Archive for December, 2010

I’ll be coming home next year…

So, next year then. Don’t worry, this isn’t a blog of transparent optimism or resolutions to be a better man.

For much of this year, I’ve tried to post once a week. I’ve generally made it, but there’s times when I’ve missed a week here and there. Reading back, I can’t find a decent reason why. “I was a bit ill”, “I didn’t want to bore you” just shouldn’t cut it, and are pretty indicative of the lazy and mentally ‘meuh’ year I’ve had.

So for next year, I’ve signed up to WordPress’ post-a-week project. I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. Therefore I’m promising myself to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similar goals, to help me along the way. Including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll continue to read it. It shouldn’t change what I write about, although some ideas may come out of left field a little. Comment if you like, Like if you like, forget if you like. Anything is cool.

The final title of this year is from the wonderful Foo Fighters, and a great way to start a year! “I’m in the sky tonight. There I can keep by your side.”

Stay safe and cool over New Year dudes.



When will I, will I be famous?

I’m sorry- this is an anti-xfactor essay. There’s nothing meaningful here, and this is going to polarise reader’s views. You’re as much entitled to your opinion as I am, but we may need to agree to disagree…

One of my friend’s FaceBook status updates last weekend read like this:

“…Is sick and tired of Take That polluting my tv and offending my ears. I will not have my son exposed to such crap!”

So the singer-songwriters of TT, now firmly in the second phase of their careers, are more offensive entertainers than the x-factor crowd…

This lead me to check the status of the last winner… Didn’t McElderry’s release (not his song, as it will have been written by someone else) just chart in the mid to low 60’s somewhere? Yes, I first had to google who it was, then again as I didn’t know how to spell it.

Whether or not I like TT is an irrelevance- you surely can’t compare their appeal, longevity, variety of writing and performing, and ability (they can all at least play something and play it live) as a group to the manipulatively produced, pause-laden Karaoke that is relentlessly televised, advertised, and marketed.

As an entertainer of sorts myself, xfactor and it’s peer shows are doing irreparable harm to entertainment quality in the UK… They are making it harder and harder for true talent to break through and be recognised on a more universal scale as the publicity machine simply snowploughs any other artist to one side.

It’s amazing that any real talent has made it through to the mainstream these last few years. I’m talking about the likes of Paloma Faith, Little Boots, The Noisettes etc- proper innovative musical talent in terms of creativity and technical arrangement.

The genre isn’t all bad- an early series of Pop Idol brought us Will Young, versatile singer-songwriter. Britain’s Got Talent brought us the frankly breathtaking Diversity. But now, people see it as an easy ticket to fame.

Fame is dangerous, particularly when it comes with the too much too soon exposure that Cowell tends to bring with him (we’ve seen meltdowns… Susan Boyle, & whatever her name is from this year’s xfactor). When there is no working through the ranks of local pubs, uk support tour, then an album and a headlining tour off the back of it, there is no opportunity to adjust to the pressures of fame. Meltdowns are nothing new, but the danger with media coverage these days is far increased.

Judging by my Facebook and Twitter feeds this last four months or so, a lot of people watch the disposable junk tele that is provided. Dare we hope this type of show has run it’s course? Well the next line from the Bros song of this week’s title brings a fitting end:

I can’t answer, I can’t answer that…


*update on last week’s blog: I didn’t tell the person that I think they’re ace. I’d rather not say and have what we have than say it and risk ending up without.*

Which brings me to this week:

Too frequently in the last few weeks it’s been pointed out (mostly directly, once indirectly, but I’m fairly sure I was in the crosshairs!) that maybe I look at things too cynically, always seeing the problems. That got me thinking about self-fulfilling prophecies…

So, maybe my glass isn’t always half full. I don’t think of myself as a cynic, I’ve always felt mine was a healthy realistic viewpoint. But maybe I should relax a bit and take a more “suck-it-and-see” approach to things.

On the other hand, that sounds like it’s going to hurt. I’m a risk-averse person, I know this, and it would seem that as time moves on, I’ve moved away from assessing the risk/reward involved to assessing whether there is any risk. If there is, it appears I don’t take it.

I’ve tried to buck that trend of late (ref parachuting, wave-dodging, audition-applying) but that doesn’t seem to have fed through into every area of my life. I’m not sure if it’s rejection I fear, or hurt, or just disruption to my routine for the risk of only a little gain- maybe I’m more of a spinster than I thought!

So, at some point I need either a) take a leap and break the cycle or b) get some kittens, and call them my babies- kids won’t walk past my place: they’ll run. “Run away from crazy kitten man” they’ll shout. (Erm, that’s a Chandler-from-friends quote by the way, edited to be snake friendly).

In short, I’m far too chicken to step outside my comfort zone. I always have been, and I probably always will be. As much as I may want to change that, it’s far too much who I am. I quite like who I am most of the time, but sometimes I suck. 😉

I’ve also learned a new phrase recently- Secret Single Behaviour (abbreviates to ssb). Descriptive of stuff you do which you know is a bit weird but you do anyway because there’s nobody around to say “dude, that’s a bit weird”.

So right now, I’m off to make sure I have some green jelly in to eat at the weekend when Liverpool are on Match of the Day (ssb alert!)


Do you want to know a secret?

Sorry that I didn’t blog last week. With one thing and another I just didn’t have it in me.

This week, I are bin mostly thinking… Should you tell people what you’re thinking? Not as in “I’ve been thinking about cheese” (that’s what Twitter is for!) but how you feel, especially if it’s about them.

I don’t do that, very often. I’m not that good at it. Deep and meaningful stuff always sounds contrived and clumsy, emotive stuff comes out harsh and aggressive.

It’s clearly something I need to work on. I’ve had the opportunity to practice both sides recently. Neither worked out very well to be frank, but they’re not stories to be blogging about- you guys know who you are, and I’m sorry that I’m rubbish at it. This is more about should you tell someone how you feel about them when it’s not what they want to hear. Not negative stuff, but soft stuff.

I’m a bloke, and also (probably!) an emotionally immature one. I’ve tried to be more open, but that inevitably leads to getting scared and backing even harder into my shell.

So, when faced with feelings that need to be shared (fear to be faced, barrel of gun to be stared down, wind to be pee’d into… Whichever metaphor suits you best), the time to do this is clearly not when the person has made it transparently clear they don’t want to hear that sort of talk, yet I still would like to let them know just how ace I think they are, and have done ever since the minute we met. Nothing to gain, everything to lose.

I tend to ask more questions in blogging than I answer. I do have a conclusion for this one though: gauge the mood. If it will help the situation, take that leap of faith. There’s precious little happiness around at the moment, and you’ll likely give someone the gift of a smile. If it’s going to lead to a worse position, hang fire though. It’ll complicate lives and bring more frowns. In the meantime, I’ll just be sitting here taking time, and one day I’ll tell you.

“Do you promise not to tell?”. Thanks Mr Lennon for today’s title (and a hidden song lyric- shout up if you spot it!)