Addicted to life
Mild obsessions, addictions and lusts are part of everyday life for most teenagers - most adults fail to admit that shedding the teenage spots doesn’t mean shedding the teenage obsessions!
The problem with anticipation is that it inevitably leads to crushing disappointment. That new album, the great new film, or fantastic TV series is never as good as you expect - or that porn movie is only two wanks good instead of 10.
Kill List, Killer Joe, Strippers V Werewolves and the last series if Torchwood all had me on the edge of my seat waiting for their arrival - they all left me feeling decidedly underwhelmed. But that’s the nature of cultural hype machines these days - they draw you in, suck your cash up like wealth vampires and then spit you out like a prostitute spitting your spunk back in your face. The hype machine creates a “must see/hear” anticipation that borders on obsession and then leaves you feeling utterly deflated with dull disappointment.
Adam Ant is a current obsession - but his new album is a rare record in that it kicks all expectations up the arse and drags you into its world and leaves you screaming “give me more” - it’s that fucking good!
The last P.I.L album had the same effect and it’s still constantly on my CD player.
But like our favourite foods, if you get too much of a good thing you want to vomit it out of your stereo and into the pile marked “play in another 20 years” - yes, obsessions and cultural addictions are fickle things and only last as long as the next band or great movie - shame more of life’s addictions aren’t like that.
Rock of ages
I’ve always hated ageist attitudes in the music press, in some bands and some music fans.
Hello, my name’s Paul and I am an addict.
No it’s not drugs, I’ve not be shoving needles into my arms to escape this shit world, and it’s not booze, I like a drink, but I don’t hide vodka in my water bottle at work, or have a stash of beer beside my bed.
No, I’m addicted to the fucking internet. I have to check my emails, my Facebook page and the message boards I frequent at every opportunity. I could be missing out on something. Some muppets can’t miss an episode of Big Brother in case somebody gets a blow job while juggling oranges in the living room or something else essential to the morning conversation at work the next morning – me, I may miss vital gig information or a message of undying love, or a ‘fuck off you’re a cunt who knows fuck all’ message. I’d be gutted if I had to wait a whole day to read that!
But why? It’s a beautiful day outside, there are real people out there – people I can touch (or who I want to touch but they wont let me), people I can talk to, real fucking people – and I don’t need to strain my eyes to make conversation with them.
But, of course, it’s not just the internet is it? People have to check their mobile phone every two minutes in case somebody has sent a text about who kissed who last night on Eastenders or in the latest episodes of Pornstars’ Week in a Monastry on Wankers Inc (it’s on satellite – honest). So, of course, the unreal world is never far away. The fucking phone even tells you (if you’re sad enough to want it to) when you’ve got an email or myspace message. You can almost hear the ‘get a life’ ringtone above the latest hit from Has Been and the Nobodies on the jukebox. And, at the same time as you are talking about real life, the couple opposite you are swapping ringtones, because they’ve found an hilarious new tune where the electronic beats sound like swear words – and that’s such an original idea that nobody in the world ever has thought of before!
What did we do before the internet – did we read books, go out or write letters? What a waste of time eh?
But, it does make things easier as far as doing zine interviews, and it is a cheap way of sending long letters to people – although I’ve nearly forgotten how to write now! And, of course, if you break down in a car, miss a train, get lost trying to find a friend’s house or need help while out late at night – then a mobile is a godsend.
However, the real danger comes from work. That cunt of a thing most of us need to do to help us with somewhere to live, something to eat and a few beers. Yes, they can email you at home, call you on holiday, they can contact you when you’re travelling, get you to send in work from home, they can make people work on the train, work is every fucking where now. And, in a culture where people are pressured to work more hours to make cash for unaffordable mortgages and car repayment the bosses have got us by the bollocks/cunts. That is truly fucking terrifying.
So, let’s use new technology to network, meet new people, hear new music and fuck the system – but let’s have a life as well. And let’s not be chained to a computer instead of a desk at work. It’s so obvious that I hardly need to spell it out – but like I said before, I’m still a fucking addict!
Technology stole my favourite band
I come from that lucky generation that has the ability to listen to music on vinyl, tape, CD, online and on an MP3 player. I feel sorry for younger people who snub the raw as fuck vinyl and tapes and I don’t understand those who snub our technological advance – even if they’re destroying the world as we know it!
You read that right. Take newspapers for example. The internet could be shrugged off by papers – you can’t read the internet in the toilet, in bed, on the bus, at work (unless you work in an office), or on a park bench. Then along comes smart phones and Android Apps and, suddenly, you can read the internet whenever and wherever you like. Oh dear. Oops and shit. So newspapers have to rethink their whole business model, a shit load of jobs are under threat and media commentators all become overnight doom-mongers predicting the death of an industry. The fucking idiots.
I’m 40 – four zero. My generation reads papers. We like hard copy. I listen to vinyl (the new 150gm records sound fucking brilliant) and I buy books (despite owning and loving a Kindle). Medical science is being very nice to my generation and the generations it is spawning and we could have 60 years in us, maybe even more. That’s a slow fucking death for the industry my friends.
Vinyl didn’t die. Why not? Well, it can live happily alongside MP3s. It has a different sound and amazing artwork and most records come with a download code these days giving you the best of both worlds. In the same way, people like to keep press cuttings of friends and family – and even themselves if they’re fucking vain! We like to own stuff. My flat is full of stuff. It looks better with stuff in – Mp3s don’t look as good as stuff, but they are easier to hear on the train. Nobody has yet invented a personal record player for travelling with – and I doubt there’d be much call for it anyway.
Books have a future too. A Kindle and its relations can do everything a Kindle can, but some people just like the look and smell of books – and there are some places you don’t want to take a 200 quid device, but don’t mind taking a £4.50 paperback. And other times you like to get the story from the £4.50 paperback for a quid – or even free on your device.
Apart from all these changes to our lives through devices, the biggest change the internet has brought us is the accidental death of the High Street.
So many shops open all day everyday in your living room – how can anybody cope with that?