Wednesday, 19 October 2011

19 October 2011. Letter 44

Dear Mark and Sue

Re: 08.06 FGW service from Oxford to Paddington, 19/10/11. Amount of my day wasted: 10 minutes.

Mark! Sue!

I can feel the earth begin to move! I hear my needle hit the groove! You know what I'm saying? You catch my drift? You down with where I'm at? No? Oh. Okay. Let me explain...

Things aren't all bad, Mark! The sun also rises, Sue! Yeah, so we're all having our mid-life crises, and yeah, summer's over and a long and bitter winter is forecast (I can expand upon that forecast for you Sue! You know, what with my meteorological skillz and everything. I can give you the information on the precipitation! I can give you the lowdown on the snowdown!), and yeah, inflation's rising and savings are melting and no one's got the money to pay the gas bill any more, and yeah, the government is turning out to be every bit as corrupt and self-serving and incompetent as any gang of old Etonians was always going to be, and yeah, so your trains are slow and filthy and overcrowded and traveling on them costs a ludicrous amount of money for the pitiful service you're providing... but, you know, Mark, it's not all bad.

It's not all bad, Mark! The important thing is to look on the bright side! Ignore that enormous dirty great whopping big cloud that's obscuring, like, the whole sky... and check out the silver lining!

The Stone Roses have reformed, Mark! Ian and John - they're bezza mates again, Sue! Mani's somehow managed to stay alive! And Reni may not actually be wearing his Reni hat, but I am assured that he will once again just as soon as he gets back behind that drum kit. Cometh the hour, Mark, cometh the men! Life may not be the grim and unremitting dark carnival of pain and drudgery and general being-beaten-about-the-head-by-The-Man charade that it appears to be most of the time! There may yet be hope in the proles*, dude!

The Stone Roses are coming again, Mark! Will you be poised over the phones at 9am on Friday, jabbing the redial button while muttering the lyrics to Love Spreads? Have you dug out your "On the Seventh Day God Created Manchester" t-shirt and your super-baggy flares? Are you teasing your hair into curtains again and practising your best "kiss me where the sun don't shine" pout? Are you dropping your hips and rolling your shoulders and getting your Whitworth Street pimpwalk on?

Same here Mark! Me too! It's exciting isn't it? It's almost as if we're back in the 1980s - what with the civil unrest, the rising unemployment, the collapsing industries, the disenfranchised youth, the arrogant port-swilling fat-cats in the city and Westminster, the shambolic trains... it's almost as if we're back in the 1980s - when the Stone Roses came along and made everything alright again!

Some facts, Mark:

1. A young Ban-Ki Moon was first inspired to take an interest in the work of the United Nations after attending an early Stone Roses gig at Liverpool University. He was one of only 26 people in the audience that night, Sue. All of them have since gone on to successfully hold high-ranking positions in humanitarian organisations.

2. Pope John Paul II once described the first time he heard the chord progression in the Stone Roses' second single Sally Cinnamon as the most profound religious experience of his life.

3. If you play the B-side to Fools Gold backwards, you can clearly hear a voice urging: "Bring down the wall. Let Germany be reunified". Less than a year after recording that song (What The World Is Waiting For), the Bayern Wall was indeed brought down and North and South Germany were once again free.

4. Margaret Thatcher was urged to resign by members of her cabinet soon after the release of the single One Love. Michael Heseltine is said to have reassessed his whole world view after hearing the distinctive Led Zep-influenced opening guitar riff. (Sadly he later reverted.)

5. Every 45 seconds, someone, somewhere in the world, hears Ten Storey Love Song and smiles.

You can't argue with those kinds of statistics, Mark. There's no manipulating those kinds of facts, Sue. They speak for themselves.

So, yes. I'm excited! I'm beside myself with excitement! And you know what I'm going to do next, Mark? I'm going to write to Ian Brown! I'm going to ask him to do something about the trains! Brilliant plan, no? Inspired? And let's face facts - nothing else seems to be working.

Unless you've got a better plan, Mark? Do you have a better plan for making the trains run on time than writing to a former pop star? I do hope so!

Au revoir!


*That's George Orwell, that is, Sue. Perhaps most famous for his seminal work 1984 - but it's also worth checking out the prequels, Se7en, made into a film starring Brad Pitt and 10, with Dudley Moore and Bo Derek... as well as the sequel, 2001: A Space Odyssey. They're slightly different in style to 1984, but well worth persevering with. He also wrote The Road to Wigan Casino: certainly the most important novel about the 1970s Northern Soul movement.

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