Friday, June 26, 2009

Highs And Lows And Somewhere Stuck In-Between

Apologies for the ragbag nature of this post but (to well and truly mix my metaphors) that’s the way the cookie is crumbling today.

First up on the blog podium is the news that I have at last been awarded my degree. I finally got my results yesterday and have come through over 10 years of part time study to be granted a good 2:1 honours class English degree from Warwick University. And many, many thanks to French Fancy who was kind enough to ask after my results yesterday when the rest of you had clearly forgotten all about them *sniff sniff* I mean it’s not like you have lives or anything...

Second up – and just because you’d have to be dead or in a coma to have missed the news this morning – it seems that reports of Michael Jackson’s death have not been exaggerated... though part of me, the cynical part, is wondering if it’s all a scam and he’s faked his own death.

Isn’t that awful?

I must admit, although it’s sad to hear of his death – he was after all hugely talented (though even a hugely talentless person’s death is sad news) – the news reportage and media accolades are cheesing me off something rotten. This is the same media that only weeks ago was joyously slagging him off for his financial problems and his dodgy history of alleged misconduct with children whose parents were keen to have their kiddie-winks associated with the self proclaimed mega-rich King of Pop.

I mean at one point you couldn’t move on the telly without every celeb going taking a pot-shot at MJ’s rumoured paedophilia. The air waves were full of jokes along the lines of: does Michael like The Backstreet Boys or does he prefer Boyz To Men? And comedians even now still wheel out an obligatory Michael Jackson joke during their many and varied routines. Because let’s face it, it’s easy enough to do.

Suddenly though, today, the media world is full of po-faced accolades and high-falutin’ laurels from all and sundry announcing with fine gravitas that The King Of Pop – the Legend – is dead. Sob. Sob.

Spare me.


Oh I don’t know. If I’ve nothing good to say, maybe I ought to just play it safe and not say anything at all?

Lastly, it’s been a weird old week. I managed to get myself stuck in a lift at work yesterday. First time in my life it’s ever happened. There I am at Council HQ (which thankfully is only 4 storey’s high) and the lift cuts out between floors 3 and 4. From out of a tinny wall speaker I could hear Stephen Hawking announcing that the lift was “out of service”. It was good to have that pointed out.

I followed the instruction printed on the wall. I pressed the button for the operator. I didn’t panic. I kept calm. I spoke clearly. And most important of all I didn’t speak while the operator spoke. The instructions were very clear about that. It seems that in an emergency – although I am the one trapped – what she has to say takes precedence. Well fine. I know my place.

Stuck in a metal box no wider than 6ft and suspended tens of metres above bone shattering concrete.

It wasn’t the best 5 minutes of my life, I must admit, but my work colleagues had me out in a jiffy before I could entertain too many thoughts of making Hollywood style elevator escapes. I was thinking Speed. I was thinking The Matrix. Both of which oddly star Keanu Reeves.


How to wrap this post up?

It’s obvious really.

The only way is up!

P.S. There is no spoon. ;-)


Anonymous said...

Firstly congratulations on your results, a job well done, and i hope it opens many avenues for you.

The demise of MJ, I was surpised to hear the BBC host say that the public's outpouring was 'unprecedented, the likes of which we haven't seen since Barack Obama was inaurugurated'.
Well first, doesn't unprecedented mean its a first? Secondly Obama was only inaugurated in January really not that long ago, and thirdly didn't we see the same thing for Jade Goody, famous for being well known just a few weeks ago.
It's sad for his family, he was no doubt uber talented, but at the end of the day, his death affects only those who loved him the same as when our unknown loved ones croak.

Steve said...

Miss Behaving: thank you muchly for your good vibes. And as for MJ - yep. Totally. Couldn't have put it better myself. Which is possibly why I didn't.

Reluctant Blogger said...

Well, I have already congratulated you on your results and indeed have raised a toast to you at home. But still it can't hurt to say it again - CONGRATULATIONS! Ooops now I sound like Cliff.

Ooh scary re the lift. Glad you were quickly rescued. I think I might freak out and scream if that happened to me.

Steve said...

Gina: thank you; there are worse people to sound like than Cliff Richard, I'm sure! The lift experience wasn't too bad though I was very glad they got me out so quickly. Even just 5 minutes in there and the air was stifling. It was also one of those lifts that has no roof hatch at all so that was not an option for escape. I guess my biggest fear was being stuck in there for hours and needing the loo...

Old Cheeser said...

Stevenage! I KNEW you'd do it (also saw your comment over on Facebook). As someone with a 2:1 in English myself, I wholeheartedly congratulate you, my good man!!! To tell the truth it wasn't that I forgot you were due to receive your results, but I'm rather surprised by their earliness - as far as I can remember I don't think I received mine til July. Oh well, must be different these days.

As for MJ - yes it is awful - and you are right about the hypocrisy of the media. Tasteless as they are, I have to say that all those MJ jokes still put a big smile on my face, but of course for anyone to pass away at 50 it's pretty tragic. I've put up a brief post on my own blog about it myself. Can I also add that the death of Farrah Fawcett is also a sad occurence?

And as for your lift drama, you didn't actually tell us how you got out?

Well done that man!!
OC x

Steve said...

Thank you Mr Cheeser, your warm praise has given me a glow. I must admit I've heard a few "MJ death" jokes already - so quick! Have people had them prepared months in advance? Farah Fawcett is very sad news - as you know I was a big Charlie's Angels fan as a boy though much preferred Cheryl Ladd. As for the lift... the engineer bods got it working again and I got out quite normally through the doors. All a bit boring really!

Owen said...

Hey Steve, Major Congratulations ! Now you have no excuse not to write thrilling bone tingling marrow shaking posts...

As of Monday I will cancel all other events and old habits in my life, quit my job, leave my family, and begin my new and 600% totally devoted focus on Bloggertropolis. No new post shall go unscrutinized... sheesh, imagine, that, having a life that kept us away !

Hope the elevator experience was uplifting once the rescue was over, glad to hear that Fate decided not to give you the shaft that day !

Cheers ! And again, Congrats ! I had no doubt you had the goods :-D

The Joined up Cook said...

Now Steve; if I'd yammered on about your exams BEFORE the results wouldn't that have been perceived as pressure?

I'm now going to imagine you with you cloak and mortarboard.

I'll put my facetiousness to one side and congratulate you.

Something that you have worked so hard to acheive is so fulfilling when you actually get there. Well done; I really do mean that.

I've already got a drink here so I'll raise my glass to you - pause while I slosh some whisky and coke down my gullet.

As to MJ; read my blog. We think alike on this as we do on so many things.

I thought the music channels handled it best.

And Steve, don't apologise for the 'ragbag nature' of your blog.

It's still one of the best I read and if ever you are up near Leeds look me up.

I'd love to see that mortarboard.

Steve said...

Owen: General Thanks! I'm glad you have decided to be my first devotee - a true acolyte of Bloggertropolis! You won't regret it. In fact once the brain washing kicks in you won't regret anything ever again. Unless I tell you too! :-)

AWB: many thanks also and I shall be sure to drop by if ever I'm up your way. I shall check out your post this very morning! As for seeing me in my mortar board... I'm sure a digital camera and Photoshop can sort that out after my Graduation Day...!

KeyReed said...

Well done on your BA, sir.
OK I'm going to ask - what's with the 'P.S. There is no spoon.'?

Steve said...

Tenon_Saw: sir, thank you for your congratulations. The spoon is a quasi-mystical reference to the film The Matrix where the idea of there being no spoon was a hint that the reality the hero found himself in wasn't actually real...

KAZ said...

Congrats on the degree Steve. All that hard work - i wouldn't like to go through it again.

My mum was stuck in a lift at her sheltered housing. The off site warden started phoning her emergency numbers.
Myself, Kev and my ex husband all turned up separately to be told she'd already managed to open the door and climb out by herself.

Steve said...

Kaz: thank you. I must admit I haven't ruled out doing a Master's at some point.

As for your mum - she's a better woman than I am. But then, that wouldn't be difficult.

skatey katie said...

not sure what the 2:1 means, but the word "honours" is ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!!!!! way to go bro X

Steve said...

Katie: thank you kindly, sis! The grade scheme works like this:

1 = first class pass

2:1 = second, top division
2:2 = second, second division

3 = third

And I think there's also "pass".

The Sagittarian said...

Oh well done, you! It's good to have that bit of paper eh? I also reckon its good for parents to have things like that, inspire their off spring and so on.
As for MJ, he knocked the $35-6.1m winners of the lottery off our news and completely overshadowed Farrah Fawcett. Wonder what the news hounds will dream up next?

Steve said...

Amanda: thank you. As for MJ, I bet his record company bosses are rubbing their hands with glee. And I'm sure his creditors are doing the same.

justme said...

Hey! Congratulations!!
I do hope you have had a celebratory weekend?
And I completely agree re MJ.

Steve said...

Justme: thank you! Not exactly a celebratory weekend - but a nice relaxing one! said...

Massive congrats on all that studying paying off...long time coming though, 10 years??
and secondly, even though it took just a mere 5 minutes for your rescuers to get you out, for amusement sake, do the keanu thing next time, although i hope next time is a long way off!!!!

MommyHeadache said...

absolutely, god the press are a bunch of hypocrites, before he was "all washed up career wise and a paedophile" now he´s honored as the "prince of pop" It is the same as it was with Diana, not that I had any time for her self publicizing antics but first she was branded as a cocaine snorting cow who was a whoring it about with Dodi and a disgrace to the ´dignity of her royal status´, next minute she dies shes a blameless saint. It´s a shame that death has such a big impact on record sales ...MJ might have pulled himself back from bankruptcy were he you know dead.

Steve said...

Rebecca: I think the Keanu thing might be beyond me... I'd only trip over my own coat as it billowed around my legs...!

Emma: nothing washes a body cleaner than death... at least until the unauthorized biographies start hitting the book shelves.

French Fancy... said...

no no no

I missed the post when it happened

no no no

Steve, you are rocking! I am so proud of you - a 2:1 from a place like Warwick ( a proper Uni) is fantastic. You must be over the moon (and other metaphors) - honestly, I kid you not - when I read the news - after everyone else it has to be admitted - I got this big beam on my face. I hope you are going to frame the certificate.

The lift thing sounded a right old pain. It happened to me once on a station at the Docklands Light Railway and people kept talking to me through the doors to 'keep me calm' but it just made me aggravated because I wanted to read my book and wait quietly for the engineer.

As for MJ - I'm sick of the coverage now and want it to stop

Steve said...

FF: And I wrote this post especially for you too! ;-) Thank you for your enthusiastic congrats - it means a lot from a fellow student of academia. I get my "stificate" on the 17th July - until then I won't quite believe it.

I'm totally with you on MJ. Even our year old has now had enough of hearing about it. Total overkill... though perhaps that expression is a little insensitive...? ;-)

French Fancy... said...

Am I right in thinking that old Germaine is a lecturer at Warwick - I could google it but I'm too hot to bother. Was she one of yours?

I'm very interested in an MA course in Literature that Leicester have as a distance learning course - but I'm about 3-4 years away from that (if I ever do it - decision will be based on finances really, all this studying is costly).
Obviously I could stick with the OU for post-grad study but I think it will be good to see what other places have to offer

Steve said...

FF: I have heard rumour that Muzz Greer is something or other at the Uni but I'm not entirely sure what... certainly I have never once seen her striding around the campus while I was there but then I was moving in far more humble circles!

I'm going to give it a few years and then might consider doing an MA; Warwick does an excellent one in Creative Writing which quite takes my fancy.

Suburbia said...


Nasty business, being stuck in a lift! How did they get you out? Did they lazer through the metal sides or beam you out?

Steve said...

Suburbia: nothing so melodramatic... just three blokes tinkering about in the lift machinery room. It isn't like that in Hollywood!

Savannah said...

Hi Steve

I've been meaning to wander over to your place for a while now. I'm a big fan of Gina's and have also been known as Gypsy and Romany Angel. I don't really have multiple personalities I just think I do. Anyway now that the intros are out of the way I wanted to say congratulations on your results. That is an amazing achievement.

You made me laugh with your description of the procedure you had to go through to get rescued from the lift. Who does that woman on the phone think she is anyway? :)

The way the media behave when anyone of any note dies is truly sickening. It's hypocrasy at it's worst and I have been avoiding the TV like the plague since the news hit. Let the funeral be over with soon so the poor bugger can just rest in peace.

Good to see you and I hope you don't mind if I drop by again to read more.

Steve said...

KayDee: it's a pleasure to meet you - any friend of Gina's is a friend of mine and I shall be very happy to see you here again... in fact I may have to mosey on over to your blog to check you out some more to encourage that! :-)

The whole MJ thing has become an appalling circus with his dad the most appalling performer of all. The entire show has become rather tawdry and tasteless despite the immense amount of money and media interest that it's generated.