…but at least it’s a “was” and not an “is”.

Time to sublimate this emotional morass of mine.

I may be some time.



I just got home from being in hospital.
How did this happen?
I don’t remember calling anybody.
So who did?
I remember looking for my cigarettes and using a nice nurse’s merit stickers on the back of my hand.
Why are adult females made to use merit stickers on their super-adult grown-up work?
It’s adult to make people wake up.
My head hurts and my mouth is dry.
They gave me water but it choked me.
My feet weren’t numb anymore though, which is nice.
A lovely nurse lady was sure I needed extra help; bless her heart.
Were they her stickers?
Oh no.
There are cuts on my hands.
This is familiar.
Have I done this before?
I promised her I’d be there when she got back.
I wasn’t.

Christ on a Bike: why Robin Thicke always rubbed me up the wrong way.

I’ll admit my guilt before I go much further – I’ve been known to hate things just because they’re popular. I don’t know… there’s something about popularity that makes me feel just a little bit empty. Maybe it’s the inherently temporary nature of being liked by large groups of people. I just can’t get into that. And I can’t like something on a merely superficial level, it makes me feel like a hollow ol’ hanger-on, kind of like a flippant little fraud. No deal.

And if I do go for something that a lot of people like, it’s usually only after a lot of wheedling from a friend or family member who wants me to form an opinion on something they’ve grown to love, or at least wants me to enjoy it too. I mean, a few months ago, I watched a lot of Downton Abbey because my mother wanted someone “well-versed in both screenplay and literature” to discuss it with. Complimenting me is totally the way to get me to do stuff. Mama knows. And it turns out I think those characters are somewhat likable (except for Mrs. O’Brien. She knows what she did. UGH).

So when I heard that Robin Thicke was greasing his way up the hype-pole, I was bemused. Really, was it the Second Coming of the Bicycle Courier already? But I don’t want to be alone with him. Such misuse of funk (I still can’t believe it happens, isn’t the funk supposed to be for everybody?) makes my hair fall out. The Thicke of the early 2000s had a unique combination of wussy & creepy that made my hands all clammy. Eep. THEN THAT BLURRED LINES VIDEO HAPPENED. Almost every ‘sucky’ song gets a ‘sucky’ video, but nobody could have prepared for that.
Does not compute.
Grammar jammer.
Such public.
Very attention.
Lots women.
Everybody opinion.
Need air.
Please quiet.
Gee thanks.

And about half a minute later, I was fine. I managed to forget about it for a while, because life happens and there are plenty of other things to look at and listen to. As much as I’d like to pretend I felt offended by his stuff that day, I sure wasn’t. It was more a case of, “Uh hey hey hey, that was kinda shit. What else’s on?”

To be offended by a tottied-up music video seems a bit Mormon to me. You can’t be a fan of, say… Beck or Aphex Twin or Peaches without watching something the camp counselor’s gonna get all precious about. I enjoy a lot of things that make other people uncomfortable just as I’m discomfited by a lot of things other people enjoy. Ehhhhhh and meh. There’s no accounting for taste when it comes to some things. It is what it is, etc.

But in this instance, couldn’t we have seen this coming? I sure did. As a kid, I was a big fan of anything R&B-like. I liked a lot of tracks that idealised a lady or women in general (I think I needed a lot more hugs than I was getting. Bless my journal-keeping, sketchbook-havin’, poem-writing heart. Awww.) especially if it involved rhetorical cleverness and a was a bit funny. More power to it if it rhymed. But I also liked it better if it left some of the power in her hands (not the battery-operated kind, we are not in the Hall of the Mountain Bike King, so that’s enough). I’ll let some of the lyrics speak for themselves:

Baby girl, you da shit.
That makes you my equivalent.
Well you can keep your toys in the drawer tonight,
All right?
All my dawgs talkin’ fast –
Ain’t you got some photographs?

Oh, I swear there’s something when she’s pumpin’,
Asking for a raise.
(Oooh) Well does she want me to carry her home now?
(Oooh) So does she want me to buy her things?

My friends at the time were able to find (read: make up) the chivalry in it all, but I really couldn’t. Something about the most earnest compliment in it all mentioning the word “shit”, probably. Although, once I did receive a Valentine with “ur tha sh*t cos i cn smel u” scrawled on a cardboard heart that smelled a lot like the body spray I used to like and it made me laugh Red Bull through my nose, which is somewhat painful. Maybe not as painful as having your expression of love laughed at… or liking a girl your friends think is a nerd, but I digress (Hi, Toby! I’m glad you found someone who likes Method Man as much as you do).

Anyway, When I Get You Alone seemed like some jerketeer’s neg-storm folded into some doctored wah-wahs, even to my silly wee shamelessly idealistic teen-girl ears. This is coming from someone who liked Sean Paul, for dying out loud. It just made me want to wash my hands and wear a hat and draw the curtains and get into the fetal position. Why? Because this guy wants you away from your friends so he can do stuff to you. Why? Because you walk city and because you talk city. He’s not leavin’ ’til you’re leavin’.

But should I really have freaked out so badly? It’s just a song, right? But all the girls I knew were so far into it that I got laughed straight to hell when I brought up how ‘rapey’ he sounded one afternoon in English class. It made me wonder… were we like all the girls just a handful of years before who loved R. Kelly, then found he was all fucked-up, just to wanna ignore it again and welcome it back in for the sake of reminiscence? Do we really wanna be like this? Sadly, the general consensus was YES WE DO ILENE SO SHUT UP LOSER OKAY. Well, shit. And holy shit, his dad.

Uh, yeah. Funny as all hell, but YEAH.

Now we’ve got shit like “Team Breezy” and that Jeremy Meeks guy and stuff. Seems you can be as slimy as you like if enough people think you’re aesthetically pleasing to someone. I know it’s hardly a new thing, but can we stop acting so shocked after the first time someone’s a bastard in the public domain if they do it again and / or worse? After all, André 3000 did say:

Sophistafunk, aristocats.
Distinguished stars, clean up your acts.
Pull up your pants.
Ladies and gents.
Please… act like you got some sense.

Oh, well. At least it’ll be easy enough to avoid Thicke’s awkward-as-shit “I want her back” stuff. But it’s funny though, right?

Further reading / another perspective: Let’s Stop Letting Robin Thicke – And Other Morally Unremarkable Celebrities – “Disappoint” Us, by Michelle Dean of Flavorwire (more on his dad also. “Dang, Pops.” Aw.)

Look down: the benefits of online friendships

An eloquent way of saying that shut-ins are people too. I rate this highly.


So, there’s a guy called Gary Turk who’s made what is being hailed as a “life changing” video. Look Up is about the dangers of being constantly attached to our devices and the evils of social media and is being widely shared, apparently without a shred of irony, all over Facebook and Twitter.

I have a number of problems with this video, not least that I find it sanctimonious and illustrative of a kind of moral panic about technology. 3o years ago people worried about the amount of time kids like me spent watching television, despite the existence of just four channels, while television is now often seen as less immersive, and therefore less dangerous, than video games or social media. In the 18th century novels first became a common form of text and  were considered potentially ruinous to the young mind by concerned parents – the same kind of concerned parents who…

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My Little Cousin: Family is Magic

A certain little someone is very sick but still remains very ‘Pinkie Pie’ about it all. Kids can be so admirable in the face of illness, can’t they? Or just plain silly, which I happen to admire anyway. Which is silly.

“Did you dotice that if you say “‘Murica” really fast whed you have a cold, it souds like “burqa””?
“Ileed Lubsded (Lumsden is my family name) souds like a Scadibaviad pop star.”
“So Queeds of the Stobe Aid guy is Josh Hobbs, who is a boy who goes to by school.”
“Dad gave be a bad look whed I asked for a sticky bud (bun) at the suberbarket. Thed laughed. He bawd it eddyway.”
“Thaks for dot beig scared of by cold gerbs. Beig sick is lodely. Just before the weekedd. Ugh.”



She said all those things in a span of a few minutes, I think because she hadn’t talked to anyone at length for a few days. I totally do that too. I feel sorry for anyone who calls me after a period of self-imposed solitude, because they’re about to get brain-vomit in their ears. Oh, I’m sure I can help it but I’ll leave it for now. And it’s always a pretty good indicator of sickness for myself, because if I’m still conversationally hyperactive, then I’m sure I’ll be getting better soon. It’s usually hospital time if I don’t have the energy or will to ramble.

But this little lady; she’d blabber during a robbery. And it pains me to hear that it’s what a lot of adults don’t like about her. So many defining characteristics get steamrolled during childhood, just to be idealised in adulthood. What the hell is wrong with us?! I can count on one hand the people who enjoyed my curiosity as a child, but there are quite a few who say that’s something they really like about me now. Which is lovely, but shouldn’t we all be a bit more curious? Ask more questions? Hmm? What about deliberate hypothetical provocation? Here’s some I had to find (or make up) answers to a long time ago:

  • What if you saw the Conservative leader and the Liberal leader making out? How would they lie about it?
  • What if Santa isn’t a human but more like a demon? Like he possesses people to give things away or they’ll join him in hell?
  • If there are colours that humans can’t see, do you think animals are leaving messages for us that we can’t read or hear?


Edward de Bono (if you’re not sure who he is, he’s the one who made ‘lateral thinking’ into an actual thing) came up with the term “po” to put before such a statement in order to suspend disbelief for the sake of discussion. Also “ben trovato” which means something like “ought to be true”, but that’s a whole other thing. A thing I like reading and thinking about. Anyway.

I'm wearing a black hat right now. I'll try not to read too far into that. (loosetooth.com)

I’m wearing a black hat right now. I’ll try not to read too far into that. (loosetooth.com)

So before you find yourself getting irritated with the Pinkie Pies of the world or you see someone about to go mad at one of your more excitable friends, you gotta know someone in the room needs to think a little bit harder. Questions get answers. Genuine cuteness is needed in a world like this. Optimism shouldn’t instantly be dismissed as blind idealism. Talkative people generally mean well (unless it’s that neo-con wanker on the bus; complimenting someone’s shirt sometimes means you end up fighting an ideological battle. Is that my stop? Close enough.). Chatty is good. An open mind is hard to find.

Bursting with blabber. (mlp.wikia.com)

Bursting with blabber. (mlp.wikia.com)

So you chatter away, little buddy. Ask stuff about things and junk. Feel free to share. Something you need to say might be something someone needs to hear.