notes on america

regardless of the cult surrounding On the Road at the moment (recently cinematically transformed into a contrived teen drama submerged in a stylised sick-pool of self-indulgence), Jack Kerouac is a predictable weakness of mine.

a hitchhiking Marlon Brando-pisshead with a talent for immediate expression he’s perhaps the embodiment of a hipster wet dream, but also an incredible writer whose talents go beyond the current obsession with ‘retro lifestyles’ and the appliance of ‘vintage’ to anything of the past that looks remotely cool. the appeal of On the Road is obvious – a riotous trip of jazz, drugs, sex, alcohol – but in other words also a slightly pretentious repetition of supposed male-exclusive amusements.

Dharma Bums and The Subterraneans on the other hand deal with issues of alcoholism, alienation, race and identity within a society of assumed affluent progress. the novels present alternative ways of living and thinking, discarding the normative roles synonymous with the American dream of extreme suburban boredom. The Subterraneans is also an everyday love story, which I like since it’s authentic and beautiful and could happen to one of us if it hasn’t already.

winter is coming

where I come from you have to embrace the darkness to stay sane; welcome him into your life, invite him for small-scale dinner parties, discreetly flirt with him over nibbles, introduce him to your friends on nights out in the numbing cold even though nobody really likes him or his weird jokes. if you reject him you will spend the whole winter feeling empty and depressed and your life becomes unbearably meaningless, like an endless marathon of Friends.

but I hate him all the same… the slow and sneaky transition from light to hours of dark void, the sun that becomes fat and heavy on the horizon like an overweight Elvis unable to get an erection, pathetic street lights along deserted roads.

so this winter I prepare for the worst, stocking up on wine and sweets and 80s films that glorify capitalism. although I found a dead mouse under my bed the other day after spending 24 hours just above it fighting some horrible fever, I refuse to succumb to tragedy.

take me away to kiruna, baby, I can handle it.

I could be the voice of my generation. or at least a voice. of a generation

lena dunham’s Girls hit the UK TV-screens yesterday so for those of you who haven’t heard of this modern piece of mastery or are dismissing it, thinking it’s some kind of Sex and the City-shit about expensive shoes, prepare yourself for a decadent lock-in. I watched the first season twice. it’s funny, realistic and about women – three things which rarely (if ever?) co-exist in mainstream TV.

på min gata i stan

en parant dam hävdar sig gång på gång vid bordet nästintill mitt. hon sörplar te och riktar en möblemangmonolog mot sin obekväma dotter, raspar runt om de ’antika’ trästolarna på kafét så att ytspänningen i min kaffekopp rubbas.

från radion hörs en flamsande doris day förmedla allmän meningslöshet om hur glad man borde vara då det finns småfåglar och en regnbåge utanför fönstret.

damen slickar sina rynkiga läppar lena och upplever bitterljuva vågsvall av nostalgi. drömmar om vintern, om vidsträckt is, om enkla trästolar i gårdsfarstun. hennes ögon glänser som två intetsägande maneter. en spänstig tårdroppe frigör sig och blöter ner.

jag vandrar från överklassens Highgate ner till Archway och ser en mamma vråla högt och putta ner sin lilla son på marken i hetsk irritation. här finns inga kvittrande småfåglar, ingen trolsk nostalgi och doris day går en omväg runt stationen för att undvika ett par beniga crackheads. några befläckade duvor rör om i rännstensskiten, det är allt.

my generation

the beginning of 3rd year and I’m dreading graduation. only a few months lie between a perfect landscape of late night creativity and the seemingly endless uphill struggle of full time work. what if dreams fail. what if future plans are swallowed up by a smothering void of youth unemployment. people often ask me what kind of jobs you get with an English lit degree. perhaps you don’t get a job and have to move back home, suddenly revisiting your teenage past, drinking filter coffee, dodging tram fares and owing people fivers.

after paying a fortune for education I’m really looking forward to the next career step; making my mark in the competitive world of unpaid internships.