Sunday, 7 January 2007

Let us dare to be powerful

Howdy everyone,

The tales that follow below will, in an albiet vauge fashion, help clarify the subject that I want to tackle with this blog. It’s to do with hedonism and technology, and I’m currently trying to define exactly what I’m looking for… Basically throughout the situations that you may or may not chose to read about, I was carrying my gadgets, my gizmos that kept me connected, in the loop and linked-in whilst on the run. I love that notion, going fucking insane in Acapulco on mescal and cheap beer, but all the while having the ability to connect-up, log in, blog, download, listen, watch and read. But that’s just the tip of the ice-berg, I travelled with my laptop, my 2gb memory stick, my usb memory card converter, and portable GPS, digital camera, mp3 / mp4 player, XDA portable PC and don’t forget my personalised wax seal. Does this combination of liquor, women, madness and technology put me on the brink, at the very forefront of hedonism in the 21st century?

Who knows? Perhaps it does, and this is what I want to explore. What is hedonism in this very special time? I personally don’t believe it’s about being the rock star, the Coke fiend, the aristocrat or the ‘it’ girl. The concept takes much more now, are geeks the biggest hedonists of this day and age?

The leaps and bounds people take to secure an image of a hedonist, a life overflowing with the pleasure of the senses, know no limits. We all know fine Couture clothing, exquisite perfumes or mouth watering meats and wines are all traditionally thought of as hedonistic. Then in recent times came the drugs, the LSD, the MDMA and Cocaine. But they’re for has-beens and wanna-be’s, who the fuck cares if you do Coke anymore? I want to know the sort of mobile computer you’re packing, what widgets you have on your blog or who your favourite podcaster is. Perhaps this makes me a geek and not hedonistic at all, but the question of which arena it puts me in is not one easily answered, and it is what I am going to explore, in the only way I know how – through empiricism – and try my best to keep you entertained at the same time. Read on for some background to myself, and how I got to where I am at this present time.

Alas, I’ll give a brief update on were I am; right now. No longer roaming the ether of unemployment with booze acting as some sort of erroneous floatation device, I’m in fulltime employment and as a Copywriter no less. Getting to this stage was no easy task, let me remind you that I only listen to the Mess around; I very rarely take part in it.

Truth be told I’m currently sat on the Oxford tube (a trumped up bus service) heading into London at moderate speed for New Year’s eve, a night of drinking to be spent with the one known as Bevski. Ultimately it will be a silly, over expensive night out to end an all together overly expensive year, too much booze, too much money, not enough fun. The two aren’t always side by side – booze and money – holding hands and smiling, often they’re coupled against each others will in a disgusting arranged marriage that causes little joy and a whole lot of trouble. 2006 started with a bright spark which quickly turned into a damp squib. Prolonged months of dull work – a means to an end – that bore little fruit for the time and effort put in.

Never one to be dismayed by an unfulfilled Plan A however, I reverted to Plan B and quickly shot off to Acapulco. Chasing the dream of tequila fuelled nights, and days filled with sex and writing, I almost got what I wanted. From settling in over the first few days and discovering that, like most Anglo-Celts, my ability to consume Mescal tequila is only inhibited by my inability to control my basic motor-functions; the mind goes on but the body is unwilling, as the saying goes, I continued to solider on in the fashion that I have become accustomed to. Getting chased down the beach by angry locals, after a brief encounter with a man who appeared to have swallowed numerous basketballs, was a definite highlight; along with almost getting mauled and thrown 100ft to off a balcony by a giant Persian, who was protecting a group of naive Canadian girls.

All of this is documented here. My further travels through Los Angeles and Las Vegas did little but provide me with a vague insight into the American dream, I clawed at it myself ever-so-briefly whilst in Las Vegas, but came away a loser. I guess it’s just not in my blood, I’ll have another stab at it again someday, in a more prolonged and targeted fashion, this time around was rather sporadic in nature, which only resulted in heavy loses and a few fatalities along the way.

Then there as San Francisco, White Russians, beautiful ladies, calm days and lots of writing and one fateful answer from one very special person. In the situation that the world is in at the moment, San Fran can almost be seen as a haven in the daft empire that is America, it’s a place like none other I’ve visited and I will – without a doubt – go back there some day to try and recapture my youth and the three weeks I spent there in the summer of good ol’ ’06. My time in San Fran was so very special, I believe, because of my lack of booze, the turbulent emotional bullride that I had and then the final settling of scores, and of the thick black sediment that had shrouded my heart for such a long time.

The dream always ends though folks, life manifests a monster that will drag you away kicking and screaming. Mine was a 40 hour trip which took me about 8000 miles and involved little sleep, lots of sweat and plenty of greasy food. A brief respite in the home counties saw me recuperate slightly and head straight down to London in search of a place to live and work. A week on a couch later and I’d found the spot, West Hampstead was the area, and it was nice. I say it was nice, not because I destroyed it or caused some sort of terrible plague on the area, but because after almost two months, far too much money spent and a clash of head and concrete here and there, I have had to move, to Oxford.

My time spent in London was a mysterious one. I’ve never really been one for squalor, people write in-depth about the shit-filled existences they choose to lead for a short period of time in order to gain some ‘perspective’. It’s not something I would ever do, as I’d be shit at it. I spend too much money all the time, I couldn’t live as a tramp; I simply couldn’t. Not because I’m some sort of flaky, inter-bread aristocrat, but because I believe my sharp cunning and strong willed nature wouldn’t let me. As soon as, for instance, my 30 day experiment started, I’d automatically think, ‘how can I get myself out of this situation, what do I need to do, where can I clean, where can I get housing, how can I go about returning to society and becoming a productive citizen?’ And after two days I’d be back where I was. Anyway, I’ve lost my point. Basically I spent far too much money doing all the average things I’ve always done. My excuse was that I didn’t have enough money to do anything else, but looking back on the amounts I spent, I quite easily could have been more productive, gained more insight and taken a step closer to finding that perfect aesthetic moment only urban modernity can bring.

The highlights of London however were genuine highlights, rather than just shit bleached a different colour. Speed dating was an interesting night out, after quelling the bully inside me and concluding that the activity was not just for numb-skulls and fuck-o’s I took part and had a great night. New people, new faces, drink and the prospect of sex, it doesn’t get much better as far as I’m concerned. After finding a romantic connection with a lady, who turned out to be a decade older than me, we emailed and talked briefly but I guess I didn’t push hard enough, or I pushed too hard, who the fuck knows? Fucking women. Hah! Anyway, another highlight was a night I spent with the French, living with two of the fuckers I had a reasonable chance of making friends with one, which I did, and in turn going out with them for drinks and banter, which I also did. The night started off well, a curry in the south eastern quarter of the city and then to a shit club where I was engulfed by a shit-avalanche from which I struggled to get free. Then to a pub, at around 4am I questioned the bar tender what time the pub shut, ‘6am’ he replied in a thick brummy accent, the stupidest of accents. I was reluctant to believe him but I took his word for truth and ordered in some more booze. As the sun rose my French flatmate, Lionel, decided he needed to leave, I guess the man playing jazz flute, dressed as a wizard, I was discussing the American Patriot act with was just too much.

I decided a race was in order, styled around Phileas Fog’s around the world in 80 days. He would leave 30 minutes before me and take the bus, I would take the tube when it opened – around 6am – and the winner would be the first to arrive at the flat. At 6:30am I was leaving the pub and received a txt that he had won. ‘Fuck it then’, I though, I could do what I wanted with the rest of the day. I decided a trip to Buckingham palace would be nice, even though there was a reasonably high risk of getting shot and fatally wounded. When I arrived I had a brief chat with some San Franciscans, had a staring competition with a guard who definitely wasn’t staring back, and soaked up the atmosphere before I shot over to the Houses of Parliament. After a brief argument with some hippy swine who were protesting against depleted uranium shells I decided not a lot was happening, and I needed something to do. Not that I’m for depleted uranium, it’s just the fuckers were using a picture of a Harlequin babies (google image search those exact two words if you doubt me), which as horrific as it is, is just a natural birth defect and actually has nothing to do with Uranium. The hippy didn’t seem to realise this, and having just crawled out from his deflated tent and drinking his morning coffee probably wasn’t up to much of an argument with a man who had been drinking hard for about 16 hours previously, and was also now hardened by the bitter morning air. Anyway, after kicking up a fuss and not really getting anywhere, I finally decided to go to Sunday mass at West Minster Cathedral.

It was a pleasant experience on the whole, I couldn’t help but feel how it was all quite hocus-pocus, magic, flying with the faries bullshit. The hour and a half mass failed to move me, not because, I don’t think, I was terribly hungover and briefly fell asleep, but because as magnificent as the building was, and as glorious as the choir sang, it was all very creepy, it had a film of shit coating the whole thing that just failed to move. I did however, decide that a confessional was in order. After queuing for about 15 minutes I had had enough time to decide just what main sins I was going to confess for, that I had committed over the 12 year period that I hadn’t been to confessional. I entered, knelt down and spoke the words, ‘bless me father for I have sinned, it has been 12 years since my last confession’ the priest replied and said ‘welcome back to the church my son, what would you like to confess’ or something along those lines.

Now, what happened next killed any belief in the church I had left, or wanted to regain. I said that I had lost my faith in God and was wondering how I would regain that faith, the priest simply answered ‘would you no like to talk about the relationships you’ve had with people over the last 12 years?’ I recoiled in shock, I thought ‘fuck you slimeball’, he just entered a shitticane of epic proportions. But I was in a confessional booth so I kept my nerve and said ‘no I’d just like to figure out how to find God again’ to which he replied ‘say an act of contrition and 3 our fathers’.

What a crock of fuck. I was deeply angered by this fucker, like someone had shit in my cereal or dipped my toast in piss. No interest in helping me find God, just wanting to hear my tails of romping throughout the years. Fucking clown shoes I tell you. Fuck the church.

Anyway, again moving off the point. London was a great 2 months and although I got little writing done, in terms of my book, I did get published a few times and built up a good base of contacts that will hopefully bear fruit in the New Year. The obvious other highlight was getting to spend an increased amount of time with my best friends, Jen, Bevski and Lane… you’re alright guys.

If you’ve got this far you’re very patient, I look forward to adding more all over the Internet very soon. Updates will follow.

Your friend,


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