Subplots and Backstories

I know it’s over
And it never really began
But in my heart it was so real

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Therapy session 413.

We all have a story right? Some kind of back story that is an accumulation of all that we have experienced and has paved the way for who we are in the present. They give us our memories and we’re able to act based upon how things have gone for us before. We have a continuous story from when we’re born to now and it plays like a film with low points and high points, successes and failures. Well what is my story?

It feels like I don’t have one. I feel like I’m just a minor character in somebody else’s story. In a novel sometimes the viewpoint of a minor character shows us a few scenes away from the main characters to show some other side of the overall plot. I feel like one of these minor viewpoint characters and I’ve reached the end of my little story arc and have no further part to play in the main story. In a way this gives me a scary sense of freedom since the creator of this story seems to let me continue to exist despite not having any further purpose. Maybe I can move off and create a spin off story and exist all on my own. But it doesn’t feel like I can as I’m still anchored in the pages of the main story and characters cannot just pull themselves away from pages. We’re stuck in the stories we’re in. Or so it feels.

If I was to write the entirety of what I think is my back story then it would basically show conclusively that I am nowhere near the star of my own show. Chapters and chapters would be dominated by the viewpoints of the main characters where I am not even around at all but instead I’m off page probably in some pub somewhere doing nothing significant. And yet this is supposedly my story. If the main viewpoint characters in my story were asked about their own back stories then I would barely feature. I’m just a background character there to give my few lines of dialogue every now and then. I’d get a few pages maybe if I’m lucky. And then on with the main plot.

It’s strange to think this way and I’ve tried very hard to re-wire the absolute mess of chemicals in my brain that have enslaved me. I want to break away and have my real own story where the current main characters are just minor background characters that have no real influence over my thoughts or my life or my plot. It’s so difficult for me to do though. I guess I’m obsessive. Sometimes I just love a mystery and absolutely need to figure it all out and cannot walk away until I’m satisfied. Sometimes I feel that having invested so much time and energy into the story of others I cannot just walk away from it all like it was nothing. No matter what I ever do from this point forward I’ve spent too long in the story of others and have been corrupted by it. Decisions I’ve made were based on this story at times. I feel like I’ve totally betrayed myself. Yet I didn’t really have much choice neither. It’s always been difficult for me to branch out and do my own thing since I lack determination at times and have no will power. I end up following the dreams of others rather than my own dreams. I follow rather than walk my own path. My own path seems so lonely and difficult that it’s easier to just follow what others do and stay in their story. I’m somebody’s friend. I’m somebody’s co-worker. I’m somebody’s family member. I’m a minor character. And who am I really and what am I about? I’m nobody and I’m not about anything.

Well I’m tired of it. To quit the main plot gives me temporarily no purpose at all and literally nothing interesting to think about or solve. Can a minor character even truly break away from the magnetism and aura of the main characters? If the main characters need help do I not just exist to guide these characters along their journey? How will I ever disobey what I feel programmed to do? And why am I on the wrong side in this story? I feel like I should be on the side of the good guys yet it’s a grey world and though we’re all morally ambiguous at times I feel like the characters that have allowed me to be a small part in their story are pretty evil and heartless. For some reason the villain in the story has been able to fool everyone into believing they’re righteous. And there’s an army of minor characters that are hoping to play a bigger role. Do I want a bigger role in this story? Truly no. I don’t want to be in it at all. If I had one wish it would be to have never been a character in this story in the first place. Go back in time and nip it in the bud quickly and leave it. I wish to go back to earlier chapters and erase what my character did and said. And felt. I wish to have been able to see the beauty in other minor characters through-out my little subplot along my little story arc. But some characters have this powerful arcane and dark magic and they’re able to cause massive disturbances in the lives of others. There’s nothing good about them. A narcissist cannot give any kind of resolution to anybody and they definitely can’t make themselves happy either. All of the main characters in the story believe that they are the story. Others fuel this because they’re all blind to the truth and get caught up in the mysteries and darkness and feel like they can elevate themselves along side these main characters and have a life just as full of drama and excitement. Fuck that.

This is what the truth is. Nobody is special. Fuck your story. It isn’t half as interesting as you think. You think you have answers? You fucking stupid cunt. You elevate your own image in your own eyes to the point where the only way you can go is down as you fall crashing back down to Earth. Beauty fades and energy wanes as time goes on. Illusions reveal themselves to those who pay attention. Today’s drama is just another snippet of dialogue in distant future scenes and it’ll get the same kind of attention as the day’s football results. These characters believe their own hype far too much and I’m so disappointed that I ever believed in this lame crap too.

Thoughts, feelings, dreams, songs, poems, nightmares, social media updates over years, art, philosophy, films, writings, sharing many scenes, a god who thinks he’s funny and likes to torment me…all of these things combine to show how much of a joke the whole thing is. There is no justice. But I’ve punished myself mentally for so long. I can’t forgive myself for my own mistakes but I guess I need to try to. I know that every now and then the pain re-surfaces and it’s because I go looking for it. I re-remember everything and every fucked up emotion I’ve ever felt weighs me down again until moving off these pages seems impossible. It’s like I need to keep reminding myself how stupid I’ve been. I’ve been to some dark places mentally. These words are not even a promise to myself that I’ll change as I know that for a long time scenes will continue to loop over in my mind late at night and there’s nothing for it other than another beer and a hope that one day I will have some hope again. I did feel peace for a while. And then I lost it again. The only thing that changed was my own ability to accept everything that had ever happened and let it all just be. See, I understand that our own thoughts create our own world and my own mind can write it’s own story independent of the past. I understand it and I accept it. Obviously I will carry on with my quest to be the star of my own show. Where I feel kind of anchored in my own world with my own set of characters and my own totally unique story arc that will begin, have a middle and some kind of resolution. We all need control over our lives and it is a terrible idea to ever let anybody else have control or too much influence. I need to break free of these shackles. I once talked about a metaphorical box where we can lock memories inside and forget them by burying it deep down into our subconscious mind. I think I accidentally shut myself inside the bastard and buried my own damn self. I talk about freedom a lot because “my fences are found inside of my head ’till I put these words in this rhythm”.

That’ll do. I know much of what I just wrote probably makes no sense but thoughts aren’t easy to process sometimes. It’s easy when you’re writing to persuade someone of something. But when you’re trying to persuade yourself it gets messy. I’ll sign off by raising a can of Carling with a wish for new stories. I’m a stupid pawn in a stupid game of chess where a stupid asshole is moving me round the board. But there’s still a chance to get to the other side and become something new. Much love to every person who’s ever felt like a minor character. And fuck you to the major characters with your narcissistic stories. Fuck you

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A New Blogpost

“Shyness is nice, but shyness can stop you
From doing all the things in life
That you’d like to”

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2016 ran away and became 2017. 1992 was a quarter of a century ago. It gets faster and faster and I really don’t like to think about it too much. It makes it all the more important to appreciate the moment we’re in like all those spiritual people say we should.

Incidentally 2016 was almost the best year for views on this little blog I do. It didn’t deserve to beat 2014 though. I like the things I wrote in 2014 more than 2016’s words. This blog is now 5 years old. As time goes on it will become more interesting to look back through them and in some cases wonder what the hell I was on about at the time. I still wish I had my blogs from myspace. They’d be cringe worthy but I’d be able to time travel back to early 2006 then.

I hope 2017 will be a great year. I never really plan much for a year. I just sit back and let things either happen or not happen. There are a few events planned that will be fun and so far March is heavy favourite to be the best month of the year with a trip to Latvia in the pipeline along with another crazy week of beers and betting for Cheltenham Festival. I also need to think about current job and living situations. On the one hand I can’t be bothered to look for, apply for and potentially obtain a new job. Life is mostly easy right now with weekends off and everyday a lie-in. Not doing too many hours and not having to travel and just about enough money to not be totally screwed. I have plenty of time to sit around day dreaming and reading and playing games and having a few beers with a few pals. But at the same time the job is dreadfully boring and also really annoying me now. Why is it employers accept and put up with lazy employees but expect a good employee to work miracles? It’s demoralising. Plus I really should actually do something in life. Society says I should be ambitious and strive for more and I can almost hear people’s thoughts about me these days. They think I’m a failure and I guess I am. Sometimes I wish for a job that would silence their thoughts. Even though I guess “their” thoughts are really just my own thoughts conveying my own disappointment in myself. Easier to blame society and others though. But yeah, I will be doing a bit of a think and having a job hunt soon again. And I’ll also have to consider where to live. I’ve been thinking about the south coast. I’ll carry on thinking about it a while and massively flirt with the idea before eventually dismissing it and staying where I am most likely. Staying is boring but also easier. I’m such a lazy bastard and have no drive. I have to accept this. Or try to change it. Sometimes I can smack a Huel shake down me and listen to Death Grips full blast and believe that I’m going to pack all my troubles in my old kit-bag and smile, smile, smile and move on out of this comfortable and mediocre situation but then other days listen to The Smiths with pizza whilst happy in the haze of a drunken hour totally content with mediocrity for at least life really isn’t too bad.

Wow, what a paragraph. I only wanted to say that March was going to be a good month and my life story fell out onto the page. Oh well.

Many times in life I have toyed with the idea of attempting to write a novel. It’s a life goal of mine. I love writing so much but I don’t think I could ever really be an author. For one you need a lot of luck and there are far more talented people than me that never get published. It’s crazy to think there are people that rejected JK Rowling and Harry Potter. Also to be an author I imagine is a hell of a lot of work which I’ve already established I cannot be bothered with. But I’m not really looking to get published if I did write a novel. It’s only my life goal to write one and have it exist in the world. You can easily self-publish these days. But the life goal requires the story to only exist on my laptop to be ticked off. If anybody wanted to read it maybe I could e-mail it to them. First though I have to write the bastard and that requires inspiration and plot ideas. I have a few ideas. I know what the book will be like if I ever wrote it. It would kind of be an easy way to get my own stupid thoughts out into the world (the world likely actually just being my own laptop) using the characters as vessels. I guess I’d just mix my own self into the characters a bit and hope that would suffice to cover up the limits of my imagination. And then there’s the plot to consider. I sometimes have ideas about interesting situations that I’d like these characters to be in. Great stories always amaze me though in how authors manage to wrap stories up with satisfying endings and I struggle with that. I can imagine a situation coming to some kind of peak and then just not know what should happen after that. Anything could happen and I would just get option paralysis and not know what to do for the best. I know I’d never want to write a happily ever after type of ending and the kind of ending I would want to write would not appeal to most people. I’m realistic about the fact that hardly anybody would enjoy my novel and that is why I have no ambition with it other than to write it. I do have a little idea about getting stuck with plot ideas though. Ever since reading the novel called The Dice Man I’ve been so intrigued by the idea of using a dice to dictate what one does in life. Unfortunately I do not have the conviction to use a dice to tell me what to do next in life. We’d mostly only give the options to the dice that we’d like to do anyway and if the dice told us to do something we really didn’t want to do it’s unlikely we’d actually do it. However I could totally use this idea when writing a novel. If I get stuck with characters or plot maybe I could use the dice and then roll it and let the Universe tell me what to do next in the story. I love the idea of that and the consequences are acceptable when it is only fictitious characters that could have their lives ruined. It could make the story a whole lot more random and organic. Random things happen in life that we have no control over and most stories are so blatantly telling a story (obviously) that it seems restricted and inorganic unlike life. George RR Martin goes against the grain here and has created a world where it really feels like anything could happen to anybody much like real life. But most authors pull their characters through event after event to tell us a story and that is awesome most of the time. My idea is probably stupid for serious authors. Why kill off a character that you and a potential audience will really like? It would be so much fun though and plot twists could be far less obvious if you as the writer don’t even know they’re coming yourself. You could even ask people you know to give you an option to add to the dice. Maybe you could try a few options and then decide on which one feels right and best. As ever this is all just idle thought unless I actually start to write it. Which knowing me is unlikely. My idea was probably conceived, existed and died all in one go in this blog and will never grow to be a healthy novel in nine months time.

So I have plans to write and I also have plans to read. Just finished reading everything I wanted to read by Brandon Sanderson finally. I know that he is an author I will follow throughout life and he’s a great author to be a fan of since he has such a prolific rate of firing out quality stories. Multiple releases per year. The guy is a machine. Currently I’m reading Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy and I’m enjoying it so far. I have a reading list which I’m sticking to and relentlessly going to be getting through it from now on. The fantasy novels alone will take me into 2018 and maybe further so this list is ridiculous but I do bloody love getting sucked into another person’s created world via their words. It’s a welcome distraction from the mundane and sometimes crappy world of our reality.

But time to stop being negative. My new resolution (not really for the new year but a resolution nonetheless) is to do more things that I want to do. It’s so simple and yet I often find that I don’t manage to achieve it. Sometimes I absolutely have plans to get out and do something and yet don’t ever get round to doing it. Sometimes this lack of doing things leads to drifting away from people. It’s such a sad thing to lose touch with people you were great friends with but I guess it’s just how life is. I have the bubble of a bullshit personality which is my wall up around people I don’t know and it takes me a while to build a rapport with a person. Once I do though it’s cool. I feel I’m a good friend to most. I like it when you have that kind of connection where you have many inside jokes and just know what the other person is thinking without them having to say a word. But these connections can still drift away from us if we don’t make an effort to stay in touch and I’m terrible for not just picking up the phone and seeing how somebody is even if I am actually wondering and planning to get in touch. So so silly. And before you know it they’re a friend from the past and you’ve downgraded each other to acquaintances. But then there are some where you just know that you’ve both changed too much due to seeing each other less and drifting. It’s just life. People change depending on their environment and when paths diverge too much it is likely the rapport you once had will be broken when you meet up again. I have to learn to accept that better. You can’t force things. Connections can be strong if you fuel them regularly but distance can pull them apart. New people come into life at the same time as people leave and that’s the right way to look at it. They say that our group of friends mostly totally changes every 7 years or so so I’ve done well to have a few that have gone beyond that and I do appreciate it. All of this ties in with my resolution. Sometimes I’ve just got to do better to keep in touch with family and friends and sometimes I’ve got to be just be totally ok with drifting from people that have drifted. It’s all good.

I’m kind of in the mood to write all day but think I’m going to leave it in favour of writing again here pretty soon. There’s many things I feel like writing about but don’t want to smash it all into one ridiculously long blog and then write nothing again for a couple of months. I mostly want to write about actual topics in this blog for 2017 and beyond rather than the diary type ones. I go over old ground when I’m talking about general life and so should only write one every few months at most. Sometimes though a topic grabs us and makes us angry or intrigued or inspired or whatever and those topics are what I want to write about. I do go through periods where I don’t feel like writing about anything and I guess that’s fine but I really should write here more as it often feels good to get stuff off my chest. When I’m angry about something it is better to let it out always and I do like to vent.

2017 has started off much the same as every other year whereby I re-realise that time is a man-made construct and has no actual meaning in our reality. Life just is and there is only now. The past and the future are all just ideas and they do not actually exist. I can wallow in the past and obsess about the future but it is all a waste of energy and leads to missing the moment. So I wish you a happy 00:21am on the 11th January 2017 and many other happy moments in whatever present moment you’re reading this in.

Namaste

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Futuristic Food

“Look to the future now – it’s only just begun”

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Over the last few years I’ve been giving much more thought into what I consume than I used to. For most of my life I simply didn’t care but as we get older I guess we all want to try to eat healthy foods and feel better. Or we at least have phases like that. I attribute much of how I’m feeling to the foods I’m eating. Also over the past couple of years I’ve annoyingly developed some digestive issues that I won’t go into. I know I have a long term problem of some sort and yet I hate going to the doctors so it’s guess work. But I’m 85% sure that it’s not life threatening and it’s probably something lame like being sensitive to gluten or something equally ridiculous. It’s common stuff according to various forums across the internet. It has lead to me being quite conscious of what I eat and was a major factor in me becoming a vegetarian, then a meat eater again, then a vegetarian, then a vegan, then a meat eater, then a vegan and currently a meat eater again. All of that messing around with my diet has probably not helped matters. And with that said it’s now time for the next experiment.

I’m obsessed with the future and how far we can go as a species. This is why I think Elon Musk is the greatest man alive. His ambition with Space X, Tesla and SolarCity is so impressive. With all of the technological leaps over the last hundred years I think it’s quite ridiculous that cars are still running on petrol and diesel. It’s so 20th century. Computers and smart phones have evolved and become so amazing and efficient and yet we’re still talking about miles per gallon as we pollute the atmosphere with ancient technology when it is plainly obvious that electric cars are the future. The whole car industry needs to get fully on board with this and stop holding things back. Musk is ensuring that they have to keep up and eventually they will stop slowing progress down once the market shifts the way it absolutely inevitably will do. That’s an exciting prospect. And then there is NASA who have been so interesting in the past but are boring me a little bit these days. They talk about maybe another mission to the Moon in 10 to 15 years time and they have a vague plan to maybe go to Mars at some point. Musk is building a system that he plans to use in the next decade to permanently have a settlement on Mars. It seems like after already going to the Moon in the Sixties it’s kind of lame that we haven’t been further especially seeing how in almost every other aspect we’ve greatly improved our technological capabilities. So I applaud Elon Musk again. He’s almost single-handedly dragging us forward and pushing us to reach our potential at a faster rate than we currently are.

So what has that got to do with food? Well food is another area where I feel we are lagging behind where we could be. It’s obvious that a Vegan diet is better for us as a species when it comes to the environment and our own health. If not a fully Vegan diet then we at least need to go further towards that end of the dietary spectrum. And yet many of us are still munching on utter crap from McDonald’s. Slowly killing ourselves whilst putting a strain on health services. It’s another form of holding us back. At the same time I believe that we need to move to an at least mostly Vegan diet I have to acknowledge that I am a very lazy individual. I struggle with being Vegan due to wanting a lot of convenience when it comes to preparing meals. Too much chopping stuff up, measuring things out and washing stuff up for my liking when Vegan. Always having to go to shops to buy fresh food. Always having to read labels. Having to plan meals and getting bored of eating the same things due to them being easy and Vegan. After a few months of it I totally fail and end up buying a pizza to put in the oven and then I’m back in square one. Today I stumbled onto something I’d never given much thought before but seems like the answer to so many problems and also to me seems like the future of food. It’s a shake that ticks all the nutritional boxes called Huel – human fuel.

I read about this product and was reminded by my own inner debate about whether or not to buy a Kindle a few years ago. There are pros and cons. The Kindle makes so much sense and is so convenient but you can never beat the feel of a good book in your hands right? Huel makes so much sense and is so convenient but you can never beat the feel of steak in your mouth right? Similar argument I reckon. The human body is a clever piece of biological machinery. It gives us incentives to do the things required to preserve our species. Breathing is good. If somebody chokes you for a while and then allows you to breathe then it will feel rather good. The process of creating babies feels good to ensure that we do it. Very nice of our bodies to use these incentives for us. Food is the same. It tastes good and is desirable so that we put in the fuel that we need. If the fuel that we need was already in our stomachs then the desire to eat will pass. We can bypass the whole pain in the ass process of having to buy and prepare food and then washing up with a freaking spoonful of powder. This seems like the future to me. Especially as this Huel has all of the recommended nutrients we need so we don’t need anything else at all. It has the calories, the proteins, the carbs, the fibre, the sugars, the minerals, the vitamins. All of it. Plus it’s Vegan. I understand that many people will hate this kind of thing as they enjoy food but to me it sounds too good to be true and the thing that I’ve been looking for over the past couple of years. I’ll be able to be lazy and have more time with which to be lazy. And I should in theory have more energy since it has all the good stuff in it that I’m also too lazy to make sure I have. The first order even comes with a shaker and a t-shirt which is nice of them and the cost per “meal” is apparently £1.45. Many times I’ve felt hungry but not had any food in that I fancied preparing and didn’t really want to go shopping or get a takeaway and this product could have been on my shelf ready for me to just add water and shake to get a full and insanely nutritious meal in no time at all.

I guess this kind of thing appeals to gym goers as a supplement as well as busy people that don’t have time for lunch. But it also appeals to futurists like me. It gives people more freedom as they can still eat normal meals and have whatever they want when they fancy. But I’ll feel better knowing I’m getting the good stuff, saving money, doing my bit for the environment and washing up less. Also hoping it is at least part of the answer to whatever stupid digestive problem I have since some Vegan food in the past was most definitely a trigger also. These are exciting times we live in as the future is here and we’re limited only by our imagination. Electric cars, cities on Mars and nutritious meals where all you do is add water. Bloody genius. When it arrives I’ll give it a go and then give it a review on here. Hopefully it tastes good and hopefully it works well. Who knows, maybe it can replace the Turkey for Christmas Day this year haha.

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Plug Me in and Leave Me for a While

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Well bloody hell, it’s been two and a half months since I last posted a blog. Sometimes I can be so withdrawn that I don’t even feel like writing even though that is my best form of communication. I should have wrote about my amazing Las Vegas trip but that didn’t happen. Many times I’ve almost wrote an angry blog just attacking people that do things that annoy me (like people who are so addicted to their mobile phones that they literally cannot even shop without checking Facebook. Seriously, they stand in front of the bread totally struck dumb and unable to think and then they just take their phone out of their pocket and stare at it like zombies. Get the shopping done and then get on with your life, sod your social media shit. Ok, time to get out of this tangent). And I have a politics blog in the pipeline. Oh, also one day I’ll need to write about Israel. But for now I just need to write a bit of self-help to myself.

Lately, as usual, I’ve felt a lack of energy. I have a new idea about what causes me to constantly feel like I have no energy. And it is to do with personality types. We all fall on a spectrum where at one end there is introversion and one end is extroversion. I’m most definitely an introvert. It’s not always true but most of the time I like solitude. I look forward to being on my own and having my own time to do my own simple things like reading my current book or something. Sometimes I like to be around others and do things too but I always seem to need a break from it pretty quickly. Like if I’m with people doing social activities for a couple of days in a row then often it doesn’t matter how great an event can be I would rather have a day away from people. This isn’t unique at all. Many introverted people are this way and the reason for it according to a few things I’ve read is that social interactions drain us. We sort of recharge our batteries when we’re by ourselves and get drained quickly when around others due to listening and concentrating on making an effort to be sociable. Extroverts are the opposite. They are drained when alone as they need other people to sort of charge them up. They need the attention of others and thrive off social encounters. This makes sense for me. It sounds like such an antisocial thing to say and I guess it is but people really do drain me and some more than others. I keep my circle small. Some people that feel like they’re a friend to me don’t actually even know me as I just throw up this bullshit personality for them to interact with whilst staying in my own little bubble deep down. That bullshit personality takes effort. It’s a constant act. There are only a few who I don’t feel like I have to act with and so that’s why for me I feel like I have hardly any friends. I’m not sad about this – it’s just the way I am. When I’m on my own I’m mostly happy. It’s not like I feel alone in those moments. I feel a more deep sense of loneliness in the grand scheme of life but it’s not about solitude and more about lack of a connection to anything forever. That’s something else though. Being on my own in a flat for a day is cool and I love it. Being alone in the Universe forever sucks haha.

None of this stuff I’ve re-realised is new but it does give me a better understanding of why I feel such a lack of energy. I have a job where I have to interact with people all of the time. The bubble needs to constantly be shielded by the bullshit personality. The words out of my mouth need to be pleasant and cheery whilst the words in my head are often anything but. Being fake leads to being angry and that leads to being exhausted. My job has also recently changed. I no longer work nights. I was happy to be moving to more sociable hours as I really got sick of sleeping when the Sun was up and being awake when it was dark. But now I’m on less money, do less hours, have more social interaction and need to get to know a whole new bunch of people whilst heading into a busy business period. And ridiculously I seem to have people looking to me for guidance. I don’t want to lead lol. I know my future is not where I am now. I had the crap job that I stayed at for far too long following University. I needed to step away from that and almost anything was a bonus as long as I got away and I did. I stepped sideways. And now it’s nearly time for the next move. This move doesn’t need to be upwards for me. I want a job that I can do and not have to clock watch and wish to high heaven that I wasn’t there. I need to be able to afford to live but I don’t need much. I don’t have much ambition either really. I just don’t want to be bored or drained. Is that so much to ask the Universe for? I’m a good employee. But I don’t know what to do. There are some career types that I can just scratch off easily. I don’t want to sell things for example. I don’t want to even think much about profit and that limits me because all this world cares about is money. I really need a good think about this as I want to find a job that I can be moderately happy doing and stay at it for a long while. It would be nice to find that.

I’ll save my writing for another time when energy levels are higher I guess. For now I have a couple of more hours to enjoy being by myself before work. I probably will get the anger out with a blog attacking everybody who has annoyed me soon. And I definitely want to write about politics and how crazy things have become. Donald Trump, seriously? Wow, 2016 will be looked back upon as a turning point that’s for sure. I’ll save it for a rainy day. Peace x

Current TV programme: Black Mirror – incredible, everybody please watch it

Current book: Mistborn: The Alloy of Law – 2016 has been all about Brandon Sanderson for me

Current music: Chance the Rapper – If gospel and soulful music had a baby with hip hop they would create the sound of this guy who is one of the few mainstream artists today in rap worth listening to

 

 

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Black Holes and Toilets

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Some people believe in free will. Some believe in fate. Some in a mixture of both. I’ve mostly always believed in free will. I can do whatever I choose to and that is the beauty of life. I can sit here and do nothing. I can go outside and cause mayhem. We all can do whatever we choose and our actions can change on a whim. We have to maintain control of ourselves because we are responsible for our lives.

The other day I was burning some energy via my exercise bike. The thought of exercise is exhausting sometimes. I can’t be bothered with it and it’s kind of boring. But I’ve realised that when the heart is racing and the oxygen is flowing to my muscles my mental state massively improves. It’s good for you and makes you feel better so you have to fight the boredom and the laziness and just get it done. Plus you can listen to music whilst doing it to alleviate the monotony of it. No only does this activity make me feel better but it also gives me time to think and my thoughts seem to race. It’s as if the brain tries to keep up with the body and processes things at a faster rate. So there I was racing myself whilst listening to Death Grips (always Death Grips. Tangential topic here but I urge every human to stop listening to all other music and embrace Death Grips. Especially when doing any kind of activity as Death Grips is like the most stimulating drug the world has ever seen. Their music makes me want to fight/dance with inanimate objects. Some of their songs just start like an explosion and you are almost literally blown away by their power. And then they increase the force and build it and build it. You think things cannot get any more intense but they do. They build to one explosion after another taking you to greater and greater heights. They achieve the impossible. And it all builds to nothing. It takes you to such a crescendo that you need some resolution but they give you none and will pull the rug from under your feet so you fall off the mountain they lead you up. You will feel pumped up and unfulfilled. The only thing to do is listen to more and reach those heights again. Death Grips forever). The blood was flowing. My eyes were closed. I felt good. I felt alive. I often feel half dead but right then I felt totally alive and blessed to be so. There I was existing and glad to be existing instead of not existing. I had a positive vibe about the fact that billions of atoms of the Universe were united in making the cells of my body work as a system to allow me to be there in that moment on that exercise bike.

Next I thought about those atoms that are currently “me”. I wondered where they have been before. The stuff that makes those atoms has always (always) been. This stuff has flown through rivers and been in the clouds. It’s been through space and at the very centre of stars. It’s been through black holes and toilets. It will exist forever.And it goes all the way back to the Big Bang. That’s where we all were. Every human and animal and alien that has ever existed and will ever exist came from there and at one point was all part of the same whole. This stuff blows my mind on a daily basis and is nothing new but still makes me stop every now and then and berate myself for feeling a bit gloomy when reality is so miraculous. But on this particular occasion it blew my mind harder than it ever has before. I had a thought and this is not a unique thought but it is the first time that I had ever really thought about its implications. The potential truth is difficult to describe and also totally potentially not the truth at all anyway. Every piece of matter came from the Big Bang. Every particle, every proton, every quark, everything. In theory if there had been somebody  there at the Big Bang with the right equipment then they could have measured the energy involved. The speed and direction of every particle could have been measured and with that information every collision between particles could be predicted. Therefore every reaction would be known. Every star and galaxy that would be formed over the billions of years would be known. Every gas and every planet would be a known guaranteed inevitability. The nature of the Universe was determined in the very moment of the Big Bang. If you know the state of each point of space-time at the initial point then everything else that follows is inescapable. You would be able to predict Earth’s formation. You would predict every reaction that lead to the first carbon based life. You could predict the evolution of each microbe due to knowing every detail of nature and how each part of it would affect another part. The dinosaurs were inevitable due to the conditions established in the Big Bang. And the asteroid that killed them was always going to hit at that moment in time. Humans were inevitable. And every reaction that lead to everything we have ever done was guaranteed. All conditions are known and given every condition is a fixed thing then every decision is also fixed. Every war we’ve had, every murder. Every marriage and every birth. All things were guaranteed since the very beginning.

All of a sudden this insane concept seemed to make more sense to me than free will. Free will contradicts a Universe where every particle can in theory be measured. The implications are scary and can humble a person. Maybe we are not in control of our own destiny. We are subject to a higher power and that power is everything that is connected to the Big Bang. Our DNA is just information that has been passed from the first microbes that existed throughout all of the history of life on the planet until it reaches us. Before the microbe were other compounds, before that there was space and stars and before that was the Singularity. It was always pre-determined. We call it fate. And fate is a fact if it is in theory possible to know the original conditions of the Universe. There’s no escaping it. If you think you can do whatever you like and escape it by throwing a brick through your window right now then it is just the chemicals in your brain reacting in an utterly predictable way and that too was always known since the very start. You always would have been there. The Earth cooled. Life formed. You existed through evolution and your ancestors and your mental condition is guaranteed due to your genetics and your environment and all conditions in all of nature and in every human brain was always known even if you throw a brick through a window thinking you’re proving your free will. It blows your mind. That we are everything and have always been and always will be. We have no idea why things are this way and where they’re going but we are a function of the Universe in the same way a supernova is just a function. Different reactions but all caused by the same event. It’s like there’s a beginning of time and possibly an end of time and there are events between t = 0 and t = infinity and this moment now is just a slice of where we were at (as determined by previous events) in the space-time that we can experience at t = 13.8 billion years.

Philosophically this is irrefutable. Measurement leads to predictive behaviour of particles and that leads to a deterministic Universe. And that means you are not free. So there I was riding the exercise bike feeling like everything has changed. Your outlook on life is much different if free will doesn’t exist. It means we are blameless for our failures and our successes were nothing to do with us either. The people we meet are guaranteed. When we fall in love with somebody it is utterly predictable and was always going to happen from the moment the Big Bang happened. Every illness, every fall down the stairs, every sneeze, every free kick from Lionel Messi, every beat (boom!) from a Death Grips track was literally written in the stars. After hitting my target distance on the exercise bike I ran to my laptop desperate for this conundrum to be disproved by some clever asshole on the internet. I knew the make or break of this dilemma lay in the realm of Quantum Physics. Can you really know where every particle from the Big Bang would go given the initial conditions? I studied Quantum Physics at University a bit and I would say it is the most complicated thing I ever studied by far. At school and beyond I always seemed to understand everything I was ever told. The truth always makes sense and I never had trouble understanding. My only trouble was recalling such truths under exam conditions sometimes. Except when it comes to Quantum Physics. I never really understood it and I still don’t. I don’t think anybody understands it. Maybe our brains aren’t capable of understanding it yet. But there’s a thing in this subject called the Uncertainty Principle. I remember that when it comes to the position of electrons you can only use probabilities and can never know for sure. The truth is something like this – if you know the speed and direction of an electron then maybe it’s 80% likely to be in a particular location but 20% of the time it will be elsewhere. That’s a vague and wrong example but that’s the kind of way it is. You’d think if you knew the speed of a particle and where it was going that at a fixed time later you would be able to measure it and it should be where it should be right? Not on a quantum level. It only might be there. And as soon as you know the location then you no longer know its speed again. It makes no sense at all. But fuck all that. The crucial thing is that it isn’t possible to measure where the hell particles may or may not go and so that may mean things are actually random and it brings free will back into the picture. The problem is just because we have no way of properly measuring things on a quantum level it doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. Maybe we just haven’t figured it out yet. And so this is the situation….if we ever figure out how to precisely observe things on a quantum level so that we know whether Schrödinger’s Cat is dead or alive before we look at it then that will prove that the Universe is deterministic and fate is real. If things 100% cannot be measured then I guess there’s a chance that we have free will. Intuitively things must be able to be measured right? There must be a way to know where a goddamn electron is for sure. If not then reality is so weird. Scientists need more time to work on this problem.

I believe (I have to believe) that everything obeys the laws of the Universe and so this is also true of things on a quantum level. I just think we do not have the technology and the insight for it yet. And if that is the case then free will is impossible. Everything I’ve ever done and ever will do could only have ever been the way it went and it was all predictable. My mind comes up with nothing unique as it is just a product of genetics and environmental conditions. Maybe a cigarette smoker was never free from it even before they got addicted. Either way we’re all a part of the same whole. We see light due to evolving eyes capable of registering a tiny part of the electromagnetic spectrum as a way to use information. But there’s much going on beyond what we can see. We’re so limited and these questions are mind boggling. That’s why I’m so against anything that hinders science and the finding of answers. We want to know why the Big Bang happened and what was going on before then. What’s at the edge of the Universe? An end or infinity? Why are we here? Where are we going? What are all the aliens up to? Why won’t electrons behave normally?

Sometimes in the most mundane circumstances these questions penetrate us and make us want to get a pencil and a ruler out and start working a few things out. I never expected a simple exercise biking event would lead to me reading about Quantum Physics again but I guess causality dictates that for me the latter would always happen due to the former and the former would always have happened due to my boredom at that moment. And this blog was inevitable.

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Trapped in a Flesh Prison

mask

I don’t know. This piece of writing is probably going to be quite negative. It’s time for another therapy session. Many overwhelmingly suffocating thoughts have been occurring lately and this is me giving them their time so that I can hopefully be rid of them. Each thought can be it’s own little mini-blog. It’s similar to when I wrote The Lost Blogs blog. I’ve been saving a series of phrases that have caused me to feel some kind of panic or gloom…

  1. Pokemon Go. I have never played this game and yet I’ve thought about it a lot. The media has given it much attention. People in the UK were using a workaround to get access to the game before it was even released here. And then it did get released and BOOM. The world changed. I didn’t think I would like the game so wasn’t going to bother but after seeing how big it became I decided to give it a try as I didn’t want to be left out. What if it is the best game ever? However my phone saved me. When I got my Galaxy Note 3 a couple of years ago one of the first things I did was get root access. The only custom thing I wanted to do was to increase the volume of the device above the shockingly low limit Samsung had given it. That’s all I did. And since then I have not been able to update the Android software. I think there’s a way I can manually do it but it looks complicated and I can’t be arsed. Anyway, the point is the software required for the game is Android 4.4 minimum and my phone currently has Android 4.3. So I can’t download it. I thought about getting a new phone as there are other problems too. But I’ve fixed all of the problems now and playing Pokemon Go is the only problem left. Even though I don’t want to play it. This little scenario caused me to panic. It’s the most ridiculous thing in the world and it took up far too much of my thoughts. And that is the world today. Phones, software updates and stupid games. People are walking around like the walking dead looking for a Rattata to capture in an imaginary ball. Businesses and churches are becoming Pokemon Centres and putting offers on to Pokemon Go players. The game fills me with dread. People are shopping and looking at a Pidgey next to a tin of baked beans. It’s utter nonsense and it has taken over the world. This is our generation and this is the future. Who cares about why we’re here when there are Pokemon to catch? This game is like confirmation that nothing matters. We’re a big cosmic joke. It’s an absolute wonder and a mystery that we’re here in this insane Universe and the reason people are exploring it is to obtain a piece of digital information on a stupid smart-phone. Panic attack inducing is what it is.
  2. I was having a bath. My back was aching. I sneezed. I felt dizzy. And I felt a surge of adrenaline. In what is supposed to be a relaxing situation I felt the fight or flight response. Utterly retarded. Yet these are our limitations. We’re trapped in this flesh and can be subjected to all the maladies it throws our way. Physical and mental illness, injuries, fatigue etc. I have so many things I want to experience and there are so many things to be curious about. Everybody hopes to remain healthy and to be able to live a fulfilling life. But I could slip in the bath, hit my head and slip out of existence in an instant. In these gloomy moments I often think of tragedies. That day I had seen a video on the internet that was basically HD footage of the attacks on the World Trade Centre. I watched this stuff for an hour or two. The first tower burning. The plane hitting the second tower live on the news. People with kids in their living rooms in apartments near the towers watching them crumble live. They would zoom in on the part of the tower the plane hit. They would zoom in on people that were jumping from the heat of the building to plummet to the Earth below. All of them trapped in their flesh prisons. I listened to phone calls from people in the towers calling emergency services. Total fear in their voices as the suffocating heat surrounded them. Until the moment the towers fell and you heard a scream and then a dead phone line. I listened to an air hostess calling people on the ground telling them that the cockpit crew were dead and the plane had been hijacked. She was so calm and gave the information she could. And then she stopped replying as the plane had hit the tower. The whole day of events played on my mind. I imagined the people on the planes scared and wondering what the hijackers wanted. I wonder if they saw the towers ahead at all or if they were dead before they even knew it. I imagined the people in the towers working in their offices like a normal day. I wonder if some of them looked out of the window and saw the plane flying at them or if they were in the inferno before they knew it. I imagined the people in floors above burning. I wonder if they had hope they would be saved at first. I try to imagine how bad it must be to choose to jump out of the window. To jump is certain death in one of the most terrifying ways I can imagine. And there are things like this going on all over the world everyday. One minute you’re watching a film at the cinema, next minute somebody is spraying bullets into your body. One minute you’re attending a parade, next minute a truck is smashing into you. One minute you’re buying some apples, next minute the guy standing next to you is exploding and wiping you off the face of the Earth. One minute you’re the lead singer of Nirvana, next minute you’re so sick of everything that you blow your own head off. It’s so morbid to think of these things. But it is a truth in this mad world. So I sat there in my bath feeling just as trapped as a passenger on a flight heading into the World Trade Centre. They were powerless as they hurtled toward destruction. As am I. Hurtling toward some unknown destruction. As are we all. Most of the time we block these thoughts out. But if you give them some time they can weigh you down. We’re all in the same boat and that is some comfort. But on the other hand it is no comfort at all. I know the answer is to not think like this and to focus on the positives of life and use the uncertainty as a reason to live for today. It is incredibly important to distract yourself. I guess that’s why people play Pokemon. If they need to go to the other side of town to hunt for these imaginary creatures then at least they aren’t imagining the absolute horror of being a passenger on a plane heading into a building.
  3. I was walking home from work. A man was walking towards me so I made sure not to make eye contact. I never make eye contact with strangers. But I could tell he really wanted to make eye contact. So I sighed inwardly and looked at him. He had a suit on and my impression of this guy was that he was kind. Unbelievably he said “good morning, hope you’re having a great day!” I replied, “good morning, yes thanks and hope you are too”. I had a bag of shopping in each hand but he wanted to give me a leaflet so he popped it into my carrier bag. I mentally rolled my eyes. I knew what the leaflet would be and you can probably guess. I got back home and yes, it was a Jehovah’s Witness leaflet. Typical. That takes the shine off a random “good morning” from a stranger as there is a motive. I read the leaflet. I always do. And you know the thing about religious leaflets these days? They try to use science and logic rather than just Bible passages now. It’s really interesting actually. I guess since science and rationality has quickly been destroying religion over the years they are trying to use the weapons of reason against the reasonable people. They now realise the battle for people’s minds is something they can’t win without some kind of real explanation. I admire how creative they can be. But in summation this is what they do…first they only take one point from the Bible. And on this one point they try to use logical reasoning, historical facts, science and the words from the Bible as some kind of way to prove their point. And the case they make might seem convincing to somebody who is already on their side. But they will always fail when it comes to rational thought. At first glance their argument may seem sound. The historical facts may be debatable and the science may be wishy-washy. Their logic may be flawed and the Bible is a way of proving itself which is bullshit. But together they form some kind of argument. All you do though is attack it from each angle. Prove the history is unproven, show them the science and logic are flawed. And even if in a person’s mind it is still a 50/50 issue on whether atheists are right or the Bible is right on this particular point you can let them have the win and then go through the Bible and pick out hundreds of inaccuracies. So I don’t see how they hope to continue to sway people’s minds when science is only getting stronger and stronger and the Bible is becoming more and more of a joke. It reminds me of Pokemon Go again really. Except instead of a smartphone people are walking around with their heads in the Bible. Both are just distractions from reality. And this leads me on to the next mini-blog.
  4.  Passion. For me lately passion in everything seems to be waning. I know this is a symptom of depression. I understand that I can overcome depression but sometimes I just accept it. People get depressed. I’m one of them. People get over depression. I probably will. But it is what it is at the moment. But passion is waning. I find it hard to focus on an important football match or a great film. I find I don’t care about much at all really. Some days I’m content to speak to nobody and I do nothing but read and play games and piss about on the internet with a few beers. I don’t feel like going out and I have no hobbies. Nothing interests me really. I don’t pay much attention to facebook these days as I don’t really give a shit what people are up to. New car? New house? Awesome holiday? Gone to the gym? Had a nice meal? Took a new selfie? Don’t give a shit. The few perks of having facebook are almost losing against the disadvantages of having to view all the narcissistic insanity on there. It just seems to highlight my lack of passion for anything. My favourite things on facebook are nihilistic memes and satire taking the piss out of anything and everything. But wouldn’t it be nice to have a passion and a hobby? Wouldn’t it be really cool to be a part of a club with like minded people? And this brought me back to the Jehovah’s Witness man. And also I’ve just discovered that my current favourite author (Brandon Sanderson) is a Mormon. Mormons and Scientologists are probably the most stupid of all religious groups I think. But this Sanderson guy is very intelligent. His books are amazing. And I’ve watched him on YouTube giving lectures about creative writing and it’s really insightful. Yet he’s a Mormon. He’s done missionary work abroad. He goes to his church club and he believes in what they preach. It’s incredible. I think this is what some people choose over the truth of science due to them being incapable of processing the truth. I worry I too am incapable of processing the truth. Maybe atheism is partly to blame for my depression. It would be much easier to be happy if I was a member of the Church of the Latter Day Saints or if I joined up with that kind Jehovah’s Witness guy. They offer explanations and purpose. They offer friendship. And they’re all part of something where there is an overall aim. I’m so envious. Joining a church ticks absolutely every box for me with what I need in life right now. Except one. I would have purpose and a hobby and a passion and friends and I wouldn’t be so terrified of being all alone in my flesh prison if I had a connection to the creator and orchestrator of everything. The box it doesn’t tick though is truth. I could never have the passion for something that isn’t true. Part of me has considered ignoring truth. How important is truth really? Life is a journey and does it really matter that there is no heaven and no God if you can be part of a group of people that have some passion and want to do good? Maybe I should join a church anyway and just be part of it for a while. But I know I never could because it would drive me crazy with the fake kindness just to please an imaginary God. It’s not fair that these groups of people get to delude themselves and be happy with false answers to our deepest questions. They must lack faith at times. And as an atheist what I would love to do is to get people to confront the lack of faith they sometimes feel and increase it. I want to convert people away from the nonsense. All atheists should aim to do this for two reasons. Religion with all of its bloodshed and all of its dogma slows down the progress of the human race. Without it we could come up with better games to distract ourselves with than Pokemon Go and we wouldn’t sometimes end up with planes flying into buildings. The second reason is that these people have no right to delude themselves with false happiness when I and others are forced to be content with the depressing truth of reality. I need the Jehovah’s Witness man to wipe the fake kindness off his face and realise that the answers are not so simple if there are any at all. I want him to sit in his bath in despair when he understands as I do. The truth is the Universe is indifferent when it comes to our existence and we are insignificant. It’s not that it wouldn’t hesitate to kill us all with an asteroid as it isn’t evil, it’s just that if it is capable of thinking and acting and an asteroid was on a collision course with Earth it wouldn’t bat an eyelid as it hit us like a white cue ball hitting a green ball and throwing us into a black hole. I’d loved to be a part of a group that spreads good vibes and builds schools in poor places and does a lot of charity work. But when they sing about Jesus saving us all and God loving us it is infuriating. I guess that is something that I have some passion about still.
  5. Timehop isn’t so great for a chronophobic asshole like me. Everyday it shows me thoughts that I had years ago and I remember them like they were yesterday. I no longer write so many thoughts on facebook due to my lack of passion about anything. Things used to annoy me and bother me on a daily basis so I’d have to write a status to get it off my chest. Now I largely just don’t care. But when I read these thoughts on Timehop I realise that between 8 and 3 years ago I was extremely angry at everything and between 3 and 1 years ago I found some kind of peace. I posted many quotes about inner peace and philosophy. And now I don’t believe many of them either. I still think Buddha was amazing and Buddhism is amazing. I need it right now but struggling to give a shit about it. Maybe all I need is one big meditation session and all of this confusion will fade away and clarity will return. But as I said I am currently embracing my depression and accepting it. However I do have an issue with some of these new-age-second-coming-of-Buddha-wannabees. I thought they were wise and were on the same spiritual journey that I was. Maybe they are. Maybe I’m just too cynical right now. I feel I can see through it as it is all superficial bullshit. They themselves are really just a product. They say wise things in videos and give great advice on how to live life and be happy. Go Vegan, think of others, don’t be materialistic, don’t think about money, live in the present moment etc. And they are always smiling and are living evidence that these methods work. But what are they like off camera? Still all singing and all dancing? Are they really not living this way as it is a job to them and really it is mostly about money? Again, like all spirituality it seems to come to money eventually. Every church prays on our insecurities and seems to do some good for our well being whilst raking in the cash. And every spiritual leader that is independent seems to do the same. Everybody has confusion and everybody wants to be happy. Give the people advice on how to be happy whilst obviously appearing to be happy yourself and also have an online shop where they can buy your books and your t-shirt and pay for one on one life coaching sessions. It reeks of bullshit to me. Buddha gave all of his knowledge for free and seemed to really just want to help people. Unless that was all bullshit and was made up by humans like everything else was. Either way all of these new age wannabe-Buddha’s can do one. Nobody knows anything. We’re all clueless. I’m totally against people acting like they have answers. And over the last couple of years at times I myself have acted like one of these idiots. Thinking I had answers. Hoping I had answers. When really I didn’t have a clue just like always. Just like everybody else. Buddha said search within yourself and don’t listen to others. He even said don’t listen to him. We really are on our own on our journey. There are peaks and troughs, highs and depressions. I know I’m on a downer and that is totally fine. I don’t want to artificially eject myself out of it with the made up nonsense from another. What works for them will not work for me. Inner peace is unique and also elusive. Maybe some of us never find it. But I’d rather that over lies. The truth is too important to pull the wool over my own eyes. The Jehovah’s Witness man looks wise but it’s easy to see through the disguise. Uggh. Yeah. Uh-huh. Yeah. Maybe I’ll write a rap about it. But I’m done for the day. I know these have been some negative words and I need to slap myself out of it. But it really is ok to just accept the way we actually feel. Just because everybody on social media seems to be having the time of their lives doesn’t mean that they aren’t really just another poor soul in a delicate little flesh prison of their own with no clue about what to do in life in this confusing and chaotic Universe.

Peace and lov…

Contentment and neutrality x

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Artificial Death in the West

“Play your fucking part – I’ll bleed my fucking heart dry”

DG

Just who the fuck are Death Grips?

For me the quality of life at any given time is massively influenced by whatever music you’re listening to at that time. Sometimes it’s like the good times in life are good because there’s a new band you’re into or a great album that has just been released. The music puts you in a great mood which influences how happy you are and how positive you are which leads to more enjoyable days. Sometimes there’s no new music to listen to. Everything sucks and fails to grab your attention. And then life is bland and boring. Nothing happens. You put your headphones on and listen to your favourite songs but your brain just needs some new vibrations to bounce along to and nothing you have in any playlist can satisfy the itch.

Then you have these moments where you just totally get into a band and everything in life is ok again. Over the years I’ve had these moments a few times. In very recent years The Beatles (finally), Opeth, Massive Attack and (the most recent) The Smiths have been the bands that totally encapsulated me to the point where I almost needed to play their songs all day every day for a few months until they became one of the typical favourites and my brain had chance to crave something new again. These favourites are still great and you can still listen to them a lot and never get bored. But it’s not like the addiction of being into something fresh. I know not everybody can relate to this. There are friends of mine that will only really listen to radio hits and never really give anything new a chance and have no desire to. I always wonder how they ever begin to like a new song or band. I guess the song must be on the radio station they listen to frequently and after that station plays it a few times it becomes familiar and can then be liked. I guess not everyone cares so much about broadening their taste since music is not so important in their lives and that is fair enough. But I always need new music. I search for it via reviews and videos. If you can find a great album then you’re happy. If you find a band with a consistently interesting discography then that’s awesome. But the holy grail is finding a band where you are invested in them as a band with both their music and their vision. This is a rare thing. When you find it their music speaks for you and you can relate. And they’re real. The lyrics in the songs are meant and they back it up with their actions. And when that happens for a few months at least you will love the soundwaves that this creative force has come up with and it will merge with your life. In the future those very vibrations will be tied to a nostalgia of a particular time. I guess for me this time it will be the soundtrack of the summer of 2016 when the politics in the UK totally lost the plot.

The band in question for me this time are called Death Grips. I first heard about them and listened to them about a year ago. I follow a popular YouTube channel called The Needle Drop (Anthony Fantano). His reviews on music are always informative and I feel that he gives his honest and uncompromising opinion on music. He judges it on its merits and doesn’t really think about image, hype or fanbase so much. This guy always gives Eminem pretty crap reviews and since I’m a huge Stan I totally disagree with him but massively respect his opinion. So many times I’ve thought an album was the dog’s bollocks and I’ve checked into The Needle Drop sure that he will be giving an 8 or 9 out of 10 only to be dismayed to see him give the thing 5 or 6 out of 10. For a while I used to think that he was just a music snob. Fuck him. What the hell does he know? Eventually I learnt to just respect what he says but be at peace that my opinion was different to his. And sometimes he did love albums that I loved too. I’d never seen him give out a full 10 out of 10. Even when I was sure he would give a 10 based on how his review was going it would only get a 9. So I decided to find his really rare reviews on when he’d given a 10. I discovered two albums that this music snob raved about. The Madvillain album was one of them which I’d already listened to a bunch of times and though I think it is great I don’t know how he loved it enough to give a 10. It has many skits which add to the vibe but eventually just interrupt the album for me. The other album was The Money Store by Death Grips. Holy shit. I remember listening to it with my headphones and understanding how it was worth a 10 on first listen. It’s sonically something else. It’s mega aggressive and gets you so pumped up. For some reason though I didn’t listen to it that much. I guess The Beatles were still overshadowing everything.

Then recently I see a new Death Grips album review by Fantano for Bottomless Pit. His mind is blown again and he gives it a strong 9 out of 10. These guys again. So I decided to have another look at them and see what they were about and what they’d accomplished so far. And they’re simply one of the strangest bands around. There’s three of them. MC Ride is the rapper/screamer. Zach Hill is the drummer/producer. And Flatlander is the keyboard player/producer. Two white guys and a black dude making hip hop music. Except it isn’t hip hop music really. It’s far too heavy and aggressive to be classed as that. It’s very experimental, very punk, very electro, very industrial and completely mental. It’s like what would happen if you merged The Roots, The Sex Pistols and Nine Inch Nails and then added an unhealthy dose of insanity. Every song of theirs is interesting and creative. Most of them are outstanding and make you wanna get up and move/smash things. I guess angry music was what my heart desired this time after so much melodic and peaceful music lately. And this band ticks a lot of boxes. The rhymes are there and the lyrics are always a bit nuts and make little sense in a good way. There’s so much going on with each track as they use samples and guitars and insane drumming with synthesizers. And considering they only got together in 2010 they have absolutely thrown these songs out at an incredible rate. More than an album per year at the moment. I don’t know how they’re doing it or where they’re finding the creativity. Each song is different and each album is a curveball.

It’s always nice to find a new band that are consistently delivering the music that you love. But Death Grips are also more than that. There’s a mystique to them.  Eminem uses the character of Slim Shady to act like a maniac in his songs. At the end of the day he can step away from that and be himself. Death Grips are nowhere near his level of fame. But in their lyrics they are at least as mental as Eminem. Except that how they seem to act in real life seems to reinforce that that is just how they are. They started out with an EP and then a mixtape called Exmilitary. Then they got a two album deal on a major label. The first album was the instant classic The Money Store. The samples used range from snippets of ringtones from the Middle East to strange and obscure footage they’ve seen on TV or recorded in real life. They even used the grunt of a female tennis player as a sample. And they turn all of this into music in weird ways. After The Money Store they said they would release another album the very same year. Their label told them they wouldn’t let them as they need to wait a year. Death Grips decide this album will be far more electronic and stripped down than The Money Store. For the album cover Zach Hill took a picture of his erect dick with the album title No Love Deep Web written on it. Obviously this is crazy and is censored everywhere. The record label must be wondering what they’ve gotten themselves into. Still they’re adamant the album won’t be released for a year. However Death Grips does what it wants and they like to release albums when there’s a full moon. Plus they’d already told fans that two albums would be released that year. So on the date they had said and when the moon was full they leaked their own album all over the internet screwing themselves and their label out of a load of money. The label dropped them. Death Grips didn’t give a shit.

The madness continued. They would drop out of shows at random. Sometimes giving no reason and not even telling the organisers. And some of these were big events. They released another album. It was largely instrumental and weird. Then they released another album for free and said it was part one of a two part album with the second half to come at some point. They had a tour booked with Nine Inch Nails where they would open for them. A massive opportunity you would think. Except before the tour Death Grips handwrote a statement on a piece of paper stating that they had split up because they have reached their best. They pulled out of the tour and quit music but said they would still finish part two of the album they already had out. Everybody asked when? When!? When goddamn it!? They released an instrumental album called Fashion Week where the track names spelled out Jenny Death When. Part two of the album was to be called Jenny Death and so this was them saying it would be out Fashion Week. It got released and it was typically chaotic and amazing. This insane band manages to release an awesome album every time. But they were done now right? All over? Nope. They announce they’re making a new album. They start playing shows again. They release the new album and it’s just ridiculously good again. And then they release a new song which people think means a new album is already being made. Except nobody knows since Death Grips are totally unpredictable.

I didn’t really want to type out all of their antics and there are many more. It is probably explained better elsewhere on the internet. But the way they act really interests me. It seems that there are two possibilities that explain them. Option 1 is that they really are crazy and they really truly don’t give a fuck. They don’t just rap about being mental they actually are that way. They only think about the creative vision they have and they don’t care about fans, fame, money or acclaim. Option 2 is that they’re very smart and risky. They know that by being the embodiment of what their music portrays it will cost them money short term but will get a lot of people interested in them. The hype will increase the more unpredictable they are and this will lead to more sales in the long term. I guess maybe they could just care so much about their art that everything else is just background noise to them. If people love it and want to hear it or watch them play then cool. But they are uncompromising. They really don’t seem to care if people like them or not. And that is admirable. They are real and there aren’t many real artists out there in 2016. Death Grips seems to be three dudes not paying attention to what anybody else does and just does what they want. The music they create is raw and organic. So when they have a song that feels unhinged and is about heavy drug use and extreme violence it actually seems believable. That makes them a bit scary. But that is far more interesting than the bland shit we get through our radio stations that are watered down to suit everybody. I get sick of being presented with a product that has been designed to fit the masses so as to achieve high sales and make rich assholes at record labels with no talent even more money. I want to be shocked. I want to feel something. I want to be presented with something ugly and unpolished if that is ultimately the truth of things. And when the music is this natural and so far away from mainstream bullshit but is also consistently incredible and being showered with universal critical acclaim then it means a great summer is ahead listening to these ferocious sons of bitches that seem just as angry as I am living in the UK in 2016.

Fuck it, I’ve rambled enough. If you want to listen to something that will make you feel alive then give these guys a listen and enjoy. You won’t be able to pin down their sound and 95% of people probably won’t like them. They’ll never be on the radio. Although I guess it would be typical Death Grips to next make a pop album that sounds like the Backstreet Boys. But yeah, give them a bash if you like angry music. Start with The Money Store. Just don’t try them before you are about to go to bed as they will make you need to jump around and attack inanimate objects.

 

 

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