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The Event

Some sort of event had occurred – that much was obvious. What still needed to be determined was what sort of event it had been, and what meaning could be ascribed to it. Some sort of emergency protocol had been triggered, that much was obvious, that much was clear. Some kind of emergency protocol was now in effect – that much was fairly clear, even if nothing else was. I was on safe ground assuming that much, I reasoned. Reality had crashed and it had subsequently started up again in ‘safe mode’, that much was obvious, but what was the nature of the catastrophic event that had just occurred? What type of an event was it that could trigger a crash in reality? What did that even mean? Is reality itself to be considered an event, and if it is, what is its context? How do we contextualise reality, and if it so happened that reality were to be taken out of context, then where would this lead? What kind of errors in interpretation might we make on this basis, which would obviously not be  a correct basis? These were some of thoughts that were going through my head. What kind of errors, what kind of errors, I wondered. Were these errors perhaps repeating and reiterating themselves in my thoughts? Was my point of view itself an error, I asked myself. Was my point of view a false basis and – if so – what would be the consequences of making such an error? Consequences, consequences, consequences – there are always consequences. What would the consequences be in such a case? Would the questions that I was now asking myself even be meaningful in such a case? Could my thoughts be simulating a false reality in this case? All around me I could see what I took to be the previous failed attempts of the system to create some kind of viable reality. Obviously some kind of emergency protocol had been triggered. I appeared to be walking along the beach – the tide had retreated almost out of sight and small crustaceans abounded in the mud flats that had been left behind. Fiddler crabs fiddled and mud-skippers skipped. I had always had a soft spot for mud-skippers – for some obscure reason it always cheers me up to see them. Reality had now retreated into the far distance, leaving behind vast estuarine mud flats. Not a sound was to be heard. The silence was uncanny – I felt as if I was poised on the very edge of eternity. Clearly some kind of event had occurred, but what exactly had that event been? How were we to contextualise it? What did the event consist of and what was its significance? Might there such a thing as an event that didn’t have any significance, I asked myself? Could there even be such a thing? I was trying to think laterally; I was trying to cover all of the possibilities but I didn’t even know where these possibilities began and where they ended. What would even determine that? What would determine where the possibilities began and where they ended? Was it a possibility that nothing determined the limits of what was possible and what was not possible? Reality had encountered a fatal error and it had had to shut down – some fail-safe protocol had been triggered but evidently it had failed. The results were all around me. I kept on walking. The sun was now low on the horizon and a cold wind had sprung up. Night was about to fall and in the far distance I could hear the roar of the surf. The tide had turned without me noticing and I was now surrounded by the darkness of the incoming ocean. Tiny wavelets were lapping around my feet. I had the eerie feeling that time had been wound back to its very beginning. I could somehow sense that I was approaching the point at which time itself had first come into existence. Strangely shaped clouds were boiling up all along the horizon and I noticed a chill in the air that felt unmistakeably ominous. Was I at the beginning of time or at its end, I wondered? Some sort of cataclysmic event had clearly occurred – that much was obvious – but what had been the nature of that event? Would I ever have any way of knowing?

 

 

 

 

 

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Boring Bastards

We are always looking to optimise our situation in some way, aren’t we? That’s our basic orientation – to be looking for that old optimisation. We must feel that it’s very good to be optimising, wouldn’t you say? We must feel that it’s very good indeed to optimise our old situation. That’s what makes us so incredibly predictable, needless to say. Can anyone really think that it’s good to be always orientated towards optimising our situation? I tell you what that makes us – that makes us boring bastards!

 

Obviously we are not going to feel okay about being boring old bastards – no one WANTS to be a boring old bastard. I mean, there’s nothing positive to say about that situation, is there? You’ve written yourself off right there; you might as well forget about it from this point on. I don’t mean this in a superficial sense, like you’re ‘no longer cool’ or something. I don’t mean it in the sense of ‘you’ve got no kudos because you’re such a sad boring bastard’. Who gives a shit about that? If you did give a shit about that then that would mean that you are fixated like a dumb fool on ‘optimising your situation’ and that’s precisely what makes you into a boring old bastard in the first place. Do you get me?

 

The reason you are a ‘write-off’ when you turn into a boring bastard isn’t because you aren’t interesting to other people but because you’re not interesting to yourself. Your life is of no real interest to you and you are of no real interest to you either and so something inside you just switches off. Of course it switches off – there’s nothing remotely interesting about you because you’re such a boring little bastard and so that spark inside you – which IS you – just switches off. There’s nothing there for it; you are simply a lost cause and that’s all there is to say on the matter.

 

I mean, the world is full of boring bastards, right? Just take a look around you. Look into people’s eyes, see if you can spot anything there, see if you can spot that spark of who they really are. Nine times out of ten you can’t, am I right? Nine times out of ten those eyes are just blank, blank like buttons. And ‘nine times out of ten’ is a figure of speech – that’s not a real measure. I don’t know what the real measure would be. I really couldn’t tell you. But I can tell you what the reason for this blankness is and that’s because your life has become so boring that there is no reason for the spark to hang around anymore. Like I say, there’s simply nothing there for it; it’s like you’re stuck in a hostile desert or wasteland. There’s nothing going on there, and I mean nothing.

 

Although there is one thing going on. There actually is one thing going on but the point here is that it’s a very boring thing! What’s really going on is that we are looking to optimise our situation. We’re ‘looking for the advantage’ and boy are we keen about that! We are so bloody keen about that. It’s like our shifty little button eyes are looking this way and that, looking for the advantage, looking for the advantage, always looking for the advantage. That’s what’s going on and that – as I have said – is what’s making us into boring bastards. We have become mere ‘mechanisms for looking for the advantage’, we have become ‘devices for always troping towards the gain’, and just what the hell is so bloody interesting about that? Can you imagine anything more appallingly dire? Can you think of anything more soul-destroying than this?

 

People don’t know how boring they are and that’s a fact. That’s exactly what makes them so bloody boring – if they knew what frighteningly boring bastards they were then this would actually make them interesting! That would change the whole dynamic. ‘Wow,’ you would say, ‘here’s a guy who actually knows how boring he is. How interesting is that? Fair play to him! He’s onto a fertile line of enquiry there…’ Boring bastards have no insight into the fact that they are such boring bastards any more than a complete dickhead knows that he is a dickhead – that’s just not the way things work. It’s not the way, it’s not the way, it’s not the way they work.

 

What we are interested in – the only thing we are interested in – is optimising our situation, but no matter how much we optimise it we’re still going to be frighteningly boring bastards! That’s it in a nutshell really. What a joke, huh? What a fucking joke. That’s the nub of it – we are perpetually engrossed in the thoroughly unpleasant process of disappearing up our own arseholes and I’m afraid that there is no politer way of putting it than this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mondas-4

‘Please give an accurate account of yourself and your history up to the present date’, the bureaucrats demanded of me, all of them speaking simultaneously with the same expressionless voice. Their faces, grey and lifeless, betrayed no emotion. ‘Give a thorough account of your life and make sure to mention all the main events that occurred in it,’ they asked. Then they were silent and stared in my direction expectantly. ‘Well’, I started, ‘I was born on Pluto but I moved to Mars as soon as I was able. I permanently relocated – there was something about the Martian landscape that I found particularly convivial. I worked on the canals operating a small nuclear-powered dredger. Then, at the age of six, I invented the Tachyonic Reality-Inverter which I sold in the gift shops that are to be found dotted all over the Martian tourist trails. I was promptly punished for this by the Galactic Overmind. Agents of the Overmind brought me to court where I was accused of meddling in things that I didn’t understand.  I was found guilty and the Overmind berated me for being too flamboyant and naturally precocious for my age. He told me that what I was about to experience would prove to be a valuable lesson for me and expressed the sincere hope that I would not get involved in such harebrained schemes again. I was then shipped out to the prison planet Mondas-4 to serve out my sentence. On that terrible prison planet I was duly trained to be a brutal executioner and to the surprise of all concerned I showed great flair and talent in the various styles of execution, quickly becoming the prison governor’s favourite. I was declared to have an unnatural ability in the art; it was said that I was the most promising student they had ever seen and before very long I was lent out to various tyrants and despots across the galaxy to perform ritual executions for them whenever anyone unusually important was to be dispatched. This brought great glory to the prison planet Mondas-4 and I became like a son to the governor, who was very upset when I reached the end of my sentence and the time came for me to leave. After a tearful farewell I returned to my hovel on Mars only to discover that all of the Tachyonic Reality-Inverters had been brought up by corrupted beings from the infra-dimensions as part of their plan to harvest humanity’s life energy and use it to reanimate the long-forgotten gods of the Coalsack nebula. By cunningly reversing the field equations I succeeded in inventing the Tachyonic Reality Inverter-Inverter and everything was quickly returned to normal. The forgotten gods were forgotten about again (for the second time) and the corrupted beings from the infra-dimensions were rounded up and sent off to endure a life of brutal penal servitude on Mondos-6. I was still only nine years of age. After that incident I relocated again, this time to the planet Urath where in time I became a highly skilled piano tuner. In my spare time, as a hobby, I bred telekinetic mice…’ The bureaucrats regarded me with the blank baneful eyes of their kind, ‘So, nothing unusual there…’ they commented drolly after a long, uncomfortable pause. They then took to pushing great piles of forms this way and that on their desk and looking for paper-clips with bored expressions on their faces. I agreed with them with a self-depreciating shrug of my shoulders and without any further ado the bureaucrats then motioned impatiently for me to continue on my way…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recycled Moments Of Fear

I had created a validating environment for myself and it was working pretty darn well. Can’t you tell from the intolerably smug expression plastered all over my face? I’m rubbing my hands together in glee. Feeling pretty validated, feeling pretty validated, heh, heh, heh…..

 

I’m so sick of myself though – that’s the other side of the coin. Being sick of yourself is a terrible thing – it’s hard to actually be yourself and be totally sick of yourself, totally contemptuous of yourself at the same time. It’s a conflicted situation – you are yourself (obviously) – you can’t get away from that – and yet you loathe and despise yourself beyond all measure. You loathe and despise yourself because you know yourself only too well. You hate yourself because you know that you’re full of shit.

 

Your body is small and wizened, and your arms are so very weak. It’s a terrible shock to realise how weak your arms are – they’re like two lengths of overcooked spaghetti hanging uselessly by your sides. Your legs are frighteningly weak too; you realise how very weak your legs are – there is no strength in them left in them at all. You try to get your feet but you can’t and your legs collapse underneath you immediately. They fold under the weight of your body – small and wizened though it is. You realise that you have given all your strength away and that now you’re too weak to exist.

 

You have had lots of experiences, some good and some bad. Mostly bad. You are travelling through a hellscape and weird, uncanny scenes are unfolding all around you. Dreadful grinding noises shake the ground under your feet, causing you great foreboding. You are making your way though some kind of industrial landscape – you can see countless tall factory chimneys all along the horizon. Plumes of black smoke are rising into the sky and the atmosphere is toxic. Every time you take a breath you feel yourself choking on that impure air. People are doing bad things to each other all around you. Some people are killing other people – they kill somebody and moments later they kill the same person all over again. It happens over and over again. The same moment is recycled eternally and the horror is just as real, just as vivid, every time. You cannot make sense of the horrors that you see…

 

We are all warriors of course, but some of us are terrified warriors, some of us are frightened warriors. Some of us are in full panic-flight, trying to run away from our own brains! We’re running for all we’re worth. Some of us are desperately trying to hide. I am one of those terrified warriors, in full flight from the horrors of my own brain. Maddened by fear, I am trying to make myself not be here. I don’t have the courage to exist anymore. This is my mantra – “I’m not here, I’m not here, I’m not here, I’m not here….”

 

The mantra always works in the end. We turn to stone. We become like statues – oblivious, unconscious, comatose… We dream our dark, endlessly-troubled dreams. We don’t know who we are anymore. We have forgotten everything, we have forgotten our names. In the choking darkness of our subterranean dreams, we struggle impotently against terrifying enemies…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Satan’s Trick

I keep on copying myself. First I see myself, and then I copy myself… This is something that I’ve noticed only very recently but now that I have spotted it, I notice it all the time. I notice it all the time and this is highly disconcerting, to say the least. I imagine it would disconcert you too, if you noticed it! I’m a ‘self-copier’, I realise, and I’m afraid that there’s no getting away from the awareness that this is not a good thing! I’m a ‘self-mimicker’ and there’s no getting away from the awareness that this is a very bad thing…

 

No getting away, no getting away – there’s never really any ‘getting away’, is there? If only there was, if only there was. How I would love to be getting away – I can’t even begin to imagine how good that would feel. Oh happy day! It would be better than winning the lotto. So much better, in fact. There’s no comparison. ‘Winning the lotto’ is a fantasy for those who haven’t yet spotted what their problem is, wouldn’t you agree? Haven’t yet spotted, haven’t yet spotted. They haven’t spotted it yet. ‘Oh lucky you’, I think to myself  – ‘you haven’t yet spotted your problem yet. You haven’t yet spotted it (like I have) and I envy you that. I envy you your ignorance…

 

What does it mean when you keep on copying yourself? What does it mean? I know very well what it means of course but I’m just thinking out loud. I’m thinking out loud by writing it down. I’m spelling it out for myself for all the world as if I was a baby that needs to be spoon-fed. One spoon at a time. Do you get it yet, do you get it yet, I ask myself. I get it only too well however. I have understood my predicament very clearly and the problem is that I can’t get away from understanding it! If I could jump on a bus I would do but no bus is going to get me out of this mess. Some things can’t be fixed, as I’m sure you’d agree. Some things can’t be fixed and this is one of them.

 

An impulse arises within me and straightaway I falsify it. As quick as a flash I falsify it and there’s no way I can help myself in doing so. I’m powerless to help myself. I do it despite myself. All I can do is watch myself doing it but that doesn’t help me any. I can’t help watching myself doing it but you think this makes me feel any better? An impulse arises within me – a true impulse, a genuine impulse, and straightaway I second-guess it. I see where it’s going (or rather I think I see where it’s going) then I deliberately do it. I take charge of what’s going on and make it happen the way I think it ought to be happening, and this isn’t the same thing at all. It’s a long, long way from being the same thing. There’s nothing further away from it in fact; they couldn’t be anything further away from it. What could be further away from truth than falsehood? Can you think of anything that could be further away?

 

I know that you can’t, you see. I know that you can’t and that’s it in a nutshell. That’s the problem right there. You’re false to yourself you see; you are your own phoney, you are your own counterfeit. You’re an imposter – you’ve got the syndrome… That’s what Satan does, you know. That’s Satan’s trick – isn’t that what St Augustine said, that Satan is the ape of God?  He straightaway copies everything God does you see, only he does this in a bad way. He makes bad copies, poor copies, degraded copies. What else would you expect, after all? What else would you expect of Satan? I mean, you know he’s going to do a shit job, right? It’s a point of honour with him – that’s where Satan’s integrity lies you see – in making sure that he always does a botched job… Never give a sucker an even break, right?

 

Satan is taking the piss you see. He is taking the piss big-time. What else would you expect – Satan is mocking God’s creation. That’s what Satan does, God’s sake. That’s his ‘thing’. Do you think God blames Satan for taking the piss? Do you think God blames Satan mocking his creation? Of course he doesn’t – you or I might be offended if someone followed us around mocking us mercilessly wherever we go, but not God! God knows that Satan is only doing his job and He expects nothing less of him. Any theologist could tell you that! Anyway, the point is that the thinking mind is Satan. The thinking mind is the Deceiver. The thinking mind is taking the piss out of reality. The thinking mind is mocking reality and it does this every time! Satan is in me, you see – that’s what I have seen. he’s in me. Satan is in me, and I can’t help colluding with him in everything I do. I can’t help myself and mocking creation – and it’s what I guess you could call an ‘unholy compulsion’. I have an unholy compulsion to collude with Satan and I can’t help from knowing that this isn’t really a good thing…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surreal Nonsensicality

I began my story in the usual way. I always begin my story in the usual way. I am essentially a creature of habit, I suppose you could say. I began my story by talking about the consumers and how happy they were. ‘The happy consumers were so happy’, I began, ‘they were so very happy because they were purchasing the product…’ I wanted to emphasise this point as much as I could so I repeated it a number of times. The happy consumers, the happy consumers, the happy consumers. So very happy, so very happy, so very happy. Everything was great, everything was great, everything was great. I was particularly keen to get this point across…

 

Nobody told me what life would be like when I first came into this world. I realise that this is a stupid thing to say but the sentiment is real. The feeling is authentic. The feeling is there inside me – it’s a kind of indignant feeling. Nobody told me what to expect, they just came out with loads of dumb crap. Is the sort of dumb crap people tell you when you are young and in need of instruction actually supposed to help you, I wonder? Does it have any practical value at all?  Or is it just some kind of meaningless ritual that we have to go through with – the meaningless ritual of passing on a whole bunch of dumb crap to the next unfortunate generation! I suspect that this is not too far from the truth…

 

The indignant feeling that I am experiencing isn’t so much about the fact that no one told me what to expect I suppose, but rather that I was completely and utterly misled about what to expect. I agree that it’s probably important to say something to children in order to give them some sort of support with regard to this business of ‘getting on with one’s life’, but what we are actually told is just kind of pathetic. My old headmaster, for example, used to go on and on about the importance of not letting the school down as we made our way around town wearing the sacred school uniform. The man was utterly obsessed with this point, I swear. It was almost an illness with him. It was an illness. He never tired of repeating it at every possible opportunity – it was some kind of talisman to him. Maybe it was a form of ‘magical thinking’ – i.e. if you can just make sure of this one thing then you won’t go too far wrong. If you can only manage not to bring the school into disrepute, then things can never get too bad. It’s important to have some type of magical thinking to hang onto, I suppose… Or rather, if you are a complete fucking idiot, it is!

 

Well, it’s important to listen to the wisdom of our elders, isn’t that right? We have to respect the profound depth of their experience, their worldly wisdom, and so on and so forth. But my point is that that your man was totally and utterly wrong – his message was the purest bullshit! Looking back, I can see that his message was actually the complete reverse of wisdom – he’d managed to get it completely back to front! You see, the thing (as we all know) is that once you leave school you realise that nothing you learnt there is of any importance at all. It’s all completely irrelevant. Your school – in my case Maidstone School for Boys – isn’t the sacred touchstone of wisdom and virtue that they would have liked us to believe it was. It wasn’t a moral and ethical basis or foundation from which to launch oneself bravely into life – it wasn’t any sort of basis at all. Far from being a basis or foundation, it was simply a short interlude in one’s life that is best characterised – in my view – by saying that it had no bearing on the rest of my life whatsoever. It was completely pointless, in other words.

 

If I were to say anything about the school ethos and its supposedly beneficial effect on me, the best thing I could say is that it was a period of my life that was marked by a kind of ‘surreal nonsensicality’. It was like a dysfunctional family in that respect, I suppose – you went along with it at the time because you didn’t know any different. You didn’t question it because you hadn’t realised that you could question it. But as soon as you get out of it you realise what a heap of horseshit it was. You think to yourself, ‘What the hell was that all about?’ Only you don’t think that. You don’t think that because you haven’t got time, because other matters are pressing themselves upon you. You forget all about that period of your life because you’ve got other things to think about – you’re too busy trying to adapt yourself to a world that you had been completely unprepared for. And when you’ve grown up it’s no different either, come to think of it. We’re still being told dumb crap from all sides. We’re drowning in it. We’re being given advice from the experts left, right and centre and not one of them would know their arse from a hole in the ground! Isn’t that the way?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Old, Old Game

I was in a dark, dark place. Was anyone ever in such a dark place as the one I was in, I wondered? I don’t think anyone ever has been in such a dark, dark place as the one I was in. Not like this place. There was only me in it. I was all alone in the dark, dark place and there’ was no way for me ever to get out of it.

 

I’d been playing the game again – the old, old game. You know that old game. Everybody knows that old, old game! Everybody knows it because it’s so very old, everybody knows it because everyone’s always been playing it! There is no one that doesn’t know that old, old game; there’s no one who hasn’t been playing it…

 

I was all alone in the dark, dark place and I had no love for myself. I had no love at all. I had only a terrible, terrible all-consuming hatred – a frightening hatred that destroyed everything it touched. I had no love for anyone or anything else either – I was in a world made up only of myself and I hated myself with an ice cold passion. I hated myself because it was me that it got me into it this place. It was my fault that I was there and it was my fault that I could never leave and I could never forgive myself for that. I was in a world made up only of myself and I hated that world.

 

I had got myself into the dark, dark place by playing the game. The game had taken me to that place the same way it always does. That’s the only thing that playing the game can ever do! It always takes you to the dark, dark place where there’s nothing else but you and where you hate yourself so very much for being there. It’s the inevitable endpoint and the thing about inevitable endpoints is that you might as well be there already because that’s the only place you’re going to go. You’re already there just as soon as you start playing that old, old game. You’re there already and you always have been. That’s how the place works – it’s a type of black-hole that nothing can escape from, not even the possibility of once having not been there…

 

Can you blame me for feeling so negative, now that I’m here in this terrible dark place? Can you blame me for having nothing left to me but this all-consuming self-loathing, which eats everything up like a corrosive acid? There’s nothing else left to me – there’s just me and this very bad relationship that I have with myself!

 

It’s a very cold, very empty place that I’m in you see and there’s nothing I can do to distract myself any more. Nothing works any more. Nothing does the trick any more. It was great when I used to be able to distract myself by playing the good old game. That’s why I played it of course – I played it in order to distract myself from noticing how bad it felt NOT to play it! That’s why we all play the game. I don’t really need to say that, do I? That’s obvious. That’s why we all play the game. (That’s why we all, that’s why we all, that’s why we all play that old, old game).