Thursday, December 02, 2004

Sucking Robbie Williams' cock 

(15 more posts before shutdown)

Over heard on the bus today, around 3-30pm, as we passed a billboard advertising Robbie Williams' Greatest Hits album:

First 13-year-old schoolgirl (SG1): Robbie! He's well fit! I love Robbie!
Second... etc (SG2): I love him more! I love you Robbie!
SG1: I love you Robbie! You fit motherfucker!
SG2: I'd fuck him!
SG1: Ewww! I wouldn't fuck him. He's a slag innit. I'd suck his cock though.
SG2: I'd suck his cock and then fuck him.
SG1: Would not.
SG2: I fuckin' would.
SG1: Not if I sucked his cock first.
SG2: Slag.
SG1: Bitch.
SG2: Fuck off slag.
SG1: You fuck off bitch.

...and so on, for the length of Upper Street in Islington (a good 10 minutes at that time in the afternoon).

I was the only one on the bus laughing.

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WPWRHPADSIAAPRINSWFHFUTAGG* 

(16 more posts before shutdown)

*Why People Who Read Harry Potter Are Dangerous Social Inadequates And Are Probably Responsible In No Small Way For How Fucked Up Things Are Getting Globally.

Okay, so the last rant wasn't the very last rant after all. It never is though, is it? Like the last dance, the last fuck, the last drink... there's always an encore, always one for the road. Well, blame a certain Raspberry for this one. She, literally, asked for it.

I hate Harry Potter. I mean, I don't hate anything, really, but I hate that little four-eyed shit. I hate the people who read him, anyway. The adults who read him.

It's not a religion thing - worship who the fuck you want, kids - it's a... social adequacy thing. What I hate is the fact that adults, grown-ups, decision-makers, family-raisers, voters, the people who are supposed to be running things, read Harry Potter and think it's simply marvellous. It's a children's book. It's a book for children. And I don't care how well they're written, children's books are children's books for a good goddamn reason.

In the world of Harry and chums, things are very simple - there's yer good guys; and there's yer bad guys. There's left and right, right and wrong, black and white. The good guys always win. The bad guys always get their comeuppance. It's Scooby Doo, basically. (If it wasn't for those meddlin' kids...) It's a simplified, childish view of reality. It's not reality at all. It's a make-believe world.

In the real world, the world adults have to deal with, have to create and form and make better for their children, things don't work like that. The good guys aren't all good, the bad guys aren't all bad. Right and wrong are often matters of opinion, or geography, or religion, or upbringing, or luck. There are no black or white decisions - only varying shades of grey. And those trying to do the right thing don't always succeed. And those doing the wrong thing don't always get their comeuppance. Sometimes... bad things happen to good people, and the beautiful die young, and the innocent get fucked and the devil takes the last bow. Sometimes shit ain't fair, kids, and that's the world.

Dealing with that, understanding that, is what being an adult is all about.

Adults who read Harry Potter, however, kidults, to use a particularly tabloid phrase, they don't want to believe in the real world. They read children's books because they want things to be black-and-white again, they want the world to be clear-cut and obvious, with clearly defined good guys and clearly defined bad guys. They want to know (for example) that every Iraqi is a terrorist (hey - guess what? NO Iraqis are terrorists! No Iraqi has ever perpetrated a violent act against the United States unless in self defence! None! Ever!); they want to know (for example) that their Western, relatively modern (in theological terms) religious belief system is superior and more correct than any others and that that knowledge gives them the right to forcibly impose that religious belief system upon everyone else; they want to know (for example) that the use of Napalm against civilians in Fallujah is justified because of... because of all of the above. Because we're nice democratic Western Christians and they're a bunch of raghead heathen bastards. Because we're the good guys and anyone who isn't us is a bad guy.

Adults who immerse themselves in children's books so much as has happened with Harry Potter are blindly groping towards a childish view of things, they're running away from all the grey areas that make up the real world. They're trying to escape having to deal with reality - in all its difficult, morally-complicated, brain-hurting, conscience-examining, thought-provoking forms. They're trying to escape having to THINK.

And that's why I hate the little fucker. He's stopping adults from thinking properly, from thinking for themselves.

(It's not just young Harry of course - but he started it. Flick through your last few years' cinema listings... what do you see? Scooby Doo, Scooby Doo 2, Spiderman, Spiderman 2, X Men, X Men 2, The Hulk, Godzilla, Lord Of The Rings... I can't be bothered going on. But this kidultness, this childlike moral stance for adults, it's dangerous. It gets Last Action Heroes elected in California, it gets simpleton genocidal maniacs second terms in the White House, it gets innocent people killed.)

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Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Mi vida nonsensica 

(17 more posts before shutdown)

I've just written 2,012 words for a national newspaper headlined "How A Nazi Scientist Created Flying Saucers… For The Americans".

When I've calmed down I have to start on 1,600 words for a woman's glossy feature about the secret techniques boys use when they're pulling chicks.

This morning I had to fight not to rewrite my album reviews for this week because I said that Cher's leotard in the video for Turn Back Time scares me... and the editor thought it might be a catsuit. We had a 20-minute discussion about it before she agreed to simply changing the word "leotard" in my review to "catsuit".

At some stage I have to phone up my solicitor and ask her why we haven't exchanged on our dream home in Oxford yet.

My life is ridiculous.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

My pants 

(18 more posts before shutdown)

My poor pants*. They don't know whether they're coming or going; they don't know whether they're wet or dry, whether they're being washed or being aired. What they're indisputably not doing is being weared**.

My flat is still on the market (we've worked out a way to move on the sale of The One's flat alone... but sustaining two mortgages will be little short of crippling, so selling mine too is becoming a matter of some urgency) - in fact, it's on the market with two estate agents. Consequently it's available for viewings all day every day (come: view! Take a look around! Picture yourself living here! Picture your sofa there, picture your pictures on the walls! Picture yourself cooking in my kitchen, sleeping in my bedroom, washing your face in my sink! View! View... and then buy!) and, because I work from home, I often get minimal notice that people are on their way round. Of course I don't want to be here when they view... so I've been doing a lot of sitting in the pub by myself of an afternoon.

Anyway. I've been trying to keep the place in a state of some tidiness and attractiveness, but sometimes things can slip. Like - when I do washing. On Friday I washed my pants; on Friday evening I put them out to dry on the little rack by the radiator. I had heard nothing of weekend viewings and figured I'd be ok. Friday night I went to a gig with The One, leaving pants out and steaming. At 8pm I get a message - can we do a viewing at 10am Saturday?

The One lives a good hour and a half away from my flat, right across the city. So for the first time since God knows when, I find myself up at eight on a weekend morning and training, bussing and legging it across all London town in order to get here in time to hide the pants. Back in the machine they go, and I'm out of the flat again by 9-45 to meet P for a spot of breakfast.

I'm back by 11 and the pants - still damp - are duly replaced on the rack. At 11-30 I get a call: can we do a viewing at midday? Pants - back in the machine. Me - back to The One's to prepare for the dinner party that night.

When I return to the flat on Sunday evening, the pants have been in the damp washing machine all weekend... and so I wash them again. Sunday night - pants are back on the rack.

Monday morning I get another call. Can we do a viewing at one and then another at three? Pants - back in the machine.

It's now Tuesday lunchtime and I've just put the pants back on the rack after washing them all for the third time in five days. I've also been wearing the same pair since Sunday. One more viewing and I'm microwaving the bastards.

* Pants - not in the American sense of trousers, but in the British sense of... undergarments. Smalls. Trolleys. Particulars.

** Yes, I know that strictly speaking weared is not a word - but it rhymes better.

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Monday, November 29, 2004

Hangover supplemental 

(19 more posts before shutdown)

The thing about hangovers is this: they work on opposites. They fuck you up physically, sure, and the physical symptoms are too obvious and too immediate to warrant any kind of explanation (bent double over the porcelain, reaching for the bucket under the bed, crouched fetal on the bathroom floor...) - but it's the mental symptoms that do you, in the end. The mental afflictions associated with the hangover - they're what fuck you. And it's because they work on opposites.

When you're hungover you can't stay asleep... and yet waking is hell. You can't lie down - the rollercoasters! - and yet you can't stand up for falling back down. You're freezing cold... and boiling hot. You sweat... and shiver. A cigarette seems like the only thing that can save you... and as soon as you light one you want to throw up again. A drink, a hair of the dog that bit you, could top you up and sort you out... and yet the very thought of the pub knocks you sideways. Same with Full English Breakfasts. Same with Children's TV. Same with social interaction. Same with being alive.

And that's the thing about hangovers and opposites. Hangovers fuck you up because they remind you more poignantly, more immediately, of humanity, of what it is to be alive right now, than anything else. The hangover is a thrillingly potent affirmation of life - look at me! To live through this, to survive this, to be conscious of this pain, this misery, this self-inflicted hell... now THAT is proof that I'm truly alive! Touch me! I'm sick! - and yet, when you're hungover, all you really want to do is die...

When you're hungover you're far more alive than when you're drunk - every single cell in your being is screaming its existence, weeping and gnashing and begging you for mercy... and all you want to do is stop. All you want to do is make it all numb and quiet and dead. When you're hungover you're conscious of every single facet of your existence... and you're weeping for oblivion. That's the thing about hangovers and opposites. That's why hangovers are hell.

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Sunday, November 28, 2004

Tonight I have been mostly... 

(20 more posts before shutdown)

...lying in the bath in a flickering candlelit semi-dark, listening to Gilles Peterson and sweating off the hangover.

Today's hangover was hell; today's hangover was war. It started off as localised skirmishes around the back of the eyes as I struggled into consciousness, it started with border troubles at the temples and at my nerve-endings; and by midday had developed into serious political instability around my stomach. Initial attempts to diffuse the situation by flooding the area with peacekeepers in the form of Nurofen, Lemsip, weapons-grade coffee and Marlboro red, only worsened the civil unrest - all it did was make my hangover angry. By mid-afternoon my hangover upped the ante and invaded the rest of my body. The situation went global... and there was nothing to do but run the bath, soak the shivering wreck of my being and let the fucker exhaust itself. It's now 12 hours since I woke and I feel the battle may be turning in my favour. The sun also rises. Some day this war's gonna end, son.

As so often with these things, the cause of all this distress was small enough. The One and I had a minor dinner party for three friends round her place last night (oh, we're so in our thirties and work in the media). Naturally we didn't want to have a running-to-the-off-license situation... so naturally we bought six bottles of wine and 24 beers just in case no one actually brought any booze of their own. Of course we started cooking, tidying, preparing around 1pm yesterday... so of course we started drinking the wine ourselves at around 3pm. And nobody arrived till 8pm. And they brought champagne.

The party itself was lovely - but The One and I were comprehensively hammered before the soup was finished. I remember challenging all comers to a game of tennis (?). I remember doing my impression of a cat. I remember telling someone about my brief career as a purveyor of class A drugs to the upper classes (another time, kids). I remember demonstrating how Ewoks dance. I don't remember anyone going home... but I do remember insisting I do the washing up before going to bed as The One crashed out on the sofa. I remember having the fantastic idea of pouring all the odd bits of wine left over into one glass so I could keep drinking as I washed up all the other glasses. I remember having to do four separate loads of washing and drying because it seemed we'd used every single goddamn knife and fork and spoon and plate and bowl and pan and dish in South London. I remember The One asking me what time it was as I woke her up and put her to bed. I remember telling her 4am and I was just going to smoke one last cigarette and finish the last glass of wine before joining her... and then suddenly it seemed to be this morning and my body was in social, physical and economic meltdown.

And now? Now all soapy and mellow from the bath what I really fancy is a glass of merlot. But I'm not going to do that. I'm going to go to bed. I'm going to go to bed and read until I fall asleep... because that - and not cat-impressions and drug stories and pissed sporting challenges and ewok-dancing and obsessive washing up until four in the morning - is what adults do.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Sundae girl 

(21 more posts before shutdown)

Oh - and before I leave this to finish the Merlot and watch Rambo (no, really!) - Raspberry, my love, I promise to bring my old opinionated know-all head out of retirement one last time to tell you why People Who Read Harry Potter Are Dangerous Social Inadequates And Are Probably Responsible In No Small Way For How Fucked Up Things Are Getting Globally.

Um, just not today ok? Sylvester Stallone's been dropped back in 'Nam and he ain't bloody happy about it!

PS - I will say this though. The War Against Terror - has there ever been a better acronym?


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Like a venereal disease 

(22 more posts before shutdown)

So then, there's a new fad in town and (loth as I normally am to gaze at anyone's navel but my own) I'm far too tired after spending the day writing about
* Victoria Beckham
* When Men Are Ready To Commit
* Next week's album releases
* The Truth About Flying Saucers
to bother thinking of anything original of my own to say. So... the way it works is this. A very fine man mentioned me when he did this, so I have to mention three weblogs I enjoy reading, and we all mutually masturbate ourselves (metaphorically speaking, natch) into a nice warm fuzz of literary achievement...

(Sorry - that sounded way harsher than it was supposed to. I was just trying to give myself spurious ironic distance. I love it really.)

First: The Hun. Or the Odd Child. She's got bags of talent and almost no direction whatsoever and I like that about her most. She also takes shedloads of drugs and has a fairly filthy sex life and I like that about her too. And I think she's everything that's good and bad about this medium - horrifically self-obsessed, monstrously narcissistic... but entertaining enough to make it a virtue. One day she'll start writing about something other than herself - and it will either be brilliant... or terrible. Until then she's a sharp shining shaft of potential.

Second: Tamara. I fell in love with Tamara almost as soon as I read her. (Actually, to be perfectly honest, I fell in lust with the idea of Tamara and Allie's Californian chick-flat: the pyjama parties! the steamy secrets of the shower room! the giggled intimacies and... ok, I'll stop there.) Um, anyway, once I'd got over that I fell in love with Tamara. She does short sentences perfectly. No, really. I mean: perfectly. She's beautifully honest, refrains from unnecessary self-pity, swears pithily and in another life I would happily attempt a trans-Atlantic seduction. And if all this is making you want to vomit... remember that at the beginning and the end of it all is the fact that I consider her the best writer I read on the web.

Third: Newly Single. Or rather - Newly Shaggable. (Form an orderly queue ladies - and watch out for the fluffers.) And not because he's written about terrible experiences with great dignity and nothing in the way of self-bigging-up hyperbole; and not even because he's not attempted to ascribe any great meaning to what he's going through (a trap most bloggers seem to fall into) - but simply, fundamentally, because he seems like a Good Bloke. He reminds me of my eldest brother, in fact. He's... brilliantly English, in all the best senses of the word. And if I were to meet him in real life we wouldn't even talk about this self-indulgent nonsense. We'd talk about football, and chicks, we'd talk about kebabs and Belgian beer: and I can't think of a better recommendation for reading anyone's blog than that.

So there we have it. Another little blog-fad passed on... like a venereal disease in the underpants of your hard drive. Scrub your smalls well tonight, liebchen!

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Friday, November 19, 2004

Beer and football and violence 

(23 more posts before shutdown)

I'm having a night off tonight. (By which I mean I'm having a night in with a bottle of £4.99 Australian red, as opposed to a night out with the boys and the Guinness.) It's a self-improvement thing; an economy thing; it is, as Homer Simpson so beautifully puts it, drinking with the Lord.

To be honest I'm exhausted after the England match on wednesday. If the atmosphere in the Bernabau stadium, Madrid, was, um, heady to say the least; the vibe in the pub in London's fashionable East London where we watched it was also somewhat strained. To wit - too much Guinness and lager, too much tension, too close to actual, immediate violence.

It was S. He was wound up. Work things, chick things, whatever (who knows?). The football was obviously not helping matters - seeing England not only play badly but subject to horrific racial abuse is not conducive to a relaxing pint - but, really, P, M, Ourkid, D, K, and M's brother (and myself) all seemed to be coping well enough. Not so S.

We were sat in the kind of corridor bit between the big screen and the bar. It was a squeeze to get past.

Random Large Shaven Headed Man (RLSHM) bumps into S: Oh, sorry, mate...
S: What?
RLSHM: Sorry.
S: You think that's good enough?
RLSHM: What?
S: I said YOU THINK THAT'S GOOD ENOUGH?
RLSHM: What?
S: I do NOT appreciate being elbowed in the back.
RLSHM: What?
S: You think it's funny? Elbowing me in the back - you think that's funny?
RLSHM: You fucking what?
Me, P, K, etc: Alright mate, don't worry about it...
RLSHM: Wanker.
S: What you say? WHAT YOU FUCKING SAY?

etc.

This continued on broadly the same theme for, ooh, 90 minutes or so. Ahh, the fun. How anyone made it home without a trip to Casualty still eludes me.

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