"The British novelist Anthony Powell used to say that self-pity was an essential ingredient in any bestseller and to this extent, the self projected through the pages of Mein Kampf is one with mass appeal."
A.N WILSON, HITLER: A SHORT BIOGRAPHY
"The fighting coninues all around us at night, sputters of violence here and there, a mortar round, a curse, a scream. We sleep like babies."
GUSTAV HASFORD, THE SHORT TIMERS
Whilst holidaying in Malaga in June with Raf, turns out the T.O.W.I.E lot were doing a Marbella special: THE ONLY WAY IS MARBS. We stayed in a German run apartment building facing the sea, overlooking the harbour of Fuengirola. I got to know the rules pretty quickly. One thing I realised very early on was how out of their depth the English are in Spain. When my parents picked me up from the airport, Dad told me that "Straight off the bat the Spanish do not tolerate the English. Keep polite. You don't want to get arrested again."
We all laughed at that, even Raf who is not a linguist, and was a school bully in an East London comprehensive. He failed every class almost professionally, and, as such, can only adapt to surroundings that have very clear boundaries. Which Spain deliberately does not. Fuengirola is like any harbour town in a recession. Filled with drugs, alcohol, hustlers, hookers and pimps. England is an island race, driven by a need to conquer. However, with the increasing instability in the Middle East, and the Muslim courage to fight their fear and oppose authority, mental illness is growing exponentially in the United Kingdom. With the rise in social media networking, and the blanket surge in reality TV, opponents of the West are beginning to see the inherent vanities and weaknesses in the white tribes. I don't underestimate the fact that although the 2012 Olympics were a stunning success, only one year earlier, in 2011, the streets of London (and, thereafter, the streets of England) were overrun with warring children. The whole world was watching.
On Friday the 13th of February, three very notable things happened in my world. Firstly, I finished a draft of a novel called "Enfant Terrible" (later changed to "Smoking Is Cool" and self-published in August of the same year), the movie "Bronson" opened nationwide (although, significantly not in Beckenham Odeon, which did show Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ") and there was a shooting in Penge, where I was living in Supported Accomodation on Mental Health benefits. I was in fact walking back from the Post Office opposite the Beckenham Odeon (and lamenting its cowardice in not showing the one movie that year I would have queued to see) and headed back down to the diaspora of Penge, regarded as the arsehole of Kent. If you live in the Bromley/Orpington area (which I have done all of my life except for a protracted stay at the University of Essex and numerous stays in psychiatric acute and secure wards nationwide) you will know that Penge has a bad reputation. Indeed, whilst I was in Fuengirola, there was another shooting in Penge, this time a Muslim man was killed. On Friday the 13th 2009, two crack dealers opened fire on Maple Road, the site of Dan Cooper's recording studio Rodel Sound (where I would later be arrested for common assault on a psychiatrist). The shooting on Friday the 13th 2009 was not reported on the news, although the police did cordon off the entirety of Croydon Road. As I returned from the Post Office, and discovered my road swarming with literally hundreds of policemen, I had no idea what to think. It was as if an alien presence had been there the whole time, and only now, when stresses were fracturing, would it deign to make itself known. (N.B I recieved five rejections for "Enfant Terrible", each hiding their fear and disgust with archly worded put downs.)
I spent the entirety of the 2012 Olympics in The Tarn, a secure psychiatric hospital in Woolwich. In May 2013, Drummer Lee Rigby was murdered by a black sex-abuse victim in the same town. MI5 had tried to employ his services with continued abusive and alternate seductive text messages. Since I have known literally hundreds of sex-abuse victims (including a girl who lived in the same Supported Accomodation as me in Penge and who hung herself shortly after Operation Yewtree sparked off a media horror campaign) I know full well that Richard Dawkins is wrong. I can promise Mr Dawkins that telling a child he will go to hell if he is naughty is far more survivable than sexual assault. What he fails to realise is that Millitant Atheism IS a religious movement based on Empirical Scientific Progress (E.S.P) and for those people whose only experience is of rape and torture, it forces them to live in a place that can only be described as hell.
My mother was born into a family of Irish immigrants in Wallsend, Newcastle, in a house she shared with three sisters and a brother, right next door to a graveyard. Her father died of cancer when she was 15. My father was born into a family of Scottish immigrants in Hackney, East London, with a sister who later died early of cancer. Mum became a German teacher, and, after sustained effort, lost her northern accent. Dad read economics at Edinburgh university. They met at teacher college in London in the seventies, and he later went on to work for Defence Companies selling hardware systems to national governments. I was born in Beckenham, lived in Sydenham, Penge, Beckenham and then later Chislehurst, very close to the house that Michael Jackson was going to live in during his botched UK tour shortly before his death. I attended Catholic primary school (my mother will die a Catholic, and it amuses me greatly to think that you'll convince her otherwise, by all means try), and used to do verbal reasoning exercises for fun. By the time I was ten, I had been writing seriously since the age of 7 after becoming obsessed with the ex-Raf fighter pilot Roald Dahl's ghoulish children's stories. I wrote him a huge letter with detailed questions regarding his craft. I asked him, for example, if he knew that Steven Spielberg stole his idea for the movie "Gremlins". I also remember asking if the cave in "The B.F.G" where the giants collect their dreams was a metaphor (at this age I wasn't quite sure what this word meant) for his own artistic philosophy. Since he recieved thousands of letters a day, his secretary wrote back with a stock response. He did, however, die whilst I was writing my project "THE WORLD OF ROALD DAHL". I got five stickers for it. I was pleased with the response.
I fell immediately in love with the German run apartment block in Fuengirola. Hidden away behind a Gothic fence behind the main strip, our apartment was on the third floor and its view overlooked the Rampa de Varada which stood before the yachts and then opened up into the ocean. Since my current flat is a pokey one bedroom in Orpington (in fact, somebody was murdered directly below my window on Jubilee Monday when I was at a street party in Chislehurst with my family, a murder that remains unsolved) the space of the apartment altered my perception of a world that had become increasingly restrictive and cloistered. Raf (being English) quickly discovered that we had all of the channels on our TV, English, Spanish, American, German, Muslim, and we settled into a routine of careful area exploration and militant observation of world television. Oliver Stone's "Untold History of America" came on Sky Atlantic, and, as I drank San Miguel and took cigarette breaks on the balcony, I suddenly realised that America was engaged in a war of representation. As American novelist Bret Easton Ellis (whose new "American Psycho" musical comes to the West End in December) has expressed, a new form of transparency is needed in the world. He began this theory (Known as Post-Empire) in an essay for Playboy magazine entitled "Charlie Sheen and the End of Empire" which extolled the virtues of telling your own story, warts and all, and becoming a fully rounded human being. I met the dude in July of 2010 at a book signing for his "Less Than Zero" sequel "Imperial Bedrooms" (a novel he has since lost interest in. Who can say why?) and he has since written and produced a movie with Braxton Pope, directed by Paul Schrader, and starring Lindsay Lohan and well endowed pretty boy porn star James Deen. "The Canyons" was funded by fans on the site Kickstarter, and despite it having no corporate release ("Hey, it's good but it's not 'The Godfather', he said in one wry interview) the internet buzz (he now has over 400,000 Twitter followers) will presumably mean it will be a stunning success. The only thing that bemuses me about King Bret of LA is how he still remains tight lipped (publicly) regarding our head to head in London. Let me put it bluntly. He wrote "American Psycho" at the age of 26 (which was as notorious as "Fifty Shades of Grey") and despite it being the most horrifying transgressive novel since Burroughs' "Naked Lunch", I always laugh when I remember our meeting. I scared the hell out of him.
Old Town. A Spanish bar/nightclub in Fuengirola below our German enclavement. A small stage at the front of the open plan floor was a place where beautiful courtisan hookers gyrated to intelligent drum and bass wearing lacy negligee and brittle, painted smiles. People forget that the recession has hit Europe quite drastically, and although the English may take a holiday in the Summer to forget the labyrinth, they sometimes forget that Spain won the World Cup for a reason. One thing I know for empirical fact? The English are terrible listeners. Take this as an example: Italy destroyed England 4-2 on penalties after a 0-0 draw in the Quarter finals. Spain beat Portugal 4-2 on penalties after a 0-0 draw in the Semi-finals. Germany beat Greece (dying right now) 4-0 in the quarter finals. Italy beat Germany 2-1 in the semi-finals (Germany beat the Netherlands 2-1 in the qualifying stages) and Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the final. How come? It could be that linguistics plays possibly the most crucial role in world football. The world has been observing the UK and America in their war on the Middle East (a resource war, BTW) and frankly continental Europe knows how to fight them. The English and Americans need to feel needed. Incidentally, the USA beat Germany 4-3 in a friendly whilst I was in Spain. Jurgen Klinsman now works for America, and is managing their international team. You can judge a football team on how they take their penalties, just like you can judge a man on how he reacts to the Old Town bar in sunny Fuengirola. On our last night in the apartment, a group of English tourists (very much like the T.O.W.I.E bunch) started (and lost) a fight against the Spanish. I was sitting on the balcony staring out to sea. I wasn't even looking down, but I heard it before I saw it. The English make terrible spies.