Go Slug a Vampire

“First of all, welcome. Whether our journey together lasts for years or just for one day, I can’t tell you how excited I am to take this first step with you.”

Ah, there is nothing like beginning with a Frasier quote. In that episode (Season 11, Episode 7) Frasier returns to private practise after years of ‘pop-psychiatry’, as his brother had dismissively called it, at KACL radio. But as is inevitable for Frasier, his first day is a disaster, with the optimism of the above quote soon turning to dejection. In the course of one twenty-minute episode a father-son technique for adjusting one’s trousers nearly turns into sexual assault, a patient reminds Frasier of his bizarre coital exclamation of ‘M’Lady!’, and then the poor doctor ends up getting punched in the eye by the lover of his brother’s ex-wife.

Now, I sincerely doubt my first day will be that chaotic, if at all eventful. Not least because I, unlike Frasier, have neither a brother nor a sex life. I nevertheless look forward to the journey, lonely as it may be.

It’s not my first blog. Every year or so I start one or two, and they tend to just last for one day. But this time — I promise — is different. I actually have a plan.

Or rather, I have deliberately avoided a plan. None of those lofty ambitions or claims to specialness that always come before a fall. Just a vehicle for writing that will hopefully evolve organically, defining itself by accident and within the narrowness of my interests. And if that’s vague, who cares: no one reads the very first post anyway.

For now, however, I leave you with Charles Ives’ Slugging A Vampire, after which I named this blog. It relates to his hatred of ‘yellow journalism’, an old form of journalism based on sensationalism and profit interest alone. (Of course we have nothing at all like that now.) And in its short 30 second length, it packs such a furious musical punch that I’m tempted to describe it as proto-grindcore. Typically, Ives was nearly a century ahead of everyone else.


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