Saturday, 18 May 2013

Sour grapes or Bitter Melons.

Picture by Nakano Hajime of bitter melon prepared for eating.
I don't do News normally. Well that is more a case of neither being interested nor wanting to be interested but unfortunately other people's chagrins and machinations get unavoidably drilled into my otherwise serene stream of blithe consciousness. The problem with this is that I don't experience the blithe consciousness because it is a little like talking about a calm ocean with a raging gale in it. They are seriously and destructively disturbing my life. In fact they are making my life what it is. Is this beginning to sound a bit bitter? I guess I am getting as bitter as the famous momordica charantia. "What?" I hear you exclaim. Bitter Melon you ignoramus. Well who has ever heard of the momordica charantia - really? But I looked up (did I 'google'?) 'most bitter fruit' on the internet and discovered this bitterest of fruits on wikipedia. What I found interesting is that it reminds me of an adenomyomatopic gall bladder. I have such a gall bladder and it is an ailment not an asset. For some unknown reason the gall bladder starts to malform. I have my own theory and it has to do with the bitter and twisted emotional state that I have become. We don't have these 'analogous' descriptions of emotions with no rhyme or reason. Whether we are conscious of it or not they remind us of conditions out there in the physical world of stuff and we describe them in those terms. One of the things that authoritarian hypocrites do to me is to gall me. I have found myself using that term on many occasions. It seems a possible consequence that my gall bladder is now malformed due to my being repeatedly shocked and horrified at the appallingly self-contradictory behaviour of people in official positions of 'responsibility'. It is hard to use that word in relation to these people because they entirely lack any responsibility ironically in spite of the fact that that is their role. This morning on the radio I heard some head teacher representing head teachers complaining that the politicians were bullying them. She heads up the top level of people tasked with bullying the new people coming into the world! Well I guess it would seem reasonable to her given that she is supposed to be bullying children that it is shocking someone above her should be treating her in the same manor.

Then there is the case of the 7 men (mostly Pakistani and all Muslims) who have been sexually abusing children in Oxford. Well I am horrified. I am profoundly horrified. And when I say 'profoundly' I mean it profoundly. I cannot express how this horror echoes into the very core of my sense of existence. But I doubt my horror is quite what most would expect. I fully accept that the actions of these seven individuals (and doubtless many more who have not been brought to justice) are lamentable and cruel. But my disgust is at the authorities and the culture. What worries me is how 'we' as a culture continue to support the authoritarian bullshit being spouted by these hierarchical abusers; the judges, the politicians, the teachers, the police, the social workers, and, tragically, the parents of millions of children. Our culture is inherently abusive. Nearly everyone reading this will recall as a child examples of contradictory sanctimonious pontificating by judgemental adults. I was at school in this Britain. I was at many schools and in that respect am well placed to 'know' that what I experienced was not 'because' of the social class of the school. I was at lower class schools and upper class schools and in my opinion the abuse gets worse the higher up you go in the class system but it is abuse all the way. We enable, facilitate and cause this abuse seen in these seven Muslim men. It is interesting to me that they were all Muslims too. It is so politically wrong to highlight this fact but in my opinion it is relevant. The risk in mentioning the fact of their religion is, of course, prejudice. Prejudice is about assuming certain attributes of an identifiable group and then pre-judging individuals in that group with those attributes. Prejudice is like bias and causes misunderstanding. But the three main Abrahamic religions on this planet, namely Judaism, Christianity and Islam are fundamentally abusive. They engender abuse. Not to beat about the bush or to put too fine a point on it abuse begets abuse. That is perhaps the very worst thing about abuse; that it causes more abuse to cascade through the culture. Consider this for a moment; The reason the girls were not 'believed' to start with was because the 'authorities' saw them as low lifes. One girl in the Rochdale abuse scandal explains in a radio interview how she was described by social workers as a prostitute who had made a life style choice. This attitude was clearly part of the fog in the Oxford case too. So how do the authorities miss the signs that serious abuse is going on? Clearly because they are abused people playing an abusive authoritarian role of making sure that the bad people are controlled. So in their psyche they can't distinguish between an abuser and an abused. Those dirty, uneducated, unpleasant and rather smelly girls are clearly abusive individuals who can't be bothered to wash, chose to take drugs and will happily sell their bodies for profit. I guess it is a bit like the unemployed in this country - they are lazy and choose to doss around and get a living for free from the state. The mindset goes on to say ... whilst we, the responsible and hard working individuals, put ourselves out to 'earn' a living. And there is the abuse in our culture. We actually think we are better than them. It follows that we are entitled to more wealth and luxury. That is why we, the rich, can see them, the poor, as getting something for nothing whilst we rob them blind from our moral high ground. Anyone who thinks poor unemployed people are getting something for nothing should do what their criticism implies and take advantage of the situation. They clearly don't like working and are jealous of the unemployed so why don't they just give up their job and become unemployed thereby making their lives far more satisfactory. The contradiction is clear. They don't do it because they wouldn't like it. So why, exactly, are they complaining and criticising people who they are ultimately abusing. But it IS our cultural paradigm.

God gives you freedom and you must choose to love and obey him. Good God! It's an oxymoron.

"Be good or I will do bad things to you." Eyes dart from left to right - So you mean "I" have to be good or "you" will be bad. So that is your justification for being bad. Have we got a chicken egg sort of situation here? Samuel Butler once proposed that the hen is only an egg's way of making another egg. Richard Dawkins comes to mind with The Selfish Gene whereby the concept of the gene as being the thing that is surviving rather than the species turned conventional ideas in biology upside-down. We need the same sort of revolution in the world of morality and how we understand our culture.

I also notice in the news, the British news, that politicians are very concerned at the moment that 'the public' don't trust them. I noticed that the emphasis is on regaining the trust of the public and notably not on BEING more trustworthy. Well how could they possibly grasp the real issue when they have been abused by this culture and are in the process of continuing the abuse?

Enough is enough.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Dead sharks don't talk.

The first thing I have to do today is write. I decided that a long time ago; that I should write something when I wake up. I can't remember who said it but somebody did. I was cleaning my teeth this morning and thinking of saying that the good thing about brain cancer is that your brain is getting bigger. Imagine that; A disease where you are getting cleverer all the time. I know it is nonsense but my brain has to test out all these theories. I was listening to Damien Hirst on Desert Island Disks this morning and he said something about his work entitled "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living". I had a weird thought the other day. I was specifically trying to imagine what the world would be doing, and specifically my daughter, if I died during an operation to remove my Gall Bladder. It was not the usual fictionalising of the scenario. It was tangibly different. It was genuinely imagining how the world was without me. The more I think on this the more profound it seems. But then my insights into life and people often seem profound. This would be so difficult to try to explain. But I am going to try.

So there is this world full of dynamics - there finished. That is what it feels like. The minute I try to explain it it seems to evaporate.

When I was younger... - What a decidedly obvious and ludicrous thing to say. People say it all the time. It is like when people in shops ask if they can help you and you start telling them about a problem you have and they suddenly realise you are not regurgitating the normal response but are actually engaging them in reality. I do it all the time. It is my way of both suggesting they stop running on the plastic automatic of our culture and of inviting them to think about the uniqueness of their own life and mine. Anyway - when I was younger is stupid because you were hardly likely to have been the same age or older before. But when I was younger I did have what I regard as a profound thought. There were two people and they had a child and another and another and then they had one that was different, one that was profoundly different... it was me. The point about that idea is that being 'me' has always intrigued me. Why am 'I' looking out of these eyes. Why can I see everyone else but I am 'inside' of me. But this is because being human is a thing - a phenomenon - an emergent experience from a complex system. Each one of us (presumably) has the same intangible and weird experience of the difference between being the 'me' that is us and everyone else. Once you get your head round that, so to speak, it does not seem off the trajectory to consider what it is like without you there. What is actually going on when you are not there. How do people feel who took you for granted? It is the same idea of being at your own funeral. But whereas in life you can, and some do - and some psychopathic, or sociopathic to be more pc, gits don't - imagine, or even empathetically simulate, the experience of people around you and particularly, or possibly by some people's definition specifically, the people you love it seems a dependent corollary that you can imagine, or empathise, with how they feel when you are not there. I guess it is becoming clear how difficult it can be for me to explain the ideas I have. I could start with something like emergent behaviour of complex systems and explain that in detail. Some have done it before. It is not my idea. It is a conceptual metaphor or descriptive analogy of a relationship and phenomenon. The idea being that the behaviour of a complex system 'happens' and cannot be predicted by 'knowing' how the system works. Well it needs a little more explanation than that. The thing is (roughly) that starting with Newtonian science we think we can 'understand' the world by the paradigms of 'cause and effect' and 'reductionism'. It is a bit like building a steam engine. Each bit does something that cause something else to happen. Each caused action causes another and by understanding how all the 'reduced' interactions work you can work out how the whole system will behave. There is one small problem with that - it doesn't seem to work in all cases. Whether the problem is in the universe or our limited simulations of reality in our 'brains' is neither here nor there for this discussion but it remains true that some things happen that are unpredictable. This is more than the mistake 'we' have been making for years of thinking that there are things we don't understand because they are too complicated. Chaos theory adequately explains how some things are 'unpredictable' using the conventional paradigms. I could explain all that and then, from there and using those ideas and 'paradigms', explain the next step. But it all seems too much to be dealing with at the moment of trying to explain what I am thinking. So, going back to where I was, the idea of 'being there' after you are dead watching and 'knowing' how it is for people you love when you are dead is a weird and differnt thing from the norm. But I was indulging in it the other day to try to understand how it is for my daughter. Because if there were anything I could do now which would support her when I am not there to do it then I would like to be in a position to do that. Some people think it is down to money and so long as they provide materially for their loved ones that that is all that is needed. They are materialistic and it doesn't make sense to me. I am in danger of rambling now but then that is what I do so live with it. That was decidedly aggressive - Sorry about that.

So I am angry with Damien Hirst for making so much money and leaving me with none.

Nobody's listening.

Yet again I wake up tired and with a headache as if I have a fever. I want to sleep but my thoughts and physical condition prevent it. I am in pain, exhausted and have a desperate sense that the abuse will continue and there is nothing I can do about it. I turn on the radio just to fill my brain with arbitrary noise to distract me from my own thoughts which are clearly fruitless. The radio is full of junk. Humanity is blithely meandering its way through the malaise that is the substance of existence. Melvyn Bragg is discussing cosmic rays with some experts in the field. Melvyn Bragg has a series on Radio 4 called 'In Our Time' where a range of fascinating subjects are discussed and elucidated by Melvyn and usually three academic experts in the relevant field. This is a rare and delightful deviation from the normal unconscious blather that spews out of the Radio 4 speakers. Sometimes I wish there were a text stream of the content of the programs; a transcription of the exact verbal content. I wish this because I hear so much contradictory and irrational content coming from people who appear to think they are making sense that I would love to illustrate how what they are saying is so clearly wrong and most often by the speaker's own definition. But no one is listening. No one is listening to me and ironically no one is listening to the radio. They may be hearing the content but they are not listening. There is a difference between hearing and listening and the words can be looked up in a dictionary but in this instance I am highlighting the difference between being aware of the sound emanating from the radio and being aware of the ideas being communicated.