An Erratic Orbit

A bipolar perspective on the 3rd planet



Bob Dylan had a Jewish name. So he changed it.

One saviour. A man imposing his considerable will on the world. The artist endlessly reinventing themselves. (And, America isn’t racist). These narratives are why you have to include the search term “Jewish” to find mention on the internet of the most simple reason Bob Dylan changed his name. Every Jewish entertainer did back then. Simon and Garfunkel, formerly (no lie) Tom & Jerry, were amongst the first to buck the trend and they were already IN New York and that was in 1963. The far less urbane Zimmerman was calling himself Dylan before the start of the decade.

“It wasn’t the right name for Rock N Roll”. Well of course not. It’s not Anglicised. It’s actually the same point, disguised.

If we want to credit Dylan for invention, of course he is fundamental to the new form Rock (as distinct from Rock N Roll) that emerged from the mid 1960s. Often grandiose, rambling, and cryptic. The same goes for most Rock Journalism. As someone who is themselves often grandiose I don’t mean it as pure criticism. Reach for the cosmos by all means. Employ labyrinthine structures. The Wasteland is grandiose and none the worse for it. Rock was, in many respects, Pop outgrowing its form, embracing modernism, getting literary, getting symphonic… all that. As much precocious as pretentious. Yet, this is why, especially on the internet, simple truths are sometimes set aside or overlooked.


The Brexit Metonym

If anything is certain about Brexit it is that it will go down in European history as a metonym for rushed decisions made on the basis of prejudice rather than good information.

Rotting strawberries

As highly knowledgeable, well informed, anti-racist campaigner Lexiteers will be aware, that doesn’t mean it was the wrong result. Although, clearly it was, for much the same reason you don’t free a cat by dragging it through a barbed wire fence. You can tell me how awful the fence/barbed wire/cat/metaphor is in the comments but I don’t think you can do a damned thing about the collective European consciousness now you’ve voted to not be a part of it.

“What do you mean? I didn’t vote for that! I voted Leave because the EU is a protectionist neoliberal barrier to world Socialism. And because I like Tony Benn. We’re still Europeans, Dave! It doesn’t mean we voted to cast ourselves adrift from Europe.”

Actually, it does mean that. You didn’t mean it to mean that but here is the enduring symbol of Brexit, like it or not. Rotting fruit on a vine and the fruit farmer who voted Leave.

“That’s not a vine, it’s a forb. As a well-informed Lexiteer I’m as certain of that as I am that the EU will hinder Corbyn’s proto-Socialist agenda-”

-thus, as much by virtue of the human tendency to commit to a classification on the basis of a single common feature rather than meaningful commonalities here you are… fucking up my monologue rather than- Tell you what just look at the bloody picture and look at the fruit farmer. Is he you? No.

The same picture of rotting strawberries
Look at it

…What?…You have to imagine the fruit farmer. I understand that might be beyond the capabilities of a Brexiteer… imagining things…

That was just a joke. Obviously simply because you voted for Brexit along with idiots who believed Brexit would mean £350 million a week for the NHS that doesn’t mean you believed that. Just look at the picture. That’s what I’m telling you. That’s what Brexit means. That’s ALL it will mean in the collective European consciousness in fifty years. It will be in films, on posters…

“But Dave, a business shouldn’t be run on the basis of cheap migrant labour, should it?”

No, it shouldn’t. But you’re forgetting the fruit farmer aren’t you? He voted for this. Him. Not being able to imagine that the people he wanted to control away from our borders might be the same people who wouldn’t want to come pick his fruit any more. So fuck off out of my monologue. I won’t tell you again…

One more time
Sans fruit farmer. “Sans” means “without”. Not that it matters any more.

There will be coasters, keyrings, pencils, mugs with this picture of the rotting fruit and no, not the fruit farmer because the person who bought the mug didn’t vote to leave the EU did they? So they can IMAGINE the fruit farmer… Huge billboards, pop up ads… “Don’t Be Like The British”… cautioning you to install antivirus software before browsing porn, with a picture of rotten strawberries…The collective European consciousness, which none of us Brits, not even me, can be part of now… rotting strawberries… and [deep bass voiceover] “Imagine A World Without Jam”…

…and Claude or Bruno or whatever his or her name is- What do we care? We’ll never meet anyone with those names again- Claudia or Brunhilde will shudder and she’ll dip into her jam and thank her lucky yellow stars. But remember this, that jam she’ll be eating will be subject to EU regulations. And do you know what that means? For the purposes of EU regulations that jam she’s eating- I mean we won’t have any jam but if you could imagine there was such a thing as jam in some far distant place like France- that jam Brunhilde is eating could, according to EU regulations, be made from cucumbers or sweet potatoes or radishes. All those things they define as jam, made from some faceless Brussels bureaucrat’s idea of fruit… Cucumber jam! Imagine…

So, all things considered, on balance, it’s probably quite a good thing we’re leaving.

Children In Need 2009

Essentially Human

“It either is or it isn’t” they said, fingering the holes between stitches in the murderer’s cardigan. Of course it never was. Although, if it ever had been, there was not nor could there be ‘essence of murderer’ upon it. But could you get one person to put on that cardigan? No you could not.

Humans not only are confused by false essences, this way of looking at the world is central to our psychology. That is, not looking at what IS but in terms of persistent, even transferable, features that we logically know are not real let alone persistent. At best we simultaneously hold Einstein’s pen knowing it cannot make us smarter yet at the same time feeling it must. You’ll note we could not have magic without this phony essentialist psychology and if we could not have magic we could not have religion.

Perhaps we could not have complex social behaviour. Our friend Julia must persist, we must have a narrative of her, even though each moment in its coming into being is a death, a negation of what came before.

It may even be that there can be no consciousness without psychological essentialism, for consciousness is the ultimate persistence at odds with material facts.

In a universe that constantly bifurcates, if that is so, psychological essentialism is being and becoming, the mystical bond between worlds. Yet from this view, the real question becomes an unanswerable chicken and egg. Do we choose freely or are all choices caused? In other words, does Will have some ontological reality that brings our world into being, an imposition upon discrete material? Or, is Will the illusion, the essentialism that makes stories, somehow arising from the fully conditioned material phenomena that constitute a thinking entity?

All this abstraction is only my way of coping with the ugliness of those who, angrily, insistently, want to decide who is in and who is out based on notions of race, womanhood, or sexuality that have nothing to do with anything but crude stories of those concepts, and snap judgements as to who are the acceptable characters in those stories.

“It either is or it isn’t” he/she said, fingering the holes between stitches in the murderer’s cardigan. Every storyteller must embrace duality, and every good storyteller must unpick it.

The anger is blood rising into the face. That I see, the hateful face. All the different expressions of anger. There is no discussion here. Had I not been lulled by alcohol, I would have been able to continue to sidestep a pointless topic. There was never any hope of persuasion or understanding. I’m disappointed that I allowed myself to get dragged down even in the slightest.

They make various attempts to explain, essentially, why flight is required of birds. As the good professor said, you don’t get to use biology to justify bigotry, it’s far too weird for that.

Now, the chemical cocktails, those I don’t see. If I had taken myself away and thought of the beauty of the chemistry of anger, all that makes the head go purple, I would have been fine. Yet how do you transport away from the insistent narrative of those people, nominally friendly acquaintances, who are furious, every single one?

You break it down, break the world down, accept that threats are perceived where there are none, and, simply, that you don’t ever have to listen to a single minute of that ever again.

“No, that is not what I mean!”. That is to be human but you don’t have to drown in anyone else’s shit. People disappoint. The number of friends you have depends on how you look at it. Unpicking the holes between stitches, it’s a constant.

Party Politics

Party politics is millionaire MPs justifying why they voted to deny disabled people a reasonable quality of life. Party politics is “I know the country isn’t a meritocracy but” where what follows is the unconscious belief in why you deserve the property portfolio, the large salary, to be wined and dined, the expensive clothes, the restaurants several times a week… while making up excuses for “pragmatism” that are entirely down to your own mindset, that ole middle class self interest.

Party politics is smiling politely and using the right knife. It’s where our status quo is better than their status quo. It’s where those who have the least are accused of tyranny, ill discipline, and unfairness against high earning owners of prime real estate. It’s where white middle class sticklers in tiny secretive committees replicate society by dispensing “discipline” to outspoken black women and the wrong sort of Jew.

Party politics is where minority interest groups shut down the interests of minorities.

Party politics is being told to play nice with the friends of proto-Fascists because “We Are All The Party”.

Party politics is a wheedling ghost in my ear using every dirty trick to protest against my part in its downfall. Yet it was not me who killed the comfortable life for the middle. I’m just here with a mirror. And a knife which could never entirely be to your liking.

Party politics is a swelling mass movement, a new broom, bright light on the cobwebs, the release of steam, the new found confidence of the left, seeing through the games, dragging the leviathan screaming, half a million scalpels, the collective drive to a new universalism that is the only efficient future that doesn’t require the subjugation of the masses.


I miss people still who are no longer part of my life. I won’t mention them all (especially the most obvious one, the one I miss most of all) but, for example, I was out with a friend today and we were talking about Alexandra Palace. It is a place that holds so many good memories for me. I went for my first date with EW there. For all the heartache and conflict that came after,  that was a day that was lovely, relaxed, loving. It wasn’t the only one we had. I will always treasure walking on that sunny day between the trees, full of optimism, enjoying each other’s company. 

Friends and lovers and family have arrived and disappeared. 

Family holidays. Visiting a steam train. Floating  in the sea. Watching laughing and smiling as the ten year old is both excited by and nervous about the fish who want to nibble the dead skin from his toes. Cuddling in bed. The jokes. The understanding. So many memories that will always be a part of me, good and bad. Real. Whatever has happened with others, whatever they have done to me or whatever  they think of me now, genuine moments, moments of delight, intimacy,  and warmth shared with other humans. I wouldn’t want to lose access to them.  Those people I have had those connections with I could never stop caring about them, beyond any anger and arguments, flaws and all. And I wouldn’t want to. 

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