(not really a blog post, just some sentences that leaked out)
I believe there has been some research into why the onset of middle age can lead to a sensation that the world has gone awry. The sensation that things really aren’t as good as when you were young and listening to vibrant culture while wondering if you would ever be kissed or kissable. It is a feeling I fight with, but I am sometimes floored by.
Is everything shallow now?
Has everyone swapped their sapiens for consumerism?
Does pop music fail the Turing test?
Is the television by committee a vacuous, stumbling mediocrity, shouting and shooting to less and less effect?
If I had been middle aged in the 1980s, and sometimes I was, would I recall the sixties and how the blue pills and Vespas were so much more invigorating than the Smiths and Lowenbrau? If I was middle aged in the sixties, would I talk of Orwell, powdered eggs and Vera Lynn as the peak of human endeavour.
Middle aged in 1690, would I hanker for that jolly man in hessian who tinkled his bell and heaped your pustulous, cold mother on that cart?
Musically, I haven’t yet entered that stage of angry nostalgia, with both Anna Calvi and Kate Tempest nominated for the Mercury award, all seems good in brave new tin pan alley.
Sometimes people seem ruder than I think they used to be, but I reckon if I think hard enough, I will remember some brutish cads on the Metropolitan line, coming back from ransacking the stock exchange in brogues made from the skin of Peruvian farmers.
Oh the 1980s.
And I think of the workers’ libraries of the 20th century, when I dream that every miner and tram driver, Earl and hop-picker was reading Darwin and joining Lunar groups, but the sods and the brawlers were pissing bitter somewhere too and punching a librarian in specs of their bicycle. For all my fear that people may be contentedly ignorant, I think of the variety of faces I see at live events with Brian Cox, they might come for the smile, but they stay for Planck’s constant.
Why all this optimism?
I saw Utopia (series 1).
All my grey and thinning hair harrumphing over telly, and it might just have been that I wasn’t watching it and all I was overhearing was the cacophonous trash.
I just need a filter. It was so much easier when it was three channels, within 4 minutes you could know there was nothing on and you’d watch 3-2-1 in the vague hope that Frankie Howerd might turn up to offer an iambic clue for a music centre and his and hers television.
I am off on tour saying some sentences and waving my arms – Goole to Bridgwater, Leicester to Aldershot, Sheffield to Belfast and on and on. Tour dates HERE
Lengthy DVD HERE
I am vaguely hungover for the first time in over a year.