giovedì, settembre 25, 2008

The Mistress in Her First Class Compartment

God, I'm getting sick of work. Luckily Canada is coming up soon. Marseille, besides the fantastic weekend with its fantastic kayaking, was a nasty hit not only of work but of anti-fun, with fucking cunty mosquitoes no less - no kidding - I was bit ten times whilst sitting through all the presentations. That shit was not quite hell, but purgatorial for sure if I've read my Dante right. And now I'm in the thick of report season. It's almost done. One more. And then - well, it's not smooth sailing, who the fuck am I kidding? I'm going to have indignant Teutonic fuckers bitching me out for the rest of my tenure at this job about how I'm not believing their lies over the lies some other Teutonic fucker is telling me. One of the sectors I cover is just fine, and most of the Teutons I interview are just fine, and I know the sectors my colleagues cover are just fine. It's just this one that's an everlasting pain in the ass . . . but at the same time I'm too interested to give it up, even if someone volunteered to take it off my hands. It's so interesting when adults lie, and this sector has a more chequered history than most, I suppose, though I'd never dream of boring you by telling you anything substantial about it.


On the train between Brussels and Marseille I sat in the rarefied airs of the first class compartment, reflected on my usual half-baked Marxist theories about how in the modern world bourgeois premiums don't get you shit besides an absence of proles, not even a fucking glass of wine or a nice packet of crisps or anything. Two things complimented, even improved my reflections: The General in his Labyrinth and the Arcade Fire's albums.

The General in his Labyrinth wasn't Love in the Time of Cholera or 100 Years of Solitude; it wasn't even Love and Other Demons, but it was pretty damn good, In Evil Hour good, though less supernatural. It worked very well as a cold portrait of physical disintegration, and also the disintegration of a dream, a political dream that went beyond abstracts like freedom straight to a new world, a huge new world . . . it made me care a lot more about Simon Bolivar, reading it. The sun shining out of my ass as it does, to me Bolivar was important because he inspired Garibaldi, and to me Garibaldi was important because whilst marching against the Papal States he got shot in the foot in Aspromonte, and Aspromonte is important because it bred the olive half of the Almighty Me, hence saving me from melanoma, so far at least. Thanks, Simon Bolivar! Anyways, it's made me much more interested in him, and very interested in her too, who Garibaldi went to visit in her destitution in Peru. There are all of these fascinating lives that we can only imagine. It's enough to make me want to get some mescal and head out into the desert in a pukey bid to try to recreate history. But then most things are.

And the Arcade Fire albums - not much to say about those. I like them both a lot but they annoy the hell out of me unless I listen to the whole thing in one go. Song by song it's all just trembly nonsense and my brain focuses too hard on the bad-cranked vocals, but if I have, say, a five-hour train trip between Marseille and Brussels to while away and all too much concentration to spare, they're perfect. That Bruce-Springsteen-kicked-in-the-balls-and-with-more-instruments jitteriness is like a pathetic but pleasant rallying cry for all the non-insane people in the world to stop the insanity - I don't think it will work but it's nice if I have enough time to sit down with the entire albums. I like Funeral better. And that's all.

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