The Stockport Shenanigan


Finally, Lady Gaga has released a new single. I play ‘Born this Way’ and am chronically underwhelmed. I can feel the wool being lifted, the spell being broken- from  this moment I have ceased to be a Lady Gaga fan. I no longer know what I ever saw in her.

Her lustre has fallen away like clothes off dyspraxic stripper.

My dream started this defection- I picked a side and joined the Madonna Army. It’s like the Jesus Army, but with a better God. Born This Way is a Tesco Value Express Yourself.

"Oh fuck, the gods are gonna kick off!"

This weekend, I had a reunion with the only 2 friends I had at school: Harvey (because he looks like JFK’s assassin) and Dave (because he’s an everyman, a cipher).

As we sat round a pub table in Heaton Moor, a suburb’s suburb, I got to thinking: we each represent a different lifestyle, and each of us is a sloppy mixture of failure and achievement. I am drifting through life, chasing pleasure and numbing myself to pain. Harvey took the genius-savant route, wearing wolf masks to Cambridge and flying high in Hong Kong. Dave took perhaps the most stable route, finding a career and starting a family. Next to Dave, we both look like fuckups. He has brothers and sisters- we are only children. Fantasy is always preferable to reality for us.

"sweet and sour?"

Harvey went to Cambridge and had Stephen Hawking as his personal tutor. His method of teaching often involved ordering in Chinese Takeaway for the class. Then he got addicted to online gambling and rogue physics and was kicked out. He went to work for a major banking firm on the nth floor of a Honk Kong Skyscraper. He is a FILTH (Failed in London Try Honk Kong), a dirty capitalist, a purveyer of CEO’s wet dreams and sticky pauper’s nightmares. He always carries around a book on theoretical physics. This time he also has with him ‘Traders Guns & Money‘, about

“the mega-trillion-dollar derivatives market, the one economists say might be next to collapse on our heads”

Harvey may be sticking his celery in the next double dip. He tells us how he has had to run for his life from a ‘beast’ in the outskirts of Hong Kong. “I was out walking at dusk and I heard something in the bushes. It sounded like a growling monster, and was shit scared so I ran and ran and tripped over and ran. I called a cab and as I waited on the road, I could hear more of them out there in the bushes. Logic would say it was a wild boar, but I think it was a man-eating beast.”

"Please get bigger, I promise I wont look"

We rounded the night off with a little boundary bashing. Dave had gone to bed and I was sat drunkenly with Harvey. I decided I wanted to show him my penis. I warned him beforehand, and tried to get a sychronised pants-down on the count of 3. However, on the first attempt, I was alone in my nakedness. My penis had been replaced by a cocktail sausage lying in a bed of straw.

“I can do better than that”, Harvey said with relish. He unearthed a beached brown whale, languishing on tanned thighs.

“I’m a 7.5 incher” he said matter of factly. My cocktail sausage shrivelled in agreement.

We watched some porn on his Ipad, marvelling at the high definition and sleek finish. An asian girl was being impaled. As my sausage stirred, I said “Quick, look, this is more like it”

As both our pairs of eyes fell on my crotch, the growth reversed and it hid amongst the straw like a spooked mini guinea pig. Speaking of which, Dave had a guinea called Alfie. He thought he was a dog. What’s it all about, Alfie?

Well there was no getting away from it. Harvey had a big cock.

“May I?” I said politely, reaching across, and lifting it. It was a thing of, if not beauty, then wonder. It felt heavy and warm, substantial and soft. I laid it back down.

It was a bit of a non-sequitur so we went to pass out in the guest bedroom.

Another box ticked? One can go through life without ever touching a same-sex sexypart. We see them, thanks to Channel 4 and YouPorn, but they are mythical, massive, virtual. It was a moment that made sense, holding Harvey’s helmet.

We went to sleep in a bunk bed. The next day it drizzled and my head hurt. Dave was monosyllabic; I was morose, and Harvey marvelled at the weather.

“This is amazing!” He said, eyeing the sky. “You just don’t get this kind of weather anywhere else. Let’s go for a hike!”

This chipper celebration of our mundane Northernness was irritating. “No thanks” we replied. Holidaying in misery is the only way to enjoy it.

Instead, I turn my attention to Alfie.

“Make him make that noise that guineapigs make” I say.

Dave goes over to a draw and pulls out a carrot. Alfie sniffs the air. Dave starts to peel the carrot, and Alfie starts

“Weet weet weet weet”

Simple pleasures.

Lady Gaga Ate My Madonna


"Where you wanna go, fanboy?"

Last night, Madonna gave me a lift from banner Cross Post Office to Psalter Lane art college. She had a sexy red chevrolet, and beeped me as she pulled up.

She knew the depths of my feelings for her, and could see I was no threat, so she invited me to hop in.

"This is Gaga, bitch!"

We make a sharp left off Ecclesall Road South, and head up Psalter lane. At the peak of the hill, the road is taken over by 5 women with Madonna’s True Blue-era hair, tight blonde corkscrew’s bouncing as they pounded the road.

But these clones all had a vermilion cape flowing behind them, with the pink emblem of a lobster’s claw on the back, raised like a Black Power salute. I instantly knew this was Lady Gaga’s gang symbol; and she was ruling this town with a fake lobster fist.

Embarrassing! I turned to Madge with red cheeks. Gaga was a style gyppo: nicking Madonna’s style then flaunting it as her own.

As we overtook the Gagas, I wanted to show my loyalty to Madge, and pictured flipping them the bird- too vulgar, I thought. The moment was gone. Arse.

We parked in front of the campus, and ducked down away from a nosy security guard. Madonna leaned in so close, I could smell the fruity tones of her posh hairspray. She passed over the most self-indulgent scrapbook I’ve ever seen: an orgasm of Pop Queen Propaganda. My hand shook as I turned the pages.

"Fruits of the Forest"

Then it was morning and it was all a fucking dream!!!!!!!!! I was so angry that I beat the pillow with my obsessive-fan hands. Until Esther told me to stop it.

I got up and made breakfast in bed and got on with my so-called life.

Procrastination for the Nation


Jan 18th

I have had a nice day today. Don’t look so shocked!

This morning I woke up to the sound of a cuckoo (I bought Esther a clock that plays different bird sounds every hour. It was more for me really.)

I put my trousers on, had a cup of tea, and thought about leaving the house.

"I was too big for your letterbox"

Today was going to be a productive day. I walked up to the post depot to collect my LADY GAGA graphic novel.

On the way up, it was sunny and crisp. Ahead of me was one of those girls who only wears leggings with no thought to her ass. I couldn’t help but note how her ass wiggled, and I thought “Where do they learn that? Finishing school for the sexually precocious?” Instead of a book on their head, I imagine an exercise involving opening doors with your buttocks.

I wish I could walk like that.

Anyway, picked up Lady G and treated myself to a trip round the Co-Op. I always go to Tescos you see, so it makes a refreshing change to go round a different massive generic chain store. I stood contemplating in front of the reduced section. Normally in Tesco, you have to fight for a good view. Sometimes when one of the staff is there with *gasp* a sticker gun and a pile of food- then the crowd becomes a scrum and the scrum becomes a mosh pit.

"80p? Let me at the all day breakfast sandwiches!"

But here in early morning Co-Op, I was completely on my own. I could take my time, and I did. ‘Hmm what nearly-off stodge would I like today?’ I mused with pleasure.

I chose an American style baked cheesecake and two pairs of muffins (lemon meringue and double chocolate).

I knew I was going to be at home all day, so I wanted to stock up. I get panicky otherwise.

I walked home, past the place that has fish-that-eat-your-feet-skin. A potential birthday present, Esther assures me.

Once home, made a cup of tea and set to work. After about 20 mins I started to feel hungry and rang Esther who was putting makeup on in the next room.

“Do you want elevensies, darling?” I ask

"I hear he's not even started work yet, and it's 12 already!" "Tsk!"

“I’ve just eaten a sugar mouse” she groans. “But I’ll have a cup of tea”.

I sit next to her and eat a lemon meringue muffin with my tea. Right, back to work.

An hour later, I feel hungry. Esther comes back from her CBT and it’s time for lunch.

I forgot to get any savoury food in the supermarket, so I have to eat the 3 mini pepperamis left in the fridge.

Back to work. I manage to get about 15 mins of solid work done, then my brain wanders.

“Hmm are there any interesting birds in the back garden? No. I wonder what everyone is doing out there in the world? Oh I can’t see anybody. I wonder how my coursemates are getting on with this work. Best not ask just in case.”

I start to feel sleepy, with the afternoon lull I always get around 3pm. I run downstairs and scoff some chocolate to wake me up.

Some more work.

Then Esther comes back and it’s time for afternoon tea.

I’m not sure what happened after that. Lots of cups if tea, staring at the computer screen, and washing up I think.

"I'm parched for a cuppa, it's been 30 whole minutes since the last one!"

I’ve got to work tomorrow. I wish every day was like today. Oh well.

“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??

Boring and Ugly 12


"Hmm, I LIKE that picture"

 

I was sat on the toilet, looking in a fashion magazine today, and I saw a face that was so attractive I stopped weeing. A clear thought made itself known to me: “I want to cut a whole in her lifesize mouth and stick my willy through it”. But then Esther needed the loo so I couldn’t do it.

Michael Caine makes a funny crusty:

What do I believe in? I believe in me. I can believe in you, but only when you’re there.

Nothing else.

"I believe in whatever's in my belly"

Actually, no I believe in cups of tea interspersed through the day. And Goldie’s wagging tail on her way to the park. And, the smell of my own farts. And the affection Esther gives me when she forgets to be grumpy.

Everything else can jog on.

"I am God's Daughter"

I am trying to write an essay about how great Lady Gaga is. But the more I try to work out why she’s great, the less great she seems. I started off thinking she was a townie slut, then suddenly I got her last year, and I loved her. 2 things:

Telephone is the gretest video ever made.

Paparazzi is one of the best songs ever.

But her album is mostly filler, and she’s only great because Madonna and Prince are past their best, and Jacko is dead.

She’s only great by default. Until the next psycho-extrovert-pop-god. But I’m getting on a bit now.

"I'm still here!"

PS this is the first post I haven’t tagged as ‘PORN’ in a desperate attempt to get lonely men to bump up my viewing figures. Let’s see what happens…

 

 

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.

Boring, Ugly and Ill as Sin


DEC 26th


Ugh. So ill today, like I’ve been drinking STRYCHNINE. My stomach is bruised. One nostril whistles like an icy cave on a mountaintop.
Esther goes to do family things, and I stay in bed. “Have you got money on your phone so I can text you and say ‘Baby, what are you doing now?’” I ask.
“Hmm” she replies. As well as being rubbish at Public Displays of Affection (PDAs), she is incapable of Text Affection (TAs).
I think ‘right, now I am going to find some real porn. This will cheer me up’. Halfway through a shower scene I feel really sick and have to go to sleep. The sound of sticky balls slapping against bumcheeks haunts my dreams, like some feverish jungle drumbeat that goes faster and faster as I am burned alive.

"Please can we at least hold hands?"

Esther goes to her parents for a family meal. After a couple of hours, she texts saying, “This is horrible. I want to come home”. This is as near to a TA as I’m likely to get, but I must not get excited. I text her back some alibi “I feel poorly and I need you to come back”.
An hour later, she’s back. “Jesus” she says, letting out air, “That was like being with the Royle family, only it’s not as fun if you’re actually there.”
“What happened?” I ask.
“Mum went crazy because she couldn’t find the special spoon she’d got to serve the trifle. She screamed ‘I can’t have any lovely trifle if I don’t have that knife’ and couldn’t be consoled”. Time to leave.

"I don't know what you're smiling at, you've just ruined pudding!"

I’ve just finished All Families Are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland. I don’t think I want to read anything by him ever again because he depresses the shit out of me. If you can’t be American, rich and happy, there’s no hope for any of us.

A sample:
Wade thought about his father. What would the world have to offer Ted Drummond, and the men like him, a man whose usefulness to the culture had vanished somewhere around the time of Windows 95?

Slit my wrists now please.

And:
I believed the script I was handed. And then one day in the early 1980s I hit a red light in North Vancouver and ding! I understood that I was now forever in life’s minus columns and the plus column was over.

The only thing that makes me carry on reading is because it sounds exotic to a lower middle class British suburbanite like me.

Hmm let’s see what would happen if we transported it to, let’s say, Rotherham or Stoke on Trent. Here’s how the novel starts:

Janet opened her eyes. – Florida’s prehistoric glare dazzled outside the motel window. A dog barked; a car honked; a man was singing a snatch of Spanish song. She absentmindedly touched the scar from the bullet wound beneath her left rib cage.

Here’s the grime remix:

Tracey opened her eyes- South Yorkshire’s grey smog hung thickly outside the dirty double-glazed window of the Sally Army hostel. A dog yelped as its Big Issue vendor owner kicked it; a car revved and ‘music’ that made her bowels move penetrated the room; a crazy man was shouting the names of God’s favourite meals. She absentmindedly touched the half-eaten scab from the Tenants Super can slash beneath her third belly fold.

I have been floored by this LIVE AID ’85 documentary
I am actually crying now because I miss the optimism of Bob Geldof, who really believed that he could change something about the world with some bands.
Why can it never be recreated? Because we no longer have the optimism. We have gone from a ‘WE’ decade to a ‘WHO AM I’ epoch, a ‘WHY?’ era.

The Darkness, Jamelia, Dido, Travis and Ms Dynamite. They sure knew how to pick ’em for posterity!

Note to self: It’s one of the Mysteries of the World, Rowan Atkinson’s transformation from sexy bastard as Black Adder to sexless geek Mr Bean. Perhaps I too can go from the latter to the former?

We take poverty, disease and misery for granted. We have become ‘compassion fatigued’, brought up by the generation that had the last sense of purpose: a viable future. Our inheritance is apathy. There’s bad shit out there, but we can’t do owt about it. May as well get fucked.

I feel cheated. Did I ever believe in anything?
I used to love animals- but only to collect books about them like a colonial hoarder.
I used to believe in vegetarianism, and I was brought up to feel deep empathy for animals, our house was full of them. But I don’t feel that anymore. I can stuff my face with meat with only a tinge of guilt, not enough to put me off.

I feel love for every single band that sang at live aid. Such decadent faith and belief would be instantly cut down by the bitter chavs of cynicism now.
Fundraising has been hijacked- the ‘Live Aid effect’ is one of many styles available to ad companies to flog iPads or car insurance or Nokia phones.
People cared about the Falklands War, about the first Iraq War, about the future, about other people. Now we don’t give a flying fuck. We’ve still got some people who act all earnest- socialists and feminists and Tories. But underneath, everyone is status-driven but blank, vacant, inert like some suavely-jacketed potato. Bollocks.

The only answer is to refuse to answer, to say ‘no comment’.

80s pop is life affirming. Noughties pop is bitter, angry and botoxed.
Compare:

With:

One’s fun to look at and fun to hear, the other is kind of traumatic to watch, (though) fun on the ear. The cartoon shizzle injects some black humour into a prison-rape-murder movie. Don’t girls just wanna have good clean fun no more?

Right.

I’ve just taken 2 ibuprofen and 2 paracetamol now, so the wet cheeked inelegant gushing part of my illness should soon subside, and I will be able to feel no sadness or joy. I will become how I am at my natural state. Merely existing.

As I try to sleep, I can hear the pets snoring (Linda a high pitched nasal snort, Goldie an almost human ‘pufff’). I can hear Esther letting out long breaths of pent up worry.
I am left with the memory of 2 things from today in this darkened room. The sight of a skinny teenage boy with an unusually large and girthy cock, fucking a teenage girl in a shower where the water isn’t running. She looks like she’s sat on an uncomfortable fence waiting for the bus. I think I lost a bit of my soul watching it. The balls go ‘slap, slap, slap-slap, slap-slap, slap, slap’ against her arse and the camera zooms round from a balls-eye-view to a front view of this girl who is kind of unsure where to look. ‘Right’ she seems to think, ‘I’d better make out that I’m really enjoying this’ and she does the whole eyes closed, gasp routine. I get bored and fast forward the video-suddenly they are out of the shower, sat on the toilet and his huge cock seems no nearer to coming. Jesus. Why choose this location? It’s like fucking in a bus shelter or a bank queue- and all I can think is ‘why isn’t the shower on?’ and ‘Does straddling the toilet make either of them need a poo?’ These are non-places (Auge)- they look the same everywhere you go, they are purely functional, where we spend most of our time, but where we spend the least time personalising.
The sound of slapping testicles mixes in my head with the slow-mo footage of starving Ethiopian babies, their stomachs swollen in the ridiculous illusion of obesity, and their tear stained faces covered in dirt and flies. “Give me your money,” shouts a dishevelled Bob Geldof, slamming his hand down on the table.
Slap slap slap. Should I groan now? Ok, ‘aaah’ ‘oooh’. “Fuck this, pick up the phone now and give me your money” Bob growls.
I want to cry for the loss of innocence in both films- the faces in front of the cameras look strangely confused, as if asked to perform something embarrassing in front of a stranger.
What would Bob Geldof be like in bed? An angry young man, pummelling away until he’s satisfied, cursing you as a capitalist whore? Paula Yates could have told us.

"Wouldn't you like to know"

Not a Cure for insomnia: turned the TV on to watch Medium- about a woman who every time her heads hits the pillow is transported to some psycho’s head and has to save someone from certain death. A walking advert for staying up all night. We may all want to be good Samaritans, but if we were forced into the role permanently, we’d go apeshit in a short while.
The 80s had Miami Vice- the Noughties had Misfits. Is one more honest or truthful than the other? Was Miami Vice escapist fluff, and Misfits (and Inbetweeners) is the gritty, shitty truth of our times? Are they merely signs that we’ve plummeted from a time of sexy optimism to one of bitchy pessimism and sarcasm? Or that feminism and identity politics have deflated the masculine ego in culture, and it’s no longer believable to be so happy and full of yourself? Life is shit and you’re a chauvinist pig if you don’t think so?

The pain is lifting like steam from piss…

 

Answers on a stolen postcard please, I’m currently indisposed.