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9 Jun 2013
Post bloody 400!
I’m loathe to say I’m giving up anything because it gives ammunition to the legion of people who might as well carve ‘never give up’ into their foreheads and they judge you a lesser person because you decide that the bruise on your own forehead actually quite hurts and there’s a bit of blood on the brick wall! I’m not mentioning any names but a certain cadre of stroke survivor does this. I do think it’s admirable but strokes are all different and as we all know a ‘one size fits all’ approach is one of reasons why the lemming isn’t top of the food chain!
So, I’ve decided to give up facing Friday night traffic and never to book another gig ANYWHERE (except very locally) on a Friday evening EVER again. It’s just not fair on the poor people who have volunteered to take me – They don’t need that sh*t – no-one needs that sh*t. Especially my LSPs (long suffering parents)or my LSFs (long suffering friends) who I already feel like I’m asking too much of having to suffer my company!
This all started a few months ago – even though the ‘Australian Pink Floyd’ incident where the M25 made a 1 hour journey into a 4 hour one was on a Monday, it made me aware how travelling to things is pretty high up on a crowded list of ‘most unpleasant things’. That’s the thing about having a stroke like this –almost everything that we used to tolerate through gritted teeth is basically intolerable now. People used to respect how much I just got on with things. They don’t anymore, they just think all I do is complain, to be clear I do an above average amount of that, and I hate that I do, which makes me a bit sad, both that I’m an above average complainer and that people’s patience with me appears to have run thin, but as a mate of mine once said to me ‘the disabled don’t have a monopoly on complaining’ – he’s so right – maybe it’s an English thing, maybe it’s a human thing, we all want to have something to complain about, and we all want someone to listen to us – why do you think that social media is so popular?
To my mind complaining is only ever justified in two ways:
1. If you complain but have a proposal for a solution.
2. You observe that something is sh*t, but you do it in an amusing way. If you’re not funny, you’re in trouble.
To be clear, I don’t think I’m funny, but I’d hazard that we’re all quite good at spotting a pisspoor attempt at humour, I’d just observe that I might have once made people titter, which is the most I’d ever claim.
Point 2 is actually how commercial comedy seems to work.
If you think about it, that’s what anyone making a public proclamation is doing – they just want to be listened to and provoke some sort of reaction, which is probably what this blog is.
Well, it’s probably my way of saying thankyou specifically to the people that help me and generally to say that I’m grateful to the folks that keep me living and help me to do the interesting things that I take it upon myself to try and do.
So people who get fed up with the way I’m grateful to people for the things I do can look away now!
On Tuesday I went to see Jack Dee at a sold out Guildford G-Live. Seeing as I’ve already talked about how complaining about things is annoying it seems a tad oxymoronic that Jack Dee is so popular. I guess it’s back to my point 2 above, that you can only complain about things if you make them funny and it is quite funny that a successful mainstream comedian can be that miserable. Big thanks to my old schoolmate Owen for taking me.
At the other end of the comedy spectrum from Jack, was going to see Eddie Izzard last night at the Dome – whereas Jack is quite straightforward and is adept at pointing out what is sh*t about the world – Izzard is out there and is adept at pointing out what is strange about the world. Both (what is sh*t and what is strange) are seemingly inexhaustible reservoirs of material in my view which makes comedy one of the most environmentally friendly forms of energy the world over – I admit, it can’t be used to power a lightbulb but laughter is probably what keeps a c*nt like me being like Jack Dee without the funny stuff. I have Karen and Helen to thank for taking me last night. Helen (an old mate from college) was an excellent last minute sub after Karen’s husband Toby couldn’t make it. I have been trying to little avail to pay these two back since they took me to the Olympics, I think last time I saw them (in March) with typical aplomb with Kazza standing right there I said to Toby ‘knocked up Karen yet?’ –the answer then was ‘No’, but they’ve been getting busy and I’m happy to report that Karen is now expecting, not that you’d offer her your seat on the bus yet! Still, Izzard was good – I don’t think any of us get pissed enough anymore to truly appreciate his out there weirdness. He is definitely the kind of friend you could settle in for a serious laughter session with. Just his impression of Julius Caesar sounding like the Italian officer from ‘Allo ‘Allo is a pretty good start.
So, the Friday thing that has convinced me never to put anyone through Friday traffic again was Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ at the Albert Hall – a somewhat Ironic title in the circumstances. My poor LSPs are no longer spring chickens and none of us can stand the stress of a one hour journey taking almost three hours or the sheer anger that the repeated stories from the Daily HateMail that my mother is fond of telling an already on edge me and my Dad. Add to this mums perfect 20:20 Hindsight and the rest: ‘We should have left more time’; ‘we must remember to look at the traffic report online before we leave’;’have you heard about the bloody Romanians’; ‘how much benefit are these bloody muslims claiming?’. It’s as if Nigel Farage and Enoch Powell are having a frank exchange of views right there. If the Mail is to be believed Britain is under siege and it blatantly isn’t – what scares me is if two educated, middle-class, law-abiding, moderate citizens like my parents believe this, what hope for the rest of the country? ‘Rivers of Blood’ anyone? Good job the Beethoven was pretty special. I’m not a cliched psychotic movie character about it but Ode to Joy is basically Beethoven’s ‘Glorious 9th’ by another name and I remember the words of my friend and college music scholar Vicky when I went to see it with her ‘it was like Beethoven chucked the Kitchen Sink at this when he wrote it’.
On a seperate subject it's worth reading the comments on the last post. Quite important stuff