Unhappy Birthday

Ah, hello! Come in. Make yourself comfortable. Have a cigar.

Actually, don’t bother. They’re terrible for you.

And your mouth will taste horrible in the morning. Roger Waters would tell you the same thing. I’d put the song on, but the record label seem to be blocking it from the obvious video sites. I don’t know if that’s an irony. I suspect Roger’s behind the idea, anyway. [Update: see the comments for a more than adequate substitution,] It’s a bit of a theme, isn’t it? British men working so hard to become pop stars, and then getting all ornery about it. Well, they do say that everything becomes just a job in the end. And if you’re creating the product while the owners of capital are reaping the rewards, it’s enough to get anyone’s ire up. Just ask Lenin and McCartney. Or, alternatively, The Twenty Fifth of May.

Screw you, The Man!

The Twenty-Fifth Of May were the white, British, Public Enemy. That is to say, they rapped, were politically charged, and liked sirens. A lot. Accordingly, I borrowed their CD from the library and home-taped it. Notwithstanding the labels’ assertion that home taping was killing music. Billy Bragg would disagree, of course. I used to have a t-shirt of his insisting, over a rather natty pastiche of Soviet Realist art, that it was capitalism that was killing music. Like The Twenty Fifth of May’s Lenin & McCarthy, I can’t find that t-shirt anywhere these days. So much for the market providing what the people want. Everyone wants a copy of Lenin & McCarthy. They just haven’t been [re-]educated, yet. Not that I’m saying Proletkult should be dictating your consumption of art. That sounds like a terrible idea, too. Other than the “hotbed of bourgeois intellectuals”, of course.

But I didn’t invite you here to discuss politics. This is a party, for goodness sake. Who’s coming? Oh, the usual suspects. As well as your host, Stroke Bloke, we’re expecting Beth, of course. Hopefully, Paul will pop in to drop off a couple of witticisms below the line, if work allows. The Doctor might pop by. Probably not, though. It’s always the same excuse:

“Sorry, I’ve got a complex life. Things sometimes don’t happen to me in the right order.”

You’ve got a bloody TARDIS. You’ve had around 1,200 years to turn up.

Still, we wouldn’t be having this do if the Doctor hadn’t reminded me about it. On Monday, I waded deep into the corridors of apoplectic.me and somewhere in the back offices discovered that the Doctor had turned up in 28 of 49 published posts at apoplectic.me. However, I was so excited about his upcoming 50th anniversary that I didn’t even notice that day’s post would be the fiftieth for apoplectic.me. Beth did, though, in reading the published post. So, here we are. 50 + 1. I suppose that, really, we should have been running a daily series of classic posts. Like this. Or this. Or this. Or maybe the first post. That one was written entirely in black and white. Some nice ideas, but the pacing was terrible.

Well, you could update it a little, dear boy. Mmm?

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes. Miserable musicians. The Smiths’ contribution to the list of music industry condemnation songs was Paint A Vulgar Picture.


Appropriately enough, that track nestles up against the track that titles this post on Strangeways, Here We Come. And, no discussion of the genre of music industry condemnation songs would be complete without a mention of The Kinks greatest moment, Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part One. Have you seen the Darjeeling Limited? Yes, I know. People do have wildly divergent opinions about that one, don’t they?

I think we have the opportunity to make this, kind of a life changing experience, and I think we need it.

But the trailer is pretty much perfect. Cuing the two best Lola tracks (This Time Tomorrow into Strangers) into each other in the second half…? Beautiful.  And, you know, the movie wasn’t bad. A movie “about people trapped in themselves and what it takes to get free — a movie, quite literally, about letting go of your baggage.” What’s not to like? Universal themes, right? I mean, there’s a whole religion that holds  “that because things are impermanent, attachment to them is futile and leads to suffering.” Still, what do I know? On Monday, I thought that love and death were of universal interest, but the comment count wouldn’t suggest that. Or, that they may be universal, but we each think that our experiences of them is unique. We all want to be special, right? Still, Wang Dong, though. What’s wrong with you? That’s gold!

But, you know what? You are special. Thanks for coming. And, you know, I lived in Park Slope for a long time, so here’s your goodie bag. Want to come by on Monday? I’m not sure what we’ll be doing, but I think drugs might be involved. Not like that.

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