Thursday, 26 June 2008

Mosque, Manson, Man Who Fell To Earth

In the last two years I’ve been to the doctor more often than the rest of my life combined. I’ve had three viruses and two mystery ailments in the last year alone. I currently have a skin virus (nothing you can see, please don’t back away) and a virus on my lungs. I’ve been tested for diabetes, HIV and boneitis. I have weed in jars and had blood taken thrice. I've been swabbed, thoroughly and repeatedly. I feel fine and dandy. I’m fitter than I’ve ever been and, ongoing Binge Drink Britain behaviour aside, am living healthier than I have since I was twelve. Still every morning I cough up a quart of grey gelatinous goo. Doc says my lungs are clearing themselves out now I've quit smoking. This is a good thing I guess. I’m on a ruthless regime of exercise and hippie food to burn/starve this thing into submission. Since Sunday it’s been gym twice a day and consuming only hard-boiled eggs, fruit, brazil nuts, yogurt, creatine tablets and protein shakes. I don’t know if it’s the dazed feeling one gets from fasting or the creatine tablets but my writing has come on a treat. Highly recommended.

At my second home in the country, by which I mean my boyfriend’s terrace in Levenshulme, they’re building a brand new mosque on the corner of the street. It’s shaping up nicely and they’ve put lovely hanging baskets outside all the houses which we must remember to water if it ever stops raining. The Imam and all the other smartly dressed Muslim men are forever up and down the road, doing, organising, finalising, in their pristine white hats while I sit inside with the curtains drawn and watch ‘On Demand’ Marilyn Manson videos with our little black cat. It’s so deliciously secular. It should probably go in The Novel.

It’s normally referred to as ‘Aerosmith On Demand’ round here because the artists are alphabetised and I can never be bothered to go beyond Aerosmith so I just watch the video for ‘Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing’ over and over. I hate everything there is to hate about that video: Steven Tyler’s claw hands, the awful movie happening in the background with Bruce Willis and Ben Afflecks’ ridiculous ‘heroic’ pouts, the bands’ uniformly foul haircuts … One time I was so cross I wandered as far as Alphabeat. More fool me. What exactly is that boy so smug about? Because he gets paid in Topman vouchers or because his girlfriend is a midget?

Imagine the courage it took to scroll all the way to ‘M’. (Twenty Mariah Carey vids and no Madonna, strange. Must be a corporate sponsor/Virgin tie-in thingy or something). And so to Marilyn Manson. I do love him, but what was the point of covering ‘Personal Jesus’? It’s exactly the same as the original. ‘Sweet Dreams’ is better. Sleazy, guttural, sinister and brilliant. It’s one of those MM videos, of which there are a few, where you watch and you genuinely think ‘There’s something the matter with these boys’. I think it was the close up of the self-inflicted stomach scars hovering above his ripped ballerina dress. Perfect.

Speaking of pop stars, it’s Bowie Bowie Bowie round here at the moment. Everywhere I go there’s something that reminds me of him so I’m just diving in head-first now. He’s my desktop wallpaper at work and my facebook profile picture. I can’t get beyond nine-thirty in the morning without listening to ‘Modern Love’ or ‘Sound and Vision or even ‘Magic Dance’ if I’m feeling frivolous (wonderfully hammy remix here). I’m trawling the Internet desperately looking for that clip from Cracked Actor where that off-her-tits fan says ‘We’re just the space cadets, he’s the commander’ when I should be working. I’ve exhausted in pursuit of forgotten treasures like ‘Letter to Hermione’ and ‘Lady Grinning Soul’ (which then shows up in my friend’s facebook status. See? He’s everywhere!)

Discovered this which could potentially be excellent given how good the freebie MP3 is of Richard Walters and Faultline doing ‘Be My Wife’. I’ve decided I now need to complete my admittedly weak home Bowie collection. My friend Matthew is the biggest Bowiehead I know so we’ve decided to have a Bowie night. I’m going to be Steve Strange of course. Matthew is bald with a large chest and an even larger moustache so he can be Marilyn. Here was the plan:

Matthew: I do have just about everything he has ever produced, so you can have a sack load of vinyl, tapes and cds.
Done. Let’s have a Bowie night at mine and I can record as we listen. It’ll be like how the New Romantics started at Billy’s in Soho in 1979.
re: bowie night, yes. we start off with red wine (man who sold the world), move through spliffs (hunky and ziggy), beer (aladdin sane and pin ups) and then monster through bags of gran (diamond dogs to low); we have a quiet patch (low to lodger), then hit cocktails (let’s dance to tonight), then lager (tin machine), and then just cigarettes (black tie through to reality), then we quit everything but coffee. then, when we get to 2006 we have a heart attack and that disappears too.
Sounds perfect. Tin Machine is SO lager. I can’t smoke at all though I’m afraid, in fact neither can you. Well up for the heart attack though.

I think everybody who has devoted their life to pop music has to go through a Bowie thing once in their time. I think this is my second or third though, maybe this time I’ll get over it.

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