Monday, March 26, 2012

Tweet Revenge

Beautiful, brainy Louise Mensch got a bee in her bonnet yesterday about a Labour councillor's tweet expressing disappointment that Margaret Thatcher hadn't died. Read all about it here in the article Lovely Louise linked to.

When Thatcher eventually pops her clogs I, for one, won't be celebrating. She will be at peace and peace is the last thing I'd wish on her. I want her to suffer invisibly in an NHS hospital corridor, without a bed to go to, watching the nurses and doctors scurrying past, oblivious to her lonely plight.

No, something to celebrate would be the abortion of all potential Tory MPs. Stop the fuckers before they have a chance to breathe their privileged air. But life is sacred to me and once they're born all you can hope is that one day they will suffer as they've made others suffer.

The furore got me thinking of Elvis Costello's Tramp the Dirt Down, which looks to a time when Elvis can "savour" tramping the dirt down on Thatcher's grave, tramping like Joe Strummer does in the video to Rock The Casbah.

I remember feeling very moved by this song at the end of the 80s and a tingle of righteous anger tickled my spine when I saw Elvis perform it live. We were such an angry, ticklish audience.

Of course it would never happen. You couldn't get anywhere near the grave. You couldn't get back at her and even if you were to sneak in the Grantham graveyard one night, pissed as a fart and whoop and holler at the top of your voice, stamping to a rock soundtrack, get arrested by the vicar and transported to a cell, would you really feel any better? Would any of her victims have been avenged?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Can You Hear Me, Mother?

I visited my mum for Smothering Sunday. She's eighty now and concerned about a hospital appointment on Tuesday but the doctor only sent her there because my mum just wants peace of mind. Her sister had a similar investigation a couple of months ago (dodgy bowels run in our family, don't I know it!) and they didn't discover anything and let her watch the procedure on a screen. She asked what the things floating around were. "That's your poo," she was told.

My mum's still in good form, still slagging off everybody but the people she's talking to. Today it was my stepbrother's wife's turn.

"She's in her forties and she totters around on these really high heels on these big slippery tiles, clop clop clop, she's got a really short skirt on that goes out like this then up like this, her waist must be about eighteen inches, although she makes sure everybody else has plenty to eat you never see anything pass her lips and she says hello to you at the beginning of the party then goodbye at the end but ignores you for the rest of the time. She's got a lovely house, the best of everything, she really fell on her feet when she met Dave, he does everything for her, he's really good with his hands and he has to travel to Brighton every day to work but his company have bought him a lovely new white car with four circles on it, he said he wanted five circles to fit in with the Olympics, he was being funny."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

With a Rebel Yell

Here we have a well-meaning article about a supposed protest song. You can watch the video if you like and drink in the angry words. Ooh, he's so angry.

The problem with Plan B is his voice. His is not the voice of the shat-on. His upbringing is comfortable, from Simon Reynolds' liminal class, a lower-middle class/upper-working class classification which has been created to give writers something to write about. It doesn't exist. And it certainly isn't where the so-called "chavs" are. The upper working class look down on the "chavs". The lower middle class try to teach them to give them a chance to make something of themselves, become respected members of society like the upper working class bigots who look down on them.

Plan B isn't going to change anything. He's just going to make loads more money from those poor saps who loved The Prodigy when Keith found his Spitting Image punk voice.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Martin Carr

I am working again, thankfully three days a week, semi-retired. I am away from home for twelve hours each day I go to work. Those days feel very long for a tired old sod like me.

But now I'm up and at 'em, there's more time for reading. I am currently reading Patrick deWitt's brilliant The Sisters Brothers, savouring each short chapter. The book I read before this was Caitlin Moran's How To Be a Woman. To give you some idea of just how likeable Caitlin is, I've filched the following paragraph:

"Whilst motherhood is an incredible vocation, it has no more inherent worth than a childless woman simply being who she is, to the utmost of her capabilities. To think otherwise betrays a belief that being a thinking, creative, productive and fulfilled woman is, somehow, not enough. That no action will ever be the equal of giving birth."

Caitlin is a mother but is a feminist. She believes that all women have the right to determine what they want out of life and go for it. When Caitlin got married, she didn't think it was going to be the best day of her life. She wanted something low key. Her and her mates and her family could treat it like a laugh and get pissed in the pub.

So did she? No, she let herself and her gender down by getting married in a former monastery in Coventry, two days after Christmas. It is a disaster! An absolute disaster!

Caitlin just doesn't cut it as a bride. She is too weird, too indie. Her friends are just too alternative to fit in at such an occasion. The couple's first dance is 'Ask' by The Smiths! Her friend Dave offers some ecstasy to her father-in-law! One bridesmaid is a six foot two gay man! A six foot two gay man! Another bridesmaid is "rocking a tattoo of a dolphin saying 'Fuck'." Literally "rocking" the motherfucker!

So Caitlin is married and starts a family with her special husband and they have a couple of special children. Although her first labour was pretty horrific, she wouldn't have missed it for the world, it made her stronger and there is nothing in this world like that wonderful unconditional love between a mother and her child.

But being a feminist, Caitlin passionately believes what she says in the above excerpt. A "thinking, creative, productive and fulfilled woman" without a child is just as worthy as one with a child. A Caitlin Moran without a child would have been the equal of the Caitlin Moran we see before us now, a Twitter goddess with all those prodigiously creative, hilarious, intelligent, unique middle aged friends who make each other laugh, cry and give the likes of us an insight into the way life can be lived if you really have no bars to your teenage ambitions.