Sunday, August 31, 2008

"Where were you?" meme

I've been tagged with this twice so I thought I better give it a go. Before I do, can I say I've got a couple of problems with these meme things:

One is I rarely know the answers to all the questions.

The other is I question the honesty of other respondents. I mean, for example, when asked the question, "Where were you when...? [Insert historical event], nobody ever says, "On the couch having a wank." Yet surely someone must have been?

I digress. Here's the "where were you" questions:

Princess Diana's death - 31st August 1997

This was late, if memory serves? Was in the hoose watching telly and drinking when it came on. Then large swathes of the country went completely mental. Was working in a bank at the time. One of my co-workers stood in a queue down at the City Chambers to sign a book of remembrance. Now why exactly the fuck would you do this to yourself? There was an adaptation of Elton John's "Candle in the Wind" released at the time. Did you buy this record? Kill yourself immediately. You didn't buy it? Well someone did - it got to No.1. Yet no one admits to this now. A wise move, in my view.

Margaret Thatcher's Resignation - 22nd November 1990

I have to be honest and say I don't remember. What I do remember was the Geoffrey Howe resignation speech that precipitated it. I was working shifts at the time and saw the thing live on telly. It remains one of the most dramatic pieces of parliamentary theatre I have ever seen. It represented a shift in the zeitgeist that I'd felt previously when it became clear that her and Lawson weren't getting along. It was a beautiful day. I think it was Dennis Healy who compared being attacked by Geoffry Howe to being 'savaged by a dead sheep'. Some wit - I forget who - said of this speech, "The 'dead sheep' has turned out to be a Rottweiller in drag".

Attack on the twin towers - 11 September 2001

This was the day I registered my son's birth. Came back to my parents who were watching the babe. My father, incoherent from strokes, was gesturing wildly, hands outstretched - one could faintly hear the words 'planes' and 'buildings'. Then I looked at the TV screen. Everyone knows what I saw. I've recorded my thoughts about this before but I'll tell you something else now. My father and I disagreed about many things - he being of, to be candid, rather of the tankie disposition. But we would have agreed about this and frankly I think he would be turning in his grave if he could hear the excuses currently being made for violent religious obscurantism from people describing themselves as socialists. On this kinda thing, you realise, for better or worse, you're your father's son.

England's World Cup Semi Final against Germany - 4 July 1990

In a pub in York. I was on holiday with my then wife. I would like to be able to tell you I was sorry you lost - but I wasn't. You sassenach get all sensitive about this - in your most deranged states of mind, some of you imagine this is a sign of anti-English bigotry. Colonise a quarter of the globe - but if anyone doesn't give a shit if you lose some shitty sporting competition, you get all defensive about it and imagine racism? Get over yourselves you self-regarding bunch of tossers. The reason we don't want you to win is because we know if you do, you'll never shut the fuck up about it. World Cup 1966? That was the year I was fucking born, ok? And I ain't no spring chicken. Yet you're still going on about it? Shut the fuck up, why don't you? I think I know what your problem is: England are just about good enough to allow you to imagine your team winning anything without mental illness being the obvious diagnosis. In Scotland this is not the case.

President Kennedy's Assassination - 22 November 1963

See above - wasn't born. Didn't exist. I have an issue with the people who were though. Or rather the people who were and continue - some of them even to this day, despite the evidence - to pedal this conspiracy shit. I liked the way I saw Gore Vidal put it one time. It went something like this - paraphrasing as I like to do: "Oh, I dare say there was a conspiracy of some kind. On the other hand, why hasn't the gunman from the grassy knoll been interviewed on Oprah yet?".

I'm tagging anyone who wants to do this. Anything beyond this would breech the Golden Rule.

On wimpy Christians, the inappropriate use of inverted commas and other contemporary annoyances

My neighbour has a bumper sticker that says, "You make Jesus cry". My instinctive reaction, as with most of the pronouncements one hears, or reads, from the religious is to ask the question, "And how do you know this, exactly?" More specifically, I'd like to know whether the gentleman with the bummer sticker hasn't considered the possibility that Jesus isn't up there crying, thinking to himself, "Why are so many of my followers such candy-ass cry babies?"

Because I think this is a distinct possibility. I'll take as evidence for the prosecution their whole attitude towards "persecution". I'll come to the whole inverted commas thing in due course - here it is appropriate because what your average Christian tries to pass off as this is anything but. Take this, for example, from some American god-botherer commenting on the British scene:
"[T]here is every reason for to speak, as they are in Rimini, of "Christianophobia". But I am nervous of using the term. Persecuted minorities see themselves as victims, and victims tend to claim a kind of moral superiority which seeks to deny legitimacy to their critics. Attack Israeli security policy, and you are "antisemitic". Ask why Muslims do not speak out against terrorism, and you are "Islamophobic".

Christians need to identify their persecutors and name the persecution and prejudice for what it is. But they also need to beware the temptations of victimhood. The "unity" that comes from a shared sense of victimhood is just as dangerously seductive as that of the hissing crowd."
When one considers that what prompted the writer of this piece to claim the status of 'persecuted minority' for Christians was a call (people are always 'calling' for things these days) for faith schools to stop discriminating against staff and pupils on the basis of religious affiliation, I think it would be fair to say that he succumbed to the temptations of victimhood some time ago.

Here's the present situation: in England, as in Scotland, the present system discriminates in favour of the religious - controlling more schools than their weight in the population could possibly justify. The merest suggestion that perhaps just maybe, if it's alright with you, we might suggest this is a little unfair and perhaps you might stop this, amounts to "persecution" these days. This brings me to the whole use of inverted commas thing. From the beeb piece:
"Accord, a new coalition of secular and religious figures, wants the government to stop state-funded schools engaging in what they say is "discrimination"."
The word being in inverted commas because "they say" it's "discrimination" but the author of the article wants to make it clear that this is by no means universally accepted. Who, after all, can really say what discrimination is? Hmmm, I'll have a go - and give you a personal example to illustrate the goddam point here.

Term's started up here and things are uncharacteristically slow on the supply front. I did get a phone call about one gig going in a Catholic school in Glasgow. Long-term, my subject, me qualified, can do this shit standing on my head -, except the disqualifying question: "Are you RC approved?", I was asked.

I said, "I don't think the Roman Catholic Church knows who I am but if they did, I'm sure they wouldn't approve of me."

Ok, I didn't really.

If you don't think what I've experienced here can be classified as "discrimination" then frankly you need remedial education - and this would be something that I ain't prepared to give you - unless you pay me for it; then I might consider it.

And apart from this deranged hallucinating about persecution where there is in fact privilege, there's the utterly pathetic attitude of the 'religious lobby' to contend with. It's all rather unChristian, apart from anything else. Here's what Jesus had to say about the whole persecution thing:
"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."
Say what you like about them apostles but they took this on board:
"And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name."
Contrast and compare with the whining (often highly-paid) cretins who don't seem "exceedingly glad" in the least. Instead they clutter up the press and the blogosphere bitching and complaining about stuff that no one with either any understanding of the English language and/or history could reasonably describe as "persecution".

If I were an all-powerful deity with a sense of fun, I'd be inflicting them with plagues of boils and other really itchy stuff that would teach them not to talk such crap. That this isn't happening just serves to re-enforce my unbelief.

Just saying like...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Nationalist economics

From the Scotsman:
"BANKS should treat Scottish customers more favourably than their English counterparts because the housing market in Scotland is more resilient, the SNP housing minister has said.

Stewart Maxwell said he would "encourage" any moves by mortgage lenders to take into account the fact Scotland's housing market has not been hit as hard by the credit crunch as England."
Here's the thing. I've done some economics. I have to confess the whole experience made my head hurt. But I still think, perhaps wrongly, that I managed to pick up a couple of points. One would be - now correct me if I'm wrong - but if the Scottish market is really more buoyant than the English market, this'll have something to do with a slightly greater propensity on the part of banks to lend, which in turn is based on a perception of their customers' ability to repay? This makes the market more 'buoyant', by which is meant, one presumes, that house prices are still rising, or falling less quickly, than they are in England.

I'm not quite getting why this means banks should treat Scottish customers more favourably? For one, the likely future value of one's property is a separate issue from one's ability to pay off your loan in the present, no? And none of this can be reduced to a matter of ethnicity or residency - because this would be to commit the ecological fallacy, would it not? Or am I missing something? Alex Salmond used to be an economist for a bank or something. Perhaps either he or one of his supporters could explain this to me.

While they're at it, they could also do with explaining the whole Saltires on trains, stations not being blue enough thing and shit like that. They think the problem is not that the trains are late, too expensive, dirty, full of fucking neds, infrequent, don't take you where you want to go. No, they aren't blue with white crosses on them and the stations aren't blue enough. Oh how frequently this thought has crossed my mind whilst waiting for a train. "This station", I often think, "just isn't blue enough."

Monday, August 25, 2008

Georgia, foreign policy and the left

What are the recent events in Georgia all about? I've read a fair bit of what various journos and bloggers have to say on the subject and apparently it's all about us - how 'we' respond, how 'they' respond, how 'we' respond to what 'they' have to say about it. Us and them? Yes ladies and gentlemen, we're talking about the left here - our positions, our opinions, our purity. I'll get to the point in due course - one that will no doubt offend many. This I don't care about because frankly I feel inclined to throw the blogging towel in after reading some of the shit that's been written on this topic. I'll begin with this:

Eric Hobsbawn in the introduction to his melancholy Age of Extremes talks about the time when during the Bosnia crisis, Mitterand chose the 28th of June to visit Sarajevo - this being the date that the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by the Black Hand, the event the precipitated the outbreak of the Great War. His point was that while the choice of date was obviously deliberate, there was not even a single journalist writing about the subject who appeared to have noticed the significance of this. Concluding, Hobsbawm described the prevailing ignorance of history today as 'eerie'. More simply I'd prefer to describe this state of affairs as shocking. It is only an ignoramus that could, for example, imagine that Russia requires American influence and machinations before she is prepared to exert her influence in her 'own backyard'. That, frankly, is all I'm prepared to say about Stalinist idiots like Seamus Milne presently cluttering up the cyber-pages of Comment is Worthless with their stupid and misanthropic apologias for Russian imperialism.

But to be candid, I'm not sure the response from 'our' fragment of the left has been much better. For the most part, as far as I can see, it isn't motivated by concern for the plight of Georgians but rather by a need to ask in an accusing sort of way, "Are the antiwar left prepared to condemn unequivocally Russian imperialism?" Of course they fucking aren't - haven't we learned anything in the last five years? I'm not convinced asking this rhetorical question reflects particularly well on anyone because it is, as I said above, all about us.

Never mind mundane questions like whether anything can be done about this - perhaps because any sensible response would be slightly less than fuck all, unless you're prepared to countenance the prospect of all out military conflict with Russia. Instead, let us pre-occupy ourselves with questions about what this means for the US, for Britain, for Israel (yes of course this has been factored in), for the left. For Conor Foley, it's all about the failure of 'faith' in foreign policy - courtesy of Tony Blair. I take the deference with which his post has been received as a sign, not of any profundity in his argument, but of the fact that most people - if they were honest with themselves - know very little about this part of the world. Then there's Martin Kettle whom Foley links to who thinks this is all about the left's failure to learn the lessons of the Prague Spring and by extension its failure to adjust to a 'post-socialist world'. Last time I read him he was going on about the left's failure to learn the lessons of Hungary.

Aaaargh! Can't we catch a break from this shit? It's not that foreign policy isn't important. I have an interest in it myself, have opinions about it, get incensed when I think people are talking shite about it - but I'm increasingly of the view that the left has lost the fucking plot here. The left is supposed to be about politics that appeals to the masses, addresses their concerns, speaks their language. Do we find this here? I don't think so. Think of the number of supposedly leftwing blogs that talk about foreign affairs to the virtual exclusion of domestic politics - reserving a small space for the discussion of politicians who have what are considered to be fucked up views on...foreign affairs, of course. This is not an appeal for parochialism but there's quite a few 'leftwing' blogs that have never - to my recollection not even once - shown even the slightest interest in how the shoe pinches in Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, or London.

How did we get here? I've got a couple of explanations. One has to do with the idea that morality is a function - not of how one behaves as a worker, a parent, a neighbour, a friend - but of the position one takes to big abstract geo-political problems that you can do fuck all about. It is, in other words, the idea that the content of one's character has to do with being on the right side of history. I'd like to claim credit for this formulation but it's one I've lifted from Chris Dillow's thoughts on the subject.

The other is more narrow and has to do with the left's historical attitude towards capitalism, the United States and the Soviet Union. By any objective measure you care to take, economic and political history has long since rendered absurd the idea that you could draw any kind of equivalence between the Soviet model, liberal capitalism and the way these different systems treated their subjects. Not being entirely stupid, most of the hard left secretly understood this so focused instead on the behaviour of the nation-states from both camps and their propensity to interfere in the affairs of other supposedly sovereign nations, their involvement in coup d'etats of various kinds, in wars and invasions, their support for dictators, for their disregard for environmental degradation, their support for various subversive - often terrorist - organisations, and by extension the behaviour of their intelligence services - and so on. Here the claim for moral, or rather immoral, equivalence has been much more plausible.

But it has left us with a language, a mode of discourse, and a choice of subject matter that is almost completely irrelevant to the concerns of the overwhelming majority of the 'people'. When did the left lose the plot? After 1917? 1956? 1968? Even 1989? Or was it at the point when the 'left' started to think these dates should be of earth-shattering significance to people struggling to pay their electricity bills?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

On Tories, proles and porn

Tom has a good post identifying the hypocrisy in Michael Gove's recent complaint that men's (boys, surely?) magazines such as Nuts and Zoo present women as "permanently, lasciviously, uncomplicatedly available".

I wouldn't want to defend these titles - not least because I have never read them - but the hypocrisy aside, I've often thought this idea of men forming their opinions of women from magazines, or porn in general, should be treated with a degree of scepticism. Surely even the most fleeting contact with the real world disabuses the average 17-year-old of any idea that women are 'uncomplicatedly available'?

Tom's point about class is well-made too. While the claim that something is enjoyed by the working class can be used to shield something that should nevertheless be a target of legitimate criticism, I think there's something in this idea that certain things only become distasteful - or downright pernicious - when the proles get their hands on them.

Anyway, it's occurred to me before that it might be worth drawing up a list of things like this:

Pornography is one, in my view - but we could also include alcohol (especially if it is 'cheap'), narcotics, foreign holidays ('cheap flights' - affordability again the problem here), cars... Anyone any further suggestions?

Update: two suggestions so far from John in the comments:

Sex. When the proles do it or flaunt it it is a sign of collapsing civilisation. When the quality strip off and get down and dirty it is raffish, playful, taboo-busting, daring and ever so sexy.

Gambling. James Bond at the baccarrat: sexily sophisticated. Mrs B at the Bingo: sad waste of life.

Another one that's occurred to me is the behaviour of youth: if Eton/Oxford types go around getting wasted and trashing places it's 'youthful high-spirits', 'jolly-japes' - if the proles do it, it's a sign of, well, the 'broken society'.

Update #2: Ooh, how could I have forgotten about these? Entertainment: Soap operas on the telly - unbearably vulgar. An opinion you might get from someone who listens to the goddam Archers. Or game shows - ok, provided they're on Radio 4.

Every pupil knows...

Who was top of the Nazi hate-list. I would say they certainly know this by the time I'm finished with them - but generally I find they know this already.

Knowledge of the other victims of the Holocaust tends to be a bit more patchy - homosexuals, trade unionists and socialists, gypsies, the mentally-handicapped, Jehovah's Witnesses...

But in my experience, I have never in ten years of teaching met a solitary pupil - not even once - that did not know that the Jews occupied the apex in the Nazi hierarchy of hate.

So can we really impute ignorance to the author of this SWP leaflet? I'd be inclined to suggest it's something more sinister.

Via: Will

Monday, August 18, 2008

"Scots are past masters on British history"

From the Scotsman:
"SCOTS know more about British history than other people in the rest of the UK, a survey has found.

A test to rate how well Britons know their history also confirmed that younger people know far less than those aged over 65.

Ten multiple-choice historical questions, ranging from "When was the Battle of Hastings?" to "Which two kingdoms were merged in the Act of Union of 1707?" were put to 1,000 people.

Scots scored an average of 69 per cent, compared to the national average of 63 per cent. The Welsh managed only 58 per cent."
Ahem. From a completely unbiased and objective perspective, it seems to me entirely reasonable to attribute the differences here to the superiority of history teachers in Scotland.

Moreover, while I'd be guessing, I reckon rather more Scots would be able to point out that if the answer's 1066, the goddam question ain't about 'British' history at all. You don't have to be a nationalist to find that kind of thing annoying.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Environmentalism and post-Christian piety

This has nothing to do with the science surrounding the whole issue of climate change; having no knowledge of this myself, I defer to the majority who ascribe to the "we're all fucked" theory of global warming - to varying degrees.

Instead, this is limited to asking the question of whether and to what extent is environmentalism, as practiced and espoused in modern liberal capitalist societies such as ours, a repository for the sort of piety that used to belong to the church-goer?

I've often thought there's one or two traits that committed environmentalist often display that would suggest it is, although to what extent I wouldn't know. But a couple of similarities spring to mind:

1) It's been a well-documented phenomenon (most recently Nick Cohen makes reference to it here) that the leadership of the green movement, particularly in Britain, tends to be dominated by very posh people. It's an idea that this gentleman has taken great exception to:
"Yes, many prominent greens are posh gits like me. The same can be said of journalists, politicians, artists, academics, business leaders: in fact of just about anyone in public life. But it is always the greens who are singled out."
It may be just my limited experience but I'd argue the opposite if anything. I'd have thought more people are aware - and more people publicly make the point - that business and journalism are dominated by toffs than they are, or do, about environmentalists. But this misses the point anyway. Just because it's someone posh saying something, it doesn't mean it isn't true. But this, in turn, doesn't mean it isn't worth asking the question of whether the predominance of the posh amongst the green movement tells us anything about it's character. I think it does for the following reason:

Environmentalism, like bourgeois Christianity, can be seen as a post-materialist want. If you're poor, you worry about getting food on the table; when you're rich, you have time to worry about where it came from. You see the wider picture - but only because you're not hungry. Some Christians might be offended at the parallel but others seem to have got this point, which is maybe why historically they've attracted a larger following than the green movement does today. John Wesley, for example, once said that, "You can't preach the gospel to a man with toothache". An impressive concession to the material for such a spiritually-minded person, I've always thought.

2) They are tapping into a deep tradition in the Western psyche, which is that of the impending apocalypse. The response is now as it has always been for the eschatalogically-minded - to keep one's garment unspotted by the stuff and filth of this age. This is not to say that re-cycling one's copies of the Guardian and the empty bottles of Shiraz aren't worthwhile activities - it's just that no sober assessment of what's going on in this world of ours would allow you to feel that clean where it not for this religious impulse. Because surely the extent to which the most pessimistic predictions are true, the more trivial and futile actions like this become? Which brings me to this from the post by the defensive environmentalist linked above:
"Hypocrisy is the gap between your aspirations and your actions. Greens have high aspirations - they want to live more ethically – and they will always fall short. But the alternative to hypocrisy isn’t moral purity (no one manages that) but cynicism."
No, hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue and the idea that the only alternative to this is moral perfectionism is absurd. Surely better to follow a form of virtue that has at its core a more sober estimate of oneself in the world? Then maybe the environmentalist message would find a more receptive audience.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Identity politics and other ways of wasting your time

I'm beginning to feel much more favourably towards Gordon Brown. This is largely a product - solely a product - of giving his opposition a quick scan.

For example, he's been getting stick for finding the time to write a book about Britishness. To be fair, writing this book does sound like a spectacular waste of time that is likely to produce something toe-curlingly awful as well as completely indigestible, if his previous musing on the subject are anything to go by. But it was not quite on these reasonable grounds that the SNP objected to it:
"A spokesman for Mr Salmond said: "For poor old Gordon Brown this may be too little, too late.

"His Britishness campaign has always been about him trying to sell himself to people south of the border, especially Middle England.

"What they want from the prime minister is a decisive government dealing with the economic crisis, not a floppy identity campaign.""
I had to re-read the last sentence a couple of times to check I wasn't hallucinating due to the lack of alcohol. Because this is pink elephant shit. For anyone who might be unaware, the people complaining about identity politics here are the same fucking people who are presently giving their attention to the weighty matter of painting saltires on the goddam trains. Because the problem with our trains isn't that they're shit and late and expensive - oh no, it's that they don't look Scottish enough.

Then there's David Miliband. Otherwise a fairly crappy post but Mary Dejevsky has a fair point when she asks where exactly the fuck has he gone then?
"It's a strange thing, isn't it? One week your foreign secretary is all over the media discussing everything under the sun – even grinning cheekily when collared by a television reporter - and the next week, when a full-blown international crisis erupts, he has vanished from the global map."
Or it might not be a fair enough point but who cares? That Miliband is an oily wee shite - I've taken an instant dislike to him. Plus there's the matter of his hair. What, exactly, is that weird helmet-like construction he has on his napper? I think it portends doom for Miliband's ambitions on the grounds that people with hair this strange rarely succeed in politics. Take Michael Portillo - someone Miliband resembles in more ways than one - he had deeply strange hair and look what happened to him.

Psephological research on the impact of weird hair in elections is still in its infancy but so far the the most plausible explanation to emerge is that potential electors see it as an issue of competence. For if someone can't get a grip on what's growing out of their fucking skulls, how can we trust them to run the country? It's a rhetorical question because clearly we can't.

David Miliband: Owner of weird hair. It isn't just me who thinks so. In a recent ICM poll, 67% of those sampled answered in the affirmative to the question, "Do you agree that David Miliband's hair is fucking strange?" Furthermore, of these 39% indicated that this might influence their vote at the next general election.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Reflections on not drinking

This quiz thingy is even more shit than most of the quizzes you get on the goddam hinternet. Here's the results:

You're a Wild Drunk

You can get enough drink. Seriously, you'll just go puke and start pounding them back again!

No, seriously - your quiz is shit. Any quiz that doesn't produce a result describing me as a happy drunk is very poorly constructed. Famous for it, so I am. My line manager described me as the happiest drunk she'd ever seen. I can well believe it because when I'm drunk, I'm not so much happy about it but fucking ecstatic. And I never puke.

Recently, however, I haven't been drinking for reasons I mentioned earlier. Since I was an embryo the last time I went without a drink for nine goddam days, the revelations have been coming thick and fast. Here are some of the advantages of not drinking:

1) You save dosh. Rising food prices? Pah! I get to the supermarket checkout and exclaim, "Is that all?" - this on account of the fact that me trolley isn't overflowing with the usual selection of delicious beverages. Taxi? No need - I'll drive home.

2) You feel healthier, have more energy etc. On account of your liver getting a holiday, your skin looks up to 71% more radiant. Presumably if one kept this up, you'd even live longer.

3) You're less inclined to break or burn stuff when you get home.

4) You feel marginally less stupid. Think about it this way: you tend to do and say really fucking stupid things when you're really drunk - but what I've noticed is that if you're slightly pissed a lot of the time, you tend to do and say things that are slightly stupid.

The disadvantages of not drinking are manifold but can be, I think, reduced to this: you're sober all the time - which is really, really, really, really shit. To see how the utilitarian calculator that is my soul has weighed-up the costs and the benefits, you have to picture a big set of scales. Now picture a big fucking elephant sitting on one side. That'd be the disadvantages of sobriety. Then a snowflake falls on the other side of the scale. That would be the advantages. Because like old age, sobriety has nothing going for it at all - not a damn thing.

It's not like trying to give up smoking where after a couple of days you get a glimpse of a different healthier world before your will-power crumbles. No - you get a glimpse of a different world all right. 'Tis a world of heart-breaking desolation my friends.

Happy, well-adjusted people who "don't need to drink to have a good time" are now even more incomprehensible and scary to me than they were before - especially if they have jobs in government. These crossword-completing freaks really have to understand that they are a deviant minority and that most of us are just not like them.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Takin' a break

Few days. Dental repairs, things like that. Also think this blog could do with some repairs. The side-bar's disappeared to the bottom of the page and even when I change format it stays there. Anyone know why? Anyway, back later.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Dental catastrophe!

Swollen face more or less gone but need antibiotics.

The kind you can't drink with!

For seven days! And then forty-eight hours after, it says on the tin.

That's nine days!

I can't remember the last time I went without alcohol for this long. I'm fearful my body won't be able to compute what is happening it it and something horrible might happen.

It might cease to function altogether in the confusion.

Or I'll end up having a religious experience and by the end of the week will be declaring myself to be the messiah or something.

In the unlikely event that anyone reading this blog has gone without alcohol for nine days in the last twenty years or so, what's it like? It doesn't sound good to me at all.

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