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Saturday, October 27, 2012

THE AFTER-AFTERLIFE


Life is kind of intertwined with the afterlife. There's usually a ghost in the room with you. Someone you know, laughing at your jokes and listening to music with you. You can't see them though. They can only see you. They are always there. Don't worry, they tend not to hang around if you're doing anything private or intimate or whatever. Ghosts largely respect privacy.

It's sad being a ghost in the afterlife. They are always alone. The world is full of ghosts but they can't see each other. It's like they are on different frequencies, like radio stations that can never listen to each other. So, you're all they have for company. They are there at family gatherings and so on, unnoticed and unnoticeable in the corner. Enjoying the craic but sad really. Did you ever see some old friends from a bus window and wave but they didn't see you as they walked on, enjoying each other's company? Being a ghost is a bit like that.

A ghost will hang around watching loved ones live their lives and then those loved ones die and the ghost is left even more alone. New people move into the building and the ghost is left watching them, like it might a new TV show that has replaced its favourite. This is when ghosts start getting bored and feeling really lonely. This is when they might knock down a picture or slam a door shut. It requires a lot of effort for a ghost to slam a door shut. They have to build up to it for weeks. It's a real event for them. They slam the door and then they observe the reaction of the living. The living usually note the oddness of the occurrence and might remark on it a few times before eventually dismissing it and forgetting all about it. The exhausted ghost's little thrill at the slight acknowledgment will pass and the ghost will sit and pant and recall how easy it once was to slam doors shut and to open them. The ghost will probably wonder which it did more of while alive: slamming doors shut or opening them. The ghost will probably regret all the doors it slammed shut during its often lovely and sometimes unlovely existence; slamming doors shut on other people, slamming doors shut on itself, and eventually having the door of life slammed shut in its face. 'Ooh, I really wasted my life', say the ghosts to themselves. This is usually when ghosts start moaning and rattling their chains and that's when the living call the exorcist and that's when another door opens for the ghost and the ghost goes through it. On the other side of this door, the ghost discovers the after-afterlife. The after-afterlife is just a load of former-ghosts (ghosts of ghosts, if you will) that no longer worry about what they did when they were alive and instead spend all their time worrying about what they did when they were ghosts. 'Ooh, I really wasted my death', say the former-ghosts to themselves. The moaning and the chain rattling starts up again at this point but there is no one to call an exorcist and, even if there was, there is nowhere to move on to. It's a noisy place the after-afterlife and it's getting more and more full.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

THE GHOST OF A LAUGH


Every Halloween all the ghosts have a fancy dress party. 'What does a ghost dress up as for Halloween?' I hear you ask. I'll tell you; at Halloween ghosts dress up as the living. Eugene (beloved husband and father, 1927 – 1988) is particularly enthusiastic. He gives everyone a good laugh, donning a wig and a suit and clomping around in heavy boots. He puts on a real show, shouting out statements like 'oh boy, I think I'm going to be late for work' and 'I'm really angry at the government'. Eugene's mockery of the piffling concerns of the living is always of great amusement to the other ghosts because the ghosts have passed on to a realm that transcends all trivia. From their vantage point, the whole of human life seems an unimportant charade. The ghosts regard living human concerns in the same way that a living adult might regard a child's concerns. A kid breaks a toy and it is the end of their world, they weep and wail and curse unjust fate, but the adult knows that it doesn't really matter. The adult knows that the kid will grow up and forget all about that toy. Likewise, the paltry triumphs and petty indignities experienced by the living every single day are regarded by ghosts as inconsequential.

The ghosts see us live, suffering or thriving, laughing or weeping, and they know it doesn't matter because they can also see the great astral engine, grinding and shaking and generally being monumental. All dwarfs in comparison to the great astral engine that powers the cosmos and beyond. So, the ghosts guffaw as Eugene mocks, pretending he is in love or at war or going for a haircut of returning a faulty product to the shops. 'I'm going to write to the newspaper about this', says Eugene, feigning outrage in his dopey living human voice and all the ghosts hold their transparent tummies and laugh and laugh and laugh. And then Eugene gets tired and sits down as spectral tears of uncanny mirth are wiped from eerie eyes. The sense of fun abates and a lull descends. 'What'll we do now?' asks Katja (beloved daughter and drug mule, 1969 – 1997). 'We could have a bit of float around the place', suggests Bill (shot for cowardice, 1891 - 1917) but no one likes that idea. They can do that anytime. It's usually around now that the ghosts once again become aware of the astral engine, churning and coughing and keeping them here for ever and ever. They may mock the trivial preoccupations of the living but, deep down in their former hearts, ghosts envy the highs and lows experienced by those still alive, no matter how naive or piddling. The ghosts miss the innocent exuberance and even the incidental despair. Ghosts envy the living in the same way an adult might envy the simplicity of a child. It may be silly but it's life. The ghosts silently reflect on this as they sit in their cloudy prison, hearing the great engine chug and being haunted themselves by the ghost of a laugh.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

THE DESIRE OF THE LIVING TO KILL


A big war was being planned in the name of freedom and patriotism and other sacrosanct and rarely interrogated concepts. In an attempt to prevent this new big war, the ghosts of all those who had died in previous wars decided to manifest, en masse, at various significant locations around the world. The idea was that the ghosts would appear and tell the living that war just isn't worth it and is a bit of a shit idea. 'We'll spook them into coming up with a better option', said one of the ghosts before they all appeared.

So, all the ghosts manifested around the world. They were quite a sight to see. The ghosts ranged from troglodytes who had come a cropper in tribal skirmishes to little kid ghosts who had recently lost their lives after stepping on land mines. Great war heroes of the past were also amongst their number and did most of the talking. The ghosts made their point clearly and then refused to leave until their advice had been adhered to.

The leaders of the living world met and discussed the dead. It was decided that the wishes of the dead were irrelevant because, unlike the wars of the past, this new war was definitely worth having due to freedom and all that. The ghosts were termed 'appeasers from beyond the grave' and it was decided that they would have to be dealt with. 'The ghosts are a threat to freedom', said a great thinker in a newspaper and this sentiment went viral and got lots of 'likes' on politics.ie and other heavyweight intellectual fora.

The militaries of the world joined forces for a time and trained in the new discipline of combative exorcism. The ghosts didn't stand a chance and were sent back to the afterlife. Then, after a global victory celebration, the nations of the world resumed their plan to embark on a big new war and did so and loads of people got killed and new ghosts were made.

Those who were made ghosts in the new war went on to the afterlife and met all the other war dead who had tried to stop them fighting. 'So, was it worth it?' the old ghosts asked the new ghosts. Some of the new ghosts, the spirits of civilian casualties mainly, agreed that the new war was not worth it and that nothing had really changed for the better in the end. Those amongst the new ghosts who had died as members of the military in the various fields of operation pointed out that the conflict may have been worthwhile as they had received posthumous medals and that those medals were shiny. The military ghosts continued in this belief until they looked down on the world of the living and observed their descendants getting their medals appraised on The Antiques Roadshow and selling them off to eccentric war enthusiasts for disappointing profits of around a tenner a piece.

Wars continued after that and they were bitterly recalled by the losers and celebrated by the winers and the medals of all sides continued to be sold for fuck all. The new wars created new ghosts and those new ghosts joined the other ghosts of former wars in the vast borough of the afterlife that is reserved for those who die due to war. 'It's getting crowded here', noted one ghost and all the other ghosts agreed but they also knew that they could do nothing about it. As much as these ghosts would like to prevent the living from prematurely dying, their desire is nothing when compared to the desire of the living to kill.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

THE SOULS OF THE DEAD

Imagine if everywhere in the world was haunted. They'd have to make TV shows about houses that weren't haunted. The shows would be called things like Britain's Most Unhaunted. 'Ooh, nothing has moved by itself for ages, creepy.' They would have seances and get really freaked out when the planchette didn't move. There would be legends of a headed horseman. Children would be scared that there is nothing under the bed. Superstitious people wouldn't like taking shortcuts through graveyards in case they didn't see a ghost. I could go on but you get the gist of it.

In a world like this ghosts would be common place. It would be accepted that you die and you become a ghost and you hang around your old haunts. In some respects it wouldn't be too bad being a ghost. The pressure would be off. You wouldn't have to earn money to feed and shelter yourself and all that. However, there would be a bad side. Ghosts stop. They stop still. They can't learn anymore. They can't understand new technology or social advances. They can't comprehend that times and preoccupations change. They can't mature or become wiser as people. They can't move on. They are like stuck records, stuck at the moment of their deaths. If they have a grievance or an issue that is unresolved it will remain unresolved. They will continue to fret and worry about it until the end of time. That's why ghosts are always seen doing the same thing, looking for someone they were parted with or whatever. Ghosts are a bit OCD.

In a world where everywhere is haunted people would accept the existence of ghosts but they would find ghosts pretty boring. 'Oh Jaysus, is he still going on about how he was wronged by his brother and thrown down the well. What a repetitive dick .' Ghosts would be considered something to be humoured and tolerated. They'd be a bit like the friends or colleagues we all have who keep banging on and on about the same thing over and over. You know the type. They get on their hobby horse and you just nod. You don't want to be rude but privately you wish they were dead. Except maybe they are dead. Maybe they keep going over and over the same ground because they are ghosts. Did you ever consider that? They'll always be there, going on and on and on and on and they'll never stop going on and on and on and on. They may be irritating but maybe you should pity them. It's sad really. You might even be a ghost yourself. Does the same shit go around and around and around and around in your head? Has this been going on for years? Well maybe you're a ghost. Maybe you're dead. If you're not dead yet you better address your obsessions. Otherwise, when you eventually do die, you'll be stuck with your obsessions until the end of time. Going on and on and on and on.

Come to think of it, I reckon I might be a ghost. I tend to just appear and corner people and moan and moan and moan about the same old crap. I'm usually moaning about the telly. Maybe in the future that's what ghosts will be seen doing – sitting in front of a spectral goggle box, continually pressing a remote control and muttering about what a useless tit Ryan Tubridy is.

I've a friend who's even worse than me. He got so repetitive it became a real problem. He became obsessed with how repetitive he was and he kept talking about it, which was very repetitive. The irony of that escaped him. He went to see a shrink about his problem. 'It's not a therapist you need, it's an exorcist', said the shrink as he walked my friend into a nearby graveyard and pointed at his tombstone. Then the shrink charged my friend €750. Being a ghost, my friend had no money so the shrink charged it to my friend's widow. She had to take the fee from the money my friend left her. She was outraged. She keeps going on about it. She'll take that grievance to her grave. And beyond.

I think I'll write about ghosts for the rest of the month because it's October and Halloween approaches. Halloween - a time when the souls of the dead return. The souls of the dead boring.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

SHITTY AFTERNOON

 
A bloke bashed a granny in the park last night. I read about it on the internet. There were comments underneath: 'bloody animal' - 'worse than an animal' - 'how would he like to be bashed in the park?' - 'what has our world come to?' - 'you wouldn't get this in Canada' 'he needs hanging' - 'we should take back our parks' - 'we should bring back the birch' - 'if people didn't go around doing this sort of thing it wouldn't happen' ...and so on. I left a comment myself. 'I hope some big lad rapes the hole off him in prison', I posted. I was banned from the website. I'm not sure what I did wrong. I was only agreeing. The injustice of the ban was upsetting me a bit so I put the thought of it out of my head.

No one mentioned the granny or how she was doing.

I turned off the computer and decided to do something else instead. Having long lost interest in television, pornography, and supposedly inspirational and thought provoking books, I decided to just sit and look out the window. A big black cloud hung over the whole shitty afternoon. The wind was hissing and bullying a load of dead leaves; booting them up the arse and causing them to flee in all directions. A crumpled crisp packet was snared in a branch of a dead tree. Mister Tayto, holding on for dear life. He lost his grip and was gone. Fwoosh! His services no longer required by the merciless Universe. Then an imagined image of the bashed granny's head came into my head. Horrible. I decided to put this head out of my head and picked up the phone and rang a friend. There was no answer. Then I rang another friend who answered and told me he couldn't talk because he was with the first friend I rang. 'What are you guys doing?' I asked/pleaded. 'We're talking about you', he said and hung up. I felt a tad offended. I didn't dwell on it. I put the thought out of my head.

I went into the kitchen and turned the kettle on. I watched it heat and boil and automatically click off. Then I left the kitchen, forgetting why I had gone in there in the first place. The thought had gone from my head. I'm sure it wasn't important, probably just a cup of tea or something. I saw an old plum I never ate; wilted, brown, bruised - a bashed granny's head. The bashed granny's head had crept back in my head. 'Begone bashed granny's head!' I roared like an exorcist banishing a demon. Then there was a knock at the front door and I hoped whoever was there didn't hear me.

I opened the door and saw the woman who lives in the nearby flat. She wanted me to go to her flat and lift something for her. I agreed and we went and I picked up the thing she wanted lifting. It was her father. He was slight, aged, and infirm. I lifted him out of a bed while she changed the sheets. The woman's father was embarrassed as I stood there holding him, his pajama bottoms all bunched up, his pale boney shins resting in the crooks of my arms, his wheezing ribs beneath a string vest. Imagine if I just went and fucked him out the window. Right in front of her. Imagine that. It'd be a disgrace. I put the thought out of my head, just like I did the thought of the bashed granny head. I wonder where my thoughts go when I put them out of my head. Do they go into someone else's head? I pity the poor head that ends up with my thoughts.

So, anyway, there I was holding this vulnerable, pulmonarily fucked, little bird man in my arms as his daughter changed his sheets. I tried to lighten the mood with a joke. 'You wouldn't last long in the park would you?', I asked the old fella. It was a rhetorical question. He looked at me with a combination of astonishment and disgust. His daughter turned and looked at me too. She looked furious. 'What kind of thing is that to say?' she asked (also rhetorical). 'What kind of man are you?' she continued, rhetorically. 'Well at least I didn't fuck him out the window', I said in my defence. There was a joint gasp from the woman and her father. Then the bird man feebly proffered a clenched fist and he threatened me. 'I'll fuck you out the window', he said. 'Ah no', I replied, 'ah no, I doubt you'd be able to manage that at this stage'. Then the woman asked me to put her father down on the bed and I did. Then she slapped me in the chops and pushed me out of her flat and into the corridor.

As I returned to my own place I passed the big window in the hall. I regarded it and then I opened it and then I jumped out of it.

I was whisked off by the wind (the wind is an awful whisker given half the chance) and I hurtled through the air with the dead leaves and crumpled Mister Tayto. Other things were also caught up in the current. Unanswered calls, unmade cups of tea, uneaten plums, and internet forum posts sped by as did dismissive remarks made by friends, inappropriate jokes, and unexpressed thoughts of flinging feeble old men out of windows. The bashed granny head I had put out of my head tumbled past too. 'There you are!' I said to the head. So, here I was with the thoughts in my head that I put out of my head. But where were we headed?

We twisted, turned, and somersaulted toward the big black cloud. The big black cloud that hung over the whole shitty afternoon. I waved at the old man and his daughter as I flew by their window. I'm not sure if they saw me. Maybe they did and just pretended they didn't. Maybe they had put the thought of me out of their heads.

I saw the inane punditry, atrophied foliage, notional beverages, unconsumed fruit, redundant snack food mascots, lengthy dialing tones, snotty dismissals, black humour, bad notions, and the bashed granny's head being sucked into the big black cloud ahead of me. I was next. I was about to discover where all us examples of intellectual and existential detritus end up. You already know of course. You can see us right now in front of you - the unwanted thoughts and purposeless products of a shitty afternoon, sitting right here in front of you in yet another blogpost. This is where my thoughts go when I put them out of my head. They go into someone else's head. They go into your head. I pity your poor head, ending up with my thoughts.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

NEW JAMES BOND FILM!


Can't wait to see the new James Bond film. He'll be blowing things up and battering lads and shooting fellas in the head. He has a punch up on the roof of a train in this one and I bet he has sex with at least two women. He'll probably have it off with one in the shower (a nice spacious shower with a secure bath mat and all that). He's fuckin great. I don't care that he works for that lot. I'm right behind him as long as he's firing the old Walther PPK and jumping off things that are too high to jump off. I hope the baddie is a bit gay too. Not that I've anything against the gays but it just seems to work if there is a hint of gayness to the baddie. The baddie should be either gay or ambiguous or really possessive and insecure when it comes to women. If the baddie isn't gay he should be mad on this woman that he keeps around the place like a cat or something but he should know that she'd rather be riding Bond and probably has and probably will again once Bond shows up and kills the baddie. That should drive the baddie mad. It's called subtext. The baddie might be trying to bring about all kinds of chaos in the world so he can profit from it in some mad way but really it's just compensation for the fact that his woman would rather ride Bond or maybe he'd like to ride Bond himself but can't because Bond isn't into fellas and hasn't ridden one since his days at Eton. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

DAVE LEE TRAVIS – NOT A PAEDOPHILE


Now then, now then, what's all this then? They are saying that Jimmy Saville was a paedophile. Goodness gracious me ladies and gentlemen, perhaps he was, perhaps he was.

Now, no one is saying that Dave Lee Travis is a paedophile and that's all well and good because there isn't the tiniest inkling that DLT (a.k.a. The Hairy Cornflake) was a paedophile. However, I think most would agree with me when I say that, despite not being a paedophile, Dave Lee Travis should be treated as if he is a paedophile. Why? Just take a look at him. I rest my case.

(There you go now, two Fugger posts in one day and it's only the afternoon. Right, I'm going back to bed.)

TIGER


                                                      (fearful symmetry)

I had a nightmare about a tiger last night. I was throwing rocks at it and trying to keep it away but I was running out of rocks. I'm not sure what it all meant. My telly license is overdue and they sent another letter so it's probably just something to do with that. Imagine being mauled by a tiger though. Seriously, could you imagine it? You'd be torn apart. It'd be all flashing fangs and claws, inches long. The noise out of the thing too, the roaring and growling, it's like an engine. And the strength of it! Jesus. It'd be like getting caught up in a combine harvester. You'd feel the flesh being ripped from your body. A tiger's paw is bigger than the average human head. It could knock your head right off your neck if it wanted to. Holy fuck, seriously, it's horrific. You wouldn't stand a chance. It doesn't bear thinking about. Why did you even bring it up in the first place? I really wish you hadn't to be honest. It's enough to give you nightmares.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

MARK E. SMITH: MODERN DAY SHAKESPEARE


Mark E. Smith, more like Mark E. Wordsmith, eh readers? I love the lyrics of Mark E. Smith and The Fall. They always make me think about things. I'm not sure what things they make me think about but I certainly think about them. There are many examples of great lyrics from the band's three hundred and forty eight year career but here are the lyrics from my favourite ditty by the band:

THE MUTTERABLE

A venn diagram. A venn diaaagraaammm.
Plastic Nepalese storage units from Nepal
made of
made of
Plastic! Yeah.

I don't like people, very much.
I don't like people verrrry muuuch.
Venn diagram. Venn diagram. Yeah.

There is no cure for the mutterable.
The mutterable of East Anglian anorak wearer.
East Anglian anorak wearer. Yeah.
On the bus. On the bus.
Rosa Parks didn't like sitting at the back very much.

I heard you fiendish and beige
A large Ulster fry. An Ulster fry.
Yeah.
An Ulster fry. On Death row in East Anglia.
We release 78 albums a year. Yeah.

I don't like people, very much.
I don't like people verrrry muuuch.
Venn diagram. Venn diagram. Yeah.

24 hour newsagents.
A packet of Fox's Glacier Mints or the Iran Contra Affair.
They named the park after Arthur C. Clarke.
His sister was Petula. She was unusual-ah.
Fox's Glarier Mints. Fox's Glacier Mints. Yeah.

Failed scent of aroma versatile
Colonel Gaddafi got stabbed in the jaxi.
He should have hailed a taxi to...
East Anglia. East Anglia. Yeah. Iran Contra Affair.
Anyway. It makes no difference to me.

I don't like people, very much.
I don't like people verrrry muuuch.
Venn diagram. Venn diagram. Yeah.

Crystal. I Ching. Kerching.
Feng shui. Hong Kong Phooey.
The future is reminiscent of the future.
The Hair Bear Bunch invited to brunch. Iran Contra Affair.
Iran Contra Affair. Yeah.

Libya is next to Sudan and I drive a Sedan.
Iran Contra Affair. Yeah.
Hatchback hunchback
Backpack wolf pack
and I'm glad John Peel is dead

I don't like people, very much.
I don't like people verrrry muuuch.
Venn diagram. Venn diagram. Yeah.
Venn diagram. Venn diagram. Yeah.
Venn diagram. Venn diagram. Yeah.
Scallions.
Venn diagram. Venn diagram. Yeah.
I don't like people verrrry muuuch.

Makes you think doesn't it? Mark E. Smith is like a modern day Shakespeare. A modern day Shakespeare muttering in his sleep. Here's another song by Mark and The Fall. Turn the volume up full and have a little dance around the room why don't you? Go on. Go on. I won't tell anyone.