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CABBAGE PATCH DROLL February 17, 2012

Posted by markswill in About me, Media, Navel Gazing.
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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?

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Comments»

1. Linda Stokes - February 17, 2012

Speaking of digi-speak, WTF is an RSI?
Anyway, its not like there IS a choice…and where are these
other people who are doing anything useful or satisfying…oh wait..i am.. .Its time for a Cheap Hobby, darling, its made ALL the difference in my outlook on what passes for a future.. Thanks for the cabbage-leaf info 🙂

markswill - February 17, 2012

As a doctor, I thought you’d know… ‘RSI’ = Repetitive Strain Injury: well-known to computer junkies and committed masturbators (you decide).

2. WTK - February 17, 2012

OMG! LMAOL! LMAOF! C’mon Man, get thee out of Wales. I fear for you, a retiree strapping vegetables to your limbs?! What will be next? Where do you place the carrots and cucumbers? Too many vegetables hanging on you and you will meld into the Welsh flora and turn to moss—I am getting such a vivid image of you and the strapped veggies, and dampness, low light, heavy air, moss covered timbers, a little hut at the foot of a rise, and a disused stone pathway leading to the door that once swung freely. Sell everything for a small caravan and you can change your address daily. As my father said, ‘go outside and blow the stink off you…’—before it’s too late.

markswill - February 17, 2012

Well lissen up Mr T. As an old hippie, I thought you’d still appreciate the maxim, ‘You eat what you are’ ? And at least I can live on my medication for a while before the money runs out.

3. jamie buxton - February 17, 2012

I was just about to suggest that after the cabbage you move onto lettuce which as Beatrix Potter knew, has a soothing effect on young rabbits (and hacks entering the prime of their lives). Then I checked it out on the internet and boo-hiss, it all seems to be myth which may go to show that new media bust as many myths as they spread and nothing changes much. LOL or do I mean OMG. Or even WTF.

4. markswill - February 17, 2012

You’re right Jamie: nothing changes much… except, um, everything. Which is why we’re in this mess. Or I am, anyway!

5. thecolonel - February 17, 2012

OMG, following yr thread I have cabbage leaves strapped to my d/ck and a stick of celery shoved up my a$$@ lol. Lmao, rofl, etc etc.
Seriously I h8 text speak and refuse to use it except for my personal. ;-}) b#gger.

markswill - February 17, 2012

I see you’ve mastered the lingo already, Geoff. Well done!

6. andie - February 17, 2012

i once had to arrange a meeting with a young deaf guy by text message, the speed at which he responded to my (comparatively) grammatically correct messages, and the amount of time it took me to decipher the apparently random clusters of consonants he sent my way left me in no doubt as to which of us was the superior communicator.

markswill - February 18, 2012

I think I rest my case, if not Terence Blacker’s!

7. Benzina Moto - February 17, 2012

My lovely wife (aka Dr Girlie Nice-Smile and a real life GP) confirms that beast feeding mums might find cabbage leaves next to the breasts can alleviates mastitis; cabbage leaves are remarkably even the right shape to fit….

8. markswill - February 18, 2012

Mmmmmn, but the Savoy cabbage which has now totally healed my ailing elbow has a particularly rough surface that I imagine is not entirely compatible with smooth and sensitive, um, breasts….

9. Peter Silverton - February 18, 2012

so a retiree’s second job flogging cabbage leaves as an anti-rsi elixir at farmer’s markets in the shires?

markswill - February 18, 2012

Not enough money in that Pete, but a nice idea!

10. Paul N. Blezard - February 18, 2012

Lots of great images in both your lament and the comments, Mark.
But my favourite was Benzina’s (no doubt unintentional) reference to “beast feeding mums”. Sounds like the title of a low-rent horror-milf-porn-schlock flick….or something. 😉 PNB

11. noel - February 26, 2012

omg

breasts quietly chewing on cabbage …..

this cant be rite (-;

markswill - February 26, 2012

But it CAN be trite, Noel! Glad to see that you’re still keeping up though, ‘specially as I just posted a new ‘un five mins ago.


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