Friday, 25 January 2008

Friday 25/01/08

Earlier this week Brendan sends me a text and talks about the post I wrote on Tuesday (here), where I describe myself living in the sanatorium in Switzerland in the first half of the 20th century as inspired by my upcoming skiing holiday.  And Brendan says that I have a talent for taking what should be a happy scene and making it something else, so I tell Brendan that he should know by now that there are no happy scenes and everything has an underlying sadness.  This is how my brain works and I’m not complaining, I like it like that – it makes me happy. 

And I can find this underlying sadness in everything (songs, actions, events, any form of human interaction) even things that appear joyful to the untrained, optimistic eye.  And I can’t think of a better example than the time I was reading an interview (or was it a book, or did I watch this on TV, I’m not sure) and somebody asked “what’s the saddest song that you know?” And I started thinking about this and I’m now convinced that the saddest song that I know is Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper. 

I don’t care about the dancey 80s beat, I don’t care about the bubbly catchphrase title, I don’t care about Cyndi Lauper’s day-glo orange hair.  This is a song that includes the line “some boys take a beautiful girl and hide her away from the rest of the world; I want to be the one to walk in the sun” clearly making it a melancholic anthem for dysfunctional relationships, shattered dreams and hopes and tortured humanity everywhere.  Not to mention the title’s “Want to Have Fun” part, clearly stating that they’re not having fun right now.  Yes, they want to, they might even have the chance to have fun some time in the remote future, but you know what?  Right now they’re not. 

This perception of pop music is, of course, the polar opposite to what Scott has.  As a consequence of the same brain damage that stops him from recognizing people I suppose, he is also completely oblivious to songs.  On Thursday evening I’m playing I’m On Fire by Bruce Springsteen, a song worth tattooing on your forehead for the following lyrics alone: 

“sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby, edgy and dull and cut a six-inch valley through the middle of my soul” 

…sang in a whisper over a pacey, yet tranquil backbeat that makes you want to take that knife, baby, edgy and dull and put it to good use around your soul area.  So I say to Scott before Bruce Springsteen sings this line “listen out for the lyrics here, I really like that” and Scott listens out – after some protest – and he actually hears: 

“sometimes life is like a knife, baby, edgy and nice” 

…so any conversation after that is a lost cause. 

On Friday I print out on a sheet of paper all the words/phrases that I want to tattooed around my body (which are: THE KILLING OF A FLASHBOY / ___ / CRIMINALLY VULGAR / VIOLENCE) and I ask Pam to draw one of them on so we can see what it might look like.  My initial thought is that I want all these words to be in the same font and font size as my BRET EASTON ELLIS tattoo (Estrangelo Edessa in Bold, size 30), so Pam tries to recreate VIOLENCE on the right hand side of my waist, just above my hip bone.  And this is what VIOLENCE looks like:

Please ignore the tacky Louis Vuitton belt, it looked passable within the context of the rest of the outfit. 

So, evidently that font size is perfect for the inside of my bicep, but it’s a tad underwhelming for the vast surface that is my stomach / hip / waist.  So maybe I should double the size of it and then some on top of that.  We’ll see.  I have a feeling that over the next few weeks I’ll be asking people to draw on me with marker pens quite a lot. 

EDIT: Thanks to Kim who played around and made up the following versions.  I do like the first one a lot (just bigger in a plain font).  The second one is way to gothic and the third one kinda bigger than my arm.  But I love the first one.

Finally for today, I started this poll on the right about whether I should move to Australia or not.  There are five days to vote left of course, but over the last two, an overwhelming 94 people (55%) have made their feelings known that I should not leave London.  That’s fair enough of course, that why I asked, but I’m just curious: the people who have voted no – what are your reasons?  Why should I not go?  Please leave a comment or email etc. 

So I’m flying out to France early Saturday morning, but the laptop is coming with me and I’m sure that by Day 2 I’ll have managed to steal an internet connection from somewhere and I’ll be on here posting.  Because, quite blatantly, it’s much better to write about your life than to be out there living it.

PS. To TACITO who left a comment yesterday with contact details - this brings out many results if you know what I mean.  At least 16 actually!


Frontier Psychiatrist said...

My first thought is that Scott sounds cute and I want to protect him from the world. But he actually sounds pretty self-protected.

And while I'll ignore the belt, I'm not sure about the jeans. Not very preppy--I'm disappointed.

London Preppy said...

frontier: Well at least the top half is preppy!

Jon C said...

Did you and Pam sneak into the office bathroom together so she could write that on you?

I voted "no" but I really don't have a great reason why you shouldn't go. Australia is the one place I would love to visit/live. So, maybe I'm just jealous that you are actually thinking of making the leap and doing it.

London Preppy said...

jon: That's exactly what we did, yes!

OK, fair enough...

Peter said...

Speaking of the sadness of "Girls Just Want..." you would probably enjoy Greg Laswell's cover. Audio here:

Riky said...

I was having the same thoughts this morning...I was in the mood to feel sad so I put on a sad cd on my way to work. Giving into the sadness made me think about my friend complaining earlier this week that he was depressed and hated it. While he said this I was thinking that I enjoy feeling a bit depressed. Sometimes when you give into the depression it exposes what you really want in life!

kim said...

i can't think of anything better than you moving out to Sydney and completing a 12 month / 2 year assessment of the social scene ... I'm already looking forward to your commentary on mardi gras.

plus, can you imagine spending your 30th b'day in London or on Bondi Beach?

London Preppy said...

peter: That's a great version, thanks for the link. I KNEW this song is sad

riky: What did you listen to?

London Preppy said...

kim: Thanks, you've got me more excited now :-)

Riky said...

Today, I listened to Janet Jackson "Velvet Rope"...If I'm really feeling blue I'll put on George Michael "Older".

the one in your dreams said...

what a fantastic color your sweater is.

DailyCred said...

Go and have fun in Sydney, LP, and do it for me too. We put it off for too long and now we can't go because my boyf is over 30 :-(

Do you really need your readers' encouragement anyway? I think half the fun is being uncertain about it.

JakeW said...

no. No. NO! Australia is awful: Fine for 2 weeks, tragic for longer.

- Working in the Sydney offices WILL make you a serial killer. Generations of DNA damage has made them all a bit *special* The annoying co-workers you have now will be a fond memory as you content with retards and the socially inept that populate the continent. They all smell weird as well…crass I know but its REALLY annoying.

- The place has all the architectural merit of Brent Cross.
- Few proper muscle boys: too much body fat or paper thin skin we only find here on the gingers (the DNA damage again)
- The gay scene is worse than Blackpool

If you’re a 40 year old builder with his wife (who ‘styles’ hair in a place called uppercuts) from Chelmsford then it will be great. For anyone with a brain, however dysfunctional and shallow, it will be hell.

Why do you think there all over here? Don’t buy the whole ‘bondi beach’ lifestyle bull: It’s not your straight nose and abs they want – anything with a cock and a pulse will give them fresh meet for while.

You’ll only have to come back after 4 weeks and live in anonymity in Bristol or somewhere blah for the next 11 months while pretending Australia is great. Unless you can face the scorn and failure by showing up in London straight away…but your never be an A-gay again after that; No more magazine covers, unless you drag up with Jodie Harsh.

Just say no.

Matt said...

This was a really excellent post. I believe that all pop songs should (and the best pop songs do) have sad or melancholy lyrics. This is really the heart of great 60's pop music- Motown, Phil Spector, and the Beach Boys. I love the contrast of someone singing about something heartbreaking and real against the overpowering saccharine artificiality of the music. "Band of Gold" by Freda Payne is a great example. Also, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" was originally written to be sung by a guy, which gives it another wrinkle...

In American Psycho, the question of the saddest song in the world is posed and Patrick Bateman says its "You Can't Always Get What You Want" (and he says it's by The Beatles, which in itself just more proof of the brilliance of BEE).

Finally, on the tattoos, I love the BEE one, and I do like the way the first Violence looks, but I do think you should try and keep the number of tattoos down, because as some have noted, tattoos are not particularly preppy.

William said...

Your potential tattoo layout made me think of this:
I just wouldn't want you to be thought of as "The Fourth Dixie Chick."

semistraight said...

No, because moving to Australia would mean no more blog updates for us - remember that sitting on a computer is not fun when there's all that crap like sunny beaches and holiday stuff outside.
Plus "Moving to Australia" might just be another tangent your insomniac mind lures you into following (like the plastic surgery :-X) and you'd be horrified of your plan once the sleep-deprivation-induced mindfog lifts.

For sleep I suggest:
- getting rid of sleeping pills
- taking in some daylight during the morning hours
- drinking warm milk with honey before bed time
- simply keeping yourself awake, skipping whole nights until you finally succumb and fall asleep on your desk at work (which in turn will have you being fired and that will then be setting the stage for your brush with fame)

...ok I better get to bed...

London Preppy said...

all: I just got up (5am) and about to go but the last few comments made me laugh, thanks people :-)

Orchis said...

The BEE tattoo is quirky and unusual, but if you add any more you'll start to look like a member of one of those colourful ethnic gangs so popular in the less salubrious areas of American cities.

Not on topic but I find that a very useful mild sleeping potion is chlorphenamine. This is the cheapest, most basic, antihistamine allergy relief. I think Boot's sell 30 tablets for 2 quid. The sleep inducing is an interesting side-effect.

Forehand Pass said...

What elevates that Springsteen line from good to sublime is the choice of the word "valley" (so unexpected, yet apt), followed by "edgy and dull."

"At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet and a freight train running through the middle of my head..." ain't too bad either.

I admire in you the love for words and your skill with them.

My two cents: One tattoo has impact (it seems considered. Edited). Many tattoos (of words) can seem ... undecided. Even greedy. You don't want to look like a walking (albeit buffed) dictionary.

As they say, the best comedy spring from sadness.

Some of your best posts are the hilarious ones with a tinge of underlying pathos (like your Mom's visit). I also especially liked the heartfelt one laying out where you imagine yourself in five years: it's the sudden change-up in tone, the unexpected (but sparingly-used) break from the deliberate snarkiness (and I didn't get why many people were so riled up by it).

Enjoy your trip.

Adrian said...

I agree with Jakew, don't go to Aus. It is fine to visit, but you don't want to live there. Anyway what about Scott?

As for the tattoo, I rather suspect that it may make you look like you have at some point been in prison. Although some preppy types do time for white collar fraud, I don't think they tattoo each other with words like "hate" or "violence".

Mike said...

Ur fucked! Sydney rocks!
From Mike

Auctor Ignotus said...

You need to suck it up and move to New York. Think of the improvement in nihilism you will experience. Oh and the obsessions.

Chris said...

Just go to Australia. Im in Sydney and it is a great place. If you do not go, then you will never forgive yourself. And what is the worst thing that can happen because of it? You go home a little earlier than you expected, that is all.
Take the risk.

Greg Turner said...

Don't pay attention to those telling you to stay put-- when will such an opportunity come again? Besides, I'm sure the sarcastic observations of a jaded twiceover ex-pat in Sydney will be easily as entertaining as your London posts have been.

Though I'm surprised you're not headed to where actual preppies are: Boston, New York, DC...

Simon said...

Australia is so behind with the times when it comes to gay issues. I've been reading about how gay rights have been slowly eroded by the recently ex-PM Mr Howard. It seems like Oz has a long way to go before gays are treated as equals and that's my main reason for saying don't got to Oz.

Red Exile / Красная Ссылка said...

I hope that the absence of promised apres-ski posting is due to a roaringly good time; and not the sadly-typical bone-fracture of the ski-virgin.

...but admiration all-round to you: personally, the only habit I have which is cold and wet is a Bushmills on the rocks...

Just Another Blogger said...

On Australia: You're seriously considering a move to Australia at a time when London has never been so vibrant? London is the world's capital at the moment and hundreds of thousands of people want to come here, if not more. Finance, music, art, style, fashion, business... London is so alive right now and will be for at least 5 more years. Even Karl Lagerfeld called London the world's fashion capital late last year.

Stay here. You'd just miss the place too much if you leave.

SPQR said...

Hi LP,
I have voted no in your last poll for the following reason:
Sydney is a fantastic gay holiday destination and I am sure you'll love it, however, it is small city, VERY small, this is most noticeable the weeks which follows Mardi Gras when most tourist leave and you can really appreciate the real place. I personally think that you (grow up in Athens and London) won't last that long if you move there, I'll say it again it is a beautiful city especially for the gay crowd but I wouldn't trade London for Sydney if I were you.
take care
PS. how are those snowploughs going?

Timmy said...

Definitely use the same font as BRET EASTON ELLIS but increase the font size.

I'm much older than you so when I am down in the dumps and really want some dark music I play The Best of the Carpenters. Rainy Days & Mondays and Superstar can take me further down. Then of course there is Alone Again, Naturally by Gilbert O'Sullivan and I can't forget Dust In The Wind by Kansas.

czechOUT said...

May I be frank? Do you dance like you dress?


London Preppy said...

czech: I'm not following