The Conversation.Being a devout sceptic my life tends to drive back rather than attract The Weird Stuff, aka paranormal phenomenon. With the honourable exception of synchronicity, that is, which happens regularly if not all that often. 80% of the time these coincidences are meaningless but very amusing. The remaining 20% are truly uncanny because of their spot-on relevance to the situation I happen to find myself in at the time.
For some years now I’ve been polishing my General Theory of Interactive Determinants, which pretentious as it sounds, pretty accurately describes the way contemporary fiction (not only literary but also television, cinema, “social” media, MSM news, soi-disant analysis and so on included) bleeds into and shapes what these days passes for reality. I was musing on this subject when I came across the following paragraph in Iain Banks’ The State of the Art (page 110):
(The good ship Arbitrary to Diziet Sma on some of its reasons -and the other Minds’, presumably- for not contacting Earth)
‘…there would be technical difficulties, given the volatility of the situation. They’re on a cusp; a highly heterogeneous but highly connected -and stressedly connected civilization. I’m not sure that one approach could encompass the needs of their different systems.The particular stage of communication they’re at, combining rapidity and selectivity, usually with something added to the signal and almost always with something missed our, means that what passes for truth often has to travel at the speed of failing memories, changing attitudes and new generations. Even when this form of handicap is recognized all they ever try to do, as a rule, is codify it, manipulate it, tidy it up. Their attempts to filter become part of the noise, and they seem unable to bring any more thought to bear on the matter than that which leads them to try and simplify what can only be understood by coming to terms with its complexity.
So I thought I’d use my own condensed version of this as the text for the little creature’s lament in this here doodle, as it expresses neatly and concisely what I’ve been saying all these years.
Stay groovy, clear-headed and fight the Disneyland Construct!
And here’s another bit from the same work, as an also relevant bonus ball:
It strikes me that although we occasionally carp about Having To Suffer, and moan about never producing real Art, and become despondent or try too hard to compensate, we are indulging in our usual trick of synthesizing something to worry about, and should really be thanking ourselves that we live the life we do. We may thinks ourselves parasites, complain about Mind-generated tales, and long for ‘genuine’ feelings, ‘real’ emotions, but we are missing the point, and indeed making a work of art ourselves in imagining such an uncomplicated existence is even possible. We have the best of it. The alternative is something like Earth, where as much as they suffer, for all that they burn with pain and confused, bewildered angst, they produce more dross than anything else; soap operas and quiz programs, junk papers and pulp romances.
Worse than that, there is an osmosis from fiction to reality, a constant contamination which distorts the truth behind both and fizzes the telling distinction in life itself, categorizing real situations and feelings by a set of rules largely culled from the most hoary fictional clichés, the most familiar and received nonsense.
Hence the soap operas and those who try to live their lives as soap operas, while believing the stories to be true; hence the quizzes where the ideal is to think as close to the mean as possible, and the one who conforms utterly is the one who stands above the rest; the Winner…
They always had too many stories, I believe; they were too free with their acclaim and their loyalty, too easily impressed by simple strength or a cunning word. They worshipped at too many altars.
(Dizzi ‘s conclusion on the whole sorry-ass affair of contact/not contact Earth and the even more sorry-ass business of Linter’s going native)
(My own verdict: “Peasants, one and all…” -We The Earth People, that is.)
Two-Tailed Happiness.Mini-Series Tapestries. No. III Just in case the giggles and the anti-gravity workshop failed to “elevate” your mood, here’s a last resort solution. Take yourself to the very edges of the Seriously Exotic Fringes. Invoke the genius loci aka local tutelary entities. Present a burnt offering of the entrails of Priti Patel. Drop on all fours. Grow fur. Adopt a pleasing, compact bear or possum likeness. Grow a tail. Grow another tail. And Bob’s your uncle! Keep on resisting, biting and staying sane. Love and furriness.
The poor possum-like creature is flabbergasted and wonders, as do many of us, how much longer can we survive this deplorable Governance By Stupid.
Linguistic note. The title is an in-joke, lifted bodily from the ineffable Let Stalk Strine. The author assures us that’ s how Aussies pronounce “I can hardly believe it” (Only he gives the phonetic spelling as “Eiche nardly bleevit”.) He also affirms that “abstract” is pronounced “airp’s trek”, to which I can bear witness of it being absolutely (or “airpsly”) true, as I I’ve come across this phonetic phenomenon very recently. So, ditch your bikini bottoms, dig out your insurgent shorts and have an airpsly fair blillis weekend.
Ingravity.Mini-Series Tapestries. No. II.Book now for the latest Defying Gravity* Without Tears weekend workshop organized by the Floating Doodahs of Upper Drift Magna. Free of charge and open to all creatures in righteous distress. Free lunch and complimentary goody bag containing a PDF pirate transcript of the R’lyeh Fragments, a jar of the exquisite Mi-Go face scrub mask and a potted miniature amphibious dog rose (Rosa canina aquatica) from the nurseries of beautiful Y’ha-nthei, courtesy of some renegade Deep Ones we are chummy with. Also, free Byakhee-enabled transport to & from for mobility-restricted participants.
NB. Please note that this does not refer to physical gravity but to the almost overwhelming, soul-crushing serial waves of malicious linguistic pretentiousness that threaten to destroy the sanity and peace of mind of anyone with a modicum of good taste and common sense.
The Giggles. Mini-Series Tapestries. No. I (A set of three doodles with slight variations of the same background)
When laughter fails there’s always the giggles, like Hope at the bottom of Pandora’s box. And of those there are as many as there are reasons for them. Here be an example of something that has caused me and endless fit of these pleasant, tingly reactions (not to mention a healthy dose of the good old selective schadenfreude*):
Of course, it could have as easily provoked a fit of the foaming-at-the-mouths; such a waste of online space, what! But no, I much rather titter, like a Shantak bird. And so do the two wee chaps in the doodle.
Stay sane and have a sponditious weekend.
* No matter how, old, fat, alien or physically fucked up I may be, at least I’m not Luke Harding:
Generations.aka Fractious Fractals. Emilia and Amelia, two highly respectable, thoroughly decorous twin snakes indigenous to the Midway Drift, have given synchronic birth each to a mess of hatchlings. The babies appear to have fractal tendencies. It’s easy to predict that they’ll grow up to be unruly bunches and that they will evolve into troublesome, non-compliant creatures. However, to make up for these nonconformist inclinations, they are scandalously healthy and marvellously merry. Moreover, they never-ever-ever, not in a million years, will they vote Tory, send troops to Afghanistan* or accuse Russia of about everything bad that happens in the world, not even this rotten, wet and miserable summer we’re having. Us chickens celebrate their arrival, wish them a long, prosperous and fun-ridden life and, to some extent, feel for the young mothers, although they knew what they were getting into when they chose to go down the path of procreation. Fortuity be thy name and all that…
Sad Mandala. Things have perked up a wee bit since I finished this here doodle but since you never know when you’re gonna need a melancholy version of the ever-useful APGI, here goes this sombre mandala, for to meditate on the brevity of life, the fickleness of pretty boys and the overabundance of creeps of the Patel, Biden, Blair and other dread stuff of that ilk. Have a splendid weekend even if, in all probability, is going to be wet and muggy and mis’able. Have also un po’di beautifully sad mu’:
Your Basic Arsenal.If you must have weapons choose them carefully and economically. Don’t buy BAE Systems or Lockheed Martin’s crap. Develop your own. And remember the advice given in The Karate Kid: never use them in anger, only as defence.Or deterrent…:-)
Obituary Special.I was saving this here doodle for the weekend but, hey! life is short. Not for the latest not-at-all-dearly departed, though. At the ripe age of 88, after a lifetime of overachievement in the field of calculated mendacity and sadistic obfuscation, not to mention the spewing of fuse-blowing aphorisms, Donald “Duck” Rumsfeld has finally kicked the bucket, and not a day too soon. But no, I’ll not be cracking open that bottle of Beluga Gold Line I’m hiding under the bed. That I’m saving for Henry Kissinger’s demise (Provided the wee bastard doesn’t manage to outlive me, that is.) Meanwhile let us rejoice in a very small way at a very small piece of good news. Of course there’s plenty more where he came from but every little helps, dontyouknow. So today instead of un po’ di mu’, I love you and leave you with a link to some of his best verbal bollocks. Enjoy.
“There are known knowns, things we know that we know; and there are known unknowns, things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns, things we do not know we don’t know.”
[And, to quote, imperfectly, either The Two Johns (Bird & Fortune) or Rory Bremner: “Then there are the things we know we knew but we no longer know because we shredded them”]
Outrage.aka Pots & Kettles. Honestly folks, I don’t know where are we to find the patience to put up with this heap-a-caca. One grotesque evil-looking prat who broke the lockdown rules to “get his eyes tested” rebuking one putty-faced idiot for snogging his bit on the side; and a lumbering tittering, dribbling cretin spewing bollocks at an Olympics level stalking the national psyche (And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?), whilst out there in the wings the pestilent Patel brute bides her time, waiting for the right moment to stage a coup and take over the whole kit and caboodle. It’s as the wee monster calls it: the Kitchenware Wars; a lot of degraded pots calling a lot of noxious kettles black. It’s a pretty crummy state of affairs when small, insignificant worms and monsters know better what’s what than we do ourselves. I mean enough of us did vote for this lot, didn’t they? And while we’re on the subject of smooching…some women must be really and truly either blind, or desperate, or just plain stupid. Or, indeed, thoroughly venal and self-serving. Who on Earth would want to touch Matt Hancock with the ten foot proverbial, let alone snog him, for crying out loud? The mind boggles… ‘ere, ‘ave a po’m and a spiffing week.
Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after, And the poetry he invented was easy to understand; He knew human folly like the back of his hand, And was greatly interested in armies and fleets; When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter, And when he cried the little children died in the streets.
Solstice 2021. So here we go again. The sun has come and now he’s going again, rousing much distress and indignation amongst the light-loving Fuzzies of the Badlands. I do sympathize with the infuriated one but I’m closer to his more philosophical friend. Some things are as they are and that’s that. Bumba speed and many happy returns, old chap. Have a splendid Solstice, although is wet, cold and miserable. Never mind. Toujours gai! Toujours gai!, even in the midst of dire conditions. Resist, bite and swim against the tide.