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Ginger Says – Whether trekking across the Himalayas, wrestling greased buffalo or completing a list impossible to complete in 24 hours, come midnight it’s Groundhog Night
By Ginger | July 14, 2000
Doing stuff (a modern ailment).
It’s 4.30 in the morning and I’ve gotta be up in a few hours. Not very rock ‘n roll, nor even all that outrageous considering the lengths and breadths I have often gone to to push my body into some experimental realm of consciousness just to see what it feels like. Oh, and drugs help too.
But here, sans any narcotic stronger than insomnia, I sit wondering why the fuck I can’t fall sleep without thinking ‘how does a person fall asleep?’, or ‘so what does happen in that last twilight moment between being awake and actually falling asleep… ah here it comes… AAAARRGGHHH, I thought myself awake again!’. You know the drill.
This morning I was awake at an ungodly hour in an attempt to do so much stuff with my day that I would be snoring before the jacket came off. But whether trekking across the Himalayas, wrestling greased buffalo or completing a list impossible to complete in 24 hours, come midnight it’s Groundhog Night. Any remedy that attempts to combat the effects of Being Awake Too Long Today Syndrome is as effective at curing this kind of insomnia as ice cream sunglasses.
The human is capable of pretty much anything he / she sets their mind to. And if it’s setting out to prove yourself wrong then you will succeed… but that means proving yourself right, of course. And therein lies the crux of this particular dilemma. How much is too much?
Conny came over to London to audition some bass players (did I say that was a load of fun? Nah, guess I didn’t) and generally ‘hang’. On getting the management into the fact that we were both top writers that would work great together given the chance, they called our bluff and booked us into a studio for a week to start this ‘writing’ shit. A week? No problem. Not only will we have five (natch) songs by then, but we’ll also record ’em in the same amount of time.
So in we go with nothing further planned than the directions to the pub, but we did it. Five songs written from scratch and completed, recorded and mixed. If we’d had a month we’d have come out with exactly the same amount of work… but we didn’t have a month. It had to be done, you see. Ironically one of the five (incidentally incredible) tracks is called More Is the Law, a song written about just this kind of approach to life. It’s an anthem to doing stuff. A lot of stuff. More than is necessarily needed. ‘Live by the sword, die by the sword’. Or, ‘careful what you wish for’, if you like.
So, back to my problem that I’m sure some of you are wondering stuff like ‘what’s his fuckin’ problem?’ about. Here it is: I have been cursed with the ability to do loads of stuff. But, like the first guy with a telephone, I’m kinda speaking a language that doesn’t compute with the most of the normal people that sleep, eat regular, watch TV and get tired.
I know people like me too, guys that do stuff. Two things happen to the guy that can do loads of stuff: 1) Most people around him let him do the stuff because they don’t want to do it, and figure that he enjoys it anyway. 2) He spends his waking hours thinking of extra stuff to do in fear of running out of stuff and getting BORED.
Just for the record, I would love to be bored. I mean, sitting in front of a bad movie or dull programme and just being bored. Like ‘phoning people because you’re bored’ kinda bored. I’ll never let myself get bored because I see boredom as the resting place for the low of imagination. But if it’s that simple then why am I jealous of people that want very little from life? Well, exactly that reason for starters. How great must it be not to care if nothing ever happens?
“Hey Ginger, what’s been happening with you?”
“Ah, nothing much.”
“Ah, mustn’t grumble.”
This sort of stuff used to drive me nuts. When I’d hear that someone had done nothing with their day / week / life and were “boooooored”, I’d be up in arms about why they were wasting time, blah blah blah. And now I’d give anything to be able to just close my eyes and think of nothing. To represent nothing. Sleep. So, how do people do that again?
It all comes down to what you represent. Do you represent? How are you going to be remembered? Do you want to be remembered? Do you care? I’m sure that if I knew ten people that were just as obsessed about doing stuff, I’d have a pretty tidy little army. That ten people would have the effect of 100 people. And they would never rest. But the sad truth of the matter, my attentive, maybe tired, sometimes bored, friends, is that if someone is getting away from doing anything strenuous or taxing, you can put your last slice of bread on the fact that there’ll be a crew of people wanting to work just as little as this guy too. After all, why should someone else get away with being a lazy bastard if I can’t? And I guess this is where I came in, right? The problem: not wanting to turn into a lazy bastard. The solution: doing stuff.
Although the symptoms may manifest themselves as frustration or anger, these symptoms are far less harmful, let’s face it, than complacency or sloth. Inside any man / woman is the basic ability to be as lazy as the next person, and in spotting this basic human failing we can counterbalance the work vs rest ratio to suit our own personal need and satisfaction that we are trying our best. The fact that our best is already good enough to compete is neither here nor there. Look at Oasis. Very little work put in for massive payback. The dream come true, right? A few years ago I would have loved to have been Oasis. They seemed to have it all. More cash, girls, fame and newspaper space than I could ever hope to garner in my whole life. And then BANG. Just like Tyson and the Berlin Wall and everything else in life can fall, so do Oasis. A lack of graft ethic and humility, and from the same spoon that fed came the famine that will see their careers fall and disintegrate long before I’ve tired of the buzz of making enough money to pay the rent.
The point? We are here for a very, very long time. I want to do too much. Not because anyone gives a shit – jeezus, Trent Reznor will still sell more records in this country than I will, and we all know how much he cares (“we’re in this together now”, right Trent?). No, the only reason for doing anything is for yourself. The only reason for not doing anything is for yourself. You do, or you do not. I do, therefore I exist. Breathing just isn’t good enough for me so I will push that extra mile. Who knows, maybe I’ll be reincarnated as someone who doesn’t mind representing nothing. That would be the dream. To be reborn as a lazy sod. Imagine the company… not exactly riveting, but plentiful.
Or maybe I’m destined to give a fuck.
There’s a Rainmakers lyric that goes: “Give a man free food and he’ll figure out a way to steal more than he can eat, because he doesn’t have to pay.” There’s a Nine Inch Nails lyric that goes: “You and me, we’re in this together now.” It’s all nonsense and may the best man win. This year’s trend will dictate what ‘best’ means this year. There are no markings, there are no rules. There are no guarantees. There are no awards. Everything must fall.
Idle hands do the Devil’s work.