Friday, 4 March 2011

When Swimming Against The Tide...

...swim until your arms get tired, and when they do? Stick them together and pray the tide is headed towards the shore, and not away from it.
Otherwise you're fucked, mate.
Have a nice swim.

I guess I'm not one of life's more quotable people.

"If you're going through Hell, keep going" Winston Churchill.
Now there's a quote.

I love Winston Churchill quotes, very uplifting, especially in a world in such desperate need for heroes that we elect Charlie Sheen as the worlds most quotable generator. Now don't get me wrong I love this whole Charlie Sheen Winning thing. I'm not one of those people who are bored with it. I never get bored of illuminating characters. I cling onto them and hope they don't go away, or get boring, much like the guy swimming against the tide. Except I know which way the water is heading and, just as with the entertainment world, it is heading in the way it is supposed to go, via the path of least resistance. The popular way.

Except I hate the popular way. Always did, always will. McDonalds is the popular way and that tiny bistro, the one sells the best home cooked food you ever tasted, will be kept tiny because everyone would rather eat at McDonalds. Everyone in the world it would appear. It is the popular way.
Fuck the popular way.

Winston Churchill lead the British to victory because he trod the unpopular path, and there couldn't have been much in the way of company amid those overgrown weeds and that rough, uneven rock floor. The company would have been treading the popular, smooth, level road, unthinking, unchanging, uninspired. Having it easy. Not winning, not in any way.

Nothing has ever been done of any worth by taking the obvious approach, except for maybe creating a social level of excellence that you can obtain easier than nabbing a library card. Life is hard? Bullshit. In the western world life is designed to feature as little hardship as the public will demand from the comfort of worn out armchairs, 32" flat screens and lap tops. They make it easy because it keeps us quiet.
Being out of shape sucks, TV is boring and the internet fries your brain, these are all universally accepted facts, and acceptance takes way less energy than resistance.
There's that bloody swimmer again.
And I feel like that swimmer today. I feel like giving up trying to make a difference. The modern business model tells me that albums are dead, so why bother making them? The average Schmoe wants to flail around willingly accepting arcane modes of promoting and marketing, so why even try to change heritage?

Except I can't escape from a basic mode of operation that follows me to bed and is there to greet me when I wake up.


What is so great about anyone else's method that it can't be challenged?

This little guy agrees, even if no one else around him does.

And this guy agrees, even though everyone else ends up also agreeing.

The one thing they've got in common is that success was the last thing on their mind. They just wanted to fight apathy.
We lost the music industry because we didn't fight apathy, and now the only way you're gonna make a cent is by getting off your arse. And, judging by the plague of inactivity going round at the moment, 'sit on down' is most definitely the new 'get on up'.
Maybe we actually needed the spark that was the record industry? Jesus, did I just say that?

Here's some genius to enjoy. Just pure, simple genius that only involved someone saying "hey, what if we did this?". It cost them nothing but imagination and balls.

Yesterday I finished off recording for the new album "The Frankenstein Effect". Made me feel weird. I was listening to it thinking "nothing really sounds like this. I mean I like it but I have absolutely no idea if anyone else will".
That slight apprehension was met with giddy excitement and slight nausea, and it was a feeling I'm not readily used to. I normally kinda know when something is good, or great, or falling short of the mark, based on established standards and norms.
I'm in Kerrang! magazine this week with a nice news feature/studio report. Been told for ages that studio reports aren't important, that news features aren't important, but I tend to hear discouragement from people as "if it isn't my idea then I'm not interested", then I go ahead and try to do it anyway.
I'm that penguin who doesn't care that other penguins stand around in the cold to keep warm, I want to see if leaping about keeps you warm too. And this time it did, but it was also fun.

Still there is only so much swimming against the tide that can be done before fatigue sets in, and I have to say I'm starting to feel a little tired lately. Tired of having to reinforce ideas, (voluntarily) running ahead of others, investing my own money and trying to persuade others that something is worth doing. Sometimes I think I want to give up, give in, see how things would be if I stopped working so hard. Except I kind of know how things would be if I stopped giving a shit and it looks pretty bleak, to be honest.
Let's hope the tide changes direction soon, eh?

In the meantime here's something nice n' disturbing with which to change the subject.

Blogs are weird, aren't they? Given the absolute freedom of expression sometimes, I imagine, this outlet exposes musicians as shiny little ornaments housing very little of any worth, but, I suspect, sometimes it elevates lesser known commercial entities and highlights internal workings rather more fascinating than their meagre mainstream success would suggest to be the case.
And other times it's more of a cathartic purge. This one feels more like a trail of breadcrumbs leading back to where I started, except that I felt lost at the beginning and now I'm not sure there ever was a point. We all feel lost. Life is tough for everyone. We all feel like we're going a bit mad (right?). Things often make very little sense.
Sometimes we need something familiar to cling on to, like this:

Yeah, feel a bit lost today. Lost and alone. Thought I'd let you know, just so you know you've got company.

You're not alone. Or, should I rephrase that, we're all alone.
That's what belonging is.
Bearing that in mind it shouldn't be hard to swim against the tide, right?
Except that it is. Anything worth doing tends to be really difficult otherwise everyone would make a difference. Why should they put you off? Fuck them, do it anyway.

Whatever it is you want to do why not just go and do it? Do it without giving a shit what people say or who is by your side.
And if you're alone then fuck it, so is everyone.
So was the guy that started the dance craze in the festival video upstairs. And the first guy who joined him? He was alone too. And then there was a huge crowd sharing the glorious experience of being alone, together.

We arrive in this world alone and we die alone, and we make a difference alone.

Don't let it put you off.

Happy fucking Friday. Here's the Wanky Shit Demon.


  1. I've had a bit of a defeatist feeling week and you just reminded me why I want to do what I want to do. So glad you're in this world. Don't give up cos if you do then I might just have to in sympathy and I don't want to give up.

    Once my course I'm on is finished in three weeks time I fully intend to start sharing music that I think is brilliant with the world by artists who I love and, by fuck, I'm gonna do it.

    Thanks for the inadvertant pep talk.

    Love to ya xxx

  2. Ah you'll never give up Ginger; resistance is written into your very DNA, sir. I always considered it a travesty of entertainment justice that you never hit the stratosphere - Wildhearts should have been filling stadiums but talent counts for fuck all in this world as well we know.

    I agree with Delmar: The world is a better place with you in it, better still with you working like you do. You've been a personal hero of mine since I saw Just in Lust on TV all those years ago.

    My personal mantra is and has been since 1997, 'If there's a song to play, which doesn't fit today, why not just play the bastard anyway?' and you said you weren't quotable.......

    Chin up, sir. Your audience will always love you and everything you do. And you will ALWAYS have an audience.

  3. Dear Ginger, This blog, for personal reasons, couldn't have come at a better time. Thank you for always being inspiring just at the right time.

    I can't wait for mutation, it will be the soundtrack to my scary new life.


  4. Ginger, you are an an absolute genius with words. Every time you write one of these
    'blogs' or for that matter any review/story they are so thought provoking and often inspirational.
    I know I/we all have lonely/bad/fucking awful days and feel totally alone, but we must always stay true to ourselves and find a way through. I love reading your thoughts and truly love the talent that you are.
    Never stop, what would we do without you?
    Love and hugs,
    Debbie :)x

  5. Hey Ginger. Good on ya. I've got about three projects I'm working on right now. Some of them I've been working on for years (a novel), some are new (a podcast). None, as yet, have gained me anything outside the joy of simply doing them...and probably some catharsis I guess.

    There are definitely days when I think about not working on them anymore, but than I imagine the world, my world, if I did, and it looks terribly monochrome. I like the idea of us all being alone together. Framed that way it allows us all to paint our own worlds however we see fit. One has but to do so.

    Fuck 'em all man. I like my world. Stay cool in yours too sir.

  6. WOW! AMEN... There is so much TREASURE in this blog. I need to digest this a few times!!! BEAUTIFUL!