What the hell is a two star song? I really do not know. I run a music player that works off a 5 star rating and I just cannot fathom the possible use of star number two.

Star number 5 is the most obvious star. This is music that’s special to me. It is music I first had memorable sex to. First kiss. First time driving a car and first time committing a minor crime. It was music I was listening to when a cheating ex-girlfriend got hit by a car. Pinnacle moments. Special music that I connect with emotionally in a way I could never have done with people like that cheating ex-girlfriend or her small yappy-type dog.

Four star music is music I recognise as good. Music that can affect my mood. Music that I would recommend to friends. Some four star music may even be better played, written and conceived than the 5 star music but, as I have mentioned, it does not connect to something special, unfathomable and possibly disgusting and illegal in my past so it misses out on that special extra star.

Three star music is music I will not murder someone and bury them in my basement (if I had a basement) for playing. It is tolerable, background music. I am keeping it available out of compassion for guests in my home who may not consider The Offspring suitable background dinner music. It will never make it’s way into my car, though, that would be too much.

One star music sucks. The only reason one star music stays on my system is because I am petty. I paid for that damn music and I am damn well going to keep it until I encounter someone else who likes it. Then I will give them that music, delete it from my computer forever… as well as that person’s telephone number because the only person who is worse than someone who will listen to my one star music is someone who actually uses the half-star option on these programs.

No star music I just have not gotten around to listen to yet. It’s the second half of the album of that band that had one good song- and I made the truly horrible mistake of buying their entire album. It’s like buying the Matrix series of movies. You find out that what you thought was talent was just some kind of incredible fluke. Yes, I am talking to you K-OS, the makers of the wonderful song Crabbukkit and exactly fuckall else pleasant.

So who rates a song two stars? Anything less than 3 you just don’t like. How can it really matter how much you do not like it? Is your life that empty that making such a judgement is a legitimate use of your time? Unless you are as twisted and petty as me it shouldn’t even be in your collection any more. Get down to a homeless shelter and donate your time you feckless idiot. They value their lives more than you value yours. Maybe you will learn something.

The only people more disturbing than two star people are something-and-a-half star people. They must be robots. Emotionless automata made by Nazi, Stainist or Apple scientists deep inside a mountain somewhere. How can you confidently predict day-to-day, on a 10 point rating scale- how much you are going to love a song tomorrow? Are you that emotionally consistent? Get off the beta blockers and join the world!

By the way, anyone who hasn’t heard the Black Keys Album Brothers is missing out. Start with Tighten Up, Next Girl and Howlin’ For You and move on from there.

I wonder if anyone still reads this?

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In local news here in South Africa a letter addressed to the ministers of health, public service, education, justice, social service, correctional services, police and finance from Cosatu, the country’s biggest trade union, admitted the terrifying reality facing their leadership: “We are sitting on a time bomb that may explode at any time.”

The President and his Cabinet had not realised the severity of the situation last week when Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said at a news conference “We call on the leadership of government at national level and provinces to act with necessary urgency to avert what is clearly a ticking time bomb.”

The Cabinet is due to hold a special session to examine the matter. “We were aware after Vavi’s comments they had a bomb problem,” said an unnamed source within the Cabinet, “but we had no idea they lacked furniture, too. Some sort of chair or box or something is probably in order so they don’t have to use the bomb for seating.”

The source went on to say that “A budget will have to be put aside and a tender sent out. In the interim we are forming a committee to look into the possibility of sending over a qualified individual to read the time on the bomb. That way, at least, the tender committee will have a time-frame to work with.”

A Cosatu insider admitted that they had not realised that, being a time bomb, reading the detonation time was an opotion.

The bomb squad is on standby for when alternative furniture has been arranged.

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=13&art_id=nw20090521145642885C721655

Sex and KFC

November 27, 2007

We can no longer trust our major media to report the news properly any more because of corporate interference trying to sell us hot pants and fast food which, you would think, are fairly mutually exclusive items*- if we’re lucky. The other area where it affects us heavily is medicine. It was pointed out long ago by concerned research scientists that if you put combating disease in the hands of profit-oriented companies alone without having government labs involved what you will get is only treatments- not cures. A cure, after all, is only for Christmas- a treatment is for life.

The first truly awful science of my generation was the way AIDS was handled in the 80’s. Cargo-cult science from a doctor of dubious repute connected a retrovirus to a syndrome and transmission to sex and we were told, with the usual enthusiasm of the tabloid media, of the bodies piled high on the streets come the year 2000. Sex sells. Sex kills. Those alive, paying attention and not out shopping for hot pants holding a bucket of KFC would have caught, at the time, the BBC Panorama documentary which questioned the science and pointed out that the odds on contracting the HIV retrovirus, should it exist, from sex was thousands to one**. The threat increased to one in hundreds only if both partners had an open wound on their genitalia. I personally lack the commitment to have sex hundreds of time with my penis bleeding profusely and even if I did I lack the charm, I feel, to talk another person into rigorous sex whilst suffering from severe blood loss.

Lunatic fringe thinker, I, joined only by Nicholas Regush of ABC News, Harpers, a few Nobel Prize winners for chemistry and around ten thousand scientists outside the USA whose income is not dependant on companies making billions from HIV treatments in thinking there is some less than robust thinking here are now re-joined by the BBC.

The method that has been proposed (but never proved) by which the retrovirus kills our T-cells has as much credibility as a trial lawyer representing OJ Simpson or Robert Downey Jnr. according to, for all my dissing Americans, a study led by Emory University in Atlanta. In reporting the story the Beeb, though, fearful of the American treatment of the English language, decided to get a quote from a trustworthy British scientist at Imperial College, Cambridge. Professor Jaroslav (very British) Stark said: “Scientists have never had a full understanding of the processes by which T helper cells are depleted in HIV, and therefore they’ve been unable to fully explain why HIV destroys the body’s supply of these cells at such a slow rate. Our new interdisciplinary research has thrown serious doubt on one popular theory of how HIV affects these cells, and means that further studies are required to understand the mechanism behind HIV’s distinctive slow process of cellular destruction.”

What’s worrying is this: they decided HIV causes AIDS by killing T-cells without ever understanding or proving the process by which it happens. Then how do you know that HIV is doing it, exactly? There is a word for this kind of thing: it is called a guess. Guessing, as you may conclude, is not great science. Guessing is what loses you huge amounts of money at the track. Guessing is what you do when you try and win the lottery. Guessing is not something you want from, say, a person packing your parachute, deciding on the length of your bungee cord or sending you to a foreign country to find weapons of mass destruction. So filling yourself with toxic chemicals to kill a retrovirus which may be sitting around, chilling, and generally showing the activity and work ethic of a procrastinating grandma on a weeks break in Torremelinos based on a guess may be considered to be less than smart.

The problem is the way we demand answers from medicine. Other sciences get to dabble around and have fun trying to make the universe accidentally fold up or putting new elements together to see how big a bang we can get. We, as individuals, don’t really care so we place no pressure on them. But we want to be cured of every tiny ill. Since none of us really believe in heaven any more we are afraid of death, otherwise we would let ourselves be “taken” at the first opportunity. Lying there, measle-infected, “See God,” we could utter, “it’s not suicide- just your will. See you in a minute- put my sexy birds on ice and pour me a Martini.” So we believe in something new: we have faith in medicine. Which is dumb. Medicine is reason and evidence. And profit. When we substitute reason and evidence for faith we end up with faith and prophet. Possibly one called Mohamed, or Jesus, or Dave The Amazing Faith healer. Or GlaxoSmithKline.

It is really our fault. Our brain seeks conclusions to problems and it seeks them quickly. We are designed to suffer anxiety about the unknown because early humans who were not quick to decide the best option when faced with, say, a large and pretty kitty with sharp teeth and savage claws, never got to decide anything ever again… least of all who to accidentally get pregnant at the prom.

So we get betrayed, every day, by our Selves. Our Selves are not something to be trusted. They will fuck with us at every given opportunity making us think our hair looks bad, our hot-pants don’t suit us and make us buy another bucket of comfort-KFC. We tend to believe what will make us happy and accepted rather than what is inconvenient and, quite possibly, true.

One of those things is: you’re going to die. Get over it. Stop worrying about it. Get laid. And use a condom not because you think you’re going to die from some random infection but because you’re considerate, because you are careful, and because if you have kids they will want you to send them to school and college and will want to borrow your car- which will eat into your drinking money and destroy your social life. Who wants that? Honestly.

*- bridged by the diet supplement market.

**- “Male-to-female transmission was approximately eight times more efficient than female-to-male transmission …The constant per-contact infectivity for male-to-female transmission was estimated to be 0.0009 [Meaning that female-to-male would be 0.00001125 or about 1/10,000]…We observed no seroconversions after entry into the study…No transmission occurred among the 25% of couples who did not use their condoms consistently, nor among the 47 couples who intermittently practiced unsafe sex during the entire duration of follow-up. This evidence argues for low infectivity in the absence of either needle sharing and/or other cofactors” Padian NS et al. Heterosexual Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Northern California: Results from a Ten-Year Study. Am J Epidemiol. 1997 Aug;146(4):350-7

http://www.aras.ab.ca/

The most important issue about the latest Bin Laden tape has been skirted over and the world at large is just lucky to have such a prescient mind as mine at the ready to catch it: who does Osama Bin Laden’s beard- dye and trim job? It is so wonderfully stylish. He looks 20 years younger. Perhaps only 70… maybe 73.

The lack of hair salons and convenient chemists in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan are legendary, leading to a tourist trade limited to Islamic fundamentalists, opium- questing hippies and Boris Johnson*. One is led to assume, therefore, that over the last 6 years or so Bin Laden has not only kitted out his cave with the necessary dialysis machine for his failing kidneys and video editing studio (running on linux to foil American Imperialism- ahaha ahaha hahahahahah!) but now, too, a hair salon.

Perhaps the US forces in Afghanistan on Bin Laden’s tail should start looking out for particularly well groomed shepherds and, with what one hears about shepherds, particularly well groomed sheep, too. They should consider, and investigate, the possibility that Bin Laden has brought in an image consultant to help with his new promotional idea of “one peaceful Iraq with every Islamic U.S.A. purchased.” It sounds like a television shopping idea to me. But wait… don’t buy now! Could Al Qaeda finally be tapping into the American market’s sensibilities and shopping patterns?

I expect to see the next video with him in a hot- tub with 12 virgins promoting the benefits of an Islamic martyr’s life or, more precisely, death**. Capitalism creeps in everywhere and, as things continue forward, Al Qaeda could allow the infidel to pay for their ignorance with VISA rather than, as is usual, their lifeblood and that of their families, their friends, their aunts, their dogs and chickens.

Look out Pat Robertson… here comes an Obama for the Whitehouse and an Osama for the lighthouse.***

*- running for mayor of London, has stupid hair… do catch up.
**- that, as always, would be in the small print which is read very quickly at the end of the advert and never discernible to anyone.
***- seeing the light: a dig a Christians. Yes, I know it’s lame and doesn’t really work terribly well. So what? It rhymes, it’s 1am in the morning and I, quite frankly, am beyond caring.

Lee, female, 25

Lee considered ruling the world but on further consideration realised that you’re all under- achieving and not deserving of her time. If you put in a bit more effort she may reconsider in a couple more years. You are being watched.

Lee would like to tell all you men that size does matter. Lee knows a lot about being on open water after 5 years of rowing and would like you to know that the motion of the ocean is all well and good but no- one wants to navigate the world in a dinghy.

When Lee says “any friend of yours is a friend of mine” she means it. She really does mean that all your friends really only speak to you because they like her and want to get to know her better. It may be sad, but it is true… get over it.

Lee is smart. When she says this to you she does not mean “smarter than a brain surgeon” or “smarter than a rocket scientist” she means smarter than you. Personally. Even if you are a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist. Lee thinks keeping things personal is important. She has a big heart that way.

Lee loves cats and dogs. She loves to stroke their silky hair. She does not feel the same way about men. It’s called electrolysis- look it up you hairy bastard.

Lee thinks you shouldn’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Yes: YOU. Not her. She can put off things as much as she wants because she is talented. But you should, for instance, clean her car, put up some shelves for her, organise her free money and buy her dinner today.

It is true that Lee is always the bridesmaid and never the bride. That is because the bridesmaids get to pick the hottest men at the wedding to have sex with whereas the bride is (apparently) locked into a range of choice of just 1. This, says Lee, sucks and sounds like bad planning when you’re spending all that money on a party.

Fame is inevitable so you will, one day, be seeing Lee’s name up in lights. In pink neon. With Zebra stripes. If you are lucky she will still remember who you are but only if you suck up an appropriate amount before hand. Bear this in mind.

Kevin, male, 34

Kevin does not hail from anywhere in particular. In fact Kevin doesn’t play well with people who ‘hail’ from places as opposed to just being born there. He does not think that being pretentious right from birth is likely to result in a stable personality.

Kevin does not have a stable personality and in fact claims never to have been near a stable in his life, the rumours are untrue and the photos were doctored…

Kevin occasionally resorts to crap puns. Kevin lists under his strengths: “Never owned an ant farm,” and dislikes intensely people who do (doesn’t everyone).

Kevin likes dogs and cats because they never contradict him but only likes humans who do. He likes a good fight but not the physical kind because blood is hell to shift. His response to physical attack is: fall over and wait till they go away. Failing that drop a hand grenade and run like hell (there is seldom violence when all around you are united by common purpose).

Kevin likes money but not people who love money. “Money is mean, not an end,” he is heard to say. We suspect he doesn’t know what he means either but he likes to make obscure statements. Kevin is only moderately good; At punctuation. Editor needed.

Kevin likes praise from complete strangers as he never gets any from the people who actually know him. He has taken to receiving insults as compliments instead and has “you’re a weird plonker” right at the top of the list of nice things to say to people. “You have a weird plonker” is right at the bottom.

Kevin doesn’t like war or fishing, placing them on the same approximate level of mental activity. Of the two he considers war the lesser evil because although people die at least it’s easier to sit through a television program about it.

Kevin thinks people who like hunting are thick and bloodthirsty except when they are pointing a big gun at him. Then he thinks they are (and I quote):

“trulyfantasticwonderfulhumanbeings.”

Kevin likes ‘pragmatic’ but prefers ‘automatic’ as it leaves a hand free for communication purposes. He likes living in small houses as this saves time with finding keys and glasses and wherever he put the alcohol.

Kevin likes a drink now and then. Usually when presented with the choice of a television program on fishing or another on war when he specifically had dodged work that afternoon and it’s too rainy and wet outside to go swimming…

Kevin hates people who talk about themselves in the third person.

Claire, female, 27

Claire says she is a kind, forgiving, maternal soul. She is gentle, subservient and obedient. She is also lying when she says it. Claire once tried being a dominatrix but eventually decided against it as “way too liberal.” Claire loves animals, partying, wealth and humans. In that order. She is way smarter than you. Yes, in your field of expertise, too, whatever it is. So don’t try anything funny.

Claire went to a self- improvement seminar but decided all of it would be a step backwards. Claire tried good behaviour: it didn’t take. Claire tried rules: they didn’t take. Claire tried self-help books: they didn’t take. Claire tried chocolate, alcohol and hedonism: she took it, ordered some more and nicked what there was from the women in the building next door. Next door was a brothel/ drug-den and is now The Church of the Trinity. They don’t go out much.

Claire carries a gun but only uses it “for defence”, “in a crisis” or “when it seems like fun”. She likes a good fight but not the physical kind because other people’s blood is hell to shift as well as being “icky” and “gross”.

Claire has never and will never, ever, even remotely consider taking any illegal substances of any nature whatsoever. Ever. Honest. Trueasgod. Maygodstrikemedown. Claire is an Atheist.
Claire likes praise. Period. Feel free to lavish it on her. Any time. Really. She does not think compliments about her looks mean the person is shallow. It is only natural. They are only speaking the truth, anyway.

Claire believes fervently that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. She also believes the same people should either lose weight or send her their shower schedule as the last time she caught a glimpse she found herself paralysed all down one side for the rest of the day and still wakes up screaming after falling gently asleep watching extremely trashy television.

JJ, male, 29

JJ was once caught with four ounces of weed. He is terribly embarrassed about it as he has never had that little on him before. He apologises profusely. He firmly believes that an idle mind is the devils playground and thinks you should be thanking him for keeping the evil bastard so well occupied.

In his time JJ has burned the midnight oil, the candle at both ends and his bridges. JJ has been arrested for arson twice. In fact JJ has been arrested 12 times by the constabulary and once by a stripper dressed as a cop which he is not sure he should count. The charges were dropped. Mostly. And where they weren’t dropped they were carefully put down and blown up from a safe distance by a bomb squad.

JJ was once at his wit’s end… well, not his. Someone else’s. A problem quickly solved by never talking to the witless idiot ever again. JJ has heard that beggars can’t be choosers. He finds choosing annoying anyway. It’s overrated and just gets him into trouble.

With all our world leaders jostling with one another to explain how safe they are going to make us we have ended up with some pretty bloody stupid airport security around the world in the last few years*.

The fact is that any team of 5 people determined enough and willing to sacrifice their lives can bring down an aircraft without bringing a single, solitary weapon on board. De-pressurizing an aeroplane in just the right way is easy and enough and all you have to do for the flimsy thing to go pffffft and leave a whole lot of people regretting that they are now tied to an extremely heavy seat shortening their life span by a good minute or so.

If after that little revelation you’re too paranoid to get in aircraft that means (1) that you have an appalling ability to assess and compare dangers and (2) we get to keep a glacier for another minute and three seconds and I get another four days before I have to start building anti- flood barriers around my house and, well, every bit helps.

But if you genuinely want top notch security in airports, the best in the world, for free, you sell gambling rights, right there in the departure lounges, to top Casino companies. Everyone knows that Casinos, to protect their cash, have the very best security in the whole world. Make them apply that knowledge in defending your planes and you will be far better off than you are with 50c an hour security guards trying to stick their fingers up your butt while you turn on your laptop computer. And their tax is making sure nothing bad happens- or they lose their contract and investment.

No more missing luggage, either. Anyone trying to nick your iPod from your suitcase will find themselves at the bottom of a nearby river and you, after having the iPod replaced, will have a free three night stay in a suite at one of their casino hotels. Hookers and cocaine an optional extra.

These people know how to protect their assets. You do not have to trust them- just their motivations.

*- You cannot make a bomb on a plane using liquids. You just cannot. You blow your hands off/ burn them beyond use long before you can create anything damaging. You can easily get a laptop computer to turn on and boot up with loads of space available inside it for all sorts of dodgy shit that you CAN blow an aeroplane up with.

It’s been demonstrated all over the world but the best recent example of why local government is important is in comparing Switzerland and the USA when it comes to that ‘ol favourite, guns. Oddly enough, when it comes to guns the USA has, in government structure, the right idea. They had to get something right eventually. Here is why.

I am assuming, first of all, that we are dealing with a gun-toting, trigger-happy nation. It will probably come as a massive surprise to anyone reading this that the Swiss are, indeed, keen on drilling small pieces of metal into inanimate things and furry creatures at high speed. This has come about because the Swiss government has a ruling stating that every soldier in the country MUST have a gun in the house. An unregistered gun.

All of this, according to a leading psychiatrist who lives in my head, has a lot to do with insecurity over the jokes made about their deadly Swiss army knives and their masses of experience on the front lines of conflicts. That experience consisting mostly of standing behind their bankers, wearing odd clothing, yodelling and cursing their little red knives, unable to get the cork out of a recently pillaged (I mean ‘donated’) bottle of Chardonnay since the corkscrew attachment is rubbish, as said bankers quietly melt the gold picked out of dead soldiers and civilians teeth. Not that I am being nasty or judgemental or anything.

Not me.

This wide spectrum gun- ownership is by no means a bad thing since it at least adds a level of excitement to a country officially voted the second dullest on earth after Sweden. By who, you ask? Me, as it happens. Five minutes ago, shortly before consulting the aforementioned imaginary psychiatrist. It’s been that kind of day. So Switzerland has quite a lot of deaths with people going nuts and killing their families, office colleagues and, thankfully, themselves as well.

The American government, however keeps these issues local. South Carolina, it seems, site of a fun day out with death and carnage at Virginia Tech (when a graduate student decided he was sick to death of whiny rich kids bitching about nothing and decided to kill as many of them as possible- a reasonable guy by any standards), has decided to make the carrying of concealed weapons on campus legal. Presumably to make any future shoot-outs a little more fair. Given the American love of “friendly fire” this seems perfectly in keeping with their national psyche.

Why is it better to do this locally rather than nationally? Well… personal tragedy, rights of man and general compassion aside it’s to do with having a successful democracy and the advancement of the human race in general.

If you have these sorts of gun policies locally it has to be supported by the community. This means that most (more than 50%) of the community is dumb (or the smart people are too apathetic to do anything about it which is just as bad). The smart, non- apathetic, people then move away from the nut-balls to somewhere safer and more sensible, like Iraq or Beirut, tipping the balance even further. Now, if someone goes on a rampage there is a far better than average chance that the people killed will be dumb. Bigger shoot-outs due to armed civilians and masses of “friendly fire” will ensue between civilians all over dumb areas culling the herd on a regular basis and lowering the chances of idiot politicians winning a national vote and increasing the country’s average intelligence.

If you allow it nationally it offers no benefit as the odds of someone in the smarter 50% of your population being killed are the same as for the stupider 50%. This has no benefits to the nation whatsoever.

Localised gun control rocks…!

Creeping Insanity

May 31, 2007

The BBC has shut down an educational series of programmes that were “too successful” as they were eating into the profits of the private sector. The BBC is paid for by subscribers, the British Public, to provide them with entertainment and benefitial programming. When did making money become less imporant than education?

The Democrats in the US backed down on their demand for a schedule to end the war despite getting control of congress and the senate based on the fact that the American people want out. No- one has the courage to impeach the President or Vice President despite their being plenty of cause.

In European football Inter Milan who were caught cheating in the Italian Leagues by manipulating referees were allowed back into European Competition after initially being excluded and celebrated as Champions despite being cheats.

Almost none of the G8 group of nations have fulfilled even half of their commitments to Africa for aid and continue to turn a blind eye to their citizens who, for the past 100 years, have been organising military coups and financing extremist groups against democratic governments in order to get mineral rights on the continent.

A pretty, blonde- haired, blue eyed, young girl who has been abducted has now supassed the amount of news hours spent on reporting the disasterous genocide in Darfur where hundreds of thousands have been killed in the purges and 2.5 million have lost their homes.

China and now the US flagrantly abuse human rights yet no-one says anything because they don’t want to endanger trade with the countries. Money has become more important than humans.

Big Brother UK finally, for the first time, justified it’s original “social experiment” title when racism is dealt with and shown in all it’s stark glory, sparking an international debate which has been out of the public eye for, perhaps, too long and the public attack them for doing so and they are sanction by the British Broadcasting Authority.

Every international television news agency irresponsibly reports that the Iranian Prime Minister asked for israel to be “wiped from the face of the earth.” When proper, non-american translators are finally used few but the BBC deal with the fact that what he said translates closely to a desire for “regime change” in the US and Israel. All but the BBC forget that Iran has a democracy of sorts at least as valid as the one in the US less than 100 years ago. Give them time.

People feel outrage that the UK government wants to compell immigrants to learn English so they can fit in better and feel more integrated into the society.

The only straight- talking candidates in the USA, Gravel and Paul, in both the Republican and Democratic Party have a combined support of less than 3% in the polls.

The only country behaving in any way morally that I can think of is South Africa where the population holds high standards and attacks their government daily on important issues like crime and human rights.

The only outspoken people are a few hollywood stars and one or two musicians and the press barely take any notice, even of them. I couldn’t bear to be funny in May. I just couldn’t. My sense of humour has failed me. I frvently hope it shall return in June.

I recently, through lack of planning rather than design, changed the light-bulb in my room to a green one and it caused me to notice something about physiology that I was never taught in school.

If I lay there and read under a green light for a little while and then moved into a room with more normal lighting the lighting in that room, for about 30 seconds, would appear red. This means one of three things. Either (a) the individual photocells in the eye can increase their sensitivity to light if necessary or (b) the brain adapts any information coming in via the eyes to maintain the light balance it is most used to seeing by or (c) aliens are fucking with the lights in my house.

I was taught that the only control for light sensitivity was the iris opening and closing to let in more or less light not brain sensitivities, photocells or aliens.

Dave, 33

April 20, 2007

It had been a strange year. 33 years of skating over a frozen pond, skimming over the world, unaffected and always in command and then, in the 34th year two cracks formed. Two pieces gave way and twice I was plunged into cold, unforgiving waters.

The second was depression, the war of my life. Prone to madness, my family, and I got off lightly I suppose. One schizophrenic uncle, a gaggle of suicidal aunts and grandmothers, nutters perched on every branch of the tree. It was a fight I had always won. Sometimes a little too easily, perhaps. It is when you lose your fear, in my case my only remaining fear, that you might succumb. Fear is healthy, it exists for a reason.

I was never scared of dying. Never of pain. Never fazed by dislike or revulsion. Always happy to make the tough decision. Never afraid of never being loved by anything but a pet. Not scared of poverty. Never titllated by speed, wrenched by heights, nor threatened by the malicious and vicious. Afraid of only one thing and that was losing sanctuary. Everyone needs a place of sanctuary. A place of calm. Of control. Stability. Home.

I lost my mind.

The second crack. The ice gives way and down you go. It’s an odd thing, losing your mind. In my case, losing it to depression. When people talk about unhappiness, about grief, about that wailing, crying, sobbing, drizzy mess that comes with loss few realise that they are, at that point, nowhere near true depression. Crying is cathartic. Grieving is love.

Depression is empty.

That was the surprise as I dropped through the ice and sped down to the bottom of that world. How numb it all feels. How coldly logical everything seems. How detached you are from everything tactile. It is not like sorrow, don’t confuse it with sorrow because sorrow comes from yearning, as does melancholy. The smart, smarter than I, know to cherish those emotions. The depressed yearn for nothing. Cherish nothing. Air. Water. Fire. Tea. Sunshine. Friend. Oblivion. All are the same to the depressed.

With sorrow and grief and pain there is still you. There is still some driving force that can think of a better life. That can remember having one in the past and is desperate to have one in the future. To the depressed there is no sch thing, no reason to get out of bed, no reason to change the channel. There is no reason to turn on the television. You can’t anyway, there was no reason to pay the electricity bill…

The second crack. The second time drowning. Just enough of me left somewhere. Just a voice in the background not content to slip into oblivion without just one more final try. one more push. One more chance. A tiny voice had the sense to take control of the voice chords and scream “help”.

That was yesterday.