No Mercy

It’s 07:26 and I’m awake again. Decided to get up and feed the cat. My IBS keeps waking me at about 6, which is beginning to wear on me. Thinking on it might be why I get so sleepy in the afternoons. Just not enough decent sleep. Sat in the garden with a cuppa and the Pinebook. It’s not particularly warm. Spring has sprung but there’s still a chill in the air. The doves are having a hooting competition all around me, it’s nice to be outside.

Want to do some music today. Can’t work out why I’ve been struggling to start. It might be because I can hear things in my head and just can’t make them happen. This probably involves some training, maybe signing up to Mary Spender’s Ableton course or something.

I like Ableton. I like the way you can paint sounds with it.

At Mark Fisher’s prompting I’ve been listening to the Caretaker (although the long album with the reprocessed songs got a bit wearing). I like Retrograde Amnesia, it’s good to code to and creates a calming aural backdrop.

On my walk yesterday it was interesting. I was listening to the audio book of ghosts of my life and the section was a review of some John Foxx music from 2006, called something like Tiny Colour Movies. That recount Foxx’s reaction to some films from a collection where the collector doesn’t collect anything more than 8 minutes, found things, video from 1960’s surveillance tapes, clouds, all kinds of things. So I decided to listen to the Foxx material, which is quite beautiful and weirdly fits in with the noises in the park I was walking through, the geese flapping and the motorbikes in the distances etc.

The analogue synth sound reminded me of, of all things, The Tubes and the song TV is king. So I switched to that because why not. Then I went to the album Remote Control and listened to that from the beginning. I remembered I used to listen to side one of the vinyl a lot, until one day I came home and I think my sister had disappeared the album because I left it on the turn table for quite a while – sigh.

A wave of emotion ambushed me and I felt like crying for a while. The music brought back the period from about 12 to 22 or so when my life was covered in misery. I know what the despair people experience feels like – I felt it keenly then and still feel it now, years of Buddhist practice just made it easier to live with. Listening to the songs 40 odd years later side 1 still has some great songs, put together really well, that inadvertently form a really powerful critique of consumer capitalism and the vacuous culture we are forced to live with. They’re beautifully crafted 1980’s pop songs.

You’re just a tube full of gas
And a box full of tin
But you show me your junk and I want to get in
If only your chassis were covered with skin
Cos TV you’re my everything
TV is king, you’re my everything

and on I want it all now

I saw somebody get married today
Saw people crying as they drove away
Old people laughing and children at play
I asked for love but they don’t hear what I say

What is it like to kiss a real girl
Think you’re in love and get married to her
Have lots of children and grow fat and old
And die like a fish at the end of a pole?

I listened to No Mercy and realised it could be an anthem to capitalism, it could be something we sing to our bosses in the queue for the guillotine. I had a mental picture of Fisher’s point that we need to counter the lie of calling everybody who needs help in the face of the murderous intentions of our owners scroungers by calling them back, calling them for the parasites they are. A nice picture of Johnson captioned No mercy for parasites.