Thursday, November 02, 2006

As Modern As Moon Travel

Popular culture advocates are made from meat. They are a saturation of meat, devoid, as far as we can tell, of additives. If you could skewer one you

If you could take one home and introduce it to your parents you would be making that first step toward, as Dale Carnegie foretold, a kind of controlled inner oblivion. Feel the peace, as they say.

And when the shine from your eyes prisms around the room. You know, if you could let all that out, while keeping some in, there’s no telling how far your popular culture advocate could go.

Popular culture advocates are a fizzle. This is their time and, boy, do they know it. They parade, yes, but their parading is always, kind of, if you’ve noticed, kind of low key. They’re always at the back somewhere, small banners, tin whistles, that kind of thing. Get to the front! the other paraders insist. But your popular culture advocates just don’t want to know.

Their manifesto is a similar whisper. Scrawled lightly on tracing paper or soft tissue – grey charcoal, easily erased – it covers the appropriate bases but somehow skirts. No wonder then that the popular culture advocates are often thought of – if they’re thought of at all – as mere pawns in the

As mere bit part actors, yes. You can’t, as they say, go around playing the (fool, martyr, injured party) and then expect people to take you seriously. As everyone knows, that’s where they go wrong, these popular culture types. If only they

If only they indeed:

Bell bottom ironies.
I was there in 1973. It was the year, for instance, that I watched Peter Shipstone beating his mother half to death with a rusty dustbin lid. His mother, a certain Nellie Shipstone, fending him off with a wide expanse of forearm that was, in its desperate flailing state, a small advert for the main feature of her twenty-five stone bulk. A big woman, yes. But with a bigger heart than yours.

Once a derogatory term for poofers. But no longer. It is out there. Look for it and use it.

Warm lies.
These warm lies we tell ourselves. All that bad faith. Who knows when to stop?

Insect society.
That’s right, insect society. You realise, don’t you, how many of us are down here – cockroaches that we are – crawling round with our heads torn off, refusing to die? Oh, that’s us alright, insect vermin just crawling around, infecting everything we touch. Except for me. Well of course except for me. Because I am a proud lion or, at the least, some kind of mountain monkey. Which means that I can climb parapets and generally raise the bar. And while I do so I, of course, look down on you, you disgusting insects. I tut myself stupid at the sight of you all.

Poems that rhyme.
When blackness of departing night
turned yellow with the dawn
I watched a robin soft alight
upon my dew soaked lawn.
(Copyright Gerald Bosacker, 1998.

What is it about successful people? Who do they surround themselves with? Idiots? Cretins? Morons? Are they happy? Are they three rungs up the ladder or four rungs up the ladder? Will they give you a piece of their pie? Or will they spit in your eye? Will they encourage you on your own road to success? Or will they push you off your path to perfection? Should you trust them? What makes them tick? Are they, deep down, lovely people? Or are they the unbearable cunts you suspect them to be?

Black nights.
This takes me back. Black nights. Candles on the mantelpiece, dad placing mirrors behind them to double the light. Or create a new room. In fact, now that I think about it, there was something rotten about that new room. Inside, on the other side, these simulacrums of us just sitting there, taking whatever shit it was that the government was throwing at them. Insect society is right. For the mirror people anyway.

Captain Fastnet.
He was a blur of light superhero and an afterthought at the back of Popular Hero Comics, circa 1978, where he advertised, among other things: Twinkies, Twinkles, Twiglets, Twix, Twits and Twax. He met his end through his nemesis The Spark Plug who, naturally enough, electrocuted him to death and hung him out to fry. I mean, dry.

Pollyanna imaginings that you so despise in happy people. But you too have constructed a phantasy world (note fancy spelling) and immersed yourself in it.

Partly Irish.
You never know what waits for you across that stretch of thin green sea. Washing days mainly. And rocks by the river.

Your wetness keeps me dry.
The house was on fire. The streets were flooded. We had upturned tables and dogs in dinghies. Old women pointed to the tide mark lines in the kitchen. Lamplighters complained about the wet matches as they stumbled around in the dark.


Lesbian fashion.
The fashion for lesbians has now reached some kind of peak. Or apex. That is, if we are to believe the reports coming out of Monaco or Paris or somewhere. Lesbians, they say, are no longer ashamed of the things they do. And quite right too. In fact, I saw two today, at the edge of the road, lips pressed tight to lips, embracing as if to say goodbye. Don’t leave her! I shouted from my passing car, stay and be hers, stay and love her as much as you love being a lesbian!

Back to the trees.
My new planet was something of a plan. I put rings around it. I speckled it with zones of gas.

Pop groups.
People who don’t understand pop music – who don’t actually like pop music – would most likely agree with the following statement about Carole King’s 1971 Tapestry album: One of the best tracks on the record is King's rendition of her own "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," nearly unrecognisable as the Shirelles' thin early-'60s hit. King's version is sad and sincere, with haunting echoes of the chorus slowly building to a viscerally charged crescendo, as if, in asking her lover, King is also asking her audience: Is this a lasting treasure or just a moment's pleasure? Can I believe the magic of your sighs? Will you still love me tomorrow?” For those of us, however, who know and trust pop music, who surrender to its majesty and swim its simplicity – who, you know, understand the important differences - take one look at that word ‘thin’ and want to throw up. Maureen Tucker did a great version too.

The fat baker had fallen out of love with his wife. Not because his wife had done anything wrong but because he had fallen in love with his own reflection in the hot stainless steel oven door. Burnt lips.

When I am king I will give myself the freedom to play with all the women.

The darkling thrush.
I awaited by the gate my own sadness my company and in that drift of my eye I spied, far away, past the cliffs, rising over the beach and far into the wipe of the horizon a bird I had never seen before. It was a speck I was pleased to have spotted. I turned to my wife, who I still loved, and told her of this bird, becoming her eyes for her as she listened into the wind, her own dead eyes not troubled by the wind as mine streamed their burning tears. That bird, I said, is my heart in flight conjoined with your heart in flight and after you are gone, my love, I will seek out that bird and take lift from the flap of its wings.

New York.
The Bronx is up and the Battery’s down.


Blogger Inconsequential said...


you do write well.

shall have to have another read...later, when i'm not zombified from working all night.


9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this. Powerful and carefully planned, it rips in and out of different voices, different times, the personal, the Universal.

7:48 PM  

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