Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy new year...

I don't go back very often but thought I better glance backwards to see what I wrote at this time last year. I note that I was ill then, too. I'm almost over this thing that's threatened to knock me out completely, which is just as well, as I've got lots to do as of next Monday.

Typically, then, and I can say that with some authority now I know I said and did the same last year, there'll be no lists or resolutions or predictions from me, nor much patting myself on the back for a year well done. 2009 was a relatively quiet one. A play co-written and performed that made people laugh and truly deserved a longer run, a full-length play written, delivered and looking like it might surface at some point in 2011, a short film directed and screened in a proper cinema, another short film shot and awaiting post production, what felt like a strengthening of the ties that we've enjoyed with Humber Mouth, a very short piece rearing its comedic head in a rehearsal room at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, the end of my PR hell, a return to standing in front of students (supposedly imparting some kind of wisdom), another year as Writer in Residence at Hull College that has involved neither writing nor residency (and, the board will be pleased to note, no payment for said position!), some essential support that was, in part, courtesy of the oft-looming sceptre of Joe Orton, ideas knocked back and forth and back again, some heading onwards and upwards and others buried forever, and lots of M and Finn - without both of whom none of my silly shenanigans would be possible nor worthwhile.

As I contemplate the next 12 months I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels that the toughest days are ahead of us - the double and triple dips are on their wicked way; economically Britain's about as f*cked as a country can be and there's absolutely no way that we can work our way out of this one as our industry amounts, relatively speaking, to nothing more than a big fat nothing. I also note that the nice new enemies of the west have come into clear focus in the last few days - Iran and Nigeria. Deary me, when will this silliness end? Sad to say there is even more selfishness around than there was a year ago and nobody is apparently learning anything from the hard lessons we're all experiencing.

Personally, artistically and creatively there are exciting times ahead. Feel on the cusp of something good and, without wanting to tempt fate or second guess what might come our way, some commercial success afoot too. But you never can tell and, having learned to take nothing for granted, I'll gladly take whatever comes my way.

In 2010, please be selfless, love your fellow planet-dwellers, give more than you take, share what you know, what you learn and what you earn. And, whatever you do, don't vote Conservative or BNP in the general election.

I'll mainly be spending the next year writing. It might not change the world but, then again, it might, so I better not stop just yet. I plan to tackle the new year head on, wrestle it to the ground, make it mine, ruffle a few feathers along the way, be an iconoclast, look for the truth, make a difference. You?

Last year, I quoted Baz Luhrman circa Sunscreen. Given the huge cracks appearing in society, it would seem a bit flippant to suggest that we all just do a little dance tonight. Regular stalkers will be aware that I've just read Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London. So, as the clock shifts towards midnight and Jools Holland settles down at his piano before introducing Paul Weller (or Sam Brown, or similar), why not reflect on this:

"The educated man prefers to keep things as they are. Possibly he does not
like his fellow rich very much, but he supposes that even the vulgarest of them
are less inimical to his pleasures, more his kind of people, than the poor, and
that he better stand by them. It is this fear of a supposedly dangerous mob that
makes nearly all intelligent people conservative in their opinions.

Fear of the mob is a superstitious fear. It is based on the idea that there
is some mysterious, fundamental difference between rich and poor, as though they were two different races. But in reality there is no such difference. The mass of the rich and poor are differentiated by their incomes and nothing else, and the average millionaire is only the average dishwasher dressed in a new suit...

The educated man...does not see that since there is no difference between
the mass of rich and poor, there is no question of setting the mob loose.
The mob is in fact loose now, and - in the shape of rich men - is using its
power to set up enormous treadmills of boredom...a
plongeur is a slave,
and a wasted slave, doing stupid and largely unnecessary work. He is kept at
work, ultimately, because of a vague feeling that he would be dangerous if he
had leisure. And educated people, who should be on his side, acquiesce in the
process, because they know nothing about him and consequently are afraid of

George Orwell - Down and Out in Paris and London (1933)

I dunno, maybe you'd prefer to do a little dance.

A happy new year to everyone I love - M, Finn, Danielle, Scott, Sam, me dear old mum - and my friends and relatives far and near and, well, you, whoever the f*ck you are.

All the best. Make 2010 count. x


Andrew Allison said...

Does love of your fellow planet dwellers extend to those of us with a centre-right political persuasion? If so, Happy New Year to you too, and I hope it is a successful one for you.

PS: This Blogger of the Year award is going to your head. LOL

Dave W said...

Aye. Happy New Year and success to you and yours too!