I Will Not Bleat About Coronavirus, Write it Out a Hundred Times……

So, I love television, think it’s a marvellous invention. I just don’t like trending programming schedules; I want to bring people an alternative. I cut the grass yesterday, yes, that’s how desperate life has got! I cut it so my sports-loving daughter can have a kick around in the garden, before her built-up energy explodes like a supernova and blows the roof off the house. Without her football and hockey games she’s clutching straws, it’s okay, she washed her hands.

But I think we all are, right now. Through this avalanche of social media inclination where near-on every post is about the epidemic, it’s hard to heed what to do for the best, what sources to trust. Even “official” guidelines should be taken with a pinch of salt. Bulked with complaints, some even go as far as actually praising our Prime Minister; ludicrous! In a world gone mad, seems it has. Too little too late is my theory, sorry BoJo. I accept the wallet-bulging job is no easy task, but you picked it. Measures have only been introduced because Emmanuel Macron threated to close the border with the UK, face it.

Naturally, I’m a fair guy, you are entitled to your opinion. Yet, it’s not like the government didn’t know about the looming menace since December, and instead of preparing, Boris was fumbling his Big Ben Dong and getting a hard-on over the success of Brexit. Tropical holidays and expensive luncheons on tax-payer’s cash he took, while floods devastated the country; what suddenly makes you think he gives a hoot now?

Keep calm and carry on, we don’t need our statistics reliable. Actively refusing in some cases to test people and making little effort to make the kits needed, is not something we should hail him for in my opinion. The ethos of the government has been to protect the economy over the lives of the population. Ah, the trusty backhander for BoJo from the BIBA insurance company is his real reluctance to lockdown like every other European country, but we’re fine with that if it means we get one last chance to nip to the boozer. The soundbite “herd immunity” should have rung alarm bells as to how this selfish clown is prioritising. What do scientists and the World Health Organisation know over our darling czar?

A decade of austerity has besmirched our NHS, Boris backed every vote to wreck it. Face it, we haven’t the facility to cope with this, accumulation of bog roll will not protect you. Yeah, we are all getting tetchy, the point of my article which will come to light as soon as I’ve discredited this pitiable sympathy for Boris; God save our twat, he’ll be alright, Jack.

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Awl, looks so cute up close

So, I cut the grass. Only for the football to be launched into the field opposite within milliseconds. On my trek to retrieve it, I glanced left, my seasonal short-cut route to Devizes on foot. It’d be the first weekend to use it without getting muddy, alas it’s not worth it. I gave a momentary thought to the previous blowout weekend, the awesome blues gig at the Sports Club. Ruzz will do a live stream, we will post it on our “virtual festival” page, but a week into the idea and I’m feeling, on occasions, it’s worthless as it’s simply not the same as a live gig. Cue sad-face emoji.

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The other angle, which deflects my notion, is unfortunately, right now, it’s all we have, and I hate television’s trending programming schedules; I said that, didn’t I? So tetchy we’ve become, I thought I’d swerve my milk-float on Saturday’s homebound journey to grasp at number of twenty-four packs of toilet rolls that some selfish hoarder was off-loading from his car. I wouldn’t need poo on them all, I figured, but heroically distribute them to the needy in a kind of Robin Hood of lavatory prerequisite guise.

So tetchy that this week my virtual festival idea was condemned by a renowned musician who shall remain nameless. You know me, I would name them if I damn well wanted to, but won’t for the fact that after I explained its workings and ideals, the person thoroughly apologised and welcomed the notion. I therefore feel I should elucidate further on why I’m, and many others are too, platforming live streaming. It is not that I’m attempting “guilt-tripping” musicians in their hour of need, as was accused by the petitioner, and I am sorry if anyone else feels this way. A majority have supported it, so it sticks. It is the prerogative of the individual to take part, or not, no pressure. Neither are we staging these streams, rather the artists were intending to stream on social media and we are extending their presence.

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Professional musicians of a certain calibre may wish to find their own methods of making ends meet, they may have the tech at hand in order to create a pay-per-view stream. Given my apprehension that it simply isn’t the same as a live performance, and requires a connection which may drop out at any given time, I’m not sure one can justify charging a viewer. Again though, I accept this maybe a requirement and a fair notion. I’m scrambling, truth be told, as to how to promote these, and let’s face it, many are unsigned, amateur or semi-professionals just starting out artists, in such a way it will create revenue for them, but I confess I lack the technical knowledge to provide this. Though, I am grateful to the legend who is Mike Barham, for offering help with the tech if needed.

Therefore, I tip my hat to websites such as Bandcamp, which seems to me the fairest of platforms for artists to distribute. As a user I blinking love Bandcamp, I surf for eternities. You can bury yourself deeper into rabbit holes on an international level and discover unsigned or emerging artists you simply wouldn’t have fathomed to Google or YouTube search for. For instance, through browsing Bandcamp I’ve currently a penchant for Cumbia, the contemporary sound of Colombia, and I’m now downloading music I’d never have found in a record store in the UK.

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At the aforementioned blues night, I chatted to independent singer-songwriter, Joe Hicks. We both commended Bandcamp for its fairness on both punter and creator, a virtue it recently enhanced by its notion to waiver its fees to help struggling musicians. I have put a donation option on our virtual festival, which will be shared between all who contribute. I am warning them in advance I doubt it will be much past a packet of peanuts between us. As predicted the request has been ignored so far, not to cast blame; dubious financial forecasts haunt us all. I will, however, favour to encourage visitors to the festival to research the artists performing, and do what they can for them. I have added links to their website and Bandcamp pages, urge viewers to buy their music. In short, I’m honestly doing what I can.

I fully accept now, my late article on this coronavirus may have been somewhat ill-informed and perhaps irresponsible. But, just as our musicians want to continue to perform, even if it is from their living room, writing humour is my escapism. I am, after all, trying to create a light-hearted approach of this mess, and I believe being satirical keeps us going through the otherwise doom and gloom. I’ve been reading up on the Black Death and the Plague and finding measures then were much more adhered to. Self-isolating was strictly policed, they painted a red cross on their doors rather than queued outside Iceland to fight for the last toilet roll. Hum, a Monty Python sketch comes to mind; see what I mean? Damn it, sorry if my sense of humour meanders in offensiveness, but right now it’s all I have to offer.

Yeah, I could whinge about whingers, worried about their finances as they stay at home while I work outside, even harder than before under such risky circumstances, but I’ll leave that there. Work for home, how disheartening for you. I suggest we all pull together, like the Queen will witter from one of her castles, but that’s increasingily difficult to do and I urge people to forgive others as they cry their ills. I forgive the person who criticised the idea of the virtual festival, it was a valid point. Yet, I don’t have the answers and you’d be a fool to look to me for them. All I know is, stay safe out there; I love you all.

Didn’t Nostril-damas, or whatever his stupid name is, predict this? We should’ve taken heed and planned from then; dammit Jim, I’m milkman/writer not a doctor. Then again, it’s a lovely day and maybe we should take the words of the famous philosopher Lilly Allen; sun is in the sky, why-oh-why, would I want to be anywhere else? Sorry, got to go, another football is over the fence.


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