Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Politics, Writing

Day 95

M agreed yesterday to give me a Number 1 haircut (that’s very short, by the way). I had started to feel the weight of my long (for me) hair for some time, and it was starting to feel like hypocrisy of the worst kind that I was basically combing back over my baldness rather than embracing that baldness and showing it. Yes, it’s sad for me that I used to have a wonderful head full of wavy hair when I was much much younger, but I remember thinking when I was in my early twenties that if I did start going bald I’d just shave all my hair off and be bald and proud of it. So, no more long hair (for me), no more staring at the artfully generated single curl dangling dangerously closely to my glasses and imagining I’m a talented fop. Better to look like a talented thug. M has always said that I look like a thug with very short hair. But I’m a pussycat really; everyone knows it. Though it’s advisable to remember that cats are never tamed.

I didn’t sit down straightaway to write this today. I went off and did some research into yoga for the lower back. It’s about time I thought about that side of self-care, too, because the truth is that the only way I’ll get this back to last until I’m 125 is to make it stronger. And I need to push to one side my natural laziness and dislike of being organised, and fit that additional exercise in somehow. I started watching a session and was very tempted to join in straightaway. Later.

We watched the news for the first time in a long time yesterday, and, of course, it was unbearable. Atrocity after atrocity, with journalists saying that although it can’t be verified that these atrocities have been committed by Russian soldiers all the evidence points towards that being the fact. But it’s also a fact that all war is inhuman and inhumane, that states/countries train their soldiers to be exactly that, to not care about the lives of those they fight (and some might say trained not to care about their own lives). Atrocities have forever been a weapon of war. That doesn’t make them acceptable (the opposite, in fact), but it highlights to me that there can be no such thing as a legal war. All war is illegal. All war is an atrocity. All violence is an atrocity. All badmouthing is an atrocity. And I repeat the word not to make it seem without value, to seem meaningless, but to highlight how far beyond acceptable even mental violence is, and that was is happening in Ukraine right now – and Somalia and Yemen and Afghanistan and Hong Kong and China – are crimes against humanity. And, speaking in my own context, the deliberate neglect in the UK of the poor and disabled and disadvantaged and the health care system by the current government is another crime against inhumanity.

I may look like a thug now, but I will never be one.




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