Planet Death Anxiety

IRIAD (I realise it’s a downer) but I hereby coin the phrase “Planet Death Anxiety”. It’s one up from death anxiety and a partial cure for it, but the downside is that the terror of plain and pedestrian me and you death is replaced with the terror of Earth and or the entire human race dying through it’s own stupidity. Planet Death Anxiety is essentially Double Death Anxiety!

In the last few years I haven’t had any decent tools to form a decent “death denial” (arguably religion is one of these as it can mean there’s some sort of continuation beyond death. Having kids can be too as you live vicariously through them and/or you’re probably too exhausted to get the existentials). I do now have a few more distractions, which I guess is all we can hope for. Planet Death Anxiety and one of its key instigators the dreaded double C-word: climate change are all wrapped up in evil consumerism too. If we and/or “The Man”/Mr Capitalism wasn’t so consumed with getting us to part with our hard-earned cash and churning out shit we’ll no-doubt buy that’s bad for everyone – Maccy D’s, vehicles, plastic and shit – we might be on a better path as a species and a planet. It’s hard not to contribute to it all in some form (I’m certainly guilty of it despite my fears).

Anyway – Planet Death Anxiety. Tis a thing. If you’re interested in climate change check out my latest over at Henpunk, concerning Greta Thunberg’s classy collection of speeches: “No One is too Small to Make a Difference”, published by Penguin.

Further reading:

“How the climate emergency could lead to a mental health crisis”

“The fight against climate change is a fight against capitalism”

Trains and the Curse of P.F. Butson

“Outside a hectic, unromantic and quite frankly putrid existence as a full-time writer (unemployed), and part-time musician (see above), P.F. Butson lives as a partial recluse, blogging often but answering calls seldom. Butson is the author of several failed novels, one of which you hold in your hands.”. These were the words I found tucked away on a memory stick from God know’s when, with the intention at the time of writing a blog of angry commuting and general paranoia and a book under the Butson alias (at the time I was obsessed with being other people, go figure). The book? “Sun, Sea and Suicide” a debut NaNoWriMo misfire when I tried to make good of the shit I was going through circa 2011, based soley in Plymouth and Brighton (one cool, one not). Plus a bit of Natasha Khan and Nick Cave hero worship thrown in for good measure. It turned out both the blog and the book were extremely counter-productive and both they and I thrived on booze, bitterness and commuter anxiety. Despite my best efforts to make it all at least partly tongue-in-cheek the ideas ultimately collapsed under the weight of their own negativity.

P.F. Butson was in fact the name of whoever once owned and labelled with their name a copy of the 1973 Harry Nilsson vinyl “A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night” which I inherited when a friend gifted it me. To this day I’ve never played it on a record player, though I remain a Nilsson fan.

A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night, the P.F. Butson special edition (top right corner).

P.F. Butson was also my stage name in the progressive rocktronic supernova that was Larry and the Lungfish (LatL). Never heard of them? Jeebus, where have you been? We even had a Myspace.

Larry, P.F. Butson, Blind Boy Runt, The Grunter Monkey and Boris (I made those last two up as our other bandmates never actually existed).

It was inspired and we were at our most creative. Examples? There was an 100% genuine toilet flush at the beginning of one of our songs, and a three-minute fart solo to outro another (we never quite finished this as there was a national bean shortage at the time).

There was a song about a toad or something I can’t remember the name of (I think it may have been “Gluttonous Pet”, who sang: “Down in the swamp/had my fair share of hookers…” – Runt’s lyrics, not mine).

The original lyrics, now housed in the LatL museum, Keynsham. Bixby refers to Bixby Snyder played by S.D. Nemeth, fictional TV host of “It’s Not My Problem!”, a programme watched by the people of Detroit in the 1987 movie version of Robocop and it’s sequels.

Trashy Horror Novel was our seminal “hit”, having been the only song we actually completed. It went a little like this:

“I work the graveyard shift at the graveyard
Digging x3
Graves! Ooohhewooo
Infatuated by your
Zombie hands your zombie arms your zombie face your zombie heart that beats out if time for meeeee (not at all)
Quick quick quick quick
Trashy horror novel
Nitpick nitpick
Trashy horror novel
Quit quit quit quit
Trashy horror novel
Hands twitch at the graveyard shift
At the graveyard
Tending x3
Graves!”

Et cetera. As I recall it was a song about politics.

The Pensieve

I tend to chuck all my thoughts in a diary. A hand-written one, and as of this year in pencil. Apparently that’s old school, but I don’t care. When the solar flares/whatever hit and take out all electricity and the internet, it’ll be my boring life they’re stuck with – jokes on them.

I find keeping a diary cathartic. I use it to swear at people I missed swearing at in person. To deconstruct thoughts and exorcise demons. It’s like Dumbledore’s Pensive, only more sweary and less grammatical or magic.

Dumbledore's Pensieve
Dumbledore’s Pensieve – don’t try this at home kids.

I’d recommend keeping a diary yourself but I can’t be bothered. Tally-ho, chaps!