A Wall of Books

I've got three cameras. One reboots at random intervals and sometimes won't photograph at all, one take pictures perfectly but refuses to upload them to computer, and one needs a new set of batteries literally every ten minutes of use.

I used the third to photograph the exhibition of John M's work, and this is the first installment of the result. Please bear in mind, I'm a lousy photographer.

This evening, Strict Machines begin recording their "bootleg" album. It's rather simple - they play their practice sessions in a basement, and I record each song as it's played. If the band agree that they played a song especially well, I keep the recording. After a month or so, we review the kept recordings, and put the ones we like best on a CD. Copies of the CD are given out at gigs as promotions.

A few more text messages from C. I thought we'd agreed to break off communication, but he still has something to say. Or rather, wants me to say something - I'm just not sure what. That I'm not blameless for our breakup - well, I'm not. That I'm smugly arrogant - I'm sure I can be. But I think he really wants me to admit that being unemotional is some kind of moral failure, and/or some kind of mental problem.

I was once sketched at age 11 by a class of art students, but I've never been painted before. Robbie W is an artist with an elderly computer which refuses to co-operate with the internet, scanner, printer, or the last person who tried to fix it.

Probably on Thursday I'll do whatever I can for his system, and in return...all the tea I can drink and a quick portrait of my noble features.

I have some of the symptoms of diabetes, plus a family history of it on both sides. So this morning a nurse took a blood sample, and I'll get the results in about ten days, after which, possibly more tests.

Picture the scene. You meet someone who tells you he's in contact with the leaders of Al-Qaida in Pakistan. He says he's drawn up a series of elaborate plans for acts of terrorism in Britain and the US, and is applying to these leaders to supply funding, equipment, and personnel. Would you be inclined to believe him?

He tells you he intends to simultaneously detonate bombs at Waterloo, Paddington and Kings Cross train stations, and the Savoy hotel.

And the IMF and the World Bank in Washington. And the headquarters of Citigroup, and the Prudential building in New Jersey. And the New York Stock Exchange.

And simultaneous with all these, he's going to flood the London Underground by putting a bomb under the Thames. There's going to be exploding gas tanks in limousines - not ordinary cheap cars; he specifies limousines, acquired from somewhere. Oh and some of the bombs are going to be nuclear too.

He says he's not actually a member of Al-Qaida, and goes rather vague when you ask him exactly how he communicates with them, how he got involved, or why a gang of international supervillains should listen to him. He admits that he's got none of the equipment needed, and wouldn't actually know how to use it, but he's adamant that somehow it's on it's way.

You'd dismiss him as a slightly pathetic fantasist.

On the other hand, if you're the police and you find this stuff on a laptop, you believe every word of it, and prosecute. And if you're the judge, you say you're going to be lenient, not because of the complete lack of evidence, but because the defendant pleaded guilty. And you sentence Dhiren Barot to a minimum of 40 years in jail.

Apart from a schoolboy filming himself having sex with a teacher, a footballer beating up his wife, and Imelda Marcos launching a range of jewelry, that's what's in the news today.


  1. Apart the political «entries», the rest begins to look/sound more like fiction to me...
    Sorry, Captain, if I'm wrong.

  2. The absurdities of politics start to look unremarkable, and real life starts to look absurd.

    Of course, much of real life is absurd. I think that's what Ionesco, Flan O'Brien and Flaubert are all about.

    Well, you can believe it or not, but I really did have a blood test this morning, I do know an artist who's computer needs fixing, I am helping a band record an album, and those are book cover designs hanging on the walls of a gallery.

  3. Please, Captain, don't play the innocent virgin with me...
    I said «entries», thus meaning plural.
    I said fiction. I didn't mention any absurdities.
    ... And I believe you forgot Becket (not in his year, Captain...)
    All in all, you do know what I mean anyway...

  4. Well, no I don't know what you mean. This blog is just my life and thoughts. The only reason I can think of for suspecting that it's fiction is that some of the events I describe are somewhat absurd, or unlikely. That's what I meant.

    I was intrigued though, by Roland Barthes' musing on what it would be like to read his philosophy as fiction. Stalislaw Lem came to a similar thought from the opposite direction - presenting his philsophical essays as the output of a giant computer.

  5. fiction?
    finally, a word expressly relevent to the kapitano outpourings.
    i daresay ric has different reasons to i for its use, but how pleasing.
    come on-how many others of you really believe half the bullshit you trawl through here?
    and please - hands up who experienced stendahl syndrome at the sheer beauty seen in the photos of kapitanos shelves?

  6. You might be so surprised, TRICORNIUM, by my reasons, you know... I could be thinking of you both when I used that word...
    But why trying to be so destructive? Shelves are shelves, wherever you may be, but a context helps a lot.
    Here I don't mind being blunt, so I'll say it: I'm sure you love each other, otherwise this «I say, you say» would have been over a long time ago...
    Behave, guys! Life is just so hard as it is... Don't you agree, Tricornium? :-)

  7. ric-
    i agree, but what i think no longer seems to matter, which is a shame. it's all sunk into a grotesque schoolgirl spat. and i would never accuse either one of us of wanting that, but i still believe we'll end up bludgeoning each other with lacrosse nets whilst wearing gym slips.