LAX, Moonage Daydreams & the shape of things.

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My eyes water quietly in an airport lounge.

Weeping would be cheating.

Sounds of human hub bub and brou ha ha surround  me:

Splicing chats, rat a tat tat

And flicks and spats

and preening screenagers

Celebrating their worldly traverse

In rhyme, lyric and verse

And perverse youtube addictions;

And leisure wear;

like I care that you could trip the light fantastic

In that much man-made elastic.

Life on Mars fills my ears and the years strip away from me

That I should find myself here

Bleary eyed from a Kauai flight

short-stop coffee docked

And two sheets west of an East Venice Superba sandwich

with my dear William

riffing splits and bits

of ideas on VR and the Doors

That take flight to Mars

And so it closes.

The music overthrows me; overwhelms me now

And a hollow space

Scooped by the small spoon

of Moonage daydreams from my heart.

Between eviscerated and exhilarated

Kooks redeem me

Thumbs in collars clutched

Mary Poppins Glam Rock

Is the truth of me.

Glitter eye. Glitter mouth.

Glitter soul goes south

Into an LA sunset.

Living a bucket list life but fuck it,

With a bit of luck it

might just be a Life worth living

To the sing song dance of my Principessa

and the quiet eloquence of my Prince.

I need to be home now

Because I’m bleeding emotion

And mosquito bites

And being here just doesn’t feel

Right.

Andy Warhol looks a scream

A howling dream.

And there but by the grace of whomsoever’s god go I.

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The Sea, submergence & losing the Edges

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The silver leather-back sea washes up to meet me.

I knew she was close;

The breezing air about my ears had told me so

As I climbed the sand hump-back

To see her,

And stumbled to her foaming hem.

 

The cawing and whooping of my children

as they rush to meet her, and skip at her edges:

Firecracker Girl and Loping-Limb Boy.

 

He turns away from her

to throw his hoodie

Up into the air,

Randomly; repeatedly;

Watching the wind take it

To then gazelle forwards and upwards

To catch it or not;

Then fall to the floor

And beetle-scrabble

In the sand around and about him.

And plant his face into it

And stop still

And motionless, for a moment.

 

A study in the physical fluid

Of rushing air.

And the incomprehensible sensation

Of being 13.

 

The light from her glinting skin:

The silver foil of her, un-scrunched

And smoothed flat before me

Turns my head back to her.

The light rises up

To wrap around my face

Pull at my cheeks

And draw a smile

From deep beneath

the place where I normally dwell.

 

I can’t quite define

What she does to me;

But she can do it blindly,

even when out of sight of me.

 

My lungs and heart fold into each other,

like twisting dough in a Baker’s hands.

 

I am distracted by Loping-Limb boy

And his sand churning

Till she reminds me she’s there.

 

She laps at me.

Her eyes sparkle everywhere.

Sharp spikes of light fire in every direction.

The sun does her bidding and sinks to her edges

As I wade into her shallows.

 

A whoop and a screech;

and Firecracker Girl erupts into my sight line

legs pumping, arms flailing;

splinters of salt-water glass

smashing up around firework eyes wide open;

sun silhouetted and all fierce trajectory

into the silver leather-backed water.

 

The sheer velocity of being 10 and alive

Launching into the spray,

The day one endless

Expanse of salt-stained forever.

 

I fall forwards and low

Into her shallow rolls

As she rises to meet me.

 

Then all is grey blue swirl

Arm reaches over arm

Body twisting and turning

And salt-sting eyes.

Then up,

Puffing and whooping,

To stand on the Bantham sandbank

And open my arms to everything.

 

Year after year drips off my skin

In rivulets running,

Falling away:

54, 47, 32, 25, 18, 9, 5, 2…

And suddenly they’re gone;

Sucked into her froth.

 

And I’m ageless and timeless

And fizzing with it all.

 

Fuck, I love this place;

Where time and age break their fetters

And skip off

Like children

To play elsewhere;

For a moment at least.

 

One deep breath.

And I turn away from her,

Until next time:

 

Ice cream calls.

 

 

Bantham Beach. 18th, August 2017.

Walking slowly, Old People & the art of human deceleration.

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Speed of life is a funny thing.

(Funny obtuse that is, as opposed to funny Ha Ha)

From what I can tell, it seems that the faster we go, the less we seem to actually do: relatively.

Or to be more precise, the more our doing becomes about the speed at which we do it, the less it becomes about the thing we’re doing.

It seems that in pursuit of speeding up the process of doing something we transform it. The relentless acceleration of the task pushes it to a tipping point where ultimately, thereafter, that task becomes secondary to the process or system by which we accelerate it and the accelerant we use to do so.

We stop doing something faster.

Going faster becomes what we do.

“What are you doing?”

“No idea! But Christ I’m doing it super hyper fast. AND I’m connected to a squillion people so not only am I doing it faster – I am sharing it faster. I am not only a speeding bullet but also a skin-searing wildfire. I’m going like awesome shit-off-a-tech-shovel, me.”

I’d always hoped that there was a simple equal and opposite (satanic Newtonian shyster that I am) to the hyper accelerating self.

For some time I’d put my money on the ‘car-crash slo-mo’ of our primal sensory faculty, which, when engaged by danger or crisis, helps us maintain some semblance of equilibrium and control in that moment by slowing everything down to enable us to comprehend and avoid the particular parts of it that may well, well, be the death of us.

But my monkey/pigeon/lizard brain’s ability to shutter down the speed of any one hyper-fast occurrence, thereby allowing me to scrutinise every infinitesimal piece of detail and information and subsequently better navigate and ride its turbulence doesn’t lead me to avoiding the worst of its consequences. It simply leads me to developing a greater ability to absorb utterly meaningless stuff at speed through the porous edges of the moment.

So that’s not helping me.

The other thing that might have been well-placed to put some brakes on the worst vestiges of my hyper accelerated self would have been Mindfulness.

But Nope. Not doing it for me either. I mean, I get it. To learn and properly understand what it means to live in the Now. To remove the distractions of past and future, to truly concentrate on the moment you are in, appreciate it, bathe in it, turn it over in one’s palm like a polished stone: a remarkable ability.

My only concern is that the Now, devoid of past or future – experience and potential, memory or dream, and all of the information both emotional and rational that comes with them – seems incomplete to me.

Mindfulness seems to do the very opposite for me of what it should do. I kick out any traces to allow me to super-focus on the moment – a form of hyper-vigilance of the Now – but I end up with a load of random other stuff pouring into the spaces left behind – spaces I’d rather fill with the past and future brackets that should encase each experience.

So, what else?

A shift in context and environment perhaps? Well, again, yes, to an certain extent.

Having moved from London to Lewes has compelled me to exist at a pleasantly slower pace of life some of the time.

(At which juncture I’d like to thank Southern Rail profusely for their concerted and sustained efforts in disavowing me of the idea that I live on a highly efficient arterial rail line into and out of the breath-taking speed of the metropolis.)

But like mindfulness, for all of one’s best endeavours, the slower Now of Lewes is forever bracketed by what has gone before (chasing the dollar in London) and what follows (chasing the said same dollar). So solely relying on context and environment alone are not the answer.

And in our relentlessly connected world one can never really escape the accelerant of prosperity.

Even in sleepier Lewes, the long shadow of thriving, or what constitutes the current shiny, slebby ‘got stuff’ model of it, seeps into everything.

Lewes has a great mixture of types: it’s not all DownFromLondons like me.

You have the My F@*%ng Red Trousers of the hollowed-out East Sussex Hooray and their crisply Lavender-ironed wife – the ex-Brighton burn-out, sporting a dog on a string and blue dip-dyed hair shaved on one side clutching a gig flyer – the blue-cloud green-horizon landscape of artsy-craftsy Sussex potter/painter/candlestick and scatter cushion maker – the vintage Linen Interior of the LifeStyle shop owner– the white Sussex Van Man & Scaffolder Bloke, bastion of BREXIT, with a vocal dislike of anything or anyone foreign or exotic; apart from the ‘Chinky’ Chinese and that ‘Itie’ Pizza Place of course.

(Their cultural myopia seems to simply melt away like a wood fired Quattro Formaggi amidst the scrolling menu of Just Eat and Deliverooo.  Note to Self: Deliveroo as the Open University of Multi-Culturalism –  a distribution platform for culturally enlightening and Pro Remain data and facts to Little England).

And there’s plenty of the Hunt Supporter tractor-chic squad here to fill the spaces between the stripped oak floorboards of Lewes society.

And then of course we have that herd of shining individuals, floating above the ground, thrusting towards Waitrose in their hovercrafts of enrichment.

The gleaming lines of Range Rovers and Landrovers (and every other over specified, under-utilised 4X4 you care to mention) with their wholly unused Hi Lo gear ratios (the cockyx of the car world – a left-over from the cars once utlitarian past – not dissimilar to the vestige of a tail that we carry behind us) whooshing up and down the high street – are busy as they are in the furious industry of Doing Well.

(Hands up who leases their 4×4? I rest my case.)

There is no absence of the merry middle class dance here. All manner and strata of people parking up outside elaborately ordained pubs on weekends for overpriced Sunday Roasts and a scrum of collective thriving, cawing loudly of new this and expensively experienced that; of particular schools and exotic holidays – puffing up the brightly-coloured wings of their success, clutching menus like divining rods to the well of contentment hidden somewhere in front of them, just out of sight and reach.

They’re certainly not going to help me decompress from the consuming rush of 21st century existence.

So; the standard socio-economic ladder meets tribal segmentation of life offers little to ease the accelerating self.

In fact, with one’s ears too wide open and a thinner skin on, quite the opposite might happen here. Devoid as charming market towns are of the anonymity of the blurring vari-speed white waters of a city – everyone gets drawn even further into the accelerated need to succeed under the hot spotlight of local visibility.

BUT there is one group – a higher tribe – rendered by life experience and tenure rather than by culture creed profession or class – to whom homage pays dividends.

And they are the source of my new self-penned Sioux-like name – Walks Slowly With Old Folks.

For someone who walks far too quickly at the best of times (as to whether I am walking away from myself or towards someone or something more interesting I’ve not yet fathomed), slowing down to the walking speed of old people is a remarkable fillip to an accelerated or accelerating life.

Various things happen:

Sight – old people spend less time furiously concentrating on the aspect and angle of their trajectory though life – which means they have more time to be aware of what is immediately about them. They don’t suffer what I like to call Thrive Blindness (the loss of the ability to see what’s immediately in front and around us that comes from rushing towards the next ratchet of prosperity.) That’s a good thing.

Connection – old people are far more capable of engaging with those around them because they are not moving so fast that they ‘can’t stop’. Watching various professionally busy White Rabbits (always so terribly late for some important date) in grave danger of tripping over their own feet if they were for one moment expected to stop, turn and actually engage with another human other than those whom might improve their situation makes for little easing in the speed of life dept.

Smell – old people exist in an old world model of associated scent. Simply put, when you slow down your speed of passage through the world you actually smell the environment you are in or are travelling through. Sight and sound and smell and the emotions they generate are more likely to remain in tact, inextricably connected to each other as they should be. A rushed life leads to misappropriation of smells, constantly slung as they are to a newer or abstracted reference point, as opposed to the one just that actually created them.

Mortality – old people exist in far greater proximity to their own demise. They do not need the trending self help manual du jour to tell them that every moment is precious, especially those spent in pursuit of the things that make us truly happy. Relentlessly reminded as they are by the passing of their friends and peers and the shrinking of time in which that passing occurs, they don’t need help making the most of the Now. Its all they have left. The clarity that comes from being able to count the springs summers autumns and Christmases they have left in which to enjoy these things is a tainted gift.

The other observation is that there seems to be a better balance of sensibilities when Old people are present. They are an off-set strategy – renewables of humanity amidst the dirty coal of the industrious being of youth. Trees to the CO2 of an accelerating tech-fuelled life.

So it is my intention at every opportunity to Walk Slowly With Old Folks. Because even at their grumpiest, they prove that all of us eventually will shrug off this distemper of the projected, accelerated and visibly successful self, and replace it with something far more meaningful.

Three cheers (and a walking frame) for that.

 

 

 

 

Tragedy, humanity & the power of together.

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One could wonder sometimes where the nobility and civilisation went – given half an eye on our glorious species (though many question whether it was ever there).

Far from the heroic ideal of small people saving the world – of Tolkien’s Hobbiton and Frodo’s sacrifice – we’re all a little disappointing down the small people end of the telescope.

We’re all lascivious, low and feral and we’re all off to whichever hell is trending currently.

Left to our own devices all we do is sprawl, brawl, rut, piss, shit, heave and fuck like the beasties we are, on the streets, station concourses, on buses, on planes, alleys: in doorways and up against walls, wrapped up in cheap-as-chips slave wear bought in multipacks of 5. Nascent young Motherhood lies collapsed like a sack of charity shop clothing on a pavement, steeped in their own sick. Nascent young fatherhood stamps on heads till they pop on an empty shopping precinct floor, sweating industrial lager and cheap cocaine.

We use £500 state of the art smart phones to film everything from our genitals and instagrammed inanities to humiliations, threats, gang rapes, beatings and murder.

We use state of the art, government-toppling social networks to circulate a ‘shag on a plane’ film to anyone bored enough to care or the next cat film to those who don’t.

We live lives way beyond our means. We inhabit houses and drive cars we can’t afford. We bullshit ourselves into believing that the debt we carry is a right of entitlement – part of the glory of being human, here and alive.

We convince ourselves that communities don’t really need our help, there is no society other than our own; that ‘doing a Kardashian’ is desirable, that knife crime and landfill will miraculously resolve themselves, that climate is an inconvenience, and of course, the real biggie, that we need 5 holidays per annum. Which is why we need 5 credit cards.

Bu But BUT

Look at us when the sky comes down and the thunder rolls. Look at us as we respond to the percussive blows and crises that envelop us.

Look at how we have responded. In Manchester. In London. And now to the Grenfell tower disaster. And not just to our own. Paris. Another coming together. Another standing side by side. Across generations, cultures, tribes, classes, regions, borders.

Suddenly, it is as if we see each other again. Beyond gender, race, religion or persuasion.

See each other and remember – we are just people amongst people like us. We remember who we are, what we are capable of. What our co-existence demands of us all. And rise to it.

And we remember that deserving is not about cars and phones and watches and holidays. It’s about people deserving a sense of belonging, to not be left behind or marginalised: a decent quality of life, affordable and accessible care, social support. And that as people we deserve politicians and the public and private sector to be responsible to us not the spreadsheet or the Poll – responsible for our social well being, not our financial success.

We remember that life is OK. And could be far, far worse.

And that there by whichever god, mantra, metric or quantum equation go us.

We realise that the precious things are the living breathing things connected to us by genes, community, friendship, accident or serendipity. And everything else is just tat and jewellery. And party small talk.

We realise that the most precious things are the living things like us. And that we should wish for them what we wish for ourselves. A safe, secure and supported life, everyone looking out for each other. A sense of belonging the right of every human being.

Suddenly we see that people are looking to each other. Helping others. Keeping an eye out.

Perhaps, for just a moment, we prove yet again that when push comes to shove we can rise up out of the self-obsessed pit we all live in.

For a moment we remember that, in the middle of all of this uncertainty, the only thing we can be certain of is ourselves – our actions, our beliefs and our values. What we give a shit about and what we’ll do and what we’ll put on the line to hold up those values and beliefs. When collective humanity and humility transcend individual identity and hubris.

Perhaps it does take the madness for us to remember what we seemed once far more  certain of – our best selves both individually and collectively – and when to apply them in the world we live in.

Here’s to that.

Movie houses, memories & the illumination of negative city spaces.

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There’s something quite remarkable about street level living.

And when I say street level living, I don’t mean the standard fare we trot out when we talk street life – about street food, pavement culture, busked music, tagging, midnight city walks, clubbing and vibrant multiculturalism. The stirred, slash cut, jagged, muscular, rippling, colourful, odorous, fusty, littered – the fierce and the free.

Nor do I refer to its profoundly saddening counter-culture cousin of the bleak stained streets, the shadows of humanity; the homeless and the abused propped in its doorways. The runaways, drop outs, drug addicts, alcoholics, despondent, broken, fragile – the lonely and the lost

When I say street living I’m talking about the act of living in a city at street level – the relentless act of passing through the urban space – connected to its ordinary everyday – neither floating above it nor tunnelling beneath it.

I am talking about pavement and tarmac bashing – traversing a city using feet and buses, as opposed to dropping into the dusty air-blown human vat of the Underground, its elevated un-tunnelled cousin the Overground, or any of the arterial rail lines coming in and out of the city for that matter, shifting people like emotional clusters of fleshy data from one side to the other.

Trammelling the streets is a goldmine of experience because the rewards are plenty – gifts, revelations, illuminations and surprises at every turn.

If only we remember to look up and look around more often, ‘there’s gold in them thar hills’. 

One surfaced in my journey on Monday morning.

And it smacked of an art school exercise long forgotten and suddenly remembered.

As the 73 bus scarped the edges of Marble Arch the most striking thing was not what had appeared – like the arrival of the inverted horse’s head or the jelly bean people sculptures.

Beautiful and enriching though their appearance was, this morning’s revelation was inspired by quite the opposite – by what had in fact disappeared.

The old Odeon, perched on the edge of Marble Arch and Edgware Road for as long as I can remember, was gone. In its place a large space revealing the buildings behind it and to the side of it. A 90 degree, dog-legged breather amongst the claustrophobic clutter of city buildings.

The building that was, was not only enshrined in my material view of the city I traverse – its geo-located bulk a firm, fixed point in my universe.  It was also located on both my emotional and temporal maps of the city.

The Odeon Marble Arch played high stakes in my youthful rummaging around London – the western edge of the West End. The corn-franked, pop-furtered fust of its dark interior home to many happy and boisterous outings. Heady times indeed.

So, to me, its absence was truly remarkable. An experience that was both a mournful missing and an urban eye bath in one. Truly bitter-sweet.

And it struck me that our enjoyment and the relentless revelations of the cities we inhabit are as much driven by the things time takes away – and the negative spaces that their departure leaves behind – as they are by the staggering multiplicity of new developments,  redevelopments, re-generations and resurgences of neighbourhoods, communities, boroughs, villages, estates, high streets and thoroughfares.

And it was the relationship between what is, what was and what might be that intrigued me. The tension between them.

So to the art project.

When doing basic foundation art, in still life and spatial studies, one of the first things you are taught is not only to draw the things you see in front of you in your still life – the positive – but also to render the spaces between those objects – the negatives. You are given the task of turning the negative space into a ‘thing’. To make the unseen seen. And to explore the relationship between the negative and positive. To make them both an equal part of the structural symmetry. And understand the role of both in creating Tension in the composition of things.

Simply put, this is about looking through, looking beyond – about truly ‘seeing’ – beyond the obvious

So its worth remembering that our seeing is only complete when we’ve engaged our ability to see what isn’t in the cities we live in, as well as what is.

And that we are as invigorated by the absence or removal of things as we are by the presence or addition.

The value of this level of seeing and awareness?

Hopefully it raises questions in us: questions of What if…? What was….? When did I…? Why there…? We question the way we and the spaces we exist in connect, how we attach to each other – materially, spiritually, emotionally.

Looking in this way, seeing the dynamic multi-dimensional relationship and nature of how things co-exist, not just as physical things but across time and cultures and generations reasserts our connection to the world and each other.

This kind of seeing brings the quanta level vibration of life writ large in our world. Each disappearance and appearance a vibration in the world.

Watched through the lens of time lapse – through a fluid eye – the cities would start to resemble a graphic equaliser of our existence and the utility and function of the buildings within it.

And I sense it would be beautiful.

So, to see or not to see. That is the question. And in the No. 73, for me that morning, lay an answer.

‘ got to love a bus.

Life, lines, logos & the all-consuming art of consumption

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I’m on fire

I’ve Unboxed my phone. And I believe in better. Just do it. Tick.  Just did it.

But wait, can’t get my breath because I am – of – so – very – ON.

I’m a consumer consuming, a dumb man walking with a smart phone talking back at me.

I’m hyper consumptive and coughing up bloody Mary firmly goosed with Grey.

I’m For Living and licking the fingers of good with a chicken from Kentucky or any other such United State you care to mention, and I’m hanging with people who are As Good As Our Word, absurd but fiercely true.

My Snap Crack Popple Pipe went off in my face but I don’t care Cos I’m the ‘Eating Fresh’ Prince of Been There Done That but same-old, same-old doesn’t cut it anymore so I’m Thinking Different because I’m worth it, so Earth calling the Spaceman, Yes We Can.

And I’m feeling the Magic BUT am I Tasting the Rainbow? I may go to customer service and COMPLAIN because it definitely ain’t raining technicolour on me anytime now.

But I’m doing a lot so Every Little Helps and I’ve got welts from whipping myself senseless with spring greens sustainably sourced of course.

Smash. Boom. Crash.

Whatever works for you in the clattering noise of consumption land but don’t shirk on your Durch Technic mate or your spring will remain Vorsprung.

Pick a language any language I’m with the worlds local bank so I’m fluent in Yoplait yodelay hee hoo exotica and inter-continental catch phrases so I stay firmly ‘flame on’ across the channel to the E.U.nited States of Holiday with the sparkling surge of Orangina fo-fina at my lips Naturally

But shucks I’m brunching and crunching and I’m Living Well with kitchen dancing and prancing in pimpy pumps that pumppumppump me UP and the car in front, well, it’s behind the times ‘cos its hybrid and my bid’s for Accelerating the Future in an eco-super-green Mung-ready dream that I can snapchat attack about because Life’s more fun when you live in the moment, apparently – and my 2facedbook feed reads like Walter Mitty, more’s the pity if the truth ever got in the way of ME – but that’s why I have FRIENDS with a capital F*%# so I don’t get the bends when I de-acclimatise from my threads of marvellous invention.

The tension is killing me – might I pop out a truth just to see if anyone’s following me? – let’s see – stalk stalk – I can totally talk the walk if I just snort an Instagram of my glorious self.

Let’s face it, I’m preposterously prosperous and shining my crown but, wait – why am I feeling so down?

Quick boys quick check the follower rating – that does the trick cos joy stats are waiting – I’ve tweeted a storm and its thrown up a swarm of murmuring twitteratti, look who’s following my vapour and skyping my party of one, hell, I’m coming out windswept with twenty new following.

So all is good and calm and I’ll chance my arm with a hashtag blowback and fill my lungs with the honey sun of my digitally consuming gloriously connected self.

Phew. Who knew that eating so much life would make me phat. Isn’t a life well lived negatively calorific and cheap at half the price? (as smaller credit card bills would be nice).

Truth be told I’m choking on broke and my dreams are currently staying in a hotel so far beyond my means that it comes with a free car because, my friend, bullshit just can’t walk that far.

Time to do a runner. Needs must.

Hemispheres, politics & the battle between Left & Right

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There’s a Bugsy Malone splurge gun massacre of class, politics and populism going on right now.

It was there prior to St Theresa’s whistle-blow announcement. She simply stuck a rocket pack on it all.

And for those of you who haven’t noticed; creativity, culture and the arts are slap bang in the middle of it all. And they’re getting it in the neck.

The news tells us that the working classes are on the march. That BREXIT was a vote fuelled by those left behind by global capitalism and its increasingly wealthy adherents.

And that BREXIT and populism are in some way proxy wars between the Haves and Have Nots. With a smattering of Saxon (serfs) v. Norman (lords) and suburb (Farage) v. urb (Cameron).

Terry & June have raised a flag and cried for England, Harry and some Saint’s flag we bought off the Genoese.

But the papers still like to present this as the old school cap doffing boot wearing (and traditionally socialist leaning and union advocating) working class stuffing it to the Top Hatted (and Right of centre) toffs with their Bunter-esque Trunks of Tuck shop plenty and fancy ways.

If you hadn’t being paying attention (and had been totally ignoring the role of little England in all of this) Brexit was an action against the establishment by a working class constituency bereft and defeated by relentless years of other people’s plenty being rubbed in their face.

And the working class hero, uncluttered by the over blown cultural self-assertions of the rich and powerful – their hordes and their funds, treasure chests, junkets and galleries all propped up by high performance German engineering and fashion divas and a handbag costing a month’s earnings – has stepped up and bloodied their nose.

Screw Culture. It’s an affectation and luxury of the Rich.

In some reports there’s a whiff of ‘the working class hero’ (WCH) being anti-culture – well, the kind of culture trumpeted by the City and its dinner party friends. Oh, and  f.y.i. the WCH is anti the multi-culturism that the money monsters and politicians celebrate and espouse – seeing immigrants as the lackeys of the rich, working their factories and filling their low paid scuzzy jobs otherwise unfit by condition or wage for the decent indigenous WCH, either male or female.

This working class reactionary truth will be born out in France we are told.

As it is being born out in the Nordic and Germanic states. On a platform of anti-foreigner and ‘what about me?’

And these commentators apply a simple formula that seems to say that the right wing ascendency is ostensibly rooted in the disenchanted dispossessed working class.

And that the right wing ascendency is anti-liberalism (the cultural and social not financial kind) – therefore the WCH is against liberal arts and the profundity of self-enlightenment.

Therefore, the WCH despises any form of enlightenment – and would raise one dimensional variations of the same self – a clone army of book burning gallery trashing elitist toff beating brilliance – in preference to a vibrant exciting society and culture.

What utter shite.

Firstly, the Elite and the Rich are not necessarily the same. And the political shades of left and Right in both make over simplistic assignments futile. There are endless correlations and direct proofs of the connections between the Rich and Elite  BUT the Elite – those relentlessly committed to self-selecting themselves as the leading lights of anything and everything – running things for others (whether they want them to or not), generally being in charge and walking around with an unbearable smugness and self-assertion – are not always Rich or vice versa.

It’s the power they crave. The career politician is on the top branch of these ravenous creatures – with their self-selecting voice of the people (ish).

They spend a lot of time with the Rich (negotiating with Industry and Finance over over-poured Claret because they absolutely have to of course). And they are of course at best very well connected, tied together with a thin thread that unravels back either to a musty study room in a sandstone schoolhouse (for all of his ‘one of the people’ Schtick, Farage is an Ex Dulwich College boy), a university hall, or backwards into the Square Mile. And if they directly have none of these, they know someone who does.

And the Elite, well, they are different kettle of picked Shark installation altogether. Many fiercely obscure their provincialism with Elite type affiliations and experiences. They jig and jump to the drumbeats of the urbane metropolitan – the art shows, theatre nights, picnics in the classically shrouded parks, Cirque du (insert exotic name here) and of course the relentless squalling pirouetting brawl in black that is modern interpretive dance.

Some would say thank god they do. We would exist in a cultural desert otherwise – any form of creativity being reduced to the cultural equivalent of The Pub Landlord’s ‘glass of white wine for the lady’ – a slightly demeaned but humoured unit of creativity that isn’t really proper.

It’s a fair point

If our culture really was just a bastion of the Rich, the arts would be a sclerotic lumpen dross – our lives populated by the myriad stools popped out the arse end of an unfeeling industrial production line of commercial arts and the venues that host them.

But to pretend that the fierce creativity of the UK is just a Rich man’s train set to be slashed, demeaned and derided is the kind of twaddle that might be peddled by the likes of the Faragists, trapped terrified as they are in their fortress of Purcell, Lloyd Webber, Betjemen and Top Gear.

So perhaps when the political commentators and the budget watchers point accusingly at money being wasted on some art house in Camden and cheer the swingeing cuts to the arts and to sources of culture, they’re pointing their guns the wrong direction. Perhaps they think it’s the most commercial of the arts that they think they are extinguishing – by which I mean art produced in the service of the Rich by self-conscious and socially attenuated art pimps in the absence of any real feeling and tension bar status and lucre.

There is a difference.

And it is worth pointing out that the UK culture (certainly from the 50s onwards) has been a visible bastion of WCH culture and arts  – from the edgy raw playwrights of the Angry Young Men to Black Country metal heads taking over the world, to Skinhead and Mod and the Casual culture of the football terraces. The sources of WCH art energy and colour are relentless.

Locked inside all of these movements are threads and collisions of fierce feeling – the source of their potency and raw power.

Tension. Struggle. Pain. Debauch. Poverty. Frustration. Elation. Sadness. Revulsion. The feelings we feel when we are alive to the life we live – unfettered from luxury and emollient comforts. That is the stuff of art and the fuel of culture.

There was once even a whiff of this raw energy in YBA but, well, really, how many dots can one person silk screen to hang on a banker’s wall.

When someone once defined art as something that has no utility I believe that they meant something that has been created for no reason beyond the outpouring of expression demanded of the artist by something within them.

I believe that the relentless fillip of fund trader bonuses, commission monies and personal strategies for increasing wealth kill this spirit in artists. They become complicit – part of the spiritual algorithm of wealth creation.

And this makes the lie of the artist’s  expression. It becomes the social smile painted on the face of a misanthrope.

But there is a value to everything – even if it is financed by the money monsters putting on emotional lip stick by hanging someone else’s very expensively framed empathy on their walls.

We should salute the fact that the absence of feeling in either the Rich or the Elite – too consumed as they are in the pursuit of the material to the detriment of their emotional and spiritual selves – has created the desire to invest and finance struggling working class artists and elevated them up and into the limelight

The struggle to express themselves in lives riddled by attrition and want with desires and dreams close to suffocated is for me a beacon of the power of the people called the working or struggling classes.

And this is good. Far from being the murderers of the artistic darling – they are the universal mothers of them.

Centuries of artists, poets, performers and musicians from the ‘lower orders’ have enlightened every aspect of our cultural identity – all the more potent for the thick unforgiving skin their expression has had to burst through.

Yes, they are elevated on the back of the money with which the Rich buy emotion and feeling – the jewellery of a feeling expressive being – but none-the-less there is a circle of existence and creation in this that we all get to enjoy.

There is something at work here, with a sort of structure and rhythm. As one set of artists elevate up and out, others pour in and take their place.

There’s a reason for this.

Tension does not live a long life amongst comforts and plenty: the struggles that demonstrate themselves within it are the toxic nihilistic kind – locked into petty drug spirals and alcoholism and the artistic and literary caprices of the decaying elite.

The artists that enter this world on the back of great success tend to struggle to maintain their edge. It certainly struggles to transfer itself to their progeny.

There is a phrase – clogs to clogs in 3 generations – used to describe the journey from rags to riches to rags – through the ascent, apex, nadir and subsequent crash of three generations – initially climbing up on the new wealth of one particular member, vast monies made through hard work, moments of genius or simply brutal profiteering at. And the second generation raised in the immediate shadow of that person have some of the same spirit and nous in them to continue the ascent – BUT by the third generation, expensively educated far from the relentless grunt and grind of profiteering and money worship, look to different inspirations and passions – some pointless, some benevolent, some enriching but few of them money making in the same manner – they have entered the luxury of conscience freed to think of things other than climbing out of the primordial soup of want and struggle and making ends meet.

The luxury of conscience is not a hot bed of art and literature. Many luminaries have come from this world – the gentleman of letters, the learned and the scientists and the academics perhaps. But rarely does the fierce fire that creates movements and shape epochs come from this fountainhead of the Rich.

Brexit was a punk act, a swastika on the combat jacket of the forgotten and the dispossessed. I am unsurprised that John Lydon AKA Jonny Rotten came out on favour of BREXIT.

BREXIT is an emotion. Not a reason. Expressed by an epoch shaping creative force.

BREXITEERS are not anti-art. The reason-obsessed and the overly rational within their ranks might be. The sniffy, blinkered and the insecure perhaps.

And it is those that use the connection between grants and funding and private investment and the arts and the subsequent elitist enjoyment of them as a way of packaging them up with the rest of the European curse. For a very simple reason.

Creativity is a shifty foreigner to their rationally class-exacerbated perceptions. One that speaks a language they cannot master or ever wish to try.

So, when it comes to the Arts, current affairs commentators may be better served spending their time contemplating whether Right wing people are mostly Left brain people.

As with many things, this is not about politics. Or religion. Or science. Or money.

The arts, artists and their supporters are under suspicion by the cohorts of the ‘left brain’ as they find them wooly, voodoo or self-interested. They mistrust the layers and complexity. In much the same way they rarely trust foreigners whose culture and society they do not understand -or for that matter their own feelings or the right to express them.

There is no over indexing by shade of class, regionalism or faith. You are as likely to find this thinking in the working classes as you might in the rich; in the devout as the with the humanist; as much in the Northern reaches as with the Southern tribes.

So whatever else we do, my thought is this – can we unshackle the arts and creative expression from the armies of politic.

The only left and right at work here are hemispheric not politic.

Leftovers, watching your language & living the dream

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We keep being told that the food that we eat, why we buy it, how we buy it, how we cook it (or get someone else to cook it for us) and how, ultimately, we dispose of it speaks volumes about us.

I’d like to make one small addition to that: the language of why, when and how we dispose of it speaks volumes about us and our broader concepts of thriving, success and prosperity.

I’d like to focus us specifically on the subject of food thrift and particularly, leftovers.

Now if you’re that way inclined or have a grandparent who puts you straight about profligate waste and showing off with food, the topic titles are just fine. But be aware that you are in the minority.

For most people, grinding through the weekly job, making ends meet and trying to rise above it all, thrift and cooking with ‘old food’ just isn’t going to roll. In fact, their response to the kind of language I’ve used above is probably slightly more of a DOUBLE ALERT. GO TO DEF CON 3. KLAXON WAIL. WHOOP WHOOP nature. With a massive warning of impending Tree hugging and shirts knitted from mung beans not far behind.

For most people the first massive language klaxon is the phrase Food thrift. God alive. Save us all from sack-cloth-and-ashes cooking. A trip to the supermarket, even with a price checker in hand, is an exercise in thriving, culminating in a trolley overflowing with goodies, some with the wrappers already off (profound evidence of our new found right of entitlement – no more do children get sent to the work house or have their hands cut off for pilfering what they haven’t paid for – we’re civilised goddammit).

Food is meant to be joyous, piled high. An ‘eat all you can buy, buy all you can eat’ algebraic equation of y= 4in1x3for2+BOGOF to the power of XtraFill  mountain. 36 pack of pre seared barbecue burgers only £1.99!!

Or if your tastes run a little fancier, food is an exercise in sumptuous delights via plates of tantalised veal and gizzard cuts in jus de truffe and beluga-drip-drenched jaune Tuna slices, three rib of beef, salt and rosemary rubbed, amidst curlicued cures of pork, slices, rips and knuckles of lamb savoury seasoned, steamed and sugared pudding syrups running with sweet blood, an avalanche of oaten crackers and thick sourdough crusts decorated with glancing blows of soft and hard sharp cheeses, iced sponges, jam schmeered and chocolate vanilla’d delights. A Captain Bligh-scale of Bounty.

Whichever; whatever: food is meant to be plentiful and a sign of ‘we’ve made it’.

Food thrift?! We’re standing on the shoulders of Maslow, mate. And you can stick your  hierarchy where the sun don’t shine.

As an aside, I think Sackcloth & Ashes would make a fabulous new and urbane food establishment somewhere very mauve and happening – given the current popularity of ashes and charcoal in leading edge bread baking, cheese rolling, beast searing and the higher order philosophies of brutalist retro-cooking circles. I see the interior of Sackcloth & Ashes as having a faint whiff of the medieval Cistercian façade – the odd weathered sandstone gargoyle: and a large blackened stone-mantled fireplace (obvs). There’d be a little light Gregorian House Chant muzak for a Clash of Cloths (as I like to call the collision between one elevated Christian house and another). And of course we’d frame it as a post-modern tapas (main course size dishes) – and fill the world with all manner of sackcloth slung ash-rind cheeses and charcoal cured meats, coal bleached fish, charcoal-truffled beast cheek bricquettes (though I am uncertain as to whether the truffled briquettes can double as a sustainable fuel source or whether they are a sustainable fuel source doubling as a main course).

Anyway, I digress. Food Thrift is a complete turn off for most people chasing a shiny life and, as a phrase, is best avoided if you’re trying to appeal to those who simply wish to live the dream and tie one on in life.

Second Klaxon: the word Leftovers. Oh here we go again. More bleeding heart student stipends and stories from the back of the fridge. Leftovers is a poisoned chalice of goodness to the average person seeking to Live the Dream of a prosperous and socially advanced life.

Leftovers are for losers and food geeks.

In his book, The 10 Food Commandments Jay Rayner points to the issue directly in his chapter helpfully titled Though Shalt Eat Leftovers.

‘There is only one problem with leftovers. The word. Leftovers. It speaks of expediency and second best.’

Not a dissimilar issue to the one where people view the words Ethical and Organic as euphemisms for sub-standard – a trade-off between higher morality and lower quality.

Jay goes on to write that ‘As history has shown us, excess food should simply be thought of as an ingredient rather than something left behind.

As always our desperate, socially-climbing, gene-pool-elevating selves play an enormous role in there somewhere.

Toffs and Nobs use the act of leaving a plate, meal or table still laden with uneaten food as an act of social and genetic exceptionalism.

I can afford to not scrabble for crusts. And my largesse knows no bounds.

Leaving food behind is a mark of not starving. The American Dream was a relentlessly infinitely rotating buffet of food, and a never empty plate (more specifically, one that required some form of funicular to get from the top to the bottom of it). Because the American Dream represented the journey from Nothing to Something. And Somethings don’t scratch for food.

And the post-meal gesture of ‘hey ,can I have that to go’ – that throw-back to the pioneer settler thrift of nothing is wasted – is just code for I’ll take it home, pop it in the fridge for a few days; then landfill it.

Leftover food is a slightly twisted sign of prosperity. Yeah. Eat my trash. I’ve eaten my land-fill. The clue is in the language.

Leftover is short-hand for lacking utility; the debris and detritus left over from the functional and precious act of preparing and then eating food: food that is unwanted, or worse, unneeded and therefore devalued (as if anyone doesn’t need food or the money it took to buy it to throw it away).

Leftovers are Ex-food. Like GFs and BFs, leftovers are destined to turn up on MyExF[ood] revenge sites and Landfill Porn.

The language is the issue. As always, what some view disdainfully as fluff and word-smithing can make the difference between dismissal and engagement in a rather fundamental way.

LivingTheDream are a team of people seeking to shift the narrative of sustainable living and prosperity in a more ordinary and meaningful direction – from the likes of the glass half empty reduction language of Sustainable Living Plans to the glass half full aspiration language of Smarter Lighter living – and as one of them I think that perhaps we need to sort the language of Leftovers and food thrift while we’re at it.

The whole language of leftovers needs a restart. An Extreme Makeover.

So what should we do?

A national school’s competition perhaps; to rename Leftovers so your Mum and Dad actually take an interest because its socially cool to do so?

(And when I say Mums and Dads I don’t mean the 7-12% of the Luxury of Conscience brigade who embrace every purist green and sustainability trend in much the same way a fading actor might clutch a new script, as if it every one might be their last, the most precious fragile cornerstone of their identity.)

We could give them some buckets or examples to start them off.

Perhaps we could start by looking at the physical geography of it all.

Leftovers, either at the ingredient stage – off cuts, scrapings, tops and tails, bones, etc. – or the post cooked stage – on-plate, on-table scraps – find themselves at the ‘edges’ of the cutting board, plate or table – pushed to the periphery of the working or functional space. So perhaps we could get windswept and interesting and introduce peripheral cooking or Peripherique Cooking as a whole new movement – or ‘food at the edge’ as we’d get the critics to call it. Who knows, given all that empty shelf space left by the dear departed tomes of Clean Food, perhaps we can sneak in with a small volume on Peripherique cooking.

Then again we could look to word play, opposites, antonyms and synonyms – Left Over replaced by the idea of Right Under. Right Under recipes are those recipes that are right under your nose and you can’t see them for the left overs. I would class Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Spag Bol Omelette as one of these sublime moments of ‘ under my very nose’ stokes of genius.

Or we could leap headfirst into Kardashian land and talk trash. We could go junktrunk cooking or we could go the whole hog – Truck Stop Trash Talk Cooking – because we all love trashy.

#eatmytrash as a movement of pure self-celebration – even my food trash makes exceptional dinner party cuisine – cue Instagram.

And admit it – #eatmytrash could be so much fun, mainly because it’ll get hijacked and turned into some bizarre sexual euphemism eventually – and a website after that.

But if, in the meantime, it reignites the mass populace’s interest in divesting themselves of excess and waste in favour of taking every piece of left-over food and turning it into something, that would be, well, something.

So Leftovers are a beautiful thing, but there is an element of Boy Named Sue about them. Their name has forced them into a life of having to fight their corner – stand up for themselves – but in this case, it ain’t making them stronger – not any more at least. Quite the opposite.

So let’s relaunch Leftovers – unfetter them from their current name and give them a chance to be their fabulous agile and resourceful and mostly delicious selves.

Who knows what fun we could have.

Trump, Trust, People Power & A New Social Contract

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I’m less concerned with the overt Trumpness of Donald. I am sure that I should be.

Weirdly, the idea that one certain mister ‘pussy grabber’ becomes the President Elect of the United States does not surprise or shock me.

The White House has had its fair share of mysoginists and philanderers – and of course the hawks (both the useful ones the world desperately needed and the assholes the world didn’t). Presidents have not all been shades of the wholesome, family-loving God bless America of Carter and Reagan.

Trump’s direct assaults on minorities, global warming groups, foreign aid, etc. are in no way a surprise. He claims that he is against radical Islam not Muslims, but seems to think beating up Muslims is a great strategy to that end.

And as for the Wall and the Mexican issue. Its teetering on high comedy.

I imagine Trump in the roll of the Norman Knight played by John Cleese in Monty Python & The Holy Grail, looking down from his high vantage on the castle wall.

As the people far below call up to him the Donald flicks his nose at them.

Whispers from off camera: What do they want?

Donald: They’re looking for the American Dream… (sniggers) I told them we already got one.

The cynics point to the fact that Trump can’t be a friend of Hollywood because Hollywood would never forgive him for sending back the people who do their gardens – as every lawn from Sunset to Malibu would scorch and die if it weren’t for the Mexican part time labourers who fill the pick-ups every morning on every principal corner of Sunset where the bus stops sit.

Global warming is cobblers of course  in Donaldland (my new name for the Disney-esque NeoCon Hoo Haa place we call the Disunited States of America).

We knew this was coming. His dinner party friends have all made a huge amounts of money from fossil fuels – Oh, and they think the science is cod. How remarkably convenient. Oh and they’d like to continue to make a whole lot of money from fossil fuels. (Apparently the quickest was to roll back environmental impact stuff and fluff is to roll forward one hell of a pipeline.)

And the new hawkish ‘build it up build it out’ approach will be making a whole lot of industrialists in the ordnance sector positively dribble in anticipation. Its like ’64 and Lyndon Johnson’s election all over again.

So shock horror probe.

Donald’s anti the soft lefty red types in the arts. He’s backing the Oil Men, the Military Industrial Complex, the dream of the self-made Millionaire, a two people America and defensive divisive Isolationism.

Damn right.

This is what made America great people. And that’s what Donald is gonna do again.

Look it. Whatta guy. Even his Campaign Officer is a helluva woman – comin’ out fig’tin an e’ry thing at that Inauguration Dinner. Hah.

We’re a hellzaapoppin, asskickin, red slappin’, say it the way it is, speak my mind raise my fists burn some rubber bomb some ragheads give no quarter US of Damn A – an’ don’t you forget it.

There is nothing surprising about Donald Trump at all. He is a very ordinary unsurprising old school alpha man. He is that man in that bar or pub. Foghorn Leghorn. His scrabble for money has given him bragging rights and a loudspeaker for whats right and wrong. And his politics are simply his genetic ‘assert & ascend’ survival strategy writ large and loud.

The greatest issue with Donald Trump is not his politics. It’s his integrity. That fuzzy golden grey periphery that seems to wrap itself around and about everything he touches.

And the minority of ordinary people who voted for him are potentially in for a rude awakening one day. There’s no guarantee he’ll screw it up of course. He may busk it. Survive the next 4 years and fate will smile on him.

It’s a little like functioning alcoholics: teetering on the edge of the abyss of their addiction but never quite falling into it. He may just glide across the bumps. Even more scary for some, there may even be some things that he does that are not necessarily welcome but actually might benefit a large number of people. The issue is can you trust him to do that but not at a punitive cost to others. Favouring one group or bloc or constituency over another is a politician’s remit. But not a President’s.

A substantially larger number of the thinking, living, earning, voting population of the country he runs don’t trust him to run the country in a manner they see fitting for an advanced and great First World bastion of Democracy and Liberalism (and I don’t just mean the fiscal kind).

They do have some fair reason.

A man who does not immediately and absolutely divest his business interests in the interest of running a country is like a man who turns an old pre wedding girlfriend into a post wedding mistress. A weighty dose of cake and Eating it.

A president who does not happily take a transparent line on his business and tax affairs is not to be trusted. This is where I will draw the Silvio Berlusconi parallel. It simply does not work. It leads to or exacerbates existing corruption, self interest runs riot, and toxic back room dealings and trades become the foundation of government decision making. Governments and Presidents do not need any more ‘obfuscation as policy’ – other than  that which already exists in the misty foggy worlds of GeoPolitics.

Regardless of whether he is playing games to reduce tax disproportionately or whether it is because Divestment might lead to full and open scrutiny of the financial health and integrity of those businesses – especially the degree of leverage he’s using and the source of that leverage (China anyone?), he is a man who fogs facts and doesn’t finish sentences – an obfuscator of the first order.

Policies are not the issue. Trust is, in regards to both his intentions and his actions.

And to be clear what I mean by ‘half the nation do not Trust Donald’ – I do not mean Trust as in their belief in his ability to undertake and do something he commits to doing. I wholly trust him to keep to his (vague) word and commitments:

“I trust DT to execute a mass of executive orders in his own and associates interest and to his own ends”

I wholly believe he will do that.

The Trust I mean is the one that defines the commitment to an action that is instilled with values and ethics – and of a clear sense of collective and not just selective good:

“I trust DT to set aside this own self-interest in pursuit of creating a better country for both the people who didn’t vote for him as for those who did.

As President, his role is to increase prosperity, and reduce division between the haves and the not haves, and between those for and against him.

Which leads me to venture a thought.

I wonder whether perhaps in our peer to peer world in the absence of a Trust coming down from on high, the new social contract needs to be drawn not between government and the people, but BETWEEN THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES.

Perhaps the new social contract – the contract of TRUST – needs to be drawn up between Trump voters and non Trump Voters. And to each the other is held accountable. Because if Donald is all about acting on the will of the people, then the people’s integrity and mutual trust and vision is everything and he should be in service to that.

Perhaps this is the new model to be forged – enshrined and acted upon in the interests of the American people.

The social contract of TRUST should become a respectful charter for mutuality that transcends party and individual politics:

I trust you to uphold your personal liberties without holding them above mine.

I trust you to raise and protect your family but not at the expense of mine or others

I trust you not to harm our communities in pursuit of making a better one of your own

I trust you to raise your hand in support of those less well off than you, not in suppression of them.

I trust you to protect the freedom of every American citizen, not just those like you.

I trust you to protect our great American wildlife and countryside for our grandchildren

I trust you not to be seduced by words but swayed by actions

I trust you to share equally the Greatness we collectively make.

Just a thought. A new peer to peer Social Contract for the American People.

If we could get both sides to agree that it is the people who Donald serves, and let the people shape the Social Contract that he is action, underwrite and secure using all of the instruments tools and machinery of his elected office, now that would be something.

Who knows: we might even have finally found a meaningful role for Facebook in a declining market.

A peer to peer social contract managed across face book’s 20 Million users – which to be fair even allowing for the teenage user profile and pre voting age bloc is still a hell of a lot closer to representing the future voice and desire of America.

It is certainly more broadly representative of the people of America than the 60% turnout of which Donald still did not secure the majority.

Just saying.

 

 

Fake News, Spooks & The Combing Over of the Truth

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So CNN do fake news. According to the President Elect at least.

Damn. I knew it. FOX are just so real and pure. I should have known.

I was wholly reassured of course to find that, in the face of that dreadful state of affairs that is the telling of half truths and whole lies in the unregulated space of the social networks and news feeds, SHAZAM, the big government guns are going to roll up their regulatory sleeves and get busy. Starting with Nick Hancock, Minister for Digital & Culture Policy in the UK. Now we’re going to get things sorted.

Thank [insert preferred god, prophet, leader, sage here] for that.

It takes years of dedicated training, some remarkable imagination, a sprinkle of facts and a Mensa like flair to dispatch subversive and propagandised news and stories that can undermine leaders and governments. Its not a bloody hobby.

The newspaper consortium are finally going to apply their staggeringly large institutional oomph to helping us sort out these unregulated snipes, opportunists and their corrosive obfuscation. These guys know what real news is!

My mind now rests easy at the thought of the regulated press and the spook agencies collaborating on pointing out to us and regulating against what is Real Fake News (theirs) and Fake Fake News (the social network johnnies).

I will personally be forever thankful for the clarity they will bring. It’s confusing out there.

We just simply cannot have two sets of fake news out there. If anyone is going to fake news  it needs to be the grown ups: the people who know what they’re doing – like spin doctors and spook agencies. And Black Ops operatives (or did we make them up as well?).

It is not acceptable to have any old Tomasina, Dicky or Harriet in their oh so self conscious footwear, fit bits and frappaccinos saying utterly misleading, damaging, derisory or inflammatory things about elected officials. Say what you like about Kimy or Taylor but keep your stinking hands off the likes of Donald Trump.

Hell, he won the people’s vote didn’t he. (Err. OK; not really but we can say that cant we? Well, the electoral college system anyway – ish).

Why everyone is getting so upset about all of this I am not quite sure. Donald Trump has never played down his love of a little bit of playfully ‘loose’ representation. He celebrates every individual’s right to swoop and swerve and flip reality and facts, agile as a swallow, the worm of truth clutched screaming in its plunging and soaring beak. And as with all practiced deceivers, he will know that the greatest hiding place is in plain site.

The greatest celebration of Fake News perches glowing golden fleecy gorgeous on top of his freshly elected head.

Genius.

That comb over hides a multitude of sins. It may even hide the much sought after Tax Returns. Oh and the paperwork for all that Chinese-funded leverage that keeps the Trump Tower of Cards standing (or did I make that up?). Sometimes I feel like if they were to film another Men In Black, I know where the second entrance to the MIB headquarters can be found.

So, Social Network ‘journalists’ and all you ridiculous little conspiracy theorists; please, leave misleading news feeds, political obfuscation, corrosive geopolitical engineering and plain lying to the elected, the Agencies, the regulated press, the political lobbyists and the specialists those people pay to do it.

Fake News is Dead. Long Live Fake News