This woman had the nerve to call me 'sweetie'
Touched by your presence
Sitting outside the apartment the other day, I realised what a pleasant existence it is here compared with London. I am reasonably poor here, as opposed to the relative fortune I was earning in London, but the difference in not to be measured in shekels, my boys.
It was a relatively cool day, which meant that it was just very hot. But there was a pleasant breeze as I moved backwards and forwards, book in hand, in my rocking chair. Yes, there comes a time in his life when a man relaxes in a rocking chair. I would like to invent one for musicians called a rocking and rolling chair. Another time, perhaps.
Well, a Tico had arrived with a long aluminium pole bearing a sharp hooked blade on the end. They usually use them for taking down the African palm oil in the plantations, but this was to take down the coconuts which were starting to threaten those round and about. Did you know that 200 people every year around this great, vast, spinning globe of ours die from being conked on the noggin by falling coconuts? You do now. Sadly, these are a rubbish type of coconut, a bit like having a burger in a Wimpy bar, and the water – usually so nutritious – is not worth drinking. Anyway, where was I?
Ah, yes. My book. As Old Traumavillians will be only too aware, I am the proud owner of a philosophy PhD, and still delve into the subject when I have a spare moment during which I am not smothered in beautiful women or dodging coconuts. Also, of late, I have been boning up on history, and have recently polished off two blockbusters, one on the Third Reich, the other on the American Civil War. With both volumes, laughs were hard to come by, I must say, and I do seek out a little light to balance the shade, from time to time.
I was given a pile of music books a while back, and I elected to calm down with a biography of Debbie Harry. I always loved Blondie, mainly for Parallel Lines, for me a near-perfect pop album.
The book is not bad, but I expected my enthusiasm to wane after the Blondie period. Far from it. Deborah Harry by Cathay Che becomes a more interesting read as Harry’s life and career progress. The interview with Harry’s long-term partner and Blondie guitarist Chris Stein – who Harry nursed back to health when he suffered from a rare skin condition – is also a treat. I never saw Blondie, but that does not stop me having a Debbie Harry story. Oh no.
It’s around 1990. My flatmate, who works at a music magazine, calls me and asks if I want to see Debbie Harry’s new band at a London venue called Break for the Border. He can get me on the guest list. Why, certainly, I said. I had to get a move on, though. This was a last-minute deal. I high-tailed it up to the Charing Cross Road and thought I might just make the first number.
I more or less ran into the venue, not realising that I had taken the wrong entrance and was actually under the main stage. Being a total duffer when it comes to sense of direction, instead of the obvious right I should have taken, I went left, and stupidly took a racing line. If there had been someone coming the other way, I would have run into them. There was someone coming the other way. I ran into them.
I did that thing you do when you literally run into someone. I placed a hand on either arm of the lady I had bumped into and apologised. Resplendent in leopard-print pants and a fabulous blouse, the lady seemed unfazed by my antics. I looked into her eyes and all I could think to say was,
‘You’re Debbie Harry’.
She coolly replied,
‘Yes I am, sweetie. And I’m late.’
And with that particular smile from the world’s most famous Cupid’s bow, she made her way to the stage. I legged it back out, found the correct entrance, confirmed that my name was on the guest list, and got into the auditorium just as Ms. Harry hit the stage – with a rejuvenated Chris Stein – to rip through an excellent set of classics and new material.
So, what you have to force yourself to accept is this.
I have held Debbie Harry in my arms.
Old man river
Well, it has finally reached 50. Like I did a long while ago. Enoch Powell’s so-called ‘Rivers of blood’ speech has probably had more words written about it than Thucydides’ funeral oration for Pericles. Powell edited the works of Thucydides for the Oxford University Press, incidentally. The youngest professor of Greek in the British Empire, Powell used to take down his House of Commons notes in Ancient Greek, in which he was fluent, as he was in several other languages including Urdu. Diane Abbott probably uses crayon for her notes and does them in pictures. This is where we have got to.
I am not going to bother to point out why Powell’s ‘rivers of blood’ speech is mis-named, or why Powell was right, or why he was the greatest Prime Minister Britain never had. All I will say is this. My brother once met Sir Edward Heath, the man responsible for Powell being dismissed from his post. My brother is wonderful, but I regret that he neglected to address the Rt. Hon. Mr. Heath as he should have been addressed.
George Cornell was a London gangster who died in a London pub called The Blind Beggar – where I have drunk many times – when he was shot in the head by Ronnie Kray. Kray had taken offence to being referred to as what my brother really ought to have called Heath;
‘You fat poof’.
An influential, intelligent black woman. Wrong type, sadly
Now, this could be a false flag operation, and I am taking care not to be fooled. Rapper Kanye West has endorsed Candace Owens, a feisty black girl with an IQ – I would imagine – at least two standard deviations above the musically appalling West. This has driven some of his herd into predictable boo-hoo mode, in much the same way that Morrissey fans have been tearing out their pubic hair over his comments from last week. Owens really is worth watching – more than you can say for West, who has always looked just that little bit retarded to me – and I have written about her in previous postcards. She is also known as ‘Red pill black’. Once again, it is house nigger time. Black people are, of course, magic negroes, but only if they talk right. Owens is a classical conservative, much like myself, who criticises the black ‘community’ - you know, the one that shoots each other – for living in the past and not the future. A past, she adds, through which they did not themselves live. A chorus of disapproval has been her reward. You can be black, but y’all behave, you hear me? And talk right, dammit. Blacks today have swapped actual plantations for ideological ones.
The Frenchman it's okay to like
Thanks for the memories, Arsène
Finally, Arsène Wenger, manager of my team, Arsenal FC, has announced that he will leave the club. Almost 22 years in the job, and the longest-serving manager in the British Premier League, he won three league titles, seven FA Cups, got the team to the Champions League final, and provided me, quite frankly, with more pleasure than most Frenchmen ever have. Before being knocked out of this year’s FA Cup by Nottingham Forest, Arsenal had won that trophy three years out of four. I saw those respective finals on the goggle-box in London, Munich and Costa Rica. The FA Cup has been belittled in recent years, because FIFA now promotes the European Champions League, the FA Cup being seen as too nationalistic, but it is still more exciting than poofs in blouses and footballs with stars on them.
The players who played under Wenger are legendary. Wright, Bergkamp, Pires, Vieira, Petit, Henry; the list is a long one.
Wenger was an unpromising player, although I deem a photograph of his manager at Strasbourg, Gilbert Gress, essential at this point. Now that all soccer managers look like accountants, I feel it is worth pointing out that it is cooler to look like the bass player in a Velvet Underground Tribute band formed by ex-members of Baader Meinhof.
So, farewell then, Mr. Wenger. How rare it is that famous people in these times give me genuine pleasure. The Europa Cup would be a nice retirement present.
Oh, Canada. What the fuck were you thinking?
The dangers of narcissism
Toronto has perhaps seen the version of Islam that the European press has been trying to suppress. Hmm, an etymological link there, I feel. Anyone not taking Chlorpromazine three times a day, wearing a rubber hat, and resident in a psychiatric hospital can see what Trudeau is. He is a show pony enjoying the limelight. He likes going on his trips, wearing a new hat every day like Mr. Benn, and showing Muslims what a great guy he is. I am still waiting for what his explanation of this week’s vehicular jihad in Toronto will be, to find out if it turns out to be another Muslim attack. Trudeau is the man, let us recall, who stated that ‘if you kill your enemies, they win.’ I hope the charming gentleman from Toronto who I recently played in a band with here – an excellent keyboard player – and his wonderful daughter are not among the dead, injured, or affected.