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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Who shot the deputy?

Hello dear readers,

Well, tonight's cultural exchange group at my flat must be pronounced a smashing success. We had our highest attendance yet, with six persons of mixed nationality (two Poles, one Scot)and for once everyone brought a bottle or plate to the evening. While cheese and biscuits are not especially dear, I really was beginning to get steamed at the zeal and active hands of some members.

My contribution was a probing insight into Eric Clapton's 'I Shot the Sheriff', a song which has perplexed me on and off for decades. Did the protagonist in fact shoot the deputy and create the narrative as an elaborative, jauntily paced ruse; or is he indeed being 'set-up' by the law enforcement/legal establishment and the sheriff who he admits winging (with what I image to be a Saturday Night Special)?

At first, one is swayed by the pleading tone of the lyrics, but then, subconsciously, I believe one shifts to suspicion, largely due to the faux-Jamaican accent and the load of associations with violence and that particular Caribbean nation.

When I realised I was feeling this way, I consciously recognised my in-built cultural prejudice and went back to the evidence of the crime, which admittedly, is sparse. Really, it's just one person's point of view. The song may have been better served by giving the sheriff a chorus or full verse to argue his side of the story and refute the slanderous charges against him. It could have been a Sonny and Cher 'I've Got You Girl' sort of arrangement.

Of course in the greater picture, one has to question why Eric Clapton chose to adopt a faux-Jamaican voice and the kettle drums etc. After all, he was born in Surrey, which to international readers, isn't exactly Kingston lite. It strikes me as a type of musical blackface; but then, he did record the song in the 70s, and we weren't far removed from Peter Seller's riotous turn of bigotry in The Party or Spike Milligan.

When one of the gents mentioned the song was written by Bob Marley, admittedly, it took some wind out of my argument. I asked if he was next going to tell me that John Lennon's ripping 'Cold Turkey' isn't really about the dangers of leaving Christmas leftovers a bit too long. From experience, cold turkey has had me on the run more than once (though ham is often a more likely culprit).*

*This is a joke. I know the song is about heroin. I'm not actually an idiot.

Have a favourite song? Why not leave a comment.

Stay well, Nate

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Blog truncation

Greetings dear readers,

Actually, given that I have ceased adding to this blog for an extended period of time, I should probably say, greetings whomever you are who has stumbled onto my website. But should there be any old acquaintances from the days when I would pen three to four missives about my miserable life per week (and be mentioned in the Drudge Report), a most warm and hospitable welcome back.

I am very well, in general. You may notice, however, that I have severely truncated the contents of the blog, leaving only a smattering of superlative fiction (never completed), the odd reflection, and highlights from my trip to Bath with my elderly neighbour Mrs Donaldson. I believe I have culled all mentions of wanking, which while scientifically proven to reduce a man of my advanced age's chances of prostate cancer, is viewed as vile filth in many corners of respectable society. And given that the government insists we're all pulling together and dead keen about society in this country once again(despite the same lot pronouncing it DOA not three decades ago) I am acquiescing.

Now, you're no doubt thinking, 'Nate, get on with it'. Well, my cull is not due to fears of GCHQ intrusion into my affairs (too late, as they've no doubt already found a way to read my thoughts and yours), but rather to professionalism. Yes, dear readers, after several years toiling three nights per week in a poorly insulated caravan at the meat distribution plant which employs me, I have been promoted. I am now some sort of assistant manager in the main office, day shift. I'll have to look at the contract again to see what silly title they actually appointed me. My desire is 'King of Meat' or 'God of Paperwork' but it's no doubt coordinator of something or other. I lose my meal allowance (they were being phased out anyway) but will get to partake in occasional conversation with other humans, which, as you may have guessed, I view as mixed blessing. I have also dusted off a few of my old ties. We live in exciting times.

So, as you can see, Cameron and Clegg's severe stigmatisation and throttling of the poor has seen a few green sprouts rise in the modern economy. We're likely now at the point we would have been in mid-2011 had Austerity not been pursued. Imagine, had Gordon Brown been a bit more lifelike during the last election, we would have a national postal service as well.

Please feel free to leave a comment. I may revive the blog should my new career path prove exciting (though I am wary of upper management snooping into my private affairs, so perhaps not. Who knows. Either way, it would be good to hear from you.)

Stay well, Nate