Friday 26 February 2010
This morning I experience a rude awakening around 5AM as something on my TV screams at me. Startled but secure from here instead of turning it off however I just put it on mute.
Quickly I fall asleep again before eventually being rudely awakened again, then this time by my routine alarm clock buzz. This always sucks.
How do I feel today? OK, not great but not bad. I pray for no rain today, I had enough of that stuff last night.
Flipping on GMTV this morning there is no news just celebrities. They may as well not bother broadcasting and just show cartoons instead. I can’t help but feel they might be somewhat more informative.
Eventually I head out around 6.40AM as per routine. Leaving our building the mystery jacket is still draped over the banister. Even more intriguing though is how the safety latch is down on our entrance door. What is going on? What if it had been down when I arrived home last night and I wasn’t able to get into my own home? That would have been troublesome.
As I head towards my car the stranger is still parked in my allocated spot and its wiper is still standing up. I wonder what the guy’s reaction will be when he discovers this. Will he (or she) get the message? Will they get angry knowing that it is me? Will they look to gain revenge? Fortunately I don’t think the rest of the world is as petty as me.
Finally on the train this morning when it stops at Chelmsford a Before And After girl decides to sit next to me and spend a good portion of the journey applying her makeup. I wonder if any of it is falling onto me. I wonder if she is pretty, worth taking a glance at. Certainly it is evident she is making an effort, even if it is just on the train. She is young, younger than most of the other soulless females on this train. Should I be considering it an honour at this time? She picked me to sit next to me.
The train pulls into Liverpool Street at 8AM this morning late. I thought it was just the 7.03AM train that let me down in this way. What is wrong with this picture? Why does incompetence rule supreme through my every day?
Fortunately as I get to the tube platform there is a train already waiting for me. Small breaks. Unfortunately however when I board the carriage it reeks of cheap aftershave. People.
London feels quiet this morning; I guess things are already winding down in anticipation for the weekend.
Today possesses promise towards being a good day because I am at that lovely point of accounts prep where there is plenty of stuff to sink my teeth into, plenty of stuff that doesn’t necessarily require much thought to do.
The office is incredibly quiet today, nobody is around and for the majority of the day it is just our department sauntering around the second floor. We rule the school.
Things turn exciting when I discover that the Harlem Globetrotters are playing at Wembley Arena in June. Just a few weeks ago I spotted their dates in Ireland and I sent out a beacon to anyone that might be interested in coming along. Nobody was. Now that they’re playing in my yard (almost) I immediately snap up a ticket not even bothering to see if anyone wants to come along (I doubt they will).
From here my day at work eventually proves to be a productive one as the ball finally gets rolling and I begin to get stuff done. For some reason I always discover gusto on Friday afternoons. In the end though the day zips by.
Eventually 5PM arrives and from here I head down to Green Park and across to the Curzon Cinema on Shaftsbury Avenue where I get a ticket for the new Michael Moore movie.
As I buy the ticket from the girl in the booth she complains to her colleague about suddenly feeling sick. Is this really the effect that I have on people?
With time to kill I head to Fopp for a browse where I stagger around the shop without actually buying anything. I’ve changed.
Back at the Curzon I take my seat and await CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY. Just before the screening they show that silly UK Film Council advert where Jaime Winstone thanks the audience for coming to the cinema rather than downloading it at home. As she says “thank you” to the audience the weirdo sat next to me responds “thank you.” At this point I would have liked to have moved seats but annoyingly at the Curzon you have to stay where they stick you. Just as concerning is how a few people laugh at the guy.
CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY unsurprisingly turns out to be a frustrating movie. As ever with a Michael Moore he is able to inform with revelations but then he goes and trivialises matters too much. Quite frankly these days he could do worse than to stay off the screen. In a time where Alex Gibney did such a good job with Enron: The Smartest Men In The Room and managing to keep everything serious while remaining compelling viewing and on the flipside we now have shows such as The Bugle providing satire and more cutting edge stuff, Moore seems stuck in a mediocre middle in comparison.
The movie begins with the sight of a house getting busted out by a convoy of police cars. It is home video footage that you just know Moore creamed himself over. Unfortunately it is also footage that never gets fully explained although the insinuation from the rest of the documentary lets you know exactly what it was about.
Over the course of the movie there is a strong degree of information supplied coupled with moments of pathos but when it gets cartoonised it begins to fall short of its intentions. Unfortunately though the movie ends with Moore saying tongue in cheek that he is tired of having to make these movies and as the screen goes black it all feels like a horrible attempt at some kind of rallying call to the viewer, which judging by the lack of numbers in this day and age now feels like a message that is losing its punch. The manner in which Moore addresses us at the end almost serves to offend me, leaving me feeling patronising and almost undoing all the positive aspects/elements of what came during the movie. I don’t quite feel the level of anger that I did when I saw Fahrenheit 911 but I certainly feel annoyance.
Swiftly I exit the cinema and as I do so it is with a slight hump, which partly explains why I do not bother to say “hello” to my Japanese friend/acquaintance Junko when I think I spot her. My bad.
Outside on Shaftsbury Avenue I find myself with time to spare/kill before hitting the comedy and being hungry I head to Starbucks for another coffee dinner. From here I take a quick stroll to Trafalgar Square to check out what Nelson’s Column looks like on a Friday night before heading back to Soho.
Once inside Soho Theatre I head to the studio where I take a central seat tactically chosen so as to not be drawn into proceedings with BRIAN GITTINS this evening. I sit here so that I able to hide if need be and avoid finding myself dragged on stage.
Stepping into the room I spot Marcus Brigstocke and then Tim Key follows a little later suggesting that this is something of a hot ticket this evening.
Eventually the lights go down and as the room goes black the sound of snooker commentary seeps out of the PA and rings around the room for an uncomfortably long time. During this period a late punter steps through the door letting daylight in on magic and making us all think that it is BRIAN GITTINS making his arrival.
Suddenly ELP comes booming out and so does BRIAN GITTINS gripping a mop and playing it like a guitar before switching to an ironing (irony) board for the keyboard parts. This is how to start a show spectacularly (on a budget).
Swiftly he cuts the music dead and proceeds to assault the audience with the absurd and dig in with plenty of excruciating and awkward moments with the audience.
Early on he points out a seat that has been set out by the side of the stage, which he has saved for The Queen. When it becomes apparent that she is not showing up this evening he drags a poor woman out of the audience, sits her down and makes her Queen. As a gesture of putting a cherry on top of the cake he places a stamp on her forehead for that extra touch of authenticity.
Once she “the Queen” has been established in place from here more awkward audience participation occurs as he begins grilling people as part of his “Gittins To Know You” portion of his act. Thankfully from where I am sat he cannot reach or even see me. It is terrifying stuff.
From here he drags an overzealous man onstage in order to do his Spandau Ballet “Gold (Goat)” bit. The guy is slightly excitable, to the point that GITTINS cannot get a word in. Seemingly cheesed off he then suggests that the guy read some jokes from one of his gag sheets. Typically the guy hasn’t got his glasses so instead a thirteen year old lad gets dragged from the front row onstage to read the jokes instead. Not one to be sentimental about such things GITTINS proceeds to heckle the kid from behind the stage. And rightfully so.
Once things eventually return to BRIAN he does a number of knock knock jokes with himself (“knock knock”, “who’s there?”, “Barry George”, *GRIMACE*)
Eventually it all builds to an astonishing climax where he drags four more people onstage and proceeds to pull out rubber horror masks from his suitcase for them to wear. There is an unfortunate moment when he pulls out a bald mask only to realise his stooge/mark is also bald. An expression of awkwardness gets pleasingly posted to the audience. Once the masks are on it makes for a truly horrific sight. You can’t help but imagine the display of confusion on the horror expressions is only being echoed/repeated on the faces of the people inside the masks.
With everyone ugly established and in place GITTINS calls for the “Hokey Cokey” at which point he sets about leading the dance and encouraging his creations to join. As they just stand confused exhibiting a collective shrug this only serves to infuriate GITTINS as he begins to shout at the freak show to dance.
It ends on a high as afterwards I storm out thinking that one of the people dragged onstage was a manager from one of our sites (a manager I do not really like).
I get the Friday night tube across town to Liverpool Street where I manage to snag the 11.18PM train home.
Upon getting home it comes with a sense of victory.
To get to sleep I put on Ghost Dog and soon I find myself drifting away.