by way of farewell to a complicated (and intermittently awful) (but with good bits) year

i guess i think of contrarianism more as a tool than a principle – i like it for its effects not its “morality” – except i also know saying this is a way to distance myself from a stupidity i’m as prone to as any pure bah-humbug absolutist: those who claim to be free (and battle to be free) from ALL CONFORMISMS EVAH can easily lose themslves in impossible nonsense positions, at which point misanthropy’s vicious cycle of self-validation beckons (“of course everyone is against me on this one: people are dumb, my loneliness here the mark of my superior perspicacity” etc etc)… sometimes – a lot more of the time than hipsters and non-insane eccentrics perhaps like to acknowledge – we really DO speak the same language, haul along the same bodies, desires, dream blah blah blah

anyway this is a possibly typically impenetrable and defensive and over-elaborate intro to a relatively simple point – hard work as it can sometimes be, and as prey as it clearly is to bad and/or borrowed imagination, i love the rituals of xmas and new year bcz they’re rituals, bcz of their essence as mass passive-active behaviour

so last night i stayed in – enjoying yrself is often just a matter of making the decision to do the things you enjoy – and watched DVDs sister (a grisly shark-attack thriller which frightened her a lot more than me as she is actually likely to be caught scuba-diving now and then; the Ren and Stimpy Uncut collection), and had a vietnamese takeaway and some wine, and just before midnight went up on my roof where you can see in panorama very nearly the whole of the london skyline (sadly the north-west quarter is obscured by nearby buildings) (but that’s mainly hampstead and highbury so meh) :

and at midnight, the fireworks go off: the big spectacular on the river to the south-west of hackney is mostly behind the tall spires of the city, which is fun in its own way, cz they look a bit like they’re burning down hurrah, but the genuinely intoxicating view is the sweep from north-east to south-east, cz there out over essex you can see more-or-less clear for who-knows-many-miles, and dozens if not hundreds of probably small, local, private celebrations… just an endless flicker ALL ALONG THE HORIZON of tiny distant rockets: no one single org could ever stage a display so busy, so tiny, so lovely: “like the whole world’s gone billy bonkers” says wonderstruck becky, who never saw it before, but actually i don’t remember it quite so flickering, so seamlessly perfect in any previous year: i want to say it’s like something out of a ridley scott movie, but it’s surely unfilmable and unrecreatable too, a gorgeous serendipitous example of the invisible intelligent* hand of mass inadvertent art (or “magick” even!) – except it’s NOT inadvertent, cz all the many ppl responsible made the decisions necessary – buying their rockets, staying up late to set them off – to make our particular view of it possible, even when none them, busy w.the detail of their little local show, have ever seen it or can ever seen it (as long as they decide to stay thus busy) from our very particular rooftop panorama-perspective

*(and isn’t one of the great – meaning as-yet unresolved – adventure-mysteries of human culture/civilisation what happens when we try as political beings to recreate this mass inadvertent intelligence non-inadvertently?: ie does it always HAVE to go horrible wrong?) [submerges back into mumbling impenetrability]

anyway best wishes for a HAPPY NEW um WEBS (!!) one and all…