Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Our family carbon footprint is probably that of an overfed yeti with Himalayan toe-bloat and we don’t yet run one of those hybrid cars which are made out of wattle and run on lentils or something, but Sooz and I do our best when it comes to recycling.
The local council pick up garden refuse, paper and cans every week. I’m constantly embarrassed by the number of beer cans. “Good party?” ask our neighbours. “Uhh, yes. Yes, party, right. Ahem.” I mutter, looking shifty.
I’ve taken to holding back the empty dog food tins so that I can put them in a layer on top of the Budweiser empties, but as the neighbourhood knows that we have only a terrier small enough to use a cat flap, it’s pretty obvious that I’m hiding something.
Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is that, while the council collect the cans, we have to take glass and plastic bottles to the recycling centre ourselves.
Glass is okay. I don’t have a problem with glass, apart from the tiny broken shards that sometimes creep into the box and lacerate my best bass-playing finger when I’m not paying attention.
Wine bottles are great. They’re a reminder of gentle, drunken evenings with friends. Their very greenness is pleasing to the eye, particularly when the sun’s shining through them. And when you force them through the rubber grommetty things there’s a gorgeous suspended moment and then a satisfying crash. "I love the sound of breaking glass", as Nick Lowe once put it. And who doesn’t?
It’s the plastic bottles I can’t abide. There’s something fat and smug and insolent and yet insubstantial about them. They bounce out of the crate because they’ve been stacked too high, and anyway you should know better than to try to stack them because they don’t weigh anything.
They make an irritating flubbery bonking sound as they hit the floor, and you want to kill them by stamping but you don’t because it will do no good and that makes you insane with rage.
One day I’m going to follow them all the way to the place where they recycle them in the hope that I can watch them burn.
Friday, January 18, 2008
These are troubled times for people of my demographic/socio-economic group/IQ level. The coked-up lunatics responsible – if that’s the word – for commissioning TV shows continue to plumb the depths by encouraging us to gorge on human suffering in all its forms.
Actually “human suffering” is a misnomer, because the hollow-eyed, publicity-starved freaks on reality shows don’t really feel pain like the rest of us. They use the gallons of endorphins they produce at the thought of getting their horrid, gurning faces on the box for five minutes to deaden the sensation of having their genitalia torn off by carnivorous wombats, or whatever piece of humiliation the producers come up with.
Celebrity Rehab is not the worst, or even the latest of these shows, just the last one I’ve heard of. I don’t care about the “people” on this show any more than the rest of them, but, fuck me, how can you make, or watch, a programme about somebody going cold turkey, live on TV?
I don’t necessarily subscribe to the “slippery slope” theory, but surely Cancer Kid's Chemo Camp can only be weeks away from hitting our screens. I know I don’t have to watch this stuff, and I don’t, but I know it’s out there. It’s like a colourless, odourless gas seeping out of the TV and rotting my very soul, in the same way that finding my daughter’s copy of Heat magazine under a pile of newspapers in the living-room explains why I’ve had a vague feeling of guilt, shame and nausea for the last few days.
Anyway, I reckon the next reality show will be called Cure My Obese Leprous Baby Or We Blind The Puppy, You Smack-Head Celebrity Plastic Surgeon On An Island.