The Eeriness Of England

Photo by me, somewhere in Summertown

I'm in England for a week, cleaning toilets and emptying biohazard fridges (for my wife). Last night I left some bread out on the counter and this morning it's fine. They're something deeply Shaytanic here and I don't like it. England creeps me out because it has all the signs of life, but it's invisibly dead.

England used to be a rainforest once (certainly enough rain) and rainforests have bugs. Bugs are God's itchy hugs, they and bacteria are God's clean-up crew, constantly drawing life back into the web of other life, by chewing. What we consider Bad Bs are, in fact, our deepest connection to other life which is not truly ‘other’ at all. We come from nowhere and we return to it and that 'nowhere' is in fact everywhere and everything, ie God, or 'the universe' if you want to be vulgar about it. In modernity we burn, tame, and spray these Bad Bs into submission, but in death they embrace us and return us to where we came from. To Allah, who made us out of water, earth, and a drop of semen. They are, in fact, Allah's angels. This is supposed to happen to bread also. But in England, it doesn't. All of England's angels have left them. Hell, you can leave sugar on the counter and nothing happens. This place is sterile and cursed.

Back home in Sri Lanka, I can't even turn around on food. Ants will be taking it away and geckos will be humping on it almost immediately. I tell my children that if they spill crumbs in bed they'll wake up with ants carrying them across the floor. Nature is not just present in Sri Lanka, it's insistent. The jungle is constantly intruding upon the genocidal sterility Europeans call 'the garden'. You are constantly reminded that there is something bigger than you, by the most small.

This is what I find most disturbing about England. Where is They? All of Their little angels with multiple eyes and arms are gone. Forget who carries off the bread, who carries you off? It has to happen sometime, or does it? Do the dead here just sit there in the ground, like dog shit in a bag, rotting anaerobically for aeons? My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me? What happened here? Once I bought a croissant in a bag and it said it was good for three years. What the fuck is going on?

Last year, I was driving with some friends and I thought I saw a dead wolf on the side of the road. They laughed and said wolves hadn't been here for decades, if not centuries. Like the rainforest of this quite rainy land, the original fauna are just gone. What's left are a few genomes bred into submission, the rest genocided into the periphery, and a few digging through the garbage, which people still lock and hoard.

England is full of nature 'spots' but these are all simulations. The hedges are straightened, the grass is trimmed, the trees are planted, and the 'weeds' are gone. Even the wild is a particular type of wild, chained off in reservations that are just larger cages, with free exit and entry only for humans. This is nothing like a Sri Lankan garden which is 'over' grown, and full of bugs, snakes, and lizards, and constantly finding its way into the house.

Paradoxically I spend more time in nature in England because it's not really nature at all. Everything is tended or legislated to death here, whereas in Sri Lanka you can get bit in the ass in your own house. For a place to be truly alive it has to be alive on its own terms which, to humans, is usually uncomfortable. But that's not England.

Nature is beaten here, into submission, and humans act like gods. But God told humans to submit to Them above all. The English more than anyone have forgotten this and given all the land to false Lords. The humans here have got it all wrong in their proud gardens, and will surely miss the gardens of heaven, with rivers flowing underneath. Pride goeth before the fall.

I'm not saying that Sri Lankans don't try to beat and tame nature back home. We just fail and eventually give up. I once had a running battle with a rat in a rented house and the rat won. I just stopped using the kitchen. Once a kabaragoya (basically a small Komodo dragon) got into the house, jumped on all the furniture, and I couldn't do anything about it. I just had to wait on the other side of the road for the giant lizard to find the door himself and bounce. I used to see him (her? them?) on the edge of the canal and give him a nod. You have to respect the hustle.

We live with cats and dogs in the house, chickens next door, a pigeon nest on the balcony, these accursed fish which won't die in the fishbowl, flies in the soup, and mosquitoes around my ankles. I spend a fair amount of my day cleaning up shit or wondering ‘is this shit?’, and whose shit it is. Just yesterday I hovered one centimeter above a puddle to ascertain ‘is this piss?’ to discover that ‘yes it is’ by accidentally dipping my nose in it. This shit is supposed to just happen in an ecosystem, but in the 'developed' economy of England it just doesn't. You have nature parks and nature walks but nature is supposed to stay in its corner. Baby shit is put in nappies, dog shit is put in bags, cat shit in clumps, and everyone else is shit out of luck. This is a Pyrrhic victory, of course. All the entropy in the 'developed' world violently has to go somewhere, and so the planet explodes in one giant, epoch-ending fart. You can only suppress the call of nature for so long.

I think of this as I'm in England, tactically nuking the toilet and banishing natural decomposition to special bags and special bins and putting it far away in dumpsters. England relentlessly others its entropy, as an Empire and even long after its fallen into decrepitude. Last year they sent containers of toxic waste to Sri Lanka (that's what happens to much of their 'recycling') and our comprador rulers for once had the balls to send it back. The crashed ship Dali also contained toxic waste bound for Sri Lanka, from the new American Empire to the same old sacrifice zone. I'm glad that ship ran into the Baltimore bridge, fuck them (minus the migrant workers that died, unwarned, on the bridge, peace be with them). And yet there's a Sri Lankan still stuck on the ship, disallowed to leave because they don't have the right visas to set foot on White land. We're just bugs to them, also. Useful as part of the digestive system of global capital, but otherwise irritations. White supremacism is just an extension of human supremacism. It's a continuum which cannot continue much longer.

What they call progress is really the breaking of loops that bind us, the chains of garbage and shit and death that we avoid like the plague and try to bury underground. Meanwhile we furiously mine every damn thing and call it 'mine', ignoring the fact that some shit is buried for a reason. Every circle in the ecosystem must be bent into the one line called 'the economy' or else it literally doesn't count. And then that line must go up and to the right forever or people freak out. But this is wrong. One creature's shit is another creature's manna. All the myriad creatures are trying to recycle the food that we leave out. Suppressing all the entropy while supercharging all the order doesn't make entropy disappear. It just makes it into a time-bomb, unleashed upon future generations with the fury of a billion genies rubbed wrong.

This is why I call England Shaytanic. Shaytan was the tempter, who saw man in the Garden of Eden and said that we could have it, we could control it, and that we could live on our own terms, bowing to no one. That we could have the knowledge of good and evil, and thus power and control. But this is illusion and, like all deals with the devil, it starts out great but doesn't end well. Vulgar knowledge is owning, but true wisdom is belonging. And belonging to nature is itchy, uncomfortable and literally shitty, something they've furiously suppressed here. In England, you can see how centuries of oppression ends, in sterility, in austerity, and finally grey desperation. So I go to slice that bread I left out, like the Eucharist of some accursed god of unholy preservation, untended by our better angels, just lying there like a corpse. It's really quite eerie here. I can't wait to get out.