2013: Brand, Miliband and Cold Porridge


I’ve met a weird bunch of people this year. You’d never invite them to the same dinner party unless you wanted indigestion. Put together, they almost rhyme like a poem.

Russell Brand
Ed Miliband
Genesis P’Orridge
Glenn O’Brien

I didn’t say it was a good poem.
There were a couple of others but they don’t fit the poem.

I went to see Russell Brand in November and I’m still haunted by the look on his face at the very end. It’s the same look he has at the end of the trailer for Alan Carr’s Christmas show.

"Don't dilute your devotion with these losers."

“Don’t dilute your devotion with these losers.”

It’s the look of being spent. A microexpression of self-loathing, an acid reflux from purging his bad self.

The show was an insight into an impossible life. A cartoon life of embodied ecstasy and whorish honesty – addicts know more than the rest of us about human nature and the sick hard simplicity of it.

I’d accidentally got the best seat in the house- front dead centre- after buying a ticket off Gumtree from a man who bought it for himself before his wife decided she wanted to come too, by which time the front row was full. So, I had his amazing ticket and they were relegated to somewhere near the back.

I paid for it in karma though- I was stuck next to a woman who laughed like bad sex.

It was a show about “mundane villains and flawed heroes,” delivered by a minor deity who openly admits his narcissism and self-centredness. Which is what all entertainment is about, it just pretends otherwise.

He simpered through a Frank Spencer impression: “I don’t do that voice very often,” he admitted cutely, “It comes too naturally.” This is the rarest of men, able to flick his mane and be the perfect woofter and yet draw an audience equally composed of long hairs and louts. His act ushers us into club doors we didn’t even know existed where porn star moans echo off the infinity mirrors, a pantheon where glam pony Russell canters on a paddock of coke.

“Just because I know something that you don’t know doesn’t make me better than you – just different. [He pauses for a lascivious side-grin]. In a better way.”

We all laugh because it’s true. We are happy to admit defeat to the Dauphin of pansexual appeal. This is a man with the common touch like the common cold, a personality that infects a room with awe-influenza.

He talked about sex constantly, as we knew he would. He sat on men’s laps luxuriously and ogled women openly. His florid fabrications stayed with me long afterwards, especially:

Simulating having his cock and arsehole titivated together, captioned by Dr Pepper’s catchphrase – ‘unbelievably satisfying’.
Describing being stood naked on a police van, wanking to wake up his shrivelled cock, as a crowd of protesters turned away in embarrassment (remind you of anyone?).

But then right at the end, as the applause peaked, his face fell. That’s when I saw THE LOOK. Just before he exited stage left, his manic grin dropped into the depths of an unfillable social void.

Gone was the cocksure posture and irradiating saucer eyes as he jumped around Sheffield’s City Hall for his captive audience of hundreds, to be replaced by a look of abject horror.

“I’ve given you my all,” he seemed to be saying, “and you love me unconditionally. So why do I feel so freaking empty?”

He looked directly at me a few times during the show as he stalked the audience in his leather chaps. Each time, I was secretly gutted when his eyes passed over me.

I put it down to two things:

1. Going bald
2. Not wearing the right outfit.

If I still had my long hair, I told myself, and had kept my fur coat on (and taken my knickers off), he’d have made fun of me in a conspiratorial way. Or maybe he saw my wild, thrilled eyes and recognized a similar social whore and didn’t want to encourage me.

Either way, I was glad-annoyed. What, you’re saying there’s no such emoticon?

At the end, everyone whooped and a blind man went to the stage and shook his hand. I almost did the same, but I stopped myself because it seemed only disabled people and unsolicited women are allowed to touch him. Then I wished I had. But it would have meant giving away even more of my power, and he’d already been quite greedy enough, thankyou.

"Jesus wept by the time I'd finished."

“Jesus wept by the time I’d finished.”

Celebrities, especially those ones with real charisma, are like magicians. They can make you giant-size or dwarf you in their aura. The best ones can do both at the same time. Knowing that magic is a parlour trick doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it.

Fact: London is made of magic. Where else could a bedheaded fascist mayor be so adorkable that we forgive his worrisome ways?

No, London is special. Need proof?

Evidence 1: Terry Wogan made the safety announcement when I was in St Pancras station.
Evidence 2: I met Ed Miliband in the rain with pal Sebastian. He was doing a speech in Hornsey about pulling loan ads from kids TV. He said “nice hat” about my leopard print fur one and he put his arm round me when we had our photo taken together. Lovely chap.
Evidence 3: I met crazy-eyed gender-indeterminate goblin Genesis Breyer P’Orridge at Rough Trade East, deep in Hipstershire.

I’d interviewed him earlier in the year over the phone and he’d suggested we go for a drink. He probably didn’t mean it but I hung on to his every word, as us mortals are apt to do in the presence of stardom.
Sadly, by the time I met him in the flesh, he didn’t know who the fuck I was nor had he read my (IMHO bloody good) feature about him.

Incidentally, Genesis was the last person to speak to Ian Curtis, who rang him shortly before hanging himself in his shabby un-chic Macclesfield box house. Apparently, he sang one of Throbbing Gristle’s songs at him (definite sign of depression) and said he didn’t want to tour America (definite sign of sanity).

Genesis had blonde squaw plaits and lips so big he looked like he’d just fallen on his face. The turnout was impressive; people with hats so strange it was less a case of trying to see round them than it was remembering it was Genesis you were meant to be staring at. And when you remembered, boy did those eyes hold you in their tractor beams.

"Can't...stop...looking..."

“Can’t…stop…looking…”

I saw the same insanely dilated soul-holes looking out from a page of the Macclesfield Times back home. They belonged to Commander Crow, an artist who had a show on in town at a venue called  Steven Young (or was it the other way round?), and he glowered from the poorly laid out pages like an aesthetic thug.

Macclesfield has become noticeably hipper in my absence; now chavs are swept up hourly in souped up roadsweepers and deposited somewhere in a recycling bin in Hurdsfield (not a good place).

"Look into my eyes, not around my eyes etc"

“Look into my eyes, not around my eyes etc”

Yes, these are the eyes of people who mess with magick with a special K. These too-hardcore-for-new-Age sigil-botherers always look like they’ve forgotten how to blink.

I went to see the show before I got on the train. The artist himself was there, moaning to a woman who was probably his mum.

“I’ve just been harangued by a couple who brought back my painting. They said it didn’t go with the colours in their house. The woman said her husband was crying outside…”
“Oh, well dear,” his mum said, “never mind, you’ll sell loads I just know it…”

The work was hideous, a sickly re-appropriation of the sexiest religious iconography from a dozen mismatched belief systems. More Hindu kitsch than Hindu Kush: giant gaudy Ganeshes and crudely drawn symbols in gold paint relief. It was kind of amazing.

It was either pre-ironic outsider art or a beyond-post-ironic insider joke; either way, it was ace.

But I think I’d have to return it after a week spent staring at this glitz that glares back.

In contrast, erstwhile Warholian Glenn O’Brien had dark little coyote eyes and the shifty stare of a born trickster. You can read my interview with him here. Suffice to say, I was so professional that I seated him next to a kaput printer which other journalists kept hitting to make work.

Yes, Dear Reader, I am fast becoming a celeb-botherer of the middling order. Here’s to another year of embarrassing exploits among the almost famous…

This ain’t music, it’s war!


Friendships used to be made or broke on which band you liked.
While everyone was busy getting into grunge (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden but NOT Guns N Roses- I was ridiculed for showing an interest in Spaghetti Junction), I had somehow wandered up the wrong musical cul-de-sac and was listening to Top 10 Hits of the 60s and ABBA.

Weirdly enough, i managed to find someone else as prematurely aged as me, and me and Rufus used to lock ourselves away in his parent’s living room and watch ABBA Gold Video Hits on repeat. Surprisingly, we never touched each other while tapping our feet to Chiquitita. ABBA ought to be the soundtrack to everyone’s bi-curious phase.

Later. Rufus got into Queen and forced me to listen to tape after tape of them while we had a sleepover. Their proggy histrionics made me feel sick. I hated them, and knew at that point that our friendship was doomed. A few months later, he moved to Gloucestershire to live with the other exiled Queen fans.

An equally divisive moment was the epoch-making, y-front moistening thrill of BRITPOP NOW, BBC’s showcase of all the best New Wave of New Wave bands. Something was finally happening! I went to school the next day and felt like I had found my style tribe.

“Did you see Britpop Now??” I asked sweatily

“It was shit” said Robert, my sometime friend.

“But what about Elastica? And PJ Harvey? They were amazing!”

“They looked like MEN” he said, with disgust. Something about them had made him recoil in horror. That same something was coursing through my veins like the sexiest kind of death.

He was outta my life after that. A few years ater, I saw him working in the local leisure centre. He was a frickin’ steroid muscle mary, and I knew I had made the right choice.

I knew I was headed somewhere dark, and angsty and uncomfortable but I’d rather go there than sport-science land where insensitive dullards are trained to make successes of their lives by renouncing the extremes of anxiety and euphoria. As Polly says, “hell ain’t half full, take me with you…”

What a positive parable, you may be thinking. So, if you stick to your guns, you can always find freaks like yourself without having to compromise. Well, actually, now I hang round with a load of people who know nothing of my dark camp past and my love of the worst of pop- they only get to see the so-bad-it’s-good stuff that I am allowed to like. If they knew the full horrors on those Hits of the 60s tapes, I would be instantly cast out of hipsterland into the gutter of un-ironic bad taste. But I shall sing this song quietly to myself and shuffle off into the night…

Bye bye fans! It was lovely knowing you.

Onion rings and shameless things


"Please go away, I can't hold this fake smile for much longer"

Unsent Letter No. 3

Dear, Dear Carey Mulligan,

I don’t know what it is about you. The French would say you have a certain I don’t know what. Ever since I saw you as a schoolgirl in An Education, I have been in love with your cute puppy-dog eyes and your old woman’s face.

One question oh prematurely aged one. Why Shia Le Boeuf? You look too classy to eat (Heaven Forbid!) beef. I imagine you snacking on a ripe Gala Melon, with the sap all running down etc. I live round the corner from a fruit and veg shop, so keeping stocked up on them won’t be a problem. If I change my name to Vienne Aux Melone will that entice you back to the fatherland (we can play who’s the daddy if you insist)?

Yours

V x

Esther is cutting all our fast food menus up. Not as part of our diet, simply because she is bored.
“You’re going to make a mess on the floor,” notes Lisa.
Esther grunts, furiously chopping. “Argh, the agony of creation” she shouts in a northern bloke/Vic Reeves voice.
She has finished cutting and lifts her creation aloft, opening it out into…a long thin strip.
“You’ve done it wrong you dickhead” says Lisa.
Esther screws it up and rolls a cigarette.

When you live with a girl, their feminine mystique dissipates pretty quickly. I’m completely transparent, so Esther never had anything to learn about me, but she was stand-offish and cynical from the very start, like a mouth full of sour skittles fighting back as your saliva glands flood with lust.

Oh actually, I’ve just remembered that Esther said that she thought I looked like a model until I opened my mouth- then a pair of dopey rabbit-teeth poked through and I grinned like a village idiot. The illusion was shattered by my nerd personality.

"Please don't make me show them again darling"

When we were younger, me and my friends planned all manner of ways to get girls to notice us. Harvey went through his psychic stalker phase where he told me excitedly about a technique called ‘remote influence’ where you could get girls to do what you want by simply willing it through astral projection. He spent many hours developing this skill, but never got a girl to do anything for him, except look at him with pity.

My speciality was the unflinching stare of longing. I would stare brazenly at my object of lust until I caught her eye, and I mistook her look of panic for attraction.

I still refuse to believe that beauty should be met with subtlety. Surely the only thing to do when confronted with gorgeousness is to drink it up gluttonously? Yet everyone else I know swears by a demure half glance and then feigned disinterest. How anyone can tell anything from that sort of namby pamby body language is beyond me. I’m with the autistics on this one.

"I want you"

What is it with me(n) and mirrors? Ever since I felt the buzz from looking in the full-length downstairs bathroom mirror when my parents were out, I have been an addict. I would take all my clothes off and watch in the mirror as merely the act of looking made my cock hard. I would get turned on by own turned on-ness. At the very last second, I would have to run in and direct my upward protuberance down into the porcelain bowl to shoot my load.

Those last few seconds are the very heights of pleasure, but they have forever been associated with sudden responsibility- anal retentiveness takes over from penile attentiveness. Joy turns into mess.

I never understood in films how men could wank with a box of tissues. I need lube; I need something to stop the chafing. I’ve tried glycerine, Vaseline, yoghurt, soap and finally a well-placed shower head (common to both sexes I believe). But I refuse to rub my dry head with my slightly sticky hands, which harbour the few but proudly worn calluses of a lower working class man. I envy the worker, whose oppressed cock responds only to grating pain as an asbestos grip pummels the foreskin into bloody submission. Or so I imagine.

"I'll have 2 sore heads in the morning!"

How many onion rings can you fit our your cock/strap-on/mutant clitoris? I think this should be the new measurement to replace inches. Like horses are measured in hands, and engines are measured in horsepower.

I’m a 5 ringer (on a good day). How about you?

I am Iron Man


This is my song of the day, “I AM IRON MAN…HEAR ME DITHER”

Esther and Lisa are babysitting their nieces and nephew tonight.

In order to last the night, I bought:

  1. For tea: Ham and Pineapple Stuffed Crust Pizza, Mr Kipling’s Rhubarb and Custard Tarts
  2. For general snacks: midget gems and apple doughnuts,
  3. For tomorrow’s elevensies: Danish pastries

Tonight is a perfect night to prove my worth as a human being. I can feed the pets, feed myself, watch TV and go to bed at a reasonable hour. Simple.

Everything runs smoothly until I get to Lisa’s house to pick up Goldie. I can’t decide whether to feed Devo or not. I just can’t decide. Indecision is me. After much thought, I ring Esther and ask her advice.

She says “Do what you think” and abdicates responsibility.

The trouble is I don’t think anything. I can’t procrastinate until Esther does it for me. I can’t pretend to concentrate on the conversation, knowing full well that Lisa and Esther will chatter on without my input. It’s down to me.

So I ring up Esther again. And again. Until she inadvertently makes the decision for me.

Job done.

Now I’m watching Being Human with a cat on my bloated pizza-stuffed belly, and a dog’s chin on my shins. Just right.

What would I rather be: a ghost, a vampire or a werewolf? No brainer- vampires get hot action and get to be history.

"Who are you calling history?"

I used to be obsessed with Coppola’s Dracula film- for a start it had my all time perfect woman Winona Ryder, who dumps uptight Keanu Reeves for sexy Gary Oldman as Dracula. I wanted to be him so much. I bought some blue sunglasses like his and I used to stalk around Sainsburys looking for victims. Once I mouthed his line “See me! See me now” at some winsome teenage girl and she looked straight at me as if spellbound.

"Yes! The rohypnol seems to be working"

Of course as soon as she saw me, she turned away in revulsion, but the moment had briefly been mine. It never worked again though.

Dennis Pennis is in this episode of Being Human. Best sleb name ever? It is for a fifteen year old; the age my humour stopped growing. Here he is winding up Jean Claude Van Damme…

BUGLY, SMELLY AND SICK OF SOCIETY


"Dear Tracy, try harder next time. The sheets are still white for God's sake"

“I can smell dog poo” said Esther this morning as we sat in bed. She sniffs the air. “Oh no, I think it’s my breath”.

Me and Esther are rubbish at personal hygiene. Our bedclothes haven’t been changed in weeks. They’re full of biscuit and cake crumbs from months of elevensies and afternoon teas. We have had 2 duvets since it started to turn cold last September. The top duvet is covered in mud stains and hair from goldie.

We have been cultivating a comforting aroma of bums and feet. When I get a waft, it feels like home.

Every morning, Esther wakes up drenched in sweat. It must be the side-effect of her anti-depressants. She wakes up in a pool of cooling body fluid and has to reach out to the drawers next to the bed to grab one of my t shirts to replace hers with.

She always chooses my clothes, but I secretly love it. It’s kind of like a teenage fantasy: not only to have a girlfriend, but to have one who validates your existence by wearing your clothes. This fact separates her from the purely imaginary partners I desperately conjured into existence. Wearing my t shirt proves that she’s real.

Normally we sleep with at least one body part touching. Usually it’s a foot or hand or side of belly. However at some point Goldie climbs aboard and drives a big wedge between us, pushing our legs sideways off the bed.

Around the bed radiates a crumpled pile of clothes from nights out and workdays mixed with fresh washing that hasn’t been put away. The stink and stains gradually travels across to the clean stuff as we trample on it to and from the bed.

I‘ve always been astounded that people can be bothered to have a shower or bath EVERY day. I just wait until my smell stops being comforting and starts to smell like death.

"Esther, I can feel a poo coming out"

I have a problem at the moment: my bumhole stinks of rancid cheese. Every time I go to the toilet (and I ALWAYS sit down), I leave a cloud of off-milk aroma which I sadistically can’t wait for Esther to walk into unawares. I went to the doctors but I had showered the night before, and she couldn’t smell anything. She even inserted her gloved finger up my bumhole and sniffed it. After the initial shock, I quite enjoyed the feeling.

It is there, I’m sure. I think it is either Thrush or the fact that I was veggi for 15 years and now I’m a rampant carnivore. I might have to bottle the stench and make my doctor sniff it.

But what really stinks is the idea of COMMUNITY.

"Love and mutual understanding bring us together"

We were watching DIY SOS yesterday. We turned on halfway through, and it was about a boy who had been badly injured and his parents wanted to do up the house for him. It was meant to be a heartwarming tale of how a community pulls together in a time of crisis.

It made me seethe with rage and tremble with nausea.

The boy’s school friends had organised some faux-American school prom which raised 8 grand. Everyone had rallied together and done the Christian thing, thereby dispelling the pessimism of Thatcher: “there is no such thing as society”. What a rosy picture this is, like some Socialist Realism poster set in suburban Rotherham.

Reasons why I can’t stand this BS:

1. If it had been me in hospital during my school days, the only motivation to help me would have been when the bullies got bored of having no-one to harass and wanted their victim back. Freaks, geeks abd assorted weirdos do not become instantly popular in these situations. My parents used to say that come the revolution, our neighbours would trudge to our house first and hound us with pitchforks. On a similar note- “He was an angel” parents always blub when some shitty bully-boy dies prematurely. Like hell he was, he was a nasty little oik, and although he didn’t deserve to die, you make me sick with your retrospective beatification of a local cunt.

2. This vision of community did not include any non-white non-working class non-chavs. It seemed to say “Britain is still Great if you’re white in a blue collar”. This is the future dreamed up by Nick Griffin.  (It’s also the inverse of that imagined by Islamic fundamentalists). This steaming pile of semen is the so-called “Big Society” Cameron/Clegg want us to join.

3. What was more is that if you missed the start of the programme, they refused to explain what had happened to the boy for the rest of the show. I refuse to invest my emotions until I can get vicarious pleasure from knowing all the gory details. I’ve heard so many sob stories (reality TV is obsessed with rags to riches stories) that it takes some “cruel and unusual” affliction to make me feel anything. My heartstrings have snapped and can no longer be yanked. Like an adrenaline junkie, we seem to need more and more horror to feel the upset we should. Why else would Saw be onto it’s 45th film?

We are all sick fucks.