12.5.19

Michel Foucault talks about selfwriting and correspondence as being the cornerstones of a self-examinational toolkit that itself is crucial to a life well lived.  It’s not always easy to take the time to write, or even to have the impetus to have anything to say above the basic mundanities of every day existence but perhaps that is enough.  Certainly, that is the quotidian reality of much of our time spend on this planet.

I am in Landover, MD, in an empty hotel lobby with pop rock playing quietly, and I can see three television sets from where I am sitting.  The overwhelming background noise is provided by an ancient refridgeration system that is, from what I can see, only keeping some bottles cold.   Manchester City have just secured their second English Premier League title in a row, the first team in a decade to retain the title and doing it with record stats both times.  Pep’s talent and drive seem unassailable, but you might argue being able to bring Sane, Jesus and Mahrez on from the bench gives them an advantage, as well as being funded by oil money of the kind that buys you whatever you need.   You still need to do something with it all though.  This isn’t Rich Kids of Instagram.

I should take a walk, but it’s raining, and there’s really nowhere to walk to, at least, not without putting in a half hour on pavements not designed for humans to actually use.  Still, I should do something with this rare day of what you might call ‘leisure’.  These days will not come easily, any more and those vanishingly rare days of wanton and directionless excess receed into the past.  The mind is no longer capable; the body no longer willing or able.  I must resign myself to having burned the candle at both ends, rather, such that there really isn’t much candle left.

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Similar Songs

The debate about songs that sound like other songs has been around since there was more than one song, and even when there were three songs, a bro would turn up to argue about anxiety of influence. Ever since one person got up and made a speech to the town square, there’s been an eager video content guy wanting to monetize the TEDx out of that bastard. I digress. I did, however, notice that ‘Anxiety’ by Frank Turner sounds very much like ‘Where Is My Mind?’ by The Pixies. Then again, if they’re not complaining (the people that is, who receive royalties, and might find their share diminished) then who am I to argue? It’s just that with the other song on the album that sounds a lot like ‘Supermassive Black Hole’ by Muse, you wonder what’s exactly going on here. Then you, gently, realise that you don’t … care? I look around. Do I look like a copyright lawyer? No. We continue on, past the rubicon. We cross this sucker all the time! We go from a soft soap interview to “Liam Neeson Apologises Profusely For Race Remarks…” and then back again and it just increases the money in the circle jerk. He’s still bankable. We pause, to congratulate – to salute something – not sure what – so this, a smile to stage right as a ghost appears to grin through broken grimy teeth. He’ll come for you soon enough.

Quietude

The principle, of course, is old – as are so many of these things. They all come from something ancient. The idea is to limit yourself in a way easily accessible to you as a person. The idea is to be quiet, to practice a kind of omerta, but of course it has none of that import, so it just resembles a flippant vow. A silent vow, of silence. And how could it assemble any gravitas? All the gravitas I’ve seen in my life has been rich people telling people far less rich than them what to do. So there is no gravitas, no HBO contract for two series of naval gazing and sad nudity, no. It’s actually so basic, and so startling simple as to render me dumbstruck : the purity of it is amazing.

Beto

So the white guy that lost to the universally disliked snake oil salesman Ted Cruz is now the next best hope for the USA Democrats in 2020, behind the septuagenerian white guy that lost to Hilary in the primaries last time around. Slow hand claps: you have learned precisely nothing.

Lunch

Today I treated myself to a ‘working lunch’. I took my laptop to Daebak in Vauxhall and had some bi bim bap whilst I read some documents. As always, the people watching in London did not disappoint. This was a mix of people. Hardly a melting pot, given that everyone was dressed like they had a half-hearted fight with last season’s Topshop catalogue, but sure.

At first my table buddies were two dudes. They were talking about hiring, seemed serious, and seemed oddly resentlful of their own seriousness. They concluded that hiring outside of the company was the way forward and to be scared of this. I was worried I might be hired into this humourless procession, and so I ordered some kimchi and got my head down.

They then paid ten pounds each (splitting the bill fifty fifty) and left, making time, also today at lunch, while I read documents, for my next set of lunch buddies. In came, and sat next to me, while I read documents, some development and sustainability types. These were two boomers, one male (who knew the place, and seemed based nearby somewhere, ordered soup noodles) and one female, a senior exec from out of town. They clearly worked for not for profit, or charity. All they did was use buzzwords, and gently beat around the bush. I couldn’t tell if they liked each other, or even enjoyed any kind of professional camaraderie. They spent a good while talking about where they wanted to fly to this year on ‘work’, and Canada featured high on the hitlist. Very sustainable, guys. They probably have great pensions.

The lady didnt know what miso soup was and asked why it was cloudy (soup man explained it was fermented and she conceded there were many different ‘types’ of miso, and then they changed the subject) and went on to say how much ‘more’ she had to offer the firm in HR and finance skills than was being currently used. He seemed oddly pained by this, as if it wasn’t the first time she had mentioned how much more she had to offer than was currently being used, while I sat there, reading documents, eating kimchi. Alhough how do you travel the world (it was mentioned that they might as well talk about the countries she hadn’t been to, rather than had been to, and then they laughed) and get to a decent age, what, 55, maybe older, not recognise miso and ask the clearly slightly peeved Korean waiter ‘what do you have that doesn’t have cabbage’ after LOUDLY announcing upon arrival that she COULDN’T HAVE CABBAGE? I genuinely don’t understand these fucking people. Jamming up the gears, gumming up the works, with their ridiculous bitching and whining and generational exceptionalism always expressed with the utmost sense that is reasonable behaviour that they have earned the right to. At least Millennials know and enjoy the fact they are taking the piss, and even make an art form out of it, asking for ping pong and Teapigs and unlimited holiday and flying cars on expenses. I once had an ——- complain her latte was in the wrong glass. (I was paying) On another occassion she regaled me about how great (and cheap) her life in —— was (they have two houses, another in England) and how the restaurant we were in was poor value. (I was paying) I had to listen to this as it was my job. She saw no issue with this, and felt it was entirely reasonable to complain about getting a latte in the wrong glass when I was paying and this was my job and we were there to talk about a ——-. She claims to be left wing but is of course married to a man who makes a lot of money. I remember it to this day, all of that, in a way that makes me think, either I have it so very wrong, and I should strive to moan about value for money (when I am not paying) or the right kind of glass to serve a latte in (when I am not paying) or maybe I am an adult and I learned not to whine about these things the second time my Mother told me to shut up and get on with it when I was five. I am unsure and there is no real possible way to be sure, is there? Maybe the problem is me and really, it could be.

I paid, and left, satiated, having read my documents. I want you to understand there is no way I can eat cabbage at this Korean restaurant, okay?

Devoid

Of things to say, that aren’t already churned up like milk in an ice cream maker, frothed through by Tw*tt#r, which day by day resembles a postmodern anguish machine created by an idiot savant, tapped into the thing that would punish us the most.