Idle Eye 144 : The Kanye Conspiracy

Remember last year? Me neither, which is the predominant reason I churn out this self-indulgent effluent every week. So that, in a quiet moment of the day when the wine fog has lifted, I can claw back clues as to my activities over the last three and a half years, and make out I have near-perfect recall. Yes, like that bloke out of Neighbours (what was his name?) in Memento. So, imagine my surprise when I discovered I had attended the Glastonbury festival. Quite willingly, apparently. Can that be right? And why on earth would I have agreed to such a thing, being as I am rather ancient and unsuitably constructed for the al fresco activities of youth?

I dug a little deeper, only to find out that, to my horror, I am going again in June. And that I have already shelled out perfectly good moolah for the privilege. What fresh hell is this? If ever there was a deterrent to the perils of Pinot… Anyway, my fate being sealed thus, I thought it prudent to at least find out exactly who I shall be forced to watch, and in narratively convenient fashion, the organisers announced yesterday that someone called Kanye West will be headlining on the big stage. Kanye West? Who the shoo is she? I thought it was a holiday destination for wealthy folk, somewhere near the Keys in Florida. And whilst I realise I no longer fit the festival demographic, you’d think they could at least meet me half way: The Bay City Rollers still have a bit of spunk left, and young people can mock them on the Twitter if they get bored.

Seeing as I already had my detective hat on, I discreetly asked my niece to get me up to speed, ignorance being no excuse in these matters:

Poppy:  Are you for real?

Me:  Yes, I think so.

Poppy:  No, I mean you’ve never heard of Kanye West???

Me:  I haven’t. Does that make me a bad person?

Poppy:  He’s only the biggest rapper in the world!

Me:  Rapper, you say?

Poppy:  Yes, rapper! And he’s married to Kim Kardashian. Keep up!

Me:  Kim who?

Poppy:  Oh for God’s sake! Kardashian! With the massive arse.

(long pause)

Poppy:  You really don’t know, do you?

Me:  I’m afraid not.

Poppy:  Have you been living under a rock for the last ten years?

Me:  Of course not. But wasn’t she at Glastonbury last year with her band?

Poppy:  That was Kasabian!

Me:  Is there a difference?

Poppy:  I’ve got to go now…

So, none the wiser then. But at least I’ve gleaned that this Kanye chap has a wife with a big bottom, which will surely hold me in good stead when I’m standing in a Somerset field, knee-deep in mud and surrounded by children who know who he is. What was it again? Kim something? I wonder if she’s from North Korea.

Idle Eye 87 : The Quantitative Theory of Stuff

Contrary to popular belief, the trouble with getting on a bit has not so much to do with the various bits of you packing up, but that the grey bits you actually have left are already at capacity. They’re maxed out. Overloaded. Which means that if you so choose to bring something fresh on board, say a critically-acclaimed movie or this year’s page-turner, you have to bin an existing item to make room. You’d think this would be pretty straightforward, wouldn’t you? Out with the old, in with the new, and everything ticks along nicely, right? Wrong.

Why so, you ask? Well, the ageing brain does not give up its data lightly, oh no. It’s a hoarder. So when the new kids on the block come a-knockin’, it balks like a reluctant dog with his special stick. Let me give you an example: Last week, I made the mistake of telling a younger colleague that I had never listened to One Direction. Not once. No space for any direction now, I explained, it’s all filled up with grown-up business. This did not go down well:

Youth:  You serious?

Me:  Absolutely. Don’t judge me, it’s just what happens. You’ll understand one day.

Youth:  But they are huuuuge!!! And OD make more dough in a day than you’ll get in your lifetime, grandad!

Me:  Apparently so. How do you think that makes me feel?

Youth:  Old/sad?

Me:  Now look. I know this is going to be hard for you to take in, but it’s just stuff. And I’ve got years and years of stuff rattling around in there. It’s got nothing to do with One Direction: I’ve never listened to Taylor Swift, never listened to JLS, never listened to Miley Cyrus. And you’d probably think it a bit odd if I had. I’m in my forties and, I’ll be frank with you, they’re all shit. So why would I even bother?

Youth:  Nothing to do with them being shit, man. Just being current. You’ll understand one day.

Touché. But I look forward to the day when her head is rammed to bursting with crucial stuff she just can’t let go of, and I can struggle out of my wheelchair if and when we next meet, twerk along to the dulcet tones of ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ and embarrass the crap out of her in front of her children. And if, for some strange reason, she has difficulty with this, I will recite, word perfect, the lyrics to ‘Bye Bye Baby’ by the Bay City Rollers and illustrate with a graph (or whatever Jonathan Ive equivalent is around at the time) the cyclical nature of the Quantitative Theory of Stuff. And maybe, just maybe, she will become aware of the sheer joy available to those who can shed the present. I hope to be high on that particular list.

Revenge, as they say, is a dish best served cold.