Saturday, 12 August 2017

Self-promotion and self-sabotage


Despite my habitual August certainty that my life is unsustainable and a failure, I've written two ok things this month (nothing in the pipeline, this was a one-off, I'm back to copywriting about chain hotels and whispering vicious demotivational slogans to myself).

Today, a piece on television and teenagers. Since writing it (ages ago), we seem to have run out of good consensus telly: I've been dragged unwillingly through the latter half of Dexter (Quinn gets more and more brown and thin to the point where he becomes uncannily like the dessicated corpse of Ramses II in a striped shirt, Batista says "dio mio" a lot, Deb loses the plot to a point where there is NOWHERE left to go, emotional range wise, Charlotte Rampling is terrible) and failed to enthuse anyone about Fargo season 3. I just miss the happy days of Parks and Rec and 30 Rock. I want a good comedy, is that really too much to ask? The best laugh we've had in front of the telly as a family for months was watching David Guetta's set at Tomorrowland.

Last week a piece on the wonderful, extraordinary Mohamed El Bachiri whose wife was killed in the Brussels bombings. There was a lot in it, and in our conversation, about the Greeks, and especially the Odyssey, how important it is; how he's on his own quest, lost at sea with his motherless boys. There's more about it in his book, which is very special. I got an email from Prog Rock about it yesterday:

"Edwin Muir wrote a poem called The Return of Odysseus, where Penelope thinks "this is keep a vacant gate, where order and right and hope and peace can enter".  M E B's jihad, struggle to open and hold open a gate."

He always knows the right things, the things that shift and open your mind and your heart. I'm very lucky to have him in my life, for almost infinite reasons but especially that one.


This morning I demonstrated to my spouse my new technique to cope with Ouipette's post-illness tendency to do thirty tiny rabbit pellet shits a day by managing to use a single dog shit bag for two such pellets. He was utterly repelled, as well he might be even though it doesn't involve touching any shit, honest.

E: It's easy! And economical! Do you know how much all this is costing me? I've already shelled out for over €300 in vet's bills this month and O still needs to go back on Monday for his pre-England check. When I made the appointment this morning they welcomed me like the actual queen of England, that's how much money I've spent there recently.

Spouse (moving away from me with look of utter revulsion): Yeah I know we're broke, but that's a step too far for me.

Pretty sure that's the end of the physical aspect of our relationship.




Unknown said...

Is that a new hen?
I am back from London, where I had lovely time (amazing almond croissant at Bellanger), but confirmed my view I could only live there if I were a very rich woman, otherwise the grime etc would make me miserable. Like your other commenter, I wish my life was all about going to exhibitions and good places to eat.
Great piece on TV. I'm watching Man Up on the iPlayer for the second time, Lake Bell is astounding, and it is even better than the first time.

Unknown said...

Enjoyed Big Little Lies (just me, not the kind of thing my husband enjoys).

Clare said...

For comedy, The Good Place (same creator as Parks and Recreation). Not quite sure about how young the youngest is, but the boys may enjoy Silicon Valley. Maybe Gavin and Stacey?

Stacy said...

I feel your pain, even though it's just my husband and me. We just finished the third series of the Great British Bake Off on Netflix--he was skeptical the first series, but he loves it now as much as I do. And since that finished, we've been at a loss. His tastes run to sci-fi and more violent shows and mine, well, do not. The Venn diagram for Series We Can Both Enjoy is pretty limited here of late. I can't imagine adding two teenagers' opinions as well. Bonne chance.

just curious said...

My daughter and I bonded over 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, Peep Show and the IT Crowd. Lately it's been over Silicon Valley and Veep.
Agreed, the pickings have gotten slimmer lately.

Congratulations on being in the Guardian. Both articles were excellent!

Anonymous said...

When my daughter was a teen, she liked to watch the old Jeeves and Wooster series with Frye and Laurie with me. It's so deeply silly, it might win them over. -- Or The Detectorists? I am also a huge fan of The Yorkshire Vet, having discovered it on one of our Stuttgart cable system's two British channels. But my husband doesn't get it at all.

Thanks so much for the link to your Mohamed El Bachiri article. His TED talk gives me inspiration in a very bad news week.

cruella said...

Modern Family does it for me, which probably makes me something bad.

Kristine said...

Fantastic articles, thanks for linking to them. The TV with family one really resonated as my kids are still too young to watch most things with them, and I simply cannot watch their horrific Pokemon shows with them. I love myself too much to put myself through that. I tried once but then saw a character who literally has snot hanging out of his nose at all times (it seems to have something to do with his powers or evolution or some other form of nonsense) and I was out. I cannot wait until I can introduce my kids to my favorite shows, and I just hope they will enjoy them, too. And as far as I am concerned, anything Titus Andromedon ever says is gold. I crack up all the time (alone, of course) when I remember a throwaway line he said once about "The Bodyguard 2: Guard Her Harder." I can't even say it out lout without losing my s**t.
Thanks, as always, for your writing.

Suzy said...

Just started watching American Gods with my two young adult males - completely surreal in a Twin Peaks like fashion but I'm quite enjoying it.

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My city actually provides free dog poop bags in strategic spots. It might be hard to believe that such rampant socialism could happen in Trump's America, but I guess it hasn't reached his radar yet. Then again, I live in Charlottesville.

kath said...

Have you tried Community? We watched Class (Dr Who teen spinoff, written by Patrick Ness) in the back of the car on the way back from hols.

My spouse takes one bag, picks up poos and puts them in undergrowth, bag back in pocket continue. This is the enormous 3 poo per walk dog too. His dogwalking friend puts them IN HER HANDBAG.

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