19 Mar 2011

Black Pudding for the Cynical Soul

Recession is a funny word, isn't it? Not LOL funny, obviously, but a sort of Woody Allen - evoked chuckle kind of funny? I mean, you hear it thrown around so much these days, it's  a wonder it still retains meaning. I wonder if half the recession mongers know what the term really signifies. I'm an Economics graduate and I certainly don't. But then, Ive always been what my mom likes to call practically challenged. To me, words mean what they sound or smell or are spelt like. And 'recession' to me is a tide ebbing away from the shore, some sort of pathetic attempt to hold on, a phantom withdrawal syndrome. Its Kerouac and his stream of consciousness.

Glasgow is in many ways the perfect measurement gauge of any meaningful socioeconomic phenomenon, be it the success of high street fashion retail chains or the degree of correlation of underachievement and football hooliganism. While you may find it ironic that it took Kate Moss to save rock and roll in a land that gave us Burns and Macintosh and Jesus Mary Chain, I think we should embrace it. If a supply chain of identical skin tight denims and badly gelled hair makes the kids pick up their parents guitars, good riddance to X factor rubbish. Atleast these kids have soul. And if they don't, I hear H and M stocks it in bulk.
You know when you know Tony Blair's governance made hardly a dent in the entertainment industry? When the same bouncers that refused you entry all through last year, say no this time round. They've held on to their jobs, and the club's still not desperate enough to let you in. Maybe it's your cardigan. But the economy is in good nick surely? And if it's not, we've still got Nice n Sleazy's. My girlfriend's on the phone from Dusseldorf. She thinks I should stop taking the piss, and beguile you with breezy summer tales of Ashton Lane.

I have this sepia tinged photograph, courtesy Leni's shiny Sony Ericsson w12345, of her and I, and her sister, all of us holding what must have been our seventh round of sambuccas, happy huggy threesome under the April skies, right outside the Nude. The sun was just beginning to set a little later into the evening, the tables outside the pub were getting more custom than in previous months, and there's that dreamy aura all around of good things to come. By any scale, that's one for the scrap books. But every time I see it on her Facebook album, all of us neatly tagged into names and identities, I like the future a little less. I can't help wishing it were a Polaroid, that it would reek a little less of posterity.

For the moment though, I feel daintier than Russel Brand. Culture vultures are predicting a plethora of great art to be inspired by all the depression hullabaloo. In ten years' time, they say, the streets will be flooded with beatniks and hipsters, poets and vandal art. Their tongues will drip irony, and their hands will speak foreign tongues. Maybe we'll even bring back typewriters. And I'll sip my Famous Grousse in contentment.

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