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Robocop: My one true weakness

Dear Paul Verhoeven:


My name is Sebastian Major-Lazer and I turn twenty three in September. Recently, I was diagnosed with a totally real, totally plausible, terminal illness. I'll spare you the details on how long I have left to live, and the way in which my fragile little body will be torn asunder by the flesh-eating virus that lives inside me, but suffice to say, it's going to totally suck and be really super hella painful. The make a wish foundation got in touch and suggested that I write to famous people, and explain my condition to them in the hopes that they grant a very special wish just for me, to make my dreams come true before my brain effectively turns into an insect hostel. (although, from what the doctors told me, most of the grey matter will have disintegrated by that point, leaving very little for insect lave to feast upon.) Now, I've written to other "celebrities" to see if they can make my wishes come true before I turn into a miscellaneous pink goo like something you'd find at the bottom of an old fridge that the police found a corpse in, but you: You are a special, special case. To be honest, I don't really care if Nicolas Cage gets his shit together and makes a Face/off 2 (although that would be ballin', do not get me wrong,) and i'm not even that fussed about Versus 2, even though I mean, come on, it's been 10 years and we'd all like to see that, but no; you, Paul Verhoven, you hold the key to my most important wish. Please, I beg of you:

 

Please don't let them make Robocop 4.

 

Okay? Because I'm not sure my illness ravaged body could take it. I'm a big fan of the whole Robocop series. From Robocop 1, right the way through to Robocop 3, i'm a fan. I'm even a fan of the super weird cartoon from the 80's where Robocop helps old ladies cross the street and explains about traffic safety. Now I accept, the whole series isn't perfect and like any great canon of work, it has it's flaws. For instance I'm not sure you can really artistically justify the scene in Robocop 3 in which that kid reprograms a killbot with a child's computer and makes it behave like a cat. And also, FYI that movie, I'm not sure that having a 500lbs dead guy in steel armour being chased by ninjas on roller-skates is really the most realistic face-off you could come up with  Regardless of all these super weird flaws that I just found, these are all cool things that I like, and this is why it pains me to hear about the latest Robocop, Robocop 4,which is currently in development. 

 

When they built Rome, the perfect city, Romulus and Remus didn't kick back by the river, break out a cooler of Coors light and say "You know what, Rommers, what we need to do is take what's great about this city and take it apart brick by hallowed brick, until we're left with a mere shell of what was great, and all now is just ninjas on rollarskates and jetpack boots." I'm no fancy-pants historian, but i'm fairly certain they didn't say that, not least because they spoke Latin and I don't know the Latin for "you have 40 seconds to comply." Instead they let the great city grow old with dignity, a trait which they probably learnt whilst suckling, naked, from the tit of a wolf.

 

So you see, you, Paul, padre, brother; you should learn from the babes of Rome, see how they protected their art with a fierce and burning vengeance, without even resorting to a scene where Robocop has to defuse a bomb with his teeth. 

 

So instead of making us sit through Robocop finding love, Robocop marrying a princes daughter  Robocop finding a magic robot lamp with a robot genie inside that grants him but three digital wishes, Robocop dressing up in a black fat suit to infiltrate the head of an all black, all fat crime gang, instead of that; just let us live out our years in piece with the memories. We don't need a new Robocop for the now generation: let it sit inside the mind and every once in a while, i'll get really high, like some Lemon haze shit, and watch Robocop. And that'll be enough.

 

So please Paul, for me, make the dying wish of a young boy come true. 

 

Please don't let them make Robocop 4


Yours, Amore Sempre


Sebastian Major Lazer

 

 

 

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The Best Thanksgiving Ever

“It’s always in the last place you look” she said, although if i’m honest, it sounds more like “is-al-wah mmm tha lst plce u ook”

A thick wodge of blood drips onto her chin as she checks behind the sofa, her coat pocket, the contents of her stomach. But alas, no dice. She franticly turns over chairs and looks under the kitchen table, her mouth slowly filling with a dark, crimson, viscous liquid, starting at the back of her throat and making its way forwards, before trickling out of her lips, down her chin and onto her lap.” She checks under the cat, between the gap in the floorboards as her lips grow drier and drier, with no way to lick them. Then, out of the corner of her eye, she spots it, wriggling and writhing, like a fat, purple slug, trying to escape both her mouth and her flat. She darts after it but it’s too quick for her, slivering away from her outstretched hands, leaving a trail of spit and saliva as it darts out the door and into the hallway. Laying outstretched on the carpet, her hands inches away from where the muscle menace had been mere moments ago, she gazes into the distance and holds her hand to her mouth to stop her lungs, her liver and her pancreas following suit.

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Maria, and the man who rode inside her.

“Just head west.”

 

 

There’s something sexy about the end of the world. Something gleaming, dark and fulfilling about watching buildings crumble into rivers, oceans billow and twist around the landscape, eating away at what was left as Mansbrooke Broche bit his cracked and drying lips, tasting blood, hands firmly at the wheel. He used to get bullied for his name as a kid. Mansbrooke Broche. Sounds like a law firm: “Mansbrooke & Broche.”

 

Just. Head. West.

 

The umpteenth time he had uttered those words. West was to the coast. And the coast meant water. There was even talk of a commune on the coast line. He was tired, but couldn’t sleep, like a loving android, stuck in the pinnacle of an automated shutdown.

 

Stephan was rolling a cigarette.


The two guys, Stephan and Mansbrooke, in the front seat, the two girls, Francesca and Yelena, in the back.

 

“Sure. Just head west,” Stephan said, running his lips over the thin gum on his paper, “Jus’ head fuckin’ west eh?” His thick Scottish accent became even more prominent when he was pissed off.

 

“Give it a rest Steph,” Yelana called,“ flicking Stephan in the back of the ear, “West is the only way Maria knows. Mansbrooke knows.”

 

“Maria, Maria, maybe tomorrow, fuckin’ Maria eh?” Stephan retorted, putting the cigarette in his mouth.

 

Maria.

 

What they had christened the car they traveled in, more rust than transport. At first a token to the ironic fifth member of the group, it had quickly become something else. The hunk of rust headed west, cruising across the land like a scarab beetle, carving it’s way through dirt and desolation. Scavenging to survive. Mansbrooke knew that the others wanted to go back into the cities, to the empty tower blocks and the empty shopping centers and the empty churches and the empty loft apartments, silent as a broken child’s toy. They thought just heading west was foolish and that the cities still held fresh hopes and dreams and maybe even retribution. But really, what else was there to say? Where else to go?

 

“All I’m saying,” Stephan said, “is what happens when we get ‘west’ and there’s nothing fuckin’ there? What then Man? What then? What happens to us and Maria then?”

 

“Stephan, dude,” Francesca called, brushing her dreads out of her hair, scraping enough pot together from her tin to make an achingly small spliff, “can we please try and stop talking about if’s and when’s?” She rolled her head back, opening her arms wide, “Why can’t we just drive?”

 

Stephan scoffed.

 

“Been doing that since we left, Cesc. Not all of us can live in a dreamworld. It wasn’t my idea to name the fuckin’ car. ”

 

“Stephan shut up yeah? Just shut yer gob.” Yelena said from behind Stephan, waving her finger at him.

 

“All of you, shut up,” Mansbrooke shouted, slamming his hand on the wheel. Maria veered suddenly into a patch of long grass, “all of you shut the fuck up. I mean it, I’m trying to think, I need some headspace, We all agreed that this wasn’t to be thought of as a dangerous trek across the unknown, it was a Roadtrip. Roadtrips are meant to be fun, alright? So just… just shut up.”

 

And for a while no one said anything. But they all knew there was some truth to what Mansbrooke had said. They all knew that they had agreed to this. No one had forced them to leave. People did stay behind. But the four of them had seen the events of the last five years as an excuse to just up sticks and leave. The people who  had left, left to find water, or food or shelter. The four of them had left to find experiences. The dying light from the sun slipped down over the horizon, crawling away into the night, crying, bleeding.

 

Mansbrooke had never been the same since he had lost his legs, mere days after they had left. That’s why he was the one who drove, the job he assigned himself to keep his mental focus on something other than his disability. kept in place by trussing his limbless bottom half to the undercarriage of the front seat of Maria, his arms firmly planted at the steering wheel, a broken brick resting on the accelerator, his rotund middle held in place by the length of blue tarpaulin rope they had scavenged from the wreckage of a 18 wheeler torn open and strewn across the  motorway, it’s gleaming hull cleaved in half by god knows what. Attached to Maria by wires, strapped in and suited up, Mansbrooke ran his fingers over the steering wheel, caressing it, feeling the mismatched stitching and worn leather beneath his gloves, frayed after years of abuse. The smell of engine oil hung thick, heavy in his nostrils, cursing through Maria’s veins like a blood.  And for a while, nothing was said as they cruised along the former river banks and the cold, dead concrete of roads long since used, night drawing in close round Maria, collecting in pockets of pure inky blackness at the wing-mirrors and the spaces that the headlights didn’t dare to occupy, the tires rolling and gambling over rocky screed and bird skulls. The birds had been the first to die, falling from the skies in droves and landing upon the soft earth, their brittle little bodies disappearing into the feculence. And for a good deal longer, nothing was said.

Then, apropos of nothing, Stephen looked up, lit a cigarette and gesticulated to Mansbrooke.

 

“Okay, am’ gonna say it. What happens if we get to the coast and there’s ney boat? Ney commune? Ney fresh water? Then what Man? Then fuckin’ what?”

 

Mansbrooke glanced back at Yelena and Francesca, who had both fallen asleep, then glanced back at Stephen, his brow furrowed, his lips still dry.

 

“We should stop here. We can’t travel at night anymore. We’ll go the rest of the way tomorrow.” He said in a monotone, avoiding Stephan’s eye like a scorned child.

 

Stephen took a drag on his cigarette and laughed bitterly to himself.

 

“You’re the boss.”

 

Mansbrooke didn’t take his eyes off the vista in front of him, navigating through a series of overturned cars, a Mercedes and a 4x4.

 

“You think we should of stayed?”

Stephen took a long hard drag until it visibly pained him to keep smoking.

 

“Doesn’t matter what I think.”

 

Mansbrooke killed the engine. Maria stuttered to a grinding, shearing halt, finally collapsing in one of the few patches of grass they had seen, under the shade of a dead oak tree.

 

“Stephen,” Mansbrooke said, looking at his friend, “You worked at a job you hated, for not enough money, to live in a flat that was always cold with people you couldn’t stand. Is this really so much worse?” He pulled the cigarette from under Stephens lips and put it in his own mouth, “This… all of this. Is it really so much worse than what we had already?”

 

“I’ll better grab the sheet. Coz’ it’s setting in already. Can feel it Man, can you feel it?”  

 

He grabbed Mansbrooke by the lapels of his jacket, pulling him close up against him.


“Can you fuckin feel it?”

 

Mansbrooke could feel it.

 

And so, once the girls were awake, the three of them pulled the huge green sheet out of the boot Maria and pulled it over both Maria and Mansbrooke, leaving nothing but a great, white, unidentifiable mass in the countryside, the growing darkness around them causing the great and familiar mass of paranoia and death to wallow inside them like a cancer, eating them from the inside out. For a while there was only misery and suspicion as they lay bolt upright in their seats, eyes closed, clutching at Maria for comfort as the feelings lingered and languished, dripping and dropping into nightmare and confusion for hours at a time. 

For Mansbrooke at least, it had been subtle in the beginning. At first, his nights became more disturbed; he found that he awoke earlier, took longer to regain consciousness. Eventually it got so bad that he couldn’t sleep at all. And then came the headaches. The constant, throbbing headaches, like the point of a rapier pressed up against his cortex. He had tried everything to get rid of them: Beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, adrenalin injections, high dose ibuprofen, steroids, Trager Mentastics, violent exercise, Cafergot suppositories, caffeine, acupuncture, marijuana, Percodan, Midrine, Tenormin, Sansert, homeopathics. No results. He stared up at the roof of Maria, imagining the rust marks were stars in an impossibly hazy sky.  Gripping the gearstick, Mansbrooke told himself that this would all pass come morning, like always. His heart rate would return to normal, his face would stop feeling like it was trying to explode from his skull. It was the nights; only the nights.

Suddenly. Mansbrooke was awake, but he couldn’t see anything under the sheet, the windscreen a mass of off-white. Groggy like a newborn, but something had woken him, he was sure of it, and through the pain in his head, he noticed that he was the only one left in Maria. His vision was swirling still, his eyes numb as he struggled to readjust to being awake, chinks of light shining through the sheet. And that’s when he heard the first gunshot, piercing, splitting the quiet air in two and then a scream, and then frantic, heavy movements. His heart racing faster, beating in his ear like a tribal drum circle, he wound down the window to listen at least. He could hear a woman’s voice, and crying, (In pain? Or with sadness?) and then Stephen, yelling like a man possessed.

 

“Easy eh? C’mon take it easy yeah?”

 

“We’re trapped in the belly of this horrible machine. And the machine is bleeding to death.” A woman’s voice this time.

 

“We’ve all felt it Yel, we’ve all felt it but for fucks sake, for fucks sake! Don’t let the beast get to you! It’ll pass, it always passes!” Stephen again.

 

Silence and then…

 

“I’m going back.” Yelena?

 

What was she doing?

 

“You can’t go back Yel, come on, fuckin’ put the gun down you daft cunt, before ya get yaself killed.”

 

“I miss my job, I miss my local, I even miss my landlady. Just let me go back.”

 

“Yel…” a palpable silence, “That’s all gone. All of it… it’s fucked Yel, I know, believe me I know yeh, but for fucks sake, just put down the fuckin’ gun eh?”

 

“Fine.”

 

More silence. Now more than ever, Mansbrooke missed his legs.

 

And then suddenly more gunshots, followed by a deafening “fuuuuuuuuck!” from Stephen and suddenly the sheet was thrown from Maria, broad daylight blinded the sky as Stephen threw himself into the passenger seat, ducking beneath gunshots, screaming to high heaven as Mansbrooke instinctively turned Maria on, felt her vibrating beneath his torso and slammed her into first gear. 

 

The last thing Yelena ever saw a hunk of rust hurtling towards her, a terrified Stephen and a startled Mansbrooke staring back at her, as she disappeared beneath the bonnet and under the wheels with a sickening thud and a crack that made Mansbrooke nauseous like a pregnant teenager.  The grinding of gears, a crunching of femur, and then all was silence again, but only a short while, as Cesc let out a scream that echoed across the plains. Stephen disappeared and reappeared moments later, carrying the small girl in his burly, blood-soaked arms, laying her down on the back seat.

 

“Ohhhh man, what tha fuck, what the fuck Man!”  Stephen said frantically, tearing at Cesc’s clothes as her eyes rolled back in her head. Oh this is bad, this is really really bad eh?”

 

“Can someone please tell me what the fuck just happened?” Mansbrooke shouted.

 

But all he could do was look on in absolute terror as Stephen tended to Cesc, her blood settling in big, fat, shiny globules on the felt of the backseat, mixing with the tobacco stains and the cigarette burns. 

 

“For fucks sake Man, don’t just sit there! She’s been shot to shit, drive ya fat prick! Christ on a bike!”

 

And so Mansbrooke drove, as fast and as straight as he could, with Stephen in the backseat, holding Cesc’s head up like her mother, her shirt wrapped round her middle as he pressed hard upon her wound, still spouting trickles of blood.

 

“Man, she’s a gonner if we don’t get her help soon. How far is it? How far is the fuckin coast man?”

 

But now did not seem like the best time for honesty.

 

“It’s not far Steph just… do what you can.”

 

And Mansbrooke drove until they arrived at the coast, to find what they had found everywhere else: empty buildings, empty houses, emptiness. And Stephen shouted and screamed and clawed at Mansbrooke for lying, for leading them on, for giving them false hope and false prophesy. And all Mansbrooke could focus on was the throbbing pain in his head, and his dying friend on the backseat; Stephen’s words were nothing but numb darts being launched in his direction.

 

For a good few hours, Maria and Stephen and Cesc sat at the edge of a cliff, looking out into the sea. No fuel, no food, nothing but the whistle of the wind and the scream of the waves below. Cesc was stable, but slowly dying, laying on the backseat, her blood caked around the edges of her jumper.

 

Stephen lit a cigarette and turned to Mansbrooke.   

 

“I canne fuckin’ believe you ran Yelana over Man.” He said, sparking up, “I mean… that was some cold shit huh?” he laughed.

“She would have killed all of us. You know what happens when you let the darkness in.”

 

Stephen turned away.

 

“I’m sorry about your legs.” he mumbled into his lap.

 

Just as Mansbrooke was about to forgive his friend, Stephen leapt up and scrambled out of Maria, screaming, “A ship! That’s a fuckin’ ship! He scrambled down the cliffside path, onto the pebbly beach, howling at the rainy skies, his arms above his head, a delirious bastard.

 

Mansbrooke turned to Cesc, her eyes open, but bloodshot.

 

“Man…. I told you… gotta drive faster…” She said slowly, a big bubble of spit forming on her upper lip and then bursting, dripping into one of her dreds.

 

“Just hold on. Okay? Stephan’s coming back for you. Uh… I mean us.”

 

After an eternity, Stephen returned, grinning from ear to ear.

 

“It’s definitely a fuckin’ boat,” he said excitedly, opening the backdoor and lifting up Cesc into his arms who winced with pain, “imma go signal, let them know we need someone who can sew up a fuckin’ bullet wound eh? You lucky son of a bitch. You get to untruss yourself for once.”

 

“I’m not coming.” Mansbrooke said firmly, rolling a cigarette.

 

“Ya what?” Stephen said, looking at him, his grin fading”

 

“I’m not coming.”

 

Stephen furrowed his brow.


“Mate… come on.” he pleaded, “It’s jus’ a fuckin’ Car. It’s a LADA Kalina wagon, for fucks sake, eh?”

 

“There’s a reason I left.” Mansbrooke explained calmly, wrapping up the line of tobacco into a thin white tube, “Working as a butchers assistant, working 9 to 5. I hated it then and I hate it now. No, me and Maria are gonna sit here and watch the sunset.”

 

“Man… I….”

 

“Take care of Cesc for me yeah?” Mansbrooke said, taking out a match and striking it, lighting his cigarette. 

Stephen grimaced but nodded.

 

“See you soon eh? Ya fat prick.” He smiled awkwardly.

 

And with that they were gone, down onto the beach.

All was becoming dark as the sun set. Mansbrooke smiled to himself, taking a drag on his cigarette, before flicking the still lit end onto the floor between his stumps,

 

“Just. Head. west.” He said out-loud.

 

Maria burned for less than an hour before the flames died, an all consuming fire and smoke that hung thick and heavy and could be seen for miles around. Mansbrooke felt the pain in his head subside.

 

Just head west.

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An Internal Monologue on the nature of life, Football and habitual drug-use as viewed through the lens of Dionysus/Uncle Franky Z/Frank Zappa (Or: 'How I learned to stop giving a fuck and love the goal') (Or: 'A Nihilist with good intentions')

My Guts hurt.

 

Smells like the innards of beasts. Take a hefty sniff, become one with the smoggy haze that envelops me. Staring at the ceiling, jaw slack, eyes heavy. Inhaling smoke. A babe, comforted by his crib.

 

People ask: “You eating enough?/You sleeping enough?/You getting enough vitamin A, B, C D, E, Keratin, Serotonin, Diazapam, Temazepam, DMT, Caffeine, Nicotine,  Marijuana, Vallium, Lithium Salts, Depakene, Ziprasidone,  Eye of Newt?” A Dostoevskyian nightmare on an industrial scale.  This is the victory of the west over communism. Now Russia can have all the modern western conveniences like hard drug addiction, terminal boredom from eternal unemployment and endless vistas littered with the dead souls and spirits; void of any hope or purpose in life , filling up with death, decay and desolation. Russian winters to the power of thousands.

 

A friend of mine is having a shindig, a big one, which she assured me would be “very totally fucking Mexico, totally bloody Pascal Chimbonda” and everyone is going so I must go.

 

 

must go.

 

Crack wise with some guy who looks like me - who I don’t know - plus Thom Pernét - who I do- . Drink Pabst Blue Ribbon. Tastes like drain water. Make jokes on Footballer’s names - Didier Dogba, Shark Van-Bommel, Super-Mario Götze - not watching the Football unless a goal goes in, then we celebrate like it was Dionysus on the pitch, running himself ragged. I’m craving  for something white, crunchy and vibrant, exactly fucking nothing like the piss-poor imitations you’ll find in the supermarket.  Gum sticks to the roof of my mouth and it’s arsenal 1-0 up but even now I stare blankly, darkly, at the television.

 

Coca-Kolo Toure.

 

Flung into the air by a guy twice my size. Tall, strapping young lad, his breath rich, syrupy with booze, giving a herculean bear hug, eyes wide with excitement, face pockmarked, and rough; the inside of a worn glove. He’s having such a good time and I’m fucking grinding and freaking on his buzz man, ecstatic to just be near someone who feels how I wish I felt.

 

Prawn-Wright Phillips.

 

On a bed, getting kissed, Feeling a soft pair of lips practically Sellotape themselves to mine. The heat between us makes me gasp; rough and full of yearning.

 

Northen Sol Campbell.

Maicon the Greek.

 

Her musk reminds me of “him.” I pause, for longer than a heartbeat but shorter than a breath and then the moment passes and I’m left with a sore mouth, lipstick caked in globs under the base of my tongue; greasy, foreign; like some horrendous polyp or cyst. The taste of chemicals makes me nauseous. She slides off me and puts her underwear on daintily, slipping away into the thronging mass outside.

 

What. A. Riot.

A throbbing gristle of people noise and colours so complex and repeating.

 

Repeating.

Repeating. 

 

Can slightly hear it now. Reportedly this has saved my life on the streets.  Slide cooly downstairs, unseen through a crowd of hipsters in tight shirts with itty-bitty waists and teeny-weeny girlfriends, hair like a rats nest perched atop their heads. Tongue wet like a hound’s, lips dry like Tony Adams; now days anyway. Zoning in and out of focus as my lungs fill with air.

 

Feels like drowning in reverse.

 

“You OK mate?”

Feels like drowning in reverse. I stare blankly at faces that swim in and out of focus, my vision wet, soupy.  A remix of the Beatles. Dubstep. Dubstep. More Dubstep, Drum and Bass, electro house, WitchHouse,  A remix of an Elvis track, IDM, EDM, French House, Minimalist Techno.

 

A beat, a quaver, a minim.

 

“I said, You OK mate?”

Pepe Reina, and his imaginary best friend Fernando Torres, gone but not forgotten.

 

“Don’t look OK mate.”

Can’t remember the time or the date or even who I am. Feels luxurious.

 

“You want some of this J my nigga?”

Reminded of something some hipcat named Pablo Biswell once said: “You always have to round up to the nearest whole wolf.” But I don’t say anything, roll my head back like a drunken bull and run my hands through my hair.

 

Breathe out; deep and hard as I can.


My Guts Hurt.

 

Talking to a girl named Monique. (Or was it Lisa?) Met in Paris (Or Barcelona or Amsterdam or Tangier or Bristol or London or Leeds or Valencia or…).

 

I say:

(Maxine?) “Yeah… So… whatever, I heard the new ‘Sea Bastard’ album is gonna be Fuckin’ A. It’s got kind of a New-wave/post-industrial feel to it. Or something.”

 

She smiles, laughs and asks me:

“ce qui est  “Fuh-keen-Ay?“”?

I reply:

(Reyann?) “Errr… what?”

 

She asks: (More urgently this time)

“ce qui est  “Fuh-keen-Ay“”?

 

I reply:

(Oslo?) “You know… like… Fuckin A!” and I move my hands to indicate.

 

she says:

“Ah. Mais Oui.”

 

“…”

(Mexico City?)

 

We kiss for a while and it feels better than good, the waft from her perfume crashing over me in an awesome and clement wave. Drink Pabst Blue Ribbon and smoke  Camel Yellows. The room is made of a bright white hunger that shines through a chink in the half open drapes and nothing matters any more. I look shit in all my clothes, but you… you look positively Italian. Even in an oft warn Barcelona FC kit. Bojan, Number 10, the one with the blue and red stripes.

 

The smell and smoke of incense hangs heavy in the air„ a hazy fog that snuggles cosily against my eyelids. ‘Killer in the Snow’ by ‘The Birds of Maya’ plays, layering it thick and smooth into my ears like a sheet of shellac, a cacophony of noise and psychedelic vibrations that tears a hole in my aching brain and takes me straight to Valhalla, the kind of music that makes me want to fuck on the floor and break shit then curl up in a ball. A blissful, cathartic mess, stuck in a post-coital explosion of ecstasy and absolute, violent satisfaction. This room reminds me of you horribly - a discarded sock, a long forgotten earring found beneath the bed under an empty packet of cigarettes - but half naked and half asleep, it isn’t so bad.  Like the dainty, unwrapped innards of a birdcage, all elegance with a brave sombreness, anything can be funny, comedic, exciting. The frames that hold our fragile understanding together like silk tape: these are the tools to make people understand you. So you communicate via a lens smeared with Vaseline, a pen or a pencil, blue tarpaulin covered  in dog turds, the pickled innards of a dead shark, the jewel encrusted skull. So when the shit eventually hits the skids, as is it’s want, what difference does it make? You meant something to someone. Someone framed you as more than a man: more than a simple, mechanical heartbeat next to some clunky shit wired to your left ventricle. (I am not a doctor.). This is real fuckin’ life.  Shit just got (R)eal (Madrid), and you passed with flying colours. Reminded of something Thom Pernét once said before we drank ourselves half to death on the pristine lawn outside his uncles house, ruining Petunias and missing the second half:

 

“Driving mate, it’s all in the hips. And Ziddane was better than Pele.”

 

My guts hurt.

 

And all of a sudden, there is a small calmness inside of me. 

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The Legacy of Thatcher and her roofs: why I no longer care about the Right, but simply make puns instead.

In twenty years, as we digest our last lasagne pill and get into our flying car, they will ask, where were you when it happened? Where were you when it happened? Where were you, when, it, happened. To me and my ancarcho-communist, crust punk mates, it was like all our dreams had come true; if you, like me, often dream of old woman dying as their brains turn into wet cake and comically leak out of their ears like in an old episode of Looneytoons. The left and the right picked sides straight away, down party lines as straight and as long as the doll-queue circa 1982. But, at first, as I sat and thought about the news, lil old me didn’t know how to react; like a dog in the headlights of the starship enterprise. Then, as I went for a walk outside where I live and took in the brisk, evening wind, slowly walking around by myself kicking up leaves, as I like to do often, it dawned on me that, however human Margaret Thatcher may have seemed, the legacy of some of her worst policies still linger worse than David Beckham.

Amongst her most heinous policies, one stands out above all others, seared into the mind of the public more than the char marks on a particularly well pan-fried salmon, and that is one of the chief reasons I think the public will not forgive her. The worst thing that Lord Lady Darth Baroness Thatchington Rocky IV ever did was to institute a series of measures towards implementing an “Andy Cole” tax, which would see homes taxed on a sliding scale depending on how many Andy Cole’s were occupying the household. More than none would constitute an automatic flat levy of 30% on all household income. No one would be spared. Teams of crack investigators were hired to snoop around people’s homes to see if they were hiding an Andy Cole.

Well of course, the footballer Andy Cole was devastated. In-fact, Andy Cole, taking time out from being 18 at the time the policy was implemented, released a statement on the matter.

This strange and hitherto unforeseen change to the tax code put in place by the Government of Margaret Thatcher seems to be entirely aimed at me and my family. Such a policy could only have been initiated by a leader who has clearly shown a Liverpool FC bias in her policies thus far. You don’t see the Tories clamouring for a ban on all properties containing more than 45% Ian Rush do you? There is currently no limit on the number of Alan Hansen’s you’re allowed to keep as pets. And what’s her stance on Bruce Grobbelaar? Unfortunately, we may never know. What we DO know, is that the people of Andy Cole’s household will never be free of this wicked and unjust tax on Andy Coles until Thatcher and her cronies have been replaced by Alex Ferguson and Steve Bruce at the helm of the nation, with a vision of Britain that puts the purse-strings of Andy Cole at the heart of it’s agenda.” he said.“Outstanding,”he added.

And many people from towns and cities will never forget the riots that ensured. Eventually public outrage over the perceived slight to one of England’s greatest forwards provoked what would become known as “The Andy Cole Tax Riots.” Fans of both Manchester United and Liverpool Football Club came together as one, under the leadership of Andy Cole in full body armour and hoodie, wearing a guy Fawkes mask, screaming something about how a fixed, one off payment was much fairer, only to get their heads kicked in by the police, who were notorious arsenal supporters and thus were cold to the views and ideologies of the rioters, instead preferring to smash them with feet and fist.

A little part of our collective soul as living creatures, as human beings, godammit; as premier league football fans, died that night. Andy Cole and his rag tag band of shirtless, drunken rioters were hung out to dry like cold-smoked bacon. Unfortunately, renaming the Andy Cole tax to the Community funded levy on people called Andy Cole charge was enough to satisfy most of the public, and, disastrously, Andy Cole was forced to submit his last three years of earnings to the Inland Revenue, subject to a pending review on re-evaluating his current tax bracket. Cole was so distressed by this that he took extreme measures to try and circumvent the new tax, going so far as to try and legally change his name by Andy Reid poll; unfortunately, to no avail.

So flashforward to the present day, like a particularly infuriating episode of Lost, and as I wander around in the cold and the dark with all bits of leaves flying up and hitting me in my cold face, I remember Andy Cole. I remember him, and his battle against the Tories, that briefly united both Liverpool fans and Manchester United fans against something, not simply against each other. And so that’s why, when people ask me for my opinion on the death of Thatchbot9000, I’ll simply smile and say “Andy Cole was forced to pay back £400, due to his changing tax status.” And they will understand.