Friday, October 11, 2002

Continuing my Wilco obsession, there is a thread on mefi. When I say obsession my tongue is in my cheek, not the mefi dudes though, I don't think. They must be young.

I Iike the look of the Friday Five today, but it will merit much thought, so it will have to wait till the nippers have gone to bed, by which time I will be far from sober. I shall try not to ramble.

I know that the sucking bra that enlarges breasts has been posted everywhere. I know that after linking to the licking knockers story it might appear I am becoming bap obsessed, but it's impossible not to mention it if you have never quite managed to grow up like me. As is the obvious, when are they going to invent sucking underpants line. Sorry.

The Friday Five:
1. If you could only choose 1 cd to ever listen to again, what would it be?
As is obvious from this and the other questions, it's a pretty stupid Friday Five as the answers could well change any minute. At this precise minute, I have endured a very, very shitty week, culminating in a couple hours of absolute mayhem in the house and outside. Every pre bedtime with my nippers is barking to be honest, but tonight seemed barkinger. Plus the pumpkin loving classes have been eggin our chuffin windows. Not conducive to a peaceful and relaxing Friday evening. So despite the fact that I have a compilation of New Orleans soul and funk from the seventies on as I type, my choice would be Bach's Goldberg Variations as performed by Glenn Gould . This is quite simply a work of genius. Genuine chuffing genius. Completely relaxing and soothing but you will find something new everytime you hear it. Soul didn't start with Berry Gordy, it started with Bach. Exhilirating.

2. If you could only choose 2 movies to watch ever again, what would they be?
This is really chuffing hard and an unfair question. Impossible to answer. Well nearly. First would be Diner. I love this film, it might seem like a simple coming of age movie but is so much more. It is a brilliant ensemble piece and most of the actors have done nothing since that approaches it in terms of quality. The script is amazing, absolutely brilliant. The sense of place and time is spot on (spoken by a man who has not been within 3000 miles of Baltimore and was born in the year the film is set, but what the hell). It is funny, sad and ridiculous. The Rourke and sexy girl whose name I forget thing is completely unbelievable, but who cares. Every time the film appears to be heading to towards smaltchzhville it gets pulled back. Despite some obvious plot devices it is wonderfully honest. Not brutally or depressingly so; wonderfully. I love this film, I want a sequel, although some might argue that was provided by Tin Men. In short, it is a blast. A smile even, did I mention it is also very quoteable. Plus in parts it is as excruciatingly funny as The Office. And provides an example of the sort of quiz any man should set a prospective wife.
Second choice is a difficult choice between two masterpieces, Cinema Paradiso and the Godfather, I shall cheat and assume I am allowed 1 and 2 on one video. Instinctively, I would go for Paradiso. It's long, langorous, beautiful, soporific. Something you can wallow in, luxuriantly. But so is The Goldberg Variations. Over a lifetime a change of pace now and again might be welcome. The Godfather is just the job, long, langorous, operatic, beautiful, brutal, philosophical, funny , sad, quoteable. No matter how many times you watch you will find yourself pondering the same questions over and over, l which is the point. It engages you, like no other, on many different levels. Genius.

3. If you could only choose 3 books to read ever again, what would they be?
Gawd do us a chuffin favour, this is supposed to be relaxing. At the risk of losing all my dignity, and bearing in mind I read the thing many months before it became popular, I would have to go for Captain Corellis Mandolin. I would point out that my reading habits are avaricious, so I do not say this lightly. When I first read it I went just about crazy, telling anyone who would listen they had to read it and thrusting it upon them. I would say it is the best book I have read in years, and it was. The fact that it has been overhyped since then and has become little more than a travellogue in many eyes does nothing to diminish that.
It is like the best films, funny, sad, absurd, painful, uplifting and life affirming. The ending is very poxy and the account of Greek resistance just plain wrong, but is an awesome and moving novel. Mrs Buddha couldn't read anything else for months after, it was like see Naples and die. I love it. Sorry no link to the book, I can't be arsed I keep getting reviews of the very poxy film, when I search for it.
Number two. James Kelman, A Chancer. This book is simply astonishing. I picked it up around the end of the first year of my degree. That had been quite a difficult year. I was quite elderly for a student and had spent the previous 25 years quite content in the knowledge I was happy but thick. Then I spent 9 months at Fircroft college in Selly Oak where I was persuaded I was very far from being thick. Without quite knowing how, I found myself at university in Cardiff, where ironically I found myself for the first time among genuinely thick people. But they all had no accents and confidence, so it didn't matter. I enjoyed that year, but all the while felt out of place and guiltily awaited my comeuppance.. Finding the Kelman book was like finding an old friend, but that does it a disservice. It is a brilliant dissection of working class mores and sensibilities. When the hero goes off on one, justifying another bet or why he fucked up in a job or with a girl, it gets right to the heart of it, like no other novel I have read. It depicts working class life with an unpitying gaze and is all the more sympathetic for it. No noble savages here, just life for the young working class in a particular era in all its raw hopelessness: funny , true and despairing. And a work of towering literary and artistic merit.
Third, bloody hell, I dont know. A compilation of the best of some crime fiction. Pelecanos, or Leonard or Lee Burke. I know it wouldn't suffice for a lifetime, but I have thunk too much already. And Mrs Buddha turned up with the nipper disagreeing with my selections, and ruining my flow. Or One Hundred Years of Solititude.

4. If you could only choose 4 things to eat or drink ever again, what would they be?
Pasta, Parmesan, Chilli, Bacon. Mix that all up and there is a meal I could eat every day, assuming salt and pepper come free. And Olive oil. And Garlic.

5. If you could only choose 5 people to ever be/talk/associate/whatever with ever again, who would they be?
As a member of a family of five this is the first easy question. First of course would be me, as I spend half my life talking to myself, then the Mrs and the nippers. Piddle of piss.
Really, well the nippers go without saying, any parent would be the same I suppose, but every day every one of my nippers amazes me in some way. They are bobby dazzlers and even if they mean I can't see The A 3 or Southside Johnny in some dive it matters not, I love them with a love so profound it is beyond description. Not next as this is a list that defies order, my Mrs. I have mentioned before the profundity of my feelings for her, and guess what, she hardly ever looks at this blog, so what I have said before is the truth, comrade. I know she intends to look at this, but the previous things I have said demonstrate the truth; which is : I am a lucky man. She puts up with me, for one thing, which not many would. She is beautiful, truly, how I managed to get to grips with her God only knows. She is artistic. She is profound. She gets to the heart of it. She has patience you wouldn't believe. After all these years of marriage and many kids we have had our little to do's, but not many. Still, I never tire of her company. If I had never met her, and I was lying, single, broken, and pissed in some Bukowskiesque hovel I would dream of my ideal woman, and it would be her.
Hah, number five and I have run out out of immediate family. Still it's easy. My bro, bobharford as some on the Blues message boards know him. The snot nosed six year old kid who had to bring his even more snot nosed little bro of two up in some pretty mean streets, virtually without adult intervention. These days the pair of us would have been whipped (no pun intended) into some Catholic boys home pretty quick. He has spent most of his life dragging me out of the gutter, literally and metaphorically. Notwithstanding the fact he is a major pain in the arse, I love the dude.
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