He wakes up. He is energized. He is fully of energy. He watches the dust motes dance in the beams of light and he is filled with joy at their random dance and then he spend twenty minutes trying to balance the hot and cold taps in the shower in the bath and it kills his mood a touch. Then he drives safely and then he eats some breakfast and he does not feel well after he eats that breakfast but not not well enough to vomit everywhere. Then he counts light bulbs and counts gels and cleans things and does productive things and then he makes things and does art and design and his back screams with pain so he cannot sit down he thinks he really must see a professional about that and then he realizes he has to make pies for Thanksgiving so he goes to buy the ingredients and he does not have enough money and the automated teller shames him when he swipes his cards as it says very loudly in a suprised tone of voice oh I’m sorry it seems that your card has been declined as if it feels bad for him but he is judging and the bright red face that beams out of the beard and the hat and the hood shines and draws attention to it and he has to ask for human help and the human kindly helps and removes some items from his cart and this fixes the problem but as he walks home in the rain his back in pain he wonders why the screaming surprise of the automated machine refusing his card why it has to be so loud and why the light has to flash and why he has to be shamed in public and then he makes a sandwich and then he makes four pies and then he reads and he writes and he changes clothes for pyjamas and then he has a hot chocolate and then he goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He has been ill. He has been sick. He has evacuated everything of himself into and out of and through and over and above and beyond and his bent double staggering round the toilet bowl agony in his beard and dripping from his mouth and from other places wretching stomach spasm illness and bed ridden for days riding the bed for days and no water passes his lips at first and no food can pass his lips at first and then only tiny sips and then only the smallest of nibbles of toast and crackers and the days pass and the agony remains and the sheen of sweat thickens and oils up through the pores as he feels his death and then he is alive once again and cured and pushed through the viral wall that brought him low and he is on his way to work and he skirts a large puddle of vomit on the ground and he staggers back at the volume of a stranger’s sneeze and he feels a storm is coming because a storm is coming because he heard them talk about it on the radio this morning and it has killed people and it is not a metaphor it is a real storm. Then he reads about a Breaking Bad themed wedding and he thinks only in America and then he thinks no that could happen anywhere where Breaking Bad is a popular television show because people are pretty similar when you get right down to it. Then he remembers the anxiety dream he had about work where nothing was plugged in and he was directed to the wrong studio and he was only told that nothing worked when they were live on air but luckily that was a dream and then he remember his other dream where he was in a vast expanse of blackness being drugged and seduced by a naked white woman with a bobbed crimson pixie cut but then he rejected her advances and she melted into the darkness leaving him alone in the bright light and then later on it is analyzed as a dream about him dealing with his feelings about race theory and his desire to break free of his whiteness and deny it but of course he cannot deny it because he is it but that makes him feel self-loathing but it is something that he has to come to terms with as an individual and as a member of society and then he listens to horrendous monsters sounds and then he does lots of dish washing and glass washing and then he learns that there will be ice rain tomorrow and that irritates him and then he watches Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s new video and it is not as ridiculous as he has been led to believe and then he watches the James Franco Seth Rogen spoof and it isn’t as funny as he was expecting but actually rather sincere and moving and he feels that whether the intention was to spoof and lampoon the original it hasn’t worked at all and the joke one is actually somewhat profound and moving and he is not sad that either of these videos exist and that they express in a direct way feelings of love and that is not a bad thing and then he is asked by his landlord to talk a little more quietly on the phone because it was keeping him up last night and then he feels a little embarassed because he was talking about graphic sexual things and other things that were not graphic sexual things but very loudly but he didn’t think it was loudly so now everyone in the house who is older and wiser knows all the things he likes to do and that is not necessarily information that he wanted to share but it is done now and he smiles and he brushes his teeth and he goes to sleep glad that these entries are opaque and almost unreadable.
He wakes up. His landlord is ill. He gives his landlord $750 in cash which makes his landlord a little better and he apologises to his landlord for the check that bounced because it shouldn’t have bounced because he had money in his account so there was no reason for it to bounce and then he makes a paper flower which was beautiful and elegant and then he learns that Daniel Day-Lewis’ son has a rap video and he watches it and it is terrible and thick with whining self-deceiving pity and awful posturing cultural appropriation and he can’t watch the whole thing because it makes him feel physically sick and even more disturbed for the hope of humanity but then he puts things in perspective because the crime of a young white man rapping is indicative of bigger problems that will go unsolved if all the time of the day is spent focusing on a young millionaire who has never suffered in any way that merits his concern. Then he watches some W. Kamau Bell and feels happier and then he has a coffee and eats a sandwich and wonders how long the day will last and thinks about writing. Then he watches Hari Kondabolu and he feels happier. Then he reads that some ancient spear tips have been found which might push back the age of modern man to 85000 years ago or it could be that the artefacts were collected poorly and given he was a student of archaeology and did that very thing once it is very likely or there was another branch of humanity that made spear tipped like artefacts or maybe they aren’t spear tips but actually tiddlywinks and the ancient peoples spent all day playing various games of skill to while away the long temperate days. Then he remembers the racists at the African American History section of the Museum of American History who talked abuot blacking up in middle school to dress as Martin Luther King and how it was acceptable to do that then but it probably wouldn’t be acceptable now and that they are illustrating their lack of racism to their friends by being at this museum and walking around this museum and laughing about blacking up as children and unashamed and with justification not finding that this is a problem that runs far deeper than the ignorance of their teachers or their peers or the world they lived in then because black face has never been acceptable to do and walking round a museum dedicated to The Struggle and loudly declaiming that your heart was in the right place and your intentions were good does not let you off the hook as you nervously laugh because you know in your heart that you were party to oppressive racist lampoonery of the worst kind and one might argue that your ignorance as a middle school male was not your fault but your lack of education as a middle aged man is certainly all your fault and you have no excuse for your heinous views and your nervous giggling he thinks to himself. But he does nothing except for to look in irritation at the two people who are oblivious to his rage and then he goes for lunch and then on the National Mall he declares his love and it is romantic and then he goes home and watches Saturday Night Live and falls asleep in happiness.
He wakes up. The Fiery Brook runs past the front door. He is at a bus stop and a drunk man asks to use his cell phone. He has a protective boot on one foot and staggers leering at women on his crutches as he begs for a cell phone so that he can call his family his son his daughter to come and pick him up no one is going to come and pick him up no one is going to give him a cell phone. He has forgotten Bahrain like everyone else has forgotten Bahrain where the Spring was crushed the petals of the eager young flower was pressed into the dirt by a big British made boot where all the other springs are broken and twisted and rusting already through the sodden mattress that is the lie of revolution then he has a coffee and he feels better about his failures and then he reads about white supremacy and feels ashamed but his shame is not the point of reading about white supremacy but there it is and then he gets his computer fixed which he is very excited about because he was sad that it wasn’t working and couldn’t get online to read about things and to write about things and then he wonders at the way that the BBC seems to be above criticism and he wonders if the new Dr. Who will be any good and wonders if David Tennant feels he has failed because he is back being the Doctor again without a new success to his name and he wonders if Matt Smith fears that the same fate will now befall him and then he wonders why he is wondering about the lives of millionaire actors when he should be wondering why activists are always subject to criticism and marginalised and business leaders are venerated and lifted up on pedestals and the flames of revolution are simmering the pancake of freedom in the saucepan of hope and it is time to flip that emancipatory pancake so that there can be a better day for everyone. Then he become disillusioned by The Daily Show and The Colbert Report as they act as release valves for the system and then he wonders if anything is worth anything and then he considers that it probably is but he doesn’t know how to activate that for a better world. He eats some burnt toast with lemon curd. It is one of his favourite things. Then he thinks about all the different ways he can say I love you and then he wonders at the fact that PR companies are employed by terrorists and governments as important arms of their own particular war efforts and realizes there is no longer any need for satire because Life has jumped the shark and jumped the sofa and wagged the dog and screwed the pooch and dropped the ball and been run out and fumbled the catch and squandered a valuable opportunity to be deemed worthwhile. Then he brushes his teeth, humming happily to himself. Then he sleeps.
He wakes up. He passes his driving test. Then there is some confusion so he cannot pay for the test or get proof that he has taken the test or that he exists and he is told that he has to go to another department but after the weekend so he remains hopeful but he knows that deep down he is going to have to go through the whole process again from the very beginning as if he had never applied for it and his car will combust and all that will remain will be a smouldering tire and a melted radio. Then he makes a terrible faux pas which he will not write about. Then he inhales more of the tragedy from The Philippines and from Afghanistan and from the prisons of America and from the forgotten sections of the Estates of the cities of the world and he has a coffee and he gets paid and then loses all of his money on living expenses and staying alive and then he is saddened as liberal commentators suggest crushing sanctions on Iran and then he watches hairs gray on his beard and then he watches a commercial about hair loss and then he is saddened about the entrenched bigotry and homophobia that he feels bonded to the fibers of his being and then he tries to be less so of that and more so enlightened and he watches a video about the division of blue eyed children and brown eyed children in a classroom exercise and it seems that everyone should experience that lesson and then he lies down and then he sleeps.
You must be born. You must have opinions. You must have no opinions. You must love literature. You must hate literature. You must have been lied to by your family. You must have lied to your family. You must have gone through many terrible experiences. You must have been through many wonderful experiences. You must know a language. You must be able to commmunicate. You must be shy. You must be verbose. You must love words. You must hate words. You must enjoy simplicity. You must embrace complexity. You must have deceived a lover. You must have been broken by a lover. You need to be male. You need to be female. You need to belong identify with no gender. You need to understand that gender is a fiction. You need to be ignorant of gender studies. You need to be differently abled. You need to use racial epithets for everyone of your colleagues. You must campaign against racism. You must live an enlightened life. You must be a hobo. You must be on the Forbes rich list. You must be an advocate. You must be a coward. You must have a mental illness. You must be financially stable. You must think outside the box. You must live in a box. You must be a box. You must hate everyone. You must hate yourself. You must dabble in the occult. You must be a practising Christian. You must be a professional Muslim. You must be a casual observer. You must be a constant complainer. You must eat food. You must drink liquid. You must be an alcoholic. You must be a drug dealer. You must be able to cook. You must be able to cook meth. You must enjoy baking. You must enjoy being baked. You must be prepared to die for what you believe in. You must love Maeve Binchy. You must love Ernest Hemingway. You must be earnest about Herring. You must hear. You must be hard of hearing. You must be deaf. You must be able to speak. You must be able to remain quiet. You must be prejudiced against everyone. You must be open minded enough to love anyone. You must love spelling things correctly. You must not care about how things are speld or care about grammar or syntax because it doesnt matter. You must be a stickler for details and you must make sure that you are aware of the bigger picture and just let the centre take care of itself whilst looking after the edges of a sentence that has lost it’s full stop. You must hate life. You must love life. You must take lots of drugs both legal and illegal. You must take no drugs. You must be straight edge. You must be a sports fan. You must enjoy the company of others. You must hate everyone. You must hate everything. You must love the world. You must love all of humanity. You must love yourself. You must have a clear plan. You must make it up as you go along. You must have an ending. You must have a beginning. You must have a middle. You must reverse all of these. You must stick to them on pain of death. Don’t listen to advice. Listen to all advice. Learn to write. Learn to read. Listen. Don’t listen. Have a nap. Don’t sleep. Eat cake. Hate yourself. Love yourself. Ignore this advice.
He wakes up. He sits on a bus and watches as an old woman realises that she has passed her stop to senior center. This is at least the second time that this has happened with this particular woman. He hopes that she remembers where she is supposed to go next time. He is walking home at some point and a car stops beside him. Inside there is a German family and they are lost and they ask him for directions but he does not know where they are trying to get to so he gets out his cell phone and he searches for their location of choice on his smart map and then he gives them directions and they smile and say thank you and then they are on their way and he is happy that he could help this nice German family go to visit their friends. He watches the trees bronze into umber and the leaves fall gently to the ground. Later on his is walking into CVS and a man with sad eyes is at the door and he asks for some money because he needs baby formula and he does not look suspicious just scared so he has no money but he can help with his credit card and he goes into the shop and he buys the baby formula for the desperate father and he feels that he has done good and he hopes that baby formula is not the new base ingredient in some terrible street high but he imagines that it is not really and that he has helped a small family get by even if for a couple of days. Then he has sex and he weeps and sometimes he does both of those things at the same time and sometimes he does one after the other then he watches Ron Burgundy and then he watches a man do an impression of Ron Burgundy and he laughs at bloopers and at the word bloopers. Then there is laundry and cooking and beards are trimmed and grey hair is appreciated and he watches out of the window of his imagination as people move gracefully through life like dancers to an invisible symphony. Then he remembers the joy of Nights of Cabiria and the joy of Sweet Charity and of Les Miserables and of Cabaret and of the darkness of authentic musical and the failure of resolution in the phrasing of Andrew Lloyd Webber and he ponders on the flawed complex lives of the philosophers and that he never wants to meet his heroes and that no one should meet their heroes because in real life heroes are human and then he goes to sleep.
Good things come to those who wait.
Unless all the good things are just go around the corner out of sight and hearing.
Why not go and check.
Don’t worry, it’s not a trap…
I said it’s NOT a trap.
That’s right, just down at the end of the alleyway – through the neon lit door.
All the Good Things are waiting for you.
Breathing heavily – licking their lips with anticipation.
He wakes up. Not enough sleep. No shower. Same pants same underpants same pants same trousers same jumper same sweater same jumper same shirt as he pulls them all on thinking messily in two different languages that are the same language as he throws bread and meat and cheese into his bag and hopes that on the run to the bus stop they will like an aeroplane forming from a wind blowing through a scrap yard so will a perfect aerodynamic sandwich be formed in the recesses of his bag as carbohydrate combines with protein slides in comfortably with fat. When he reaches the bus just in time and looks in the bag he does not see a perfect aerodynamic sandwich. He memorises words in Spanish with his new cell phone game. He is addicted to learning new words and the messy knowledge that he has no understanding of the grammar or the tenses or the context is pushed to the back of his mind as he greedily gobbles up each one. He eats some cake he finds in the kitchen and he does not have an allergic reaction which is a good thing. Then he worries about the coming wine shortage and things that if anything will spark the revolution in the West then it will be a shortage of wine for insipid dinner parties. Then he reads about books written beyond the grave by ghosts and Mark Twain who seemed to have been as prolific after death as he was before or some people had overactive imaginations and couldn’t get published alone. Then he eats some lovely potato soup and he runs for the bus just as Highway To The Danger Zone blasts out from the speaker system of a restaurant he is running past and it becomes the uplifting movie moment he has always dreamed of having as his tired old legs pump his body towards the bus stop where he reaches the bus just in time and then he walks through the suburbs in the dark and the fog and he is all alone except for some dank looking workmen who should be safe at home not out on a dark and terrifying night like this unless they aren’t workmen at all but soul eating spirits shaped like workmen who devour the unsuspecting late night commuters divesting them of their beings. Then he makes it safely into his house and he drinks some hot chocolate and he goes to sleep.
I posted this before but it’s Halloween so I thought the world was ready to re-experience the horror….
Oh Dripping maw of meaty red
Do not look in that cave of dread
We Ope’d the Fruit
And so it bled.
Oh Dreaded Fruit of Rotten Red.
Sleep with the light on tonight…
He wakes up. Hell. He showers. Anti-Hell. He watches with terror as a technology guru descibes the outline of the future world run by technologists and distanced even further than now from the ideas of direct democracy and freedom of individuals. What of these dreams other than that they are dreams, he wonders. He has no answers. He eats some toast with marmite on it and some toast with blueberry jam on it. He walks as in a dream towards the bus and the dead deer has been cleared away. Perhaps it was scooped up and even now is being chewed on by the hungry or it decayed in the night or it was just a flesh wound and the entrails were tucked back in and the deer awoke and went on it’s way. His sneakers stick to the sticky floor of the bus. He wonders what was spilt. Some sweet tea perhaps or a cheap soda. He wonders at this years popularity of black face and wonders if he is just more observant this year or if there really is an upswing in the popularity from ignorant white people. Everyone of them more defensive than the last to protect their right to be insensitive and racist and bigoted and wrapped in the warm blanket of a privelige they do not understand. Then he looks at the smiling guitar owner on the bus and wonders if he can play the guitar. He thinks about Ron Swanson and wants to do some woodworking. He has no woodworking skills. He will learn but not now and not here on the bus. A small child compares her punishment for misdemeanours with the civil rights struggle of Martin Luther King. It is a fine comparison but not one that stands up to facts as they are but at least she is learning some history. Then he eats a lovely strata breakfast for dinner and then he travels far and is tired and collapses into his bed and ignores the mess and the detritus of his life that is still spread for more than a month now over every surface of his bedroom. There is no guilt. He sleeps.
He wakes up. He is refreshed. He showers. He eats toast with honey on it and he eats toast with jam on it and he walks to the bus and on the way he sees the carcass of a deer that he walked past the night before but now it’s belly is open and exposed it’s guts glistening with every passing car rigid with it’s eyes open. He walked past it last night and it’s eyes this morning are as glazed as they were the night before and as glazed as they were when it was alive no doubt and being slashed open by the front of a large car. He plays with blocks and he walks to the train station and he eats a sandwich and he feels the muscles of his bones sharp and tight and bunching in happiness in knots around his body as he stretches and remembers the joy of the weekend. He sees that Russel Brand is still being critiqued in ways that are unsurprising. Chris Hedges is still angry and impassioned. Each little echo chamber takes the information that funnels into it and listens to the pretty sounds as it bounces around inside off the shiny walls just like this little echo chamber. Then he reads about the rising popularity of blackface this halloween and wonders if it is more popular this year or if he is just noticeing it more this year. So much ignorance – the global hobby. One he practises with regularity and, when it is exposed as it always is, embarassment redress and enlightenment – until the next time. He eats a sandwich. He watches the television and the decadence sickens him not only because he is thinking of the poor who are sacrificed on it’s altar but also because he has tasted that decadence and he is jealous and that sickens him too. He discovers his werewolf name is Rogue Warrior through an online game and thinks this is a shit name. He passes uninterrupted through the rest of the day and then he goes to bed.
Today you will feel like a trending hashtag.
Howling. Scowling. Fouling.
These lessons from school days will serve you well.
You are Big Brother.
All of this was a dream.
Except for that bit.
That bit was all too real.
Don’t worry, the shuddering will cease, eventually.
Today beware of bewaring.
Walking for thinking,
Running to clear your head
And flying because of the giant cybernetic wings that have been grafted to your back, complex wiring interlaced with your nueral system.
Fly, my pretty, fly.
You forgot to read your horoscope today. That is why today has been such a disaster.
You do not know this is the reason for your failure because you have not read your horoscope.
All of your recent thoughts are mis-remembered celebrity tweets that you read last year.
Everything in moderation – except for moderation.
He wakes up. He is weightless with happiness and even the rain does not dampen him and even the cold does not bother him and the bus driver is singing and the world is clean and hopeful and perfect and then his shoes get wet but it’s still not a disaster. Then he eats a sandwich and then he feels great feelings of joy and the hair grows slowly in his ears and in his nostrils and as he walks his legs rub against his trousers and imperceptibly they erode fiber by fiber so that in months to come he will need to buy a new pair of trousers or walk the world wearing trousers with holes in them as he did in his youth without thinking that it was a problem even though looking back he sees that it was a problem and deeper than that a problem that he didn’t think it was a problem. Then he eats some rice and his brother warns him that reheating rice can incubate the botulinim toxin and he is not sure if that is true but his brother is generally a trustworthy source for science but he has already eaten the reheated rice so he just hopes that he has not been infected with botulism and he jokes about mashing the rice into his face and hoping that it works like a botox injection. He imagines Hollywood stars believing this and people who want to be Hollywood stars believing this as they go to special rice boutiques where white gown clad experts mash old wet rice into their glazed mushroom skin faces. Then he goes to sleep.
If you have a name then you are doomed.
Only the Nameless will survive this day.
He wakes up. It is early. He gets a wonderful email and so it goes from there for the rest of the day. He gets a bus and a bus and makes coffee and a bus and a train and no one cares about the Commonwealth Games and it seems that the Commonwealth should be disbanded because it seems to be a final desperate attempt to hold onto the British Empire and no one in power likes self-determination of the powerless because they know that it means they will have to address the oppression of their power and at the same time lose their power and become equal with everyone else and the powerful hate that thought and will do anything to stop having that thought so they ignore it and meet in secret and in public and suggest and plot and decide and cajole and threaten and posit and try and maintain the kyriarchy which is his new favourite word which he will not give the definition of here then he eats some brunch which is a sandwich with ham and cheese and mayonnaise and then he has a coffee with vanilla creamer and then he draws some pictures and makes some notes because those seem like important things to do and they make him feel important. Then the Taleban want to talk but they have conditions so all the journalists say that talking is pointless because the conditions are ridiculous but at least they are conditions and a place to start talking and negotiating our conditions are never ridiculous they are always proper and appropriate and suitable and Libya two years after the war is a disaster and Ghadaffi was proved right it is tearing itself apart and tomorrow the Prime Minister will be kidnapped and hubris writ large as Cameron and Sarkozy raise aloft the hands of Mustafa Abdul-Jalil who is now noteably absent from any of the mainstream discourse but it doesn’t matter because the cheering crowds were there and the photo opportunity was sealed and no one cares about the nuance because in the nuance hides the messy truth. Then he goes to a mussel bar that he initially mishears as a muscle bar to meet a friend and his wife and they eat mussels and drink beer and talk about Human Terrain Systems and the appropriation of academia to fight the fight for Empire and then he goes home and he bathes in the warm glow of happiness he has only but recently discovered and he watches Parks and Recreation and he wonders when everything will go wrong. He hopes that they will not go wrong. He sleeps.
Today you will discover that all the mirrors have stopped working.
He wakes up. He is standing at a bus stop. As he stands he watches as a man drives past driving somewhere. What is most noticeable is that the gentleman is daintily holding a pop tart between his fingers as he drives. He has eaten a corner of it and crumbs are visible on his cheeks. This image lasts but a second as the car zips past. The woman who was shot it seems was suffering from post partum depression. He writes this into his phone and smart text fails and writes pussy possum depression. There is no such thing as pussy possum depression. The mistake of the phone adds an absurdity to the horrible tragedy and no one talks about the fact that the only response that the police seem to have is violence and escalation and there are now stories that the woman was outside the car when she was shot but whether this is true or not he doesn’t know but her child was in the car her child was in the car her child was in the car and she thought Obama was stalking her. This is not so unreasonable as Obama is, in a way stalking everyone – even if not directly – the surveillance state is stalking everybody. He pays for part of his car but not all of his car because all of a sudden his car has a thousand things wrong with it but at least now it is fixed but unfortunately now he cannot take his car because he cannot afford all the costs which are now three times as much as the car cost to buy but then the car did cost only $900 so what did he expect he expected not to have to pay three times as much for the car for repairs that’s what he expected. Then he finds that all day he has to go to the toilet a lot and he experiences consistencies all along the spectrum from gruel to playdoh. Then he comes up with a strategy to fight the panopticon it is here to stay and it is not leaving so the the only way is to carry on as if the panopticon didn’t exist and rebel against its ubiquity by ignoring it and heightening the behaviors it deems unacceptable until such time as it breaks you on the wheel of its unflinching authority and power. Fight it even in the face of certain defeat – that is what it is to be human. This is his solution so he writes some poetry and he reads a beautiful zine and thinks about making his own and he wonders as he stands behind a man on the elevator who has a large behind that looks so inviting because he is so tired he just wants to lean forward and snuggle on it like a lovely pillow. It seems so inviting. He does not lean forward and snuggle on the stranger’s behind because he understands how one is supposed to behave in public and he will do the same with his real pillow when he gets home. Then he hears about a man who sets himself on fire on the National Mall but it merits little more than a footnote in the day and the man saluted the capitol before setting the gas he doused himself in alight and he was called John Constantino and he was 64 and he was from Mount Laurel in New Jersey and some people said that he may have done it because of the shut down but no witnesses who were there heard him say anything so no one is really any the wiser as to why he did what he did but he is dead now and the roller coaster of his life is as much a mystery as the end of his life. He drinks horkheimer red wine and enjoys flirting and goes home and thinks and imagines the glorious future where that flirting will become the seeds and the foundations of something beautiful and flowering and burgeoning and exciting and wonderful. He goes to sleep.
Today you will waste your time reading a fake horoscope.
This is that horoscope.
The one you are reading now.
You are still reading it.
It hasn’t finished yet.
No wait – there’s more.
Your feet are on fire.
I’m not complimenting your dancing.
Your actual feet are actually on fire.
Hang on there, I’ll go and get a fire extinguisher.
Unfortunately stupidity is now contagious.
There is no cure.
Except for books.
But you can no longer read them because of the stupidity.
When you woke up today it was yesterday.
Don’t worry about tomorrow – it will be today; and by the evening next week will have already happened.
You forgot all about today.
All your money has turned into chocolate.
He wakes up. Silence. He dresses. The rustle of clothing. He takes the egg fried rice that he made the night before and puts it in his bag. The bus is empty except for the driver. The bus stop fills up with the usual tired people. The sun rises. Coffee is prepared. Breakfast is prepared. The day commences. It is calm at work. Then there is a warning of shots fired at the Capitol and everything goes crazy as facts are verified and discarded and the morphing of fiction into facts and back again dances around the city as comment is sought and truth is ground into paste. There are shots fired a woman on a rampage then video footage of a car driving erratically and the sight of a baby being brought out of the car and the White House is under attack and then Capitol Hill and then no attack and then the death of a woman and then she didn’t have a gun and so wasn’t firing because how could you fire without a gun but she was a threat but not a terrorist threat but she was attempting to invade the White House or maybe she just got lost and stressed and panicked when she was threatened with guns and a bad day became the worst day or maybe she thought that the President was the father of her child and she as insane and was trying to get child support or maybe there is another reason but whatever is the case watching the news would not have got you any closer to the truth of what happened only to the truth that news should not be broadcast 24 hours a day with the idea that facts are being reported in any way but that in actual fact what we are watching is storytelling in real time no facts no truth just a roller coaster ride with all the peaks and troughs that we expect from Hollywood. He eats his egg fried rice and drinks a coffee and ponders on the list of recommended reading that David Bowie has produced and is all over the internet and he wonders if Americans have any idea what Viz, Beano or Private Eye are and when they discover what they are whether they will be perplexed. They may be perplexed because they will find no explanation here they will have to go and look those periodicals up themselves and analyze the importance of why David Bowie put them on his list of 100 greatest books. Then he talks and enjoys the talking. Then he reads Team of Rivals and then he goes to sleep. Being alive is tiring.
Your tendency to find the best in people will do you well today.
Look forward to new lungs, a new heart and some lovely new kidneys in your future.
He wakes up. He has a shower. He drinks some carrot juice. He brushes his teeth. He drinks some more carrot juice. The taste lingers as he walks to the bus. He is the only person except for the driver on the bus. He waits in the cold at the second bus stop. Everyone looks tired. He feels tired. He arrives and drinks a coffee and makes some oatmeal and ignores the cat and runs around with a child and talks to another child and watches the school bus leave and goes to the bathroom and walks to the auto shop and balks at the cost of repairs which are the same as the cost of the car which is a lesson to him not to buy a cheap car. Then he gets into work and discovers that he has, by proxy, an Emmy, but he has not really won an Emmy but someone more deserving at his job has won an Emmy but he can pretend that he has won it even though he did nothing to win it. Then he ponders the shut down and wonders if it is a right wing coup and then he wonders about Julian Assange and wonders if he is watching the trailer of The Fifth Estate on loop a thick erection piercing the air in front of him pushing through the open fly of his pyjamas as he wanders around the Ecuadorian Embassy in a cloud of his own ego leaving half eaten bowls of cereal snaffled from the work fridge as disgruntled employees of the building get more and more annoyed with his presence as he scratches and sings his way through the days but then he thinks that this is a terrible imagined view of this Lancelot of Truth and he is no doubt beavering away clean cut and washed on some kind of large tome which will show everyone how to live a better more private life. The government is still shut down and the right wing coup still continues apace. There were ancient volcanoes on Mars which doesn’t seem to be news but is made into news. He makes some egg fried rice which is tasty and unhealthy. He talks to a friend. He worries that his car is a money pit. He plays a video game. He ignores Newt Gingrich. That was all. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He is proactive about his car. He calls the mechanic who is very polite. He organises for a tow. This was all too easy far too easy this was not the difficult task that he has been stressing about and putting off for months there must be something missing he must have forgotten something. He has a coffee. He manages to be not allergic to a cat. He has a shave. He has a shower. He watches in horror as red welts burst on his forehead. He is relieved when the calm down. He meets his new housemate. He is clean cut and fresh and young and toned and bright eyed and optimistic and all things that he is not. He forgets his name. His friend picks him up from wedding. He gets to the wedding. His friend drives without his hands on wheel for a while. It is scary. He meets new people. The ceremony is short and beautiful. The noise of leaves being pulled along by bridal train is loud. It is very loud. Can’t everyone hear the sliding rubbing dry skin roar of the leaves? The children are quiet. The children are too quiet. Are they children? Are they androids? He does not know the answer to this question. Siri says loudly I DID NOT UNDERSTAND THAT at a comically perfect moment. There is wine. There is awkward conversation. Then there is unawkward conversation. Then there is laughter and food and political speechifying, then home and watching Breaking Bad and some light stalking from his stalker then Breaking Bad and Attack on Titan and reading and sleep.
Be wary of your eloquence today.
Don’t come running to me when you find yourself leading a rag-tag band of ne’er-do-wells on a suicide mission to rescue The President’s children.
I warned you.
Today is the first day of the month.
Don’t be so sure.
Today your hugs will cure everything –
AIDS, Cancer, Gout.
But not loneliness.
There is no cure for loneliness.
You are the kind of person who wears your heart on your sleeve.
Your sleeve is soaked with blood and you have about a minute before that call for the ambulance will be for naught.
Not that you can feel your fingers any more.
Someone will give you a million dollars today.
You just need to find which continent they are on.
Today the weather will be happening everywhere.
Look, it’s happening now, seeping under the door and through the windows.
There is no escape from The weather.
He wakes up. It is very early. He makes his way to the mva again with all of his documents but when he gets there he has no bill of sale so he cannot prove that he has bought the car and the old owner is now in Guatemala so that is a problem because his car is going to be towed if he does not move it but he can’t move it because the battery is dead and later on in the evening he will discover when he changes the batter for another battery that it was not the battery that was the problem but some other unknown issue with the old $900 car but for now all is can do is worry that he wasted a two hour bus journey to the mva and he will have to do the same journey tomorrow but he did eat some wonderful fresh tacos from the taco truck that is just next to the mva and he bought two and it only cost $4 and they were lovely and he left a tip of $1 which was probably enough. Then later on at work he makes some pictures and he finds a shop where he might be able to buy a battery for his car and finds a shop near to his house which is lucky as he imagines these batteries are pretty heavy. Then President Rouhani is everyone’s new best friend and the Western media don’t really know what to do with this information but this will probably be a passing phase and he will become a slavering demon in no time. He drinks some carrot juice and plots secret plots. He remembers conversations that he overheard on public transport and he is glad that he wrote them all down in his notebook for use at some later date. He buys the battery. It is very heavy. He staggers with it to the bus. He gets home. He eats breakfast for supper. He has a conversation about white privilege. He changes the battery in the dark. It takes a long time but finally he manages. Then he starts the car. It does not start. He turns the key again. Nothing happens except for a breathless whisper of a car not starting. The car has bigger problems. He does not know what they are. He leaves it for tomorrow as there is nothing more he can do. He watches the television. He reads about modern day slavery. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He is energized. He reads about the relationship between India and China. He missed his window for having a shower because his housemate wakes up unusually early and takes a shower so he has to leave the house without having taken a shower. This doesn’t bode well. Then he sees that his car is about to be towed. He realises that this is entirely his fault but now the battery of the car is dead and he has to get a new battery but he does not know how to install the battery in fact he knows very little about cars but he is hoping that he can jump start the car later on tonight move it somewhere secret and then get temporary tags the next day and then attach the tags and then forget about fixing the problem until the very last minute again and go through this whole cycle of irresponsibility again. He eats some brown bananas. He has a coffee. He meets a new work colleague. He collects some images. He listens to a man trying to argue that yachting is not a rich man’s sport. The man does not succeed. He reads about Corporate Social Responsibility. It seems like an oxymoron. He is probably just being cynical. He gives a tour of the tiny little studio. Then he eats some fish and some broccoli and then he reads Paradise Made in Hell by Rebecca Solnitt which is marvellous and uplifting and the he goes to hire a violin and gets to the store just before it closes and it is dark and public transport is not his friend because he leaves Paradise Made in Hell by Rebecca Solnitt on the train and he is sad that he has done this and he manages to stave off the impounding of his car which is a good thing and he delivers the violin which is a good thing and he will get very little sleep which is not a good thing but the day has not been a total failure and that is a good thing. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He is nervous about drones. He is nervous about drinking too much coffee. He is nervous about his white patriarchal privilege. He is nervous about the folded in unconscious racism that is his legacy. Likewise sexism. Likewise homophobia. He is nervous about the too hot shower and then the too cold shower. He is nervous that the shower has not cleaned him and that even with the deodorant the stink of his body is emanating from every pore – a visible cloud following him to the bus. He is nervous about the looks he gives other people. He is nervous for not giving a man a quarter when he did not happen to have a quarter. He is nervous about misrepresenting Miley Cyrus as a racist to a small child. He is nervous about the surveillance state. He is nervous about Nuclear War. He is nervous about President Rouhani. He is nervous about President Obama. He is nervous about Brazil. He is nervous about President Rousseff. He is nervous during his therapy. He is nervous about not doing enough work. He is nervous about doing too much work. He is nervous that he is being surveilled. He is nervous that he is being ignored. He is nervous that he is getting old. He is nervous that he is making prisons for himself. He is nervous that he isn’t important to warrant a back ground check. He is nervous that he is an imposter and his real self has been renditioned to a black site somewhere in a nameless country a bag on his head and his wrists in manacles. He is nervous that he is about to lose his job. He is nervous that he has no savings. He is nervous. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. All is well with the world. He spent a weekend disconnected from social media and from the news and from virtual interaction but embraced elements of real interaction with real humans with all of there flaws and their strengths. Then he listens to the radio as he drinks his coffee and he hears about the third day of the siege at The Westlake Mall and he nearly spits out his coffee as he listens but he doesn’t really spit out his coffee but he is shocked and stunned because The Westlake Mall is just five minutes from his house and he knew nothing of the siege or maybe it is the one that is ten minutes away. There are after all a lot of Westlake Malls in the area and then he listens to the story a little more and he realises that the Westlake Mall they are talking about is in Nairobi and he breathes slightly easier because it is not in driving distance but then he learns about the horror and the stampeding and the murders and the professional terrorists of Al Shabab and he thinks back to a conversation he was having last week with a colleague about the Navy Yard shooter and how easy it would be for a small group of dedicated warriors to enter a mall or enter a public space just as they did in Mumbai and just as it now seems they have done in Nairobi and cause chaos and murder and death and here they are doing the thing that he was talking about with a colleague and it was bound to happen eventually and talking about it doesn’t make it so but it’s an interesting synchronicity that he ponders as he makes his way into work wondering at the fear and the horror of the civilians and as he scours the photographs taken so that he can use suitable photographs he tries not to cry but it is very hard to cry and he cannot talk and his throat is lumped and his eyes wet as he looks at the pictures of the children and the pictures of the adults and the fear on the faces and the confusion and the pain and the suffering and even despite this he is glad that he still feels empathy even as he has to keep looking through these horrific images for suitable images he does not find that he is deadened to the horror and that is a good thing but it is a painful thing but it at least means that is at least for today and for now at the preferable end of the continuum that is defined as human. Then he learns about terrified adults trampling children and then he learns about heroic adults protecting children and then he learns about the large number of Americans in the group of terrorists and then he learns about the London base of operations that the terrorists PR seemed to be using so he wonders if America will be attacked and if the UK will be attacked because it seems that both of these countries are harboring terrorists or breeding terrorists or creating terrorists so it is time to act to be strong to show no quarter to strike at the very heart of the scourge but then of course that is silly but it does make him realize that this terrorist threat is a little bit more complex than one would like, One would like good guys and bad guys us and them we and they. Are they murdering women and children because their women and children were murdered because they feel aggrieved at some real or perceived slight. He does not know the answer but he does know that they have done monstrous things and this monstrous things will be held up and they will be judged for them just as other monstrous things are done by other groups are accidents or unfortunate or terrible mistakes so it seems that intention is important and intention is important but sometimes it is not enough. Then he has some mixed nuts and fruit and a very large coffee and he watches as a climate science denier is given space in what is otherwise a balanced and reasonable report on global warming which seems ludicrous but the he isn’t in charge of editorial content and will never be as long as he believes what he believes about the world the world that is it seems made up of infinite quantum jewels that seem to disprove that space or time exist or gravity or sense or logic or reason but if there are none of these things then what is this thing life what is it? He does not know. He storms past the young couple he accidentally stalked all the way home the other day. He is in no mood to do this a second time. Then he makes some fried rice which is quite tasty and then he watches some Breaking Bad. He is only on Season 2 and he is with desperation and futility attempting to watch all of them so he can watch the final episode this coming Sunday without having it ruined for him by everyone on the internet who will talk about it and analyze it and then move onto the next show. Then he reads some of The United State of Paranoia which is probably a false flag operation to make it seem like there are no conspiracies, he jokes. Which could also be a joke. It is a very good book that he is enjoying. Then he feels glad that he has paid off an old debt and tries to forget all of the other debts he had financial and otherwise. Then he goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He eats some cookies. He has some coffee. He watches a documentary about Jung. He does his laundry. He finds a bill that he owes and another bill that he owes and another bill that he owes and he puts them in a pile of bills. He wonders if he will be able to take his driving test this week. It has only been three months after all since he filled in all the paper work. Perhaps he will have the courage to organize himself this week. Then he reads some books and then he cooks some fish and broccoli with soy sauce and chili which is tasty and then he ignores more calls from someone who is certainly by all definitions a stalker and he worries that this might get worse but he puts that worry in the same pile as the bills and the organizing the driving test and the plans for his future and his hopes and his dreams. Then he transfers some money and then he goes to sleep.
Our suspicions are first aroused when we see that the self-declared apostles of ethics and of the ‘right to difference’ are clearly horrified by any vigorously sustained difference. For them, African customs are barbaric, Muslims are dreadful, the Chinese are totalitarian, and so on. As a matter of fact, this celebrated ‘other’ is acceptable only if he is a good other – which is to say what, exactly, if not the same as us? Respect for differences, of course! But on condition that the different be parliamentary-democratic, pro free-market economics, in favour of freedom of opinion, feminism, the environment… That is to say: I respect differences, but only, of course, in so far as that which differs also respects, just as I do, the said differences. Just as there can be ‘no freedom for the enemies of freedom’, so there can be no respect for those whose difference consists precisely in not respecting differences. To prove the point, just consider the obsessive resentment expressed by the partisans of ethics regarding anything that resembles an Islamic ‘fundamentalist’.
The problem is that the ‘respect for differences’ and the ethics of human rights do seem to define an identity! And that as a result, the respect for differences applies only to those differences that are reasonably consistent with this identity (which, after all is nothing other than the identity of a wealthy – albeit visibly declining – ‘West’). Even immigrants in this country [France], as seen by the partisans of ethics, are acceptably different only when they are ‘integrated’, only if they seek integration (which seems to mean, if you think about it: only if they want to suppress their difference). It might well be that ethical ideology, detached from the religious teachings which at least conferred upon it the fullness of a ‘revealed’ identity, is simply the final imperative of a conquering civilization: ‘Become like me and I will respect your difference.’
Ethics An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, Alain Badiou p24
(1993, trans. 2001)
He wakes up.
[INSERT LIFE HERE]
He goes to sleep.
Philisophy does not begin in an experience of wonder, as ancient tradition contends, but rather, I think, with the indeterminate but palpable sense that something desired has not been fulfilled, that a fantastic effort has failed.
Infinitely Demanding – Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance, Simon Critchley (2007)
He wakes up. Did the night happen he wonders. He thinks it probably did but he was asleep when it happened. Then he runs for the bus and he makes it because of the red light. He thanks the red light. It is cold this morning. He should have come out in a coat but it is too late to get a coat because he is on the bus and he cannot just steal a coat from a stranger. He wants to be able to inject books directly into his brain. The sun comes up and it is still cold. Then he is at work and he orders some chairs. Then he wonders if the chairs will be okay. Then he makes some pictures. They are all magical. Then he wonders whether he should have spoken to Eric Schlosser yesterday but he looked like he was in a bad mood so it’s probably best he didn’t speak to him because it would just have been to tell him how much he enjoyed Fast Food Nation. Eric Schlosser has probably heard this too many times and is now bored with people telling him how much they enjoyed Fast Food Nation. Now he has a book about Nuclear Weapons and he probably wants people to read that and tell him how wonderful they think that book is. He looks annoyed and tired but well dressed which is probably compulsory after talking to lots of people that you don’t know about a book that none of them have read but are all pretending to have read. Then he has a coffee and then all of a sudden he is on the bus again and work happened and there was a flood in Mexico and the shooting in DC is almost forgotten and the flood in Colorado is almost forgotten and the flood and Hurrican in Manila was never mentioned by anyone in the mainstream media because of the usual reasons and a new drug which is really a combination of old drugs is being used by the poor in South Africa and the Federal Reserve is still printing free money and the random number got bigger and bigger like the bloodied swelling of an erection as they all realised that Ben Bernanke sacerdotes in chief displayed the entrails and intoned that the economy was not yet strong enough to not piss free money into the mouths of the rich so that then it could funnel through their alimentary canals to be shit into the mouths of the poor. Then he watches Rouhani says categorically that Iran does not want Nuclear Weapons and he watches it and realizes that this will make no difference to those in America who want to invade Iran which is a shame. Then his books by radical thinkers arrives and he is happy about that and he eats a bagel and he reads his books and gets coffee all over his sweater and he tweets idiocy into the night and tries to forget that it is all being archived in The Library of Congress and he goes back to reading and researching his massive never ending projects and he goes to sleep.
I never like to explain poems but here I am explaining a poem.
I was irritated, this morning, as with most mornings, at what Twitter had vomited out to the world after the announcement of the new Miss USA contest. Now I am not particular fan nor enemy of the Miss USA competition. It is a particularly American form of demeaning women by making them bark facts and do tricks but everyone enters into it with as much of a freewill as any one can ever enter into anything and it is, even though oppressive in the subtle ways that our patriarchy oppresses all women, not the worst thing that a woman can, in this day and age, experience. I am not a woman so I cannot say this for sure but that is the basis upon which I have feelings regarding the Miss USA competition. From Twitter there came various hateful comments regarding the Indian American winner. They are widely available on the internet. I shall not repeat them here. So in response to a comment made by a friend about how awful this was I appropriated a line from The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus and adapted it for my needs. It is, I believe, the most famous of all the lines and is rendered below:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”
Later, as I pondered my changed version I decided to change the whole poem to reflect my views, at the very present moment on social media. The irony of me transmitting this through social media is not lost on me. What can one say other than that I am a hippocrit. So be it – I find myself guilty as charged.
So here, without further ado, and a lengthy introduction which does not deserve my brutalisation, or your time, I present you with An Apology, in Advance, to the Memory of Emma Lazarus:
Not like the eyeless spawn of silicate shame,
With writhing limbs lumbering from gland to gland;
Here at our broken toothed, fiery gates shall stand
A soiled beacon with a stump, whose flame
Is the searing lie, and it’s name
Moloch’s Minion. From it’s bloodied-hand
Burns world-wide fury; her wild sockets command
The air-thick with rage that prejudices frame.
“Keep, ancient tomes, your words!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your racist, your sexist,
Your homophobic masses yearning to speak hate,
The wretched moral refuse of your inner world.
Send these, the bankrupt, lunatics to me,
I lift my stump beside the flaming maw!”
He wakes up. It is early. Chatter on the radio. Before sunrise it is cool. Then it rains. He showers. He has no deodorant. He does not look forward to later in the day when all of his pheromones will be filling the work environment, driving his colleagues wild. He will not be driving his colleagues wild. He has an egg sandwich and a coffee for breakfast. He looks down at his belly. It is distended and hairy. He needs to do even the most basic exercise. He knows that masturbation does not count as exercise. Even if he breaks a sweat doing it. Then there is a shooting in DC and there is a lock down and then the rest of the day is rumours and speculation and then the name of the shooter is revealed but even this may not be true and then his ex-wife asks him when he went all black power and he replies he has always, in some way, been black power. Then he misses his stop on the way home because he is reading a book about Europe then he thinks he probably has a stalker and that will teach him not to try and meet people online and then provide every piece of personal information including where he lives and where he works and all of his contact details and then when the interactions go sour there will be no let up no let up at all and every public tragedy and event is used as an excuse to contact him but still he ignores in the hope that it will stop but he rather fears it will not stop even as he is told that she is coming to the East Coast soon all too soon that will teach him to contact anyone on the internet for sordid things. He will probably not learn his lesson but he eats a bagel and reads a bit more about the depthless depravity of Europe and then he goes to sleep less worried than he might be.