I’m Not Saying Ben Brandall Should Kill Himself

Errare humanum est; it is true we all make mistakes and, from time to time, such mistakes can lead to disastrous events. I am reminded of the architect, John Weeks, who built Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, in the 1960’s. Upon completion, the building was considered so ugly by everyone, including the Queen, that John, wracked with guilt and shame, threw himself from the roof of the six floor maternity unit to his demise.

The above story is not true. It is, in fact, urban myth. John Weeks did, indeed, build the hospital and everyone did think it was ugly, but John did not carry out the legendary, almost poetically, suggested justice upon himself. I say poetically because, considering how we beatifically associate newborn babies as being the very antithesis of ugly, the story makes specific reference to the maternity unit as being the fabled platform for John’s final act of atonement. The juxtaposition between new life and death. Such an ugly act among all that beauty.

So, what does all this have to do with Ben Brandall? A fair question deserving of a thorough rejoinder. The short answer is, Ben has made a mistake. Ben’s humanity has performed its predestined errant propensity and resulted in a misappropriation. You might be wondering what could Ben have done so wrong that it could be related to the folk tale of John Weeks. The truth is that Ben’s solecism could so easily be clarified as trivial and left unpunished, however, when certain factors are taken into consideration, it is difficult to know the actual depth of his shame.

I do not know Ben all that well, but having listened to his polemic throughout the first series of Secret Cave podcasts, also featuring my son Lee and, occasionally, manchild Ben Mulholland, I feel as close to knowing him as one would a resident member of a beloved soap opera cast. I was also honoured to be a guest on one of the episodes which helped me to further understand his mentality.

It is alleged that Ben is a writer, although I haven’t read anything by him except the material readily available on Secret Cave, (like things he has noticed about twitter bots and something about encapsulating duality), so it wouldn’t be fair for me to remark on the efficacy of his skills to date. However, a Google search of his full name returns many “hits” where he is described as “author”. All attempts to establish what credentials exist to confirm the legitimacy of said description have ended down blind alleys.

My inability to navigate Twitter does not help either. Being, as I am, generally disposed toward trust of others, I do not look for falsehood in Ben’s assertion that he is a writer, but it is that very assertion, and my belief of it, that is causing the problem. We know he is a writer because he told us he is, but his mistake might suggest otherwise.

Consider, if you will, what Ben should do if we agree, as we might, that his mistake is comparable to that of John Weeks’. Should he consider an ultimate Weeksian sacrifice in one final attempt to put right an almost irredeemable wrong? I don’t know exactly where in the tax haven of Latvia Ben resides but, according to Wikipedia, there are dozens of buildings in Riga alone which fit the bill.

I’m not saying Ben Brandall should kill himself. After all, it’s difficult to predict how the aftermath would manifest. Ben would probably like to pass with the dignity of a legendary samurai who, in a terminally noble act, slices open his abdomen and allows his intestines to spill out like the loss of control someone with cerebral palsy would have over a slinky.

More likely perhaps that Ben would take the John Weeks way out, continuing to wallow in self pity as he reaches terminal velocity a nanosecond before resembling a dropped strawberry blancmange on the pavement below. In those final moments, Ben would not give a single thought to the put-upon municipal employee who has to shovel the remains of an “author”, with over one and a half thousand Twitter followers, into a bucket.

As the Eastern European wage slave returns home, traumatised by the size of the stain Ben Brandall created (and required three hours of overtime with a jet washer to eradicate), he looks into the eyes of his malnourished children and hears the disembodied, whispering voice of Ben carried along the draughts of his rundown, pestilent, Soviet era tenement,

“Whooooo, I wonder if I’m trending #UpcycleThatYouBastard.”

There would be no more dignity in Ben’s death than there is in the documented evidence of his online profile.

We live in a cruel and unforgiving world and you, the reader, might consider my above judiciary suggestions to be harsh.  However, before you draw that conclusion, give some thought to the following. Cressida Dick was in command of the metropolitan police operation which was responsible for shooting Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes several times in the face, instead of the Arab terrorist they really wanted to shoot. Cressida Dick is now the Met Police Commissioner; the highest ranking officer there is.

Tony Blair enabled a war against Iraq, based on information that he knew was wrong; killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in the process.  Tony Blair became the Middle East Peace Envoy, charges £200,000 for speaking engagements and has a net property worth of £27m.

What this is meant to illustrate is that, if we are not careful, Ben may go on to be a hugely successful author one day, earning millions of Euros for telling us stuff about emojis and things which seem like they’re very relevant but actually do not mean anything. One day you might hear about Ben having debauched parties on his private yacht and snorting cocaine out of a prostitute’s anus. Think about such things before you click on the acquit icon.

So, to Ben’s mistake. If you decide, as tens of others before you have, to navigate your way to Secret Cave and chance upon Ben’s description of episode seven of the initial podcast series, you might miss the travesty in question, such is its subtlety. As someone who might be attracted to the kind of content which dominates Secret Cave, it is entirely possible that you are not aware that a mistake has been made.

Scroll down Ben’s description to the section entitled, “in this episode, we discuss:” and at the fifteenth bullet point you will find the sentence, “What would you call it when you make something new out of a wooden palette?”. If, upon reading that sentence, you didn’t instantly notice what is wrong with it, you might wish to consider accompanying Ben in the elevator for a one way trip to the top of the Z-Towers, Daugavgrivas str. 7B-1, Riga, LV-1048, Latvia (just copy and paste into your sat-nav Ben), for you are obviously of a like mind.

What you’ve done there mate is written “palette” instead of “pallet”. They are two completely different things, you fucking idiot.

Lee Tyrrell, Andy’s son, has responded to this post here, basically speaking on the behalf of Secret Cave in general.

Lee’s Dad and occasional detractor/podcast guest.