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.

 

Delete as appropriate: Boring and/or Ugly 11


Dec 22nd

Another nookie-less night. In the morning, Esther says, “I was horny last night from watching The Walking Dead. But then you showed me your bum boil.”
I ignored the necrophiliac overtones, and just thought ‘Goddammit’. It’s really sore you see, and I wanted a second opinion ‘Does it look normal? Is it cancer?’ The window for sex was slammed shut in my face. Can we play doctors and nurses?

We trudge down to Lisa’s. She is flustered. Just before we arrived, Dom was in the bath and Lisa had just picked her spots in the formation of

(1) a unibrow,

(2) a beard, and

(3) a moustache.

Quite fetching, don't you think?

Then Dom’s manager, Barry, knocked on the door. Lisa had to answer with her bright pink facial hair, let him in and make a cuppa. Then she scurried back upstairs.

Xmas shopping for the insane: Lisa and Esther’s grandma wants them to buy her some ‘Round-to-its’. Apparently they are plates that you buy when someone says ‘I just haven’t got around to it’. So far, the search has come up blank. Whoever gets this prezzie is going to be thrilled.

Esther cut my hair last night. Now I look like a gay US marine. Every time I take my hat off, it’s to the internal soundtrack of ‘he’s in the army now’, serenaded by Muscle Marys descending from helicopters into the arms of winking Naval officers with pert salutes.

Devo has started to demand Lisa to vacate his favourite chair next to the radiator. He goes up to her, and walks in a circle and sits down. First of all, she got up to let him out. No, he was still there. He had climbed on her chair and made himself comfy. She pushed him off and he did his dance again. She stood up to get him some food and he hopped up again, curling into a tight ball. “He wants my bloody chair!” she realized. It’s the best, warmest seat in the house, and if you get up from it, it’s gone.

We popped into NatWest today to ask why I’m not a millionaire yet. Esther had a rare glimpse of belongingness in the bank while she waited for me with Goldie. A downs syndrome woman came over and grinned ‘it’s a doggy’ ‘She’s a bit shy’ replied Esther. ‘She’s a bit shy’ echoed the woman, and giggled. If only all conversations were this easy, then I’d be able to socialize properly.

Dec 24th


It just said on the news that to combat snow, trains will be fitted with skirts, which they can blow warm air underneath. This sounds like some middle-aged CEO’s dirty dream to me. How kitsch. It’s the last remnant of a faded masculinity that was happy with a flash of knickers. Today’s bloke demands hi-def tits n ass as the *bare* minimum.

Risque circa 1962

The girls go to collect the turkey for Roney’s butchers. It’s massive. It won’t fit in the freezer, so they try to put it out in the garden in a big plastic box. You don’t need a freezer in this weather. “But what if someone nicks it?” says Esther. “Let’s put it in the shed!” Weasel and Kung Fu (their names in babyspeak) are Esther and Lisa’s parents. They stride purposefully into the garden, parent mode turned up to 11.
“No!” shouts Lisa, “There’s dogshit everywhere out there, watch your step!”
The main problem with dogs you see is that every morning without fail, they need to be let out into the garden to empty their bowels. 365 days a year. That’s a lot of shit, and the longer you leave it to pick up, the more daunting it becomes. Surely something will eat it all? Nope. It sits there forever. Nature is wank.
“Well I can tell Devo is getting all the right minerals,” says Weasel, studying the rancid piles.
Esther’s family are natural physical comedians. I would pay to watch them. The simplest things take on Kafkaesque complexity.

“The door’s frozen shut” says Esther, “Let’s prize it open.” She puts her boot on the wall and pulls. Only after a second pair of hands join in does it finally jar open.

“Right, now we need some bricks to put on the box” shouts Esther.
“Ok”, then the frustrated sound of straining muscles happens. “Gnnnnng!” Weasel groans, her teeth clenched in effort.

The best example of anyone ever making this noise is Arnie in Total Recall when he get’s sucked out onto the surface of Mars and his eyes pop out…

The teeth-clenched straining echoes down the terrace. “The bricks are frozen to the ground” she shouts and laughs in an out-of-control way. They are starting to get hysterical.

“Is there anything I can do for you?” says Weasel, once the turkey has been defeated. “Yes. Commit me” answers Lisa.
Her mum heads upstairs to go to the toilet “Don’t let Devo up your bottom” yells Lisa after her.

Boring and Ugly 10


Dec 17th

Esther spies the letter to Marina over my shoulder. “That’s shit” she scowls. She’s just jealous. At least my letter isn’t to Bob Mortimer like hers would be. She used to think she’d bump into him on the street when she lived in London, and they would fall instantly in love.

"Ooh look, there's a big issue in there"

We get to Lisa’a and find a Big Issue on the table. “You two can’t afford to buy the Big Issue can you?” I say incredulously. However, the latest issue of Look or ID often finds its way here. Priorities you see.
“It’s not ours, we don’t know where it came from”. Says Lisa with confusion. “It’s like god thinks we need it or something”.

Esther and Lisa were shopping in Rotherham Tesco for their grandma.

Esther has to go to the loo, and as she sits down in the cubicle, she hears two women talking rapidly in Urdu (or something).
Suddenly an angry Rotherham woman’s voice came from the other cubicle “Speak English for God’s sake!”

The women outside fall silent.
“I’m just talking to my sister, I can speak in any language I want, thank you!” The braver sister replies.
“Come on, let’s go…” says her sister diplomatically.
“No. I want to see who said that” she snaps, settling down for a wait.
Esther started to panic. They’re gonna think it was me! Shit, I’m going to get it when I step out, shit shit!. Her cheeks got redder and redder as she braces herself to face their wrath. She opens the door, and peeked out.
“It wasn’t me…” she quivers at the two equally red (with anger) faces.
“I know love, just go” says the angry sister.
Outside, Lisa was waiting. “Let’s just get the hell out of here” Esther said and they scurry away.

"Can I come out yet?"

Dec 20th

“Isn’t it nice to be sat in from the cold, with a cup of tea and a biscuit” says Lisa wistfully.

“So, life’s alright then?” queries Esther.

“No, I wouldn’t got that far”.

“Life’s shitty shit” shouts Dom.

“At least no-one’s watching” says Lisa. “We can relax. For now at least.”

Apparently, last night Dom returned home from a gig at 5am. “I’ve got a present for you” he slurs at Lisa. “What?” she says excited. Lisa loves gifts.
“A prostitute’s lipstick” he says, brandishing a tarty pink tube. “I picked it up just before I got in the cab”.
“Isn’t that what every girl wants?” he adds “to look like a prozzy?”
Lisa acts disgusted, but the next day she comes downstairs: “Do you like my lips” she asks coyly “I’ve put that lipstick on”. I swallow some bile.
“Can you catch AIDS from lipstick?” she asks, realizing what might have come free with the present. Let’s see; Herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, crabs…a whole menagerie of alien bodies.

Coming Soon: Boring and Ugly- The Xmas Special

Unsent Letter #1


Dear Kristin Stewart.

When you come to your senses and realise that you like normal looking boys who are roughly a decade older than you, please ring me.
Until then, don’t bother.

01142253333 (you may have to leave a message)

Vienna x

BORING ‘N’ UGLY 8


OMG is that a clitoris?

Dec 7th

Esther brought up the small cock debate on the dog walk with Lisa today. “I was just being an evil bitch” says Lisa, “But Dom’s still got a big ‘un”.
Before I new that there were showers and growers (about 6 months ago to be precise) I had kind of resigned my self to having a smaller than average willy. 3 inches soft, 6 inches hard. A very mediocre improvement. Still it seemed to do the job (but it’s mostly unemployed).
As a virgin, I had avidly read the problem pages of FHM while I waited at the barbers.

“I was the only bloke in a college of 300 women” the hairdresser would boast as he chopped the hideouls marine cut I wanted at the time. He never said what that meant- so he learned how to apply fake tan like a pro?

‘Look at you now, the only manicured metrosexual in the village’ I should have said. Is 15 years too long for a comeback?

The French call it L’esprit d’escalier (the inspiration on the stairs, it comes to you after you’ve left like). With me it’s usually ‘the spirit of halfway along the trans-siberian express’.
“My boyfriend’s penis is so small that I can’t feel it inside me” one reader said. “He just sits at home and cries about it all the time” she concluded. Oh God, I thought, what if that’s my fate? A sad man growing old with his light permanently obscured by his bush(el)?
It reminds me of that joke “My wife’s so fat…she killed herself last week”.
My party trick, around 6am usually, is to strip off and walk around showing everyone who’s still awake everything I’ve got to show. (Not much according to Lisa). So whether they like it or not, pretty much all of my friends have seen my willy. So whether I am small or not should be a moot point by now.

Maybe it’s ok to have a small cock so long as you’re not afraid to show it?
In my head, that last line was spoken in the voice of Carrie from Sex and the City:
This is what I always heard when she spoke: “After all, aren’t we all just a bunch of privileged cunts wearing couture angst?” [meaningful silence]. Cut to credits.

Dec 9th
No lecture today- my tutor is protesting in London. The big kid. The only reason anyone goes to these protests is to take their anger out on Tescos and get their photo in the Independent. Did your dad cut your allowance? Go and join the demo. Did your girlf/boyf go off with a sexy activist? Go and smash a policeman’s face in and win them back. Don’t like politics or fashion? Join the Young Socialists. That’s the only reason I went to the Stop the War demo in 2003- for a party and something to do. Boredom not ideology drives our generation. Nothing better to do? Pretend to give a damn.

Who gives a shit- so what if the fees go up, it’s not like anyone will ever be earning £21K any time soon so it’ll never get paid back. You aren’t really expecting a good job as a result of your shitty paper certificate? Don’t be an idiot- it justs means you can afford a chip on your shoulder in the inevitable call centre where you end up, and have a higher class of daydream than the other school-leavers. “I could have been someone” moans Shane McGowan in Fairytale of New York, “Well so could anyone” comes Kirsty MacColl’s withering reply.

What’s in my head today: The Power by Snap: The Jim Carrey version: 


Just read this week’s Heat, my favourite magazine like ever. Thoughts: So Cheryl Cole is ‘torn’ between an ugly white man and an ugly black one. Maybe she only goes out with people who make her look better. And who won’t cheat. Why does Audrina Partridge look like her face is undergoing a landslide? In fact her whole body does too. Why are the best outfits always on the ‘What Were They Thinking‘ page?

Watching News 24. I wish the students would stop throwing things at police horses. It’s the people on top that they’re out to get. Imagine having a doughnut-filled bully boy on top of you, tensing his thigh muscles in anger as scrawny middle class dropouts get all hot headed and try to knock you over.
One student is interviewed “I paid £44 to get here today [have you never heard of a Student Railcard?], don’t get me wrong” he shouts at the top of his voice, “Clegg, you need to man up. You have 3 options, grow some balls and oppose it, abstain and you’re no man, or support it and be a dick” he bellows.
“YES!” shouts a neighbouring chav. Like he is ever going into Higher Education.

So Nick, did you get that; you can either have balls, or a dick or nothing; what do you choose?

"I want my balls back"

 

Dec 13th

“If I had turned out the way I should have, I would be making little cakes by now” says Lisa wistfully. “Instead I’m sleeping in and chain smoking”.
What did I want to be? What should I have become? I’m just glad I’m still here, what with my predisposition for falling over, indecision, and sudden fits of recklessness, I could have been a quadraplegic by now. The spine is so fragile I think, what a stupid design. Sometimes when I sit with my arm round Esther, I think ‘a quick twist and she’s dead’, and I have to sit on my hands for a while.

My mother once revisited her youthland and found an old woman staring at her like she’d seen a ghost. She approached her quizzically. “I’m sorry dear”, said the crone, “but I remember you, and I never thought you’d survive into adulthood”. No further explanation was offered, and the woman drifted back to her shopping.

The benefits of a healthcare system are that evolution is frozen- the weak and the frail get to live out their lives in an artificially safe environment. Instead of the old dying and making way for the young, they hang around- it’s not unusual to have the choice of grandparents or great-grandparents for babysitters.

It must come as a shock when you suddenly stop being young and realise that you’re ONE OF THEM- a fogey, a biddy, a dirty old man. I can feel it, coming in the air tonight…

I have the sudden desire for an enema in time for Christmas.

Stephen Fry’s Shit-storm


Stephen Fry has stirred up a shitstorm in Heteroville by denouncing straight sex as a sham:

“I think most straight men feel they disgust women. They find it difficult to believe that women are as interested in sex as they are. For good reason. If women liked sex as much as men there would be straight cruising areas in the way there are gay cruising areas”. (Stephen Fry shocks feminists)

Women can only see themselves as sex objects, just as men can. They enjoy sex narcissistically as in ’I must be so sexy if men want to do this to me’. In the world of porn, men can get what they want even, and maybe especially, if they are dog-ugly.

The most famous male porn star in the world...

 

Our hetero culture is set up to fetishize the female body and to locate sexual desire solely in its curves. The Muslim attitude that women must be punished for their seductive bodies is just the thin end of our “she was asking for it” wedge.

“I feel sorry for straight men. The only reason women will have sex with them is that sex is the price they are willing to pay for a relationship with a man, which is what they want. They want a boyfriend and then they want commitment.

“Of course a lot of women will deny this and say, ‘Oh, no, but I love sex, I love it!’ But do they go around having it the way that gay men do?

And here's the most famous female porn star. Don't they make a lovely couple?

Lots of women defensively claim to ‘love’ sex. This is what keeps the Western world running. Where would porn-fed sexuality be without the willing woman who sacrifices her body to the male ego? For women, sex is a necessary evil- a way to keep a man, the rancid starter to a meal of security and contentment. Despite many attempts to sexualize the male body, cocks and balls can never be made to look nice. As one friend put it “it looks like my boyfriend’s intestines are hanging out”.
Most women manage to mask the horror of a looming erection by some serious method acting: the Oscar-worthy groans of fake orgasms are ready and waiting to help their man dump his load.

“Gay men are the perfect acid test. If they want to get their rocks off, they go into a park where they know they can do it.”

I once read that for men, sex is just ‘a posh wank’. I was a virgin at the time and I thought, no surely not, it must be the best feeling ever and wanking can only hint at it.

When you factor in all the guilt and unrealistic expectations from both parties, sex becomes a mess. Is the other person enjoying it? Am I doing it right? I’d better not think about anyone else! This isn’t like porn…

All these thoughts pass through our minds and stop us from being in the moment. The fact is that typically men have an insatiable sex drive, and women have a periodic, fluctuating one. So what is the answer?
Should women give in to the constant pressure to have sex, for the sake of the relationship or to ‘relieve’ the man?

Or should they hold out only until they are equally ready and willing? Even if this take months? Many women feel that if they don’t give their man what he wants, he will seek fun elsewhere (either porn or other women). Which leads to another dilemma:
Is it natural and acceptable for men to seek out their thrills from porn and to go deep into the world of fantasy sex? Is it our ‘right’ to get a fix wherever we can? Boys will be boys etc.
As a species, we are programmed to spread our seed as males and to enlist the protection of alpha males as women. This is why as we age, men become increasingly drawn to younger women, and women become increasingly attracted to older men (and younger, healthier ones than their partner).

What’s the solution? Are our needs and sexuality so different? Does heterosexuality even exist? For example, if women can only narcissistically enjoy their own bodies, and men can only narcissistically imagine themselves to be the lead role in an imaginary porn scenario, wantonly deceiving themselves that her groans of pleasure are real, who’s abusing who? Is it all just smoke and mirrors, a silly role play where we get pleasure vicariously from each other?