Saturday

given my eco-rant of a few days back, you might be confused to hear i'm thinking of flying to croatia in may.

my head's a confusing mess of arguments and counter-arguments. we should cut down extraneous flights. so why does it seem like i'm the only fucker who's not doing it? flying would be at the very most a sixth of the cost of going by, say, train, meaning we all save money, and that's money that i get to donate to charity or something - even if i offset my guilt by a hundred pounds, i've still halved the cost of travel. isn't that good?

i'm not waiting for our leaders to be effective on climate change, there's plenty i do already. in fact, checking out my carbon foot print online, i'm well below the national average, even including flights. while i could try harder to reduce my carbon emissions, if other people made only a little effort they'd be a massive reduction. so why should i bust my balls and be a killjoy on other people's behalf?

that said, this is not a necessary flight; it is purely leisure. in answer to the obivous question, 'why does it have to be croatia?', well, that's where laurence wants to go. so it's either go or not go. what do i do?

omfg

is it ok to say 'omfg' in real life? ian burst out laughing at me when i did but i don't think that's fair. it's not the same as 'lol' or 'rofl'; those make up for the fact that you have to somehow describe your laughter. omfg is simply an anacronym.

and also, stalking people on the internet that you found on okcupid is totally different to stalking them in real life, just like pirating music is not exactly the same as stealing a cd from a store. this is why i tag all my photos by people's full name, where known, so that people searching for them can find a good pic of their face.

actually, i don't know why i have a different username for dating websites. i suppose if someone searches for 'grilly' i want them to find this and my music and stuff, not my pathetic attempts at wit.

Friday

everything else/the eternal weekend

a little more context; the previous post was spawned by sitting in front of a woman on the bus who had the most annoying voice i'd ever heard (well at the time it was) and views to match. it was as much an attack on her as anything else. but that's what you get i suppose. apologies for the john gray 'do keep up' writing style and the frequent distraction from the central issue. but i think it seems pretty lucid for being drunk at three in the morning.

i dom't know where we should go from. i suppose i should work backwards and see how far back i can remember.

right now, i'm sat in front of my computer blogging. my foot hurts and i need to get a plaster on it. i can still just about make out '4 real' on my arm that i carved with my thumbnail. yesterday felt like a saturday and i've no idea how today feels

after the gig last night, every one went home as you'd imagine, except hiska and jeremy who were going into mother bar, and to the depths of the criminal world, i followed [them]. during the usual body search, the bouncer came across my utilty tool with keys attached, which of course i'd forgotten i'd had. he said he'd hold it for me, but i should keep my keys with me. i said i'd leave the keys on it, to make sure i'd get it back off him. he said i could make sure, and i didn't have to leave him with my house keys, saying he could run home and burgle me while i was in there. steady on, i thought, we've only just met. after some very jewish to-ing and fro-ing, i aquiessed and took the keys off. they weren't even my house keys anyway. the club was awful, i felt compelled to make reference to gillen's 'retromancer' idea. after a bit, the music did get a little off the beaten track, but when they played 'rocks' i went to the toilet, and said to the guy next to me 'i hate primal scream more than any other band,' which he didn't take kindly to and seemed to think that this could be resolved by way of cock size and more. moving swiftly back into the safety of the crowd, i took leave and pummelled my way to the bus stop, using the tried and tested 'have you got the time?' technique to say 'it's ok i'm friendly really' to the other singletons there. upon the bus i was confronted with the woman i mentioned earlier.

after jo and andy left, i fired up doom again and, to put it simply, was over-stimulated. with this fiddly keyboard and this fiddly mouse and no desk, i'm making a kill-death ratio of 1:2 quite consistantly. does it matter that there were always loads of people on the tiny maps i was playing? probably not. then i had a sausage sarnie, and set out on foot, first to keep robin company at the 'flea pit', which is an nice but expensive bar/cafe/gallery, veggie but doesn't brag about it, lots of jazz tronica going on and so forth, and then on to see the girls play bar music hall, a venue with a bar bigger than most pubs. one big open spotlit room like something our of a seventies movie. the gig was awesome and loads of old faces crept out of the woodwork, everyone from hiska to chris out of illustrated youth and beyond. after them, a jazz funk band came on. we had a dance, i took my walking shoes to move better, and after a couple of minutes got a splinter. ed very kindly took to prodding at it with his self-harmy knife. i don't know if we got it out, made it worse or what. anyway, it hurts more now than it did then.

in the morning, i gave andy his presents of books and we finally got out of the house at midday to meet ed at tottenham court road at one. we went to crobar (a metal bar) for a quiet pint - may seem like an oxymoron, but we were the only customers. andy and jo then went off to meet alec, also on his lunch hour - it's funny how these thing fit together - while i took myself off to rough trade, which i managed to find, although they didn't have most of the tickets i wanted, so back to ticket web i suppose. we set off for a coffee on brick lane and then came home.

jo and andy arrived, we had supper, then we met up with barney in a pub. at home, i stayed up until two in the morning trying to sort out a deathmatch with laurence. if anyone's interested, go to http://www.zdaemon.org/, download the program and drop me a line. here is my player page, but it doesn't appear to have updated yet.

on tuesday i went to the national portrait gallery with new house mate katie. i'd heard it was shonky but actually quite liked it, especially the sequence of photos of blair in march 2003. we lost each other, then called to say she was leaving which was at a fine time for me to then meet up with other house mate ian to help him buy a guitar for ruth who i am replacing, for her to take on her travels. a wonderful little crafter traveller took our fancy, as did a beautiful black electric took my fancy, it looked and sounded very jazz and very metal, marked down to 280. if only i'd got it's name... then i went to the cornish bakehouse for a veggie sausage roll, and met up with ed, convincing him to try it out.. it's nice you see. we went to the cock off oxford street and met a clasical drummer, which was nice. and i love sam smiths pubs but i'm starting to see just how ubiquitous they are. then we went to the first of many 'last night drinks' for ruth before she goes away this weekend; istanbul/jordan/palestine. this was great too.

and jesus, the day before that, ed came here and we went to the pub and played street fighter 2', experimenting with special moves turned off and damage weighting. so that was monday. i arrived here the day before after spending at a week at 'home', tehn going to manchester to see ewa and alun and steve, all of which i did and not always by making an effort. which i think brings us up to speed. photos are on flickr, i can't be bothered embedding them this time. but thanks!

christ

if i hear another person say 'i was vegetarian for ten years and then i gave up because i had a keabab and it was really nice (&cetera)' i will slash my wrists, which i found out just now really hurts, even compared to hacking at a splinter in your foot with a knife.

a little context, maybe.

you've gotta notice there's a lot of them; the apostates. is there a ten year cycle or something? why do people give up?

for a start it's not unusual. look at any rebellious character; the 'millions of retired liberals' to quote half man half biscuit, the character in 'the ragged trousered philanthropists' who converted to the right wing because he decided the proles deserved the misery they got. it's hard to stay alternative for a while when there's no support. and that's the main thing.

i believe (and that's a strong word) that reason leads to vegetarianism. i also am of the opinion (perhaps a less strong word) that we are not all blessed with reason*, or rather, that reason is not universal, or is not the ultimate deciding factor in any decision process. we are only animals of course. reason is something that happens on a neuronal level; one cannot argue with simple additions of proteins and electrical charges. to abstract it to a conscious level is almost literally playing with fire; the physics are simple, but the complexity is horrendous. so reason only plays a small part. we wish it didn't but it does. of course we want to fall in line with the unreasonable majority, and after years of trying to no avail people will revert; behavioural psychology has many examples of this. it's hard to kick against the pricks; especially when the pricks are infectious.

but fuck, we are winning. there are more veges in the west than ever before. and sometimes, i really feel like i'm at war.

i don't think that everyone who gives up meat does it based on reason. most people who became vege that i know didn't even qualify it by reason to begin with, and that includes myself. it's only in continuation that they claim it to be 'the intelligent option'. and we might watch the barbarism of ducks when throwing bread at them; so does that mean we should sink to their level? if we did, we'd hunt them to extinction like so many other creatures.

some say that 'ultimately it's a matter of taste'. but it is not a matter of taste, not when they're chopping down rainforests to plant soy crops to feed your cattle. if you are even aware of environmental issues then fucking stop eating meat. if not, then read fucking monbiot dot com - and then stop eating meat. it's the first and easiest thing you can do to reduce your carbon buzz word footprint. what's your problem?

it is so hard to keep going when no one else makes the effort. when the world is clearly doomed to suffer a massive catastrophe and there's nothing we can do about it, because fucking people. why should idiots get all the fun? why did we get cursed with the intelligence to tell right from wrong, and even worse, the knowledge that it probably won't make any fate-damned difference whatever we do?

this is where lao tzu gets it wrong. if i have not drowned, he has said, it is because i have stayed afloat by letting the currents take me. but we simply can't afford to 'go with the flow' anymore. the flow is the universal consensus of idiots - the veritable confederacy of dunces. please, don't sink to they're level - rejoice in your freedom, excericse your illusion of free will. and if swimming against the tide condemns us too, then i guess we're doomed wither way. but as alan moore makes beautifully clear in v for vendetta, dignity is all we have and it can never be stolen from us - only given away. would you rather sign the confession you didn't write, or be taken behind the sheds, raped, and shot? similarly, would you rather live by a code of ethics that were never yours, or stand up for yourself, put forward the strong argument that you believe in and see if anyone is listening? only you would ever know. but who else does it matter to?

but what it comes down to; ultimately, we are all simply vessels for memes. i am carried away by the environmentalism meme (of which vegetarianism is a consequence). it is memes that are self aware, not us. either that or we too are self aware memes (surely i am just the grilly meme!). we can work harder at spreading the memes, but that too is just a peculiarly self-aware meme. spread that one first. the meme of free-will and the meme of determinism both lead to the ultimate self-replicating meme - the meme that says we should replicate memes. only by open rational discourse can we save this planet. and the 'rational' meme is all that can save us. because otherwise, the 'celebrity big brother' meme will just trump everything.

and it works both ways, the meme-individual interaction, just like the individual-society interaction; each influences the other. and you end up in a tautology so huge you can't see it's horizon.

if what i call reason is just another meme, then what good does it do us? did i forget my nihilism? no. i know every thing's meaningless, i just don't think that's an excuse to be a dick. because people who are selfish are clearly not nihilists, they're solipsists. but maybe, yes. a true nihilist would do nothing, nothing at all. a tempered nihilist might take the easiest route to death - which may be the long slow one. but isn't nihilism too just a meaningless meme, as valid as any other? i suppose i... [unfinished paragraph]

maybe in six years i will revert to being an eater of meat. i can't say i won't. but it won't be because i suddenly realised that all the things i've outlined above are wrong. it could only be because i didn't care about them any more.

that'll do, pig.

* i don't want to claim that i hold the 'ultimate truth'. i realise that what i consider 'reason' is just my opinion. but it's a very fucking well thought through opinion, so fuck off.

sub note.. thinking back, dangerously in light of certain false memory experiments detailed in 'opening skinner's box' i think i may have always been geared towards vegetarianism; i do remember being told in infants that 'kidney' was an organ of the body, and being disgusted, although 'steak' didn't seem to have the same resonance, and i did continue to eat kidney for about 15 years after that, so i don't think it invalidates what i've said. but as much as i became a vege through subconscious decision, i can't defeat the essential premises of what i've said. maybe that's a cause and effect thing; even if it is, is my reason wrong? this peice hasn't been about my actual reason at all, more the circumstances surrounding reason. but, you know...

Wednesday

back

i've completely got out of the habit of this. i've not even written my diary. since the last week before the move. so this is just to break that lack of habit and i'll write up things soon enough.

Thursday

arbitary social conventions

so lets see.

i see no value in arbitary social conventions; all traditions should be examined to see if they are harmful before being propogated. if they are harmless but useless, i am on the side of continuing them, because traditions are in themselves quite nice. they provide continuity, a sense of community. with this i do not argue. but i don't think it necessary to continue certain rites, simply because they are traditional. that does not make them better than other rituals that are not traditional. new traditions should be encouraged as much as old ones are diseminated.
thus traditions are nice, but not valuable. it is because they are silly, pointless and harmless and they should be retained.

some would argue from faith; that to question traditions at all immediately ruins them. they must be accepted altogether. these people are, frankly, wankers, who are usually trying to pass off such bigoted views as racism and theocracy under the war-cry of 'tradition'. they are consciously trying to hide their agenda, because they know the best way to have it accepted is by subterfuge. it is this tradition of blinkers, of mental baggage, that can only make people think 'my traditions are better than yours'. it is this tradition we should do away with first, but perhaps hardest.

maybe there is a weaker argument, not from faith, that says questioning traditions spoils them; the argument from naiveity against cynicism. but one can't stop being cynical and analytical simply because one finds it unpleasant, unless one finds it more unpleasant than the things you are trying to oust as bad traditions.

but while some traditions are obviously bad (e.g. living in fear of a god, eating meat) and others are obviously good (e.g. purim), and some are clearly silly, pointless, and harmless (can't think of any right now), there's obviously a massive grey area. wearing a yamulke or a head-scarf all the time doesn't hurt anyone. in this case, it's not the tradition of doing that that's harmful, but the mindset behind it. doing things arbitary because of tradition is only fun if you know they're arbitary and celebrate the fact. that is good tradition.

Monday

what happened to simian

the new simian mobile disco song is loathesome.

also in ex-simian news, simon lord proves he can do the whole 'new rave' thing, along with lo-fi chris cunnigham stylings..


it turns out james ford produced the klaxons, which explains why i liked them. it's nice when you're tested and vindicated.

no more youtube links now, honest. i've had my moment in the sun.

on the other hand, zabrinski's new album is called 'party time, yeah?' which is interesting. and could restart the whole yeah? thing.

Sunday

modern music

adam said he didn't listen to 'new music' anymore, so i got out my walkman (which i take to be a common word and not a brand) and played him fantomas, hella, ephel duath and 65daysofstatic.


my new favourite word is 'cwtsh' which is welsh for hug.

yesterday was ruth's 'nafada' was a tremendous success, which took me back a bit. i played some songs; i soundchecked on 'accept yourself' then played 'edmond', 'purple milk', 'airbag' (helplessly giving into the reggae) and 'love', all the while trying not to attract attention (unlike the guy who wouldn't start playing until everyone was quiet, but then i guess he had his own perogative) but let people enjoy themselves. no-one shuts up when a dj starts playing. i was there to entertain, which meant i was plenty surprised at the applause.

poking out of my pocket there is my case of adaptors. i brought my mic and stand and spent some good part of the night sorting out amplification, which mademe feel very useful. i wish andy had been there to get the mic positioning just so, but it was an interesting experiment in necessity.

Saturday

brain shards

i was reading the independant today, since someone else had the guardian, but it meant that i got to read the art review section (g2 is always stolen). andy gill, record review guy, wrote a two page article on stuff, letting it be know that he'd recieved 75 cds to be reviewed that week, showing how the cd wasn't dead and internet style marketing was over-rated. however, turning to his actual reviews, he gave grinder man (nick cave + dirty three) 5 stars, but three of the other releases - all big names - got two stars. why not review the good albums, andy? even giving the new bryan ferry album 2 stars gives it the oxygen of publicity, instead of some good indie band (or euros childs). ok so you had a two-page article about the ones you didn't review, but this is hardly a weekly occurance. maybe cds are dead, he's just not paying any attention in his ivory tower of promo copies.

also in that issue was john gray of 'straw dogs' fame reviewng 'the meaning of life' with a mixed conclusion and reviewing in such a way as to encourage investigation of his next book, the marvellously titled 'black mass: apocolyptic religion and the death of utopia'.

a query - the water at work tastes disgusting. so it has to be drunk cold. we have atap, and a water cooler, taking water from the tap and cooling it to a tasteless level. now which is more eco friendly? if i run the tap, i waste water, if i drink from the cooler, i waste power. right now, which is more important?

what is it about blackbird song that breaks my heart? it's the most beautiful sound. maybe it's because they're free to sing whatever they want, while other birds' songs are repetitive, and you know how humans love the illusion of free will. years ago, we had a blackbird in our garden that my parents taught to sing the speedy gonzales song. at the time i wondered - and it's no clearer to me now - if the bird could hear the song and was deliberately imitaing it, or if the song was filtering gently into his repetoire without him noticing. maybe there's no difference.

maybe it's just cause they're such amazing singers. they got the best tunes.

spent all night tonight wandering around soho 's sam smith pubs with adam green, taking in a vegan organic restaurant too. still hard to get over meeting david wrench and sticking a cd in his hand.
adam was breaking up with his live-in girlfriend of two years, which prompted me to go off on one about oxytocin, meaning i didn't notice rowan atkinson walking past me and giving me a funny look (adam said).