Monday, 23 January 2012

Au Contraire!

Q:  What's the connection between Harold Shipman, Mark E Smith, a Practice Nurse, Stephen Mallinder, God, Bob Dylan and an East German Rabbit?
A:  They all appear on this page.

I had a friend phone me about my blog on the Practice Nurse.  She asked why I hadn't mentioned Harold Shipman to the nurse.  Now you may not know this but Harold Shipman is regarded as one of history's worst murderers.  He is the ONLY British doctor ever to be found guilty of murdering his patients and it is conservatively estimated that he killed at least 218 of them.

I was talking to my teenage daughter and mentioned that this friend had called and mentioned Harold Shipman.  My daughter asked who Harold Shipman was and I explained that he had murdered hundreds of his patients.  A gleeful smile spread across her face as she announced with delight "Oh good - I have another hero."

Au Contraire!

The general cultural perception is that: a) Harold Shipman is a bad man and b) that there is something wrong with my daughter that she could be instantly impressed by him.  But there is something going on here of which most people seem blissfully  unaware.  We are NOT living in  a benign culture!

The trouble seems to be that most people are not living up to what might be called a personal morality but rather a collective perceived morality.  They are desperately trying to get the approval of the culture.  Humans are working collectively to define themselves as what they wish they were.  So the culture assumes hitting people is nasty and not desirable whereas being all sentimental about sweet babies is positively admirable.  There is nothing wrong with that on the surface but dig a little deeper and it soon becomes evident that the higher up the hierarchy you ascend the more ruthless people become in defending the collective ego and its self perception that it is "good".  It only takes a cursory glance around to see that the large institutions like the banks, the legal profession, the pharmaceutical industry, the NHS and the Children Services are all psychopathic in their defence of their image.  It only takes a little personal experience to realise that they collectively apply a morality to control the individual whilst not complying with that morality themselves.

The thing about my daughter is she sees this with a clarity that is beyond me.  She already knows what the false charade is about.  She is like the astronauts who saw the earth as a whole majestically delicate perfect living entity floating in space for the first time.  She sees the duality of the collective conscious and unconscious of humanity.  She already knows that the institutionalised judgemental view is perverted for its own benefit, and sees through the facade to the inner workings of society.  She knows that if Harold Shipman was killing his patients that hundreds more are doing it and probably with a more convoluted and perverse deception.  What she is elated about seems to be that he did what hundreds are trying to pretend they would never do.  It is, perhaps, the sanctimonious hypocritical attitude that promotes (or demotes) the likes of Harold Shipman to an extreme as if he were an aberrant exception in order to elevate themselves that she sees instantly and with clarity.  It takes philosophers, psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists and spiritual people years of their lives and generations to understand the world of humanity.  But my daughter sees it with no need for an explanation or any justification or excuses.  She knows what is going on like most of us cannot imagine.

It is possibly the human honesty in Shipman that resonates for her.  For any Christians reading this blog just recall that your elevation of a man to a God in the name of Jesus was the one to make clear to the religious hierarchy that tax collectors and prostitutes were equally God's creation.  It was He who was crucified for loving ALL people.  He understood that externalising "evil" was an offense against humanity and, in your terms, God.

Now on the subject of Harold Shipman it was The Fall who produced the controversial track "What About Us?" which was a interesting angle on the Harold Shipman issue.  The song is about an East German rabbit that emigrates to the UK for better grazing.  It starts of...

Bah ba ba ba ba ba ba ba bah
Well - Oh yeah - Wha wha yeah yeah yabah yaah (or something like that)

I am a rabbit from East Germany
I was very happy

It goes on...
Then I moved to Great Britain
I became an immigrant
I could frolic around all night
Eat all the green grass
I was so happy
Bah ba ba ba ba ba ba ba bah

The rabbit found himself...
By a rubbish receptacle
I saw a newspaper
I was not very happy
There was a man
He was dishing out drugs
He was a doctor
Dishing out Drugs
To all the ladies

I said "What about us?" Shipman
"What about us?" Shipman
"What about us?" Shipman
"What about us?" Shipman
"What about us?" Shipman
"What about us?" Shipman

I couldn't decipher all the lyrics in the time available and couldn't find them on the internet.  But that should give you the gist of it.  I met Mark E Smith once in Cabaret Voltaire's factory studio.  That's not Factory Records where I got viciously assaulted by a bunch of Manchurian thugs but rather Cabaret Voltaire's studio which was housed in an almost derelict old factory in Sheffield.  Mark E Smith is one of a few people I have ever met who have struck me as intensely human.  He is one of those people you just know is how people are meant to be.  Unassuming, inquisitive, kind, thoughtful, creative, friendly and somehow your life is enhanced simply by his existence.  Mal (Stephen Mallinder of CV) and Judd (another Steven) of Clock DVA were of the same mould.  But I digress as I name drop but want to give credit where it is due.

Here's a my favourite renditions of "What About Us?" and a glimpse of Mark E Smith getting an award which shows his eccentric take on life and normality.

This is my favourite recorded version of "What About Us"

The Fall Diesel U Music Awards 2005 (Mark E Smith)

"You can be in my dream if I can be in yours."  Bob Dylan said that.
"We are not who we wish we were but we need to be who we are or there is no real reality available to us." I said that.

Thanks to Wakefield Prison for the fair use mug shot of Harold.


  1. It's bullshit to think that there is or ever was a god that loves everyone, and his little fucking freak of a so called son didn't love everyone either.

    Never heard of Harold Shipman but I'll tip my hat to the man.

    1. My daughter says to tell you she thinks you're fucking epic!

  2. Actually, it depends on why he 'killed' them, if they were near terminal and he was just helping them along I see nothing at all wrong with that.

  3. I live in a right to die state, meaning that if I want to hasten my exit that is my right and those that don't like it can just go fuck themselves.

  4. I'm going on a road trip in the morning, the rest of you monkeys are in charge while I'm gone.

  5. I hate Harold Shipman....

    My mother is still alive....