April 8th, 2004

It’s been almost a fortnight since my last post, and in that time
I’ve been up to the following:

eBay. I’ve had about 40 auctions recently, roughly
half of which are yet to complete. The hero item so far has been Banco
de Gaia’s Last Train to Lhasa – a triple cd, which went for £35.
The largest surprise for me is the rekindled passion some people clearly
have for early 90’s indie music. I suppose that the Madchester
generation is now squarely in the disposable income bracket, and can
afford £15 for some ‘Real People’ nostalgia.

Football. It’s been a great week for fans-sans-Sky:
Arsenal v Man U’s FA Cup clash last Saturday lunchtime was a great
game, although I’m not sure whether the United fans’ chorus
of “Reds, reds will tear you apart …again” was exactly
the sentiment Ian Curtis had in mind when he wrote his classic for Joy

Aresenal v Chelsea midweek in the Champions League quarter final was
equally exciting. Ranieri’s open delight at the victory warms me
even more to an already likable character. And the spot-on strapline
of “Claud 9” which I saw on the back page of the Express,
of all places (you see a lot of sports headlines when you travel by train)
was only slightly diminished when I read The Sun’s less effective
(in my opinion) “Claudio 9”. It must have been incredibly
annoying for the hacks responsible to find that they’d mutually
cancelled each other’s genius.

I had a similar experience myself yesterday when I picked up a copy
of This is Brighton, the local free listings magazine. Stef (friend,
DJ, and absentee robotperson wine correspondent) writes the Digital Culture
column for This is Brighton. He asked me to write a review of Splinter
for X-box, an excellent game that I’ve now been playing
for a week. While I was out yesterday I found myself imagining creeping
along the scaffolding by the business centre; searching for the shadows
on my way to the supermarket; and generally picking off pedestrians with
my mental sniper scope.

It occurred to me that this hanging-over of the game into real life
would be a great hook for the piece – a neatly droll way of showing
the psychological hold that the game had successfully exerted over me.
I wandered back home feeling smugly clever, a feeling which persisted
exactly as far as the sofa, which is where I read Stef’s review
of Battlefield Vietnam in the current issue. He had, of course, done
exactly the same thing:

am still expecting an ambush around every corner (even when I’m
in Hove)”


Incredibly, I woke up this morning with another hook, freshly served
up by my defragged subconscious. I’ll let you know what it was
when the piece has been published.

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