Idle Eye 165 : The Best Things in Life Are Free

Really? Now come on, Beatles/Flying Lizards/Janet Jackson, I’ve been around the block a few times and I beg to differ. Try telling that to the head waiter at whichever vulgar joint you’ve taken your better half to on his/her significant day and see just how much mustard it cuts. Or perhaps try your hand in one of those St James of London costumiers, where you can bag for gratis hand-stitched pyjamas with piping at the collars and cuffs if you simply mention how highly you rate them. The trouble with the above is that it is a phrase coined in the 1960s, when highfalutin ideals were chucked about without too much attention to detail. For the Age of Aquarius would have been tainted beyond recognition if there were a price tag attached to it.

I’m not being wilfully ignorant here. Of course, the implied best thing is love. Which, as we all know, comes at you from a place where there is no currency. It is the one thing that, in order to achieve it, we would pay any price for and yet it cannot be bought. It stands resolutely alone, across boundaries of race, logic and age. It defies the mores of any epoch it springs up inside and, to this day, remains enigmatically aloof. Literature feeds off it, science can’t get to grips with it and when it strikes, is truly egalitarian. And in that respect, it holds all the cards. Nothing else comes close.

But sod that, you can still buy it. I’m not recommending it as an option, but you can. As long as you can deal with the lack of intimacy, profundity and its cataclysmic, life-altering potential, a version of it is out there for sale. And for some, this is enough. The Prozac Nation, neutered variant will always be attractive to those who, for whatever reason, are unable to shore up to the real thing. Sometimes I wish I could join their ranks, but sadly I am destined to follow each and every gut-wrenching affair of the heart to no matter where it may lead. For which I make no apology. I am what God made me.

As for the other stuff, well it’s just bollocks innit? Name me three things that you can’t have if you get the chequebook out and I’ll shout you a meal at the Ivy. As long as you book the window table and get them to waiver the no jeans policy. There was a time, eons ago, when the finer points of human achievement were considered to be at the zenith of where we are headed as a species, way beyond the grasp of cupidity. But no longer. These days, everything comes at a cost, particularly the very things that shouldn’t. I am loathe to drag current affairs into this particular diatribe but seriously, do your research.

IE is available for children’s parties etc…

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