Saturday, December 20, 2003

Since my last post Thameslink has sought its revenge. The following morning was a bitterly cold affair and my train was delayed for 45 minutes. In fact every train I have caught has been delayed this week bar one. That was a fast train which arrived on time and which I would have coincidentally caught in the nick of time had it not been for a ticket inspectors' sting which forced me to take an unnecessary detour through the ticket hall. I arrived on the platform just in time to witness the doors closing in my face. Had I not known better I would swear that the squeaky closing sound the doors were making was mocking, nay braying, laughter.

If we accept that this week's service has been even worse than usual, there can be only two conclusions...

1: Thameslink did a search in Google, found my site, and dispatched agents to scupper me and make my life more even miserable.

2: This site has karmic properties.


1: Unfuckinglikely. All money accrued by Thameslink goes directly into the pockets of its shareholders, so they probably wouldn't bother wasting it on me. In any case, detection of such a policy would bring with it awful publicity. Any action they might have taken would surely only be satisfactory for them if it should end with my silence, and since I am still here I must conclude it to be a false premise. Unless of course their attempts have been bungling Clouseau-esque efforts. This wouldn't be suprising considering the lack of ability they have shown in being able to run a simple linear train system.

Not now Kato...

2: Due to a long standing agreement I have with logic and a dearly held pact with reason (not to mention a gentlemens agreement with empiricism) I have to dismiss the possibility of naturally occurring karmic equalization (not a real phrase but it describes a concept which is not a real effect). However after my words against the activities of astrology, the people with the pens at my work signed a contract with Sky One and the not-inconsiderable Russell Grant to broadcast live a daytime astrology-related chat show. Not only that, but they have agreed to change the layout of our building in order to accommodate it! Have my boss' been reading my blog? I don't think so. This is not deliberate karma, but my boss said a strange thing the other day: "you don't believe in coincidence".

What did he mean?

Was he taunting me?

Perhaps he felt he deserved a bit of a taunt as he was handing me a freebie CD rewriter at the time, god bless his little cotton socks and all that.

But I can tell he knew something. And he knew something that was too close to home for me to see it at the time. Woods and trees etc. For I do actually believe in coincidence. Coincidence is the one truthful thing that can be relied upon. For much stuff happens. And when a bunch of stuff happens, we observe it. We observe it and we attach a concept to it according to our values.

And more stuff happens.

In fact stuff happens all the time.

And as all the stuff happens and we collect concepts, eventually stuff happens which has concepts like other concepts and concepts related to each other happen at similar times completely at random. And so we invent new concepts to explain the occurances of concepts. And belief systems and a whole bunch of other bollocks.

But all it is is a bunch of stuff happening.

Now I realise at this point that coincidence is a concept all on its own, but as I have stated: it is the only thing that I believe in. In effect it is the concept of the absence of concepts. And so my boss was trying to steer me towards the idea of coincidence. He wanted to put the seed of this line of thought into my mind.

And now I can see.

And copy CD's.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

My life at the moment is altered drastically by the fact that I no longer live in central London. Instead I have to commute in from the sticks – and such a requirement is a great pain to me. Worse still, I have to rely on the services provided by Thameslink and I am expected to give the utter bastards that they are enormous amounts of my funds simply for the privilege of going to work. I live inside the M25 and I still have to pay £10.60 per day – outrageous; and the fares are going up in January. And they are doing some extended engineering work on top of that, so the trains often turf the passengers out and expect us to get a connecting bus. Bastards – I have no recourse to a refund, as I only need to buy a ticket for a single day.

I would proffer the possibility that it is the single biggest cause of stress for all of those who have to manage such journeys. The worst thing is that if I treat the whole commuter thing with the contempt that is deserving of it, than I am punished. Respect the train is the law I am required yet loathed to privately invoke. Not as in, don’t scratch words into the windows or rip up the seating – only brainless morons with baseball caps, stringy hair and tracksuit bottoms do that. I mean don’t, ever, expect the train to arrive on time. As a general rule of thumb if you arrive early, the train will be late. Should you be on time, it will be pulling out of the station as you leave. Thameslink, being a total shower of cunts, run trains every half an hour, so be prepared to wait 40 minutes as you witness the annoyingly inconsistent information screen inform you of the next service’s imminent delay (if you’re lucky and it’s working). At least the service runs, albeit one train an hour, until 3am every day, that is EXCEPT ON SATURDAY NIGHTS. Bloody useful then.

A train, no doubt arriving late.

I do actually have genuine ethical problems with paying a company so much money to provide such a shoddy service. When British Rail were privatised by the Conservative’s (I prefer saying ‘Conservative’ to the supposedly derogatory term ‘Tory’ as the word, to my mind, strikes up a much more realistic feeling of fear; besides, Conservative cunts have reclaimed the word much like some minorities have done – who are not evil of course – examples being such words as ‘Nigger’ and ‘Gay’), the self-serving fucks claimed that creating many different companies would create competition which would keep prices competitive. I do not think so my middle to upper class friends – Thameslink holds a total monopoly over my journey to my work place. I cannot choose to take my business elsewhere and force prices to become more competitive. Instead I do what I can. I buy a single to an earlier station and catch the bus. It saves me £3 a day. Regardless the first hour of every day goes to paying for my journey.

Google Image Search for "competitive" produces:

If you regularly get the same train in the mornings, you will notice that many commuters often stand in exactly the same place on the platform every time. Then they head predictably for the very same seat they always sit in. This is the same method employed by people who walk on hot ashes. It is a form of self-hypnosis, a way of performing an action whilst turning off one’s mind to shield it from the torture. And if their face isn’t pressed up against the armpit of some fellow commuter, they might open up a book or peruse a newspaper. There are a number of commuters at my station that provide me with a simple game that helps me to alleviate Thameslink related-stress. I find the people who are reading either the Daily Mail or the Financial Times (obviously, the Daily Mail is produced by the spawn of Satan; the FT is the other choice because I enjoy tormenting people who earn a living making money out of the concept of money, which is basically a career which contributes absolutely nothing of any material significance to the world) and I observe them. Most have their spots on both the platform and on the train, so I occupy both these spaces. If they are a Daily Mail reader I stare at them whilst they read from an unfamiliar seat. It is greatly relaxing let me tell you.

The FT readers are partly the type of people at fault for the state we are in now. You see PLC’s – companies who are owned by the public who hold shares – are the cause of much unnecessary suffering in today’s society. Perhaps some would see this as a political point, but I see this as simple logic, regardless of the politics. You see shareholders, who usually know nothing of how their company operates, demand profit every year, which makes demands on the company to do the following: Firstly, to diminish the quality of the product or service. When it is a food producer, this is seriously bad, if it is a train operating company, this causes bastards like me to torment readers of overly moralistic right wing dailies. Secondly, to treat the staff like shit. Pay them less, lay them off, take away benefits, and slash the Christmas party budget, anything to produce a profit. Thirdly, ignore important regulations that might limit productivity. If it is cheaper to pump sewage into the sea then fuck it, the fiscal year ends next month. What did fish ever do for us?


Yet it is the shareholders who lose out in the end. Everyone gets poorer services and products, including the members of the public who hold shares. They have to give their babies mass produced baby food as well. The company they work for who may be owned by someone else (or themselves) may sack them, transfer their jobs overseas, or give them a lesser pay rise just to ensure some shareholders get their yearly profit. As a result the whole economy suffers. Everyone gets poorer – except the rich fuckers who live on nothing but the stock market. They just get richer. It is an oft-quoted statistic but 5 per cent of the population own 95 per cent of the wealth, but at least a good 50 per cent of those have to eat the same poor quality cheaply produced shite pumped out by some food conglomerate.

Is it just I or is it just a tad warped to have businesses that exist in order to make money rather than a product? The only beneficiaries of this are those at the top, and guess what? They invented the whole bastard idea!

Coincidence or cuntery?

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

I just know that you have all been visiting this site every hour in the hope of intercepting this entry as soon as possible. Hmm, well, in actual fact it would be more accurate to say that I hope you are all visiting this site every hour. Sadly statistical feedback shows this has not been the case, lies and damn lies included.

It does strike me that, although all this tarot/blog business is an interesting notion, it is hardly the edge of the pants prose that every blogger dreams of publishing. However it was carried out and I would be a fool not to report what was carried out in the name of Charging Through The Midfield. After all my friends, this is OUR site. I freely admit at this point that making such a claim is a tactic used by large and occasionally malevolent corporations hoping to instigate rock solid customer loyalty. But I thought I might have a go as well. You and me folks, you and me.

Now if you have no interest in such activities, this entry might get a bit boring for the next handful of paragraphs so I’m hoping my efforts to induce a bit of 1980’s Marks & Spencer style customer loyalty will bear fruit. Interestingly, my mother’s hometown has a Marks & Spenser opening this very day; in fact the store is but 50 yards from our door. I’m betting that the human race is predictably petty and proud and the existence of a shop that seems to represent middle class suburbia somehow pushes up the house prices in the town.

Anyway, the scene: a large oblong wooden dining table in the ground floor of the extended part of my mother’s living room. The people present: my mother and I. The lighting: One 60 watt double fused ‘Ospram’ bayonet light bulb housed within a wooden and plastic pyramid-shaped shade (upside-down, natch) and connected to a dimmer facility. The back door window may have provided minimal amounts of contributory photons, however many more would have been contributed by a small table lamp approximately 20 feet away. It was not powerful enough to produce any noticeable shadows where we were sat.

Looked up 'photon', found this.
What is Disc Golf?

My mother passed me the tarot cards and I was asked to shuffle the pack and concentrate on my website and what I wanted to know. This reading was to concern itself with the relationship between this site and me. Expertly, I mixed up the cards, thus supposedly putting my energy into them. There are seventy-two different cards in a deck of tarot (my ma says these are split into two groups, major arcana and minor arcana. Not only have I possibly spelt the noun ‘arcana’ incorrectly, but I do not have a clue what it might mean so I’ll quickly move past this point) and the only card I expected to pull out was the solitary Death card – as I was planning radical changes and such a card would strongly indicate this. I was asked to pick a number between four and ten. I decided upon eight. Eight out of seventy-two cards gives me odds of nine-to-one against pulling out Death. For the record, a normal reading involves the subject shuffling the deck and all the cards are used.

The deck was fanned out upon the table in front of me and I randomly pulled out the following eight cards in the order stated: Ace of Cups, Seven of Cups, Death, Page of Wands, Knight of Swords, The Chariot, Strength, and Page of Cups.

Allow me to clarify the meaning of said cards (I say to myself during the writing of this, “remember the near-failure of Marks & Spencer, loyalty only lasts so long”): Ace of Cups represents love; Seven of Cups represents a confusion of a wealth of ideas; Death means change; Page of Wands represents the germ of an idea; Knight of Swords, rushing in; The Chariot tells me that I know where I am going; strength, well, this cards speaks for itself; and Page of Cups often means romance, but in this case represents the growth of a fondness for the site.

I think these explanations give one a good idea of the reading already. But a brief account of what I was told is thus: Charging Through The Midfield is a labour of love, but I am not sure in which direction to take it. I have a wealth of ideas and I love my site, however there is change afoot. A single idea will come through and I will steer it successfully with love.

I have said it before and I will say it again; I am a cynical bastard. I don’t believe any of this stuff for a second. Obviously my Mum takes it seriously and I respect that, but it seems to me that – although the reading you have perused here is but a brief version of the words my mother would have spoken to me – it is all a bit vague. Much like a tabloid newspaper’s star sign reading, the meaning seems to apply itself with a broad brush. The change/death thing however is fairly on the money I must admit, but its appearance proves nothing of course. Is this site a labour of love? Love is perhaps a bit of a strong concept, though it is an overused word and in this case is associated with a certain selection of cards that need to be applied within a particular context; so I cannot hold that against tarot.

'Broad Brush': born 1983; 197th Chef-de-Race; possibly corn-fed.

Saying I have a wealth of ideas is both right and wrong. Often I write about nothing – I agree that this is often because I simply plot a course between separate jungles of thought, however it could be argued that I have a deficit of relevant ideas. I do get lots of ideas though. For instance I have just considered the unlikely notion that words could be translated into smell. This was because I had begun to write the words: “the phrase ‘I will steer it successfully with love’ would make me retch should it ever be converted into a smell.”

Yes there is change afoot, but I believe I do know which direction I will take Charging, which is contrary to the cards claim that I do not. Again, I am not willing to say what this change will be. There are several good reasons for this, which will undoubtedly become apparent later. In the meantime, I will push onwards with my continuing attempts to build that beautiful relationship between us, my dear, wonderful readers. This is our site my good friends. Ours, not mine. I won’t abandon it if you wont.

Actually, screw this. I don’t want the sort of reader who is going to fall for this crap. In many ways George Lucas made an important point when he invented the concept of Jedi Mind Trick. Think of the Jedi as large corporations trying to get you to think certain things. Only weak-minded fools would allow themselves to fall sucker to the Mind Trick and it is the same here. You should come here because you want to, not because I have coaxed you in with cheap words. Anyone who felt a nice warm sense of belonging after reading my words of welcome should fuck off. I don’t want your rudimentary minds here.

Top 25 Censored Media Stories of 2001 -2002.

Very very big picture.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

If you go to the Blogger homepage – the site of the people who facilitate Charging Through The Midfield – you will notice that they are linking to an article in The Onion about the pitfalls of having one’s mother discover their weblog. Sadly, the link doesn't work. However I have few problems with this as my Mum is a regular visitor to the site anyway. Naturally she pretends either not to understand or ignores much of the stuff I post up here, but she is still happy to play along with my ridiculous games.

So, as promised in an earlier incarnation of this site, I got her to carry out a tarot card reading for Charging Through The Midfield (CTTM). As you will have no doubt previously read, I am planning to make changes that will utterly transform the nature of this site. So what would the cards say?

Let me just point out at this point that I am probably the most cynical person you could ever meet when it comes to this sort of thing. But CTTM readers aren’t necessarily so, so this is for all of you who hold these sort of things in high esteem. Take astrology for instance, now I know the visible universe has at least four dimensions, but common astrology only seems to take two into account. Fuck depth in astrology, if a collection of stars appear to be next to each other from Earth’s perspective in space, then it doesn’t seem to matter if they are on opposite sides of the universe in reality. What is so special about the Earth? Obviously astrologers are extraordinarily arrogant forms of life, and would clearly be considered even more xenophobic than Daily Mail journalists by any visiting alien cousins who we might encounter. How then can I possibly take it seriously? And I haven't even began to mentioned the other more obvious problems with astrology. Tarot at least doesn’t have such blatant and fundamental difficulties.

My mater, as she once signed herself off as on an email to me once, had recently acquired some new cards entitled ‘Messages From Your Angels’, so she first suggested we have a look at these.

I think this was a bit of an experiment for us both. This reading would tell me “what my angels want me to know”. The booklet informs us ‘You cannot make a mistake or choose the “wrong” cards during a reading, as the angels are supervising the process, and their power prevents an incorrect reading.’ I keep my mind open – although like an underground train’s door in transit, it struggles to remain shut. I can suspend disbelief for standard tarot cards (‘this is isn’t poker, this isn’t poker' is my mantra as I try not to think about randomised cards and odds), but this is a tricky one. Angels my testicles.

If my empirical mind is so out of kilter with the postulated reality of heaven, god, angels etc, and angels really do exist, then surely if they wanted to communicate they wouldn’t wait around for Hay House Incorporated in New South Wales, Australia, to come into existence and print a bunch of cards. (‘Must open mind, must open mind… repress lateral thought, repress lateral thought…’). Eventually I settled it: “This reading is for CTTM. The opinions of CTTM do not necessarily reflect those of the author. It doesn’t matter what I think.” I blanked my mind and let myself become CTTM. Its energy would flow through me. And it bloody did as well.

CTTM would have four cards drawn for it. The first card drawn signified the general theme of the day or situation. It drew “Oceana”: ‘Take action. You’re in touch with your truth in this situation, and you need to trust your gut and lovingly assert yourself.’ Further reading reveals that ‘there is no need for more research or time'. ‘You already know what to do about the situation, and you have made up your mind to take action. I am here to validate that your decision is on the path of light.’

The second card told CTTM about a possible block to its intentions. And the card “Astara” was drawn. ‘You deserve the best! Reach for the stars with your dreams and desires, and don’t compromise.’ This card tells CTTM that it has been reluctant in the past to ask for help, perhaps because it felt it didn’t deserve good, or that it would be taking away from someone else (another website’s counter statistics?). Its block was that it did not act selfishly enough. CTTM was told, ‘humans are the only ones who believe in scarcity.’ CTTM agrees with this statement and laughs at all these lowly humans. It thinks that this is a rather existentialist point, and a well made one at that. Not that the good people at Hay House, Oz, would agree with this last, and rather atheistic, point.

My third card informed CTTM how it would avoid said block, and sadly bought me out of my CTTM energy trance (not too much of a barrier as I had already drawn all of the cards). You see, I had pulled out “Patience” and I felt it contradicted what had gone before. I had visions of some Australians sitting in front of a computer saying, “it aull wurks niycely mayte, except if you pull arrt th’ caarrds in wone partickulaarr combinayshon.”

Flamin’ galaaaahh.”

The Galah:

Patience: ‘Now is the time to learn study and gather new information… Although you may be aching to begin a new project, now is not the time.’ This is pretty much what CTTM had been doing, so affirmation then. But the first card said ‘there was no need for more research and time.’ Confused? I’ll let you work it out. My mother told me that I should sit down and work it out (although to be fair she was fielding an incoming phone call at the time I questioned it; I’m writing a website entry, so I don’t have the time either). She specialises in the real tarot I think. And I am generally dubious about anything that tries to tell me what the angels are saying. (Although I have found that others seem to approve of them.)

Finally, my ‘probable outcome’ card was “Omega”. The paper work said: ‘Victory! Your desire is coming to fruition. Keep up the good work!’ At this point far from being excited by this card, as perhaps I should, I grew only more suspicious. I have very few deeply held convictions but one of them is: “If an organisation or person takes itself too seriously but still utilises exclamation marks then be very wary indeed. For they are in internal conflict and cannot be trusted.”

The only way I would believe any of this is if you could convince me that angels only spoke in the language of utter bollocks. The only evidence I have so far found that might contribute to this theory is that people who have claimed to have been spoken to by pixies, angels, and other fantastical creatures usually end up performing the most absurd and laughable acts. However this is all pretty threadbare stuff. Luckily I have at least a modicum of respect for proper tarot, and it was this that, if anything, I regarded as the real deal. I had it read to me and it was self-consistent, interesting, and even believable. And that reading will be detailed for you in the next riveting instalment of Charging Through The Midfield.


Tuesday, December 02, 2003

It is sad to note that winter brings with it many discontents. Firstly there is Christmas – which only serves to benefit commercialist enterprise (and arguably children, although my side of the argument is that a happy child at Christmas is an overweight and spoilt little shit before the fruition of February); secondly there is the annual cull of the elderly (again, there is a strong argument here that points to a possible declination of the type who sit alone in their homes reading the Daily Mail and grumbling constantly about foreigners but rarely venturing out to gain subjective experiences; excepting for one morning approximately every five years on the route to a polling booth and a small black box placed next to the printed word “Conservative” – I don’t accept these arguments however as I see them as both sinisterly unfair and poorly written examples which fail to satisfactorily explain the relationship between the cull and discontent).

I need to slow down a bit here. Making a series of points to justify a statement is all very well, but it is somewhat counterproductive to detail all my opinions and doubts in parenthesis after each one.

Which is exactly my point.

This marvellously shows why I cannot write a normal weblog like everybody else.

Basically, I write far too much crap. My thoughts and sentiments usually begin to travel in one definite direction, but soon enough other pieces of acuity splinter their way into the main trunk of my plan. And, like some curious fetish, I just have to satisfy my temptation to expose it all.

Er, postmodernism

You will probably realise at this point that such a habit will doubtless expose itself within a section of writing about said habit. Some might attach the label of postmodernism to this phenomenon, but I wouldn’t agree. For that to be the case, I would have to be executing my writing style deliberately. Although execution is perhaps the best thing for it.

Needless to say, I am considering ways to change all this. The problem, as I’ve intimated a gerdillion times before, is that I have too much scope to work with and too much time on my hands in which to do it. I have come to the conclusion that the weblog is far too broad a tool for me. I have to now admit publicly that I have trouble limiting myself to one simple thread. As a result I continually address only the one subject: everything. It is a rare day indeed when I sit to address a subject and end up addressing only it. For instance, today I sat down to write my entry and I ended up writing about writing. Despair reigns slightly.

To begin yet another analogy on these pages: my brain has become a sweet shop and I am sweeping great armfuls of goodies into my trolley. I just cannot help it: it’s free publishing. I can write all I want and the good people at Blogger still refuse to charge me. What would you do if you were given the keys to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and told you could help yourself? In the end you would eat and eat and eat, and you’d end up becoming obsessed with yourself and the activity of eating.

Greedy bloody kids.

So when my friend said my writing style seemed a little bit arrogant (see previous entry for terse details), she was probably on the button. Self-obsessed nonsense is what this is. Should I really expect all of you to be interested in the internal mumblings of my self-obsessive brain?

So, soon enough, this weblog will become more like a diary. Obviously I first have to get an interesting life. But plans for that are in the pipeline (although who doesn’t plan to have an interesting life?). Between now and the realisation of my plans however you will have to put up with this. Well, strictly speaking you can do what the hell you like. As long as all the other billions of pages remain up and running, your choices remain vast. As do my personal cerebral options of course.

Anyway, winter. I used to think of a year as a living thing. In January it started off weak and unable to proffer a decent bit of weather. March would signify its teens when it would grow stronger and show the strength required to generate a decent bit of warmth. Spring would turn to summer and the year was reaching the peak of its power. Autumn and winter showed its old age. Hence winter was in two parts: pre-January 1st and post-January 1st.

I’ve always liked this method of watching the weather. On that October day, when the southeast of England experienced that infamous hurricane, 1986 was having a bit of a funny turn. One must resist the temptation to imagine that it was experiencing wind, for that would be taking anthropomorphism too far, and there is far too much anthropomorphism in the world today. It also meant I could eventually delete winter altogether.

At first I had two winters, with each half as long. It makes winter II part of one long build up of power to summer and winter I as part of a dying autumn. Then I had the debate: should it be that winter II be called winter I? For the winter that signifies the start of a year is following on from the autumnal winter. So which comes first? The existence of winter became a paradox. So I found it easier to think of winter II/I as simply the beginning of spring and winter I/II as the end of autumn. Hence only three seasons! With Christmas and New Year becoming a celebration of the old year’s death and a new year’s birth. Basically I had stolen Christmas from Jesus. Which I think is fair game considering the Christians stole it from the pagans.

None of this eases the discontent that the cold period brings. But it makes me feel better about the whole thing. I think the time to reclaim Christmas back from the Christians and the moneymen is long overdue. If Christmas is the peak of the winter than winter truly is a dismal period indeed and I am happy that it is behind me.

My long-term plan is to take Christmas back and then destroy it. Good riddance I say.

Bloody Christmas: bunch of arse.