Thursday, 21 July 2011

This post is dedicated to an unforgettable start.

Instrument conveying knowledge
Patient. A saint.
Inspiration; a well-made porridge,
swirling colours of paint

Conductors to their striking band;
Cubs of a loyal Lion
Arrival at some unknown land;
Scratch the surface with my talon

Dull, a boar, my head is splitting
Time persists yet stands still
Eager, invaluable, intrigued, so exciting!
O Joy! The daily thrill

Sir and Madam, hate or trust
Moulders of our fate
Sad to lose, dear memorable loss
My Hero. Perfect trait

Returning to studies at the ‘unconventional’ age of 28, you wonder how you will be perceived by the ‘younger’ lot. I have just finished an Access course for English Writing and Media and throughout the year I found myself, during many moments, thinking; my vocabulary is shit compared to theirs, this person is 10 years younger than I am and knows so much and I could be their sugardaddy (minus the cash). Despite the above, I refused to sit still or cower away in doubt. If there was anything I was not sure of or did not understand my hand would shoot up as fast as Hermione Granger’s (imagine being in the classroom with me!). Teacher’s can be the making or breaking point in pupils’ advancement and fortunately for me, we had been given a tutor who deserves every inch of respect she gets and every bit of praise declared below.

Dr Shelley Deasey. Aesthetically pleasing (which, come on, we all want when we have to trudge to class in the rain or snow), incredibly approachable, a person with whom, after one class, you already want to befriend, pop the cork of a vintage vino tinto and discuss books and poetry (zzzzzzzz). There is no other person I would rather have learnt from. I spent such an eye-opening year absorbing as much as I could possibly retain from her pool (sounds slightly ambiguous) of knowledge that I could not have felt more prepared to enter the 'best years of my life' (…at 28).

'Everything happens for a reason'; a change of circumstances, sometimes within just two seconds of each other, that one decision which could have led to a different ending. Whichever way you look at it; religiously or logically, the meaning has the same outcome. Everything is meant to be. It is very difficult, if not impossible, for me to look back at my life and regret any of it; leaving school early, partying harder than working (the minimum), staying in Brazil for longer than intended. If none of those had happened, things that I am doing today may not have been possible at all.

Here in England where every national has a right to a free/mandatory education, a person, like myself, who ‘chose’ the dark path of no education from a young age, tends to cause raised eyebrows, widened eyes and often a secret, yet perceptive, lift of one edge of the mouth into a smug, condescending grin from those who have taken the illuminated path of school, college, degree, enlightenment. To my fellow companions who have also emancipated themselves from the world of scheduled classes and scripted teaching to lead your own way, let us hold our arms up common-muck-X-Factor-style and deflect the glares and hairlines of those pompous, patronising, pillocks. (I’m not bitter, just a rambling ranter)

‘Education’ is a word which means so much in, and to, the world. Its meaning is desired by many, achieved by few (considering the human population) yet taken for granted by plenty. It is an ideal which either makes people feel inferior to others, or makes others feel as if they should claim superiority – the balance can be tricky. Instead of sharing knowledge like you would mince pies at Christmas, we become self-righteous from our stack of flaking pastry, pleased at seeing others with a humble one or two (no doubt this person also reaps their pleasures in schadenfreude?).

I have always been a firm believer that no one should be deemed ‘stupid’ or ‘thick’, and to label someone as such is simply plain arrogance. Not knowing how to work a fax machine, where to sign on a mortgage deed, how to describe the political spectrum of the right and left wing parties or even what some vegetables are called (in this crazy world of import/export), does not mean that the uninformed is stupid, just not as informed as the one questioning. This can easily be resolved -hand them a book on the subject  and hey presto, you are both informed, knowledgeable, geniuses!

I once met a flight attendant for American Airlines called Wendy. I told her I was from Brazil and she asked if it was next to Portugal (cough). Jumping to conclusions we speak without thought; Brazil – Portuguese - Portugal (understandable). The same way a solicitor will not be acquainted with all the laws in the United Kingdom, a flight attendant will not know the locations of all the countries in the world. She blushed, we giggled and the comment evaporated. Not once did I tell her ‘Wow! You’re stupid’, or enquire ‘How thick are you?’ I know there are several out there who probably would.

I worry for the day I exit the great doors of graduation. Will I feel the need to introduce myself as the Messiah (or a very naughty boy)? Will my eyebrows raise and my mouth twitch into an Almighty sneer at those who have never read Ulysses or Paradise Lost? Or will I become a pie- hoarding sadist sat reading Harry Potter in Latin?

Whatever the outcome, I thank Dr Deasey for her positive influence. 

Friday, 8 July 2011

London Gay Pride 2011

Before reading today's post, I'd just like to clarify that I am 100% gay, although that does not mean I wear a tutu, sprinkled in glitter and bend over whenever I get the chance. A stereotypical statement indeed, but isn't that what still circles the ideology of being 'a gay'?

 Quick poem before I rant:

Summer is when the sun shines down
Autumn for when it pours
Flowers blossom in gay spring time
Winter hits us like a clout

Never Fridays, Tuesdays, Sundays
June, Jan, Feb; not a thought
Sustaining order we must follow
Trail of ants; one foot forth

Whispers follow, eyes scream obscene
Drawn guns, launched stones.
Fatal sins for dirty crimes
Hail 'Praise Jesus' declare 'Amens'

Love is just one word
Not 'Love Him' or 'Love Her'
Deny, conceal, repress that love
Gay rainbow dissipates; imperfect, blur

We all enjoy a good dance, a dirty booty boogie or a joyful jive (remember that cassette Ja Ja Ja Ja Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers), and what better way to wiggle your wagger than during a gay gay event

1969 brought the world its first Gay Pride March in NYC, with London’s Gay Pride Rally showing off its growing colours in 1972. This was a time when people fought for what is right and stood up to those who are wrong. These days Pride is viewed (by gays and sympathisers) as a time when everything is valid for getting off your tits. Everyone is having a good time, so make it as good as possible… right?

Like every social struggle; racism, feminism, anti-Semitism etc, once these battles achieve a period of success, societies’ judgements become less… judgemental evolving into a fashion statement which is a MUST to know, have and proudly wear, like that of a needy fag-hag. Since the start of the millennium, acquiring a ‘gay’ friend is similar to having the latest Fendi bag or Gucci sunglasses, fence-plankers choose the safe bisexual option while the daring go full-on camp or über butch. Parents inform their colleagues; “My son’s gay you know’, to which they reply; ‘Ooooo so is mine, they should meet’. I mean why not? All gays love each other like all straight people do too. Am I right?

I feel I can diss London Pride after having experienced better in Brazil (oh no he ditn’t), both in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo (FYI, I'm originally Brazilian). It may have been the company I was with that made the Brazilian parades exceptional, or maybe the deliriously fervent heat? Or could it have been the fact that I was younger and more audacious with my choice of attire (a thin tri-layer of bandage wrapped around my crotch like a skanky Egyptian mummy) attracting the feasting eyes of the salivating homos. Sorry, but no. The members and supporters were rapturous, friendly, loving and sharing (occasionally sharing some of their unwanted sweaty love), floats blared tunes that made you want to jump with the crowd and I believe every single person there felt they belonged as an individual in addition to being part of one powerful beat.

Contrary to my 'wild' experiences above, I approached a slow moving stream of half smiling (or were they scowling?) pacers shuffling down Regent Street between unadorned trailers thinking, ‘Shit, this is shit. Shit’. There was no enthusiasm contaminating the crowd like a Mexican wave, a complete absence of emotion, stiff bodies and the atmosphere seemed drained of fun (I may have smirked once or twice at a rigid wannabe dancer). To keep myself entertained I had to imagine one of the truck-driving lesbians, jeering on top of an open ‘float’, tripping, falling and squishing the patchy puddle of wet blankets below.

Formulas should be followed when they work, like Dan Brown’s page turners (I know, sometimes a bit the same but still, they work), and not to be stringently repeated as a successful fact by meshing the usual elements society believes to represent the word ‘gay’; Drag Queens, gimps in leather, frail, volatile effeminates huddled together like bendy reeds standing firm next to a herd of secretly despised rug-munching fesbians (nothing personal, simply observations).

My box is old and the argument lasting so I shall end here. Of course it is excellent that troubling issues relating to homosexuality can be addressed in such an event as well as show how diverse gays can be (rugby players WOW!), yet without any real spruce or renovation I doubt even us gays will be attracted to attend the event - even if pills and poppers are being passed around on a white-coated platter.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

London aka The City

After being given advice from a newly established friendship I have decided to begin, and keep, a blog. I hope I do not fall into the mundane, but if I do, I will try my best to spruce it up as much as I can. 

This first blog started out as a friggin essay. While I was doing my essays for college I would look at the word count and begin to shake. Yesterday, in less than 30 mins I had babbled out over 1200 words of bollocks. Solution; put all the relevant info into a poem. Short, clean and hopefully worthy.

London to Manchester, North to South
Corrie versus Eastenders, all gobshite and mouth
With an eeeorrrr one orders, a pastry at Greggs
Down there they sit quaintly, a patisserie, crossed legs

London, The City, a heartbeat, I doubt
Arrive their so lean, and slender then stout
Feathers start to ruffle, and shuffle and spread
Soaring through skyscrapers, money in ahead

Coach pulls in slowly, a rush, a stampede
Sharp nudge, smelly armpits, a hug or a squeeze?
Door trembles and shakes, deep fear for its life
The people they glare with anger and strife

Friday is nigh-day for weekend and calm
Residents decelerate in a silent sung psalm
Clouds become sparse, bright sun in high sky
Filled Broadway Market, sweet yummy almond pie

Eyes suddenly grounded, no shock or demur
Big shops on New Bond Street, pass and obscure
First weekend in London, my heartbeat no doubt
I crave to return, with more than a pout