Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hold on to that rage, keep it handy

Incompetent people are a drain on my wellbeing. They, through sheer ineptitude and moronicity, conspire unknowingly to ruin my day, week, career, whatever. What's worse is when these same thickheaded cretins are in positions of influence, in which case their incompetence is magnified a thousandfold. Painful as that scenario may be, it pales when compared to the notion that these incompetent, influential fuckwits have control (in part) over me or my doings or outcomes.

Dealing with admonishment from someone whom you know is barely capable of doing their own job much less dealing criticism of yours gives rise to a peculiar variety of seething rage. You have not been abused, punished or harmed in any direct way, so that white crystalline anger one might experience in such a situation is coloured, cut with doubt, by your tormentor's palpable ignorance of the effect they have caused. So there you are, dribbling with a feverish fury that is rapidly congealing into a black cyst but unable to adequately articulate it as any outburst on your part is immediately interpreted by others as a rank overreaction and perhaps a cup of tea and lie down might do you the world of good says Matron Mappleby.

That said... Fuck! What a cunt. What a blithering, limelight seeking, coat-tail riding, self-preservationist solicitous scab ridden incompetent cunt.

What should I do about? Start a Facebook group? Fuck that in the eye.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Waiting in the dark

Dark and late. Doubt shuffles as the tangible wavers for a moment. No. Always groundless. Almost.

Figures in the dark crystallize on the periphery, shimmer for a moment under unfocused gaze before resolution, chiding and relief. Safe here, warm and familiar.

The mind's dormant, dull heat prickles; that black, blacker than the surrounding dark, is wrong. It seems... bigger. It isn't; with complete certainty, it isn't. Almost.

Black snow melts misshapen and something shifts and now tense, alert. A shrill crack and murmur (where?), skin pulls taut and furtive doubt creeps close, a few feet away, invisible but almost tangible while the tangible wavers violently.


The mind opens and all floods in though little warmth with it. Those peripheral shapes, frail before now redouble into malefic dark and menace and bay silently. Paralyzed and sure, sure it can hear that sharp respire. Just outside the door now. Fumble for the light, silence severs and light on and door thrown wide and in it rushes, not bounding but gliding with terrible urgency, swift, a warm and desperate sigh and lily-white eyes naked, longing, enormous, twisting and shuddering toward you, half-moon mouth split jagged, bursting hands reaching and eager; blood cold and silent shriek.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Facing up

I've been at this thesis jobbie for about 2 months, give or take. At various stages I felt as though I gained momentum, formed good habits and the future would take care of itself. At various stages that tended to follow those previous various stages I'd be back at square one. Having conquered a numbing caboodle of marking I feel as though I'm ready for another assault. I have no doubt my capacity to produce work of a consistent standard at pace is sound, it is simply a matter of application for the requisite chunk of time. A foundational time investment if you like. Spend a month or 2 weeks deep in concentration and the productivity will flow. On the subject of productivity, a plan is in order that I might meet my folio goal. Jesus Christ I'm talking shit.

Fuck all that, I-holy shit, this Lindt egg has praline in it. Small wonder it was so heavy. Delicious! I am enveloped in velvety chocolate sunshine and shall now drift away on a supple bed of sienna cloud to dream of brown adventures(!).

Unencumbered by the taut, sharp-wound stresses of coarse reality, I explore an aromatic apogee of liquid chocolate fantasy, umber falls cascading through candied crystalline air and me at the centre, spinning rapidly yet not at all, propelled by hazelnut flavoured chimeric wraithlight and settling with gentle temperance on an earthy crisp-top brulee.


Did I write that? What a pile of self indulgent cockspaz. I need a Mars Bar, though it is filth. Peace out mofos (hey who am I talking to?).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Oh, internet, you numb me so

To paraphrase John Safran, I've been a-thinkin' about horrible things. Not the kind of things to give pause to potential clients of my babysitting business should I decide to launch one, nor the kind of things to make PETA activists choke on their soy flakes. No, these horrible things are rather more global in scale and impact.

This morning I watched footage of an air assault on an urban cluster in Iraq. Two Apache helicopters were circling a specific zone in Baghdad when a group of what were claimed to be insurgents appeared onscreen. Requests were made to 'engage', eventually granted. What followed may have had little impact on an 18 year old me, but the 30 year old me was at least moved to write this.

The so called insurgents are sighted and it is claimed, by a gunner presumably, that the targets were armed, though this is grossly unclear in the footage. These insurgents shuffle about displaying little apparent intent to act in any meaningful way, hostile or otherwise. One man, later revealed to be a Reuters journalist, is clearly seen carrying a camera. These men did not have the air of militants; a milling cafe-going crowd might more aptly describe their demeanour. Once the go ahead was given, the men onscreen disappeared in a hail of gunfire, smoke and shrapnel, occasionally visible through the undulating mass of debris, this a cause for more gunfire. Through the clearing smoke, a journalist (there were two at the scene) can be seen crawling, obviously wounded, to the footpath beside the street in which the others, compatriots or no, lie dead. At length, a van appears and its occupants attempt to retrieve the wounded journalist.

The gunner/pilot, quivering with audible eagerness, again requests permission to engage. A few short moments pass, during which time the injured journalist is bundled into the van. Eventually, the order is given and the gunner opens fire on the van, slaughtering the occupants and wounding two children inside.

The style of footage and the outcome is far from unique and is in fact utterly familiar to anyone who has watched a news service of any kind since the early part of the 90s. What is different, to my ears at least, was the conversational detachment from the men that wrought this numbing violence. In fact, it was not simply the detachment from their actions, but the type of detachment that struck me.

It occurs to me that the likelihood of those men being younger than or of the same age as myself is high. That occurrence developed into the realization that these men are not the hardened war veterans depicted in any fiction; these were guys who, in all possibility, had played the same games, seen the same films and experienced the same desensitization to violent imagery via the internet that I had (and have since renounced).

As laughs were exchanged about landing a shot through the vehicle's windshield, I considered their mindset. Surely, performing such tasks requires a certain level of detachment, else when the time came to act, rigor and regimentation might give way to the encumberance of empathy and the moment could be lost. That aside though, something in their manner suggested contentment, enjoyment even; a perverse eagerness from the men in the air to murder the men on the ground. It was as though they were playing a video game, let's say Call of Duty (ho ho). Having played an inordinate amount of COD myself, I can attest to the satisfaction of landing an airstrike in a nest of opposing players. This, though, was real. Those men died, as it turns out, for no defensible reason. The men who did the killing seemed so removed from their actions, so casual in their subsequent banter, they may as well have been adding to a killstreak or dropping a care package on the head of some noob. I can't pretend to know the minds of those that find themselves in such a position.

The argument about games as violence cocoons is flawed in any number of ways and I strenuously argue against it if queried, but, if only briefly, I was faced with the harsh reality that mirrors those combative virtual excursions and the tenuous but possibly all too real link between the two.

"Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards."