Tag Archives: nihilism

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.

The precipice

The bittersweet tears of the first of London’s autumn rains drip down the window, as I stare at the computer screen staggered that I could type such scalding horseshit in a sentence. It is nonetheless autumn, which is edging ever nearer Christmas and will probably last for around three weeks before the world freezes for months and Nigel Lawson pops up to remind us how he told us all along global warming was a load of bollocks.

Autumn matters to me for a number of reasons. It signifies the beginning of the busy period in a social life that revolves around music and drinking, as bands from faraway places such as Bolton and Brighton simultaneously try their hand in the Big Smoke in order to shift a few festive units. It also signifies the darkening of days and that glorious moment where, once a year, I find out whether I’m going to go mental.

Every year around this time, the retirement of the sun from most of our days either triggers the joy of a man who basically really fucking hates the sun and all it stands for (heat, happiness and the continuation of life on Earth) or brings forth his more sunny colleague, who greets the fireball hiding with a mixture of horror and outrage. I don’t know which of these two clowns will inhabit my brain for the next few weeks; I don’t get to choose. They both show up, there’s a duel around mid-October and the winner spends until at least mid-December gloating over the vanquished corpse.

Sometimes it will be a happy autumn. I genuinely like rain, much as the fact stuns those very people who shower every morning yet greet outdoor water from above with terror, scattering to doorways as though it’s still the 80s and acid rain is still a real thing. Walking the streets of London in a downpour can, some autumns, be one of the joys of my life.

Other autumns I may hold my hand out to catch a few drops, squeeze them to death in fury and then punch the nearest lamp post just to ensure the last few water-based microorganisms have been extinguished. Even if I get to be an old man, punching inanimate objects will never get tired or seem futile, logic be damned.

Some autumns I will surround myself with friends in pubs, acting the way I always do in pubs, cracking imbecilic one-liners and behaving in ways best classed as ‘low-level hooligan’ for the amusement of others, all the while wanting to be anywhere but there. Anywhere but a pub; I know, I can barely believe I typed that either. Some autumns I’ll be watching the next big rock band at a toilet venue in Camden, watered-down Strongbow in my hand, one of my favourite pastimes, and spend the entire gig thinking of nothing more than a nice family-sized tub of aspirin and an ice-cold Jeff Buckley album to wash them down with.

Tonight I’m going to the pub with a group of people I know well, though they are still mostly in the realm of colleagues rather than friends. Nice people, pleasant bunch, and it’ll be fine. Yet if tonight was two weeks from now, I might either be gulping happily at my fourth pint of ruby red ale or putting on the type of rictus generally worn by a Carry On actor before the cameras stop rolling and he sprints for his second bottle of gin that afternoon.

There’s probably a clinical diagnosis to be had here, perhaps some pills to take, but being the type of bull-headed idiot who’d rather die of rectal cancer than let a nurse look up my hole – an average man, in other words – I prefer to soldier on until that special October snapping sound that alerts me to a decision. What will the fortune cookie say this year? ‘All clear’! That’s brilliant, that’s fantastic, I couldn’t be more oh wait no it just says ‘Run’, I wonder what that could mean?

Yes yes, just get on with it, I know. People have far worse lives etc. My issue, though, is that it could go either way. If I was a miserable bastard who couldn’t be around people, pets or anything with a pointed edge at least I’d know. But there’s a choice coming, and it’s not mine to control. Will this be the year I run screaming from the football at half time and find myself sitting on a bench in Regent’s Park the following afternoon with little idea how I got there? Or will this be the greatest run-up to Christmas since the year Bad Santa came out?

We’ll find out, in due course. This is the precipice. I sit and watch the autumn rain tumbling down the pane, each drop reflecting the fear in my eyes, safe in the everlasting knowledge that at least I can finish this bloody sentence however I like.

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.

It’s Saturday

Perhaps these are the days I should treasure most, because these are the days that remind me why the words at the top of this website exist.

It’s Saturday. I have nothing to do, today or tomorrow, which is Sunday and therefore by definition the most tedious fucking day of the week. Saturday, and these are the things I don’t want to do: go out; go outside at all; stay inside; do jobs around the flat; play games; listen to music; watch TV; read websites; read a book; eat; drink; masturbate.

I’m a simple man with only a limited number of things on the daily menu, and that list has ruled most of them out. So, we’re back to the question that brings us together like cattle at an abattoir: what’s the fucking point? Yeah, with a question mark, so we know it’s serious.

When you wake up in the morning and you can think of a bunch of things you could do, but each of them appeals as much as a prostate examination from a disinterested male nurse, what’s next? Anything that requires effort seems to be out so the razor blades and high tensile rope are probably doomed to spend yet another weekend in the cupboard. I’m sitting here staring out into my small garden knowing that hacking the fuck out of a few bushes is a good way to combat the interminable pointlessness of my life and yet to be able to do that I have to get the key to my small shed, go outside, open the padlock, get the weaponry out and Jesus I’m getting tired just thinking about it.

There’s a bike in that shed too, taunting me. I think the tyres are flat. Oh well.

It’s 10.57 in the morning and behind me there’s a television with a man pissing on about how the shallots are the perfect complement to the pastry that’s just fluffy enough. There will be a mango moose in a minute and the worst thing is if this was a normal day I’d want them all dead, but even murderous thoughts seem beyond me on a Saturday.

You’re expecting this to resolve itself but it won’t. I will only leave this chair in the next two days to shit and sleep. This is my weekend and it stops on Monday when everyone else goes and sits in their little boxes to do the same thing they were doing on Friday. Meanwhile I continue to try to find things to keep me occupied but free of the dismal knowledge that it’s those special two days when everyone else is happy and I’m just fucking nowhere.

Apparently the one thing I can make myself do on a Saturday is explain the hollowness of reality through these very words, though I’m having to force my one typing hand to perform by hauling it across the keyboard with the other.

Behind me they’re making something with eggs and carrots and laughing a little too hard.