Sorry I was in such a bad mood yesterday, London. I had a pain in my head that I would liken to the Kingsley Amis metaphysical hangover, except about 1000 times less literate, and to make matters worse it was all on account of white wine so it's not like I was dabbling some new Winehousian level of debauchery. (It also didn't help that I had spent the morning trying to read it off with Notes From Underground, which is hilarious, but not exactly packed with electrolytes.) (Sample line: All my life I've been incapable even of picturing any other love, and I've reached the point now of sometimes thinking that love consists precisely in the right, voluntarily granted by the beloved object, to be tyrannized over. In my underground dreams as well, I never pictured love to myself otherwise than as a struggle; for me it always started from hatred and ended with moral subjugation, and afterwards I couldn't even picture to myself what to do with the subjugated object.) (Also the cheeseburger was truly gross.) Anyhow!
I'm in a muuuuuch better mood right now, having spent last night at a fancier hotel and drinking beer and trading Notes — don't be dissuaded! It ends so happily — for British women's magazines, which I'll be filling you in on as the day progresses. But before I do:
1. Free shit: An old friend of mine at the Journal who covered the fast food industry once told me the watershed moment in the McDonald's corporate history was the invention of the Happy Meal. The promise of a cheap heavily-advertised ever-revolving toy instantly turned the restaurant into the favored purveyor of crying children and by extension their parents and as a bonus instilled at the most impressionable age a taste for the company's distinctive brand of caloric substance. I mean, duh, but still. Anyway every magazine in the UK seems to come with a free toy. Eve and ELLE came with canvas tote bags that smell vaguely of petrochemicals, COMPANY came with a novel called "Angel" ("But then she meets Mickey, the lead singer of a boy band, who is as irresistible as he is dangerous, and Angel realises that a rising star can just as quickly fall…"), Tatler came with a pair of sunglasses, and some other magazine I didn't buy came with flip-flops. Which brings me to a thought: I don't really want free shit with my women's magazines, but I always thought incorporating more free shit into the shrink wrap section of the Sunday papers — you know, little packs of cereal, large samples of warming pore cleansers, cigarettes or something mildly addictive — could be the business move that saved the newspaper industry. Maybe I should discuss this at tonight's panel…
2. Beer: I like beers wherein the bitterness manages to seep through to my blunted taste buds. IPAs, etc. Not sure what to drink here.
3. I am not saying this because they paid for me to be here but: I highly enjoyed this story.