everybody’s clever nowadays

I only sort of mean that. Actually I don’t really mean it at all. I was thinking about the Great Big Web Crescendo, the Digital Swell, this Pixelly Everpresentness and the Gadgetisation of Everything (call it what you will)… and the line from the end of Rubber Ring — everybody’s clever nowadays — has been stuck in my head ever since. It even led me to indulge in a bit of a Morrissey stint on the cross-trainer at the gym yesterday — an interesting choice of soundtrack, given I don’t choose the Pope of Mope to accompany me in any kind of sweat-related activity, ever.

I have to say, though, that You’re the one for me, fatty, was especially rousing. Perhaps even worthy of a permanent slot in my woefully underutilised gym playlist (although for the sake of accuracy here, neglect of the playlist is only a byproduct of my altogether woefully underutilised gym membership).

I think about the everybody’s clever thing a lot. With regard to technology, I mean. I can’t really help it. It’s sort of my job to talk about it in a work sense [it being the impact of technology on our lives, with special focus on the improvements technology brings]. But it spills over into everything, unstoppably.

I can’t possibly go into this in detail right now. It’s 1.55am. So I will cut right to my roughly-hatched conclusion, boiling it right down to pretty much nothing. Technology is awesome. But we will always be stupid, however awesome technology gets.

And for all its vaunted benefits, technology will never save us time. Because any time it saves us we pour right back into it. Because our attention spans are so rent asunder, and our time so divided in the face of the Availability of Absolutely Everything at All Times, that we lose any time we might have gained having to operate in a default headless chicken mode, trying to remember what it was we were doing 30 seconds ago. Um, I think I might have overstated my case there.

It’s 2.09 now. Tomorrow is a public holiday, which means I have no set bedtime. I have 500 words to write now before I can sleep. Although I might settle for 250 words + a promise of very good writing behaviour (not likely) tomorrow. 

11.06pm, maudlin st


A good risotto experiment. Monday down. Ocular condensation. Red tape. Word counts. Cold in the bones. An impending farewell. Wet towels. Dead birds gone missing. Mood lighting. Burrowing. Organisation. Disorganisation. Here and now. Now and here. Yes and no and mostly yes. 

Moulting protea/parched leucadendron. Open door policies. Sweaty windows. Chipped nails. Internet. Prayers. Bed.


But when I say prayers I mean more of the worry doll than the god variety.

Thinking about leaving tonight I thought of this. (Terrible recording, terrifying/terrific song.) Let’s just call it a touch of Monday melodrama and leave it at that. (Or we could call it how many ‘ohs’ can you fit into a single song but that would just be being conveniently cynical, so we won’t call it that at all.)

Winter coming / Winter push on / (push on) / Oh, winter push on / Winter is so long / Winter moves on

The last night on Maudlin Street / Goodbye house, goodbye stairs / I was born here / And I was raised here, and …I took some stick here

Love at first sight / may sound trite / But it’s true, you know / I could list the detail /Of everything you ever wore or said

Or how you stood the day / As we spent the last night / On Maudlin Street / “Goodbye house, forever!” / I never stole a happy hour  / Around here

Where the world’s ugliest boy /Became what you see / Here I am – the ugliest man / Oh, the last night on Maudlin Street

Truly I do love you / Oh, truly I do love you

When I sleep / With that picture of you framed beside my bed / Oh, it’s childish and it’s silly / But I think it’s you in my room, by the bed (…yes, I told you it was silly…)

And I know / I took strange pills / But I never meant to hurt you / Oh, truly I love you

Came home late one night / Everyone had gone to bed / But, you know / No-one stays up for you / I had sixteen stitches / All around my head

Oh, the last bus I missed to Maudlin Street / So he drove me home in the Van / Complaining, “Women only like me for my mind…” / Don’t leave your torch behind / A powercut ahead; 1972, you know

And so we crept through the park / No, I cannot steal a pair of jeans off a clothesline / For you / But you … without clothes / Oh, I could not keep a straight face / Me – without clothes? / Well, a nation turns its back and gags…

I’m packed / I am moving house / A half-life disappears today / With “every hand waves me on” / (secretly wishing me gone) Well, I will be soon / Oh, I will be soon / I will be soon (etc)

There were bad times on Maudlin Street / They took you away in a police car / Inspector – don’t you know? / Don’t you care ? Don’t you know – about Love?

Your gran died / And your mother died / On Maudlin Street / In pain, and ashamed / With never time to say those special things …

Oh / I took the key from Maudlin Street / Well, it’s only bricks and mortar! Oh, oh, truly I love you / Oh, wherever you are / Wherever you are / Wherever you are / I hope you’re singing now / Oh, I do hope / I hope you’re singing now / Oh …