Star Wars Theory – Sarlacc and the Backwards Krang

forcerageI recently became enraged by an article cribbed from The Guardian; an article speculating about future Star Wars movies that are outside the standard “trilogy”.

My rage begins when it says:


And then goes on to add

Pasted image at 2016_09_26 04_30 PM.png

The article is talking about your favourite bounty hunter and mine, rocket-loving Mandalorian clone, Boba Fett.

bobafettThe article angered me in the first because Boba Fett has been seen without his helmet… he’s a clone for Cliff’s sake!

As part payment for using his genetic make-up to create clone-troopers in the prequel movies, Jango Fett is gifted a clone of his own to raise as his own son.

Boba Fett is Jango Fett, genetically at least.

He may not get the benefit of being raised in Mandalorian society like his Father but genetically he is all but identical!

As for the comments of Boba Fett’s personality… upon what basis are they founded?

We’ve seen Boba as both a traumatised child, holding his father’s decapitated helmet, and ruthlessly effective bounty hunter of very few words… to liken him to the likes of Nute Gunray is insulting.

I doubt the author of that article has actually paid any attention to Star Wars outside of its existence as a franchise.

The article did act as food for thought however, with office discussions quickly moving to the subject of whether Boba Fett was alive or dead at the end of Return of the Jedi.

As any fool knows, our intrepid rocketeer was cruelly cast into the belly of the Sarlacc, where – so we are told – he will find a new definition of pain and suffering as he is slowly digested over a 1000 year period.

There has been much speculation as to what this actually means.

When Jabba tells us, via C3PO, that the Sarlacc digests its prey, causing them a 1000 years of torment we could easily surmise that Boba Fett – or any victim in fact – would be kept alive for that period of time.

Granted, internet sources accept that the Sarlacc’s prey would be immobilised through that period of time but Boba Fett is, pardon my French, fucking awesome and is highly likely to evade the Sarlaac’s juices and rocket his way out.

But why stop there?

The fate of our darling Fettling to one side for a moment, if the Sarlacc can keep people alive for such a long period of time, why are people not making use (or abuse) of that biological quirk?

Emperor Palpatine is a prime candidate for Sarlacc abuse.

He wants to gain power and to cheat death, well why not make use of the Sarlacc?

krangpatineAll he needs to do is force lightning his way in there, use the dark side to shield himself from the more debilitating elements of the Sarlacc’s juices and force control the Sarlacc into leaving its pit…

Palpers could then dominate the universe from within a massive, tentacular shell – safe from harm and rocking a bad-ass biological power armour like a cross between a cthonian Guyver unit and Shai-Hulud… like some kind of backwards Krang.

I Want to Break Free – A Posthumous Analysis

freddiewinkWhen I was a boy – and by that I mean a younger version of myself.

I don’t mean to imply that I’ve ever identified otherwise…

I was a massive Queen fan – and by that I mean I really enjoyed the music of Queen, I wasn’t the overweight monarchist I was in my early thirties…

In fact I was unhealthily underweight… but that’s not the point.

As a preteen Yorkshire-boy I enjoyed the works of Queen more than any other artist (except maybe Kate Bush or Adam Ant but nobody can really choose a single favourite can they?)

Too young to really understand the politics of sexuality that were breaking into popular culture and too young to appreciate some of the other wonders of my parents record collection, I would listen (much as I do now) to the same tracks over and over and over again.

Now that I’ve passed my 4th full decade on this plane, I realise I don’t listen to Queen nearly so much… hell, I don’t listen to them at all unless they pop up on the radio or a movie or television soundtrack.

But why?

I still enjoy their music; I still respect the lyrics and I still find relevance in their songs… I just don’t listen to them any more.

queen_news_of_the_worldI can cheer a dour or humourless day by singing along to King’s of the Wild Frontier or This Woman’s Work but hardly ever consider News of the World, with it’s thought provoking and melancholy murderous mecha-cover.

I don’t even own any of their albums (outside of A Kind of Magic – which I’m listening to as I type this – and their 3rd greatest hits album)… which is a crying shame considering the joy that Queen brought me in my youth.

With that as a backdrop and the scene set, I would like to narrate thoughts that arose following a brief workplace discussion regarding one of Queen’s actual “greatest” hits – “I Want to Break Free“…

A week ago, one of my web developers took it upon themselves to tidy our corner of the open plan office; the usual cleaner was off sick and this chap enjoys a tidy environment.

As my colleague set about looking for the office vacuum cleaner, another colleague remarked upon the how good the cleanliness-obsessed colleague would look dressed as Freddie Mercury in the music video of the song in question.

Our tidy-colleague (at the tender age of 21 and not being a fan of western music) had not heard the song… cue the whole team trying to explain the song, the video and their own interpretation of the song’s meaning.

It is well known that the video is influenced by the allegedly popular mancunian soap opera, Coronation Street, but the lyrics belie a potentially darker meaning.

The music video implies a need to break away from the tedium of domestic drudgery but the song itself appears to detail the death of a relationship and the potential rebirth of a new sexual adventure.

As colleagues argued that video was a possible allegory for domestic abuse, my own thoughts were drawn to the demonisation of Freddie’s sexuality in the press.

Granted, Freddie’s homosexuality was not the village-bell that it became more and more hammered in the months preceding his death but it was something of a stigma that he carried and it must have influenced his music, even then.

In the retrospective light of 2016, the song seems to me to be a heartfelt musing over the dichotomy faced by the lovers of the 1980s gay scene… Freddie, the protagonist of our song, falls in love with the love his life but at the same time feels trapped and yearns for the freedom offered by a promiscuous lifestyle or polyamorous relationship.

But then, having contemplated moving on and away from his love, our protagonist contemplates a reality without any love and so settles for what he has… still yearning for to break away to grass that appears greener and yet seems so barren at the same time.

Quite a sad song really.

Freddie died 25 years ago; in my memory his death became a media circus and a baton beaten in the war against AIDS; I often wonder what the world would be like had Freddie not died.

25 years on and the world is a very different place.

Wider societies opinions on sexuality and gender have progressed for the most part and the music industry has undergone numerous revolutions.

I’d like to think that Freddie would still be recording now, if not alone, in collaboration with his peers and the younger generation.

divinetrioCan you imagine the frenzy surrounding a boy-band collaboration between Freddie, Bowie and Jagger in the 21st century? Throw in Elton John and I think you would probably be able to call it a day – no need for any further pop music shenanigans…

Or maybe Freddie Mercury and Justin Timberlake?

Erm… I think I need the bathroom… Nurse?

The White Isle

ibizaoldtownfrommarinaI never thought I’d ever visit Ibiza, especially considering that I haven’t visited the Mediterranean since my late teens and my only overseas trip in the last decade was a stag party in Germany.

So you can imagine my surprise at being invited on the annual work’s incentive trip – a VIP affair that invites our key business partners to join us for a weekend in exotic or luxurious locations.

Initially, I was cautious – I’m not a clubber, I may enjoy a variety of trance, psychedelic and even some dance music but I’m not a fan of hot, sweaty claustrophobia that a vibrant club environment has to offer.

alternateviewofoldtownThat being said, I have missed travelling and love to explore new areas; the idea of exploring the diverse areas of Ibiza’s Old Town was exciting enough to set aside any fears I had around an unfit, overweight forty-something bouncing around Space during its dying days.

As an aside, it’s only as I type this that I realise, as many men do throughout their lives, that I am slowly becoming my Father, who has kept holiday logs for as long as I can remember and travels frequently.

I hereby set out, in a disjointed and succinct attempt at paternal emulation, my own travelogue.

Being a “VIP” work related trip, the expense wasn’t really an issue.

Actually, money is always an issue but in this context I had to pay for very little out of my own pocket.

Accommodation, travel and sustenance were all covered and the (seemingly) meager €100 I brought in hard currency was largely sold back on my return home.

My biggest worry prior to the trip was clothing; Ibizan fashion allegedly centers on Boho Shabby Chic.

My only exposure to Shabby Chic is through my Sister, who used to buy old tat at auctions and do them up to sell on eBay as “Shabby Chic”.

I’m not the best dressed person on the planet, to be honest I’m not that conscious of my appearance – vanity seems a waste of effort to me – but hippy linens and arty T-shirts are something I can work with; overall I don’t think I let the side down.

The flight out was uneventful, albeit I was subject to a “berenger” whatever that is – I must have looked dodgy to them, even as I stood – arms akimbo and jeans falling down – awaiting for the results of some kind of swabbing.

I was only on the isle for 3 nights, staying at the Destino Pacha Ibiza Resort in a lovely little room designed to feel like a villa-cum-bedsit.

The resort was luxurious and full of beautiful people with more money than sense.  I only paid for a single drink through the whole weekend, and that was a €9 20cl soda water!

On the first day we relaxed at the pool, soaking up the sun and mojitos.

sapuntoOn the evening we dined at a waterside restaurant, Sa Punta, where we were offered an amazing mix of seafood, olives and antipasti.

The selection of food may have seemed limited but the dishes we were presented with were well balanced, flavourful and filling.

Once we had consumed our fill and midnight closed in, we moved onto Club Il Lio in the marina itself.

Now, I’m not a fan of clubs at the best of times but the cabaret in life before us was inviting…

I lasted maybe an hour, if that; offensive and officious security guards constantly moving us out of the way – our “VIP” tickets meaningless in a world of regular big spenders and overly flamboyant dress.

That was my only nightclub experience of the weekend, thankfully; we visited Pacha on Sunday and some of my colleagues had the pleasure of experiencing Basement Jaxx in the dying days of Space but I only ate at Pacha (succulent and satisfying sushi with a minuscule offering of wasabi).

Prior to the visit to Pacha on Sunday, I spent the day exploring Dalt Villa itself.

cathedralI wandered the old town, making my way up to the Cathedral that overlooks the bay and back down through the various boutiques and bars.

I completed my first overseas Ingress mission and discovered that the Pokémon native to Spain are different to those we find in the United Kingdom (Growlithe and Ekans).

This supplemented my morning walks across the bleak, desiccated clifftops surrounding the resort – where the odd lizard and dragonfly skittered away from concealed lovers enjoying the morning after the night before.

Overall my favourite day was Saturday.

bluemarlinWe visited Blue Marlin Beach Club and spent several hours being treated to a selection of edible and potable treats whilst dipping into the warm embrace of the Mediterranean.

I haven’t swum for around 11 years and its been longer since I enjoyed a dip in the sea.

It was during conversations with people on Saturday that I uncovered  a mysterious side to Ibiza.

I’d already reconciled Ibiza with the isle of the Lotus Eaters in my own mind…

I had no idea that Nostradamus had predicted Ibiza as being the only place to survive the coming Armageddon.

It’s hard to dispute the legends of Ibiza’s magic when I came away so relaxed and purified from what should have been a frantic and intoxicating visit – I wasn’t shy when it came to indulging in the food and drink on offer and yet felt no ill effects throughout the trip.

The meal that evening was a long drive away at a “hidden gem” named La Paloma; an illusive array of starters avoided my attention in the dark of the unlit outdoor dining whilst the darkness did little to prevent me from devouring a perfectly grilled steak.

destinopachaduskThe journey back on Monday was hard, not from any kind of lethargy or illness on my own part but the plane was full of casualties suffering from over-indulgence and weak constitutions.

The Ibizan border authorities had not made the same assumptions as their UK counterparts, and so I wasn’t stopped and swabbed for narcotics or incendiaries on the way back.

I was a little disappointed when passing through the depressingly bureaucratic passport control in Manchester – whatever happened to “Welcome back Mr. Sugden!”… miserable jobsworth.


Flicking the Switch

dodontswitchSince my recent birthday I’ve found my mind dwelling on more serious subjects than I’m used to discussing.

I’m not saying I’ve grown up and become all adult-like, I’m not sure that’s a realistic possibility at this late stage in development.

I do seem to find myself wallowing on subjects that are more suited to the kind of battlefields populated by Social Justice Warriors and Ley-Heroes.

These subjects are triggered by my proximity to toxic environments and escalated by an overactive care-gland.

Homophobia, Misogyny, Racism…


Ben Quixote – Equal of Heaven

None of these things affect me directly but they seem to spike a massive negative emotional response in my betazoid-center.


I encounter this kind of prejudice on a daily basis (to a greater or lesser degree), almost always it’s aimed at others but it riles me none-the-less.

Every time I face this kind of idiocy, the quixotic Hannuman inside of me rises and I face a primal choice:

Fight or Flight?

I’ve lost count of the number of battles I’ve lost but every now and then I win and the world within my reality tunnel gets that little bit lighter.

It’s not the losses that I’ve fought that weigh me down though; not every battle can be fought.

A friend recently posted that she had faced this kind of harassment in her workplace.

My friend’s boss had remarked upon his right to ogle the female form (ergo her own – specifically the breasticular area).

All my friend could do was rebuke the statement and attempt to put this man in his place.

The problem is, this man is in a position of power – he pays the wages, hires, fires and feels he can ogle away… and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.

I’ve seen it many times, a bigoted individual in a position of power lording over their underlings.

Whether it’s the lady manager who insists on forcing male staff members to watch as she injects insulin into her upper-inner thigh or the company Director who makes comments over the quality of an employee’s sister’s breasts over a team meal; this behaviour is wrong but unbeatable.

In all these cases the offended party is either under the minimum two year employment period that it takes to actually have employment rights in this country or they do not have the support structure in their lives to make fighting the battle worth the effort.

In the case of my friend and her tit-happy employer, I was pleased to see the support her friends and acquaintances gave to her.

Many folk offered suggestions of comedic or even violent responses – not helpful directly but sometimes you need this kind of feedback to help pull you out of the pit that this kind of encounter can knock you into.


And then somebody asked her a question, the answer to which made me stop and think, to paraphrase:

How do you work there without throwing someone from a window?

The answer my friend gave really struck home:

I have a little Give a Fuck switch in my brain which goes from “Do” to “Don’t”, and a proven response time in flicking it.

I know exactly what she means… I have the very same switch.

I’m fairly confident that without that switch I’d either be in prison, hospital or worse.

What strikes me me harder is that since reading that exchange I have encountered a number of other people, from different social circles, that have used the very same analogy.

We have that one switch in common that allows us to turn off, tune out and move on.

The difference lies in how quickly we flick the switch.

fucksgivenMany years ago I realised that my own problem is that I care too much.

I’ve had a couple of psychological evaluations over the years that have highlighted a deeply ingrained need to help others and an over reliance on stressful and often negative or toxic environments.

I think I recently developed some kind of “Givafuk Switch” to help me handle those aspects of my personality and I just haven’t noticed until reading the horrors of my friend’s working environment earlier this week.

The switch helps us survive.

It keeps us in a position where we can continue to accrue survival tokens whilst we regroup and plan a strategy to win the war.

The switch helps us choose the battles we fight, so we can pick the fights we know we can win and not waste energy on those battles that are clearly unwinnable.

I discussed this at length today, with friends and colleagues and the only sensible counterpoint made was regarding those that come after us.

The switch is great for those of us on the front line now but what about those that face the same foe later on.

We’ve avoided a fight by flipping the switch and retreating but the foe is under the misapprehension that they have won a battle that never happened.

The deluded foe could go onto the next victim and there is nothing to stop the situation escalating to a greater degree of harassment – we could even be that next victim.

So the switch can be a double edged sword – a sword that my inner Monkey King is willing to wield and one that I am glad to see in the hands of other people of worth.

As it is I’m going to continue to pick my battles and rely on a newfound switch-based psychopathy to avoid the problems that giving a damn brings with it and fight another day.

Character Building – Courage through Adversity

4141 years ago my Mother brought me into a world of tropical music, a Huddersfield born Prime Minster Prime Minster and Rocky Horror.

I’m assured that it is normal to have no memory of these early years.

I have a few vague memories of my early life…

The bedroom at Birkby, a toy Starship Enterprise that fired little disks and the weird open staircase at Golcar; these could well be dream memories for all I know.

Some of the memories that stand out are those that involve the bullies.

Whether it was my early nemesis, a chap called Davinder, pushing me around and convincing me that Dracula was going to visit me from Bunny Woods and drink my Caucasian blood (Davinder assured me that Dracula wasn’t interested in his Asian blood – apparently vampires only ate white folk’s children in the early eighties)… Or a group of 5 “friends” trying to pin me down and strip my clothing from me in the playing fields at high school (they didn’t try again – I have anger management issues)…

My life has been plagued with bullies and recently I have been reflecting on this fact.

Five years ago to this very day, I had a nervous breakdown due to bullying.

I doubt anyone noticed (except Mrs. Armaitus… she noticed and struggled in her own way to handle it). I tend to keep myself to myself when it comes to that kind of thing.

I didn’t seek professional help.  I just did what I normally do… I picked myself up and lay rage-fueled curses at the feet of the bullies before carrying on with my life.

I have an odd relationship with “stress”, psych evaluations have shown that I focus better when in a squeeze… a colleague of mine once labelled this as Stargate syndrome… as long as I have 45 minutes to come up with a solution before the world is eaten by Goa’uld then I’ll be fine.

apophisBut five years ago Apophis decided to stick his oar into one of the most stressful situations I’ve had to deal with and it was more than I could handle…

The bully won and I cracked.

Why write about this now?

Well, that particular Apophis has reared his head a few times since that day, August 10th 2011, and it has taken the last 5 years to realise that everything he has thrown at me… every angry word and every attempted dominance… it has all led to one single conclusion…

The bullies have no hold over me.

boogiemanIt’s taken decades for me to realise but these creatures have no hold over me.

Apophis is trying – even now – to break down my walls and crack me again. He just can’t do it – I may weaken at times but I seem to be able to laugh him off.

I see him trying with others and I see them facing the same barriers that I did 5 years ago; but he can’t touch me.

That’s small consolation.  I have an in built urge to help… I genuinely care and that is one hell of burden to carry… especially when I see the bullies targeting others.

Thankfully, it turns out that facing down bullies really is character building.

I wish I’d realised that sooner, I really do.

So what should you do when the bullies are hounding you and you feel like your very soul is being kicked in by malicious, vindictive little cunts?

Fight back.

Fight back with tooth and claw.

Don’t turn the other cheek.  Don’t ignore them.

Take them on and face them down Jack Burton style.

jburtonDon’t get angry, stay calm.

Arm yourself with the relevant weaponry and fight.

Keep a log of actions that are used to bully you and don’t let those actions weigh you down.

Find allies and stand tall against the bullies.

Nobody is more important in your life than you and yours.

Bullies are irrelevant douche-bags who don’t have anyone important in their lives so they have to impose themselves into yours.

Screw them and screw their irrelevant little lives… you’re awesome and they aren’t.

Gotta Catch ’em All

level41Earlier this Spring I came out (kind of), I announced to the blog-o-sphere that I am Ingress player.

I’ve always been a Gamer, in one form or another.

From that first glimpse of Pong and my Grandfather’s Atari 2600 (which he sold to Soggy… for those in the know).

We had various arcade games on a machine in the family’s fish & chip shop and family games on our ZX Spectrum in the Eighties.

Right through Baldur’s Gate and Diablo in the Nineties; and onto the console wars of the 21st century; I can’t think of a time when my life has not, in some way, been influenced by Gaming.

I LARP, I’ve participated in and run LARP events, tabletop roleplaying sessions.  I’ve played MMOs (finally), single player campaigns and even designed campaigns and systems that nobody will ever play (seriously, I wouldn’t be a genuine roleplayer if I hadn’t! <insert wide grin here for those roleplayers that haven’t delved this deeply into the obsession>)

I’ve written previously about more contemporary games but Ingress was the first to break the mold and invade reality.

That statement probably comes across as somewhat louche from those who know me as a LARPer.

The thing is, LARP is a game which relies on the suspension of disbelief – its very medium is a corruption, ignorance or corruption of reality… some (but not all) particpants cite escapism as their reason for playing.

IngressProfileIngress augments reality.

I’d say a good 90% of my work colleagues are oblivious to the fact that our place or work serves as an anchor to a great many XM fields that ensure the populace of Brighouse are under an alien influence that encourages Art, Love and Creativity.

Unless you’ve been living in a media-proof bubble, you’re already familiar with the company that developed Ingress – Niantic.

Niantic are the brainweasels behind Pokémon GO.

For the past 4 years, Niantic have run Ingress as a successful, GPS based augmented-reality game.

They have encouraged gamers like me to go out into the world, register places of interest that we come across as “XM Portals” and then compete with people in our local areas to control those portals, in a game that has proven both engaging and infuriating over the 3+ years I have played it.

And yet, since shortly after BREXIT, I have neglected Ingress in favour of Niantic’s latest game-child.

I simply have to be the very best.  I have to catch them all!

pogo1Pokémon GO has taken the GPS entities registered by myself and fellow Ingressers (118 places of interest photographed, geographed and registered to date personally) and converted them to either Pokémon Gyms or Pokéstops.

But why?

Why has this fad hooked me in?

Ingress was, by and large, ignored by the mainstream and adopted by Techies (and a few Corporates like me).

In 3 years of playing Ingress I hae become aware of 11 players in the town I work in.

Only 6 of those are what you would class as serious, hardcore, daily players (shout out to agents DMH10, Doodified, Ikibau and Pepian and yah-boo-sucks-to-you to Astral Ranger and DeckardB26354).

Towards the end of last week I took a stroll out on my 30 minutes lunch break (as I usually do) and encountered 15 people playing Pokémon GO.

Fiff-fucking-teen! In a 30 minute (OK, I’ve overshot to 41 recently) period.

15 people playing Niantic’s latest offering, oblivious to the Shaper invasion of Ingress.

My reality wasn’t just augmented… it was skewed!

pogo215! Wow!  Whilst playing Ingress I’d bump into a fellow player – by accident – once in a blue moon.  Most Ingress meet-ups are by design and I shun most of those due to the high number of cheating fuckmonkeys on my team locally.

15 in one day is amazing but why the sudden interest?

Allegedly, Pokémon GO is the most downloaded mobile game ever – EVER!!!1!one!

I never paid much attention to Pokémon in my – erm – late twenties.

Whilst Pokémon was encouraging kids to be the very best, I was building a career as a senior software developer, playing Diablo 2 and dressing up as a Low Elf and fighting the “Dark Alliance” with rubber and latex weaponry.

(OK – by “fighting the Dark Alliance” I mean, being humiliatingly butchered by them – but that’s not the point!)

To date, I’ve shunned Pokémon as irrelevant to my needs.

botpMy own youth was influenced by Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors and Mosschops.

What should I care for random cutesy anime creatures that only seem to speak their own name when I had Thundercats, Transformers and the Masters of the Universe?

Shit son! What constitutedanime” to me in my teens is now classed as “hentai“!

No, the early 21st century’s cartoon pocket monster shenanigans was obviously just a way to part breeders from their money – so that junior could have the latest faecachoo – just like Hasbro did to my parents with transformers when I was a kid.

But now I see what I was missing out on.

You see, Pokémon GO appeals to the Gamer in me.

pogo3Here I am, just under 3 weeks away from my 41st birthday and I’m addicted to a Pokémon game.

You see, it offers everything I need to feed my gaming gland.

Those intelligent bastards at Niantic and Nintendo have hooked me in faster than any schoolyard skag-dealer.

Pokémon GO has 3 whole areas of progression/leveling and if there’s one thing gamers love, it’s leveling.

There is a genuine psychological dependency on character progression.  It’s more addictive than nicotine (which in turn is more addictive than heroin – I can only attest for the veracity of the former statement however).

On top of that, players are encouraged to “catch ’em all”.  I’ve already caught 73 of a possible 150 creatures.

Even better, I can name my Pokémon whatever I like, no profanity filter, just a character limit.

pogo4Like Star Trek: the Next Generation, the mental health benefits of Pokémon GO have been recognised already.

The game gets people out into a pocket-monster-augmented world and interacting with people they never would have thought to interact with previously.

I’m used to that from Ingress – seriously, my local fellow PoGoers seem terrified as I approach them with a toothy grin and demand:

Hi! Are you guys playing Pokémon or Ingress?

This is a genuine phenomenon.

Everywhere I go, I see people playing the game.

And not just the Ingress-paranoia of “Ooh, look, do you think they’re playing Ingress?”.  No this is groups of people, of all demographics, capturing monsters and battling gyms.

pogo5It must be 2 weeks now; 2 weeks of buggy software, overloaded servers and an almost constant Launch App – Attempt Capture/Gym Battle – Force Stop – Launch App cycle… and yet I’m still hooked.

I hit level 20 today, I believe the level cap to be level 50. Now that the server issues seem to have stabilised the game is a real pleasure.

It’s taken me 3 and a half years to get to where I am in Ingress (3 months from level 15 – the cap is 16, I’m 18 months from level 16).

And yet I’m 2/5ths of the way there after 2 weeks!

So there you have it.  I’m a 40-something Pokémon trainer and Gym Leader (until the local Instinct/Valour cock-knockers take out my Vaporeon) and I’m proud… Bring on the wearable!

Expert Opinion

33 weeks ago the country voted, in an advisory capacity, to remove its cannula, jerk out its catheter and make a break out of the door marked “BREXIT”.

Almost 21 days have passed since the nation decided to jump of the EU bandwagon and reach away from the stars (of the European Union) and I feel no better about the decision.

As I’ve written before, I voted to remain in Europe.

Because of that I have been accused of so much rampant Liberalism that I have:

  • Rejoined the Liberal Democrats – may as well be hung as a Lion.
  • Signed numerous knee-jerk petitions.
  • Discussed valid “Leave” & “Remain” arguments post-Brexit.
  • Been accused of “Ageism”, “Socialism”, and of being too sensitive.
  • Been told to person-of-non-specific-gender-the-fuck-up and pull together to help the nation castrate itself.
  • Seen friends and families tear themselves apart over something that none of us have any control over.

I am still angry.

I am still disappointed/disenchanted.

I am still here & just as powerless as I was pre-referendum.

The nation of my birth is still in Europe and the people who campaigned for us to leave have still got no clue as to how we will survive post-Europe.

And so, as much as it makes no difference to the political process that was set in place months ago, we carry on and the people who, like me still give a fuck, scrutinise the arguments, write to our MPs and generally try to voice our “reason” to the world.

Which brings me to the point of this article… I’m no political pundit.

I’m no expert, I’m just a guy who’s spent 4 decades living in the foothills of the Pennines trying to defend himself against a thuggish world that don’t “get” people who actually understand “why” we rub the rocks together – as opposed to just rubbing the rocks together because “Durr! That’s what we do Doofus”.

So I suppose I am an expert.  Just not a political expert… anyway… SQL Server, business analysis, the works of Brian Lumley, the impact of British post-punk musicians on popular music and contemporary occult philosophy – I’m your guy.  The potential effects of British public opinion on the world’s economy – less so.

Which is just as well.

We are now balls-deep into the “Post Fact” age.

We’ve seen the two major political parties in the United Kingdom hosting leadership campaigns built on the back of popularity and gender, as opposed to actual policies.

The United States presidential election has been conducted no better and the aforementioned referendum actively discouraged the public from listening to the reasoned voices of experts.

pobgoveAt the beginning of June, almost a month before the nation went to the polls and decided to remove it’s nose, the former secretary of state of education – Pob Michael Gove stated that the British public had:

had enough of experts

Interestingly enough, he also stated that we should “count him out” of future leadership elections.  Like the other politicians involved in the Leave campaign, he backtracked on that pretty quickly once one the referendum was over.

Pushing the duplicity of politicians to one side, the thing that excites me now – and I mean genuinely piques my interest is that the world has changed… not just on a socio-political level… not just economically but inside.

It’s like the world is The Doctor and all of a sudden we’ve tuned in and The Doctor isn’t a crazy, bescalved, curly haired, grinning jelly baby freak… no the world is now some kind of sleek Cricketer with a hot American wife and a penchant for wooden spoons (and soup dragons).

A friend of mine recently said:

I think we have entered into a world of post fact politics. It is like people live in a world of magical reality.

And I think he’s really hit the Mankey on the nose with that statement.

The general public are now not only encouraged to ignore but are actively ignoring “expert” opinion… even I nearly wrote “so-called ‘expert’ opinion” just then.

Heck, I’ve even railed against experts in my “Church of Pfizer” posts.

“But why is this exciting Armaitus? The country of your birth is in turmoil, the economy is in ruins and the Sith elite have just taken power whilst the Jedi council devours itself from within.”, I hear you cry.

Well that’s an interesting question 700-plus-per-month-average-readership-people and one that I’m super happy to answer…


I Torq-woo-mada

My friend is absolutely correct, we’re entering a world that – albeit unwittingly – accepts a magical reality.

The western world’s – or at least United Kingdom’s and United States’ – paradigm has shifted from a pro-science, pro-expert factual basis to one that I am led to believe is referred to, by the rest of the world, as “WOO“.

When writing about the Church of Pfizer, I was attempting to put forward the proposition that Science was treated by the general public as a Religion.

The majority of the IFLS crowd wouldn’t know Science from Scientology; sheesh, wrap a fictional-factoid up in a handsome enough meme and your median common denominator would lap it up as Science regardless of whether it had an empirical evidential basis or not.

For the latter part of the 20th century and into the early cyberpunk years of the 21st, we’ve been living a transition from a scientific paradigm into something new – an Idiocracy of sorts.

There’s not much of a leap from the I-Fucking-Love-Scientific thinking of the Church of Pfizer to the pseudo-scientific thinking of those of us who choose to live in a magical reality.

To best explain this I can think of no better piece of work than Ramsey DukesS.S.O.T.B.M.E – An essay on magic.

You can see the author talk about the relevant elements of this piece of work here:

The basic principle that the pseudonymous Mr. Dukes puts to us is that you can perceive the general direction that Culture is taking along one of 4 paths.  He goes on to depict this using the following cultural compass:


He goes on to explain:

Thought is compounded of four elements which I call intuition, observation, logic and feeling.

Any practical method of thinking demands at least two of these four elements, one to serve as an input of impressions and the other to process them.

Artistic thought uses feeling and intuition, Religious thought uses intuition and logic, Scientific thought uses logic and observation, and Magical thought uses observation and feeling.

It really is worth (in my opinion) seeking out the works of Ramsey Dukes , he explains magical thinking in terms that are easily understood, without getting bogged down in any particular dogma.

In the context of what is happening in the world today, we appear to be moving from a Science/Religious direction towards a Science/Magic direction.

If you go back as far as the industrial revolution, you could choose to see the world shifting from an Art/Religion direction towards a Religion/Science world view.

Rather than thriving on the blind dogma of the Church of Pfizer, we are now being encouraged to cast out the words of Experts and go with “gut-feeling” and “why-the-hell-not”.  We are encouraged to make emotional decisions rather than decisions based on so-called facts.

None of this stops the truly Scientific world from turning.  Sure it may well influence the scientists that turn the Scientific world but no more so than, say Newton, was influenced by his ardent belief that Christ died for our sins – or Omar Khayyám‘s scientific advancements were influenced by the Koran.

Ramsey goes on to explain why he feels that magical thinking is a likely follow on to the scientific dogma that has been prevalent through my lifetime in the video below:

But why do I find this exciting?

Simple.  We’re living the change.  A genuine paradigm shift is happening, right now!

I know we’ve been told to stop them doing it but they are, they may well be doing it right now… This could be the year that they immanentize the eschaton!