Noah Hawley’s #Legion and mental illness

[Before reading on, know that this article contains spoilers, so only read if you’ve already seen the pilot episode of #Legion]

What if anything does Legion tell us about mental illnessness? This program will be discussed by mental health professionals. But to the extent it is it’s likely most will condemn it for providing false hope to very damaged individuals that there is probably nothing wrong with them; and they are no less than victims of abusive psychiatrists and law enforcement officers doing their very best to help them from themselves.

Potentially this program could explore how all of us deal with ‘external reality’, the stuff that goes on outside our central nervous system and network of sense organs. Many of the most respected physicists now seriously consider weird hypotheses about our being trapped inside some Matrix-type virtual reality illusion; or the universe being a hologram projected onto a black hole – something like that.

Noah Hawley may explore some of these themes as the protagonist of Legion asks for constant reassurance that what he is experiencing is real. He knows that some of it isn’t, and finds it hard to know what, if anything, he can trust. Most of us get that feeling from time to time, because other people do have agendas and our own brain lies to us when we go to sleep at night.

One path Legion could go down is the one opened up by one of the most interesting episodes of Buffy: the one where she believes all her memories of being a vampire slayer might in fact be a delusion, and she’s been in a mental hospital for years – her sister Dawn never having existed, her mother very much alive, her parents are still together as a couple. Buffy’s psychiatrist and her parents tell her she can return to reality by killing her friends when she next falls back into her vampire slayer delusion. The final scene in that episode suggests that, in at least one parallel universe, this is exactly what we have been watching every week on Buffy: a crazy woman’s delusions who’s now fallen into a coma in a psychiatric hospital. Very sad.

Wouldn’t put it past Noah Hawley to explore this possibility in Legion – if the network allows him to do that. DC and Marvel comic book fans may not want the show to hedge its bets, but the critical community certainly wouldn’t mind.

Legion’s lack of touch with reality could be down, in part, to the drugs he was taking, and also the particular mutant powers that he’s got. But can any of this tell us anything about real mental illness in our homo sapiens universe, free of superheroes and villains with god like powers?

In the Guardian’s review, there was a misrepresentation of one key scene in Legion. I’m refering to the group therapy scene where Syd Barrett tells the group that the problem isn’t in the heads of those forced to attend this group. The problem, from her perspective, is with the man  on her right, and others like him with the legal power to label them mentally ill simply because they refuse to conform. David’s response is extremely interestingly. Sounds to me like this thought hadn’t occurred to him before. However, I think this is one of the real messages that viewers should take from this series. And to understand that message we need to look at the wonderful introduction to David Haller in the pilot episode.

The first few minutes truncate David Haller’s life from a smiling baby to an adult who tries to commit suicide. There is no dialogue. We are given a montage of David with many actors playing him at different points in his life played out to Happy Jack by The Who.

This introduction to David Haller injects into our souls an empathy overload. We’ve seen a baby grow up, being bullied throughout his life because he is a bit of a rebel, refuseing to conform, getting into trouble, and eventually decides to hang himself as no one cares.

Then we see David Haller in a mental hospital, discovering he’s been there for the last five years since trying to hang himself. Hearing him for the first time, we discover he is hilariously sarcastic, but everyone who doesn’t have an insanity label is tedious beyond belief, utterly devoid of a sense of humour.

David and his platonic female friend in the mental hospital are the only people we can relate to. Everyone in authority is an idiot. Boring. Humourless. Bullies. Liars. When we accept that this is the reality we are dealing with, then Syd Barrett’s comment about the problem being with mental health professional labelling non-conformists as fit for being locked up…. Well, I think this scene is key to at least part of what Noah Hawley wants viewers to think, and maybe do something about. And this happens to be one of the reasons the mental health professionals will not be in the least bit happy with Legion. It’s not the only reason I like it, but it’s definitely one of them. Fans of this program have a sense of humour. Those who locked David Haller up have none. If you don’t evangelize for Legion, then you are a boring as fuck bastard. Comprende?

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Garden of Eden Serpent:


You let me in
Secret cocoon
So you could touch
A big balloon

A bug-eyed snake
Rubber milkshake
That fell
Down well
Coming soon

My poor dead snake
Let’s shed a tear
Then have a wake
Let’s all hold hands
And sing this song
A blown-up serpent
Can’t be wrong…


[Posted on March 21, 2010, Tom Delargy]

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My attitude to Brexit is a work-in-progress


“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?” John Maynard Keynes asked that question, and it’s an apt quote for me vis-a-vis Article 50.

It seems I have lost a significant battle on this front with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership team. I can’t deny I’m slightly disappointed. However, regardless of what I wish Labour’s leader had done in the past, there’s no going back. There is a new juggernaut in town that is rushing forward threatening to damage all of us. We need to play by the rules of this new game whether we like it or not.

Jeremy Corbyn justifies his attitutde towards Article 50 in a way that I reject, simply accepting the legitimacy of the EU referendum regardless of how undemocratically it was managed. However, is there any point my explaining in detail why he could have adopted a different attitude towards the Brexit vote, one that Diane Abbott and others could and should have accepted? Doubtful.

In the first place, there would be no way to prove if I was right. So I’d be fighting a meaningless battle. The left simply doesn’t have the luxury of wasting precious time on unprovable hypotheses.

Secondly, if I succeeded in persuading Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott that they had made a mistake, that couldn’t do much more than undermine their confidence. But I want to do the exact opposite. I want them to professionalize the Labour leadership by rejecting free vote jelly, imposing collective responsibility, uniting members and voters behind his leadership regardless of our individual differences. We need unity, not interminable navel gazing. So I’ll postpone a deep analysis of why the Brexit policy could have been different until we have time to indulge in academic exercises. Don’t hold your breath.

I now accept that Brexit has taken on a life of its own, and the best thing Labour can do is try to win an election based on what kind of Brexit is best for the British people.. And when I say British people, I’m not referring to the billionaire asset-strippers and money-launderers so beloved on Theresa May. I’m referring to the exploited and oppressed, who make up the overwhelming majority of voters. They are up for grabs, and Jeremy Corbyn can win a landslide victory by exposing the degraded Donald Trump hellhole that Theresa May and Paul Nuttall each have in store for us.

A Tax haven dystopia where corporation tax is slashed to next to nothing is what Jeremy Corbyn predicts lies in store for us if Theresa May isn’t challenged. He dismisses it as a race to the bottom, and he’s absolutely right. That’s Theresa May and Paul Nuttall’s Brexit Britain sees them both joining hands with the twenty first century Nazi Donald Trump. He demonizes hundreds of millions of Muslims. And that in turn gives the green light to KKK and Britain First arsonists to burn down Mosques, putting their molotov cocktails where Theresa May’s mouth is.

Race wars are coming to our streets of the USA and any country daft enough to tolerate Donald Trump’s hate speech. Such race riots will prove very fertile recruting ground for the likes of genocidal psychopaths like ISIS, a disease of a organization whose crucifictions and beheadings of Syrian Muslims is a matter of supreme indifference to Paul Nuttall and Theresa May. Britain doesn’t want to have anything to do with Donald Trump’s America, and we’re not gonna tolerate any of this shit in Britain neither.

Donald Trump’s government of billionaires plunders national assets and robs the poor of public medicine. And that’s the price Britain will pay for writing off taxation for the employers as public services like the NHS are sold to the highest bidder with the taxes on the poorest 99% rising to make up lost revenue from corporation tax cuts. Wages and conditions will plummet to turn Britain into a paradise for ultra-rich slave labour Tory ghouls.

Jeremy Corbyn can offer an alternative to all of this. But this requires amending Article 50 in such a way that makes it impossible for Theresa May to waste two years in meaningless ‘negotiations’, then to reject the take-it-or-leave-it deal to embrace her Plan B of Donald Trump’s NHS privatization and race-to-the-bottom Thatcherism.

Labour MPs incapable of uniting to get rid of this Tory government are in the wrong party. Their CLPs need to pass votes of no confidence as soon as possible. The sooner the better.

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I’ve got a friend? Do you have contact details?

  • When you’re down and troubled
    And you need a helping hand
    And nothing, nothing is going right
    Close your eyes and think of me
    And soon I will be there
    To brighten up even your darkest night
  • You just call out my name
    And you know wherever I am
    I’ll come running to see you again
    Winter, spring, summer or fall
    All you have to do is call
    And I’ll be there
    You’ve got a friend
  • If the sky above you
    Grows dark and full of clouds
    And that old north wind begins to blow
    Keep you head together
    And call my name out loud
    Soon you’ll hear me knocking at you door
  • You just call out my name
    And you know wherever I am
    I’ll come running to see you again
    Winter, spring, summer or fall
    All you have to do is call
    And I’ll be there
  • Ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend
    When people…
When Stephen Jardine had Chris Bambery on to discuss Donald Trump and Theresa May’s attitude to torture, and then discuss loneliness, I decided to have my say on both on twitter. His editor knows that Bambery is a police spy who ranks alongside Bob Lambert in having unlawful sex with left wing women, including those close to Jeremy Corbyn.
     Stephen Jardine’s editor also knows that Theresa May and Amber Rudd helped a man have me illegally detained and tortured for  month during the Leveson hearing, and this is directly linked to the British Prime Minister’s role in a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice involving industrial scale perjury to protect the identities of two police spies, including Chris Bambery. Theresa May was at the time Home Secretary, but the Prime Minister’s director of communications lied on oath while working at Downing Street. Amber Rudd knows GCHQ tapes and other correspondance can verify my account, as I told two Renfrewshire Council workers when they broke into my flat within the last three weeks.
     As a consequence of the torture I’ve suffered at the hands of the British state, I am now a physical wreck. Renfrewshire Council continue to pile indignity upon indignity. And Renfrewshire Council have gone out of their way to deny my any acccess to help, trying to make me feel my life is so meaningless that they can just shrug their shoulders if I’m found dead. Despite everything, I won’t take the easy way out. I’m fighting my corner, and intend to expose those who want to drive me to suicide. How dare BBC Scotland pose as advocates for people driven to despair when they play such a key role in enabling those responsible for it, covering up for those whose lethal drugs could actually lead to our deaths.
     Trying to contact Mhairi Black to get her to raise any of these issues at Prime Ministers Questions results in someone at her office sending the cops to threaten me. Two Special  Branch officers say I’ll be arrested if I make any attempt to speak to Mhairi Black. Both told me she sent them. I am calling them liars. I want to know who they are, who sent them, who decided to keep my MP out of the loop, who is on MI5’s payroll at Mhairi Black’s office, and is there a tape recording of these lying scum lying to me about their having the authority of Mhairi Black to threaten me.
     I told the two Renfrewshire Council workers how there are hours of GCHQ tapes that can verify my account, with the voices of dozens of public figures including hours of conversations with political editors and Chief Superintendents and MSPs. Days after I told them about this, the boss of GCHQ resigned. This could be a coincidence. But I’m ruling nothing out.
     Since these Renfrewshire Council workers broke into my home (I consider it to be a break in due to the circumstances although the threat of physically smashing my door was enough for me to surrender my  right not to speak to them without a lawyer/advocate), it’s not just the boss of GHCQ who has resigned. We spoke at lenght about Tristram Hunt. He’s also resigned. Coincidence? I genuinely doubt it. He is intimately linked to the police spies whose identities were key to David Cameron’s use of industrial scale perjury to send a man to jail for three years: ‘Phil Hamilton’.
Phil Hamilton is a member of the Labour Party who was hired by Tristram Hunt from the public purse. ‘Phil Hamilton’ is a ‘cadre name’. He used it while spying on Peter Taaffe’s Socialist Party, leaking to his bosses at the Communist Party of Great Britain. The former think the link had been broken, but that’s not true, and evidence of this existed before it was stolen by Special Branch thanks to someone who works at Renfrewshire Council.
     This police spy who passed himself off as ‘Phil Hamilton’ on the UKLN network now infiltrates Momentum. Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott needs to know about this. They shouldn’t need me to tell them that he won’t be the only ‘Bob Lambert’ type acting as an agent provocateur. The real name of this individual is Phil Burton Cartledge. His role in Andy Coulson’s perjury can be proven if the boss of GCHQ releases the tapes. Maybe that’s why both Tristram Hunt and GCHQ’s boss have resigned since I spoke to those who’ve held me in solitary confinement for twelve years, both resigning within days of this break-in by Renfrewshire Council.
     Janice Forsyth is my best friend. But I didn’t vote for that song in #VinylVerdict because this is a one-way relationship. The lyrics of that song is a commitment from the one offering help. I am the one  who needs help. I am just one more listener to Janice’s program. I doubt she has a bigger fan, but that gives me no special privileges. She owes me nothing. Others do. At least I used to think maybe they did. They are the ones who should, possibly, feel just a little bit ashamed for turning their backs on me as I vanished into cyberspace over a decade ago. If they want to contact me, then get in touch. I need help. How much longer are you going to make me wait? When I’m found dead in my flat having starved to death, or fallen among the rubble left behind by Renfrewshire Council’s many invaders who trash my home when I leave to drag back groceries once or twice a week?
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Neil Gaiman is more than true


“Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novels are more than true; not because they tell us that Neil Gaiman exists, but because they tell us who he is.” ~Anonymous #quote

Neil Gaiman’s novels are autobiographical; that’s my theory and I’m damned well sticking to it. Maybe the ones written for children are not exactly autobiographical in an absolutely literal sense. Since Coraline is the only one of those that I have read so far, I can’t generalise. But I have read Coraline, and it is a novella that is certainly enjoyed by children of all ages, including coffin dodgers like me.

Mr Gaiman is an adult. But he is an adult with an inner child composed of his memories of what it’s like to be a child. Hidden beneath his adult form, that child is every bit as real as the emotions stirred up whenever he experiences past events. That child nourishes his imagination today as it will do for the rest of his life. Coraline may be the least autobiographical of Gaiman’s stories. That would be due to the gender of the protagonist; to the best of my knowledge, he’s never actually ever been a little girl.

Nevertheless, Coraline is narrated by an adult male, one whose voice in the audiobook sounds uncannily like the master storyteller himself. He sets himself the task of warning children – his and everyone else’s – about what lies in store for them, lurking behind those shadows. This warning about the big bad world they will soon be encounter is thrilling, as all good stories should be. The novella prioritises those dangers that are, on first sight, prettified. They are covered in chocolate. For the more rebellious young adults, the adventure comes with free drugs, and anything else you might think you want to try; all doled out by the most charming con artists, drug dealers and slave traders you could ever hope to meet.

The protagonist of Coraline is hardly an incarnation of Neil Gaiman. But the autobiographical element persists due to the narrator’s relationship with children. He is – or was – helping his child and other children prepare for adulthood, and the dangerous rites of passage our children have to go through, with peer pressure demanding we cut the apron strings or be ostracised as too uncool to live.

Neil Gaiman has invested part of his heart and soul in the project that is Coraline. Every adult should thank him for helping all of our children; our grandchildren too, and those children not yet born. Cheers, mate.

Nobody Owens, Tristram Thorn, Shadow and more

The books that Gaiman writes for adults – whether qualified as young adult or not – has a protagonist who is, at least in part, Neil Gaiman. He is telling us about himself. That is why he can make us laugh so loud and so often. It is how he manages to make us cry or despair, get angry, regret the pain we have caused others. We feel these emotions because we make similar mistakes as the protagonists in Neil Gaiman’s novels. We also lash out without thinking, especially those we love most: parents, siblings, soulmates who we betrayed.

Neil Gaiman addresses his own relationships with others in these works of fantasy and the supernatural; I’m totally convinced about this. Deeply hidden beneath layers of symbolism and metaphor; very, very, very heavily disguised – naturally: he doesn’t want to get himself sued now, does he? Nor does he want to piss off friends and family any more than is absolutely necessary.

Changing people’s names, bolstered by the introduction of fantastical and supernatural elements makes it impossible to prove anything in a court of law, or at a family reunion caused by birth, death, marriage or whatever.

If Neil insists loved ones, or passing acquaintances are jumping to conclusions, it’s very likely that not everyone will take him at his word: he is a teller of tall tales after all. But if you feel you’ve ever been misportrayed in a Neil Gaiman novel even though no one other than yourself is aware of the message that you think he is trying to pass on to you, here is my free advice: why the **** should you care?

If you do get angry about such things, maybe you might try retaliation by writing your own version of fantastically unrealistic events. Perhaps have Neil Gaiman selling his soul to Satan, or burying a decaying portrait of himself away in his attic, alongside the bones of several dead little children, puppies and kittens. Then, if he feels suitably horrified at the prospect of someone thinking you might actually be serious, he could take you to court for implying he is that kind of a monster. Good luck with that.

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Daily Diary [Part II]

I am writing an email for a Renfrewshire Council housing officer: Sheonna Docherty. I promised her that when she left on what seemed to be good terms last week… I warned her I don’t do brevity, and it would be a very detailed and in depths piece of writing. She raised no objections to that. But the more I think about it, the more I realize how long it has to be. No deadine was suggested by either of us; I am 100% positive on that. I said I’d send a copy to my MP – Mhairi Black. But the absence of a deadline, and the refusal of Sheonna or her hostile colleague (the bad cop to her good cop) to accept what I was telling them about their employers means the scale of what has to be included in my ’email’ is… intimidating. If I was to include everything that I want included, it would take months, if not years. Sheonna wouldn’t think we’d agreed to that. The only way to deal with this problem is by sending the agreed ’email’ in bits and pieces. I’ll deal with some things and send it off, and try to work on what I left out for lack of time, while waiting for a response to the initial ’email’. In the meantime, I will supplement the material emailed to Sheonna by reblogging material both Renfrewshire Council workers said they knew nothing about. Reblogging this piece is part of that process.. And I expect my MP to read this blog too, and not allow those vetting telephone calls from her constituents keeping her in the dark forever and a day. #VettedByMI5?


Where do I begin? Yesterday’s contribution was effectively a commitment to blog on a daily basis. And not just to blog erratically, on random subjects, but to stay focused on what’s important. I have too many threads to get the facts across in a single, relatively short blog post? Fine. I know what to do. I’ll break it down into chunks, getting some of the jigsaw pieces down in the right place before taking a rest. Incrementally I’ll get the job done. At any rate that’s my hope.

Rereading yesterday’s introduction I was struck by a rambling presentation. This could be a problem. I really should try to cut to the chase, cut out the padding, get down to business, and other equally pointless soundbites. I might cut out that last sentence when I find time to do a redraft.

I do not have a fixed plan as…

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Ode to Phil Burton-Cartledge [Part I]:



Full of butt and cartilage bone.
Phil the fool is all alone.
A very public Bernstein fan.
Once upon a rhyme did scan.

John Chamberlain’s Three Stooges dude.
Loves to spy. He thinks it’s good.
Lord Mandelson and Tristram too.
Revisionists. One Nation Blue.
I bet he loves tribute

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