Author! Author!

Them2Something I read recently set the creaking gears in my mind to whirring and grinding: it was a reminder that each of us was the author of our own lives. Not an Earth-shatteringly new idea perhaps, but it had me pondering both the degree to which it is true, and also the implications of such a role.

There are numerous factors that make us the person we are: our genes, gender, sexuality, race, upbringing, social position, wealth, education, and the chance circumstances of one’s early life must all play a part.

Clearly an orphan, growing up in poverty in some war-ravaged corner of the globe, will have a very different experience of life and very different opportunities to the privileged offspring of comfortable upper-middle class professionals in a sleepy Surrey village. So we are certainly not all starting from the same place and with the same degree of literary freedom, when it comes to the authorship of our own tales.

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Creatures of habit

gorillaOur lives tend to be ruled by habits. I’m not just talking about a fondness for junk-food, booze, or cigarettes et al, I mean the tendency to repeat any rewarding (or at least not-too-painful) behaviours, over and over again, ad nauseum.

It often seems to be our lot to follow the path most travelled and to boldly go where we have been many times before.

Of course one can try consciously to break free from the habit of being habitual, perhaps by cultivating the more impulsive and adventurous aspects of one’s nature. Although this in itself could become a habit.. You just cannot win.

Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.”

Mark Twain

I heard about this guy called Gary, who grew bored with the same old routine every day. So he started trying to shake things up by breaking old habits and diligently trying new approaches. Two months in and he was spotted leaving his office job in the city by abseiling down the outside of the building, dressed in a gorilla costume (no mean feat when you work on the twenty-third floor).

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Multi-verse

disco daleks

Don’t eat cheese (or LSD) before bedtime

Beneath the spinning dishes, we watched the aardvarks dance,

and twenty shouting fishes, were sent into a trance.

A tailor and a vicar, fell down and writhed around,

while geese with eyes a-glitter, stood cheering on a mound.

Elephants started singing, badgers joined the throng,

a bell-pepper began ringing, and a haddock struck a gong.

Cyclists all rode nude, the skies became quite dark,

a crab with an attitude, said “Ooh, ain’t it a lark!”

I laughed so much my ribs hurt, my eyes were out on stalks,

as bats came from the woodwork, and the rats were made of chalk.

I heard a sudden buzzing, the phantoms did recede,

and wide awake but fuzzy, I got out of bed and peed.
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Play that fungi music white boy*

Spanish_SlugYesterday felt like a day of strangeness and magic. First came a great deluge that threatened to wash away the parked cars and the occasional cyclist in an almost biblical-style flood. I stood under cover, caught between my local store and home after returning from work. I was listening to some sublime electronica at the time, a unique soundtrack to the cascades of water splashing and bouncing off roads and pavements. For a few minutes I just stood and watched, mesmerised by the experience. I found I was smiling broadly and felt an easing of the hangover headache that had dogged me all day. It was just a moment of subtle, indefinable magic.

Then, as suddenly as it had begun, the downpour ceased and I broke cover and headed the few hundred metres home, trying to avoid lake-Ontario-sized puddles. A rainbow appeared briefly above our block of flats, a fitting appearance at the end of Copenhagen’s Gay Pride week.

I will backtrack slightly to me leaving the cafe where I work, about an hour beforehand. I ran into a lady of mature years, standing outside. She wanted to know more about the place. It turned out she was a fellow Brit and after basic pleasantries were exchanged, I told her all about our lovely little non-profit cafe and the many activities we host within. The lady seemed most pleased at my invitation to come and sample our food and perhaps make some new friends. “You are my angel of the day” she announced, in a warm northern accent, and I was perfectly happy with this description. I have been called lots of things, but don’t often get called an angel.

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Game of Drones: A farce of fire and fury. Episode 1

donald-trump-into-game-of-throne

Scene one. A lavish ocean-side mansion at an idyllic retreat. On a nearby golf course, a fat man with a fake tan and ridiculous hair slices another shot into a sand bunker.

“Perfect shot!” beams King Windbottom, who is now several shots over par and losing badly.

“This is my best ever performance,” he declares. “I may even break the course record today.”

With the threat from the north escalating and his administration in crisis, King Windbottom wrestles with difficult decisions on a daily basis.

“Hmm, a nine iron or a seven? I’m sure I can make the green from here.”

His opponent and the caddies look sceptical.

“Oh look, a fire-dragon!” says Windbottom.

The others dutifully look away, as he kicks his ball out of the bunker. They exchange glances but pretend to not notice.

A messenger brings the latest news regarding the ‘mad king of the north’, king Wrong-un.

“He claims to have fire-dragons, sire. With long range capabilities. He says he will attack our forward outpost and sink all our boats.”

King Windbottom suddenly begins to sob uncontrollably. The others stare at their shoes. An assistant quickly steps forward, with pictures of kittens and inspirational affirmations:

YOU ARE THE GREATEST LIVING PERSON!

ALL PEOPLE LOVE AND ADMIRE YOU!

EVERY WOMAN WANTS TO BE WITH YOU!

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EVIL STEAM-PUNKS FROM DIMENSION X

steampunk-doctor-who

Dr Who – The lost episodes*

The Doctor brings a great inventor back from the past to help save Earth from an invasion of evil steam-punks from another dimension. Chaos ensues..

Scene 1: Somewhere on the M1 motorway, a motorcycle cop pulls up next to a familiar blue police box on the hard shoulder. Two men emerge.

Motorcycle cop: “Name?”

The Doctor: “Who”

Cop: “Your name”

The Doctor: “Who”

Cop: “Ah, bit of a smart-arse are we. Who is this?”

The Doctor: “No, I’m Who. This is Watt”

Cop: “You shut up, I was talking to him”

James Watt: “Watt”

Cop: *now visibly seething* “What the hell are you doing here?”

The Doctor: “Who, me or Watt?”

Cop: *shouting* “SHUT THE FUCK UP!”

James Watt: “Who, me?”

The Doctor: *Grinning* “No, Who me…”

*They both laugh*

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Invisible Vampire-Zombies are stealing our brains!

vambie

Is the age of hyper-narcissism and social media addiction turning us all into self-obsessed, attention-challenged zombies?

Can we really call it social media if we’re ignoring our friends, partners and everyone around us to swap gossip, videos and memes with virtual strangers we’ve never met?

If an actual vampire (or zombie) invaded our homes and attempted to separate us from our blood or brains, we’d probably have one or two objections (the first probably being they don’t actually exist). But when the parasitic monsters are invisible and we welcome them in, what chance do we have to keep ourselves safe? Like a tick or a vampire bat, they numb us while they go about their dirty work. Maybe it’s us who are the real suckers?

Try this weird amazing trick for a flat stomach!”

The vampire-zombies – including massive corporations like Google and Facebook – are using knowledge gleaned from psychology and the world of gambling to hook us on this digital crack. And they combine it with clever technology to steal huge amounts of our time, attention and data and sell it for obscene profits. They are like friendly uncles who keep you amused, while secretly emptying your safe, picking your pockets and stealing all your private info.

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