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…

 

 

Bye Bye Ronnie, Hello Kristen!


Jan 7th
Lisa is bedridden with tonsillitis. This means that rather than sitting downstairs and chain-smoking, she is reclining in bed doing it.

"I'm outta here Jack"

In other news, Ronnie is leaving Eastenders because she’s fed up of weeping every episode. Her face has begun to set in the form of a melting alien

“Oh no my prodigal daughter’s dead”

“Oh no my rapist dad’s dead”

“Oh no my replacement baby’s dead”

“Oh no my career based purely on my looks is dead”

She shouldn’t have changed her name to Womack then should she? A recipe for blubbing-

8,400 complaints for her sustained ugliness. Wow, harsh.

Just noticed that the BBC bigwig says”The DNA of EastEnders has always been to take big strong social issues and wrap them in a traumatic wrapper.” This shows a basic ignorance on capitalism- no-one’s going to buy sweets that are covered in pics of tooth decay are they? People only put up with corpses on their Golden Virginia because they’re addicted.

Excuse me while I go and sit by the phone- Kristen Stewart has finally seen sense…

Reports suggest R-Pattz has decided to ‘end things’ with his Twilght co-star…

Hope my grandad doesn’t call because I shall have to be abrupt: “naff off old man, Kristen wants me”

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.

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.

 

Happy Boring and Ugly- Xmas Special


Xmas Day:



Today’s Agenda: Sweet FA watching The Time Machine and TOTP. And a banquet.

What actually happened: lots of pain.

Today feels like my first adult Christmas. I feel like shit, and I can’t eat anything (especially not chocolate), and I am not excited about presents in the slightest. Instead, I’m bored and uncomfortable and goddamn tetchy.
All I can do is lay like a limp roast parsnip and watch TV while everyone (Lisa, Dom, Devo, Goldie, Esther and their parents) bustles around me in stress/hysteria. Even my old favourite movie won’t cheer me up:

The Time Machine.

A Victorian explorer travels into the way distant future (the cozy year 800,000) and finds a load of blonde haired blue eyed babes living like big kids. Turns out that humanity was all for nothing though, because they are merely jail-bait for the ugly mofos who live underground and do all the grafting.

Best Quote (thanks IMDB):

What have you done? Thousands of years of building and rebuilding, creating and recreating so you can let it crumble to dust. A million years of sensitive men dying for their dreams… FOR WHAT? So you can swim and dance and play.”

If the future is for a race of beautiful young people who have no worries and no conscience, it sounds like a fair pay-off to me. Surely the whole purpose of knowledge is to somehow find a way to return to our innocent childlike state of imagination and freedom? What finer gift could there be for culture than to produce the opposite of culture (no, not ‘popular culture’)- pure unmediated being: Giggling and frolicking like sexy lambs.
But oh no, Mr Victorian Neo-Liberal doesn’t want that. He wants us to suffer with knowledge, to aspire to greater and greater things. But this is what has made us grow weary by the late 2oth century. H.G.Wells failed to predict that progress would go out of fashion that we would become bored with the future and jaded by the pressure to constantly better ourselves.

Ah. Top of the Pops. I watch it religiously every year, knowing full well that out of the 20 songs played, I can stomach only 5 and out of those I will like only 2. What were they this year?
(1) Tinie Tempah- Pass out

And…Hmm do I really want to admit this one…yes fuck it, they’ve basically all seen my cock, and this is no more embarrassing:
(2) Take That-the Flood


Like everyone, I crave a bit of homoerotic sportsmanship of a cold winter’s day. Warms you up in all the right places. Like this, my all-time favourite movie scene:

Talking of gayness, I was going to watch The Queen’s Speech for it’s archaic, kitsch value (not coz I’m like a royalist, that would ruin my street cred. litrally). But I didn’t. It’s too hard to live your life ironically.
Apparently it emphasised the unifying powers of sport. Fucking crock of shit. The royals use croquet and polo to separate the chaff from the wheat, not bring us together. Take That’s vid is proof that ONLY people who get their hands dirty in life can achieve a life worth living. Sweaty=Happy. At least, that’s how I justify my pungent BO.

Instead, I caught N-Dubz Dappy’s alt. message on E4.

His best line: “Forgive me if I have painted a somewhat gloomy picture, but I am just real innit”
This may have to be adopted as the tagline for my blog…
Brilliant. I never thought a boy who looks like an upside-down acorn could dispense sense, but there we have it. And who knew he was a royalist?

Next year, I shall have to film my own message to the nation.