A Weird Day


A wedding in Death Valley – that’s weird!

What a strange day, and it’s not over yet.

Destruction begats construction

It began at the house I am trying to build, the garden and lawn around it reduced to a facsimile of the Battle of the Somme, destroyed by a mechanical digger and dumper trundling this way and that, a depressing sight. The original tranquil setting balanced the chaos that is a house under construction. We all know the psychiatrist’s conundrum of perception. When is a chair not a chair? When it is deconstructed. My house and grounds are exactly that and more, deconstructed and wrecked.

A wheelie purloined

Anyhow, somebody stole my green wheelie bin. It can only have been a neighbour, who else would trouble to drag a used wheelie through the streets to a house in another district? How poverty-stricken must you be to steal a man’s council waste bin?

Brown the sage brush

Then, at the car dealer workshop to get a brake light fixed, I notice our ‘national’ newspaper with the farcical title, The Scotsman, has given arch inadequate, Gordon Brown, a page and a half to state his case for an oil fund.

Wait a minute! Was not he the same failed politician who, with others of the Labour party angrily claimed Scotland’s oil a curse and a millstone around our necks? Did they not describe as mad the SNP’s proposal to place the taxes from North Sea oil in a trust fund as a reserve for bad times, like Norway? Are they not the same deriding us, jeering at us each day, look how the price of oil would have bankrupted Scotland?

Had enough of us a backbone to grasp self-governance, oil was destined to remain in the UK Treasury’s books at least until 2018. It’s there now, and if we agree with Brown’s logic, those same oil revenues must be bankrupting England because Blighty is the nation drowning in £1.5 trillion debt, and counting.

What is Brown up to now? Unbelievably, he is stealing a key SNP policy and advertising it as his own – a trust fund built on oil revenues. That is what he did with the phony ‘Vow.’ He stole an online campaign, organised to get Scotland greater powers, and exploited it as if his personal campaign to exhort his supporters to convince Westminster to make good on his empty promise. When lost for a good idea steal one. A discredited politician seeks rehabilitation by adopting a policy his party discredited. How weird is that?

If only Brown was a drunkard. At least we could blame his odd behaviour on that.

The day got weirder

On the car radio back to the building site there was a thoughtful discussion on non-violent protest, and how organisers who know what their goal is, and can articulate it clearly and concisely to followers, tend to win the day and the argument. Among various experts discussing the hypothesis was one inexpert English expert. Suddenly, I heard him say the SNP was a party of protest alone; it had failed to convince people how their lives would be transformed for the better if they voted for independence.

Bigots galore

From a reputed ‘less than 25%’ of the Scottish nation, back then a few ostensibly crinkly old kilted ‘eccentric’ supporters, to a 45% surge, plus many of the 55% against full independence wanting more powers for Scotland, and BBC’s Mr Inexpert interprets that result as evidence the SNP were ineffective in convincing the masses to vote for empowerment. Barely had he uttered that stupefying nonsense, when, knowing what was coming next, I began to count down from ten, but got beaten to it when he linked the SNP with Ukip. They are the same party, he said. They dislike Westminster and that’s about it.

Over seventy years of SNP intellectual debates, learned papers, books written by respected academics, open discussions, and elections to Westminster,  yet it takes only one day for a BBC pundit to link Scotland’s only party to an English right-wing neo-fascist lobby.

It’s all in the book

Six hundred and fifty pages of the well-researched ‘White Paper,’ explaining how Scotland will be transformed politically and constitutionally, and somehow this one BBC pundit decides no doubter was converted by rational proposals. The English inexpert expert waffled a great deal, sounding the least knowledgeable of the guest speakers. He left wary listeners wondering if he was the obligatory BBC establishment plant. And yes, probably he was. He reminded me of one BBC senior journalist recruited by MI6 so overt that an executive colleague had to caution him to dampen down his true blue rhetoric.

Surreal life

And on the way to Greggs for a lunch bite, (‘Gregg’s spelled with two ‘g’s’) life got weirder still. I allowed an elderly one-legged man on crutches trailing his three-legged dog across the pedestrian way. As I waited a Smart car jam-packed with two very large policeman did a birl around the nearby roundabout, passed the old blue police box undergoing crimson, orange and yellow re-spray as a coffee stall. The image of the Scottish policeman is undergoing a television-type lurid make-over. How weird.

Standing in a queue behind some of the oddest shaped people you can imagine, one man was all of seven feet tall and double that around the waist, bearded, hair unkempt like a manic lumberjack, wearing a crumpled blue track suit. I thought, here we go, three large meat pies and six cream doughnuts. But no, he bought a single bottle of Coca Cola. Weird.

Mr Spherical rolled off to the bus stop. I wondered how far the bus would lurch when he took his seat, all three of them. Would the other passengers have to rush to the opposite side to keep it on the level?

Back in Greggs none of the lumpen proletariat quite matched the assistants behind the counter. The manageress is a character straight out of a Breughel painting, stern and unrelentingly serious, without a good morning to her name. “Yes, what would you like?” she asks. I want to answer, a pleasant smile, but instead stiffen up regimental fashion to make my request. Another  is so cripplingly shy she cannot look a customer in the eye. A third, her hair net pulled tight over a wig, is trying to sweep the floor clean of a loose sausage roll between customer’s legs, an impossible task in a crowded bakery, like trying to catch a mouse under a hawthorn hedge.

Outside, munching my Cajun Chicken Wrap, a stodgy blend of hot paste and cold cress, as much relationship to New Orleans cuisine as Jeremy Clarkson has to fine art, I thought of the manageress as someone who starts each day with a smile to get it over with.

Oscar weirdoes

A moment’s respite in a frenetic Monday. I picked up a woman’s magazine on the street bench beside me. An article on the aftermath of the Oscar awards caught my eye.

After watching the most predictable Oscar awards ceremony for many years filled with the same sort of movie up for nomination I recognised they were the same films nominated: biographies of real life individuals, a famous American army sniper, a famous civil rights campaigner, a famous neurotic actor-director, a famous Bletchley mathematician and closet gay, a famous wheelchair-bound physicist. (If you can star in a film about a man in a wheelchair you will win Best Actor Award. Guaranteed.)

There, staring at me from the glossy pages of the magazine was Eddie Redmayne, fresh from his decent impression of  Stephen Hawking, depicted first young and energetic and then immobile, twisted by motor neuron disease, only now his face, or rather, a female version, stares at me. He is playing another real-life individual, a famous Danish artist, Einar Wegener, a man who underwent one of the first a sex change operations to become Lilli Elbe. Redmayne is drawn to odd people. I wait to learn he leads a weird private life.

A rash of freckles under a chestnut wig, a dancer’s neck, low-cut blouse, and a splat of blood-red lipstick. Just as well Eddie does not have a prominent Adam’s apple. I hope he has no hair on his chest. A shaved chest itches. One second male, the next second female. And I thought we had seen it all after John Hurt’s turn as Quentin Crisp, the English writer and oh so camp raconteur.

Is the world turning into a truly weird place, or am I crushingly ordinary? A while back a Hollywood producer surveyed my dark detective thriller, chunks of it set in an S and M brothel. “Man, what kinda life do ya lead to write this stuff?” he asked. “It’s called creative writing, you idiot,” I replied. “I’ve never been in a brothel in my life.”

So far, I feel I am walking through the surreal mindscape of Salvador Dali. Suddenly, a coalition between the meek and mild Liberal-Democratic party that is really Tory in ideals, and the Conservative party that is Ukip in a top hat and tails, seems sane and rational.

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10 Responses to A Weird Day

  1. jimnarlene says:

    “Someone who starts each day with a smile to get it over with”, if you don’t mind, I shall be using this phrase and using it often.
    As for the saviour of the universe, a son of the manse, Mr Brown expolitician; it is my no where near expert opinion that, he is not quite right in the head.

  2. donald says:

    Im writing a movie script about a double amputee lesbian cross dressing holocaust survivor who now runs a transgender brothel in Munich . She basically won the war single handed when she smuggled the parts of an Enigma machine through Europe in her cavities on a bicycle wearing high heels and prosthetic’s made from sawn off cafe table legs . I am hoping Ezzie Izzard will feel born to play the part with supporting role from Stephen Fry as the tortured high ranking SS officer who knows her true identity as his mothers illegitimate love child.

    I was going to have the starring role cross Europe in a wheelchair but Since they did not have ramp access in those days it would have not come across as credible and Im really pushing for extreme authenticity . As you do when your fishing for an easy Oscar. So Stephen Fry is forced to chase his Lesbian half sister across occupied Europe and he is like so conflicted and yet its really funny because Eddie gets through all the check points by seducing the guards . One time a part falls out at a border crossing and she tells the guards its a prosthetic adjusting wheel .
    Its kinda tense though because the guard dog keeps sniffing her part and threatens to give the game away.
    So when she gets to England right ,there’s this really snooty English Intelligence officer who totally does not believe her because she is a Jewish lesbian .Until she drops her skirt and pulls the missing parts of her Enigma out . Its a bit part movie where all the guards are in fact closet queens played by A listers who are in denial so they like dress up in uniform to hide their real identity. Its a script that works on so many levels . I think that’s why it works you know ?

    So ,and then he is like totally all over her and they fall in love, and Churchill slaps her on the arse when he meets her to make sure she is like for real. Its a serious tragi/tranny comedy based on real events . I have not done the ending yet and I was hoping you could maybe help me out for a percentage ?

    Now tell me seriously GB , what do you think ?

  3. Grouse Beater says:

    A very narrow market – maybe Japanese masochism stores.

  4. donald says:

    Ha ha , Not that we have ever been in one of those purely for research purposes .
    Somebody already does it anyway . Professional brothel/bar researcher . Location finding for the hard core and committed realist. It worked for Hemingway .

    Somebody does need to do a book that’s a compilation of all the worst movie scripts ever dreamed up . It would have to be the most cringe making yet funny thing ever put in to print . But what am I saying ? why dream when Hollywood has thrown caution to the wind and made the movie anyway.

    I enjoyed this essay by the way . I too find reality a bit surreal at times . The bigger the lie ,the more extreme the dress code . Hoodie cars with wings that dont fly . Straight guys shaving their legs in Gyms . Women power dressing in uniform . Strange rituals that everyone considers normal . And all of them spying on one another because they all consider each other freaks . Fascism for short.

    Prostitution and spying may be the oldest professions , but thinking for your self is the loneliest . Unless you can find a good brothel with a bar and an Enigma typewriter maybe.
    Personally I prefer to make something useful than feed the lie machine.


  5. donald says:

    Does wearing a kilt make a Scotsman a cross dresser ? Does exaggerating your meat and veg with a sporran make you a poseur ? Its all relative , in a Hawkingesque sort of way.
    Personally ,the closest I get to the freedom of wearing skirts is a Japanese kimono . The Romans had it down there . Togas are so much more comfortable in hot climates .
    I have been in a whore house for research purposes and I was fascinated by the experience .The one really good looking girl in the joint was a friend of the handler who took me there . Tragic to see beauty in bondage , literally and figuratively. The streets are filled with whores of every description. Every house owned by the banks is a place of ill repute.
    Holly wood ,Holly rood ,wholly owned subsidiary, take your pick . The couch beckons and you had better pass the screen test if you want to play with the professionals.

    Lights ,Hidden camera, action ! Surveillance society 3 in 3D , coming in a discreet brown envelope to anyone who gets uppity.

    Why plagiarize when you can let someone else’s imagination run wild over you .

  6. Grouse Beater says:

    Easy, Donald. You are liable to attract the criticism of grandstanding.

  7. donald says:

    Yes , I know. I have been thinking that for sometime now. Well from the beginning really.
    But if the voice of freedom is stifled and dialogue discouraged , what hope do we have ?
    Better it seems to me right now , to voice my feelings anonymously and hope that someone is listening with an open mind.
    I would love to wear a Kilt here but its no longer considered a practical dress . I would love to do many things proscribed and shut down by the semblance of law.
    So I use irony and humor to try and make sense of it all .
    Good men and women are not afraid to hammer out their differences in frank and open discussion . Its the most vital heart of democracy. The internet is certainly at times a violent place where trolls skew the debate instead of nurturing it with credible passion and experience.

    To me , Battle dress is battle dress . Not a fashion statement or quaint cultural symbol. It is what it is . If we become a parody of our true selves to make our case , we are laughing stock. Tartan tat.
    True Tartan is regional camouflage combined with a hardy fiber that kept men warm in the most extreme bitter cold and wet . Adjust the angle of the cloth to the environment and you will be amazed how well it can hide a man. The original dyes made of earth and plant , bark and berry.
    Warm colors , true colors.
    I come from a warrior family long familiar with the heart and soul of the hunters life and ways . Self sufficiency is not a PC green cred mission statement for me. It is the vital heart of an authentic life.

    For me , the true origin of the blue and white is far more ancient . Ceremony and ritual have replaced the life well lived . Negative capability I believe Keats called it. To busy being to be aware of being a poet. Verse means truth .

    I spake truth as I ran at the enemy
    and some fool bard wrote it down for posterity.

    Great warriors do not seek battle for its own sake . Rather they desire only to live fully in the bosom of mother nature where they can honorably defend and protect those they love . The good hunter never takes more than he needs . Never asks for more than his environment can sustain. But to steal the land from under the people’s feet is to steal the very breath from their lungs. No breath , no speech , no voice , no strength to move.

    What I say here is in honor of those who passed without any thought or desire for recognition. Indeed , it would have worked against their purpose to seek it .
    But they did leave a legacy sewn deep in to the threads of every language. A code whose warp and weft is a tale , the fabric of live and love . There is greatness in crafting a legacy for future generations. To wear the cloth of their ancestors with Knowledge. To use it to its utmost utility. Words GB . Words spoken in the spirit of freedom . We can speak only of that which we know .

    The English are a conquered race too . To ridicule them across the board without due consideration for their plight shows a want of compassion. They too embraced in their ignorance , a flag not original to their home. And still it flutters over their heads unquestioned. The union Jack that enslaves the Jacked. With your flag sewn in to it.

    Its easy to ridicule the habits of the enslaved . But what we see in them is only the mirror of ourselves.

  8. Grouse Beater says:

    “The English are a conquered race too.”

    Tell that to India. And Iraq. And Afghanistan. And a dozen other nations.

    It has damn all to do with compassion for the subjugator, everything to do with full democratic rights, accountable government, and an open society. The tired catch-all line ‘we are all humans’ is a complete irrelevancy.

  9. Grouse Beater says:

    This site is concerned with reinstatement of Scotland’s democratic structures.

    I notice you’ve done a complete volte face from your earlier posts and are boxing shadows now. You’re patronising and offensive in your presumptions. Any minute now you’ll demand the right of free speech and tell me I’m constraining it- oh wait. You have. I suggest you actually read the essays and not try to rewrite them. Time out for you. Do as I recommended ages ago – open your own blog site.

  10. donald says:

    Show me the volte face ? Are Scots the only men and women on this planet GB ? How many of our ancestors are sprinkled across the globe now ? Does that take away anything from their dignity ? You want democratic structures ? Honor the community first and the land that raised it . Then make sure the powers of the state are severely limited and subject to the community , not the banks ,the church and the Elect.

    Your Elected representatives are playing by parliament rules now , have sworn an oath and are already compromised by it. Unless the people keep a razor sharp eye on them and call them to account or better still ,call their own council and ignore the British parliamentary system altogether. Power only exists where it is paid homage to.
    Did you not get that part of Braveheart ? And did you not know that William Wallace’s ancestry is Welsh ? That’s where the name Wallace derives from. Freedom has no boundaries. It is defined by the heart , not the court.

    Pay Homage to Scot LAND . I am not trying to steal the dialogue or discourage anyone else . But unless you want to deny me free speech ,which you can on this domain , show that you are truly democratic . When the right to speak is denied, tyranny is here. I urge any and all to take me to task and I welcome it.

    I don’t waste time boxing at shadows but god knows there are plenty of ghosts out there frightening the people in to submission. No , I wrestle with the real issues . That’s the heart and soul of the Greek Forum. To question , not to dictate.

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