When you’re taking a knife from the knife block to cut some cheese, do you give it a little spin around your finger?
Do you scan the kitchen from left to right; the spice rack, the fridge, the steamer, the kettle – the whole gang is here – before smiling as you note their positions and calculate the somersault that you will have to perform to take all of them out? The steamer is the fastest, but the fridge has so much bulk and strong metal sides; if it rushes you it can let momentum do the rest of the work while the spice rack and steamer attack yr blindside.
Do you always make those estimates in yr head before grinning like the well-oiled machine that will cut them down like just so much ripe wheat?
They don’t call you The Reaper for nothing, you know?
Of course it never comes to that. The gang and you laugh it off, but there’s a coldness behind their eyes, and all of their banter can never entirely mask the ballet of kitchen violence that could explode at a moments notice.
Solstice is barely discernible in the mall. The fountains in the central atrium drip with unheard music, and the idful echoes of children’s demands are refracted around the high domed ceiling. The special offers celebrate themselves as a succession of window dressings encoding a complex manifold to rival the market day calendars of the Balinese. Reflections in glass and chrome advertising hoardings expand out towards a mirror maze of infinite space.
And do not say that there is nothing of the primal self here: wellness spa accessories and tribal trinkets are available from their allotted outlets along the plaza. The wisdom of the ancients is preserved within this closed self-sufficiency as the mall tumbles from its native spiral arm and out into the deep space between galaxies.
At any time the eateries on the umpteenth floor are fruitful with brunch and mid-afternoon eats; all-day breakfast is sempiternal while the long arm of the clock rotates from zero to zero to zero. The holiday season that never ends.
I’d like to see someone do a blog of depressing recording studios. Mancaves with too much equipment that just look claustrophobic. Expensively upholstered chambers with no natural light, an aura of dull guys with ponytails, a catastrophe of bad feng shui draining all inspiration from the space.
I’d like to see someone do a blog of
recording environments that you’d want to be out of the moment that you
arrive. Places that rain down the fight or flight response in spite of
whatever desirable vintage gear might be
crammed into there. Obnoxious angles that will crank up conflict
between engineers and musicians as the cabin fever sets in and the
schedule weighs down with a sense of impending failure.
I want to see the single, dying, unwatered plant by the toilets lovingly photographed with expired Kodak film.
Out beyond Pluto astronomers have detected what might be the largest
ominous metaphor discovered so far. It may change our loose, inflated
journalistic language for all time.
There are already a dozen poets, who have skimmed headlines and
squinted at the vague indecipherable images on their feed, ready to
namecheck the object after their second glass of wine. “It’s
tremendously exciting!” they will enthuse, before becoming vague and
gesturing in a manner that gives the impression that they are holding
something that they are not quite comfortable with, a large crustacean
or someone else’s newborn, and then reaching out for a refill.
Meanwhile the world’s leading cosmologist turns in her bed and farts.
I had a dream or a series of dreams about a series of films. The
dream involved watching the films but also researching them using IMBD
and other online sources to try to understand the digressive style by which they were held together.
The first of these films seems to present the common situation: a top
floor flat that was co-owned by a cooperative, whose usage of the place
is based upon segueing in and out of the single bedroom flat. Their use
of the space is like Tetris blocks, their lives interlocked with the
space without being part of each others story.
was a gay man using the space while he was waiting for his partner, and
then there were three women, a single mother with a child, and so on.
The co-ownership wasn’t economic in any way: it didn’t seem to require
shares or rents, merely a request to use the space. And no-one is ever
There is a full meeting of the cooperative, which is
vast, and questions are raised about the suitability of the flat: would
it have been better if it wasn’t on the top floor, since the throughput
of residents might disturb the residents of the lower floors? Nothing
conclusive comes out of the meeting. On a bus heading to the station,
the current character passes by a large warehouse, commenting to camera
that perhaps this would be a better location for the cooperative.
Later films are less directly concerned with the co-owned flat. The
connexion would only be established briefly within the film, through a
character staying in the bedroom overnight, or perhaps merely stopping
by to use the kettle or to hoover the living room carpet. It’s possible
that I was watching the films and researching them online while I was
staying at the flat.
The last film was a cold war drama, although
it wasn’t actually dramatic; all of the films are characterised by a
gentle, humorous and matter of fact tone. The protagonist was
decommissioning nuclear weapon systems, slowly and without any apparent
conflict. He stays at the flat one night while he’s in town. Whether we
can conclude that there is some larger social and utopian project behind
the cooperative flat in these films is left open for the dreamer’s
So you might ask: what is heaven? You need to separate it from
paradise to start with. Sure, we all like a beautiful garden but that’s
not the full extent. Heaven is a freedom
from narrative. That’s why boring people will tell you that dystopia is
exciting but utopia is boring, and unrealistic and besides wouldn’t you
rather buy our new TV series?
Heaven is willing to imagine that all of yr convenient objections will
be solved by miracles: better than that, they don’t need to be solved
because they were imagined problems, often not imagined by you but
imagined at you by people who can profit from those problems.
Considering the lillies is a useful starting point but not enough.
Passivity is not the way in.
To consider that you are nothing
more than a moveable feast, drifting through an ocean of other amused
concerns, happy to accomodate and communicate, but on the other hand
determined to stand up to hate and intolerance. Without that you can
kiss the golden age goodbye.
The devil has all the best tunes, but only if you grew up listening to his dodgy mixtape, man.