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Archive for the tag “life”

Chris Gained The Power Of Being Fed Up!

This week I finally got round to watching Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Edgar Wright’s screen adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s fantastically quirky  comic book series. Like the series, its a very funny, geeky gem and features some fantasitcally OTT action sequences that have been ripped almost right off the page.

One of my favourite moments comes towards the end of the flick when Scott “achieves” various emotions/states of being, which allows him to progress a level and also gives him a cool looking sword.

Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), and one badass blade

In a perfect world, this would happen everytime you got a new emotional response. And in the last week or so I’d have got the weapon of “Being fed up”.

This happened because work has been a major drag of late, the afterglow of good feeling from Sri Lanka has finally dissipated completely and I need a change of scene. In a way its a good thing because like the saying goes:

Contentment is the enemy of invention.

To tell the truth I’ve been fed up for a while, but in the last year or so I’ve at least become slightly more proactive about it. My lack of contentment and frustration with my crappy job have inspired me to try and make some changes in my life,  I’ve got some travelling under my belt and tried some new things (internet dating, actively trying to lose weight) and I plan to continue down this way.

I used to be happy unwinding after work with a movie or a few hours of hardcore internet pornography, but this wasn’t solving the problem, it was just giving me a break from it.

And my first idea was to have another break, going for a weekend away, preferably before Christmas. I drew up a shortlist of possible destinations (Dublin, Barcelona, Moscow, Hamburg, Prague) before a frontrunner emerged, a return to Amsterdam. An entire weekend in a weed-induced haze.

But at the end of the weekend I’d have to come back.

And then I came up with a new plan. Rich and Dan are off in China teaching English and both seem to be enjoying it, so I figure I might also go abroad to teach.

So I’ll do a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course and try and then start looking for jobs somewhere else. I don’t think I’d go for China, I’m not sure I’d fit in a country that strict and while I’d love to visit there someday I don’t fancy living there. So having looked at the website here are the 5 countries I’d most like to go to, in order of preference:

1. Japan
2. Thailand
3. Brazil
4. Argentina
5. Czech Republic

So hopefully this time next year I’ll be thousand of miles away in a foreign country and no longer doing my crappy job.

I have lots of stupid plans and crazy schemes but I will follow through on this, and even if it goes tits up and I end up loathing it, at least it’ll be an experience.

I might still try to fit in a weekend in Amsterdam though.

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I Like Old Movies…

A while back BBC Breakfast (which is the only real choice for early morning TV viewing) did a piece on how internet dating is a booming industry and that the public perception of it has changed and its now an acceptable and legitimate way of people connecting with each other.

Yet the other day I was filling in a survey and one of the questions was “Who have you told that you’re using internet dating?” to which I selected “noone” because there was no option for “I’m not telling anyone due to embarrassment but I will then blog about it, thus letting anyone who wants to know I am”.

Now the reason I joined up is that it would be kind of nice to meet someone and due to work and money I’m not hitting Swansea as often as I’d like. Also trying to chat people up while drunk has never exactly gone brilliantly for me, due to the fact I have to stumble along a drunk tightrope- Drunk enough to have the confidence to just go up to a girl but not so drunk I turn into a twat/letch. Its a 3 drink zone, but as my judgement is already compromised due to booze I tend to drink right on through into the twat zone.

While I’d quite like to meet someone I just want to clarify that I’m not going all Bridget Jones and spending my evenings listening to sad songs and crying, picturing myself dying alone.

Bridget Jones- I'm not that sad. Yet.

So, I decided to take a chance. The problem is, I’m not sure I think internet dating is acceptable, I mean eHarmony can point out they’re responsible for 2% of US marriages or whatever, and Match can flood our screens with irritatingly quirky campaigns like the one which gives this post its title, but do those couples tell everyone that’s how they met?

If someone told you they’d met their boy/girlfriend or spouse online you’d pass a silent judgement on them, wouldn’t you? There’s still that idea that internet is for sad bastards like myself, the socially awkward, the ugly and the desperate.

Course, I haven’t mentioned any of this on my profile.

I’ve actually been on some dating sites for a couple of years in a non-paying capacity. The reason for this was a friend had signed up and out of curiosity I decided to sign up and see what she’d said on her profile. I then left the membership go on, occasionally clicking through to the millions of e-mails I recieved when I had time to kill or was in a daydreaming mood, usually after watching You’ve Got Mail and deluding myself I may luck out and snag a Meg Ryan.

You've Got Mail- An underrated rom com.

So why sign up now?

Well, I’m trying to be more proactive in lots of things (travel, work, weightloss) and I figured why not take this approach to dating. It wasn’t a particularly well thought out idea, I just found a site, signed up and joined for a month. I’d give it a whirl for 30 days and then quit. If you don’t ask you don’t get right?

Also, I did kind of think it’d make a good blog post, but that’s not really working out is it?

The site I joined (and no I’m not revealing which one it is) has a related “naughty” site which is geared for more casual dating, i.e. sex. There was an offer so I joined that one too, just to see what happened.

But I’m skipping ahead. I filled in my profile added a photo (more on that later) and got searching.

I did a local search and found a few girls who looked interesting and sent a quick message as well as an icebreaker (which is sent to everyone). I wasn’t overly confident, I figured I might get looked at a few times, they’d make a sarky comment to themselves and move on, but I’d been doing the same, I mean, that’s a large part of dating in general. You see it in bars, guys making comments about girls who’d never give them the time of day anyway and girls thinking they can do better than what’s on offer.

The way we see and think of ourselves is not the way others do. I learnt that from my man Gok.

Gok Wan- I like him, but it does annoy me that a gay guy gets to fondle more boobs than me

I got a few messages and while a few were polite declines, luckily everyone seems polite or at least follows the “if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all” theory, I feared recieving a “Fuck off, fat man!” but so far there have been none.

But I did get a few good responses including from a girl, J, who seems nice enough and while living a fair ways away (curse you laziness for not pushing me on with the driving lessons!) wasn’t completely unfeasible. We chatted, exchanged numbers and I’ll have to see if it goes anywhere.

I’ll update if anything else happens but here are a few of my observations from my first fortnight on the site:

1. There is far too much use of the euphemism “bubbly” which we all know means “fuller figured”. Now I got no beef with that, if I did it’d be extremely hypocritical, and I actually like a girl with some curves, but come on, is bubbly the best you can do? You may as well have used “jolly”. Go for voluptuous, it just sounds sexier.

Mia Tyler. Damn!

2. Funniest thing I’ve seen so far? The profile on the “naughty” site who’s status was: “Sorry to who I’ve been with on here but I have hep C”. Like they used to say on Hill Street Blues– “Be careful out there.”

3. Also on the “naughty” site kudos to the lady who listed “well endowed” twice in what she was looking for. You’ve just intimidated pretty much every guy reading that.

4. Everyone seems to list their strong characteristics, which is fair enough, I didn’t start mine with “frequent masterbator and comic book reader (occasionally at the same time)” but some go on for so long you just think, if you’re so amazing how are you still single?

5. “Age and looks not important” ah, desperation, the sourest of all aromas.

Profile No-Nos

1. Invisible Women

There’s no excuse for not having a photo on your profile. So you’re self conscious, who isn’t? Noone will reply if you just have a blank square, because they’ll see it and assume the worst, that you look like Sloth from The Goonies.

If I’ve learnt anything from How To Look Good Naked its that lots of women are overly critical of their appearances. So look for the best picture you can and use that, or ask a mate which picture makes you look best. Even a bad picture is better than no picture.

We’re all realistic, guys know we’re not going to find a Megan Fox on a dating site just as you know you won’t find George Clooney. So be honest, it’ll work out better that way.

Megan Fox- Probably not dating online

And if I can put up a picture, noone else has an excuse.

2. The Bully Effect

So you’ve put up lots of pictures, that’s a good thing. But in one of them you seem to be standing next to a goddess, oh its your friend? Well done you’ve just done used the Bully Effect, where you’ve provided your would-be-suitors with a “here’s what you could have won” moment. If you hve to include a friend make sure you do a Stefani and pick someone who makes you look better.

Stefani- Now if she could only find some way to sound better

3. The Kids Aren’t Alright

Looking for a partner? Don’t put your kid in the picture, unless you’re angling for a threeway with Gary Glitter. Seriously, it gives you a chance to say if you have kids, there’s no need to show them in your profile.

4. Shouldn’t You Be Wearing A Hood?

If you specify age that’s fair enough, but saying which race you want to be with? It just seems a tad racist, especially as its always the same as their race. If you opt for anything other than “Its not important” there’s something wrong. I don’t know where this idea of keeping the bloodline pure came from but it seems far too common for the 21st century.

5. OMG u writ LIKE a idIot lolz

Text abbreviations have a place. In texts. At a push in tweets or in an instant messenger situation. If however you use it excessively in your profile you may as well just write “I’m thick” over and over. Same goes for basic spelling mistakes (what are the odds that I’ve missed a few typos in this and made myself look like a duns by bringing it up here).

Online dating, Gok Wan, Bridget Jones, You’ve Got Mail? This may be the girliest I’ve ever written.

Anyone else out there tried internet dating? Tips, stories? You know what to do. LLAP

Sri Lanka 6 Marooned

21st July, Afternoon, Arugam Bay

Its not been a good day.

Yesterday I burnt my feet on the sand, it was about midday and the sun had been cooking for a few hours. With my experience of beaches being on the Welsh coastline I was unaware of just how hot sand can get so I just wandered out barefoot.

Sheer agony.

I only had to walk about 100 yards, but it turned into a bit of an ordeal.

It was basically indirect sunburn on the bottom of my feet, which must be the body part least equipped to deal with sunlight.

I suppose I could have just started running which would have (slightly) decreased the time my feet were on baked grains.

But I was carrying my laptop and I didn’t want to drop it. Hobbling around for a few days I can cope with but no tweeting or blogging for over a fortnight? Never!

Twitter, The Crystal Meth of Social Networking

So my feet blistered and walking on them was very painful.

(I’m currently reading Lance Armstrong’s “It’s Not About The Bike” and the nightmarish chemo he has to endure, so I’m wary of exaggerating my own trivial complaints, although as Lance goes on to be a Tour De France champion and hook up with Sheryl Crow, so I think long term I may have the harder life)

Today I bandaged myself up and decided to wander up to the shop with Llyw and Hannah. Its only a few hundred metres up the road but less than halfway and I was shuffling like a man three times my age. Llyw flagged down a tuk tuk and later explained he did this because it was painful watching me hobble along. I’m glad he did because I really didn’t want to have to ask.

Returning to the cabin I was put on rest for the remainder of the day.

Which has been soul destroying.

I’ve sat here all afternoon, while the others have gone swimming and stuff. I got so fed up at one point I crawled back into bed.

I tried writing earlier but the heat made it tough to focus.

I’m hot, sweaty, hassled by bugs and generally being a bit of a miserable sod.

Making it all worse were the bloody crows.

I’d thought the trees would be full of the full spectrum of parrots but all we seem to have are loud, obnoxious black crows.

Lots of crows.

Creepy crows.

One in particular has been singled out in my wrath. Its beak is constantly hanging half open, giving him a gormless expression that infuriates me beyond all rational explanation.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that they creeped me out and cawing continuously, but the feathery c***s then went and stole my biccies!

As I lay inside I heard a scuffle and saw one of the avian c***suckers swoop off with my pack of biscuits in his beak.

I hobble out, cursing a blue streak but the winged w****r was gone.

As I sit here writing some of the bastards have come back eating the scraps I couldn’t retrieve and bin (I’m not risking bird flu for a pack of sickly sweet strawberry puffs). I appreciate they’re scavengers but really there is no need need to return to the scene of the crime and (PUN WARNING!!) crow about it.

For the first time I can totally understand Hunter S. Thompson’s obsession with guns.

Hunter S Thompson

A high powered revolver would’ve improved my mood immensely and helped pass the time.

I know I’d have had a massive grin on my face if I’d sat here surrounded by scattered feathers and bullet holes.

I’d like to point out that my mood had improved by the time I finished writing this and listened to some Springsteen. I still wouldn’t mind a gun though.

* * * * *

See-Saw

25th July, 8:37AM

Yesterday I had a day of ups and downs. Perhaps the clearest indicator of this are the 3 songs that at different times were stuck in my head.

First up it was Bruce Springsteen’s “The River” a wonderfully melancholic song about getting trapped in working class drudgery (“A dream of life that don’t come true”) which was replaced by “Going Loco Down In Acapulco” and later by Sum 41’s anthem of my teenage years “Fat Lip”.

Why was I so all over the place?

The morning had passed in the usual way- dozing, reading and general loafing.

I’d wandered across to the sensitively named Tsunami Hotel to use their internet and for the first time communicated directly with my family on Skype.

Perhaps that was the start of it. Speaking to them was the 1st time on this trip I’d experienced homesickness.

By the time I get home I won’t have seen my family for a month. And while moving out wasthe right thing to do, I still like that I see them fairly regularly.

That was probably at the root of the slump exacerbated by my quick necking of 2 Lion beers that seemed to make me belligerent. This is the “Loco” phase of the day.

Throw in some bad luck at cards and the smouldering annoyance with one of our group that had been growing for days caught fire. My inner Sam managed to control the flames and I kept myself from shooting my mouth off.

You have 2 more weeks with this lot, a calm inner voice whispered, there’s no point making them awkward and miserable for everyone.

Then I hit the water.

Somehow, splashing about and getting knocked about by the waves cheered me up despite the gallons of salt water sloshing around in my stomach.

Hopping in the shower my mood was bright and Sum 41 popped into my head:

“Storming through the party like my name was El Nino

(I decided to end with the first line of the song and that’s what a google search threw up, but I’ve always sang “Stroll into the party like my name was Ali”, well, live and learn.)

Sri Lanka 5 Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back In The Water

19th July, Early, Arugam Bay

In the early evening Llyw and Laurence decided to go for a surf down at the point and I decided to wander down with them and have a swim.

The girls were already swimming just a little way, but I decided to go with the guys, because I figured it’d be awkward with the girls. Awkward because I’d be self conscious and also awkward because I’d worry that I was making them self conscious, and fearing I’d look like a perv or something. If they were to discover my pervyness let it be a slow revealation, we had 3 weeks for them to discover my depravity, best not to rush it all out in one go. I’d drip feed it out.

The trek up the beach was tough going because the sand was constantly shifting. It wasn’t long before the guys built up quite a lead and I dawdled behind.

I didn’t really mind, the beach was gorgeous and I strolled along people watching and exchanging “Hellos” with the local fishermen.

The point was buzzing with surfers and bathers. I walked past some locals who were drumming in a circle, who knows why, but a lifetime of old movies made me wary. Can you remember the last time good things came after tribal drumming in a film?

I ditched my flip flops, glasses and, after a quick glance around, shed my shirt and hurried into the water.

Too rocky to swim I hurried out, quickly tugged on my shirt, now filled with sand (lovely!) and moved along the beach, looking for a quiet spot where there weren’t too many people around.

I knew I was going to make a fool of myself but I prefer to do it in front of small, intimate audiences, not vast hordes. I’m more like the Richard Herring of making a fool of myself as opposed to the Michael McIntyre.
I swam for a bit, but felt uncomfortable and so redressed and wandered back to the cabin.

Its weird how this holiday has bought my self-consciousness to the fore!

Usually it doesn’t bother me that much but I realise how much it sucks. I mean, on a logical level I know that nobody on the beach was going to be looking at me, and if they did, so what? It wasn’t as if everyone on the beach was an Adonis/Venus.

Also, I remember a time before I got bashful. I remember getting a laugh doing a Whigfield impression when I was around 9 years old, naked except for a towel on my head. Its a world away from who I am now.

I like making people laugh but I’m not that willing to push myself into the spotlight now. And while getting my cock out would guarantee a laugh, its a line I won’t cross. Unless the money was right.

I suppose I could overcome my self-consciousness.

Or eliminate what I’m self-conscious about? My slow, lazy attempts to lose weight are bearing some small fruit, like grapes, I’ve dropped two belt notches since Amsterdam, and I hope to intensify my attempts in the coming months.

As for my other insecurity? Well, maybe I’ll answer one of the thousands of e-mails in my junk folder.

Sri Lanka 2 Fat Man’s Nightmare

 

Written 17th of July, 6:45am (Local time) Negombo (no, I can’t hear it without thinking of Um Bongo either)

Last night, after a long day’s travelling followed by a nice meal out and a couple of Lion beers, we returned to our stifingly hot hotel room.
A mosquito net had been provided, and it felt churlish not to use it and fully enter the spirit of Oriental travel, despite not even the faintest buz of a mozzie being heard, so attempted to fit it around our bed.
I say attempt, as every time we one corner was attatched another would pop off. Midway through this attempt it happened-

I broke my bed.

To elaborate, my bed was a rickety, creaking antique of a cot. Lying on it there seemed to be only one major slat roughly halfway along the bed, meaning it was right under the base of my spine.

As I shifted about trying to fit the net I twisted and my weight all became placed on one spot.

CREEEAAAAAK-CRASH!

I broke the bed.

I was mortified.

Of course, Llyw and Laurence were aware of me being fat before, they have eyes after all.

But this? This was emphasising and highlighting the fact. It would have underlined my weight, but the line probably would have snapped as well.
I was a fat man before. Now the man part was in question. I was now merely fat. Too fat for human furniture? Could such a bulk be viewed as a human, or was I some genetic freak, a twist of evolution and part of a new species- Homo Blobbius?

The guys laughed. Who can blame them? It was pretty funny, and I laughed myself.

I set my mattress on the floor and slightly red faced prepared to bed down.

It was still hot and so my wight already revealed and the room darkened decided that I may as well shed my shirt.

I hate taking my top off in front of other people. I’m not entirely keen on seeing it myself, so I can only imagine the revulsion felt by others.

Still I slept well, and now I sit on the hotel balcony writing this, looking forward to a day of train adventure and fearing for the sturdiness of my chair.

Wildlife sightings- Gekko.

Sri Lanka Part 1- Swansea To Colombo

I should have slept.

I got back from work at around 8am, and the plan was to crawl into bed for a 3 hour power nap so I’d be okay to get up, sort stuff out and be on the road before 3. However, despite being knackered I was suddenly seized by nervous excitement and restless energy, instantly began sorting stuff out for the trip, rechecking I’d packed everything and of course, the most important thing, sorting out my iPod.

Good tunes are vital for travelling. I found this out on the Morocco trip, the pod helped me to pass the time on the buses and buoyed my spirits when I was feeling low. Sure, I wouldn’t be alone on this trip but still, there were long trips ahead and who knows, by the end of the 3 weeks we might not all be talking. Three weeks is a lot of Chris exposure.

I also wanted some podcasts to listen to, as these would help me fill the siestas during the hot days (this has already been proven, although I now wish I had some proper iPod earphones as my massive headphones are essentially noisy ear muffs in 25+ degree heat).

Time got away from me and the morning passed quickly, but the excitement was keeping me going and so I didn’t feel tired.

This changed when I got in the car though as, like a child, I find it very easy to drop off in transit. I was out like a light.

I was awake as we (Llywelyn, Hannah and myself) entered London and sought out Heathrow, which should be easy to find due to its size but chock-a-block traffic and poor lane markings make it a bit stressful, but nonetheless we managed to make it to the car park okay and shuttled to the airport.

We met up with the rest of our party, Laurence and Ashley, and checked in.
Llyw and Laurence’s boards were taken off to be packed aboard, as was my backpack, as apparently rucksacks are dealt with seperately (I have no idea why, is it just a Qatar airline thing? Or is this now standard?).

Heathrow departure lounge is massive and we hung there for a while, leading to the first drama of the trip. Hannah’s attempt to withdraw money failed, as the special card she had put cash on had not registered her money. Things got a bit tense, but Llyw, in a big brother masterclass stepped forward and provided her the cash for the trip. I feel if this had happened to the Page family the results would have been different, and as my sibling turned to me with tear-filled eyes and informed me that their cash wasn’t available my reaction is more likely to be “Who am I going to lend money off now?” as opposed to stepping into the breach and solving the problem.

Crisis averted we wandered about and stopped at a bar, which was out of Bow and Corona, so I settled for a Beck’s. Wandering about after I looked for magazines, played with a Blackberry playbook and then sat down to wait to see which gate we needed.

When called we sat by the gate, the only white faces in a horde of Asian and Arabian faces all heading for Doha.

I was meant to be sitting next to Ashley, due to the lottery of seat assignment but agreed to swap with Hannah, meaning I was now between Llywelyn and Laurence. Ashley’s seat was broken however, in that it tilted back uncontrollably and this meant that the girls would probably be moved. Maybe even upgraded to first class.

That didn’t seem fair! I’d given up an aisle seat out of kindness so that the two friends could sit together and now it appeared as though I’d be missing out on the promised land of extra leg room.

As it was, only Hannah was moved, and this turned out to be just further along in economy.

I must admit I was nervous about the flight as I’d never been on a flight for more than 3 hours, and this first leg would be double that.

Long haul was a whole new world and luckily the time passed fairly quickly. I watched The Adjustment Bureau (little cheesy but enjoyable enough, carried by Damon’s likability) and some episodes of The Big Bang Theory.

Stepping off the plane at Doha was like stepping into a wall of heat. Dry, dusty and feeling as though it had been decades since the last breeze had blown through.

When I’d first heard about the plans for air-conditioned stadiums at the 2022 World Cup I’d thought “Pansies”.but now it made perfect sense. It was about 7:30am and already the temperature was climbing into the 30s. Walking from the plane to the bus was sweat inducing, so I could imagine that you’d have to be superhuman to survive even a kickabout in the afternoon heat.

I freshened up over a bathroom sink and helped myself to an Irishman’s bath at the Armani stand in Duty Free. Then we queued and boarded our second flight, a shorter, 4 hour hop to Colombo.

I slept for the first two hours of this flight and spent the rest of the time reading and following our progress on a frankly useless computer display, which had the plane displayed at such an out of scale size that it looked as though if I walked the length of the plane in Doha I’d have arrived in Colombo.

The second leg, maybe due to us being on a smaller plane was a lot bumpier. Of course, the PTB showed their usual cruel sense of humour in saving the worst of the turbulance for when I had gone to the bathroom. I’d only just closed the door when the Captain announced we should all return to our seats and fasten seatbelts. I was then bounced around inside the tiny compartment in an extreme test of my bladder control.

Finally, we levelled out and I was able to go about my business.

This experience did make me aware that the Mile High Club must consist entirely of anorexics, midgets and contortionists. I know I’m on the larger side and the kind of woman I like tends to be the curvier, Dors Feline type. so it would definitely be impossible, but I think even two “normal people” would struggle to couple in such a confined enviornment. Also, would you want to? It is a toilet, afterall. (He wrote, somewhat hypocritically)

Colombo was warm, but there was moisture in the air and so nowhere near as uncomfortable. However, there was some drama as Llyw’s board hadn’t made it and was still sitting in Heathrow. Llyw, too his credit, remained friendly, polite and calm, while I think had my luggage gone missing I’d have Hulked-Up in seconds.

It was set up that Llyw could pick it up the next day and we boarded our minibus and drove through the hot, sweaty streets with us all eagerly drinking in sights and marvelling at the daredevil style of the cyclists and tuk-tuk drivers.

We got to our hotel and headed out for some food.

TTFN

Sick Day

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”.

Gonzo FistSo my plan is to chill out and grab an early night. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be close to human again.

A Dilemma

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-

Shoplifting.

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

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