I have become a monk.

Well, not quite, as any sort of religious affiliation would turn my (now somewhat shrivelled) stomach.

However, I have turned vegan and concieve it complete madness that I didn't stick to it in the first place. This has led to a staggering weight loss which was sorely needed, and now allows me to gig with an open shirt without my breasts, cleaved by hair, being put on display like two strange and intriguing Victorian jellies.

However, I have found that introspective contemplation on life and the 'self' leads only to a Hobbesian conclusion that life - essentially - sucks. Quite what it sucks I am unclear, but I like to imagine it as a large Slush Puppy (if that is even a brand of slushy; I am inexpert in the field.)

Also, it seems, introvertedness leads to more of the same until you swing from the branch of melancholy on an all-too-real rope. But being from the North is that not the law?

Passion for parties and heavy drinking, vomiting and hangovers turns to self-disgust, and I have now pinned my life down to five pleasures:

1. Books
2. Music
3. Tea
4. Cigarettes
5. Film

And having done this I notice that they are all solitary pursuits. I have found most strangers to be very displeasing to the social palate, and most friends to be tedious, unreliable, self-obsessed, ignorant, stupid, or a combination of the lot.

Given the choice I would probably only leave the house to collect groceries and to visit the few friends who are actually decent human beings.

Speaking of which, I have now discovered that the marvellous RG and her eloquent brother are attending Latidude where I am headed in a few weeks, which made me smile as, if you haven't met her, you really should; there are not enough clever, funny, well-read and considerate people about.

Having spent the last few days sleeping - and, for the most part, living - in a tent with only my typewriter I feel gloriously refreshed and very, very happy.

As some nut who spent yonks beneath a tree said: all life is suffering, and the answer is detachment.

How right he was! I would recommend to everyone: decide what it is you truly enjoy and spend the rest of your life doing it, rather than doing what society thinks you should enjoy.

All this may sound like a depths-of-depression rant, but I must assure you it is not. For a very long time I have felt unhappy, as everyone feels unhappy, but I have simply realised that happiness is a myth caused by the rat race, social stereotypes, Thatcher (you can blame her for everything), and the destructive, selfish and ridiculous nature of the human species.

If one can find pleasure, one can amble through life satisfied.

It is the most wonderful thing about performing live music - and infinitely preferable to performing stand-up comedy - because with live music you don't need to make people laugh or even like you. You can just spew your thoughts and lyrical scribbling and comunicate to those who are interested and ignore those who aren't. It's wonderfully detached; you can connect with people without actually having to speak to them.

I do hope that didn't all sound too pretentious - but then again I'm quite a pretentious person, so inevitably it leaks from me like the thin warm stream of cognitive incontinence.


Carol Man Duffy: The Defence

I must take this opportunity to pre-empt the opposition I will face in my song 'Carol'. Basically, the song mocks Carol Ann Duffy's poetry and her masculinity.

Gay people. There's a horrid term if ever I heard one. Seldom do we hear the term 'straight people' bandied about. People don't define themselves as straight except for in the context of homosexuality and I don't understand why people who are attracted to people of the same sex must belong to a common cause or group.

I am attracted to men, but it is a spectrum. Why should I call myself gay? I may marry a woman. I may be celibate. Who knows? The point is that people shouldn't be categorised as gay or straight but we should just get to know individuals and their own likes and dislikes.

Gay pride and other such phenomena came about in the face of opression. Good ho, I say. But apart from fighting prejudice there is no obligation to belong to a sectarian social construct.

The gay market is huge, but why is there one? Society pressures people into defining themselves and therefore gay holidays flourish, gay magazines (valuable only as a one-hand read), the 'pink pound' and all that. Why, oh why, oh why??? A holiday is a holiday! Go be with people not other homo/heterosexuals. Why can't we have the liberty to be who we want to be without conforming? People should co-exist without need to define themselves or answer to anyone.

Carol Ann is one of these sordid individuals who terms herself a lesbian, and it's a bloody pain. i don't care about her sexuality! If one day I happen to find that the poet laureate has a same-sex partner then fine, but I'm not really interested. In a case such as that I wouldn't assume they were gay; they are just with a same-sex partner.

There is no gay community - some people join in this media-manufactured idea that there is one, and therefore believe they belong, but the truth is that none of us belong to anything, really. I am a member of the SWP and have socialist beliefs, but I am not a socialist because they don't really exist. Sure, it's easier to use a group term, but everyone is different, and the other members and I agree on some things, disagree on others. I am attracted to men but I'm not gay. I drink tea, but this is unimportant enough to get away with not having a group noun.

Let people be people! Carol Ann does no favours to anybody by being a blatant lesbian - she should just say 'I am a person' if asked and people can swivel.

My mocking of her manliness is not meant to be an attack on gender transression - there should be no social structures regarding gender, especially not in clothing! However, I use this as a metaphor for her flagrant lesbian lust.