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30 THERMIDOR

IDLE THOUGHT


After a twilight conversation w/ someone last night along the lines of one of those - 'Gun against yr head: ... your record collection or your books?' {he chose his record collection, I chose my books} I was re setting the terms in my bleary head this morn just after I woke... you know, you've X isolated years to spend on the proverbial Desert Island: ... and the choice is: solar powered TV or a grab bag of books?
Or even just ONE book?

{{Who sets & decides the cast iron terms of all these "proverbial" situs? Is it a wing of that same "They" who are always being invoked, you know, "they say that a birdsong on yr council estate is worth ten in the comfy rural setting?"}}

And my next idle thought was: well, narrow the terms, say: between ONE paperback of yr choice {Gravity's Rainbow leaps to mind I have to say} and one ENDLESS REPEAT of like, you know, I LOVE LUCY or something ... or at any rate, just one thing. And of course KIDS {and most post- spoiled rotten Generation Guiders} with their irony-clad ineluctable logic would protest: 'But THAT's not TV! TV is ...'
TV is ... what?
TV is ... getting EVERYTHING without DOING anything. Without having to do a damn thing. Without GIVING anything in return. {Or, well,it may cost you ... Calls are charged at 23p without a second thought ...}

I won't launch into it all here - I'm not even sure I know what "it" is yet - and I'm still not being ANTI-TV per se, really - but something tells me there's a link-up here with the SCREAMING phenom [see yesterday's PB], and a recent and severe UP SWING in the I WANT IT ALL & I WANT IT NOW stakes.
And they are, there are, stakes ...
... but this is not a game.
That's the problem: this is NOT a game.
And this is all diffuse and unthought through at the moment, but there's something specifically about REALITY TV so-called that keeps sub-consc nagging at - and maybe even low level SCARING - me, and, you know, blah blah, urban myth, I'm sure it's maybe even already happened, you know, some passerbye shot or stabbed in the street, mugged or beaten by her "boyfriend" and ... later people said to the Police they thought it was just another one those Reality TV things ...'

Of course the difference between bear-baiting and something like Channel 4's My New Best Friend or Masters & Servants is that the bears weren't being baited & beaten for short term financial gain, and they had NO CHOICE in the matter. Whereas, as programme makers ALWAYS say, a} there's an OFF button and/or b} we didn't put a gun to their heads, these participants... but you do wonder how long it'll be before someone SNAPS in some fashion on one of these schadenfreude PRANK progs ... {some of which, Dom Jolly e.g. springs to mind, for all his protective and thermal and maybe PATHOLOGICAL layers of "irony", isn't there REALLY some quite NASTY undercurrent of misanthropy, a distaste for the plebicite going on here which they only just keep hidden?}
... so, someone'll snap and BITE BACK or BREAK down; or maybe not, this being Britain.
But that's a seperate rap ... maybe ...
... SORRY, this barely counts as "thinking", I'm just cack handedly trying to sift thru various drifts ... but I'v nearly lost my rag {and belief} with other people on the Estat where I live, I've seen them, I've witnessed it, I've talked to them, I've even pleaded with them on certain occasions, but they just stand there, looking on ... and I, I find it anger-making at first, but then also ... chilling.
You plead with them: you say, e.g.: your child, your child - supposedly merely 'at play' - is SCREAMING like someone is, excuse me but, raping her, Don't you ... doesnt this WORRY you? (Bottom line first: that for starters they might think this is, uh, "learned" behaviour?) That one day someone will drag her off into the bushes ... and she'll scream and scream and ... and of course on TV afterwards there'll be all these long faces mouthing the inevitable by-rote almost as-if scripted cliches, lovely quiet neighbourhood, how could this possibly happen, right under our noses, lovely little girl, what's the world coming to ... and no one'll mention the fact that they stopped listening for (or taking seriously) SIGNS OF DISTRESS about 2 years ago, because just ME alone I know that if I phoned the police every time I thought there was something awry these days - I'd be phoning them {I'm not exaggerating} minimum twice a day, sometimes more, in the last week alone there were THREE seperate occasions when, you know, cliche time again but: I felt my blood run cold, these, these ... SCREAMS, and these 12 year old voices 'you motherfucker you cunt you motherfucker SCREEEEEEEEEM' and ... everything JUST a fucking Eminem video yuh no see't OLD GUY and but you know that if you did start phoning up the police all the time they'd suspect YOU were the nutter ... Bit too interested in little kiddies, just playing, you ask me Sarge, and what's all this with the imagining kiddie rape scenarios in the bushes, eh? Keep an eye on that one, next excuse we get DNA SAMPLE TOO what you say ...

And so part of you - the Good Neighbour part, the Class solidarity part, the ETHICAL part ... SWITCHES OFF. Clunk: OFF. Because if you lived any other way you'd GO MAD within days.

{And the other thing is, you know that if you approached the parents to either "complain" or gently try and jack-and-jill explain, they'd either tell you to fuck right off how's it your fucking business anyway cunt, YOU got any kids? no? well fuck right off then you stuck up cunt, or they'd feel patronised ... which is possibly, in some measure true. Who AM I to judge? I'm NOT a parent. But I'm no Daily Mail leader writer either, and I'm 99% SURE that NO kids, from age 1 month to age 11, NO kids behaved this way when I was a kid: I'm not saying we behaved "better," HELL no, all kids are polymorphous little monsters, FAR more like the wolf than they EVER are Lil Red, from way back, all time, but we didn't regularly have sustainedly HYSTERICAL breakdowns in public: one Gimlet Look from either parent would have chilled us quiet, zzzzt, just like that, and I'm not talking about the threat of physical violence, it was more something to do with DIGNITY and 'don't you DARE show "us" up like that ..."

And maybe that "us" ... also in class terms, it's so dissipated and fragmented and bought off and lost in the mystificatory loop and mirrorhouse of "REALITY" TV aspiration and distortion ... I dunno ...
I'm quietly just thinking out loud here {in order maybe to stop screaming out loudly inside ...}.

I'm trying to read my scribbled notes, and they jump from 'TV = GET everything by DOING nothing' ... altho of course if you were a stern moral arbiter you MIGHT reverse this and say TV gives you absolutely NOTHING or no-thing and ultimately takes/demands EVERYTHING YOU ARE from you ... all your time in this world ...
... {& excuse me for Cliche Three, but ... on your death bed, will you be glad you watched that re-run of Nash Bridges rather than calling 1-2-3 you tell me and saying: " ... my SOUL just nudged me, and wanted to hear your Call ..." }

... shit, where was I, damn ellipses and wandering off the ... this is what happens when you switch off SONY's Box and unlock PANDORA's ... all the stuff that's been anaesthetised n held in check for decades comes splurging out ... {{could it be: TV actually is a kind of anaesthetic, and all my mood swings the past week ... naw ... that's just froot loop Conspiracy shit ...}}

... yeah, well, my scribblescrabble notes somehow jump from the 'get e/thing by doing n/t' of TV to "visionaries. philosophers. visionary thinkers, doctors, social utopians WHERE DID THEY ALL GO? nietzsche bataille et al. their LEAP. why no more? philosophers = HACKS. re arraging the furnture. tidying up the room. dusting. doilies. fine words. BUT WHY? WHY? Nietzsche supposed to turn philosophy upside down, instead 's gone other way. DECORUM. Nietzsche goddamn Studies. Bataille symposia. footnote books about this use of that word and so on. Scholar squirrels. OPPOSITE EFFECT.

Is it GOD?????
Is that it?
In the [even recent] past it all revolved or evolved around the q of GOD - his existence or non existence, but his PLACE. What we fill it with. How we navigate his departure or vacation or ... even return there. Find some version. Yesterday I spat on "Christianity' in the PB. Meaning the happy clappy ezy answer zomboids or the sinister Vatican cabal types. But I have NOTHING against people finding their genuine Sacred rest or rescue or restitution or redemption there.
There are good - there are god's - people [here and] there - I have met some. [Young vicar who was stabbed. Really touched hurt me, even tho I never knew the guy.] We get all the front page news always BAD: institutionalised child abuse, homophobia, misognyny, missing funds. T'was always thus. Add in WAR and TORTURE and WITCH BURNING and INQUISITION and scaring children half out their wits and wholly out of their bodies and imaginations and .. DON'T. DON'T GET STARTED on that Celtic ire trip ... dont let it slip out. Never end. BUT.

BUT. Is that it? People used to take that Sacred place or space of the sacred or that wager or that What Next then SERIOUSLY: so seriously. As your life.
And afterlife.
Now ... I WANT IT NOW I WANT IT NOW WHY NOT BITCH I GODDAMN FUCKING WANT "IT" NOW or I'LL SCREAM UNTIL THE NEIGHBOURS THINK YOU'RE ABUSING ME AND I'LL TELL THEM YOU ARE I WILL ... and that "IT", as we know, as we always know, but don't, don't know, are so in the ark {ark!? dark?} about it, sobbing in the dark, convulsed, that "IT" is .... it's this primordial LACK it's TIME ITSELF and how we either let ourself be used by it or how we LOVE its flux and indecision and shiver & floe ... and once we could fill it with all kinds of "sacrifice" and pennance and festival and song and mutation and SUN and SONG and maybe God maybe not but ... i see lots of soul-less little automata out there: and it scares me. THEY scare me.
It's like Coil say: THE WORLD ENDED A LONG TIME AGO. And these are the post-apocalypse tots, the triage toddlers.

And last night, leaving the home of lovely & gracious hosts for the evening, they knew nothing about this, hadn't seen the blog, different part of town, house of love, They said, from their front step as I backed away, gesturing with their eyes/ears, 'Oh dont let it bother you: DONT MIND THE SCREAMS. It's like that round here all the time ...'

And people will say, after bodies are found, you callow middle class wanker fucks, you were so lost in your self invovled self referential jerk-off little weblog games and your record collecting and co coo ing over your fucking PETS, that you couldnt hear a little child being butchered under your noses.

And they will be SO wrong.
We are DESPERATE, we are [as Robert Stone said] CRAZY with love. We are, some of us, CRYING out for or from love. We are desperate to help: and not signing a fucking cheque either. But we tried to help once, twice, a dozen times, and we got curses broken over our heads and we were SPAT at, and the boy, he couldn't have been more than 12, 13, he said, he said to me like he was one of those kiddie-platter guerillas you see on the TV news, he hissed: 'You speak like that again to me mister-' [HEAVY sarcasm on the 'mister' b/t/w] '- n'I'll tell the Bill you called me "nigger" ...' after i'd just asked politely then when ignored screamed furiously & told him and his mates to clear up the bag of rubbish they'd kicked - but really VICIOUSLY kicked, to death, its GUTS now everywhere, ALL OVER the road, bits of glass and jagged plastic and shit stains and condom skid and meat stink and ALL THAT REMAINS OF LIFE all over the street where I LIVE, right in front of my door and window and where my precious luv Bonnie makes her nomad [s]way, and some car is going to skid on this shit, or going to bang a tyre - and knowing the way they drive their big flush COCKs-on-wheels round here, they'll be going at 60 mph already and they'll be conducting vital LOOK COOL bizness on the MOBILE anyway so they won't be looking anywhere except in the mirror of their own fragile VANITY and they won't SEE, they wont they don't they NEVER SEE a thing til it's all over and TOO LATE {one of them already ran over Bonnie once, half killed her when she was little more than a kitten, if she wasn't so damned tuff ... smashed her up so bad inside - her tiny postage stamp leg & hip & womb - she could never give birth, smashed into her - saw it - actually PAUSED, wound down one of his fucking DEAD COOL tinted windows cunt, head out, saw IT saw her there in the GUTTER shaking shivering & so in shock she could barely squeal or cry to let anyone who might CARE know s/t was wrong - and window up, only a cat, and the fucker DROVE ON ...} and the misfire the next time they'll burst a tyre or skid and ... maybe the same 4 kids who kicked the shit all over the road to begin with will be scythed down like summer wheat, who knows who CARES? Who CARES? Becoz the TV CREW will soon be here LIKE THEY ALWAYS ARE and THEN we'll care we'll ALL SAY - all together now - how did could such a thing possibly happen, this day and age, and one day you look at them REALLY LOOK AT THEM - these vox pop talking heads - as they parrot these things - and one day you look, you REALLY LOOK into their eyes and you realise: there's NOTHING there, there is NO LINK WHATSOEVER between the words they are saying the words they THINK ARE REQUIRED, the same words they've heard a 1000 times before already in their TV lives - and the undead "look" in their DEAD BLANK EYES their dead blank neighbourhood watch neighbourhood do "I"s their collective TV EYE.

And you know what, one of my neighbours, family man, had been standing there the whole time, this nice mild Sunday pm, washing his car, his lovely car, and this is the road he drives on and these are his streets too, his two children play here, and he just stood and watched them do it, KICK THIS SHIT all over HIS street, befoul where he lives, spit on his life, and after my altercation with them - cos sure as a Bush second term NO ONE else was going to say or do anything but Foolish Fuckhead here leads anger first - he just looked at me and SHRUGGED, as if to say: good for you guy, I'm with you 100% BUT WHAT YOU GONNA DO? what can you do, what you gonna do cuz thats the way it is NOW, now and forever more coz it's all over now bonnie blue, THAT world ended a long time ago, where I cared about you and you ...

And I think at that precise moment I was INFINITELY angrier with him than I could ever be with the little would-be gangsta kids, who, I did stuff like that too on bored Sunday afternoons just not, I'm sure, just NOT with the same degree of shameless fuck-you fuck the world core VICIOUSNESS.

No: he's the 'culprit' here. Stand by and let it progress.
That's it. The almighty SHRUG. The battle's been lost. Polish the rear view mirror, man. Nothing is our's, these streets aren't dreams, we aren't "we", and what's more by the way fuck you, into the bargain, coz THATS WHAT EVERYBODY SAYS NOW, that's how everybody speaks, as a matter of course, even friendly exchanges between 13 year old girls or 4 year old boys, YEAH - AND FUCK YOU TOO BITCH! - and if you grass'n me, cunt, you'll get petrol or shit or both thru yr letter box [we've actually even got devices on the inside of our letter boxes for just such eventualities: how convenient but ultimately HOW SAD IS THAT?] or I'll set my killmachine dog on your faggy little cat who sits there every day, or I'll TELL THE BILL YOU CALLED ME NIGGER - before you tipped that garbage over me and said that's what you are anyway nigger so pick it all up .........

And in a story I once wrote - or rather, I wrote the ending to a story I never backwrote - this was predicted, except more violently, and at this point the sobbing I.P.-ish liberal tries to reach out, his heart is broken in two, he says to the desperate would-be thug 9 year old or 12 year old or 15 year old boy: "You've no idea have you...? You've ... NO IDEA ... what LOVE is!'

And then he's stabbed, and dies, laughing/sobbing at the cosmic joke/sadness of it all.

And the story about the dog/cat is true too. This actually happened round here recently. A multi-race multi-age gang of kids, with one of those KILL MACHINE dogs, they deliberately set it on this cat, an old cat, sat in the same place for years like a Greek granny, same step, twilight years, had a lovely happy family, also been there for years, long-time-ago first-wave Finsbury Park immigrants, lovely shadowy spot out front, just lke my cat Bonnie. And these 5,000 year old "kids" set their "dog" to ATTACK and yep it RIPPED the SHIT and BLOOD and LOVE and FUR and BREATH out of that little cat.
And the family, horrified, seeing the last of this from a window above, the violent death of a beloved family member, right on their own doorstep, because that's what this was, let's get it straight in our heads, this was an atrocity, of sorts, the father later told police and/or reporters: What shocked us most was - they were laughing, those kids. They thought this was hilarious.

I doubt they even got community service.
{Thin line here: one minute you sound like De Sade or Burroughs, the next like The Mail On Sunday.}

Just like the gang rape where the girls in the gang too, joined in: GO ON, STICK IT TO THE BITCH HA HA HA.

"Us" and "them": but who the hell knows what constitutes membership of either any longer?

Who IS that screaming RIGHT NOW? Is it one of us or one of them? Are they doing it to themselves? Can you BLAME them? {Is it, like, a collective version of "self-harming"? Becoz at least it briefly makes us feel alive for a moment ... ?}

I'm not blaming anyone here. I don't know who TO blame or whether blame even has any currency here. I'm just scared: dead scared. I'm scared of myself e.g. scared of what I might do in retaliation if ever anyone hurt someone I loved, or if they set their hell hound on one of my love-eyed cats "jes' for kicks .. we wuz BORED .. s'only a fucking cat wannit" - NO it's not "only" anything, you poor misguided completely UNguided luvs, who, you must think you're nothing much your own self too I imagine, and that nothing that does not glitter or turn a buck matters very much finally cuz we're right down to Darwinian ratrace grubbing and stomping here aren't we, and it's not even along race lines or class lines or sex lines, it's just how things are - 'ARDKORE - oh yeah, middle class record collectors and media whores who think Dizzee is jes the most darlingly authentic trip or TING dere iz? Interview in the Sunday Telegraph already can u credit it?, Mercury Prize, weblog topic of discourse numero uno, cool, well, I'll give you ARDKORE, becoz we live in the kore Real, not the cyberkore, and where I live isn't even the real ardkore, where I live is still relatively niceness, seen - but it's NOT HOW things ae FOR ME just yet, becoz it's NOT just a street and it's not just a cat, guy, geezer, gangsta ... it's my LIFe and it's my LOVE, and if you touch a scintilla of a whisp of a hair on her sacred little body - if you so much as induce a FLICKER of FEAR in her unknowing eyes "just for a larf" {you like reality tv, huh?} - I know me and I'm SCARED for you I'm really truly troubled and scared of just what I might do to you in return in the name of one final NO - ENOUGH - I GIVE IN - MY LOVE HAS SHARPER TEETH ... here's what kind of ANIMAL I am: come on hard man, gangsta, let's see how much of a BIG FUCKING MAN you are without your mates and dog and gun and up against the RAGE of LOVE [with Glaswegian blood in its veins, by the fucken way ...]

... and then it'll be ME in jail and it'll have to be The Cell Box, but just think what blogging publicity that will add up to and OH what a media whore cause celebre I'll be ... oooh ....

- ---- ?

Grieving for the loss of heaven
Weeping for the loss of heaven ...


And that fear, that deep deep troubling fear, being SO scared at love's twilight dimming, I can see, I can understand, why some people might, say, go back to the church, or opt out completely, go live in a tent in the forest, whatever, because they're scared of what the City might do to them or make them do or who they seem to have become almost without noticing and if that's them us then what hope for their for our children ... ? I can understand wanting to be wrapped inside the alms of GOD'S LOVE again: no caveat, complete surrender, complete acceptance, unconditional love. I can understand the depth and seriousness and suffering of it. (It's one of the many reasons I return - again and again and again - to certain of Graham Greene's books, say, which contain, to my mind, some of the most astonishingly & enduringly tender & deep & moving meditations on adulthood and love and "faith" and attempted fidelity we're ever likey to get. [Heart of The Matter or Brighton Rock: whoah.] This from a "cynic", but then Kierkegaard was a cynic or "kynic" too, of a type, and I keep returning to him, too {and you know what, Lester Bangs too} and ...


{CAFE BREAK ........................................


And I keep running - falling - till I reach the water ...

posted by Ian 8/17/2003 11:37:00 AM

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