It should not be an act of social disobedience to light a cigarette… unless you’re actually a doctor working at an incubator.
On laws in Ireland prohibiting smoking in buildings where people work
But you see, you measure what a good time you had by how much it fucks you up; you go out tonight, get ripped, get shitfaced. You’ll wake up tomorrow and somebody will talk to you and ask, “How was last night?”. You’ll say, “It was fantastic! …I can’t see. No sense- no feeling, nothing, no sensation down the left side of my body. Oh! I can’t even form sentences! You should’ve come; you would’ve at least lost an ear!”
People do… need… things… that are bad for them. They do. Stimulants and so on. They always have. Every so often, some politician or footballer or actor or whoever it is is caught in a hotel room, surrounded by hookers and cocaine. And everybody else goes: “Oh, the shame of it! How could he? How absolutely dreadful! I’d never do that… I’ve never had a chance, but I’d never ever do that! Oh, the disgust that courses through me right now — you could bottle it!” But what else are you supposed to give hookers in a hotel room? “Yogurt, anybody? I made some yogurt this morning, would you like some? It’s got Granola and everything. You sure? Go on, have a bit.”
On public figures who get caught in hotel rooms with prostitutes and cocaine.
Vodka is a very deceptive drink, because you drink it and you think, “What is this? This is pointless! It’s – you can’t taste it, you can’t smell it… Why did we waste our money on this, bloody shit- why are we on a traffic island?”
It turns you into two people: one of you is very nice, you’ll go up to total strangers and say, “Come in, come in, sit down, for God’s sake, have something. Have my bed.” And then you’ll go up to people you’ve known and loved all your life and say, “Get the fuck out of my house! Go on, get out! And leave a tip!”
The most dangerous drink is gin. You have to be really, really careful with that. And you also have to be 45, female and sitting on the stairs. Because gin isn’t really a drink, it’s more a mascara thinner. “Nobody likes my shoes!” “I made… I made fifty… fucking vol-au-vents, and not one of you… not one of you… said ‘Thank you.’” And my favourite: “Everybody, shut up. Shut up! This song is all about me.”
On the effects of gin
The cookery programmes that everybody watches are ridiculous, and so are the house programmes. You know you do not need a fish tank in the atrium you haven’t got. And people now, feel under pressure to perform in their lives. Who has the time though? Who really has the time to skin the baby rabbit and dip it in the duck’s tears and nail it to the garden roof and get to work with the blow torch so it has just the right texture to match the squash you made that morning using just your elbows? Who has the time? Nobody lives like this! We go around thinking that everybody else does, you know? Because what happens is you come in from work, and you think… maybe at most, if you’re getting very adventurous, you will think “TONIGHT, we will eat something that has two colours in it!” BUT YOU DON’T! You end up sitting in front of the television, watching these programmes, eating bread from the bag, dipping it in anything runnier than bread, because there’s isn’t time for this horse shit!
On cookery programmes.
You should stay away from your potential. I mean, that is something you should leave absolutely alone! You’ll mess it up! It’s potential, leave it! And anyway, it’s like your bank balance, you know – you always have much less than you think.[...] Leave it as the locked door within yourself and then at least, in your mind, the interior will always be palatial. Wonderful gleaming marble floors, brocaded drapes. Mullioned windows, covered in mullions, whatever they are. Flamingos serving drinks. Pianos shooting out canapés into the mouths of elegant men and women who are exchanging witticisms… “Oh yes, this reminds me of the time I was in Budapest with Binky… We were trying to steal a goose from the casino, muahahaha…” But it won’t be like that[...] You don’t want to find out that the most you could possibly achieve, if you gave it your all, if you harvested every screed of energy within you, and devoted yourself to improving yourself, that all you would get to, would be maybe eating less cheesy snacks.
But look at the people who use their potential— who do actually give it everything… The Beckhams or Roy Keanes of this world. People charging! Running up and down the field, swearing and shouting at each other. Are they happy? No! They’re destroying themselves! Who’s happy? You! The fat fucks watching them, with a beer can balanced on your ninth belly, roaring advice at the best athletes in the world. “YOU WANKER!”
You see, most modern technology doesn’t work. It’s supposed to free you, but it’s a terrible trap, of course. Mobile phones for example – everybody has one now. I have one and they’re awful. They’ve completely ruined, I mean, people ring you up and say “Hi, it’s me, I’m in the bath!” and you go “Well, you’re still an asshole, I hope you drown and hello.” And they’ve completely dispensed with the whole drama of news, the simple idea of having something to relate, you know. When you could bound in from the garden and pick up the old Bakelite phone that weighted seven pounds and say “MIRRIAM’S DEAD”. You can’t do that anymore. You’re probably there watching her die. “Yes, her heads rolling back, spit’s coming out, her eyes are going everywhere, here I’ll take a picture – click – you see what I mean? Sheeee’s fucked!”
On mobile phones.
Everybody does that now. We all take pictures… you do the same with holiday photos. You record something to look back on it, even though you’re not really there when you’re taking the picture ‘cause you’re too busy recording it – so you retrospectively go to look back on where you weren’t and tell yourself you had a good time.
On taking pictures.
I remember when singers were singers. Ugly people. Aretha Franklin needed a lot of room to eat her chicken wings. Janis Joplin used to come out in clothes woven from her own vomit. Nina Simone, amazing singer, could look at a railway track and buckle it. It didn’t matter; They were beautiful people because of what they could do.
I have tried… believe me, I have tried to like rap music. It makes me feel so very, very old. I have tried to get home with the downies.
“I got my pecs, I got limos, I got bitches, and all my limo’s powered by bitch juice, and my spare pecs are in the limo.” … “I’m gonna fuck you up. I’m gonna dig up your dad, and shove him up your mum and drink your blood from a drinking cup, you fuck!”
Describing rap music
Then this song came on—I will never forget it—it was called “The Funk Soul Brother.” And I will always remember that because it was also all of the lyrics… and it was that school of songwriting, you know, very easy on the words in case they get wasted, it sounded like a million fire engines chasing ten million ambulances through a war zone and was played at a volume that made the empty chair beside me bleed. And it went, erm, “Funk soul brother… right about now… yeah… it’s the, it’s the funk soul brother… check it out. It’s, er, well… it’s the funk soul brother, essentially. He’s, er, he’s coming. He’s coming at you. It’s the… well… it’s the funk soul brother.” And after a while, I began to penetrate the meaning of this song, you know? I gathered that somebody was about to arrive, and everybody else was terribly excited – maybe he was bringing cake, or something, they didn’t say – but the thing was, you see, he wasn’t there yet. Ha ha, that was the hook! And I’m not saying it’s a bad song, you know, or anything like that. All I’m saying is that if you get, I don’t know, a broom, say, and dip it in some brake fluid, put the other end up my arse, stick me on a trampoline in a moving lift, and I would write a better song on the walls. That’s all I’m saying.
On The Rockafeller Skank by Fatboy Slim
I can’t swim. I can’t drive, either. I was going to learn to drive but then I thought, well, what if I crash into a lake? Then I’m fucked!
People will kill you over time, and how they’ll kill you is with tiny, harmless phrases, like ‘be realistic.’