Supply & Demand…

Here’s a jolly little poem for you on a Friday afternoon, ’bout a corner of Hull, along with an attractive image of said corner. Have a nice weekend.

Waterhouse Lane

Supply & Demand

She was standing under the streetlight

No idea who Septimus Bromby was

And no desire to wade through some early 19th century census

To find out the name of the pub he ran.

No desire to be here, either

Standing under the streetlight

Of one of the city’s most famous streets

Built on a demand for fresh water

Giving those of a different era

What they wanted

Long before sewage

Flowed through here

Cash in hand.

This storm…

Murakami is the man…

“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.

An you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.

And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

Haruki Murakami – Kafka on the Shore

Existence…

“There are only two worlds – your world, which is the real world, and other worlds, the fantasy. Worlds like this are worlds of the human imagination: their reality, or lack of reality, is not important. What is important is that they are there. these worlds provide an alternative. Provide an escape. Provide a threat. Provide a dream, and power; provide refuge, and pain. They give your world meaning. They do not exist; and thus they are all that matters.”

Neil Gaiman – The Books of Magic

“It is cognition that is the fantasy…. Everything I tell you now is mere words. Arrange them and rearrange them as I might, I will never be able to explain to you the form of Will… My explanation would only show the correlation between myself and that Will by means of a correlation on the verbal level. The negation of cognition thus correlates to the negation of language. For when those two pillars of Western humanism, individual cognition and evolutionary continuity, lose their meaning, language loses meaning. Existence ceases for the individuum as we know it, and all becomes chaos. You cease to be a unique entity unto yourself, but exist simply as chaos. And not just the chaos that is you; your chaos is also my chaos. To wit, existence is communication, and communication, existence.”

Haruki Murakami – A Wild Sheep Chase

“If something burns your soul with purpose and desire, it’s your duty to be reduced to ashes by it. Any other form of existence will be yet another dull book in the library of life.”

Charles Bukowski

Aristotle told us this…

“All drama is about lies. All drama is about something that’s hidden. A drama starts because a situation becomes imbalanced by a lie. The lie may be something we tell each other or something we think about ourselves, but the lie imbalances a situation. If you’re cheating on your wife the repression of that puts things out of balance; or if you’re someone you think you’re not, and you think you should be further ahead in your job, that neurotic vision takes over your life and you’re plagued by it until you’re cleansed. At the end of a play the lie is revealed. The better the play the more surprising and inevitable the lie is. Aristotle told us this.”

David Mamet

Wind…

Hmm, I went on a bike ride. And it was very windy. And I haven’t been on a bike in an age.  But it was fun. Even the wind.

“On a day
when the wind is perfect,
the sail just needs to open and the world is full of beauty.
Today is such a
day.”

Rumi

Sit quietly…

“If you have time to chatter,
Read books.

If you have time to read,
Walk into mountain, desert and ocean.

If you have time to walk,
Sing songs and dance.

If you have time to dance,
Sit quietly, you happy, lucky idiot.”

Nanao Sakaki

Boom…

As you share and comment and play your role in the viral game, remember…

“Much of our media now are so image-rich and content-poor that they just serve to capture the eye, manipulate our emotions, and short-circuit our impulses. The propaganda and advertising industries therefore function increasingly like adult obedience industries. They instruct their audiences in how to feel and what to think, and increasing numbers of people seem to accept and follow the cues without question.”

Nancy Snow – Information War: American Propaganda, Free Speech and Opinion Control Since 9-11

“Our capacity as human beings for imagination and storytelling makes us exquisitely vulnerable to exploitation by those who understand the properties of ideological power.”

David Smail – Power, Interest and Psychology: Elements of a Social Materialist Understanding of Distress

“It is the same in all wars; the soldiers do the fighting, the journalists do the shouting, and no true patriot ever gets near a front-line trench, except on the briefest of propaganda-tours.”

George Orwell – Homage to Catalonia

“They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country. But in modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.”

Ernest Hemingway

“Like generations before us, we’re going to keep it up. Because with confidence in our cause and faith in each other, we still believe that there is hardly anything we cannot do.”

Barack Obama and David Cameron – Washington Post

“We prefer to celebrate ourselves and our nation by imbibing the myths of glory, honour, patriotism, and heroism, words that in combat become empty and meaningless.”

Chris Hedges – Death of the Liberal Class

“You’ll never have a quiet world until you knock the patriotism out of the human race.”

George Bernard Shaw – Heartbreak House

“People who enjoy waving flags don’t deserve to have one.”

Banksy 

“The monarchy is finished. It was finished a while ago, but they’re still making the corpses dance.”

Sue Townsend

According to convention…

“According to convention, I am not simply what I am doing now. I am also what I have done, and my conventionally edited version of my past is made to seem almost more the real “me” than what I am at this moment. For what I am seems so fleeting and intangible, but what I was is fixed and final. It is the firm basis for predictions of what I will be in the future, and so it comes about that I am more closely identified with what no longer exists than with what actually is!”

Alan Watts

I recommend breathing…

I meditate. Not as much as I feel that I should. Some of my friends mock me for ‘breathing’ and tell me that I’ve changed (the latter is a good thing. I am, they tell me, much calmer and less sarcastic and outspoken these days. Calmer being, I think in my friends’ use, a synonym for boring. I’ll take that).  Dan Harmon, the writer of Community and a hero of mine, declares that he takes “four deep four second breaths four times a day and it makes me better than you so eat it.” I wouldn’t go as far as declaring that my attempts at meditation make me better than anyone, but it has certainly made me feel better and, more importantly, aware of the following…

“We could say that meditation doesn’t have a reason or doesn’t have a purpose. In this respect it’s unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. When we make music we don’t do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.”

Alan Watts