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September 17th, 2005

09:43 pm
for...stupid reasons, mainly my own disorganisation, i am changing my account to squaresun. click here for the new journal and add me if you feel so inclined.

incidentally, both my msn account and email address are now oknoway@gmail.com (msn accepts gmail addresses) so replace onethirdtoaster@hotmail.co.uk, i don't use it now.

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September 4th, 2005

12:02 am
BEWARE TEDIOUS HERMIT ANGST POST BELOW DO NOT READ IF EASILY BORED. You have been warned. (By the way, this journal basically functions as a reservoir for my repetitive self-pity, so if you're easily bored you should probably avoid the whole thing.)

So, there are now six days left until I leave for University on Saturday. I feel nervous. It’s almost certain I will be unable to make any friends, given my mental state. Here is my problem: I do at times feel genuinely lonely, though I am probably better accustomed to my own company than most people are. I’ve heard that, on grounds of human rights, even most murderers are not forced into solitary confinement. Apparently, most prisoners find it hard to cope with this, and collapse into suicidal anguish fairly quickly. I find this quite surprising, and perhaps it illustrates the gulf of personality between myself and mainstream society that I find the idea of being locked up with several thousand strangers infinitely more distressing than being thrown in a cell alone, and that’s even before you consider the risk of involuntarily becoming the boyfriend of some burly guy with death’s head tattoos. I think I would find solitary confinement fairly congenial in comparison. I digress. As I was saying, I do without question feel lonely a lot of the time. I would like to have friends in the sense of intelligent and like-minded people to talk to. And of course I would like to have an intelligent and like-minded girlfriend, naturally, but I think that’s a somewhat remote possibility at the moment. However, in order to meet people in the first place, you have to do a lot of low-level, casual socializing, hanging around in pubs and clubs and places of that sort. I don’t have any recent experience of that sort of thing - the last “club” I went to was a school disco when I was about thirteen - but I’m fairly sure I wouldn’t enjoy it, or be much good at it. I don’t know if it’s worth the trouble. I’ll have to come to some sort of a decision on my approach sooner or later.


Today I've been reading chapter one of a book I bought yesterday called Europe: A History. The chapter was concerned with European Geography and Prehistory. It's quite interesting, in that the book gives you an overview of the whole story from the early humans evolving running around stabbing Wooly Mammoths with spears, to the Berlin Wall collapsing. I always knew, in a sort of vague way, that the Stone Age humans were of course our ancestors, but the connection was never really brought to life for me as it is here. The chapter details how the emergence of inter-regional trade and the locations of natural resources led to the establishment of the first sophisticated European civilisation on the Aegean Islands. (and its Volcanically triggered collapse) It's fascinating, really. I've also been listening to Lungfish, who are a sort of trancily repetitive punk band who have been rattling around since the 70s. They are very good, and are a band I will explore in detail, with the help of my loyal copy of Soulseek.
Current Music: deerhoof - heart failure

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August 31st, 2005

10:11 pm
Hi, is anyone still reading this? I haven't posted in a while...I've been too depressed and ennui-stricken. However, I was going to start posting again. If you have read this entry, please leave a comment, just so I can tell.

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July 14th, 2005

03:27 am
I'm feeling rather relaxed tonight. Perhaps it is this beer. I doubt it, it's some watery American stuff. (incredibly enough, people buy this piss in Europe, despite the availability of far superior local beverages, just because we see it on American TV shows and subconsciously want to be like the characters in them.) More likely it is this post in an internet friend's livejournal. What I've come to realise is what the stoics said was true, what causes suffering is not the failure to satisfy desires, but the fact of having desire. I've accepted my pathetic hermit fate, and as a result it doesn't seem so bad. It is true that I will always remain bitterly ignorant of love. But there's nothing to be done about that. Having accepted that and stopped being preoccupied with the unattainable, I can dedicate myself to what I am good at: the accumulation of useless knowledge. I am reading Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit and a detailed academic history of modern France. It's interesting stuff, and at last I can be truly absorbed in it, without regard for goals. Next I think I will begin learning the French language, properly this time. All is well, or it will be until the gloom kicks in again. I give myself about an hour. I'll make the most of it.

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01:00 am
I apologise for posting about a subject that livejournal losers have been banging on about since the dawn of the internet, but a man's got to do what a man's got to do...

I've just been gloomily enumerating my achievements over the eighteen years that I've graced this world with my shambling presence. They don't amount to much. Most painful of all is the fact that I still, at the age of 18 have never had a girlfriend. There aren't really any prospects for that changing in the forseeable future. In my more optimistic moments, I imagine that by going to University I'll be able to turn over a new leaf with a group of people who have never met me before and have not had the chance to form preconceptions. In actual fact this is a fantasy. The fact is I am a charmless recluse, it's not a matter of the preconceptions of others. I will while away the years sitting in my room, leaving only for lectures, becoming more and more irretrievably isolated. For all the difficulties I have had with trying to resolve my pitiful lack of romantic experience so far, it has been nothing compared to what lies in store for me when I turn 20, 30, 40... I will be the sort of person that turns up in news reports after being arrested for killing hitchhikers: an aging, bespectacled solitary with no discernible past or present relationships with women. There's a woman who lives next door to my house, with her mother. She is about 50. She looks like a man, though as far as I know, she's never been in a relationship with one. It's the most horrendously depressing and - to someone in my situation - portentous sight. This is the future.

The thing is, I've had the only chances I will ever have. As far as I can tell, my high school was a veritable Sodom of sexual debauchery. Through sheer force of repressed nerdiness, I managed to avoid ever getting involved. For all my geekdom, I had my share of unironic and overt sexual advances by a small but respectable number of unexpectedly attractive girls. However I always responded coldly, or, more often than not, with total, bizarre silence, despite the fact that every hormone in my adolescent body was demanding that I do the opposite. I'd like to go back a few years and smack my fool younger self across the head. What an idiot. There is little to be done, however. I might as well accept it. There is no point in being preoccupied with the unattainable (i.e. the female half of the human race). I will have to be content with my mpg files.

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July 11th, 2005

06:05 pm - wtf

I had a crazy dream again last night. It must be the heat. I was in a sort of bleak, rainy, darkly surreal version of the small town up the road from my village. The rocky beach that divides the town from the sea, unremarkable in reality, had morphed in my heat-addled psyche into a huge, deserted, jet-black moonscape, inexplicably interspersed with monolithic, scattered ruins. The sky was dark grey, the black rocks shiny with rain. It vaguely reminded me of those Max Ernst frottage paintings; there was same sort of eerily surreal desolation.

I was finishing off a lonely meal in a huge, deserted, 50s style steakhouse which had no counterpart in the real life town. The place was massive, a collosal grid of cubicles with built-in plastic tables and chairs. The whole place was pristine white; although my own table had been laid with a patterned tablecloth and a few dated-looking pieces of diner paraphenalia: a vase of cheap artificial flowers, red napkins. There was a striking contrast between the chintzy tastelessness of these details, and the rectilinear Bauhaus gigantism of the building itself. I finished up my steak and paid, then left the building. I decided to return to my home via the mutated bizarro-beach, and spent what seemed like hours scuttling through pitch black drizzle across the crags. Eventually, I came to an inlet of black water, where I saw a baby seal. I clapped at the cute animal to attract its attention, and it climbed out of the water towards me. Vaguely amused, I turned around to continue my journey. But behind me had appeared what I took to be the creature's mother: a huge, deformed creature which bore little resemblance to a seal, but looked more like a giant version of those primitive land dwelling fish you always see on documentaries about evolution: hideous slimy things, crawling through the mud with their fins. Only this one was about 12 feet long. It frightened me a bit, but as I tried to walk away, I realised that it was following me. I fled across the rockscape, to my house, where I locked the door behind me and retreated to my room. I thought I had lost the creature, but when I looked outside the window I saw it, along with several similar monstrosities, glaring lazily back at me. I (figuratively speaking) shat myself, but at that point the dream came to an end, as the shock of seeing the monsters outside my window frightened me into wakefulness.

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July 10th, 2005

08:37 pm
I have noticed a disturbing phenomenon recently on emule: users sharing porn videos with names like "Mad Max 2.mpg" and "Week End (Jean-Luc Godard).avi". Now I, of all people, have no objection to hardcore pornography. Indeed I am an avid consumer. But it's a bit disappointing when you are sitting back with a cup of coffee, preparing to watch the sophisticated french film you just spent a week downloading, and are instead treated to a close up of some guy's jiggling balls as a bored looking young woman bounces around on his dick while moaning unconvincingly. It puts me off my popcorn, man. There is a time and a place.

Also, I am considering vegetarianism. The reason for this change of heart is a poster I saw pinned to a public notice board in St Andrews, which featured a mournful looking cartoon fish and the slogan "FISH ARE FRIENDS, NOT FOOD!" A fair point, I suppose. It totally ruined the fish supper I had later that night. The URL on the poster was www.peta2.com. I know it's irrational since real fish are mostly not very cute at all, but it still bothered me quite a bit.

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July 7th, 2005

10:29 am
God fucking dammit. I was going to get a train to London to see R.E.M. tommorow. Doesn't look too likely now. (My train was going to King's Cross, which has just been bombed this morning) London is looking like fucking Tel Aviv right now: bus bombs, explosions on the tube etc etc. bodies everywhere. Damn it Al Qaeda, couldn't you have scheduled this better? Some of us have concerts to be at!

Terrorists these days. No fucking manners.

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July 6th, 2005

07:18 pm - mp3 recommendations
1. lustmord - strange attractor

This is very dark ambient. Not so much a tune as a dense fabric of creepy-as-all-fuck tones and clangs and growling. I was sceptical when I first read about it, but I downloaded this track and played it while falling asleep a couple of nights ago. It scared the shit out of me, and I had to turn it off after this first track. It's the sound of giant, unnamable, black things lurking in the darkness. By the end of the track I was half convinced that when I turned on the lights I would find myself in the lower reaches of hell. Good stuff.

2. fennesz - caecilia

Lots of spiny little noises chittering away as a nice yellow-sounding pastoral loop fades in behind them. It has the same sort of combination of prettiness and harshness that makes me like Loveless so much. It makes me think of a smog-choked summer Shanghai port, for some reason. Anyway, it's lovely, and you should download it.

I can't be bothered with these little summaries anymore. I apologise to my combined readership of 3, or whatever it is. Here are some more:

3. broadcast - city in progress
4. mission of burma - max ernst's dream
5. isolee - schrapnell
6. killing joke - the death and resurrection show
7. neu! - seeland
8. pylon - dub
9. consonant - blissful
10. - husker du - chartered trips

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July 5th, 2005

09:49 pm
Today I was out walking. I was "people watching" as I did so, and I was struck by how disgusted I was with most of the people I saw. Just people, walking dogs, playing with their children, chatting etc. I suppose this says more about me than it does about them - another sign of impending lunacy. It's hard to say, precisely, what it was. Their arrogant, satisfied, unselfconscious expressions? Their voices, shrill and inane, defiling the rural silence? This is silly, of course, but there it was. I suppose it's because the only face I've seen regularly for years is my own, in the mirror. The only voice I've heard is the monotonous rambling of my internal monologue. It somehow seems bizarrely shocking to find out that people can look and act in such a wildly different fashion. I fear the unfamiliar, and the unfamiliar is pretty much everything since I spend all my time in this fucking shithole of a room, talking to nobody. This is what hermitude does to a man! Maybe I should move to Antarctica or some place, where I can lose it in peace. Then I could take walks in the snow and be disturbed only by the penguins, or whatever the hell it is that lives up there. I could live out my days huddled in a goddamn igloo. Maybe I'd get eaten by a polar bear. that would be a sight to see! Of course, I wouldn't be in a position to see much of anything at that point.

When I tired of people watching, I spent my time visualising in detail alarming death scenes from the perspective of the victim - that is, myself. e.g. falling off a building, being in a plane crash, running out in front of a bus... I always find this entertaining. A sort of zero budget virtual reality experience. I highly recommend the regular visualisation of your own death. It can be very therapeutic. By making the fact your own mortality - your inevitable, and perhaps imminent death - a vivid, palpable thing, a certain sense of confidence and purpose is brought about. This happens in two ways:

1) In imagining your own demise, you are reminded that time is running out! Seize the moment! The next day, you might be hit by a bus! It sounds trite and obvious, but in truth we often forget this fact, we acknowledge it and file it away in some dusty corner of our memories. My patented death-visualisation method brings death to life! (so to speak)

2) The second benefit is that picturing your death reminds you of the ultimately futile and meaningless nature of life. In the end we will all be dead, and nothing matters. This complements the first point in that it helps us stop worrying about fucking up and making a fool of ourselves. In the end, who gives a shit? We'll be dead, and so will they. So we can pursue our "seizing of the moment" without being preoccupied with making mistakes, or making ourselves look like arrogant idiots in the eyes of others.

Carpe Diem, man.

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