Sunday, April 21, 2013

These are the days

Scottish Labour Day: I tried hard to read the articles about the Scottish Labour Party Conference. I saw the titles and gather that it was held in that scrubbed up working class haven and memorial to shipyards, mines and heavy industry that is ...Inverness (?). I was a little curious about the speakers, the policies; perhaps deep in the conference rhetoric there would be a lightning bolt of creative thought or inspiration. Perhaps a big firm NO to this and possibly a big YES to that. I tried hard to read the article but it was like painting in the rain. There they were; Johan Lamont with the lisp no one in the media dare mention, an anonymous train travelling man called Miliband, grey shadow puppets called Murphy, Alexander and Darling. Coughing and goggling, Tweeting but not trending, gossiping and thinking of shafting Margaret Thatcher - as if history ever taught us anything. In the margins some pints, spritzers and G&Ts, greasy steak pie and chips but alas no real substance. This is the best of Scottish Labour, trembling in the shop window in yesterday's underwear. My grandfathers are revolving in their graves, clenching their NHS dentures. Does anybody actual know a card carrying, subs paying Labour member these days? They are a dying breed, these political apologists and would be zombies. No angry young men here, they've all be shot or sent to the colonies. Just silly under employed graduates and union deniers embroiled in a deconstructed world of constant bickering and finger wagging. They are a doomed race but they don't know it. As somebody famous once said, “If any one of them was a real protagonist it wouldn't work at all.” So another conference has passed without significant insult or injury, just a few well stapled expense claims are outstanding and nearly ready for audit. Time has been truly killed and the enemy, and there is a real enemy out there, are having a damn fine smirk to themselves while they twiddle their fat fingertips above their laps .

Record Store Day: I was sitting thinking I'd like to go and support this in some way, maybe even make a purchase but a) I'm working b) I've no record player or deck or hi-fi system and c) Why Record Store? What happened to record shops? I never ever said anyone “I'm just popping down to the record store to browse the Dr Strangely Strange sleeves, be back in time for tea.” We seem to have absorbed a term here that has romanticised what never was all that pleasant a shopping experience. Being crushed in a smelly record shop thumbing through gritty sleeves hoping to find some blues or progressive bargain that...well I seldom found any. I'm sure it's all moved on, in fact FOPP and Avalanche are pleasant enough places to be but they are shops not stores. Still most of my grubby guitar based (and now long gone) collection was formed well away from the shops in the primitive Ebay primal soup that was school. Here in the this spotty, hairy and smoky setting records were swapped, stolen, bartered or sold for pre-decimal currency and then paraded like hard won trophies at lunch time. Carrying Blind Faith's first album (with the tits facing out) was the ultimate in ignorant rebel statements and shall aways be, eight years before the Sex Pistols...but Record Stores?

Inseminate a Panda Day: I'm kind of sad to hear that the exotic, sultry, doe eyed Tian Tain hasn't taken to the advances offered by her partner Yang Guang. Despite the obvious smoky eyes she's not showing signs “conducive to mating”. Perhaps somebody should nip out and get a Hoover, a bar of Galaxy, some stilettos and a bottle of Pino Grigio. It's clearly a tough and stressful life for male and female pandas in Central Scotland and now, despite Tian Tian's obvious lack of desire to breed (and in an infringement of her panda rights I suppose) they've got the dreaded turkey baster out. Nobody wins in panda sex wars. In what sounds like a somewhat elaborate operation “Edinburgh's Zoo specialist team and experts from around the world performed artificial insemination on Tian Tian in the early hours of the morning.” The statement also said that “both pandas and humans were sleeping today”. Oh well, they probably chatted for a wee while and then smoked a few fags whilst staring at the magnolia ceiling.

Lose the Lottery Day: Once in a while I purchase a lucky dip lottery ticket at the Co-op when I'm getting bread, milk and lentils, (I recall that the Co-op was known colloquially as the “Store”, now that title belongs to those remaining few records shops that are as rare as pandas, nearly). I lazily checked the numbers in today's SoS and sure enough I'd scored zero on the lucky numbers. I guess I'll work for another week and not dip my toes into the £1m+ property market just yet. The Maserati wont be getting ordered either. If only I could resist this guilty and impulsive pleasure, indeed had I not succumbed to the evil gambling gods all those years ago I'd probably have about £150 stuffed into some sock somewhere but I might have just blown it on cobwebby progressive rock Amazon CD purchases and Kindle downloads.

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