Lurch rung me up on Wednesday when I was on my way out of tax training (hmm) and asked if I wanted his spare ticket for seeing Faithless that night. Not too difficult a decision really and it was with some excitement that I rocked up to Wembley, eagerly awaiting some high amusement.
Still, Wembley arena is a funny place. Resplendent in leisure centre ambience and the fake ghostly echoes of people chanting for Wolf from the Gladiators does dancing on ice. Totally non-smoking, lit up brightly by strip lighting and heavily policed by a range of unpleasantly bureaucratic security characters. After I got through the obligatory search I hit my wallet for a Â£4 beer and took in the atmosphere. Fun fair rinseout territory as far as I could tell.
Inside the arena and confined to a seat – Lurch didn’t tell me that and I hate seated gigs – Faithless were brucking out their usual blend of euphoric house chillout and that certainly had its moments. Seeing the skinny form of Maxi Jazz bobbling about the stage like a puppet on his own strings was pretty cool as was the bopping sight of legendary keyboard maestro Sister Bliss. Unfortunately though, we were a bloody mile away and they could have been anyone dressed up to look like them for all I know. I kept looking down at the seething thousands that had blagged a place standing in the crowd down below and couldn’t help feeling I was missing something. Still, good to cross an old band off the unseen bands list and to stay up late afterwards playing their albums, shouting drunkenly and blazing it up till the small hours.
Inevitably today was pretty unpleasant. A surfeit of work and the inevitable deadline for the project I’ve been running, was on me. Sweating and shaking through a bit of quick spreadsheet work, sneaking out for gasped cigarettes and then back, brain on fire from cups of coffee, sickness and fear of failure. It was a long day. 9.5 hours to be precise, but it was with a light step that I left the office today. I felt like I’d stuck at it and though doom is almost certainly to come in shape tomorrow due to the still unfinished state of the work, it was a brave effort.
Then brilliantly I got on the train at Moorgate to inadvertently sit on the seat that a stop later was to be frequented by a fine young lady who insisted on pressing her leg against mine while smelling of an amazingly clean and soothing perfume. I closed my eyes in a veritable summer garden and went happily to sleep.
The above comment was a spark from the short circuit of a brain so used to directed activity over the previous months now being slowly pulled apart by the gremlins of ennui at what I had previously called (in several Freudian moments) my old job, which crushingly has turned out to be my current one.
Yes, since stumbling half-cut and bleary-eyed off of BA256 from Delhi on a welcoming Spring morning the reabsorption of every poison of the suburban home-work-home-pub depression assembly line has been all too shockingly seamless. Funny how the existence I resented enough to take my fragile arse 4,000 miles to infernal heat, ammonia, traffic, shite, shouting and giardiasis hiding around every culinary cut-corner had become idealised to a haven of order, efficiency, cleanliness, manners and cocktail parties where everybody including myself could drink as much as they liked and yet still exhibit high wit and a knowledge of football. And funny how time flies past in this promised land as you’re in the middle of realising that such a dream was nothing more than a vitamin deficiency crying out for momma’s cooking and Guinness.
Nothing changes, or at least it seems that way. I had at least expected my office to have been buiding to have been pulled down and the staff flung around the country on the ongoing Civil Service management consultant-driven relocation binge, but I walked in after four months to nothing more than the same shabby, crumbling beiges and duck-egg blues, the same Van de Graff generator of a carpet, and to the same array of unused new-but-old cheapo workstations, that I walked past to sit down at my same old desk and proceed to cringe as the slow trickle of ignorant, polite-but-uninterested enquiries about my ‘holiday’ came in. And then I went to the watercooler to get a cup of chlorine water, just as I always did. That then, was that. Never been away.
The return to cuntsville was of course preceded by a week of the home-and-pub bit, as I shook off the jetlag in preparation for falling asleep on the tube twice a day. I should have known the place I’ve spent my entire life a little better than to expect anything to be different, but y’know, that vitamin deficiency just had me there…
Needless to say, I soon got to realise that whenever I asked anyone what had been going on then nothing more than the dispirited shrug of the shoulders that I’ve adopted would have sufficed for the answer. I begin to wonder whether I will ever be able to express just how different my life has been to who seem to be the newly-awakened inhabitants of the most successful cryogenics experiment in history. Sure, I sincerely believe that they’re interested when they ask and when I tell them, but somehow I fear testing their still-thawing attention spans with my garblings as I try to arrange my thoughts meaningfully while they’re gushing from my mouth in a wind-blown stream of high-pressure slurry, gargling and spitting like Rab C. Nesbitt after root canal work.
Partly, that’s why I’m sitting at my same old desk writing this tosh. Another factor was that they’ve finally got around to removing the card games from my computer, not to mention the pickaxe coffee which began the thought process by defying gravity and travelling to my brain to begin hewing a stone Buddha out of it. So, I’ve probably been unfair, and I ‘ve probably raped the grammar, syntax and spelling of this beatiful language along the way, and I’ve probably bored you to death in several future lives, but I’ve found that I just can’t see the screen anymore through what I now know to be the godawful fucking hangover that I fucked off to put off and is now giving me the headache I deserve.
Crimpanort inadvertently booked picking up the pizza at the same time as linking some extra herbs. How are we going to do that, we wondered? Then we remembered that we both had cars.
On other subjects, the break for freedom gathers pace. Just one more high octane week of furious needs and supply assessment county council action – honestly, don’t ask and then I’m off for two weeks. Plan to spend a couple of days sitting in an easy chair reading a book or two and then kick back into website mode. Projects coming out of my ears at the moment and in a desperate bid for future solvency, seem to have sold a bit too much. Ah well, beggars cannot be choosers and actually I quite like the idea of rolling out a couple of big projects in the next couple of months. Then again, I quite like sleeping and reading as well and at least those two days are coming first.
Yes yes, far flung fellow boloites. A small but significant leap of progress has been made in this particular fellow’s year – I’m going to New York! Bring on the beat-boxing winos, expensive Empire State figurines, agressive senile fur-clad Jewesses clutching Wren and Stimpy style dogs, foot long hot-dogs, psycho taxi drivers and any number of the million other things part of my adled grey matter associates with the Big Apple. It might end up being a glorified shopping trip, but it’s the first time I’ve been excited about going abraod for a long time. The last trip of this magnitude was out East, and I was more scared than excited in the end I think, with good reason it turns out, but that’s another story that starts with a relationship with one now referred to by those in the know as ‘The Evil One’. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say that 3 and a half years of going out with The Evil One, whilst hardly getting any (certainly towards the bitter end) then fucking off to Hong Kong, Thailand and the Phillipines with an enormous amount of pent up energy, was not ever ging to be the relaxing jaunt it could have been.
Anyway, fuck that, bring on NYC. If anyone knows any New York heads that would/should/may appreciate being looked up by Mr and Mrs Bennie, please let me know. Although I realise that those of you who don’t know me won’t be doing this, since it seems that only when I’m charged up, be it on rage or rant energy do I approach the designated Bolo keyboard. So I may well come off as a kook of some sort, which is alright really I suppose. I must go and finish another Heineken, then perhaps I might indulge in a few further tours of the lounge, whilst shaking my fist and saying “New York, motherfucker”.
I notice that Comic Relief breezed through here again on Friday, complete with an army of bandwagon jumping, self-congratulatory, overpaid and over-inflated ego types.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not against the thing in principle, but big public events of this nature really do seem to attract a very special calibre of cunt.
For example, Lenny Fucking Henry. I don’t think that this particular ‘comedian’ has ever made me laugh, not a snigger or even a flickered smirk across my flobby little chops. In fact the one and only reason that anybody knows who the fuck he is, is because he attached his pathetic, withering career to the fortunes of a load of starvers in Ethiopia in the late eighties.
Then there’s TV’s answer to the village idiot, Fern Cotton. The woman is a fucking simpleton. What I don’t understand is how in fuck’s name she manages to land all these top presenting gigs. She’s completely vaccuous. Some presenters (well most actually) I don’t like for one reason or another, but at least they bring a bit of personality to what they’re doing. With her it’s like watching a nodding dog eat it’s own virtual shit and then open its mouth, allowing the gooey brown drivel to just fall out.
So here’s the crack. If any TV bosses just happen to have stumbled on in here I hope you take note of these 2 things:
1. I’d rather watch a naked fat man drink a pint of his own cum and belch the various introductions and links than watch Fern Cotton.
2. Wankers like Fern Cotton and Lenny Henry make me less likely to donate to charity – in fact they make me want to do really bad, unspeakable things. What you should do is strap them to the rear end of a rickshaw and film them being dragged, face down, through the streets of every town and city in the UK, before setting fire to them and then extinguishing them in a giant vat of finely matured sheep’s piss. Then, on Comic Relief night itself they should be eaten alive by a rabid ethiopian boy who found a golden ticket in a box of snack-a-jacks in Addis Abbaba. Now I’d pay good fucking money to see that.
I’m a regular at local government meetings where they spend five to six hours at a time bickering about party politics and their petty personal squabbles. And I read today that after a lot of wrangling and worry and hand-wringing the Government has decided to up the budget for the 2012 Olympics (an event that will promote harmony between the nations) to just short of Â£10 billion.
And yet, yesterday it only took a five hour debate to approve spending Â£20 billion on new submarines and bombs capable of making global warming look like a birthday present.
The front page of the newspapers today were carrying the story that a few â€˜activistsâ€™ from Greenpeace had managed to evade intensive security arrangements clustered around the Houses of Parliament, scaling a floating crane to unfurl a banner that read Tony *heart* WMD. This annoyed me for a few reasons:
The main one was that after a hard dayâ€™s office work I felt no particular affinity and certainly no support for people who spend their days plotting for ways to ascend giant climbing frames, squatting in flats and tie dying their clothes ready for airing their unwashed armpits in sight of the house of government. I hate crusties. I seriously resent the fact that I have to graft hard for every penny that ends up on my table, turning my hair grey through endeavours designed to provide for an incredibly unaffordable London mortgage, while these fuckers piss around smoking roll ups and moaning about the capitalist state. Yeah great capitalist state that picks up your benefits tab, lobs you a load of housing benefit, and puts you through hospital when one of your mates, scabbed out on acid tries to remove your scalp with the top of a tin of beans. Iâ€™ve got no time for people whose main protest is to disengage, sit outside trying to piss in and quoting French philosophy. Without struggle there can be no revolution.
Iâ€™m also annoyed about the imposition of the WMD message itself. It just shows how out of touch these clapwits are, harping on about getting rid of the nuclear arsenal when there is absolutely no chance that it is going to happen. Didnâ€™t you cunts know weâ€™re at war? Donâ€™t get me wrong, getting rid of weapons of massive destruction would make me pretty happy, itâ€™s I just would rather we addressed some more practical concerns first. Hell, why not even try to address something where we could make a difference? Lets stop the build up of aggression over Iran. Lets curtail this madness in Afghanistan. Lets get out of Iraq. Principally, lets try to affect change, where change is possible.
The other thing is WMD? What the fuck? Is that my top concern? Am I not more concerned about some irate Birmingham mosque dweller strapping themselves up with home made explosives and a biscuit tin and sending me or my close acquaintances, commuters one and all to the great tube line in the sky? I think youâ€™ll find I am.
Oh yeah and the fact the banner was addressed to â€˜Tonyâ€™. I hardly think the leader of Labour personifies the governmentâ€™s and the Conservativesâ€™ support of keeping nuclear weapons. I hardly think itâ€™s just Tony, sitting round going â€œyeah, I love atom bombs me. Brown, how much money have we got in the back for another neutron test in the Pacific? Lets fit a nuclear reactor under Stonehenge. Hell, Cherie any chance of some depleted uranium with the chicken hot pot tonight.â€ I hate the simplification of government policy into an attack on one personality. Tony *heart* WMD â€“ itâ€™s like a slogan from a photo next to another photo of Britney Spears falling out of a car in Heat magazine.
Finally, Iâ€™ve got no time for Greenpeace. a) they are â€˜run by crustiesâ€™ as described above, which is pretty tough given theyâ€™re a bunch of shit pant wearing hippies rubbing linseed oil into everything and student weekend activists popping ecstasy tablets and salvia divorem and talking about repression. Untested virtue when your mum pays for your beer means nothing to me. However, the thing I canâ€™t forgive Greenpeace for is that b) they spend years harping on and on about (often totally legitimate) environmental concerns, then go invisible on the whole thing round about the time everyone is starting to hear their tune. The last couple of years have seen more focus on the environment from scientists, politicians, business leaders and the public than ever before, but I canâ€™t remember seeing Greenpeace making any meaningful statement on the matter for all of that time. These days they confine their activities to pulling stupid stunts, rescuing lone seals, and dressing old tramps and earth mothers up in lycra suits to send them running round oil platforms and scaling cranes like the bastard child of â€˜Fathers from Justiceâ€™ and that pig-fucker Otis Ferry. Don’t even get me started on that cunt.
I’m far too lazy. The Groover remarked in a recent bulletin that his flickr site was replacing his blogging work, and it’s been just the same for me. I could make all sorts of excuses about my lack of writing, but it all comes down to idleness.
So, may I direct you all to my photo website where you’ll be able to keep tabs on my continuing adventures…
Meantime, I’ve cunningly set up an RSS feed to my computer in the hope I’ll be guilt-tripped into action every time one of you buggers writes another devastatingly insightful piece.
I donâ€™t particularly know why, but on the way home I was thinking about the broad codes or belief structures that people live by. The things that keep people wanting to live and motivate their behaviour along the way. The list Iâ€™ve come up with so far is:
Hedonism â€“ the pursuit of physical or sensual pleasure, be it from drug taking, eating, dancing or sleeping with another human being. Religion â€“ the belief that there is a higher purpose that sits behind our earthly life and a resulting self-imposed code of behaviour. Humanism â€“ the belief that there is no god, but that it is worth observing a moral code based around ensuring some equality of experience for all and achieving the karmic balance that should mean that you donâ€™t deserve a bad thing to happen to you. Procreation â€“ the pursuit of life through your children and through the innate belief that your life is worthwhile because you are protecting and nurturing Philanthropy â€“ the principle that helping others provides your life with greater worth (whether acknowledged as a prop to the ego, or suppressed, observing humility) Fame / recognition â€“ the idea that your life is worthwhile because others (not necessarily that many) know who you are and the belief that this implicitly implies that you have committed some actions that are worth remembering.
This isnâ€™t a perfect list, but thinking about it made me realise that while there is a great deal of overlap between the codes – for instance itâ€™s perfectly likely that you might seek fame and be a hedonist â€“ I feel that most people lean most strongly towards one of them. Iâ€™m not sure what any of this means, but I know Iâ€™m really tired today and that I wanted to get this down before I forgot it.
I was just thinking, what actually are the odds of being born??? I am going to work this out, and then get back to you, dearest bolo.
I’m back, and it has only taken me a month! I have pondered this and come up with the table below (click it to see in detail), complete with reference addresses. It’s not exactly the Lancet, but fuck it, I throw it open to mighty bolo for peer review. Now I just have to decide whether to post it on the office intranet at work.
That makes the chance of being born (without considering the probability of your parents meeting and having children) 3.5 thousand millionths of a percent. It is probably also worth noting that to do a real calculation, you would not only have to work out the chances of your parents meeting and having you, but you would also have to work out the chances of their parents having them and so on, ad infinitum, back in time to the birth of life on Earth around 2 billion years ago (or even the birth of the universe?)
I now make it 2 hundred billionths of a percent, as I hadn’t taken into account the number of combinations of sperm and egg. Obviously though, this method is still severly flawed, but it is better than saying the odds are ‘pretty slim’ with no qualification of how stupidly slim they are!
And so the countdown to the end of the great Indian escapade begins (again I should say, since it tended to start every time I got ill or ripped off by a rickshaw driver). It is my pleasure therefore to report that the objective to fail all the cliched travellers objectives has succeeded spectacularly, that is to say I have not ‘found myself’, gained a new perspective on life, become spiritual, matured or even got laid. I don’t even want to stop eating cows. And this is aside from the bonuses gained by just being here: I have got a suntan, I have achieved being off work for 3 and a half months, and I think I shall now be able to digest shit-smeared molten concrete with my new asbestos-lined gastro-intestinal tract. Kebabs will be a doddle.
One thing at least seems to be amiss, however. Somewhere, somehow (well, it doesn’t take too much speculation, to be honest) I have misplaced around 10 kilos of my bodyweight, and with it a fair chunk of my drinking ability. Not misplaced, unfortunately, is the mindset which in Britain used to take me down the pub and keep me there for an entire weekend. So, imagine the scenes in Bangalore, when faced with a whole new selection of trendy bars, a clientele therein of ‘New Indian’ yaar-yaar IT yuppies, cheap, crisp, malty Royal Challenge beer, and a sprinkling of freaks to bump into, I decided to ‘drink in’ the culture. Add to that an arrangement to meet a female member of the yaar-yaar brigade, who in the act of approaching me in a bar and started flirting with me had engaged that unstable mix of hormones and blind fear which can only be quelled with one medicine, to be compounded by her standing me up (so please add ‘drowning of sorrows’ to the equation), and you may well understand why I woke up in the early hours of Friday morning, in a blind panic, on the floor in a police cell.
Funny, because, five minutes after waking up the police cell magically grew a shower and an open door, through which there magically appeared my hotel room with its lovely crusty hotel bed. Relief was short lived, as the alcohol reclaimed my consciousness soon after. And soon after that, a day of the most intense plane, train, car, rickshaw and fucked bus travelling to reach Diu, to revisit the happy place where I spent Christmas on a toilet.
Still, soon to London, and to return to achievements of this trip: I now have made a resolution never to utter a word against the tube, bus, british Railways, british driving, or even National Express so long as I live. Well, at least so long as I don’t have to use them – my memory’s not that short….
Not sat down to write much on bolo of late, which is a shame. Lots of thoughts running round my head seeking semi-literate documentation, but very little room in the busy schedule to condense said contemplation into three to four logically structured passages.
There are two reasons for this: The first is that I am as ever it seems submerged by work. Beset in my day-job life by substance misuse supply assessment (don’t ask), and in my home life by substance misuse inspired website development (possibly do ask). Still furiously trying to head towards the great work departure in the sky and this week finally tied down a big contract that equals one half of my plan for the great escape. If I can get the other, the puzzle is complete and the great yonder calls. That’s a pretty big ‘if’, but feel pretty good about the karma of the whole thing because I think it was working myself into exhaustion on the proposal for the job that we’ve won that plunged me into sickness. It would have been a double pisser if all had been for naught.
The other reason I’ve not been writing much is that with the purchase of my new camera, I’ve been spending a fair bit of my lazy time running around snapping things, fiddling with the settings and annoying my friends with the constant flashing of the bulb. To date, I’ve shot well over 1000 pictures and about 1 of them has been half good, but the whole thing is strangely addictive. I’ve been putting them up on flickr, which truly is a wonderful website. One of those things that gets me really excited about this whole internet business and transcends all that marketing bullshit about web 2.0 and social networks. This means my flickr account is pretty much taking the place of the blog at the moment and the writing is suffering. I’ve long found that as one of my creative endeavours takes off, another declines. It’s either something to do with only having so many hours in the day, or only having so much creativity. It think it’s probably somewhere between the two, but basically conclude I’m happy enough as long as I’m messing around with something a bit more varied than a spreadsheet.
Clearly the answer to this conundrum is to blog my photos from flickr onto bolo. This is readily possible and in their wisdom, the good photographic techy people over there provide fully automated tools for doing it. However, the photos pop in looking pants cos I need to do a bit of styling within bolo to incorporate them properly and there’s no time for that not just yet. Tonight for example, I’ve got to clear some emails for those friendly HAC people, move the RSPCA site towards completion and start planning the mother of all contracts alluded to above. Over the weekend I’ve got to mix developing some legalistic terms of reference (might need some help on that Mr Steedo), with celebrating the good Prubast’s birthday and then next week has really got to see the start of the article for Bromley as well as some progress on the finely embroided world of Irish Linen. Phew, I think this potentially puts the overdue redevelopment of bolo back to April, along with the new Ech site (at this early stage looking like a shiny creation indeed), as I’ve got three and a half weeks off. It really can’t come soon enough, if you ask me.