I know I can find myself being uncompromisingly honest on occasion and then reprimanding myself the following day. Maybe I shouldn’t worry, but then I also care about people’s feelings, and that’s no bad thing in itself. I remember seeing posts that Sinead O’Connor put out when she was going through troubled times and they could be uncomfortable viewing – you kinda hoped that someone close might intervene, but then the other side of that was moments of beautiful protest, passion and clarity. I think we need more glorious straight talking really – speaking of truth to power - and we need to support and bolster that bravery in others. We all have that little voice in our heads that will whisper ‘this looks like it could get messy – don’t get involved’ – and perhaps we need to ignore that a little more and jump in feet first.
I’m reading The Climate Book at the moment – it’s not fun, but it is an essential read. It really should be on the curriculum worldwide, it’s that important and excellently curated. These bite size essays are at once easily digestible and uncompromisingly brutal. Our politicians, hand in hand with the CEOs of these imbedded global corporations are not just failing us, they are actively blocking the road so as to preserve the gated castles of a ruthless, self-serving elite. Be under no illusion that this centuries-old regime will crumble with any ease – it’s gonna get messy. Debating the tactics of Just Stop Oil is rather like complaining of the fly on your nose as you watch the burning Jumbo Jet tumble perilously towards your head. It’s easy to find the naysayers if naysayers are what you need, if those questions feel a little too harsh. Do I value the right to use my internal combustion engine without restriction above the life of this child? Do I relish this steak on my plate far more than the continued existence of many thousands of currently living species? Faced with such questions it’s easy to understand why so many will seek the second opinion of the snake-oil salesman. Greta-hating and climate-hoaxing have become rampant tropes. You remember that scene in Man on the Moon where Andy Kaufman heads to the Philippines to seek a medical miracle through psychic surgery – that smile as he spots the sleight of hand – that’s how I perceive these folks and their wilful self-delusion.
We finally got round to watching Don’t Look Up – a keen and at times very funny Dr Strangelovesque satire of the current quandary. It’s an amazing cast with some sterling performances and thinly veiled digs – Mark Rylance as the Elon Musk of the piece is particularly sharp. If you watch it – and you really should – make sure you stick ‘til the end of the credits for the final Jonah Hill moment – silly, sad, poignant stuff!
Justine & I at Dog Day Afternoon.
Dog Day Afternoon at Crystal Palace Park was a welcome blast of pure punk exuberance. You don’t really get finer warm-ups than Buzzcocks, Stiff Little Fingers and Generation Sex – Orgasm Addict, Suspect Device and Pretty Vacant remain essential, visceral and eminently bounceable. On Debbie’s 78th birthday, Blondie took the stage as a suave, artful tour-de-force, joyous, crazy and chic as f***! We smiled like loons, bopped on the grassy bank and welled up to Detroit 442. Iggy’s band are on fire right now, just awesome, whilst the man himself has the energy of a baby dear and the ferocity of a force ten twister. It’s a wonderful career spanning set sprinkled with some gloriously unexpected gems such as Five Foot One and Sick of You. You really can’t beat a night with Iggy for restoring the mojo – the last of the grand dames remains the ideal rebuke to the stiffs, still socking it to the man!
I think I may have a mild PTSD thing following last year’s medical tribulations. It’s like I dodged this bullet whilst several comrades failed to swerve – can’t help but feel a little guilty. No one gets left behind, except of course, they do. I’m not keen on those phrases that always spring instantly to the message boards; may she finally find peace, he will live on in our hearts – yeah, right. Ultimately a light has been extinguished so we strike these damp matches and grapple to find some scrap of positivity from a desolate situation. If we are to take something then take their mistakes, their bloody-minded rants and drunken outbursts, take their frailty and fear, slips and stumbles, inappropriate jokes and ridiculous beliefs. Accept these things in them, in yourself, in others and let them live. As Jimmy said, ‘all of it is yours and mine, so let's ride and ride and ride and ride.’