Sunday, August 10, 2003
Dunno who I’m writing for. Dunno who I’m listening for. In Borders (not Oxford Street, the perpendicular one) on Friday during my trip to London and I picked up Paul Morley’s new book, the one he got paid to write a 3-page advert for in The Guardian last week, and I read page 120, because Tim Hopkins told me on Thursday night in the pub that that’s the page on which he mentions Freaky Trigger and The Church of Me and various other webzines and blogs and such. And claims that they were created in his image. Biblical? Morley as father, Carlin as son, Ewing as Holy Spirit? Morley wrote that he felt prideful of this, of the fact that he had been the inspiration for the writings of others. Maybe so… The internet’s development may be hyperaccelerated but it’s still a very young medium of expression. We’re still mining the potential. Hell, we’re still mining the potential of music and people have been banging pieces of wood together and singing for aeons. Sinker tells me that Morley was never an anti-prog writer. Just as well. Subtly bowing to the past, saving esteem for people who epitomised better times since gone. The record review is a dead medium, says David Howie. Mark Sinker. Tom Ewing. Todd Burns. Only if you think the writing is more important than the music. The record review has a function- help us live our lives, aid us by cutting at least some of the chaff from the wheat in the ever-expanding forest of popular culture, popular music, tell us what might make our lives better, what might… Oh, you know. Am I inspired to write by the writing of others? I couldn’t give a toss who Paul Morley is. Or Ian Penman. I wish he had a blog. I can’t wait til I can read some everyday. My eyes don’t work properly. The record review is only dead because you think it is. Long live the review. It’s the reviewers who are dead.
This reminds me of how I used to think of philosophy when i was studying it. How I still do think of it. I have no interest in names and dates and schools; just the ideas themselves, and how they can help us live our lives better, stretch ourselves that bit further towards happiness.
I used to know the names of each member of all my favourite bands. I used to believe there was an unwritten rule of natural law which stated that four scruffy white guys with guitars was the best possible vessel for creating music. I used to think that people didn’t so much make music as find it. None of this is the case anymore. The names of the people who made the music are almost incidental to me now.
It’s growing hot. Sunday afternoon in Devon in August and it’s at least as hot now as it was on Friday lunchtime eating a sandwich in Soho Square, maybe hotter, even in the shade, even with the window thrown as wide open as it will go. I’m desperate to let people know that I have nothing to say. I was going to buy a melodica but the cheapest I saw was £35. Having already spent £110 on CDs (Mouse On Mars, Augustus Pablo, Bowery Electric, Charles Mingus and others) this was too much. I want to listen to it, not create it. At the moment. Maybe one day.
Freaky Trigger has been re-launched. The blogs have taken over- there are now five and the scope if no longer pop music (though New York London Paris Munich still exists) it is more. Art, food, film, television? I think those are the bases. Tim H is co-editor, writing about contemporary art. He said in the pub that he didn’t care for “sublimation of the self”, how can you capture it in words, what’s the point in trying to experience someone else’s abstracted absence? The triumph of blogs is that they can be updated anytime by anyone, teams of blog writers, and maybe the exchange and interaction can achieve something akin to the level of an educated pub debate. Yes. Yes. I see this. And yet… what I do is so solipsistic, it’s all about sublimation, loss of self, all that shit. I do forget who I am and what I’m doing. My skin is glistening with warmth. I can’t help but see Freaky Trigger’s re-launch, however interesting and worthy the content will be in the future, however much I may enjoy it (not that, like anything else, I read it as often as people may expect- I simply don’t have the time or patience), I can’t help but see it as a defeated slide into adulthood and maturity and balance and sense and… Because isn’t it as much about fun and bile and silly, irrational impulses and insanity and selfishness and greed and illogical feelings as it is about care and attention and balance? It’s a young man’s stride, maybe.
Tom Cox, how did you get where you are? How are you not dead yet? Why are you so disgustingly void of charm or wit or awareness or passion? 14-tear-olds listen to loud music and I don’t understand it… You’re 27 for heaven’s sake man, stop simpering like a retired, crippled old man, cursing the passage of time and the loss of use and faculty. You’ve still got youth!
That’s what I resent. These fuckers won’t die, won’t pass on the banner, won’t step aside. Careers are here to be worried about. Tony Parsons may be a fool and full of shit and his books may be dull and lacking in wonder and magic (if you’re going to write a whole book please make it fantastical and wonderful and unreal!- because otherwise what’s the point?) but at least he recognises his own lack of touch and steps aside from this sphere. Plus he’s 15 years older than you, Cox. Hornby, kill yourself. You don’t care anymore so why try and express your opinions to those that do? You really shouldn’t be scared. But you are. We’re equipped. Trust us.
This is Sam and DeRogatis all over? Only DeRogatis knows who Sam is. He’s gunning for you, Jim.
Great thinkers have shit sex-lives.
2001 was a great year for music. Shame I missed it until now.
Check your facts.
I haven’t got time.
I’m guilty of it myself.
Mouse On Mars put such a smile on my face, a beat and some sounds and here and there some clumsy horns or strings (on Idiology at least), like charmingly profound robots. Bollocks to Kraftwerk. Nothing to know, no cutting edge to care about, just the simple pleasure of sound.
Yesterday Emma and I went on the boat-trip around Dawlish bay (not that it’s a bay, as such), which, despite having lived here for 24 years, I’ve never done before. Seen from the sea, the red sandstone cliffs of Dawlish, which I’ve become so used to seeing from land that I seldom notice they exist, even when I walk down them every day, became as spectacular and magnificent as anything you care to remember from a holiday program you saw as a child; stark, dusty and carved in strange, alien shapes by the wind and sea, crested with shags, the oddest of seabirds. I want to buy a small boat; how much is a small boat? A wooden dinghy with an outboard motor. I want to be able to swing around beneath those cliffs every day and look up at them from the water.
1. Never list anything.
2. Sweat pushes through pores, amalgamates with skin, refuses to evaporate or drip away, stains your chair.
3. Struggle to find context to use word ‘diachronic’.
4. See the movement of leaves on trees and curse the lack of real breeze.
5. Paperclip, broken friendship bracelet, crumpled paper tissue.
6. Hunter S Thompson, Spiderman, leavening bread.
7. Cellar door.
8. The first time you come together.
9. Unmanipulated digital photography as the nearest thing we have to the death of time; realisation of the eternal and universal presence and import of the ‘process’
10. King Tubby Meets rockers Uptown.
37.5 degrees centigrade in London just now. As hot here, I imagine. Nothing is fixed, nothing is immutable. No permanency. I like this.
8/10/2003 03:03:00 pm