budge burgess ... for the stories you don't write
the longest suicide note in history
Fed up with your life? Had enough? Want something better? Well, who the fuck doesn't? Who couldn't imagine a better life, a better world? Who wouldn't turn the clock back, do something different? Who hasn't thought, "If only ...?"
Want to change your life? Want the pain to stop? Want love, happiness, fulfilment, excitement, great sex? Want a future to embrace rather than one to endure or flee? Want to go to bed at night welcoming sleep and anticipating a bright awakening? Want your dreams to come true?
There are millions of books, websites, and magazine articles out there promising to change your life in half a dozen easy steps, promising that you can live your dreams just by buying this DVD, attending this seminar, hiring this Life Coach or therapist.
And it's bullshit. Life is not some soap opera script you rewrite each week to ensure you get the ending you want. The books, websites and articles won't work ... at best, they'll give you a temporary buzz, a sense you're doing something ... or that something can be done.
And you know they don't work. If there was a simple formula which guaranteed to make anyone happy, the world would be a temporary paradise. The message would go global in hours ... and the planet would grind to a halt within a week as we all made love endlessly or sat around, smiling in blissful inertia.
And two days later the flying pigs would land and enslave us, but at least we'd all continue to smile as we shuffled off to the saltmines.
Welcome to 'The Stories You Don't Write', an antidote to all that positive thinking, self-help, laws of attraction, make your dreams come true in seven days, patronising bullshit!
No, you're not being sold anything - there's nothing to buy. The future is something in which you invest ... which is a fancy way of saying, it's a gamble.
The future is not something you can purchase off the peg. There is no simple instruction manual. You can try to reduce the odds by doing the 'right' things, but you cannot control the actions of other people ... not just the ones who have the power to declare war or shut down jobs, but friends, family, work colleagues, complete strangers.
You can try to stay healthy, but accidents can happen. You, or someone you love, can be struck down out of the blue. Life changing events can brush aside all your planning, all your good intentions, all your efforts to do the 'right' thing.
Life does not follow a predictable course. The best you can do is find ways to maximise your options and minimise your risks, and it helps if you're rich, good looking, highly intelligent, and have sought after skills and talents.
And you may need to get lucky. To an extent, you can maximise your 'luck' - learn to spot and seize the opportunities which come your way, learn to discriminate between the ones which will benefit you, and the ones which will plunge you into disaster. You can try to maximise your 'luck', but it is a fickle mistress.
You should, by now, appreciate where I'm coming from, but let me just reconfirm my message - I'm not offering an easy steps, simple formula to swell your confidence or penis (if you have one). I'm not going to stroke your ego or feed you stale platitudes or freshly buttered parsnips.
This is a website about personal change, political change, social change, economic change. It's a website about creative change, artistic change, a website about adventure and hope. It's an optimistic website, exploring imagination and possibilities.
Above all, it's an honest website - nobody writing self-help books will ever tell you about their political affiliations and beliefs, they'd lose sales. So, be very aware of my next paragraph.
This is a website written in a time of change. As a Scot, I voted YES in the Independence Referendum, I'm a member of the Scottish National Party and voted for an SNP candidate in the landslide victory of May, 2015. The demand for change is in the air, you can't live in Scotland without being aware of it.
So, this is a website about real change, an attempt to wrestle the subject away from the manipulative, patronising, commercial market of change books and change merchandise.
You could fill a library with books promising to make you rich, healthy, happy, confident, irresistibly sexy, self-important, or whatever ... all by following a series of simple rules.
You can spend a fortune having your aura cleaned, your shakra pressed and ironed, your furniture realigned. You can agonise over what to wear while you sweat in a wigwam, run across hot coals, discover levitation, or talk to an angel. And always think positive ... always positive ... unless you're an electrician.
You can trawl the websites and buy coaching or therapies, CDs or DVDs, seminars or distance learning courses all "proven to transform your life in days" ... maybe weeks (they could transform your bank account overnight).
It's a market, a huge market, nothing more nor less, a market selling its own brand of snake oil or salvation. If you have any doubts about that, read my chapter on Napoleon Hill - a fraud, a con man, a writer of turgid prose, a mediocrity who marketed himself as a great philosopher ... but a man who is hailed by literally millions of websites as a genius and self-improvement guru.
You won't find a book which works - and certainly not one of Hill's! If just one diet book did what it claimed and delivered an infallible means of achieving sustainable weight loss, just one, there'd be no obesity, everyone in the West would be fit ... and sales of sugar rich or fatty foods would plummet.
Of course, around the world, millions would continue to starve or die through lack of access to food, fresh water, or medicine ... but new markets would open up, new billions would be made selling a glut of cheap cigarettes, burgers, and sugar-loaded products to the disenfranchised poor of the Third World.
But don't listen to me, I'm just a cynical old bastard ... if honest enough to be up-front about my politics.
I'm Budge Burgess. For a quarter of a century I worked providing a 'talking cure', worked in the profession of change. Unlike the authors of most self-help and motivational books, I don't claim to have grown rich building a successful coaching or counselling practice used by the rich and famous. I wouldn't want to.
I've never provided consultancy services to any of the world's major corporations - I haven't even stuck a postcard in the window of the newsagents across the road. I loathe the effects of capitalism and wouldn't want to become more of a slave to it.
Nor have I spent decades studying at the feet of the world's leading thinkers. I never completed my doctorate - a real one, not a mail order one. However, I never stopped thinking, and reading, and watching, and listening, and thinking again.
I have spent decades in a range of entertaining pubs, thinking, listening, and arguing about the world with a wide cross-section of people - some complete dipsticks, some amazingly insightful, some simply entertaining ... many of them hurt and hurting.
My professional career saw me working on the streets, with the homeless, with the detritus of society, with people whose future was no more distant than the next drink or next syringe, with the poor and rootless, with thieves and murderers.
Those people weren't evil. They were not subhuman. Most were no different from your average, ordinary working man or woman. They made a wrong decision, found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, or had the simple misfortune to be born into a shitty home and a life already spiralling downwards before they'd even learned to walk.
There but for fortune go you or I! If you're dissatisfied with life, you should see what real shit is like, what real pain is like, what real poverty, desperation and hopelessness are like!
There but for fortune. Most of us are only an accident, an injury, an illness, a mistake, one life changing event away from the streets or the courts, or worse. Life can be unpredictable, and much of the time you really don't see the shit coming.
So, a website about how to change your life, one which doesn't promise anything, doesn't offer a quick fix or guaranteed formula to signpost the way to your dreams? A website which seems to be celebrating the fact that it's no fucking use to anyone?
A website which, instead, says, "For fuck's sake wake up, get your head out of your arse, take a good look at yourself and your life, and stop reading all those delusional articles in the glossy magazines - they either make you feel inadequate or envious!"
If you really want to change your life, or to help someone else change, you WILL find ideas here. You WILL find some of the right questions to ask - I won't promise answers. You WILL find new perspectives on change. You MAY even gain a better insight into your own life and future.
And if, from time to time, I make you angry, you WILL be better equipped to recognise the bullshit, hype, fraud, spiritual dross, and looney tunes bollocks which pretty much monopolises the bookstores and Internet.
If you want to change your life - or find out why I'm talking about suicide - read on!
budge burgess, troon, scotland 2015