Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Marvellous Toy

When I hear the word 'enough' a variety of things flash through my mind: Kurt Cobain groaning "Come as you are, as you were, as I want you to be"; the (literally) rooms in my (parents') house that are clogged with disused possessions, most of which are in inadequate condition to sell; and, most vividly, a present I got when I was younger.

It's not like me to unremember the exact age I was at when a significant thing happened, but I might not be right when I say I was 8 when I received this. The toy I wanted most was something my neighbour had. It was a ring where we could place our Wrestling figures against one another, bought from Toys 'R' Us. It had ropes to bounce off, corner-posts to pounce off, and steps that one's opponent's head coud be smashed into repeatedly.

Instead of buying me one of my own, my dad went out to the garage, sawed out a board of plywood, about 12" x 8". He hammered four nails into the corners and wrapped two strings around the outsides, and the only finishing touch required from there was for me to write WWF in the centre.

Much of my reading, and therefore much of my writing, over the past two years has explored the possibility of a reacquaintance with our past, not as a form of conservatism, but a way of combating a Jungian neurosis and the modern ill of (Mc)meaninglessness. And parts of this are notions like 'digging where we stand' and exploring the concept of enough.

When I was nine, my brother and I spent the entire summer at my grandmas while our house in England was having an extension built. As a break from stacking turf at the bog and going to the cattle market, we dug a hole to Australia. Well, it was supposed to go to Australia, only we were digging sideways into a bank. It's where I met the term (and the concept) key-stone. It was a suggestion put across in Alistair McIntosh's Soil and Soul and will definitely play a part in my next book. It is a hyperbolic way of examining how the truth lies beneath our feet.

Anyway, that was an aside, I've already tried my hand at travelling salesmanship, and heard some disturbing accounts at what goes on in call-centres. I am diturbed at the lengths to which highly capable people, in super-rich countries sometimes go to to "pay their way", and wonder whether a gentler, more interdependent life is attainable.

This is a somewhat tangential post with no central message, but I'll leave you with the words of Bill Hicks , that are part commentary on our consumer-society and part identification of those who are to blame.

Well, somebody somewhere is fucked and there's little doubt we're all being fucked. I don't agree with Hicks but I find solace in the fact that he said it.