I’m afraid that if you thought you were potentially entering an article detached from a world that’s gone bananas over Star Wars you’re mistaken, I went to see it today. At the risk of coming across like a thrift-store Sith Lord, today’s been a razor blade ticker tape parade. Over the past few months, when our schedules would allow, a few friends and I have been working our way through the previous six films in anticipation of the new release. Before the screening commenced on ‘Jedi night’ last Saturday, one of my friends casually announced that as fate would have it, he had a hospital appointment scheduled after the screening of ‘The Force Awakens’ to discuss a long running chronic complaint he’s been suffering since his early twenties. The upshot of this conversation was that a recent setback and hospitalisation had not been countered as well as medical professionals had hoped, and that beyond that unsuccessful course of action was a disconcerting lack of a plan. My friend said he was just looking forward to seeing Star Wars.
There was a time when every day of my life was Saturday night. Sat on a hand-me-down couch in an attic room of my Dad’s house, my erstwhile friend and I dubbed our enclosure “The Biosphere” because we effectively sustained and spent our worthless lives inside; drawing hangover-antidote water from an old washbasin in the corner that we’d eventually piss it-out down and staving off cabin fever with Super Nintendo games and news broadcasts soundtracked by the CDs of the day under the umbrella of a pot-cloud courtesy of my dealer brother who lived in the room next door. We also dubbed it such because “The Biosphere”, so we kept telling ourselves, was somewhere we were destined to transcend as this album title suggested, taking with us our innate brilliance and earth-shattering discoveries made during our secondment in Inner Space.
More and more frequently I find myself wondering whether the world has always been this despicable or if I’m just becoming more conscious of it. Concurrent with this feeling is a realisation that our generation is being increasingly more spoilt with a Pop Culture smorgasbord: the Heroes of our youth dominate the Box Office, favourite bands of the past reform and tour, the best TV show of all time revived after a 25 year hiatus, Comic-Con has gone supernova. One of the few gifts of being a dentally challenged, pallid skinned Brit is an ever healthy cynicism possibly attributable to being of an island nation still living on a pension from a highly questionable Imperial legacy, which during the best of times enables many of us to take a dim view of anything that on the surface seems too good to be true. Back in my teens when I thought ‘The X Files’ was giving me a window into the clandestine machinations of the world’s superpowers my dad calmly and succinctly cut through my teenage distrust of his adulthood by putting it to me ‘hypothetically’ that THEY would love it if we were ‘watching the skies’ rather than paying attention to what was going on in front of our noses.
Down the back of the couch is the savings account you never knew about. I came to a realisation about 8 years ago that it wasn’t that music had suddenly dulled, but that I was stultified by a lot of new things I was hearing by having accrued a callous on my amiability from having studied too much. After having discovered artist after artist that the destiny of your inception dictates you miss, you realise that there’s more than enough music created before you were born to keep you busy until you die. I went through a period of hearing new bands and being able to tell exactly what they had schooled themselves on, and found it all a paltry cap-doff to incandescent predecessors before remembering instances in which respected elders had dismissed the bands that propelled my obsession as being derivative of other untouchables and realised it’s all relative and subjective and you should get on with indulging in what you love.
Hey kids, did you know that if you start playing ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ after the MGM lion growls at some off-screen heel that probably just flicked a filterless cigarette in his mane to make him react at the beginning of The Wizard of Oz, and smoke some pot, that it’s a moderately diverting expenditure of 43 minutes and 17 seconds? It’s awesome because the most ill-fitting song on the album, ‘Money’, kind of almost exactly starts within the five second period of time in which Dorothy opens the door on the Technicolor Munchkin village, not only that, the album climaxes with the showstopping Omega of ‘Eclipse’ while the Tin Man is getting his long overdue oiling – before the Cowardly Lion has even been introduced, let alone the narcotic associations of the narcoleptic poppy field or the psychedelics of the Emerald City itself.
I’ve been taking a vacation from cyberspace. I’ve been feeling like one of those dusty-tummied Cowboys lassoed to the accoutrements of a panicky filly that scatters after getting a bum full of buckshot. I miss information filtering down to me rather than it being Zoetroped in front of my pried-open glazzballs. Of course some of the unavoidable bullshit gets through to you like poo-particles up your nostrils from the methane on the subway train, such as Kanye West’s recent mandate that Beck should surrender his Grammy to Beyoncé. Which was rightly met with condescension and fist-plugged chuckles, because of course what West should have said is that Beck should at least have been mumbling the name Paleface in any acceptance missive that might have trickled through his Thetan-free PR Team.