With my life in education coming to an end, you would think that I would be in a panic. A state even. You would think that I have lost all appetite; an inability to sleep; a permanent knot in my stomach; constantly be on the verge of tears; developed a drinking habit; erratic behavior; indulged in some form of 'end of youth' crisis. Yes. You are perfectly right to think that. I would be thinking that if I was you. But weirdly I am not. I am not freaking out at all. I get little twinges from time to time but have not yet lost it. Which is strange because this is the first time I have felt an acceptance and that people actually get it. There are a lot of things and people that I will miss. Yet no anxiety attacks, no sickness, no loss of appetite. Give it a few weeks though. Wait for the degree show. There is still time.
To avoid the null in my life that is inevitable, there will be a null, there will be no avoiding it, rephrase: to minimise the null in my life I am bound to feel when I leave, I have the foundations of a plan. The beauty of this plan is it's flexibility. Here is a in depth break down...
Get whatever crappy job.
I will need money no matter what happens. This is an important task. To seek a job with benefits. So it could be waterstones/borders it could be restaurant work (tips and people) it will not be clothing retail, it will not be mc donalds. I will preferably work in Manchester, travel in, that way I will be leaving Warrington on a regular basis. When I have a job I will be on good footing to move back to Manchester. When I move to manchester I may consider two jobs.
Keep on Working.
There is a trrick I'm sure. Something that stops you from falling into a trap. Getting hooked to the money and saying stuff it, 'relegate our dreams to hobbies'. I guess firstly it will be a lack of responsibilty. So next year there will be no babies, no mortgage, no debts, no weddings, nothing like that. No, no. I will need to be free. I will also need to keep a drive/motivation. That will be easy if I am in Warrington as I will do anything to get out of there and am low most of the time I am there anyway. There is nothing better for a potent rush of emotion, earthed by a pen and some paper. Then I will need my Mac/adobe creative suite/a camera and a solid set of friends. I am considering purchasing a small book press to keep my skills fresh and regular trips to ratchfords. This is a secret but I will share it. I have three ideas for, lets call them extended short stories (novel... cringe). They should keep me occupied or at least one of them. Along with discipline. Some rules. A two - three hours a day minimum. It's possible that I will need a new muse/set of muses as most current ones will have disappeared from my life by august. (Please don't though. Must keep in touch.)
The beauty of having such a crappy job is that I will not have any urge to remain loyal to it. I am young, if there is something better to do, I should be doing it. Travel is an option. Helen in Paris. Maybe beg Shakspere and Co for a bed to complete a masterpiece. So if the oportunity comes to travel, take it. I will look to get some work experience too. Publishers probably. That is what I should be doing now. Not this. My sister lives just outside London. She will look after me for a few weeks.
Other self developments include:
Learning Tai Chi
Learning to drive (but not buying a car)
Increasing my social circle by joining some form of book club/writing group... although my chances of finding that in warrington...
I will need CV's and a portfolio.
I am going to do an MA. I have desided. I have been ordering prospectus' (prospecti?) today. This is my key to moving south. Clinton (tutor) reckons I am a good candidate for funding. Mac (tutor) has named a few places to look at and is beyond encouraging. This is looking positive. This is also in very early stages. All I know is I havn't had enough time to develop what I am currently doing. I feel a good part time MA (2years) will, not only keep me away from the big scary terrifying real world for another 2-3years but also give me enough time to develop and experiment with what I am currently doing. I appologise to both Mac and Clinton, I may be harrassing you both for another year.
There is nothing like a good old bit of self promotion. I have already a series of books that I can turn into issues and paper backs. This is the scary bit of the plan as it involves leg work. Provided I can get places like Cornerhouse, Magma, FACT and any other art book shop I can get in contact with in the north west (first, south if it is feasable. I talk about the south like it is this completely different planet. In many ways it is.) I have seen flimsy, basic zines in Cornerhouse at least, hideous layout, appauling typography (I don't just mean that in an elitist sort of way, I mean the font choice is bad even from a none designer pov) being sold for £3 a go. I don't care too much about profit at this moment. I will ask them to sell for me, proably break even, or if they won't sell them screw the costs (black and white zine, I will of course need to think realistically but as long as I can afford to live), if it gets my stuff out there I may consider distributing for free in bars and record shops, anywhere. If that works out, I will make more, bring on board one or two friends to illustrate/contribute. I am not planning on setting up a business here. I am thinking motivation, a goal, and just generally being noticed. Then I will have links to my site (which I haven't yet made!) and point out the fact that they can buy lovely full colour, hardbacked versions of the books, handmade, made to order. Again I am not doing this for money I am doing this to keep going. It is very possible if I stop I will lose it.
This is a plan. I have said it, if you see me from august onwards and I am not pushing this plan (not a pram) then feel free to throw things at me until I do. I will need people to encourage me. Not my mum though. She will shout at me a lot. Make it worse like an itch.
If you have suggestions on how it can be improved, any useful contacts, useful links, useful college names, or any general useful usefulness tell me. Add a comment below. Nothing nasty please. I am too fragile.
It was only half way through the book that I realised. Dave Eggers. This is someone I already admire without knowing who he is. It is Dave Eggers of McSweeny's Quarterly Concern. The literature publication that I keep meaning to submit to. The publication I always pick up because of its innovative forms. Always different, attractive, something you want to pick up regardless of the content. It is always an inspiration to hold, have and look at. McSweeny's 24 was a particular favourite. Dos-e-dos. Inspired the identity lost/found book I made before christmas.
I do not have an image of it dos-e-dosing at present...
The illustration on the cover continues through the endpapers and across to the back cover, meaning no matter which way you open it the image joins and follows through with a nice continuity.
The nicest thing about McSweeny's, other than it's many formats and the fact that it is encouraging to new and developing writers, and it's strange content, other than all that, it is how it began. Now I think that this is true, I remember reading it somewhere but cannot actually source it. I believe it was posted out to friends and family, and friends of friends, and so on. Now it is international. Now even if that is not true I am going to pretend that it is as it is truely inspirational.
I will submit to McSweeny's this year. Here is a link to my writing blog. Any suggestions on what I should submit would be appriciated...
Andrew and I set up 'Bar Mandi' over the summer as going out out was proving too expensive. Same faces. Same music. Nothing changes in Warrington. Not worth it. Anyway 'Bar Mandi' basically involved making up cocktails, eating doritos and exhausting the Virgin Music On Demand facility on my tv. Which is like watching MTV but better because you choose the videos. Now Virgin weirdly had some really obscure stuff on there last summer. This was a favorite.
Late of the Pier's Focker.
Even if you do hate the music, it's sort of tongue in cheek electro pop punk and camp in all that, stick it out! The video is too good!!! It is so aware that it is low budget. It is unashamed and if anything goes out of it's way to look more low budget than it actually is. It is just a fun video.
Have I sold it yet? I think that is enough. Watch it...
Williamsberg Will Oldham Horror is probably my favourite Jeffery Lewis song (Oh but If You Shoot The Head You Kill The Ghoul. I do like a bit zombie stuff.) I am not usually all that into folk and when I am it has to be clever rather than pretty. And that's what Jeffery Lewis is. Anyway this is great because it is the ultimate in low budget film making and it is funny. It is a very literal music video. It's a long song and if you don't like the lyrics/wordy songs (as oppose to the actual music, same with Dylan and Cohen too) then you may not like it. But for now, this moment of change in my life, anxiety, uncertainty, this song is perfect. It sums it all up! Perfect (I also really love Artland that is a really good song too! Jeff!)
"If that's a victory I'd hate to see what I look like defeated."
This is Richard Hell.
He has nice links on his site too.
Sudden White. Dark Materials. Burroughs Live. Apocalyptic visions. All crying out 'No Future, No Future' in both surreal and uncanny manners. It was good in a "we're all doomed" way. I drag my sister along. I am using her house as a hotel (House ain't a motel) after all. It's all doom. She takes note. I explain how once upon a time it was all utopia. All robot slaves and floating cars. This is the antidote to that dream. The children of this vision (50/60's born?) grew bitter and raised their kids with no expectations for such a future. Instead. Today, their children are faced with nothing. Back to basics. Hand made do everything for your self and use as little energy as possible (I am not referring to manual labor) the opposite to the futurist dream. Cut down now else face nothing. Actually we already face nothing. We know that whether nature destroys us or whether man gets there first (why is man and nature always so separate? We are one and the same. We are not above it. It controls us, we cannot control it. Nature is God.) we are destined for destruction. So where as once upon a time you had futurism, now we have apocalyptic art. This unnerved her. It unnerves everyone. This is what the art is telling us. It is neither a warning nor a prediction. It is Fact. One day everything that is here will no longer be here (thus deeming everything pointless. Miller told us to live.)
It is reassuring hearing it from so many different voices. Calming in fact. Just think how little these words actually mean when there is no future. It used to make me sick. Now it liberates me.
William S. Burroughs. Everything is permitted because nothing is true...
A license to act out, to be exciting, to live. It was good to see images along side Burroughs work. I hadn't realised he was a painter too. It was all erratic. Words drew into abstracted strokes. Collaborations with artists and filmmakers, pushing the surreal, reflecting confusion, characters and chaos in his books. I watched him read. Dead pan. Funny real funny. My sister laughed too! I couldn't believe it! She laughed at Burroughs. In all the right places too!
A little out of place with the other two exhibitons (they were meant to combine to form something collective entitled Collision Course). The dystopian beginnings mixed with Burrough's humor, satire of the human condition. His apocolyptic view much different to the others. Burroughs knows that apocolypse mixed with humanity means that everything is possible (permitted because nothing is true). We are unpleasant. We are grotesque. We push things too far. He predicted the sale of organs. This is his point. We go too far. And it is funny, but it is terrifying. Everything is possible! We aquire, we think, we gain some kind of perverse purpose, or idea of purpose, when really we should be aiming for freedom. We all think that we are free. But we are not allowed to be truely free. Whether it is abiding be a set of rules created by government and enforced by police (brutality) or whether it is living by a set of rules, instilled, conditioned, a little voice inside of us. Call it morals. We are not ever truely free. There is always consequence. No one notices the difference. Of course we are free. All this insanity remains, it is allowed. It is permitted.
There was nothing on cut up. Nothing at all.
I first read Naked Lunch when I was living in Sheffield. I was alone most of the time. It was my only true friend for a few months (don't feel bad). It took me a year of putting down, picking up, reading, re reading, reading again. It was an experience sometimes grueling and difficult, mostly humorous, sick, dark. I had never read anything like that before, never. It was mind altering. I felt like I had been let in on a secret. I never had anyone to discuss this book with. I tried ringing Lou Reed but he wasn't interested in talking that day, he was running late for his Tai Chi lesson.
Everytime I walk down the street and I see a guant, lived in old man, with a hat and glasses, I say William Burroughs. No one knows what I mean.He isn't wearing glasses in this picture.
This is why lomography in particular the Diana is the most unreliable form of photography going. It is unpredictable and out of 24 exposures you get about 6 decent prints if that! Not to mention the cost of printing. But still I keep going all because you would never getter such surprising photos. Yes most are bad but some have a real delicacy to them.
I went to Florence with Jules (she needs no introduction, she is known in most circles!) to visit a friend, Sinead, who was studying there. Again we were poor. Always travel when you are poor! The return journey set us back a tenner. Ryanair plays ANNOYING music on take off and landing and doesn't have a commence sucking sweet light (sponsered by werthers original) next to the seat belt and no smoking light. We mostly walked, deciding our direction on the flip of a coin. Tales we go right, heads we go left, if it ever looked like we were going to walk in a circle we would choose the other direction automatically (ie right right right left.) We ate amazing pasta, based on the flip of a coin. I fell in love with the violence of the statues lying around the plazas. Sat watching music out side. Open air. Relaxing happiness. Sang along. Sat by the violent statues. 'The Rape of...' So violent. So strong. We met with sinead and watch an Italian covers band who didn't bother to find out the words to any of the songs they were covering. This started up an argument which is still in debate.
"Well I woke up this morning and I got myself a..."
"Meal" - Italians
"Deal" - Sinead's parents
"Feel" - Helen
"Beer" Me, Danny, Jules.
Me Danny and Jules are the music elite. We know that it is Beer! (The futures uncertain and the end is always near! It rhymes you see. It is beer!)
We managed to find modern art, IN FLORENCE (Thank you coin)
We were harrassed by Italian men (Jules' boobs no doubt!) A homeless guy heckled Jules:
"You need a stylist"
"You need a home!"This is called Winter. He is inappropriately dressed.
Millions of steps later and this is the view from the top of the Duomo. See unreliable Lomography.
Another example of unreliable lomography, the subject of this image was a little above this pole. Note to self - Start framing more.
This is kind of cool.
This was some graffiti under a bridge. It was just a mass of locks with different names and messages on. Unfortunately we didn't have a lock at hand so couldn't add to it.
That God Damn Duomo. No matter what direction the coin took us we always ended up back here! And this was where we started. This is where Sinead lives. That is right all my friends live in monuments. Helen lives in the Eiffel Tower. Sinead lives in the Duomo. Jules lives in the Liver Building. Andrew lives in the pink eye. I sleep down next to the Alice in Wonderland tribute when in warrington and John Rylands in Manchester. You would think there were more famous buildings in Manchester. Everything is hotels and stadiums...
A fantastic one too. And an amazing video. 'Cirque de Calder' It is a beautiful (quick think of a new word for beautiful...) no mesmorizing in fact, quaint, amazing. Handmade toys, really cleverly made. Funny too. Watch the video. Click the image.
The fact that so far all this work is hand made. Almost a hobby is just astounding. When you look at the work advance through to his sculpture you can see the links. But there is something more here. Something that is fun, something that has been lovingly produced and thought through. I couldn't but think, I wish I had a grandad like that! (Probably on my dads side, I was more than satisfied with the one on my mums side. I think the one on my dads dad was a rotter. I never met him)The following images are to aid me with the 'Cut Up' project I am working on. I am interested in the techniques of montage for obvious reasons. (What? What? Do I really have to explain it? Ok well the montage is a cut up ambiguous image, much as the words in the cut up technique are cut up and ambiguous in meaning. There.)
The piece I am looking for here is entitled Batiment III. I cannot find it!!! But it was an amzingly simple slender sort of peice, diagonal accross a page a line made of neat collage. REally clean to look at. I have found another montage of his I enjoy though.
Actually I have liked the work of this man for a long long time now. Many of times I have been in museums and looked upon his work with a smile before realising that it is his. This one again a montage Olly and Dolly Sisters. I admire its clean simplicity as oppose to other montages that appear (although still nice) messy and mixed. I mostly like the messy ones when they include type.
We also ended up attempting to watch a few films in the media centre. All in french. I could not understand but thought it was a good idea to watch them anyway, like the chap that narrated the Magic Roundabout, Eric Thompson. Creating new stories from the images he saw, unable to understand the original french version, something completely new! We started to watch a few. Helen couldn't understand either. I subtley try to suggest La Jetee, but she has it at home and keeps meaning to watch it. I will watch la Jetee with no sound soon. That will be nice. The we try some Burroughs. No pardon, not there. And then John Cale, no no no, pardon. Damn it. We hit a few others. They don't work either. Sophie Calle finally works. But it is an hour long and we have tea to make. Guest at eight don't you know. I pay 4 euro for the smallest coke in the world and ask Helen to translate all the signs around us. She recommends a book. The Fountain Head by Ayn Rand. Says she found it in a hostel on her travels (should I start leaving books in random places? with nice messages in them for people. Maybe something saying be sure to pass this on. That would be nice.) about some rival achitects, one modernist on classicist. Its all a huge metaphor apparently. But she has no one to discuss this book with. I feel that way all the time, I say. No one reads what I read. I try to get Andrew to read, but he won't do it.
Sophie Calle's Phone Box.
I brought a present for Helen in the form of an unusual nights in Paris guide. It was good. So many squats that have raves and bands and a place where you eat in the pitch black etc. Any way one of them was this. I had read a lot about Sophie Calle, I would aspire to be that cute when I am older, or even now. Always thinking up new adventures and seeing them through. Wait let me correct that, being brave enough to see them through. But this will become another section of the blog. Anyway. I had read about her first Phone Box in New York, in Double Game. I thought this would be in the same vein. But it wasn't. It was better. Well nearly better. It is a phone only she knows the number to and has vowed to ring five times a week with a story in return for another story. We fantasized about her answering. How amazing it would be. Then I grew nervous, wait I am really bad at keeping conversations going, notoriously bad even! But this would be ok, it is a phone, it is anonymous. We'll take wine (we didn't) it'll be easier drunk. We'll take a picnic and wait all day until she rings (we didn't there is too much of Paris to see in three days, without enculer les mouches beside a phone booth all day, in the middle of nowhere!) We waited about half an hour. I made Helen vow to take all future visitors there. Then stated how extremely jealous I would be if she answered whilst Sean was there. (Sean is a friend from warrington, I went primary school with him, we were pals. We contacted each other for about a week in high school, but never since. Helen I know from high school though we never spoke until she attempted to form a band that was like the velvet underground. I heard this one way or another (through Andrew most likely) and I text her one time saying 'hey I hear you are trying to form a band that sounds like the velvet underground, well I love the velvet underground and I play guitar,' The band was me and her, me on guitar, her on bass. We played maybe two times together, it was never a band, this happens everytime I have tried to be in a band, but we got on real horrorshow. The rest is history. Sean happened to be a real good friend of hers, so we re-met. Sean and Helen are really good people. I still want to be in a band where I can wear shades and pretend I am Lou Reed).
Andy Warhol Looks a Scream...
I think we were both a little disappointed with this one. Wait it was good though! It really was. It was sort of chronological, really in depth, well curated, well set out, but I think we were mostly disappointed that it was only his portraits. It was sort of busy but I had seen worse (NY MoMa Dali exhibition, finally some art that Andrew might actually like and here we are stuck in the middle of a crowded room unable to get anywhere near the art.) I am interested in Warhols obsession with perfection up the image, no sorry icon of celebrity in the later works. Mostly I am interested in his early work, the mass repetition, the 'factory line'. The giving of something that is readily available on mass. The imperfections in the screens (no two alike) etc. But mostly mostly most of all I am interested in the death images. (I am not morbid!) How the images are really quite shocking but, the colours, the repetition is desensitizing us, made to look deeper, over and over again, really look at it. Desensitize is a shocking phenomena. This wasn't there. One electric chair was, as part of the last supper series. Still nice though. And no floating pillows, they were hung high above our heads, not moving! Oh well. Back to the Warhol exhib. I cannot find the image I wanted find, we were not allowed to take photographs, and it is nowhere on the internet. It was of the Artist Jean Michel Basquait (Obviously Warhol and Basquait had a pretty famous relationship anyway so to type the two names into google hoping to find this image is impossible!) Full body (rare for Warhol) real stunning, reminiscent of Da Vinci, all cut up (or different body part images taken separately) Montaged, a jigsaw almost. Screened together on one canvas but so you could tell that it was a montage. Anyway If you find or know of anywhere I can source this image, please let me know.
The Gatecrashers (Hype Syndicate) - David 'The Soft'
We went to an exhibition opening as it is the only thing to do when you are in Paris. Red wine flew. To be honest, and don't try to pretend this isn't true, the main reason to go to an opening of any kind is because of the free alcohol! Mostly the art is bad and you need the alcohol to bullshit your way through. But every now and then you go to an exhibition that is actually worth seeing. That is a bonus. This was such an occasion!
It was in the back of an art book shop, good start. It took us a few minutes to find clean cups. The artist was the loudest, cockiest and most drunk. It was experimental photography using Argentinian development techniques. They were really really good. They baffled every one. How had he done this? We settled on a masking technique in the dark room. Then the pictures appeared to be back lit but weren't. How? We don't know. It must be something in the ink. There was interstin g use of white space in the middle of the images. Like it was sheilding something. Drawing you in, making you curious. I would imagine that with out he lighting the images would have kept us far less entertained, but then that is part of a good show, the set up, the lights, the mood. It really was good. I cannpt remember his name but if you can speak French it translates to 'The Soft', David 'The Soft' (Le something or other.) UPDATE LeDoux
I am now considering a degree show involving a tower of books and light boxes. I'm positive it will not be allowed. Nor could I make that many books! I am also considering taking up Souvenir shopping as a hobby. To seek out the ultimate souvenir emporium. It's probably in London somewhere.
So much for not being so wordy...
This book was recommended to me by my sisters ex from high school. He was impressed by my reading list on facebook (this is a pro of facebook)(and looking at it now it is a little thin and lacking in variety, mostly 'niche' and 'cult') and wanted to recommend some other books. Weird books. Strange books. Books likely to induce mind fuck... (actually this book isn't listed on that site!) I got into it quickly because I was traveling (did I mention this?) to Paris. Actually maybe I should have done that the other way round... anyway....
This book is beautiful. In the non conventional sense of the word beautiful. It is fact ugly, violent, and dirty. I really do feel that one has to be low, truly experience, and write (or create) with complete raw emotion to achieve something beautiful. Truly beautiful.
I knew upon reading the line, "In his pocket scraps of paper containing prescriptions for weltschmerz" that this is a book I was meant to read. I often dwell on/in weltschmerz, it is something that I have experienced my self. Seemingly forever, but realistically maybe only since finishing high school. This book seems like a perscription for it. You can dwell on it or you can live! I have highlighted a few of my favourite parts because there is no other way that I can put it across. Look I have tried. Click on the image and make it big and then you'll see what I mean.
This book speaks to me. When you think about the pointlessness of it all, how we are due to become extinct, how the only thing we have to look up to and aspire to is fame, what is there when you have nothing? No name to carry through history, destined to become forgotten, what is there? There is life. The one thing you were given for free. One thing that is guarunteed, and even then it is so fragile, you have life, so live it every day. This is the perscription for weltschmerz. You will probably never achieve that what is in your mind, never be that person, never kiss that man, so what accept it. Do not dwell.
The sexuality, it is not titillating in the slightest, it is violent in fact, it is funny, it is something that just happens. It is a sign of the times in a way, it is the verge of sexual liberation, for both males and females. To Miller, woman was just another 'cunt', to the the women the men where just another bit of money. There is controversy from many sources still to this day, feminists mostly, but I really do think some people take these things far too seriously.
There are some amazing quotes I have highlighted about writing from true grim experience, deep emotion... I can't keep typing because I can't explain it anywhere near the way he does (pg256), I'm too excited. I will read. You must read it too!
I feel that it is important that I document my first journey out of the country alone.
I am alone and I am doing things for myself. Because I can do things for myself. It is easy. EasyJet!
There should be a light on this damn thing telling you when to commence the sucking of the sweet, sponsored by Werthers Original, right up there next to the seatbelt and no smoking lights. (My friend Jules and I have discussed this at great length (2 mins) on a previous flight!)
We are in the air and my nerves are gone. I wonder with one wing pointed towards heaven and the other wing pointed towards hell, why my book remains so still, on my knee, and why it is not resting on the wall to my left only to drop onto another passenger when it straightens up. Why drinks don't spill, yet when there is turbulence they do.
A small lego world. I could probably see my house from here, I look out for a blue Ikea as my nearest landmark. No such luck. I am probably on the wrong side of the plane. There are those offices my dad was telling me about. The ones he did the scaffold for a while back. The ones that have been empty for months.
My dad is skint and I am off to Paris. There is no justice. I offer to give back the money he gives me. The money I feel so guilty about. It is better for me to suffer, not him. He has worked hard. I have done nothing. He won't hear of it. He'd rather be out on the streets begging than see me suffer. I tell him it is a open offer. Whenever he changes his mind. He says I deserve it. I say I don't. I should earn my right to live. My mum has told me in the past that it is better in my pocket than in a slot machine. He doesn't have to prove his love for me. I know he loves me. He already does enough for me. Like running me to the airport. Letting me drive his flash car, even though I can't drive. I really can't. He let me drive it round a car park before we got the the airport. I turn right. Right again. Then another right. I keep forgetting to straighten out. Straighten up he calls. How I call. We drive towards some people. There are people over there. I am going to stop. I say. I have not learnt how to stop. We jerk forwards. Whip lash. He laughs. He let me drive his car. A nice black Audi A5. The Batmobile. KIT. Could have been 30grands worth of damage and he laughs. I will learn to drive this year.
I am not afraid of flying. I always get nervous in the tunnel before you step onto the plane. No one to hold my hand. That makes me feel nervous. But once I am on I am fine. I do not fear death by plane. It would be something that I have no control over. I would just have to except it. A murder. Manslaughter. Condemnation of all man kind. Imagine the whole of the western world on trail! Technology. Techslaughter? It isn't natural. It is man made death. Then again maybe it is natural death. Maybe the plane is natural in the same way that an anthill or a bee hive is natural. Either way. I am not scared. The best I could hope for would be the moment of peace, clarity, and acceptance. Meditating amongst the chaos. Before the pain. A philosophical moment where I come face to face with my maker. Then a quick death. Otherwise I would hope that my legs do not break on impact. I would save all the others, the ones with broken legs. A hero. Both Mythbusters and snopes.com cleared up the conspiracy of the brace position. That old legend that the brace was thought up to kill on impact, snapping the neck on the chair in front. Saving the passengers from a long, slow painful death they would face otherwise. The main problem with airplane crashes is that the impact causes your legs to break. The chair in front is too close, or the chair you are sat on collapses onto the legs. This is all true. I saw it all on mythbusters, the emulated a plane crash and this is what they found.
No plane has crashed due to turbulance. Daniella (my sister) told me that. Her friends are air host/esses and they are all alive.
I am alone. Three seats to myself. I think about the airport. The kid repeatedly crashing his paper are plane to the ground, into other passengers, wondering if this is significant. What goes up must come down. "Brace, Brace!" The woman behind me, listening to David Bowie. Rebel Rebel. Tinny and small through her earphones. I wonder if this too is signifcant. (Here comes one of those things where you reveal a little too much about yourself...) I sometimes, maybe, might take hearing a song by David or Iggy as a sign, typically a reassurance, easing nerves, urging me to loosen up, let go (not so much Lou though his songs maybe a little too dark). Then other little things. For example a game of chance a sort of iPod Roulette, if the next song on my iPod is a David one then I'll (lets say as an example) get my nose pierced today or go out tonight or buy that bottle of gin. Damn it TV on the Radio. Ok one of the next four songs. No, arcade fire. Iggy, fuck it, close enough, let's do it! It is always a little unfair as my iPod tends to be dominated by David. Not much of a game of chance. I should pick someone more obscure like say richard Hell, not even television, Richard Hell. It's silly anyway leaving your decisions, your future, your life to the mercy of the iPod shuffle. Very dumb indeed. Anyway I had made some bad decisions in the past off the back of hearing some David songs (I know I know this is so dumb, it has nothing to do with the songs, its all to do with coincidence and chance and what I actually want to do! I just sometimes need a push.) So at that moment in the airport it was certainly not reassuring. I move away from the woman. I try to guess who is french. A black family, well dressed, smart father at the head, gotta be french. "Look dad, look at the plane!" No, British. An elderly couple, tanned. French. Nope, Spanish. Hmmm. I start looking for the arty ones. Beards, long hair, fashioniatas (this is EasyJet, come on...) I start finding a few. I wonder if anyone thinks that I am french. I could be French. I have a French surname. Why not. I pretend to be French, which is pretty easy when you don't have to speak. I am not French. I do not look French. My passport gives me away.
Carla and Kaliegh. The names of two hostesses. I trust hostesses with names like Carla and Kaliegh. I am reassurred by hostesses with names like Carla and Kaleigh. Especially scouse hostesses with names like Carla and Kaliegh. All flight attendants should be called Carla or Kaliegh.
I land. Happy. I am doing things for myself. I am alone and in Paris. In Paris alone. I catch a train. By myself. I learn a new French word 'sortie'. I traveled to Paris on my own. I am alive I am living. There is Helen.
The train stops. I miss the announcement. Listening to my iPod. It was probably David... I think I could have gotten the gist of the announcement with out understanding the language. Everyone begins to exit. I look to a fellow passenger with a sense of urgency. I don't know what she said but I understood her. The train had been terminated. Now what? Everyone here is French. Everyone. I'll stick to the people with the cases. No earphones. Listen this time. A book instead. The people with cases begin to move around. Like they no something I don't. I am confused, what if there is a platform alteration. I'll never know because I don't speak French! Remain calm. Read. It'll sort itself out. An announcement. Charles de Gaulle. I recognise that part. What else. Listen. Concentrate. You can decyher this. An enigma machine. Come on think. I search my minimal vocab (bonjour, merci, ca va, c'est, je t'aime, un, deux....) no not there. I catch the eye of a woman. I must have looked like a lost child, desperate and hungry. "It will be five minutes, this side." I had never been more grateful to another human being. A tear came to my eye. Of course another train was coming. They are every ten minutes.
In the airport. Terminal 2b, gate 32. We group. It must be human nature. A tribe thing. First to sit. I attract a group of 16-21 year olds. They don't know I'm not 16 - 21. We are the hip kids. Lone travellers. Looke at us, we are young and doing things for ourselves! Then there are a group, late 20's to late 40's, all women. Lone travelers. They too are doing things for themselves. Then the lone men. Business looking. Suits, laptops, facial hair. They are doing things for themselves but no one cares, they are expected to be doing things for themselves. Then the families are scattered. They are their own tribe. They don't need anyone else thank you. But then what's this. More families? A troop of little daemons, horns disguised and hidden under Mickey Mouse ears. Tens, hundreds of them. Screaming, rattling small toys, singing the okey kokey over and over and over and over and over, and singing it wrong! Parents laughing. Ain't it cute they don't know the words. Gurgle gurgle. Of course. It is the easter holidays and every scouser who could afford to has taken their kid to Disney Land, saving as much as they could on the flight (EasyJet!) I can see it now. High pitched squealing, crying, whining as their little delicate ears pop, and they grow confused, angered because they can't make it stop! Deafening, deafening. With no escape. No escape. Let me out I'll get the next plane. I fly British Airways instead!
They should be sedated. A little medicine on their gums. Just for an hour. No fears. No tears. And peace for the rest of us.
But I underestimate the little angels. True I sit at the back with the older families. But the flight is quiet enough. I read without distraction. Turbulence. No plane ever crashed due to turbulance.
Back to Reality
When I got home I expected to find her dead. There was something wrong. The house was too quiet, the air too stale, the atmosphere too still. She promised me in an embrace before I left that she wouldn't, I wasn't too sure. I made her text me everyday that I was away so I knew she was still alive. I couldn't risk it, a day before I left her second attempt at such an atrosity in the space of four weeks. I look around the living room. Paper with writing. A note? No. Just some work. It's too quiet. Her bedroom door isn't just shut. It is too shut. It is mocking me because I can't open it. I ring her. Nothing. It took me a long time, sitting next to the door, trying to look under the door. Her body is lying on the other side of it. Of that I am sure. The door laughs hard. I feel sick. A little shaky. What is waiting for me on the other side of that door. All the possibilities race through my head. Images. Sick images. I think about the consequences (I wasn't expecting a consequence, I was expecting to be dead, she had told the doctor a few days before, I grimace. this is serious.) I'll need to stay calm. Ring an ambulance. Is that who you ring? Ambulance? or is it the police? I need to find out first. Know for sure. I raise my hand to the knob, turn the handle. Push it open. No body. Nothing. I laugh at my stupidity. I hadn't trusted her. But she is fine. She isn't dead. She said she wouldn't and she didn't. And now that she is still alive I know her life will get better. I know it. I tell her about my paranoia. Laughing. She thinks, not laughing. Then, " You know, I never thought about the trauma it would cause to the person that found me. I wouldn't do that to you. Don't worry." But she nearly has done that to me. Twice. She will get better. I want her to get better.
"I'll show you a picture a picture of tomorrow, nothing changes it's all sorrow. OH NO PLEASE DON'T SHOW ME..."
So Helen and I (as we are in the habit of when a little drunk) have been dancing like maniacs to music that we used to dance to when we were 18 (in a sweaty dirty club in warrington). We were stunned at the similarities between then and now, especially seeing as we are in a different country. Eyes rolling occasionally. French guys. What is the french for GO AWAY and LEAVE US ALONE!
Anyway. Now we are home and listening to the Libertenes because the Truskel (that was the venue) is not only Pete Doherty's favourite parisian haunt, apparently (we are not massive fans, can take him or leave him, but what's good enough for Pete... this does not include heroin), but they played the libertenes... twice... and we danced like fools and sang too loud, everyone could hear probably because the music was not so loud. Anyway, on the long walk home (I cannot move my feet, when they first started hurting I began to dance on my toes, then when the balls of my foot started to hurt I began stamping my feet, then my heels hurt too and now my feet just don't work!) we sang as many songs as we could remember from the first album (we don't like the second one. Nor do we care too much for Babyshambles and we deffinately do not like the dirty pretty things, but we did like Pete's first solo attempt, this is for lovers). We loved that album. And still do. So now I urge you if it's been over a year or two since you last heard Up the Bracket LISTEN TO IT RIGHT NOW! Especially if you liked it the first time round. Especially if you shunned them because they went a bit 'lad' rock and (like us, or at least me, and ashamedly) were the 'in' thing to like.
Helen's house turned out not the be the Eiffel Tower as I had first thought, but a lovely petit apartment. Roomy for one. Shabby chic. With wooden floors that leave splinters in your feet; a compact kitchen (I mean very compact!); chipped and cracked marble fire places (with no fire inside them);
books upon books (belong to the person from whom she is subletting) Shakephere, Nietzsche, Cocteau, Sartre, Genet, and an erotic/fantasy encyclopedia, more more more, all french; a toilet on which you can sit and look out to other Parisian apartments whilst you pee; a bed that keeps giving me a dead arm and Helen keeps claiming she can feel her bones and joints when she lies on it; and tons more besides. It is absolutely brilliant! It is due to be knocked down soon which is sad. On the ascent to her apartment (she is on the top - 6th floor) we cross other apartments which have had their doors bricked up (breeze blocked). It is very very sad.
Some of the books I have mentioned, their spines never broken, are destined to remain shut perhaps forever. Which is also sad. Very very sad. There is some poem or other that mentioned this phenomena, books that are read once then placed on a shelf never to be opened again. I mention this to Helen, how sad it is and how I'm going to give all mine away (with the exception of my favourites, ones I will read again, or will LEND to others, or ones that I will give my children, or nieces and nephews (that's right Daniella nieces AND nephews please! I will make a great aunt!) Helen mentions book mooch. A site where people all swap books. It is all free on the condition that you not only recieve books but you send them too. It works on some kind of points system that I haven't entirely figured out yet.
But then again on visiting Shakespeare book company and seeing the vast vast shelves of books (A bit like the Strand NY but like an eighth of the size so more like a mile of books, and much more expensive. Unlike the strand it allows writers and literaries that are hard up to stay there for free until they finish writing, a sort of residency) and then the used book cafe in Merci, with shelves three times my height stacked with books... I want my house to be like that. Unable to see the walls just books. Shelves and shelves. Screw the shelves. Just pile them up on top of each other. In fact screw the walls. It will just be books. Book bricks, book chairs, book stairs, book coffee tables, book beds, book stove, wait, on second thoughts, no kitchen, I will eat books. Books will provide all the nutrition I need. (See Dan I will make a great Aunt, I can hear the little buggerlugs now "can we go see crazy Aunt Mandi? I want to play on the books slide, and the climbing books and eat books on toast!") But then music there must be music too, a house of books, probably a cat (but then the cat wee! No cat), a guitar, Andew can bring his drums round. We don't need a record player because we already know all the songs. They are all there anyway, somewhere on the fret board, somewhere between the kick drum and the snare, the high hats and the crash. We'll keep the drums minimal. Any we don't know we will just make up, they will be better, improved. We will sing together. I can hold a tune but Andrew can't sing, besides drumming a singing at the same time is difficult unless you are Phil Collins!We can play music as loud as we like because no body will want to live near the crazy book house except maybe other creatives. And then they too can have book houses. We'll start a whole new community. A way of living. Only unlike the northern quarter, LES and oberkampf(?) we won't let the yuppies in because they'll spoil everything. If they want in they'll have to turn their backs on their current lifestyle, lose everything, start again, "one of us", read and read until they have the foundations for houses and build and build until they too have book houses, and we'll all make loud music together and eat books and swap stories and make things and show off and all the men will have creative facial hair like Dave Eggers and we'll all be attractive and beautiful and raise an army of children who will take over, a revolution, and they will save the world. Of cousre there will be elitists. The people that look down on the ones that have made their houses from Dan Brown books or Danielle Steel. And there will be the ones that steer clear of the people who have built their houses from Jackie Collins or Chris Nieratko. We will burn their prejudice book houses down Ray Bradbury style only there will be nothing left and they will be banished, doomed to live amongst the normals, conform and be oppressed. But they deserve it. Everyone here is creative and equal. We will even accommodate dyslexics and read to them (not me though, I am terrible at reading!) then they can have book houses too.
Considering this was meant to be a post about paris I seemed to have strayed. Nevermind. I will return with pictures and stories - true ones. I will sit you all down and show you one photo at a time, like a relative sitting you down with their dull holiday snaps from tenerife only mine are not dull and are not from tenerife, talk you through each one. One at a time. No straying, promise. Well maybe a little straying. Keep things interesting!
Incidently, the woman Helen is subletting from has just had a baby and has named it Ulysses and lives in a cave and husband/partner runs his car off sunflower oil (eat that government!!!) This is all the truth! I swear!
I have been doing some writing since... well since I can remember. But more recently than that are a few that are featured on my other blog. There is more to be added.
Maybe slightly philosophical
Sort of Funny
Am I selling this?
(Don't belive the hype it'll ruin everything!)
You will like them if you like:
Unobtainable men (or women)
Wierd train tickets
People who collect strange things
You will like them if you don't like:
The idea of getting older
The feeling of desire
You have ever had a big argument
You feel lonely sometimes
Are of an obsessive tendancy
Like to collect things
Feel a little isolated from time to time
Suffer from nuerosis
Can over-react occasionally
Worry about the future and it's uncertainty
You have had plastic or
Live as a recluse (that isn't up yet either)
Ever wonder what the life
You have ever doubted religion and
Secretly stalk Celebrities
I have more to add, These are the Identity Series and The World According to Celebrator. And maybe some others too. But there are some that are there for now.
That's it, click click click:
What a brilliant film... and book. Both very different from each other. I highly reccommend both.
Does anyone know, is it the directors cut that features an amazing shot of Alex's soundsystem? Just finished watching it and this shot wasn't there but I seem to remember it I'm sure haven't made it up.
My friend Aimee and I found out about this lecture whilst trudging the streets of Liverpool during the Biennial. I have notes on every speaker (although I think we missed the first two as we were late) but to do a write up on each one would take a long time and would be tedious for you to read. I will talk about the best bits and what I took from it.
The mouth is a hypnotic feature to watch. In everyday conversation one barely looks to the mouth, focus is placed instead on the eyes. To look at the mouth suggests something else, a desire, and would probably make the speaker feel uncomfortable. Here, regardless of our desires for Bille Whitelaw we are forced to look at and watch the mouth (the mouth is detached even from the actress, it is just a mouth!) I heard somewhere that when the mouth is covered up, comminication is that bit more difficult as lip reading plays a surprisingly large part in out understanding of language. Yet here the pace and the relentlessness, sometimes repetetive speech can become lost. It is interesting to point out that Bille Whitelaw herself suffered from sensory deprevation in rehersal (she being placed blind folded in a hood on a podium), hyperventilated and collapsed on occassion.
It was a mouth unable to speak, then suddenly unable to stop speaking. The ranting seem like that of a mad woman who assures us that it is not her voice that can be heard ('Not I'). But that is all it is, a mouth, a voice. It isn't attached to anyone. You can't relate to any sort of character as there is none there. It is just a mouth. You get the feeling of unpleasant experiences, madness, thoughts that just won't quit. It all leads you to think, is this that voice you can't escape. The one inside your head. The self? As Billie Whitelaw put it "the inner scream."
Imagine being mute. Everytime you speak, you are spoken over, nobody cares, so you don't bother. All emotion, thoughts, expressions are inward. It would have to come out one day, perhaps as hysteria, perhaps as this, insesant speech.
We neither hear the beginning or the end, just an extract. No beginning. No end. Eternal.
a man pulled up along side me to ask for directions.
Some science building or other.
"Sorry I have no idea." I walked ahead.
He stopped for a while consulting his map.
A minute later the same car pulls up along side me. This time he gets out.
Shows me the map.
"Are you sure? It's arround here somewhere. I'm a guest leturer, running late."
He must be in his fifties, kind of short, bald, not attractive in the slightest.
Not to a 20 year old anyway.
"Seriously I can't help you. I'm running late for a leture myself. Sorry."
"That's my favourite album," He points to the badge I am sporting on my bomber jacket.
"Aladdin Sane. I love that album. Is that your favourite album too?"
I sigh and reply
"No I much prefer Low, the Berlin era gets me." Why I felt compelled to answer I have no idea.
If I had a watch I would have been checking it. I was late.
Then. Out of nowhere:
"I'd love to put you over my knee."
I don't know what he wanted me to say to that. Well let me hop on then?
I bid him farewell. I was five minutes late for my leture.
I don't know how often that line has worked for him in the past, but he was bold enough to enquire so maybe it has. I doubt it. He may have been going for the powerful older man thing (guest leturer - I'm sure he said he was a professor, posh car), but it wasn't working for him. He wasn't attractive. Now if that was David....
I like Low a lot. It's unexpected. If you listen to David up until that point, it was kind of going somewhere like that, but with the dead pan vocals. It's like nothing I've heard before or since. (With the exception of Iggy's The Idiot and Neu! - but they don't count!) It is also one of the most honest albums I have ever heard too. Revealing a lot of isolation, disconnection to the outside world, and desperation for some form of contact. I'm starting to sound like a Drowned in Sound article now so I'll stop. I do like Low.
For those of you not lucky enough to have access to, or own a copy of Nuggets (orginal artyfacts from the first psychedelic era) then here is the next best thing...
The Sonics Radio station on Last.fm
I listen to this station at uni, whilst doing work, and it makes me feel so good that I think everything I'm doing is amazing only to get it home, look at it and think, rip it up and start again. It also makes me dance a little. It is especially good now the sun is out!