A while back I bought Terry Wogan
's autobiography from Amazon
.co.uk for £11.99. It is called 'Is it me?
' and I thought it was a decent overview of his life, although I would have liked it if there had been more about his television career, and also photographs of Salma Hayek
. For American viewers, Terry Wogan is an Irish radio and television presenter, who has been very successful in Britain in the last twenty years because of his bemused, deadpan, self-aware wit and mellifluous voice.
£11.99 is roughly $18. In the UK £11.99 will buy half a week's shopping for an average working-class person, or a new album on compact disc, or a single shoe of reasonable quality. In America I believe that $18 will purchase 50 rounds of .45 ACP or thereabouts. In the UK I could not possibly own ammunition legally and I weep at the thought of that. I love guns. They fascinate me as objects and symbols. I'd do anything to own one. I wouldn't kill anybody. I'd just savour the ability to do so without the possibility of failure, something which puts me off buying a knife or hammer or making a garrotte. With melee weapons there's always the possibility I might be overpowered when the time comes. But with a gun there is no such possibility, unless it jams. And it would not jam, because I would take care of it as if it was a pet cat. If somebody on Everything2 can help me here I'd be very grateful. I can pay. It has to have a real barrel, not a bored-out piece of pipe. And it has to be a proper firearm, not a converted air pistol or blank firing replica. I've always had a soft spot for the Russians, the Makarov and the Tokarev. They are austere. I like austerity. I don't care about looks or fashion. All I care about is results because I am a child of the Thatcher era, and also because I'm just like that.
Terry seemed to squash the last twenty years of his life into the final tenth of the book, and I didn't like that one little bit. I am 26, and the last twenty years of Wogan's life encompass the great majority of my own years and experience. Lots of things have happened in the last twenty years, momentous events, and I would like to know how Terry saw the events I have seen, and how he interpreted them.
For example, what were Wogan's feelings on my discovery of the Apple Macintosh, on my realisation that Turkmenistan exists, and on the failure of my first driving test? I can barely remember these things myself, and it would have been nice if Wogan had written them down. I am worried that he is trying to wipe me from history, which is terrible of him, especially as I paid 11.99 for his autobiography. He's a great man, but he has a terrible temper.
Anyway, I went into W H Smiths the other day, and imagine my horror when I found out that they were selling the same book for 4.99. It was smaller and the packaging wasn't as good - the cover was floppy - but it was still the same book. It had the same cover and title, and the words were the same. Each and every one of them. The index still made no mention of BASIC or the Mary Rose, though.
I think this is terrible. It devalues the book. It's quite posh.
Weblogs, eh? I like them and hate them at the same time, although I've never read a one in my life. They're either full of stuff I get elsewhere or aimed at another audience, i.e. the author's friends. They remind me of those backslapping on-line new music magazines that review underground records by Thomas Brinkmann and the like; there isn't a cloud of doubt or criticism on their horizon, they're just a big circle of hugs and friendship, a big crèche of sheltered ineffectual liberal types who are thinking and talking themselves into extinction, as criminal scum wipe them out. There's no future in being nice and full of love and listening to glitchy experimental electronoise; it's a dead end. People need to listen to something that will fire them up for the coming war, the war of the individuals, every man for himself and God against all. Hate will win; for decent, law-abiding people to triumph we must be made to feel hate, we must hate the people who make us hate, for making us feel hate. That's why I like weblogs; they fuel my fascist urge. They whistle down the wind. And I like that a lot. Dreams can come true; you know you've got to be strong.
The thing that puts me off weblogs is that I firmly believe that you should go the whole hog. Never hold back; never threaten; just do it, do it totally, drive the blade in, all the way in, and don't feel pity and don't flinch. They made you do it; it's out of your hands. You should either succeed utterly or not try until you are sure of victory, and at the moment there are too many weblogs for me to read them all, so I shy away.
If you're going to eat an orange, eat an orange - not a satsuma, or a nectarine, or a tangerine, or a mandarin, or a muslim, or a Sri Lanka. Tamils? An orange! The biggie. Chomp it down. Chown down on a clown. Don't go on a diet; just don't eat for five days. You'll either lose weight or you'll be put off dieting forever - in either case, problem solved! You might die, of course, but what's life without a little risk? It's boring, that's what. Once in a while I try to see if I can make myself faint by holding my breath for a very long time; you should try it too.
When I was a kid I used to screw up my eyes and put my thumbs into them and press. The visual distortion that resulted from this looked as if I was flying over a valley of mud; there was a hut on a hill, and I saw it several times but I couldn't ever reach it, like the mountains in Battlezone. Heaven is like that. You can't quite get there.
I like trucking. And I like to truck.