Sunday, July 18, 2004

17 (AGAIN)

Well, Rachel Steven's in at No. 2, as predicted by me (though not on this blog) gut instinct had been that Usher would drag it out for another week. Guess it was pretty naive of me to think that Shapeshifters would come in at no. 3 or 4...I should've checked out the Mid-Week Chart but that seems like cheating somehow. "Lola's Theme" seems pretty uninspiring to me; maybe if I was 17 and pilled out of my face I'd think it was bloody marvellous, though I doubt it somehow. If I was pilled out of my face I'd still think it was crap, and if I was 17 ...well, what would I be listening to, I wonder? Any attempt to retro-engineer my tastes and recreate a cultural Year Zero for myself, would, by definition, automatically be sabotaged by the fact that my current tastes are defined by a ridiculously complex mesh of memories, associations and random neurological linkages that probably stretch back to my birth and beyond. Fuck, I can't even remember what it was like to be 17.
    The best I can hope to come up with is an implausible and patronising wish-list of what my Adult-Self thinks it would be, like, really cool for my Child-Self to listen to, ie Grime, Desi and Crunk.
    Each of us has a personal mental road-map; mine (minus several thousand bifurcations, dead-ends, detours, b-roads and short-cuts) goes something like: Bolan->Bowie->Reed->VU->Kevin Ayers->Hawkwind->Amon Duul 2-> Can->Neu!->Punk Rock->Industrial->Thug Funk->Electro->Hip-Hop->House->Acid-> Techno->TechStep/NeuroFunk->Laptop->Noise->Jap Pysch->Free-Folk/Acid-Folk->Bolan. (My brain is a lot like the M25: it's slow, repetitive and dirty. And there's nowhere to stop when you need a pee.)  Of course, there's no way you can fully represent this mental map in less than 4-dimensions and the whole exercise becomes pretty pointless when you realise that what you're actually trying to map out is, in effect, your own life. It's a lot easier to live it than it is to describe it. 
    It's obvious, though, that without Bolan (or The Monkees or Jack Kirby or a thousand million other things that predated him, but that I also dig) I wouldn't be the person I am today; I would not have the same mental road-map. And without that road-map and its reference-points, that 17 year-old me might as well be another person: someone as strange and unknowable as God Itself...not that I'm, you know, comparing myself or anything. But whether my mythological meta-teen self ends up as  a >Yawn< Straight Edge Sk8 Kid, an Emo-Indie Bedwetter or pill-boshing Scooter-loving Euro-Trance Twat, there is still one immutable, irreducible truth that I'm completely certain of:
   I'd still fucking hate Morrissey.