CC BY-SA krozruch

Heartattack and Vine and other stories

31-08-18


I am sat at the desk I rarely work at any more, the one where, for months, I would sit at my Olympia SM3 typewriter drafting and redrafting the first book of an ambitious cyberdrone cycle called Call Them Soldiers. This time, I have been working on the python code that runs this website - an equally ambitious website - since the moral payload of the novel suggested to me that the most important thing I could be working on now is precisely this Creative Commons communitarian zine; the website which will, with any luck, compile from this file so that you can see it on that so beloved world wide web of 'ours'. I am writing this as a man, a human, who hadn't always known who they are, but who is working it out as I write these words, and as I write this code, since in doing both of these things I am creating the communicative apparatus by which we can have a dialogue, you can reach towards this meaning, I can reach out to somebody capable of trying to grasp it. As I am doing this, I am listening to an album by Tom Waits called Heart Attack and Vine. I first heard this album a few years ago. I was living in Wales, I suppose, and not having the best of times. I was aspergic (I had Asperger's syndrome), and I knew precisely what that was. I had ADHD and knew precisely what that was. I had previously been manic depressive but that's another narrative, other stories, another dataset if you will but, if you'll forgive me, I won't, or hope not to do so here. This is or will be a music review, specifically an album view, though the database I am creating won't know that explicitly. But there is no reason that a music review cannot be much more than that since a music review is all about set and setting (mindset and environment), and here I have a particular set and setting, as I have had every time I have heard this album, as I have had every time I have listened to any of these songs, and my relationship with some of them goes back almost twenty years now. I am interested in exploring some of that terrain. So much so that I cannot, perhaps, right now do anything else without straining like most people - if I understand it right - might have to strain towards an important exam paper or job interview. Because the thing is I was fucked in those years in a way that is as particular and near-as-damnit ineffable as anybody's way of being fucked, and the thing is that in this optimally (and multiplicitly) selfish individualistic age of ours, we could borrow from Tolstoy: every happy individual resembles every other; every unhappy person is unhappy after their own fashion. If you'll buy that, you'll buy this: a better understanding of the general is achieved through the study of peculiarities than of generalities. Now that I am on the road to being healthy, to being happier than I have been, I cannot but experience all of it, all of the life that was happening when I was making other plans, and music and place and people all bring it back so powerfully. I intend to share with you where I have been when I have listened to these songs, these stories, who I have been when I have heard them. If you do not have the same relationship with music as I do myself, you might recognise something of it, and isn't it true that those places and those selves keep on coming back with those songs? I do not attempt this without a motive. Let us be frank: I hope to pursuade you that it is in your interest, your personal interest, to pay for those things that have value for you, those with which you have some kind of beneficial relationship (however ambivalent that relationship may have been or may yet prove to be). I also write this in a spirit of confession. I have not always been the person I want to be. In point of fact, I have seldom - who am I kidding: never - been that. I have been failing, consistently, on my own most persistant values. I have tried - and I have tried hard - to become a better person. In that, I have some time ago passed some kind of personally-defined moral breadline. But enough. I am now listening to a song called




marginálie - opening doors since 2016