Have a very merry Christmas—
It’s off to bed for a few days to look after myself…
I thought the arrow was an especially nice touch!
Many thanks to the surgical team at the William Harvey Hospital…
Just as my wise and decidedly erstwhile therapist once neglected to tell me voluntarily, if you ain’t got none then fake some— something which was no doubt passed down from one learned bejacketed chap to another and then to him in order to band-aid folk in desperate need, for reasons both earth shattering or as erroneous as whatever mine happened to be at the time. Now just happens to be time to water the plastic tree and I don’t even consider myself to be overly sceptical. But I must confess to considering such sandwich-filler philosophy to be some kind of joke that few, of which I wasn’t one of those who were in on; or that perhaps this was his idea of faking it, and in some round about way, was him subtly demonstrating how to use the prescription.
Whatever it was, I accepted it and have attempted to use it many times since with varying degrees of success and failure I might add— all with the exception of sincerity, since I’ve found it’s the one thing that if you can fake, you can fake anything. As for me, my hypocrisy only goes so far and since I have so few opportunities to be genuinely sincere these days, I much prefer giving it a go the old fashioned way. Besides, it also seems to be something that becomes rarer with the passing of time. I suppose a lot of the ‘pretending’ nonsense is much better suited to young folk and their flexible skin, as my walrus-like derma gives the game away with far too much swift to be considered fair game— and I’m not one to be deliberately foolish, any more than I am to be accidentally hypocritical.
Enough as they say is quite enough. I’ve reached that unfortunate point in any period of sub-par-ness, whereby I’ll actually start rewinding moments and days in an attempt to fathom the unfathomable, or at the very least, the invisible bottom which deserves my unreserved wrath to be turned spittoon and crazed. It’s imprecise, futile and impossible to spank. Nope, it merely adds to the joylessness of something which belongs confined to the golf course. I’ve even begun harbouring ill thoughts concerning my recent trip— that if I hadn’t gone everything would’ve been fine, I’d still be sleeping and working and perfect— but that’s B.S. as well. For starters, I don”t believe it, secondly, I needed a break and had a wonderful time— I’m not much of a drinker these days and nothing quite validates the conscience like a change of scenery whilst corking a splendid Pinot Noir in the late ante meridiem on a school day. Nope, it wasn’t that and I bear nothing but resentment for even thinking it.
What I needed yesterday was some perspective and if I couldn’t muster any, I just had to fake some. I needed to lash my resentment and throttle my ill thoughts with a dash of fake perspective and put away all that reflection nonsense, because the last thing I needed was for my last trip to be the last I ever have— that just won’t do— I like a large glass of wine before lunch from time to time; and since the issue at hand isn’t really all that complicated: mainly sleep with perhaps a few pre-operation nerves thrown in for good measure, I decided to get some sleep-aids to knock me out, so at least I might be able to start unreversing the bollocks. If I can’t sleep, I might as well fake that too.
Anyway, I took a few of them last night and must’ve nodded off pretty quickly, because the next thing I remember is coming to, at least feeling like I’d had a good nap— gave a little nod to gods— and got up to make a cup of tea before realising it was still only 12.25.
The disappearance of socks is an enduring mystery for sure. As far as phenomena go, it is quite simply the Linear B of domestic curiosities. I’m not sure if it’s a complex which manifests as frustration owing to the bewilderment that surrounds it; its very odd ubiquitousness that gives it its general appeal thus adding to an already confounding character; or the fact this vicious cycle is in some-way exacerbated by the spinning nature of washing the things in the first place. Whatever it is, it is the exception to the rule of what goes around, comes around, because all too frequently, socks forget to do the latter.
It certainly isn’t an occurrence isolated by a dip in landmass, since no mater how far from the edge of whatever body of water one may loiter, the chasm of lost socks is a deep and peculiar one.
It’s so peculiar in fact, that I couldn’t possibly hazard a say as to where they go either— not even if I was in the mood to inkle readily; and this despite years of spying on them. It’s an embarrassing thing to admit: being outwitted by foot-sheaths, but there you go— I can say it’s been a trait of my own laundry-blues where ever I go— and it is this, above all else which seems to be its most irritating irony.
It would be all too convenient to dismiss the disappearance of socks after a good spin in the same way we do the the appearance of bright lights in the sky— you wouldn’t normally associate high jinx with an item of clothing after all; but there is something otherworldly about it. So much so, the thought of attaching GPS to something meant to comfort you whilst walking, instead of causing unrest by walking off— would be pointless, particularly when there are far more useful ways to examine the limits of these devices.
I’ve often wondered what time is it at the North Pole exactly, and whether there is something about 90 degrees North that’d cause the signal to malfunction. It’s the romantic in me that’d like to believe these devices would think of this latitude as an infinite.
In many ways, it’s thought trains like this that’ve always had me wondering whether there are more practical uses for such equipment. For instance, I’ve long imagined modifying underwater sonar technology to produce the world’s most powerful, independently targeted loud speakers. Just the thought of being able to pick out a particular person with a focused packet of sound that remained inaudible until bouncing would be highly jinxing indeed…
But such a fleeting mention seems a waste of an Alternative Advent to me, and unless I’m very much mistaken nothing whatsoever to do with socks.
Five minutes with a laptop however is quite adequate to put that right— and there’s nowhere more chuckle inducing than a quick browse of the patents pages, as the lengths that some will go to describe their ‘inventions’ is truly comic…
There are radiation-free boat socks; two-way socks, described as a sock structure with two sides both capable of being worn; shoes with socks which may have additional miniature stylish designs; toe-independent antibiosis and stink prevention socks which describe the ‘processing process thereof’; outdoor waterproof non-slip Pet Socks;the antibacterial warm-keeping wearable sock; latex toe sock; Acupoint therapy socks, which you could be forgiven for thinking they’re to be recycled after use in the kitchen…
However, in keeping with the issue of hungry white appliances with a taste for tubular threads, I did find a device for keeping paired socks and similar before, during and after washing, imaginatively called: A device for keeping paired socks and similar before, during and after washing.
But no mention whatsoever of GPS…
A noted poet was once asked in an interview if he could explain one of his poems, in ordinary terms. He replied with some feeling:
It had been Chip’s turn to impress the judges of the science fair for as long as he could remember; you were born for this he told himself, just five short minutes and it’s over…
He took the stand, avoiding the small damp patch left over from the experiment Tina had performed with the goldfish and bag of washing powder only seconds before— took a deep breath and began.
“If Einstein had’ve had scurvy the world would be a different place— however, he did not and so the ‘model of the universe’ is incomplete. It’s almost as if the way we’ve looked at the sky because of this, has been determined by the very darkness of space itself— and in doing so— left darkness occupying the thoughts in spaces we should have left retaining their brightness. Take the apple for instance— the true ‘model of the universe’ and inspiration for centuries of health, thought and enlightenment. If [they] hadn’t been so eager to get to ground, then Newton wouldn’t have been so inspired to’ve been so quixotic with his numerals; William Tell wouldn’t have been immortalised by a cowboy and sailors wouldn’t have had so far to go with only a paddle to skull to shore.”
It’s going well he thought, not daring to look up… right then—
“Instead of looking to numbers, which is understandable since mathematicians seem to like them; which is foolish, since there are few of us who know what to do with them besides pulling the odd face and nodding knowingly— and smirking. We should look elsewhere.
“So, if Einstein had been a poet, he’d have chosen a different route, and perhaps weighed his own impressions with his own collection of grimaces. Had he been a carpenter instead of a clerk, or perhaps a gardener with a keen interest in botany— the development of something tangible, like explaining the movement of clouds, would have been cultivated instead. He would also have found the apple and in it— the solutions he wanted so desperately to prove; since a mathematician without proof is just a scientist practising; a gardener without a crop just goes hungry for a little while— so the ‘knowing’ is preferable to the ‘perhaps’ of thought.
“An apple has a core, a seed, a skin, a stalk and a leaf; through which a branch, a trunk and a network of roots affiliate. They connect, create and make anew— much in the same way a human conditions itself in similar circumstances. So I ask you: how would a scar affect a dream? You sleep to heal and dream to co-ordinate but: a scar is a tissue that disrupts the surface: it is a raised imperfection; imperfections are distortions which need negotiating, meaning obstacles, meaning what?”
Chip surveyed his audience, having paused dramatically. That’ll get ’em he thought—
The purpose of the rough, is to reproduce without the impediment of a lumpy bed. The bark, the ground, the leaves— the skin of the apple— and it’s through which and its cycles we come to the ‘model of the universe’…
“Let’s throw away the universal constant because we don’t need it, not today— because although ‘the speed of light’ is inextricably wrapped up with the ‘time’ we need for the fruition of proof— and not least because I’m burdened by using a two dimensional ‘model of the universe’— combined with the long-time over-looked projection of ‘apple-time’— which is like space-time but better for you; both nutritionally and for the purposes of understanding. Especially if you happen to be a lesser exponent of ‘mathematical aptitudes’. This is mainly because there are none required whatsoever.”
He took a small pause and though he observed a distinct lack of fidgeting; he found some of the bewildered gawping a little discomforting. He took some water and continued…
“The nineteenth-century author Charles Lamb wrote: “Nothing puzzles me like time and space, because I never think of them.” Had he considered the benefits of consuming more fruit in his adolescence, he just might have been pondering differently— realising how ultimately fruit-ile and flawed his reasoning, or lack of it was. You see time flies like an arrow— and just because I like the sound of it: ‘fruit flies like a banana’. But what if they did not and what if ‘time’ could not fly at all. What if it fell?
“Let us consider the implications of such a concept shall we? If ‘time’ falls, it means that ‘time’ can be caught— meaning the future is tangible and can be stopped. In other words: if an arrow was aimed at an apple and [it] moved— the arrow would move to hit [it]. The probability of a hand interfering with the natural determinant of an apple striking the ground by catching it, would also curve the trajectory of the arrow— although, because the interruption could be construed as a ‘distortion’— by the rules we’ve already conceived of— though slight and tersely I may add— it’s of worth to note which would be struck first— ‘the hand’ thus resolving the offending variable— or ‘the apple’ to which the attraction originated…”
Chip looked up from the pages he’d been shuffling to a blank room filled with blank faces. The judges at the front of the hall began whispering amongst them selves— twitching their eyebrows as they did so, before the tall gentleman with the distinguished forehead took to his feet.
“Let me see if I’m understanding you correctly; you say the universe can be explained using an apple. And you prefer this method, to that of one of mathematics? In fact you’d dispense with mathematics altogether!”
“That’s correct sir.” said Chip.
“Then why may I ask, an apple? Couldn’t the same be said about an orange— or anything else that grows on trees for that matter?”
“Well, no sir. I do not believe you could.” said Chip. “Not only is it unlikely that Sir Isaac Newton even ever saw an orange— not up close or anything. But I don’t even like oranges…”
I think my blog-watching will take a few days yet…
Skill without imagination is craftsmanship. Just as, imagination without skill gives us modern art. Tom Stoppard made that observation, no doubt with, The Prudence and the Pill in mind: Nothing unites the English like war. Nothing divides them like Picasso.
Modern Art, it’s true— is considered with derision by many and as absurd by most, typified by nothing better than The Turner Prize. It is greeted each year with anticipation and enthusiasm, but for all the wrong reasons. With a glint in their eyes and half-baked chuckles wrestling in their throats, our newsreaders announce the short-list and their creators’ achievements, knowing full well that that we: the unenlightened ones, will be hooting and cursing in equal portions wondering what on Earth it’s all about?
Rachel Whiteread won the award in 1993, with her creation “House”. You may remember it: a Victorian Terrace was filled with concrete then its outsides were taken away, and so astonishing was its impact, the local council waited an entire year before tearing it down.
More recently though we had my personal favourite: Simon Starling, who ingeniously turned a boat into a shed, then back into a boat. Imaginatively titled: Shedboatshed (Mobile Architecture No 2). It was supposed represent the, slowing of things down, and about trying to retard the incredible speed with which we live.
The only thing I could tell was being slowed however, was the boat’s ability to float.
But of course it did. It made perfect sense. It made as much of it as being described ‘eccentric’ did to Mr Starling— which wasn’t a great deal, in fact he took great umbrage at the description— an act I found more bewildering than his former dinghy.
There’s little wrong with ‘form’ of any kind going hand-in-hand with hand and head, but when hands and bloockls become inseparable, even indistinguishable from the bullshit and bafflement which surrounds it; perhaps it’s worth trying to take the intellectual out of the art, or better still, away from it altogether.
How about bringing a little accessibility back? How about something like:
I’d have galleries handing out different coloured gum upon entering, to be chewed; there’s a little ‘shaping’ for you right there, where it matters— on the building blocks. It’s contemporary, very pop; and like all art— not everyone’s cup of tea— so it’ll either be chewed over or not— with verbals or mandibles, it doesn’t matter…
Towards the end of the gallery I would have a canvas for the used gum and a bin for that which was not. I like the irony but none of the significance which could easily be spun— but it’s as close as I can imagine, art for art’s sake, becoming more than a spectator sport, at least indoors anyway; and the kids would love it…
As true as this little ditty may be, I’m a great believer in giving the mediocre mind a voice so their ideas can be violently laughed at by greater ones, just so I can put these awful people in their place, instil a few manners and bring a little order and decorum to world. I would however prefer a little less barracking, a little more embracing; and positively no snootiness at all. Especially, when it is an ideas month.
It is because for the fourth time I have declared it so. Gone are the days once more of the advent countdown where we feast on miniature chocolates and welcome to the 21st Century count up, complete with animated tree. And as before, I intend to invent a brilliant idea per day until Christmas— as Linus Pauling said, the best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas and bollocks to the chocolate.
It’s been a while since I took leave with the many monkeys I had under my wing and allowed them room to flap into hat shops in search of the perfect fitting trilby. No mean feat— in fact it’s a deliberately assaulting one, since their heads are a little on the petite side.
And post hoc ergo propter hoc— they tend to require certain necessitations previously unheard of in respectable outfitters, as their clientèle are traditionally more evolved. Hat sizes in the 32th inch for instance are a curiosity that extends beyond their woolly bodies and into the vast canyons of their toothy grins. For they must ‘eek’ and ‘akk’ loquaciously and skittle mannequins before catching so much as a glimpse from a tape measure; and though they may hold out for a tickle up the inside-leg, they generally make do with some brand spanking head-wear.
So, with that cleared up and as we’re already on day one, I felt like warming up to the task with an idea that is far from warm but very, very cool…
We’ve had the book, the film and we’ve had the rock opera. But we haven’t had:
It’s such a novel concept— because we wouldn’t have to wait for the Martians to catch a cold. Just trick them into using the Heat Ray and wait for them to sink!