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28 Feb 2010

Post 188: Going slightly GaGa

This post has been a long time in coming but I'm now going to write it. That sounds like it's going to be a lot more profound than it actually is but this is the situation; despite my life being ruined I am still in a position of privilege. I think it's sad that inequality exists because of an accident of birth but that's the way it is, deal with it!.
I'm glad, proud even, to live in a country where there is some redistribution of wealth that also has amassed enough money to save the life of a person like me without demanding a credit card off a member of my family or some sort of guarantee of payment when I went through the hospital doors 4 years ago. That would have bankrupted me or my family. All those thousands of pounds I have paid in tax in my pathetically short 6 year working life(I started full-time work at 22, had my stroke at 28, I'm now 32)plus the many thousands my dad paid during his working life have earned him (and me) my life. I do object to seeing so much hard-earned cash disappear to pay unnecessarily for the latest ridiculous scandal the daily hatemail has dug up. We don't live in a perfect world, the fact remains that there was a working hospital staffed and paid for by tax £s that saved my life on Christmas day in 2005. Since then I was in hospital for two long years and now the government of the land has washed its hands of me. This is actually a huge relief because the amount that they are willing to spend (and I'm no fan of the social services but that's another story) to look after its infirm citizens is the bare minimum. It would be dramatically worse than the situation I find myself in now. Before this happened I was one of the countries high-flyers, educated privately (my dad worked his *rse off) then I got into Oxford, the lefties and idiots will say everything was down to privilege and nothing to do with me – f*ck off is what I say, I worked bloody hard, despite the privilege of my education I have learnt that nothing in life ever comes easily, and nothing in life is handed to you. Every friend you've ever made is because of energy you've invested in making that friendship work, this is especially evident when you're acutely aware of what using every little bit of energy makes you feel like, whereas saying something or typing a message would have taken seconds and negligible energy it now feels tangibly difficult. Living as independently as I do is also down to good fortune and privilege. The house I live in has been given to me, and was in my family because my great grandfather happened to build it and be the local builder around here so make no mistake despite finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning and facing the day I should feel lucky - b*llocks, it was an accident of birth that caused my stroke, relative comfort and survival is my bloody reward! What an odd reward for my life so far, forgive me for not sounding grateful! I'll be honest, but keep feeling fortunate in mind, living in suburbia does do my head in a bit – Oxshott is the type of place you would only want to live in if you could easily escape on a daily basis, not if you're housebound and all your friends live at least 45 minutes away. Yesterday, I was up at the village hall doing one of my 3 a week walking sessions (which I hate) (imagine training for a marathon, and how unpleasant a 10 mile training run is and you get the idea), I basically expunged the next bit after some sound advice from my neighbour, I may be a stubborn so and so but there are times when listening to other people and compromising is the right thing to do, my ire at the local Range Rover driving, Prada Wearing, designer vagina sporting (probably) corporate financiers wife, lady that lunches while little Chlamydia runs around the local private school playground was too much and tripped my 'irrational intolerance' switch, thankfully I realised I was going to see multi brit award winning 'of questionable gender' bizarro Alexander Mcqueen (RIP)fan
and fashionista Lady Gaga. When I first heard of her I was determined to hate her, namely because I was convinced that young chavettes were trying to emulate her outrageous look. Frankly, the less flesh that particular group shows the better (less unwanted pregnancies), but after watching her on TV at Glastonbury my mind changed, she is clearly rather talented (er musically and her outfits may be a bit threadbare but I liked her music, particularly 'Dance' and 'paparazzi' – anyway, after she cleaned up at the Brits I was expecting great things at the Dome on Friday and for once my expectations were met, despite being in block 108 (not my favourite seats) the show was phenomenal although perhaps the warm up act have wrested the title of 'most godawful noise' away from the band who warmed up for the cult (post ). They were called 'semi-precious weapon' presumably because 'lethal weapon' is trademarked. They were a punk band fronted by what can only be described as an aggressive lesbian using the f word a lot which made her sound more aggressive, it was dire white noise of the worst kind and yet more proof about how headline artists purposely choose the worst rubbish they can muster, in fairness the next warm up act were less bad, but still bad, I had heard of them, Alphabeat, and I think they're Scandinavian. Once they got going, they reminded me of some of the worst moments of the 80s, an unwieldy lead guitarist with a guitar that looked to big for him alongside unremarkable synthesiser tunes, none of which I can remember, luckily they weren't on long and the stage stayed empty for what seemed like ages whilst the production team put on a CD of Michael Jackson's greatest hits. The sell-out crowd then cheered at the end of every Jackson song only to be thwarted by the start of yet another Jackson classic, there are so many, I particularly remember the start of 'thriller' and 'Billie Jean'.Eventually Billie Jean finished and the lady came out to 'dance'
which was quite brilliant. The Dome sound is the best I've ever heard, the top end is crystal clear and the bass is gutterall, solid and penetrates right through you – you can feel the floor shake and I'm in a wheelchair with tyres and suspension! My can lady Gaga sing and unlike most modern 'musicians' who don't let such piffling gimmicks as playing an instrument or writing their own music get in the way of lining their pockets and getting famous (thanks x factor and Simon Cowell) – oh my god that was almost as cynical as Charlie Brooker! Lady Gaga writes her own songs and plays several instruments (most notably Piano).Having established that the music was great, the stage show was spectacular
and I'm not even Gay! Had you been a flamboyant drag queen down the front it must have been apoplectically good. Lady GaGa knows she's a freak and the title of the evening was 'The Monster Ball', so she markets herself as queen of the freaks and invites people to be freaks and enjoy themselves. In this day and age people like lady Gaga clearly think unleashing your inner freak is the way to happiness. In that case I should stop trying to be normal.
Big thanks to Oli for taking me -what a mate! And thanks in advance go to Tanya for taking me to see The brilliant Stephen K Amos record his 2nd DVD at the Hammersmith Apollo last night, an enjoyable night but his 'find the funny' (his first DVD was probably better and the fact I've been to see him so often took the gloss off. Despite this he is a funny down to Earth man with much of his material being about how idiosyncratic it was growing up as a young black man in 70s Britain when people were racist as a matter of course! A lot of his stories are about hilarious instances of unintentional racism like on Australian radio when the interviewer actually said 'Steve, you come to Australia a lot, do you find you get recognised now? What about at night?
, Also thanks to Sacha, Rachel and Suze for coming round to talk to me this week – you guys keep me sane. Alex and fiance Steve for taking me out to lunch yesterday, and thanks to my college mates (~8/9 of us) going for Sunday lunch today, seeing them has made me feel warm inside, them making this effort makes me feel human again. I tried to walk the tightrope between freak and normal person! I just want to add extra special congratulations to Richard Rous and Annabel on the news of their engagement.
Fantastic news, and I'm really struggling not to say something crass about Rous here, this picute will do!

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