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IRECENTLY discovered a piece of art I did when I was a kid. Whether I had intended it or not, it is probably the most profound statement I've ever made. Which gives me pause, considering that I seem to have wasted 30 years since then, not communicating very profound things at all.
I'M PINING for a holiday. Not just a little trip away from this place to another slightly warmer place which has all the same gadgets, entertainments and distractions (hence stresses and anxieties). Maybe the word "holiday" itself is part of the problem, implying as it does an inevitable return to normality. What I'm longing for is the kind of trip that alters reality. What I need is a real down-in-the-dirt life-experience, like the one I had in Italy when I was 18.
LIVING under constant stress is not any way to live. In fact it's probably a really great way to die – prematurely. It's a sad fact that when I am not stressed I feel less alive; actually I tend to fall asleep. Stress keeps me awake, on my toes, alert to possible threats lurking everywhere. For sure, the hostile capitalist universe has made me like this, but the question is not who's to blame, but what is to be done about it.
THERE is a direct causal link between low self-esteem and fast food. If someone's ego is destroyed they will fill the void that has opened in their life with vast quantities of cheap, naughty, nasty, tasty, life-threateningly fatty nibbles. Believe me, I know this to be true because I did it last Tuesday.
'WE'RE not over the hill really, are we?" girlfriend asked, and so I asked what she meant.
I HAVE had to rethink my position on sunsets. I know that sounds ridiculous – sunsets are after all a naturally occurring phenomenon, happening frequently; mostly every night, in fact. However, living in the artists' residency at Cove Park I've been subjected to some of the most awe-inspiring God-and-his-angels-are-about-to-descend solar events that man, since the dawn of time, may have witnessed.
NO matter how many times I've ranted against the damaging influence of lowest common denominator entertainment media and the spiralling of the world into wilful amnesiac ignorance, I finally have to admit it's not Jordan, Jade or Russell Brand who are the symbols and symptoms of stupidity – it's not the outside world that's getting dumber, but me. I have somehow, in the last year, become progressively, spectacularly brainless.
AFTER living for nearly a month in the Scottish countryside, some strange transformation has taken root within me. As I stare out of my window at the blue of Loch Long and Loch Goil and the green and grey of the Arrochar Alps, and as I count the weeks I still have left within this idyllic wilderness before I must return to Glasgow, I feel two powerful impulses stirring:
IT'S A strange thing to be 800 yards from a nuclear submarine and to witness its dark, silent beauty. Of all the monsters potentially lurking within a Scottish loch, a fusion-powered submarine, possibly carrying intercontinental ballistic missiles that could destroy 12 capital cities, can appear benign and tranquil, almost a thing of nature, gliding along as gracefully as a seal.
I HAVE found a solution to the problem of internet addiction. What problem, you might ask – the internet is a liberating force; global information exchange is multiplying at an exponential rate; billions of bytes are moving round the globe, connecting the previously unconnected, bringing about a golden age of information, knowledge and freedom. To which I reply: Shut your moronic mouth, you twittering twit.
I HAVE a very strange obsessive-compulsive love-hate relationship with Nick Cave. This might be something my generation (Generation X) suffers from more than others. Generation Y seem much more casual about the musicians (and relationships) they're into; they don't have the cult of "the indie genius" or experience devotion in the way that we did. How can anyone be devoted to the Scissor Sisters?
THE world will end on 12 December 2012. The argument seemed so overwhelmingly convincing to me last Wednesday that I spent the entire day in my underpants and dressing gown, many bowls of half-eaten Cheerios beside me, listening to death-metal, scrolling through hundreds of apocalyptic conspiracy theory websites.
DAMMIT, Eminem is back, straight out of rehab with another irreverent rap album, exposing the ignorant media– obsessed culture that made him who he is and nearly killed him. Damn. I told myself I'd never listen to Eminem again. Not since what happened last time.
GLASGOW'S Pollok Park is truly great. Areas of almost true wilderness, well-maintained paths and cycle tracks, formal gardens, and a free museum full of artefacts and artworks from the ancient Egyptians to the French Impressionists. It has always amazed me that it's run by the council (formerly privately owned, it was gifted to the people of Glasgow in 1966). Given that most council jobs involve clearing up the human mess in an impoverished city, I often marvel at what an extrem
IT'S CLEAR that since our technologies of communication have multiplied exponentially, we've actually got let and less to say. None the less we say it louder and louder. Never before has so much meaningless human noise bombarded our senses. Take a confined space, say a train, with 40 people with mobile phones (with catchy jingles), iPods and laptops, and all trace of humanity vanishes in the cacophony.
I LIKE pornography. In fact I have wide enough experience of its genres to be able to judge nuances in much the same way an Eskimo can determine varieties of snow. However, I am also aware of the thresholds of appropriate time and place for its consumption, unlike a young man who my partner and I encountered last week.
AS I attempted essential DIY repairs this week I listened to Obama speeches on YouTube. In their utopian talk of progress they seemed reminiscent of the 1960s. Onward to equality and modernity, a brighter future through technology, etc.
THEY are a threat to us all. Before long they'll be filling the pavements, the roads, forcing us to flee. These are not illegal immigrants or Orange Order marchers but battery-powered shopping buggies for geriatrics, as provided by such apparently well-meaning organisations as Shopmobility. They have three wheels, a top speed of 15mph, a handlebar with accelerator and a metal casing. You may have been struck by the sight of one, or even just struck by one, as I recently was.