Ode to Kiki Dee

Amazing face, so starry-eyed. Surprise!

Staring out into the seventies,
Were you ever there?

You look like you are,
Enjoying the colours,

And then you’re not.
And then you’re gone.

No more besides,
That Elton John.

The count

He sits alone in his spaceship, counting the hours. The minutes, the days and the seconds too, but mainly the hours. They are his focus.

The more hours he counts, the fewer there are to go. The sooner this mission will be over.

He is hanging in space, counting. All of space around him, under him, over him, behind him, in front of him. Time is a line, space is where the line sits.

His ship moves along its own line of time, a curve, a wave, millions of miles long, with known endpoints. The estimated mission time minus the elapsed time equals the time left to go, the time to count.

The ship’s line is known, programmed, predicted. It could potentially change, but conditions are allowed for, recalculations will take place, the line will adjust and reshape accordingly. This is all done for him, it shows on  a display in every area of the ship. He doesn’t need to count. But he does.

He trusts the computers, the ship. It isn’t a lack of faith that causes him to count, hope to be more trustworthy than them, catch them out miscounting, prove himself to be more in control of time. They’re far more accurate and effective than him at counting. But he does.

He just wants to know his own place in time for himself. He checks with the displays to help calibrate himself from time to time. After so long now, his time is getting pretty close to real time, to the ship’s line. This is his time though, his line. In his head, just from feeling time for himself, knowing each hour, marking it. Nodding, adding it to the total, then carrying on.

His ship floats onwards.

Update to my Kurt Vonnegut page

Today I’ve updated my Kurt Vonnegut page, which now has on one page my whole dissertation on him from 1994. I’ve also added downloads of the essay in PDF and ePub format, which meant I could download it to my new iPad. Something very satisfying about being able to read my own work on there. I’m hoping in future to re-edit and add more to it.

Isolating and treating the Slacker gene

Here at Flotsky Inc we take great pride in our research into many areas, not least in the world of genetics. After many years of research we feel ready to announce our discovery of the Slacker gene. There are a few characteristics in the human gene code that seem to stem from it, and understanding of those elements do seem to help with the treatment of it. Please be aware, many of those in possession of said gene will not have got this far into the paragraph, so please feel free to explain these treatments to those you suspect need help.

Intelligence and Ego

Undoubtably, there is a link between these two elements for those that are imbued with the Slacker gene. Even if they seem lacking in ego, in their minds they ultimately know they are right about most things. The process works thus:

I am told I should do this
However, even though this seems on the surface sensible, I know it isn’t worth doing
Therefore I won’t do it

This takes a highly developed subconscious belief in the quality of one’s intelligence, even if they themselves don’t believe they are. Luckily the treatment for this is simple, and involves knowing this process. One simply injects another stage of logic:

I am told I should do this
However, even though this seems on the surface sensible, I know it isn’t worth doing
However, I know that this is my ego talking, and I’m actually more intelligent than that, than even my ego believes
Therefore I will prove this extra level of intelligence and do it

Simple application of this new level, with vigour where appropriate, can help counteract the highly developed intelligence and ego partnership.

Magpie Syndrome

This is a side-effect of the slacker gene, and is one of its most debilitating problems. Like the magpie, one is always distracted by the shiny things. Whether it is a television programme, following Twitter, checking ones email repeatedly, or many other things, one reasons that the shiny thing nearby is more important than the task in hand. The trick here is, almost literally, blinkers. Shut off all distractions. Move away from them if need be. Make one’s focus the task itself, and fight to keep on task. This can be a battle of wills, trickery and treatery can help too, aiming for a time, a word count, often with the possibility of a small reward, a cup of tea, a brief break. The skill is to make the reward small and under-distracting.


Anxiousness may not seem the most obvious part of what makes a slacker, but it is undoubtedly there under the surface bubbling away. What may seem like laziness and stasis, may actually be the fault of anxiety and self-doubt over making an action. Sufferers find a multitude of reasons to not do something, to avoid, in order that they may feel safe in the cocoon they have created to shield them.

To overcome this, the best course of action is to recognise the intelligence previously mentioned, use that aligned with the ego to disprove all the fears that are used as excuse. Remember that quality of thought as proof to counteract them, remove them one by one until stasis can be beaten.

These simple methods can prove useful in fighting the effects of the Slacker gene, should you feel you may too be a sufferer like me, try them!

You know it is time to stop writing when…

You write something like the following:

Horne and Corden are travelling through time, stealing ideas for sitcoms.
Doctor Who is chasing them, trying to stop them destroying the history of comedy.
He stops them by writing an entire series of Terry and June in 1978 which uses all the main elements of Gavin and Stacey, thus foiling their rise to fame in the first place.

I think it’s probably time for bed.