Thursday, August 26, 2004

I wake up late today, my radio alarm clock goes off and BBC news whispers into my ear. "Wake up sleepy head, there is death, and sadness, and the world is unfair." I as extremely slow to rise this morning due to wrestling with a bout of pointless insomnia last night. The alram clock recognises this and shoves in my ear a report from Iraq (A place currently rife with death, sadness, and unfairness) which it knew would get me out of bed in a hurry. I listen to the report. What the fuck! A kid is blinded, maimed and his brother dies in the process. Sure that's sad. boohoo. a little tear on your way out. BUT, your concerns of whether your editor recognises all your hard work in the face of danger or whether you make it to the front page. That's the real news. double fuck you lady! You are a tourist.
Maybe, just maybe. It's that sort of self-centered self-righteous mind set that keeps pissing off the rest of the world. The 'West' has been blessed with this unprecinted personal liberty and most of us fritter it away watching Big Brother or following cult-like diet regimes. Crying and moaning about how fucking tough we have it. No wonder fanatics want to toss bombs at our children. We are obviously oblivious to everyone's suffering but our own. Yeah. I'm fucking up now and I switch off the radio alarm.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Exhausted from the constant pleading for attention that is currently rife through this town as the untalented resort to varying degrees of nudity and shades of hair colour to placate their insatiable desire to more unique than the other five thousand people in their underoos and hair dye handing out flyers, I have sought refuge in the gardens below the castle. It was there that I met a true modern day sage. A man whose wisdom is tangled, nay, woven amongst the food particles and plant detritus of his beard. It would have been easy to mistake him for the other homeless person who is constantly spitting at me from his rotten toothless face nutritional advice1, but this gentleman was uniformed as one of her majesty’s grounds keeper. A blue coverall. He sat beside me at a friendly distance. Eventually we started chatting and I’ll try to recreate the most interesting portions of the dialogue.
“Where you from?” he asked. Fair enough. It’s a tourist town and my accent is indeed a muddled and bizarre one these days.
“I live here.”
“What are you doing in this hole then?”
“Aye. Look at this shit. Green lawns. Green leaves. Fucking flowers.”
I chuckle at his joke. “What’s wrong with the flowers.”
“They’re cunts.” I understand that to many that particular word can be grating and probably exists high on one's naughty word list, but living here one becomes immune to its shock. Now, I can only laugh. In this part of the country, they pronounce this phrase from their bellies. The ‘c’ is thrown out with great force and velocity and the ‘u’ forces their jaws open to allow its bulky mass to pass the lips. I can never help smiling when I hear the phrase but it was particularly humorous given the current context. “I’m not joking. They’re cunts. The lot of them.” Every morning I piss on that bunch of thistles. Those over there. Where the Orientals are taking pictures. Aye. There. And look at them. They’re the biggest of the lot. They do it to spite me. The cunts. As soon as they fade. Chop. Chop.” He smiled and mimed the motion.
“I hate plants.” He concluded in an almost defeated tone.
My first instinct was to politely nod and agree but the urge to say something quickly rose to my throat. “But your job. You’re working…”
“Aye. I know. Everyday I’m surrounded by plants. Fucking Gorse. Fucking Grass. And Faaaaking Thistles. But you know what. It keeps me going. I’m sixty-three and I’m still fit. Because everyday, I come here and keep those bastards in line.” He punctuated the last sentence by slapping at the foliage behind our bench like he was scolding a naughty child.
The conversation only got stranger. The gist of it was that it is exactly because he hated nature that he made a good gardener. Maybe that is what I am missing from my daily life. Good ole’ antagonism. Something to define myself against. Countries do it all the time. Hell. Countries are doing it right now. When the shit hits the national fan. Leaders point to someone else as the monkey who threw the shit. I suppose that is why America is such a popular target for foreign governments to distract their populaces from more domestic issues. Because, ladies and gentleman never in our history has a monkey thrown so much shit.

1) Dear reader. I shit you not. This guy doesn't take a hint and for some reason, maybe I look malnourished, he is always singling me out to give me recipes and soliciting a place to stay for the evening.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Wow. We've had a thick haar for the past three days. I haven't seen past the first floor windows of any buildings this week. Street noises seem strangely disembodied. You can smell the saltiness and sea air wrapped inside the fibrous fog that has settled into every nook and cranny of the town. I should use this time to explore but I have work that must be ignored and that is best done at my desk.

Friday, August 06, 2004

It is festival time in our fair metropolis. Overall, this is a great time of year. The weather is usually tame and the constant activity tempers any lethargy one may feel. I have been out a few times. The shows are too expensive, but freebees can be found. The other night I went to a pub playing folk music. If you've seen any john wayne irish films you'll know the scene. Drunks around a table all playing instruments while other instrumentless drunks nod and sing along. It is a very pleasant atmosphere, but this is festival time. So, of course, I had a whole family of performers for some show trying to shake me down to buy tickets. At first I was very pleasant. Saying I would not be able to go, but their constant insistance required me to bluntly tell them unless they are passing out free tickets they might as well take their flyer back. Shame too. It looked like an interesting show, but once again too damn expensive. My understanding is that the venues charge so much that the tickets have to be that much. Today I bought some tickets for a band, "Flight of the Conchords". Right now tickets are almost reasonable with a two for one deal. The next few days will be a mad rush to see the shows before they go up to tourist prices. While I was waiting to buy tickets, several people walked by carrying five foot toothbrushes. This is what I really like about festival. I am much happier at a pub and when the booth next to me is occupied by two men in swan costumes talking about scoring with chicks. I am at peace when the world visually confirms to me its absurdity rather than its usual and more subtle manifestations. The festival can also have its drawbacks. I have already mentioned how pushy the show barkers can be. By the end of august, your pockets are filled with flyers. You can't talk to strangers for fear of a thirty minute sales pitch on their play about Rasputin's genitals. This bit troubles me an extra measure. Artists in any medium hold a very high position in my esteem, but during this tradeshow they call the festival I can have no illusion that their business is a business like any other. They have a product to move. It can be disheartening for a layman such as myself that perceive these people as pursuing a trade more noble than mine. My advice to anyone is never meet any of your idols. I have met two of mine and was disappointed on both accounts. A lesser nuisance is the sheer volume of mediocracy. Last night, I was at a show. I walked in and the musician was singing, "Let's invade Latvia". I was instantly excited. Yes. Lets! Everyone knows how smug those latvians are. Alas, I misunderstood the lyrics. He was singing about all night until the morning light or some crap like that. Ah well, Maybe someday someone will put those damn latvians in their place