Sunday, 22 November 2015

Machavelli & Dynamics of Power

A re-posting of an earlier piece.

Earlier short piece here. Machiavelli is famous for writing in The Prince on the prudent methods a political ruler must use in order to attain, maintain and strengthen his political power. The very idea that 'Machiavellian' refers to some exceptional and cynical mode of political behaviour rather than a reflection of the norm would presumably have been incomprehensible to Machiavelli, as rather than an instigator of some new ruthlessness, he is simply an observer and adviser of strategy within this field of human conduct and invariably conflict. That politics is a strategical game with the ends being raw power, and since there is nothing moral about power then this is a value that has no meaningful place within this game, just as for instance goodness has nothing to do with breaking a land-speed record. So more or less goes the thinking. The means reflect the ends, and by simple cause and effect the ends are determined by those means.

Politics however, unlike the land-speed record and most other 'games', is not self-enclosed, directly affects the wider world, and so this amorality, or often immorality- if we permit the existence of a moral universe - is a very serious issue, and it's best for those liable to be affected by the actions of its players, which is to say all of us, to realise that such a game is being played in the first place and to have some idea of its modus operandi. These participators in the game would consider themselves realists, and to the highest degree, but just because some have decided to set boundaries on what constitutes reality and conduct within it, doesn't mean this has any truth beyond the minds of those believing it to be so. Though as said, Machiavelli when expressing the desirability of deviousness and ruthlessness as practices within this 'game' is simply reflecting a reality rather than particularly instigating anything new.

Once however Machiavelli has given his views in his book of ideal if general method, these notions of best practice enter more profoundly into the world of politics as conscious general method to be emulated, rather than as accidental and intuitive understandings by various individuals in particular circumstances. The Prince is also a lens through which the more disinterested observer can look upon historical and present-day realities and discern the methodology behind 'random' events, unseen by the unsuspecting and gullible.

And so the idea that 'Machiavellian' refers to some unusual form of political practice rather than the norm is either an instance of uneducated naivety, or itself an instance of Machiavellian duplicity by those playing the game - that, as a virtual matter of course, at the other end of government is someone or body of people acting to cement and increase their power over their subjects. As quoted in the earlier short piece, "the people are everywhere anxious not to be dominated or oppressed by the nobles, and the nobles are out to dominate and oppress the people." This tension is for Machiavelli an unquestionable, fundamental truth. The ruling elite will always want to oppress the people, to further their control, and by simple logic the ultimate desired destination is absolutism, the totalitarian state. This leap to absolute power is dangerous for the rulers however, as the people are great in number and have no wish to be the subjects of outright tyranny. To excessively act on this urge for such total mastery is to gamble with what they already possess.

Principalities usually come to grief when the transition is being made from limited power to absolutism. Princes take this step either directly or through magistrates.

At the moment in the comparatively free West, it is via the use of the magistrates, or legal 'reform', that the desired movement towards absolutism is being conducted, but this must be justified, if noticed at all by the people, by deception: because of say a perceived external threat, intentionally created or/and hyped up by the nobility's means of public propaganda. He writes:

We must distinguish between....those who to achieve their purposes can force the issue and those who must use persuasion. In the second case they always come to grief, having achieved nothing; when however they can force the issue, then they are seldom endangered.
The populace is always fickle; it is easy to persuade them of something but difficult to confirm them in that persuasion. Therefore one must usually arrange matters so that when they no longer believe they can be made to believe by force.

So they must be made to believe what the rulers want them to believe, which is the necessity of an increase in centralised state power. But greater forces than persuasion must be used. Persuasion simply appeals to the limpid reason. To be made believe by force the far more powerful, primal aspects of human nature must be attacked and harnessed - fear and hatred. And so the application of this being, for example, the Gladio network of terror earlier described here, on which the BBC did a detailed 3-part documentary. In the words of its director, Allan Frankovich:

This BBC series is about a far-right secret army, operated by the CIA and MI6 through NATO, which killed hundreds of innocent Europeans and attempted to blame the deaths on Baader Meinhof, Red Brigades and other left wing groups. Known as 'stay-behinds' these armies were given access to military equipment which was supposed to be used for sabotage after a Soviet invasion. Instead it was used in massacres across mainland Europe as part of a CIA Strategy of Tension. Gladio killing sprees in Belgium and Italy were carried out for the purpose of frightening the national political classes into adopting U.S. policies.

As one of the key pariticipants in the Gladio network describes in the documentary, methods included not just by perpetration of acts and blaming them on others, but also infiltration of these groups, and leading them to perpetration of the desired terrorist acts. People who imagine themselves to be well-informed about political realities continue, however, in their naivety to consider such simple tactics of control as mentioned by Machiavelli to be the province of the mentally unhinged, to be conveniently scorned and without differentiation as "conspiracy theories."
Machiavelli also says, and he makes no moral judgement here, simply states as a fact:

Princes who have achieved great things have been those who have given their word lightly, who have known how to trick men with their cunning, and who, in the end, have overcome those abiding by honest principles.
Because all men are wretched creatures who would not keep their word to you, you need not keep your word to them.
One must know how to colour one's actions and to be a great liar and deceiver. Men are so simple, and so much creatures of circumstance, that the deceiver will always find someone ready to deceive.

This low, depraved notion of humanity is perfectly normal amongst those living within this field of life, as naturally enough for those within this reality, such is a kind of norm. They are realists within their domain. Across all fields the perceiver himself is central to that which is perceived, and the individual is simply making of his debased self a general rule of humanity. Thus the influential thinker within the American neo-conservative movement, Leo Strauss, mirrors Machiavelli: "Because mankind is intrinsically wicked, he has to be governed." Conscience presumably is never wholly absent in anyone, so even these manipulators must convince themselves of their realism and virtue.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Circuses, Gladiators

Modern sports and sportstars are often or at least sometimes mentioned in terms of being the contemporary equivalent of the circus side of the famous Bread and Circuses notion, i.e. a spiritually and politically enervated population appeased by cheap food and shallow entertainments - the phrase originating from the Roman satirical poet Juvenal. And so a footballer like Wayne Rooney being a less bloody equivalent to a famous gladiator. One interesting point though is that the gladiators, though apparently with some exceptions to the rule, were largely slaves and working financially for nothing. So if one takes reasonably enough money to equate to power, they were personally total non-entities, whilst the political leaders were enormously wealthy figures - in a certain sense reasonably so or as one would expect - money and power in tandem.

Returning to the present the parallel starts to look a bit strange.
One might imagine it reasonable to say the most powerful person in a country is the political head of that country, with for instance broadly the entire military apparatus at his disposal, with ultimate 'buck stops here' say over foreign policy matters, economic policy, etc, etc. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, at present David Cameron, the "First among equals" earns £142,500 in a year. The footballer Wayne Rooney, our modern gladiator, earns apparently about £300,000 a week. So in pure salary it will roughly take the head of the UK political apparatus two years and 6 weeks to earn what the footballer earns in one week. Of course by the time those two and a bit years have elapsed, so have 110 or so of Wayne Rooney's weeks, which in turn will take the Prime Minister roughly 230 years of office to approximate financially. An interesting statement of significance of a mature evolving world clearly worthy of deep respect, and when voices from within speak on things of import I say to myself, Listen well, for here lies truth.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Why all the Sarcasm?

Why, I am asked - if, that is, someone cared enough to ask it - am I so sarcastic? But I'm not! Or maybe I suppose yes to some degree I am. To some considerable degree some might say. And so why, why so sarcastic - seeing as that was the question. Of course I know whatever answer I furnish will hardly be anything like the whole truth but even so maybe it's all, the sarcasm, for the sake of appearances. What appearances? My own. For how else am I to maintain my reality, the reality of its appearance, in the light of the present? In the presence of such a light I am forced to be a darkness, in opposition, otherwise, well, I'd be part of it, and to be part of such a light, would be  . . . . well, it would be hardly to be at all . . . Maybe the trick so, you might say, is not to be in its presence.

And but to add - I can't just give up the point - where would everyone be if someone switched off that light - the one I'm talking about, the light of the present? If some ungrateful someone or other throws for example a big ignorant stone at it . . .  splinters, screams, darkness, out with the light . . . Well maybe everyone could find somehow their way, stumbling, by the light of a cigarette lighter, a phone, torchlit, into another room, again brilliantly lit, with maybe even a chandelier hanging from the ceiling, and guards, well-dressed, protecting it. And now and onwards it transpires, however unlikely, noone throws anything - or if they do they miss. But in the end the light will still end up going out. It will, like all such lights, exhaust itself. Show me a light bulb that hasn't exhausted itself - though yes admittedly I'm talking about the used-up ones. But anyway, why not just change the bulb even if it does go out? Ah but that's not the point. What about for example the interval of darkness between bulbs - people, unable to see each other, might go mad. But at least they could hear each other - though with all the groans and screams they might be better off not. Still there'd be the occasional voice appealing for calm, though to be heard he'd have to shout presumably so loud, he probably wouldn't sound all that calm.

So, given all that, why not just go outside into the natural light and not have to be relying on any light bulbs? But wouldn't there still be the same need for sarcasm, you know, so as to exist, to maintain oneself, in opposition, so as not to be part of the light? But I think here is where darkness really would just be darkness, willful, stupid. What would be the point? And how long, even accepting all the stupidity, for that matter could such opposition maintain itself? If you took the light away from the darkness where would it be, left to itself?

Well I set out trying to clarify things, to be straightforward, but glancing back at what I've produced it seems it's beyond me. I drifted off it seems into God knows where.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Underworld - Cherry Pie

And while I'm at it, another track from their prolific glory years of the early to mid 90s, 'Dirty Epic'.

Though in truth I think maybe the sacred art of the Dirty Guitar mix of it is my favourite, though perhaps, as the man said, comparisons are odious.

Sunday, 8 November 2015


A void between two open doorways, or if you like, two open doorways between which a void. A silent picture so, still, symmetrical, but maybe after a while boring, but then emerges towards one of the doorways a man running who doesn't stop in horror before the void but leaps into and across it towards the other open doorway! Unfortunately however the a split second later from that other doorway comes rushing and jumping another man, and the two meet and collide somewhere in the middle and down they go. Awful, tragic, even if maybe also a bit yes comical. But who knows, maybe after they fall and disappear from view, they, limbs tangled, fall and land on what amounts to a great soft floor or bed of  hay, fortune favouring, apart from the bad luck, the brave so to speak. And then again maybe the whole thing - running, jumping, colliding - was actually scripted, arranged, not accidental at all, and if we waited around long enough we'd see the two of them repeat the process a little later, though maybe this time for variation from opposite doorways. Then again that might be all a bit optimistic but anyway.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015


I'm writing the following and present piece, whatever it's going to be, in sort of homage to the great Socrates, who was forced more or less to poison himself because he wouldn't shut up annoying people.

A man, Typhus, was walking down a street of Athens when he was joined by Socrates who asked him how he was, to which Typhus with a premonition of doom answered, "I am fine."
"Ah but what do you mean you are fine?"
"I mean up till a minute or so ago at least I was feeling well."
"And what do you mean by well? Is it a state of well being in itself or is wellness a state in relation to other states, themselves also relative."
"Fuck off."
Typhus walked off leaving the triumphant Socrates behind who, after shouting something about the unexamined life being not worth living, then began humming to himself the words, "Making the world a better place."

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Peace (earlier post plus a bit more)

Somewhat surprisingly, even if only superficially so, this year's Nobel Peace prize has been awarded to War. A spokesman for the Nobel committee said they were going to award it a second time to "Barracks" Obama for his re-assuring smile, earnest expression and heroic refusal to have his skin whitened, but they were out somewhere nice for a few drinks and amidst the slowly ensuing merriment someone jokingly suggested War as an alternative. Once the laughter died down, the validity and paradoxical ingenuity of the thought started to reveal itself to them, and half an hour later they were unanimous, War it was, and the happy news was siphoned off to the press.

Christina Aguilera, Tony Blair and a specially commissioned waxwork of Robin Williams will accept the award on War's behalf. The waxwork will be on a scale of 1 to 1.1, thus elevating Williams' height to 6'2", which, the Nobel committee say, will be a fitting tribute to both the man and the occasion.

The moment Mr Obama received the news of the announcement was incidentally caught on camera as he was watering his roses at the White House. A momentary look of surprise tinged perhaps with a shimmer of disappointment was however followed in the same breath with a resigned smile, which then segued into a faraway look of deep contemplation, after a few sacred seconds of which what appeared to be the muttering of some inaudible words was followed by nodding of the head, gentle yet rich in conviction. He then with a sense of renewed hope returned to the watering of his roses.

Subsequent airing of this footage led to massive media interest, reflective of the public will, in the unearthing of the President's unheard words if words they were, and, with the kind aid of NASA technology, almost infinite magnification of the audio has revealed the words to be "our Founding Fathers . . . yes . . . yes . . ."
It seems true by the way the revelation, however it came out, that Mr Obama had actually been informed of the Nobel decision some twenty minutes earlier but this only makes his performance all the more remarkable.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015


In something of a follow-on to their recent announcement, the United Nations Security Council have responded to the current refugee crisis by requesting FIFA make an immediate change to the offside rule in professional football favouring the attacking side. Henceforth from when the ball is passed the attacker will have a yard leeway between him and the defender before he is declared offside. The authorities will use GPS tracking technology to successfully implement the amendment to the rule.
The expected, even inevitable, rise in goals scored will send out a message around the world of solidarity and caring.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Willin' - The Byrds

Cover version of a great song about truck driving American back roads all weather, all hours, all cargo from weed to wine and smokes and folks from Mexico.

Saturday, 5 September 2015


Somewhat surprisingly, even if only superficially so, this year's Nobel Peace prize has been awarded to War. A spokesman for the Nobel committee said they were going to award it a second time to "Barracks" Obama for his re-assuring smile, earnest expression and heroic refusal to have his skin whitened, but they were out somewhere nice for a few drinks and amidst the slowly ensuing merriment someone jokingly suggested War as an alternative. Once the laughter died down, the validity and paradoxical ingenuity of the thought started to reveal itself to them, and half an hour later they were unanimous, War it was, and the happy news was siphoned off to the press.
Christina Aguilera, Tony Blair and a specially commissioned waxwork of Robin Williams will accept the award on War's behalf. The waxwork will be on a scale of 1 to 1.1, thus elevating Williams' height to 6'2", which, the Nobel committee say, will be a fitting tribute to both the man and the occasion.

Friday, 4 September 2015


Tomorrow is World Celebrity Day. Everyone, except terrorists, has the legal right, depending on gender, to consider him or her self to be a celebrity until midnight of one's relevant time zone.
That one could by means of flight leave one time zone and in entering another extend the duration of one's celebrity is it seems a grey area.
There are already it seems murmurings from some of the more daringly liberal voices that the exclusion of terrorists could be counter-productive - that the awfulness of such an excommunication will drive them to even more desperate acts.
Others have criticised the wording on gender believing it to be unnecessarily restrictive.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Pelevin S.N.U.F.F.

I'd feared Victor Pelevin, the author of the contemporary book that gave me most pleasure, The Clay Machine Gun, had in a sense had his day or whose inner star had faded . . . but after a ridiculous & strange delay in his works being translated, I recently read his S.N.U.F.F. and thankfully his unique genius and x-ray and liberating cultural vision is pretty rampant again. In his way something of a modern Russian Aldous Huxley, and it's not unrelated to both Brave New World and Ape and Essence. I don't think he considers potential critical fawning over his works as having much to do with his existential state of being, and can be pretty flippant with his art . . . but anyway have no aptitude - cloaking maybe a lack of talent - for writing about books so just to say I thought overall S.N.U.F.F. not faultless, but still fantastic, and will re-read soon.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015


Professional football has been declared the new official universal language at a special sitting of the United Nations Security Council. All relevant international documents will henceforth have to be translated into professional football, with failure to do so resulting in "the most serious of  sanctions."
'It is in the act of watching professional football that we are most alike unto ourselves,' stated a subsidiary UN press release.
Bono has welcomed the news.

Monday, 8 June 2015


"We live in a great era of doubt."
"I doubt that."

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Stars & Water Carriers

Featuring Eddy Merckx, in a way for me one of the most out-of-reach of people, a superman of some kind - and not in a superficial sense. Fuente, the Spaniard mountain specialist, is the one incidentally I seem to more emotionally resonate with.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Friday, 10 April 2015

A Big Pot

"There was this fucker with a big pot."
"A big pot. And inside in the pot he had all this shit, and he stirred it all round and around and then he poured it all out from this great height he was up in. And that's the world we live in today."
"That's the world we live in today?"
"Yes, if you like it's a kind of myth, like the Book of Genesis."
"And what good is that bloody myth going to do anyone?"
"It might lift people up."
"Lift them up?! A fucker with a big pot of shit?"
"Well if they realise that's what everything comes from, this fallen world, they might try to get beyond it instead of just wallowing in all this shit."
"Kind of gnosticism so, a divided world you're talking about?"
"Something like that maybe yeah."


A world, grey, dull, uniform, monotonous, and what would it do if you weren't careful but extend itself in extension of itself so to speak, that is never-ending greyness inside and out. But people got maybe all too fed up with it after a time and so what was done with all this greyness, uniformness, etc? They coloured it in! And that was of course much better.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015


"You've a very thoughtful expression."
"I always be thinking."
"And what is it you think about?"
"I wouldn't know what I be thinking about half the time. It'd be very clever though, way over your head."
"Give me an example."
"Shakhtar Donetsk."
"Shakhtar Donetsk. It's a soccer team out in Eastern Europe there somewhere. I was thinking about them the other day."
"That's amazing. And what put them into your head?"
"Oh I dunno. Ours is not to reason why."

Monday, 9 February 2015


"So there was this cave . . . "
"Not the fucking cave again."
"Ah come on, give him a chance. "
"Well as long as he doesn't start going on about the bloody shadows on the wall."
" . . . and on a wall of the cave were these shadows . . . "

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Paul Craig Roberts - Charlie Hebdo . . . Operation Gladio

Paul Craig Roberts was the US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. Full article here.He writes:

"The Charlie Hebdo affair has many of the characteristics of a false flag operation. The attack on the cartoonists’ office was a disciplined professional attack of the kind associated with highly trained special forces . . . yet they conveniently left for the authorities their ID in the getaway car. Such a mistake is inconsistent with the professionalism of the attack and reminds me of the undamaged passport found miraculously among the ruins of the two WTC towers that served to establish the identity of the alleged 9/11 hijackers."

He also mentions the infamous Operation Gladio. "The largest part of the government of Italy was ignorant of the bombings conducted by the CIA and Italian Intelligence against European women and children and blamed on communists in order to diminish the communist vote in elections."

From my own previous piece on Gladio:
Originally aired on BBC2 in 1992, 'Operation Gladio' reveals 'Gladio', the secret state-sponsored terror network operating in Europe.
Director Allan Frankovich:
This BBC series is about a far-right secret army, operated by the CIA and MI6 through NATO, which killed hundreds of innocent Europeans and attempted to blame the deaths on Baader Meinhof, Red Brigades and other left wing groups. Known as 'stay-behinds' these armies were given access to military equipment which was supposed to be used for sabotage after a Soviet invasion. Instead it was used in massacres across mainland Europe as part of a CIA Strategy of Tension. Gladio killing sprees in Belgium and Italy were carried out for the purpose of frightening the national political classes into adopting U.S. policies.

Italian Prime minister Giulio Andreotti (DC) publicly recognized it on October 24, 1990, though naturally spinning a very soft-focus version of its nature, and spoke of a "structure of information, response and safeguard", with arms caches and reserve officers.
Actions carried out by Gladio in particular included the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing, the 1972 Peteano attack by Vincenzo Vinciguerra and the 1980 Bologna train massacre.
State-sponsored terrorism, the simple purpose being to carry out terrorist attacks, blame them broadly on the forces you wish to attack, and also carry out the consequential strict internal measures/states of emergency necessary to protect the public from the dreadful people carrying out these attacks. The state attacks its citizens, therefore give the state more power to protect its citizens. Very simple and effective as shown in more recent examples of the same methods.


Thursday, 1 January 2015

Ingres and Feminism . . . again

In celebration of the New Year, I've dug into the bowels of this blog & am re-posting the remains of this piece . . . that is to say, obviously with the exception of this opening sentence the rest has appeared previously & is now appearing again, not that it ever stopped appearing in the first place.


Following on from the recent post involving Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres, a post on his much undervalued role as an intellectual patron and artistic chronicler of the liberating force of feminism. Below is one of the leading figures of the emerging movement that changed the landscape of life, Venus Anadyomène, painted by Ingres in slightly allegorical mode. Anadyomène was regarded by the ruling elites as "one of the most dangerous people in Europe" for her radical views regarding universal suffrage.

Ingres' most important work as chronicler of the rise of feminism is the painting below, which shows the first organised meeting of like-minded women from around Europe to debate and formulate strategies for the campaign ahead. Ingres, the only male present, was requested by Anadyomène to record the event for posterity, which , given the sociological climate of the time, he misleadingly titled The Turkish Bath. Noone will deny Ingres has managed to capture something of the tension of the heated exchanges that occured at that seminal gathering.

And finally, below is a painting of the extremist figure, still only known by her nom de plume, The Source, by which the painting is still known. She believed the ends justified the means, and women were duty bound to resort to violence to further the struggle.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Survival of the FIttest 2 - Economics . . .

In the last post, Survival of the Fittest, I alluded to the idea of that doctrine being the justification of an aggressive egotism in the political-economic sphere. In the post as a whole was shown how self-sacrifice is an immeasurably higher principle in the perpetuation of at least higher life-forms - not denying that principle of egotism or self-centred strength as an aspect of life but is nonetheless very minor compared to the giving of oneself and one's energies for others, as most obviously in the raising of the young, without which there would be no ongoing life with which to compete for anything.

Anyway, here a quick look at that 'Darwinian' ethos or justification for the principle of hard egotism within the political/economical sphere or spheres, and how true the principle could be said to be. In a previous piece I wrote:

Poker is capitalism in something like its pure form - the only product being exchanged is money. And if a game of poker is indefinitely continued, all the money will find its way progressively into fewer and fewer hands.

Poker here is of course so useful as it equates to a purity of environment unattainable within the complexity of the human world proper, and so within these more or less perfect laboratory conditions is seen that arch-competitiveness leads to a total narrowing of the field of existence to the point of just one surviving winner or 'species'.

How well does this then equate to the living environment? Could life in any way be said to parallel this extreme, even total narrowing of the surviving forms as shown if the principle is given free-play within the perfect economic conditions of the poker game? And so given the almost endless profligacy of life-forms within life, the attempt to sum up life as primarily conforming to this dominant principle, which in turn handily justifies the purity of egotism within economic and political fields, is hopelessly inadequate. Within a strictly confined environment where the survival of the fittest principle is allowed free and dominant rein what results is an ever narrowing constriction inwards, as one would expect since this is what egotism is: a narrowing inwards; whereas in the open field of life, what by almost total contrast occurred in terms of multiplicity of life-forms is an enormous expansion outwards.

These inane simplifications as critiqued here one could say are the workings of a primitive or embryonic form of intelligence, trying to reduce life to crude intellectual forms comprehensible to and symptomatic of itself.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Surivial of the Fittest?

"You know that survival of the fittest idea as the kind of overarching of idea for life, beneath which everything else bows down. And even extending into spheres like economics or political philosophies  as a kind of final truth of egotism."
"Yeah, what about it?"
"It doesn't really work, does it."
"Why not?"
"Because if it was the over-ruling idea of life, then for the higher animals anyway life wouldn't get very far, or rather it wouldn't get going in the first place."
"Why's that?"
"Isn't it obvious - think about babies, in the wild they're all more or less totally helpless if left to their own, and so wouldn't survive if not for the self-sacrifices of the fittest, the adults. So self-sacrifice is a far higher principle for life than any kind of egotism, within which notion life would quickly die out with the pure selfishness of the self-serving individual. Though of course the self-serving individual wouldn't exist in the first place without the self-sacrifice of its parent or parents to bring through its long period of basic helplessness. And it's no good talking about this as being about species rather than individuals, because what kind of egotism is it that sacrifices itself for the good of the species? That's the opposite of egotism. And so all-in-all self-sacrifice is obviously enough a far higher principle for life."
"I'll have to think about it."

Friday, 21 November 2014


"What do you think of yer man Obama?"
"The fella playing him is pretty good all right yeah."

Friday, 7 November 2014

Cluster - Rosa

German band Cluster, comprised of Hans Roedelius & Dieter Moebius, from their 1974 album 'Zuckerzeit'. With guitarist Michael Rother they formed Harmonia and below is 'Sehr Kosmisch' from the album 'Musik von Harmonia' also released in 1974.

Though - and I don't know why I feel the need to be so educational - a more typical Harmonia piece is Watussi below:

Tuesday, 4 November 2014


"You're of course a great socio-political expert, a connoisseur if you will in government. What can you tell us about how to deal with terrorists."
"Well, if they didn't exist, you'd have to make them up."


A long path led away from the town and up a steep climb; not the most well-trodden of paths especially the further it went, but still far from unwalked. It continued on up to the top of the climb and, while the path became fainter and fainter as the climb progressed, its existence could still be discerned, even if fading as it progressed to little more than the steps themselves - that is the steps and path became one and the same.

A man appeared in the town, seemingly more used to urban living, not the most physically imposing or impressive, glasses beneath which greedy, bird-like eyes darting about him. He had a kind of carnivorous look of trying to extract some inner marrow of whoever he was talking to, though given the nature of himself and his staccato, disconnected attempts at conversing, I don’t think he was having much success with the locals in that line - though you never know, maybe he thought he was penetrating them to the core.

He came across the path one day, by chance or however, and it seemed he grew very excited by it. He was soon to be seen coming and going from the town, and on his goings carrying bundles of long pointed sticks, atop of which he had managed to tie flags, and it turned out he was sticking these flagged sticks into the ground at regular intervals, or at least what was probably meant to be regular intervals, up along the ascending path. Back he would come to the town and then away again with another bundle atop his obedient if not very sturdy back. He had the look, it was said, all this time of someone who’d been awaiting all his life for something special, some great moment, and now it had arrived, and so now there he was merging with it for all he was worth.

With word of what he was doing when I next went along that walk I expected to see it indented from start to finish with his flagged sticks, and indeed for some distance it was heavily scoured. The sticks though tended not to be much in the way of being particularly upright, instead at odd angles to each other creating a haphazard rhythm, while quite a few were already perilously close to toppling over outright and a few having already done so. At times the sticks departed the path and struck out at some tangent for a few yards before these digressions coming to abrupt halts, occasionally one or two sticks then making unconvincing looking efforts to bridge and rejoin the apparently re-found path a little further. Maybe he thought he was effecting some short-cuts or, unused to such uncivilized terrains, his eyes simply found it difficult at times, say of fading light, to discern what was path and what not.

At first the disfigured vista seemed to me a bit amusing but then I began to get annoyed at the thought and sight of this wild, quiet place being made look ridiculous, and by this stupid outsider - not that his being an outsider probably made any difference, though of course only an outsider would have behaved like this in the first place.

Walking on after a while just where the incline began to get a bit more serious I came an end of the sticks, and a few yards further on lay the very man, stretched out and gasping, still with a couple of sticks in the bundle tied to himself. I’m afraid he didn’t provoke much in the way of compassion in me, he’d be all right in a while, but I could hardly just walk on, much as I might have wished, and so having asked him was he all right, to which he was unable to reply, I stayed by him a bit, and with the help of a drink of water he slowly began to recover himself.

“Are you feeling better now?”
“I am improving. It is the same every time.”
”What is?”
”This is as far as my body goes. I cannot go myself any further. But you, you don’t think you could . . .”

In short what he was telling me, while not losing that greediness to his look though with now I thought an added tone of some secret comradeship, that his path-marking was coming up against something of a brick-wall and that being his body’s collapsing in exhaustion somewhere around this point. The walk was bad enough, but with the weight of the sticks added to the load . . . But me, might I not wish to involve myself: to mark out the rest of the path? ‘I’m afraid not.’ He seemed to find this incomprehensible - not to be a colleague in this great work - but rather than explain myself,  I said good luck and headed off up the path.

I came across him similarly stretched out and gasping over the next few days, back or forward a few yards from the same point, but usually back a bit: the weight of the added sticks he’d added to his pile and having to carry the entire already attained distance presumably too much for him. He didn’t ask me again to help him, but added to his embittered looks me was some latent pleading along with, deeper again, some uncomprehending sense of betrayal, whatever mystery about which he must have thought we were in league.

I suppose you had to admire his efforts with these flagged sticks, at least in theory you did, but in practice to be honest I didn’t. He failed to ever manage to get much farther with his sticks along the path, and soon, these limits to his endurance unsurpassed, he disappeared altogether. In his absence quite a few more of his sticks toppled over.

It wasn't the end of things though and soon enough other men, diluted versions you could say of the first, began appearing. And why? To see The Sticks for themselves (their pronunciation somehow included the capitals). Sent on their way up the path, they were as excited about what they came across as the first man had been, and in their own ways turned out to be just as busy – this time not sticks but maps, measuring tapes, graphs, cameras . . . If in the midst of their activities someone happened to walk past them heading off up the incline, out past the limits of the sticks, these men wouldn’t it seemed even notice him. Even if said hello in passing he still wouldn't appear to register.

Their activities proved endless. You might think they’d soon enough exhaust all they could do but there was no end to distances and angles of and between sticks that could be measured. Incidentally any stick that in the meantime fell was left where it was and no more interest paid it.

As time went on the fame of the original man and his sticks, and some of the later men, grew and grew. No mention though ever seemed to be made of the path.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Outpouring of the Inner

Every inner state will naturally produce thoughts, even ascending to the heights of a philosophy, as direct emanations and justification of that state as truth, even final truth. The state becomes, particularly the more one becomes immersed in it, self-evident in its truth, it is that person's reality, and the thinker is not distinct from it.
Atheism is for instance the emanation of and simultaneously the attempt to justify a narrowed egotistical sense of being as truth. Whatever the inner state is tends not to be satisfied with itself simply as experienced reality due to, say, a certain way of life, but instead to be exclusive in proclaiming itself jealously as final truth. Atheism again so is the attempt of the petty ego sense of being to not shamefully feel itself as petty and narrowed down, but to actually proclaim this narrowed down state of being as the proud summit of reality - and as this gets pushed deeper in particular that particular individual's ego sense as final truth.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014


A word, or maybe words, fell from above, naturally . . . that is naturally they fell from above, they could hardly have fallen from below . . .  but anyway in the falling the word or words hit something hard, the corner was it of the roof, and broke into pieces onto the dirt. Something of course so interesting was hardly going to be ignored, but efforts in trying to put together again the pieces ended in, if not failure, confusion . . . though it might be more truthful to say failure and confusion, not to mention mud. The pieces  were so small no one could agree, never mind what word or words the letters comprised but what letters the pieces comprised, though of course this didn't stop the most violent certainties arising and clashing with other violent certainties. Anger, self-righteousness, etc.

Anyway all involved were and are behaving as if this fallen word or words were of the utmost importance, unquestionably; and there was no one even to suggest otherwise. Maybe it was just tossed by some bloody shoemaker from a dirty attic window. Why a shoemaker? I don't know. Egalitarianism. Though of course they could be right - from the heavens and all that. But you'd think if someone had gone to the trouble of sending it from the heavens, they'd have managed to avoid it smashing off the edge of some stupid roof. Ah but that maybe that was the whole point - the smashing bit . . . as well as the falling.

But isn't this all a bit too allegorical, crude even? Maybe it is, whatever it's supposed to mean. But don't blame me. I only wrote it down.

Sunday, 7 September 2014


"You must admit it looks strange - "
" - I admit nothing."
" - your fiancé's head found in your shopping bag."
"I fail to see . . . "