3AM (# 74,874)

There’s a badger at the window with a moth sitting on his head. The moth keeps ducking to evade the bat who has lost his radar since the clocks went back last night.

Nocturalism is all over the shop tonight as it readjusts its set according to the only animal that uses a bidet.

A frog leaps up 5 inches, realises his grip isn’t up to it, then slides down the glass like a melting mousse.

The slugs are in mid rave. They can’t believe the summer long banquet every gardener on earth laid out for them.

The neighbourhood fox is about to murder something for fun. He doesn’t wear a bib. That would be like walking around with his AK47 hanging out of his flies.

Next-door’s cat stands her ground with her sixteen flick-knives.

It’s all going to kick off once I turn out the light.

Good night, night life.

THE PETITIONIST

Sequacious from birth, the third of triplets, delivered 45 minutes after his siblings, he’d always followed suit.

In the early days of adulthood, he found it hard to initiate anything. His sexual relationships were tentative with women and men, causing confusion in his own mind as to which sex he might prefer.

It all changed the day his two brothers died in a freak accident – the macabre nature of which we cannot go into at this moment for legal reasons. Orphaned of his brothers, he came of age and courage.

He started things, things that mattered, not just to him, but to many. His first petition was to save his local public toilets in early 2013. He overturned the council and wrote ‘Manifesto For The Preservation Of Public Conveniences’, which indirectly saved over 1700 toilets threatened with closure.

His next petition was to free the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay. Once the list hit a million, Obama listened. The prison became club GB in honour of this mild mannered activist from Great Yarmouth.

By the time he reached his 50th birthday, he had single-handedly averted a dozen wars, liberated seven countries from dictatorships, saved 381 species threatened with extinction and lowered the death rate on European roads to an all-time low.

At the ripe young age of 77.5, his last venture was to change the law on euthanasia. Just ten signatures short, he was hit by a falling tree.

WORLD’S BIGGEST PIECE OF LITTER

For one minute you assume it’s a Jeff Koons installation on a colossal scale. Then you look again, think again and recall the back story. 32 people dead and a klutz of a skipper hiding in the undrowned quarters of the ship.

Beyond all this tragedy is the physicality of the half-wreck. It’s a statement of man to make things so huge they can’t hide when they stop being useful. It’s just about the biggest man-made product on earth and it’s jaunting lopsidedly out of the most beautiful bin we have at our disposal. It’s like trying to ram a corkscrew down the throat of the ocean.

Yes, yes, of course it’ll be dismantled one day and smelted down into designer cruets and tiaras, but is the right form of burial? Perhaps, and it is a gigantic perhaps, it should be moored up and left to rust and algae-fy as a piece of sculpture gone horribly wrong, or purposefully right, depending on the assumed artist’s intention. The people of Giglio might one day be grateful for the tourism in the same way Anne Frank’s House and Culloden use death to pull in the punters in Amsterdam and Inversnesshire today. Time heals everything, except our own sagging faces, but let’s leave that decline to another day.

Chin up.

DEAD BODY AT FRIEZE ART FAIR

Art is secondary at art fairs. What people really want to gawp at is each other. Art buyers are a sub species of human, who chose to wear clothes that don’t fit – think suits a size too small with bare ankles poking out of awfully expensive loafers. Hats also matter. You wonder what lurks beneath each hat…a gerbil perhaps, gnawing away at the scalp to spin the hamster wheel of aesthetic and intellectual thought.

Frieze is full of these ‘people’, or at least was last night. If you can brave their stares, head for stand F15 where you will find a dead body. Do not panic and call Quincy. This fibre-glass corpse entitled Lost and Found is covered in water buffalo hair and is the thing nightmares are made of, only for you to wake up beside or inside this body. Huma Mulji, the artist, is a woman from Pakistan and we applaud her from the tree-tops of Regents Park (where the oxygen count is on the right side of living).

DIVISIBLE INK (# 74,875)

If Ed Miliband’s speech this week is anything to go by, we’re losing the ability to hear. Yes, we listen to an hour or more, but what we hear and walk away with are 3 words: ‘One Nation Britain’. Or is this what we’re told to walk away with once it’s been mangled through the media? Either way, it’s indicative of the repetitive world we live in where lowest common denominator dominates the way we search and find things.

Take this post.

In one respect it’s simply an observation about the shrinking of keepable content – a never-ending diet to starve us of meaty material that requires patience and concentration. Instead we pick like anorexic teenagers with a delta of diluted attention.

In another, it’s a less than obvious decision for a computer to make. As you read, the search engines are digging around aimlessly for key words and themes, but keep running into transparent brick walls, or possible barren tundra on account of my deliberate lack of focus.

This is what we should be worrying about. That our thinking is being led by digital electrodes to a cultural abattoir.

Now don’t get me wrong, in the right hands a cultural abattoir sounds like fun – I mean, what’s not to like about a taking a cleaver to opera. But long term, our memories are at risk from being deskilled and our instincts are being replaced by ciphers. This self-suckering process means we can take on a thousand start points a day but rarely puncture the skin of any one of them. Online threads try to dive beneath the surface but with so many authors, they resort to repetition in the hope they’ll be seen as being smarter than the previous comment.

There are two old adages/cliches of meetings.

  1. Never repeat what’s already been said.
  2. Let’s build on that.

The former shortens the meeting/moment. The latter prolongs it.

The point here is not a quality v quantity argument as much as war on double-guessing. If we keep our integrity about what we truly think and feel as individuals and refuse to be swayed by popularity or pressure, we shall yet dig ourselves out of this avalanching hole.