November 8th, 2003


Grobing Probe

A small piece of spleen. I wish there wasn't such a popularity of anime in the US. I'm trying to find the lyrics to the Shokichi Kina song 'Hana'. This isn't an unknown song, but unfortunately any possible hit for the lyrics is obscured by swathes of pages for some anime title song. Listen, anime people, no one in Japan watches this stuff. No one. Except a small number of small children of various ages. Okay, maybe a quality cartoon like Evangelion, but not all this reject stuff that's marked only fit for export. These people are universally cast out from society and have to exist on stale convenience store food pinched out of dumpsters. Their heads are tattoed and they are exiled to a small island in the Inland Sea that floats about three metres above the water. There's any number of other aspects of contemporary J-culture that you could get into: pop music, video games, i-mode, Louis Vuitton, cosplay even, who cares. Just stop soaking up bandwidth and search engines with this rubbish. As for hentai manga, those people aren't even allowed an island to themselves. They're all forced to become construction workers. Or policemen. Or diet members. There are some great things in Japan, please stop being interested in some of the saddest ones going. Err, all you anime fans who read this site. Ho, ho... ごめんね。。。

It's a strange dream that I awoke from this morning. A group of us (it felt like the Folks crowd, but it wasn't exactly) had been invited to spend the day at Johnny Cash's house. This house was a fairly tasteful small English stately home . There wasn't any structure to the day's activities. June Carter Cash had passed away sometime previously and Johnny was on his own. Occasionally he'd disappear for a while, I spotted an ambulance arriving in the grounds with the words 'E Positive' stencilled on the side, must be having one of those Swiss blood treatments, I thought. He was young and full of energy. At one point he was sitting there, talking about an unreleased song called 'Radiator Blues' that was about the death of his brother due to radiation exposure. That'll be on that box set, I said, realising that the box set was a posthumous thing from this world. We spent the day exploring the grounds and playing impromptu freely improvised versions of Yankee Doodle Dandy. It felt good to be there and to be filling the house with the sound of music. Every once in a while, I'd feel myself on the verge of bursting into tears. This can't go on, he's going to die soon. Maybe that's what he's doing upstairs now. Rooms full of mementos from fans. As close as I was standing to him for much of the time he was around, I could never bring myself to say anything in thanks for the music and words. But I started writing a song in the dream and then I awoke, felt alert and clear-headed, where by rights I should have one hell of a hangover since I was downing whiskey, gin and vodka for most of the night in various exciting concoctions. A few nights ago, I drank two pints and awoke feeling sick and bedraggled. How come?

Possibly the healing sounds of that old mountain music. Ralph Stanley came to town last night. I may write about it in the next few days. It's a shame to say it, but as much as Johnny's death was a final chapter in the great period of country music, Dr Stanley is maybe the only remaining link back into those Clinch Mountain hills. It's true that there's plenty of fine players left, I don't doubt that, but, well, the Stanley Bros... It's a busy weekend and I still have to find the lyrics to 'Hana'.