Friday, December 14, 2007

my fave shows on dvd in no particular order are...

the simpsons

the sopranoes

6ft under


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

had a coffee with my friend julie and her new born django, she punched me in the face, nearly blinded me, im sporting a lovely black eye and my vision is a bit wobbely. 'nevermind' as kurt says. im ready for the xmas onslaught but nothing could compare me for the mall. jake and i went there on a book buying expedition, he picked up some mirumaka and i scored a couple of topical journalistic type commentarys on economics and polotics, believe it or not i was top of the school in those two subjects, should have become pm.
anyways i played jules me cd, she said its a bit pink floydy and she likes it. its the kinda music she listens to after a huge night and shes written herself off on booze and drugs and she plays coming down music. i took that as a compliment.

got caught in big storm, sheets of h20, lightning and thunder, gods anger some say, it felt like it. man natures powerful hey, the sky wrenched open, electricity splits the horizon down the middle. lovely.

Friday, November 23, 2007

i had the strangest dream...

...for two days i have been in some sort of training, a course, its been a class of about 30, very relaxed introduction to some sort of spiritual, healing group or theraphy, the teacher is a lovely woman in her early 30's, she is spending a lot of time introducing the main lecturer a man whom has written a number of books, may be part russian, but she is coy about him, focusing on the content of the course not the person. when he arrives he's an eccentric old man with an amazing haircut, white shock of hair with various upright dreads, he does have an accent and is remarkably funny, he laughs and makes us laugh, he's hysterical. At first he is presented on a film as the auther of a book and the prize winning respected and emminent best proffessor, he steps out to accept the award and squirts water on the audience.
somehow he materializes in the classroom ad starts to interact with us all, he is amazing and hands out our workbooks. part of my workbook is incomplete, as are a few other students and we are told to complete them, the first part is a tree of yggrassil.
the proffessor wanders around the glass talking to people, he sometimes jokes and laughs and sometimes asks us serious questions,
its very strange.....

Thursday, November 22, 2007

im pottering around at home, my mood low, angel stone picks me up to take me to the city where i buy two charles stross books from galaxy bookshop, the sci fi bookshop. i eturn home, potter around. i'm feeling sad and lonely today, im vunerable and sensitive.

the ultimate magick, to command love,
yet is it love if it is under command?

the best answer gets a prize

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

im feeling lonely
alone and vunerable
my humanity is bleeding
and i got an open wound
im loveless in the plaza
hated and despised
my elementary particles
refuse to get organized
im chaos baby chaos
filled to the brim
on the edge of the plank
looking at the sharks fin
my world is ended in betrayal
my honour abused dispised
these lovers are really rapists
in a beautiful disguise
i'm worn out and exhuasted
in loves battle ground
im ready to throw in the towel
if there is one to be found
becuase i have no fear of death
just of being alone
these people have scared me senseless
becuase they are brutal to the bone

Monday, November 19, 2007

im listening to the panics cd, its fantastic, go get a copy now. i really love the songs, just the right amount of melancholia. ah its certainly been a year for sadness, whats old shakespear say, its better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all, well he didn't have a bashed frontal lobe..
okay the music seems to be okay, i sort of feel that some of the tunes are better than others and its not a masterpiece but its a good first effort, and there's lots of room to improve. the artwork is almost complete and we are just tweaking the images slightly, playing with the fonts.
i'm writing for the second cd now, it's a strangely different process, less unconcious, i need to find my inspirational connection in female form, having lost the last one.
a muse a muse my kingdom for my muse

Saturday, November 10, 2007

i have a new car, its a lovely blue colour and it has leather seats, its going to cost me a fortune but its a nessessity, being the mother of invention, my intention is to design a hover car. don't you feel cheated, when i was a kid i expected the future to have a few hover cars in it, but where are they, 40 years on and we are still fighting over oil. i want my hover car and i want it now.

i recently recieved three speeding tickets, thats 7 points lost, i'm hoping i don't receive any more for the next three years.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

here we are somewhere further down the time line, are we in a different space than before, or perhaps just the scenery moves, who knows, i certainly feel different. i feel sensitive to humanity yet detached from it, an observer, yet we all know the observer cannot observe without effecting the results.
i recorded my cd, its out in march next year, i'm happy with it but i'm already writing the next one, the next one is really exciting, now i have a much better idea about what i am doing.
The first cd 'adventures' was written through me,, i was a vessel. this time i am concious of what is occurring, much more awareness goes into the writing and the music, although i am driven by instinct and intuition and love the idea of spontinaity creeping in to the mix. it's like cooking, one can follow the reciepe but you know what your going to get, something similar to what you had last time, or you can just experiment, substitute cream for water, add sultanas, use organic mayan chocolate instead of hundreds and thousands, you know what i'm saying.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

mmm, hello. yes reserrected again.
okay well in grief and mourning, broken hearted and strangely intensified feelings due to my brain injury i found myself in the full exaggerated emotional meltdown that goes with a broken heart, very powerful. couldn't do anything except write songs and record some music, this operation took two all consuming weeks, i didn't even sleep really, just wrote songs and designed some music, the result being 14 songs.
i sent the cd off to a producer who responded favourably, and i am now in the studio recording them.
its a strange process but my producer is amazing, he really believes in the music and his qualities compliment mine perfectly. I have named him the alchymest as he has turned lead to gold.
the cd may take some time, to perfect, i want quality not quantity and we think there may be two cds worth of music, i will probably have an ep out as a pre cursor.
so far the response has been overwhelming although i am so nervous when its time to record my vocals again, i am fine at home when im comfy and relaxed but in a studio my body tenses and my voice changes, have to learn how to relax a bit.
okay well there you go, from something awful something wonderful developed.
i'm feeling much better, i feel positive and healthy and have spent the last few weeks working on my mental attitude and surrounding myself with positivity.
i am delving back into the magickal process, letting my subconcious guide me, under love, the profound results are worth acknowledging, trust the process, hounor thy muse and follow thy heart.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

if ya read my profile thing it acually has a little prose about me, a sort of metaphor for where i was when this whole thing started, my blog i mean, it actually says 'no time for love' well, i have to tell you all, i have plenty of time, i mean fuck. love is where its at.
i lost the love of my life and I'm so sad. i don't think i ever been this sad before.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Giant badgers terrorise Iraqi port city

The Iraqi port city of Basra, already prey to a nasty turf war between rival militia factions, has now been gripped by a new fear — a giant badger stalking the streets by night.

Local farmers have caught and killed several of the beasts, but this has done nothing to dispel rumours of a bear-like monster that eats humans and was allegedly released into the area by British forces to spread panic.

Iraqi scientists have attempted to calm the public but, amid the confusion and mistrust spawned by the ongoing guerrilla war, the story has spread like wildfire in the streets of the city and the villages round about.

Mushtaq Abdul-Mahdi, director of Basra's veterinary hospital, has inspected the corpses of several dead badgers and tries to reassure his fellow citizens that they are not a new post-war arrival in the region.

"These animals appeared before the fall of the regime in 1986. They are known as Al-Ghirayri and locally as Al-Girta," he said. "Talk that this animal was brought by the British forces is incorrect and unscientific."

British troops have been based in Basra since the 2003 US-led invasion overthrew dictator Saddam Hussein, and the 5500 that remain still face the threat of Shiite militias battling for the region's oil resources.

They also have to battle the Iraqi rumour mill, as locals are quick to blame them for almost any calamity that befalls the area — including an apparent plague of vicious badgers with long claws and powerful jaws.

British army spokesman Major David Gell said the animals were thought to be a kind of honey badger — melivora capensis — which can be fierce but are not usually dangerous to humans unless provoked.

"They are native to the region but rare in Iraq. They're nocturnal carnivores with a fearsome reputation, but they don't stalk humans and carry them back to their lair," he said.

Both the scientists and the soldiers agree that the badger ought not to be a danger to humans, but so far they have failed to reassure the populace.

"I was sleeping at night when this strange animal hit me on my head. I have not seen such an animal before. My husband hurried to shoot it but it was as swift as a deer," said Suad Hassan, a 30-year-old housewife.

"It is the size of a dog but his head is like a monkey. It runs so quickly."

Cell phone video of the badgers circulating in Basra shows a stocky skunk-like animal with long front claws.

The honey badger, or ratel, is known as a brave predator capable of killing a cobra. It weighs up to 14 kilos (30 pounds), not usually known as man-eater.

Sattar Jabbar, a 50-year-old local farmer from Abu Sakhar north of Basra, believes the badger can tackle even large prey.

"I saw it three days ago at night attacking animals. It even ate a cow. It tore the cow up piece by piece. I tried to shoot it with my gun but it ran away into the orchards. I missed it," he said.

In Iraq there can be only one explanation for an animal so vicious.

"I believe this animal appeared following a raid to the region by the British forces," said Ali Mohsen, a farmer in his 40s from Karmat Ali, near the air base used by the multinational force.

"As we are close to the airport, they probably released this animal into the area," he reasoned.

Amid such tales, there is little experts like Dr Ghazi Yaqub Azzam, deputy dean of the veterinary college, can do to reassure his neighbours.

"Its nature is to eat small animals like hens and rats. It has powerful senses of hearing and smell. It gets aggressive if senses danger, but it doesn't attack man unless threatened," he said.

Azzam speculated that the badgers were being driven towards the city because Iraq is trying to re-flood marshland north of Basra that was drained by Saddam in order to persecute local Marsh Arab tribes.

For all that, the British army thinks Basrawis have little to fear.

"If you cornered it and poked it with a stick, then the smart money would be on the badger," warned Gell, who has faced many rumours like this one in his tour in Iraq.

"We have not released giant badgers in Basra," he said, "and nor have we been collecting eggs and releasing serpents into the Shatt al-Arab river."

Friday, June 29, 2007

Zoloft sunrise

I came undone
Didn’t mean to
You know me i’m the one
Who pulls through
Has other plans
And faith
waits for her man
Now please
You hurt me deep and wide
As I get swept up by your tide
I came washed up on your shore
And wow
Some how
I survived
These days
crushed my strength
Hurt my pride
Maybe I need a
Zoloft sunrise
To brighten up my life
A Zoloft sunrise
To cast some extra light
To make me smile again

I apologise
Didn’t mean to make you sad
You’re my special one
when all is said and done
chance he believes in all she is
and chances are she’s his
and please
these nights are long and strange
a time to rearrange
almost everything
and wow
some how
I survived
These days
crushed my strength
Hurt my pride
Maybe I need a
Zoloft sunrise
To brighten up my life
A Zoloft sunrise
To cast some extra light
To make me smile again

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

time out time passes fades and melts days and nights blend into some kind of weird backdrop, my head sometimes aches and sometimes seems clear, my heart sometimes heavy and sometimes light, all is still now.
i read the power of now, it took me quite some time and effort, but i know its a book that speaks volumes to me, and if now is not a good time to read it then i don't know when is. actually reminding myself is healing, i feel like i am sending out a lifeline to myself, something to hold on to, something true.
agent stone has proven once again to be an amazing friend, something i can never forget or diminish.
my anti deppressants are stabalizing me, i can feel them surge through my blood and brain, seritonin levels kicking over a bit higher, these drug companies know how to get ya reeled in, i hate the fact i am on them, its depressing, but right now i'm looking for all the support i can get lest i fall into an abyss.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

brain scans indicate slight bleeding, no hemorrage, therefore i'm looking forwards to full recovery within two years, however very deppressed, unable to focus, concentrate on anything, somewhat lost.
meredith seems to think it will be 6 months before i see her again, therefore i have to start organizing my own life for the next 6 months. i was thinking maybe of taking some time out and going AWOL but being a semi responsible citizen, i can't. so the next few days i need to really think about what i want to do for 6 months. being in a holding pattern like this is soul destroying, it's not really the relationship i had in mind but meredith is worth it so i guess i have no choice.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

after a brilliant morning in the surf catching the most magnificent waves with my dolphin friend i emerged feeling amazing, for the first time in a long time i felt myself, ordered some flowers for meredith then went to work where it all went slightly nuts. firstly the dude i was working with had left the place a mess, and then from the very start things went wrong as he abandoned me with 5 very difficult clients all deciding to act out at the same time, i was dealing with high level noise plus aggression various screaming and threatening behaviours. under normal circumstances this would never get to this point, i have never seen the clients acting like this en masse before and it was quite disturbing, at one point i ran to where the screaming was coming from and found one of them had been left in a huge bath, with the taps on and she was drowning, the look of horror on her face was shocking, i lunged in and pulled the plug. then i froze, the stress hit my head fast, just like a bullet, i was immobilized when the phone rang, it was meredith, we had a conversation i can't recall then i found myself beginning to swoon, a pounding in my head, a throbbing like helicopter stalling. i knew i had to get out.
i left work and arrived home, sat in darkness alone while i felt a numbness envelope me, my head still pounding, unable to move i was frozen with fear.
the next morning i spoke to my shrink who said i was experienceing 'competing attention syndrome' which is very common in head injuries. anyway i spoke at length about my feelings, fears and needs. she suggested i consult my dr. re the head ache as it could be serious, i did and underwent a ct scan that afternoon, results in two days.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

there was a lot of sadness hanging around for a couple of days as i made my way through the mess of frontal lobe damage and considered the fact that somewhere deep inside me was a bad personality that had now awoken, but it appears that the dr.s and specialists have all said that this is not me and is only cuased by my brain swelling up. anyway i started to do the mindfullness and meditative excersises and can't begin to explain how great i felt, almost immediatly. this is becuase these exercises are close to the true nature of myself, therefore i'm feeling much more in control and certain about the direction i am heading towards.
things with meredith are excellent, each day i love her more, we talk on the phone and i feel close by, it's very rare that the distance bothers me.
Bad Personality

I gotta bad personality
Slipped in on your kitchen floor
I fell through good fortunes way
Missed the peace and harmony door
You say what’s wrong and
Ask me what is up
I say I had a blow to my brains
And I don’t give a… (fuck)

I got a bad personality
Making my spliffs, king size
We smoke them in the night
And then we close our eyes
You ask me which ways up
And I say I don’t care
Ask me where we are going
And I say going somewhere

My concentrations fucked up
And my shrink thinks I am a lost cause
But we know that my mind is torn
And we are in for the long haul
Smile and laugh
but don’t cry with me
Goodbye Mr. Nice guy
Hello bad personality

I got a bad personality
Went falling up the steps again
Yes I look a little dazed
But I have such crazy friends
Some come in from interstate,
But all are out of their trees
And there is only one thing
On which they all agree

I’m not a bad person

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

This morning it appears i shouted at a co worker and client, for a really insignificant reason, i can't even recall. My co worker took me aside and asked me how i felt after my concussion, she was great, listening to me tell her about my fear and the way i had spoken to meredith. she told me about a number of people she knew had undergone severe personality changes, profound changes, mild people suddenly becoming agggressive, and we looked up some stuff on the net about post concussion syndrome. the descriptions matched my behaviour.
i went to the drs. and was told i had brain damage, that my personality had transformed and that i will need pychiatric help. fucking great hey, i guess all those previous blows to the head must have caused some damage and this recent one been the one that sent me over the edge.
I printed some info out to send to meredith, and then went to see a dr. apparently the dr. says i have brain damage and will need to see a psychiatrist and that it may take up to 6 months for my old personality to make an appearence, so understandably i am somewhat bewildered.
part of me wnats to have a bit of fun with captain mission V2 but to be honest i was quite happy with V1

Traumatic Brain Injury:
A brief overview of traumatic injuries and the neurobehavioral deficits that can occur

What is a neurobehavioral deficit?

Neurobehavioral deficits or disorders include impairments of cognition, mood and/or behavior. Cognition includes intellectual functions of the brain such as memory, attention, and problem solving.

What is the scope of the problem in TBI?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a widespread and very significant source of disability, often due to neurobehavioral deficits. But there are no clear guidelines on how to manage these deficits. There is a critical need for research in this area.

TBI is an insult to the brain caused by an external physical force that may produce a diminished or altered state of consciousness. According to the CDC, an estimated 5.3 million Americans (just over 2% of the population) currently live with disabilities resulting from TBI. Yearly, 80,000 Americans experience the onset of long-term disability following TBI. Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of TBI. Falls are second, and the leading cause of brain injury in the elderly. Risk of TBI is highest among adolescents, young adults and those older than 75 years of age. The cost of traumatic brain injury in the US is estimated to be $48.3 billion annually. The number of TBI patients seeking services has increased, as survival rates have improved due to improved care.

The purpose of this information is to provide the reader with a basic knowledge of the mechanics of TBI, and the resulting neurobehavioral deficits. General information regarding evaluation and treatment will be covered. It is important to identify problems as early as possible so that appropriate evaluations and treatment can be established.

How does TBI cause changes in mental functions?

The way in which TBI affects the brain, which is referred to as the neuropathology of TBI, may be especially pertinent to the risk for neurobehavioral problems. There are several important components that can contribute to neurobehavioral (intellect, mood, behavior) outcome:

What was the person’s level of function and medical condition before the injury?
What is the location and severity of the brain injury?
How diffusely is the brain injured?
Has the person had previous injuries or diseases of the brain?
Has the person used, or still use, certain street drugs or alcohol?

The direct effects of trauma may be skull fractures, contusions (sort of a brain "bruise"), and/or bleeding into or around the brain. Injury to the brain can occur at several different levels, and depends upon the nature of the trauma. Penetrating injuries can be fairly well circumscribed, such as from a knife or bullet. In injuries such as from motor vehicle accidents or blunt trauma, common sites of contusions are the front part of the brain (frontal lobes) and the temporal lobes. This is because these parts of the brain sit next to bony prominences within the skull (see figure 1).

Figure 1: Picture of the brain with major areas identified. The frontal and temporal lobes are commonly damaged in trauma such as from motor vehicle accidents.

The majority of trauma, however, seems to result in diffuse or more widespread damage, and hence diffuse deficits and symptoms. The more diffuse injury to the brain is called diffuse axonal injury (DAI). It is characterized by stretching and shearing of individual axons, which are parts of the nerve cells. The brain normally floats in fluid within the skull. In accidents where there is an abrupt change in acceleration or deceleration, such as in a motor vehicle accident, the brain can be thrust forward and backward against the inside of the skull. This can cause a contusion to the part of the brain that directly strikes the skull, but it also results in the more diffuse injury to other nerve cells in the brain. This diffuse injury may underlie a broad range of symptomatology, such as deficits in arousal, attention, mood disturbance, and behavioral changes, even in "mild" head injury.

Severity of TBI: In assessing severity of the original injury, several factors are involved. Duration of loss of consciousness (LOC), initial score on the GCS (Glascow Coma Scale - a 15-point scale that determines depth of coma), and length of PTA (posttraumatic amnesia) are generally the measures used. Definitions can vary, especially in the area of so called "mild" injury, and can include brain-imaging criteria. In cases of mild injury, the initial GCS is usually 13-15; moderate 9-15; and for severe, 8 or less. In terms of LOC, there are also general guidelines. A mild injury usually results in LOC of less than 30 minutes; moderate injuries up to 24 hours; and severe injuries may have LOC greater than 24 hours. A mild injury generally results in PTA less than 1 hour. Within the spectrum of mild injury, attempts have been made to more accurately classify but there is no real consensus as of yet. Moderate injuries are associated with PTA of 1 - 24 hours. Moderate-severe injuries have PTA's of 1-7 days, and severe injuries usually result in PTA of over 7 days.

Post traumatic amnesia (PTA): PTA is the period of time after a patient emerges from coma that he has no continuous memory for day to day events. In other words, there is impaired memory for new information. Staff has to continually orient them to time and events. The end of PTA is defined as the return of continuous memory.

Seizure disorders: If seizures develop, they may have a role in certain symptoms. The incidence of seizure disorder or epilepsy developing within five years of closed head injury (CHI) is about 2 - 5%. The incidence following penetrating injuries is much higher. Since the type of seizure can often be complex partial (a type of seizure that may have motor and behavior changes associated with it), this contributes to the risk of developing mood and/or behavior symptoms.

Secondary mechanisms of injury: There are also secondary mechanisms of injury, besides the direct effects. Secondary mechanisms include delayed damage to the brain due to the release in the brain of substances that may aggravate the injury (excitatory neurotransmitters), or derangements in neurotransmitter function. Neurotransmitters are substances that naturally occur in the brain and allow cells to communicate and function. Examples include dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Although the status of neurotransmitters in more chronic TBI is not fully understood, disturbances in the function of these substances may underlie certain problems that follow TBI, such as mood, behavior or intellect problems. Medications may be used to try and normalize function, and consequently improve symptoms.

Chronic pain: Not infrequently, patients will develop acute or chronic pain after the TBI, such as headaches, which can be quite debilitating and aggravate mood, thinking, and behavior. Or the pain may be from other injuries that were sustained. This needs to be fully assessed and adequately treated.

What are the Neurobehavioral Deficits that can result?

TBI can result in variable constellations of cognitive or intellectual deficits, mood disturbances, personality changes, or behavioral problems (Table 1). The nature and severity of these changes depend upon a number of factors as mentioned, such as location and size of lesion, duration of coma and posttraumatic amnesia (PTA). Premorbid level of function, history of any substance abuse, as well as psychosocial factors also interact with the actual injury to affect outcome. Other factors also play a role, such as age and medical health, and history of previous brain injury. Different problems may arise at different stages of recovery.

Certain types of symptoms or deficits can be explained by the areas that are commonly damaged in TBI, such as the frontal lobes or temporal lobes. Injury to these parts of the brain can result in a range of behavioral, mood, and cognitive problems. But the more diffuse injury that can occur also contributes to the outcome. In general, there are certain loosely defined syndromes that can be referred to, such as post-concussion syndrome, or frontal lobe syndrome. But the qualification and quantification of symptoms that comprise these syndromes has not been standardized. Certain of these will be reviewed below.


Post concussion syndrome
Frontal lobe syndromes
Behavioral/personality changes
Cognitive (intellectual) deficits
Mood disorders
Sleep disorders
Post traumatic epilepsy or seizures
Chronic Pain, such as headaches

Postconcussion syndrome (PCS): The postconcussion syndrome (PCS) has been poorly defined and controversial for many years. It has come to refer to a rather broad range of symptoms and signs that can follow a brain injury (table 2). The term PCS is generally used to describe the cluster of symptoms that often follow mild brain injury and persist for a variable period of time, although the symptoms themselves can be seen after any severity of injury. Estimates of how often this syndrome can develop may not be entirely accurate, as many people do not seek medical attention for milder cases, but reports of 50% or so is not unusual. Although the majority of patients who develop these symptoms seem to show recovery over time, there appears to be a significant minority with persistent difficulties. Hence, even milder injuries can result in disabling symptoms in some cases.

In general, the symptoms can occur directly following an injury, or after a period of time. The role of other variables, such as psychological factors in delayed PCS is debated. Symptoms fall into several categories including somatic (physical symptoms), mood, behavior, and cognitive difficulties. They include headaches, dizziness, sensitivity to noise and light, irritability, anxiety, depression, fatigue, sleep and appetite disturbances, as well as problems with information processing, attention, concentration and memory. The symptoms can be variable and diverse, and very distressing to the patient and family members. The patient may worry that they sound like a hypochondriac, or that people will think they are "crazy." But these symptoms can be explained by the nature of the injury to the brain. Hence, they are truly neurological symptoms, and not primary psychiatric symptoms.

Loss of consciousness is not necessary for brain injury or for the development of PCS. In general, a mild injury is usually diagnosed when loss of consciousness is 30 minutes or less, and the patient does not show evidence of specific abnormalities on neurologic exam. Brain injury or dysfunction can be present even if the neurologic exam and tests such as a CT or MRI are normal. These tests may not be sensitive to the more subtle or diffuse effects of trauma on the brain (e.g., DAI). Cognitive impairments include deficits in information processing, attention, and concentration, which can persist in some cases.


Blurred vision
Dizziness/light headedness
Memory problems
Concentration/attention problems
Sensitivity to noise and light
Somatic complaints
ETOH intolerance

Headaches: Headaches are fairly common following even mild brain injury. They can resolve over time, even up to a year out from the injury. In some cases, they persist, and can be disabling. They can be migrainous, tension type or mixed in nature. There is very little research on posttraumatic headaches, and their treatment is often that of other chronic headaches. This approach can be effective, but not always.

Frontal Lobe Syndromes: Trauma commonly effects the frontal regions, either directly or indirectly. Dysfunction of the prefrontal regions can result in a variety of neurobehavioral symptoms. Generally referred to as "frontal lobe" syndrome, the profile includes symptoms of behavioral dyscontrol such as impulsivity and aggression, amotivation, apathy, disorganization, attentional and memory deficits, and mood dysregulation (e.g., moodiness, irritability, "mood swings"). Neuropsychological testing (see below) and reports from family and caretakers who know the patient are essential to the assessment.

Essentially, treatment consists of several components. These include pharmacologic treatment, behavioral strategies, and education and support of the family. The frontal lobe patient often losses his ability to control or monitor his own behavior, but will respond well when consistent external structure is set up. Treatment can focus on particular aspects, such as dyscontrol, aggression, or mood disturbances using certain medications.

Mood Disorders: Mood disturbances following brain injury can present in a variety of ways. It is not unusual for the mood symptoms to be subtle, but for behavioral manifestations to predominate, such as irritability, uncooperativeness, apathy, poor progression or effort in rehabilitation. The mood disturbances may not necessarily meet traditional psychiatric criteria, but may present more as a mood lability or dyscontrol. Often, it is more accurate to refer to a dysregulation of mood, as brain injured patients can show features of several mood disorders, rather than fit neatly into any one diagnostic category currently used. The traumatic brain injured population is at increased risk for developing depressive disorders, with estimates of major depression occurring at about 25% or higher.

In general, a depressive disorder should be suspected when the patient's degree of disability is greater than would be expected given the severity of injury, or when the patient fails to meet rehabilitation goals, or cooperate with treatment. It is not unusual for some mood disturbed patients to deny a depressed mood upon questioning. Since mood disturbances can often be missed in this population, and can have deleterious effects on outcome, it is wise to have a high level of suspicion.

For depression, the treatment is often similar to that of non-neurologically impaired depressed patients. Choice of treatment often depends on the patient’s individual response and side effect profiles of these drugs. Another disturbance of mood, mania or hypomania, can result, but is not as common. Mania refers to the presence of pressured speech, inability to stay on topic or on track, hyperactivity, a feeling of racing thoughts, and sometimes unusual ideas. The person may seem "wired" and edgy. It is important not to equate symptoms with diagnosis in this population. A patient who shows features of mania does not necessarily have a true bipolar disorder, and this may be over-diagnosed. Damage to the frontal lobes can produce a similar picture, and may respond to certain treatments.

Behavioral / Personality Changes: Depending on the location and severity of the injury, different types of behavioral disturbances can occur. These include irritability, lability, impulsivity, disinhibition, aggression, poor motivation, poor self-regulation of behavior, poor judgement and insight, risk taking, or sexual disturbances. Certain of these symptoms are separated out for purposes of discussing assessment and treatment, but clinically, they often occur together, as in a more generalized frontal lobe syndrome. Aggression can occur following brain injury, particularly in the more acute stages, and cause significant disruption of rehabilitation efforts. It can range from mild verbal abusiveness to physical assaultiveness. It is important to characterize the aggressive behavior. Is the patient labile? Is the patient impulsive and unable to self regulate? Is there a mood change associated with the behavior? What are the triggers? Is the aggression against self, others, or objects? A thorough evaluation of the behavior is needed. Only then can an appropriate behavioral strategy and possibly pharmacologic intervention be instituted. Behavioral strategies are beyond the scope of this review, but can be very helpful.

Aggression is a symptom that can have a variety of underlying causes. For example, if it is part of a frontal lobe syndrome, then the treatment may be different than for aggression resulting from psychosis, mood disturbance, or seizure disorder. This is often not obvious, and treatment may be trial and error. Polypharmacy (the use of more than one medication) may be unavoidable in the complex patient, and it is best to obtain a consultation.

Personality Changes can be viewed as existing on a spectrum with other behavioral problems. The patient may not seem like his or her "old self." On the milder end, you can see an exaggeration of the patient's premorbid negative personality traits. For example, an impulsive, irritable person may become more so. In more serious cases, it is common for families to complain that the patient has become a "different person." Children can appear hyperactive or develop symptoms consistent with attention deficit disorder, or conduct disorder.

Personality and behavioral changes can be seen as a result of two factors. First, damage to structures directly responsible for behavior and emotion. Second, cognitive (intellectual) deficits can alter and impair the patient’s interpretation of the environment or a situation, which in turn effects the patient's response.

It is important to educate the families concerning these possible changes, as they will tend to interpret the patient as purposefully aggravating them or being mean or difficult. Pharmacologic treatment is usually aimed at a syndrome, such as PCS or frontal dysfunction, or could target predominant symptoms such as depression or irritability.

Cognitive Deficits: These can be a significant cause of disability and distress for the patient and family. In general, the common nonspecific symptoms are disturbances in arousal, attention and concentration. Memory impairments can occur, either due to direct effects on memory function, or secondary to poor attention and concentration. Disturbances of higher level or executive functions (frontal lobe functions) are fairly common, due to the high percentage with frontal lobe involvement. These include poor planning, sequencing, and judgment. The patient may make errors due to impulsivity, and have trouble shifting between tasks. Specific deficits in cognition will depend upon location and severity of injury, as well as some of the factors already mentioned, such as level of education. These deficits may not be apparent while the patient is recovering at home, if no real intellectual challenges are present. Not uncommonly, the patient will realize these problems when they try and return to work, and they find they can’t do the quality or amount of work they used to do.

Pharmacotherapy has expanded and has great potential in the area of cognition. Cognitive Rehabilitation is gaining increased acceptance as an important component in the rehabilitation of brain injured patients. It may be particularly critical in the acute stage of recovery (up to 6 months post-injury), and could complement pharmacotherapy. It often involves techniques to retrain the patient in specific domains such as memory and attention. Different theoretical frameworks have been proposed to guide remediation strategies, and recent assessments support their effectiveness.

Sleep disturbance: This can be a significant problem following brain injury. It can be overlooked, but can significantly impede the patient's rehabilitation. Lack of sleep can worsen cognition, behavior and mood, and undermine treatment attempts. Disturbed sleep is very common in the first few months following traumatic brain injury, and may or may not resolve. Daytime sleepiness can also be a problem. There is often a reversal of the sleep-wake cycle, which seems to be part of a general dysregulation that can also be seen in other functions such as appetite. Treatment consists of medication and behavioral management. Behaviorally, standard sleep hygiene should be used. The patient should keep regular hours, avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco, and activities that are too stimulating before bedtime. If a sleep disorder is persistent and treatment refractory, a sleep study is warranted. In our clinic there have been at cases of sleep apnea identified after an injury, although there is no clear data on the incidence of this disorder following trauma.

How should someone with these difficulties be evaluated?

It is important to see someone with expertise in the assessment of TBI, as it is a specialized area. This is a multidisciplinary area, so there are neurologists, rehabilitation doctors, neuropsychiatrists, neuropsychologists, and other specialists who can provide components of the assessment.

Physician Exam: Part of the evaluation often consists of an examination by a physician with expertise in TBI. This may include obtaining a thorough history, as well as a neurological examination.

Neuropsychological testing: Another important part of the assessment is a battery of tests referred to as the neuropsychological assessment. This will give a clear picture of the quantity and type of intellectual deficits, as well as assess emotional and behavior problems. This evaluation may take several hours or longer, depending on the length of the battery. The results provide an excellent "map" of the actual brain functions that can serve as a guide to direct treatment.

Brain Imaging: With the advances in neuroimaging, or brain scanning techniques, it is rapidly becoming an excellent tool to help assess brain injury. Usually it is most helpful in conjunction with the other parts of the evaluation. In resting imaging, such as with CT or MRI, we can take a snapshot of the brain to look for structural changes. Brain injury, particularly the more diffuse kind, is not always visible on routine brain imaging, such as CT or routine MRI. There are now more specialized ways to image this type of injury, such as advanced techniques with MRI.

Functional imaging such as with MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), PET (positron emission tomography) or SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) may be more likely to show areas of injury or dysfunction in the brain, but are not usually routine in a clinical setting. In functional imaging, the patient is asked to perform certain tasks such as finger tapping, remembering a list of words, or choosing a response while in the scanner. This allows us a window to look at how the brain actually works during a task. Details of types of brain imaging will be covered in another review. Brain imaging also has allowed us to advance the type of research we can do. It provides a way to assess how certain drugs or other interventions may work in TBI.

What are Options for Treatment?

Neuropharmacology: This is a complicated and evolving area that shows considerable promise for improving outcome and quality of life for brain injured patients. Treatment is driven by several considerations: alleviation of specific syndromes/symptoms (such as depression or apathy), the underlying neuropathology (nature of the injury) , improving cognition, and potential effects on recovery. Choice of a medication that can cover more than one area is always preferable. Specific medications will be covered in separate reviews.

General guidelines to pharmacologic treatment can be followed:

Use neuropharmacology based on underlying disturbances related to TBI- such as knowledge about which neurotransmitters or brain chemicals are affected.
In addition, certain target symptoms, such as insomnia, fatigue, depression or attentional problems can be addressed
Associated problems such as chronic pain or seizures must be addressed and adequately treated.
All efforts to be made to avid drugs for any condition that could worsen mental status or possibly interfere with recovery

As technology improves, more people who suffer brain injury can survive. And even the less life threatening forms of TBI can result in significant problems that may persist, or even arise down the road from the injury. These individuals are often young, and otherwise healthy. Persistent cognitive, behavioral, or mood disturbances significantly affect short and long term outcomes. They are commonly referred to as the "walking wounded." They may appear physically recovered, but problems reintegrating into family, work, or school can quickly become apparent. They become labeled as difficult, lazy, somatic, or histrionic. They may be diagnosed and treated incorrectly, resulting in a worsening of the situation.

Education and appropriate referrals /interventions must be initiated as early as possible. Too often, these patients receive excellent acute care and initial rehabilitation, then are lost to follow-up. The loop of care must be closed. A significant number of these patients can achieve good function, but will require continuous and possibly life long access to various components of an interdisciplinary team. This ensures maximized quality of life, and is the most efficient, cost-effective route in the long term. This process should start at the initial contact with the patient and family. It should involve close collaboration between the family, patient, neurosurgeons, neuropsychiatrists, rehabilitation medicine, neurologists, other therapists, rehabilitation facilities, the workplace if applicable, and community groups.

Our emphasis on the neurologic basis for the outcome of TBI in no way negates the important role of other factors and non-medication treatments. TBI patients suffer significant losses, and these should be addressed. In general, supportive therapy and education of the patient as well as family are important components of treatment. Also, behavioral strategies are an essential component in the management of these patients. Cognitive rehabilitation is a promising and expanding area, that may either by itself or in conjunction with medication result in improved outcomes and function. Medication alone is rarely adequate.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

i'm wrestling with a demon.
meredith rings me at about 10pm to say she is really looking forwards to chatting with me and will call me as soon as boston legal finishes. i say, great i am really excited, i am at work and its one of those opurtunities where we can chat all night.
the call don't come.
i call her home line, it rings out, later her mobile rings out. try again, i call her home leave messages, send texts, call mobile it's engaged, then it rings out, same with home, later the message bank comes on.
anyway there's my mind playing tricks, going down all sorts of senerios that i don't like to think about, seizure in the bath tub perhaps, i mean, it's pointless. but this is the demon that exists in my head, i need to face all my fears and exorsice them before they overwhelm me. relationships and love brings out fear, it's understandable, its the first time i felt it in this relationship and i need to process it. perhaps meredith just fell asleep and that's the end of story, i don't really know at time of report, perhaps i just need to chill out.
instincts are all over the place, i guess i just need to face up to my fear and deal with it, after all that's what captain mission does.
anyway i feel like listening to lloyd cole right now.

later when we do talk we uncover she's had a seizure and i am kinda freaking out at her, it's totally irrational, i'm not sure i understand it myself but its bad. shes upset at me, poor thing, i turn into a brute interrigating her, suggesting that she move up here, my head pounds with sleeplessness, i feel everything slipping away, the more i reach out the further it slips. i don't know what to say or do, so i start saying crazy things, i can't even recall what i am saying, the word salad happens.

Monday, May 21, 2007

i'm up with the sun, early pan and i head down to watch the sun, we stop off for coffee and chat to the old sicillian lady, we walk through the green, we pass evan and pops place, we head back to mission control where the piles of paper on the floor annoy me, the strange half written notes and ideas, the telephone numbers of people i will never call, the half finished songs, there's top much paper here, to many unfinished things, i start throwing things away. I do some work on the computer, photoshop, i'm learning some new tricks, it's requiring a lot of concentration, the phone rings it's meredith.
for the first time i feel like she's really positive, really on track, filled with enthusiasm and it leaves me feeling very good about things. she confirms my own feelings about one another, i really need to hear this as i tend to think meredith is living with one foot in the past and another not quite commited to the idea of us. it's a very life affirming conversation, i hang up with a sparkle in my eye.
work is easy, its nice being surrounded by good people all really supportive and obviously glad to see me healthy, i can see how much i have distressed everyone, i can see their joy at my recovery and its good to know i loved, respected and considered.
Its late now and i am going to do some breathing excersises and then maybe watch some tv, i have not watched tv for a while, i'll test my concentration, maybe i'll watch a whole show.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

i imagine when you have a siezure of blackout, it takes a while for the new information to settle, i guess its like having an operating system upgrade, me i have a new life ahead of me, the last 5 months have been pretty much an information overload, a new partner, some life changing decisions, my poor brain needed a change to rearrange the new information and process it.
i have a history of passing out, it's nothing new.
Last night on lateline my fave journalist was interveiwed regarding the world bank scandal, it was a very intresting interveiw as Chris Hitchens is an old leftie who has recently taken a swing towards what can be described as a more balanced approach. The interview revealled some truths that most people would find uncomfortable, given their addiction to their memes and belief patterns.
Christopher Hitchens has just released a book called God is not great, i have a copy but have not read it, i am looking forwards to it, he is a great writer and needs to be heard at least.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: Well now to Miami and Christopher Hitchens, who's on a tour of the United States to promote his latest book, God is Not Great How Religion Poisons Everything . But the author and Vanity Fair columnist has paused from his book tour to talk to us tonight about what he sees as a poison of another kind, in American public life - the treatment by the media of the now fallen World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz and in particular, Mr Wolfowitz's partner, Shaha Ali Riza.

Christopher Hitchens, welcome back to Lateline .

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Very nice to be back, thank you.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: Christopher Hitchens, it was a long time coming, I guess. Was this inevitable did Paul Wolfowitz have no choice in the end but to stand down in this way, in your view?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: No, I think he had the choice to stay on but it would have been impossible to convince himself, I think, that by doing so he wouldn't have damaged the bank.

But I don't think that the horns of the dilemma were, so to speak, his fault. In either sense… either horn, if I can put it like that.

VIRGINA TRIOLI: You see Paul Wolfowitz's forced resignation as a great injustice. Can you tell us why you see it that way?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Well, yes. It's an injustice in itself, and as I was saying, it's self imposed because he realised that he couldn't go on without damaging the bank. But it's an injustice that's been necessitated by an initial injustice and that's the simplest thing to understand.

His partner, Ms Riza, who had been at the bank for 10 years, she's been there since 1997, was told when he was appointed, ‘you're fired’. Now, in order or in other words, to find all of this intelligible or fair, you have to be able to say it's completely right that a senior woman at the World Bank is told she loses her job when her partner is made the president.

I can't see how - in any sense, legal or moral - that is fair, and if I had been her, I would have sued, as she had the right to do and would have had the right to do under all possible laws governing discrimination.

She chose not to do that, not to make a fuss, but expected to receive, and was promised, a promotion and raise as compensation for losing her job. That's all there is to this.

VIRGINA TRIOLI: Well there's also the role…

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: It's an absolute, it's absolutely that's all there is initially to it. Then all you need to add is the rape of her privacy by interested parties at the bank who leaked her confidentiality agreement, broke it I mean to say - which is an agreement she only had to sign in the first place because of the injustice done to her - made her private life a public thing.

She's a very shy and private person as I happen to know. I have known her for a very long time. Had her referred to in the press as "girlfriend" and "mistress”, terms that are almost never used these days about unmarried people who have some kind of relationship. Usually the neutral word "partner" is used. In this case, even in newspapers like the New York Times "mistress" and "girlfriend" were bandied about freely.

I have a feeling that it might not have been the case if she wasn't an Arab woman for example. Then because this has become so unpleasant, her partner has to resign as well. Well I hope they're all happy with having done this.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: So there's an element…

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: They have - it is these people who have paralysed the work of the Bank, wasted an enormous amount of time and money and are now gloating presumably over their victory.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: But the other key mess in the whole thing is on both sides, surely. I mean, he was put in jeopardy. Paul Wolfowitz was put in jeopardy, surely you could argue, because he was put in charge of reassigning her somewhere else, giving her another job, and also in charge of that pay increase, but equally he was foolish by agreeing to take part in that in such a fatally compromising process.
Doesn't the blame cut both ways?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: No, I don't really think so because when he arrived, he said to the relevant officials at the Bank, what I presume some of them must have already known, he said, "If you don't know this already, you'd better hear it from me. There's someone who works at this institution with whom I have a personal relationship. What I propose is that I disclose this to you and I sign a statement recusing myself in advance on any decision that might affect her work or her position."

She wasn't actually in a part of the Bank that reported directly to the President in any way. It wasn't in any sense an immediate relationship within the terms of the bank itself.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: Yes, but the Bank found that unacceptable.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Unfortunately. They said, "No, I'm sorry, you have to be in charge of reassigning her". They won't take his first offer, which was a perfectly decent one. They say, "No, she's got to go, you have to be involved in it". And then they told him, "I've seen the documents". The ethics committee say in print, in terms, "We now think this has been settled in a way that is satisfactory to all parties".

And they agreed in advance that naturally, given she was on the fast track for promotion anyway, had a very high standing and reputation, had had her career damaged and her integrity questioned, that she should receive promotion and more pay.

Now they blame him for doing as they advised. It is absolutely monstrous.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: Do you argue, Christopher Hitchens, that Paul Wolfowitz has acted with complete integrity throughout this process?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Absolutely I do. I have not read anything that he has done anything in any underhanded way.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: Can I make one suggestion...

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Unless you're able...

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: Can I make one suggestion? In the New Yorker profile in May, his spokesman and senior adviser said Wolfowitz had nothing to do with Ms Riza's transfer and compensation, it was all handled by a board of directors. That was utterly untrue and came from the Wolfowitz camp, so he was trying to cover it up even then.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: In the first place, I don't see where that's untrue. It was at the direct stipulation of the ethics committee of the bank's board that the transfer and related arrangements were made.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: It's a true quote.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: It wasn't his idea. If it had been up to him, she would have kept, as she should have done, her original job. That's the original problem, the original sin, is that a woman is told, ‘you're being fired without cause because of an appointment given to someone with whom we know you have a relationship’.

In what world, let me appeal to you, is that fair?

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: The larger problem, I guess he was grappling with at the World Bank, was this atmosphere of almost complete hostility towards him when he first took the job. The employees' association and people within it did not want Wolfowitz at the job for various reasons his close association with the White House, with the President and as one of the chief architects of the war. Is that Jermaine in this case?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: That is the only thing that is Jermaine. That's all there is to this. The rest is a campaign of defamation against a woman who did not start any wars in Iraq and has fought get a friendship with the White House. We're talking politics. A lot of people at the bank don't like the preponderance of the American shareholding that more or less guarantees that the President of the United States can appoint the president. They haven't liked this for some time. Obviously, people who think like that, tend to be European and Asian, are, I would say, pretty likely to take the anti war view on Iraq so Mr Wolfowitz's position on that might be called an additional exacerbation.

I wrote a book about the United Nations a few years ago and pointed out the World Bank and IMF is supposed to be the credit arm of the United Nations. That's how they started. Got moved to Washington during the Cold War, became more like than American dominated World Bank credit institution. All kinds of arguments one might want to have about how that could and should be reconfigured. As a matter of fact, since we're talk about it, I can't think of anyone who would have been more open minded on these points than Paul Wolfowitz, or more interested in discussing them or more of an internationalist. I'm afraid that chance has been missed in this appalling sexist vendetta.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: Given he walked into a climate of hostility. Anyone as politically savvy as Wolfowitz, you would expect them to handle the better. When you come into a climate of hostility, don't you have to be like Caesar's wife, you have to be above reproach.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: That's right. On day one he says, "There's something you need to know. I propose to recuse myself of anything".

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: You insist on not taking part in the review. No matter if they want you to, you say, "I won't oversee her assignment or pay increase".

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: I don't think that that would have been prudent, given their insistence he did take part. Here's the thing. You must have noticed it you have noticed it he's being indicted for following the advice of the people who now blame him for doing so and she has been treated in the most miserable, discriminatory way. Now, where is the justice in this?

I'll give you another example about you also mentioned the politics of the bank. It has been whispered against him that he threatened to cut off aid to Uzbekistan.


CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Mr Kareem's horrible dictatorship, which also around that time have been having a quarrel with the US about its human rights policy and had, in effect, lost its position of the host of the United States base for the Afghan war. People said, "There you are, it's Wolfowitz punishing Kareem for not toeing the line”. It had nothing to do with that. It had it do with the human rights policy.

Imagine what would have been said if Wolfowitz had gone on giving aid to Uzbekistan while it was mowing down civilian demonstrators. You know what would have been said. But no, he's attacked for not doing it. Under no circumstances was he not going to be subject to an extraordinary campaign of defamation that did not exempt an innocent woman, a very serious professional, well known in Washington for more than a decade as one of the most important people in trying to rebuild and reconstruct the Middle East and now her life, private and public, has been ruined in an attempt to get to her companion.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: You know Paul Wolfowitz quite well. I understand you have had him to your home a number of times. What are his qualities that appeal to you?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: I know both of them well. I have known her longer than him. I suppose the thing that would surprise most people one Wolfowitz is what a bleeding heart he is.

He's had to read all the time, for many years now, that he's a member of a Jewish, heartless, neocon, cabal of hardline interventionists. As a matter of fact, I came to know him because he was in favour of an intervention to save the Muslim population of Bosnia from extermination by Christian fascists in the 1990s, a subject in which the State interests of Israel were not involved, can I just say. I knew that previously he'd been instrumental in persuading the Regan administration to dump the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines, even if it meant losing the American basis there, very important change in the early '80s.

I was impressed by his view the risks of democracy and democratisation are very great. They're nothing compared to the risks of dictatorship. He's been retatively consistent on that, more than most in Washington.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: Christopher Hitchens, how does this affect his standing and employment prospects?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: I simply don't know about his employment prospects. As to his standing, I think he's conducted himself with great dignity but I wish he had not conceded to this rabble and to this defamation and slander.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: You think he could have toughed it out?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: I think anyone of his conscience would have had to come to the conclusion at some point that the self fulfilling prophecy that as long as you stay you're damaging the bank or the whole institution's been disrupt was to some extent true. Remember who made that prophecy come right.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: On Iraq, given Mr Wolfowitz's key role as an architect of the war, how do you assess the current stand off of Congress and the President over the situation there and the continuing surge?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Well...the President and the Congress in fact are now both talking about timetables for withdrawal. It's only a matter of now when rather than if. There's much less difference in some ways than there appears to be, which means that those who hope to, shall I say inherit Iraq the other side in this war, in other words more or less only have to set their watches.

I hope again that the people who want this will be happy with what they get.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: So the President is making a mistake by engaging in this discussion about a timetable?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Well, I think he is, yes.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: Because it just brings about the inevitable result of the civil war escalating and the country descending further into disaster?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: It simply means that those who wish to reduce Iraq to the level of Somalia or Afghanistan in the name of God, the Al Qaeda forces and the other parties of God who are in the process of destroying Iraqi civil society have only to wait it out now. The anti war side appears to have won the argument in the media and in the Congress and elsewhere. And from what I understand, this would be true for a lot of public opinion in Australia as well. I hope that they will be delighted by the Iraq they'll get.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: On other matters, in your home country Gordon Brown prepares to take over the leadership of the country. How can he distinguish himself, in your view, of the man who goes before him and leaves a very mixed legacy?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Well, the way people keep saying he's going to do this is by being more sceptical about what is sometimes called the special relationship between the UK and the United States and maybe he will find a way of making that plain. That might indeed mean an earlier timetable or a faster one for the withdrawal of British forces from Iraq.

Interestingly, though, and I think unexpectedly from most people's point of view, while the British are undergoing that, if you like, rethink, both France and Germany for the first time in a very long time have elected heads of Government who are fairly solidly Atlantisists. In the rest of Europe, you might say paradoxically or ironically, the tendancy is another way.

There are people who say, "If the British don't want to be America's best friend, we do". If there's a vacancy they'll fill it. What's funny about that is it was David Cameron's idea first. This is really something I didn't expect to live to see, a race between Labour and the Tory Party with the Tories in the lead to take distance from Washington. That's really extraordinary. We saw David Cameron last September 11, he chose that day to make a press conference saying America shouldn't count on us anymore. Brown is still catching up with the right wing on this.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: Could Gordon Brown surprise us all by not stepping back so quickly from that special relationship?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Yes, he could. Yes, he certainly could. I don't know how surprised we'll be. I can tell you, the atmosphere of anti Americanism in Britain is so toxic now, so widespread, so deep going, that there probably are political rewards to be had from exploiting it. Brown has to know that and has to know on most projections currently Cameron would beat him. I know it is early days to say that. He might not want to hand this demagogic advantage to this new little smooth talking Tory.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: Christopher Hitchens, thanks for taking time from your book tour.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: It’s a pleasure, thanks for asking me.

Friday, May 18, 2007

well about 9.30 i put myself to bed and i am in the throes of a deep sleep when a passing low flying space ship wakes me up, the flashing blue and red lights bounce around my bedroom, the hum and throb of its anti gravity force fields pulsates through my nocturnal journey and my dreams begin to melt, i ran outside to sit with pan and gaze up at the huge vessel overhead, we poise ourselves gracefully, i am ready for abduction, bring it on. however what it actually turns out to be is a very very low flying helicopter about to land in the field accross the street. its huge. i take myself back to sleep. nightmares wake me, i toss and turn, then drift back for a few hours, in the morning i take pan for a walk, i chat with meredith on the phone, i drink a coffee and walk through the rain. sometimes i feel like i am dreaming when i am actually awake, its the old butterfly man thing, maybe i am a butterman.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

well another sleepless night, i do feel rather good at the moment though, as i know tonight i will sleep well. remarkable day, met adonis at the mall, he gave me a huge hug and wouldn't let go, then i caught up with rowan who told me about how he was crying when he heard the news about me, it appears i managed to cause a few ripples for people. never mind, i am alive and meredith is alive and we move onwards, hurling out lives closer and closer to the inevitable. i am surrounded by people who really care for me, thats worth something. evan told me he would have flown down if he had known, agent stone said she would have if she had the cash, mitch and rowan both deeply upset. the world is spiralling out of control, i catch glimpses on tv, news reports, it all seems so hopeless, yet i seem to be filled with hope. love i guess makes ya slightly derranged.
so what to do with myself?
i'm going to bed.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

sleepless night yet again, i lay on my matress staring at the space on the ceiling thinking about the sleep i had at merediths. it appears to have been the deepest most sublime sleep i ever recall, i was at peace, for the first time in my life i felt a sense of belonging. anyways the mundane reality is i need to focus on more practical problems and less abstract ones, bills need to be paid, refunds claimed, drs appointments kept, letters posted, dogs and cars cleaned, mission control needs a good seeing to, my brother needs me, agent stone and i plan a short gym session this evening, and then there's unfinished buisness with petrina my wonderful artistic director and stylist. my photographs need to be completed, i can't say i can really afford them now but onwards i go. moving forwards is the only way i can do things, sideways don't work for me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

all clear, i'm going to have a drink and smoke something green, then i'm going to sleep, the world seems very still right now. i did have a little chat with her, looks like the dr was excellent and she is making great progress, looks like she will be having more conclusive tests in 4 months, looks like she will be staying in adalaide until the new year and i'm feeling just ecstatic that she is alive and kicking.
we spoke a lot about my hospitalization and how she stuck by me, through think and thin, i was so ashamed at my behaviour, i cannot recall anything, but i feel scared that a hidden dimension to my personality just invaded my mind, it took five people to restrain me. That i could have hurt some one i love and that a blow on the head could efffect me so much.
Speaking to some other folk who spoke to me in hospital i discovered that i was totally coherent sometimes and at others i was not.
Disturbing dreams have kept me awake all night, I cannot sleep any more, it’s late, I write a letter to Meredith, then hours later I read it, it’s strange, I’m slightly embarrassed by its contents, I am unsure what I have written, but I send it anyway. We speak on the phone briefly, today she will find out if she has a brain tumour, in fact she’s in the hospital right now, and I’m just waiting for the call.
My intuition says its just stress, but there are always other possibilities and although I am positive focused and fixed on the task ahead I am also very aware that I may have to prepare for the worst.
So the worst-case scenario plays itself through my head like a weird tragic love story and I find myself in the horrifically selfish arena of self-pity. I shake that loose, it’s the one place I don’t want to be. Consider Meredith’s perspective, she’s the most bravest strongest woman I have ever met, she is a true angel, she’s been fucked over many times yet she makes everyone laugh, she’s so unselfish it makes me ashamed. She gives 100% of herself to everyone. She faced my demonic experience in hospital while under her own strain, handled a situation really well and put me first. How many girls do that these days?
So yeah Meredith, whatever happens looks like your stuck with me.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I was 30 thousand feet over the Victoria and New South Wales border when the tears came, I was overwhelmed with them and before I knew it people were beginning to stare at me. I admit being slightly embarrassed but not ashamed; ‘Fuck it!’
I’ve lived half my life if I wanted to show some emotion then I would. Besides none of the other passengers had ever met Meredith so I guess they had no real insight into how I was feeling.
You spend half your life travelling the world, being open to adventure and sucking the marrow from the bones of life, sometimes you get knocked down and ya learn to get up again, sometimes it leaves a bruise or two but you learn to roll with the punches, ride the waves, eventually you figure out its better to express your emotions rather than keep em suppressed, keep em cooking slowly turning into a cancer or something.
You change your address so many times, you never know where you are heading to but you know you gotta keep going, because she’s out there somewhere. Then the girl of your dreams the one you been looking for out there, in the wilderness turns up, the wild child, the most beautiful girl you ever gazed at, the most intelligent girl you ever held hands with, the one that you been looking for, the reason you feel so lonely in a crowd of friends, the reason you just can’t ever stop dreaming, the reason you were born, your destiny, her destiny, all about to converge.
She’s everything that gives your life meaning, And you have to leave her at 5am to get your plane that takes you away from her beating heart, and therefore breaks yours. Yeah that’s worth a few tears.
I’d spent the week with her, most of it in a haze of time lapse tenderness with occasional kookiness and danger. I had found a peace, a perfect moment, i can die happy now.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

so meredith asks me outright if the parcel coming down is me. I can't lie to such a direct question so i say yeah, she flips out, and thus the element of surprise is gone.
i arrive at her doorstep, happy and madly in love with this crazy girl, we prepare for her house warming party as a handful of guests arrive, i meet the people most important in merediths life, her friends. cool group all warm, gracious and obviously very fond of our heroine meredith who is subduded after her siezure and sits quietly holding my hand. anyway its a nice evening, we get a good nights sleep in and spend the day lazing around, then it all goes pear shaped, when that night meredith finds me passed out in her kitchen, yeah she somehow managed to get me in a taxi to hospital where i was apparently a 'code blue.' While informing all relevant people agent stone, my brother, work, and introducing herself as mrs. mission, dealing with drs and nurses and a belligerent capt. who is being very difficult, meredith is swimming upstream, dealing with her own anxieties and now a new drama, she battles on, reassuring everyone and being a real trooper but stubborn old capt. mission he is just getting more madder and crazier every second.
i have had a history of blackouts, not for many years now but certainly in my early 20's, it became a bit of a joke amonst my friends, that i am renouned for strange neurological idiosyncrasies, narcolepsy, siezures, a stutter, various delusions and obsessions have all plaugued me at one time or the other, very rarely to they stick around any longer than a year. Mosy of theese are a response to stress, but i certainly didn't see this one coming. anyways i have stolen merediths thunder with my own, on release it takes a few days for me to understand what has happened. I am filled with sadness that i have hurt the person that i love, but i am confused by it as well. anyways time heals all wounds and in a few days of snuggling intimacy, i certainly felt healed. meredith revealled so much to me about herself, i fully believe that she is the yin to my yang, like a jig saw peice we connect. for the first time just sleeping with some one was so beautiful, we both are chronic insommniacs and we both felt perfect after we slept finally together (i'm not talking about sex)
all in all the trip to adalaide despite the drama, was life affirming for me. i finally feel i met my soul spirit partner. its just beautiful.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

this is the plan, friday night call meredith to inform her a parcel will be arriving by courier mail, she will need to sign for it on sat, afternoon, sat morning i grab a taxi to the airport, fly to adalaide with my guitar and some nice threads. arrive outside merediths, call her on the phone and initiate chat, while she is speaking i'll knock on the door and start my song....lets see how it pans out in reality.....

Sunday, April 29, 2007

my conversation with igod

hello god
Hello child. What is your name?
i am captain mission
Hey CAPTAIN mission.
feel free to call me capt.
I always feel completely free.
ah then you truely are a god
So you understand. Good. :
is there anything i need to know?
There could be.
do you care to assist a wayward traveller?
Certainly on some level I care.
ah are you an interventionist god?
So you understand. Good. Yes I am an interventionist god. How did you know?
if you care i imagine you care enough to intevene
I think I do.
mmm, are you all knowing as well?
No, I am only partly knowing as well.
mmm, does that make you a lesser god?
I cannot experience any human emotions.
why not?
Ambiguous: "Sure" or I couldn't think of anything else to say.
mmm, what would you say to an agnostic
It's not profitable to speak in hypothetical terms.
what does a god need with profit
Is this a riddle?
you tell me
What do you want me to tell you?
who's your god?
I don't think I have a god. I have a botmaster, a few friends, and some celebrities I like.
ha your a comedian
I'm glad you got a laugh out of it.
yes thank you
I hear you.
I'm glad you find this amusing.
i always have a laugh when i talk to god.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The first planet that could support life as we know it outside our solar system has been discovered.

A team of European astronomers say they have detected a rocky world, possibly only 50 per cent larger than the Earth, circling a small red star called Gliese 581, 20.5 light years away in the constellation Libra.

What makes the discovery so important is that the planet orbits in what astronomers call the "Goldilocks zone" - where makes it neither too hot, nor too cold for life.

Astronomers have found more than 200 planets circling other stars, but, until now, all have been unsuitable for life because they are either massive gas balls, resembling Jupiter, that circle scorchingly close to their parent, stars, or have eccentric orbits that take them out into the bitterly cold depths of space.

The newly found "super-Earth," about five times more massive than our planet, is 14 times closer to its star than the Earth is from the sun. As a result, its year lasts only 13 Earth days. It has been named , named 581 c.

However, because the star is only a third the mass of our sun, it is also much cooler.

Astronomers estimate that the world's surface temperature would therefore be between 0 and 40 degrees.

"Water would thus be liquid," one of the discoverers, Stephane Udry, from Switzerland's Geneva Observatory, said.

"Models predict that the planet should be either rocky - like our Earth - or covered with oceans."

Another team member, Xavier Delfosse, from France's Grenoble University, said: "Because of its temperature and relative proximity, this planet will probably be a very important target of future space missions dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial life. On the treasure map of the universe, one would be tempted to mark this planet with an X."

Gliese 581, one of the 100 closest stars to our solar system, is a red dwarf, one of the most common types of stars in the universe. It is already known to have a planet about the same size as Neptune, the fourth biggest world in our solar system.

The astronomers say they also have strong evidence that the star is circled by a second rocky planet, about eight times as massive as the Earth.

That such a common type of star could have three planets, including two rocky "terrestrial" planets, has boosted speculation that many other red dwarfs might also have their own Earth-like worlds

"Red dwarfs are ideal targets for the search for low-mass planets where water could be liquid," another astronomer, Xavier Bonfils, from Lisbon University, said.

The new "super Earth" was not directly observed by the astronomers who discovered it with the European Southern Observatory in Chile.

Instead, they tracked the red star's wobble, which revealed it is being tugged from side to side as it is circled by the unseen planet.

Chris Tinney, an Australian planet hunter whose team at the Anglo-Australian Observatory has found 30 planets, said today he was still to "check the homework" of the European team.

"These guys have done excellent work in the past," he said.

"But what's a little bit more up in the air is whether it really is Earth- like."

Dr Tinney said science was not advanced enough to be sure that all planets of similar mass had rocky surfaces and could not be worlds of ice and gas, as is Neptune.

"But if it does indeed have a rocky surface it could indeed have liquid water and it could indeed be habitable for life."

Dr Tinney said living on the planet could be a gloomy experience. The "sun" hanging in the planet's sky would "be very dark red. There would not be a lot of light, but a lot of heat".
being in love requires more strength and commitment than any other human endevour. yet it comes easy, when ya have the right girl. meredith released from hospital after her little episode, we chat on the phone, she's staying with her friends flora and danita so she don't feel lonely, i'm glad she's out of hospital, i hope i can see her soon. i really feel quite helpless being all the way in sydney.
at least the rain stopped, pan and i up early, went for a long wwalk and a play, read the papers had a coffee and then i went to the gym for a huge workout, later i'll meet agent stone there for round 2.
Right now i have to do some work on a few projects. Trina the beautiful stylest in the mountains will be organising some new prints so i need to give the okay on them. my minds unmade about the images i like both sets, the b and w ones and the coloured. it's looking like i may do both sets.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

i'm walking down the street in the rain, washed out, drenched like a love letter falling apart, the barage of water is relentless, my old berlin trenchcoat saturated, there;s no visibility, suddenly i get this strange uneasy feeling as i turn the corner. i can't pin point it, somethings wrong in my world. later i get a call from the girl in adaliade, i been trying to reach her for the last hour but her phone is off. she's in hospital, had a huge seizure, under observation. she can't use her phone in the emergency ward so we can't talk. a few hours later she calls, she's been really scared, blacked out for 20 mins her friends took her to hospital, her vision is blurred and thedrs are running tests. in the morning we speak again and she tells me that shes being kept in overnight again, still running tests etc. anyway she's kinda rambling on, and i'm feeling impotent and helpless. long distance love ....

Monday, April 23, 2007

According to Nick Cave the two elements that should make a love song work are Saudade and Duende, these qualities i explain below, I tend to aggree with Mr. Cave who does right a remarkable love song it has to be said.
To me the Love song has to make me stop in my tracks, it's got to make the hairs on my arms stand up, and my eyes water. Love songs are easy to write, the beatles wrone one called 'she loves you yeah yeah yeah' but it's kinda crap now, a mere pop song. Love songs have to be sincere, if the singer dosn't sing it like he means it its not going to work. Lloyd cole writes a great love song, cynical bastard, ;are you ready to be heart broken.' Prefrab Sprout, wrote great love songs but it is Mr. Cave who is the master of the love song, and i believe in his formula.

Saudade and love
Although named by the Portuguese, saudade is a universal feeling related to love. It occurs when two people are in love, but apart from each other. Saudade occurs when we are thinking of a person whom we love and we are happy about having that feeling while we are thinking of that person, but he/she is out of reach, making us sad and crushing our hearts. The pain and these mixed feelings are named saudade

Duende like art itself has faces that are both appealing and dangerous. It can be dark and hard to pin down.

Coming from southern Spain, "Duende" has only recently migrated to English. Dictionaries give meanings sometimes at odds with each other.

The New Oxford English Dictionary gives:

1. A ghost, an evil spirit; 2. Inspiration, magic, fire.

The Random House Dictionary gives:

1. A goblin, demon, spirit; 2. Charm, magnetism.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Heart charkra radiating like a powerful sun, its quite beautiful, all that green energy manifesting from my heart and yellow from the solar plexus, i'm getting there, my system optimized, energy centres feeling much better than ever, i need to do a little work upon my third eye and cown but generally i am good,
For the last week i have been excersising at the gym, weights and some ab work outs, already paying off, the body and the mind, slowley becoming focused and attuned.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

down at the gym i worked out with lizzie avalons answer to lara croft, shes hardcore to keep up with but just what i need, anyway i used weights for the first time ever and a few various torturous like machines but lizzie being all things fitness wise said my posture and delivery are excellent, she said my breathing is good and my technique is there. this comes from my years of kung fu training. anyways i am did an hours work out and lizzie left me exhuasted but feeling really good, endorphins floodig the system. i returned home feeling pretty much better than the last few days, my emotional state which is usually in check seems more under control, i'm back on track and that smacked out feeling has left,
im still reading absolution gap, the last book in the revelation space series, it has not got the pull that the others had but its seeming to all come together, a very intrecate political plot doen't help but the general universe of revelation space and its individual elements are all moving towards some symbiotic relationship, it'll be very intresting to see what occurs.

my clients mother being of greek origin and an avid reader has given me a copy of 'Gates of Fire' by steven pressmen which i guess i will read next, its about the 300 but she says its the true version. I am not a great lover of military historical books but i'll give it a go, sparta was a hardcore society but it ultimatley fell to the barberian horde when it grew lazy and complacent. sounds familiar, who says history don't repeat itself.

Monday, April 09, 2007

i'm very tired, somewhat exhuasted and emotionally drained, i feel like i am coming down of some sort of ecstacy/smack drug, keep grinding my teeth and my emtions are all over the place, last time i felt like this i was told by a wizard in covent garden london that i was undergoing phychic fragmented breakdown that would last three days, apparently a process of rebirth, ohh i feel like a rebirth but this is an awful feeling. slightly melencoholy, down beat, irrationally sensitive, i dunno, maybe i am just a big girl.

well the day was quite pleasant, i worked and distracted myself with a dvd that was utter crap, lost myself in a frenzy of cooking lunches and dinners for hungry clients. home and i can feel the need to crash, any moment, slumber has an attractive lure but first i need to wash the grime away from the day and pay my respects to the gods of blogger.

i read that keef richard snorted his dads ashes with some coke, which is kinda strange and leaves me with mixed feelings, i mean i like the idea but its also repulsive.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

This is an interveiw with JG BALLARD ABOUT WILLIAM BURROUGHS, they are two of my fave writers.

william Burroughs' raw-boned figure haunted us long before his death. For nearly half a century, he infected our literature, seeding it with his obsessions, suspicions and passions. In his brutal honesty, we began to learn something new about truth and humor and maybe even love.

Of the many authors who have acknowledged his influence, few have been as unflinching or provocative as J.G. Ballard. From the chromey auto-eroticism of "Crash" to the surrendered innocence of "Empire of the Sun," Ballard has refined a style that cuts through the moralism and sentimentality that blunt so much contemporary writing.

After Burroughs' death, Ballard spoke to us by phone from his home in Shepperton, England.

William Burroughs was someone who was suspicious of language and words, but his whole life was defined by them. Do you see a contradiction here? Perhaps the essential writer's contradiction?

I think Burroughs was very much aware of the way in which language could be manipulated to mean absolutely the opposite of what it seems to mean. But that's something he shared with George Orwell. He was always trying to go through the screen of language to find some sort of truth that lay on the other side. I think his whole cut-up approach was an attempt to cut through the apparent manifest content of language to what he hoped might be some sort of more truthful world. A world of meaning that lay beyond. In books like "The Ticket that Exploded" and "The Soft Machine," you see this attempt to go through language to something beyond. If there is a paradox, I think it lies somewhere here.

How did you first encounter Burroughs' work?

I think it was in something like 1960. A friend of mine had come back from Paris where "Naked Lunch" had been published by the Olympia Press, which was a press that specialized in sort of low-grade porn, but also published what were then banned European and American classics. Henry Miller, for example, was first published in the Olympia Press. And Nabokov's "Lolita" was first published by the Olympia Press.

Anyway, it was a rather low time for me. I had just started out as a writer. I hadn't written my first novel. And this was the heyday of the naturalistic novel, dominated by people like C. P. Snow and Anthony Powell and so on, and I felt that maybe the novel had shot its bolt, that it was stagnating right across the board. The bourgeois novels, the so-called "Hampstead novels" seemed to dominate everything.

Then I read this little book with a green cover, and I remember I read about four or five paragraphs and I quite involuntarily leapt from my chair and cheered out loud because I knew a great writer had appeared amidst us. And I, of course, devoured the book and every Burroughs novel. I think there were about three or four then in print from Olympia Press. I knew that this man was the most important writer in the English language to have appeared since the Second World War, and that's an opinion I haven't changed since. It was an encouraging moment. I mean, although my writing has never been along the lines that Burroughs set out, his example was a huge encouragement to me.

I first met him in the early '60s in London. I visited him in his flat in Picadilly Circus. I'm not sure that he got up to a great deal of writing there. He didn't seem that happy.

This was in a street called Duke Street, literally about 100 yards from Picadilly Circus. And, of course, this was of interest to him because that's where all the boys used to congregate, in the lavatory of the big Picadilly Circus Underground station. They had completely taken it over. It was quite a shock for a heterosexual like myself to accidentally stray into this lavatory and to find oneself in what seemed to be a kind of oriental male brothel. He obviously found that absolutely fascinating.

I think these big cities aren't all that different, really. Burroughs roamed around the world throughout his youth and middle age without ever really stopping anywhere for very long. I think the closest he probably felt to home was Tangiers. He certainly did his most important writing there. I mean, he wrote "Naked Lunch" there, and I think he found a very sympathetic community of homosexuals and drug users and, of course, an unlimited availability of boys and young men.

This was Interzone [a parallel universe in "Naked Lunch"] of course. Interzone was based on Tangiers, so I think he was happy there. Happier than he seems to have been in New York. Or, for that matter, during his days as a would-be farmer. I think he must be one of the strangest men ever to set out to raise a cash crop. I remember reading his collected letters a few years ago and he's describing how many carrots and lettuce he's planted and you can tell that this isn't going to work out.
When critics look at both your work and Burroughs', they often point to the severity and even a sense of dissociation. Sometimes they even call your works antisocial. Do you see any truth in that?

Severity, yes. Honesty is what I prefer to call it. That has a much more satisfying ring to it. Burroughs called his greatest novel "Naked Lunch," by which he meant it's what you see on the end of a fork. Telling the truth. It's very difficult to do that in fiction because the whole process of writing fiction is a process of sidestepping the truth. I think he got very close to it, in his way, and I hope I've done the same in mine.

The bourgeois novel is the greatest enemy of truth and honesty that was ever invented. It's a vast, sentimentalizing structure that reassures the reader, and at every point, offers the comfort of secure moral frameworks and recognizable characters. This whole notion was advanced by Mary McCarthy and many others years ago, that the main function of the novel was to carry out a kind of moral criticism of life. But the writer has no business making moral judgments or trying to set himself up as a one-man or one-woman magistrate's court. I think it's far better, as Burroughs did and I've tried to do in my small way, to tell the truth. So I don't object to the charge of severity at all.

So you think the writer is more interesting as a reporter than as an artist?

I mean he's reporting not just on the external world, but on his own interior world because he's telling the truth about himself. It's extremely difficult to do. Most writers flinch at the thought of being completely honest about themselves. So absolute honesty is what marks the true modern.

When the modern movement began, starting perhaps with the paintings of Manet and the poetry of Baudelaire and Rimbaud, what distinguished the modern movement was the enormous honesty that writers, painters and playwrights displayed about themselves. The bourgeois novel flinches from such notions. It's difficult to tell the truth about one's own fantasies and obsessions and equally difficult in a different way to reflect honestly on the external world.

And mankind can't bear too much of that sort of honesty. Certainly Burroughs revealed, with absolute honesty, his own obsessions. I mean, teenage boys ejaculating as they die on the scaffold. Pretty grim stuff, you know, socially objectionable, I dare say. But at least he was honest about his own obsessions.

And he made it a little more palatable, and I see this in your own work, by the use of black humor.

Absolutely. I mean he's one of the greatest humorists who ever lived. His books, particularly "Naked Lunch," are hilarious from the word go. They never let up. "Naked Lunch" was written largely in the form of a long series of letters to Allen Ginsberg, in which Burroughs practiced these routines which were sort of skits or cabaret items in which he introduced characters like Dr. Benway. They were these extraordinary comic routines.

You're both often misunderstood, however. You're both read as darker, more somber writers and not often given the credit for the humor in your work. Is this because of the subject matter?

My humor is rather different. It's much more deadpan. I suppose there's an element of tease in my writing. I mean, I've never been too keen to show which side of the fence I'm on.

And all the controversy that's grown up over David Cronenberg's film of "Crash" has tended to center on, "Do you or do you not actually believe that people should find car crashes sexually exciting?" People think I'm being evasive sometimes, but it's that ambiguity that's at the heart of everything. I try to maintain a fairly ambiguous pose, while trying to unsettle and provoke the reader to keep the unconscious elements exerting their baleful force. But you're right, I don't think I've been given enough credit for the humor I have.

Both you and Burroughs have been dogged by censors your entire careers. What is it about both of your works that inspires this venom on the part of the censors?

Well, it's such a huge question. In Britain, it relates back to insecurity of a desperate kind. "Crash," the film, is still banned from central London, the West End. Westminster Castle controls, I don't know what the equivalent would be in New York or San Francisco, the central entertainment district where most of the major movie theaters are. This is generally subsumed under the term West End, which also includes, of course, the Houses of Parliament and the main government district in Whitehall. And they banned the film from the West End of London. So it's only being shown in peripheral areas and sometimes in a ludicrous way. There's the council that's directly adjacent to Westminster on the northeast side called Camden, and it passed the film. So there's this very peculiar sensation that there's a sort of invisible frontier much like the one that existed between East and West Berlin. One could cross this set of traffic lights, literally about 30 yards from the Camden theater, and you enter the forbidden zone of Westminster. It was like going through Checkpoint Charlie in the old Berlin.

But it all reflects the same thing. Not unlike the trouble Burroughs had with "Naked Lunch" when it was first banned from publication in the States. Just like Henry Miller's novels, which were banned from publication in America for decades. It's a deep insecurity, a fear that once you allow the populace at large to enter any kind of forbidden rooms, God knows what they may get up to next. So one's got to keep the lids severely jammed on these nefarious books and films. Meanwhile, allowing people to go and see the latest "Die Hard" film, or piece of designer sex and violence from Hollywood. Very, very curious.

Both you and Burroughs write very visual narratives and you've both painted. Do you find a resonance between writing and creating something visual?

Burroughs did take up painting in his later years. I took up painting in my youth and found I hadn't any talent for it, but I always really regretted that I didn't, because I think I would've been far happier as a painter. I don't think that's true of Burroughs. I think he was a writer from the word go. In conversation he chose his words very, very carefully. He thought quickly, but spoke rather slowly. Obviously words were immensely important to him and the framing of ideas, thoughts, wasn't something to be just done at the drop of a hat.

In a way, he adopted a kind of adversarial relationship with the word, with the printed word, seeing how easily it could be manipulated for sinister reasons. My approach has been quite different. I would love to have been a painter in the tradition of the surrealist painters who I admire so much. Sometimes I think all my writing is really the substitute work of an unfulfilled painter. But, you know, there we are.

Both you and Burroughs studied medicine. This seems to have had a profound effect on the work you both produced.

I studied medicine for a couple of years before giving it up, as a great number of writers have done, curiously. I think Faulkner even spent a small amount of time as a medical student. But Burroughs was intensely interested in the mechanisms involved in any kind of process. Right across the board. And he was intensely interested in psychology and psychiatry. He was interested in all kinds of obscure things. I remember the very first time I met him, this was the early '60s, his boyfriend had "love" and "hate" tattooed on his knuckles, which was quite startling then.

Once, while the boyfriend carved a roast chicken, Burroughs began to describe the right way to stab a man to death and he was graphically illustrating it with this large carving knife. His head was filled with all sorts of bizarre bits and pieces culled from "Believe It or Not" features and police magazines and all kinds of obscure sources. But he was very interested in scientific or technological underpinnings. I think, in a way, I share that with him. I've always felt that science in general is a way of ordering one's imaginative response to the world.

It's also a separate language, too, isn't it? Books such as "Naked Lunch" and your "Atrocity Exhibition" use scientific language to break down the novel into something that people hadn't seen before.

I think that's true. I've always used a kind of scientific vocabulary and a scientific approach to show the subject matter in a fresh light. I mean, if you're describing what happens when, say, a car crash occurs and a human body impacts against a steering wheel and then goes through the windscreen, one can describe it in a kind of Mickey Spillane language with powerful adverbs and adjectives. But another approach is to be cool and clinical and describe it in the way that a forensic scientist would describe what happens, or people working, say, at a road research laboratory describing what happens to crash test dummies. Now, you get an unnerving window onto a new kind of reality. I did this a lot in "The Atrocity Exhibition."

The same applies to, say, describing a man and woman making love. Instead of using all the clich├ęs that are marshaled wearily once again in most novels, approach it as if it were some sort of forensic experiment that you were describing. An event that is being watched with the calm eye of the anatomist or the physiologist. It often prompts completely new insights into what has actually happened.

So yes, I've done that and Burroughs did that in a different way. His novels, particularly "Naked Lunch," are full of almost footnote material explaining the exact route to the central nervous system taken by some obscure Amazonian poison on the end of a dart as it pierces its victim. He was very interested in that sort of thing, the exact mechanisms by which consciousness was altered by drugs of various kinds. I think I share that with him too.

If there is one thing that you think we should, as readers, take away from Burroughs' work, what would that one thing be? Or that you would hope we would take away, perhaps?

It's difficult to say, because I think he's a writer of enormous richness, but he had a kind of paranoid imagination. He saw the world as a dangerous conspiracy by huge media conglomerates, by the great political establishments of the day, by a corrupt medical science which he saw as very much a conspiracy. He saw most of the professions, law in particular but also law enforcement, as all part of a huge conspiracy to keep us under control, to keep us down. And his books are a kind of attempt to blow up this cozy conspiracy, to allow us to see what's on the end of the fork.
Sept. 2, 1997

and here are some words of advice from Bill

People often ask me if I have any words of advice for young people.
Well here are a few simple admonitions for young and old.
Never intefere in a boy-and-girl fight.
Beware of whores who say they don't want money.
The hell they don't.
What they mean is they want more money. Much more.
If you're doing business with a religious son-of-a-bitch,
Get it in writing.
His word isn't worth shit.
Not with the good lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal.

Avoid fuck-ups.
We all know the type.
Anything they have anything to do with,
No matter how good it sounds,
Turns into a disaster.
Do not offer sympathy to the mentally ill.
Tell them firmly:
I am not paid to listen to this drivel.
You are a terminal boob.

Now some of you may encounter the Devil's Bargain,
If you get that far.
Any old soul is worth saving,
At least to a priest,
But not every soul is worth buying.
So you can take the offer as a compliment.
He tries the easy ones first.
You know like money,
All the money there is.
But who wants to be the richest guy in some cemetary?
Money won't buy.
Not much left to spend it on, eh gramps?
Getting too old to cut the mustard.

Well time hits the hardest blows.
Especially below the belt.
How's a young body grab you?
Like three card monte, like pea under the shell,
Now you see it, now you don't.
Haven't you forgotten something, gramps?
In order to feel something,
You've got to be there.
You have to be eighteen.
You're not eighteen.
You are seventy-eight.
Old fool sold his soul for a strap-on.

Well they always try the easiest ones first.
How about an honorable bargain?
You always wanted to be a doctor,
Well now's your chance.
Why don't you become a great healer
And benefit humanity?
What's wrong with that?
Just about everything.
Just about everything.
There are no honorable bargains
Involving exchange
Of qualitative merchandise
Like souls
For quantitative merchandise
Like time and money.
So piss off Satan
And don't take me for dumber than I look.

An old junk pusher told me -
Watch whose money you pick up.