* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

Spunk Gunk

28 January 2002
George is a well-oiled machine.

Evolution, as Mr Darwin almost said, makes gods of us all. We hold the best hand of cards in the genetic game of poker; we are adapted for everything. We are elevated into positions of mental and physical glorious superiority that raise us high, high above our knuckle-dragging brick-browed ancestors. Anything that they did, we can do better. Imagine prehistoric apes trying to bake a cake, or a young caveman putting up a flat-packed bookcase. They couldn't do it, could they? But you can. Even your gran can't remember all the names of the former members of Take That. But you can, and that makes you special.

But even gods have their weaknesses, as Salman Rushdie may have murmured during a dream. We fly so high, but still we need our wings and engines which our idiot ancestors had no need of, running as they did on the ground. Not the high-speed technology information transfer which brings these words to you, or the mobile phone interfaces which let you drunkenly woo your sweetie while she sleeps. As open to fuckwit abuse as these systems are, they are proofs of age of human genius in which we live, and advance us even more. The music systems, designed by child prodigies in Sweden, which dominate your living room may fill your pad with the warblings of Britney, Christina et al.; yet they have the potential to spill John Tavener, Phillip Glass and Sibelius into your eardrums, lifting your soul and tickling your intellect. Piltdown Man never had that.

No, our modern weaknesses are much more mundane than that. Gunk, as Roald Dahl probably screamed at his young children in a fit of fury; goo, as one of the children (still a babe in arms) almost certainly replied back. Spunk, as Irivine Welsh repeats for fifteen minutes every morning before breakfast. This age of microchip and black pine of held together and massaged into being by buckets and barrels of expensive gloop.

Consider: today after washing my hair with two types of gunk, I rubbed another two lotions through it. I have three bottles of goo to rub on my face, and another two for the rest of my body. Only one of the above is medically prescribed. My cosmetics collection: tubs and pots and cases of slop. Only smell and colour differentiate any of these spunk-a-likes from each other.

I am not alone. I am not even particularly gunk-dependent; others out there wander around saturated in goo for every hour of the day. Many people would be quite unable to function without at least a daily application of gunk - dry skin, frizzy hair and untrimmed cuticles taking over from normal neurological functions. And if those who give in to the caveman impulses of wild hair and rough skin were in the majority, entire industries would crumble and livelihoods lost - the companies producing conditioners, moisterisers, sculpting muds, lip balms, highlighters, shampoos, cream rinses, hot oils, pre-shaving balms, post-shaving balms would crumble into dust.

Despite their crappy genes, Neantherdals had none of this nonsense. Your great-granddad certainly didn't feel the need to smear himself with potions not unlike his own jism before feeling able to cope with the day. The seeds of this madness were undoubtedly sown with all of our grandmothers' Ponds cold cream and Elizabeth Arden lipsticks, but even they don't feel the need to be coated in slime before sliding out to face the dry world before them. But you do - and you know more about Naomi Klein and the Dark Materials trilogy than they do too. So you're still better than they are.

But times change, as our Lord Jesus proclaimed when he was a callow youth. Genetic modification looms like an angry tractor on the horizon, and undoubtedly our children's children will grow up with a permanent pearlescent sheen of slime coating their entire bodies, reflecting in the morning sun. And by then, they'll all have rubber ducks sellotaped to their arms and heads, because that'll be the next big thing (and the ducks will made in the old serum and face wash factories). But although you'll think that your offspring look foolish, they'll know that they look wonderful. And because they're the next generation, the newest gods, they'll be right. And you'll be left in your Home for the Emotionally Feeble, rubbing rehydrating moisturiser into your eyebrows and pushing facial exfoliator with plant extracts up your nostrils, muttering "...robbiemarkhoward jasongaryjasonmark robbiehowardjasonmark..." as the long night draws in.


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
10 November 2003. George writes: Dead beat
20 October 2003. George writes: Shortening
29 September 2003. George writes: Manhattanites are Cleavage-Starved
11 September 2003. George writes: How to Bring Us in Line With the Future
18 August 2003. George writes: Slashtastic
28 July 2003. George writes: Underground Independent Small Press Comic Fight Club
7 July 2003. George writes: Careering
16 June 2003. George writes: Choose your own adventure
26 May 2003. George writes: Revelations
8 May 2003. George writes: Picture Perfect
14 April 2003. George writes: MetaPirate
24 March 2003. George writes: Preparation X
3 March 2003. George writes: F of x
13 February 2003. George writes: Three is the magic number
23 January 2003. George writes: Recorded Delivery
30 December 2002. George writes: Meat Bingo or Death
12 December 2002. George writes: Royal Inquisitor
21 November 2002. George writes: This Clown is Cancelled
28 October 2002. George writes: Shopping with God
3 October 2002. George writes: SaferSpoony
16 September 2002. George writes: Supercalanthropomorphicexpealidocious
26 August 2002. George writes: The deformed animal menagerie
5 August 2002. George writes: Plaice that Funky Music, Whitebait
15 July 2002. George writes: Safe as Houses
24 June 2002. George writes: Two Lions (DB/DS)
30 May 2002. George writes: Series 8
9 May 2002. George writes: Market Stall
11 April 2002. George writes: I, the Enlargened, Crunchy Product
18 March 2002. George writes: Cakexterminator
21 February 2002. George writes: Fiction Suit
28 January 2002. George writes: Spunk Gunk
31 December 2001. George writes: Fairytale of New Pork
10 December 2001. George writes: Circular
15 November 2001. George writes: A Man With No Ass Is No Man At All
22 October 2001. George writes: One Night in Heaven
27 September 2001. George writes: Uncut
3 September 2001. George writes: Porn Pants
9 August 2001. George writes: Names of the Roses
19 July 2001. George writes: No Fun Here
21 June 2001. George writes: All Your Elections are Belong to Us
28 May 2001. George writes: Pierced as Fuck
3 May 2001. George writes: My Lovely Horse
9 April 2001. George writes: Eight Hundred and Forty-Three
12 March 2001. George writes: Kill 'Em All
19 February 2001. George writes: Formal
25 January 2001. George writes: Sticks and stones
11 January 2001. George writes: A Thought on Morality
11 December 2000. George writes: You can't put that into a soufflé
13 November 2000. George writes: Lyrical Genius
19 October 2000. George writes: Wet wet wet wet wet
25 September 2000. George writes: Built on an Indian burial ground
31 August 2000. George writes: This Way
31 July 2000. George writes: Runt of the Litter

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