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'p a i n t b a l l a n d p r o l a p s e'

 

"whoever has theological blood in his veins is shifty and dishonorable in all things."

- nietzsche, by way of 'already dead' by denis johnson

there is now an unsong myspace page, with tracks to listen to, pictures to ogle and the like. feel free to enjoy it, if you are able. now myspace could be described, and not unfairly, as a juvenile online idiot network; "so and so has 687 friends" etc., um, no they fucking haven't. the basis of myspace seems to be vacuous in the extreme, all these people with their fake friends, chatting to and fro about fuck all, swapping 'cool' photos of themselves and being altogether cuntish and a strong argument for retroactive abortion. but, and here's the thing, an 'artist's page', while no more a guarantee of non-idiocy, is a way to get recorded material 'out there' (am i sounding myspace enough?) and maybe even to a) shift some of the mountain of cds clogging up my parents' loft space and b) elicit gig possibilities. now some (jobless jon in japan) have already poo-pooed the idea, and while i agree with much of his distaste, the fact that i clearly don't fit in with the average demographic of myspace (i'm too fucking old for one thing) and yet still exist there i find amusing. there must be others in the same position as me and slowly i hope to find them. if they all turn out to be cretinous fuckwits and the whole exercise pointless then what have i lost?

this morning i woke up singing 'listen to your heart', 80s soft rock ballad by, it turned out after some research, roxette... o dear. i'd not heard the track for years and yet somehow it found its way into my head; some kind of long buried audio virus designed to gnaw away what little of my mind is left. i ask you, is there no cure for the likes of roxette?

strange fact: on the back of the box for betty crocker original supreme brownie mix, it states that the recipe should be altered depending on where you live, namely if you live "at high altitude (3,500 - 6,500 ft)" you have to add a quarter of a cup of extra flour, extra water, oil and eggs. what's that all about?

it turns out, hostess elisabeth having garnered the information from a taxi driver, that the posh looking flats near us with 'spratts' painted on the brickwork, used to be a dog biscuit factory (not quite so salubrious sounding now); and that the flats where we live were built on ground that used to be the police car pound. so maybe it's the years of irate drivers seething into the surrounding atmosphere that's causing the walls in the corridor to crack...

"ye are not great enough not to know of hatred and envy. then be great enough not to be ashamed of them!"

- nietzsche, slightly misquoted in 'already dead' by denis johnson

- toy piano for mr. liles' birthday: £25
- ticket to brighton to present him with it: £23.80
- a new rechargeable battery for my minidisc player, to get me there entertained: £14
- the expression on the face of a red headed bloke who'd just overheard me telling everyone else in the pub that it had now been scientifically proven that ginger people have no souls and smell ever so slightly of wee: priceless.

great word: sesquipedalian -

"ses·qui·pe·da·lian
n.
along word.
adj.
given to the use of long words.
long and ponderous; polysyllabic.
adj 1: given to the overuse of long words; "sesquipedalian orators"; "this sesquipedalian way of saying one has no money" 2: (of words) long and ponderous; having many syllables; "sesquipedalian technical terms" [syn: polysyllabic] n : a very long word (a foot and a half long) [syn: sesquipedalia]"

- dictionary.reference.com

we are doomed as a species part #2: "more than half of americans reject evolution, back bible"

it would appear that the saga of hostess elisabeth's back has taken a turn for the worse. the fact that she hasn't responded favourably enough to the physiotherapy suggests to those in the know that rather than the original diagnosis of sciatica, what she may in fact be suffering from is a prolapsed disc, something altogether more serious and possibly needing surgery. gulp. this week she was referred to a strange, silent clinic in canary wharf for an m.r.i. scan, to determine just what in the wild, wild world of sports is going on with her misbehaving spine. having chosen the music she was to listen to during the scan (she chose frank sinatra over coldplay) she donned her gown in a rather unattractive shade of blue, and in she went. from what i can gather from pictures, tv hospital dramas etc., an m.r.i. involves the patient climbing onto a bed and being slid into the narrow hole of what looks like a giant metal donut. what neither of us expected though was the vibration and the noise, a loud buzzing sound that apparently all but drowned out ol' blue eyes. a sound sample is available to listen to here (scroll down the page until you see the subtitle 'the exam' and the tiny realplayer). it kinda sounds like the intro to a pan sonic track circa 1995, at such a volume that it can't have helped the whole experience. we await the results.

went to see the tigerlillies and alexander hacke perform 'at the mountains of madness' at the queen elizabeth hall. great fun. did they conjure the true spirit of h.p. lovecraft onto the stage? well no, but the songs were funny and macabre, and mr. hacke's narration and electronica suitably sombre, doom laden and insane. all tongue involved firmly in cheeks. good fun. now if we can only undo the damage done to hostess elisabeth's back by those horribly uncomfortable seats...

bought the album 'sanctuary' by the aforementioned mr. hacke, including collaborations from all manner of folk, including david yow of jesus lizard fame (who appears on track 11 brushing his teeth), vince signorelli (unsane and foetus' drummer), algis kizys (who worked with swans), and mr. thirlwell himself. it's a weird crossover of blues, rock, samples, drum programming and all manner of avant garde oddities. a great record.

went to see great new revoltingly young synth pop band the white rose movement, who somehow seem to simultaneously embody the best of early eighties while injecting enough of the here and now to kick seven shades of shit out of it. great fun. good tunes. the venerable gude either embarrassed himself or elevated himself to a higher state of being, i'm not yet sure which, by getting very excited and ogling young girls. bless him.

having caught a few episodes on some now mysteriously missing cable channel, hostess elisabeth now owns roughly 14 and a half hours of groucho marx and 'you bet your life' on dvd. obsessive anyone?

next stop for the bush world re-education plan? why iran of course! o the fun we'll have as armageddon marches ever closer. think of the mugs! the t-shirts! i for one cannot wait.

f u c k i n g i d i o t s.

"- you'll see. you'll also be trying to get away from the pain. look at you, so fresh in your uniform, you think you understand what it is to fight.
- well i have an idea, but why don't you inform me, colonel.
- let me tell you then. they tie the tubes off in your stomach with small metal clamps before you die, so that your shit can't come out of the bullet holes while the priest reads last rites. it's not possible to have a priest vomiting over a dying man because of the smell of guts and food turning into shit, you see. have they told you what the most common injury is in the war? it's your brain. the war punches an asshole in it and whenever it feels like it, it fucks the asshole. always it feels too small, like it's tearing open. you're never going to get used to it -like a virgin will make herself stronger and stop bleeding. it always hurts when the war fucks you, but you know it's rubbing on a place in your brain that you can't control so you're going to respond like you want to be fucked by it -maybe you'll beat your wife when you get home or put your fingers in your little daughter, put her up on the table and make her dance for you in her mother's shoes and pearls. and when the war is done fucking it comes, this stinking mess, this juice just like your own, and then the children of the war will live in your brain too. even when you're an old man with your polished medals, all bent over and can't get hard and smelling of piss, sometimes the war will want to come back and fuck your brain in its asshole. all your life. or until you put your gun up to here and pull the trigger. yes. yes."

- from 'the electric michelangelo' by sarah hall

a colleague of mine recently suggested that to celebrate his birthday he would like to invite everyone on a day of paintballing. i'll admit i was reticent (probably for the same reason you're currently saying "he's done what now?!") but went along anyway, half to see if i couldn't force myself to do a bit of (gag) networking, and half just to do something so utterly out of character that it was frankly laughable. we arrived and were kitted out in camouflage jump suits and ammo belts, feeling quite ridiculous and not a little nervous; particularly when we spotted the regulars, who take it all very seriously and have their own guns and equipment. luckily brian had invited enough of us not to have to be thrown in with the regulars like so many sheep to the gun-toting wolves. someone else who hadn't done it before noticed that everyone who had was wearing special gloves, so a few of us decided that for a mere fiver from the shop, we'd buy some to protect our dainty hands, a decision that i for one was glad of before the day was out. tales abounded among those that had taken part before, one in particular about someone who was shot in the face and knocked off his feet and out cold. um... the organiser gave his initial talk to those assembled and said that the paintball itself exits the barrel of the gun at approximately 200 miles an hour. nervous glances were exchanged. before we knew it we were masked up, armed and marched off to 'war'. when we were separated into teams it was pointed out that both of our number who'd had actual military experience were on the same team, and i might note, not the team i was on. the first game was a capture the flag thing, where each team started at an opposite end of a field peppered with huge cylindrical hay bales, the flag in question sat in the centre of the field and the object was to get the flag to your opponent's starting position without being shot. ten seconds into the game and i was absolutely exhausted. all i'd done was run ten yards and dive behind a hay bale but i was done for. soon after that of course i was shot. soon after that the opposing team won. i was surprised at how soon the pain that a paintball makes on impact fades, it's a nasty but very brief sting, made worse apparently when the ball itself fails to burst. they do however leave incredibly vivid bruises. as the second game in the field started i made a conscious decision to hang back and not get too involved too soon, see the lay of the land, how the thing was progressing, how these things were done; three minutes in and i find myself behind a bale in the middle of the field holding the flag. shit. through some bizarre stroke of luck i manage to work my way slowly forward and under covering fire (there's me picking up the lingo) storm the enemy's compound... well stretch of grass, and steal a win. no one was more surprised than i. but fuck me i was tired and we'd only been paintballing for about half an hour. slowly though i got into the pace of it and as we moved from area to area, playing different games in differing environments, i cannot deny that i began to really enjoy myself. you cannot replicate under any other circumstances the thrill and satisfaction you get from shooting another human being in the face. brian also enjoyed himself, until that is i mistook him for the enemy, panicked, and shot him in the back; what i thought the enemy was doing with their back to me i don't know. call it battle fatigue. gulf war syndrome. being a bit of a tit. the whole thing was just sooo ridiculous that i couldn't stop myself from bursting out laughing to myself and at myself before, during and after each game. thankfully the group brian had put together didn't take themselves too seriously so it was really just a flashback to playing war in the school playground; worrying really because as i recall i always preferred throwing myself into a spectacular death than actually playing the game. i'm sure that says something about me psychologically. anyhoo at the end of the day our team had won all games but two, and one of those was a draw. a resounding victory. what an absurd way to spend a sunday. there's talk of repeating the spectacle every six months...

recommended: (audio) 'sanctuary' -cd- by alexander hacke / (comestible) chocolate eclair from the euphorium / (visual) a parcel in the postbox! / (sensorial) shooting someone in the face

reviled: (audio) the crunching sound my toes make / (comestible) repulsive tesco 'deep fill puff pastry steak & ale pie' / (visual) some fucking idiot in an orange swimming hat / (sensorial) my wailing, screaming, shrieking legs the day after paintball