Friday, 31 July 2015
We excel at treading our own individual orbits, intrinsically afraid of allowing ourselves to drift too close to another’s, to fall into the clutches of their gravity. For if we fail that, if we reach that event horizon, we are destined to drift helplessly towards one another until, inevitably, our masses collide and we obliterate each other completely. It is only the fortunate ones that create a satellite, a moon perhaps, that will continue to exist as two separate yet intimately connected bodies waltzing eternally through time in perfect harmony: companions in desolation.
Monday, 5 January 2015
I feel for the countless sex and violence starved 14 year-olds destined to be disappointed on Christmas Day when they discover that the present under the tree they’ve been secretly wet dreaming over isn’t the new, next-generation version of Grand Theft Auto but is in fact a bumper DVD of E4 and Alex Zane’s Rude Tube. A frantic, scrambling, undemocratic unwrapping of Russell Brand’s Revolution, a Gap sweater in salmon pink and a box of ethically questionable Nestle chocolate renders this year’s hoard a ‘hopeless, irrevocable, fucking disaster’. It’s The Time of Year when grossly hypocritical, ITV parents encourage their teenage boys to ‘read more’ and deny from them ‘glamorised’ violence and their raison d’être: drinking low percentage alcohol and finding creative and debauched ways to dispatch of digital prostitutes – whilst masturbating.
If the UK’s parents stopped ‘liking selfies’ on Facebook and paid attention to the real world they’d soon realise that print can be much more violent and dangerous to a child’s social development than a satirical computer game ever could. Weekly, it seems, the front-page of any given newspaper reads: American (plus Others) beheaded by so-called IS in video on Youtube. The Mail Online is even kind enough to share the link. This is pure, unadulterated, hateful violence freely and encouragingly available without an age restriction - and without a critically acclaimed, in-game radio soundtrack featuring multiple stations and unreleased content from the likes of Flying Lotus and Gilles Peterson. Not only is the mass media forcing violence upon us, with the use of cleverly alliterated, media friendly nicknames it’s glamorising it too. Guaranteed 70% of teenagers will find the clip online. 0.07% will search Skyscanner for the cheapest route to the Caliphate.
Witnessing an old school pal beheading real-life humans in a Mad Max style desert showdown because they’ve seriously misconstrued some ancient PRINT is enough to disturb even the most socially damaged of British kids. It makes spending the anniversary of Christ’s birth getting pissed on Buck’s Fizz, curb surfing a Bugatti and knifing animated hookers in ultra high-definition seem positively and cathartically utopian.
Friday, 18 April 2014
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Alice and I, we are in what society loosely calls a ‘relationship’, though, in the greater scheme of things, we are just another example of one pair of castaways on neighbouring islands, amongst a dizzying network of similarly proximate and undersubscribed land masses, choosing to exist just close enough to one other to share that occasional, familiar and fleeting moment of human impression that subsides, if only briefly, the absolute and professional loneliness of being.
Friday, 14 February 2014
I don't think I could count 10 Things I Hate About You.
There are ten things about you I Love, Actually.
Like when you bought me Chocolate, with Audrey Tatou.
Or those 500 Days of Summer we spent Clueless in Notting Hill.
There was The Break-Up, The Proposal and then The Holiday too.
Even at My Best Friend's Wedding when they said, She's Just Not That In To You;
I was lost, delirious and Sleepless in Seattle
But you showed me The Notebook and said I'll be Julia and you can be Hugh.
We had our time in Casablanca and stuck our toes in the sand
But it's over all right? I'm with Brad now. I just told him - I Love You, Man.
Saturday, 14 December 2013
Friday, 30 August 2013
It’s lunch time and me, Aaron, Kingsley and Adrian, our new, ‘intrepid’ legal guy from Cape Town, are sitting around a table at the Hawksmoor. Kingsley’s been telling an anecdote about how he sealed a deal with a massive client by getting one of the account girls to go back to his hotel room in Seattle. Adrian grins at the account and I can see that the expensive merlot has stained his perfectly straight, white teeth whilst a miniature chunk of rare, sirloin steak is wedged between two of his teeth. I look over towards Aaron who’s seemed distracted all day; whether it’s to do with me, or something that happened last night, I don’t know, or particularly care, but every ten minutes he reaches down to check his phone, sometimes replying to a text or, I imagine, looking at social media.
I imagine myself in relation to the universe, an insignificant speck against a backdrop of eternity, sat at lunch, with three other smudges of matter infinitesimal in the vastness of history, talking about nothing, of no relevance to anything or anyone who means anything. Like a passport photo stuck in the Library of Babel, aligned in rows and columns along an infinite wall, with the passport photos of everyone else who ever existed separated into chronological order by date of birth; one emotionless face in an impossible sea of expressionless faces.
I’m going back to the office.
Yeah. I want to finish off that idea.
OK. Shall I come?
I don’t mind if you stay.
Aaron gets up to leave. Kingsley nods and continues his conversation with Adrian which seems to have drifted to the quality of prescription drugs in South East Asia. After a few seconds I mumble inaudibly and move towards the toilet. I wash my hands and splash water against my face. There’s an abstract painting on the wall that reminds me of an African child from a Comic Relief pledge film.
Alice is making me look at her recent work. It’s a book cover for Penguin Books, a novella about a man who lives a quiet life in the South of France. She’s used gentle brush strokes of green, red and yellow against a blank, white background. She says it’s supposed to represent the simple warmth of the man’s tale, though I doubt she’s read even a third of the book.
My art director says that they need to be less considered.
They’re nice, I think they look great.
Yes but are they more… careless now?
In comparison to my earlier ones?
Alice fumbles with a pile of graded craft paper and produces a similar illustration.
I don’t know. I guess...
Alice sighs and puts the work down. She opens the fridge and pulls out a bottle of white wine, offers me a glass, to which I refuse, and then pours herself a large one. I’m starting to feel tired but I worry that if I say that I’m going to bed I’ll upset her so I move over to her and put my arm on her shoulder, which doesn’t quite have the affect I was going for and feels more like the comforting of an older relative. Alice doesn’t seem to notice however and puts her arms around my waist affectionately.
How was work for you?
It was fine. It was good.
What did you get up to?
Worked on the Gillette script some more, went for lunch at the Hawksmoor.
Alice’s phone rings. She raises her hand as if to say, ‘sorry, I’ve got to take this.’ So I leave her and go upstairs and sit on the bed and try to try to stream an episode of Breaking Bad on Alice’s iPad, but it starts to make me feel nauseous. I switch off the lights and put the Ulysses audio-book on my iPod and listen to it through headphones, with my eyes shut, at next to no volume.