Things I've been listening to:
Radio 4 (oh how tedious...)
Jezza's Confessions on Virgin Radio (car crash radio)
Coldplay: A Rush of Blood to the Head (felt maudlin)
Foo Fighters: One by One (for waking up to loudly)
Goldfrapp: Felt Mountain (music for quiet moments)
Royksopp: Melody AM (when I want to listen to Sigur Ros, but know I'll get annoyed by the Icelandic wailing, this lot do more inoffensive bleeps)
On the CD player right now:
Tricky: Maxinquaye (this sort of 90s trip-hop stuff always reminds me of Gary Clail, OnU Sound and growing up near Bristol *cough*)
Things I've been drawing:
Pictures of eyes, mostly.
My scanner's linked to the dead computer, so you can only see not particularly good digi-photos of them. In the making of which, my hand always shakes.
Ten points to anyone who can tell whose eye?
People I wish I'd spoken more nicely to yesterday:
People I was proud of how nicely I spoke to them yesterday:
2 (could be better)
Things I've been reading:
Phillip Pullman: Northern Lights 5/10
Reginald Rose: Twelve Angry Men (screenplay) 7/10
J.M. Coetzee: Youth 9/10
Paulo Coelho: The Alchemist 8/10
Pawel Huelle: Who was David Weiser 3/10
Malcolm Bradbury: The History Man 4/10
William Irwin: The Matrix and Philosophy 6/10
I may be an English, not a Maths, but book reviews bore me, so all you're going to get is numbers.
Favourite Quote of the moment: concerns the lack of poetry inherent in modern life
"Yet he cannot accept that the life he is leading here in London is without plan or meaning. A century ago poets deranged themselves with opium or alcohol so that from the brink of madness they could issue reports on their visionary experiences. By such means they turned themselves into seers, prophets of the future. Opium and alcohol are not his way, he is too frightened of what they might do to his health. But are exhaustion and misery not capable of performing the same work? Is living on the brink of psychic collapse not as good as living on the brink of madness? Why is it a greater sacrifice, a greater extinction of personality, to hide out in a garret room on the Left Bank for which you have not paid the rent, or wander from cafe to cafe, bearded, unwashed, smelly, bumming drinks from friends, than to dress in a black suit and do soul-destroying office-work and submit to either loneliness unto death or sex without desire? Surely absinthe and tattered clothes are old-fashioned by now. And what is heroic, anyhow, about cheating a landlord out of his rent?
T.S. Eliot worked for a bank. Wallace Stevens and Franz Kafka worked for insurance companies. In their unique ways Eliot and Stevens and Kafka suffered no less than Poe or Rimbaud. There is no dishonour in electing to follow Eliot and Stevens and Kafka. His choice is to wear a black suit as they did, wear it like a burning shirt, exploiting no one, paying his way. In the Romantic era, artists went mad on an extravagant scale. Madness poured out of them in reams of delirious verse or great gouts of paint. That era is over: his own madness, if it is to be his lot to suffer madness, will be otherwise -- quiet, discreet. He will sit in a corner, tight and hunched, like the robed man in Durer's etching, waiting patiently for his season in hell to pass. And when it has passed he will be all the stronger for having endured.
That is the story he tells himself on his better days."
I typed that lot out because Mike's been stressed. Everyone I know wishes they were downsizing to a darkened hovel in a medieval bog, but is too scared to do so without amassing a small fortune first. I think it's a London condition.
Updated: Tuesday, 12 August 2003 9:42 PM BST
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