Old Writings #1

I found some old scribblings of mine up in Jämtland over the holidays. I knew I had them there, though I was unsure about what I’d kept. An old essay from my Psychology degree was safely guarded in a plastic folder, which I’ll be blogging (as usual) for future Freya’s amusement.

Stuffed behind the essay, to my surprise, were a few other pieces of paper with my past thoughts legibly written for the now Jon to peruse. The first, a copy of which shall follow, is the lyrics to a never-written song I’d planned to do with Den and Mart in 1993 (?). I think the idea was to speak, rather than rap or sing, the words, most probably because none of us could rap or sing.

Anyway, here is a glimse into my past:

The painted smiles, the miles and miles of
plastic seats and knives and lives,
A fairytale scene, so clinically clean
where all will live the American Dream.

Give me some fries the size of your lies,
I’m going mad for the burger I had,
something to relish, but not to cherish,
a shake to shake the taste.

Malice in Burgerland forcing a hand in how
to keep the industry bland,
The clown of hearts will reach the parts
that others fail to reach.

Whichever you choose, you stand to lose
resign yourself to self-defeat,
When it comes to lunch, when it comes to the crunch:
one man’s murder’s another man’s meat.

Believe It Or Not, It Is Still Important

I have a friend in England, Andy, whom I met in Luxembourg some ten years ago. We liked the same styles of dance music, and he was almost always at the same venues where I was DJing, enjoying the same tracks undoubtedly as much as I did. With such a common interest we became, paradoxically, the unlikeliest of friends. You see, Andy was – and still is – a true blue Tory, a self-centred capitalist. I mean this with no disrespect, and I am certain Andy would agree that my description of him is a fitting one.

We have had some interesting, sometimes heated, discussions about a fair number of subjects that we both feel passionately about, nearly always having opposite views. The discussion I remember most vividly was about the environment, Andy taking the stance that the man-made global warming threat is rubbish, that he did not believe it.

My mum doesn’t believe in Stonehenge, by the way. She revealed this perspective during our visit this July. It took a few seconds to register what she had said, a further few more to contrive a suitable reply, and will take a lifetime to cogitate the real meaning behind her statement, said in such a dismissive tone as to believe she was irritated by the mere idea that Stonehenge is.

Both Andy and my mum have notions that defy a great deal of information to the contrary, although if we’re taking bets on which of the statements is more likely to be true, I’d put my money on Andy. The difference in these bold statements is not one of veritableness, but the effect upon the world that they are conceived in.

My mother’s rejection of one of the world’s most well-known prehistoric monuments, while being irrefutably wrong, does not/ cannot change what is: Stonehenge will exist without her support, thank you very much. Even if a billion people refused to believe, Stonehenge would still stand; Andy, on the other hand, has a more serious issue to deal with. If he does not think mankind has an influence on the environment’s well-being, then he will continue along the yellow brick road of Capitalism. If a billion people are in agreement with Andy, then it’s goodbye Netherlands.

We all need to take a personal responsibility in this world, to minimize the chance of irreparable damage to the very thing that gives us life. Even if the chance is minimal, we must take any threat to our survival seriously. As is it, the threat seems very real, probably even more so than Stonehenge, which will survive longer than we will if we continue to ignore the threat. Sorry, Andy, but even if I’m wrong I’m right.

Two Become One (And Yet, Still Two)

My school friend of 25 years, Matt, got married in Luxembourg today, so the family flew out to be a part of his Hindu wedding.

They had flown out a Hindi priest from Birmingham, not that anyone would have known how priesty he was; he was speaking in a strange language throughout the ceremony, and could quite have easily been reciting a string of dictionary entries for all we know. From his emotionless face, the slightly confused state he’d occasionally reveal when not knowing whether to sprinkle something on an orange, set fire to things and sprinkle them with something (maybe the same liquid, I don’t know), or throw rice on the bride and groom and sprinkle them, and the (undoubtedly normal to him, though disconcerting for us Hindu-tourists) dead intonation in his voice, he probably was.

Added to this, the discussions he seemed to be having with other Hindus in the congregation about what to do next (some things traverse the language barrier), plus the frequent pauses to explain to Matt and Carley how they should hold various items of fruit they were handed at various intervals, made for an interesting, sometimes comical, ceremony. I’m glad it wasn’t the three-day version or we’d have been there until Christmas.

Most of the invitees, including us, decided to dress up in traditional Hindu garb, and this, along with the superb decoration and food, made for a fantastic experience. I’m not sure how traditional a Bugs Bunny bouncy castle is, but it gave the children present plenty to occupy themselves.

We had plenty of time to catch up with some long-lost acquaintances Jo and I knew from our partying days in Luxembourg. We kept ourselves on the right side of alcohol (i.e. not too much). This enabled me to last the evening without wanting to go and lie down, and to be able to function properly the next day (where we met up with some of the previous night’s crowd, plus a few others we’d wanted to socialise with).

Considering we only spent one and a half days there we managed to see more people than I’d hoped to, but this was Matt and Carley’s weekend, so we wish you both the best of luck for the future.

First Mission Of 2007

Chris and we finally got our act together and went on our first “explore Sweden” trip, something we haven’t done for a couple of years. Our destination for the revival was Linköping, since I’d read there was an exhibition there of Swedish videogame history.

If videogames is your thang then avoid Linköping. The exhibition was shite, with very little information on offer. The Altair 8800 that was in place had no description, which, unless you are reasonably hardcore, just looks like a box with lots of switches on it. I was proud to have my picture taken resting a hand on this important piece of gaming hardware, though the expression on my face made me look like the Altair smelled of rancid pooh, so the photo was discarded. There was a playable Wii there, but I need more than that and a few old computers to be impressed. I was worried, when we got lost on the way to the exhibition, that we would get there after it had closed for the day, though the 15 minutes we had was ample.

Thankfully, Jo suggested going to Old Linköping, which was far more enjoyable. In most of the houses there were interesting things to do/see, and it was a shame we only had half an hour there before all the main places closed.

We spent the last hours of our Linköping mission sat outside at an O’Leary’s pub in “new” Linköping. It seems Chris was suitably impressed with the Wii, he wanted to find somewhere on the way home that was open to buy one.

A Sporting First

We were at Mattias and Linda’s this afternoon, for their BBQ and Basketball party. I was less than enthusiastic about playing a sport I had managed to avoid for 39 years of my life, but when I actually got on the court I found myself really enjoying it.

Both Jo and I put forward the idea of having a weekly game. It’s a great way to socialise, and a much better way of getting fit than going to the gym or running. I’m not sure just how the others took our proposition, but I felt they were less bitten by the thought than we were.