Thursday, 4 September 2008

Meetups, Collisions, and giving up the Fags

All things free are usually excellent ways to spend one's time. The Hollywood Film Industry Meetup Group was founded in January 2008 and discussions takes place about Indie Film and general film industry topics. It is organised by a Brit, Dan, who after attending an Acting Bootcamp decided to create regular meeting so that Industry folk could swap success or disaster stories or just chill. The Meetups are held in Los Angeles but if you live that way pop along to link provided above and sign yourself in for a visit.

Now to where Dan was originally from, the UK. Collision Festival is about to open its doors 2008. Films collide in Collision as there are no themes, the films just keep on coming from all genre directions and the audience enjoys the sensation. There is not just film represented at the Collision Festival but music, art and performance.

Thursday 11 September
The Collision Festival
at Area 10 Project Space
Behind Peckham Library, Peckham Hill St.
London, SE15 5JT

Doors 7pm
Further combustible contributions Friday and Saturday nights

To further stuff. Currently I'm on patches, pills and cigarettes. Giving up smoking for me has been a five year long process. If you've ever read Richard Klein's "Cigarettes are Sublime" you'll know what it is like to adore the habit you hate.

It all started with this man (Bad choice considering he died from it).

When I was about seventeen I wanted to smoke a pipe like Graham Chapman, it was something he said in his Liar's Autobiography that appealed to me. It was something along the lines of that if you smoked a pipe you looked like you were thinking even if you had no idea what the person you were talking to was going on about. You could knit your brow and take ponderous puffs on your pipe all the while thinking about something completely inane.

I owned two pipes at that time. One was a French number with hexagonal cup at the end of its slender tube, and the other was a stout Italian. I went out to a shop with the intention of buying pipe tobacco. I knew that a particular store in the city would sell me the stuff without asking for identification so that's where I went. I thought I had clearly asked for pipe tobacco but I guess the guy behind the counter could not have imagined someone in this day and at my age smoking a pipe because when I got home my housemate informed me that I bought the notorious White Ox prison tobacco, smoked using rolling papers.

White Ox actually saved my late teen youth, as when I had gotten around to purchasing the rolling papers and rolling a particularly weird looking cigarette, the stench and strength of the tobacco was so severe, it made me feel incredibly sick. I don't think I touched it again. Years later, these three men brought me back to the habit.

Charles Bukowski - Errol Flynn - Jack Kerouac

The cigarette I took up at nineteen was Lucky Strike. I was a binge smoker at the time, probably smoking during writing sessions. Such was my affectation, I would set up my typewriter in the lounge room table (I lived in a share house), lit up and tapping away at my typewriter, slugging down chilled water from a Tequila bottle in the sweltering Brisbane heat, I'd bang out several poems and enjoy each stub of my filterless Lucky Strike cigarettes.

It was not until the age of twenty-one that I became a "serious" smoker, an obsessed smoker. Needing a hit every half hour or else my mood would crumble like Roman pillars under the weight of ancestral betrayal. No indeed, I was hooked, hooked and cocky. Yes, I thought I was immune to the harmful effects of cigarettes, physically I was still nimble and able to endure long distances, flights of stairs, tall trees and rigorous love making.

Ten years later the wear and tear of my inner bravado has begun to show. Small spurts of fast physical action leaves me in a less then desirable state of breathlessness.

Though it is a struggle ... and my issues lie with people such as ... (Yet another bad choice).

Some of my favourite artists continue to smoke through-out their life, a choice that is theirs, but I get such a kick out of the act of the habit this association with those I admire and my own idiosyncrasy is banal and ridiculous.

So here I go again, another round with 'quitting'!

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