Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Optimist, Arresting

It's hard to be an optimist when you're drowning in shit. That's true isn't it, and more importantly, if anything could be said to be more important than truth, it's arresting. But why - if for the sake of argument, or the lack of argument rather, we agree to say it is arresting - why is arresting so important, or if not so important, more important - than truth that is? Well, to at least to hazard a guess as to why . . . if say you were trying to grab some reader's attention quick before he - by which I also mean she - but before he anyway moved on to something else, to some say neighbouring book, well you could hardly do better surely in terms of stopping him in his tracks than come up with a line like that, that first line above. That would stop anyone in their tracks, and of course while truth is all well and good, but if you haven't got anybody reading all the truth then what would be the point? It might as well be truthless. Who'd know the difference?

Though having said all that - and precisely maybe because of having said all that - maybe I've gone and spoiled the effect of that first line, its capacity to arrest which is as said it seems so vital. There we'll say this reader to be was ambling through town, here a coffee shop, there into a bookshop, time on his hands, plucks some book casually, without thinking, however possible that may be, from a shelf, maybe it has a nice cover . . . But then straightaway and without preamble, shockingly abrupt, was this line speaking so resoundingly such a fearsome truth! "It's hard to be an optimist when you're drowning in shit." Shivers down the spine, an electric shock, an awful yet simultaneously beautiful recognition, such a moment, a kindred spirit speaking from the depths, those unspoken depths . . . An epiphany! But then what follows this fearless awful and beautiful line but digressions, explanations . . . Was he serious at all, it's hard to know where you are. . . . But then that's hardly my problem, is it - you not knowing where you are.

But so anyway that line, drowning in shit and the lack of optimism - however serious it might be and and however that might be measured, its depth of seriousness I mean. Well it's gloomy isn't it, not very uplifting, but perhaps yes true. But there's hardly any perhaps about it! Of course it's hard to be an optimist if you're drowning in shit. What's there to be optimistic about?! "It'll be all over soon." It's not so bad once you get used to it." "Maybe somebody'll pull me out." I suppose you could argue along one or other of those lines all right, though I can's say I feel too convinced. But regardless, and this is maybe the kernel of the thing, where would literature be without gloominess and the like? Maybe it wouldn't be anywhere. And isn't that the point! Literature needs stresses, conflicts, gloom, whatever to provide momentum, dynamics, energy. You can hardly keep going long with clouds and daffodils without losing whatever readers you may have been lucky enough to pick up along the way. Or maybe you can, in poetry at least, keep them, readers, some of them, abreast while you go on about clouds and daffodils, but outside of poetry, no, clouds and daffodils aren't enough. You need conflicts, divergences from the idyllic - and look around, you'd hardly have to make them up out of thin air.
But what about the Olympics?! you cry, referring I suppose to the idyllic again and presumably implying the triumph of some higher dreams. I wandered, I might venture to say, lonely as someone who couldn't give a shit about the Olympics.

I apologise of course for that cheap ending but I'm in a rush and it did have to end, and when that presented itself, well it was some kind of a way out anyway.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Time-Piece


Their instruments, time-pieces of various sorts, stop-watches whatever, were it was said there to measure time, but wouldn't it be truer to say they were there to create time, its illusion that is. You can measure space, that is objects located in space, once you've agreed on units of measurement, their universality, and so get out your ruler or point your measuring device and out comes the reading - who'll dispute what comes out the other end, the answer that is, this object, that object, the space between them, what's there to object to . . . but time, sure you're only ever in the moment you're in, how can you go introducing some other moment you're not in and pointing out the distance between yourself and it, and by the time you've measured it, neither moment is around anymore, the first or the second. Memory will tell you those moments existed all right, footage giving visual proof of their reality could be produced . . . but that's besides the point, no one's doubting being, but it's the measuring of it, the creation of time, that's another thing surely.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Atheism & Egotism

Atheism could be better and more helpfully known as Egotism. Why? Because firstly in relation to the living reality of consciousness, atheism is more or less a totally abstract term. Abstract as where does it as an experienced reality exist within this consciousness? By constantly reminding oneself of the non-existence of something one isn't in that moment or any other moment by definition experiencing! Were it to attempt to be not abstract but practically relevant to moment-by-moment existence, it would esentially amount to the running commentary of a stupid malignant dwarf imposing itself on experience by continually reminding the experiencer of the 'rational emptiness' of all experience - telling him not to be carried away with the experiences as they are all accidental. Whereas existentialism should imply a naked non-judgemental openness to being, atheism is an anti-existentialism where this reality as a whole is judged negatively as meaningless, accidental, etc and so given one is imposing this filter upon reality, reality is never experienced existentially - as long as one is an active moment-by-moment atheist. For example, one is sat in a garden on a beautiful day. In what sense can one be an atheist here.
"God doesn't exist."
"Hmm?"
"This is all accidental."
"Why don't you just sit back and shut up and soak it in?"
"You're just deluding yourself. What's there to soak in?"

Someone might say actively believing in God is equally anti-existential; that one is again imposing a filter of the mind upon reality, and so one is not in an internal 'open' position to experience reality . This may be the case if someone gets too intellectual about what faith implies or involves, their thought processes taking too active and dictatorial a role in deciding what's what. However this shouldn't necessarily follow at all, and instead a belief or acceptance of God can simply entail or coincide with a necessary intellectual humility to accept reality and one's seamless part in it, without the need to impose a spurious judgement on it.

That's not the point that set this piece in motion though so back to Egotism being a more apt meaningful term for Atheism which as said has only meaning by inference, and in itself seems to be an irrelevance or evokes nothing in terms of a philosophy of being or awareness. That it should be much more vividly termed Egotism may evoke a knee-jerk emotional response as to its unfairness, but it's easily enough shown to be fully justified.

So atheism is essentially a philosophy of Egotism because it is the belief that ego is the highest reality, that there is nothing beyond - both in the external sense of there being no God, and also in an internal sense in that there is declared nothing beyond in the sense of consiousness; that consciousness has its limit in this self-sustaining language state of egohood. It is in such an environment the pinnacle of existence, the core of the highest entity of creation. So atheism is the intellectual manifestation of the ego, itself distilled. And naturally enough within this idealism of the ego, these isolated centres of consciousness, the more pure the isolation and selfishness the more pure the truth. This is the implication of its 'truth', all divided against all, each ego seeking supremacy - as otherwise that individual ego has failed to be the pinnacle of existence - and inevitably if pushed to a conclusion such a philosophy, if let run its unimpeded course, leading to total self-annihilation as even if one ego prevailed against all others, its hatred would finally having no external targets to aim at, be forced to face and turn on itself.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Top Gun

"You know that film Top Gun?"
"Yeah."
"Groundbreaking."
"Really? In what sense?"
"As a movie."
"Yes, but in what sense as a movie was it groundbreaking?"
"It had hit-singles and planes and everything."
"I suppose it did all right."
"And the speed of the planes . . . "
"Fast?"
"Incredible."
"They'd be faster now."
"That's why I think they should do a re-make."
"The speed of the planes?"
"Yeah."
"You wouldn't be worried about them spoiling the integrity of the original?"
"Not at all."

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Sleeping

"If there was no waking would life be worth living?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean if there was life, but it was merely sleeping."
"It would be better than nothing I suppose. And anyway, you couldn't wake up if you weren't asleep in the first place."
"That's true too."

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Some Bloody Thing . . . again

"A wire or a rope, or some bloody thing anyway, extending from one end of itself to the other, across a gulf an emptiness, and on top of this crossing over the rope or whatever you call it, a man."
"Precariously balanced?"
"Of course precariously balanced.?"
"Dangerous this crossing over so?"
"Yes, very dangerous."
"Why was he up on it if it was so dangerous?"
"He was getting to the other side."
"The other side - that's very good. And what was so interesting about it so, this other side?"
"Nothing much."
"Nothing much!? And what was he going to do when he got over there?"
"He might wait for a bit, and then he'd come back again."
"Disappointed?"
"Disappointed? No, why would he be disappointed?"
"I thought he might be disappointed in there being nothing much over the other side having gone to all the trouble of getting over there.
Well anyway what's it all about so if he wasn't disappointed - this over to the other side stuff and then back again?"
"Applause."
"Applause what?"
"Applause rising up from below."
"Below what?"
"Below from an audience!"
"An audience? You said nothing about an audience."
"I thought you might have guessed it from the applause."
"I was lacking in information. So whats the applause about so anyway?
"The audience expressing approval."
"I know that. I know all about applause. But why specifically the applause?"
"For your man on the rope crossing from one side to the other."
"And it was definitely the man they were applauding?"
"Of course the man! What else would they be applauding?"
"I don't know - the sides?"
"Why would they be applauding the bloody sides?! It was all about the man."
"And the rope?"
"Well I suppose yes - the man and the rope, the man on the rope."
"And your man not falling?"
"Obviously."
"And if he fell - more applause?"
"No! Why would they be applauding him if he fell?"
"I'd be far impressed by a man falling than a man crossing over. The falling is far more dangerous. Especially from a height like that."
"Yes, but that's why he's up on the rope. He's trying not to fall."
"But if he doesn't want to fall, why does he get up on the rope?"
"You wouldn't get a fecking audience there looking up if there was no man up on the rope!"
"And so he needs an audience to get him up on the rope?"
"Yes."
"And you need to get the man up on the rope to get the audience?"
"Yes."
"For the applause?"
"And the money."
"Oh money changes everything. And are they throwing it up at him so - the audience to the man, the money? And him trying to catch it?"
"No! They just pay at the door to come in and watch."
"Oh a door. They think of everything. It's a bit more banal though isn't it. Wouldn't it be better my throwing the money up thing and your man trying to catch it?"
"I don't know. Maybe."
"And is there a net?"
"No net."
"But sure that would make it all the more impressive if he fell so - the fact that he'd have no net."
"But the no net is all the more reason not to fall."
" That's true I suppose. And there was a ladder up, was there?"
"Two ladders."
"One on top of the other?"
"No, one on each side!"
"So you could have one fellow going up the one side and another fellow going up the other?"
"You could."
"And what if when they got up there, instead of trying to cross over the rope they just stood there staring at each other and then after a while came back down again?"
"What about it?"
"Applause?"
"Why would anyone applaud that?!"
"For the originality of it. Everyone expecting them to start doing some kind of crossing over, walking around or jumping or something; and instead the just standing there and staring and coming back down again. It would be unusual. It would be a performance."
"It wouldn't be much of a performance."
"Maybe not. But if they sat down instead of standing up when they got up there. That might be good."
"I don't see how that would make it any better."
"Well, what if you had one of them standing up and the other one sitting down? Looking across at each other. Asymmetrical."
"There's no audience for that kind of thing."
"So you're saying it's the crossing over is all they're interested in?"
"Yes, that's what I'm saying."
"But it would be very psychological. You'd be wondering what the hell's going on."
"I'd say you'd be wondering if you could get your money back."
"Ah, you're very cynical."

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Monday, 22 February 2016

Some Were Crossing

Some were crossing the bridge. They were scattered all over it, like a scene from, I don't know, something or other. One progressing satisfactorily at first would suddenly drop to his hands and knees and crawl back the way he came; another, a much rarer but not entirely unique instance, would stop and stare over the sides of the bridge, then rush and jump screaming into the great void below. Did any manage to traverse the bridge? Lets not get ahead of ourselves - which in our rush to get on with things I see we already have .
Those crossing over or attempting to do so were outnumbered, generally, greatly by onlookers stationed in a huddled mass just before the bridge's beginning - that is the side from which those crossing over commenced. No such mass or even huddle was stationed at the far side. They looked on, these onlookers, in what appeared to be an unusual state of excitement, an intermingling of fear and awe; and could it be that within each was a terrible longing to rush forward and begin to cross over also? More than likely there could, and it was from this huddled mass that those individuals who were crossing over emerged.

One might step forward, even with an air of calmness and confidence, and proceed some little way, but then at more or less the very initials of the bridge's perimeters stop almost mid-stride and then remain there, rigid, stuck. A couple of officials then step forward and matter-of-factly but not unkindly steer him slowly back to the crowd. He would come to to find himself sat on a firm but comfortable chair, holding, wherever it had come from, a hot cup of tea.
At other times you might get from the larger body three or four to spring forward together all but telepathically in one tight mass, moving like some crab or insect, straight lines all at the same hurried speed, abrupt stops and then off at a bit of an angle till the next halt and re-alignment. Such groups never progressed far however. One of the group would break apart suddenly - everything was suddenly with them - and come frantically running back - again in straight lines, adjusted where necessary - whereupon the cohesion of the remainder would instantly fall apart and all would return, now scattered, fragmented, but despite perhaps appearances, still unified in purpose - but in reverse so to speak.

One who had set off across the bridge might make good initial progress, but then momentum would slow and cease; he sits down on the bridge and remains there a great length, unmoving. He looks confused, doesn't seem to know why he is atop this bridge; perhaps no longer even realises he is atop a bridge. Such occasions generally resolved themselves with the person raising himself, turning around and finding his way slowly and perhaps even unconsciously back towards the beginning of the bridge, momentum gaining as he approaches the crowd of onlookers. Are they exercising some gravitational pull, these onlookers, their greater human mass attracting his lesser? The mood on his return is welcoming but not untouched by some awkwardness or embarrassment, though it's doubtful whether he notices this, still dazed as he seems, as if from some stunning blow.

But it would be wrong to imply this was the invariable resolution in such cases. One returning from his aborted journey could suddenly stop and seem to grow uncertain, looking about him, backwards and forwards, over the edges of the bridge as if trying to remember something, and finally begin to move off in the original direction again towards the far end of the bridge, away from the onlookers, who observed such instances with much restrained excitement. A sensitive soul might, if in their midst, have felt himself to be amongst a swarming field of attractions and repulsions, of yearning for him to keep going away, mixed even in the same individual human source with a contrary desire for him to return.
Generally though such about-turns turned out to be merely momentary respites in the journey back to and beyond the start of the bridge; the typical journey consisting of a series of such movements and counter-movements, but with each movement back roughly twice the distance as the movement away, and thus until he finds himself back with the group again.

But not necessarily always. The journey of some, for now at least, never finds a final resolution. What might have appeared to an ignorant observer to be a random succession of stops and starts, backwards and forwards, and sometimes sideways, was the playing out of a grand drama, of wakefulness and sleep, courage and cowardice, overwhelming surges of consciousness and unconsciousness, but without any final victory to either side of the bridge, not without though countless intimations of victory to either side.

But did any cross over so? Yes. One might, after an age of such movement as just described, stride forward certainly, with no more signs of tension, and cross over, perhaps turning to wave back, or was it to beckon, before disappearing from view. You might even get someone making the journey from beginning to end without stops or starts, all without trauma, but whether hypothetically or in actuality I'm not sure. Following any victorious crossing great surges would occur, the bridge thronged with optimistic souls making greater or lesser headway; it tending to take quite a length before such activity dying down and movement returning to normal.

There were some by the way who hated the bridge and those crossing or looking to cross it. They spoke in whispers amongst themselves of what might be done, and from their lips would emerge the innocent suggestion that mightn’t it be a good idea to close down the bridge, to block it off. It was dangerous. Think of those poor souls who leapt to their deaths, and yes such instances were most rare but still, such people needed to be protected.
And where were they going anyway with their bridge? Wasn’t this wish to cross over an insult to life over here? If we sealed it off then everyone could gather together and help with the ordering of this world; and there was incidentally much excellent work being done in this area already. There were great advancements being made. And so, never mind just closing off the bridge, why not blow it up altogether? What need had we of it?

Friday, 22 January 2016

Sunday, 17 January 2016