uncomfortable, they seemed to contradict. I had concluded, for example, that Free Love was the way forward, but that hardly seems compatible with Ultramontane Catholicism. And even now, that's still the wing of Catholicism I belong to.

It actually took a thought experiment, less than two years ago to reconcile the two.
The fall is a myth, yes. But in the context of the myth, had Adam and Eve not eaten the fruit, how would mankind have lived, in Eden?

Free Love and Communism, surely.
Marriage and property, from a theological point of view, are a consequence of the fall.
Even if it is a myth, the implications of theology are, marriage and property are needed only because man is imperfect.

I cannot tell you what a joyous thought this was.

Deep down, I think, we all know both sound good, but we are conditioned to believe that the first is immoral, and the second impractical.

I am now convinced in my mind, my body, and my soul (whatever that means), that no, they are neither.

It was if, in an instant, every train of thought I had ever followed, united.
In the space of one evening, I suddenly saw Catholicism, Darwinism, Marxism, and Nietzcheism all pointing in the same direction, so much so that I realised that I wanted to stand up and shout about it.

I felt as if I had been walking in my sleep all my life.
I accepted that Marx's theory, is a local consequence of Darwin's laws, as Engels said. Marx is right, because Darwin is right. And Nietzche, even though he would have cringed to hear it, is right because BOTH of them are right.

And Christ? Of course Christ is right. Only human beings who live the way Christ told us to, can hope to make this vision work.

It matters.

I could see it straight away.

And I realised something more.

Now you see it, now you got to do something about it.

Show them.

Show them.

Show them or die trying.

And that's what I'm going to do. That is what I have been trying to do with this blog, and I will keep trying to do till they find my corpse on this keyboard, because Jesus Christ, nothing else I will ever do can possibly matter.

It is worth me sacrificing my entire life, throwing away my own happiness, living in misery, pain, poverty, suffering, just to make sure, that even a tiny number of people see the logic.

Because it might make a difference.

One day, soon, Capitalism will die.

And at the moment, nuclear weapons are being pointed by one lot of Homo Sapiens towards another.

So getting to grips with who we are, what we are, how we are programmed, the best and the worst that we can do to ourselves, we need to do it, and do it now.

Because four billion years should not be wasted.

This blog is not just a hobby. I will stand or fall by it.

Because you lot matter to me.
I want our descendants to have the future they deserve.

And even if I am drunk, I mean what I say.

I'd die for what I'm saying. Since I can't, I'll live for it instead.

Easter Depeche Mode

Appropriate for Easter, don't you think?

Basically, what it means, is you can try as hard as you can with all the will in the world, and it may still be no good.

Crushed, My Dorian Gray

Who is Crushed?
Is he my creation? Or more than that?

What are we here?

Are we not just as real here as in real life?

I know the layout of this blog as well as my own flat.
It feels like home when I clap eyes on it, it is familiar, it is mine, it is my virtual living room.

And me?
Isn't Crushed Dorian Gray, and me the picture?

In a very real sense, isn't Crushed actually my name, and isn't this actually what I look like?

Sometimes, I think I'd rather just BE Crushed, and live in here forever.
Just an avatar playing with all the other avatars.

The Hard Path

I don't think there is an afterlife, but I think there is something important grasped at in the concept.

Do you die at peace?
Are your final thoughts, happy thoughts, contentment that your life wasn't in vain, or bitter resentment that it was all a waste?

I guess really, that's the final point of all our journeys. That will be the final judgement. As we feel the life ebbing and flowing from us, IN OUR MINDS, did we succeed or fail.

How will we know? Is it purely subjective?
No, no I don't think it is. I think we'll know in our heart of hearts whether we did all we could, or whether we frittered our lives away. We will look back on our failures, on the hard choices we failed to make, and they will cut into us like a knife.

I suppose this train of thought has been foremost in my mind of late. Partly, it has been the season. Our minds- or my mind anyway- are focussed on a man, who died on a cross, but we assume died in peace. And he must have done. His last words 'Father into your hands I commend my spirit', are words of total acceptance.

And one wonders, would he have died at peace, had he died aged seventy of old age? In his case, no, I don't think he would.

But also, I guess the last year has been a theological and ideological rollercoaster for me. Events in my own life have forced me to confront concepts such as good and evil and one's own life journey and realise how complex the universe is.

I think the universe is governed purely by thermodynamic principles. We will die, having worked with it, or we will die having worked aginst it. We will have gone with the flow, been driven by it, and die at peace, or we will try and cheat it, we will fight against it, and die unfulfilled.

And you have the free will to choose.

Sounds simple, but it isn't.

Because each of us has a multiplicity of choices we can make in life. Whether the possible routes that lead to dieing at peace exceed those that lead to dieing in frustration, I really don't know.

And unfortunately, I don't think it's fair either. It may well be, that some of us are looking at a life maze, where most of the choices will lead to dieing in misery.

The thing is, I think you know when you are on the right path. Something deep inside tells you, this is your route. Choose otherwise, you will regret it.

And I think sometimes, as we journey through, the choices get starker. The options narrow, and then suddenly, we face a series of choices that make us baulk.

There it is, shining in front of us. The ONLY route to self fulfillment. It's there, shining. And all around, every other route, leads to dieing in misery.
And you look at the shining route and it horrifies you. Surely THAT can't be your route to happiness?

Because it doesn't look like a route to happiness. It involves pain, suffering, endurance. It involves sacrificing everything else to this route. Following this route is going to be hard, the chances of slipping off and ending up on one of the myriad other routes leading to dieing in misery, are a thousand to one.

But it really is your only route. You have no other choice. What are you going to do if you don't follow it? If you don't, you will die in misery, so there is no point in following any other route. Follow this route, or just give up completely. If you can't follow this route, there is no point in following any route at all.

On the other routes, are temptations. There is Love, comfort, prosperity. But these are false routes. Follow them, you'll get those things. But they'll be hollow when you do. Because in your heart of hearts, you'll keep remembering the route you walked away from. The only route that could ever lead to you dieing at peace. You will hate yourself every day, you will look at yourself in the mirror and feel contempt.

Because you had a choice. The road to your fulfillment is dark, covered with thorns and no one is going to keep you company along that road. You will walk alone, every step of the way. No angels are going to come and comfort you. You will get no help, no comfort. Every step will make you more and more weary. The burdens that you have to carry along this road will make you sink to your knees, day in, day out. Many will be the day when you just do not want to go a step further.

Why is your road so hard? Why do others have paths to happiness that involve cuddling up to loved ones, laughing at barbecue parties, watching their children play in paddling pools, whereas for you, this would ultimately turn out to be a soulless, pleasureless, unfullfilling wasteland of a life, a chimera, false happiness?

Because those paths, are the paths of children. Children, in a spiritual sense. They expect to get back what they put in. They live for themselves, for their immediate loved ones, for their own comfort, their own joy. They do not care about what they do not need to know. You could keep them in cages- they are kept in cages in fact, and they do not care. They are the Eloi. Their happiness is entirely dependent on the good things in life. Reward and punishment.

The Eloi may try to seduce you with the blandishments that will make them happy. There is nothing wrong with them finding fulfillment with these things. These things will lead to them dieing happy. But not you.
The Eloi will perhaps hate you, they will not understand your rejection of their trinkets. They will not see, that you reject them, because you love them. You will even reject their love, because you love them.

You have to walk your path, because someone has to. And yes, you will probably fail. That is the point of these paths. They are hard. Your chances of succeeding and dieing content are a thousand to one, but it's the only shot you've got.

And you walk it, because someone has to.

Let every day be a burden to you. Reject those who try to dissuade you. Reject wealth, romance, prosperity. Do not rest, even when you feel exhausted, demotivated and at the end of your teather. If they attack, if they criticise you, if they degrade you, if they trip you over in to the mud, get up and keep walking.

The day may come, when you think you cannot succeed now. You have no choice. It's the only path you have. Keep walking on it.

Forget self. Overthrow the existence of your own identity. Unburden yourself of desire, of being self-conscious. Take your own physical existence OFF your list of priorities. Become pure mind, free yourself of body, of emotion, of pleasure, of pain.

Maybe there will be no happy moments EVER AGAIN in your life. Maybe that is the price you have to pay.

But in your dieing moments, maybe, just maybe, you'll know it was worth it.

Whatever your life path is, find it and keep to it. Die happy.
It may not be the Hard Path, but it may be.

Never forget, as much as you make your choices, the Universe decided it would be you that faced those choices.

Is that a comforting thought?
It's up to you.

Saturday 22 March 2008


I think we are justified in still being fascinated by Jesus Christ.

I know there are many who would criticise 'The Passion of Christ', but I'm not one of them. I think the film brings home a powerful message, whether you accept the divinity of Christ or not.

It's about Sacrifice. It's about enduring torture and execution, because you firmly believe that by doing so, you can change the world.

And I suppose, ultimately, we need to get inside the mind of Jesus here. We don't do that, because we're scared to. It seems almost blasphemous.
But don't worry, even as believers, its acceptable. All Christian Denominations accept the dysophysite position, that Christ had two natures. We cannot comprehend the divine Christ, though we may have to debate what that was shortly.

We are agreed Christ had a human side.
So this human Christ, had human emotions. Human fears.

Now whether you believe who he was or not, it seems clear he went to Jerusalem intending to die.
There's a lot of occasions in the New Testament, where a lot of things are said to be done to fulfill scripture, meaning OT prophecy. Often, this is a gloss by later writers. The OT says a prince will be born in Bethlehem. It doesn't say he would be the Messiah, and it's probably not meant to be a prophecy. A prince probably was born, back in 700BC in Bethlehem.
But there is one definite prophecy concerning the Messiah, and that is riding into Jerusalem, on a donkey.
Jesus knew what he was doing. For so long, he refuses to answer the question of whether or not he is the Messiah.

At this point, he does. He deliberately and consciously behaves as the Messiah has been prophesied to do.
So divine or not, he knew what would happen.

Alea Jacta Est.
Was he hoping that his actions would cause a revolution?
I don't think so. I think he meant to create a scene that would be remembered for all time.
And he was prepared for it. He had an inkling of what he would endure.
At least, by the time he brings the disciples together for the last supper, he knows they will come for him. He knows what tomorrow will bring.

And this is why we say, a part of him, surely, MUST have been divine.

Because to behave the way he did he must have been sure of two things, and that takes a lot of faith.

1. That it would be worth the sacrifice, in terms of the positive results.
2. He could endure it, knowing that.

He was whipped, scourged, thorns embedded in his head, forced to carry the instrument of his own execution up a hill, where he was nailed (these nails actually passing through the most sensitive nerves in your body) to a piece of wood and left to die of asphyxiation.

And still he said 'Forgive them, father, they know not what they do.'

Was he the Messiah?

Was he the Son of God?

Difficult. He died as the Son of God, perhaps.

He was the Messiah, because he decided to be. He was the Messiah, because what he did, was so great, so enlightening, so earth shattering, that people stopped and stared in amazement.

Because he was dieing for them. Dieing to show them how much he loved them. All of them. Not just his family, or his wife, or his children. His family consisted of his mother, weeping at his feet at the bitter road her son's life had followed.

And that sacrifice changed the lives of those who were touched by it. They couldn't keep quiet about it. They went and told the world about the man who had died on the cross, to show people how to love.

I think sometimes we get lost in the New Testament. For a start, I have no idea why it is that the letters of St Paul get canonical status, whereas those of Clement do not.
Paul never met Jesus, his preaching is second hand, and he argued with Peter on doctrinal issues, when Peter actually knew Christ. Paul's views, ultimately, are Paul's views.

And what of Christ? What did he say? The Gospels probably tell us a lot of what he said, but he probably said a lot more.
And some of it makes more sense in a land of figs and olives two thousand years ago, than it does today.
One is reminded of Frank McCourt's essay, 'If Jesus lived in Limerick.'

It's the example I think. It's what he showed us.

You see, it's those final moments I wonder about. Suffering on that cross, gasping for breath, every limb in agony, skin rent all over his body. What was he thinking?
Did he look down, see John and think 'What happened to all my other disciples?'
Did he think 'I failed. This is in vain. I'm going through this for nothing.'?

Scripture tells us the answer 'My God, My God, why have you foresaken me?'

And did he then get a little burst of hope run through him, a subconscious comfort, that no, no one would ever forget this?

It's that surity that he had, that's the virtue. That's why we look at him and say, he was divine.
He wasn't the last. Those who took up his cause, showed willing to follow where he had lead. But for them, it was easier. They knew the answer to the question he didn't. They knew their deaths would make a difference. That every life lost in the name of this message, would sell the message further.

There is something here, that we lose sight of, that Early Christians didn't.
The Church understood it, it had a dual code of morality, one for Shepherds, one for Sheep.

Christ probably faced huge inner struggles in deciding what to do with his life. I discussed these in my Christmas post.

He had a choice. He could have settled down with Mary Magdalen maybe, raised children, been a carpenter, liked by all in the village for his wise insights, the great attitude he showed to his neighbours.

But he rejected that. Deep down, he knew it couldn't fulfill him. It couldn't, because it would be accepting failure. He knew that he would actually rather be nailed to a cross to change the world, than die of old age, surrounded by children, his loving wife crying over him.

Ultimately, this is the Christ I see. Not the Son of God, conqueror of death, but the man who was nailed to a cross to change the world.

And I find myself fascinated to distraction by the choice he made.
Because it makes you feel unworthy by comparison. There is a part of you which envies him. Envies his nerve, his faith, his determination.

I think it matters a lot to me now, because Christ was my age- thirty- when he made his choice.
A part of me looks at the choice, settle down to a pointless life of mediocrity, or go change the world, and it looks clean cut. Put like that, everyone would go for the second choice.

But of course it isn't that simple. It means rejecting a lot. It means rejecting finding love for yourself, having a family, it means a lot of things.

That doesn't seem too much of a price to pay either. I suppose this as about as far as I've ever got. I can see that Nest building is not really compatible with higher ideals. Single life, unburdened by family or material possession, is a prerequisite for any kind of purposeful existence.

But then, then you look at brutality of what he went through.
Could you go through that, not knowing for sure it was going to do any good, but really put all your faith in it, that it would?

Would you let them torture and kill you, stripping every last bit of dignity away from you, in the belief that the world would be a better place for them doing it to you?

Because you would never know the answer. You would die in pain, not knowing the answer.

And so, I'm left with this. If I KNEW it would do any good, then I'D LIKE TO THINK, I could go through that. I wish I had it in me.

But that's not enough. Wishing changes nothing, it stays a vision of glory, a yearning deep within me, that most likely, I'm totally unworthy of.

We live in a world where people aren't prepared to do what he did.
But sometimes, someone has to. It's the only way the rest of us get a wake up call.

Friday 21 March 2008

Good Friday- The Journey it Was Part of

What will the be decisive point, when humanity has the moral highground to finally overthrow the need to consider itself subject to divinity, and assume divinity?

That sounds a terrifying proposition. The starkness of it will shock most people.

But it's a vital one. So much of human existence is tied up in finding moral frameworks within which to operate.

And if today isn't about the question, he died in vain.

Because moral systems and their development, are as a vital part of human development as technological development, and systematic development.

They are the trinity of our evolutionary progress as a species.

What do I mean, by man assuming divinity?

Very simple, when he has established, by logic and reason, by his technology, by the efficiency of the system, and it's elimination of dangerous flaws, he can guarantee that any decision the operating system of the combined intelligence of the species come up with, will always be morally right.

And the point is, we're getting there. We're developing morally better and better ways of treating eachother and perfecting our society.
One day, direct democracy and the efficiency of human communication, coupled with the perfectly tuned decision making processes of the system, will mean that we make less and less bad decisions, as a species. We will be more clinical about excising flaws.

Evil, all it really is, is a set of flaws. Things in the human psyche, animal instincts that get warped and twisted, because they do not accord with the way of life of our species, they interfere with the smooth running of its efficiency.

Evil. The urge to dominate, the urge to impose, the urge to possess, to the urge to let animal instincts run wild.

And it's taming it. That's our challenge.

The point is, the human species is learning to deal with this huge flaw. Drugs, Eugenics, Virtual Reality, we'll find ways to satisfy unfullfilled desires on this front in a way people don't get hurt.

One day, really, human technology and social arrangements, will actually mean, we're all just instinctively NICE to eachother, without needing God to tell us how to do it.

And yes, that's when all decisions will be the moral ones, and man will have no need to fear playing God.

I don't think, that's such a bad faith to believe in.

Wednesday 19 March 2008

What Crushed Got Up to, August- September 2006

Tonight's post is a little different.

It's a little story. It didn't happen THAT long ago, but before this blog existed. Before it was a bit of byte in its creator's eye.
And obviously had too much time on my hands.

One person reading this knows SOME of the story. They also know, that it says everything about my character, and that it shows that I'm indecisive, vacillating, irresponsible and careless, rather than- as they pretend, devious, manipulative, exploitative and nasty. A game player maybe. Capricious, certainly. Not respectable. But not a total bastard either.

Long terms readers, will know the background within which the story is set. Someone on my blogroll actually had a walk on part in it, as bride/groom, and they know- much of it.

My close friends know all of it, except the one part, the part I myself don't know the answer to, and the fact that this question is really starting to really bug me at the moment, is partly why I'm getting this out of my system.

And we might as well state now, what the question is, then we'll start the story.

Question is, is my child's first birthday coming up soon?

Right OK.
Here goes.

We need to start at the Chimney Sweep's Thirtieth. That would be June 2006. Now, that part, how he met the now MRS Chimney Sweep, the stag do etc, the posts are in the archives, you know the whole concern I had about visas and all that, it's there.
What I didn't mention was the huge crush I had on Mrs CS's sister.

The Keisha Buchanan look alike.

And crush it was. My usually loud, brashness would turn in to rosy faced shyness around her.
I mean, not in a major way, I had no qualms about indulging my vices in her presence, I just got all nervous and giggly talking to her. Because I knew damn well that she was bloody enjoying watching me get a hard on looking in to her eyes.

She had me under her little finger, playing with me, like a cat with a ball of wool.

Fast forward.


Crushed goes out for drinks from work, Friday.

Crushed gets seduced by office slut on heat.

Crushed wakes up, post-seduction, having vowed earlier just to sleep in the same bed, but somehow having done the dirty deed three times, no protection, no questions asked, due at a wedding in two hours.

At Dudley Registry Office.
Which is a nightmare to find, if you don't know Dudley. It's hidden in the grounds of Dudley Castle.
Which also has a ZOO.
Go figure.

Quite why I thought it was a great idea to bring Kelly, I'm not sure.
Never seen two women get married before.

Lisa, it was Strange.
Don't do it again.

Of course I lie a bit here, I didn't see the actual ceremony, because we were late, but we stayed for four hours in the pub afterwards, so the thought counts.
Anyway, Kelly was, well, VERY affectionate during the day, so I figured I might as well sleep with her again that night.

OK, you get the picture.
I tried to make sure she realised she wasn't a girlfriend or anything, literally, just someone to sleep with, but I think she fell quite quickly.

Now what happened next, is the sort of thing that tends to happen to me, but don't happen to most people, because they're far less careless, tend to think about things, etc. As the Chimney Sweep pointed out, only I would have been so completely stupid as to create a situation such as followed.

Party in Manchester. Specifically been told, elusively by the Baker, that the Chimney Sweep has said I shouldn't bring a woman with me. Specifically. And he has it from Mrs CS (she was already getting close to his heart here).

Quite why, at five o'clock, just as I was about to get on the Manchester train, I decided that if Kelly wanted to come, she could come, and given her fifty quid to go buy a dress, I really don't know.
But it was a stupid choice, the Chimney Sweep says, possibly the stupidest thing he has ever known me do.

As I realised when I met Angela at Piccadilly. As I put my arms around her and I hugged her, we BOTH knew that I was-erm-pleased to see her.

And in the car on the way back to the Baker's flat, it was her sitting in my lap, not Kelly.

At the Baker's I kind of forgot about Kelly. When Kelly came out in her dress, I just said 'You got changed then?'
When Angela came out, I actually stood up and said 'Angela, you look FUCKING stunning. Stunning. I'm sure you know that, but I need YOU to know, that I know it.'

Ach. Insensitive. Thoughtless. The Baker pulled me on it five minutes later, said Kelly had been a bit upset by it.

But it didn't get any better. As the lines flowed, I just kept forgetting about Kelly. We went to a club, and I danced with Angela. I remembered to keep Kelly stocked with drink, but only after Angela.
The Chimney Sweep pulled me on it, and I was a completely Darwinianly cynical, almost brutal bastard about it. 'I know what you're saying dude, I shouldn't have brought her, I'm sorry, but now I'm here, and I can see that if Kelly wasn't here I could really spend more time with Angela, I just want to spend time with Angela. I want to get to know her, maybe cuddle up to her a bit- I'd love her to wrap those long, slender dark arms around me, to feel her hair draped over my face, to hear her talk in a low murmur to me in that beautiful African symphony that is her voice.'

I get quite eloquent on these occasions.

Well, back at the flat, we had a slight problem. I did have a room allocated. It had been allocated to me, on the presumption that me and Angela would click, and have our first night together, though obviously not, at this point, in a sexual way.

Now Kelly also, was going to have sleep in the same bed.
Well Angela went to bed first, and I had a chat with her before she did, basically saying I'd try and solve the problem, I was going back out to the party, and would be back IN the room, when I'd sorted it.

Only that didn't happen, I got distracted in conversation.
I didn't notice Kelly go to bed, or, at this point consider the bizarre conversation taking place at this point up in the bedroom, between Angela and Kelly.

The party cooled off at about four, so I crept back in to the bedroom, to find both of them pretending to sleep, at opposite sides of the bed.
Now Kelly thought this would be a great time to have sex, but since I figured we ALL OF US knew that Angela was only pretending to be asleep, I decided against that clever little of piece of female game playing.

Anyway, Kelly went to sleep for a while, then the Baker came in (about five-, I guess), and said loads more people had just come, from another party that had just finished.
So Angela and me went back out, and I carried on getting battered.

The rest is difficult to follow, I remember the party vividly, but not a lot of what went on back in the bedroom. I think I talked to Angela when Kelly was asleep, and had a quick pointless bonk with Kelly when Angela was asleep, but who'll ever really know? I don't.

The Chimney Sweep rang me on the Monday. Said he thought I should try sort the mess out. He suggested I go over spend the next weekend with him in Coventry, since this was the last weekend before Angela went back to Canada (to finish her degree).

Now I was pretty honest here with Kelly.
Who I had still slept with on the Sunday night. I told her, that I thought I might be in love with Angela, and I needed to find out. I told her not to see what we had as exclusive. I told her, she need feel no guilt about going out Friday night, whilst I was in some Coventry bar with Angela, and finding a man herself. I told her 'I just need to sort this one out in my head. You never know, I might go there, and then decide no, I prefer Kelly.'

Those, I regret to say, were pretty much my exact words.

Well, I didn't do the greatest job in being clear to Angela how I felt about her, or thought I might feel about her, over this Coventry weekend. What was worse, Kelly kept texting, asking for updates, such as 'Do you know yet?'.

Now here, a slight element of disingenuousness on my part, may well have crept in.

I may well have told Angela that she had all the time in the world to decide, I'd wait for ever, if she came back, ever, I'd throw aside whoever I was with, for her.

But at this point, neither of us should see anything as existing between us.

And I may not have mentioned any of this to Kelly. Four people, aside from myself and Angela, know that this conversation happened.

Does it still stand?
God knows. I never think about it these days. I can't speculate on how I'd react if she showed up. Now I've freed myself from Joanna, would she be the new ONE? Or would I just be thinking, 'Are you in it for the visa?'

Now I had told Kelly, that Angela had gone back, and I had decided I wasn't interested in her.
However, I didn't quite cover my tracks.

Back home, there was now a curious development. Kelly decided she was pregnant. She claimed to have taken two tests. She even made me wait for her, while she went to the clinic. I had my suspicions, she might be putting it on, to get attention, try get me to make some sort of commitment to her.

Anyway, we're near the end of the story.

One day, in the pub, she started playing with my mobile. She started opening the inbox and then looked at me. I just shrugged 'Knock yourself out, darl. Nothing to hide.'
I knew I had deleted everything incriminating in the inbox.

Never thought about sent items.

'Angela Angel Angela been thinking about you all day will never forget you keep in touch'.

Not really any getting out of that one. Bang to rights, really.

Well, we chatted for a bit, I got a bit more drunk, and I voiced my suspicions about the phantom pregnancy.
She didn't deny it. Said she had made it all up, to gain attention.

But that's not quite where it ended.

A few days later, we met for a drink, to talk.
She asked me if I wanted to be with her.
I responded by asking her to tell me honestly, if she was pregnant.

This was her answer.

'I'm not telling you. You need to choose now. I don't want you to choose, just because of a baby. If I am, I won't abort it, don't worry. It will live, regardless of whether you are around or not. So you don't need to make your choice, solely because you can't condone abortion'.

I swilled my pint 'That DOES make a difference, I'll be honest.'
I thought for a bit.

'In that case, there isn't any need for us to be involved, not in that sense. I don't actually see the point. That's not to say, we can't stay as friends who have sex from time to time, no reason why not to, if we are parents to the same child.'

She looked at me. 'Come round on weekends the Blues aren't playing? Give your child a lego toy, give me a quick fuck, then down the Star? No child needs a Dad like that. No. If you walk away, that's it. You will never know if you have a child or not. If you walk away, you won't know, because I wouldn't want you involved.'

I looked at her and began to consider. Then I weighed up the likely options. Was she pregnant, was she not. Was she bluffing.

I decided she was bluffing.
I drained my glass, put on my jacket and stood up.

'You ain't pregnant. Goodbye, Kelly.'

She looked startled. 'Is that IT, then? That's IT?'

I shrugged. 'Nothing more to say, is there? Goodbye Kelly, have a nice life.'

Shocked, deafened silence, I realise.

You've just seen, in a matter of paragraphs, the powerfully romantic way I CAN see women, women like Angela, but also now just how ruthless I sometimes am, when I finally stop vacillating, and make decisions.

There is certainly a club somewhere, with female only membership, where my face is a dartboard.

I handled the whole busines with absolutely no tact, thought, care, or much of anything really. What is worse, this sequence of events isn't atypical, far from it, it just happens to rank as one of the worst examples of how I have handled things in my life, and one which feels now, as if it was the source of the negative Karma I seem to have had unleashed upon me, during the undeserved onslaught I was receiving recently from certain quarters online.

As well as leaving me agonising now. Was my judgement call correct?
Here's the problem. I walked away, because I figured, fifty fifty. It's not an issue. She's going to have it anyway. And she's offering you the chance to walk away, fifty percent sure you're a father.

Problem is, that's not enough. I want to know if I have a child out there. I mean, there could be more, but this is one example, where the possibility is quite high, and if so, he/she, will be one year old shortly.

And it affects how I view life. Knowing the answer affects how I look at women. It means that at the back of my mind, that constant battle between really not wanting ever to settle down, but knowing you want children, just to make sure that a bit of you lives on after your death, is over.

And it means that now, you'd actually only settle down IF you WERE in love.

This post has proved one of the following.

I AM a complete bastard.

I'm a flawed, but ultimately very human person, whose personality leads their life to be a constant stream of chaotic incidents.

I'm looking for the right things, but in a very peculiar way.

Don't judge me too much on this post. I really AM a nice guy, I just have a life that seems to have been written by soap opera writers.