Monday, December 28, 2015

Ace of Spades: In which one of the Author's idols is Killed By Death

Oh no. No no no no no. Not Lemmy. You can't get Lemmy. He'll live forever he will, he's indestructible he is, invincible, invulnerable, in in in. . .


It was silly to think Lemmy Kilmister's lifestyle wouldn't catch up to him. All the same, he seemed so durable, so powerful, a hurricane or a tidal wave rather than a man. I can't believe He's gone.

You see, the world isn't just a quieter place without him, a duller, more timid place. For all intents and purposes, Rock'n'Roll died with him. No one can take his place. Nothing else measures up. After Motorhead, everything else sounds just. . .wimpy.

Words fail me at the moment, but I feel I gotta say something. The thing with Lemmy wasn't just his gargantuan bass sound, or his riffs or his lyrics. All this did put him on the path to Greatness, but with Lemmy it was more. We all thought Lemmy was invincible because he was the Man Who Would Not be Stopped, who just kept Rockin' long after the rest of us got too tired. When he got fired from Hawkwind, when his records wouldn't sell, when the Record companies wouldn't back him. Throughout it all, Lemmy kept Rockin', on his own terms, in his own way, immune to commercial pressures and sub-cultural demands. Lemmy could shrug off commercial failure, and critical indifference and heartbreak and keep right on going, Long as he had Rock'n Roll. Long as there was Rock'n Roll, ("the only religion that never lets you down") nothing else truly mattered. And if that's all there was, that wasn't so bad. 

Lemmy just kept calm, and carried on. Would that all of us had such thick skins, such determination such single minded dedication to what mattered to us.

Maybe it killed him in the end, but my god what a crater it left. . .

Friday, December 25, 2015

A Christmas Kvetch. . .

Well, the lights are out and everyone's gone to bed. I'm sitting here wondering how to wile away the final hours of the Christmas season before sleep overtakes me. I guess I've decided.

Let it be said (and I have before) that I am neither a Scrooge nor a Grinch, and I'm not one to scoff at Yuletide traditions. Granted, the sight of tinsel on November 1st (or, God forbid, October 1) tends to give me seizures, and a single bar from Paul McCartney's "Simply Having. . ." is enough to make me want to rupture my eardrums with chop-sticks. But I don't mind the rest of it. I like sleigh bells, and nativity scenes, egg nog, Bing Crosby and Burl Ives. I have no problem at all with the endless reruns of Christmas Carol and Miracle on 34th Street, or all the moralizing that comes with it. None. Fine by me.

Having said as much, there is a period of the day, every single year it seems, when I begin to feel a little grouchy. Usually starts in the late afternoon, before the dinner, and dissipates much later in the evening, long after the food is eaten and the cheer is drunk. I sink into a cloud of melancholia and need to withdraw from the general company. Every year, never fails. WTF?

Part of it must inevitably be the disappointment of impossible expectations. Our entire culture, nay, our civilization, hypes Christmas to such a ridiculous extent, nothing that actually happens within that twenty four hour period can live up to it; nothing can produce the kind of earth-shattering euphoria pushed by television specials, movies, songs and marketers. And don't go trying to dig it up either because that will completely backfire - few things are more completely counter-productive than contrived joy.

Part of it must be the pull of nostalgia: what in mundane adulthood can possibly compare with the stuffed stockings of childhood? (Assuming you had a happy childhood of course). Perhaps you've got children of your own and can re-live it vicariously. I do not, so I can't.  

And a big part of it is, I just don't do well in situations where I can't fully be me. Really don't do well. One must never be one's true self at a family gathering. It just wouldn't do. And there's only so much I can take of that. Veiled formality and contrived sentimentality don't help. It shouldn't detract from my genuine gratitude at being surrounded by so many good people, that I occasionally find these prolonged periods of government-mandated merriment exhausting. And I'm hard pressed to believe I'm the only one who finds it so.

Having gotten that off my chest, I've consulted with the Metal God, Sir Rob Halford, to Get Back Into the Spirit . Who needs three ghosts?

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Worse than GERD: in which the author complains about Doctor Who

So much for the previous posts!  I'm going to make this brief because I hate to dwell on negativity, but it's gotta be said, so that the thought and the memory can be purged and life can go on.

Doctor Who's season finale sucked. Really, really, really fucking sucked. Sucked worse than a Hoover, worse than a collapsing star. It was worse than an NRA fact sheet, or a Daily Mail editorial. Watching it felt worse than my latest bout with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, and depressed me more than the price tag of my meds. I'm in a bad, bad, bad mood right now, and though I keep reminding myself it's only a television show, it's not working. It completely utterly sucked, and it made me mad.

No no, it didn't make me mad; it depressed me. It sucked the life out of me and dumped it down the sink. Something wonderful has been mutilated and I feel betrayed. Stephen Moffat was a good writer once. I trusted him, and I stood up for him against the Billie Piper brigade. How can I face them now? I can see it now, legions of them circling around like vultures, leering at me with their smug little smirks and cawing: "What was that you were saying about the Doctor's Rose Tyler fetish?"

How could you do this to me Stephen?

Let's completely undo the drama of the previous episode. Let's completely undermine all of Peter Capaldi's hard won credibility in the role. Let's completely piss upon the mythology! Let's rename it the Clara Oswin show and be done with it - the obsession with that character has become almost pornographic. The Doctor himself is largely useless. 

What we've got now is a cowardly, reckless, shockingly irresponsible, petty, vindictive, unbelievably idiotic moral imbecile who was once supposedly a paragon of wisdom. Sure he can think fast, and sure he can rewrite the laws of the universe by twiddling his thumbs, but the Doctor portrayed here has got to be one of the most idiotic characters I've seen in modern fiction, a petulant little schoolboy utterly ineffectual without the presence of his chosen mother figure. So much for the previous efforts!

Did I really just see the Doctor shoot a man? An unarmed man? Point blank? In the chest? Did I really just see the Doctor kill someone? Not to defend himself, not to protect someone, not to save the universe, but to simply get something he wanted? Yes I did. And don't give me that guff about regeneration - causing a regeneration is basically murder. And the Doctor, my Doctor, the Doctor, did it quite willfully, for no other reason than to secure something he wanted.

That's not dedication to friend. That's murder.  That's the dangerously obsessive behaviour of a sociopath. with a callous disregard for life. That's the Doctor now.

Ever been let down by your heroes? 

I feel like I've been stabbed in the back, kicked in the balls, fed poison, chained to a bed and made to listen to "Merry X-mas (War is over)" on perpetual loop. I feel I've just had my teeth removed with crescent wrench, a spoonful of hot lead dumped down my ear and bottle full of liquid Drano pumped up the ass.

Oh ye Gods, make it stop make it stop!  Here's some Alestorm. It's the only thing I can think of. . .