Back Business Urban Education

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

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Soundtracks to this post: 1. Seba – Nothing Can Replace 2. Bei Maejor – Pillz 3. Angel – The World 4. Jake Emlyn – New Day 5. Toro Y Moi – Say That 6. Cocaine 80s – Anywhere but Here 7. Azealia Banks – Ima Read 8. Mrs Black Dyamond – Theraflu Remix

Back:

So I did it again. I did that thing so abhorred by me and a significant population of hipsters, tricksters, twisters and whispers. I just went away. I didn’t keep at it. I promised a return but never fulfilled that promise. I left you hanging and I left you hanging low. I left you hanging lower than geriatric testicles on a sweltering summer’s day. I’m a dick dickier than Dick Van Dyke  holding a spike with your favourite granny’s torso impaled on that spike. I’m like one of those pathetic God awful excuses for a parent strung out on Js, O.J. (as a shitty last-ditch attempt at sobriety), lines and cigars who takes (whenever the consciousness-cladding fog is thin enough to lift) a passing interest in their neglected charge only when they do/ say/ eat/ shit on or otherwise interfere with an aspect of your shared and dilapidated environment that jogs something in their mind causing them to hark back to a time, however brief, in which they had aspirations that betrayed even slight intention of giving a fuck. I’d like to say that I will never neglect you like a strung out dealer blowing whore of a mother EVER again. Moving on swiftly.

Business:

If memory serves me well (generally a much better waitress when I’m high) I intimated that I was on the cusp of employment. Up until recently and due to environmental pressures, employment was the destination of my upwardly mobile trajectory. I needed to live up to my age and living up to my age meant having something to show for all the birthing cries, long grinding midnight oil burnings endured during the student days of all the medical professionals involved in my successful birth, blood and placenta gushing out of orifices, the back breaking efforts of laundry staff tasked with the job of cleaning out the stains on the whites of the aforementioned medical professionals, the shitloads of cash/time/stress/sacrificed physiques involved in rearing me to my ripe old age AND (last but not motherfucking least) all the crap I’ve taken throughout the drudgery that growing up has been. For a while, living up to my age and all the other crap I’ve spun out on this page meant *cacophonous cacophony of parental/societal voices* ‘GET A JOB, GET A JOB, GET A MOTHERFUCKING JOB’ and I, like a good little motherfucker, diligently followed that path. I applied for shitloads and got FUCK ALL. *PPSSSTTTT* I had a short stint as a Recruitment Consultant but I fucking hated it so scratch that from my record…scratch it….SCRATCH.IT.NOW…vaginally enabled canine. After pretzelling myself into submission for a little while, I gave up. I floundered for a little bit and wondered what the fuck I was gonna do with my unfulfilled craphole of a twenty-something recession-era life. During one of my internet surfs I stumbled on a page discussing an experiment by HomePlus Korea in QR code driven shopping. That flicked a light bulb on in my head and I got writing, planning, inventing, document drafting, figure sorting while eschewing the snorting…see what I did there? See? SEE? FIGURE SORTING WHILE ESCHEWING THE SNORTING. You’re right. I don’t see much either. I just see the crazed half-rhymes of rambling blogging cunt. Anyway, QR code driven shopping experiment in South Korea led to my idea and subsequent drive towards entrepreneurship. I won’t go into it any further because this just isn’t the venue. You paid your entry fee and I’m not gonna waste your time. Collect your bloody ticket and stand the fuck in line. Marvel at my cursing as you’re startled when it rhymes. Catch a couple fingers tapping as you read this shit in time.

Urban:

The city does things. The city does things to me and the city does things to you. The shit it does to me may well be similar to the shit it does to you. Its attributes, those attributes that take their big fat collective thumbs and make an impression in the subtle energetic magnetic field putty that is your body-soul communication and linkage device commonly referred to as your ‘mind’, are attributes that manifest themselves in the following form:

  1. Battery: The hive and its mind, the people and its teem, the hustle with its bustle followed by the brain guiding muscle characterise the current that enlivens the grid. The grid powers all who come into contact with it in some form or another. Some embrace its crackle and bask in its lustre as they throw the doors of their very being wide open to newfangled realms of possibility. To members of the aforementioned special group of enthusiastically receptive receivers, the city is their battery and they tap it like a rubber tree.
  2. Sail: The city gifts me expansion. That expansion is not an expansion of the gross body or an expansion of the ego. Such expansion is one of horizons and such horizons govern the very limits of one’s realm of possibility. The knights who charge forth to claim more territory for Lord Mind are the Knights of Experience. The Knights of Experience wield their Swords of Situation well for situations give rise to experiences that bring about an expansion in the realm of possibility. With its bounty of situations, experiences and possibilities, the city is my sail…my sail towards new conceptions of what can, could, would and should be.
  3. Earth: Yes the city powers you and yes the city sows seedlings that bloom in your mind but what good is power, blooms and accompanying beauty without foundation? Nothing that is worthwhile lasts without solid grounding and even the loftiest of flights end in a descent. Whether the descent is merely a precursor to another ascent, the fact remains: a landing is inevitable. As such, it is key that solid ground is present. Basically, the city and its merciless intolerance towards hubris/airs and graces is the earth that keeps me grounded regardless of how high I feel I have soared.

Education:

I was tripping balls a while back and I envisioned myself on an Earth that seemed to be different yet exactly the same as the one I am currently on. I remember myself sauntering around on this ‘different yet the same’ Earth with the following refrain in my head, “Whatever happened to knowledge? Where’s the Renaissance Man? I’m surrounded by worker bees who never know but only can!”

Jury Downton Grandiose Job

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Soundtracks to this post: 1. Kimbra – Settle Down 2. Kylie Minogue – Dreams 3. Kylie Minogue – Put Yourself In My Place 4. Flevans – Hey Mr. Bundle (Bonobo) 5. Friendly Fires – Live Those Days Tonight 6. M.I.A – Bad Girls 7. Marilyn Manson – Personal Jesus 8. Neils Children – I Hate Models 9. Ladytron – Everything You Touch (Liquilade Bootleg Remix)

It has been a full thirty-six days since I last blogged the shit out of the blogosphere in my characteristic ironically sarcastic and whimsically get-the-fuck-out-of-my-face-but-not-before-say-some-shit-to-you style. Needless to say, I have already said a million rosaries, whipped my back to pieces and worn the hairiest and most flea infested of hair shirts one could possibly find post-1389. Where the fuck have I been? What/who the fuck have I been doing? Where have I been doing it? Well, being a lover of brevity and a devotee ever-present at the altar of all that is concise, I offer the following string of letter-formed deceptively unconnected constructions: jury Downton grandiose job. Don’t worry, I know. Your divination has yielded zilch and your spirited rationalisations have also come up decidedly short. So…STOP! Stop trying to figure it all out on your own. Taxing your brain too much will render you incapable of  taking in the rest of this post. We wouldn’t want that now, would we? Well anyway, let’s make like a whip and get cracking! WOW…guys, that was piss poor. Forget I ever wrote that.

Jury:

Over the last thirty-six days, I have had jury service. I half-lie, my jury service lasted roughly three weeks. For the rest of the time, I was just being a lazy non-blogging bitch. As usual, I arrived apocalyptically late for my first day of jury service but luckily, it didn’t matter because I would have had to wait 1hr 45min. longer than the three hours I waited for my name to be called in order to be assigned to a case *breathe*. When finally assigned to a case, I was with eleven of the most eclectic fellow jurors EVER. Making up the eleven was one who operated MRI machines but was also a semi-retired avant-garde Kabuki inspired drag queen whose short-term memory had been fried by years of snorting and drinking, an Australian who married her husband based on a coin toss she did when her visa was almost running out, a student who developed intense crushes on two witnesses and bumped into the mother of an ex she had spectacularly messy break up with, a speech language therapist who married a Hindu whose mother helped her design a sari to hide her pregnancy with during the wedding ceremony and who once had a Jaegerbomb that made her run into a building site and piss in a mad frenzy, an independent tour guide who married a man thirty years her senior who in his nineties still climbed mountains, a Malawian lady who married a Ghanaian and came close to adopting the semi-retired drag queen as she got him to do a lap dance for her, a teacher to famous people’s children who could never switch off the primary school teacher tone, a Pilates teacher who was studying part-time to be an Osteopath and for whom I had created a fictitious comedic persona who I imagined would take her Pilates ball to nightclubs and do her routine in the corner lest she experience Pilates withdrawal, a typical East End London cabbie complete with accent and cutting and straight-to-the-point street-smart cabbie psychology, another guy around my age who works for Network Rail and seemed to be able to fall asleep literally ANYWHERE/ ANYTIME (yes, even in conversation!) And a retired nurse whose two grown up children were in the police and specialised in horrific rape, murder and child abuse cases who enjoyed being a lady who lunched and was annoyed that this pesky case was getting in the way of her lunches and evening soirees. The case we were assigned to was an education fraud case. Basically, the guy set up two schools providing both degree courses and a few at a slightly lower level. The classes were genuine along with all the teaching material but after affiliations fell through, the guy panicked and decided that instead of just being honest with his students about the situation, he’d keep up the lies and falsify certificates. While I don’t feel comfortable/ can’t be bothered to go over details of the case, I will however, leave you with some casual observations: our judge was cool and just like the eccentric British judges many of us are familiar with from literature and film, judges are human, lawyers are human, the jury system is worth keeping, serving in a jury removes the mystique the legal system is still enveloped in, I would make a good lawyer, the justice system’s administration needs to be far more computerised in order to save money, time and avoid silly errors arising from missing bits of paper, bad handwriting or incorrect photocopying and printing, jury service should be something you can put on your CV, I think the police are even more bumbling and useless than I did before, I do not believe that ‘Mercy seasons justice’ as stated in the Merchant of Venice by good ol’ Shakespeare and, finally, the whole point of fraud is to be so convincing in your deception that you override the mind’s carefully honed knowledge of its own reality and, as a result, fool people into dealing with you as if you were genuine; therefore, in my estimation, fraud requires more attention to detail, effortless charisma and naturally fearless gall than any other activity known to Man (the defendant was sorely lacking in all those departments). I have come away from jury service with a whole lot more faith in judges, juries and the difference a good lawyer makes regardless of their fee. Though, I stress, your own efforts regarding your case and performance as a defendant in court is definitely three-quarters of the battle in getting the jury to rule in your favour.

Downton :

Downton Abbey, for those not already aware, is a British period drama. I’m not going to expend the little energy I have when sober going into further detail. Instead, I’ll just get to the point. One of the many frustrating things about the Britain I live in today is, despite its raucous enthusiasm for the medium, a complete dearth of programmes on television portraying British rural and urban life as it is without the saccharine sentimentality, moderately offensive and clumsy caricature or a woefully ubiquitous typically British brand of righteous indignation as exemplified by the british daily newspapers The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, The Sun and The Daily Mirror. Certainly, every few years or so, there comes a programme which genuinely seems like an attempt to redress the balance and establish Britain as more than just the land of period drama and long-running soap operas with the habit of getting ever-more outlandish in their attempts to stay relevant and keep their audience captive. There was Skins (season 1 and 2 were phenomenal while everything since then has made me want to shoot up bleach in boredom and frustration) and, in film, Kidulthood then Adulthood. Recently, on television, there was Top Boy (Google it). Top Boy was only four episodes long and though a second series has been commissioned, that too will consist of only four episodes. Nevertheless, the fact that something portraying the drug-trade so even-handedly, something completely devoid of preaching, something without police figures to act as unrealistically unblemished white knights in shining armour in contrast to big black criminally depraved Orc-like bogeymen not able to issue forth words longer than two syllables from their screwed perpetually aggrieved faces and something without a romance shoved in at the last minute intertwined with some clumsily moralistic coming-of-age subplot so as to not to scare the young white girls too much while warming the hearts of grannies from Land’s End to John o’ Groats is still such a novelty and that it’s so short, is ridiculous. With arts funding having been drastically cut and the recession showing no signs of abating in these blustery isles, the surprisingly resilient lines of credit open to new television and film projects haven taken on even more the quality that makes gold dust a lot more valuable than its significantly more mundane semi-namesake. We are therefore left with the situation in which this resilient but increasingly skittish money feels far safer investing in projects for which there is sure to be a big enough audience (well written period drama) and therefore is more likely to eschew apparently more risky projects despite the fact that these ‘risky’ projects have never really been given the chance to be on the screen for any length of time so it’s not at all certain that they are, in fact, risky at all. A good example of how commercially viable contemporary drama is, is Top Boy. It drew 1.1 million viewers to its first episode and maintained pretty much the same viewing figures throughout. High-quality well written realistic portrayals of 21st century Britain are commercially viable. Britons can handle a lot more than castles, chimney sweeps, corsets, crinolines, cholera and classism!

Grandiose:

In days gone by, the name ‘Britain’ was synonymous with grandiose, Yahweh-scale, ‘Masters of the Earth’ thinking. No distance was too great, no nation too vast, no terrain too rough, no culture too alien or too complex to dominate and no war too costly. Engineering projects were making more and more parts of the country and the empire accessible and making life a whole lot easier for those engaged in commerce, conquest, education, envangelism or exploration. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, were saved from death due to ambitious urban and semi-urban sanitation projects last seen in select civilisations two or three thousand years earlier projects, previously inaccessible areas were opened up to people and facilities from the outside world by the burgeoning rail system and mass education and personal upliftment and improvement projects expanded the literate population while giving so many people a greater sense of self on a grander scale than ever before. Britain, nascent empire which built itself into a mother of nations in part due to ambitious technological innovation, was so sure of itself and, instead of waiting for it, made the wind aid its sails so much that it added the adjective ‘Great’ to its name. No other nations laughed or thought it ridiculous in any way whatsoever; Britain was great. *Cue: rousing music reminiscent of the Romanticist painting of that guy standing on a ledge in Victorian clothing*
What happened to that? Where did that spirit go? I personally find it despicable that I now live in a Britain where I heard a supposedly educated woman sit in front of cameras in a news studio questioning whether it was worth improving a rail line to shave thirty-five minutes off the journey time between the country’s two biggest cities (London and Birmingham) and AN HOUR between the capital three other industrially, culturally, historically and economically significant cities (Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield). Britain, in its infinite wisdom, got rid of roughly a third of its rail route miles and half of its stations in the 1960s as part of what was termed the ‘Beeching Axe/Cuts/Bombshell’. Instead of privatising, the then nationalised service decided to give the rail system a botched tummy tuck and liposuction. OK, fair enough, what has happened has happened. Yes, we are currently stuck with an idiotic quasi-privatised nightmarish halfway house with one of the most complex fare systems in the world for one of the industrialised world worst performing public transportation services but it’s cool, it is what is so let’s get over it. Oh, someone suggested a massive improve improvement which would bring journey times in line with what is available just over the Channel and elsewhere in the world? Nah, forget it. Who wants to get anywhere faster anyway? Who wants the country’s most vital regions to be more accessible anyway? Fuck it, let’s just watch Downton Abbey instead, get entranced by some pseudo-aristocratic beige as fuck boring as can be royal bride’s sister’s not-that-amazing-have-you-seen-a-black-or-latino-woman-lately behind and get outraged about the questionable accuracy of X Factor’s reported voting results. Let’s not be ‘Great’ Britain anymore guys, let’s be ‘Little Britain’. Oh before one forgets, would the last person out please remember to turn off the light? Yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah but no, you’re not what you used to be and no amount of wars will disguise that fact from anybody.

Job:

I’ll give you details tomorrow. My biggest rant yet has worn me out.

White-Collar

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Soundtracks to this post: DJ Hype – Hypercaine Blame – On My Own Ultravox – Astradyne Duran Duran – Falling Down (Extended Version) Lady Gaga – So Happy I Could Die Ai Otsuka – Pocket Perfume – Love the World Rasmus Faber & Linda Sundblad – Always (Ananda Project Vocal Mix)

As I sit in the parental home with ‘Wanted Down Under’ on the plasma screen behind me doing its best to fill the not-quite-eerie-but-somewhat-awkward silence that settles over the post-school run/work commutes house, the knowledge that I haven’t slept a wink seems not to have reached my body. While my mind is constantly recalculating the hours of sleep I missed along with trying hard to come up with innovative ways to promote my novel, my body functions with the obliviously riotous abandon only one powered by empathogenic stimulants can sustain after twenty-four sleepless hours. Having a little bump has caused the ex nihilo materialisation of the sort of mental tangent a wretch like me is all too familiar with. As is common when I’m soaring kite-like on my own, my thoughts go to scenes from stories I have never heard before but always seem to recall as if I had indeed either heard them told countless times by some exotic and mysteriously engaging yet aloof West African griot or as if they were memories of a life long ago lived. Funnily, obviously, interestingly, oddly or intriguingly enough, depending on your outlook on life and general demeanour, it’s from these scenes seemingly stuck in my mind’s purgatory that many key moments and conflicts in ‘War is Atypical’ (and the two remaining books of the trilogy I am currently working on) originate. In these scenes devoid of head and tail but certainly not lacking in either profundity or beauty, there is rarely open conflict between good and evil. No, either good and evil engage each other in robust epistemological swordplay, evil plots the scheme to end all schemes with an ally or a master of the dark arts instructs his student. Either way, evil dominates.

Ever since I was old enough to comprehend the stories told to me by words on pages and voices from flickering screens, I have been obsessed with evil/’the dark side’/’baddies’/villains/criminals/outlaws. Reading fairytales should ordinarily ingrain subliminally a moral framework into a child’s psyche of which a predisposition to what is perceived as good is an important aspect. Characters personifying evil in one its many exaggerated child-friendly forms  (greed, cruelty, jealousy, vindictiveness, disobedience, negativity etc) are made to be as repugnant and far from human as possible so no child could possibly be able to relate to them. The good, on the other hand, are beautifully innocent yet dangerously naive and so brimming with idealism that their belief in the essential goodness of things leads them to be gullible and thus vulnerable to the many dastardly machinations of evil. In another guise, they are brave, strong, unrelenting and morally unambiguous with a tenacity that sees them through till the end. Despite the fact that they are almost always hopelessly outnumbered, significantly less cunning and too lacking in personality to truly feel anything convincing to anyone above the age of ten, with their hearts full of goodness and the order of things always ultimately on their side, they prevail. Very early on, I noticed there was something wrong with me (it would not be the first time in my life I realised that!). I didn’t care for Cinderella or her prince, Sleeping Beauty I found was a tedious waste of life and the Snow Queen had my firm support in place of Aslan and the children. The wicked stepmother intrigued me and the disastrously vain queen with her enchanted mirror sparked my interested in the occult and was one of my first crushes. This brings me to the essence of this post: white-collar criminals.

There’s something about the intelligent criminal that gets my juices flowing. Fraudsters, embezzlers, con-men, counterfeiters, rogue traders and, stretching it a little, big name drug dealers. There’s something in that class of miscreant that inspires in me feelings of admiration, awe, respect and, dare I say, a little love. When watching programmes about them, I find myself coming to their defence. I question automatically the actions of the police and pick holes in the prosecution’s case. There is a part of me that glosses over some of the less glamorous aspects of their life of crime. That part of me does not want to busy itself with thoughts of awful murders, horrific beatings, the despair of helpless victimhood and the repercussions felt by those connected to the individuals suffering from it. My usually strong and vehement defence of private property rights fades as mist before a blazing sun when I’m faced with the case of a smooth criminal. Is it the skill I admire? Is the inherent intelligence it requires? Is it a twisted libertarian’s hostility towards the State expressing itself in the most sinister and convoluted of ways? Or, rather, is it simply a thoroughly humdrum case of the grass being greener on the other side or a child’s thrill at flouting the rules that has merely carried on into adulthood? Honestly, I couldn’t tell you. Can somebody out there offer me their opinion? What is it that is so alluring and bewitching about evil? Why is its beauty so much more interesting and its ugliness so repulsively fascinating? Sometimes I wonder if it is all just some great con. Maybe evil isn’t what we should be staying away from and we’ve really all just been had by that sly dog of a Jehova. Maybe good is really just whatever happens to benefit his continued hegemony. After all, wasn’t Lucifer, the Angel of Light, cast out because he dared to think for himself and question the Big Boss’s rule?

Now the effects of the previous insufflation have started to wear off, I feel it’s time for me to undertake my daily mission to maintain a level of domestic and personal hygiene acceptable to my neurotic slightly obsessive compulsive mind. I leave you though with a parting observation: they just couldn’t let him score any higher than third could they? Ron Paul, you have earned even more of my respect for the poise and grace you showed in the face of ‘secret locations’ being used for the first time when counting Iowa Caucus votes. That is all.

False Start

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Soundtracks to this post:  1. A Flock of Seagulls – I Ran 2. Kimbra – Cameo Lover 3. Lana Del Rey – Born To Die 4. Friendly Fires – Strangelove (Depeche Mode cover) 5. Madi Diaz – Does It Rain

I started this blog last year. It was late November and my book had recently been made available on Amazon as a Kindle ebook. I was elated, anxious and somewhat like the magazine, dazed and confused. Despite the tumultuous cacophony of emotions swarming inside me like a hive of bees working away yet ever-mindful  of the likelihood of disturbances from the disorderly and ruthless world existing just a few inches away, I found myself sorely lacking in the very different kind of inspiration one needs to maintain a thing such as a blog. After a month and a bit of resisting, eschewing and flipping birds certainly not of the David Attenborough variety, something happened. After a month and a bit, I realised something: a blog is like a baby. No, you haven’t been afflicted with temporary dyslexia, alexia or selective miscomprehension, I really did just write that then make it bold just so you didn’t miss it. A blog is like a baby in two ways:

A. Ideally, it should only really be conceived and brought into the world for a reason but if that reason was lacking before its conception and birth, it should manifest very soon after.

B. Once brought into the world, it has to be nurtured with the determination, drive and meticulousness only prior planning, post-birth love or both can engender in the parent.

Post-realisation, I felt able to turn my initial false start, my initial neglect of my parental responsibilities towards this blog, my botched abortion into something worthwhile. No, before you ask, not for you or the world but for ME. I’m not writing to change the world or touch ‘even if it’s just one other person’, I’m writing because I’m finally able to jot down my 23-year long internal diamonologue (lexical mash-up of  ‘dialogue’ and ‘monologue’…yeah I’m bad ass as fuck right now…lock up your daughters AND sons) in a way that is conducive to this medium that is so reminiscent of every one of humankind’s musings ever since the first scratchings, etchings and powder blowings on rock faces and within caves yet so unlike anything that came before it. This new year, 2012, astrologically favourable this 1988-born Pisces, seems to have blown away all that I imagined and only half-convincingly told myself stood in the way of me joining the ranks of that shadowy, Fourth Estate-superseding and surreptitiously threatening class of internet citizens collectively known as ‘bloggers‘ *cue menacing music*. Now a blogger *cue no.2*, I finally have somewhere to immortalise my spontaneous lyrics, poems, observations and rants covering all, sundry and nothing much at all.

As has been habitual for me for the last four years, I find myself refreshing DrudgeReport (the news aggregator) and checking my Facebook at 7-minute intervals as if I’m waiting for some news vital to the living of my life or the continued rotation of the Earth on its periodically shifting axis. I wonder if I am truly as alone in this dual-checking as I imagine myself to be and if it betrays some suppressed Freudian desire or consciousness-gnawing angst that comes with fully interacting with the freneticism of modern always-on digital life…nah, didn’t think so. As a final thought before I go to my bed and lie down while trying with all my might to resist having a sleep-annihilating line, I will leave you with the following parting wish: I hope they allow Ron Paul win Iowa.

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