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An Erratic Orbit

A bipolar perspective on the 3rd planet

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Music

What Goes Around

God is a concept by which we measure our pain but music is how we feeeeel it. New York ​1977. Mick walking Central Park, missing Jerry. 

Through The Daytona Buildings 1980

 to the 21st Century.

The Dream Is Over.

Yet ideas can’t be killed. Not now. 

#DontBuyTheSun

Enjoy…

…The Eddie Schnecter Trio

When I was in The Beatles

John Lennon laid back, head casually on my lap as we lounge about in a white hotel room. I could see the odd nose in the curtains. We were talking about  newspapers, bottles of beer, sweets (candy), ice lollies (popsicles), and so on, and how before ’63 George and me, or John and George – well, that doesn’t matter (I am you are he is we are me and we are all together, you know?) – back then we could nip off to the shops, “What do you want John?”, and… now, that’s just impossible. And off we went, two heads of JohnPaulRingoGeorge, on an errand, messing about and talking about The White Album. 

There was some legal letter we had read, we’ve all read a lot of Latin over the years, and… it was art. It was the perfect comment, unintentionally, on the whole circus. I said we should put it on the wall with one of those little placards – the place was a bit like an art gallery – but John, perceptive chap now and then, was totally against it. 

“Don’t be reflexive for the sake of it.” he said, “It’s got to mean something. In other words, you have to feel it, brother  mine.”

I remember asking him, some time in the 21st Century, about mental health. “Well I certainly didn’t get the help I needed.” he said. So he is we set about changing the way people look at the world instead. Not consciously, we were just a little rock and roll band in our eyes, you know. John really was A Spaniard In The Works. Your friendly neighbourhood enemy within. When he went to live in America with Yoko, the CIA wanted him deported. John Lennon. Think about that. They should have built a statue of him on Wall Street. Of course, he would have seen bitter irony in that, like the airport where he used to spit in the sandwiches he served for fuck all an hour.

I was watching Star Trek last night. An alien called The Traveller, of an advanced species, knew the secret: 

Henceforth space by itself, and time by itself, and thought by itself are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a union of the three…

He had the power to propel The Enterprise billions of light years in barely any time at all, by channelling the thoughts of the crew. 

At the end of the universe, beginnings. The crew began to experience scenes from the past. Chased by a rape gang. Ballet lessons. A beloved childhood pet. 

Of course, The Traveller was a kind of Mary Sue. For him, light years in the Star Trek universe are only a thought away. 

The journey weakened him, and a successful return depended on the crew focusing their thoughts on The Traveller’s well being. He got them home in time for crumpets, but -exhausted- he phased out of their reality in the process.

Today is the anniversary of George Martin’s death. You don’t get presents for that. Or maybe you is we are he should.

George Michael 1963— Donald

We find it comforting to name impersonal forces. It may seem as though knowing the winds that totalled your car are called Barbara isn’t going to do much for you (and it’s entirely unfair on my elderly aunt) but personalization is at the heart of every inner storm too.

By this point, 2016 has earned a name of its own. The obvious choice is Donald. Capricious, petty, and no friend of musicians from the world of pop and rock. Donald killed an uncle of mine this year for good measure, although Happy Birthday at five eighths of a semitone lower or higher than everyone else aside, I don’t recall hearing him sing more than a couple of lines. 

We might have hoped that Donald had done its worst, its reign of terror almost over, but there was one more horrible surprise on Christmas Day.

​George Michael was a gay North Londoner. He sang about Finsbury Park. He struggled with prejudice and his identity. He cruised the West Heath. He was just nine years older than me. His end hits me harder than any of the famous others in 2016.

Finsbury Park
Finsbury Park. Image: http://www.lovehomeswap.com

Although there are no details of his death released yet, growing up gay in a prejudiced world certainly  contributed to physical and mental  health problems. 

You can’t ignore also that he was part of an immigrant population. Like many of the Georges, Michaels, and Chrisses I grew up with, Anglicizing your Greek name was what Greek Cypriots did to seek greater acceptance. Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou was no name for the cover of Smash Hits magazine. 

Although he never cast off the trappings of celebrity and wealth bestowed upon him at a young age, by his mid twenties he was maturing as artist, operating out of the mainstream yet producing a range of pieces with a subtly original twist. Some of his music is not just deeply moving, it is harrowing. These two aspects of his music set him apart from some prominent stars who will take this opportunity to appear on TV talking about his influence on them. George had that universality of appeal which ensured his fortune, but his lasting legacy will be beyond the attainment of almost all ex-Boy Band songwriters. 

On Christmas Eve I listened to John Lennon’s last interview, with Yoko Ono, a conversation with Andy Peebles of BBC Radio two days before he died. It was clear he was relaxed and happy to be part of a stable family. I don’t think George Michael ever found quite the same peace in life. I am not the only person who will find “John And Elvis Are Dead” an especially poignant song at this time. 

The thing he softly said
It stayed with me, it keeps messing with my head
If Jesus Christ is alive and well
Then how come John and Elvis are dead?

In common with Lennon, George Michael found a simple but penetrative honesty in some of his best songwriting that is rare in the world of pop. A Different Corner is one of my favourite pop songs in the whole world. Precious Box is a great crossover of 80s/90s club dance music and traditional songwriting “bout private feelings ‘n all”. Many people will think of songs from Listen Without Prejudice. Praying For Time will now forever be associated with the televisual history of Donald. If I’m going to choose one song to remember George by though, it would be remiss to not look death as squarely in the eye as he did. So it has to be this haunting one he wrote to himself. Of course there is something in it for everyone. Even Donalds. This is the album version. .  . 

Love you, George. 

The Tower Tumbles

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 Purge: A mental health disaster 

​So how do you go through hundreds of thousands of social media accounts with a handful of staff? Answer: You don’t. You pay SEOs/Social media companies for the information. 

On facebook, members have expressed fear, anxiety, and have even been suicidal. People under the most pressure from the Tories already. Junior doctors, nurses, the disabled, Union leaders. The anguished thought, taking many forms,  is ‘How can our comrades do this to us?’ 

sitting under a bridge with your head in your hands
Image from http://www.thegospelcoalition.org

Sitting with their spreadsheets in Labour HQ, no doubt depressed by columns of invective and swearing without context, our comrades see only the back end of the elephant.

The Owen Smith team are right in a way. Almost everyone is an entryist. There are few “pure” Socialists, if any, because our code is inherently compromised. The solutions are radical: Firstly we must reach out to Johanna Baxter and co. Be part of their Social Media. Show them what is happening, and how it is impacting most greatly on the most vulnerable of us. Secondly, we must not be afraid of a building and a name. “Compliance” is branding, a label that hides the doubts and fears of the individuals. Pull back the curtain and… 

Dorothy confronts the Wizard

The third prong is all embracing: The ends cannot justify the means. There is only the present moment. Mindfulness and ethical compassion must be our reality. Kindness in the here and now. I fail, they fail, you fail too. We have aims and values as a collective. The only way to get closer to our goals is to forgive. 

Yet without the punishing stick how can we learn to avoid straying into our grievances and stratagems? That too must be, in fact, a kindness. In a political party dedicated to Socialism, what takes us from our goal is desire to accumulate wealth and possessions. We see others as objects, as “Other”. We want to possess and exploit others. This is the Kool-Aid in our system. 

There is nothing more radical than compassion, love, the revolution in the head. 

The only basis then for exclusion should be inability to show compassion on the basis of psychological testing by the qualified, and perhaps only where Dark traits have been identified as greatly compromising the party’s goal of Socialism. To get back on the road to Socialism, we cannot seek to be an exclusionary party. The culture must change. 

Pilot and co-pilot talking about power relations
Image from http://www.reply-mc.com

Paternalism and deference in the Party must be addressed. The caring professions are where we tend to find our most empathic souls. In music, art, beauty, nursing, teaching, therapy, and charity. Right now (I am writing this in the hour before the dawn), if compassion grows anywhere you will find it for sure in the beds of carers, doctors, and many of those amongst us with mental health problems. If we can sleep at all. 

Love is natural to us and so there is, always, hope. 

Feathers pub, Westminster
Image from beerintheevening.com

Interpretation & Understanding

Imagine division to a new order meant you were a protest singer. I can laugh about antichrist now, relax and let your mind float on down the stream… It is not dying. Get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hanD – in the beginning. Don’t ask for mine. GOT TO GET YOU INTO MY LIFE… 

“Think tanks should take drugs”.Fixing a hole. What have we learned? Consent. Feminism. The rest is beyond your command. 

And as the old road rapidly fades, peel back the woodchip, Idiot Wind. Don’t ask for mine. I’d Love To Turn You On. 

Broken bicycle and abandoned station. In the beginning… 

#Marr

The Glory & The Powers That Be

The gloriously eccentric, eccentrically British, Olympic opening ceremony of 2012 allowed us a one off opportunity to celebrate the best of our country on a scale we would never normally entertain.

We know that British history is not a fairy tale. We are not fooled by faceless displays of military might. You can’t roll out tanks and expect the British to think that’s the best parade ever.

image

Some guy in a glass box turning his nose up at breakfast, lunch, and dinner? But he doesn’t do anything else? No jokes? No songs? At least a tap dance and a smile! Have an egg, mate. And another. Get a load of that.

For all the majesty of the 2012 ceremony, we had to have a gentle poke at our institutions too, or at least get them to tell a few jokes and jump out of a plane or something.

If you wanted to know why four to twelve thousand thousand people will be meeting up outside Downing Street and in Trafalgar Square this afternoon, think of that ceremony without an NHS we provide for ourselves.

[Update: 150,000 people attended the protests! This was scantily reported by the BBC]

Think of it without pianos in the houses of the less well off. That isn’t hard to do. Think of it without houses for the poor at all. Think of it with less guitars. Imagine ordinary people can’t afford things like that. Yeah, think of Britain without Paul McCartney, without The Beatles, and without the uniqueness of modern British music.

Not so great, is it?

Today, we stand up especially for two core British values. Fairness, and supporting the underdog. This government has imposed the harshest measures upon the most vulnerable. The ‘bedroom tax’, an attempt and further plans to cut disabilty benefits by £30 a week, and unfair assessments which have seen in a three year period 2380 people die within two weeks of being declared fit for work. The Government has not collected the figures on how many of those people died from lack of electricity, food, medicines. Nor has it recorded how many were so desperate, not getting the help they needed, they took their own lives.

In 2012, instead of the Olympic opening ceremony, think of a cold flat and a suicidal disabled person, perhaps with a serious mental health condition.

The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (1948) was motivated by the desire to protect people from the awful things the Nazis had just done. The British Government are under investigation by the UN for their treatment of disabled people.

There are unnecessary cuts that affect all of us. An intention to bring the private sector into every school despite evidence and expert opinion that this is not at all the correct thing to do. There is a secretive trade deal being negotiated that is intended to open up Britain further for American feeding in several ways, such as giving their companies the right to tender for NHS services and even the right to sue British Governments.

Meanwhile, the rich are allowed to bypass UK law altogether.

It’s all clearly unfair and if we don’t do something about these injustices, it will only get worse. I will be joining today’s protests. I feel it is the patriotic thing to do.

The People’s Assembly against Austerity meets at 1pm Euston Road/Gower Street.

Lead photo: Matt Lancashire

“Paul Is Dead” Conspiracists Experimented On By C.I.A

Guest Post by The Juggler

Your forthright reporter has learned, through several of the most reliable Yahoo groups, a shocking truth that may rock civilisation to its very corps.

image
Photo by Abhijit Tembhekar from Mumbai, India.

It seems believers in the theory that Paul McCartney died in 1966 and was replaced by a talented body double are the unwitting victims of Project Ion – extensive experiments by the CIA in the use of a controversial technique referred to in the redactions of classified documents – obtained at great personal cost by a resourceful gentleman – as “Brain Scooping”.

Estimates of the number of victims range from one thousand to over a million males. It is hard to say with any certainty, since the procedure is not detectable by current imaging techniques. This is because the CIA totally used dark energy to carry out Brain Scooping. Dark energy only interacts with “yellow” matter, the stuff we are made of, gravitationally; light passes straight through it.

Yellow matter is not actually yellow, just as “charmed quarks” are not particles who have been seduced by the wit of the fake McCartney (Faul O’ Hill).

image

Although a victim of Brain Scooping, or BS, will weigh up to three pounds more than a visual estimate would suggest, the difference is within margarines of error.

LIPA undergraduate student in Expressive Chemistry, Hans Geetchings, devised an experiment in 1978 to subject 37 suspected victims of BS to  centrifugal testing but the proposal was rejected by the Ethics Committee. It has been suggested that pressure was placed upon the committee by the CIA but no double blind studies have been carried out to test this theory. Also, the Walrus was Geoff.

image

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