do crime

Morning pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do morning pages – they are not high art. They are not even ‘writing.’ They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind.

julia cameron

for over a year i have been doing (not ‘writing’, apparently) morning pages. i use a black fountain pen and a blue, 160 page, 8mm lined, wire-bound a5 notebook with a picture of an odd-toed ungulate on the cover. it feels old-school in the best possible way. i am currently on notebook number eight.

but what’s up with the word sticker photos?

did i copy them out of my morning pages? and why are they all dated from a year ago? did i stick them up on walls, lampposts and other street furniture? why? well…

this is the next phase. morning pages, act two, scene one. meta morning pages. pseudo morning pages. you might like to think of it like a high-concept long-form mixed-media reaction video. i don’t.

the idea is to use this format as a starting point, and develop it into a regular series of slightly more autobiographical posts. less pseudo. more me. more erb. whatever that means.

so stick around. the answers are coming.

i do stuff. not stuff, most likely, that i get paid to do, but stuff that those other people, who get paid to do other stuff, wish they were doing instead.


and here is another, completely separate project.

working title: culture mulcher

i have opinions about stuff. all sorts of stuff. not boring shit. the finer things in life. i’m talking art. i’m talking the arts. i’m talking culture.

would that i could just write them all down, here and now, and be done with it. sadly, there are too many – they’re too long, too boring, and they keep fucking changing. and so in a wildly unsuccessful attempt to rein in the scope, i will be using this space to present only the high points of my week, culturally speaking. later, there will be other spaces, but for now, there’s this one.

book – porno by irvine welsh

porno is a sort of sequel to trainspotting, which everyone has already heard about, or read, or watched. the title refers to one of the major themes, and the primary plot which revolves around the production of a pornographic video tape. it’s been a while since i read trainspotting, but i recently re-watched the danny boyle film version which is so fucking good. porno’s no trainspotting, but reading anything by irvine welsh is always a joy (and a struggle), in its own weird way. the plot’s ok, the characters and settings suitably morally ambiguous and grey, but the language… the language, the language, the language. ma fuckin heid.

porno, like trainspotting, takes place mostly in leith. for those that don’t know, leith is a sort of subsection of edinburgh, but it used to be a separate town, with a separate identity. according to, ‘leith is an area like no other. boasting its own distinct character, leith is a hub of lively eating and drinking spots, creativity and cultural diversity.’

sorry, but no. i’ve been to leith. recently. leith has been gentrified to shit. it’s like everywhere else. it’s a smaller, boringer version of edinburgh. and it’s getting worse, not better. granted, i don’t live there, so my opinion doesn’t mean much. i didn’t live there in the 90s, or in the early 2000s, when porno is set. would i rather live somewhere soulless and safe, or distinct and dangerous? for me, the former, but i hate that those are our only options. we can do so much better. we should demand so much more. here’s the author, on pub chains and nowhere places:

This bar fits the bill, an ikea-bland monument to our lack of imagination. It’s soho, but it could be anywhere that has no character any more.

Irvine Welsh – porno

film – paul thomas anderson’s licorice pizza (2021)

i watched this because i wanted to feel good, and i felt good. so good. it’s paul thomas anderson, so you know it’s going to be good. you can just sit back and enjoy it.

a love story like this one lives and dies by the performances of its lead actors. this one lives. it kicks and screams and laughs and cries. i loved the distinctly non-performative performances. i loved the dialogue, the seventies setting, the clothes, the music. the promotional posters are fucking gorgeous too.

music – lennon/mccartney double feature

this week i had on repeat two post-beatles songs by two post-beatles. they’re both great tracks, which go together so perfectly, like a double a-side, it almost seems they were meant to. which in a way, they were.

lennon’s how do you sleep? is a bitter diss track directed straight at mccartney. it’s sexy, it’s smooth, it’s got swag by the bagful. i particularly like the hiss he does at the end of each ‘night’. sssugestive of sssnakes. i imagine this is the sort of thing noel and liam gallagher desperately wish they’d written. it’s an oasis-y sounding song that sounds better than anything oasis ever managed. lennon asks mccartney – how do you cope with being you – i) having done what you’ve done, and ii) having failed to do what you want to do?

let me roll it is mccartney’s perfect response. this was, for me, the standout track from the absolutely stacked licorice pizza soundtrack. the whole thing is well worth listening to. and this song is a glorious, sensuous, mellifluous, metaphorical olive branch. it makes an easy mockery of lennon’s ‘musak to my ears’ dig. this is the real deal, no question.

together, i think they represent the tension that, used productively, made abbey road, my sometimes favourite beatles album, so great. if either track had gone on abbey road instead of (sigh) maxwell’s silver hammer, it would have constituted a significant improvement. never mind. just enjoy the next ten and a half minutes of musical bliss.