Here is a brief breakdown of the results of the survey I invited people to complete a few months ago. I’ve decided only to give results from the closed questions, as graphs, and my answers to the ‘ask me a question’ section.
I sent the invitation out to roughly a thousand of my readers, of which just over a tenth replied1 so probably a fairly good indication.
CLOSED QUESTIONS: STATS
No surprise there. It would be nice if it was closer to 50-50, but a good portion of what I write is hard, literal, abstract stuff, which tends to appeal more to men. My anti-feminist line isn’t too popular amongst some women either.
Roughly the same number of under 30s as over 60s, which is good.
I have more American readers that British readers, probably just a question of relative population sizes.
Yeah, I don’t know / don’t care either… But terms like these still have value.
Jolly good. Still an amazing, albeit tiny, number of lockdown supporters though.
A surprisingly large number of walking godpeople among my readers, most of whom enjoyed their breakfast. Draw your own conclusions.
Who on earth said they wanted to die ‘riddled with cancer’! And burnt to death!? Lord, the agony. I guess ‘gunned down’ was a big hit for the theatricality of it? Personally, I’d go for drowning. Heart attack would be alright too.
The question was rate how good your life is. Why the low numbers, I wonder?
This was followed by rate your…
I should probably mention the worldly jobs question here as well. About half were education / IT / unemployed, which stands to reason. Some other answers were;
- Retired stair builder, finish carpenter, general contractor, hashish smuggler, printer and lifeguard.
- Pot-washer at a bougie brunch place and PAT tester for a lefty-creative film, costume and music studio.
- Part-time poker and roulette dealer at casino.
- I’m currently jobless because as a single mum on a shit contract I got the sack instead of furlough and since then my 5 year old has barely been in school because they keep closing it.
- Self employed in stone masonry, landscaping/construction.
- CNC lathe operator.
- Residential support worker for homeless men and women.
- ‘Retired” — Yes!!
- Grocery store clerk. As soul-sucking of a position as they come. I’d rather be funemployed, but such is life in the megamachine.
ASK ME A QUESTION, ANY QUESTION
Here are some of my answers to the bit where I asked for a question.2 A few of these I’ve heard before, so I’ll bundle some of these into a future FAQ. I’m quite happy to answer questions, but do take a look around my work as brief answers to these kind of questions are most unsatisfying and often extremely misleading.3
What drives you?
I have no idea, thank God.
What are your views on euthanasia?
All for it. Love it.
What is the meaning of life?
There is no meaning that can possibly be understood by the self; by the mind, by the emotions, by the will or by the body — by ‘you’ — so it is, ultimately, meaningless to give any literal answer. If that’s no good for you, I have reasoned to the limits of literality here, for what little that is worth.
Do you have children?
You are all my children.
What are your thoughts on raising kids nowadays?
A few people asked this. One woman wrote quite a heartfelt plea for advice. I’d advise against having kids, for what has to be obvious reasons. If you have them, do everything in your power to do it outside the system. What else can I say? Not knowing anyone’s particular situation, much less their character, it’s impossible to give anything but the woolliest and most general advice; that, for example, if you let them have smartphones and send them to school you’re pushing them into a pitiless, heart-crushing machine, or that if you are unhappy in your love life they’ll absorb that into the marrow of their bones, or that love is no good without justice and justice requires courage (e.g. the courage to say ‘no’). In any specific case all that, and anything else I could say, is probably of very little help.
A few other people made the classic and ridiculous objection ‘you can only say what you say because you don’t have children.’ I’ll deal with that next time when I respond to the ‘criticise me’ section.
Do you still think life partners should spend all their time together, and why or why not?
Yes. As I’ve said elsewhere, not in a puritanical way, or with neediness, which is literally repulsive, but in order to overcome the itchy need to get away from the demands of love. This is particularly important for men.
Of course both of you have to keep your love alive and not slide into a flaccid, porridgy stodge of familiarity and routine.
What are your star signs (western and Chinese)?
Aries sun, everything else in Aries, Gemini and Pisces. Wood tiger. I invite anyone snorting at astrology to take a read of this. Needless to say I don’t think there it has any literal validity.
Did you ever think that disseminating your perspective on Covid might have actually caused someone to die? (Obviously you decided it was worth it anyway, or you didn’t consider it because you don’t think Covid is enough of a thing, or something else which meant you went ahead and shared).
Good question! I am of course responsible for everything that anyone does after reading my work. Some of you might think that you’re responsible. But no, it’s all my doing.
If a killer is struggling in the street with a young girl and you walk past, you’ve got three options. You can help the girl, you can help the killer, or you can do nothing. Two of these three choices leads to a dead or hurt girl. One leads to a dead or hurt killer. You can’t avoid making a moral choice, one which leads to someone’s pain or death. This is an example of the unavoidable unavoidable risk and pain of living — until now! Because it’s all my fault!
What’s the biggest doubt you have about what you have written?
My worst mistake is the advice I have given on ‘consciousness softening’. It’s still up on the site and is still in The Apocalypedia because I still think there is some use in such practices, but they are almost appallingly irrelevant to the truth and, for the most part, useless and even dangerous; because nothing ‘you’ can do can possibly bring ‘you’ any closer to reality. I’ll address this in due course.
Do you have any regrets?
Even the things I regret I don’t regret.
What are your plans when this whole society goes down the drain? Are you prepared for this except mentally?
No. I live in the middle of a horrible conurbation, I don’t have much money and, apart from some extraordinarily friendly spirits hovering around at the reader-end of my work, no ‘connections’. I hope to do something about these things soon, but, although I’m curious as to how this sick story plays out, I’m fine being wiped out in one of the earlier waves.
What are you going to have for lunch this week?
Mon: Thali from my superb local dosa place. Tue and Wed: Spicy bean and kale soup with rice. Thur: Salmon teriaki donburi Fri: pork steaks in mustard sauce. Sat: fennel and nduja sausage pasta. Sun: lasagna (made with a proper bolognese sauce). We tend to only have meat4 at the weekends.
You said my hardback would be signed, but it wasn’t!
It was. The last page is signed and stamped. While I’m on the subject, I printed out 50 copies of each but, as the stamp on the books indicates, I might do another 50.
What periods and places in history would you like to have lived in?
History is the last place I’d like to live.
At some point about 10 years ago, a party to which I was invited (for which I was entirely sober) moved to an after hours club. A male (these days – language fails in the face of the obvious) grabbed me and took me to the dance floor, ravishing me the whole way. The word no ceased to exist in the universe. Eventually he put me down and I slowly regained my cognitive capacity. The thing I want to say is that this is possible, but it is entirely in the man’s gift, if he is able. Why don’t men cultivate this power and own it in a healthy way that benefits women?
Now that’s a question! I can imagine a female wolf saying the same of male domestic dogs. I could write a lot more about the pathetic, neutered cowardliness of domesticated man, but you probably know it better than I do. Be careful about falling for insensitive charisma though, which is just as diabolical but in the opposite sense.
Sorry, also, how the fuck do I orgasm during sex? My boyfriend is a real box muncher, loves my body hair, I love how he smells, I recognize sex as a unique place for dissolving the constraints of gender and whatever the fuck but Jesus Christ. It’s not like I can’t do it, like I can make myself do it within a minute, but I don’t know if it’s the other soul in the room or not feeling my own hand or what. Probably not the right place to seek advice…
Orgasm is not particularly important, but you probably know that. It comes it if comes. It could be that you’re self-consciously seeking a peak, or it could be that background anxiety and distaste for life are tensing you up? Most likely I think is that there’s too much selfish pleasure going on here, that your boyfriend isn’t mind-shatteringly present and loving enough. Again, impossible to say without meeting you both.
What would you do right now with £50K in your pocket?
Use it to make a film.
What’s your viewpoint on mystical expressions such as channeling spirits, shamanic healing, satanistic rituals, black and white magic, dragons, etc.?
Bullshit. Not that spirits don’t exist, or that the laying on of hands can’t heal, or that there isn’t such a thing as magic, or that dragons aren’t a potent and real mythological symbol, but as a whole, and as a ‘path to truth,’ all what you list here are a complete waste of time.
If you have achieved some kind of freedom and happiness, what kind of activities or non-activities, can be copied, and will lead to this?
Nothing can be copied that will lead to freedom and happiness. Copying, for the most part, is the problem. Freedom and happiness, such as they are (and in many ways they’re also misleading goals) come from uniqueness, which is, by definition, impossible to emulate. I’d say there is some value in reading about other people’s lives, but only if they give you a vague sense of courage or brilliance which you can act on.
How did you meet your current romantic partner, and what does she think of your writing (in particular your work on love and gender.)
She was a friend of a student in London. She loves all my fiction stuff, she doesn’t read the non-fiction, she doesn’t have to, although she agrees with it, as do all the women in my life.
Bit of an odd question though. Is it possible to have a relationship with someone who disagrees with your views on love and gender?
Is there anyway of utopia breaking out with the current population of people on the planet?
The current population? Good God, no chance! A few pockets could perhaps be formed.
What connects these together: 1) Every electron in the universe knows about the state of every other electron. 2) Brain takes in 11 million bits of information every second, but is only aware of 40. 3) No scientific experiment can be done to prove that time exists.
Regarding 1) and 3) — my argument in Self and Unself is that what we call time is ultimately an imperfect experience of four-dimensional space, a self-generated illusion of facticity and causality, of separate things in a chain of causal relationships. You can’t use facticity and causality to prove the existence of themselves any more than you can use rationality to prove the validity of rationality. You have to somehow ‘step out’ of time to even perceive its existence, let alone prove it, but of course when you do, you see that it is not what you thought it was.
As for 2) the issue is not the quantity of excluded information, but the quality of it.
How can a sane man hold onto his sanity in a mad world? I ask because this year I’m failing spectacularly at this. Any tips welcome.
Sanity is ultimately not holding on to anything. The self tries to hold on of course; that’s its job. Fine. Let it try to win and try not to lose. There’s nothing else you can do anyway.
How the hell do you know so much?
Assuming you mean book-knowledge, from a lot of reading, from love of knowledge, from huge amounts of free time to read, from making lots and lots of notes and from thinking about the notes. All that is pretty trivial though and it requires a lot of ‘work’ — if you can call it that — not to be burdened by it, to be able to look fresh, and not see life warped through the window of knowledge. It’s that kind of looking which I value most and which has nothing to do with book-knowledge at all.
Is there any hope?
What should one do?
A few people in the ‘criticise me’ bit said I don’t provide solutions to the problems of life. Again, I’ll deal with that next time, suffice it to say here that that’s all I do, but telling people or even advising them what they should do is (with a few caveats) the opposite of a solution.
What inner struggle are you currently dealing with?
None at the moment. I just had to wrap up a dead rat, which was a bit of a struggle.
What do you think happens when you die?
What do you think happens when you’re born? I don’t mean to be a smart-arse, or to insult anyone, but the only people who ask about dying are those who aren’t really living.
Do you cry?
As much and as often as I possibly can.
- Probably more, as something went wrong (with Mailchimp — a crap service which I’ll soon be leaving) leading to the loss of many responses.
- There were about eighty questions. I’ve just chosen the more interesting ones.
- Which is one reason why from now on I’ll be very careful about the [few] interview requests that come my way.
- From ‘well-cared for’ animals — which means from animals which lead as miserable lives as we do, rather than the hellish medieval dungeon life of most meat for sale.