You might be familiar with the entrenched British radio stalwart entitled: “Desert Island Discs” in which prominent folk from various fields are interviewed on the hypothetical pretence that they are going to be marooned on a desert island.
On this island they are permitted 8 songs (usually music), 1 book and a single luxury item; and this is to do them till eternity isn’t eternal anymore on this desert island.
A charming concept and a wonderful way in which to see more into a person as they unveil themselves via the vital songs in of their life.
A tremendous way to sum up a lifetime, but a hard task when summing up the Earth.
What songs could sum up the Earth and all its previous? Are we stuck with 8 songs to detail our planet’s past? Do the dinosaurs get any sway in our say?
It’s probably worth explaining why I’m bringing the planet into this.
I can remember being told that one day all life in the entire universe was going to end, but not before our sun gave up the galactic ghost and Earth went bang.
I was very young and slightly shaken (almost crapped myself) until it was explained to me that the Earth was not due to explode in a whirl of mountains and continents and pets until millions of years after my own comfortable bed-bound death.
Though quelled, I still held the knowledge that all this was temporary and that there was going to be a final day.
And so, from those young days to this, I have pondered at times about which things would be a good way to kick off the final day; activities and playlists, guest lists and buffet items.
And then, as my understanding of probable alien life came into being, I realised the need to broadcast our best and brightest to the cosmos; for a whole host of reasons including but not limited to: scaring the sweet shit out of Johnny Alien and ensuring they heard the lovely melodies of tales about getting-the-girl, being-so-glad and telling-all-the-world.
And I’ve been narrowing it down.
Yes, it’s another series from me, and whilst a new one comes, please don’t assume the others are dead. Perpetually IN is not quite out of vogue, Matters That Matter still matters and Brief…Therefore Witty still has some epigrams to launch before lunch, although it has become increasingly clear as to my answer in that famed personality quiz question: “Do you find it easier to start new projects or finish up the details that’ve been passed on to you?”
Never pass things on to me.
Especially a trumpet (I hate it when a person plays a brass instrument and holds eye-contact with me. Gives me the willies. Woodwind doesn’t seem to bother me though).
Especially when you’ve just blown it at a group of post-conch-blowing Mauri in the 1600’s.
Onto the rocket goes:
Having viewed much of the world with a fairly sturdy stomach, it was not till I watched true Maori of New Zealand perform the Haka, barely a few feet from my face, with as much intensity as a human can muster and hopefully as much as an alien can bare to stand.
The tattooed face isn’t really an important factor in this, because we’re talking about a wielding of the face that is such a tradition that I truly believe that it has become a genetic blessing on the traditional Maori people.
The bulging eyes, the enormity of the limbs of the ilk that might not grace the cover of GQ but would certainly cause a fellow to quiver in recognition that this is a matter of dashing brains upon the beach, and the tongue that whips with every sincerely meant gasping inhalation of the imminence of battle in which you simply can’t wait to take part.
The slapping/clawing of the legs and chest, the slight and delicate motions between in which genuine respect is given to some hairy sun-stealing deity, the waving of weaponry and the warrior’s deep-shrieking vernacular of a people that have no issue with your puny European musket because we’re used to hunting giant 12-foot Moa birds with huge glowing green rock-clubs, so beware me as I blow my conch (put the trumpet down).
There is something so utterly awe-inspiring about the Maori Haka that I truly believe it is amongst the best of what our species has to offer, and we must look at things in terms of an entire species from now on, otherwise the aliens won’t take our rocket seriously.
I can easily believe the Haka can make you fearless. For how can an expression such as that pictured (just look at the picture…) have any concern over so fleeting a complication as a Martian death-ray?
It is, however, crucial that this Haka be performed only by Maori. Even if they’re 1/24th Maori; that’ll do just dandy too, but it’s not going to be a European guy doing it.
I’ve seen the Kiwi rugby team with their Haka, and the Maori contingent is all of what I have expressed above, but the tall blonde guys joining in too – it just doesn’t work for me. I don’t believe their Haka. It seems too ‘awfully-hope-this-isn’t-too-much-of-an-inconvenience-if-score-a-try-awfully-very-much-sorry-thanks-sorry’. I’m sure they could do a marvellous Scandinavian/Viking battle cry, standing all moody whilst the rain runs from the battle-axe, plus I’ve never seen an Asian or African guy do the Haka, but I’m going to have to choose a Maori guy (and girl, sure) for the Haka here.
I’m not saying European guys shouldn’t do it, I’m just saying it’s not getting onto my rocket.
I’m trying to make inter-galactic friends here.
There is also that message of the Haka, which is the indomitable threat of an ultimate victory expressed via the eyes and lashing tongue in the Haka, but written here it is:
“The worst thing you can be is shit. And I’m going to defeat you in battle, kill you hence, I’m going to eat you, and I’m going to turn you into shit. I will turn you into shit. And I’m keeping your boat.”
A powerful message we can all relate to, especially since I’m in favour of eating some people. Not all people, but explicitly people who continue walking towards our planet once having seen the Haka (because we’d better eat them; they must be insane to keep marching after seeing that).
You might now be starting to see how Desert Island Discs and my rocket deviate from one another.
Next up, onto the rocket goes:
‘Mamma Mia’, by Abba.
Perhaps this is the battle cry the Scandinavians could be doing whilst the Haka’s happening next door?
Of course I’m referring to the single song, not the entire musical. Not the musical at all in fact, but undoubtedly that glorious piece of lyricised human condition known as ‘Mamma Mia’.
Crickey it’s a corker.
A tale known by those who have loved, lost, and rekindled, lost, loved some more, and therein having actually done loving properly; it is a shame of our childish species for which we are very happy to indulge in this equal to the many times we like to put that record on and get all excited at that opening piano staccato that is in imitation of a tick-tocking clock that only tick and tocks onwards and past you whilst you’re still standing there – very much so still fallen for that person and very much so still hopeless to do anything about it.
Mamma Mia – here we go again, a mantra for those about to whirl about in a familiar romance once more, as well as those about to put ‘Mamma Mia’ on again.
Here we go again.
Lyrically, it sums up the side of that human condition that the poets try to nail and the scholars try only to avoid, whilst musically it is simply very fucking-on-the-nose as a song everyone likes.
It could always simply be that I’m a tad of a nostalgic romantic at heart and this is sheer indulgence on behalf of myself, but I don’t see how that would matter either way as it’s my rocket and you’re all my species (I’m fairly possessive) and this is the way we’re doing it.
I just adore that moment of hushedness, in which the staccato returns and the humble “Mamma Mia, here I go again, my-my how could I resist ya” – in which the hushedness represents that intimate chat with oneself in which you’re too stupefied by love that you’re unable to answer your own internal monologue. And the culmination, the CULMINATION that …..CULMINATES to the point of saying simply: “I should not have let you go”.
I feel that “Awww” is a splendid way of summing this song up, and in doing so, goes a great length in summing us up also.
The human species: “Awww” and (Haka-induced) “Arrrggghhh!”
That’s what goes onto my rocket.
I just spent 4 hours being unmanly.
Manliness is easier when sitting down, but therein lies the flaw of the matter – video games, despite all their sword-flailing/bullet-busting/gore-for-all enthusiasm, are not a manly way to spend ones time.
Stewing up a stench, gaining body fat in every region aside from the virulent thumbs, and alienating myself from my own inner dialogue, is not an effective use of my Monday; nor is it a good reason for all those cavemen predecessors to have procreated and died in a long line of folk known for their good thumb-work all adding up to me; eating more calories than I could possibly spend because I feel like it, with booze before noon, and a disdain for the unfashionable sunlight because it creates glare from my television screen.
Video games are a waste of evolution.
I can think of other species that would have died to have had those thumbs (in many cases – they did die – Dodos with thumbs would’ve vanquished those pirates); and here I am – wasting them like any other comparable metaphor that I can’t think of.
4 hours devoted to pixels is probably a major factor as to why I can’t do the proper word thinking no more.
Nobody looks back from their death-bed and wishes they’d spent more time wasting their life.
Oscar Wilde committed his last words as an epigram, proper sturdy wit that has lasted the ages as a bit of throw-away excuse-me-for-being-so-hopelessly-charming-and-acutely-smashing via the line: “Either that wallpaper goes or I do.” And he did.
Upon my own deathbed, surrounded by the failures of my life – obvious my omission – I shall advice this of the young: “Get ahead in Candy Crush early; it’ll save a lot of living”.
I don’t know why I don’t do things.
It could be the fear of failure. It could be the fear of success.
When I look back on the manner of living by which I have conducted myself, I could cry.
I’ve had a high-flying job, travelled the world, wooed fierce women and defeated great men, I’ve a formidable gang of friends and family that is quite simply better than yours, with a woman by my side whose perfection and reciprocated love for me is unutterable by any common tongue as it seems only constant and fiery devotion to one another will do.
I have a dog.
Me – not the dog.
My ancestors will die and leave me enough money that I will never have to work yet I can still envision myself being ignored by the people on the street as I begin to worry about eating that day and having very cold feet.
I was raised with my head in books and only the most-lofty of clouds, my arse in a theatre and my feet on the pitch. I was accused of being able to do anything I wanted in life, and so began a fear of taking those few short steps are all that require me to do so.
I have taken steps; no strides.
I could do anything, and it terrifies me.
Not deserved, what some would have killed for
I need to take no more steps, as I feel only strides will do. That great single stride that begins every great adventure, only it must be one that cannot be stepped back.
I’m not sure if its anxiety or simple stage fright (on that stage that all the world is, and all the people merely players).
Being an egomaniac is a terrible thing when you’re on your own, with nobody to make laugh and only the cold stare of your disappointed self, wondering why you haven’t made it great yet.
This ‘second coming’ wasn’t worth all the hype was it?
Time to be a man about this.
First, a good hardy slap to the right (upper) cheek.
Ow (Damn I’m good at that).
Second, a promise to be immediately fulfilled.
An article, written post-hence, to be properly proofread and fully uploaded to all available media.
The subject: the greatest aspects of Earth I we need to flaunt to all alien life for two reasons:
1. They are intimidated by the Haka and learn a lesson in fucking off.
2. They hear the immortal tale of the human condition of lucky suffering – ABBA’s Mamma Mia.
3. Well, read the article and you’ll find out.
I have to say, writing is a marvellous thing, as reading is also, and I think you’ll find that together we can get a bit of both jolly well done, eh?
And remember, “do not go gentle into that good night”, but make sure you give the dawn a good kicking too.
With strides only,
To begin with, as we know, everyone’s been dying for quite a substantial period of time.
Nobody’s not died in living memory.
We just keep it up, don’t we?
2016, in four months, robbed the world of mother and brothers, friends and lovers; most of which are unknown to all of us.
Now however, it would seem the entertainers are going.
Victoria Wood was introduced to me by my mother.
I had no idea in the slightest.
This is a very general rule for me, and becoming engaged with a funny looking lass who seemed to be wearing intergalactic clobber made it all the more so; not to mention her referencing to things which were evidently quite dull.
And then I aged.
A sad story, I know, but with these betraying years came the sublime smack of comprehension regarding the world that I had not known before.
I read a little, wrote a little, kissed here and there (once everywhere) and realised a bad time was sweaty and good time doubly-so.
And now I am as I am.
And me being what I am as I am now; I’ve gone and gotten myself and appreciation for Victoria Wood.
And I think she’s an absolute cracker.
Blending the northern grind of suburban mediocrity with the true surreal thrill-filled passion which consumes each and every one of us at our best and worse; she found her comedic niche and worked the hell out of it, building to the paramount point of glorious comedic beauty:
“The Ballad of Barry and Freda”
She, being Freda, approaching the waning years of latter middle-age, whilst also being bloody Northern, is one evening filled with the passion of Greta Garbo’s smouldering glare and Marilyn’s off-the-shoulder-strap cheek.
Freda enquires, demands, pleads, proclaims, beseeches her lover, Barry – likely a chap still working though would rather more sit and scratch – this simple statement of the still-sparkling powerful cheek of she that is forever young (sometimes)… “Let’s do it.”
Barry cringes, is unkeen to go about the act of love making owing to some “it’s not right, s’not proper at ah age, you’re just bein daft y’old blody womun”
As is his right, with the timidity of the years bearing down upon him, though much still very so in love with his Freda, he’s a tad out of rhythm when in the sack.
And he is quite honestly intimidated by his wife.
However, her passion builds, bulges become commonplace in the front room and the crescendo cometh in the form of Victoria Wood bellowing, thoroughly accented like a bloody Northerner should be, with “TONIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!”
And I’m still listening to her sing it.
Recognition is the means of immortality and thus, for us, Victoria is very much so still here.
Lemmy basses about through a thousand stereos still.
Bowie’s bravery strikes chords in a million daily hearts.
And I’m reminded that I am fairly old for the average 26 year-old.
And I’d better get working.
You can’t take anything with you, but you can leave the world with something to remember you by.
And there they go.
Never forget, we’re lucky to have them…still.
Rest in peace humanity, and throttle life like you know you’re not coming back.
It’s good to have a phrase. And this one’s mine.
I was thinking about the state of the planet and I concluded that the best means to go about saving it would be to place its inevitable destruction in the hands of someone profoundly pleasant – like me, baby.
Not that our negatives outweigh anything much at all, let alone our positives, but at least I came out of the thought process with a phrase to my name.
The scenario would go as such:
“Hey – you guys with the demolition equipment, and you fellows over there with the sticks and stones, and you gentle-folk with the vast amounts of crude oil running down your suit. Stop it. Stop it or I’ll melt you. Stop it before things get awfully radioactive around here. Stop it, because I’m a nice guy with a nuke…and one hell of a phrase.”
‘Nice guy with a nuke and one hell of a phrase’.
I’ve come out with a fair few number of these – as I’ve said before; I was born to write T-shirts.
Should the world begin to spin a new axis and send us whirling off into a grand and beautiful playground of planets – I’ll have the perfect T-shirt phrase for you.
Something like: “The Earth flung me into space and…it’s not too bad actually.”
I would wear the shit out of literature like that.
I’d blend in with all the super-cool inter-stella types who feel the planet’s disassociation with them was a good move.
Sometimes all you need is something to say.
Here’s an example.
I’ve begun to annotate Gideons bible, wherever he leaves it.
Having stayed in multiple hotels recently, I’ve found the few blank pages by the final cover to be too tempting to leave looking so pale. So I’ve taken to inking them up a tad.
Largely, the text has revolved around why one feeling the need to reach for a bible might first consider being waylaid by my words – words which suggest a little self-help.
I’ve gone about it in points. 7 points made to waylay the reader seeking some sort of prophetical depth and meaning from a book famed for causing perpetually self-flagellation/immolation/canonisation and instead offer them some means of self-help largely focusing on gratitude of being a species member easily able to flood one’s own being with endorphins.
That this is possible is reason to be cheery enough, even before we indulge in our sexually explicit, intellectually stunning, physical-adrenaline seeking brethren of folk intent on having a good time seeing as how we’ve all discovered how great clothes are and why it’s so jolly to remove them.
This is the sort of thing I write in the bible; I recommend you flip to the back.
On the subject of religion, I had a thought or two more about what I would like to return as.
Not in any sense of reincarnation, but rather to what purpose I would like my overly willing body to be charitably donated to following my grizzly passing (if my passing isn’t grizzly then I’m not entirely sure what the point of being there for it is at all).
Death by most means seems applicable to me. Likely suicide since it yields a tremendous degree of satisfaction drawn along with the identity of ‘my way’ and ‘on my terms’. I prefer the far more teenage phrasing of it, being: “it’s my life. I do what I want with it.”.
However, as amusing as possible would perhaps be the most communally-minded a way of departing our way to “dusty death”, particularly if able to spread myself over an enormous surface area and knock seagulls out of the sky and wake the dog up.
I’d quite like to explode.
Hot air balloons seem most appropriate for this.
So appropriate I’d put it on a T-shirt; “How do I want to die? Hot air balloon.”
Still – there is the question of what becomes of my leavings.
I like the idea of my dick being held in a trophy case by an enthusiast. Blue Peter badge holders only have access, must be this high and over 18 to ride.
Otherwise, I think I’d make a great bow and arrow.
I’d be a better bow and arrow than you.
I’ve often described myself as just sinewy and bendy enough to be deadly unto game at 18 yards. That’d be a heck of a thing to be considered my remains. Plus I’m an uncle and I like the idea of my niece being able to say she killed an elk using her uncle. I’d like that; it’s good to be useful.
Or a wallet. It’s also good to be a wallet. I like the idea of all my tattoos being flayed from what once was all I physically was and then being made into nice purse for a special gal in what was my life. That ball bag of mine would be perfect for this. Quite an inheritance.
Or a candlestick. This way I could still attend family weddings since I’d be part of the wedding gift list.
Now then, now then. There’s no masochistic tendencies being written about here – rather a sincere query into what’ll happen in the most final of moments. I’m not overly keen to experience the sensation of being pulled and twisted into the candlestick design drawn by a family member, but if I’m on the way out I might as well make it memorable. I’d be a candlestick who had seen a thing or two. Getting lit.
People at the wedding would bicker and quarrel and would lament how the wallet made of their mother and the pew made from Uncle Hugh (“He did love his rhymes!”) are better than one another – citing history regarding why the cousin-made mantelpiece and sister-made skirt never liked each other anyway.
And then I’d stroll in, nuke in hand and phrase on tongue – about to indulge in a large surface area following a suspiciously nukey bang.
I’ve been thinking for a while of my time lately that what I need to get myself going would be the threat of nuclear annihilation.
It’d get me out of bed. And into the meadow.
Just look at the breadth of creativity born from people believing the looming green glow of the most horrible afterwards was perpetually at a 2 minutes to midnight proximity to the end of their lives in the 1980’s.
We could do with that.
Just imagine the haircuts we’d have.
If the common man thought tomorrow’s weather was going to be particularly murderous for the skin then he might go about his next pre-nuke hair-styling with the mantra of: “More dolphins. More pinstripes. More tooth-trophies. These have been missing from my hair thus far.” and then we’d stare at him and enjoy his head.
The liberation is head-bound. We’d be buoyant because what we do to our upstairs growth is going to be somewhat without consequence…and with dolphins.
I could offer you access to the mentality to inspire a hair-do such as this. Just give me the nuclear key to turn, and then help me with my fragile wrists (I’m flawed when it comes to twisting things).
Knowing that somewhere out there there’s a pleasant man with a nice (NICE!) smile who might lean to the East a tad too, oh so too much and nudge two things: (1) a bulbous button into action and (2) you…into either oblivion or next Thursday.
Naturally one argues against this point that this imminent reality is a real reality and we should take inspiration from the probability of a vehicle’s rapid insertion of itself (via a driver) into your physical frame of somewhat-now irrelevant bones and meat (at which point you went from a pedestrian to a mess in a horrific neatness of time) into several poorly compiled heaps of person. People being described as heaps always equates to things having turned sour on a level great enough to be mentioned.
My response to this is as such: yep, but knowing everyone else is going to die will treat you to a level of comfort in how you wear your hair which you cannot be granted by merely being struck by the typical example of speeding driven metal. You lazy fuck – get thee to a nunnery and prepare for the heavy bomb full of nukey-goodness.
Having one more day of neighbours will grant you a piece of peace one can only achieve otherwise by spending a plentiful amount of your time attempting to realise that not only are you going to rot – but you’re going to start before you even die.
So let down your hair (and your parents), find yourself a phrase to your name, and prepare thyself for the dropping of bombs by a man so pleasant you’re going to wish you’d gotten him a going-away gift before the day’s sky began to quickly darken.
Oh well, at least we had the haircuts.
You’ve been great,