On “schizophrenality” #veteranality #criticaldiscourseanalysis #criminaljustice #ljmu

The day started out with that rubbish idiocy of the old fiver which remains legal tender but doesn’t have to be accepted.  I had one slipped my son’s way via Aldi in Chester yesterday; when I came to use it at a Costa at Cheshire Oaks this morning, rejection was the name of the game; later, at a place called Liv in Liverpool, with two banks either side of the establishment, I had someone repeat the act – even though the banks’ staff had confirmed it was still legal tender to midnight.

It’s actually more futilely complex than the above suggests, but that is not to be the subject of this post.  Suffice it to say that I was in a really sad mood for most of the morning.

However, the day is ending up in far better way, and education and real learning are the reasons and the drivers for this change in my feelings and mood.

Primarily at the hands of two fabulous articles which arrived via Emma Teresa Murray, the lecturer of my “Crime, Power and Victimisation” (CPV) module (she’s also my dissertation supervisor for her pains!).

The first one arrived at my laptop because I searched “veteranality” through Google on the open web and stumbled across this beautifully brief overview of the concept here:


The article is by Emma herself, who coined the term some years ago.  I can highly recommend this introduction to some of the key issues.

I then started annotating it a bit randomly, as is my wont and preferred learning style, finding connections and relationships, as well as downright counterpoints, with an idea I have only managed to tease more fully out this afternoon.  The idea relates to my own experiences of hospital imprisonment at the hands of mental health legislation, institutions, processes and procedures used in England & Wales in 2003, whilst I was suffering mental dysfunctionality.  It was argued that I was mentally ill (ie me as an individual, with an individual condition).  Never at any time did anyone involved in the process suggest that I could be mentally distressed (ie at the mercy of an aggressive environment, reacting as cogently as I was able, to the same).

So as with veteranality, and the 20,000 veterans touched (maybe fingered would be a better term) by the Criminal Justice system, I am beginning to wonder if “schizophrenality” could be a similar kind of thing.  It’s the focus of the assignment I am currently writing for the CPV module Emma has been running in a mind-blowing and horizon-widening way over the past few months at LJMU, as I proceed with my second semester on the MA in Criminal Justice I am currently studying.

It’s a really eye-opening module, and I am able to say I shall never be the same person again.

The second article which Emma has more directly sent my way is a brilliant 36-page overview, explanation and example case study on Critical Discourse Analysis, nicely focussed around top-down elites, text and talk.  I started it whilst having a Cup of Joe at Joe & the Juice in Liverpool One, and have fairly engulfed it.  Again, it comes highly recommended via Emma, and I can equally highly concur.


In this case, by Teun A. van Dijk, from Amsterdam University.

A really really cool pair of texts, which have rescued my day from initial misery.  Thanks to all concerned (people, concepts, ideas and methods …).  Learning is truly my saviour in moments like these.

And I am now well set up to scribble furiously on with my assignment for the module in question.


How …?

A man who must pay to sex his life.

A man whose achievements are given not won.

A man who mistakes a kindness for love. 

A man who confuses another’s clever algorithm.

A man who mistakes his own supposed originality.

How it is to be such a man.

How it is to be such.

How it is to be.

How it is.

How …?

Working out what to hold onto / Working out what to let go

And what I’d love to be true

Is you and is me:

Something together still to be formed.

But whilst real for my side,

And it always has been so,

Ever since I 

Did meet you and 

Did hear you and

Did near you;

And whilst really it’s quite wild,

I do get the impression for you they weren’t ever 

More than game-playings of 

Nudge, here and there.

And maybe for your purposes 

You were absolutely 

Fair, and maybe much righter than writer

I ever was.

But if I need to work out what to let go

No easier road exists than to say – all gung-ho! – 

Fuck it, oh once and for all, my dear C:

It’s a tall story I told 

Of invisible animal:

Not rabbit that tall

But pussy unreachable.

You always were my goal, but I was never yours,

All told.

Not in the way I sought, anyhow. 

Not in the way I did buy.

Not in the way that still makes me hurt, though 

No longer cry: 

No longer that,

Any saw.

So maybe after all

It’s time to give up.

Your silence has overwhelmed 

My ability to be firm.

And I shall visit your city,

Your wonderful D,

And the sex I shall have there

Will now be conditional and 

Will be hard to fathom real,

And will not be what I ever wanted 

Of my next encounter, 

With woman


But in the absence of your kindness

And your love

And your thought,

And in the absence of a wife

Who I could’ve loved so dearly – wrought! –

I find I have no alternative 

To putting money on the table

For the first time in my life, and my survive,

And my thrive,

And my height;

As the sex I need

Becomes a sex I purchase

In the land of a quite cruel 21st century 


And so what do I hold onto?

Where am I valued?

Where can I see an unequivocal appreciation?

In my work and in my intellect 

And in my cells of grey and in my fanciful flight 

I get the impression good that I am 

Valued in measures just.

No woman who’ll be around me will ever care

To cock me fine;

But at least I can say my mind  does attract.

And that is far better than the nothing of before:

That is far better than the zero

Of no hero.