Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Stealing Words

I don’t know how I feel about Irving Welsh. Look, I read “Trainspotting” as a 16 year old. And “Maribou Stork Nightmares” as well. I remember being intimidated by the whole drug scene. And I have never been terribly ‘into’ it (just to occasional toke once or twice in a year and no more) but yes, I have tried almost anything once.

(I draw the line at needles. I once spent two weeks in the hospital because of typhoid. I was 7 and on a drip. The IV needle slipped out of the vein but remained in my hand and the fluid kept building up until the entire back of my hand was swollen with fluid…don’t like needles).

Anyway, but there are a few notable instances in my stint of trying almost everything. I even remember one nasty trip where I was sitting in a room with some friends and the hum of the ‘fridge was so loud, I had to leave the room.

But there was one instance which was out f “Trainspotting”. Now I forget if it was in the book but it was in the movie for sure. The guy is on a bad trip and lies down in his bed; except he seems to sink deep into it and the sides of the bed rise like the walls of a chasm he has fallen into. I felt exactly like that and ever since then oh 5 years ago, have been cautious never to over do it.

Anyway, all this has been a transgression. The start of this train of thought was an article on/by Irving Welsh I came across and liked…excerpts:

This much I know

Irvine Welsh, Author, London

Sylvia Patterson
Sunday July 18, 2004
The Observer

You never read your own books. I don't know how anybody can. When you write a book it's a way of getting rid of something that you don't particularly want back. Like dain' a shite.

Hopefully you grow old, but never up. My whole life's been a midlife crisis. Dunno whether it's a prolonged adolescence or a premature menopause, it's seamless to me.

I don't even read reviews of books. I just get them to send me highlighted parts for the dust jackets.

The greatest sentence you ever write in a book is 'The end'. 'Cos it's so good to get it finished. You've got there and you can move on. I'm not going around with all this crap in my head any more. I can get new crap to put in there again.

Failure teaches you everything. Success teaches you nothing at all. You learn things about people, how two-faced and sycophantic they can be. People who wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire when you're a failure are suddenly all over you when you're successful.

Pornography is mainstream culture now, the way drugs are. It's almost like punk, pornography, people just do their own stuff. Gonzo-porn, people get together after closing time, go back to somebody's house, shag each other, video it and stick it on the internet. I cannae get into watching other people shag, too cold and empty. And I don't want to see my fucking spotty white arse going up and down on the internet.

People say, 'Oh, it must be great to live in Islington,' and I say, 'There's no point, you've got everything in Kirkcaldy High Street.' And you might get a cheaper pint.

In the future we'll all be TV presenters and crack dealers. And that's it. If you said that money made you miserable, you'd be lying through your back teeth. I used to think about money all the time when I never had it and now that I do, I don't.

The social reality of not being intoxicated on a night out is just something you can't do. Your pals in the pub, on the second pint, they're in another world.

I've just come back from the camps in Western Defoe and Sudan where people have been ethnically cleansed out of their homelands and tortured and raped and beaten. It only really hits you when you're coming back on the plane, and you've got the stewardess asking if you want a drink. Seems so unreal after where you've been.

I still like to take new drugs but I find out what it is first. There's this Angel's Trumpet Tree stuff in Florida, a white flower that grows wild, quite trippy but it fucks people's breathing up and a couple of kids've died. I'm becoming quite conservative. Before, I would just throw everything into myself that I could, 'Fuck it, I'm no gonnae die... ever!'

The life I lead is quite selfish. I do my own thing and haven't really been as big on commitment as I should be. Being a writer, it's like any arty thing you're involved in, if it becomes quite all-consuming you can be a wee bit negligent when it comes to personal relationships.

Books are a communal thing that you pass around. I don't have loads of books in the house. I leave them on the Underground so somebody else can read them. I've got Trainspotting in about 24 languages. Usually overseas publishers will send you one or two copies but the Dutch send you boxes. So I sometimes leave Dutch versions of my books on the tube for a laugh.

You go through ridiculous phases, hanging on to youth. My DJ-ing was a way to keep going to clubs and be surrounded by young people, 'I've got my box, look!'

Writing's good 'cos it's a respectable profession for a mature chap to be in, you can grow old with grace in it. I've not managed it yet but it can be done.

It's just better, at any time, being young than being old. Then again, you get 20 Es for 20 quid now, I would be destroyed.

I've got loads of Gods and they've all played for Hibs.

New York journalists are so serious. I was in New York doing this press conference and one said, 'Is there anything taboo in your books?' and I said, 'Racism. My granddad died at Auschwitz,' and he goes, 'Oh, that's terrible,' and I said, 'Yeah, he fell out of a machine-gun tower.' A sick joke! And they were all... pshpshshspshs [feigns tumbleweed rolling by]. I have that community care side to me that I choose to bury in mounds of flippancy.

It's impossible to conceive of living without love. Or just not having the anticipation of it. Unless you're a bit dysfunctional, or really, really unlucky - I think love is a certainty. At some point. For everybody.

I really didn’t expect the last quote from a bloke like him but still, I take heart in it.


GB Shaw:

"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. The people who get on in this world are the people who look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them."


From Paranoid Prom Queen

I have learned some hard lessons. That you can not make someone love you, you can only be someone who can be loved. That time heals. That you often hurt the ones you love. And that it is a universally accepted fact that the guy will always start dating first and that the person who was broken up with will suffer for way longer than is fair.

Does having something meaningless count as dating? Also, the last line sucks…as in not the line itself but that she said it and its right!

And also,

You can be a good listener.
You can be a bloody good listener.
You can give the bestest, most cleverest advice in the world.
You can do it 'til you're blue in the face...
...But it's bloody hard to take your own advice.

Bah humbug!

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