I recently met a young lad with a trimmed beard and glasses, like some geography teacher in late middle-age, but his head was topped with an elaborate quiff. As if that wasn’t juxtaposed enough, he was also dressed like a DayGlow male prostitute circa 1987. He had this hairy belly button that kept peeking out the bottom of his tight t-shirt, which I found a tad disconcerting. A strange kind of mishmash of a fella I thought.
He told me he saw the blog I do but logged off immediately because the fonts I use offend him. I told him a lot of people were offended by Fugger but that reason was a first. I laughed. He didn’t. He told me about his blog. It’s a collection of vidcaps from Pacman with quotes from the Koran written underneath. ‘It won an award’, he said. Then he told me he was part of an arts media collective and that they were running an Ideas Boutique in an unused warehouse his girlfriend’s dad failed to get Namaed. ‘It’s a good space,’ he said ‘you should come down. The coffee’s great and we’re having an odd sock day on Saturday. Everyone’s going to be wearing odd socks. It’s going to be hilarious.’ I realised we didn’t share a sense of humour.
He was sitting on a fixie. It’s a type of bike. He told me that he didn’t ‘fixie’ it up himself. He spent a lot of cash on it. An awful lot of cash. He said his friends mocked him about this until he explained that it was an ironic gesture. ‘Yeah,’ he said, betraying a trace of genuine passion for the first time in the conversation, ‘it’s an ironic 70’s ten-speed Cinelli. An ironic beauty. Ironically stripped of gears, cables, shifters and brakes. It feels good. It moves fast. Battles on the iPod, urging me on, making me feel I’ve got it sooooo right.’ I thought I saw a tear in his eye as he said all that but then he looked down and seemed to pull himself together. When he looked back up and resumed gazing at me, I could only describe his expression as wanna-be Aspergers.
A lull came into the conversation but neither of us seized the opportunity to make our excuses and move on. Well, I was actually waiting for someone but he just stayed there. Then I saw a young couple crossing the road in the distance. They were dressed just like him so I said, ‘are these friends of yours?’ He looked over and saw them and scowled. ‘What them,’ he spat, ‘as fukin if’. He seemed quite angry. I wasn’t sure what was going on so I just shrugged.
He eventually took his leave of me, saying he had a deadline for a really interesting viral he was making for an office stationary supply firm based in Kinnegad. ‘Laters,’ he said and zipped off on his fixie.
Strange sort. Friendly enough I thought. I found myself wondering what he was going to be like in ten or twenty years time, you know, when he has a bit of a belly on him, maybe a kid or two and a persistent medical complaint. I wondered how he was going to make that work. I decided he’d probably just repackage himself. Like the ravers in my day. One of those old ravers probably owns the office stationary supply firm in Kinnegad.
Anyway, the interesting thing about all this was his surname. I can’t remember how we started talking or what the guy’s christian name was but I do seem to recall his surname. I swear to God that I heard it right and I swear to God it was Dotcom. Something Dotcom. Or was that the name of his blog?
This summer why not go to The Retina Scan Rock Festival? A genuine simulacrum of the free festivals of yore-sans off putting idealism! Chicks in designer wellies and shorts . . .mmm! Watch Battles and say you preferred the early stuff! See Peter Sutherland do a duet with The Flaming Lips! Visit the Blackwater Security Dance Tent! Upload the fun to Facebook! Twitter the good times! Text and Text and Text and Text and drop into the Ideas Boutique where you can see all the latest apps! Roll around in mud with graphic designers and students from Kings Inns! Feel Freeish! The fajitas are delicious! Nothing matters anymore!
. . .then go home and talk about it for a couple of days.
PLEASE NOTE: Attendees must don a collar and leash to prevent profligate wantonness. Fajita queue skipping will meet with modest voltage application.
(above: Fugger and The Mother, when we were doing the black thing)
The Mother is very useful. Without her I’d have died of malnutrition as an infant and she’s been a great help in many ways since, not least in the ring. As anyone aware of our wrestling careers can attest, The Mother and I have dished out a few pastings in our time. Together, we were the devastating tag team Oedipus Wrecks. We were greatly feared but, like any tag team, we had our share of gruelling matches. We’ve been sorely tested in the squared circle but when you’re getting a right battering from some huge bollix like The Undertaker, there is no one better to tag to than The Mother. You’d be bruised and delirious, wondering why you got into the ring in the first place, and crawling to the corner. You’d use up the last of your strength to stretch out your hand and The Mother would always be there for you, reaching back, tagging in. She’d give the bloody Undertaker a piece of her mind let me tell you and even if an opponent got her with a chair shot, The Mother always kicked out before the three count. Her moonsault from the top rope was a sight to behold too. Oh yeah. And even if we lost, as we sometimes did, she’d make sure we didn’t lose face by picking up a member of the winning team and slamming them through the Spanish announce table. There’d be boos from the audience alright but The Mother wouldn’t give a hoot. ‘Sure I couldn’t give a hoot’, she’d say over the microphone and then she’d high kick the referee in the face for good measure.
Oh, she’s a formidable woman The Mother and I just thought I’d salute her as her birthday is here again. She always wanted the music embedded below to be our entrance theme but the promoters thought it too melancholy. They gave us O Fortuna by Carl Orff instead. She was happy enough with that but here, as a tribute to The Mother, is the theme she would have preferred. This tune makes her go all weepy when she sits back and recalls fond memories, like the time she jumped from a twelve foot ladder and landed on a prone Cactus Jack who was laid out unconscious on a fold-out table beneath her. ‘Oh that learned him and no mistake’, The Mother says to herself as she wipes away a proud tear. So, hats off to The Mother and to The Mothers everywhere. They’re a very useful shower you must admit. Just keep them away from the refs or you’re looking at a suspension.
Oh and yeah, I know it’s Father’s Day and The Father was useful enough too (slyly throwing brass knuckles into the ring as he so often did) but Father’s Day was invented by some greedy card company or something and so should be ignored. Anyway, here’s the music. . .
Imagine there is only one library in the whole wide world and in that library is every book in existence. Now imagine that this library is invisible to the human eye. The library is completely invisible to humans with the exception of one book. A solitary book can be seen standing on the unseeable shelves. Now imagine that you are in the invisible library and you see the book. You pick it up and start reading. You think it’s a great book and even start making notes in the margin. Meanwhile, the rest of the library is watching you. It knows that its shelves are full of books. Better books than the one you are reading. In fact, it knows that the book you’re reading is amongst the worst on its shelves. It’s a chick lit thing by some floozy that presents afternoon television but you think it’s great because you know no better and have nothing to compare it to. This tragedy is not your fault. You did not choose the book deliberately. It was the only one you could see because the rest of the library resides in a realm beyond human sensory perception. You can’t help it that you can only see one book and you can’t help it if that book is rubbish. That is worthy of pity. That is forgivable. What is unforgivable though is that in this one book that you can see and read, in this one book that you think is the only book in existence, there is a bibliography. It’s at the back. You never thought to look and that is unforgivable because if you did you would at least realise that there must other books in existence. It’s written there, in your book. But you don’t think to look because you are so absorbed in the crappy narrative that makes up the rest of the pages. You don’t think to look because you want to get to the end of your shitty book and discover what it all meant. But when you get to the end of the book you realise that it has no meaning and you close the book and then you drop dead and turn to dust and so does the book and the rest of the library has long stopped caring and doesn’t even notice.
And so it seems that the meaning of life is that life has no meaning and the human race is alone in the Universe because the human race is reading the wrong book. I should know reader, because I’ve just snorted three bottles of Tipp-Ex thinner. Tipp-Ex thinner is the true route the wisdom. That’s why they banned it. They don’t want you seeing the library. They don’t want you reading the invisible books.
A bizarre scenario tends to creep into my mind during long bus journeys or lazy afternoons spent lounging around at home in my pyjama bottoms. It goes something like this:
Whilst touring North Africa, Miley Cyrus is abducted by Al Queda. The swarthy villains take Miley Cyrus back to their cave where they proceed to give her a spanking. In order to teach decadent American a lesson, the terrorists set up a camera and stream the whole thing on the internet. Miley Cyrus is spanked with an assortment of objects that include a table tennis bat, a diving flipper, and an old car license plate. Miley Cyrus gasps and bites her lip a bit. Her suffering is not excessive but the spanking clearly smarts to some extent.
Now, you might conclude that this is the meat and potatoes of my mental escapade but you’d be wrong in that presumption. The story continues:
After Miley Cyrus escapes from Al Queda, she appears on a syndicated television programme to discuss her ordeal. The programme is peppered with highlights from the Al Queda footage, which Miley must watch and relive. A live studio audience is then asked to press their key pads and vote on whether or not the pop princess deserved such treatment. Surprisingly, a large majority of the audience decide that Miley’s peachy arse did indeed deserve a paddling. The singer hangs her head and looks suitably admonished.
There’s one other element I mustn’t leave out. An all important factor. For me, the very best bit of this scenario, the clincher so to speak, is the way Miley has to stand while appearing on the television programme. She is offered a seat but declines, telling the host she can’t sit down because, and I quote, ‘it still kinda stings a bit’. This final detail is paramount to my fantasy’s appeal. This, for me, is the pay off, the pièce de résistance of my internal digression.
So, there you have it. I just thought I’d share. I hope you do not judge me too harshly. In my defence, I would like to point out that Miley Cyrus has turned eighteen. Although, in pointing that out, I feel compelled to admit the scenario has been playing out in my mind for almost two years. Does that make me a bad person? Should I turn myself in? I suppose a presidential nomination is out of the question? Ah well, what the hell, . . .fuck yiz.
It’s becoming a bit of a hobby after THE LAST TIME but I’ve invented another new language. Everyone will be able to understand this new language of mine but only a select few will be able to speak it (those with reassuringly authoritative demeanours, presentable attire, and convincing smiles).
The communications landscape will be streamlined by my new language. The vast majority will be unburdened of the tiresome effort of trying to make themselves heard and the select minority will get to discuss matters without fear of the obfuscation caused by widespread discourse, which can get pretty silly when any old How Do You Do butts in willy nilly.
Pretty neat, isn't it?
Now, I realise there’ll come a time when those who are not amongst the select few will pick up a few words of my new language and try speaking them but I’m not too worried about this as they’ll only be repeating what the select few said, a bit like parrots or those dolls that say things when you pull a cord out of their back. They’ll not really be in a position to manipulate the language to their own ends and express their own ideas so there’s no threat really. Let me put it this way, Winston Churchill’s pet macaw Charlie was quite right to squawk the words ‘fuck Hitler’ but that didn’t mean he was in a position to make policy.
Anyway, the ability to have ideas should have atrophied by the time the non-select speaker has learned the lingo and even if the ability to form ideas has not atrophied in certain non-select speakers, any ideas expressed by them will be drowned out by the squawks from all the Charlies. SQUAWK! SQUAWK! SQUAWK! So, all in all, it should be grand.
This new language of mine has a few dialects. One is called Telly, one is called Radio and another one is called Newspaper. The tongue overall is called Media.