I dropped down on the stage play, Knock Knock, which I mentioned in the last post. It has been running in town for the last couple of decades now, the same performance that is. It’s a play that is so long it doesn’t finish until it is brought to an end by circumstance; a theatre fire or the building being condemned or something like that. The piece has to be that long because it is all about existence. At least, I think it is. You can never be sure. You just write the words really and they fall in a certain order that may or may not mean something.
I was pleased to see that none of the audience had walked out. One died of a congenital condition and was wheeled away on a gurney but that’s not the same as a walk out. Everyone is seeing this performance through to the end. I appreciate their commitment to new forms of theatre. Well, when I say ‘new’ I mean it was new when the audience took their seats. When the curtain rose my play was avant-garde. By the time the curtain falls it will be passé.
I’m impressed by the few fatalities and incidents of ill-health that have occurred during the performance. It must be down to the medical check-ups that are given between acts. These check-ups were included in the price of the ticket. I’d say the play’s audience is kept in better condition than the rest of us. One ageing audience member told me that he intends to survive the play. ‘Otherwise I’ll never find out what the fuck is going on’, he said as his blood pressure was taken.
I found it quite touching to see audience members reunited with relatives and loved ones during the intermission. It was all tears and hugs. I’m glad to have facilitated such a thing. Although, it’s hard to see them part when the usher announces the next act and says that it’s time for everyone to retake their seats. It’s like watching young lovers say goodbye at an airport.
Well, everyone seems interested enough to stay the course but I’m still a little nervous. Not just because of the prolonged first night jitters I’ve been suffering these last decades but also because a reviewer from the Irish Times is in attendance. I hope the paper hasn’t folded by the time the performance ends. It would be great to get a write up. Well, as long as it’s a good write up. During the intermission I braced myself and asked the critic what he thought of the show so far. He described the performance as trojan. ‘Trojan’, he said to me, his eyes weary and bloodshot, his hair matted and face unshaven. ‘Trojan’, he repeated as he was guided back to his seat, head bowed. ‘Trojan’, hmmmm. I think that means he likes it.
I remember I wrote a piece for the stage. It was kind of a Beckett meets Sapphire and Steel thing. You know, a few laughs for the existentially bewildered. I called my play ‘Knock Knock’. Here’s the entire thing:
A Man and a Woman sit on a park bench on a lunar surface. The Man is engrossed in a paperback novelisation of the Clint Eastwood film In the Line of Fire. The Woman fidgets with a mischievous look on her face. She nudges the Man in the ribs with her elbow. Woman: Knock knock. Man: Fuck off. Woman: No. You’re meant to say ‘Who’s there?’ Man: Who’s there? Woman: Yes. Man: Fuck off. Woman: No. Let me start again. Knock knock. Man: Who’s there? Woman: Doctor. Man: Fuck off. Woman: No. You are meant to say ‘Doctor who?’ Man: Doctor who? Woman: Yes. Man: Fuck off. Woman: No. Let me start again. Knock knock. Man: Who’s there? Woman: Doctor. Man: Doctor who? Woman: How did you know? Man: Fuck off. Woman: No. It’s a joke. Man: Fuck off. Woman: You are being impossible. Man: Fuck off. Woman: You are always like this after a few brandies. Man: Fuck off. Woman: I am leaving you. Man: Fuck off. Woman: I’m taking the children. Man: Fuck off. Woman: (says nothing) Man: Fuck off. Woman: Knock knock. Man: Who’s there? Woman: Fuck off. Man: How dare you? Woman: How dare you who? Man: How did you know? (Lengthy pause of about one hour and a quarter) Woman: How long have we been here? Man: Forever. Woman: Is this our purpose? Man: Fuck off. Woman: Knock knock.
At that point the play meets itself coming back and the actors take it from the top. The whole thing repeats over and over again until the audience is gripped by insanity or the theatre building collapses. The show started playing in town many years ago. It’s still going today. It's the same performance in fact. The very first one, still repeating. Needless to say, I didn’t go and see it myself. If I did I’d be there now and I’m not. I’m right here. Knock knock.
Fugger is delighted to announce that things are back on track for misunderstood superstar Chris Brown. As if his recent Grammy win and online reconciliation with former sweetheart Rihanna wasn’t enough, Chris has also adopted a sweet new puppy that was found roaming on the R n’ B star’s grounds.
‘She’s a cute little thing and I’m gonna keep her’, the singer of such hits as I Can Transform Ya, and Take You Down told Fugger. ‘However’, Chris concluded, ‘if she starts barking all the time or shits the house I’ll come down on the bitch and I’ll come down on her hard’.
Well, as his song says, it looks like Chris really is a Changed Man. Fugger says: You go Chris!
One and one do not make two. One and one make one. You can’t add something to itself to make it something else. For example, there is only one me (‘thankfully’, says you) and I can’t be added to myself to make someone else. I and I do not make you. Got it? Good.
Now, to add one with another one is a different matter. One plus another (different) one is not the same equation as one and one, which is adding one to itself. However, the answer is still not two. One plus another one makes two ones, not two. Two is something else entirely. The idea that two ones make a two is absurd. Two number ones don’t even look like a number two. They’re not even the same shape. In fact, two number ones look like an eleven and it would make as much sense to say that one and one makes eleven than to say they make two. In fact, it would probably make more sense.
Now, I’m not denying that one and another one share some mathematical/numerical notional value with a two. I’m just saying that one and another one are not the same thing as a two. They are just two ones. Let me put it this way, imagine that I am a fruit seller and I have two oranges. Combined, these two oranges weigh the same as a grapefruit. When I put the items on sale I charge the same for the two oranges as I would for a grapefruit. So, the two oranges are the same value as a grapefruit but that does not make the two oranges an actual grapefruit. A grapefruit is larger, tastes different, is a different colour and there is only one of it. If you thought that the two oranges became a grapefruit just because they weighed and cost the same you’d be insane. So why is it acceptable to think that two ones somehow become a two? It doesn’t make any sense.
What disturbs me is that we actually teach this shite in schools. We fill the heads of kids with this rubbish and then expect them to be able to deal with the bubbling, popping, fizzing, stretching, bending and wriggling contents of reality. We teach kids that one and one makes two not because it’s true but because it just seems true. It’s like everything else we teach kids in school, it hasn’t much to do with the real world at all. It’s just enough to get along with in what we’ve decided to pretend is the real world. It’s unreal, anyone who can add one and one knows that.
Men and women used to need love but we’re no longer so needy. Now ‘likes’ will do. We send each other encouraging little ‘likes’ over our communication devices and it is enough to get us by. Send me a ‘like’ for Valentine’s Day. Over. Declare your ‘like’ for me. Over. Here I am! Over. Here I am! Over. Do you read me? Over. Do you read my blog? Over. I’m ‘friending’ you now. Over. Do you read me? Over. Do you read my Twitters? Over. ‘Friend’ me back. Over. You didn’t ‘friend’ me. Over. You didn’t ‘like’ me. Over. I’m 'unfriending' you now. Over. I’m ‘unliking’ you now. Over.
Oh well, tis better to have ‘liked’ and lost than never to have ‘liked’ at all. Over and out!
Soon there’ll be only automated check-outs at the supermarket and there’ll be no need for people to work there. In fact people will send automated shoppers down the shops to buy things from the automated check-outs and there will be no one down the shops at all. Meanwhile drones will fight our wars and be operated by automated enemy detectors that will use an algorithm system to analyse internet content to select potential threats and then send the GPS coordinates of these potential threats to a drone that will go and eliminate the potential threat in an extra-judicial automated operation. Sadly, not all detected threats will actually be threats. In the same way that you might Google the word ‘terrorist’ and get a random picture of some sexy glamour model, the automated enemy detectors will get similar tenuous results but act upon them anyway. In short: a lot of sexy glamour models will be bombed by drones.
But it won’t matter too much. The bodies of the innocent dead will not bother us because we won’t see them. The images will be out there alright but we’ll have bot-drones looking at the media for us and filtering out such content to pick the ‘hot’ topics of the day (celebrity divorces, scandals, new products) and the tales of the innocent dead won’t make it anywhere near the top of the pile. We will be liberated of the angst such images might cause.
In the future we will come to realise that automated devices are doing a very good job of managing our affairs. The most highly regarded amongst these automated devices will be the war drone. It will be seen as a brave defender of our automated freedoms and eventually a drone that has served several tours of duty in a variety of conflicts will be elected the first automated president of the United States (and the freeish world). The drone will appear in several photo-ops with its wife, an automated supreme-court justice dispenser, and their two children, an electronic voting machine and a blender or something.
And what will we do? Us lot? The fleshy flawed humans? Well, we’ll assemble the drones of course. Simples! . . .oh, and we’ll be bombed by the drones the odd time too. Especially if we’re glamour models.
In the days when I was a man of the cloth I would bless the dying before they passed on and I’d often be called out at all hours to do so. It was on one such night that I met him. ‘Who?’ you ask. I’ll tell you but brace yourself before I do. Are you prepared? Right. I met the Divil.
In this account, the one I am about to relate, you will hear how I got the better of the Divil but this was so to his annoyance that he later returned and got the better of me and the holy church itself.
Twas a dark and stormy night, the roof rattled and nervous cows could be heard berating the elements from the surrounding sheds. I was in the vestry drinking cans when the call came. ‘Father Fugger, you must come, my father has taken a fall on the road and I fear it may be his last.’
I got into my automobile and took the road out of Nathaer. It was at the junction where you turn for Gooly that the Divil stepped out in front of the vehicle. He looked square at me. Square at me mind, not in a triangular or roundabout circular way. You could tell it was the Divil because it wasn’t anyone else. ‘Are you the Divil?’, I asked. ‘I am that’, said the Divil. ‘And what is it you’d be wanting?’ I asked again, as a kind of follow up question. ‘I intend to impede your progress so that I may lay claim to the soul of the man who took the fall upon the road’, said the Divil. ‘And what if I say that you will not impede my progress?’ I asked in response to his second answer, the one he just gave. ‘I will call you a fucker’, said the Divil. ‘I do not like that’, I told him. ‘Few do’, he said and laughed a fierce laugh that I could only describe as fierce and would be reluctant to lay any other adjective before it.
I considered saying a few decades of the rosary but there was not time for that so I drove over the Divil and reversed upon him also. I repeated this vehicular grievance somewhere between fifteen and twenty times, maybe more than that. The Divil howled like cat in the act of Godless congress. ‘You have been run over now’, I said to the Divil. ‘I have noticed that and it vexes me greatly’, replied the Divil. ‘Am I safe to continue my errand?’ I requested of him. ‘You are that for I am royally fucked now here on the road and doubt I will ever rise again but let me inform you now that I will have revenge upon yourself and your institution’, he said to me and I drove away.
I reached the man who had taken the fall on time and gave him the rites and watched as he ascended to heaven. ‘I see before me the Lord God and several dead celebrities’, he said before he died in peace. I returned to the vestry to resume the drinking of cans.
Upon arrival at the vestry, I found the Divil taking a shite in the tabernacle. ‘I saw you mangled and banjaxed upon the road, what are you doing here?’ I asked him. ‘There is many of me and that was only one of the many of me that you did injure upon the road’, the Divil informed me. ‘Will you desist from befouling the tabernacle?’ I asked of him. ‘I will not’, he said. ‘And why will you not?’ I asked because this had clearly become a conversation of sorts. ‘Because it pleases me’, he said. ‘Is there anything I can do to stop you?’ I asked then, another question because this night required many. ‘You must give me your cans’, said the Divil. ‘I will not give you my cans because they are an immense source of pleasure to me’, I told the Divil. ‘Well’, he said, ‘if you will not give up the cans perhaps you will give up your vows to prevent me depositing another sulphuric log into this most holy of cabinets’. ‘That I will not do either’, I said to the Divil. ‘Then perhaps you will give me your video cassette with the Ukrainian twins in the bath’, bargained the horned menace (i.e. the Divil). ‘I have no such video cassette’, I said. ‘You do indeed and watch it often’, he pointed out. I could not lie again for to lie to the Divil is to play by the rules of the game that it his intention to make you play by the rules of. ‘You may have the tape’, I said to the Divil and went and got it for him and he took it and, the next day, posted it to the Bishop who requested I leave the parish and be replaced by another who was said to have had a great fondness for young people. It was this fondness that brought about a scandal that saw mass attendance in the locality fall by some considerable measure. The Divil did indeed have his revenge and cannot be bested long. I know that now and it is for that reason I have become his servant. All hail the Divil! The Divil is great! Let’s hear it for the Divil!
That is the end of my story. I will now resume the drinking of my cans. Good day to you.
Ancient Greece is considered the founding bedrock of modern civilisation but was it really all that great? They didn’t even know about chance. The Greeks thought everything happened because individuals made it so or some god made it so. Pure luck didn’t even occur to them. What a bunch of thicks. They even had slavery. What kind of society is that for us to be taking a cue from? The Greeks were so thick they didn’t even believe in brains. They thought that emotions and all that originated in the liver. The liver!!! Fuckin hell. All they had to do was sit around in their togas all day pontificating and that was the best they could come up with.
We are better than the Ancient Greeks. Look at this way: we can go down the shops and buy a ready mix cake that cooks and is good to eat in about three minutes. Did they have that in Ancient Greece? No. They had to spend ages watching their slaves making the dinner. Maybe it was the hunger that made their minds weak and led to all their crap ideas.
Speaking of crap ideas, what about Plato? He said the world should be ruled by a bunch of philosophers on a vow of poverty. The vow would prevent them being corrupted as they made all the decisions. They’d learn to be philosophers at some fancy school. But who would choose and train the first lot of these incorruptible philosophers? I presume the answer would be a bunch of corruptible philosophers. It’s like expecting a wolf to rear a lamb. It’s paradoxical. It’s a paradox. A paradoxical load of shite dreamt up by a dress wearing nonce!
It’s utterly beyond me why people keep quoting Greek philosophers. I mean, haven’t we moved on? Haven’t we grown up as a species? Quoting the maxims of Ancient Greece is a bit like quoting yourself when you were a baby. ‘Well, as I said when I was a baby, goo goo gah gah goo goo.’ What a load of shit!
I’ll wrap up this post with a another baby related analogy: Sticking to the wisdom of Ancient Greece is like continuing to eat a steady diet of Liga biscuits and then crapping them all out in your pants. It just won’t do anymore. It’s time to learn to cook. It’s time we all went down the shops and bought a pack of ready mix. It’s time to grow up people!
I was watching streamed footage of the Large Hadron Collider the other night. The whole thing exploded and this fifty foot baboon with green fur appeared. He had bright yellow eyeballs and in them you could see the whole history of the Universe speedily unfolding in reverse. The baboon was holding a sceptre and set atop it was the head of Buddha and he was weeping. The baboon was hunched, as if to suddenly pounce from the top of a gigantic jewel encrusted turntable that revolved and played the record The O-Men by the band The Butthole Surfers (as mentioned before). The giant baboon’s lips drew back and revealed fanged diamond teeth. He opened his mouth wide and he bellowed the words: ‘FEAR ME, FOR I AM THE GAME CHANGER!’
I found the whole display a tad ostentatious to be honest so I logged on to showbiz.ie instead. Showbiz.ie had a picture of Amy Huberman dressed like a pyjama girl. ‘O.M. fuckin G.’ I exclaimed aloud, ‘what is she thinking?????’
I like to keep my world small. I like things manageable.