Sunday, November 30, 2003

I am currently reading a handout entitled 'Cultural Materialism: Literature and Dissident Politics'. Or, more accurately, trying to read.

It was handed out in last week's Drama Foundation seminar. We are currently studying Shakespeare's Hamlet. I have no idea how this handout is relevant to this study. It seems to be more interested in detailing Cultural Materialism's history as a critical practice of interpreting literature - and the nuances of this practice as different critics try to define 'CM' - than anything else. Am I, some how, supposed to adopt this critical stance in my reading of the play? Or did my seminar tutor just hand out these sheets for a laugh at our expense?

...

...

...

I give up. Hopefully somebody who gave a toss - probably just the seminar tutor then - will explain all tomorrow. My theory is, that we're supposed to get an idea of Cultural Materialism, and then work our own ideas about Hamlet using that critical stance. I'll bullshit - as per.

Missed Pinocchio. Bugger.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Woohoo! Pinocchio's on Disney tonight! Woohoo! I'm excited.

This may seem a little bit random, but I assure you it isn't. This is coming from a person that actually joined Choices so that he could rent out Peter Pan week, in time with all that Michael Jackson controversy, and ordered The Emperor's New Groove, Sleeping Beauty, Mary Poppins and Robin Hood. I only watched PP, because I felt I had to within the 7 days I was allowed it. Those that I bought I will probably turn to in about 50 years time (I haven't watched Ghost World since it's release on DVD, even though I bought it immediately - I've never seen it either: shoot me! POW).

Not only that... but I've probably bought more out of the most recent issue of THE FACE, than I have from any previous issues. Yesterday, I bought two 'vintage T-shirts' - though it took a while for me to decide what exactly constituted a vintage t-shirt. I was distracted by some Batman t-shirts in Burton, but settled for an 'Everlast' t-shirt which resembles the kind of thing that grown-up graduates where to bed [if not, then the kind of garment that is made to seem to be put to this use by the media - if not, then this is a total figment of my imagination, but what a good figment of imagination that is... possibly]. I also bought myself a 'leather armlet' from H&M. That took some time. Why could they not just have one? I understand that there has to be some variation in the world, but I got confused over whether to go ornate, or have a sip, or an armlet that was split into two strips... etc. etc. I settled for one that looks kind of like a mini-belt. It looks kind of weird, because I don't usually wear accessories for the wrist [except for my watch] - I don't usually wear accessories [except for my glasses, and my newly bought hat, scarf and gloves - which I'm still getting used to].

I also ordered the most recent albums by Blondie and The Black Eyed Peas, and the album by that Sinead O'Connor wannabe Alex Parks, and bought The Bourne Supremacy. But now, I feel somewhat like the narrator character in Fight Club. That's the film, not the book - which I haven't read, and therefore made the distinction, because I have no idea how faithful an adaptation the movie is of the novel. Am I buying all these things to create an aesthetic that essentially isn't myself? I don't really like the leather armlet, because I don't feel like it's 'me', but I've been wearing it anyway - though, in public, it has been hidden under my roll-neck sweater so far... The t-shirts are not so different from what I would usually wear, and as for the CDs and books - if I like them or not, I will have to decide. Seeing as now my media exploration now seems to rely upon the Amazon Recommendations system - I have no idea why... it's recommended Two Weeks Notice because I liked Catch Me If You Can, Chicago AND Phone Booth. As far as I can remember, the latter three are not 'romantic comedies', but oh well, it saves me having to make decisions for myself. So, maybe that's the point. Maybe it's easier for me to buy a magazine or use a website to dictate what I should do with my spare time, rather than spend the time to consider what I should do for my myself. Guidance? Maybe. But I feel guilty. Or is that my inner self screaming for an individuality that will in the end be unobtainable unless you yield under the pressure of consumerism and let whatever qualities that remain solely to you seep out whenever possible.

I also need to learn to paragraph properly in my blog, I think. Sentence structure needs to be worked on too. But then, lazy is as lazy does... or is that vice versa?

However, this is the time that I must pull myself out of my chair, and get ready for my bus, which leaves in about 40 minutes. I'm going to catch the 'cat' and then hang around somewhere, drinking coffee, possibly smoking, possibly reading [see below] while I wait for my chauffeur Julia [otherwise known as 'Mother', 'Mum', and sometimes, 'Evil Bitch']. Some chaffeur she is - I actually have to walk down the pier, up that big hill in Ryde, and meet her outside the school of my step-brother. The term 'cruel' cannot convey the meaning. Though, she is picking me up, so I should cut her some slack. At least, I don't have to spend nigh-on a fiver to catch a bus that takes me only about ten miles [my ability to judge distance is rather poor - my apologies if that is pigfuckingly inaccurate, it would not surprise me].

"He's a good boy," Joe Jackson said. "I raised him good, and so I'm not too worried about other things that's happened."

Now, I know that the whole Michael Jackson thing is a little bit over-worked now. But then, I thought that verb ('over-worked') is basically what MJ's childhood was. Sure you raised him good, Joey boy. So good, he believes he's Peter Pan, looks very inhuman - due to his 'skin condition' [I actually saw somebody in Portsmouth with that condition the other day, and her nose wasn't mutilated], and [what was that other thing? oh!] he molests children.

Oh! My! Fucking! God! [Apologise for blasphemy, but...] I was searched under 'fuck my ass sample movies'. WOW!

Rehab is for quitters...

I quit quitting then. I'm not sure what excuse I made to myself to allow myself to start smoking again. I think it might have been How else are you going to look intellectual and like somebody who doesn't give a fuck whilst drinking black coffee and reading a book that you don't really understand in the courtyard in Milldam building? Of course, this totally ignores the fact that it is, in the long run, a very stupid activity (risk of cancer, etc.), but ARGH!

I also crossed the hypocrisy line about a week ago when I joined in with joint smoking flatmates. After about 3 hours of 'partying' at Route 66, a little inebriated, I continued to 'party' at home. When the girl opposite you looks totally fucked, but at the same time, slightly beautiful, how can you not accept the ticket to the 'I'm a bum' train station? I guess it's pretty easy - say no thanks, that's not my type of thing. But NO! NO! Russell, don't be sensible! Take that spliff and smoke away. WHY!? Because I'm stupid. Explains it all really.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Well, I finally stopped smoking about three hours ago. What an achievement! But already, according to this little slip I've got, my blood pressure has returned to normal, and my circulation improved. Tomorrow, I have better lungs to look forward to. The day after: better taste and smell. Then, what? NOTHING FOR 12 DAYS! There are no benefits to my quitting smoking for 12 DAYS!? That can't be on. And what do I get after those 12 days? My 'withdrawal symptoms ease'. Not dissappear; EASE! I have to wait another fortnight before they stop, and then another 5 months before the risk of cancer or heart attack falls... however, by that time, I would have eaten so much chocolate to console myself, that my cholesterol level will probably bring on cardiac arrest anyway.

I really miss you...

Friday, November 14, 2003

Note to self: you check to see if your blog is published how you want it to be way too often. Your nedstat reading reads [o! the grammar!] like a self-indulgent piece of egotistical wank.

Responsibilities...

Why I should have an issue on this immediately after waking up I'm not sure. Other than being prompted to tie up what I thought was a fairly minor issue last night, there's nothing that should have brought on an issue with responsibility. But why, oh, why can't people take a hold of it and say "Look, I did it. I'll take care of it"?

On a superficial level, you have my flatmates. The kitchen is a shithole. Given that the only thing I've cooked in there over the past week is a stir-fry [which I did only last night - and the hall supervisers had already complained the day before], I see not why I am the cause of the mess. Except the mess hasn't been cleaned. There's melted cheese on the cooker top, along with a delightful brown stain and what appears to be soup. There's orange peel on the carpet that covers the floor of the dining room, along with other numerous crumbs and bits of that little whatever they've decided to litter the floor with.

On a corporate level [if you can call the Student Union a corporation], you have the cloakroom attendants. Sample of an exchange:

Student: I've lost my ticket.
Attendant: Oh. Okay, which jacket's yours?
Student: [in drunken stupor points at any old jacket] That one.
Attendant: [collects jacket] Here you go.

Another of my less messy flatmates [his girlfriend's been down for the week] loses his jacket later that evening. He gives in his ticket, but his jacket can't be found: an £80 fcuk jacket. The attendant's response: "Nevermind, it'll probably be returned". Yeah fucking right. If I made off with an £80 fcuk jacket, I wouldn't return the bastard. Ironically, of course, that would be hypocritical of me, but then, I never said that I took responsibility, I was just criticising those who didn't. At the end of the day, I don't want to have to take responsibility for anything. If it's necessary then I will, because that's what should be done. But I ain't going to go out searching for 'em.

I think that if this sudden finickity on responsibility and commitment probably arises somehow from the actions of my estranged father; even if I have learnt to pass the general, everyday life that people might call my 'existence' - it's fitting, because that's all I seem to do: 'exist' - I most certainly still have issues with his irresponsibility. I'm sure it doesn't say in the 'Happy Families Cookbook' that a father is defined as the man that sleeps around during his marriage [I was blisfully ignorant in my childhood innocence], hooks up with a 17yr old [she was only 3 or 4 years older than me at the time] in the periods before, during and after the divorce of my parents, virtually disowns me because, in the early stages of adolescence, I stubbonly refused to accept his new girlfriend/hussy, and, finally, by the time he's got through his apparent drug addiction and fall into depression, expresses the every now and again wish to reconsummate the father-son relationship. This, of course, amounts to nothing, because where as the stereotypical father [if you can stereotype a father - surely it's something that's laid down in the book of impregnation] would be more of a leader or mode of moral idol and take care of the son, this flips over, and the buck falls on me to keep the 'relationship' going. Seeing it as no responsibility of mine, I, again, refuse to comply, culminating in the showdown in which I told him to "bugger off".

If a father's duty, or, at least, supposed duty, is to ensure the care and nourishment of his son, what is the duty of the son to the father? Appreciation and respect? I know the bible says that we should respect our elders, but when they commit such debauchery, are we really being true ourselves, so-called religion, or, indeed, any kind of spirituality, by conforming to that rule. Should I doubt in myself whether I did the wrong or right thing - I don't think so, but still I do. But what's done is done, what's passed has passed. Having attempted reinstitutionalising myself into their family in a series of higly artificial Christmases, I know that there is no way back. Unless I get hit by a car and become amnesiac [don't ask which one, but at present, I cannot remember which], there is no way that I can possibly forget everything I've learned, and enter into that highly 'innocent' son role again. All I do feel, and all I will ever feel, is contempt towards my father, his parents, his brothers and sisters, his nieces and nephews.

So, how does all this retrospection at all contribute to the email that I felt I had to send last night? I'm not sure. All I do know that is when met with the face [albeit not really her face, rather a representation of herself on a computer screen] of somebody that I'd avoided for such a long time after the realisation that any hope of forming a relationship based on foundations love, I felt the sudden urge to unload all those feelings onto her. Does this show a lack of responsibility? Technically, I am responsible for my feelings or reactions towards something, so was I being irresponsible, perhaps even careless, by mailing her those introspections? I'm not sure. I certainly wouldn't have felt that way, at that moment, if she hadn't turned up, but then that in itself wasn't her fault, more the product of two of my friends, ignorant to the fact that it clearly made me uncomfortable - not to mention that the conversation was inescapable: I considered signing out, but that would have meant not being able to chat with other friends. Perhaps I was careless, but again, what I can do now to stop myself from doing it. Perhaps if I could time-travel, I would go back and tell myself to be a little more considerate, and leave her at peace. Perhaps she has a right to know the way I feel, to make her own judgments. Perhaps she shouldn't have to know. Which leaves me waiting for a reply, if there will ever be one.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Meaningless thoughts: a fragment

Sitting down to watch Apocalypse Now Redux again, I begin to question "How would I have coped in those situations?" For a start, I haven't got clothes or weapons for the occasion, or the physique or the dogtags. I don't think I could have coped.

Oh, and what the fuck is 'The French Plantation' scene all about?

I think I'm smoking too many cigarettes, and have eaten too many Snickers bars.

Dear God, thankyou for the British Public! I mean, what would we be done without them?

Why on earth I taped the National Music Awards last night, and am watching it no, I do not know, but boy hasn't it brought up my esteem for fellow man. Congratulations Will Young for winning Best Album - I think you're a steaming pile of shit, but I'm sure you deserved it. [I was hoping for Norah Jones...]

Rachel Stevens - excellent 'live' performance. Funny how it sounded EXACTLY like the radio edit though.

Daniel Bedingfield? Debut album that reads like a Greatest Hits? Fuck off and die with your stupid bimbo fan Amanda Holden. While you're at it, take Robbie Williams and Gareth Gates with you, but, please, please, please, do it somewhere far away from society so that the stench from your decomposing bodies doesn't ruin the image of autumn that I'm trying so hard to appreciate [my current thought is that it's best experienced on the bus... not sure why, but I think it's the kind of terracotta glow that comes through the window... again, not sure why]. [N.B. Please let something worthy of my weak criticism grow from your demise, because I've found that being a bastard to people like you is quite an effective way of diverting myself from self-deprecation].

"I'd just like to say a massive, massive thankyou" for Kylie for reminding us who she is just in case we forgot. Saying that, she was sat down, so her prime identifying point was out of view. But kudos for not actually attending the ceremony. If I was a musical 'talent' then I wouldn't turn up either. When the first three performances are Busted [one of those guys have rather enormous eyes - it's rather scary...], Rachel Stevens and Daniel Bedingfield, awards are presented from the cast of Heartbeat and Emmerdale, I think you might come to realise that it's the kind of event that you don't want to tarnish your precious Manolo Blahniks.

For a little bit of Centrepeace, I will say rock on Black Eyed Peas and Girls Aloud though [I'm currently loving Jump - I was in 80s heaven with the group when they weren't covering 80s tracks, so this is fucking ecstasy... or something like that]. I so wish I could breakdance. I think weight my be a slight issue though.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

I should be doing my reading on Matthew Arnold, but I can't be arsed. So, instead, I come to realise how great Peter Stringfellow is. Women love him, and men want to be him. Or something like that. I want to be him so much, that I'm going to grow my hair, dye it grey, and grow some impressive man-titties, buy a boat and name it after myself, live the life of James Bond [without the danger - who wants to be under threat of sharks when you can just live a purely hedonistic life?] and find out what a boat bikini is [because at the moment, I'm at a loss].

Experimentation=bad?

As two of my flatmates smoke weed in the room next to mine, I'm beginning to wonder if experimentation is all that it's cracked up to be. My very first couple of drinking sessions resulted in some violent vomiting actions, and the day after was no better. Now, I drink alcohol regularly [no to the extent that I'd call myself an alcoholic - it's not a reliance, more an indulgence] and to what end? In the grand scheme of things is it profitable to the advancement of my inner self? No. Neither's smoking, but I do that as well.

Still, in the knowledge that they are experimenting with drugs in the adjacent room, I can't help but want to be experimenting too. I guess there's something characteristically inherent in human beings to want to fall into a state of perpetual self-destruction, and how to avoid it? When temptation waits, how can we avoid it? I haven't so far, and I'm sure that when the next experience comes along, I won't pass it by.

Of course, it's a novelty at the end of the day. My last all-out stupid instance of behaviour was about five weeks ago when I drank three bottles of wine in one evening. I'm not sure how I paced myself that night, because I can't actually remember much about that night, except that I started drinking when Hollyoaks came on, and was in bed at 3. How long I'd been in bed for I'm not sure, but then the pacing isn't what's important [apologies for the tangent]. The morning after, a little dazed and confused, I woke up to find pictures and videos on my laptop clearly displaying what it was that I couldn't remember, much to the amusement of my flatmates. My jeans were covered in mud, whilst they remained 'clean'. My experimentation was their entertainment.

I'm not criticising them, because I found myself in the same position this evening. When one of the two came into the kitchen extolling the 'sweetness' of their chocolate digestives, I couldn't help but smirk. Is this the same as that impulse to laugh at mentally retarded people when they make fools of themselves? They have just about control over what they're doing as somebody who's under the influence of drugs. Of course, one could argue that the drug-user has brought it upon themselves, and so deserves a certain amount of ridicule, but then what for those that enter into experimentation in a state of naivety?

I guess it's like everything though. Experimentation provides us with a form of learning something new, and taking away that innocence, which in many ways, should be our most valuable possession. Our biggest vice is searching for that knowledge that is just beyond our reach in the hope of some sort of progression. It's just ironic that progression seems to equal depression.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

I heart Matt Lucas and David Walliams

...but I prefer Rock Profile to Little Britain.

Though I very much like Vicky, but "Gary hasn't even got any pubes".

All the same, I feel somewhat ashamed of myself. I feel as if my time could, and should, be more productively spent reading poetry with a political perspective (don't ask me to name any poems in particular, because, I haven't done the reading, as is quite obvious by my watching Little Britain - before that: Four Weddings and a Funeral), or even something related to literary criticism. [Oh, I like that Fat Fighters character as well]. [Oh, and that guy with the waistcoat and the little flute].

Why is that my motivation is somewhat lacking today? Why is that my motivation is somewhat lacking everyday? Emmerdale, EastEnders, Holby City, Celebrity Wife Swap AND Westworld are all on later, so I bet I won't be doing anything 'productive' then either.

["Helsinki" - Never been there. But I have thought about it, as this may or may not inform you. It should].

Perhaps I should just try and be 'productive' without motivation. It could be a new movement of mine: 'Lazy Bastardism'. The idea that anybody can do anything without any inspiration whatsoever. And also, that in it's lack of effort, it will show an effortless beauty [because even if it's crappy and ugly, that can just be considered to be beautiful too... in a crappy and ugly way], and I will be esteemed above all that have ever been inspired to do something before me. Why? Because I wasn't inspired, I just simply did, because let's face it, you don't often find your own personal burning bush.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Another superficial dilemma, entirely without a point...

Do I:

a) read Frankenstein because my placement on the BA (Hons) English Literature course involves my reading said text as part of my studies... and I have a lecture on it tomorrow; or

b) go out to the rather lovely Flares in all its Austin Powers-nessness, get tipsy on VKice (only £1), dance, rub up against girls that have no interest in me whatsoever, and wake up with headache tomorrow morning (after only 3 hours sleep) to have 3 hours of what they call 'education'.

Hmmm...

which reminds me, have I got reading to do for Poetry?...

...that's it, I'm going to Flares. Sense has overcome me.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Liking dwarves that make me feel relatively tall.

Disliking being elbowed in the back.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

How should one pass the time until they catch their bus to Portsmouth's very own, very tacky Chicago Rock Cafe (here known as 'Route 66')?

Hmm...

Still pissed off about my rape alarm...

Hmm...

Still addicted to Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec

Hmm...

Still haven't found myself that hat that I want... though I did find some cheap(ish) gloves and a scarf in the Adidas store on Gunwharf Quays... I just wish that I could afford to shop in those designer outlets without being left on a highly minimal budget for the rest of the year...

I could rob a bank!

But how?

Hmm...

I could always wrap that scarf around my head and wear some girly clothes to make them think I'm some sort of cat burglar... or...

This isn't going anywhere...

Shitfuckbuggery... my rape alarm's broke. Probably something I don't want to go publicising, just incase some opportunist thief now seizes the chance to attack me tonight, but I loved that little bastard. Now what I thought was a useless circle thing has fallen off and the alarm doesn't go off when I pull the pin... if you're asking why I pulled the pin, it was because the circle thing fell off and I was wondering if it would still work... whether it ever worked or not I don't know, but in that ignorance at least I felt a little secure, even if wrongly so.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

My own personal Taxi Driver

Shitfuckbollocks, it's been a while! But after a day of pretty much non-eventfulness... that would be me seeing Matrix Revolutions then... I thought I better tell you all about, as opposed to my making my presence felt at other times...

Well, since my last visit, I've very much settled into halls down at the great Pompey Uni (I say great, but I'm sure that does it more than justice should allow it), and I've had... an experience. The first Thursday night involved three bottles of wine and a loss of memory, though my flatmates very kindly left me some mementos in the form of photos and videos for my perusal... the evils of alcohol... of course, I never learn... due to give a talk on Keats for my poetry seminar this tuesday... what do I do? Go and get rocked at 'flares' on £1 VK ices... stupid boy.

Anyways, Matrix Revolutions... what a pile of pseudo-philosophical bullshit... I still prefer the original for my kicks... Wazowski schmawoski... nail their fucking mouths shut and cut off their hands... then perhaps they'll have the whole apparent mythology alone... bastards!

But I heard far worse problems with my very own Travis Bickle... I won't mention any names for anonymity's sake, but I'm starting to worry that this 'friend' of mine might just driving a taxi and gunning down pimps with all his rants on the scum of the earth... that award of his doesn't seem so harsh anymore.

Better get lost though... having serious addiction issues with Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec... guess it beats cigarettes and alcohol... but I don't see me giving them up either... again... stupid boy!