Category Archives: Mindfulness

Tangents

Man, what a week.

In chronological order

  • the Grenfell Tower fire started on the morning of 14 June killing 6 12 17 30 54 79;
  • early on 19 June, a clean-shaven white man attacked people near the Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park; and
  • later that day, Brexit talks between Britain and the EU began.
How many *s in "charmer"?
I always thought David Davis sounded quite charming on the Danny Baker show

[Check out the apoplexy newsletter for more knockabout fun.] Continue reading Tangents

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Below The Neck

So – two weeks later – I’ve finally reconciled myself to the ending of the live-action version of Ghost In The Shell.

Best chip shop name ever: A Salt and Battery
Final Assault: I promise, no more GitS after today

My question about the Hollywood movie of Ghost In The Shell was:

  1. If the fictional Hanka Robotics has developed a mechanical body, or “shell”, that can integrate a human brain; and
  2. “We cling to memories as if they define us, but they don’t. What we do is what defines us”; then
  3. Why would an anarchist who is rounded up to be a test specimen in a shell choose to define herself by the actions she is ordered to take by the government?

Read on for the “exciting” answer…

[But first, check out the exciting Apoplexy Tiny Letter.]

Continue reading Below The Neck

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Ghost in the Shell

OK. Two weeks ago was #stroke news. Last week was music. That must mean that this week, it’s… SCI-FI!!!

But let’s not be too predictable. I’m not going to bang on too much about last weekend’s Doctor Who. Although Smile was a good little episode. Thought-provoking. In fact, as I think about it again, I reckon that it might have been more satisfying that this week’s bigger, sexier, sci-fi outing.

I'm wearing a hoodie right now, Sexy
“But middle-aged Scottish men are sexier than Scarlett Johansson!” (FACT)

[For even more satisfaction, check out the Apoplexy Tiny Letter.] Continue reading Ghost in the Shell

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Everybody Needs a 303

Ikutaro Kakehashi died on Saturday at the age of 87. A check check of the Interwebz doesn’t reveal the cause of his death, and he was Japanese – but he has to get a Great British Strokes-shaped post.

Y’see, this…

You may need one of these
Roland TB-303 Bass Line

[For more repetitive beats, check out the Apoplexy Tiny Letter.] Continue reading Everybody Needs a 303

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A Ray of Sunshine

It has never been hard to tell the difference between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine, PG Wodehouse once wrote. And today, as the Scottish Parliament debates the merits of approaching Westminster regarding another Independence referendum and just under half of the MSPs grumble about the Scottish Government manufacturing grievances, maybe it’s time to change the stereotype?

"Is it no, aye?"
(A) A Scotsman, (B) a ray of sunshine, (C) the mighty Kingsley, or (D) all of the above?

[For more sugar, spice, and nice things, check out the Apoplexy Tiny Letter]

Continue reading A Ray of Sunshine

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Moonage Daydream

Long-suffering readers of the blog may recall that a couple of years ago I went through a bit of an obsession with the moon. (1, 2)

Over the Moons
D: None of the above

Yeah. Not Mark Kozelek’s Sun Kil Moon, messiah claimant Sun Myung Moon and his Unification Church, or even Ban Ki-moon, eighth Secretary General of the United Nations.

[More, occasionally stroke-related, whimsy here.] Continue reading Moonage Daydream

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Time Is On Your Side

1. Superbowl LIe

Long-suffering readers of the blog will know that I’m more than a little obsessed with time and how it works and how it’s expressed. If time is more elastic and less concrete than we imagine – and it is – then that would just about explain Sunday’s Superbowl LI.

"It's a collision sport. *Dancing* is a contact sport."
“It is committee meetings, called huddles, separated by outbursts of violence.”

And that diagram doesn’t incorporate an extended half-time show, overtime, etc. I assume the Superbowl is still going on, although Mrs Stroke Bloke seems happy about the current score. Oddly. I mean, who could root for a man who lies about eating strawberries? Continue reading Time Is On Your Side

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America

I’ve mentioned it before, but in a scholarship interview to go to the United States to study I was asked to related how I would sum up my idea of Scotland for a curious New Yorker. Social justice and hardcore techno, I said.

Good luck with that.
No, not yer maw; I want to study THE LAW!

I didn’t get that one, funnily enough. But after I honed my interview technique. I did end up going to study in the United States. I started on a J1 student visa before moving on to an H1B visa for foreign workers in specialty occupations which require highly specialized knowledge. [See picture above.]

[Want more of this? Check out the Apoplexy Tiny Letter.]
Continue reading America

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New Year’s Day

Happy New Year!

Hogmanay in Scotland is a time for traditions. First-footing, coal, whisky, Auld Lang Syne, steak pie (apparently), black bun, and all the rest. When I lived in America, New Year’s Eve was the hardest time of year to be away from the country of my birth.

Dude, you've got twelve months! Write a joke!
You mean I don’t have to watch Only An Excuse?! I’m moving, too!

But there’s another tradition that covers all of Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland that I didn’t miss so much – the New Year’s Honours List.

[Check out the Apoplexy Tiny Letter for more of this sort of thing.
If this is the sort of thing you’re into.
]
Continue reading New Year’s Day

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Three Chairs!!!

I’ve been kind of obsessed with chairs for around a decade-and-a-half.

I can’t remember if it started when I got a copy of 100 Masterpieces from the Vitra Design Museum Collection, or if I got the book because the seeds of my obsession had already started to sprout.

In fact, I’m surprised this hasn’t cropped up on the blog before.

Natürlichsollteessein
Hold on, shouldn’t that be one word?

[For things that don’t show up on the blog, check out the apoplexy newsletter.] Continue reading Three Chairs!!!

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