Thursday, 2 May 2013
Part Two of Battersby’s Self Help Series is entitled “Aren't dreams rubbish?” It’s true because they are… because I said so.
“Sleep on it” they tell you, “things will look different in the morning.” Invariably they do, but that’s surely got far more to do with the fact that you wake up to a new day, rested and ready to tackle the problem. Or else, you’ve been tossing and turning all night long, solving the puzzles in a demented frenzy of exhausted non-sleep, before finally dropping off at 0430 for a fitful couple of hours of kip.
Does your brain genuinely sift through the crap at night, ordering the data, filing the facts and coming up with solutions? Or are dreams more likely just the outcome of the random firing of synapses merging incomplete thoughts and memories into a hotchpotch of images and sound that you somehow believe made some sense in the brief seconds between opening your eyes and actually waking up? Nobody really knows, whatever they tell you.
Woody wind-chimes clink softly in the background, a counter cacophony to the reedy tones of the pan-pipes and the soft tinkle of an indoor water feature. Birdsong in the distance and maybe, if you listen hard enough, the plaintive song of a humpback whale trying to reverse climate change by crying out for krill. You lie in a hessian hammock, suspended by hand-twisted jute ropes between the reclaimed ship’s timbers in the urban Hobbit house of the dream analyst. Surrounded by ethnic art, mostly phalluses and fat fertility goddesses, the smell of bubbling lentils teasing your nostrils, you give yourself over to examination.
“Tell me all about it,” asks the analyst and then, “So what do you think that means?” Eager to share you spill out what you can remember and of course, it makes no sense. But you’re paying through the nose for this, so you launch into an outpouring of long-held anxieties, insecurities and angst and pretty soon, after the tears, after the cup of utterly gopping, lukewarm camomile tea, you’re writing out a cheque and booking another session.
The tea leaves, palm-reading, Tarot, phrenology, astrology… even the sacred ‘talking cure’… it’s all some form or other of cold reading, taking your money in return for giving you affirmation by helping you give voice to your own thoughts and dressing them up as remedies. Charlatans, dressed as confidantes, disguised as friends who live in beautiful houses paid for by you.
What’s my point? I’m not sure I really have one, actually… but wait. Why would any political party invite you to vote for it and its pretence that it will do anything good for you? Only because votes, like therapists’ appointments, mean income. Without your consent they can’t sell you their claptrap. Without votes they can’t feather their own nest while dismantling yours. The fact is, if you wake up and look around you, they need you more than you need them.
So today, vote for whoever you think best represents your local needs. Fuck the partisan bullshit, bollocks to the received wisdom, reject the ideology and go for a bit of self-help. If Kev, or Phil, or Sue or Stu floats your boat then don’t just dream about it, get out there and do it. Get yourself to a polling station and vote for what you believe in... or dream on.