Whatever Happened To The Lost Generation?

Whatever happened to the lost generation? Nobody knows – that’s why they’re lost! Only we do know, we know very well! We know exactly what happened to them, but it’s too late to do anything about it. Or is it? So began the first paragraph of my latest book, which was an in-depth sociological analysis of youth culture in the first half of the 21st century. Only there is no such book. I never wrote it – I toyed with the idea for a while and then moved on to something else. Something else which didn’t really lead anywhere either, as I recollect. I myself am not a member of any generation; I never fitted in enough to be called a ‘member’ of any group! I never fitted in at all, come to think of it. Not anywhere. I would like to say something like ‘I was a bit of a lone wolf’, or ‘I was a bit of an outsider’, but I wasn’t – I was simply a freak. I was going to add ‘the same as all the other freaks’ that would make any sense. If I was the same as all the other freaks then I wouldn’t be a freak, obviously. So that couldn’t be true! Some people know what it feels like not to be able to fit in, other people don’t know. The people who don’t know don’t care that they don’t know – they couldn’t care less, in fact. That’s what makes the way they are! I’m not saying that they’re bastards or scumbags or anything like that mind you, but all the same I can’t think of anything nice to say about them. I can’t think of any positive qualities that they might have. They’re kind of self-absorbed, I suppose you could say… The people who do know what it feels like never to fit in don’t know what it feels like to have no problems in this regard, but they do care, they do wonder about what that feels like! That’s the essential dissymmetry in this situation you see – the one isn’t simply the mirror-image reflection of the other. Curious, isn’t it? There are mathematical patterns in everything, as we can plainly see from all those various YouTube videos on the subject. The Fibonacci sequence and all of that stuff. Although to be honest, I don’t really know what I’m talking about. My next book was to be entitled ‘The Social Equilibrium’ but I quickly lost patience with this one as well. In one way it was inspired, possibly even a work of genius, but in another way it wasn’t because I never actually wrote it. Neither did I even come particularly close to writing it, if the truth be known (which it is to me anyway, if not anyone else). And if someone else did know then they wouldn’t really care anyway, which would be exactly the same as them not knowing, when it comes right down to it. The key idea to this book was that society is a homeostatic mechanism that works by damping down all fluctuations (since all fluctuations are disturbances of the prescribed ‘stasis state’). This is how all homeostatic systems work of course – fluctuations are ‘errors in the system’, they are ‘deviations from the prescribed values’. They need to be corrected, in other words, they need to be damped down, they need to be ironed out. What do you do when you meet someone is looking a bit weird? You give them a funny look of course and that’s the negative feedback they need to remind them to be normal. If they can be normal, that is! If they can’t then they keep on attracting dirty looks and so much the worse for them in this case. They will have to suffer the brunt of society’s negative judgement wherever they go. The cold shoulder. Maybe they’ll get bullied or beaten up or something like that and that’s how fluctuations get ironed out within the equilibrium system which is society. That’s what it’s all about. Society is just a big machine for eradicating consciousness really, as anyone but a complete idiot can tell straightaway, but try telling people that and see where it gets you! It’ll get you more than just a few funny looks, I can tell you. I can tell you that for nothing…








What’s The Story?

If you’ve got to scatter some of the moon this way some of them at that is confusing to think what is it when you get them on the use the same scab subscale and you want to get a mean you add them and divide by two divide by two giving the average so you don’t really want to it doesn’t help to have saved say you have for question or about the same scale it doesn’t help or help to have four different values because it’s all the same you want to know what they’re telling you say what’s the story you add the four together you divide by four to get the average of the three together because all of your information has to tell you about this one scale to having variation in your answers isn’t the thing that isn’t the thing the thing is that on the whole here we were on the whole what those numbers are saying that we want to know that on the whole because if you’ve got to scatter some on the moon some this way and some of them the other way that is confusing is to think what is it when you get them you realize not telling you anything you want to know because some are saying yes is in the same and no you don’t know what you don’t know that you are feeling before you all so you want to know yeah how’s your father he is doing great is doing great doing great it’s a wonderful day a wonderful time you want to know how’s your cotton-picking day boy how’s your cotton-picking day going you want to voice doing me as well you mad you want to you’re around the twist you twist you twist what we are saying but what he’s saying to me can’t be sent to me now steady and lead now make was a story breathing down my neck you what’s the what’s the what’s the Jackanory thirty days later and still you want to know what’s the story you want to know and yet the laughter are you having a bubbly bath then let’s begin what is it that you want speak up are you having a bubbly bath having a bubbly bath having a bubbly bath a bubbly bath what’s the story now what’s the story if you’ve got them to scatter some of them on the moon this way then at least some of them are it’s confusing to think what is it when you get them on the






The Bellower

I was imagining what it would be like to be famous and for everyone to recognise you. I wasn’t imagining it, it was real! I was famous for not existing. I was famous for not existing but thinking that I did and everyone was laughing at me wherever I went. Either that or they were looking at me in a strangely knowing way and making comments that only I could understand. Comments that were disguised to sound innocent, innocuous, harmless…They were all trying to tip me off but I was too afraid to understand it. It was too much for me to understand – it was a force-field that I kept bouncing off. My mind wouldn’t go there. Somewhere, deep down, I knew what the thing was that they were trying to tell me but I was running away from it. I was running as fast as I possibly could run. I was in a terrible panic. Running, running, running. But what I was running from had already happened and I couldn’t let myself know that. I was running from myself. I was running from myself but I didn’t exist. I was running away from knowing that I didn’t exist but there was no one running. There was only the running, nothing else, and I kept on thinking that I was doing the running. That it was me doing it. But it wasn’t – I wasn’t doing the running – the running was doing me. It was the other way around. The running was running me. I was thinking frantically, trying to come up with a solution, trying to come up with an escape plan, but what I didn’t know was that the thinking was doing me and not the other way around. The thinking was thinking me and the doing was doing me. I was trying to think of a way to escape but the thinking was thinking me the whole time. What chance did I have of escaping, therefore? Think this, the thinking  said. Think that. Think the other. The thinking was making me think that I existed but I didn’t. The thinking was making me think that I existed but I didn’t and because I thought that I existed I had to find a way of escaping and the thinking was helping me to do that. Only it wasn’t because there never was going to be any way for me to escape and the thinking was just lying to me. It was lying to me that I existed, and it was lying to me that there is a way to escape! It was lying, lying, lying and I was lost in the Kingdom of Lies! The Father of Lies had me under his power and he was very, very angry, very, very wrathful. He was shouting and roaring and I was very frightened. I could do nothing right, I was always wrong. The Father was bellowing at me. He was The Bellower.





What Does It Mean To Be A Human Being?

‘What does it mean to be a human being?’ I wonder glumly. I’m glum because I have the feeling that I’m not doing a very good job at it of it. Well, it’s more than just ‘a feeling’ it’s a deep pervasive knowledge. It’s a deep pervasive knowledge that I am in fact doing a very bad job at it. What am I doing wrong, I wonder? What could I do differently? You see how ridiculous these questions are, of course. As if anything like this could be fixed simply by ‘doing something differently’. If only things could be as simple as this! ‘Oh you just want to do this’ people say. ‘Oh you should stop doing that’. They talk about ‘the ten habits of happy people’! What a joke, what a laugh. Just do something differently! People are so very stupid, aren’t they? So frighteningly stupid. They’ll talk and they’ll talk and they’ll never say anything. They’ll talk for all the world as if the very act of talking itself is enough to make a difference, never mind what it is that they are actually saying. Who cares about that, anyway? If you start worrying about what people are actually saying, then you’re in deep shit! You’re alienated from the human race then, as I am… There’s a gulf between what people say and actual reality – an insurmountable gulf. You don’t want to do this, they say. You just want to do that. Then everything will be okay. You just have to ‘do the thing’. The self-help section in every bookshop is full of books telling you what ‘the thing’ is that you need to do. This great, great thing. The ‘special thing’. That the author is discovered and is now going to tell you about! It’s frightening, isn’t it? I wonder why it is that no one can see that when you are very, very lost, so lost that you no longer know what you doing or why, so lost that you no longer know what it means to be human being, then it isn’t by any means a matter of ‘what you do’. To say that ‘doing is overrated’ is missing the point by several million miles. ‘Doing’ is the very problem itself. You are your doing, did you ever realise that? Or what you are doing is you – whichever way round you want to put it. There is no difference, there is no separation. So when you’re completely and utterly lost then it doesn’t matter WHAT you do; it doesn’t matter what you do because all your options are only just ‘you’ anyway. All your so-called ‘options’ are only just you, so what are you going to do? Please tell me. Go on, tell me. Do tell me. All you have to do is this, all you have to do is that, isn’t that it. Go one. Tell me about it… That way you won’t have to see through yourself, that way you won’t have to see through your own blabbering idiocy. That way you can order to extend your ‘idiot-hood’ ahead of you forever wherever you go – isn’t that what it’s all about? But in that case I’m doing a pretty good job, I’d say. I’m extending the sphere of my personal idiot-hood in all directions – I have created a world of myself and I inhabit that world. Unhappily perhaps but nevertheless I do inhabit it. I’m hanging out there, passing the time. Shooting the shit. Does that sound fun to you? Does that sound like I’m having a good time? I suppose I am having a good time – if you can ignore the deep pervasive sense that I have of screwing everything up, of being a complete fuck-up. If you discount all that, well then I’m having a whale of a time! I’m having the time of my life. Talking bullshit to myself all day long. The way that you do…





Happy Ending

It’s all pure nonsense what’s going on in my head I don’t mind telling you! It’s pure, pure nonsense. It’s crazy stuff. Mad stuff. You don’t want to know what goes on there, I can tell you. You really don’t…Although I suppose I am telling you. Although I suppose I am going to tell you. People tell me that I should write a story with a happy ending. Because that would make them feel happy. Because everyone likes a happy ending. Because that sends us a very important message. Because that sends us the message that everything is going to be okay and that’s a good thing, that’s a happy thing. Such a good thing, such a happy thing. It’s so good when things are good, isn’t it? So very good… It’s such a happy time when things are happy. I know perfectly well that it’s a good thing when everyone is happy – I’m not stupid, you know. Not entirely stupid, anyway. I know it’s good when everything is good. I know that it’s a happy thing when everything is good and everyone is happy because of all the good things. Did you ever wish that everything could be good? Of course you did, of course you did. We all do, we all do. Did you ever get upset and angry because things weren’t good? Of course you did, of course you did. We’ve all been there my friend, we’ve all been there. Boy have we ever! You bet we have… That’s the human experience right there buddy isn’t it? That’s it in a nutshell. That’s what it’s like to be human being – being upset and angry because things aren’t good! Being strung out about it, been out of sorts about it, being positively livid about it. Being infuriated about it. No need to feel ashamed about that buddy, we’ve all been there. We’ve all been there. You don’t need to tell me what that feels like! Boy does that ever feel bad! It stings for sure. It’s like being stung by a wasp right where it hurts. But to go back to what I started off talking about, I can’t help thinking that it can’t be that hard to have a happy ending. How hard can it be? You just have to make everything be good. All you have to do is say something like “and then everything was great”, or “and then everything was just A-1 fantastic and everyone was just so very happy because of the good thing, because of the great thing, because of the happy thing”. They were all so very happy, all so very happy. Because everything was so great, because everything was so wonderful. Because of the important message. Because things are ALWAYS going to work out OK in the end, aren’t they? You just know they are…





Imposter Syndrome

You know that thing where sometimes you might just start to doubt yourself. You might just find yourself stepping into a deep puddle of self-doubt. But there could be a very good reason for that you see. Did you ever consider that? It might be the case that you don’t exist at all and you only imagine that you do. It could be that you’re just faking it. It’s all fiction in your mind and sometimes that fiction starts to wear just a little bit thin and it’s at moments such as this you find you’re unaccountably doubting yourself. For no good reason at all you’re doubting yourself only there is a reason. Let me paint you a picture. Paint a picture. Paint a picture. Let me paint you a picture. Sorry, I’m going a bit off track here – it’s all swings and roundabouts in this game, do you know that? You ought to know that. What you gain one moment you lose the next. When one door swings open another slams shut in your face. It’s no wonder you doubt yourself! It’s no wonder you get that feeling that things aren’t quite right. It’s no wonder that people get paranoid sometimes. Why wouldn’t they? Why wouldn’t anyone get paranoid? They could be a good reason for that you know. There could be a very good reason. Did you ever consider that? Did you ever worry when you give someone a lift that your car will smell all stale and sweaty? Because of you. Because of the way you are pretending to be real when you’re not. Because you’re fake. That always creates a bit of a bad smell. A bit of an unwholesome pong. People notice something like that – or so you might think. So you might suspect. It might start to prey on your mind. Let me paint you a picture. You’re walking down the street going about your business as usual and all of a sudden you start to doubt yourself. Am I really a person, you might wonder? Or am I only an impostor? And that’s it. That’s all it takes – you’ve got full-blown impostor syndrome! You’re impersonating an unreal person. You’re mimicking someone who isn’t really there and that’s a felony. You could be up in court for that. Pleading your case. Pretending to be a person. Pretending that you really do exist. For a brief while you might even start to believe it. You start to believe your own fiction. It becomes comfortable. You relax. Then doubt sets in and you find out that you’re out on a limb hanging out over a precipice. You walking on thin ice and everyone is looking at you in that way people have when they know something isn’t right. They know something doesn’t smell right. You’re trying to keep on pretending of course, but it’s only a reflex at this stage. Only a reflex. It’s nothing more than a reflex which persists out of pure pointless momentum and nothing more. There’s no reason for the lie you see. It’s a completely pointless lie. It doesn’t serve anyone – there’s no one there for it to serve….





The Entropy Wind

I was thinking about the good times – the good old good times. I was thinking about how good the good times were. How very good they were. How marvellously wonderful they were. ‘How good the good old times were!’ I burst out, overwhelmed by the poignancy of the realisation that I had just had. The tears ran freely down my cheeks.


The happy things made me happy, the sad things made me sad, the interesting things made me interested and the funny things made me laugh. All the things, all the things. ‘The happy things are so good at making me happy!’ I said to myself. So good, so very good. There was a big smile on my face. A big sentimental smile.


The cheerful things always made me cheerful. I like the cheerful things. Do you like the cheerful things? Everyone likes the cheerful things! The cheerful things are so very cheerful. The cheerful things are so good at making us cheerful and glad – how could anyone not like them?


The good old cheerful things, the good old cheerful things. They’re just so cheerful. I don’t know how else to describe them. Sitting here as I am in my favourite chair I am overwhelmed by the profundity of my own thoughts. I am impressed by how true they are. I’m impressed by how very true they are. How very true.


‘My own thoughts are just so profound!’ I declared – ‘I ought to be a philosopher by rights!’ I contemplated taking up the life of a philosopher, roaming around as I pleased and benefiting the world with my wisdom. But then a loud chirping or chirruping sounds set up in my head, a sound just like a field full of crickets on a hot summer’s day, only louder. Much, much louder. My knees grew weak in an instant – I recognised that noise. I knew it for what it was. I knew the creatures that made it…


The crickets were practically screaming my head, only they weren’t crickets – that was the thing. They just sounded like them. In my mind’s eye they looked like them too – thousand upon thousand of big fat healthy brown crickets chirruping away in the hot summer sun. Singing their hearts out. The noise was deafening and I knew that was because they were feeding. They were feeding away. They were feeding away for all they were worth on my life energy. They were sucking it all up for themselves.


No wonder they were so fat and healthy and glossy-looking. No wonder they were singing so loudly – they were feasting and they love to feast. They don’t just love to feast, they live to feast and that’s just what they were doing right now! They had struck gold; they had found a rich vein and were mining it for all they were worth!


They were miners I realised and they had struck gold. They had struck the mother lode. They were miners and there were mining me. They were the green-flies of the soul. They were the horde of hungry aphids and I was the wilting rose!


Then the ear-splitting racket abruptly ceased and instead a terrible wind arose, a wind that blew my thoughts in all directions. It was the entropy wind – ‘You know what they say you know what they say you know what they say you know what they say you know what they say you know what they say you know what they say you know what they say you know what they say you know what they say you know what they say’ said the entropy wind. It whispered and howled and blew through every corner of me.


This was the wind of dissolution. This was the hot dry desert wind and it was blowing night and day. It never stopped blowing. It blew all before it. My own thoughts had become meaningless to me, like so much rubbish, like so much trash. My own thoughts had become meaningless to me and the desert wind was blowing them this way and that. My thoughts were being scattered to the four corners of the world like so many dead leaves…