“Paint your face. Go to the woods. Act like a troll.”

Notes from week one-thousand, three-hundred and eighty-nine

A quick point to make: a whole pot of coffee is not ideal for writing. A lot of people have propogated this lie over time. It makes you write a lot, definitely, but it’s all wildly meandering and directionless. It lacks the tunnel-vision clarity of a whisky write, even though whisky will lead you down terrible rabbit-holes.

It is only week two of the attempt to do weeknotes, and I’m stuck on where to start, again. The week has blurred hugely. I thought it was finishing much earlier than it was, and then it lingered on considerably more. Time, and my experience of it, got deeply monged along the way.

I wanted to return to my twitter account to see what I’d been saying (as much a guide as anything about the ongoings, despite the semi self-censorship). Unfortunately, twitter’s handling of time is shocking. Scroll, scroll, scroll. It’s quite disrespectful really, treating everything as being so deeply ephemeral and meaningless. There’s no history. I did find an online app that would do what I wanted: create a calendar view of my posts. Twistory links out to iCal, Google Calendar & any apps that support either. Mine is here, if you’re that way inclined.

Content wise, it’s not really telling me much, but that’s my fault. I started with envying Richard Adams’ footage of a semi-frozen Swedish lake, and ended with my usual fantasies of living high in the mountains of Scandinavia, surrounded by snow and ravines, overlooking the sublime fjords.

I find the bleakness of those climes, the reclusiveness and simplicity of life, so romantic. Here, everyone is so fucking noisy. I’m no different. People are talking about the “internet of things,” of making objects speak. I think the last thing we need at the moment is more noise. There needs to be a decent understanding of how to manage the signal first. Certainly, before the advertisers get there and piss on the wires for everyone.

The need to control signals and manage the mental division between my public and private sector hats escalated sharply this week. On one hand, we went into full activity on a project for a public sector client, looking into the lessons that digital media can teach education, and building a community around that. Immediately, I’m contending with three languages to slip in between: education, public sector and digital industry. I also prepped a presentation/pitch for a major high-street bank. Their requirements are so vastly different to the public sector client’s, it hurts. Still, I made a handsome Keynote presentation with lovely looking soundbites to really demonstrate an understanding of their needs. That’s what really matters, to demonstrate the illusion. Or allude to the illusion, that’s more correct.

In the middle of the week, I had my quarterly fascination with Black Metal. I love its perfect ridiculousness, its full-on pretending, and the desire to “out-evil” each other. How evil can you really be when you paint your face, go to the woods and act like a troll? Still, of all musical genres, Black Metal is the best myth-maker. It has its downsides (almost institutional racism/anti-Semitism, some murders and occasional church burnings), but at a base level, it is a brilliant world to escape into. It has its own forms of ancient rites, “kvlt” rules and pre-Christian ideologies. Black Metal shares some of the same space as the mountain life and appeals on the same grounds: it’s a simplistic world that harks back to a brutal time with clear rules of engagement.

This track by Norwegian three-piece Satyricon occupies the overlap in the Black Metal/mountain Venn diagram. The production is suitably murky, the guitar gossamer-thin, drums pithy and vocals (‘vokills’) excellent. Its crowning glory is around 4’40” when it glides effortlessly from cave-dwelling black metal to folky, pagan flute.

This week was brought to me by a pair of Johns (Fahey, Coltrane), a romantic couple (Mates of State), some transcendental banjo (Daniel AIU Higgs) and a shed-load of Black Metal.

I’m too hip to invite comments, but if that’s your thing, then get involved below.

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3 thoughts on ““Paint your face. Go to the woods. Act like a troll.”

  1. Nothing useful to add, but I love seeing Satyricon mentioned, just because… well, I’ll tell you a story. I had never heard of the Petronius book until I read À Rebours, where Des Esseintes describes it as the only worthwhile thing the Romans ever wrote. I wondered why this would be, and as I was wandering around central London with plenty of time to kill, I went to Waterstones (the one that used to be Dillons, in the University of London), sought out their classics department, and found a translated copy of Satyricon. I opened it a random, to a passage which I have found online translated thus (I’ve a feeling the version in Waterstone’s was a little steamier):

    (As she said this OEnothea brought) out a leathern dildo which, when she had smeared it with oil, ground pepper, and pounded nettle seed, she commenced to force, little by little, up my anus. The merciless old virago then anointed the insides of my thighs with the same decoction; finally mixing nasturtium juice with elixir of southern wood, she gave my genitals a bath and, picking up a bunch of green nettles, she commenced to strike me gently all over my belly below the navel.

  2. Too hip, my balls. Speak more of Scandinavia, it’s always a good place to go to (even in your head) when here gets too much. Keep on keeping on with the weeknotes, AGP. They go better with a cup of tea than with a pot of coffee, though.

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