Friday, 27 July 2007

The Modern History of Myself and Hats

February 1997:
When I was ten years old I had this green, felt one with tassels at certain corners. It had cost my parents £20, which I still think is a decent chunk of money. I took it away with me to Italy, on a school trip to the Alps, because that’s why my parents had spent a decent chunk of money on it.
For my parents this trip symbolised a success, in a way, they had worked hard and managed to achieve a better standard of living, for their children, than they had had.
They were certain that ‘I was going to really enjoy it’.
And I did
Until I lost the hat.
I felt like I’d bulldozed my parents’ efforts and that if they too saw the symbol of the hat they might want to cry. From now on I was to appreciate home and its affiliates.
Thanks to that and the fact that Stuart Yorston told me my parents had died in a car crash that night I became homesick.

October 2002:
The next hat I owned cost £2.50 more. It was an old bowler with a red lining. You’d like it- it was very likable, I should know – I liked it. (In hindsight) It represented a time, a place and a nascent frame of mind. The vine of a frame of mind I wind today. There are a couple of photographs of me wearing the hat, there were a couple of photographs and then it had served its purpose. The hat had come to be a confidence for my creative conviction. I had a mop of hair.
But soon I wasn’t so sure,
Since then the hat has had various retirement homes and display cases, though rarely on my head. These days it usually rests; crucified on a novelty, foam raspberry in the living room.

Summer 2005:
The third had been Jo’s hat: a black, corduroy, railway flat cap (cool as fuck). I pinched it off her because it suited me, especially when I wore my maroon polo shirt and an accompanying black tie and when college ended and university began it came with me to Edinburgh. (Jo said I should take it to remind me of her & when our relationship stumbled to a halt she reiterated this. And so it did.).
One night I wore it to work. That night where me & Senior were hosting the quiz and Kristoff gave us a whole bottle of Apple Sourz to drink. Sometime later I couldn’t find the hat.
I was rather disappointed: It suited me.
It was sometime after that, in the same place, I saw the hat once more. This time it was on the head of an Australian lesbian. After thinking about it for a bit I asked her:
‘Excuse me’, I said, ‘where did you find that hat?’
‘Under my bed’, she said. And perhaps she had.

June 2007:
It was the last day with my sweet for a while and after much deliberation in front of a mirror I bought the hat. A straw, slightly panama job from C & A’s in Budapest. It was almost small but suited my mane/mood and ‘too small’’s better than ‘too big’, surely? Anyway Rosie said she found me attractive in it and that helped my decision. After leaving her in that subway I had almost already decided that the hat had to return home on my head so’s Rosie could find me attractive, in the hat once more. By the time I arrived in Kyiv the hat had developed into a symbol, a symbol of my love and my faith in said love, a comfort should homesickness return.
I preserved it from the Ukraine and Moscow to the Trans-Siberian express. Here it perched above my bunk, over the bedside light, placed there, most likely, by The Trader. I remember well, Thom’s hayfever had been playing up and on The Traders’ suggestion we swapped beds, in order to let Thom sleep out of the pollenful breeze. On the third night, (the second on the others’ bed) I awoke to find the hat was missing.
The Hat!
I hunted around, frantically, with my eyes for any sign of straw and there it was peeking out from behind Thom’s arse- crumpled, beaten and no longer an attractive accessory. The Trader attempted to straighten it out and look proud at his hopeless attempts, Thom laughed.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Keyboa: a dilemma

(Originally published at Counter Hive in April of 1786)

To whom it may concern,

I have been asked on numerous occasions in recent weeks, months, years, etc. about the ethics of music making by keyboa, specifically by electric keyboa. The commonly accepted definition, I feel I should make clear, of the keyboa is, as concluded at the 19** Seminar, "a metally snake that lives in keyholes" and "can be Manipulated to make melodious sounds". The two principal schools of thought on the harnessing of the electric keyboa are as follows;

i) The very nature of the keyboa ("a metally snake that lives in keyholes"), when coupled with the notion of "[Manipulation] to make melodious sounds", leads the mainstream of counter-Advance scholars to call for unambiguous prohibition of music making by keyboa, in particular by electric keyboa, for reasons of a perceived correlation between the required method (see "Metasynthesis and You: A Beginner's Guide [19**]) and certain principles of the proto-Advance, especially in the field of Control.

ii) A more maverick, but steadily growing school of thought would have it that, rather than being merely neutral in active terms of the Cause, music making by keyboa can actually be beneficial to counter-Advance. There is evidence, albeit broadly disputed (by the aforementioned mainstream) evidence, that points to the electric keyboa being in the region of 30% more organic than, for instance, the violin, and the acoustic, or "bare" keyboa being as much as 40% more organic, purportedly on account of their reptilian roots. There is seldom any suggestion in counter-Advance circles that music is anything less than an invaluable weapon against Human Advance, and, if the statistics cited above are even vaguely accurate, the central argument proffered by this second lobby, that the pros significantly outweigh the cons in any responsibly practiced music making endeavour by keyboa, electric or otherwise, might carry sufficient weight to make, at very least, a full enquiry by the relevant authorities into the potential efficacy of an official keyboa music making programme a viable route forward as regards this particular issue.

I hope that this humble memorandum has shed a little light on what perhaps needn’t be so divisive a topic as the keyboa question currently is. Please send all enquiries through the usual channels,

Yours in conscience,

Sir P----

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

He Emerged From The East

A repetition:

The word 'aslan' is a fine word. You may well associate said word with a popular lion, famed for being somewhat like Jesus, only fair-haired, of a name similar in all but capitalisation. (That lion is called 'Aslan'. Smashing fellow, by all accounts). Well, your association of 'aslan' with 'Aslan' is well-founded, though you don't yet know it. See, the word 'aslan', or so my sources inform me, translates from the Turkish to 'lion'.

To rephrase, my point of information is as follows;

"Aslan is Turkish for lion."

Happy Trails, and may your next point of information also be a translation from the Turkish Tongue (Tongue of Turkishes).

Regards and Peaches,


Tuesday, 3 July 2007

In An Automated Fashion


In a couple of million years (a pretty short time when you think about it), The New Dinosaurs will find some pretty excellent veins of aluminium ore on the sites of what The Middle Dinosaurs called “Landfill Sites”. Great towns will spring up around these most fruitful of veins, they’ll prosper, with all the New Dinosaur amenities, until the sources dry up and the towns begin to wither and die. There’ll be some real doldrums economically speaking before the service sector saves the day.

Aluminium will be shipped in while the residents write out receipts. It’s a pity there was no lightning back then, else they’d have had electric typewriters, Earth* willing.

*Steve, as they called her

“I wouldn’t… but I’m going to”

There’s none of what we (often quaintly) call rivalry among The New Dinosaurs; on the contrary, there’s a great communalism in their society, coupled inextricably with a pioneering spirit that would put our 18th and 19th Centuries to shame. It was quite by accident (with, of course, the requisite quotient of pure New Dinosaur Vigilance) that they (that’s they collectively) unlocked the secrets of Fusion. I shan’t bore you with detail, suffice it to say that it was most unfortunate, not to say ethically unwarranted, that the end came about; The New Dinosaurs cannot be blamed by any reasonable court of law. Natural curiosity can never be condemned, and it was and it was an unforeseeable happenstance that launched Steve into the Sun* while the rockets crept eventually into the orbit of the shoe factory where Mars used to be.

By this time aluminium could be synthesised quite easily and in an automated fashion.