Stories From Time-Locked Space 5.

Giving up The Ghost

January 2017

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“I nearly didn’t make this train, becoming 33 was so lonely it became messy, and I’m so lacklustre I fail to leave the slow train at Wakefield that connects all the nodes along this longing line that can’t be cleansed of their unflattenable mining identities –  from the dales of the Dearne to Castleford. Nevertheless, I arrive in time to meet John W in Leeds and we catch the Transpennine route to Manchester.”

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“I feel better. All journeys are pregnant with our hopes, even if made in January, even if we know we are here to drink in retro bars that act as mere shelters from the present, on a wage rate that cannot sustain this plaster much longer in a Trump-storm.”

“2016 was the collective nervous breakdown, the primal scream. But 2017 is the morning after, the reality of where that necessary SOS goes next. Does history repeat? My life certainly cannot, in life, and art – in the space of a few months the formula of 3 years gone is borderline defunct.”

“I’ve yet to meet a single person on this island who is in favour of the new president across the seas, but similarily there seems to be an slowly-found agreement that this is not a time where normal judgements stands tall. Life isn’t a game per se, but capitalism for employer and and employee is just that; a rigged game, a game you signed an agreement to participate in before you were even born, but nonetheless still a game. Most people, whether they know it or not, are sick to death of this game, because it seems pointless, and some of us are starting to think there may be much better participatory sports we could all engage in. With this in mind, I speculate to John that the Trump/Brexit votes from within the cheerleader nations for the neoliberal project may have acted in a way as one acts on a computer game, where they are tired of wading through low level fights, and just want to fight MR X. Brexit and Trump could be the final boss.”

“I suppose that’s the bizarre light in Brexit, Trump: could they be seismic shocks to the foundations of capitalism? Even if they are hardened variants of capitalism (aka fascism) – in this current stage of its life they could be lethal to its longevity? Big time boat rockers. It’s a speculation borne from desperation, as to how to move away from a collision course with horror. But this could mean the only way to avoid a collision course with horror is to take that very course.”

“But hands up who isn’t feeling frightened in the first month of 2017?”

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“After we leave Piccadilly station we head southwards, with the intention of meeting Oxford Road, the so-called busiest bus lane in Europe, and stop-off in a personal pilgrimage, in a life dominated by the ghosts of my own failed futures. But where are we? This certainly isn’t the 1990s, it’s not even the early 2000s, but, despite warnings of parallels with the 1930s,  it doesn’t seem to belong anywhere.”

Are we in New York yet”?

“I stumble upon a memory as we approach the road, something I spoke about with a friend who’d had a recent bitter return to Manchester, commenting on the homelessness in this once-future city. Through the portal of thoughts of how our info-tech dependency is causing the flattening of experience (this arches everything) we arrived at a worrying proposition that the proliferating homelessness here is actually good for tourism, in a city where the dominant late Victorian urbanity shares more in common with New York’s preliminary skyscrapers than with London’s continentalism. Not only did New York overtake London as the world’s largest city in the early 20th century, but it also became the default for the excitement, romance and tragedy we expect from all big cities now. It’s part of the package.”

“Oxford Road once endorsed my future years before I even attempted to study here. This is when my sister was here, and when all was ‘chill’ in the tie-dye decadence of the late 1990’s; when the coming millennium was still a world of friction-free middle class lounging (soundtracked by the likes of Air and Morcheeba), when it seemed more like a rite before it became an aggressive imposition due to its impossibility.”

“But today it is absent – liberated as we are from its unlikely return in the new tides of 2017.”

“And anyway the exercise of old ghosts, as if they could speak more than I of the present, is cut short on the sodden streets of the city as it seeps through my shoes, making it hard to spend much time in the interzone of the Castlefield brewery and Princess Road on a miserable winter’s day.”

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“The bus we catch, happens to coincide with school turnout, and I reflect on how I grew up in a town that was near-total white working class. I remember coming here aged 19, and despite growing up in a house intolerant of racism, under a New Labour government, which if anything at all, lauded multiculturalism, I’ve since felt that there is something wrong, inadequate, embarrassing about my formative experiences, because they lacked the diversity of the Island on a whole. Could my initial instant reaction of surprise to multi-ethinicity reveal a racism in my bones I didn’t know was there?  Could this be cleansed only by leaving my home town, and then looking back at it with a heap of condescending smugness, because better people ‘choose’ to live in more cosmopolitan areas, whilst the bad apples, the weak, the inadequate are left on the pile to chew over their inherent racism…?” It couldn’t have anything to do with how the nation’s inequality has merely ghettoised us all, could it? This is when this sense of inadequacy is suddenly exposed to the lions on the vast playing field of competitive individualism,  and I haven’t met the grade, always a step behind. Coming in second. The sense of inadequacy results in the poker face of the everyday millennial coming of age. “Yesterday, I woke up sucking a lemon” sang Thom Yorke. But yesterday was 17 years ago.”

“Giving up the ghost”

“The tensions ease in my face over the first pint in a pub that touches on the Manchester, rather than Shoreditch simulacra. We idealise over an vision of a world where communication is liberated from the scarcity principle of capitalist life; where name-shaming, blame games, workplace-bitching, and tabloid life-wrecking is a thing of the past.The tiled green and white interior of the pub seems to rebound, or echo this longing. It’s fed by an optimism that I believe accompanies all afternoon-to evening hinterlands on a Thursday working day. An emotional anticipation of a Friday to end all Fridays; to end the working week for good, and allow all of us relaxation in the comfort of what we have been making for 200 years. Come on, now’s the time to give up the ghost!”

Late 20th Century was late and just said yes or no / And was mistaken for sarcasm…” The Fall

“Manchester’s peculiar resistance to The Flattening process is due to it’s prominence in a prior stage of capitalism. The cramming of so much into a small space in that first industrial rush is still evident in the claustrophobia of a place, that, perhaps due to it being held captive by the steep inclines of the pennines, results in a cocky, if not aggressive northern-ness that has usually vacated places of such size in recent times. But if anything it reminds you that this isn’t New York, even whilst the venues that rely upon these sardined streets, populated with only the most conventionally beautiful and smart of people, could convince you otherwise.”

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“Nihilistic graffiti. The type you find in areas where the weary intelligentsia-corrodes-into-cynical-career-seeking within the crumbling culture industries; an existential epitome for the retro bar refuge, that is the liberal’s retreat from duty as his world unravels outside. The scene here is a former Victorian Toilet, now the site of rock ‘n’ roll decadence and beverages that taste of a failed utopia of Continentalism here in Cottonopolis, now silently lamented. They’re a place of comfort from the feeling of endless ebb; they once were few, now they are many. Further back we saw an old old Retro Bar, beyond refashion redemption, and John spoke of how memory fails us when we try to remember when there were none. But there certainly was never this amount, surely…?”

“…surely it is high time to give up the fucking ghost!? The nihilistic comments are a sign of fatigue (come on, we’ve all written them on something before – so don’t shoot this messenger). The toilet door writers know too much to be as carefree as the words suggest we should be, but lack tools to deal with the coming situation in any other way but despair. Capitalism set down some of its first suckers here in Cottonopolis, but it now dies all around us and within us. We left our maps of the future in the previous century, but the future doesn’t have to be Trump, as we still can’t be sure if Trump could be the system’s red giant, it’s last power surge before fading away. Right now we aren’t giving up the ghost because, we can’t quite give up the shrinking sugary awards we’re granted, depressed by conviction that the alternatives would be worse. But the future doesn’t have to be starvation, nuclear war, and the Ministry of Truth.”

“Amidst the first ruptures of this conscious turbulence back in the days of 2010/11, a friend, in an utterance of the anguish over the scale of the challenge, said “alien intervention, John, that’s what many people are considering will occur”. But I’m beginning to wonder if an alien intervention won’t arrive in the form of some enlightened extraterrestrials, but from an untapped entity in this most social of earthlings. The pain and anguish of our current inertia, smashing against the confines of our craniums,  could (just maybe) be a sign of such a process underway.”

“Before conversation goes the way of all beer, it’s back to the scourge of nihilism. John speaks of the impossibility and recklessness of embracing nihilism. In rejection of the abyss that humanity currently appears to staring into, he says “yes, the centre may not be there, but” with Jacques Derrida in mind  “surely with our language, what we say, our thoughts, we create the centre? The Big Other exists because we make sure it does! Basically we’re just trying to be to good our fellow man!”.”

Stories From Time-Locked Space 3.

(Originally posted in November 2016)

Free-fall in Stasis

(Barnsley, The First Week of Winter, 2016)

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Walking back to the suburbs through an M1 junction-hinterland in the dark of a new winter. But nothing feels new. It’s late 2016.

To Ride The Fine Line of Purpose on Placebos…

 …that’s what I achieved ten years ago this winter month. And I’ve even tried listening to that very same sequence of albums that narrated late 2006, attempting to rekindle such momentum.

“I’m on a good mixture, I don’t want to waste it”

But these days I can feel the cogs in my head wanting to stop, like workers in a factory who’ve come to realise absurdity lies in the heart of the notion that what they produce is building towards ‘the good life’. I know it’s much more than lifestyle changes, personal attitudes. But to play the game of attaining placebos, one has to pathelogise their pain. A one-off bluff to be prescribed a painkiller. But can the placebos of the past even work for the present? 

“Look forward to a future in the past”

1996. 2006. 2016. It’s funny how straightforward the shit-neoliberal Britain of 2006 felt, compared to now. Words, art, they seem inadequate, thrown into a free-flowing torrent in stasis – this chaos in a world which yet still appears to be frozen.

For the best part of 5 years I have felt that the life I unwillingly act in is at a dead-end, and that the only way forward is to destroy and rebuild. Illogical as this sounds, it enables me to sympathise with the logic towards the sheer illogic of Brexit and Trump, because I fear that for many they are votes borne of existential desperation.

Thus I can only conclude that two are interlinked. A willing for the ultimate of reset buttons; a fantastical reset button that erases the hyperconnected age, leaving us the choice to pursue a route that fucks with the mind a little less.

And rest…

Every night I fantasise about cutting all ties, walking out my job on my lunch break and walking west to the hills…as if the world was actually different over those hills, and not a mere barrier between two parts of an overcrowded, infrastructurally-unsound, unhappy, LONELY island.

But every day I play the part, a small part. Like the protagonist Sam Lowry in Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brasil’, I carry out a life I find deeply absurd, with smiles less convincing than Gordon Brown’s in a mad mad world. I found some sort of hope in the amount of reception Adam Curtis’s recent documentary Hypernormalisation received, because it’s exactly about this: being unable to believe or have faith in anything in the world you are condemned to live in, but not being able to act out this disbelief and thus carrying on like it’s all fine. This is because for a long time I have felt that the negativity I experience from drunks, drivers, shoppers alike, is because they feel exactly like me: utterly fucking sick of it, but unable to act on it. That illusion of otherness those pennine hills contain thus remains.

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The traffic builds as I approach this supposedly small town. Over the past 6 years I’ve watched the connections between these ex-coal village-conurbations become inefficient arteries. Thick to burst with self-preservation anxieties,  created by an artificially maintained level of scarcity, and contained in glorified tin cans. Claycliffe: a place-name that evokes stuckness. Yet a place that nobody calls home, nobody identifies as being in on an Instagram photo. Yet it’s a place where many end up stuck, morning and evening.

Infrastructure; what does it even mean anymore? That all plans are at a standstill is the only fucking certainty here. No one is really in charge, and managerial thought itself is trapped in a past tense; maybe autumn 2008, maybe 2010, or maybe 1999… But the process itself proliferates, mauls through a defenseless scene like a braindead alien predator.

There is so much movement, yet thought itself remains frozen…

The oft-unbearable middle class chlorophoric-quagmire of the work-a-day-job-existence seems bent of regenerating a shock in me every time I return to my home town on a midweek teatime. A reminder of what life is actually like for many beyond the blinkers of educated career-seeking. But I’m doubting whether it is a reminder: as what I believe I’m seeing is a new development. From Cheapside to Town End,  I feel like I have stumbled upon scenes fit for rust-belt America right here in England.  The centre is seemingly the hub for the borough’s social pain, whereas in the surrounding ‘more prosperous’ boroughs the pain is forced out of view by waves of gentrification.

Comewhatmay, such desperate sights are new to my eyes on such familiar territory. Post 2010 the lycra-clad joggers have proliferated around here, but so too have those locked in a day to day battle with a dead end, either through drink, drugs or survivalist-shoplifting.

I text a friend. She responds saying how “it’s bad how it looks [our shared hometown] looks better on a Saturday night than it does in ‘civilised’ daylight”. This is such a striking conclusion we arrived at, being, as we are, veterans of the town nightlife in its notorious early 2000’s stage.

I pass the No 66 Elsecar Stagecoach bus, promoting ‘relaxation’ with its new onboard Wifi –  the warm glow of The Feed as the nights draw in. I initially think of how being connected in every space imaginable isn’t relaxing at all. But I think again: maybe the anxiety is more in the gaps between the points of connection? The urge have unending stimulation. Perhaps it’s turning buses into the quiet, solitary modes of transportation that cars have always been, rather than the overspill of frustration borne from class injuries and alienation that they always used to be. Less aggro, less social anxiety. But more loneliness.

A zeitgeist of disbelief...

I think about Hypernormalisation again…

2 years ago I made a work about how stuck things felt, how stuck I felt. I used this town as ground on which to gather evidence.  It’s weird. It feels like we’re still stuck there, but yet something seems very different, unreal, and unable to be pinpointed. The Mary Celeste Project was about the frozen world. But what can you trust to be real when there is chaos in a frozen world?

I feel cold, anxious and lonely as I look at all the people in the station who feel as anxious and as lonely as I do. Its evidential; it’s on their faces. They wait for their 5pm commute back to the candle-lit-alehouse-utopia of Sheffield, where every other word heard on the street is a plea for spare change, to be spared from the returning freezing winter nights. Of course, decent working headphones will cancel out this growing noise. But for how much longer can one’s lonely little mind hold itself together?


No Holiday Until Postcapitalism (A Last Resort to Forgotten Fun)

 

We’re relieved to get out of bottleneck of the north (Leeds station) as we join the now mostly emptied train for our journey to the North Sea coastline on this cold November morning. This station is making us both uneasy. This cold, hollow sort of self-reflection is filled horribly by the noise of this metal-on-metal place. At one point, when a certain sort of examination of life didn’t seem so paralysed by painful introspection, I had a mutual agreement with this place: I’d have to feel stressed and drained – but it would supply me a fresh mine of morbid fascination of the ‘man-machine-matrix’ (Will Self) for artistic purposes. But now that things just feel so stuck it just aggravates a searching for silence amidst the madness.

Going Nowhere. The whole thing is going nowhere, but this giant hamster wheel is beyond the day-to-day experience of a mere melancholic mortal, and there’s sometimes nothing as crushing as feeling like you’re Going Nowhere. Expecting one to obtain a mindset content with staying within 100 metres of their introduction to life is idiocy as things stand.

So hop on the train coz it kills the pain”

True, this trip to the forgotten fun of Filey is one of the furthest trips I’ve made for sometime, but open my wallet and you’ll find evidence of a person who, although stuck in the day-to-day, makes dozens of train trips to nearby towns.

No destinations until Postcapitalism, just movement…

Wallet being the crucial word: too busy making sure I have my camera, pens and notepad, that I leave it on the train as it leaves Filey. Sending a trip already teetering on the edge of the ridiculous, into potential absurd oblivion.

Liquid Fear in the frozen world…

Suddenly a place caught between the twee and bleak by the tectonic shifts of a seismic systemic change, is totally locked in the Now, as I’m forced to enter the endless corridors of Distrust-ocracy of the scarcity network. 0345… 0800…  0113… You can be trapped in it, or trapped outside it – locked outside the gates of so-called civilisation. But my next coffee, next pint, next train trips to nowhere, next 2nd pint, means right now I’d much rather be trapped within the matrix, and it makes you wonder if being thrown out of matrix next to th3 North Sea is more frightening than Big Brother’s microphones in bushes monitoring Winston Smith as he wandered through England’s green and pleasant fears from yesterday.

No connection to Liquid Boredom…

At this point it’s probably wise to head towards the brigg, jutting out into the North Sea. Yet another one of our attempts to break free of the noise. To find thought. To think beyond the day-to-day. To just think, in the moment. The day-to-day isn’t the moment – it consists of constantly trying to get somewhere but never arriving. Like an insect smashing against a window until it burns itself out. Just to get beyond this point, and begin anew.

The Conversation is open and honest as we sit at the cliff edge, as if the proximity to such dangerous forces prises out such honesty about our deep struggles. Three of us, in our 30s and early 40s, all at sea in a world that has lost all sense to us. We walk out onto the brigg, we listen to the sea through an old defence barrier. The sea appears to breathing. Perhaps it is a kind of breathing? But the breathing’s getting heavier. At this point it’s probably head back towards the noise…

A land that anxiety forgot…

We’re not far from being the only ones here. Yet everything remains open, like a fun land abandoned 30 years ago. But, unlike Chernobyl, nobody turned the lights off, nobody unplugged the coin machines. They push back and forth almost like reminders of the long gone machines worked by the Mill-town workers who’d’ve flocked here on mass for leisure. What is Leisure?  Leisure existed before liquid boredom flattened out our lives.

The arcades are a somewhat comforting bleak. Were they always this Bleak? No. Their mimicry once worked. It worked when the American adventure still worked – when it met with an Island still living out the ghosts of Victorianna. With a deco more in tune with old WMC’S, it’s a far cry from a world perpetually posing for instagram.

Suddenly a cheap quality recording of ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ theme rings out from a Wild West ride for young children. A song that evokes a frontier is lost to the last century. That very frontier inverted itself and spread back over the world a long time back now. Like childhood memories of holidays, it all seems like a thousand years ago. Suddenly a coin machine blurts out the Star Trek theme tune. The Final Frontier. The horses of this machine face the exit  – they look to be galloping into a void.

The temperature drops, and we find a pub to sit in whilst we wait for our train. We find ourselves listening to a soundtrack that could well have been playing to itself for years. 1960’s. 1970’s. 1980’s, and a scattering of 90’s, then back to the beginning, maybe forever. David Bowie’s All The Young Dudes makes me think who are today’s young dudes ‘carrying the news’? Like the arcades it’s a place that isn’t even trying to be a Retro Bar; abandoned on the highway between the past with a future and a future trapped in the past. And like the arcades it’s a comforting sort of bleak.

The anxiety over not being believed is over. The trust of the train conductors, an unexpected trust, allows me to breath a sigh of relief at the lack of confrontation. I hate confrontation; just can’t do it. It’s what’s kept me from being unable to act on my beliefs over what is wrong and what is right. This awareness is probably why it leads to guilt. Guilt over losing my grip on grasping the chaos of Brexit, and the US presidential race. The two shape-shift, become one and then two again, and reflect back from the anxious faces of the sober commuters, like an airborne disease. Guilt over no longer having the ‘right’ feelings about what is wrong and what is right in this upside down world.

Trump and Brexit? Rational descision making? I think of the mental health of our human race, the rock bottom mental health of the human race. Mental health being crushed between a rock and hard place.  The way we are made to behave – how it’s making us sick of life. Why the fuck would anyone want to continue this? But perceived future confrontations forced me to take the vote of least resistance: I voted to remain. I’m just a coward, stuck in the middle, waiting…

The boarding of a gang of young lairy Manchester-bound squaddies at York, who annex the shared space of the train with masculine-insecurities they already seem condemmed to, forces Dave’s melancholia over the state of present-day life into spoke word: “Britain is a country that no longer likes anything, including life itself,  because it has forgotten what life is. And the tragedy is that our generation don’t even have the luxury of forgetting what we could’ve had. We just hustle around for a crummy job and hope that’s enough to fill the hole…”

But if anything ,today was a humbling day, where failure has been acceptable.

Let Forever be…

1999….

No Holiday Until Postcapitalism…

2016…

A sadness finds its way in after an anxious day placed upon an easily anxious person. A comfort in let down, a solice in the acceptance of failure. The tenners Dave and Steve lent me feel like tenders for my last drinks. I get like this on these kind of days,  these rare days of surrender. I don’t mean a contemplation of suicide, but days which almost reach over the years into the future and touch glasses with my final ever glass.

Maybe this is my only access to the future?

Let Forever be… 

As I’m in the past at the same time.

The song Let Forever be, from the weary summer of 1999, seemingly spontaneously entered my head as I left the station and walked into the city. A summer that felt so chilly in the face of the coming millennium. So different from memories of the roaring heat of the mid-90s-euphoria summers. A first point of depression, a year when a switch felt like it had been flicked in my head, was also a year when the teenage kicks of the neoliberal project gave in to a pre-millennial malaise, which, as much of a comedown as it was, couldn’t quite anticipate the hyper-horror ahead.

No Holiday Until Postcapitalism…this is where it began. For me, at least. There’s been no rest in the soul since. What remains of that soul. There must be hope for the nihilised – I may be impatient in most parts of my life, but this is one thing I’ve waited so patiently for.  As much as the future still seems inaccessible,  there is harder times still to come. Who knows who is and isn’t made for them. But at this moment I’m OK.  Thanks for asking.

 

Stories From HMS Brexit

(Originally posted at the future date 1.4.2017)

This is HMS Brexit

It’s not even JG Ballard’s ‘Glorified Lifeboat…’

…because it’s sinking.
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This voyage, perhaps even whole flat earth that it navigates, has reached an end point.

This is an epochal moment – yet we duck, dive, and talk about following our forefathers’ impossible footsteps into yesterdays’ jobs, homes and families, where hair goes grey and skin wrinkles with the pride of purpose.

These footsteps lurch over the void – momentarily held in suspense by a binge on artificial enhancers (or Zombie economics).

We are led over this cliff by the bloated reign of the Baby Boomers.

They don’t mean harm, but they are.

They are ghosts trapped in a machine. A shit machine, but one of full employment, affordable housing, and visions of a future that isn’t our present. Dictating all down below down a road that doesn’t even exist.

No wonder we are lost. Clambering for any clarity. Doing anything to cleanse our bodies of workaday anxieties.

On HMS Brexit ‘work’ doesn’t make sense, because we have lost all direction. Work was the only meaning we had, but as it dies it lives on like a zombie.

We can feel it sucking our blood when we are commanded to improve ourselves within this void.
The 2016 EU referendum was an accidental hand grenade given to those aggrieved by economic injustice for so long that they’d forgotten its source. Of course they were going to throw it, but it blew the limbs off all sides.
As limbless creatures, we we bite and bark at each other, unable to reach out and see our pain is one another’s.
The workplace is a microcosm/node in a explosion of rhizomes of exhaustion and despair. But the explosion implodes in us.  After hating everybody else, we end up hating ourselves.
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It was the same today.
The anguish of collapse is so violently played out because the Other is now merely a competitor (essentially an enemy).
My own mood is so compressed by workaday landscapes under clouds of Brexit and other breakdowns that I know my essence is soaked in a negative aura as I beat about the nearby towns in the early evenings in search of exits for my imprisoned emotions.
Like dogs that pick up on fear, others react badly. The very fact that I’m acutely aware of the expanding army of homeless means that my gaze makes a b-line to their desperate asks. As I walked down the main alleyway for frustrated begging and hipster-bar-bunkers in Sheffield, one begging man shouts “you fucking ignorant arsehole” at me – although I was totally oblivious to any earlier calls he made.
He caught me when I was already at a pressure point. I found myself yelling “fuck you” at him. Two drinks later the rage has gone. But my head was melting with an urge to inflict pain on somebody already in pain’s main firing line.
These days I feel anything can make me flare up.
Its because I want to be able to give up.
…tired of pretending it’s all OK.
But as sick as I feel, I can’t see a way out of this life of ventriloquised labour for a world I no longer believe in.
Knowing this is shared-despair sparks a lone candle flicker. But we’ve all caught the rabies after this 40 years-hate-your-neighbour, and speak through barks and bites.
Yet my despair is often disallowed such unity, such wider interpretation, by the passive-aggressive put-downs of a certain brand of hippy. They prey on my written-down honesty, and use it as a way of one-upmanship under the guise of peace.
Their smugness that implies I refuse ‘to evolve’ and that ‘they are the change we want to see’ sees people like myself as a disease that needs to be cleansed from this planet.
I don’t fit under their sunshine, and basically the underside of this sunshine is the assertion I should kill myself.
But isn’t the suicide of the ‘misfit’ what we all want on HMS Brexit?  The Troll to the Poster? The Xenophobe to the Migrant Boater? the Leftie to the Xenophobe? the Remainer to the Leaver? the Progressive to the Conservative? The Work-drained to the Work-less?
“Kill yourself and let me endure this hell all by myself!!”
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I’m scared about how nasty all this is going to get.
I’m scared for me.
I’m in battles I never knew could be fought; cages I never knew could exist.
I end up in Retrobars, where nobody speaks to anyone they haven’t already agreed to speak to, earlier on, via their smartphones.
No shit, I swear Brexit was an emotional demand for an exit to all of this.
Theresa May is no doubt the zombie of Thatcher, who, after swimming through the body of Blair, has been spat out of the mouth of Cameron. Waiting for Article 50 has become an intensifying locus for a larger sense of dread we feel above our heads.
So why didn’t we have the courage to examine this emotional demand? We should have broken down and wept collectively last June. But undead lurchings of Empire barged their way to the podium.
We now need help from another world.
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In Wakefield centre I’m approached by a woman who has reopened bloody wounds as a tool to justify her plea for legal tender. None of that which would shock me half a decade back shocks me anymore.
Is it normal to be asked for money on every town centre street?
The scenes have strayed into unfamiliar sights we seem blind to on overly familiar streets.
Hms Brexit is the blind sinking.
Brassband music blurts out into the sparse night from a surreal mock-up of picturesque Yorkshire in a pit of a subway in a station that is struggling to escape a bleak essence caused by its abandoned outpost-like nature, exposed on the eastern rim, where the centre meets the hinterland.
The music makes no sense in a land that’s lost all narrative.
The train arrives and so too do fleeting hopes of escaping loneliness by meeting a lover on this moving carriage.
A weary and knowing smile succeeds as the usual happens on The Lonely Lifeboat. And I just site facing the back of a plastic seat. The FEED feels like your friend in such points, but I’m back to looking at a pen and notepad.
I feel momentarily relieved.