Advertisements

Archive

Author Archive

KEEF?

I spoke to Keith Richards once. It must’ve been about ’67 or ’68. It was at the Revolution Club, or the Speakeasy Club, or one of those. My cousin Jim, (James Carter-Fea) if you want to be highfalutin, held the purse strings for those two establishments. James had been a photographer, and then he fell into a partnership with Stirling Moss the racing driver. How he ended up managing bands no one alive probably knows. Jim is long gone, and gone too young. He wasn’t even a musician, he hardly drank, I never saw him use any illegal substances. He just died of a heart attack one day.

I’ve just finished rereading the book with Keith Richards name on it, it’s called https://www.amazon.com/Life-Keith-Richards/dp/031603441X and the actual writer is a journalist called James Fox. Well I have to point that out because there is no mention of James Fox on the cover, you have to delve around inside first. Okay, no issue with that, James Fox has known Keith Richardskeith-richards-5 since the 70s and he probably got well paid for the gig.

Anyway, I would have been about twenty, and still in the Navy. I was practising for the career that I had chosen for myself when the Navy no longer wanted me. I was sure that would be soon, after all if I’d been the Navy I wouldn’t have wanted me! It was a full seven years from going in to coming out, and even then I was only twenty-two. So there I was already married to a sweet American girl… (Hi Becky!) Becky was a hot rocking singer who could cover anything from Jefferson Aeroplane to Aretha Franklin. She could also handle terribly tragic songs like Thumpers song. When you’re down to your last leaf of lettuce/And the world seems lonely and blue/just go thumpetty thump thump thumpetty thump thump thump/and the world will smile with you/… Like that. That girl had a voice like an angel with one foot on Satan’s balls. The problem aside from the drugs, was her inability to stand in front of a crowd and scream into a microphone. At least, not unless she had dropped some green micro dots or purple haze, or shared a large Spliff. We were all a bit colourful back then. Drugs were a little different. You could get nice little blocks of Moroccan hash, or perfectly good pharmaceutical cocaine. Seldom seen today. Everyone is on crack, or, if they think they’ve got cocaine it’s more likely they’ve been ripped off with amphetamine. So many dishonest drug dealers around these days!

Back to Keith Richards. Hanging at the Revolution or the Speakeasy was the way to meet up with and chat to some of the top bands, celebrities, film stars, you name it! Even the infamous Kray twins Ronnie and Reggie were regulars. It was a great place for a budding gonzo journalist. (My influences at that time were Jack Kerouac and Hunter S Thompson.) The place to rock was the Marquee Club, but after hours and into the wee smalls the Revolution and the Speakeasy were clubs where you could just hang. Sure, the top bands played at both, but it was late at night and into the early morning when those who might have been mobbed elsewhere could settle down to some serious drinking, stoning, interviewing, or business dealing. For anyone wanting to get a grounding in music journalism, cousin Jim created the ideal places!

So, some years before I entered the profession honourably, Keith Richards became my first ever interview. I had managed to get my hands on a copy of ‘Aftermath’, on the Decca label. It was a mono version! Every album in the top ten at that time was a total favourite! Number one, the Beatles with Revolver, number two Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde, number three, Pet Sounds, the Beach boys, number four, already mentioned Aftermath, number five the Yardbirds, Roger The Engineer, number six the Mamas and Papas, If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears, number seven The Who, A Quick One, number eight, the Temptations, Getting Ready, number nine, The Mothers of Invention, Freak out, and rounding out the top ten, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off with those magnificent Grace Slick vocals! from memory. There are some things you never forget!

Keith was looking ragged. Midnight had come and gone, and the music was not live. I thought if I presented my pristine copy of Aftermath I might get at least an autograph, even if the interview was not forthcoming. “Mr Richards? Would it be all right to talk to you a little? “

He turned his head slowly and for a split second it seemed like it was going to be an ‘Exorcist’ moment. Back then, I would have believed him if he had told me that he had experienced one of those Robert Johnson moments, and made a deal at the crossroads with the devil.

His elbows, perfectly aligned on the bar stayed where they were. The turning of the head was very slow. His dark brown eyes had pinpricks for pupils,

“Jack!” A languid arm raised, two fingers. “Jack!”

Cousin Jim had half a dozen comfortable barstools around the small but well stocked bar. I sat on the one next to Keith, and waited. With a surprising economy of movement he drew a halo around his head, a pair of horns on Mick Jagger’s, wrote BILL above Bill Wyman’s head, next to him stood Charlie Watts, above his head he wrote CHAR. Perhaps he’d had a fight with Brian, because he scrawled out his face, leaving only blonde locks to identify the not-long-for-this-world Rolling Stone.

An unopened bottle of Jack Daniels appeared on the bar. Yes, he poured me a drink. I scored a beautifully defaced autograph on my favourite album, and shared a drink! Way to go!

We sat, drinking quietly, and Keith hardly moved. Then that head turned again, slowly, and he blinked like an owl. “You said you wanted to talk.” “Yes.” I said with some eagerness.

“Well, you have. Now fuck off!”

That was my first attempt at an interview. Fortunate that I still had the Royal Navy to fall back on. It wasn’t until 1970 that I figured out that if you want to interview a rock star, and you don’t go through the right channels you won’t get the good stuff. And not even the good stuff is half true. They are rock stars for crying out loud! Not that it matters! Everyone else just makes stuff up.

Keith Richards is five years my senior. Way back in 1968 Keith still had another ten years of rampant drug use and experimentation. Lots of people hold Keith Richards up as proof that rock stars can grow old despite pickling themselves. Here is a piece of information that, as Michael Caine would say ‘Not many people know that you know!’ 2018 marks forty years since Keith Richards gave up heroin. Forty years! Granted, he didn’t quit the joys of cocaine until about 2006, but it was very pure. Not amphetamine with cocaine prices. Even that’s over ten years!

So, when Keith Richards is being held up as proof that you can still muck around, just remember that he was rich, lucky, and careful. And had probably been to the Crossroads too!

Advertisements
Categories: an eclection

ROOTS

I will happily jump out of an aeroplane. Even climb sheer granite rock faces. I will trek across frozen tundra pulled by a team of white huskies. There are a hundred things I would rather do than fly from Melbourne to Manchester in a Qantas A380 via Dubai in economy class.

It’s not that I am a snob, or anything. There are just some things that do not work for me. Like eating powdered glass, or drinking hemlock.

At my age money has no meaning except the joy of things that it can buy to guarantee my personal comfort. A Qantas Dreamliner in a business class seat is one of those things. Not that the A380 is a bad aircraft. It is perfectly good for service. It flies. The most serious problem is that it stops for a while in Dubai. Now, some people like Dubai. It is probably a perfectly reasonable destination if you like the idea of ostentatious wealth with steel and glass monoliths, and paying ten dollars for a lettuce sandwich.

My problem with Dubai is that it is not a destination on my bucket list. To disembark carrying all your hand luggage and be shepherded in a giant loop only to be subjected to humiliating and rude security measures is not my idea of the beginning of a fun holiday.

When Qantas announced that the new Dreamliner would be flying non-stop from Perth to London, a mere seventeen hours, now, that sounded appealing.

Checking in at Melbourne with our express pass was as easy as spelling Qantas without a U. All our checked in baggage was routed direct to Manchester. A pleasant stay in the brand-new lounge in Perth assured us that Qantas has really put some quality thought into the service it provides. However, this is not an advertisement for the Dreamliner or for Qantas and if Qantas want that, they’re going to have to pay me. That, is surely not an option that they would be happy about. It was fun though. Being pampered is always fun!

We arrived in Manchester well slept and raring to go.

The idea was to hire a car, visit friends and relatives, and take off around the highways and byways of the West Country. The rental car village at Manchester airport is easy to access, and all the major companies are represented. Our luck was arriving on ‘one of those days’. Budget, Avis, Hertz, and the panoply of rental car companies, bar one, had nothing available. Ah! We arrived at the Europa desk. There sat a delightful young man barely out of work experience, and now into his third week as a customer representative.
“Of course!” He said smiling at our enquiry as to whether they had a vehicle available. “what we are here for!”

Paperwork. A little more paperwork. Just a little more paperwork. Two drivers licences. Credit cards, insurance, charge for an extra driver. That sort of thing. Nothing unusual about that. At least they had a car!

Being seasoned travellers we have learned to travel without taking the dining room table and cutlery with us. Two standard size suitcases, one each, and a shared smaller suitcase brimming with toiletries, painkillers and quick change clothing items is all we need. Okay, even going the quick route, a mere twenty something hours, we were knackered. When one is knackered, one does not listen too carefully to every word spoken. Or even every third word! Overjoyed to have a vehicle for thirty days, we failed to ask the bleeding obvious! (There are some things a six foot two, seventy-year-old long-haired-hippie-lout cannot do. One of those things is to fold neatly into a Fiat 500 accompanied by three pieces of luggage and the passenger. Not if one also has a glass back!) Well, done is done. Best to just suck it up! The Fiat 500 is a popular car on British roads, (mainly because it is cheaper than the grippy little Mini.) Unlike the Mini however, the steering wheel communicates badly with the rubber on the road, and if you are not an ex-POM with an expert working knowledge of British country roads, the advice would be to grit your teeth and drive very slowly!) Fortunately, this ex-POM has an instinctive working knowledge of country lanes which purport to be genuine roads! British drivers have a propensity to smile and wave as you meet going in opposite directions with only millimetres to spare. Tractor drivers and 15 tonne delivery truck drivers look down on you with one hand on the wheel the other in the air and compassionate smiles on their faces. Even with Brexit, the British and the French still tolerate each other in spite of the things they may mutter about each other in their own language when they think the other does not understand! “Vous êtes un cochon!” to a Brit, translates as “would you like a cushion?”

Unfolding my six-foot two frame from the low seat of a Fiat 500 is a little like the Japanese art of origami. Just a little more painful. With just enough room in what purports to be the trunk (or the boot) for a large camera bag and a selection of lenses, the suitcases resided on what purports to be the rear passenger seat. This meant that the driver’s seat had to be in the full forward position leaving just enough room for the driver to be seated with chin resting on knees. A vision the passenger found funny until she had to break the rigor mortis. Anyway, enough about the vagaries of the Fiat 500, this was a holiday, and as with all holidays a little rain must fall! Talking about rain, it did. Of the thirty days, we enjoyed five delightful days of sunshine, and, two days aside when the temperature reached 29° C in London the weather turned out some positively balmy temperatures hovering around 12° C. It was obvious that we were tourists, rugged up in our quilted winter coats while the locals stripped off on the beaches, paddling in their bikinis or shorts and T-shirts.

A little bit of useless information. The green and pleasant land of Great Britain can fit into Australia thirty-one times. To drive 200 miles to experience the special joy of a certain cafes specialty hamburger is a mere bagatelle. To drive said distance in Britain brings forth protestations of ‘you can’t drive all that way!’ Manchester to Hull on the M 62 is a mere hop and a skip. (At least in a car not designed specifically for Noddy.)

Visiting old haunts in Cornwall, Devon, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Yorkshire was probably one of the best and most nostalgic trips we have made in many a year. Once outside of the cities the British countryside is as addictive as it was when, as a child, I would ride my trusty old Philips Fiesta, (blue and yellow, with three speed Sturmey Archer gears) out on the country roads picking bunches of daffodils and bluebells, collecting free range eggs from under the Hawthorne hedges, and returning late in the evening with lips blue from eating blackberries.

Pub accommodation and Bed & Breakfasts have adapted so beautifully to the casual tourist. As always the Brits are super friendly, courteous, and inquisitive. (Even though many think of Australia as Home and Away, and Neighbours.) The Brits love their country, they love their countryside and the seasons. Above all they love their relationship with Australians and New Zealanders.

Much as I would have preferred to be driving a Mini this was one of the best trips ever! Yeah! It is true that we cheat at cricket. It is true that we are a bit loud, and the only reason a lot of POMS have even heard of Australia is that they had relatives sent out here for stealing a loaf of bread. Britain is still the old homeland I left way back in 1972. Not much has changed with the horrible exception of giant Morrison’s barns, and Tesco’s, and Sainsbury’s, and Aldi, and Lidl. They occupy prime land on beautiful sea fronts, destroying the quaintness that Britain is famous for. That I do lament. Still, progress has to be made, and where would we be without Morrison’s ready meals?

 

Categories: an eclection

FREE DOWNLOAD OF EATS AND TREATS

November 5, 2017 Leave a comment

Just a quicky for all my friends and supporters. I’ve put the new memoir up for four days free to download. It’s a pretty decent read, even if I say so myself. (Which I do!) It’s 188 pages and should give you a bucket of laughs and a pail of tears as they say. I want to prove a point from a discussion I had with a friend who said that if I offer this for free for four days I’ll get about 1000 downloads! Well I said not and we’ve got a bet on that if I get 1000 downloads of the memoir she will pay me the entire cost! (Not!) But there you go. And here you are.

Below you will see that you were unable to load the preview. I think it is time for writers as a whole to begin to tackle the problem of the many thousands of illegal downloads. As an experiment I reduced the price to 00.00 for four days to find out how many downloads there would be. Over 1000+! Many more thousands have been downloaded on illegal sites as .pdf’s. Either we take a stand, or we stand to lose our very livelihood. I have now taken down all legal avenues to download this book, and it will remain available only in print. Sorry, I know this will result in less sales, but at the same time it will encourage only those who want to read a good book and are prepared to pay something for it. It has been priced in such a way that there is NO profit to be made. However, all downloaded versions are illegal, and I would greatly appreciate your comments if you have downloaded any copy from any site that is not Amazon. I promise I will not get mad, or get even. I just would like to know, because I have already noted several thousand downloads that were unpaid for.

Categories: an eclection

TIME FOR A STATUTE OF LIMITATION?

November 2, 2017 Leave a comment

Things are out of hand. Thirty two years ago Dustin Hoffman allegedly “sexually harassed” a seventeen year old intern. Only now are these accusations being made against people who might not actually have committed any offence. That is not to say they did not, but surely there must be some burden of proof. Something recorded, something concrete?

This girl in question was seventeen. She has not made clear what the sexual harassment was, but today is not thirty two years ago. Cultural norms are different. That is not to say that any kind of harassment is even close to reasonable, but what does it actually mean?  Why suddenly are these accusations coming out of the woodwork? And what exactly is sexual harassment? Is it asking a girl if she will sleep with you? Or is it putting your arms around a girl and blowing in her ear playfully? I don’t know.

What I do know is that whether true or not, these ancient accusations throw mud at anyone who cannot defend themselves in any way because today with such accusations one is guilty until proven innocent.

It’s really not on. Not on.

I admit personally that back in 1970 I pursued a girl. I would not take no for an answer when I asked her out. For coffee, for dinner, for a drink. Over a period of time we talked a lot. She was a bar manager and was used to being spoken to in a bit of risque manner by the customers. She gave as good as she got. She was flattered mostly that I might say that her hair was nice, that she had lovely perfume, that her skirt showed a lovely pair of legs. She was a strong woman with a mind of her own and an ability to say no. She was a feminist of the time but described herself as an equalist. She often gave me banter, saying that no man could be a feminist simply because they were not women. They could though, be equalists.

I pursued and pursued. Then one day she gave in and we went out on a date. Had I not pursued her I would not have been happily married to her for twenty seven years, and would not have a beautiful son. Sadly she died in her young fifties.

Today, if I were famous I can imagine being accused of some kind of harassment by someone who decided to make an accusation  thirty or more years later. I always appreciated beautiful women. And told them so. Sometimes we flirted. In fact, quite often we flirted. That’s the way it was.

I plead guilty. As sin.

I am sorry if I offended someone thirty plus years ago. I am not aware of anyone. At least, not anyone who felt that they were harassed. Is it not time to call for a statute of limitations on these accusations? Surely it would be reasonable to put a limit of (say) ten years on such things.

IN MEMORY OF MY BEAUTIFUL, TALENTED, FLIRTY, STRONG PARTNER WIFE. MARGARET.

Categories: an eclection

IS EVERY ACT OF MASS MURDER NOW AN ACT OF TERRORISM?

November 1, 2017 Leave a comment

MURDER OR TERRORISM?

The watchword of all media in these days of fear is that any attack publicly carried out is a ‘Terror Attack’. Such that the meaning of ‘terror’ has been devalued. If we are to suggest that everything is a terror attack, then surely all the school shootings, the killing of many in Sandy Hook et al, are acts of ‘terror’.

Originally the use of the words ‘terror attack’ was assigned to any group with an ideology committing an attack on the public at large.

Yes, of course every attack on the public at large is a terror attack. Of course it is. What we have done though is to suggest that behind every attack on the public, is an organisation with an ideology opposed to our own. Planning by a group or organisation with intent to disrupt and sow the seeds of fear into our culture.

A friend of mine Mark Anthony Rossi, a poet and writer, recently wrote a blog about fear. He was timely in his remarks.

The most recent attack in New York when a lone man, armed with a BB gun and a paintball gun had hired a “truck” (in fact, what we in Australia would call a Ute). He paid with his own name, at the cost of nineteen dollars a day, and drove the rental into a bicycle lane, killing eight and injuring many. It was said that this man was a truck driver. He then rammed a school bus.

The question I would ask the media is ‘Was this really within the bounds of a terror attack?’ Was it organised by a group like ISIS? Or was it simply just another disenfranchised, angry, crazy individual acting alone? I ask this because it would seem that any organised group would have had access to real guns. The fact that this man was unable to purchase a real gun suggests that he acted alone and unaided. To rent a ute when he had the facility to drive a large truck into people just seems crazy. Then to ram a school bus, (a heavy, solid vehicle) with his small, empty ute was an act of stupidity that makes him look like nothing more than a stupid, enraged individual.

That is not to say that he did not terrify.

He did.

The problem we are now facing is to ask ourselves who the real terrorists are in this case. It was an act of murder, but the news media have much to answer for in their reportage of the event. It gained hours and hours of ‘breaking news’ with entire programmes dedicated to interviews, commentary, and live crosses to the scene of the incident.

The media is terrifying the public. Social media takes up the cry as it always does, and the incident is escalated beyond what it really appears to be. Just another crazy engaging in an act of murder. Perhaps the news media and social media encouraged this madman to commit the offense. It seems quite insane to rent a vehicle under his own name, rather than hijack a vehicle, or use the truck he was employed to drive. It seems insane to be armed with a BB gun and a paintball gun. Any ‘terrorist’ organisation would easily be able to supply guns, and they would not use a rental car. Not when a truck was available. It just does not make sense as what one should call a ‘terrorist attack’. After all anyone can shout allahu akbar. It does not always mean ISIS or other Islamic group had anything to do with it.

I call the news media and social media to account. We are making murder into terrorism, and in doing so we are devaluing the use of the word terrorism.

We may as well call everything terrorism. Any act committed by anyone which terrifies anyone is an act of terrorism. That’s a fact.

The politics of fear is alive and well. The more these acts are reported, in the way they are reported will only encourage more madmen and madwomen to commit these acts.

 NOTATIONS: None of these were reported as “terrorism”

 April 28, 2000. An unemployed immigration attorney named Richard Baumhammers who believes “non-white immigration” should be banned shoots and kills five people in the Pittsburgh area.

Sept. 15–Oct. 4, 2001. Mark Stroman, a lifelong criminal with connections to the Aryan Brotherhood, shoots three South Asian men in the Dallas area—killing two—in what he describes as revenge for 9/11.

July 27, 2008. Jim David Adkisson shoots and kills two people during a childrens’ performance of a musical at a Unitarian Univeralist church in Knoxville, Tennessee, telling police that he intended to target individuals who had voted for liberals and Democrats.

April 4, 2009. Richard Andrew Poplawski, a frequent poster on the white supremacist Stormfront website who apparently believes a national “gun ban” is imminent, kills three Pittsburgh police officers.

April 25, 2009. Joshua Cartwright kills two Okaloosa County, Florida sheriff’s deputies. Per a police report, Cartwright’s wife says he was paranoid about the U.S. government and “extremely disturbed” by Barack Obama’s election.

Feb. 18, 2010. Joseph Andrew Stack flies a plane into an Austin, Texas IRS office, killing one person.

May 20, 2010. A father-son pair named Jerry and Joseph Kane (who conduct “seminars” about how “sovereign citizens” can evade debt) kill two West Memphis, Arkansas police officers.

Sept. 26–Oct. 3, 2011. Avowed white supremacists David Joseph Pedersen and Holly Ann Grigsby kill Pedersen’s father and stepmother in Washington, a man they believe is Jewish in Oregon, and a black man in California.*

Aug. 5, 2012. A white supremacist named Wade Michael Page kills six people at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

Aug. 16, 2012. “Sovereign citizen”-movement adherents Brian Smith and Kyle Joekel, who are now awaiting trial, allegedly kill two Louisiana sheriff’s deputies in a trailer-park ambush.

April 13, 2014. Frazier Glenn Miller, a 73-year-old with a long history of KKK activity, kills three people in the area of a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement community in Overland Park, Kansas.

June 8, 2014. Jerad and Amanda Miller kill two police officers in a random attack at a pizza restaurant in Las Vegas, then kill a customer at a Walmart. The Millers had spent time on Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s property during protests related to Bundy’s dispute with the federal government.

June 17, 2015. Dylann Roof murders nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Nov. 27, 2015. A 57-year-old religious fanatic named Robert Lewis Dear shoots and kills three people, including a police officer, at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.

May 26, 2017. Two men are stabbed to death on a light-rail train in Portland, Oregon by a “known local white supremacist” named Jeremy Joseph Christian.

https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/10/2/16401510/las-vegas-shooting-deadliest

Nov 5th 2017  Devin Kelley murders 25 in Baptist church. Unknown motive.

Categories: an eclection

CALLING AN ANGEL.

October 30, 2017 Leave a comment

CALLING AN ANGEL.

What the hell have we become!? It is a tragedy. We were a bunch of geeks playing with electronics. Trying to make things smaller and better. When the internet came into being, we were ecstatic. Some of us had a BBS. For the younger, that is a Bulletin Board Service. Information, games, ideas were stored on hard drives and if you subscribed you could log in via a modemthingy and access those drives.

But things got faster and faster, and more and more geniuses, thieves, grabasyoucan’s, came to see the future.

The only happiness is in being connected, and buying. The faster we can connect, the more useless stuff we will buy. Who cares? No one can service the debt they have now, so why care? It only makes us unhappy. Why not log on and buy something?

But what are we buying? Mostly it’s data, among stuff you buy because you got caught up in some clickbait and bought a thingy that does whatisname.

There are those who search around to get as much free stuff as possible. Offer something for free without the effort of having to go and get it, you’ll be swamped. They do this so they can save the money to buy a new pair of jeans, or a lipstick. It’s alright, the card is chipped, and you can scan it up to one hundred dollars without any checks. What’s a little more debt on top of that we already have?

We can be connected to our friends twenty-four-seven. We can insult, troll, harangue. We can even torment someone to the point of suicide. We can gang up on someone, joining in conversations into which we were not invited. No matter that the conversations are between your friend and another one of theirs. Or not. That person could be a friend of a friend. Or triple that.

We have anonymous personas that expose exactly who we are. Many of us are rotten to the core. Others, sweet and decent. There is a problem here.

Because we have become what we have become, we have invoked the greed and ruthlessness of the very rich.

I asked what we have become. I know the answer. One day, someone better than I, will formulate an idea, write the software and call us to order. Not government, not the rich and powerful. They are already feeding off the teat of we the people. No. Someone with care, and compassion, and an ability and facility to bring people together.

There is no figure on the number of suicides which would not have occurred had it not been for the internet. That’s a lot of nots, but there is truth in it.

I’m waiting.

Categories: an eclection

WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE!

October 30, 2017 4 comments

I GIVE UP!

I like writing. I do it because of a need to do it. Being bi-polar (a term I hate and would prefer Manic-Depressive) I write the voices in my head.

But I am insular. Getting out on the hustings to promote and sell what those voices utter is anathema.

There are millions of writers out there now. Pleas, personal messages, begging letters to please obtain some of these works have not gone unheeded. Adding up total dollars spent on such works would give a single indie author a few lattes and meals at Hogs Breath, including the lobster and steak special.

Now, after 61 years of writing, I give up. Being a sucker is not a crime. It is however, stupid. I do understand that. Perhaps my judgement is bad. Perhaps few people write the kind of story, the kind of poetry, the kind of fiction and non-fiction that I love. Simply speaking, of all those dollars spent supporting “authors” there is little to enjoy.

My most recent acquisition was a book of poetry which, from Amazon cost twenty-five dollars plus postage. Thirty nine pages printed on one side only, each poem no more than fifteen short lines. It was poetry written with a first person angst that quickly became a misery to read.

Authors promote their new novels, citing wonderful reviews. Few of these novels go beyond thirty thousand words. Why does everyone think that writing in the first person is what most people want?

Spelling, grammar, even the most ordinary precepts of English are ignored, or not learned. (Learnt?)

Then there are those peddling “books” on how to write books. Written with little or no knowledge of the process of writing. They are cobbled together using paragraphs from internet blogs or facebook posts. Some almost cleverly couch the information in their own way, and bless them for doing so.

I give up.

A month or so ago I left Facebook. It had become a cacophy of noise, skiting and harangue. “Writer” pages abound, many of them with over forty thousand members. Are all these people writers? All of them? Well, they may write, that is, put words on facebook. Many even publish. They extract praise and “congratulations” from friends and friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends.

So I gave up on facebook. Then there was a learning curve. It seems that one cannot really give up on facebook, or google+ or social media per se. Every time one commits to a blog, there is a setting that ensures that your post is sent to social media. If you don’t enable these settings, all you have is a blog with no one to read it because you have not made your work public.

I give up.

Recently there was a post on facebook by a very saddened lady who had deleted her literature page because no one likes ‘literature’ these days. Her posts on her page were largely inane and disappointing to her. This lady deserves massive kudos. She took the bull by the horns and deleted it.

My novels, my stories, and my poetry are all written to my blog. My published books, (all of them exceeding fifty thousand words of careful plotting) receive good reviews. Then come the requests for free copies. Hundreds of websites offer Pdf’s of my books for free.

I give up.

Writing will always be the second most important thing in life. Only family comes first. There will however be no more published books. The work is not begrudged. The many months dedicated to research and writing, then editing and sharing with beta readers is not begrudged. It has become quite obvious though that the kind of writing I do is no longer wanted.

Being an ‘old’ man now, I do understand that I have had the best of the world. A wonderful career as a journalist. Many stories told. Once, in the mists of time, people even paid for those stories and poems. It’s been a good life.

What has driven this old man back into his dark cave? Not the posts on gun control or mad politicians. No. Just one single sentence. It came from a disenfranchised youth who felt that we the older folk, no longer belong in their world. “Why don’t you just die?” it said.

I give up.

Categories: an eclection