Saturday, November 25, 2006

It is fatal to look hungry. It makes people want to kick you


The weather this week: cramped, dismal and Russian. It serves to remind one of why the English are quite so wretched.

Boring man

Last week I met a very boring man. I was trapped in his company for about an hour, perhaps longer. It was enough time for me to appreciate a distinction between the boring and the merely dull. Dull people are without merit. They lack qualities. Boring people are different; they actively engage you in conversation, and suck you into their tedious world of anecdotes and solipsistic pomposity. They are wasting your time. They are standing too fucking close. If you insult them they don't notice, which is enraging. You want to kill them but they will not die. They simply will not die. My friend was mugged and the boring man immediately told her in great detail of the time one of his friends was mugged, as though as it were a competition. Boring people are intensely competitive. Likewise, intensely competitive people are boring. Sometimes the world is simple, but that doesn't make it any easier.

Eva Green
I had Bond Girl Eva Green tipped for stardom after five minutes of dirty old Bertolluci's bi-curious arthouse skinflick The Dreamers.

There are two types of cigarette and they are both Class A Cigarettes. The first is your standard filter-tipped wincer at around £5.50 a pack. Camel, Marlboro and Lucky Strike are favoured by the young and trendy, who think that Rothmans are a bit working-class. The second type is smoked by older people who are in the know. This cigarette is longer, cheaper, comes in packs of 25 and has an aristocratic name, such as Mayfair and Regal. Those attracted to an elitist, clubroom, invitation-only aesthetic may enjoy the smooth taste of John Player Special. The packaging is often exquisitely gaudy, with gold trim and bevelled edges. Some of these brands are menthol flavoured. All these cigarettes taste and smell disgusting and no-one would smoke them if they weren't highly addictive. They are sprayed with chemicals so that each cigarette burns itself out, ensuring you light another if you forget to smoke continuously. Remember, they are both Class A cigarettes made from a careful blend of only the very finest Virginian and Domestic tobbacos. I have a Craven 'A' tin from the 1920's. On the inside lid reads the legend 'These cigarettes are specially formulated to prevent sore throats'. The fact that companies are no longer allowed to lie to us so brazenly means people think that they might now be telling the truth. Let them lie to us again; let them weave colourful webs of ludicrous deceit; then it will be obvious that they aren't to be trusted.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

like, one day I was in Lidl innit

Penetrating social commentary, wryly minimalist video

volume 1
alright then

let me tell you about a little trip I had, innit
like, one day I was in Lidl innit
and this is how it went
check it
one day I went to Lidl
I went to shoplift in Lidl
then I got caught in Lidl
now I don't go back to Lidl
one day I went to Asda
I went to shoplift in Asda
then I got caught in Asda
now I don't go back to Asda"

I am also enjoying this immensely

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ultraskull Presents: News summary in animated Gifs




A great week for American women
Kira Cochrane - The Guardian

"...Nancy Pelosi's historic election to Speaker of the House, the third-highest position in US
politics and the most significant ever held by a woman (if George Bush and Dick Cheney were
to die, Pelosi would become president)...For the first time in US history, not one, but two
women represent the most visible, and probably the most powerful politicians in a single party.
Hillary Clinton's landslide victory in New York, where she captured 67% of the vote, has
naturally been seen as another positive step on her now apparently unstoppable journey
towards a candidacy in the 2008 presidential elections..."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rumsfeld: "I am human and I need to be loved"

In his resignation speech, a visibly shaken Donald Rumsfeld asked the media 'How can you say I go about things the wrong way? I am human and I need to be loved'. Responding to questions regarding his handling of the war in Iraq, he became impatient and truculent, proclaiming 'I crack the whip and you skip, but you deserve it. You deserve it, deserve it, deserve it.' Asked whether his resignation signalled the beginning of the end for the Bush administration, Rumsfeld responded enigmatically 'There is a light that never goes out'. When asked whether he had any regrets, he paused briefly, then said "No more apologies. no more apologies. I'm too tired. I'm too sick and tired and I'm feeling very sick and ill today". As he left the stage he muttered 'My life is a succession of people saying goodbye ...'. His speechwriter was unavailable for comment.

Poor Donald. Not a good time for him. Let's give him a treat. Let's take him surfing. 'Waterboarding' sounds like fun. I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Isn't it like when social workers take groups of 'problem children' on expensive adventure holidays to encourage team building? Come on, Rummy! Let's hit some primo swells, check out some honeys and shoot the shit about all that totally bogus Jihad gig. Woah! Wipeout! So where's that Bin Laden dude? He was rippin' it last week.

No, hold on, wasn't that Cheney that was into surfing?
I'm lost.

"He's a ruthless little bastard. You can be sure of that." - Richard Nixon on Donald Rumsfeld

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Monday, November 06, 2006

This could go on forever, in which case I’m doomed.

Like Dennis Nielsen, I drink myself into an unsleepable trance and listen to music very loud on headphones when most sane people are safe in their beds. Unlike Dennis Nielsen I don’t have a dog named Bleep, and I don’t have any dead men buried beneath my floorboards. Like Dennis Nielsen, I do like ‘Oh Superman’ by Laurie Anderson, I stand slightly left of centre, I am scared of being alone, I lack self control and I have made some poor decisions. But I don’t like Tubular Bells, so I think the comparisons end there. Dear God I hope they end there. Right now it’s ‘Speedway’ by Morrissey. It was the same in 1994. Nothing has changed. The song and my response remains the same. Your record collections may be the only constant. Unlike your friends, you can’t wear them out. They don’t get exhausted by your constant neediness. You don’t have to appeal to them, you don’t have to change to win them over, you don’t have to do anything for them. They are there for you, unreservedly. They never spurn you, they never reject you. They never lead you on, whether innocently, deceptively, naively or ambiguously. Just hit play and the therapy resumes free of charge. They are your friends. Hold on to your friends.

I have a thorn in my side and it’s nobody’s fault but mine. A dear friend said it might be the artist’s lot to suffer for their art. I hope that isn’t true. If it goes on forever, I am doomed. I was touched to find out that someone quoted me once. I’d like to say that now my heart is full, but it just ain’t.

I just got back in touch with an old friend; a friend who has an inner strength I can only dream of. This old friend has it worse than me; and I wonder whether this is the key. Perhaps you get to a certain point where you simply must cope; you don’t have the luxury of limbo. Sister you’re a poet. Sister, you are a survivor. Good night and thankyou.

It's not right, but it's not wrong

I just invented a new cocktail. It's called a Gin Giblet. Take four parts of the roughest gin you have lying around, in this case, the only gin you have lying around, Tesco Value Gin. If you don't have gin, use the 80% abv. Polish grain spirit you bought as a 'joke', or failing that, the 90% abv. Irish Poteen you bought to poison cats with. Mix it with two parts five year old lime cordial you will find at the back of the kitchen cupboard. You may have to wrestle with it. It's stuck to a bottle of salad cream that should have been binned years ago along with the cordial. You don't have any tonic water, so don't bother looking for any, just top up the mixture with tap water. You won't find any ice, because you don't think ahead, and there aren't any lemons to garnish it with because if you had fruit lying around this would indicate a healthy lifestyle, in which case you wouldn't be in the state you are in now. Swallow it very fast, pour yourself another and have a good think about bathing face down. When it reaches your guts, drink some more so you can't feel what it is doing to your guts. You are now stinking drunk. Smoke some cigarettes. Do something you will later regret, then collapse. Wake up somewhere, then repeat as necessary.

The album is nearly finished. Maybe it will sell enough copies for me to be able to afford some more Poteen.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

"Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"...

... John Lydon asked from the Winterland stage at the end of the Sex Pistols' last concert.

Ever ruined a favourite record? It's easily done. Vulnerable times. You play the songs that made you cry. The songs that saved your life. The songs that make sense of the senseless. You go back a long way, you and those songs. They've seen you through some bad times, those songs. Wise words and waveforms etched onto vinyl, handled with care, will last you a lifetime. Then the world you were grappling with, the world you thought you had just about got a handle on, a world you didn't fully understand but at the very least thought you recognised, turns out to be something completely different. You didn't see the signs. You didn't notice the clues. A shapeshifter. The soundtrack to the carnival is sullied forever; someone poisoned the well and waited a while before telling the villagers. The band played on as one by one they fell to the floor. It gets worse: you shared the songs, passed them back and forth. All those words: all messages on an ill wind. An interloper speaking Your Private Language in Your Private Inner World. The Trojans must have had trust issues for years afterwards. The soldiers emerged from the horse, the city was in a drunken stupor. Never let your guard down. You'll be truly disappointed.

You can't just sit there moping. You must get out for a while. You pay a few quid to see the Turner Prize nominations. You could have bought a hotdog instead. But you didn't. You paid to see the work of a new generation of artists at the cutting edge of popular culture. How you longed for that hotdog, all forlorn on that hotplate. While you were looking at some stuff in some rooms, someone else got that hotdog. The hotdog you were so close to having and holding. That hotdog with your name on it. Your hotdog. Still, as you walk on, hungry, dispirited and wondering if you will ever again be able to trust your own appetites, you have to say to yourself: it's only a fucking hotdog.