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The middle ground. Not Blair's fabled Third Way, nor sitting on the metaphoric fence. The middle ground. Like Zelig, floating, somnambulist in the fog of past, present and future tense. Hard to find a context as one drifts through WH Smith's mega newsagent shelves searching for the elusive zeitgeist. Rudderless, the waking sleeper, in a Tramadol-induced hypnagogia. Titles swim up through the grey fug. New Humanist. Jewish Chronicle. Writers Forum. Zero Tolerance. Belief, atheism, satanism in one fell visual swoop. Still more bemusement. The confusion of competing titles revealing little.
God's dandruff. Higgs Bosun particles. Scientists looking for meaning in the infinitesimal. The titles reveal little.
Back to the egg. WH Smith's echoes my small discomfiture. Zero Tolerance unveils arcane satanism for the geeks who cling to the darkness. Suicide clauses in dark make-up and Finnish miserablism and fashionably bleak nihilism straight from the HP Lovecraft text. Hyper real nonsense, jockeying for position with glossy atheism and its cousin New Humanism. Comedians and scientist united in approval of a boringly rendered future. Nothing really new since Greek antiquity. Obvious stances of the Witchfinder General sort. Spiteful Oxbridge graduates in ivory towered, non-engagement with the great mass of seething, starving humanity. Easy for the Big Pharma-sponsored entertaining elite to talk down to us proles.
What do I know? Just a marginal, gutter cyclist avoiding the twin temptations of the easy cynicism and stoop-to-conquer Dawkins religiosity alongside the mugging, cycloptic light of the New Age idiot brigade. I am empty as a zen koan and as full as a Taoist sunset. Glib theories. Last gasp optimism in a tide of polarities worthy of mental illness indicators. DSM VI for 2011 and beyond. Old certainties and new science still showing a poor imagination at work.
More margins. But then, 'twas ever thus in this new Middle Age. Better to have some outsider view than join a club that admits such as I. Marxism of the right sort. Trying not to be co-opted by the extremities is worth pursuing. Neither a satanist crank nor a righteously hidebound New Humanist. No harm to either as I peddle through the slurry of print in WH Smith's back into the teeming hordes of consumers on Northumberland Street. Christmas in Newcastle. Hope beyond the grand spectacle of bread and circuses for the insomniac, amnesiac shoppers and imbibers of government taxed chemicals and prescribed behaviour. There is hope beyond the cogs driving the invisible mechanics of commerce and faceless enterprise. Gods and monsters? Black looking glasses reveal only more murk. Nietzsche was right in this aspect. Are we as a society blundering into one crises created to keep us spinning the roulette wheels of Sci-Finance? This is Phil Dick reimagined by tedious admen in suitable garb.
I drift back home and try to process all these rallying points. No answers.
Sleep reveals more congruent dreamscapes.
Where does one go from here?
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Singing my way to the top of the island, Maddened by what I knew lay ahead, My brain charged, a pylon Of human electricity not dead.
I like the lack of front-stabbing, but the back-stabbing is in the very ether. Or worse still, most folk just don't seem to care. You, me, we are expendable. In this rich city, the divide is not so subtle. Social cleansing is the order of the day. The slow creep to everyone being middle class. That...
And so it goes... As Vonnegut had it. Another week with wages underpaid, Another day with expectations lowered, And then lowered still. And some wonder why we drink.