Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Chris Port Blog #113. “I Have A Dream…”

©  Chris Port, 8th March 2011

Dreams carve strange swans. But how many times have you woken up to a puddle of ice? Today was different. This sculpture didn’t melt. It’s been a very cold night…

In my dream, I presented a paper to a conference. I say “conference”. You could wear a rancid sock as a glove, say “Galliano”, and call it haute couture.

My peers were the mad and the homeless. This was a rather impromptu conference in a pub. Some hustle drinks, others hustle minds. The techniques involved are not dissimilar. The only difference between intellectuals and vagrants these days is that the latter have the advantage: they are more streetwise.

Looking back, my speech was a nightmare. Not so much the second coming as dull déjà vu. I was full of passionate intensity. It was the crowd who lacked all conviction. What’s an anarchist without a tide but a man fighting ghosts? I spun with my own punches. In fact, as world-shakers go, all I did was kick over a few Tunguskan sheep. They were probably dying already from scrapies.

If this dream evening had been a seismograph, it would have looked like Dracula’s cardiogram. My peers irritated me for three reasons:

1) They didn’t listen.
2) They talked over me.
3) They had nothing to say.

As Brecht richly observed, the poor do not arouse pity. They are human speed bumps - and these are heavy trains of thought. Consider the irritated commuter, granted time to stop and stare - at another inconsiderate suicide. The English are a miserable race. Other people’s misery just makes us complain even more. Death is not an undiscovered country. We’ve all seen the photos. It’s just that nobody from the middle-classes wants to live there.

My paper was titled ‘On The Overhaul Of Western Democracy’. All of my papers seem to be ‘On’ something or other (although not drugs, as some of my critics have claimed). None of the political parties were pleased. The first rule of politics is survival. My first announcement was that all political parties are now extinct. Like dinosaurs in dry river beds, the peanut brains just don’t know it yet…

That little meteor burst over their heads. They carried on munching their own shit, or whatever it is stupid people do with their mouths. The good shepherd looked away from his scabby flock. I glanced at a fag packet. Something was written on the back…

It was all there. This being a dream, I had somehow inscribed - in nano-biro hieroglyphs - the ten commandments of a new political bible…

At this point, I woke up. Now consciousness is a corrupt customs officer. Any traveller returning from the land of nod might as well be a mule with a Colombian passport sellotaped to his nose, carrying Jesus in sunglasses. By the time daylight x-rays your eyes, all that surreal contraband normally gets confiscated. You feel like a cheated Martin Luther King:  “I have a dream, but all they let me come home with was this lousy T-shirt”. This time, they missed it. I smuggled a whole idea out of another world. A perfect swan is now sparkling in my fridge. I fish a fag packet out of my pocket. All I need to do now is decipher my own writing…

See Blog #153. A Proposal For Electoral Reform That Has No Chance of Being Seriously Considered Now - But Give It A Few Years...)

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