All posts by Edward

The tyrannical gardener

Reading the Tale of Peter Rabbit to my infant daughter earlier, it struck me how the whole thing is basically a depressing, nihilistic story concerning the futility of popular resistance.

We hear how Peter’s father was captured in Mr McGregor’s garden and put in a pie by the tyrannical gardener, leaving Peter’s mother to raise her children alone. The poor broken woman urges her offspring to stay well clear of the McGregor premises, whereupon Peter immediately defies these instructions and heads straight for the garden. Doubtless he intends to avenge his father’s death, carving a trail of destruction through McGregor’s vegetable patch and destroying the long cultivated flowerbeds.

In the event McGregor spots him and immediately sets off on an unreasoned and obsessive pursuit of our hero, from which Peter barely escapes with his life. In a final insult, McGregor impales Peter’s coat upon a pole and sets it in his garden to serve as a grim warning as to what he will do should he ever catch the wretched rabbit.

In this tale, McGregor resembles the tyrannical state to Peter’s defiant everyman. It is not enough that McGregor has already destroyed Peter’s family and condemned them to a life of poverty, denying Peter the right to grow up with the father figure he so desperately needs, for if the rabbit even attempts to salvage a scrap of dignity the gardener will be upon him with a rabid mania intent upon denying him his very existence. There are no limits to the terror to which McGregor is prepared to subject Peter, for the gardener is completely without remorse or compassion.

And there is nothing that Peter can do about this, for McGregor is stronger, better prepared and equipped with a ruthlessness that Peter cannot even comprehend. All he can do is hide in the woods, keeping to the shadows, nursing a burning hatred and desire for vengeance which can never be quelled, only suppressed until at last he learns to accept his inferiority and realises the best he can ever hope for is that the gardener forgets he has ever existed in the first place.

Four brothers blown up by the same grenade

I remember an assignment I was given in English class at the age of 14. It was to write a letter supposedly from a First World War Tommy to his girlfriend back home. The deal was the writer had just had both his legs blown off by a bomb blast and had to write and tell his significant other about it – while asking her to marry him at the same time.

“Since I’m not able to go down on one knee or anything…”

One hundred years after the first shots were fired a new battle is being fought. Today, the subject of a similar letter detailing the feelings of the soldiers of 1914 would depend on the views of the class‘s teacher.

If the teacher is a liberal, you might expect letters like this:

“All I want is a world of equality and diversity. I want gay people to be allowed to marry, and transgender people to be able to walk down the street without being stared at like some sort of Widow Twanky. I wish they wouldn’t give us beef in the mess rooms; I yearn for some vegan tofu. Top brass won’t even lay on a prayer room for the Muslims of the battalion. Not that there are any Muslims, but that’s hardly the point is it? I hope they allocate a portion of no-man’s land for a travellers’ site when all this is over. You’d have thought with all these maimed and crippled soldiers coming in every day they’d lay on a wheelchair ramp for going over the top…”

If the teacher is a conservative:

“Which red blooded Englishman doesn’t yearn to give it to the Bosch? Is it not a God given right? Here we are saving the French again! You know what really would be a betrayal? If a few years down the line our weak-willed leaders were to sell out our sacrifices and join up with the Hun and Frogs in some sort of big bureaucratic organisation dominated by the Germans and French, in which we were subservient and forced to bend to the will of a monolithic commission!”

Everybody seems to want a piece of the dead soldiers, everybody seems to want to second guess what they were thinking, everybody wants to use their sacrifice to big up their pet cause and achieve their own ends.

I have never been comfortable with history being used to push some thinly veiled moral lesson down our throats. I should probably be writing a sombre message about sacrifice or poppies, something poignant and filled with pathos.

I leave you with a quote from the recent play and film War Horse, which probably came closer than anything to capturing the true essence of the average First World War Soldier.

“My horse! My horse! Has anybody seen my horse? I’m stepping over mounds of bodies, my best friends are being butchered in droves and the only thing I give a shit about is my fucking pet cart horse! Earlier today I saw four brothers blown up by the same grenade leaving a bereft mother back home, kids are being orphaned, the survivors scarred for life but this is nothing compared to my horse! It’s missing for crying out loud! Missing I tell you! Miiiiiiiisssssiiiiiiiing!”

Glorifying grubby slavery

I don’t hate porn because I’m some upstanding moral guardian. Those kinds of people secretly love the stuff and only pretend to disapprove of it. I hate porn because, despite having the lowest production values, the least talented crew and the worst acting of any entertainment medium, it somehow sees fit to take itself so fucking seriously.

“Oh baby, yeah! Yeah! You’re so good! How do you get to be this good? You’re so big, baby! Much bigger than anybody watching this shit! I can’t believe you’re doing things to me that no self-respecting girl would ever, ever, allow to happen to her body in a million fucking years! Oh yes! Give me those unrealistic expectations! Harder! Harder!”

Sex is not meant to be taken seriously. If you take sex seriously it’s either because you’re not getting any, because you feel inadequate in some way or another, or because your relationship is in trouble. The best sex any of us will ever have is the jolly, farcical fucking that puts one in mind of trying to adjust a television aerial in a bad 1970’s sketch show. “There! Right there! Hold it! Hold it!”

Sex is where you lose your inhibitions. You don’t care what you look like or how you’re doing it. Sex is fun and cheerful. Sex is a laugh. Sex should not scare or intimidate you and if it does there’s obviously something seriously wrong.

And yet the sex in Fifty Shades of Grey, both book and film trailer, looks pretty damned intimidating and scary to me. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t because it’s BDSM. I had a friend who was into BDSM once and they told me the key to the scene is that those who submit do so willingly and without fear. Let me emphasise again: without fear.

And yet from what I can gather the entire book and film is dominated with serious issues regarding depression, insecurity, vulnerability and a load of physiological crap that posits to be an in-depth study of the human mind, when in reality it’s just another grubby little soft-core porno made even worse by delusions of grandeur and a highly suspicious borderline sex offender as the main character. And who in the hell goes to watch a porno to find out why the main characters want to fuck?

It is true to say most feminists are not a particularly sympathetic bunch. Recently the male-hating militancy has become more and more virulent as individuals attempt to blame their ageless, sexless failings on their being of the supposed gentler sex, and I cannot help but think this has driven most reasonable women away from the movement. Nonetheless I find it very hard to believe that a single badly written book and inevitably worse film has suddenly had most of the female population yearning to be transformed into simpering, beaten slaves controlled by a sloany little yuppy who seems, to all intents and purposes, to be the lovechild of Patrick Bateman and Margaret Thatcher.

Perhaps Fifty Shades is a rebellion of sorts against the modern feminist movement that seems more interested in dictating to women than empowering them. Perhaps it is a woman’s way of telling these people that they have the right to choose to submit to a man just as they have the right to raise their children themselves or stay at home whilst their husband works. Perhaps it is all about choice.

But Fifty Shades of Grey is a lousy book that completely misunderstands the very concept of mental illness and ends up glorifying total, willing slavery, something no novel has attempted to do for over a hundred years. A sure sign, if ever one was needed, that we should be careful what we wish for.

The international dick-waving contest

We all know somebody who is comprehensively full of shit. Often they take the form of the alcoholic propping up the bar. We exchange pleasantries with them whilst purchasing our drinks, nod politely at their idiotic delusions then beat a hasty retreat to our table with a wry shake of our heads.

Their diatribes are filled with speculative theories about what they could have been, or what they might still be if only they could be bothered. Every now and again, after passing their eighth pint through themselves, they may become aggressive and start hurling abuse and threats across the bar, threats which they cannot possibly hope to back up.

“I’m gonna fakkin ‘ave you!”

“Say it to my fakkin face you cant!”

“One more word sunshine, one more fakkin word!”

As we all know, when called upon to actually back up their words with meaningful actions they quickly fade away, continuing to mutter oaths beneath their breath before slipping quietly out via the toilet window at the earliest opportunity.

People like this make us feel better about ourselves; we warm ourselves with the comfort that we are not, and never will be, anything like them. The second from last thing we would want is for these people to actually matter and the very, very last thing we would want is for these people to actually be in charge of our fucking government.

I lost my patriotism at around the same time as I lost my faith, and though I yearn to have both back I have long since resigned myself to a permanent separation. Our current government’s pathetic posturing in the wake of the Malaysian plane tragedy has caused me to trace my family tree back through the centuries in the vain hope of finding a twelve-times-great grandmother born in County Cork so I might prove to myself I am not, after all, entirely of this Saxon blood.

“You’re going to regret that you nasty little Cossack oligarch. You won’t be welcome here on your holidays, oh no!”

“You’d better not try and put your money in any of our banks! What’s that? You don’t have any money in our banks? Well that’s just as well. You’d better not try it. Oh no!”

You don’t have to be a political scientist to understand the British government’s plan. Cameron and co are going to make threats and a lot of noise in a pathetic bid to outdo the French in the international dick-waving contest, and then, when it eventually simmers down and the whole sorry affair is forgotten about in favour of the revelation that Zippy and Bungle from Rainbow conducted an international child trafficking ring from a caravan in Clacton in the early 1980s, they’ll quietly claim the credit for helping to bring about a ‘peaceful solution to the crisis’.

Put simply, words aside, the British political classes aren’t going to do shit about Ukraine. The real insult to the victims of this outrage is that Cameron and co keep claiming that they might.

Salads and Salmonella

I cannot have been the only one who recoiled with horror when the blandly spoken Home Counties MILF presenting the weather promised that this was to be the hottest week of the year. The multitude of clowns who will doubtless be rejoicing at this grim news simply serve to back up my long-held view that the Russians should have nuked us into oblivion when they had the chance. The thing that makes us superior from the rest of the animals is that one day our chimp ancestors woke up in their trees, felt the baking hot sun beating down oppressively upon their hairy backs and said; “Fuck this, I’m building myself a house.”

The sun guilt trips us into being outside. The sun taunts us from our office windows forcing us to turn the air conditioning up to full – that same air conditioning that hoovers up our germs and diseases and distributes sickness throughout the entire workplace. The heat wipes out our elderly like a naturally occurring Harold Shipman and causes the roadkill to swell and bloat until it explodes into our nostrils, the putrefied stench of death ever present on a hot summer’s day in the infernal countryside.

Meanwhile the long days expose us, forcing us from our beds. A pleasant Sunday lie in is interrupted by the beating rays and searing heat and we wake up drenched in a sweat so severe as to make us assume we’ve both pissed ourselves and had other people piss over us as we slept. A gloriously late night of playing video games or engaging in a Netflix marathon is destroyed when the sun appears, seemingly at random, at three in the fucking morning, silently judging you like the prudish landlord of a quiet country pub as you order your sixth pint of the day at half past twelve on a Tuesday afternoon.

In winter the darkness values your privacy. The cold welcomes the strong, braces you, makes you feel alive, involves you. The heat is yours to control at the flick of a radiator switch. The shortest journey becomes a wondrous adventure full of peril, like a Victorian boy’s own novel only hopefully without the unashamed racism. Whilst summer is a time of salads and Salmonella from under-cooked barbecues, winter is a time of thick broths and hearty roasts. Whilst summer brings us naked hippies invading our national monuments to celebrate the fallacy of midsummer with pot and LSD, winter brings us Christmas, beer, mulled wine and singing in the streets.

Enjoy your long hot summer days if you like. Enjoy stepping on used syringes on the beaches and ingesting raw sewage into every one of your orifices as you swim obliviously in the world’s largest toilet. I’ll be drawing the blackout curtains tightly across my windows and looking forward to those glorious, vengeful days when Mother Nature strips the trees naked and enfolds the earth within the shroud of endless night.

Medical assistance and a witness statement

I do not delude myself that I am a writer. I am a writer only inasmuch as I am a marine biologist on the grounds that I keep a few guppies. Writing does not make me. It does not sustain me. I write only in the vain hope that I might one day earn enough from it to lock myself away forever on a small, forgotten peninsula and there be left alone until my time comes to descend into the great black nothingness of death.

Some people just want to go out and travel, some people want to leave and pretend they’re doing something worthwhile with their lives. They want to go to Africa and there strut nobly like a great white god, amongst the smiling brown natives running beside them with wide smiles and happy laughter.

“But we built a school, dontchaknow?”

Never mind that two weeks later the iron faced jihadists rolled in with their tanks, dragged the girls out of the building, forced them into burkas and underage marriages, then used that same educational establishment to promote a doctrine the harshness of which hasn’t been seen since the dark ages.
“I’m making a difference!”

Don’t get me wrong, I hate England. We English are, to paraphrase Jonathan Swift; “The most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.” The World Cup sums us up. They should put a statue of Rooney up in every school and we should exalt him as the symbol of our nation just as years ago the downtrodden of this land used to look up with doe eyes at Kitchener, who was at that moment sending millions of them into the mincing machines of the trenches.

Summed up in Rooney is the very essence of what’s wrong with us as a nation; the moderate ability dressed up as genius which inevitably fails to produce even the smallest spark of talent when up against those who actually know what they’re doing. When faced with a real challenge, a real opportunity to make a difference, Rooney, like everyone else in England, bottled it. The relentless excuses, the self-pity, the twin obsessions of obscene wealth and then afterwards squandering that wealth on destroying yourself and your family, the few good things that actually meant something in your life. Above all the laughable false positives.

“At least we’ve got some hope for the youth of the future.”

And yet everywhere you go the rights of the isolationists are being eroded. Nowadays it isn’t even possible to go and drink yourself into oblivion alone in the pub without some cunt coming up and asking if you’re okay. I go to the public urinals and there are signs staring down at my dick warning me not to engage in non-consensual sex (Well, it’s been a lovely evening. We went out to dinner at the Crown, to the wine bar afterwards and then back to hers for coffee. However for some reason I get the feeling there’s something amiss. Of course! I’m raping the ever-loving shit out of her!)

Let us briefly recap on these public information adverts. We warn people not to drink and drive because a lot of people might be tempted to do it and not see the harm. We all drive whilst tired, right? The adverts make us aware of a danger we may not see. Rapists don’t read signs, they don’t respond to adverts. Why? Because they’re fucking rapists, that’s why. You don’t go appealing to their sense of common decency.

Meanwhile the grass and the snitch are lauded like never before. The other day I witnessed a minor car crash between a young chap and a rotund, balding executive. The youngster wasn’t looking where he was going and hit the exec on a roundabout. Not content with the youth facing higher insurance premiums the fat cunt decided to give the youth a piece of his mind. The youth broke his nose and left him puking in his own blood, smashed his windscreen for good measure then drove away. Afterwards I walked past, laughing heartily whilst ignoring the fatster’s pleas for medical assistance and a witness statement. Previously this was my God-given right as an Englishman as defined by Magna Carta and the countless wars we fought for freedom. Now, by definition of the law, I’m the cunt.

I really hope Scotland votes for independence in September. When that happens I think I shall move to the Highlands in the hope that the independent government is a damned sight more fuck-off friendly than Westminster. It is fitting that the final, stubborn rebels retreat to the mountains to continue their cause. Soon I fear I shall be forced to make my final stand.