Thursday, 18 April 2013




    A moment of deep civility amid the bitterness

  • The funeral saw a miraculous pairing of words and music

    Christopher Howse »
  • Britain after Margaret Thatcher is a disunited nation

    Iain Martin »
  • Will we see another winner like her? Don’t bet on it


    Thatcher funeral: applause came from nowhere and followed coffin



jgm2 said...

Obama is a Brit-hater Mr I. He's just as steeped in anti-Britishness as any of the tin-rattling plastic paddies of Boston. Didn't the Brits lean on his grandaddy a bit in Kenya back in the day when the locals were Mau-mau-ing their way around the countryside on an ethnic-cleansing mission?

And didn't he make it quite clear what he thought of the Brits by returning a bust of Winston Churchill and then naming and looting BP for the fuck-ups of a US drilling company?

While the Boston bombing provides cover for the US sending nobody above the rank of paper-boy, I'm sure Obama wouldn't have sent anybody anyway.

Obama is a vacuous cunt - the black Blair. I'm jgm2 and I wholly endorse this message.

As you know Mr I, I happen to think Maggie was dead right taking on the miners and the rest of the piss-taking, industry-destroying jackasses. I shed no tears at all for the fuckers still, 20/25 years on, shambling around their shitholes in Goldthorpe and the like with nothing better to do than poison their kids minds whining about Fatcha 'destroying their community' rather than get off their arse and leave.

It's the same inter-generational bile that gives us the likes of Norn Irn and Fucking Scotland. Man handing on misery to man, 'wrongs' perpetrated generations and centuries ago exhumed and aired and 'retold' with a myopic slant at every fucking opportunity to excuse their own failures and inadequacies in the here and now. Tins rattled, divisions and tribal hatreds nurtured and celebrated. Tony Blair was a cunt but at least there was some attempt to kiss and make up and try and put this kind of divisive shit behind us. It's that utter cunt Brown who, for sheer electoral advantage (or, more accurately, survival) dredged the whole fucking class war thing up again.

Perhaps I'm being naive. Perhaps 'the rich' really do want nothing better than for 'the poor' to live in abject poverty out of sheer spite but as a recent member of 'the rich' myself I see no evidence for it. 'The rich' just as I remember it when I was 'the poor' just want to be left alone.

But I agree with your point about the censorship of t'BBC et al. I think there's a certain amount of 'doing it (censorship) for their own good'. Fatch didn't get elected via the back door. There are still millions of people who remember just how shitty it was when the unions were spitting the dummy out on a daily basis over the slightest challenge to their power. Reminding people just how divided the country was back in the 1970s and drawing attention to the fact that the same divisions are still out there in benighted Labour shitholes will only drive people back to the Tories.

Mike said...

My family are miners from Yorshire. 2 of my mothers brothers died down t'pit. There is nothing romantic about mining. Many in the mining community knew Scargill was a chancer on the make - he just happened to con enough gullible working communities whose loyalty was their strength - however misplaced.

Hard to make the case now, with hindsight, that Maggie was wrong to challenge Scargill, Red Robbo et al - the worst enemies the workers ever had, if only their dog-chasing-a-bone mentality would been suspended for a while and allowed common sense a look in.

I studied for my A-levels by candlelight - the trade unions didn't do much for me - but like jgm2 despite the best efforts of the comrades I got my PhD and got rich. If I hadn't been an early Thatcherite I dare say I would be still down the pits.

yardarm said...

No business like show business as you,say, Mr I. It`s not the miners strike but the 79 - 81 high interest rates, inflation, tax hikes and overvalued pound to my mind that qualify her for a position alongside the `67devaluation, Suez, and the Jug Ears/Lump Head money riot in the fuckwit pantheon. And ERM. And Big Bang.

It received rather less coverage than Boston but 11 Afghan kids were killed in a Nato airstrike the other day. Barry Obullshit was a bit quiet on that one. As was Sir Gideon Towel-Folder Fitz Osbum; no shitty Philpott capital to be made there. And how can anyone take the little ponce seriously: he starts spouting about the unemployed and no one shouts out ' fuck off and fold some towels ' ?

Obullshit plainly, like all US presidents doesn`t give a fuck about the special relationship, only bumsuckers like Thatcher and Jug Ears delude themselves it exists. Irish American veterans of the Civil War invaded Canada and supported Fenian terrorists bomb the London Underground in the 1880`s. Even with wartime ally Ike in the White House we fought a proxy war over Buraimi, the Sixth Fleet harrassed ours on the way to Suez and CIA black operators bombed British merchantmen trading with regimes they disliked. U.S.
Treasury Secretaries Yeo and Simon tried to impose a cuts package on us in 1976.

Mr Mike may have a point. Obullshit isn`t looking too good: he might be next up for Arlington Boneyard.

call me ishmael said...

Well, y'know, mr mike & mr jgm2, everyone's entitled to a point of view but the Red Robbo one, just for instance, is, with great respect, claptrap. The UK car industry declined for many reasons.

It was a unionised workforcew which produceD the best-selling, world-beating mini, or Austin Seven as it was first known and it was those brilliant managers who underpriced it so badly that it never made a penny; the Jaguar E-Type, I suppose, was so good that it must have been made by managers working in their own spare time whilst all the workers were out on strike. E-types were made as fast and as well as humanly possible, in fact, by skilled workers, but the E-type, too, was underpriced; the Morris Minor was and remains a brilliant concept and an excellent product, the Land-Rover - I fucking hate them, but they are a hugely successful vehicle, made, once upon a time, by skilled british workers; the Comet Four, the BAC 111, the second Comet and the 111, were spiked by stupid management, leaving the field to Boeing, merely over the sake of a few, variable, extra miles per gallon. But these massive management failures - and subsequent ones - the unions didn't design the wretched Allegro or the Maxi or any of those other heaps of shit, weren't these the brainchild, in the car trade, of one of Maggie's imported, incompetent managers, Michael Day, wasn't it , and in aerospace by some greedy Tory arsehole?Now, of course, motor vehicles, at which we once excelled are all much, much better - my little Citroen C4 VTS, is faster than any E-type ever built, that doesn't mean that French workers are better, better behaved, than British workers; there is more computing power in any banger on the road, today, than in the entire Appollo 11 mission. Contrasting modern vehicles with 70s British cars - as the wretched Clarkson and Co and many Maggie-ites love to do - and by implication damning their builders is just plain stupid, and, therefore, thanks to the Maggie revolution, very popular. Oils are better, engines are better, you used to have to "run-in" new cars and now you don't but the fact that you did, in the Thatcherite consciousness,is probably down to some wicked Marxist. All the failures of British industry, gentlemen, in your view, it seems, are due to those within it who had the least input and not to those paid relatively astronomical sums to run it. continued.

call me ishmael said...

continues.....I have no personal connection with pits or shipyards or steel and have no family anecdotes to share about the hardships of such a working life but I remember the ghastly Sue Lawley interviewing the equally ghastly Sir Billy Connolly, comic, actor, squire and fluffer pursuivant to the then Duke and Duchess of York -y'know, Fergie and that fat bloke who consorts with jetset child molesters, the Queen's favourite son, it is said, although we need verification of that from mr a young anglo-irish catholic. Just think, Sir Billy Connolly, gushed the former leggy newsreader, you might have ended up as a welder - you could sense, through the radio, her nose wrinkling - in a Glasgow shipyard. Connolly, of course, nearly wet himself in self-adoration; good enough to make tired jokes about, his former workmates, but Oh my luvvy goodness, ye widnae wanna be one, Utter cuntishness; I'd walk on the faces of a thousand dying Billy Connollys to help one Glasgow shipyard welder. And so, I guess, would any decent person. But of course itr was the unions which ran down the shipyards, nothing whatever to do with management, poor darlings, nothing to do with people who knew nothing and cared less about industrial relations, all the fault of organised labour. Funny, isn't it, how Volvo, for instance, also unionised, made better cars and had good industrial relations due in part to a totally different organisation of the workplace, had a sense of a team-build on each vehicle, rather than a mass production line of stupid oiks who should be grateful to their bosses. As for thejaps and the hermans making such better shit than the scruffs in Longbridge, well, mr jgm2 won't need telling that the post-war rebuilding and re-tooling of Merc, BMW and Volkswagen was just a dimension of global politics, money was shovelled into these factories as a bulwark against the Warsaw Pact nations - the USSR.
But I can see how it's convenient, for Thatcherites, all across the piece, to despise and damn organised labour in this country, it is labour which is the cause of all ills, Capital - bankers - as we have seen, are dedicated to the public good, watchmen of the national business and any semi-literate with a poxy degree in business studies, anyone who is an ontrapranewer - someone who lifts a bit off the top for himself without doing anything - everybody knows that bankers and onrtaprenewers are the very strength of the nation, the world, in fact and furthermore, anyone can become one, if they get off their lazy arses.
I doubt that I'll persuade either of you of the self-defeating, cancerous nature of Thatcherism, no matter how much I press upon you the evidence that the social blights and ills of which so many of us complain - greed, bad manners, stupidity, selfishness, irresponibility - are directly traceable to her own verminous political tract. I won't succeed, for neither of you will philosophise your own individuality, defining yourselves only by allegiance.

I will put this to you, though: If Thatcher and her spivs had formed the post-war UK government then never mind PhDs, never mind wealth, the likelihood is that you would both have died of fucking rickets.

It is the groundworkS of the 1944 Education Act and of the NHS and of the national insurance scheme which has seen you both survive and flourish; it is the Attlee government to which you, and most of us, owe everything. And the Attlee government owed everything to organised labour. You betray if you want to, Ishmael's not for betrayal.

call me ishmael said...

I think, too, mr yardarm, that on the same day over two hundred Iraqis died in car bombs, all thankful, no doubt, to Uncle Sam and Tony Blair for liberating their asses. But its oficial, lilliputian US policy, that we don't count Iraqi dead, so, like, it's as though they aren't really dead. And even if they are, it's nothing to do with us, we're just spreading freedom-through-torture.

I just heard that there's been another explosion, near WACO, the scnene of the ATF's greatest, most successful massacre of women and children. Back in a bit.

Anonymous said...






Rufus said...

I think the entire mess, world wide, it down to one thing and that is the way we look at money. It is a very dangerous and deadly notion.
There is a site on t'internet that seems to explain much and to me points out that there really is no solution until our moonetary fixation is wiped out.
Knock out the spaces.

h t t p : / / ealitymoney . page . tl / So-whose-money-is-it-anyway - f - . h t m

Rufus said...

Correction to above error

h t t p : / / realitymoney . page . tl / So-whose-money-is-it-any

call me ishmael said...

I have been suggesting, for a long time, here, mr rufus, that for a fragile place like this to have it's guts ripped out, its trees felled and its oceans polluted not entirely but largely in order that some people can amass more paper and metal survival tickets than others confirms the adage that the lunatics have taken over the asylum and will inevitably destroy it. A post-money agenda is almost impossible for people to contemplate and the very suggestion reeks of socialism but how we, or our descendants, can maintain a harmonious, survivable balance with the rest of creation, driven as we are by the manipulated abstracts of what we call the Markets is a mystery which will never reveal itself.

Earlier, I chided mr mike and mr jgm2 for not philosophising themselves but merely proclaiming passing allegiances to this or that pseudo belief system. It was a comment a bit unfair and a bit opaque and as is usual with such reproofs it was aimed more accurately ay myself. I cannot envisage a global order in which I cannot, by economic means, differetiate myself from others.

I am asset rich, I live in a lovely big, old house with some land, and it's filled with nice things; I have loads of stuff, practical stuff and esoteric stuff, chainsaws and paintings, trucks and trinkets, ipads, ipods and period pieces, bits of furniture. And I think to myself: all this stuff, this is who I am.

I have a library, a big room that actually is a library, and I have library steps to get up to the top shelves; I have a room, a big room, not a fucking cupboard, that actually is a laundry; I live in the sort of place that photographers set-up and light and dress for Country Living magazine, I have a Rayburn multi-fuel stove, I have a big, almost walk-in cupboard full of single malt whiskies. And I think all this stuff is me. Even though I know it's not. But ask me - or command me to live in a similar fashion to the nutjob English hobby farmer, across the bay, and I couldn't do it.

Mr mongoose, he won't mind me saying, lives in a pretty village, next to the church, he raises his kids as well as he can, with learning,cricket and music, and he fashions bits of oak staircase. And he trades one liners amd lyrics with me, almost privately. And he thinks that's him.

Ms Lilith lives in the West Country and gardens a terrace and sings and dances and laughs and loves her children and her husband's children. And she thinks that's her, that's who she is, when in fact it is just what she does.

And mr mike and mr jgm2, define themselves by their achievements, their qualifications, the distances, physical and metaphysical which they have travelled from whom they once were.

And with all of us, with you, too, mr rufus, with every hung-up person in the whole wide universe, we mistreat ourselves over money, either we don't have enough - JesusFuckingWept I would love a VW Phaeton W12,thats a double Vee-Six and in my judgement the best car in the world, but they're a hundred grand - or, if we do have enough money we worry about losing it, it not earning enough interest on itself, it paying too much tax on itself, it being confiscated by FuckYou finance minister bandits. We are all enslaved by this abstract that doesn't even exist although its acquisition keeps us in line and keeps the planet descending into some horrible maelstrom. I fonly we thought about ourselves a wee bit more seriously, philosophically, instead of defining ourselves through Money's prism maybe we or one of us, might find a better way.

I will have a look at that page, thanks, unless, like everything else, it is mourning Ruin's most faithful servant, Baroness Crow.

ps Max Keiser is good on the subject of fiat currenies and the Fall. He's on Russia Today TeeVee, the thug, Putin's broadcast attempt to ingratiate himelf with humanity.

banned said...

By happy chance I was able to watch the start of Margarets last journey on the Telegraph website which streamed it live to my tellybox without the inane mumblings of Dimblebum/dumblond.

Devoid of commentary I easily recognised the troupe of haggard old hasbeens as they shuffled into St Pauls, those that I did not recognise clearly being of no significance, notably Cherie Blair as she barged her way past John Major to the front seats.

Once it became clear that the un-working classes were not going to "kick-off" for my entertainment I switched it off and went about my business.

DtP said...

It is ofcourse the final frontier of understanding - that of which we understand of ourselves. I've been on a fucking steep learning curve over these past 5 years and have been able to view myself as objectively as I hope ever to be able and, frankly, i'm pretty chilled about the whole thing. I've been extremely lucky to have been a pot smoker since an early age or otherwise my sink into proper alcoholism may not have been tempered by being too intent on getting stoned aswell and they do balance themselves out when excess is reached - a perfect marriage of wastedness.

Everyone needs a vice otherwise, well, this phantom of life could seem unbearable. And politics and economics - I guess the acquisition of money, to some degree, takes people out of the game - defended against illiberal actions, that we can and do just ignore the clamouring masses. It ain't godliness, far from it, but we can't give a shit all of the time.

jgm2 said...

I have noticed in more than one place on t'internet recently the spreading of a new meme - that British Leyland cars weren't that bad really. That what we all forget is that every other car was equally unreliable, over-priced and shoddily assembled. The teeny problem with this new version of events is that it simply isn't true.

BL cars were shiter, more expensive and more unreliable than any of the competition. The proof is that the BL employees wouldn't even buy their own fucking cars. I've told y'all before that I grew up in Northfield - the next town along from Longbridge - it was on one of my paper-rounds. They brought in a new manager and the first thing he did one Monday morning was ban non-BL cars from the company car-park. I am not joking - the car-park was almost empty.

If BL never made any money on minis or E-type jags it isn't because management weren't charging enough. It's because no matter how much you charged, even if we go along with the fiction that they were as good as the competition, it's because no matter how much money was going into Longbridge the likes of Red Robbo saw that as just an opening negotiating position for more cash for 'the workers'. The reason British factories (and ship-yards and pits) went without retooling is because in their loom-wrecking mind-set the unions saw any attempt to mechanise the job as a back-door attempt to cut the workforce. Which, I suppose, is exactly what would have happened but also exactly what needed to happen.

Any attempt to computerise a job or mechanise a job and thereby improve the product was met with a mass walk-out. And, even if the management put up with all that and agreed no job losses then the guy who was now operating the machine that did the work of ten men would want a substantial pay-rise because he was now a skilled machine operator. Even if the machine had only an on and off button. And his ten mates who were now sitting around also wanted a pay-rise because they were skilled machine operator's 'mates'.

And it wasn't just the direct BL employees/unions that were the problem. Their suppliers were so fucking unreliable that you had to have two or three of them as well. Lucas would be on strike or Dunlop would be on strike. And why? Because the Lucas and Dunlop unions knew that without their parts BL would be making no cars and so the taxpayer would step in and agree to bung Dunlop or Lucas more money just to try and keep losses down at BL.

BL would be out on srike any time the Ford lads at Dagenham got a pay-rise. They wanted the same. The fact that the lads in Dagenham were making twice as many cars per man per year and making a profit was immaterial to them. We make cars - they make cars, we want more cash.

You forget just how fucking mental the situation was.

The miners were the same. One million jobs in mining. For ever. Even if they'd invented a magic machine that went underground, cut the coal and brought it safely back to the surface Scargill would been on strike to have a million of 'em being paid top dollar for sitting around in a giant shed watching the guy watching the guy operating the machine. All on increased wages because of the more technical and responsible nature of their new role.

The utter intransigence and loom-wrecking mentality of the likes of Red Robbo and Scargill must never be forgotten. And neither should we let the passage of time wipe away just how fucking awful BL cars were.

jgm2 said...

We must also remember when the miners did finally admit defeat and got their massive pay-offs how most of them decided to invest them.

Then, as now, there is some threshold of savings above which you're not eligible for the dole. Which is why ex-mining towns were suddenly mass importers of Sierra Cosworths and BMWs. Aye. Rather than taking the money and using their unique technical skills to set up a mechanics workshop or something or move to another town which had more work they wilfully pissed their windfall away just so they could get some more free money.

A little straw and all that Mr I. Mentally they knew they had always been on the taxpayers teat and so they had no problem at all staying there.

I want you to pay me a shit-load of cash forever (when I'm not on strike for even more cash). I want the same job to go to my son. And if you refuse then... you'll have to pay me a shit-load of cash to stay here in my 'community'.

Pure selfishness dressed up as socialist, community 'spirit'. No thought at all for the folk who were flogging their guts out to keep them in the manner to which they'd become accustomed. Ie the rest of the country. The cunts didn't give a shit about them.

It's the newspeak of it all that still grates with me. All parading around trying to kid on that they were altruistic and socialist when all they were was selfish opportunists and hostage-takers. Little better than Somali pirates. Hijack a factory or, better still, an entire industry and then ransom it back. For ever.

Even today that unspeakable Millwall fan, Bob Crow, staging walkouts on the most spurious 'safety' grounds so that the tube drivers, doing what has to be the simplest job in the world, are paid 60K a year. Only two things to know Mr I. Red light 'STOP', green light 'GO'. A job that cries out for automation. But no. Still holding the whole of London hostage so his 'skilled operators' can get airline pilot salaries for a job requiring less skill than changing a nappy.

Another fucking loom-burner.

jgm2 said...

As for 'passing allegiances' you are quite right Mr I. I don't have a fixed ideology. I wouldn't hold up Marx or Ayn Rand and say 'This is what I believe in' because I know that you can find yourself backed into an ideological black hole. I thought Fatch was dead right on the miners and unions in general, dead right on the Falklands and dead right with most of her privatisations - although water was, I feel, a step too far and the trains could surely have been done better but, in principle the state has no business making cars, aeroplanes, steel or running an airline. Which some would characterise as 'right wing'. But then I'd have had nothing to do with either Iraq war. Which some would characterise as pinko-commie, bedwetterism. I'd have had nothing to do with the decade of debt dressed as growth and frequently railed against it. Which, depending on your view, made me either anti-Labour or anti free-enterprise.

So yes, I do have only passing allegiances and am, thankfully, not wedded to one ideology or another. I am what politicians fear most. I am a floating voter. Although, after the Maximum Imbecile's destruction of UK Plc it will be a long time before I'll be voting Labour. Not that they give a shit. Plenty monkeys in Goldthorpe who'd vote Labour even as Comrade Cooper was shepherding them into open cattle trucks.

call me ishmael said...

Well, mr jgm2, you know I'm a modest man and I don't like to boast but my first, teenage, school holiday job was painting the steelwork at the Tessal Spot Garage, mid-way between Northfield and Longbridge, on the right-hand side going South. I don't know how much expertise that gives me, how much insight into BMC, or BL or the Ostin, as the locals called it.

As for BL cars being worse than any others, you obviously never owned a 70's Simca or Fiat, or any of the early Vivas and Victors. I don't think the Ford Anglia was much good and I know the Mk 1 Cortina was shit from bumper to bumper, including the engine, the starter, the flywheel, the clutch and those amazing McPherson Strut shock absorbers which just rusted their way through the inner front wing/wheel arch.

Way back then, early mornings were soundtracked by the sound of Ford starter motors chattering as their Bendix Drives ground themselves to bits.

Grateful as I was that much practice had taught me to change a Ford starter motor in about four minutes I was nevertheless exasperated at this ubiquitous defect. Ah, Mr Ishmael, said an Asian Customer Relations expert at Ford, Dagenham, it is the wrong procedure which you are doing and finding so frustrating, Cor Blimey. What it is, you see, Mr Ishmael, and I most certainly should not be telling you this and I will be eternally grateful, stone the blooming crows, Mr Ishmael, for you not mentioning this with no names and no pack drill, but you see the fucking thing is fucking fucked. It is the fucking bell-housing, you see. You know those two fucking bolts, one at the top and one at the bottom of the fucking starter motor, the ones which go through the bell-fucking housing and secure the starter motor, allowing the Bendix Drive of the starter to shoot, spinning, down the shaft and engage with the fucking flywheel and turn-over the fucking engine, well, and like I said, this must be our secret, the threaded fucking holes which the fucking bolts go into are just a few thou. out of fucking line, isn't it. And this means that instead of the teeth of the fucking Bendix Drive engaging with the corresponding teeth in the fucking flywheel and turning the bastard engine over like it's fucking supposed to, they fucking well do not quite connect. cintinues.....

call me ishmael said...

......continued And this is why every fucking morning, up and down the fucking country we can all, Cor Blimey, hear those Bendix teeth chattering away, gradually getting slower and slower as the fucking shit battery fucking runs itself fucking down. What you need to do, Mr Ishmael and I would certainly find myself on the rock'n'roll if it came out that I had told you this, what you must do is not go and buy another fucking starter motor, much less an exchange starter motor because they are fucking worse, what you must do is equip yourself with a small wedge of hardwood, place it in the small gap between the starter motor body and the crankacase and hit the fucking bastard with a big hammer until it is jammed in there. This will distort the position of the fucking starter fucking motor just enough to compensate for the rotten fucking engineering of the bell housing and enable the teeth of the Bendix Drive to engage with the fucking flywheel and start-up the fucking heap of shit which you have so sadly bought.

And do Fords know about this? I enquired.

Of course, stone the blooming crows and fuck me gently, of course they fucking know about it, they make the fucking thing, don't they, Mr Ishmael, and just think how much money they make selling shit fucking starter motors that are only going to work for a few months?

Well I put the phone down, found a bit of wood and bashed it in as instructed. And of course it worked. And I nver changed another Ford starter motor, although sadly I still bought Fords, up umtil my first Volvo three-litre 760 gle estate, about twenty years ago, since when I have only owned flashy, foreign cars.

This is all just anecdotal and I will return to those things which I firmly believe that you firmly believe, having set them out with your custiomary, poetic oungency. But although I believe that you believe them, I believe, also, thet you are wrong ti believe them.

Talking about nostalgia, my old man was a time-served motor engineer and he swore by the original and the variants of the Farina-style Morris Oxford - the variants were the Cambridge, the Riley 4/72, the MG Nagnette, there was a Wolsley, too,a sixteen/sixty, I think and there were various Super versions in the same body with big fuck-off engines - the Rolls Vanden Plas with the 4-litre Rolls engine. Anyway, despite all that you say about BMC/BL, the Farina Morris Oxford is still produced under license in India, for its teeming millions and its stone-age tracks; like my Dad, they believe in its build quality. Dunno how many vintage Datsuns or Fords or Nissans they produce.

And as for the greed of the workers, well, isn't that just pure Thatcherism/Bankerism/RoyalFamilyism/MPism? Isn't greed what this entire discussion is about? Why is it fine and noble for some, and damnable in others?

Thank you for your extensive response, by the way.

call me ishmael said...

That's good, mr dtp, I'm glad.

I've smoked lots of dope in my time. It seems like lots but it's probably not, probably not even a pound, in total. Always seemed a lot, a, because it being what it is one ekes it out a bit and, b, a little pinch goes a long way. And for me it's only ever been a few weeks at a time. So I should rephrase that from: I've smoked lots of dope in my time to I've smoked a little bit of dope over a long time.

I know nothing about NewDope, the stuff that some of the experts say sends you into a downward mental spiral, schizophrenia, dementia and criminality. I suspect it's bollocks. And that the parents are to blame. They're certainly now what they used to be, Parents. LuvEmToBitsMyKids, that type of arsehole; DoAnyfin4MytKids,Me. If you have parents like that and you get off your head, well, odds are you'll freak out and murder somebody. I would. If my Dad had ever said, Ishmael's not only my son, he's my best friend, he would have burst into flames, but blokes say it all the time now. Maybe it's this epidemic of premature male hair loss, or shavenheadedness; maybe it has some character-warping effect that makes men talk like cunts.

If NewDope is all that strong, then surely a sensible stoner will just use a bit less of it, that's what I would do, no point in being nailed to the floor, all paranoid as fuck. Talking of which I did mistakenly smoke some opium, once. Christ Alfuckingmighty, talk about paranoid. Nasty little green bastards with long sharp teeth screeching bloodthirstily at the end of my bed. And they were as real as pain. I wasn't imagining them, well, not while they were there, I wasn't.

But, despite what you say, mr dtp, as I was saying a while back, being stoned - like being rich - isn't who you are, either, it's just that, stoned, one is more intensely all the things that one isn't. When one is stoned, for instnce, one can sit with a musical instrument and what one is actually playing is the Discord Blues, even though it sounds heavenly, the Music of the Spheres, but it's fucking awful.

It works for some people, of course, being drugged-up; junk worked for William Burroughs, speed worked like pharmaceutical dynamite for the young Bob Dylan, dope worked for Bob Marley, except that, even - or because of - smoking a pounda 'erb a week, mon, he died young from bone cancer.

A pharmaceutically-altered consciousness assists those already creative but I don't know that it's anything other than a pleasant relaxant for most of us.

But what I do know is that, forever, wherever two or three have been gathered together they have found something to distill, ferment, chew, smoke, inject, snort or shove up their arses, in order to sacramentally, sexually, belligerently or just for the Hell of it, alter their consciousness.

Getting stoned, wanting or needing to get stoned on one thing or another seems to me to be one of the defining factors of being alive. Don't sweat it. As the young people say.

mongoose said...

The world being what it is, a few pints and a joint or two are surely permissible. Maybe it is these distractions that stand between us and going postal.

Is it too late for a pint?

Dick the Prick said...

The dude who did the covers for Pink Floyd was probably the most talented and he was shit.

call me ishmael said...

Not too late, mr m, just too far.

You might try Coleridge, mr dtp, although I think he was an opium head.

The introverted, infantile, chilly precision of Pink Floyd, especially the mind-numbing monotony of Mr Gilmour, is much overrated.

There is a documentary on, just now, I think, on BBC Four about Nick Drake, he was from the same Joe Boyd stable as The Pinksters but much more worthwhile, musically, at least. Way to Blue, it's called. Cambridge meets Morrocco. Nick, too, was a junky of sorts.

mongoose said...

This notion of the striving for money defining us is interesting, Mr Ishmael. I gave up that about 20 years ago. I say "gave up" but what I mean is that I chose not to earn as much as I could possibly do because I had become a cunt doing it. It's as easy for me to say as it was to do. Relative poorness means not me but some other poor bugger. Poor, poor pitiful not me.

I do envy a man with a library ladder though. I may build one tomorrow, and worry about the actual library another day. As they worry about the actual point of things in Crete and Greece and soon to be other places v much nearer to home.

call me ishmael said...

I wouldn't want you misinformed, mr m, it's not like the library ladder on the BBC2 advert, self-powered and self-dissecting, but it's a library ladder, nonetheless; made of pitch pine; each of us has his own special gift. But let not Envy be your master. Take a tip from one who's tried.

It is, I venture, only by more people worrying about the actual point of themselves that we may avoid a real, and not just a metaphorical Hell on Earth.

jgm2 said...

Like you Mr Mongoose, the family jgm2 assessed just how 'successful' they wanted to be and decided that 44 was the perfect age to retire. Actually that was my missus. I packed it all in at 32.

Just how much more money do we need? What would we do with it? Travel first class instead of economy? Buy a new 60K car instead of a second-hand 3K car? Have a ten bedroom house instead of a four bedroom house? For what? For who? Who cares? Do you look at some bloke in First class and envy his life or do you laugh smugly about them paying 20x as much for the same flight. Do you look admiringly at some twat bowling past in a 60K Landrover or do you thank God you haven't got his fuel, servicing and insurance worries?

Less is more Mr I. Most of the shit we accumulate is just because we wouldn't want people we'd never met to think we were poor. As if being poor was such a crime. As if I wander the street getting envious of people's clothes labels and drive around craving other people's cars. Well I don't. So why would I think anybody else does and why would I give a shit even if they did.

All this 'growth' measured by accumulation of 'stuff' is mass hysteria. Better by far to do without the stuff and have the time to do what you want. Too bad I waste most of the time I do have - I'm sure I'll regret it. But I certainly won't regret not spending it in an office somewhere so that I can fly First class on the few days holiday I get.

Call me ishmael said...

I do know what you mean, mr jgm2. Some flash ,shiny-headed gabshite with unnaturally white teeth, in one of those sixty grand war vehicles, all bumpered and blacked-out, came a while back and offered us oodles of money and free electric in exchange for having windmill monstrosities at the bottom of our garden, money, we said, wasn't everything. If only the neighbours, much bigger landowners, felt the same. In truth, I think it was his car that tipped it, simple as that. Who would believe someone driving a thing like that?

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jgm2 said...

Ahhh, Mr I , Salmond's miracle economy has once again come to your doorstep. I seem to remember last time they fitted you out with an entirely new central heating system courtesy of some tax-payer somewhere. That was when we were having the discussion about the sweetener being handed out to convert cars to LPG being entirely swallowed up by the garages who were fitting them. And those fuckers who were wailing about the 'job losses' that would ensue if the massive subsidy for installing solar panels on people's roofs were to be taken away.

This cunts Range Rover will be wholly sponsored by the taxpayer and the inflated bills of those having to pay for this most inefficient and unreliable means of electricity generation. The entire economy is skewed by laundering all this printed money through such schemes, all taken advantage of by the usual sharply dressed chancers, fraudsters and politically connected spivs.

Welcome to Salmond's Potempkin economy.

My missus recently had some dealings with an NGO. All lovely people. Professionally concerned. Six figure salaries. Middle men in the business of distributing aid money here there and the far place. The management 'team' nicely balanced with just the right number of women, blacks and suchlike to tick the boxes to qualify for inclusion on the mass handout merry-go-round. Handouts for the Islington set. Cameron's people. Miliband's people. Clegg's people. Salmond's people.

One of your irregular visitors happy to see you back again said...

My first car in 1960 was one of them Ostins you mention. It too came with a dodgy starter motor. Get in, switch on, turn the key a bit further and.... click.... Not a sausage.

First time this happened I was on holiday and the local garage at which I had stopped for fuel, but could not leave from, charged me 10/- to fix it. All the 'mechanic' did was slide under the car behind the front wheel with a spanner in his hand and slide out again saying, 'Try that'. Naturally it worked, but as he had taken nearly half of my holiday spending money for two seconds' work, I determined forthwith to discover just what he did. My friendly regular mechanic told me that if the starter motor sticks again, just get the spanner and give the nut at the end of the barrel a half turn. That always freed up the stuck gubbins within.

My lady friends at the time (who of course knew nothing about cars except their colour) were mightily impressed with my mechanical genius I can tell you! As were my male friends who also knew sod all about how these mechanical marvels worked.