I don’t take a lot of sick days. I never have. Its one of the downsides of having a Doc for a dad, faking illness was a lot tougher. As a result my day’s off were more likely to feature me shaking on the couch rather than stealing a Ferrari to cheer up a buddy.
In working life, I’ve taken maybe a handful of days off, and aside from one when I decided that watching Top Gear repeats and drinking cider was preferable to dealing with irate mobile phone customers, I’ve always been properly ill. I worked last night, and started to feel a bit gnarly, but thought it was probably just me being tired. However, as I walked home my guts tightened like I was getting bear hugged around the stomach (dude would have to have pretty long arms to reach right around that).
I hurried the last couple of hundred yards, which got me some funny looks from the school run crowd, and seriously feared that I might not make it back in time. I made it.
I was still unaware anything was really wrong until I woke up at around 11:30. I felt properly rough. I sacked out on the couch, and after a couple of hours TV and frequent toilet runs I called in sick for my night shift.
My timing totally sucks, its like 3 days until I leave for Sri Lanka, so I hope the Powers That Be have mercy and make this just a 24 hour thing so I’m okay for travelling.
It also meant my plans for a productive day kind of hit the skids too. I’ve done less than nothing today. The one plus point is that all I’ve eaten is two unbuttered slices of toast and some water, which should help the weight loss campaign.
I couldn’t even crack one out this morning. There’s just something about apocalyptic bowel movements that robs you of any sexual desire. Unless you’re a degenerate.
It did give me a chance to finally watch Gonzo a documentary about one of my all time heroes, Hunter S Thompson. Using audio recordings, interviews, Ralph Steadman’s artwork, movie clips, news footage and readings by Johnny Depp the film really captures the complex character and visionary Thompson was. There’s probably no indication in this scatalogical and pointless post, but Thompson is part of the reason I want to be a writer.
For the early 20s Chris he fired up my desire to be a writer. Its a dream I’ve always held, but whereas I used to want to be a fiction writer this along with blogging made me want to be a journalist of some sort. I know I’ll probably never come near his intensity or ability, and I’d never try to copy his style of writing, but I just love how focused and insightful Hunter’s work is, especially in Fear And Loathing On The Campaign Trail 1972 or Hell’s Angels, which isn’t quite in the Gonzo style he’d become famous for, but is a brilliant portrait of the gang as they struggle with their new found infamy and try to work out their place in 1960s America. Hunter’s total immersion in the subculture he investigates is inspiring and fascinating, and something I would love to do, a long term, detailed visit into another way of life.
The film is fascinating and totally captivated me, and also provided a new idea for my second tattoo. A second one is on the cards, but what to get has changed repeatedly. Now, I think I’m going to get the “gonzo fist”.
On Sunday, the News Of The World was published for the last time. It fell victim to a massive public backlash following the increasingly depressing hacking revelations. Of course, the news that Murdoch was planning to launch a Seven Day Sun, kind of soured people’s celebration of public outrage. In fact, it made the whole thing appear to have just been giving the new paper some free publicity.
The scandal was truly awful. Even when it was just celebrities the invasion of privacy and criminality employed was disgusting, a corruption of what good journalism should be. The claim that they were investigative reporters was laughable, they were merely eavesdropping and gossiping. There was no hard work, no investigation of evidence or interviewing of sources.
As more revelations spilled out it just got worse. What value could they get from grieving relatives? Or terrorism victims? Imagine you were blown up tomorrow, would the e-mails and texts you’ve sent today have any bearing on the events?
The Milly Dowler story struck a new low. The deleting of messages, tampering with evidence and giving her distressed family false hope was an act so despicable I think it shocked everyone, even hardened, cynical analysts on the news seemed to have stumbled on a new low they clearly felt noone would ever dare plumb.
You know this, of course, unless wisely you decided to avoid the news entirely so that you could still maintain some slight faith in humanity.
But it presented a dilemma, the last edition was a historical artefact. It’d be interesting to see what was in it. But I didn’t want to pay any money for it. There was only one solution-
Yes, if I wanted a copy I would have to perform the second theft of my life. (The 1st being from the Pic’n’Mix in Woolworths, meaning that when they went bust I felt slightly guilty) Annoyingly, there were no garages nearby with those outdoor paper boxes, and while I wanted my piece of history I had no desire to get rugby tackled by one of the butch women who work in Spar.
And so, for the last time, I decided to not buy the News of The World, something I have been doing for over 26 years.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. LLAP