Tuesday, February 08, 2011

From John Tranter to Jennifer Aniston

February always makes me feel tired. It doesn’t matter whether the weather is stormy or simply chill, whether the sky is low and grey or high and blue. There’s just something about the month. It’s so relentless, a winter that lasts and lasts and lasts and has been lasting since last November and may well last until well into April if we’re unlucky.

Last night, I was reading John Tranter’s Selected, Urban Myths: 210 Poems, and was enjoying it, but there came a point when my brain wasn’t taking anything in and I did something I wouldn't have done at all if it had been summer – I switched on the TV, and there was Jennifer Aniston. As usual, she was playing Rachel from Friends, but in a movie about how some bride-to-be (Aniston) suspects that The Graduate had been based on her parents and goes around trying to find out whether the rumour is true or not. Somehow, I watched this for about half an hour. Complete nonsense. It’s hard to believe that so many millions can get poured into rubbish like this while virtually nothing is given to marketing and distributing poetry.

But this is the world and “we’re all in this together,” as Disney and David Cameron tell us, an alliance almost as unholy as the current coalition. Except we’re not in it together. There is plenty of room for opposition, for not playing. I switched off and went to sleep, wondering why it had taken me so long. There are worlds it’s best to have nothing to do with whatsoever.

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