Friday, 2 July 2010

Children, singing

After 30 years of desert, a woman asks me for a date. Wonder of wonders. So sad because so late, so good because perhaps not too late.

Thursday, 1 July 2010


In every work of genius we recognise our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. Great works of art have no more affecting lesson for us than this. They teach us to abide by our own spontaneous impressions with good-humoured inflexibility most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side. Else tomorrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinions from another.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson "Brahma"

Ralph Waldo Emerson "Hematreya"

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Byzantium Endures

After the Cossacks routed the Turkish Army in 1667, the Sultan wrote to the Zaporozhki Cossacks demanding their surrender:

"As the Sultan; son of Muhammad; brother of the Sun and Moon; grandson and viceroy of Allah; ruler of the kingdoms of Macedonia, Babylon, Jerusalem, Upper and Lower Egypt; emperor of emperors; sovereign of sovereigns; extraordinary knight, never defeated; steadfast guardian of the tomb of Jesus Christ; trustee chosen by God himself; the hope and comfort of Muslims; confounder and great defender of Christians—I command you, the Zaporozhian Cossacks, to submit to me voluntarily and without any resistance, and to desist from troubling me with your attacks."

Zaporozhki Cossacks to the Turkish Sultan!

O sultan, Turkish devil and damned devil's kith and kin, secretary to Lucifer himself. What the devil kind of knight are you, that can't slay a hedgehog with his naked arse? The devil shits, and your army eats. You will not, you son of a bitch, make subjects of Christian sons; we've no fear of your army, by land and by sea we will battle with thee, fuck your mother.

You Babylonian scullion, Macedonian wheelwright, brewer of Jerusalem, goat-fucker of Alexandria, swineherd of Greater and Lesser Egypt, Armenian pig, Podolian thief, catamite of Tartary, hangman of Kamyanets, and fool of all the world and underworld, an idiot before God, grandson of the Serpent, and the crick in our dick. Pig's snout, mare's arse, slaughterhouse cur, unchristened brow, fuck your own mother!

So the Zaporozhians declare, you lowlife. You won't even be herding Christian pigs. Now we'll conclude, for we don't know the date and don't own a calendar; the moon's in the sky, the year with the Lord, the day's the same over here as it is over there; For this, kiss our arse!

Sunday, 27 June 2010

The England-Germany Magic Sunglasses

Having no interest whatsoever in football, I thought I would have the streets and shops almost entirely to myself this afternoon; myself, a handful of women, and the odd ageing queen.

God, how I misunderstood that situation - in Manchester the England-Germany game filtered out most of the humans and left the streets populated largely with the Robot-Slaves of the Death God in their beards and burkas, with their swarming grubs and no crowd to hide amongst.

It was like that moment in "THEY LIVE" when John Nada puts on the sunglasses he's found and can suddenly see how many alien invaders there are on the streets.

So as quickly as I could I walked to the bus stop, past Cafe Italia Halal, Chico's Mexican Halal, the Abergeldie Halal, Kebabish Halal, and Zorba's Greek Deli Halal and got out of the Hellmouth that was once central Manchester.

Should the Great Correction ever come it will have to be deep, thorough, and complete.

Thursday, 24 June 2010


The song unsung
The love not made
The flesh unknown
The promise lost

The time long past
The time unused
Was time still spent
And time that ends

Friday, 18 June 2010

And Another Bone

Again, in the early hours, a full hard on.

This really must be fundamentally psychological

Thursday, 17 June 2010


Another boner last night, normal size and firmness - again, on the edge of sleep in the early hours.

Another sign that my impotence isn't physiological

Sunday, 6 June 2010


In session with my Eating Disorders Psychologist last Thursday she told me that she was suspending my dieting treatment because she doesn't think that I have an eating disorder as such, she thinks that I have such a deep sense of shame and self-criticism that it disables me, and that the only effective mechanism I presently have to soothe my distress is eating to the point of discomfort to stifle it. She is continuing to treat me for at least another four sessions, but she will be trying instead to come up with a strategy to help me cope with the distress I feel, so that she can perhaps continue with the weight-loss therapy afterwards if it succeeds. She says she doesn't want to take away my one source of self-soothing even though it is causing me health problems and exacerbating my psychological problems, because she seriously fears for my mental health if she did.

I've known all my adult life there was something badly wrong, although until this impotence began and it shut down my sense of a future, I did have other things I could do to distract myself from how bad I felt.

I've explained elsewhere that when I came to realise why I felt so paralysed - the years of bullying from my dad, and my being mocked and excluded by other kids and even by teachers at school because I was fat - and I told John G, he said "I knew it. I didn't know exactly what it was, but I suspected it had a lot to do with your dad: of all the people I've known, you were the one who should have been supercharged for success, and I knew it must have been something huge that was holding you down".

Asking me about my feelings and my hopes, My psychologist said "you must feel very frustrated and feel that life has been very unjust".


On a tangent, I remembered yesterday evening that in the couple of years before my dad died, my mam told me she had been looking for a little job and a bedsit so that she could move out and leave him, so bad had their marriage become. At the time she would have been nearly 70. I think she probably would have done had he not taken ill and her sense of duty made her stay and nurse him. In a fair world, he would have been the one who left.

She was a better person by far than he was. She was a sweet, kind woman.

It occurred to me yesterday that he was essentially Gollum from the Lord of the Rings, a shrivelled creature obsessed with having his treasure and with hiding it from us and the world so it did nothing for him and us except eat him up and deform our lives.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Straight Back At Ya, Abdul

What we must do:

Turkey to be handed to Greece, converted to Orthodox Christianity or atheism and renamed Elleniki Anatolios. Any muslims refusing conversion to be deported to "Dar ul-Islam". Analogous processes to be implemented in all the following cases.

Iran to be made a protectorate of the UN and renamed Greater Armenia, with a province reserved for returning Zoroastrians aka Parsis.

The Caucasus islamistans to be dissolved and merged into New Georgia and handed back to the Buddhists and Zoroastrians

Syria to be placed under the control of Lebanese Maronite and Orthodox Christians and renamed Syria Christiana.

Jordan and the Arabian Peninsula to be renamed Isra'el Transjordan on the understanding that the Israeli armed forces turn Mecca and Medina to plains of irradiated glass.

The whole of North Africa to be renamed Sub-Mediterranean Europe, except for Egypt, which will be renamed Egypt from its present namer Misr, and handed back to the Copts.

Pakistan and Afghanistan to be renamed and repopulated as the Central Asian Buddhist Republic.

Malaysia and Indonesia to be renamed the Balinese Archipelago.

A small cave complex  in the Tora Bora mountains of the newly renamed Central Asian Buddhist Republic to be declared "the Abode of Islam (Dar ul-Islam)  and made home to the world's remaining muslims. As there will be no arable land, the UN to supply them with all the pork they can eat.

Let's see how they like getting payback for the murder of over 100,000,000 non-muslims

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Cockwatch continued

I was woken up today by rolling onto a  healthy morning glory which deflated as soon as I realised it was there.

Baffling - as if my something in my waking mind wants it not to work.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Three Synchronicities and a Memory

Very weird day: three synchronicities

  • I'd been unable to find a suitable photo of an owl in any of my own reference material but wanted to draw the knicker owl - Ian's original idea- in my couple of hours at that stART project. I went in there, looked through their minimal library, found one book on birds and opened it at random on the only pair of pages in the entire book depicting owls, with a perfect reference photo.
  • At home I bagged up some spilled papers only to find a transcript of John S's diary for 5th May 1981
  • I put my recently bought CD of Philip Glass's "Glassworks" on my portable player and simultaneously amongst the spilled papers found one side of a letter to Ian from 1983 where I was recommending the vinyl LP of Philip Glass's "Glassworks".
Separately, in the Class today, the radio was tuned to a local pop station playing 60s hits. "(I Wish I Was) Bobby's Girl" came on and I remembered it playing on a quite day in the 3rd Year when John G wasn't in, and Lorraine saying "I love this. I wish my name was Roberta" and then looking slyly at me and saying "I wish I was Bobby's girl".

When I remembered it today I fell sick and vertiginous.

I also found the recent photo-booth photos I got for my driving licence - looking at them, bald, fat, old, double chin and all, I don't look so bad. Not the face I'd been taught to loathe.

I'm starting to feel sure that my life has been wasted because of a small chain of things I misunderstood or misperceived. Today was a bit like doing the blog last year, when things I'd forgotten rose unbidden from my memory nearly every day, sometimes several times a day.

As I said, a weird day.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

When you lie in bed at night watching roaches climb your wall, if you called your dad he could stop it all

I was just walking home from Eccles in the twilight of the setting sun, when it hit me with a sickening impact that by going to Art School, I'd sort of become McMurphy in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". Almost everybody I knew seemed to be like me, similar intelligence, similar inclinations, living in crappy shared flats or at their parents. Then as I got to know them I'd find out "oh, my dad owns one of the biggest haulage companies in Britain", "My family owns Boddington's brewers", "my family are millionaires, we own the biggest canning plant in Hong Kong", "My father is National Head of Security for ...", "We own ... a large Ironware and Fittings company".

They could afford to arse about, and could afford to fail, my friend John and I couldn't.

It was like the moment in "Cuckoo's Nest" when McMurphy realises that the rest of the inmates of the Nuthouse are voluntary in-patients, but he's stuck in there for real, and he isn't getting out.

It's 30 years later but it made me feel sick to my stomach.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Youth Unemployment

I've just been listening on the radio to someone from the Prince's Trust talking about youth unemployment. He was stressing how difficult it is for the unemployed young to get a foot on the job ladder, and how much simply coming from a poor background reduces one's opportunities in the job market - few contacts, no money to spare or borrow, no-one to emulate.

I was thinking that most of my - and J. G.s - problems are in the end down to us both having been from very poor families, and both of us having fallen off the world in 1981 and never really having got back on. Neither of us even had phones until 1985, and we both lived in places with limited opportunities, me in Salford, which was a by-word for poverty and unemployment, J.G. in Glossop, which is pleasant enough but on the edge of nowhere.

Our problems might have come and multiplied simply from those unfortunate starting conditions.

It's no consolation, we've still pretty much missed out on everything life should be, but perhaps it wasn't as much our fault as we usually think.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Viagra #3

Another little blue pill failed to have any significant effect.

The Ouroboros of Hate

Old ground mostly, from an email to a female friend:

Since talking with a neighbour on Thursday night, a pleasant old irish guy who was a professional footballer ruled out of his career by a severe injury , a self-described drunk and stinking of beer, I've been feeling ever more sad, to the point of choking up and crying again. He said of himself and a friend, who had asked him why they had failed to prosper while other friends made millions in the building industry and football "they took their chances, we didn't take ours"

I dreamt about my Mam last night, and had a conversation with her about what went wrong with me - almost the last thing she said to me in life was "you're as good as anyone here [the doctors and the nurses] I don't know what went wrong".

I found myself thinking of JS, and of other people I've known including you, and I remembered Melanie saying around 1991 that back at college she and you and Lorraine (and Lynn?) had discussed my unattractiveness and Melanie had mentioned it to her mum, and her mum had replied "you're wrong, he's the only attractive man amongst your friends, and you're all too immature to see past his baldness".

I thought of JS, how ordinary he was in looks (OK he had nice hair and could look quite sweet and boyish from one particular angle), how needy he often was in personality and yet how oddly confident he was, insofar as he threw himself into situations, and was convinced even at college that he was talented enough to hawk his writing and illustrations round London publishers. He found himself a crowd when he moved to London, he found himself a crowd in Tokyo. He made himself so attractive to women that he had two pretty wives, three children, and a very successful career.

I suspect if anything it's about being at ease with other people and feeling comfortable and unashamed around them, and so enjoying being with them.

There's a line in the Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the UK" (I shouldn't have to explain this to you, you should know it, given your age and art school background, but I suspect I do).

"Don't know what I want but I know how to get it"

I think that sums up most people, they don't know what they want but know how to get it. You've told me you thought you didn't want children, but it turned out that you did. You thought you didn't want to be bourgeois (I don't use that as a term of condemnation) but it turns out you did. You thought you wanted to teach the underclass illiterate (I know you did because it came up too much in your conversation over the last couple of years, even as a possible option for me) but found out you didn't.

I pretty much knew what I wanted but didn't know how to get it, or couldn't, or felt I couldn't, or all three.

JS knew both.

I know a guy, R, who has more or less got himself a PhD, two MScs, and several BScs, a property portfolio, a sometime job as a professional builder, and had long term relationships, largely, he's told me, because he didn't know what to do with his life.

Rh is strange, she claims to regret the only things that clearly make her happy, like her family, and claims to have always wanted and loved the job that plainly made her feel miserable and resentful, as if she doesn't know what she wants or wanted. But anyway, she knew how to get them.

Most people seem to get the things I wanted by accident and lack of thought, like our Jess, unmarried and expecting a baby at 19, when she was such a bright ambitious child, or my neighbour L, five kids with three dads, a gran and not yet 40, and yet not stupid or lazy, or even promiscuous, my cousin J's ex-husband, who falls in to affair after affair, is paying alimony to two ex-wives, and is now two-timing his present partner.

People seem to be unable to avoid getting the things I wasn't able even to get started on but ached for.

I get trapped in this mental loop of hate. I find myself thinking "I'm better than most people, so I should at least have what they have, so there's something wrong with me, I can't get what these people have, even though I long for it, so I'm less than these people, but they're stupid and thoughtless so I'm better than these people, so I should at least have what they, have so there's something wrong with me, so..." ad infinitum. I have these flashes of blazing white anger where I don't know whether to kill myself or gun down everybody on the Precinct.

I knew what I wanted from my early teens. I wanted to be a doctor, I wanted to have a wife and be married, I desperately longed for children, and had no idea what to do to get any of them, and got none of them, even the basic things most people, even the thick ugly manage, a partner and children, which I consider the core of a life lived.

I needed to be amongst people like me, to learn from them, to learn social skills, and life skills, and career paths, and options, and apart from those few years at college, which I consider the only even half-happy time of my adult life, I've been on my own since puberty, pretty much at the bottom of the societal pile.

Having worked with doctors and medical students for ten years, I know they're mostly not extraordinarily bright, but are overwhelmingly middle-class.

Is it any wonder I'm unhappy?

This "mental health worker" said the other week "from the thought diaries I asked you to compile, the underlying things that make you depressed come down to the same very few themes".

It occurred to me only the other day that she thinks that I'm vaguely depressed in mood, that this is some kind of passing mood disorder rather than what I believe it is, a reactive depression that has become long-standing because I have a small core of big problems that are long-standing, and some of them are due to that cliché "circumstances beyond my control", such as that very rare thing, being an unrecognised gifted child brought up in real poverty.

And more than anything that I'm probably past getting anything I wanted and valued. I'm old without ever having been truly young.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

International Summat

Some Pacifismists - move along, nothing of interest here

I went for my daily long walk this afternoon, doing my bit for my health and for national security. Afterwards I got bus home. There was a contingent of unconvincing middle-aged docker-in-a-frock trannies on the bus, bad orthodox-jewish granny wigs, dull mumsy clothes, brow-ridges like neanderthals, and hands like bunches of flesh-coloured bananas.

God knows where they were all going in the middle of the day.

I must go now as I am knackered from doing my duty going on the look-out for these international terrorismists. The Guvermint has raised the threat level from them to "Severe" and told us to be extra aware. I only wish the Guvermint had told me what they look like, as earlier this afternoon I kicked in two hari krishnas and a nigerian quaker who later managed to persuade me through the bloodied stumps of their teeth that they were international pacifismists, and now I feel bad.

Rab Martellus
Hammer of International Terrorismistism
or summat

Friday, 22 January 2010

They Took Their Chances

Listening to an item on the Radio about the surprise chart success of a collection of Waltz music, I remembered refusing Heather a waltz at the Arts Ball 30 years ago, and I then remembered missed or refused opportunities one after another until I was weeping at how I'd wasted my chances.

I was talking to a self-described drunk last night, an irish man of about 65 who was telling me he played in the same youth team as George Best and was a good professional footballer for a while until he was badly injured and had to give it up.

He said "I've a few friends who've made their millions and others who are like me - one of my mates was saying how come they're millionaires, we come from the same place, and I said to him there's no use worrying now - all it is is they took their chances and we didn't".

I found myself thinking, given the almost overwhelming strength of my sex drive for most of my adult life, and how much I longed for success, given how powerful the drive, how much stronger must my inhibition have been.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Like Father, Like Son

For some unfathomable reason I've just remembered that in my 20s I used to have a persistent feeling that because my father was 32 when he had me, I had until I was 32 to find a woman, career, have children, and such.

In reality, in the months leading up to my 32nd birthday - the months of my gestation - I fell apart and have stayed fallen apart for the following two decades until now.

I wonder if I felt that I had failed to fit what I expected was his pattern of what my life should be and believed that from that time forward I had demonstrably utterly failed at life.


I'm struggling at the moment, eating too much, doing too little, finding it hard to concentrate. My clothes feel tight, not a good sign.

I keep feeling angry with this counselling/therapy - there's no acknowledgement from this therapist, nor was there from the previous one, or the staff at my GP's, that I have actual life and health problems, long-standing problems, some of them decades old, that get in the way of my sustaining a positive outlook. I know people have worse problems, but the problems I have are real, and living with them with little help and pretty much on my own is bloody hard.

I wish they would at least acknowledge this, rather than saying something to me that amounts to a sophisticated version of "don't worry, be happy".


I've just been looking at the images that "prove" Lady Gaga is a hermaphrodite (given how small her "penis" would have to be, and how large and meaty her clit and/or inner lips might be, not to mention that she might just literally have her knickers in a twist, one wonders how many men still visualize women having nothing but a featureless white marble smoothness down there) when I noticed her age.

When Lady Gaga (23) was born in 1986 Madonna was already 27. I was 27. That's how bloody old we are.

Friday, 15 January 2010


You know what I think the difference between a depressive and non-depressive personality is?


I've noticed most people, when faced with problems in their lives, blame other people for them.

I suspect people with depression mostly blame themselves, assume the fault is all in them, feel guilty or ashamed.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

A Self-Made Fish Out of Water

Yet another night with little sleep. I went to bed just before midnight, and woke at 3am, and have been unable to sleep since. It's a quarter to eight in the morning, and my cumulative lack of sleep is making me hallucinate, something I haven't experienced since my late mother had her devastating first heart attack, and I was awake for three whole days and began mistaking dustbins for children. I'm now mistaking the leaves of high weeds blowing in the wind for a helicopter.

I've spent the tired yet wired early hours reading Nick Hornby's "the complete Polysyllabic Spree", which details the books he bought and the books he read (not the same things) between 2003 and 2006.

I've never taken to Hornby or his novels, I don't like his blokishness, I think he has lousy taste in popular music, which seems to be the only music he likes - he rates highly the Clash and Bruce Springsteen, which two I've long classed as posturing mediocrities whose only talent was to sellotape together rock clichés, and I've always classed him as one of those middle class men with an affected interest in football, so affected that even he's forgotten it was affected. Sports fannery is a blind spot of mine, I do not get it at all.

His cultural interests on the evidence of "Polysyllabic Spree" are limited to mainstream fiction and literary biography, rock music, and football. He doesn't so much dismiss science - for instance - as use that common trick of "hmm, very clever, far too clever for me, but it's not important, is it, except to nerds?".

Around the middle of the book Hornby mentions he's read a biography of the dead writer B.S. Johnson by Jonathan Coe. Hornby finishes his comments by saying that B.S. Johnson had an attitude about himself and others that could be simplified as "don't you know who I am?"
"which in Johnson's case was an even more unfortunate question than it normally is. Nobody knew then, and nobody knows now."

I knew and know who B.S. Johnson was. I read his "House Mother Normal" and "Christie Malry's Own Double Entry" in my late teens 33 years ago. I can't say I ever re-read them, but I can remember them clearly. They made a strong enough impression on me, the first book a depiction of the same non-events in an old peoples' home as seen through the consciousnesses of patients with different depths of senility, the second a depiction of a young clerical worker applying the principles of book-keeping to an escalatingly violent working out of his grudges. I didn't decide toread these because I had read reviews of them in the literary pages of newspapers , I found "House Mother Normal" in a Remainder Bin in my local Woolworths, and borrowed "Christie Malry's Own Double Entry" from my local library because I'd been impressed by the first book.

My friend Heather once called me "a Self-made Fish out of Water" and "an Isolated Intellectual". While I don't think I'm an intellectual and don't want to be, I wonder whether there's a basic truth in what she said; that I am by background very poor uneducated working class and I have suffered the disadvantages of that background, but I am very intelligent, received a middlingly good education, and continued to educate myself. Consequently, still trapped among people of my own background, I have spent 30 years of my adult life having little in common with them except where we come from: few common subjects of interest, few similar goals, few tastes.

I seem to have been interested and attuned to things that people of a similar age and similar intelligence weren't. I very often hear and read cultural commentators in the media failing to understanding references that I understand; these are people who by profession and education should pick up those references.

It sounds a snobbish and arrogant thing to say, but I wonder how many of my troubles come from having been born in the lowest social class with talents and intelligence that suited me for the professional middle class, but few opportunities to make use of them. I needed that insight twenty or thirty years ago, so that I'd have understood the desperate importance of climbing out of my class by any means.

I have only met two people like me in my entire life.

Monday, 11 January 2010


I tried another Viagra yesterday evening - it worked better than the first one in that with a little help from porn and a vicious fantasy on my part it provoked and sustained an erection for five or so minutes, not a long thick erection but enough of one to achieve an effective penetration.

A positive result of sorts, but I had a better one spontaneously on the edge of sleep the other morning. I'm ever more convinced that the lack of sexual desire and excitement I now feel, and my perpetual anxiety and despair, play a big part in my inability to get erections.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Dog's Fanny Hairs

I had a disturbing dream last night in which Heather's dog Hebe had bald skin like a human , except for a triangle of pubic hair. I wish Heather would please oh please refer to Hebe's pubic fur as fur in future, not as "fanny hairs".


Русские женщины - самые красивейшие женщины в мире

Awake too early again. Sat watching Russia Today on Freeview just after 6am. Looking at all the Russian women walking in the snowy streets of Moscow and St Petersburg, it struck me again that so many of the strangers I find attractive in the streets of Greater Manchester turn out to be Russian, Polish, and probably Ukrainian and Belorussian (I hear these women talking or see in their hands a magazine or book with Cyrillic letters or polish on the cover). It also struck me watching all these Russian women on the TV that a big part of what I find attractive is how pale, untanned, and often flawless their skin is, with the only colour the natural rosiness of their cheeks.

I've been trying to figure out why Russia has always fascinated me - it had nothing to do with politics, I think it's sort of like the attraction of Japan - it's often said that for us Japan is the nearest we can get to to an alien planet. Well, I think for me, the attraction of Russia and the Ukraine is that they're the nearest I can get to a parallel universe where European culture descended from Byzantium rather than Rome.