Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Situations have ended "sad"...


Miley and Dylan. Do you die? I die.

Especially Miley singing freaking DYLAN with the LEAST EMOTION since James Van Der Beek pretended to be sad about Tom Cruise's wife dumping him.

Do you remember Miley doing her sexy Britney pole-dance on an ice-cream cart at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards? (OF COURSE you do.)* This is better. 

I mean, she sings about some hot girl with crimson hair across her face, and it's NOT EVEN SEXY! Amazing. Miley has no idea who Rimbaud is.

But WTF does Dylan care? He thinks it's hot. I want to be like him when I'm seventy, not giving a damn about my back-catalogue, and grinding with Victoria's Secret biatches.

And he's made anyway, cause of Adele. How is anyone still buying that album? Isn't it like a law that every person in the Western world must have owned it by the end of 2011?**

Well, you can't accuse anyone of selling out if it's for charity. Good old Amnesty International. It's all worth it for the prisoners.

*It's the choreography from 'I'm a Slave 4 U', loser. How did you not know that?
**I don't, but I'm a bitch who's totally bored by the New Boring. Also I literally only buy albums (and I am probably the only person left in Britain still buying CDs) that Peter Robinson tells me to.

Monday, 23 January 2012

London Parties: 1

Let’s face it the most significant events in most people’s lives are parties. Obviously there are christenings, birthdays, weddings, funerals &c. but actually I’m talking about the weekly rounds of dinner parties, house parties, nights out, parrr-taays, do you like to party? parties (nearly-naked parties in St John’s Wood, blah, blah, blah) - whatever tickles your fancy or fancies your tickle - parties. So this year R&R will attempt to convey the character of some of the parties they have the good luck to be entertained at, hoping to catch the zeitgeist of 2012 amid the urban 26ish crowd.

Well, by the grace of God, Ramping was required in his slender house to host the leaving party of a highly-favoured civil servant+1, before they set sail for the Far East. It was an international affair the said +1 being a bona fide European, and it is a mark of our times that a europhile servant of her majesty’s civil service should find himself departing for a further shore.

As befits the foreign office there was a stack of ferrero rocher and tonic for quinine (though no one drank the gin [surprise joy in the morning]), as well as plenty of wannabe ambassadors. Roaring was in her element - there was wine - and as usual she sabotaged the playlist swapping my blues for jazz, and sneaking on her own tracks. Predictably half way through the evening, full of smiles, she closed my laptop and we had the Roaring music show, as always accompanied with furious dancing.

A refreshment trip to Nicholas brought us across some locals, enjoying a rare night out also with not a few glasses of wine and raucous stories. We stopped briefly for a glass of wine with them in Pardis a beautiful new restaurant on Connaught Street before leaving them to their booze and stories of being topless in Bromley. The hangovers didn’t seem quite to have left them on Sunday.

It was a lovely night, spoiled only by the imminent departure of friends. I am left even now with the brittle taste of adventure in my mouth, a little envious but also a little fatter on my couch, having mopped up the weekend’s booze with filthy domino’s pizza. But if I was thinking a couple of weeks ago how you can tell a person by their books, how much more can you tell a person by their friends? The evening ended with dancing irish girls, spilled red wine and three times as many empty wine glasses as there had been people. Oh and someone’s bag. Who forgets their bag? Turned out it was the same son of a bitch who drank a bottle of beer I’d been saving (in penance he did bring round a jolly nice beer the next day). The supremacy of said beer was verified that night by three superior people. It actually was the best beer ever, but now it’s recycled and I can’t remember what it was called. Still life has these perfect moments and it’s hopeless trying to recover them.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

50 Books

Lovely books. All middle class people like books - they are like the clothes of your home. You might leave a copy of Milton's Paradise Lost on your coffee table left open with a tantalising illustration by Gustave Dore; you might keep a large picture book of Venice in the hope of trapping someone in an intolerable and inescapable conversation about your tedious picturesque holiday there. Perhaps you have a travel shelf of Lonely Planets, Rough Guides and far flung languages that point to how cosmopolitan you are; or a book of cocktails on the fridge illustrating your cosmopolitan tastes; an eclectic array of erotica to intimidate guests into submission. In the loo are stacked magazines the size of books demonstrating how very a la mode you are, alongside retro photos of the good old days. Books are a paean to the ego. The gaudy haute couture of the soul.

Well this is all very well and good as long as you read them. Otherwise, as the metaphor goes, it would be like talking about fashion while wearing last season's George by Asda. And haven't we all heard people talking about books they obviously haven't read and been torn between the shared social embarrassment of exposing them and the gnawing demand of justice to shout "Mr Emperor! Mr Emperor! You've made a dreadful mistake."

Tangentially, one of the funniest experiences of my academic career (now retired) was being in a master's level seminar where an American student was giving a presentation on Jean Rhys's Good Morning Midnight. I believe she probably had read the book (a novel narrated by a woman), but for some reason still assumed that Jean [Zh-awn] Rhys was a man and laboured the entire presentation under this misapprehension. The supervisor, a fabulous man Anthony Fothergill, proceeded on a rambling discussion of gender and narration that recognised the lamentable faux pas while preserving her from the worst degree of humiliation.

Well this was during my studies at the end of which I believe I had read around 90% of the books I owned. To my very great shame the intervening years of greed, great wealth, laziness and lack of libraries has greatly increased my possession of books but less so my consumption of them so that I'm probably down to a lamentable 50%, and spend more time alphabetising them than reading them. Hence my New Year's Resolution this year is to finish 52 books within the year.

And may I recommend it to all who have more books than they deserve - it's not too late to start. But I'm in a bright and cheerful mood now because within the first week of the year I have just finished book 1 - Hilary Mantel's fludd - an absolute gem of a novel and the funniest thing I've read in years. Here's a little excerpt for your moral improvement:

Mother Perpetua would tell the children, with her famous, dangerously sweet smile: 'We have no objection to Protestants worshipping God in their own way. But we Catholics prefer to worship Him in his.'

The Protestants were damned, of course, by reason of this culpable ignorance. They would roast in hell. A span of seventy years, to ride bicycles in the steep streets, to get married, to eat bread and dripping: then bronchitis, pneumonia, a broken hip: then the minister calls, and the florist does a wreath: then devils will tear their flesh with pincers.

It is a most neighbourly thought.
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