haters gonna hate – even the shit i be proud of, yeah?


September 2012

after the watershed – carter usm

I’ve just been told, with one week to go, that my slot has been moved back to 19:30 – 19:45.

I only agreed to do this show if I could go on after the watershed and, as usual, it’s the writers who have to sit at the back of the bus.

So again, I’m asking myself, why do I bother? Doing shows with bands means putting in just as much effort as they do, and always coming second to their egos.

So this gig next week (or a couple of nights ago, by the time you’re reading this) will be the last show I do for the foreseeable future.

Why should I interrupt my writing, waste time rehearsing and change my shift pattern (and other people’s) at work, when the end result is going on as people are arriving, performing my crap in front of the couple of bands at the bottom of the bill?

My time is too precious and I’ve been eating this particular shit sandwich for far too long now. It’s high time I started treating myself with the respect I accord other fuckers.

More people look things up on youtube than ever attend gigs. There’s no reason I can’t, when I have something to say, use that, from the discomfort of my own slum, instead of wasting my time, hoping that this time, things will magically be different.


cry – the birthday party

The other day, I finally found the piece I wanted to read at the full moon reunion gig last month.

I located the first draft, so I’m both rehearsing it and tidying it up.

On the downside, I can’t for the life of me remember the title!

I originally wrote it in February of 2001 in Sandie Craigie’s flat in Edinburgh’s Cowgate. We were travelling to Manchester the next morning to see Marilyn Manson. I remember having to stop about two thirds of the way through to blow my nose, I was crying so hard.

Picture me, scribbling furiously, tears running down my face, trying to breathe through a snot-filled head – and guess what, girls? He’s still single!

Even reading it to Sandie the next morning, it had the pair of us in floods of tears.

I really wanted to read this at the full moon reunion night, as it was one of the pieces from the early naughties that encapsulated all the rage and pain and despair of that period. Unfortunately, I could only find the first half of it. so I ended up updating and reading ‘another one bites the dust’ instead. which was written three years earlier, but has some of the same oomph.

in dreams – roy orbison

I’ve got back into the habit this week of getting up and writing a few hundred words of ‘dreich noir’. Just get myself a meaningful (i.e. large) mug of tea and start writing before I’m fully awake.

It’s a great way to write. My mind’s still half-floating in dreamland, so it’s easy to let the dream-logic carry the plot where it will.

I’m not very disciplined in my thinking at these times, so what I write needs a fair bit of revision, but it’s a great way to cram words down onto paper (or PDA, in this case).

I’m still thinking about buying a tablet to write November’s novel on.

#1 son was explaining to me the other day that these cheap tablets aren’t “as much fun to use” as the posh sort. Which is fair enough. And, since I’m climbing out from under a lengthy period of abject poverty, it doesn’t make sense to hang on for super-expensive technology, when what I need is something affordable I can start working on right away.

homophobia – chumbawumba

Don’t you just love bigotry and intolerance? Yesterday afternoon, I disagreed with someone representing those shining examples of the lord’s infinite compassion, the Westboro Baptist Church. I’ve no idea whether this guy’s a member of their church or simply one of those free-range ‘heterosexuals’ who can’t stop thinking about cock, but when I checked twitter last night on my way home, I was delighted to learn that I’m (a) stupid, because I had the audacity to disagree with one of his prejudices, (b) gay – despite all the available evidence and (c) I have AIDS – not HIV, but AIDS itself.

I’ll admit it, I’ve enjoyed those wacky japesters at the WBC and their comedy gold for many years. I do find their adherence to thousands-of-years out-of-date moral codes hysterically funny.

And I would love to think these lunatics were going to be picketing my funeral (I’ve left a list of what music is to be played as well as what I want done with any protesters brave/dumb enough to show up on the day.)

But the fact remains. no matter how funny these people are, their intention isn’t to entertain – it’s to cause pain.

If your personal philosophy states that you can’t listen to RnB (as mine does) that doesn’t mean I have the right to attack you if that floats your wee boat.

If you want to argue about it, I’m up for it. I have facts and opinion at my fingertips – and I can tell these apart – so bring it on.

What I won’t do is tell you that you are intrinsically wrong.

Mary J Bilge’s work is, in my opinion, worthless and gives a distorted view of human relationships. and I arrived at that belief by exposing myself to said work and trying to find meaning in it.

If you haven’t actually heard Navicon Torture Technologies, you’re entitled to your opinion, I just couldn’t give a fuck what it is.

Attack me, though – and I will defend myself.

psalm 23 – psychic tv

Back in the eighties, I worked mainly in the catering industry. I had a couple of office jobs in that time, but the less said about them, the better for all concerned.

In one of the many jobs I had, I worked with two guys who, although married, went out on the pull as often as they could manage.

Like medieval alchemists, their lives were a near-constant search for their particular holy grail – the perfected chat-up line. the magickal spell that could charm the very knickers from the trees.

Every waking moment was devoted to the careful study of this branch of language, in the hope that one day, they’d uncover the ultima thule of lines and thereafter, any woman they desired would fall, helpless with lust, right into their laps.

I have no idea whether this course of arcanery ever bore fruit, but it absorbed them totally at that time.

People have asked me where I dredge up the vic-reevesian disconnected ideas that litter my writing. The above is a fairly good example. Two guys who stank of fish and/or garlic most days, working romantic sorcery to try to get laid.

the model – big black

Possibly, I’ve had one of those past-life experiences over the last day or two. Which is all very subjective – and those reading this who’ve never met me will no doubt be scratching your heads and wondering whether I’ve been subjected to a serious head injury, poison-berries, or both.

Those of you who have had a close encounter of the third kind are fully entitled to shake your heads sadly and consider me a textbook case of what happens when someone is starved of fresh air, natural light and human companionship for as long as I have been.

For the record, I’m not one hundred percent convinced. However, the theory does explain a number of things I’ve been turning over in my mind for several years now.

And, on top of that, with November’s novel hanging over my head as it is, submerging myself in this sort of theoretical model can shake loose any habits or ruts I may have slipped into with regard to plotting and/or characterisation. Which has to be a positive.

twenty years ago – placebo

It’s strange, reworking something I wrote back in the early-to-mid nineties. Something I did my best with, then set to one side for almost twenty years.

Obviously, in that time, a lot of experience has passed through me.

I’ve had three, four significant relationships, I was in the Edinbury Whoors, I’ve lived in another country for a few years and I’ve given up living in cities.

I’ve watched my kids grow up and produce (in a couple of cases) offspring of their own.

And I’ve been at several funerals and a couple of weddings.

Also, during this time I’ve gone from championing short – or even micro – fiction to writing novels.

change – marc bolan and t.rex

I got up at five and did a little more work on ‘the idiots’ graveyard’. My outline stands at approximately two hundred and fifty words. Just a list of incidents in roughly the order I want them in.

My next job is fleshing each of these three, four word hints out to twenty-to-fifty words each

Earlier drafts of this have focused on the comedic angles within the plot and the characterisation, which I’m considering reining in a little.

This has worked well in the past and I assume it will here, too.

The biggest problem with the drafts I’ve done up until now was that the plot itself was unfocused. It just sort of rambled from incident to incident, with no real sense of development.

The characters seemed unaffected, no matter how much sick dada was spewed into their laps.

This was a complaint I made against series one of ‘Heroes’ when I watched it. No matter what they went through, nobody seemed changed in the slightest.

So that won’t do.

What I learned writing ‘dystopian’ last month is applicable here, I believe. characters will be constantly reeling from the various trials and tribulations that befall them; but this experience should leave in its wake changes in how they view – and engage with – their environment.

right to work – chelsea

I’ve put ‘the hassle-home’ up on bricks for now. I’ve been looking at it for the last few days, the way warring couples push salad around their plates while not speaking. It doesn’t make it – or any of the other problems – go away, it just keeps the awfulness at the same level.

So I dug out something I wrote around 1995 or so. A story about the exploitation of those deemed ‘too lazy to work’.

It’s funny I didn’t choose to write this when I was actually unemployed (December 2009 to May 2012) but then, life’s often like that, in my experience.

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