Interview with Self: Part 2 – Editor’s message

MJ Usetobe, The Art of Crisis

It is with deep regret that I must inform you that due to the recent demise of MJ Usetobe, there will be no “Interview with Self: Part 2″. Although completed drafts were at the final edit stage the author, in extremis, made the surprising decision to halt final publication before obtaining permission [from a family source] to print certain contentious, and potentially litiginous, statements. Whilst successful in obtaining a full and corroborative response, its arrival was, sadly, dilatory. It was the decision, therefore, of this editor, with the agreement of the author’s executors, that the piece be withheld.

Almost without exception Usetobe’s offerings were visceral and ardent attacks upon those who sought to undermine his “judgement, autonomy and sanity”; he once mockingly described a draft copy to me as “imperfect and rough-hewn offerings, freshly calved from the black ice of my father’s heart”. That there were was a fault line, the demarcation of which deeply and indelibly scored his position relative to the main protagonists featured in many of his posts, that it grew with grinding, tectonic, inevitability to form a final unbridgeable divide, is an incontestable fact. However, despite the bitterness – palpable to the last – his final years in exile from those hostile to him were among the happiest and most peaceful of his life. He ‘fell asleep’ closely attended by his wife and children – always his happiest place.

In accordance with the author’s final wishes John McCrae’s short poem “In Flanders Fields” will close this body of work. A memorial service, attended by close family members and friends, was held in October this year.


In Flanders fields the poppies grow*
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae, 1915
*[original pre-published]


SOTC, Nov. 2013

Benefit of the doubt?

I am advised that I should apply ‘benefit of the doubt’. I point out however, the extremes of their entrenchment; add to that Sorebones’ incendiary-like reactions and this I think turns the argument. Of course, there is irony in this situation. No longer able to shout and dictate admonishment they have instead imposed a ‘punishment’ of silence upon me. It does make one wonder if there isn’t any ‘in-between’ ground! The silence though, makes me happier, and I am told this is important. The supply of information is all but halted. Fecklessa continues to probe of course, but her new conduit, frail and fallible, is easily misdirected. Duplicitous tactics beget only more by return; tenacity I inherited in great abundance.

Sister Dunlop and The Old Gypsy continue to ply their trade but I am  yet hopeful that there insidiousness will lead to disaffection and ultimate rejection by those of mine on whom they prey. If not by my hand, they will be exposed.

I have spent the last year learning so much of my past. More than this I must not say except that I have discovered the quintessence of so many hitherto mysteries. I have also learned that all things have a fixed root, some of which grow so deep and secure as to never be pulled from the ground. I will be content with excavating only those that have bound me so tightly.

I once failed (August 12th, 1981) to return securely the lid to a jar of peanut butter. Fecklessa called me a ‘slovenly pig’ for this crime against humanity; I know now that her roots were already firm.

Benefit of the doubt? No.

Blog Statistics Pages – a window on the World.

My Blog Stat’s indicate that Sister Dunlop has cast her furtive, vengeful eyes over these scribblings; more than a few times it would seem. Of course ‘welcome’ is not a word that springs to mind but I do applaud any time she can spare from her despicable plots – however fleeting. More than this however, her trusted co-conspirator, The Old Gypsy and her usual acolytes have all, it seems, dropped in of late.

In a recent communication, Fecklessa insisted to me that she would  “not want to upset Sister Dunlop” with my insistent and most urgent denouncements. Such touching sentiment. I would bet my bottom dollar however, she has by now ‘spilled’.

“…And all those Ills which thou so long hast mourn’d;
Heav’n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn’d,
Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn’d.”

So I will continue to watch you watching me watching you and this fractured-family Mandelbrot will begin a new cycle, downward and inward, drawn irresistibly to its great vortical finale.


Blog at
The Esquire Theme.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 838 other followers

%d bloggers like this: