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Saturday 18th October 2008

On my mobile phone (the Nokia N95), as on many others I have the choice of using any song on the MP3 player as my ring tone. I don't use the MP3 player on the phone, but a random selection from iTunes went on there when I first bought this device and from those I chose "Ever Fallen In Love With Someone" by the Buzzcocks as my ring tone, mainly because it was loud enough for me to hear with my inefficient 41 year old ears.
Last week I decided to choose a new song from the limited selection and went for "20th Century Boy" by T.Rex , which starts with some satisfying and loud guitar chords. As I walked through Hammersmith this afternoon the phone rang and it pleased me to hear this song blaring out of my phone and for a moment or two I wondered what Marc Bolan would make of one of his tunes being used as a ring tone of a phone. For a man who died in 1977 it would surely be impossible to contemplate what was going on here. First of all he'd have to understand that there would come a time when people would be able to carry their own personal, wireless phone in their pockets. Then he'd have to make the mental leap to understand that these phones would just go bring bring, but would be able to play music. Then he'd have to come to terms with the idea that you'd also be able to store hundreds of records on this tiny device as well and that someone would choose one of his records to indicate that someone was calling them. Even though he imagined riding white swans and coming out of New York City with amphibians in his hand, I don’t think Bolan could ever have conceived of such a thing. He was very much a 20th century kind of boy, and more a mid-20th century boy than a late-20th century boy. But us 21st century boys (I am a boy, shut up) are very different. I tried to imagine what it would be the equivalent of for me and obviously it's impossible to do so. But it would be something like the idea that in 30 years time people will be able to beam anywhere they want on the planet earth and they will travel on an imaginary bridge made out of any written words of their choice and some of them will choose this entry of Warming Up. If that has happened and that is what you've done, then I hope you have a nice trip to wherever you’re going on our surely now desolate and desert-like planet.
This evening I went to see "Burn After Reading" which I hoped would be about a fire on the M4, but was in fact a kooky story centered partly around the CIA taking place in Washington. It was all right. I was at the massive Empire, Leicester Square and when I bought tickets the man in the booth asked me if I wanted to pay just under ten pounds for a seat at the front or £13.50 for a seat at the back. That seemed a large disparity in price to me. "What do I get in the more expensive seat that I don’t get in the cheaper one?" I asked, not unreasonably, "I'd expect maybe a free blow job for that price." But the man, if he heard my lewd observation did not respond. And being unable to imagine anything that a cinema seat could offer that would be worth that much more I bought the lower priced tickets (I can't bring myself to call them cheap).
When we got into the cinema it became apparent that it was non-reserved seating and that no one was going to make any effort to either kindly show us where we could go, or to force us to turn right rather than left. So we just sat in the more expensive seats anyway. Saving seven pounds in total. Ha ha, take that credit crunch. Although the seats possibly afforded a slightly better view of the screen and were possibly slightly more comfortable and which gave a little when you leant back in them, like a slightly rubbish rocking chair, I can't really see that it would have been worth paying £3.50 more for this minor privilege. Maybe one pound more, allowing one to impress one's date with one's profligacy. But if you pay £3.50 more then you, my friend, are a dick, who has just been stung. And there's not much worse than being a stung penis. Unless that's the kind of thing you’re into.
Especially given that if the cinema isn't sold out you can go in the seats anyway. So fight the system if you're in London town and buy the cheap tickets and sit in the posh seats and rock slightly back and forth like you're a lord or lady.

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