... 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.