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Shhh!

  Sat 28th December 2013

Do they know it's Christmas?


The best response to a Christmas present came from my youngest, Melanie. As she unwrapped a black roll-neck jumper, she said "Let's get naked, and smoke!"

I'm not sure how my Mum sees me but it became clearer with her present. Trina got us these crackers with wind-up penguins inside them, so we set the drunkards and the penguins off together on the dinner table. They all wobbled and clattered comically together. It felt dissolute, the whole thing, and the little moments of trying not to appear too pissed in front of my daughters. My New Year's Resolution is to drink more port.

Kirsty's brother landed on Christmas Eve stayed overnight, to break his journey to Edinburgh to see his children. He's a conscientious Dad, who's had a couple of good-looking intelligent girlfriends leave him. One of them was his girls' charismatic mother, a sexy, selfish Welsh girl who did Cultural Studies. Several years ago she gave me her copy of Derrida's On Grammatology as a book to laugh at, the Emperor with no clothes in his transparent pomp. I wasn't interested in Derrida; I was trying to preface something else.

Nev's in about as much debt as I am. We stood at the kitchen door while he smoked and swapped tales of debt collectors, bailiffs and artful lying on the phone, when you get trapped into answering it. I said "I don't really worry about these phone calls. I've got this ability to talk for ages, on and on and on, without actually saying anything." "Really? I'd never noticed," said Kirsty. We went out for our tea at the local right-on vegetarian cafe. It's popular with middle class people who like the feeling of safety it gives them, knowing that they'll only ever meet people like themselves.

Tonight I gathered up everything and left Kirsty's after three days' residence and came back to mine. I've now got the enjoyable task of putting the music together for my NYE do. A coal fire, purple fairly lights glistering in the tinsel, and a soundtrack of disco-going-on-house with incomprehensible but transcendentally meaningful refrains chanted by big black men.

9 comments

Can you post a partial playlist for your NYE gig? Interesting to know what you’re feeding the masses. Lovely cat pic. Never thought I’d see one posted in this space.

Sat 28th December 2013 @ 14:11
Comment from: [Member]

love the wind-up drunkards. i’m thinking i can work this into a halloween costume for next year….

Sat 28th December 2013 @ 15:08
Comment from: Chef [Visitor]

People struggling to pay bills, mortgages or crazy government taxes are very seldom troubled by debt collectors who normally call between the hours of 9 - 5 and are quite harmless.

However, dishonest people, usually thieves, con men, wannabe drug lords and especially Nigerian/Somalian/Chechen gents trying to defraud honest Glaswegian businessmen over gambling debts, unsecured loans and business fraud, tend to wake up around 4am, just before the first blow of a nice cold lead pipe rattles off their knees.

They all tend wobble and clatter comically enough, so I hear…

Sat 28th December 2013 @ 17:54
Comment from: [Member]

I don’t think the playlist would make much sense or be of any interest to anyone apart from perhaps Jen, so instead of that, I’ll post a track I which, were I actually djing, I would wait until everyone is absolutely off it to play. I don’t like posting music on my blog because there’s a risk that it’s deracinated from its social and physical context in exchange for a diluted, context-free spectacular pleasure, but seeing as it’s you, this is what will be playing at fuck knows o’clock at 44 Acacia Avenue… Moodyman–Black Mahogany

DF–They’re great aren’t they? Post the results next October.

Chef–This obsession with lead pipes–I reckon you’ve been playing too much Cluedo.

Sun 29th December 2013 @ 22:38
Comment from: Hipster Yaya [Visitor]

You’ve been very efficient posting while I was sleeping it off, Looby. Allow me to catch up with your posts, which are a pleasure reading.

I disagree with you: Some of your readerships -among them, me- would be interested in the playlist of whatever the acronym NYE means (prolly Burdish slang that unfortunately I can’t understand). I’m sadly not on the ball. So once again, enlighten me, please. ;)

Mon 30th December 2013 @ 18:54
Comment from: Leni Qinan [Visitor]

Oh Looby, how could I possibly miss this post? My feedburner didn’t show it!

I just love the “Let’s get naked, and smoke!” slogan. It sounds very determined and feminist, so strong applause for Melanie and all those that got naked and smoked!

Mon 30th December 2013 @ 18:58
Comment from: [Member]

Yes Melanie –and the others– are good little feminists (although not smokers, thank God!)

NYE = New Year’s Eve. Now, I must admit, even for such a kindly-worded request from you Hipster, I can’t be bothered typing out the playlist for something that last year went on till past 7am.

I’ll post a couple of YT links instead, despite my reservations about doing this I mentioned a couple of comments ago. In fact, here you go–one of the best tracks of 2013, If You Take My Love - Kings of Soul.

And then if I was showing off I could play the original by Harvey Mason from 1977, which I’ve got on 12″.

Tue 31st December 2013 @ 01:42
Comment from: Tony [Visitor]

Bragging again I see Looby.

All the best for a great 2014.

Tue 31st December 2013 @ 10:00
Comment from: [Member]

I said I’ve got it on a twelve inch single. There’s a difference :)

Thanks, and the same to you!

Tue 31st December 2013 @ 12:26


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M / 60 / Bristol, "the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England" -- John Betjeman [1961, source eludes me].

"Looby is a left-wing intellectual who is obsessed with a) women's clothes and b) tits." -- Joy of Bex.

WLTM literate woman, 40-65. Must have nice tits, a PhD, and an mdma factory in the shed, although the first on its own will do in the short term.


There are plenty of bastards who drink moderately. Of course, I don't consider them to be people. They are not our comrades.
Sergei Korovin, quoted in Pavel Krusanov, The Blue Book of the Alcoholic

I am here to change my life. I am here to force myself to change my life.
Chinese man I met during Freshers Week at Lancaster University, 2008

The more democratised art becomes, the more we recognise in it our own mediocrity.
James Meek

Tell me, why is it that even when we are enjoying music, for instance, or a beautiful evening, or a conversation in agreeable company, it all seems no more than a hint of some infinite felicity existing apart somewhere, rather than actual happiness – such, I mean, as we ourselves can really possess?
Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

I hate the iPod; I hate the idea that music is such a personal thing that you can just stick some earplugs in your ears and have an experience with music. Music is a social phenomenon.
Jeremy Wagner

La vie poetique has its pleasures, and readings--ideally a long way from home--are one of them. I can pretend to be George Szirtes.
George Szirtes

Using words well is a social virtue. Use 'fortuitous' once more to mean 'fortunate' and you move an English word another step towards the dustbin. If your mistake took hold, no-one who valued clarity would be able to use the word again.
John Whale

One good thing about being a Marxist is that you don't have to pretend to like work.
Terry Eagleton, What Is A Novel?, Lancaster University, 1 Feb 2010

The working man is a fucking loser.
Mick, The Golden Lion, Lancaster, 21 Mar 2011

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