Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Unemployment and me

So I suppose everybody (INSERT GENERIC SELF-MOCKERY ABOUT BLOG'S LIMITED READERSHIP) expected me to write some absurdly melodramatic entry about my departure from Metro directly after the event (myself included) but actualy it still feels like a total non-event, a particularly expansive weekend or something. This is a good thing, as I was vaguely concerned that in some way I needed Metro, that I'd been kidding myself that I'd be okay leaving, that without the daily batting out of 250 word previews of obtuse Welsh-language theatre productions and grumbling about a computer system named Atex, my life would disintegrate into some sort of amorphous, directionless blob.

But nah, if I'm hardly in-demand and highly paid, I appear to have retained enough clout that people keep sending me free music. Especially when that's so hard to come by these days. Heck, aside from the minor fact that I'm homing in on the end of my 20s with no job, no prospects, the vague suspicion I frittered the last four years of my life away, and a false sense of financial security instilled only by redundancy pay that I'm about to fritter away on a ludicrous expedition to Russia, I'm basically a god. Bow down to me you fucking peasants.

Here is some stuff I have been doing. Prepare to be astounded.

1. Getting into Women.

Not the ladies, you understand. What, parents, YOU read this? Oh, don't worry, I'm not one of those gays (I'LLGIVEYOUGRANDCHILDRENONEDAYPLEASEAPPROVEOFME), just I can't bring myself to render my tangled but ultimately crushingly mundane lovelife onto these pages. Not yet, anyway.
Er, anyway, after the initial buzz of Crystal Castles had worn off, I was a little concerned that I might not have gotten embarrassingly excited about any Canadian bands this year. Thank the lord for Calgary types Women, then. If you happen to read any issue of Plan B for the next seven years, you'll find something or other written on them by me, but they are very awesome, here is Black Rice, their pop song:

2. Thinking mean things about the dead.

A regular pastime, but I was wandering past a roadside memorial the other day and I looked at the picture of the deceased and I just thought "that guy looks like a dick". I didn't think "I'm glad he'd dead", so my sensitivity has definitly come on in leaps and bounds, but it was some muscly dude in a body-builder's pose, and y'know, I didn't find myself welling up. And can you have retrospective hubris? 'Coz he clearly wasn't that hard.

3. Thinking insensitive things about popular media figures.

Baby P would be a solid hip-hop name, you have to admit.

4. Being unmoved by the plight of others.

Woolworths was an awful relic of a time best forgot, I'm glad it's gone. No sympathy for the staff, hoping for a career there was tantamount to putting all your money on a two legged horse. That was dead.

5. Getting needlessly worked up about baby food.

That's 'Grandma's Sunday Lunch' flavour, if you can't make it out. The two things that annoy me the most about this product (which I clocked for the first time the other day for some reason or other that's definitely not weird or sexual) are that one, it's a completely pointless lie, insofar as parents are unlikely to be arsed to explain to their months-old sprog the advertising psychology that goes into the inference that this substance was personally hand-mushed by their grandmother (who probably makes shit Sunday lunch anyway), and second, the fact there's no hilarious picture on the front of two drooling simpletons - one a toddler, one a senile octogenarian - both being spoon-fed, side by side, eyes equally devoid of intellect.

6. Going to a lawyer.

For formalities to do with leaving Metro that I'm LEGALLY BOUND NOT TO DISCUSS (I feel adult just writing that) I visited a lawyer for the first time ever the other day. I think she was completely bemused by me, but in fairness to her and the obscene fee she was receiving, she really did try her best to spin it out into something more than just her signing a bit of paper. It was not much like This Life.

7. Making absurd foreign holiday plans.

Given how much I'm going to blather on about my trip while on it I'll spare the gory details here, but basically next year I'm going to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, China, South Korea and maybe Japan, plus Iceland for New Year. Any smugness on my part can of course be counteracted by the knowledge I have basically signed myself up to be bitterly, bitterly cold for the next several months of my life.

8. Getting into Talk Talk.

So basically I'd read all this blah about them inventing post rock and how Spirit Of Eden and Laughing Stock were two of the greatest records ever made, but frankly I think I may have read that in Mojo, so y'know... Plus the only stuff of theirs I'd actually heard was the cheesy synth gubbins from the early days. But anyways, I downloaded both those records last week and, like, whoa there - I just can't believe these things came out of the 80s, they sound like, er, I dunno, like either they always existed or still don't... I'd read 'nuff words about them and still didn't have a clue what they'd sound like before listening, maybe there are no words, but certainly I can't be bothered trying to bash out a description (uh, unless somebody wants to pay me). Anyway, here's probably the most accessible track from either record, Spirit Of Eden's 'Desire', which appears to be where Radiohead got most of the ideas for Kid A from. No pretty moving pictures, sorry, though there is a nice proggy picture of some birds.

9. Not writing a novel.

At the lovely Arike's suggestion, I signed up for National Novel Writing Month, the object of which is to bash out a 50,000 word novel during November. Probably I was always doomed in this, because for the first 20 days of the month I was employed full-time as a writer, I still have shit loads of other music writing to be doing, etc etc etc. But man, I wouldn't personally recommend it - once you sign up you get sent these 'pep-talk' emails from the guy in charge of the month and a few random published novelists, all of whom blast you with horribly self-helpy metaphors about how writing a novel is like being pregnant or whatever (think that one came from a guy, which was well authoritative like), and you just think "FUCK. OFF." Philip Pullman aside I don't think I'd even heard of any of the pep-talkers, and the fact is they're imparting these horribly smug writing tips when they'd almost certainly never contemplate cramming 50,000 words into a month themselves. I dunno, I'd jokily said I'd try and write the whole thing in the ten days of November that I was unemployed, but I was so annoyed by the pep talk emails I didn't even really try. OR THAT'S MY EXCUSE. Anyway, this all sounds really self-justifying, I'm probably just not temperamentally suited to it, the fact is that while I've got numerous fragments and starts of novels on my hard drive, Arike has actually written one in a month and I'm sure it's grrrrrreat. I think it's a thinly-veiled biopic of Mark Ward or something.


Aforementioned Arike said...

Ha ha haaa.
You massive fool... see you Friday. Love!

Some cunt you know (oh, that's a bit obvious isn't it?) said...

Women may be ok, but that youtube clip sucks.

Baby P would make a good rapper's name. Actually I find the language of that particular psuedonym pretty open to 'jokes', but they're easily misinterpreted. I made a great one a few weeks ago - it was too soon for most of the people in the room (your mum can be be so humourless some times).

Erm, Talk Talk sounded good, but when I clicked to post this comment it stopped. I'll go back.

4 years at Metro is probably time well spent. I got a pretty amazing interview last week based on my Metro background.

Arike's novel sounds amazing.

Can't wait for Melvin and the Markers. xx

MrLukowski said...

Hey cunt - a guy came to look at my room tonight. I didn't really speak to him, but he sat talking to my housemates for over an hour, despite their best efforts to suggest it was time he leave, and when he did go he racked up a line of ketamine on his way out.

I did not know you had family in Bristol.

Johanna said...

Re: no. 2 - was it the guy who got run over on his motorbike on Coronation road? I kept thinking that if I die in a road accident I really do NOT want people to put up a picture of me in swimwear, on holiday.

MrLukowski said...

Yes! Now I come to think of it that's what he was doing...