Category Archives: waffling

Of sadism, cats and enormous white male entitlement

Reader, I am ashamed to admit it, but I liked it when the vet stuck a thermometer up Humbug’s backside.  Humbug did not, and that’s where my enjoyment came from – childishly punishing the little stripey fucker (as he is  usually affectionately – known).

Off his food (seriously not like him), having clearly lost weight, and lethargic, I was worried about him.  A couple of days ago he’d vomitted… So this morning I phoned the vet to try to get a first-thing appointment. No dice – earliest would be 11.40, which would scupper signature-collecting on The Petition with a new volunteer.  Gritted teeth, said yes to that slot, aware that if I didn’t get the cat attention when he needed it, I’d end up spending at least six weeks in an Intensive Care Unit myself.

In the next two hours Humbug mostly sits in silence, clearly not enjoying himself.  But then, of course, when I go to get him, he’s managed to prise past the barricaded catflap, then clamber (Humbug clambers) over the back gate and so in the alleyway.  Captured, he loudly and repeatedly voices his displeasure as we got to the vet (thanks Phil).

Diagnosis – well, given no fever etc, probably just gastroenteritis. The magpie and the pigeon he murdered possibly not agreeing with him.  So, an anti-nausau injection, bland food sachets, and worming tablets. Talk about weight – loss, I’m suddenly sixty pounds lighter…

Bloody cat.

But of course, this “ill, but gets better when medical attention booked” schtick is one that parents of homo sapiens are all too familiar with. And it’s mostly women who do that caring role for the little blighters. And I have the cash, now, to pay for the little furry fucker (who is sleeping on the floor as I speak).

All this is true, but it’s a conscious effort to remember these multiple privileges, and that on balance I am in paradise. I seem to be one of those people who is too self-centred and entitled to internalise emotionally what I know intellectually, so have to constantly remind myself. I’m no better than a bloody cat….

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Of former friends and financial metaphors

Two things on my mind:

A former friend made a very good point as we parted ways, about my sometime hazy (cough cough) attention to finer detail.  Blah blah extraversion blah blah … but actually, this is something I need to work on a bit more.  Hmmm (grim reality is that as an old dog it is hard to learn new tricks, but nonetheless, not impossible blah blah).  And will save time (am having to redo some grindingly boring work because I simply didn’t get it right the first time round. Only Myself To Blame, sadly.)

Second, financial metaphors.  Reading about platform economies etc.  Lots of people getting scammed. The old line about “if you’re sitting down to play poker and you can’t see who the sucker at the table is, get up and walk out, cos it’s you” applies.

Then there’s something to signify enormous risks – “picking up dimes in front of steamrollers”

And – a new one on me – “selling 10 dollar bills for five bucks” (the point being your units shifted and revenue gained per unit look fab. Lots of satisfied customers. But, um, you’re losing five bucks on every transaction….
That’ll do for now.

Oh, I suppose I should point to a couple of posts on Manchester Climate Monthly that I am proud- ish of –

  1. Meet is murder – “Where do we meet?” is not the only question
  2. Global Warming Local Swarming (on how you might try to run a BIG meeting of new folk)

 

Books I definitely did not buy today

Down to Withington to

  1. get anti-worming stuff from the vet for the stripey monster (and tell captive audience a terrible joke)
  2. get someone to succeed in shutting my “talking shoe” up
  3. buy new (second-hand) jeans.

As Mr. Loaf sings, two outa three ain’t bad.  And I absotively posilutely did not buy four books for the grand total of one quid.  And these books were in no way the following

  • Christopher Isherwood The Memorial
  • Christopher Isherwood Down There on a Visit
  • Andrew Sean Greer Less
  • Charles Shield And So it goes. Kurt Vonnegut: A Life.

Meanwhile, had a fab greasy spoon veggie breakfast and going through all the job applications (Sheffield, Canberra, East Anglia, Stockholm) that I have to apply for in the next few weeks. And Manchester too, for that matter…

 

More apocalyptic word salad

 

A species corsuscating on thin ice,
Snap, crackle, pop.
Faster faster (or else), kill (the) pussycat.
How I wonder what you’re at.

Kill them all
Let the gods we kept creating in our own image sort them out.
A fetish for fish, a fetish
For bondage, human bondage.

Ah, a sondage would show -has shown –
What is to be done
but we
have telescopic philanthropy, telescopic misanthropy and
the triumph of the wilful blindness –

Our lovely brains caught in a
Half-Nelson of our own devising, of our
Own devices.

Left to them.  We will, briefly,
be left to them.
In a billionaire’s bug out bunker far Down Under (and then second star on the left).

And the loneliness will eat our souls
After the fear has done the first digesting.
No-one, no thing left to mourn us in the
Morning.

“Depends on what I was taking” – of coherence, ambiguity, classic works of art

So, writing something I shouldn’t (I will retrolink to it), I stumble on this, about one of my favourite songs, ‘After the Gold Rush‘ by Neil Young.

Dolly Parton once commented about the making of her version of the song: “When we were doing the Trio album, I asked Linda and Emmy what it meant, and they didn’t know. So we called Neil Young, and he didn’t know. We asked him, flat out, what it meant, and he said, ‘Hell, I don’t know. I just wrote it. It just depends on what I was taking at the time. I guess every verse has something different I’d taken.'”

ROFLMAO.

The song means a hell of a lot to me, as does ‘Grey Seal’ sung by Elton John and written by Bernie Taupin, who also says he doesn’t know what it means (fwiw, here’s my take).

But the Parton anecdote put me in mind of this, from ‘The Big Sleep‘ and who killed the chauffeur.  I heard (a seemingly apocryphal) story that Bogart turned up one morning on set asking that question, but it seems that the script monkeys got there first.  Anyway, Raymond Chandler, author of the source novel was phoned up, and he didn’t know…

And here are the two songs mentioned above

and

 

Maunderings and meanderings (Thesis) #Window #Metaphors #sense-making

Maundering #1

One of the key techniques for defensive institutional work is to make nonsense; to destroy or at the very least degrade the sense-making capacity of your opponents.

Disorientate your enemy, deprive them of the ability to figure out – (quick enough – these are OODA loops, don’t forget), what is going on.

Screw with the sense-making capacity that people and organisations have, hack it, simplify it in directions that are useful to you. i.e  successfully creating the ‘common sense’ that the budget of a country’s government is the same as the budget of a house, with a need to always balance the budgets in the short term etc etc.  A master frame that disables other frames….  See also “Corporations are wealth creators, governments and states are dinosaurs and parasites…”

See also-

agnotology

‘Window’/chaff – make it hard for the radar to see what is going on  [devised by Joan Curran, who seems to have been a very kick-arse scientist]

Take away the road signs in case of invasion etc etc

Maundering #2

Every metaphor/analogy comes with costs, no?  It shapes or at least strongly suggests possible paths, taken or not.  Signposts that lead the unwary or unreflective, scared or busy (and we’re all way too busy) traveller down one route rather than another.  A touch of Frost and all that.

Phantastic objects and concept fetishism

What are phantastic objects? This

phantastic objects are subjectively very attractive “objects” (people, ideas or things) which people find highly exciting and idealise. They engage core biological and psychological processes of human attachment and falling in love so that people seek to attach themselves to them because they imagine (feel rather than think) they can satisfy the deepest desires, the deeper meaning of which they are only partially aware.

Reminds me of my recent concept of concept fetishism….

Without getting all relativist on yo ass, it’s all flows and impermanence,  smudges and kludges innit?  Palimpsest schmalimpsest, throw in some undigested Heisenberg and quantums of solace.  The Buddhists may have got some of this stuff right…