Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Cup 1: Sink 0

Yesterday the seminar and then the reading. All fine. At the end of the reading a chance to talk to some of the students, an impressive bunch, talented, leading professional lives, moving about the world.

It takes a while to fall asleep, but eventually sleep arrives. When I wake I have a shower and put the kettle on. It duly boils. I want to wash the cup from last night's tea so go to the sink and rinse it, then give it a shake to get rid of the water. It slips from my hand into the sink. There is a crack. I must have broken the cup, or the handle has come off: that's what I think. But what I see is the cup unbroken. It is the sink that has a hole in it. It looks faintly surreal, David Lynch out of Marcel Duchamp. At least it's not a urinal. The sink is quite thin, not solid porcelain. In the battle between cup and sink, the cup - possibly because of its more compact form - has come out a clear winner. Nothing to be done. I make the tea, drink it, get dressed and report the rock-star style wrecking of my hotel room with due shame (60 year old poet in sink smashing frenzy!) General forgiveness. At least I haven't thrown the TV through the window.

After breakfast with Clare and Jane and Rebecca and some of the students, I get my bags and wait for my taxi. It soon arrives. On the way home it is Haydn String Quartets in G, and in D Minor, then Brahms Double Concerto in A Minor, Brahms Piano Quartet No. 3, then, on the last leg, the Dudley Moore Trio lyrical, funny, melancholy and surprising and just right. This is while marking some papers for UEA. In the last leg it is just music and landscape. Pigs sleeping like slabs of rock, several fallen together in big stony plops. Sheep dozing in clots with a few lambs tottering between them. Tracks of water, pools, marsh, forest, the chicken-packing works at Attleborough.

C waits for me at the station and we walk home. She shows me the dress she has bought for H and R's wedding. It's lovely. And secret. It will be the dress that shook the world. One of the papers I picked up in the train - The Times? - has an article about how men have ruined the financial world and now women are dashing to the rescue. How? By shopping. C, my saviour!

The Guardian is making even bigger headlines about offering Caryl Churchill's disgusting 'Seven Jewish Children' to the public (yes, I have read it, and consider it deeply anti-Semitic, the essential not-quite-overt message: Jews are a psychologically ruined people who have effectively poisoned their children, in other words you may as well finish them off, they're lost, inhuman, vicious, they deserve everything that's coming to them, maybe they really should have been finished off last time.)

My resolution is to give up buying The Guardian. Such well-meaning liberal people! I'll look at it on the web from now on. As and when. Well, maybe the Saturday Review. Maybe.

Tomorrow down to read at the Athenaeum. The day following at Hampstead. So it goes on - for the moment.


Background Artist said...

Ah, the Guardian, bastion of democracy and founded on the ethos of comment is free, facts are sacred.

They slung me off their site 150 times, after upsetting an annonymous person who decided i was not to be tolerated there on their interactive platform.

They used to delete the posts i made on the books blog, not caring that it was an educational poetic process i was involved in.

They thought i was being insolent, when i was just being myself. One of the funniest, was when a regular writer on the bb, wrote about the three dimensions of literature, and i responded musing on the fourth. Oh no, non of that here thank you very much, do not show originalty.

It was clearly one person who had decreed i was to be zapped on sight, and it was like playing head-games with a faceless annonymous foe and i learnt a lot. All the zappings and username removals, at first i took it personally, but slowly developed a thick skin and it conditioned me to be able to write right down the middle, and not show any exasperation with them.

It was at this point they started faltering, and leaving the responses on, but just removing the posting rights from the username, obviously because they would look silly to remove what was clearly intelligent, non offenseive comment.

It takes two minutes to register and get posting, and all the different name changes fed into what i was doing at some fundamental level. Other regs there who got banned, got really upset, moaning at the injustice, but after about 60 times, you come to grasp the realty, that it is nowt to do wityh you, but their own petty foibles.

They have been leaving me on of late, zapping me still for any excuse, but the writing has been such, they haven't had any.

But last week, i mentioned the fact the charitable foundation Scott Trust, which owns the Guardian Media Group which owns the Guardian, was made a limited company last October, The Scott Trust Limited, and that the Manchester chapter fo the NUJ, passed seven motions against the shedding of 76 or so jobs by the new company.

They zapped the post and in a really petty display, also removed totally so there was no trace, five day old posts on other threads, and so obviously i had really annoyed whoever it is who has a problem with what i am trying to chieve there.


Last year the regulars got in argy bargy with there young hip trangressive writers, who were championing all this cutting edge lit, lots of swearing and drugs, and the hypocrisy they show to the minions who generate ad revenue, says something about what they claim to be about and what they are.


Ah well, onward and upward.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Billy C said...

Laughing here...both at George becoming a vandal and the...

"Comment deleted
This post has been removed by a blog administrator."

Nicole S said...

Good resolution about the Guardian. Don't switch to the Independent though. Where in Hampstead will you be reading?

George S said...

Comment was another advert, Billy. Assume they are adverts unless otherwise stated.

Nicole - my Hampstead reading tomorrow is at InterChange Studios in Hampstead Town Hall on Haverstock Hill.

Other details you could check www.theliberal.co.uk/events/

Nicole S said...

Thanks George. Hope to be there.

George S said...

Do come and introduce yourself if you make it.

Billy C said...

Sorry, George, I thought it was your sense of humour. It's the way my silly old mind works :-)

Stephen F said...

We stopped buying the Guardian for the plugged-in luvvery of the books pages some years ago: Will Self loves Julie Myerson loves Zadie Smith loves Will Self loves Julie Myerson etc...

And then latterly we've had sports correspondent Jeremy Alexander accusing Stoke fans of 'vulgarity.' You can tell from Billy C's contributions that that's a mile out...

I recommend the EDP for local matters for local people :)

Michelle said...

George, you're my sink smashing hero even if they didn't place a lifetime ban on you.

dubois said...


George S said...

What?Why what?

dubois said...

Michelle's comment, I didnt understand immediately, but now remember the sink incident so that was why what.

George S said...

Ah, the so-called 'Sink Incident', a mysterious yet undoubtedly major trauma for one of such a delicate disposition.

The 'Sink Incident' was to haunt him for the next decade of his life, as was to be the theme of his latest and darkest book of poems, a catalogue of fracture and leakage: 'The Broken Sink Poems'.

'Sinks were to Szirtes,' as one critic perceptively remarked, 'what crows were to Van Gogh.'

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