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The Ninja Turtle Muslim women outside are strolling around, gabbling in Gujerati (according to my friend, who speaks a little of it). I like how they add to the life of the street, whilst not enjoying the separatism. I deliberately say good morning to them when they're in their niqabs. They never reply.
Erica asks me if I'm out and we end up in the Ring O'Bells' beer garden with some mutual friends and a new man, who is being attentive to G's irritating fussing over her food in that solicitious way which suggests they haven't been together long. "Is that G's boyf?" I ask Erica, when they're outside. "Yes, she says. He's been through everyone in their band and now he's going through her." His sexual appetite has riven the band, which has fallen apart in acrimony.
Our group accretes until we're edging out some people at the next table. They offer to move, an offer I thought we should decline. "I feel really bad about this," says a gaudily adorned young woman with a glistening greased terracotta face. Well, no, if you felt "really bad" about it you'd refuse their offer to move and arrange the seating to your own inconvenience.
It's enjoyable for about two hours, but then I've run out of things to say, and everyone, without exception, is smoking.
I leave and bump into another set of people in another pub where we have a more interesting conversation about musical subcultures and chavdom. In the tiny back yard, a woman with a huge coffee stain on her white cotton trousers sits next to us. Her phone dings repeatedly and she laps texts up as a protection; and contributes cautious, occasional remarks.
A stranger is there, who bridles at my use of the word "chav" and presents the liberal case for it being classified as taboo. An attractive man from Edinburgh I vaguely know pulls the rug from both of our fixed positions, and someone leaning a yard away chimes in with an unrelated sentence, a pessimistic view of social life that he wants to generalise from his own. None of us can see that, and we offer reasons why that is wrong. "Are you a psychologist?" he asks me.
I get home and I am momentarily unbelieving to hear that I've been selected to take part in a performance art project sponsored by the Live Art Development Agency. It's about an anarchist bomb plot in 1882, and will take place at the New Art Gallery in Walsall in October. Looking back at my application, I realised that my short bio doesn't actually look that bad; but it's still exciting to be chosen.
looby read Music and Philosophy at Lancaster and completed an MA there in Contemporary Arts Research in 2010. His one man show "John Cage's Disco Classics" was described after its presentation at Oxford Playhouse as "inspired and highly original." He has collaborated with Israeli filmmaker and performance artist Shelly Nadashi in shows at the Glasgow Festival of DIY Art, Glasgow International, and at L'Etablissement d'en Face in Brussels. His new piece, "Spank Your Blank Blank", will be premiered on the site of a demolished primary school later this year.
In the evening, my friend and I are at the Northern Soul night, where we are able to adhere befittingly to its protocols. He calls me away from the music and hands me a triangular wrap of greaseproof paper. It's Ritalin. I'd never had it before. It was most enjoyable, but it falls some way short of the simple, crude, breathtaking, acceleration of the common illegal member of its family.
The man in the pub was saying that it's just a changeable label for the underclass (which might be true, although I think all labels have theor flavours) and was necessarily reprehensible, as if the underclass are immune from criticism.
Didn't realise you suffered from that...
By the way I've booked my train tickets for the Soul Weekender.
That's a nice bio! All meat. No filler.
Have you ever taken ecstasy? I always wanted to but missed the boat on that one.
UB: Glad that's how the cv comes across. Re Muslims: the man next door but one has lived here for 47 years and still only speaks Gujerati. So he must be choosing to do that, rather than learn the language of his adopted country. And this fucking niqab business. But I hope you'll write about the Mosque open house, which is more how intercultural relations should go.
I've had lots of so-called "e", but most of it was MDA or MDE, not MDMA. MDMA is difficult to synthesise, chemically and organisationally. Most of what was sold as e in the UK in the 80s was MDE, which is easier to make and makes your legs go heavy and you feel unpleasantly out of it. Real MDMA, when you could find it, was the most overwhelmingly pleasurable drug I have ever had. On those rare nights, when everyone was on it, and it was real MDMA, it made dancing into an otherwordly, joyful, shared experience.
Non drug takers always say "But I don't need that to feel like that." Oh yes you do baby. Drop this and tell me you can feel the same way on beer or soda water.
congrats on the performance gig. have to agree that the bio looks good!
YAH: Damn! I'd have had them off him!
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