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Life Arts


By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Michael Greenwell     Permalink
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The songs in the making of this review were…

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Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, K. 622 - Mozart
Concerto in A ‘per eco in lontano’ - Vivaldi
Totally wired - The fall
Please be cruel - the Inspiral Carpets
I’m Free - The Who [I don't really like that one but I was concentrating]
Fall - Devandra Banhart
Exit music for a film -Radiohead
This Charming Man -The Smiths
O’Sullivans March - The Chieftains
Il Gorilla - Fabrizio De Andre
Mars, the bringer of war - Gustav Holst
What makes you cry? - The Proclaimers
Your children aren’t special - Bill Hicks
From Fairy Ring Champion to False Pegasus - The Dials
How Long (Betcha’ Got A Chick On The Side) - The Pointer Sisters

NO INNOCENT BYSTANDERS (Riding Shotgun in the Land of Denial) - by Mickey Z

ADDITIONAL ASIDE NUMBER 1 - One can be ‘overwhelmed’ or ‘underwhelmed’ but have you have ever heard of anyone actually being ‘whelmed’? I think I remember something PG Wodehouse said about that, but I might be wrong. You can look it up, I’m busy.

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I have been struggling what to say in reviewing this book.

For a start it is the first book that said it has a section inspired by me, usually people don’t tell me they were inspired by me. They say something like ‘Shut up’ or ‘Ok, you are right but you don’t have to be such a prick about it’.

So I was struggling but then I remembered watching the author on youtube and being somewhat amused at when he asked a crowd of supposed radicals to join with him and take a ‘non-conformist pledge’ or ‘non-conformist oath of allegiance’ or something like that. It seemed like a fair few of the audience fell for it.

Then it suddenly became clear to me. For the purposes of this review I have to be contrary.

Therefore, in the true spirit of revolt, I am reviewing the vegan, martial-arts expert, teetotal [I didn't check that one], avid New Yorker author while I have been drinking, alone, in a house in the country, and have just eaten some very nice fish.

Q.Why am I doing this?

A. Because the style of the book is so strange that rather than explain it, I have just decided to ape it in this review.

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This house in the country has a problem with mosquitoes. I have killed somewhere in the region of 14 of them today. In turn, somewhere in the region of 50 of them fed royally off me last night. I know that because when I killed them my blood sort of spurted out of them. There were no cows, sheep or assorted other large mammals around, so it must have been mine. At this particular moment with all my skin itching and more of the bastards buzzing around my ears waiting for a fresh meal I don’t have too much sympathy for the massacred. And I know I am getting it again tonight.

Of course, the traditional ways of dealing with the mozzies in ancient [a highly subjective term] times would have been covering yourself in mud or something if you happened to be out and about, or sitting by the fire if you were sitting still.

Both of those are things that won’t happen in our current society, or are at least highly unusual, and frowned upon.

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Scotland's Michael Greenwell has worked, at various times, as a university tutor, a barman, a DJ ("not a very good one," he clarifies), an office lackey, supermarket worker, president of a small charity, a researcher, a librarian, a volunteer worker in Nepal during the civil war there, and "some other things that were too tedious to mention." Nowadays, he explains, "I am always in (more...)

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