Tuesday, 3 May 2016

THE LONDON MAYORAL ELECTION

There is nothing more irritating than people posting exhortations to 'go out and vote!!!' to a likely readership who were almost certainly a) going to vote already b) the same way as you c) or don't live in London and probably aren't very excited about their imminent council election.

So I just want you to know I acknowledge my own impotence, vote or don't vote how you want, whatever, I'm just blogging to have a public grumble in the hope it gets validated by double digit age views.

But yeah: this whole London mayoral contest has just been so DEPRESSING.

In a way the worst thing about Zac Goldsmith's campaign isn't the awful racism or the fall from grace of a man who might reasonably have been thought to have been a unifier between liberal and wealthy London - though that's a pretty major part of it - but that he doesn't seem to even want the fucking job (other than to beat Sadiq Khan).

Khan's not had nearly the scrutiny for his policies he should have done thanks to an opposition that basically resorted to shouting LOL MUSLIM after about a week, but at least he wants it and will give it his best shot, no matter how disastrous that will prove to be.

But aside from the fact a Zac win will inevitably usher in the most depressing electoral campaign in history in 2020, I just find it hard to imagine that four years of him will mean anything other than four more years of hands off, photo opp mayoralty a la BoJo. Maybe London's many, many problems are in fact insurmountable, but we're not going to find out this way.

So the moral is - racism? Hey, who isn't a bit racist these days, we all read the odd Vice article, right? Goldsmith shouldn't be mayor not because he's a massive racist, but because he'd be a shit mayor. And he's a massive racist.

I shall be voting for Mr Khan, probably Greens second pref because fuck it, who else is there these days and somebody needs to vote Green in Bromley eh.

Monday, 2 May 2016

BECOMING A MASSIVELY SUCCESSFUL FREELANCER

Has it really been four months since I last wrote a blog?

Well, define 'wrote a blog' – in the time since I last PUBLISHED a blog I started another one about my incomprehension of the widely-parroted but never substantiated reportage that Jay-Z sent Beyonce 10,000 roses prior to her performance at this year's Superbowl (seriously: multiple news outlets just reported it straight as if it was definitely true JUST THINK OF THE LOGISTICS OF 10,000 ACTUAL ROSES) but sort of shelved it because too much time had passed since the event (and obviously it's desperately important to remain current here). And I wrote some demented number of words on my trip to Sierra Leone, but I dunno, it was basically a big diary entry, I'm not sure there was anything particularly #shareable about it (blogs I've started but not finished about foreign places I've been to are definitely the most common blogs I've started but not finished).

Anyway, this legend

started nursery last week and as a result I now find myself cash poor but relatively time rich (because I'm not fannying about in the flat in the mornings), so I have decided that in an effort to possibly help us go on a holiday ever again or something I'm going to try and buff up my freelance career a bit.

It's fair to say that my freelance career to date unquestionably peaked when I was basically doing a full-time job, but freelance, at Time Out. If you take that out of the equation, a steady but unchanging weekly rate for running the Drowned in Sound album reviews has pretty much been the backbone of my freelance work and though it's not a huge amount it's made a big difference, the difference between having 'a bit' of disposable income and 'no' disposable income. For a good few years I supplemented this further with book reviews for my old employer Metro, but regime change and modifications to the arts section there mean I've not done anything further for them in at least a year (and Janek's arrival meant I didn't ever bother to chase up).

There are obviously major but not insurmountable restrictions on what I can do re: theatre for publications that aren't Time Out, but they're not too egregious – I can't do theatre reviews and I can't write an article that Time Out would have wanted, but theatre being modesty hifalutin then there's actually quite a lot of comment and more in depth feature-y stuff that Time Out would never run.

I don't think I've attempted to pitch anything to anyone not Time Out in at least five years, but I have been approached to do various things, notably an article for an in flight magazine (which I wrote), The Stage very kindly payed me to run an edit of a blog I'd written, and The Guardian once randomly phoned me asking if I could do a reviews round-up on The Book of Mormon (I couldn't, I was literally phoned as I was about to get on the Eurostar and would have no internet until after the deadline).

So that's better than nothing and if we accept my writing is at least serviceable my sole and definitely only problem in terms of not being a Caitlin Moran/Boris Johnson-level success is that I find the idea of 'putting myself out there' excruciating on almost every level, like I dunno, there is literally nothing more pitiful than freelance rejection (probably something that comes from watching the Dutch wine scene in Nathan Barley at a formative age).

Anyway, what I've decided to do is blog about my attempt to stoke my freelance career, because somehow that's fine, like I am doing a performance art or simply applying an ironic filter to the experience so I can turn failure into a big joke or something.

Probably this will be by only post on the subject, ever, but let me tell you as if right now I INTEND to do it, which is basically the same thing.