There’s no treading on my feet. There’s no kneading of bread. There’s no burning my hand on a George Foreman grill. There’s no loss of balance at higher altitude. Not with with me mate. Not with me.
I got flip flops where my hands should be friend. I got chianti from a Polish decanter. I got saucepan lids, bits of fluff and I have failed to be a key player in a number of people’s dreams. I get to be a keyboard player in my own bontempi story, ineptly hitting b flats at inappropriate moments in the school play. A triangle player of doom and no mistake guvnor.
I’ve been kind of busy recently scheming my way into the malevolent and rapid fire, tiny attention span, world of social media. People used to talk about 5 minute attention spans, but I feel strongly that the future lies in the 5 second attention span… For good or ill. Thoughts and words flash across the screen. Pithy 140 character anecdotes stream out, missing punctuation and the semblance of meaning. Semiotic chunder into one ear and out the other, a small half smile and you’ve forgotten it. A fish in its tank re-discovering a cave, over and over again.
But don’t get me wrong. I’m not bemoaning the disintegration of society or the change of grammar or the focus on quick reward. I don’t have much truck for the attitude that things are getting worse or that society has gone to the dogs or that things were better in those golden olden days.
If you asked a Norman what he thought about the future he’d have probably told you that the younger generation had no respect and were ruining the language and generally running about stabbing people.
Did you know that the east end in the blitz far from being a knees up round the piano, salt of the earth, comradeship we all draw together wonderland was a land of feral, bombed out kids, looting the jewellery out of next door’s house. Kids in the fifties were heavily engaged in knife crime and territorial gangs were a big deal. They don’t tell you that in the history books.
Nah, things are about as shit or in my opinion, as good as they ever were, but the key thing is that as much as things stay the same they also change. Don’t listen to the idiots that tell you that books, prose or specifically reading, are dying out. There is more reading now and more need to read than ever, the Internet has totallly reaffirmed the value of literacy.
And with literacy comes transience. New meanings for old words. New ways of writing, new ways to yap, beat your chest and generally proclaim I am here.
So Blogs aren’t getting read so much, but self-important characters like myself are getting our message out lazely in those 140 character bursts. We’ve got hash tags to replace our hash cakes and we’ve got growing numbers of follows to heap on our piles of gibberish.
I think if an alien came down from space or if our world as we know it ended and in 500 years time, when the fallout cleared and historians were digging about for meaning, they would have a damn hard time trying to filter through the infinite pile of words to try to get a picture of what was going on. What are the important texts and how do you make sense of it? Hmm there is much more to say about this. Something Google or Facebook would define as all of us creating our own important texts out of our own social context, our relations to our friends (both real, virtual and extended). The individual defining their reality….. But I’m not going to write about it now, not least because typing this out on my mobile phone is taxing my thumbs and also making my thoughts even less coherent than usual… But what I do want to say is that I think I endorse this democratisation of writing. Perhaps there are no important texts and even better, I very much I like the idea of historians, aliens, plumb baits and change-haters alike, being extremely confused.
So still feeling kind of lucid and feeling my way back to the writing keyboard after too long away. Fingers stiff and turn of phrase clunky after what must be a long time in dog years and a blink of an eye for a giant sequoia.
Dogs as it happens don’t concern themselves too much with writing and that’s probably for the best. I wish my life’s aim was to bound at high speed towards the back of the leg of a total stranger. To leap when about a foot away so you clout your head into their calf, causing it to give a little and you bounce off a little dizzied, but your tail wagging like a helicopter blade. I sincerely wish that was my life’s aim, but it isn’t and then again I also wish I had a tail.
Last night a jaded and sweaty lady grabbed the back of my head in a weird clutch pincer movement. I looked over my shoulder before swinging my gaze back to the side and I heard her say ‘you alright love?’ ‘Yes’, I said. ‘I was just thinking about something.’ ‘What were you thinking about?’ I couldnt for the life of me remember, but it was no lie I had been thinking, my gaze unfocused on the rack of spirits above the bar. Something about the way a light was shining off a mirror, the last year, the taste of lager and a lot of lost dreams.
So anyway it was a good trip to Leeds. Another chance to shoot the breeze with Steedo and to stretch my legs away from the sofa and out on the canal.
Travelling back now on National Express plotting plans for world domination the stench of baby shit in the air.
Wow, this is rarified air. Baby turd plus lofty aspirations. Well, all of us are living in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Oof and on that terrible cliche think I should sign off. Only remains to mention that…. Man that stinks…. Only remains to mention that I’m rolling out another little creative endeavour which may yet be allowed to get to full flight. Immerse yourself in the strange and obsessional world of SodaStream Reviews, possibly the best place to get fired up about the possibilities of adding fizz to tropicana.
Well… after an extended period of bolo inertia, proof, if you needed it, that nothing ever changes under the sun:
Sitting on the train and the combined noises of a squawking kid, crying baby, parents cooing with delight at the noise their bastard progeny are making, plus the conversation between two ladies of the late thirties persuasion speculating on whether their respective idle and planless partners are going to pop the question imminently and whether in fact this will be the route to future eternal salvation and infinite dinner party furniture collecting joy. These two things are sending me insane. I keep looking down at my phone trying to pick up enough magic internet out of the air to get online to PayPal and pay my respective New York and Bucharest based freelancers and getting more and more frustrated when the dial keeps spinning and miniature pages fail to manifest on the tiny screen.
This is the modern paradigm for the erstwhile Groovertron, still clad in a hoody and fresh kicks, but sporting a sedate, business-friendly hair cut and these days moving in all the right circles to end up head of the Rotary Club, just like I always dreamed. Pulling enraged faces at the kids in front in an effort to instil enough fear in these kids to pipe down. Can a 3 year old sense how close they are to death? Can a 31 year old?
Don’t know why I try to cram work into every spare moment like the sound of silence is going to freak me out. Like the noise of my gentle breathing as I close my eyes and rock my head back in the seat is going to lead to disaster. Like the infinite pile of work that comes from running your own business is going to get usefully dealt with by never taking a break, by trying to type with my elbows trapped between the seat rests and praying the gods of t-mobile like the elders prayed for rain.
Oh well, the annoyance is certainly rising and the only answer seems to be to stick the headphones in, blessed foresight reminding me to stuff them in my pocket on the way out of the door. Bass cones fully blown and dirty as the day you were born, hepatitis C of the earbuds, but lets not quibble about someone else’s earwax lurgy. Stuff those fuckers in and turn the volume right up. Sound of babies quiet and sound of educated women sliding off the range as Sebastian Tellier cranks up and the head starts nodding again like nothing ever changed.
One track ends and before the next one comes in I hear from the ladies:
“This is the thing, I need to stop drinking, or I need to learn how to have a drop”.
Ah well, we’ve all thought that one. Not always at exactly the time we are pulling down our next door neighbours wall because it is attached to a Foxtons board that offends the sight of my drink addled brain, but the day after when you’re having the early morning pee and you look out of the frosted window as the night before starts to drift back and all you can see is crumbled mortar and bits of 100 year old brick. Damn, what is this bruise on my arm? Agh regrets, these are the foodstuff of the no longer young. The nourishment of the miserable.
Making a fool of yourself while drunk used to be, if not the aim of the game, one of the main attractions. These days I recoil from foolshness like it has left a stain on my sweatshirt. I carry the guilt and the shame like a badge of dishonour and I ruminate upon it while I am waiting for the bus. Maybe time to try that internet connection again. Less thinking, more drinking, stag-weekend fame and fortune beckons and what is it they say? Something like fortune favours the brave.
Compelled to go rummaging through the archives today. The parents are shortly due to sell the family mansion and all of a sudden the happily ignored boxes of school work, correspondance, knick knacks and tat need to be decamped forthwith.
‘Get round here and throw a load of stuff out’ they requested and I attended duly obliged by the promise of a home-made curry and a couple of beverages.
Still, digging through the archives was a tough one. Cataloguing the evidence of the last 29 years, from happy birthday you’re 3 today cards to anguished correspondence from a collection of the finest post-uni reprobates. Essays on Jane Austen books mixed in with old photos, gig tickets, railcards, and scribbled notes. Essentially a catalogue of everything that had meant something to me, and that I felt I might want to see again. I felt most strongly reminded of the jokes caught, the trouble caused and the hearts broken along the way.
So needless to say, though I tried to be ruthless, I am now the proud possessor of one more box in my overcrammed flat. I am leafing through letters from co-conspirators, considering some retrospective re-publishing and of course, strongly contemplating whether it all went wrong or right.
…….[static]……[aerial tuning noise]….[more static]…..[burst of Duran Duran followed by more retuning]….[a voice becomes clear].
Ah bolo, my oldest friend. Welcome back and shake my shame faced head as I regret the stories over the last year that I meant to write down. Lost to time. Who knows? Somewhere in there might have been the spark or nugget of wisdom to turn this whole sorry train around.
But hey, enough of regrets. 2010 beckons loudly and even though I keep writing 2009, it’s here to stay. Quick made aspirations to go to bed earlier are already out of the window. This week an experiment in sleep deprivation sees me wild eyed and crazy, hunkered down in the bunker like a wounded animal brandishing a blazing twig.
Is that possible? Who knows? Seems like these days the natural order is reversed. Salmon swim downstream while gurning fools download iphone apps to help them walk down the icy road. Cameron’s mob sweep the free press, telling me Lord Goldsmith is an affluent visionary rather than a scrot featured tax dodger. Cameron tells me marriage is good, worthy of a given tax break. Boris waves a stick at the emerging London overground. Bankers leave the country like rats off a sinking stomach, dodging 50% tax rates and the PR bonus hating culture of those that need to deflect attention from their duck houses, ceremonial moats and hotel rented porn action.
Expenses are a thing of the past. The free ride is over for MPs and web designers alike. But hey, we rode the good train for a while. All we needed was a receipt and a ready smile. We could buy our goods from John Lewis and that alone for most was privilege enough.
Jesus, I have so much to say, but I’ve just drifted off for ten minutes listening to Mystro, head nodding, hood up and listless. Better wrap this up, but at least this is a start. A poke in the ribs for myself when I wake up confused and with a dry throat and pounding head wondering why my laptop’s still on and I’m lying on the floor.
Yes Yes bolo, is there anyone there? It’s been a long time, but I do come an re-read posts on here randomly from time to time and I have to say some of the stuff is bloody funny. There is also the odd comment from non-spam randoms, which is cool.
Anyway, the other day, I was on the motorway, overtaking a lorry at the national speed limit of 130kmh. I’m about half way past the big diesel chugging, Paella slurping, shit-stained y-front-toting, crumpled porn mag grasping driver when I notice the prince of all cunt cars zooming up behind me – an Audi TT. If you’ve ever driven here you may notice a mildly irritating habit the people have of leaving their indicators on “left” when overtaking, even if they are in the fast lane and there is no “left” other than the barrier. This guy was doing this, thus letting me know that he intended basically to overtake everything in his path, and that i should hurry up and get the fuck out of his way. Not content with the indicator alone, he also decided to start flashing his headlights and gesticulating wildly with his hands in a wannabe proper mediterranean diego fashion. The thing is, as a new driver I’m only supposed to do 110kmh, which is not realistic, but it’s not worth the risk going over 130 as I would be on shit street proper if I got flashed. So I maintained my speed. In fact I may even have slowed down a bit, as the rage and indignation leapt through my synapses. Another example of mindless aggression from the security of an expensively engineered locked steel box.
For some reason, when I do get past the lorry, the guy insists on pulling up alongside me and waving his hands at me wildly. I’m sure there was actually spit hitting the inside of his passenger side window. Now, I’m normally a fairly careful driver, preferring to keep both hands on the wheel at all times, but I broke a rule and gave this guy a nice frank middle finger and blew him a kiss. Not sure what inspired the kiss, but it really seemed to enrage him. The nutter overtook me, then stayed at my speed, pointing at the next “aire de répos”, which was just 500m away, and implying that we should meet there to discuss our differences.
I really do not go in for this sort of thing, I mean you never know who is in the car do you? But on this occasion the rage caused by him cutting me up as he overtook carried enough momentum to guide my car onto the slip road and into the small car park where I pulled up along side him and got out of the car. I was surprised when he didn’t do the same.
After a time, a custom built sliding door began to open slowly on the Audi, to the background of quiet siren and a flashing light. As the interior of the car was revealed, a wheelchair bound figure came into view. In time a ramp slid out and a smiling head and torso in a wheelchair rolled down on to the tarmac. The motorised chair moved to face me almost silently and its owner made a classic “what are you gonna do” shrug with his two good arms outstretched, ripe to embrace the prize of my impotent outrage. I jabbed him once hard in the face and drove off wondering whether I had done the right thing or not. Probably.
Easy Now, bolo public and you mindless Nigerian spam hawkers. I hoep all is well in your worlds.
Having relatively recently acquired both car and license, I have been driving to work lately in an effort to fully get to grips with the machine. Needless to say, 1st year insurance premiums are high for a reason and I have made a few cock-ups in my fledgling driving days. Nothing serious as yet (touch wood, swear at the moon, lick the back of a toad, spit milkshake on a tramp). This morning on my way in I mistakenly positioned myself to overtake a bus which was stopped at its stop, but had to abandon the effort as there were cars coming the other way, so i was up against the side of the bus. A stupid mistake, but given that there was a vacant bus lane on the other side of the road, there was no danger and the cars could move over safely.
Embarrassed, and realising I had made a pretty stupid mistake, I put my hand up by way of an apology to the approaching cars. The passengers in car 1 were revelling at my mistake, clapping, laughing and pointing. Nice. Car 2 was a police car, so I did not look to see what kind of finger waving antics the fat croissant munching twunts were pulling in there. A bit of ridicule, a stupid mistake, a lesson learned, fair enough. There was no excuse for the agressive sarcastic gesticulating of the woman in the car to my right though, as she had seen that I was embarrassed, that I had apologised and that I generally knew I had fucked up before she proceeded with her little show, another brave display from within the safe confines of a locked steel box. She just wanted to get her self-righteous little say in. And for that, I hope she comes a karmic croper. Nothing serious, not like a full on anal prolapse or anything, perhaps she’ll believe she’s wiped properly but in fact miss an obvious clag on, adhering to her undoubtedly hairy and horrificly unsightly crack, before being squished into her pants and ensuring that she is known for the rest of the day as “that bird who has probably shit herself”. Or perhaps she’ll be talking one of her colleagues down and she’ll start choking on a banana, relying on the person she’s slagging off to come and save her, knowing that she is totally powerless for those few seconds. Or maybe she’ll scrape her car against a wall trying to overtake a bus. Who knows?
For my part, I am going to go back to being as cautious as possible without driving like I’m 110 and try and not be so judgemental when people screw up on the road. Maybe they are not doing it to specifically persecute me afterall……
Picked up one of those new fangled Playstation 3 thingammy bobbins a few months back. My new flat and the prospect of impending debt brought on the need to equip it with sleek Swedish furniture. Debt calls for more debt like a moth to a flame.
Anyway, for the most part have been managing to keep a lid on the hours spent on the new toy, but it creeps in every now and again, seeing a five hour, coffee fueled solitary journey into exploring the ravaged world of Fallout 3, shooting my fellow man in Call of Duty and tripping it out lean up style in some Japanese kid’s Little Big Planet level of joy.
The new generation of consoles are insidious in that they literally do everything so well. You want to immerse yourself in an epic Hollywood budget interactive film? No worries. You want to play games with people all over the world. Couple of clicks and one username and account and you’re up and running. Watch a blue ray? No probs as long as you’ve got the requisite giant HD screen (which I don’t yet incidentally). Stream videos, tunes and images from any other computer on your wireless network? Couple of clicks and you’re there. Send abusive message to your friend due to zombie killing antics? Inadvertently make a 10 year old cry due to expertise at shooting nazis? Yes it’s all possible. Hmm the relapse to total geek fueled second adolescence, including accompanied self loathing and bad skin is near enough inevitable.
Having survived the hell of Westfields, a new shopping centre carved out of formica, like a bastard son of Stanstead airport and Brent Cross, acquired the requisite presents in the nick of time and hit the last of the impending work deadlines I settled into the Christmas season with all due aplomb. Sleeping in late, eating large plates of cake, smoked salmon and pig in a blanket and rinsing it out on the Playstation network like a new found idiot adolescent I got my energy back and turned my thoughts to bolo.
I had many drunken epiphanies and I made scant mental notes for a series of projects to launch in the new year. Who knows whether they will happen, but they sounded good to my internal ears as they were enunciated through smoke filled kitchens, leaning out the window and spending a little time away from the computer and with family and wiggly. Many ideas for things I want to write down and some I fear that must be written unless I lose them to the mists of time, or worse, they rancour in my brain. Flotsam to expunge don’t you know.
Oh well, tonight is no time for big thoughts. Arctic winds howl round the flat and the combi boiler struggles to raise the temperature enough for me to remove my scarf, put my hood down and make a sandwich. Ice under foot and the chance of slipping over precarious as I stumble up and down the stairs, laden with the last boxes of stuff from Prubast.
Its so cold, cold enough to ice your giblets my friends. Lets draw the curtains on this one. I feel a zoot beckoning and the chance of another epiphany. Arms aloft to lightning filled skies like an idiot savant searching for fractal meaning in the sight of an old man riding his bike by at 1:30 in the morning. Why would an old man be out on his bike at that time in the freezing cold? Dark things may be afoot in Ealing and there is much to consider for the Groovernort.
Couple of months ago I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t commit my usual Christmas f up of not doing anything about buying presents for my nearest and dearest until the last minute. I figured this would save me some grey hairs and that doing my shopping in late November or early December would allow me to neatly sidestep the rage fueled world of the panic buyer. I started to write a couple of lists of possibilities, didn’t come up with anything too brilliant and figured, oh well, you’ve made a start, lets have a think about this again in another week or two.
Now, four or five weeks gone, I am back faced with the predicament again. Old father time has scooped up the period of sensible planning, strategic action and careful selection and stuffed it in his mouth and now I am doomed to fight my way round the West End like a confused water rat, well out of my pond and shaking my fists at the rotarians.
Yes, yes, collective audience of unmade acquaintences and Nigerian Spammers, rejoice, for Bolo is back. Although I did go through a really long spell of total blogapathy, I never stopped having a cheeky click on to bolo to see if any dubious gems of wisdom, outlandish rants or keen observations about the potential benefits of using Boris Johnson’s face as a urinal had been proffered up. This is just one of those corners of the web I would always come to. Therefore its absence due to legitimate bandwidth concerns and automated web plumbait fuc$ery left a bit of a gap. But let us rejoice this day, for the wait is over! And no doubt as a result of bolo our collective talents will soon be “discovered” by those in the know and we will all be fast-tracked to positions of extreme fulfillment within society as a whole.
I moved into a new shoebox flat a few months ago and gradually between late night rinseouts and general prevarication have been exporting the accumulated baggage of the last 10 years of my life away from Prubast’s yard. Fortunately, Prubast has thus far been pretty benevolent about the whole thing, occasionally reminding me that ‘you’ve still got a bit of stuff round at mine’, rather than scooping it into the nearest skip, for the neighbours and wandering Eastern European rag and bone men to pick over.
Still, I have been remiss in getting it out of there and as luck or lack of luck would have it, my room for laziness has run out. Prubast’s mum is applying the pressure for him to move his stuff out of her house and into his, one of his cupboards has gone damp and moldy and these two twin pressures mean that as of last night I was round there stuffing ancient handkerchiefs, flat caps and assorted debris into black sacks.
Half of these 6 black sacks now sit in my new bedroom (the other half are still in the car). I’ve yet to bring myself to root through them and yet I must. At the moment, the room is so full of boxes, bags and potential trip death hazards that I am navigating it by taking a series of short strategic hops – hop to window to close blinds, hop to bed to pass out, stub toe on cupboard, curse, fall back and nearly smash through 19″ old style CRT monitor, but bounce off onto antique battery operated pinball machine. Going through those sacks frightens me. I know that amidst the tat (the majority of the content) unstirred memories from a turbulent time lie. What’s that peaking out of that corner. Ah of course a Commodore 64. What’s that bit of paper? A long lost set of lyrics to a half finished tune. What’s that bright green shell suit top. That’s the thing I wore to the early 90s party. What’s that watch with no battery? Oh, Ninglate got that for me for my 21st.
Strange days, strange fears and no doubt above all far too much hoarding. Yes, it must be faced, mostly got rid of and the best pieces boxed up and sealed for all eternity in the attic archive. Either that or wake up suffocating under a collapsed sack of minidiscs, N64 games and lever arch files. I may have to catalogue the collection for a future post, then burn it in the garden as some kind of cathartic, heathen antic. Most of it certainly can’t be kept.. well apart from the box of lego, the set of Micro Machines, the Keep Harrow Tidy tshirt, the Oasis at knebworth programme, the poems Coybag wrote in GCSE German, the recording of the White Line, the ever growing sneaker library, my Grandad’s boots, the books, DVDs, CDs, rubber ducks, russian dolls, postcards of dinosaurs, the kinder egg toys, the stickers from Stussy, the Yamaha keyboard manual, that painting of sheep I did when I was lean, the beer towel from the Isle of Arran, the collection of hats, amusing bags, monkey related characters, chinese calligraphy set, tennis racket, skittles set, backgammon and travel car games. All these things are essential and I’m starting to think I might be in big trouble….