how it all works – part 1

It’s all a bit random and it could have all come together in endless different ways, but this is the reality we have to deal with. According to the latest quantum thinking there are multiple versions of the universe and they all exist in parallel. I find this difficult to understand, or to get my head round, as they say. Maybe that’s because my head isn’t the right tool to do the job of understanding, maybe it’s too small – after all, even just in physical terms, my head takes the space of a small watermelon.

Comparatively, a melon-sized head is infinitely small in an infinite universe, even our dear Mother Earth is a tiny smudge in the night sky when viewed from Venus and in the context of the galaxy our precious planet is a grain of sand that’s slipped between the pebbles on Brighton beach – There are up to 400 billion stars in our little galaxy – The Milky Way; and and there are at least 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe – and that’s just the observable universe and that’s just one of countless parallel universes.

milky-wayWhat some people think The Milky Way looks like. There’s 400 billion stars in there.

The numbers dissolve into mulch and become meaningless, but let’s just say that in the grand scheme of things a single person is beyond insignificance. But I know, yes, I know, that one single person is also the most significant thing there is or was or ever will be, because in the end, without that person, without that consciousness to experience it, those billions of galaxies and gadzillions of stars might as well not be there. They’d be unseeable and unknowable and unknown forever.

Doesn’t mean we’ll ever get our heads round it though. I mean, think about it. If we could understand the multiverse with something the size of a melon then there’d be something very wrong with it (them).

So, how does it all work then?

Maybe I’ll come back to that one.

In the meantime:

It’s only 9 am. As usual I have Radio 4 on in the background. I do sometimes listen to Radio Wales or Radio 6, and occasionally Radio 3, but more often than not Radio 4 is my companion during the day and has been for decades. I’m just wondering what that’s done and is still doing to my take on how it all works.

“You’ve got to fight for every little thing you want to achieve.” Words of wisdom from Rebecca Adlington, Olympic swimmer, who is the guest on this morning’s Desert Island Discs. But, is that true or is it just a part of the world view we’re expected to stick to and which is propagated on mainstream media such as BBC Radio 4. What does a lifetime of absorbing Jenny Murray’s drone and Melvyn Bragg’s whine do to your mind?

Who the fuck am I? What would I be like if I had donated my brain to Radio Hip-Hop instead? Would there be any difference anyway, since both types of media delivery are based on the idea that we must share a common vista. What if you didn’t engage in all that? One of my Facebook friends has just posted a link to a news story about a man who became a hermit for 27 years. The headline is: ‘What Happens to Your Identity When You Don’t Speak to Anyone for 27 Years?”

The hermit article goes on to say: ‘Anyone who reveals what he’s learned, Chris told me, is not by his definition a true hermit.’

Maybe I’ll come back to that too.

God, that Rebecca Adlington is full of herself isn’t she? You’re just a swimmer mate, you’re not going to bring world peace or anything. OK, she’s a success, I get it, she’s worked hard for what she’s achieved, she deserves it – yeah yeah OK. And she is quite young I suppose so perhaps her full-of-herself-ness is forgiveable.

Do I sound bitter? I’m not really, I understand that life and everyone, every creature even, who possesses it, is as complicated as the aforementioned multiverses, but that doesn’t mean I buy into the middle-class, middle-of-the-road, middle brow stew that the BBC and particularly Radio 4, has been pumping into my brain since I crawled from the swamp of adolescence.

I will not be brainwashed.

Resist . . .

Resist . . .

Resist . . . . . .

click here for part 2

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Lost Artwork

The new header image of this website (above – although if you’re reading this (as is likely) more than a few weeks after the beginning of May 2015, it may not be above, because it will have been replaced by something else – therefore it’s also below:)

Yn Y Goedwig

Yn Y Goedwig

Anyway – the new header image (new as of May 3rd 2015) above is a photo of one of a series of acrylic abstracts painted about 4 years ago at the end of a pretty rubbish couple of years when the shop I was involved in got crushed by the after-effects of the global financial meltdown that first sneaked up on us in mid 2008.

I displayed the paintings on the blank walls of the almost empty shop in the absence of proper stock to flog. A few paintings did sell but to my shame I can’t remember which ones. Part of the reason for this is that a couple of tumultuous years and house moves later we took up residency in a small terrace where there was no room for all the paintings I’d accumulated :( – (even more sadly there was also no room to paint), so I left them out in the back yard under sheets of tarpaulin – there were over a hundred, some quite large, like the one above which was 800 mm x 1000 mm or 32in x 40in.

A year later we had to move house again and when I examined the stored paintings I found (not surprisingly) that most of them had been damaged by damp and mould. We were moving to an even smaller place, so what to do?

Reluctantly I decided there was no choice other than to grit my teeth and dispose of them, in an environmentally-friendly way if possible. I took the paintings to the new place, which luckily had enough space behind the railings at the front of the house to store them while we completed the move.

When the time came a couple of days later, I cut out all the canvases from their wooden stretchers and rolled them up. I broke up the wood and piled it up along with the rolled-up canvases in the back of our small hatchback. I can’t remember how many trips it took but I drove the loads to the nearest council waste and recycling centre and tossed the constituent bits of the irreplaceable art into their respective skips.

Afterwards I felt relieved but sad. Each one of those one hundred or so paintings was unique and impossible to recreate. Maybe that’s what art is?

Anyway, they were just paintings.

Click here for a link to a previous piece about some of the artwork written at the time of the exhibition in the shop.

PS: We’ve just moved again to a nicer place, maybe the lost art will return . . .

 

 

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Bumps in the Night

TAPS – Television Arts Performance Showcase were an organisation whose aim was to discover and develop scriptwriters for television. They did pretty good for a long time then, I believe, the recession put paid to them in 2009.

I was involved in a number of their schemes and wrote a short drama with them in 2006. The drama “Bumps in the Night” never quite made it to production. Anyway I thought I’d put the script up here in the faint hope that someone will be interested in it, or at least to give an example of a tv drama script, the length of an episode of a soap opera on ITV.

Click below to download / open the script

BUMPS IN THE NIGHT 2014

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Supermarket prices

A contribution of mine for the people’s panel on The Guardian’s comment is free section:

* * *

A strong smell in the car park heralded an in-store promotion. I hate being manipulated as much as I hate the smell of fish, so was immediately irked. It was the first time we had been to a supermarket for months, a visit prompted by curiosity and boredom rather than a desire to pick up a bargain.

We have never liked supermarkets, and like them less now since the lovely local wholefood shop we owned went bust recently, due, in part, to their behaviour. They take on brands tried and tested in small shops like ours and plant them at cheaper prices in strategic positions in their aisles. Then, when they’ve enticed our customers into their emporiums they quietly drop the products or replace them with watered-down own-brand versions.

In the past I’ve worked for companies that supply the big four, and can say from personal experience that they are ruthless when it comes to dealing with their suppliers too. They squeeze until the margins are so tight that the companies supplying them go out of business or are sold off for a pittance to larger brands. Despite our cynical and defensive attitude, we still succumbed to the Tesco trance and racked up a bill three times as high as it would have been if we had gone shopping in the local Co-op.

Don’t be fooled by the price cuts and the friendly visage, the supermarkets exist only to make the maximum profit for their owners; the customers are simply part of the equation, and that equation involves the customer spending at least the same amount of money on each visit. Tesco’s move to cut prices will have little effect on us, the damage has already been done. Who’s next? You have been warned.

* * *

Direct link to the full piece with comments

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/sep/30/peoples-panel-supermarket-wars

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Failure

Things fail – bicycles, cars, washing machines, governments, recipes and businesses. A failure is something that has failed, fair enough. For me though, that word has always been impossible to apply to a person. Someone who failed to make an appointment because of a traffic jam may have failed to arrive on time but is not a failure. Life is a complex web of possibilities and the choices we make about which threads to navigate are influenced by every micro-facet of our existence, whether we are aware of it or not.

Blame is another word I have a problem with. It’s a very negative word and is used to attack and hurt people. This doesn’t mean that people are not responsible for the choices they make, responsibility is not blame, though the two terms are often used the same way. The point is, life is complex and as tiny creatures in this infinite universe where every nano action ultimately has an effect on everything, we can only pray we are making the right choices as we step onto the tightropes of those threads.

That’s the hypothesis. Now to the real world – I am a failure, I am to blame. It’s true. Continue reading

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