Thursday, 20 December 2007

Thursday 20/12/07

On Wednesday I finally finish reading The Castle by Franz Kafka and this seminal event occurs on the tube, traveling back home on the Central Line after the gym.  Because The Castle is an incomplete novel which even finishes mid-sentence, I feel quite unfulfilled, I need to read something, I can’t stand there and look at other passengers, the music on my iPod is just not enough, so I pick up a free newspaper from the floor and find out that Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant at 16 and that dozens of morons still write in to complain about road tax, Posh Spice and each other’s quirks.
 
I actually did enjoy The Caste after all.  Granted, it’s difficult to get into because the writing is so dense and each sentence lasts 16 pages, but once I got used to the style I did like it.  What I really don’t like though and never will, is The Old Man and The Sea and One Hundred Years of Solitude.
 
Maybe it’s not the books’ fault though, maybe it’s my fault.  Why did I ever think that I would enjoy the story of a demented old fisherman chasing a giant bloody fish over 100 pages (when I hate old people AND the working classes – even though I kinda like fish) or the story of some fucked up Hispanic family where everyone is brave or wise or heroic (when I can’t stand cultures further south than Austria AND I fucking hate the following concepts: honour, nobility and virtue).
 
Coming to think of it, these books have something in common.  We are supposed to admire the main characters, because they demonstrate certain virtues.  They are flawed of course (anything else would drive the readers against them) but they are noble and decent; we’re meant to look up to them.  In contrast, in all the books that I love, the main characters are the complete opposite.  They are anti-heroes (Patrick Bateman in American Psycho), messed up and weak (Clay in Less Than Zero, Jamie in Bright Lights Big City, even K in The Castle), shallow and vacant (Victor in Glamorama, everyone in Nick McDonell's Twelve).  I’ll take a good relic, a fucked up villain, a tortured victim any day over the bleeding Old Man and His Sea.  He’s old and he’s not entirely with it you know, but his is a story of immense human strength.  Well fuck off.
 
So yeah anyway, I am not wasting my time with those two anymore, in fact if I had an open fire at home I would burn them; particularly that Ernest Hemingway one, I seriously want to destroy that one.  God I thought I hated Douglas Coupland enough but this is a new high.
 
Anyway, I’m going back to Athens for Christmas soon.  And I need a made up girlfriend.  Here are two pictures of me posing with two girls from work at the Christmas party last Friday.  American Girl and Pam.  Who do we think suits me best? (cause it’s all about me)  Please help me choose an imaginary girlfriend.

Broad A:



Broad B:

 

Oh yeah and finally at lunchtime on Thursday I go to the newsagent to take a look at the new issue of AXM, because I want to see if anyone sent anything to the letters' page about my article last month.  Sadly this month they have had the ingenious idea to wrap it in a plastic bag, so I can't read it there in the shop.  And I'm seriously not buying that, am I?  So the plan is to either a) go to a bigger shop where they're not paying attention and rip the bag open and check it out then, or b) wait for a reader who's bought it to have a look and let me know if there are any references.  Whatever happens first.

40 comments:

Aaron said...

Why not pretend "date" both? And tell everyone you've knocked them both up, too, for extra realness?

London Preppy said...

aaron: I like that, a Player eh?

Trybaby said...

I like number 1 the best. She is cowering in your presence, you are pretty much dominating her, that's a good sign. With the other one you look too much like equals. And we all know that boys are better than girls.

That annoys me when they have paragraph long sentences. Just because you can do it, doesn't mean that you should.

Sexy teeth by the way ;)

Bobby Vanquish said...

In the first picture it looks like you're holding a large sack of potatoes. No offence to Office Pam but look at your arms!
The second looks slightly more straight.
If you have one of you grabbing one of their boobs then that would look even genuiner.
I think that's how the straight men communicate with straight women??

London Preppy said...

trybaby: Good thinking - we need to show Daddy who the man is in this relationship

About Kafka, the long sentences partly exist because he wrote in German, and it makes a bit more sense in that language. Sadly this is lost in the translation to an extent

bobby: Ha ha - there actually are pictures where I'm heading my head on the boobs ("everybody needs a bosom for pillow"), I can share them if Pam wouldn't mind?

Trybaby said...

Are you drunk yet in those pictures?

London Preppy said...

trybaby: No, not yet

NGM said...

mate,
do not give up on Hemmingway just yet, 'for who the bell tolls', 'men without women' both great reads, then there is 'the moveable feast' about a struggling writer, you may enjoy.

and i like the first chick best for what it is worth.

have a good christmas.

BY23 said...

Being German myself, I can totally sign that - my German sentences are usually about three times longer haha

Kind of think pic 1 is better though, the second one is more like "my best friend" or "we have been married for 40 years".

btw your blog distracts me from studying ;-)

Will said...

Hey L-P,

Just a quick question, sorry to be so trivial.. but was wondering where you got the grey jumper from in your photo's?

I'd go with the first pic, wats it all for? To con your folks that your straight?

Will:)

London Preppy said...

ngm: I don't know...I also read his life story and I didn't like him as a person either

by23: Ha ha, that's what we were saying about the second picture in the office. We look so fucking proper and clean cut. Both pictures look a lot better with the eyes though I have to say

will: It's from Lyle & Scott (not sure where you're writing from so don't know if they sell them there). I also have it in pink and light blue; it's my favourite jumper

Jim said...

I say go with Pam the American. Your parents being nice Greek parents will want you date a girl with dark hair just like all the other nice Greek girls.

Plus when it comes time to imaginarily break it off with her, you can blame it all on her Americaness.

DAMO said...

lo
The first one looks like she could be your sister. The second looks like your friend......who are you tring to kid? I thought that everyone at home knows your gay??????????? lol

devon said...

Did the red block on Broad A just increase... Are you secretly trying to get us to pick Broad B?

London Preppy said...

jim: Pam is not the American. We either have Pam or the American!

damo: Not, not everyone...

devon: Broad A objected to all the sudden publicity! Tsk tsk tk...

Seth said...

LP: I love you, but aren't you a part of the working class which you claim to despise? Just because you work in an office doesn't mean you're a professional. No normative statements here, but I find the incongruence between perception, reality, and purported tastes very interesting.

Stephen said...

Wow I'm surprised you're smiling and I like it.

Regarding your sweater, I actually thought the logo was "American Eagle"...they look similar as a blur.

Andre said...

"I can’t stand cultures further south than Austria" ahahah I couldn't agree more!

And when you need to pick a fake girlfriend, just choose the one that goes better with your outfit. (I'd say number1)

Jim said...

My brain is so small, too many people with vaginas to keep track of... My bad.

Red Exile / Красная Ссылка said...

So, I am in the Aeroflot exec lounge in Moscow, about to fly to the UK tonight and - since I don't much like flying - I thought I would *relax* e.g. get shit-faced in the lounge and read blogs on my laptop. I turn on, boot up, log on and download... and go in search for a pint of whisky...

...on return I am getting way odd looks. Your blog. My screen. Your last post.

A screen-full of undergarment-clad cock.

Me: "Tsk...the stuff w have to look at for Russian market research. So...who buys the underwear in your household...cos...you know...Christmas is the biggest season for buying underwear...."

And I think some of these people actually fall for this excuse.

semistraight said...

Definitely A, B really has that "good friends" vibe about it. On the other hand I'm having a hard time trying to imagine what exactly you're planning to pull off while staying believable.
But this is coming from a guy who ends up giving his mobile phone number to sleazy older guys lusting after him, just cause he can't bring himself to make up an excuse...Anyone else get this? For some reason older pushy guys frequently try to chat me up in all kinds of places (trains, swimming pools, shops, etc. etc.)

the one in your dreams said...

oh, A for sure. you match her better than the blond. and she makes you look more masc :)

Jon C said...

The pic of you and Broad A makes it look like you are in a very serious relationship, so family members might question when the wedding is.

Broad B and you look more like you are casual acquaintances and good friends.

I'd choose Broad A so that you can fake a wedding and register for gifts.

Mike said...

First, in response to Damo’s question: “ I thought that everyone at home knows you’re (sic) gay???????????

Your response “damo: Not, not everyone...”

My response: are they blind? Who are you kidding?

Secondly, your ability to write transcends both Kafka and Hemingway – not in an intellectual but from a “reality” or “memoir” perspective. It’s a new way of writing; the (commercial) future of writing. You don’t have to write super well, you just have to write to please the masses. Madonna, Pink or MJB don’t have great voices, but they have appealing music. Your writing is appealing, just the way you write it. Go with it, don’t buckle to “what other are taught is good writing”, write from the heart. Write what is honest. People will read it, as I'm sure you already know.

Matt said...

I was never able to get through The Old Man & the Sea either, but I'll agree with ngm that you shouldn't totally give up on Hemingway. I think The Old Man & the Sea is only popular because it's the shortest Hemingway without any mentions of things that will offend kids so it gets assigned in schools.

A, A, definitely A.

laphil said...

you cannot 'date' both based on those photos, obviously from the same event, in fact i think i see broad A in the background of broad B's photo. i suggest broad B, because broad A has bigger biceps than you (in the photo).

i never really got hemingway. he always seemed like a pathetic closet case from the upper midwest (like edmund white except for the closet part), but i think you should try a little more g.g. marquez before chucking him. you seem to see all his characters as noble, honest, or (somehow otherwise) virtuous. i see them as deluded, delusional (i am not sure what the difference is) or just crazy, and their 'virutes' tend to fuck up other characters' lives.

whatever. i enjoy reading your blog. have a nice trip.

laphil

kim said...

Clearly #A as she's already half-way down your shirt ...

London Preppy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
London Preppy said...

semistrsaight: I tend to block out older people from my vision

jon c: Wow everyone seems to think Broad B comes across as a friend. I thought we were achieving that "been together so long, we're very comfortable with each other" look

mike: My constant grumpy mood and (luckily) non-high/camp voice contributes to the illusion

Meanwhile, thanks so much for what you're saying!!! (and this is the first time I've ever used 3 exclamation marks)

matt: Blimey, A is overwhelmingly winning

laphil: Agreed on your point about the Marquez characters. What I can't stand mostly is the setting

kim: What every parent wants from a daughter in law!

London Preppy said...

seth: I don't know where you're from or what is considered "working class" there. I would say that having grown up in a house with 12 bedrooms in a nice suburb of Athens, having gone to private school, never having had a job of any type until I was 22, having two University degrees and an above average income qualifies me as middle class at least. The suggestion that I might even be working class is too absurd for me to get pissed off about it

stephen: I kinda like American Eagle but I don't think they sell it here anywhere

andre: I love you for this and also I love the fact we're both Mediterranean and still feel this way!

red exile: How plausible! Every underwear advert features a hard on these days :-)

fuzzy logic said...

Pam from the office asked me to pass on the thanks to you guys (although it seems that leering wins over a casual arm-over amongst you guys). She is eagerly awaiting the ticket to Athens to meet her new family.

Oh, and Bobby - doos. :-) Jy kan nie so veel sien van so klein 'n foto.

george said...

girl A - pam....have fun in Greece.....george

Trevor said...

I can't believe no-one has gone for Wench C who wasn't posted but features in a graphic photo of the two of you in a rather naked embrace... It's certainly more convincing in terms of your being physically if not emotionally attached - though incredibly less likely, given your blog content... But it is Christmas.

Gert said...

Please tell more about why you don't like Douglas Coupland. I have never read Hemingway but as far as I can gather the two don't have much in common, or do they?

Tim in Italy said...

I see I'm late to the banquet, but let me put in one recommendation concerning your reading list: Tom Robbins. I think you might find him a refreshing change. Either "Another Roadside Attraction" or "Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates".

semistraight said...

So is it going to be this meticulously planned act including shared bedroom and kisses at the family dinner table, or you're gonna go for the simple picture in your wallet + "She's awfully sorry but her grandmother is terminally ill and this Christmas might be the last chance to see her alive" thing?
For the second possibility you would only have to print out your chosen picture ;).

Btw, I was talking about the kind of old people you ignore, which then incites them to start actively bothering you...now if guys/girls my age would be as assertive...

Timmy said...

"A" looks like she could be your sister so I vote for "B".

Kevin said...

I am going to buck the trend here and say 'B'. 'A' looks too buddy-buddy--the fact that you're hugging her with both arms signals platonic feelings, I think. In 'B', the girl looks like she is posing, something a girlfriend would do. I don't know though. If 'B' is super-busted under that red bar, I would go with 'A'...

Orchis said...

I don't think it matters much which one you pick if you say you've just broken up. You can counter any attempts at matchmaking by saying you aren't ready.

How could 'The Castle' end ?

Travis said...

You are gay and you like fish?

You are confused.