Saturday, 11 October 2008

Activity 1.3 - Clustering

Hi - sorry for the delay between posts. The spam bots mistakenly shut me down for a while (nothing to do with the dildo - honest!) but normal(ish) service should be resumed now...

Urgh. Why is it my best writing time tends to be between nine at night and two in the morning? I like sleep. In fact, I love sleep, it's just that my brain doesn't want me to have any. Anyway, I have been clustering like mad, trying to get my head around it. I think it's starting to work, it's just that I find it hard to let go of the central concept and freewheel off into tangents. It's that whole 'answer the question' thing I had drilled into me at school, I suppose. See what you think, anyhow. I've included the thread I was working from at the top of each part.

P.S. Apologies for the fairly naive political nature of the last piece. Hope it's fairly obvious who I'm referring to but the thread will make it obvious.

1. fame>freedom>boundaries>danger
I think that most people go hunting for fame – and it seems to be a major part of so many people’s career plans these days – because they are looking for attention. When I say this, I do not mean the type of fame that comes as a result of a great talent. Indeed, with that kind of celebrity, there seems to be a fairly even split between those who welcome the attendant fame and those who shun and shrink from it. Of course, the key word is ‘attendant’ – it is not the dreaded fame for fame’s sake that those blighted denizens of reality tv and talent shows ache for but the natural result of being good at something that other people enjoy watching (hearing, reading, tasting etc.). Where the Orwellian masses have a void at the centre of their purpose, such individuals as these have a true, solid skill to anchor them. And yet, I think both these groups, having achieved their fame by whatever route, discover a far more thrilling result even than the adulation of those left in the gutter. What they find at the back of the lightbulb flash and the saucer-eyed stares is an overwhelming, intoxicating rush of freedom. Loose their bounds from the 9-5 ebb and flow, the supermarket procession and the communal traffic jam prayer, such boundaries are hazy memories to our idols.

2. mirror>me>flipped>stranger>trapped>blind spot
The person in the mirror. Is that me? She’s looking back at me with the same dazed expression I can feel smeared across my own face, eyes bleary, hair scattered in all directions. She’s the only image I’ll ever have, I suppose, this reflection, flipped in space and picked out by bouncing light. I have no other perspective on myself, save perhaps the closed-in, compromised view of my shoulders down. But that tells me nothing more than I have a stain on my t-shirt and odd socks. I am trapped in that space behind my eyes where my soul resides, afforded a glorious widescreen, Technicolor view of the world around but only a squinting, peering knowledge of my own body. My whole face is a blind spot.

3. spiders>Pepper>hunter>Sarah Palin>alpha female>destructive>hateful
I’m not a fan of spiders. Crawling black wall-huggers. My cat used to hunt them, stalking the little creepers with fascination and then snaffling them in one mouthful, their legs waving with doomed frenzy. Good cat. His nature was to hunt other animals but he adapted, hunting domestic pests instead. Much like his owners, designed to hunt antelopes but evolved to hunt down b.o.g.o.f.s in Tesco. All except the traditionalists, of course. The sport-hunters. The deer-stalkers. The ones who decorate with bear skins and then run for office. Can’t stand that woman. The first time she appeared on the news I could feel my hackles rising, my lip curling in a sneer. Such a physical, visceral reaction. The usual Pavlovian response to an alpha female, later compounded by her creepingly simplified rhetoric and the destructive notion of a woman gaining unprecedented power with such insidious ideals. Hateful woman. I’m not a fan of hers.

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