Blue Monday after a Blue Week

Posted on January 19, 2016

Apparently it was Blue Monday yesterday, the most depressing day of the year because it is half way through the longest month, the weather is dismal, and we receive our credit card bills.

It is also a good time to get divorced because domestic pressure has mounted up over Christmas as has the general spending in the lives of 21st century consumer addicts. There are even adverts on the local radio stations encouraging divorces.

“Oh I just don’t know what to do…I want to leave him but I don’t understand the law?”

“Don’t worry here at Huntdown and Pilfer we can stir up as much shit as possible and empty your bank account in a matter of days…call our experts with your bank details today on 0857 9200011…Huntdown and Pilfer, getting rich from your misery for 30 years”

So much for Christmas for being the season to be jolly!

Of course, people don’t help themselves in these situations when they could easily apply my mean parent rule. Presents are bought with money earned and if there is not much in the pot, hey, too bad kids, there’s always next year. It’s quite simple with kids, if they don’t expect too much, they don’t bleat on about it, it works every time.

Of course, many people were already blue enough after a week that saw the deaths of Alan Rickman, David Bowie and of course, Ed ‘Stewpot’ Stewart, a 70’s DJ who appeared to escape the clutches of Operation Yew Tree despite meeting his wife when he was 31 and she was 13…still if it’s okay for Bill Wyman it’s okay for Stewpot I guess?

On a personal note, we said goodbye to Theo, Jennifer’s pet guinea pig, who was apparently scared to death by my dog, Marley. With his unique hairstyle and Avant Garde, post-modernist ability to push the boundaries of creativity to unprecedented limits, Theo, who died at the tragically early age of 3, will be missed but not forgotten in the rodent community.

I have sent a note to Elton John requesting he sings “Candle in the Cage” at Theo’s funeral which will take place when the ground softens up enough from the recent frosts.

Of course, I have copped some stick for questioning an individual’s right to mourn a famous actor or musician but I guess by being an amateur writer, much of my point has been missed entirely.

If someone has a close attachment to an actor or a singer it is, in my opinion, up to them how they mourn. I do feel however, that we have created (probably after the death of an overrated Princess) a need for public shows of affection that I find more than a bit toe curling and unjustified in perspective to the genuine tragic events across the globe.

David Bowie appeared to pre-empt an embarrassing funeral by ordering a no nonsense private cremation that a no doubt furious media knew nothing about and I admire him for that as much as I admire him for turning down the opportunity to join a list of Rock ‘n’ Roll establishment sycophants when he chose to decline a Knighthood.

After I wrote a post about David Bowie last week, some friends ganged up on me and demanded I listen to his album ‘Hunky Dory’ (which I have done) but this doesn’t take away my point that in social media and newspapers jammed with tributes, no-one had the balls to say that a lot of his latter music was awful, and that as a man who had taken bucket loads of drugs and smoked like a maniac, he had actually done remarkably well to reach the age of 69.

This was no tragedy, but that didn’t stop the BBC and The Guardian in particular, calling it a premature death, bleating on about how he changed the world and that if he hadn’t been alive, music would have probably never been worth listening to again…it would have all ended with The Beatles.

Utter nonsense.

I have no axe to grind with David Bowie (one person actually said I had an anti-Bowie stance) it is just that I can’t explain to myself the reasoning behind all this exaggerated grief. It makes me wonder what will happen when the Queen chokes on one fish bone too many or heaven forbid Paul McCartney spins off this mortal coil before I do.

“When McCartney bravely penned ‘The Frog Song’ it was a ground-breaking moment in popular culture when, after years of sexual repression, pond life could finally emerge from discrimination and enter an era of transgender flamboyance that was alien to their predecessors”.

Just like Bowie, Paul McCartney has conjured up some utter crap in his time…‘Jet’ is one of the worst songs ever to make it on to vinyl…nearly as bad as ‘Let’s Dance’.

By coincidence, I went to a funeral on Friday; it was not one of a rock star or an actor but that of an old family friend who was an integral part of my childhood along with his with wife, my dad and of course, my late mother.

In the January chill, we all gathered in large numbers to hopelessly deal with our inadequacy to be emotionally equipped for such events. As the eulogies came and went, so did the awkwardness of dealing with the death of someone who taught us to play sport, not be bullied by class or creed, and always operate with a stiff upper lip. As someone whose father died in a RAF accident days before he was born, he knew no other way.

As the funeral turned into a boozy wake, the memories of him were warm, derogatory and funny; he was a person who could start a political argument in a phone box but would always back you up in a crisis or help with job references, preparing speeches etc etc etc.

As a generation of sixties children, we reminisced and got through the day without outpourings of public grief, because it is not what we do and it is certainly not what he would have wanted us to do. He had a great life, living it to the full, knowing that had he been ten years older it could have been all over on the beaches of Normandy, so his was a life to celebrate not mourn.

Terry’s Rugger Bugger Friends give him a traditional send off

It seems that we tend to forget that we all die and when the death of someone who passes away at 69 after many years of debauchery is described as tragic, it does make you wonder where we will end up.

“The Queen died today, tragically young at the age of 106, leaving a nation coming to terms with the grief that has gripped a nation that may never recover…Police have announced a list of motorway bridges where the stricken can throw bouquets of flowers at the passing hearse and sign a petition for God to bring her back.

When young people die in accidents, by murder or being struck down by an aggressive illness, that is when tragedy strikes and the families and friends have to find a way cope. When father time or a chosen lifestyle chases us down, as it will all of us, it is time to accept our fate.

The greed culture we are getting devoured by makes us want to chase for more and more and that now appears to include immortality.

Right, time to pop in my oxygen tent for an hour.

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