On the high side of life

October 26, 2007

Just as the British government is considering reclassifying Cannabis a class 3 drug after decriminalising possession some years ago a report is released showing possession amongst 16-24yr olds is down 7% in the last decade. This is hardly a shock to anyone who remembers being young. If any enterprising innovators want to cut out recreational drug use altogether they should make it a compulsory lesson in school. I’m betting just before calculus would be best. Sure, it sounds like it would be fun at first but, in truth, by the time you turned 12 the novelty would have totally worn off.*

But governments aren’t famous for their clear, innovative, well- balanced decisions. Neither are musical artists but Radiohead have reportedly sold 1.2 million copies of their new album inrainbows in the first week by offering it to you for whatever you want to pay- even nothing. A western world sick of capitalism apparently, voluntarily gave an average of $5 for the downloadable album meaning the band did about 5 times better than if they had sold it through a record company.

This is what happens when you give people who take drugs power over their lives: they get all touchy- feely and believe people are just, like, “fundamentally good and generous and shit”. They go and annoy all of us by making millions proving it right. Piety and wealth! I say we burn them at the stake. The album’s quite good, though. I paid $5.

lizdean.jpg

For all those who think that artists taking drugs/ living it up/ driving too fast and dying young is a bad example for the youth I give you the comparison of Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean. Which do you think is a better role model, Mad Liz or the man who said “dream as if you will live forever, live as though you will die today.”? Imagine if Michael had died in a rollercoaster accident before he was accused for the 17th time of being a kiddie fiddler. If Paul McCartney had never joined “Wings”. How much better would our lives be?

Thank you Jimi, Kurt, Janis, John and, of course, James. From a time when artists were more considerate of their fans.

*- what the hell is an 11yr old doing calculus for- that is madness!

It’s an old phrase but I have, in my life, failed to find a better combination of just 3 experiences. These three most definitely add up to more than the whole.

Analysing it each of the things kick up one sure-fire flag that they are fun. Plenty of people disapprove of them. But it’s the combination that works incredibly well. Replace drugs, for instance, with yoghurt and it all kind of falls apart.

Or, alteratively, sex, drugs and Yanni… it would need to be a lot of drugs. Going to the Post Office, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll lacks a certain something although it might make an amusing story later. Leaving sex out of the three is just ludicrous anyway.

Sex, Caring for the Elderly and Rock ‘n Roll somehow lacks some of the joi de vivre that drugs bring to the party and could get you in trouble if anyone filmed it… Although there is the possibility of stealing the drugs from the elderly but that just takes us back to Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll, anyway.

Trying to knock up another three that more usually go together and offer the same level of excitement doesn’t seem to work either. Daytime TV, Ironing and Crisps, for instance, doesn’t compare terribly well. A movie, popcorn and loud people two rows back annoying you doesn’t come close either. Not even a little.

And let’s not forget that there are so many variables in Sex Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll that you are unlikely to run out and get bored before you die of an overdose, syphilis or a dislocated Tibia*. So, no loss there, then.

The only true leeway does appear to be in the selection of music although Enya or any one- man- band is always a mistake, especially live. He always stares. Enya would just send everyone to go into a coma, and that’s what the drugs are for. Funk would probably work, too, as would Latin but it would be important to match the music up to the right drugs.

Remember, sex between 2 people is a beautiful thing, sex between 3 is fantastic!

There is a reason what was promoted in the 70s has lasted through the test of over 30 years. Admittedly, we laid off the oily hair after a short while because it sucked but they couldn’t get everything right, could they? We owe a lot to a generation that reminded us, after all the crap of the Victorian era, what partying was all about.

*- a town in Sudan, I think.

String Theory, Gravity Theory or M Theory depending on which flavour or nuance you subscribe to describes the interconnectedness of all things. Even the most basic of physics students knows the experiment whereby you hit an atom and two electrons with different spin come out. Then if you change the spin on one the spin on it’s sister changes immediately whether they are on opposite sides of the room or planet. Such is the most basic idea of “holistic physics”.

Which means all humans, all creatures are connected on some level, even Britney spears and the Dalai Lama. I mention this only because many are mystified by Britney’s most recent foray into fashion. Some, even me, have been buried by scepticism and paved over by cynicism and said that any celebrity who shaves their head in the window of an expensive hair salon in hollywood is only out for attention- not having a nervous breakdown or becoming lesbian. Not that you could blame the girl for considering it- marrying Kevin Federline has to be all the motivation you need. Not even the most right-wing Catholic, vengeful God would send her to hell for it after that trauma.

In her sharp turn away from latex catsuits and tweeny schoolgirl outfits Britney has tried to don the lesbian/ new-age feminist/ neo-nazi look so fashionable in boot camps, right-wing terrorist cells and Bhuddist Temples. It is this final one where I think our dear Britney has found her home. She has decided that the next Dalai Lama should be a girl and she is the incarnation. After all, we have always been awed by her depth and caring counsel. Her nurturing of the youth (in their bedrooms, alone) and caring for the retarded (Kevin Federline).

So all hail string theory and Britney- the new incarnation of the Dalai Lama. Get that incense and start chanting!

jester

Head up my arse

February 9, 2007

king_street_healers.jpgWhat with me having my head up my arse (please, all Americans, note the spelling. An Ass is a donkey, an arse is full of shit) I failed to notice that there is a way to have a little audio on this page. I apologise to anyone who turned up while I was still fiddling and had the thing on autoplay. It’s the sort of thing that pisses me off: having someone else’s idea of fun or culture rammed down my throat.

But…

I went to Sonific to find something credible as background and stumbled on something more than just credible almost immediately.

If you like “The Blues,” what I believe is known as 3rd generation blues, with a healthy kick of rock ‘n roll and maybe just the teensiest bit of hillbilly banjo from a band that could just as easily be playing something grungy and filled with angst or yet another rock ‘n roll ballad but have resisted the temptation then give it a try.

It’s in the column on the left. Right, I mean. Damn. Column on the right, just a little bit down.

jester

Self-help books

January 20, 2007

The plethora of self-help books for the misguided that plague the shelves of my otherwise rather pleasant, proficient and airy local book store have driven me to provide some opposition to these “celebrations of the mentally incapable, for the benefit of the psychologically feeble, as transcribed by the mentally unable.”These are books that openly boast that they are compiled specifically for ‘idiots’, ‘dummies’ and, had I stayed in the section and continued to pay attention, probably for ‘porn stars’, ‘television producers’, ‘pop and sports stars’, ‘Chicken McNuggets’ and ‘parliamentarians.’ Listed here in decreasing order of intelligence. They prey on people at their most confused and vulnerable, much like orange robed Hare-Krishnas at international airports.

Of the few people I know who have ever flirted dangerously with ownership of one of these books none denies that the handing over of a sum of money, representing as it did even a minute of their working lives, for one of these travesties of the publishing community was, by far, their lowest point.

These books are capable of causing great harm not only to those of us with intelligence who find ourselves, in desperate moments, allowing our egoes to be destroyed by this pornography. They are actually most dangerous in the hands of those who do not realise that the books are, quite simply, beyond their level of understanding.

In famous circles the less-than great Jeffrey Archer was seen procuring the first edition print of ‘The Idiots Guide to Writing.’ in late 1975 for just a penny less than a pound. An act that was doomed to cause widespread suffering in the English speaking world as the ‘Idiot’s Guide’ was unquestionably aimed far above his head.

The ‘parliamentarians guide to comprehendable short memos,’ released only three months later would have been much more Mr. Archer’s style and would not have resulted in the British government having to jail him on trumped-up charges. These charges fabricated to stop the nation all consuming their own feet in protest should he be allowed to release another novel.

More recently another political figure by the name of George W. Bush was seen in late 2000 carrying ‘The Middle East for Dummies’ into a White House meeting. A book that could, possibly, have done a lot of good in the hands of a person of the calibre of a daytime talk-show host or school janitor but was quite patently too advanced for the alcoholic, Texan, ex-‘Oil Farmer’.

These are books that are insulting to most of the human population yet dangerous in the hands of those who do not realise that upgrading of their intelligence to ‘idiot’ or ‘dummy’ would require the expansion of their vocabulary to over 55 words, abstinence from ‘Baywatch’ reruns and at least six months of intensive eloctroshock therapy.

Other innocents recently harmed by these books are: George Michael seen purchasing ‘the porn star’s guide to positive publicity’; Freddie Flintoff with ‘The Dummies Guide to winning the Ashes’; Michael Jackson, in 1996, seen buying the audio book of ‘The Idiot’s guide to Reliving Your Childhood’ and, in the same genre and the ‘mother of all self-help tat’ (so worth a mention in context), Jacob Zuma** (our next Winnie Mandela***) with ‘How to win friends and influence people.’

My response to this self-help invasion, my small stand against an invading tide of feckless hot air, my Alamo, My Rourke’s Drift, my crumbling gesture as I hear of Jeffrey Archer’s new book deal, will be a series of ‘not how to’ articles.

Written by someone who refuses bluntly to read up on imminent tasks no matter how complex, dangerous, intricate, difficult, embarrasingly public or obtuse. One who trusts to improvisation and innovation and that “things probably don’t hurt when you’re dead.”

In this series I intend to cover, “how not to climb a mountain”, “how not to ride an ostrich”, “how not to sink yourself and a ‘rowing eight’ on the Thames River in the middle of winter” and “how not to time a fourteen day video recorder to record Gillmore Girls for your intemperate other half”. Amongst others.

That way others may learn from my fortitude, courage, pain and outright ineptitude without having to endure the suspect vagaries that are the result of the self-help book.

* Cricket. If you don’t know, don’t find out. Cricket can be addictive and unlike cocaine and crystal meth a fix takes up to 5 days.

** Jacob Zuma is a less than charming, intelligent gentleman currently ‘absolutely not running to be the next President of South Africa’. You have been warned.

*** Winnie Mandela was the last militant idiot who struck fear into every paranoid white person in South Africa as a “Possible Next President” and thought she could run against the tide of the old-school moderates in the ANC. She is now living somewhere in the wilderness shielded by 3 bodyguards and 5279 criminally large hats.

Offensive song lyrics

January 15, 2007

Inspired by a post on oscarandre.wordpress.com about offensive humour I decided to pull out some old Brit Punk music which needed some airing as it was sulking in the corner, looking like it was going to go out ‘do’ the local corner shop and possibly in need for a good wash and fresh clothes.

This being a recording of them live and therefore, being a punk band, also drunk and high- their normal lack of clear articulation, in dodgy northern accents, was exacerbated to the point that you needed the lyrics available to know what they were singing. So I went and got them.

I find the Macc Lads entertaining and callously funny, I understand many wouldn’t. They are somewhat vicious, as the British sense of humour tends to be. If you watch Blackadder it is, for the most part, a stream of original, entertaining insults. If the British had to give up beating the hell out of most of the world in empire building wars, were made to stop going abroad and beating up other country’s footballers and can’t even provoke South American military juntas to attack small, pointless pieces of land they own around the world anymore they are damn well going to be miserable and mean to each other. It is, after all, the natural British state of being.

The thing that made me connect them with the word “offensive”, because I do not find them so, was the “is there offensive or adult content?” type question placed in front of me as I submitted it to my favoured social bookmarking site. Understanding, as I am, of the vagaries of others I marked “yes”.

Here those lyrics are.

Sweaty Betty- The Macc Lads

She wore big knickers and she worked at the sewage farm.
Got my hands down her jeans and I nearly lost half my arm.
But after ten pints, she looked quite fit,
Couldn’t wait to get my hands on her flabby tits.
So I said, Slap that and ride the ripples,
I just got to get my gob round her greasy nipples.
Flabby arse, sweaty breasts, thirty eight chins,
she was a mound of flesh.
Sweaty Betty, she eats a lot of pies,
Sweaty Betty, she’s got enormous thighs,
Sweaty Betty, have you smelled her breath?
Sweaty Betty, she’d crush a man to death.

I knew that she wanted me to shag her,
so I stabbed her cunt with my mutton dagger.
I couldn’t believe the size of her bum,
She used to play for Wigan at the back of the scrum.
I’ve seen nowt like it since the day I was born,
But you know me, I’ll shag owt that’s warm.

Sweaty Betty, she eats a lot of chips,
Sweaty Betty, she’s got massive tits,
Sweaty Betty, she’s got a huge vagina,
Sweaty Betty, you’d fit a bus inside her,
She’s so obscene, three tons of margarine,
She’s like a lump of lard
But Sweaty Betty makes my willy hard.

That evening I am settling down to watch a program on my tragically under-used television and they have a video playing. “Fergalicious”. And, being in ‘lyric listening’ mode that’s what I did. I have never heard such drivel (and I once worked with the mentally deranged) in all my life. I cannot bear to print the entire thing in this post so I have linked it instead. Here is a joyous sample:

I’m Fergalicious (so delicious)
My body stay vicious
I be up in the gym just working on my fitness
He’s my witness (oooh wee)
I put yo’ boy on rock rock
And he be lining down the block just to watch what I got (four, tres, two, uno)

Ignoring her inability to count down from four in Spanish for a moment I would like, in order to show balance, to compliment her on effort in the last throes of the song whichs are, presumably, designed help the current generation with their spelling (D to the E to the L I C I O U S, to the D to the E to the, to the, to the) even if she comes a little unstuck toward the end. Possibly some grit got behind a contact lens meant she could no longer read the cue card.

So, her song I find offensive. It has no intelligent, witty or even edgy or controversial content. It is a narcissistic, misogynistic*, vacuous and (most criminally) terminally dull pile of doggie-doo. The same goes for anything by Britney (“Get it get it, get it get it (WHOOOOOA) (Do you like it)”).

The rule is, I firmly believe, if your lyrics are inane and questionable you had better be an incredibly talented musician to make up for it (“de-doo-doo-doo, de-dah-dah-dah, that’s all i want to say to you..?” really Sting? really**?). Alternatively- be living an incredibly fatuous lifestyle that we can all admire or, as a last result, die in a gross or intriguing way like Jimmy Hendrix or Michael Hutchens of INXS.

I am not a parent, but if I was I would rather come home to find my young teenage daughter drunk, dressed as a goth, smoking, surrounded by empty condom packets and listening to the Macc Lads than standing in front of MTV trying to mimic Britney Spears. Okay, that’s extreme. Smoking is a bit much, it’s stupid. I would hate to raise an imbecile.

At least Britney got an answer to her pleading question in her song ‘Slave’: “Always saying little girl don’t step into the club. Well I’m just tryin’ to find out why cause dancing’s what I love.”:

“Because you’re and idiotic, white trash brat who, the second she gets a whiff of alcohol will drop the dancing, get married on a whim, bloat up like a blowfish in a panic attack and squeeze out a couple of white trash puppies. And mommy doesn’t want to lose her meal ticket just yet.”

* yes, actually, it is. Any misogynist could use it tas evidence that men are better than women. it’s a stretch, I know but I liked the flavour of the word placed just there. what can i say… “am I bovvered? Do I look bovvered…”

** maybe he should have stopped there before he got all rainforesty and tantricy.

ref: http://www.seeklyrics.com/lyrics/Britney-Spears/I-m-A-Slave-4-U.html
ref: http://www.mp3lyrics.org/f/fergie/fergalicious/