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Life, Death and Other Things

10 May

‘You might think that the biggest killer of people aged between 15 and 45 in the UK would be road traffic accidents or maybe one of the many cancers we’re reliably told will affect 1 in 3 of us, but it isn’t. The biggest killer of young people in this first world nation is suicide……’

Suicide outnumbers road traffic deaths by 2:1. The latest statistics put the total number at over 6,000 per year; that’s almost one every hour. So, the question is why? What do such a large number of otherwise healthy young people in the prime of their lives find so unbearable that ending it becomes a viable option?

From a personal perspective there is a big difference between life and living. Life is the mechanical process of converting food and Oxygen to the sustain a heartbeat. Living is gaining satisfaction and enjoyment whilst doing so. In the global model of living which we are forced to accept inequality has never been greater, the basic requirements for taking part can become all consuming, leaving many people simply treading water and trying to plug holes in the dam behind which the necessities for life continually pile up leading to the feeling that living is a secondary concern. This is not to say that all downward spirals are caused by what equates to financial stress; rich people are profoundly unhappy too, but for what may actually be the same thing, albeit caused by different circumstances.

On a planet with 7bn other people it is surprisingly easy to feel alone. The family unit or the need to belong and feel needed, wanted and above all loved is another contributory factor. This is where unhappiness doesn’t care how much wealth you have but there is undoubtedly a disproportionate number of economically strained people making up the suicide statistics. The more time you spend plugging the holes in the dam, the easier it is to begin the downward spiral of loneliness and feelings of helplessness and worthlessness.

Despite the narrative that we recognise and care about people who may be well on the way down the path to ending their pain, there is very little professional help available. I’ll guarantee the paperwork and time spent evaluating and exonerating professionals of any blame in the aftermath of a suicide far out ways the amount generated preventing it whilst they were still living.

Although everything I have just written may be factual, it’s typical of my personality to attemp to rationalise and quantify but when all is said and done it is my own internal battle with suicidal thoughts that I intended to write about. The flippant remarks and often quoted misnomer that someone who is suicidal acts completely normally and “nobody would have imagined that they would do such a thing”, is a somewhat annoying cop out. Making the choice to take your own life doesn’t happen in a moment of desperation or madness, it is a considered act in many cases. I can only speak for myself but I go around in circles considering method, guilt and a whole host of emotions and rationale.

I have asked for help but nothing ever happens. Over time I have become more isolated, unhappy and desperate to escape the overwhelming feeling of impending doom. It feels like every concerted effort I make to change things fails. The failures mount up and as they do the chronic (untreated) depression makes the basics hard to maintain. I am consumed by guilt at the thought of hurting people and it is that, and only that that has kept me alive. But I don’t know how much more I can take. I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, or for that matter, a tunnel. This isn’t a cry for help; God knows I’ve cried and cried for help but none has been forthcoming. I have posted many times about this and doubtless I’ll be labelled as the boy who cried wolf. Truth be told, I’m distracting myself from thinking because I’m afraid where it might lead. Death doesn’t scare me and the rationalisation that I could never have to face anymore pain is an appealing prospect but for now I’ll just keep plugging holes until the dam inevitably overflows……

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BREXSHIT – What They Didn’t Tell You……

4 Aug

One of the single most important parts of the UK’s exit from the EU is Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty; the treaty which none of us voted for. It sets out the terms and conditions of the negotiations surrounding any country’s exit. Here are some of the non-negotiable clauses that could easily leave us up the proverbial creak without a paddle……

TWO YEARS keeps popping up in interviews with politicians; why? Because of Clause Four of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. What it basically says is that, if we haven’t agreed a unilaterally acceptable exit from the EU within two years, we no longer have a seat at the table and the Ts&Cs of our exit will decided by the remaining 27 nations.  This is almost certainly going to happen.

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Theresa May

First of all we are attempting to negotiate differing arrangements with each member state. There are 27 of them and, so far, we haven’t managed to agree anything with anyone (taking into account the fact that Dave the Pig fucker has already been talking with them for over two years before the referendum and got nowhere).  Mrs. Thatcher, sorry, Theresa May hasn’t exactly been gleefully pontificating about her own successful agreements since nobody elected her and she’s only got another 24 heads of state to disagree with.

Another big problem is the lack of a unilaterally proposed exit agreement. Even if by some miracle we did manage to agree on a different solution with each country, all 27 of them then have to be in agreement with each other for us to get the exit strategy we want (and I haven’t yet heard a reasonable explanation of precisely what that is?)

WE’VE CHANGED OUR MIND – Tuff shit! When you’re out, you’re out. There’s no going back. The only way to re-join the EU is to start from scratch and apply just like any other country, which would take years……

So, whether you voted to stay or leave, it changes nothing. Unfortunately, a very large percentage of people voted to leave for one of two reasons: 1 – To stop all those pesky immigrants from taking our jobs, houses and scrounging from the DWP. 2 – To stop the ‘so called’ Islamic State from terrorising us, when it’s actually the other way around (so far all acts of terrorism have been carried out by British Nationals who were born here)……

AND FINALLY – All of this will make very little difference to you, me and 97% of the population. We’ll still get fucked over at every possible opportunity. Just one payday away from destitution……

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SHUT THE DOOR ON YOUR WAY OUT……

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Boys Don’t Cry……

24 Jul

Who Am I……

‘The answer to this question is one that I don’t even know myself. What I do know is that who I am has made me what I am, and that’s not something I want to be, it’s not something I like and it’s not something I know how to even begin to change……’

Having the Rug Pulled out from Under You……

Since I can remember there hasn’t been a day that I haven’t been reminded in some way, directly or in ignorance, that being ‘one of those’ is about the worst thing you can be. It’s soul destroying. The more it’s repeated, the more it sinks in, to the point that I actually believe it myself. I’d give anything to be something else, someone else, somewhere else. I’d like to fall asleep and never wake up.

Wearing the Face that I Keep in a Jar by the Door……

Many people who know me won’t recognise the real me. Having spent 40+ years living with it I’ve become an expert at hiding the reality or hiding behind the self inflicted substance issues that make it seem like a secondary issue, but only superficially. To the world you’re waste of space because you’re a junkie. To you being a junkie is a way of hiding from a reality that’s too hard to deal with.

It is so fundamentally undermining that it affects the very substance of what you are. Even my own Mother who I love dearly cannot see the damage that gets done when she tells me how my Grandparents used to refer to people like me back when Larry Grayson and Danny La Rue used to appear on TV. I’ve heard it my whole life from relatives, school friends, teachers, ‘comedians’ and acquaintances. But that’s me. That’s what I am; strange, unnatural, defective, wrong.

I’m leaving out the horror stories and the psychological trauma for another time but where am I now and where do I go from here? Yet more questions to which I have no answers. I find myself isolated, cut off by the mistakes I’ve made, seemingly with no way back. When I look in a mirror I see nothing appealing. Just a bald, ageing, insecure, unattractive nobody with bad teeth.

I haven’t felt the closeness of having someone to hold at night, someone nonjudgmental, warm. Not for 15 years. I feel so alone……

Bring Out Your Dead & Your Cheque Book

8 Jun

Proprium Corpus [Latin – Own the Body]

For legal purposes a dead body doesn’t belong to anyone & why should it. After all in life the right to self determination and autonomy are enshrined in multiple articles of international Human Rights Law and only under very rare circumstances can you be forced to do something against your will. So why does the ownership of a dead body matter? When your loved ones get the bill from the funeral directors & they want £5,000, (minus the headstone; another £1,000 at least) – that’s when……

So, why do we spend unbelievable amounts of money disposing of the dead? Tradition; predominantly as result of anachronous Christian doctrine, which the majority of intelligent people accept is nonsense but blindly follow anyway. A dead body is dead body; the transient shell of a conscious, thinking person. I’m not suggesting that the loss of a loved one should not be honoured & their life celebrated, but there is nothing to stop that happening without having to adhere to the usual inordinately expensive cost of a ‘traditional’ funeral. So, whose responsibility is it to pay the bill?

Usually, the family take care of the arrangements but they are under no obligation to do so. Lack of knowledge is what can make you unwittingly liable. Firstly, acting as the executor makes you automatically liable. Many people take on this role unknowingly. For example: your relative or friend dies. Liability is the last thing on your mind when you are in shock, devastated at your loss & in the surreal bubble that is the precursor to mourning. Even if there is a will naming you as the executor you are under no obligation to accept. But if you unwittingly handle any part of the process, such as registering the death, you become responsible. It is your right to simply say it has nothing to do with you and responsibility becomes a matter of public health. Responsibility becomes the duty of the state. They then make and pay for the arrangements; sometimes referred to as ‘a pauper’s funeral’. Although the term is an antiquated leftover from the 19th century, it does tend to put emotional pressure on people who are already in a delicate disposition……

Secondly, if you arrange the funeral you have entered into a legally binding contract with the funeral director, who can later sue for breach of contract if it turns out that the deceased assets do not cover the cost of the funeral. Not something that is made clear as you are whisked off into the room with the comfortable sofas and they begin the emotional manipulation by talking about your loved ones whilst writing down a long wish list, none of which is priced as you go. Only when you’ve made your choices does the calculator appear and, let’s face it, nobody’s going to start asking where they can skim off a few quid.

So, there you go. When I snuff it don’t have anything to do with me. Oh, and don’t do the sycophantic “What a fantastic bloke he was” bullshit. Tell it like it really was. In fact, don’t tell it at all……

Remember, just say NO…….

Great Fucking Britain……

27 Jan

Cold, grey, miserable shit hole. One week of sunshine but not in succession.
Oppressive routines, zero hour, three month contracts that don’t even pay the bills.
Employers that want more from their Sheep for less and less. No taxes for those cunts though.
Scraping a living like a Seagull on a rubbish dump. Begging bowl in hand when management consultants have taken your job. Treated like Oliver Twist, “Please Sir, can I have some more?”
No car? No life. The next bus should be along in an hour; maybe two, just as long as it hasn’t gone half past six.
Need a doctor? Try again tomorrow if you’re not dead.
Kids glued permanently to their iPhone, common sense absent from their minds.
Press one to be put on hold whilst we charge you and connect you to the first available moron that can’t help due to a complete apathy, no box to tick and no incentive to tick it anyway.
Taxed to fuck at every opportunity unless you happen to be in the ‘club’.
Need somewhere to live? No problem if you like damp, cold flats on estates filled with the dispossessed.
Insecurity, depression, despair. We’ve got it all in Great fucking Britain.
And for what? There is no after, just like there was no before.
You can kid yourself there’s a God, pay lip service with prayers at the funerals that become more and more frequent as you slowly wither away till you’re institutionalised and they take away what little you may have saved over a lifetime.
Truth is, you’re just an over developed evolutionary bacteria whose only purpose is to replicate DNA. Not even an option for me.
I don’t deny we live on a beautiful planet but one which I’ll never get to see from the metaphorical prison in which I’m serving ‘life’.
So, Great fucking Britain, what’s the point……

The Whole World’s a Stage……

1 Oct

‘Approximately six million years ago we and our furry cousins went our separate ways. In the interim period our prefrontal cortex continued to develop. Useful though it is for executive functions such as the ability to understand abstract concepts, project forward and problem solving, unfortunately, it comes with baggage; a lot of baggage……’image

Though a highly developed prefrontal cortex is useful it has one huge caveat. It controls emotions, and emotions are irrational. To ‘survive’ in the world we have to constantly moderate our behaviour in order to satisfy a ‘social contract’. Therefore, people lie. They lie to their family, they lie to their friends and they lie to themselves…….

The daily lies and banal platitudes that people exchange confine them within a social Pigeon hole but allow them the self-delusion that they are a unique individual, which in truth is as individual and unique as the mock-Tudor house they probably live in. As if solitary confinement within a society is not stifling enough, people habitually make decisions using their emotions; as emotions are empirically irrational any decision influenced by them must by definition be irrational. It is a strange twist of evolution that having the ability to act rationally makes people think and act irrationally……

Hypocrisy is alive and well too. Not only the hypocrisy between inner thoughts and outward presentation but also, as the gap between venerated belief systems and reality widens, people who claim to believe in gods and spiritual nonsense rarely follow even the basic rules of their chosen arbitrary system; deceiving themselves as part of an irrational ‘insurance’ policy. All belief systems are redundant in light of what science tells us. You speak to an imaginary friend every Sunday you’re religious. Your imaginary friend speaks to you and you’re Schizophrenic. – Do it all. Do none of it or, by definition, you are a hypocrite……

Everybody dies; deal with it. We have a finite, insignificant existence and yet we credit ourselves with ‘delusions of grandeur’ when it comes our own self-importance as individuals and as a species. Prior to being born, for the first 14 billion years of cosmic evolution you were unaware that you would be born, ‘existing’ as it were in darkness. It is to that darkness that you will return for infinity having by chance beaten the astronomical odds that the sperm and egg that gave rise to you was ever fertilised……

An extension of blind faith and one which requires no religion, just self-deception, is ‘fate’. Maybe it helps people feel like they exercise control over random events. They find comfort in what is a non-deterministic universe with no predefined outcome, yet gives a false impression of stability, ergo anything that goes in your favour is ‘fate’; things that don’t are ‘bad luck’. Another irrational and uniquely human thought process……

If you are prepared to take off the mask you must first accept that you are wearing one. You are an Ape with higher brain functions. It isn’t easy for people to accept that they are irrational, lying, hypocritical Monkeys engaged in a game of ‘keeping up appearances’. If you apply rationale and logic to life and loose the mask, it can leave your opponent in a social interaction shocked at your brutal honesty. The usual defence to being told the truth is to take offence and rather than accepting that you are wrong, accuse the challenger of threatening or aggressive behaviour. Admittedly, being confronted by someone who doesn’t apply social etiquette is unnerving. However, if you feel offended, tough; there’s no given human right to protected you from feeling offended, it’s just another irrational function of the prefrontal cortex……

Liberating yourself from the ‘game’ makes decision making much easier; rational decisions are either good or bad. Telling someone the dispassionate truth may violate their expectations but leaves no ambiguity or confusion about the point you are making. It does have the effect of making people think you’re rude or arrogant but if you are truly uninhibited you simply don’t care. If your point was reached using unemotional logic and reasoning and the Ape you are talking to fails to grasp why, the problem lies with them and their need to fit into the social order…….

I am not immune. I act irrationally and deceive myself but as I watch the world as an outsider I have started to free myself, make logical decisions and tell people precisely what I think. It’s a liberating experience. The question is: dare you do the same…..?

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