Tuesday, 14 July 2020
Friday, 3 July 2020
Panoply of plop
Thursday, 25 June 2020
By Tangleberry Waldorf-Salad
The discovery of a new manuscript by Rene Descartes has stunned philosophers worldwide and threatens to undermine four hundred years of progress.
The previously unknown document, Meditationes de secondo philosophia, was found by builders restoring the fire-ravaged Notre Dame cathedral and contains an update to the Descartes’ famous maxim ‘I think, therefore I am’, written in his own hand.
“The Cartesian first principle of cogito ergo sum has been accepted as a key element of philosophical investigation,” said Engelbert P. Wittgenfunk of the Ffossip Society of Philosophy.
“We were therefore stunned to find, scribbled in the margins of Meditationes, an entirely new but indubitably genuine new maxim Sed quid ego novi te, or, in English ‘I know you are but what am I?’ ”
“It shows that even in his later years Decartes was busy refining his ideas of foundational knowledge and rationalist methodology and provides us with another phenomenological question with which to wrestle.”
Professor Wittgenfunk added that philosophers across the world were busy trying to find a definition for the words “I”, “Know”, “You”, “Are”, “But, “What” and “Am”, after which analysis could proceed to the next stage.
In 2005 builders working on a public toilet in Frankfurt dug up the partially rotted manuscript of Phanomelogie de Geistes which under further inspection was confirmed to be a new version of Georg Wilhelm Freidrich Hegel’s 1807 work Phenomenology of Spirit. In the margins, in an unknown hand, was scrawled Man muss genauso sein um es zu verstehen.
For the last fifteen years, scholars have been arguing as to how to interpret the words. They were eventually provisionally decoded as ‘it takes one to know one’ by the 2020 Council of Philosophers.
Perhaps the most famous of all example is an inscription on a seemingly innocuous set of scraps of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Originally seen as separate and unintelligible possible test pen strokes, the breakthrough came in 1961 when researchers repositioned the scraps to reveal a new teaching on self-worth.
“תפסיק להכות את עצמך. למה אתה מכה בעצמך?” was translated after decades of debate as “Stop hitting yourself. Why are you hitting yourself?” and attributed tentatively as an addendum to the Sermon on the Mount.
I let the Motherfuckers come through.
I might as well admit that.
I didn’t mean to.
I would apologise if I thought there was any point.
This apartment. Ha. Apartment! Hardly big enough to justify that name. A single, tiny room in which to sleep, eat, whatever. Somehow someone sometime had managed to squeeze a bed in. And you could half-open the door to get in and out, if you were a scrawny undernush like me. There was a table so you could look out the window and cry. It wasn’t legal to open it, and it was painted shut anyway. But it was a window. A possibility. A portal.
Two spiderwebs out the door was the kitchen/bathroom. A shower/sink/toilet unit, and a cooker, with the two separated by a rancid plastic curtain. No window. Size of a cupboard it was. A small one. It was horrible. But I didn’t chowit much – tried not to anyway. Pabulum was a sort of wan green or it was lens-lasering blue. People said the blue tasted better but fuck me it looked the same on the way out as it did on the way in. Cold, warm, fried, whatever. Likesay, I didn’t scrap much foodwise.
The apartment had an advantage: there was a blind on the window, which you could draw down. It still let in most of the grey, dying gloom of the day, but it also muffled the screams, the broken bottles, the sirens, the fighting, the rampaging, the burning, and the foulness. That was my soundtrack to sleep. A symphony of sickness. At least it covered up the scratching of the rats, I suppose.
When I was younger, and they still tell this to the kids, I always believed that one day the smog would clear and that the choking death would disappear, and we’d throw away the Hazmasks and there would be… well. It was impossible to imagine anything other than the insipid filth of the daybyday. At least, now I can’t do it. Maybe I did once. Maybe I believed in colourbrush, in breathgood. Nap. Nap. Nap.
Enough. It was enough. It was at least somewhere and I fucking kicked enough homeless out the way each day to get to work and back home. Locks, locks, locks. Spiced out their grapplers anyway, they were fuckall but jellybrains. Maybe that was better. But somehow I never fell. Not even now the Motherfuckers are here.
I kept this bit til now because you don’t know who’s watching so you have to assume everyone is, always. But the apartment also had a ladder on the wall. A red, rusting one, leading to some kind of crawlspace attic. Locked, locked, locked. Course it was. I tried it most days for a bit. But it wouldn’t budge. Not for a scratchy little angler like me. I was so tired most of the time I could barely make it home anyway so after a while I stopped trying and forgot about it. I had better things to occupy me, like a highly-illegal Oxydet. Fuck knows why they were illegal. Everything seemed to be. So you assumed everything was too. You get the picture.
It was said that if you hit an Oxybubble, if you just managed to capture one, you could not only be maskless but it tasted good. Imagine that. Tasting the air. On purpose! I always thought it was an urban myth, even when I was angling. I will keep trying. Sometimes that’s the only thing that keeps me going in this unrelenting nothingness, this ugly souplife. Wading through the effluent hours trying not to fall in because you don’t die when you drown, you just drown forever. Some people liked it, according to another story. That moment of scrabbling to the very bottom of your lungs for anything at all. Anything to keep you alive one moment longer. Perpetually in that state. Ecstatically on the verge of expiring in prime pain. The drowners. They were no use either: fucking cop-outs.
So I angled and I forgot about everything else and I got scrawnier and scrawnier and pallid and transparent until eventually I sort of flopped down and decided that this was the day I’d probably die and so be it. I was looking forward to it, and the hunger in my belly was a welcome stab toward the ultimate, and the burning in my lungs was my hand-holding doula, and my eyes crossed and the room span and split in two and as I was about to let go I knew how to open the trapdoor, because that was split into two as well and I could slide in between the worlds and so I did and.
Pardon my swear but GOSH
I was sitting in a restaurant, a restaurant like the rumours, ornate wooden furnishings and pictures on the walls. Holy smokes. A man, who looked a lot like an ant dressed in a dinner suit, approached. I urined a bit. Warm it was. The mant brought me a cup which steamed and I clawed at my face because I had no mask on at all and I held my breath until I couldn’t anymore and the air was so sweet so sweet so sweet and my mind expanded to fill the world and the cup, the cup, the cup was full of what I later found out was called coffee with milk and whatever those things are it was the best thing, the only thing, the ever-thing, I’d ever tasted. Its warmth filled me and engulfed me and hugged me and loved me.
I was restored. And around me others seemed to be restored too. There were a million voices and laughing noises and slurping and belonging, and though I couldn’t understand any of them, that was my overture of awesomeness. My melody of magnificence. Course, aside from the mants and the women that looked like beetles dressed up in leg-frocks everyone else was sort of blurred. Underwater, maybe. But not chokers, and not drowners, and not soupers. Just fuzzy around the edges. What a place!
I finished the coffee. The mant came and took the cup away. I stayed for ages but it wasn’t replaced and the pressure built up and up and up and suddenly there was an enormous POP.
Screams. Stabbings. All manner of fuckery. And that damned mask stuck to my face again. But an added creepy feeling of something just out of the eyeline. Someone, lurking. Someone with the sort of face that popped out in front of you on a ghost train in a cheap funfair. Rictus grin. Eye sockets so deep you sank into them because you saw yourself.
So yeah I admit it.
It was me that let the Motherfuckers in.
They dine, they thrive, they appear
Saturday, 13 June 2020
Wednesday, 10 June 2020
He’s the dashing, suave leader of the opposition. Famous for his intro song, “He’s here, he’s Keir, get used to it”, Sir Kier Starmer has melted hearts even as he takes the government of the day to task. But there’s more to this dapper gentleman than a sharp suit and a quiff – as we present 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Keir Starmer.