“Oh God. I was just a boy.
I saw him in my dream.
He said he wanted to play.
He opened me and I invited him and he came inside me.”
~ Leland Palmer
On an empty Soho street, in the early afternoon of Tuesday, April 25th 2006, I suddenly spotted the oncoming Terry Gilliam, looking like a Sultan or Guru – sandal-clad feet propelling him delicately along in light, loose fitting, wackily patterned attire beneath the canopy of a bright yellow umbrella.
It wasn’t raining.
So I’m watching the Oscars Sunday night… Nah, I’m not. For one, I live in England, so I’d have to stay up until midnight just to see what ridiculously price-tagged fabric some people who ‘play pretend’ for a living decided to adorn their gorgeous torso-with before dawdling on a red pile tongue. Secondly, no one starts winning anything significant until 2am GMT, then it’s about 4 before I get to see the people I think are moderately deserving of an anthropomorphic golden dildo get overlooked.
I feel I’d be remiss in my responsibilities as Cultural Correspondent for the Divided Queendom if I didn’t represent some of the misunderstood (or externally ignored) classics this country has produced. I’m at a loss to think of too many that aren’t globally renowned on at least a cult level, but there is one that’s never far from my mind as deserving of greater recognition across the Atlantic.
Dying as some decent music plays.
Many a round table discussion was had with my friends, colleagues, classmates, and roommates when I was in college, topics running the gauntlet from gender issues to geo-political “isms,” drug use to art, collective hopes and dreams to pop culture analysis. Opinions varied. Tempers sometimes flared and cooled. And all the while through a lovely and gentle haze of suds and smoke, ideas flourished.
My sneeze echoed off the funeral home, reminding me I was still alive on the night Lou Reed died. Recently I’ve been given to checking out the heavens. Kicking the tyres on the sky. Sometimes when I see that white-hot sun burning through fast moving cloud in a cold sky, I wonder what would happen if my life’s console was compromised, deleting all you NPCs and leaving just me.
Me and that accusative-looking cyclopic sun.
Students often ask me if the story they are reading is real. The humorous part of this is, it doesn’t matter how unrealistic the book is, they will still ask. To them, the lines are so blurred between fact and fiction that it is difficult for them to distinguish between the two. In my second summer reading book, Queen of Water, those lines are blurred so well that even I am curious as to what was real and what was fiction. This novel is based on a true story of an Ecuadorian indegena young woman, the co-author Maria Virginia Farinango, who was handed over to a mestizo family as an indentured servant at the age of seven.