Thursday, May 28, 2009


This is a story about a dog named Gatwick who was called Gatwick.

Gatwick was born on the 16th of May 1992 to Paddy and Sam(antha) although Gatwick wasn’t named until three months later on the 24th August when Gatwick was bought by Joan and Elizabeth. Gatwick never had any real concept of names.

Her parents had not named her, they had no concept of names. She was taken before they understood who she was and so forgot her. Joan and Elizabeth named her Gatwick. Gatwick could never understand this supposed act of kindness.

Here is the understanding Gatwick had of Gatwick: Joan or Elizabeth make a sound. I associate that sound with a response due to a period of learning where said response is rewarded with… rewards. Except Gatwick didn’t understand it like that, because Gatwick had no concept of names.

That’s not to say Gatwick did not have a personality. Gatwick was as individual as any other dog that ever existed, and if Fate had decided to give Gatwick a personality akin to yours then Gatwick would no doubt have hated the name Gatwick.

But It hadn’t, so this is how Gatwick's day went: get up, find food, sleep.

Except It didn’t, because every part of Gatwick’s day was as individual as any other dog’s.

But It did, because Gatwick could never understand names.

And so Gatwick functioned as Gatwick functioned. Gatwick jumped, and caught, and ran, and barked, and slept, and licked, and pawed, stood guard, and panted, and hid, and curled, and slobbered, and malted, and mated, and urinated, and walked, and ate, and fetched, and drank, protected, and comforted, and loved, and assured, and wept, and died.

But Gatwick never knew this because Gatwick had no concept of names.

And Gatwick functioned as Gatwick functioned.

So Joan and Elizabeth loved Gatwick. Gatwick was their pet.

Then Joan and Elizabeth disappeared. The people that Gatwick had come to associate with security were replaced with cold cages and anonymous bowls. Gatwick was sad, although Gatwick didn’t know this for reasons you will know by now. But Gatwick was sad, just as Gatwick was happy. Everything Gatwick had come to associate with sanctuary was distant and forgotten.

Because Gatwick could not rationalise, Gatwick had no need for memory as you do.

One day passed as the next; Gatwick did not know there would be a tomorrow any more than Gatwick knew there was a yesterday, nor that there would be an end to what had a beginning.

Until Gatwick saw Joan and Elizabeth again and jumped and Joan and Elizabeth remembered why they had called Gatwick Gatwick. They laughed and rejoiced and did things Gatwick never could. If Joan and Elizabeth had understood that Gatwick could not be like them they might have been sad just as Gatwick was happy. Gatwick was back where Gatwick belonged and functioned as Gatwick functioned.

Gatwick died on the 29th of February 2004 and Gatwick never forgot the happiest moment of her life.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

No Escape

Some friends of mine are doing this fundraiser and one of them asked me to put the info up here in the mistaken belief that people apart from myself and those searching for 'china pussy' on Google actually come here. True fact.

Anyway, if you're here and want to take a break from all that budget internet porn you've been looking for, are in the Edinburgh area and NOT on the Sex Offenders Register, pop along to this. It should be fun and interesting psychologically torturing a group of students trapped in pods.

NO ESCAPE: A joint fundraiser for the Open Rights Group and EUTC’s
Edinburgh Fringe production of “Escape” by Matt Wieteska.
Live coverage commences at 3pm on the 24th May:;

Edinburgh University Theatre Company is proud to announce NO ESCAPE, a
fundraiser for its 2009 Edinburgh Fringe Production of Escape by Matt
Wieteska. The event is being organised in conjunction with the Open
Rights Group, a charitable organisation that aims to protect civil
liberties when they are challenged through the incorrect use or
regulation of technology.

Escape will open at 10.30pm on the 9th of August at Venue 49: The
Bedlam Theatre. The show will then run at 1pm from the 10th - 29th of
August, excluding Sundays. Tickets will be priced at $3 on the 9th and
then at $6 / $5 conc. for the remainder of the run.

NO ESCAPE will begin at 3pm on Sunday 24th of May. Members of the
production team will be sealed inside hand-made replicas of the escape
pods used by the characters in the show. A continuous live feed will
broadcast the crew’s resilience in the face of their solitary
confinement. Encased in geodesic spheres of four-foot diameter, they
will be subjected to twenty-minutes of aural stress-testing every two
hours. This will consist of samples chosen by members of the public,
ranging from music to white noise. With limited food rations and no
distractions or stimulations beyond their own voices, the crew will
experience the conditions survived by characters in the show. After a
mandatory period of twenty-four hours confinement, their endurance
will be further put to the test as they compete to be the final

Proceeds will be split between the Open Rights Group and the EUTC’s
production costs. Formed in 2005, ORG is a grassroots technology
organisation which exists to protect civil liberties wherever they are
threatened by the poor implementation and regulation of digital
technology. These are our “Digital Rights”. ORG aims to preserve and
extend traditional civil liberties in the digital world, and to raise
media awareness where these liberties have been abused. Further
details can be found at; , and all press
enquiries should be sent to .

The Edinburgh University Theatre Company is a vibrant, student-run
organisation in the heart of Edinburgh. Staging over forty shows every
year with an award-winning presence at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe,
EUTC is committed to excellence in new theatre. Further details are
available at; . Between September and April,
all press enquiries should be sent to
During the summer, please contact

To contact the NO ESCAPE team, please email For more information about the event
or the show, please visit;

Cometh the Hat, Cometh the Man.

I have a hat dilemma.

I’m a big fan of hats. As a child I used to press my nose against the hedges of Ascot Races and admire all those fine people wearing such luxurious hats. Ever since I’ve dreamed of having my very own hat of which I can be proud.

And I found it. A brown Toledo. I don’t know what ‘Toledo’ means, I’ve only heard the word before in a Soledad Brothers song called ‘Mean Ol’ Toledo’ so that doesn’t help, so far I’ve yet to see my hat express any emotions, cruel or otherwise. It’s slightly perverse, then, that I’ve developed a powerful feeling of affection for this Toledo. Maybe I’m a sucker for unrequited love.

And why a hat? It’s not because of my childhood spent envying those at the Races. That never happened. A love of hats can probably be given a social or psychological or political or religious explanation. But there’s nothing self-evident to me at this time about why I love hats. I just do.

More people should wear hats. I firmly believe this. Everyone can find a hat that suits them and that hat, being the singular object it is, will invariably express something about the individual to the world, be it conscious or not.

I know a handful of people that really wear hats and each one is as fitting and unique as the other. Invariably they walk with an air of confidence, a stride that says, ‘Yes, this is a hat. I am proud to wear it because it says something about me and myself.’ This self-affirming mantra is sadly essential to any hat wearing.

Because I feel acutely aware that maybe wearing a hat may make me look like what might be classed as ‘a prick’. A Toledo can best be described as a trilby. They were worn lots in the 20s and 30s. I also own a pair of brogues. These were also worn in the 20s and 30s. Sometimes I wear the two together and if I’m feeling particularly extrrrrrrrravagant I’ll go the whole hog and throw in some tweed trousers, shit (shirt) and braces.

Why my subconscious makes me dress up as a half-hearted throwback to a lanky 30s gangster is a question I’m leaving for my mid-life crisis therapy sessions, but my crushing hat neurosis won’t leave me be. Do people think I’m showing off when I wear a hat? I don’t think that’s what I’m doing. Maybe my hat offends people. Do gangsters still wear trilbies? Does saving it only for special occasions make it become a thing? It’s probably all in my head and no one notices or cares that I happen to be wearing a hat. Why are people smiling/laughing when they walk past me? Would mummy and daddy approve of my hat?

And so on.

But that doesn’t matter. I have found my hat and I am happy with it. My hat can’t express emotions. I doubt it cares.