........................................................................................ - a weBlog by Snowy and me.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Making Dirt Creative

Reverse Graffiti is a most creative way
 to selectively clean public walls and spaces.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

When Sorry Is Just Too Easy A Word

When I recently visited England I was surprised
at how the place had more in common with India*
than I expected, though the locals were unaware of this.
The English often dislike what they are dependent on,
and their attitude to telesales call centres is typical of this.
They expect to have phone numbers to ring
to contact the companies about consumer durables
and phone lines they are sold, and they like the telesales
employees to speak clear english with no flannel or excuses,
but want it on the cheap without thinking through the consequences.

The companies selling the product square the circle
by exporting the unwanted job/task to India,
where the staff know little, and they are told even less
as they are dissembled to. To save face they apologize
for what they don't know more than for any other reason.
They have been set up and can't say so.
This apology and its reasoning annoys english callers
who'd kept face by exporting the jobs in the first place.

When I was catching a train in England
every fourth train is late and some are cancelled
and went un-replaced. So the station master announces
his many apologies, when really he is not sorry
and there is nothing he could do if he tried.
He is just another cog in a machine set to gridlock.

In airport customs the signs say 'we do not tolerate abuse'
and the customer passing through finds only too late
that this means abuse of the staff, not themselves.  

England and India are alike in that in both
the greatest opportunities come from laws
which benefit the middle men/fixers in the system
more than anyone else.
E.g. the lawyers who take public actions
where the gain for the plaintiff is swallowed up
by the courtly process. Civil servants do similar things
with rules at their disposal-which they adapt to suit themselves.

The middle men keep on fixing to stay rich
and the poor (the biggest number) who have no face
get left to the systems which keep stripping the intended gain
away from them. Guess who makes the most apologies there then......

*my perception of India never having been there.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The New Continuity

I am much more at ease
with the word 'spiritual'
when the word 'practical'
is put before it.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Role Reversal?

I have lost any fondness I ever had
for the phrase 'We need to talk'
because when it was said me
it came 'I want to be listened to
without having to ask twice'.
But I will valiantly continue to try
take words a little more seriously-
even though their owners would be
more wholesome and happier without them.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Darwin-The T Shirt

It says everything that Darwin could not say about his society in his time
and it does not need to go through seven re-edits for reprinting.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Left Dress*

I used to keep my thoughts buttoned up
like the flies on my short grey trousers,
which my mother liked me in so much,
that she want me to wear them forever.
The more I grew the longer my trousers got.
As zips replaced buttons everything loosened.

*dress in trousers probably does not exist
now but it used to the side of the crotch
where there was more room to contain the contents.

Friday, 17 October 2014


And I count quite a few crazies
 to be among my closest friends
-you know who you are.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Nasty And Brutish For Being Too Long

Care homes are actually funeral homes
for the infirm, places where they go to die
very slowly and from the inside out.
Whilst all the while they appear to live
-and they are cared for at vast expense.
Had the residents sufficient sense of agency,
strength of will, were their determination intact
because they were on fewer medicines,
they would have cheaper and better fun
as residents in a good hotel room
that they would make individual.
They would find their sense of privilege
in the variety and choice of room service.
But the privilege and choice now goes
to the accountants of the multi-national
drug companies instead.
Their reward comes from profits on the licenses
of the drugs they sell to nursing home owners.
Drugs that extend the natural physical life
of the residents whilst through quiet neglect
the owners of the home choke the residents spirits.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Retreating From Over-Reaction

I find it odd that all fundamentalism,
from the (r)evolutionary zeal of Richard Dawkins
down through consumerist Conservative Christianity
and primitive Islam, all back themselves up
with a great depth of rhetorical defensive bluster.
This is mode of speech, where the faith
is in power, and words create empty echo chambers
as a substitute for an inclusive public life.
They make systems that perpetuate
a false collective self that they can't see
and therefore can't turn off or retreat from.

The second oddity is how, in thrall to their own voice,
they fail to see that a similarly reactionary defence
becomes the most obvious way of retreating from them,
so they back each other up in a public mutual deafness.
Thus the main choice for the individual
who values the single self is to join in with the rhetoric
or retreat into an agnostic relative silence.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Sunday, 12 October 2014

A Theory For The Mass Extinction Of Animal Species

In his assumed omniscience omnipresence,
and even more far fetched omnipotence,
Mankind/Homo sapiens have been the cause
of many animal extinctions.
It is quite possible that humans
originated from outer space,
through Panspermia, the mites
and microscopic creatures in dust
from outer space that land on earth
through inter-galactic storms.
Space is a tough environment,
which inhibits most growth and life,
and that what we do to other species.  

Friday, 10 October 2014

I Am Quite Keen

on recycling, though even with the best will going
it extends the use of recycled materials very little.
Vast amounts of materials simply end up in landfill.
I was reared on 'make do and mend' stretched to absurdity.
Second hand clothes were a must,
like the low status that went with them.
As clothes wore out, and went the way of all flesh
I regretted it, never thinking 'this is inevitable'.
As Mother took me to the thrift shop
for the umpteenth time and we dug around
for cheap shirts and school trousers
she repeatedly told me how much more
I had than she idd when she was my age,
and how much better fitting my life was than hers.
To be told this hurt me. It seemed that my having better
had made her suffer, as if I had made her a martyr.
Her DIY martyrdom still bounces around my head,
even though I know now that she was the was the one
to drive me to accept solely what she found.  
Now I make sure that what I have is cheap,
and rejoice! I am no better than I ought to be.
I am of dubious morals, and the low in virtue.
So I can be truly glad that others are better than me.
This way I hurt less when they recycle
their jealousies by looking down on what ever I have.
I partially deaden myself, sufficient to quietly live
because I know that to live by jealousy is far worse.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Could I Ask For Less?

 Only if there is are substitutes for accepting others
 and being accepted, which don't demean.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Obese Egos

Charity which reduces the life of its recipients
is well known, from Pre-Victorian times onward.
Back then the rich in England divided the poor
between the worthy and the unworthy.
The worthy worked hard to keep themselves
in poverty but out of penury, the better to stay out
of the new workhouse where the newly unworthy,
displaced from labouring on the land and the factories,
were kept in squalor as a disincentive to their unworthiness.

The inheritors of that too-little-offered-too-late help
now live in the third world, where the IMF etc
pass restrictions on to failing governments,
and said governments pass said restrictions on to the poor.
Like work house managers, local Kleptocracies
shrink service of their populous in the name of efficiency,
and those shrunk by reduced choice are pushed more
towards mean and too-late-in-coming charity.
It is as if Thomas Malthus, and his queasy mix
of maths, theology, and apparent unawareness
of class-based power had never been refuted.

Meanwhile international charities spend less abroad
than they raise at home, because home is where the profile
of the charity most, more than helping its intended targets.

Who dares do to improve government
in failing states when that would refute the IMF?
What should we do when bad government
leaves big charities so much work to leave undone?

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

How Much Is Our Suffering Worth?

However much it is,
and whatever the currency
in which it is counted in,
we like it to be valued.
Which often means
covertly having others suffer
more than we do.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Virtuous Non-Alignment

The Governments that are most 'joined up'-
cohesive and consistent in all their ministries-
will always be the most effective at oppressing
their population by internalising the pressure
to conform, and hide it from the worlds press.
Such a government is unlikely to trumpet abroad
the material gains for it's civil populous
beyond making a virtue of isolation from that cliche
'the community of nations' in a dishonest autonomy.
Whilst the rich in said country will continue
to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else.
As civil law collapses so quietly we don't see it happen.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Promises Promises

When I was young and naive
I was taught how to write from the care home
everyone pretended was a boarding school
to my parents as part of my English grammar.
To make us more compliant to write
there was a mildly comic draft letter
we were taught never to imitate. It ran
'Dear Mother I am sending you a pound, but not this week'.

With hindsight the joke was very much on us,
we had insufficient money to send anywhere.
And we were kept at far greater cost
than ever we could have accounted for.

Now British citizens are facing a season
of resprayed/recycled electoral promises
and I remember that prototype letter.
I have to ask, did the men (it is mostly men),
who probably went to a proper boarding school,
now making the present politics of hope-deferred
for those with less ever know about that joke letter home?

It seems to me that they have adapted it,
word for word, in all their manifestos.

Friday, 3 October 2014

When Praise

and thanks seem cheap,
compared with money-or solvency-
we know more than words permit
that we have been turned inside out.
That is when accuracy
about the past is hard to find.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Putting the 'less' Into 'Hope' (2)

'One day we shall all die,
all other days we shall be alive'
- Per-Olof Enquist

'Don't take life too seriously
you won't come out of it alive
no matter what'-Henning Mankell

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

I Don't Know

when the phrase 'People should know their place [in life]'
lost its public currency and power to shame.
Anyone who says it now only ever says it in private.
As a phrase its declining value can be measured
against the rise of advertising as the presentation of choice.
Though that choice does mean 'no freedom from advertising'.
The place where we learn to know ourselves
should be the only place we should ever really accept.
Though I know we progress towards  there
only by serendipity, mistakes and experience.
If we come to know ourselves then we may know others.
That is the only way we will be truly accepted just as we are.