International Women Containers

Happy International Women’s Day.

‘Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with absolute truth’.

“I know I have been guilty of that myself”

Said any man not a total git


Expand your mental containers!

Smaller Mirrors: shrinking containers, the senescence phase

trader culture in politics. Jane Jacobs

Adjacent possibles, brittleness fitness landscape. Stuart Kauffman

Life cycles

Evolution only goes forward, like politicians

All things pass gas (apologies to George Harrison)

Nearly half of the children of the greatest nation on earth live in poverty.

Dear Santa, I want one thing. (sic) I been a good girl and I want to ask you if you please get me a power wheelchair. My wheelchair is very old and it does not want to work. I am very sad. Please Santa, bring me a power wheelchair. I don’t want nothing else.

Dear Santa … My wish is money for my (sic) perents. $100 dollars would help us a lot. They are having a rough time with the bills.” 

Dear Santa, how are you and your reindeer? It must be cool riding a sled in the sky…. this year for Christmas I would really like a couch that is also a bed. The reason I would like a couch with a bed is because I have a[n] apartment that only has one room. My parents sleep in the living room on the couch and they always wake up with back pain. My dad works a lot, so his back pain stresses him out.” 

Even prior to the pandemic, the United States lagged other developed nations in child poverty levels. More than one out of every five American children lives in poverty, according to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development data. As the pandemic continues to exacerbate the underlying crisis of American poverty, 45 percent of all children now live in households that have recently struggled with routine expenses, according to a report out this month from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, or CBPP. Black and Latino households have been especially impacted by the economic starvation that the mishandling of this pandemic has wrought, and these populations were already disproportionately likely to grow up poor.

I like to think that never tell you what a great coffee I had in the Algarve…

But apparently people do. They call it journalling. It’s a way of inflicting your interesting thoughts about coffee or your new t-shirt.


“If journaling is on your 2021 goals list, then Day One needs to live on your macOS dock. It’s the best tool for journaling on the Appel (sic) platform with built-in sync from Mac to iPhone/iPad. Day One makes it easy to document the funny things your kids say, great school projects, or the best cup of coffee you had on an overseas trip.”

Kill me now.

Go ahead and jump, poodle!

A musicological socio-sexual gender-fluid analysis of a poodle-rock classic: ‘Jump’ by Van Halen.

If you are not pissing yourself laughing at this video within 45 seconds, you’re missing the point.

First observation: oestrogen or testosterone?

It doesn’t matter. Socioologists and endocrinologists and shagnologists will tell you that human sexual response is incredibly complex and that in part the female sex drive is governed, suprisingly, by male hormones and something complicated about blokes here also, whatever.

Let’s be more blunt – is this video gay? Now, to be clear, I don’t mean this in a homophobic way, I mean “are there aspects of this performative behavioural episode* which might be related to the sorts of performance traditionally embraced by the gay community, characterised by the extremes of anguished emotionality of such divas as Piaf, Mercury or Judy? 

Hell, yes.

Is this video camp?

Does the Pope shit in the woods?

Hegel** memorably said “All opposites shade ineluctably into their opposites”

“Ineluctably”, brilliant word. Very gay word. “early 17th century: from Latin ineluctabilis, from in- ‘not’ + eluctari ‘struggle out’.” As in ‘impossible not to fight its way out’.  How gay is that?

But we’re not here to mince words —LOL, I said mince— we’re here to discuss this song and the video. 

OK I lied. If you want all that arpeggiated B flat minor over the root in G, on F and G which gives it a Lydian feel, then this rather RAWK dude has all the muso-malarkey you desire. Did you know that part of the guitar solo was punched in? No? Well’ you do now. Don’t know what ‘punched in’ means? googlit, biatch. 

Rick Beato explains all here:

What Makes This Song Great? Ep.61 VAN HALEN (#2)

We’re actually here to discuss the video. WTF is it? For me it is a bunch of extremely heterosexual white males adopting the performative language of a southern Californian thirteen year old girl posing in her bedroom mirror.  Is that gay? Fucktifiknow.

Is David Lee Roth, sexually threatening? Yes. Is that a good thing? Depends, I’m not answering that.  Is he really sexually threatening? Nah. It’s too much of a parody of a parody to be that. Does he know what he is doing? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe at some level, whatever 

Check out the ‘hair-muss’ and head toss at 0:17.  Compare and contrast with a handy 13 year old girl.  (I haven’t actually done this, officer, so don’t call social services, thank you very much.) 100% the total self absorption of a teen gazing full-on into their bedroom mirror. slightly disconcerting. Meant to be. Gotcha!

At 0:34, the turn away – total teen girl.  The first of many, then at 0:37, MCU, and we see what he is wearing in detail for the first time. Are those leather chaps? I fear so, m’lud. Possibly rubber or vinyl, as if that makes a difference. A black mesh slip over a sleveless orange vest.  An outfit which a mere ten years earlier, if worn on Top of The Pops would cause every dad in the UK to splutter into his cocoa., and, when emulated by a teenage girl (or boy) would inelucatbly elicit the expostulation: “YOU ARE NOT GOING OUT DRESSED LIKE THAT, YOUNG LADY!!!”

Then the hands on the lower rib cage. Need I say more?

On the other hand, here’s the infamous Aztec Camera cover, in which a Devon fudge-toned Roddy Frame, takes the piss right back at the Halen’s for their their ‘twee guitar playing’ comment in the NME. Totally devoid of machismo, it’s a song to brighten any shoe-gazing indie boy’ bedroom.  Lot of ‘Sweet Jane’ in there, and a dash of ’Waiting for a Friend’ by the Glimmer twins.  you have to listen to the full long version with the ‘fuck you, I can rock’ guitar solo…

Hello! Hey you! Just found this. Boy in a band who looks like a girl ripping the piss out of a bloke in a band that looks like a girl for looking like a girl. Nice one, Rodders – live version:  At 2:16 is that a bit of Stairway? Or the intro to Layla?

But I digress…

At 0:59, some obligatory puppyish “we’re not gay”  male bonding

At 1:02 a drumkit so huge that it has its own postcode, constructed entirely from the ruins of vanquished T-800 Terminators. This is actually irrelevant, but I don’t care.

There is some debate about the origins of this song “”I heard this song was about some woman who sent David a letter saying “marry me or i jump off a bridge.”  see comments below the video. Is the song a response to her?  Search me guv. 

Others claim that the song has provoked suicide. When we say others, I probably mean Newt Gingrich or Nancy ‘Parental Advisory just say no’ Reagan. Whatever. Nice joke in response to that moral kerfuffle: from SMAXZO, 4 months ago “ “Your call to the Suicide Prevention Hotline is very important to us. Our crisis counselors are busy at the moment, please hold” this song is played while you’re on hold”. Find their comment, and the next one, here:

“There’s so many comments about suicide here, funny this is— most of those commenters may not know that David was inspired by a news coverage of someone jumping off of a building. However, the song is more “jump into love/life” rather than, well, kill yourself.”, opined one Keith Gunshot, probably not the name on his birth certificate.

If you believe official band websites, you can find the ‘fun facts’ here. 

Interestingly, they allegedly knocked ‘Karma Chameleon’   off the Billboard Number#1 position , a track that featured the massively gay but weirdly non-threatening, liked by your nan, cross-dressing, Boy George and Culture Club.  You have to feel for dads watching TOTP back then.

Where was I? Ah yes, ‘pouty stare’. At 1:24, the uber pouty stare. At this exact moment in time, Mick Jagger’s crown and cheekbones were passed to the next generation.

OMG! What’s this? At 1:57, Lap dancer pose! Don’t want to get too David Attenborough narrating mating dingos in the Outback, but this is classic female mating behaviour – the open mouth and all-fours pose, back slightly arched, signalling oestrus to  nearby males. We won’t mention anal glands, mainly because humans don’t have any, thankfully. 

“The estrous cycle or oestrus cycle (derived from Latin oestrus “frenzy”, originally from Greek οἶστρος oîstros “gadfly”) is the set of recurring physiological changes that are induced by reproductive hormones in most mammalian therian females. Estrous cycles start after sexual maturity in females and are interrupted by anestrous phases or by pregnancies. Typically, estrous cycles continue until death. Some animals may display bloody vaginal discharge, often mistaken for menstruation.”  Thanks for that, Wikipedia. 

Moving on, thankfully,  it gets traditionally rockist for the solo. At 2:19, what a nice smiley young man, says your mum. Followed by the Oberheim OB-Xa keyboard solo. Me want. Me wanna OB-Xa.

Followed by a reprise featuring aerobics and silly walks.

“All opposites shade ineluctably into their opposites”, said Hegel. The song has a reprise, so I can too. Whatever. How anyone could think this song encourages suicide is a fucking moron. 

Up, doesn’t begin to describe it. High on life maybe. 

Are we having fun yet?




(like a proper academic tosser)

*I made that up.

** Hegel. Bloody googlit yourself, I’m not doing all the work for you, jeez.

One of my less appealing habits

One of my less appealing habits is the consumption, stood over the sink, of a tin of sardines. Omega 3 n shit. Cause for celebration, I actually enjoyed them, little fishy tomatoey bony little fuckers that they are. Don’t ever get them from Lidl. Scales, yeurgh. Why am I telling you this? Because I actually enjoyed them.
I actually enjoyed them. I actually enjoyed them because…
…my sense of taste has come back! Not because of the covid, avoided so far, don’t touch wood, or plastic or metal, or your face. Well, because of the covid, but indirectly. Instead of dental extraction —don’t forget to brush regularly, unlike me— I’ve had two doses of antibiotics. Yep. Proper antibiotics. Metronizadole. One of the very few Antibiotics Of Last Resort.

Not an ordinary antibiotic. Ordinary antibiotic, being shortchanged from a fiver. Metrofuckazine, having your car stolen and watching them set it on fire. Hallucifuckingnations. Metallic taste in my mouth for 3 months. Every time I take the pill, 4 times a day, precisely two hours later, instant heavy flu symptoms. Ever-present metallic taste, throbbing headache, bunged sinuses, aches, pains. Two hours later, gone. Just in time for another fucking pill. And the ever-lasting metallic taste, like welsh mizzle, dreich of the palate, blehque, bleurgh. Ugh.

Today food tasted like actual food for the first time in months. Yay. Fuck you, covid. Yep, covid, because you don’t deserve a capital letter.

Cake in the rain

A friend is at home wishing she could attend her friend’s father’s funeral but she can’t because of lockdown, immediate family only. She could drive to Barnard Castle though. If she had a car. And knew how to drive.

It’s raining here. Good for the garden and the crops. I like it when it rains, it means I’m not pining to go out.

Not that i like the sun, it’s too hot. My favourite thing was sitting under an umbrella outside a pavement cafe, nursing a coffee or a tiny foreign beer, on a sunny day in Lisbon, watching people.

I like the idea of the sun more than the greasy sun cream, sand and flies, gusts of wind blowing my newspaper about, reality of it.

Rain is British. Once we are out of the EU with no deal it will rain incessantly and all the brown and black people will dissolve; there’ll just be muddy water stains on pavements and a faint smell of curry.

The NHS will dissolve as well, melting in the dark, like a cake in the rain.

Humans are betweeners

Donny knows it’s the inbetween not the things.

The material of playwork is relationships, connections. Between humans and between humans and things. It’s not about things. It’s not about Lou Spartz, it’s about our relationship with them. It’s all just junk if you think it is. That’s what that bloke Gibson is on about: affordances are the possibilities that you can see, observe, grasp.

Who are you when you are alone? Less human. That’s not a judgement, it’s an observation. I nearly wrote ‘just an observation’ as if a judgement is a bigger thing then an observation, which it isn’t. We get bigger, wider, deeper, when we are connected. Which is not to say that alone is less. It’s different.

LostWorkshops1: why lying to children is a parental dutyand lying to consultancy clients is a crime

This workshop, drawing on the work of Lakoff and Johnson, Postman and Weingartner, Dunbar, Tsoukas, Miyami, Minkoff, Vespuigi, Cohen and Stewart, Maturana and Hegel explores the complex relationship between truth, solidarity, tribal bonding, decision-making, leadership and socialisation, and the limitations of consultation and evaluation.

In today’s complex world of true lies and false facts, where the internet is blah blah.

To book this workshop contact Plexity. For more information, please reread.

Scarfolk Books have asked me to point out that they are not sponsoring this workshop and apologise for the misleading flyers.

Who shall we blame for the way you turned out, hmm…?

“And we are products of years of programming by our parents, by our revisionist history public and private schooling, and by the media, so it stands to reason that some embarrassingly stupid shit is going to come out of our mouth on occasion.”


If that’s true, it means you are f*cked.

But it isn’t.

That isn’t how socialisation works.

It’s both worse and better and more complex than that.

Don’t get me wrong, I totally support what the writer is trying to achieve.

But the biggest single influence on how we turn out might be none of the above: it might be your peers.

Read some Judith Rich Harris.

Superb work, I have one caveat, My take is that she needs to broaden the term ‘peers’, to include anyone that influences them in their daily life. It’s not just other children, it’s other significant people, grandparents obviously, but also the nice man in the corner shop, the grumpy lady at the post office, the crabby bloke who sits at you for playing near his car.

But mainly, OTHER CHILDREN, not media, not school, other kids.

Now think through the implications of that…

#mumtoodadtoo school girls against boyswillbeboys

“Yasmin Behbehani had just walked into her third-period health class when her friend asked her if she had seen the list.

““There’s a list of the girls’ names,” her friend Nicky Schmidt, a fellow senior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Maryland, said. “And we’re ranked.” 

“Behbehani didn’t want to see the list, or know whether she was on it. She had spent the past four years recovering from an eating disorder, working hard to avoid comparing herself with others, she said. But by her sixth-period class on that Monday earlier this month, a text message appeared on her phone with a screenshot of the list, typed out on the iPhone Notes app.

“It included the names of 18 girls in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, ranked and rated on the basis of their looks, from 5.5 to 9.4, with decimal points to the hundredth place. There, with a number beside it, was Behbehani’s name.

“A group of male students in their program created the list more than a year ago, but it resurfaced earlier this month, through text messages and whispers during class. One male classmate, seeing the name of his good friend Nicky Schmidt on the list, told her about it, and within 24 hours, dozens of girls had heard about the list.

“Lists like this one had silently circulated among teen boys for generations, and it has happened in more recent years at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, too, the students said. But it was happening now, in the era of the #MeToo movement. Women had been standing up to harassment in workplaces and on college campuses and the high school girls, who had been witnessing this empowerment, decided they weren’t going to let the issue slide.”


Superb fight back.

I’m increasingly of the belief that all presidents should be replaced by three 8 year old girls.

If anyone’s interested, I can say why in some detail.

Yaw rite?

Kids who have never picked blackberries in Durham. Tragic.

Are you alright?


Yes he is. More than you are ever likely to be.

Interesting this are you alright? shit.

If you say yes they ignore you. If you say no they’ll “help”.

If I’m asked i say no actually I’m not my budgie is intensive care I’ve lost my winning lottery ticket and a bunch of posh E30C7CAF-3F06-4FFA-95EF-F916939B1F35.jpegscumbags are destroying the country and the world, how are you, are you alright?