Thursday, November 20, 2003

A Sigh of Relief

Greetings, all.

Let me begin by saying something unequivocal and simple: Being sick blows. I've been nursing myself to some semblance of health since Sunday evening, with only sporadic moments of success. Four days into the brain-crunching, chest-constricting terror of it all, I actually kind of feel like myself today -- minus the ringing in my right ear, which I've actually kind of taken to.

Only a couple of blogworthy things at the moment, though. First, I briefly attended an anti-Bush demonstration in Glasgow. Even at my healthiest I'm not much of a protester -- so you should not be too surprised to learn that I did not (a) march through rush-hour traffic filled streets, (b) carry a placard or a sign with some sort of witty sexual innuendo referencing 'Bush', or (c) spend 50p on a tiny peace button. Oh, and I did not (d) participate in the particularly vile chant 'Who let the bombs out? Bush Bush Bush Bush!' You, my friends, know that there is no love lost between me and my country's leader, and I certainly didn't take offense at the personal attacks on him; but at the same time, most of the chants and such all seemed a bit too youthfully exuberant and naive -- they with their Che Guevara t-shirts purchased no doubt from the local alterna-shop conveniently located next to Ann Summers -- but more importantly, utterly uncreative. If I see one more effigy of Bush dressed like a Taliban cleric, I think I might just vote for him out of good ol' American spite. (Okay, maybe not.) But hey, kudos to the hundreds of pensioners I saw in the crowd. Genial, dignified, and intelligently earnest . . . good on ya. Protests are as much about public relations as they are about making the disempowered discontents feel good about themselves and reinforce their conviction that they aren't the only person pissed off about something. You get enough grey heads with money in those marches, and you have something that really sells to the masses -- well, obviously, not just grey heads, otherwise church attendance would be through the roof in Europe.

I waded through the sea of people and menacing-looking police horses, and made it back to the flat just in time to watch Scotland get the shit kicked out of them by Holland in the away leg of their Euro 2004 playoff, during which a valuable lesson was learned. I.e., watching an ugly 6-0 loss is made even uglier when your girlfriend, due to her allegiance to the lowlands of Europe, is, after each goal, pointing at you from the middle of the living room while slightly squatted, like a sumo wrestler ready to pounce, and bellowing in a demonic tenor: 'You knew it, Bitch!'

Nevertheless, my quiet life of domesticity returned, more or less intact, by watching a couple more episodes of 24 (season one). I'm really late on this particular bandwagon, but such is life when you don't have a television for nearly two years. Mindless fun, that 24 -- if you can get beyond those gaping chasms of disbelief it inevitably evokes.

Oh, and lastly, (and yes, I know this is a complete non sequitur, as it has nothing to do with me, but aren't you happy to know that blogging hasn't made me into a complete narcissist? doesn't that make me the coolest, best blogger of the bunch?), rejoice with me, in the imminent return of Berkeley Breathed to America's cartoon pages. And while you're rejoicing, relish the caustic wit that Jim Davis only wishes his Garfield-writers could muster. Don't let your paper get away with not running 'Opus' . . . make some noise if you don't see it on Sunday.