gibbon-arsed ramblings of a hopeless underachiever

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Cunning Linguists  

Apparently, I need to stop using the phrases "gay" and "gaylord" quite so much. I overused them at the weekend when pissed, and one of the people we were with seemed quite uncomfortable about it, so I was told later by one of my friends.

I feel odd about this one. I do feel bad that I made this guy feel uncomfortable/perceive me as some right-wing bastard who hates gay people. Much as I want to avoid using phrases such as "I have loads of gay friends, would freely admit to fancying several women and being perfectly ok with that, thanks, go to gay clubs, think same-sex couples should be allowed to marry/raise kids if they want to", they're all true. When I use those words, I use them in the way we did at junior school when gay just meant rubbish/a bit feeble and gaylord was just another word for twat. We didn't really know what gay meant, and personally I remember that when someone told me, I wasn't freaked out by the fact that some men love men instead of ladies (and vice versa), or think that I was accusing someone of being homosexual when I called them a gaylord, or think that homosexual people were the things I meant when I did call someone a gaylord. It was, and is, just a word. Gay the insult does not equal gay the sexual preference, in my brain dictionary. See these two sentences:

My friend Jim is gay.
We were late because British Rail is gay.

The use of the word gay is not the same in these two sentences. I don't consider referring to someone's sexuality as an insult, and that's my point.

I can see why some people are offended by it, because how are they to know what I think? How are they to know I'm not a total bigot who thinks homosexuality=crap/useless/awful?

However, at the same time it smacks to me the way all political correctness does - the person getting all huffy about this stuff is uncomfortable with the connotations regardless of whether or not they, you, or Uncle Tom Cobbly actually think that the word "gay" must only be used to describe a homosexual, otherwise it is an insult, or that the word "cunt" must be avoided at all costs, because heaven forefend a woman should be allowed to call her/other women's genitals by whatever name she chooses, because that word can only ever be used to insult someone, right? By avoiding using these words in more innocent ways, surely we're just perpetuating the negative uses of them? But at the same time, one can't just assume that people who don't know you very well will just know that you're actually pretty right-on, you just choose words like a primary school kid does. Or prefer not to refer to your sexual organs as a "pussy", "minge", "woo-woo" or any other sickening saccharined-up variation on the theme.

It's a tricky one. I guess I'll just have to stop saying "gay" and "gaylord", because I really don't want people to think I'm being offensive to gay people. I'd be genuinely interested to hear what y'all think - especially any gay readers.

I'm definitely keeping "cunt", though.

posted by bandhag | 3/31/2004 10:45:00 PM

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

In which I forget how to sleep and remember how to party (hearty)  

So, the name bandhag was always supposed to vaguely allude to the fact that I like music a whole fucking lot, plus being a hi-hi-hilaaaarious pun on the word 'handbag' (oh, the mirth). And yet I've realised I don't really write much about music on here, and certainly not any of the gigs I go to. This is largely because I'm shit at reviewing gigs - I can't do all that "they sound like Beyonce Knowles playing math-rock in a North Wales sheep farm, with The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band accompanying them on clavichord" business. I like things, or I don't. I could sing you a bit of what they did, or a bit of what one of their particular songs sounded like, or I could tell you whether or not they made me jump up and down but that's largely the extent of my powers of review. However, I'm having a bit of a blog-identity-crisis at the moment, so I shall branch out and start telling you about some of the gigs what I go to and what I like a lot.

So, on that very note: What a fucking great weekend I've just had. Went to a music festival held at a Pontin's holiday camp.

Oh yeah, you can mock, but ATP has to be one of the best festivals ever - certainly, for my money, it's the nicest atmosphere and seems to attract a really great crowd. Where else (in the UK) can you, when suffering from beer fatigue, go and spend half an hour in an amusement arcade, watch the sun rise over the sea, write your name in the sand, see any number of fantastic bands and (should you feel like sleeping) fall into a proper bed at the end of the night and have a proper shower the next morning? Fucking ace. The security people were absolutely lovely - no hassle or aggressiveness, lots of patience and friendliness, the organisers let little indie record labels sell their wares to the punters without charging them for the privilege or in any other way attempting to screw them/festivalgoers, AND when some people started an impromptu gig in their chalet, rather than being strongarmed off the premises, they were invited to go and play in the pub - the crowd helped them over with their equipment, and various bloody good bands played little ad hoc sets for an hour or so. And as the real cherry on top, there's no 'VIP enclosure' that the plebs are locked out of - yer actual indie heros can be found wandering around, mingling with the hoi polloi and drinking in the same pub all their fans are in.

Favourite band of the weekend has to be Part Chimp, and not just because I am Deeply In Lust with the lead singer. They've been one of my favourites for quite some time now and just seem to get better all the time - lovely rumbly, super-loud stoner rock, that I just can't help gettin' on down to. Nice. The buggers kept teasing us with a riff from one of their songs that I absolutely heart but can't remember the title of, but not playing it. When did this happen to me? I used to know all the songs by all the bands I liked, what number track they were on the album, etc etc. But I digress. When this band becomes huge (as they surely must, if there is any rock justice in the world), remember you heard it here...well, not first, obviously, because far cooler people than me have been raving about them for ages, but you get my drift...

Random facts "linking" me and Part Chimp's Tim (oh, such tenuous links):
1. I bought him a drink on Friday night. His tipple is Jack Daniels - of course it is, you ninny, he's ROCK GOD. Embarrassingly, I can't remember what I said to him at the time and am hoping it wasn't too "You're fucking great you are, your band are great, they are. Great. Great music. Great. Gibber, drool [subtext: hi I am a groupie twat. please hate me]".
2. More embarrassingly, I took it into my head that standing on a metal rail under the bar would be a very cunning way of disguising the fact that I'm so very very short. Earlier, when he'd been talking to my friends while we were watching Todd, he was standing so close and is so tall that I literally couldn't see his head. I strongly suspect that from way up there he didn't actually see me at all and fear, dear readers, that this is a love that is not meant to be. Sigh.
3. I had a dream last night during which (among other things) he popped round to visit - as he would, ha - and asked if it was ok if he stayed for a while as he hadn't got a flat at the moment. He had an ironing board and a big carpet bag full of clothes with him, so of course I said yes. Who could refuse a post-rocker with an ironing board? I then proceeded to make the world's biggest chocolate cake so as to square away the deal with my flatmate. So, it's official - Part Chimp have stolen my brain marbles.

Other favourites for me were Todd, Lightning Bolt (although personally I could have done without the "we're too hardcore and 4REAL to play on the stage so we'll set up down here on the floor so you can be killed in the crush" antics), Envy, the mighty Shellac and Lungfish. I'm glad Lightning Bolt were so good, as we needed some serious payoff for having to cope with the preceeding set by Bobby Conn. They seemed to be one of those "Emperor's new clothes bands", as I call them: quite plainly shit, but for some inexplicable reason considered to be "cool", so you get a room full of people going mental for a band that, frankly, you'd have to actually be mental to enjoy/think have any talent whatsoever. Maybe they were having an off night. A very very very off night.

My friend R and I (being Proper Hardcore, oh yes) stayed up until ridiculous o'clock and only slept for a few hours on Friday and Saturday, flagged a bit on Sunday night, but managed to power our way through at least 15 hours of drinking a day - such delights as a pint each of taboo and lemonade were quoffed - and yet I've suffered less hangover/memory loss/U.D.I.s (Unexplained Drinking Injuries) than I manage on a normal night out. Hmm. Go figure.

We liked it so much we bought the company. Well, not quite, but we are going back next weekend to do it all over again. Woot! Oh yeah, and I'm off to see Part Chimp and Envy again tonight. Now, where did I put those stilts...

posted by bandhag | 3/30/2004 04:48:00 PM

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Times, dates, logic  

My dad died when I was 21. Taking the dog on the ten-minute walk to the shops as he did most mornings, he stopped, told a passer-by that he didn't feel very well, and had a heart attack. I had bunked off a lecture at Uni and gone shopping with friends. The phone rang almost as soon as I got in.

For two or three years, we would go to his grave on his birthday, sometimes on one of ours, on Father's Day and around Christmas. I don't know why we went, or what we were looking for. It just seemed like the right thing to do.

I remember sitting with my mum over coffee one day, around the time of his birthday. She told me she wasn't going to go that time, and I agreed. We all knew that those days were hard enough anyway without him there, we didn't need to go through the ritual of reminding ourselves that he was gone.

When he was alive, Dad's birthday, Father's Day and Christmas were all pretty uniform. He was a creature of habit, my dad. He liked a box of After Eights and a bottle of aftershave (Brut, later switching to Brut Aquatonic, which he felt was trendier) for his birthday and Father's Day. He would let us know well in advance what he wanted for Christmas - a new pair of jeans, trainers or some piece of tatty jewellery he thought was 'snazzy' and had taken a shine to. At least one of us would go to the pub with him on these days. When I was younger, he would buy me a babycham or a snowball and ask the barman to give me extra cherries on the cocktail stick. When I was older, I would buy us both a pint and he would share his fags with me.

It was the other days that were more extraordinary - the days that no-one could place on a calendar. Like the day he turned a pair of jeans into cut-off shorts and we all took the piss out of his knobbly knees as he sat in the garden rolling cigarettes and laughing it off; the day he decided to re-plate a 'gold' bracelet he'd bought off some bloke in the pub by painting it with gold gloss; the days we found love notes to Mum, mis-spelt and badly written, which just made them seem even more sincere; the days he wrote letters to our teachers, to which he would sometimes add three kisses. It suddenly made sense, then, not to keep beating ourselves over the head with these calendar dates but just to let ourselves remember him as and when. It made sense, and we felt at peace with that decision, because we thought it was made purely from a logical standpoint.

But I can't transfer that logic to the new situation. Mum died just over two years ago. I try not to get more upset on specific dates, but I can't stop it. Not that I cried on Mother's Day. Not that I got all upset and miserable or that I went to the grave or took out old photos and cards and letters, or that I talked about her, or any of that. It's like feeling nothing and yet being overwhelmed with feeling, all at once. And it doesn't seem to get any weaker with time. I know it will. I know grief takes many forms and you just have to ride it out and blah blah blah, yes I know all that. But at the end of the day, it seems you just can't logic away grief, after all.

Time - the great healer. But in order to be healed, you need to be able to point to exactly where the pain is and describe it.

I know it will come, because I don't feel that way all of the time and I already feel it less often than I did. It will be ok. I know.

Dear Teacher

Pleez excuse me from riting about periods and smelly peeple today becoz i've got a poorly hed but I'll be o.k. tomoroe.

bandhag xxx

posted by bandhag | 3/23/2004 02:26:00 AM

Monday, March 15, 2004


After the ranting below, I read Stuart's blog today to find out he's been burgled, and the fuckers have trashed his house and taken stuff that's clearly valuable to him but never going to make them any money.

To labour the point - if this shit was really about poverty/desperation, would they really need to trash the place? No, they'd just take the stuff they could sell quickly and for a decent amount of money. Would they need to steal guitars, and things that are clearly only of use/interest to the individual they're robbing? No, of course not. Like muggers who know people are more willing to lose their purse/wallet than get hurt, so they hurt people anyway, and take stuff they don't need; burglars know most people will be annoyed if they come home and find their TV, video, dvd, stereo gone, but devestated if they come home and find all their things have been gone through, items of sentimental value smashed, home destroyed, etc. It's all about self-gratification.

GAH. Cunts.

Don't worry, I might blog about something else one day...

posted by bandhag | 3/15/2004 07:19:00 PM

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Newsflash: Some people are cunts  

My lovely flatmate got mugged last night. Some little towny fuckhat ran up behind her, grabbed her bag off her shoulder, pushed her down, leaving her hands and leg cut up, ran off, took everything out of the bag and then dumped it. She wouldn't have minded if he'd just taken her purse and left the stuff worth nothing to him, but he took everything - keys, hairbrush, 30 quid worth of make up.


I know, I know, it's just "one of those things" that happens in London. She says she's been here 8 years and not got mugged yet, so she's lucky in the grand scheme of things. She says she "shouldn't" have had a bag that only goes over her shoulder. She "shouldn't" have withdrawn cash at the station, because he probably followed her from there. She "shouldn't" have been walking alone on the (well-lit) street.

But why the fuck not? Why should decent people have to choose their accessories, plan their routes, modify simple basic fucking behaviours of their everyday life just because some people are such scummy little cunts they think that an acceptable way to earn a living is by taking things from other people? "It's just the way things are", apparently. It's not safe to use your mobile phone in public (so why the hell have one?). It's not safe to walk around on your own. It's not safe to listen to your walkman. It's not safe to stop at traffic lights in some areas without locking your car doors. It's not safe to wear a skirt at night. And what do we mean by "It's not safe"? We mean "If you do, you're asking for it". When you tell people where you got mugged or where you were living when you got burgled, it's all "Ah well, if you go to...". Like that's ok - if you go to that area, you must accept you will get mugged, raped, beaten, burgled, whatever. Because you should know that the criminals rule, and you have no rights. It's Your Fault.

I suppose, being a Lefty, what I should think is that it is all our fault - it's our society that leaves people in a position where they have to turn to crime to support themselves. Only I don't believe that, sorry. I don't believe that every person who carries out violent crimes or burglaries is a poor, defenceless victim of society or of a drug addiction, who's driven to desperate actions as a last resort. I think there are a huge number of people who do it just because they can. What's the point in having CCTV in every fucking nook and cranny of every street, spying on people going about their day-to-day lives, when it seems hopeless for actually catching criminals? And what do they get, anyway? If our legal system was any good at catching, punishing and deterring muggers, it wouldn't be such a prolific problem.

Fuck this city, fuck muggers, fuck every cunt who thinks they have the right to hurt other people just to get what they want and, mostly, not even what they need.

posted by bandhag | 3/13/2004 03:54:00 PM

Things I am thinking about instead of sleeping  

1. Clothes libraries. I'm so fucking bored of all my clothes, bar a couple of things that I just wear over and over and over again. Even when I buy something new, I wear it a couple of times, get bored, forget I own it. There should be a place to go where you can borrow clothes just for the night or the weekend and then take them back. And no, fancy dress shops don't count, smartarse, because I don't tend to want to go to the pub dressed as Henry the Eighth.*

2. Why the sweet fuck would people be searching for "paris hilton torrent seeds" on Google? That doesn't even make any sense. Paris Hilton wouldn't even know what the word torrent means. For fuck's sake, she probably barely knows what a seed is. How that search led to this blog is entirely beyond the realms of comprehension. Trying to figure out what it is that this person was trying to find is going to drive me to the brink of insanity.

3. Why can you get condoms free on the NHS when we have to pay for sanitary products? Making the sexy is not only fun (FUN FUN FUN. Or so I remember it, casting my mind waaaaaaay back, sob, wail, etc), it's also optional. As far as I'm aware, women do not choose to have blood and "matter" falling out of their vaginas every month. If they do, and there's an opt-out form I've missed, someone better get it to me tout de suite.

*Not every night, anyway. Boom boom!

posted by bandhag | 3/13/2004 04:02:00 AM

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

It's a 'Mr. Death' or something. He's come about the reaping?  

In the past couple of weeks, I've had several dreams in which various of my dead relatives tell me that I'm going to die soon. Last night, it was my Gran and she was actually dressed as the Grim Reaper. I said "Shit, it can't be my time yet?" and she said "Mind your language. No, not quite yet, but very soon".

I can't pretend I don't find this really quite unsettling, but I think the most sensible way to deal with my fear is to make a huge joke out of it - HA HA, SEE ME LAUGHING, HA HA. I'm choosing to believe that in this particular instance it's because I watched The Meaning of Life the other day, rather than because I'm actually going to die. Still, I'm a touch superstitious and I hate the way dreams have a habit of lingering around in your waking memory for days and weeks afterwards, so bah humbug to that.

Hey, perhaps they meant "little death", like "orgasm" so what they were actually telling me is that I'm going to get laid very soon. That would be cool. All I need now is a healthy volunteer.

Curvy small-nosed overgrown teenager, 29, WLTM man with GSOH and great stamina for uncomplicated and sustained shagging session to comply with ancestral prophecies. No long hooded robes/massive sythes pls. Box no. bndhg4

posted by bandhag | 3/10/2004 03:50:00 PM

Monday, March 08, 2004

Things that have happened in the past week  

1. TWO HOURS in an opticians, leading to first ever time with contact lenses. I can see. IN THE DARK, TOO! Woot.
2. First time on Oxford Street since I was about 15. Oo, there be lots of shops 'ere, squire [tugs forelock]
3. Plenty o' pounds spent on cute little '50's-esque short sleeved shirts and a suede jacket
4. Landlord hassles
5. More landlord hassles
6. Letter from random solicitors informing us that the flat (yes, you know, the one we moved into a month ago) is the subject of repossession proceedings.
7. Trying to find legal advice
8. A haircut. First in three years (yes I know, I know). A hairdresser who clearly heard the phrase "I really really really don't want to lose too much of the length so please take off as little as you can - just tidy the ends up a bit" as "Kindly cut my hair from this tedious length of the base of my spine so that it barely touches my shoulders and is too short for the curliness to actually look any good. Oh, and add in a twatty fringe, would you, so that it doesn't even look good tied back? There's a love". I'm a bit more used to it now, but I'm afraid, dear readers, that there were tears. This is why I leave it 3 years to get my hair cut. Trauma.

The house thing is scary and I can't really talk about it on here because it's going to get all legal n' shit. Suffice it to say there has been a whole catalogue of things going on since we moved here and, having taken a straw poll, it has been agreed that we've just been extraordinarily unlucky with regard to this place. Comedy unlucky. Write-it-down-send-it-to-the BBC-and-get-a-commissioned-sitcom-out-of-it unlucky.

Oh yeah, another thing that happened: I saw Richard Herring near Leicester Square last Tuesday (the day of the spending spree and contact lenses).

So it's not all bad news.

posted by bandhag | 3/08/2004 12:45:00 PM

Monday, March 01, 2004


You'd think a clutch of disappointing GCSE and A'Levels, several near-breakdowns during Uni and a few times worrying that I'd lose my job if I didn't pull my finger out would teach me to stop leaving things until deadline day before I did them, wouldn't you? Apparently not. Naturally, I can't find any of the stuff I need to find (it's a research job) and it's looking a lot like I won't any time soon. Not least because the stuff I need to look for is in fucking RUSSIAN, so Google is being unsurprisingly unhelpful.

Anyway, I have a little tip for you:

Say you're doing some work, and you're a bit bored and it's not going well. Say your flatmate takes pity on you and makes you a small...ahem...jazz cigarette to help your creative juices to flow. My top tip is this - do not attempt to do Things and/or Stuff at the back of your computer while the fucking thing is still in your hand (you hopeless chimp). You will knock the burning end off and yelp as it falls through the wires onto the carpet. You will then waste precious seconds realising that it would be a really very bad idea indeed to throw some of your drink on it to put it out (yes, that's right, those are WIRES, moron, which at various points lead to ELECTRICITY), before finally finding something to stamp it out with. You will then spend the rest of the night a) paranoid (heightened by jazz cigarette) that even though it looks like it's gone out, it's just smouldering and you are about to burn down the flat while your generous flatmate, your long-suffering cat and your idiot self are sleeping and b) inspecting the resulting hole in the carpet and cursing yourself that you will now almost definitely lose some of your deposit, since the bloody carpet was NEW - being the one and only thing your bastard landlord had bothered to do before you moved into the flat which, on arrival, looked like a squat with bizarrely out-of-place new carpets in it.

So, to recap, then:

Arse. Or, to put it another way - I am a fucking muppet.

posted by bandhag | 3/01/2004 01:34:00 AM
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