The Church Of Me
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Kissing in the churchyard, I know a righteous woman

Thursday, July 18, 2002
There are times when a feeling of expectancy comes to me, as if something is there, beneath the surface of my understanding, waiting for me to grasp it. It is the same tantalizing sensation when you almost remember a name, but don't quite reach it. I can feel it when I think of human beings, of the hints of evolution suggested by the removal of wisdom teeth, the narrowing of the jaw no longer needed to chew such roughage as it was accustomed to; the gradual disappearance of hair from the human body; the adjustment of the human eye to the fine print, the swift, colored motion of the twentieth century. The feeling comes, vague and nebulous, when I consider the prolonged adolesence of our species; the rites of birth, marriage and death; all the primitive, barbaric ceremonies streamlined to modern times. Almost, I think, the unreasoning, bestial purity was best. Oh, something is there, waiting for me. Perhaps someday the revelation will burst in upon me and I will see the other side of this monumental grotesque joke. And then I'll laugh. And then I'll know what life is.

(From "The Journals of Sylvia Plath")

I don't want to know about evil.
I only want to know about love.
(John Martyn)


posted by Marcello Carlin Permalink
. . .
Hey, fancy a laugh? Read Jonathan Freedland's hilarious column in yesterday's Guardian!

Go to http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,5673,756655,00.html

Essentially he saw a Pot Noodles ad which he thought was saucy and thus civilisation is endangered, SchoolDisco.com is Beelzebub, gangsta rap is evil, no it wasn't the same with the Stones 'cos he was 16, instead of 42 and bitter and turning into an ancient right-wing hyperventilating Rechabite. And he feels guilty about this, because he's still "left wing" at heart, i.e. right wing but guilty about it, so is looking for a "humanist" alternative (does he even understand the concept of humanism? I have never seen him darken the doors of Conway Hall) to caning eight-year-olds wearing Slipknot T-shirts (but Slipknot are a kids' band doesn't he GET IT?)

There are many valid points in the piece, actually, which, if he'd thought of addressing them instead of plunging into a country-be-damned rant, could have taken it in more interesting, and maybe more provocative, directions - the increasingly hard-to-believe pleas by Eminem that the gay-bashing/misogyny is IRONIC (although it always seems to come to the surface, without comment or suggestion of ambiguity, when he gets his pals in - D12 = Mike Love of rap x 5?), the suppression of any sympathy or compassion for women under the "irony" banner, the hypocrisy of the Daily Mails and GMTVs of this world who scold and lament about Sally Payne, Amanda Dowler etc. yet will present us with daily hits of paedophilia with things like "Tot Stars" - scantily clad nine year olds karaoking to Celine Dion - hatred manifesting as "humour" - and so on. But no; much easier to have a go at easy targets and issue fatwas against "our culture" - this "we" is a recurring leitmotif with Freedland's writing. "Our culture." The language of Le Pen, Haider and, ahem, Sharon. "People = Shit" unacceptable in "our" society (well that's me for the jump then, along with about 40 million others).

The end subtext is the same: I'M GETTING OLD AND I DON'T LIKE IT.

It's a riot. Pity that it isn't.


posted by Marcello Carlin Permalink
. . .
A fragment springs to mind.

"One evening when Hilda had come to see me and the stove was sending a glow over the plain deal boards of the floor and we were sitting peacefully, we were looking at each other in the glow and both felt at peace and smiled as we did when we were happy. We felt hot and when I took my coat and waistcoat off, she said she would remove some things herself. I said 'Let's undress' and Hilda put her head sideways and said 'Um' quietly. We were soon completely undressed and oh how we lived it and stood about on the warm floor and gazed at each other, Hilda's eyes shining in the glow with you....You wagged your head from side to side and 'darling'd.' I 'ducky'd' you. We cooed and laughed and peacefully rejoiced in each other's presence. I could feel being seen by you all over me. You would do things about the room being stared at....I was so pleased after all the years of wanting to see you....I felt your face. That was wonderful, like an ancient Elixir of India, and here was all my precious one. We stood in full consciousness of each other, we could put our arms round one another....I wanted you for ever....Nothing can stand in the way of the will to love...."

Stanley Spencer talking about (and to) Hilda Carline, 1958.


posted by Marcello Carlin Permalink
. . .
Sometimes I walk away
When all I really wanna do
Is love and hold you right
There is just one thing I can say
Nobody loves you this way
It's alright

Can't you see?

The downtown lights

In love we're all the same

We're walking down an empty street
And with nobody, call your name
Empty streets, empty nights

The downtown lights

How do I know you feel it?
How do I know you feel it?
How do I know you feel it?

How do I know it's true?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, it's alright
Tonight and every night
Let's go walking down this empty street
Let's walk in the cool evening light
Wrong or right

Be at my side

The downtown lights

It will be alright
It will be alright

The downtown lights
Yeah, yeah
How do I know you feel it?
How do I know you feel it?
How do I know you feel it?

How do I know it's true?

It's alright
It's alright
The downtown lights

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

How do I know you feel it?
How do I know you feel it?
How do I know you feel it?

How do I know it's true?

Yeah, yeah, the downtown lights

The neons and the cigarettes
Rented rooms and rented cars
The crowded streets, the empty bars
Chimney tops and trumpets

The golden lights, the loving prayers
The coloured shoes, the empty trains

I'm tired of crying on the stairs

The downtown lights

Yeah, yeah

I didn't post the words to "From A Late Night Train" although they were relevant between August-November 2001.

Why?

Because the rainy pavements WERE my highway back to you and now the sun is shining.


posted by Marcello Carlin Permalink
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