Polly:

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My Mother had three boys between two different men, all of whom have nothing to do with her or their offspring. Elaborate tales of why spun across dining tables, as if the why’s matter and they bring comfort. Because really there’s no reason why things happen, they just do, but it’s a reality we hide from children. Like they should be privileged to live in this frame where rhymes make a rhythm. All this fancying, this bone breaking theater  leaves us with, is not some optimistic vision of the world, our future, our place in the universe spiritually or materialistically, but an aching hole and hunger, a wound dying to go back to that time, that lie that seemed so real.

I’ve been alone most of my life, unable to connect to the many colors of my family. The first a neurotic mess crippled by a perceived wrong, addled with aggression and a an abrasive sense of justness. The second an unperturbed liar, a narcissistic capable of hurting so easily; and the worst, the last one thrown out, a flavorless fuck incapable and lame. Vile and hurtful. Not even aware enough to describe themselves as anything more than a pitiful excuse for a person.

I grew up confused and I sometimes day-dream about my death. Who would mourn for me, pour water on my grave, breath heat into the soil? It’s a small list and gets smaller still. I try to imagine when my bones will be bleached and if anyone will write for me. Will anyone love me then.

That day, the heat was terrible, but I perched under that tree, scared of what I might find. A terrible fear that I didn’t know what to do with. I was bad to that dog. I hardly ever took her out, forgot about her, didn’t stroke her enough share with her… Now she was sentenced to death, and all I was faced with was the miserable things I had failed at. Not a good memory in sight, and I wonder if she knew that…

I didn’t want to look at death, at suicide, because I imagined that I, through action or inaction had helped those seeds grow and those wounds fester…

Or maybe it was the powerless feeling that unsettled me so much, a lack of confidence to change the world. A time where those lies I had as a child would be so handy. Where I could spin yarns like my mother and brothers did, lies about how things are, and why they happen. Feed that wound, not only in someone, but in myself. Was it easy to do? I don’t even remember it, maybe no one does, maybe it’s natural, inert in us to sooth like that, with fiction, but it never does sooth, it only furthers that extension.IMG_0798

The strain she has. I can’t reach around it, not with words, only with my arms. I want to feel the re-verb of her chest open and close. I want her to feel me dying with her… I just… Want her not to hurt anymore.

An overdose of anesthetic, it seemed so easy. A cardiac arrest and complete failure of the respiratory system seizes the body. . Her paw, listlessly hangs off the table. it’s movement, not governed by the force of her body, her might and muscle, but by the force of gravity. The line break between life and death. The snap of the fingers, that warns you she’s dead; and it awakens a primal, cave like fear. A want to leave it, images of carcass I’ve seen on the shore. rotten and eaten sheep. Bloated ribcages exploded and open. the gases once inside having grown and burst, popping the body like a balloon.

I picture my hands, as I lifted myself off her plunging into her rotted rib-cage, getting stuck on the bones and congealing blood…

yet the worst part, was that I left her there, on that gaudy stainless steel frame with a rubberized black top that’s convenient to clean.  It’s such a fucking indignity, it offends me to see that, her paw so, dead. Her eyes sit open but they are still, she’s dead. I tried, before I left, to…

Put her paw back, to leave her in a more, peaceful position, as if it matter, but every time, it flopped back, and with each attempt, I grew just a more numb until it didn’t even matter any more.

She was dead. When A second ago she was driven by this urge to exist. The cells inside her dividing and copying themselves, growing and living and mutating. The urge to live, the divinity of self-interest. Matters to us all, matters to me, but when this dog, this unloved dog died on that table, me clutching her shaking form was I respecting that?

Yet I still ask the woman I love, who wants to die, to live. I lie and say I showed that dog a mercy, when It wanted to live and to live with, a cruel joke.

I held that body.

That dog of matted hair, stinking the way she always stank, hair coming away with me, playing in my fingers on the drive home. The wound in my stomach growing till the point of vomit.

When I held that dog on that table, that awful terrible table, I imagined you in your coffin. Me, being unable to love you. A stranger to your family, a stranger to your husband, a gritted eulogy, where I would introduce myself as a colleague, unable to say the things I could never say again. The threads of me that bleed into you severed, broken nerves that would never heal or leave. A brain too dumb to recognize their deadness, always sending signals to those frayed corners going nowhere. To big, to colorful and hungry to let anything else grow. And to you, that you would leave without me, perhaps I am not intended to see. To know of… Yet my whole being just wants it, to hold you all the time, and when I picture your body that urge is so painful, so sharp.

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I held a dead body that day, I didn’t want to hold yours, not because I wouldn’t, because I would, I’d’ never let go, but I wouldn’t want to live in a world without you.

I wish I had, some profound point to leave, some moment of clarity when it clicks and makes sense, but that would be another lie for another child. Because there isn’t one.

It’s you and me, our lives, our memories, our moments. Each second passing irretrievable. I say that I love you, because I know that each second that does pass with you, I don’t want to retrieve, I want to preserve.

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Cracked:

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Life sucks. Yeah, take that universe I’m defying you. Fuck you and your imagined omnipotence.

I don’t like writing about what I do because I’m afraid I’ll turn this blog or even just this post into some sort of new media CV, where people invest ideas in me that are so detached from reality they might imagine me as some artistic Tibetan farmer who trains warrior owls with a masters in social sciences.

Also there’s that fear that if you advertise your skills you open yourself up to the judgement of the masses, where standards have no meaning, and you’ll never be quite as ”good” as the next guy. All that said I have some skills, they serve the video industry.  I’m a fast and fairly talented editor, I’m a writer and can’t stop pointing my camera at things. Do I make sketches as 99.99% of the internet does? Not often, although I have dabbled. I mostly make music video… Things…

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I enjoy it a hell of a lot. I like to soak into a song imagine the image, create the image, and boom, cut it. This order swaps and gets switched around sometimes. It’s not always song to image but image to song. Why do I do this? I don’t know, maybe it’s to create my own slice of self-preservation. I don’t particularly want kids, so maybe this is something I could be remembered for. Although that sentiment doesn’t normally reach me when I’m in the middle of it. I’m to busy just being there, being creative. Doing something and making something that I can own. That no one else, not another soul of the 7 billion odd people on earth can stake a claim to.

It’s mine…

So where do I find myself with this rather unpractical, everyday bread on the table skill set? At a crossroads. University is in-front of me. I got into a place situated inside Manchester’s media city. It’s pretty prestigious and I was recognized on the merit of my work alone, which to be honest felt amazing.

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Although It’s the biggest commitment I’ve ever made. Three years. Three years toiling at something huge. is it what I want? As I maybe stagnate in a classroom will the world move on? God I hope not. There’s a woman I love and it is hard to imagine not being able to see her. I’ll have to move. It will be lonely and everyday I will miss her more than the last.

Without her I feel incomplete. The touch, the body filled with hot blood, waving curves of sinew, and skin. I can feel all that blood. Is it even your blood? How can you be sure? We share it. Then there’s the dizzy rotating feeling of hands. Hands on mine, hands across surfaces. Hands holding the little unspoken promises that mean more than any material ever could. Words in frozen time that only breaks when the touch is gone, but we long remember the stench burned into our nostrils, our bodies…

Now I wonder, where your hands are?

When will they next touch me and unravel that mystery inside. The one that haunts me every moment I’m out of your view.

I want to believe that this course will fling me into a well-paying career doing what I simply love and from there I’ll save and buy a small holding. Escape the bile of society and the obsession with the material. Become one with the land and feel connected to something more than me, responsible.  After that… All I want to do is invite her there, all I can offer her is myself. Yet I’m afraid. Afraid that at one point in that plan, at one step I’ll lose track. I’ll find myself working on something I loath, or find myself outclassed by others with more refined skills. More importantly I’m afraid that in three years, maybe longer, the woman I love will be somewhere else. That I’ll appear boring or distant.

Though I’m comforted when she expresses the same fears as me, the banal worry that we might become… ”Boring”. Because that’s when I know, that she never could be to me. I can’t worry about forever.

I know we all feel cracks, we all slowly crumbling away from our perfect forms, but there’s so much time between those moments; and when we finally do fall apart, that’s when we can really see each other. Because we look out of our cracks, through ourselves and past theirs, right to the core. It wasn’t until she saw me crack that I knew, that I wouldn’t have to worry about forever. Before that we were just enjoying the idea of each other, watching the surf at the surface, but once we cracked, the light got in, and we could see it all, each other from the inside out.

We’ll never be the same.

-PB

 

 

2014: The New Year is Nigh

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So the new year is nigh, yes another three hundred and sixty-five days of toil and suffering  await us all. In a just a few months, after the initial shock of being in a different year, when the pajazz of writing 2014 on your checks wears off, you’ll soon realise it’s the same old routine. Nevertheless it’s a good time for reflection, a chance to look back at what you’ve done, or most likely haven’t done and really tell yourself a convincing line about ‘how this year will be different’. My little blog here has been up for the better part eight months. It all started on lazy April day when I had nothing but a pocket full of change and an ever burgeoning god complex to my name. Since then I’ve matured both my style and writing to something I am somewhat proud of. I never thought I’d get this far, let alone get anyone to read the damn thing. I had never really written in an open forum before so my practices were a little… Off.

Not to say I was offensive or anything, I just come across a little hubristic in my writing. I’m a contrarian, and more importantly I’m cynical. Enthusiasm and grace are alien concepts, especially in my earlier work. Yet it wasn’t all bad, for I am of course my worst critic, as we all tend to be. I’d say since I started my writing has certainly improved in some regards. Well at least I have developed a self enforced hunger for it. Hopefully that newfound drive will serve me somewhere down the line, but for now let’s look at what I plan to do with this godforsaken site. After all I think it’s a little early to get all retrospective-y. (It’s a word, look it up)

Ruminations aside let’s make some New Years resolutions shall we?

#1: Have my brain transferred into a computer so I can live as an immortal, omnipotent god-like creäture.

Who doesn’t want to surpass the limitations of organic life?! I could live forever, and my knowledge and insight would lead humanity into a new age of enlightenment. I could be immortal, I could redefine life, I could even download a witty and humorous voice from the internet to use as my own.

#2: Fix broken posts.

When I’m not working as a super robot lord to all the humans in my dominion I’ll be writing; and if I’m not writing I’ll be fixing the posts I broke when I changed the blog’s theme. Yeah I messed up, the theme I’m using screwed up some spaces and destroyed thumbnails. I do have a solution for this but it means going back and manually changing it all. Something I’ve avoided doing by pretending to be busy. Yet no more cries New Year! Now’s the time to end this hellish nightmare…

#3: Don’t lose sight of the bloody goal.

Since I’ll have a fully formed robot brain this should be easy. Never again will I write about something and end up in a different place from where I started. This is a problem I have. I’ll come up with an idea, want to execute it, but when I’m in the act of writing it will get muddled and blurred in so many other developing ideas. Really I should plan these things out….

Anyway wherever you are, whatever you’re doing have a bloody good one and Happy New Year!

-PB  

The Youtube Bubble

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Walk into any university lecture hall today and anyone involved in media will tell you that the future is the internet, specifically YouTube. Now most of us know this, the internet and YouTube are likely to be around for a very, very long time. It’s not a fad like Moon Boots and mood rings and simply referring to it as ‘important‘ is a gigantic understatement. Yet, as with all good things, there’s a problem. YouTube is kind of broken; and no I’m not talking about messed up buffering or awkward layouts. There’s an increasingly serious problem surrounding YouTube and that problem is us. It’s estimated that over 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Now that’s a lot of data for anyone who’s even moderately computer savy. This may sound trivial to some who scoffs at the idea of Google’s server farms struggling with simple video sharing and in some capacity I wouldn’t call them wrong. After all Google manages to serve billions of people each day and still run the most populated video streaming site on the Planet. Nevertheless that figure is huge, in just one day we produce more content for youtube than is possible to watch in that time. That can range from hour long HD videos, to music or even vacation pictures. It’s an unadulterated, unfiltered mess.

Now you may be thinking, ‘this sounds like the chime of censorship!’ Let me be clear, I do not want to censor YouTube, or any other part of the internet however I imagine there are many people at Google who do. Not because it serves some global conspiracy agenda of hampering free speech, but because it prevents some guy in Maine from serving up eighty videos of an uninteresting gameplay in glorious HD. Put simply Youtube hasn’t been profitable for a long time, sure it may not be hemorrhaging money like some of the competition and being owned by the Google monopoly helps. However YouTube doesn’t live independently, it’s stuck on life support being spoon fed from its big brother a victim of its own success. You can see how in just the period of a year how YouTube has increased its advertising services and pushed for a more cluttered monetized space. This is an attempt to rebalance YouTube, a way of keeping itself above water without putting limitations on video uploads. However will this fix the problem? In all likelihood no, it won’t, it will merely slow the problem but not stop it. Because the problem stems from the volume of content we produce versus the volume watched. It is impossible for one human to watch even half of YouTube’s entire library in their lifetime essentially making every attempt Google has ever made to monetize YouTube moot unless they limit uploads. Yet that’s a problem isn’t it? That’s the sort of thing that would make YouTube an obsolete platform, no different from the established publishing media.

Continue reading “The Youtube Bubble”