Friday, 5 September 2008

Semi-coherent rant 2

Appendice to the aforementioned rules for making curry, here's a message from a curry-trying friend of mine:

'you left something out of your curry pointers. NEVER be tempted to use asafoetida. Not unless you've got ten industrial strength fans in your kitchen. Our flat stank of sulphuric cabbage for about 6 weeks. It's not a coincidence that the word looks like FETID ASS.'

He's right you know. Asafoetida, or hing as I grew up knowing it, is some crazy sodium bicarbonate stuff to aid with digestion. It's easier to just drink fizzy beer.

So, I've quit alcohol for a month to recuperate my liver after a full 2 months of festivaling and gigging and sunning. Well, one of those is not true. Now I'm sober the world is shifting into a weird focus. I'm seeing all these patterns around me. I played a football match with some associates yesterday as part of a London amateur league- the lowest league you can go, a league last season this team finished bottom in. Now I find it difficult relating to manly men at the best of times, choosing to stay silent when discussing tactics or models for improvement, but when a bunch of sweaty guys stand around in a circle, their nips and legs akimbo, their shirts off, rubbing man-sweat into the hair on their chests, discussing what went wrong and how to improve on it next time, I have to laugh or remove myself and go home. I'm not the best player on the team, just the slowest and heaviest, but I'm not the worst and I follow suggestions and instructions, to my discredit cos it means I never get the ball. Meanwhile the posh left back who secretly desires to play upfront childhood friend of the team captain suffers no recrimination for constantly being caught upfield and being unable to kick with his right foot. Oh well, I'm recriminating like the rest of the team. It does feel good to be part of a team again, unless, like me you're the unfittest fattest player of the bottom team in the lowest league in London! And on the off-chance any of my football brothers read this, I love you and think you're awesome. Dude. Ho-hum- footballing makes you dumb. The best bit of the match was when we stopped for half time and two kids strolled nonchalantly off with our balls. We didn't even notice till they were 100 metres away. They didn't even run off. They threw them back and sat on the sidelines watching the rest of the match. Polite thieves. That's the future.

I went in to meet this guy who runs an online magazine to discuss me writing articles for them. They asked me to come in. I didn't know who I'd be talking to and was thrust into a room with a stranger who kept shaking my hand and repeating my name. When I asked who he was, he erupted, saying 'I am the director of the organisation, I will be your boss. Did you not research me online so you knew what I looked like?' Errrr.... I fumbled, 'Yeah, I just thought it was polite to introduce yourself even if people know of you...' I walked out with a job and my musings and generically opinionated articlings will appear elsewhere soon.

What else? I'm late with catching on to shows at the moment because I've been obsessed with the Wire for so long and was away in Kenya for a year previously so missed out on a lot of stuff, but on a friend's recommendation, I'm digging Dexter, starring the younger brother from 6ft Under. It's about an asexual cold serial killer whose repressed hero worship of his dad and his need to hide his bloodlust from the world both lead him to exercise his urges towards criminals who are somehow above the law or outside the law. But, there's a new serial killer in town and why is he so interested in playing games with Dexter. It's a fascinating study of a morally complex man who understands his moral boundaries are different to others, but someone who is disconnected from his emotions enough to deal with himself. He throws himself methodically into the technicals of murder in an order to try and feel something.

In a pop culture world where the du jour hero is a morally complex sociopath, it really makes you question yourself and who you're rooting for and why: Tony Soprano; Omar Little; Vic Mackie; The Joker/Batman; Larry David; Sylar... makes you think doesn't it... The days of the 'strong, silent type' that Gary Cooper embodied, that image Tony Soprano always craved for, they're numbered. We don't want our heroes stoic and heroic anymore. We want them to have as many tics and mannerisms that make them that little bit more grey as the villains. If anything, it's the villains who suffer, becoming CGI cardboard cutouts.

Anyway, that's it for now... hopefully next week will see a return to coherence.

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