Friday 27 March 2009
Today the news on GMTV is littered with reports and titillation of the threatened riots coming next Wednesday from protesters as the G20 hits London. It is very well timed holding the event on April Fools Day. We all remember Seattle - wasn’t that cool, kids in Nike trainers sponsored by Starbucks kicking in McDonalds “restaurants” to the soundtrack of Rage Against The Machine. Rage they did.
GMTV appear determined to install a sense of fear into middle England about this upcoming event. As the credit crunch sees/means more people unemployed and angered it is looking as if it will be very well attended by people with a lot of time on their hands. Also keeping it confined to the city’s business district will save on their Oyster cards. The riots are also well timed with the kids/students on holiday for Easter, those privileged spongers and silver spooners will be able to head along for a lark.
It all sounds as if the promise of the event serves to threaten my way of life as the day could descend into a fucking circus.
Outside in the real world this morning is eerily quiet. It is pleasant but also scary and unnerving. Is it Game Day? By the time I am boarding my train that is sparse also. Maybe we won.
Despite the complete success on the work front yesterday, the situation with the IT guy remains unresolved and hanging over our heads. This is a situation that fills me with dread, tarnishing what should be high times.
On the train the munter that works at the Docklands (well, gets off at Stratford) sits opposite me. She has this terrible demeanour about her and you can easily imagine how she probably carries herself around the office, domineering and throwing her ugly weight around (not that there is any flab on her body, its probably all on her brain). Usually she rides the train with two friends (but more likely just colleagues) and I get exposed to such awful stereotypical Essex chit chat, mean spirited, judgmental and unforgiving. She wears a harsh hairstyle atop her crown and god only knows who recommended it to her or told her that it looks good; surely it must have been the work of a practical joke or snide remark. It is currently brown. Last year it was blonde but the style/shape remains the same. It would seem that overnight it just changed colour in the style of Twin Peaks and Bob. In the real world this bitch would probably tear me apart.
Today Bike Boy from Kelvedon is in a suit so doesn’t feel the need/necessity to sit next to and rub up against me. Typical, the one day he probably isn’t sweating. Also on the train is a new lady that reminds me of a thin Zoe (reminds?).
The train slopes into Liverpool Street at 8.05. Late.
Things perk up to a terrifying degree when on the tube some black guy with a large rucksack (with bombs in maybe?) reads from a bible very badly before holding a kick lecture to his fellow passengers. If he is going to bother to do that the least he could do would be to read from it clearly. Around his neck is a sign that states “Jesus Loves You” but I suddenly find myself more concerned as to where this guy’s loyalties lay with us bystanders. I look at the map and think, “oh shit I have another seven stations of this before I get off.” Then he moves closer to me.
The man’s mantra of “you work, go home, watch Eastenders” amuses as he repeats it to a near tearful carriage of people that probably do live that way. Thankfully he gets off at Barbican station singing “Amazing Grace” (also badly). His exit is with the reality that he has just probably provided the highlight of everybody’s day.
Did I say he got off at Barbican? I hope he doesn’t go eat in Szesze’s restaurant.
I don’t know, religious types are fucking weirdoes. I have suffered at the hands of religious types more than the most uncivilised of individuals I have had the misfortune to encounter. Religious people possess a horrible sense/set of unused superior morality that are just soaked in hypocrisies but somehow serves to abstain them from responsibility in their eyes and methods. If you are a “committed Christian” you are a fucking idiot suffering from Stockholm Syndrome devoid of humour, energy and a large chunk of being able to think for yourself being removed/missing. Free thinking individuals do not need to have a set of values imposed onto them and should be able to make judgements for themselves. The concept of religion is a blessed one at heart but in action is crippling to the masses, as was the intention of its invention with view to brainwashing the blind and hopeless. It all makes me want to work in an abortion clinic.
This morning I feel as if I am beginning to win the battle of the bulge slightly (still a LONG way to go). Unfortunately as I pat and grab my flab on the tube to check/see just where we’re at I notice other passengers basically seeing me appearing to feel myself up.
When I finally arrive at the restaurant one of the director’s is outside grabbing a cheeky smoke. We have a brief positive chat about the accounts. I then address the little (large) rant from the IT guy on Wednesday directed towards us (especially me) and the director shrugs it off telling me not to worry. This is good news to me as I was really concerned about someone heavily criticising my output/performance and how it would be received by persons that count/matter (management). Additionally I feel I am also gifted a certain degree of positive feedback regarding output/performance/production and subtly made privy to some interesting suggestion/information for/in the long term.
This morning I make a clear decision that I am going to see The Damned United this evening. Without fawning I can safely say that this is one of my all time favourite books and the arrival of a movie version could hold gold.
Again today I find myself slow in getting started on work, especially when queries flood in from the director. I hope he understands/acknowledges those are only draft accounts that I gave to him and what he has picked up on I would have also done so in the due course. Here’s hoping.
During the morning the manager begins harping on about the tickets to his band’s gig once more and when I see him at lunchtime it is the first thing I mention and I respond by querying “when have you ever had to buy a ticket for a toilet gig?” He responds once more “its for charity”, something of a scam I have to admit we pulled at Gringo Records with the All Dayer back in the day. To just shut him up I stuff a tenner in his hand.
After the morning flies by the lunch break blurs and I find myself not stopping all day on working on these accounts.
In the afternoon the manager brings the gig ticket up. It is classic. Even though it is for charity there is no mention of any charity on the ticket, since when has Second Life been a charity? I know it’s used by the housebound but surely those are the housebound out of choice, the Tron of this world. In addition the ticket has no date, no venue, no event detail and no band names. Is this even a ticket I am holding in my hand? It’s a pay to play scam and we all (I hope) know it. The “ticket” costs £7, I give him £10 and the remaining £3 goes…….
Thankfully the afternoon flies by but this is the result of being VERY busy. I do however find myself having a boredom break at one stage buying WWE DVDs online that end up costing me almost £30 in the process.
At 5PM I fly out of the restaurant like Bart Simpson leaving school. I head directly to Oxford Street to Borders, HMV, Fopp – all the shops that sell the shit I like.
In Borders I buy Sherlock Holmes books to cater my Baker Street obsession. Trust me you’ll be into him too this summer.
At HMV I got seven inch single crazy picking up any release remotely interesting. I know these are the dying days of vinyl but should I be so loose in my tastes? It would appear selection wise I stopped just short of buying the latest Oasis release. Even I am shocked when at the checkout they come to £31.87 in total. Lucky it is payday, not that that is a factor.
As I cut through Soho towards the Shaftsbury Avenue Odeon (and Fopp) I invariably wind up on Old Compton Street. I should really work on my mince if I really want to fit in here (I don’t). In Fopp my tastes are shrewd and tasteful to counteract against the seven inch extravagance.
When I hit the Odeon on Shaftsbury Avenue it is with a thirst. After buying my ticket (£10.50) I check out the drinks in concessions. No drink appears to be under £2.50, bottles I would be paying about 60p for in Asda. I allow my tight-fisted mentality to get the better of me. Really though, after a day of spending money like a Nazi why stop here?
For a long time now I have been really excited about seeing The Damned United. When I read the book last summer it was one of the greatest things I have ever read. The exaggerated humanity came over as believable and in Brian Clough suddenly I found myself with something of a new hero, even if it really wasn’t him in the book.
In comparison to the book tonight I unfortunately come away from The Damned United feeling disappointed and let down. The story felt slightly watered down and the reality of a bio pic about people I am familiar with is always going to struggle to run true. As great as Michael Sheen is, he is not very convincing as Brian Clough. Instead it feels like a Mike Yarwood impression of Brian Clough and unfortunately I am never able to detach/separate the reality from fiction enough to enjoy the story. Similarly Timothy Spall, Jim Broadbent and Colm Meany are already stars and recognisable individuals in their own right in my mind so to pass them off as people I have read and watched through the years really stumbles the movie. And don’t get me started on how wrong the racist from This Is England (Stephen Graham) as Billy Bremner is.
Had I not read the book, had I not grown up watching Brian Clough as a boozed up manager, held on its own merit I would have loved this film instead of only liking it. One final gripe though – for a football movie there wasn’t actually much football in it.
Moaning aside/over in his performance Michael Sheen displays a lot of convincing humanity/personality portraying Clough as a flawed by necessary individual with strong beliefs and convictions that would sometimes unfortunately alienate and freeze him out from those around him. This was the real strength of the book turning Clough into a hero for the ages and by the time you reach the eventual showdown with Don Revie all the antihero gestures, quirks and sensibilities begin to make more sense than ever.
As far as great football movies go there are slim pickings and this towers above the majority of movies as a class above.
Afterwards I struggle out onto Shaftsbury Avenue at the height of a drunken Friday night with all the disco tarts in their shiny leggings. When I get on the train at Tottenham Court Road I notice a girl crying her eyes out. This seems the true legacy of Friday night. Rather than do anything gentlemanly (ie interfere) I just sensibly leave her to it as I wonder what her story is.
At Liverpool Street I board the freaky 9PM train to Lowestoft that stops at Colchester. This is the shanty train with a puke orange interior and weirdly shaped seats that are exclusive to this train and serve no ergonomic purpose, maybe they were designed for special people. With its tinted windows it is difficult to look out of this is like a train from The Twilight Zone.
The people that ride this train are always strange, never commuters and nearly always tourists. As the train pulls out of the station I overhear some posh boy on his phone telling his friend how he has discovered libraries! He boasts about finding books about comedy writing and how he is excited about what the books will teach him. I don’t know, its not really something that be learned surely, you are born with comedic talent and you can only enhance your skills/talents with tools. He continues the call by telling his friend about a Simpsons episode he has just seen but it’s from an episode about ten years ago! Wow, here is a guy really with his finger on the comedy pulse. Ultimately though all this is nothing to do with me and I shouldn’t even be commenting on a telephone conversation I am eavesdropping but the guy just annoys me as I begin to resent him because he will get the opportunity and time to give comedy writing a go and with his resources (and apparent no discerning talent) he may be able to cultivate it into something.
When the train finally gets back to Colchester as I get off I see Steve from Hirameka. He is in the distance and it stays that way as I wonder who ultimately ignores who here.
Finally I get home around 10.15 and it is to my foot giving me pain yet again. This is turning into something of a serious problem.
My night ends with me falling asleep watching Date Movie (not good despite featuring Fred Willard) but this is not before I see an advert for Green Street 2 (straight to DVD).