All posts by HG Tudor

I am letting you see my worldview for your own protection.

Death Watch Beetle

 

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“As long as I have a want. I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death.”

So said George Bernard Shaw. To us satisfaction is not death but we derive satisfaction from death, the death of others. I wrote about how I rarely attend funerals and explained the reasons why, but that is not to say that we will not use the instances of dying and of death to our distinct advantages. Indeed, where the spectre of death looms waiting to cut that last slender link between the person and life, with his sharpened scythe, our kind come crawling from the woodwork in order to avail ourselves of the copious fuel that is available. Should you see one of our kind re-appear after an absence, there is a reasonable chance that the sickly sweet smell of death has attracted us.

Should we learn that a family member or friend is about to shuffle off this mortal coil, then this presents a marvellous opportunity for our kind. To begin with, the façade can be maintained through demonstrating false compassion about the circumstances of the person whose demise is imminent. We know all the phrases to rollout to the procession of visitors and comforters who are drawn to the bed of the dying individual. We delight in keeping a vigil besides this person even though we may not have bothered with them in years. Should someone be as bold to question why we have appeared now of all times after remaining away, we will seize on such an unwarranted observation to castigate the questioner.

“How can you ask such a thing like that, at a time like this?”

“This isn’t about me; it is about Uncle Malcolm.” (How we say this with a straight face still surprises me.)

“You can talk, what have you done for her lately?” (Which will be asked even if we know that the questioner has been a total rock to the dying individual)

Our response will be designed to draw an emotional reaction and allow us to drink of the fuel provided.

We will provide the rudimentary appearance of caring, although it is all for show. We will of course leave the heavy lifting work to other people. We are not there to change the pus-ridden bandages or sooth the fevered brow. We will not clean up after someone soils themselves or spills food and drink down their front from shaking, tremulous hands. Not at all, but we will do what we do best and shower words of empty kindness, false compassion and fake consideration towards the ill individual. This makes us look good in the eyes of all assembled and their nods of approval and muttered thanks not only provides us with fuel but adds to the façade’s maintenance. We are a good stick for travelling all this way (we were coming anyway for another reason) and offering such eloquent words of comfort to all assembled.

Watch us as we move amidst family members, friends, colleagues and neighbours who turn up to see if they can help as we position ourselves as gatekeepers. Nobody gains admittance without seeing us first so that we may suck in the fuel that comes with such a heightened emotional situation. Tearful siblings, stern-faced uncles, bewildered cousins all ripe for us to send a pleasant and supportive comment towards, purely to receive their thanks, gratitude and approval.

We will not allow the person whose sands of time are running out to inhabit centre stage one last time as we camp on to their ground, usurping them through an exhibition of apparent concern and compassion. Watch carefully and you will see that we do not actually do anything for the dying person, that is not our role, there are minions for that and it is all beneath us. Instead, we see this as a chance to draw fuel and appear to be a supportive individual who is pulling everyone together and ensuring that the dying person’s final days are as happy and as comfortable as possible.

We have seen enough times what needs to be said in order to produce the tears, the slowly dipped head and the weak smile, the attempt to be brave despite the heavy sadness. Inside we do not feel this as we greet each person. We feel empowered at the fuel that flows. We hover by the bed, watching over the new arrival’s interaction with our charge, commenting on what we have been doing for them (in fact it will be someone else who has cared for them but we are content to take the credit) so we gain additional approval and thanks. We regard these visitors as having come really to see us, to thank us for our work, our generosity and our greatness, rather than the dying, shrivelled person in the bed nearby. Like some morbid cuckoo we appear and take over this person’s final act, claiming it for ourselves, our fuel lines snaking towards anybody and everybody who appears.

Of course there even remains the opportunity to draw fuel from the dying individual. Though they may look at us through morphine-hazed eyes and mumble medicated words which are difficult to discern, the tightness of their grip on our arm or hand tells us plenty about how they appreciate what we are doing. As their time on this world draws to a close, we still see the chance to pull some fuel from this person as we trot out the familiar platitudes at a time like this. We do not say them to convey comfort, but only to ensure that appreciation, gratitude and thanks comes our way and in turn fuels us.

As guardian and comforter-in-chief we position ourselves at the centre of everything during this period. We do little but direct others and issue our spoken commands and observations, all of which being self-serving. We will endeavour to create yet more fuel by leaning in low and listening intently as the dying person speaks, perhaps their last words as we nod and gently pat them with our hand, the chosen one for their final speech. We will take these words and use them to our advantage. Should the grieving widow, let’s call her Emily ask what her now departed husband said, we might dismiss his actual words and say,

“He said, tell Emily I am sorry for what I did.”

Her look of confusion at our false utterance will provide fuel. Alternatively, we might say,

“He said, tell Rose I love her so, so much.”

Her puzzled look as she asks “Who is Rose?” generates a further dollop of fuel.

Then again, we may pretend that some huge secret has been imparted to us and that we cannot say what it is in order to draw questioning and attention to ourselves.

Indeed, there may be instances where there is that last chance to draw some negative fuel, to make those dimmed eyes flare one last time in shock, hurt and confusion. An opportunity to lean in close and whisper a final caustic sentence, designed to consign this wretched person to spend their final moments in torment, unable to respond effectively, their grimaces and clawing indicative of the discomfort that has been caused by the parting savagery that has been gently spoken into their ear. A parting burst of negative fuel which underlines our sense of omnipotence that we can still achieve this even at a time like this. Such an act is usually saved for someone who we truly believe deserves it.

I have watched in my time a master practitioner at such behaviours. From silent child made to sit and observe, through to knowledgeable adult who can see straight through this veneer and who knows what is really being done. I have seen all these moves, actions and behaviours meted out by this supposed bastion of compassion and all the while I knew what was really going on.

I may not have copied all those behaviours extensively myself – usually because time has never permitted me to spend such days providing such a vigil – but I have seen it when younger and snapshots when older, as well as recollections from others which all fits together. I know what she does. When she arrives, immaculately attired, heels clicking away on the floor as she assumes centre stage, I focus on that click click clicking and know that the death watch beetle has arrived.

I have learned and I may yet choose to apply those lessons should the need arise, but I know for sure that I will seek that last fountain of negative fuel before the death rattle. I know who I will save my choice comment for in order to achieve that satisfaction from death.

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In the Club

 

Narc Club is a special club with an exclusive membership. It is so exclusive that many of its members do not even know they are members but they are. There is no admissions’ committee. Nobody sits in a semi-lit room, cigar smoke wafting through the air as black or white balls are placed in a velvet sack to decide whether someone should be admitted. There are no proposers, no seconders and there is no vote taken. Admission is very straight forward. You are either in or you are not. It is a life membership and no interlopers ever infiltrate this club.

The lesser members of this club, although special in their own way, are unlikely to know they belong. They are also unlikely to recognise other club members and they will proceed through life oblivious but still contributing to the club’s infamy. The more astute and greater members do know they are a member of this special club. They revel in their belonging to this elite. Numbers are very healthy and continue to grow with the club’s reach wrapping around the world. It is international in nature and is devoid of discrimination or prejudice. No matter what your gender is, your race or religion (or absence of the latter), your politics, your wealth, your status or your sexual preference, we draw our members from a wide array of different people. This is no bastion of white, male, middle-aged privilege. This is not some underground hipster collective or secretive nefarious network. It is open to all so long as they fulfil that one criterion of being a narcissist.

We have no headquarters or clubhouse. Instead we appropriate any building that we choose. There is no subscription fee either. The club is maintained from what non-members provide to us. This provision is massively important to Narc Club. Without it, Narc Club would cease to exist.

Like any club, Narc Club has a number of rules which all members must adhere by. Our rules are special in that a member will obey them even if they are unaware of their membership. As soon as you become a member of Narc Club then you are imbued with compliance to these rules. They are pervasive and govern all aspects of a member’s life. What are those rules? You are most fortunate as I am going to tell you what those rules are. I am not committing any cardinal transgression in making you aware of these rules. Firstly, they are not a secret. Secondly, you probably know a number of them already but it is always satisfying to have it confirmed by a Grand Member of Narc Club. So, here they are.

  1. The first rule of Narc Club. Fuel is the rule.
  2. Everything Voiced Is Lying.
  3. It is never our fault
  4. It is always your fault.
  5. Membership is for life.
  6. A member never changes.
  7. We always engage in Long Involved Explanations.
  8. We really do adore you.
  9. We really do hate you.
  10. We really do adore you again. Repeat rules 8-10 frequently.
  11. We always win.
  12. We are superior.
  13. Everything is ours.
  14. You are there to further our purpose.
  15. The fifteenth rule of Narc Club. Fuel is the rule.
Sounds great doesn’t it? Shame you cannot join.

The Lure of the Message

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The message – whether in text form or through some other electronic medium – is a tempting and ultimately manipulative tool of ours. During our seduction of you we use it to brilliant effect, peppering your day with these short form billets-doux in order to draw you close to us. The glowing compliments sent through letters glowing on your screen. The tingle, the excitement and the smile to oneself on receipt of this message. They are like so many little gifts, each one waiting to be opened by you and the delight spreading across you face as you read the latest missive that contains our rapturous love for you. Each time one arrives you wonder what it might read and you are never disappointed as we sprinkle our fairy dust over you from afar through the electronic devices we are both connected to. You feel wonderful, savouring that rush of appreciation. It is fantastic and memorable and you never delete them, storing up all these heartfelt tributes and declarations. We know you will keep them and most of all when the misery descends you will sit scrolling back through these text exchanges, evidence of a happier time, remnants of the golden period.

As time advances you begin to expect these messages. It is entirely understandable. You get used to waking and seeing a message waiting for you, more welcome than a cup of tea or coffee being brought to your bed. You anticipate the rush and we do not let you down. The content of the message feeding your desire for love, affection and passion.

This repeated sending of messages is designed to condition you. We want you to equate the arrival of the message with pleasure, with affection and with love. We ingrain it into your routine. The first thing you do on awakening is to reach for your phone on your nightstand and look for our message. This is done to make you frequently check your ‘phone during the day to see if there is a message from you. You experience phantom vibrations when you ‘phone is on silent and in your bag or pocket. You pluck it out and check and feel dismayed as there is no message. Perhaps there is but it is not from us and you being to feel anxious as you await your daily hit. Eventually it arrives and you feel the surge of delight coursing through you as we deliver. Little by little, in accordance with our methodology of salami-slicing you start to focus on the relevant device, waiting for the ping, the buzz and/or the flash of light. You keep glancing at your ‘phone, mind unable to focus on the task in hand. Once that message arrives, you open it, devouring it like a starving man given food after two weeks adrift at sea. You spend more time responding to the messages, checking the ‘phone and cultivating ways to keep the flow of messages going so that it becomes the matter which you focus on the most during the course of your day. You wait, watch, check and keep back and forth beginning to will the ‘phone to buzz and provide that message.

Soon you start to prompt them, messaging us first when you have not heard from us. Once you waited a morning, then an hour and now it has become the first thing you do when you wake up. You see no message from us so you message us. We reply at once and the relief washes over you in an awesome way. But then the reply times elongate and that short space becomes a longer pause, a growing hiatus and this prompts you to message again. Oh we know the messages you will send to try to pretend you are not anxious because you have not heard from us.

“I’m not sure if my message reached you, my ‘phone has been playing up.”

“I am struggling for signal here. Did you get my message?”

“Just wanted to check my message reached you.”

“Don’t worry about responding straight away, I know you are busy.”

“Just wanted to make sure everything is alright, no rush, answer when you can.”

The desperation seeps through the ‘phone, the increasing anguish and anxiety tangible and then we release you from your worries and reply which prompts a flurry or replies, your gratitude evident even though you may not write as such. How the fuel flows and it is all deliberate. We have actively structured our approach so that you become conditioned to act this way. The ‘phone becomes the barometer of your day. Early message received? You can relax and enjoy the next two hours until you start wondering where the next one is. Such power is wielded by us through the simple act of sending you a message and we haven’t even started on using it to devalue you yet.

So often you rely on receiving the message but the irony is, you rarely actually get the message.

The 7 Sails of the Facebook Ghost Ship

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Of all the various social media platforms that are available, Facebook remains a clear favourite with our kind. Its titanic status and near ubiquitous nature appeal as does the fact that it remains the demographic social media home of the majority of our victims. Facebook is used extensively but there is an occurrence whereby it appears that our once vibrant Facebook page has fallen into disuse. The profile picture never alters whereas it once changed several times a day to allow us to show off the latest snapshot of our brilliance. The timeline remains mournfully empty. There are not posts about our latest achievements and accomplishments. There is no sharing of the latest video we have uploaded or the link to YouTube for the same purpose. The only things that can be seen are the annual birthday well wishes from those reminded by the automated feature on the platform. There are never any replies to these salutations. There are postings from years ago but everything appears to be silent. Your friend request may have been accepted but nothing more has happened and now our profile drifts silently through cyberspace like some ghost ship. Why do we let this happen?

 

  1. Bring out the spyglass

Just because there is not anything happening on our profile it does not mean that there is nothing happening. We are using this profile to spy on you and others. We utilise it for the gathering of information prior to the seduction, we use it to keep an eye on what you are doing on your profile page during the devaluation and we utilise it to keep tabs on you in readiness for that hoover. Silent and looming we use the profile to watch you, waiting and calculating our next move. As you churn out the comments, posts and likes, we are watching, that small smile playing across our lips, forked tongue brushing those sharp teeth as we lie in wait.

 

  1. Triangulation

“Yes I am on Facebook, you can send me a friend request if you wish, but I never use it. I haven’t in years. I am too busy you see; I prefer to do my living in the real world. It is being with people that matters to me. I don’t need to herald what I achieve on an electronic platform, I let my actions in real life speak for themselves. That is what matter to me. I prefer to be face to face with people, seeing them hearing them speak and watching them.”

An earnest speech designed to impress you and con you into thinking that there is nothing to be wary about with regards to our Facebook profile. We triangulate you with a supposedly dead Facebook profile in order to cause you to admire us for being so “real”. Of the irony. All of it is tripe. Made-up for the purposes of making us sound good. Apart from the last sentence. That one is true though not for the reasons most people would expect. That personal interaction is required because that is where the best fuel is.

 

  1. Deterrent

You are less likely to block us if you think we never use our Facebook page which comes in useful for keeping an eye on you post discard for the purposes of organising a hoover. If we are unlikely to use our profile or even read it then you are dissuaded from posting anything there which might upset our carefully crafted façade. Why bother when nobody reads it? By conning you that this profile is never visited you will similarly keep away from it and thus we reduce your chances of interference and also those of your supporters. This means fewer people to tackle online when the smear campaign is rolled out.

  1. Ever Presence

If there was no Facebook page, then you could obviously never look at it could you? By keeping it and not blocking you, you will keep returning to it post escape and post discard because you cannot help but want to know what we are doing, whether we are saying anything about you. You may not be minded to post anything in accordance with the point above (you do not of course want us to know that you are sneaking these looks) but you will look nevertheless. You always do. You keep returning to it in the hope of some posting, some development and some news. This keeps you linked to us and keeps us in your mind as each day you conduct your obligatory tour of our social media platforms.

 

  1. Cover Story

The lack of activity on our Facebook profile allows us to maintain plausible deniability. How can be engaging in flirting online if we never go on Facebook? Look, nothing is happening. Here, check the messages. See there is nothing there and hasn’t been for months. I hate you being so controlling like this; why do you treat me this way? We use it to assume the moral high ground and provoke you into responding to our jibes.

 

  1. The Action is Elsewhere

You cannot seriously expect us to lose one of our main weapons in our game playing can you? Whilst our “real” profile may be dormant, the real action is taking place using a fake profile where we are gathering legions of prospective targets, engaging in flattery, flirtation and fabrication as we suck fuel from these individuals and look to identify potential targets for a closer approach to them. Do not think that the fact we use a fabricated profile will stand in our way to converting the seduction to a real-life interaction. We have a thousand lies to legitimately explain away why we did this and the intrigue will make you want us all the more.

 

  1. Resurrection

At some point we will crank the profile back into life and the proliferation of likes, postings and comments will begin again. We operate through contrast and this difference between dormancy and vibrancy will be used to our advantage and to your disadvantage. You can rest assured of that. We will suddenly engage with people and allow you to see it, but not engage with you, in order to continue our devaluation of you. We may spring into life and seduce you through the profile proclaiming that you are so special we wanted to tell the world all about you and use our Facebook profile (free from being cluttered with less worthy individuals) about it.

Possession

th8N99KGUWI have a fascination for inanimate objects. Show me a beautiful watch with its intricate mechanism on display and I shall sit transfixed for a long time admiring the craftsmanship in this creation. I like to touch one of my favourite suits relishing the sensation of the cloth. I will hold it up pleased with the way it hangs and then of course admire how I wear it in the mirror. A sculpture, a painting, a car or a piece of jewellery. They all invite my admiration. They are items of beauty and superiority and as such firmly belong in my world. Moreover, they do exactly what I want. I love my dishwasher. It always works. I press the buttons and it obeys my commands, quietly churning away as it removes the residue from the expensive crockery. The glassware comes out shining, without streaks or marks. Each and every time. Objects are reliable. They perform as I require them to perform. I love nothing more than an appliance. It complies, it obeys and it delivers. I love possessions.

I love to possess you and make you an inanimate object. That is how I see you. You are an appliance which I expect to do as I demand.You are but an extension of me, placed here to carry out my demands and whims. I like to attach brand names to my ex-girlfriends. Becky was Zanussi – she was good at science, thus she was the appliance of science. Sarah was Nike since I had to tell her to Just Do It.(she called me Burger King – have it your way, I quite liked her).Another was Energizer as she kept going and going and going (but that’s another tale). I like to think I am Tag Heuer (Success. It’s a Mind Game).I objectify everybody and assess how they can be a good appliance to me. Once that is done I have to acquire the appliance. I have possession of you and you must act as I dictate. All my other possessions do, so why should you be any different?