Philosophical is a state of mind that can be elusive when I am jolted into shock.
When my basement flat flooded with sewage (or rain water as the water company preferred to describe the toilet paper and turds that were left strewn across our home), I was motionless for sometime.
I was in a horrified and thoughtless state.
I am a gut beast, the flush of chemicals sluicing around my body disable the more civilised and civilising parts of my brain.
I was suspicious on Tuesday night. Brian Cox and I were sitting in a bar, much like the night before BREXIT. He was checking the multiple polls extravagantly smeared across the internet in the hope that they would increase the traffic of each virtual Barnum.
It was alright, he said, definitely alright.
When I hear him say “alright”, I hear Neil Kinnock’s ghastly and haunting, “we’re alright! we’re alright!” as he over-excitedly and over optimistically played to a Sheffield crowd shortly before his final general election defeat.
When I woke up from unsettling dreams, I did not discover that I had been transformed into an insect, though much of the rest of humanity had been in my cold, liberal eyes. I’d prefer not be hampered by scientific thinking when I like to imagine that I awoke with a start because sharp, invisible thoughts were traveling through the air, having left a multitude of confused left wing brains that had become aware of Trump’s victory before me.
See the blue and the red streaks that confirmed the need for nausea.
Text Brian – “you and your fucking polls”.
STAGE ONE – Flummoxed.
STAGE TWO – Depression.
This is not because I wanted Hillary Clinton to win, I just didn’t want Trump to.
It can be difficult to choose the least worst in elections, we know they are predominantly duplicitous, conniving hypocrites, but this tax avoiding, torture adoring, pussy grabbing, architect of impossible walls seemed too to be too mad a choice.
Or maybe he was exactly the right choice, maybe it was time that America was led by King Ralph.
STAGE THREE – Resignation
I sat up in bed and resigned myself to the realisation that humans were an underwhelming species fortunate to have flairs of magnificence that sprung from the minds of a few individuals. I thought of Nigel Farage’s grinning face. I thought of the warm glow in the cold hearts of the misogynists and racists and bigots and hoped that they confused their delight for heartburn. I wanted to go straight home to my family because I felt there was the need to protect them from a world that seemed filled with more hideous thoughts than I imagined.
Then, I moved to a sense of resignation. This lasted longer.
I wanted to cancel my trip to Toronto, a reasonably mad quest already. I depart for Toronto on Saturday Morning and return to London on Sunday Morning so I can do a fun benefit gig with Chris Hadfield and friends in a hazy, dream-like daze. I didn’t want to travel that far, not now.
And what was the point of art or creativity? Wasn’t this just a thin, brittle glaze brushed over lumbering, ugly ape?
This remained for a while. I walked around Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and the art did nothing. I bought some old copies of New Worlds from the Oxfam bookshop to see how right or wrong the predictions of a hellish future in the past. I talked to the man in the £3 Bookshop, we shared confusions.
STAGE FOUR – An Unburdening
THEN, a weight was lifted. I had a sudden sense of relief. A burden vanished.
“Fuck it. Humans are shit. I have spend far too much time with my pointless empathy worrying about people I don’t know. From now on, to hell with them all. Love for family and friends, and the strangers go can go whistle…though hopefully not by whistling, as that is annoying. Perhaps I’ll start littering and not letting people off trains because I must get that seat and leaving strained pram mothers at the top of tube stop stairs as otherwise it will mean I have to wait another 3 minutes for a train to Finchley Central.
STAGE FIVE – Revitalised
And then it all passed, helped by a tour of Aardman and their many Morphs. And then we did another show.
And I still felt concern for the people who may be victims of the newly sanctioned cruelty and disrespect for anyone who does not fit into the mould of the utterly, loudly, heterosexual, white American normality that looks like the sort of rugged figure that could adorn a can of pressed and processed meat…
And I knew it might not be as truly detestable as imagined…
And I reckoned I should work out some useful things to do rather than just browse morose emoticons…
And I knew that this was another reminder that if you don’t work on a more equal distribution of education and income and hope, then things turn ugly and the ugly thinkers can turn pro.
STAGE FIVE (B) – frame in an Alan Moore /Brian Bolland Comic Strip Sometimes I laugh like Batman at the end of The Killing Joke.
And I know that I must never ever be anywhere near Brian Cox during any imminent result.
Should I shadow be found on me in a check up, I can only hope he is not next to me in the hospital room.
And now, to Chesterfield, Toronto and Cardiff.
I am only in Toronto for 18 hours, so please come and see me with Chris Hadfield and chums at Generator on Saturday.
New Book Shambles is up, this week it’s Alexei Sayle (and last week it was Nick Offerman, both were lovely examples of human beings)