Monday 13 February 2012

As I said the other day, I learned about the death of the singer Whitney Houston on the micro-blogging website Twitter. Within seconds of the, at the time, rumoured death there were also jokes. I didn’t see any in really bad taste; I don’t follow that many sick people, though. I mean I saw the odd “Houston, we have a problem” type joke. That is not sick, though. It’s a pun.

Would I say it to her daughter? No. If the criteria for saying something publically is whether or not you would scream the same comment in the face of a grieving relative then maybe the world is making unrealistic demands of the flippant. They are notoriously unlikely to take situations seriously.

Plenty of people have criticised things being said out there in cyberspace though. Equally there have been people criticising Whitney Houston’s record label, Sony, for putting up the price of her albums as news of her death broke. So, in summary, some people were being arseholes and a business tried to make more money than they currently were making from increased demand. Cynical? Yes. Surprising? About as surprising as the repackaged Greatest Hits album that will undoubtedly follow later in the year with some unreleased songs added on.

I do find it odd how seemingly intelligent people are shocked by life. Not effected shock to make a point, but real outrage. Shocked that 15-year-olds might say ‘who the fuck is Whitney Houston?’ or ‘who gives a fuck about Whitney Houston?’ They don’t care. They literally don’t care. I don’t even think they care enough for it to be classed as insensitive.

Remember when I got all excited about seeing Noel Gallagher? Well I saw him again tonight. He played a stormer at the newly christened Manchester Arena (nee Manchester Evening News Arena nee Nynex Arena). The first time I saw Noel live was here in 1995! NINETEEN NINETY FIVE. As I pointed out to my girlfriend, had a girl been bought that night I would now legally be able to have sex with her – THAT’S how long ago it was.

The set was similar to the one he performed at the Apollo but he had a little choir this time and the overall sound was a bit more filled out; accordingly for playing a larger arena. Again it was a mix of Oasis numbers and most of his (very good) debut album. Surprisingly the first two (Oasis) songs got a slightly muted response and it wasn’t until he ripped through a few of his sole efforts that the crowd got going. Normal service was resumed later when everybody got pissed and screamed and fell about dancing to Oasis songs.

Speaking of dancing. Or ‘dancing’ I had that gig thing of someone dancing in front of me and getting a bit too much in my personal space. It was mainly with her head that she was tilting back every now and then. It clearly wasn’t intentional (but if she was trying to instigate love-making who could blame her?) but it was annoying. Why didn’t you move? Well I did. Though unintentional my moves were matched by hers. She was subconsciously occupying the space I was creating. I am sure if everyone else left the floor and I slowly moved to the back she would still have been close enough so that her head was close enough to freak me out – without actually touching my face. And she had lots of perfume on.

She was also doing what I can only describe as ‘girl at a guitar gig’ dancing. And that’s not sexist as it’s not. Actually I am rethinking that, it is sexist; I must have just seen women do it despite both genders being likely to do it. It kind of annoys me, the dance. Which is annoying in itself as every girl I have ever cared about does it at gigs. You know the one – it’s almost subconscious. The hips kind of sway a bit from side to side and there is a slight rotation of the shoulders. The sway increases somewhat in proportion to the level of inebriation. I think anyone doing anything other than standing still is alien to me at a gig, there’s just something about that dance – especially to guitar music that doesn’t really suit any dance that… annoys me a bit.

Have you ever seen a baseball film? If you have there’s normally a bit where we see a batter going out to the plate. You’ll see his feet twist into the ground to get a firm footing; he will be wearing tight pants and stick his bum out. You will get a close up of his gloved hands tightly gripping the baseball bat with a lot of power and strength. Then taking the bat from a high backswing they will put all there energy into the swing, hopefully contacting with the ball. That pent up energy ahead of the swing and the desire to strike something with a big bat: that’s how I feel when I see people doing that dance.

On that highly positive note which was not at all deranged and psychotic I should not finish. So, I wont. Along with many other people last night I refused to accept the limited photographic capabilities of my iPhone and took some pictures – quickly twice. Some people eh? They were more persistent and took poor quality pictures every 30 seconds throughout the gig. Good on them. I did also (hypocrisy alert) do this video, capturing Noel do my favourite bit of one of my favourite songs, enjoy the high definition footage of the heads in front of me.

Oh. And the other thing. I got it.

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