Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Punctured bicycle on a hillside desolate. Will nature make a man of me yet?

Like all great artists, before too long, Baggelboy has you dreaming, thinking and killing like him. I'm honoured to count him as one of my (virtual) friends. Although we are planning a pint at some point, aren't we Dog?

Monday, 23 July 2007

The dating game: poetic & romantic as a meat cleaver


IF: poem (a companion piece to this)

Pale green dot

This one was inspired of course by Pale Blue dot: an image that always fills me with awe and sadness.

" Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." Carl Sagan

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

The rain falls hard on a humdrum town

In the north Indian region of Kumaon, the traditional remedy for stopping rain is to pour hot oil in the left ear of a dog. The animal’s howls are heard by Indra, God of weather, who stops the rain out of pity for the animal’s suffering. Simple, really."

(Ben Macintrye, The Times)

Friday, 13 July 2007

When will you accept yourself

In the 80s, political scientist Douglas Madsen measured serotonin levels in male undergraduates. The students were also given a questionnaire to see how ambitious and competitive they were.

Madsen presented a series of Machiavellian traits often found in power-seekers. These included: the desire to win, little concern for conventional morality, manipulativeness, low ideological commitment and suspicion of others (but not to a pathological level, whew).

"Machiavels lied more plausibly and effectively, were more inclined to engage in and to enjoy the manipulation of others, were likely to initiate and control bargaining situations and be successful in them, were much stronger and more forceful in social relations, persuading other more often and being persuaded by others less often." (Oliver James 1998:37).

They also had high levels of serotonin and were thus unlikely to suffer from depression or feelings of insufficiency (which seems to curb aggressive power-seeking in the rest of us).

So forget about the √úbermenschen tossing and turn in their beds at night, worrying about the people they've screwed over to get to where they are. It's almost as if they are being chemically rewarded for their fuck-you behaviour.

With happiness.

James, O. (1998) Britain on the Couch: A Treatment for the Low-Serotonin Society (Random House, London).
Madsen, D. (1984) 'A biochemical property relating to power seeking in humans', American Political Science Review, 79, 448-57.