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18 Mar 2012

Post 338: 3 Blokes, 1 Barrel


The less people that get that reference the better. My attitude is that there are some things better left unseen. The 3 blokes in question were Daniel Kitson, Steve Hughes and some Scottish nutter called Billy Connolly, the barrel is for all the laughs. Now I would say here are three of the finest comedians of their generation and here am I, A.N.other bloke trying to unwast what to the casual observer could be a wasted life. In a TV series I have been watching/listening to called 'Game of Thrones', there is a character called Tyrion who is a dwarf,

the people around him who succeed are all taller, stronger and better looking but he is determined to succeed because he has his mind. 'Game of Thrones' is set in medieval times in a sort of middle earth where being a dwarf would mean death or at least a life of being a freak or outcast, instead he has the immortal line 'a mind needs books like a sword needs a wetstone' which is in a funny kind of way the exact way I'm trying to live my life. I'm not a dwarf but normal life has basically cast me aside and I have the stark choice of 'getting busy living' or 'getting busy dying', the latter would be the easy way out (for me) but NOT fair on the people who have invested their hard earned effort in remaining or becoming my friend. I can't pretend to be happy or not lonely but I hold out hope that there is someone out there who will make my life tolerable once again because it feels far from it right now.
So, back to these comedians. They're all the best at what they do which is three very different things in my opinion. Kitson

is a linguistic gymnast with a turn of phrase and ability to captivate an audience to a higher level than even Tim Minchin's genius on the Piano eg 'oh f*ck, my attempt to feign ignorance there was prevented by a genuine level of ignorance' I'm sure that's singularly unimpressive to most people reading this. Why haven't I heard of him I hear you say? Annoyingly, he's one of these people who hates fame, he says he is genuinely unhinged by having 22,000 people on his mailing list. He doesn't use twitter or facebook and spent quite a lot of time telling the sold-out West End Centre in Aldershot

that if you believed you and him would be good friends in real life think again. I've a hunch he's probably a manic depressive (based on my rigorous psychological training – ie f*ck all) – as someone who lives most of his life introspectively that's my guess. I reckon a lot of depression seems to come from a deep dissatisfaction with your physical self, well, that was the impression I got from seeing Stephen Fry live at the Albert Hall in 2010
Whereas Fry courts fame, Kitson actively eschews it which I think is a shame. He certainly likes the trappings of fame: The Money, the DimSum and the Poontang (his words) but he gets hung up on the fact he would have to distort his art. Maybe I just don't give enough of a sh*t. If I had such an amazing talent I would exploit it to become Rich and Famous. I would try and maintain as much artistic integrity and personal dignity as I could, ie I'd draw the line at selling f*cking car insurance (actually any sort of insurance) or butter commercials – Chris Addison,

Johnny Rotten

and Iggy Pop

have a lot to answer for! There's selling out and there's doing that. I have always been one for pragmatism and I like to think that my remaining intelligence helps me navigate the right path between integrity, dignity, principles and reality. Crippled or not these choices are unaf*ckingvoidable, which is why Steve Hughes is my favourite comedian of the three, quite simply because he is the most human. Whereas Kitson is an intellectual linguistic gymnast he is undeniably odd. Hughes' time starting up the Australian Heavy Metal scene makes him a bit odd but his observations about what is mental about the world are both funny and brilliant, the fact that he appears to have adopted the Ronnie Wood

approach to skincare gives him the look of a wizened wizard


with Gravitas plus he's clearly a knowlegeable and amusing consort by the way Reginald D Hunter used to introduce him when he was Reg's warm-up man.
And finally last night was the 'big Yin'. He is the consummate mad scottish sweary, shouty storyteller.

There's nothing clever about it, but it is funny. It's just nice to have another chance to see him in the flesh while I'm alive. I'm half his age and I'm more worried I'll be the one to let the side down. Stroke'll do that.
Big thanks to Graham for taking me all the way to the Brighton Centre last night. The Brighton Centre is not my favourite venue, I can imagine it's soulnessness suiting Trade Union meetings,

when I saw Bill Bailey there last autumn he said 'aren't these old Victorian venues charming?' I hope Graham enjoys his well deserved lie-in today. And big thanks to the Spanish Firemen (My trainer Hose-A and his best mate Hose-B (and his wife Gemma))

for spotting Kitson was on in the West End centre and getting tickets before they sold out. It is about the third time I've been to see Kitson and it's proof positive of his brilliance what an enlightening time Jose has, the same was true of seeing Hughes the next night with him and his pregnant girlfriend Bec

who have become the very best of friends since I met them 3 years ago.
My latest crackpot idea for improving life is investing in a one handed keyboard.

I must confess to being intrigued by the photo but more than a little nervous about struggling to use it. Right, time to do yet another life affirming thing - make a will, oh joy!

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