Monday, May 16, 2005

Hypocaust: Much Hot Air


Well. There was a really very entertaining post here, but my computer got tired and decided the world didn't need me being witty tonight. So, second try, but this time, briefer.

I was finally getting round to answering one of those awful blog memes. It's a thing called Caesar's Bath
This meme takes its name from Mel Brooks' A History of the World (Part I), and, upon receiving it, one is supposed to list five things that one's circle of friends or peer group is wild about, but that one can't really understand the fuss over. Quoth Caesar, "Nice. Nice. Not thrilling . . . but nice.

Actually, I've found myself idly thinking about this in odd moments, so have deemed it worthy of a reply. Well, that and I adore Lee, and he'll be upset if I'm sniffy at him. So, anyway, here we go.

Thing one: The Smiths

And bloody Morrissey too.

It seems to be compulsory that anyone of my age adore the Smiths; something to do with us all having been sensitive, individualist adolescents at exactly the right moment. And I do have a 'Best of' CD, but purely because I was feeling nostalgic for an ex-girlfriend whilst wandering around HMV sale one day.

The boy can't sing in tune, the lyrics are impenetrable, and the tunes are dirge like and miserablist. Once in a while I might be cheered by the one about the cemetery gates. But mostly, it's like fingers on a blackboard.

Of course, it's the one CD in my huge collection that my housemates are playing to death. That and McAlmont and Bloody Butler.

Maybe I should just expand that to 'Indie Pop'. Nice, nice, not thrilling.

Thing the Second: Make Up

Properly done, makeup is lovely. You know, for models and actresses and photo shoots. But I really don't understand why people want to wear it every day. It requires so much expense and effort, not to mention a three-step skincare routine. One ends up looking like a cheap hooker, and frankly it brings me out in terrible spots. It gets worn only to black tie or black rubber events, in my case.

This thing actually gets extended out to long fingernails, too. I actually really like nail varnish, but anything long enough to drum on table tops... no. I'm sorry, I know exactly what kind of injuries those babies cause, and I don't believe your line about surgical gloves and cotton wool and being careful; keep them away from me.

Thing the Third: Anonymous Casual Sex

I hang around with enough gay men and wanton women to hear many exciting stories about the thrill of the random pick-up. Of all the things, actually, this is the one that pains me most; I'd love to be able to do the quick cruise and away. Alas, for me, without a good run up - a week or two of conversation, email exchanges, whatever - it's just so much tedious frottage, frankly.

I want them for their minds.

I just don't get how people can have the instant sexual attraction and not care at all about what comes out of said persons' mouth. There have been moments when I've seen the most beautiful creatures, then discounted them instantly I realised they had an uneducated voice - be it accent or turn of phrase.

I can't get off without that tantalising glimmer of raw intelligence. Anything else is nice, nice, but not thrilling.

Thing the Fourth: Spiritual things, New Age things, and Wooly Science

Only good as a foundation for art works; give me cold, hard facts, and don't trouble me with your mysterious food supplements, gewgaws, faux mysticism and flummery.

You are on your own. Take responsibility, realise there is nothing 'out there', and get on with living your life as a miracle of provable, scientific nature. I don't begrudge you it, I just don't want you to try and justify your irrationality to me. Be honest about what the irrationality gives you, don't try to pass it off as truth. Woe betide you if you start adversely affecting another's quality of life with your misguided beliefs; I'm looking at you, the Christian Scientists who don't allow their children proper access to medical care.

And yes, this covers a wide spectrum from organised religion through to health foods.

This thing actually started out as 'The Da Vinci Code' - but, as you can see, it diversified. There is a space in life for spirituality, yes; but it is a place for the individual, not the organised or the business opportunity.

Thing the Fifth: Doctor Who

Well, yes, this is tantamount to treason. Now, I'm enjoying the new series, yes. And I am fond. But I am surrounded by people for whom it is an organising principal of their life.

The exact moment I realised that I just don't get Doctor Who was the moment that my housemate proudly showed me a copy of Club International that he'd saved since the early 80s because it had a topless picture of Lala Ward in it.

This week's episode was sweet, and entertaining. But, really, you knew Dad was going to pull through with an heroic suicide from a mile off.

Nice, nice, but not thrilling.

You'll understand if I don't send this on; randomly forwarding entertaining email memes very nearly made it into my list. But, dear reader, have a think about your very own Caesar's Baths... and drop me a comment if you decide to write them up. I'm genuinely interested, I just wouldn't dream of inopportuning you.

Actually, the Caesar's Bath attitude is one of which I'm very fond. There is a reason this blog is called Mildly Diverting: it is because as a person I am myself nice, but not thrilling, despite what my publicists would have you believe. I have spent a huge amount of effort even getting to this stage. Once day, I aspire to live up to my other domain name, Hardcore Irony.

But until then, this will do.


Ian Betteridge said...

> One ends up looking like a cheap hooker

And this is bad how? I've spent my life going for that look, and STILL somehow end up shopping in Gap.

And you don't already have a three step skincare routine?

/me runs screaming into the night.

Dan said...

Curiously, Morrissey's live cover of Redondo Beach, on paper perhaps the worst idea in the history of ideas, turns out to be rather wonderful.