As the sixth month shuts its door on us, we could turn and walk back from where we came.

Or we could take a completely different direction.

The second half of 2011 could be better than the first. It should be. It must be. It has to be. It can’t not be.

There are a number of ways of ensuring it treats you well.

  1. Hope. Get up in the morning for it. Wash with it, breathe it in and let it swirl around your body. Drink it, think it, talk it, walk it.
  2. Be obvious. This is the new name of the incubator that launched twitter with the question: what are doing right now? At the time it seemed absurd to comment on your every move, then it ran away to be something a whole lot else.
  3. Fuck it. An old friend of mine wrote a book about this. He gave me an early copy. It applies to everything in life that slows you up. It works. Say fuck it.
  4. Do if you want to get. Do lectures prove this. After a generation of entitlement, we’ve suddenly re-awoken to the principle of hard work gets you somewhere, whatever the field you’re in, irrespective of any of the usual prejudices.
  5. Write your own rules. No manifesto out there will be as good as the one lurking in you. Steal from them all. Mongrelise your own motto and live by it, changing it as and when you damn well like. But do live by it. We’ve all become gods at sitting behind technology pretending we’re living when we’re just stalling. One day all this will go away and be superseded by something easier that makes the first to find it so much richer.
  6. Give away money as soon as you have enough. it doesn’t matter to who and why. Start a foundation before your get rich and it’ll make you rich. Watch Untitled
  7. There isn’t a 7.


If Mohammed Bouazizi can cause the dethroning of 16 of the 22 Arab states, what might occur if a fishmonger in Tesco chose to slit his throat in front of impatient customers in order to bring to attention his innermost feelings? It’s a sick thought but possibly a prescient one too.

As recent as the 1980’s, suicide attacks were as few as 5 per year, whereas in Afghanistan alone 1224 people were killed and 2100 wounded last year. Self-sacrifice pollutes human history. As the world’s population grows and political dictatorships crumble, it is only a matter of time before activists fell commercial and capitalist bullies with the taking of their own lives.


His writing was so surgical, it could change the climate. It wasn’t apparent to the watching world who was behind this godly stunt, but tucked away in his Nordic shed with a carpenter’s pencil down its last half inch, he wrote the words that brought rain to the Sudan and cold fronts back to the Arctic. His wife cussed his weather meddling and his dog would bite the table leg every time he hit the semi colon key, not that this had an adverse effect on matters, but it gave the reader time to rest.

His days with his graphite divining wand were numbered. Things came to a head that morning the seasons were abolished. Over half the world’s species who had adapted to a warmer planet were wiped out overnight. People awoke to one omnipresent temperate condition sponsored by Uniqlo. Birds by the million gave evidence as he stood trial in The Hague for weather crimes. The case collapsed when the judge suffered heatstroke.

CHARMTH (# 74,896)

Exaggeration is one thing. Double exaggeration is another. It forms the spine of most good comedy, the laugh behind the laugh that makes you cry or gag on your own breath. Sometimes you’re not too sure why you’re doubled up but you don’t care because it feels fucking fantastic.┬áThere’s a word for this. Charmth. It’s the bit in the middle between their wit and your appreciation of it. You started off as strangers and now you’re lying back with a post-coital-like grin on your chops without so much as a kiss leaving or landing on your lips.

Sigh here.

Now, eek out the charmth within your fingertip radius and all that’s good in the world will run to the top of the nearest hill and whistle the Rocky theme tune.


She started out adult life like any other woman. But it changed soon after childbirth. Every step she walked forward, she gained a 10,000th of a millimetre. This infinitesimal growth rate crept up on her, as you’d expect. Doorways felt lower, heels felt higher. She had her hair straightened and took to stooping in the presence of shorter men. She gave up running and switched to yoga hoping that she’d reach a modicum height. The week before her spinal reduction operation, she pulled out and vowed to walk backwards as often as forwards for the rest of her life. When the condition became common in the 2020’s, she became a non-growth guru, and her book Double Entry Stepkeeping went on to top the NY Times bestsellers. To this day, the motto above the door of her home reads:



If there is such a word (and there is such a feeling) then this word died at birth today.

Or perhaps less pessimistically, it went into a coma with its first breath of life.

Or maybe super optimistically, it spontaneously combusts with every beat of its heart, only to instantaneously reincarnate in the very same form.

Startlessness exists, no it burgeons, in rural life.It is both the nemesis and blood-brother of restlessness, who is welded to the city, for better, for worse.

Startlessness does not judge.

Startlessness is the single most common condition active in mankind today. It will account for our species within 120 years unless we treat it and beat it out of human nature. How? Simple. Stop the stopping and start the starting. If we can become addicted to starting things for rest of our lives, we will live half a generation longer. Allied to that, we’ll reproduce at a pace that is sustainable using a matrix that if drawn here, might fall into the wrong hands and account for us all by Friday.

Don’t know about you, but I’m not ready for that yet.


There they sat, thirteen or more of them, yet none as old as eight. Around the parcel passed to the tune of a song they best not understand. At each pause, a layer was lost, just like the 37 billion other times the game had been played over the centuries. Down to the final layer and a circle of expectant faces. Before the music stopped forever, the parcel opened itself and out climbed a wolf who ate up all the children.