Wednesday, 4 November 2009


I'm curious enough to want to check this out. There's a copy downstairs in the Oxfam branch where Lena works and I'll put in a fair bid.

UPDATE: Got it for £1.99. Extremely fair, I must say. Will report back later.


Rosie's a scream, in'she? I was away on holiday a little while ago and she posted this presumably thinking I wasn't going to find it when I came back. Actually she's got me bang to rights. Historians, eh? What do they know? If you weren't there you'll never understand and you should shut up. It's the truth for sure. That Hilary Mantel, for instance. What does she know about Thomas Cromwell and sixteenth century Britain? She's only fifty-seven! She should hand back the money to Booker and send her CBE back to the Palace straightaway. Wouldn't trust her with a tithed pole.

Really I'm more of a tiresome middle-aged egotist. I'll deal with old when/if I get there (if the propsect of "old" incorporates the necessity to write about albums by Kasabian and White Lies, though, I might have to rethink that concept). I've never hacked for the NME though. I did do two years freelancing on Uncut and then they got fed up with me and stopped ringing me. Quite right too. I wouldn't have hired me back in the 2004 day. Which makes me more than grateful to the people who did. But that's another story.

Still, I do feel the need to correct a few assumptions which are still floating around whatever is left of this here quarter of the music blogosphere (does anyone still use that term without rue or irony?). Only a few, mind. I'm only going to address this topic once and then it's back to normal business. I'm aware that some people still perceive me as a "bloated-egoed (sic) nobody" and "wannabe journalist." A shyster. A flip-flopping bandwagon jumper. A stuck record (there he goes again, punctum this, punctum that). A lost case. A bullshit merchant. An unalloyed egocratic wreck. An obsessive trainspotter. A bitter old carcass of a man rotting away in penurious hell who missed his chance 25 years ago and has nothing better to do than have a go at Guardian music writers. A straightahead tl; dr crackpot. And that's just the readers who like me boom boom.

For those who need it clarifying, here's how I do on Popular. Again, pay attention because I will say this only once. I read what Tom has to say about each entry. Then I turn to my specially preprepared commentary (sorry to burst the spontaneity bubble but, some of you may be surprised to hear, I do have both a day job and a life and it does save a lot of time if I turn to one I made earlier), tweak it to take out anything overtly personal or anything about which I might have changed my mind since originally writing it, and then add anything that occurs to me in the course of retooling the entry. Then I post. Then I stand back and let everyone else get on with it. If anyone wants clarification of certain points or wishes to correct any historical or aesthetic inaccuracies of mine then fair enough and I'll respond if the discussion is relevant. But otherwise the comments boxes take their own course and I don't wade back in; certainly it is no longer my business to start or engage in pointless "arguments" which is precisely why I'm taking this onto the blog rather than filling up valuable debating space on Popular. My instinctive view is that most Popular readers sigh "tl;dr" to themselves when they see my ramblings and move on quickly around the inert mass. But again that's fair enough. I can't force people to read me. The important thing is that I said it and it works as an integral part of that particular community.

And, just to wrap things up, one final word to those who really have nothing better to do than carry on with the slurs, or have the habit of accusatorily dredging up things I said four or five years ago when my life and views were utterly different from what they are now: when it comes down to it, you don't know me, you have no idea about how I've lived my life, what I've done with it, what I've lived through, what I've learned or how I learned it. So think good and hard before you make assumptions.