THE EROSION OF PATIENCE

Better make this quick.

Get to the point.

Do any FUCKINGLY DESPERADO thing to keep your interest.

Or not.

We are now implausibly impatient creatures. The things that matter – love, work, education, health, news – we want them all now, without effort or delay. Yet, the faster they come, the faster they fall (as Jimmy Cliff once almost sang). Take this morning. I tried to shut a door handle we had replaced after 3 years of it coming away in your hand. Close it slowwwwwwly and it stays shut. Close it in a hurry and it pings back open.  It’s taken 6 months to figure out being gentle and patient works, and being headstrong and aggressive doesn’t. When life suddenly dawns on you, you wake up. Maybe we need to sleep more? During the day? Sedated in some way? Then again, we already are, thanks to technology. In the here and now, technology neuters our presence, dilutes our meaning to those beside us. We could be anyone, anywhere. Except, our soul protests. The soul is our most complex component, it flourishes in the moment. Technology has kidnapped the soul. We await a ransom in vain, yet somehow the waiting alone reorientates the soul. Pops it back on its fidget spinner. And if you stuck with this unforgiving paragraph, you’re now a few % rehumanised.

HOW TO BREACH THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF PUBLIC LIFE, BY THERESA MAY

The following text was originally published by the Nolan Committee under John Major in October 1994. Yes, really. If Lord Nolan was alive today, he may like to see the recent amendments (in brackets) added pathologically by Theresa May just before she went to bed last night after doing the deal with the DUP.

  1. SELFLESSNESS – Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest (note: public means private & we means me). They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends (unless their job is at risk).
  2. INTEGRITY – Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation (over £1,500,000,000) to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their officials duties.
  3. OBJECTIVITY – In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits (except power to govern) as holders of public should makes choices on merit (or convenience).
  4. ACCOUNTABILITY – Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office (by their recently bought out fellow conspirators).
  5. OPENNESS – Holders of public office should be as open as possible (in private) about all the decisions and actions they take. They should give reasons for their decisions (if hey can be arsed) and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands (ie: never).
  6. HONESTY – Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests (bar personal off shore accounts in tax havens) relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve (with bribes) any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
  7. LEADERSHIP – Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by (strong and stable) leadership and (conflicting) example.

SLEEP ON THIS THEN VOTE

2017-06-07-VIDEO-00000008.mp4

tHE lITTLE bANG tHEORY

Her life was a movie, made up of all movies, every genre one can live and this is how she lived it.

Born on a bed of nails, the daughter of a monk and a pimp. Two fathers, no mothers, yet from day one the girl more than made up for the lack of oestrogen in the home. You see, she was blessed with a Nasonov’s gland, the first human to be so. Her pheromonic radius cast a net of many miles into which men fell, unable to walk where their legs intended. Instead, they back-pedalled into her vicinity, where their gender would sway.

You could say things progressed, or regressed, at pace. Within a month, world peace was upon us as 93% of mankind became womankind. Those who resisted, resisted with all they had left – their stone age genes. These last few million men ate rocks, but despite a brief spike in palm hair, they too conceded their sex.

Animals followed, as they do, creating several super-species of she-creature en route. Mother Earth sat back on her axis, took up pilates and deep stratospheric respiration. In doing so she lucked out and met another planet that just happened to be hurtling by. And so begins the little bang theory (all lower case please ed) that led to the litter of planets that shall sustain all living things unto the infinite day (and beyond).

The end (aka, the beginning).

A-Z OF ONE LETTER NOVELS #74,852

With

BOXING WITH WORDS #74,853

When I step into the writing ring, I face 2 opponents.

Firstly, you. The Reader. You demand and deserve a rich diet of reading matter. Moral fibre, nutritious wit and raw effervescence as reward for your time and energy. You’re busy, tired, distracted. Why should you bother devoting the tiniest fraction of your life to what I, or any other writer writes?

This umbilically creates my second hurdle – words. Here is where the real fight exists. When I write, the words attack me. Dictate the pace and rhythm, Angelo Dundee whispers. Pick a lazy word and it’ll thump you, he warns. Try too hard and I’ll feel the full blooded force of a size 13 in the bollocks. Resort to cliche and the onslaught of upper cuts erupts. Any lapse in thought or conviction and the referee will step in and stop the bout.

Readers need writers need fighters, says the judge at the end of round 1.

Love

The Pencil Pugilist

AMERICAN (INSERT MOVIE SURNAME HERE)

Naming a particular something is a flawed business. Take my dog. She’s called Juno. For the first year of her life, she just heard ‘NO!’ After chasing her across rivers and roads, up hills and down cliffs, she finally stopped running away and started coming back. We stole her name from the greatest ever film made about unplanned pregnancy, but got her spayed just in time, as we didn’t fancy reliving the plot.

Super-sketchily related, we caught a movie on Saturday. Andrea Arnold’s freewheeling road flick American Honey, 3 hrs of my life that has moved my death-date 3 years forwards. Thanks Andrea.

As we left the Newlyn Filmhouse, a tiny cult cinema in a Cornish fishing village, we laughed at the number of movies lazily named American (something). In honour of that throwaway film-talk, here are 100 films on first name-sharing terms in an order that may only make sense to a shrink.

1. AMERICAN MADNESS (1932)
2. AMERCIAN EMPIRE (1942 & 2012)
3. AMERICAN MADE (2017)
4. AMERICAN ANTHEM (1986)
5. AMERICAN HISTORY X (1998)
6. AMERICAN BLACKOUT (2006)
7. AMERICAN JUSTICE (2015)
8. AMERICAN BEAUTY (1999)
9. AMERICAN DESCENT (2014)
10. AMERICAN ADDICT (2012)

11. AMERICAN BURGER (2014)
12. AMERICAN MILKSHAKE (2013)
13. AMERICAN RASPBERRY (1977)
14. AMERICAN PIE 1 & 2 (1999 & 2001)
15. AMERICAN HONEY (2016)
16. AMERICAN BEER (1996 & 2004)

17. AMERICAN MANNERS (1924)
18. AMERICAN BRED (2016)

19. AMERICAN ME (1992)

20. AMERICAN BOY (1978)
21. AMERICAN SON (2008)
22. AMERICAN DAD (2013)
23. AMERCIAN GIRL (2002)
24. AMERCIAN GIRLS (2013)
25. AMERCIAN COUSINS (2003)
26. AMERICAN FRIENDS (1991)
27. AMERICAN SWEETHEARTS (2001)
28. AMERICAN BOYFRIENDS (1989)
29. AMERICAN VIRGIN (2009)
30. AMERICAN REUNION (2012)
31. AMERICAN ROMANCE (2016)
32. AMERICAN WEDDING (2003)
33. AMERICAN GIGOLO (1980)
34. AMERICAN SWING (2008)
35. AMERICAN CRUDE (2008)
36. AMERICAN PIMP (1999)
37. AMERICAN MUSCLE (2014)
38. AMERICAN HARDCORE (2006)

39. AMERICAN HERO (2015)
40. AMERICAN LOSER (2007)
41. AMERICAN IDIOTS (2013)

42. AMERICAN NIGHTMARE (1983)
43. AMERICAN DREAM (2002)
44. AMERICAN DREAMZ (2006)
45. AMERICAN DREAMER (1984)
46. AMERICAN PROMISE (2013)

47. AMERICAN PASTORAL (2016)
48. AMERICAN WINTER (2013)
49. AMERICAN INTERIOR (2014)
50. AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973)
51. AMERICAN BLEND (2006)
52. AMERICAN STYLE (2008)
53. AMERICAN SPLENDOUR (2003)
54. AMERICAN MOVIE (1999)
55. AMERICAN DRIVE-IN (1985)
56. AMERICAN DRIVER (2016)
57. AMERICAN JOYRIDE (2011)
58. AMERICAN HUSTLE (2013)
59. AMERICAN NUDIST (2011)
60. AMERICAN TABOO (1984)
61. AMERICAN ROULETTE (1988)

62. AMERICAN SOLDIERS (2005)
63. AMERICAN SNIPER (2014)
64. AMERICAN ULTRA (2015)
65. AMERICAN HOSTAGE (2015)
66. AMERICAN HEIST (2014)
67. AMERICAN WEAPON (2014)
68. AMERICAN GUN (2002, 2005 & 2011)
69. AMERICAN VIOLENCE (2015)
70. AMERICAN ANARCHIST (2016)
71. AMERICAN ASSASSIN (2007)
72. AMERICAN OUTLAWS (2001)
73. AMERICAN GANGSTER (2007)
74. AMERICAN BRAWLER (2013 & 2016)
75. AMERICAN MOBSTER (2010)

76. AMERICAN STRAYS (1996)
77. AMERICAN MANIACS (2012)
78. AMERICAN PSYCHO (2000)
79. AMERICAN CANNIBAL (2006)
80. AMERICAN SATAN (2016)
81. AMERICAN ZOMBIE (2007)
82. AMERICAN POLTERGEIST (2015)

83. AMERICAN NINJA 1-5 (1985-93)
84. AMERICAN SAMURAI (1992)
85. AMERICAN SHAOLIN (1991)
86. AMERICAN KICKBOXER 1 & 2 (1991 & 93)
87. AMERICAN STREETFIGHTER (1992)
88. AMERICAN JUDOKA (2009)
89. AMERICAN YAKUZA (1993)
90. AMERICAN CYBORG (1993)

91. AMERICAN ANIMAL (2011)
92. AMERICAN BUFFALO (1996)
93. AMERICAN TIGERS (1996)
94. AMERICAN EAGLE (1989)

95. AMERICAN VISA (2005)
96. AMERICAN SHARIA (2015)
97. AMERICAN DESI (2001)
98. AMERICAN TEACHER (2011)
99. AMERICAN INTELLECTUALS (1999)

100. AMERICAN TRANSLATION (2011)

DEATH KARAOKE

No, this isn’t Russian Roulette rebranded, he implored.

It is a game, of sorts, he thought.

You choose a dead musician, he declared.

You relive a one-on-one concert with them, a crowd of you and only you, he explained.

They sing and perform as though there are 100,000 of you, he contextualised.

You feel like you’ve had sex via song with them, he exaggerated.

You only get one go at this, he clarified.

You say Sia, he hears Cilla.

Surprise, surprise, he sings.

You run for a cliff.

A MINUTE TO MAKE THIS MOMENT BETTER #74,854

You maybe have wandered into this feeling tired, disillusioned, angered, lost or just indifferent. Whatever your emotion, I doubt it was top of the upbeat scale. We rarely start to read on a high. We read to change our mood, to lift us into a different state.

The job of the writer is to harpoon the reader without killing him/er. Then to tease, tantalise and trawl that person across an ocean of emotion, avoiding rhyme at all time.

Double sorry there.

This relationship relies on the reader succumbing, submitting to the words as they unveil themselves in an order the reader has never encountered before. They won’t know this. It’s not a cognitive process. They will either read on if it’s new, and stop it it’s not.

Staid stories seize. Fluid fiction flows, so says the poet with a face full of glue. But you, reader, need no stimulant other than the unexpected words themselves. If they are up to their potent best, they will shame any drug on earth or in hell.

There, there, sober-skulled reader, that didn’t hurt now did it?

5 WAYS FOR THE UK TO REGAIN WORLD CREDIBILTY

  1. ADMIT WE’RE WRONG. “Dear EU, we’re sorry. We screwed up and walked out on you and the family. That act of extreme selfishness does none of us any good. It’s not as though we’ve jumped into bed with America or China. Call it naive, call it a mid-lifer, call it harm en masse – we will do all we can legally, morally, intellectually and collectively to assuage the pain we’ve caused you and our European neighbours. So, it is with our lion’s tail between our legs that we ask for forgiveness and once we’ve sorted out our domesticities, we’d love to remain your ally and partner in life, if of course you’ll have us back.”
  2. BE GENEROUS. Give Africa £350m a day for at least a month to show it’s not about the money, money, money…cue Jesse J.
  3. ELECT A B.A.M.E. PM. If we want to prove that the vote was a vote against ‘unelected bureaucracy’ and not a shameful unveiling of suppressed racism, we need to make a statement of intent and make it quick. There are 42 minority-ethinc MPs. Pass a Rooney Rule in politics that guarantees a B.A.M.E. candidate on every political shortlist. No wait, here’s a quicker idea. Assuming Hilary Clinton gets the gig and the US don’t out-dumb us in November and vote in a blond bovine called Donald, we must create history and invite the greatest global statesman of our time to cross the Atlantic and lead our confused country. Prime Minister Obama, on behalf of us all, would you please do the honours and reunited our kingdom?
  4. TAKE IN 100,000 MOST NEEDY REFUGEES. A few facts first. There are 126,000 refugees in the UK, 0.19% of our population. Almost half the world’s refugees are fleeing Syria, 4.2m and rising. If we welcomed 100,000, that’s less than a quarter of Germany’s compassion but it’s still 3 times the amount we considered last year. It’s not the least we can do (that’s where we are right now) but it is a start.
  5. BOOT OUT 1000 MOST GREEDY TAX EVADERS. A few more facts. The ‘tax gap’ in Britain is a paltry £34bn. Yes, 34bn. That’s nine noughts if you’re counting, and not fainting. This is what the HMRC is owed but doesn’t get. It has around 700 people chasing the richest evaders in vain, while it assigns 3600 tax heavies to put the squeeze on benefit fraudsters. For every quid the dad on benefits diddles just to try and feed his family, the evader screws the country 3 times over. Surely, if we evict the rich who won’t pay their pay, everyone who deserves to win, does win.

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