I potter about in my finisher-home (a starter home pressed into that duty) wearing my 71 years with minimum difficulty and a touch of resentment, watching the world steadily decline, like a neglected house. I once lived opposite such a house; the owner was sharp-witted and savvy, but the house headed inexorably back to the earth, until one day a rotten window-frame just fell out of its own volition. Soon after it was sold; the window having been replaced with little expertise and, I suspect less payment.
So I watch the Blair phenomenon, the Bush project and the Brown Brownian Movement, and wonder what the hell is going on. The only things that seem to go right have the taste of CocaCola and the smell of Macdonalds. Everything else tastes of blood and smells of deceit.
Man is clearly a special ape. Whether our particular type of ‘special’ is positive or negative is, I suppose, what I am addressing here. We have complex language. That ability is subdivided into a Babel of different expressions, all of which can be more-or-less translated into one-or-more of the others. With language comes convoluted, involuted and, in a fair world, many-other-luted thought, all the way to the most abstract. It is poignant to pause and note that, as I type, the ‘civilised world’ thinks itself at war with Terror – an abstraction that relies on language.
It seems to me, slippering about in my quarter of a quadriform block of modern (c 1980) masonry, that the greatest threat of language is the emergence of cock-eyed culture; here mankind excels. Culture is just one more way that man can fall out with ‘other man’; after skin colour and ‘being in the way’ have been exhausted. Culture is food, marriage, belief, clothes, childcare, sex, hairstyle and a whole lot more. It brings massive scope for skirmishing, fighting and all-out war. It is a boon for nihilistic man. Of course, thinking in words allows highly complex constructs, interactive with others, more so though print and now instantly and globally though the internet. Now we can really wage war. We have robot planes already, and will soon have robot infantry; all courtesy of language, thought and a complete eschewal of chivalry.
Chivalry? Where did that come from? How about a bit of ‘once upon a time’? If I am an ape and Mother nature wants apes to continue as a species (forgive that bit of cerebral presumptuousness, aided by verbal thought) she will be quite happy for me to fall out with another ape over some tasty bit of ape-totty. When a testosterone-fuelled fight ensues, she will be ecstatic to see me lose – on account of my lack of binocular vision and associated poor judgement of near-distance. (I am also a coward but that is not important right now.) Once upon a time (I did promise) physical prowess in a man was relevant to the ‘hands on’ nature of life. Coordinated muscle and a keen eye (or two) must have been key to survival and reproduction. Adding culture to this was risky. It is vital that culture reinforces nature; and that’s where chivalry comes in.
For as long culture demands that man fights man, sword – sword, rifle – rifle and cavalry – cavalry, through a code of chivalry, you might just hang on to some survival of the fittest and weeding of the weediest. But when you send out robots with weapons that use ultrasound, or laser or what-have-you, thought up by truncated specimens of humanity, lurking in hermetically sealed laboratories, never invited to parties as Douglas Adams pointed out, then Nature’s needs are flouted, and something is lost.
A very long time ago, mankind seemed to recognise the obvious truth that women outrank men. They seem to have spotted that man is, fundamentally, sperm-on-legs, obsessed (after puberty) with implanting said sperm as often as possible. Woman is far more circumspect and discriminatory, only lacking brute strength and the brutality to go with it; a necessary adjunct to survival in harsh conditions. Resourceful Nature saw that a pregnant, or infant-laden woman was not well suited to scrapping, so grafted that duty on to old sperm-legs. Just to wander off: I cannot help but smile at the Bible’s assertion that Eve came from Adam, as it is so back-to front. Gestationally we all start female – bodily – hence, it would seem: bloke-nipples. But not only do we ‘come from Eve’ it is now asserted that the Y chromosome is a degraded X! We are not just secondary, we are a ‘poor relation’. Further, in view of the next bloke having millions of horny sperm in his loins, we are mostly expendable! All this seems to have been intuited by early mankind, who gave Woman her due and her rightful place in culture. Nature and Culture were in harmony.
Somewhere, in the mists of time, we set out on the long (wrong) road to bogus male superiority, and here we are. Pausing only to set up Christianity, a religion, so misogynistic, one might be forgiven for believing God had a problem with his mother, we went on to full-blown male-hem.
But Christianity is a symptom only; the ‘male-ing of earth’ is a far deeper and more fascinating mystery. Perhaps, as sacrifice to the sun came about (I suggest) after cataclysmic events involving darkness and much loss of life (thinking man thereafter deciding to propitiate the sun with death-offerings) so male dominance was engendered by other, greater, cosmic/planetary trauma. It is interesting to note that a slow erosion of respect for Mother Earth seems to have gone hand-in-hand with the emergence of male domination, leading to all measurement of value and success now being male-rooted – and the planet trashed.
Even the more contemplative religions and philosophies of the world, where male and female maintain complimentary roles, are being swamped by the male might of the Abrahamic religions, with their one male god and suppression or male-ing of women. Taoism epitomises the need for balance; man needs the modifying effect of woman if he is to avoid excess. But an almost diabolical tightening of the screw occurred when ‘dominant man’ retreated in the face of militant ‘woman’ (a male-motivated sub-set of all womankind) and allowed her to rise to domination of all the rest. Now few women dare to openly espouse the un-male world; balance in the yin-yang sense is utterly lost and, since generations have passed ‘living on the slope’, lop-sided life seems normal. But lop-sided life takes its toll. Stress medication, stress diseases and stress criminality fill our screens, prisons and lives. The message of complementarity of man and woman, with its subtle, immeasurable value to succeeding generations, is no longer transmitted. Indeed, the opposite is true. Men are unit men, women are unit women and don’t knows are don’t knows. In the ultimate fit of madness, government now cossets the aberrant more enthusiastically than it promotes Nature’s simple plan, adding yet another indigestible course to the psychological diet of the next generation.
The problem is, that although the apocryphal Irishman would advise ‘not to start from here’ – we have to. But being so far of the map, means that none of the landmarks of normality have ever been seen by the most dictatorial occupants of planet earth. A few years back the Kogi briefed a journalist and came down from the Andes with a warning. Their wisdom was palpable: we are destroying the world, including their bit of it. Would we please stop. Sadly, that Irishman turns out to be smarter than a Kogi. Fifteen minutes of fame was all they got, they went back to their mountain fastness – to watch their way of life die. As the lovely song ‘Vincent’ says: ‘They would not listen, they’re not listening still – perhaps they never will’. Many a true word spoken in song.
Currently we are concerned, globally, with terrorism, carbon dioxide, water (too little and too much) pollution, food supply, nuclear proliferation, sea-level rise, AIDS, climate change, energy shortage, over-population, international sexual aberration; and the list goes on. It seems to go unnoticed that bizarre leaders are also a worldwide phenomenon; both political and religious. Nor are they restricted to ‘failed states’ or banana republics. Bush and Blair have shown themselves to be consummately off piste. It is not difficult to imagine them as leaders of their own tin-pot dictatorships, synthesising some wild myth around themselves and ruling in expensive pomp. The defining characteristic of leaders down the ages seems to have been war. Britain, for all her supposed refinement and democratic maturity, has a culture shot through (!) with militarism. Fly pasts, gun salutes, military parades and gun-carriage funerals, are fundamental to our state pageantry. It is therefore right and proper that we maintain forces we can’t afford and join in wars we can’t justify, while hailing all mercenary soldiers as heroes, without whom the country would fall to the first fuzzy-wuzzy off the ferry.
But war as a tool of civilisation? Can that be right? Even more so: war to impose civilisation! We have just spent vast sums of money because a few people died on the railway. We are more tardy where roads are concerned; the numbers are far higher, but the psychological egg, on government face, is less visible. War has reverse logic at its root. Money, sort of: no object, but small stinginesses over kit are applied and bring death to the odd hero. Heroes, it seems, are really as cheap as the trick of creating them. One cannot help pondering how it might be if women ruled the world. The trouble is, we will never know because the women in politics, who aspire and rise to power, have bought-in to male goals and must follow the ethos if they are to be validated. Margaret Thatcher, bodily a Woman, sent swathes of men to their deaths in the Falklands ‘conflict’. If they had all been new-born babies, would she have had cause to reconsider?
Something about the current world ethos that just doesn’t add up, is the idea that we are all, peacefully, tooling up to make stuff and sell it to each other. I feel we are playing that game where you either cooperate – or cheat. India, China and Russia are said to be simply commercial rivals to Europe, America and the UK. Setting aside the need to mine other planets for raw materials – and find yet another for dumping rubbish on – what if some upstart country decides to cheat, and apply some secret threat-weapon to the rest of the world? We can be quite sure that the major players are clandestinely developing weapons at the extreme reaches of imagination. It has just been established that the electrical state of the upper atmosphere triggers earthquakes below – there’s a thought. When you consider the extreme-thinkable, and realise it is now all too often do-able, then attach the mind-set of a typical leader, to that ability, you have a recipe for mayhem only matched in Hollywood and the mind of Ian Fleming.
So what is the matter with The Ape Confused by Language? All the other animals enact stereotypical roles in “Just So” story fashion, fitting their niche in the global scheme, favouring the most viable in their midst and ostracising the genetic dross. Of course, they throw up variations as a hedge against some sudden change in circumstance, but while ‘waiting’ for such change they give the mutant a hard time for being different. The group has no concept of the value of some sickly individual who will, nevertheless, outlive them in the aftermath of catastrophic volcanism or violent temperature swing. He is just a pain the furry arse, biding his time.
The genetic narrative of mankind, reports a near-extinction way back in the mists of time. Was that the fateful day when we messed up and decided to be Americans? Was that when a big head with a big brain inside – bane of childbirth – happened to mediate towards survival of some onslaught? Was this an ironic precursor to the denigration of the female; a punishment from a resentful male god for having too small a birth canal to allow easy exit of His damnable creation?
One thing the ACL turned his back on, in the long march to the present, was stereotypical behaviour. It is as if he had used language to talk himself out of being anything that you might define. The group survival is now way down the agenda, with individual ‘performance’ and gratification our primary goal. If something is born, regardless of the number of heads, limbs and organs, and careless of degree of functionality, it will be reworked into a quasi-viable being with the right to life, liberty (perhaps with wheels) and the pursuit of happiness; a happiness very ill-defined. This extreme auto-definition of ‘a life’ has male mechanistic thought stamped on it as surely as a quality control mark on a gimmicky gismo from “Tat R Us”. Some go on to be media performers; questionable proof of the ‘life in any form’ ethic. Many more, I suspect, suffer an individual misery that is never expressed; perhaps never cogently formulated – just suffered.
At the other end of life, the ACL now suffers the double whammy of lost marbles in the care-culture and lost marbles in the cared-for. Panic is growing as the population ages. (At least this is an area where we retain some semblance of group-concern!) Loss of brain function in the over-stayed, is commonplace, but the same life-ethic that condemns all ‘live births’ to ‘life’, in deference to breath and pulse, condemns the mentally disenfranchised in a nihilistic ritual that, ruinously, ties associated lives to that meaningless shell, for years of torment. Naturally, it is beneath ‘us’ to tend the stubborn residue of our own, on that long glide to total death, so we buy in cheap labour, frequently of a hue and presence like nothing the shell has ever experienced, to half-rouse them through intimate attention and add terror to their twilight existence. Here is the mad, doubly paradoxical mix of right to life but no right to death or even prejudice, coupled with pointless drain on the group to no advantage of the individual. It’s civilisation Jim – unfortunately: exactly as we know it.
Might language be our peacock’s tail; toucan’s beak; Achilles heal? Is language the one irredeemable divider of man from woman? Sexual urge draws male and female together; in some animals for just as long as it takes and in others for a lifetime. Sexual signalling in animals is by smell and visible signs of receptiveness, but the Ape Confused by Language has gone to a whole new level – with words. Just how often the words he utters match the words she desires (and any semblance of truth) is fundamental to this writing. Shakespeare epitomised the use of language in the business of wooing, he is revered. He should be vilified. It is well established that women use language more, and in a different way from men. Two sexes divided by a single language. And now we have the equality myth going full tilt for oblivion, but with no adjustment to this archaic, hard-wired difference between the two. Legal ladies sit in judgement on men’s crimes in our courts, as judge and juror (and vice versa) thinking they can come to a just conclusion. I rest my case.
Strange to relate, it has just been declared, by those who peer at scanner output, that we must now accept there are more than two brains to be accommodated in the two apparent sexes, as portrayed on toilet doors. We now have an official lesbian brain and an official male-homosexual brain; the first more akin to a male heterosexual and the latter to a female heterosexual. Is this the new astronomy? If scanner-folk go on peering into the physical manifestation of the human psyche, will they find a paedophile brain, that mimics that of a newly-delivered mother? Or a chicken molester with the brain-functionality of a rooster? I have a feeling we have opened a can of worms here, but it will not distract that obsessive rooster. Galileo was in enough trouble; the heavens alone know where this blasphemy will lead. What will the various religions do with this knowledge? Catholicism is still struggling with the condom and the Muslims hardly admit to the woman having a brain at all. The yin-yang of Taoism will need extension to a whole musical scale of terms, and maybe another octave by the time those meddling physiologist have done. As For Susan Greenfield, she is excitable enough without this!
Returning to the creational slip of too many brains chasing too few bodies, one must assume that, at least in some instance, the male body with the female brain is only female in the ‘falling in love’ lobe but still male in the thrusting lobe. The consequential use of a rectum as a vagina is, I suppose, one of those good/bad things. But when we consider the female body with a male brain; are there women walking the streets with a frantic desire to enter and thrust but with no suitable equipment? Or am I being naïve? Perhaps, when push comes to shove, what they have will do, for those who must.
Social equality of the sexes is so manifestly obtuse, it deserves scrutiny. I am in no doubt it was foisted upon us by female bodies with male drives. Clearly men, being all about dominance, would never be prime movers in elevating women as equals. But those same men, being largely cowardly, hen-pecked and dick-led, were easy meat for militant woman and caved in, failing to realise they were selling out the rest of womankind. The irony is that those women with no hint of masculinity, can dominate a man so easily; the inequality, for them has always been the other way. Clearly if a man intends harm, woman is at a disadvantage; although a drunken sleep and the trusty kitchen knife can yet even things up. Fundamentally, it is the loss of stereotyping, so beloved of Nature, that has upset the apple cart all over erstwhile Eden. Even the glass ceiling has been shown to be more about what matters to a woman than the oppressiveness of men. But the convert will always be more zealous than the natural adherent and ‘modified’ woman on a crusade to out-man man (while paradoxically outlawing the term) will not be swerved from her false agenda.
A week or so back, the lads pushed my compost bin skew. A couple of days ago they kicked my fence to partial partition. When I was growing up I did similar stuff. But I also did a lot of creation that went some way to counter the destruction. I am broadly of the opinion that the male likes to make change. Now that the girls have been persuaded that they want to be boys and grow up to be men, they ape the process; but I doubt it is visceral. Prison numbers are markedly different: male compared to female. I guess when they level up we can expect the Four Horsemen imminently.
I wonder if provision of constructional opportunity might be the answer to a lot of vandalism? No doubt in the current shadow-frightened ethos, of Health and Safety legislation and litigation, it would never get anywhere. Another thing lads like to do is show off, especially to girls. Newbury’s show-offery comprises a BMX park and a skateboard park; so much to be celebrated. Something positive and a joy to behold. The lads draining their testosterone-fuelled physicality in ways that mimic chimp juveniles swinging though the trees. Recently someone wanted to screen all this from sight. Did she wear a severe suit and a male wired brain I wonder?