This word unsuitable touches something important. I notice the Italian is inadatto which suggests the English non-adapted. This is close but doesn’t quite get to the quality of unsuitable. What I am reading into unsuitable is some sort of awkwardness, resistance, bloody-mindedness perhaps. Dirty shoes, long hair, beards, old clothes. And it can also apply to a piece of writing. To say a piece of writing is unsuitable might bring to mind the trial of Lady Chatterley’s Lover in the 60s, am I right in remembering that there was a comment from the prosecution suggesting that one should let one’s servants read it? Naturally our writing on this blog is mostly unsuitable, though for different reasons. And you bring together beauty and shit, your impulses pushing towards greater shit and greater beauty. I like it, a challenge rather akin to blagging some Italian out there on the streets. Did I feel one of your size 10s on the seat of my pants?
Thankfully the sun was setting, fire to the west, dark clouds piling up to the east, enveloping the hills. What is that “thankfully”? Was it the relief of the descent from the hills and return to the city as the light failed? To escape the city and then to return to the safety of the city? To give thanks?
Cowering under a dark mahogany table, because no one had been available to erect the Anderson shelter, crouch three characters in Will Self’s latest book Shark. One of them has insider information on the statistics of risks of dying and claims that one is just as likely to die being knocked over by an ambulance or fire engine than blown up courtesy of the Luftwaffe. Thanks to statistics one can gamble on another level.
I see Jack Bruce died recently – the bassist from Cream. I have it in mind that it was always Cream and not THE Cream, whereas it was the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Jack Bruce died of liver failure at the age of 71. The obituary mentioned years of heroin addiction and a liver transplant some years ago. Just as John Lennon was my favourite member of the Beatles so Jack Bruce was my favourite member of Cream. I saw him as rougher, a bit of fighter, perhaps unsuitable, without the smoothness of McCartney or Clapton. Presumably I needed my heroes to be similarly unsuitable to me, though I tended towards the private and not the public displays of unsuitability. And come to think of it, Will Self fits into the same category: unsuitable but he finds a way through to become a successful writer. And he walks across cities. In a recent Guardian piece he celebrates the fall of the Berlin Wall with a walk along the length of it with a German friend. Though much of it has gone, some of it given as gifts, some of it sold. Though I had the impression that when they eventually reached the end they were both somewhat depressed, perhaps exhausted. Retracing history can be hard work.
Gratitude can be seen as the stuff of the heart. We give thanks. We give thanks especially to those unsuitable, awkward bastards who are the salt of the earth. Like Andrea Gallo.