trafalgar-square-juggler

Well, not really. Just a juggler in Trafalgar Square yesterday. But he does look like Elton John, if Elton John were a prison juggler juggling in the prison yard.

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Trev-and-Simon-cafe

Look at us! In a cafe, with hair and itchy chins, our futures unknown and exciting and potentially colourful. Trev in a Big Coutry shirt. Me in tweeds. Now Trev wears the tweed and I dress like a big- oh,it doesn’t even work. it’s an awful attempt at a joke. I’d have to drop off the “ry” bit, remove an extraneous “o”. And even after all that work the punchline would remain untrue. I don’t even know what one would dress like. That drag act on Britain’s Got Talent? No, not Simon Cowell!

Don’t worry. The standard will be better tomorrow. Or maybe not. Anyways, we are meeting up after not seeing each other for fourteen and a half years so we’ll have lots to talk about. For one, I’ve had my whole body tattooed, from head to foot. The tattoos are all pictures of blotchy pinkywhite skin. it cost me a fortune and I look the same.

I must stop. I’m going mad. It’s food deprivation. I haven’t eaten for weeks. Or is it hours? One of the two. I always get them mixed up.

I’m off to the cafe, but not the one pictured above. I wonder where it is. It could be Central Cafe on Peter Street in Manchester. or in Peter Street on Manchester. Guess it depends on the point of view. Bye.

Today is one of those days. And it’s been a bit like that since I went to see Synecdoche, New York last… what day was it? Last week. But when? Oh, yes, Wednesday. I put a plea out on Twitter for a “follower” to meet me at the cinema; any follower; then we could do the Orange Wednesday thing. Go before 5pm, meet a friend who only has to pretend to be a friend (they can sit as far away from me as they choose once in the cinema) and suddenly we see a film for £3. It’s a bargain. But nobody showed. I’m guessing my Twitter followers thought I was joking… or are only pretending to follow me thinking it makes me feel better. Well, it does. Even when I know you are only pretending. I am happy to have pretend followers where even if you are real followers you are still only following me in pretend because it is Twitter and it’s not real and it will fade and die only to be replaced by MindPamphlet or YouBully.

I can’t write about Synecdoche, New York. Not yet. Maybe never. I don’t know what to say and no one is whispering in my ear. I wish they were. It’s a great film and maybe the saddest film I’ve ever seen and I am going to go and see it again tomorrow. It is a film though that could send me into a deep state of inertia. Sometimes somethings are so true that I truly don’t know what to do next.

If you are thinking of seeing it, see what you think of this; the Minister in the play within the film gives his sermon:

“Everything is more complicated than you think. You only see a tenth of what is true. There are a million little strings attached to every choice you make; you can destroy your life every time you choose. But maybe you won’t know for twenty years. And you’ll never ever trace it to its source. And you only get one chance to play it out. Just try and figure out your own divorce. And they say there is no fate, but there is: it’s what you create. Even though the world goes on for eons and eons, you are here for a fraction of a fraction of a second. Most of your time is spent being dead or not yet born. But while alive, you wait in vain, wasting years, for a phone call or a letter or a look from someone or something to make it all right. And it never comes or it seems to but doesn’t really. And so you spend your time in vague regret or vaguer hope for something good to come along. Something to make you feel connected, to make you feel whole, to make you feel loved. And the truth is I’m so angry and the truth is I’m so fucking sad, and the truth is I’ve been so fucking hurt for so fucking long and for just as long have been pretending I’m OK, just to get along, just for, I don’t know why, maybe because no one wants to hear about my misery, because they have their own, and their own is too overwhelming to allow them to listen to or care about mine. Well, fuck everybody. Amen.”

Or this, from the character Millicent Weems:

“What was once before you – an exciting, mysterious future – is now behind you. Lived; understood; disappointing. You realize you are not special. You have struggled into existence, and are now slipping silently out of it. This is everyone’s experience. Every single one. The specifics hardly matter. Everyone’s everyone.”

You’ll know if this appeals to you or not. And don’t be down, there are some laughs along the way too. Just like in life.

I hope Charlie Kaufman doesn’t mind me pinching bits from his film for my blog. I do it with the best of intentions. And though I will not claim to be his biggest fan or his number 1 fan I do claim my place as fan number 5,432,679.

And today I finished “My Fault” by Billy Childish. If you fancy, there is a good interview with him here. And this too leaves me unable to write. I’d love to write a review of this book telling you how great it is and how you should read it, but I just don’t have the will, the energy, or the little voice whispering in my ear. But do read it. Or just read the interview in the link and look at his paintings.

Ok, let’s end on a summery pic.

mummified frog

mummified frog

Oh, and if this post is a little down, I’m blaming the MP’s.


Cloud-seeking tourist

May 24, 2009

hungerford-Bridge-2

Nelson

Hazel BlearsIn 1997 I received a phone call from Brentnall Primary School, my old school in Salford. Well, not the school, of course, but someone who worked there. (Ah! Now I understand synecdoche).

The school had to go. Too few pupils. Children, in Salford, were dwindling. But there were still pupils at the school and where were they to go? And why were they phoning me? They thought that my (at the time) ‘P’ list celebrity status (it’s much much lower now) might be able to somehow prevent the closure. I said, in the words of Jarvis Cocker, “I’ll see what I can do.”

I hadn’t a clue. The first thing I did was close my eyes and stand in a dark room, swinging my pants. I don’t know to this day if it was a bizzare attempt at some form of meditation, some kind of remote school-saving, or if it was just a nervous reaction; a panic act, a harmless alternative to nail biting or excessive masturbation.

After a bit of thought my head cleared. I was a professional idiot, not a politician; it’s their job to save schools. And so my plan started to form. I would contact Brentnall Primary School’s nearest politician and get them to save the damned place of education.

I’d never contacted a politician before. How do you do it? Well, they all put their phone numbers in the phone book! And so this is how I came to phone Hazel Blears at the Houses of Parliament.

I say phone Hazel Blears… I just phoned a number of an office and all I got was an answerphone. I left a message- I was phoning about my old school, don’t close it, leave it open... please… – that kind of thing.

An hour later my phone rang. It was HAZEL BLEARS! She phoned me up herself. A politician! I was so shocked. I’d never spoken to a politician before. What was I supposed to do? Bow? Over the phone? Or spit? I truly had no idea.

We talked a bit. She knew of the school, and of its plight, and she said, in the words of Jarvis Cocker, “I’ll see what I can do.”

She wrote to me. It was hardly 84 Charing Cross Road, but it meant a lot at the time. And the school stayed open. The system worked! The school was going to close, we contacted the local MP, she fought, the school won.

In time it was knocked down. But Brentnall Primary School still exists. It’s smaller now, in a smaller building yards from its original location. But that’s ok isn’t it? There are fewer children in Salford these days.

And this is why I’ll miss Hazel Blears if she has to go. She’s done a bad thing. But no worse than Hoon and Purnell it seems. Yet it looks like Gordon Brown will stick up for them whilst sticking it to old Hazel Nut.

So Hazel, I’m on your side (sort of). I’ll stick up for you (though you are very very bad and wrong). You see, I’m a sucker. She was there for me when I needed an MP. And I fancy her.

(picture thanks to The Daily Mail… hope that’s ok)

ipod-night

rivoli-lights

Duckdogs-of-Dulwich

If the above picture looks sinister, well it should. It is. It’s the duckdogs of Dulwich and every year around this time they wheedle their way into the Dulwich Festival and, under the guise of entertaining the kiddies, round up all the local ducks and herd them into baskets. What happens next, no one knows. Some say the ducks are eaten by the dogs, others that the ducks are made to dress up and dance for the dogs as the dogs all chant “who let the ducks out.” One way or another, it needs to be stopped. Just like this post.

That’s Stephen Fry being interviewed by Newsnight. And when he says “You have, Course you have” he looks down the lens of the camera. At you. You. All of us. Watch the bow tied nutter here.

For another point of view, from one of the “venal and disgusting crowd of people”, try this piece by Brian Reade in the Mirror.

Time for a fight!

Who you gonna call?

May 14, 2009

sleazebusters

Well something had to be done. When the going gets tough the lazy get blogging.

I’ve not asked Trev yet but I’ve set the two of us up as SLEAZEBUSTERS (proudly sponsored by CIGARETTES)*. And please, no smirking at the use of the word “busters”. It’s proper. I got it from Ghostbusters and they saved New York from the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!

Well, we’re going to save this country from the Puffed Up Cushion Man (aka  mild-mannered Keith Vaz.)

So here’s the plan. It’s fine all these MP’s going “Ooh, we’re sorry. Really sorry. We’ll all pay. You’ve caught us out. We forgot. blah blah blah, cry,cry, cry, wee wee wee. We’re honest really. As honest as you. Honestly. We all do it. Don’t we? Even Stephen Fry does it and he’s an angel and everyone loves him and he’s clever!” Yes, that’s one thing, but… oops, I feel a little digression coming on…

How do you forget you’ve paid off your mortgage? How does that happen? How do you forget when you’re suddenly £800 richer a month? When you’ve paid £800 a month for 25 years, how do you forget when that time is up? When my mum and dad finally paid off their mortgage, after twenty five bloody long years- when they finally owned the house they had slowly bought over a quarter of a century- well, I seem to remember they had a little celebration.  We used to have a little piece of fancy wood hung up on the wall. It said “God bless our (mortgaged) home”. They jumped up and down on it, danced a jig on it, they burnt it, they ate it.

To overlook £800 a month is a bit like, well, having more money than sense.

Back to business. SLEAZEBUSTERS (proudly sponsored by CIGARETTES)* offers a new way forward for our MP’s. We know they stuck by the rules and we know just how much it costs to remove a weasel motel from the chimney breast of an underground heliport (Oh, some poncey grandee is bound to have one), so we say keep your money! That’s safe! We say we don’t want it back!

Our policy is simple. We say That which has been bought with the money of the people now belongs to the people.

We say Hogg! Let us swim in your scummy moat!

We say Vaz! Let us sit upon your 24 cushions!

We say Huhne! Let us press our trousers inside your Corby!

We say Letwin! Let us win at tennis against you! Hard cheese!

We say Morley… Oh, that one’s slipped my mind…

You get the drift. It’s your money, they’re your things. All you have to do is collect them. Put your claim in now through SLEAZEBUSTERS (proudly sponsored by CIGARETTES)*.

Oh, but don’t even think of asking for Govvy’s Elephant lamps. I’ve got my eye on them. Go on Govvy, give us your elephant lamps and we’ll let you off the £134.50. (I feel I can call him Govvy after yesterday’s fun exchange in the comments box). Or at least send me a piccy that I can put up on the blog. Go on, please, Sir Lord Michael Gove.

And now the small and nearly invisible print…

* SLEAZEBUSTERS (proudly sponsored by CIGARETTES) will never break their own code of conduct. We give you these promises:

None.

We will, where possible, claim maximum expenses.

We will forget.

We will always apologise before doing the same thing again.

A word from our sponsors:

SMOKING IS FUN AND GOOD FOR YOU. AND BIG. AND CLEVER. LIKE STEPHEN FRY.

So says Michael Gove, the Shadow Education Secretary, but let’s just call him The Shadow. Watch him get angry here, courtesy of The Daily Telegraph. Things are coming to a pretty pass (whatever that means) when I start referring you to the Telegraph!

Did some of his furniture look like this?

elephant lamp 2Maybe. All we know for sure is that we bought him two elephant lamps for £134.50. That’s not a bad price for elephant lamps, though I could quite possibly pick on up in a pound shop in Peckham, for, well, around a pound? Overall though we got off lightly there and who are we to begrudge him the all-essential elephant lamp? Maybe he pushed his luck going for two, but then he does have two homes.

One elephant lamp in one home, another in the other. I wonder if he went for a matching pair? And if the elephants miss each other? He looks a kindly sort so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt. I don’t think he’d split up a pair. I guess his second elephant lamp looks a little like this.

elephant-lamp1

Though that’s an elephant lamp that would look more at home in a child’s bedroom and as we all know, MP’s above others, children’s equipment is banned under Commons Rules. What? He claimed for a £34.99 foam cot mattress from Toys ‘R’ Us? I’m not sure what shocks me most. The fact that he dragged an innocent child into the scandal or that the Shadow Education Secretary frequents a store with a backwards ‘R’. God forbid he ever gets in charge of our schools. He’ll introduce a new key on our computers to type a backwards R. Then he’ll do the rest of the alphabet. Then he’ll have us playing our records backwards. And before you know it Satan will rule the Earth.

You’ll see in the video that he is understandably livid. “I wanted to be honest”, he states. But he doesn’t mention the elephant lamps.

I wonder if it was this one?

ElephantLamp3

And why did he stop at elephant lamps? They’re not the only animal with the power of electricity surging through their trunks. Well, actually, they most probably are. I’m not sure what other animals have trunks (Oh yes! Tapirs! Tapir lamps!). But I’m disappointed that he didn’t go for a monkey lamp. What about the one below Michael? I haven’t a clue how much it costs but we’ll all happily club together and get you one. After all, we already have them. They’re what’s known as essential in our homes. I have good friends who have gone without heat, food and chimney sweeps just so they can have a monkey lamp. Here we see a monkey on top of two Jeffrey Archer novels, rolling a ball whilst dangling a lantern over his head with his tail. If your constituents don’t demand you get one immediately then they are idiots.

monkey lamp

Please watch him get angry and indignant. It’s very funny. Go on Michael! Get angry! Get indignant! It’s working. There’s no way you are making a fool of yourself.

michael gove

"I acknowledge that the whole system is rotten."