We are all killers and harlots. We all have blood on our hands and we are all for sale. We biped higher monkeys are fatally-flawed psychopaths – check out the last 10,000 years for the irrefutable evidence. We hold this truth to be self-evident: truth is to be held in contempt. We either persevere pitifully, planning for a happiness that is always just around the next corner, an anxiety-free vacuum forever in the future, or else we crumble, unable to bear the unbearable, and are airbrushed out of our deluded collective conspiracy. We endure unspeakable daily realities in the vague hope that our unique qualities will somehow exempt us from the fate of everyone else. We go out of our way to avoid learning from experience, the only reliable teacher, and we accomplish extraordinary feats of mental gymnastics to negate the unequivocal messages picked up by our sensory equipment. We insist on our specialness even though any two human beings are more similar genetically than any two cockroaches. What is the difference between your individual feeling of, say, pain and mine? None, save the minor variations determined by insignificant inherited niceties. Yet we nurture vast and complicated notions of selfhood that lead remorselessly to never being understood and never understanding, to say nothing of the wasted years getting to ‘know yourself’ as though an introduction was needed. As a result we approach one another through a quagmire of laughable misconceptions, delusions, transferences and projections, requiring an infinite permutation of selves in order to conduct the simplest interchange. Secrets, dreams, fantasies and futile yearnings breed in the self-obsessed masturbatory hot-houses of our minds and communication, if it ever occurs, is a hit-and-miss affair of random ricochets. We treat the past as a misty haze of salad days with a soundtrack of half-remembered popular songs and meticulously sift out all events which fail to support the view that life is a private adventure and we’re doing it My Way. History is bunkered in a concrete grotto of anachronistic modernity and rewritten nostalgia. A leads to B leads to C leads to D leads to, ‘God’ help us, luck and coincidence. Then there is the present. In a ‘civilisation’ one extended power-cut away from complete collapse the lunacies come thick and fast as a matter of routine, picking up pace in a snowball effect which would be alarming had we the time, the inclination or the stomach to get alarmed. 200 million people were killed by other people in the 20th century – more than in the whole of the rest of recorded history combined. We don’t like each other very much, do we? Lottery winners buy desert islands not terraced houses. We consider our species, those 8 billion and counting units of flesh and bone, so dreadful and so menacing that we require enough weaponry to wipe us out 10,000 times over, just in case. And that’s our own opinion of us – imagine what the rhinoceros or the panther must think. Because we know we are mortal we want to take the planet with us. And because we hate life, we have constructed vast death cults called religion to permeate every nook of our culture and every cranny of our sub-conscious, predicated on a pyramid-selling insurance scam that can never be redeemed; a stupidity no other animal has ever fallen for. But that is not my fault, or your fault, or anybody’s fault. Nothing is. We are mere dumb spectators, bottle-fed primetime murder and keeping warm by burning the house down. We arrive agog, we depart ga-ga. In between, we are so petrified of all that is ‘outside’ our own collection of atoms that none of us would drink a glass of water after spitting in it. Try it at home. Oh – you can’t bring yourself to swallow your own saliva? Ah-ha! Gotcha! You’ve fallen for the Big Lie you fool! The one that says your matter matters.
I printed it, folded it up, put it in an empty bottle, screwed on the top and hurled it from the Barrage breakwater into the murky Severn sea. Four years later I received a very nice letter from a counter-intuitive Clevedon chiropodist. We became friends and she has eradicated my verruca. That’s £10 you owe me Daniel: I have written a blog containing the words ‘harlots’, ‘crumble’, ‘cockroaches’, ‘quagmire’, ‘masturbatory’, ‘My Way‘, ‘rhinoceros’, ‘saliva’, ‘barrage’ and ‘verruca’. Don’t doubt me again.