An impromptu, innocent and gentle crepuscular walk in the grounds of Trelissick turns into an unexpected action movie plot point: a monstrous kraken hauls itself from the mire and lumbers, clicking and creaking and groaning, fingers its way across the sward … and we run … and I tip my camera over my shoulder in the hope of … and we are free … well, derrr …
And then today I was wandering across the apocalytic wastes around Geevor and was reminded of the obsessively claustral, sepulchral aesthetic of the geological vampires of our recent past.
Friends who’ve come here say: it’s not pretty — no; it’s so frighteningly, dangerously hard — yes; it doesn’t let you forget, does it — no; but it still slips its mineral veins deep into your soul like brittle mycelium — oh yes.
And wherever you go, the Bucca are watching …
You can fly to the furthest reaches of the globe and fuck the future of our world, and ignore the politics and the ecology and the economics and … and gawp at the natural wonders of the world and tick off your bucket list scores or you can look around yourself, here and now, orient yourself and choose to belong and see the beauty and the depth and the magic of the place where you stand … and …
cobble together a collage of 6 photos and try to say something about us, people, and the earth, and about the sea and history and hardship and pain and about home.
Because the premise is a lie … was always. Because family feuds are worse, civil wars not and because antisemitism is not exclusive when it comes to who the semites are … because Trump is, Netanyahu is … not …
And so people die. And live without hope … and now less … if that’s possible.
And not to aesthetisise anyone else’s pain, and not to ignore the ancient greek’s misogyny … why is this shit still going on … I’m not naive, just sad and angry.
Lanhydrock … hmmm … carceral monstrosity that it is.
National Trust Central for Cornwall … Busy with people (heaving in the season) entranced, seduced and deluded by the Downton Abbey life of the previous owners … let’s be honest: the weird, sickly, devout and yet totally bent Agar-Robartes. Creepy bunch of fuckers.
The Jacobean home of the Earls of Radnor, acquired in the dissolution, was razed by righteous fire in 1881 and rebuilt as an insane asylum for their feeble bug-eyed children.
But, if you avoid the grim house they built, the gardens and estate the NT have created are actually quite beautiful … and quite free just at the moment, if you sneak around the proscribed routes — pay and display soon to demonise, criminalise and fuck up that particular bit of sharing with the community.
And perfect in the spring with rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias, daffs and crocus, views softened by the haze …
But there’s no getting away from the devil’s spawn who built this bastion of privilege …
Foxes are farmers’ friends, keeping the rodent populations down … but farmers don’t want to be friends … and in fact I recently read that hunting foxes benefits the fox population — weeding out the weak and old and encouraging younger fitter foxes to move in … and a pack of hounds is the least of their worries — their lives are hard, brutish and short …
But some people can just fuck with the law and as N says: what does it tell us about them that they get their jollies from watching a living animal getting ripped apart?
I get where Andy Warhol was coming from — after all Valerie Solanas used a snub-nosed .22 to try to kill him in 1968 — it was also part of his “noticing” of Americans’ weird obsession with death and killing, to say nothing of his own.
Three decades later and things are not getting any better — indeed it’s been described as a war on the poor. And, in America, that often means by white people against black people, whether in suits or with guns.
There are some gruesome figures here.
I know many people here in the UK who believe whole-heartedly that everyone has the right to use lethal force against anyone who scares them or challenges them … I’m just really pleased that they don’t have access to the tools they want.
Tony Martin, who executed a 16 year old Traveller, Fred Barras, outside his house, with an unlicensed shotgun, for burglary, in 1999, in fact only served 3 years and is a hero and exemplar to many.
This is not at all a peace loving country. Go for a walk through Manchester, Liverpool, London, Glasgow, Plymouth, anywhere … on a Saturday night. And racism is not an American thing. And hopeless, half-educated people who can find no place in the world are everywhere and they rant and rave in the night. And privileged, privately educated people who have the world all sewn up are just as likely to espouse such nightmarish views and they have no need of guns.
But there are almost as many privately held weapons as there are people in the US: over 300 million — about half of all the guns in the world, even though they’re just 5% of the population.
About 20000 people a year in America kill themselves with guns and if you try it using a gun, you’re almost certain to succeed.
But nearly 34000 people died at other people’s hands and over 100000 people were shot but didn’t die in 2013.
And there’s no argument for self defence: for every person killed in self defence, 33 are killed criminally.
And so on and so on …
But the domestic arms industry generated $38 billion in 2013 — big business and it’s handguns they sell and it’s handguns that kill.
And you spend a bit of time, as an innocent Brit, surfing American websites where they review these things like toasters and $600 Sig Sauers are “decent” and reliable but not terribly sexy and where models are hyped with excerpts from action movies with macho thugs like Gibson, Willis and Renner wielding x, y or z. You too …
And it’s not as though there’s nothing to be done — Myths about gun control
And … I really don’t know.
I am just sad in the end. And sorry for those families in Charleston.
I grew up in the “country”, Now I live in the country again, on a milk and beef farm. Want to know the weather? Look out of the window … oh, how true.
The majority of the population live in cities. Fair enough. They buy their “fresh” food, portioned and sealed under cellophane. Fair enough.
But it doesn’t take much imagination to picture how you can buy three whole chickens for £10.
Or how those cows get to lactate and then so generously give us all their milk?
Concrete feed lots with steers up to their knees in their own shit, gorging on barley and soya beans.
And all the rest …
It’s not exactly rocket science.
Like smokers who are perfectly aware that it’s not good for them, we just don’t think about it.
And of course that includes cheese-eating vegetarians.
Father Christmas and tooth fairies never hurt anyone but the sentimental childhood fantasies about jolly farm animals (they spaced on diazepam or what?) are like an inoculation against the truth and a licence for horror.
And I eat meat …
Cheap credit helps us to unsee the decline of the West … capitalism can not deliver the goods with pirates scraping off whatever cream there is.
Stuff is about lifestyle and not life … it might as well be Soma.
Low productivity and limited resources, environmental degradation and an economy built on a shed load of low paid service jobs and a few high paid “wealth-creators” is a choice we make … in a few weeks time for fuck’s sake … but immigrants are what matter, unless of course they’re drowning because of our “humanitarian” wars and penny pinching nastiness, in which case they don’t. Prudence is what matters unless we’re handing over the state to asset-stripping gougers who will just make us pay and pay and will treat their employees as zombie zero-hours-wage slaves. The deficit is what matters unless it’s just a fucking pretext for robbing and disempowering us and enriching more parasites. And anyway, if I owned a house, I’d be rich … so I’m all right. Except I’m not …
and the things that we could be doing to make the world a better place, a fairer place, a kinder place, a warmer place, a more beautiful place are just too expensive — we cannot subsidise our souls but we can “invest” in our dividends. We must not be seduced by wishful thinking, we must reclaim the sensible middle ground … that is fast disappearing and is mean and narrow and selfish and hard … and full of fear too.
Fuck, I (almost) give up …
But not quite.
And Mr Warhol is not feeling the pressure I fear — but I try.