Saturday, 20 November 2010

Re: 22/10/10

I take it back. Listening to 38 different cover versions of 'Last Christmas' in a row is a MUCH more pointless waste of time.

I don't even like the song. I just reached 7 and thought I was too far gone to quit now.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Reality Bites

When I started writing this blog, things came a lot more naturally to me than they do now. I don't know if its just the winter closing in or if I've had some sort of profound mental shift, but expressing things just feels a bit harder than it used to. In the beginning, I was keen to document all the little things that had made up the scenery along what I had dubbed the 'scenic route' that my life had taken – now, things in my life and my mind have taken up a much broader outlook, with real tangible rewards and consequences. I have no doubt its a much better place for me to be, but things overall do seem to have taken on a much duller pallet without the time to stop and admire the scenery. Maybe, to torture my metaphor further to the point where Amnesty International will have to step in, I've exited the beautiful if random forest of my scenic route and am now heading through the industrial estate portion of my journey?

I've always felt over the years that within my mind, I was stuck at the stage where I dropped out of school, and by extension, life. That the world had passed me by, and that my destiny and path were out of my own control, that I was merely sitting and waiting to react to whatever life had to throw at me next. Dreams of escaping my situation were always just that – far off dreams that relied on ifs, buts and a myriad clauses and conditions, 3 steps away that just needed a bit of luck to push me in the right direction before I could start to work towards them. Earlier in the year, I even managed to find one that would solve everything, transplant myself from all I am now virtually back in time with a simple change of scenery, and let me start over at 17 again while the real world waited on hold for me to take all the time I needed to find my feet.

I'm not 17 though. And regardless of what I've missed, and however extensive I might think the list is, the fact is that I've grown and learned lessons along the way from whatever other sources were available. They've not been conventional, and I'm aware that I'm in no way a typical 23 year old, but the fact remains that I've lived enough to see the world differently than I did then. And as nice as it would be to put my current, low-value 'wasted' life on hold while I venture off to reclaim everything that I've missed, the fact remains that while I was putting reality on hold, it would still change behind me.

So now, a different option has come up. One that I honestly never thought I'd see, but having presented itself I feel for the first time in my life has put the power of my own path back into my own hands. Instead of going back and trying to salvage anything... I can go forward. This isn't a dream or a fantasy, happening to some alternate version of me who can just manage to go out or who is untroubled by pain and fatigue, this is a genuine chance for me to find a place in the world, just the way that I am. It hurts to give up on that dream, but in exchange for something real and tangible, I'm sure that it will be worth it.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Heavens, an update?

2010 was a hell of a year to start documenting my life.

On the one hand, I don't think I've had a single year of my life up til now where things have changed as fundamentally as they have for me over the course of this year. On the other hand, with the sort of things dominating my thoughts that I don't feel like discussing in public, it's made maintaining this blog with musings on random giraffes and pineapples a lot harder.

After almost a full decade of watching life crawl by out my window, with things finally happening to me I've been caught off guard by the sheer pace of the changes. Whenever my future and my circumstances have been discussed before there's always been clauses attached – when you're better, maybe next year, if, but, maybe. This time around, everything has piled up so quickly in the here and now – after 'swimming' the channel as I alluded to before, I've suddenly caught sight of land and washed up ashore before I can even brush up on my conversational French in my head. I'm definitely not complaining about finally getting things done, it's just very different to what I've been used to.

It used to be, even up to a few weeks ago, that I had all these grand dreams of huge gestures that were going to shake the whole foundation of my world and change everything. After all, the slow evolution of life surely couldn't apply to me and my situation, in this dead end where I was drifting along towards nothingness, right? As it turns out, maybe its a testament to my own strength that I've finally forced through some sort of method of continuing down this scenic route without the need for all the upheaval my dreams and fantasies had always required. This time there's no conditions attached, no ifs, buts or maybes – my world is changing regardless, and all that I have to do is make my stand on where my place is going to be in it.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Out of literally ALL the ways in the universe I could have spent the last hour, I'm fairly sure that winding up my ex-girlfriend and biting my toenails was the single least productive I could have possibly chosen.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

When I Grow Up

Is there anything more depressing than logging on to MSN and seeing 0/67 contacts online? Stop having a real life, people, get on the internet and entertain me! So in the absence of either human contact or anything resembling adventures to share, I'll just have a moan about something instead. Today's topic poses the question... is the Pussycat Dolls' When I Grow Up the single worst song in the history of recorded music?

Now I've got a confession / When I was young I wanted attention”

That's perfectly natural – its called the Terrible Twos. Most toddlers grow out of it. Its most certainly not endearing to persist through childhood, let alone into adulthood.

I promised myself that I'd do anything / Anything at all for them to notice me”

Yes, you became strippers. Oh, sorry... burlesque dancers. You take your clothes off for money. This is not an achievement or something to be proud of.

Now I ain’t complaining, we all wanna be famous / So go ahead and say what you wanna say”

Well since you gave me free reign, OK. You're talentless whores who can't sing whose entire careers are based around almost – but not quite – getting naked. And that's just for starters.

You don't know what its like to be nameless / -”

Actually I'll just stop you there before we go through the entire song lyric by lyric. Are you seriously suggesting that the majority of your audience doesn't know what it's like to be not-famous? Are you trying to paint some sort of picture of a bleak, horrible world where everyone is famous except you and are asking for sympathy for that fact? I admit we seem to be well on our way with your X Factors and Big Brothers, but until everyone in the western hemisphere has had their 15 minutes (which should be around, ooh... 2016 or so) you seem to be using some sort of backwards moon logic here. Or maybe they're just 'before their time'. But if you were going to travel back in time to a simpler world, before the Oil Wars and before every man, woman and child had been on reality TV, would the song you submit for recording as your own really only be THIS piece of drivel? Surely there will be some pieces of artwork in the future worthy of bringing back with you and claiming as your own genius beyond “When I Grow Up”, or Simon Cowell's got a LOT more to answer for for his assault on our culture than previously thought. And don't even get me started on the finer points of my time travelling 'songwriter' theories – I have my suspicions about Freddie Mercury, for one, but that's another topic for an equally boring day.

"But be careful what you wish for cos you just might get it"

Yes, this is a popular trope throughout our recorded history, but how is it relevant to this scenario that you've laid out for us? You've failed to put forward any sort of downside to receiving the fame and attention that you've apparently craved since birth, so what's the moral of the story? If you want something badly enough to take your clothes off for money, then... you might just get attention after all? While as a straight male I am honour-bound to applaud this example, as a staunch feminist (stop snickering at the back, you!) I can see more than a few minor holes to pick in it. Which I just have.

So yes, in conclusion, a group of strippers attempting to become popstars have failed to add significantly to our musical culture, and have annoyed me in the process. Who could have foreseen that?

Mayday Parade did a pretty cool cover of it though, from one of the 'Punk Goes Pop' albums. It's worth checking out, I suppose.

But still. Grr!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Swimming the Channel

In a stunning piece of foresight, it seems that my prediction that time would pass regardless has come to fruition. Who could have seen that coming? While I might not be any closer to understanding the world, my efforts in surviving it have at least taken another step forward.

If I wanted an easy out to explain away my lack of updates, I could try to claim that for the first time, I've been actually living in the world instead of sitting back and describing it, but as neat as that might sound its not quite true. Things have been charging forward at a relentless pace, and while I seem to be doing a great job of at least keeping my head above water while the current sweeps me along, things are still proving hard to analyse and appreciate the scope of what they mean when I sit back to rest and reflect on them.

I might have mentioned it in an early post, but before I started this blog I was racing along at a rapid pace with my going out progress, chipping away minutes at a time before finally hitting a wall and getting slapped back down to reality when I over-stretched myself getting to the local garden centre. Up until then everything had seemed so easy and simple, but that just... knocked my confidence, reaffirmed what I'd tried to forget about how difficult getting to where I want to be would be. It was as far as I'd ever gone, the limits of what I could manage if I pushed myself and really suffered for it.

So on Tuesday, in a half-asleep daze, I wandered back to the milestone, sat around on it, and went for a little sightseeing walk of the surrounding countryside. The barrier's been shattered, and I just... don't quite know how to analyse it. There should be trumpets, flower petals falling from the sky, instead its just another thing that I was supposed to do, so I let myself get swept along by the current towards it. I haven't swum the channel, I've just washed up on the beach at Calais after falling off the dock at Dover. I survived without drowning, but next? The Atlantic Ocean awaits?

I'm no closer to understanding what it, or anything else outwith my control around me means, but for just now I've placed my trust in others that doing what I'm 'supposed to do' is what will help me in the end. I can't really see where this road leads or how it eventually connects to my final destination, but I'm trusting my guides for now. By the rest of the world's scale of progress, its been a monumental week.