Thursday, January 25, 2007

Five Things About Wonderful Me

you want some?


I've been passed the Black Spot courtesy of Doppleganger, so have to think of five interesting things about my lowly, miserable existence. Hmm, maybe I'll just invent things in a futile attempt to make myself look terribly mysterious and interesting. No, I am gripped by a lemming-like urge towards total honesty ...

1) I do, as said elsewhere , believe in my absolutely encyclopediac knowledge as regards pop music, movies, literature, philosophy, world politics ... exactly the kind of infuriating poseur that really, really drives me to distraction. But then I very often find arrogance and pretension incredibly funny if presented with a modicum of self-awareness and irony. He said, self-justifyingly.

2) I have thought about death and dying every single day since I was around four years old.

3) I am an incurable hypochondriac ... Molly Bloom informed me only yesterday that, during the time she's known me, I have believed myself to have a brain tumour, testicular cancer, lung cancer, spina bifida, ME, MS, TB, motor neurone disease, thrombosis, kidney stones, neuralgia, sciatica and several congenital anomalies I won't go into here. Furthermore, I am one of those even more annoying hypochondriacs too lazy to phone the doctor. I should add an apology to anyone who has personally (or have/had a loved one who has) suffered any of these ailments. I have no defence, other than my neuroses.

4) I suffer from excruciating, crippling shyness and self-consciousness which, over the years, I have compensated for by the aforementioned arrogance. In fact, so ingrained has the arrogance and self-belief become I can't actually remember a time or a persona without it. But, since I am so wonderful, why the hell would I?

5) I've mentioned this before ... is that bad form? No matter ... when I was three, I bit my tongue in half. Fell over, tongue between teeth, bit straight in half. The parents rushed me to hospital and then had to turn around and go straight back to pick up the half-tongue from the garden path ... whereupon the surgeons were able to stitch it back together (assembled cries of "boo!", "poor play, that man!" and "quick, rip it back off!" fill the air).
Family legend has it that I never really spoke until after the accident ... so it's my theory that, get this for a load of reheated old cod-Lacanian bollocks, it took a deeply traumatic experience to forcibly inscribe me into the social order, into the field of language.
Or perhaps I had nothing of interest to say until I fell over and bit my tongue in half.

Right, that's me done ... now, I shall pass the poisoned chalice on. His mission, should he chose to accept it, will be for Doc A., of Murmurists fame to give us five facts about himself.

It's rather like being on the analyst's couch, this.

29 Comments:

Blogger Dr Anthony Donovan said...

Maochistic and comic, Anthony. Hats off to you. My turn now, is it? That you're idea of an edict from Dop himself? I'll give it a whirl...

Nice writing, by the way, too.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Dr Anthony Donovan said...

'Maochistic' - wonderful typo! Better than the masochistic I intended.

3:52 PM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

Maochistic ... I like that one.

Masochistic and comic ... that's the story of my life.
As regards #3, I realise I forgot to mention the heart palpitations and the panic attacks.
And I damn near bit my tongue in half this afternoon while bolting down a cinnamon and raisin bagel ... that'll teach me. That's pride and gluttony ... I'm sure I'll fit the other five in before bedtime.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Molly Bloom said...

But he still doesn't believe I have Raynaud's Disease...I ask you.
Now, where's that tourniquet you asked for? You seem to be seeping.

7:05 PM  
Blogger Dr Anthony Donovan said...

Yeh, I was pretty convinced I had a brain tumor during the latter days of the ol' PhD; migraines pretty constantly for a fair few years. Weird to think I let that happen. But I did.

8:58 PM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

I like a little seep every now and again.
Here, having cold feet doesn't mean you have a medical condition, not like me - I'm a martyr to my illnesses. I always say, if it wasn't for my stoicism and incredibly high pain threshold, I'd be prostrate with pain. But I don't like to make a big deal about it ...

7:41 AM  
Blogger doppelganger said...

Maochistic? ... that's gotta be the best name for a clothing range I ever heard...

I never mess about with hypochondria... i'm not a dilettante with these things. I've been living with cancer since I was fourteen - not in my body (though,,, now you come to mention it...) but in my unconscious.... with the IDEA of cancer. I've been visited by the spectre of my pseudo-cancer in every single part of my body...I don't mess about with the others - The Big C is the one...

So, anyway - prompt response, but I dunno, we're all such good repressed boys aren't we? All I've learnt here is that you're a miserable bugger with poncey taste in music and I'd been picking up on that vibe anyway - We're all one of those... we're a generation of workshy foppish introspection too far away from a decent world war we are....

Still, like the tongue bit - Freud would hjave a field day with that one...

NB - I've resisted the temptation to end every other sentence with those little sideways smiley / winkey faces that we're all 'sposed to do on the internet... let's just not eh?

11:27 AM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

A 'miserable bugger with a poncey taste in music' ... that's actually what it states on my passport.
Yes, often brood on cancer, but my particular bete noir is dementia of some kind ... I mean, when you have a brain as wonderful as mine, you want to keep it in tiptop condition - like keeping a Rolls Royce tuned up.
The tongue thing ... think about that often, and am very prone to biting it (not in the metaphorical sense, not nearly enough).
I can honestly say I have never employed those little winking and smiley faces, there's quite a few in use ... isn't that a part of what they (but not me) call netiquette?

2:18 PM  
Blogger kek-w said...

"A 'miserable bugger with a poncey taste in music' ... that's actually what it states on my passport." ...LOL! (sorry, netiquette abreviation there...)

2:51 PM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

I might consider getting a T shirt made up with said logo.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Dr Anthony Donovan said...

I heard a similar story about Mike Leigh, treats the proles like shit; doesn't stop him telling 'their story', though. Victoria Wood - same thing, I believe; still fine with, is it?, 'Dinner Ladies', despite this.

Time to wheel out my Classwar Karaoke again.

10:18 PM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

Mike Leigh ... I finished with him when I read that he does Mcdonald's commercials ... and when he can't fit it into his busy schedule, he passes them onto his good pal Ken Loach.

10:43 AM  
Blogger rockmother said...

Vast apologies but I laughed out loud at your list of hypochondriac list of terrible illnesses. I didn't laugh in a horrid, mocking way just a funny, highly amused way as if I had watched a Hancock sketch (re: your other post) or something like that. I bite my tongue quite alot when I eat and it really drives me nuts. What drives me nuts more is when I bite it again in the same place (because now it is slightly swollen from first bite) and it REALLY REALLY hurts. I stopped worrying about being ill at all when my best friend who died of the most evil brain cancer turned to me before she died and said that she would love to have flu. Kind of put it all in perspective somewhat.

11:52 AM  
Blogger rockmother said...

PS: I just read my first sentence of my last comment and obviously have pre-Alzheimers!

11:52 AM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

Ooh ... when you bite a section of tongue you've already bitten ... the pain.
Yes, I have no defence about the mithering on about being ill ... oddly enough, the few times I've been seriously ill, I've tried to ignore it. A few years ago, I had appendicitis and tried to go through the pain because, get this for perfumed poncery, I had tickets for the ballet and really wanted to go.
Obviously a family trait since my father ignored the signs of cancer and ultimately died because of it.

8:34 AM  
Blogger kek-w said...

Ken Loachzzzzzzzzz...

British Film industryzzzz....

No, waitaminute, Yay for Ken Russell. Yay for Jeff Keen.

8:02 PM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

Couldn't agree more with Kek there ... the Brit film industry ... wish there was one. I notice that Leigh and Loach get loads of awards too, here and abroad. WHY!!?? So boring, so cliched.
Ken Russell made some of my favourite films ...
and Jeff Keen! There's a name to conjure with. Mad little films, absolutely one of a kind.Is he still with us? He must be getting on.
The real genuises of British cinema get ignored - Derek Jarman couldn't afford to pay his rent for most of his career ...same old story.

8:03 AM  
Blogger Dr Anthony Donovan said...

Jarmen - yes. Russell - in patches, for me. When the two came together, ie. The Devils, now you're talking. Jarman never made abad film on his own, in my view. Jubilee - a masterpiece, and who else could have made Wittgenstein? Audacious. Keen new to me. Will Google. Loach - exactly only Kes. Leigh - exactly only Naked. Pair of twats, talentless otherwise. We like the Nigel Kneale things at Cafe Abdab, too.

10:40 AM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

Yes, I like Kes very much ... a sweet little film, made before Loach was encouraged to take himself far too seriously.
Read an interview with him a year or so ago where he was going on about decadent art ... sounding for all the world like Hitler.
Love Jarman's stuff, particularly the little super-8 films ... cinema made for pennies.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Dr Anthony Donovan said...

Jarman's vids for The Smiths great, too.

Kes - like a documentory about my school days. Poetic and valid. But now Loach is all niche market; such a brand; such an issues tourist. 'Raining Stones' is one of the most awful films ever made, I think.

Leigh-wise, I do think Naked has something; possibly even Meantime, too. The rest is issues porn for Gaurdian readers, in my view. I know, because I used to be a Gaurdian reader!

1:58 PM  
Blogger Dr Anthony Donovan said...

PS. Have mused this over. No offence to Doppelganger's survey or to St. Anthony's kind invite, but 5 things about me not my scene; so will decline to participate. I'd just caricature the thing. Cheers.

2:17 PM  
Blogger rockmother said...

I loved Blue by Jarman too. I was and still am the only person I know (if you see what I mean) to have really enjoyed it and got into it. Everyone I know who saw it thought I was mad for liking it. And it had a simultaneous radio broadcast too - it was way ahead of it's time and really interesting.

12:40 AM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

Blue was wonderful ... extremely moving. Didn't the Radio Times give out a postcard of just the right shade to look at?
Great artist, Jarman.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Dr Anthony Donovan said...

Totally agree. The 'alien' device in Wittgenstein was inspired, too - if one knows Wittgenstein's work. For me, Jubilee IS that time - that post leaving school time, early 1980s, deepest Thatcherism. More supposedly 'realistic' records of that time just don't capture the same things; one needs that artsy drift, ornamentation, the hints towards and inclusions of mixed-up histories and ideas, the stances, the precarious belief in self. Jubilee gets to all that, for me.

9:48 AM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

Not a lot of punks liked Jubilee ... and I remember Vivienne Westwood making some very homophobic comments about why Jarman didn't get punk ... the start of the drift into conformity and anti-art that punk ended up with. Jarman was far more radical an artist then any amount of rockers with their speeded-up Chuck Berry riffs (to quote Lydia Lunch).

10:38 AM  
Blogger Dr Anthony Donovan said...

Dead right. I spoke to a punk - there in 76 and all that, in a famous punk band and all that, at the Roxy and all that, on the revival trek now and all that. He didn't like or get Jubilee. Just shows you - the limitations of participant observation.

1:56 PM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

The irony is that some of the earliest footage of the Pistols is super-8 stuff that Jarman shot at one of Andrew Logan's parties.
Good old Derek ... sorely missed.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Dr Anthony Donovan said...

Punk was artsy. It was conceptual. Those who reduce it to straight-ahead rock are missing the point - whether they were there at the time or not. Good old 'Trobriand Island Problem'; a methodological mainstay. It wasn't pub rock purity or even pub rock but we lived the Velvets too. It had deeper connections - elusive connections. Best to grab at those by rarified reading - like Jarman, like Greil Marcus' Lipstick Traces; not by thinking it was three chords and spitting.

3:42 PM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

There's always a tension between people like Howard Devoto, for instance, on one hand - people who thought something like punk could be used to make art, make personal statements and get all conceptual, and people like Charlie Harper on the other ... people for whom it was 'just music', and furthermore music of an uncomplicated and basic cast.

4:25 PM  

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