The monster has moved from under the bed, and there are no parents left to comfort the children

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UN’s Jeffrey Feltman: “We believe 80% of Gaza’s casualties are civilians.”

I do not support Hamas or Israel. I am not anti religion. I am not anti-Jewish. I’m not religious – so I’m truly free to love all religions, or gloriously condemn them all for causing the insanity of man. I don’t agree with Hamas firing rockets into Israel, and I don’t agree with Israel placing trade sanctions on Palestine. I don’t agree with Hamas digging tunnels into Israel and kidnapping and killing the innocent. I don’t agree with the relatively small number of Zionists who travelled to Palestine in the late 1800s and wanted to turn Palestine into their homeland. I don’t agree with the UN dividing up the land of Palestine in 1947, but, oh, the brilliance of hindsight.

Before all this began, we should remember that for centuries there was no conflict. In the 19th century the land of Palestine was inhabited by a multicultural population – approximately 86% Muslim, 10% Christian, and 4% Jewish – all living in peace. Since 1947 violence between Israel and Palestine has escalated, and yet our leaders ignore the facts that violence merely creates the escalation of violence. A signature on a peace agreement today will mean little to the fathers and mothers who now have dead children. Wisdom, has a mountain to climb.

The reaction TODAY from Israel is disproportionate. Sky News calls it a war, and the BBC coverage remains biased. According to the Cambridge dictionary a war is “any situation in which there is strong competition between opposing sides.” This is not a war. This is Goliath putting a stone in David’s hand and telling him if he doesn’t throw it he’ll stop David from feeding his family. So David throws the stone at Goliath. And then Goliath stamps on David. And his house. His friends. His parents. His wife. His children. And then blames David for throwing the stone.

You can maybe misfire one rocket into a UN safety zone. Perhaps, although with today’s technology, I’m dubious. But six? This is rapidly appearing like an attempt to wipe out an entire population of people. And still the world justifies. I wonder, when is enough? How many women and children have to die before somebody in power speaks out against the methods Israel are deploying? And how many men have to die? (Why do we see men as less important than a child or a woman? We are all life). During World War 2 America bombed Japan with leaflets telling the population that an atomic bomb was coming. These leaflets told the people of Japan to travel to Hiroshima, where they would be safe. Days later, after hundreds of thousands of women, children and innocent men had travelled to Hiroshima, the atomic bomb landed. I am guessing the voice of reason will not come from the Whitehouse. Nor will it come from the Houses of Parliament.

We all need to make up our own minds about what is acceptable and what is not. Ask yourself the question, is the aggression of Israel right? Are these tactics to defeat Hamas at all costs moral? At what point, is it not okay? My concern is many people are justifying the deaths of children because of the bigger picture, but tell me, where is the beauty in a bigger picture that appears perfect from afar, when up close it reveals itself to be formed from the mutilated corpses of thousands of dead children?

The devil, is in the details.

In the end, all that will remain of the human race will be our rusting weapons, and the statues of those who killed us. Unless we – the people – get our shit together and say no more killing. If you are a soldier of Israel or a fighter of Hamas – stop killing. Whoever your enemy is: don’t kill them. Whatever religion they are, wherever they live, no matter what they have done or might do, no matter what they hold in their hands or what they believe, no matter how they think, who they love or what flag they fly: don’t kill them.

Some think that the normal person in the street is too stupid to understand the conflict and so therefore shouldn’t comment on what they cannot understand. They say unless you are a politician you are too naive to understand the history between Judaism and Israel, and therefore should remain silent as bombs rain down on wide-eyed fatherless children. Well, I say the conflict is about understanding the history, yes – and then, after understanding it all – saying – hey, you know what? No attempt to complicate the reasons behind how we got to where we are today can overpower the basic simple fact that killing people in disproportionate numbers is wrong. Bankers made banking complicated to steal money, politicians tell the world we are too stupid to understand the depths of historical conflicts, in order to continue perpetuating crimes against all of humanity to maintain their power and influence.

Some believe you can’t know about the conflict, or take sides unless you are there. But to me, that feels like closing your eyes when the facts and information is all too readily available. Ignorance is a choice. We have no excuse for relying on mainstream media to shape our views. A person doesn’t need to be in a warzone to feel empathy for fellow human beings trapped in war: empathy doesn’t have a passport. Empathy doesn’t fly a flag or pray to a God. When innocent children become acceptable collateral damage in a war, then what are we fighting for? A better world? Because when the first child doesn’t come home, that better world no longer exists. You can’t reach heaven on a stair of bodies.

Our leaders do not represent us. They do what advances them, and then convince us (through the media) that their actions are in our better interests. There is no justification for the murder of children. There is nothing Obama or the leader of Israel or David Cameron or some journalist can say or write to convince me otherwise, and it surprises me how easily people are swayed by a decent speech. Our leaders are just people. And yes, history is powerful, but history is always a moment weaker than today.

I am not defending the actions of Hamas – it’s just that the numbers of the dead simply do not back up the logic of Cameron, Obama and Netanyahu. There is nothing complicated about the numbers. They are beautifully, hauntingly simple. One number is massive (the number of Palestinians dead) one number is small (the number of Israelis dead).

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The first concern of American and UK politicians is not the children dying, but simply a political inconvenience: as the pile of dead children becomes a mountain the position of supporting Israel begins to make them look more like who they really are – psychopaths at the top of their game – because if my enemy stood behind children, I could not kill the children and blame my enemy. I would find another, less mass-murdering, way. But these leaders are not normal people, they’ll murder a thousand innocent people to kill one guilty enemy, and call it a glorious victory. And our leaders will applaud them. And the people will applaud their leaders.

I watched Prime Minster’s Question Time last week and he shirked 12 direct questions about Gaza. “How can you not think, Mr Prime Minister, that the offensive by Israel is disproportionate?” “Mr Prime Minister, the people I represent want a straight answer, do you think the Israeli offensive has become disproportionate? Yes or No?” David repeated the same answer to every question, which was to give no answer, and to repeat the words of Obama. He is not a leader. Ed Miliband did the same on the Andrew Marr show last weekend. These are not leaders. They do not represent my views and the peaceful views of millions. They remain silent when they should make a stand, and when killing children is part of the solution, then the silence of world leaders merely serves to facilitate the wrong answer.

I am not anti Israeli. I met a group of Israeli men when travelling and they were men of peace. Young men, with age in their eyes – they had been forced into military service and had come out the other side. They knew about peace because they had seen war. The soldiers of Israel are victims too. Any country that forces their children into the army is manipulating the minds of their children to turn them into compliant adults. The people of Israel are victims. The people of Gaza are victims.

It is time for our leaders to lead. And there’s only one place we need to be led. And that is to peace. Peace for all, because history tells us this ends with nobody winning and more empty classrooms.

People in power are those with the influence to steer countries to peace, or into wars. I wonder what’s really in the hearts of those who lead us today, when all around the world is death and crying children. Children no longer crying because of the monster under the bed, crying because of the real monster in this world – man, and our inability to love because of our fears and cravings for power and more lines in the sand.

There is hope. Social Media and the Internet might just save us from ourselves. Victims of violence perpetuated by political regimes now have a voice. They can post to Twitter, Facebook and publish their stories. Right now, today, Twitter is flooded with images of the innocent victims of horrific violence. Dead children, missing heads – the true horror of war can now be seen from the armchair. Perhaps if evil can be seen, evil can be held accountable. The Internet is becoming the mirror the normal person can hold up to the face of the devil. And every year, as Twitter and Facebook and blogs grow in popularity, the mirror grows larger. And the people who hold the mirror grow more determined. One day the devil will have nowhere to look but in the mirror, and on that day, I believe the world and politics will change.

Listen to your own intuitive consciousness and ask yourself the question: is the decision by Israel to destroy Hamas at any cost morally right?

I believe that to say there is no other choice but to kill children who are in the way of an enemy, is merely to spend less time than needed in finding the right answer.

But that’s just me. You have to make up your own mind.

Peace out.

To support Amnesty International, who don’t care about sides but do care about life, click on this link:

http://www.amnesty.org.uk/?gclid=CMu76pDU9L8CFVIPtAod6QcAsg

You can donate a few quid, or you can click on the above link and send an email protesting against the UK arming Israel. It takes 25 seconds.

And in the future it might just save the life of a child.

A little story about my interview with the BBC


1

I arrived at the BBC studios early, I’m always early. I sat in a shop over the road wondering if I was going to make it through the interview without forgetting my name. I drank a coffee. But not before wrestling for 20 minutes over whether I was drinking one too soon, so would crash before the interview…or whether I should be drinking one at all. What if I turn grumpy and impatient? Maybe I should have a green tea and go all Buddha.  I decided – because I had too much big stuff to worry about – that I didn’t have enough time to worry so much about the subtle implications of varying caffeine levels, so I ordered a coffee and took a seat. I drank the coffee. I nervously picked at the paper cup. Then I ate the paper cup, folded myself into a ball, and rolled myself into the corner. I waited, shivering beneath the weight of my deluded ambition.  I had one eye on the clock, and another on the idea of my career being destroyed with the accidental shouting out of something racist or sexually deviant live on the radio. I’m not sexually deviant or racist, but when the pressure builds, my brain floods with all the things I shouldn’t think or say, instead of all the things it should probably be putting out there to help sell my books.

I walked into the BBC studios with my head full of erections and offensive words, knowing the adrenaline rush could literally push anything out of my mouth before I had a chance to veto it.

Comedian Glenn Wool was waiting to be interviewed. What a lovely down to earth bloke he is. Turns out we have both been homeless. He gave me some good advice, and helped calm me down. Then I listened to his interview, and he knocked it out of the park. I had to follow a professional comedian.

I sat down to have the interview, imagining my career in flames and the only way I could save it was to have sex with a goat on live radio. I was halfway through answering the first question when I became aware that my mind was heading towards a completely black screen. Half way through my sentence, I suddenly had no idea how it ended.

My voice expressed the shattering of my mind by adding an unusual squeaky element to my voice.

And you can listen to the rest of the interview yourself if you want, here it is:

http://bit.ly/BBCComedyCafe

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I need your help. Please share this. Free book!

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Hello,

I’ve penned a few blogposts, some funny, some ranty, and some akin to putting my head in a deep fat fryer to see if my face could ever be tastier than a 3am kebab.  I’m lucky enough to have gathered a small but friendly audience. And now, I need your help.

And in return, you get a free book. Everyone wins.

I’m giving away my book #DeepInTheBinOfBob for today only. I don’t really want to. I don’t think an author should have to give his or her writing away for free. But, there is no way I can compete, or even get my book read, if I don’t. The big publishing house can sell their books for free on Amazon, whereas the cheapest us lowly indie authors can sell a book for is 77p.

The big people have the marketing budget, the glossy book covers, the ability to sell a book for free or give multiple books in a bundle. They have thousands of reviewers thirsty for books and mass distribution channels.

All I’ve got is the best fucking stories you’ll ever read, a dodgy cover I’ve had to create myself – and you.

Will you help me? Maybe you’ve laughed at one of my blogposts, maybe you’ve smiled at one of my tweets or had a chuckle at a Facebook status. Maybe you know me in real life. Maybe you don’t know me, but you understand where I’m coming from. I am asking you to please share this blogpost to your Twitter feed, Facebook page, reblog it or forward it in an email.

Knock on your neighbour’s door naked, with a pint of stale milk in your hand, and whisper have you heard about Bob?

I need your support, person inside their PC looking in as I look back out.

I am giving away my book for free from NOW until tonight, in the hope I can drum up some new readers.

Please help me by sharing this information: it’s only a little share button.

Thank you x

Here are the links to the book:

 UK LINK

http://bit.ly/BinOfBob

US LINK

http://bit.ly/USBinOfBob

“Incredibly interesting and thought provoking. There are many things I shall never think about in the same way again. The writing and settings are strangely weird and beautifully brilliant. I feel that anything else I might now read could seem a little ordinary, a little bland in comparison.” M

“I had the feeling that the universe was being unpicked and examined in order to play with the truth. Extraordinary.” LJ

“I don’t think I’ll ever be the same again. I had to go for a long walk after reading, to stop my head exploding. A knockout.” Linda Griffiths
“Pure GENIUS. Buy this book.” Ida

Anti-Homeless Spikes. What the actual fuck?

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I wasn’t going to comment on this, because I thought, it’s obviously horrible.  I thought no human could possibly convince themselves that putting spikes beneath other human beings is an act of mercy. I thought not even the most cold-hearted intellectuals (you know, the ones with hooks for faces, and scars that run across their souls) could see spikes on the ground, and reach the conclusion that they are for the benefit of the homeless.

I was wrong.

There are some in this wonderful world of the armchair genius who believe that putting spikes under the mentally ill is a good thing. They think that if people can’t sleep where they usually do, they will be encouraged to stop sleeping rough. Like, it’s a choice. Imagine Homeless Doug. Doug often sleeps in doorway 34. Doorway 34 isn’t much. But it’s all Doug has. One night Doug returns to doorway 34. His floor is now full of spikes. According to some people Doug will see these spikes, suddenly rethink his life and stop suffering from mental illness. What actually happens, is that Doug looks down at the spikes and the little voice in his head that once told him one day things will get better because somewhere out there someone cares – now screams one thing:

They don’t want to help you. They want you to be invisible. Kill yourself Doug. That’s what they want.

Before I continue, you fuckers agreeing with this, how would you feel if someone who slept on a mattress without spikes, replaced your mattress with spikes, and then had the nerve to tell you it was for your own good?

To a homeless person who doesn’t have anything the slab of pavement, the doorway, the area beneath a bridge, is their home. It’s their constant. These places are their ceilings, their walls of protection, their security. Take that away, and you don’t spread solution, you merely pry their fingernails away from the side of existence.

The homeless people of Southwark are today the poorest people of Southwark – now, if the homeless are forced out of Southwark, then the new poorest would become the people on my council estate. Now, this council estate doesn’t look nearly as nice as some of these new buildings. In fact, positioned next to them, they look almost unsightly…My point is, the people in power are moving the lines of morality to suit their desires. Before anyone agrees with these spikes, ponder how you would feel, if the powers that be decided they thought you were unsightly.

Some things we don’t have to intellectualize, some things we shouldn’t say “yes, it’s bad, but the wider issue is housing and blah blah blah” – stop it – this is fucking awful. And shame on everyone involved who made it happen. And shame on anyone who doesn’t think this is the act of those who have, distancing themselves further from those who have not. It is no longer enough for the rich to step over or around the poor, they have become so fat and greedy, they no longer wish to pick their feet up at all. And if you are rationalising and agreeing with these acts of hate, welcome to the hill. You made it.

“There’s room at the top they’re telling you still

But first you must learn how to smile as you kill

If you want to be like the folks on the hill”

John Lennon

Help the homeless. Don’t move them so you can’t see them. 

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Call if you see someone sleeping rough in London 0870 3833333

http://www.nosecondnightout.org.uk/

RIP Peaches, sorry the world is full of ignorant cunts

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I’m reading a lot of hate aimed at Peaches Geldof on Twitter and Facebook, here are some words to balance the hate. I should add I wasn’t a fan. Professionally speaking, there wasn’t really much to go on. But, I’m not talking about her career.

A lot of people have taken the view ‘I hate Peaches, but have only sympathy and love for the children’, but this view is muddled.

Peaches is her children, all grown up.

Peaches suffered the same event her children suffered, only she was older at the time of her mother’s death so would have lived her life enduring clearer memories. So those who are saying ‘I sympathise with the children, but think Peaches is evil and selfish’ make no sense. Unless these people mean that they have sympathy for Peaches’ kids until they grow up and start trying drugs to cope with their mum’s death. In which case, that’s not really sympathy, more allowing the first emotions (anger, superficial judgement etc) to rule the head, which is too simplistic a system to base any worthy conclusion on.

To blame any addict for their own death, shows a lack of insight into the history of the addict and the depths of suffering the human mind can plummet to. The reasons for Peaches’ drug problems are well documented. (And if she was taking heroin in the day with her kids, she was an addict. Addiction is not enjoyable.)

Nobody can judge, because nobody is Peaches. Typing this makes me feel weird, because on one level I understand it’s not my life to discuss, but on the other, I wanted to say something to balance the same moronic, hate-filled, ill-thought out conclusions the masses always seem to reach.

Nobody knows what happened, nobody was in Peaches’ head. These tragic events coupled with the response of the majority of people (pointing fingers and blaming Peaches while having only love for her children) merely highlight the cold flaw of society, and the idiocy of people high on the confidence of being in a large group protected by the anonymity of their on-line persona. 

All this hate wont help Peaches’ children as they grow up. The very same children the bleeding heart of the masses claim to bleed for, will be crushed further when they grow up to read the hate aimed at the person who gave them life. The ‘blame Peaches’ stance will only continue to create more pain for her kids.

I await the stance of the masses to change from ‘protect the children’ to ‘hate the mum’ should – in 20 years time – either child fall into the same depression, become a mother, then lose their battle with drugs and a life that began with a struggle most of the people hating can thank their lucky stars they never had.

RIP Peaches, I hope your children find a way of figuring out this complicated life without you, and I’m sorry the world is full of ignorant cunts.

The Shock of Falling in Love with this Book

nathanfiler5/5 stars

Firstly, apologies for the title of this review. Don’t blame me, I didn’t invent pun culture.

I read The Shock of The Fall on the back of it winning the 2014 Costa Award, I guess like many others. I’m sometimes left a little disappointed after reading a book that’s won an award. They can remind me of that moment when I was twelve and I ordered a pair of X-Ray specs from a magazine, and received back in the post a glob of bulky plastic that did nothing except introduce disappointment to childhood. And a sliced eyeball. Fortunately, this sadness was later replaced with the joy of Sea Monkeys actually being things that grow, so I’m glad to say I am over it, even if the memories do sometimes creep back over me as I write Amazon reviews.

Memories are kind of what The Shock of The Fall is about. Fractions and shards, bits and pieces, a man writing down and pulling together glimpses of who he once was, under the weight of who he could have been. A clearer life, through a painful mist.

I don’t think I can say much specifically about the content of the book without giving anything away, only that the main character Matthew has schizophrenia and is dealing with an incident from his childhood that follows him around and wants to play with him. The book feels like it’s written by Matthew, you can see him with his typewriter on his legs, smoking his cigarettes, struggling to cope with the world he has left.

One of the beautiful things about this book, is that the main character Matthew is coping with mental illness, but it’s the world around him that seems, at times, to be suffering from a greater sickness.

The Shock of the Fall offers a true insight into the life of different mind. There are times when reading the book gives a sense of crawling into a dark place, and trying to make sense of the light. And there is humour, so don’t think this book simply dark; it is funny at times, and almost full of light everywhere you look. If you want to see it. The book is beautifully understated. All we need is a plastic chair, a conversation and a badly cut sandwich, and life can begin again.

Lastly, to finish this review where it began, this book is a worthy winner of the Costa Book Award, and because of The Shock of the Fall, I will be reading more of Nathan Filer’s work, and I will also be seeking out past and future winners of the Costa Book Award.

Here’s the UK Amazon link if you fancy giving it a try.  You should.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/000749145X

 

The misery of releasing a book

After seven months, hundreds of hours and even more revisions, I’ve released Deep in the Bin of Bob. There was a moment when I felt a surge of achievement; but the feeling immediately morphed into a pool of clear water which dribbled out of my brain, down my face, chest and feet, where it formed a puddle on the floor by my feet.

Now I’m not sure what to do with myself. I spent hours working on Deep in the Bin Bob. For a short time, I had a purpose. I was king of a small thing, a conqueror of the imagination of my own brain, a landlord of my own time and space.

Now I’m back: once again the wingman to myself.

I’ve sent my new book to a literary agent. So now, I wait. This process again. This moment of grey hope that looms over everything like a pound coin glued to the pavement.

Perhaps a literary agent will look into my work, and believe I am worth representing, or perhaps the best part of this process has already happened: the puddle at my feet.

I’ve taken to cleaning the house and seeing faces in things: the carpets, the walls and the bins.

What do you do when you’ve spent nineteen years holding a pen, only to exist forever a mile beneath a floating system controlled by the partially sighted?

What next, but to stare at my puddle, and hope for someone to attach to me wings?

UK LINK

http://bit.ly/BinOfBob

US LINK

http://bit.ly/USBinOfBob

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