Mils’ Ad Hoc blog

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:…/09627251.2013.865497.p…

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.


“A fr[agile] mind”*

Those of us who have it are wiser than wise:

we sadden and gladden with equal measure:

we see the whirled as it really flies and 

feel the whirled as it really dies: and after all

is said and done by yous, the clues to our wisdom 

are clear as day: whatever we do and may and might,

there’s nothing more eagle-eyed than the sight we possess, embrace and caress.

So remember that, yous fragile minds: 

in every fragility there is absolute agility.

Don’t forget above all yous are – in fact!so brave

that no one’s rage will be deserving 

of re-serving your time: never double-booked are you;

always looking, always seeing that goddamn tingly truth.

And thus remember this, and never forget that:

your perspicacity, your precise agility,

the grandeur of your exact fragility …

… all this and more is what makes yous right:

yous heroines and heroes of super-powered flight!

* For my daughter, who coined this term last night to describe both herself and this father, who proudly found himself speaking to her at the time.  

Earlier that day, she had also pointed me in the direction of the following video, from which I have taken inspiration for this morning’s poem.  I hope Neil doesn’t mind this.  I was mighty impressed, is all.

Finally, some photos I took and processed yesterday in Liverpool, as I continue to wander my auto-ethnographic way through life.

“… angels: ‘unbolted!’ …”



Am going to be insufferably unboltedly happy for the next year.

Tetiana and Tony have very kindly guest-posted a poem of mine about my recent visit to Dublin, along with a recording I made.

You can find the original post here.

And the noise is me doing virtual somersaults!!!


Oh, and Claire needs a mention here too, ‘cos part of what happened I get the feeling is due to wisdoms of a grand nature on her considerably wonderful part.


“Parker Street”*

And when you want free

you have to lose everything:

everything you had;

everything that made you super-dad.

And they’ll never understand.

And it will never be the same.

And the sad shall follow you round wherever you go.

And nothing shall serve to tether us together.

And that is the plain and simple.

And that is the wretched dimple: 

the scar and imperfection;

the bloody suppurations.

Yet whilst all that never passes quite,

and all that shite 

will never sit right,

there ain’t no other to moving on:

at least there ain’t for me.

For whilst this year has taught me much,

her leaving me lurching 

emotionally hurt

has meant my lessons so goddamn primary

have been timed with such a dark:

and so the sarcasm of wasting opportunity

revisits me 

as customary rhyme.

And whilst in “Parker Street” we find a hero,

the zero I have someways been 

matches little your ideal of me:

if only I’d been half as good as yous once thought – as

maybe (who knows!) 

once indeed I was – yous would not now 

have gone and 



caught me out like this.

* For my two sons and daughter.

** The video you can see below is me dabbling in new apps and technologies, as is my primitive wont.  

Hyperlapse, Slice, a simple 16GB iPhone 5S, and a bit of gentle ingenuity on my part …

Meanwhile, the man who smiles at the end is really smiling.

(So may the continuous and persistent pain of creation maintain the insanity of unceasing innovation.  For we are ultimately little more than servants to our ideas; rarely, ever so rarely, the happiest of pleasure-seekers.  Yet even as this is clearly my case, I will carry on striving to make thrive the thing that characterises my life, and hopefully – one day – its future times as [s]well.)

And #yellow it is for sure …

Yellow has meant my 


my muse;

my ruse;

my tease;

my choose;

my win, mebbe;

my lose, for total sure.

And now,


also this woman

who one day 

I might have the privilege 

to work with so fine;

to make of this whirled

a much better 


of play and humanity



unadulterated in REAL fidelity

there are times and rhymes where hers and mine could easy well have been.

but instead of a happy ever after,

i failed to shrug off my label

and she gained another.

and then you rejected me twice, and thrice, and intellectually

you damned me and rammed me and happenstance

you condemned me.

and maybe, just maybe, you were right.

no fairy tale of ending driven in companionship is this,

for either c or me:

just a very tale of consistent rewind –

and so now i understand how it was thus,

p’raps inevitable.


but whilst maybe you are unfortuned in the harmony you alight on,

i am still, in a way, the lucky guy:

i still believe in the future and change and growing, and knowing

that love is around the corner, with its lows and highs

and mighty sighs,

and its sex and its wrecks and its nights of sheer



and its moments of sheer bliss: unadulterated in real fidelity.


and if there is to be no love of breakfast whys we care to share,

at least let us together

set to rights

the whites and blacks of the dominant bastards

who cruelly simplify to the nth degree the complicity of


where the energy of these

only serves to consume our humanity.


tbh, dear c, all i now want is to work with you:

to know better your integrity, your persistence, your gentility.


to know how i might learn from you

the skills and sets and rests and tools which

your brains of beautiful consideration find elemental

in all their

splendid recommendation.


and gently i am approaching your ability to see and assess

the world as it really is:

no longer am i mad, as a year ago i was.

i realise, finally, the need and importance of limits

seriously in place,

in order that communication

never be a race to the idiocy of the ideological

or the emotional, in cack-handed rush to this deconstructing



something must be constant in mind and love, after all.


so if you can, do find it in you

to give me a chance, a real chance to recover us two:

not for peace in any way

but for life in every may,

and might,

and sight and say.


just a chance i ask for, gentle.

just a chance i ask for –

no longer mental!



The hardest task of all …

Working out who is really 




on your wide

and ride

and side

is the hardest task of all.

And the toughest stuff

you ever

experimented –

but never relented 

and never borrowed,

nor went and horrified

nor terrified

nor scarified –

is when you realise 

the people who claim

to want to be your friends 

have attempted to end

your ontology

in a blurring of biology:

embrace your distress

as illness,

and give yourself up to the interests

of wider parties, they have said

over and over again.

And so the yardstick of truth,

the measure of ruths,

the litmus test of seance,

does intervene 

and interrupt 

the gorging eruption 

of facile justifications:

for there is nothing worse

than a woman or man

who peoples a life

with the hypocrisy of lachrymose.

Tears of leathered amphibian,

evolved to be at ease

in or out of the water deep and seeping:

reaping always the harvests

of reversed 


those vacuous sensibilities

where humanity remains utteringly exhausted 

of all its strengths and speech and reach – 

and soul.

ic[ed.] coffee / PTMIs / absolute … sincerity:

and you see it’s a thing;

not a bling nor a bad

but a goddamn ruddy 


and it’s a morning of truth:

a morning where your


unveil their ruths.

a dropping of fake 

and a taking of make;

a moment when 

you begin, instead, to drive 

those who drove your mad.

and all this time

they rhymed it so the world believed you

were the guy embracing 

the falsehoods

of neighbourhoods; 

and then there were all those torrential lies 

that flooded your eyes

with the crying of PTMIs

which aimed only to distract you – aggressive! –

from the realities 

you perceived, out of 

terrifying tendency

to do on your behalf

and never


in honest collaborate.

so don’t attempt 

any more 

to suck up to my gullibility:

your credibility is finally burnt,

and hunted out of

all wagging 

and wigging 

and rigging

and shagging silly.

and will he 

or won’t he

is no longer the talk of the town

that downed 

so many of his aspirations;

and all that is left 

is the right 

to centre the rest of his life on absolute

… sincerity:


There are certain limits

We place on ourselves;

And there are limits placed 

By the cruellest of others.

But most of all

Where most hurt is done

Is in those limits

Mainly clever men and women both

Place on the technologies

And opportunities

Of all the goddamn rest.

A life, full lived …

And so you reach,

and each 

is right.

And so your taught

is as

ought as can be.

And so your meant

is rent

from wither.

And so your soul

is left

to goddamn heart only

The people you love:

not those 

who guarded so very long 











from your 

ever so strong.