Monday, January 31, 2005

Feck Valentine's Day...Part 1

Have you noticed a surplus of sickeningly pink plastic objects sprouting up around the place like the intestines of an as yet unborn monstrous (but cute) alien race? Can you hear a cloying gurgling noise that sounds like "I wuv ewe" in the distance? It's nearing that time of the year again that pisses off anyone with half a brain, St. Valentine's Day. As a happily single guy wandering around and minding my own business it is my duty, and of course pleasure, to launch a “Feck Valentine’s Day” campaign.

So for all you single people out there (and those in coupledom who are sick of all this commercial exploitation of your predicament), I’ll be posting some supportive rants to help us through this shitty time. To kick off the campaign, I have contacted Hallmark and other card companies with the following "Alternative Names for Valentine's", but they seem reluctant to take my changes ‘on board’ as the marketing fellas say:

· Plastic Shite Day
· Emotional Blackmail Day
· Sap-Fest
· Breeder Bonanza
· Fucker Festival
· Restaurant Exclusion day
· Let’s Just Be Friends Day
· Rejection Day
· Err, Emm I sent that Card as a Joke Day.
· Getting hit repeatedly with a Plank Day
· Crying alone in your own filth Day

So much cynicism in one so young!...'twas not always thus, send SAE for full story of heartbreak...if you could be arsed.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Senate House, one of the big smoke's big buildings...

Norwich: forward-looking wellspring of open-mindedness and multiculturalism? er...No.

Before I came to Norwich, I looked at it on the map, “mmm”, I thought, “pretty close to London and it’s got its own international airport. It must be a forward-looking wellspring of open-mindedness and multiculturalism” (hahahaha*). Upon living here for a few years, I realise that Norwich’s relative proximity to London doesn’t really matter to most of its denizens. I was first made aware of Norwich folks’ suspicion of the big smoke while serving some local old boys at the Grad Bar. When he was finished taking the piss out of Irish people using the so-called ‘wit’ of the English male**, one old boy piped up and said ‘I had to go to hospital the other London!!!!...I’m not going THERE again’. Although my face was in ‘surly’ barman mode, I was cracking up on the inside. So, the only reason this guy would go to one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the world would be if his leg was falling off or something. The common viewpoint among the Norwich elders seems to be that all the ‘bad things’, you know muggings, murders and multiculturalism, only ever happen in London.

Anyway, this rambling rant is merely an intro to discuss this weekend, when I visited London (by choice!) to see a great lecture at The University of London by Esther Leslie called ‘American comic heroes and Failure’, it was great to hear superheroes being discussed so intelligently in such an illustrious venue. See above for picture of the big building in which it occurred—my esteemed colleague, friend and housemate also pointed out that the above, Senate House, was used in the film 1984.

With a few hours to kill and not really fancying the prospect of spending £11 to see Elektra, I wandered around Leicester Square for a bit. I say Leicester Square to sound slightly respectable, but I’m sure you realise I was wandering around the sleaze-fest that is Soho. As I have held forth on previously, Channel 4 was a vital pre-adolescent portal of smut. The best way to show porn in those days was through the medium of the ‘shocking documentary expose’, which always included a shot of the intrepid reporter braving the depravity of Soho’s sex shops and strip-o-ramas. Imagine my pleasure in actually encountering such a documentary being made during my visit! A bishop or Christian Voice type mook was beng filmed silently walking through Soho and glaring at each neon-lit window and at every poor shivering girl in a doorway (like they don’t have enough to worry about without some Christian fuck judging them with disdain). Anyway, if you see such a documentary in the coming months keep an eye out for a grinning Irish ‘pornnoisseur’ with a bag full of comics in the background. Observe that smile, it is one of realisation, it is a
smile that says, "There is life outside Norwich, places where not every eligible young lady looks like Vicky Pollard hurrah!!"

*At this juncture, why not add your own longer derisive laugh, I don’t have room for three or four lines of ‘hahahaha’.
** The comedy arrows in the average English male’s humour quiver include: pointing out weaknesses in others, one-upmanship, bad word play, sexism, racism, xenophobia, and, (their favourite) homophobia: All in all, as funny as accidentally nailing your scrotum to a bit of wood.

Block the Norwich hellmouth with the tidy books!...

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Abandon hope all ye who enter heeereee....

Norwich's hellish happenings?

It would be unfair to say that Norwich is hell, but it did put in a bid to become one of the new circles of hell (kind of like the Olympics or the European City of Culture). Although it got refused this honour, remnants of the city’s hellish inclinations are still to be found. The above photo I've taken is of one such gateway to hell (note the inscription "26", 2+6=8, which rhymes with "hate" and "gate"). I will post more evidence as I come across it.

This little door is one of the foremost ennui-generating stations in the United Kingdom, it lurks just as you are almost home on “The Avenues” (a haunted street of ever-changing lengths attuned to bladder fullness and/or the amount of people who are carrying you). The hell-portal expertly amplifies the exact futility of what you have ‘achieved’ at college that day, beaming it directly into the brain. Pedestrians can be often be seen attempting to curl up into a foetal position under its tiny roof to have a sob onto the damp leaves. Christ! January just gets more and more miserable, doesn’t it? Very cold, no money and just when the lusty horizon of spring and the end of January payday is in view, Hallmark cards and a loose conspiracy of sap-merchants foist St. Valentine’s Day crap on us. I’m limbering up for some choice rants on that particular ‘holiday’. On top of that my Superman mug landed on the Grad Bar floor recently and shattered into many shards of delf misery...prompting a bad poem:

Farewell to thee, my Superman mug,
You accompanied me to many a student slum.
Next time I’ll get one made from adamantium.

Still it was a present from the ex, I will now purchase a superhero merchandise mug untainted by heartbreak...I wonder do they do She-Hulk ones. Apologies for the bleakness, don't worry, there'll be more light-hearted missives on sleep deprivation, porn and comics along in the fullness of time no doubt.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Jimmny's gonna write you up something good...

My ‘vice equilibrium’ is all out of whack…

Howdy all, I’m back in the blog saddle again after a spell in rural Ireland (dial-up land, where being online is announced by a demonic screee eeee eeeep noise, a bit like the prehistoric
Acorn Electron
or Sinclair tapes.

I am also recovering from the insane stamina required to survive the alcoholic content of an Irish Christmas. It’s not just enough to be drinking, oh no, one must be drinking a beer, a wine and a brandy and/or a vodka and/or a whiskey all at once, while singing...forever...well until about 6am, although, as evidenced by the photo below*, myself and the Badbrute did manage to stay up until about 8-9am on New Year’s Eve/Day—even the Christmas aftershave is in danger at that point.

Anyway, after all that liquid excess, (or perhaps it was turning 29?) a very disturbing thought entered my head...why don’t I just quit drinking? For an Irish person, this is like saying...why don’t I just cut off my arm for a laugh, although I’m sure some Irish people have cut off their own arm for a laugh after lots of booze. The problem with giving up booze (apart from the general social outcastery of it all) is that it would upset the delicate balance of my ‘vice equilibrium’—a kind of reverse ‘healthy food pyramid’. I was a man of four simple vices (Amber Leaf roll-ups, alcohol, caffeine and sleaze). Having given up the little roll-up fellas and contemplating giving up booze, that would leave a ‘vice graph’ entirely made up of just caffeine and sleaze. I don’t think Norwich would be able to cater for my bizarre appetites. I have complained to anyone who’ll listen previously about the lacklustre state of Norwich’s few-and-far-between sleaze emporiums. I once went into one of St. Benedict Street’s so-called ‘adult shops’ and innocently asked where their DVD section was (for Film Studies research purposes of course)...they didn’t have one,I was told, If I wanted to buy dodgy DVDs, I would have to go to Great Yarmouth!! Great Yarmouth!! What is this?, the 1970s? am I going to be sent out back to watch a 8mm loop of Bernie Winters introducing topless ladies at Raymond’s Revue Bar?** As any well-meaning citizen would, I did write a letter to my local Porn Ombudsman (as I have done on numerous occasions). She has not written back as of yet, and I’m beginning to think she may not even exist. Look after your bad habits folks, that’s what they're there prevent worse ones. I will keep you posted on my attempts at 'healthy living', in body perhaps, if not in mind...

* As you may have noticed, a family member in his infinite wisdom has given me a digital camera for Christmas. Expect many odd images, although I will stop short of a digital recreation of 'Mick Hucknall's Pink Pancakes'.
**As bizarre as it may seem I have actaully seen pictures of this, although I am unaware whether or not Snorbitz was in attendance.

Friday, January 07, 2005

I see the New Year!! Jimmny and Badbrute celebrate...a little bit too much.