Of things to say, that aren’t already churned up like milk in an ice cream maker, frothed through by Tw*tt#r, which day by day resembles a postmodern anguish machine created by an idiot savant, tapped into the thing that would punish us the most.
It is still a slow progress, incremental.
Little by little, inch by inch, revelation by revelation, condemnation and recitation, I make my way towards something like a home. This isn’t a physical place, or even a metaphysical place. It doesn’t exist, in as much as it needs to be created and still has to be created and then, once created, it needs to be constantly recreated, every single day. That might make it the task we’re all engaged in, eyes down to the ground and a look of concentration on our distracted face. The problem is one of concentration. Glance away and it’s gone, a helium balloon at a fair, up towards the sky. It is a problem of application. It is a problem of buried pain and a source distraction and complication that can never be unravelled. No, here we are, homewards, but never home.
It’s official: East Ham is getting a tonne of new coffee places. I make it my business to review them. Some of the old, established places like Sunrise Cafe need no introduction, and there are places making the requisite noise on social media (Erstwhile Parrot). Some need a mention, a boost. Thus, I chose a simple method: an espresso in each one, compared. Like for like. A dipstick test. A benchmarking, a kind of apples against apples, or, to use a more Brexist analogy, cabbages for cabbages.
I begin wherever I chose : why be tied down by the weight of tradition? That weight of expectation will drown your soul. I visited Coffee Express on Barking Road by the Town Hall and the Denmark Arms. Here’s the frontage.
A rain-slicked tarmacadam and the overuse of the Express suffix benchmarks this part of town, which used to house a famous fast food joint that pioneered the three toppings for a quid personal pizza. Now its gone, like so much of our youths and the notion of the social contract.
The espresso was good. A long, slow pour, a very dark roast and a suitable glass. The coffee shop has diner style benches and bright lights and is done up in anti-hipster touches like shop-bought pastries and Indian finger food.
A strong effort with almost the hint of a Turkish coffee (reminiscent of some of the finer efforts of Sunrise and D&D)
As I drank, it left a crema and sediment behind like memories carved into the trunk of a beloved tree.
I left, having drunk the coffee, thus concluding my business at this establishment.
Rating: 6 beans out of 10
A phenomenon that is all the rage back home. A news blackout, a social media log out, a Stoptober sprinkled with some mediocre PR magic. Henrietta from the Home Counties. Even this blog gets it in the neck. Everything is shot through with guilt. Some modicum of balance is restored. All this worldstage of frazzled postcapitalism anxiety with nowhere to run to (baby) / nowhere to hide. Fragments. Sing song snippets on the route home. Nothing.
Kind of true, I guess, despite so much angst the other way but yes
War On Drugs is just music for people who lke Dylan and Springsteen but hate the politics or can’t deal with the politcs and so they get a facsimile and celebrate it. And the name, har har, because, har, ‘the war on drugs, Nixon, viet – erm, yeah, har ! War on drugs.’.
I once worked in an office in NYC and when I cranked open the courtyard/internal window, and then leaned out a little to get a breeze, the head of Editorial came in very quickly to check I wasn’t going to kill myself. NYC everyone. He previously hadn’t cared much about anything I was doing but there was a trigger.
Well done, society. Well done, postmodernism !
The red light in front of you
Is in front of you
You have no choice
In this matter
have been perusing soundcloud and bandcamp and immersing myself in the strange world of half-drowned nostalgia that is vaporware, this odd genre that exists in liminal spaces and mines 80s and 90s tracks, distorting them out of all recognition. bandpass filters and chopped and screwed beats, limited edition cassette only issues and a sense that the (mainly) Western world of postmodern culture is collapsing into itself. it is unable to sustain its structure, or centre (and of course we go back to the totemic ‘the centre cannot hold’). maybe the centre never could hold. maybe there never was a centre. that is, possibly, what vaporware suggests. more to come on this, i presume, unless i get back into Depeche Mode and forget this whole sorry incident called the ‘2010s.’