The year draws to a close. Thank Fuck. 2016. A total car crash of a year on many levels. Socially, globally, politically, artistically and personally. Utter wank.
The year of death and destruction but mainly death. Lemmy, Wogan, Victoria Wood, Fisher, Prince, Michael, Ali and of course the big one…Stewpot Stewart.
We’ve all felt death. I’ve known mothers, fathers, exes and brothers of my friends die this year which is much more devastating than any celebrity who led a privileged life of excess. That’s not to say it doesn’t affect you as their passing is a marker of your own mortality. They are still people you feel you know from music, film, TV and comedy who spark memories good or bad and that’s why it affects you more than news about a bus crash or a gangland killing.
The big celebrity death of the year for me was Bowie. It still makes me cry.
No one could say they were surprised when Lemmy or Ali died for example. Ali had been ill for decades and it was really only sheer will and Rock power that were keeping Kilminster on his feet but we didn’t really know Bowie was even ill.
I have a vivid memory of day Bowie died. We have a TV on in the office as we need to know if something catastrophic happens and sadly the evil empire of Sky News knows before anyone else. I walked passed the TV and the headline simple said ‘BOWIE DEAD’. I was rooted to the spot as were the majority of the room. This is unusual where I work as most of my associates are weapons grade piss takers but this death seemed to have a profound effect on everyone present. In an unprecedented turn of events, no one took the piss. That was the thing about Bowie. Even in that room, a room of professional, brutal rippers of urine little, if nothing, was said because at some point everyone loved Bowie or a track by him. He must be the greatest solo artist this country even produced.
It upsets me to hear a Bowie track now but it’s essential that he stays at the forefront of my playlists as there were just too many classic tracks or hidden gems to ignore…too many memories linked to Bowie tracks.
A personal favourite of mine was always ‘Oh you pretty things’. It’s such a simple track but delivers on all levels. Classic Bowie. Look at this section of lyrics from it….2016 in a nutshell:
“Look out my window and what do I see
A crack in the sky and a hand reaching down to me
All the nightmares came today
And it looks as though they’re here to stay”
Another tremendous hidden gem can be found on the derided ‘David live’ album from the Diamond Dogs tour. ‘Hear today, gone tomorrow’ a cover version…. Outstanding… find it…. love it…raise your glass to Bowie and all the heroes that went this year.
And our nightmares did appear in 2016 as Dave so diligently wrote. Amongst all the death was the global breakdown in values and society. Initially I assumed through my own arrogance and complacency that this was led by stupidity and bigotry on behalf of the masses but now I’m leaning towards the view that those in charge just didn’t take the people seriously enough….and the people spoke letting the elite know the score… Democracy in action. Suck it up. It wasn’t what I wanted but I’m not the country, I am one man.
….Hmmm…. too deep I think…. Ok…. Fuck it, let’s dig deeper… Let’s face it, It was all about lies in reality. Lies that the people (democracy in action) wanted to believe.
This is nothing new. It’s basically politics and the pursuit of power over the last 1000 years. The general consensus, in my adult , is that all politicians lie. Let’s face it, can you name an effective, truthful politician that you’ve ever believed? Some will say Comrade Corbyn. A man of moral with an adulterous streak, simmering rage when confronted with a difficult question and no realistic chance of running the country due to age and policy, earning top bunce running a party that he wants to be something else, something ancient, something that no one with really wants or deep down believes will work. Even up against a Tory party of complete ineptitude he’s failed to make a dent.
Of course, there are people that crave socialism without really understanding it. They also crave big houses, coffee mornings, artisan bread, meals out, bubbles at Christmas and fantastic all-inclusive holidays. A bit like that ‘Occupy London’ ponce whose Daddy owns half of Mayfair, one day he’ll be sitting in a fabulous penthouse apartment overlooking Green Park talking about his rebellious moment.
No one wants less for themselves and their kids. We all want more and so champagne socialism thrives in the lovely places where the upper middle class claim they want to house those seeking a better life but won’t leave the gas man alone when he checks the meter or wouldn’t dream of allowing a builder to use their toilet. The perfect storm of Soundbites and bollocks for a better reputation convincing themselves that they are good humans. Tremendous. The new world order… If you look really closely through social media you can work out who means it and who just says it to feel better about themselves.
Jezza aside the two senior arseholes in this game were, of course, Trump and Farage.
Trump, the son of immigrant parents, married to a number of immigrant wives is part of the elite he claims to hate. He’s a billionaire businessman who appeals to the nationalistic working class man because he’s not a politician and talks tough like they do.
Farage, the spawn of immigrant ancestry, married to an immigrant wife is part of the elite he claims to hate. He is a millionaire former stockbroker who appeals to the nationalistic working class man because he’s not a politician and he smokes fags and drinks English bitter like they do.
Hang on…. This is awkward. They could be the same man on different continents.
Maybe it’s what the people want. Maybe the ignored silent majority are just sick of being told they should care about everyone else when they feel they have nothing themselves. Tricky one but I get it…..just about.
Fear will help you believe in anything you see as better than what you have, so when you get two uber confident ponces spouting endlessly about a ‘fact free’ Utopia the disadvantaged will grab it and run with it. This is what happened in my view.
Don’t be blaming those that voted, they are the ones that felt passionately about it enough to leave the house and tick a box, they should be applauded for engaging in the democracy. Don’t be blaming the non-voters because you can’t be sure that they were going to vote the way you wanted. It’s a common misconception that the ‘can’t be arsed’ would have won it for you.
If you need to blame anyone blame the liars who campaigned on firm bed of cobblers and career. Blame the fake news on social media and the gullible who helped spread it. Blame the sharers of crap. Blame the over sharers who bombard the web with things they like in the belief that you need to know even though it might not necessarily be to your taste or be even accurate. Blame the pollsters for creating a complacency amongst half the populous. But mostly blame the liars who now, having won, have absolutely no idea what to do but expect someone else to sort it for them.
We spent the Summer and Autumn talking about Trump and Farage as comedians with no hope. We believed them to be liars then so why do we believe them now? Mexican walls, closed borders, free trade, deportation, self-sufficient countries…. I don’t believe a word of it. They are still the same fraudsters they were when they hoodwinked millions in my view, nothing has changed so I expect a hard time which will be derided by those not dealing with it for their own gain under.
But all that is over. It’s pointless whinging on about it when the voting majority in two countries chose through a twisted democratic process. And no, I haven’t forgotten the popular vote for Mrs Clinton but that counts for little in that system. It’s like beating Hull 6-0 when you need to beat Man United, Chelsea and Liverpool to be champions, It’s the wrong battle for the overall war…
What’s done is done and if you don’t accept that then you are fighting against the democracy we all crave. The view that ‘I didn’t want it so won’t accept it’ is unacceptable so we just need to chew the shit sandwich till it’s eaten before we order a Bacon and Brie ciabatta we like. Tin hats of everyone…. The liars are still out there and are, as usual, unaffected by the state of the nation. We are the grunts waiting for the whistle before the charge into no-man’s land and potential oblivion with a hint of victory.
Just my opinion of course…..other opinions are available.
What else did the year bring? The usual Arsenal collapse, the demise of popular music, the same old guff.
On the upside, I fell back in love with my job and stopped looking for a new one. When you work with the right people you no longer need change and that’s what happened. Also, and luckily due to the aforementioned breakdown in society I’ve been fed an endless supply of work opportunities and so It’s been a busy year and will, no doubt, get busier next year. This eye opening also made me rethink my initial ‘can’t believe Brexit happened’ take on things. When you see the bottom of the barrel out there, societies oxygen thieves you rethink stuff. Anyway, it’s important to love your job as you have to do it for a fucking long time.
Socially I had a good year as always. Friends are everything and I managed to see all the people that mattered. I did the usual December Christmas drinking marathon and hopefully came through it unscathed although the final effort was really a bridge too far and so less if required next time.
I only managed one gig this year which was the return of the mighty UFO to a small but perfectly formed venue in the shires. They were better than ever and seeing them reminded me of the power of live music in small venues. Sadly, live music has now been taken over by corporate event fans at ludicrous cost so next year I’m aiming to go a lot more gigs of smaller bands…. Maybe I’ll drag out the Horse for an airing…..less booze more noise…..
My year was dominated by the death of my Mother and the metaphorical death of my Father and younger brother.
Last Christmas my Mum sat at my Christmas table, four months later she was gone forever. The grief was huge but a different type of grief continues in the shape of paranoia, greed and hate from the double act left. Any good memories I had are gone as I’ve heard and learned too much over the 8 months since she left us shattering the myth of ‘family’.
It’s been a tragic, desperate scenario with no real conclusion. The antagonists remain in my face as they bizarrely delivered Christmas cards from ‘Mum and Dad’ or ‘Grandma and Grandad’. There must be some form of etiquette for this surely? Clearly the prick writing these cards has forgotten that he brutally told me in the week after the funeral that my Mum was ‘fuckin’ dead’ and I should remember that. Well, I do remember it and so the dynamic duo will drown in their own bile before I return. I have my own family and they will not be sucked into my crud.
I have only one possession from my Mum and I will cherish it forever. It sits by my bed and will remain there to remind me of the person who was fun and loving before the ravages of illness and the psychological kicking of being married to the Monster.
It’s the crucifix that she had a child that hung on the wall in the family home and she had at the hospice with her for the final journey. I look at it every night and it reminds me of her and the good within her. It has no religious significance to me and is just a symbol of her, a reminder of the person I loved.
Enough of the year of woe. It will end shortly and we can all reset our shit.
There will be no dry January as I love the taste of wine too much. There will be no more Guinness as I’ve had enough of it. There will be no job hunting as I’ve got too much to do. And, as all ggod things come to an end, there will be no more blogs like this as I’ve run out of steam and enthusiasm for it. Time to do something else in the new year and so unless I find a spark and return to the blogosphere I will return to the swift, ‘on the hoof’ ranting within Bookface.
Remember: Friends and Family are all, Laugh and love life, help where you can if you can, be nice to each other and remember the good in all the Departed…
Thanks for all the support and kind words over the last couple of years…
These were my words….. Go. Mental.