META-NOMAD

The Unintelligible and Re-enchanting Existence

Our Earth is big, but it can be traversed by industrialized methods of travel. Our galaxy is annoyingly big and has only been traversed by abstract scientific concepts largely relating to light. Our universe is quite simply, frustratingly big. Too large to ponder for too long, to do is to put oneself in a trance like no other. Even to lean one’s face into your hand and stare at the sky brings forth a feeling of wonder, horror and awe. This is a form of enchantment that is necessary for man. It is also a form of enchantment that since the late 19th century has been almost entirely lost, at least within everyday life. Why is this? Well, space, galaxies and the universe as whole are not of our primary design and construction, and industrialization and the arrival of runaway-techno-capital subtly taught us that those ideas and things of which we are not in primary relation to are, for lack of real reason, not of our concern. There are those who are concerned with these things of course, thinkers, engineers, scientists, but they usually interrogate it in a way of intelligibility which I feel is a grave error to make. What makes life worth living is not conclusions, or ends, nor completion or constructed merit, no. What makes life consistently, deliriously sublime is the unintelligible, that which we cannot grasp. Of course, the horror is found in the screaming between what we know we do not know. (Levinas’ il y a, is fantastic on this.)

To think on this unintelligibility is to be enchanted by life itself. The problem herein is that modern humans direct their attention to that which is primary to their perspective. We fully understand the spheres we exist within. We roughly understand how cars work, how we get to work, what lunchtime means, why we may watch TV shows, what it means to have status etc. To cut a long story short we only understand that which is already fully constructed, we can only ever understand completeness. And all out bubbles and socio-cultural spheres are pretty much complete, they are of the same. In fact, the reason people are so averse to leaving their spheres of comfort is that they fear difference. The eternal return of the same – in its most banal reading – is the soft pillow of disenchanted man. A man who has fully accepted. Not accepted X or Y, no. A person who has simply accepted, accepted it all. It is, for them, done. And now they simply just continue down the routes of the same which are open for them, routes which in their very nature as the same are no different to any other route. One cannot find difference in that which they can already attend. It comes from elsewhere, from possessions, communions, enchantment, deliriums, bemusement, fevers, from the weird and the strange.

“The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.” – Einstein

It’s a slight shame that Einstein had to insert ‘science’ into that quote, it sort of throws it out of joint, pertains to the idea of  an overarching ‘theme’. But it covers the idea I’m writing about here nicely.

You’re more than likely caught up in something or other. Some domestic with your partner, a financial problem, an intellectual pursuit, some form of construction or conclusion that you’re aiming yourself at. Your own little temporal pathway which has an end, a end which in the grand scheme of things is always false. Have you ever felt satisfied? If you think of that question – if you’re anything like me – you realize that none of the material, societal or cultural pressures which you attended to and concluded ever culminated into any form of actual conclusion. They always drag on into some haphazard, drawn out affair regarding status, worth or value, and almost always end only in fatigue or submission.

We have forgotten how to be enchanted. Something which arguably should be a priori to our existence. I’m idling close to the pitfalls of extrapolating some deep-seated depersonalization here, but perhaps we all need to fragment our minds from time to time. Maybe people don’t stand in the mirror as long as me, and no, it’s not because I’m staring at myself, it’s because it doesn’t, never really has, and hopefully never will…make sense. This whole ‘living’ thing, when you get right down to it, is fucking weird. To forget enchantment is to forget the inherent weirdness and peculiarity of existence itself. Tying into my previous post regarding office work, it used to infuriate me that people could exist in such a sullen and dead manner, acting in such a way as if this is how it is and it’s never to be any other way, and that outside of their labour, and actions of flesh, is not wonder, but nothing. I say used to because now I’m apathetic to those who still so caged in. I will spend time messaging and chatting to those who wish to about how or why to become unplugged and re-enchant oneself, but ultimately you can drag a boring horse before the crab nebula and it will still moan its hooves hurt. Basically a large percentage of the populous miss the moon because they’re too busy looking at the hand pointing at it.

It’s easy to retreat, in fact it’s so easy that is has become our default setting. Someone pointed out something very strange that is put upon us at a young age. ‘Keep your head down!’. That’s what we say to children who are idly gazing upwards at the clouds, sky, birds or rafters of a large building. We instantly put a stop to their enchantment, but we not only stop it, we shame it. It has become a shameful act to mention that one feels a little uneasy at existing. Not in any angsty way. Don’t worry, when I’m assembling a door-frame I’m not shaking and holding onto the floor, but I am often thinking how odd it all is.

To lean into this feeling is to put yourself more and more at ease each day. This is one of the methods I routinely use to ‘exit’ myself from modernity and from that which I never needed/wanted in the first place. To buy, want, desire or buy-into various facets of life is usually because you wish to escape from this feeling, you cannot handle being and you cannot handle being enchanted. Human affairs – other than those you must take responsibility for (Health, family, friends.) should be secondary worries. You can watch that film tomorrow or not at all, you could visit that place another time, you may or may not do that thing, that cursed thing which is all jagged, striated and finished. Completion is the enemy of enchantment. I believe this is why more and more people in make-work jobs are beginning to feel alienated, lonely and depressed. These jobs are getting further and further away from enchanting existence. They are creating bubbles within bubbles, constraints within constraints, to add another lock onto the cage in hope that it will be the one which will make the boredom of the cage disappear.

One of my more controversial opinions is that I’m in agreement with R.D. Laing regarding depression. Give this a watch, but I’ll write out Laing’s speech here:

“It’s not necessarily a good idea if you’re in prison, in a dungeon, and the door happens to be open, to adopt the policy that ‘I’m not going to walk out of this state of affairs unless I discover how I got into it.’

Now understandably depression is a complex issue and I wont get into here, and wish to utilize Laing’s point to articulate my thoughts regarding enchantment. See, much like Laing’s ‘dungeon’ in the linked video, much of our neuroses and depressive pessimism regarding life is of our construction and is itself related to further constructions which pull us to and fro, and as Laing states, you’re more than welcome to exit that dungeon. You don’t need to know how you got there, who or what put you there or why it even exists…fuck the dungeon. The dungeon or more aptly prison is in this case the existence of dis-enchantment. Life feels dry, heavy, a little dead all the time and you keep wondering why, you don’t really anything, or dwell on that which isn’t dry or heavy, you just sit in that dungeon and repeat to yourself that life has become boring. “Same shit, different day.” you say to yourself. Well, I’ve got news for you. If you re-enchant life, then that statement will quite quickly be reversed “Different shit, same day.”. Your place of work, your commute, your home, your hobbies, when inspected on an ontological, philosophical or mystical level become wondrous activities.

You’re mowing the lawn. You focus on the grass, the green seems brighter today. it’s as if the birdsong is poetic, rhythmic regarding the swell of the day. The breeze hits cobwebs on your shed, you notice the spider making repairs. Everything is flowing and you were letting all this pass-by. Before the ‘boredom’ of the prison would have been momentarily satiated with modernity’s latest trinket, but now, you just look around and relax into the awe and horror of being itself and think of beauty.

 

 

Exit from the Office

In general I don’t agree with the idea of ‘guilty pleasures’, if you enjoy something, then go enjoy it. I mean, imagine being so Oedipalized that you legitimately feel some form of shame or guilt because you enjoy something considered by others to be silly, lame etc. With this said, I currently have 3 rather peculiar guilty pleasures. Now I consider these guilty pleasures because they can all be placed under the same rather rough headings: Western Detritus, What-the-Fuck-Happened, Peak Society, Surrogate Activities etc. Perhaps if I list them you’ll get the idea. My 3 current guilty pleasures are all visual. Speed-eating videos, video game speedruns and – very recently – watching Fortnite.

Wait, Meta, you said you never really watched TV or anything of this sort? It’s true, I don’t, usually. And this is why I actually count these as guilty pleasures. Unlike stereotypical guilty pleasures – which are actual pleasures – I don’t really enjoy watching any of these things. I watch them in the same way you watch ants carry bits of wood back to the nest, the same way you watch a dog try solve a put-the-shape-in-the-hole problem. I watch them in a sort of trance. I think to myself ‘This is where we’ve got to, this is it, this is the magnum opus of society’. And I can never get past these thoughts. Perhaps this is why they interest me so much. With my rather extensive education in the arts and philosophy I can generally tackle a problem – intellectual or personal – and figure it out in some way within a short space of time (Guess what, the answer is usually just to fucking act.) But with these 3 things I can’t get anywhere, I can’t work it out, it’s like ants on speed reveling in nonsensical excesses.

Don’t worry, this does relate to the ‘getting into a trade’ and ‘exiting marketing’ part of this post, but I do need a little more exposition. So firstly, the speedeating. I watch this channel called BeardMeatsFood, for a sample of this content – if you’ve never come across ‘competitive eating’ before – check out this link for his 100,000 calorie challenge. In the words of one of the bystanders in an episode of Man Vs Food “This is the stuff of legends!”

And perhaps that man was right, perhaps these are our legends now, these are our myths. Doughy soyboys who utilize facial hair as personality to promote a Youtube channel where they eat…lots of food, interspersed with tinny rock music, a time-frame and a calorie counter. I cannot assemble these parts into any coherent whole, there’s no unification here that modernity will allow me.

I wont link video game speedrunning here as I imagine many of my readers will know of it already, if not, just look it up. Basically it’s completing a video game in the shortest time possible – with defined limits and rules etc. Now, I guess as some form of challenge it’s intriguing. But there are many people currently playing years old games attempting (daily) to scrape mere milliseconds off their completion time. Ted Kaczynski calls activities that we’re doing other than aiding our survival or fulfilling our actual needs ‘surrogate activities’, God only knows what he would call these activities. I call them nothing, apathy and lack of self-discipline. At least in a practical sense. Other than those forms of criticism I can’t find anything in them.

Much like my recent guilty torture of watching Fortnite. This came about because a friend kept going on about it and intrigue got the better of me. I watched a good 30-40 minutes of a ‘professional’ (send nukes) Fortnite live stream. And well, after that time I still couldn’t figure out what was going on, honestly. I get the general gist of a battle royale type game of course, but it just makes no sense to me anymore. This is going somewhere, I promise.

See, I ended up in this marketing job for a camping company. The job, and I stress, this is what we consider a job these days, consisted of looking after their social media, creating digital adverts and the occasional bit of customer service work. Now, the days were 8 and a half hours long with an hour commute time each way. For the first 2 hours I’d answer emails and social media queries and then…I’d sit and look at the computer screen or wait for the phone. Now, many people would find this absolute bliss, doing fuck all all day, I’m sure many could have stayed there for the rest of their lives mindlessly scrolling away on their phones, or eating junk. But it made me realise something. Marketing is one of the few ‘skilled’ office jobs. By that I mean, there’s little to no actual skill in customer service or admin type jobs – and before you shout at me, I’ve done these too – a well trained monkey could honestly do many of these jobs. They’re for slaves who adore being told what to do, people who not only take no pride in their work, but take no pride in anything, have no principles or ambitions and wish merely to grind until death. Fuck them, go away, I hate even thinking about such an existence. Anyway, back to marketing being ‘skilled’. If this is a skilled office job, the majority of people are working these jobs which are – to paraphrase Dmitry Orlov – “The embroidery on the fabric of society.” And here I go full Peterson, I don’t care.

I realized that most people cannot contribute, help or even understand the very basics of how society functions. Most people are so incompetent that they truly believe things just happen and appear, that stuff can actually be thrown away, to some mystical land. I started having very practical realizations of things I had thought about in abstract but had yet come into contact with. People don’t know how to do shit. Most people are spending their lives tailoring their energies towards being able to make a better phone call, take a better photograph, create a better advert, write a better piece of content etc. I’m going to take for granted here that my readers understand that I understand these things can of course have their place, but in my opinion, not after the basics have been taught.

There I was, dwindling away at a laptop, for all intents and purposes…pissing time away on idiotic nonsense. Creating little bits of bullshit to sell someone a tent, a tent which both I and the consumer have absolutely no idea how it’s made, nor where or who by. It is just a thing which I communicate we are selling. As far as I’m concerned the job was beyond meaningless, it was odd, a surreal experience of life in the office. Hell, to be quite honest.

It was much like the speed-eating, speedrunning or Fortnite viewing, it was an odd nothingness. It was fluorescent lights humming for 8 hours until I could leave. It was a person, sitting in a room, tapping at a small black object and not diverting their attention anywhere else for 8 hours. It was a being, with the potential to learn, help and form a self, dwindling their finite time away into a vortex of modern bullshit. It was, quite seriously, a mind-numbing form of sterilization. A slow death. No wonder everyone is so tired, depressed, anxious, paranoid and chubby. Their lives consist of sitting for 8-9 fucking hours in the same spot, staring at the same 30″ screen, moving only their fingers! This is your fucking life! You’re a fucking rat in cage! A cage you willingly stepped into because you’re too scared of the risks of the alternative! Get the fuck out! Find somewhere with some beauty, some peace, some people who are of your own and discussions which make you feel at home. Find heart within a skill, a trade, something other than being an automaton who promotes the ideology of the corps out of the mere comforts it brings them. And this is why I mentioned those videos. If you wish to feel how I did, or how the somewhat awake, lonely, alienated and ostracized (from their animalistic biology) office worker does, then watch one of those videos, it is the static death that modernity leaves at your door right after wrapping it in pretty paper.

Luckily a friend told me of a job going at a joinery place he worked at, I also knew the owner (so I’ll be very honest here), considering I have only amateur joinery experience, it was a stroke of luck I got the job. Right place, right time. However, I jumped onto that opportunity around 3-4 hours after hearing about it and didn’t look back. My first week has been extremely basic in a meaningful way. I finish, prime, assemble and prepare bespoke doors, windows, stairs etc. for people who’ve ordered them. People need windows and doors and I’m part of that process. At the end of the day I can see the work I’ve done.

I feel worked too. And no, I’m not one of these people who believes you should have to feel exhausted at the end of every day. But if you believe it is unusual to feel tired or physically knackered at the end of the day…if you come home and you complain, just one time, of feeling physically knackered, then guess what, your privilege levels are through the roof. You just don’t have a clue. You whine about suffering, but when will you realize that once you realize life is suffering then it no longer is. The more you keep it at bay, the more it will haunt your day.

I beg you, friends, from the heart, to exit the office. I understand of course that many of you simply cannot do this. Many of you with families are making the sacrifices needed, and many of you many have monetary problems which I do not understand, both of these I can empathize with. For those of you who feel locked in, strapped to your chair like a prisoner, whose minds are darting back and forth in fits and starts, whose brain matter in eroding, whose legs are tapping constantly. Those of you who want to step up onto that shitty Ikea desk and shout “WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?! WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE DOING?! THIS IS NOT LIFE! THIS IS NOT LIVING!” I honestly beg of you to think of your commitments, tally them up, write them down, see if you can survive an exit from modernity. Do what you WILL and exit that place which wishes only to keep on capturing your spirit…

 

How to Live Like an Emperor For Very Little

Don’t smoke cigarettes.

Learn how to fix your car and drive it until that thing is on the verge of imploding. Don’t buy into the ‘Needing the latest car’ thing (or the ‘needing the latest anything…thing’ for that matter), there’s literally no reason – aside from empty status and narcissism – that you need that a new, or updated car. If it works fine, ask yourself, why am I replacing it?

If you can, walk or ride a bicycle to work. (Learn to fix a bike)

If your work is not within walking or cycling distance (or is over 10 miles away) relocate. The only thing you can’t get back is time. And time spent with friends and family is more important that a 2 hour commute for some extra money. A side note on this, try calculate the amount you spend on fuel, maintenance and additional car extras due to the commute – definitely isn’t worth it.

Most people pushing a frugal/hyper-environment-friendly way of living will tell you not to have kids, or to foster. I say fuck that. Having kids doesn’t mean you have to introduce them/bring them up in the same carbon-loaded way everyone else does. People assume your kids are also going to want a loads of toys, gadgets and junk, bring them up well and they wont.

Get your clothes from charity shops. Or, if you’re like most people, you’ve already bought at least 3-4 pairs of trousers, 5-10 shirts, 2 dress shirts, socks and boxers. You don’t need more, buying new clothes is boredom. You’re bored.

Learn how to repair stuff…sure, but more importantly, look after your shit. The amount of people that wouldn’t need to buy stuff if they just looked after their goddamn stuff, it’s not difficult.

Most of you who follow me will know by now that I’ve just started work as a joiner, so guess what, No.8: Learn a trade. Ha! Look at me on my high horse. But for real, I sat behind that marketing desk, I’ve been to university…you can’t bullshit a bullshitter, I know 90% of jobs are bullshit and so do you. Does what you’re doing have a direct effect on the world? On things people use routinely? No, well, you’re part of the ’embroidery upon the fabric of society’.

Question hedonistic western culture in general. Booze, weed, cigarettes, caffeine…why did you ever need this stuff? I doubt there’s a reason outside of boredom. Are you merely a culmination of your vices, habits and customs?

Helping people, or, cooperating is admittedly a tough one these days. I live in the country where there’s still an ethic of neighborly-ness, if you live in the city, well, I just don’t know. Move, leave, get the fuck out.

Much akin to repairing things, you ever try making something? Shit, can you remember the last time you actually made something? I don’t mean from a set, or blueprint, or some Amazon kit purchase, when you actually planned and made something that had a purpose and worked? Even if that purpose was to brighten someone’s day. Make stuff.

Look after your health. Take the basic supplements: D3 (4000UI Daily), Omega 3 (1000mg Daily), B-Complex and a Multivitamin. Find an agreeable diet – I recommend Carnivore, Ketogenic, Paleo and (shock horror) legitimate Vegan (as in, not just eating vegan alternative junk), also, work out, you weren’t supposed to sit on your fucking arse 14 hours a day, no wonder you feel anxious, depressed, isolated and like a rat in a cage, because you make yourself into one. Also, wear safety equipment if needed, like seatbelts etc. Don’t be a moron.

Find a job that gives you at least some feeling of fulfillment. Even a 30%+ pay-cut is worth it, why you ask? When you do what you – at least somewhat – enjoy each day, you no longer feel the need to buy mindless escapes, overpriced junk, alcohol etc. It works out.

Junkies, addicts, rebels, whiners, drama-queens, boozers, grey-vampires, downers, energy-drainers, moaners and overt campy pessimists all need to be cut out of your life. Fuck them. Let them go drool to death in their own shit.

The only things you should ever get on credit (if you’re family oriented) is a house and a car. If you have anything else on credit you’re an idiot.

Preventable expenses – things which were either avoidable, never-worth-it or a replacement for a personality: Tattoos, Streaming services, STDs, speeding tickets, gaming subscriptions, lootboxes, film-passes, dating-apps – just Western detritus in general.

Stop acting rich. It’s OK to sit in and read, no one cares that you’re not there, or here, or over there, that you don’t have that thing etc. No one cares. Everyone thinks about themselves as much as you think about yourself, therefore no one has time to think about you.

Did you just buy bottled water?

Prepare your lunches in advance. If you don’t know how to cook for yourself, please find your nearest suicide booth.

Get a budget.

It’s fine to just be.

It’s OK to be bored.

This list was based – admittedly pretty directly – off Thor Harris’ How to Live like A King For Very Little. Though I have some disagreements with it, I think it could have done with a minor update, a few tweaks and little more explanation regarding the current state of things. A lot’s happened since its original publication in 2014.

My Alcohol Problem and the West

Richard Billingham – Untitled

I have a drinking problem. Many of you probably already know that, or perhaps there’s even been some form of assumption that I may have some form of such problem, I mean hell, I am part of the Acceleratosphere, I can see why you’d assume I drink a lot. Anyway, I don’t drink anymore, I haven’t drunk alcohol for just over 3 years, except for a brief relapse of 3 weeks around 4 months ago, I haven’t had a drop. For those saying “Well, that’s not exactly over 3 years then is it?”. Take it as you will, it’s best to just take it one day at a time and count up the ones you were successful on.

Why am I writing this? 1. Writers should stop asking themselves this question, because of course, I already know the answer…at least the one I wish it to be, the one I wish you to see, which leads me to… 2. It’s cathartic. And someone of Twitter once said to me ‘A great reason to write, tweet and interject in conversation, to stand your ground and stake your claim is that those who may also be pondering, in-silent-agreement or struggling with that which you bring to the fore will all of a sudden feel more at ease in the world, all because you took a little time to say ‘Yeah I think X’, ‘I disagree with that’ or ‘Hey, I struggled with this shit.’ There’s a lot to be said for admitting to failures with a staunch acceptance that they are, and more importantly can be of the past.

So, yes, I have a drinking problem. It never really goes. Supposedly it’s actually progressive, that is, I used to drink on average 12-20 pints on a night out, and if I was to go back to drinking full-time again I would – apparently – still, psychologically, need that amount if not more. So going back is not only going back to a demon who despises your being, but each re-visit is an exercise in runaway-self-hatred.

Let me get down to definitions, to the how it was of way back when. What do I mean by a problem? I imagine many of you are imagining a Bukowski-esque stumbling mess with ragged hair, dirty clothes and no life-structure simply existing on alcohol in the gutter. The Hollywood image of ‘the alcoholic’, in all its romance, has done nothing but ignore the reality of minor to moderate alcoholism. Make no mistake, I was not that kind of alcoholic. I did not need a drink everyday, not every 2-3 days (though I did get a little exhausted and tetchy), I wasn’t vomiting loads, getting in fights, or ruining everything (at least not in any ‘exciting/dramatic’ sense). See, I was pretty high-functioning. Let me step back a bit –

I’m British, which means I have a culturally inherent awful relationship with alcohol. I started regularly drinking (2-3 times a week, 4-6+ beers each session) at 15, with the prior 2 years revolving slightly around alcohol. Between the years of 16-22 there was not one week where I didn’t utterly fucked. Which technically means that was 6 years of my life alcohol simply did not leave my system. How did all this progress? Not pleasantly, not unpleasantly. The point of this post is that – like most things in life – the journey was banal and the conclusions didn’t come until too late, and at that point I was already invested in the finale. What was this all like? Well, from 15-18 it looked like this. Do the bare minimum in school/college to get by and wait for the weekend, incessantly planning how we’d get booze, who was buying it for us and where we were drinking it. The weekend would come, we would drink from around 5-7pm through to 3-4am, or pass out before. Turns out it was only really me who was drinking a lot at this point, the others were just having a few. So the university turns up on your doorstep with all its ‘culture’. As you can imagine, I hit it fucking hard, put on a lot of weight, culminated friendships which didn’t last, half-arsed my life and orbited around alcohol.

21-22. Yeesh. Ended up in a dead-end job, as most university leavers do. Still drinking (and smoking) at this point…of course, it was still, for me…an inevitability. I would drink on Friday nights. Then Friday and Tuesday nights. Then Friday, Tuesday and Saturday nights. Then Friday, Tuesday, Saturday nights and Sunday daytime. And finally it was Friday, Tuesday and Saturday nights, Sunday daytime and the occasional 4-pack in bed after work. That was when I realized, laying in bed at 11pm after some shitty late-shift, necking cheap lager for the sake of it. I began to think about my drinking, looking up the questionnaires:

  • How often do you drink alcohol? – 3-4/4 times+ a week (worst answer)
  • How many units of alcohol do you drink on a typical day of drinking? – 10+ (worst)
  • How often do you have 8 units or more? – Weekly (second worst)
  • How often did you find you were not able to stop drinking once you’d started? – Every time I ever drank – 1 is too few, 2 is too many…as the saying goes – weekly (second worst)
  • How many times in the last year have you failed to do what is normally expected of you due to drinking? (Dependent on what one expects of oneself – at the time I was failing to do anything but go out at the weekends)
  • How often do you get a feeling of guilt or remorse after drinking? (Every time – worst – we call it ‘The Fear’)
  • How often have you not been able to remember what happened the night before due to drinking? (Twice a week. At my absolute worst I was getting black out drunk once or twice a week. – worst)

I didn’t think ‘Oh shit, I’m fucked up breh’, nor was anything about it cool, romantic, nostalgic, poetic, exciting etc. You know what it fucking was? Exhausting and boring. Anyway, that’s the biographical stuff out of the way. I mean, I guess many of you know that I sorted my shit out.

Anyone struggling with alcohol can always DM me.

 

Onto the cultural ‘West’ part of the title. See, I was never really taught that not drinking alcohol was an option. Everyone around me did, everyone around them either did and there was very few people (no one I can remember) actively didn’t drink, and there was most certainly no one who was anti-alcohol. Not that I am anti-alcohol, but I do believe it really isn’t a good idea for the majority of people to consume it, for they are dumb, boring and aggressively incorrect already, why give them a drink on top of all of that, I jest, but they are a bore.

All those systems never budged an inch towards any idea that excess, progress and to-continue may not be a good thing. Even teachers smirked at the knowledge of my beer-fueled weekends and life – ‘I remember how I was at that age’, but no one keeps an eye and many get sucked into the orbit of the demonic, soul-crushing, enchantment killing possession of alcohol. What is it about that substance which brings out the very worst of opinion and personality?

It is, once again, one of ‘those’ things which one believes – due to the way in which they are instilled within culture – that one cannot be without them. They are presented not as optional parts of life, but as its very nerve system. Another short essay from Meta on how to slightly think for oneself, how original. I don’t care.

You must strip yourselves bare of all these fucking spooks! Take a goddamn look at your being, feel it vibrate in all its nakedness and vulnerability! Be more that you can be. Overcome every molecule of indiscriminate matter, atmosphere and ideology that surrounds you, think not of the third person, the external or the forces unto you, but become truly-conscious! Decide upon all. Make clear each and everything that exists now for you.

When I quit drinking I lost 95% of my friends within 2 weeks. I don’t hold it against them, nor do I want sympathy. We were drinking buddies who reveled in each other’s repetitions. The same lager, the same jokes, the same people, the same place, the same comfort and the comfort of the same, that is what alcohol has to offer you. Not one of my friends supported my efforts of betterment. Largely because I was one of, if not the key drinker of the group, I started earlier and heavier than them, I could out-drink basically anyone and had a tenacity for going until the bitterest of ends (5-6am on a park bench, routinely). And so, I guess to them it was an entirely alien experience, or perhaps they were worried I don’t know, all I know is the repulsion against my quitting.

‘So what…you’re never drinking again?’

‘…ahhh you’ll be back down the pub soon.’

‘You can have just one though mate!’

No, I can’t. No I can’t.

“Acceptance is usually more a matter of fatigue than anything else.” – David Foster Wallace

And that’s what I did. I accepted that there is a thing in life that I simply cannot do, for if I do it, I do not become, but only undo, my being is not aligned to the strength it could be, and the goodness dissolves into nothing. I cannot do that, I never could, and the systems that are lied and I got caught in a the alluring web of destruction.

There’s a great speech in the film Smashed. A film I really like – for obvious reasons – though as films go it’s mediocre, but it hit home with me. Anyway, the protagonist Kate is an alcoholic…and they actually do a fairly good job of not romanticizing it. Her speech is the usual alcoholic-to-sober story but with the addition of one crucial thing, she explicitly mentions her – now – boring life. I simultaneously agreed and disagreed. At first I agreed. I could be down the pub I thought, having all that ‘fun’. Instead I’m in reading a book, searching the web, watching TV (back then) or whatever, and the days and weeks and months go by, and the serum seeps from your system more and more, and your energy comes back and you take up the gym. You begin to feel ok, and your self-confidence comes back. And you start eating well again. You lose 3 stone in a few months. You date some cute girls. You read some more good books. And for many blissful moments you’ve forgotten entirely of that place, that sodden pit of a pub which was sucking your time away from you.

Alcohol is the primary material alternative for being an interesting person, having an interesting life or even having anything interesting to do. If you even somewhat content, entertained, loved or spiritually tuned-in would you need a ‘few beers’, would you? That malaise which I know a little too well is nothing but an anesthetic for use against personal confidence, overcoming, discipline, motivation and being.

My boring life is mine. I like drinking herbal tea in my dressing gown or Gi. I like reading old books. I like sitting sometimes and just being. I like taking my time with a meal. I quite like the slow pace of existence once it’s stripped of all the embroidery of progress, decadence and Western-malaise.

My favourite herbal teas are (in order of greatness – greatest to great):

1. Peppermint Tea

2. Elderflower and Echinacea

3. Lemon and Ginger

4. Lemon