Who am I, doctor – or should I call you God? Who am I, that is the question? I know everyone asks the question sometime or other in their lives – your boring old existentialist angst, but, nonetheless, as the Bishop said to the abbess, I have to ask.
Who am I? Who am I? Who? Who? Who? Like a boring old owl outside a boring old window. Nobody else seems to have this problem – which I find very boring. It wouldn’t be so bad if I was one of a ravening flock of howling owls, but I’m not – or I don’t seem to be – at any rate I can only speak for myself, and when I speak for myself it seems that everyone else is clear who and what they mean when they say “I”. And it is equally clear to me that I haven’t the foggiest who or what I mean when I say “I”.
The subject. That’s what it’s all about. Who is the subject of my life? In grammar it is all so easy. If I say ‘I ran’ or ‘I drink’ or ‘I pick my nose’ than “I” am the subject of the sentence. So far so good. Everything clear and above board. But as soon as I scrutinize this “I”, who is the subject of the statement, then everything becomes slippery. “I” slide all over the place. I shoot in and out of rabbit holes in my perception like an adulterer in a Feydeau farce. Of course the whole thing would become a lot simpler if I was an adulterer in a Feydeau farce. I wish I was an adulterer in a Feydeau farce. I wish I was an adulterer in real life. Not that that would necessarily help me in my quest for “I” but it would give me some fun along the way.
Stop fantasising! Stick to the point, you fool!
Who’s issuing these orders? Gestalt. I am waiting for the illusive thoughts to float across the sky of my head and someone is issuing orders. Who is that someone? Me! Obviously. But which me? Where is this me? Who is I? I is who? I am who? Who who who! On it goes in the night of the brain, like an owl hooting. What’s an owl doing in my brain? Hunting rats and voles. What are rats and voles doing in my brain! And mice! Scuttling around on the floor of my mind looking for crumbs and dead matter and waste of all sorts. What is this waste, these crumbs and dead matter? What are they doing in my brain? Fuck all, that’s what they are doing. Sloughing of the skin of my cranium, sloughing of the skin of my brain like skin that has been sunburnt, drifting down, flaking down on to the carpet of my head where it is eaten by lice and bugs and bacteria of all sorts! What is going on in my head that this should happen? Fuck all! That’s the point! Fuck all going on in my head! Except my brain is shrinking! Shrinking, shrinking down to a dark and wizened walnut, and all these bits keep falling off and floating down, little wisps and shreds and crumbs and motes, floating down, lit up for a split second by the beams from my eyes, the motes in the beams of my eyes, and that’s what passes for cerebral activity in my brain. That is my intellectual effort, my intellectual achievement, that is the muscle of my brain, the mucous of my mind, those crumbs and motes floating down, and illuminated for a brief second by the beams from my eyes. And as they are lit up for that split second, my mouth opens, my tongue wags, and people listen. And what do they hear? Crumbs and motes and shards and fragments fluttering about on the tips of my lips. And they say: My God! My God! They say in such admiring tones. Listen to this man! Listen to him! Have you ever heard such a stupid wanker! And I have to agree with them. Because anyone whose brain is occupied by a hunting owl sitting high in an old cypress tree, chanting ‘who who who’ and looking for rats and mice and voles, searching for cockroaches in the detritus, in the undergrowth of my brain, can’t be serious, can he? I would’ve thought that the first requisite for being serious, for being taken seriously, is that you knew who you were! That your brain wasn’t completely taken up by the question: who am I? I? I? Who am I? Who who who? And there goes that fucking owl again. Did Sartre suffer from this? I don’t expect so. He was French, wasn’t he? And the French don’t say who who who? So he can’t have heard an owl in his brain as he lay there in the dark of the night in existentialist angst. What’s the French for who? I’m not good at languages. Something else I’m not good at. Such a lot of things I’m not good at. Qui? Would that be it? Qui? Pronounced key? Don’t know. Sartre lying there moaning: key key key? What did he have on his brain then? A door. Obviously. And behind that door stands his true self, his I. His true I. Only he’s lost the fucking key. Key key key? he goes. And outside the window I’m going: who who who? OK. No wonder he’s dead and I’m brain dead.
Mind you, there are some “I”s eyes that I don’t want to be, even if it were given to me to choose.
It seems to me that the Catholics have the ‘soul’ when they talk about the “I” – I was brought up a Catholic for my sins, which is one reason why I am not interested in the Catholic “I”. Awful! Faced only with eternal damnation and the Pope’s bad breath. No, the certainty of that “I”, I – I? – who? – I can well do without. I either want to work out this phenomenological conundrum or I want to clip my fingernails – I don’t know which attracts me the most. “I” feel that “I” should work out on my angst, bless it, so “I” is now a moral imperative, “I” is now the dear old Superego. Not that I want an “I” approved of dear old reductionist Freud, any more than I want the Catholic “I”. I’m not interested in any “I” which can be defined by somebody other than myself. Now I find that quite funny. Here I am crying that find myself defunct – as I one day will be – in the matter of the “I”: give me my “I”, I cry. I want my “I”. Please! An “I” for an “I”. But it is also clear that not any old “I” will do. I’m highly selective.
I don’t want that old Romantic nineteenth century “I” either, that old Victorian certainty, the “I” as the subject unifying the whole world, the “I” as hungry subject ready to eat the whole world, an “I” ready to integrate the individual and to integrate the entire physical, non-subjective world. I certainly don’t want that “I”. That “I” has no doubts and is therefore dangerous. So some doubts I approve of? And some doubts I don’t approve of? Perhaps that might help me in my search. Which doubts do I not approve of? No, I’m wrong. I’m fucking up the question. I don’t mean doubts – I don’t mean I approve of having no doubts – that is the point of disapproval. So, rephrasing, or refocusing perhaps, the question again: there are some doubts of which I approve and there are some doubts of which I disapprove. Now, I’ve confused myself. Apart from being syntactically neater, isn’t that precisely what I asked myself earlier? It is, Joxer, it is. So stop being a fucking eejit and get on with it.
All right, I don’t want an “I” which as no doubts. I don’t want an “I” which is beset by certain doubts. I wish I could find another word for “I” than “I”, if you see what I mean. It’s very confusing. But I can’t. So stick with it and try not to hurt my head. Presumably I am willing to accept being muzzled by certain other, approved of, doubts? OK. The “I” which has no doubts: rigorously locked into its view of the world and self – or does it possess a self, other than as a referent point. Perhaps it looks out, this “I”, sternly upon the world and defines itself by what it sees and how it reacts to it, the world, I mean. Unaware of ignoring the pressure of any other psychic dynamics in its certainty that it is reacting, behaving objectively, logically. I’m grateful to – em – whatshisname – fucking hell, I wish I knew what was going on in my head sometimes, I wish I knew if I am thinking, or is it I who am thinking, or do I think and who is I and if I am the I that thinks am I the am, therefore, if you see what I mean, I am. Or am I? Perhaps I’m not? Perhaps I’m partly not and partly am. Perhaps I’m lodged in a crack somewhere – this is great fun – this is fucking madness. Either I am or I am not, I’ll settle for one of the other but I want certainty. Is that too much to ask, for Christ’s sake! He knew who he was, When he said “I”, he was backed up by a lot of thickset men with beards. They all knew who he was, he is the only “I” they said, and they passed it on to the rest of us. At any rate, it was certainly passed on to me. Was it Lacan who said – I ask rhetorically because I know bloody well it was – was it Lacan who said: I think where I am not, hence I am where I think not! Hey! What! Get out of that! What the fuck does he mean? I think where I am not! In any case, that is not so much my problem! My problem is I can’t think where I AM!! And I want to think where I am!!! At least I think I do. I think, therefore I am here. Now that would be the beginning of something. But I think therefore I am not here would lead, I’m afraid, to some rather severe questioning in the House! And we can’t have that can we?
Someday I’ll find me,
I’ll creep up behind me,
And put my cold hand on my bum-tiddley-um-tum.
There’s something to be going on with. Hope springs eternally in the breasts of an idiot. Does everyone go through this? I’ve asked this before, I know – but I’m not sure if anyone answered, if anyone heard! I mean, it’s possible – that no one heard, I mean. If I am not here – and this is the purpose of this enquiry, to discover if I am or if I am not – and if I does not exist, and that seems odds on favourite right this minute, then who speaks and can he, she or it be heard across the gulf? I love it, I love it. But does anyone else?
I wish I had some other word than “I” with which to address myself. Because that is the whole issue, isn’t it? I speak “I” with such familiarity that after a moment the listener must be confused. Can this be the man who doubts his “I”? I hear you ask. Who can’t wipe his “I”? He uses the personal pronoun with such ease, with such familiarity, with such a sense of assurance that surely he can have no doubts! BUT I DO DOUBT! I DO FUCKING WELL DOUBT! And I don’t want to doubt! Let me have peace now. Let us all have peace. Let the subject rest – but who is this subject who wishes to rest – and that brings me back to the question.
I get the feeling that I am all alone in this. I get the feeling that no one else aches like this. No doubt I am wrong – but I feel that I am right. And that feeling is all that I have to go on – so, until something better comes along , I’ll just have to stick with it. I mean, when other people wake up in the morning, when daylight sticks a finger in their eye – who wakes up? Are they instantly totally secure, a hundred percent certain about their whoness? Their I-ness? I’m me, they state with absolute conviction – not necessarily in such limp words but in whatever colourful and vibrant phrases which configure their sense of beingness, I’ness, whoness, and so on and so forth. They climb out of bed. They pee and shit or not. They wash and dress – or not. They, make-up or not, shave or not as whim or gender strikes them. But they do not freeze on the edge of the bed, one foot poised over an empty slipper, balls flapping in the breeze, and start to ask; who, who, who? Unable to move until the wife hits him a sharp blow in the small of the back and says: you, you fool! Get up! I don’t know what I’d do without the missus!
Then they move on, breakfast, move into the streets and thoroughfares, take to their cars, to buses, to trains, taxis, even bikes. They work, sing and pray throughout the livelong day. They fart, shit, piss, pick their noses, manage the odd fuck, get a haircut, read The Sun, indulge in other vices, completely certain of who they are. I do all this -whatever it is – shit, shave, haircut, all the rest of it – not sure about the odd fuck, and I don’t read The Sun – no fucking help their for my problem – I I I do all this, therefore I I I exist. Don’t I? I don’t fucking know! I know me, I think I know me,but do I exist?
I don’t feel any of that certainty that other people feel. I feel nothing like that. Nothing. I wake up, and before anything much can happen, I’ve got to dress myself in myself, if you see what I mean? Not that that is easy. Bloody hell, far from it. First of all I’ve got to rummage around in the wardrobe and drawers of my mind in order to find someone to wear. Someone that I am comfortable wearing. Someone that I am happy wearing. It is very rare that the someone I wore the previous day will settle on me today – even if hygiene would allow – very unlikely that. I can’t think of an occasion when for two days running I was able to don the same “I” – usually I can’t even find yesterday’s “I” – it’s gone from the chair over which I through it so carelessly the night before – stolen? Dissolved? Anyway, missing. Always the same – gone. For some reason, though every night I intend to take care of me, intend oh so fervently, the fact is I simply can’t take care if me. I should fold me carefully and place me carefully over a chair where I can see me, where I won’t lose sight of me, and therefore be all ready to slip into me in the a.m. so that I can have an early start. But I don’t! I can’t imagine why! But I don’t. And I wake up. And I’m not there. I’m gone. No idea where. So I have to rummage and poke and, if I’m lucky, come up with something which, when pulled like a woolly hat over my brain, gives me the sensation at least – nothing more – that here’s an “I” which will at least enable me to tumble out of bed and put one foot in front of the other, so that I won’t starve – though that might solve a lot of problems.
Can you think like this when you’re starving? Would you want to think like this if you were starving? Do they think like this in the Upper Volta? I don’t see Oxfam advertising for ‘Ego-kits’ to enable the starving desperate of the Horn of Africa organise a Being for themselves. This child doesn’t know who he is – donate an ego and let him know that he is suffering.
Anyway, that’s all very well, but I’ve got my own bag, I’m stuck in my own groove, and all I can do is struggle with it. If Ego-angst and empty bellies are incompatible, what can I do about it? I can only struggle on. So I try to dress myself in me so that I can go out. Sometimes something useful turns up and off I go relatively smoothly – though never with any great belief, if you see what I mean. I simply talk of achieving a sort of functional minimum, just enough petorl to get the old engine moving, so to speak. However, some days I don’t even achieve that. I flounder around through the daylight hours – and the waking nighttime ones as well – trying on this, slipping into that, ripping that off, throwing this aside, until I’m – or someone is – ready to weep with frustration. Or worse – anxiety. Has anybody – has everybody – spent a day, a week, a month even – a year? – in that awful state of cramping anxiety? As if everywhere you went, no matter where, Maggie Thatcher – I haven’t forgotten her, you know, I shall always keep an eye on her, she could be back -anyway, as if Maggie Thatcher or your dead grandmother, whichever is more frightening, is poised just above and behind your head and, when you least expect it, is going to deliver a savage psychic karate chop to the neck just as you are going to move in on this beautiful girl and you shit your pants – which I can tell you for nothing is no way to behave when you’re just about to chat up some lovely; she just won’t got for it. So this old gut Hubbard finds that the cupboard is bare, poor thing, aznd even ringing a bell does nothing to help – if you see what I mean, and I hope you do, because i don’t.
What makes the whole thing worse though, is that everyone else seems completely certain as to who I am – particularly when it comes to apportioning blame for some failure. It’s all his fault! By the way, ‘he’, ‘his’, ‘him’ is the outsiders way of referring to me, to “I”, though I feel as uncerain about that as I do about the rest – that is, rest equals “I”. Anyway, to circle around a bit and hopefully shake some of the wool from my brain – my brain clogs, you know that? Becomes furred up in some way, like lime in a pipe, or emulsification in an artery, so that I’m left with this sensation of being asleep, of not being wholly conscious, thugh I know I am because the blinds are up and daylight floods – though as I say that, I am also forced to ask: what does that prove? Who says my eyes are open? Who says that daylight floods? I could be dreaming – and I could drive myself mad, if I go on like this. Drive who mad? Me, mad. Who’s me. Oh, for Christ’s sake stop it! Excuse me while I calm myself for a moment.
I keep wanting to return to the theme of others being sure of who I am, but I find it difficult to do so. Perhaps I don’t want to discuss that aspect of the matter? But I must. I’m determined to cover everything in as great a detail as is necessary, even if I lose friends in the process, even if I bore you all to death in the process – death! Death! There it is. The truly relevant subject! I shall die. You will die. He, she or it will die. We all will die. Sometime. Somehow. Somewhere. What price “I” then? Who is subject then? I’ll outlive you. Or you’ll outlive me. Either way one of us will perceive the other’s death. That is, if we care to make the effort. So my preoccupations with my “I” are juiced over with that rather piquant sauce.
I shall die. But who is, it that shall die? I’d be really pissed off to think that I was dying for someone else. That some vague sense of other-being had been infiltrated into my head at a very tender age – by my mother, no doubt – unlikely my father as he would have left marks. And somehow I carry this sort of cuckoo-ego which I think is me around in my cranium, but which in fact is a sort of simulacrum or a creag, if you see what I mean – nothing so positive as possession, but rather as if someone had eased in this tiny taste of their “I” int my head case – which I am – and thereby confuses the whole issue. I’ll die for this person. And somewhere else someone will think that this person is dead, but he isn’t, or she isn’t, and so he or she has achieved immortality – BUT I AM DEAD!!! And I don’t know who it is who has died! Because I don’t know who “I” is! It’s rather neat the way I keep circling back to the same point, isn’t it? Neat, but not very helpful.
I’ve lost myself again. And good riddance I hear you say. But I hear unfinished business racketting around in my brain. Oh yes. Others certain they know who I am. For instance, my wife – and ladies, I use the possessive pronoun extremely hesitantly. I’m sorry, but I’ve no alternative. Until I get this present desperate problem sorted out I won’t have time to reconstruct the pronouns of the English language. So I continue: my wife said to me in bed the other night – she doesn’t seem to have any doubts about who I am or to whom she speaks – she says:
‘I haven’t seen much of you.’
I’d been around all day so I suspected a wifely trap. I hedged a bit.
‘Why not?’ I ask.
‘You haven’t been here,’ she answers.
Again I was very careful – because if I hadn’t been here, if you see what I mean, where the hell had I been!
‘Where have I been?’ I ask her.
‘Inside your head,’ she says.
We didn’t talk again for the rest of the night – well, what could you say after that? I mean, I’m inside my head!!! How does she know!! Why don’t I know? I mean, who is inside my head? And does she really know what she is talking about, accusing me of being inside my head? Where else would I be, if I were me, if you see what I mean. Where the hell am I trying to be but inside my head.
But first of all I’ve got to find this “I” who’s supposed to live inside my head – or am I coming at it from the wrong side? Is she knows where I am – and I quote again: you’re inside you’re head – then maybe I should listen more carefully to those who look at me and say: you, he, him, his, etc. Perhaps, like triangulations on a map, I can get a fix on my elusive “I” and Betty Martin – as if I hadn’t got enough problems, why bring her into it? OK, OK, let’s look at it logically. Who professes to know who I am? Well, wife, children, friend – theonly one – a few colleagues – we’ll leave out casual acquaintances for the moment, they could be talking to a Golem for all they know, nor, providing I didn’t bite them, would they care. The DSS know who I am – I’m on the computer, I have an identity composed of letters and numbers. I don’t answer terribly easily when they call me but, from their point of view, they are absolutely certain who I am. The car licensing people know who I am. Various insurance companies know. You see, the problem is not so much being identified but, rather, who is it that is being identified? The police, I’m sure, have me somewhere – they’ve got us all, I’m certain. Equity lists me – though after this they might decide that it’s a case of mistaken identity. And that’s really frightening. But at least, with all these sources of identity I can’t get lost – at anyrate, my body can’t get lost. If I didn’t have these official and unofficial sources of identity, I’d be in a far worse state than I am, I can assure you, I’d be well and truly lost, more lost that I am. So, for the moment, I’m all in favour of these computerised data banks, thi instant retrieval – because I need it myself, to instantly retrieve my overcoat, so to speak. We mustn’t see these data systems as a threat to our liberties – for some us, they may actually be a source of liberty. They could be a source of support and comfort, dial and in and check yourself out, a sort of electronic cloakroomn from which we can fetch our over-being and at least confirm that that exists! Therefore, I shan’t sign the petition. Not that I would have, anyway, because that is the whole point – who is it that signs?!! Who signs!! If I don’t know who I am, am I entitled to sign documents? I mean, surely that is a form of forgery? I plav#ce my trust in the computers agreeing that the overcoat is the same as the one kept on the hook and, therefore, because of this agreement, I won’t be arrested for fraud or forgery or false pretences or whatever – though I have to confess that I feel anxious about this, so I avoid signing anytjing unless I have to. I’m arranging, slowly – and much to her puzzlement – for my wife – repeat apologies on pronouns – to take over the signing of all matters. She has no doubts about who she is – not even that she is my wife – or, at anyrate, she doesn’t seem to have any doubts, but who am I to say? Anyway, once she has finally taken over all responsibilities for the signatures that people demand that I go through life making, I shall feel somewhat happier. I shall be safe from the law, even if nowhere closer to the answer.
Again my brain walks into a wal of pudding, becomes muffled, congeals stickily, ideas cease to flow, if they ever did. How do I answer this conundrum if I continually wind up as a dumpling. I want the answer! I will have the answer! I will understand it. I will know I, or I will not know I. It’s a mess, isn’t it? But should it be a mess? Perhaps I wasn’t properly taught when I was a kid. Perhaps I wasn’t properly guided. It could have beenmy fault, I suppose. The information was passed on but I was too slow, too dozy, too careless, too lacking concentration and so missed the pearl of wisdom. Anyway, one way or the other, I have missed it, so whether it had been offered or not been offered is now academic – so on goes the search. I hope nobody thinks that this quest of mine is unnecessary, or not important? It is crucially important. For instance, this’ll show you how important it is, I make promises – we all make promises – we swear in court that we will tell thew truth, we swear undying love. I swear to tell the truth. I love you. I will love, honour and obey. I promise. I guarantee. I love you, I love you, I love you! So it’s crucial that I know who does the swearing – surely you can all see that? If there is nobody in, so to speak, if the entity which swears doesn’t exist, then there is no reason why any oath should be binding. “I” can swear anything that suits me and then take off in any direction that suits me. Without blame. Without guilt. Wouldn’t that be lovely? But it is clear that in many ways Society grants that I possess and “I” that swears – a swearing “I” – an “I” that, when it swears, will be bound by the oath, will keep its word. I mean, it can’t be any old “I” that happens to be passing through that can do the job, can it? No. The swearing “I” must be the “I” with which I want to get in touch, which I want to touch. Otherwise there is just a great headful of different “I”s. I as daddy, I as husband, I as employee, I as freidn, I as enemy, I as idiot standing here. Now that is dreadful, isn’t it? Can’t have that. I want certainty. I want unity. I want integrity. To have “I”s slipping in and out of my head like bums in a dentist’s chair doesn’t help me at all. I want and “I” poised above the rest, an “I” which observes, which sees, which controls, which is conscious, high above the hurly burly, like a lorry driver in his cab. When I say ‘I am pissed, I am stoned’ I want to know who is pissed! I want to know who says ‘I am stoned’! And how do I know that I am pissed, or indeed stoned. This gets deeper by the second.
‘Why did the I cross the road?’
‘Because it couldn’t see where it was going – or coming from.’
Did that help?
Not a lot. Not that I can perceive. Ah! Wait! Perceive! Perception! Aha! The subject who perceives! Now we’re getting somewhere! Does the object perceived exist independently of the perceiving subject? Does the perceiving subject really perceive the objective object? Does the objective object object? Or do the perceiving subject and the objective object not exist – until the perceiving subject walks straight into the objective object and raises a welt between his eyebrows! Aha! There we are! That…doesn’t help in the slightest, does it?
Lord, it’s difficult, isn’t it? You have to admit that. You! Here I go. You? Who are you? No, no, no, let me not go into that. I have enough problems with me. Hey, do politicians suffer from this? I am John Major, therefore I am Michael Hesletine – I hope. I am Michael Hesletine, therefore I am hair. Here! I am Virginia, therefore I am bottomless. It’s a bit worrying, isn’t it? No, I don’t think they do. They all seem so certain. But if they don’t suffer from it, for I perceive – aha, perceive again. Ignore it! – for I perceive this as a form of suffering. Certainly it’s not a form of contentment, spending hour after hour, day after day, wandering around the same old arsehole, like a dog sniffing a bitch! At least the dog knows that his nose his real – at least I hope he does – and the bitch knows that his nose is real, because it is cold, and the dog knows that his nose his cold, he’s a healthy dog, and he knows that the bitch’s arse will warm it, and she knows that his nose is snuffling up her arse because she’s shivering. It’s all simple at that level, isn’t it. I am, therefore I cock my leg. Not that my nose is cold. Not that anyone would let me snuffle – oh, well, that’s another story altogether. Anyway, if politicians don’t suffer from this existentialist angst, why don’t they suffer from it? And if they don’t suffer from it are they safe? Or are they safer if they don’t suffer? No, scrub it, they’re fucking dangerous whichever way it is. Maybe they might be marginally safer if they didn’t know who they were, if they spent more time trying to discover who, i fact, they were. Am I making sense? If anyone notices even the tinest whiff of sense – ‘in sense’, as you might say – would you please draw my attention to it. You? You? Oh, God, stop it! Anyway, would you please draw my atention to it – sense, that is – as that is the whole purpose of the exercise. Call out – what? – not my name, even if you know it, my name’s still stapled to this crisis of identity. And don’t call out: ‘hey, you!’, I’ll freak. A number! That might be best. Call out a number. Any number you fancy. Come in, number six, you’re time’s up! The voice of death. Yoohoo, I’m here for you. For who! For who! Just tell me! On the last breath even! Anyway, if I hear someone call out a number, I’ll know that they are addressing me, no one else could be so daft.
Identity! Identity! They’s all got it infamy! It’s all about identity, isn’t it? Sudden thought. Identikit. Ask the witness to describe who he or she saw. Build up a likeness. Computer enhanced. I wonder. Is that the answer. How tall is this “I”? Would you say tall? Average? Small? Colour of hair? Long, shot, medium, dark, fair, bald. Oh, what’s the use! I’d confuse the computer. Who, who, who? How do I fit into society? Do I fit into society? Am I part of the system? I suppose I am. Outside, on my surface, the way I live, the way I work, I support the system. OK? I support it. I face up to that. No rebel me – whoever me is. I – whoever “I” is – don’t ever put the tinest quiver into the boat. But inside, inside my head – vacant as it may be at this moment, desperately advertising for a tenant as it may be at this moment – inside my head I destroy the system everyday. Every day! Believe me! I scorch Capitalism to cinders with breathtaking surges of intellectual flame. I create the beautiful society in a few tender thoughts. I liquidate the baddies – Rightwing politicians, Demagogues, religious fundamentalists, Media moguls, dictators, oligarchs, Nazis, Fascists, Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United – without compunction. Painlessly, mind you. Because I’m still a pacifist. And a vegetarian. I click my mental fingers and – Paul Daniels hang your head, Michael Aspel look up your wife – prestidigitalously, legerdemain, stockpiles of nuclear rockets and warheads, of submarines and guns, of armies, of chemical and biological poisons, of free marketeers, the entire Tory party, the lot of them, all disappear with a pouf. Wouldn’t that be nice? What a wonderful world – what a wonderful world, thank you, Louis. But outside? In this world of computer enhanced images? Do I rock the boat? No, I don’t rock the boat. This is very serious. Mind you – oh, God, ‘Mind you’! Where do these phrase come from! Mind you! Mind I! Mind me! Mind we! – anyway, just as soon as I discover my “I” you’ll – who’ll? – you’ll, you’ll, is it Christmas already! – you’ll see a difference. I might not, but you will. The revolution will revolve until the world comes round again, comes to its senses again. The Golden Age will flood over us. The millenium will grind exceedingly delightful. There’ll be pie in the sky, and pigs will fly and there’ll be a blue moon every night. But that’s all in the future. And there’s no hope of it ever coming true if I can’t find my “I”! Without my “I” it’s all Betty Martin. Without being present, me here, I here, myself here, I can’t make anything happen. Subjectivity is all. Without the subject there simply isn’t an object, nothing exists. You don’t exist. I don’t exist – naturally, that’s what I’m saying. I’m feeling sick now. Like an overworked house doctor. My head is spinning. In the centre of the hurricane, there is no “I”, the vortex is empty, so I die, here and now. Dead. You’re looking at a dead man. No “I”. No heart. No breath. Funeral time. Clods on the face, earth in the eyes, worms in the womb. Join my father – who couldn’t find his “I” either – does it run in the family? Like father, like son. Mother? Can’t say? Always a mystery to me. The rest of humanity? Can’t say. Myself? Can’t say. So that’s it. I go out where I came in; I come in where I go out, right up my own arsehole, fighting for space with a dog’s cold nose. Goodnight.