Friday, 18 March 2011

MY brain is in down mode

My brain is in down mode.

Been racking it which it doesn’t appreciate. So what do you do when your brain is   taking industrial action? You negotiate. You let it play around a bit, in my case I read ‘social networking according to ‘The Wire’’ which I hardly understood at all on Flowtown blog. It appalled and fascinated me in much the same way as the programme, that I loved, did. A lot of the language was a mystery but the essence was the truth. I am not sure about Social networking according to the laws of Baltimore gangsters; we live according to Whitehall gangsters here in Britain. And now it looks as if we may be going to war – again.

And we watch, some of us compulsively, as the Japanese suffer one disaster after another, ‘bring it on god’ if you believe in deities but what ever have the Japanese done to deserve this? And what is the point of us being served up photographs of this disaster on every channel at every hour of the day and night – do they think we will forget the sight of this hideous series of events? I feel like some kind of vulture woman picking at the bones, like when there is an accident on the motorway and I slow down to see the gory details but one look is enough, I don’t stop and rubberneck, I drive more carefully for the next couple of hours. I guess this is a learning experience.

So what have we learned about nuclear energy from this? That it is dangerous? That although we don’t have earthquakes of tsunamis here(yet) it is never completely safe and when it goes wrong it is tragic, we are all subject to human fallibility – that’s what makes us human. No! It would seem we have  not learned a thing. Nuclear power it is still vaunted as the cleanest option of energy production. I reckon that this is dubious at least. Could be we should cut down on our energy consumption?

And as for us engaging in yet another war in yet another Middle Eastern country – I despair. And no I have no solutions in my sterile mind. I just have visions of us romping through territories engaging with other violent thugs, all using weapons that were made in England and killing. And who is going to do this? Not the politicians you can be sure! And who is going to be killed? Young guys who just needed a job (and women and children of course.)  I can’t help thinking that there has to be a better way. 

Wednesday, 9 March 2011


‘So we’ll go to the South Bank early.’ Were her last words to me on Saturday night. This from a woman who can happily stay in her pit until midday, yeah yeah I thought. Went about my business up at 6.30, having a Twitter shufti for five then email & Facebook for 2 then settle in to write while radio 4 talks of crises in the world – I will wait to get my reality check later with Aljazeera – I reckon to get the BBC and Aljazeera plus a little Russia Today and then believe none of it but with a definite bias toward Aljazeera. Mainly because the journalists question more and appear to take less bullshit and most of them are women. It’s a method!

When at 7.20 she appeared, and vertical I was stunned. She whacked the cereal bowls too close to my laptop for comfort, I stopped writing and took up eating stance and within fifteen minutes we were flying through a near deserted Greenwich, Deptford, Bermondsey and all the other beauty spots of South London – when I say ‘flying’ I mean it as a comparative term the chariot no longer flies but it goes well and looks terrifying so people don’t usually mess with us and she is an Italian driver with all the verve and nerve that this implies.

The South Bank was near deserted and the cinema fairly empty. I knew the project was called The Clock and that it involved film. She tells me I am culturally unadventurous – because she once took to some show where we were shepherded round a building and expected to be scared, excited, interested, on command. I just wanted to sit down and get a pint   - I don’t do audience participation. Also she is not a great explainer – in fact I had thought we would dive in and out of this clock thing in a half hour but no – this was a twenty four hour gig that still had hours to run. The project is in real time and the time is always on the screen in various forms. Station clocks, alarm clocks watches; with people responding - they are late; they are waiting, rushing, getting fractious. Every response to time is represented.
The artist who created this is called Christian Marclay and he is a genius. The entire show is made up of thousands of clips of films .This sounds dull but it is riveting, funny, fascinating and totally absorbing, we stayed for three hours and if we hadn’t had a lunch date I think I would have stayed all through until 6.30 when it ended.

I am explaining badly. The clips of films came from all over the world, as far back as the twenties and the juxtaposition of clips was marvellous. Some clips lasted long enough to get engrossed in the story – a door would open and an explosion came that tore at your mind – which hadn’t had time to jettison the last image. There was one intriguing clip of Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren that we felt we should have heard about and there was Tony Hancock – gloom personified pulling a lever over and over and then… so it went on with no moment of boredom, no ennui just total engagement and then the market on the South bank for great cheese and ginger and fig cake.

On to lunch with some mates at their house – and me in me track suit bottoms and hair stuffed into a beret, no time to change. Brilliant conversation and a decision to all go to Sicily together, and lots of good wine and fabulous nosh.
I tell you I get a better class of Sunday since I took up with my bird!