Sunday, 31 May 2015

Today's menu

Puffed cretin with a ganache of sprinkled horse
Dandelion sick
Execrable fascist slow-oiled in our special war served with a dollop of crisps, eleven sad owls and an exploding monstrosity
Leaf-rotted willy of beast, compared with itself in a mirror and found wanting. Solar panels optional.
Pre-licked angelskin without any goddamn shame; ask for the sac of the day
Scum, just fucking scum


Friday, 15 May 2015

How the left was won

In 2016, under the new British Rights Act (England and Wales,) the deregulated BBC was bought by a conglomerate of investors promising to fund the organisation on the basis of subtle targeted advertisements based on the latest GoogleHome technology, which had been implanted in all new televisions in line with the new Home Security legislation.

This ensured that individually-tailored content could be broadcast directly to televisions, as it had on browsers for years before. Viewing habits were also providing more data than had previously been available through the two-way system, which delivered statistics of channel, length of viewing, sitting position, interaction, telephone and email communications directly to the ministry of information. This was processed by Baidu, having been outsourced to China in a move that slashed millions of pounds from the UK's defence budget.

Based on these metrics, plus Amazon Prime data, media was able to pinpoint the exact times of day that individuals were most open to emotionally-charged content, news, movies, chatshows and cartoons.

To the surprise of many analysts, it was also found that as most people by now were checking phones, with browsers open on tablets, wearables and laptops at the same time as the television was on, the actual linguistic content of the majority of shows was not as important as the tonal information within the speech.The formants were discovered that delivered the exact frequencies found to effect the brainwave activity associated with emotion, and sound engineers across the UK were mobilised to work on zero hours contracts in order to EQ the output accordingly.

This led to a reappraisal of past programmes, which were re-edited accordingly with the words replaced by mellifluously talented voice artists; those who could make the equivalent of a swannee whistle were in great demand for clip shows, the news was delivered by sombre-sounding gibberish-scatters and sport was soundtracked entirely by cats being poked by sharp sticks.

Concurrently, social media networks were lauded as the New Wealth Creators for their now-valuable databases which they were free to sell under new user contracts which nobody read. Facebook took full advantage of this by their new Free Forever scheme, which its estimated 6 billion users clicked through all ten pages before its implementation.

This was prime real estate on a worldwide level, which re-started the BRIC countries' stalled economies, which were rebooted to take advantage of the vast swathes of new user data. Sale of user-mapped location and consumption data took Facebook's shares to an all-time high, and the Tory government duly invested eight billion pounds per year in the company under the new 'Together Better' banner, which did not include the Scottish or Northern Irish governments.

By 2018 the UK's 'closed tunnel' scheme was in full action; every car under the value of 20,000 was turned back at the country's ports, unless the driver could prove a bank account held more than that in UK-taxable savings. This brought a huge increase in zero hours contracts for newly-employed Port Checkers, who had to provide their own visibility jackets and truncheons and assemble in special holding pubs hourly as shift changes occurred. All people of working age were placed on unpaid constant standby within a half-hour radius of the ports, in case of high volume of traffic, which for the first time brought the unemployment statistics down under half a million people.

This initially brought claims that these individuals were in fact civil servants, to which the government moved swiftly to point out that technically the workers were signed up to GazProm, which owned the port contract and was incorporated in Russia. In return for their labour, that company provided cheap fracking equipment to the UK.

The Trident system, long-derided by opponents of the government prior to the Dissent Act (Control of Extremism), was now considered to be one of the world's foremost anti-war mechanisms and was voted 'Man of the Year' at the Peace Defense Awards (formerly World Arms Dealers of Somalia.) To celebrate, the government called a special Hour Off, during which the population was encouraged not to assemble in large crowds but to stay at work and watch the ceremony, which was broadcast on all televisual, wearable, tablet, computer and implants in lieu of other programming.

In line with the Dissent Act (Control of Extremism), the remaining half a million technically unemployed people were pronounced legally dead, for the purposes of ease of statistics. A new initiative from the Ministry of Family enabled previously dead relatives to be re-labelled as technically alive if they had been employed and paying tax for over 10 years prior to their demise. These new 're-lifed' citizens added to the government's figures of negative unemployment, which by 2019 had soared to an unprecedented minus 20 million.

In 2020, the government announced via its new British Broadcasting Conservatives channel that the budget deficit had been wiped out, by virtue of its new accounting software courtesy of Alan Sugar's Amstrad RoboTheft. This incredible boost in technology allowed the government to directly redistribute funds from its budgets toward its new WealthHealth system, which replaced the NHS with a series of Soma Centres in which the ill, elderly, infirm, poor and ugly were medicated with ultra-cheap medicinal opium and stacked in boxes around nuclear waste in the Isle of Man.

Workers were imported from third world countries like Wales to facilitate the project and due to the high radiation content were released into their communities as cleansing agents, particularly in households that Baidu had identified as having left-leaning values.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Today I write to myself

To myself, I write today:

"When you are five years old, or ten, or fifteen, or twenty –
Consider what is your favourite:

Computer game
Food, drink, sweets.

Write what it is and why
Put this paper carefully away in a box and do not look at it again."

I continue: 

When you are ten years old, or fifteen, or twenty, or twenty-five
Consider what is now important:

And anything else like the stuff above.

Write down what, where, why, when
Put the paper carefully away in the same box and do not look at it again."

Still more, I write:

When you are fifteen years old, or twenty, or twenty-five, or thirty
Consider what is your favourite:

And all the above.

Write it in your heart
And hold it with you forever."

Perhaps just one more:

When you are twenty years old, or twenty-five, or thirty, or thirty-five
Consider what is your favourite:


Write it with your heart
And hope another can read it."

And that is what I write to myself.

And so, and so, and so.

I say to myself today, at forty years old.

"Know only that you have had favourite:

Computer game
Food, drink, sweets

And these were sometimes written, sometimes not.

And that this, and only this, means to you
That you have had

And one more whisper, perhaps:

"The writing of these favourites is important, 
Only to you."

And I listen.

And I hear a quiet, quivering reply:

"Well then.

That is enough for me."

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Friday, 8 May, 2015: The rain fell

This morning the rain fell and I
Shivered my right
Then the left one; I awoke
As the rain fell.

In each droplet was a poem
Of debris from the night
And I Googled the result
And the rain fell.

Puddles formed, reflecting the slate
Roof soul sucked sky
I sent Chrome off to Facebook
Whilst the rain fell.

Rage, rock-gnarled, piss-twist thistle rage
Everywhere: social media fire
How did this happen? Who made it happen?
Who made the rain fall?

Not I: the mournful cry on page after page
Update, helpless teary fight
Where hide these selfish evil fools
In this rainfall?

But Facebook is not life, it is a cage,
A strait-jacket willingly worn
A padded cell - with friends - in which to hide
Whilst the rain -
The rain -

Friday, 8 May 2015


Reasons and excuses and reasons to drink at home

  • ·         I am celebrating Bangor City winning

  • ·         I am drowning my sorrows after Bangor City lost again

  • ·         Suzy has come back from Liverpool

  • ·         Suzy has gone to Liverpool

  • ·         I am bored

  • ·         There is really good TV on tonight

  • ·         There is nothing good on TV tonight

  • ·         I really, really want a cold beer

  • ·         It would be a shame not to pair this meal with a nice robust red / delicate fruity white

  • ·         I feel ill and am morose

  • ·         I feel great and light

  • ·         I have a cold and want to kill it

  • ·         I am nostalgic for Cayman and a rum and coke will help me get back there

  • ·         I have come back from a long journey and I drank on the way home

  • ·         I can’t afford to go out drinking properly

  • ·         I am feeling very empty of everything

  • ·         My brain won’t switch off and I want to shut it the fuck up

  • ·         I need to send myself to sleep

  • ·         It is my birthday or Christmas or some other occasion

  • ·         Asda has an end of line deal on ___________

  • ·         I had some left from last night so might as well finish it off and buy more to make sure it works properly

  • ·         I feel angry and want to hide away and blank it all out

  • ·         I hate the government

  • ·         I can’t reconcile my disgust at the world with my laziness in doing nothing about it

  • ·         I am not where I want to be

  • ·         I am not who I want to be

  • ·         I feel tearful and I want to make myself cry at nature programmes / sappy soppy family show / romance / cartoons

  • ·         I have had a really busy week

  • ·         I have a busy week coming up and I am nervous

  • ·         I am invulnerable to disease

  • ·         I am worried about my health

  • ·         I am scared that my family will one day die

  • ·         I do not want to think about mortality

  • ·         I do not want to think about the future

  • ·         Suzy is stressed

  • ·         I am stressed

  • ·         Hell’s Kitchen is on tonight

  • ·         I don’t want to grow up

  • ·         I always wanted to be a drunken flawed genius and it is easy to achieve the drunken part

  • ·         I love the feeling of being woozy and comforted by the booze blanket

  • ·         It will give me strange dreams

  • ·         It will give me a hangover which knocks out all my filters so I can produce leftfield insightful writing in the morning cause I don’t give a fuck

  • ·         I am lonely

  • ·         I did not ask to be born and I am still struggling with my consciousness

  • ·         I feel guilty that I do not appreciate life in the way I think I sometimes should

  • ·         Everyone else on this TV show is drinking and I feel left out

  • ·         I’ve had a shitty day

  • ·         Elections

  • ·         Wales fail to qualify

  • ·         I don’t know how it got there but there is a glass of wine in my hand

  • ·         Middle class guilt

  • ·         Everything else

Hasta la victoria, siempre

Today I woke up to find - somehow - that the UK has signed up to five more years of neo-fascists waging war on the poor, the weak and the different.

Life has been bleak time after time in these situations.

It made me think there was no hope.

That humanity was dead. And humans were doomed. You deserve the government you vote for.

No more NHS. Sanctions for being ill or daring to be poor.

Money rushing to the top.

Suspicion, fear, the destruction of society and the elevation of selfishness to a godlike level called 'ambition.'

And all this was true.

But then I put Elbow's ace first album on and recalled one of the several times I've seen them live. This one was possibly the best of the lot.

It was in the Masque Theatre, Liverpool as part of some kind of Back to the Bars type event. Packed out - the band was huge by then - and Guy Garvey kept trying to start singing Newborn.

Listen to it.

It's a really confessional love song,  Tender. Self-searching.

But he couldn't because the scouse crowd was making him laugh so much. It gives me shivers thinking about the sheer love in that room.

That love, that shared vibe of possibility, of sound and music and emotion and fellowship. Of nothing but the present moment, the next cadence, the shared energy of pure human connection.

It is deeply poignant at the same time; to acknowledge that shared moment is to stand outside it and, by doing so, to destroy it.

It transcends all language; these rhythms amplify and caress the heartbeats of all in attendance. At times like that, I think I understood religion more than ever before; it is implausible that people, with their failings, their farts and their falls, could ever create such beauty.

But it is true.

So there must be hope. There truly must be.