Monday, November 23, 2009



Monday 23 November 2009

Dream: I am at a works Christmas party that appears to be taking place in a renovated loft/attic. It goes OK but then I become part of the Entourage group taking up the role of Turtle and we promptly tear into some kind of game of golf that doesn’t actually appear playing the game more just indulging in the social side of things. Hot ladies and friendly movie stars guest making this the best of times and places to be.

This morning I awaken to the big news story of the day according to GMTV being Katie Price is leaving I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. This is not news.

Today I risk wearing my coat for the first time this winter but realistically I know it isn’t big enough for my anymore and that it has been tatty for a couple of years now. The weather dictates otherwise though and forces me to wrap up as the air begins to turn and winter begins to kick in.

Eventually I leave late for the train and as a result it turns into one of those dangerous driving mornings coupled with traffic every light seeming to turn red for me. God hates me.

In the end I needn’t have bothered rushing as while I wheeze my way onto the platform the train turns up late also. Such is the reliability of National Express.

Once rolling later as the train calls at Chelmsford some guy decides to squish into the small space for the seat between me and some other fat arse. As a result of this I can no longer breathe.

Finally the train rolls into Liverpool Street at 8.14AM which is depressingly late and by which time I am achingly uncomfortable. As I burst out of the train I gasp for fresh air, the fresh air of London. Desperate times.

From here it is a nondescript and nonchalant journey to St Johns Wood filled with no event or anything of interest. Some days these quiet journeys are as welcome as anything in my world.

Today the consultant is supposed to be in so I find myself racing to get as much work completed as possible in order to be in the best position to deal with him and his queries when he finally arrives. In the end however he doesn’t show, doesn’t bother to turn up which ultimately means I get more done than if he had come in (and got in the way). In a way the additional breathing space was welcome and served me very well but he is still displaying an obscene amount of shoddy professionalism.

At the end of the day our boss lets us out slightly early which works really well for me as I head to Soho Theatre to collect my MARK THOMAS ticket before getting to the Shaftsbury Avenue Odeon in good time for A Serious Man.

As I get to the cinema it genuinely scares and worries me how out of breathe I am getting at the moment – am I really so unhealthy? Briefly I step into Fopp but bargains appear to be light on the ground as prices rise to capitalise on Christmas kicking in.

Eventually I buy my ticket for A Serious Man and take to my seat. For some reason I am really hypersensitive at the movies these days, annoyed by the sound of people crunching popcorn, talking and exceptionally niggled by people kicking the back of my seat and/or any seat along my row with causes the slightest of vibrations to twinge my back. This evening the sound of the bearded cunts and their skank eating popcorn behind me is deafening. Also on cue with every tap and nudge to the back of our row of seats it feels like an electric shock is being sent through the aisle. Why am I like this?

The movie A Serious Man turns out to be an episodic account of a struggling Jewish man dealing with the fresh suburbia of the 60s. It is very Jewish and as a result I fear I miss half of the references. There is plenty of quirk and oddball characters but it all feels quite toned down for a Coen Brothers movie and with it there is a lack of trademark dialogue. The main character is teacher Larry Gopnik (expertly played by Michael Stuhlbarg) really has a horrible time of it through the movie as he struggles to get through his own everyday hassle while everyone around him tugs away trying to get him to the serve their own means. Sometimes this appears funny such as the when one of his Korean students (and later father) attempts to bribe him for a better grave using one of the most forthright method and mentalities ever displayed on film. Unfortunately though things aren’t much better at home as his wild-eyed wife unmercilessly begins to do the dirty on him.

The ever reliable Richard Kind pops up excellently as his oddball brother in trouble with the law only adding to his problems while elsewhere his son faces his own problems with the Jewish method of becoming a man which all occurs to the soundtrack of Jefferson Airplane. It is a tough film to watch as the pace often slows right down serving to test both concentration and patience as proceedings begin to remind me slightly of The Ice Storm, albeit in a far less glamorous fashion. As ever the Coen Brothers seem intent on lifting the lid to an element of life they consider previously unexplored. Despite the impressive ending I leave unimpressed.



From here I rush across Soho to the Soho Theatre in order to catch MARK THOMAS. Upon arrival and heading upstairs to the theatre it turns out that he is actually in the studio rather than the main auditorium. As we all wait outside nervously we get handed forms to fill in with our ideas for policies. Suddenly it begins to feel a bit more like an audience participation affair than I was expecting.

In the end I wimp out unable to think up any decent policies. I do come up with the idea that “banks should be replaced by eBay” but if the show is going to take on a serious tact I feel the idea isn’t worthy of submission so instead I steal the biro they gave us and hold onto my sheet.

As expected with MARK THOMAS the show is politically heavy occasionally veering a long way from the comedy element in order to make a point. It’s all about riding the edutainment line and keeping the balance right.

The set takes form of MARK THOMAS trying to suggest and create a “People’s Manifesto” during which the early part of proceedings mostly involves him talking about various pranks and stunts he has undertaken in the process of subverting the powers that be. As ever it is hit and miss from a comedy perspective and all in all it serves to make an individual feel uneasy about harbouring any thoughts that are not of a left bent or persuasion.

He then moves onto the policies that have been previously suggested at his shows, both the intelligent and the ridiculous. He notes that the opportunity for the audience to bring such policies to the table has often served to reveal some kind of bloodlust in some people.

Personally my favourite suggestion of the evening is to invade Jersey due to its housing of so many non doms including certain individuals that work for newspapers that criticise other non doms.

From here the show moves onto tonight’s suggestions. On the whole it’s a fairly balanced set of policies, I guess the loons stayed at home tonight. Some suggestions are quite fairy and green, such as the bike related one. Then in turns out that the guy sat in front of me has submitted a set of policies that are too knowing and very sensible. Unsurprisingly MARK THOMAS reacts excitedly even suggesting to the guy “you could turn me.” Quickly the show polarises itself away from comedy to the point that I wish I had submitted my suggestion after all. If nothing else this evening I learn that I should stand up and make my voice heard.

Not long after this policy suggestion is read out THOMAS chooses his winner for the evening (the egghead) and I find myself leaving the theatre, looking out for some MARK THOMAS merch on the way. There is something about seeing comedy such as this that does invigorate me, makes me want to look into things more and, dare I say, get political.

Leaving the Soho Theatre there is something truly exciting about wandering Soho and Oxford Street at such a late hour. By now (other than the eternal Tesco) everything is now closed and still barring pubs and food joints. This feels like an hour now where/when the squares have gone to bed and only the cool people remain out. I know this is not necessarily the truth but don’t bash my illusion.

After a quick tube ride along the Central Line I end up on an 11PM train that goes to Ipswich. It feels right; all in all it feels like a great night.

When I get back home there is a Network Rail van parked in my allocated space. Perhaps I should charge those cunts £92.50 a month for the privilege of parking in my car park reciprocating the gesture they make towards me.

In the end I just park in my neighbour’s space, they don’t use it anyway. As I step out of my car in a huff I notice that there is a couple sat in the van. They look at me and I look at them and just like a pussy I wave and go “its all right” when realistically at this time I should be telling them to “budge!” Oh well, passive aggression is my way, always has been, always will.

I step into my flat just after midnight and with it television (Channel Four) in the early hours is amazing at this time with a couple of great episodes of King Of The Hill before Studio 60. Not that I watch very much of it before passing out.

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