The Shame


I want to do an about me section (rather than just the ‘about philosophy’) because, I figure, I don’t want to seem like I’m hiding anything and then be uncovered real quick with some google searches. Also the affirmation. I want to know if I seem interesting. And I’m squirming, by the way, even if you can’t read that between the lines.

I’m not normally proud of anything I do, alright, so it’s been very surprising to some people that I’ve come up with this philosophy thing that I seem to like. That I’ve not abandoned any mention of it even as I fail to explain it. Folks have even thought I’m arrogant for not backing down on it. Like “This is so clearly bollocks, there’s only one explanation for your continuing to pursue it: you’re a cunt.” If I’m a cunt, is it supposed to be about wanting the whole world to fuck me, and that being irritating?

I’m 20-something and my name is Merlin. That’s my real name. On the WordPress I’m starting to go by Jack since people get confused by the site title. And I like the generality of “Jack”. No offence to anyone named it, it’s just Jack and John are the kind of names given to unidentified corpses in police records. I really like being a Merlin as well though. Growing up I was steeped in my Dad’s own take on pagan traditions. He was an Albion, although he named himself on that one. Pagan traditions – in this case particularly the British ones – are pretty great. The whole reincarnation thing is in part responsible for my bothering with philosophy at all. It gave me a chance to say that Heaven and Hell just ain’t good enough. Now of course, I have a somewhat modified view of reincarnation. On death the body becomes part of everything else around it – that’s science. I don’t know where the existential self goes though. Maybe it splits back into smaller parts and exits right with the body. I’ve also decided I don’t like saying “Philosophy” to people, although it is a nice word and it’s very very easy to use when you’re doing the thought dance and want to tell people about it formally.

I’m going into a place where I’ll be ‘culturally pagan‘ a bit. But I don’t like to be any one thing – that’s boring. So other labels coming out of the box…I’d say I’m a romantic whether I like it or not. I’m British even though in many ways I don’t like it, and in many of the subtle little ways I do – we’re all about subtlety. Even British itself – I realised after (deliberately) typing Britishish that there are two ‘ishs’ there. We are ‘Brit ish’. Kinda Brit, like maybe. If we wanna be.

[edit: I did a rant the other day about how fucked up Britain – and by extension any nation – is, so, take that as you will, haha]

I drink black coffee. I drink a bottle of wine or three beers and a whisky most days of the week. Sometimes a flagon of cider if I can get one. Yeah, hehe, a flagon. I love going for walks or jogs – and yeah, there’s a beach. I prefer forests for it though, and sometimes streets for people-watching. I want to say I’m a female (if that’s different to woman in your book) but I don’t know if I can. It depends on whether you think of the feminine as an abstract concept like the goddess, or if you think it’s a very physical (as well as social) quality that can be held only by biological women and certain carefully chosen hermaphrodites. I prefer getting fucked by men, but I’m open to anything really. And yes I do need to mention that – I’m youngish, it’s an important part of my regular experience, and – while we’re talking about me – that’s the subject.

As the title implies, I usually think I need to apologise for existing. Sometimes not though, and sometimes I can only keep the self-flagellation at bay by fighting it. So I get a bit pugnacious, but it’s only really directed at me, alright?

I used to and still kinda do really like clothes. Ever hear of Geovictwardianism? Well, it’s interesting. Not quite my cup of tea (more of a coffee kinda gal, as I said) but I like it and especially any piratical and gypsy derivations. Oh and Peaky Blinders is my current ‘style guru’. I don’t go around like Tommy Shelby but for me it’s the height of fashion and possibly self-expression (politely combined with self-control).

My Desert Island Disks are: “Lovers” by Alex Turner; White Stripes’ “Cannon”; Arctic Monkeys’ “You’re So Dark”; “Les Cactus” by Jacques Dutronc; Trevor Something’s “The Possession”; “Cigarette Duet” by Princess Chelsea; the Libertines’ “Gunga Din”; and Ian Dury’s “My Old Man”. I’m not sure how all those would help on a desert island, but I guess I’d be doing a lot of remembering while waiting for death. And I remember a few other things I could sing. Without a cd player, singing from memory is probably all I could do anyway. The book I think would be Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia”, and the luxury some kind of lubeless dildo (sorry). I also have no fucking idea what I’d want to be on a desert island with me haha, so this is just the result of about 30mins on-and-off contemplation. A kind of blurb – not particularly well thought-through but still revealing.

I’d probably rather not have a favourite poet and say instead that I’ve consistently enjoyed reading Vagabond City Lit. I’m spending a lot of time on Charles Bukowski at the moment though.

I don’t know exactly why I’ve written this. I guess I just want to give you, stranger, a relatively honest and maybe even informative account of who I am. I guess a large part of the site is about that anyway but stories and poems sometimes just leave you wondering. Which is great, but I don’t know: I don’t want it to seem like I’m some anonymous stranger to you. I am that, but I’m also not. I’m the same species as you, which surprisingly means quite a lot of connection on its own. And if you’re going to read what I have to say and think anything of it…I feel like it’s important you know who wrote it. I want to know, if I track you down from your like or follow and enjoy what you’ve got to say.

Erm, yeah. I don’t really know what kind of ending to put on this.


The Excuse


I’m saying what I believe is that existence is true. That stuff exists. And that, at the end of the day, past all the beautiful colour of language, life and opinion, that’s all I believe.

My disclaimer, you see. I plan on doing and saying lots of things that certainly won’t be taken under proper consideration – that’s part of the fun, you see. In a world of headlines, there are only a few ways to grab the headlines and related iconography. And on the off-chance that I operate one of those routes to acknowledgement, I’d like a place to fall back to. A little redoubt that says at least I tried to tell you. History is thick with people admirably defended by truth and purpose – having a heart, having a kind of statement unspoken. Well, this is my statement written.

I have a very simple view of the world, and one that I’ll endeavour to explain over the next lifetime.

1. All things are of equal value, if divergent in semblance.

2. Everything is trying to exist more and/or exist better. Evolution, kidder.

3. Everything is stuff that exists.

The weird thing is that those three points are actually just the third one. All you need to know is that stuff exists, and the rest seems to follow unavoidably. It’s terrifying, brilliant, and maybe a little disgusting. That’s philosophy for you, or thinking or whatever it’s called these days. You do it proper and you’ll almost wish you hadn’t. Almost.

I have other, personal, viewpoints that seem to follow from the basic three. Maybe they can help to explain. I believe in non-violence: I believe in getting rid of compulsion in the most absolute sense of one person forcing an action on another, unwilling, person. But I also believe that all viewpoints are right and, for various reasons, of equal merit at the time of their being held. Though there are ‘better’ viewpoints that will eventually replace ‘worse’ ones, this is a process of constant change and improvement that happens on an individual level. At any one time, any idea being held will be the best that that individual can come up with: at any one time, everyone will have the best idea. Best for them, at least. And you can’t ban a thought, so don’t try.

In other words, people will keep on doing what they individually need to do whether you like that or not. No only whether you like it or not, but in a total, truthful way. People have to live their lives. Yes, that includes the ‘worst’ people. And don’t get me wrong, I personally hate murders, rapists, evil-doers of all kinds. But this isn’t entirely about what I think. It’s about the broader fabric of things. We all live in our own heads and can only understand things as we individually come to understand them. So yeah, if you don’t want to get killed by a murderer, defend yourself as you think fit. Just don’t go pretending that the murder is some inexplicable force of evil. He or she is (was if you then killed them) a human being, exactly like you in core functionality. We all exist, we all want to make the most of it, we all do our best to achieve that end. This is the sense in which we are all the same. Some people will think that robbery, rape and murder will help them get the most out of life. Those of us who disagree should try and convince them of our alternative ideas, while also (if we want to protect ourselves – we don’t have to) making sure these others don’t cause too much damage in the meantime.

Essential concept for me: we humans (almost) always operate as individual units. Even when we’re working together, it’s still a bunch of individuals as well as the group they form. The existential self does not disappear, it keeps working. It never fully stops working until death. And every moment of work forms that person. Every moment of your existence contributes to who you will be, and not everything that happens to you will be easily within your control. Not all of it will be familiar. In fact, most of it will be largely out of your control and will be unfamiliar at first. You have to learn patterns, you often have to learn to influence your life rather than try to control it outright. Life is bigger than you. Life won’t bow to your whims. But it will listen to you, and it will respond to what you do. And you will respond to it. That goes for every one of us, ‘best’ and ‘worst’.

Like what I say above, that what I do won’t always be taken under ‘proper consideration’, all I’m strictly saying is that not all of you are me. And why would you be? It’d be boring (amongst other things) if we were all that kind of similar.

An important point, right: if you believe something you should really believe it. So if you want to go non-violence for example, then you really need to be trying hard to make sure that you never need to deploy violence. Don’t just say you’re a pacifist without thinking about it. Adhere to something meaningful to you, not a hollow puppet made only to entertain the kids. At the same time though, humans are not ideal beings. We can consider ideas, but we can’t always keep to them perfectly. It’s not what we’re made for. We’re made to survive and thrive (as a species) in most environments on the Earth’s surface, and we continuously remake ourselves as time goes on. One day, we will probably become strange non-human beings of perfection or near-perfection. I mean obviously we’re going to take evolution into our own hands. However, since we’re not at that day yet, I can’t say what that will be like. I’m one of us, and so also not perfect. All I can say is that knowing some kind of truth, knowing some kind of good idea, means that you should try and follow that good idea, and teach others about it.

But this is not just about people. This is about all of existence – life isn’t just humans. All of existence is trying to do what’s best, is continuing to exist. It’s all doing what it believes is right, so to speak. We’ve only come to be in the first place through those kinds of existential forces. Things that don’t give a fig about our daily joys or tribulations, from atoms and whatever else, swapping electrons n’ all, up through your bacterias and animals. Even rocks are doing what they’ve gotta do, and the universe, the existence is dependant on all of that doing and having done exactly what it did and does. It’s mind-boggling. Let me tell you, there are times when I wish I was a future being capable of dealing with this, and there are times when I wonder if I’d be better off not knowing. But bollocks to both. I’m here right now, I know what I know, I am what I am, and it’s important.

So that’s my mission statement. My core belief is in the truth of existence. Alright. Every part of existence is there together. I can talk in religious language, scientific language, atheistic language. Whatever language you want me to talk, I can at least try and learn it and do that for you. I don’t mind language, because a truth – if true – should hold steady in any language. That’s why in ideas terms I don’t like bashing anyone for the group they belong to. The only issue is the veracity of their guiding principles, and it’s in the nature of the truth for us to want it, for us to want to be right in a complete sense. So everyone will be trying to get to truth in their guiding principles. And that’s the same as me. So there will be room for us to work together to get to that truth.

Every group is trying to get to the same thing as every other group. All they end up fighting over is misinterpreted looks and sounds. And if you get it in your head that we are all looking for the same thing, maybe it’s easier to forgive a misinterpretation, and maybe it’s easier to understand others. Maybe the fighting lessens because it doesn’t help. And then maybe this would’ve been an introduction rather than an obscure disclaimer.

Stuff exists. Deal with it.