The Peril of Getting to Know You

We send our little satellites

to revolve around each other,

and stealthily collect information

on exactly where land

gives way to the ocean.


But as terra incognito diminishes,

will we only gain knowledge

at the loss of wonder?


Custard Creams Are Cheaper Than Cous Cous, But You Can’t Expect A Fucking Baroness To Know That

Such an insightful read on what life is really like for those on low income in the UK. I had a little bit of experience of having to think about food in this way during my student days, but luckily for me I always knew that if I was truly in dire financial straits, I could turn to my parents. I cannot imagine how dread-inducing a trip to the supermarket must be for those who have no such support, and who have to buy enough food to feed not just themselves but their family also. More than anything, hunger and food insecurity need to be top priorities at the election next May.

the void

custard_creams The lowest priced flavoured Cous Cous, at £4.55/kg, costs five times more than a kilo of custard creams.

Anyone who claims that healthy food is a cheaper option has clearly never enjoyed the dubious nutitional delights of a pack of Everyday Value Custard Creams (35p, 1,972 calories).

They’ve also probably never been to a supermarket.  Or at least never been to a supermarket with less than a tenner to last until the end of the week and two kids to feed.  This hasn’t stopped a string of pompous twats from appearing in the media this week and telling us how much better they would be at being poor than the plebs using foodbanks.

The nearest supermartet, who shall remain nameless because they are bastards, sells a kilo of value oats for 75p.  This means you can, just about, make a large bowl of porridge for 4p, as Baroness Jenkins claimed

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if what is happening there, was happening here. pt. 1.

Here, I am imagining that the homophobic atmosphere and legislation that exists in many countries around the world now, exists here in the United Kingdom


I walk down the stairs from the staff section, putting on my jacket as I go. Out onto the supermarket floor, its so much brighter and cleaner down here than it is upstairs. Our line manager Sue told us all in the morning meeting yesterday to make sure we looked ‘professional’ as we left work, not to listen to music or anything on the way out and shit like that. I get my headphones ready to shove in my ears as soon as I leave the front door though, haha.

Its fucking freezing today, and starting to get darker in the evening now. Probably get scurvy or something, don’t see hardly any sunlight when I’m here all day. Out into the precinct, fuck its cold. Past HMV, I swear they’ve been having that closing down sale for the past ten years or something.

Oh fuckin’ hell, there’s a massive Protect the Family vigil on the High Street, about a hundred of them. A load of women and kids in a circle, holding candles or something. Why do they fucking bother? They’ve already got what they want, that dumbass stupid law making it illegal to promote homosexuality to kids or whatever, can’t they just go home and get on with their sad little lives now?

Looks like there’s a counter demo too, about ten guys from the uni. Recognise a few of them from Rapture. Holding placards, wearing animal masks. Yeah, like that doesn’t make them look like a bunch of weirdoes. I don’t know why they bother either, its not as if anything a bunch of LGBTQ nuts do now is going to change the way things are going.


We stood, there, eight of us in a line, in our masks. For some reason I had been left with the rabbit one. It felt itchy and hot and I wanted so badly to take it off, but we had made a group decision to not reveal our identities: we didn’t want to give the Protect the Family thugs the opportunity to get photographs of our faces, put them through one of those quick meme generators and get them all over Facebook, with words like ‘faggot’, ‘poufter’ or ‘paedo’ written all over them, our faces distorted.

These PTF vigils are always the same. The women and children stand in a circle facing outwards, silently holding placards with slogans such as “protect the family”, (some of the younger ones “#PTF”)  “leave our kids alone”, shit like that written on them. The women can broadly be broken down into two groups: the younger, chavvier ones, and the older, more middle-class, churchy types. They all hold candles and attempt to look all pious, channelling visions of the Mary and Child, I guess. Some younger men stood around in a group nearby – all shaved heads, black bomber jackets. There were some older men there too, red flushed cheeks, just-in-from-the-country barbour jackets, saggy, wrinkled turkey necks. Then there were the religious nuts wearing sandwich boards with bible verse scrawled across them, spouting scripture through crackly megaphones. A few islamic fundamentalist types would usually show up too. These events seemed to attract all genres of bigot, making them forget any issues they might have with each other to fight what they believed to be the biggest menace facing our society: sex between people of the same gender.

I stood there, holding a placard that said “WTF, PTF? Protect the rights of the individual”. Tonya, standing next to me held a placard that read “Keep the state out the bedroom”. We were trying to take a bit more of a civil liberties approach. I mean that’s basically all we could do now: if we actually used the word ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’, we could be arrested under the anti-promotion laws. When we made the placards on Tonya’s kitchen floor, we discussed how even using the word ‘bedroom’ was risqué in so much as it alluded to the sex act, and might attract the attention of any police present. None of them had seemed to care so far today though. Maybe we gave their imaginative abilities too much credit.

There were around 20 or so police there that day, standing in a line between the vigil and us. As always they stood facing us, as if we were the ones who were most likely to get violent. I guess they were protecting those who were protecting the family. They didn’t even seem to flinch at all whenever any of the PTFers yelled abuse at us, threw rubbish, or the occasional plastic bottle filled with piss.


– Why are those people wearing masks?

Because they’re ashamed Ben, of being deviants.

– But Mum if they’re ashamed why don’t they hide?

They’re ashamed…but they think they’re proud too. They’re confused, they don’t know what they are, poor things.