Quite a sad day today. It was my last attendance at the infamous Carvery Club in its current form. For a few months now me and a few friends have been meeting every monday for a meal at a Toby Carvery, near you.* Work commitments and various other changes next year mean this will no longer be possible after Xmas. In some small way it marked the end of an era. Only a small way.
The ends of eras often pass me by without my noticing or reacting for a while. I remember realising a good year or so into secondary school that I wouldn't ever really see all my mates from primary school in one room ever again. Even if we were to re-unite now it'd be different, and given the fragile nature of life, impossible.
I never cry at the right time or react to news quickly enough. It can make me seem cold and distant at times and mature and sensible at others. I've never been able to understand people who can react there and then to life changing information but I have always admired them. I once had the terrible task of telling someone that a mutual friend of ours had died. Their reaction was instant, human and to be honest, awe inspiring. They quite naturally cried and broke down.
It was horrifying at the time to realise that they trusted my words so much. I had an odd but easily suppressible urge to say - "ha ha only joking!". But I wasn't so I didn't. The reason I was thinking things like that was because it really hadn't sunk in for me yet. It was only months later that I really felt the loss.
I'm the sort of person who wouldn't react to a lottery win for a few months either. I always recognise a kindred spirit when I read about people in the papers who say it won't change their lives and they'll carry on working in their current job. These people, like I would, have clearly not accepted the news yet. It's got a dreamlike quality to it.
Tonight there will be a 'reality' TV programme where the conceit is that some people have been tricked into thinking they're going into space. There's a rumour doing the rounds of the media world that this programme is not as it seems and in fact the joke is on the viewer**. I hope so but my experience of television people suggests that's unlikely. These people will be going through an experience on trust, reacting humanly to a situation and having that response ridiculed.
It's the "your mate's dead - no he's not, ha ha!" situation I glimpsed in my youth. But worse than that, because this time it has an audience of yahoos carping along and it's making the perpetrators money***. Lots of money. And no matter which way it pans out I guess that's what it's all about. In fact there's nothing the capitalist world would like more than an emotionless work force who dreams only of profit and power.
The people who are watching it are of course actively creating a world where human responses are being systematically devalued and re-packaged as mass entertainment. This is largely what most 'reality' TV does. What is X-Factor if not the exploitation and destruction of the hopes and dreams of human beings who dared to want something more? Big Brother, same trip. These people are more 'freaks' than famous and their dreams being crushed infront of their face is the attraction, nothing more.
I've had a change of morals. Despite years of saying I'll never work on TV I've changed my mind. I'm thinking of pitching a TV show to Channel 4 actually. It's called "Only joking" with Nick Margerrison. We tell people terrible news; "Your wife's dead.." then, -wait for it-, once they've abosrbed the terrible news we go; ".. only joking!". They win £50 if they don't cry.
Athlete's foot looks lumpy and odd. It's not better but it's not worse. It's in a sort of stasis. It's got a thing waxy quality to it. Itching it is fun but totally unrequired. I guess I should stop doing it.
*This of course may not be true. You might not live anywhere near the said venue. I've no way of knowing now my hit counter has gone.
**The biggest TV hoax ever, is supposed to turn out that the people involved knew all along it was bollocks. They're laughing at you for watching it. Either way this of course is true.
*** I actually heard some fat cmnt in Tesco telling his mate how 'clever' it all was - "They used psychologists an' stuff to work out who'd fall for it all"!!!