Zengin’s Pride

Deep in the heart of the ancient woods, two slimy hermaphrodites were sharing a slimy embrace, suspended high in the air above a carpet of woodland leaves and mulch. Fuelled with strange invertebrate desire, they hung from a string of mucus like an umbilical cord and spiralled and pirouetted and danced through the night. For hours on end they hugged and kissed and smooched and cried together. They lost themselves in each other’s slippery skins and tasted each other’s slime until one final burst of enthusiasm that marked the conclusion of their meeting. The atmosphere pervaded with awkwardness all of a sudden. Immediately the two slugs were incapable of eye contact. It was now time to go separate ways. With their teeth like clandestine guillotines they severed the cord and dropped to the ground and slid away in opposite directions like they had never known each other. No goodbyes were uttered. They plunged into the darkness, never to meet again.

Hoot-hooooot. Yellow eyes glowing in the distance, between the leaves without blinking. Fast-forward to the night of our protagonist’s birth. The momentous night. A litter of slime in the dark. Hoot-hooooot. Yellow eyes glowing in the distance. A pale and translucent thing at first; the colour a gentle light blue, nestled into the rotten undergrowth, among others, all feeble little sacks- some without motion. Hoot-hoots in the distance. Yellow eyes glowing between the leaves.  Two slugs remained, one sizeable and full of life. The other a runt, pathetic, soon to expire. His mother stared only at one, who she has named Zengin. Hoot-hoooootShe rejected the other slug, and gave all her attention to its superior. Yellow eyes.

The owl is coming!” uttered the maternal slug, covering her favourite son with a leaf as she saw the flapping of wings through the needled branches of the pine. The young slug was devoured in one peck. Zengin watched from a gap under the leaf as the owl finished chewing, and then slowly rotated his head as he locked on its prime target, who on this occasion had not the haste to escape. Zengin’s mother’s shouted to her son one last time “be proud, Zengin. You are the greatest!”. The owl then scooped her up with his claws and cackled to himself as he dived into the air.

“Bless my feathers! I do love the fat ones. This’ll feed the kids for a whole week. Hoot hoot!”

From this point onwards, Zengin was left on his own to confront the world, however barbarous. All that he had to take with him were those precious words uttered by his mother. Being too young to understand the concept of hyperbole, he regarded them as infallible, as literal truth. Be proud at all costs. You are the greatest. As soon as Zengin could develop thoughts, they were exclusively self. Or I. Or me.

The young mollusc soon left the leaf under which he had viewed the slaughter of his mother, and got on with his life. He feasted on all of the rotten treasures of the woodland until he increased in size and strength, and his muscles began to show. God I’m handsome, he thought to himself. The mollusc purchased designer clothes from brands such as Ralph Lauren and Paul Smith God I’ve got style, the mollusc thought. The mollusc soon met other slugs of a similar age and established a clique full of admirers God I’m popular, the slug thought. The mollusc began to have dalliances with other youthful and exuberant slugs God I’m a stud. He watched his children grow up God my children are better than everyone else’s. The mollusc began to read the poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, William Wordsworth, William Blake and George Gordon Byron. God I understand poetry, he thought. It was only a matter of time before the keen mollusc took up a pen himself. The mollusc composed an epic poem of twenty eight thousand lines titled The Eternal Quest of Zengin the Perfect Slug. God my verses are delicately cadenced, I’ve outdone Dante! were his thoughts on this occasion. Nobody read them of course; It’s just a shame nobody is intellectual enough to appreciate this emphatic work. The hubris was frightful and burned bright like phosphorus, and was equally corrosive, as we will soon learn.

The slug began to develop an insatiable sense of anger at the world, the world which he deemed to be insignificant for a slug of his intellectual capacity. But most of all he felt that his excellence was constantly unrecognised. In his bohemian slug circles he began to vocalise his thoughts about the pretentiousness and lack of ability that surrounded him. He ended up telling a slug with a liking of impressionism to “fuck himself” for refusing to make him the subject of all of his paintings. “Impressionism is shit anyway. An impressionist picture of a family of slugs eating a dock leaf is just a regular picture of a family of slugs eating a dock leaf, only slightly more blurry. Paint me, and you must not ever blur what is immaculate as it is.” The disgruntled impressionist slug left the society and was never seen again. 

Soon the community began to realise that this Zengin slug was a most arrogant creature, whose thoughts were always completely concerned with himself. Thoughts that were descending into chaos! Why won’t they provide my food for me and attend me at all times? Soon became Why won’t they make me their Monarch? Soon became Why won’t they worship me like a deity? He was insufferable. They soon banished him from their circles.

Inflamed with rage and disappointment, Zengin decided to take a stand, and make his voice heard. Crowds of slugs were congregating to discuss routine political matters, and Zengin the slug, wearing a T-shirt with a pseudo-iconic picture of his own face on the front, climbed onto the top of the tallest dock leaf and commanded the attention of the populace, rudely interrupting a discussion regarding tax credits. 

“Zengin stands before you. Worship me you pathetic slugs. I am the best. You are all worthless molluscs spawned from your mothers purely for the purposes of following my designs,” there was an intrusive silence. “I am the righteous dictator”. Each sentence took what felt like a life time.

“I am the greatest.”

The crowd had already grown tired of his grandiosity, “Are you not also a mollusc?” a little leopard coated slug dared interrupt from the back of the crowd. Slugs speak every bit as slow as they move.

“No. I am no mollusc,” if not slower.

“What are you then?” another slug, flummoxed by Zengin’s words gave in reply.

“I am a celestial deity in the form of a slug,” some slugs laughed in response, others were growing irritable and murmured to themselves their discontent and embarrassment.

“PROVE IT!!!” they all roared.

“Does not my mastery of oratory demonstrate this clearly enough to your impoverished brains?”

A long pause, “no.”

“Well what must I do?”

A fat slug with short stubby antennae addressed the proud orator.

“You say you are celestial and a deity and not a slug like the rest of us. Surely you must therefore be immortal?”

“Yes, immortal. I am yes.”

“Then we shall pour salt upon your flesh, and watch you return unscathed. Then we shall worship you unconditionally, for as long as our miserable lives may transpire.”

“How insolent of you to even require proof. Do you not know it in your souls when you gaze into my eyes, my eyes heroic like lion’s eyes on stalks?”

“Not really,” the fat mollusc replied with ambivalence.

“Oh as you please. Bring me the salt. You will see. Oh you will see that I am invincible.”

The slugs congregated and after eleven long hours of acquiring salt granules and carefully placing them on a dock leaf, which they carried to the spot where Zengin remained standing, facing the slug crowd in what he believed to be an imperious stance. The slugs violently beat their drums and violently waved their torches in the air. They drank beer and ate popcorn (sweet flavour)

The fat slug with the stubby antennae saw this as an opportunity to make money so took it upon himself to open a betting shop, and take bets on the outcome. Most backed death. The queue stretched further than the eye could see. It is rumoured that even a number of snails came to view the spectacle. And the other slugs were too captivated too notice. They were consumed and in a frenzy.

Zengin was not intimidated by the mob, and stood strong, laughing at the gormlessness of the crowd. The crowd were divided in their chants, some roared for Zengin’s divine rulership, others for his demise. Some wanted divine revelation, others simply the gore of death. The dock leaf full of salts –carried on the shoulders of eight labouring slugs– was moving ever closer to the mollusc orator by the hour. Zengin was not phased and stood magnanimously on the his rock. He imagined that this image of him would remain the most prevalent and revered image for the future of not only slugs, but all molluscs alike. The gastropods, the chitons, the bivalves, the cephalopods- they would all remember the image of Zengin on the rock. Some slugs took it upon themselves to video the event on their camera phones, others drew portraits. Some merely watched intently, waiting.

“Salt!”, “SALT!!!” they screamed.

“You shall see. You shall see pathetic ones. You shall see,” Zengin responded.

The slugs who were administering the salt couldn’t help but portray their enthusiasm. It was not often they had the opportunity to potentially destroy a fellow slug for sport. Zengin lay next to the leaf, unwavering and motionless. With smiles on their faces, the slugs began to tilt the leaf while the crowd was catapulted into ecstasy.

The first granule fell onto Zengin’s back. The second. The third. Then the rest. The eight began their journey to the other side of the leaf to witness the results. The crowd fell silent as the granules began to slide down the dock leaf towards Zengin’s back. 

Yellow. Then came the swoop and in a matter of seconds the young slug was in the talons of the same owl. As they flew off into the trees, Zengin shouted to the crowd at the top of his lungs.

“Zengin is the greatest, and will be resurrected!”

“Shut up little slime! Hoot hooooot!” replied the owl as he carried off his dinner.

Gareth Southgate: The Cool Cat

When everyone’s having a hard time… when things are going bad… when the citizens have lost faith in their leadership… when Godzilla comes to town every two years and tears the place to pieces and you reconstruct the towers over and over again, only for them to be destroyed in that same fashion… an inescapable cycle… that’s right… when right in front of your eyes your dreams are pecked out of you like the very liver of Prometheus; left to suffer on the side of a mountain for eternity, his liver constantly regenerating, only to be ravished again and again by the vultures… a nation afflicted by an indomitable curse…you begin to question why you even bother anymore…

And then all of a sudden, a cool cat suits up, puts on his cufflinks and comes to the rescue.

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Now I was delighted when I discovered that Big Sam had become the manager. I thought he was the man for the job. I thought we could do with a bit of rigour, a bit of Big Sam-like ferocity. And what’s sad is, he wanted it more than anything. His whole career was leading up to that job and when he finally earned it, he was too stupid and too greedy to keep it. We became a managerless laughing stock. Candidates for the full time managerial position were a motley crew of rising and decaying stars, nobody striking as truly worth the cataclysmic investment needed for an official appointment- no Messianic figure was waiting in the wings. It was simply a case of; Gareth, you’re up.

Step up a charming young gentleman with greater experience than many might give him credit for. A vicious old school British centre half, reviled by some for his penalty miss, and revered by others (Villa and Boro supporters) for his inspirational captaincy, winning two League Cups and leading two small time clubs into the UEFA Cup. Some think that Gareth is a tame, docile beast, but some are wrong. Others know better, like Roy Keane for example, who still claims that the belligerent centre half attempted to break his legs, before stamping on him. You only need to look Gareth’s hair from those days to realise that that is the hair of a fucking nutcase.

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When then high-flying Boro manager, Steve Mclaren was called to take the England job, Gareth was called upon to manage the side at the age of thirty six — and seized the challenge with both hands– passing with flying colours for three seasons. Following this he took a break to relax, drink lager and think tactics. Three years later, he took control of the U21 side, gaining a vast knowledge of the youth of English football in a successful three year stint.

With 2016 came the biggest hurdle of all, the footballing job of everybody’s nightmares. Like us, Gareth has seen England managers come and go and ebb and flow and rise and fall to their deaths. They have a habit of signing off in the most ignominious of circumstances, desperately clutching an umbrella, resignation speech prepared pre-match, or negotiating a needless trip to the Middle East with a fictional agency in an upmarket boozer.

But Gareth was not daunted by the liquid of the poisoned chalice. The country called for Gareth, and Gareth did what was right. With a truly Gareth-esque swagger he grew a beard and took responsibility. To accept all of the aforementioned positions inherently implies inborn leadership skills, but more importantly; the man is ice cold in the face of a challenge, and not afraid to lay down his life for the cause.

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Even contemplating Gareth is enough to get me thinking up a bunch of words I associate with him that I’d never normally get to use – Gareth is saviur faire in the way he conducts himself in interviews, he appears suave in his risky, debonair waistcoat, Gareth is aplomb in the way he carries his body as he walks up to the touchline, Gareth oozes sangfroid from his pores. He is cooler than the proverbial cucumber.

The curse may not withdraw. We may go down like we always have, the doomed nation, shackled to disappointment. But I say if we are going to go down, we might as well go down under the leadership of a cool cat. And as we’ve agreed, that is certainly what we’re dealing with here.

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Cobwebs and Blancmange

I had invited myself to stay over at a girl’s apartment. I don’t know why. She was a girl I used to like at school. I couldn’t remember spending the night there, I just remember when I got into her bed I saw that all around it was surrounded by cobwebs, little spiders and flies. On arrival there was a little show for me actually; a blue and red insect was enveloped in a little web that went upwards at the foot of the bed like a tube. It looked like a ghostly pitcher plant. Before I could take the time to mourn the insecticide, I noticed it start to sway and shake, and I was waiting for the wily arachnid to appear and engulf it at any moment, you know the way they do- get all on top of it, paralyse it with a bit of venom, wrap it up and then suck up the insides. But there was no spider, and the ladybird just waggled and waggled its way out then bust out of the web and flew off, increasing in size as it did so. I watched as it flew out of the door. It may have been missing a few legs, but at least it was free. It would have been all right now. Maybe.

I had dreaded staying in that little single bed, surrounded with cobwebs. I thought, I’m going to ask her, ‘does all this not bother you at all?’. Then I must have gone to bed at some point, I don’t remember. I woke up and entered the kitchen to discover it was painted yellow. Her partner was there. I knew she had a new partner, but I didn’t know it was a chick. Funny how people just turn into lesbians sometimes. I just went along with it.

I approached the yellow cupboard to make myself some breakfast, with my towel wrapped around my waist. For some reason the only thing I noticed in the cupboard was a shot glass of yellow and pink blancmange, which I grabbed immediately, with a small bottle of milk.

Is that even how you make blancmange?

Is blancmange even particularly suitable for breakfast?

I felt pretty comfortable, like I could just stick one of those Jonas Rathsman mixes on, Elements, and then just dance around the kitchen while I did my thing to some nice, funky, colourful techno.

I thought I’d say good morning, and ask ‘are we all right?’

Her response- ‘You do realise I play rugby for Oxford?’

It was a killer that one was. I broke into awkward laughter, ‘why would you say that?!’

She didn’t know how to answer. I noticed she was quite an attractive blonde girl. However, all was not well- she had been indoctrinated, she was wearing a dark blue hoodie that was probably one of those ‘University’ brands, or a leaver’s hoodie from one of those private schools that make their students feel like a million dollars purely because their parents are stuck up enough to send them there. She was one of those who wasn’t up to her own life, she was defeated by herself at every turn. Life is like a video game, and some people simply aren’t good enough, so they only get so far, and get killed on the same level, by the same monster, over and over and over again. It must be so demoralising, but they carry on trying.

She definitely had a horse.

‘I just wanted to make that clear.’

This one hated me, absolutely hated me. She must have told her everything about me. This one probably had very good reason to be skeptical about me, but contemplating rugby tackling me was extreme. I realised my blancmange was only slightly increasing in thickness with the milk I added, so I kept adding more and achieving the same awful results.

‘All right to jump in the shower after I’ve made breakfast?’

‘Another shower?’

‘No,’ said the unfamiliar lesbian.

‘No worries.’

‘You used my towel yesterday didn’t you?’ asked the girl whom I used to be so fond of those many years ago.

‘Yeah,’

‘I bet it stinks now!’

I thought to myself- ‘why would it stink if I used it to dry myself after showering?’

They kept quarrelling with each other about things. I could only hear murmurs and groans.  I didn’t listen, but then she spoke to me.

‘Stay in my bed last night did you?’ she snapped.

‘Yeah I assumed it would be okay?’

‘Well it’s not,’ I remember that stare. I tried not to look back, lest I turn to stone.

‘So how do you make blancmange, does it just set eventually or does it go in the microwave or…?’

‘I’m fed up of this,’ the Oxford lesbian stormed off, grabbing the keys to one of those Fiats that all girls of about that age seem to drive. She looked distressed, but deep down you could tell that she relished making a scene. It was probably her greatest form of self expression.

The remaining one then groaned from the kitchen table, all stressed and in her pyjamas. She had a series of application forms in front of her and you could tell she didn’t understand what any of them meant. She’d have been better off tearing them to pieces. She ended up sweeping them off the table onto the empty chair opposite, then started groaning again.

‘Do you ever think about getting a life?’

‘Well that was awfully abrupt of you.’

‘Well, do you?’

‘Isn’t it a bit early in the morning for questions like that?’

I looked down at what I was doing in shock. I left the shot glass on the side by the fridge, and had since acquired a butter tub full of more blancmange, and was adding beetroot to one side. It turned into a beet coloured mess, but I was persevering. It was frightening.

She was getting animated now. She was clearing undergoing an identity crisis. I wish I knew who I was sometimes too.

‘I cleaned up your room for you. There were cobwebs everywhere, and spiders corpses and God knows what.’

‘I don’t care!’

I paused for a brief period, sighing at what I had created on the work surface. The horror. The unprecedented purple and yellow horror. I sighed.

Everything was so yellow, so horribly yellow all of a sudden. The walls, the floor, the ceiling. 

‘You really have transformed into a very miserable and nasty person haven’t you?’

 

The Rise of Intellechno

We are the most intellectual species the planet has ever been home to, and it’s about time we started acting like it.

We’ve all been to stomp nights, where the music sounds like gravel. It goes like this…

 

Stomp, Stomp, Stomp, STOMP

Stomp, Stomp, Stomp, STOMP

 

or perhaps the very similar but ever so slightly different…

 

STOMP, Stomp, Stomp, Stomp

STOMP, Stomp, Stomp, Stomp

 

then maybe the chorus comes in and another emphasised STOMP takes you all by surprise…

 

STOMP, stomp, STOMP, Stomp…

‘Oof.’

‘Woahh, isn’t this guy clever.’

‘Yes, he is, yes.’

 

So again, it’s the same track, but slightly different. And when you get that something slightly different your response is to be relieved, or even, in extreme cases, become so deluded as to think that what you’re listening to is progressive. ‘See what that guy did there’. Listen to me now children, it’s not progressive. It’s not even techno. It’s just banging. Literal banging.

The fact is, it just isn’t intelligent enough is it? To make a combination of stomps and put them in a slightly different order then repeat them over and over again, and then for the next song, to slightly alter the stomp sequence, and then continue this for the rest of the set.  Oh Christ. I went to see Sidney Charles, Sante, and Syrossian 32B at Rainbow and heard the most cacophonous, rugged, most unintelligent, banging ever to be produced by the speakers of Man. And regarding the people who were stood about- Oh colossal hordes of the vilest simpletons! I bet they couldn’t even point to the UK on a map, let alone the Ukraine! The crowd they were attracting were shouting things like ‘oi, oi, oi!’ and playing with an inflatable hammer. We are the most intellectual species the planet has ever been home to, and it’s about time we started acting like it.

So thank God for Artists like Tale Of Us, Mind Against, Recondite, Fur Coat, Scuba, Locked Groove,  Solomun, SevenDoors, Stephan Bodzin, Adana Twins, Clarian, Eagles and Butterflies, DJ Tennis (and many more) for coming up with a new genre altogether, known colloquially as ‘intellechno’, a kind of techno designed for the most intellectual of techno fans, like me, my friend from uni, Ben (Fryll) and Shen.

So last Saturday night I grabbed my encyclopedia and my scientific calculator and went to see Tale Of Us at the Black Box, and have never been quite so intellectually stimulated as I was by the quality of that techno, the variety of sounds, the minimalism, the spaced out synths, it’s no wonder that so many fans and producers of this new sub-zero cool techno eventually end up turning into professors at Ivy League institutions. The music takes you on a journey, abandoning the childish constrictions of the ‘funky’. I’m telling you now, fuck disco. The world ain’t a happy place most of the time, and life is inherently sad, which is why in order to consolidate for this, we need an injection of a few sad particles, like a vaccine. We come to terms with the melancholy, and thus, we are uplifted. This is our way of becoming immune to sadness. Music has tremendous healing capabilities, it’s cathartic, like Greek tragedy. Just ask Aristotle, he loves melodic tech.

So yeah, fuck disco. Life for me isn’t disco with its smothering sense of ‘joy’, it’s slowness and its ‘musical instruments’.

Nor is life hip hop, I can’t relate to your disgusting anti-shakespearean use of language, your gang-based lies, your bragging about your car, or your trainers. Yes I can imagine Brooklyn can be a very inhospitable environment, but why do you think I’m interested? I don’t care. Turn it off please Dean, there’s a good lad.

Grime is initially enticing, because I admire the audacity of any genre that prides itself off it’s filthiness, where its artists spend all day slagging off each other’s mums and spitting at one another, it’s a nice extended metaphor, very amusing, but let’s not get carried away, that isn’t us either. Do you wear those jeans? When you think of a battle, do you think Pro Green or Gladiator? Yeah that’s what I thought. Anyway…

Chart music is for impressionable children and confused adults.

House isn’t a thing.

Garage is cheaper than chip shop chips, purchased with discount.

Jazz is something that happened many, many years ago and is currently in the process of fossilisation, with very few people caring.

Metal is for people who are mentally ill or feral.

All of these genres have produced some utterly incredible music, fantastic art work, clever lyrics and some fiery beats, but that’s in the past now. I’m not done with it, I’ll go back there every now and again, but not often, because the last thing I want to do is live in the past. It’s time to move on. It’s time to progress. It’s time to develop. It’s time to change the record. Those people who change the track at parties, demanding to play something they know from the past, they want shooting on the spot. That would show them. Regressive hunks of flesh, wandering about, desperately seeking the AUX cable, too dumb to realise that they’re massively interfering with our intellectual development. Who even invites these people?

I just want to listen to some nice, hygienic, melodic, intense intellectual music, and that’s exactly what I am doing, back at the flat, hanging up the washing, in the shower, when I’m out and about, whilst praying, at the rave itself, wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, it’s paradise. Find a proper mix from any of the intellectual artists listed above, and listen to the stuff they play. There is not one sound to it is not beautiful, not one note which is superfluous, not one key that does not resonate inside the throbbing intellectual human brain.

You go to see any of these intellectual artists and you realise that this stuff is it (needless to say, I had the best time of my entire life on Saturday, plaudits also deservedly attributed to ShenChop and the Black Box for being devastating, as usual).

Music has to generate intensity, it is intensity which makes music captivating, distinctive, and it is intensity that drives crowds absolutely bat-shit-crazy with euphoria. And you know when that kind of euphoria happens, it’s like a Revelation. Like God has popped in to the building to say hello to his Creation. And he saw that is was proper techno.

This doesn’t happen a lot, and it’s difficult to describe to people who weren’t there or haven’t witnessed such a spectacle before, they’ll tell you they’ve seen it before whilst watching Kerri Chandler or Richy Ahmed, or in Church on a Sunday and you just have to sigh and then go home and bang your head up against the toaster until you stop caring as much.

I’ve seen it first hand and I know what it’s like.

It’s like this.

 

‘We’re going outside!’

 

 

 

 

5 Exciting Alternatives To Pokemon GO

Pokemon GO isn’t for everyone. Yes- in our youths we may have immersed ourselves in the wonderfully diverse and intricate world of pocket monsters, swapping cards on the playground and sitting on the sofa playing on our Game Boys all day. But 15 years later, we know that walking around in zombie mode, smartphone in hand, playing on a highly infantile Black Mirror-esque application isn’t the only way to enjoy exploring the real world. Here are a series of alternative suggestions for you if you feel like you’re missing out.

  1. Set up a series of large metal traps with gaping razor sharp jaws in built up areas, such as shopping centres and car parks- Potential catches can be anything from pigeons, rats or even citizens who could potentially be playing Pokemon Go themselves. If like myself and unlike American people, you enjoy irony, then the potential rewards here speak for themselves.

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    The Bullring is one of the most coveted areas for creature trapping in the whole of the Midlands.
  2. Buy a package of tranquillising blow-darts off the deep web and go hunting- Go to the woods and shoot a series of woodland creatures, take them home, and put them in a small cage. When they wake up, watch them all fight to the death, then choose to train the winner. It will most likely be the badger, a species of animal which can quickly be taught moves such as Cut, Dig, and Bite (as a move Bite can be particularly effective, as the badger bite, whilst being extremely strong, will also infect the opponent with tuberculosis, leading to imminent consumption and death). Badgers are also known to provide great companionship and with a decent one you would laugh your way through any real life equivalent of the Pokemon League. (FACT: There are so many Pokemon based on badgers, you have no idea).

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    Just have a look at this. They’ve even got a honey badger variant. But let’s not allow ourselves to get carried away here – LordoftheReeves.com would like to take this opportunity to make readers aware that we do NOT in any way endorse making the trip to Africa, Southeast Asia or the Indian subcontinent to tranquillise a honey badger because it would FUCK you up if you did. Those things are volatile killing machines and would tear you to pieces in a matter of seconds and with no provocation. Whether they can be cultivated and trained by humans is yet to be discovered, but personally, as a moderately sane human being, I sure as hell wouldn’t want to find out.
  3. Collect bottle tops- Collectors often report that this can be a deeply rewarding, often spiritual practice. Make sure that every top is of a different design, and that there are no duplicates copies in your collection. As you would expect, collecting involves visiting a lot of drinking establishments, and therefore consuming a lot of alcohol, which might ultimately distract you from the fact that we are living in the age of the apocalypse and we’re all doomed, which is perhaps the reason why people have become dependant upon these God-awful apps in the first place. And if you’re teetotal, you can always encourage friends or family whom you don’t particularly care about to discover the joys of alcoholism, and then get them to collect the tops for you in exchange for liquid rewards.

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    While all the idiots are staring at their iPhones and accidentally stumbling upon rotting corpses in the bottom of quarries in Massachusetts, you can be creating a vibrant mosaic to decorate the floor of your sauna.
  4. Put your smartphone in the microwave just to see what happens.

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    Could be fun?
  5. Read a book.

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A plea to kick the dandelion right in the head

To the exclusive few of you reading this who take the time to read and appreciate the work that I put on my website, I am very thankful. Of course, writing is what I love doing, and I absolutely love the freedom that having my own website allows (and I might add that the website is looking sharper and more organised than ever right now, with a smooth white theme and a series of CATEGORIES for posts in HYPER-LINK FORM), freedom to write whatever nonsense (or sense) that I want, how ever I want to do it. You will undoubtedly understand that almost everything I write is completely unpublishable elsewhere due to its unconventionality, so thanks to Lordofthereeves.com, all of this extraordinary stuff is given the opportunity to exist.
But it’s not all sweetness and light I’m afraid. It may not come as a surprise to you, but my readership is very poor, which is deeply dissatisfactory to me, considering the amount of time and work that goes into some of my posts. I only have 270 friends on Facebook to share my posts with, most of whom are probably terrified of me anyway and think I’m some kind of monster, not to be encouraged. LordoftheReeves.com is effectively a barren wasteland, which does leave me questioning why on Earth I bother with it sometimes.
So please, if you enjoy something that I’ve done, it makes you laugh or encourages you to think about something differently or in a new way, which is all that I ever hope for, share it with your friends, online or with your mouths or whatever. Kick the dandelion head and let the wind take the seeds to new realms and dimensions. That way, I can keep on going with this stuff, improve and produce better and better work, and more regularly. Then maybe, hopefully, possibly make our gloomy planet ever so slightly the better for it 🙂

White shores and beyond- the perpetual anti-climax

Nothing is ever as good as you hope it will be. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but after experiencing a lot of life, one has to accept that everything eagerly anticipated, on occurrence, is ultimately destined to be a disappointment. This is the attitude that many of my friends now take, they expect failure, and therefore make lifestyle decisions in favour of the familiar, the comfortable, the easy. They think they’re being clever, in limiting disappointment, choosing the reliable old damage-limitation approach. You must protect yourself from the perpetual anti-climax at all costs!

Conservatism.

This is a stance I’ve desperately tried to avoid taking all of my life. And for reasons that I still consider to be entirely valid. Having this position of scepticism is bad for a number of reasons I can think of, because

  1. It precludes being adventurous, achieving high goals, doing interesting things, taking risks. It makes life boring.
  2. Life itself would be not worth living unless it is something that can potentially continually improve with time.
  3. It’s arguably a highly cowardly perspective, as it is a form of giving up in the face of adversity.
  4. There is simply far too much to be lost, and so little to be gained. Every day is a thousand failed opportunities. Understanding the extent of these missed opportunities would be agony to our minds if only we knew what we have missed due to our habitual laziness, cowardice, stubbornness, arrogance and ignorance.

I’ve been an idealist, a romantic, a panglossian fool. I’ve written the scripts in my brain and then the play never happens, or if it does happen it’s a twisted, dull simulacrum of what I intended, and all of a sudden I’m starkly reminded that I’m not a character in a 19th century Russian novel or a TV series (that probably doesn’t even exist anyway but I still wholeheartedly believe in my chimerical brain I will probably write, star in and recreate in my actual life). I finally  decide to speak to the girl in my seminar who seems nice, handsome, dresses cool, appears to have a personality, and she answers my questions as briefly and abruptly as possible, gradually quickens her walking pace and says “Dave, is that you?” then takes the first opportunity she can to escape out of the nearest fire exit.

Another instance of disappointing reality vs Utopian dreams (and the former resoundingly crushing the latter into a thousand pieces)- last weekend one of my friends’ vast, lovely house was vacant and available for a gathering, which I allowed myself to be optimistic about for weeks. Ooh yes! We can get the decks, put them on the vast expanse of work surface in the kitchen and my little friend who knows how to DJ, the only person who listens to the same music as me, can plug in his USB stick of meticulously curated IDM tracks (yes, intelligent dance music is actually a genre [and overshadows the deceptive and meaningless blanket term ‘techno’ which is no good to any of us]) and we can all take the right drugs and all dance together and all really get down to someone like Joris Voorn or Solomon and everyone will smile together and it will conjure ‘one of those moments’ – the moments we constantly seek.

The night before this was going to take place, in a drunken state I sent a long and grotesquely mawkish text to all of my friends who were coming, emphasising the importance of the occasion. It encouraged attendants to honour the occasion, treating it as if it was a proper rave with an emphasis on dancing and loads of other things I can no longer remember, as I deleted it from my phone as soon as I got the chance. And deservedly, the next day I was under heavy scrutiny, at risk of being righteously lambasted by anyone and at any second. The execution was despicable, but behind the horribleness, was hope.

What eventually transpired was a complete disaster, descending into mindless techno- warfare and nothingness. My mate with the USBs decided he ‘couldn’t be bothered to DJ’ and was nowhere to be seen, preferring to dissolve into a bag of coke for the evening. A couple of my friends played some nice stuff but truth be told, it was never what I hoped for. In a flurry of contempt I ran over to the cutlery draw and withdrew two of the largest knives I could find and threatened to stab him if he continued to play music.

Following this we were scattered across the house, no one knew where anyone was, there was a couple or a threesome in the dark corners of every bedroom. There was no certainty, and no unity. Many lost interest in the night altogether, some whom had travelled from far and wide to attend, and decided to leave early, preferring the comfort of their own beds. The rest of us continued to do what we were doing. It was a good night. But nowhere near good enough.  And it’s not like that’s anything new. And that’s why it’s so sad. Sooner or later, we will have lost faith altogether. Imprisoned, destined to re-enact the same dissatisfying, mechanical routine over and over again. Disappointment after disappointment. When I suggested we should perhaps invite other people to parties like this another one of my wiser friends put it well the other night when he said, ‘we can’t even socialise with each other, let alone with other people’.

I could chuck this experience in with about 5 holidays and about 3 festivals, about 3 friendships and my University experience, all of which I felt this same tedious level of dissatisfaction having finished. I’ve learned from these miscalculations. Other than a few fragmented memories of ‘happiness’ and momentary triumphs, these are mostly valuable as learning curves for me. Stark reminders not to get carried away by the rhetoric of the hedonists. Cook from Skins is not and never will be a real person. Drugs, aren’t what they purport to be. It turns out that all this idealism is is a desperation to escape, to escape one’s own life and become somebody else. And when you realise that that’s exactly what you’re going for,  you’ll realise how bollocks all of this truly is. The question still remains, should we want more or should we want to be happy with less? Is there a middle ground? We’re lost, even if we don’t realise it.

I don’t know if any of this applies to you, your life might be joy after joy as your Facebook profile suggests, with those photos of you smiling like a crocodile in your graduation robes, or standing by some idyllic beach clutching your partner’s waist like you’re indestructible, or sitting in some swanky bar with a colourful cocktail in your hand with an umbrella sticking out of it, experiencing wonder after wonder, you might be loving every single chapter of your life more and more as it unfolds. And if so, congratulations! But I fear that the reality for most people, is more akin to my anonymous character who wanders across the Island of disused electrical appliances, alone and lost, constantly telling himself that ‘it will happen’, when he knows full well, deep down that it won’t. But he hopes nonetheless, clinging to the slightest possibility that it might. If not, he’d be off to B + Q for an extension lead (toaster, bath, post-it note, biro, goodbye).

We, the hopeful are no different from the devout in that we delude ourselves with the improbable. Without doing so, life would be intolerable. But what if even this is a delusion? I should stop over thinking it and realise life is fantastic if we just sit back chill the fuck out, and enjoy the finer things. Like listening to Kiasmos or reading Larkin, taking the piss out of a horrible friend, watching Peep Show, walking through the woods, eating a delicious bowl of cereal with raisins in it, standing in the away end at football matches, taking the dog for a nice walk, playing heads and volleys (according to the proper rules) or just that massively liberating sweaty feeling after a workout when you’ve got a slimy back and soaking wet hair and the endorphins are swimming around in your brain and you’re free because you don’t have to exercise anymore for the entire day! These things will always be there and then, and then…

And then the  grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.

What? Gandalf? See what?

White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.

Well, that isn’t so bad.

No. No, it isn’t.