27 November 2003
James gives you a taster of the inevitable "journal" publication.
I've started naming the days. When you're drifting alone above the city in nothing but a clear box, you get a much more personal relationship with time. I don't go anywhere - no TV, no radio, no phone. But the sun and moon spin around me. With little else to distract me, none of the standard meal times that punctuate the daily cycle for those below me, I've gotten to know Time pretty well. It's the very least I can do to give her a name every day. Bye-bye Helen, Good morning Emily. How will I treat you today?
The crowds of course grow and shrink according to their own rhythms. The rush hour queues on the bridge. The lunchtime mob. The after work throng. The pub closing time shouters. The girl flashers are nice. Don't think your breasts aren't appreciated. And then of course there was the Paul McCartney bust-up.
I truly am the centre of the universe here. My power draws in people and makes things happen. Magical. A passive influence - separate and distant. But still a power. The crowds, the mess, the smell, the fights, the tits. All from me. Plus a few cheques and phone calls from my agent, but you can't deny the effect.
This is why I chose London. It's a big city but without a main locus. It's a sprawling conglomerate of villages all spread over a vast area, joined up underground by primary coloured lines. As there is no single centre of attention here, it is easy for me to become one.
Socially too, this is the perfect place. The hypocritical mix of adoration and resentment of celebrity sparks an infinitely higher level of debate, and therefore coverage, than in most other places I could think of. Most of them may taunt me and think of funny chants, they may say I'm a nuisance and a drain on public resources, but they'll sure as hell watch my live exit from the box. And because it will all be an inevitable anticlimax, they'll stay firmly tuned for the exclusive ad slots afterwards.
When I started this adventure, I had no idea what element would be my worst enemy: the cold, the wind, the rain. But it is the sun. Who would have thought that in London at this time of year it would be a constant discomfort? But then again, the screen I erect in the morning when the sun is low helps to add that little bit more of mystery. Is it all a clever projection? Am I in here at all? Well, you'll just have to wait and see when I roll out at the end.
And so I stay very still. The energy I have I must conserve, so I keep my shifting about to a minimum. That way passers don't get a good look. Kneeling up gets a cheer. Standing and they go mad. And it gives some good visuals for the tv ads.
And so I lie mostly and wait. There is plenty to occupy my mind. I enjoy the slowly changing vista of the city through the phases of the day and night. I enjoy the crowds shouting my name. I enjoy waking in the middle of the night to stillness and silence.
But one question keeps coming back to me: Is it cheating when I eat my own spunk?
18 December 2003. George writes: This List
Most recent ten:
15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)
Also by this clown:
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
16 October 2003. James writes: Jakesy's School of Urban Driving
24 September 2003. James writes: Chapter One
4 September 2003. James writes: The Silicon Soul
14 August 2003. James writes: A Room With 100 Seats
24 July 2003. James writes: English For Beginners
3 July 2003. James writes: Coldplay are crap. Discuss.
9 June 2003. James writes: It Takes All Sorts
22 May 2003. James writes: Lesson 2: Buying his Gran for a tenner
1 May 2003. James writes: Rosencrantz and Leytonstone
10 April 2003. James writes: Character Building
20 March 2003. James writes: So This Is It. What Are We Going To Do About It?
27 February 2003. James writes: Street Level Zero
6 February 2003. James writes: Reference: James Noteworthy
16 January 2003. James writes: Kissing George Clooney for just £99!
26 December 2002. James writes: Hongkong In Four Tableaux
5 December 2002. James writes: We Are Your Idea
14 November 2002. James writes: The Knight Of Spring Fervent
24 October 2002. James writes: Go On, Be Honest
7 October 2002. James writes: Cold Comfort
12 September 2002. James writes: Peas In A Pod
22 August 2002. James writes: Seed Investment
1 August 2002. James writes: We Are QPR
11 July 2002. James writes: The Road to Ossuna
20 June 2002. James writes: Pret A Teleporter
27 May 2002. James writes: A Play On Words
2 May 2002. James writes: Labour Saving Device
8 April 2002. James writes: Beggaring Belief
14 March 2002. James writes: Small Things
18 February 2002. James writes: Drop Dead Letters
24 January 2002. James writes: High-Rise Rhapsody
27 December 2001. James writes: My drift's too hip to resist.
6 December 2001. James writes: My Lord Has No Nose
12 November 2001. James writes: A Job For Life
18 October 2001. James writes: Which is the cleverest animal?
24 September 2001. James writes: Interview With An Automatum
30 August 2001. James writes: Each To Their Own
6 August 2001. James writes: An Escape, In Sonata Form
12 July 2001. James writes: Truckloads Of Goodies
18 June 2001. James writes: There's No Such Thing As A Coincidence
24 May 2001. James writes: It's All True - The Paper Says So
30 April 2001. James writes: A Letter From Prisyn
16 April 2001. James writes: I Quit
15 March 2001. James writes: An Essay In Procrastination
15 February 2001. James writes: Confessions Of An English Sand-Eater
22 January 2001. James writes: The Future And The Pasta
28 December 2000. James writes: Never drink with men in red
4 December 2000. James writes: The Underground
9 November 2000. James writes: Right answer. Wrong answer
16 October 2000. James writes: The March of Proudfoot: Part I
21 September 2000. James writes: You haven't got a chance
28 August 2000. James writes: Bad, man. Wicked
24 July 2000. James writes: I play games with street lamps
We are all Upsideclown: Dan, George, James, Jamie, Matt, Neil, Victor.
Material is (c) respective authors. For everything else, there's firstname.lastname@example.org.
And weeeeeee can entertain you by email too. Get fresh steaming Upsideclown in your inbox Mondays and Thursdays, and you'll never need to visit this website again. To subscribe, send the word subscribe in the body of your mail to email@example.com. (To unsubscribe, send the word unsubscribe instead.)