I have a confession. Its a whopper. Not that anyone does or should care or is even listening (*fumbles and taps damp fingers on old microphone*). I’m confessing it to myself, and to the auditorium ether, who is my council in this goddessless universe, of which I am (tedious cliche alert) an infinitesimal, withering speck. A dying, infinitesimal withering speck, that has the difficulty of dealing with belches, the annoyance of external noises I can’t control, and the pleasure of having a damp blossom. This blog post is not empowering. Or even logical. But at least its honest.*
The confession is I really don’t understand much of anything much of the time. But I have a lot of opinions. That probably change quite radically and frequently. But I still spout them as though they were consistent. And cogent. Considered. And that is, you know, unnerving. I think during my ‘write an honest CV’ exercise I put “Is very good at pretending she has thought things through whilst actually making it all up on the spot, a sophistication which, is in and of itself, hiding her obsession with what time lunch is”).
I think I must be difficult to be around, a fact with which any potential clarity I might gain (“Hay I like being a pain in pisser!!”) is soiled by the further fact I guess most people are difficult to be around. Its hard to know whether or not I should accept fully my difficulty and go swim, in perpetuity, in a sock draw along with my collected confusion tears, or learn to accept that everybody shits off everybody seemingly all of the time. And, you know, swallow it with aplomb. Or a plum. Which might be more digestible.
Now I want to be clear goddessless universe, there are some things I do know. And that is kinda neat. To know something. To know it at least well enough as anybody can possibly know it. And by know, I mean understand. Feel secure in. Not as a faith but as an accumulation of a lot of thought and practice and time. The ace guitar solo or grande symphony of all my opinions, which are otherwise boozy, thigh tapping, but ultimately generic folk numbers that anyone can more or less create and are here today and gone tomorrow, with the beer cans and the yodeling and the brouhaha. And that lost plectrum with which I glued a shred of the first pubic hair I ever had the joviality of being introduced to. **
I feel very comfortable that Ingmar Bergman is the greatest living director.*** I know that feta and halloumi are the most difficult things about trying to be a vegan. I also know that everybody likes to stare at billy goat’s and bull’s massive, dangly testicles (in a more convivial ‘can’t help it’ fashion than staring at road kill).
And on a more serious note, I feel I know exactly what I think about very personal issues like the sex industry, and significant accompanying issues like rape and domestic violence and pornography. So much so that I have previously felt exorbitantly energised by that sense of righteous indignation that comes with the economic, social and gendered world finally clicking into cognitive place. So so much so that often its all I talk about, because, precisely I am so afraid of all the things I otherwise *think* about in such an eclectic and casual manner as to not be able to form a definite, researched opinion. And so being afraid of saying the wrong thing, if I entered in to a new fray. And stepping on a landmine I don’t know is there but, otherwise more fulsomely engaged and literate topicians, can see coming like a naked, marauding elephant. Here is a naked, marauding elephant:
Look how much fun she is having.
Maybe I should just got over the fact, that I though I may have enough caffeinated brain squish to follow a reasonable amount of urbane clever-pantsing, (otherwise known as I can competently understand somewhat complex threads of thought****) that doesn’t mean to say that I then become goddess of knowledge. And its OK to be thoughtfully ignorant. And its OK if I get something a bit wrong and someone corrects me. And its OK to say “I actually don’t know the answer to that, or how to respond to you, and not in a dismissive it does-not-matter kinda way, but in a I-think-that-is-too-important-an-issue-to-ram-my-ham-fist-into-it-like-the-drunk-sophist-I-probably-am kinda way. But its good and fine to tinker my fingers on the strings of new notions, carefully like a playful hopscotch encountering her first lute. And get an OK tune out of it, eventually.
But we live in the age of blunt assertion. And I’m going to gender this, because it is gendered. Where some male people often tramp about poking their opinionated willies into things they don’t understand, because its simply beyond them to accept that they may not be brimming with unbridled expertise. Where their masturbatory fantasy of being The Renaissance embodied, stalwarts them from treating females particular (who everyone knows are stoopid, so its safe) with even a modicum of open respect. #notallmales #sometimesfemales #CamillePaglia
And where females respond by picking a side, a sonnet and singing it safely. The only way to protect yourself as female person on the interweb, where your regular experience of condescension to mocking to rape threats and back again, make you wrap yourself in a particular community whose rules of political and social engagement you have come to deftly understand, and give you some measure of quiet respect.
Its why I get the impression that general media and news platforms get ‘owned’ by men – and women who identify with them – and other women slip off into protective ghettos, who occasionally come out of hiding to coalesce around events that we all broadly know we team on. Like Trump. And maybe bread.
So to arrivederci this pointless piece – wherein I tell no body in particular that I don’t know what is going on – I will wade finally and briefly into some controversial debates in which I actually have very little knowledge, and have a knife at deciding what I think. Because I have said more or less everything about the sex industry I think it is possible for me to say and because I have not the energy to fulminate with that degree of intense attention again without exhausting myself. And then I’ll be done with. Done to study films and novels and commit any excess energy in working out different things one can do with chickpeas. And get to bed early.
But please don’t hate me. I am just trying my best.
1.Veganism: I think we should try and adios or reduce animal product consumption. I think its a good idea to approach the subject in general terms, as opposed to commenting on individual people’s eating habits, because individual people are, you know, well, like me. But I’m also told that some meat alternatives contribute to deforestation. Which, like keeping chickens in cages, is bad. But in any case its not not just meat alternatives… its things like Palm Oil, which is in a lot of processed food stuff and is hurting Madagascar. Which has lemurs. And of course vegetables are colourful and lovely and make me think of happy sex, whereas processed meat is smelly and gross and makes me think of sad sex. And we should probably eat locally grown stuff of greater variety anyway, to push back against horrible monoculture, which is good for supermarket corporations but bad for vitamin intake, the environment and for my photographs of salads.
2.Big Pharma: I think anti depressants are over prescribed and lots of depressions and anxieties are logical responses to our brutal, atomised, exploitative culture. And I think as a result most people are just frightened. And alone. And can only feel loved comfortably when that love lacks ambivalence. When we were children (if we were happy enough) we could bruise about having fun, and engaging in fantasy and eating biscuits, because we knew Mummy was always there. But our competitive capitalism thrives on a cliff edge indeterminacy between lambasting and worship, the lure of high praise and the ever, near likely threat of worthlessness and irrelevance, leaving us feeling precarious, watchful and dis-enabled. Mummy has been killed off and we are left with cold, distant daddy. Who gives you gold stars if you’ve been brilliant, and hard slaps if you’ve been bad, but mostly just looks away at the paper, or about for his glasses. At least the risk of bad, means the possibility of brilliance, and the definitive of not being ignored. And while we fumble in the futility of this never ending oscillation, a little narcotic mollification can be our aid, until addiction doth repeat. But that being said it’s your body, and I fill mine with black coffee and red wine to get me through my loneliness and insecurity, so whatever the fuck you need.
3.Women’s Health: When it comes to women I think we have been for too long and too often given woeful and damaging ideas about purity which in its current form manifests in the craze for so-called clean eating. Par example, I think if you’re a vegan that’s great and fine, but if you have no allergies, teaming that up with other food group eradication like gluten is a terrible idea, and where ‘eating discipline’ (a most joyless of concepts, and the dysfunctional bed mate of loneliness eating) slips into disorder territory. We are not clean people, we never were, we never will be. Added, though I agree that for too long only prostitutes and bohemian women were given the pleasurable space to get tipple mullered (drunk) brand name wine companies have exploited the gap in the female problem drinking market by advertising Jacob’s Creek o’Clock. Again, are we drinking to burst full heartedly up against others, or to stave off tenacious drum of our isolation. Even whilst we swim amid urban masses and a digital bog of exhaustive contact.
*Or is it?? Den den deeeeerrrrr!!!
**The plectrum with which I created my best folksie number, which was what I imagined might have been the song that went with the title to Phoebe Offa’Friend’s Ode to a Pubic Hair. I maunder.I used to say I digress too much (because I do, you know, digress) so I decided to gigantithesaurus the shit out of it and came up with maunder, a word I’d never considered using before and I am now going to use all of the time, until it is imprinted into my eyeballs and I see it on ever advertising platform ever. Which is better that see ‘beach bodies’ or ‘laxative creams’. I maunder.
*** The living bit I typed during a slush of energetic, ill considered writing, but I like how it sounds so it stays. Bergman is no longer with us. But the existential confusion about the nature of life or death would please him. Or stress him. Which might please him. Who understands these ‘men’ creatures, anyway?
**** But not Hegel. And certainly not Butler who is not clever, she is just using willful abstraction to hide her lack of substance. I know so because someone clever told me so. And that is basically knowing so.