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14 Mar 2010
Post 191: Trying to mix things up
I think I may have written another unpublishable blog post prompted by the outcry caused by Jon Venables (one of the scum who murdered James Bulger in 1993), a kid I've always had a problem with (apart from the obvious) because he just looks like a thug in waiting, breaking the terms of his parole and going back to jail. So this is the slightly edited version! The wall to wall coverage and James' mum being dragged out so she could say her usual 'Hangin's too good for 'im' got the temperature of my blood up. I'm no apologist for the gits that did this but British Justice is based on the law and not on the principle of 'scousers get revenge'. What happened to James Bulger was grim, I hope it never happens again. I just find it distasteful the way that the 4th estate parades victims families and styles them as 'experts'. Women like Denise Bulger are barely qualified to smoke the 50 Royals her dole money buys her a day let alone comment on criminal justice!And if you think that's close to the bone you should have seen the original. Changing the subject (phew!) A very astute comment from a very astute mate of mine caught my eye on facebook this week and reminded me of my core beliefs.
In a thread discussing the Oscars my wise and amusing mate Shaun (now living in Melbourne with his wife) simply said 'self-congratulating, Earnest sh*te' – a quite brilliant description of an institution that only has any lustre because the people involved implore us to think it should and listening to 'How to lose friends and alienate people' a book that contains a lot about how much hot air is attached to the Conde Nast 'Vanity Fair' post Oscar party made me think, I can't stand things or people that obviously overvalue themselves and take themselves far too seriously, my pet hate at the moment is a series called 'The Hills'
where a bunch of impossibly good-looking people talk about their latest modellinng assignment, like totally. As it's a US drama they're obviously all involved with one another, again hollywood trying to make us believe that people that good looking are actually involved with anyone but themselves. So vacuous is this show is there's actually a subtitle of the characters name at the beginning of every shot assuming 'quite rightly' that the audience can't tell the characters apart or they can't be *rsed to invest the time in watching more than a snippet. I suppose this does beg the question 'why are you even watching it?' Simple, because at weekends T4 have replaced one episode of that mainstay of convalescees TV 'Friends' with it and sometimes even changing the channel is hard these days, seriously – we've all been there?
I can probably be accused of taking life a bit seriously since my stroke but it's hard to make light of this, despite my best efforts. While I'm in film/audio-visual territory I found it hard to stifle a laugh at some of the hairdo's and suits and just some of the crass ridiculousness of 'greed is good' 1987 story of stockbroking, money, wealth-creation at it's most evil and a man called Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stones 'Wall Street'
which was on TV one evening this week. Ironically I started off my career in 1999 as a stock broker and it taught me a thing or two about people who overvalue themselves and believe their own Bullsh*t, like Jose Mourinho but in no way special. For the same reason I abhor the utterings of Chris Martin or Bono, how can a couple of Earnest tw*t popstars identify with starving people in Africa? It's like Jeremy Kyle telling a heroin addict that 'he's been there'.
Changing the subject I have been doing my best to take my mind off these examples of 'Broken Britain/Screwed World' by getting out of the house a few times in the evenings this week because getting to see people and things and not giving in to my fatigue give my life some value – I just wish it would make me feel physically better (which it doesn't by a long shot unfortunately) – How many people can ever claim they feel physically better after a night out. I'll wager that's a number pretty close to zero. So what is it about seeing other people, laughing and listening to loud music that outweighs that 'morning after' feeling? I don't bloody know but I'm sure it says it in some psychology textbook. All I know is that it helps – this week on Wednesday I went to see the Stereophonics at the Dome with dear friends Simon (Champ) and Karen and guess what? I think we all had a better time than if we'd all separately stayed at home. To start off with Champ always takes us for steaks at the Dome branch of the Gaucho Grill, rapidly becoming my favourite restaurant I've been to in this country. Everything there is perfect, the wine, the ambience, the décor, the service and the steak is out of this world as I'm sure are the prices, but Champ, very generously, always treats us and Karen, being a financial journalist quizzes Champ on the city lowdown. When we eventually went to the concert we were impressed. I don't know much about the Stereophonics except the name of their singer and they have a sound that you could instantly recognise, like you would with Dire Straits. They are Stadium Rockers through and through and sounded so much better than on a stereo. As I've said before, I think the Dome soundystem is probably one of the best in the world and even though our seats are about as far away from the stage as anyone the sound is still loud and crystal clear, as venues go the Dome is where it's at! So we had a great night out and my recommendation is either go to the Dome or see the Stereophonics live! Not content with just doing that this week, the Next night I went to see a name from my misspent clubbing past DJ Tiesto,
the worlds number one DJ (when I last checked 6 years ago) at Brixton academy (a venue that used to be 5 minutes from my front door) when I lived in Brixton on my own in my own flat before my life disintegrated (sorry, changed) must try not always to see this as a massive step backward. Even if it is!
Anyway I've seen Tiesto loads of times and without a doubt he is the master of the big gig, particularly since he provided the music for the opening ceremony to the Athens Olympics and only played tunes he'd produced. He has produced some pretty accessible, tuneful, trancey stuff but he has also produced a lot of melody free percussive techy stuff which I suggest 95% of the human race might struggle to appreciate but when mixed into a trance set on a good soundsystem sounds awesome, perhaps assisted by some recreational ecstatic stimulation. Anyways those days are gone and regardless of what kids get up to, I go for the atmosphere and spectacle first and foremost and I still admire the way he puts a set together even if the music is a bit banging these days. In the same boat was my friend Tanya (my driver/carer on Thursday) who I'm glad to be speaking to again after a row about something or other threatened to ostracise us from one another. She's one of the only people who seems to take everything in her stride when taking me out. Ie makes my transfer in/out of my car/wheelchair feel like it's the most normal thing in the world! To be clear everyone else is getting pretty close to that but she was doing it two years ago! It just helps me feel more normal, although leaving Brixton Academy wasn't a great moment. The stairs to the front door are listed so they have to put out a temporary wooden Ramp. I elected to do this forwards so I could see my wheels but horror of horrors I fell out of my chair and ended up on the pavement outside Brixton Academy, I'm sure I'm not the first person to fall over on that particular stretch of pavement! Luckily, the only thing I hurt was my pride and there were plenty of big security or ambulance types on hand to help me back into my chair. Crisis, what Crisis? Speaking of which anyone who hasn't replied to my (sent via Facebook) invite please do, although some technical gremlins
are intermittently making things tougher apparently. If you haven't got an invite and you think you should it's probably because my memories shot and I've got a bloody brain injury. I need laughter so my hero local friend Rachel
is taking me see Lee Mack at the Hammersmith Apollo tonight (saturday) and let me just say it was one of the funniest stand up shows I've ever seen! e.g the voices in Kirstie Alsops head are not saying 'location, location, location' they're actually saying 'biscuits, biscuits, biscuits' I think Rachel found it as funny as I did, at least I hope so, I'm still chuckling, and thanks to my surrogate sister Vicki Denning , yes believe it or not that is me in the red,
for taking me to dinner and a movie on friday night,you still can't go wrong tastewise (probably caloriewise you can) at Pizza Express!
Vicky's the kind of mate that makes life worth living, the same goes for best mate Tony who popped in on Saturday – it's being able to pop in and out that I miss most. That said I will continue to try and make things less beige!