Sunday, 21 June 2009

posted from a phone

(originally posted on myspace here)


Well that was brilliant. I haven't seen Daniel Kitson before and, long as it's taken me to do get round to it I'm quite glad the first time that I see him should have been in a park at midnight. A large crowd, but my initial begrudging of the laughter that greeted him opening his mouth lasted about empty seconds - I meant forty seconds, predictive text. No he said he felt like spending the hour just congratulating us for showing up, and by that point I would have been very happy with that. Instead he read a story from a stool, lit by the lamps through the trees like a moomin, and that was fox too (wow, I meant to type excellent and see I've typed fox. That's incredibly predictive.) And I listened to much of it only drifting off to try and remember when I'd last written a love story, and to wonder how on Earth I'd go about trying to write one again... i don't know how to do paragraphs on a phone... New paragraph... And now I'm sat by the American Embassy in a break from walking home. I've never been here before. I've just a had cool, refreshing all-day-breakfast packaged sandwich and it's two in the morning. Pimm's o' clock. I'm tucking into maltesers now and living the dream. Not a proper dream, mind, the kind you have once you've pressed the snooze button (I have to, the tune my alarm plays is soporific to a fault) then find a spare room beyond the bathroom, and a whole other house beyond that, and a design magazine on the floor, and you know it's French because they're giving away an inflatable woman tucked into the pages like a free scent, and you pull it out and wonder shall I? and then the alarm goes off again. And you wake up and fall asleep.

"YOU SHOULD NOT BE HERE! THIS IS PRIVATE PROPERTY!" and other amazing dialogue.

(originally posted on myspace here)


Well the Giant Death Ray sketch finally aired. My parents were over from France and we perched in front of the telly - none of us dead - with a Chinese takeaway just like the old days, only now it was Susy's High-Definifitive Plasmaniscus Tellitron before which we sat and one of the things on was mine. Maybe that's why I thought it was a particularly good episode, because we were all there, but no there so many of my favourite sketches from the recording there and to be sandwiched between the Woman Ad/ Man Ad sketch and Remain Indoors felt amazing. Oh, and Ben Fuller's scorpion was, well...

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Sweeet indeed. (I just wish my writing hadn't been so salad-y, so un-nailed. I mean it's FINE, but everybody else's work on the sketch is SUPER SUPER FINE). All in all it's been a good week for my inner geek. I would go into details - mutant herons, finding a feral kid, comics, Yadda Yoda - but someone's got a free ticket to Daniel Kitson in Regent's Park - I have never seen him. Is he bucolic?  - anyway I must skoot. Meanwhile David and Rob and the excellent James Bachman are, among other places, here.

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Thursday, 18 June 2009

FOR KIDS: Bimbo, Evita and Flaps (Remnant)

(originally posted on myspace here)


Today's post has suddenly been erased. Hecht. Oh well, I can't be bothered to write it again. But here's the contents:

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Peter Arnold was outside in the sun, hard at work on a giant labia.
"It was meant to be a diaphragm," he explained.
"Is it for the show?" I asked.
"No."

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Snap (+ a sketch Jon Taylor's mother was good enough to compliment me on last night)

(originally posted on myspace here)

 

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So back to the Machine today, whose insides after a week of uninterrupted construction have now been turned to stone, and whose outsides bizarrely sport - in just the latest of a number of unconscious nods to Synecdoche NY - exactly the same lamps as my new place. 

Was progress made in rehearsals today? I don't know. So many elephants in the room, so few of them earning their keep in the manner of the fall of the Second Empire (being digested). I did raise the question "Are there any plans to get an actor to play this part we know we have but don't yet have an actor for?" and I think it was generally agreed that that might be a good idea. The part now going is that of a feral child. My knee hurts. Nigel diagnosed that as being 34. I didn't ask our director his opinion. He was in Portland Place cupping Robbie William's balls.

Thence to the last Recording of That Mitchell and Webb Sound where my unvoiced plans for a sketch about a kid's show starring Christopher Hitchens were startlingly upset by a sketch Rob performed about a kid's show starring Christopher Hitchens. I felt I'd come home to an empty tub of Strawberry Cheesecake unable to remember whether or not it was mine. Well that's that anyway, no more sketch-writing for a while so Harrumble (although actually this last session has been something of a blast, still it will be nice to see what happens next). And for those who missed it on Thursday here's the gang in happier times:

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Yeh momma, I wrote that. And I admit to being smitten by absolutely every aspect of it, so thanks to youtube illegalers "goldsaq" and "felixulyssesmeritus" for getting it out there although none of you seem yet to have uploaded "Jan Hankl's Patent Flankpat" - oh no, HANG ON, oh no what's this:

Lots Of Love. Does that mean I done a meme? 

... coming up this Thursday: Giant Death Ray Sketch.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

What's missing from this picture?

(originally posted on myspace here)





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At nine o'clock it was still light in Battersea Park, and I'm trying to put my finger on what it is that's missing, and why I feel I'm wasting my time here. I mean, look at it. Where else would I rather be? Just behind me is the vicarage I lodged in when I left school, attached to a round church with a photograph of the planet Earth where Jesus would normally be, or at least that's what was there back in 1993, when I first left home. And it's becoming difficult to maintain that enthusiasm for independence now I'm 34. London has never looked more beautiful, and I'm limping to keep up. Battersea Park is practically deserted and there are party-boats on the the Thames but this doesn't feel like home tonight. It feels like a very well-appointed waiting room. 

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I don't know what's missing.

Maybe this is because of the fire, because my home has gone but I'm only now getting ready to entertain. Maybe it's because of the pain in the right leg. Maybe it's because I should be writing. I've had another week off and done... not nothing I suppose, no, on Tuesday I went to the hospital to blow into a robot and receive a clean bill of health, good, and on Friday I went to "The Hospital" to eat Eggs Benedict and discuss a script about a hitman - but it's not much. I mean, Gemma went over to California for the week and still managed fit in research for the show (from a book about Manet... and there's a mur-mermuh-mermuh programme about him on iplayer right now in fact). It's all good stuff she's found. Here's some:

"This is a quote from the charge d'affaires at the British Embassy in Paris in 1869.
'The second empire has gone off the rails. It is no longer being guided it is hurling itself at an accelerating speed towards the abyss'... 
"The 1867 expo opened late. On the opening ceremony, they were surrounded by builders. because of bad weather, barely half the exhibits were there. Of those that had arrived, only a fifth had been unpacked. The opening ceremony, conducted by Emperor Napoleon was on 'a muddy fairground amid packing cases, tarpaulin-shrouded exhibits and crews of frantic workmen' one observed described it as 'a sickly child that was bound to die', so. That became the biggest show in Europe. It's all ok... 
"London in 1867 had a heatwave. They drank cold tea and gentlemen wore wet cabbage leaves inside their top hats... 
"Abolishment of arbitrary arrest and obligation of workers to carry identity cards... 
"Napoleon went to war in Alsace Lorraine with bladder stones. In a lot of pain, he rouged himself, and tried to die in battle but failed. He lamented he was 'not even able to get himself killed.'... 
"During the seige, they killed all the animals in the zoo to eat. The richer Parisians therefore dined on all sorts of curiosities. Castor and Pollux, the two elephants in the Jardin de Plantes, had been cruelly and bunglingly dispatched with a chassepot firing steel tipped.33 calibre bullets. Elephants had long been the most esteemed and well loved residents at the zoo. They were fed honey cakes and were said to enjoy the singing of patriotic songs. Their keeper, M. Devisme, had protested at the execution (which was watched by several big-game hunters and other Parisians) and afterwards fell sobbing in the snow, huggling the trunk of one of his dead charges. Elephant steak promptly found its way onto the plate of Victor Hugo who was further satisfying his gastronomic curiosity by tucking into bear and antelope. (Horse meat gave him indigestion. Wealthy Parisians were able to choose from zebra, reindeer, yak and kangaroo)" 

The night before Gemma mailed that, I had a dream about dying elephants in the Shunt Lounge, a whole pile of them at the foot of a low ramp being gored by elephants that had failed to make the jump and goring the next ones in turn. It was a mess. Maybe I need a desk. There are four canvasses stuck to the wall of the room I now occupy. They're stuck there with blue tak. Two are blank. The other two bear this picture:

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But as long as this isn't my home that's not my problem.

Friday, 12 June 2009

All good. Videgum has proof.

(originally posted on myspace here)

So YES I should alert you to the fact that there is at least one sketch, maybe two of mine airing on BBC2 tonight at 10 as the third series of That Mitchell and Webb Look finally gets broadcast. And now I have. Alerted you. It's going to be very good, I'm pretty sure of that, and the what-is-called "red button content" should also be worth your thumb's time and energy. What they've done is taken a number of the radio sketches - including Asbo Zapruder - and turned them into cartoons, and what could have been a very bad idea has in fact been realized with great sensitiviteh and f'nesse so I am cock-a-hoop. I'm cock-a-hoop and back online, though bound to this crippling, skip-green couch by a short yellow cable because my wireless connection is still for some reason- Well I don't know where to begin - it's all magic isn't it - but the unimaginable resources of information that should be shooting invisibly into my laptop at speeds that can only be explained by the theory of relativity are still having to do so through a kind of wonky, TVam band of narrow plastic and not through the air like I have every right just to expect it to. So my legs hurt.

But in better news, it turns out that during the week I've been offline everything became fine! 

Well, okay not the Government, clearly, not the BNP, not, like the NEWS world, but the other world, the you and me world, the people just getting on with stuff world, the world, in short, so diligently monitored by the mighty, mighty Videogum has been throwing up all manner of giddying evidence of the excellence of people over these past seven days, which I have very much enjoyed catching up on. Although my legs do really hurt. Okay so tuna might be heading for extinction but LOOK, we'll always have kittens:


And LOOK, someone's spent three years making a wedding invitation (As one commenter puts it "Dear People in Love, the bar has just been raised"):


And LOOK, this should be fake, someone clearly must have faked this to advertise T-Mobile or Diet Coke or something, but NO, it happened, so everyone is definitely fine! I'm going to watch telly now with Tom and Will. On Sunday I was dumb enough to say some nasty things about Gordon Brown in front of Will. "I guess we have different ideas what Leadership means," he said. Yeah. I think it definitely means this:

Videogum. My church. I can't get up.

Monday, 8 June 2009

IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK TO CHANGE WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?

(originally posted on myspace here)

Internet still down but I finally got round to transcribing the notes I took in hospital and see now that nearly all of them were made during the one 24-hour steroid-enduced psychotic episode of February 17th, very far from the "natural high" I took it to be. Throughout this episode I took my own stats with the box that had been left by my bed and saw my blood pressure sink finally to an acceptable level. And I slept on my back for the first time in eleven days, and was Thor. So these are the notes from that day and that night. Not all them: I also embarked upon the first chapter of a children's book roundabout the time of the words Epiphany for Everyone, my first concentrated stream of thought since I'd been in hospital. And, as I think I've already recorded, I also euphorically lost it with a visiting pyschiatric nurse called Anthony Tang who refused to turn off his reading light at roundabout one in the morning. 

Some of this still stands.
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17th Tuesday Feb
Been given a whole Manga face of pills this morning. I take the mouth, the eyes, the Japanese tear
Shaky because of the NEURALIZOR (sp?) no nebulizer
SKELETOR (sp?)
I’ve been taken off 15cc Oxygen and put on 4. My coughing’s RUBBISH now. It brings up no smoke pups, NOTHING.
MOOMIN Page 38
TELL US ALL THAT’S HAPPENING IN THE WORLD!
FUSS AND MISERY…
Two of last night's dreams:
The freighter that picks me up from the Ice Flow is manned by tall silent men with long waterproofs, square heads but aquiline profiles, smooth black dishes for ears and receding chrome spirals on their head. Maybe the cube inverts to accommodate the face. Anyway a nice kind image.
THE GOOMB MEN
There was wrestling in the street at the crossroads at the bottom of the hill, now I think of it, like Brixton Hill, only windier and more seventies ish. The two wrestlers are huge, twice the height to normal.

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They kind of looked like that but in a way that made sense, & each had a tiny cox on their head, like their trainer. The two wrestlers never actually fought they collapsed, knackered, but like they were playing a joke. A lot of controversy in the news after about how much more genetic tampering to allow these coxes. None about the genetic modification made to the wrestlers although it later struck me that they must have had some work done.
I WANT A MONTAGE!
  
AN EPIPHANY FOR EVERYONE
(in which everything suddenly makes sense)
Brilliantly I ended the evening wheeling around a cylinder of oxygen that I’d forgot to turn on.
FROM THE GUARDIAN 17.02.09
Paul Garner co-organizer of the Creationist conference: Many people have the mistaken impression that it’s Genesis, chapter one that drives young creationism – a rigid understanding of the word “day” in the creation. But that isn’t it at all. It’s Genesis three, it’s the introduction of death and suffering and what you might call natural evil into the creation. If those things pre-date Adam there’s a big theological problem for me, because it undermines the foundation of the gospel. The young-earth position is the only one that has a coherent understanding of the history that doesn’t have suffering, death and bloodshed before Adam’s fall.”
IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK TO CHANGE WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?

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I HOLD REALITY SACRED
DON’T TELL ME ABOUT SOMEBODY SOMEONE MADE UP FOR WHICH THERE’S NO EVIDENCE AND ASK ME TO PROVE HE DOESN’T EXIST.
I’M IN A BREAKING TARDIS
CLOSER – NOT NARRATIVELY – BUT PHYSICALLY – TO DEATH – IE NOT EXISTING AND OF COURSE ALL THE IDEAS ARE COMING. THIS IS INTERESTING. AND OFTEN OBSERVED. IDEAS COME FROM NOT BEING
BUT 17th/18 it’s only NOW – 10 days in that I’m feeling weak enough to get it.

Man, if Jesus really was just one guy this is how he must have felt EVERY **ING DAY!

There are no italics you can put on “If that is what you want, that’s what I’ll have to do.” to make it sound polite ANTHONY TANG
IN MY MIND – IN MY MIND! – there is nothing sweeter than the idea of an elderly man who must be at all hours attended by a tiny, sleeping Maori. The reality, however, is a lot more unwise.
RELIGION IS THE PARENT OF ART AND SCIENCE THERE IS NOTHING RELIGION CAN TEACH US THAT ART AND SCIENCE CANNOT TEACH US MORE CLEARLY. BUT WE HAVEN’T HAD ALL THE ART WE’RE EVER GOING TO HAVE YET. OR THE SCIENCE.
(WE MAY NOT HAVE HAD ALL THE RELIGION. BUT IT’S TELLING THAT THE “BEST” WAY TO DO THIS NOW AS L. RON HUBBARD WORKED OUT, IS JUST MAKE UP SOME VERY BAD ART AND THEN HIRE YOUR OWN POLICE FORCE.)


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SO YES THIS MUST BE A NATURAL HIGH – AND I’M LOOKING FOR THE WORD FOR THIS TRIP AND IT’S AHH! “SPIRITUAL” BECAUSE THAT HAS TO STOP. THIS IS REAL. That’s the point of “epiphany” it’s real – and SPIRITS DON’T EXIST. So don’t succumb and go I’M SPIRITUAL. I’M SPIRITUAL
        NO: I’M REAL.
IT WAS REAL
FUCK ME I’M BREATHING

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Friday, 5 June 2009

And it gonna be on wheels...

(originally posted on myspace here)


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Just a quick breezing in while I'm sat at monitor 11 sending off last minute re-writes of a premiseless, twenty-two page sketch about the Elizabethan Conjuror John Dee to Laurence and Gus for tonight's final recording: We did some Shunt in front of people last night, and finally SOMETHING was there, audible, visible and playable. It feels very good. No trap-doors opening, no smoke, no penguin masks painted black, just door-knobs, tickets and a split audience to play with. "Finally we've got a wheel!" said Nigel, "All we need now are another three and we can stick them on a car." Yep, because all we had before was a drawing of a car we were waving in audience's faces while making brrrm noises. On the train home some teenagers threw bits of crutch at me, which I threw back to show I was down. About twenty onions lay crushed in the middle of the road outside my block. Might use that. Oh, just have.

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Gemma on the machine's top deck, ages ago, with shambles.

Monday, 1 June 2009

...incommunicado...

(originally posted on myspace here)


Broadband's down so I'm sending this from a cafe until I get back on line. It's a killer, a beaut', one of the absolute best things I saw while recuperating at my sister's - as a cartoon more Chris Ware even than Chris Ware. Enjoy. Despair.



Tomorrow, Monday, sees a couple of places where you might be able to hear some of my stuff in the evening (most hatched Thursday night... Basically I thought, look I'm either a writer AND performer or a writer OR performer and AND's the only way I'm going to to eat so I'd better just write. My eyes now feel like Trompe Le Monde): There's the first recording of the new That Mitchell and Webb Sound (a bit out of the blue, and I think it's all sold out) but there's also Lowdown at the Albany where Laurence and Gus might be trying out some gubbins before their final recording on Friday. I'm not going to be able to make Friday because of Shunt, so I'll probably do the Albany. Just so you know.
Right.
I have no Internet.
Bye then.

No, you hang up first.