Thursday, 28 January 2016


This is Dr. Milton Zigo, Physicist, Academic and amateur cutlery bender. Zigo has been absent since New Years Eve, and was last seen weaving his rather unsteady way across the quadrangle at the University of Exeter, where he has taught for the last twelve years. 

Zigo knows stuff, science stuff, and we need him on our side or to be definitely dead. Please note: this photograph was taken at a party, so he is unlikely to still be holding a handful of twisted forks. 

Thursday, 21 January 2016


I like women. I like women so much that I’d rather they ruled the world. I think they’d be so much better at it, and there’d be far less chest beating and tanks and genocide and things. During The Crisis, women will be at risk from their most deadly natural predator: men. Let’s face it, the female gender are in danger in our so called civillised society, so life is bound to be unpleasantly precarious for them once our law and order system is reduced to a educationally subnormal man-child who likes dressing up in uniforms and hanging out with a hungry pack of stray dogs. I am not in any way suggesting that women are incapable of looking after themselves, but nobody should underestimate the aggression and danger posed by ruthless men who find that they have nothing to lose. It worries me, it really does. 

The stock response, from sympathetic men and women alike, is ‘well, just kick ‘em in the balls’ and, to a certain extent, that pretty much sums up the thrust of this bulletin. But just kicking someone in the balls is the same as just slicing someone’s toes off with a smatchet, or just breaking their oesophagus with a big stick: easy to say; much, much harder to do. For a start, regardless of your gender, your first and smartest response to any kind of physical threat should be to get the fuck away from it. If you can possibly help it, don’t get anywhere near their balls. Run fast, and keep running, as far away as you can. If this isn’t possible, of course, you are going to have to scrap. It won’t be easy. No man is going to let you kick them in the balls early doors, they are born wise to it: male children are born cupping their testicles, a pre-emptive wince on their tiny, pink faces. To this end, it is vital that you have a few more moves than a ball kick in your repertoire: a gouge, a chop, a punch. Learn defensive moves. Grow your nails, especially the thumb. Know how to get out of holds. 

Most importantly, remember that this is a fight, and it's fight that you must win. All people contain hidden reserves of strength, and you must access this in times of trouble in the same way that a parent suddenly finds themselves able to lift a car from their pinioned child. Without wishing to become lurid, you must be aware that your attacker does not have your best interests at heart: he is not going to do anything other than hurt and degrade you, and he must not get away with this. Your first duty is to protect yourself. Your next instinct will be to hurt him, to nullify him. Only do this if you can do so without putting yourself back into danger.

So, The Balls. The balls is a rather jaunty term for that area of the male body that houses the penis and testicles, the reproductive organs that men think so very important (well, they obviously are, but not so much on an individual basis). A smack on the penis itself will result in little more than a shocked expression, so you need to focus on the undercarriage, the recess of the groin, where the testes hang like fat pink bats. This is your target, an area of great sensitivity, so much so that you can cause excruciating discomfort simply by flicking them with the outside of your hand. Catching them with a foot or a fist will cause great pain. Squeezing them will prove excruciating. Be emphatic in your grip and relentless in your pressure, they will get the message. If you are squeamish, please remember that, for the most part, the agony will only be temporary, although, as with any defensive move, there is a chance that you may permanently damage your attacker. Them's the busts. But don’t feel too sorry for him, he is YOUR ATTACKER after all. Who knows, you may have put him out of business once and for all. 

Always remember, the second he is incapacitated your best bet is to escape, quickly. If you can immediately find other people or angry animals you trust, you could set them on him before he has recovered. If you feel the need to take revenge on his recumbent, squirming form or, indeed, see yourself as a vigilante ridding a horrible world of terrible people, then you probably need to do something a little more definite, but this is always a matter of conscience. This is not a halfway measure, so if you can't walk away then you must either kill him or permanently incapacitate him. In the post-Crisis world, however, maiming or disabling will not be any kind of mercy, so be careful not to be too kind, it will be cruel. 

Take your revenge and, if there is a pitchfork around, use it, and leave his body out as a warning to the others.

Thursday, 14 January 2016



A few weeks ago I had a dream. It may even be considered a nightmare, although I was not so much frightened by it as profoundly unsettled. The dream-mare, which was in black and white and had a similar stylistic mood to an episode of The Outer Limits, featured a train compartment and a man who clearly represented me but had a much better wardrobe. The train was extraordinarily busy. I don’t mean that it was rush hour busy, with people stood in the aisle and rather uncomfortably wedged together, the sort of scenario accompanied by the smell of frustration and unwashed clothing: this was a different type of busy altogether. The compartment resembled an ant hill, a place alive with frenzied, seemingly random activity – or perhaps a slide seen under a microscope, full of swarming germs. People moved around the compartment seemingly without any control over their bodies, bumping into each other, rubbing up against each other. There was no eroticism here, this was horrible: an involuntary dance from which there was no peace, not a moment of stillness or a second of calm or quietude. 

In a corner, my avatar, clinging to a dangling strap, trying to distance himself but buffeted again and again by the other passengers, some of whom looked at him apologetically, some defiantly, but most as if he were not there at all.  The man pushed through the scrum of people and moved into the corridor, rattled the door handle. Locked. Very quickly, the corridor filled with the same helpless, hopeless people as before, and he found himself pressed into the door, his face squashed against the glass, half registering the indistinct outside rushing by. Then, suddenly, everyone disappeared apart from the smartly dressed man. The train stopped. There was no announcement, no punchline, but I woke up convinced that the man had finally escaped from the madding crowd in the way that people have been escaping misery and unbearable circumstances for eons: by dying.

I’m not a scientist, so I can’t be sure of what the dream meant. It came at a time when my life was full of pressure, and full of people, so it was perhaps influenced by that. The message, if there is one, is that life is relentless and restless and people simply won’t leave you the fuck alone. I don’t know what to do with this message. There is virtually no practical response to it. Perhaps it isn’t a message at all. It doesn’t require a reply. It is not a warning, as it is already happening. It seems more like a flat, fatal statement of fact, like ‘You’re never going to be a millionaire’ or ‘Eric Morecambe is dead’: an unpalatable but immutable piece of information that you simply have to file away and live with. So I’m living with it, but I can't help but notice now how many other people there are out there*. Tricky things these dreams, they continue to work when you’re awake.  

In the town where I now rather begrudgingly live, there is a neglected area that used to have something to do with the canals and is now largely deserted, apart from at night when it becomes a hotbed of vice and intoxication, of dogging, drugs and prostitution. It is place full of empty units, things that used to be something but are now nothing, less than nothing, and a little less every day. Almost everything seems to be under a bridge. The town’s prison is there, surrounded by a smooth, dirty brown wall and identified by a sign that says in an informal font (Mistral, thank you, Andrew Demetrius)) ‘Welcome to OUR Prison’. I wish I'd made that up, but it's 100% true.     
Just before you get to this fun factory / penal collective there is a bridge over a river. On one side, water rushes down a slope before meeting an abrupt but very definite drop. Here, in the broiling water, float a strange, eerie selection of tyres and balls of all shapes, sizes and colours, some free, others enclosed in the hollow ‘o’ of a worn out radial, trapped in groups of twos and threes, bobbing wildly but never breaking free. It is uncertain how these objects got there, how far they have travelled or how long it took them to arrive - but now they are stuck, having met an immovable object that resists the force that has carried them there. The worst thing is that this is not a case of arriving and, realising there is no way forward, settling. There is no settling. Instead, this is a relentless, exhausting existence, a never ending battle, like drowning all day, every day, but never sinking to the bottom. Without any outside agency the balls and tyres would butt up against the weir wall forever, or at least until the water froze or became thick sludge or dried up completely. It is a horror. It is horrible. 

At night, I think about the balls and the tyres and the branches and their pointless, endless struggle and I feel afraid. I see my corpse caught in the turmoil, stuck like Ahab on the whale, waving not drowning, deader and deader, but never at peace. I get up and turn all the lights on, as if to reassure myself that The Crisis hasn’t happened yet. It hasn't happened yet. Soon, I will flick the switch and nothing will happen.  

*   The Crisis will be a big help in this regard.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016


I read recently that the Yeti hasn’t been seen by anybody since 2006, a conspicuously long gap after living in close proximity to human beings for hundreds of years. The Tibetans do not believe for a second that the Yeti is dead, but his absence worries his neighbours: what does the Yeti know that they don’t? And where the hell has the Loch Ness Monster got to?

Generally speaking, sightings of all cryptozoological creatures are down, and UFO reports are at their lowest since the end of World War Two. These complementary issues can be interpreted in two ways, neither of them particularly good. Let’s go back to the Yeti as our example for the first interpretation. Has he disappeared by default or design? Is it a forced migration or a tactical withdrawal? Or maybe he just got sick of us and our smells and noises and hissy fits and hydroelectric plants and simply wandered out into the wilderness, very deliberately climbing a little higher than we can follow. Perhaps he knows something bad is coming and wants to remove himself from the source of the problem: human beings. Yeti’s no fool, he’ll come back when it’s all over to make his bed on our bleached and broken bones. It’s the same for all the cryptids: they can smell bad vibes. So perhaps Nessie and Big Foot and Ogopogo and Chupacabras are keeping their heads down, just as Aliens are giving us a wide berth: they’ll be back to probe what’s left in due course. This is bad, very bad. How long will it be before birds fly south and just stay there; before bears go into permanent hibernation; before eels decide to give the Sargasso Sea a miss this year? Nature is backing away from us.

Conversely, let’s say that there’s no such thing as the Yeti, no such thing as Nessie, no such thing as aliens. With that in mind, it’s not at all surprising that no-one is reporting encounters with them. The issue is, however, that, previously, people were seeing them all the time: they had a major presence for something that didn’t actually exist. So, why aren’t people filing false claims about them now? Why aren’t people still pretending to have married Big Foot, or claiming to have been whisked away to Venus for intrusive medical experimentation? Is it a failure of imagination, or a loss of hope? When people stop making shit up, you know we’re in trouble.

As with everything on this blog, there are no answers, no solutions, no conclusion, just a bad feeling, and a dull ache about The Crisis to come.

Friday, 1 January 2016


In a surprise statement, the ARTS-GOV computer has announced that, from now on, all British films must star Laurence Harvey. The Lithuanian born actor was unavailable for comment, having died in 1973.