All entries for December 2006
December 31, 2006
I loved James Brown. Not in a homo-erotic sense. But loved his music, his style, his personality, the man just made me feel good.
He just had so much energy and it was infectious. Hell, my middle name is Indolence, but when James Brown comes on the radio even I start shuffling my feet and writhing my body with a manic intensityand work myself up a cold sweat.
Of course he was a bad man and did quite a lot of time in jail, did drugs, was abusive, drove too fast, apparentently beat his wife and lots of other stuff I probably do not know about. But some of the most talented people are often hopelessly flawed but regardless of what you want to say about them as people you just have to admire their talent and all the pleasure it has brought people.
Obviously his music was amazing but I also LOVE his lyrics. Stuff like:
“Ow! You’re too much.
You’re the end.
You’re so hip, baby.
You know just where it’s at.
You’re beautiful, mama.
Most of all, you’re honest.
There’s no doubt you’re out of sight.”
In these lines Brown communicates the “wow” feeling you get when you meet a girl that is all that. To this day “out of sight” is the highest compliment I can give a girl.
“I’m ready to get up and do my thing
I wanta get into it, man, you know….
Like a, like a sex machine, man, “
These immortal lines need no explanation. Enlightened doctors prescribe James Brown’s “Get Up I Feel like Being a Sex Machine” as an inexpensive and altogether more potent alternative to Viagra. After all James Brown continued to exude raw sexuality well into his 70s.
“Wo! I feel nice, like sugar and spice
I feel nice, like sugar and spice
So nice, so nice, I got you
When I hold you in my arms
I know that I can do no wrong
and when I hold you in my arms
My love won’t do you no harm”
And finally these lyrics from “I Feel Good”
The best thing about Brown is his songs are uplifting and to Brown love and infatuation and lust were little more than really really good feelings and people often lose sight of that and intellectualise them too much getting too soppy and romantic. You get caught up in wondering where things are going, what it means, whether love will last, and all that crap. But you just gotta enjoy the moment and that good feeling and Brown gets that.
But even Brown could tug at the heartstrings with the pleading Please Please Please
“Please, please, please, please me (You don’t have to go)
Baby please, baby please, please me (You don’t have to go)
Baby please, baby please don’t go (You don’t have to go)
Don’t go, I said baby, don’t baby
I love you so (You don’t have to go) “
Im not very good at begging but that is ok because with girls I let Brown do my begging for me. Of course if I could sing with the same feverish intensity as Brown (not to mention in tune) then id have more success. But im working on it!
A less well known example is found in Try Me>
Oh I need you (I need you)
Oh i need you (I need you)
Oh oh walk with me (walk with me)
Talk with me (talk with me)
I want you to stop my heart from crying
Walk with me (walk with me)
Talk with me (talk with me)
And your love stops my heart from dying
Oh I need you (I need you hoo hoo)
Once again Brown is on top form. Notice how powerful the use of repetition is, as is the powerful images of Brown’s heart crying and dying. The girl’s love is sustenance to Brown’s heart and this is why he needs her. While a beautiful thought it is also terrifying how dependent Brown is on this girl. And I guess this is the dark side of love.
And finally a personal favourite:
“Bewildered, lost in a dream
In the love I need why did we part
Bewildered, has love, has love died dear
Wishing your heart could feel
What’s in my heart
Must I have sleepless night
And endless days
Oh love why did you keep my soul
Without a spark I’m in the dark
Bewilderdd, I need your, I need your I need your guiding hand
I’ll never, no I’ll never understand
How you can love me, how you can love me
How you can love me, how you can love me
How you can love me and leave me Bewildered, bewidered “
This is just so bloody poetic I cannot get over how good it is. The song is even better.
Finally on a lighter note
“I don’t care ha about your past
I just want ho our love to last dee
I don’t care darlin’ about your faults huh
I just want to satisfy your pulse
When you kiss me
When you mess me
Hold my hand
Make me understand
I break out – in a cold sweat”
I am kinda weird in that my favourite weather is dark, wet, windy and bitterly cold. I guess I enjoy braving the elements as well as the amazing feeling when you return to destination and can strip off your wet clothes and take a warm bath and cuddle up next to the fire and feed the mighty appetite you have worked up.
The thing is we are pampered too much and used to soft living. We have lost the element of life that shaped and defined our ancestors: survival. But when I am out in a storm something stirs in my blood and I feel alive.
December 27, 2006
From an early age my mother tried to indoctrinate me with the idea that society is stratified by class. For simplicity she adopted the old “U” and “non-U” distinction. But generally resorted just to saying something or someone was “plebby” or “common”. For a long while I believe that I was somehow superior to “common people” just because I had a public school education, had professional parents and spoke reasonably well.
But then I became a teenager and began to question everything I had been taught and learnt to think for myself. I had lengthy conversations with the cleaner, the painter and the builders that used to come round to my house and struck up friendships. I even briefly dated the daughter of one of our cleaners. Most of all I became a humanist and believed that all these notions of class just created boundaries between people and that we had to break down these boundaries and judge people not on their class, their race, their manners but the content of their soul. But to my great disappointment it was a two-way thing. While I no longer dismissed working class people as being “common” or beneath me, they continued to dismiss me as “posh” or “stuck up”.
I realised then that the only way to fulfill my dream of acceptance amongst the hoi polloi was to become a chameleon and immerse myself into their lifestyle and learn to blend in.
I started off with that most working class of pursuits: manual labour. No-one would employ me as I did not have any work experience. I was shattered but did not give up. My indulgent parents ordered some bricks for me to play with. So I hung around in the garden in the scorching summer sun with no top and a baggy pair of jeans and built a wall. Naturally I punctuated it with endless cups of sugary tea and strung the work out so it took me a whole summer to build the wall.
I asked a few of my female friends to walk up and down my garden so I could whistle at them and make rude comments and call them “luv”.
I even developed a passable Cockney accent.
At the same time I really got into weights and developed that most working class of bodily ornaments: muscles. I even got a fake tattoo.
The next stage was to go to a pub. A proper pub. I sat down and ordered a beer. I was careful not to order a foreign import. Instead I ordered several Worthingtons which sounded very English, salt of the earth and all that. I knocked several back to the admiration of the other drinkers. “Tough day at work, mate” one of them commented. I said “Yeah, they think we are slaves or something. Nearly broke my back lifting all those bricks”. They sympathised. Encouraged I went on “They think they are better than us just because they are richer. But we got something they will never take away from us: pride and self respect”. They nodded in appreciation then said “Hey, you see those birds over there, a bit alright aren’t they?” I rose to the occasion and said “Yeah a nice bit of T and A. That bird there looks well up for it! Wouldn’t mind her as me missus”. I go over to her and say “Alright luv. You are well fit”. She replies “F**k off”. I go over to my new friends and say “she’s a lesbian”. They nod understandingly.
Worth noting are some subtle verbal techniques designed to gain rapport:
Firstly the all purpose use of the word “mate”. Instant rapport.
Secondly in this case class divisions work in your favour. Make it clear it is them against us and you are in!
Thirdly objectify women. Working class people have not been exposed to the feminist movement and do not realise that leering is bad manners and it is not appropriate to compliment a woman’s breasts. Most of all they are not women but birds. Overfamiliarity is to be encouraged and when you meet a girl for the first time it is essential to call her “luv” to ensure she realises you are of solid working class stock.
Do not be scared to discuss feelings. Only last week a builder asked my mother if he could get off work early as he had an appointment with his therapist. My mother later commented “Whatever happened to the days when the working classes simply drowned their sorrows with beer? No wonder they overcharge.”
Out of all the Christmas presents I got the most amusing was a “rap” from a female fan.
“You know he’s down with OPP,
And loves hittin’ that ethnic booty.
Goes by the name of Count Roger,
He got those blue eyes and that soft blond hair.
Facts and stats are his game,
All the other homies are in comparison tame.
His government’s Matt but kids call him Teach,
He’s playin’ this world like life at the beach.
Got this mistress who his ma hates,
But that don’t stop him from makin’ those dates.
Also got him a Down Ass Bitch,
Who writes him lil’ raps kinda like this!”
Obviously it contains a lot of poetic license but it amused me so I thought Id share it with my readers.
December 22, 2006
I HATE shopping but unfortunately sometimes I get dragged to shops invariably by female friends. I dunno why, it is not like I suggest it and it is not as if I am their boyfriend so hardly my duty. But then I am invariably flattered they agree to be seen in public with me, especially in shops where by dragging a few paces behind and looking bored out of my mind I am sure people mistake me as their boyfriend. The things I do for female company!
My kind of shopping is internet shopping or that rare “all in one store” shop where you can be in and out within half an hour.
I do not understand the female obsession with shopping. It seems a very painful experience, trying on endless clothes until you find something that fits, waiting in queues, and fighting with other girls over sale items. Obviously the aim of the whole exercise is to look good compared to other girls in the hope of attracting men. But girls do not seem to understand that guys care very little about what they wear provided it is as revealing as possible.
My female friends constantly complain that I dress like a slob wearing T shirt and jeans. I try and defend myself saying Im going for the “too cool to care” look. But it falls flat. A few weeks ago I got talked into going clothes shopping with a friend. Unfortunately I am a sucker for flattery and my friend was going on about how I have a great body and she’s seen all these clothes Id look great in.
So I go along with it and infuriate her by rejecting every single pair of clothes she recommends and sulking when she insists I try yet ANOTHER pair of trousers. She then made this kinda hippy comment about you needing to believe in the clothes you are wearing. I forget but basically it let me off the hook.
After a hectic year or two I have finally reached a comfortable level of boredom which gives me the space the think and the time to blog my thoughts.
Christmas is a very sucky time of year as while does give me the chance for festive meetings with friends most of them are too busy with girlfriends/families to properly hang out. So I have all day to kill. I spend some time watching TV, some time playing music, some time reading, some time exercising. Basically dividing the day into units.
That is what I really miss about university: being able to see your friends all the time and spend as much time as you like with them. Nowadays all my friends have jobs, girlfriends or boyfriends or both, and even scheduling a meeting once or twice a month is a major accomplishment. So I have resorted to making “drinking buddies”: semi-employed people with no friends who are willing to at the drop of a hat meet me for a drink. However conversation is not very stimulating and is basically like the guys in King of the Hill we just go “yip, yip” and take turns to sip at our beers.
At the moment I am continually talking about going to a tropical island, lying on a beach during the day, drinking rum and chatting to island girls at night while listening to calypso or barring that 80s pop songs. I have always admired people who are easily amused and feel like most things it is a matter of practice. The problem with the Western World is that there is too much stress and pressure and competition.
Somehow we got it wrong. Once the problem of survival and the associated stress was overcome we should have just stopped. But greed takes over and instead of wanting to just survive we want to thrive. But the more you get the more you want and you just end up unhappy. Far better just to live a simple life devoted to simple pleasures.
Some of the happiest people I know (well want to know) work at this barbers in Brixton and spend their time sitting on chairs, smoking weed, listening to reggae and whistling and making comments about passing girls.
The other happy people I know (well want to know) sit around a gym all day (on benefits naturally) and admire themselves in the mirror, having long conversations with their friends and leering at girls. I spent most of my year at Cambridge doing that (well replace gym with health club and add on a sauna a steam room AND a jacuzzi) and it is a wonder how I managed to get a Masters.
The other happy people I want to know are surfer dudes who lap up the sun in California chatting up blondes with extensive surgery on the upper half of their body and every hour or so riding a wave.
These people have their priorities right. Laziness is frowned upon in society but it is really a virtue.
I am still holding out for my tropical holiday but until then I am doing the next best thing: turning the heating up, wearing swim shorts, and listening to Wham “Club Tropicana”, while sipping very very fruity cocktails.