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Polish Zombie

in the

Common Room

Phil Doran

Phil Doran lives on a narrow boat. He narrowly escaped fame as a stand-up comedian by performing inappropriate verse.


Latterly, dense poetic prose and lyrical excursions with live and recorded music via The Spaghetti Faction, The Pastafarians and as Magic Phil with Marmalade Atkins.

He wants to transcend the boundaries of third person narrative and pack his ego into something more post-modern and minimalist. 

He blogs, rants, and spouts words and music of wisdom at

“He who by the iron lives by the iron dies.”


The screen message reads Authenticating... and each lozenge in the five bar line changes from sky blue to navy blue to create the illusion of horizontal motion and social mobility, which is strange because I'm not looking at the screen and have instead somehow entered The Scholars' Common Room at the University Centre, Cambridge.

I have an unknown user name, the wrong accent and an even worse attitude. A cold 44mph wind blows down the wall behind the air ducts. I can feel it coming into the common room, but they cannot.

They are oblivious. Or at least they feign oblivion. This is, when all is said and done, upper-middle class academic paradise. I am not authorised, but I am the author of my own wild mind.

Even when they allow you in, they maintain the 21st century version of the droit de seigneur: the right to violate the ontology of the lower orders by looking right through you as though you're not really there. They possess the cognitive powers of their station: an extracurricular function to perceive the space that lies around and beyond you without making what is vulgarly known, by the dispossessed of this faculty, as eye contact and neuro-mimicry. We are actual. They are virtually walled off.

Their capacity to take away your psychosomatic imagination, whatever that means, makes you begin to doubt your very existence. Were it not for the fact that the scratching of my Japanese pilot pen across the horizontal lines of my 100% recycled case bound notebook makes ripples in the space-time continuum, I might be minded to think I am not here either. They enact a form of inverted Cartesian duality that even a 900-year-old Yoda would be envious of: they think I am not, therefore I am not. It is merely a cognitive failing, not a moral one, but it could still be annihilated with an AK47, young Jedi.

Meanwhile, beyond reality checkpoints, wizard eyes can perceive another dimension outside of The Scholars' Common Room. It is called Arbury, where life, like the sentences, are shorter.

Family man changes tyre. Three Poles approach. Blah blah blah Kurva...Blah blah blah Kurva...Blah blah blah Kurva... You understand? Nah mate. My friend want park here. You move. Alright mate. Calm down. Just changing wheel. A few minutes eh? No. Now! Tattoos. Skinhead. Sudden act. Quick sharp jolt. Family man down. Indigenous residents text local locos. Minutes later local locos turn up tooled up. Fury. Shouts. Rage against the Poles ensues. Hammer produced. Local locos stove in head of largest Pole. Hierarchy restored. Parking permission not granted. Cop drones, local paper, paramedics do not attend. Nationalistic violence resolves disagreement. Pole at fault. End of.

The boffins from The Scholars' Common Room are baffled.
Perhaps because supper time approaches and cognition is impaired. Perhaps because actual reality has become indistinct this side of the checkpoint. Perhaps because without physicality, how does one go about imposing rigorous objectivity in an empirical world? Descriptions then.

Upper Class Cunt has the aspect of the bespectacled blond in Lyndsay Anderson's If... The most repressed one. The one most prone to the Platonist McDowell's primal lippy charms. The one most susceptible to the homo-erotic banter of the other three repressed prefects, who get off on spanking juniors with flogging sticks in another common room in another dimension where social change is merely a monochromatic feat of psychosomatic imagination, whatever that means.
Upper-middle Class Cunt is merely "a bastard and Yorkshireman AKA a psychopath". He has internalised the contempt of the Upper Class Cunt and his cohorts to such an extent that his very appearance is sketchy, yet he somehow inhabits the same dimension. It is the relationship of the fag and the prefect rendered interminably coherent by a normative world view from the perspective of an affective sensibility known as fear-based mind control.


Upper-middle Class Cunt verbalises his greatest intellectual doubt:


- I don't think normative props are ontologically dependent on stance.

Upper Class Cunt heaves a sigh. Eventually, he deigns to respond with as much disdain as he is able to muster this side of supper. His reserves of class contempt are somewhat depleted.

UC: - Mmm... In my view, McDowell mistakenly takes perception to be judgement.

UMC: - Yes. It doesn't seem to work. That one seems very wretched.

UC: - Of course there are no destructive experiences. Only perception of destructive experience.


A Pole with closely cropped hair but without eyes appears. He reaches from behind the nape of his neck as though to remove an arrow from an imaginary quill. Instead he plucks a claw hammer from out of his crushed skull and cracks the coffee table's surface in attempt to wreak the revenge he was unable to exact in the havoc of an Arbury parking space dispute.

Upper Class Cunt takes out of his top pocket a handkerchief hand-crafted by robemakers Ede & Ravenscroft of Trinity Street (Est. 1689) and dabs sputum and crumpet crumbs from the corner of his pursed lips as though there is nothing more pressing on his attention than the remote possibility of a case of impetigo.

UC: - I find the music they play here rather plangent.

UMC simulates understanding and makes a mental note to look up the word anon. He forces out a slight smile of amusement and continues with the philosophical enquiry of the evening: Ethics in the Virtual World.

In the meantime, the Polish fascist, who has a secret Afro-Caribbean fuck buddy with an arse to die for, which belongs to a young woman who lives in Greenwich, but which he pronounces Green Witch despite repeated phonological interventions of his latent lover, laments both the short English sentences of Arbury and the fact that he will never again lay his tattooed arms against his hidden black beauty's sturdy thighs as he grinds his groin against her bootyliciousness for all his Alpha maleness is worth. Blah blah blah Kurva...Blah blah blah Kurva...Blah blah blah Kurva...

From a stack of Bitcoin$ on his virtual desktop, Upper Class Cunt takes the equivalent of the annual gross domestic product of Łódź in the form of a gratuity and drops it into the bloodied and mangled stump of the Zombified immigrant.

The Pole uses the tip to take an MBA and, once qualified, transmutes into a de-gendered mutant and, after spells at JP Morgan and UBS, joins Prudential's Asset Management arm where she becomes the City's latest hedge fund "superwoman".

The Daily Telegraph's sickeningly transmisogynist business editorial comments on the move: "Hopefully, once the initial shock wears off, her new brief will prove to be worth the pain of not having an actual penis."


I pretend to be taking notes for an article on Sasha Regan's all-male production of HMS Pinafore at the Cambridge Arts Theatre, as behind me Upper-middle class cunt re-adjusts his perspective on Platonism.

UMC: - Adrian Moore's book, which I really enjoyed reading in its entirety actually, is just so interminably incoherent on the absolute perception of reality.

UC: - Are you a Platonist?

UMC: - Not really.

UC: - Structurally similar to the view taken by neo-Platonic theorists nevertheless. These agents cannot be real features of the objective if they are stance dependent. He concludes from this a kind of anti-realism that I just can't buy into. I mean, who does he think he is? The author of his own destiny?

UMC: - The possibility of faultless disagreement exists. Both parties have a right to the parking space, from a certain point of view.

UC: - Arguably. But that's a different matter. The honourable thing to do is to see it from both ways surely. Vile hammer-wielding oiks notwithstanding.
UMC: - Perhaps. I am minded of the coffee ice cream example. One view is that it is tasty; the other that it is disgusting. A spectral experience.

UC: - The plebs grasp of aesthetics is tenuous. They seem not to like anything but the vanilla option.

UMC: - You can lead an oik to order but you can't make him lick.

UC:- Touché. One can all too easily persuade an oik to view an object from a certain perspective. Yet this always turns out to be non-viable in the end.

UMC: - But then do you think that both propositions are true?

UC: - Of course not.

UMC: - Aesthetic descriptions are not strictly descriptions of the actual properties of an object. Normative properties relate agents to things.

To indicate the obvious to the reader in philosophy, Upper Class Cunt glances at his wrist where is placed an exquisitely expensively and excellently engineered timepiece from Wempe of New Bond Street, London W1, purchased with all the insouciance one might hastily choose a Casio black combi watch from the Argos catalogue at 2.35pm Saturday afternoon cos the Mancs are away at Chelsea.

Upper-middle Class Cunt recognises the instrument of time control and adjusts accordingly, in the manner of a silver service waiter sucking the scum off a dish of cold chicken consommé before bussing the bell end and rimming the rectum of his socially superior diner, considered a negligible-risk activity in the Michelin Red guidebook.

UMC: - That's probably too precise a way of putting it.

UC: - Stance dependence again.

UMC: - I'm not sure what that means any more. Would you care to get some supper?

UC: - I could go for supper.

UMC: - I have a two-for-one voucher for Pizza Express.

UC: - I do like Pizza Express, but I don't often get to go unless I am with some child relative. It's beneath my station.

Upper-middle Class Cunt is puzzled for a nano-moment. I am absolutely thrown. Surely Upper Class Cunt can't live anywhere near a Pizza Express?

UMC: - What?

UC: - It's beneath my station. But you Yorkshire bastards do love a bargain. So it's supper on you, Toby.

After the fashion of an old English penny, made obsolete in 1971, owing to an upturn in the class struggle that decimated the LSD-based cultural revolution of the 60's till the grocer's daughter abolished Welfare Capital with one chop of her father's Meat Slicer, the Bitcoin eventually drops.

Meanwhile, a family man in Arbury turns the last nut tight on his white Vauxhall Astra and goes towards his social housing unit to entice his pre-morbidly obese teenage daughter to rub his tender lower back with Ralgex in return for a Domino's and a can of Red Bull. He will forget his brush with the Pole eventually. But this evening, down the Jenny Wren public arms, his re-telling of the tale of working class destruction will land him a free pint or two.

Nazdrowie kurva!

I must find out what psychosomatic imagination means.

But first, thirst: 'tis beer o'clock in the neutral end of town.


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