Exhausted and not quite Happy 73


Sorry to have been away. Putting on this show is really exhausting. It is not exactly fun either – the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is really scarey, because with competing shows numbered in five figures, just letting people know you exist is a struggle. Actually the Edinburgh Fringe is in one sense a good example of an absolutely thriving, vibrant and creative artistic event – arguably the best in the world – in which the great majority of what is going on is nothing to do with taxpayers’ money. I am sorry to say I an almost entirely against taxpayer spending on what some officially sanctioned fool has decided constitutes worthy art.

One great pleasure of Nadira’s involvement in this project has been meeting Stella Duffy. I knew of her before, but had not read anything by her as far as I remember. Her Medea is rendered in blank verse, and both the rhythms and the imagery are absolutely fantastic.

I have been read to by Nadira many, many times – I presume this is the fate of all partners of actors – and actually I am lost in admiration of Stella’s use of words, and the sustained intensity of the evocation of emotion. Images are artfully set in clusters of words, each carefully selected and placed.

It has given me severe self doubt about my own books. I know I am not trying to write poetry, but I do tend to slap words on the page just as they enter my mind. I have actually started to revise bits of my new book to try to make the writing finer – something I have never done before. Most of Murder in Samarkand I just wrote once, and never looked at or revised. Indeed, at one point I produced over 40,000 words at a sitting, without sleep. I thought that was quite an achievement. Now I am feeling less sure.


73 thoughts on “Exhausted and not quite Happy

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  • mary

    When were we last ON topic Paul? I wish Craig had an open thread where we could post miscellaneous items without feeling guilty.
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    Are there any of these ‘people’ posting on this blog?
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    USCENTCOM buys software to impersonate social networkers & bloggers; blogosphere shows tell-tale signs amid war on Libya
    Tags: COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY CORPORATE MEDIA COVER-UP/DECEPTIONS/PROPAGANDA DICTATORSHIP WAR/DRAFT/VETERAN AFFAIRS WHITE HOUSE
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    In an ominous development in March this year (in the lead-up to the war on Libya and the destabilisation of Syria), US Central Command – USCENTCOM – purchased a piece of software allowing US government employees to assume multiple fake online identities, complete with false backgrounds, supporting details, and IP address masking functionality. On top of the universal deception that takes place in the corporate media, it is evident that the goal of this venture is to spread propaganda and disinformation.

  • Clark

    Paul Johnston, good link, what a wonderful page stuffed with Doublespeak, quite probably based upon Doublethink.

  • Paul Johnston

    Clark: Many years ago when I was young and a bit more innocent I had a book called something like “Fun with Radioactivity”
    You could build all sorts of stuff and I got a parts list for a Geiger counter and went to our local electronics/radio ham/hi-fi shop (Fanthorpes in Hull Arcade) and asked if they could get the parts for me.
    If I did that today guess I would be having a visit.
    Let’s not even go into the hobbyist chemistry books, never worked out what a Junior School in North Hull needed all that cobalt they had for 🙂
    Mary: I don’t believe you need to purchase such “software” it’s all out there and free!

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Oh, that old chestnut! The Death Penalty. It’s been round once every five years since 1965. Always gets roundly defeated. Rightly so. The Daily Mail does love to flog a dead horse.
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    It’s like: Get the message, people. The UK is not going to re-introduce the death penalty, thank goodness. It is not a priority. Losing your job and our services is a priority.
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    So screw the noose and get some ken!

  • ingo

    Would that be seaman Stains who got his colours tattoed to his bottom at BNP open air frollicks in his early youth? Are we seeing a sustained campaign or just a flash in a fash from one eyed Paul? or is that a nervous tick, a premature male, ejaculating on to the nations underbelly in two seconds flat?

    Well, everytime we re visited this issue the house voted against it, with a greater majority. If this is designed to fuel the rage of knuckle dragging EDL supporters, I fear he’s the worng kind of stooge to do it.

    Mind you I would not put it past this coalition of the liberated, green tinged adventurers.

  • mary

    You have an excellent recall Ingo.
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    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/05/neocons_pretend/
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    You are probably right about the coalition. A friend wrote this morning
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    > Something very nasty in the woodshed. Apparently if you can collect 100,000 signatures on the internet you can demand that Parliament debate an issue. A means of introducing true democracy to politicians who don’t listen to the voices of the people.
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    > Guess what some nutter wants introduced =
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    > capital punishment.
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    > bread and water for prisoners
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    > strict immigration control
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    > because this is what people actually want.
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    > One can see where this sort of thing quickly leads.

  • Paul Johnston

    Wonder if Paul Staines will include drug dealers on the list of people who can get the death sentence?
    Oh perhaps not!

  • John Goss

    Hats off to you, Craig, writing 40,000 words at one sitting. I don’t think I could read 40,000 words at one sitting, though I’m working my way through the Wolferstan diaries (6 million words according to John Money, though you understand I haven’t counted them). But I guess your Afghan history is going to be referenced. That’s what takes the time – annotating!

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