Friday, 19 September 2014

The Bowlines






At the end of Blow, Johnny Depp's character does this rude monologue from jail assessing his life. 


And drops this bomb: 'Life passes most people by while they're still making grand plans for it'.


*


A friend of mine with a ropey beard alerted me to this article the other day about a guy called Jedidiah Jenkins, who upon turning 30 had decided to embark on a 7,000 mile bike trip for reasons he felt central to his existence. Describing it as 'a choice to look squarely at the decisions we all feel like we have to make, and the priorities we all forget'.







The article is here


But the main points of what he wrote are at the bottom of this post. Fair enough, the guy's called Jedidiah, but when you've read a fair few accounts of voyages of self-discovery and the various motivations behind them, it's rare that you come across something written in a way you've never seen before. It's serious shit.


And fair enough, the spice of life means there are different people in this world, with a whole heap of different priorities, some of whom are never going to embark on this kind of mammoth physical hardship. That's not the way the world works comes the chorus from the office blocks. Fair enough. But i dare even the most resolutely realistic of you to not take something from the below.


Some more comfortably than others, but at the end of the day if you're reading this, odds-on the manner in which you live is a choice you are able to make.


*


There was something about drawing close to 30 that felt like I was losing something. The newness of life and career and cities and friends began to find their comfortable patterns, and once you see the pattern, time speeds up.

That’s why we hear old people always warning us of how fast life passes. It really doesn’t pass by any faster than those long childhood summers, but we just lose fascination, or I should say we lose wonder.

We are no longer astonished by the way the world works. 

Human beings amass comfort and minimize risk as they age. I get it. I can see the value in that. But both of those things have a tendency to diminish character.

I am 30 now, and I don’t want a mortgage. I don’t want property-based responsibility because I think it’ll change my brain chemistry.

It makes you focus on protecting what you have rather than fighting for what could be.

It seems like the observable transition from idealism to conservatism. As for now, I do not want that. 

I want to pursue wonder, appreciation, and adventure. I want to meet people and learn from them and write their stories and tell others. I want to become a man that pursues virtue and character and color and romance. It feels like the people in our lives who seem to have done that are the ones we love most. If I have a family some day, I want to give them a father full of stories and whimsy and love for being alive. I see too little of that. 

You may think I am prolonging adolescence and avoiding responsibility. Well, I can simply say that I am not impressed by grownups or their society. But I will also say that I disagree with you.

The choice to pursue a dream, at the destruction of my comfort, with the loss of safety and certainty, all for the purpose of doing something that inspires others to a fuller life of wonder and creativity and quality, to me that is a burden of responsibility worth carrying. 

To me, that is growing up.


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Top 5 Things



People love shooting from the hip with this mutha as soon as anyone breaks up with anyone else. 


'Tis better to have loved and lost 
Than never to have loved at all.


But what most people don't know - i fucking didn't til i read about it a couple of years ago - is that it's from a poem by Tennyson called In Memoriam, in memory of a beloved friend of his who died suddenly of a brain haemmorhage, and was written over the course of 17 years as 'a meditation on hope after great loss'. I don't know any of this, wikipedia does.


And so the point is, when someone throws that curveball at you after a break-up in a bid to make you feel better, they may be meaning well, but they're speaking out of their butthole. Because Tennyson was referring to death, not to parting company with someone. And that's what's fucked up about breaking up with somebody, is that although it is like a bereavement, others don't attribute that value to it, because that person is still around. And simultaneously, because that other person is still around, perhaps walking the streets of the same city as you are, it makes it all the more difficult to digest the idea that they are lost to you. Like when Amy Winehouse sang 'we only said goodbye with words.'

In one of the most underrated films in history High Fidelity, John Cusack's character lists the 5 things he misses the most about his ex-girlfriend.






1. Sense of humour. Very dry, but it can also be warm and forgiving. And she's got one of the best all time laughs in the history of all time laughs. She laughs with her entire body

2. She's got character. Or at least she had character before the Ian nightmare. She's loyal and honest, and she doesn't even take it out on people when she's having a bad day. That's character. 

3. I miss her smell, and the way she tastes. It's a mystery of human chemistry and I don't understand it, some people, as far as your senses are concerned, just feel like.. home

4. I really dig how she walks around. It's like she doesn't care how she looks or what she projects and it's not that she doesn't care.. it's just, she's not affected I guess, and that gives her grace. 

5. She does this thing in bed when she can't get to sleep, she kinda half moans and then rubs her feet together an equal number of times... it just kills me. 







Two Gees



On the first day post-summer it legitimately became just plain fucking stupid to leave the house in just a t-shirt, Gregg of all people rubs rock salt into the jugular with a holiday snap to ruin everyone's week. 





Pretty sure that tiny indistinct line on the horizon could be a tsunami though.


Friday, 12 September 2014

Sonic Boom



They say... that if you were to dive down to 500 metres below the surface of the ocean without a pressure suit, the sheer force of the surrounding water would make your eardrums explode with such force, it would cause a miniature sonic boom audible over 10 miles away.







But that all sounds like a bit of a mission.



You could just listen to this.



Loud.








Thursday, 11 September 2014

Don't Stop The Music



When the stadium announcer went awol and dropped Tiesto in the 78th minute at Goodison Park the other weekend, for three and a half mental minutes football went out the window.






Great Gig In The Sky



On the anniversary of this






Obama vows a systematic campaign of airstrikes in a country 6700 miles away.







And the words of Einstein echo out in the autumnal air.



I do not know what the 3rd World War will be fought with. But the 4th World War will be fought with sticks and stones.



Then perhaps we'll go back to being animals, and wander through the charred remains of the lands we chose to decimate. But animals have been taking each other out since time immemorial too. We all watched the Lion King. Conflict is as intrinsic to nature as it is to human history. We just have bigger brains and better weapons. 



And yet we're the only animals to systematically kill our own species.