Front Window #12: Northern Insomnia (The End?)

The other week, our familial corona-bubble left London to move back up north and we got jealous quick so followed them up there. We’re desperate to leave London after this is all over and this recent adventure has only solidified that desire even further.

It’s been an odd little trip. On the one hand, we’ve finally managed to experience some extended time in the great outdoors — rather than the sort of fleeting hop over the city limits that this series has inadvertently become dominated by — but it has also had some negative consequences of its own.

For much of the first week, I was suffering from the worst insomnia I’ve had in years. I was a zombie. Thinking — never mind any more practical activity — was a futile endeavour. It’s all down to cat allergies, I think. Very mundane stuff. But it made me think about where I was eighteen months ago, on an experimental sleep trial in Bedlam. It may be time to crack out the sleep gear again.

I’ve pushed through it though, trying to work on a forthcoming project, and these past few days have been incredibly productive. I’ve properly broken the back on a book I’ve wanted to write for some time, bringing together all this blog’s /acc writings and contextualising them within the lost history of the accelerationist blogosphere. (I’m 40,000 words into that right now, so could potentially finish the first draft in another month or so. But the shift back to London life might also slow things down as life speeds back up.)

The central premise of the book is that, along the way, acc forgot its purpose: dealing with the crisis of negation in postmodernity. Whilst there are arguments to be made that acc moved on from this, the fatal association acc has right now with the far-right’s violent impotence is as ironic as it is horrifying — acc’s original critiques are as applicable to itself as they are anything else.

Drawing this out has been thrilling for a blog anorak like me. I only hope it’s as thrilling to read.

It’s been great to have the head space to work on new things like this — head space that is mirrored by the breathing space of the north. It’s silly, really. The title of this little Corona diary series is woefully unfit for purpose now, three months later. It was initially a bad pun, a nod to Rear Window — a film I intended to watch early on to consider the parallels between James Stewart’s house-bound peeping paranoia and our comparable lockdown curtain twitching from our flat’s singular, outward-facing window; we don’t have a rear one — but I’ve put this off for so long now that lockdown is supposedly over (but for how long?) and our perspective on the world couldn’t be any wider. The parochialism of coronavirus is now distinctly out of the window rather than in it. I never really got a chance to ponder the blinkers.

So, no more “Front Window” posts. Time to move on, in more ways than one.

These last few weeks have really made my partner and I realise that life needs to change. Of course, it has already changed. But more needs to change soon and keep changing after the government enforces a new sense of normality. This is most true with work. I’m currently unemployed (at least I think I am; Covid made my day job increasingly precarious until it just stopped — flaky employers) and so I really need to figure out a way to make freelancing work for me consistently. I’m adamant to make it happen now. No more falling back on shitty arts jobs funded by bourgeois vanity. Time to make a real go of things so we can finally escape London misery.

On a related note, if you’ve ever thought about supporting the blog or signing up for the Patreon (the current Friday reading group sessions have been amazing), now really is the best time. It will make a huge difference and allow for so much more time to make new things. And time is really the main takeaway from the last three months of madness. I have realised I like to savour it.

Right now all I want is a remote life among rocks. Deep time, not London time.

1 Comment

  1. I’m so glad you’re embracing the love of big rocks Matt. It’s a love affair that’ll never end, trust me, I know🙂
    Will join the Patreon later today. Good luck with everything

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