Monthly Archives: January 2011

Rufus, the philosopher

Rufus John Stout was born on February 8th 2010 to the sound of Shamanic chants and hospital moniters, a dichotomous welcome which was to set the tone for his early life.

Furled and unready to dialogue with the world during his first weeks, he humbly allowed cranio-sacral hypotheses that he was mirroring the tension of his neurotic mother, later admitting to feeling tempted to blame her for his more vexatious characteristics, were it not for his abhorrence of Freudian theory.

When he became an ardent vegetable lover, his pre-weaned secular tract ‘If It’s Green I Won’t Eat It’ was exposed as a precocious misjudgment. Eager to restore artistic integrity ‘If It’s Green I Won’t Buy It’ appeared only months later – an anti-environmental manifesto, on the front cover of which he appeared wearing an over-sized non-biodegradable nappy and plastic bib.

As an affectionate infant he courted embraces, discharging a toothy grin to those with the prettiest eyes and keenest brains. When asked to explicate the roots of his radical Erotic Subjectivism he was to cite the touch of a fulsome red-headed Reiki teacher on his pre-formed skull in utero, as a seminal formative experience.

Nevertheless, he unnerved many with his demeanour of stillness and it was observed that he had an existential yawn and a habit of staring smile-less into the guiltiest corners of the soul, which caused strangers to feel judged.

He enjoyed the weight and volume of books paying little attention to their content, save for a wordless story about manners entitled ‘Banana!’ Some supposed it evoked for him pre-social man, sewing the seeds for his school of neo-Respectivism, which holds that polite interaction is mutable.

Museums were, however, his first love- early recollections of gobbing onto Tate Modern installations from a great height foreshadowing the frivolous sensibility that was to colour his more intense contemplations.

Playtime with other babies seemed to stimulate him more in an anthropological than a visceral sense; when offered bears by contemporaries his half smirk registered appreciation of the donor’s gesture rather then the gifts’ furry bulk.

Contrarily, left alone with a cuddly toy, he would roll and roll.

Though his first words were uncommonly anticipated he kept his own counsel, electing to deploy the idiot babblings of infancy to deflect from the exponential growth of his intellect. When they came, those closest to him knew he was dissimulating still: ‘Never trust a woman whose hair only looks good with hairspray.’

Rufus John Stout’s influence on the modern philosophical climate has been hotly debated in this, the first year of his life- the anomaly of his edible exterior with the controversial bias of his mind, failing to endear him to some.

What is rarely contested is the quality of his vision and the incontrovertible truth that he is one hell of a baby.

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I’m talking to you

If you ever wonder how you come across, what people think of you, how you will be interpreted, don’t.

Walk over to your laptop and visit any site whatsoever that features feedback.

Amongst humankind there is no consensus: for as many people as there are who love Shane Ritchie’s portrayal of Alfie Moon in Eastenders there are as many who hate him.

More than that, there are people who think he’s bloody lucky to play the role (even if that wasn’t what they were asked to comment on), people who think he has a funny voice and at least two people who would like to cast his exceptional ears in stone and mount them on their mantelpiece.

Does this reassure or terrify you?

When you write, you consider your audience. You try to connect.

Because if you thought about the people who wouldn’t get you, who would misinterpret you, who think they were born to misinterpret you, you wouldn’t bother, would you?

Yes, I’m talking to you, the one that gets me.

And if you get me do you think I am reassured?

Or terrified?

And does your silence mean you care?

Or not?

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