This is Israel’s opinion. I assume he believes it with every fibre of his being and for my part, I hope he’ll be crushingly disappointed when he arrives in the afterlife, realises intolerance is a unwanted by-product of humanity and that he’s about to spend eternity with the drunk gay fornicating atheists who know how to throw a decent party.
It’s been twenty years since I pressed a piece of broken glass into my forearm and drew a line. Watched blood flooding the wound, temporarily obscuring the puckered white flesh beneath. Felt dopamine flood my mind, soothing the frayed edges of my nervous system, the perfect agony driven into abeyance for long enough to make it seem worthwhile.
Unfortunately, the reflexive recoil that self-harming prompts – and that you may well have felt while reading those words – is one of many reasons why we do it. There’s no language to effectively convey the inescapable roaring in my ears back then. No words to describe the excessive energy coursing through my veins like an orchestral surge. The only way to get it out – let it out – is to cut a hole and feel it leave. The blood and the gore, the shock and the awe. The inside turned outward for the world to see.
Given the response to his club’s tweeted status last weekend, you might have expected Cristiano Ronaldo’s entourage would be keeping a closer eye than usual on statements about their charge emerging into the public domain. Cristiano is used to golden breezes caressing his bronze and chiselled cheek so the harsh blowback from the press and social media over Juventus ‘great professional’ comments will have chapped his face quite badly.
I’ve just realised how mentally ill I was in my twenties. Not via the conventional channel of therapy, upon which I’m frantically paddling after waves of mental health, but by listening to a podcast about serial killers and an old Oasis B side.
My subconscious is definitely smarter than I am. Unfettered by me, it would probably have passed loads more exams than I did, gone to uni, been a proper person, made good contacts and given itself the best possible run at a career in writing.
My subconscious had it easy though. It was able to see life clearly, assess it and identify a sensible, well lit path for it to follow to the required destination. Sign posted and everything.
I emerged onto that same path in the midst of a fistfight with a foe I wouldn’t get a good look at until I was in my early thirties. Every step I took, every decision I made was taunted by this relentless, petty creature, who liked to lounge on my back and critique my progress, desperate for a misstep so it could remind me how the whole thing was my own fault because I was crap.
JK Rowling broke her silence (and her website) yesterday afternoon by making a statement about the casting of Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
I cut and pasted that description because I literally couldn’t be arsed to write it all out, but don’t take my laziness as an indicator of the importance I place on the matter, I just wanted to get straight to the point rather than faffing about with Gellerts and Grindelwalds. It’s hugely important.
An inexplicably popular daily newspaper published a piece about Millie Bobby Brown’s meteoric rise to the coveted plinth of Young Hollywood this morning. Accompanying photos of her body in size adjusted designer dresses and soft feet sliding about in high heels is much breathy prose about how ‘her parents sacrificed everything’ to help their daughter follow her dream, including moving from Bournemouth to Hollywood and not having enough money to eat.
In short, all the trappings of a traditional rags to riches story you can read with your lunchtime sarnie and imagine for yourself/your child before reality sets in and you realise you’re going to spend the afternoon trying to remove crumbs from your keyboard again.