Archive for the ‘general weirdness’ Category

Waiting For a Door to Open

June 27, 2013

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Guilt is the barometer of human behaviour. The conscience that seems to swell and fill your head.

Others may see me as a train wreck but I have never lost it. I have never stumbled across the mute button on my conscience. My moral centre remains intact. I can say that at least.

Malingerers, Malingerers Everywhere

September 16, 2010

I am currently reading the seemingly endless output of Dr. Theodore Dalrymple,  (Now, remember kids, prolificacy in itself is not a virtue) nom de plume of Dr Anthony Daniels: retired consultant psychiatrist in a hospital situated in a run-down district of Birmingham (in a fit of shrieking hyperbole the good doctor calls it a ‘slum’).  He also spent two afternoons a week working in the city’s Winson Green Prison.  In other words he has spent the latter part of his career treating (to put it bluntly) the criminal and the insane and sometimes the criminally insane.  The kind of people who have been told in no uncertain terms by the judiciary and the medical profession that their behaviour is unacceptable. That is how they wind up in hospital or prison. Dalrymple’s advocates often argue that his experiences in these institutions give him a clear view of the decline of civilization. Well, no, not really; he had been given a clear view of the behaviour and worldview of social deviants.

These people are called ‘deviants’ because they deviate from the norm and yet Dr Dalrymple/Daniels tells us that their worldview and the behavior that emanated from this is prevalent across the country amongst the law-abiding and the non mentally ill.  I am reminded of something a war-veteran neighbour told me about a medical officer he once worked under when he was overseas. Some members of the conscripted lower ranks, shell shocked before they’d set foot on any battlefield, feigned illness in order to avoid being sent into battle. The phrase ‘to shoot oneself in the foot’ is a reference to military personnel who would literally shoot themselves in the foot to render themselves unfit for armed conflict.  A tiny minority of new recruits were willing to do anything to avoid what was coming.  The medical officer wised up to the fact that a small proportion of those who came before him were ‘malingerers’.  In time he began to see ‘malingerers’ every where even when there were none.  And, because of this, many genuine invalids suffered more than they should have.  (There is a similar situation replicating itself in the benefits system in that, according to some sections of the media, some benefit claims are fraudulent so all benefit claims must be fraudulent.)

I strongly suspect that the Dalrympian worldview can be partially attributed to the fact that he spent the twilight years of his medical career treating the mad, the criminal and sometimes the criminally insane therefore, to his mind, many people he sees outside the world in which he once moved are possibly mad, criminal or criminally insane. ‘Mad people, mad people everywhere and I’m not permitted to forcibly medicate a single one.’

This Week…

April 16, 2008

I have been mostly shopping. And yes, I am aware that I shouldn’t be indulging in such frivolous pastimes.  I should be wringing my hands and weeping helplessly over atrocities occurring on the other side of the planet. On second thoughts:

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference

And:

A Refusal to Mourn the Death, By Fire, of a Child in London

Dylan Thomas


Never until the mankind making
Bird beast and flower
Fathering and all humbling darkness
Tells with silence the last light breaking
And the still hour
Is come of the sea tumbling in harness

And I must enter again the round
Zion of the water bead
And the synagogue of the ear of corn
Shall I let pray the shadow of a sound
Or sow my salt seed
In the least valley of sackcloth to mourn

The majesty and burning of the child’s death.
I shall not murder
The mankind of her going with a grave truth
Nor blaspheme down the stations of the breath
With any further
Elegy of innocence and youth.

Deep with the first dead lies London’s daughter,
Robed in the long friends,
The grains beyond age, the dark veins of her mother,
Secret by the unmourning water
Of the riding Thames.
After the first death, there is no other.

Some ‘photies’:
(My Liverpudlian therapist is getting me to take photographs of myself from various angles for obvious reasons.)

And another thing:

Because the Night…

March 31, 2008


Night triumphs over day and I close my eyes against the chaos. I seek refuge in panoramic dreams. But I do not retain them. By morning they have metamorphosed into vague, hazy images, misted over memories. No Earthly good to anyone but myself. But they follow me though the day, manifesting themselves in feelings rather than visions. There are few words spoken in these dreams that invade my sleep. A silent film, devoid of dialogue. And these faces in my dreams are shadowy. There is no one I recognise and I never get to see my own reflection.

When morning comes and I awaken I sometimes feel as though I am still stumbling through sleep. My nocturnal visions bleed almost imperceptibly into real life. That is where my false sense of security comes from. No one can hurt you in dreams. Not really.

Pushing

March 14, 2008

Pounding on the walls
Pushing at the doors
A rush of air sends
Medical notes flying
Carried on the wind
Cacti on the windowsills
Standing guard
On the border between
My room and reality
Spring flowers
Beyond the glass
Aloof, untouchable
But beautiful
A ceasefire is declared
And I am escorted
Into my morphine twilight


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