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Friday, June 01, 2007

I Be An Retarded (a post about musical tastes)

While accountants test keyboards for drool resistance, comedians duck thrown tomatoes, plastic surgeons suck fat out of the thighs of obese billionaires, Pro-Life people set abortion clinics ablaze we waste our existence in the least creative way possible- in a seedy bar somewhere. We are drinking and singing and talking too loudly as usual. Strange bets are made. Attempts at dancing result in broken furniture. Attempts at repairing furniture result in dancing. Expect hangovers tomorrow.

It's not that my group of friends don't try to fit into the quote-unquote real world. But how can we join the rest of civilisation in, oh I don't know, a book club or something when the only books we've ever read are by ex-SAS guys who recount their experiences in the Gulf War? Would you want to spend time with us discussing the works of Milan Kundera whilst listening to Mahler? I didn't think so. We, the unwashed masses, drink in horrible places and strike up conversations with guys called Mungo so you folk can talk about Vikram Seth's 'A Suitable Boy' over a bottle of red.

St.Jerome's is an ideal place for the likes of us. Located down Caledonian Lane, truly one of the worst smelling dank alleys your nose have ever been assaulted by, it remains a great meeting place (since it shuts at midnight) for small groups of alcoholics in Melbourne. Although these days suits crawl through the venue on Fridays and Sundays the rest of the week remains relatively unscathed. There's only six types of beer to choose from, no variety in spirits and you may have to use a milk crate for seating. Its a perfect place to yell insults at your friends, especially if they don't share the same music tastes as you do.

'How could you like Sigue Sigue Sputnik's Love Missile F1-11?'
'How could you not?'
'Let's not even get into your obsession with A-Ha.'
'No. Let's. Let's do it. Let's discuss my obsession with A-Ha. Right here and right now ya crude prick!'

(Brief Interlude as Just What I Needed by the Cars plays in the background)

'...as I was saying...'
'Oh shit. We cannot still be discussing this.'

Musical tastes are a weird one. What makes one person fond of the London Symphony Orchestra and Pink but abhor hip hop? Why will one person sing I Left My Sperm In a Fag Named Cisco quite happily but not a Ramones tune? It can divide friendships and send husbands to sleep on couches if the wrong things are said too often. And most of it is out of our control, so deeply encoded in our DNA are these feelings, entangled with the genetic code that makes some of us left-handed or trombone players or even left-handed trombone players. It's just a part of us. Because of what was playing on the radio when we were young.

The past comes crashing into my consciousness like burly firemen breaking through a wall. Suddenly its the '80s again. Wrinkly old leather-faced Regan rules the Americas. That bold guy with the ink-splotched head is the Russian head honcho. The Berlin Wall is still up. Happy pants are in. "Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun." was a global anthem. Max Headroom told us to buy Coke.

I am going through puberty again. My voice is like a musical instrument suddenly out of tune. There's a taller, hairier version of me struggling to escape the confines of my skin. Masturbating is still a new hobby. I am feigning learning difficulties for cheap laughs. I am an attention-deprived kid. A kid who pretends he's feigning learning difficulties in order to avoid being persecuted for being an idiot. The radio plays Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Morris Minor and the Majors, De La Soul, Queen, Bon Jovi. Years later, when we are adults who buy albums (or, let's face it, assholes who download music) we find ourselves gravitating towards some artists who others find repulsive. Somewhere deep within we are still the same little villains who wish violence upon our teachers who gave us bad marks because of our learning difficulties. And we listen to crap.

In the present day, in St.Jerome's, the musical debate continues between Nik and Chris (my Russian travelling companions), Mark, Russ, Cole and myself. 'Have the Rolling Stones killed,' I say to Nik, 'Seriously.'
'Take that back!' says He of the Bulging Belly.
'They were great. They aren't anymore. I'm kind of disappointed they didn't die a fiery death in a horrific plane crash.'
'Yeah but Keef. Keef is cool. He snorted the group-up remains of his own father with some coke. That's Rock'n'Roll!' insists Nik making the 'devil sign' with his hands.

We come to a compromise.

'You're a dickhead.'
'Fuck you!'

Just then a miracle happens. A song that unites the two factions. Is it? It couldn't be. It is!

'S-Express!' we all squeal in delight. Life is good again. Nik gives me a thumbs up- all is forgiven. I lean over and rub his belly for luck.


Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

Rik: Do you know 'Summer Holiday' by Cliff Richard?

Suggs: You hum it, I'll smash your face in.

I think it's safer not to know any popular music apart from Elvis and The Beatles.

4:26 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"S-Express"! ??? Blimey! I prefer Val Doonican - met him once I said "Hello Mr Doonican!" He said "Hello!"

9:18 pm  
Blogger Yawn said...

"And most of it is out of our control, so deeply encoded in our DNA are these feelings, entangled with the genetic code that makes some of us left-handed or trombone players or even left-handed trombone players. It's just a part of us. Because of what was playing on the radio when we were young."

That's fucking genius. Largescale research has been done on this. and if you haven't seen it already, increasingly you will be sold household products to the tunes of your youth. My Golden Years were spent in a restaurant owned by friends of the family. It shifted locations every few years, but always had the same menu, family atmosphere, and 80s video games. Centipede and Vanguard were my favorites.

What I find disturbing is your overuse of Wikipedia squarely with in the context of your rants.

Call me a bitch-assed-bitch, but I'm a firm beleiver that when we abandon all that is subjective within the context we are creating and throw in something objective, we lose our voice. That's why outta nowhere you will get a white supremicist or GG Allin site out of a seemingly-innocent YA post. Sure I've got a strong-core subjective environment created for my only dear reader, The Fatman, but there is indeed an ulterior expression behind that site that doesn't quite fit with that objective reality I'm trying to create.

Nevertheless I love you Fatman, and will continue to post harassing messages in response to your posts.


10:33 am  
Blogger Fatman said...

GB- You know when you're getting old when you sprout a Young Ones quote and people just look at you quizzically. No one knows the band you're talking about (unless its re-mixed into a dance track for ravers), movies that you loved don't have the effects that teenagers can generate on their home computers and instead of discussing politics with Marxists the young folk can only talk about news articles about Paris Hilton.

Mutley- You'll be glad to know that he still talks about that encounter till this day. How the Hell he got my number I'll never know.

Yawn- I've tried not using Wikipedia. Say, I want to write something about (let's pick a topic randomly) Sir Francis Walsingham, spymaster of the court of Elizabeth the 1st. Why? Cause I'm funky. I'll go to Britannia Biographies, Tudor Place and Wikipedia. Go to these linked sites and tell me which one you'd use. Honestly. That's why I use Wikipedia. It looks good, its easy to read and I don't have to rummage through my bookshelf to find a reference out of the Unsleeping Eye by Robert J. Stove because that is ultimately too much of an effort for a blog read by a talking ape, a dog (what is this? Animal Kingdom?) an expat in Japan and a former agent for an evil Agency.

4:01 pm  
Blogger Yawn said...

That does indeed clarify things. I'd also like to add I have no recollection of writing that. That's what I get for consuming Everclear out of the bottle all afternoon.

12:38 am  
Anonymous broadzilla said...

...and a Broadzilla. Still here, Fats - I just haven't mustered anything interesting to say for, I dunno... about a decade?

I consider you my second favourite read after Wikipedia, and just as credible. Honest.

6:59 am  
Blogger Fatman said...

Yawn- I'm sure that most people who comment on my blog has to be high on something.

Broadzilla- Well hi there! Good to know you still visit occasionally. I'm touched that I'm your second favourite read. Truly I am. I'd love to say I've been doing fun things but I'd be lying. Once I start doing cool stuff again I'm hoping the quality of my writing will improve.

2:33 pm  

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