14 February 2008

The First Post

I've decided to get this blog off on the right foot by making the first post a list of things I love. Now, I'm not talking about things I like: this is a list of things I genuinely, truly LOVE. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...

1. Neil Hannon
and The Divine Comedy
I have to start with this one because lately I've been thinking
a lot about how much I love Neil Hannon. Oh, my God, I love him so much! Even my mind boggles at it. Not romantic love (although he does have the distinction of being the only person I'm not attracted to whom I'd marry - he just seems like he would be enormous fun), but more like...musician love. First of all, how can you not love a man who writes lines like, "I fled from the capital's bourgeois malaise," and then manages to fit them into a song? And then, he has so many songs in waltz time, and waltz time is my favourite signature of all. Plus, he just seems so smart...and so funny...and he wears beautiful frock coats. I love people who recognize clothing themselves as a form of costuming! All of Neil Hannon's lovely, happy songs just make me think of kissing someone: sticky kisses. So I love him and the band he rode in on (plus, I think he'd be great to hang out with. He seems like a pun-maker). I don't even mind that he's blond!

2. Smart cars
and electric cars. Not because they're environmentally friendly, although I
like that, too, but because they're so small. They're tidy. I'm not very big, and I imagine if I got in a Smart or an electric car
I'd fit perfectly, with no space for clutter. Also, to me they don't have a thing out of place or unnecessary. They're miracles of design, in that they seem to make maximum use of the smallest amount of space. So I say Yes! to Smart cars and their electric brethren. You can tootle around town in them, happy in your tiny, tidy car.

3. Cheese
What more is there to say? I love toast, too, but if the food police put me up against the wall,
I'd give up toast before I'd give up cheese. At least I think I would.

4. Celtic Men
Or, more specifically, men who adhere to Celtic type #1: Pale skin, dark hair (or prematurely grey hair), blue eyes,
and large, long noses. I love 'em. Yep. In fact, I'd have to take a stand here and say I just don't like brown-eyed men. But this post is the Things I Love post, so let's not get into that. (yes, I know that's Dermot Morgan, and while we're at it I DO love Father Ted. But here Dermot Morgan is just an example of The Type of Celtic Man I Quite Fancy.)

5. Krispy Kreme Donuts
But only the creme-filled kind. And even then, I don't really love the kind with chocolate glaze, but rather the kind with regular glaze.
Ooo, they're so yummy! You can nibble all the cakey part off and then just have the creme filling left, or you can bite off part of the cakey part, then scoop the creme out with your tongue, or you can eat the cake and creme together (but that's the least satisfying). It's the filling that's so delicious, really.

6. The Poetry of Lord Byron
I pretty much like all poetry, but Byron is an amazement. You could write him off (no pun intended) as a lazy lothario who doesn't do much in the poetry department, really, but you'd be wrong. "A little still she strove and much repented, / And, whispering, 'I will ne'er consent' -- consented": look at the work "little" and "much" do there. They make not just the joke but the whole, canny, commentary on what humans are like, the ways they lie and rationalize...Quite a remarkable feat (again no pun) to manage with two words. I've read many poets, and many prose writers, and it seems to me that Byron knows more about the reality of being human, with all its sorrows and complexities and mysteries, than anyone else I've read.

7. England
Yes, the whole country. Actually, I'm pretty partial to all of Britain. But I love England the most. England, I know what love I bear to thee!

8. Northern English Accents
I love these so much I actually belong to a Facebook group that expresses its love for them. Beat that. Not the thick "Eh Oop, Lass!"-y ones, but everything from the ones where the accent is just around the edges, so the o's turn gently into u's, and the person comes down hard on the g's but you're not sure why, to the ones where the accent is heavy enough for you to know they're Northern, but not so heavy that you feel you're trapped in a remake of Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, being menaced by a bitter Albert Finney.

9. Clothes
Yes, I love them. In my own defense, I'd like to say that what I think I really love is fabric, and clothes are just the things that happen to be made out of interesting versions of fabric. Or, to be even more accurate, I love clothes as objects, not as pieces of clothing. I love the way a really good piece of clothing is put together, and all the things it's possible to do with a piece of fabric, so it ceases to be a long stream of stuff lying on the floor and becomes an elegant, constructed garment. I never can figure out if I learned to sew because I was fascinated by the spatial act of cutting and producing a piece of clothing, or if I fell in love with that act because I knew how to sew. Either way, I love touching, examining, and breathing-in well-made clothing.

10. David Hume
I find him the most plausible of philosophers. He dined, he played backgammon, but he also thought carefully, thoroughly, and completely about those topics that interested him. I can't
argue with his reasoning on cause and effect, and when it comes to miracles he creates an inarguable case: "...no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falshood would be more miraculous, than the fact, which it endeavors to establish....When any one tells me, that he saw a dead man restored to life, I immediately consider with myself, whether it be more probable, that this person should either deceive or be deceived, or that the fact which he relates, should really have happened....If the falshood of his testimony would be more miraculous, than the event which he relates; then, and not until then, can he pretend to command my belief or opinion." Sound reasoning, lucidly laid out, leading to a tight conclusion. It seems to me that there are three kinds of Scots: ordinary Scots, crazy Scots, and sensible Scots. David Hume is definitely one of the latter (so is Robert Louis Stevenson, but he deserves a post all to himself). Mr. Hume, you rock, sir!

11. Robert Smith
He's cuddly, and I like cuddles. He has a sweet smile, and I like sweet smiles. He's been
gloomy and bitter, and, trust me, I know from gloomy and bitter. He doesn't mind being just plain silly (what is it with the English, that they're so much more at home with that than any other culture?), and I love just plain silly. And he is a lover of cats and a safe harbor: no matter what your emotion is at any given moment, he's got a song for you. And he isn't fat, by the way. He's plump - perhaps even rotund.

Well, you can't have more than eleven, can you? That would be excessive.

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