Thursday, 29 August 2013

Our Certain Fate.

I heard a radio advert for Jack Daniel's last night which tries to associate the whiskey with great rock and roll. It says things like 'He was there at the 100 club in 1976' or 'He was there at Woodstock in 1969'. It finishes with something like... 'On tour since 1866. Please drink responsibly'.

Let's deal with the obvious. They don't want you to drink responsibly. None of the rock legends they invoke were drinking responsibly. A better, more honest advert would go like this...

He was there when Jimi Hendrix choked on his own vomit in 1970.

He was there when Amy Winehouse didn't wake up in 2011.

He was there when you saw that tramp taking a dump behind a bin in 2005.

Jack Daniels. Please drink excessively over a sustained period of time.

I will probably not die choking on my own vomit. I, like most of you, will die after about 30 years of painful frailty and miserable confusing dementia. Not looking forward to it if I'm honest. I sincerely hope they come up with a cure for the old Alzheimer's cos that looks like a dog shit destiny.

One of the treatments for Alzheimer's they're using now is creating small streets mocked up to be like the streets of the sufferer's 20s and 30s. The thinking is that to someone with no short term memory the modern world is frightening. Going to shops with rationing and old money, feeling like you know what's going on, is comforting. This seems like a good idea to me.

But what about us? What will our memory streets look like? Having spent most of my adult life in London mine will feature pavements littered with Chicken Cottage bones, charity muggers and legless hen nights wearing the wrong footwear.

Picture it. The year is 2070. We're all in homes two miles above the Earth's now toxic atmosphere, being cared for by nurses who look like Daft Punk in their current guise. With no understanding of what's going on, looking out of the window is terrifying. The only thing that will calm us is to sit on pretend top decks of buses and play Candy Crush on antique i-phones.

This is your future. Enjoy your present.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Bowel Problems.

Prepare yourself for a heartbreaking revelation... I have had bowel problems for the last ten years. Here are some things this has taught me...

1. If you need to go to the toilet in town I highly recommend using posh hotels. As long as you walk in with confidence the staff will just assume you're staying there. Never use a pub or Mcdonalds toilet again. Instead, shit in luxury, surrounded by expensive fittings and clean towels. The toilets in hotel receptions are also usually empty so you also have the freedom to really let rip. When you leave you'll even get a smile and a 'thank you, sir' from the doorman. No, sir. Thank YOU. The whole experience is so good it's almost worth leaving the house for.

2. Time spent on the toilet is not wasted time. I am in the top 1% in the world at Virtual Table Tennis 3. If you've played against someone called ToadfishRebecchi - you've played against me. Also, if you over use the emoticon feature and laugh at my mistakes I will get angry and will be more motivated to beat you.

3. If you tell medical folk you are constipated they will still ask you for a stool sample.

4. If you tell non medical folk you have bowel problems they will almost certainly give you contradictory anecdotal advice.

5. If you're on the toilet and you fear it might get noisy it is no use trying to control it. Doing so will just make the sound last longer. Also, a toilet bowel will work as an amplification device. It's a design fault and until Jeremy Dyson gets IBS we're just going to have to deal with it.

I think I'll leave it at that. I don't want to get to graphic on your healthy asses.

NOTE: It has now been pointed out to me that Jeremy Dyson is from the League of Gentlemen. I was, of course, thinking of James Dyson - the inventor - who has in fact done much to mask the sound of my toilet-ing with his hand dryers.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

I Watched Her Film And I Liked It.

I just watched Katy Perry's movie Part Of Me and really enjoyed it. I've also seen and enjoyed Justin Bieber: Never Say Never twice. I like those sort of things and yet I'm also really tough - it's the paradox that makes me the flavour of the decade.

I had less than four hours of fitful sleep last night so am in the broken sort of state where watching pop stars really works for me. I used to really enjoy it when 90s Theakston and Middlemiss vehicle The Ozone would do a feature on Take That, East 17 or Blue. I think I can even remember quite getting into one on 911. That's the boy band 911, not the massive tragedy. In fact I've just looked them up and noticed that they split just 18 months before 9/11... COINCIDENCE????

I find it really easy to buy into the whole 'I've had some knock backs, but if you truly believe in yourself and my fans have always been there for me and touring is really hard but look at me having fun with the lighting crew and oh no, Justin's lost his voice - will he be able to get through the show?' thing. It's all very comforting. For the record, Justin does get through the show because he's a professional who loves his fans more than anything.

The Bieber film is ludicrously fake and formulaic but it still does the trick. As a person who has watched roughly 2500 hours of Neighbours in my life it's clear that I don't require my entertainment to have an earnest truth to it. Bieber has a 32 year old manager called Scooter who's also, like, his best buddy. You can't help but notice every time he lets Justin beat him at basketball or squirt him with a super soaker (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha) he's thinking about the mansion he's going to be able to buy in St Lucia once this fucking tour is over. There's a very creepy part of Justin's stage show in which a girl from the audience is invited on stage to be serenaded by him. He pops her on a stool, hands her flowers and croons the bitch with his adorable eyes and haircut in full effect. Everything about it is clearly designed by a marketing team to appeal to the burgeoning sexuality of eleven year old girls. The arena struggles to stay standing with the weight of shell shocked estrogen.

Perry actually comes across as very charismatic and pretty damn likeable as it goes. There's an amazing moment in the film when her marriage with Russell Brand is breaking down. As someone who performed on the same bill as him at Downstairs at the Kings Head in Crouch End in 2004 and has had somewhere between 2 and 5 conversations with the man (one as recent as 2006!) I think I have a closer understanding than most of what she was going through. Perry is in a terrible state, balling her eyes out, obviously suffering from real pain and mental exhaustion. Waiting for her are roughly 100,000 residents of Sau Paulo. There's no way she can do the show like this. But wait! She's walking towards the stage. But she's still wailing. A backing dancer looks concerned. She steps on to a platform. She's still in distress. Her breathing is panicked. The twirly things on her boobs start spinning. She looks at the crew guy and nods. She plasters on a fake smile and the platform rises. Every teenage girl and bi-curious boy in Brazil roars. 

My account may seem facetious but the moment looked completely authentic and I'm not ashamed of being moved by it. Half way through the show the crowd start chanting something in Portuguese and her lip trembles. Her fans are pulling her through! To be fair, that looked like it could have been a clever editing trick but I'm happy to go with it. As I think I wrote in my blog post about Beyonce a couple of years ago I find watching audiences go crazy for superstars really touches me for some reason.

Does anyone want to go and see the new One Direction film this week?