Monday, April 13, 2009

Must start somewhere.

I've been putting off writing something, good or bad but most likely the latter, for too long so even if no-one reads this it still serves a purpose.

If you were to ask me if I am terrified of where, who and how I am, I'd think quickly in an attempt to concoct a distracting remark, thus masking the yes that might eventually burble to the surface were it not for a quick wit and natty dismissal. "Why, I'm terrified of who, what and how I'm not, by fuck" I'd utter jovially, safe in the knowledge that avoiding direct and confronting questions is its own reward.

Fear of anything is derived from inactivity, lack of experience. Reluctance to participate is self-fueled. A reluctance powered vehicle would revolutionize the auto industry and solve the energy crisis; all you'd need is enough things not to do and some pipes and wires and stuff.

Fear, I've just decided, resides in the lack of motion, if something can residing within an absence of something else is even possible (it is). Remain motionless for long enough and you'll be overwhelmed with crippling, debilitating, grindingly vicious cramps and some fear. I abseiled once; mortified initially, after one descent I felt compelled to rappel again immediately. I didn't, though. The knowledge that I'd be comfortable doing it again was satisfactory, or an adequate excuse for internal use only. It was also fucking hot that day, so reclining at the base of the cliff under an overhang held a distinct appeal versus a trek back up to the summit.

I saw Dylan Moran last night, from a distance and in a controlled, ticketed environment, an arrangement he finds preferable from what I read about him. He was very funny, go figure. What does that phrase mean anyway, go figure? I mean I know it's sort of an acknowledgement of Murphy's Law, but what's the origin? I could find out, but for the moment I'll just adopt it in ignorance.

I had seen him once before, a few years prior. He preceded the comictopus that is Ross Noble and suffered poorly by comparison. Much of the material I'd heard before, particularly his observations of Australia and he seemed flat somehow, if that's possible for someone whose manner could be described as peevishly morose, if motivated by a lack of motivation (dubious assertion but I've covered that).

Last night he was vibrant (if peevishly morose) and angry, though a crooked grin would flit across his face from time to time. I got the impression he was enjoying himself, but my reading of people can be akin to reading a street sign from a distance.

It's difficult to recount quotes from a Dylan Moran gig; he is a maelstrom of observation pockmarked with absurdities that wrenches you from your moorings for the duration of the show before setting you back down in roughly the same spot but with little memory of precisely how you got there. If that seems a pretentious summation that's because it is; go figure.

What I do recall are his themes and ideas. His total rejection of technology is fashionable but seemingly genuine; I can't imagine him hunched over a blindingly sleek laptop perusing the state of his investment portfolio or composing jaunty but grammatically corrupt replies to faceless Facebook sycophants. That's a lie, I can, but I can also imagine a wall of cats with wheels at the bottom rolling with seductive intent toward a sentient wheel of Red Leicester the size of Belmont Common (the cheese has plans of its own incidentally). Point being I cannot, with one foot planted in reality, imagine him engaging in such activities due to his predilection for not doing them. He wouldn't, I'm sure. He said so.

I can partially relate, despite (or perhaps due to) my reliance on computers. Nowadays, reading a document displayed on a screen feels unnatural, as though the words were clouded somehow. A mysterious and pernicious fog that smells faintly of raspberry scented bin-liners materializes between my brain and my eyes that dissipates if those same words are in a physical format. I can establish a relationship with them then, engaging in a delightful courtship as a prelude to a violent, plate flinging door slamming break-up if the writing is academic in nature.

The night prior I saw Steve Coogan at The Forum, an experience punctuated with a tincture of fear, as per me opening paragraph. The audience participation element is not one I'm entirely comfortable with when it involves plucking unfortunates from the audience and hoisting them to the stage for the amusement and audible relief of everyone else in the place.

Clapping along to songs at the behest of the singer I can deal with, though the assurance of anonymity is both a relief and a source of guilt. Anyway, at four rows back I was safe. During Tony Ferrino's 'Ordinary Girl' he descended into the audience and picked out a local whom he serenaded. It was hilarious but nerve-wracking.

The helpful thing to do would be to close out with a neat sentence that ties these thoughts together but it's not going to happen just now. I'll write something else when I summon the guts and the terror subsides.

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