Thursday, 8 March 2012

Slivers of Today

The Guardian is making me feel like Alf Garnet, or at least, another relic from another age, Austin Powers. In my futile over-friendly first week I almost jumped into a conversation about the foyer (see above) with a remark about the aesthetic desirability of a couple of Fem-Bots in furry bikinis to really complete the scene, but then considered the audience in The Guardian office and wisely (for once) kept my mouth shut.
Being in your mid 40s is mostly plusses. Personal fixations recede into the background, everything is much more chilled and in perspective. You do your own thing and enjoy it a lot more etc etc. This is all partly because The End is just over the horizon and you want to get as much in as possible.
However there is an inevitable Slowing Down and the challenge of the 40s is handling that without completely giving up and metaphorically climbing into the coffin decades early.
On a physical level a good friend got me into running, which I now do at a very low level (ten minutes jog around the block) as often as I can. Makes a huge difference phyiscally and mentally.
(Thanks Kathryn).
Attitude is vital. With the world and the media getting seemingly ever more remote it is a real effort to not give up and turn into a bitter and twisted old fart railing at the world from the sidelines. With this in mind I've been keeping an eye on what exactly is pushing me down that route and how I can slow it down.
What is the main thing turning me old before my time? Radio 4's The Today Programme.
Don't get me wrong, I love it. Funny, smart it is just about the best current affairs show on any channel anywhere and makes me proud to be British. When I was in my 30s it made me look forward to growing old. "Old people can be that cool! Awesome! Can't wait to get there"
The Today Show really is a British instititution, as wierd as the The Shipping Forecast , but apparently as powerful as the admiralty. You wouldn't say it makes you glad to be alive but it does make you glad to be British. 
I know its setting an attitude in my head. Private Eye is the same. A daily route of waking up to one and reading the other on the lav is preparing in my head a bitter, cynical death march to the grave. The presenters do their best but the news content tends to create a mood of suicidal anger before you've even set off for work.
So, now I've moved temporaily into my London pad on Grays Inn Road (full report next time, if I have't been moved out) I found a radio tuned to a different channel and have just stuck with it. Another big help was a trip to see three fantastic J-Rock bands.. BO NINGEN + Sekaiteki Na Band + Teta Mona in a fantastic venue, The Windmill Brixton.. completely re-ignited my interested in live music. (Thanks Richard)
The music radio station is BBC Radio 6, which at least in the morning (before LL), turns out to be at least as aggravting (Shaun Keaveny, what a p**k) as The Today Show, but here is the big reveal - morning radio is meant to be background noise. It's meant to be barely audible content that isn't distracting you from getting your shit and your head together for work. You shouldn't be ranting at Thought For The Day beacuse you should be brushing your teeth.
The Today Show is really for people whose 'Today' probably won't involve leaving the house.
So how do you enjoy Today without it turning into a daily sliver of death taken just after you wake up from sleep? The answer, not for the first time recently, is podcasts  (see my last post). You can ingest Today in little doses via the Best of Today podcast, and like Rasputin with Cyanide, you can slowly build up an immunity.
Ohh yes. you're thinking ...Mid -life crisis? They said that when my hair started thinning in '89, they said that when I bought the Triumph Trident in '94, they said that when I got the TT in 2008. I've been living in a perpetual mid-life crisis for over 30 years...It's what keeps me interested

No comments:

Post a Comment