Saturday, 19 January 2013

You're No Sun Of Mine.

Fame can do funny things to people, you noticed?  Some people at least, not everyone.  I suppose it’s like a lot of things in that way though.  Penicillin for example; I mean obviously for the majority of folk penicillin is a great thing which has a really positive effect on them and can significantly improve their overall quality of life, but for a few individuals, like me, penicillin has a pretty weird influence on us.  For some reason we just have this really extreme adverse to it and we simply can’t take it.  Same with global popularity I think; normally if somebody suddenly acquires a few million adoring fans following a hit album or movie or whatever, that's good, smashin, who doesn't love a bit of well-deserved praise?  But for some aspiring performers that’s when something bizarre starts to happen.  Hard to say precisely what goes wrong, my guess would be it’s a combination of factors; a few too many yes-men here, a life sized papier-mâché model of themselves made with real human hair from a slightly too devoted girl in Japan there and before you know it *bam* they’ve lost all touch with reality and they’re proverbial head has swollen to the size of…well, my actual head after some penicillin. (No, honestly, you should see it, it's messed up.)
This is not news of course.  The particularly public nature of modern celebrity means we’ve invariably all seen it happen: Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Marlon Brando, Diana Ross, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Charlie Sheen, the list goes on and on.  All these stars and more have seen recognition inflate their egos either to the point of just having your bog standard overblown concept of their own self-worth, or else all the way up to your 100%, Grade A, fully paid, up, card carrying, fruitloopery.  Most gallingly of all, this persona often continues when the artist in question's biggest attributes are well and truly behind them, be that professionally for Michael Jackson, actual physical arseally for Jennifer Lopez  or in the case of a latter day Marlon Brando, both.  I don’t want to waste time discussing celebrities here though; we could argue all day over who truly deserves star status and who doesn’t, but god knows there are way too many people out there who get paid way too much money to do that already.  No, I want to talk about a genuine star.  The star that I think stated the whole ‘I’m amazing, me’ trend off; a star that has been adored by millions, if not billions, of people for an unbelievable number of years and is still every bit as popular today despite just generally having a really, really, really bad ‘tude.  In fact chances are you’re a fan of this star yourself so I’m probably on to plums with this argument already but I’m still gonna have my say anyway - my blog, my rules.  Today I wanna talk about the sun.  You heard me.  Yeah the sun.  The sun sun.  In the sky.  That one.
My theory is that like nearly all spoilt stars, the source of the sun’s problems can likely be traced back to its early years and in fairness probably weren't all the sun's fault in the beginning.  I mean I guess if I was out one day, just minding my own business, passing by ancient Egypt and I happened to look down and notice their entire civilization worshipping me, I’d feel pretty good about myself too.  I’d be all like ‘Me?  Y-you mean me?  Really?  Awww, c’mon guys, don't be silly I’m just a regular – woah!  Seriously??  You built that thing for me?  That big thing there?  Aw sweet, man.  Hey what did you just call me? Ra?  Ra...Yeah I like it, it’s kinda snappy.”  Okay, admittedly one instance like that probably wouldn’t be enough to tip you over the edge, once is just a nice pick-me-up, maybe keep you in a good mood the rest of the day, but if after that you were to mosey on round to ancient Greece say and find that they were really in to you  too - they build you stuff and call you 'Helios' as a cool nickname and all that jazz - at this point it's conceivable that you’re possibly going to start thinking to yourself, “Yeah, I AM pretty special, aren’t I?”  Now let’s say on top of all the stuff with Greeks and the Egyptians, you were to find out that Native American Indians and the Mayans have a special dance they do just for you (not together) Well now, I know that’s a boost because I’ve been on a stag do or two, I’ve had a special dance done just for me and I gotta tell you, I did not hate it.  But what if it didn’t stop there?  What if the fan club just kept getting bigger?  What if the already pretty pleased with itself sun discovered that the ancient Persians throw a party especially to celebrate it arriving every day?  Every single day.  No special occasion, a shindig just for showing up.  That’s like if every door you or I ever went through was the 'Stars in Their Eyes' door, with all of the cheering and applause, cept none of the turning into Luther Vandross.  Imagine that?

So there you go you see.  Obviously if you’re exposed to nothing but the unadulterated adulation of the whole world, everwhere you go, on a daily basis for millennia, naturally you’re going to lose perspective and start to get a bit up yourself.  It’s classic; too much success, too fast, too soon.  Like I said, all yes-men and nobody there to occasionally go, “Ho, you need to just cool it, sun, okay?”  Whoever’s fault it is however, what a monster they created.  Think about how the sun acts now: it’s hardly ever comes out in spite of loads of people being desperate to see it, even on days it’s scheduled to appear it often doesn’t or else it arrives late and when it does show up it’ll regularly disappear early, sometimes after only a few minutes just cos it feels like it.  If you look at it the wrong way or even just hang about it long enough it might seriously hurt you and yet, despite all this, it still retains millions of dedicated fans worldwide, many of whom will happily take their top off for it.  Remind you of anyone?  That’s right; the sun is now basically the celestial equivalent of former Guns ‘N’ Roses frontman and current delusional pain in the arse Axl Rose. Not good. 

You know where you are!? You're in the Teletubbies bay-beh, you're gonna DIE!

Mind you if there’s one thing that winds me up more than our blind love of the sun it’s our criminal under appreciation of the moon.  From my purely non-scientific perspective, the way I (literally) see it, the moon is basically the same as the sun except it works nights.  Certainly it’s doing an equally as important job anyway.  The moon regulates the tides, that's a big deal, the basic eco systems of this planet would be royally screwed without it, not to mention all of us along with them, so my question is this; where’s the moon’s kudos?  Hmm?  Where’s the moon’s parade?  Where’s the legions of people flocking out in their specially bought outfits to have a barbeque in the moonlight?  Nowhere, that’s where.  I suppose you might well say it’s not hot enough for a barbeque, but isn’t that a sad indictment of the society we live in today; everything divided into hot & not hot, in or out, hip or not hip. “Oh - my - god, the sun is like so hot right now!  The moon?  Pff, whatever, I’m like soooo over it.  I’m like totally over the moon.”  Do me a favour.  The moon shows up every night and puts in a good 12 hour shift to zero acclaim.  All it gets in the way of recognition or thanks for doing its job is the occasional wee cameo in some horror story filled with werewolves and ghosts and murders which just makes people want to avoid it more in future.  Aye.  Great.  Ta.  “Aw, lot of nutters about tonight, must be a full moon” that commonly used phrase should tell you all you need to know about the moon's working conditions a lot of the time.

Like I say, make no mistake, the moon's big news up there, it could quite easily take the sun’s attitude and start getting a bit high and mighty, maybe lay down a few divaish demands that must be met before it'll appear, but no, the moon continues to modestly insist that it's really not star at all, honestly, it's just ordinary moon.  Howzat for humility?  There’s none of this ‘Absolutely no one must make direct eye contact with the sun at any time for the duration of the sun's stay.‘  You can stare at the moon all you want, it doesn’t care.  It’s just sound like that.  “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore.”  Beautiful, isn’t it?  I love that song.  “When the sun hits your eye like a big fiery pie that’s severe corneal and retinal damage resulting in painful long term or permanent blindness.”  Hm.  Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

Wheeeen theee sun hits your eye like AHHHHHHHHHH!! AHHHHHHHHHH!! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Approachable, that’s the other thing we like our famouses to be, isn’t it?  Well the moon’s approachable.  There’s no question of us being too far beneath the moon to be worthy of going anywhere near it like we're told with the sun.  You can go to the moon right now if you want, that’s totally cool with the moon.  Alright it would cost a bit to get there but that’s not the moon’s fault, is it?  If you were coming to see me, you’d be welcome but you wouldn’t expect me to pay your bus fare or petrol money to get here.  If you ask me the moon is too accommodating.  Has a tendency to let visitors walk all over it I reckon.  Most people would’ve probably been like “I don’t care what that flag symbolises, you can’t that leave it here cluttering up my place, I’m sorry, naw” but that’s not the moons style, it’s like ‘Sure, pop it down wherever and feel free to come back up and see me any time. I’ll maybe see you tomorrow night?  Okay, cool.  Safe journey back now. Ooh, want some moon rock?  Nah go on, honestly I’ve got loads just lying about I’m not using”  The moon is a dude.

As underrated as the moon is however, at least it’s not out and out hated like the rain.  It does my box in when I hear people complain about the rain, seriously.  Fair enough if it was showing up all the time just to put a stop to everyone’s rippingly good outdoor fun and nothing else, but can you not see that the rain – ironically enough for a liquid – is there doing us all a massive solid by keeping everything hydrated?  In fact in reality it does us the biggest favour of all, it provides the water we drink to live, yet predominantly gets nothing but abuse for its trouble.  It keeps us alive for god sake.  When you think about it then, complaining about the rain is essentially then the same as watching some Paramedics arrive to treat a critically ill person and going “Aw god here they come.  Typical.  Just when I was starting to enjoy myself.  Totally ruined my day they have.  Paramedics, Paramedics go away, come again another day!”  Well they can’t do that because if they do that someone’s very likely to die.  There, you happy, Busta Rhymes?  You nearly killed a guy.  It’s not just our bodies the rain keeps going mind, it’s the economy too.  Clearly with a recession on we need all tourists we can get over here spending their hard earned dollars, or yen, or rupees or dong *struggles to supress a snigger* and the best way to attract them is to play to our strengths.  Rich Americans and Arab tourists don’t come to here to see a giant sun drenched sand box, they get enough of that at home, they want the romantic, picturesque ye olde rolling hills and glens, so if we want to keep them dishing out their pretty green we better make sure we’ve got scenery to match.  What do we need for that?  Zactly.  Rain and lot's of it.

Of course I'm not saying the rain’s perfect.  For a start it could do to get itself over Africa a bit more often (although I’m led to believe it did go over there to see the band Toto once) and occasionally it can be a right troublemaker what with floods and such, but at least it makes no secret of that fact.  When you think about it, by comparison the sun is properly sneaky about how dangerous it can be.  Oh sure it comes over all nice and helpful with its vitamin D chat, but after a while on the sly it’s secretly like, “Pssst, I’m actually really quite bad for your skin, like I’m talking potentially life threatening,” then quickly it’s offically back to “Oh nothing, nothing.  Forget I said anything, just go back to sleep.  Here you’re browning up real nice there by the way, that tan's really coming on.  You leave it to me, I'll have you looking amazing tomorrow.”  The rain though, the rain’s more up front about things.  It’ll throw a couple of clouds out there first, maybe a wee rumble when something’s really about to go down, as if to say  “Here man, I’d just stay out my way today, yeah?  Just one of those days, know what I mean.”  Even if you don’t heed these warnings and it gets really bad the rain will still be giving you chances to reconsider.  Let’s face it, by the time the water reaches your waist that’s it essentially saying, “Look mate, I’m not going to lie to you here okay, hands up, I’m trying to drown you now.  I mean I thought I’d made that clear when I got up to your knees, but apparently not, so this is me officially telling you straight; you might want to get to higher ground or buy a boat or some armbands or something.  Sorry about this.”  If nothing else you have to admire its honesty and sense of fair play.  So yeah the rain's not terribly glamorous and can be a bit dark, but deep down it’s alright.  This is basically a meteorological ‘Pride & Prejudice’ we’ve got going on here, remember that?  Everyone think’s Mr Darcy’s an tube because he’s not very charismatic and everybody thinks Mr Bingley’s the business because he’s bright and sunny and fun, but in the end (spoiler alert – although c’mon, you’ve had 200 years, what’ve you been doing?) it turns out Bingley’s the gonk and Darcy’s cool as.

The rain is Mr Darcy. Insert your own wet joke here.
My point is the rain's a decent sort.  It does loads for us.  Not just those big important things I’ve already mentioned either but other, little, thoughtful stuff as well.  If you knew a guy who from time to time when you couldn’t be bothered getting up to go out and water the plants or wash the car, would go “Naw you wait there, I got this” you would love that guy.  Well what’s the rain if not that guy in weather form?  And that’s not all; it can to so much more for you if you just cut it some slack.  Look what the rain can do for you if you just give it a chance:

This lady later died of hypothermia but the flowery picture at her funeral was dynomite.

Yeah.  That.  The rain can make you look like that.  Even the guys.  Come on y'all, give an environmental phenomenon a break, yo.  All I'm saying is it might be nice appreciate some genuinely helpful, quite literally, down to earth weather for a change instead of playing cheerleader for some distant, egotistical star that just looks down on us all the time.  It wouldn’t kill us to just give the sun a miss for a while y'know ( might eventually…I don’t know, I’d need to check that, but you see what I’m getting at.)  Perhaps the best thing we could do the next time the sun's shows up, rather automatically stripping off and running out to meet it like some mad groupie, maybe could we go a different way from all those ancient civilisations and give it the cold shoulder to put it in its place.  Next time the sun swings round we should all join up, a modern civilisation united as one and together in one unified voice proudly declare, “Not the now, we’re playing Xbox” then shut the curtains.  That might teach it not to go around acting like the sun shines out its – aw.  Whatever, look, I may not have convinced you with this but David Bowie knows what I’m talking about.  Sometimes the sun can be a real bitch, am I right Dave?  We like a bit of rain, don't we bud?...  

A land without rain? David Bowie's nomad about the idea.

No comments:

Post a Comment