- Monday Wow . . . how time flies, readers! It really doesn't seem like a full year has passed since OZone found himself embroiled in a messy international controversy involving a well-known Irish comedian and some ill-judged comments about the Hol****st. Mainly because the last Electric Picnic was only 11 months ago.
This morning performance poet Marty Mulligan, one of the organisers of said festival's Mindfield area, calls to remind me that my professional services shall be required again in Stradbally next month. I'd originally planned on doing a public conversation with my bad friend Sebastian Horsley, but the selfish bastard overdosed and died in June. So unless the whole thing turns out to have been a publicity stunt (a possibility discussed at his funeral), that won't be happening.
His spirit lives. A Google news search finds him quoted in a Spoonfed piece about the recent axing of the UK Film Council. It's a typically precise and vitriolic Horsleyian critique: "You go to those horrible Mike Leigh films where you can smell their genitals, and urrrgh . . . you leave the cinema feeling worse than when you went in. I mean what's the point in that? You might as well just look in the mirror.
"They're always whining that there's no film industry here. There's no film industry because you're s**t at doing at. If you were good at doing it, there'd be an industry. Haven't you noticed that, you morons?"
He'll be sadly missed -- not by the big cheeses of UK film, but certainly by me on the Word Stage at 5pm on the Sunday of Electric Picnic (September 5). I'll hopefully have worked out something to read/perform by then. Whatever I come up with, though, won't be nearly as good as what could've been . . .
Obviously, it'll still be f**kin' brilliant!
- Tuesday Hmmm. OZone suspiciously notes that leading health experts have proposed that laziness should be classed as a "disease in its own right".
Writing in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Dr Richard Weiller and Dr Emmanuel Stamatakis explained: "Given the significant associated mortality and morbidity, we propose that perhaps physical inactivity should also be considered for recognition as a disease in its own right."
Yet another bulls**t medical excuse to help enable cretins evade personal responsibility.
- Wednesday Loathe as I am to disagree with such heavyweights as Olivia Mitchell, Joan Burton and Beverly Flynn, OZone thinks little of the proposal to adopt gender quotas to bring more women into Irish politics. It's a ridiculous idea which will further slow down an already painfully sluggish system.
Afternoon interview with Scott Devendorf, guitarist with critically acclaimed US band The National, whose recently released High Violet is a serious contender for one of the albums of the year. Already fairly regular visitors to these shores -- they've sold out The Olympia on several occasions -- the band will be playing at the Picnic next month.
The National certainly keep it in the family. The five-piece band is composed of two sets of brothers and lead singer Matt Berninger. Now Berninger's brother has joined the posse.
"Matt's brother has started to work with the band," Scott admits. "He's not a musician, he's a filmmaker, and he's now working as a kind of production assistant for the band. So we've three sets of brothers. It's a little like a pirate ship sometimes."
- Thursday Having served just over two-thirds of his 15-year sentence, convicted rapist and failed murderer Larry Murphy is released from Arbour Hill today. Although a suspect in the disappearances of Deirdre Jacob, Annie McCarrick and JoJo Dullard, the carpenter from Baltinglass refused to co-operate with gardai investigating those cases.
Thanks to our failing legal system, he was given time off for good behaviour. Surely expressing no remorse for his crimes, and refusing to undergo any psychiatric treatment qualifies as bad behaviour?
OZone has never been a fan of mob rule, but for once I'm almost in agreement with the mob. Almost. For all the public furore, Murphy's a free man now. I wish the man all the best in his future life, and sincerely hope he can keep his primal sexual urges under control.
Actually, scratch that first bit.
Afternoon telephone chat with fellow Picnicker Simon Napier-Bell. A legendary band manager, promoter and writer, he's an interesting character.
Over the decades, he's managed everyone from Marc Bolan, Boney M and The Yardbirds to Japan, Sinitta and Wham!
Now aged 71, he lives with his boyfriend in Pattaya. OZone once misspent a year in Thailand, and remembers Pattaya as, basically, a city-sized whorehouse.
Frankly, I was so totally and utterly disgusted with the sheer decadence and unbridled hedonism of the place that I only stayed for two weeks (or was it four?).
Simon doesn't disagree with my assessment of Pattaya. "It's mad, but I like mad towns. It's a seaside town like Bournemouth -- with a red-light district like Tokyo."
- Friday David Gray gives me a call. Just a year after his hugely successful Draw The Line album, he's got a great new record out called Foundling.
He tells me that most of it was recorded around the same time he recorded DTL. "It's been burning a hole in my pocket for over 18 months so . . . better out than in!"
- Saturday Electric shock horror! The ESB -- who made a profit of €600m last year -- is set to patriotically introduce an annual fee and hike its already exorbitant prices.
Power to the people? Buzz off!
- Sunday Anxious call from an excitable US magazine editor looking for a feature I'm running a little late with (seven months and counting). "It's not laziness," I assure her. "I actually have, like, a disease!"