Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Genius, and the Floydness of Pink

GENIUS: They say - well, it was said by someone, and oft-repeated by others - that genius is a hair's-breadth away from madness. It occurs to me that genius may, in fact, be a form of madness - perhaps a symptom, perhaps the full monty. The true genius, the freakishly intellectually gifted, is set so far apart from the rest of us mortals as to be marching not just to the beat of a different drum, but dancing to the music of an entirley different symphonia. Da Vinci had a maniacal way of considering the impossible before breakfast, and Einstein understood the cosmos. Hawking conceived of a universe that in expanding at ever-increasing speeds, and of fuzzy black holes. (The fuzziness of black holes is important. Without it, you wouldn't have drawn your first breath. True.) But in order to conceive of the inconceivable, your intellectual and emotional kitbag must be so very different from those the rest of us carry around.

Ergo, and quod erat demonstradum - you're bonkers. Barking. Doolally.

I've had the pleasure of listening to a couple of solo albums over the past couple of days. One is Roger Waters' "Amused to Death", the other is David Gilmour's "On An Island". You'll have spottede the connection - both Pink Floyd boys. Apparently they had a falling out, and have kind of reconciled, as long as they live in different counties. But they should know they're butthole buddies. Both albums are Pink. One is Pink Floud, the other is Pink Flood - or perhaps Floyd Light. Flood Light? Sorry.

Listening to Waters' album, I kept on expecting someone to ask the immortal question "How can you expect any pudding if you don't eat your meat?". Listening to Gilmour's album, I kept on checking the horizon for a floating giant pig.

Myself. It irritates me that people are using this word instead of that good old two-letter word "me", and the ever solid one-letter word "I".

"The team was made up of Tommo, Freddo, Billo, and myself." "Roger and myself like the new Roger Waters album."

It's always used in conjunction with a proper noun: no-one, as yet, is saying "Myself likes the new Roger Waters album," but it's a matter of time. Thus endeth the dribble about my most hated modern speech-ism. I promise I shan't mention apostrophes today.

LISTENING TO: Well, you already know. Gilmour, right now. Actually, I like it, even if it is Floyd Light.

READING: "The Death and Life of Superman". They call it a graphic novel, but really it's just the collected comic books. As I've never really been fond of the big blue boy scout, an involuntary cheer left my lips as he carked it. Now, I have another 300 pages of comic book to read before he inevitably, Mithras, Christ, and that Egyptian chap with the alligator's head-like, comes back to life. If it happens on the third day I'm-a gonna scream.

WORD OF THE DAY: Grief. I was chatting with a 94-year old woman today. She's in agony: her parents ands grandparents all got telegrams from some royal knob to celebrate their 100th birthdays. She's anticipating another 6 years of pain, and boy is she tired of it. She daily grieves for her youth.

More Rats.

On the day the first ANZAC troops, volunteers all, landed at Gallipoli, Arthur was having a few problems of his own.
Grampa Smith had acquired a Model T Ford, just six months ago. Not a new one, you understand. The old man’s wallet wasn’t that thick. And not to go gallivanting around in, either, young Arthur! For one thing, the old man’s eyesight was pretty shot by this time. He couldn’t see much more than a yard or two in front of his face, and his days of reading were gone to him completely.
No, the old man had bought the vehicle because he understood it was the future. That within Arthur’s lifetime, the demand for a skilled farrier and ostler would diminish beside the need for a good motor-car mechanic.
So, he bought the Model T, and took it apart. Then, he put it back together again. Then he had Arthur take it apart, and rebuild it. Now, for the third time, Arthur was putting the damn’ thing back together.
And, because of the eathquake, he was in trouble.
He’d jacked the right hand front corner up, and removed the wheel, and then lowered the axle onto a triangular stand. Then, he’d done the same to the left hand front corner.
The car’s axle was an easy two feet off the ground, and Arthur gave it a nudge to make sure it was stable. Then, he backed himself under the car, to look at the wiring.
“I don’t know why they left this wire here, Grampa,” he grumbled to himself. Grampa had gone back to the house to boil the kettle, and make a brew. His timing was beyond awful.
Arthur muttered some more, his throat dry. A good cup of gumboot tea’d hit the spot right fine. “It’s open to all sorts of damage from rocks being tossed up by the wheels. I reckon I’ll make a plate and bolt it on to protect – what in the name of God’s that?”
That, in the name of God, was an earthquake. Arthur heard it at first. A deep, mournful grumbling, God’s bellyache, a howl from the depths of the earth.
The earth shook. Then the shed shook. Tools dropped, clattering and harrumphing, from the wall. And the car rocked on its supports.
“Damn,” said Arthur. “I knew I should have made them like a bloody pyramid.”
The left stand buckled first, folding like wet cardboard. Arthur was on his back, his hips and legs sticking out from the front of the vehicle. His right arm shot up, elbow slammed into the oil-soaked soil, and his hand caught the axle as it dropped. The ground shook again, like an old cat coughing up a fur-ball. The stand on the other side of the car crumpled, and Arthur’s left arm took the position.
The weight of the car was now bearing directly downwards on his wrists and forearms.
Arthur filled his lungs, and yelled “Grampa!”

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