Well fancy seeing you here...

Hello and welcome to the rambling rollercoaster of useless ponderings, strung together in what the internet calls a "blog," and the voices call a waste of everyone elses time.

Please check your sanity at the door (along with your dignity, logic, principles, good taste and prejudices against daftness.)

"I am here to seduce you into a love of life; to help you to become a little more poetic; to help you die to the mundane and to the ordinary so that the extraordinary explodes in your life." -Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Saturday, 29 November 2008

A Cruel and Unusual Punishment

This week it was on the news that some teenagers in America have been punished for their noise violations by being sentenced to listen to Barry Manilow songs. I think this is a bit harsh, but it reminded me that I have had several conversations about noses lately. (Four and a half, actually. How one can have a conversation about half a nose, or half a conversation about a whole one is rather complex and long winded, and it’s probably best you don’t ask.) However, I have disliked my nose for years – most especially since it went a bit weird after being broken. I am not certain that ‘bulbousness’ is a word, but regardless of semantics, it is for its unfortunate bulbousness that I am less than enamoured with my nose.

I'm not the only one of my acquaintances that feels this way (about their nose – if they all felt that way about my nose I'd not admit it here, I’d just sneak off to have it shrunk a bit. Fortunately the generalised olfactory paranoia relates to individual body-image issues, and isn't all focused in my direction.) It seems that disliking one's nose is common to my circle of friends, and this had me wondering why. Do people with issues surrounding their distinctly Roman profile instantly share some subconscious bond, triggered by subtly insecure body language signals? Or is it that people with freakish nasal landscapes naturally congregate together, like all the fat kids at school who sit at one table, whilst all the gingers sit in another (shadier) corner?

Of course, it could just be that I have noticed that body-image issues are commonplace in society in general, and that my micro-study serves to do nothing more than back up the statistics that rhinoplasty is the most often performed elective/cosmetic surgery. (I prefer still to think it's because people who hate their noses send out secret nose-twitching signs; recognised only by other members of the elite, in a clandestine crossover between the Masons and 'Bewitched'.)

The other songs played to the troublesome-teenagers in America are performed by childhood favourite Barney the Dinosaur. I used to think he was alright in a "will never be as good as Sesame Street" sort of a way; but then my sister went overboard in her fanatic appreciation of him, and there are only so many times one can hear those songs without wanting to rip the stuffing out of that big purple dinosaur and let an untidy gerbil nest in it. It is because of the trauma associated with my memories of Barney that I sympathise with the kids who are being forced to listen to him. My other gripe with Barney is that it’s because of him that I came to watch what must surely be classed as The Most Disturbing Film In The World, Ever.

That film is called Death To Smoochy. I actually shuddered when I typed that. Properly shuddered! That would have been brilliantly timed for dramatic effect if this was a video and not a written blog. I'm glad it's not being filmed though, as I washed my hair half an hour ago and it's still a bit damp, so I look like a drowned rat. …Come to think of it, that's probably why I am shivering. It's not repressed terror, I'm just a bit cold.

I was subjected to this film a few years ago when having a DVD marathon with my friend Tom, and after mentioning my phobia of Barney the Dinosaur he thought I'd like to watch a movie about the twisted backstage goings-on behind the scenes of a show like Barney. Now, there is technically nothing wrong with the film. It has Ed Norton and Robin Williams in it, and is directed by Danny DeVito. But it remains - for me - The Most Disturbing Film In The World, Ever. It's just too weird. I have tried to block a lot of it out, most especially the fuchsia-coloured rhinoceros "Smoochy," played by the aforementioned Eddie N.

I quite enjoyed the film in some respects, but only in the way people on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here say they "enjoy" the bush tucker trials where they have to crawl through slime, and then roll in ants and let spiders crawl into their anus whilst they are doused in brandy and set on fire like some icky invertebrate-ridden Christmas pudding, (which not a single one of you will now eat this year. Good. Less chance of me setting anything else on fire when carrying a burning cake then.)

I just found the film very uncomfortable to watch (though I admit that having spiders scrabble into my arse would be worse.) Robin Williams' character "Rainbow Randolph" was a spiteful, bitter, bastard – which is not what I have come to expect from the man who brought the Genie to life with such aplomb in Aladdin – and Ed Norton's was na├»ve, embarrassing, and well, just a bit mental to be honest. The whole film was a bit mental! I think people who liked the surreal madness of Fight Club might like Death To Smoochy, as it did similar things to my already fragile sanity. I blame movies like that for a lot of the bonkers-randomness that goes on in my head actually.

Here’s a short, funny scene from the film (this doesn't showcase its nightmarish, insanity-provoking potential but I couldn't bring myself to watch other clips of the movie when sat here on my own with no chance of them not just running round and round my head like an evil version of the Moomins, (who I found a bit weird in their non-satanic format; so can only imagine the psychological scarring that could be caused by a malicious remake.)

Death To Smoochy: Get You Off've That Smack:

imdb blurbs for Death To Smoochy:

"Fired in disgrace, kids show host Randolph Smiley finds himself out on the street, while his replacement Sheldon Mopes, finds himself on the fast track to success with a new hit show as the proud purple rhino Smoochy. But things take a turn for the worst when Sheldon finds out that some of the people that he works with, and some he doesn't know he's working for, are all in it for the money. Meanwhile, Randolph is slowly turning insane with his only thoughts focusing on killing Smoochy and getting back to his life of luxury."

Link To Trailer

"In the cutthroat world of children's television, Rainbow Randolph, the corrupt, costumed star of a popular children's TV show, is fired over a bribery scandal and replaced by squeaky-clean Smoochy, a puffy fascia rhinoceros. As Smoochy catapults to fame - scoring hit ratings and the affections of a jaded network executive Randolph makes the unsuspecting rhino the target of his numerous outrageous attempts to exact revenge and reclaim his status as America's sweetheart."

After other – unrelated – events this week, I also blame my confuzzledness on my father. I'm not crazy; I have just inherited some of his talent for saying the most inappropriate and incredibly stupid thing possible, in any given situation. This week for example, he went to order Nan's new washing machine with his partner Sam (for the sake of clarity I could have said 'girlfriend' there, but I like the fact that some of you will have assumed the words "Dad," "partner," and "Sam," mean some kind of Biblical slash-fiction scenario.) Anyway, they went into the shop (which for the sake of argument we will say was Curry's, though I have no idea which electronics store they actually purchased the appliance from,) and after selecting a couple they liked, decided to take advantage of a sales promotion on an Indesit model. This would have been fine, had the sales clerk not queried the offer, protesting its very existence and denying all knowledge of the promotion. It was at this point that my Dad totally eclipsed all of my own recent ramblings, to commit a faux-par that left him cringing with the same depth of visceral dread that might accompany a viewing of Death To Smoochy, or an hour's exposure to Barry Mannilow.

Now, Dad – who really needs to get his eyes tested, but is too recalcitrant to do so (another trait I intend to henceforth blame on my DNA) – was pretty frazzled after a day working at a very busy time of year, countered the sales clerk's claims that the offer was not valid until the following day by pointing out a large sign on the other side of the shop and exclaiming "It says it is over there. Even I can see that!" to which the clerk replied; "I can't... I'm partially sighted."

It was then – somewhat too late – that Dad and Sam noticed the man's name badge also bore the words 'Please be patient, I am visually impaired.'

That spectacularly surpasses the only stupid thing I said today, and my stupid thing is only considered to be so by other people. I think it makes perfect sense. Well... It makes slightly imperfect sense, but that's sensible enough that I don't feel the need to change. The 'thing' currently the point of reference is that I have left the clock on my DVD player running an hour fast. This sounds a little odd, but I only made it worse when trying to explain to someone why I do so.

The thing is, if I have somewhere to be at a specific time, I need constantly jogging along to keep the motivation I need to not be lazy, and actually make the effort to ensure my life is moving at the correct pace, and in the right direction, to get me where I need to be. I often don't really experience the surge of determination needed until it appears that I am running out of time. Having the clock an hour fast means that I get that little panicked prompt 'not to be late,' early enough that I stand a chance of being on time. This is apparently a little unconventional, but it prevents me from succumbing to lethargy and constant tardiness.

As I typed that I noticed that my DVD Player thinks it is 5:30am. 5:30AM!!! I now want to get offline and go to sleep, despite having checked the alarm-clock and the one on my computer to reassure myself that I have an hour before it reaches that time. It's good motivation to unwind. Honest…

Don't look at me like that. It works. And if you really think it's weird, then from now on don’t blame medication or occasional bouts of misanthropic seclusion for my behaviour: know it is the fault of my paternal genetics and the influence of The Most Disturbing Film In The World, Ever.

Don’t have nightmares…

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