One Song For You

the notes I wrote on hollow walls

2 notes

Life in the Absence of Team Sports

Walking down the stairs in Fopp the other day I caught a dirty look from an older man going the other way. It was nothing but it splattered on my consciousness like a greener on a school jacket. It made me want to lash out, to kick the guy down the stairs, or to hook his leg as he passed me, pulling his feet out from under him and bring his teeth crashing down into the dirty wooden steps.

There’s something horrible in me, something resentful of the fact that I normally work to minimize my size and under-apply my strength. Something that wishes I’d went rougher on younger kids who picked fights with me at high school, knowing that I had no honners. I got a kicking off a group of older kids who had a big plank of wood once, in retribution for a bit of violence I never had a chance to perpetrate. Pathetic as it is, a bit of me still wants earn that assault. Instead, I had a drunken reconciliation with the kid I didn’t batter in a chip-shop in East Kilbride town centre a few years ago. Having long since grown up, the kid apologized, and wanting to appear that I had kept pace I accepted it and shook his hand with a smile.

At the risk of sounding like a Frank Miller character, the violence lingers. Frustrated by unruly pedestrians I experimented with taking up more space than I have to while walking down the street and was astonished to find that I was rewarded with even more space in return. Thinking about this as I walked past the foul-eyed stranger in Fopp, another line from a different context crossed my mind: “The only virtue of the kinds of rules preferred by libertarians is their simplicity.”

Better to be conscientious, to try not to bowl over random strangers or shatter their teeth for no reason, to give in to my every impulse just because I have the ability to realise them. If I can’t manage even this minor level of difficulty, of self-restraint, what chance have I with life’s greater challenges?

This is in itself a simplistic thought, but it did the trick at the time. I smiled the rando off and walked on, intent to spend money I shouldn’t be spending on stuff I didn’t need instead of dealing out pointless violence. Given the option between acting like a dick and further stunting my macho rage, I’ll smother myself every time.

Filed under This and Other Scotlands daft male rage: the saga continues the way it seemed to me at the time

7 notes

Paradise City

image

The guy who dresses up like Slash to busk in Glasgow city centre is a tribute to everything that is exhausted about rock’n’roll in 2014. His hat is worn just at the right angle, as is his permanently drooping cigarette. His back? You will be surprised to discover that he has learned exactly how far to arch that too. The lad’s hair is big but it contains no secrets: if Slash ran a blog full of grooming tips, you can be sure this lad would have read every post, because he is nothing if he is not a perfect simulacra of the real Slash: a student of rebellion at least two times removed from anything that might surprise or excite or even distract you, unless you’re a hateful old fuck like me.

The only way I can think to convey the annoyance I feel when faced with this otherwise innocent young man is to rewrite the above paragraphs with extra inverted commas, just to convey this sense of studied inauthenticity. Were I to present this text to you here you would feel the need to punch me. Know that wanting to punch me is a feeling I struggle with on an everyday basis, and know that these feelings only get worse when I am confronted with such a pointlessly aggravating spectacle on my way about town.

Pity me. Or, you know, tell me to get over it. Whatever works.

Filed under Slash Slash Hat Shat Paradise City It's a good day for bad buskers Rock'n'roll (again)

687 notes

archistrat:

Reveal the absence, the un-built
The proposal is to establish a monument echoing the various works of El Lissitzky. The aim is to make perceptible the notion of space and depth with a three-dimensional structure. This system will be the tool to reveal emptiness, depth, projections…
Source: archinect

archistrat:

Reveal the absence, the un-built

The proposal is to establish a monument echoing the various works of El Lissitzky. The aim is to make perceptible the notion of space and depth with a three-dimensional structure. This system will be the tool to reveal emptiness, depth, projections…

Source: archinect

(via knifepalace)

6 notes

Saturday 20th September 2014

I feel as though the last shreds of the thin fiction that keeps me safe in the world have drifted away. Everything is clearer now but also raw to the touch. Thankfully I am working on a new fiction in which to clothe myself. It starts with the line "I feel as though the last shreds of the thin fiction that keeps me safe in the world have drifted away."

Filed under How it seemed to me at the time

28 notes

thalestral:

Scotland: United We Must Stand

“Here in these streets are the things that we want: sex and birth, votes and traits, money and guilt, television and teddy bears. But all we’ve actually got is each other. You decide what that means.” – Spider Jerusalem

There are 1.6 million heartbroken people in Scotland today. As folk around the world yesterday joked that they’d laugh their heads off if Scotland became one of the first countries to reject independence, the photos of jubilation at a rejected change seem somewhat surreal – a celebration of a status quo that 45% of Scots wanted to renounce. 
But the real reason behind the heartache is a little more complicated. A couple of months ago, there were few Scots who genuinely believed a Yes win in the referendum was likely. Our preferred option of further devolved powers, devo-max, had been blocked by Westminster from appearing on the voting papers.
The SNP held power in Scotland for their second term, but not everyone who votes for them is a nationalist, not by a long shot – elections are won on policies, not on a notion of independence. At the last Scottish election they earned just over 900,000 votes – a far cry from what would be needed for a referendum win even if all SNP voters supported independence.
But two months ago, something started to change. The grassroots Yes campaign started to grow. People who have never voted before began to get involved. The No campaign seemed to be constantly shooting itself in the foot – their rhetoric so awful that some began to wonder if they were really hoping for a Yes win. And then the government and media in London and the south awoke to the reality that a Yes vote was no longer in the realm of fantasy. 
A slumbering establishment had thought little of the small country up north pondering its future, yet now, suddenly, even the prime ministers job was on the line. As the UK media swung into action, labeling Yes crowds as mobs and a largely peaceful campaign as violent, Scotland began to roar. For too long had the media treated our country like a joke, and now even the BBC was twisting the truth to suit the establishment’s fears and desires. Support for Yes grew, and people began to believe. 
As a country, Scotland is used to disappointment. We lose at almost every sport – especially the ones we invented – and we excel in self-mockery and relishing the stereotypes that others poke fun at. But on this occasion we stepped aside from that, and those used to disappointment dared to hope. They began to believe.
As the BBC once more mangled their coverage of the referendum while awaiting results, and other news anchors continually referred to the UK as England, Scotland held its breath. What was once expected became the unexpected, and on top of heartache many of us feel foolish for having believed change was truly possible.
I am not a nationalist, and I love Britain dearly. But I am a hopeless left-wing who believes deeply in socialism. Having watched the UK slide ever further to the right during my lifetime, and seeing rights eroded outside Scotland that we fully enjoy due to our devolved government – free education, free healthcare and all prescriptions, fantastic mental health care etc – I believe in creating a better, fairer, more equal society for all. But Westminster is so powerful and so at odds with these values, that breaking away seemed like the only option – a move that could spur the rest of the UK to follow suit and topple our elite-run establishment that prioritises the rich and punishes the poor. I am far from alone in my reasons for voting Yes.
That dream is not dead. With a turnout of 85%, the people of Scotland are more politically engaged than ever, and there is a huge demand for a newer, better, left-of-centre party to step up and answer that call. A party unscarred by scandal and greed, and that compliments the Green party in their endeavours. A party from the working classes and underprivileged that speaks for the working classes and underprivileged.
Because many of the people who voted Yes did so for similar reasons. Not for the glory of nationalism or even for a deeply held belief in independence for our nation – but as a frantic grasp towards better political representation and the sniff of a fairer society. And that was where stemmed the disbelief and agitation that anyone could vote against that notion – we shifted the goal posts and didn’t tell anyone our deepest secrets and fears, becoming angry when people didn’t agree with a shadow dream they couldn’t hope to guess.
We cannot trust Labour who align themselves so easily with the Tories and tell lies so well. We cannot trust Westminster who will promise one thing and do another. We need a new class of non-career politicians to fight the cause for equality.
There is also a huge demand for newer, better, media and news sources to arise. The UK media has shown its awful bias, and that bias will not stop at the Scottish border. For anyone outside of the establishment, outside of the political elite and current national newspaper circles, their voices are currently not being heard.
New politics. New news. For the 1.6 million heartbroken Scots, make that your next move. Make this country better, stronger, and more fair for all. Many of the 2 million who voted No will join that cause because all of us who voted yesterday did so with our minds set to the future.
Chin up Scotland, do not punish yourself for daring to dream. 45% of our population want direct change, and the 55% who voted No were never even asked their opinion on changing politics beyond taking the big jump. Many of our neighbours will join the cause.There’s a lot of work to be done now the parties and hangovers are over.

"Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality." - Mikhail Bakunin, 1867.

thalestral:

Scotland: United We Must Stand

“Here in these streets are the things that we want: sex and birth, votes and traits, money and guilt, television and teddy bears. But all we’ve actually got is each other. You decide what that means.” – Spider Jerusalem

There are 1.6 million heartbroken people in Scotland today. As folk around the world yesterday joked that they’d laugh their heads off if Scotland became one of the first countries to reject independence, the photos of jubilation at a rejected change seem somewhat surreal – a celebration of a status quo that 45% of Scots wanted to renounce. 

But the real reason behind the heartache is a little more complicated. A couple of months ago, there were few Scots who genuinely believed a Yes win in the referendum was likely. Our preferred option of further devolved powers, devo-max, had been blocked by Westminster from appearing on the voting papers.

The SNP held power in Scotland for their second term, but not everyone who votes for them is a nationalist, not by a long shot – elections are won on policies, not on a notion of independence. At the last Scottish election they earned just over 900,000 votes – a far cry from what would be needed for a referendum win even if all SNP voters supported independence.

But two months ago, something started to change. The grassroots Yes campaign started to grow. People who have never voted before began to get involved. The No campaign seemed to be constantly shooting itself in the foot – their rhetoric so awful that some began to wonder if they were really hoping for a Yes win. And then the government and media in London and the south awoke to the reality that a Yes vote was no longer in the realm of fantasy. 

A slumbering establishment had thought little of the small country up north pondering its future, yet now, suddenly, even the prime ministers job was on the line. As the UK media swung into action, labeling Yes crowds as mobs and a largely peaceful campaign as violent, Scotland began to roar. For too long had the media treated our country like a joke, and now even the BBC was twisting the truth to suit the establishment’s fears and desires. Support for Yes grew, and people began to believe. 

As a country, Scotland is used to disappointment. We lose at almost every sport – especially the ones we invented – and we excel in self-mockery and relishing the stereotypes that others poke fun at. But on this occasion we stepped aside from that, and those used to disappointment dared to hope. They began to believe.

As the BBC once more mangled their coverage of the referendum while awaiting results, and other news anchors continually referred to the UK as England, Scotland held its breath. What was once expected became the unexpected, and on top of heartache many of us feel foolish for having believed change was truly possible.

I am not a nationalist, and I love Britain dearly. But I am a hopeless left-wing who believes deeply in socialism. Having watched the UK slide ever further to the right during my lifetime, and seeing rights eroded outside Scotland that we fully enjoy due to our devolved government – free education, free healthcare and all prescriptions, fantastic mental health care etc – I believe in creating a better, fairer, more equal society for all. But Westminster is so powerful and so at odds with these values, that breaking away seemed like the only option – a move that could spur the rest of the UK to follow suit and topple our elite-run establishment that prioritises the rich and punishes the poor. I am far from alone in my reasons for voting Yes.

That dream is not dead. With a turnout of 85%, the people of Scotland are more politically engaged than ever, and there is a huge demand for a newer, better, left-of-centre party to step up and answer that call. A party unscarred by scandal and greed, and that compliments the Green party in their endeavours. A party from the working classes and underprivileged that speaks for the working classes and underprivileged.

Because many of the people who voted Yes did so for similar reasons. Not for the glory of nationalism or even for a deeply held belief in independence for our nation – but as a frantic grasp towards better political representation and the sniff of a fairer society. And that was where stemmed the disbelief and agitation that anyone could vote against that notion – we shifted the goal posts and didn’t tell anyone our deepest secrets and fears, becoming angry when people didn’t agree with a shadow dream they couldn’t hope to guess.

We cannot trust Labour who align themselves so easily with the Tories and tell lies so well. We cannot trust Westminster who will promise one thing and do another. We need a new class of non-career politicians to fight the cause for equality.

There is also a huge demand for newer, better, media and news sources to arise. The UK media has shown its awful bias, and that bias will not stop at the Scottish border. For anyone outside of the establishment, outside of the political elite and current national newspaper circles, their voices are currently not being heard.

New politics. New news. For the 1.6 million heartbroken Scots, make that your next move. Make this country better, stronger, and more fair for all. Many of the 2 million who voted No will join that cause because all of us who voted yesterday did so with our minds set to the future.

Chin up Scotland, do not punish yourself for daring to dream. 45% of our population want direct change, and the 55% who voted No were never even asked their opinion on changing politics beyond taking the big jump. Many of our neighbours will join the cause.

There’s a lot of work to be done now the parties and hangovers are over.

"Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality." - Mikhail Bakunin, 1867.

5 notes

"It was too close" - a few thoughts on the morning after the referendum on Scottish independence

I’ve been impressed by Patrick Harvie and the Scottish Greens throughout the independence campaign - they disagreed with the SNP on all of the right points and bridged the gap between Holyrood and the grass roots YES campaign with an enviable grace. The result of this referendum is a clear NO, but while I intend to hound the living fuck out of people in the name of true federalisation, let’s not pretend that Devo Max is a magic wand solution to the social and economic conditions that dove me to and people like me to YES.

Read more …

Filed under Indy Ref Scottish Independence The Scottish Greens Common Weal Women for Independence Radical Independence From Despair to Where?