Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Stupid Foodle, Deadly Cheers

We're in her car—these things are ALWAYS in her car—and my girlfriend abruptly chants, with enthusiasm, "ZOO-dle DOO-dle COO-dle!"

"It's probably Tourettes'," I say. "Let's look into that."


That one made me laugh.

Sometimes you've just got to go with it and enjoy. Blazing—blazing?—noodling away at my next soon-to-be-unfinished novel, I'm going to write in a character called Brigadier James Macrobius Foodle. He will be evil and silly. Somebody, surely, will mutter "Stupid Foodle" over the course of the plot. Because sometimes, you've really got to go with it.

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"There Is A Light" + Arif Sitting in the oak-panelled diner in the quieter part of the city, soft lights streaming here and there as businessmen and their wives sip dark expensive wine, you hear the opening chords of the guitar: solid but not heavy, comfortingly plain. Arif starts singing, nothing fancy, but you can hear the training behind his voice. It's a workmanlike Morrissey cover, and Morrissey would be proud of it, or should be. The waitresses and waiters in their crisp white shirts and black ties accept discreetly large tips, people put their coats on—it's snowing outside—and other diners arrive.

In other news, other music. Yes, it's tripe, junk, derivative, who cares? WRM is climbing my list for favourite pop of the year—their new single, "Girls In The Back", with deadly cheers, is up on their website. Less "Alsation", more "Love Is A Number". Listen, WHITE ROSE MOVEMENT IS SEX. Condoms on your ears, please.

"Morte d'Arthur" + Alfred Tennyson When I was around fourteen years old, I opened a large book crammed with densely-printed columns and read these lines: "So all day long a noise of battle roll'd / Among the mountains by the winter sea." They finished me, those lines; I was hooked on Tennyson from that moment forward. And while I love The Idylls Of The King, especially "Balin And Balan" and "The Holy Grail", and while I think that the redacted version of "Morte d'Arthur" was wonderfully expanded in the last idyll, "The Passing Of Arthur", my first thought, when I think of Arthur fighting with his knights, is not of Malory's story, or Steinbeck's parables, or Tennyson's later Idylls: I think of "Morte d'Arthur" and its slow sad decline, of men fighting without hope in a world of winter, mountains around and a cold cold shore. Why do these men fight, if they fight without hope? Because they fight for their hearts and an image of perfection. Why else should anyone fight?

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