It was Tuesday 10.38am, I was reading Noam Chomsky’s 1967 article The responsibility of Intellectuals, chewing my Asda Smart Price Sardine pasta salad and thinking ‘this essay is definitive proof that Slavoj Zizek talks absolute rubbish, claiming that Chomsky doesn’t analyse ideology with enough rigour’, when the phone rang,
‘Hello’ said a rough voice. ‘I am annoyed’, it said next.
‘Why’s that?’ I asked
‘Because’ it began to answer ‘I need some extra things in my food parcel. Eggs and bread.’
‘Right okay…’ I was stopped.
‘And cigarettes. And mint tic tacs, the white ones. Oh, I would love a cake to gobble down. Ha ha.’
I tried to explain that these food parcels did not include luxury items. She was not impressed by my take on what constitutes a luxury.
‘Tic tacs!? Come on!’
The call went on like this for five minutes, colleagues laughing around me, hearing me negotiate with a lady a la tic tac. Finally, I agreed to send an email, raising her desire for specific items, though I told her I did not think it likely she would receive them.
This, I have decided, is the best phone call I have had so far, while at the call centre. This Roald Dahl come Mr Gum style character was a joy to talk to. Utterly absurd, appearing only through comical vocals, I was not affronted by the physical reality, a life of tic tacs and cigarettes does not highlight one’s best features, it reduces them to corners, of a bizarre smelling thing.
Time rolled on and I noticed two facts. Firstly, I was bored, I had read some news, taken part in some conversations and gone for a brief stroll on my lunch break, but now I was doing nothing, neither skiving nor working. Secondly, I had nothing to write for this blog. The more astute readers – if there are any – will notice a polarity between these dilemmas, two sides of the same coin. Facing a stalemate, I decided I would have to start working, and so I did. I did some work.
It was alright I suppose. I Spoke to some people who were grateful for their food parcels, one lady was lactose intolerant and politely requested she did not receive dairy products. I left two voicemails, repeating the call centre phone number twice each time, as I always hate it when people leave voicemails with phone numbers and do not repeat it, for clarity.
During this spell of productivity, I believe I was content, and this concerns me.
If I am to work to Chomsky’s standard, then I must remember it is the responsibility of the intellectual to insist upon the truth.
Now I know what you’re thinking, Patrick you are not an intellectual and Chomsky was talking about academics properly scrutinising American interventionism and what not. He was not talking about your personal epiphanies qua lockdown.
Well to you I say, ‘I don’t know if you’ve noticed bozo, but the planes have stopped flying, there is no international interventionism to speak of. No elections to be influenced, no articulate leftists to be shot down by the CIA, no guerrilla armies to be brought down, by superior artillery, a tragic reminder that absolute devotion to liberation is not enough to curtail America’s economic agenda.
No. For the time being this stuff has stopped. I think?
It’s time to focus on me and the true function of this blog.
What at first appeared to be a vessel for self-analyses, embedded in a moment of historical significance, has turned out to be something very different.
This blog is a shackle of my own invention. The reification of the outer limits of my imagination. As Mark E Smith put it, I don’t know how to use freedom.
Yes, it saddens me, but I am content with the mundane. The good lord did not bestow upon me an irritable energy, rendering me restless until I lived life entirely by my own standards.
As I write this it is now Tuesday 2.57pm. There is still time for me turn things around! Instead of doing things, so that I have something to write about, I will do things – and this is vital – because I want to. I will live the life of an instinctive, libidinal rebel.
Now it is Thursday 4.52pm. Since my epiphany life has become something of a party. Yesterday I had two Magnums and had 7/8 of a bottle of wine. At 10.37pm, when I would normally be tucked up in bed, I was in the garden smoking one of my girlfriend’s rollies, the moon my accomplice, in blissful summer clarity, jouissance. This morning I agreed to stream a live set, fearless to the fact that my voice sounds like a wet sock blowing in the wind, especially when unaccompanied by my brother’s Jean-Jaques Burnel style bass.
However, I do feel a bit sick and I know I wouldn’t feel this way had I drunk less wine last night. The two Magnums can’t have helped either, What I was thinking, dining like some greedy Roman Emperor, a sickly collage of sweet liqueur and creamy sugars, becoming one confused formula in my stomach while I sit in this call centre. All wrong.
Never mind though because it turns out I was wrong about international scandal winding down for the Coronavirus. Rojava, also known as the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, AANES, famous for its female soldiers and generally a beacon of hope and freedom is being refused support from WHO and surrounding states, with Turkey bombing hospitals and medical centres. Apparently, they have under 50 ventilators for a population of 4million.
Read some proper writing here: https://novaramedia.com/2020/05/04/coronavirus-in-rojava-facing-a-pandemic-without-a-state/