Where There Were No Doors

Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before - Joseph Campbell

Thursday, February 10, 2005


So Prince Charles is to marry Camilla Parker Bowles. The temptation to deliberately mis-spell the last of her two surnames is significant, but I have resisted it. For now.

This evening I sat down with my dinner of grilled salmon (organic farmed) and a salad of cucumber, spinach leaves, tomatoes, parmesan shavings, mango, red and green pepper and a raspberry, honey and roasted chilli pepper dressing. It had been - as mentioned previously - a good day, and I was looking forward to a chilled evening of nice food, red Amé and a movie... all while enjoying a gentle massage of cannabis-butter upon my dopamine receptors.

Rather than eat while the movie is on... (a good meal should demand at least 50% of your attention, and who wants to watch a comic-book special-effects caper with just one eye?)... I decided I'd flip onto one of the 24 hour news channels. You can watch them with only 10% of your attention; each story is rendered in the most superficial manner possible and then repeated every 3 minutes. A Peruvian friend of mine learnt English primarily via CNN. The fact that the same information was repeated every 15 minutes turned out to be very useful in that respect.

Mind you, she does have an odd Peruvian/US accent, and finishes every fourth sentence with "And now here's Tom with the weather".

So yeah, there I was enjoying my food, when who should appear on the screen other than Camilla Parker Bowles (still resisting!) and Prince Charles. "Well, OK... p'raps it's been a slow news day", thinks I, "and a royal marriage is newsworthy for some folks, I guess... so I'll forgive BBC News-24 for leading with the story". See? I told you I was in a good mood today.

Except they weren't leading with the story. They were doing the "this is so important it warrants blanket coverage" thing! Can you fucking believe it?! They had their correspondents all over the country... in Windsor and Balmoral and every other place with a vague royal connection... and they were filling the air with "reaction from the public in Windsor" or "what the people in the Duchy of Cornwall think". They even had a guy interviewing a group of drinkers in a Newcastle pub! The most important news today, according to the BBC, is what a couple of pissed up geordies and their Irish mate think about two barely relevant rich people getting married. What?! Then they'd hand back to the studio where some "constitutional expert" would be interviewed, or perhaps a royal historian would get 90 seconds to talk us through some archive footage of Edward and Mrs. Simpson.

Round the fucking clock!

I checked the other news stations... all the same. Murdoch's channel being - if anything - worse; with constant reference to "His Royal Highness" (at least the beeb stick with "Prince Charles"). CNN has ceased being a news channel of course, so that wasn't really an option. Before flipping onto MTV2 (the other semi-bearable channel that only requires 10% of your attention), I quickly double-checked BBC News 24 whereupon this happened (I shit you not)...

They lost the video link between the studio and the correspondent outside Buckingham Palace. So the anchorman says... "Well, we'll do our best to get back to Jane outside the Palace as soon as possible. In the meantime let me update you on some of the day's other news. In Iraq 31 policemen were killed in a battle just north of Baghdad and a further 8 people died in separate car bombs elsewhere in... Wait a second, we have Jane at the palace back now... So tell me Jane, do we know yet what the Prince's two sons think of all this?"

I sat there aghast. And agape. Both aghast and agape. Damn it! I was actually agog! Aghast, agape and agog. What a palaver. I felt like kicking something defenceless, that's how irate it was making me. So I flipped quickly to MTV2 which was - groovily enough - showing the video for David Bowie's Loving The Alien (one of that handful of songs he released in the 80s which reminded you that there was still a genius living in there somewhere) and that helped sort my head out a bit. But in the back of my mind there was this voice taunting me...

Not about the dangers of corporate media (that particular voice is always there). No, I kept hearing a voice reminding me that even Prince fucking Charles and Camilla Parker fricking Bowles will be getting some nookie this Valentine's Day!

It was at this point that I realised I'd been getting so annoyed at the whole bloody thing that I'd eaten my lovely dinner without savouring a single morsel of it. It may as well have been red beans and boiled rice without any spices. That would've been cheaper, just as nutritious and - subjectively speaking - just as bland.

So, irritated, I flipped on the Hellboy DVD. I wasn't expecting a whole lot, but the comic book (from what I remember) was very funny... and I was hoping it would be a decent silly action flick that played it for laughs. Which is what it is. It's not great, but it is good. And it's got some great lines.

But I probably would have enjoyed it a good deal more if the DVD had played more than just the first hour of the movie before freeze-framing and going no further. Right in the middle of a plot-exposition. And the blasted rental place had just closed. Of course.

So yeah, it was a good day. But a crappy evening. And I blame it all on Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charels.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I laughed a lot at this one, maybe it just suits my mood rolling in pissed. And good to see that old Bill Hicks' gag being pressed into service.... This Valentines night I'm going out for a grumpy old men's piss-up. I suggest if you're not to be left with the old box of pornographic magazines then you must adopt a similar strategy. Failing that, Takeshi's Zatoichi is marvellous, I've waited a long time to see Samurai calling each other "arseholes"...


11/2/05 00:36  
Anonymous Jez said...

Yep - sorry, even though most people in this country couldn't give a toss about the whole thing, the media will be too scared of the Little Englander backlash not to give the whole non-event huge coverage. At least it isn't going to be a huge State event like Charlie's first marriage was. And at least there are lots of people willing to stand up and say they don't care about the whole thing, unlike the enforced mourning of Diana's death.

And I am so glad I wasn't in the country when the Queen Mum popped her clogs.

11/2/05 16:33  
Blogger merrick said...

The Daily Star is not my newspaper of choice. The reason for this is best summed up in a front-page headline they once ran; ASYLUM SEEKERS EAT OUR DONKEYS.

The story was about some donkeys that had been nicked, so it's possible it was asylum seekers, who could possibly have eaten them.

But today, for once, I love the Star. Browsing the headlines on a newspaper stand it's all sycophantic shite about Charles & Camilla. Except the Star. Headline; BORING OLD GITS TO WED.

Opening paragraph; Prince Charles is to marry Camilla Parker Bowles after 34 years of dithering. The nation sighs, 'who gives a damn?'On the subtopic, I've just been given the valentine's gift of a dumping. I've been elbowed to make way for someone new, who her mates think is a right tosser. So I'll be joining you in that 'moping and listening to Soul Mining' groove, Jim.

11/2/05 17:04  
Blogger Jim Bliss said...

Aw shit merrick, sorry to hear that. What a complete arse! If you fancy getting out of the neighbourhood for a bit, you know there's always chill-space here.

We'll do manly things! Y'know... Drink beer. Watch sports. Drive fast cars. Shoot herbivores for sport.

OK. So we won't do manly things. But the offer's still open. Take care of yourself.

(and I still maintain that piano solo justifies Jools Holland's entire career)

11/2/05 17:15  
Blogger RA said...

Ignoring the thread.. (lrt them marry.. who cares?)

Merrick.. bugger.. just tried to calll you..

And yes..that solo is awesome.

An old ex-g/f played that album for me on a first date as i sat waiting in her parents front room while she put her make-up on. It was her (gorgeous) older sisters album. Played on her dad's fab Linn turntable and big old fashioned Wharfedale speakers thru a Nad amp.. I can see it to this day.. the first time I heard The The. Years later saw them at the Albert Hall with Marr.. and subsequently sat in Matt Johnson's office in the city drinking coffee and talking about music..

"...misty water coloured memories, of the way we were..."

13/2/05 01:37  

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