Tory twat trolls.

Feels like a while since my last keyboard warrior missive, thank you Jonathan for that morale boosting comment and after a steady monthly decline in viewings since the start of this blog May has shown an increase. I know it’s shallow but it’s good to know that there are still some readers. Had 2 new ones earlier in the week; one from Spain the other India and the blog titles they looked at were titled: covering tits and denuded pudenda.

See the tt’s are in buoyant mood, even got an email from condom features this week outlining the queen’s speech and suggesting I might vote tory in the future. Absolutely no bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeedin’ chance.

Also posted my first comment in The Grauniad online in response to a comment by another buoyant tt in response to an article by Owen Jones. They were making fairly typical comments of the tory troll variety, I questioned one aspect and had my being childish hurled back at me. Now I felt a little hurt and wanted to point out various childish, and other derogatory opinions about their narrow, bigoted and deluded opinions but resisted the urge. Does seem to be an inordinate amount of right wing commentary in the comments, don’t want to start sounding all conspiratorial but seems like they can’t allow even a modicum of alternative viewery these tt’s. They’re probably paid by tt central office. They gave out party spending over recent months on the radio today and the tts spent more than all the other parties combined. So what does that tell us?

On reflection I’ll stick to the blogging and resist more commentary.

Last full session of the New View programme today which has made me a little sad as it has been really useful, and I’m sure my fellow participants will agree. One suggested we stay in contact which I’d spoken about with Kate and she’d urged me to talk about, I’ll make sure we swap contact details next week at the ‘wrap up’ session or whatever it’s called. We can then have get togethers and have crabby and other life story sessions, preferably while eating enormous cream buns.

A comrade at the session who I’d given a small pot of unction to last week reported that it worked really well on his psoriasis, that’s 3 in 3 days just about psoriasis. Just tried my website again and still no joy, hopefully Den can help me tomorrow.

Sent off my completed sections of the Teacher Pension forms today so hopefully they will all be sent off next week and you never know, maybe, perhaps, perchance, conceivably……………….

So, when did Ajax disappear? There was a time when every household had that perforated topped cylinder.

So who was advocating boycotting the world cup a while ago? Maybe it will come about, or at least a clearing out of the stinking blatter stables. One of the many depressing aspects of this saga is how big business is responding, OK so people haven’t actually been prosecuted yet but there is so much evidence of corruption over the years and yet these ‘global corporations’ will wait and see and pursue that amoral, unethical bottom line.

Anyone else experiencing big spiders invading their abodes?

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

Like goldfish swimming in a capitalist goldfish bowl.

Interesting, well interesting to me, probably only marginally so to you dear dwindling readers, is how my writing appears to have changed. There are a number of reasons, probably the main one being the cessation of my treatment and it’s ravages upon my body and the ensuing initial result of the apparent destruction of the tumour. This removes the immediacy of my condition and now I’m undergoing the gradual, very gradual, ‘recovery’. Or, as the ‘New View’ programme has it, the creation of the ‘new normal’. So, I am no longer fuelled so much by what was happening to me and now am in this ‘no man’s land’ of shifted and shifting existence and experience.

During and just after treatment I think I was in the more immediate mode of ‘getting through’, living day to day and coping with the ravages and pain of treatment. Now it’s post-trauma time, less focus on the physical and more mental, reflection on the psychological damage and ‘reframing’ of my new existence.

This new existence also includes my retirement from teaching. Being a teacher has significantly defined me for most of my adult life and even though I was thinking about ‘retirement’ and change pre-crab it’s now been forced upon me. I still have the ongoing bureaucratic battle; interesting that I use battle (apart from my obsessive alliteration of course) having steadfastly refused to use the term in relation to the bleedin’ crabby one but have no such hesitation when writing and thinking about bureaucracy.

Also have now had over a week with no paper to read every day and this has affected me. Kate tells me to just carry on getting the paper every day, but it is part of my ‘sacrifice to current austerity’ and I’m interested in seeing how it affects me. One thing seems to be a lessening of my political anger, it’s still very much part of me but has certainly lessened in this blog. And I find reading stuff on a screen with all it’s distractions much harder.

Anyway, Suzanne Moore today writes about the ‘middle class’ and their ‘shame’ about declining living standards brought about by stagnating income and massive increases in the costs of their ‘staples’ such as private school fees, private health, dental care and the like. She thinks this ‘shame’ and their anger at this state of affairs has no obvious outlet or group to stand in solidarity with. This is compounded by the tt’s reframing what is essentially right wing or/and capitalist as ‘commonsense’ (that most dangerous of terms) but which in reality only reflects the ‘normal’ for the richest, the kleptos. It’s a new take on my and others turkey voting; not the tory voting working class but the tory voting middle class.

And then Paul Mason writes about a new ‘play’ called World Factory where the audience become the cast and are formed into teams and asked to run a Chinese clothing factory, and being presented with various ‘challenges’ with regard to the business. What shocked Mr Mason and the play’s authors was how apparently liberal london hipsters quickly turned into ruthless capitalists. I don’t feel the same shock; it actually fits with what I was writing in previous paragraphs, that explains the old saw of voters telling pollsters what they going to vote then when in the voting booth voting differently. It explains the recurring shock I and like minded folk feel every time the tt’s win an election and we can’t believe that so many turkeys vote for christmas.

But this is what happens when we are all swimming in this small-minded capitalist goldfish bowl. When the only system of existence we are presented with and live within is the ‘common sense’ one of capitalism then it’s not really surprising that liberal hipsters can quickly turn into ruthless capitalists. When all we look to to treat ourselves of any of our ills is to ‘consume’ something, to ‘buy’ something. We are all consumers in our capitalist world. And like goldfish we quickly forget. With the fat cat kleptos licking the cream outside the bowl. Time to smash the bowl.

A comment made by someone called Priscilla to my blogs recently recommended checking out the gerson ‘therapy’ for treating cancer, have you seen what they charge for treatment? But it’s the same with what I’m doing in my small way with my ‘unctions’.

Kate is finding it hard with Jaike’s very imminent leaving of these shores for Australia. But as I keep telling her she’s done her parental job with him, and what a brilliant job she’s done. He’s going off into the big wide world a better being for being Kate’s son.

Even though it often involves my consumerising of plants and other things horticultural our little garden provides Kate and me with much pleasure. Today an iris I planted 3 years ago is finally blooming, I thought it would be purple, in fact it’s a beautiful raggedy blue and as we looked at it today we saw a bumble bee, Kate told it to enjoy the fresh pollen and nectar in the iris. The plight of the bumble bee (geddit?) sadly reflects the plight of our capitalism ravaged world.

Since last October this blog’s monthly viewing figures have steadily dropped but this month has seen a small increase. Also when I checked viewings earlier there were 2: one from Spain, the other India. The titles of the blogs they read? Denuded Pudenda and Covering Tits. So that’s how I increase viewing figures!

Phew, that’s better, got my mojo back.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan

Due process

Woken up again to no update with regard to my pension, a process I began in early February and still don’t have the forms to send to Teacher’s Pensions. So I sent a little poem by email to some company people:

Due process?

15 weeks?

More like

Undue process.

We complain about ‘due process’ and increasing bureaucracy and ‘red tape’ and much of it is directed at the state and it’s local representatives. Little is made of the bureaucratic bollocks and ‘due process’ employed by the ‘efficient’ private companies which is worse than state and public institutions. So I’ve created what I think is a pretty nifty website. Trouble is I can’t work out how to ‘activate’ it and get it ‘online’. I have emailed the website builder company I’ve signed up with a number of times with a variety of questions and have only received automated replies so far. Is this their ‘due process’?

Why don’t we have a rewind button? I thought of something really interesting to write a few minutes ago and it’s disappeared. Where do these thoughts go to?

So, now it’s late afternoon and I’ve received a report from the occupational health doctor who’s amended his original report based on my consultant’s report. It’s more supportive but still quite a lot of fence sitting, hopefully will be enough but I can still see initial rejection looming and an appeal process, although …………Always look on the bright side.

What are the odds on on Milliband D being Labour leader come the next election?

Shorter odds on kim il grinning gargoyle still dominating the ukippers.

Well, it comes to something when that Mr Steve Hilton, former condom adviser, writes a book that includes such stuff as: “Our democracies are increasingly captured by a ruling class that seeks to perpetuate it’s privileges”, “outrageous that we should tolerate a situation where people work incredibly hard yet can’t earn enough to live on” and suggests that for a cut in business tax, companies pay a living wage. Didn’t hear anything like this from Labour pre-election and likewise from the ‘leadership candidates’. Any chance they will?

Still missing me Grauniad, at least had the New Statesman today and I’ve read almost all of it already. It feels good holding real paper, even though it’s a magazine.

Cooking a paella tonight, have already made a pudding called vla, it’s Dutch. Got the idea of making it from a fellow crabber at yesterday’s new view do, also gave him a pot of unction for him to try. I’ll miss the new view do when it finishes in 2 week’s time. Kate says I’ve been noticeably less snappy and angry, which is good.

Kate coping well with Jaike’s impending departure for Australia, we’re having visits from various family members and a beach party next weekend.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

Going postal.

See the weather’s got worse with the new tt government.

Had my last newspaper delivered last Sunday until I get my pension sorted, or I sell my business, and I feel bereft. For the last couple of days I’ve tried reading stuff online and while the occasional article grabs my attention it’s a totally different experience. There’s the constant attention seeking ads popping up all over the screen, there’s all the links that try to entice you, the comments that you start reading at the bottom of the piece. The book of the week on Radio 4 is by a journalist who went prospecting for gold in California and reading people’s comments seems to be a similar experience in that you sift through all the comments and find the occasional nugget, the rest is petty nitpicking between the commentators.

I keep getting the occasional email telling me that my duncansunctions domain/business is worth so much, currently stands at $543, what’s all that about?

Have created a website and used a template that works quite well and I think looks pretty good just a few minor problems like when you try to find it it goes to the place I bought the domain name from. I am an internet ingenue, excepting of course that I’m male and quite old. How can I use this innocence to my advantage, or is the internet world already so corrupted that I’ll just be swallowed up like a piece of plankton by a whale shark?

So, bureaucracy has always been with us humans as David Graeber informs me in his ‘The Utopia of Rules’, also that much of modern bureaucracy is based on the postal systems of Germany and the USA which in pre-corporate days were much admired and popular organisations. Since the rise of the corporations the postal services have been demonised, especially in the USA, with the aim of demonising the government/state and all it’s bureaucracy and ‘red tape’. Been quite effective, hasn’t it? Graeber quotes a book called ‘Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine and Beyond’ by Mark Ames. In the book Ames notes that in pre-neoliberal times there were no workplace rage events where workers massacred others except in slave times. Since the 1980’s and the rise of neoliberalism and it’s enforcement of impoverishing workplace conditions there has been a vast increase in these workplace rage events, they were initially called ‘going postal’ as they occurred in public companies like the post office. They soon spread to private companies. So in modern times we have an increase in such incidents, these are of course explained in terms of individual insanity and the like, as happened in slave times. Seems like we’re returning to a modern form of slavery, remember I still supply pitchforks. And the internet is now mainly the modern postal service.

Anyone else watching ‘No Offence’ on Channel 4? It’s really good.

And what’s to become of the BBC? That hotbed of lefties and liberalism. Most of the tt’s spinners and the like have come from the BBC and I don’t hear much evidence of ‘left wing bias’, on the contrary I regularly fulmigate at the radio as I listen to the presenters on the Toady programme.

Enough for now, I can no longer use this writing as a displacement activity and I must return to the coalface of the internet to expand my business empire. Do I need to also grow some stupid looking facial hair?

Walked into town for a spot of business earlier, it’s what us business types do. Within a short while my legs were ‘fizzing’, this firing/regeneration of chemo damaged nerves at the bottom of my thigh muscles. This time it started happening more than normal with the occasional ‘wave of fizzing’, felt very weird.

Did my watercolour class yesterday, discovered that what might seem to be the relatively simple task of doing a large mass of blue sky is easily the hardest thing I’ve yet attempted.

Finished the first incarnation of my website, quite pleased with my efforts just need to sort actually getting it on the internet, a minor problem. Mustn’t develop workplace rage in my own home now.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

Edge over the edge and scapegoat economics.

Aching body after yesterday’s exertions but all worth it as it was a fun filled day of futility. I think everyone had a good time and amazingly all ended with exactly the same number of points, except for one participant who blew the black ball into the pocket after their shot during killer pool, I think that it was someone who did something similar many years ago that led to the introduction of the term ‘black-balled’. There is though another school of thought though who ascribe the term to some post male drinking antics and the application of black shoe polish to a certain part of the anatomy of the most comatose.  Thank you everyone who participated and made this crabby individual very happy.

So listening to Richard Wolff’s May update earlier and he used the term ‘scapegoat economics’ to describe the tory election approach. And very effective it has been, initially and then continually scapegoating Labour for ‘causing the financial crash’ and during their last tenure scapegoating all the ‘scroungers’ and ‘benefit cheats’. Then they added during the election that they’d ‘look after’ their own, so vote for them and get lower taxes, and bribes to buy homes and the like. And now we have the prospect of the next stage of their ‘scapegoat economics’ and their continued mismanagement of the economy.

Mr Wolff also informed me that not all is doom and gloom as in Alberta, the Canadian province that has been ravaged by companies extracting oil from the tar sands, has recently voted out the conservative incumbents and voted in the New Democratic Party led by Rachel Notley who are left of centre. So don’t despair and listen to the likes of the dark lord mandelson.

So, stress, what’s your take on it? For many years I’ve thought it a necessary and useful part of life and applied what I’d learnt in physics in that stress is something that can be borne it’s when there is too much stress and it causes strain that it may be bad. Now that interesting Oliver Burkeman writes that maybe our assumptions of stress being bad and a stress-free life being good might be questionable. For example national surveys have indicated countries with a more stressed population are happier than those with low stress; Mauritanians report low stress levels but are one of the most unhappy of the world’s peoples. There is even some research suggesting a reduction in stress can cause depression.

David Dimbleby was a member of the bullingdon club, is he still?

Martin has very kindly sent me lots of stuff to help me develop Duncan’sUnctions, creating a website will be tomorrow’s job.

Another thing Canadian is the edge going over the edge at a concert in Vancouver, very funny. They were singing: “I still can’t accept what a knob I am”.

And there’s the principled grinning gargoyle keeping to his word and resigning and then there he is on Question Time with bullingdon dimbleby, again, and he’s unresigned. Did you know this ‘man of the people’ has now been rejected 7 times in elections? Once as a ukipper and 6 times as a tory twat. He really is a principled gargoyle (have those 2 words ever been conjoined before?).

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

Celebrating Friendship in Futility.

Well the weather forecast looks ok for tomorrow’s day of celebrating friendship in futility as a bunch of like-minded, slightly past their physical prime (I’m afraid that even you are in this bracket now John) folk conjoin. I will be preparing rules for the day later on today and one of them will be any use of the word ‘aspiration’ except in a derogatory sense will be punished.

I said to Kate yesterday that I will kill the next person I hear who uses the term aspirational, Kate thought this a little extreme, but I am already fed up with the line that Labour didn’t appeal to the aspirational. It is such a small-minded mode of thought. It can be added to the lexicon of mangementspeakbollocks. Peter Wilby in the New Statesman is also troubled by the term and thinks politicians use it to mean anyone who wants more money or perhaps is more ambitious. And yet in olden times it’s meaning was of a less ‘materialistic’ nature and more about aspiring to be good.

Another New View session yesterday, they are really helpful and on reflection today the sessions really highlight how much we crabby victims are affected in oh so many ways. A piece by Elizabeth Wurtzel and her cancer and how she doesn’t want cancer to change her life, something I know I felt and articulated as I’m sure so many others do. Unfortunately, especially if you have heavy duty treatment, the cancer combined with the treatment will cause irreperable changes, as the New View programme recognises, we are changed. Of course there is still the essence of the ‘old me’ but as we talk in the sessions it becomes more evident how much we have all changed. And it is the mental and emotional changes as much, perhaps more, than the physical changes.

We did a brief mindfulness exercise at the end of the session and I enjoyed it and will try and use it regularly. I emphasize try as there are so many different aspects that come with the ‘new view’ it is difficult taking them all in and managing them effectively. One step at a time, trouble is even balance and walking are affected as we all talked about yesterday. The therapist and doctor who run the programme, along with a nurse who works at the cancer centre who joined for the first half, were given a few new insights by us yesterday.

So I fired off another email to those in some authority at the company who run the school, I wrote it in the middle of the night as for the first time in a while I couldn’t sleep for worrying about my pension being sorted. It’s hard as this anxiety causes other stuff which exacerbates my physical and mental condition. I pointed out that it’s now been 14 weeks since I first began proceedings and still haven’t reached the first stage of having the forms ready to send to teacher’s pensions and wondered whether people thought this an acceptable state of affairs. Of course they don’t reply to the question, point out individual aspects that aren’t directly connected with the company such as the delay in my consultant replying, and putting the onus back on me by asking me what more can the company do. I call my consultant’s secretary today and she says he will sign his response today and she’ll send it off, I then feel a little embarrassed about my most recent ranting email but now writing this simply return to my question: is 14 weeks to get a couple of forms sorted acceptable?

Question: which is better to fire off an aggressive email or do some mindfulness exercise to cope with anxieties? Or maybe do both, but in what order?

Grace called me while I was at ‘New View’ yesterday, the doctor asked me after I’d told him her age whether she was worried about exams. I though about this later and it is an appalling state of affairs that our children are subjected to what is now commonly accepted to be the most testing education regime in the world. And it is the cohort that Grace is in that has been subjected most to this testing madness. The poor girl and her fellow cohort will be the last to take AS level exams. I have gently exhorted her to do some revision, but it is done with extreme reluctance and understanding of the pressures we heap on our young folk with our shit education system. But if we don’t aspire to our kids being aspirational then we’re crap parents. How did we get into this mess?

As an antidote I am looking forward to the newly dubbed ‘Friendship in Futility Day’ tomorrow.

Made me laugh.

Keep on aspiring to keeping on, love Duncan

PS Duncan has killed himself for above.

Also farewell BBKing, a bunch of us saw him at Knebworth many years ago, we drove up in my old mini and we got away quickly at the end to get back to London, I drove for a little while through fields before I realised we were going the wrong way. I did a u-turn to see a long line of cars following me, I was saying sorry driving by all those cars!

I am not a tory twat because I believe in fairness.

I think it’s hard to fully appreciate and understand relative mental states and well-being. This probably applies to understanding others as well as oneself. Lately I have been even more reflective about my mental states and wonder how much and in what ways they have been affected by the crabby one, my treatment and my existence in my social milieu. For example, yesterday I received an email from someone I trust about using my unction, it was the first feedback that was not positive (it wasn’t negative either). I felt immediately deflated. Now I think would I have reacted the same way a year ago, am I more sensitive now? Actually sensitive has multiple meanings in that I could be more likely to be upset, or that I am more aware of myself, of others and of the interplay between us humans. I cry far more easily, in BC times I would have simply raged at last week’s result and directed my anger at tory twats but last Friday I played Springsteen at full volume (my ears were in pain) with tears streaming down my face. The trigger may well have been the election result but my underlying crabby state has unleashed a changed emotional state.

It is also the case that I know I look ‘healthy’ (despite my stupid hair) yet also know that ‘underneath’ I am not yet healthy. People say “you look so well” and I say “thankyou, but I still have this or feel that” and they look nonplussed and I feel guilty for being honest and have to try and explain to them the complexity of emotions and ongoing bodily changes and both of us wish I’d just said “thankyou”. And yet this superficial social discourse leaves me even more discombobulated than ever, it was an aspect that was so well articulated in ‘The C-Word’ drama.

So when I met a former teacher colleague the other day they said how they were met at work last Friday with the comment: “we can buy our house now”. Now I know this is just one comment but my reaction, like my teacher friend, was one of despair at how easily people are ‘bought off’. Then, as Lionel Shriver so eloquently argues about lefties shaming tory twat (tt) voters and that having some sort of ‘holier than though’ attitude makes me feel guilty in my judgmentalness. Except, and I’m going out on a limb for a change here, I think lefties like me do guilt more than tts. It’s what fires us up, it comes down simply to fairness and yet, even when we judge others, even tts, we feel guilty.

Anyway, I think I might have found out a reason for last week’s election result: there has been a significant increase in myopia. This might explain people voting for tts because they can then buy their housing association property and not see ahead as to why this will make it even more difficult for their children to have decent and affordable housing.

There is though much cogitation about where us lefties and others might go now the tts are in power again. The dark lord mandelson tries to lead Labour back to the blairite bollocks, beware chuka and others who will continue the corrupted ‘top down’ approach. We need to work together, from where we are within our local communities because the already large gaps caused by the tts will only get bigger.

Brilliant short letter about recalibrating car ‘eco rating’: petrol or diesel cars, 0-1; gas cars, 2; hybrids, 3-4; all-electric 5-6; public transport, 7; electric public transport, 8-9; foot or bike, 10. Off on my bike now, smug, lefty twat that I am.

       

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.