CABBAGE PATCH DROLL February 17, 2012Posted by markswill in About me, Media, Navel Gazing.
Ages since I scribbled anything, so although I haven’t got much in the way of pent-up bile that blogging seems to purge, with that promising preface, here come a few random thoughts.
Regular readers, such as there are, will know that I am no fan of the vacuous nonsense that fills the glossy mags which accompany the weekend ‘papers, especially the Observer’s whose 16 year-old editors willfully force upon us the opinions of Z-list celebs we should all be in thrall of. A recent example was the ‘This Much I Know’ spread devoted to artist Gavin Turk (which of course I only read because I am a self-appointed know-all on a woefully narrow skein of modern daubing). But having learnt such important stuff as “I was gutted when I failed my MA” (poor darling) and “I am a happy person and don’t get depressed” (how spiritually uplifting), he actually uttered something rather interesting: “The fact that we can access things very quickly means that they don’t get much time to be tried and tested. We are living in a prototype world and we are the guinea pigs.”
Which having thought about it for a nanosecond before logging onto my FarceBerk account, tweeting to my millions of followers, putting an ad. on fleaBay for my old Lancia and ordering a copy of Katie Price’s latest masterpiece from Amazombie, is crushingly true. And where will it all end? This has actually been the (unrealised) subtext of many of my interweb spewings, and I suppose it’s also why I pay sporadic attention to discussions on LinkedIn fora about the future of newspapers (the consensus being, ‘There isn’t one’) and whether or not tablets and smartphones will render desktop and laptop ‘pooters redundant (‘Not sure, but my contribution is to show off how many state-of-the-hour gadgets I own’).
Anyway, I don’t think subscribing to LinkedIn, a networking site for middle class media professionals – ho-ho-ho – that I misguidedly thought might get me some, er, work, is ever likely to yield any revelations that will dispel Mr Turk’s or indeed my own concerns about the digital endgame, but I do invite my loyal and evidently expanding band of blogees to add their two penn’orth on how society is being and will ultimately be changed by having little time to test the veracity of the things we can now access very quickly digitally.
SOMEONE I DO HAVE MORE TIME FOR THE OPINIONS OF is writer and musician Terence Blacker, who has a twice weekly column in the Indie and its cut-price sibling, the i (the latter of course is my daily read). I should declare an interest here because I know him slightly and very amusing he is too, but his most recent column addresses the effects that slang and what I (but not he) call “digi-speak” – you know, the “LoLs” and the “OMG this is well interesting”. In an unusually muddled, by his usually crisp and perceptive standard, he seems unsure whether this is a good thing because, perhaps in an unintended nod in Gavin Turk’s direction, it shows how language organically develops, or a bad one because, “In a slang-filled world there will be a narrower choice in employment and a lot less social mobility”. Discuss.
I have emailed young Terence demanding his actual position on this, but as a committed contrarian, and also a little tardy in the emailing dept., he hasn’t yet replied and I must finish this scribbling before I change my cabbage leaves. Yes, you read that right. The only way I can actually type this tripe is because I have two large cabbage leaves strapped to my right elbow and forearm where until yesterday I had painful and disabilitating RSI. This was after ten days of endless pain on several fronts: toothache (which turned out to be a nasty abscess), back-ache (occasioned trying to remove some switchgear for my still-immobile Citruin XM from a dead one at the local scrapyard) and the aforementioned RSI. Industrial strength antibiotics and painkillers prescribed by ‘caring professionals’ eventually relieved the first two maladies, but only after five days of feeling utterly spaced-out, lethargic and miserable, but after the drugs ran out, the RSI returned.
AND THEN BY CHANCE I learnt that strapping cabbage leaves to the affected area would relieve the symptoms and eventually the cause of RSI and desperate, though of course sceptical, I gave them a try. And amazingly, they work! Within a few minutes they had a cooling, calming effect, and this lasts several hours until they’re changed for fresh veg, but after 36 hours they also rid my elbow of the stiffness that prevented me from pounding away at the keyboard. Further research revealed that this is down to the large amounts of sulphur they contain – as only cabbage leaves do, apparently – which oozes into the skin and does the biz.
ALTHOUGH OFTEN ACCUSED OF HYPOCHONDRIA, I mention all this because that period of ailment coincided with my birthday, and a monumental birthday inasmuch that I can now claim the state pension, and so was inevitably one of the most depressing I’ve ever spent for that and all the aforementioned medical reasons. The pension sitch forced me to realise that after eleven years of failing to recover my once glittering publishing career following my nosedive from grace (some of you will know about this, the rest will have to heed Mr Turk’s caution), it is now too late and I must unwillingly submit to the life of a typical retiree: golf, grandchildren-coddling and gradually getting more and more physically feeble. But since I’d rather have needles stuck into my eyeballs that play golf, have no cheap hobbies and certainly no offspring, am I to be reduced to escalating infirmity unrelieved by doing anything useful or satisfying whilst most around me, are? Perhaps Gavin Turk will tell me, or should I just strap cabbage leaves permanently to my head and not worry about it?
Please comment, check out previous blogs or subscribe to get ’em automatically by checking out the righthand column