Monday, June 14, 2021


The extraordinary story of how I bought a real, 100% genuine Iggy Pop signature

without knowing it.

Tuesday the 8th of June 2021 I bought  four cd albums in the Sister Ray record shop in Soho.  One was Iggy Pop's American Caesar, which he produced and toured in 1993.

About half an hour later on the train back home, basking in the wonderfully hot sun that day, I opened the case and decided to read the sleeve notes.  The train had stopped on the tracks and it was a convenient thing to do.  Opening the first two pages, I discovered the message you can see above.  

I kind of went into shock.  I looked over at the man sitting across me as if to say....look at this?  The last time that happened I was on top of a bus in the Angel Islington.  There in front of it a tall man in a long expensive black coat and a flat cap was waiting to cross the road.  He turned his head and I recognised him.  I had no idea what else to do with the experience but share it.  So I turned to the rather aggressive and tough looking man sitting opposite me and said....THAT'S KEVIN SPACEY DOWN THERE.

The man on the bus looked down and said...really?  I said, yes.  Oh he replied.  (This was whilst Mr Spacey was running the Old Vic theatre, and was a respected member of a civilisation that knew all about this 'offering to help young actors who were working in bars with their careers' and ordering his lunch with 'a special saveloy' male prostitute to go with it.  I heard all about that).

So there I was, supposed to believe that this was a bona fide Iggy Pop signature in my hands.  Not only that it had provenance.  There was an accompanying message that located it's time, place and circumstances.  it was addressed to one Sam.  Sam who?  

The theory I entertained was that a bored arts graduate in the shop was forging such things every now and again and posting them into random sleeve notes.  I thought Prince turned up and likes of Joe Strummer.  I never bothered to look such things up online.  I looked up Sister Ray's phone number and used it.

The man who answered had no idea what I was talking about and, on the basis of my description, suggested that the writing was merely part of the sleeve notes.  I mentioned the slight smudge you can see?  (Did this contain Iggy Pop's fingerprints as well?  Blimey).  He was as confused as I was.

I got home and placed images on the internet.  Then after a few days I posted to Sister Midnight's Facebook page.  They responded that Sam was in fact Sam Ireland, the lead singer with the band that had supported Iggy on the 12th December 1993.  Die Cheerleader.

Even a friend of mine later told me he was at that gig.  I sent messages to Sam Ireland via her SoundCloud and Facebook.

Finally after nearly a week of pondering and having to accept the signature must be real, Sister Ray records contacted me again.  They told me that Sam Ireland's husband had accidentally included it in a whole pile of materials he had brought to the shop to sell.  They said '..IT IS OF GREAT SENTIMENTAL VALUE AND THEY WOULD LIKE IT BACK.  I was offered £30 worth of goodies in return.  

Of course I will return it.  What do you think I was going to do - hold onto it and ruin it with tears because it's an Iggy Pop signature?  Sell it in the future and make some easy cash?  I had no idea if it was real.  Fact is its clearly worth a lot of money beyond being an Iggy signature on account of its place in music history.  

It is not mine.  I bought an ordinary cd album with sleeve notes.  I am a Buddhist.  I'm taking back as soon as I can.  Besides, as Iggy Pop signatures go, it's rather easy to trace back to its origin and original owner.  Provenance is a word I had to invent because I needed to describe the concept it embodies.  It was later on that I looked it up to see if I had it right.  So:  

  • a record of ownership of a work of art or an antique, used as a guide to authenticity or quality.
    plural noun: provenances
    "the manuscript has a distinguished provenance"

Kind of a block - chained signature?  Anyhow, in my case it has been more than enough to simply own it.  If the story is true, the poor man must have thought he was selling an ordinary cd they picked up at the time. 

I have no idea what is going to happen to it now.  I can only trust others to be as honest as myself, which has been my fate in life so far once matters were out of my hands.  I for my part have satisfied my own ethics.  

The album's okay to listen to.

Sunday, May 02, 2021

I never wanted to be an artist.

 I have never wanted to be what I was clearly born to be.  An artist.  A creative person.  Someone who goes around innovating and making stuff up that did not exist before.  

I wanted to do that with electronics in the late 70's and then silicon chips in the 80's.  I used to put circuits together from Practical Electronics magazine and small A5 project books you could get from Tandy's.  I loved a bit of soldering and etched circuit boards I had drawn out with ferric chloride.  I built a working digital clock with TTL circuits.  In fact one summer's holiday my childhood friend and I took over the top of his families freezer as a work bench and built the thing on top of it.  They could not get anything out of it for six weeks.

It was recalled in legend how disciplined we both were.  My turning up there every morning for work.  We loved that.  It eventually worked too.  I took the time pulse from dividing the 50hz mains signal by 50 then by 60.  four Led readouts.  A lot of peripheral work was done on the box alone.  Vero, I've never forgotten you.  What a great company.

Sadly I never had the mathematics ability.  But nonetheless I can now admit that I spent years in O and A level exam subjects that I was never destined to be any good at, trying to develop my self.  Whereas ordinary lazy youths would take the easy paths, I always tried to force my intellectual and academic growth.  That's okay up to a point.  It did my head in and I crashed and burned around march 1983.  Within weeks, courtesy of the now legendary actress Cathy Tyson calling my home one Tuesday evening, I had been inducted into a theatre group called Loose Hinge to do 27 venues in 3 months.  Our play was called the same as the group, and we got paid nothing but love and butties.  

That started me off, and the rest should be detailed in one of these blogs at some point.  But this was not the point.  I had wanted to make something of my life that was nothing to do with bouncing around on stages.  I couldn't.  Which explains a lot about my cv.  What I could not understand was why the only thing I could put energy into and gain more out was being creative.  Arts.  Designing, inventing, improvising, doing stuff like that.  

Now I am worrying about how to store small sets for WarZoners season 2, my making YouTube film with old Action Men dolls.  I finally understand why adults make ships in bottles.  The problem solving.  The techniques you have to learn and use.  The painstaking detail work.  It's great.  So many problems to solve.  So much to achieve the finished product.  Here is the first image of what I am up to.

To the trained eye, a number of elements are present.  The magazine they are reading was put together with downloaded images via MS Word which allows enough scope with the capacity to insert text and picture fields you can move around.  Then colour printed.  That technology alone was a luxury when I was torturing myself day and night simply to finish a philosophy degree that many would have casually moped through after a hard terms drinking and smoking.  Then there is the composition of the image with four rows of images.  Magazine at the front, the two action men reading it with a third on the right relatively behind and in shade.  Then the 4th sailor somewhat out of focus and view.  Finally the bulkhead, which will be reused as the ships corridors, and what is meant to be a torpedo.  

If the water - missile had been on it's side I am sure that would make sense.  As it stands, literally, it looks like an ICBM that a nuclear submarine would launch vertically.  Or an air tank.  So win win.  The business of how the picture was lit is not to be underestimated.  Three different light sources were used.  One overhead floor for the back, one spotlight for the two heads at the front and one beneath the magazine.  I had to research film lighting to see the possibilities.  

Lighting will be a thing in series 2.  Certain cliche'd set ups as I love to call them now, will feature characters as much defined by how they appear as what they actually say and do.  Dare I say this is my gateway to using real people in the future?  Ach, I am far too old for such nonsense now.  I mean, what do I have to say about life that a film could capture?  Hmmmm.....

Yes, the boys need cleaning.  You can indeed see 47 years of accumulated fungus on their faces. I was going to incorporate this into a story.  Yes there is indeed a new model of Action Man present.  I went and bought him on Ebay.  A solid toy with good joints.  Chunkier and more indestructible than his predecessors.  That folks is the chief engineer and a character he will be.  So much so that you won't ever understand a word he says.  Except for the subtitles permanently following his every scrambled word.  

WHY AM I DOING THS?  Well, because it's fun and I want to see how far I can develop the art form before either sanity stops me, or I come off furlough and get back to real working.  So far feedback has been good.  If there was say, real money or wider media interest I would have been inspired to work on the project more than I have so far.  Damn you sanity, you ruin everything.  

Project for tomorrow - getting to our local arts and craft shop to check out balsa wood and how I am going to build an internal corridor hatch.  Complete with wheel and chunky hinges.  Then spray the whole thing silver.  Crazy!  So far I have two foam blocks to use, one as the doorframe, and a 2 litre bottle of pop to cut up as the actual curved door itself.  If it only has to be seen open or closed I think I can build a prototype.  An actual working hinge you can see moving may not be necessary.

Having a hatch would mean you had a corner and a second angle to block the end of a set up.  The characters are against a wall or a pane, but if you tip the camera at an angle you will only see off the edge.  Aha - put in a hatch!  Simple as...

Last week I started the song that features in episode one as well.  I have not recorded a tune like this in years and was surprised how easy it was to come up with a simple verse/chorus glam rock tune.  One you had the drums on my sequencer to ride, it was easy to come up with the bare bones of such a cliche'd genre (Its' all on the beat.  The drums lead with lots of HEY!'s going off).  My vocals were done on my Zoom R16's onboard microphones and sounded terrible.  After Sunday's day of rest it's time to use my proper microphone and re do them.  It was noticeable that the song failed due to elements not working.  So the drums are okay, the bass and lead work but the vocals killed it.  I think the drums and the vocals are what make a glam song.  The actual music kind of supporting it all.  Hey!  

I recall the Stranglers were a band where the guitar was actually often the most inconsequential instrument.  The strong drums, the eloquent arpeggios of the keyboards and the deadly rotostrinq power of JJ Burnel's overdriven lead on the bass were signatures of the band.  But of course, that's a generalisation that every Stranglers fan could easily argue with me over, song by song.  

All this observation from a man who just wanted to master basic transistor theory, eh?  

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Saturday, March 13, 2021

Giving more away, everyday? Social media and the great online empire of words.

 Planets in science fiction got covered to the point that their surfaces disappeared beneath metal, composite substances and wires, tubes and machines.  But no one ever worked out that social media would be the ultimate development of the silicon chip we all saw appear in the late 1970's.

No one realised the dominant function of all that exciting new technology would be communication.  Data storage and retrieval, as well as people conveying and communicating in real time, posting things and speaking, gesturing, seeing and so feeling.  Social media.  The great big secret of the future no one saw coming.

Now, here it is.  You take it for granted.  You are looking at it.  Characters in pixels on pages that only exist through the grace of code.  

Blogs.  Talks.  Confessions.  My version of reality.  My ideas.  Me.  Splurging streams of consciousness onto public spaces.  Like detailed graffiti on walls anyone can find if they want to, or in some cases hazard on accidentally.  Why do you read me?  Why am I writing.  I can hear Killing Joke's Democracy album playing right now.  My wife is in another room.  I see a tree out of my window and it is blossoming.  The wind has been battering it, but still it endures and blooms.  It once took two and a half days for the spring bloom to happen.  I watched it in real time.  I was allowed to by my life being so good that my eyes were free to experience what was around me in detail.  No need to cope and redefine everything with a mental survival mechanism.  Clear input.  A privilege.  Small pink blossoms festooning it now, more every day.  So many details.  light green mossy branches.  A totally pink version is in the distance across the road from it too.  Behind it in the background, poking out from the closer ones main trunk.  

I walk in fields undeveloped by builders and listen to old songs, dancing in darkness where no one can see me.  Still experiencing a joy of life many of my age have to realise through drinking or taking things.  The winning streak continues.  So far so good.  Ah, but you never know where it all leads.  

Can you experience all of this in pixels?  I leave the house on Sunday when I can without my phone.  It's like going on some sort of retreat.  Suddenly alone and free.  I never have social media on it now.  Just at home.  Forests of pixels.  Green screens, remember those?  Blossoms exploding in pixels at the start of Blade Runner, the logo of the Ladd company.  Have a look.  Hey!  Idiwan?  Welcome to two thousand and twenty one.  I was born in nineteen sixty three.  The year two thousand was a big deal then.  Now it's long gone.  Like November two thousand and nineteen when the first Blade Runner was set.  

I can travel back in time via the computers.  I find houses for sale in the road I grew up in and see pictures of the rooms inside.  One was next door to ours.  The garden betrays the condition of my childhood home. I sent the pictures to my brother and we called me and we discussed them.  All gone now, yet we carry on cool as anything as if nothing has changed.  We had a good childhood and we matured well.  Still no signs of disintegrating and wanting to go back to a world long gone.  Give it time, dementia and Parkinson's I imagine.  Give it time.  On my lcd digital watch.  New in 1980.  With a new strap bought as a present for me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

November 2020. Why do I always talk about the same things? Is this the start of the Rise and eventual Fall of the Anti Vaccination movement and, if you are lucky, other things.

Tuesday the 17th November 2020.

Firstly the omission of a photo of my wife and myself is nothing to worry about.  We remain very happily married and glad of each other, after meeting in 2016.  I just decided I would rather keep her out of the sorts of things I will be discussing on this site.

It is the 17th of November 2020.  As usual I am using this blog to sound off about the issues that preoccupy me.  Never sport, politics, many things that my life is full of.  No, I just use these platforms for specific issues.  Other things are part of my life but I don't usually discuss them here.

I always though other people were doing a better job than I could about politics for example.  Also I tend to see the worth of both sides of situations, or often several at the same time equally.  I am just not in the habit of relating my views on what I absorb daily.  What is spoon fed me by the media outlets that I relatively trust.

As you will see in this piece, the quest to have absolute belief in what's going on around oneself has led some of us down a dark path to what I consider to be a very dead end.  This seemed to me to be what motivated the student political societies in the Polytechnic I went to (it converted to a university but we all know it was nothing else in drag, marking it's own papers).  You got these zealous fanatics you could not have rational conversations with because they were too busy asserting their ideas.  Sound familiar?  Some motives never change.  Now read on...

Twitter has been a very quiet and peaceful place for me for some time, due to my elimination via blocking of the (tiny) group of trolls that formed the Autistic Dark Web group.  An apparently organised team of autistics who strove to make anyone who disagreed with their ideas around the term Autism to be stupid and narcissistic.  Ah, that term, narcissism.  So overused now.  I have met something like three people I reckon had the condition in my life after I left school.  Otherwise it's just people saying things that you disagree with, having opinions about themselves and others you want to block, negate and shut down.  Generally having a bit of front in putting themselves out on social media to do that.  I guess this very blog is what those people would call narcissistic.

But never, ever, what they were doing.  Simple as that.

The 2020 pandemic has pleasantly eliminated any considerations I used to have for that small gang of circular statement making, nasty, fairly pointless to try to talk to, people.  They were always hiding behind Twitter alone by the way.  You never met them anywhere else that allowed long, mature dialogues.  Now an older enemy is asserting itself, and I reckon is facing it's end.  The Anti Vaccinationists or Anti Vaxx movement.

That's right.  I always believed that what would finish off Wakefield's bizarre cult (more on that later) was it's being brought out into the daylight of direct confrontation on the scale it seems to be heading towards.  Mainstream media now regularly carry stories of how Anti Vaxxers (here given the same overarching style title as was done to the companies making vaccines - 'Big Pharma') should be outlawed.  Yes, governments such as ours are considering making anti vaxx statements in the media illegal.  Because of the harm they will and are doing, if and when Covid 19 vaccines are rolled out.

This is of course great news for someone like myself, who wrote the Vaxxed One film review you can find on my website.  The writing of the second equally bizarre film - Vaxxed Two The People's Truth, is coming along slowly.  Sometimes being abandoned altogether.  This is due to sanity, and having a life in the real world.

Eh? know?  It's a load of rubbish.  It's clearly the product of a cult.  You should just ignore it, vaccinate as much as you can then hope for the best.  Because in the real world that's it.  That is all you get in life.  Vaccines to tacke viruses.  Aside from isolation, avoiding anyone who could be infected, staying as healthy as you can and just plain luck...what else is there to protect you from a virus?  Well?

One answer is the entire field of complementary medicine.  This is the heartland of the Anti Vaxx movement.  Homeopathy, Naturopathic practices (?) reiki, you name it.  Balancing and cleansing them chakra's etc.  So much you can do with diet and crystals, channeling your energies and dancing around the woods with nothing on.  I used to hear about all of this during my FWBO Buddhafield days.  Oh yes, I too have walked down Glastonbury High street.  Hell I stood on it more than once, fundraising for charities a long time ago.

It was always fun doing different things for a living that did not mean being trapped in an office.  For a phase of my life I wanted to move, and not be still.  Courtesy of ADHD and another issue to do with my brain structure that I have known about for about 19 years now, I have this intellect but not the capacity to use it in a traditional way.  You can asses how smart (or not) I am from this site and my writing.  You would assume I would have followed procedures years ago and become some professional in a field.  So why didn't I?  That is another story.

So bereft of the sorts of mental health issues people in my position usually have, I found myself having many adventures.  Several days of them were spent on the relatively dry and slightly windy Glastonbury high street.  Now this was once described thus:  YOU CAN GET ANY CRYSTAL YOU NEED, BUT NEVER THE SHOES YOU WANT.  There I was, surrounded by refugees from reality.  They appeared early afternoon and sat there on benches along the road, talking and drinking.  Thus earning their local title The Brew Crew.

The road had a slight incline with the oldest Christian church in the UK and the post office at one end, and all these shops, the Glastonbury Hall that all the functions and presentations happen in and a pub at the other.  It was the start of 2004, during my eventful year in Bristol having a sabbatical from living in London.  I had no idea how all of this was going to look in the future.  I just though it was a few steps away from a children's toy shopping village.  Like the one Clarke's have in the village of Street in Wiltshire where you can buy factory outlet price goods.

Whilst I was there, a man hitched his pet owl to the railing outside of the post office and popped in for a minute.  The owl and I looked at each other.  Both of us said and did nothing.  it was one more quiet afternoon.  The odd car went past.  Men older than myself told me 'I don't have a bank account' when I approached them to support my charity.

Now for me, the 2/3rds of the population of a former conservative retirement village who came to live there, may represent a rancid and potentially dangerous culture of adults who are no better than children.  A world of 'Alternative' culture.  Where people think they don't need vaccines in the face of all manner of heartfelt beliefs.  Ideas.  Dreams you live through.  Faith based things in your head.


The protests that happened every weekend in London, and places like Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester these past few months are a fine example of when groups form to create bubble worlds.  Micro city states in which everything is their way, their rules and their perception of reality.  This goes on all the time of course.  Walk into a church, a mosque or a synagogue.  Same thing.  Walk into an office in Central London where everyone is from the same Middle Eastern culture and you are in the mist of Sharia Law.  But them someone enters who is not part of such a world, through birth or coming from those countries, and the effect evaporates.  See?  You get it in people's homes.

But what has happened is the internet.  I am sure no one who helped to evolve Twitter and Facebook had any idea that these would go on to create sub culture worlds that to an extent, would become part of main stream 21st century civilisation itself.  The idea that fantasy bubble worlds full of people rejecting vaccination however, may not have been apparent even to science fiction readers like me.

You must remember that science fiction was written by rational, proof based people.  Not those thinking (more like feeling) the way the people I am describing do.  Such people would have featured in sci fi stories as the Vandal, mutant hordes.  Animal primitives of an underclass.  Scenario's like that.  IT IS THE YEAR 202O AND A SOCIETAL APOCALYPSE HAS HAPPENED.  TRIBES OF VACCINE HATING SAVAGES ROAM THE EARTH, TRYING TO STOP EVERYONE ELSE GETTING PROTECTED AGAINST VIRUSES BECAUSE THEY THINK THE VACCINES DO MORE DAMAGE.  STUPID, AGGRESSIVE MEMBERS OF A CULT BASED AROUND A STRUCK OFF DOCTOR....  See?

The only representations of such things were in Monty Python style 1970/s satirical stories.  IT IS THE YEAR 202O AND AN INSANE CULT HAS EMERGED THAT COMMUNICATES MAINLY BY COMPUTERS YOU CARRY IN YOUR POCKET AND IN YOUR BAGS AND HAVE ON YOUR DESKS LIKE ELECTRIC TYPEWRITERS.  If you know the reference you will see the point?

The sorts of people I talk about in my Vaxxed film write ups and in the first Guerilla Aspies podcast I produced, come over to me as bad actors playing maniacs from old science fiction tv shows.  At the start of this year I was trying to forget about them, only to join Emma Dalmayne in a protest against the screening of the second film in London.

It is worth remembering that Wakefield attended the Vaxxed One screening in Regents Park University building in 2016 and boasted of 350 people attending.  This year the venue used had a maximum capacity of 175.  There have not been any other screenings I was aware of.  (One reason being that the people I am in touch with, monitored the Vaxxed supporters online and stepped in to try and stop local screenings.  With success too).  So it's a bit telling just how badly the cult is doing as far as meetings in London go.  Or considering where some of them said they had come from online, when spied on, the entire country.

To conclude.  Previously I used the term Wakefield's Bizarre Cult to describe what seems to me to be the heart of the global anti vaccination movement.  Although you get groups in all countries, curiously it seems to me that via the medium of online enquiry (watching their films and reading their material providing it is English language which prohibits me casting my net wider) it all seems to trace back to the concepts and statements made by one man and his closest associates.

A group that seems to live their lives in a war zone.  As if a brave resistance movement against an evil empire of governments and pharmaceutical companies that are mass brain damaging children via the one thing that facilitates western civilisation.  The capacity for strangers to be physically close to each other anywhere on the planet.  Public transport, offices, places of worship and study.

Vaccines allow us to travel all over the world.  If they had never been invented we would not all be here either, would we?  Many blood lines would have died off.  Just as we in the UK will never know the people from families truncated and butchered by world wars one and two.

But these things are invisible.  We only see what is around us.  Only ever did.  Ideas inform us, photographs and history try to educate.  But as with the anti vaxx movement it's the immediate reality that is in our faces day to day.


If you talk to people who know what they are talking about as concerns virology, we simply do not know everything about Covid 19 yet.  The one luxury I realised we did not have at the start of this epidemic was certainty about anything.

We still do have this.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

April 2020. Things are going very well. For a global pandemic.

I am writing at home, where by our count it is week six of the global event that is the Covid - 19 pandemic.  Week five of the UK lockdown, in which citizens are requested to stay at home and avoid social contact as much as possible.

This subject dominates news and media.  With good reason.  People are dying.  On mass.  All for one very good reason.

We do not have a vaccine for the virus anywhere on Earth.

The great anti Vaccination (known as Anti Vaxx) lie that you just get any old disease, get sick, get over it and have immunity thereafter is simply not going to survive 2020.  If I am right.  Because as of this week, nothing is certain about the virus and its effects.  What we need absolute knowledge of is:

  • Are any of us likely to get infected.  How and where?  Because right now a huge percentage of the UK does not have this disease.  But all it takes is one mass infection in say a local shop, supermarket or any social gathering space....and off it goes.  Also just a ride into town and back, or absorbing virus from a surface you touch, or the air around you.  Anywhere.  Anytime.  
  • What happens when you get over it.  Do you have antibody immunity thereafter or could you get infected again?
  • When will a vaccine be ready, and do we have to live this way until then?
  • How long would a vaccine protect you for?
  • Is there a scenario in which the world, yes the entire planet right now, returns to relative functionality as before without a vaccine that can be called upon?
  • What will the future bring for the global economy, let alone your regional one and your own?

So here I am, not going on about all matters NeuroDivergent.  Thing is, to an extent I never really have.  What I think I've been up to is a combination of detective work and research, with a bit of writing/steering human history thrown in.

Any guesses how the above works?  Okay, let me explain.

As with Covid 19, it's all being worked out as we all go along here.  This time next year many things will hopefully be known that are not now.  Oh sorry no - MUST BE KNOWN THAT ARE NOT NOW.  Because the epidemic business is far too serious to have uncertainty around.  This is literally a life and death issue.  Science must provide. Huge amounts of money are being allocated overnight by governments the world over, to the pursuit of a vaccine alone.

I think it was the start of 2019, one of the Anti Vaxx/autism is brain damage lobby tried to post a petition to have 'autism' per se declared a national emergency in America.  It got about 19, 000 signatures and petered out.  Mark Blaxill, the noted one-man vaccines cause autism campaigner and author was said by some to be behind it.  Blaxill's signature paranoid writing also turned up in a wonderfully written comment on a Guardian article about autism rates around that time.

I wish I'd copied it...sigh.  Oh, it was wonderful.  It talked about the world being hit by 'a tsunami of autistic children', whom we were led to believe would be mentally disabled.  This seemed to be integral to their being so many of them.  So disabled that our world would shudder to a halt by the end of the century due to their dysfunctionality.  Very much like a neurological zombie apocalypse.

The posting was deleted by the Guardian by the end of that day.  What the author failed to realise was that not all autistic people were as mentally disabled as he implied.

Meanwhile here in april 2020, something is going on.  Something real.  Now spot the difference between what I have described and what is happening with the Coronavirus outbreak at this time of history.  If you are reading this weeks, months or years later you may understand my point.

My work has been all about discovering what I am doing as an autistic advocate as much as doing it.  The central buddhist motive of trying to make compassionate sense and facilitating others is still at the heart of my work.   So all of 2019 on social media I was as much trying to be convinced of other peoples points of view and realise and convey my own.  I remain as usual, open to others to change my ideas and thinking.  But so far that's rarely happened.  Excepting my view on autism as mental illness - and mental illness in general.  Ah, now there I have evolved.

I now see autism as varying in such definitions.  For some, it is disorder and disability.  But not others.  For some still, it can be both.  You see, you have to QUALIFY to have a disorder.  You have to have the PROPERTIES of a disability.  You cannot make these absolute statements about 'autism is only one thing'.  It varies from person to person.

Mental illness is something that comes and goes in peoples lives, just like virus based illness.  The lie that all people have this ongoing steady, stable state of mind has long been debunked by many now.  People vary and change, and in lots of different ways.  Some recover relatively.  Some go in and out.  Some are lucky to remain relatively without definable disorder of the mind.

Yeah, but then what?  What is this normal and healthy.  What is this ongoing state of clear function?  Ever wonder what's going on here in the mind.  I mean something must be.  Instead of the many and complex models of mental confusion, instability and distress....what's the model for the opposite.

In buddhist all I ever studied and heard about was the healthy, insightful, compassionate mind.  All we ever considered and learned about, were the properties of healthy minds that either had or were on the way to enlightenment.  Simple.  It was nothing but compassion, loving kindness and awareness.

Erm...that was it.  Insight itself was a bloody mystery.  That's the point.  I mean people certainly though they had an idea of what it was all about.  But don't you see that so called 'healthy' minds are clearly on a scale as well?  that you get some people who are definable as healthier than other relatively healthy people?

Where does it all end!!  With superhumans?

The funniest thing I found on Twitter last year was an 18 year old who made out he had Tourettes, Learning Disorder and 'Classical Autism'.  Whatever he meant by the last one.  This was the most lucid, rational, stable, manipulative and strategically clever individual on there.  I spent most of the year challenging his identity.  I had to publically apologise for being wrong about his age.  I used to chat to him privately.  Great company.  Utterly biased dialogue without any compromise.  A future pro' on social media.  He'd post publicly that he thought he could never live an independent life.  A few months later, he openly discussed when he was leaving his parents home.

The rest of his friends were a waste of time due to their nastiness, self centerdness and classic autistic personalities which were best summed up as over intellectualising and under developed in terms of empathy and compassion for others opinions.

It was hilarious because this teenager was acknowledge by a number of us as the co leader of an organised trolling gang, blatantly working for ABA proponents and attacking anyone like myself they could find on Twitter whom they disagreed with.  He did nothing but claim he was not whilst clearly only relating to everyone he opposed, in such a way as to make them ALL look stupid.  This was done by filtering out the dialogues so he only concentrated on things people said that he could criticise and argue with, in order to make their thinking look wrong.  He was brilliant at it.  People double his age had trouble with him.

All good sport for me.  I wanted to develop my faculties and found the perfect seminar.  An online dojo if you will?  I finished with him start of the year, and on good terms too.  All the best, Kid.

That my friends was the Autistic Dark Web group.  That's it.  The entire story of my 2019 Twitter dialogues summed up.  That was all it ever came to.

So how does all this connect up in one simple conclusion?  A bit all over the place?  Okay, it works like this:

  1. The US government declared a national emergency over pet owners stealing their own animals opium based medications in order to consume them.  But would not consider Autism to be worth doing the same with.
  2. Millions of pounds are being spent on vaccines, and the US are right there with the rest of the world in committing to spending on developing the very thing that Anti Vaxxers say are mass brain damaging and even killing the babies of all humanity.  The death bit turns up in the truly macabre fan-film Vaxxed 2 The People's Truth.  I protested this thing being shown in Ladbroke Grove in January.  Please listen to my first Guerilla Aspies podcast on Acast/Soundcloud and iTunes to hear a live recording of how that went.  Anyhow, point is that the film has to be seen to be believed in it's message that vaccines kill and main children - and that the unvaccinated are both physically and mentally superior to those who receive the dreaded injections.  For real.  They finish the film with these bizarre scenes worthy of the Nazi's eugenics propaganda....etc
  3. There are many different equally valid ways of seeing reality, but the world I have been operating in is full of groups who can ONLY be right in their particular vision of everything.  All else is wrong.  
  4. The detective work I mentioned has all been about finding out HOW GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS SEE AND THINK ABOUT THE SUBJECT OF AUTISM AND NEURODIVERGENCE (if you want to use a more precise term).  Are they right or wrong?  Are they compassionate or does hammering into peoples heads that they are disabled and have a disorder, just cause them depression and sadness?  Counterproductive internal materialism.  Sorry - you are a psychological loser in life etc.
  5. Some people out there have no interest in the above and are ruthlessly asserting their own, mono tropic, self focused agenda's on everyone.  As if the world could not work this out nor have the capacity to argue.  This last point is interesting because as I explained about trying to make everyone else look stupid, the people doing this sort of thing I encountered appeared to genuinely believe what they were doing was a real thing.  That is was not just some trick or opinion they had but how reality actually was.  Sounds....rather autistically minded to me, eh?
  6. From the above, that all that I found was autistic people being autistic people.  Hehehe.

So there you have it.  Lots of strands that are not necessarily tied up at the end.  A bit incoherent?  Well that's the point.  It's all ongoing right now and hopefully I will produce a more refined and focused statement of how all the above pieces fit together.  

Meanwhile in reality, the questions I posed about Covid 19 remain hanging.  Peoples lives have been put on pause in a way never before seen since World War 2.  In fact as far as I who was born in the Cold War am concerned, this is it.  This is World War Three.  Biowar.

Where is NeuroDivergence in all of this?  Oh, we are there.  We are there and we always will be.  

Let time move on and the scenario progress and change.  I have no idea what is next.  Apart from one of our regular walks, dodging people.

Be happy and well x

Monday, December 16, 2019

There is going to be more. But for now, a little background.

I do not usually blog.  My life is analogue and off line.  Things happen in real time.  Should I capture events and relay them, statically on here?  Should I give you my biased opinions because blogs always are.  If people write things then it's their account.  Just them and the medium of conveyance.

I have work to publish.  I just want to see whereabouts I can place it and should I admit to it?

I have been busy this year.  I found a new extreme sport - Twitter with aggressive adversaries whilst on public transport.  You see, I have to use buses and trains to and from my home and it can take over an hour to get to the main London Underground system to go from there to my final targets.  So I had time on my hands, surrounded by strangers (who are always private and actually good company for this).

There I would be, rushing out or coming home.  The atmosphere a little tense as everyone wants to complete their journeys.  All around the rich mix of my neighbours in the London transport zone we live in.  The air so filthy yet we never notice it.  Private lives all around me, buzzing externally with the faces and clothes of the people.

Me on the Twitter, avoiding aggression and insult whilst trying to always objectively make sense and brevity of what I was facing.  That you see was the sport.  Could you actually do that?  Because if not, one of us was in the wrong game.  I wanted to know if it was myself, as much as perfect the ability.

All this year, slowly eliminating people.  Why?  Aggression, some of it so present I did not consider that person capable of a safe dialogue.  Circular statements with no relation to my attempts at dialogue.  People talking to themselves as a reply to me.  Poor Jonathan Mitchell's paranoid quest to forever frame anything he does not like or relate to in any way he chooses.  The childish hyper intellectualising of autistic people who do not need to respect or empathise with others whilst thinking they do.

People trying to traumatise and 'freak out' others due to their autistic natures.  In order to get them off social media.  Because Twitter is, for some palm top warriors, the only battleground they have.

All this has gone on.  Now I've gone through the entire group of people I started with.

What have I concluded?  Aha...

Everyone who publicly identifies to the world as autistic, and holds views on this, is Neurodiversity Movement.  Which is a metaphor rather than an actual thing.

More to come.  ;)

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Edinburgh Festival 2019 blog: Two shows and one theatre company.

It is 6:54am on the morning of Friday the second of August 2019.  I am sitting at my computer, in a hostel that is dead central to the action of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe of theatre and performances.  The Cow Gate area of Edinburgh.

Outside the great, huge grey gothic monster that is Edinburgh is waking up.  The cars and lorries glide by like waves on a beach that go sideways instead of forwards and backwards.  Seagulls comment occasionally. Metal clanks as bins empty the treasures of the nights before.

Tonight it gets intense.  Tomorrow equally so.  The weekend brings more noise and revelry.  Joyous humanity, striving for euphoria.  Why not.  It's going to be interesting to share it this closely all these stories above the different ground levels around here.  

Out of the window you can see buildings that start two to three stories below the bridges they are build on, and go up another four or even five.  Many windows, some exposing the lives within.  A grim world of stone cages, hinting of the colourful life they contain.

I sit here in a rented room, my base for sixteen days.  It would normally be 25 but I ran out of holiday time.  Also the period is within my regular budget.  Sadly the usual places fell through as the people who rent them got wise to just how much they could be making if they let them per day.  Accommodation is a viciously priced business at this time of year, around here.  Why not?  What would you do if you owned a place you could rent.

It's a matter of time before the joys of sharing for a short while give way to Air B and B I know.  Or just plain a cheaper private rent.  Last year my friend George from Los Angeles rented an absolute palace off the Haymarket area down the road.  Yeah it cost but someone else was paying as part of his mighty Magic 8 Ball, my life with Aspergers show.  Timing meant I never got to see it as it clashed with my two productions.  But we will meet again.  George used to come round to our apartment round the back of the Pleasant Courtyard to use our washing machines and chat.  A fascinating, brave man.

George Steeves had become one more cutting edge pioneer of an art form that does not entirely exist. Neurodiverse self advocacy theatre.  Although there have been representations such as the West End of London run of Rain Man, I write of when autistic people write, produce and perform their own work.  They started as 'my name is xxxx and I have autism and this is what it is like'.  Tales of hardship ensued.  It was impossible to know where being autistic ended and describing mental health issues and the performers own personal limitations and that of his social world began.  Now things have moved on.

Back in 2015, Cian Binchy and I were the first people to have shows that blatantly gave it away that we were autistic, and what it was like.  They both lasted for many years until my Guerilla Aspies - Become Autistic with Paul Wady, remained to return each year.  For a few years the Ross Hepburn is Beetlejuice'd show on the PBH Free Fringe, revealed it's narrator had Aspergers at the end.  Great hyperactive work it was too.

(Ah, that snob term.  I'm so clever and functional.  Performers use it to differentiate from representing relative mental disability.  Personally I eschew the snobbery of it and just call myself and my work, autistic and representing being autistic.  As usual with Aspies, a term I still paradoxically use, we are all deeply individual).

Eh?  I thought I didn't like it.  Already I've given away the complex paradoxes of language around being autistic.  Or was it having autism.  Or being a person with autism?  There are ongoing and I think, somewhat unsolvable debates around how you say you are autistic.  That statement alone merely contributes rather than resolves.  Look - I gotta say it somehow.  If you are homosexual it is easy - just say you are gay.  But with the spectrum....yep, another term, oh it goes on and on.  Oh, come to think of it we ended up with the ever expanding LGBTI instead of...  Oh, here we go again.

Indeed autistic people tend to argue endlessly about the different terms involved in the different aspects of being NeuroAtypical.  Fine definitions of finer and finer classifications of...a small number of personal characteristics you can have that define you as one of us.  The things we hold in common.  There.  Simple.  Our shared natures.  

From this people like myself attempt to create art that expresses what our lives are like and who we are as people.  It originally centred around what went wrong in relation to an ideal of ability and the infamous but universally used term functionality.  Autism was and still is, usually defined via deficit, or savant genius skills.  I seek to show how many of us are in-between.  Hang on, doesn't that sound like most people?  

Our work, such as Anders Lee's Dummy which is playing this year, focuses on showing character, personality, maturity and yes, individual identity.  The orthodoxy around being autistic (I will use the term and that's that.  I've gone into the endless definitions/predications debates) says that IF YOU HAVE MET ONE PERSON WITH AUTISM, THEN YOU HAVE MET ONE PERSON WITH AUTISM...THAT IT EXPRESSES IN SO MANY INDIVIDUAL WAYS.  Like we don't have characters.  Just that the condition we can be defined as having manifests so individually in each of us.  Oh, so if we didn't have it we'd all be uniform people then?  Like everyone who doesn't have it always is.....  Oh I forgot.  Another cliche is that we don't ' do sarcasm.

Anders was and still is, a New York city based comedian in his twenties.  Then two years ago he came to see both my show and the Stealth Aspies company, went home and produced a frank and brave reveal of his own vulnerabilities that discussed what is normal.  I consider it better and more advanced than what I am performing.  I see Anders as having build on top of our work.  Which is exactly what I dreamed of happening in the field of Neurodiversity self advocacy performance.  

More to come.