After about two weeks of pitching myself in the trenches Gig Economy Dating, I find myself a silhouette against the bright lights of bombs going off across the horizon, face unseen under a thick layer of blood, mud and- yes- semen, only my bright eyes are visible. Those eyes may as well be circular holes cut into my forehead to let the lighthouse pulse under the mess to shine through. There’s no life there. There’s barely any acknowledgement of life there. These eyes are no longer windows to any soul, they’re merely roughly carved pits reaching down into the back of my skull.
It’s been rough, and I’m 90% sure that I’m likely to live out the rest my life voluntarily celibate. Is there a Volcel subreddit? I might have to start one, full of frustrated and exasperated men and women who haven’t the slightest idea what is expected of them in zero hour sexual politics, and who are desperately questioning whether the options out there are worth this senseless debasing of their self. And, yeah, we’ll probably be responsible for a few mass shootings, but that’s just because a lot of the members of our community are likely to be American, and it’s part of their culture. Don’t judge.
“By removing art from capitalism while allowing capitalism to thrive elsewhere unfettered we are in danger of removing any benefit of speaking in the first place so the artists may as well remain speechless. From afar, I guess. Yeah, that works”
This Blog, This Post, just now
(it was suggested that these pieces should link to the album at the start rather than the end. So here it is, now please stop sending me those abusive text messages)
I’m old enough (late, late, late late* twenties) to remember a career in arts being at least a quasi viable life choice. Nobody would kid themselves that they would make it to be ‘Goo Goo Dolls Big’, where you would earn enough money to finance a daily trip to Mars to wave stacks of Molybdenums in the seediest strip clubs of Tharsis’s Northern Edge and get yourself some of that sweet, sweet Martian poontang (John Rzeznik really lived the dream in that sense), but you’d be able to comfortably exist composing your Romo paeans to Garry Flitcroft without too many people getting on your case. You’d likely do a handful of Peel Sessions before you even released that song about his fringe. I mean, sure, people would still get on your back about getting a ‘real job’, but that’s just because back then a ‘real job’ meant a job that you absolutely hated and that made you seriously consider taking a sledgehammer to your knees each morning just as an excuse not to subject yourself to one more day to the joyless and soul destroying churn of capitalism. Y’know, the same as today. You created something, there were more options for getting people to experience that thing you created, and if people liked that thing enough they would pay you a bit of money to experience it whenever they want. Maybe they’d never been able to hear it, but it had received such good reviews from the reams of art review magazines (that they’d already paid £2 for) that people decide you’re worth the risk and buy your Flitcroft Fantasies CD single backed with a Groove Armada remix and acoustic cover of Lisa Loeb. Hopefully they’d buy the next thing you created as well, maybe the next thing after that. Maybe not the next thing after that, because let’s face it that was absolute pants, but the next thing after that would be hailed as a return to form so they’d jump back on board.
One of the greatest/worst aspects of life in 2019 is how we all have the power to fine tune and curate exactly what world we live in, edit and personalise what news we hear and what bent ideology it pours from. When I was a bairn, the whole country basically had the same experience, all the time. We all heard Love Is All Around until we all wanted to ruthlessly and repeatedly embed a screwdriver deep into our own eardrums until the flowing blood hopefully drowned out Marti Pellow’s smirk (not me though, Love is All Around is a fuckin’ choon). We all watched Coronation Street last night, so could debate the meaning of Mavis Whooptuck performing a blood sacrifice in order to bring Harold Hupptickle back from the dead (my memories of Coronation Street are a bit cloudy, I’ll admit). Most importantly, we all got the same news. Sure, many people would still buy utter horseshit like the Sun or the Daily Mail- or The Guardian if they were a little more middle class and, let’s face it, a bit twatty- but we kind of all agreed that if it made it to BBC News, then it was likely correct. Likely due to laws restricting the bias of TV news in this country and the very charter of the BBC forbidding any bias or political inclinations in the news reporting. It’s, of course, not perfect*, it’s not always 100% observed, but it’s at least enshrined into law and aimed for, meaning that everyone always tuned into the TV news at the end of the day expecting them to brush the propaganda from the day’s events and tell us what really happened.
(*there were shocking scenes earlier this year when a BBC news reporter had the temerity to suggest that, growing up with an Indian mother and Mauritian father, racism was actually really gross and that Trump’s racist comments actually sounded very familiar. That’s how seriously we take impartiality- a woman of Asian descent isn’t allowed to call out the racist president for saying racist things and say that racism was bad. Apparently, a lot of viewers were still undecided on racism and didn’t want the crazy hippy idea that it was somehow a negative thing shoved down their throat. A white BBC news guy said similar things, but nobody complained about that, because… y’know…).
I mean, sure, I’m not illiterate, per se: I can both read and write more than a hundred words. I can even read words like ‘perpendicular’ and ‘nidificate’ and ‘clitoris’, words that I’ve long forgotten the meaning of. If pushed, I could even read a word like ‘kernostrumaphile’, which I just made up but you just know means something filthy, don’t you?
I can read the first two and perhaps the last two paragraphs of a match report, but only if my team won. I can read entire top 100 lists of things I barely acknowledge the existence of (‘The Top 100 Ways You Can Just TELL Someone’s From Chorlton!!!!!!!!!’), but all I really do is glance at the name next to the number then quickly click onto the next page, only occasionally pausing to garner the writer’s exact reason for seriously suggesting that Bradley Wright-Philips was the seventh best James Bond, before realising how little I care before the end of the first sentence. I read news headlines, and wait to see how John Oliver tells me how to react to them. I look at my Twitter feed, but as I absentmindedly scroll down my feed looking for any updates on the next Let’s Eat Grandma album very rarely actually read it, unless there’s a rather enticing photo of an octopus playing Dark Souls 2 that I’m keen to place in the correct context.
OK, so I’m overexaggerating slightly: if you read this blog you will often be delighted- some would say sexually enticed- by my frequent and ingenious referrals to clever articles and smarty pants think pieces, because quoting clever people is way easier than being clever yourself (or so I’m told. You might want to quote that last line in your next blog post). I do actually read quite a lot, compared to, say, a walrus or a Christian (who read one freaking book, which, despite claims to the contrary, really isn’t that good at all. Christians aren’t much better either*), but all I read is non-fiction. I can only bring myself to move my eyes across words and translate the seemingly abstract shapes into coherent images in my mind if I’m satisfied that I’m learning something. And not just ‘something’: I’ll likely tune out of a book if it’s been longer than three or four paragraphs without a good healthy factpie that I can serve up at my next dinner party.
Eugh, see that green under my eyes? What is that? Cancer?
Let’s get the important stuff out of the way first: I’ve always pronounced it ‘Bon Ivor’
Because of this I set up a Google Alert to tell me when somebody finally made a ‘Bon Iver the Engine’ meme, as I truly believed that such a witty reference to both an ultra hipster musical act and an old children’s’ show would truly bring the world together in these troubled times
No, but apparently he’s one of those ultra-hipster tossers who chooses to pretentiously pronounce his name the way it’s spelled, so the reference is lost
Yes, although your natural instinct is to pronounce the band’s name ‘divsner’, it’s actually meant to be read as ‘division’, much like those spent hacks MGMT insisting that their name is actually pronounced ‘management’