Thursday, 31 December 2015

Last entry probably

Albums I've Listened To in 2015

It's New Year's Eve and I fucking hate New Year's Eve, with or without people around. Doesn't help that I think the world is better off without me right now so I'm not attending any social things in order to rid the world of my stupidity. Everyone's better off without me, so goes the logic. As much as I'm aware that's probably bollocks, I'm now distracting myself from thinking and decided to do this.

So albums I've listened to or at the very least downloaded in 2015 and not listened to.

*Masks* - Lucifear
Absolutely no idea what this is. Probably during my brief sojourn into witch-house.

The Age of Adz - Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens has probably been my favourite discovery musically this year. This album in itself is one of the weirder, more overblown ones, but I really like the title track. It goes from a weird electronic mess to something beautiful. I have included it in a playlist and as a result have kind of overplayed it to myself but whatever.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=028KfrPNpPs

The Alan Lomax Recordings - Fred McDowell
I always find recordings like this strangely weird. Alan Lomax is a musicologist and he found some random blues guy and recorded him. I like the idea of discovering talent and stuff but it's odd the way it's done. Why not give the guy a record deal? Instead Alan Lomax gets to have his name all over this. Anyway, it's blues. Pretty good blues too, for a guy who presumably has no teeth.

Just googled and he actually has teeth.

Alas, I Cannot Swim - Laura Marling
I enjoyed this album over the summer. She was only 18 when she did this shit. The lyrics are cool, some lovely melodies, and overall you can see what a talent she was. I'm not sure how she's become shit now but she was a genius for a while. But as usual, seeing a young person succeed at something makes me feel bollocks. Man, I'm mean.


All Summer Long - The Beach Boys
Downloaded all the Beach Boys stuff for some reason. Have listened to one album: the good one.

Ambient 1: Music for Airports - Brian Eno
It's Eno. Can't go wrong.


And The Circus Leaves Town - Kyuss
Just downloaded their stuff. Stoner rock. Pretty cool. That said, I've only listened to one album, and it isn't this one, so this entire section is a waste of words.


Another Green World - Brian Eno
Solid.


Apollo - Brian Eno
Same.


Axis: Bold as Love - Jimi Hendrix
Pretty cool but the stupid jokey parts at the beginning piss me off. Sounds like something we'd have recorded as a joke but then tossed away for being too unamusing.

Beach Boys' Christmas Album - The Beach Boys
Guessing it's a collection of Beach Boys Christmas songs.

Before and After Science - Brian Eno
Fuck off Eno.


Biophilia - Bjork
Usual Bjork stuff. Think I listened once; wasn't as good as earlier stuff; forgot it immediately


Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
Pretty sure it was this year I first got into them. Don't remember much about this album, except liking it except the song 'Evil Woman'.

Black Sabbath Vol. 4 - Black Sabbath
Best album of theirs imo. I even like 'Changes'. I feel like I've already grown of them though, for some reason. There's always something a bit special about Ozzy, and I feel like if I listen to them for too long I shall turn into a retard.

Blank Banshee - Blank Banshee
Like most vaporwave, initially thrilling but gets boring halfway through.


Bloom - Beach House
Seemed pretty good. Basic shoegaze stuff.


Blues for the Red Sun - Kyuss
Not sure why I'm including albums I haven't actually listened to yet. It's like I'm saying "I have a varied set of musical choices, honest! I don't just sit around listening to the Zelda soundtrack like some aspie cunt, honest!"

Caress of Steel - Rush
Don't ask.


Carl and the Passions - The Beach Boys
Ok this is the last album I include that I haven't actually listened to. From now on you can assume I have all the Beach Boys' works, as well as Rush.

Carrie and Lowell - Sufjan Stevens 
Album of the year. Got it in March, knew within one listen it was the best album I'd hear this year. Just wonderful. If 'The Only Thing' doesn't move you, then nothing will. Plus my comment is up there on YouTube, so that means I'm a) famous and b) all my musical views about anything are all correct.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adKEqin5SoI


Center of the Sun - Samsara Blues Experiment
I vaguely recall hearing this. Was coolish. The name kind of tells you the style.


The Christ Tree - The Trees Community
The only album I think this year I got from /mu/. Bunch of religious folks sitting around singing about God. It's actually very good. I'd describe it as psychedelic folk.

Country Blues - Dock Boggs
More decent blues.


A Creature I Don't Know - Laura Marling
Kind of went over my head to be honest. Some of her albums leap out at you, others don't.


Dangerous Days - Perturbator
This is a great album. Its beginning provided the soundtrack to dark and cold mornings on the way to work, which is why it makes me feel tired and cold listening to it. It's good, though.


Debut - Bjork
Pretty good.


Dr Wonderfull - Dr Wonderfull
Seems like a long time ago somehow.


Extraordinary Machine - Fiona Apple
Probably the most interesting discovery for me in the latter half of the year. I really like the title track, but can't remember much from then on. I'd suggest she has better albums, but I'm not saying this is bad. It's probably good. I want to believe.


Fare Forward Voyagers - John Fahey
This comes from 1974 I think. Excellent guitar work. This sounds like the guitar jams I do, except good. I want to be able to play like this, but never will. I really liked this album, but I can see if you're not into guitar then it wouldn't be as enjoyable.


Finally We Are No One - múm
Yes, that's how their name appears. This is one of my favourite albums I've listened to this year. When  I first listened to it, not sure where's it from - maybe /mu/ again, I remember reading a comment where someone said 'this is what childhood sounds like'. I'm yet to think of a better way to describe it. It's just lovely imo. The texture of bubbles.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=artrAq9cdz0

Floral Shoppe - Macintosh Plus
Must have first heard this in 2014, but in case I didn't, then... yeah. Anything that needs to be said has been said. My favourite track is the one that sounds like a Windows 95 instruction video. Instrumental one. Track seven I think. I'm slightly embarassed that I still like this stuff, but also fuck it.

For Emma, Forever Ago - Bon Iver
I loved the Bon Iver album, but didn't get along with this one. I can appreciate the songwriting though. I prefer Birdy's cover of Skinny Love over his. Maybe that means I'm becoming a normie.


Gliss Riffer - Dan Deacon
Man, first heard this properly driving to Dean City Farm. That was in January. Fucking ages ago. Apart from that (literally) shitty memory, the album as a whole is great. Took me a while to get it, but I like it now. My favourite track is still Take It To The Max. Needs headphones to appreciate the musicianship and subtle additions to each phrase. It's like listening to Philip Glass if Philip Glass had drunk eight cups of coffee.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBF5-z4FN9o for some reason the original video was taken down, together with my top comment. This is tragic.

Gunship - Gunship
This really disappointed me. I was expecting awesome and I got pop instead. Fortunately, Dangerous Days made up for it.


I Speak Because I Can - Laura Marling
Can't remember anything about this


The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do - Fiona Apple
Yeah. That title. I kind of loved this album. Could pick any track. This one's pretty much representative of the album. Raw, gruff as fuck. Sardonic. But crucially, there's no self pity, look at me I'm mental stuff. It's just a person being talented. She also has become anorexic as fuck - somehow adds to the glamour :(

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VG1VVFfOnYQ

Illinois - Sufjan Stevens
First album I heard of his - was fucking blown away. There is so much SIZE in this record, and so many different shifts from style to style... some tracks are thirty seconds, some are ten minutes, but all are beautiful. It's like diving into a universe, listening to this album. The only flaw is that halfway through it gets too much and I end up stopping. Chicago is for the obvious highlight of the album.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_-cUdmdWgU

In Decay - Com Truise
Pretty good vaporwave/synthwave/outrun whatever the fuck it is. The opening two minutes are like being smacked in the face by the eighties.


In the Beginning - Scott Walker
Okay, before I do the whole list of his albums, I downloaded Scott Walker's discography and tried listening. Hated it from the start.


In The Lonely Hour - Sam Smith
The mainsteam album I'll download and listen to once just in case anyone accuses me of being a hipster. Seriously, this is how I think. From what I can recall, it's pretty nice. Stay With Me is nice, but he overuses the chorus. Should have kept it more restrained.


Interstellar Soundtrack (The Illuminated Star Projection Edition) - Hans Zimmer
Obviously a cool soundtrack. I think he uses organ.

Lazaretto - Jack White
Not bad. Not as obvious in its concept as his previous album. Can barely remember one track. I didn't dislike it, but it hasn't stuck yet. Or maybe it's occured to me that all his music sounds the same.


Les Voix Du Ciel - Charles Trenet
French guy singing French stuff about being French. Made me feel like I want to be a French guy singing French stuff about being French.


Lost In The Dream - The War on Drugs
This, together with the Under the Skin soundtrack, defined my summer holiday playing Fallout: Vegas. I realise, playing Fallout 4, that without new music and/or a summer holiday, the game loses its power. But anyway, the music is a tribute to the style of early Springsteen, which didn't do much for me at first, but upon a second listen, I got it. Anyway, for me the heart of the album is this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKIFQah_TO4

The Magic Whip - Blur
Heard it once, quite liked it, won't listen again. I like the idea that Blur finally won the battle of Britpop, twenty years later.


Master of Reality - Black Sabbath
Yeah, I liked this.


Model Animals - Poulenc
Gave this a listen a couple of nights ago; pleasant.


My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West
I quite liked the opening two tracks, until a) I realised the only bit I liked was a bit that was sampled for somewhere else and b) I fucking hate rap.


Night Drive - Dunno
Weird sounding vaporwave shit. Like standing in the elevator of a Japanese mall for forty minutes. Quite like it though.


Paranoid - Black Sabbath
The first album of theirs I heard. I liked Planet Caravan, but can't remember much else.


Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys
Obviously a good album.


Please Turn Me Into the Snat - Connan Mockasin
I listened to it once, because I liked the title. Can't remember a fucking thing :\


Post - Bjork
Not bad. Sometimes she seems like a genius, sometimes she seems shit.


Shader - Sacred Tapestry
Completely fucking monged vaporwave.

Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I just Sit - Courtney Barnett
Oh man. Forgot about this one. Every time I think current music is worthless, there's no more rock and roll left, and all that bollocks, I remember this album. Fucking love this album, especially Pedestrian at Best.

John Doe 5 months ago
Brilliantly sardonic delivery of the lines. Echoes of the Dylan groan and Patti Smith sneer. Raucous guitar, an old sound but a welcome antidote to the over-technical and over-produced sound of contemporary singles. tl;dr this is fucking awesome.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-nr1nNC3ds

Songs of Innocence - U2
Listened once. Absolute bollocks. Kind of sad to see a band I once liked turn into mediocre twats, as opposed to interesting twats.

St. Vincent - St. Vincent
Oh yeah, another good album I forgot about. Twisted sound, guitar with electronics. Songs about the digital age, nothingness, kind of stuff I eat up. "If I can't show it, you can't see me." Also she somehow says the word 'yeah' in an awesome way. Try to get over her stupid appearance and dig the music. Dig it, I say, because I'm cool and so in touch with how people in the sixties were.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVAxUMuhz98

Stay Gold - First Aid Kit
Very pleasant second album. A Long Time Ago is just lovely.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8znvmgi0pXc

Taiga - Zola Jesus
Kind of only got this album because of how she looks on the cover. She's never reach the heights of Stridulum II again, unfortunately.


Ten Love Songs - Susanne Sundfor
It's nowhere near as good as The Silicone Veil, but I still quite like it. There's an interesting classical music section in the middle, and the single from the album is nice. The final track has an interesting bassline that's so deep it feels like my whole room is reverberating when I play it. I don't know really. It's like her songs aren't keeping up with her voice, which for me is one of the most beautiful voices I've heard. Plus she's nice looking as well which helps me stay in the whole beta woman-worship thing as opposed to just being someone normal. Fuck I hate myself.


They All Left One By One, They All Left the Radio On - Gimu
I don't even remember, but I remember liking it. This was worth doing.


Tidal - Fiona Apple
I liked it, but haven't listened much. Getting stuck in my ways.


Turbulence - Miami Nights 1984
Pretty good outrun.


Under the Skin Soundtrack - Mica Levi
The one album that really took me places when I was playing Fallout Vegas over summer. The one album that made me feel happy to listen to, because it just sounded so... right. The way it synced with the game was so perfect I couldn't believe that the music hadn't been composed primarily for the purpose of playing a moody post-apocalyptic game. I tried listening to it with Fallout 4 but it couldn't be the same because the moment of synchronicity and discovery was over. New music with a game belongs only to that game, and the trick cannot be repeated.

I find this track extremely moving. In fact, the entire film, the soundtrack, everything, is just me right now. I know this post has been more about me than anything else, but honestly, it's the only time I have been able to write for ages. And you actually listen, or at least don't dismiss me too much. Sometimes you do and that's ok, because ultimately your job is not to save me from myself. I think that's the issue I've always had with relationships - I assume the person I'm with is going to make everything better, and when they don't, I feel detached and disappointed, and repeat the same mistakes as ever. Donna's probably the only girlfriend I had where I wasn't a massive dickhead to her, but it was paradoxically because I never believed she'd make things better for me. Maybe that's all it takes - complete rejection of hope, and expectation, and just enter the world as a grey slate, shorn of emotive ties.

And that takes me to this music. Never quite major, never quite minor - swings between the two, perfectly depicting the scene taking place in the film. This is the music Schoenenberg would have made if he had realised that having twelve tones doesn't mean making a mess. Chromaticism can offer so much, and a track like this shows it. Never quite reaching the right note, and yet - never reaching the wrong one. Just buzzing uneasily between the two. Like everything in the film. Sad, but not enough to actually create feelings beyond disappointment. Love, but not love. This is, for me, the music of my year. Flat, but somehow alive anyway.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvhybhc6-I8

Warpaint - Warpaint
Pretty good follow up, although the band as a whole by this stage seemed to have run out of ideas. Played anyway.


The Way - Zack Hemsey
Notable only for the title track, which is an epic piece used in... everything.


Welcome to Sky Valley - Kyuss
Included because it's the one Kyuss album I actually listened to. Really enjoyed it. Stoner rock, just good technical playing.


When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks Like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight and He'll Win the Whole Thing 'fore He Enters the Ring There's No Body to Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might so When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth Is the Greatest of Heights and If You Know Where You Stand, Then You Know Where to Land and If You Fall It Won't Matter, Cuz You'll Know That You're Right - Fiona Apple
Hilarious title, can't remember much about the album except I quite liked it.


1000 Forms of Fear - Sia
Another album from way back at the start of the year. For a while this was the only album I listened to. Then I overplayed it and got sick of it. Still, it's excellent. This song is the sound of alcoholism. The weird melody of the chorus was what first brought my attention to the song. 'I want to swing on a chandelier' has the strangest melody ever. It's like it doesn't know how to end itself. I would analyse properly except I can't be arsed now and you're probably not reading anymore anyway.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vjPBrBU-TM

Plus the girl dancing is strangely hypnotic.

1989 - Taylor Swift
Actually liked this a lot.


Top Ten Albums Listened to in 2015:

1. Carrie and Lowell - Sufjan Stevens
2. Under the Skin Soundtrack - Mica Levi
3. When the Pawn... - Fiona Apple
4. Sometimes I'll Sit and Think, and Sometimes I'll Just Sit - Courtney Barnett
5. Dangerous Days - Perturbator
6. Lost in the Dream - The War on Drugs
7. St. Vincent - St. Vincent
8. Finally We Are No One - mum
9.  1000 Forms of Fear - Sia
10. Alas, I Cannot Swim - Laura Marling

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

last entry is bonkers

but i guess the title of the blog comes into play then


spent the last half hour scraping skin with knife; not sure why - meaningless bollocks, I guess.

Keeping the self centered in a hyposensory crisis - that's my angle anyways.

I miss blogs. This one doesn't count - it's basically a delayed email system.

OK So I Fucking Get It

Holy shit I'm drunk as fuck - nystagmus dominating my present, but it's so worth it...

So I experienced the Joy of Self Harm just now. Been spending all evening trying to deal with emotional response to an upset father... seems a bit meaningless now, because I feel like Einstein... tempted to write this off as some sort of insane thing but actually it's pretty useful, if only for my future self.

There's this kid at school who indulges (indulges? needs) self-harm in order to cope with a situation over which he has no control. The kid who he was once friends with is suddenly no longer his friend, and this boy spends his lunchtimes trying to figure out why... ends up descending into self-harm because ultimately that's the only way to understand what the hell happened...

long story short.

so I put a knife to my foot, and try to pierce it. Doesn't work. Doesn't draw blood. No joy in the pain. It's pain that annoys, no more. Start to think that self-harm is something I will never understand. I then for some reason decide to draw the blade over my leg in a constant motion.

That's the ticket.

It's a hug from a blade.

I'm not going to sugar-coat it: it feels fucking amazing at this moment. I never understood why people self-harmed before: I thought it was to draw attention to themselves, or to form material for songs, but no... holy fucking shit, it was like having an orgasm without the actual orgasm. I haven't felt pleasure like that for fucking years. I felt like Icarus coming close to the sun. It's no lie. It's no exagerration. It felt so good I'm actually aroused just thinking about it again. I'm not holding back here, because it's fucking important...

The blade drawing itself slowly over the skin... it's protective. It's a hug. I will repeat this over and over because that's it. That's my Eureka moment. It's a hug from a blade.

I felt so fucking numb before that happened. Nothing was working. I hit myself on the head - momentary relief. That was taken from Daniel at work. I pinched myself. Same result. I grabbed fabric and it was a temporary resistance. I liked the resistance: use it.

All I can think of is that these kids, especially Ben, need to go to the gym. The equipment has a strength they will never overcome. They need that dominance. I needed that dominance, in that moment. I will be ok, but I am a method actor. I need to experience things in order to understand them. Didn't think I was able to act, but apparently I can. I will survive. I am Gloria Thingy. I am stoic, so don't worry, if you're reading this. This is nothing but a record to myself, but I want you to see. In this moment of temporary vulnerability, I need you to see. Thanks for being my seer.

Girl Anachronism comes on. Suddenly, there is clarity so complete it almost scares me. I think hyposensory issues are responsible for what we call borderline behaviour. What we call depression. Hyposensory issues mean that what we give people is simply not good enough. They need resistance, godamnnit. They need something to fight against and TO LOSE.

This needs emphasis. "She'll burn - the attention just encourages her." They need the defeat. They need to know that it's SAFE TO LOSE. 

Total absence of a parental figure means replacing it with something else that will ensure defeat. We make our children win too much. They need something against which there can never be a victory. Otherwise, if adults always play the role of understanding, the child will wonder where the end is. Where the boundaries lie.

This is choking me up a bit as I write because this shit applies to actual students I work with. I hate how I need to experience their emotions in order to understand them. I don't actually need to hit myself on the head when I feel like shit. My dad is depressed, and lonely, and doesn't understand why his wife rejected him. I'm drunk enough to gain perspective on the situation now. It will be okay. He will get through this. He may die confused, but he will not be unhappy. I think.

This moment made me vulnerable enough to enter into the world of the vulnerable child. Talk about method acting. Spread of action. Meme personality. Copycats everywhere. Are they man or are they Memorex? That was a lyric I had no idea about until it happened irl as I typed.

If this document is worthless, that makes me glad.
If this document is worth even a sliver after bypassing the melodrama, that also makes me glad

At the moment, my painful ways into the psyche of the children is proving successful. Method acting as fuck. But I'm worried for myself. What if I'm a genius, though?

On that road, there was a meeting today in which I said that the methods I proposed for one student proved successful, and as a pisstake, Linda mockingly did a worshipping mime directed my way - hate how I can't tell whether to take that as a massive insult, or a tongue-in-cheek insult.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Maaan

Today we had two seminars from people to do with online safety. One was from some guy who was in charge of the local authority safety.

He showed a slide of a bunch of pictures showing social media. One picture was of the Digg logo. There was no 4chan logo.

He talked on and on about the way kids can access porn and paedos can access shit like Omegle. Everyone in the room is sitting there shocked. "Oh my god - Omegle lets kids talk to total strangers????"

At one point he even said kids sometimes will go on it as a dare to see if they'll come into contact with a paedo.

At this point I realised the only people who actually give a fuck about paedos are adults - kids laugh it off.


Second guy to come in worked for PREVENT, some sort of government thing that works with MI5 to stop terrorism happening in schools. He actually said he was involved in "precrime". Not even kidding. That was what he did. So he's talking, being laid back and funny as fuck, which was actually a surprise. At one point he asks people what springs to mind when they think of terrorism. I say Columbine because I like to think I'm an edgy cunt who brings up school shootings instead of 9/11. He said 'Yeah, more of an American problem but yeah.' He eventually starts saying "well, 9/11 is what we think of" even though no one said it.

Oddly cool though - starts talking about how kids might start getting into conspiracy theories - says stuff like how Bush was a bit of a nutter, and then says "you can't blame them, seeing as in 1962, to encourage a war with Cuba, the US considered bombing themselves and blaming it on Cuba."

MFFW I google that and Operation Northwoods come up. The guy also starts mentioning random organisations - "you guys heard of The 14? Group 88?" and a load more whose names I can't really remember. Oddly cool. Half expected him to bring up The Asian Dawn.

Ultimately he kind of realised his message was just "if the students who you know better than I do start acting weird, call me." I like the idea that if I wanted to, I could actually utter the sentence, "Get me Agent Smith."


although I don't remember what his actual name was


Man - also the other guy was talking about posting on social media and how much shit gets revealed to people. Came home and some cunt from Ipsos Mori was there, asking me questions - hate how easily I let him get a ton of information :S

Man - also I'm considering deleting the stuff I put on LJ. Wonder if maybe it's worth just putting it all behind me. I dunno. I don't know much of anything anymore. Kind of need a mentor tbh, or at the very least someone to make me go do things.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Gods


Gods. First ever mentioned in Janice Dulcet’s 1943 tome, ‘The Gods: A New Concept for a New Age’. She came up with some bonkers notion that there were a bunch of bloody people in the sky, looking down on us, and deciding everything that happened, would happened, or had happened. For some reason or other, people took her seriously, mostly because what she said had been common discourse for about six thousand years before that. This book was not the first, but in some ways not the first, book written that coincided so completely with the view of most of the people in the world that it started, or at the very least, almost started, or at the most failed to start, a trend of books selling simply owing to their capacity to be completely unchallenging in their views. Books such as Matheson’s ‘We Breathe’ (1950), a book detailing the possibility that humans inject oxygen and expel carbon dioxide, and ‘Food Goes Into Us’ a chronicle of man’s ability to eat food and drink water, written by David Ainsworth in 1954, a period during which it was rumoured that bread and butter were so scarce that the phrase ‘it was bread and butter’, was phased out according to law, and replaced with ‘it was oxygen’, but the phrase failed to catch on, mostly because nobody knew what oxygen was, and only the sudden word-of-mouth success of the book ‘We Breathe’ written four years before managed to affect anything and defuse the situation. Whether a situation had even started was debatable. The point? That even in an age of posterity and language more stout and honourable than carrots, there were still misinformation spreaders and plastic ventures, all designed to weave a web of mischief and deceive the owners of the chromium gadgets that so defined that time.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

I just found this from earlier this year - I have absolutely no memory of writingi it



Don’t Have a Cow, Man
So it came to pass that a kingdom worshipped cows. The kingdom was based in the south of the land, whilst the north was ruled by the warchiefs. The man in the south, who sat on the throne, held in his hands a saucer, whereupon he gazed into the liquid substance inside the saucer, seeing in its ripples divine messages that would decide the future of his kingdom.
His most loyal servant stood by his right side, and it was to this side that the ruler leaned.
“The milk is telling me that I must meet with the warchiefs and see if I may unite them under my banner.”
“Not wise,” said the servant. “They are already united, and are on the way south to supplant you.”
The man in the south who sat on the throne lowered his saucer carefully to the floor. “Tell me, most honourable servant, do these men not believe in the holiness of the cow?”
“They... do not.”
The man in the south who sat on the throne and who had ordered his kingdom to worship cows felt a sudden urge to stroke his beard, but do so in public would be a sign of weakness. Not for three dozen years had the warlords in the north turned back from their path and headed towards the kingdom. Not since his father’s father’s father had a rebellion displaced a king.
But these men lacked knowledge of cows, and so would have to be punished.
Several weeks later a band of men rode roughshod up a river. On either side, armies of cows stood watching.
“They are not moving,” whispered the second in command.
“My brother’s love of cows has done strange things to these creatures,” spoke the man at the front. “He has concocted magics to bring them under his spell. This, more than anything, is a sign that his will is turned to madness, and that we must stem the evil tide that threatens to disrupt the peace of this realm.”
Silently, the boatsmen behind him nodded agreement. All were fatigued from their journey; on the way back south, they had been ambushed by monkeys, waylaid by domino-wielders, attacked by moustache-wielding otters, battered by fish, pounced upon by panthers, ambushed by ants, serenaded by snakes, lulled by lobsters, punched by pigeons, and watched by weirdos. The lands had become full of oddities. Prophets no longer proclaimed anything. St. Larry had taken to shrugging whenever prodded. It was into this time and space that the brother of the king came to restore order; for, if the king had been appointed by the will of God, and if this land’s sickness was a sign that God himself was sick, then it was clearly up to the rightful king to restore God’s health, and therefore the land’s health, for God was intertwined with the land.
“There are hundreds of them,” murmured a young men from near the back. “Why don’t they move?”
The king’s brother mused upon these words. How was it possible to bring cows under his control? Doubts crept into his mind. Only a supernatural being, a being given God’s power, would be able to bring cows under his control and communicate them to be absolutely still.
Then it occured to him.
“These cows... they are all dead.”
“But they cannot be. Your brother worships cows, as must the subjects of his kingdom.”
“He has killed them.”
“But he worships them.”
The king’s brother’s grey eyes glanced at the man; although for only a moment, they left a mark nonetheless, like rocks ricocheting from a surface. “He kills them because he worships them. As king, he cannot cope with the paradox of worshipping something that is bigger than himself, because he is king.”
“And this is why we must overthrow him? Because he is drunk with power but also drunk with paradox?”
“No. We must overthrow him because I really like milk.”
“Shit. Me too.”

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Casual Psychosis

So I was thinking about depression the other day, as in fifteen minutes ago in the bath, and thought about how it’s a set of thought processes determining the worst possible outcome from a situation. And, in the case of depression, the situation involved tends to be Life. So therefore any possible scenario in one’s Life is a bad one. Get out of bed? Bad. You didn’t get enough sleep and the day’s going to be shit anyway. Eat some food? Bad. You are now fat and you didn’t deserve that food anyway. Go to work? Bad. You’re shit at your job. Attempt self-improvement? Bad. Even if you did achieve a momentary boost in fortune, it would only be that - fortune, and you can never really change yourself anyway, can you?
So all of these thought processes go through the mind of someone. A kid at school imagines a world that is shit. School is shit. Everything is shit and pointless and bad and shit. And I got to thinking - I was never able to voice that feeling when I was that age, when things were shit. Depression is something I’ve lived with I guess since I was a kid. Even now, I say I guess because I don’t really know. It’s a weird contradiction - your brain tells you can’t be depressed because your feelings don’t count. Which is a depressed thought process. I suppose. I guess. I suppose. I guess. Ironic that the boy at school always uses ‘I guess’ as part of his answers because nothing he says can ever be certain because nothing he says matters. In his head.
So I’m in the bath thinking about all of this, thinking about whether I could broach the subject of unhelpful (to say the least) thought processes, and then thinking about CBT-type ideas, or at the very least a vague tribute to CBT, and wondered how it would have been for me when I was 13 or so. Because when I was 13 or so, I thought of myself simply as me - sure, I debated for a while if I had depression, but figured because nobody picked anything up (apart from my mum) and said anything (apart from my mum) that I must be ok and just a surly teenager unable to make friendships or see a future beyond a certain age because that was just me and my unique stupid way of thinking. So I got by. I put on a face, and that was my face. “Arrange your face.” And I did. And I kept on doing that. Until whenever. I’m still doing that. Sometimes the face comes off, the mask slips, and the world sees when I’m really thinking about feeling, and I feel fucking stupid for showing people that thought process... like how yesterday I walked out of the class in a strop, all because a thought in my head told me that... anyway, that wasn’t the point of this.
The point was that when I was thirteen I recall a distinct moment in my life that I look back on as a sort of tidy, middle-class, understated psychosis. Of course, psychoses in the medical sense are more like actual hallucinations, prolonged thought processes based on irrationality, and so on. But in its own, understated way, this was a very quick psychosis.
It was Easter, 1998, and me, my mum and my sister were in Germany. My dad, granddad and grandma had gone to bed and we three were playing a game of Ludo. Ludo is a game where you lead pieces around a board, and the first to get to the end wins. It’s a basic game involving luck of a dice throw. So we’re playing it, and I can’t remember anything beforehand, or why I thought this, but my brain went,
“So God hates you.”
And that was the belief.
“God hates you.”
And my brain, the part of me that was vaguely rational, replied,
“No he doesn’t.”
“Yeah he does. You’re winning this game now, but you’ll lose this game, just see.”
“That’s not true. I’m going to win this game and then you’ll see, so ner.”
So I’m winning, and talking to my mum and sister like normal, and all the while this thought process is going through my head. And, I don’t know why, but something inside me decides to take this game really seriously. Really seriously. Like maybe, this really is a moment where God is going to show me his presence? Maybe he always hated me, but is now showing me that life is a test, that he’s really on my side, and that by winning this game,  I can feel better about the shittiness of everything just because, by letting me win the game, God has shown me his presence.
These thoughts, in all seriousness, rattle through my brain.
I roll low numbers all of a sudden. And, all of another sudden, my sister and mum roll high numbers and pass over me to the finish line. With literally six spaces to go, in the space of three moves, I end up finishing third place. And the psychosis bubbles over in the cauldron of my brain. My belief system is shattered - or rather, confirmed; in one fell swoop, I realise that the shittiness of my life is because
“God hates me.”
My mum laughs. “Don’t be so silly.”
I go to bed, in a sulk.
Obviously within a day I realise that thought process was irrational. But actually, it was the typical thought process of the depressed mind, and proof that in life, what people see is not really what’s going on inside. What I really wanted to do was grab the game, throw it across the room, and yell and hit things, saying that life was a joke and God was a cunt. But of course I didn’t because that wouldn’t be a very polite thing to do.
Wish I had. Life might have been more interesting as a result.
Speaking of psychosis, the teacher in lesson earlier was talking about a serial killer, and used the word ‘psychotic’. In the middle of lesson, I had to blurt out a correction, saying ‘psychopathic is probably the word you meant.’ That was awkward enough, but later in the staff room, I apologised for interrupting her lesson. Explaining why brought a massive silence in the staff room for about thirty seconds. Fuck.
And, where the ellipsis left off earlier, I came out of the toilet in the morning having left the room in a strop, because I had said something and not had anyone reply to me, and a switch went on in my brain, saying “They hate you. They talk about you behind your back. Everything you say is pointless. Everything you do is pointless. You are shit. They know you are shit.” So I got up to the loo, in a strop, and came back, in a strop.
Helen saw me and stared at me for a long time. I ended up blurting out that I was currently feeling a thought process that I knew was irrational but that I felt it anyway, and I explained to her that that was what I was feeling. Probably because it tumbled out of me in a mumbled torrent, she looked at me like I was nuts and suggested I take a couple of days off “for your own mental health.”
Fuck. Again.
What she could have just said was none of it was true and that I didn’t need to worry. I have told her before I have depression and that actually telling someone to take days off instead of denying what has been said only serves to increase those suspicions...

Come to think of it, maybe I am actually losing it - who knows?

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

fucitol

I can't do this anymore. I'm fucking exhausted. Mentally used up, drained. Over-anxious, over-thinking, under-achieving. Living other people's lives and forgetting my own.

Bad tired versus good tired.

Good tired is the tired you get when you go to sleep knowing you've done something for yourself and worked hard (and I don't mean wanking).

Bad tired is when you get into bed, you know you need sleep, but you don't feel like you deserve it because you haven't done anything to challenge yourself at all.

I'm just a leech being leeched from.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Circle

So you’re on a planet, and you know for a fact that the planet has decided to give you a label that no one else has.
You are GLD. You have no idea what the label means, but you have to accept you have it. Years pass and you become ever-aware that you have this label, and you don’t know why, but it’s not perhaps a good thing.
One day you notice that at six o’ clock every evening, everyone in your town leaves. You’ve spent that hour for the most part not noticing this, but suddenly you do. From six o’ clock until seven o’ clock, there is not a single soul to be seen.
So next day comes, and you emerge from your house at six o’ clock. You watch as the entire town gets up and silently goes over the hill and vanishes into the sunset.
Your first reaction is that you live on a planet of brainwashed zombies. You are the only sane one.
So you spend your days convincing yourself you are the sane one.
Then you are accosted by an acquaintance.
“What’s up, GLD?”
“Nothing.”
“Going to watch us all leave for the six o’ clock dance, are you?”
“The dance? What dance?”
They laugh. You blush. “He doesn’t even know about the six o’ clock dance. We go to the Mighty Maypole in the Hill of Eternal Joy and we dance around in circles for an hour straight.”
“But that’s insane.”
“That’s insane? Funny coming from someone with GLD.”
“How do you know?”
“It’s obvious. You don’t come to the six o’ clock dance.”
“That’s a system of closed logic.”
“You’re weird.”
“Maybe I think your dance is weird.”
“And that’s why you’re GLD.”
You go home, head spinning from the logic of that system. You’re just exercising free will and choice by not dancing. Who would spin in a circle for an hour? Are people that brainless that they do something just because everyone else is? Everyone probably thinks it’s stupid but they go anyway because society says so. You’re the only one who has the guts to do what everyone wants to do. You’re free in ways they are not.
The next day, walking the street, you are hit in the face.
“You don’t go to the dance,” is the only reason given, before the culprit runs off. How does everyone know?
A few days pass. You start thinking about this dance. In a sick society such as this, how could going to a dance make someone accepted? It probably has nothing to do with the dance at all. They just don’t like you because they’re all cruel. Even if you went to their dance, they would still treat you badly. It’s a stupid society that judges someone based on something as irrational as dancing around in a circle for an hour. Why should you give up your rationality? Why would being mean to someone make them want to do something? Surely if they wanted you to fit in, they would ask you nicely. That just shows their double standards. They are all obviously just horrible people.
A week passes. You go to the dance and watch people dancing in circles. You realise people are watching you back. Watching you and spinning in circles. They think you are the crazy one. You’re independently minded, and they are not. So you stand, and you don’t dance. Then you go home, and you cry and you want to die. Because the whole thing is absurd.
The day after that five people spit on you. The hatred increases because you stood, stared at their system, and judged it. Not only are you making yourself different, you’re judging them. But you can’t be a judge. Not when you’re so alone. It isn’t your place to be able to judge. All you can do is hide. But it’s too late now. You’ve been to the dance, and people know you. Nowhere else to go, if you’re going to live.
You have to join the zombie mob. You have to be an idiot like them.
So you go. And you spin, slowly at first. You wait for people to laugh. This will be it. This will be the final straw. Not only have you lost the fight against their system, you will lose the fight against their cruelty. If they laugh, you tell yourself, then you were right all along, but because of it, you will be the only sane one in an insane world, and where that thought process led would be the grave. But no one laughs.
You stop spinning and look around. Everyone is looking at you. Surely now the laughter will come. Instead, smiles break out. People go up to you and cover you with congratulations and hugs. You wonder whether you ought to feel happy because they’ve treated you well for converting to their system. But you don’t. You don’t give them that satisfaction, because you don’t believe in it.
Their hypocrisy is so blindingly obvious.
The shift in their attitudes is so over the top that it feels insincere and hollow. Those who spat now greet you like as a hero, for overcoming your issues, and achieving. How exactly is it an achievement to spin around in a circle? What stupid society values that above almost anything else?
But the moment comes when people talk to you. They don’t mention the dance. They just talk to you. About stuff.
A thought gnaws away: they only talk to you and accept you now because you did their stupid dance. And you are still doing it. Because you go to the dance every night and you cringe at the applause, because people are telling you how brave and special you are, and all you want to do is punch them in the face for saying that because their standards are meaningless - they’re just dancing idiots making you another dancing idiot. The king of the dancing idiots.
You feel different, less unhappy, but alien. Accepted now, but special. Whatever the hell that means. You’re not special. You’re you. They’re still the crazy ones. At least you’re thinking about what you’re doing. You possess a secret: you can perform their dance, but you’re only doing it for their benefit. Nothing more than an act. This makes you better than them, but it also makes you deceitful in ways they are out and so you can’t tell whether you feel superior or sad. You can’t really tell what you’re feeling anymore. Who knows what feelings even mean, when this world has arbitrary judgements on what is or isn’t important? If a silly dance is deemed the pinnacle of established societal norms, what does that say about that society?
But you keep doing the dance. And soon people stop congratulating you on being able to dance. Maybe secretly they know it’s silly too. That must be it. You were right all along. But you dance on anyway. And soon people forget that you never did the dance.
They don’t know why they do the dance, but they do.
Life passes, and all those people who hated and mocked you have now become friends of yours. You have forgiven them their ignorance, their over-the-top responses of youth. They were beneath you back then. They were the ones with the problem. They couldn’t handle how different you were. Now you’re normal.
But still, you just know. You just know you’re not the same as them. You think in ways they do not. Where there is a void in them, there is a substance in you: where there is substance in them, there is a void in you.
One day, you start asking people why we do the dance. The use of ‘we’ is almost unintentional. Their answers are usually of similar ilk: because that’s how it’s always been, because that’s just the way it is. Some people offer more than that: it makes people happy, it brings people together. Others go into deeper, fantastical scenarios: the dance was invented to keep warring tribes from killing each other. But the truth is that nobody knows for sure.
You start asking whether the dance is worth doing, if its purpose is no longer known. People start thinking about it as well. Some stop dancing. Others don’t.
There comes a point when enough people stop doing the dance that you finally realise the way that you thought in the first place is now the norm. Those who dance are the strange ones, the weird ones. At six o’ clock from seven o’ clock, most people don’t go and dance together. They do different things. Some of them do the same things you used to do. You also do other things.
The dance remains, barely.
Those who like doing the dance keep doing it. On some nights, you feel the urge to go and spin around circles for an hour as well. You know it goes against all reason and logic, but you do it anyway. It’s almost like a reminder of something, but you can’t figure out what, but it’s a good thing not to be able to figure it out. You start to like that nobody knows where the dance came from: if it had been a definitive history, with an obvious beginning, then it would be dry, and formal, over-rational, and thus subject to logic’s dismissive conclusions. But this is a mystery, on this planet that has been explored and mined. The dance is a vestige of something further than the explicit, the empirical.
A few years pass. For some reason (you decide it’s better not to ask) more people do the dance than they used to.
Another few years pass, and suddenly fewer people do the dance than they used to.
Another few years pass, and you find that you are old.
It occurs to you how long it has been since you ventured out at six o’ clock. You gather yourself and sojourn through the streets. You are ignored. Nobody spits on you. Nobody laughs at you. They barely notice you. You reach the hill where the dance used to take place. The sun begins to set, the temperature rapidly cooling.
Half an hour passes. You spend this half hour spinning in circles, atop a hill, with nothing but grass and wind for company.
Age catching up with you, you fall to the ground, exhausted by your efforts. You cannot decide if you want to chuckle or be sad. So you do both: chuckle aloud, and stare at the Mighty Maypole, its sides  tarnished by rust. Before you get to the chance to feel sad, the sound of footsteps approach.
“You alright, sir?”
A kid, no more than fourteen. You nod.
He sticks his hands in his pockets as a bellow of wind strikes the hilltop. “Why were you spinning around in circles?”
“Because I’m old, and crazy.”
“Oh. I thought it was because you were one of the few who remembered the old dance.”
“I do.”
The boy’s eyes light up, glinting in the dank light. “So you’re not old, or crazy.”
“Yeah, I am. I just happen to have a good memory.”
“Is it true that everyone used to do it?”
“Yeah.”
“Everyone?”
“Every single person.”
“Why?”
“I don’t know.”
A mouse squeaks; somewhere an owl is spying.
“I want to do it.”
“Go for it.”
“Nobody does it any more. It’s weird, spinning. There’s no reason behind it.”
“I know.”
“Did it ever have a reason?”
“Not as far as I know.”
The boy’s shape has become no more than a silhouette on the navy blue canvas of dusk. He kicks his feet, like an impatient mule. “So what. I just spin?”
“Yeah.”
“Anywhere?”
“Yeah.”
“Nowhere specific?”
“No.”
“I just spin?”
You cough in response.
“I don’t get it,” he says.
“You and everyone else on this planet.”
“But they used to get it.”
“Tell me about it. It was me who didn’t get it. They all called me GLD because I didn’t get it. Or maybe I didn’t get it because I was GLD. I used to think it was one or the other. Now I think it might have been both. I don’t know.” You shake your head. “I still haven’t got a clue what GLD even means.” You look at the boy, as though he might know.
“Never heard of it,” he replies. “GLD.”
“Who invented it in the first place?”
“You invented it. By being different. By not dancing.”
“That wasn’t my fault.”
The boy says nothing.
“I’m going to dance,” you say. “Feel free to join me.”
“Just anywhere?”
“Um, yeah.”
You both spin around in circles for about half an hour.
Two weeks later two other people join you.
Two weeks after that four people join you.
Two weeks following that your numbers are doubled.
Two years later, more people come to the hill to spin around than there has been for years.

The boy, through his own idealism and youth, as well as a degree of reverence, has decided to name the dance. It is known as Gyration of the Locus Divine, or GLD.