Strangeways, Here We Come

There is a certain attitude that believes writing in a notebook is obsolete. I suppose that same posturing might also believe that using one’s brain is passe. I mean, why fire-up the synapses when everything under the sun can be recorded, logged away, stored, and archived into a binary spectrum of unending virtual space. No, I’m actually not talking about the brain, I’m talking about an electronic platform where we can arrange it all, remember everything — and forget to use our biggest remembering system: the brain.

Forget about remembering. Who needs it? We have devices to the left of us, devices to the right of us that can remember so much better than we can. Come on, even a Luddite can’t retain information as well as an iPhone can.

We are all over-loaded with info in this new App Age. (Although I’m still waiting for them to develop an app so that I won’t have to get up in the middle of the night to piss. Oh, and I’d like one to drive me to work. Oh, and remove the rubbish from my house. Plus make love to my wife when I’m just too busy retaining information and facts to my electronic device.)

I just don’t believe that the brain should get squatter’s rights in my cranium. It should earn its keep. And one of the things the brain does well (and now it seems, even better after a couple glasses of Port) is to retain knowledge in all the myraid ways it is delivered to us. And the act of writing something down, physically pressing the words out, stringing ideas together into some coherent thought-sense, helps me to remember things so much better. It’s as if scratching something down on paper has the sympathetic effect of engraving it into the brain. In fact, the latest discoveries in neuroscience have overturned all that dogma about losing brain cells as we age. The truth is, our brains continue to produce more brain cells and it’s far more resilient, too. So we now have virtually proved that the brain stays vital and active well into old age. We do become wiser.

But how is this to happen if we stop using the brain for what it does best? The brain is our motherboard.

And why must our lives be made easier? I want to live and trust to the difficult. There are certain things in life I couldn’t do without to make my life easier, like the washing machine, cooker, electric lights, car (although I could easily ride an ass), Netflix, etc, etc. What I don’t want to make easier is the work my brain does.

Besides, I think as a culture, we’ve had enough of easy. Christianity has made spirituality easy by having a saviour all die for us and rid us of our sins. Thanks, but I don’t need salvation. And the media has made it easy for us to shut down our brains and our opinions with their information overload. Even government has made it easy for us to give up our freedom for the rule of a few.

If life gets any easier, we might as well get a somatic implant that will allow us to fully escape into a virtual nirvana as our brains shrink and become a simple electrical apparatus that supplies the illusion.


“Death of A Disco Dancer” The Smiths

“The Amorous Humphrey Plug” Scott Walker

“Dance With the Devil” UB40

“Rubberband Girl” Kate Bush

“Down in the Cockpit” XTC

“I Can’t Help Myself” Orange Juice

“Ring the Alarm” Black Dub

“Newborn” Elbow

“I Love You…I’ll Kill You” Enigma


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