Snowcase #10 • 15 August 2007 • The SnowBlog
The author of Snowcase #10, Anthony Black, is a former army officer and disaffected journalist. He has sent in 'The Failure', a 60,000 word novel.
A powerful metaphor for the Iraq war? Or the drunken ramblings of an angry newsreader? The Failure
I watch the news in the evening. The tsunami in South-East Asia is dominating the headlines. The footage is horrific, as expected, reinforcing my opinion of the outside world as a place to be avoided. Since going into broadcast journalism (I read the morning news at a local radio station; thats important), I breakfast on nothing but shit and misery, a diet which tends to dampen the appetite.
After the news I watch a programme called What I Wish I'd Known When I Was Younger. It's full of celebrities (but not the talentless, wanky kind) in their fifties and sixties, doling out wisdom. According to the radio presenter John Peel (recently deceased), it's all about 'finding a level, and operating on that level'. Finding happiness, that is. Resonates with me, because I've obviously not found my level.
Actually, that's not true. I am a newsreader, at least. (I do enjoy doing it, despite what I just said about it disagreeing with me. Perhaps it just compliments my already gloomy disposition. Anyway, I like the sound of my own voice. There, I said it.)
Unfortunately, reading the news is not enough for me. I want more than that. A higher level. I'm not just talking about happiness. I'm talking about something else.
Boat drinks and bunny girls.
I don't know where that came from, I really don't.
I go to work the next morning. The death toll is rising in South-East Asia.
I watch a TV report from Banda Ache in Sumatra, where entire villages have been flattened. The correspondent describes a large, upturned boat in the harbour as 'smelling of lost souls'. What a twat.
Mid-morning, I start to get these pains in my chest. With a few minutes to go before my 11am bulletin, I ransack the newsroom, looking for the first aid box. I want some aspirin. Apparently that's the thing to take if you're having a heart attack.
I don't find any aspirin. I read the 11am bulletin unmedicated. It goes okay, the pain gradually dying away.
I decide maybe it was indigestion.
I go home at lunchtime and go for a run. My usual. Just over 3 miles, to the next village and back. Gets the old heart pumping again.
Post-lunch, I drink four cans of Carling, two bottles of Becks and a can of Heineken. A healthy, refreshing mix of lagers. I down most of them in front of the TV in my dressing gown.
This is all part of the journey. Greatness will come in its own time.