Sunday, January 22, 2012

The iron-hearted forges of Middle-Earth

Benign guitars in an elliptical orbit around the Belt of Orion in that funny shaped bit of the universe that you can't quite make out from around these parts due to the large amount of light pollution that prevails. 

The day I first tasted Stilton: I was at least 29 years of age, immature (in most cheese related areas) and about to receive a certificate celebrating my unplanned success in economic studies and statistics from Bath University. Before the action my troop and I rested briefly at the Hare and Hounds pub up in Endsleigh and I ordered a ploughman's lunch. When it came I gasped (inwardly), the plate (and the lunch laid out on it) was huge, great slabs of mysterious cheeses, crusty breads and a small mountain of salad and pickle, all for £3.99. As I'd consumed about three pints of Guinness by this point my taste buds were sharp as a Swiss Army knife in a hot trouser pocket. The Stilton hit me like raw opium, hammered in with a blunt cork-screw. The rest of the afternoon remains a blur but I do have a photograph somewhere showing me holding a buff certificate but as evidenced by my stupid grin clearly hallucinating on a strong cheese based narcotic. It was 1985, a longer year than normal by all accounts.

166 v Mondeo: Moving away from my weaker Alfa moments I decided to sit in a keenly priced Mondeo in order to weigh up the practical side of the competition. The Ford is rock solid, everything appeared to be working and it was all pleasantly familiar, a sensible buy and easy to live with like a faithful slave. Then I thought about the Alfa again, a complete bitch of a car, an interior like a Renaissance moon rocket, designed by Italian alcoholics, lines as sexually enticing as a set of stiletto knives doubling as shoes, leather and chrome mixed up in a stylistic mess of sci-fi and steam punk. Fiddly, failing electronics, mad ergonomics, short legged seating and an engine that looks like it was conceived in Oz, built in the iron hearted forges of Middle Earth and then polished by the sun on some Alpine peak. Bugger this.

Baffling packages of inconsequential poo: Frank Zappa said; “Popular American musical taste is determined by a 13 year old girl called Debbie, the daughter of average, God-fearing American white folk, unwitting dupes of the 'Secret Office Where They Run Everything From'. Serious contemporary composers are superfluous to American society and should remove themselves from this world before it removes them, they should throw some Cyanide and swizzle it into the punchbowl along with some of that white wine that 'artistic' people really go for.” I'm sure it made a lot of sense at the time (same decade as my cheese graduation), it still does (apart from the inexplicable explosion in Hip Hop and Gangsta-Rap which came from somewhere else altogether and is equally depressing and disturbing). At least it doesn't pretend to be pop. Meanwhile my open D tuning revisit is yielding all sorts of non-populist and non-inconsequential possibilities, Frank would be proud of me.

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