The Gospel According to Mr. Eric

Happy anniversary Britain! 

A year ago, on Thursday, December 12, 2019 most of you elected Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson as your saviour, commander-in-chief, & first amongst feudal overlords. So, isn’t everyone overjoyed that England today is such a strong & stable Tory safe seat? To mark the occasion, & note that your trusted Conservatives have so ably managed to ‘Unleash Britain’s Potential’, we Cannibals present ‘The Gospel according to Mr. Eric’- conceived in response to a looming Brexit, & Boris by association. Whilst not a presidential election, Blighty’s prime ministerial choice was stark- an empathetic, modest leader, who sought/fought for social unity, or an aristocratic sociopath, hell-bent on raping the standard of living in an overwhelming majority of our crudely fragmented nation, & sundry poor people’s inhabiting foreign countries- combined with whatever else he could slide his cheesy pink cock into (predictably, like a star struck punk, John Bull enthusiastically voted large for the latter). 

The Gospel According to Mr. Eric

Where to apportion blame? 

Anchored deep into a storm-tossed Atlantic Ocean, festooned by humungous oceanic garbage gyres, bent, drenched, & twisted under near permanent rain clouds, some of us (that’s we/not them) are now fully marooned; our sole succour lies in sampling whatever poxy sanctuary there remains dotted around these flood sodden isles, in order to catch our breath, & temporarily shelter from a noxious miasma emanating from arseholes all around. Initially a tasteless whisper, oft repeated, broadly recognised, & in the fullness of time vaguely accepted- it drifted, until its realisation, albeit still nebulous, appeared somehow inevitable. Quickly, a confederation of opportunists coalesced to embrace claim & media stewardship over this new false dawn, with its hybrid discontents, drawn from deep multifarious bowels of irritability. Adroitly, manoeuvring across a rudderless, floating, faux democracy, a patchy fear of dishonourable global redundancy was evoked by numerous perfidious sophists; self-pitying bilge aside, a dilution of national identity, & most alarmingly, general fears of losing personal benefit entitlements arose (just so many dependent on this bloated state)– so, soon such querulous voices, rallying behind a renaissance of sovereign power, became deafening (tellingly Blighty’s fabled lost intellect from yesteryear wasn’t recollected as having been of much value, or any great loss– only its muscular exertion of Imperialism). This reactionary notion, now epidemic, congealing ubiquitously, settled & most grossly manifest as an endemic sickness, rooted deepest beneath those heartlands, where flag-waving-buffoons happily-cheer on an undisciplined, over extended military, huge gulfs between indebted, vulnerably weak billions, & the unassailably strong (awarded anointed human forms in monarchies, hereditary, aristocratic oligarchs, home-grown VIPs, & tax avoidance emperors). These insensately patriotic, primarily English areas remain fertile ground for state-surveillance agencies seeking to increase staff membership, via gullible volunteers. Subjects of suspicion, find ourselves awkwardly ensnared, within a shrinking island culture; rampant historical revisionism, & overbearing bad-faith, affecting fellow subjects, into protracted, idiosyncratic bouts of Folie à deux, itself playing havoc with state-orchestrated, gnarled, ancestral, & ever mutating Stockholm syndrome– we ache for respite, from acute strains applied from left (if you think there’s nothing scary about tomorrows world, abandon hope now) & right (wallop, that’s for nothing son– now do something). Have we done something wrong?

Intergenerational liberal wisdom, freely points toward promoting clear ideas of sustainable social democracy- stability, based on an understanding of shared values, & strong moral convictions pervading throughout society, as integrity reigns: this is the happy house, recently deserted, & targeted by all manner of contumely. In response, a radical left would have us act together, with unifying purpose, material resources held in common, nationalised, shared amongst everybody with need- devotional acts designed to heal rifts, bind people together; remarkably demanding forgiveness for those selfish, acquisitive souls, whose cunning orthodoxies forever aim to divide & rule, to stand in contumacious opposition, but who, through wondrous programs of re-education, should eventually relax, & refrain from nonstop one-upmanship. Or so the received wisdom goes. In the course of events, a general election decided otherwise, rationalism lost, self-interested empiricism won big– erecting strong leadership: con tutti attributi. WYSIWYG, while impotently, advocates of centre ground politics maintain Britain’s traditional FPTP electoral system fosters antipathy, an automatic gainsaying of progressive opponents, adversarial spirals of futile contradiction, bottle-necks, brakes, levers, traps, & crafty side-shows, performed to support an entrenched status quo. Palpably there’s an imperial ounce of truth in this view, although amusingly– blatantly all this cat herding happens not by accident, rather entirely by design: with an archaic constitution imposed, it proudly moulds brutal, triumphalist outputs. Certainly, one doesn’t experience an honest, collective series of statements, carefully considered & weighted, seeking to establish a balanced, definitive proposition, which tracks an equitable direction- aiming at a largely homogenised commonwealth. Fair play, academic, middleclass pedants, during sabbaticals, or plentiful leisure time, comically gather to debate the degree that there’s an authentic constitution at all– e.g. a series of principles enforceable by a supreme court constrain a government’s freedom of action & legislation. Pondering prorogation: was it that the monarch’s will was not justiciable– even when it was supporting an action intended to frustrate the will of parliament? Is parliament sovereign, or the crown in parliament, or is it (& here’s their lame punch line) those austerity bearing masses (burdened by that fictional national debt)?

Blame the masses! By now, only oblivious scant assistance can reliably be anticipated from intellects hunkered down in salubrious comfort zones or dulcet echo chambers, & so it goes. So, out here on the perimeter, rubbing shoulders with a plethora of cerebrally challenged fantasists, we see the mob imagining itself as the latest exceptional generation of supremacists’, seeded & sprung from a strong, long line of pioneers, conquerors, & industrial capitalists– sufficiently intelligent to spread enough of their affluence benevolently over large swathes of undeserving foreign peasants, to enforce a Pax Britannica. But there’s no peace: it’s replaced by endless wars, perpetuated by our grandiose, time honoured military industrial complex, funded by fiat QE forever. Financial capitalism, a debasement of currencies, stock-buy-backs, conspicuous displays of wealth by those elites, who when recognised are worshipped as celebrity deities, despite a massively burgeoning disparity between rich & poor. The hard-pressed idiots grafting to pay tax bills, in contrast to a universal desire to ostentatiously ponce about as bitching Benefits Queens, enjoying large, offshore, off-limits, off-the-scale debauchery off the Virgin Isles; an obsession with sex, butt thumping school children without shame, be it itsy bitsy little girls, priapic adolescents, wanton piglets, the whole schmeer. It’s all about exercising power– interest rate apartheid, credit vs. debt. To theologise about some moral deficiency in the 1% is to misunderstand: plainly, since ethics don’t trade on the NYSE– patently there’s no unifying morality: & there never will be. So, we free thinkers don’t cogitate from a position of probity, instead from a peculiar place of sublime, 360-degree corruption, with no beginning- nor any end- a möbiusstrip of greed, which goes all the way back to the progenitor of terrorism, at the Federal Reserve. Motherfuckers, do you forgive them? Or, harbour impuissant inclinations of revenge & retribution?

Some say, if you can’t forgive, forget– pick one: sounds easy but we’re not orbiting Parliament Hill carrying an LRB pink canvass eco tote bag, we’re certainly not fortunate ones, virtue signalling from atop coigns of vantage; we were but simple, secular, unemployed philosophers- most days I’m waged gainfully specifically not to think, but simply obey, wearing ones best obsequious smile, undertaking chores on behalf of assorted, symptomatic Philistines, profiting from all manner of delegated tedium. After our labours, our obedience, our commute back & forth, to & from our rentals, if all our energies aren’t entirely spent, we leisurely eke out a modicum of sedulous reflection, concerning how ill-fated are one’s economic constraints, daily submissions, & wonder about ones oxymoronic, noisy, aggressive, yet predominantly servile neighbours. Like a cat on hot bricks, powerless to emigrate, relocate, or magically change up reality (in a fashion so emblematic of our central banking overlords, who in collusion worldwide, infinitely regress, & with impunity, starkly remove laws, risk, regulations, or even time itself– anything at all- because their ilk can never get enough of what they don’t need) to obtain a marginally higher rating upon Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Numerous community action groups flatter my types, & will obligingly take what little subscriptions, or profile we might add, to buttress the impression that ‘Their Momentous Cause’ is swelling its ranks, & has velocity, yet inevitably, having served my meagre purpose, lines of electronic intercommunication will fizzle out, & anonymity return. De profundis, wicked temptresses-of-corruption cannot be unheard– paradigms of lasciviousness, moaning seductively, from as far afield as Dog Shit Bay, whilst obstreperous drunks, perched on the banks of a rat infested canal, call me- hidden away behind the wafer-thin walls of my ex council tenancy, taunting me, daring me to take their Kestral Super challenge, & swallow whole its decadent promise (all ones problems solved/or no money back). Even factoring in & accounting for seasonal affective disorder, last winter went so heavily dark, so as to obfuscate hope, eradicate all prospects of improvement; leaving only angry thoughts, self-harm, me unresponsive, unwell, ever tied to this broken, grounded tiller, washed up in bits- an unwanted gross spent force of stinking life fluids, seeping through arthritic fingers into a blocked, figurative gutter. It was such a sad, sorry state: I sat in a defecatory position, close to a squat, leaning back against my grey composite front door in a listless trance, which was raised instantly, as the unsolicited, unparalleled pamphlet, that changes bad lives for good, fell slap onto my stale loaf. No more than a tiny booklet, its impact was colossal, clearly illustrating, not only what’s wrong with apathetic defeatism, but how to remedy matters (because everybody’s looking for something). Some of them want to use you, whilst some of them want to be used by you. And it is these latter folks, who await identification, & to be taken aside discreetly for processing. With an increased heartbeat, I perceived my moment of personal redemption had arrived, time for me to trade repression, for regeneration; this bullet in the head caught my attention. In disintermediated charades of give & take, it is the true mission of an anarchic modern artist, to figure out how to take as much as possible, without giving back very much at all. No longer suffice to endure, but to grasp, & fondle robustly. By mastering basic instructions, via helpful black & white freehand illustrations featured within The Gospel of Mr. Eric, one can stealthily become a viral form of abuse, in the novel shape of a corporeal rentier; dug snug, subcutaneously, unnoticed into swathes of throbbing, living flesh, abundant upon so many dumb, unsuspecting hosts– potentially to include that awful basket of deplorables, full of assorted miscreants who previously tormented, or cruelly shunned you. This spunky self-help guide teaches clear-headed, ambitious students, how to bravely approach, disarm, & parasitically feed from one’s target host. If you can’t beat them, join them. Ending with a token caveat: caution may be habit forming (nominal risks accompany personal modifications). But what’s a chap down on his luck got to lose? Truth is it’s a moral crusade of self-forgiveness, to right a wrong with gusto; to at last stop punishing oneself, by criminally neglecting one’s desires, & childishly accepting guilt by association: all blame & retribution must instead be poured down upon the heads of others!

Inspired by financial instruments, exerted penetratingly into lives of those too dim to recognise reversible morality- or elected officials, serving external creditors other than the basic needs of Joseph Public. Before a back-drop of municipalities, never balancing budgets of odiously opaque debt, & spurred on by inexorable environmental evaporation, across an exhausted planet. This proof of concept heralds an era of developing carnage, during which most shall willingly, or otherwise, lose any civilising properties in panic, initially en masse, but splintering down into smaller, ugly, specialist groups of thugs, who when espying someone un-maddened by those same psychic afflictions as themselves, then they’ll violently assault this somebody with furious anger; meting out an official, crass, all-inclusive, no-nonsense beating of sense into them- as to exactly why all folk must abide by the new financialised testament- itself being a pure-ish reflection of the ancient, original manifesto of Mr. E. The prognosis is dire, but in respect to society’s beholden herd, what do you expect from pigs but a grunt?  So, make them all grunt, long & loud. For a fading species, within a dying biosphere, devoid of moral leadership, or positive influence, in over extended, overpopulated, corrupt, perverted civilisations, a journal of ideological de-programming’s long overdue. Reassuringly inspired by extracts from the Book of Eric – it’s the fourth synoptic gospel, the only one in which the character of Jesus of Nazareth fails to make an appearance. He wouldn’t have felt comfortable there. It loyally tells of the life & ministry of Mr. Eric, a questionable messiah, whose frank enjoyment of divine privilege is exceeded only by his persistent attempts to evade all responsibility for that enjoyment (its consequences, & anything else for that matter). Like Jesus, whose life Mr Eric’s’ parallels & parodies, He was born in a Bethlehem stable, issue of a mystical union between the Holy Spirit & a St Bernard. Half man, half god, half dog, half biscuit, His early childhood is conveniently unrecorded; His teaching beginning only after a punishing 40-day drinking session, at the end of which Beelzebub came forth to him in the form of a horned ham beigal, which Mr Eric promptly ate. Thus fortified, He took up the career of travelling preacher, gathering around himself a coterie of disciples lured by promises of ’everything all the time’, a goal he attempted to attain by (a) masturbating until a nearness to God was observed, & (b) spinning around as quickly as possible. In the first instance his apostles experienced nothing more than sore willies, while in the second, only sensations of dizziness, nausea, & acute futility. Thereupon His communion questioned Him regarding his credentials, & requested the return of monies advanced. Repeatedly, throughout the text, Mr Eric’s appetite for violence & treachery is chronicled, reaching ever higher pinnacles of madness & insight. Yet there were those amongst His flock who followed in His footsteps, whatever banal/painful fate awaited them. When Mr Eric changed water into methyl alcohol, there were those who held out their bowls for more: blind faith indeed. Unlike Jesus, Mr Eric’s story ends not in His crucifixion, but rather the crucifixion of the last of his entourage, too crazed or stupid, to anticipate what was coming down. Mr Eric, it seems, saw no need to die for the flagrant sins of the world; quite the reverse. In contemporary British ‘thought’, Mr Eric presents a provocative & deeply ambiguous figure. To Melvyn Bragg, He “stands at a crucial junction in Western history, the point at which the inchoate ‘I’ becomes the complex ‘me’’’ but then Melvyn Bragg is a smug tedious git, who’ll be one of the first chivvied up the scaffold with electric cattle goads, come the day of retribution. We ‘Erics’ do not seek to judge: our concern is not with truth, but propaganda, the massing of sound, the therapeutic use of paranoia. Mr Eric is, for us, nothing more than the ferocious beat of pastoral nihilism drumming through a culture of sedated panic, in which the atomising of individuals, in the name of The Individual, proceeds apace. Mr Eric teaches us man is completely controlled in the body & mind; before it ends, sing an anthem of collective loss- together let’s make the finest primal scream for freedom, ever to be heard. 

Text: Evan Findlay Hay

Images: Chris Page

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