New Year’s Eve 2020And so 2020 passed ignominiously and pathetically, with a whimper and a whinge. Brexshit by the skin of some vampire’s teeth; dodgy vaccines; allegedly novel mutations of the lurgy; culled minks; ice shelves crumbling; divisions multiplying and the Masters of the Universe conquering like it’s going out of fashion; the Left transmogrified into some kind of genetically modified Right and the Right screaming “Marxist!” at the least provocation and always inaccurately (poor old Karl must be turning in his grave…). And, of course, the eternal, canonic Russia/China/Iran trilateral dastardly plot to destroy our wonderful, freedom-loving, democracy-exporting Hollywoodized way of life. (Guantanamo anyone?)
Ah, me…! It’s seems almost cruel to wish you all a splendid 2021, as it’s highly improbable that it’ll be any better that 2020 was. In fact, we’ll be lucky if it isn’t much, much worse, but hey, as Mehitabel never tired of saying, whatta hell. Life is short and full of trouble but there are a few thing we can still do to make it less crappy. Use your imagination.
Also, resist, bite, dissent, object, rebel, disagree, hug a Chinese, love your loved ones and try and acquire new ones to love and cherish. Love is also mutating, from revolutionary to subversive. Cultivate it. Tend the gardens of your soul. Weed your hearts. Give Them as good as They try to give us.
Personally I shan’t complain too much. The Pantomic has affected me far less that has afflicted (when not downright destroyed) the lives of so many other people; and there have been a couple of sponditious bright spots in my life; and for this I’m glad, grateful and inclined to be gracious. Stay sane, stay groovy, stay Gramscian, have a nice life. And un po’ di mu’, of course.
Cold Waste Blues.Things are bad. Really bad. Really, really bad.
I’ll tell you how bad things are: even the Repulsive Moon Beasts of Leng are having massive fits of the megrims, that’s how bad things are. In fact, things are SO bad that even they, the RMBoL have had to rig several off-the-cuff support groups to deal with the epidemic of despondency that has oozed even into the farthest reaches of the Final Void. Any time now we’ll have the idiot god Azathoth phoning the Samaritans and Cthulhu complaining he can’t have a half decent night sleep as he keeps on being waken up by nightmares of Priti Patel trying to deport him “to Woga-Woga Land”, where all these bloody foreigners come from, as everybody knows. Or so says she.
What kind of universe are we creating, I ask you?
Never mind. Have a thoroughly dissenting, obstreperously merry Xmas, if that’s what you celebrate. In fact, celebrate anything you feel like, be it only to spite the Tories. And Keir Starmer as well, that goes without saying. Love and firecrackers!
Oops & Mates. Series Old Wine in New Bottles No 3Same story but not quite. This is a crude, B & W reworking of a much more colourful and refined version of one of the last vignettes of The Story of Oops, the one and only comic strip I have ever attempted so far and which remains unfinishedowing to my back being total crap and refusing to let me sit at my desk for any reasonable length of time and thus use my surviving desktop, where dwells my beloved Flash MX, which is the tool I used to do most of my stuff before my body sold me down the river to the vagaries of osteoarthritis and the like.
Euclid’s Chagrin. Series Old Wine in New Bottles No 2 This is a reworking, like No1, At The Lighthouse, of some ancient stuff I did on the elderly (but still functioning, look you!) Sonny Reader. I just fancied revisiting some of those doodles, authentic garabatos, done in the massively crude drawing tool wot came with it. The original was called Wrong Geometry! and had a wee po’m attached. This version could be also called A Shoggoth On The Roof, as a loving tribute to the wondrous spoof of Fiddler on the Roof that the incomparable H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society did a few years ago. There, that deep.
Solstice Shubby. Here she is, the one and only, the splendid, the ineffable Black Goat of the Woods With a Thousand Young -currently on holiday in the Plateau of Leng and hence not in the picture. She’s commanding us wretched souls to have a fab Solstice in spite of the all-pervading crap that’s engulfing us. Milady’s cortège think (but not say; not aloud anyways) that she is, indeed, glorious and incomparable and unutterable but she has no social graces whatsoever. I say nobody’s perfect. And she means well, I’m sure. Follow her advice and do try and have a great Transition. Things are very unlikely to get any better but at least Apollo is turning his chariot around and heading back our way. Any time now, snowdrops and wee buds. Menos da una piedra…
And un po’ di mu’ seasonal. (I know, I repeat myself. But I love this song and it’s not everyday that a couple of eccentric Scots write a song for me just to cheer me up.)
Birds of a Feather. Have a little sequel to this year’s Ash Memorial. This is what might (or might not) be going on in that splendiferous place that Ash’s particles might be kicking about right now (or not…). Gossip is rife there and often of the most frivolous kind you can imagine. Here you can see Julian and Sandy, the Shady Birdies, a disreputable pair as there ever was, updating the Mystic Tadpoles on the latest scandals, spurious rumours and bad jokes currently making the rounds in the final void. The tadpole on the right dreads what’s coming, for Sandy’s jokes are truly, magnificently and crisply outrageous.
Ash’s 8th.I’ve changed my mind and decided to do yet another Ash Memorial.
I still can see him as he was the last time we met, there, standing in my kitchen, arms waving, eyes ablaze, ranting like it was going out of fashion about the absolute need of this wretched country to acquire a constitution. Also the even more urgent necessity to clear out the English language (or any other language, for that matter) of jargon of any kind: legalese, psychobabble, poliflummery, pseudo-science bunk and other though-terminating linguistic evils.
I would entirely agree with him on the language thing but I though he was being naive on the first point and I would remind him of all those countries that have constitutions and are still a fucking mess and/or a pain in the gluteus maximus, like the good old USA and Australia. He was undeterred by this last argument, for as well as a master-ranter he was as stubborn as a mule; now and then he would even out-rant me. But we never quarrelled and we always had such fun rearranging the world. Ah well… sic transit gloria us puny humans. And everything else.
I hope his sub-atomic particles are having fun, still and forever, somewhere spiffing, where constitutions are not needed and paranoid empires are unknown and cant is regarded a mere joke, something to pass the time in between oscillations.
Spiny Forest. The Barbed Borderlands is a strange, dour region. Exceedingly fertile and therefore half impenetrable, its forests tend to bring forth minimalist types of tree and shrubs, all branch, no flowers. To this austere place the tiny One-Eyed Itinerant Babbler has come to try and induce said stern trees to let their hair down and be merry; nay, even frivolous! So far his efforts have met with a small degree of success: two of the severe woody thingummybobs have sprouted flowers.
The little birdies are charmed by the youngster. In their collective bird-brained memory lingers the image of a long, long gone Italian geezer who used to talk to their kin on regular basis and once persuaded a wolf to go vegetarian for a while. (The experiment didn’t last owing to the crappy attitude of the local humans who, as usual, mistook grace and goodwill for weakness.)
Us, too, is charmed by the wee chatterbox and us hopes that he’ll soooooon come amongst we the masses and convince everybody that life might be like a chicken coop ladder, short and full of shit, but that a) that’s no reason to pout and b) beauty and love still matter. Now more than ever.