Thursday, 26 September 2013

"Intimate surroundings"

This is how today's Independent referred to the Shepherd's Bush Empire.  To be fair, it was in the context of comparing tonight's Manic Street Preachers show (at the Empire) with its sell-out gig at the O2 arena a couple of years ago.

Nevertheless - huh.

When I was gigging, my audience frequently consisted of a man, his dog and a biscuit.  Sometimes the dog got hungry and I lost a third of my audience.

Now that is intimate.

"At risk" audience member.  May no longer be in biscuit form.

Being part of a group

Groups have their own immune system: they sense and attack the unbeliever.  Or, to put it another way, they defend themselves against the alien threat.  To become part of a group, you must first allow yourself to be at least partially digested.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


You can travel long distances on hatred, but it is a corrosive fuel.  By the time you reach your destination, it has dissolved your humanity.

Monday, 23 September 2013


I have a friend called Liz.  She looks like butter wouldn't melt but is in fact a raging pervert.  (She would accept the label with pride.)  So there we were, this one day, walking down Tower Bridge Road towards Bricklayers Arms.  On that road, there is a charity shop run by a church of the "taking the Bible very literally indeed and no messing around" variety.  So imagine our surprise when there, in the window, was a pair of knee-length shiny PVC boots with a platform sole and ooh, at least a four-inch heel.  They were - let's say it openly - dominatrix boots.  And they were only £4.

Similar to this, only without a stranger's leg inserted

Needless to say, my kinky friend was practically salivating.  But!  Was it safe to go in and try them on?  Was this a honeytrap?  Would anyone asking about the boots be identified as a terrible sinner, whisked into a back room and exorcised?

You go in.  No you.  No you, no you, no you.

We ventured into the shop together and looked around.  Not a soul to be seen.  We tiptoed over to the window display.

Liz picked up the boots, slipped off her shoes and tried one on.  It was too small.  Her disappointment was palpable.  

"Why don't you try them on?" she suggested.

So I did try one on.  It was not too small but it was too late.  We had been spotted: a tall chap wearing an outsize gold cross was making his way over to us.  Recognising that I was in no position to walk unaided (let alone run), Liz gallantly sat by me, ready to defend me if necessary.  The man's face was stern as he stood over us.

"Would you like me to help lace you in?"

Well that was unexpected.

"Err, thanks, but I think I can manage."

"Well give me a shout if you need anything."

"Will do.  Cheers."

And with that, he walked away.

Reader, I bought them.

I still can't walk in them.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

The ups and downs of fundamentalism

I don't know when I wrote this.  Probably in 2009 or early 2010.  It inevitably paints a simplistic picture, but captures some of the feelings I had when I was a Christian fundamentalist - the sense it gave me of having a defined place in the cosmos, but at the same time, of being under relentless scrutiny. From other notes I made around this time, it's safe to say I was going through a fairly anti-religious phase!


It must be terribly reassuring to be a religious fundamentalist.  However dreary your daily life, however demeaning your job, you can boost your self-importance with the thought that you are a valued warrior in a transcendental battle between good and evil.

Your boss overlook you?  The girls don't like you?  So what?  The Creator of the universe Himself has selected you personally for some spiritual task that no-one else can do.

Yes, it must be comforting.  But also - what a burden!  Every encounter a potential holy battle.  Were you supposed to offer that woman a word from the Lord, that woman at the bus stop reading Dan Brown?  Have you, by failing to address her, set off (or failed to set off) a chain of world-altering events?  Or can you comfort yourself with the thought that, since God's will must always be done, it cannot have been His will that you disturb her?   Perhaps.  Perhaps all is well.  He has chosen you.  But never, never forget - He is always watching!

Forget the feeling of importance.  I'd rather be able to clear my drains without worrying that I ought instead to be clearing a path for the Almighty.  Imagining that ever-wakeful celestial gaze would paralyse me.

Friday, 20 September 2013

A haiku

Social niceties
Prevent me from relieving
My itchy vulva.


Yesterday, I dug out some old notebooks and started reading them.  I found a few bits that I liked, so I thought I'd share them here. I'll be drip-feeding pieces into the blog over the coming days (and weeks, depending on how much I find).

They're short, undeveloped thoughts, many of them serious.  I plan working some of them up into longer pieces, but right now they're just fragments. 

I hope you enjoy them.