Monday, November 08, 2010

Monday 8 November 2010


Monday 8 November 2010

Dream: I am in Mad Men discussing with Peggy how best to solve the issues with my neighbours.

Unsurprisingly I wake up grumpy and hacked off by my neighbours this morning.  When my alarm sounds at 6AM I am in no rush to turn it off all in the hope that the harsh noise filters through and annoys my neighbours as much as they annoy me.

Against the elements I pull myself together and exit my flat half expecting wreckage and carnage at the entrance where the silly man was shouting his head off last night.  Instead though there is just a new black bin bag sat outside the Trash Humpers’ flat.  At least they’re using black bags I guess.  They’re a great invention, aren’t they neighbour.

In the end I get into my car a whole minute earlier than usual.  I have no perception.

God hates me.

The drive to the station gets a bit ratty as a BMW decides to try and burn me.  Why is he wanting to race at this hour?  What did I do to this guy?

Eventually I get to the platform and my patch where it is initially quiet.  Before long however people are beginning to crowd around me.  It’s a hot spot.

Currently I appear to have been subtly bullied out of my seat by the labourer lads.  One of them has a chin piercing and today they have a third mate with them.  I don’t stand a chance.  Needless to say the lack of my seat (and the side of the carriage to lean against) is making morning journeys more uncomfortable.  And today off the back of my idiot neighbours last night I feel (wrongly) devastated by this.  I am tired and emotional.

Generally I feel like a mess today.  My hair is clean and dry but also big.  A mess.  This is a look lent to the clueless.  Also I am back in my grey American Apparel hoodie.  This top makes me look bigger than is necessary.

When the train gets to Witham, Stare Girl returns to the ride after an apparent vacation looking very tanned and fresh.  A whole new lady.  A whole new lady that stares at people.

Things get bad when we arrive into Chelmsford and my inevitable plate crowder squeezes into the seat next to me.  No fun.  Things then get even worse when at Shenfield an almighty crowd attempt to board the train; obviously their usual train has been lost to the ages by National Express East Anglia this morning.  From here the train fills to a disgusting measure/level which I am sure is far from safe for all of us.

Of course the train then beaches as it nears London, stopping three times around the Forest Gate/West Ham area.  Typical.  Around this point the girl that has been standing next to me accidentally hitting me with her handbag all journey groaning asks the bald guy sat next to me if she can sit down.  The poor girl has leg ache.  Promptly someone kindly hands her a bottle of water as the amateur extra milks the experience.  Eventually we make an impromptu stop at Stratford where it would probably have been sensible for this girl to have got off.

Finally the train pulls into Liverpool Street at 8.20AM.  Welcome to Monday.

Thankfully from here the tube journey across town is comfortable in comparison.  When I eventually get to the restaurant naturally I arrive ahead of The Girl.  I always do.  The she texts with:

“Hi, sooty (sic) not feeling very well will not be in, back tomorrow. Jen.”

So yeah I go through all this shit to get into work and then The Girl texts to say she isn’t coming in while the Filipino reads out various posts/statuses last night from her Facebook profile detailing getting drunk in Elephant & Castle.

Fucking cunt.

From here a sour tone attaches itself to proceedings as I take a day out to do some work housekeeping.  This is of course after I have sorted out the boss when he phones from Spain with his usual flap regarding the banks.

Today I am also trying to get my iPhone 4 to start working.  So far it hasn’t gone very well as I have barely been able to take it out of its box and now it’s not necessarily going to plan in taking over from my cracked iPhone.

A grey day improves somewhat when Danny Baker posts a message on Facebook which has him sounding in high spirits as he tackles cancer.

On the whole the day passes with a distinct lack of fizz and I barely scratch the surface on my tasks.  Also I do not manage to get my iPhone 4 working.  Fail.

For lunch I have my now customary Monday penne arrabiatta.  Its filling and flabby.

In the afternoon uninterested in work I continue banging my head against the wall on both my CPD forms and iPhone 4.

I also arrange a date for Wednesday.

Eventually we get to 5.30PM and time for me to head to Kings Place for the first time in order to attend the GUARDIAN CULT COLUMNISTS event being held there.

As I emerge at Kings Cross I soon find myself getting slightly lost.  This is a dark part of town with a reputation that far outweighs the reality.  No smoke without fire however.  That said it doesn’t do itself any favours as it doesn’t prove any less intimidating as I step towards poorly/dimly lit areas surrounded by broken buildings of failed industry.

Before all this however I sought a Starbucks for an Eggnog Latte.  What can I say, I’m addicted to the fucking things.  When I finally find one frustratingly the queue inside is just too long for my needs.  Why do I possess an inherent fear of queues and fear of waiting?

From here I begin trudging up York Way where Kings Place should be but seemingly I am unable to find it.  It is at this point I could desperately do with my iPhone to save the day but alas my new iPhone 4 is still proving a piece of shit with “No Service” screaming at me in its top left corner.  In desperation I resort to using my cracked old iPhone which for some reason is thankfully still working.  Why aren’t they switching?

Soon I discover that I am actually only thirty seconds away from Kings Place and disguising my angst I step in confidently.

Kings Place (home of The Guardian) is a strange building but before this becomes too much of a concern and worry I step into the main hall which turns out to be a very wooden and interestingly constructed room.  If Ikea designed venues this is how I imagine it would turn out.

Eventually the GUARDIAN CULT COLUMNISTS emerge in the form of TANYA GOLD, ZOE WILLIAMS and CHARLIE BROOKER with it all being chaired by MEROPE MILLS (editor of Guardian Weekend magazine).

The talk turns out to be a fun one with unsurprisingly much focus towards BROOKER who has presentation chops and is naturally quite comfortable now with such delivery.  With this he discusses how he got into the job/position of being a columnist with the newspaper.  As ever it is a case of sounding like something that just happened, something that came to him off the back of much successful work elsewhere beforehand.  In many ways BROOKER is living out the dream of many of us, he started writing about videogames, moved onto covering television for a recognised and respected publication in addition to moving into television itself and has now wound up in a high profile role still spewing out his trademark bile while continuing in television with his own production company.

Before long the discussion moves onto the subject of his infamous column that appeared to call for the assassination of George W. Bush and the subsequent shitstorm that arose as many aggrieved (and stupid) Americans failed to realise that he wasn’t necessarily being serious with his piece (it was a joke).  With this he goes into detail regarding the reaction that included death threats being sent to him as his email inbox exploded to thousands of messages overnight.  Recounting the incident he does express some degree of regret towards the piece but you also sense that once the dust had settled he loved the mischief caused.  Coupled with this he then expresses regret regarding his reaction to the Jan Moir piece about Stephen Gately that imploded over Twitter.  However he expresses no regret in his decision to call it a day on Screen Burn.

Following afterwards I am genuinely interested to hear what TANYA GOLD has to say but it’s for all the wrong reasons I fear.  All through the talk she chomps on what appears to be Nicotine gum and despite so many reasons not to, I quite fancy her.

In many ways her story is more interesting than that of BROOKER but also odious with it.  She is something of a spoilt rich kid that found trouble in play.  She makes the unsurprising admission that she was an embarrassing young alcoholic, stopping short of conceding she was something of a clich├ęd spoiled joke, as many appear to consider her to be.

GOLD defends vehemently defends the personal and confessional style of her columns, steering away from the notion and perception that they are indulgent and unworthy by installing a mindset that the level of authenticity in them is of utmost value.  The face that she is in a privileged position can not be questioned (because she is) but while you are there it is what you do with it and how you strike the right balance between informing and entertaining.

They then haul out one of her online videos, the one where she plays the rich Jewish princess living as a survivalist to chaotic results.  Its actually a pretty ugly scene as she sheds a chicken before whining about being unable to light a fire while persisting in sucking on a fag.

As I say at least I think that she realises that she lives a charmed life as she points out how she pays half the income from any family related columns to her mother.

The other columnist is ZOE WILLIAMS who proves less concerned regarding writing columns about her family as she has happily in the past written about motherhood in less guilty.  Of the three writers she seems most convention and subtly hardest with it.  Not necessarily the type of person I am interested in.

One thing for sure is that they all appear to be obsessed with the Daily Mail.  Also when the revelation is made that The Sun apparently pays £2 per word and The Times £1.50 per word you almost sense a degree of envy in the air.

Eventually the questions get thrown out to the audience where a stereotypical feminist makes a very good point regarding the timing of a Lily Allen interview that ran in The Guardian today in the light of her recent miscarriage.  Obviously the piece was prepared before the event but was it still tasteful to run at such a time?  The responses are mixed but what is quite striking is how few of the columnists have actually read the piece.

Later another question is “do they consider writing a column journalism?” which they on the whole respond with a shrug and “nope” when beneath they perhaps feel quite affronted.

In the end the final question gets directed to CHARLIE BROOKER as he is asked if he has any X-Factor gossip (being that he is married to Konnie Huq).  He says “no” in sarcastic and uninterested fashion.  I have to say one thing I do notice tonight is how he isn’t wearing a wedding ring.

With that it all comes to a close as BROOKER and WILLIAMS head round front to do a book signing while GOLD without a book shouts towards somebody in the audience and makes bar gestures.

From here I don’t hang around as I speedily stomp back to Kings Cross and then over to Liverpool Street in the hope of snagging a decent hour train home.

I get home.

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