I sort of half-watched the second Lord of the Rings film on television yesterday. I read that book years ago, about three times, which is a lot less than some do. I can't say I'd read it again, though the big Battle of Helm's Deep was pretty good and I liked their portrayal of Golum/Smeagol. The ents though did look vaguely ridiculous. It's all good spectacle and straightforward storytelling; but nowhere near a great film. I know that there are fanatics who can't get enough of things like that; but however much I used to like fantasy, now I just find its addiction to straight story-telling boring. And all those elves...
Ah well, back to poetry. I've been thinking again about the much-vaunted category of the "authentic" and what it means. Is there such a thing, really, especially in this day and age when everybody from poets to pop-stars are putting on masks? I watched the BBC's programme about sex and rock-and-roll, and it was interesting to see the way in which male pop-stars either rooted around in the fancy-dress box (Bowie) or went all macho-authentic (Led Zeppellin.) Of the two, I've always prefered the former; I actually find it more true to (my) life than the thrusting cock-rock of blokes in jeans with guitars.
I caught a newspaper headline that said that men always wanted to be cavemen even if they pretended to be "new sensitive men". Well, that's not true of me. I don't even like jeans. I don't like the idea that I'm supposed to go to the pub, like football, get drunk and read the Sun if I read anything at all. I am (stand up and say it!) a sissy, and I'm proud of that fact. I read books, I read poetry on buses, I write poetry and go to jazz concerts and art galleries, prefer romantic comedies to action films and postmodernism to straight narrative. I drink wine not beer. I'd rather engage in a nice intellectual conversation than watch reality TV or Pop Bile. And I like intelligent women. No really, I do. Even if you're more inteligent than me.
And I like leather jackets. Hey, I contradict myself, so I contradict myself. I contain multitudes.
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