Operation Vanilla Pod is the name given to the heinous practice of euthanising small business owners, especially in the creative industries, in Shoreditch, Stoke Newington, and Crouch End during The Decade Of Perfect Vision. Complacent liberals were unable to mobilise to defend themselves when, surprisingly, the Govestapo came first for the Proprietors of tastelessly monikered cornflake cafes, VJs, Digital Media Executives, Peddlers of Bric-A-Brac, Copywriters, Record Producers, and The Entire Marketing Collective. These incalcitrant liberals were always at risk of finding themselves in the camps, and the surely temporary nature of their independence had fed a growing sense of uneasiness. But death? They had been sure it would be the disabled first, then maybe a few Muslims. Public intellectuals. Those kind of people. They were prepared to wait it out. That was the insidious genius of Operation Vanilla Pod. They had taken a brief glance at History, but no-one guessed Nathan Barley would be incorporated into the blueprint.
- I know what happens at their dinner parties. I know what they talk about. And I know your life.
– You do !NOT! know my life.
– So true. I misspoke. I only know how you appear to spend your days.
Unconscious. I assess who, from appearances, may likely betray who at which point. I do not know the intricacies of past moments and future scenes that will make heroes and villains.
Three shrink away from the door and another does not. Who though? Depends on the door. My mind… full of doors. And doors within doors. Doors in the ceiling. Doors in the floor. Anyone could open a door and you never quite know just who might walk in. Horror of horrors… are they dressed for the occasion?
Compassion is not enough. Psychology is not enough. Not even the finest politics. And religion? Least of all. But myth! Myth is transformative, in the right hands.
Who would give themselves to make the future better? Heroic sacrifice could come from anyone, perhaps. What does it mean, though, to sacrifice? It may be bravery or cowardice to give up one’s life. Jesus was, after all, an ape. What example do we mimics set?
I know this. That the least gave up what they found to be most precious. I poured and drank. How much ritual, reciprocity, and desire?
Time is precious too. I thank you. There is much to speak of regarding Time and tension, if only we-
Try giving this post the angry emoticon. Unless you are a breastfeeding keep your tits in Hitler was right about one thing. British values. Poor Jayda. Can’t stand em. moslems moslems moslems do you have to do it in public? Breast milk is free. You sell baby food. From the industrial revolution to good old Maggie sinking the Belgrano and beyond lefty scum wining bloody remoaners, tits have gone out of fashion. Not Civilised. Get back in the kitchen. 1950s was the time. Good old keep em in your blouse no blacks and buy Buy Buy babyfood.
Then the Krays. In my day we was safer. Two fifties and straight to the seventies. Proper gentlemen, rape your arse, and change for five bob. Oi that’s my watch. But I bought-
Crackle crackle burning flesh.
Counterculture and feminism bloody feminism. Cultural Marxism more like. What’s all these breastfeeding articles and Marxism crap in me feed. Feed me mama. Behold the rise of the human billboard. That’s you mate. Breast milk is free. Keep yer tits in.
The new ellipsis moslems moslems moslems
You are free to sell baby food, to eat baby food, only what baby likes. Don’t like this.
Why do you think that? You don’t. think
you’re so clever and classless and free
admit it you fucked up. When will you accept yourself. Smart animal not as smart as he thinks. In the instructions go. Out the advert comes. Baby food.
Breast milk is free. You will shit babyfood adverts. You’re so free. You’ve taken back control. This is Control. We can’t market breast milk. You hate breastfeeding in public. Puts you off your baby food.
The sociality of Homo Sapiens Sapiens can provoke a tension between the desires of the individual and the cohesion of the community. This is resolved by the love of the individual for others, a compassionate steering away from the normalising hisses of conformity, towards friends who allow the individual to express that “I”, those who love the individual for their humanity.
The individual expresses themselves artistically, through language, physically, as an integrated being who IS us, who then IS art, the bond between me and you, in nurturing social environments, amongst those who embrace diversity, understand the mind forged manacles, are brave enough to face the reality of an overarching social system which has relegated the individual to a consumer and product. Which is to say, radical Socialists are my friends.
Compassion for others in the context of late Capitalism is not stillness or meek acceptance of the normalising instinct. If my anger offends you, may it rouse you from slumber. If my fury intimidates you, understand my frustration at those who would exhort me to wear The Emperor’s New Chains.
Where I encroach on your physical space, please do not hesitate to rebuke me. Where I have abused your physical autonomy, call me to account. Never ever tell me: GET BACK IN YOUR BOX. Never force anyone into a box or advocate such tyranny. We have the technology and numbers to steer the aggressive away from violent encroachment. Exclusion must be a last resort and we must provide inclusive, nurturing, recovery-optimised spaces for those who have been most poisoned by a system which crushes diversity and repackages individuals as easily labelled commercial units. Few are unresponsive to love.
Fear of real history – the cohesive, evidence based stories that inform our destiny – is a weakness that must be challenged, and we must tear down the sickly conformity of nostalgia, a group delusion, wherever we encounter it. It would be inexcusable cruelty to let humans suck on the thin gruel of Soma where we live in such a villainous authoritarian state.
Change will come. As will I. With love and a little patience, I will cause you no harm. I come for you because you are the reality of my history and I come with love, a terrible love, that will turn us 180 degrees, where with bravery we face a giant. We cannot allow him to set the rules.
The language used within families is often rich and idiosyncratic, and mine no exception. I’m just going to give a snapshot here of the mixture of cockney slang, Yiddish words, and invention on one side of the family.
Schmendrick was my Dad’s favourite Yiddish word. When my brother or I complained the reply was often “Don’t be a schmendrick.”
He would call us, with affection and humour, Schmendrick One and Schmendrick Two. He invented the adjective “Schmendracious” and the noun “Schmendracity”. Girls were “Schmeryls”. When I brought his granddaughter round, a toddler, she was “Schmendrelina”.
The time a friend and I were watching the John Lennon documentary Imagine, my Dad and Mum came in and stood watching a little of it. Dad referred to the pre-bag period as “before he went schmendrick.”
Everything was kettles and plates and Saint Louis Blues and the “lovely currant”. They enjoyed language, playing with it, the sounds… They swam and splashed in it, drank it in and spat it out. They were greatly amused by my Grandad’s accidental American state, OH-HEE-HO. Dad turned “skewiff” into the more expansive “skaywohwf”.
Dad would generally only use long words in speech if he thought the sound was expressive. The only one I remember him using repeatedly was for two singers he didn’t like, “lugubrious”. I can understand why he didn’t like my wayward croons.
My Dad and my Grandad used relatively, and I emphasize relatively, more “O” sounds than “AAAAAAHH”s and the harsh back of the throat sounds. My uncle uses more dissonance. His favourite swear word is “bleatin’ “, d transformed to t. His voice is more like me Nan’s, although hers was generally quieter.
Regional lexicons and accents, with the exception of those more closely associated with the monarchy, are still regarded as somehow “lesser” albeit they make up most of our speech. Standardisation has its place but too often it has been used to curb working class and outsider modes of expression and to reinforce discrimination. A child is a linguistic genius in comparison to us idiot learner adults. There ain’t good reason to discourage any poor soul from idiomatic expression in the appropriate contexts, especially creative writing. Dodgy policing of this kind is something I’m going to try to be more savvy about, learn better when to keep schtum. Be less schmendrick.