YouTube stars from all over the world were flown into London this past week to meet YT Next-Up winners. They had a mass “meet the fans” event on Thursday night, and some sort of huge collaborative video which they all worked together editing into the wee small hours… which is also a lovely song.
Now, ordinarily at this point I would make some joke about how I just sat at my desk with a cup of tea… Then possibly some remark about living so close to the edge it’s a wonder I don’t fall off… or something. Or maybe how I didn’t really imagine my first YouTube collaboration experience would consist of reading about others, on a website which offers mortal spectators nothing but a crippling sense of underachievement, and a smug little bluebird of happiness, to really rub it all in.
On this occasion though, telling you that all this has made my life seem ordinary this week… would be a lie.
The truth is, this has been, without doubt, one of the most bizarre weeks I can remember. Monday was fairly ordinary, but Tuesday arrived and the sky seemed to come tumbling off its little hooks, into the ocean. The whole world (at least than in which I live) seemed to fall apart while I sat in my little office making sets. Dogs were dying; others were having scary ordeals. People were starting new relationships; others were ending old ones (In fact… as I was writing that last sentence, another moment of drama came sniffling into my office). People were moving away; weird things were happening to the minds of others… strange green meteors were streaking across the sky in the south-western US… Tatooine was apparently discovered… strange coincidences by the dozen… weird weather… family health issues… surreal conversations… uplifting conversations… strange accidents… gastroenteritis… family members reappearing out of thin air… and rebellious technology on a scale rarely seen outside episodes of Battlestar Galactica.
I know you think I’m exaggerating. It really has been a strange, strange week. Maybe it’s just the approaching autumn wind, or the tail-end of Hurricane… whatever its name was, but I feel the wind of change. I know that’s a bit cheesy but you must know what I’m talking about? Haven’t you ever had times in your life when everything around you seems to be at a tipping point, and the feeling of change in the air is almost tangible?
Perhaps the weirdest thing this week though, is that every time I think the weirdness has passed, something even weirder happens… they just keep coming. At about 8.30 on Saturday morning I realised that one of the characters from my novel had come to life! Now before you start to question my sanity even further, what I mean is that a person I thought I had invented is actually walking around out there. It’s unsettling.
That explanation didn’t make me seem any less loony at all, did it? Oh well… rough… smooth… with… have….you. There’s a sentence in there somewhere. You find it. I’m too tired.
The outcome of this very odd week seems to have been that, though thoroughly exhausted, I am filled with a kind of optimism for the channel, for the novel, for the coming years, and for life in general, which has been missing from my life for longer than I care to remember. So, now… a word about poetry (NO… for the last time I don’t need to see a doctor).
It is becoming clear to me that when I say “I’m not a writer/poet… I’m a storyteller.” People genuinely seem to think that some form of consolation is required; as though it was the worst thing in the world that you are not a poet. I do not need to be handed tissues and told “it’s ok… we’ll just put your drawing right up there on the fridge where mummy can see it.” Being a poet is not now, nor has it ever been, something I aspire to. And believe me when I tell you that, as categories go, “Things Jimbo never aspired to” is right up there with “Red-headed Nazi Eskimos I have met whilst bungee jumping” when it comes to shelf space. Feel free to consider my lack of poetic skill a gaping hole in my writer’s arsenal, but I do not. I used to write a little of it but, for me, real poetry is like playing the guitar: You’ve spent enough time practicing to appreciate the art form, but after 17 or 18 years, you come to the conclusion you just aren’t very good at it, and the best thing to do is to hang it on your wall so that it looks like you might be good at it, and pray that house guests never say “Give us a tune, then.”
During this very long, very odd week, I read an article in which a product was described as “…so hard it could walk face-first into a speeding bus and still have enough teeth left to bite the driver’s arm off.”
That is poetry my friends. At least it is to me. It may be an unpopular viewpoint but there it is. To paraphrase Theodore J Finch: This is my Kung-Fu… and it serves me well.
Right… that’s it for this week. It has been exhausting, and I am too tired to darken the skies with your ashes. Even if you did stay away from last week’s post in droves, I can’t stay mad at you. Instead, there will be no little drawing or cartoon this week for those who refused to comment; just a prize and a little wink to the one person that did.