Monday, October 31, 2011

Diary of a Misanthrope #1

While waiting for a severely delayed bus this morning, I turned to the man standing next to me in the queue and asked the following question: 

"Do you actually have some kind of mental or psychological disorder?"

I agree that, taken out of context, this might have sounded a little unkind - perhaps even cruel. you'd be forgiven for thinking I'd based this query on observance alone. But five seconds before that, he'd asked me for the NINTH time (I'd started a mental count after the fourth) if I was waiting for the No.24. 

The ninth time.

First few times I nodded and said 'yes'. I'm not a fucking monster, even if subhuman sows in overstretched pink sweatpants and sovereign rings point me out on the bus to their semi-feral spawn as 'the man who'll come and take them away if they don't behave.' Yeah, that's happened plenty. Usually, I'll suffice by snarling at the bloated bitch in question for a second or two, ensuring she shuts her fat mouth for the rest of the journey. The one time I did snap, I informed both the mother and her snotty, venomous little prick of a child I'd slit her from throat to gut, stuff the child inside, and sew her back up. 

And alright, I've been chided before for threatening dismemberment in the workplace. But you spend 20 minutes sweeping up a huge mound of lint only to have some vacuous trout come stomping through your pile sending it everywhere, and see how you react. It wasn't as if I was really gonna go through with it. I don't have a chest freezer, for one thing.

So anyway, back to the bus stop. After the first three times or so of answering the same question in the space of as many minutes, I'm all out of polite. Next time he asks me, I give him my best blank stare and say 'No.' - hoping this might send some kind of blatant message that I'm being deliberately sarcastic, thereby ceasing this idiotic dialogue (I also began eyeing the earphones of the schoolgirl in front of him, wondering how I could purloin them without punching her out first). But even my blatant u-turn doesn't register with this guy. 

Fifth time he asks me, this happens:

"You waiting for the 24 are you, mate?"
"Nope. I've got to stand here to make the queue longer."
"Oh. 24 I want. Wonder where it's got to?"

By this point, a woman with a loud St-Trinians-schoolmistress-type voice two behind me is telling the staunch Irish Catholic grandmother next to her how she's done so much travelling in her life because she 'used to be a dancer'. I turned round to check her out, naturally - resolving there and then to book a hearing test - because I clearly heard the word 'dancer' when she obviously must have said 'mutant baked-potato beast.' I notice the line's getting seriously long now, and I'm thinking that I'm gonna end up sitting near to, or (fuck forbid) next to, my new best friend. I'm trying to work out the best way of stalling the driver so I can gauge where Captain Shitbrains is gonna sit and give myself at least a three-row clearance area, when he asks again:

"It's the 24 you want mate, is it?"

I'm just ignoring him now, and focusing my mental processing power on stealing that girl's headphones with the least amount of fuss. Attempt number 7:

"Waiting for the 24, mate? I want the 24. Wonder where that's got to then. Late it is."

So OK. I'm figuring that maybe this guy might not be all there. He's not visibly drooling or anything, but I'm looking round for the carer. Holy shit, here comes a 24....but it's going in the opposite direction. We're mid-route, so buses come in and leave both ways. This fact has not registered with my new friend. As it passes our stand and heads over to the other side of the station, he's just about to head over and jump on it. I know I've got karma in the bank after Saturday night (see previous blog post) but oh fuck. I'll regret this, I know it...

"Wrong bus, fella. That's going the other way."
"That's the 24, that's the one I want."
"You want to go to X?"
"No, I want Y. That's the 24."
"It's the wrong 24. This is the stand you want. That one goes to X."
"Oh. Are you waiting for the 24 as well then?"

Weird what comes to mind in moments like these, though. Here's what came to mine:

WWJD? What would Jebus do? 

Punch this guy in the throat, if he had any sense. Me, I'm just about ready to up and leave the queue. Someone else can babysit this fuckronaut. The baked-potato beast and Mrs. Doyle are still banging on about something or other behind me - something about keyhole surgery on bats, from what I could overhear, and now this whole magical tableaux has been enhanced by a couple of Greggs Groupies in white trackies and cheap gold. Synchronized prams, Croydon facelifts, the usual sketch. Their mastery of language is quite exquisite, as one of them relates an in-depth conversation she had with a boy who was an ex of some girl her cousin was shagging. The other stands there, slack-jawed and nodding.  I shall attempt to emulate their discourse thusly:

"And I was like and he was like and I was like and he was like and fucking I was like and he was fucking like fuck off oh my fucking god I was like yeah and he was like yeah fuck off I was like fuck you and he was like and I was like...."

Here comes another 24. Again, wrong direction. It's clear there's a hold-up. A crash, road closure or something that's stopping them coming in from the other side. Again he spots it. This time his tiny brain remembers the events of five minutes ago and he looks at me, expecting...fuck, I have no idea. Validation? A biscuit? A pat and ruffled hair? Who knows with this guy. But before I have a chance to reassure him that this isn't the bus he's looking for (like some kind of fucking bus Jedi), he hits me for the ninth time:

"You want the 24, mate?"
"Do you actually have some kind of mental or psychological disorder, man?"

Fuck it, I've had enough. And here comes the 21 three bays down. It's not the 24, but it'll go to the same stop I need. I'm done. 

And with that, I pick up my backpack and walk away. I pray to whatever deities may be listening that I'm the only one with enough common sense to get aboard this bus, and as it pulls away and I'm skimming a fresh copy of the daily free paper, I see the gawking faces of the other people in the queue as they spot me going past. 

What, you want a moral? tough.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Closure. It's the Shiz.

Check me out -

I'm basking in the glow of a bright sun, eyes closed, the warm breeze on my face as my chains slip away and crash to the ground. Metaphorically though, yeah? None of that stuff is conducive to writing a blog.

But I'm free. After, ooh, ten months, maybe? Of being sick in love, scared, anxious and all the other destructive shit that comes with it, It's over. I finally got my closure last night. But before I go on, I need to say something right now. This isn't a revenge blog. I wish her nothing but love and peace, and the few that know who I'm referring to in this post will be the only ones who will ever know. I'm writing this blog because I want a record of my feelings right at this moment, so I can look back if I need to and see the truth among the glamor...
Think of it as a magickal 'save point'.

I'm not proud in saying I broke a few hearts myself over my devotion to her, too. But ultimately, I was a ghost in her life - even when she seemed to really reciprocate what I was feeling wave for wave, I was still never allowed access to those parts of her life that really mattered to me. I became jealous of her friends for simply being able to walk by her side in daylight. Essentially, our 'interaction' kinda morphed into a bad version of Twilight.

I do, actually, have every right to be angry. I would have given her everything it was in my power to give, with unyielding loyalty and devotion - and I was treated terribly in return. Even last night - when she tells me, teary eyed, that she's 'not worth my feelings' and that 'she's not good enough for me' she didn't think enough of me to tell me the truth that I'd actually known for the previous two weeks. Cause and effect, my love - we've talked about it enough. A word here and a nod there, seemingly unrelated, can paint complex masterpieces of narrative in my head. It's a curse I live with.

I knew about him, I just didn't know how much he meant. That was part of the reason I deactivated my Facebook account. That also may be why, when her best friend decided to tell me about him shortly afterwards, she didn't get a shocked reaction. But I played along, and promised not to say anything. And I didn't.

I was too busy readjusting to the by then unfamiliar feeling of being free again...:)


P.S. Oo - I DID learn something else important last night. I can SO rock black lipstick...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Welding Party

You've gotta fucking love the English language...

With the simple, elegant substitution of a single letter in an otherwise quotidian expression, one can strike a golden chord of potential awesomeness. The idea for a 'Welding Party' came about yesterday evening, in the piercing cold beer garden of my local, a sparkling notion rising like a phoenix from a brazier full of red-hot glowing shit coals - a pure moment of 'man-genius'. But how do these precious, almost spiritual moments come about?

In some of the most beautiful and elegant ways imaginable, physical, cultural and social evolution is merely the ongoing end result of a series of arbitrary defining factors. X happens, therefore Y is the result. It is because of this very principle that, when two or three specific human beings (of which I find myself one) get together in the same place, the immediate reality around us warps into a fucked-up pastiche of eighteenth century France - where florid insults, debauchery and disdain for the masses all combine to form this grotesque collective over-mind that becomes far more than the sum of its parts. It is this gargantuan neural omnishambles - the direct outcome of our physical proximity and capacity to communicate - that somehow always finds a way into the universal comedy store cupboard. Admittedly, we've been there before. Countless times, over the last quarter of a century in fact. But every so often our bumbling trains of thought will converge into one hyper-bullet-punk-as-fuck-lightspeed-shitcannon and send us into places we couldn't have gone alone.

It was, in this manner, that the concept of the bring-your-own-scrap-drunken-welding party was born.
And this is the sentence that began it all:

"You gotta come up for a drink. Oh, by the way, I have a welder......."

"Hello. Emergency services. Which service do you require?"
"Um...all of them? Yeah, better make it all of them."
"What's the nature of the emergency?"
"Um..right. It's half two in the morning, there's a patio full of pissed-up men next door welding random pieces of metal to anything they can find. At least three of them are stumbling around blind with arc-eye and they all look like they're burnt in random places. One is holding his scrotum and sobbing quietly to himself. And I've just noticed someone's welded a massive fuck off clothes horse to the bonnet of my car. Bastard."

It will be spoken of in whispers, in darkened corners, the stuff of true legend...It WILL happen, I promise. And when it does (and I can see again) I'll let you know how it all went.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Poetry Corner #1

Here's one to read at Twilight, kids.

Notice how that sentence works with or without the comma? That's topical satire, that is. Anyway. I figured I'd write (I think the correct phrase is 'knock out') a poem. I know a bunch of teenagers who'd really dig this crap. And at least it's gonna make me laugh when I read it back six months from now.

There's supposed to be a void; just here
Yes, you may touch.
To all intents and purposes an endless pit,
Yet such is the extraordinary sense of you, here, filling it.
It isn't right, it isn't fair that something borne of light
Would dare to violate me - me - predator incarnate; apostate of joy...

...and yet I am stricken, afflicted.
A venom spreads across my brow, blossoming where even now
Your lips connect; the effect is all too hostile,
But again, just there, my love.
Too many lost and distant years since human nature fled and left me emptied, numb -
Perfectly equipped for life to come, where sentiment and love were chained
And hope remained a scornful memory.

You weren't supposed to see the dawn.
You weren't supposed to be a Queen, a Goddess, or a Priestess -
The expression of perfection, the cruelest intervention by a harsh Creator,
Trap and bait were set - and yet I find I am your prey.
Be gentle with me, love.
You weren't supposed to take my breath away, to render me conflicted so;
To find in me capacity to feel or purge me of this turgid ego.

Your beautiful assault, attack without aggression left me stunned,
This blackened quick succumbed and broken down beneath your gentle, vicious touch.
Come sit, love - we've time, but not too much.
The sky will fast ignite, but for now the night will hold us safe.
A useless prayer to slow the time; nobody there to answer and I'm
Ready. Don't cry.

And yes, I want to make you as I am,
To take your perfect wrist and offer mine in kind;
To feel it blistering beneath your grip, to twirl in frozen time
With orchestral refrain as your pulse fades and dies; yet I would not, could not do so.
Cover your hands, love. Please? 
I will defy myself to the end, yet never have I longed so terribly, so violently,
To take from you the sunset and the dawn - your essence remade in perfect form,
A theft that can never be repaid.

But here - it breaks, the morning's flame,
And save for whispering your name I'll sit and watch in silence.
A trade; the violence of a life eternal for a single dawn with you, my love -
Perhaps reborn anew, my love? 
And after I am gone to dust, to where the sun roars black and gold is rust,
Be bold, my love...

My arms still hold you.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The First and Only X-Factor Post.

Tonight I found myself alone, on a sofa, watching X-Factor.

Now as self-abasement and confessional blogging goes, it doesn't get any more harrowing for me to admit that. When i'm done writing this and I hit the 'publish' button, I'm gonna have that slightly nauseous, hollow feeling that usually I only get the morning after a serious drinking session  that somehow turned into an embarrassing, pitiful debacle - one of those ones where you know it'll be a while before you can look certain people in the eye again. I can feel it there now just underneath my diaphragm, waiting to wreak havoc with my self-respect. Like a little monkey with a leather waistcoat and a strap-on.

But I did. I watched X-Factor. Are there any saving graces, any shreds of dignity, however jagged and brittle, that I can cling to? Maybe. I didn't watch it ALL, which is the first major thing. I tuned in about 20 minutes in and back out again with a good 15 minutes left to run. But by then, I'd seen all I needed to see. In truth, my whole reason for watching it in the first place was because I'd read somewhere (I'm guessing a passing Tweet) that it was 'Rock' week. And that the reason it was 'Rock' week was because the whole thing has, up until now, been such a massive and unmitigated clusterfuck that the production team and judges felt that the contestants needed a musical rocket up their arses, so to speak. 

So I switched on. A coffee loaded with whisky and my daughter fast asleep out of harm's way, I prepared to enter the entertainment Twilight Zone and yes, a tiny part of me - the part that used to genuinely enjoy the earlier seasons of shows like American Idol for the bona fide talent it attracted - a part of me wanted to see something awesome. 

You know, for such a cynical, world weary bastard, I can sometimes fall into the trap of optimistic open-mindedness. And I guess all the above elements combined were reasons enough to suspend my usual derision and have a look. Now I'd love to say that I didn't know the first fucking thing about ANY of the contestants, due to not caring two fucks about tabloids or celebrity gossip and having an inbuilt dross filter that switches to a predetermined playlist in my head whenever I'm in range of anyone discussing the show or anyone connected with it. I'd LOVE to say I went in totally blind. But I have this friend, and she...well...the thing is...we get drunk and she plays me YouTube clips of people on the show because she wants to know what I think, and I'm honoured that she seems to find my opinion relevant enough to do that, but honestly - they're not in the same league as the American Idol crowd. I've usually forgotten what I've seen and heard the very moment the next clip comes on. It doesn't help that they all seem to be mildly unpleasant in one way or another.

I think it's her 'guilty pleasure'. In every other respect she's above such mental junk -  thankfully, as well as being very beautiful, said friend is also fiercely smart and opinionated - so we have plenty of mental ammunition to fire at one another. But tonight, I sat there watching in vegetative empathy with millions of other people and oh my fuck, I so wish I hadn't bothered...

See, I have a rock heart. More accurately, I have a punk heart, wired to my nervous system with pulsing, synthesised neon tubes filled with minor chord changes and primal pounding beats. What I saw tonight was less 'rock' - more 'musical putrefaction'. Girl bands singing hip hop songs with guitar overlays is not rock. Some teenage snotbox reliant on his 'cheeky' wideboy antics and stage strutting to mask his piss-poor vocals is not rock. Cher, in ANY universe, is not fucking rock. 

I learnt a few things this evening. Firstly, that one should always listen to ones inner voice in matters of selecting ones' evening entertainment. Also, that curiosity did indeed kill the cat. Or in this case, my will to live. Thirdly, the assemblage of twats that pass for judges (with the exception, albeit grudgingly, of Gary Barlow - a musical craftsman in his own right) need to be subjected to sustained low-level torture until the candy-floss dream palaces they live in shatter and make them cry themselves to sleep at night. 


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Well, Gadaffi, it's been fun...

...but now you've got to go. On account of the fact you're dead. A proper dead 'un. That's you. 

Okay, it's been coming for a while, but not so long ago you were still top dog. You ruled with an iron fist, it's true - there were those that tried to usurp you, but you always seemed to win out in the end. One or two, I seem to remember, disappeared without trace. But that was always your way. You didn't shy from doing what had to be done to survive.

But it was still a pisser to find you floating upside down like that. Goodbye, Colonel Gadaffi. As Goldfish go, you were a ruthless, malevolent bastard, but we had some good times. *sob*


Five Things I Really Shouldn't Need, But Do.

Materialism isn't something that sits well with me at the best of times. A couple months back I stripped down my worldly possessions to a suitcase and a couple of holdalls after fifteen years of living in a two-bedroom sub-level dungeon and accumulating (by fair and foul means both) a corresponding amount of pointless shit. And it felt good, yes it did. To know that the stuff I'd left behind represented the chains of my previous existence. I walked away feeling freer and happier than I'd felt in years.

You may be suitably impressed to discover that virtually none of it is missed, either. My considerable book collection had already been divided and taken into care by two people I trust with its well-being (It being the only thing I'd scream like a girl at the thought of losing, 'caretakers' had to be found - and it was split down the middle into reference and leisure. All good. Happy days. Tidy darts. Etc.).

And as I prepare to drag my transient ass into somewhere (semi) permanent again, I find that my new found 'maneuverability' in terms of physical stuff affords me 'space to think' (see what I did there? Yeah. I know). So I've been kinda compiling my own 'desert island disc' style list of things I shouldn't need, but do. Things that I can totally survive without, but honestly, truly think my life would be richer and more rewarding if I owned / had access to. Because that's the key. We can pretty much survive without anything at all if we have access to food, water and shelter - the rest of it is just accessorising.

I'm not about to go live on a desert island, before you ask. Here are five things I really shouldn't need, but I do. I so fucking do.

1. Books
Ranked slightly below Oxygen as an essential. I still carry a small selection around even now, and I have access to the rest whenever I choose. It's like having two private libraries where the librarians are cute and you get beer and if you don't bring a book back nobody gives a fuck.

2. Bass guitar (with suitably loud amplification / compression / EQ unit)
A part of me since I was fourteen, I've gone way too long without one now. It's been almost a year. And being a leftie (or a Southpaw if you prefer) means I can't just ask someone else to 'Gis' a go on your Boomtwang' because they're all fucking strung cack-handed and how am I supposed to get anything remotely sounding like Mick Karn on acid out of one of those, even though I've been virtually fucking surrounded by them every week for the best part of two years. Oh how I've suffered in silent agony...

Genuinely, though, giving my soul the means to plug back into the universal bassline and ride it for a while would be a fine thing indeed. Therapeutic at the very least. 

3. Motorbike
It was always coming, it was just a question of when. This is the year I do my Direct Access and stop procrastinating. If I'm gonna have a full-blown Midlife Crisis, then I want to have one on a Triumph fucking Roadster or a beautiful Victory 8-Ball cruiser, like this...

...not in some soft-topped mid-range two-seater dildo.

4. Writing materials
Paper and pens. Charcoal, crayons, who cares? Does it make a mark on paper? Can I draw or write with it? Do I have a portable medium to draw / write onto? Then all is well.

5. Claudia Black

I really have to explain THIS? Okay, she's not a 'thing' in an objectifying sense, clearly, but I'm pretty sure I need one of these. At least sometimes I think I do. I'll shut up now.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Twitter Fight #23438091

Got Google Plus (+) safely installed on the mobile now and everything's good in my brain. Body's not so lucky - got the tickly, insidious coughing that chooses its moments to become most prolific, such as when the rest of the house is asleep or when you're doing something that requires Zen-like concentration, such as tickling your Kundalini serpent. Yeah, you heard me.

But right now - I feel like I've been relentlessly body-punched by half a dozen female darts players. My abdomen is giggling to itself with drunken pain, waiting for the hair trigger in my larynx to send that uncontrollable spasm out across my torso. Honestly, the soreness in my muscles is almost charming. Almost. 

Anyway, there should be a point to this shit. So here we go.

For those of you that give a shit about these things, I'm really rather fond of Twitter, and I'm also really rather fond of comedy. Hence, there are a number of 'comedians' that I follow. Easy, if somewhat patronising, logic. But I've been watching with interest a spat that's been developing for a few days now between @herring1967 (Richard Herring) and @rickygervais (Ricky Gervais) over the latter's use of the word 'mong'. 

In Gervais' world, the word is non-offensive, meant to equate to 'idiot' and 'buffoon'. In Herring's view (as a long-time supporter and fundraiser for SCOPE), the word has offensive connotations, deriving itself (as it does) from the word 'mongoloid' - just like the word 'Homo' derives from 'homosexual', the word 'spaz' derives from 'spastic', 'flid' from 'Phalidomide', 'Gypo' from 'Gypsy' and so on. You can't just take a scalpel and separate the shortened derivative from the original root word to suit.

Here's the urban dictionary with a couple of definitions:

Mongoloid180 up183 down
Person with the features of one with down's syndrome (retard). Generally very ugly with no neck. Also, very low intelligence and often attend Carleton university. The name comes from the similarities of persons afflicted with down's syndrome and the facial features of indigens of Mongolia.
"Hey mommy, why does that retard look like such an ugly piece of shit?"
"Well Billy, his name is Kalonen and he is a mongoloid."

Notice the almost equal number of thumbs up/thumbs down responses there? Yeah you do. This was written by a real fucking grade-A wit who doesn't like someone called Kalonen. I'm sure he told anyone that would listen how fucking cool he was for posting it too. 

How about this one?

mongoloid405 up281 down
(n.) Someone from southern or eastern asia according to a now obsolete racial classification. The name is given, probably as a result of genghis khan's mongol empire, which saw mongols breed with the natives of most asian races/tribes. The key factors in deciding whether a skull is mongoloid or not lie in the eyes and nose.
Most Chinese, Japanese and Koreans were once called 'mongoloid'. 

Plenty more positive than negative reactions there. And at least an attempt to make it vaguely referential, unlike the cockbox above.

I'm sure you're wondering why I used the URBAN dic. rather than a real, reputable one with proper definitions in? Because the ones above were created through two different people's own perception filters. And that's kinda the point. We can allow a word to offend us, or not - but at the same time be aware of and accept that certain words carry connotations which we can't erase or ignore - but we ultimately have the power to choose if and how we use them. That speaks volumes about us as people. And after sitting quietly on the sidelines for a few days, mulling things over (because it's a word I've used myself quite often, and may so do again), I've come to no other conclusion than this:

'M' word aside, one of those two men has risen in my estimation. The other has fallen considerably. And it's not about the words they use or don't use - it's about what their perceptions of reality (and their treatment of others) says about them as men. 


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oh to be organised, like a proper writer type...

...because I'm not. And this is my first attempt in ages to try and get anything relevant and semi-serious down in one place. Fuck knows how long it'll last, but I've sorted myself with a spanky new google plus account and I'm on Twitter, and I've deactivated my Facebook profile cos I'm emotionally fragile right now and the big kids were being mean. Wankers.

But I have a plan. I have a brand new show to write called MELTDOWN - so I'm pretty much devoting the next month to that, as well as renovating a three bedroom bungalow (for someone else, I should point out) and then disappearing without trace like a passport twenty minutes before you have to leave for the airport. Physically, that is. Last time was a big, heartfelt goodbye. This time I sneak off, all greasy like.

But you can expect some audio and video content from me here too, as I explore things I may or may not end up using live. I'll be like the president in Death Race 2000 (the original awesome one) coming to you with messages of love from my Summer Palace in Beijing. 

Mr. President loves you all, my children. 

Except you, Jezza. You fucking suck.