Saturday 28 February 2009

Spam anxiety

I just got a spam letter from a gentleman who tells me 'I wait in internet cafe'.

I did not realise i had such an appointment. It seems I am very late because the flight alone to the philippines is 10 hours. I hope he has a sleeping bag.

Friday 27 February 2009

Cat Friday

A short expose of the truth of cat.

This seems to me to be a kind of parable about the dangers and responsibilities inherent in getting everything you've ever wanted.

And in every cat friday there's got to be a dash of sheer dog truth. Because they are the other side.

Now stop purring all over me and go clean up your litter tray.

For Reuben

I think you will like this.

Thursday 26 February 2009

It's Bill Hicks, aged 18

He died 15 years ago yesterday.

Wednesday 25 February 2009

Feeling groovy/Feeling hoovy

So they've discovered a 'bright side' gene, which, if plentiful, ie. 2 are present, can lead to a life of greater wellbeing. The presence or absence of this gene is being attributed as a key factor in "resilience to general life stress", deciding whether a person is "neurotic and anxious" or able to take things as they come and not worry too much about the future.

Genetic tests on the participants showed that a tendency to ignore negative images and dwell on the positive ones was strongly linked to a variation in a gene that controls serotonin, the brain's main feelgood chemical.

Each of us inherits two versions of the gene, either two short ones, two long ones, or one of each. People who had two longs versions were most likely to focus on the positives, according to the study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

I wonder, though, how much other parts of the system aswell as cultural factors, come into play in ultimately deciding behaviour. Is it really that bald? A question of 'ignoring negative images'? I mean, humans are so much more complex than that. An artist, storyteller or forensic detective may, for instance, have a tremendous interest in the 'negative', as a source of wildly interesting human behaviour. Anyone who wants to explore life at all will have to jump into a sea of what in certain company would be called 'negative'. We are not exclusively positive entitites! Sure if we didn't 'dwell on the negative' sometimes, we'd be glossing over images of horror in the world, without a care in the world, wouldn't we? Or would our two optimism genes actually make it easier for us to gaze into those caverns of dark humanity?

Gene stories are the old wives tales of our time. They are stories we are told about our condition, stories that we have no way of verifying objectively, but which can be interesting entry points yet again into exploring this wild human nature. Or they can make you feel very very depressed indeed. And nervous. And anxious.

I wonder if Ireland is a classic example of an entire country of people firing ahead on two full bright side genes. You'd need them, every time you listen to the radio these days.

So. Which one are you, do you think? Two longs, two short genes or one of each? The glass half full, or empty? The glass being fucking addled with poison either way, or grand sure, lovely, delighted to be here?

That time of the night

I believe this is called commenting outside the box. That, or drunk off my arse. Thing is, I wasn't.

Emailing the past

That seems to be part of my job for the next while.

Tuesday 24 February 2009

Clusterbook #1

Clusterbook #1 from Lucy Foley on Vimeo.

This is a project I have going on over at my other home, Clusterflock, where I have made a bookclub, and the first book we are discussing is one written by another of our tribe, Daryl Scroggins. A bunch of us have read it, talked about it, and are now opening the floor to anyone who has read it and wants to talk about it, to come and talk about it some more in the comments area.

We're going to make the post a feature on sunday, so if you have read Daryl Scroggins' book This Is Not The Way We Came In, then you might want to come on over and chat on sunday. We'd be delighted to have you.

Sunday 22 February 2009

Boney M, Belfast

This song was roaring through the charts at the brutal height of the troubles in Northern Ireland, by a band originally from Monsterrat and Jamaica, who were then based in West Germany. It would be easy to wonder how this didn't actually end the troubles once and for all in a rainbow coalition of glitter and sequins, but really, the mind boggles at how a 15 year old living on either side of the Peace Line would have processed the information on their tellies, watching this video in Belfast in 1977.

And weird too, because this band came from West Germany, which had its own Wall at the time. I suppose it was easier for them to sing about Belfast than Berlin, but only goes to show that disco and raw politics don't blend incredibly well. I do think they meant well and their outfits - not to mention lipgloss - are fucking incredible.

The song was originally called "Londonderry". I guess they chose "Belfast" because it was less partisan, but you know, Londonderry probably had more of a ring to it, rhyming wise.