Sunday, 29 July 2012

I know this is unreadable emo crap, but...

Why did she do it? Why did she do it?
A month ago we were on holiday together. Was she seeing someone else? Was she already on her way out in her mind and only stuck around for the holiday? Is that why she had the nerve to ask if I was going on holiday in August and if she could come? If she had been able to come along, would she still be with me now?
I’m so hurt and confused, I can’t sleep, I can only get her out of my head occasionally. For a few moments I wake up and don’t remember that she’s not with me anymore, because she was with me in my dreams… and then I remember, and  I’m back in hell. And I try to go back to sleep because my dreams are so much better than this reality right now.
I don’t need her. I know that. I am an independent, nice guy who could have anyone he wants (well, sort of). But I want her. I love her. I fucking love her. Like, the kind of love that isn’t egotistical or showy. It’s just a fact. If I had anything certain in my life, it was that. Why doesn’t she love me anymore? What did I do? I know how it felt when I stopped loving people who still loved me. I felt terribly detached and I pitied them. But that was because I realised I never loved them in the first place. At least I was fucking honest about it.
I’m going crazy here. Crazy because for the first time in my life, I was comfortable with myself, my future, my life. I had my bad moments, but they were nothing like how I felt before I met her. And now, not only do I feel as bad as I did before I met her - I feel worse, because I’m now missing that part of me that she helped define…
Better to have loved and lost than never loved at all? Yeah. Bollocks. Fuck you. I hate you for fucking up my head like this. I hate myself for falling back into this. I thought I was getting better, than a night of no sleep and CONSTANT thinking… CONSTANT what-ifs - I know it’s wrong, it’s bad, it’s the opposite of what I should be doing, but godamnit, I can’t stop it!

Prediction

John: Business news from the global markets now – and it’s not looking good, is it James?
James: No it’s not. We’ve got.... complete global meltdown! Markets are... stagnating at an assssssstrooonomical rate, budgets are nonsensical, and rumours abound that the Euro is so tired it’s just going to go to sleep. I recently talked to the EU Finance Minister about the plans to restore parity in the global markets, and he had this to say:

Minister: We’re fucked.

James: Bad news all round, really.
John: What’s the root cause?
James: Well, Spain’s leaking like the roof of a very old, thatched house. Or should that be Thatchered house?
John: Why?
James: It just sounds apt! Because! The root cause of Britain’s economic woes, the banks, are precisely what Thatcher espoused as our single strongest tool to aggressively pursue global interests. Our problem seems to be that our government is torn between adhering to the Thatcherite free markets, and the realisation that when banks are given a free market to play with, they basically all turn into twats!
John: So you’re blaming the banks for this? Over-simplistic perhaps?
James: Not necessarily, but perhaps in order to play devil’s avocado, I can blame the ordinary public. Those who go into debt to pay for things they don’t need.
John: But buying on credit in itself is what has propelled international capitalism for the last fifty years.
James: Not necessarily, but in fact, necessarily. The problem we’ve got is that countries and individuals are evidently acting exactly the same. You’d expect countries versed in economic theory to act in a responsible and informed manner, but it doesn’t seem to be the case. Look at Ireland. Just look at them. Buying and developing properties in order to sell them off later, not thinking about the possibility that one day, people will stop buying.
John: But a property market isn’t the fault of the government.
James: That’s true, but the government trades in debt. All countries do it. Debt is used to paper over more debt.
John: Are there any countries that do what we should all do as responsible citizens? Which is to save and wait for later until we buy things?
James: Germany.
John: Why do you think that is?
James: Because... well...
John: Yes?
James: Because Germany’s a goody-two shoes.
John: Is that a quote?
James: And they’re bloody boring too. Who does that? I don’t even save up for things. Why on earth would a whole country do that? They hardly need to. There’s money everywhere. Someone, somewhere always has money to lend.
John: Isn’t that blasé attitude part of the problem?
James: Perhaps! But unfortunately for you, being as I am an influential business correspondent, I am capable of altering the mindset of anyone who bothers to tune into this programme. So, for example, if I decided to go mad and say that all the economies are actually predicted to do much stronger this year, you know what will happen?
John: Nothing, because you’re making it up?
James: Look. The markets have just all gone up five percent.
John: But nothing actually happened. No one actually did anything.
James: I know. But they went up because we said they would go up.
John: So it all operates on hearsay?
James: Yes. I’ll pretend that for some reason, Italy has decided it’s going to stop trading with anyone and become a mercantilism.
John: What’s happened?
James: The entire... well, I can’t say it out loud because then it will be real.
John: Wait, what? Has anything happened?
James: I’m looking at the charts and let’s just say that if I were to tell the truth, what I was seeing is a catastrophe, but because I’m going to pretend it looks fine, the market will stabilise itself. So really, I saw nothing. Nothing happened.
John: It’s a little odd, this business of you dictating economic policy.
James: Happened in Vietnam. The news influences people’s decisions. I think the best step towards a brighter economic future is if people just spend. Spend recklessly.
John: But we don’t want people in debt, we need people to be secure for the future.
James: You don’t get it. Spending creates stimulus. Stimulus creates expectation. Expectation creates growth. Growth creates real growth.
John: Real growth?
James: Yes. Actual, concrete growth. As a result, the more you spend now, the better it is later, because the growth that’s predicted will more than cover the debt that you’re currently in, and so you’ll actually make a profit by being in debt.
John: And if those predictions of growth end up being wrong?
James: Oh, look what you just did. We’re in recession again. Thanks for that, party pooper.

I’m An Alligator

People in America these days, wandering around like nothing matters anymore, Powell.
I know, sir, I know.
That David Bowie, going around in that costume, that make up, parading the streets.
We’ve got files in Bowie, if you’re interested, sir.
Go on.
According to our research, half the people who pass Bowie in the street use abusive language or spit.
And the other half?
According to our research, the other half... the other half want to fuck him.
Fuck him?
Yes.
Him?
Yeah.
David Bowie... is a he?
According to our research, sir.
But he’s called David.
Yes sir.
Isn’t that a girl’s name?
No. David is a name from Biblical times. King David.
Yeah but kings are female, aren’t they?
No, sir.
Oh. But kings back in Tudor times wore dresses and shit.
I’m not sure if they did, sir. I can check up –
That won’t be necessary, Powell.
Alright, sir.
You’re definitely sure Bowie’s a man?
I am.
That’s a humdinger.
Indeed it is.
That... that’s a game changer.
I’m sure it is.
Powell...
Yes, sir.
I... like David Bowie.
You do, sir? I’m glad. I thought I was the only one. His early seventies work was a stunning progression from his Antony Newley tribute days, and his transformation into Ziggy Stardust will go down in history as one of the –
No, I mean. I like him.
Oh.
I haven’t told anyone this, but I like to... dress like a woman too.
Well, if it works for Bowie, it can work for you, too.
Really? So you think I should walk the streets like Bowie?
I wouldn’t go that far, sir.
And why not? If fifty percent of people walking past me want to fuck me, that can only be a good thing, right?
I don’t think wanting to fuck you and agreeing with your policies are necessarily the same thing, sir.
We could change what FBI stands for. It could be Fucking Brilliant Individual. As in me.
With all due respect, I’m not sure it would pass through Congress. It just... wouldn’t look professional.
I would still be doing my job. I would be walking the streets looking for criminals. I could even pose as a prostitute. I’m sure I’d make a bit of money on the side.
I’m not really sure.
Do you find my methods... unsound?
I don’t see any method, sir.
They couldn’t see Bowie’s method either, Powell.
They could see plenty of Bowie’s method in his cover art, sir.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Okay

So my feelings are occasionally slightly more than absolute despair. It's a case of doing the 'first' thing since being single. So I just watched my first two films since being single. I am starting to remember that I am not defined by someone else. I am just myself. I have few friends - but that's me. I like me. And if she didn't want to be with me, then that's her choice and if she was wrong, then she can regret it later because I'm done mourning for her. Yes I'd like to be her friend someday. But now, entering into my solitude and coming out the other side (albeit probably temporarily) I realise that she isn't worth being friends with, not really.

Well ok, I'm just kidding myself there. She's my best friend at the moment...

But really the point I'm trying to make is, I know I'm typing this to you Matt, but that you're probably not going to read this. So it's really to myself. I am a whole, complete person - I just happen to be pretty bad at keeping people close to me in a way that makes me comfortable. If I am dropped easily, I drop easily. Love, like anything else, can be undone. If it's a matter of it being forced to be undone, then so be it. I don't want to let go of this, but I have to, because in the end, my sanity and self-respect are more important than that side of me that wants to go around her like a lost puppy. She was almost certainly the best girlfriend I'll ever have...

but you know what? Lucky Charms were the best cereal I ever had, but I still manage to forget about them whenever I'm eating fucking Start.

If I pretend like she didn't matter, if I put myself into the mindset I felt after I was with Amy, I could reduce her to nothing if I wanted. I could reduce myself too. But, unfortunately, my love was genuine. I'm not going to lie here. I have been suffering pretty much the most I ever have in my entire fucking life. But that's a sign of something beautiful. I am capable of caring about someone.

No. I've got to lie about this. I need to pretend I never felt anything. Because the truth hurts too much. Here goes:

She was just another woman who I met online and for a few months we had a lot of sex and then she went frigid and I was still holding on pathetically just for some poontang. Yeah. That sounds believable. Let's use that. She's not going to come back for you. She's abandoned you in her mind, cast you off, dismissed you. So fuck her too. She was nothing.

Godamnit, she really, really wasn't :(
I feel like I've accidentally stumbled into a hellish alternate dimension.

This can't be real.

Friday, 27 July 2012

It's over. I can't believe it, but a part of me feels like it was over for a while. My paranoia was justified. We'd been together for almost a year. I'd bought her things, I'd been the best boyfriend ever, or at least tried to be. Because she was worth it. Even as she dumped me, she told me she loved me and that it was nothing I'd done. But she was cold. A month ago she was talking about having kids with me, but now she acted like she'd never even thought such a thing. I travelled an hour on the train to give her her birthday presents. Ended up giving them to her and tearfully watched her open them. I even cracked a few jokes. Told her not to read inside the card.
She had friends, which had opened me up to finally meeting people. Maybe I leeched off her life. I'm not a good person. I'm a 'nice guy'. But she seemed okay with that because she had problems too. But in the end I guess she just stopped loving me. Like I just stopped loving Amy. One moment and suddenly it goes cold.
I loved her so much that when she took antidepressants that gave her no sex drive, I took it and went seven months without sex. Maybe I was just a masochist man-child who didn't grow a pair of balls and be the person she thought or hoped I was at the start. Or maybe I was a guy who was genuinely in love. Either way, I lost all the friends I'd made and ought to just do myself in. On top of that, I quit my job two weeks ago and now have a teacher training course. I feel completely unable to do it. I was happy enough with myself, because I had someone in my life who seemed to accept me the way I was. But all along it turns out she didn't. I know it was my fault because I've dumped women before and pretended it wasn't. I know in the end she saw me as nothing. That's the hardest part. I don't have many friends because I'm nothing. I'm not interesting. I'm dead inside. And she saw that. Once my initial fancy tricks and 'clever' banter had run out of steam, she saw there was nothing left.

Deleting someone from your digital history is the hardest part. Sure, she said she wanted to be friends - maybe not now, but in a few weeks. But right now, if I see any post by her or anyone related to her, I'll just kill myself. I'm not quite in that stage yet, maybe because she seemed like she knew it might be a mistake. But I know in her heart, if she feels like I did with Amy, that any call she'll make will only be because she feels temporarily bad.

I can't believe it. I cannot believe it.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

“Fuck Me, Oh Fuck Me”: Archibald Gilb’s Erotic Output

By Charles Spubbermunk
[Taken from Sex in 20th Century Literature, by Horace, Gable, C., Michelin, M., Dahmer, J., et al johnson]

Rare is it to see a man whom, upon being told he is a sexual being, eats an umbrella. Rarer is it to see a man who is able to present sex in such a way as to render it almost completely meaningless. Archibald Gilb was a man who, in his own words, wasn’t “ever quite sure what sex was.” When I interviewed him back in 1987, explaining that his work displayed a surprising maturity for one so eager to appear naive, he replied “I suppose I learned a lot from watching my cat. Every evening I would stalk her – in an almost Juvenalian manner - ”
“You were a juvenile?”
At which point he stared at me with a face as though he had just been punched in the face by a small Japanese man.
“No. I used to watch her mating with whatever toms happened to be roaming the neighbourhood.”
“Did it arouse you?”
He visibly shifted in his seat. It contrasted to that time he shifted invisibly. That was when I knew I had really got his goat.
“No. Ghosts did though.”
“Ghosts?”
“Yes.”
“You watched ghosts having sex?”
“Yes. When I was a teenage boy, I saw the ghost of my great-aunt Mabel and the postman having sex.”
“And the postman... he was dead too?”
At which point he lapsed into silence for the rest of the interview.

During this period, Gilb’s wife wrote a personal diary chronicling her bedtime experiences with Gilb. Comparing him to Larkin one minute and a Greek god the next, she wrote simply on Tuesday May 24th, 1989:

One minute he’s Larkin, the next minute he’s Koalemos.

When asked why he had allowed his wife to publish such intimate details of their lives, Gilb replied that “no publicity is bad publicity.” Later that year he would have to face down a press conference held by a hundred reporters questioning him as to why he liked to wear nappies. His answer?

“To feel.... pampered.”

Fortunately for Gilb, this prompted the room first to break into guffaws, then to break into hysterical laughter, then back to guffaws again, then finally to exhausted weeping. During this period, Gilb escaped the room unnoticed and went home, in order to eat some “bacon”.

During the course of his life, his inability to get in touch with his socially acceptable weird side proved fatal to his ability to write believable sex scenes. In the 1950’s, surprising all his biographers by appearing to be ahead of his time, he began his first ever erotic fiction Ecstasy in Norwich with the celebrated passage:

John was hard. Hard as a rock. Like Brighton rock. Deborah was soft. Soft as Hovis. Her legs quaked, like jelly. Her naughty bits were all a-quiver, like. By ‘eck, she was gorgeous. Best to get the old tackle out and get down to business.

the novel would be immediately banned from all publication due to the following sentence:

Blimey, thought Deborah. I wonder if I should get some cucumbers involved.

The government, then still using rationing, perceived this use of cucumbers to be “dangerous”, because “there weren’t any”. Gilb, desperate for sales, offered to change the vegetable to carrots, but was laughed out of his publisher’s office, because, in the words of his then-publisher Harold Scope, “that would just be physically impossible.”

This setback, costing Gilb two shillings in lost earnings, forced him to re-evaluate his approach to sex. Aged twenty-one, and experienced in the stranger, more sordid aspects of sexual life, he felt out of place. To quote Gilb in Archie, Bald:

I wandered the streets, wondering why everyone was indoors doing it normally. Prostitutes would come up to me, and when I asked for something personally appealing, they would slap me in the face. When I asked them to slap me in the face, they would slap and then stop one inch from my cheek. Licking their hand at this point usually sent them running. Sometimes they would oblige. One evening I spent watching a lady using a lamppost as a dancing pole. Another woman willingly smashed my head into a brick wall again and again. Another night a kind mistress allowed me to spend the evening trying to take off her clothes using telekinesis. Bizarrely, I came in the process.

The resulting rejections forced Gilb to backtrack from deviancy to something resembling normality, taking therapy sessions to ‘cure’ his abnormalities. His doctor, Gerald Hoverhand, used Pavlovian methods to attempt to revert Gilb back to more acceptable fetishes such as boobs. Unfortunately for Gilb, Hoverhand believed it was sexually appropriate to be aroused by corks. For the next few years, Gilb rarely opened a bottle of champagne.

On the plus side, there wasn’t much champagne involved in life during the Sixties. Gilb watched as his compatriots dabbled in sexual and mind-bending experiments. Ever the writer, Gilb would observe the change from normal to abnormal within the space of a few minutes and note it down in a pad he kept in his pocket. Going out with Elkin Le Rimbaulzz in 1964, he recorded the events thus:

Gilb and woman getting frisky. She’s just had a tab of some kind. She’s getting angry at Elkin. Keeps hitting him on the face. Elkin says “just how I like it”. She seems to be protesting that for the price of half a crown all he’s given her was “a piece of paper”. Elkin replies that “life is a piece of a paper”. She punches him. He wants more. I’m not quite sure why. She throws water over his face. He starts crying. I’m not sure what to do. I hug him and he tells me to get off. I say “well at least someone got off tonight, right?” at which point he walks off and I’m left confused with my pint, wondering if I’ve suddenly become gay.

 Gilb used this event for his short erotic fiction Suddenly a Gay, published in 1968. Having watched Warhol’s  Lonesome Cowboys, Gilb decided that he understood the homosexual mindset, even if he was only able to relate to it on academic terms. The story, concerning a young man called Alf, takes place in a bar extremely similar to the one visited by him and Le Rimbaulzz on that fateful night in 1964. The story begins:

Elfin and some chick getting frisky. She’s had a tab. Angry as hell. Keeps hitting him on the face. That’s how he likes it, I can tell:
“that’s how I like it” says Elfin, in spite of her crazy paper protests. Crazy paving, crazy paper. Fucking broads. Punches his life three times until he looks Looney Tunes. I scramble to the bar and knock him a lemon and Martini. Man’s got tears in his eyes. Only one thing to do: I unbutton his flies and start giving him a blow job.

At which point Gilb, unsure of how to proceed, skips the details and moves on:

So yeah that was that. And then like I realised I was a gay. Then I went off somewhere doing some gay stuff.

Unsophisticated as the story was, the homosexual community latched onto Gilb’s work. The academic Leonard Hoosier, Professor of Queer Theory at UCL, described the impact of Gilb:
           
At the time, Gilb was like a lifeboat being thrown to the gay community, albeit a lifeboat made out of cardboard. He seemed an outcast, unsure of himself, almost devoid of sexuality. Like Warhol, there was a charm there – the charm of a man who was clearly dead inside.

Suddenly a Gay’s plot from this point has no relation whatsoever to the title. At some points, Gilb seems to forget not only the nationality, but the sexual orientation of the protagonist:

I went to watch the football. Some nice-looking birds there. Bonked one after.

Nonetheless, the book sold fairly well in underground circles, encouraging Gilb to take up his phallic baton and wield it once more in the direction of the newly discovered feminist movement. Having read Jong’s Fear of Flying, Gilb decided to re-fashion himself as not only a queer champion, but a feminist. His next work Delectable Carpet was an attempt to address the social and economic situation regarding female sexuality. However, Gilb himself has admitted he had “no idea” what feminism actually was, but “liked pretending I was one to get women to like me.” The book itself, needless to say, contains passages verging on the erotic but never quite reaching it:

Yolanda arched her waist up and spread her thighs even wider, letting him see the treasure of her sex, hidden there at the split of her body. “Fuck me proper,” she said.
“Cook me a bacon sandwich first and I’ll think about it,” grunted John.
She murmured an answer, her mouth filled with chocolate, her words all slurred like a git with Parkinson’s. He stroked her fine, muscled back, feeling the cut lines of her muscles tensing and sliding beneath her skin. She swallowed harder, trying to take a hard toffee all the way down her throat, trying to devour it. But like, choking.
“That’s hot,” said John, enjoying the fact his wife was choking.

At which point Gilb seems to be scared by the implications of the story:

Then she stopped choking and it was ok and John took back everything he said and thought.

The climax, somehow perceived by academics as evidence of Gilb’s allegiance to the feminist movement, portrays, in Glenhaim’s words, “the female at her absolute finest”:

She moved up him, as he’d imagined doing to her, and straddled him, laying herself down in the way that would bring her the most satisfaction. Then for a laugh she said “Fuck me til I fart.”

This slogan would be used for about a month as part of a pro-choice movement, with liberal academics believing the word ‘fart’ to be a representation of women’s innate choice to expel that which they do not wish to be inside, i.e. an unwanted baby. Gilb’s reply of “No. I just meant a fart” quickly put an end to that.

Gilb allows the heroine to undertake acts unseen hitherto in male literature:

She was drunk. Well, light-headed, due to the lack of oxygen to her head from shoving her face in the chocolate box looking for the last Topic. Auto-Topic fulfillment, they call it, down in the porno clubs.

The struggle of the heroine to achieve sexual gratification is a key feature of the text:

But no one had ever been able to take her where she needed to go, the highest pinnacle, that place of blinding, white-hot fire that would ultimately satisfy his raging hunger: Barnsley.

However, at times, Gilb displays a childish idiocy completely undercutting the impact of any sexual content:

He’d watched her from a gondola as her lover bent her over the bridge and fucked her, grinning at anyone who dared to question his roaring cock. He’d listened breathlessly to the moans that she’d made, the cries, watched her fingers gripping the cool stone of the bridge as if searching for purchase. And wondering if she could really afford to buy the bridge.

In the end, the story was derided as “an honourable failure” (Huffington Post), a “what the fuck is this shit?” (Rolling Stone), a “no. No. No! NO!” (The Times) and “good effort but let down by being worthless” (The Guardian).

In the eighties, Gilb decided to use the erotic to inform the public’s understanding of the celebrity sphere. He would be one of the first high-profile members of society to undertake fan fiction. Works like How Ben Elton Was Savagely Murdered By His Wife Who Then Fucked Me and Ballard Meets the Transformers were hailed by critics as “hail! Hail! Hail!” (Ye Olde Critic, 1986).

An excerpt from Ballard Meets the Transformers sums up the work:

As their parts grinded and sparks flew, lights went out in the neighbourhood. They had accidentally hit a power line, but that wasn’t what mattered. What mattered now was the match between the rigidity of their co-joined structures and the soft suppleness of their plastic veneers.
Moonracer felt her oil needed changing. The tainted fuselage of the bio-mechanical construction jutted out at her like an auto-cock. It was time.
“Enter me, Megatron,” she cried.

During moments of extreme boredom, such as the entirety of 1987, Gilb would take as an object a random celebrity and insert their name into an erotic work. One piece, MT, was stolen from his dustbin and sent to Playboy, who published it in October of 1987.

Margaret Thatcher is wearing fishnet stockings. Margaret Thatcher has got her twat out. Margaret Thatcher is giving you head. You are not sure whether to continue. Insert coin to continue. 10, 9, 8.... Every man worth his salt (as it were) will inevitably insert the coin. Thatcher the prostitute sucks your cock, and you like it. Later that night, you will fuck her; and, what’s more, it will be the best sex you’ve ever had. Margaret Thatcher, you will tell your friends the next day, sucked your cock. And they will laugh. And laugh.

Gilb later confessed to friends that this was the start of a phase in which he attempted to write stories that hypnotised the reader into “doing funny stuff.” Other examples include You Are a Sheep, whose content can be summarised by:

You are a sheep. Say baa. Say it again. And again. And again. That’s it. Soon you will be my jumper.

And so on for twenty pages. Another story, Train Yourself to Be a Ninja, at least attempted to use research to aid learning:

Use ninjitsu every day and be at one with the universe. Buy a sword. Go to Woolworth’s and ask for a sword. I’ve done it myself. It works. At first they will be reluctant, but if you use enough chi, you can get anything you want. Buy some black clothes, and jump from shadow to shadow. You are a ninja. Congratulations. You can now walk on water and kill whoever you want. Don’t quote me on that last part.

During the early naughties, Gilb capitalised on the popularity of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and issued his final erotic piece: Lord of the Rings. The pun was lost on the audience, and he was ordered to remove the letter S from the story to avoid litigation. Gilb was then sued by a thousand porn companies, who had already used the name Lord of the Ring. Gilb then changed the name of the novel entirely, in order to escape being sued. The new name? DSfdsfds. “I was bored by that point,” explained Gilb later. “Had a devil of a time trying to publicise it. Nearly got sued by DFS in the process.”

DSfdsfds bears a loose relation to the plot of the Lord of the Rings, but, in Gilb’s words, “I just wanted to put some swords and fucking together.” Eric Balp! his agent, almost refused to publish the work, not believing that the demographic for which it was intended could be so easily enticed into a novel by this over-simplistic combination, but, to his surprise, the work sold one million copies. Nobody to this day is sure why – especially considering passages such as these:

He pierced her arse-cage with his bewiddling love-lance.

“The metaphor would be bad enough,” to quote De Bruges, “But to make up a word like that is just insulting.” This quote, attributed to a review of a completely different book, could be applied to this passage. Gilb writes in a manner that one would expect from a doddery old man unsure of anything anymore:

James IVIX approached Lady Melanoma.
“M’ lady,” he staggered, “Prithee let me rid thyself of the legion of Orcsmen that plague your lands.”
“I don’t have the clap,” she retorted.
“I wasn’t using a metaphor. You actually have Orcsmen approaching your castle.”
“My castle is just fine without you entering it.”
“I’m already in it. What are you talking about?”
“My vagina.”
“Oh. I was just talking about your castle.”

Gilb, preferring to continue with the battle part of the story, was instructed to insert erotic scenes into the story by his agent, which lends it a somewhat conflicted air:

“Come, ye men!” spoke King Athelspannar as he rode his horse Flaggance, “O, ye gallant warriors, ye who have struggled all your lives to make something o’ yerselves, come now! Take up arms against these devils, these beasts, these uncivilised heathens, and become what you were born to be!”
“Aye!” shouted the brave three thousand.
Eleanor fisted Ben.
“You whose eyes I behold, you who go out into the stormy, terrible night, you who spent his yesterdays safe and warm indoors, you go now into this wind-licked field and will soon writhe in the blood. The blood of your foes!”
As the thousand men shouted their allegiance, Ben wondered if he would have to go into battle with Eleanor’s fist still up his arse.

Gilb would not be remembered as an erotic author were it not for the books that he wrote. This, more than anything, makes him an author. The fact that some of them were erotic in nature also helps him to be remembered as an erotic author. If his works hadn’t been erotic in nature, he would not have been remembered as erotic. This, above all else, is what makes Gilb an erotic author in the twentieth century. Had he not written in the twentieth century, he would not have been remembered as a twentieth century author. This, above all else,

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

“. . . it is very difficult for me to let other people get close to me. I am simply too afraid that they will discover that I am nothing at all, that I am nobody, a shadow, a ghost. I am afraid that they will find out that I don’t have any opinion about anything, no attitudes, no ideology, that I don’t know anything about anything, and suddenly they will figure out how boring I really am.”

That's a quote from someone with BPD. That's me, every single fucking day.

The deflated false self of the borderline is unreal. The client is deluded into believing that this horribly low self is the real self. The BP comes from a false-self-oriented family structure which reinforces the belief that the false self is one's true identity. It is as if the child's head is opened up and a depressed, unhappy, disconnected, alienated personality is implanted, completely destroying the real self. The borderline identifies with, and glues himself, to the false, denigrated, and self-loathing personality. This personality is an unreal mask that the BP wants the world and the therapist to accept as the real self.

That's just terrifying.

The male BP will be inconsistent and unstable in his thinking and feeling toward the partner (love object). He may feel love, warmth, and satisfaction when the two of them are making good contact. But when he perceives this partner as being preoccupied, it activates primitive withdrawal defenses. He will go into emergency repression to suppress the upwelling of agonizing, brutal, annihilating desertion trauma.

Bleurgh.

Some borderlines form strong therapeutic alliances while others become quite ambivalent when sensing any kind of betrayal, rejection, or abandonment. The terror existing deep within the BP is easily masked by a pseudo-independent, emotionally detached facade.


I think that's the part that got me. Read enough of this stuff and you can feel your mind slowly coming apart.

The false self can feel hopeless, depressed, helpless, and pessimistic about ever recovering anything real in life. A borderline may get caught up in a busy workaholic schedule and thus passively neglect the important emotional work necessary for recovering the real self. Because repressed Pain is so deep, the borderline has to work very hard and long to reach any kind of connection, clarity, or insight. Avoiding the emotional work will keep the BP mired in a failure-oriented, deflated false self. When experiencing narcissistic injury, the borderline suppresses real feelings, only to become aware of them when they are triggered in the future again.

The terrible thought that whenever I feel like my 'personality' is being shown to me as a sham, that's the only time I come close to really being me. Fuck.

My husband has to take care of himself and must not be so dependent upon me to be his good mommy. 

That may be an issue for me sooner rather than later. Driving to a two hour university session tomorrow and I feel like I need complete and total support for just doing that. Wtf. 

Monday, 23 July 2012

Glazed


Looking out of the window again, I observed the children moving about in their usual manner. Hannah on the trampoline, jumping up and down. Pigtails flailing around. My mind took a photograph of the event, trapping it forever. This was now this event taken care of. Stashed away in my mind’s cabinet, to be filed along with the other memories for later in life when I’d be old and trying to remember what made my life notable. My brain knew that watching my daughter on the trampoline would be a moment to remember, but my actual mind felt nothing at all. I could have watched her jumping up and down and felt nothing at all if someone had strapped me to the window and forced me to feel emotions at gunpoint. But I knew, somewhere in the back of my once active and human mind, that this sort of event gives people joy, and I felt something like that, or at least a reminder of that. For a moment, I admit perhaps I was momentarily released from this state that I’m in.

The state I’m in. The wife behind me chopping carrots. The boy kicking the ball. The girl on the trampoline. And me standing there, trapped inside my head, experiencing no emotions whatsoever, only reminders of them. Ghosts of love knocking around the old attic of my mind, howling and wailing to be heard. It is only when my mind is asleep that it all comes flooding back. In my dreams I can hug the children, I can make love to my wife. In my dream I am myself. In my dream my children have everything they could want from a father. In my dream they love me and I love them. Out here though, in the so-called waking world, I am nothing but a vacancy, a void, a negative space. I lift a hand to my face and look at it just to make sure it’s still real. I shift perspective from my daughter to my own face and don’t recognise it as me. My stubble feels rough enough to light a million matches. Inside my head is cotton wool. In front of my eyes is a grey gauze, a veil separating me from the world.

I know I am meant to be here but I’m not here.
A tap in my shoulder.
My wife is here but not with me anymore. She is online but not responding. Irritated by me. I am not the man she fell in love with. Clearly she’s going to leave me anytime soon and this statement she is about to make is going to be that she’s going away forever, taking the kids in order to escape me.
“Would you mind peeling the potatoes, love?”
“Of course not,” I reply, hearing the voice as though it were someone else’s, feeling the muscles in my face crease into an attempt at a smile. For some reason, she returns it. She doesn’t actually realise. Or is she just pretending not to realise? Does she really think that I’m normal? Can’t she hear what’s going on inside my head?
“You alright?” She says, laying a hand upon my shoulder as I mechanically start to peel.
“Yes, why?” I say.
“You seem quiet today.”
“Just tired.”
I go on peeling, not looking up, because if I look up, she’ll see the tears forming in my eyes, and then I’ll have to spill everything out, everything that’s so stupid and pointless and not worth thinking that I ought to be locked away just for wasting my time thinking such idiocies. Suicide, indeed! What sort of a moron spends his time thinking about such things when he’s got children, a wife, and a million potatoes to peel, in preparation for a meal that he doesn’t even feel like eating because he doesn’t deserve food because he’s getting fat and that just shows how lazy he is and useless to everyone, everyone who clearly laughs at him behind his back, because they can all see his problems, they can all read that he’s not just tired, that he’s thinking the kinds of thoughts only losers think, and if he wants to make it in this world he’s going to have to just man up and get on with it and put away such pathetic, childish thoughts. Man up. When was the last time a woman was told to woman up? What a meaningless phrase. It’s demeaning to both men and women, suggesting that men somehow ought to adhere to an ideal that doesn’t exist; and as well as that, it suggests that women’s emotions are innately tied to feeling weak and pathetic. Somehow it’s more acceptable for a woman to feel like this. In this age where we’re all supposed to be equal, we’re...
He realised he had been holding a potato in front of him and not peeling it for God knew how long.
“Honey,” said her voice over the sound of the tap running.
“Yes?” I said, hearing the quiver in his voice. She probably didn’t hear it. Probably.
“I think you ought to see a doctor.”
I laughed. “Why?”
“Because I think you’re suffering from depression. And disassociation.”
"Why do you say that?"
"Because you temporarily changed from first person to third person to reflect the main character's mindset. And now you're breaking the fourth wall."
“What are you, a literacy critic psychiatrist?”
“No. I’m your wife. And you are.”
“I’m not. I’m fine.”
“Look,” she said, and for the first time in hours I rested my eyes open her face, expecting cold, hard judgement but finding nothing there. Somehow that was worse. “I’m not here to solve all your problems. You can’t come running to me and crying on my shoulder every time you experience a tiny setback in your life. It’s not healthy. You’re like a child.”
“Am not,” I said, feeling my lower lip wobbling.
“And, as difficult as it is for me to say this, if you don’t get help, I’m going to have to consider not living with you anymore. Taking the kids and going.”
“You hate me,” I whispered.
“No,” she said, laying a hand upon my face, “I don’t. I don’t want to leave you. But I might have to. This isn’t you. This isn’t the man I fell in love with.”
“You hate me,” I repeated. “You wish you’d never met me. I ought to just kill myself.”
“It’s answers like that which are why I can’t put up with it any longer. This isn’t you speaking.”
“If it’s not me, then who am I?” I said to the table. “If you don’t love me, then I must be dead.”
She laughed. “What... what are you talking about? I can’t fathom it anymore.” She grabbed the phone and handed it to me. “Just book an appointment with the doctor. For us.”
“What about me?” I said, staring at the phone. “When you’re down, I’ve always supported you. When I’m down, you’re not supportive at all.”
“This isn’t just being down. This is isn’t to be supported. I can’t support this. You’re someone else right now.”
“Maybe this is the real me, and the man you fell in love with was a mask.”
“What?”
“I don’t know.”
She left the room.
“I’m calling,” I shouted after her.
She didn’t answer.
“Where are you going?”
“Just got to get out for a bit.”
She didn’t love me anymore. That was clear. She would leave me anyway. So what was the point of even picking up the phone?

Saturday, 21 July 2012

You know when you're in mourning, but someone makes a joke, and you laugh, but then remember you're not meant to be laughing, so you stop laughing and start crying instead? I'm doing that at the moment. Fucking stupid. Every time I smile a voice in my head tells me not to do that. Why? Just because I'm not at work anymore? Yes, I'll miss Shirley and Debi loads, but I'll see them and go out for pints now and then. I KNOW that, and yet I guess maybe I'm just terrified.

Yep. I'm terrified. What of? Sudden solitude. No more security. Not only do I no longer have a secure job, I no longer have secure socialising. Knowing I had Debi to talk to every day made going to work a fuck sight easier. Now I'm alone. And not the kind of alone where you have the knowledge that there will be people around to see you in September. Yes there's Mia. But I feel like the way I am right now, I wouldn't go out with me.

And yeah I'm scared that she's going to leave me so I start acting more needy. Stupid behaviour pattern, process of thought... once you start falling into that pit you become obsessed, reliant, and end up acting in a way that would make someone want to break up with you. And knowing THAT makes it all worse. It's a loop.

I need to go outside.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Cognitive Dissonance:

a discomfort caused by holding conflicting cognitions (e.g., ideas, beliefs, values, emotional reactions) simultaneously.

"Despite the entire Ikana Valley part of the game being incredibly eerie, no one would ever suspect the pure, unadulterated horrors that could arise from inside the creepily cheerful sounding Music Box House by the river."

- thezeroshow.com

Watch this brief, one-minute video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOk0I-1K_bo

To understand what is meant by cognitive dissonance, one only needs to listen to this video and gain an understanding based on a musical level; a level which, like so much about music, can be instantly accessible due to music's capacity to open up all the neural networks within its world in and around that vast grey expanse. The music, quite clearly, presents a happy-go-lucky sound, tinged terrifyingly with dissonant chords undermining everything that on the surface appears to be correct. To know the context behind the music would take a long time to explain, so I'll explain it: on Day Three in Clock Town, the moon is poised to descend and end the entire world. On Day One, there were no worries. But by Day Three, the sky is turning a nasty shade of green and the music that sounded so confident and upbeat on Day One now sounds fake, a pastiche, a mockery of not only jollity, but of reality itself. It is, in a way, not the depressing music that scares me here - it is the remnent of happiness, shorn of its signifier, like looking at a photograph of a happy event that was taken moments before someone in it was gunned down.

Now this - this is the final reality:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONmo8HzuSGg

That's the truth. The pretence is over, and we find a tragic sort of peace in the ending of the world. But that's not what interests me, although of course it is interesting in itself. No - it is the moment between realities that interests me - the point between the real and the false, where nothing is certain, except one's anxiety creeping through, but in a guise we can't recognise, or pretend not to recognise. That is true horror.

In film, what film academics have been going on about for decades is how well Kubrick used music to create cognitive dissonance - for example, Beethoven in A Clockwork Orange. But actually, that was more irony to me. He was making a comment on the nature of psychopathy and also perhaps how music can be tainted by association. It was not true cognitive dissonance to me. The viewer also may not have heard the Beethoven music before seeing it in the film, so paradoxically there is only one association, and one alone. For example, Wendy Carlos's version of Beethoven's Ninth will only ever be associated with A Clockwork Orange to me, even though its original conception was as a separate entity from anything bar Beethoven.

In music, we can hear cognitive dissonance within pieces. Not only with pieces that 'undermine' themselves, but even within actual types of scales. This may seem obvious - that some scales and musical pieces fluctuate from major to minor - but actually, in some pieces we can feel a sense of being 'between' phases, between worlds, between sadness and happiness.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDX4ZwUeOok

And suddenly I feel justifed in yet again using a Majora's Mask piece, if only for the fact that having clicked on this link, I can read the comments:

It is depressing, but also soothing.

Makes me want to cry

Friday, 13 July 2012

ok, i'll admit it

i am getting a teensy tiny bit tired of wanking now

not sure how to continue :P


“Oh God! Jesus Christ!”: Horror Masterworks
By Rodney Elevation

Attempts at horror movies have more often than not ended in tragedy for those involved in the production. The filming of The Abyss caused Ed Harris to have a nervous breakdown. The filming of The Shining caused Shelley Duvall to have a nervous breakdown. The filming of The Omen resulted in the movie The Omen.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

man i'm so fucking stupid.

got on a bus, having bought flowers and chocs and wine for mia, and also had a bag of stuff. i put all these on the part of the bus where you can put bags, even though i feel reservations about doing so. for ages, waiting in traffic for about an hour and a half, i stood guard next to them. then, finally deciding to sit, the bus got to the next stop and a shitload of loud, idiotic, swearing black kids got on board from the local school. at once i saw some cunt putting his bags all over my stuff, and possibly rifing through my stuff, but at this point, there were so many little cunts everywhere that i couldn't see what was happening.

then some cunt kid was told to get off the bus because he was in the way of the doors and of course he wouldn't get off, and the entire bus started calling the driver a dickhead, and all these kids started laughing at him. literally like twenty kids all standing up being pricks. this went on for about five minutes, during which time the bus did not move, and i was sick and tired because i'd been waiting on that fucking bus for the last hour and a half, going all the way to ealing just to surprise mia for some reason even though i knew she didn't really like surprises, and in the end i stood up, and a part of my brain was like "dude, wtf are you doing?"
"I'm not sure," I replied to myself, as I stood up and banged my head on the handrail. I said "excuse me" to two girls as I walked through the crowd towards the front. Instantly the girl said "Wot you shovin' past me for, man?" and I said "I said excuse me," then, deciding she wasn't worth talking to, went up to the kid at the doors and said in a quiet manner (knowing I was fucked)
"The bus driver has asked you to get off because you're blocking the doors."
"Who are you? What are you talking to me for?" and the usual teeth kissing bollocks.
The entire lot of them, and of course the people sitting in the bus, stared at me like I was insane. I probably was. I didn't know what exactly I was doing.
"The bus needs to go and you're not letting it go," I said. "You're all being rude, and disruptive."
"If you don't like it get off the bus."
"No, I was already on this bus and it was fine before you lot got on." Then, retardedly, I said to the people at the back, "Who wants these kids to stay on this bus?"
Their silence was actually their way of backing me up, but suddenly I felt like a moron.
Finally I said to the driver, "Are you going to do anything about this?"
"I'm calling the police," he said, at which point the kids all dispersed, presumably calling him a wasteman under their breath.

I felt shaken, shocked, upset, and angry. Angry because I guess I expected everyone else to tell the kids to get the fuck off the bus. Angry because a part of me knew I should have just sat in silence. Upset because those bags by the front, whilst untouched, were something I didn't deserve to feel would be stolen from or mistreated. Shaken because I had no backup, and, to quote Mia, "One of them could have had a knife." Angry because all these kids were Jamaican and all of them were cunts. And annoyed because to point that fact out makes me racist and I feel stuck because out of the four kids this year who've pissed me off or been rude to me, three were Jamaican. And the only one who verbally apologised was the white one. Godamn it. I know there are plenty of Jamaican kids who are polite and high-achieving, but - ffs - where are they?

Mia's housemate Leila said that "yeah, that bus is bad for twat schoolchildren." I guess I'm kind of a control freak. That, or I'm a crazy masochist superhero who thinks that when people are being cunts, it's worth letting them know, even if you suffer for it. But I can take it. That's the point of Teacher Man. He can make the choice that no one else can make. But then.... inside a bus... I'm no teacher. I have no backup, no structure, nothing to threaten them with. I have no personal authority - I admit that. I'm not scary. But.... for some reason.... I do it anyway.

On the bus on the way back some Jamaican woman kept being rude and kissing her teeth at the bus driver because the buses are running badly today. Was it his fault? And on the same bus back I suddenly heard clicking noises behind me. Actual clicking noises. Some guy was beatboxing. Is he insane? Is this what we should consider normal behaviour in public? Is this the future? We're fucked if it is. Stupidity is spreading. We're losing people not to apathy, but to the opposite. We're losing curiousity to absolution. "I won't do that because it's long." "I won't be nice because it's gay." "I won't get a job because I can just go on the dole." "I won't fuck goats because it's bestiality." I mean, WTF?

I feel bad for being racist and then I read something like this and feel a little more justified:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/8840458/Black-schoolboys-underachieving-because-academic-success-is-seen-as-gay.html

I set off for Mia's at half four and got back at ten. And, because Mia was busy working on something (admittedly cool) I was only at her place for an hour that whole time. An hour of niceness in a sea of Shit.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Saturday, 7 July 2012

My Father, The Politician

by Comedown Gilb
[Taken from Chapter 21 of The Stuff My Dad Kept Hidden]

When my sister Woodstock and I were nine and seven, my dad returned from a sojourn in Los Angeles with a suitcase full of Pez, seventy ace-of-diamonds cards up his sleeve, a pseudo American accent, and, most alarmingly of all, a suit.
“Hi folks,” he said, beginning that brief but lamentable period when he insisted to anyone who bothered to listen that he was American.
We spent the next few months confused as to the whereabouts of our real father, not sure what to do with this pleasant but grating imposter who went by the alias ‘Chuck Delightful’. Every night he would invite a bunch of shady-looking characters to play poker whilst smoking cigars and drinking Jack Daniels. Most invitations were declined, apart from that time he roped in a randomninja. The game lasted two minutes, until the ninja lost a hand, sliced a card in half (slicing through the thin side) and leapt backwards out of the window.
We watched our dad spend weeks in front of the mirror perfecting the perfect scowl. He deliberately abstained from eating sellotape. Mornings he would rise but make sure he was unable to shine. He would go out, but never about. If he entered a room he would have to lick the walls until he formed a protective circle around us. “Chuck D,” he explained to us, “is not only your father, but the father of atoms.” Writing this, I wonder if these acts weren’t so much an attempt to appear American as an actual nervous breakdown. Who could tell? Certainly not our mother, who would roll her eyes when we asked what was happening, and dismiss it as a “phase, like that time he thought he could move the television by the power of thought.” I remember that time; but can only remember vague, nightmarish visions, like the memory of one’s last McDonald’s. His ‘practising hours’ were the only time our father let us watch what we wanted. What seemed to be a generous and avid interest in Bagpuss was simply an insane attempt at telekinesis. One evening, the cat, asleep on the television, suddenly sat up straight, stared at nothing, then fell off. My father’s exclamation of “I win!” now makes much more sense in retrospect.

Bored following this victory, my father began to take an interest in the politics of the time. “Labour isn’t working,” he’d mutter to himself, chuckling at his own wit. He would cast a glance at us and we would have to chuckle as well. Ogre-like behaviour, really. But, like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, he was merely exorcising the full extent of his ugliness in order to prepare himself for something extraordinary. It was at eleven thirty on Sunday June 31st 1978 returning from a sojourn in Hyde Park that my father and I came across a billboard upon which 'Labour isn’t working' was emblazoned. My father, enraged that they had stolen his pun, took out a semi-automatic rifle and pumped bullets into the billboard for half an hour. It took him half an hour to realise it wasn’t loaded and that the gun sounds he could hear were just me making the noise. 

He was held in a cell for a night, despite my efforts, and the gun was confiscated. I sat with him on the other side of the bars while he indulged in a gigantic ego-trip. Through the endless screams and the inane babble, I made out some sort of political manifesto.

Hitler was onto something. The floor, usually. Or a pedestal. But too high. Man must lower himself to street level. Literally. Declaim from the chin. Flatland. Stretch yourself. Get thin. Emaciated. Jesus-like figure. Crucify myself in front of the media so that they can never crucify me. Can then be immortal, at least through the eyes of the cathode ray. Absolute forgiveness – masochist broadcast. Policies of truth. Depeche mode. Sacrifice to the greater cause – communism, without the mess. Odds.

He looked up at me then, as though seeing me for the first time. A weary look appeared on his face, but his voice finally returning to his English accent, he asked, “You didn’t happen to write any of that down, did you?”
When I nodded and showed him the scribbling on my arm, I’ve never seen him look so proud. When I got home later, I made sure to type it up properly on paper, laminate it, and as father and daughter we created our political treatise. My father rang up his old friend Elkin Le Rimbaulzz, as he always did.
I listened to the conversation, holding myself up close.
“Yeah?” muttered a voice.
“I’m thinking of running for mayor.”
“Politics? Is that still going?”
“What do you mean?”
“After Nixon, politics is dead. That’s what Permier said anyway, and who the fuck are you to disagree with him?”
“Sorry.”
“That’s alright. Go on.”
“What’s your view on me going for a socialist perspective mixed with a free-market approach to banking, allowing the middle classes to expand and create smaller businesses, which we will further help develop in the public interest?”
“I heard Thatcher was actually a man.”
“And my policies?”
“I might copy them.”
“Fuck you.”
He hung up. The game was afoot.

In 1978 my father ran for London mayor, challenging Sir Kenneth Cork, Elkin Le Rimbaulzz, Sir Peter Gadsen, Sir Roland Gardner-Thorpe, and Sir Christopher Leaver. My father’s independence enabled him to begin his campaign shorn of public prejudice, but within the first week there were signs that he wasn’t perceived as a blank slate. The first morning of knocking on people’s doors, we were greeted by a man and his dog. The dog went for my dad’s delicate area, but, seeing as my father was a black belt in karate, he responded the only way he knew how, and chopped the dog in half. For a full thirty seconds or so, the man and I stood staring at the dog’s corpse. My father released his Uchi-hachiji-dachi stance and bowed.
Then he handed the man a piece of paper.
“Take it,” my father insisted patiently. “Take the paper. The paper. Take the paper. Take it.”
“Dad, he’s going to call the police,” I said.
“Why?”
“You chopped his dog in half.”
“If you vote for me, sir, I’ll make sure your train fares are chopped in half.”
The man slammed the door so hard that it would have smacked into my dad’s head, if my dad's head hadn’t happened to be a black belt. Instead, my dad’s head somehow broke the door into pieces.
“Maybe we should try next door,” he conceded.

A few more houses later, the campaign seemed up and running. People were more willing to listen to my father, aided by the blood streaming down his face and his introduction of “Listen to me otherwise I’ll chop your dog in half.” By the time we reached the end of the street, he had passed out, but, given a revival by a nun living at number 31, was back on his feet. Sitting in this kind nun’s house drinking her tea, I was given a fixed stare, and, locked in by her piercing pale blue eyes, was instructed to play a larger part in passing on the word of God.
At these words, I glanced at my father, who frowned.
“I’m not God, madam,” he said solemnly. “Taken me fifty years to realise it.”
“That’s what our Saviour would say,” she said, placing her cup and saucer on the table. “I’ve seen your crown of thorns, your bloodstained hands. Stigmata cannot be faked.”
“I’ve told you. The cuts on my head are because I accidentally headbutted a door. The cuts on my hands are when I - ”
She held a hand up. “Do not let the devil enter your head, child.”
My dad, torn between his devotion to morality and his wish to be successful in his endeavours, sighed. 
“If I confess that I’m Jesus Christ, will you vote for me in the mayoral election?”
She nodded, and we got out of there.

My father visited as many places as he could. He opened up new supermarkets, even if they weren’t new, and would have me take the photo of him cutting a ribbon that he had placed there himself. Once a photo was taken, it was then just a matter of running from the security guards. That, or buying some peanut butter. One afternoon we visited Speakers’ Corner, on which he declaimed his policy towards enabling greater access for the disabled in public buildings.
“I take a stand on this issue, and so should you,” he said, to the gathered disabled. “Shit.”
Another morning we visited a secondary comprehensive school, where we were greeted with sneers at my father and his suit.
“We’re punks. Why should we give a fuck about politics?” said a teacher.
“But Mrs. Jenkins,” began a child, “Politics forms an important - ”
“Shut your whore mouth,” she said, at which point my father stood up and announced that the punk movement was fading and would give in to some sort of “new wave” movement, and its dress style would be incorporated into “goth” modes. At which point the entire school body seemed to decide my father was worth voting for.

Buoyed by this fluke, my father and I researched current trends, realising that voters no longer cared what policies we had as long as we appeared to be cool. My father would spend entire campaigns staging arguments with students about whether disco would continue or die. He would argue them down by shouting "Die" until they relented. He told them about how many drugs he took (“I swallowed acid, but didn’t digest it”)  until they stopped believing him and he decided to be honest about it (“Alright. I didn’t do any drugs”).

Elkin Le Rimbaulzz entered the mayoral race in that same year. Following on from his three-thousand-page polemic The Death of Communism, Le Rimbaulzz began his campaign with billboards displaying nothing but the text “WRITE WHAT YOU WANT HERE” and massive white spaces for the public to daub whatever they fancied. Le Rimbaulzz’s campaign immediately ran into problems when, amongst other problematic graffiti (e.g. GO FUCK A GOAT), he was required to obey the sprayed command of “BAN SPAGHETTI”. He immediately began his campaign with logos hurled around London town that promised nothing and delivered less:



Whilst my father’s campaign gathered momentum, Le Rimbaulzz’s scooped up gravitas. Diversions to Wales aside, Le Rimbaulzz found success coming his way. For some inane reason, there was a media frenzy about pasta at this point, with The Times running a front-page article insisting that all pasta recently shipped from Italy contained traces of plutonium. Le Rimbaulzz himself wrote an article, with the headline 'Shun noodles', explaining how only he was in possession of the knowledge of a vast conspiracy amongst corporations and the government to poison the population and produce a crisis, in order to justify their imperialistic policies in the Middle East.

It might not have occurred to you that this innocent looking pile of starchy yellowish doughy shapes sitting on your plate under a healthy looking tomato based sauce might contain cancer. But it does. It will also jeopardise the usefulness of any weight loss programs you might be engaged upon. Having said that, cancer at least makes you lose weight. So each coin has two sides.

He also advocated eating cardboard instead of pasta, and providing the homeless with little box-shaped homes made of pasta instead of cardboard. In fact, he stated that this would be the first policy he would implement.

My father, glancing across at Le Rimbaulzz’s success like a student might glance as a swot winning an exam, decided to create a panic of his own. Deciding that rock music was infecting the minds of the young, Gilb set about a series of lectures using extracts from artists such as Judas Priest and Ozzy Osbourne to emphasise the nihilistic messages inherent in their work. He even used samples of his own work with The Zwei to ram home his message, playing extracts of his work backwards, uncovering secret messages such as the one found on “Kill Your Children” from Fugitive Cake:

If you can hear this, you have too much time on your hands. Take up masturbation. Your friend, Archie.

When asked in a press conference whether the track’s title alone might warrant its exclusion from record shops, Gilb’s face dropped and his face grew pale. “That hadn’t actually occurred to me,” he muttered. Within ten days he had retracted all statements regarding rock and roll’s evils, adding, “I don’t advocate killing your children either.”

Escaping by the skin of his teeth from that potential banana skin, Gilb decided to ram home his message to the voters by creating a small clothing business that used his political ideas of openness, restructuring, and acceleration. Indulge operated for ten months in a corner of W1, during which my mother sold whatever items my parents thought worth getting rid of. For some reason, my mother had accumulated a series of shoulder pads which she stuck together and placed within some old suits she found. Somehow, they sold; and, for the few months in which it operated, I like to think Indulge helped set a trend for shoulderpads that would continue up to the late eighties. For my father, the example set by my mother’s business propelled her into the spotlight alongside him.

For a moment, it actually looked as if my father would win the mayoral election. Press conferences became easier with my mother beside him to make up for whatever lack of wits he might have had.
When asked “why is it that all the other mayoral candidates have been knighted except for you and Mr. Rimbaulzz?” my father could only stand in silence and stare at the assorted journalists in bewilderment. My mother stepped in and said “Status is only exceptional if unique. We’re interested in lowering inflation. What I see here is inflation. A surfeit of sirs, if you will.” At which point the entire conference room was heard to involuntarily exclaim “Oh-ho!” and my father’s approval rate jumped by two percent.

A week later, my father appeared in an interview with a young Jeremy Paxman on the Tonight show. Quizzed on his “nonsensical approach to the practicalities of government,” my father replied, “Paxman? What kind of a name is that?”
“That’s not at all relevant. Can we get back - ”
“Answer the question. What kind of a name is that?”
“This isn’t  - ”
“What kind of a name is that?”
“Mr. Gilb, would you - ”
“What kind of a name is that?”
At which point the broadcast footage runs out, but it is rumoured that following the interview, a flustered Paxman shook my father’s hand, exclaiming, “That’s it. That’s bloody it.”

Inevitably, like most of my father’s projects (barring his hugely successful feature film Ixo: 43) this venture ended in glorious failure. During his final speech before the voting began, he decided it would be a good idea to rouse the masses by repeating the phrase “Come! Come! Come!” When asked afterwards why he did it, he shrugged. 

Political thinkers such as Vivian Mann have retrospectively looked back on that shrug as the moment that

Gilb realised he didn’t want to be in politics. A man capable of greatness but never attaining it must always ultimately fail. Gilb perhaps didn’t want to be a success – for it would mean no longer being able to play the role of underdog.

To most voters’ surprise, Elkin Le Rimbaulzz received 17% of the vote, based on his swing to the right. However, like a clumsy monkey, he swung too far, and ultimately lost out on being a serious challenger by a concise speech explaining in detail why the economy was failing:

            The economy is failing because of the blacks.