There’s snow everywhere, it’s freezing cold, there is cynicism running deep and true throughout all facets of the mee-jer and I’ve recommenced making filthy comments in the company of women. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…
Hello again UK. I have returned to you in a haze, dark-eyed and scruffy-looking outside Heathrow at seven in the AM, freezing my tits off and watching the sunrise. Exactly where I wanted to be. I had been perversely looking forward to feeling cold again during the last couple of weeks of my time in Hong Kong and I got my wish immediately after stepping off the Jet Airways flight from Mumbai. I can highly recommend Jet Airways by the by, they’re great apart from their bottled salty lemon drink. Try marketing that to the rest of the world: ‘Are you tired of your piss-weak lemon squash not having enough salt in it? I know I am!’ Their only other downside is they will keep walking you through the premier seats to get to your leg-crippler special cattle class seat (although being an Indian airline, I imagine a supposed ‘cattle’ class would be off the hook luxury). The special thing about flying into the UK during the Winter time is the icy blasts of air shoot at you from all angles even during the short walk down the tunnel from the plane to the airport. You know you’re home. And if that doesn’t clue you in the haggard, three-day-growth-of-beard men in high-visibility jackets glowering at you will do it. My father picked me up outside the airport in what can only be called a military quality precision strike. We timed it so damn well he barely had to slow the car down. Our trajectories met perfectly, me strutting out with suitcase in tow and him cruising by the drop-off point. It could only have been better if he had left the back door open and I had rolled in but at that time in the morning strutting and grunting was all I was good for. Like a premier league footballer!
Five hours later I was home and had just crossed the twenty-fourth hour spent travelling in one way or another. I promptly slept for twelve hours. Sorry if you were calling me or anything. The second night I slept for six hours. This was worrying. I expected to exponentially lose sleep hours every night until my eyes retreated to the very back of my skull, revealing only the slightest pin pricks of red peeking out from the cavities in my face but no, panic averted I sleep fine. The only problem is the internship appears to have killed my ability to lie-in. At seven in the morning I’m wide awake and there’s not a thing I can do about it. Next stop slippers, dogs and mortgage shopping! Piss off adulthood, I’m not ready for you.
Having said that though, clearly my teenage years are but a distant memory judging by how I find myself reacting to the whole Rage Against the Machine Christmas Number One blah. I first became aware of this, like most I imagine, because of the near constant invites to join Facebook groups. Facebook has of course replaced ‘money’ as ‘the root of all evil’… Hang on no, I mean – replaced ‘MySpace’ as ‘the most popular social networking tool of people aged 18-39’ obviously… so it had it’s many tentacled arms all over any undertaking such as this. My first thought apart from ‘What is this nonsense?’ was ‘For god’s sake stop inviting me!’ but then ‘And what do Rage themselves think of this?’ Being somewhat anti-capitalist and barely making any money from their past releases due to given most of the proceeds to charity (as well as the many dubious political projects Mr. De La Rocha is allegedly involved in) I couldn’t imagine they’d be delighted to be part of a race to push one of their earliest songs to UK Christmas number one, a mire of talent black holes and tunnel-visioned money grabs that surely represent the worst aspects of the British music world. When it was announced, however, that Rage had indeed beaten Simon Cowell’s newest hopeful to Christmas number one they accepted in good grace and announced all proceeds would go to charities as well as a free gig to say thanks (good luck getting into that one when the night comes). Huzzah! they cry, the X-Factor has been beaten and by one of the bands angry young suburban types like to latch on to! ‘Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me’ indeed! I’m sure we all have fond memories of discovering Rage Against the Machine in our youth but the irony can’t have escaped everyone that this track got to number one because a bunch of people did what Facebook told them. It’s not even remotely in the spirit of the song’s original intent but anything that pisses off Simon Cowell gets the thumb ups eh? Fair enough, except Sony BMG produced Killing in the Name and coincidentally Sony BMG pays a sizable wage to Cowell on account of all the shares he has in them. Don’t be fooled into thinking Cowell is cut up by any of this, he almost certainly reaped at least some of the benefits indirectly. It just makes his ‘it’s cynical’ comment even more teeth-clenchingly, bile-inducingly, irritating.
[BREAKING NEWS:] Very shortly after writing all this business, I now learn that the couple who started the Rage Christmas number one campaign have been offered jobs by Simon Cowell on account of how they’re obviously such good publicists. So yeah, that’s that, Cowell’s an android, there is no good in the world and everyone is brain-dead. MERRY CHRISTMAS.
This is of course very unimportant in the grand scheme of Christmas. You wouldn’t know it by the sounds of things but the Christmas number one means next to bugger all compared to the better aspects of the festive period. Family, eating too much, having a nice pile of nice things you want without having paid for any of it, David Tennant leaving Dr Who and taking Russel T Davies with him! We have the very real possibility of the first white Christmas for years and even I like snow. There is so many nasty little things about Christmas that it’s very easy to dread the oncoming event, heralded as it is by naff toy adverts, naffer talent contests and those segment on magazine shows about how we’re all supposed to do it. There’s no proper way to do Christmas apart from the way your family does it. Don’t let the bullshit (the tons and tons of bullshit) bury the good bits. I feel a contrived metaphor coming along so I’ll avoid it by simply saying: Christmas? Well Christmas is awesome.