“BUGLY” (Boring and UGLY)


I am handing in my Lady Gaga essay. I’m on the train. Everything is going smoothly so far- I caught an 85 bus which took me right down to the station, and there was no queue so I got a ticket in time for the train…

Now I’m sat on the train. A woman has parked her buggy outside the toilet and is screaming at her kids.

“Waaah!”

“Do that again and I’ll hit you on the hand very hard!”

“Waa-” Abrupt silence.

2 minutes later.

“WAAAAAAAH!”

“I mean it! SHUT UP!!!!” her shout echoes down the carriage.

As middle-aged women turn round in motherly concern, I decide it’s time to drown her out with some Kanye.

I had a dream last night that me and Esther had a baby. More of a nightmare really. I aged a lot that night.

“Was it nice?” Esther asks when I tell her in the morning.

“It was difficult” I say diplomatically. This banshee on the train settles it. No kids till I can stand to be near them in public. No kids till I have a personality transplant.

Why would anyone choose to be tested to the brink of sanity by screaming, puking, shitting sacks of stress? In my dream, Linda sat on our baby’s head like she does to me in the morning, and we had to rush it to the hospital.

Who in their right mind would choose kids over pets? You can’t legally pet your kids. You can kid your pets though (“cheese! cheese!” Esther promises Devo when he runs away. He comes sprinting back expectantly. “Like fuck” she mutters as he is shoved back on the lead).

"Erm, excuse me, I am a mouse. I am entitled to cheese"

I look out of the train window and think ‘If someone was sat here who cared about beautiful scenery, they’d think it was awesome’ As it was, I turned away in apathy.

The boy opposite me is tapping his foot at the same time as me. What are the chances that we are listening to the same song? Would it be weird to ask him? My inappropriate interest in strangers is going to get me in trouble. Curiosity maimed the human, as the saying goes.

"Excuse me sir, where did you get your hair dreaded?"

I’ve glanced around buses before and seen 9 out of 10 people with their faces buried in the same page of the Metro. Synchronise page turning- Go.

Then again it’s usually the Guilty Pleasures double spread because that’s the most likely place to catch sight of some rude bits.

This reminds me of John Cooper Clarke

I guess that’s what the Sun, Mirror and Sunday Sport are for.

Boring and Ugly: Slaves, Sweatshops and Stupid Comments


Still working on the bloody essay. Mid-thought, Esther texts me. “Ring me x” she says. What terrible thing has happened that means she can’t ring me? Is she face to face with a rapist?
I ring her. “Hello, I’m walking home with the wheelabout shopper and it’s really heavy, can you pull it up the hill for me?” she says, like butter wouldn’t melt.
Jesus wept. So, she texted me to ring her to get me to be her slave. That’s some convoluted colonial shit. The worse thing is, I did it, no questions asked…

"Thanks for the jeans, they must be really cool because people always call me 'cheeky' when I wear them"

Today I have been mostly wearing Primark skinny jeans, H&M socks and hoody, dad’s cast-off Irvine Welsh ‘FILTH’ t shirt, and T.J. Hughes undies. Only the best for me. Oh, and a clenched jaw thanks to Lady Gaga. That blind, one-armed child in the Primark sweatshop never knew I’d be wearing his creation. I should send him a Thankyou card with a picture of me wearing them. If he could see the fruits of his labour, he wouldn’t feel the pain so much.

It’s finally too warm to wear my leopard-print hat which has been my winter staple. I realised that I feel completely naked without it, and I will have to wean myself off it using smaller and smaller hats. In a month, I should be down to the level of a Jewish skull cap.

"Don't you wish your boyfriend was hot like me?"

Found a great Cary Grant quote before about being famous: “Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.”

Imagine being a supermodel or famous actor, and yet you know that you never match up to the suave, articulate ideals you play on screen. How gutting would it be to be jealous of your own persona- “that bastard, he’s too flash for my liking”. That would never happen with me- I’m just not my type. I’d diss the me on screen so bad, he’d never want to leave the house again. Ha, that’d teach him. Me.

I love YouTube comments:

“she is a bitch FREEMASON hey rihanna i gota message for u u can hav the world to ur self but u are going to HELL!!!!!!!!!!! BRA BRA BRA” Not so much a threat, more a “So there” wimp out. And what’s with the lingerie?

and

“FUKIN FAT BITCH IM JAKIN OFF”. Someone needs the concept of flattery explained. And oversharing.

and

“her ass,pussy and tits are all i want! and i’m 13!” Hmm, what a man you’ll grow up to be…Or maybe he’s asking for her donkey, kitten and small garden bird??

Public Transport is a Breeding Ground for Undesirables


Jan 6th: Bussing it in Bedlam

Went to Manchester today and met up with my trash-culture partner in crime, Josephine. She is climbing up the Starbucks corporate ladder, knife in mouth, to take the world of hot beverages by its vajazzled balls.

She is a coffee connoisseur, a filter flaneur (perhaps even a frotteur), a mocha rocker.

She risks the glare of a jobsworth to ask for The Most Difficult Drink Ever, with the cocksure unblinkingness of a pro barista: a “One Shot-Soya-Mocha-with Amaretto Syrup” from NEROS. Interesting choice of name that, seeing as he let Rome burn to a crisp- a bit like calling your shop ‘Berlusconi’s’ and expecting people to stomach your ‘fish finger surprise’…

But the main rant of today is reserved for BUS DRIVERS. The lamb-chopped ferrymen of Hades.

"DOYOUHAVEANYHOTWATERORDOIHAVETOKILLYOU?"

Today’s driver looks like Catweazel (which in case I am the only person who gets this reference, is a TV character Medieval monk transported to 70s rural Britain. You got a mental image now?).

I think, ‘oh it’s ok, he’ll be nice to another member of the long hair club‘. Then, ‘oh shit, I’ve been thrown out haven’t I, I’m in the camp tintin club now’.

But ‘Oh he’s got a beard, he’ll give me the secret signal coz of that’.

But no. He is the grumpiest hippie I have ever met. I get on with my student card.

“50p”

I give him a pound.

A grunting, constipated moan comes out “doyouavthefefeepee?”

“Pardon?”

Again, the noise comes, and I can just about pick out these words:”doyouHAVEthefiftypee?”

“No.” As he slams the change down, I think ‘He’s no hair compadre, he’s a pre-postal serial killer’.

As I walk to my seat, I hear his gritted-teeth mantra echoing down the bus every few seconds as the queue jumps aboard. It’s like the guttural groan of Newspaper Vendors , for whom ‘The Manchester Evening News’ becomes a chinese poo-strain ‘Maaannneeeeezzzze”

As I sit and reflect on the emotional rollercoaster of having hair, I think back at the motley crew I’ve met on buses.

One time I got on and the busdriver said “You shouldn’t be allowed on here”. “Me personally or something I represent?” (bloody students, queers, men over 5 feet 9?) I ask, genuinely intrigued. Someone pulls the string in his back and he parrots “You shouldn’t be allowed”. I take my apparently undeserved seat.

Another classic was when I was really late for work, and I asked the big skinhead in front of me for the time.

“Time is irrelevant” he intoned, and turned back round. I should have said that to my boss.

One time, Aldo was waiting at the busstop, and a woman stopped and asked for the way to Mecca.

“Hmm, let me see, the sun is pointing that direction so East is over there…” he mused

Impatient, she butted in “No, Mecca Bingo I meant!”

“Dunno” he replied, suddenly deeply depressed.

“What would sir recommend?” “A little of everything?”

My new favourite phrase is “What would you recommend?” said with a disarming smile. You can cover up your complete ignorance of anything with this.

“What gear ya looking for?”

“What would sir recommend?”

“What stop do you want?”

“Hmm, where would you recommend?”

“To be or not to be?”

“Whatevs, I’m not fussy”

I think most of the recommendations would be a good kicking followed by A&E.

Don’t Dys My Body


Jan 5th


"Where did I put my slinky?"

My therapist (how American) issued me an ultimatum this morning: Either I do the homework and commit or I take a break. Story of my life. Why can’t I just float along like a fat baby in a basket?

I have Body Dysmorphia you see- this means I hate my neck and think that I am generally a freak. I’ve developed lots of ways to deal with this, such as:
1. asking for reassurance from Esther 50 times a day (does this coat look alright? What about if I have to undo it? What about with the hood up?)
2. getting drunk,
3. lying to myself that I need a wee so I can stare into the bathroom mirror at work.
4. Wearing clothes that cover up the parts I hate: shirts and scarves for my neck, hats for the 365 Bad Hair Days I have.

I’m having Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which is all about making you do the stuff you’ve spent years working out intricate rituals in order to avoid.

So, we wrote down all the unhealthy stuff I do to feel better, and we are going to do the opposite for each bad habit, one at a time.

First up is to walk to work 5 days a week without distracting myself (no ipod) and without doing anything that makes me feel comfortable (hiding my neck with a scarf, checking myself out in windows). It sounds easy to anyone who doesn’t do those things, but it’s really hard if you do them without thinking, and when you don’t do them, you feel hideously ugly.

So, I walk to work exposing my lanky giraffe neck and grimacing against the onslaught of buses and cars all rubbernecking at my rubber neck (or so it seems). By the time I get to work, I’m sweaty and knackered, and want to go home.

I was meant to be doing this for 5 days in a row, but I just can’t make myself. I want an easy life goddammit.

She my therapist is leaving me for another neurotic.

Altogether Now, sing these new lyrics to the chorus:

“Neurotic, Neurotic

Don’t put your hands anywhere near my body”

Militant in Meadowhall


"I just don't know who I am anymore"

Just got back from Meadowhall. I wanted to buy some self esteem at any price. But all I got was half price narcissism and 33% extra free self loathing. And some socks n that.

I saw lots of people who I can only describe as consistent. Chavs, Emos, wannabe WAGs, Goth-Lite, Emo-Chav. They all knew who they were (on the outside at least): they had the uniform sorted out, no mistakes.
In comparison I feel like a style Frankenstein, with odd bits from different eras stuck together, with no conception of a whole. I want a fucking uniform.


"I'm a vewy angwy young man"

I have tried being militant but it always goes awry. I’m really jealous of Christians and Young Socialists and Goths who can turn off their brains and follow a code regardless of how ridiculous and/or anachronistic it is.
First I had a rule that everything I bought that wasn’t food had to come from a charity shop. This meant that I became obsessed with Help the Aged’s special book and record shop. I used to go nearly every day and finger through the vinyl in the hope of spotting a record from the infinite ‘must have’ list in my head. This was compiled from overhearing middle-aged men talking in the pub, and from middle aged men writing in The Guardian.
I would buy a record, let’s say ‘The Clash’ and take it home, my hands shaking in trepidation. Here was a cultural relic; a touchstone, and I could feel the angst of a generation fizzing under my fingertips. I’d put it on and brace myself- I’m enjoying this, I’d tell myself. This is a GOOD album. Other people say so. There are more of them than me. I can picture them all, rocking in agreement.
So here’s my shock confession. I hate the Clash. I don’t like reggae so why would I want a shitty white boy version of it. Plus they have no style. The Sex Pistols win hands down, for their ugliness, ambition and also their pop. Write a proper song Strummer! Oh wait, you’re dead.

"I is a WASTA"

Sheffield seems to be populated by Men Who Like The Clash. Everywhere you go there’s someone who’s personality was hard wired by White Riot or London Calling. It’s like some fucking Masonic society- get over it! Like Scroobius Pip eloquently said “ The Clash? just a band”


You wouldn’t have caught Paul Simenon, Strummer or the other one advertising I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (it would have to be the bitter rival of Anchor, for old time’s sake). Some people say Johnny Rotten is a sell out- but that only means something if you’re still clinging onto the idea that punk can change the world- but after ‘I Wish I was A Punk Rocker with Flowers in my Hair’ how can you think the message is still getting through?

That’s like singing I Wish I Wore My Klan Outfit to the Notting Hill Carnival. How can someone get it so wrong?

“In ’77 and ’69 revolution was in the air
I was born to late to a world that doesn’t care
I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair”

What we lack as a generation is context. You know, that crucial bit of extra knowledge that makes everything make sense. The past has been reduced to a pick ‘n’ mix, a jumble of possible styles and causes you can choose to dress in. So it makes sense that old Sandi could lump hippies and punks together because Topshop does too. Who cares if one advocated nothingness and destruction (no future), while the other wanted a universal conscientiousness (a utopian future)? History has become a Sale Rail of symbols. Why believe in anything any more?

I’m basically a trash whore, a music pansy, a soft lad.

I made myself buy the so-called classic albums because I have no taste of my own you see. I am a vessel, filled by other people’s likes and dislikes. If I am asked about something I should know about, let’s say The Godfather I-III, I have to apologise profusely and take my red cheeks elsewhere. Or else pretend. But that gets me into trouble. To escape the tedium of shaking my head at the many things I don’t know about, I have taken to throwing a few “yeah’s” and nods in. But then comes the more detailed interrogation, sorry, conversation, where you have to say what bits you enjoyed the most and give an opinion about its worth. This is where I am left stuttering.

Jan 2nd 2011


Beast Claws coming atcha

Urgh. Got woken up at 8.30 by Goldie. She crawls commando style up the bed and whines while trying to stick her long freaky tongue in my face. The nightmare part is when her massive beast claws rise up over the edge of the duvet and scratch your face. A couple of weeks ago, we were snowed in, and I woke up to Goldie’s commando routine and the festering stench of a HUGE dog shit on the landing. Thank god for lino.

After cleaning it up, and the puke I did next to it, I finally fell back into a fitful sleep, vowing never to ignore her again.

So now she knows how to guilt trip me, and she uses it like a pro. I manage to go downstairs and let her out in a waking sleep state now, and then go back to bed. Today, I woke up at 1.15pm when the dreams got too loud.

Down the hill we go, to the halfway house for the chronically apathetic (Chez Lisa).

“Cleavage is back in fashion” Lisa says, reading Look, “Dammit”
Esther sniggers. They could both pass as men if it wasn’t for their outspoken hatred for them.

I’m bored. I have nothing to fear really. I am cushioned from war and extreme poverty and pain. We are brought up in zoo conditions- with no natural predators and a welfare state that cushions every reality blow.
So, we have to invent things to make us feel emotion- we become adrenaline junkies, getting high on self-set dangers, Base jumping, Parkour, Sky diving (though that’s a bit 20th century now), playing video games, hoovering drugs. Anything to break the monotony, to remind us that our body is capable of instinctual movement and the seemingly mythical fight or flight serotonin orgy.

Because going to war and actually risking death is just silly, we tend to enjoy acting out the fantasy of megalomania and bloodlust on games console. Here’s a list of the best selling Xbox games:

The top ten Xbox 360 games.

  1. Halo 3 (8.1 million)[24]
  2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (7.481 million approximately; 6.471 million in US,[25][26][27][28] 87,374 in Japan,[29][verification needed] at least 1 million in UK)[30]
  3. Gears of War (5 million,[31] may include PC version)
  4. Gears of War 2 (5 million)[32]
  5. Grand Theft Auto IV (4.356 million approximately: 3.29 million in US,[33] at least 1 million in UK,[30] 59,893 and 6,210 Platinum in Japan)[29]
  6. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (4.226 million approximately: 3.04 million in US,[34] 78,000 in Canada,[35] 54,742 and 53,722 Platinum Collection/The Best in Japan,[29] at least 1 million in UK)[30]
  7. Fable II (3.5 million approx. worldwide)[36]
  8. Call of Duty: World at War (3.35 million approximately: 2.75 million in US,[33] 600,000 in UK)[37]
  9. Halo: Reach (3.3 million in North America)[38]
  10. Halo 3: ODST (3 million)[39]

Every single one involves going around killing people. To death. In the most horrible ways possible. This is how most of us get our ‘reality’ fix- by finding something that gives us what reality can’t- a purpose. “Life is alright really because I must kill the enemy”. Perhaps a radical rewriting of Descartes is in order: “I pretend to be, therefore I am”.

"What ever shall I wear?"

It seems news has travelled fast about my ‘issues’. Weasel and Kung Fu got me a radio alarm clock with an outside temperature sensor. This is because “We know you worry about what you’re going to wear when you get up because you don’t know what it’s like outside. Well, now you do” they explained cheerfully. “Oh thank you” I replied, cursing Esther’s blabbermouth. All my hard work to look like competent son-in-law material down the frickin’ pan.

Dom and Esther got me two items of clothing that I can’t even get over my fat ass. A pair of funky leggings and some gold jeans. Way to make me feel skinny guys. They are on the ‘Sleep Through 3 Meals’ diet. I am on the ‘A Pudding with Every Meal Diet’.

Resolutions?

  1. Get fatter
  2. Write a book
  3. Spend more money on tat

At least I’m only likely to fail miserably at one of them.

Twenty Eleven


Hello. This is a new year. From here, it looks grey, cold, dead, boring and ugly.
A couple of hours ago, I became obsessed with listening to this song, and could not rest until I heard it:

It is perhaps the best song in the world and all others pale into insignificance when it plays. I suddenly want to become glittery and homoerotic when I hear it. It is about beauty and sex and decadence and the end of the fucking world.

Lady Gaga kept us all hanging on for her ‘big’ Twitter announcement on the stroke of midnight.

"Keys, purse, Fisherman's Friends? Check. Trousers? Oh..."

I will have gone off her by then.

 

And something else bugs me: In the press conference for JOANNA YEATES somebody said “She bought a pizza before she went home. Did she eat the pizza?”

Amazingly banal, and the police brushed it off, but I REALLY WANT TO KNOW.

 

It’s just really annoying that people think they can go around killing people, isn’t it? Who gave them the right. Goddammit. Nasty murdering types, got no morals or sense of decency.

 

You see, as a species, we are naturally anti-social schmucks. We want to go around murdering, raping and being general rotters to other people. Law and government has to try to put a cap on that. We have to suppress our APE traits and accentuate the CIVILISED, SMARMY TRAITS  that make us different from other animals. But the messy animal behaviour is constantly on the verge of spilling over.

 

But, to end in a more positive note, DNA tests have just proved that Richard Gere is a guinea pig.