Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Blog mildly annoys The Man; author capitulates almost without asking; is still staring down barrel of unemployment

Ah, discussing work-related matters in a blog. Now there's a hot potato. On the one hand, it's offering one's employer a large electronic stick with which to beat you. On the other, I didn't think anybody outside of my immediate posse actually reads this thing and in any case saw no harm in clearing up a few matters about my impending change of employment circumstances in my trademark, y'know, 'style'. I was incorrect in this assumption, but seeing as how it was intended to explain what's going on and didn't all relate to work nitty gritty, here it is again, presented in glorious self-censored form. Truly I am a hero for free speech. Take solace that one day in the future, cyber-archaeologists may restore it to original glory.

This is how I'd planned it to go down:

This is more how it actually happened (apologies for shitty quality):

But it has happened.

Yes, after writing a blog about how the reversion of the world's economy to a barter-based system was no more meaningful to me than motorsports, I have of course just been [DELETED]. I know, I know, weep ye gods, weep. Er, anyway, as many of you will be aware, I was planning [DELETED] anyway NO REALLY, and thus I've now simply been [DELETED] to do what I was going do already, but still, 'twas a mildly bemusing state of affairs. I suppose it'd be indiscreet to describe matters in explicit detail, but let us just say I was [DELETED]

Anyway, what will our hero do next, you ask? Well, for starters I'm sure I will be notching up, say ten, twenty dozen blogs a day through sheer boredom. I've signed up for National Novel Writing Month (, though seeing as how I'm [DELETED] until Nov 20th, I more or less have to bash out 50,000 words in ten days. WHICH IS ENTIRELY DO-ABLE. I have a vague plan to spend the month of December working through all the recipes in a cookbook in order. I'm going to freelance a lot, if potentially not for vast sums of money, at least to keep papa all stocked up in free gigs and albums. And in February-ish I am going to succumb to the utterly inevitable and move to London and probably clean something for a living, or try to persuade people that because I am part Polish I have mad plumbing skillz and they should give me what pitiful savings they have left. Oh yeah, and Canada - fingers crossed for about 2010, let's hope recession doesn't affect their need for 'skilled' workers, eh..?

And lastly now seems as good a time as any to fuck off and do a bit of travelling, which is sort of my plan for the month of January. And when I say 'as good a time as any' what I mean is 'I'm probably going to go to Siberia in January'. It's always (erm, for about two years) been something of a dream of mine to do the Trans-Siberian Express, and while getting the heave at the coldest time of the year isn't really ideal, there's some pretty cool stuff one can do in that neck of the woods even when the woods are actually just funny shaped blocks of permafrost. In particular this - - looks dubble cool. Current plan is to probably hop on a sort of guided group trek thing as I can imagine shivering in a trainful of Russians on my own might lose its charm after a while and I'm not aware of anybody unbalanced enough to care to join me on this trip... BUT should you fancy an adventure at short-ish notice then do let me know. I'd possibly even be up for an adventure someplace else if it sounded interesting, though I think it's gonna have to be at the start of the year whatever happens due to my needing to do - what was that thing? - oh yeah, piece back together the shattered fragments that once were my life.

Oh well, there's always this option:

Saturday, 4 October 2008

My new girlfriend

Yeah, so I think I've finally met the girl of my dreams, she's really beautiful and well adjus- ah ha! Got you. Of course my life continues to be an empty, loveless shell, the booze and the tears locked in nightly combat over which - if either - will be the one to finally send me drifting off into a fitful void. Ha, you believed me - joke's on you, sucka. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahakillmenowhahahahahahahahahaha.
Erm, but anyway, below is a picture of Vanessa Redgrave, my awesome new combination record player/cassette player/CD player wot I bought off ebay. With her cherrywood body and dignified retro look, I decided she needed a name that evoked both redness and dignity and who is more red or dignified than Vanessa Redgrave? Nobody. Not sure I've ever seen the actual VR act in anything, but I think I get the point. And besides such matters are irrelevant - just yesterday evening me and my good friend Andy Field spend a good 15 minutes debating the pros and cons of Daniel Day Lewis as an actor, before both sheepishly admitting that the only film of his either of us had seen was Gangs Of New York. And it was probably the greatest most intelligent discussion ever, so there.

Obviously if this blog had any sense of dignity I'd have ended with there, a simple way of sharing with you - my loyal, but dispersed readership - the joy that is my new toy. This blog has no dignity.
So the thing is I really fucking hate anybody who claims to be non-materialistic as if it was a virtue.
Frogs are non-materialistic.
Materialism is awesome.
And I'm obviously materialistic: I have a medium-large music collection and a laptop computer, both of which I'd have a stab at saving were a fire to trouble the leafy grandeur of Sefton Park Road. But it occurred to me that prior to purchasing Vanessa Redgrave, I didn't, y'know, particularly like anything I own. Not that I dislike any of it, just that there's no emotional investment; if somebody smashed my laptop up with a hammer, I'd just be quite irritated and buy a new one. I'd be annoyed if somebody threw all my clothes into a vat of acid, but not, y'know, devastated. Even my oft-stated love of Converse is basically laziness more than anything. If I loved them I wouldn't just buy a pair, wear them 'til they fall apart, and then buy another pair, I'd be building up a collection, limited editions, all that gubbins.
Anyway, I don't really know if this means I'm a sociopath, a hippie, a lumbering philistine who simply lacks the refinement required to appreciate the finer things in life, or a chimeric combination of all three.
What I do know is that I probably haven't been as pleased with an object I own as I am with Vanessa Redgrave since maybe an original Breakfast Club poster that I bought in Vegas eight years ago. Don't even know where that is now.
Anyway, blah blah blah, I'm sure I channel my materialism in other ways.
However, the acquisition of a record player that isn't the dilapidated monster in residence at Lukowski HQ: Birmingham has surely given me an inlet into becoming a vinyl junkie, and thus a route back to my discarded humanity. Limited editions, better sound quality... yeah maaaaaaaan.
So I played the various promotional 7-inches I've accumulated over the years. That was okay. The vinyl-only Organ and Fuck Buttons songs I'd been nursing for some time were a bit rubbish, but then again, I suspected they might be.
Then I went on a £5.50 spree on secondhand David Bowie vinyl (Young Americans, Low, Let's Dance, fyi). I was excited for the warmer sound quality. I probably haven't even heard real sound in years. I've just been emptily stumbling through life thinking I could hear music when really it was no more musical than a car screeching, a tramp vomiting. Sounded EXACTLY the same. Maybe Let's Dance was a bit better. Maybe. Probably not.
Then I put on my copy of In Rainbows, which comes on two LPs. Sounds fucking incredible. Genuinely, jaw-droppingly enhances it in a way that no digital remaster I've ever bought has ever done.
So I'm going to become a collector of double vinyl LPs of single albums. It's a small step, but I'm going to become a niche materialist at precisely the point capitalist society falls apart. Fuck you, the fall of capitalist society. I can hear some extra bleepy noises on a Radiohead album.
Customary concluding vid: as I've alluded, Let The Bells Ring by The Organ is basically a slightly meh early Smiths soundalike. However, it's collected on Thieves, an EP of their unreleased work that comes out Oct 13, and at least three of the tracks on it are so good they make me quite angry at the silly broads for massively, massively hating each other. Here are two of said tracks (plus a snippet of Love Love Love, odd editing, innit).