Today has been a most excellent day. I took Lyn to Chester, and we had a great time. We dropped in on the Joneses, and Lyn got to meet Charlie. They seemed to get on very well, although I suspected they would since they’re both musicians. We also started a plot to go to Amsterdam together – Lyn with her PA Denny in tow which I’m very excited about. I’ll write more about today’s events tomorrow, as I am really tired (I only just got in, as the first bus failed to stop). Nevertheless, I’m going to bed very happy indeed.
Lyn is coming tonight. She’ll be here quite soon – well, in 85 minutes. Whenever I’m expecting anyone, be it Lyn, Charlie, my parents, I always feel uneasy. It’s a sort of restlessness of anticipation, tinged with concern. Will she get here ok? What will we do for tea? Have I bought her enough presents. Well, on this last count, I know I haven’t, because I was prevented from getting on the bus to go shopping yesterday. Lyn said she understood, but it’s still bloody annoying.
Well, this evening should be fun. We are going to the pub with Ricardio; I need to find out what’s happening with roadwork. Then we come home, then…[trails off in weird spastic chuckles; Esther looks bemused] Make that 70 minutes
It just happened again. I was waiting for the twenty to take me to Crewe. One turns up but the driver – the same one as before – refused to let me on. I could easily have rolled onto the bus. Never have I encountered such a flagrant case of discrimination against disabled people, personally speaking. Rarely have I been so angry.
Legal advice welcome.
I was going to go to Crewe this morning for more money, but I experienced the same problem as yesterday – the battery hit red before I got to the bus stop. I returned to campus, emailed my father, and began thinking about Freud.
Freud fascinates me increasingly these days, especially the relationship between language, art and the unconscious. Recently I’ve been thinking about the idea of contingent, where symbolic structures like language go beyond themselves and reveal or trigger something in the unconscious. The classic example is the Freudian slip; another is the punctum of Barthes. We can never fully articulate why we are effected by the contingent because it goes beyond language – what Lacan calls the symbolic. This is why I think the real of Lacan and the id of Freud are, if not the same thing then very similar. Mind you, when I put this to Alan, he said ‘don’t go there, just don’t.’
This morning I was thinking about music and how it fits into all this. music is a structural art; many would say it is a language. Yet, lyrics aside, it seems to go beyond the symbolic and taps straight into the unconscious. Often it can move us deeply, but we can never express why. Thus there is something of both the symbolic and the real to it. It’s sort of like pure emotion; we are moved by it, but can never say why. Is it therefore all contingent? After all, music is often composed by trial and error unless you’re Mozart, you try several things out before deciding on the ‘right’ notes. But, then again, what about music’s language-like qualities? In music, the relationship between sign and signified are arbitrary, as in language, yet this relationship is fixed and universal. If you play the same piece of music to several ethnic groups from across the world, do they not feel the same thing? It seems that music fits both categories – symbolic and real, contingent and linguistic, id and ego. It is (a) language, yet goes beyond language.
This, of course, has a bearing on my work on cinephilia. Film too taps directly into the emotions: we experience cinephiliac moments (Keathley) and are ‘wounded’ by the accident in the image. Yet film too is linguistic and structural, and there for us to decode. In a way, film is sort of like music inasmuch as editing follows rhythmic patterns and so on. Both have a direct route into the unconscious, and I think that is why they are the two most ubiquitous art forms of our time.
I have been trying out another chair today – a groove, for the second time. It certainly is the best of the bunch, going like shit off a shovel and manoeuvring like an Apache helicopter. My one reservation is that the model I have has no stamina: me and lee were going for a ride, him in defiant, me in the as yet unnamed groove; halfway down church road, heading into the village, my charge-metre was already on red. I’m sure it arrived full of charge, and I’d only used it a bit on campus. I strongly suspect that this problem is specific to this machine, and when I get a new one – which now seems likely – it’ll have as much go as defiant. Nevertheless, I’ve had to place her on charge and use my old chair this evening.
This is unfair I was just on facebook, where I did three things: first, I replied to Alex’s message. I hadn’t heard from him in about two years, probably since graduation. He’s currently in Jakarta teaching English (well, Scottish) to Indonesian kids. Then I saw Emma’s profile. Her visa has arrived. She’s off to china to work for six months. Then I looked at the pictures my friend Natalie (who I went to Paris with the first time) posted, taken in Thailand and consisting mostly of images of beaches and yacht decks. Meanwhile I’m still in alsager, where it looks like rain. It aint right!
oh yeah, my hitcount has ticked over the 30,000 mark. 30,000 is also the number of words my m.a thesis has to be, but i hope it doesn’t takke 6 years to get to that point.
Yesterday was a most interesting day indeed. On Friday Esther mentioned that she and her family intended to go to Holly Holy Day, an annual event held in
Nantwich where the Sealed Knot recreate the battle of said town. Being into that sort of thing, yet never actually having seen a battle recreation before, I asked rob to take me.
I wasn’t disappointed. First we found this quaint old pub in which to wait for the battle. It was something out of Tolkien, with rustic music and people in seventeent century clothing coming in and out. I also bumped into one of my former classroom assistants from school.
The battle itself was loud and chaotic. Parts resembled a rugby match. They had three cannon which fired with a huge boom (as one might expect from a cannon). I was a bit disappointed that nobody appeared to be dying. Well, not really dying – I did not expect people to lay down their lives for the sake of reinactment – but simulated death. Nobody was lying down, or having to go off the field (as in warhammer). There didn’t appear to be any blood either. I thought the thing would have been considerably more gruesome.
Nantwich as it turns out was something of a turning point in the civil war. According to wikipedia, ” Nantwich was considered to be strategically significant both by the Parliamentarians and the Royalists since it was a conjunction of several roads. It is seen by some as a watershed in the Civil War since it is thought that if Nantwich had fallen the Royalists would have been clear to march to Scotland to join forces with General Montrose, who was ready to combine with them.”
In the end, parliament won the battle, again. It was a fascinating insight into that period of our history; I felt I learned rather a lot. After the battle, we went back to the pub, and then back home, getting a pizza on our way. I wonder if they had pizzas in 1644.
I was inspired to put together this short video a couple of nights ago. I’ll let ot speak for itself, save to say that I hope you like it.
A curious paradox has occurred to me. On Wednesday night I was in Brandies. I had decided to dress up: I was in a pink skirt and cardigan. Theses days it’s not unusual for me to dress in girls clothes. However, part way through the evening I saw one of the football players had blacked up and dressed as John Vashanou. I felt utterly disgusted – it struck me as very racist indeed. But then I asked myself why it is okay for me to transgress gender boundaries but not okay for him to transgress skin colour boundaries. Why was The Black and White Minstrel Show banned, but not Eddie Izzard or Lilly Savage? I think part of the answer lies in motivation. I do not dress to take the piss but to experience something of femininity. It’s part of my personality. This jackass was just being provocative and racist. I suspect he thought he was being brave and witty.
I guess I should have expected it from one of the footballers.