So this hiatus between Christmas and New Year?  A toe might be dipped back into the work world but it’s not really serious.  This is an intermission, a time to gather breath.  But it’s not a serious time.  It’s not a time to actually do anything-God Forbid!  Heaven Forfend!
These public holidays-so called bank holidays.  Thank God for them is all I can say.  Opportunities to take leave without digging into your actual leave.  That’s gotta be good.  I’m sure they’re considering repealing them as too expensive but could they get away with it?  Probably!
It’s been a funny old year 2010.  I don’t think anyone with a brain will look back on the year and say 2010 was notable for much.
It was the year that the UK had its first coalition government since the second world war.  But it’s just Tory government by other means.  It doesn’t actually mean anything.  It was the year that students took to the streets to protest tuition fees and were duly charged with horses and kettled into freezing corrals by the thuggish officers of the Met.  But did it indicate some kind of political maturation?  I think not.  I predict more riots as the weather improves.  I predict water-hosing and tear gas.
2010 was the year when nothing much happened.  It was more of the same.  Same old, same old.
We did of course have the Gulf oil spill and the Haiti earthquake and the Pakistan floods and the Korean conflict.  More positively we had the amazing rescue of the Chilean miners.  We had and have Wikileaks-a story still unfolding.  We had Hurricane Earl and the engagement of the Royal Princeling.
Southern Trains continue to perpetrate abuse upon an innocent and vulnerable customer base.  How is it possible that these bastards are allowed to actually assault travellers on an almost daily basis?  Is there even a slim possibility that these scumbags will have their license to operate a railway renewed in 2011?  And how is it possible that London with it’s chronically underfunded and under invested transport infrastructure has been given the Olympics for 2012?  It will be a nightmare of immense proportions!  Did anybody on the Olympic Committee actually take time off from the wining and dining to actually use a tube or a bus?
VAT rises to an eye-watering 20% on 4th January but apart from meaning more money out of our pockets and into the governments-what does it actually mean?  And with someone like George Osborne in charge of the country’s finances how can we listen to words like fiscal rectitude and ‘we’re all in this together’ without chortling.
That’s the problem with this kind of year.  It slowly corrodes the soul but quietly.  It makes cynics out of the intelligent.  It stunts the critical faculties and makes zombies out of us all.  We look at David Cameron and Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband and George Osborne and something in our hearts curls up and dies.  Something to do with hope and aspiration.  Something to do with the rise of the marketing men.  Something to do with the absence of leadership.  These men, have any of them got any balls?  Or are they emasculated carbon copies of men?  Whatever happened to men anyway?  Very quietly they just feminised themselves away, along with male oysters and sticklebacks.
And as a blood red sun sets over an oestregen sea, all that can be heard is the clip clip of the hair stylists scissors and crackle of celebrity magazines glossy pages being turned.  Welcome to the Hell of the Normal.


The Songs in Men's Hearts

First there is the song of WAR that rises,
boils, and gurgles in the pumping blood.
Sing O Argives cross the dusty plains
of Troy a shout of joy-To kill! To kill!
Such glorious joy the blood to spill.
To read the fear in enemies eyes
as entrails spill like treasure in the trench.

Sing the songs of bloody ecstasy.
Those razored words will cut the hardest steel.
Let the axe sing in the morning bright
and swords ring out like bells against the shields.
These words are hacked into the hearts of youth:

It is a fine day on which to die,
And anyway who wants to live forever?
Ride her hard: Remember to die young!
Go see the world, and blow the fucker up!

Fear is for the others: Fear is bad!
Hear them screaming for their mother’s arms,
and take joy in the tears of cursed foes.
We are over here, and they are over
there. C’mon boys let’s do the bastards!
Rape as an act of war is not so bad,
and bashing out those babies brains was good!
Now we rain down arrows from the moon;
We have contracted Death himself to our clan,
though it must be said he’s mercenary;
he’ll do both sides business for a song.

And deep within the caverns underground
Or in the stars of death, spinning in space;
war is woven in the dreams of hollow men.
Iliads spill out of crooked looms.
Assassins seek the sons of Omeros
Who sings of warriors as idiots and fools.
Their fearful verses drown the battle-crys,
make burning pyres of all their vacant flags,
and tear their uniforms to tumbling rags.