On Things That Do Impress Me (Much)

A few days ago, as part of my scathing review of Charles Mingus’ Beneath The Underdog, I mentioned that I was “not impressed by” womanising, sleeping around, seduction, pimping, etc.. In hindsight I’ve realised that that assertion may imply I’m some kind of stick-in-the-mud, pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-celibacy prude. That is not the case.
I am not impressed by “fucking around” in the same way I am not impressed by the winners of eating competitions, or by anyone bragging about how they can drink/smoke/snort/drop/inject/shit/punch/kick/WHATEVER the most. The part I take issue with is an implied universal love of quantity. I am NEVER impressed by quantity, I am never impressed by excess because, to be bluntly fucking honest, I think it’s crass.

What I AM impressed by is quality. Particularly as regards high artistic value. Beautiful prose, moving poetry, rousing music, exquisite food, witty conversation, sublime landscapes, gorgeous sculpture, captivating painting, honest photography… And alongside intellectual enjoyments, there are of course the physical pleasures – be they induced through exercise, eroticism, consumption – each is as valid an experience of joy as any other.

My problem with “excess” as attractive is the way it numbs individual experience. If events are ranked by number and number alone, each one event loses importance… and if, culturally, society rewards those who seek faster, bigger, better, more frequent experiences – whatever they are – every experience any one person has at any time is intrinsically devalued. Which isn’t fair. An experience’s enjoyment should never derive from ones ability to anecdoteally combine it with others at a later date, an experience’s enjoyment should come from the act – whatever act it is – itself.

Don’t read a book to brag about it, don’t go on a bender to count your bottles, wraps and smokes, don’t go out of your way to fuck a stranger because you don’t think you’ve had enough sex… Live life for what it is.
A good shit is no “better” than a good glass of wine.
No non-exploitative act is intrinsically better than any other. And doing nothing twice will impress me more than doing it once.
One of my preachy ones. Here’s a lighter ending:
Things I am impressed by:
-Good prose
-Knowledge of anything non sport-related
-Good cheese
-Liberal social attitudes
That’s about it.
Here’s a picture of me with an Italian toilet:
 photo (13)

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