Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Some Kind of Monster.

Your heroes should never meet you. You'll only let them down. And by that I mean that my heroes should never meet me. I will definitely let them down. Mind you, they've got no one to blame but themselves. I mean, what is Morrissey doing coming round my house for tea? He knows I'm bound to ask him why he wears leather shoes or ask why his band are terrible. And Peter Davison. Why would he ever go out of his way to meet me when it's guaranteed that I'll shout and cum on him? And Seamus Heaney. Why would he ever get his agent to ring my agent to organise meeting me in an upscale West London restaurant (his treat, of course) when he knows fully well I talk with my mouth full and I'm bound to ask him why he's dead? It makes no sense whatsoever. These heroes are just wasting their time meeting the likes of me. And just in case you think I'm being self-deprecating, know this: when De La Soul met me, I forgot to talk. When Robyn Hitchcock met me, I got so excited I completely ruined his solo acoustic gig. And... proud face ...I've been told to fuck off by all three members of R.E.M.

But not all my idols have been horribly let down by their worshipper. I met Metallica when I was 18 years old. It was in a club in Oakland, California during a show by the band Armored Saint. I really liked Armored Saint but they were nothing compared to Metallica. And there they were. Just standing around like they were ordinary human beings. I stared at singer James Hetfield for what felt like hours, like he was Molly Ringwald. And finally, like Andrew McCarthy, I got the courage to just go over there and speak to her. I mean him.

He was lovely. Not only was he very friendly but he was genuinely decent. When drummer Lars Ulrich didn't want a fan anywhere near the band, James asked me to sit with them. And when I couldn't get any alcohol because I was under 21, James sneaked me a beer. It was a brief meeting but a beautiful one. I was a fan then and I'm still a fan today. There's barely a week goes by that I don't listen to a Metallica album in full, I still happily wear my awful-looking Metallica t-shirt and my favourite film of last year was easily Metallica: Through The Never. And one of the reasons I'm still a fan is down to James Hetfield. He's funny, he's utterly charming and he has one of the truly great singing voices in rock. I mean, he's close to Nick Cave. He's THAT good.

But... hey, all good things must come to an end. Sooner or later, your heroes just turn out to be shit. Ben Elton wrote The Young Ones and a song for George W. Bush's inauguration. George Lucas created Star Wars and its prequels. And James Hetfield wrote Master of Puppets and now he's narrated a TV show called The Hunt, a reality programme focusing on men tracking down and killing a Kodiak bear. What a prick.

I can't joke about it. Firstly, I'm not very good at jokes. Secondly, I'll never understand why anyone would want to hurt anything. The idea of being so impressed by something that you have to kill it makes no sense. It can't even make sense to the hunter. So why do they do it? I think Dolly Parton is utterly incredible but the idea of having her severed head mounted in my living room makes me feel like I've taken fan worship too far. Plus, it would end all the things she does brilliantly. And I'd go to jail and shit. Anyway, the third reason I can't joke about it is I actually feel hurt. Someone I admire is doing the very thing that I'm against. It's weird but I really do want James Hetfield from Metallica to promise he'll stop all this, say sorry to me and then just hold me. I'll have a cry on him and then I'll forgive him. But he HAS to promise.

I found out about this on Sunday but I started reading more and more about it yesterday. None of it made me feel better. It's not like I didn't know that people hunted bears, I just always assumed that the people I had picked for my team wouldn't ever do that. I stopped reading about it and closed my laptop. Metallica's next record just won't sound that good now. But you can't mope, I suppose. You have to get out of the house and give yourself a shake. It was a lovely day yesterday. A nice walk will help.

And it did. I decided to get some unhunted and unmurdered broccoli from Tesco and, as I walked down the street, I saw a kitten. It was tiny, black and white and it was adorable.

It got my attention, not from it's adorability but because it was digging a hole in a garden. I've never seen a cat dig a hole before. That's more a dog thing, really. This tiny little ball of fluff and eyes using its soft white paws to dig a hole... look, I know James Hetfield would have just kicked it's fucking head in but it made the sun rise and shine brightly in my heart. It was beautiful. I just stood there watching this little kitten dig and dig and dig. It's tiny paws nowhere near powerful enough to make much of a dent in the soil but, with its eyes wide and his front legs frantic, it wasn't for the lack of trying. I must have stood there, outside an ordinary house on an ordinary Lewisham street, for three minutes. I didn't know why the kitten was digging but I was gripped. A tiny, industrious and curious kitten padding at the earth with all his might. Then it stopped.

It stopped because it had finished digging its hole.

Then, it lay down in the hole it had just made, under a plant, and curled up to go to sleep.

THAT KITTEN MADE A BED! Right in front of me. A tiny, ickle, adorable kitten made a wee, tiny bed for itself and lay down to sleep. I saw the whole thing and it was just magical. Oh, I'm well aware how sweary and aggressive I can be but, believe me, I swoon over an animal being amazing just as easily as I raise my devil horn hands to a great heavy metal riff. The little kitten closed its eyes and settled down under the plant and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life.

Then a man who lived in the house came out and asked why I was looking in his garden.

I laughed and explained everything, even pointing to the kitten. "That must have looked really weird from your living room...a man just standing there staring at your garden...but your kitten was just lovely", I beamed.

"Yeah, well, it's not your cat, it's mine. Fuck off", he said.

I won't lie, I hate you. All of you people. You're rude, smelly, ugly and you kill animals. Or at the very least, tell people to fuck off when they look at your kitten. I spent most of yesterday with Jerk. We didn't argue or get fed up with each other or try to kill one another. Maybe she's actually my hero? And I had that moment with that kitten. And nothing else matters.

BOOM! Ended on a Metallica lyric. Well proud.

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