Something extraordinarily bizarre has been occurring amongst the close circle of friends that my life regularly revolves around. We're going bald. Yes, this time I'll admit, there is a reasonable bias to this discourse of mine, possibly because of the quite recent discovery of the unmitigateable process on my own body. You'll accuse me of jumping the gun, crossing that line too early, and falsely accusing the innocent, but there are at least five of us that have joined this elitist balding Ivy League, and I can provide visual confirmation and a plethora of verbal statements to back up my sentiment. In coded dialogue, I present you with the balding brothers of Quenton Jocko, Wankled Rotary Engine, Blumbo Masso (OK, so he suffers less from hair loss, and more from that evil cousin of baldness, greying) you know your true identity.
What has brought this unusual but poignant topic of discussion to my otherwise serious forum on healing the world's problems? Well, this is a problem, not to mention that it is a problem the world over, it's proliferation is as swift as the double kick drum at a Slayer concert, and equally as atrocious in nature. Sure, it has not quite the gravity of the AIDS crisis in Africa, but Bono had to begin somewhere and I'll move to more pressing topics when I've conquered these evils of my own.
Am I paranoid? Am I discovering something on my head that is really a reality only inside my head? As sure as homing pigeons home (lastest research hints that they actually may follow roads, rivers, and other linear objects to guide them in their quest for their holy grail) I'm sure I'm making no premature judgment here. The hair around my crown feels thin, like a row of carrots after thinning, like the 15 year old forest after sliviculturalists have completed their tasks, like a cat in the early days of summer when it waves goodbye to its superfluous insulation. You get the picture.
As with other traumatic events I've experienced in my life, I'm going through the predicted phases one proceeds through: that of denial (symbolized by the image of a head in the sand, no doubt shedding more precious and irreplaceable hair), anger, philosophical acceptance, and finally, without any hesitation I shall enter the phase of no return, that epitome of balding Homo sapiens everywhere: the shaved head. I'm wallowing in the mud somewhere between phase one and three, contemplating my saving grace, my most redeeming feature: I'm tall and most people can't easily observe the top of my cranium (you may notice that my circle of friends becomes depleted to those only with a shorter disposition than myself, however I'll treat this problematic side effect as a separate issue).
Perhaps my main problem, is that my ever-progressing physical maturity (please don't read that the wrong way, you Freudian-slip professionals) is poorly conjugated with my lagging mental maturity: I expect my body to remain as young and youthful as my free and uninhibited attitude towards life. For those of you who share this conundrum of a problem with me, and for those individuals who are unfamiliar with its far reaching effect, I beg of you, please, in neither discussion or thought, let us not dwell any more on this topic. Let us move in a deliberate and civilized way towards that utopian phase of disgruntled acceptance, perhaps blurred with some permissible unsanctioned strains of denial also. Besides, the problem may be only inside my head, and not on top of at all. Perhaps after releasing another couple of albums, when he's in his 50's and rejuvination treatments are no longer plausible nor realistic, Bono will change his tune, and fight for our cause, even if it is only to make it popular and acceptable by joining our ever growing ranks.
NB The information contained in this post may or may not be true, I might not be going bald at all, after all, there is no professional or scientific opinion on the matter yet. Don't start looking at my head next time you see me, I'll tell you off and send you off home to mother.
A sensation is a piece of news
Perhaps it's just me and my tendency to oversimplify complicated adult events down to childlike components, but since when is it permissable to view 200 kids dying in a hostage crisis as a ratings coup? Understandably, business is business and it takes no prisoners and keeps no friends, but by the same token, why gloat about your gain from another's horrid nightmare in the nation's largest printed media outlet?
Read the excerpt from the New Zealand Herald that I present you with below, it almost reads as a piece of nonsense prose. In general terms, a bloody climax is not a winner in anybody's books, but I'll let you judge:
... Friday's bloody climax to the [Russian] hostage drama was a ratings winner, according to ACNielsen media research. The coverage attracted 13 per cent of the potential national audience - 2 per cent behind Holmes and Rick Stein's Food Heroes, which screened earlier on the same night - and 44 per cent of all viewers watching at that time.
The equivalent 9.30pm to 11.30pm slot on August 13, preceding the high-rating Olympic coverage, averaged a 6 per cent national rating...
Funny that, controversy and drama always attract large audiences, in fact you can spend considerable hours studying this phenomenon, the tendency for humans to dwell on the gory and bloodstained. It's a particularly sick fact of life, and before you cast your first stone at me, I'm not writing this from an entirely innocent point of view either - I shall be the first to drop my stone in shame from watching the whole drama unfold, much like I watched the Olympics and surfed to MTV during the commercial breaks. I know it only too well, and sadly, I know that I'll be there for the next one too.
My waves of guilt and shame now lying dispersed on the forlorn coastline, I have one request: please Mr Media-Baron, I don't want to know how many advertising dollars you collected from each life lost that fateful evening.
I've seen it all now. A movie set with the backdrop of only coffee and cigarettes. For the first time since we began our residency here in Berlin, I went to see a movie (or a kino in the local toungue). Perhaps my fear of sitting for two hours watching something which I assumed would be subtitled and then wasn't prevented me from venturing to the silver screen before. Anyhow, I made it, and on cheap Tuesday night (is this an entirely global phenomenon?) found good value bang for my buck in Coffee and Cigarettes (http://www.coffeeandcigarettesmovie.com/), rendered into viewable form by the good Jim Jarmusch. Presented to the viewer are around ten 5-10 minute excerpts depicting a variety of people -some famous, some infamous- drinking coffee and of course needlessly smoking cigarettes. A slice of life? Perhaps. Deeper themes? Possibly, but regardless of which way you look at it, an entertaining concoction of images and sound. If you feared that the movie might be pitched from the smoking or antismoking lobby, you can drown your fears in the nearby stream, as the camera visits both camps on equal footing. I never percieved Iggy Pop as such an outward friendly fella, but I've been proved wrong before.
Now I move on from the movie towards the aftermath of it. I want to make one. Of course every foolish man with too much time on his hands fancies himself as an artist (art has a very important role; that aside from expressing one's feelings and questioning that which one thinks needs such treatment, it keeps potentially bored people out of that maniacal state). I believe I know enough interesting people who could quite concievably form the basis of a thought provoking, if not interesting film. Even if only those friends ended up seeing it, and its grand commercial aspirations were quashed and sent to join the ranks of those trillions of other failed concepts, it would still be a valid project.
Let's not get bogged down with a complex script using themes from the 50 most influential classical writers, philosophers or scientists. A slice of life -granted, of the right people- would contain all the necessary thematic moralizing one could take in a 60 minute sitting. Surely.
One day... when I get bored with boredom, perhaps I'll charge the camera battery.
I can't make sense of it
Not content with being left alone in the dust, as the rest of the world endlessly assembles combinations of words almost as if to fill some sort of quota, I've arrived here. What better time to write, when one has all the time in the world to sit and muse, to think, to read, to eat, to surf. Yes the world is a vastly different place from that of yesteryear. What will the future of 10 years be? When writing has reached that everyday common status of smoking, or grabbing a coffee (even if it is of the pretentious soy-trim-chai-latte-atkins variety) will the world and its culture be of better standing? Or will the tireless drivel seek to do nothing other than waste space, both on the information highway and in my brain. Look at me. Such a hypocrite. Contributing to the dilution of literature anyway. Contentious I know, but let me have it.
Perhaps it's for the better that I cease to question that which I don't understand (not to mention have no control over, nor am I personally affected in the slightest) and concentrate any future ramblings to the confines of love, life, and the step by step accounts of the downfall(s) of my detractor(s).
I'm intending to leave the house now. I think a breath of fresh air will do us both the world of good.