Alt14

During the early 1990s the alternative music scene took off. As did I, in a sense. In my uni years (and thereabouts), I thoroughly immersed myself in shoegazers, Madchester, grunge, industrial and too many other subgenres to mention. I bought many cassettes. I did much dancing and drinking at nightclubs. Then I sort of musically drifted for about the next two decades – even, dare I say it, arriving at the point of “not being that interested in popular music (generally).”

A few months ago, upon acquiring an iPad and easy access to YouTube, I started listening a bit again. Over the last couple of weeks, I have started to make a playlist, entitled ‘Unistalgia,’ consisting of songs I would have listened to, danced to, drunk to, in the early 90s. It has been, as they say, a trip, a nostalgic blast. And then things got a bit weird.

I started to look into what some of these bands have done since I was majorly into them. Some no longer exist. Others have have split up, reformed, split up and reformed again. And yet others still exist (or did until recently), but in a different form. I listened to some of their relatively recent tunes, from the mid to late 90s and beyond… and I felt… kinda strange.

“Stop!” cried my brain, my ageing soul, as Ride, Lush and Pop Will Eat Itself became not just Bands Of The Past. “Desist and go no further!” it insisted, as the bubble of time within which these musical entities had existed burst, spraying my self with doubt and discomfort. At first I did not understand. You would think I would be happy that these icons of my youth still existed, still produced (or had until (relatively) recently) and had not dissolved into a timeless froth of obsolescence. And believe me, part of me was! The part of me that craves continuance, persistence and longevity.

But what is nostalgia if that to which one is nostalgic lives on?

Righteous Crumbs

3mar14

image

image

4mar14

You can never step in the same river twice.

image

5mar14

Dan Ashton-Booth: “Were funeral directors in Ancient Egypt pyramid salesmen?”

image

A pressure guage measures how much pressure you are under by how many Bars you need to visit to alleviate the pressure.

image

Fairies Wear Boots

image

The teacher dreams of tea and a peach on the beach.

image

9mar14

MatrixRevolutions81-124

image

10mar14

skateboard zen

image

16mar14

sunlight highlights crumbs

image

24mar14

If there’s no right, what’s left?

image

I Want to Drive a Hover Car

I want to drive a hover car
And live upon the Moon.
I want to have a robot
And not get dressed till noon.
I want to fire a laser gun,
Repel the alien hordes,
While wearing silver trousers
(And never light brown cords).
I want a million TV screens
On each and every wall
And in the middle of the room,
A holographic ball.
I want to never have to carry
Money or a phone -
The implant in my brain will mean
I don’t need a ring tone.
I want to be a space man,
To travel to the stars,
To flit between the planets
And check out all the bars;
And when I return to Earth,
Or Pluto or the Moon,
I’ll be knackered from all the travelling
And stay in bed till noon!

Super Pixie Dust Sneeze

18feb14

I like to sneeze dramatically.

DS001_sneezing bear

28feb14

The acoustics of my hood make my vocal drum sounds resound.

DS002_drum hood

1mar14

What if the hokey cokey really is what it’s all about?

DS003_hokey cokey duck

If pixie dust makes you fly, why do fairies need wings?

DS004_wendy darling flying

The man at Stourbridge Station looked like Lex Luthor’s dad!

DS005_lionel luthor

I/Not-I

Left my wallet at home the other. Felt very discombobulated. No train pass, no money, no ID. Not that I needed the latter two, but… who are we without money or ID? We are who we are, but leads me to think how much society (Modern Western Society) requires us to ‘prove’ who we are. Not only that, but to create and establish personas, which may bear little or no resemblance to our deeper selves.

Puts me in mind of the Zen notion of detaching, removing ourselves from our selves, from our perception of our selves, in order to bear witness, non-subjectively, to reality.

My God, that’s it! That’s the metaphor!

Thankfully the nice train man got me to sign something that said if I showed my pass the next day, I wouldn’t have to pay a fine.

Words

* WARNING – CONTAINS MATERIAL THAT MAY OFFEND *

Within the strictures of Modern Western Society, there are words that cause offence. Prior to parenthood, this fact only flitted briefly through my consciousness, but as my daughter becomes more lucid, more aware and more curious, which coincides with my working in an educational establishment, it numerously falls upon me to attempt, often unsatisfactorily, to ‘explain’ why some words are okay and some are unacceptable, especially in particular contexts – the school playground or in class, for example.

Recently it has become evident that my daughter has a potentially burgeoning interest in cars – the faster, the shinier, the sportier, the better. Consequently, upon spotting a copy of ‘Top Gear’ magazine at a car boot sale, the mother of my offspring decided to purchase said publication, unbeknownst to her at the time that it contained within the packaging a set of fridge magnets, with which one could construct and stick up on the fridge such phrases as “Oh cock.” Naturally the parent of a five-year-old does not particularly want their daughter going round saying “Oh cock” to all and sundry, but… well… it’s only a word, it only means the same as “willy” (or “william,” being her term of choice for the main dangly part of a boy), and as long as she doesn’t go round saying it to her teachers (which she wouldn’t – she is far too conscientious for that) or to her friends, such that they will then say it to their parents, who will, with possibly some concern, pass it on to us, then where’s the harm?

“It’s only a word…”

Because words are only words, aren’t they? What’s in a “cock” or a “fuck” or a “cunt” or a “bastard” or a “shit” or a “piss” or an “arse”? Even my predictive text won’t accept these delightful terms, unless I program it otherwise. How judgmental is that?! There is probably some historical or cultural significance in expletives and their degree of offensiveness, but does anyone think about this when using them? I doubt it.

I baulked at writing the c-word. Please don’t make me write it again! It makes me feel… ooh I dunno… funny. Somehow, though, I can hear Tyrion Lannister of Game of Thrones say it and it feels okay, appropriate, funny even, but I shall dip my tongue in a pot of putrid pirhanas before the word passes through my lips. Why? Why do I accept my daughter’s utterance of the odd “bugger” (which, if you think about it, has pretty, um, graphic connotations) or “willy,” but consider “cock” to be pushing it, and the f-word or, at the top of the list, the c-word, would certainly be going too far?

I don’t believe any of these words have any particular intellectual or semantic resonance with me, but I suppose my “feeling funny” at their utterance (in particular contexts) probably filters down from general cultural perception to the level of the individual (ie me). I am who I am, because society made me that way. But I don’t want to be! I don’t want to conform! And I don’t want the children in my charge and my daughter to (feel like they have to) conform! These words are just words, they are expressive – if not overused (as any words should not be overused), they can, in the right contexts, be the best available words to express a particular emotion, feeling, action, state of mind or being. So why do we censor? Why do particular strings of letters “offend” (to varying degrees, which I reckon could be numerically expressed), where I suspect that most folk would be unable to elucidate why they offend?

I am forced to conclude, in the end, that the argument is circular. There are words that offend, because people find them offensive, and if we don’t want to offend, and we don’t want our charges or our offspring to offend, then they should be avoided. Of course, there will be times when we want to offend. But I can’t be effing bothered to talk about that now.